Day 2 in Israel, Ashkelon and Sderot

What I am calling Day 2 was really my first full day in Israel.

It started with a beautiful sunrise in Jerusalem. A real National Geographic moment looking out of my hotel room at the gentle pink and gray colors washing over the mostly tan colors of the buildings.

I joined Chanan Elias with The Face of Israel, our videographer Joshua, and our driver Alexey, for a winding drive through central Israel. A variety of agricultural passed by, improved by the Israeli created drip irrigation systems: grapefruit, corn, grapes, watermelons, sunflowers, and more.

We arrived at the outskirts of Ashkelon, 15 km from Gaza. We stopped to look at an Iron Dome defense battery. The soldier at the guard post firmly waved us back as we approached, giving instruction on what pictures were not allowed. So, we moved the approved distance back, stood in a recently tilled field, observed and discussed the Iron Dome system, the growth of the city, and listened to the distant sounds of war.

Iron Dome outside Ashkelon

Iron Dome outside Ashkelon

Next, we drove in to Ashkelon proper to meet with Dr. Alan Marcus, Director Strategic Planning Branch and Chief Resilience Officer for the city of Ashkelon. He showed us the combination bomb shelter and brains of the city’s emergency response and monitoring facilities.

Ethan with Dr. Alan Marcus in Ashkelon

Ethan with Dr. Alan Marcus in Ashkelon

It was a fascinating insight into what a government agency can achieve. Dr. Marcus brings an inventor or entrepreneurial approach to problem solving. How best to serve and protect citizenry when rockets are hitting your city with regularity? He leveraged his background in Geographic Information Systems (his PhD) and built an advanced system to layer resources such as the handicapped, elderly, and children, alongside where industrial chemical in the city are stored. Then, when a rocket strikes the emergency responders know exactly who and how to help, what are the dangers, and what kind of psychological response team might be necessary.

We next ventured over to Barzilai Hospital. This is the closest hospital, not a Level 1 Trauma Center, closest to Gaza. It is renowned not just for its proximity to the zone where fighting occurs, but the fact that Palestinians, and Hamas fighters in particular, are treated here. In Israel. In my short time near the emergency entrance, at least a half-dozen military vehicles delivered wounded patients. An equal number of ambulances and private vehicles brought in wounded and injured as well.

Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon, Israel

Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon, Israel

Time to get closer to the combat zone.

15 minutes down the road from Ashkelon is Sderot. The town center is one mile from Gaza. In Ashkelon you have 30 seconds to get to a bomb shelter when the Red Alert sounds, in Sderot it is 15 seconds.

Here is where the threat from rockets hung heavily over the town like a fog. No children outside. Little activity on the streets. A rougher look to the buildings with litter strewn about. There is a bombed out side of a house.

A man and his daughter took us to cheerful looking children’s playground. It was eerily deserted, quiet. She spoke little English and told Chanan she wanted to talk to me and share her story.

Legacy HeritageP ark of Good Wishes, Sderot, Israel

Legacy HeritageP ark of Good Wishes, Sderot, Israel

The last 14 years of her 23 years on earth in her hometown of Sderot were filled with the constant fear of rockets. Since the second Intifada started by the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, rockets have been exploding in Sderot. I thought it was only since Hamas took over in 2006, but sadly, no.

She shared with me her psychological trauma of caring for 15-20 children, the Red Alert sounding, her own panic to find immediate shelter, but needing to stay calm and cheerful for the children as she ushered them to safety. The regular explosions of rockets landing. Her fear of having a family and raising children where they are never safe.

I asked about all of the times when there wasn’t a flare up in violence or war. Much to my surprise since we never hear this, the rockets rain down even during peacetimes and ceasefires.

The whole time I could hear the irregular thumping of explosions, be it artillery or otherwise. Time to go to the hill the overlooks Gaza. The hill made infamous by social media and CNN where the local population, traumatized by 14 years or rockets falling from the sky, go to see what is happening a half-mile away.

On The Hill in Sderot, Israel

On The Hill in Sderot, Israel

While on the hill, I called in to the KSFO morning show. Sheri Yee answered the phone and put me on live with Brian Sussman and Katie Green. While sharing my experiences, a volley of artillery fired. It was so intense, my call was interrupted. After the call I turned to look toward Gaza.

It was here that I felt the stress, this deep emotion, the subconscious recognition of danger, as I observed smoke in the distance, military vehicles nearby, explosions of a terror tunnel being blown up, the earth shaking from howitzers.

I now understand some of the people of Sderot wanting to observe from the hill. It isn’t some sick, twisted, perverted hatred of the people in Gaza. They want to see their military stop the rockets falling. Stop the need for their children to play in underground bunkers. End their children screaming in the night to find shelter. They seek safety and security. It is distant enough to not see any more than I have described. It is a hope that their daily fears might be diminished.

As we left the hill, we stopped by the police station in Sderot where they collect the rockets for documenting and recording. Somehow, the national spokesperson for the police, Micky Rosenfeld, was there. He gave me a first-hand explanation of the different type of rocket husks they had piled around. Of particular concern, which can be seen in pictures not here, is the fact that the warheads are stuffed not just with explosives, but ball-bearings. Ball-bearings in a warhead serve no purpose other than to destroy people. Oh, and because they are superheated, they can start fires. Sick.

Israel Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld with Ethan

Israel Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld with Ethan

Back to Jerusalem we went for another series of interviews in the studios of the Voice of Israel. Then I collapsed in an exhausted heap.

 Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

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Thank you!



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Intentional or Ignorant

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Tune in TODAY for two LIVE shows from Ethan! 

Listen to Ethan’s local show on KGO AM 810 in San Francisco, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific new-kgo-logoTime, online at KGO’s website, studio number is (415)808-0810 

At noon listen for a special segment regarding homeless and poor medical services offered this week in San Francisco and Oakland.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show with the latest in national and international current events, trends, and politics. Interviews with:

On the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online.

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They Stick

The Ethan Bearman Show

Tune in TODAY for two live shows with Ethan!

new-kgo-logo

Listen to  Ethan’s local show on KGO AM 810 in San Francisco, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, online at iHeart Radio HERE, studio number is (415)808-0810 At 11 am there will be a segment regarding the dangerous, used needles infecting the beaches and parks of Santa Cruz, California.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show with the latest in national and international current events, trends, and politics. Plus a special interview with Robert Mazur, DEA undercover agent, author of The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel“, a real estate update with Candy Evans, and The Buzz with Tod Hardin. On the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online.

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Heartbleed Bug Demonstrates Deep Vulnerabilities of the Web

shutterstock_68921602 Heartbleed Bug

If you haven’t yet heard, a massive vulnerability in a key piece of security software was announced this week. Researchers call it the Heartbleed bug.

Simply put, it is not your fault. Web servers at banks, airlines, and shopping sites use a type of encryption called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. Your browser will display a lock icon in the address bar and maybe even change colors to green demonstrating you have a secure connection. Many websites use a piece of Open Source software, meaning nobody owns it and everyone can see the code, called OpenSSL.

OpenSSL is where the vulnerability was found. The problem is that 2/3 of all internet sites using SSL to secure the communication between your browser and their server use OpenSSL.

Why is that a problem? This bug means hackers can intercept what is supposed to be encrypted information between your browser and the bank’s server. In other words, what is supposed to be unreadable is readily readable to criminals.

And it gets worse.

In the past 24 hours or so word has leaked out that the core equipment used for the internet itself and most corporate networks has this bug too.  According to Network World, Cisco and Juniper routers are affected.

This is where it gets really ugly.

Fixing the OpenSSL bug on a website is relatively easy and the majority of websites have already put in the patches. Tracking down every router, taking it offline, and installing patches from the vendors is a very time consuming and difficult process that might take months.

Initially I wasn’t too concerned about you and me. This latest round of news truly has me worried and you need to take action now.

I am now suggesting to you and everyone you know that you take the time to change your password on every bank, shopping, travel, etc. website where you transact business with username/password and/or credit card information.

And then do it again in a week and then again in a month.

Too difficult to remember all of your passwords? There are tools to help you besides sticky notes on the side of your monitor.

Protect your passwords using software like Password Safe1Password, or pwSafe. Those applications are a securely encrypted safe in which to store all of your passwords. Use the random password generator in the software for creating your passwords.

When you use software like those three, use an entire password phrase as the master password. Something you can remember like the old “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, but make sure to use spaces and capital letters, even use the quotation marks if you’d like.

Here are some basic rules:
•        Always use a password, never let a password be blank
•        Always change a password immediately after receiving one that was given to you
•        Use as many characters as possible when creating a password, don’t just use eight use 16 or 20 or more
•        Use different passwords everywhere, at least for sensitive information like banks or anywhere they might store your credit card information

UPDATE 4/12/14 11:30 PDT – McAfee has a handy tool for testing websites for the Heartbleed vulnerability. You can use it to test a site you might visit BEFORE you go to the website. Click HERE for McAfee’s tool

Why Go There?

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Tune in TODAY for the two radio shows!

new-kgo-logoFirst is Ethan’s inaugural local show on KGO AM 810 in the San Francisco Bay Area, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, online at iHeart Radio HERE – studio number is (415)808-0810.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show on the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

To follow all the ways to listen to the different shows check the How To Listen Page HERE

Everywhere

The Ethan Bearman Show

Tune in TODAY for the two shows! 

new-kgo-logoFirst is Ethan’s inaugural local show on KGO AM 810 in the San Francisco Bay Area, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, online at iHeart Radio HERE – studio number is (415)808-0810.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show on the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

  • NSA is everywhere
  • Interview with internationally award-winning journalist and author Doug Saunders
  • Candy’s Dirt with Candy Evans
  • Professor charged in attacking pro-life teen
  • NY Times hates Jews
  • The Buzz with Tod Hardin
The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

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There Is More

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  • Latest on the situation in Ukraine along with an interview with a Ukrainian national
  • Missing Malaysian Airlines jet, terrorism?
  • Candy’s Dirt with Candy Evans
  • U.S. Border Patrol told to back off
  • The Buzz with Tod Hardin

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

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More Crime Statistics for California

shutterstock_2765012

As promised on today’s KSCO Presents with Ethan Bearman, below are the latest spreadsheets of crime statistics for mid-size California cities (50k-99k residents) with Santa Cruz near the top in crime rates.

CaliforniaViolentCrime1985-2012

CaliforniaPropertyCrime1985-2012

Regimes

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Unions

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  • A big vote for the UAW at VW in Tennessee
  • That pesky civil war in Syria is creating new challenges
  • Did you destroy the planet with a Valentine’s Day card?
  • Candy’s Dirt with Candy Evans, why houses are up for auction and not sale
  • Comcast/Time Warner merger discussion with Adam Leipzig, President of Entertainment Media Partners
  • The Buzz with Tod Hardin

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

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Santa Cruz County Needle Exchange is Failing the Community

Needles Clean Team Santa Cruz

Photo: Clean Team Santa Cruz

Last year I performed a survey and series of interviews on the new Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (HSA) run Syringe Exchange Program (SEP), commonly referred to as a needle exchange.

The HSA run SEP is failing the community and the leadership, both the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the HSA, are refusing to address community concerns under the banner of public health.

A quick review, April 30, 2013 the county took over responsibility for exchanging needles from a private group. The purpose of the SEP, according to the county, “the primary goal of the SSP is to work in partnership with the community to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases associated with injection drug use and to address the community’s concern regarding improperly discarded syringes.”

Needles Clean Team

Photo: Clean Team Santa Cruz

Along with six reported sticks (stepping on a used needle penetrating the flesh, typically the foot) three of which were children, and 2,266 needles found in the last 14 months, do these pictures look like the County is fulfilling its stated purpose? I think not.

Since the beginning I have hounded County Supervisors and the HSA to label their needles so we can have data on where these needles are derived: whether SEP, pharmacies, or other outside sources. They refuse to address the labeling issue. They refuse to acknowledge six people stepping on needles. They refuse to recognize the reality of the situation.

In light of this failure to protect the community and the environment, I am forced to retract my previous support for a one-to-one SEP run by the county and call for a complete dismantling of the program until they agree to address community concerns about safety, waste, and the environment.

How can the bureaucrats and politicians continue to ignore such a problem and hide behind the public health argument, while ignoring the community at large and the heroin epidemic?

These two pictures above were taken on February 10, 2014 after cleaning up in the Harvey West Park area of Santa Cruz. From one of the cleaners: “281 needles found. Location: top of main Evergreen path, 40 feet beyond under the huge fallen redwood trees there was a camp. Below that camp was 20 used needles scattered near a big bag the needles.. in the ivy, in the creek. I’m sure I missed a few. We cleaned out the camp (about a 1 Ron Truck load), and demoed the area. The area is visible from the top of the path.”

UPDATE 2/11/2014 16:44 PST: I neglected to mention the ~200 needles washing up yesterday on Seabright beach as well.

View Larger Map

Interviews on KION-TV Central Coast News

Reporter Cassandra Arsenault from KION Central Coast News interviewed Ethan regarding two different topics on February 4, 2014

Water Rates (starting at 1:40)
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Santa Cruz County Needle Exchange (waiting for link)

Immigration Future

The Ethan Bearman Show

  • Maryland Mall shooting updates
  • JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon gets a raise
  • Interview with Doug Saunders, award winning journalist, author of Arrival City and The Myth of the Muslim Tide.

    Doug Saunders, photo credit: Jonathan Worth

    Doug Saunders, photo credit: Jonathan Worth

  • When will the Earth finally die?
  • Palestine should allow settlers
  • Scientists claim new info regarding the tropics
  • Discussion with Abbas Hashmi, CEO of Green Card Capital, regarding the new EB-5 immigrant visa program

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

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In Honor Of

Listen to Hot Talk 560 KSFO on all week this week as Ethan Guest Hosts the 9 am to noon Pacific time talk show in the San Francisco Bay Area!

The Ethan Bearman Show

  • The UN and EU are recognizing something about energy?
  • Interview with Dr. Clarence B. Jones, political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Dr. Clarence B. Jones

    Dr. Clarence B. Jones

  • Tammany Hall, virtuous?
  • Is another housing bubble on the horizon?
  • Scientists discover something new in the ice
  • Catch up with the president of Entertainment Media Partners and Publisher/Managing Editor of Cultural Weekly, Adam Leipzig, at the Sundance Film Festival

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

Click HERE for a complete listing of affiliates and ways to listen to the shows

Big News

Listen to Hot Talk 560 KSFO on Monday and Tuesday as Ethan Guest Hosts the 9 am to noon Pacific time talk show in the San Francisco Bay Area!

The Ethan Bearman Show

  • How much did JP Morgan really know about the Bernie Madoff scam?
  • Interview with three term Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee, Michael Dukakis

    MichaelDukakis

    Michael Dukakis

  • Which is more efficient: planes, trains, or automobiles?
  • Why can’t 300,000 West Virginians drink the tap water? Hint, it isn’t fracking.
  • Solar supporters go crazy

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

Click HERE for a complete listing of affiliates and ways to listen to the shows