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Hagel's Call for Nuclear Disarmament Has Been Mainstream Since Reagan


Hagel's Call for Nuclear Disarmament Has Been Mainstream Since Reagan

By Joseph Cirincione
Jan 29 2013, 8:01 AM ET

He wants to decrease the size of our arsenal. But so do most security experts, on both sides of the aisle -- something opponents of his nomination have forgotten.

Among the many heresies imputed to Chuck Hagel is the belief that we can greatly reduce our nuclear arsenal. The former Nebraska senator's views, however, are hardly radical -- in fact, they are downright boring. They represent the consensus of such a long list of security experts from both political parties that it is hard to list them and still keep this article interesting.

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and several other key GOP leaders base their opposition to Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense in large part on the supposedly extreme policies he advanced. Inhofe said that while Hagel's military service was commendable, he has been "an outspoken supporter of nuclear disarmament" and "seeks a world free of nuclear weapons."


Opponents of Hagel's appointment like to point to two people mentioned as alternatives to Hagel, former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and current Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. They will be far more open to big nuclear budgets and big arsenals, Hagel critics hope. Sorry: Both have long shared Hagel's views. They were part of a working group that drafted a plan in 2007 for reducing nuclear threats that included the recommendation that "the U.S. and the other NPT nuclear weapons states ... should commit themselves to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and to pursuing practical steps that would lay the groundwork for moving toward that goal."

Their report also called for the rapid Senate approval of the nuclear test-ban treaty. It suggested the U.S. "explore means of increasing warning and reaction times including by lowering alert rates of their strategic systems," and consider "an operationally deployed force of fewer than 1,000 nuclear weapons." *


Key nuclear adviser out

Source: Politico

President Obama's top advisor on arms control and weapons of mass destruction is leaving the administration and taking a post at Harvard.

Gary Samore has been appointed head of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the center announced.

Since 2009, he has been the principal adviser to Obama on nonproliferation and has coordinated strategy and programs on everything from stopping Iran's development of nuclear weapons to the securing of nuclear materials around the world. Samore was also the point person on Obama's 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Korea.

The White House did not respond to a message seeking more information about his departure. (See update below.)


Read more: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/01/key-nuclear-adviser-out-155695.html?hp=r8

Georgia nuclear power plant could be Solyndra redux, report says


Georgia nuclear power plant could be Solyndra redux, report says

A report by two energy-consulting firms says the US government has not protected US taxpayers well enough against the risks of federal loan guarantees to a new nuclear power project.

By Mark Clayton, Staff writer / January 30, 2013

Construction of the first newly licensed US nuclear power plant in decades could become a "Solyndra-like" debacle thanks to billions in federal loan guarantees whose terms appear too weak to protect taxpayers, according to one groupís analysis of internal documents released by the US Department of Energy.

The two-reactor $14 billion Vogtle plant being built in Georgia is seen as a test of the US nuclear industry's planned "renaissance" with a new nuclear reactor design and updated construction processes all aimed at cutting time and costs.

But two Massachusetts-based energy-consulting firms, Earth Track and Synapse Energy Economics, say the $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees backing the project were crafted with excessively favorable financial terms for the recipient companies, weak federal oversight, and possible political interference in the loan-guarantee process.

The two firms analyzed hundreds of Energy Department e-mails and financial documents released earlier this month to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), a green-energy watchdog group that won access to them in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.


Nuclear expansion plan thwarted after Cumbria no vote to underground store

Source: Guardian

Plans to expand the UK's nuclear industry are in disarray after the only area to show interest in hosting an underground radioactive waste storage centre decided to thoroughly reject the idea.

Cumbria county council's cabinet voted by more than 2-1 to pull out of feasibility studies, following expert critiques of the fractured local geology and an international outcry over the threat to the western Lake District.

The decision is a major blow to government ambitions to build new nuclear power plants, with ministers accepting that the UK needs a credible and permanent solution to dealing with current and future waste. Green MP Caroline Lucas said the government's nuclear ambitions were now "completely derailed".


Opinion in West Cumbria has been respectful of Sellafield's huge economic importance since the 1950s but public meetings were swayed by the strength of scepticism from geologists. The huge depot, covering an underground area the size of Workington, was also required to meet unprecedented standards, including a guarantee of no leaks for a million years.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/30/nuclear-expansion-thwarted-cumbria-no

"Why Are Military Helicopters Firing Machine Guns Over Houston and Miami?" - locked?

Why was that thread locked?
When did this place turn into www.ReaganDemocratsOnly.com ?

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:38 PM
Fire Walk With Me (35,278 posts)

Um, Why Are Military Helicopters Firing Machine Guns Over Houston and Miami?

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by REP (a host of the General Discussion forum).

The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood.

SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.

With military helicopters flying above her southeast Houston neighborhood, Frances Jerrals didn't know what to think.

"When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst," Jerrals said.

(More text and two videos at the link.)

Hagel: Window closing on Iran and diplomacy

Source: Associated Press

Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel said the "window is closing" on Iran and the possibility of diplomacy if it continues to ignore international demands to end pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

In his first opportunity to express his opinions since President Barack Obama nominated him Jan. 7, Hagel addressed a range of issues, from Iraq and Afghanistan to women in combat, in a 112-page questionnaire for the Senate Armed Services Committee. The panel submitted the extensive questions to Hagel in advance of his confirmation hearing on Thursday.


"If Iran continues to flout its international obligations, it should continue to face severe and growing consequences," Hagel said. "While there is time and space for diplomacy, backed by pressure, the window is closing. Iran needs to demonstrate it is prepared to negotiate seriously."


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/hagel-window-closing-iran-diplomacy-170046922--politics.html

Obama, Kerry, and Hagel are going to make a great team!
I am confident they will be able to resolve this issue non-violently.
Remember - non-violence does not preclude property destruction:

The Berrigan Tradition

One cannot address the issue of nonviolence and property damage without acknowledging the Berrigan brothers and the Plowshares movement. Daniel and Philip Berrigan were influenced by the writings of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. After participating in some rallies, marches and being arrested in protests against the Viet Nam war, the brothers Berrigan decided to take a bolder stand against the war. 14

On 17 May 1968, Daniel and Philip Berrigan along with seven others raided the Catonsville draft board. "First, they liberated about four hundred folders from a Selective Service office, drenched them with homemade napalm in an adjoining parking lot, then set them on fire. While the papers crackled, the protestors joined in prayer." 15 The "ultra resistance" was born. Their goal was to bring attention to the injustices of the Viet Nam War. 16 On 9 September 1980 a Plowshares group broke into a General Electric facility and destroyed the casing on nuclear war heads by hitting them with hammers and pouring blood over them. 17

The main argument used by the Berrigans and those who have taken up their cause is that some property has no right to exist and therefore damage done to this type of property is not violence. The movement maintains it is nonviolent because property not human life was harmed. 18 Examples of property that has no right to exist can be seen in things like nuclear arms or the ovens at Hitlerís concentration camps. The impact of the Berrigans can be seen in groups like the War Resisters League. In the 1986 War Resisters League Organizerís Manual, the following is written about property damage:

"Some property has no right to exist (e.g., nuclear weapons, napalm, electric chairs). Other property, such as fences around nuclear power plants or military bases, while Ďneutral,í serve only to protect facilities which are harming all of us. The concern is not their destruction, but how they are destroyed. No one has suggested blowing them up or indiscriminate property destruction, but a calm deliberate cutting of a fence with a minimum of hardware can gain entry into a site otherwise not accessible." 19

What is key to the quote above, and to this paper, is the distinc-tion in the types of property being destroyed. It is not indiscriminate. The targets of this type of property destruction are carefully selected and the attitude of those doing the destruction is spiritual.

Army drill scares residents on Houston's south side

Source: KTRK-TV

The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood.

We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.

SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.


The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds


Read more: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8971311

Israel: Iran slowing nuclear program, wonít have bomb before 2015

Source: McClatchy Newspapers

Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran wonít be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iranís nuclear ambitions.

Intelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months have confirmed that various officials across Israelís military and political echelons now think itís unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016.

"Previous assessments were built on a set of data that has since shifted," said one Israeli intelligence officer, who spoke to McClatchy only on the condition that he not be identified. He said that in addition to a series of "mishaps" that interrupted work at Iranís nuclear facilities, Iranian officials appeared to have slowed the program on their own.

"We canít attribute the delays in Iranís nuclear program to accidents and sabotage alone," he said. "There has not been the run towards a nuclear bomb that some people feared. There is a deliberate slowing on their end."


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/28/v-fullstory/3205199/israel-iran-slowing-nuclear-program.html

Iranian uranium-enriching facility 'is damaged by explosion'

Source: London Times

An explosion is believed to have damaged Iranís Fordow nuclear facility, which is being used to enrich uranium, Israeli intelligence officials have told The Times. Sources in Tel Aviv said yesterday that they thought the explosion happened last week. The Israeli Government is investigating reports that it led to extensive structural damage and 200 workers had been trapped inside.

Israel believes the Iranians have not evacuated the surrounding area. It is unclear whether that is because no harmful substances have been released, or because Tehran is trying to avoid sparking panic among residents.

The Fordow plant is buried deep underground...

To see the full article you need to subscribe

Read more: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3670109.ece

This is the first major news source claiming confirmation from official sources.

Mom's Milk Different for Boys, Girls


Mom's Milk Different for Boys, Girls
DEC 14, 2012

Momís Milk Adapts: Breastmilk may be the first food for most babies, but itís not the same for boys and girls.

Researchers at Michigan State University found that among 72 moms in rural Kenya, women with sons tended to give fattier milk. The boys drank breastmilk with 2.8 percent fat compared with 0.6 percent for girls. Among poor women, however, daughters got the creamier milk (2.6 versus 2.3 percent).

The finding, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology jives with previous studies on macaque monkeys, red deer and gray seals, as well as with research on healthy affluent moms in Massachusetts. All the research appears to back up a 40-year-old evolutionary theory that natural selection favors parental investment in daughters when times are tough and in sons when times are good.

The thinking is that raising a popular male can lead to many grandchildren (at least in societies where males have many sexual partners). On the other hand, poorer families are better off raising a daughter who is sure to have at least some grandchildren, while a son of low ranking may not manage to have many or even any.

Ė via Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=boys-and-girls-may-get-different-breast-milk

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