Friday, February 05, 2016

2009: UN Warns of Environmental Stress in Syria


That was in 2009, when the drought had lasted already three years. It is exactly in those areas (Raqqa, Hasakka, Dir-al Zor) affected by prolonged drought, failed crops, hunger and mass emigration that the Islamic State was established. The Shi'a governments in Bagdad and Damascus did nothing to assist the desperate Sunni population, powerless and despised. I think there is causative link between the drought and the establishment of a Sunni state, called the Islamic State. The rebellion was kidnapped by the fundamentalist Islam, but its motives are not doctrinaire but existential, food and now security. It is conceivable that the Caliphate provided hope and a future to the opressed Sunni in Syria and Iraq.

It is strange that the media fills our minds with pictures and clips of fighting and mutilated bodies and thousands of refugees running toward the Turkish border, and there is no mention of the deeper motives and decade-long development of the Sunni tragedy. I had chronicled in this very blog the environmental stress raging in the Hasakkah province, a decade ago. I did not foresee that it would lead to the destruction of two countries and even perturb the ethnic harmony of Europe.

Don't Look !

Zika.

Those Wacky Jews

It is a paradox that when about five billion persons - specially from the Middle East - are desperately trying to get into Europe, European Jews are moving to the Middle East. Ten thousand French Jews arrived last year to Israel (pic) and we are expecting more in 2016. Other White countries that the Jews are leaving are Ucraine, Russia, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina. Israel is making it easier to make aliyah: subsidized translation and re-validation of professional diplomas, accelerated conversion courses in the countries of origin, etc. 30,000 immigrants in 2015, hopefully 50,000 in 2016. Proportionally, Israel is taking more people in than the EU. Yet no one here is crying "We cannot cope!" nor protesting that they are taking our jobs. Zionism goes so "against the current" that it is no wonder the world cannot comprehend what those wacky Jews are up to.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Satan bless Phoenix?

The Satanic Temple is an organized religion recognized in America, and as such will bless Phoenix (Arizona) council meeting. "We do not have any gods; we're not devil worshippers. We do not believe that Satan is an actual being, but that doesn't make it any less of a religion.” Could it be that they are atheists? America is the new Rome, that couldn't care less about religion.

 Rome only asked to recognize its ruling President as god.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Panicmongers

Today, Hillary Clinton spoke about the lead contamination of water of Jackson,  a city   not unlike Flint. (Flint Mayor Karen Weaver expressed her support for Clinton.) The lead panic is extending and even in Israel we are having IQ-depressing contamination scares. A social scientist "discovered" that in the Haifa bay industrial zone and in the southern (exposed) face of the Carmel, children are being born with smaller heads. The "scientist" heard about the zika virus panic in South America and adopted the concept to put fear in the hearts of the people and so gain notoriety. The faker has been exposed but HaAretz loved the image of Israelis worried, headshrinked, stabbed in the back, etc. so much that published the drawing above. I hope the panic will not infect the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What is going on in Germany?

Mark Steyn describes it in numbers:
The German Chancellor imported in twelve months 1.1 million Muslim "refugees". That doesn't sound an awful lot out of 80 million Germans, but, in fact, the 1.1 million Muslim are overwhelmingly (80 per cent plus) fit, virile, young men. Germany has fewer than ten million people in the same population cohort, among whom Muslims are already over-represented: the median age of Germans as a whole is 46, the median age of German Muslims is 34. But let's keep the numbers simple, and assume that of those ten million young Germans half of them are ethnic German males. Frau Merkel is still planning to bring in another million "refugees" this year. So by the end of 2016 she will have imported a population equivalent to 40 per cent of Germany's existing young male cohort."
It reminds me to some days at the Kever Benjamin's swimming pool, when Arab youth from the nearby villages buys tickets. The boys are full of energy and vitality, they jump in groups into the water, they throw balls and chase each other horse playing around. They are not aggressive but their noisy presence makes uncomfortable our girls and boys, and for middle aged adults, it makes impossible to have a quiet swim. The mothers with babies and children are the first to quietly leave the place. I imagine Germany will be like that, with the difference that the refugees are not so well behaved.

Lead in Water: Now, Philadelphia?

Flint water crisis is causing an epidemic. Now, Philadelphia water department is accused of cheating the tests and supplying poisonous water.  The  water department replied that it has a “stellar track record of providing reliable, top quality water that meets or does better than all federal standards for public health”. Their abuse of poetic superlative sounds most suspicious ...  

Pic.: Philly's solar powered birdhouses, with water-related data collection equipment inside. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Alert: Buffett buying oil refinery stock


Buffett has resumed its purchases of Phillips 66 (PSX.N) stock, and spent roughly $832 million to boost his stake even as the oil refiner's profit margins narrowed. What is that he knows and I don't? Last month I bought BAZAN and it went moderately up.

World economy is depressing. Cheap oil, cheap commodities, negative interest rates, and no growth. The stimulus is not working.

PS.: Buffett is a genius.

Overreaction in Flint

In face of the disaster of lead poisoning, the city is being flooded with bottled water donations. Since Flint switched back to Lake Huron supply, the lead poisoning stopped and all that good will/public relations gestures are pointless.

Some are entertaining fantasies of replacing Flint's 20,000 lead pipes that connect homes to the cast iron mains under the streets. (They are municipal infrastructure and not private as I wrote). Flint lines are buried under the frost line, between five to seven feet deep.There are no records so it is difficult to locate where they are buried. Rebuilding Flint's water distribution infrastructure is hopeless.

Lead pipes last forever. Some Roman lead aqueducts are still in service. They present no immediate health risk. They are dangerous only in the hands of utter morons.

That being the situation, the issue to be decided is (a) how much resources should the normative community channel to Flint-like settlements, and (b) how to channel those resources in a manner that will not hurt their dignity. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Flint Jews

Are there Jews in Flint? The Jews live in nearby Flint Township (80% White; median income for a family =  $48,763), where the Reform, Conservative and Chabad synagogues are based, and not in Flint proper. A year ago I wrote that Flint Jews should leave immediately; I see that they already had. But not far enough. Pic.: Student Rabbi Adam Bellow (Reform).

Hungary's Cult of Fascist Figures

A strange phenomenon is developing in Hungary: Monuments are being erected to forgotten pre-WWI fascist figures. The latest is Hóman Bálint (pic), a man I never heard of. He was a bona fide historian and right wing provincial politician who served as Minister of Religion and Education between 1932–1942. He was not a vocal antisemite but he prepared the legislation limiting Jewish numbers in education and the civil service first to 5% (the proportion of Jews in Hungary) and then, to zero. (Because of him my Father could not finish university before the war.) The Communists put him on trial and he was acquitted of the charge of war criminal, yet they jailed him for his vote in the Hungarian parliament in favor of the invasion of the Soviet Union as part of the Axis alliance in World War II.

The pre-WWII period in Hungary was of widespread poverty and despair. The expulsion of Jews from middle class positions opened up the way for the rise of educated Christians, whose main claim was their "Hungarianness". Ridiculous medieval titles and fashions returned, and they re-enacted Hunnish customs like holding official meetings on horseback.

Current leader Orban is riding on this wave of fascist longing. Observers feel that his anti-refugee position is winning him a pan-European following, and he is eyeing the presidency of the European Union.

Update: Barak Obama spoke against the statue and is not being erected. 



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Norway deporting refugees to the Arctic


Norway is deporting refugees to behind the Arctic Circle. According to local reports,  they are allowed to pedal to the Russian cities of Nikel and Murmansk. The refugees, many from tropical hellholes like Nigeria and Sudan, are said to be thankful to their generous Norwegian hosts for loaning them bicycles and offering them free nature tours in the subpolar winter climate (minus 35 Celsius). Some of them were even given back the gold marriage rings and other valuables confiscated by Norway's fiscal authorities. BTW, the Norwegian peace keepers in Hebron denounced at the UN repeated violations of the legitimate Human Rights of Palestinian youth to throw stones at fanatic settler babies.

China Wobbling

There are growing pressures for China to devaluate the yuan. Mysterious speculators (Soros and Ackman) are betting massively on it. Chinese government has warned Soros not to. Graph: China CDS (swaps) are becoming expensive, forcing the devaluation of the currency. Like holding under water a big balloon, you lose you hold and uncontrollably it jumps out of the water.