Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Look at New Audience Values to Rethink Future of Local News

"Local news has become commoditized by the incessant coverage and
promotion of cheap, easy-to-find crime and mayhem. As a result, every newscast
across the country looks and sounds very similar. Is that really a winning
strategy for local news? In effect, local news has become a national network of
disconnected minor mayhem, and as a result has swapped its credibility with
local audiences over the long term for short-term gains in audience ratings for
a particular month -- but masking the long-term decline of audience share

John Lansing:

News has to get beyond stenography and recording to tell us thungs search engines don't. News must concentrate on "how" and "why."


Sunday, December 20, 2009

So do you still eat hot dogs?

When I was much younger, I had the misfortune of reading a document that specified how many rat hairs and other loathsome contaminents were allowed in a frankfurter. It was years before I was able to eat a hot dog again. the weird thing was that back then chicken wasn't allowed, but rat hair (and other leavings) below a certain amount were.

Watching Lieberman and Nelson during the course of these negotiations, brings back those memories and the disgust. Did they ban chicken while alowwing rat leavings?

Will reconciled with the House Bill will it turn our stomachs?

Will it save lives?

in reference to: Negotiating to 60 Votes, Compromise by Compromise - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Older Workers Face New Challenges in Tough Job Market | PBS NewsHour

looking for work may be a fulltime job, but the pay sucks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


In some places every other family suffers job loss. This seems to be the real tipping point on the path to every family in a neighborhood suffering. We started tolerating this inequality under Reagan. A generation now grown knows no other way to survive except to hope that spme of the value they produce will tridkle down from the advantaged people. Less and less does as time passes. Less and less will.

in reference to:

"A recent survey for the policy institute found that one in four families had been hit by a job loss during the past year and 44 percent had suffered either the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or hours worked. Economic insecurity has spread like a debilitating virus through scores of millions of American families. What kind of recovery are we talking about if blue-collar workers, and men and women without college degrees, and large percentages of ethnic minorities and the young and the poor are not part of it? And how can any recovery be sustained if economic insecurity is a permanent feature of even middle-class life?"
- Op-Ed Columnist - A Recovery for Some - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Along With Layoffs, Recession’s Cost Can Be Seen in Pay Cuts - NYTimes.com

With Layoffs, Recession’s Cost Can Be Seen in Pay Cuts - NYTimes.com

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track pay cuts, but it suggests
they are reflected in the steep decline of another statistic: total weekly pay
for production workers, pilots among them, representing 80 percent of the work
force. That index has fallen for nine consecutive months, an unprecedented
string over the 44 years the bureau has calculated weekly pay, capturing the
large number of people out of work, those working fewer hours and those whose
wages have been cut. The old record was a two-month decline, during the
1981-1982 recession.

“What this means,” said Thomas J. Nardone, an assistant
commissioner at the bureau, “is that the amount of money people are paid has
taken a big hit; not just those who have lost their jobs, but those who are
still employed.”"


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Villains Hate Being called Villains

There shouldn't beany surprises here. All the insurace companies ever really supported was an expansion of their market. Even this is less an effort to derail reform, than a rationale for steply raising rates after reform's passage. They may even succeed in further weakining already weak cost sontrols.

in reference to: Democrats Call Insurance Industry Report Flawed - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Clear and Future Danger

Op-Ed Columnist - The Uneducated American - NYTimes.com
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States economy lost 273,000 jobs last month. Of those lost jobs, 29,000 were in state and local education, bringing the total losses in that category over the past five months to 143,000. That may not sound like much, but education is one of those areas that should, and normally does, keep growing even during a recession. Markets may be troubled, but that’s no reason to stop teaching our children. Yet that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Chicago School Violence Plan Focuses on Potential Victims - NYTimes.com

Chicago School Violence Plan Focuses on Potential Victims - NYTimes.com


Really complex problems tempt us to favor solutions that are simple, straightforward, and don't, won't and can't work.

We label schoolchildren thugs. (Remember super predators?)

We never ask how our economy, schools and politics, somehow combine to create so many desparate kids who don't value their own lives (or anyone else's).

I live on the streets where these kids die. They go to schools in my neighborhood. I'm 59, almost 60. I had jobs after school. They don't even have the memory of after school jobs. These kids have post traumatic stress.

Society at large wishes they would disappear, and they know it.

Their teachers don't believe they can learn, and they know it.

They're viewed as criminals, whether or not they've ever committed a crime, and they know it.

We've taught them some lessons well.

Adult's can't be counted on.

Don't expect help.

We'll record their trouble, upload it to YouTube, shake our heads in disgust, but never even try to stop the fights.

There were plenty of adults there when Derrion Albert died.

Police were there, before Derrion Albert died.

That honor student, that good kid looked too much like the kids they labled thugs. So nobody bothered to stop them from killing him.

If he hadn't been an honor student, he';d have never made the news.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Six Online Resume Tools Reviewed by Webware

Job hunting is a stressfull way of life in the current economy. Cnet's Webware introduces six tools that relieve some of that stress by making it easier to build and make available resumes.

in reference to: Get that job: Six online resume tools | Webware - CNET (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't Underestimate Searchwiki

I think you're all underestimating this tool. You can simultaneously pubish poste to Blogger and share Published posts via Twitter, Faxebook, or your Graduating Class' Google Or Yahoo Group. Ignore at your own risk.

in reference to:

"However, it should be noted that not everyone is going to download the browser toolbar and see the comments. Out of that subset of the population, fewer of them will actually place comments or participate in the discussions."
- Google Force Feeds Social Media On The World | Social Media Explorer (view on Google Sidewiki)

A Great Rant About Twitter's Suggested User List

I consider this a must read. Scoble's at the top of his game. Twitter's got some 'splainin to do, but don't hold your breath while waiting.

in reference to: You’re not on Twitter’s suggested user list but you are in good company: (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unwanted Software from Apple

For a long time now, I've wasted time unchecking items that are useless to me. I've never owned an ipod or iphone. I don't need mobileme, safari, for most of the time apple has pushed it has been a security problem in Windows, but that hasn't slowed apple down. Not one bit

in reference to: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, September 25, 2009

We're in a service war

This is Bings attempt to differ from other engines by making life easier for the searcher. Booble has already begun to respond. For the casual searcher, Bing might be more useful. Definitely more usable.
in reference to: Bing - Deep Links Makes Life As A New Mom Easier - Search Blog - Bing Community (view on Google Sidewiki)

Deeper Links in the Chain of Competition

Competition is a beautiful thing. Bing uses deep links as a standard feature. Google shows more deep links in varied contexts and formats. May the user win.

in reference to: Yes, Google Is Showing Deeper Sitelinks In Different Formats (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Israel: Stop Demolishing Palestinian Homes | Human Rights Watch

Israel: Stop Demolishing Palestinian Homes Human Rights Watch:
"Israeli authorities destroyed the homes and property of 18 shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley on June 4, 2009, displacing approximately 130 people, after ordering them on May 31 to evacuate because they were living in a 'closed military zone.' Some of the families whose homes and property were destroyed had been living in their village since at least the 1950s.

'Giving families less than a week to evacuate their homes, without any opportunity for review or appeal, is as heartless as it is unfair,' said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. 'Israel should have given these people due process to contest their displacement.'

At 7:30 a.m. on June 4, witnesses said, around 20 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) jeeps, three bulldozers, and several white cars belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration Authority arrived and blocked off the dirt access roads to the shantytown of ar-Ras al-Ahmar. The demolition operation began at 8 a.m. and destroyed 13 residential structures, 19 animal pens, and 18 traditional, underground ovens, according to the UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The 18 displaced families included 67 children, the agency reported. Israeli soldiers also confiscated a tractor, a trailer, and a portable water tank that residents used to truck in water, witnesses said.Under an Israeli military order from 1970, the government may evict persons living in a "closed military zone" without any judicial or administrative procedures. Section 90 of the order states that "permanent residents" can remain in an area later designated as closed, and that eviction orders cannot change their status as permanent residents. However, the Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that because the shepherds in the area are pastoralists, the term "permanent residents" does not apply to them.

Residents say that ar-Ras al-Ahmar and al-Hadidiyya date from at least the 1950s. The Israeli settlement of Ro'i was built between the two villages in 1978. The two communities and Ro'i lie within "Area C" of the West Bank, over which Israel retains near-total control under the Oslo Agreements of 1995.
"It's astonishing to see Israel evict Palestinians from their villages in the West Bank, yet again violating the rights of the occupied population, while allowing a settlement which by law should never have been built in the first place, to remain," said Whitson.

On June 9, Jabarin said, the Israeli High Court of Justice temporarily enjoined the state from further demolitions against the people remaining in ar-Ras al-Ahmar. In al-Hadidiyya, Jabarin said, seven families who received stop-construction orders will have the chance to appeal and to apply for building permits at the hearing.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in December 2006, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition against earlier demolition orders for al-Hadidiyya, because the affected buildings were in an area defined as agricultural in master plans from the British Mandatory period and posed a security threat to the nearby Ro'i settlement. Israeli authorities demolished homes in al-Hadidiyya in February and March 2008, displacing about 60 people in all. Some of the displaced families returned to the area later, but due to repeated evictions over the years, more than a dozen households from al-Hadidiyya have been permanently displaced.

While Israel, as the occupying power in the West Bank, may in some cases lawfully require residents to leave their homes, it must not do so arbitrarily and must afford affected persons meaningful due process. Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), among other treaties to which Israel is a party that apply in the West Bank, prohibits arbitrary or unlawful state interference with anyone's home."

It's strange that the closed military zone is only dangerous to Palestinians while remaining perfectly safe for illegal jewish settlers. Natural growth isn't legal unless you're illegal,and jewish. Palestinians have no rights a Jewish state feels bound to consider. Which is why Israel's right to exist as a state is one thing and its desire to be recognized as a Jewish state is something totally different and unacceptable. As unnacceptable as a White Christian state, about as democrastic as apartheid in South Africa.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Definitive Definition of Genocide

Op-Ed Columnist - Holding On to Our Humanity - NYTimes.com:

“ ‘They said to us: ‘If you have a baby on your back, let us see it.’ The soldiers looked at the babies and if it was a boy, they killed it on the spot [by shooting him]. If it was a girl, they dropped or threw it on the ground. If the girl died, she died. If she didn’t die, the mothers were allowed to pick it up and keep it.’

The woman recalled that in that moment, the kind of throbbing moment when time is not just stopped but lost, when it ceases to have any meaning, her grandmother had a boy on her back. The grandmother refused to show the child to the soldiers, so both she and the boy were shot.”


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's Sauce for Palestinians Must Apply to Israelis

In an interview with Army Radio on Monday, Ehud Barak, the defense minister and leader of the center-left Labor Party, gave a hypothetical example of a family of four that originally moved into a two-room home in a settlement. “Now there are six children,” he said. “Should they be allowed to build another room or not?”
Not when a Palestinian's home is bulldozed for merely adding a room or a floor. Not when Palestinians lose not only the land the settlement expands to, but also the land for roads they're not allowed to travel on, and land for checkpoints so the settlers can feel protected while Palestinians are prevented from going to schools, hospitals, or just to work.

“The Israeli government wants to reach understandings with the Obama administration that would allow some new construction in West Bank settlements, an Israeli official said, despite vocal American and Palestinian opposition.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to focus on the issue of settlement expansion in his meeting with President Obama in their meeting scheduled for Thursday in Washington. Mr. Abbas and other Palestinian leaders see no point in resuming stalled peace negotiations without an absolute settlement freeze.
President  Obama and other senior American officials have called on the government of Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud Party to halt all settlement activity.
Dan Meridor, the Israeli minister of intelligence, and other senior Netanyahu aides returned on Wednesday from meetings in Europe with President Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, and other American officials. The purpose was to continue discussing issues raised in last week’s Netanyahu-Obama meeting, including that Mr. Obama’s objections to settlement expansion.

Close to 300,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem, dominating a Palestinian population of some 2.5 million. Most of the world considers the settlements a violation of international law.

Mr. Netanyahu says that his government will not build any new settlements and will take down a number of outposts erected in recent years by settlers without proper government authorization. But he insists that his government will allow building within existing settlements to accommodate what he termed “natural growth,” essentially continuing the policy of the last few Israeli governments.
Israel claims understandings with the Bush administration — some formal, some informal and some tacit — on building within settlements. Construction was limited in small settlements but tolerated in large ones in areas that Israel intends to keep under any deal with the Palestinians.
“We want to work to reach understandings with the new administration” that are “fair” and “workable,” said the Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue was still under discussion.

Obama's administration wants a settlement freeze to create an environment for peace-making, encouraging gestures toward normalizing ties with Israel from Arab governments, and buttressing a coalition of countries opposed to Iran developing nuclear weapons.

In an effort to show goodwill, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak have been underscoring their willingness to take down 22 small outposts that are illegal under Israeli law, and which were supposed to have been removed under the 2003 American-backed peace plan known as the road map. That plan specified that Israel should halt “all settlement activity (including natural growth).”

Mr. Barak has said he will try to remove the small outposts by agreement with the settlers, and if agreement is not reached, then by force. Settlers have vowed to rebuild any outpost that is removed and to create more.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the police removed some sheds and a tent from two tiny outposts in the Hebron area.

Another small outpost was demolished in the Ramallah region last week, but new shacks have already appeared there. None of the three outposts were on the list of 22, but the measures against them prompted furious reactions from the hard right.

Many religious Jewish nationalists say it is their right to settle in the biblical heartland of the West Bank, which they refer to as Judea and Samaria. Others cite security reasons for holding on to the areas captured in the 1967 war. Settling occupied territory is a violation of international law.

A rather sore point of contention between the Israeli government and the Obama administration is Mr. Netanyahu’s refusal to publicly endorse a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a cornerstone of American policy. ”

There seems to be no desire toreach fair and workable understandings with the Palestinian Authority.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

US Passport Security Procedures Fail Under GAO Test - Security Watch

US Passport Security Procedures Fail Under GAO Test - Security Watch:

"If you have applied for a US passport in recent years you would have noticed that you have to bring a fair amount of documentation. But that doesn't mean you can't scam the process. A recent series of tests of the security of the passport application process by the US GAO (Government Accountability Office) showed that the measures to prove identity of the people applying for passports falls short of the mark:

  • Four genuine US passports were obtained using counterfeit or fraudulently-obtained documents.
  • One passport was obtained using counterfeit documents and the social security number of a man who died in 1965.
  • Counterfeit documents for a 53 year old man were used to obtain a passport using the genuine social security number of a 5 year old.
  • In none of the 4 undercover test cases were the fraudulent methods discovered.

It's hard to argue with results like this and the State Department is said, in the report, to agree that the problems are serious.

The problems described here might be addressed if the State Department actually verified the documents they demanded. But that doesn't solve all the problems in passport identity, as those documents themselves are not especially secure. And nothing to make passport application significantly more onerous will be sellable politically."


Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Face Only a Lender Would Love ‎(demo dirt)‎

A Face Only a Lender Would Love ‎(demo dirt)‎:

"Need a loan? All things being equal—employment history, credit rating—you had better have a trustworthy face. Appearance counts when seeking a loan and lenders are more likely to do business with clients whose faces evoke feelings of trust, say researchers Jefferson Duarte of Rice University, Stephan Siegel and Lance Young, both of the University of Washington."

Galia Myron reports on a study from Rice and the University of Washungtin that seems to show that “lenders are more likely to do business with clients whose faces evoke feelings of trust.”

No surprise there.

After controlling for factors like race, age, sex, physical attractiveness, financial information, weight, perceived social status, and other potential confounding variables, the researchers discovered that there was a correlation between physical appearance and perceived trustworthiness. Even more surprising, potential borrowers who were deemed to have more trustworthy faces, were in fact more creditworthy than their peers who had been considered less so on appearance alone.

I just can't get the image of trustworthy appearing embezlers out of my mind.

You know who I mean. All those men and women who were put into positions of authority at charities, but used the funds for themselves. Or have you forgotten the epidemic back in the late nineties of greedy, but perfectly honest looking CEO's severely damaging the national United Way and other charities. Did you notice that the people who run Ponzi schemes tend to look trustworthy too. The longer the schemes last, the longer it taked for the embezzlement to become intolerable, the more trustworthy the perp's appearance.

I have no doubt that trustworthy appearance influences creditworthiness, but does it reflect a persons intrinsic tendency to make good on a debt, or is it how our society's lenders manifest unintentional, unconscious prejudice?

Trustworthy appearing then creditworthy? Chicken or egg? Post hoc ergo propter hoc?


Monday, February 23, 2009

New Search Technologies Mine the Web More Deeply - NYTimes.com

New Search Technologies Mine the Web More Deeply - NYTimes.com:

“One day last summer, Google’s search engine trundled quietly past a milestone. It added the one trillionth address to the list of Web pages it knows about. But as impossibly big as that number may seem, it represents only a fraction of the entire Web.

Beyond those trillion pages lies an even vaster Web of hidden data: financial information, shopping catalogs, flight schedules, medical research and all kinds of other material stored in databases that remain largely invisible to search engines.

The challenges that the major search engines face in penetrating this so-called Deep Web go a long way toward explaining why they still can’t provide satisfying answers to questions like “What’s the best fare from New York to London next Thursday?” The answers are readily available — if only the search engines knew how to find them.

Now a new breed of technologies is taking shape that will extend the reach of search engines into the Web’s hidden corners. When that happens, it will do more than just improve the quality of search results — it may ultimately reshape the way many companies do business online.

Search engines rely on programs known as crawlers (or spiders) that gather information by following the trails of hyperlinks that tie the Web together. While that approach works well for the pages that make up the surface Web, these programs have a harder time penetrating databases that are set up to respond to typed queries.

“The crawlable Web is the tip of the iceberg,” says Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Kosmix (www.kosmix.com), a Deep Web search start-up whose investors include Jeffrey P. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon.com. Kosmix has developed software that matches searches with the databases most likely to yield relevant information, then returns an overview of the topic drawn from multiple sources.

“Most search engines try to help you find a needle in a haystack,” Mr. Rajaraman said, “but what we’re trying to do is help you explore the haystack.”

That haystack is infinitely large. With millions of databases connected to the Web, and endless possible permutations of search terms, there is simply no way for any search engine — no matter how powerful — to sift through every possible combination of data on the fly.

To extract meaningful data from the Deep Web, search engines have to analyze users’ search terms and figure out how to broker those queries to particular databases. For example, if a user types in “Rembrandt,” the search engine needs to know which databases are most likely to contain information about art ( say, museum catalogs or auction houses), and what kinds of queries those databases will accept.

That approach may sound straightforward in theory, but in practice the vast variety of database structures and possible search terms poses a thorny computational challenge.”

In Turnabout, Children Take Caregiver Role - NYTimes.com

In Turnabout, Children Take Caregiver Role - NYTimes.com:
Experts say that in the United States, the issue is often hidden.

"Some children develop maturity and self-esteem. But others grow anxious, depressed or angry, sacrifice social and extracurricular activities and miss — or quit — school.

“Our society thinks of children as being taken care of; it doesn’t think of children as taking care of anybody,” said Carol Levine, director of families and health care at United Hospital Fund, a health services organization that studied child caregivers.

“Kids who do it well gain confidence,” Ms. Levine said, but “they may be resentful, not do as well in school and feel limited because their role is to be the caregiver.”

Health organizations are increasingly “realizing the extent of what children are doing,” said Nancy Law, an executive vice president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “Everything from children who become overly responsible” to “the kid who totally rebels and gets into trouble.”

“This is an issue that’s growing,” she said.

A 2005 nationwide study suggested that about 3 percent of households with children ages 8 to 18 included child caregivers. Experts say they expect the numbers to grow as chronically ill patients leave hospitals sooner and live longer, the recession compels patients to forgo paid help and veterans need home care.
Recently, programs have been formed to help children find support. Several Florida schools now have classes and meetings regarding caregiving.

Other countries do more. In Britain and Australia, the census counts child caregivers, and many of them have rights to participate in patient-care discussions and to ask agencies for help or compensation.

Hundreds of programs help them, said Saul Becker, a sociology professor at the University of Nottingham. “It’s such a big issue."


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Inquiry - NYTimes.com

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Inquiry - NYTimes.com:
“This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes,”

"JERUSALEM — Nine Israeli human rights groups called on Wednesday for an investigation into whether Israeli officials had committed war crimes in Gaza since tens of thousands of civilians there have nowhere to flee, the health system has collapsed, many are without electricity and running water, and some are beyond the reach of rescue teams.

“This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes,” the groups said in their first news conference on the 19-day-old war.

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger, who spent Tuesday in Gaza City, agreed that the situation with civilians was dire but said the principal hospital was making do with medical supplies, and doctors, working around the clock, were mostly coping with the flow of injured.

“In general they did not complain about the lack of equipment or material,” he said at separate a news conference in Jerusalem.…

The Israeli human rights groups that called for an investigation said that while they believed it was legitimate for Israel to bomb military installations, it was a violation of international law for it to hit civilian sites like government buildings that contained no weapons or missiles.

Last week, the Red Cross issued an unusually harsh condemnation of Israel for failing to allow its personnel into Gaza to rescue people trapped in battle.

The group included the Israel section of Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights — Israel.

Mr. Kellenberger of the Red Cross said Israel had facilitated his trip to Gaza and added that he had seen no evidence of the use of white phosphorous, an obscurant used in military conflicts that can be dangerous for civilians under certain circumstances and that Palestinians say Israel is firing.

Last week, the Red Cross issued an unusually harsh condemnation of Israel for failing to allow its personnel into Gaza to rescue people trapped in battle. On Wednesday, Mr. Kellenberger said that although the situation remains critical, rescue missions had not been entirely shut down. The organization rescued 100 people trapped in Jabalya, north of Gaza City, on Tuesday.

The Red Cross representative in Israel, Pierre Wettach, added that he now believed Israel was trying hard to facilitate his group’s access to the wounded.

“At this stage, they want as far as possible that these things work,” he said, referring to rescue missions.

The military operations continued apace in southern Gaza with the Israeli military reporting that its warplanes carried out three dozen bombing raids, striking rocket launchers and smuggler tunnels. Still, with the cease-fire talks gaining ground and Israeli leaders concerned about sending their troops into the heart of Gaza City, Israel held off on expanding its war to the next phase.…"


Monday, January 12, 2009

CSIS Reports - The War in Gaza - Center for Strategic and International Studies

CSIS Reports - The War in Gaza - Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Andrew Cordesman states
…the growing human tragedy in Gaza is steadily raising more serious questions as to whether the kind of tactical gains that Israel now reports are worth the suffering involved.

"No one should discount … tactical gains, or ignore the fact that Hamas’ rocket and mortar attacks continue to pose a threat. Nearly 600 rounds hit Israeli territory between December 7th and January 9th. It is also clear that there are no good ways to fight an enemy like Hamas that conducts attrition warfare while hiding behind its own women and children. A purely diplomatic response that does not improve Israel’s security position or offer Palestinians hope for the future is equivalent to no response at all.

As of the 14th day of the war, nearly 800 Palestinian have died and over 3,000 have been wounded. Fewer and fewer have been Hamas fighters, while more and more have been civilians.

The fact remains, however, that the growing human tragedy in Gaza is steadily raising more serious questions as to whether the kind of tactical gains that Israel now reports are worth the suffering involved. As of the 14th day of the war, nearly 800 Palestinian have died and over 3,000 have been wounded. Fewer and fewer have been Hamas fighters, while more and more have been civilians.

These direct costs are also only part of the story. Gaza’s economy had already collapsed long before the current fighting began and now has far greater problems. Its infrastructure is crippled in critical areas like power and water. This war has compounded the impact of a struggle that has gone on since 2000. It has reduced living standards in basic ways like food, education, as well as medical supplies and services. It has also left most Gazans without a productive form of employment. The current war has consequences more far-reaching than casualties. It involves a legacy of greatly increased suffering for the 1.5 million people who will survive this current conflict.

It is also far from clear that the tactical gains are worth the political and strategic cost to Israel. At least to date, the reporting"


con·cept: 2009