Interesting article in the NY Times about how scientists in nuclear research labs in the US aided the negotiations with Iran
It was over one of those dinners in Vienna last summer that several of the experts began wondering how they might find a face-saving way for Iran to convert its deep-underground enrichment plant at Fordo, a covert site exposed by the United States five years ago, into a research center. That would enable Iran to say the site was still open, and the United States could declare it was no longer a threat.“The question was what kind of experiment you can do deep underground,” recalled a participant in the dinner.
Slate has a great interactive chart showing friend/ambivalent/enemy status between middle eastern countries. In the interactive version you can click on each cell and see the explanation. Examples such as:
Taking a -1, 0, +1 to rank the entities it seems Iraq is the only country with a surplus of friends and the US isn’t looking as bad as you’d think:
Al-Qaida: -10 (friends with no one)
ISIS: -12 (everybody’s enemy)
Palestinian Authority: 0
Saudi Arabia: -3
Making it friendlier?
If we ignore Al-Qaida (no one’s friend) and ISIS (everyone’s enemy) the results become a little more positive but still not an outpouring of friendship:
– Egypt: -4
– Hamas: -2
– Hezbollah: 0
– Iran: -1
– Iraq: +3
– Israel: -4
– Palestinian Authority: 2
– Saudi Arabia: -1
– Syria: -3
– Turkey: -2
– US: +1
I was under the impression that the Universe would expand, contract, big bang, expand, contract, etc. Apparently there are competing theories where things just fade away. Dark Energy seems to account for the theoretical change.
Anyway, here’s a video explaining the competing theories:
So you think US corporate taxes are too high? It’s holding back the economy? Here is what poor General Electric has had to pay.
What’s that right most graph? “Effective Tax Rate”: aren’t those numbers negative? What, US taxpayers paid them money? They most have declared heavy losses. What, they made billions of dollars every year for the past seven years except for 1 year!
Corporate welfare at it’s best!
From Calculated Risk is this graph of inflation. You can see the slight, recent, upturn. It is important to see the context: we are still way below “normal” levels and unemployment is still way above “normal” levels. Continue reading
… a detainee was killed by an unnamed sergeant who walked into a room
where the detainee was lying wounded “and assaulted him … then shot
him twice thus killing him,” one of the investigating documents says.
The sergeant than instructed the other soldiers present to lie about the incident.
Later, the document says an unnamed corporal then shot the deceased
detainee in the head after finding his corpse.
It’s horrific that for decades we thought of the treatment of POWs in Vietnam as the epitome of brutality but more prisoner’s died in our custody then in Vietnamese custody!
The defense department defends it as not being as bad as it sounds and that people have been convicted of murder:
The Defense Department disputes the allegations, saying it
takes detainee treatment seriously.
The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.