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Showing posts from July, 2014

Gaza (and the West Bank too)

I recently wrote about having watched CNN interview leaders of Hamas and Israel.  I made the observation that it was patently obvious that the Hamas man was very uncomfortable with the line of questioning that had to do primarily with whether Hamas was responsible for the abduction and killing of the three Israeli students that led to this latest eruption of fighting.  He obviously didn’t want to take credit for the killings, which would surely have inspired the disgust of the (supposedly) civilized world.  Yet, at the same time he clearly didn’t want to disavow responsibility for the killings, perhaps believing that it would be a sign of weakness to those in his world that viewed the killing as a sign of Palestinian strength and a justified response to the years of being humiliated by Israel.  I felt that this spoke volumes about the mindset of Hamas, and their followers.

“What The Heck” Strength

To celebrate my wife turning the big five-oh, as well as our 13th wedding anniversary, the two of us took off to Europe recently on two consecutive Backroads bike tours, first in Catalonia, Spain and next in the Loire Valley of France.  The trips were great, and I’d recommend this form of vacation unequivocally.  We rode some 150-200 miles each week, and for the most part we rode hard.  What was somewhat amazing was how we were able to perform as well as we did even though neither of us had been on a bike in a year (other than my using Citibike to move around NYC).  In fact, while we both workout regularly (Marisol far more consistently than me) neither of us do any distance cardio training.

Enough Is Enough

I was sitting in Spain watching CNN after dinner last week and saw a British host interview first the head of foreign affairs for Hamas and then the head of intelligence for Israel.  He asked the Hamas man if Hamas was responsible for the killing of the three Jewish boys who had been abducted and found dead among a pile of rocks after a two-week search for them.  He also asked the Hamas man if he would condemn their killing as reprehensible.  The answer he got was that Hamas had no information as to whether they were responsible, and in any case it was up to Netanyahu (Israel’s President) to prove his accusations that they were.  The host asked the question again and got the exact same tricky response.  Then, asking it a third time he focused on the part of the question regarding condemnation, saying that whether Hamas was responsible or not could he, as the head of foreign affairs condemn the killing of these three innocent Israeli students.  Shockingly, he ignored that focused quest…

The Folly of Federalism

This past week, after setting our little ones up at camp, Marisol and I departed for our traditional wedding anniversary bike trip.  We chose the Catalonia area of Spain, which is known for its great beauty, challenging terrain, and terrific food and wine.  After Day 1 we’re not at all disappointed.  Our group’s guide is a native Catalonian, and before dinner he reviewed for our group the current conflict regarding Catalonia’s desire to secede from Spain.  He caught us up on the history of Catalonia, which was in fact a separate nation until the 1700’s, and continues with its own language and rich culture to this day, even as its citizens submit taxes to, and are under the governance of the Spanish governmental authority.