Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Final Answer

A town clerk in Kentucky is challenging, yet again, our political system's division of powers and the obligation of a nation to follow the edicts of its highest court in the land. Since 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, the power of the Supreme Court to make decisions relating to federal law was affirmed. The nation's highest Court has been working from this precedent ever since. The Court has the power to oversee and rule on Constitutional often extremely contentious issues and the Court's decision is final until another court overturns it.

The Supreme Court has been challenged throughout the nation’s history from the 1857 Dred Scott decision -- perhaps the worst decision issued by the Taney Court— affirming slavery to the 1954 decision of Brown v. the Board of Education calling dejure school segregation separate, unequal and therefore illegal. Its decision stands and the people must obey it.

In many other divisive national issues the Court has been the final arbitrator and this is no less true for gay marriage. It is now settled law and it will be so for this know nothing Kentucky town clerk who is denying marriage licenses to couples heterosexual and homosexuals alike claiming religious freedom. Ultimately, marriage licenses WILL be issued to both. Public entities are paid for by the people –ALL the people -- and the people have a right to use them. The Hobby Lobby decision establishing a religious freedom right (to which I disagree) applied to a private business, women’s health and insurance not to a public entity and marriage licenses.

 It has been pointed out this brazen, stupid, challenge to the Court is done so by a hypocrite. This woman has been divorced three times and married four times, gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband, they were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second husband if you can follow the convolution of that. She now, has the nerve to deny others their right to happiness but flouts the concept of marriage herself while having children out of wedlock to boot. Further, Jesus, allegedly her Lord and Savior, had nothing to say about homosexuality but had everything to say about divorce. He was against it.

The ACLU is suing her and they will win because the Supreme Court, no matter if one agrees or disagrees, has, in law, the final answer.

One can see how low the Democratic opposition can go. This is yet another reason to keep the presidency in Democratic hands as well as the Senate. The president has to power to shape the court and this aging court will see the president appoint at least two if not three Supreme Court Justices and the Senate affirm his choice.

An Explanation of the Deal

Here is a good article in "Forbes" no less and was written in 2013 in favor of the Deal. I think it still applies: The Iranian Nuclear Deal Is A Good One even this Forbes writer James Conca thought so too and gives very specific reasons why. You should read it and know about this important Deal that the Republicans want to subvert the president from obtaining -- big surprise. So what else is new?   NOW GO OUT AND WORK FOR DEMOCRATS TO RETAIN THE PRESIDENCY.  TAKING THE CONGRESS BACK SURELY WOULD HELP!

"The Iranian Nuclear Deal is a Good One "
By James Conca -- "Forbes"

Key nuclear facilities in Iran, most of which are impacted by their latest deal with the six superpowers. After the International Institute of Strategic Studies (

This Thanksgiving had an extra reason to be thankful – the new deal between Iran and six superpowers. Last week, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China (the P5+1 group) reached an interim deal with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program. Four key provisions were obtained in this deal:

1) no enrichment of U above 5% U-235, and all highly-enriched materials, some as high as 20% U-235, must be blended down to less than 5% or altered to a form not usable for weapons.

2) no additional centrifuges are to be installed or produced, and three-fourths of the centrifuges at Fordow and half of the centrifuges at Natanz will be inoperable,

3) stop all work on the heavy-water reactor at Arak, provide design details on the reactor (which could be used to produce Pu for the other types of atomic weapons) and do not develop the reprocessing facilities needed to separate Pu from used fuel,

4) full access by IAEA inspectors to all nuclear facilities, including daily visitation to Natanz and Fordow, and continuous camera surveillance of key sites.

Despite all the rhetoric of horror and claims that this deal is a mistake, this deal is just what we all hoped for as the first step to resolving the Iranian nuclear weapons issue, the structure of which we’ve been proposing for years. It is the first step to bringing Iran into the world’s nuclear community as a partner instead of an adversary, making Iran a compliant signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. While this may make some of its neighbors nervous, there is no real alternative that does not involve lots of destruction and death. 

Old orders are falling in the Middle East. The region is in upheaval, Shia and Sunni are as far apart as ever, and Iran’s theocracy, embodied by their new President Hassan Rouhani, has decided that the cost/benefit of maintaining an expensive, useless nuclear program that is still a long way from producing a reliable weapon, while being starved by a barrage of sanctions, on the heels of a global economic meltdown, has now gone into the too-much-cost-and-not-enough-benefit category.

Thus, there is now an opening to change the game.

This deal is not about trust, as the last point above about access addresses. No one trusts governments, even supposedly good ones. There must be unfettered access to verify that the nuclear facilities are not being used to produce weapons and that is what this deal allows, and it will be easy to determine when (and if) Iran breaks this deal ( The Economist; The Guardian; Fox News).

But the facilities can, and will, be used to support nuclear power, as was the original purpose of Iran’s nuclear program when the United States set it up under the Shah in the 1960s, and that is the actual end point of this whole deal. Not the end of Iran’s nuclear program or the destruction of their facilities, their country or their people.

I’m not sure what the naysayers of this deal think the sanctions were suppose to do. The purpose of sanctions is to get a specific party to the negotiating table. Sanctions are not meant to destroy a nation, cause widespread poverty of its people and destruction of their economy, or topple governments. The fear of these happening, not the reality of them, is what gets a government to the table.
As much as some leaders in Israel and Saudi Arabia want to use the U.S. to decapitate their nemesis, this is not the point of these talks. And what happens here goes far beyond just Iran. We need nuclear energy to spread around the world without proliferating weapons. How we handle Iran will determine the future of nuclear energy in many countries outside of the developed world, and we better get it right. There will always be pressures to develop weapons and we need strategies and experience in diverting these programs away from weapons. 

Besides, the art of diplomacy is the art of finding a win-win for all parties. It’s significant that the Obama Administration knows how to use diplomacy the way only the U.S. can. It is in both our and the world’s best interest, to find a solution that allows Iran nuclear energy without weapons.

All other rhetoric is posturing. Isolation is the worst strategy for bringing a country into the civil world’s fold. Just look at North Korea. Rouhani has to move forward in a way that does not shame Iran. The celebration in Iran over this deal is a strong indication of the win-win nature of this deal, not the ridiculous charge of the opposition that the U.S. was taken for a ride. Iran wants to, and according to international law can, have a nuclear energy program, including enrichment and production, as long as it falls under the appropriate international controls and is not producing weapons.

It is no wonder that Iran wants this deal as badly as it seems. It is a way out of a very tricky and dangerous situation. Countries having the bomb never seem to get attacked, but those that give up their nuclear programs completely tend to end badly. Just ask Iraq and Libya. To avoid this fate, Iran has to back away from nuclear weapons while retaining a nuclear energy program.

The U.S. understands that this deal is a good step toward that end. A final deal will include a structure that precludes the ability to make a weapon, such as abandoning or altering the reactor at Arak, and closing the Fordow enrichment facility because it is basically immune from attack being under a mountain. But the whole deal doesn’t have to be done all at once.

All things considered, this deal with Iran is a good one for the world.
Technical Endnotes – Just a few technical clarifications since science rarely enters media coverage of nuclear issues, yet is extremely important. The original level of U-235 in the uranium ore, that is mined like any other ore, is 0.7% U-235. 5% U-235 is the level of enrichment for nuclear fuel for power reactors. Although some reactor designs can use anything from natural uranium to highly-enriched material, most power reactor fuel is between 3% and 5% enriched as is used in Iran’s Bushehr reactor, a reactor no one cares much about for this reason. You can’t make a bomb out of these materials. This is the basis for the first key provision of the deal.

And while discussions focus on 20% U-235 as sufficiently enriched to make an atomic weapon, that is only theoretically correct. No one has made a weapon from such lowly-enriched materials and no one ever will.

Enrichment needs to be >90% to make a reliable weapon. Reliability in this case is not like having a reliable flashlight. Reliable in this case means the atomic weapon will work when you want it to. It’s why there’s so much testing associated with a weapons program. If you’re going to make the fatal decision to field a nuke, it better work, and everyone knows it has to be over 90% U-235 to be really useful.

Finally, an atomic weapon is fission-based such as U-235 and Pu-239 whose nuclei split to change a bit of matter into a huge amount of energy. These are what was dropped during WWII, what Iran was working towards with U, and what North Korea has developed with Pu. In contrast, a nuclear weapon is fusion-based such as a hydrogen bomb, whose nuclei fuse to change a bit of matter into even more energy.