Showing posts from January, 2012

Ambassador Ron Prosor addresses UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East

As this is the first time that I have addressed the Security Council in the New Year, let me congratulate the five new Council members on their election. I wish each of you the best of luck in navigating the sometimes stormy debates of this hall.

As we gather in this chamber, an alarm bell is ringing. Never has it been so clear that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon. This is the single greatest threat to the security of the entire world.

Now is the time to act. Tomorrow is too late. The stakes are too high. The price of inaction is too great.

The latest IAEA reports prove beyond any doubt that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, which is advancing rapidly. Iran recently announced that it will enrich uranium to a 20 percent-level at its nuclear facility in Qom. There is no plausible civilian justification for this action. It blatantly violates numerous resolutions of this Council - and will bring Iran significantly closer to producing weapons-grade, highly enri…

Time to muse

Spending time in nature gives a man a different self-perspective. We stand by the seashore at Bondi or Coffs Harbour and realize how insignificant we really are. We look up into the clear skies above Uluru or even on the North Shore and sense the tiny speck that we are. That could knock some guys out with bad self-images.

Others who think of themselves as very very important have a hard time spending time in nature because we lose our place. We think we dominate in the office or in the company. We are powerful in the back of the taxi or the front of the plane. We stand tall above others in the meetings. But honestly, a bit of nature walking reminds us of who we are. Honestly. We are just grains of sand, leaves of grass blown by the gentlest of breezes.

The great American poet, Walt Whitman, wrote in Leaves of Grass,

"As I ponder'd in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and po…

Arab Spring: Failure

One Year Later: The Failure of the Arab Spring By Martin Peretz , former editor The New Republic

26 January 2012 A year has passed since liberal America and the liberal opinion class, in particular, went ecstatic over the Arab debut into the modern world. I know that my standing in that class is suspect. So, being a bit flummoxed myself by the not altogether dissimilar developments in the vast expanse from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia, I conquered my doubts and made a slight stab for hope. But I quickly realized that I was wrong and left the celebration. The true-believers are still there, mesmerized by some ideological mirage or preferring to look on the brighter side of things.  For example, Nicholas Kristof found some Muslim Brothers who promised that even Copts and the ancient Coptic Church, among the first of history’s Christian fellowships, have no reason to fear their party’s electoral strength. “Conservative Muslims insisted that the Muslim Brotherh…

21/366 Out of focus

21/366 Out of focus, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Sometimes we can only see what's right in front of us. We have abundant choices, like the church, the field, the sky, the rest of life all in front of us, but we focus only on the immediate. When we do that, we miss out on what else there is. As a result, we are 'blinded' to the rest of life.

Let's make today a day to see the forest and the trees.

I tripped and fell, and the boat took me away

This photo is from Indianapolis, Indiana, from in front of the Art Museum a few years ago. A sculpture by DK Rubins. I think he called it "Stumbling Man." It may well characterize the fate of the local football club the Colts this season, but something more surprising has come out in the news today, from Italy.
The report I read first came from the New York Times. Gaia Pianigiani reported from Giglio, Italy, and Alan Cowell from London. David Jolly contributed reporting from Paris and Rick Gladstone from New York. "The news [is] that the captain claimed he had slipped on deck and tumbled overboard to wind up in a life boat during the panicky passenger escape — and had not abandoned ship like a coward as accused."
"Captain Schettino was quoted by the La Repubblica newspaper as telling investigators that he had not planned to leave the ship as it tilted toward the water. “The passengers were pouring onto the decks, taking the lifeboats by assault,” he said, accordi…

Patty blowing up balloon

Patty blowing up balloon, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. This weekend horrible endings in New Zealand for 11 balloon riders who were killed on early Saturday morning when a hot air balloon crashed near a town on the North Island of New Zealand, police said. There were no survivors.

The accident happened at around 7:00 a.m. local time when the hot air balloon hit wires on a power line, causing the basket to catch fire before plummeting to the ground. It happened near the town of Carterton in the Wellington Region.

When I hear of such tragedies and remember our own trip in the Hunter Valley in March 2004, I'm sad for the 11 and thankful for the times God continues to give me to celebrate life.

Take no day for granted. Each day is a gift; that's why we call it the present.

6/366 Bridge at night

This shot on Flickr a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Today is three kings' day. Epiphany. Twelfth Night. End of Christmas, they say. And day 6 of my journal for "shot of the day' for 2012.

Sydney is a beautiful city, and many will recognize this icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, that they see across the world every year on New Year's Eve. The fireworks are shot all along the foreshore and the bridge itself is a blaze with fireworks abundant.

I shot this photo this week, lying down on the walkway by the being-renovated Intercontinental Hotel. A great spot with such views and although my shot needs more work, and I'll have to go back to try again another night, I thought you might like this.

It's posted in "Shot of the Day", a new set of mine on Flickr. During 2012, I'm putting up one each day on that set. This allows me to be de-selective and help you enjoy walking along with me in my life, in my journey, in my daily walk.

Ponder this one. The eleg…

1/366 Not so perfect after all

1/365 Not so perfect after all, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Each day during 2012 I'm going to try to share a thought or a moment or a joy or sorrow or activity that characterizes or typified that day. It may be from a previous day's shooting, but will be fairly close. Here's today's first entry.

Humility. Perfect, but not so perfect after all. We tend to overrate ourselves or those near us or underrate those we consider lesser. All the while, we are the ones standing in the need of prayer. We are the failed ones. We are the imperfect.

God loves us nonetheless and cares to make us considerable. He wants to bring His life into our lives. Wow, what an awesome consideration that is.

Y'shua said, "You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) What! Me! Maybe Yshua didn't understand us, or think of us more highly than He ought to have thought.

Nope. He knew what was in us. The NIV Study Bible says this, "The Sermon …