January 27th, 2010

To not forget

Today, after 112 hours, the reading of 102.000 names of people who were transported through the Nazi deportation camp Westerbork in my country and then onwards by cattle train to the extermination camps in Poland came to an end with the last name on the memorial, Heinrich Zysmanowicz.

The youngest reader was 11, the oldest 80. A few by telephone from the US and Israƫl.

Let us not ever forget the evil that can be created and nourished by hatred. Let us not forget what administrations can do if they know too much (is that why they are called “administrations”?); the round up of Jews in WWII was ultra efficient in my country because of the wonderfully complete and precise record keeping.

June 12th, 2008

The friendly spying

Connections, connection

A bureau chief from the CIA, stationed at the American Embassy in The Hague, was summoned to leave the country. (…) The Dutch Intelligence service was investigating on a local businessman [on alleged exporting of nuclear technology] where camera’s and microphones were planted in his house. This showed that CIA staff were also breaking into the home. The service was not informed of the activities of their American counterparts. This happened in 2004.

This gives an interesting peek under the hood. What it more than implies is that friendly secret services can operate on legally on foreign soil (well, ours at least) as long is there is at least some information exchange beforehand. Of course we don’t know what the level of detail is that is required (What we do know how easily it is to spin accusations and rumor).

In all fairness I must say one of the darkest intelligence pages in the intelligence service book of my country is the leakage of ultra-centrifuge technology to Pakistan in the 70′s, basically enabling the country to become a nuclear power.

April 22nd, 2008

The travel

Kiddo flew to Alaska and is having a ball @ great grey & co, for which I am unspeakably grateful. I bow to great grey.

February 17th, 2008

The kiss

Always looking for connections. Financial Times:

Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank has made its first loans in New York in an attempt to bring its pioneering micro-finance techniques to the tens of millions of people in the world’s richest country who have no bank account.

The bank’s entry into the US, its first in a developed market, comes after mainstream banks’ credibility has been hit by the mortgage meltdown and many people are turning to fringe financial institutions offering loans at exorbitant interest rates.

From the online newspaper nu.nl:

DHAKA – A man in Bangladesh who gave a Valentine’s kiss to his sister in law had to pay for this offence with five whippings and 200 taka ($3) fine, the newspaper Ittefaq reported Sunday. The brother of the man had complained to the local authorities of a village in the northern district Joypurjat. They personally came to impose the punishment. In the predominantly Muslim country Valentine’s Day is growing more popular each year, especially among young people.

Export? Which way?