Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Arabs feel Europe is their home land and therefore are entitled to attack Israelis happening to be there with impunity, as local police's stated priority is to protect their human right and to avoid offending their ethnic sensibilities.
A few hours ago, Danish Arabs attacked a group of young Israelis at a stand in a mall. Local police said the attack took place at approximately 3:20 p.m. at the Rosengirdscentret Center, one of the largest shopping centers in the city of Odense, located about 200 kilometers from Copenhagen.
The Palestinian gunmen approached the group of young Israelis at a "basta", or stand which sells Dead Sea products and other items from Israel and opened fire "with guns or rifles." Two Israelis were wounded, one in the leg and the other in the shoulder. The mall security people did not even try to detain the Arab attackers. Police is debating how to proceed in this extremely sensitive case without provoking another Muslim boycott of Danish produce.
I had some money left and bought Elbit Systems. It is an advanced arms manufacturer. It went down very little in the current crash and is poised to rise, as there are rumors that a large sale was about to be signed in China. It is well positioned in an industrial branch that seems unaffected by recessions.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2008 -- About 100 U.S. European Command soldiers, airmen and Marines deployed to Israel to help set up an early warning radar system reported no close encounters with air strikes or retaliatory attacks along the Gaza Strip, a Eucom spokesman said.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas refused to renew a ceasefire agreement with Israel when it expired Dec. 19, and began stepping up rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel. Israel, in turn, began launching airstrikes against Gaza Strip targets Dec. 27 in an effort to eliminate Hamas’ ability to fire rockets into Israeli territory.
Air Force Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed Stars and Stripes’ report that the Eucom team is operating on an Israeli air base nowhere near the targeted areas.
The Eucom troops deployed to Israel to help set up an Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance system, Dorrian confirmed. The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed during a Sept. 30 news conference.
Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network. (j: Great! Thanks.)
“This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,” Morrell said. “It will … more than double the range of Israel's missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”
This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities.
“There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance. And we have now provided it in the form of this … X-band radar equipment.” (j: What is this?)
About 120 U.S. servicemembers initially deployed to Israel to set up the system, a number Dorrian said is now down to about 100.
Morrell estimated that the system will take about half that many U.S. personnel to operate once it is up and running. “This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,” he said. “This is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis.”(j: If I understand what he is saying, this time it is different from the Patriots the Americans deployed in Israel a decade ago, some of them was left in and for Israel).
The system, he said, is another sign of U.S. commitment to Israel. “We are committed to the Israelis, to Israel’s defense,” Morrell said.
(Report by Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service.)(The pic shows a Raytheon X ray system. It must be very secret as I couldnt find much information on it on the net).
The first pics from the Ashkelon bombardment a half an hour ago. It fell on a school. Today schools are closed, so no one was hurt. I hate Hamas not only because they are throwing bombs on schools, but because they are providing excuses to my clients to avoid paying my fees. Blast them !
Blast the Bloody Hamas Criminals of Gaza !
11.45 AM here. A minute ago I phoned to one of clients, a supermarket manager in Ashkelon, I had designed the water and sewage systems for their new supermarket project, and they own me about a thousand dollars. The man was hysteric, how you dare to call me now! you talk to me like a miserable potato seller from the shook (public market) asking for a few shekels when we are having more important things on our minds! What is more important than my money? I asked. A minute ago we had 3 Grad missiles in Ashkelon, he answered excited, and it is a life and death question and you with your dirty shekels?
I retreated and said I shall call back later. The pic is from yesterday, when a construction worker was killed on site by a Grad missile.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
In Jerusalem, Arabs threw a firebomb into the back entrance of the Hadassah Hospital located on Mount Scopus (Har HaTzofim). No injuries were reported in the attack.
A bus was attacked in northern Jerusalem on Monday night on Uzi Narkis street. The bus was damaged, but nobody was injured. Police are searching for the perpetrators.
In Gush Etzion, south of the capital, a group of PA Arabs threw rocks at Israeli cars near the village of Tzurif. One woman was lightly wounded.
A group of Arab men stoned cars near the city of Ariel in Samaria as well. One vehicle was damaged, but no injuries were reported.
A rock attack was reported near the Israeli-Arab city of Nazareth on Monday evening. Local teens threw stones at a bus, shattering its windshield but failing to cause injury. Arab youths threw a firebomb near the entrance to Nazareth as well. Six teens were arrested in connection with the two attacks.
A rocket exploded in Ashdod Bus Station, killing a woman (pic). There are many wounded all over the South. A rocket hit Yavneh, which is almost a Tel Aviv suburb. It is night here, and the weather is cloudy, making difficult Tzahal´s defensive actitivites.
Our enemies started to mobilize help for the Gaza assessins. Free Gaza, a far-left organization offering support to the jihadist Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority, sent a ship on Monday to defy the Israeli sea blockade on Gaza. Despite the major IDF military operation underway, sixteen Free Gaza activists, including a former member of the US Congress, Cynthia McKinney, are on their way to the region.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Hamas Television announced that has killed a Zionist Agressor. I bet that the dead Beduin contruction worker had been unaware of his being such. He was granted the Honorary Degree in Zionist Agression post mortem.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Taki is Taki Theodoracopulos, a Greek multimillionare residing in Switzerland, editor of Takimag, a high brow right wing internet magazine. He lost money in the Madoff scam. Let me quote some of his less sanguinary thoughts on the subject.
But how does one expose the perpetrators when they are the ones in charge? I know many of the losers, at least three of the major ones live in Gstaad, and last week I was informed by my bank that I, too, had been granted the right to buy Madoff shares. (Not too many, thank God, but a seven figure sum all the same.) America seems to have totally lost her way. Wall Street and Washington are much too close for comfort. Robert Rubin was the Draft Dodger’s Treasury Secretary and is now heading Citigroup, being bailed out by the tax payer. The present secretary of the treasury Hank Paulson, was once the chairman of Goldman. Goldman alumni are sprinkled throughout high levels of government. Greenspan is now head adviser to the Carlyle group, instead of a nut house, where he really belongs. In civilized countries such as those in the Middle East and Africa, Greenspan, Rubin, Paulson, Levitt and their like would have been roasted alive and served as delicacies to convicts. Which makes me want to move down south, except that the snow is very good this year in good old Helvetia.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Kever Benjamin City takes his phony name from Benjamin´s Tomb, which is its most authentic feature. The Tomb we are talking about (pic) is a very old Ottoman compound, unknown and untended for generations, that is experiencing a revival and winning a following among the lumpen. Lumpen in Kever Benjamin City? Yes and also the inhabitants of the nearby yeshiva (religious educational establishment) for recovering drug addicts and miscellaneous jailbirds, and of the Shalwata (a large institution for non violent lunatics). When I used to explore the area on bycicle, used to meet strange figures singing and shouting in the wilderness, and maintained interesting conversations with spiritually disturbed mystics. All these people have found their home in the teachings of the mysterious miracle rabbi Nachman, who lived in the shtettl of Uman, Ukraine, in the 18th Century. Nachman was a follower of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hassidism, but he took a mystic turn looking for the redemption of his soul. He never married (unheard of a rabbi - he may have been hermaphrodite or homo), he left no writings and is the sole Hassidic rebbe that has not left a dinasty. His teachings were rediscovered as they fit well into AA´s twelve steps and offers answers to troubled and tortured souls. Nachman has a large and growing following in Israel.
Benjamin´s tomb has been adopted as a sacred compound for celebration of non-conventional religious rites. The place is alive at night, specially on ¨rosh hodesh¨(beginning of the lunar month) when candle lit ¨hitbodedut¨ (prayers and meditations in isolation) and ¨tikkun¨ (reparation, because the world and the human soul is in disarray and needs to be repaired) religious exercises are carried out. They carry out ¨tikkun layla¨(all night prayer and meditation) and tikkun hatzot (midnight prayers and ceremonies), and they used to spend days and nights in the sacred compound. As the place adquired fame and following, it has been taken over by the Government´s Administration of Sacred Places, which dislikes the kind of faithful that have been more or less living in the compound and put a night watch to keep them out. The watchman is having a difficult time, and his car was burned down and his family, menaced.
The tomb is near the Newe Yamin moshav, which is Nebi Yamin (the prophet Yamin, Arabic name of Benjamin son of Yakov). It was built 700 years ago by a Mamelukes leader, the Emir Hankaz Al-Hussamy. A thousand years before, the place had been a Roman bath cum bordello for the comfort of the legionnaires securing the Via Maris, the international seaside road.
According to the Bible, Benjamin died in Egypt and was placed to rest there. His descendents, the Tribe of Dan, took his bones when escaping from Egyptian slavery, and built them a tomb near Jerusalem, which is within the borders of the Benjamin people´s tribal lands. During the Middle Ages another Tomb of Benjamin appeared in the Galilee, and our own Nabi Yamin tomb was forgotten and abandoned till the 21st Century, when a nearby city was renamed (by me) the City of the Tomb of Benjamin. But sacred places never die and the Tomb is taking life and once more, people are once more bringing their offerings. All in all, I take this phenomenon as a sign that we Jews of the newly created State of Israel are no longer artificial implants but we are reconnecting with our ancient roots in this Promised Land.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So as far as we know, he didn't steal the $50 billion/$11 billion--he probably just lost it. He might have built a trading powerhouse, but he was god-awful as an investor. It happens all the time (Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, yadda, yadda, yadda …)
Education reduces fitness, and natural selection favors uneducated men who succeed in amassing wealth. Say, a plumber (pic).
The sign I was expecting has arrived.
BLOOD IS FLOWING ON WALL STREET.
THE TIME HAS COME TO BUY STOCKS.
The co-founder of an investment advisory firm that lost $1.5 billion in the Madoff scandal was found dead Tuesday in an apparent suicide in his Manhattan office, police said. Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, 65 years old, was pronounced dead about 8 a.m. New York City police said they believe the death to be a suicide but were awaiting results of an autopsy to be completed Wednesday.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"... When you come to the front door of the complex, you'll see a big panel with buzzers. With your nose, you'll push the button for my apartment, 5B. I'll buzz you in. Turn to the right and, with your nose, press the elevator button. Then, you can use your nose again to press the button for the fifth floor. When you get off, make a left and I'm down the hall on the right. Kick the door a little and I'll come let you in."
"Grandma, why am I hitting all these buttons with my nose and kicking your door?"
This morning I had an ugly fight with the self-crowned Adrichal Tzameret(the Elite Architect) and I am in no mood for work. To show me that I am a two left handed idiot, he designed the water connection ("gamal", a camel in our mixed English-Arab-Hebrew water lingo) alone, without consulting me, and of course, the Water Company rejected it. I met with the Chief Engineer and re-designed the "gamal" and got it approved. But the whole design has to be re-submitted and approved once more by the Vaadah (the Local Planning Commission). Another month or two of delay, while the contractor is building without permit. It is cold and raining outside. This a time for "escapist" daydreaming. Where? Lake Maggiore in Piamonte, Italy, is the site of my daydream. Now is the truffle hunting season, people goes out with trained dogs to find truffles in the mountains. It is the season of the new wine, excellent, abundant and cheap wine. The air is crystal clear, the girls are beautiful and generous. Oh, il lago Maggiore!
If Prof. Shany´s hope is that a rainy winter will fill the Kinneret Lake and the aquifers, this dream is becoming ever more a phantasy. We are ending December and no serious rain has fallen. The main reservoir, Lake Kinneret, is approaching its lowest level, from where the pumping is physically impossible (except by adding more pumps). The Knesset´s Investigation Committee is receiving harsh denunciations from Prof. Smith, who accused the Ministry of Finance of putting interns in charge of the water sector. The wonder boys and girls applied book knowledge which said the marginal price of water was lower than desalination, therefore they refused to finance the Government approved desalination plants.
A Honda travelling in a ejido Merida in the Mexicali Valley was shot by unknown persons for unknown reasons, killing the father and wounding his wife and childen when they were trying to run away.
Un sicario disparó contra el auto en que viajaba una familia, matando al papá e hiriendo a sus acompañantes, cuando éstos intentaron alejarse del lugar donde fueron atacadosIt is worse than West Bank.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Fairfield Greenwich Group (investment management firm) $7.5 billion
Tremont Group (hedge fund) $3.3 billion
Banco Santander (Spanish bank) $2.87 billion
Bank Medici (Austrian bank) $2.1 billion
Ascot Partners (hedge fund founded by J. Ezra Merkin) $1.8 billion
Access International Advisors (New York investment advisers) $1.4 billion
Fortis Bank Nederland (Dutch bank) $1.35 billion
Union Bancaire Privée (Swiss bank) $1 billion
HSBC (British bank) $1 billion
RBS (British bank) $599 million
Natixis (French investment bank) $554 million
Carl Shapiro (founder of Kay Windsor) $545 million
BNP Paribas (French bank) $431 million
BBVA (Spanish bank) $369 million
Man Group (British hedge fund) $360 million
Reichmuth & Co (Swiss private bank) $327 million
Nomura (Japanese broker) $304 million
Maxam Capital Management (fund of funds based in Connecticut) $280 million
EIM (European investment firm) $230 million
Aozora Bank (Japanese bank) $137 million
AXA (French insurer) $123 million
Yeshiva University (private, New York) $110 million
UniCredit (Italian bank) $92 million
UBI Banca (Italian bank) $86 million
Swiss Life Holding (Swiss insurer) $78.9 million
Great Eastern Holdings (Singapore insurer) $64 million
Nordea Bank (Swedish bank) $59 million
M&B Capital Advisers (Spanish broker) $52.8 million
Hyposwiss (Swiss private bank) $50 million
Banque Bénédict Hentsch & Cie (Swiss private bank) $48.8 million
Fairfield, Connecticut (town pension fund for firefighters, policemen and teachers) $42 million
I am talking of the Madoff scam, of course. Why did HSBC invest with Bernie? Isnt it the world largest bank or something like that? Dont they have their own brilliant money managers? Did they had more confidence in Bernie than in their own money managers? Why should anybody buy a HSBC fund and pay 5% upfront management fee when they are not even managing the money?
Another observation. Bernie destroyed Jewish charities and his Jewish friends, but he was not antisemitic, he left a wide bombed out neighborhood all over the goyishe word too. Apparently he did not put aside much money for himself, he used the money for maintaining the Ponzi wheel spinning.
It seems very logical and predictable. However, uncertainty forces invstors to look for safe heavens, and the dollar is the safest heaven. So it has been strengthening although the world is now flooded with dollars.
Conclusion: The usual. Only G-d knows. I dont know.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Experts are paid for one thing: to provide certainty. Someone complained that economic forecasters are as blind as ancient soothsayers. The purpose of experts is misunderstood. Their function is not to provide knowledge, and still less clear thinking. Instead, it is to provide (the illusion of) certainty. People hate dissonance, doubt and uncertainty. Experts help dispel these.
Economic forecasters' job is to provide an impression that the future is knowable. If the expert fails to provide that certainty, people will find other ways of achieving an illusory certainty anyway. They need certainty to avoid the uncomfortable fact that the world is uncertain, that mistakes are inevitable, and that we are not as in control of things as we think. Blaming experts for being wrong is like complaining that the economy is not yellow. It's a category error so howling as to be nonsensical.
The Plant will be designed and built by private enterprise, paid by the Government for each cubic meter of fresh water delivered, The four consortia competing for the project are:
IDE Technologies Ltd. (owned in equal shares by Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) and Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL)) with Hutchison Whampoa Co. Ltd. () unit Hutchison Water Ltd.
Kardan NV (TASE: KRNV;AEX:KARD) unit Tahal Group with Veolia Environnement SA (NYSE: VE; Euronext: VIE (see pic of Veolia´s Ashkelon Plant).
Arison Holdings Ltd. unit Housing and Construction Holding Co. Ltd. (Shikun u'Binui) (TASE: HUCN) and a US company.
Azrieli Group) unit GES Global Environmental Solution Ltd. held through Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd. (GRNT), Shafir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd. and Baran Group (TASE: BRAN; Pink Sheets:BRANF).
I have designed several swimming pools, mostly for physiotherapy training of children, and of course I am working on the mikwe (Jewish ritual bath) project. Now I learn that a new law has been approved in the USA, that specifies the retrofitting of all recreational pools to ensure unsafe suction. All and everything has to be certified by a P.E. (professional engineer). More money making opportunities for my American collegues. I am sure next year we shall have the same rules here in Israel.
Velocity of the water through FFG’s may not may not exceed 1.5 fps unless rated at a lower flow rate by exceed 1.5 fps unless rated at a lower flow rate by the P.E.And so on for many unreadable pages, being this an official document. The solutions are one or more of the following layers of protection to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains:
Existing and/or new FFG’s must be certified by a P.E.
FFG’s shall have a sump below or behind the cover/grate specified by the P.E. to control flow cover/grate
Safety vacuum release system (SVRS)
An SVRS must cease operation of the pump, reverse the circulation flow or provide a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected. It also must have been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard 112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
Suction-limiting vent system
While not widely used, these systems introduce air into the suction line thus causing the pump to lose prime and relieve the suction forces at the main drain. The installation of this system will require significant demolition and reconstruction of the pool.
Gravity drainage system
These have gained popularity in states such as Florida and are practical for new pool construction only. This device uses a collector tank with a separate water storage vessel from which the pump draws water. Water moves from the pool to the collector tank due to atmospheric pressure, limiting drain suction forces significantly.
Automatic pump shut-off system
A device that senses a drain blockage and shuts off the pump system. Some SVRS devices may meet this definition. Currently there is no industry standard for automatic pump shut-off systems. However, the current SVRS standards provide release and response time of under three seconds.
The Palestinians of Gaza are harassing us by firing Kassam rockets across the border. Of course such a bombardment would be a casus belli for any other country except israel, who has to fight its enemies with one hand tied behind, and under the hostile eyes of the whole world lying media. The best would be if we could find a way to neutralize the Kassam, without hurting the Palestinians, nothwithstanding their genocidal intentions. The rocket (see pic from this morning's paper) is a standard steel water pipe with four metal sheet wings, and full of a combustible (possible some heavy oil) mixed with an oxidant (possibly ammonium fertilizer). The lower end is closed with some heat resisting ceramic material with a small chamber and opening (visible in the pic) creating the engine.
The Israeli strategy to combat the Kassam was to identify the metal workshops where it is manufactured and to destroy the machinery. It didnt work because the Kassam is so low tech that can be manufactured almost anywhere. The best would be to shoot them down in the air, but its trajectory is irregular, so it is impossible to calculate it real time. Maybe with some laser ray weapon. Our imbecile leftwing people maintain that the only solution to the Kassam bombardment is political, that is, to give in to all their demands, but our leftists are sadly so pathetic when the senders of the Kassams demand that we vacate our homes and evaporate into the blue ether.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Lake Kinneret's water level is reaching the critical BLack Line level, when pumping water from the lake will no longer be possible because the suction pipes will be above the water level. Water Authority Uri Shani informed the Water Committee of the Knesset that the Kinneret will drop to -214.4 meters below sea level this winter.
Shani said the amount of usable water in Israel has decreased over the past 16 years by 164 million cubic meters, from 1.34 billion cubic meters to 1.175 billion cubic meters. Global warming was only part of the cause of the water shortage. Large amounts of water have been rendered unusable due to pollution from cars. Another cause has been accumulation of dust particles in the atmosphere originating in Saharan sandstorms that limited precipitation. "We've had four years of drought, a pretty rare combination," Shani said. This is the second time such a succession has occurred since records began during the 1930s, he claimed. The last great big water crisis ended in 2001 with two successive rainy winters.
The pic show the River Jordan below the Kinneret Lake, when the river was a real river and the lake a real lake, about 120 years ago.
Prof. Bernard Madoff, creator of the largest known (emphatised: known) Ponzi (pic) scheme in history, relied on a network of leverage providers and creative fee arrangements built up over more than a decade to feed his operation.
The scandal, which may trigger at least $17 billion in losses, shows how much the hedge-fund business relied on trust and personal relationships rather than the rigorous due diligence typically demanded by institutional investors and lenders that have come to dominate the industry in recent years. "It's gone from being an old boy's network to a real business. If you knew the right people, or if the right people could vouch for you, you were in," said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge, which tracks the performance of managers in the $1.5 trillion hedge-fund industry. "That's what due diligence was -- checking the references."
Tremont Group Holdings and Fairfield Greenwich Group, two of the oldest hedge-fund investment firms, said they had $10.8 billion with Madoff this week -- more than half of the total assets managed by the firms. Other firms that put clients' money with Madoff include Union Bancaire Privee, the largest fund-of-hedge-funds business in the world with roughly $1 billion of exposure, and Banco Santander (STD), reported to have about $3 billion at risk via its Optimal fund-of-funds unit. Ascot Partners, a hedge-fund firm run by former GMAC chairman Ezra Merkin, had $1.8 billion with Madoff, while Fix Asset Management, run by Charles Fix had roughly $400 million. Taki from Takimagazine, is one of Charles Fix's investors. Why? Both are Greeks. Affinity. On the other hand, many of Madoff's investors were Jews who considered themselves his ¨personal friends¨.
Human, too human.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Note to myself: The financial world is upside down and out of joint. Where are the opportunities to make money these days? The interest rate in US dollars is 0% while in New Zealand is 6%. One could take a dollar loan and buy high paying Kiwi bonds. Forex arbitrage. Hmm.
Pity I didnt buy the apartment in Ariel when I had the money. Too much calculations.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
What is the meaning? I am very afraid of losing my money. Sure. I know.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Now we learn that the gonef (thief) Madoff, who stole the savings of so many Jews and caused the collapse of many Jewish charitable institutions, was an expert sought by Washington regulators who asked for advice on any number of regulatory issues over the years. In 2000, the mamzer (bastard) served on the government's Advisory Committee on Market Information, established to protect investors by ensuring accurate and full public disclosure of information to them.
HAMAS, the extremist Islamic regime in the Gaza Strip, is supplying low quality steel pipes to Israel. In the pic we observe a badly welded water pipe delivered by air mail today directly to a Negev irrigation project. The pipes are full of defects and leaking, and will be sent back to the exporter.