I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
After they finished watching the Bond movies, I figured the next series John Gruber and Dan Benjamin would discuss on The Talk Show would be Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre. But Gruber refused — too personal for podcasting, he said. Disappointed, I rewatched 2001.
Instead of acknowledging the wisdom of leading from behind, the Right jumped on the Obama administration’s handling of Libya as yet another example of at best incompetence. They lost me there.
Steve Jobs we lost at the age of 56; when Frank Lloyd Wright reached that age it was still only 1923, the time of merely his second comeback with Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel.
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust this US President.
Nobody from usesthis.com has asked me what my setup us, nor is likely to anytime soon. So I’m just going to mouth off here about it. But first, some background.
On the Leon Wieseltier/Andrew Sullivan spat, Walter Russell Mead seems to want to have his strudel and eat it too.
Defeat in the Olympics bid may focus the mind in the Oval Office where it should be: Afghanistan.
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. It’s a hot July Wednesday morning. Things are reasonably busy. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown — Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
ince I spent today snapping away hiccoughs in moving Extreme Elements from its home on my Engaging server to extremeelements.com, with a break in the evening to join Irit for a little bevvy and pie down the street at one of the many locals around here, then rewatched the last two 24 episodes to get me a bit in the mood again for upcoming episode 10, I have of course not taken time out to produce a Parry. Blimey.
Fine pie it was. Nut pie. We’re very swank, pucker and posh around here with our plebian activities. I came across a video earlier in fact about northern vs southern English people, and the conceit was that they do exactly the same things, but the northerner talks about it earthily while the southener really believes the hype. Potato wedges with a sprinking of balsamic = chips w/ vinegar. So what I’m trying to say is, it wasn’t just any pie. Me, I’m fine with pie, the more pie-like the better. Last weekend we went to a local pie shop for the first time after a little gig and I had a lamb pie. I don’t like the idea of eating lambs but I find the idea of eating sheep more acceptable than eating cows. Britain is naturally sheep-oriented, I think, and sheep seem to me such silly creatures. Is lamb lamb or mutton? I guess I need to know, because I also had lamb for lunch on Sunday down at another pub, the nearby Basketmakers, their Sunday Roast, and boy was that exceedingly good.
But it was the nice and vegetarian nut pie I was trying to speak of. These well-cooked dishes do remind me that I could do without meat if I learned to cook vegetables heartily like that. £4.95 it was, and great. Roasted parsnips are a real treat.
So, given that I did web work, went out then watched Jack Bauer and Rob Lowe’s brother, it’s kind of late and I’m tired, and I thought I’d fall back on a fisking. Okay, not even a fisking, just a juxtaposition. The topic is the Palestinian deal for a national unity government. The two perspectives are from Dore Gold’s thinktank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and from the BBC. No need to say which is the jux and which the ta.
The Palestinian government headed by Hamas does not meet the three conditions set by the Quartet. The Mecca agreement is but a tactical political measure intended to create the false impression of Hamas diplomatic flexibility in order to whitewash Hamas into being accepted as a legitimate player in the international arena. But Hamas has not undergone any change. Under its rule, Gaza constitutes a base for Palestinian terror organizations including those with ties to al-Qaeda.
The countries of the European Union find themselves trapped in their policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority. Their main interest is to enhance the consolidation of a stable and democratic central government which embraces the path of negotiations as a means for resolving conflicts. Unfortunately, the signals from the Palestinian arena attest that we are dealing with a political maneuver devoid of real substance. Past experience informs us that economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority does not create the conditions for reinforcing a Western-style democratic approach or economic development which spurs political moderation. Despite the billions that have been poured into the Palestinian Authority since the Oslo process began, it is precisely the radical forces that have become stronger, and presently there is no political body prepared to reach a compromise with Israel on the basis of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
Furthermore, Hamas has an interest in exploiting the consolidation of its governmental power with the use of Western assistance in order to foment Islamic revolutions in moderate Arab states that are the West’s allies in the Middle East, and to establish an Islamic caliphate in the entire region, which will unite all Arab states. In other words, as part of the strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Hamas aspires via Western assistance to create a new reality in the Middle East that will remove Western influence and foster conditions that will menace Europe.
Makes sense to me. Here’s the other perspective:
The Mecca agreement, reached after two days of intensive negotiations in the Saudi city of Mecca between the Palestinian factions, raises two sets of questions. Will it end the weeks of fighting in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah fighters? And will it persuade the United States, the Europeans and other international players to resume much-needed economic aid to the Palestinian Authority?
Only if both things happen can the deal be regarded as a breakthrough. Hence the caution with which news of the Mecca accord has been greeted. The most immediate test is for the two factions to rein in their fighters while the politicians finalise the creation of a power-sharing government.
The promise of a billion dollars in Saudi aid was no doubt an additional incentive. But, for the long-suffering Palestinians, the real prize is the resumption of international aid. And that is not assured. Much of the wrangling in Mecca was over the word “respect”. Rather than agree to “commit itself” to existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements, Hamas insisted it would merely “respect” them. The international community has demanded much more: the Islamist movement must recognise Israel, renounce violence and formally accept existing peace agreements.
The Mecca accord is embodied in a letter from Mr Abbas to Mr Haniya. It states: “I call upon you to respect international resolutions and the agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation.” But what does that actually mean? So far, the world’s response has been “let’s wait and see”. Nevertheless there is already speculation of a possible split between the Americans and the European Union. Some Europeans may argue the situation is so bad in the Middle East that it makes sense to lift, or ease, the embargo – and do business with the new government once it is up and running. The Bush administration will be reluctant to take that course.
Those uncharitable Americans! If Europe could just move out from under America’s hegemonic shadow, it could fund the Palestinian terror war on Israel — what a breakthrough.
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