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Archive for October, 2012

Parchin High Explosives Test Site Activity Still Ongoing

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The latest imagery from the Parchin military complex in Iran, suspected to have housed nuclear weapons development related tests, shows a further phase of activity.  Iran appears to be removing the tarpaulin covers placed earlier on two of the major buildings at the site (figure 1). In previous ISIS imagery analyses, the suspected test chamber building could be seen entirely covered by a pink tarp while the building to its north had its roof only partially covered with signs indicating that it would eventually be entirely covered as well (figure 2).  The IAEA may want to visit this northern building because it may be related to the experiments in the test chamber building.

The latest commercial imagery from September 19, 2012 shows the roofs of both buildings previously covered no longer under tarps. Read more…

End the Electoral College Voting

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The leader of the free world should be elected by actual voters not mysterious ‘electors.’ 

Vladimir Putin had an election in Russia. This week, Hugo Chavez had one in Venezuela. Last spring, Nicholas Sarkozy lost one in France.

In each case, the outcome was decided by the majority of voters in their country. Such direct democracy is a foreign concept in the USA, where we require neither direct voting nor a majority to lead our nation. The reason is an arcane institution: the Electoral College.

In the U.S., presidents are not elected by the people but by 538 “electors” who award blocks of votes on a state-by-state basis. The result is that presidents can be — and have been — elected with fewer votes than their opponents. Read more…

Iranian Economy on Verge of Collapse

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Sanctions against the Iranian regime are pushing the Islamic Republic’s economy into deep crisis, according to key Israeli officials in comments seen as a further indication unilateral military action may have been put on hold.

The Iranian rial fell 5% to an all-time low against the US dollar on Saturday, according to financial websites. The value of the rial has fallen by almost 57% since June last year, leading to big price increases for imported goods.

Israel‘s finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, said Iran‘s economy “is not collapsing, but it is on the verge of collapse”. The loss of oil revenue would approach $45bn-$50bn (£28bn-£31bn) by the end of the year, he told Israel Radio. “The Iranians are in great economic difficulties as a result of the sanctions.” Read more…