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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Irreducible Complexity - Chuck Missler

Iran unveils 6 weapons upgrades

Iranian Defense Minister Vahidi: Tehran will launch domestically-produced fighter jets, submarines by early 2013.

Iran unveiled upgrades to six weapons on Tuesday, including a more accurate short-range missile, a more powerful naval engine and an airborne testing laboratory, Iranian media reported. The country also released plans to launch domestically-manufactured fighter jets and new submarines by early 2013, and has production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles "on the agenda," Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said according to Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency.

The hardware was presented at a ceremony marking Defense Industry Day and was attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Israel has said it is considering military strikes on Iran's nuclear sites if the Islamic Republic does not resolve Western fears it is developing atomic weapons technology, something Tehran denies.

Iran says it could hit Israel and US bases in the region if it comes under attack.

It has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the neck of the Gulf through which 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports pass, which would likely invite a military response from the United States.

According to Mehr, Vahidi said that Iran would fly domestically-manufactured fighter jets at the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which culminates on March 20, 2013. He also announced ambitious plans to deploy Iranian-made submarines and UAVs.

“God willing the Defense Ministry’s fighter jets will be operational by the end of the year,” Vahidi said according to Mehr. “We are also trying to use new submarines in the next year.”

Among the upgrades unveiled Tuesday was a fourth-generation of the Fateh-110 missile, with a range of about 300 km.

Iran said earlier this month it had successfully test-fired the new model, which it said was equipped with a more accurate guidance system.

"This missile is one of the most precise and advanced land-to-land ballistic missiles using solid fuel," Vahidi was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency. "In the last decade it has had a significant role in promoting the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense capabilities."

In July, Iran said it had successfully test-fired medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel, and tested dozens of missiles aimed at simulated air bases.

It also presented a more powerful, 5,000-horsepower seaborne engine, the Bonyan-4, Fars quoted Vahidi as saying. A previous version had 1,000 horsepower, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) said.

Doubts over capabilities

Military experts have cast doubt on Iran's claims of weapons advances, especially its assertions about its missile program, saying it often exaggerates its capabilities.

"The Fateh-110 has a crude guidance and control system that operates during the missile's ascent" rather than during final descent, said Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in an e-mail.

"The Fateh-110 appears to lack the subsystems needed to effect terminal steering."

Iran also presented Armita, an "airborne laboratory" to help test aircraft launch systems and oxygen generation and train fighter pilots, Fars reported.

It was named after the daughter of Dariush Rezaeinejad, an Iranian scientist killed last year, Vahidi said, according to ISNA.

Iran believes agents working with foreign intelligence services including the American CIA and Israel's Mossad are behind the assassinations of several of its scientists.

Jerusalem Post

scientists discover new super volcano in Italy

As if the end of the Mayan calendar wasn’t enough to have you worrying about mankind’s existence, now another possible apocalyptic event is on the horizon — and it’s based on science!

Scientists report there’s a “super volcano” hidden near the same location where the notorious Mount Vesuvias eruption of 79 A.D. occurred and killed thousands of Pompeii residents. Only now this area of Italy is inhabited by 3 million residents, and the volcano is located in the tourist-heavy Campi Flegrei. This means an exponential number of casualties would arise if a similar event were to occur today.

Making matters worse, the ash emitted into the air by such an event can cause global climate change and lead to catastrophic events which could impact people everywhere.

What exactly is a super volcano? Scientists describe this particular one as a caldera, or cauldron that formed after an earlier eruption caused a collapse of land. Although it is not domed shape, it behaves just like other volcanoes in that it can shoot out magma and ash into the air.

Also, the Campi Flegrei caldera is not the only super volcano out there. There are other calderas in Yellowstone, California, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, and Siberia. However, because it has the potential to impact so many people, Giuseppe De Natale, head of the Italian volcano drilling project, feels it is imperative the study of the Campi Flegrei caldera should take precedence.

“I wouldn’t say like others, but much more than the others exactly because of the danger given that millions of people live in the volcano,” said De Natale.

De Natale’s group, funded by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme plans to drill 2.2 miles into the molten center of the caldera and install a monitoring device that will alert scientists to any notable changes that occur within the volcano. As such, it will serve as an early warning system to any dangerous eruptions.


Egyptian Cleric: People Thirst for Jews' Blood

Hamas's Al Aqsa TV has aired sermons by an Egyptian cleric in which he says that people he meets everywhere "thirst for the blood of the Jews." The video was monitored and translated by MEMRI.The sermons by cleric Sallah Sultan, who founded the Ohio-based American Center for Islamic Research, were aired on July 27 and August 3.
"I travel all over the world," he says, "and I met supporters of Al-Aqsa, of the prisoners, of Jerusalem, and of Palestine – people who thirst for the blood of the Jews, and who are eager for the promised war against the sons of Zion, until Palestine is liberated in its entirety."

Sultan goes on to say that "Under the previous [Egyptian] regime over 30,000 Zionists entered Egypt every month, defiling its land. The Egyptian police were forced to protectthem, while they were getting drunk and picking fights."

"There was a great scandal, when [alleged Israeli spy] Misrati and some Jews entered Egypt, in order to commit all kinds of crimes here: counterfeit dollars, taking photographs of military bases, girls with AIDS seducing young Egyptians in order to infect them, and the vilest act of all – for the price of one Egyptian pound Misrati and his gang would seduce young Egyptian boys from Cairo, Alexandria and Upper Egypt. They took young children who did not know any better and sodomized them."

In 2010, Sultan accused Zionists of making Pesach matzas from the blood of Christian children. In 2011, he declared that a 1994 edict that called for the murder of "every Zionist who enters Egypt – tourist or not" would be renewed.
Israel National News

Russia: Syrian rebels getting lots of Western arms

You give the rebels weapons and I can not give the soldiers Helicopters....

(Reuters) - Russia on Monday cited what it called increasing evidence that Syrian rebels were obtaining large amounts of Western-made arms, suggesting the United States and European countries are helping fuel persistent violence in the divided country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov's comments echoed others that appear intended to blame Western and Arab countries for the failure to end the conflict through diplomacy such as outgoing mediator Kofi Annan's peace plan.

The West has accused Moscow of allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to act with impunity by repeatedly vetoing U.N. resolutions meant to pressure the Syrian government, which bought nearly $1 billion in arms from Russia last year.

"There is growing evidence, including in the media, that Syrian opposition is massively supplied with Western-made weapons through third countries," Gatilov wrote on his Twitter microblog. He did not provide details.

The United States and Britain say they are providing non-lethal assistance to rebel such as communications equipment but not arms. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two strong Arab opponents of Assad, are believed to be funding a flow of weapons to rebels.

In announcing his resignation as peace envoy effective at the end of the month, Annan said "finger-pointing and name-calling" had induced the impasse over the conflict, which is sliding deeper into civil war after 17 months of violence.

Russia has strongly opposed any foreign intervention in Syria and continues to support a now moribund-looking six-point peace plan laid out by Annan. Moscow has repeatedly called on the West and Arabs to press rebels to stop fighting.

Gatilov's comments came days after a U.N. report that assessed that both security forces loyal to Assad and the rebels, which broadly have the moral support of the West and most Gulf Arab states, had committed war crimes.

Last week Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of reneging on an agreement to help set up a transitional government in Syria and of prolonging the bloodshed by encouraging the insurgents to fight on.

U.N. military observers left Damascus on Monday after a four-month mission in which they became helpless spectators of the spiraling conflict, instead of monitoring a ceasefire between Assad's forces and rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier this month that the United States and Turkey were looking at all measures to help Syrian rebel forces, including a no-fly zone there as the conflict deepens.

Lavrov said in an interview with Sky News Arabia published on Saturday that any attempt to use humanitarian concerns as a pretext to establish no-fly zones or security zones on the ground in Syria "for military purposes" was unacceptable.

A few days after Clinton spoke, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said a no-fly zone was not a "front-burner" issue and Turkish newspapers quoted the U.S. ambassador to Ankara as saying there were serious legal and practical obstacles to such an idea.


China is buying 6,000 tonnes of gold? It may not be as crazy as it sounds

Hedge fund gurus George Soros and John Paulson and central banks around the world are jumping back into the bullion market.

At MarketWatch, Myra P. Saefong, speaks to Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International, Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter and Mark O’Byrne, executive director at GoldCore about "unconfirmed speculation" that China – the world's number one producer and second-placed consumer (at the moment) – is gearing up to buy up to at least 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes starting before the end of the year.

There is also “the potential for greater demand from unreported purchases by the People’s Bank of China, should they decide to again report an increase in their gold holdings,” [O’Byrne] said.

[Kerr said] "If China buys this much gold, that would exceed annual, global production of gold, he said. “We do not have enough gold for China to buy that much, and it will take China time to purchase this amount of gold.”

“There’s a significant discrepancy between domestic gold demand in China and the level of Chinese gold imports and production, and apparently this gap is being made up by central bank gold purchases,” said Lundin.

“We will know in time, but the bottom line is that China is … consuming an ever-growing portion of global gold production,” he said. “This forms a floor under the gold price, which is why the most pessimistic assumption of downside targets in gold corrections have always been far off the market.”

Global gold mine production has averaged roughly 2,600 tonnes per year over the past five years, according to the World Gold Council.

Central banks went from net sellers to net buyers during 2009 while recycled gold supply has declined over the same period to constitute around a 1,000 tonnes or less than a third of annual supply.

China produced 380 tonnes of gold during 2011 – over a 100 tonnes more than its nearest rival. The country is preparing to launch direct interbank gold trading – a banned activity at present – at the end of August as part of a broader set of banking reforms.

implementation of the European missile defense project could become a throwback to the Cold War era.

Russia’s position on missile defense in Europe

Moscow warned on Monday that the implementation of the European missile defense project could become a throwback to the Cold War era.

The United States says the shield is designed to protect against “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

“Any unilateral and unlimited buildup of the missile capability by one state or a group of states would lead to the preservation of Cold War hangovers, damaging strategic stability in violation of all the OSCE members' obligations not to strengthen their security at the expense of others,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The project is a test of Western sincerity about its commitment to equal security in Europe, he said, reiterating Russia’s demand for “legally binding guarantees” that the system will not be used against it.

These guarantees should be verifiable, he stressed.

Negotiations between Russia and NATO member states on the U.S.-led missile defense project have deadlocked over the West's reluctance to give Moscow such guarantees.

The United States scrapped plans in September 2010 for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and then-President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, however, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington's plans to deploy a missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018.

RIA Novosti

Netanyahu ‘determined to attack Iran’ before US elections

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is determined to attack Iran before the US elections,” Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed on Monday night, and Israel is now “closer than ever” to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.

The TV station’s military reporter Alon Ben-David, who earlier this year was given extensive access to the Israel Air Force as it trained for a possible attack, reported that, since upgraded sanctions against Iran have failed to force a suspension of the Iranian nuclear program in the past two months, “from the prime minister’s point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer.”

Asked by the news anchor in the Hebrew-language TV report how close Israel now was to “a decision and perhaps an attack,” Ben-David said: “It appears that we are closer than ever.”

He said it seemed that Netanyahu was not waiting for a much-discussed possible meeting with US President Barack Obama, after the UN General Assembly gathering in New York late next month — indeed, “it’s not clear that there’ll be a meeting.” In any case, said Ben-David, “I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay a possible attack.”

The report added that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack before the US presidential elections in November.

There is considerable opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the report noted — with President Shimon Peres, the army’s chief of the General Staff and top generals, the intelligence community, opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, “and of course the Americans” all lined up against Israeli action at this stage.

But, noted Ben-David, it is the Israeli government that would have to take the decision, and there Netanyahu is “almost guaranteed” a majority.

Other Hebrew media reports on Tuesday also said Netanyahu had despatched a senior official, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, to update the elderly spiritual leader of the Shas ultra-Orthodox coalition party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, on the status of the Iranian nuclear program, in order to try to win over Shas government ministers’ support for an attack.

Times of Israel

Russia warns West on Syria after Obama threats

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West on Tuesday against any unilateral action on Syria after President Barack Obama said U.S. forces could act if the Syrian leader deployed chemical weapons against rebels trying to topple him.

Russia and China have opposed military intervention in Syria throughout 17 months of bloodshed and have vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions backed by Western and Arab states that would have raised pressure on Damascus to end violence.

Lavrov spoke at a meeting with China's top diplomat one day after Obama, in some of his strongest language yet, said U.S. forces could move against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he resorted to chemical weapons against insurgents.

Russia and China base their diplomatic cooperation on "the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the U.N. Charter, and not to allow their violation", Lavrov said at a meeting with Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo.

"I think this is the only correct path in today's conditions," Lavrov told Dai, who also met President Vladimir Putin and his top security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, on Monday for consultations went unannounced by the Kremlin.

Lavrov's remarks underscored Moscow's wish to keep international efforts to end Syria's crisis within the United Nations, where Russia and China wield clout as two of the five permanent Security Council members with veto power.

Frustrated by the vetoes and by the refusal of Russia and China to join calls for Assad to leave power, the United States and other Western and Arab countries are seeking other ways to exert influence on the situation in Syria.


Obama said on Monday he had refrained "at this point" from ordering military engagement in Syria. But when asked whether he might deploy forces, for example to secure Syrian chemical and biological weapons, he said his view could change.

Russia has also expressed concern about Syria chemical weapons, saying it had told Damascus that even the threat to use them was unacceptable.

But Lavrov said on Monday that the Security Council alone could authorize the use of external force against Syria, warning against imposing "democracy by bombs".

Russian leaders have said they are determined to avoid a repeat of what occurred in 2011 in Libya, when Moscow let NATO military operations go ahead by abstaining from Security Council resolution that authorized air operations.

Russian officials then accused the United States and its allies of overstepping their mandate and using it to help rebels overthrow longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. Putin, prime minister then but now back in official charge of foreign policy, likened the U.N. resolution to "medieval calls for crusades".

Russia denies that it is propping up Assad and says it would accept his exit in a political transition decided by the Syrian people, but that his departure must not be a precondition and he must not be pushed out by external forces.

Putin, who has faced frequent U.S. and European criticism over his treatment of dissent, has made opposition to foreign intervention in sovereign states on human rights grounds a central plank of his foreign policy in his new presidency.

China has issued similar warnings to the West.

In remarks at the start of his otherwise private meeting with Dai and other officials, Lavrov said the opportunity to discuss coordination on global affairs was "very, very timely".

Dai, speaking through an interpreter, said he was in Russia for "consultations on strategic security" and had had a "very good, friendly and important meeting" with Putin.

A Syrian delegation led by Qadri Jamil, deputy prime minister for economic affairs, was also in Moscow on Tuesday and was expected to meet Foreign Ministry officials. It was Jamil's second visit this month.


People Are Going to Suffer on A Biblical Scale

Anti-Terror Exercises Planned for D.C.

Air Force and Coast Guard aircraft will fly “intercept and identification” exercises over Washington tonight as part of efforts to prevent suicide aircraft attacks or other threats to the capital, a military spokesman said.

The latest exercise of what the North American Aerospace Defense Command calls “Falcon Virgo” involves Civil Air Patrol Cessna-182 light aircraft and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter between 11:30 p.m. Monday and 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, NORAD said in a statement.

“We want to make sure people seeing these planes aren’t concerned,” said NORAD spokesman John Cornelio.

“One of the reasons we put out notice of the exercise is so that anyone seeing a military aircraft in close proximity to a civilian aircraft will know that this is a controlled and carefully planned NORAD live exercise,” he said.

No unmanned aerial vehicles will be used, said another spokeswoman.

Details of the scenario for the exercise could not be learned. However, it is expected to involve the helicopter intercepting the Cessna posing as a threat aircraft.

Airspace over the nation’s capital is tightly controlled and aircraft that stray into restricted airspace near the White House, Capitol, and national monuments risk being shot down by military aircraft.

During the September 11 terrorist attacks against the Pentagon and attempted strike on either the White House or Congress using hijacked airliners, U.S. military jets had to be scrambled from southern Virginia.

Since those attacks, the U.S. military has set up a defense system to better protect the region from such threats.

Past Falcon Virgo exercises have used F-16 jets based at Andrews Air Force Base, ground-based Avenger anti-aircraft missile batteries deployed at the southern end of the Navy-Air Force Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and Stinger and shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles deployed at undisclosed locations.

Cornelio said the main purpose of the exercise is to test the command and control system called the Joint Air Defense Operation Center, located at Anacostia-Bolling.

“The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the NCR Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector,” the NORAD statement said.

“Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and certify newly assigned command and control personnel at JADOC.”

The exercises are part of the military’s “rapid response capability” for the region, the statement added.

Washington Free Beacon

It’s Even Worse Than The Great Depression

According to Wikipedia, Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) affects one percent of the population and has little to do with looking at yourself in the mirror. It has a lot to do with unrealistic fantasies of success, power and intelligence. Some NPD sufferers become cult leaders or mass murderers, the rest become economists and policy-makers. Despite having a highly elevated sense of self-worth, narcissists have fragile self-esteem and handle criticism unpredictably, so let’s keep this to ourselves….

Velocity of money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply. This VoM chart using monetary base should end any discussion of what ”this” is and whether or not anybody should be using the word “recovery” with a straight face:

In just four short years, our “enlightened” policy-makers have slowed money velocity to depths never seen in the Great Depression. Hard to believe, but the guy who made a career out of Monday-morning quarterbacking the Great Depression has already proven himself a bigger idiot than all of his predecessors (and in less than half the time!!). During the Great Depression, monetary base was expanded in response to slowing economic activity, in other words it was reactive (here’s a graph) . They waited until the forest was ablaze before breaking out the hoses, and for that they’ve been rightly criticized. Our “proactive” Fed elected to hose down a forest that wasn’t actually on fire, with gasoline, and the results speak for themselves. With the IMF recently lowering its 2012 US GDP growth forecast to 2%, while the monetary base is expanding at about a 5% clip, know that velocity of money is grinding lower every time you breathe.

The Fed’s refusal to recognize the importance of velocity of money quickly goes from idiotic to insidious. Here’s a question: If I give you 50¢ and as a result of that transaction, you owe me $1.00, what interest rate have I charged you? Obviously, I’ve charged you 100% interest and I don’t give a rat’s ass about you or your kids. I’m pure evil and you’re pure stupid. But believe it or not, this kind of master-slave arrangement isn’t enough to satisfy a true narcissist. The narcissist needs to be exalted for his actions, no matter how unjust.

He likes to be thought of as “accommodative.”

In 2011, every dollar of GDP growth created $2.08 in debt. In real life, that’s 108% interest plus the nominal rate, and our twisted leaders want you say, “Thank you sir, may I have another!”

2011 wasn’t an anomaly either; it’s the new normal. Since the Bush deficit increases (to call a spade a spade) went into effect, the rise in debt has exceeded the rise in GDP 6 of the last 10 years (the four years of positive GDP-minus-Debt can be directly attributed to the housing bubble). That never happened in the U.S. during Great Depression/WWII era. One place where it did happen was in the Weimar Republic (which shortly thereafter became known as Nazi Germany) . No one’s ever done a better job of explaining how quickly things unraveled there than Art Cashin (this is an absolute MUST read):

In 1920, a loaf of bread soared to $1.20, and then in 1921 it hit $1.35. By the middle of 1922 it was $3.50. At the start of 1923 it rocketed to $700 a loaf. Five months later a loaf went for $1200. By September it was $2 million. A month later it was $670 million (wide spread rioting broke out). The next month it hit $3 billion. By mid month it was $100 billion. Then it all collapsed.

….In 1913, the total currency of Germany was a grand total of 6 billion marks. In November of 1923 that loaf of bread we just talked about cost 428 billion marks.

So I’ve got a whole bag of “Fuck You!” for anyone who still thinks nothing could be worse than another Great Depression. The path we’re on ends with mountains of corpses when the great experiment fails.

America’s most prestigious education institutions have become grooming salons for malignant narcissists. Men and women high on their own self-important sense of entitlement, but short on any sense of honor or duty (like passing a budget or arresting someone who stole a billion dollars) and devoid of any real insight or achievement. So far it’s working out quite nicely for them:

Fun fact: Washington DC now boasts, by far, the highest and fastest growing income per capita in America.

No matter what color Kool-aid you prefer, a Harvard Law School graduate who wipes his ass with the constitution will occupy the White House until 2016. Any flavor difference you think you detect is artificial. Neither party has any intention of balancing the budget or stopping the generational rape of America. They exist only to give you the illusion of choice.

There’s another reason nobody wants you thinking about velocity of money and triple-digit principle-based interest rates. When you get comfortable with the idea that the same dollar gets spent over and over in the economy, you’ll begin to reconcile that notion with the fact that total government spending (Federal, State and Local) accounted for over 40% of GDP in 2011. Then it becomes clear that you are already living in on of those countries where the government controls everything (call it whatever -ism you want). Next thing you know, you’ll start connecting the dots between the nation’s skyrocketing public debt and the private fortunes amassed by a select few, and no one who’s in on the fix wants that.

Better than one in seven Americans are now on food stamps thanks to Washington’s disastrous policies, but narcissists refuse to recognize the consequences of their own actions. That’s how they sleep at night. They see themselves as saviours, feeding the inferior huddled masses too stupid to fend for themselves, so of course they deserve more money. The only thing they learn from shitty results is that they need more power, more control and more money.

The so-called “fiscal cliff” represents nothing more than a return to policies proven far less dysfunctional than the current ones, but Washington doesn’t see it that way. Instead they want you to beg them to save you from this horrific monster and adore them when they double down on policies that serve to increase your dependency on them.

By any and all reasonable measures, it’s worse than the Great Depression, and still deteriorating. Just remember that truth is the narcissist natural enemy before you speak.

Across the street

Syrians run to Jordan and into a humanitarian crisis

Birth pangs on the world