Monday, June 25, 2007

Summertime, 2007

My favorite time of the year has begun: summertime in North Carolina. Hot muggy nights with the windows open, the sound of insects and frogs a symphony. Hazy sunny days, high temperatures a green paradise. Nothing nicer than North Carolina in the summer.

A trip to Wrightsville Beach last weekend highlights a good beginning to this summer. The ocean was a welcome change of scenery. I always find trips to the ocean recuperative, and this time was no different: always good memories of trips to the ocean. And Wrightsville Beach's proximity to Chapel Hill makes it a prime destination for busy beach lovers.

No travel to the Middle East planned for the summer; the past couple of summer saw me in Ramallah visiting family and learning the ins and outs of doing business in the area. It's a troubled area these days, what with the Hamas victory in Gaza separating the Fatah-dominated West Bank from it and dashing hopes, temporarily probably, of a unified Palestinian State. I hope next year to return to Ramallah, like it or not. For the most part, I like it.

Have a good summer everyone. I'll try to kepe this page updated as the season moves forward. Peace.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Current Items of Interest

Poachers killed one of the two remaining white rhinos in Zambia this past week, on Monday. These magnificent animals ar ekilled for their horns. People in various parts of the world value these horns for medicinal purposes. Hogwash, for sure, these horns, whose composition is basically hair and skin. have no value in medicine. It's another example of supernatural thinking destroying our environment.

A Few Links

  1. Internation Rhino Foundation
  2. Arkiv - Images of Life on Earth - White Rhino Entry
  3. World Wildlife Fund - The White Rhino
  4. Victoria Falls - Southern Afirca Places
  5. Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe and Zambia

Bob Dylan wins a presitigious art award in Spain this past week. His career in music and society is most deserving of this recognition. In 2004, his entire lyrical ouevre was among many outstanding literary masters considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature. One day, Bobby Zimmerman may get it. If not, his contribution to world culture will always remain secure.

Gaza is spiralling to a bloody conclusion of its simmering civil war between Hamas loyalists and Fatah militiamen. It looks like Hamas has the upper hand, much to the gross disappointment of Israel and America most likely, who want to see the democratically-elected Hamas government fall. Hamas positions are unproductive to the peace process, to say the least, but the West should have given them a chance to find redeeming value in winning a popular election and therefore attempting to govern. Instead, American-led boycott of the government created widespread devastation of the Palestinian civil society and forced Hamas to dig in its heels to even more hardcore position points. Even while it struggled to find moderating streams of consciousness in its political program, Israeli and American pressure always led to them to radical things, specifically those Qassam rockets raining wildly on southern Israeli, with legendary inaccuracy.

To the right are Palestinians displaying near a Fatah police station in Gaza City yesterday during a demonstration of some sort.

So just a few things on my mind today.