Good News and Classic Cali

Everyone in the West desperately wants to hear that Hamas – a militant anti-Israel Palestinian group – has decided to lay down arms and “talk” with Israel. Everyone in palestine – the people Hamas works for – have wanted to hear just the opposite. But we frequently hear in our news that “Hamas willing to negotiate truce with Israel” and a bunch of other headlines that amount to AP crap in reality. Usually the source for these stupid headlines is some half-Israeli cousin-in-law of a former friend of a Hamas member-turned University professor at Al Quds.

But maybe that is really changing, now that Arafat is gone. Today’s “Hamas” article started with the same old intro about how one of the “top leaders” in Hamas – nevermind that he’s known to spout off with his own opinions which are also known to be moderate…and nevermind that he gave his latest comments in English, not Arabic – has stated that Hamas is willing to consider a negotiated truce with Israel. However, later in the article, there really IS something to be hopeful about:

Nabil Amr, an Abbas confidant, confirmed the contacts are under way. “The signs that are coming from Hamas after the election are positive and indicate that they recognize the results of the election,” he said.

Hamas’ big goal was to delegitimize the election of Abbas. The were hoping for a low turnout and called for a boycott. Their goal (since it was clear that Abbas would win) was to say that even though Abbas – a moderate who has always rejected violence and advocated negotiation with Israel – won the election, a huge portion of the Palestinians didn’t vote. Alternatively, they were hoping for a close election, with one of their guys taking a good %, so they could say that there wasn’t one accord among the people. Unfortunately for Hamas, Abbas won with a large majority of the vote and turnout was strong. Hamas, like any political group militaristic or otherwise, recognizes that they live or die on the will of the people. And, finally after years of war and violence, the will of the people is on the side of compromise. The side of Abbas. The side of peace. That even Hamas is showing signs of recognition of the election results is truly the news of the article.

And here’s some classic California:

CA is more self-conscious than any place I’ve ever been. Especially as you get closer to Hollywood. Everyone’s got a plan. Everyone is looking in a perpetual mirror. Even some guy buried in mud in the recent mudslide in LaConchita, CA, a place I used to pass every time I went surfing.

Ray said he was helping load camera gear into a car Monday when another neighbor, John Morgan, suddenly shouted a warning.

“He yelled at us and said, ‘The mountain’s coming down — get out of there now!’ We looked up and the mountain just spewed. He saved my life,” Ray said.

Dirt and boulders spilled down the hillside, hit a berm and exploded back up into a plume of earth towering 100 feet over the three friends, Ray recalled. The men sprinted down the street and turned into a second street, desperately trying to outrun the roaring mudslide.

Ray said that as he ran down the street, he could see a trailer was gaining on him, pushed along by the flowing debris.

“It was up in the air and turned over. The top of the trailer was coming down on me,” he said.

He dove into a space between two parked cars seconds before the trailer and mud overtook him, crushing the cars “down to the wheels,” Ray said.

In the tiny, pitch-dark crawl space, Ray realized his right leg was seriously injured — he would later learn that a giant splinter of wood from a broken two-by-four had torn into it.

The leg was numb and “I didn’t know whether it was pulverized,” he said. His chest was bruised, he had trouble breathing and he had lost a front tooth.

Rescuers found Ray within minutes, but it took three hours to dig him out, he said. During the agonizing wait, Ray snapped a photo of himself with a disposable camera.

They guy just lost a tooth, can’t breath and may have a crushed leg. He later finds out that his two friends were crushed to death by the mud. Yet your boy has the presence of mind (or audacity, depending on your take) to take a picture of….himself. Look for that picture in Newsweek, or People or Time. Or on Entertainment Weekly. Anywhere it’ll sell. This is Cali, baby. Everyone wants a gig.

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