Tag Archives: NPR

Our BBC alarm clock

It is Thursday, I just finished a baguette with salami and I was just going over the news (as one does) and I was hit by something stated in the BBC. I was not sure on how to react, but it made me take another look at certain matters. The event was initially about Saudi Arabia and their need for a nuclear reactor, they want to diversify their energy options. The one nation where sunlight would imply the need for large Elon Musk batteries to light Riyadh at night, whilst they get charged by free sunlight during the day, that one element is seen. Yet, they want a nuclear reactor requiring a huge water source to cool the entire matter. OK, that is their choice, and I am fine with it (no one cares what I agree with, I don’t care myself either). Yet the setting changes when I am confronted with two parts. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47296641) gives a few elements that become debatable in more than one way. So as I am listening to golden oldies like Atom Bomb Baby by The Five Stars (my sense of humour remains in place), as well as Civilization (Bongo Bongo Bongo) by Danny Kaye, songs that matter in this case. The first quote is: “Whistleblowers told the panel it could destabilise the Middle East by boosting nuclear weapons proliferation“, so why whistle blowers? Political impact does not require whistle blowers, there is no guarantee that it would result in destabilisation (it is likely though), and WHY EXACTLY did the BBC ‘hide’ behind the Whistle-blower statement?

The second part in all this is: “Lawmakers have been critical of the plan as it would violate US laws guarding against the transfer of nuclear technology that could be used to support a weapons programme“. So how does that relate to the Iran nuclear accords? America might have left it, but they were in the centre of all this. So, exactly why is there optionally a law against it and seemingly Iran was catered to, to begin with, and is still catered to at present by Europe. At this point everyone needs to sit down and really consider what their political representatives are up to all over the globe, because things are not really adding up at present.

Finally we get: “They also believe giving Saudi Arabia access to nuclear technology would spark a dangerous arms race in the volatile region. But concerns around rival Iran developing nuclear technology are also at play, according to US media“, if that is the case why allow talks with Iran to get it in the first place? And how exactly is ‘according to US media’ a valid response? And exactly who are the players in that US media mess? Does that not worry you?

Then we get the house report, based on whistle-blowers (who exactly?) where we see: “within the US, strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

There is a larger play in this; the issue becomes who exactly are those ‘private commercial interests’? It seems that the media (including the BBC) is all about creating awareness whilst those writers are all about ‘not stepping on any toes’ and in light of the linked term ‘nuclear weapons proliferation‘, yet the BBC does not disappoint. We also get:

The commercial entities mentioned in the report are:

  • IP3 International, a private company led by ex-military officers and security officials that organised a group of US companies to build “dozens of nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia
  • ACU Strategic Partners, a nuclear power consultancy led by British-American Alex Copson
  • Colony NorthStar, Mr Barrack’s real estate investment firm
  • Flynn Intel Group, a consultancy and lobby set up by Michael Flynn.

Now we are off to the races! You see, even as IP3 International is visible on their website (at www.ip3international.com) with: ‘A global enterprise to develop sustainable energy and security infrastructure‘, we need to realise that this is a presentation play (everyone is allowed to do that). Sustainable is often used as it more than not can be replaced with renewable energy (which is still not the same), the larger issue is that there is a sizeable debate as it is also an increasing controversy over whether nuclear energy can be considered sustainable energy.

The textbook gives us: “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs“, which is reflected in: Kutscher, C.F.; Milford, J.B.; Kreith, F. (2018). Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Third Edition, I believe that IP3 International is revenue driven and one tends to go to the players that can pay their bill, I would see it as an innovative thought to go to Saudi Arabia, if only (according to law) it was not illegal. Yet there is the second stump in all this, you cannot start that conversation with Iran and not optionally refuse to have it with Saudi Arabia. And now the music is still on par with the events in play, because the song at present is ‘Grandma Plays the Numbers’ by Wynonie Harris. It is not a bet and the players are not hedging their bets, the issue becomes Politico (at https://www.politico.eu/article/mohammad-javad-zarif-iran-to-eu-give-us-more-to-preserve-nuclear-deal/), which gives us “On the nuclear deal, from which Trump’s withdrew last year, Zarif said a so-called special purpose vehicle set up by the EU to allow European countries to keep trading with Iran despite U.S. sanctions fell short of what Europeans had promised. In a clear message to European powers, he said domestic support for the deal was fragile — with 51 percent of Iranians in favor, according to an opinion poll“, it is not about the deal, it is to some extent as to where 49% of Iran wants to be as the margin is too close to call an actual win. What is important is where the hardliners stand and what path they want to walk on, it makes all the difference in this.

The other party that draws attention in this is Michael Flynn and his Flynn Intel Group. Even as it is seen as a consultancy group, the issue is optionally seen with “In January 2017, National Security Council staff began to raise concerns that these plans were inappropriate and possibly illegal, and that Flynn had a potentially criminal conflict of interest“, the imperative part is ‘possibly illegal‘, it does not state ‘should be regarded as illegal‘, the difference makes for all the difference here and the fact that this is not clearly stated implies that this is a political push, optionally against Saudi Arabia, and optionally to keep nuclear energy out of the middle east completely. When we realise that the issue changes, it does not merely require Europe to stop any Iran nuclear deal, it gives different levels of rise to the political pressures in play. The fact that we see (source: Ars Technica): “Flynn had decided to adopt IP3’s plan to develop “dozens of nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia during the transition while he was still serving as an advisor to IP3. Harvey also said that Barrack would be made a special representative, with credentials equivalent to an ambassador, to guide the plan“, yet the entire matter of ‘there is bi-partisan concern regarding Saudi Arabia’s access to nuclear technology‘, we seem to get a little less informed that this is not about the material itself, it is about upgrading the fuel required to upgrade it to weapons grade, that is the actual turkey in the oven.

And it is at this point that Bing Crosby starts sing Pistol Packin’ Mama. You see, we seem to forget that there are a few ways to upgrade Uranium towards a less acceptable use. It’s like stone washing your jeans (a small reference to alternative ways to upgrade Uranium), when you start looking into the matter, you can find several ways to upgrade the fuel to a boom point. That is where the issue is hiding at and when we go back to the case where people re happy to in like Flynn with Saudi Arabia, we get confronted with a memo that is seemingly linking former NSA Director Keith Alexander, when we look at the sources, there is a lot alleged, implied and not a whole lot valued as evidence (which does not make it true or false). The part that matter is that this is a lot larger and there is not a whole lot of information on the legality of it all (in one way or another).

The mess goes on and even NPR gets involved. We are all treated to: “Let’s take a closer look now at what a transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia would mean for U.S. national security“, yet how valid is that today? The first nuclear reactor was built in 1942, it is an energy solution that has been in place for almost 77 years. There are now 31 nations that employ nuclear energy, nations that include Armenia, Argentine, Romania, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, the UAE and Switzerland. So how sensitive is that technology? If the technology is up to date (which might be sensitive) does that not also include that the reactors are safer? Should safety not be the largest concern in all this?

Well that is not entirely the story and it is Ars Technical that gives us: ““We remain concerned that the Saudi Government has refused, for many years, to consider any agreement that includes so-called ‘Gold Standard’ requirements against pursuing technologies to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium-laden spent nuclear fuel,” the senators wrote in their letter to Trump.” that was the part that the BBC did not give us, so even as part of that still needs to be vetted, yet if true, there would be a partial issue, yet in all this we still see that Europe is willing to give it to Iran and as such, should Saudi Arabia not be entitled to that choice too?

When we see the elements in play is it actual about stopping Saudi Arabia getting a nuclear reactor, or is it about stopping a handful of former admirals and generals laying their fingers on $200 billion? In the end whatever happens, the players forget that Russia is eager to serve Saudi Arabia with the 20 nuclear reactors that Saudi Arabia in committed to switch on in under 36 months. It seems to me that the United States or those reporting via the US media are all about removing the US as the larger economic power. That is how I personally would read it, the entire mess has too many angles and too many ‘possibly illegal‘ and ‘concern regarding access to nuclear technology‘, whilst the list of nations with nuclear reactors is already way out of control, and we read this, whilst we know that Russia and China are eager to put their fingers on that much revenue, when you want to buy a car that does at least 250Km, are you going to wait in front of the Ferrari door, or do you accept that Lamborghini and Aston Martin are not second choice cars, they are equally great choices in really fast cars. When we realise that part of the equation, we might consider that the Americans: General (ret.) John M. Keane, U.S. Army, General (ret.) Keith Alexander, U.S. Army, Rear Admiral (ret.) Michael Hewitt, U.S. Navy, Admiral (ret.) Kirkland H. Donald, U.S. Navy, Lieutenant General (ret.) Patrick J. O’Reilly, U.S. Army are not merely Americans, they might be the few true Americans left in that place. We catered to Wall Street for so long, we forget that innovation and had work and proper commercial deals made America great, short selling stock a lot less so, and even as we ‘acknowledge’ that these fine gentleman are still being mentored (or is that insightful advised) by Robert McFarlane, we need to realise that the entire media mess is set in motion for very different reasons. I am not pretending to know the reason, yet those so called whistle-blowers have their own alternative need, I wonder if we ever get the truth on that part of this much larger equation.

 

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Fearing gays

I had to pause for a moment to see what the impact was on a law so unjust and in its foundation so evil that the impact will not be clearly seen for some time. What happened?

President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law making it illegal to be homosexual. The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 (Anti-Homosexuality-Act-2014) is now a fact in Uganda. When a person has been successfully prosecuted for the first time the consequence would be incarceration in prison for up to 14 years, after that a person could be jailed for life.

This is not all, this morning it got to be a lot worse. A tabloid named ‘Red Pepper’ released the names of what they call the top 200 Homo’s. There is little validity to their act. One might say that this is the act of a closet case individual, what kind of closet case he is, remains the question at present.

The issue gets to be worse and worse by the hour. As Gays are hunted and prosecuted all over Uganda, whilst at the mean time people claim that this makes their children safer, we see a strange escalation. It is catching me unaware because other than the hypocrite stand many Americans have, the prosecution we see now in Uganda is not unlike the prosecutions we have seen in Russia. The quote “fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man” is also something that must be considered. So what about Lesbians? They do love their women, are they safe? Nope! The act states “An Act to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex“, which means that they are in the same dangerous boat at present. The issue as Yahoo News stated it in the quote “Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise.” This gives us pause to think does it not? American style Christianity! This takes another turn when we look at the following facts.

This view can also be seen at http://digitaljournal.com/news/religion/us-evangelicals-helped-write-draconian-uganda-anti-gay-bill/article/364543 where we see the quote “This is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa, Bahati said

If that is true, then who is this Bahati? That part is found in the second quote. “Bahati is a member of ‘The Family’ also known as ‘The Fellowship’, a secretive and powerful U.S.-based evangelical sect that has been sending money and missionaries to African nations, including Uganda, to promote anti-gay public sentiment and legislation.

So, if America is all about the freedom of speech and the truth, then who is behind this? As we find this info, we need to take another look at this ‘family’. NPR gives us some information (at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120746516). So even if the book exposes a group of sanctimonious Republicans at the centre of this, there is a side we should expose. Because if the funds are used for discrimination and prosecution, there should be legal consequences, even if this is happening outside of the US. It was MSNBC who gave us that scoop yesterday (at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/religious-freedom-or-discrimination). It is interesting to see these events unfold, especially as we see a lack of visibility on the background by many of the larger newspapers. As the ‘Red Pepper’ is so bent on treating the Gays as a danger, publishing a top 200 list, then perhaps all other tabloids have a sworn duty to name, shame and illuminate the people behind this push for discrimination. when people on a global scale see the names like Senator Sam Brownback (R., Kansas) as well as Representative Joe Pitts (R., Pennsylvania) and the many others, on how they are funding prosecution of people, whilst in the NY Times we see this quote in regards to Senator Brownback “In the Senate from 1996 to 2011, he vigorously opposed abortion, promoted low taxes and less government, and worked against the genocide in Sudan, which won him praise from some liberals“, so basically he’ll oppose genocide when it is not against the gay population.

So as we see these facts emerge, we must also look at the additional factors. The Netherlands stopped aid to Uganda, as did Norway and Denmark. It is now up to the US and Canada, as well as all other nations giving aid to Uganda to stop doing that as well. I wonder how steady this law remains when Uganda loses out on billions in aid programs. No matter how wealthy this so called Family is, it cannot support a multibillion drain on their own resources. There is also another side. As other tabloids give visibility to the members of the family, they should also consider giving visibility and naming those involved with the creation of ‘red pepper’. If these people are so active to facilitate a hunt on homosexuals, which has already resulted in fatalities, the people have a right to know, who the facilitators are. We have a right to know who is behind it all; we all should be allowed to see their names. “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander“, so what does the discrimination support pyramid look like?

In all this I kept on thinking of the term “Separation of church and state“, if anything, these events as portrayed clearly show that America, for an above minor extent is following the foundation of the “Support for power of the church through the assistance of the state“. This is some boast, but in a two party system like we see in the United states, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Spain, the power that those not in power (the shadow government), still wields a massive amount of power to do the things that some churches, as they are governed by tiny minded people want to achieve.

 

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