Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
A Map of What Israel Would Look Like Post Land Swaps with the Palestinians Shows Why the Talks with Fail
As I wrote before I have two major problems with this map:
- It does nothing to change the fact that Israel is 9 miles wide at its narrowest. Downtown Tel Aviv will still be seen from the hills of Palestine and could easily be targeted by missiles and rockets (with little to no warning given to civilians before they hit). Nobody can live like this.
- Those rivulets of Israeli territory carved out of the West Bank are a disaster waiting to happen. Terrorists from Hamas or the PFLP or Islamic Jihad could take pot shots at settlers all day every day. And if there were ever a conflict between Israel and Palestine (which is probably likely, especially if Hamas stays in or runs the government), those armed gangs could easily cut off those settlements from the rest of Israel. If you thought a territory 9 miles wide was not defensible, how about 1 km wide (or less). You could easily have a bloodbath/massacre on your hands which will make Itamar look like youthful vandalism by comparison.
"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands".
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Six days after the European Union placed Hezbollah’s military wing on its list of terror organizations while leaving cooperation with the party’s political branch unaffected, a union of six Arab Gulf states has begun officially blacklisting all of Hezbollah.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic umbrella organization encompassing Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, has begun implementing a decision adopted by its foreign ministers on June 2 to place financial and security restrictions on Hezbollah, “making no distinction whatsoever between its military and political arms,” the Saudi daily Al-Watan reported on Sunday.
The Gulf measures against Hezbollah began in early July through the restriction of all financial transactions emanating from Hezbollah bank accounts in the Gulf. The main reason cited for singling out Hezbollah was its military support of Bashar Assad in Syria. The Arab League, based in Cairo, on June 5 strongly condemned Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, but fell short of dubbing it a “terror organization.”
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah ridiculed the European distinction between his party’s armed and political wings.
“This invention of a military wing, a political wing; this is a British act. They usually try to find such ways out,” Nasrallah said at dinner marking the end of a Ramadan fast day on July 24.
“Despite my disagreement with this division and distinction, I propose that our ministers in the next Lebanese government come from Hezbollah’s military wing,” Nasrallah joked.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Turkish authorities detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment, newspapers said on Friday.
The kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel", prompting residents in the village of Altinayva to hand it over to the local governor.
The bird was put in an X-ray machine at a university hospital to check for microchips or bugging devices, according to the Milliyet newspaper, which carried a front-page image of the radiogram with the title "Israeli agent".
And here is a picture of a kestrel. Damn Jewish spy:
Monday, July 22, 2013
So here is a case where the defendant admitted that he racially profiled the victim and did not even bother to call the police (unlike Zimmerman), I'm sure the NAACP was screaming at the top of their lungs for justice to be served and White to be punished severely. Well not really, they actually were seeking a full pardon from Governor David Patterson and eventually did receive it.
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump.
I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me."
"God loves you. Do you believe in God?" He said, "Yes."
"Me, too! Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian."
"Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant."
"Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist."
"Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist."
"Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
"Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."
"Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Seriously. What an entitled prick. He probably views his appointment as something he "deserves" for years of service with the ultimate goal to be something to finish off his memoirs with, not as a job to actually do. One could argue the coup is "done" but today's demonstrations and violence would pretty much fly in the face of that. Also, didn't Obama essentially put Egypt on notice in his statement on the coup that the US might cut off aid? Wouldn't a good Secretary of State be there to talk things over with the Egyptians and unruffle any feathers? I guess spending time on his yacht is more important to him.
Thank G-d he lost in 2004 (I just wish he lost to a better Republican).
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian context, the main problem is that you may speak of a peace process, but what you get is a process, not peace. And why is this process so prolonged? Because for the Israelis this issue is a territorial problem. For the Palestinian negotiators, on the other hand, it is not a territorial problem but a religious and ethnic one, It is not only about Palestinians but about all Arabs. Most of all, it is a religious problem.
From the perspective of the Arab leaders, reaching a two-state solution is to betray God, the Koran, the hadith and the tradition of Islam.
Israel Hayom: Even though they are portrayed as secular?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The presumption that the Palestinian negotiators are secular is not supported by facts. Were they secular, there would already be a settled territorial agreement of some kind. But there is no agreement as of today, because on one side it has become religious jihad of all or nothing, while on the other side it is still a territorial issue. Of course I know that there are Israelis who also perceive this as a religious problem; but their numbers pale in comparison to the Muslim side. Reaching a settlement that brings about two states is a religious betrayal -- not only for the leadership but for most Muslims today. The West does not understand this.
Israel Hayom: Why? After the many years you have lived in the West, how can you explain this?
The conception of religion in the West in the 20th and 21st century differs from that of Middle Eastern Muslims. The West successfully separated religion and politics, but even in places in the West where there is no distinct separation, still the concept of God and religion, even in the 13th or 15th century, differs to the current reality in the Middle East.
Islam is an Orthopraxy, Islam has a goal. So if you are a true Muslim, you must fight for that goal. You can achieve a temporary peace or truce, but it is not ultimate, not everlasting. It is not just about the territory. Because the territory does not belong to the people; it belongs to God. So for a Palestinian leader -- even if he is secular, even an atheist -- to leave the negotiating room with the announcement of a two-state solution would mean that he would be killed the minute he walks out.
Why Has the Fed's Money Printing Not Stimulated the Economy? Over 80% of Those Dollars Are Sitting in Banks and Not Being Lent Out or Invested
Although the Bernanke Fed has disbursed $2.284 trillion in new money (the monetary base) since August 1, 2008, one month before the 2008 financial crisis, 81.5 percent now sits idle as excess reserves in private banks. The banks are not required to hold excess reserves. The excess reserves exploded from $831 billion in August 2008 to $1.863 trillion on June 14, 2013. The excess reserves of the nation's private banks had previously stayed at nearly zero since 1959 as seen on the St. Louis Fed's chart. The banks did not leave money idle in excess reserves at zero interest because they were investing in income earning assets, including loans to consumers and businesses.
This 81.5 percent explosion in idle excess reserves means that the Bernanke Fed's new money issues of $85 billion each month have never been a big stimulus. Approximately 81.5 percent (or $69.27 billion) is either bought by banks or deposited into banks where it sits idle as excess reserves. The rest of the $85 billion, approximately 18.5 percent (or $15.72 billion) continues to circulate or is held as required reserves on banks' deposit accounts (unlike unrequired excess reserves).
One reason that the excess reserves grew to an extraordinary level is that in October 2008, one month after the financial crisis when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, the Bernanke Fed began paying interest on bank reserves. Although it has been 1/4 of 1 percent interest, this risk free rate was not low compared to the Fed's policy of keeping short-term market rates near zero. The interest banks received was and is an incentive to hold the excess reserves rather than lend to consumers and businesses in the risky environment of the major recession and the slow recovery.
The Bernanke Fed is now facing a $1.863 trillion time bomb, they helped to create, of excess reserves in the private banking system. If rates of interest on income earning assets (including bank loans to consumers and businesses) rise, the Fed will have to pay the banks more interest to hold their excess reserves.
At the current level of the time bomb, raising interest paid to banks on excess reserves would give the banks $18.6 billion a year at 1 percent interest, $55.9 billion a year at 3 percent interest and $93.2 billion a year at 5 percent interest. Because of concentration in banking, it is unlikely that much of the interest would be passed on to depositors. Bank stockholders would receive much of these large bonuses from the government.
Eighty five billion a month will seem tiny compared to the avalanche of the $1.863 trillion excess reserves exploding rapidly into the economy. That would devalue the currency, cause more rapid inflation and worry investors about a coming collapse.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Egypt's armed forces would suspend the constitution and dissolve an Islamist-dominated parliament under a draft political roadmap to be pursued if Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the liberal opposition fail to agree by Wednesday, military sources said.
The sources told Reuters the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was still discussing details and the plan, intended to resolve a political crisis that has brought millions of protesters into the streets, could be changed based on political developments and consultations.