Category: Israel

June 1 brain dump

Lots of stuff going on in the world, almost everywhere but here.

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BP today is going to be cutting off and removing the collapsed, kinked riser pipe from its leaking well in preparation for the installation of a cap on the blowout preventer, which should significantly reduce the amount of oil escaping into the Gulf. Trouble is, cutting away the kinked pipe is expected to increase the oil flow by at least 20%. Now, how many of you are confident BP can successfully attach the cap? Show of hands, please …. yeah, that’s what I thought.

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I was, by the way, very disappointed with Pres. Obama’s visit to Louisiana Friday. I wanted to see him out in a boat, wearing work clothes, reaching into oily water, getting dirty. Just standing there in his pinstripes giving a speech instead of issuing orders, putting people in charge, authorizing the dredging that the locals have been ready to do for weeks, etc. was pathetic. Not much better than Bush checking out Katrina damage from the comfort of his plane.

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Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish relief ship in international waters in the middle of the night, managed to kill 9 people, and are now offering the defense that they — the Israelis — were attacked by the ship’s passengers and crew. Well, duh! I can’t imagine that I’d sit on my hands and do nothing if you suddenly boarded my ship. The only defense the Israelis might have had was if they found weapons on board, and reports indicate they did not.

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Word is that Al and Tipper Gore have separated and are divorcing. Must be awful being a public figure and having the national news media going ape over your personal affairs. Divorces are painful even when they are “no fault” and mutually agreed to. Imagine having the national media digging around for info. Why are the Gores divorcing after forty years of marriage? Who knows? People change, rarely in the same ways. Forty years with the same person requires saintliness, in my opinion, and I don’t know any saints. Leave them alone.

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Over at my favorite hummingbird webcam, Phoebe’s place, a crow attacked the nest Saturday and presumably carried off baby Hope. Sad to say crows are carnivores and opportunists. The other baby, Hoku was found on the ground by the camera’s owner and placed back in the nest, seemingly uninjured. S/he is expected to fledge, or leave the nest, today or tomorrow.

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Did you see that sinkhole in Guatamala? Doesn’t look entirely natural to me. Too perfectly cylindrical and smooth-sided. There are some interesting underground pools and vents in that part of the world, though. Maybe one of them suddenly opened up.

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Now I need to go make a phone call and find out why the annual renewal for my car tag this year is double what it was last year. Is there suddenly some new plan in place to penalize the owners of 17-year-old cars, to force them into buying newer, more efficient vehicles? Did my car pass some magical age after which the tag price starts going up again instead of down? These days, I’d believe almost anything.

Stop the settlements? Fat chance

It’s encouraging to see Pres. Obama and Sec. of State Clinton telling the Israelis to stop building illegal settlements in the West Bank. And no exceptions — no “natural growth,” no outposts, no nothing. Stop means stop, period.

As Clinton put it:

With respect to settlements, the president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. We think it is the best interests of the effort we are engaged in, that settlement expansion cease.

It’s about time the US developed some backbone on this subject. Turning a blind eye to Israel’s continuing land grab in the Middle East cannot have helped our standing in the region or anyone’s efforts to negotiate a peace there. It cannot have done anything but inflame the Palestinians, who on a daily basis have seen more and more of their land, their potential new state, settled by Israelis practicing their own version of eminent domain (map).


Previously on Pied Type:

Israelis plan yet another West Bank settlement

Annapolis conference is all about Bush legacy

Middle East mess … enough!

Gaza: Overdue exodus