Some great stuff on the web.
Had some peace and quiet, and no eye strain- and no major deadline; and the result was I spent a while actually surfing the web and reading some stuff (following up some stories), and checking my links- and it was great.
This post, therefore, could go in a variety of directions, but as I'm just calming down from being greatly tickled by something Barry Beelzebub said, I'll link there first. B.B. is going to be one of the biggest British blogreads, if he sticks around and doesn't greatly prefer venting through his local newspaper columns. He just has a satirist's gift for pith. Thus, talking about the girls who claim they've been assaulted while drunk, he says:
'What these girls are really reporting is not assault but regret.'
And aint that the truth?
Staying with British blogging, I found that this rang true for me, and reflects a considerable malaise in British society. Paul Marks talks about a conversation overheard on a train (trains, in my view, are not so much ways of getting from A to B as they are cultural and civilised leisure facilities- which of course is why they are endangered- acknowledging of course that there are those who rely on them in daily life, with catastrophic effects for their household budgets and blood pressures). The conversation was between two academics from Nottingham University and basically what emerged was what frauds today's academics in the UK are: idle, lacking intellectual curiosity, even dishonest. I say 'in the UK' but actually I think it's a little more universal than that. I've always found myself very comfortable with the atmosphere in any university where I've spent time (including several outside the UK)- and that's how I know they're morally wrong. No place that makes me feel so comfortable can be a real benefit to society (er,- updating hastily-, not that I find myself at home in dishonest company, but intellectual dishonesty is generally quite pleasant for those on the inside; or those temporarily accepted by it).
Another reason for surfing the web is that there's so much going on which, for good or ill, is important.
I came across some fascinating stuff surrounding the Conservative leadership campaign via the EURef blog- stuff with which I actually agree. According to the Daily Telegraph, that makes me a 'right-winger'. Yay- at last I know for sure. The interesting essays from 'Right-wingers' include some I'd almost be happy to sign a petition for- but I suspect I'd want to tease out the details. That's why it's troubling that the Conservatives are so weak just now- there's not room for that debate when things are in the broadbrush phase (still).
Finally (I think), but most important, thanks to A Tangled Web I noticed what John Dugard- special 'rapporteur' from the UN to the so-called occupied territories- said about a single (Palestinian) state solution to the conflicts there. It only backs up other things he's said.
Something else I noticed also interested me though (something I picked up at the Jerusalem Post)- that was Kim Howells' response to Israel's recent actions in retaliation to shelling from Gaza. It's quite different to Dugard's tack. Howells says:
'"I thought the retaliation this week was proportionate," said Howells about the IDF operations. "The [Palestinian] attack was a very serious one, it could have killed a lot of people. It's a miracle really there weren't more casualties."
"I think there is no excuse now," he added. "Gaza is now in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, and there are no Israeli troops there. One hopes that where tough decisions have to be made, Abu Mazen [PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and the PA will make them." '
He also followed it up, forcefully:
'"We are waiting with bated breath for a response from the PA," said Howells, "and it has to be a signal that it is capable of good governance. This is not a bottomless pit that this money is coming from."
Howells dismissed PA claims that it doesn't have the wherewithal to effectively take on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations. "Look, they have 60,000 troops in the PA, they have all the equipment they need. What they need is the political will to do it," he said. '
And he topped it off by the following:
'Regarding moves he expected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to take immediately to move the diplomatic process forward, Howells said, "I'm not looking for Sharon to do anything other than – if Israel is attacked in the way it was attacked this week – to act in the measured way I spoke of. '
Well, it could be better, but it's been worse- see how the late Robin Cook faced a similar situation. The divide between the Dugard approach and the British Government's one is heartening; one can only hope it widens and that the former is seen for what it is: anti-Jewish, hopelessly biased, and symptomatic of the UN's condition.
Supporting Israel is made more and more essential by every fresh terrorist attack by Islamists- such as the one that's happened just today in Bali.