Thursday, August 28, 2014

Urban Streams

From the puerile green environmental confusion, some sensible concepts are emerging. The State of California is seriously preparing itself for an eighty years period of higher temperatures and drought, and has pinpointed an important health issue: dehydration and heat shock (we in Israel have many soldiers dying each year when training under the sun), and the phenomenon called urban heat islands (I'm living in one). One of the most interesting ideas is to rebuild the streams that currently are flowing within underground culverts and drainage cement pipes, and former - even temporary - water bodies (in Israel שלוליות חורף). They will need well paid water engineers for that. It is true: California's streets are paved with gold. May be all not all environmentalism is sheer bullshit. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eva

איב צור - מובילת הקולקציה (צילום: איל בן יעקב)

Young commenter IHTG calls my attention that she has converted to Judaism and now she is a kosher maidele marriagable for Jews. Thanks, IHTG.

TASE's Fatal Mistake

TASE, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, moved itself in 2010 from the Developing Countries World Index to the Developed World. They planned to attract more investment, but the opposite happened. Israel’s weighting dropped to 0.2 percent on the MSCI World Index from 2.7 percent on the gauge for developing nations (Bloomberg). Average daily trading volume has dropped by a third since 2010, and plunged to a five-year low of 955 million shekels ($267 million) in April. Only four companies have joined the exchange this year compared with a record 56 in 2007. A disaster.

Now that the war seems to have ended, stock prices may improve. On the other hand, Europe, China, Russia, Argentina are heading for a serious recession.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ratcheting Up in Gaza




In the last fifty days of the war, Israel has never attacked downtown Gaza City and the Mediterranean Seashore high class neighborhoods. Last night there was a change: Zahal bombed and collapsed two middle class residential high-rise buildings (pic). It worked.

This morning Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on the pre-war status quo conditions. They have not won anything but extensive destruction and death.

History is changing

Israel is changing high school history teaching, giving more emphasis to the learning of the Holocaust. Although the Holocaust is the central event in contemporary history of the Jewish people, in the past it was covered marginally and emphasizing the heroic armed resistance and rescue aspects. The Haredim dont teach it, and if mentioned, it is thrown together with other historical catastrophies of our people, caused by our sins and Zionism. Now, I consider the Holocaust a most terrible defeat: it cought us unprepared mentally and politically, and we presented no resistance. We should not center our identity around defeat nor victimization. The traditional Zionist narrative of heroism was overdone but I like this new approach even less. Yet dont ask me how to transmit the memory of the Holocaust to the coming generations, in fact, I would like it never happened. 

Real Time Diary


Early morning here in ק"ק the village of Kever Benjamin. Alarm heard and then two explosions in the air. We are now in the fiftieth day of this war and Hamas keeps attacking.

Now, back to work. Pic. Illustration.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Israel is Elysium

Judge Jeffrey White (pic) will decide the next phase of Argentina's agony. The story is as follows: American oil giant Chevron had investments expropiated in Argentina and received compensation. The vulture fund Elliott maintains that instead of paying Chevron, Argentina should have paid off first its bondholders, that enjoyed priority; therefore, Elliott has a stronger right to those monies than Chevron. If Judge White agrees, no one who ever made business with Argentina is safe. Already, the economic situation in Argentina is deteriorating, inflation is unmanageable, public safety is non-existent and there are pockets of destitution and famine.

Thanks G-d I had the courage to leave Argentina in time. I suspected at the time (1976, military dictatorship) that my name was on some of the lists circulating among the "Servicios". I was so terrified when passing through the Ezeiza airport leaving for the USA that remember nothing. I must have been drunk and slept all the way to New York.

Rapper L Jinny, A Hit

It was Rapper L Jinny who decapitated or re-enacted the scene with J Foley. Go to the link if you are interested in his art.He meant it all:
 "Give me the pride and the honour like my father. I swear the day they came and took my dad, I could have killed a cop or two and I wouldn't look back," 

"Imagine back then I was only six, just picture what I'd do now with a loaded stick. Like boom bang fine, I'd be wishing you were dead. Violate my brothers and I'm filling you with lead."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Textbook Surgical Operation

21 Palestinians were killed today in the ongoing war in Gaza. Eighteen were executed by the Hamas for suspected collaboration with Israel, and three when Mohammed al-Ghul's home was bombed (pic.). The man was Hamas's bagman, the paymaster. I wouldn't mention it but the remarkable pic taken at the split second of the explosion, showing those white objects in the air delimiting a classical, textbook  ball or sphere, with the typical spacial homogeneity of a perfect explosion. Its power is the minimum necessary, as visible in close objects that are unaffected, like the unmoving leaves of the palm tree and the unbroken windows of the building on the corner. We have learned not to use excessive force, as the UN Human Rights Commission requires. We are so measured that we have not executed (or punished) even one of our collaborators with Hamas, may be because there would be no one left to pay the arnona (taxes) to the Municipality of Tel Aviv. Well, I may be exaggerating.

The Jihad Adventure

The beheader of James Foley seems to be identified as Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, from Maida Vale, west London. Where is the pleasure of beheading if nobody can see your face under that black mask? So he tweeted a picture of himself holding up a severed head. And riding a white horse. Pic from Sunday Times. A real hero of the Jihad. I'm afraid none of these infantiles will come home to tell their adventures.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

RecycleCraze at Stanford

Standford University is a leader RecycleMania with its Voluntary Compost Program (no, it's not Soylent). In the 2014 RecycleMania Tournament, Stanford ranked 20th out of 332 colleges and universities, and placed sixth in the "Gorilla" category. Complying with Stanford recycling procedures requires more than a diffuse caring for Gaia, it demands a clinical obsession. A few rules: 
  • Put all paper that tears, cardboard packaging (except corrugated cardboard), plastic bags and bubble wrap in the Paper Recycling bin.
  • Put all plastic containers – except those made with Plastic #6 – in bins marked "Plastics, Metals & Glass."
  • In addition to food waste, put compostable coffee cups, plates, take-out containers and utensils, as well as napkins, paper towels, pizza boxes and doughnut boxes in the Compostables bin.
  • Put clean and dry corrugated cardboard into the Corrugated Cardboard bin after it has been emptied of its protective packaging materials and flattened.
  • Place items that cannot be recycled in the trash, including products made with Plastic #6; human or animal waste; ceramic or non-recyclable glass; and non-recyclable packaging materials such as potato chip bags and laminate pouches.
Imagine yourself in the cafeteria talking up a fable girl and she tests your fitness: "Should I put the compost-grown lettuce plate into the Compostables or the Plastics bin?"

Plato and the Jews

Plato's Republic is the prototype of the Fascist/Nazi corporation on the Spartan pattern, only more extreme. 5040 citizens was the ideal population (Plato believed in the magic of numbers) that would be kept by methods unfit even for this blog. Like Sparta, the citizens would have only two occupations: training for and waging war, and debating public affairs. Anyone cought in a profitmaking scheme was to be condemned to one year in jail (the first time) and to death the third time. Plato recognized that contemporary Greeks lacked the quality required for his Republic and proposed porno-eugenic praxis to generate them, none of which ever succeeded.

Since retail trade was a necessity, and retail involves buying stuff at one price and selling it above its true value, making a despicable parasitical/usurious profit, Plato's Republic would have a resident congregation of Phoenician/Hebrew traders. Those people are incorregible believers of superstition and impermeable to philosophy, yet they must be suffered although taking care to avoid contaminating the Greeks' pederastic habits with their disgusting straightness. Plato strived for extreme equality among the citizens, because everybody was born a tabula rasa ("scraped tablet") to be inscribed by good teachers (Plato was a great believer in education), while Jews wanted only to get rich and thus to accentuate social inequality and injustice. Plato set down the moral foundations of Western civilization, that before him had none.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mosul Dam Damaged

The capture of Mosul Dam was a coordinated operation of the Kurdish Peshmerga and elite forces of the Shiite Iraqi Army with air cover of the Americans. It appears the Caliphate did not offer much of  a fight, yet the dam was damaged (pic).  It is known to be highly unstable.

Daughter on Two Months Trek on Israel Trail

It is an Israeli tradition that having completed the military service and before starting university, youngsters spend up to a year of adventure in some exotic place. My big daughter toured South America, including missing the bus in Comodoro and not missing a revolution in Bolivia. Other daughter explored India and Nepal, spending time meditating in an ashram, which depressed her. The small daughter is starting a two months trek on the Israel National Trail, (שביל ישראל‎, Shvil Yisra'el) which is an "epic" hiking path crossing the entire country (1000 km). As for me, I'll read the Red Book.
 

Imminent Threat


“When we look at what they did to Mr Foley, what they threaten to do to all Americans and Europeans, what they are doing now, I don’t know any other way to describe it other than barbaric,” US Secretary of Defense Hagel said. “They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else.”

He does not mean that he is expecting that the Caliphate forces will attack New York Monday at midnight but he is voicing a ritual declaration of war. Wiki defines imminent threat as the standard criterion in international law to justify preemptive self-defense i.e. an unprovoked military aggression.

Having said the secret magical words, the US is engaged in a war with the Caliphate, which is a new state ruling over 200,000 square kilometers and 25 million Sunni Arabs. The place is dirt poor and has no resources except oil. They are selling it at deep discount (25 $ per barrel) to Turkish traders. The key to its survival is in the hands of Erdogan, who has said nothing till now.