Friday, June 07, 2002

Give me that Attack of The Clones. If it's good enough for old Lileks, then it's good enough for me.

Trouble is, bloody thing doesn't get here till the 28th.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

OK, that's it. It's past 11 pm and it's time I went to beddy-bies. I have no time and I must blog.


This struck me as amusing from Myles Kantor's piece in NRO. An Islamic terrorist gets the National Order of the Bay of Pigs! The rest of the column is deadly serious mind, and shows why after we've taken out Saddam, Fidel should be next on the list. Odious old bastard. I hope he does have something nasty and terminal. 


Davezilla. Amen to that


The immortal James Lileks has a nice bit in a recent bleat about house prices in New York and prices in his neck of the woods. I know exactly where he's coming from. It's one of the reasons I like Costa Rica so much (apart from the jaw-droppingly gorgeous women, the fact it never gets below 15 C or over 30 C, and the way you can get yourself mangled beyond recognition* in a bar for less than $20). When I first got here, I rented a huge apartment, ridiculously huge for a single guy. I had been living in a damp, decaying one bedroom terraced house in a grotty area of Bradford (quite simply one of the ugliest cities on the planet) and I rented a gin palace because, well, because I could. It was 2,000 sq. ft., 13 rooms, antique furniture including an absolutely vast king size bed capable of sleeping three (well, accommodating three anyway), brand new stove, washing machine, fridge etc, halfway up a mountain, surrounded by tropical vegetation, in a condo with armed guards and a housekeeper. $1100 a month. That will get you a minute one bedroom cubby hole in a rough area of London.

It was still a bit extravagant though, so I moved. I am now in a very quiet upscale neighbourhood, round the corner from the Japanese embassy and the ex-president's house. I share with a friend. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, dining room, living room, security guard, cable internet. $250 a month. Yes, a month. That is just a shade over half of what I spend on going out each month. God I love this place. I work like a loon, but this is still Partyville.

Not that I'm boasting or anything.

* Note for the irony impaired - by 'mangled beyond recognition' I mean drunk.


My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains / My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk. Jeeze. Must've been that two pints of piña colada I just had to drink. PiñaPundit. Yay!


One of the things I like about Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus in NRO is his little rants against incorrect usage of words. I know a lot of people think that this is merely pedantry, but it's not. It is a truism that there is no such thing as a synonym. If there are two words that, superficially, describe the same thing, then their difference encodes a subtle variation in exact meaning. That, however, is not the point. What I object to is when two different words are used interchangeably, which has the effect of erasing precisely the difference in meaning between them that gives them their raison d'etre. Herewith, a selection of some of my least favourite catachrestic usages:

I reserve my greatest distaste for the following two gems, however:

Phew. That feels better. But seriously folks, the reason there's two words in the first place should be a subtle hint: they mean different things.


Jonah Goldberg is riffing in The Corner on the 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' trope again. This time he disses the Norwegians for caving even faster than the French in WW II. This is a trifle unfair. Firstly, Norway is a very much smaller country than France (which had already fallen). Secondly, the British screwed up royally at Narvik. Thirdly, Norway had a much more active resistance organisation (at least man for man) than the French did. Some truly heroic missions were carried out by the Norwegian resistance, often at great cost. It's a little known fact that under German occupation, the French Maquis numbered at most 1,500, and was riven by factional infighting between Gaullists and Communists. There were nearly as many British Special Operations Executive agents in France, a huge number of whom, many young women included, were betrayed by our glorious allies to torture, gang rape and death. Of course after the liberation there was something upwards of seven hundred million Frogs in the resistance.

And Jonah has the temerity to insult Stilton. John Derbyshire wins on this point alone.


What is it going to take to get the Israelis to finally snap? The car bombing in Megiddo on Wednesday killed 17 people, mostly heartbreakingly young soldiers. Israel cannot afford to lose people like this. It goes without saying that the families of the victims cannot afford to lose them. Each dead Israeli, pro rata, is like 57 dead Americans. It's a horrible calculus, but imagine if Hamas or Hezbollah had set off a bomb in Pittsburgh that killed 970 people, mainly soldiers on their way home.

These attacks emanate from territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The problem of the PA is the problem of Arafat, writ large. Either Arafat can control the terrorists in his midst, in which case he is complicit in mass murder, or he cannot, in which case he is a useless irrelevance. The same goes, in spades, for the PA. The question therefore arises: why is the continued existence of the PA tolerated by Israel?

When the PA was founded after the Oslo accords, Arafat brought with him from exile an estimated 40,000 PLO and allied guerrillas. Read that number again: forty thousand. These form the core of his terrorist regime. They are enemy troops. Their lives are forfeit under any rule of war you care to name. Instead of restraining Israel, the US should be urging it to kill these men, en masse.

Israel can no longer afford the polite fiction that the PA is a legitimate staging point on the road to full and lasting peace. It is a venomous tumour leaching away the lives of those whom Israel can least afford to lose - its young people. The terrorist who broke into a community last week (and was thankfully shot dead before he could hurt anyone) was aiming for a kindergarten. When your enemy deploys tactics like this, he has forfeited any and all rights under the rules of war (deliberate targeting of non-combatants is a war crime). In such circumstances, the Israeli Army is quite within its rights to summarily execute any Palestinian guerrilla it comes across. By all means it should arrest them. But after interrogation has yielded the desired results, a quick trip to the firing squad should result (or maybe just a plastic bag over the head and save the ammunition). They should not, under any circumstances, be kept alive. The only safe terrorist is a dead one. That is why the SAS did not bother with arrests when they stormed the Iranian embassy in 1980. They identified the enemy, and shot them out of hand. Keeping a live enemy behind you is a fatal error. That is exactly what imprisoning these vermin amounts to.

There's always this puerile argument that killing terrorists makes them into recruiting sergeants for the next generation. This is rubbish. A sufficiently robust response against terror does exactly the opposite. By demonstrating the futility of resistance, it robs any insurgency movement of its morale. The most successful counter-terrorist operations in history have been won by the ruthless extirpation of the terrorists. The past-master at this sort of thing is the British Army, viz. Borneo, Malaya and more recently Sierra Leone.

It is important for the world to realise that Israel is in a war of attrition, and it is losing. The tempo of terrorist operations cannot continue without something snapping. Had the attempted bombing of the petroleum storage depot succeeded, it would have resulted in hundreds, maybe thousands of dead. I have no doubt that had that happened, Yasser Arafat would no longer be alive, nor would several thousand Arabs. But if the drip, drip, drip of smaller attacks is not stopped, the end result will be the same: hundreds of dead Israelis with no prospect of peace.

Peace is not won, it is imposed. Israel has been attacked in four major wars since its inception. In each case it has defeated a numerically superior enemy by skill, élan and will-power. The enemy this time is different. It is more evil, more insidious, more pernicious. It must be exterminated, root and branch, so that the survivors will have no option but to sue for peace. A good start would be the elimination of the cockroach army that calls itself the Palestinian Authority. As usual, Steven den Beste at U.S.S. Clueless hits it on the head. Arafat must die. And hopefully a very large number of his thugs will accompany him.



Could frigging around with Mozilla's cache setting cure this? The World wonders...

Looks like that could be the answer. Set caching to 'every time I view the page' and things appear to be hunky-dory


Hmm. Might've spoken too soon. There's some weird caching interaction that appears to make posts disappear even though they're there, and I have no publish button.


Yup. Appears to work. Woohoo. And Mozilla actually appears to be tolerably fast, not too resource-hungry, and stable. Will wonders never cease?


Hola amigos. Know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya. Hopefully I will engineer a one-man BlogBurst tonight. I am seeing if Mozilla 1.0 works with Blogger. So far, I have had to do a sneaky workaround just to log in, and the editing window is way smaller than on Internet Exploder. Now let's see if Post and Publish works...

Musings from Costa Rica

Contact me: d a g g i l l i e s @ y a h o o . c o m 

About me

2002/04/14 - 2002/04/21
2002/04/21 - 2002/04/28
2002/04/28 - 2002/05/05
2002/05/05 - 2002/05/12
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