Friday, October 31, 2014

Empire of Chaos

Vladimir Putin spoke: "Russia has no interest in fishing in the murky wars creaed by America's expanding empire of chaos" till it does not impinge in Russia itself. Is America really intent on expanding chaos, and if so, why?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ebola III

A follow up of the ebola epidemy.

Turkey Falling Apart

There is an ongoing violent uprising in SouthEastern Turkey, the poor mountainous region peopled by Kurds. Every day the Army is being attacked and soldiers are killed. The separatist Kurds are encouraged by their successful resistance against ISIS and having carved out autonomous regions in Iraq and Syria, the feel strong enough to fight Turkey. The developments may lead to the dismemberment of Turkey or its disengagement from the EU and NATO. It could also irritate the Turks to severily punish the Kurds, like they did to the rebellious Armenians. Turkey has stopped being part of the West or an ally of the United States. May be Erdogan is unaware of the dangerous position they have put themselves, Turkey has no allies and is surrounded by enemies: Greece, Russia, Kurdistan. This a very cruel region.

Denmark Is Learning the Facts of Life

Health and sex ed are mandatory subjects in Denmark, with schools teaching children about puberty, gender roles and contraception from the sixth grade. Basic instruction can start at kindergarten level. They learn all about contraception and family planning, and practice it so well that they forgot that the point of sex is not to avoid making children but making children. That's how they arrived to the point where one in five Danish men and 12 percent of women who want to have children cannot. The good thing is that they are becoming aware of the disaster and are trying to increase natality.

Good luck to them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tungusic people in Hungary

A reflexion on the genetic history of Hungary (and the planet): The people occupying the place today is not the same as five hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, in the bronze age, in pre-history, etc. All current occupiers are recent: the land is permanent, the faces replace each other like a vertiginous carrousel. Conclusion: Contemporary occupiers, that think of themselves as natives and eternal, will disappear fast. 5,000 years ago there was not one German in Germany; 5,000 years from now there may be none again. Or not. I dont know and dont care. Change is eternal. Pic.

The Vultures Launch Game: Follow the Money

In a creative effort to shame and pressure Argentina to pay its debts, the Vulture funds launched an online game "Follow the Money". The site includes a whistleblower button and a rats score. There are also Money Trail Player Cards for downloading. This is a new phenomenon: a private American fund waging a public relations war against a foreign government.  Two hundred years ago, in a similar situation, the British navy extended an iron chain on the River Plate and taxed all merchandise in transit. The blockade was lifted after the debt to British banks was fully satisfied. But I may be confusing things.  Pic.: The Battle of Vuelta de Obligado, when the chains were broken. The Argentine navy was led by William Brown. a mercenary Irish-born British admiral. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem

The next stop of the trek will be the Dimona Blacks aka African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem. They operate a naturalist kitchen and receive guests. The community was founded by Ben Carter in Chicago and thanks to American Jewish pressure they received Israeli citizenship. They practice polygamy, like the original Hebrews. Pic.: Wiki.  

The next leg is the Southern Desert. The parents of the other girl will arrive in a Jeep and will drive them down to the frontier with Egypt, burying water cache all along the trail. Then he will return them and they will trek back surviving in the desert on the water hidden before.

The Vulture Strikes Again

Having broken Argentina's resistance to pay its debts, U.S. fund Elliott has started another battle against Vodafone over the price of the British group's 10 billion dollars takeover of Kabel Deutschland. Elliott is requesting from a Munich court to order the German company to give it a copy of a report prepared by a special auditor, who looked into the actions of Kabel Deutschland and Vodafone before and during their merger negotiations. Elliot suspects that Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland conspired and the price was rigged. It reminds me Israeli contractors I've known who win tenders with low offers and then extract more than full compensation through lawsuits.

Mass for Dead Insects

I'm reading Masuji Ibuse's Black Rain, about the life of bombed out Hiroshima. Yasuko is a girl shunned because she is suspected of having been exposed to radiation and her uncle Shigematsu, desperate to help her, researches wartime diaries and recalls the events to prove she had been elsewhere at the time. The result is the picture of Japan starving near the end of the war and the aftereffects of the bomb in a village near Hiroshima. The farmers stoically go on with their lives and celebrate their annual Mass for the Dead Insects, honouring the souls of the insects accidentally killed while cultivating the land. The villagers appear as the most mild of the peoples, careful and caring, going to great lenghts to avoid hurting the sentiments of others. Hiroshima was the most Christian area in Japan, together with Nagasaki - a perverse paradox.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Thinking of Uri Avnery

Avnery is a veteran fighter for peace or, for others, a traitor cavorting with Yasser Arafat and its gang of criminal terrorists. At the age of 91 he is still very active and provocative. He started at age 14 or so as a member of the Irgun, the "terrorist" underground army during the British mandate. Later he fought in the War of Independence and led commando units. Then he turned to the left and served as member of the Knesset for the nonZionist Left Wing.

I had the opportunity to enquire an Establishment aquaintance why he is not prosecuted for meeting the archi-terrorist Arafat. The answer was that Avnery strives for peace like "we" do, he is an adult and responsible politician, may be he is right and "we" are wrong. Yet I wondered why he associates with our sworn enemies in a time when Israel's survival is on the balance. Not long ago I learned the why.

Avnery is convinced that Israel was NEVER in real danger, that all the hysteria about existencial threats is imaginary. During the war, the Hagana prepared fortifications on the Carmel to resist and ultimate follow the fighters of Masada, because Roemmel was about to invade Egypt and Palestine. Avnery says that there was never such danger: Roemmel stopped at El Alamein because had no fuel and there was not a chance that Hitler would refuel his tanks since the British had broken the naval codes and no ship could traverse the Mediterranean. So when the Haganah was thinking of suicide heroics, there was in fact no safer place for Jews than Eretz Israel. He thinks that the invasion of the Egyptian army was fake and they never intended to move further than the Negev. They had already given up and were retiring. All these is the opposite of the standard Zionist history.

If Israel is so secure and safe, the logical consequence is that we must be most generous with our impotent and inoffensive enemies, and we are risking little when giving them land, cities, everything. It is exactly the mirror image of the Israeli right, that feels we live in a permanent existencial emergency and cannot give up even a grain of sand on the risk of total collapse and extermination. Possibly, Avnery is rational and courageous, but I have no desire to take the mortal risks he is advocating.

Apocolocyntosis divi Hugo Chavez (The pumpkinification of Hugo Chavez)

Seneca Junior wrote a witty satire on the traditional Roman ceremony of transforming the dead Emperor Claudius into an official god of the State, that had to be prayed and sacrificed to by loyal subjects. The Romans laughed off the whole absurd deification and bowed their heads before the statue and went on with their lives; not so the Jews, who rebelled against the legions. Sophisticated pagans like Seneca wondered: What the hell is with those Jews, why they dont get the joke?

If you think we are better than those Romans, then no. Hugo Chavez stands now with the official heroes and gods of the Venezuelan State - a bit lower than Simon Bolivar but nonetheless a god. His picture and statues are to be honored just like the North Koreans salute each morning the titanic statues of Kim the Father and Kim the Grandfather.

The Dreams of My Granddaughter

Two years old granddaughter"s doll is called Dora. Once, playing with her, I took and hid Dora. Now she is having nightmares and crying "Al Tiga!" (Dont touch Dora) and "Ze sheli" (It is mine). Yesternight I had a dream, someone was stealing my things and I was crying: "It's mine!". Are nightmares inherited?

Pic.: Dora and her friend Butz.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Most Important Story on Earth

The Tablet writes:

"The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth."

Creo en Chávez

Creo en Chávez (I believe in Chavez) is the title of a new prayer in Venezuela.

Creo en su mano milagrosa, amiga y socialista, en su verbo santo que cura los males de los más pobres. Creo en Chávez  y en el milagro de nuestra Patria Grande.

According to the new cult, Hugo Chavez is in Heaven and accepts prayers and answers requests. His eyes are everywhere (pic).

Desert Tunnels in Iraq

Sunni insurgents have been moving fighters, weapons and supplies from western Iraq through secret desert tunnels to Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraqi officials have said. Now it appears government forces may be able to disrupt that network.

From Reuthers

What? Secret desert tunnels from West Iraq to near Baghdad? 400 Km? 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

On The Long March

Potcards from my daughter's trek along Israel Trail. It is the end of the second month of walking. To the right: A four thousand years old water well in the Hebron area. Below right: The Search Group (A boy had disappeared). Below: The Long Marcher.

What is in the Ka'aba?

The kaaba is a huge cube sanctuary built of bricks and covered with black cloth in the center of a Mekka mosque. In its lower corner there is a silver vulva-like artifact containing a black stone. Wahhabi Islam is notoriously allergic to holy sites and representations, so what is this cult of a stone enclosed in a female sexual organ? According to the Book of Idols (Kitāb al-ʾAṣnām) by Hishām ibn al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed that the goddess Al-lāt resided in the Kaʿbah and also had an idol inside the sanctuary. Muslims are so sensitive about their religion that it is safer not to ask and not to know.