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Howard's blog
Howard's Blog

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

An Audience with H H The Dalai Lama March 8, 2015

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Published in J-Wire July 2014

Not a time for complacency

Dear Jewish Communities and Israelis overseas,
This is not a time for complacency! We cannot afford it.
As an extremely concerned citizen of Israel I would like to make an appeal to the Jewish Communities and ex-pat Israelis living abroad.
This is not a time for complacency! We cannot afford it.
At 9am on the morning of 15 July the Israeli Cabinet ratified the cease fire and stopped the bombardment of Gaza.
The Hamas waited 10 minutes then fired more missiles extending their range to over 170 Kms. – covering almost all of Israel.
On the news – which, BTW is now on our TV’s 24/7 – we see the waves and waves of anti-Israel-ism. Let me tell you all something: ‘Silence is not golden’ / ‘Silence is not an option’.
That same evening there was a demonstration at Zion Square in Jerusalem of the extreme right wing (Kahane Lives), with the stated intention of marching on the Arab Quarter of the Old City and to show them ‘who’s the boss’. A group of peace loving left wing Israelis stood in front of them with banners and songs facing the insults and curses hurled at them – my daughter and her boyfriend were there and together with other like-minded men and women, and the police, succeeded in avoiding a potentially violent and explosive confrontation.
I am proud of my daughter.
Silence is a sign of weakness. We are the defendants on trial in the courthouse of world public opinion – our case is strong and we have to plead our arguments!
‘They’ are very clever. ‘Their’ multi layered strategic agenda over the last 15 years is now paying-off with dividends. I am telling you: “Look around you, open your eyes, …”. Attacks on synagogues in Paris, anti-Israel demonstrations in London Paris, Berlin and New York are erroneously seen as representing a national trend. Local and national authorities have been overwhelmed.
‘They’ are winning on every level. International Public opinion is being manipulated, ‘they’ have become the vociferous majority and the world is feeling a vice-like grip tightening by sheer numbers, which translated into any language, means votes – Q.E.D. power.
You cannot be turned into the silent minority. Speak out; let your voices be heard.
‘They’ are masters of terrorism. ‘They’ are terrororising the population of Israel with indiscriminate rockets.
‘Their’ unscrupulous terror tactics have far more wide reaching effects and collateral damage. The empty hotels, beaches and restaurants are a testament to their master-plan.
We cannot hear you!
Who are ‘THEY’? ‘THEY’ are everyone who is not an ‘infidel’ – and we are for them the biggest thorn in their plan.
Stand up and be counted – time has run out – raise your voices to avert imminent disaster!
Howard Burns
Haifa, Israel.


Life & Hope can be Beautiful

Anticipation and expectation
is the road Less trodden joy or misery
let s talk about It
Go yankees
Hey ho
divorce is by naTure acrimonious
suicide is pAinless
friends bearing gifTs
Trick or treat
anytHing is possible - in hindsight
history repEats
hope is a thiNg with bells on
they Dong for thee
never wrOng
never For
never Thin
never wHite
never say nEver
chase your Tale
don't fear yoUr own mortality
we're only humaN
life caN be a beach
hElp is on the way
Life is beautiful

*  *  *

Monday, 14 July 2014

Gazing into the Abyss

My name’s Izzy and I’m an alcoholic.      ...                (all together: “Hi Izzy”)
I’ve been on a wild binge for 7 days now.
It has been exactly 20 months to the day since I last fell off the wagon.
I really thought that I would make it this time.
Apparently I was the only one who believed I could do it.
My sponsor and dear Uncle Sam was always there for me with words of encouragement and platitudes, but when, 7 days ago, I relapsed into a quagmire of uncontrollable madness and frenzy - Uncle Sam wasn’t there.
I want to describe for you how the ’12 Step program’ both helped me to survive and drove me over the cliff.
I lasted for 607 days.
This is an adaptation of the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous (in black) – followed by 12 very personal comments (in red) paving my road to self-destruction:
  1. I admitted I was powerless — that my life had become unmanageable.
I was exposed and vulnerable and had completely lost my perspective of reality.
  1. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
Promises, promises and more promises – they huffed and they puffed and they blew my house down.
  1. Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him.
God is on my side, he is on my team. He will not abandon me.
  1. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
Who am I?   Who are you?   Who are we?   Who is there?  Who is Sylvia?
  1. Admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.
Wrongs?   What wrongs?   I admit nothing!
  1. I’m entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Surgery was the last resort – the operation was successful but unfortunately the patient died.

  1. Humbly asked Him to remove my shortcomings.
I have always envied tall people – they can reach so much further.
  1. Made a list of all persons I had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Group virtual hug – Facebook & Twitter – LIKE J
  1. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
How much will it take to make it go away?  Money’s no object – don’t be shy – trust me this will hurt me more than it‘ll hurt you – you’ll thank me afterwards.
  1. Continued to take personal inventory, and when I was wrong, promptly admitted it.
I know I shouldn’t have hit you – call it a moment of insanity – I’m sooooo sorry!
  1. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry that out.
The Lord is my shepherd.   The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. 
  1. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.
I woke up on 8th July with a big bang, the spirit moved me and the iron dome protected me.

607 days of abstinence – then a rocket struck my wagon and boy did I fall!

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you” Nietzsche

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