Friday, January 04, 2013

When the Chips Are Down

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a new Palestinian refugee problem, as Palestinians (and other minority groups) have been among the most vulnerable and heavily impacted by the ongoing brutal civil war. Refugees have began pouring into Jordan and Lebanon, but both countries' support for Palestinians in other countries notoriously exceeds the hospitality they display to Palestinians in their own borders. Facing an escalating crisis, the UN has asked that the Palestinian Authority (West Bank) and Hamas (Gaza) take in some of their compatriots themselves.

Both refused. The PA's excuse is at least facially reasonable: they don't have any money. But Hamas gives a different reason: rescuing these Palestinians now, you see, would denigrate any "right of return" claims they have against Israel later. I'd say these Palestinians are only useful to Hamas as a bargaining chip against Israel, except that Hamas has no interest in striking a bargain: Palestinians living abroad have precisely one role to play in Hamas' vision of Palestinian nationalism: a human wave to wash away the Jewish state. If they can't serve that function, they have no value and Hamas couldn't care less about them. It's that simple.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Resolutins: 2013

Just because essentially nobody can read it is no excuse for dispensing with tradition. It's my new year's resolutions for 2013! Previous installments can be found here. And as always, we start with evaluating my performance vis-a-vis last year's list:

Met: 1 (several times over!), 2, 3, 4 (not yet, anyway, as far as I know), 5, 6, 7, 9 (just this past weekend!), 10, 11, 14.

Missed: 8, 15.

"Well, technically I met this....": 12, 13.

Unfortunately, despite a frankly superb showing by the numbers, number 8 looms quite large and casts a big shadow over the rest of the list. So I come into the new year more demoralized than I can remember in some time. But it's the sort of thing I'll have to just push through. It will come.

Anyway, to the new year's resolutions:

1) Find employment post-clerkship. (Met)

2) Be at peace with the employment I have post-clerkship. (Missed)

3) Move the big screen TV into the living room. (Met)

4) Make significant progress on another article. (Met)

5) Keep the blog's blood pumping long enough so it can return in full force when the clerkship ends. (Pick 'em)

6) Feel decently competent in an additional area of law beyond my current specialty. (Pick 'em)

7) Watch either The Two Towers or Return of the King with Jill. (Missed)

8) Have people over to watch a boxing event. (Missed -- I think, but don't actually remember)

9) Present Our Divine Constitution somewhere. (Missed)

10) Try the cooperative multiplayer in Portal 2. (Met)

11) Attend the Carleton Reunion! (Met)

12) Crack the 200 follower mark on Twitter. (Met)

13) Find my copies of War and XPs and No Cure for the Paladin Blues. (Met -- amazingly enough, since I didn't find them until I moved to DC)

14) Don't be jealous of other people's successes, even when things aren't falling into place for me. (Met -- I can honestly say this)