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Showing posts from June, 2012

How many Jews are real Jews after all?

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The Survey says a lot. Last August across Australia, we were all required to fill out the national census from which much is derived. Of note for us Jewish people is this.

Australia's official Jewish population rose by about 10 percent in the last five years to nearly 100,000, according to new census data. The findings of the 2011 census, released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed the Jewish population to be 97,335 -- about 0.5 percent of Australia's total population of 22.5 million.

Jewish demographers, however, have long believed the unofficial number of Jews to be between 10,000 and 20,000 more than the census figure for several reasons: 1) the religion question is the only optional question in the census; 2) the question about religion does not list Judaism as a tickle box, so Jews who want to be counted must check "other"; 3) some Holocaust survivors are believed to be less likely to identify themselves; and 4) some unaffiliated Jewish-b…

Silence is (not always) golden

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ABUJA, Nigeria—dpa (MCT) At least six people were killed and more than 50 injured Sunday when two churches in Nigeria attacked by unknown assailants.
Authorities said at least five churchgoers were killed in a suicide blast around 11 a.m. as they left a Sunday service in the central city of Jos.

Police said more than 52 worshippers were injured by the explosion, which destroyed the Christ Chosen Church of God

The church's pastor and his family were reported by local media to be critically injured in hospital. Emeka Obi, a witness, said the bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber who drove a car into the entrance of the church.

In a separate attack in the town of Biu in Borno state, gunmen opened fire, spraying bullets into the congregation of a church. Police said scores were injured and a woman died.

No group claimed responsibility for the blasts. Last year, the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram scaled up its attacks on churches, killing dozens in coordinated Christmas Da…

8020...wait for it

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It took 8,020 tries, but on Friday night in Queens, New York, Johan Santana pitched a no-hitter for the New York Mets against the St Louis Cardinals. It took place at Citifield. 8,020? Yes, the Mets did not have a no-hitter in any of their previous 8,019 games in team history.  How many tried? 245 different starting pitchers have played for the team since 1962 when they were created.
And 7 former Mets have thrown no-hitters for other teams after they left New York. Some have gotten close. 4 Mets pitchers lost no-hitters in the 9th (final) inning. 3 of those by Steve Carlton.
Waiting for a great thing to happen is worth the wait. 
The Townsville Bulletin reported this week,  " Skin cancer patients are waiting longer to have surgery in Townsville than both Brisbane and Cairns, despite North Queensland being the skin cancer capital of Australia."
Figure released on the Federal Government's My Hospitals website showed the median surgery waiting times for melanoma p…

From what well do you source your morals?

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I heard a man this morning, an economist from Melbourne, Dr Ian Harper, talking about morals and economics. I know, sounds weird in the same sentence, no? That's what Dr Harper said! He was telling us much of his own personal story which is chronicled in a newly-released book.

He used a phrase that captured my attention. When discussing what bothers us about the overspending in one sector of government and the underspending on other concerns, he asked us something like, "What makes you so upset? Why are your morals bothered at one hand and not on the other? From what well do you source your morals?" That wasn't it, and I will ask for a copy of the talk and eventually receive it, but that was the gist.

(Ian Harper is one of Australia’s best known economists. As a member of the celebrated Wallis Inquiry, he was at the forefront of financial market reform in Australia. In August 2008, Ian left academic life to become a Director of the former Access Economics, follow…