Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Liza-1,Payara, Liza deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger and Pacora

Those are the names of oil producing wells in Guyana, discovered by Exxon and explored by a number of companies, including an Israeli group. Fortunately I have a few shares in it. The place is occupied by quilombos, communities established by escaped slaves mixed Amerindians, formerly visited only by heroic (or suicidal) Czech missionaries.  The Israeli Geologist involved in petroleum exploration (pic). Coincidentally, I have done some work in his home or his son's home in Petach Tikva, it was about a pump in the garden. The world is starting to be too small that I meet the same people I already had met before, or I have lived too long and worked too much. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Water as Charity

As a water engineer, I follow the media on the water subject. Following the National Emergency (sic!) of Flint, there are more and more popular movements claiming that running water is a human right and it should be provided as a free municipal service. Many  increasingly refuse to pay water bills, and the municipalities are increasingly hesitant to collect the bills. The City of Baltimore is organizing a charity program and asking for donations to pay for those who cannot  or will not (see pic of Dominique and her children). We in Israel are paying for the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, but it is not charity but self-interest in avoiding photogenic protests, since all the world (that is, world media) agrees that water is a human right and we don't want to be accused of violating their human rights and dignity.

America is big and the tax-paying minority will react as it always reacted in face of these situations. They will move away as fast as they can. Baltimore has now only 10 to 20% of its population paying regularly their taxes, Flint and Detroit even less. Growing separation seems unavoidable. One of the lessons of Flint is that the communities I am talking about find it difficult to operate their water systems, so the State will assume the financing and management of the water companies and subsidize them as a necessary public charity.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Pyrrhic Victory

"I think it’s incredible,” Ocasio-Cortez responded when asked to comment on Amazon’s about-face. “It shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities and they can have more say in this country than richest man in the world.”

Sure, they have the power jump from the Brooklyn bridge into the Hudson river. While importing so many people from poor countries, America has forgotten that people comes with ideas and culture, and poor people comes with the ideology of poverty. Third world nationalism has succeeded to make their countries unfriendly to "imperialism" and has driven away those imprudent companies that had invested there. No American company is investing nor staying if it can avoid in Venezuela (or Argentina). By importing large masses of "Venezuelans", pockets of America itself are turning Venezuelas. That has become evident by the hostility to Amazon's project to move to New York, which caused the large and very successful company to realize that has zero desire to move into Ocasio's hood. It was to employ 26000 persons with an average salary of 150,000 dollars.

Driving away one of the world's most successful technological companies will influence others and will result in the impoverishment of New York. Ocasio Cortez from Puerto Rico (pic) has defeated the world's richest man Bezos, reminding me of Arturo Frondizi's expelling American oil companies from Patagonia, ending the dream of becoming Kuweit. Latin Americans succeeded in re-making their paradise into hell, and now they are doing it to America. Pity.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Minnesotta's Death Wish

The population of this Northern State elected a Muslim woman (pic) to represent it in Congress and in a way, to lead and rule.

The legend says that the Slavic tribes invited a Viking to organize and make peace among them and so was the powerful Russian state founded. That was a successful decision.

Are Somali women known for their leadership abilities, so that Minnesotans prefer to import their rulers from Somali goat herding clans? Will this Somali Muslima strengthen the American State? Just to start, she is destroying Abrams in Congress. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The three generations law

I have met Eli Horowitz, the founder of Israel's only global corporation, Teva, and its largest fortune. If he ever dreamt of founding a dynasty, well, it did not succeed. His son Chaim married a 40 years old Thai masseuse (pic) and now they are divorcing.

“I used to take the buffalo out to the field every day, ” Nam told the daily Maariv. “My childhood was happy. The whole family lived in a wooden hut with our cousins, grandma and grandpa—who was the village chief.” 
Now they are going to be very rich. A fortune never lasts more than three generations, and Eli's did not last even two. The son nearly bankrupted Teva and married&divorced a Thai masseuse (What is the difference between a Thai masseuse and a Thai harlot?) Eli, how futile was everything...! Sad.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Planning to Vote for Bibi

Age   Death Probl.  Survival 1/100,000 Years to live

72 0.027794 69,574 12.97
73 0.030282 67,640 12.33
74 0.033022 65,592 11.70
75 0.036201 63,426 11.08
76 0.039858 61,130 10.48
77 0.043891 58,693 9.89
78 0.048311 56,117 9.33
79 0.053228 53,406 8.77
80 0.058897 50,564 8.24

The numbers above (from US official statistics) say that at 72, I have a 2.7% probability of death in 2019, and that 69,574 men are still alive (from 100,000 born in 1947) and that I shall live 12.97 years more. In reality, being an Ashkenazi Jew living in Israel, my numbers are somewhat better, but not much.

It appears probable that I have some five healthy years more to live in health and work and to grow my savings. I cannot think of anything better to do in this time than keep working and teaching, and helping my daughters with their children. My imagination is very limited, I don't want to start business, in fact I have no great expectations at all, my modest aspiration is that the current tranquility in Israel and Middle East continue. And to be left in peace by the taxman, by the neighbors, y my demanding wife. I should give my vote to Bennet, to fight for Ariel University Medical School accreditation, but it is possible that I shall vote for Bibi Netaniyahu, who gave us these years of peace.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Recife's Old-New Jews

The first Jews in the New York were Sepharadis fleeing from the Inquisition in Recife, Brazil. The Jews had enjoyed a hundred years of tranquility in Northeast Brazil under the Dutch, they founded the sugarcane industry and prospered. When the Dutch transferred the territory to the Portuguese, most Jews left for Amsterdam … and New Amsterdam, that is, New York. There they became well established and assimilated.  But what happened to those Jews that did not leave Brazil?

They became crypto-Jews, underground Jews, living under a Catholic cover identity. Three hundred years later many in Pernambuco and Recife are aware of their roots, and are "returning" to the old faith. Led by charismatic leaders, they form "anusim" communities and adopt what they believe to be Judaism. I compare them to the small evangelical communities appearing all over Latin America. They don't mix with the old wealthy Ashkenazi communities, and they are not accepted as Jews by the Israeli rabbinate. Some individuals and families, eventually, will make Aliyah and melt with the people, others will wander off to local Messianic cults.

Pic.:  Many in Brazil have converted to Judaism under the supervision of Gilberto Venturas, an Orthodox rabbi, shown here with his wife, Jacqueline. (Courtesy of Sinagoga sem Froteiras)