From The NY Times: ‘Deal Reached With Iran Halts Its Nuclear Program’

Full piece here.

The Iranian regime says it will stop enrichment beyond 5%, and dissolve uranium enriched to 20%.  Click through for details.

‘The freeze would last six months, with the aim of giving international negotiators time to pursue the far more challenging task of drafting a comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could be used only for peaceful purposes.’

I suspect John Kerry and his connections had a fair amount to do with the deal.  Back-channels are usually key to these kinds of deals.

Iran gets $6 to $7 billion in relief on economic sanctions which have hobbled the economy (and these people are dealers).  The regime will presumably continue its aims of regional hegemony through all the other means available, including terrorism.  It’s kind of a thugocracy. These may still not be the kinds of people we can do business with:

But some experts, including a former official who has worked on the Iranian issue for the White House, said it was unlikely that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would ever close the door on the option to develop nuclear weapons. Instead, they said, any initial six-month agreement is more likely to be followed by a series of partial agreements that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities but do not definitively solve the nuclear issues.’

Cautious optimism?

Have we really brought the regime in from the cold and enticed it through realpolitik carrots and sticks into lawful obligations?

Cynical skepticism?

Will the thugocracy continue to nod towards its lawful obligations while getting ever closer to deliverable nukes, proving we may have lost more than we’ve gained in this process?

What about regional stability with the Saudis & Israelis especially, but Hezbollah, Syria, the Russians and that ever dangerous Shia/Sunni split.

This rogue blogger’s proud of seeing the Brzezinski/Scowcroft connection.  See the previous post.

Addition:  Is there even a deal that reaches beyond the sticking point of the right to enrich at all?

Another Addition:  It’s hard to see how very much has changed at all in the region, now that this piece of paper has been signed, and it’s a little mystifying to think of the time and energy that’s gone into it, and how little the Iranian regime can be trusted, and how little we’ve gained.

This blog doesn’t remain cynically skeptical, it remains wisely skeptical, and watching closely to many of the same dynamics as before.

What has Iran gained?  John Bolton:

‘First, it bought time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program)

Second, Iran has gained legitimacy

Third, Iran has broken the psychological momentum and effect of the international economic sanctions

We’re playing with fire here, and with decisions that could affect us for generations to come.

Addition:  From the Jerusalem Post, it’s looking like the right to enrich uranium in the first place is a sticking point.  The clock is ticking, and many costs have already built up. Some Saturday Links On Iran-Peace At What Price?

Israel, Iran, & Peace: Andrew Sullivan Responds To Charges Of Potential Anti-SemitismSome Saturday Links On Iran-Skepticism, To Say The Least

So what are our interests and how do we secure them as the fires in the Middle-East rage?  Michael Totten makes a case here in Why We Can’t Leave The Middle-East.’  He gets push-back in the comments

Via Youtube: ‘Massive Boulder, CO Flood, Sep 12th, 2013’


Thanks to a reader for the link.

Video taken by a local resident and Bad Astronomy blogger familiar with the area.  Remember, floods kill more people than any other natural disaster.  The energy the water carries is deceptively powerful.   Safe places can become very unsafe, very quickly.  Once you’re swept away, that’s usually the end of you.

This is probably a 50 or 100 year flood, with some areas in the foothills receiving as much as 8 inches of rain in a few hours.   The area’s also had fires recently, causing less soil absorption so all that water flows down and picks up an especially nasty mix at the front end.  Thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost and/or missing.

National Weather Service statement here.

In the mountains, it doesn’t always have to rain where you are for flash flooding to occur.  Avoid low places and arroyos.  Know your terrain and stay aware of the weather.  Fascinating video of rainwater and debris flow making its way into washes in southern Utah.  Don’t try this at home:


If you’re into this stuff, check out The Landslide Blog.  Great and current videos from around the world of erosion, earth movement, flash flooding, debris flows in different materials, geology, etc.  You can get sucked in and carried away (ha-ha)

Here’s a video from JPL discussing features on Mars that indicate drainage, liquid flow and similar features here on Earth. Evidence of an ancient liquid past and a current dry environment is one mystery the Curiosity Rover is trying to solve by going to Mt. Sharp.  Go Rover!

Red Cross information here.

From Weather Underground: Moore/Oklahoma City Tornado May 20th, 2013

Update here.

A revised 24 deaths. Video taken by local man and posted on Facebook.  Before and after photo.

Uncut video.

WMCTV in Memphis has video footage of the tornado from a helicopter.

Stu Ostro has a high-res color image of the storms.

KFOR TV in Oklahoma City livestream here.  CNN has good coverage.  If you want to help, the local chapter of the American Red Cross here.  Shelters open. More on tornado safety here.

Thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.

A mile wide, EF5, the track here, moved just south of Oklahoma City, through Moore, devastating some neighborhoods.


The scope of the damage, or debris zone, is three times greater than the May 3rd, 1999 tornado.  Here’s a video of that tornado.


Related On This Site:  The Greensburg Tornado on Doppler Radar…Tornadoes In Major Cities: Atlanta

From The Weather Channel: 3D Image Of The Tuscaloosa Tornado April 27th, 2011Tornadoes! Some LinksThe Greensburg Tornado on Doppler RadarTornadoes In Major Cities: AtlantaFrom NOAA: Tornado Safety GuideFrom CBS St. Louis: ‘UPDATED: Video of the Joplin Twister’

Have Fun Out There-A Few Tax Links

Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?-Type in your income and filing status. has a huge Death And Taxes poster (for sale) that you can magnify to see Federal Spending.  Can’t see that much of it anymore without buying.

Roger Kimball links to, a work in progress which links to state, local, and federal government salaries and spending.   Comments are worth a read at Kimball’s piece.

-Check out those university salaries.  The Chronicle Of Higher Education did a State Of Academe in 2012.

If I’m not mistaken, the old greatness model used to incentivize the private sector more, whereas now some of the young, talented and ambitious may be more comfortable moving to D.C. and into the public sector and our universities.  There are problems with that, too.

Unsustainable entitlement spending, the boomer generation retiring, a pension system in crisis, a really complicated tax system, rising health care costs, a deep recession,  high unemployment and an especially partisan politics.

Interesting times.