Thursday, September 26, 2013

Iran 9-26-13

26, September 2013                   IRAN

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is like a breath of fresh air compared to his noisy, bombastic predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His condemnation of the Holocaust as a “crime that the Nazis committed towards the Jews” was long overdue. He is clearly walking a tightrope trying to avoid missteps that would create a backlash from Iranian and Western hardliners.  Rouhani rightly admonished Israel for its forcible possession of Palestinian ancestral land that has created so much despair and misery for its thousands of victims and torpedoed any hope of a Palestinian state.  Rouhani was also right when he stated that “no nation should possess nuclear weapons” or indeed chemical weapons. The Arms Control Association, a nonproliferation group in Washington, estimates that Israel possesses at least 100 to 200 nuclear warheads. Israel has repeatedly stated it will “not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East.” Rouhani was right to call for the establishment of a nuclear free zone and reminded us that “Israel is the only nonparty to the nonproliferation treaty in this region”. Iran and Israel should stop being so coy about these weapons of mass destruction and open up their nuclear sites to I.A.E.A. inspection and safeguards. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was right when he stated “No nation should possess nuclear weapons; since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons.” 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't Get Scroogled 9-17-13

17, September 2013              “Don’t get Scroogled”
The National Security Agency scandal continues to grow. The London Guardian reports that for several years, the NSA has passed many of our phone calls and emails to Israel.  There are no binding limits on the use of this data and Israel can retain this information indefinitely.  Many of these phone numbers were put on an “alert list” in complete violation of court-mandated privacy protections.  There is no way for innocent Americans to escape ‘Big Brothers’ dragnet. Judge Reggie Walton the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court severely admonished the NSA saying, "The court is exceptionally concerned about what appears to be a flagrant violation of its order in this matter and no longer has any confidence in the NSA." Documents leaked by Snowden, reveal the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ works with US technology companies to "covertly influence" their product designs.  Der Spiegel, reports that millions of financial bank financial records have been vacuumed by the NSA’s prying eyes. They have successfully unscrambled encryption codes exposing the most sensitive documents to the most appalling abuse. Telecom companies have been coerced into revealing US emails and phone calls and paid millions of dollars in compensation.  Fearful of losing their customers and invoking the wrath of local and international clients these same companies are falling over themselves at finger pointing their competitors; for example Microsoft has launched an offensive, warning users “Don’t get Scroogled”.