Tuesday, August 30, 2011
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma could marry beauty queens, young and fresh girls of any color and nationality, yet he shares his bed only with mature African big mammas. (Pic.: Wives). He is a man, true and authentic, will not go for Swedish models or busty Ucrainian nurses a la Ghaddafi. I appreciate this quality of his.
It is a restaurant + bar in an ancient industrial building in Tel Aviv, behind the old German Templar Settlement. Yes, once there was a cute German village about 5 Km from the port of Yaffo, which now is full of government offices. The British moved them to Australia when Rommel seemed ready to run over Egypt and Palestine. Anyway, an armed gorilla sits at the entrance door which is rather unusual, and a nice welcome girl (enlarge pic). The owner said his name was Shoham and then, Oded. "Is unimportant". If there were gangsters in Tel Aviv, I would suspect this is a mob place.
They took me down a dark passage and after many steel doors and cameras, a large storage space appeared in the second basement. Their problem is the plumbing, the sewage of the upper floors is dripping and the health inspectors are uneasy even after the usual courtesies. They want to make a false double ceiling with the idea that no one will notice, I dont agree.
Orban, Hungary's Prime Minister, said that the country must be ready for a decade of turbulence. "Speaking honestly, sovereignty is at stake. There are only two paths here: we either get drifted back to the Greek path; or we continue with austerity. Greece cannot pay back its public debt and the condition for its survival is that Germany takes its decisions."
Monday, August 29, 2011
TASE is almost paralyzed, no one is investing. The social protests are forcing the government to increase taxes on the "rich" and to increase taxes on dividends and profits. The governing coalition is stable, but the overall foreign affairs situation is worsening. In Egypt there are mass demonstrations demanding the assessination of the Israeli Ambassador. The Arab street demands war.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
When we arrived in Argentina, my Uncle Imre (Emerico in Argentina) gave me his old Hungarian-Spanish dictionaries and his handwritten notes of Spanish exercises. Forty years ago he too had been a new immigrant in Argentina. He also kept a vast collection of Hungarian papers and magazines from the thirties on. Being as I was, a voracious book-worm, I read it all.
Hungary in the thirties was in utter economic misery. The Hungarian concepts of the thirties were unknown to me - like the term - "kubikus". Apparently, earthmoving in building and public work was done by hand and the "kubikus" was the day worker paid by cubic meter of earth moved. There were photographs of thousands of "kubikusok" waiting in the freezing winter for jobs in a plaza, and the articles described their desperation and hunger. Then there were articles about the unemployment in Northern England, the closing of the Manchester textile mills because of cheap Asian competition. Then, as today, Chinese industry was killing English manufacture. Manchester laborers were desperate and hungry.
I was thinking .. "but that is exactly what is happening today". China is beating European and American manufacturing industries, they cannot compete and are closing by the thousands. China is prospering, Europe and America are suffering massive and hopeless unemployment.
The thirties worldwide misery was solved, as we know, by re-armament and war that destroyed Chinese and Japanese industrial plants. America emerged victorious and enjoyed a generation of prosperity. I think those Hungarian papers of the thirties understood better the causes of the crisis than our economists and bankers today, with all that talk about deficits and stimulus spending. They also had racist caricatures, with giant Chinamen and Japanese representing the yellow peril. For some reason, reality cannot be mentioned today and racism is unthinkable. Even the fact that White Americans cannot get into the universities nor get good engineering jobs because of Asiatic competition.
I think that abundance of good food, sexual promiscuity, free TV and much prozac-type drugs have made Whites more docile than they historically used to be. In the thirties they were rabidly xenophobic and given to mass violence. Is this domesticated New Man good for us Jews? I am not sure.
My mind is already preparing itself for old-old age. It calms itself with images of בית תמחוי - Jewish soup kitchens where the old and the poor are served free hot meals. Why a very overweight organism like me is frightening itself with the idea of dying of hunger?
Jerusalem's ultraorthodox slaughterhouse operating without permit has been closed down. It has been operating at least 40 years without ever being inspected. The issue is becoming an sectorial or even an ethnic conflict (I think we can call the Mea Shearim sect a separate ethnic group - we separated about two generations ago from them) but the authorities cannot close their eyes as it is a public health risk.
"We won't be deterred by these provocations," one Haredi man from Mea She'arim said during the disturbances. "You, the media and the police, just come to defame us," he said. "You harass us all the time and flex your muscles in order to make us seem inferior. Is this slaughterhouse really the only place in Jerusalem that operates without a license?"
Yes, it is the only slaughterhouse. Maybe, in all the world.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
The African Union led by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (pic) does not recognize the victorious rebels as the legitimate government of Lybia. The rebels are mercilessly killing all the Africans that fall into their hands. History is pressing ahead vigorously but it is not exclusively European history anymore.
Zuma has fathered his 20th child, although the baby is by a woman who is not one of his five current wives. A delegation visited the family in Soweto on Zuma's behalf, discussing the customary Zulu payment (inhlawulo) made when a baby is born out of wedlock.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Japan's Prime Minister has resigned reflecting the deep, prolonged decline of this country. What is happening? They seem to have lost their elan vital, their life energy, and became indifferent to continue the battle of life. A Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey revealed that fully one-third of adolescent boys aged 16 to 19 claim to have no interest in sex. It is amazing, at that age we were obsessed by sex, we could not spend a minute without sex passing through our brain at least five times, we could not stand up in class because of uncontrollable erections. They must be all on prozac, or they just sunk into lethargy as 19th Century explorers tell us that many native tribes did when met civilization.
Lybia is a very rich country. Ghaddafi provided forty years of stability and order: medicine, education and electricity were free for all. Basic food products were almost free for the poor. People lived in Government flats and paid no rent. Gasoline was cheaper than water. The country had fifty billion dollar foreign currency reserves. For all his clownish dictatorship, political repression was minimal because there was no organized political opposition. Ghaddafi had renounced foreign military and terrorist adventures and even dismounted its advanced nuclear program. Big mistake, as a commenter wrote.
One can guess why European powers attacked Lybia in 2011. Special political and military agents were sent to foment and arm a rebellion, they bombed mercilessly its cities (but not its oil fields). Lybia is a country in chaos, fractured into tribes and clans, made ready for colonizing. Europe today lacks the manpower to establish a civil administration, so local agents will be recruited and trained to do it.
What should Israel do? Obvious. Join the British and the French. Like in the 1956 Suez Campaign. The pic shows 45 British Commando embarking for a special operation in the Suez Canal area, fifty five years ago.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Shortly before 2:00 a.m., another Color Red siren was sounded in the communities of Meitar, Lehavim, and Rahat. An hour earlier in Ashkelon a 9-month-old baby was seriously hurt by flying shards of glass when a Gaza missile scored a direct hit on the private vehicle in which she was riding. A second person suffered shrapnel wounds when a rocket exploded in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council district around the same time. At least a dozen other rockets and mortar shells exploded in various open areas around Ofakim, Netivot, Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, the Eshkol Regional Council district and elsewhere in the western Negev.
I met "refugees" in our Kever Benjamin city. Once, I was indifferent to these things. Now they cause me worry and cant sleep. I am getting old.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The triumphant rebellion in Lybia is stranger than appears. A small group without a name, organization, political program hesitantly started something called "rebellion", and soon were embraced by an European ad-hoc alliance and provided technical assistance, weapons, vehicles, financing, air suport etc. The rebels were such a bumbling collection of analphabets that it took them no less than six months to reach the capital - on European ships. Mangan suggests that the European imperialists's goal is Ghaddafi's gold, in other sites oil and gas leases are mentioned (Italy and France are planning to take over American leases). The whole thing reminds me the film "Queimada" ("Burn") where the British organize a rebellion in a Caribbean island to the point that the British agent (Marlon Brando) holds the hand of the frightened local leader finishing off the "Supremo".
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
.רקטת קסאם נורתה מצפון רצועת עזה והתפוצצה בשטח פתוח במועצה האזורית חוף אשקלון. לא ידוע על נפגעים או על נזק. לפני הנפילה הופעלה בדרום אשקלון אזעקת צבע אדום. מוקדם יותר הערב התפוצצו שתי רקטות קסאם באותו אזור.Most probably events have been called off, business is paralyzed and they are sleeping in the shelters. Maybe that there was red alert while I called. Bad.
Gary resumes the situation: "...gauges of credit angst in Europe continue to deteriorate rapidly despite today's eurozone equity gains, which remains a large negative. I expect US stocks to trade mixed-to-lower into the close from current levels on financial sector pessimism, rising eurozone debt angst, tax hike fears, more shorting, global growth worries, emerging markets inflation fears and rising food/energy prices."
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Hungary, left alone, is reverting to its national character of a bitter, aggressive, fascist Eastern European enclave. Unique in Europe, they are honouring the Nazi troops defeated by the Red Army, they are organizing forced-labour-camps for the gypsies, they are disenfranchising "unrecognized" churches, they are fomenting conflict with the South Slavs. The State-owned media's favorite subject is the eternal Jewish conspiracy against Hungary, but in a way mysteriously unconnected to the real - and flourishing - Jewish community. The Germans are uneasy with the glorification of the Wermacht and its Hungarian fascist ally's heroism in the East; in fact, Hungarians are increasingly perceived as embarrassing operetta-Nazis. Even the emergent European right wing cannot swallow them.
David Goldman in Tablet:
If Israel’s total fertility rate holds at three, its population will reach 24 million by the end of this century, the United Nations’ population model predicts. And if the low fertility rates prevailing elsewhere hold steady, Israel will have more people under the age of 25 than Turkey, Iran, or even Germany. It will be able to field the largest army in the Middle East. And it will have a thriving high-tech economy, enormous energy resources, and a reliable supply of desalinated water. Israel has a near-optimal mix of economics and demographics, while time is running out for Arab countries that have failed over and over again to rise to the demands of the modern world.
Yesterday I was eating shwarma in Ashkelon and today a Grad missile exploded in a synagogue nearby. About sixty missiles were fired this morning and it is only 0900 AM here. They will pay for it. The video is not from today.
Among the killed by the terrorists there are four Kever Benjamin City residents. I seem to remember that one of the women, Shula, was ganenet (kindergarten teacher) of my daughters.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Three years ago I did some job in Ashkelon and left my business card but only now they called me. Of course, they needed the drawing three years ago, and now it is more than urgent. The place is in the old city, which is pre-1948 Arab hamlet. Ashkelon downtown is full of Erythrean illegals sitting in the shade waiting for some occasional job. I ordered a "shwarma" in Kokoriko (pic) while skinny antlike Africans passed by.
In the meanwhile, there was a terror attack near Eilat. I think these Palestinians are unaware of what they are doing to themselves. Israeli society (and the army) has changed, the old generation of civilized Europeans and Russians has died out and a new generation - entirely grown and formed in the Middle East - is facing them. They are more religious and wondering if Moses's barbaric battle-orders are valid and relevant vis-a-vis today's generation of Canaanites.
Prof. Nouriel Rubini is one of America's most salient economist. For a change, he is not an Ashkenazi but an Oriental (Persian) Jew. He has read Karl Marx's Capital and now we discover that he is a Marxist. Writes:
So Karl Marx, it seems, was partly right in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct (though his view that socialism would be better has proved wrong). Firms are cutting jobs because there is not enough final demand. But cutting jobs reduces labor income, increases inequality, and reduces final demand.If the best minds in the very center of Wall Street cannot find a better ideology than Marx's Capital, what will be of us?
Recent popular demonstrations, from the Middle East to Israel to the United Kingdom, and rising popular anger in China—and soon enough in other advanced economies and emerging markets—are all driven by the same issues and tensions: growing inequality, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. Even the world's middle classes are feeling the squeeze of falling incomes and opportunities.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The permitting process takes ten years - people does not realize that holding a site waiting and the project financing ready in the bank is very expensive. The Holiday Project in Jerusalem is being redesigned simply because the people thought it was ugly - what they dont realize is that ultimately they will have to pay for their aesthetic and ecological exquisiteness. The Palmahim neighborhood was killed by a concerted war on it waged by a coalition of environmentalist groups - another thousand attractive apartments disappeared from the market and another thousand young nature-loving families are searching for the affordable housing that was about to be built on those sand dunes.
There are such things..
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
From Hurriyet, a Turkish paper:
The double standards and ill agriculture policies imposed on African countries by the developed world, are the main reason lying behind the continent’s major famine problem, according to a senior official from the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency, or TİKA.Sure.
The leaderless countrywide protests that erupted this summer are consolidating into concrete demands: increase taxes, increase the budget, we want bigger government. In their words as quoted by the leftwing rag HaAretz. The protesters formed a panel of experts, that is rewriting the government budget. The panelists are all professors of social sciences, all well known in far left anti-Zionist circles. I am amazed that in a time when all the world is trying to reduce government expenses and pay back debts, the Israeli left is demanding to borrow money to pay for increased social programmes. We are always ten years behind America. Of course, TASE is down (pic).
It was Netaniyahu and Stanley Fischer who caused these irresponsible demands with their declarations that Israel's financial position is strong and improving. Aha! said the left-wing, why not spend the money to improve the life of the people? The government is being painted as mean; worse, needlessly mean.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Obama's friends are turning against him. Paul Krugman: He is hesitant and weak. Soros: "Obama's stimulus program was .. not directed at improving infrastructure nor human capital." He means that Obama wasted the stimulus money in unproductive expenses, providing government jobs to the Black underclass. Soros says (to Der Spiegel) that the world is going to crash if Germany does not make fiscal order in Europe and if China fails to assume global economic leadership. Maybe, but the USA has eleven battle groups patrolling the seas.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Oh! It seems that Breivik plus the Tottenham riots have been noticed by European opinion-makers. The winds are changing. In favour of Israel.
Only that for us it is all real. A question of life and death. Ultimately, for them too.
Friday, August 12, 2011
In the same vein, America also supported the enemies of the stable regimes of Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Lybia, etc. to produce chaos and weaken the Arab world. The largest target now must be to destabilize China, which is becoming a serious economic and military rival.
Supposing that the game is to weaken everybody around, the support that Israeli leftist groups are receiving from Europe is also starting to make sense.
This was the traditional policy of the Byzantine Empire. Always fomenting dissension and intrigue to make the surrounding states fight among themselves, always changing allies and enemies, never a reliable friend of anyone. This strategy was very successful as the Roman Empire of the East outlasted Rome by a thousand years.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Germany's infatuation with "Greenness" is starting to have consequences. The energy company E.ON announced it is cutting 11,000 jobs in response to Berlin's nuclear phase-out policy. The price of electricity will rise considerably, and the wind's unpredictability will translate into aleatory supply.
Once I did a project for the cooperative of moshavim that founded and managed this agroindustry. The company bought the agricultural produce of its members and processed and marketed them. It was not making a profit, but that was not the idea. Three years ago it finally went broke and some 200 employees in Hatzor HaGlili were to be sacked. After weeks of tire burning and protest, an agreement was achieved where the factory was to be absorbed by the private supermarket chain Hetzi Hinam that would invest in modernizing the plant. The Government promised tax exemptions and other incentives.
Today the factory is sacking 68 workers and facing closure. The subsidies and the tax benefits never materialized. But immediate cause of the closing is other: The Hatzor Local Authority has sued the new owners for building infractions, that is, the investments in new buildings and machines was done before the Building Committee's formal approval of the plans, a process that takes up to ten years, so technically the plant is an illegal building. The owners face large fines and possible jail term. They decided that the climate of Galilee was harming their health and closed the factory and left the area.
The bureaucracy is suffocating this country.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
There is little I can say about the panic raging in all the markets. People are selling everything and buying gold. Seeing everybody panic, it makes sense to ran for the exit. Many trillions of paper wealth are evaporating. Obama has disappointed. I am doing nothing.
I was driving back from a meeting in Jerusalem and the talk on the radio was about the Rothschild Str. protest and the excessive price of cottage cheese, an Israeli breakfast staple. The price in Ramat HaSharon, someone reported, was 7 shekel (250 gram), while in another suburb was 5 shekel. The same product is about 4 shekel in New York. No one mentioned that there is no IVA on the food in New York nor the Kashrut overhead. The issue was: What is the "just price" of the cheese? It was a very important point because the greedy, swine-capitalist "tycoons" are overcharging the population, out of sheer evil. The protests are all about that. There is no "Social Justice". Israeli papers and radio (I dont watch TV) are constantly talking about the tycoons, throwing oil on the yellow envy that feeds our brand of equalitarism. (What tycoons? Our millionaires are self-made entrepreneurs, big only in Israel).
We have two Nobel Prizes in Economy yet "just price" was the point in discussion. What is the just price of cottage cheese? Israelis debate economy in ancient medieval concepts.
In the synagogue, people calculates the hour when the Tisha Be'Av fast ends counting visible stars. The stars rise following their Aristotelian circles. The faithful have never heard of the Galilean revolution. I should not be surprised, since they (we!) also pray to the new moon.
Monday, August 08, 2011
last article on Israel, it seems we are a purposeful, well governed nation. For example:
As real estate agents tell you about land, they’re not making any more of it. Except in Israel, where they’ve been trying. Since its conquest of the West Bank in the 1967, the Israeli government has been more or less attempting to turn the West Bank into exurbs for Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and HaifaWell, yes. He also looks at Israel's demography and finds that there is a masterplan and it is working. I think he is wrong, the masterplan - more wishful thinking than a plan - is not working, the Jewish people - one by one - are doing it, against the obstacles created by a bumbling PC government and a self-hating intellectual elite.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Big poster on the Rothschild Street, sent by phone by my daughter, who is protesting there with her friends. Rothschild street looks like a summer camp where Tel Aviv petit-burgeoise youth meets. The Russian revolutionary poster has the same meaning as a Che Guevara's T-shirt, that is, none.
I have several projects that I am unable to finish according to the schedule I promised. I am accepting too many projects and I have to spend much time answering angry phone calls. All my life I worked under harsh deadline pressure and never missed them. But now I am starting to fall behind myself and this is becoming a permanent situation and I am unhappy with myself.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
America has helped Israel providing guarantees so Israel could borrow at the American rate. But now America will have to borrow at higher rates of interest, making American guarantees less valuable. From an historic angle, Anglo Saxon nations were always rock solid, and this humiliating downgrade - in peace time! - may be interpreted as the erosion or loss of its North European/Anglosaxon/Protestant/Puritan character.
"Life in the Puritan colonies was difficult, but strict religious restrictions made it even more so. Everyone was expected to work from sunup to sundown and church attendance was mandatory. Punishment for any violations was swift and harsh."Puritan settlements's credit rating was AAAA++.
Investigating why CS shares fell 30% in the last few weeks (I have an indirect interest through KOOR), I found that this Swiss Bank speaks in German and not in French as follows from its name. Its research papers are the obscurity itself, never a simple statement, always a convoluted conditioned incomprehensibility. Why the Bank lost 30% of its worth is still a mystery.
Market capitalization (USD million) 2011 (today)= 37 - 2011 (first quarter)=$53.25 --- 2010 = 47,933 - 2009= 58,273 --- 2008 = 33,478 --- 2007= 67,093 --- 2006= 81,894 -- 2005 = 62,241 --- According to these figures, the Bank's worth is volatile. So the current fall may be meaningless.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Der Spiegel publishes in English an article unusually anti-American. Says:
The word "West" used to have a meaning. It described common goals and values, the dignity of democracy and justice over tyranny and despotism. Now it seems to be a thing of the past. There is no longer a West, and those who would like to use the word -- along with Europe and the United States in the same sentence -- should just hold their breath. By any definition, America is no longer a Western nation.The point is that only Europe aka Deutschland is West and America is a mulatto Third World "banana republic", firmly ruled by an "elite". The article resonates something in my memory.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
The early morning omens were frightening. Clearly, this was going to be an unlucky day. Everybody should have stayed in the bed and waited the shade of evil to pass away. But they ventured out without kissing the mezuzah and now the krach is unstoppable. Even Credit Suisse is down.