Monday, August 29, 2005

We get what we deserve

A friend of mine once told me a story about trying to explain why Linux was free to his father. His father kept saying if I did work for someone I'd want to get paid and that you get what you pay for. How the merits of the first point are valid and maybe is sure proof that all Linux programmers are egotistical only caring for fame. But the other point is often the basis for most peoples thinking in Ireland. Think about it you walk into a off-license you see a bottle of wine for €7 and one for €17 you automatically assume that the €€17 euro one is better. To many of you it might seem that obviously the €17 euro must be better. But think about it. Which is arguable our national drink Guinness. Now you can walk into a trendy bar in Dublin or Galway and buy a pint Guinness for about almost €4 now you can walk into an old mans pub and buy a pint for €€3.40. Now based on the old adage "You get what you pay for" the €4 pint must be better. But ask any punter on the street where is the best pint of Guinness. They will always point you in the direction of the nearest old mans pub. Every Irish person knows this. Yet they will still go to the trendy bar and fork out €4 for the leaser quality pint. So maybe the adage should be changed in Ireland to you get what you deserve. Now you look at the latest big scandal in the government. Cafe bars. In this case it was shown that vested interests in the government. Pulled a proposal due to lobbying from a powerful trade union and TDs who had a direct monetary connection with in these proposals. Now this made very little waves in the country. It isn't even commented upon on Gavins fine Irish Corruption site (in fairness I hear he is busy) Now you might be thinking that it was well covered that it got a lot of media coverage and it did get some. But imagine for a minute that this is not Ireland but lets say any other country in Europe do you think that a scandal that involved a large amount of members of parliament voting on something based on self interest would not result in the fall of a government. Would the media not be baying for blood especial at a time of the year when there is nothing else to write about? and the only person to cause any trouble for the government was Eddie Hobbs and even in his show the Cafe Bars was a minor point. Even going back to CJH we as a people never questioned how he could pay for all that he had and back further to the churches control of the state with the disgraceful treatment of Noel Browne the last time we seriously questioned the government and made them look at the real issues (without violence) was the Land Wars The reason for this is also the reason why we often get bad service in this country. We as a nation of people hate to complain and look bad. Now I'm not talking about the National pastime of bitching to your friends about the price of a pint or housing. But actually doing anything about it. When have you ever questioned the price of a sandwich or a restaurant bill or even complained about the quality of a meal or the price of a cinema ticket. When have you ever gone to the cinema and heard the price they were charging and gone no that is way to expensive I'm not paying that and walk out. We seem afraid to question people directly over anything that involves money. We are afraid in this country at the moment to seem poor. As Eddie Hobbs would say we are turned into a country of snobs. But why have we come like this. I will discuss in my next post.

Hurricane and New Orleans

A blogger is keeping track of what is happening.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Iraq and division

Interesting post over at disillusionedlefty. I left the reply which is below. (spell checked) Why shouldn't Iraq be spilt up. (This is probaly a bad start to a reply as you just went at length to say why but I always like asking questions in replies. ) few points i have. 1 these people want to be separate who are we not to let them be. The Irish and the English both Christian countries are now separate. As the people wanted to be separate as they had separate identities much like Iraq. 2. So what if the oil is in the north and the south tough. We don't claim the north sea. 3. About the cities how many Irish live in Boston yet we don't claim it as city in Ireland demanding that people need to be governed by Irish. No they live in America and happily participate in its democratic process. Why would Muslims be any different. If you want to make a Belfast comparison you have to remember that they don't have the historical ties that the north has. 4. In the Iraq war the shia were among the most opposed to iran why would they change suddenly to being pro-iran. 5. People don't like to live together. Look at Europe the size of the place and the amount of countries in it. We shouldn't force people to live together if they don't want to and that is what might have to happen to keep Iraq united. Force

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The U.K going the way of the US patriot act

New rules for deportation from the UK have been brought in by CHARLES Clarke, the Home Secretary, these measures are
Fomenting, justifying or glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs; • Seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts; • Fomenting other serious criminal activity; • Fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. The actions it covers include: • Writing, producing, publishing or distributing material; • Public speaking, including preaching; • Running a website; • Using a position of responsibility, such as teacher and community or youth leader.
Those this apply to people who are born in the country like the London tube bombers and will it be used in realtion to things like this. and also things like the murals in Belfast surly they would fall under the title of
glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When do you know you are doing something right ?

There is a saying in media i think that when someone is complaining about you your doing right. Well then Eddie Hobbs must be performing miracles

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Tory leaders race

Little coverage seems to be happening over the race to succeed Michael Howard. But today Kenneth Clarke, the former chancellor, has branded the euro "a failure" in an apparent attempt to win the support of Conservative eurosceptics in his push for the Tory leadership. So will he take over or will it be David Davis or will it really matter will they ever get near ten downing street again.

Google going after Skype

Rumours are starting that google are going too unveil a new product simular to skype.

Wikimedia needs you

Wikipedia the site that is turning into one of the best sources of info on the web has a fundraising campaign to try and keep it going.Go here if you feel like giving money

Would you bet on oil

Interesting article by JOHN TIERNEY in the NY times. HE has put a $5000 bet that the price of oil will have dropped by 2011 compared to the average industrial wage. I don't think I'd be brave enough to put a €€5 bet on that . But still he makes some interesting points especially about copper andfibere optics. Maybe in 2010 there will be afibere optic equalivantt to oil by then.

The Death or Rebirth of Religon in Ireland

The Catholic Church in Ireland is dying. Are so we are led to believe. The media quotes figures such as only 8 priest were ordained in the country in 2005 and this number is described as
“For the first time in 20 years there was a significant rise in the number of new seminarians in 2004 and already there have been signs that the last days of Pope John Paul II had a profound effect on young people which may inspire them to reflect more deeply on the implications of their Christian vocation,”
by National Director for Vocations Fr Kevin Doran. An interesting post about the subject is here

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mo Mowlam

Rest in peace. Hopefully history will remember her well.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Leave Nature alone

Big game 'could roam US plains' This reminds me of the introduction of rabbits and foxes to Australia and that wasn't the greatest ecological decision ever or for a more scientific studyhere

Can anyone explain this to me

In 2005 estimates 2,480,000 was paid to Maraton petroleum and €5,805,000 in 2004 according to the Estimates page 8. they also recieved €3,995,000 from this company in 2005. and €4,900,000 in 2004 under the 1992 Finance act So in the last 2 years the goverment has got €61,000 for the explotation of the Gas of Cork. Kind of makes you wonder about the Rossport 5 and what the benifit to Ireland really will be from the Corrib Gas Field.

Leaving Cert

Ah the leaving cert results come out again and the one of two debates begin. The debate is either Girls are doing better then guys or the sciences are not being picked. Well this years debate is the later. Before I go into this I would like to add one thing that not a lot of people know. If you get an E in an honors level subject that is a course requirement to pass. i.e. English (in my case a few years back) then if you get more then 3 chaw in honour level subjects NUI collages will accept that as a compensation for the fail. So if you failed English or maths but got more then 3 honours chaw you can still go to NUI Galway UCC Nui Maynoth and possible UCD(not sure if it is NUI). where is an exert from the NUI Galway Prospectus page 28
One Grade E on Higher course at Leaving Certificate will be accepted if candidates have amongst their other subjects three Grade C3 awards on Higher course papers, or at least one Grade B3 and one Grade C3 on Higher course at Leaving Certificate or the equivalent grades at the Matriculation examination (up to and including 1992), or on the joint results of both examinations
anyway back to me point. The required spend is in the region of €66million a year. Which with a projected budgetsurpluss of 13.6billion between now and 2010 is it really that much to ask for.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Islamic cleric says Ireland is a 'legitimate target'

British-based Islamic extremist has said Ireland is a "legitimate" target for al-Qa'ida terror attacks. This is more of the fear tactic I suppose. he also said on the issue of Irish Muslims that they are
"stripped of their Islamic personality through secular education. On the one hand they're not willing to speak up and on the other hand they're intimidated into being docile."
These people seem not to realize that some Muslims do not care for Jihad and hate they care for life. They just want to get on with there lives in safety and happiness and not have muppets like Anjem Choudary dictate to them about who they should hate. This treat could be used by some people as an excuse to attach Muslims hopefully these muppets get caught before they do anything to innocent people got the link from Res Publica

Eddie Hobbs

Eddie Hobbs The greatest cork man since Jack Lynch or an annoying git or a genius or all of the above. Well with his new show attrating record numbers it seems that he has indeed struck an cord with the Irish people by telling them stuff that they already know and quoting the statistic off the budget.
A tax allowance is currently available at the standard rate for rent payments of up to €1,270 per year for a single person under 55,
The student average rent in galway is about 65 euros per week for a room. In one year that amounts to €3380. anyway But I suppose if this is what people need to hear to change there habits and stop getting done by various organizations then good for him. Also it shows again that good T.V does not need to be expensive. This show must be the cheapest on T.V a few camera and a few sound guys and you have the show. Also did you hear him in his list of taxes that the government take did you hear him mention the license fee. No me neither

Does it strange to anyone that the word Blog is not in the spell checker.

Over on Damien Mulley's blog he has thought of coming up with an idea about a kind of super blog with regional news and national news. I think this is a good idea. But one thing that needs to be remembered is that Blog's are not news sources. But usually save once or twice depend of RTE Irish Times etc to supply the facts. What blogs do is produce editorials. Usually some very good editorials. But still it is more questions and answers then six one. But still I think the idea is good an edited super blog is needed. One where unlike it is not a free for all but when you want to read I.T views you only get I.T views.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Should the Bible be banned ?

Now I don't know much of the history of Gaza etc to comment. But just the colossal task that is being undertaken. I mean could you image the British Army moving 7,000 unionists out of Derry. Yet still the religious right still quote the Bible as the source of all reason to fight
The plan of Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister, to “disengage” from the Palestinians has angered the right, which feels betrayed but still clings to what they call their Biblical right to control all of the Palestinian territories.
The catholic church give out about The Da Vinci code and yet the book that causes the most damage is the Bible. From Foreign Affairs website
139. Article 40.6.1 of the Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens, to express freely their convictions and opinions. This is subject only to provision for the law to deal with certain specified circumstances relating to public order and morality. So, for example, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989, makes it an offence to stir up hatred, whether orally, in writing or by any other means, against a group of persons in Ireland or any other country on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the Travelling Community or sexual orientation. This Act also makes it an offence to prepare or possess any material with a view to its being distributed, broadcast, or published in Ireland or any other country if the material is intended or likely to stir up such hatred.
Now looking at Gaza and look at the North could the bible fall into the category of " material is intended or likely to stir up such hatred." personnelaI i think no because of freedom oreligionon but if anyone brought a case to the censorship office would they win?

Phil Flynn

Phil Flynn picture from It looks like Bertie has been landed in hot water by another P Flynn.This time it is Phil Flynn(pictured. Picture from www.rte.iePhil Flynn former vice-president of Sinn Fein, was accused by Ulster Unionist House of lords peer Lord Laird in May of being prosecuted for IRA membership in 1974. He also said that even though he left Sinn Fein to pursue work in Trade Unionism. He still have connections with the IRA in the form of
: "The Irish police knew different. "In 2002 and 2003, they observed Brian Keenan, currently an active member of the IRA Army Council, staying for some time at Flynn's home in Dublin. "They also observed Slab Murphy, the IRA Army Chief of Staff, meeting Flynn on a regular basis. They reported this to the government. Nothing happened."
HE then said that as Mr Flynn was a aid to Bertie that Bertie had somehow made the investigations go no further.Stating
Sinn Fein have undue influence over Fianna Fail through a combination of money and blackmail"
In 1996 Ruairi Quinn Minister for Finance then appointed him Head of ICC bank. When it was bought by Bank of Scotland he became chairman of Bank of Scotland (Ireland). Now in February Phil Flynn had resigned from Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and from the governments decentralization committee as he was arrested during money laudering investigations. Now it looks like the former aid has been up to more mischief.On Thursday he charged with firearms offences. ON searching his offices a pen gun and ammo was found. In today's Sunday Independent it was claimed that
an aide close to the Taoiseach told the Sunday Independent: "That gun may well have been brought into the Taoiseach's office at some stage or other, and God knows where else. I mean, honestly, can you believe, potentially, how serious something like that could be?"
Another aid said
I suppose you could say the fear is that Phil Flynn could turn out to be to Bertie Ahern what Ben Dunne turned out to be to Charlie Haughey," the aide added.
. He was at the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway races last Month. So what does this mean for Bertie. Is he going to be another Ben Dunne. I'm not so sure there is no real money trail as of yet. Save for a small €15,000 donation made by Airscape Ltd which is legimate and discussed in the Sunday Independent article. I don't believe that without a money paper trail that anything will be done to Bertie.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Abortion the new A-bomb?

Back in the days of the cold war the A word was atomic bomb a phrase that lead to serious division between friends and family. Debate would rage about whether it was evil or was needed. Now Abortion seems to be that issue in America at least. Now I ain't going to through my hat into the ring on this issue call me chicken if you like but I do like having friends and not enemies. But yet it looks like this issue could be about to rear it's head in Ireland as well. Headline from the Irish Times Three Irish women who had abortions in the UK over the past year are taking Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to allow their pregnancies to be terminated in the State, I think this is going to be a big case not only for Ireland but for Europe as well if not the world. If they win will people say it is a human right to have an abortion. If they lose will it define the foetus as human and subject to the same rights such as life and freedom of expression. Could this be the European Rowe vs Wade.? Could this divided Europe into left and right like America. Or will this fade from site only to be brought back up by tabloid sensationalism. With headlines like the ones that were in the last paragraph. Who knows but it is one to watch.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Political Football

In the silly season that is now I am again forced to blog about the North. Normally I like to keep away from it as it is just in my opinion a black hole for sanity. But in order to keep adding fresh content I need to look to the north again. The big news this week is the Columbia 3 and there return and yet again the game of 1 a side football begins again. Adams
three men should not be extradite. He said their return had not damaged the political process and the men should be allowed to stay.
Michael McGimpsey
Their return could be part of a pre-agreed sequence of events.
Jeffrey Donaldson
he hoped to travel to Colombia next month to develop links with victims groups there.
Alban Maginness said it
undermined the process of restoring the Good Friday Agreement
Now do you think 1. That Jeffrey Donaldson really cares about the victims groups or will actually go there. 2. That Adams would say the same if it was Johnny Adair or some other Loyalist paramilitary I personnel don't do you. sources from BBC

Monday, August 08, 2005

Do you know your government

Saw this on the Taoiseach's Site it is a quiz for young people. See how well you can do . I got 5 out of 10

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Great Northern Struggle

In light of the IRA Statement and the removal of some of the army watch towers in the north. It looks like the final progress will be made. But for every peace of progress in the North there is something that drags it back down in to the quagmire. Take today reading the BBC website I noticed two articles. The second was that plans have been unveiled about the development of Belfast city centre. It proposes the creation of more shopping areas in the north of Royal Avenue to boost the economy and the lord mayor said
The plan was a welcome boost for the city. "It is clear that after more than 30 years of difficult times in this city, Belfast is getting back on its feet but it needs public and private sector support in order to get there," Mr Brown said. "I want to see creative and imaginative improvements in our shopping streets that will give people a new buzz about Belfast."
This is of course a welcome step. IF Belfast could become the shopping capital of Ireland it would be nice. Personally I think that Belfast is a much nicer city to walk in then Dublin and Royal avenue would be nicer to spend a day in then grafton street. This is new project is a sign that Belfast is coming out of its dark past and into the light. But with anything in the North of Ireland the good news is always shadowed by bad. So the first article I saw was. Officers injured in disturbances Six vehicles were set on fire during the trouble Eight police officers have been injured and plastic bullets fired during rioting on Belfast's Crumlin Road. This was accompanied by a picture of a bus on fire. So the question is who will win the people who want to create progress in Northern Ireland or the people who want to petrol bomb buses and cars. The obvious answer is that it is the people who want to progress that must be in the majority. But if that is so why do people still vote along sectarian lines. How come during a debate on question time last year prior to the election were the topics of health education etc not debated. The people I know from Northern Ireland are primarily non-sectarian wishing to debate the issues that actually matter. But they are also by in large non-voting as well. So In Northern Ireland is it just a case that the extremes come out and vote and the non-extremes stay in complaining about the rest. If this is the case who is to blame. Well being a Southern hence in most peoples in Northern Ireland a nationalist I have to blame the brats. The reason I blame the brats is because the labor party and Liberals Democrats don't run in the North and the From Wikipedia
For many years, labor had a policy of Irish unity by consent, and did not allow residents of Northern Ireland to apply for membership, instead supporting the nationalist Social Democratic and labor Party (SDLP). The 2003 labor Party Conference accepted legal advice that the party could not continue to prohibit residents of the province joining, but the National Executive has decided not to organize or contest elections there.
The Liberals are aligned with the alliance party
The Liberal Democrats, like the Conservatives, organize in Northern Ireland. However, unlike the Conservatives, the Lib Dems have chosen not to contest elections in the province. Instead, they have opted to work with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, with the de facto agreement that the Liberal Democrats will support the Alliance Party in elections. Indeed, many individuals, including several notable parliamentarians, hold membership of both parties. Alliance members of the House of Lords take the Liberal Democrat whip on non-Northern Ireland issues, and the Alliance Party always maintains a stall set out at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference.
andTories don't really try. This gives the people a lack of options in voting they can't vote on issues saved the one issue that has always been there sectarism. Even a vote for the Alliance party is mostly based on sectarism it is a vote against it. People need to be able to ignore it be able to not have to consider sectarism in making there election choices. Even if as some people wish that Fianna Fail Fine Gael The Irish labor party The Pds the greens etc organized up north. This two would leave to sectarism with Unionists voting British labor and Nationalist voting Irish labor even though both parties not meant to be sectarian they would be turned into a sectarian devoid. In my opinion what needs to be done to save Northern Ireland and to make the articles about Urban Renewal outshine the articles about rioting is for the creation either by joint Irish British Alliances or not Liberal Conservative right and left wing parties in the North to let the majority of people vote like really free people can. On Issues

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

BBC Website

Just realized I got mentioned on the BBC website. Maybe I should keep this blog going. or maybe spell check it a bit as well. :-) I´m sorry for all the spelling mistakes. I´ll try to be a more carefull from now on.