Friday, December 30, 2005

Dossing Times Neutrality Poll

Should Ireland abandon Neutrality and join NATO. Poll is on the right side bar. Vote Now.

The nation is Divided

The results of the Latest poll are On the question of Was McDowell right to do what he did in the Connelly case. 11 people said No 7 people said He was right to out him but it should have been done in Dail not leaked to the Irish Independent. 4 people said Yes So basically It seems 50% say it was right to out Connelly and 50% that it was wrong. The majority how ever do say that McDowell handled it badly and should have been more carefully in how he did it. So is this a sign that a rift in the Irish Blogosphere could happen between pro and anti-McDowell or just a poll. Only time will tell.

Top 6 Friday Irish People of 2005

6. People keep celebrating the likes of J.P. McManus and other tax exiles for what they do for Ireland yet still ridicule a man that has done far more the any of them and pays his taxes.That man is Michael O’Leary. He reckons the delights of Westmeath outweigh the advantages of tax exile. 5. Here at the dosing times we appreciate someone who stands up for his principles. While CK will probably disagree with me I think Michael McDowell deserves a place on his list. He stood up to the IRA and against many other groups. While his café bars thing were brought down by Fianna Fail back benchers. He has stood firm on many issues and personally a politician standing up for his principles and not just for whatever is popular is a welcome change. 4. One journalist said that this guy did more damage to the government in 5 TV shows then the position had done in 7 years and It is true. Eddie Hobbs revitalised Fine Gael. With his accent, telling people what their parents had always told them and his use of figures he mobilised more people into questioning government more then they had in years. 3. Another of the few politicians I have immense respect for is Joe Higgins of the socialist party. While I disagree with much of his policies I admire his determination and conviction. He championing of the Gama Workers cause really should that the little guy still has the ability to get justice in this country. Also his line in the Dail during the Willie O’ Dea gun picture. About whether the Taniste had asked security to take his gun at the door. Priceless. 2. The Republics biggest news story of the year was The Rossport Five. Not only is this amazing because the media picked up a story about people who live in Rossport and not Malahide. But that these men did not back down. They went to prison on a matter of principle. They felt they were defending their friends and families. And they fought a massive corporation to protect them. With recent surveys hinting they may be right after all. People power shines on. 1. They came second in my world list so they are an obvious best in Ireland 2005. To live in an area ruled by the treat of violence and to stand up in an area where standing up is not acceptable is something truly amazing. The McCartney Sisters and Bridgeen Hagans showed true bravery. After the Murder of their brother Robert instead of staying quiet as would be expect they stood up to the terrorists. With a natural talent for PR they stood up for everyone without a voice. They did something that the British Government, Irish Government, SDLP and Kevin Myres could never do. They turned traditional IRA supporters against them and they touch Irish America tainting the image that Sinn Fein have worked so hard to build. This lead to a situation which forced the IRA to give up their weapons something that I don’t think would have happened without them. I cannot say enough about these ladies they are truly great. The story of their struggle for justice is inspiring. The fact that they were forced to leave their homes really makes their story a Shakespearian tragedy a story I hope one day is told so that it can inspire generations to stand up to injustice. They have changed Ireland for decades if not forever.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I have been watching the state of Russia and Belarus lately. Might write something more substantial soon. However I think this is a very telling development in Russia. A country that has no free press and is looking like it might go back to totalitarism.
An outspoken aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his resignation in protest against changes in government policy. Economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said Russia was no longer politically free but run by state corporations acting in their own interests.

Risk Equalisation

Many around the the Irish blogs have been critising Mary Harney for here stance on Risk Equalisation. The main arguments about it can be seen here on Wulbeorn Watching. I have say I totally agree with Mary Harney and disagree with Wulbeorn. Buba and VIVAS can not be allowed to take the young healthy clients forcing the old to use the VHI. Old people need more care thus costing the VHI more. Thus increasing the burden on old people. While young people get a free run. If Buba get away win this case and are allowed not to take on any responsibility for care of the elderly. Then what's next City Buses not going to take children as they are more likely to drop sweet wrappers thus creating higher cleaning bills. The arguments made by copernicus on both Wulbeorns and Disillusionedlefty some up my views on the subject better then I can.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Sombre Christmas Message

I have a friend who I shall call Shmac. He is a very nice guy, who has the usually habit in a modern Ireland of talking to anyone. One day while waiting for a bus he started talking to a homeless guy. Some how the conversation came about to the topic of Xs and Os. The homeless guy told him about a game he once played. He opened his shirt to relieve his chest which was brutally scarred. It took Shmac a second to realise in what way his body was scarred. A game of Xs and Os had been carved into his chest. The homeless man then said “I Lost”. Shmac gave him what change he had which amounted to something around a tener and left. Another story a teacher once told me was of a homeless guy who used to sleep outside a bank. Five years before he had had a wife, family and a job. That job was manager of the bank. His wife had left him and he started to drink. Eventually he lost everything. When ever I go to that bus station and see the homeless people that hang around there. I always wonder if it was one of them. Was it one of them who won? And how things can come so desperate that you would play Xs and Os with a knife. How one moment you can be on top of the pile and next be at the bottom. So during the Christmas period realise not everyone has the luxury of fighting over the remote and worrying about the turkey. Realise what you have and be grateful for it. Realise the loves and friendships you have and cherish them. For it is what saves you from a life like theirs And next time you see someone begging or collecting for charity don’t pretend not to see them, help, for if circumstances were different you could be the one in need of help.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Are we Programmed to Fear Symbols?

When I graduated from Queens University Belfast not so long ago. I sat at the graduation and started to look symbol of the collage. Which is pictured. As I sat their I felt offended looking at the symbol of the crown. Now as I stated before my republicanism is not very creamy. I have no really strong desire for a united Ireland nor do I have any problem with British people or the union jack. Yet I felt off putted by this symbol. Why? Christmas in America is being replaced by the “Holidays” while it might say something about the lack of work holidays in America it is mainly done because people don’t want to offend people. It is purely due to not wanting to offend. If calling days and events after Christian festivals truly offended people then Halloween (Hallows eve) and St Patrick’s Day would have been changed through mass protest to scary day and wearing green drinking and singing Danny boy day. As Tuathal pointed out in his post it is a bit crazy. Article here about how it is a political devide in America(Hat tip California Conservative ) Talk to any collage student about music and you will hear them going on about the brilliance of Pink Floyd, how John Lennon symbolised the youth movement and how the Kaiser Chiefs are the new great hope. They will also turn away in repulsion of the thought of listening to Bon Jovi talk about how X factor is destroying music and denounce Robbie Williams. Yet give them a few pints and they drop the inhabitations would they be more likely to sing Robbie Williams Angels or Pink Floyd Money. What will make them jump up and dance in a night club more Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer or a Kaiser Chiefs song. Something tells me in 90% of the cases the non blasé act will in fact be the popular choice. Why? Also the same can be said for The Rock and Hugh Grant movies vs. art house movies. People seem to think that they should be offended by something. Like me in Queens from years of living in the south learning our history going to schools with some students and teachers of the republican. I felt that I should be offended. The whole oh ah up the RA the them verses us and the anyone but England in football ethos of Ireland places in your subconscious a unease with all things British. While some of the anything but England brigade is to do with the English medias exalting the greatness of Gary Nevilie most of it is programmed into people from an early age. Also the collage music and film thing is built up by the belief by many in collage that they are something of a cultural elite and that there taste must be anything but mainstream once a band is heard of by more then a few people suddenly it is no longer good. This programs other people into believing that they must listen to this type of music to be in the part of collage life. Collage life is far from about free thinking it is about conformity. If you don’t believe me how many students do you think in this country will ever say anything good about Bush. While many like their music because they like it. I believe they are in the minority. Other people don’t want to offend anyone it is a natural reaction but in this modern world people seem to have taken this to the next level. They try to pre-empt offence. In Dublin a hospital was reported (never happened seemingly) to have removed a crib that was placed in the lobby as although they received no complaints they didn’t want to offend anyone. Now I know you can make the whole “we live in a multicultural Ireland” so we should change to accommodate and respect them but put it this way . If there was a menorah in the lobby would you be offended? If you would not be offended why do you think any Jewish person would be offended by a crib.

Top 6 Friday - People of 2005

While the Christmas list should probably be who is the greatest reindeer. I’m afraid all you Blitzen and Rudolf rival fan clubs members are not going to find out where my loyalties lie. Instead you are going to see who I consider the greatest people of 2005 to impact on the world. Also remember that this is from a western person perspective so great people in other regions may be missed. While it is debatable if multiple people can share a single place I have decided I don’t care. Worthy winners are worthy winners. 6. One of the great events of this year was the Iraq election. The Iraqi people finally have gotten to ability to shape their own future. This is down mainly to one man George W Bush. While the war in Iraq is a shockingly badly planned affair, the reason for the war was a blatant lie, the continuing state of Guantanamo, the spy affairs, patriot act and his poor response to Hurricane Katrina may indeed get him a place on the muppet person list. The election is a truly great achievement and with his commitments on AIDS in Africa and aid to Africa justifies his position on the list. 5. Having the aided the election is Iraq, started the commission of Africa, headed the Gleneagles summit which implemented many of the commissions proposals, got agreement on the EU Budget, held presidency of the EU that saw Turkey start talks to join the EU, won the election, guided the UK through the 7/7 attacks, helped win the Olympic bid for London that and many other reforms have made Tony Blair worth his place on the list. The anti-terror laws that he tried to pass however move him down the list a bit. 4. If the list was the people who most annoyed me in 2005 Bob Geldof’s and Bono’s self righteousness would insure that they would be well placed however this is the list of the best. And with their highlighting of the plight in Africa they deserves their place. They have guilted Governments into helping. In the world today pop stars are the ones with the power to shape public opinion. Bob and Bono have used this to highlight Africa and created a mass movement that has started a process of change that will hopefully result in a better deal for Africa. 3. Palestine is a chicken and the egg conflict. Can anyone remember which came first? A Palestine bomber blows up a café in Tel Aviv so Israel seeks revenge and sends in the helicopters to bomb Palestine homes. Resulting in another Palestinian wanting revenge and blowing up a café this spirals into a situation where no one knows where it all begins. It takes a brave man to decide to make a stand to stop the cycle. Ariel Sharon took that step. By taking the brave decision to pull the settlements out of Gaza he risked losing the support of the country and his party. But he persisted and has truly achieved something. Even though he had to leave his party and start a new one, The popularity of his decision can be seen in the fact that his new party is riding high in the opinion polls. 2. While it is hard to have the courage of your convictions with a billion people audience with a government, country or army behind you it is another thing to do it without any of that. To live in an area ruled by the treat of violence and to stand up in an area where standing up is not acceptable is something truly amazing. The McCartney Sisters and Bridgeen Hagans showed true bravery. After the Murder of their brother Robert instead of staying quiet as would be expect they stood up to the terrorists. With a natural talent for PR they stood up for everyone without a voice. They did something that the British Government, Irish Government, SDLP and Kevin Myres could never do. They turned traditional IRA supporters against them and they touch Irish America tainting the image that Sinn Fein have worked so hard to build. This lead to a situation which forced the IRA to give up their weapons something that I don’t think would have happened without them. I cannot say enough about these ladies they are truly great. The story of their struggle for justice is inspiring. The fact that they were forced to leave their homes really makes their story a Shakespearian tragedy a story I hope one day is told so that it can inspire generations to stand up to injustice. 1. The people of Ukraine, Iraq (Kevin of Disillusioned lefties suggestion) and Lebanon are the true changers of their society. By showing what people power can do they have freed (or will free) their countries from tyranny. With the hundreds of thousands that marched in Lebanon against Syria and the millions who voted in Iraq. They are the greatest people of 2005 joint winners. This is the 250th Dossing Times post. Think of all the time wasted writing these posts. I say it adds up to a week if not more.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Data Retention Directive

Data Retention Directive. I sent this Email to Simon Coveney and Brian Crowley as they are my representatives in Europe. I couldn't find Kathy Signots Email. The basis of this email came from T.J McIntyre and details about the directive can be found there.
As a constituent of yours I would like to voice my opposition to the Data Retention Directive. The reasons I oppose this can be summaries below. 1. This Directive invades the privacy of all Europeans. The Directive calls for the indiscriminate collection and retention of data on a wide range of Europeans' activities. Never has a policy been introduced that mandates the mass storage of information for the mere eventuality that it may be of interest to the State at some point in the future. 2. The proposed Directive is illegal. It contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights by proposing the indiscriminate and disproportionate recording of sensitive personal information. Political, legal, medical, religious and press communications would be logged, exposing such information to use and abuse. 3. The Directive threatens consumer confidence. More than 58,000 Europeans have already signed a petition opposing the Directive. A German poll revealed that 78% of citizens were opposed to a retention policy. The Directive will have a chilling effect on communications activity as consumers may avoid participating in entirely legal transactions for fear that this will be logged for years. 4. The Directive burdens EU industry and harms global competitiveness. Retention of all this data creates additional costs of hundreds of millions of Euros every year. These burdens are placed on EU industry alone. The U.S., Canada and the Council of Europe have already rejected retention. 5. The Directive requires more invasive laws. Once adopted, this Directive will prove not to be the ultimate solution against serious crimes. There will be calls for additional draconian measures including: * the prior identification of all those who communicate, thus requiring ID cards at cybercafes, public telephone booths, wireless hotspots, and identification of all pre-paid clients; * the banning of all international communications services such as webmail (e.g. Hotmail and Gmail) and blocking the use of non-EU internet service providers and advanced corporate services. I would be interested to know where you stand on this issue. Looking foward to hearing from you
Theses are the replies. from Brian Crowley
Thank you for your email regarding the voting on the ALVARO Report on Data Retention. As you may be aware the two largest political groups in the Parliament, the EPP and PSE, agreed a deal on a compromise package of amendments which forced the Rapporteur, Mr Alvaro to withdraw his name from the report. The main points with regard to the amendments which were adopted relate to the type of data to be retained and this will not include the content of the data, also that the data will only be provided to competent national authorities as laid down by national legislation, and the crimes for which data is to be sought must be defined by member states in their national legislation also. Yours is one of the many letters I have received on this matter and I should point out that the law at present on Data Retention in Ireland is not affected or impacted by this legislation. You may also know that my colleagues and I abstained on the final vote as we believe that the issue should have been dealt with on the third pillar and not the first pillar which is also the position of the Irish government, however, this was a minority viewpoint. Regarding your second point, there has been no case taken to the European Court of Human Rights regarding this directive, and indeed the Irish legislation which was passed this year wasn't challenged in the Irish Courts either on the question of contravention of human rights. Thank you for taking the time to write to me. Kind regards Is mise le meas Brian Crowley M.E.P. President U.E.N. Group Leader F.F. Group in Europe
From Simon Coveney
Thank you for writing to me and expressing your views in relation to the vote on data retention. I am very much aware of the concern surrounding this proposed Directive. I would like to briefly outline my views to you in relation to this important debate. When voting last week I voted in favour of the majority of the proposed new legislation but I abstained in the final vote on the resolution as a whole and I will explain my reasoning to you. The position of the Irish Government is that this legislation should be dealt with as part of the so-called Third Pillar, meaning that each Member State should legislate individually in this area as opposed to introducing pan-European legislation. The Irish Government is concerned that the current approach may not be legally sound and may even make a legal challenge to the decision. It is important to stress the point that Irish legislation is currently tougher as regards data retention than this proposed legislation. Our national legislation provides for a retention period of three years in the case of telephonic data whereas this proposed legislation stipulates a much shorter period permitted for the retention of data. Ireland has maintained that it has been necessary to retain data for this length of time due to security concerns we have had to deal with. I, too, am uncomfortable with the principle of data retention and certainly do not want to move towards a big brother system either but I do believe that limited data retention is now a necessity. I am in favour of a common position between Member States of the European Union as an effective way to deal with security threats. I think it will give governments and police important assistance in fighting serious crime and terrorism. I did not want to prevent this piece of legislation but rather to register my concern and question the legal basis of this proposed piece of legislation. I would prefer not to have to go down this road at all but I do see it as one of the unfortunate necessities in combating serious crime and terrorism. It would be farcical to have long periods of data retention in Ireland and shorter periods of data retention across the EU. Should you have further questions or comments in relation to this matter do not hesitate to contact me at this address. Best regards, Simon Coveney

Academic Snobbery and Principles

The building control bill. Is just another example of a profession trying to protect its self. Just because someone has a degree does not mean that someone is qualified. I remember working over a summer and we were getting in drawings in from a Dublin architects firm. What ever architect who designed the building seemed to think that doors do not need to be attached to walls they could function in mid air. Wall thickness did not need to be the same, internal walls don’t need to even connect (building regulations would disagree) and toilets don’t need to anywhere near the plumbing. But since they have a degree they are far superior to someone who has no degree but adheres to the building regulations. This bill is not about the consumer it does not protect consumers from cowboys it is about protectionism of an interest group RIAI. Will the same people who give out about the farmers as an interest group say the same thing about architects? On the Aran Islands they were trying to build a GAA pitch. The ground was devoid of grass and the locals said they needed top soil for grass to grow. But experts in Dublin said that all they need was fertilizer and the government agreed and refused to allow top soil to be brought in (Aran Islands I think are a protected area). So basically the government took the experts advice as being more correct then the people who have lived and farmed that land for centuries. There is still no grass on the pitch. There are just two examples of many (driving licences is another how many bad drivers with licences are out there) where someone with a piece of paper is thought better then someone without it. The academic snobbery in this country is ridiculously, counter productive and wrong. Then again I’m just got my masters piece of paper and am looking for a job. So if my industry want to close rank and employ me I wouldn’t say no. I suppose that is the thing everyone will stand by their principles until it effects them. Sure many people will back Irish Ferries in doing what they did or disagree with pharmacist restricting membership of their profession but if their jobs and way of life were threatened would they stand by their principles then?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I need your help

I have been enlisted to help with the Christmas dinner. I have to make the starters and desert. Any suggestions on what starter to make would be welcome. Also the dessert is going to be a cheesecake my specialty I really do the best cheesecake (according to people who eat them but they could be just being nice) So I have to decide between my piece de resistance a chocolate orange and rum cheesecake with chocolate chip base. Or a baileys cheesecake that I have never done before. Edit: my recipe for Chocolate Orange and Rum Cheesecake is here.

Garda reserve force mark II

The news are going on about the Garda Reserve Force these days. Here is what I wrote about it last month.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

First gays partnerships then black pudding?

At the first gay civil ceremony in Belfast there were many protestors out side. They were shouting abuse telling people how they are going to burn in hell and quoting Leviticus to justify their protests. But another thing that is not allowed in Leviticus is the eating of another animals blood.(Leviticus 3:17) So will the next place these “Christians” protest be the Clonakilty black pudding factory. Something tells me no. Michael McDowell is bringing forward legislation for civil partnerships in Ireland. While disappointingly not full marriage rights it is the best move. If gay marriage was to be legalised it would require a referendum as it would probably require constitutional change. This could be very divisive in Ireland. While the majority of parties are for it there would be a strong No group in the country. That may give rise to more anti-gay sentiments then are already in the country. The referendum may even lose and without having a civil partnership legislation already passed gay rights would be set back for years. Civil partnership may not be the brave thing to do it but it is the prudent thing to do. It may be two steps forward and one step back. It is at least forward. F Delondras has thought about the legal aspects and links to other blogs here so go read it.

Political Yogurt - Northern Ireland Flavour

On a scale from one to yogurt my sympathy for the republican cause is just not that creamy more of a Tesco value diet natural yogurt passed its best before date then a fresh gourmet yogurt. But none the less still a dairy product. It is more a sympathy for the plight of nationalists in the 60s and the 70s then any desire for a united Ireland. To me the IRA have ruined the lot of nationalist in the North. Where in the early 70s and late 60s and the unionist state was subjecting the Nationalist community to vicious pogroms both the Irish and British governments had abandoned them and the civil rights movement was being attacked and hounded. The IRA was needed to defend the people as no one else would. However as the World stood up and took notice. The IRA terrorist violence was no longer about defence it was about attack. No longer was it about preventing loyalist mobs descending on nationalist areas to burn them it was about the opposite the IRA descended on the unionists and the British. This lost the nationalist the sympathy of much of the world and more importantly the normal British voter and thus any chance of real change. Instead of furthering the cause of nationalism they were hindering it. But they are not the only group who seem to be hindering their objectives. I’m a scientist and to me logic is key. To me special relativity is like an Organic Walnut and honey yogurt (How many more yogurt analogise do you think I can get in before the end place your bets now) perfect in all ways. However the British policies in the north of late seem more like a Brussels Sprouts yogurt. Politics in the north has always been polarised. However Lord Alderdice had a third way. The Alliance party was setup as a non sectarian party it was tapping into the many Northern’s whose concerns are not the Union or border but the economy health etc. Its profile was rising the Alliance party was gaining momentum. It had a strong leader. Then Lord Alderdice had to resign from the party to become the first speaker of the northern assembly. He was elevated the House of Lords taking him out of Northern Ireland politics. Without his leadership the third way in Northern Politics was gone. Since its demise the political landscape of the north has moved to the extremes and the centre ground is now empty. The British government should have been more forceful in insuring that he did not leave the political arena Stormountgate is possible one of the most bizarre incidents in the north in recent memory. The Donaldson’s revelation makes it even more amazing. The PSNI raided the Sinn Fein offices arresting people including Donaldson. Then 2 years later drop the case with a poor excuse and then he is outed as a spy. The manner in which the case was dropped was very suspicious. They announced that the prosecution for the offences in relation to the accused are no longer in the public interest.. Why did they say that why not just say lack of evidence or something plausible. What trial has ever been dropped as the prosecution for the offences in relation to the accused are no longer in the public interest very nature of the wording of the break up of the trial seems to me to be either foolish or intended to create friction. Also the searches that took place only involved two computer disks and one office. Why then did it require a fleet of armoured cars? The searchers themselves were limited. That might be explained by the fact that they knew exactly what to go after. But if they knew exactly what to go after why did they take so long to move on the spy ring? Also why was the evidence returned. Surely it would be required for a court case. When the raid took place the Assembly was on it last legs, the Ulster Unionist were on the verge of leaving. Also the raids took place at the same as raids in West Belfast which found documents. So was the timing of the operation due to the fact that when the Assembly collapsed they did not want the Ulster Unionist blamed in an attempt to save David Trimble or they didn’t want the Ulster Unionists to walk out denying the DUP of using that in elections against them or maybe something else or just a coincidence? Some say the outing of Donaldson is an attempt to shield a higher up member of Sinn Fein working undercover. But if it is why are rumours coming out that this is the case. If they were trying to protect someone would rumours be coming out? Rumours come from somewhere. If this is an attempt to undermine Sinn Fein it is shockingly a bad one. The republican community in the North need to see the British as something other then the bogeyman. They need to see them as a government that can be trusted. By allowing Sinn Fein to spin this story as “the brits are still trying to undermine Irish democracy no surrender” they are only boosting Sinn Fein. The On the runs (OTRs) legislation is particularly not very creamy. The on the runs legislation is supposed to be about a new start. Yet the British and Irish governments want to let the OTRs back in to the country without Sinn Fein joining the police board. That should have been a stipulation of the deal. The OTRs are allowed back to signify that the North has changed yet Sinn Fein has not accepted that the change has happened. Why was this allowed? Also now Sinn Fein are rejecting the legislation as it covers soliders as well. What a double standard. This legislation is a joke no one but the governments seem to want it. The main tacit that the British seem to be using to make the parties sit down to talk. Is to bring in as much policies as possible to piss off the people of Northern Ireland. Water charges hospital closings, education reform. They have this kind of team Actimel of direct rule ministers. They pretend to be protecting but they really are a gimmick. That seems to have a desire to be unpopular. Perhaps all the British policies are based on a clever long term game plan. Mess up the province, piss off everyone and they are sure to get sick of us and work together.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dave Chappelle Fall

Dave Chappelle is one of the funniest and on the ball American comedians about. His show the Chappelle show is a big hit and he got €50 million to produce a third series from Comedy central. However from wikipedia
The comedian stunned fans and the entertainment industry when he abruptly left during production of the third season of Chappelle's Show. He spent two weeks in South Africa before returning home to his 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, and then returned to standup comedy. His decision triggered reports that he had mental or drug problems, which he denied On May 11, news sources (most notably Entertainment Weekly) reported that Chappelle had checked himself into a psychiatric facility in South Africa. Chappelle denies this. On May 14, Time Magazine announced that one of their reporters had interviewed Chappelle in South Africa, and the comedian said no psychiatric treatments were occurring or necessary. Chappelle reportedly went to South Africa to purify himself and to do some soul searching. Chappelle has also said he was unhappy with the direction of his show.
The reason behind his decision to leave is a mystery however one theory is that a group called the Dark Crusaders were trying to get him to quit. The theory is outlined I'll let you make your own mind up. Maybe it is true maybe Dave thought it was true. Maybe its a pile of poo. But what ever you believe America has lost a great show.

Dossing Times McDowell Poll

The Frank Connelly affair has divided the country. SluggerOToole has a nice round up of the various blog sites that have talked about the issue here . I have wrote about the affair here. So to really see where people stand on the issue. I thought it is worthy of a poll. Here is the Poll question Was McDowell right to do what he did in the Connelly case. There are three options. Yes He was right to out him but it should have been done in Dail not leaked to the Irish Independent. NO The Yes and the No are a bit self explanatory. The 2 option is basically if you think what Mcdowell did was right but what he has said should have been solely done in the Dail and nothing should have been leaked to Sam Smyth in the Independent. So vote now the poll is as always on the right side of the site.

Dossing Times Poll results

On the question
Should Religious orders be forced by the state to adhere to employment rules and not discriminate on bases of gender or sexual orientation?
The results came in as follows 11 votes 8 No 3 yes So the majority of the people believe that the Church should not be forced by the state to change its rules. A discussion of the topic can be seen here.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Top 6: Movies of the Year

Here is my list of what I think are the top 6 cinema releases of the year that was. As a general observation it is very mainstream which is a tribute to the quality of work coming out of Hollywood but also a slur on Limerick where I am based at the moment and the lack of an outlet for alternative and independent movies.
Number 6 in my list was actually the most difficult to decide upon, it was a case of deciding which film was that extra bit more impressive than a number of others to just make it into the list. The film that earns the honour is Batman Begins with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang just loosing out. Warner Brothers had no choice but to rehash the Batman series after Batman and Robin and surprisingly they chose well with director Chris Nolan (Memento) and one of the best ensemble casts of the year (Freeman, Neeson, Caine, Bale and Oldman). There is plenty to nitpick with this film but like the original X-Men this has created a distinctive look, a compelling central character and removed itself significantly from the shadow of the distinctive Burton films and the ridiculed Batman and Robin. Like X-Men and Spiderman the first act of the film establishing the character of Bruce Wayne and the Batman mythos is far more interesting than the by the numbers conclusion however if they continue to invest such quality in the follow-up you can safely file this movie under ‘Potential’.
Number 5 is The Constant Gardener. Any adaptation of the dense and convoluted works of John Le Carre that successfully condenses one of his stories into a 2-hour running time should be commended. This film earns a place in the list for being a well-constructed thriller, a compelling romance story and finding enough time to develop characters and give us time to enjo the majesty of Africa. Ralph Fiennes subtly goes through the entire range of emotions as he tries to uncover the reason for his wife’s murder, the audience learns with him, sharing in his doubt and confusion. Each of the elements of the film whether it be its earthy natural look in the scenes in Africa, in granting the most unique view of the London cityscape I have seen in a long time, its attention to detail so that every scene is pivotal lead to this being one of the most original and dynamic movies of the year. This film gave me something new to consider, I thank it for that.
What self-respecting movie-fan could include a remake in his list of movies of the year? At that a remake of a classic movie, loved by generations of people based on source material that has an equally adored position in people’s minds. Well this is the first of two remakes in the list, this spot going to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I could go on about the great partnership of Burton and Depp, the great performance by Depp, the fantastic look of the movie, the score, the non-annoying kids and the great way in which the movie is faithful to the book, revitalising it and equally adding elements that enhance the story. More important than all of that is that this movie is more fun than you can shake a stick at, that’s good enough for me and certainly good enough for the No. 4 spot.
No. 3- Renee Zellweger, interviewed on Parkinson last year told of her next project where she played the wife of a great man, it was that simple and she enjoyed describing it that way. How right she was, the story of Cinderella Man is straightforward but it tells such an important story of how there are decent men amongst us. The look of the movie is that of old-romanticised Hollywood that probably never existed. The scene with Crowe begging for money in a club room of boxing agents, the dynamism between Crown and Paul Giamatti (his agent) and the great family scenes are that of a heart-felt drama and these are then coupled with thrilling and tense fight scenes. This movie succeeds in avoiding becoming a cheesy, preaching movie and instead is a spiriting movie of survival that makes you feel good and that can never be a bad thing.
Another remake I hear you say as I put King Kong at No. 2. I thought exactly the same when following the hoopla over the Lord of the Rings trilogy it was announced Peter Jackson was to remake King Kong. My doubt was added to when I first saw the trailer for this movie and wondered why they were even bothering with using real actors as it took from what could have been a great animated movie. I still contend that a movie watcher can instinctively know when there is a real live object on the screen and despite the strong feelings people felt towards Jar Jar Binks, it is easier to relate to a real actor. Nevertheless I was blown away by this movie, Peter Jackson is a noble movie-maker and properly developed the movie so that for every bit of awe you felt for the spectacle you equally believed in this story and its characters. It looked fantastic, the monkey was great and Naomi Watts surely deserves an Oscar nomination for making eyes watering look so sexy and the thrilling conclusion atop the Empire State Building deserves as much respect as the original. Until now I begrudged the kids of the 70s for having such important movie-makers emerge during their decade, getting Peter Jackson is a nice consolation
The best movie of the year was Serenity. This movie slipped in under the radar for many just as much as the TV show that inspired it did in the States but nevertheless it is everything a movie should be. So good a storyteller is Joss Whedon that he constructed a movie that welcomes new comers to the premise with open arms and confirms to fans of the original show that it was in fact brilliant, answering their questions from the show, keeping the same cast, upping the action and treating 9 characters with respect. The story is a medley of every inspiration for Joss Whedon- Spaghetti Westerns, Space Adventures and stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Importantly, every cliché is turned on its head, people die for real, the humour is quirky, subtle and laugh out loud and the story is epic, personal and enthralling. Too many people have not seen this movie, they have missed out spectacularly.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Alive in Limerick

The great Alive in Limerick blog has called it a day. It will be sorely missed. It is a model of how blogs can be used just as well on local news as for large news stories.

Some changes

Considering loads of other blogs are redesigning their blogs I thought instead of writing a post today I would redesign the site. Hope ye like. If you find any problems with it please tell me. The colour of the poll will be corrected with the next poll. Just thought I would leave the current poll running for another few days. Any comments or ideas welcome. edit had some problams with the comments all fixed now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Double Standards for McDowell

The basis of all criminal justice is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However this isn’t always the case.

Gerry Adams has never been convicted for being a member of the Provisional IRA army council. In fact he has never been convicted of IRA membership. The connection between the IRA and Sinn Fein has to my knowledge never been proved in a court of law.

America or the CIA has never been prosecuted in a court of law for kidnapping, torturing and transporting of prisoners through Shannon. .

Now this is just two examples of things people believe, report and criticise others for that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Yet these two things are readily believed by the media and the opposition parties. Most of the papers have stated as fact that the IRA Sinn Fein are one in the same thing. Read any opinion column and you will see this. Also have a read of Indymedia and you’ll find countless articles about the CIA torture flights.

So why suddenly do we hear claims of innocents until proven guilty. While the likes of indymedia need no court case to claim the CIA are torturing nor do they even need leaked official documents. The majority of the evidence of their claim is based on hear say and jumped up plane spotters not a lot of which would stand up in court. Yet suddenly they need court cases over Frank Connolly

If back in 2004 I said Mutu took drugs is that an accusation aimed at Chelsea or the player. Obviously it is against the player the fact that he played for Chelsea at the time is irrelevant. Similarly with Frank Connolly he worked at the Centre of Public Enquiry acquisitions against him are not in a bid to destroy the centre. The centre was created to be an independent inquiry agency. Would it be right for the head of such powerful independent agency to have broken the law? And possibly support 2 terrorist organisations one of which would like to bring down the state and the other is a major drug exporter? Considering that this centre is to inquire into government no matter who is in power. Is it then right that party A is supported by the head? Someone who may make sure all parties except party A are investigated. Would removing such a person from that position not in fact be insuring its independence?

(Edit: This paragraph added 00:30)In fact considering that the PIRA wishes to bring down the state wouldn’t requirement No 1 of the Centre of Public Enquiry be that the person in charge of the organisation that could bring down the state doesn't want to bring down the state or have any links at all to the PIRA. How would addreasing that not be in the nations security interest?

So the question I feel that needs to be answered is why is there suddenly a need for a court case for proof when Adams and the CIA have not had the luxury? Is this a case of McDowell bashing, media protecting their own or genuine grievances?

If you do have a genuine grievance and truly believe in innocent till proven guilty. Then be true to your principles and reprimanded people who say the CIA torture, Sinn Fein/IRA are linked and Gerry Adams is on the IRA council with the same vigour as you would Michael McDowell over this issue. If however you would find your self reprimanding yourself maybe you should reconsider your stance on this incident or your stance on all other incidents. For to say CIA’s and Sinn Fein/IRA's guilt needs no court but Connolly’s does is a double standard.

Dossing Times Election Poll Results

The votes of the dosing times poll are in and the results are as follows. 39 votes cast. Pds 10 votes Fine Gael 6 Labour 6 Greens 5 Fianna Fail 4 Sinn Fein 4 Independent 2 Will not vote 2 Socialist party 0 Now as can be seen the votes are not very accurate to the main public opinion. It is highly unlikely that the Pds will the largest party in the Dail and Fianna Fail smaller then the greens, but what does it say about Dossing Times readers. Most of the Dossing Times readers judging by the comments left are either friends or bloggers. The majority however are bloggers. So what does that say about the Irish Blogger community? One thing it shows is that the opinion amongst bloggers seems to be mixed. In Irish political Blogland blogs are mainly split in 3 ways left wing, right wing and nationalist. The voter numbers for sinn fein would therefore be thought to be higher. With many pro-sinn fein blogs such was gaskinbalrog. it seems strange that sinn feins poll count was so low. That is possibly due to them not knowing about the poll. Or that that sinn fein support is below what they might expect. Fianna Fail level of support would seem to suggest that blogland does not have the same level of support for the party as the polls seem to suggest. Fianna Fail is the party that is voted for by the poorest sections of society while Labour and the Greens (in that order) are voted for by the most affluent members. The Pds probably also have an affluent base. As do Fine Gael. While Sinn Fein gets much of its support from working class areas. This might show that the blogsphere is made up largely by the affluent members of society. Considering that blogging requires Internet access this is probably not a extravagant claim. However Fianna Fail performance might represent a dissatisfaction with their performance in government a dissatisfaction not shared with the Pds. As culabula said in the comments section
I expect the result to be more polarized between Left/Right because bloggers are people who think about their political choices. In the real elections most people take the middle option (FF, FG stand up).
Thus this would explain the high votes for the Pds Labour and the Greens. These parties are either left wing or right wing. With perceived set political view points. Where as Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are very much central in view point. While the Pds are on top with 10. The combined Labour Green vote is 11. This suggest that Labour and the green party slit the left wing vote while the Pds have no natural opponent on the right. (All this is presuming that Tom Parlon did not find this website) What this has to do with the outcome of the next election is unclear. It may have very little to do with it. 39 votes in an election split across many constitutes is not going to make or break a government, However if blogs come as important in Ireland as in America. With tens of thousands reading blogs everyday. Then the few top Irish bloggers may come as influential as many of Irelands top journalists. If bloggers start really pushing parties. Then it is possible that the preference of wing politics in the blogsphere might lead to a rise in the fortunes of the left, right and nationalist parities and a fall for the central parties. However I think this unlikely to happen. I don't think blogs will evolve the same way as in America. The explosion of blogs power in America is due to George W Bush. We don't have the same divide in Irish politics. Few on both sides of the divide would see a government of the Pds and Labour while not their first choice as totally wrong. The Greens agreeing with the Pds on an issue is not an earth shattering event unlike the Democrats and Republicans in America agreeing. The rise of American blogs influence is due to the divide that is not in Ireland. The only divide in Ireland is Sinn Fein and Anti-Sinn Fein. And Sinn fein is far from having enough power to really trouble anyone yet. But if they do rise then the Irish Blogland may have a divide that will drive the blogsphere. In Ireland all politics in local. While people might dislike Fianna Fail they still will vote Fianna Fail as their local Fianna Fail TD is a good man/woman. They don't see the connection between local TD's and the Dail. If Greens Labour and the Pds want to make inroads into Fianna Fail and Fine Gael they have to try make people see the bigger picture. Sinn Fein realise that is the situation. They work hard on the ground and that is why they are on the rise. Not due to people agreeing with them but because the local Sinn Fein person is a good for the county. Sorry for the delay in publishing the results by the way.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Is this the effect of Irish pressure groups in America ?

(Hat tip Slugger). Are pressure groups in America the reason that the IRA/Sinn Fein have friends in America while Hamas have none. Why the IRA in films have Brad Pitt and are favorable and Hamas don't. An articles on the subject. What's a terrorist, what's a freedom fighter? and could you imagine Hamas getting the same coverage in America as this. Northern Ireland issues bond North Jersey group

Better off on the dole!

Call me crazy but I've always believed that the State should encourage people to find employment and contribute to society and the economy. In my opinion the best way of doing this is to ensure that persons on minimum wage are better off, financially, than those on the dole. I was dismayed to read in the Independent (account needed)today that thousands of low paid workers could be encouraged back into dole queues due to increases in welfare announced last week by Brian Cowen in the budget. According to the Independent a married man with children could be €7,300 per annum better off on the dole if he also qualifies for rent supplement. Families relying on rent supplement would need to have an income of €30,000, or the average industrial wage, just to equal what they would receive by staying on welfare. I believe the state should do it's best to help those without employment, but give me a break. The Government are trying to tackle this issue by introducing a 'Rental Accommodation Scheme' that will allow a person to take a low income job and still pay only a potion of their rent. However to allow such a gap to develop, in the first place, between those on welfare and those working is extraordinary.


No sequence of events can ever be exactly repeated twice. The chaos theory suggests that any number of factors, changes in temperature, most famously the flap of a butterflies wings can change absolutely the order of minute events which make up an experiment. By experiment I mean anything a meteorologist predicting the weather to the flip of a coin at the start of a match. There are constant variables but there is never any means of controlling them- in flipping a coin there are two variables which could theoretically be controlled- how soon the coin hits the ground, and how fast it is flipping. In practice it is impossible to control these factors. What strikes me about this idea is that in our day-to-day lives we also never see events in the same way as anyone else or experience a sensation in the same way as anyone else and even we ourselves will never repeat that sensation or fully appreciate the experience in the same way as the moment the experience passes we will have a whole new set of factors which will change our mindset, mood and consequently how we view the past experience. Sitting in a cinema, sitting across the kitchen table staring at the same box of breakfast cereal or even laughing at the same joke; there are so many factors at play. Pointing out an interesting news story or a striking image you will never be sitting in the same position, have the same eyesight, have the same opinions or have had the same experiences dictating how you respond as the person or people who are looking at the exact same image or event or cereal box. In the instant it takes you to acknowledge, process and see the image any number of factors can have changed, wind, temperature, a cloud, the sun, your stomach rumbles, your tootache returns and you will do this with your unique sense of humour, instincts and way of understanding through a never to be repeated series of events which have lead to you being the person you are. If so much can change in the smallest amount of time imaginable and if so much is changing at every instant of every day in everything we do, how can we know what we do, what we see, how we feel? Is there any definitive way we can ever write an essay, post a blog or pass a comment on any single event or emotion because our view of it at the time was entirely unique and unlike anyone elses and now that the time is passed we can never really offer a true description of it? Clearly we pass comments, write articles and blogs but is any of it real or does it in anyway reflect what is actually going on?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dossing Times Poll.

No employer can discriminate against someone on grounds of sexual orientation or gender. However priests and brothers can only be straight men and nuns can only be straight women. Is this wrong? Should the church be forced to adhere to the employment laws considering that priest get paid? Should men be allowed to be nuns and women to be priests? That is the question in the dossing times poll. Should Religious orders be forced by the state to adhere to employment rules and not discriminate on bases of gender or sexual orientation? Poll in the right side bar.

Friday, December 09, 2005

4th Level Education Budget plan.

This was annoced in the Budget on Wednesday. Part of the plan is to stop 3rd level institutions pitched against each other across all key disciplines. To me that seems to be saying that only one university will cover a topic. If this is true then I have to disagree with it. This is going to set back research in this country. My background is in physics so this I’ll stay in the physics sector for this argument.

PhD students do not come out of thin air. They mainly come from the CAO system. When someone applies for a physics programme. They mainly chose on the location of the university and the points of the system not on the speciality of the department.

Now if we want physics PhD students to maximise there potential we have to have them working in the field they are best at. Physics has many fields Quantum, Astronomy, Materials, Optics, Computational, Particle etc and fields within fields. Students need to be exposed to all these branches of physics. The only exposure to these various branches is via their lecturers. Once they have taken courses and been exposed to all branches can they make their decisions on what branch suits them best.

However if we try to pigeon hole topics into universities we are going to have the situation where physics courses are weighted towards certain topics. This already happens lecturers have their pet topics that they like to teach. This is their research areas. Universities balance this out by having varied research areas so having varied lectures. But when universities have specialities and are excluding from certain projects. The lecturers in the department are all going to researching in a small number of fields.

Lecturers teach in their own areas. And in these consolidation measures lectures and PhD students who are future lecturers are going to move to universities that do research in their fields. This coalescence in talent could even create a flood where for example all optics research in the country could be done in one university and all astronomy in another.

Hence in departments whose research fields are narrowed are also going to narrow the scope of the courses they teach. This is going to damage the education of students if the greatest potential cosmologist ends up in a department that does not do cosmology due to this measure they are not going to reach their potential. This will be detrimental to the future quality of graduates.

Top 6 Friday - The Simpsons

This weeks we run through our Top 6 episodes in Simpsons history. We accept that making such a list is close to impossible, but these are the 6 that came to mind first. Unsurprisingly, Homer features heavily in all of these episodes. 6. Marge vs Monorail Mr Burns is fined $3m dollars for illegally dumping nuclear waste in the local park. The town decide to spend the money on a monorail and Homer ends up as the driver. Best bits include Homers version of the Flintstones theme tune, the monorail song and Leonard Nimoy's appearance. Memorable quotes Marge: According to this book, the monorail goes over 150 miles an hour! What if something goes wrong? Homer: ``What if.'' What if I stepped in the shower and slipped on a bar of soap? ... Oh, my God! I'd get killed! Marge: Homer, there's a man here who thinks he can help you Homer: Batman? Marge: No, he's a scientist Homer: Batman's a scientist? Marge: It's not Batman! 5. Secrets of a successful marriage In this episode Homer gets a job teaching Springfield locals the secrets to a successful marriage. However, unable to keep their attention, he resorts to telling the class the intimate details of his and Marge's relationship. Best bits include Homer bearing his soul to the Krusty Burger drive-thru, Moe's attempt to get Marge when she throws Homer out, Homer replacing Marge with a potted plant. Memorable quotes Homer: Now what is a wedding? Well, Webster's dictionary describes a wedding as the process of removing weeds from one's garden. Marge: Homer, I really don't like you telling personal secrets in your class. Homer: Marge, I didn't tell 'em personal stuff. Marge: Today at the Kwik-E-Mart everybody knew I dyed my hair! Homer: Oh, you mean about you. All right, maybe I said some things, some personal things. But you should have seen them, Marge: they really wanted to hear what I had to say Marge: Mmm, I'm happy about that. But I think you can be a good teacher and still respect our privacy. Homer: Look, Marge, you don't know what it's like. _I'm_ the one out there every day putting his ass on the line. And I'm not out of order! _You're_ out of order. The whole freaking _system_ is out of order. You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can't handle the truth! 'Cause when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it, Marge, it's Chinatown. Marge: Homer, don't _ever_ tell them personal stuff about me again! Homer: [meek] Yes ma'am. 4. Much Apu about nothing This episode begins with a grizzly bear 'terrorizing' the neighbourhood and progresses to an attempt to deport all illegal immigrants in Springfield due to rising taxes. Highlights include the ridiculously over the top bear patrol, Homer's attempt to teach Apu about American history and Chief WIggums deportation preparations at the docks. Memorable quotes Homer: Let the bears pay the bear tax, I pay the Homer tax Lisa: That's the home owner tax Moe: You know what really aggravazes me? It's them immigants. They wants all the benefits of living in Springfield, but they ain't even bother to learn themselves the language. Homer: Hey, those are exactly my sentimonies. Barney: [babbles] Moe: Yeah, you said it Barn. Chief Wiggum: All right, men, here's the order of deportations. First we'll be rounding up your tired, then your poor, then your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... 3. Cape Feare This is far and away the best of Sideshow Bob episode. The episode begins with Bob sending Bart threatening letters written in blood. When Bob gets parole the Simpsons go into the witness protection agency, changing the name to the Thompsons. This is just comedic genius from start to finish. Highlights include Bob's parole hearing ("Nobody that speaks German could be evil"), the rake scene, Homer's new chainsaw and hockey mask, the 'Hello Mr Thompson' scene, and Bart stalling Bob by getting him to sing the entire score of the H.M.S Pinifore. Memorable quotes Homer (opening one of Bobs threatening letters) : Oh my God, somebody's trying to kill me! (Relieved) Oh, wait, it's for Bart. Laywer: Well, what about that tatoo on your chest? Doesn't it say Die, Bart, Die? Sideshow Bob: No, that's German for 'The Bart, The." Parole Judge: No one who speaks German can be an evil man! Parole Granted! 2. Homer the Great Homer discovers a secret society in Springfield, the Stonecutters. Having become a member, Homer desecrates the Stonecutters sacred parchment. However before he can be banned he turns out to be the Chosen One, whom the parchment foretold would lead the Stonecutters to glory. Best bits include Homer spying on Lenny and Carl, the Stonecutter's initiation ceremony and of course the Stonecutters song Memorable quotes Homer: I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, evil stuff! And I want in. Moe's objection to the oath - Homer: And by the sacred parchment, I swear that if I reveal the secrets of the Stonecutters, may my stomach become bloated and my head be plucked of all but three hairs -- Moe: Um, I think he should have to take a different oath.) 1. Homer goes to college This episode does exactly what it says on the tin. Homer heads to college to get the qualification he needs to keep his job. However his idea of campus life is based solely on cliched movies and TV shows, where jocks continuously give nerds a hard time and the cool kids are in a constant battle with some 'crusty old dean'. Absolutely hilarious from beginning to end. Best bits include the inspection of the Nuclear plant, Homer guarding the bee, Homer's first lecture("out with the old and in with the nucleas"), Homer demonstrating the proton accelerator the wallet inspector and Sir Oinks-a-lot. Memorable Quotes Nerd 2 (Asking about the final exam): What are you going to do, Mr. Simpson? Homer: Actually, I've been working on a plan. During the exam, I'll hide under some coats, and hope that somehow everything will work out. Homer: Marge try to understand, there are two types of college students, jocks and nerds. As a jock, it is my duty to give nerds a hard time. Nerd 2: Oh, man, I can't believe you failed. Homer: [whining] Oh, I'm going to lose my job just 'cause I'm dangerously unqualified! Nerd 2: Mr. Simpson, there is a way. We could -- well, use a computer to change your grade. Homer: [surprised] Computers can do that? Nerd 2: Well, yes...the only problem is the moral dilemma it raises, which requires -- [Homer hugs and kisses one of the computers] Homer: Oh, I love -- moral whuzzah?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tom Parlon Voting rigging

On Budget the budget dominate the news. So other news items sometimes can get left behind and on noticed one that grabbed me was. Tom Parlon on Midlands Radio.

. The debate was about Decentralisation and the programme was running a txt poll. 94% of people in the poll said they were satisfied with the governments policy. However on checking the txt numbers that were received the station found out that many of the votes could be traced back to his office. He denied it but on Today Fm news they said they had an internal email saying that in fact that his staff were asked to participate. This is a serious story while a local radio txt poll may not be of any importance. The fact that he tried to usurp a democratic process is serious and hopefully will not be buried by other news stories.

Decentralisation had been his idea. It has backfire. He seemed to forget that not every person in the civil service has wives and husbands kids and houses. While one person can move their other half might have a job they can’t decentralise that. Kids are in schools with friends can you decentralise that?. No of course not decentralisation is a ridicules idea.

Tom Parlon seems to have shown utter contempt for the concept for honest debate. This to me is in fact a disgrace that a politician in a democratic country would deliberately try to alter the perceived public opinion on a radio debate. He seems to be blatantly putting his own career in front of the interests of the people. This guy must care little for normal peoples opinions. Where must politicians to their credit join a party based on the parties political stance. He shopped around to get the best deal for himself. In 2001 he told RTE news "If I run it will be with one of the two big parties, but I am also looking at other options in the corporate sector,". Last time I checked the PD s were not one of the big parties. This txt poll is another example of his self serving attitude.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Welcome CK

Hey we have a new poster on The Dossing Times no idea what CK will write about but welcome anyway.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Despite what the Sunday Independent might think most men are not MetroSexual. Their beauty regime does not comprise eyebrow plucking, waxing and facials it involves the three S’s shit, shower and shave and for very special occasions the 4th S a shoeshine. So why are people like the Sunday Independent bombarding us with tales of male grooming and taking spa breaks. MONEY.

On the page after the article was an advertisement for spa weekends. Newspapers need to sell to papers so that advertisers will purchase space. They therefore are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. Likewise men’s magazines. They sell because of sex. Any man that goes on about I read it for the “articles” are either liars or reading articles about Abi Titmuss sex tips.

Vast amounts of cosmetic companies advertise in these magazines and I am fairly sure if they started saying men you don’t need face cream. They would quickly lose this source of income. So they publish articles telling of the wonders of the latest €40 bottle of stuff that will make you instantly attractive to women as without it you will end up alone, sad and reading the “articles”.

For years this kind of commercial myth has been prevalent in females magazines. And most fell for it. The myth that beauty was size 6, tanned, tall, eye brow plucked and moisturised skin. So the majority of the female population are trying to adhere to that myth. This has lead to many things such as depression and anorexia. As this has happen men too have fallen into the trap of expecting this in women. Years ago skinny women were not the object of attraction look at Marylyn Monroe. But we men have been fooled it to thinking amongst other things that protruding bones are somehow hot. I mean seriously does plucked eyebrows turn any man on.

All this myth building has been built by industry the cosmetic industry. Whether it be Nivea or surgeons this myth has made billions. But all is not going well for the industry. The market is saturated, women spend hundreds on cosmetics. So to improve the share price and grow something needed to be done. Some new markets needed to be found. Then came Beckham. Suddenly there was a market something they never thought of before men. So no longer was after shave and hair gel enough suddenly we had moisturisers and facials.

Adds are designed to sell. To do this they must makes people feel they need that item. So for female cosmetics they show some spectacular beauty and use this to focus into the insecurities females have about their appearance and it worked. So they want to use the same tactics with men. But the male psyche works slightly differently just putting a hot guy on the screen is not going to make a man buy face cream. So the adds act on a different insecurity then female adds. It acts on the insecurity in attracting people of the opposite sex (or same for homosexuals). Every male add has a hot girl in it who is all over the user of the product. It send out the out the signal that a lazy scumball like you can just sit on your ass while hot women fall all over you just by using our stuff. This is typified by the Lynx effect.

When they do but a guy to plug a product it is not a model it is usually a footballer or Gavin Henson. This I believe has only one motive to sell the product to the people who footballer players are their role-models teenage boys. The thinking I presume is if you can grab them early you will keep them. While many men in their twenties and older would have a fit at the thought of putting on cosmetics due to years of school yard conditioning. Younger men are growing up in school yards where not only is cosmetics acceptable but the norm.

So is this a good thing?. Is it good that men can pamper themselves and not feel the confined by the male stereotypes they have inherited from their fathers?. Sure it is but is shelling out for moistures really about pampering. No it is the media feed belief that women only want a well groomed manicured man that drives male cosmetics sales. Not being a women I can’t really comment on this issue but it seems that women seem to swoon over the movie stars that have the rugged looked and hate men that spend more time in the bathroom then them. Some people like to call it designer stubble as if it is someone’s creation. But unless the designer they talk about is god stubble has no designer it is in fact it is due to the absence of any designing.

Also on the rise is cosmetic surgery in both men and women. What people are not born with they seek to have added. Shows like the Swan fuel the myth that a good body (in the media’s definition) is the secret to happiness. Thus more and more people are going under the knife.

But where will it stop. Looking at some of the new adds they seem to portray mens’ cosmetics as a kind of macho slap it in type product. Compared to the females slowly applied approach. This is the industries attempt to make cosmetics macho. But where will it end. Will men in 10 years time be wearing lipstick. The answer is probably yes. The cosmetic companies are seeing men take up their products but the shareholders will demand increased growth and this will make it necessary to market more products. Men are just as gullible to the fashion myth as women. Make-up for men is the obvious next step.

But then where? With men and women buying a full range of cosmetics where is the next market. In some places this market is already coming to the surface. That market is children. Parents will not only be buying their kids lipsticks with multicoloured bears on them and moisturisers with nemoesque fish on the bottles. But they may also be conditioned to believe their bundle of joy are not perfect and are in need of plastic surgery. That is a worrying but probable future.

But I am going to make a stand for the human race. I’m refusing to use moisturiser. Maybe some of my female readers can tell me if this is going to leave me like the cosmetic companies would like to think alone reading the “articles”. But to bust some myths that have been told to women. For me and most men I have asked a females greatest feature is not her cleavage or legs or backside or plucked eyebrows but her smile. And before anyone points it out it has nothing to do with the use of whitening toothpaste

American War planes

With the latest news about American CIA flights taken place through Shannon. I found this picture on my camera. It is a picture of a US war planes in Shannon that I took back in August when I was getting off a plane. In light of the news I wonder who was on board.

Jon Stewart Sticking it to the man

For those of you that haven't heard of Jon Stewart, he's the hilarious presenter of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, which is well worth checking out. Here he is berating 'partisan hackery' on the since cancelled CNN show Crossfire. Well worth a look.

America's War on Christmas

How many of you reading this are already sick of all the talk about Christmas in the media? The monkey nut shells were still on the floor when the TV and radio were saturated with Christmas ads. Well, those of you whose patience has run out are not alone and may find a spiritual home in America of all places. The past few years has seen another front emerge on the issue of political correctness in America. The US has seen an anti-Christmas movement emerge, that seeks to remove Christianity from the public domain at Christmas time. The 'War on Christmas', as Fox have wittily dubbed it, is a lefty secular movement that wants to remove the images and mentions of Christ from Christmas. Its another aspect of the "its cool to attack/slag Christianity" vibes that are widespread at the moment. The stated motive behind it is to protect those who may be offended by Christian and Christmas imagery in the public domain. Unsurprisingly Fox see it as an attempt by the left to completely secularise society and thus pave the way for the introduction of gay marriage, the legalisation of narcotics, euthanasia etc. There have been various examples of the Anti-Claus brigade across America in the past few years. Nativity scenes have been banned from public viewing. Stores don't sell Christmas trees anymore, they now sell Community or Holiday trees. The issue has even been address by US Congress. Staff members have been forbidden from wishing customers 'Happy Christmas' and instead told to wish them 'Happy Holidays'. This story is a nice example of what's being going on. A local US postal centre have discontinued the issuing of classic Christmas stamps with the Madonna and child. In past years large retail stores, such as Macy's have refused to advertise Christmas, (although having done some research I've discovered that Macy's are again advertising Christmas this year, but other major stores still aren't). Is nothing in this world sacred anymore? Is this an attempt to get some measure of revenge for the whole "Freedom" fries incident back in 2003? The whole incident shows the hypocrisy of the left when it comes to political correctness. The left will only tolerate the beliefs, culture and traditions of minorities in society. For some reason there's a deep-rooted guilt running through their veins. Nobody can criticise a religious group or religious belief unless its Christian. Unsurprisingly there has been somewhat of a backlash against the Anti-Claus bridage this year. As Jewish comedian Jackie Mason (co-founder of the Pro-Christmas movement Jews against anti-Christmas defamation) recently pointed out pornography and rapping about killing and prostitution are protected by freedom of speech laws, and yet these people are out there trying to get Christmas out of the public domain!! I wonder is this politically correct effort going to reach our fair shores in the coming years? I say back off and leave Christmas alone.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

CAP WARS The Trade Wars

(This follows up this post) A not so long long ago in a not so much of a far far away galaxy. The regions of the small planet on outer spiral arm of the Milky Way which the inhabitants call Earth are trying to negotiate a trade package to benefit all. However the talks are stalling….

Trade makes the world go round. Since the beginning of time trade has been an integral part of society. Where before it was barter trade nowadays works on the basics of the Market. With each product having a price dictated by demand and availability. However this is not a free-market. Countries and regions place traffics to give their own people an advantage over foreigners. However the latest trade talks are trying to change that. The 3 major objectives are

• market access: substantial reductions • exports subsidies: reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of these • domestic support: substantial reductions for supports that distort trade

Developing countries want access to Europe’s agricultural markets. As they can produce at lower costs then European farmers they will dominate the market. However the tariff walls and the subsidised European farmers mean that developing countries cannot compete. Also many European companies would want greater access to developing countries markets. This maybe called by neo-colonialism but it can benefit the local economics by providing jobs and credit much in the same way American investment benefited Ireland.

Europe accounts for the 20% of world trade. But Europe’s economy is poor. The Euro is performing poorly. The French and German economies two of the powerhouses of Europe are performing poorly with high unemployment. It is estimated that that Europe GDP could increase by €20bn a year if there is a successful negotiation of Doha. So it is clearly in the broader European interest to have a successful outcome of these talks. The opening up of trade could solve many of Germanys and Frances unemployment problems. However all is not going well.

The talks are stalled and it is clear to see who the other countries blame. While no official statements of blame have been made. Australia and Canada wanted to release a statement blaming the EU. Philippine foreign secretary Alberto Romulo told the Associated Press “You don’t have to name names, it’s quite obvious who are the people”. So it now goes to Hong Kong next week and Europe’s representative Peter Mandelson to make the world hunky doory again. But even Europe is not united France has threatened to veto any moves made to reform Agriculture.

At the Doha summit the leaders realised a statement it said that the process “must be carried to a successful conclusion ... by the end of 2006”. The main stumbling block is agriculture. “Unless progress is made in this area, we cannot make progress in the round as a whole,” the statement said. “Avoiding or compromising our ambition on this issue would mean that we would lower expectations for the round as a whole.”

With the rejection of the EU constitution by France and Netherlands and since the expanding of the EU there is a rising nationalism in the EU. Many people are beginning to resent the level of control that they have relinquished to the EU. So the EU needs to show people that it can deliver coherent and beneficial policy. The world trade talks give them the opportunity to do this. Also if they fail to do a deal Europe loses much of it power in the world. Europe might even come isolated. This would be a disaster for the EU so something has to be sacrificed. Sugar framers in Europe are the pawns being offered up.

On the 16 September Australia, Brazil and Thailand sent a communication to the chairman of the dispute settlement body of the WTO. It was in connection to European export subsidies on sugar. Their complaint was that Europe was

“contemplating action to declassify quota sugar to C sugar in the near future which would serve to increase its subsidised exports of sugar to a level of some 6 million tonnes in excess of the EC’s WTO export subsidy commitments for sugar (i.e. the EC’s subsidised exports of sugar would total approximately 7.2 million tonnes).”

This has lead to the price of beet been cut to €25 a ton. This is going to cause the vast majority of beet farmers in Europe to go out of business. It is unclear if these farmers will move out of agriculture or whether they will be given sufficient grants so as to invest in machinery etc and thus allow them to change into other fields (pardon the pun) of agriculture.

Europe has been taking a lot of flak over these trade talks and it wants some kind of leverage to get some good will, to allow it to negotiate more favourable terms for the European market. The sugar industry is that leverage. It will remain to be seen if it will be enough.

Most countries still want more cuts in CAP while Europe has said that what is on the table is as much as is socially acceptable in Europe. Peter Mandelson Europe trade commissioner is in charge of the negotiation. His labour party are beginning to see the Conservatives anti-Europe stance beginning to garner support in a country already lukewarm on Europe. So he does not want jeopardise Labour and his close friend Blair in Britain.

Mandelson has a tricky line to walk. Go to far one side and he will suffer the wrath of the French and framers to far the other side and he could alienate the rest of the world. So it is not yet clear if the beet framers well be enough of a sacrifice to allow Mandelson to pacify both sides by opening trade and keeping the majority of CAP.

CAP WARS The Return from Hong Kong Will be written whenever the trade talks finish. Edit: I don't think I will actually do this.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Marilyn Manson wedding

This totally sliped under the radar. Marilyn Manson is getting married in Tipperary to Dita Von Teese. In Kilsheelan outside Clonmel. Those South Tipp people were always a bit strange :). The castle pictured is in Kilsheelan seemingly and is available to rent. So it may be the venue

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top 6 Friday: Blogs

Loads of presenters have their Top 5 list of various stuff every week. So I thought I would go one better and start a Dossing Times Top 6 Friday every friday So today is Top 6 Blogs. That don't include mine as I'd obviously be No 1 :) 6.
Twenty Major. Lines like "I punched and kicked like Christy Brown on PCP" says it all. You'll hate your self for finding it funny.
Gavins Blog. For some reason this blog always has a nice friendly atmosphere to it and I have no idea why. Always links to interesting articles and founder of
Little Green Footballs Always worth a read to see the craziness of the American right. The opinions and comments can be so outrageous and offensive that it makes you really see where your views lie.
Freedom Institute. The Geogre W of the Irish Blogsphere. Disliked by many and right wing. Thankfully Pro-American with many Irish people part of the BBB (Bashing Bush Bandwagon people who bash Bush as it is trendy) it is good to see a site with well argued points that differ. The blogsphere is all about different opinions this site brings balance to the debate.
ie-politics. Well written, well argued and concise a left winger that is not afraid to talk of raising taxes.
Disillusioned Lefty Regular readers of this blog the Disillusioned Leftys match youthful idealism with a mature handling of fact a trait so rare in a cynical world.
Other Blogs of note can been seen on the sidebar.

Election Poll

The dossing Times poll is still running on the side bar. So If you haven't added your vote please do so. It would be nice to see how Blog readers may vote. It is interesting so far. It looks like blog readers do not vote the same way as everyone else. Anyone that would like to give my poll a plug on their blogs. To get a greater number of votes and thus a better result would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Iraqi Freedom of the Press

I believe Bush once said that democratic countries in the middle east may not be pro-America. Also when questioned about the al jazeera memo Blair said something similar to we are there so they do can have freedom of the press. Seemingly the US military do not agree. The LA times has reported that the U.S. military are secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish pro-American articles. From Reuters
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, was asked during a briefing in Baghdad whether paying off Iraqi news organizations to run pro-American stories undermines the credibility of the U.S. military and of the new Iraqi media. Lynch replied that al Qaeda leaders believe "half the battle is the battlefield of the media," citing a letter, released by the United States in October, said to have been written by al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, to the extremist network's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "And what Zarqawi's doing continuously is lying to the Iraqi people, lying to the international community, conducting these kidnappings, these beheadings, these explosions so that he gets international coverage to look like he has more capability than he truly has," Lynch said. 'WE DON'T LIE' "We don't lie. We don't need to lie. We do empower our operational commanders with the ability to inform the Iraqi public, but everything we do is based on fact not based on fiction," Lynch said.
Yes they may not lie but it doesn't mean they are not telling all the facts. I mean I could tell someone Milli Vinneli were good act but forget to mention they were actually miming. I'm not lying but Im not telling the truth either. The US military think the media lost them Vietnam they don't seem to want the same thing to happen in Iraq. With the opinion polls in America turing against them it looks like the media has won the arguement again. The U.S military are just stooping to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi level. If they want to be seen as democratic liberators they need to beyond reproach.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Economic Sense?

There are many buzz words buzzing around these days. They predict death and destruction of society from Bird Flu, to Big Brother. From the removal of Common Agricultural Policy (one of my contributions to the buzzing) to Coca Cola. But one of the buzzing tails of destruction has always sounded peculiar to me. That time bomb is the pensions time bomb. The basics of the pension time bomb is this. We are not having enough kids. To keep a population growing a country needs roughly 2.4 births per female. Currently we have about 2. So this will cause a drop in the population. As less people will be working they will no be able to cover the pension costs of the older generation. This will mean a greater proportion of tax will be going to pay these retirees pensions possible more then the country can afford. This is the time bomb. The British revealed a policy to combat this bomb and to defuse it. The policy is basically as people are living longer they can work longer. But I believe there is another option that makes more economic sense. A 3 part plan. (Read the whole article before critising what I’m say) 1. Less contraception 2. Less Abortions 3. More Euthanasia We all here in the media how all the kids are having sex all the time. Well instead of complaining aboutp how about utilising it. I mean we need kids to be born. So why don’t we utilises these kids as a source of kids. By making contracetion hard to get they will have unprotected sex get pregnant and produce more kids. If we can get the each female to produce the required 2.4 kids before reaching the working world even better no need for maternity leave. Also if you ban abortion in all cases then they will be more kids born. These kids then grow up work and can help pay the pensions of the older generations. It makes great economic sense. The other policy is to increase euthanasia. We need more kids to pay for the pensions of the older generation. But why not tap it at the source of the problem the old people. If we brought in a law to kill (by the nicest means of course) people when they retire or become a burden on the economy. Then we would have no need to spend 100s of millions on pensions. That saving can be passed on to the taxpayer. Also if we burn the bodies in power stations we can maximise their economic potential by providing free fuel. Now it might be said that many would not work hard if they knew that was their fate but if we stipulate that the 15% most economical productive survive this would give people the motivation to work harder. Also if they wish to leave the country before they retire good then we can have a large tax on moving your money out of the country. So you maybe be thinking that what I am saying is a bit cruel but it does make some economic sense you have to admit. In this world today a lot of people look at society and government policy solely from the aspect of the economy and economics (the left do it as well they presume the war in Iraq is about oil). On Questions and Answers the guy from Bank of Ireland kept talking about the Irish Ferries dispute from the aspect of economics. While what he said was economical true. (That it made more sense for the company to have cheap labour and what they did therefore was correct.) The Labour parties Brendan Howlin disagreed and I have to agree with Brendan there is more to everything then economics. The economics of my solution to the pension time bomb might make economic sense but it doesn’t make it right. Likwise all other debates in the world today have to encompass more then just money. People need to remember the economy serves the people not people serving the economy.

David McWilliams and Sex toys

You might be thinking what does David McWilliams and sex toys have in common. Well I have to wonder the same thing. While looking up The Pope's Children by David McWilliams on Amazon. In the section Customers interested in this title may also be interested in: I was offered a linked labeled. Buy Erotic Sex Toys Online. Explanations on a postcard.

Doncaster 3 Aston Villa 0

Doncaster 3 Aston Villa 0 Is it time for O'Leary to go? The team that played was Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Samuel (Phillips 59), Milner, McCann, Davis, Barry, Angel, Baros. By no means the youth team. I have to wonder is Geogre Burley still free? The team is doing poorly in the league. The usual scapegoat for performance is the chairman Doug Ellis as in the past he has been accused of withholding transfer funds. But this summer he did. So even the impending take over is not going to change anything. What needs to change is O' Leary

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bird flu in humans mutating

From The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam. Whilst, thankfully, still not capable of human to human transmission, the virus has mutated "to a certain degree" according to a spokesman for the health ministry. China has confirmed its first three human cases of Bird flu in the last month, two of which were fatal.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dr Con Power - Pacific Western University [PWU] - PhD [1988] and DBA [1990] – legality of awards + academic content

I got this reply in the post pacific western university alumni Ireland I thought I would post it here because I believe it is an important comment and not many would read it if it was only in my comments.

Dr Con Power - Pacific Western University [PWU] - PhD [1988] and DBA [1990] – legality of awards + academic content

PWU was and is California State-approved

By letter dated 15th March 1989, the California State Department of Education, Private Postsecondary Education Division, confirmed to Con Power that Pacific Western University operated pursuant to California Education Code, Section 94310.3. The letter gave comprehensive information about the laws governing the award of degrees in California, detailed a rigorous institutional authorisation process, and confirmed that degrees granted by an institution in conformance with any of the categories under the California Education Code are all equally legal under the law.

Currently in 2005, Pacific Western University is a State-approved institution the California Postsecondary Education Commission [CPEC] and it is approved for consumer protection purposes by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education of the State of California [BPPVE] part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs][Bureau Registration Number 1927881]. The Bureau lists five regulated programmes evaluated as Degree granting programmes: - BS – Business Administration, BS – Public Administration, MBA – Master of Business Administration, MS – Management, and PhD – Business Administration.

In terms of recognition by the accountancy profession in the USA, currently all of the five California State-approved courses that comprise Pacific Western University’s Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate Degree Programmes in Management, Business, and Accounting have been individually approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) for Continuing Professional Education [CPE] credit for US Certified Public Accountants.

Con Power’s PhD programme

In October 1986, Con Power completed the Evaluation & Admission Application, and he was admitted as a student on the programme for the PhD – Business Administration. The eligibility requirement for entry to the Doctoral programme was a legally conferred Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree (or equivalent). Con Power submitted for transfer credits the certified Examination Transcripts for his degrees & professional qualifications – BComm [Hons – UCD – 1963], MEconSc [Hons – UCD – 1965], FCIS [Associate 1964, and Fellow 1975], and FCMA [Associate 1970 and Fellow 1975]. In the case of the FCMA, Con Power was placed joint second in the list of highest placed candidates for the Advanced Accounting & Financial Management paper, out of 1876 candidates who entered for the Part V examination in June 1970. The six elements of his PhD programme are given below.

1. Professional communications and introduction to research. – studies & submission in effective communication skills, an introduction to research methodology, and familiarisation with information sources. 2. Professional report writing. – studies of the methods of compiling and presenting data in his chosen area resulting in the submission of a dossier of his report writing capacity in many aspects of his career. 3. Functional awareness of career. – studies comprised the integration of four related areas relative to his profession – self, society, formal methods & procedures of the profession, resources available to the profession, and the submission of a formal Degree Programme Warrant. 4. Submission of a Qualifying Exercise of Doctoral material standard. Following studies in organising and presenting data and professional concepts through analysis, criticism, and integration, his Qualifying Exercise was “Ireland’s Strategic National Roads Network – A Key to Economic Development”, and this was subsequently published.

5. Submission of a Research Proposal. - Following studies in research procedures and in developing professional proposals, Con Power based his Research Proposal on two separate periods of research – [1] 1967 to 1972 as full-time Research Economist with An Foras Forbartha where his research and publications dealt with the Irish Construction Industry, management aspects of the industry, and aspects of the legislative, economic, and fiscal environment in which the industry operates, and [2] 1979 to 1988 as Director, Economic Policy, Confederation of Irish Industry where his research and publications related to all business sectors, and to each of the factors that impact on the environment within which Irish business operates. Con Power supported his submission with his then 190 published articles, and 7 published research reports. 6. Submission of a Dissertation or Demonstration of Professional Expertise [DPE], accompanied by a Research Summary. Con Power undertook preparatory studies of professional development in Operations and Strategy, Management Processes, and Data and Information Systems. The title of his DPE was “The Environment for Enterprise”, and this covered in an integrated manner various aspects of the legislative, regulatory, fiscal, and administrative environment within which Irish business operates. The Research Summary included an analytical exposition, critical context, integrative conclusion, and a list of published references. [Assessors: Dr Herbert W Haberland – MA, PhD (University of Chicago); and Dr James A Hayes - BA (DePauw University), MA (University of Chicago), PhD (University of Freiburg, Germany)]

Con Power’s post-doctoral studies for the DBA

After gaining the PhD on 15th October 1988, Con Power continued as a post-doctoral student, and he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Business Administration [DBA] on 27th August 1990. The additional submissions made by Con Power for the DBA are listed below, and for these he was awarded 31 semester credits in aggregate for the various credit sources listed in the Transcript issued to him by the University.

1. Qualifying Exercise. Following studies in the analysis of problems in business administration, the critical context and theory of the commercial and industrial economy, and the integration of personal and professional development, he submitted his Qualifying Exercise entitled “Health Promotion in the Workplace” 2. Research Proposal. In terms of methodology, Con Power proposed to relate his research work in an integrated fashion to many of the key factors relative to people development that impact on the competitiveness of business. 3. Dissertation or Demonstration of Professional Expertise, accompanied by a Research Summary. Con Power undertook preparatory studies relating to employment and manpower surveys, public service employment, and making it happen – reflections on leadership. He selected the following subject areas for treatment: knowledge-based industries, education, training within industry, employee shareholding, employee information & consultation, and health promotion in the workplace. Con Power’s dissertation was entitled “People Development – The Business Dimension”. His research in the selected study areas resulted in an additional 70 published articles. [Assessor: Dr Kelyn Roberts – BA MA PhD (University of Michigan) – then Instructor and Assistant Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)] End – 27th November 2005