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Iranian parliament ratifies general outlines for nuclear revival plan after top scientist killed

Iran conversion facility
© AP/Vahid Salemi
Uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, Iran from 2005
Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday ratified the general outlines of a national plan to boost nuclear activity in the wake of the recent assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, media reported.

According to the Mehr news agency, the so-called general outlines of the counteractive plan for the lifting of sanctions were passed with 248 votes in favour. Parliament's national security and foreign policy commission spokesman Abolfazl Amouei said, as quoted by the media outlet:
"The nuclear program should proceed according to the needs of the country and we expect it to be strengthened after this [move], and the aim of the plan is to counter the sanctions imposed on the Iranian people by American and Western countries."
The legislation will also oblige the government to suspend implementation of the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which allows the global watchdog to inspect Iran's nuclear facilities.

Comment: Two perspectives on international inspections of nuke sites arise from Iran's parliament and leadership:
The national parliament of Iran on Tuesday approved a bill demanding the suspension of UN inspections of its nuclear facilities, but the country's government has opposed the move.

The bill approved by MPs would suspend any further UN inspections, and require the government to "produce and store 120kg per year of uranium enriched to 20 percent" if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal fail to provide relief from oil and banking sanctions.

This would run counter to Iran's commitments under the deal agreed with world powers, and the parliament's vote prompted the executive to dismiss such a move.

"The government has explicitly announced that it does not agree with [this] plan" and considers it "neither necessary nor useful," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Tuesday. But Speaker of Parliament Mohmmad Baqer Ghalibaf explained that the lawmakers were "hopeful to remove sanctions through this stern decision."

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told AFP on Monday that "no-one, starting with Iran, would have anything to win from a decrease, limitation or interruption" of inspections of the nuclear facilities.

The Iranian parliament's vote on Tuesday also requires approval by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all of the country's nuclear policies.


'Forgetful' NYT economist claims Biden first US president to face opposition

trump protest
© Reuters / Jonathan Bachman / Phil Sears
Two of the many 'Not My President' signs ubiquitous even before Trump's inauguration
Democrat Joe Biden would be the first US president deemed illegitimate by political opposition in years, economist Paul Krugman claims - never mind the many Democrats, including Krugman, who've actually described Trump as such.

The Nobel Prize-winner made the pants-on-fire claim in a Monday NY Times op-ed in which he urged presumed president-elect Biden to govern by executive order to preempt Republican "sabotage." Incumbent president Donald Trump and the Republicans should be blamed for all the country's problems as punishment for their insistence last month's election was stolen, he argued.

Biden will "be the first modern US president trying to govern in the face of an opposition that refuses to accept his legitimacy," Krugman wrote before further revising history: "No, Democrats never said Donald Trump was illegitimate, just that he was incompetent and dangerous."

Arrow Up

Trump pardons General Flynn - let's hope he's just getting warmed up

© Unknown/KJN
Former Natl. Security Advisor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn • US President Donald Trump
Last week President Trump granted a "full pardon" to Gen. Michael Flynn, his first National Security Advisor. In a White House statement announcing the pardon, the Administration pointed out that the relentless pursuit of Flynn was a partisan effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

The pursuit of Flynn was spearheaded by people who refused to accept the results of the 2016 election and worked to undermine the peaceful transfer of power, said the White House. These same people are the ones accusing Trump of undermining the election by challenging what appears to be serious voting irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.

That is called "projection."

Bad Guys

Georgia Secretary Of State opens 250 investigations into 'credible claims of illegal voting' - while being sued for 'weakening' ballot safeguards

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
© Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced on Monday that the state of Georgia has opened 250 investigations into "credible claims of illegal voting and violation of state election law."

At a press conference, Raffensperger was careful to qualify his statements, noting that "dishonest actors" were pumping "massive amounts of misinformation" into the media ecosystem. Raffensperger appeared to slam Trump's legal team without directly naming them, saying they were "exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half truths, misinformation, and frankly, they are misleading the president as well."

Comment: The Epoch Times reports Raffensperger himself is the target of an election fraud lawsuit:
The complaint (pdf), brought by Paul Andrew Boland, a registered elector, against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other officials, was filed on Nov. 30 in a court in Fulton County. It claims that 20,312 ballots were cast by people who are no longer residents of Georgia and that "suspiciously low ballot rejection rates" suggest signature-verification procedures "were not enforced with their usual rigor," resulting in dilution of Boland's vote, "casting doubt on the integrity of the Election" and providing grounds to contest the Georgia vote.

In support of the claim that over 20,000 ballots were cast by out-of-state residents, the complaint cites an expert analysis by Matt Braynard, an analyst and former data chief and strategist for President Donald Trump's campaign. Braynard and his team reviewed addresses on voter rolls and found that thousands were postal and commercial addresses made to appear like residential addresses, in violation of Georgia law.

"This number of invalid votes far exceeds the certified margin of victory of 12,760 in the presidential results," the complaint says.

The claim of lax signature verification is based on unusually low absentee ballot rejection rates. Citing an affidavit by Benjamin Overholt, an expert in applied statistics and research methods at the University of Northern Colorado, the complaint notes a 0.15 percent rejection rate in the 2020 general election, compared to a 0.28 percent rejection rate in the 2016 general election, 0.20 percent in the 2018 general, and 0.28 percent in the 2020 primary.

"There are other anomalies in the reported data that should be analyzed, and many raise significant questions about the conduct and results of the 2020 General Election," Overholt wrote in his sworn statement, and argued that the recent "hand count" audit of Georgia's election results would not resolve these issues.

The complaint says that while Raffensperger's office carried out an audit and recount, "no signature matching was required during that process" and argued that, "without a meaningful verification of signatures, the election results cannot be certified."

It also alleges that, ahead of the election, Raffensperger took unlawful and unconstitutional steps to weaken safeguards against fraudulent ballots, including around signature requirements.

The suit asks the court to decertify the results of the election until Raffensperger's office completes an investigation of a sample of the 20,311 individuals flagged as having voted in violation of residency requirements. It also calls for a signature match check for the absentee ballots cast in the election, and to make all ballots and envelopes used in casting absentee ballots available for public scrutiny.

If the two probes and related remedies cannot be assured, the suit calls for a redo of the election in Georgia.

Snakes in Suits

Sociopath Adam Schiff suggests Biden's attorney general could end Durham's special counsel investigation

Adam Schiff
Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff floated the idea that President-elect Joe Biden's pick for attorney general could, and perhaps should, end special counsel John Durham's inquiry into the Trump-Russia investigators just hours after Attorney General William Barr made the appointment public.

Schiff, who prioritized protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump's attorneys general, nevertheless repeatedly suggested that Biden's yet-to-be-named chief law enforcement officer could end the Durham investigation.

"The appointment is not consistent with the language of the statute that he's relying on and can be rescinded, I think, by the next attorney general. I would presume the next attorney general will look to see if there is any merit to the work that John Durham is doing and make a rational decision about whether that should continue at any level," Schiff said during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC's The Beat, later adding that "I think the next attorney general will have every opportunity to examine, to repeal, or to allow the investigation to continue if the next attorney general thinks there is anything, any part of it that has any merit."

Comment: And wouldn't one of Washington's biggest most destructive liars Adam Schiff just love it if the investigation was squelched; all the better to keep his own deceptions regarding 'Russian collusion' veiled from the light.

The California Democrat was singing a different tune when it came to protecting Mueller from Trump's attorney general selection, slamming the president's firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his pick of Matthew Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general in late 2018, prior to Barr's nomination in early 2019.

Comment: See also:

Magic Hat

San Jose mayor 'apologizes' after getting caught gathering with his family for Thanksgiving in defiance of California Covid order

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
Another day, another Democrat hypocrite in California.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on Tuesday was forced to publicly apologize after getting caught gathering with his family for Thanksgiving in defiance of California's Covid order.

In October California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled authoritarian Thanksgiving Covid rules which prohibited more than 3 households from gathering.

Comment: The hypocrisy is absolutely stunning. These 'leaders' are clearly not afraid of the NothingBurger™ virus, but that won't stop them from imposing ridiculously over-the-top sanctions on the rest of us. But we can hardly expect them to follow lockdown orders themselves. Apparently the Coronavirus is only dangerous to plebs.

See also:

Bizarro Earth

Nuremberg Trials started 75 years ago and the crimes of global medical tyranny are yet to see justice

nuremberg trials
On Saturday 21 November 2020 Russia celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials which started on 20 November 1945 and lasted almost a year, until 1 October 1946. The Tribunal was given the task of trying and judging 24 of the most atrocious political and military leaders of the Third Reich.

For this unique celebration - so we shall never forget - Russian leaders and people of the Arts and History organized a Special Performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" at Moscow's Helikon Opera Theatre. Daniel Hawkins, from RT, introduced this extraordinary event, as a journey through history, a journey through life and death, when some of - at that time - most genocidal people in history had to answer for their crimes.


AG William Barr appoints special counsel in Russia probe to continue work should a Biden administration come to office

Durham Barr
Attorney General William Barr has given the lead prosecutor investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe extra job security — appointing him as a special counsel to protect him from potential firing by a Biden White House.

The order, quietly signed in October and obtained by The Post on Tuesday, means US attorney John Durham will be able to complete his work as a special counsel — a role protected by federal regulations and afforded to Robert Mueller in the original Russia probe — without the threat of the new administration removing him.

In a Tuesday letter to leaders of the Senate and House judiciary committees, Barr said that he appointed Durham as special counsel on Oct. 19, but "determined that it was in the public interest to toll notification given the proximity to the presidential election."

"I completely concur with Attorney General Barr's decision to appoint Mr. Durham as special counsel regarding matters related to the Department of Justice and FBI's conduct in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).

"Based on hearings we held in the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is obvious the system failed and the FISA Court's rebuke of the Department of Justice and FBI was more than warranted.

Comment: A smart move by Barr in the midst of a protracted and greatly obstructed investigation. Hopefully, whether Trump remains in office or not, the Durham investigation actually yields some arrests among those in the higher echelons of power in the FBI, DNC and assorted agencies.

Cloud Lightning

2021 is already optimized for failure - thanks to the thinking of elite 'insiders'

2021 wave
One sure way to identify a system "optimized for failure" is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is "optimized for my success".

I often discuss optimization here because it offers an insightful window into how systems become fragile and break down. When we optimize something, we're aiming to get the most bang for our buck: maximize our efficiency, profit, productivity, etc., while minimizing our costs.

To maximize our goal, whatever it is--profits, power, whatever-- we strip away redundancy and buffers because these add costs and don't boost our desired output. They create resilience, i.e. the ability to survive disruptions, but the logic of optimization is relentless: get rid of all extraneous costs, because resilience doesn't boost the bottom line.

This trade-off--trading resilience for optimization--looks brilliant when everything goes according to plan. But when events veer outside the narrow parameters of the optimized system, the system breaks down: supply chains break, safety procedures fail, and so on.

Even more consequentially, optimization strips away anti-fragility, Nassim Taleb's term for the ability to not just survive disruptions but emerge stronger and more adaptable.


Hungary and Poland resist EU diktats and push 'Great Reset' agenda further afar

Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki

Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki
There comes a point where negotiation becomes surrender. Those actively undermining you will always demand more than their right. Those behind the Great Reset have been creating no-win situations for voters for decades to this exact end.

Over the summer Hungary's Viktor Orban and Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki led the opposition to the EU's budget and COVID-19 relief package standing firm that funds not be tied to any internal political decisions member EU states make.

Both of these countries have incurred the wrath of German Chancellor Angela Merkel over things they do she doesn't like, invoking Article 7 against Poland over changes made to its Supreme Court, for example.

So, this is nothing new. Neither is the way the EU conducts itself in negotiations.

For the past four years we've watched the EU put the United Kingdom through the worst kind of psychological torture over Brexit negotiations which have been anything but.

Comment: See also: