Monday, January 24, 2011

Al Jazeera's Bombshell

Al Jazeera is disclosing how the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been negotiating with Israel. It says, “The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

Al Jazeera will release the documents between January 23-26th, 2011. They will reveal new details about:
• the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
• the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
• details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
• and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.”
One of the first disclosures is titled “The biggest Yerushalayim” and its subhead is “PA offered to concede almost all of East Jerusalem, an (sic) historic concession for which Israel offered nothing in return.”

Today, I went on to the last volume of the Kissinger memoirs, Years of Renewal.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two Sick Nights

Late Friday afternoon, I felt sick and feverish. The sick feeling came with no precautions. I had fidgety sleep that night and next, measuring the temperature every hour or so and taking “Flu MAX” at a more-or-less regular interval. Fever came down this early morning at last, but I’m feeling weak and the pain in the shoulders is still annoying me. I probably let my guard down as the stream of work, which started flowing in mid October, had broken recently and invited the fever.

また一人、昔話をする人が減ってしもて、淋(さび)しい限りです。いとこいさんの漫才には品がありましたな。一切お客さんをいらわずに、2人の会話 だけで進めて行く。呼称は常に「君」と「僕」。決して「おまえ」、「どついたろか」といったドぎつい言葉は使いません。上品の極みや。今の漫才さんの中に、このスタイルを受け継いでくれる人がおるかしらん。こいしさんは私より二つ年下やが、芸歴は私より古いんです。旅芸人の一座に生まれ育ったんでっさかいな。彼と古い話をしだすと、もう止まりません。最近も放送局の控室で何時間も話し込んだことがありました。(落語家・桂米朝さん)
今月17日に病院に呼ばれて、「しんどい、もうアカン」とつらそうに言うんで「兄ちゃん、みんなのためにもがんばらなアカン」と励ましたばかりでした。本当に悲しい、涙が出ます。昔からやんちゃ坊主で、曲がったことが嫌いでした。若い人の手本になるしゃべくり漫才で、みんなに尊敬されていたんです。ご冥福をお祈りします。(交友が半世紀以上に及ぶ「かしまし娘」の正司歌江さん) (朝日電子版)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Doc's Mysterious Homecoming

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, long in exile in Paris, returned to Haiti on the 16th and subsequently got detained, and then released though he is ordered to remain in the country. Why he returned after 25 years is very much unclear.

His flight in 1986 while still young, amid a popular uprising against his dictatorial rule that was aided by his private militia known as the Tontons Macoutes, coincided with the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, which I was trying to follow closely and which was my first lesson on international politics. Following the Marcos-Aquino saga, I inevitably turned to the pages that were reporting the turmoil in Haiti. Duvalier was succeeded by a priest of the liberation theology, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a radiant hope for the country that would turn out be a huge disappointment.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hatoyama Losing His Love



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nixon: "Composed, Almost at Ease"

It seems to have been a few of Republican leaders, Senators Hugh Scott (PA), Barry Goldwater (AZ) and Congressman John Rhodes (AZ), who pushed President Nixon over, persuading that he had no other way. Dr. Kissinger does not tell us in what words Nixon described his decision to resign. Dr. Kissinger only writes, “Nixon turned when he heard me. He seemed very composed, almost at ease. He had decided to resign, he said. The Republican leaders had reinforced his instinct that there was not enough support left in the Congress to justify a struggle…”

I moved on to a book by Alistair Horne, “Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year,” that covers the same period as “Years of Upheaval.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 Pages to Go for "Years of Upheaval"

I’m reaching the end of the second volume of Dr. Kissinger’s memoirs, “Years of Upheaval,” ten more pages to go to finish. Devoured by the Watergate frenzy, the Nixon Administration is in its terminal condition. Richard M. Nixon is such a complicated human being, needing to be reassured at every step, able to be at his best in crises, shy and devious in human relations. Somewhere in the last ten pages how he conveyed his decision to resign to Dr. Kissinger will be shown to me.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

First Days of 2011

On Wednesday, I saw Robert Mugabe and his beefy bodyguards at Guardian of Ngee Ann City. They went on to Watsons, next door.

It has been like living with Sir Simon Rattle and Berliner Philharmoniker for two and a half days, quite an experience.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Beicho-san, Please + Kakefu, Egawa and 1 More Player

朝日電子版の「米朝 口まかせ」(12月29日)で、米朝さんが「そろそろ、死ぬ年やと思てる」と。枝雀、吉朝と先に弟子を亡くし、先日は茂山千之丞さんが亡くなったばかり。もっと噺が聞きたいんです!