Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Crab Blogging

I had to include this one because his father is actually a Waterman. Unfortunately, my staff gave him pink paper to draw on so it didn't scan as well as white.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Crab Blogging

Rand (as in Atlas Shrugged) Paul seems to think that the oil spill in the Gulf is no big deal. Perhaps he should talk to this fellow.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sands of Sorrow

If you have a chance, watch this video about the Palestinian Refugees that was made in 1950.

Sands of Sorrow

It is filmed in Gaza. Of note is that there are no veils on the women and they seemed fully integrated into the camp society. Another item that struck me was that only one out of five newborns survived. Little is made of the Muslim religion except to mention that prayer was a part of the culture. By necessity, I suspect, there was no mention of why the refugee problem existed. The commentator does mention that the refugees fully expected to return to their homes, and this was why they brought little with them.

Many of the children in the film will be in their sixties, if they survived. I wonder how they feel watching this film.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Crab Blogging

First we have a notable event. A true break with tradition. Namely, never before have we been sent a guest crustacean that is NOT A CRAB. Today it is different. Wat we received was close to a crab, but no cigar. However, in the interest of good will between the U.S. and that place with the funny government across the pond, we publish a guest lobster.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Four Choices

Juan Cole had a post up the other day referencing a speech given at the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C., by Professor John J. Mearsheimer, a commentator on the influence of the Israel Lobby on American politics (see his book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy ). As can be imagined, anyone who focuses attention on the actions of such a group comes under vitriolic criticism. But that is another story. What I wanted to comment on here is the four scenarios that Mearsheimer outlines in his speech as to the possible outcomes in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

As a preamble, Mearsheimer defines Greater Israel as all the land from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean. This encompasses the West Bank, current Israel, all of Jerusalem and Gaza.
From here:

1. The first outcome would be that desired by most Palestinians (though he does remark on the lack of agreement amongst the Palestinians themselves both as to what would be acceptable in a settlement and who speaks for them). This outcome would the the much discussed "Two State Solution." In order to accomplish this, Israel would have to withdraw basically to its 1967 borders and Palestine would have its capitol in Jerusalem. Furthermore the new Palestine would have to have governmental autonomy with sovereignty of its land and airspace. I will forego discussion of the ramifications of this possible outcomes but one can imagine that this would not, under any circumstances, be acceptable to the current government (and population) of Israel. In consequence, the probability of this course is minimal.

2. The second outcome would be very odious. It would involve Israel, on some pretext related to terrorism, to remove Arabs from Israel proper and the occupied territories to "somewhere else." Quite frankly, this would be ethnic cleansing. Israel has already made some moves in this direction by passing a law enabling it, in its own eyes, to expel certain Palestinians from the West Bank. However, the tolerance of World opinion (except the United States) would be exceedingly low and it is hard to see how Israel could accomplish this without widespread bloodshed. Interestingly enough, this is the outcome most desired by the American Christian Zionists, a surprisingly influential segment of our population. The reason has nothing to do with the Israeli Jews, who would suffer a not nice outcome, but because this would usher in the "end times" of Revelation.

3. The third outcome is, in my mind, would the the fairest for both Israeli and Palestinians. It would involve Greater Israel to evolve rapidly into a single country composed of both Arabs and Jews. Because of the demographics, politics would be dominated by Arabs and government would, by necessity, be secular. The Palestinians have a history of secular governments, though militant Islam is always a threat. It is almost impossible to conceive of Israeli Jews, particularly the Zionists, accepting this development. Of interest in this scenario is the position of the ultra orthodox Jews in Israel because of their high birth rate. Apparently, a female of this persuasion will have between seven and eight babies in their reproductive years. Mearsheimer states that the first grades of Israeli schools are composed of 50% of a combination of Palestinians and ultra orthodox Jews.

4. The fourth outcome, which Mearsheimer thinks is the most likely, is the evolution of the current situation on the West Bank with settlers taking over increasing territory and forcing Palestinians into isolated enclaves or Bantustans, effectively converting Greater Israel into an Apartheid State. In order to preserve the position of Jews and the vision of Zionism, Palestinians would be relegated to closely controlled areas (as they are now. for an excellent first hand view of this see here) and there would be continued pressure on them to "go elsewhere." While this out might have some short term survival, in the end, it will ultimately break down, as it did in South Africa, though given the history of the Middle East this breakdown is much more likely to be violent. As mentioned above, it is this outcome that Mearsheimer thinks to be the most likely.

I think that this analysis, while individual points might be questioned or disputed, sums up in a general way the situation in that small area of the World is going. Small, but of of incredible importance. Again, my own worry is that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and while it has not used them to date, I am sure it would have no compunction to do so if it felt "threatened." Since there is, at the moment, no other nuclear state in the region, in spite of all of Obama's efforts, it is only a matter of time before Iran produces a bomb to counter Israel's threat. I would assume that Iran's science is far superior to that of North Korea. That it does not at the moment possess enough fissionable Uranium (we think) is of no consequence. If Iran feels sufficiently thwarted, they will produce it. The continued intransigence of the United States and Israel to a reasonable solution to the Israeli/Palestine conflict (not to forget the 8 years of negligence under Bush II) may well be the prime motivator for Iranian nuclear proliferation.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Crab Lovers Everywhere

The results of the 2010 Big Crab Drawing Contest are now up here. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Friday Crab Blogging (late)

We have an excellent collection of crabs today. Also, stay tuned, the second annual Big Crab Drawing Contest is in full swing and I should shortly have the winners on the Big Crab Contest blog.

One should notice that this is one of the true blue crabs that we have seen. Little does he know he is about to turn bright orange.

Wyatt had a little trouble with the second claw (or cheliped), or maybe the crab got in a fight over a she crab. I don't know why two guys ever would, all them gals end up as soup anyway.
In any case: Crabs can also hear and produce a variety of sounds. In courtship some species attract the females attention by banging their cheliped on the ground or vibrating their walking legs. Each species has its own unique sound that can attract a female or intimidate a competing male.

Mikayla has got the anatomy right, except that the antenna seem to have another set of eyes.

You might think that this is just a happy little fellow until you realize those are claws

I had to include this even though there were no crabs. It is something out of Tim Burton. I think those are geese flying in formation in the sky, but who knows. Could be a pirate, too.

This is Madalyn

And this is her sister Anna who does not, in real life, have a crooked smile.