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Friday, December 09, 2016

Israel Partners with Greece to Supply Gas to Europe

After years of infighting, Israel's energy strategy and alliances are clarifying. Two gas fields have been sold to Energean, the sole Greek energy company, and a compact has been signed by Greece, Greek Cyprus and Israel to operate together. Who owns Energean? Anyway, now is clear that Israeli gas will not flow to Europe through Turkey - Erdogan made himself objectionable for those finicky Europeans. In addition to the Turks, the Russians also were left out of the pipeline. As the world is re-arranging itself, we are falling into the orbit of the European Union. Which is quite natural. The Eastern Mediterranean was always an European possession, since the Roman conquest ("Judea Capta") through the Crusades and the Sykes-Picot partition of zones of influence.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Plutocracy


We are seeing that Trump's government will be a naked plutocracy as there was none since the Ancient times. The rich are going to govern America for the next four years. The world seems to like it because the dollar is stronger than ever and the stock exchange is optimist. The Israeli shekel also hardened in tandem of its big brother, the mighty dollar.

A Wolf in Charge of the Sheep

Pruitt is the new Director of the EPA. Who is Pruitt? He is the political front-man for the energy industry. He tried to change EPA's estimate of the air pollution caused by drilling in Oklahoma - sending letters actually drafted by the fossil-fuel industry.

EPA misuses its regulatory power, contributing not a little to America losing complete industries to Mexico and China. Urban populations have lost their touch with reality and have no idea where their gas or eggs come from. They live in fear of invisible "contamination" and are pushing EPA to even more extreme punishments against "polluters". An industry taking charge of its regulator is irregular but on the other hand, people that actually works on the field and produces the stuff should have a voice. EPA (and its Israeli alter-ego) was becoming destructive. Working in the compliance business, I know.

Shefita - One Way Or Another -שפיטה






Like it or not: No more Yidishe Mame. The New Jewish music is here!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Spying on Israeli Politicians

It is no secret that the secret spy services of the USA, Britain, Russia, the EU, Egypt, etc. spend a lot of effort in collecting information on what is going on in Israel. One or more spy satellites are in stationary orbit over Jerusalem, the communication cables laying on the seabed are pirated and connected to Langley, etc. They know everything. A typical item from the President Top Secret Daily Brief:
(from a conversation captured by a hidden microphone in the Knesset. The speaker has been identified as Knesset member Meyrav Ben-Ari):  "I have nothing that is exclusively mine. I have no apartment, I have no car, and I have no child. So I said to Ophir, an old friend of mine, a wise homosexual with a great soul,  let's make a child." (A sample of Ms Ben-Ari's urine was extracted from the Knesset toilet and analyzed: she is pregnant.)

Ortam Sachar Pays to Creditors 10 cent per dollar

I bought cheap Ortam Sahar bonds (see former note). The drama of this bankrupt building company culminated yesterday: the judge sold it to another builder, Alsayeg, for peanuts to be paid over the next years.  The creditors will get 10 cents per dollar. The judgment is so complex that I cannot discover if my bonds are worth more or less than before. TASE opens at 10 AM and then I'll know.

PS.: There was no trade in the bonds. Embittered CEO Nahum (pic) explained why they went bankrupt: "We were not paid for the underground hospital we built because of the delays - we lost 30 million dollars; our sites were inactive for 70 days during the last war while timetables were running; the insurance refused to pay us for the accident in Hadera - 10 million dollars loss." And "I asked the Interior Minister to bring in foreign construction workers. He said, "No, I am afraid they will assimilate". In no other country the conditions are more impossible than in Israel.

PSS (Dec 9 2016): The bonds are selling for 14% of their face value and I am losing 60% on this speculation. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

My World

Yesterday I went to one of Israel's largest hi-tech companies's HQ. The campus has five towers and an unexplored nether world of mysterious pipes and "machine rooms". The most recent drawings are 15 years old and do not represent current reality. As seems to be the general case, no one had kept records of changes and additions, and no one has any idea how the system works. They want me to map the system and they want it NOW! I submitted a very low proposal, already I feel deceived and victimized.

Poverty Pyramid

The 2016 Global Wealth Report confirms that Switzerland is the richest country of all. An average Swiss has 500,000 dollars in the bank. The rest of the world is very poor. 73% adults have less than 10,000 dollars on their names. I think a million dollars is no much money, yet few possess thus much.  We live in a world of people who has nothing to lose but their chains. Should they lose their chains, they will be totally destitute.  

Monday, December 05, 2016

Athens vs Jerusalem

Ancient Greeks are, for me, one of the myriad extinguished human varieties, like the Caribs that once fought and consumed Columbus's sailors landing in Cuba, like the Patagones described by Charles Darwin, or further into the past, like the Neanderthals or the Flores pygmies. Like the Caribs, the Greeks too have a geographical entity named after them, but they are no more. Prof. Kagan of Yale has a superb course on them (above), but I dissent about his description: the Greeks were far from being secular scientists, analyzing objectively the real world and using reason to govern themselves, as opposed to the Judeans, that blindly believed in an all-powerful God that emits commandments to be fulfilled under the threat of inexorable divine punishment. Except for the philosophizing class, they were primitive superstitious natives like the worst.

Fans like Prof. Kagan tend to dismiss Greek religion and empathize Greek achievements. What achievement, by Zeus? Their material development was not higher than other Ancient peoples, like the Phoenicians (who had better ships, more developed commerce, alphabet) or the Egyptians (pyramids, temples, historiography) or the Chaldeans (math, astronomy). The Greeks lived by oracles and the soothsayers. One has to read Xenophon to see that the Greeks did not embark on sea or started the day without sacrificing an animal to some god and studying the entrails. Even in the worst of the Greek emergencies, the Persians invading mainland Greece, the Spartan army did not move for days till the moon was in some auspicious position.

Kagan says that the Greeks did not support a professional priestly class, like the Egyptians and the Judeans, since they were too poor, but I disagree. Greece had oracles by the dozen, the most important of then Delphi, staffed by drug crazed women and male priests interpreting their hysterics. Greek lives were "haunted" by a myriad gods and imaginary creatures, so unlike the one, invisible, immaterial, silent God of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Ancient Greeks were a most interesting people, as Kagan says. But my opinion is that living by reason alone, as the Ancient Greek philosophers tried, is a worse choice than living by the Law (that is the meaning of Torah) as taught by Moses in Sinai. If persistence, survival, is a value, then we Judeans are worth infinitely more than those interesting Ancient Greeks.         

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Meanwhile in the Old Quarter of Tel Aviv...

Talking about crazy Jewish girls, Shefita. She is Rotem Shefi, a Tel Aviv creature who used to sing in Coffee Bialik. Tel Aviv was, from its very beginning, full of interesting people. I am very familiar with the neighborhood and the street. I arrived in Tel Aviv in the early seventies, bought a couple of bottles of whisky in the duty free and took up residence in a cheap dilapidated Allenby Str. hotel. Drunk as I was, got mesmerized by Hungarian sweet whipped cream confections and crazy Hungarian Jewish girls, all of which had long disappeared from  Budapest and the world, and got stuck here forever.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Katie Goes To Haiti

Katie Acker was one of the pioneers of American feminism. As all of them, she too died a horrible death alone. Critic Pewterbreath wrote about her book:
This book made me feel like someone's mother. My goodness Kathy make me nervous about Haiti. I lived in Haiti, and I know that's a very very bad place to hitchhike, sleep with random people, wander to towns that you don't know. . .and the like. I half expected her to get hurt or killed. I suppose she did fine, but still--what a tense read for me!
Katie, born into a good German-Jewish New York family, rejected normalcy and went slumming in the African hellhole of Haiti. She must have been very strong - as most Jewish girls are - because she emerged unscathed. It occurred to me that having a daughter like Katie is God's punishment for her parents for abandoning Orthodox Judaism. Unfortunately, I don't believe that Reform is sin and there is no tit-for-tat divine punishment.