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Total number of comments: 10 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:29)

Bill Buckel

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  • The New McCarthyism on Israel: Naming and Shaming . . . Hillel
    • I assume that perhaps 90% of the Gaza residents are Semites. Given that over 2,000 of those Semites were killed during Israeli attack in July and August 2014, doesn't that mean that the government of Israel is guilty of anti-Semitism in this instance?

  • A $9 Trillion War? Top 10 Reasons Americans will Regret it if GOP Derails Iran Negotiations
    • Hello,
      This is a request for a correction, not a new comment.

      At about 12:01 PM today, I sent a three-paragraph comment. The 3rd paragraph ended with: "Foreign sources of uranium fuel are not dependable." It should have said: "Foreign sources of uranium fuel FOR NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS are not dependable." [The correction (addition) is in CAPS.)

      Bill Buckel

    • It is possible that some of 40 Republican senators mentioned in the essay still believe that Iran has either built an atomic bomb or is working on one now. To these senators, the 10 reasons you listed must be balanced against the danger of Iran using their bomb on us. Reasons 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 may fall in this category.

      Neither the essay, nor the comments that followed, focused on WHY the Iranians feel they need to enrich uranium-235. For the benefit of readers who believe that Iran does not have a good reason for enriching any uranium, I suggest they look at the Iranian website In the top menu, click on "Motives". This site gives Iran's point of view. Needless to say, will be more authentic than the opinions reported in the American news media.

      From the beginning, the use of trade and economic sanctions against Iran was mean-spirited and irrational. The sanctions sent an obvious message to all Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty nations: Foreign sources of uranium fuel are not dependable.

  • Cole on Middle East Crises (Chuck Mertz interview)
    • The interview was well done and informative.

      This comment focuses on an aspect of the situation in the Middle East that the interviewer, Chuck Mertz, did not bring up directly. That is the question, "Why does Iran have a nuclear energy program in the first place?"

      The answer to the "why" question is important because the audience of the "This is Hell" show is the general public, not people with a strong background knowledge of Iran's nuclear program. Next time, it might be helpful to squeeze into the interview a brief tutorial on the subject -- such as:

      Iran is like many other countries. There is public support for moving away from burning hydrocarbons to generate electricity and toward the use of geothermal, nuclear, solar, and wind energy.

      However, Iran's situation is different than other countries. The economic and trade sanctions have prevented it from purchasing enriched uranium-235 on the world market. The Iranians only alternative is to enrich their own fuel for nuclear power stations. Enriched 3.5% uranium-235 fuel is suited for large base-load power stations. The Iranians are also using 20% enriched uranium in a research reactor to make radioisotopes for medical purposes. But, regardless of where the enriched uranium comes from, the International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor its handling, storage, and use.

      In effect, Iran's uranium enrichment program is mandated by the U.S. Government through the use of sanctions.

  • Iranian President Rouhani acknowledges Holocaust as Crime against Jewish People
    • Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran,opinion essay titled, "Why Iran seeks constructive engagement" was posted in the on-line Washington Post on 9-19-13.

      In one paragraph he said, "At their core, the vicious battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are over the nature of those countries’ identities and their consequent roles in our region and the world. The centrality of identity extends to the case of our peaceful nuclear energy program. To us, mastering the atomic fuel cycle and generating nuclear power is as much about diversifying our energy resources as it is about who Iranians are as a nation, our demand for dignity and respect and our consequent place in the world. Without comprehending the role of identity, many issues we all face will remain unresolved."

      To me, this is a very clear reason WHY Iran has a nuclear energy program. I wish President Obama would make equally clear statement why he supports the trade and economic sanctions on Iran.

  • Austerity and the threat to Democracy, in the US, Europe and the Middle East
    • Jack,

      I believe you are looking at the right problem---income inequity. If the top 10% receives about 1/2 of the nation's personal income of about $11 trillion/year, then what does one do about it? How does government unwind the shift in personal income that has happened over the last three decades?

      I don't know how. Perhaps you can tell us. Or better yet, maybe Juan has some ideas.

      Compound interest is the enemy here. Let us say, a rich person, with $1 million in savings, pays a federal income tax of 50% on investments that earned 5%. That means, in one year, the rich taxpayer will have an after-tax income of $25,000. Or, a total wealth of $1,025,000. And, each year his/her wealth will keep growing.

      Bill Buckel

  • Surprise! Talking to Iran just Might Work this Time (Jahanpour)
    • I do not have a comment. I have a question. The following paragraph is from the essay.

      "Therefore, Iran’s skepticism about Western intentions is not the result of paranoia and has some basis in fact. At the same time, it should be pointed out that Iranian leaders are not entering the talks with complete transparency either. Clearly, the intensified pace of uranium enrichment is not due to a pressing need for fuel, because at the moment Iran has only one nuclear reactor in Bushehr whose fuel is provided by Russia."

      What is the expected annual burn-up rate of 3.5% enriched uranium-235 that will be needed to fuel the power-plant reactors that Iran plans to bring on line during the next 10 years? And, what production capacity Iran is creating? The author's comment is very central to this discussion. I would like to see real numbers, not just an opinion.

      Bill Buckel

  • Four Middle East crises will face the next President Immediately
    • There is no question but that there are at least four crises in the Middle East. My thought is that crisis #4 could have been stated more descriptively as follows: [The possible changes are in capital letters.]

      4. Iran is still out there, and says it is willing to hold talks with the US over ITS URANIUM ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS. IRAN CLAIMS IT NEEDS 3.5 PERCENT ENRICHED URANIUM TO FUEL ITS NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS AND 20 PERCENT URANIUN-235 FOR RESEARCH REACTORS TO MAKE MEDICAL ISOTOPES. Diplomacy is likely the only way effectively to resolve the Iran crisis, and the US and its allies should get Iran back to the bargaining table.

  • Top Green Energy Advances Mitt Romney doesn't Want to Hear About
    • As I see it, the conversation here needs input from electrical engineers with experience in the design of electric distribution systems. Bringing more and more unpredictable levels of green energy into an electric grid is going to introduce, at some level, instability problems.
      I am not an electrical engineer.

      Traditional power grids serve customers who collectively place a variable load on their distribution system. The designers meet this load with a system of base-load generators and other controllable power sources.

      "Green" power grids are also expected to provide reliable power to customers who have a variable demand. But, green grids will be getting power from both controllable and uncontrollable generators. The simulation studies I have seen indicate that, because of instability problems, the uncontrollable energy sources may have a practical limit of about 30 percent of peak-load.

  • Congressional "Study" Attacking Climate Change Found to be Plagiarized, Error-Ridden
    • The graph should have been zero-based. Otherwise the change with time is badly distorted.

      Bill Buckel

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