Given their lack of faith in the "peace process" -- and Abbas's unwillingness to take any risks -- it now seems certain that the Palestinians will plow ahead with their statehood drive at the United Nations, a move that both Obama and Netanyahu vigorously oppose. Given how recent U.N. votes have gone, the United States will stand alone as the rest of the world denounces the Israeli occupation and embraces a Palestinian state. It may not change any facts on the ground, but it will further illustrate just how isolated America and Israel are becoming. And this may even be an optimistic scenario -- a third intifada may well break out, possibly leading to another round of destabilizing violence. Any shred of hard-won credibility the United States has regained in the Arab world as a result of the "Arab Spring" will be gone.
I think that the best that can be hoped for is that somehow, it will become merely a conflict between Israel and Palestine rather than a conflict engaging the entire world.
While we're on the subject of awkward alliances, I should point out that Kim Jong Il is continuing his visit to China. I can only imagine that the Chinese can think of any number of things they'd rather be doing than entertaining that lunatic hillbilly. That said, they're sort of caught in a Catch 22: Having propped up his regime for so long, they can't abandon him to his well deserved fate without risking massive instability on their border.
That said Americans certainly have cultural oddities of our own. We're clearly insane. On a personal note: I'm looking at you Mike. You need a vacation, homie.
Maybe one of these places?
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is announcing her candidacy to become the new head of the IMF. With luck she has yet to be accused of indiscretions with a chambermaid. The BRICs are arguing that European domination of the IMF should come to a close. While I see nothing wrong with that and would certainly love to see someone from a large economy such as India or Brazil filling the role, I find the idea of Kazakhstan fielding a candidate to be more than slightly ridiculous.
What else are the French up to? Well, given how the internet has had so many problems being successful on its own, they're pushing for broad, international regulations among the G-8 nations. Eric Schmidt of Google puts it best:
“Before we decide there is a regulatory solution, let’s ask if there’s a technological solution,” he said. “We will move faster than any of these governments, let alone all of them together.”
The UN is pushing for a new new mission to South Sudan as soon as they officially become independent. I was under the impression that George Clooney's irresistible charms has unleashed a tidal wave of peace in that region but evidently, there's still some work to be done.
Golf vs. Communism. It says something about a political and economic ideology when one of its major concerns is the counter-revolutionary aspects of hitting a little ball with a stick.
Our nations grown-ups at work. Fortunately, yelling names at each other isn't the only thing they do. Sometimes, they propose really important legislation.
Here's a reaction to some more critically important legislation. Nothing could possibly be more pressing than outlawing behavior that doesn't seem to bother much of anyone. Thank God Bloomberg's been looking out for New Yorkers.
For the smokers out there.
I was going to make fun of this but having read it, it seems a ban on rubber baby buggy bumpers might make sense. More so than that nonsense in New York anyways.
No, I don't think we should at all. In fact, I think that's an insane idea. While it's certainly exciting that a Steeler won and all...A parade? Are you kidding me? Are we really even considering covering the expenses and dealing with the traffic nightmare caused by a parade for two people? Granted, with only two people in the parade, it would probably be a pretty quick one, but still.
In which a Finance Minister, educated in the United States robs his own bank.
2012 Watch: You may know him as that pizza guy. In fairness though, that doesn't sum up the entirety of Herman Cain's experience. He's also that Coca-Cola guy and that Burger King Guy. Looks like America's problems with obesity have only just begun.
Still, he sounds better than a certain slimy amphibian.
Maya Angelou on the disaster in Joplin, MO:
During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.
Speaking of disasters...
Your Horrifying Headline of the Day: Local Supernova Factory Ramps Up.
Considering that something is pumping out supernovas (for crying out loud!), we probably don't have to worry that much about the coming zombie apocalypse. That said, should the undead manage to rise before the whole universe explodes, I for one intend to arm myself with the bat-stun gun-axe combo.
Animals! Animals! Animals! Brand new ones, no less!
Also very neat: Throw in some "new" pyramids to boot.
Kacee Bait: An interview with some guy that has a website.
Oh my... Life imitates Looney Toons.