Tuesday, January 7, 2014

'Nuclear Bomb Necessary To Put Down Israel'

Can 'The Nations' really continue to ignore rhetoric like this?

Iranian lawmaker, cleric, and Majilis (council) member Mohammed Nabavian declared Monday that Iran does need a nuclear bomb - to destroy Israel.

Iran would be able to build a nuclear bomb in “two weeks” if it gets “access to 270 kilograms of 20 percent [enriched uranium], 10 tons of 5 percent, and 20 thousand centrifuges,” Nabavian stated, according to Iranian media reports. “We are not looking for a nuclear bomb, but having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel." 

Nabavian also claimed that Iran agreed to a deal only to escape the sanctions imposed on its booming oil trade.

Once an agreement was reached, business eased, according to Nabavian. "Finally, Putin sent the governor of his central bank directly [to Tehran] to secure alleviations in the field of money transfers and barter trade. Likewise, China transferred to our account 10 billion toman from the blocked funds."
The deal is set to take affect on January 20, according to recent reports. The interim deal requires that Iran freeze or curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for some sanctions relief. In the meantime, Iran and Western powers will try to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Nabavian's remarks, oddly, echo statements made by Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz in December, who dismissed reports that the sanctions had little effect on Iran and lamented the deal for allowing nuclear building to escalate. 

With the second article we see today, a basic question arises: 

Can the nation of Israel Sign An Agreement With Those Who Hate It? 

The answer should be obvious:

The cabinet dedicated the bulk of its weekly meeting on Sunday to Palestinian incitement; an issue, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the outset, that stands at “the root of the conflict.”

On Monday, Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz and the director general of his ministry, Yossi Kuperwasser, presented damning evidence against the Palestinian Authority to journalists in Jerusalem. Their slick PowerPoint covered hate speech collected from official and semi-official Facebook pages, television stations and children’s magazines.

Since October 2009, a team of four Arabic-reading staffers at the Prime Minister’s Office has been scanning PA television and social media in search of Palestinian hate speech. A significant part of the index relies on nongovernmental watchdogs such as Palestinian Media Watch, which this week released footage taken from official Palestinian TV comparing ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli soldiers respectively to crows and rats.

If incitement comes from the top and trickles down, why mention the Nazi flag flown over the West Bank village of Beit Ummar? Steinitz himself interrupted Kuperwasser’s presentation to acknowledge matter-of-factly that the PA is displeased with the recent proliferation of Nazi symbols in Palestinian society.
On the Palestinian institutional level, is incitement endemic? When the Palestinian National Charter stipulates that “Palestine on its mandatory borders is one, indivisible territory” (a document still available on the website of the PLO Refugee Affairs Department), is that a form of incitement? Here, again, Steinitz admitted that former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad had expressed his concern with the phenomenon of hate speech.
Rather than defining Palestinian incitement, the Israeli government has made a good case that there is widespread Palestinian hatred for Israelis and Jews, and that it proliferates even as peace negotiations are underway. And what the government is tacitly asking is whether an agreement can be signed with those who hate.

Palestinian hate speech can hardly be described as the result of a nefarious top-down plot to poison the minds of children. It is, rather, the authentic expression of deep-seated anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish sentiments spanning culture and religion, shared by young and old, exacerbated by decades of political conflict.

Also see:

Consensus is growing that the U.S. electricity grid is vulnerable to both hacking and physical attacks, but protecting it remains a work in progress—especially given the spending that would be necessary by financially stretched utilities.
The risks have heightened the calls for officials to address potential threats before they become reality. In November, the North American Energy Reliability Corp. staged a simulated attack on the grid; meanwhile, House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman, D.-Calif., flagged the grid as "not adequately protected" from either cyber or physical attacks at a hearing in December.

M. Granger Morgan, the head of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told CNBC that a physical attack on the grid poses a "much greater threat" than a cyberattack. Still, he added that vulnerabilities within the technological network of the power system itself require "real and urgent attenuation."
Government regulators "have a responsibility to establish mandates to increase security," said Granger, one of the authors of a National Academy of Sciencesreport that outlined risks to the grid.
Meanwhile, utilities and independent system operators "have a responsibility to meet those mandates and also to do continual audits and surveillance," Granger added.
Engineers have warned for years that the nation's power grid is vulnerable to potential foul play. Even as many doubt a cyberattack alone would prove crippling, a combination of both a physical and a technological attack could wreak havoc and prove economically destabilizing.
An attack involving firearms on a San Jose, Calif.-based power station in April, initially dismissed as vandalism, has more recently seen investigators referring to a "higher level of planning and sophistication," according to a report in Foreign Policy magazine. The incident was recently referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"The industry is doing all it can do, but cybersecurity issues are constantly evolving," DeJesus said. "There is no 100 percent guarantee that [power] assets will be fully protected."

Laugh (or cry) of the day:

With a divided Congress unlikely to move any controversial climate change legislation, the hopes of environmentalists this year once again will be pinned on the executive authority of President Obama.
Seeking to build his legacy on a core issue for many in the Democratic Partythe president and his deputies in the Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere will take several key actions over the next 12 months as part of the federal government’s larger effort to combat climate change, specialists say.
Mr. Obama has shown few reservations about using executive powers on climate and environmental issues. In the final few months of 2013, he took executive action directing the government to prepare itself for “the impacts of climate change” and instructed all federal departments and agencies to dramatically increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption at all government facilities.
Those and other executive steps — such as EPA action to reduce carbon emissions from coal plants, a move that could doom the industry — don’t carry the weight of legislation that would pass Congress and be signed into law. They aren’t as far-reaching and can be reversed more easily by Mr. Obama’s successor.
But Mr. Obama’s environmental supporters have fully accepted that, in order to accomplish their aims, executive action remains the most realistic path.
That acceptance comes in large part because of the failed 2010 effort to pass cap-and-trade legislation. The bill failed amid stiff opposition from lawmakers of both parties and has left executive action the most likely avenue for concrete action on climate change.

With his executive authority, Mr. Obama has taken a variety of controversial steps.
His administration has put into place dramatic fuel economy standards for automobiles designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The EPA has proposed dramatic limitations on carbon emissions for new power plants that make it virtually impossible to build a new coal-fired facility in the U.S.
Those actions, combined with requiring greater energy efficiency at federal facilities and directing all departments to develop climate change preparedness plans, represent the most significant executive actions the administration has taken.
There likely will be several more this year, analysts say, especially since John Podesta — who was chief of staff to President Clinton and is a political veteran passionate about climate change and the environment — is now a top adviser in the White House.

A satanic group unveiled designs Monday for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan it wants to put at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012.
The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist's rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.
"The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. "The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation."
The Satanic Temple maintains that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol opened the door for its statue. The Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed.

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