Absolute Dan
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Of Today
The War on Global Terror
US Mass Transit Considerations and Misconsiderations (A.P. "Transit remarks upsets New York")
Head of DHS, Sec. Michael Chertoff, said Friday that money should be a consideration when prioritizing how much to spend where. A plane carying 3000 thousand people should be secured first because it can kill 3000 people. A train carying 30 people should be in a lower spending priority. Following this reasoning, "(article quote) cities will have to pay to protect trains and buses because airplanes are a higher priority."
To this, officials expressed their astonishment and disapointment. Understandably so, but misplaced.
When Dana Kauffman, Washington Metro Board Chairwoman, is saying "Is he saying to his own people, 'Good luck?'", she is expressing a most sectorial concern, one which should not be voiced by an official. Should the Government care for "his own", first? I think not! The Government is to care for all in the most intelligent manner possible and if there is not enough money, then it should spend where most efficient. When BART of San Francisco spokesman says that officials were "very disapointed" and "completely stunned" by Chertoff's comments, he is missing this point.
I and everyone, wishes that all and everything is protected in the same way, and if NYC is a city more proned to terror attacks because it is perceived as a US symbol, then it should be protected by Federal money, but sadly, there is not enough of it.

US Supreme Court
Chief Justice Rehnquist
I wonder. Due respect to the person in question, should not the health circumstances in which such a highly put official finds himself, be of a grave concern for all and for himself, too? Isn't chemotherapy a very hard and demanding medical process? It is, we know it is. Doesn't his health have the possibility of impairing his ability to conduct a valuable and rational consideration of the cases which he weighs? The Chief Justice is 80 years old. While wishing him a good health and a long life, when combining the two factors, his health situation and his age, shouldn't he consider resignation? I think he should.

"Talk to her", a movie by Almodovar
I loved it. I loved the way Almodovar is portraying the love and the affections between different individuals, all on the verge of the extreme. A man accepts the deep affection of another man for him, without protesting, while showing deep friendship and understanding for this man, even when this man is imprisoned because of what he did to a woman in his care, who is in a permanent vegetative state. Almodovar does not judge, does not point fingers, he does not show bias. In his book, men cry openly, unabashed. In his book, women, while living in a machoistic society and loving as only a woman loves, can and do fight bulls.
I loved his way of playing with dancing. In two such scenes, in the beginning and the end of the movie, the dances and the dancers are simply moving.
See it. Five stars. Very highly recommended.

Today's item
Hospice in Prison (Knight Ridder, "Prison hospice a great outlet for inmate growth, reflection")
Inmates in prisons can volunteer to be caregivers for other inmates who are terminally ill. This happens at a NJ state prison and at other five PA ones.
Says Christian, a caregiver in such a hospice "This is exactly what I needed to change my chracter ... to focus on others, not me."
Joanne Anderson, a social worker who trains the caregivers, says that she can see the changes in them within weeks.
A caregiving convicted killer says that the place "opens your mind and teaches you to appreciate life." When his patient died, he cried. "He wasn't any patient, he was family. Some say I went overboard."
A patient is stating the spiritual change in him because of the care he gets from another inmate.
The care, which is voluntary, is performed beside the usual task that the caregiver has in the prison. Christian wakes up at 6 a.m. to spend three hours with his patient.
Now, this is Godly, methinks.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
  Of Today
The War on Global Terror
Support for bin Laden falls in Muslim countries (14 Jul 2005, Reuters and other news sources)
It was expected. Support for, and confidence in Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, fell since May, 2003, "in much of the Muslim world, according to a multicountry poll released on Thursday". The countries involved in a "survey by the Pew Research Center, examined public opinion in six predominantly Muslim nations: Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan and Lebanon" and other non-Muslim countries.
Such a shock therapy applied to an innocent world, without discrimination, just because it is an "infidel" world, would and could not go without having a measure of the contrary results for the audience to which it was intended.
I hope that this fall in support for the Islamic crusade against the West, will have a parallel impact in the numbers of new recruited terror-fighters.

US Life and Economics
Florida off-shore oil and natural gas drilling
When confronting the voices against drilling in the Gulf for oil and gas with the voices which condone it, one cannot but think about the local interests importance vs the more global ones, here, the national interests.
The issue at hand is the absolute and immediate need to find alternative, local sources, for the much needed energy to replace the external ones. It is the conventional energy, in question, oil and natural gas. This, for two, very plausible reasons - strategic and economic, and global politics.
In case of emergency, the first reason, US won't have to depend on others. This can come with a cost tag on it, which can be high. It can also be unreliable at the source end: internal politics and market turmoil, transportation problems, natural disaters, etc..
The other reason is the ransom we may be asked to pay for it, or even pay for it already. Consider the Mid East, consider Venezuela. Chavez is an avowed leftist sending ample oil quantities to Cuba, which we try to boycot; Saudia can pull the strings for the cause, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thus making potentially a silent pact with the International Terror, which can use it as a lever on the oil-producing Mid East countries in the name of the Umma.
While trying to extract ourselves from those two impasses by developing alternative local conventional energy sources, the local interest is voicing its concern about the possible negative impact of off-shore drilling on the local Floridian tourist economy.
What is more important? Local interests, or national ones? With all the concern I feel for the environment, which surely will be affected negatively more than just a bit and a few times, when balancing the plates, I cannot but think that the national interests come first.

Today's item
Songs praising Stickups (A.P.)
In Garfield, NJ, the leader of a gang, which robbed taxi drivers, recorded a song boasting about it.
Nothing new with robbing. To boast about it, is a novelty. To make it in art-form is a true novelty. But what is more than a novelty, is the fact that the man didn't give a second thought about being caught, else he wouldn't make a CD on it. Boasting publicly about it was more important to him, apparently.
Wishing to show off when commiting a crime and not minding being caught, is a personal blunder that points to a societal sickness.
Friday, July 15, 2005
  Of Today
The Global Terror
There are two things, which I'd like to address. One is the fact that many of the would-be terrorists studied in the West, sometimes specifically to learn the how-to of their future trade, killing: chemistry, biochemistry, nuclear physics, etc. The other thing is how should we go and fight this plague? They are not centralized, they don't have a systematic type of organization, they come in a rather spontaneous way into the ranks of the amorphic body of the Terror Army. Sometimes, they act on their own in small groups, with only a general identification with the main terror groups. Sometimes, they are given only general instructions and then sent to a job on the spot to be done as they see fit according to the circumstances. How to make a bomb can be learnt online. They get killed, but no problem there. Many come on their own initiative to replace and fill the ranks. So we need to keep at bay individuals who come sworming at our gates, ready to be killed, ready for the sacrifice. This is a difficult task, no doubt. Again I don't know how to address this problem, but I can confidently point to it and say that this is the most urgent problem we face in the war on terror: The sporadic, and willing on the personal level, fashion, in which terror fighters join the terror ranks.

US Politics
Karl Rove is in the news and not so nice looking. If he is truly guilty of revealing the name of the CIA agent, he should be fired immediately. This would enhance the positive image of the Republicans, in the face of an imminent Democratic attack if Bush overlooks what is a blunt misdeed and a possible felony. It will show the integrity which they want the nation to think they have.

Today's items
FAA and FCC. Why is it that FAA is the Federal Aviation Agency, but FCC is the Federal Communication Commission?

Freeters, a combination of "free" and "arbeiter" (worker, in German). Japan. (By Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press, as it appeared in The News-Press of SW FL, on July, 13, in the Business section.)
Those are people who "(loose rendering) defy past standards of success by working temporary jobs to finance their dreams - becoming a dnacer, poet or even a farmer. ... In spite of being a graduate of the prestigious Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Baba is working a wide array of sporadic jobs, all to support his first love, the traditional tayko drums. In so doing, he earns only a small sum of what he could earn in a good job. This is a real concern for the Japanese government, becuase it could erode the tax revenue basis in a country with growing ranks of elderly who are dependent on state run pension and health care system. So much so, that businesses and government offices alike have set up groups to tackle the so-called "freeter problem."
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
  London is hit, West under attack
Though belated, I wish to dedicate this post to the unfortunate event in London, the barbaric and bestial murder of pure innocent people in the name of God. Yes, unbelievably as it may seem, it was done in the name of God. Let's not waste time and energy on describing how do I feel about it, because it should go without saying that I share the pain of the victims and their families and the disgust that so many feel toward this despicable act of misinterpreted religious fervor and misguided social activism. What is more important is how this new kind of war should be approached. For it is war, let there be no mistake about it. This is not just another crime, this is war. I believe that the West is under attack. I believe that if the West collapses, the world will collapse with it in a total chaos. I believe that the West should make a conscious effort to define its enemy in an intelligent and determined manner, one in which the rules of engagemnet are reviewed within the frame of the new circumstances, which are indeed unique, at least compared to what we knew until now about the rules of advancement of social and political goals. Though I have my own general thoughts about how this should be done, it is not for me to say it. I hope, and in fact I am pretty sure that the powers that be will be able to find the answers to this new plague of our times. I would like to end my epistle of today with a minute of silence in the honor of those who gave their lives, without knowing it, to the understanding of the new world in which we live and of the resolve we must find to fight the plague. Please, join me!
Monday, February 07, 2005
A poem dedicated to Jerusalem, the beloved, written by a dear friend of mine.

Helen is a painter, living in Jerusalem, water-coloring the wonders of this eternal city of Ur-Shalem from the place of her residence and of her eyes and heart.

Do visit her website, and maybe her home and studio, too, and see the wonders!...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I am writing a poem to you
Jerusalem the Beautiful
Wondering if it’s possible
That when God created you
He knew
I would fall in love with you
The moment I saw you
Forty-five years ago

Did he plant you in my dreams to create
A longing, an ache
For a place I’d never seen?
Until I was compelled to come to you
And walked your streets with such familiarity
That it must be
We’ve known each other for centuries
Perhaps for Eternity

Once, strangely, I saw me
Running in front of me
Wearing a white linen garment
Disappearing round a corner
In the Armenian Quarter…

Did God create your stones and gates
Your flowers and trees especially for me?
Knowing then
I would be inspired to paint them
Did he create your sweet clear air
To intoxicate me?

Often I am certain he is next to me
As I skip down the streets
Pleased with my elation
At the beauty of his creation
In the Spring especially
As my eyes bless the blossoms
Of the almond trees
And marvel at the carpets
Of wild flowers
And dance in the rain
For endless hours

My heart beats in tandem
To your heart’s rhythm
My soul belongs to you
Now, at sixty-two
I am even more in awe of you

In the entire history
Of this exquisite City
I am absolutely certain
No one has loved you
More than I do

© 2004 Helen Bar-Lev

Friday, January 28, 2005
  Antisemitism, its global rise and education
The following is a quote from an article by Janine Zacharia, in The Jerusalem Post, a prominent Israeli newspaper in English.

"The State Department's first "Report on Global Anti-Semitism," mandated by a new law signed by President George W. Bush in October, documents anti-Semitic acts around the world between July 2003 and December 2004, has been released Wednesday (Jan., 5, '05, Dan Barkye).

A combination of traditional anti-Jewish prejudice, strong anti-Israel sentiment and Europe's growing Muslim population has contributed to a recent rise in global anti-Semitism, a new report to Congress released by the State Department on Wednesday said."

end of quote

Reflecting on the ugly phenomenon of anti-Semitism and its rise all over, especially in Europe, one has to be grateful that only 53% (according to a recent poll) of Brittons don't know much, or at all, about the Holocaust. This, in spite of all the efforts to plant some knowledge in the people's awareness about this abomination beyond belief committed against the Jewish people for pure racist reasons.

Reckon, though, what would it have been and how would it look without those efforts. 0% would know about it, not the remaining 47.

So, the important thing is that there are efforts made to educate people about it and that without it, no one, maybe, would know about it.

Don't let it be forgotten, spread the word about it and about the danger of the reemergence of such ideologies and notions, and of their proponents, or deniers.

The danger of such ugly "dreams" coming true is much too real to overlook. Just remember the atrocities of the 20th century, right after the WWII, up to this very day, starting with the pogroms against returning Jews to Poland from the Nazi concentration camps, through the massacre of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria during the '60's, the Rwanda and Bosnia ethnic massacres in the '90's and the Darfur ethnic genocide in Sudan, going on right now, as you read this.

Remember! Fight it! En guarde!

-- by Dan Barkye --
Monday, January 24, 2005
  Some interesting and positively intriguing data from Israel

Israel Random Info Data

Here is a capsule of accomplishments Israel has achieved that you, interested reader, may not be fully aware of. I thought you might find these statistics interesting.


The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries.
The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year.

Israeli trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.
Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can lay claim to the following:
The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel (Some say it has been developed in the US. Remains to be checked. I'll do it in the nearest time. DB.).
The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.
Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U. S, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security. U. S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world.
In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U. S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.
Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.
Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland - and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.
Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

Medicine... Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals between 35,000 and 70,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave dessert.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth. The 5 million Jews in Israel are surrounded by 350 Moslems who want to exterminate them.


CREDITS - Prof. D. Koller, who compiled this interesting data, teaches at the Institute of Life Sciences The Hebrew University Jerusalem 91904, Israel.
A place about everything under the Sun, with an emphasis on Israel and the Jewish nation from an Israeli and Jewish point of view. The information will be as accurate and as best available at the time. Nothing in what is presented here is to be taken for granted. You are encouraged to question and investigate it. Comment as you wish, but keep it clean, please. Enjoy!

January 2005 / February 2005 / July 2005 /

Site Feed Powered by Blogger