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

CAP WARS The Phantom Menace

A not so long long ago in a not so much of a far far away galaxy. CAP looked like it was going to go and this was a great thing for the world but all is not well in the galaxy………

The economics of removing CAP do make sense. The free market is the fairest way for world trade to work. Countries in Africa, Asia and South America can often produce food at a cheaper price then we here in Europe can. Thus consumers would choose their products and we all save money. Then this money can be spent on more products making more jobs (to compensate for the jobs lost in agriculture) etc. Even though some fresh products such as milk would probably go up in price (ever notice that water is dearer then milk) the overall effect for the consumer and economy would be positive. Also the money saved by the EU could be pumped into public transport and infrastructure to cater for the increase in urban population.

€9.4 billion worth of agricultural trade comes some of the world's poorest countries with preferential access to EU markets these countries would be also be hit by the removal of barriers. Farming has low profit margins. So to make a profit without CAP would involve consolidations of farmers and GM corps (organic crops in Ireland ain’t going to happen without subsidies or high prices.).

The vastly more efficient agribusiness sector in America with the economies of scale that farms there works at, These corporation run farms may still be able to undercut the third world countries farmers. In Europe farming is still a family business as CAP makes it economical for family farming to exist. Also for instance in Ireland large corporations do not control the market. Most of the farming companies are Co-ops owned by the farmers or in the case of corporations like Kerry Group their main shareholders are the farmers they source their produce from and so act in there interest.

The removal of the barriers will force many farmers to sell up and leave agriculture resulting in consolidation and European farming reverting to the American model of consolidation(in 1999 80% of beef production in America was controlled by 3 companies), high value, low margin and low quality. This may result in even more cheap food under cutting third world countries farmers. What will happen would probably be consolidation of world agriculture. To compete with the consolidated western farms developing farmers must also consolidate into corporation farms run probably by western companies. It is wrong to presume it is a win win situation for the third world. The winner will probably be big business and consumers.

wulfbeorn said “All those people who marched with the IFA through Mallow over the weekend were not marching for the freedom to grow beet or protection of their individual rights as beet farmers. That is not what it was about. It was about their right to live off the rest of the population in the EU, off the taxes taken from everyone else by force.” While I think the word force is wrong and the difficulty and sacrifices made to run a farm are more then most jobs so it is not quiet “living off”. But I agree with his basic point that while they were marching for their survival that survival depends largely on living off the state. However where the whole anti-CAP thing is not beneficial is rural life, security, health and ecological.

Make no bones about it the abolition of CAP would kill off rural life. Fact. Don’t talk to me about reskilling upskilling rejuvenation etc etc. The simple matter of the fact is that rural life would die. No companies are going to open up technological plants in Ballygobackwards simple. So people will be force to move to cities to look for work. And leave the countryside devoid of people. Much land will simply be abandoned. Family Farming in Europe can not out price Family farming in Latin America and Africa. The small farmer will be gone.

Hedgerows in Ireland are vital to animal and plant life in this country. When farms are consolidated these hedgerows will be destroyed causing an ecological disaster

Food produced intensively as large scale farming demands tends to be produce in feed lots and broilers(battery hens gaffs).These animals have higher saturated fat, less vitamins and less of the stuff Flora advertisements, Team Actimal and organic food enthusiasts go on about, compared to animals that are grass fed. This will increase the obesity epidemic in the west as the poor will not be able pay higher prices for organic or normally produced food.

The president of America George W Bush once said that water is essential to our survival. So he can say that I feel I can say something equally blatantly obvious. Food is essential to our survival. After World War II 40% of food in Europe came from America CAP was brought in to make Europe self sufficient.

So imagine this future. We rely on Latin America for the majority of our food here in the EU. And this is great we live in utopian Eddie Hobbs world of low prices for all. We all have money and everything is great. Then Argentina declares war on Brazil. This destabilise the entire region borders are closed armies mobilised and all Latin American countries go on a war footing. So suddenly there are no more Argentinean steaks landing in ports. What happens then when Europe suffers a lack of food? Economic crash? public unrests? Me saying told you so? (joke I never throw it back in peoples faces honest) Famine ? War? Who knows but we may regret destroying European agriculture then. The Dutch Agriculture minister Cees Veerman said “We have to ensure 1.2 billion meals every 24 hours in Europe We don't want to be dependent on other regions of the world for food the way we are for oil."

Maybe we could use the money saved to build an army to take over countries for their food. There is more then economics and farmers rights to CAP. What measures are taken to dissolve CAP need to be carefully done. To act rashly would be foolish.

CAP WARS The Trade Wars. Coming to a blog near you when I get around to it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Irish Ferries

The Irish Ferries controversy has in the last few days has escalated. With Dublin Dock workers saying they are going to turn away the Irish Ferries vessel MV Normandy. Along with reports of the use of tear gas which Irish Ferries deny. All this has hit Irish Ferries hard. This is the kind of publicity they do not want. The majority of people in this country consider it diabolical what Irish Ferries are doing. If this manifests itself in Irish people refusing to travel with Irish Ferries then it might hit the company financially hard. Harder then the losses due to continued employment of Irish workers. This is how Trade unions should tackle the fight. If they go on massive national strikes bringing the country to a halt it will only lose them the support of the country. The better thing to do would be to start a boycott Irish Ferries campaign. I have already posted about why this I believe this has happened about how there is the Other side of the Rip-off. That forced Irish Ferries to take these measures. Some Irish bloggers of note on the subject. iepolitics's Chronicle of a Historic Defeat Foretold tallrite Indymedia I have found fairly few Irish blogs commenting on the issue. Strange that I thought that would be fairly big thing to blog about. Maybe Im looking in the wrong places. Edit: Sorry for leaving the land of Ireland off the list. Irish Ferries — Monkeys Managed By Ignoramuses Also sorry for having iepolitics misspelled

Friday, November 25, 2005

Sinn Fein suspend Francie Molloy

Sinn Fein have suspended a member of its party MLA for Mid Ulster Francie Molloy for the diabolical crime of disagreeing with the party line. There is some debate about it on slugger. Balrog agrees with it and the levee breaks disagrees with it(with a great cartoon). I have to say it is shocking. A so called political party that does not allow dissent does not seem to be the kind of party one would like to see in power. I mean will ministers be allow to disagree. How would Cllr Bree controversy in Sligo be treated by Sinn Fein. I doubt Adams would be summoned to appear before a Complaints Committee of his own party. I actually doubt anyone would be brave enough to do it. Sinn Fein might claim to be moving into a position that would allow them to be considered viable democratic partners in government but I seriously wonder what dictionary they use to define democratic.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

American Troops Cross into Syria

Debka report reports that
Both sides have suffered casualties. US soldiers crossed over after Damascus was given an ultimatum Thursday, Nov. 24, to hand over a group of senior commanders belonging to Abu Musab al Zarqawi'’s al Qaeda force. According to US intelligence, the group had fled to Syria to escape an American attack in Mosul. Syrian border guards opened fire on the American force.
Now this is not confirmed by any of the media sources that I have checked BBC reuters aljazeera CNN So I'm guessing it is probably false. But time will tell. This is spreading through the Blogsphere at the moment. I guess this shows that the blogsphere 2 can fall foul of reporting that surrounded Liam Lawlor's death.As the saying goes don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. Little green Footballs commentors are loving the idea.


Recently Michael Noonan called for a ban on hoodies in shopping malls. However this seems not to be the only case of Anti-hoddism. Imperial collage in London is also planning to ban hoddies. This wave of anti-hoddism has got to stop. Will it continue to spread. The question is whats next.

Third Level Fees

A new report has called for a reintroduction of collage fees.

One of the many arguments against free fees is that the students should pay as they will gain from it and earn more money because of this. This operates in many countries through a low interest loan scheme and many believe that this should occur in this country as well. This already happens in this country believe it or not. Let me explain with a crude and probably wrong tax rates example.

Johnny Johnson leaves school and has 2 options. 1 go to work or 2 get a third level education.

If he takes option 1. and gets a job which earns him an average salary of €22000 over 15 years. He pays his tax at about 20%. This means he contributes €60000 to the government.

If he takes option 2 and goes to collage for 4 years and then works 11 years with an average salary of €38000. So the government contributes to his collage education to the tune of lets say €20,000. He then pays tax at about 42%. So after the 11 years of work he has paided €175,560. So for initial investment of €20,000 the government has made an additional €115,560 which is in fact quiet a high interest loan. Or the government has €95,000 extra for educating Johnny then if they did not. Now that does not include the extra VAT and stamp duty that the option 2 Johnny Johnson will pay. It is not true to say that the work Johnny 2 does will always contribute more to the GNP then un-collage educated Johnny but it in most cases it probably will. That means more money for the government and the country. So to say the government does not benefit from free fees is totally wrong.

Also do people really think that all teenagers will see the benefit in the long run of going to collage if they have to take out a long term loan?. I doubt it. It will hit the collage numbers and the less well off.

Collages do need extra money. It is in the interest of both industry and government. Industry expects the quality of graduate but are unwilling to participate in the education. Not only in funding but also in giving work experience. Many of the collages don’t have work experience components in their courses. The government needs to but is money where its mouth is and invest in education. The existing measures are insufficient.

The idea behind free education was to encourage people from less well off backgrounds to go to collage. Since free education came in, less well off admissions to collage have not increased. This is not a fault of free education. The problems occur prior to leaving Cert level even prior to secondary school. That issue needs to be solved prior to leaving cert once it is then it will be shown that free third level education will benefit less well of students. Also people who say that the free third level fees benefit the middle class are right. But non-free fees will benefit them even more as they will not have to compete with more talented less well off.

And you thought Fox News was bad...

A black X flashed across the face of Dick Cheney during a CNN broadcast on Monday. The X appeared several times throughout the Vice-Presidents speech and remained on screen for roughly a 7th of a second each time. I've been meaning to post about this for a few days now. It was first reported by the Drudge Report and you can find a good account of the reaction it recieved here. CNN have claimed that the X was the result of a computer glitch. Apparently the X is supposed to appear in the networks control room to signify some information on graphics that are to be displayed. The computer glitch resulted in this X being broadcast instead. CNN also claim that there is no way that the X could have been broadcast on purpose. Unsurprisingly, many have refused to believe this. The right have examined the video tape and have come to the conclusion that this is an attempt by CNN to subliminally send anti-Cheney messages to the viewing public. This conclusion can be drawn from 1. the location of the X with respect to the Vice-Presidents face; 2. The length of time the X remains on the screen; 3. And finally, the frequency of it's reappearance. God bless America.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Dossing Times Election Poll

Considering that there has not been a decent election poll published recently that I have seen. That takes in the Fine Gael conference Willie O'Dea the estimates etc. We have decided to start a Dossing Times poll. It can be seen on the right side bar. We will leave it there for about 2 weeks and then we will publicize the results and talk about them. ( I think once you vote you can see the results but anyway). So please vote and feel free to tell your friends to vote. To see if we can't get a decent opinion poll that is not from the newspapers but from citizen journalists. Wise man said vote early and vote often but this poll tracks ip's so this should stop all but the most determined multiple voters. If this comes popular we might continue this feature to gauge the Dossing Times readers opinions on current events.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The whole Fee-paying vs Free schools thing.

Since yesterdays Sunday Times published the figures that show that 13 of the top 20 Irish university feeder schools are fee-paying. There seems to loads of people saying that the Irish state school system is in taters. But what they all seem to fail to point out is probably the 2 most important factors in the dominance of the fee paying school system and neither reason is the quality of teaching. 1. If you are been sent to a fee paying school your aspirations are going to be collage. You are not interested in getting a trade or a job your ambition is to be a doctor or dentist etc . So no wonder they have more university goers more of their students WANT TO GO TO COLLAGE in the first place then the non-fee paying collages. 2. Most of these fee-paying schools(and many of the top free ones Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ, Limerick third on the list in fact runs two schools this is the A school. The other side the c school is further down the list) run entrance exams this means they can cherry pick the brightest hence the good scores. Most normal schools can't they have to take all. All of today's papers are going in with an agenda today. Bad mouthing the state sells more papers. They are not showing both sides of the story. The foremost reason they have the best scores is not that they have the pick of the teachers but they have the pick of the students.

Dossing Times puts pressure on Dell

Subject to my post about Dell in Limerick. It seems that the chief executive Kevin Rollins felt the need to refute claims that Dell is going to pull out in an interview with the Sunday business Post. That or it was a merely a coincidence that he would deny it the same week as my post. But I'll take the credit :) Thanks to a readers email for pointing this out. He also stated that they will "reassess" its investment in Ireland if the government increases corporation tax. Considering that are probably already reassessing are they going to look for a sweetener to stay. The Freedom Institute talks about the furture of Irish taxation for investors.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Why McDowell can't become PD leader

Excellent post on the subject over on Planet Potato.Well worth a read. I have to say I agree with patato. McDowell is the attack dog of Irish politics. Justice is possibly the perfect portfolio for his talents.

Next Sinn Fein Leader.

Did you ever get that DOH moment when you realise something you should have known all along. You read or hear something and suddenly it is obvious. Well I had one of those moments the other day.

So what revelation did I have. The next president of Sinn Fein will be Mary Lou McDonald. Now I know that some of you are laughing at this suggestion Mary Lou doesn’t have the polished edge of Adams or McGuinness. Others are wondering how stupid have I been for not realising this before. For the people who doubt this claim here is my reasoning.

Gerry Adams has been around along time and he is ageing. Sinn Fein want to move away from the image of Sinn Fein/IRA they want to be seen as an independent party. So this rules out the likes of Martin Ferris and Martin McGuinness. They also want to appear as a young dynamic party. So this rules out the likes Barbara De Brun and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. They want someone from outside the working class to remove the image of Sinn Fein as a working class party in an Ireland that is increasingly becoming a Middle Class state. Interestingly enough something their arch-enemy Maggie Thatcher wanted Britain to be. They would want a southern candidate to alter the image of Sinn Fein being primarily Northern in focus and the image of the one of the largest party in the North headed by a southerner would be gold so that rules out Conor Murphy. Also they would want a high profile candidate whose face is recognisable thus ruling out Pierce Doherty (as does his teethHat tip Slugger). Mary Lou fits all these characteristics . They may even want a female leader to soften their image. I mean you can imagine McGuinness knee capping someone could you imagine Mary Lou holding a black and Decker drill aloft? She is already more recognisable then most of the other parties front bench and definitely the most recognisable Irish European member of parliament.

Wherever Gerry Adams is Mary Lou is in tow. She is been groomed to be seen as the obvious successor. She is wheeled out in front of the cameras more often then Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Sinn Fein leader in the Dáil. This is all part of Sinn Féin’s long term plan of increasing her profile. While she might not be the polished performer that Gerry is yet that will be worked on her. Seemingly on TV3 The politcal party when asked about Willie O' Dea's picture she said it was completely inappropriate when asked about IRA pictures on the Sinn Fein bookshop site she didn't have a reply. So they may still have some grooming to do yet. She is also active in European politics asking 18 questions in parliment to De Brun 6and equal to Fine Gael golden boy Simon Coveney

In the modern world name recognition everything. Mr Ahern benefits immensely from being Bertie. Bertie is a nickname is just seems more friendly. Bertie doesn’t have the charisma of a Blair or Clinton but what he does have is he comes across as a mate the likable guy in the local. This dynamic serves him well and he plays to it. Think about it we know Bertie drinks pints of Bass. Does anyone now what Edna Kenny’s preference is. That’s the way it will stay Enda Kenny will never be the Kennster, the Endanator or even Enda. Mary Lou has that name thing going for her as well. People refer to her as Mary Lou she is on first name terms with the entire nation and is not even a member of the Dáil yet. The fact that you can put her name into a Disney Film song is an election strategists wet dream

Jungle book Mary Lou I wanna be like you I wanna walk like you Talk like you, too You'll see it's true

On the Sinn Fein website they held an auction for a book. Sinn Fein 100 years of struggle. Which was signed by some of the most influential republicans. Mary Lou was one of the signatories. I mean seriously what has Mary Lou done for the Republican cause. This is all part of the Sinn Fein myth building exercise to include her in the memory of the struggle.

(To the tune of abba’s Waterloo) Mary Lou - I was defeated, you won the war Mary Lou - promise to love you for ever more Mary Lou - couldn’t escape if I wanted to Mary Lou - knowing my fate is to be with you Mary Lou - finally facing my Mary Lou

So if we take it as fact that Mary Lou is going to be the next leader of Sinn Fein. When is Gerry going to retire. While the term spring chicken could only be used to describe Garry Adams meal choices in March. He still has a few years in him yet. He would like to see a United Ireland during his term but with Catholics not out breeding protestants as quickly as they would like due to increased catholic monetary status it is probably unlikely to happen before 2011. 2011 is the year that I think the change over will happen. As in that year there will be another presidential election something Adams would like to be. This gives them 6 years to build up Mary Lou’s image. They may give Barbara De Brun a few years as head to build up Mary Lou or Gerry may stay on a few years if he loses the election but Mary Lou’s time will come. But they need to get her elected first.

Hence the movement of her into the Dublin Central constituency. It was seen as a controversial move. Nicky Kehoe lost out on a seat by only 70 votes last time. So Sinn Fein must be thinking that with the added Mary Lou factor they would be granteed a seat in Bertie territory. But Nicky Kehoe is seemingly a tireless local representative well known for his constituency work. Mary Lou does not have that reputation. So she might struggle to take that seat.But she also doesn't have the 12 years in jail that Nicky Kehoe has. But Sinn Fein are no fools this move has been well planed. The scalp of stopping the returning Taoiseach bring his running mate in with him is to good an opportunity to miss. With Tony Geogery and Labours Costello in that constituency as well the scalp looks likely.

So with her seat in the Dail the next phase of Mary Lou would kick in. If Sinn Fein end up in power. She will be given a high profile ministry but not something potentially damaging. She wouldn’t be in health or transport my bet would be education or environment. If they are not in government she will be given the choicest speeches to enhance her reputation.

Sinn Fein’s future is going to be Mary Lou. But the name thing can run both ways.:)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Vaticans View on Intelligent design.

When it comes to authority on Christian thinking. The Vatican is probably the biggest. I have talked about intelligent design recently here. So what is the Vaticans view on Intelligent design. Well
The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges. Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."
His view on how we came to be is
If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly." Rather, he argued, God should be seen more as an encouraging parent. "God in his infinite freedom continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity," he wrote. "He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves."
I think I will take the Vaticans opinion as being more authoritative then the Kansas school board I mentioned before.

The Death of Limerick?

Dell in limerick is Dells must efficient plant in the world. It is also the lifeblood of Limerick with 3000 employed. Six out of every 100 workers in the Limerick, Clare and west Tipperary region relies either directly or indirectly on Dell for their jobs. That is a significant number. If this factory was lost Limerick and the entire mid-west region would suffer. It is also Ireland's top exporter.

In an interview with the Limerick Leader Michael Dell said that He was optimistic about the future of the plant, which, he said, remained central to the company's European operation. However recently it has come known that dell is planning to build a plant in Lodz in Poland that will create 3000 jobs directly and another 9000. With Dell share price currently falling as it is being hit by competition from Hewlett-Packard and Dell trying to cut staff numbers to increase profitability it is highly unlikely they are going to maintain two 3000 worker facilities in Europe. This will result in Dell pulling manufacture out of Limerick and moving it to Poland. The size of the Polish plant makes it unlikely to be for any reason but the closer of the Limerick plant.

Dark times are indeed in store for Limerick!! This is the dossing times 200th post. I was planning on having a look through the past posts but maybe I will leave that to the quarter century.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pacific Western University alumni Ireland

Looks like Dr Barry Mcsweeney may not be the only Irish member of the Pacific Western University Alma mater. Seemingly Dr Con Power, the chair of the Financial Services Ombudsman Council (Hat tip red rover) also got his PhD here. The pacific western university is seemingly governed by California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education under Code Section 94310. The courses that the Bureau approve of are.
BS BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 BS PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/ MS MANAGEMENT -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 PHD BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96
However according on the state of Oregon web site it states that various states have lax accreditation laws. It states that
Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Alabama, Wyoming, Mississippi and California have either no meaningful standards, excessive loopholes or poor enforcement owing to local policy or insufficient staff.
So trusting the California Bureau may not be very good idea. What Oregon says about Pacific western university is
ODA has no evidence that this is an accredited or otherwise acceptable provider of postsecondary education meeting Oregon standards.
So this throws even more doubt on the issue of the Pacific western Validity. Also a search on Postsecondary Educational Institutions and Programs Accredited by Accrediting Agencies and State Approval Agencies Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Failed to produce a listing for the pacific Western University. The Ftc have an interesting site on how to stop fake degrees. one sign is
the emphasis is on degrees for work or life experience, and
I think I heard Dr Barry McSweeney say something like that. So it is not looking good for Mr Power. Maybe he did take some kind of course work there but it does not seem as if it is an accredited university.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Snobby Rabbite and Fiddle O’Dea

On today FMs last word Pat Rabbitt called Willie O’Dea “the runt of the cabinet litter”. This came up about during a conversation over the picture in the paper that showed O’Dea pointing a gun at the camera. This seemed to be because Willie O’Dea called Rabbite pompous. Now one thing I have to say about Pat Rabbitte is that he is pompous. For a party that is historically supposed to represent the workers Labour always comes as an we are better then you party. From Rabbitt to Michael D they have this air of superiority that none of the other parties have. Even the PDs and the green party who would derive most of their votes from the wealthier sections of society don’t have this same air. When Charlie McCrevvey was asked if Michael D was a socialist he replied in shock “god no”. The labour movement in this world is following the Tony Blair model of labour. A labour that is gradually trying to place itself as no longer the party of the working class but of the middle class. This is leaving the door open for Sinn Fein to take some of labours traditional seats. If another left wing party was to materialise and fight the next election. If a split in labour happened labour would be in trouble. But Ireland is showing a shift to the right trade unions are beginning to lose there power. In a close to full employment economy where wages are fairly good. Peoples gripe is not with employment but with tax. They want lower taxes. A standard of right wing economics. So maybe labour moving to the right is to be expected. Also considering that the cabinet consists of Martin Cullen and Brian Lenihan I think Wille O’Dea is far from the runt. But maybe Pat Rabbitt considers him the runt as he looks like the runt. Makes you wonder if Mr Rabbitt judges people by their looks? A trait William Martin Murphy would probably been proud of. Oh ya another thing anyone notice the only party that did not critise him was Sinn Fein

The Right Question

It's been a big week for Bush and his little war in Iraq. The week began with a Democrat attempt in the Senate to introduce a timetable for withdrawing U.S troops from Iraq. Although this was rejected, in what some are calling a defeat for the President, the Republican controlled Senate instead urged Bush to outline his plan 'for a successful completion of the mission'. In other words, they want to be sure that the White House has an exit strategy. Funny, but I thought the White House strategy was apparent ie. actively wait in Iraq, whilst all the while hoping that somehow everything will work itself out. Bush is a man of faith after all. This Senate activity comes the same week as former President Bill Clinton spoke out against the war effort in Iraq. Clinton called the invasion a 'big mistake' before doing humanity the service of finally explaining the reason for the mess that is Iraq. According to Bill the chief mistake made was....wait for it, the failure to plan for what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. The old 'he won the war but lost the peace' argument. Thanks for the insight Bill. In fairness Clinton did however acknowledge some positive aspects of the effort. These included removing Saddam, ratifying a constitution for Iraq and the holding of elections, or succinctly put, bringing democracy to Iraq. In further blatant 'Monday morning quarter-backing', accusations that Bush purposefully misled the public regarding pre-war intelligence have continued in America. This has prompted V.P Dick Cheney to come out fighting against his lefty political opponents, calling the allegations 'the most dishonest and reprehensible charge ever aired in this city (Washington D.C)'. It frightens me to say this, but Cheney is right, or at least half right. I mean is George Bush really so smart that he could dupe 295,734,134 people into electing him twice, whilst simultaneously creating a convincing illusion that Iraq was a 'threat, a real threat'. As pointed out on American Prospect, "the biggest and most important of Bush's deceptions -- that Saddam Hussein was likely to give a nuclear bomb or other mass-casualty device to al-Qaeda -- was a deception was well-understood among those who cared to inform themselves about the matter beforehand. The administration's more subtle manipulation of the WMD intelligence was less obvious at the time, but an inquisitive member of Congress could have gotten a fairly clear picture of things were he or she interested in doing so". Thus, one can't help but detect a hint of hypocrisy in those who, having supported and voted for the War beforehand, now complain that they were duped. Is it me, or is that argument unimportant at the moment? I'm all for the playing the blame game, but not when the blame game distracts from a more pressing issue. As we saw with hurricane Katrina, sometimes cleaning up a mess you're in is a hell of a lot more important than trying to find out who caused the mess, or why you got into the mess in the first place. That can wait until the danger and crisis are over. This is why I applaud the U.S Senate this week. At least they are now beginning to ask the right questions.

Barry McSweeney new job

After the controversy Barry McSweeney has got a new job in Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources as a research coordinator. Forgive me if I am wrong but in Ireland civil service jobs have to be advertised so his new job should have been advertised. Labours Jan O'Sullivan bring up this point (hat tip iepolitics). On a quick google search I could not find any sign of this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is Bush losing it????

There seems to be rumors (here,, here, here, flying around that Bush is beginning to lose it. With reports that he has started drinking again. Now to me this sounds like it is just to perfect for the left. It is precisely what they would like to see. However that does not mean that is not true. It will be interesting to see how this is spun and is there any truth to it. Bush is currently in Asia

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Garda Reserve Force

I have been meaning to write about this for a while now so enjoy. One of McDowell new babies is the Garda Reserve. One this island for many reserve police forces conjures up images of the B specials in the North. However the only comparison that can be made between them is that they both were called reserves. In the south we don’t yet have the same divided society yet. However looking at the riots in France it may come divided. So like the pervious measures brought out about removing the Irish language as a pre-requisite to joining the Gardai this can help to insure that Gardaí reflect the community.

For instance if Gardaí go to deal with a call in a minority house. If someone can accompany them that speaks the language and has standing in that community. The Gardaí’s job will be a lot easier. This is only one reason for this. Other reasons are that a reserve force could relieve the Gardaí from tasks such as issuing passports, handling radio systems and other tasks that don’t require the training the Gardaí receive in Templemore. This could allow more Gardaí do be deployed in proper tasks such as being on the beat.

However this can not be the solution to the lack of Gardai this does not reduce the need for more fully trained Gardaí being produced from Templemore. Fianna Fail promised 2000 new Gardai this cannot be used to fulfil this promise.

The persons that are allowed to join this force have to be well vetted not just to see if they are not criminals but also they will not abuse their power. Such as pulling the guy in the office they don’t like for speeding when he has not been.

But there are many questions to be answered. Here is the top 5 I can think of.

1. If these people don’t have the same training as Gardaí should they have the same powers of arrest.?

2. In the new Justice bill the right to on the spot fining is to be given to the Gardai should this be also given to reserve Gardai.?

3. Would the fining system then be open to abuse.? Bribing and the like

4. Should they be allowed to go on the beat and have the same authority as a Garda.?

5. Will the IRA attempt to infiltrate it. ?

These things need to be investigated fully before implementation. Neither can it be used as community policing. Small villages need a fully trained presence. Now more then ever. Villages are suffering from the same drug and crimes that cities are. As seen by the Nally case people living in the country are living in fear. They are going to become vigilantes as there is no police force to protect them. The creation of a reserve force may give this activity validity. But will it make these groups refrain from working outside legal means? The Nally case is a tragedy for both parties. The cause of this was that Mr Nally did not feel safe in his own home. He did not feel that if he dialled 999 he would be safe. If he went to his local Garda station it would be empty. (like mine in a town of about 1000) Thus he took the law into his own hands. This will not be the last case. Mr McDowell needs to act and stop pussyfooting around. We need more fully trained Gardai in training now. A reserve force while a good idea is a minor part in what is needed.

But the biggest question is in an apathetic country like Ireland. Would anyone be bothered to join a volunteer non-paying Garda force.

Dr Barry McSweeney and the Consequences

This is a topic I have meant to write about but never got around to. Now that it seems the issue has been changed it might be a bit late to add this. But anyway here are my thoughts. This story has been around a while now and Gavin and iepolitics have produced some good articles on the matter. I remember (or else I dreamed) a few years ago coming across The University of Clifton. It was described as prestigious university on Irelands west coast. I’m sure many of my readers would laugh at that as I did back then. But to someone outside of Ireland with a poor grasp of Irelands education system the University of Clifton does sound real and appealing. Now for any readers outside of Ireland The University of Clifton does not exist. Clifton is a small town on the west coast of Ireland without any university. The University of Clifton was a diploma mill. You pay your money and you get you degree without the study. To us here the University of Clifton sounds ridicules. But to an American employer. With perhaps a grá for Ireland the degree from the University of Clifton would seem very good on a CV and may get the bearer of the degree a job they are not qualified for. Now hop over the water to Ireland and the controversy that has ensued over Dr Barry McSweeney the government chief science adviser. Dr. In science to get a doctorate you tend to have to do a period of original research and then produce a large thesis about your work. This takes roughly 3 to 4 years. Then when the paper has been approved and you have passed a viva you get to call yourself Dr. However in Dr McSweeney case this did not seem to happen. His PhD is from the Pacific western university which is known as a diploma mill. According to him the university was not a diploma mill when he was awarded it. He claimed that it was given to him due to his life experience. Also he said he was mistaken in his CV when he gave the wrong year of completion of his PhD. Now it has to be wondered how someone in such a high position would make a mistake on what year they completed their PhD on their CV. I mean seriously who would make such a mistake. Also how could he be so naïve to think that a science PhD gained not through research but through “life experience” would be anything but controversial. He was appointed in 2004 taking up the position after previously being the director-general of the European commission’s joint research centre. This does show that the man is in fact qualified for the position. It might be considered an oversight by the government not to check his credentials. But if someone decides to comes from that sort of position it probably is nearly taken for granted that they to would have checked his qualifications This however is not the opinion of many from the Irish blog sphere. Many see the lack of a proper PhD as an insufficient qualification for the position. However one thing I have learned from science people is that they have little knowledge of each others field. Yet they do have some preconceived notions about the others fields (I include myself in this). This is not a good thing. Experts in the field should be the sole provider information not biased by someone not as qualified in that field. That’s why in my opinion someone with a proven track record is more important then a PhD. To me the question is now what can be learned from this experience. This seems to show a lack of a vetting system in the public sector and also in Europe. This needs to be corrected. Proper back round checks need to be put in place so as something like this does not take place. If someone has one of these degrees and uses them to get employment then questions have to asked about the professionalism of that person. Also if this type of PhD is excepted this instantly lowers the quality and desirability of PhD research. This shows the man does not respect the intuition of PhD. This is a highly unhealthy situation and the fact that he has not been fired mearly moved makes even more of an international laughing stock. To be fooled once is forgivable. But to know the falsehood of his qualification and still keep him says something about us.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shock, Borat is inaccurate

I'm sure that the majority of people are familiar with Sasha Baron Cohen. You may know him better as one of his alter egos, Ali-G or Borat. Well Mr. Cohen is in a bit of bother, because as it turns out, Borat isn't an accurate representation of the people of Kazakhstan. According to Kazakh Foreign Minister, Yerzhan Ashykbayev, Borat's recent appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards was 'utterly unacceptable'. The Kazakhs are so upset at the portrayal that they are threatening legal action against Mr. Cohen. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. I remember the Brazilians making a similar fuss over the depiction of Rio de Janeiro in one episode of the Simpsons. In my opinion the Kazakh Foreign Minister should lighten up a little. Stereotypical caricatures that are outrageously over the top like Borat are nothing new. Look at Manuel in Fawlty Towers or pretty much all the characters in Father Ted to name just a few. Does anybody know of somebody who's opinion of Spain and the Spanish people changed because of watching Fawlty Towers? The same goes for peoples opinions on Ireland and Irish Catholic priests following Father Ted (very topical at the moment)? I don't and nor do I know anybody who actually believes that people in Kazakhstan act like Borat. Why? In my opinion, it's because the audience is in on the joke, we know its comedy and not fact. I'd also wager that anybody who actually believes Borat to be an accurate depiction of the Kazakh people, has never heard of Kazakhstan. (So, that's pretty much all Americans, I suppose). I also believe it's counter-productive to publicly condemn it as the Kazakhs have done. As the old maxim goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Just ask Dan Brown if you don't believe me. Look what happened with the Da Vinci Code after the Vatican condemned it

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fine Gael National Conference

The main charge that has been levelled against Enda Kenny recently has been that Fine Gael and Labour have not published any programme for government or released any policies. Their main argument against this has been that they don’t want them to be attacked. Yet this is basic politics. But this week they have aimed to correct this and give us a wee taste of what the policies will be.

The first one came out last night. In what I can only guess is a policy to gain the youth vote. The removal of Irish as a mandatory subject for the Leaving Cert. This policy is an interesting one. Most people come out of the school cycle with a hatred of the Irish language. As it is drilled into people. Irish is beginning to make a resurgence in this country nowadays and this policy may backfire. But giving students the right too greater choice in leaving cert subjects is in my opinion a good thing. However if this is aimed at improving Irish it has a long way to go(article).

So then came the party conference and the leaders address (Article about Berties conference). Enda Kenny came out to the podium to Here come the good times by Ahouse. This is straight from the Ronald Regan and Tony Blair school of conference. Where Ronald Regan and Tony Blair chose anti-war and pro-drug songs by mistake. To my knowledge Here comes the good times is a safe choice. The real line that they were aiming for I think was “here comes the good times for a change”

The conference hall was not as full as it could have been. Fine Gael showing that they could not manage to muster the same numerical party support that Fianna Fail can.

So then Enda Kenny told us he was going to “Take you on a journey “ So for the next few minutes he rabbited on about the same old stuff. Caring society, honest leadership , cut down on private interest, we made Celtic tiger, Rip off, projects on time, Broken promises etc. Great sounding but basically devoid of anything of note.

Then in what I assume is pointing at various Fianna Fáil ministers he said that he will not tolerate waste in any Fine Gael minister”. And any minister that delivers something like PPARS system will be shown the door. This is indeed an interesting promise but will he keep it. I would nearly would like to see him in office just to see if he will keep that promise. Remember this one.

So then came some of his policies. A national screening programming with free regular health checks for men and women. This is a very good idea and is needed. With cancer and obesity being major killers in this society something needs to be done. Then in Irish the rest of the health policy. This struck me as a very strange for a party that seems to be for all ethnic minorities in this country would outline the main parts of the health policy in a language that is not maximising viewers understanding. Does that mean that the people who don’t understand i.e. the non-Irish shouldn’t have the same health provisions. This was the message I was getting from it. If he wanted to talk in Irish he should have left it to a time when he was talking about party rhetoric not announcing policy. I think it is telling that it is called the National Conference and Fianna Fails is called the Ard Feis

Then for the second time in his speech he spoke of a need address suicide figures. This is needed.

With lack of childcare topping many polls it was wise that Fine Gael came out strong with child care. Announcing to increase paid leave by 10 weeks in the first year of a childs life. Also to support quality care and pre-school education by up to €3500 a year. With the polls pointing at this surely the government already have something along these lines already in the budget. Wait for the Fine Gael coming out with “You’re steeling our ideas”

The next interesting policy was about making parents responsible for their teenager’s actions. This is an interesting idea. However they gave absolutely no idea of how this would operate so I really can say anything about it. Then came the usually we will put more Gardaí on the streets lines.

Then out came the Eddie Hobbs factor. Saying that they will have a strong competition authority and break up monopolies etc. Great in speech but can they deliver that.

Then came the real part of the speech . The lets get the Green Party onside part of the speech. Talking about the need to bring emissions down. How we are going to have to pay 400 million euros if they are not brought down. Rebalancing energy towards renewable sources. Mainly it seems bio fuels. He spoke of the wish to incorporate bio fuels with Petrol and Diesel to reduce the dependence on oil and lower emissions. I have to say I’m all for this as. The oil is running out and alternatives need to be found . Also this would create a new market for farmers. Also a change in the vehicle registration tax to favour cleaner engines.

And so ended Enda’s speech he hinted at some very good policies, showed that he is willing to compromise to other parties hinted that he will not tolerate failure and showed that he doesn’t know when to speak in Irish and when not to. But overall what I got from it was that he showed that even though Mario Rosenstock of Gift Grub might do the best impressions of Bertie and Rory Keane in Ireland Enda Kenny does the best impressions of a plank of wood devoid of charisma.

Welcome Tuathal

Just like to welcome Tuathal to the writing team behind the Dossing Times. Good to be working with ya.

The Gaa + Playstation = ?

I first played video games as an 10 year old boy and it was love at first sight. Over the subsequent 12 years I’ve slowly matured and gradually fallen out of love. Nonetheless, about two years ago the news of the possibility of a GAA game for the Playstation 2 broke, and the dormant 10 year old in me awoke. This was the news I had waited a decade for. I was dismayed to subsequently learn that hurling would not feature on the game, but the prospect of leading my beloved Tipperary to All Ireland success in football was enough to eradicate any disappointment. As the months passed we learned that corners were being cut and the game was going to use the game engine of an Aussie Rules game. I began to get uneasy when I learned that the Aussie Rules game was, by all accounts, truly awful. Nonetheless, I decided to wait and see for myself and at last the game is here and the big question is whether it’s any good? I’ll begin, if I may, with the positives. The game contains all 32 counties and allows you to play an entire season at inter-county level, including both the national league and All-Ireland championship series. The game also features commentary from the legendary Michael O' Muircheartaigh, although he does get a little repetitive after a while. The stadiums in the game look very realistic. Each stadium has the look and character of its real life counter part. Unfortunately, that’s all the positives I can think of. The best way to describe the game is 10 years too late. If it had come out ten years ago it would have been at least acceptable, and maybe even brilliant. The graphics are half a generation out of date, very blocky, and at times difficult to even tell where the ball is. It reminded me most of Fifa ’95 for the original Playstation, that’s the quality we’re talking about here. For example, when you are awarded a kickable free, the camera pans down behind the player to enable you to line up the kick. Most of the time your biggest challenge is actually locating where the feckin’ goalposts are. That’s how blocky the graphics are. As expected the players bear no resemblance to the real life stars. Unable to get the license to use real player names, the game just opts to number each player in the team from P1 to P15. (P11 for Tipperary is class mind). Every substitute on the team is apparently akin to a universal adapter. No information is given on the position the sub is suited to, so any sub can potentially play in any given position, leaving you with the task of guessing which one to use. The biggest sin committed, however, is in the game play itself, which is truly terrible. It just hasn’t captured the character of Gaelic football. The controls are very slow and unresponsive. It’s also very difficult to score in the game. Now don’t get me wrong, some degree of difficulty should be present. However it’s nearly impossible to kick a point unless directly in front of the goals and no more than 25 yards out. As for goals, I’ve yet to score one from outside the small square. This makes the game enormously frustrating to play and robs it of a much needed element of fun that could and should have been present. Indeed if the game was fun to play alot of the other problems could be forgiven. The referee is also not up to scratch, with the rules of the football poorly implemented in the game. In particular I’ll highlight entering the small square without the ball, its ridiculous. I’ve lost count of how often the following scenario has occurred; my attacker runs through being chased by a defender. The defender drags my player to the ground at the edge of the small square, clearly fouling him and in the process dispossessing him. As a result my player falls into the small square without the ball. Instead of awarding me a penalty, the referee awards the defending team a free out for my transgression. I swear, it’s as irritating as someone scrapping their nails across a blackboard. Despite its awfulness, the game is sure to be bought by the majority of GAA fans with Playstations. Indeed I wouldn't be surprised if many people bought Playstations just for this game. This will ensure that it’s a big seller and this time next year we might have another installment. Translating a sport into a video game is always a difficult thing to do first time out. As this game has a relatively small market, certainly compared to the Fifa games, not a lot of money was going to be spent getting it right. Whilst I never expected this game to be perfect, I never thought it would be this bad. Given this evidence, I’m relieved that hurling didn’t receive this treatment as I shudder to think how it would have been translated. Hopefully, if there is to be a sequel, lessons will be learned and a decent game will be produced. Unfortunately, in my opinion that is unlikely to happen, as a completely new game would need to be created as little can be taken from this one. Brutal!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The 2005 Draw and drink

In the only draw that really mattered the Munster hurling draw.(I mean in every other province in both codes it is pretty much obvious who will be in the finals) Clare will play Cork in the Semi Final Tipp will play Limerick in the 1/4 final with the winners playing Waterford in the Semi Final. Every match is to close to call. Also the draw took place in Killarney and it was obviously not in a hotel as the pundits have dirty empty pint glasses in fronty of them. From the froth on the sides of the glasses I would say they were drinking pints of Guinness. Wait for the calls to Joe Duffy about this one. Also I have renamed my profile to the saint for vainity reasons. The logo looks good I think.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Christian Greatness

Now I thought I would follow up the article Christian Fascist with an article of an opposite title. Not sure what the opposite of fascism is I'll stick with greatness. Also this is not primarily restricted to Christians but being Ireland it mainly concerns Catholics

Now a days we hear all the bad things about the church. From the Ferns Report to how the catholic church held back Ireland in the early years of the state. Yet this country success is built on the Catholic Church. Well maybe not the church( the hierarchy have a lot to answer for) but the footsoliders. The local nuns brothers and to a lesser extent the priests that gave all their time to educating youngsters. Lay teachers simply can not give and have not given the time that church can and have. Lay teachers have kids husbands, wives, mortgages etc to worry about. The church teachers only have to worry about their pupils. The class room is their world. They often help kids with after school lessons if they need them for free. What Bertie said was right we owe a debt of gratitude to the church. Maybe not the bishops and the people who live in the palaces and covered up abuse but the real church people the local nuns and brothers who ran the schools and thought generations.

Colm O'Gorman, the director of the abuse victims' organization 'One in Four' said Mr Ahern's comments were ill timed and poorly judged. and that he could only assume that the Taoiseach 'has either not yet read the Ferns Report or has yet to grasp its significance'.

Maybe what Mr O'Gorman is missing it that not every religious person sinned. You can't tar everyone with the same brush. Would it be right to say all Irish people should be guilty of the IRA bombings No. Neither is saying that the ordinary nuns brothers and priests should be punished for the acts of the evil (including bishops who covered it up here).

Liz O'Donnell in what I can only guess is an attempt to get her back in the limelight after being pushed aside for what I think was Tom Parlon. Saying "That also meant no longer accepting the good offices of the hierarchy because she said their track record was such that it could not be assumed they would be truthful". If she wants to transfer that logic to the government maybe we shouldn't trust the government as some previous ministers proved dishonest. But I'm sure she would say times have changed CJH has left government can now be trusted etc. If you wanted then to transfer that logic back to the church. Then you defeat her argument as the hierarchy has changed there to. So Ms O'Donnell this ridiculous statement is not going to revive you career. We need to use the Ferns report to correct the mistakes of the past and move on. Not to settle old grievances like this

Update: I have to say I want to clarify my view on this. I am not disputing the role that the church has in education is wrong. It should not have a say in the governing of schools. But I do see the benifit the Church has given to education in this state through the dedication of the nuns and brothers that gave their lives to teaching students and while we can do nothing but condemn the acts of the priests in Ferns we can not tar the decent clergy with the same brush. Also in the comments I was a little harsh.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Christian fascism

I know I haven't done much on Irish politics the last few days. But bear with me I will get back on to it very soon. But this article has really annoyed my (hat tip Gavin) Kansas school board redefines science 1. Who do these people think they are redefining science.If you so intent on letting kids "make their own minds up". How about get them to include an alternative version of Jesus rising from the dead that involves Mary and the apostles on magic mushrooms so kids "can make their own minds up about it". 2.
Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.
People use to think that about fire but hey we figured out how that worked. These people should realize just because something is not explain by 2005 doesn't mean it wouldn't be in 2008. 3.
"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.
Nail on head 4. They say that evolution has holes well you know what else has holes. The Bible. 5 If this is all about showing that an alternative solution exist then surely Karma should be include as Buddhist think that is the solution. But this is not going to be thought all that is going to be thought is Christian dogma. Hence to me their fascists

Quiz and Playstation GAA

I was part of a winning quiz team tonight . Woohoo. We won a box of celebrations food vouchers and tickets into a night club never let it be said that student clubs in UL are not generous. On another note thanks to Raiméis I realise this is coming out. Maybe now Declan Brownes true talents will be seen. However not being a playstation owner I wouldn't get to see it. It will be interesting to see how the sales of this go. I mean even though playstation gaming in has a high market penetration in the Ireland is there enough demand to make an Ireland only games cost effective. But still wait till the Hurling comes out that is a true sport.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Physics Books and Bush

Considering that I am a rural physicists not much of my website is about either of the two subjects. I mainly do politics as no one would read my blog otherwise. But considering not many do anyway I feel able to post about physics books. personnel my favorite physics book is Heckt Optics. As optics is my field and it explains many optical subjects well. But sometimes you can allow physics into politics. For instance on this site which invites the user to Browse through an extensive selection of Physics books on subjects such as Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, Optics and more . You can buy this The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Commonsense Lessons from the Commander in Chief But this can be linked to physics. Indeed the Leardership Genius of Geogre W. Bush is uncertain. And 2 commonsense lessons are always a good base. Politicians are all to do with the observer depending on if they are in a changing political reference frame. But it is interesting to note what people would think of bush if he could perform a 4f transfer on the high frequency of scandals in his term of office. If you did not get any of them jokes you now know why I don't blog about physics. If you are sure you want me to explain them. Add a comment. If you get them. They are good aren't they.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Church of Rupert Murdock

You basis most of your beliefs on what you see, hear and read. Your religious beliefs come from your parents. Very few people in this world take up a religious belief off their own bat. The vast majority of peoples religions comes from what they were told. In the catholic church you confirm your belief at the age of about 11. What 11 year old has read the books of other religion and has investigated anything. Yet they are expect to confirm that Catholism is what is right for them. If you grow up hearing that Jesus died on the cross or Mohammad is gods greatest prophet or a giant carrot called turnipjaws that lives on the moon made all creation and will send all who eat the blessed carrot to hell you will believe that. This is faith. You can’t prove it but you believe it from what you read, see hear. And for some people they will be ready to kill or die for their religion. Another faith that people nowadays have that is not realised as such is side. Everyone has strong opinions on the war on Iraq. But few have actually experienced it from themselves. They don’t have any proof. They read the newspapers and base their beliefs on what they read. The listen, read and watch what analysts sermonize. This is a faith. The majority read and believe from only one side of the story. Religions have been founded on one side of a story. Jews believe Jesus is not the messiah Christians do. So it divided the peoples into the religions. So too does the media divide into the religions of the left and the right. And for some people they will be ready to kill or die for their religion. Like the main Monotheism religions the churches of the left and the right have there saints and sinners. For the left the saints include JFK and Martin Luther King the sinners include Nixon and John Charles McQuead. For the right the saints include Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan and the sinners include Jimmy Carter and George Galloway. They can share fundamental beliefs like the freedom of speech and rights of women. But can differ fundamentally on issue such as social welfare, gay marriage and Iraq. Both sides have their written sources of faith. Fahrenheit 911 and stupid white men become the gospels according to Michael and the Bill O’Reilly talking points become the letters from St Bill to the Americans. Like the bible both can tell the same story in different ways and with different facts. Armed with these people Bible bash one another in collages, in family life and on blogs But who decides what are the tenants of each faith. Why is operation Iraqi Freedom opposed by left who are for freedom in society. Why is the freedom of trade right against free trade to Latin America ?.. People chose papers and news outlets from the ones that reflect their side. To some the BBC is the source to be trusted for analysis and information. On Iraq the left use it as their source to anchor their beliefs. The right mock and ridicule it calling it Al-BBC. For the left the source to mock and ridicule is also the Americans rights main source Fox News. Britain has the right and left in news papers. The Sun and The Daily Mail propping up the right and The Guardian the left. We in Ireland have Fintan O’Toole and Kevin Myres. They become the priests and ministers instructing the people on what to believe. The news you read is tailored to reflect one side. You buy them because they fit with you and as they never change sides you’ll never change sides. There is a school of thought that everyone needs a faith. Whether it is religion, science environment (Great speech by the way) or star trek . People will always cling to something more then themselves (mine is science). Something to give a greater meaning to life. In these days when religion seems to be on the decline especially in people who subscribe to the left people are looking for other faiths to cling to. For many clinging to the left and to a lesser extent the right is the way to fill this void. For others the right is being incorporated into some religions. This is leading people to new faiths that could have names like the church of Rupert Murdock.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Real Global Virus The plague of Islamism keeps on spreading.

I found this interesting right wing article. Even though I have to disagree with most of the entire article. There is one or two points that do strike a cord.
The majority of Muslims are not global terrorists, but almost all such terrorists, and the majority of their sympathizers, are Muslims.
When you think about this it is fairly true. With the Northern Irish terrorists IRA LVF etc beginning to go towards political means and with ETA in Spain being largely destroyed. FARC being mainly drug dealers now. The main terrorist forces left in the world are Islamic. The question that needs to be solved in this world is why. Victor Hanson in his article shows that he has never read about the troubles when he says
Yet the antidote for radical Islam, aside from the promotion of democratization and open economies, is simple. It must be militarily defeated when it emerges to wage organized violence, as in the cases of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Zarqawi's terrorists in Iraq, and the various killer cliques in Palestine.
You defeat a terroristorganizationn by removing its support. Terrorist survive on sympathizers to give them money, to hide them, to shelter them, and by not ratting them out. If you remove these supports then you can then defeat them militarily. If you go in too strong as the British found out in the North . You only increase their support. When Iran said that it wanted to "wipe Israel off the map" it only galvinised much western opinion against Palestine. Even though the Palestine disagreed with the Iranians saying we don't want to wipe Israel of the map we just want to add Palestine. But a lot of the segration felt by Muslims is brought on by themselves. They don't assimilate the culture of the country. We might like to think we are an open liberal western world where you can do or wear what you like. But the fact is we are not. We have traditions that must be respected. When women go to Suadi Arabia they must cover their face to assimilate into Saudi tradition. Yet Muslims often don't assimilate in to ours. Then no wonder they come isolated from society. The word society comes from the Latin societs meaning fellowship. Fellowship is The companionship of individuals in a congenial atmosphere and on equal terms. If Muslim women or not on equal terms how can they part of our society. True some would feel uncomfortable not wearing hajab as they have always worn it before they came here. But what of their kids who have grown up in the west. Why do they wear it?. It marks them out as being separate it is a uniform. As shown in the riots in Paris. Separation from society leads to violence. Much of this separation is due to native non-acceptance. Where immergrants are housed in appalling conditions. If the government had provided decent accommodation and opportunities to assililate. This violence would not have happened. But also these people have to go further to be embraced then the natives have to. They need to be more French then the French themselves. The Irish made it in America but they had to work hard for it and the Irish were white English speaking Christians. Its harder for Black Muslim non-native language speakers but they have to make the first steps to intergrate and the governments need to support and help these steps. They can't be allowed to be separate. Because separation leads to alienation leads to violence. The largest supporters of Islamic terrorists are the young poor Muslims. If America wants to win the war on terror it needs firstly to win the war on poverty. This is what America has to learn to remove the terrorists you have to remove their reason and support. Do that and you can mop them up with ease.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New look To site

Been making slight changes to the site. Hope you like the logo. Does it load to slow. Any other points about the site please let me know. Also adding some more links. like the speaker of the american house of Representatives blog

The Reform Movement and Ireland in the Commenwealth.

Got this link from Freestater. The reform movement is an organisation whos aim is bring Ireland back into the Commonwealth. Interesting I should stumble across this when yesterday I was watching the Conservative Leadership debate when David Davis said that they should follow Irelands economic model. I.e low taxes etc etc. Saying that while British growth has fallen ours has grown enormously. So basically Maggies party was saying we were right and they were wrong. So maybe the British should join Ireland not the other way around. One of there aims are a council of the isles. This would allow a common forum for us to discuss issues of mutual interest fisheries, the North, bird flu etc . Considering we are in the EU this means that such an organization already exists just on a grander scale. The interaction between the states already exists without the need to create an additional excuse for Political junkets. Also they say
The altering of the present Constitution to reflect a new Ireland as a member of a multi-cultural E.U.
Now how doesn't the constitution reflect a multi-cultural E.U. We all have equal right freedom of religion freedom of thought etc. I’m not sure what they mean by that one. Another of there aims is the Separation of Church and State. Correct me if I am wrong but that has already happened in Ireland in the 70s. There is no state church. Unlike the U.K. They also want more representation in the Senate for minority sections of the population. The Taoiseach should nominate five such representatives from his senate seats. This I have to agree with but not just from the British tradition as they claim to be but African, Eastern European etc. They want the National Anthem to be rewritten to reflect the heterogeneous nature of the Irish of today, rather than the narrow, violent nationalism of another time. The french national anthem says Oh, do you hear there in our fields The roar of those fierce fighting men ? Who came right here into our midst To slaughter sons, wives and kin. Should it be changed because it reflects violence against wives. No it is their anthem. People who sing it don't want to slaughter wives. Neither do Irish people want to. I do know some unionist that do actually feel intimidated by the song. But it is only a song. Don't read into the lyrics.Most Irish people don't even know them. The Reform Movement believes that English and Irish should be made equal official languages to reflect the reality of the Irish situation. The Constitution article 8 says.
1. The Irish language as the national language is the first official language. 2. The English language is recognized as a second official language.
It doesn't mean anything both are official both are equal. English is used more. What possible thing would happen if this was changed. The only manifestation of the 1 2 situation is that sign posts have Irish on top and English below. On duel signage something has to go first. Don’t forget English tends to be in larger letters. They also talk about the compulsory role that Irish has been made to play in our schools which has resulted in the shameful lack of other language instruction, especially in the primary school curriculum. Which I have talked about before. They also want it to be recognized that people in Ireland should have the right to hold a British passport. This should only be on the same terms as people in England. I.E the granny rule. If you qualify that way i.e. can show that you are indeed of British stock then you are entitled to one. But we can't have people taking random Irish passport for many reasons. Neither can the British have this. This passport thing is an issue for the British government not the Irish government. Their big policy seems to be Ireland rejoining the Commenwealth. Which was also favored by none other then Dev, Lemass and Eamon O'Cuiv. They mention that the commonwealth accounts for Twenty-three per cent of world trade. Yet the Commonwealth has no economic policies . It is not like the EU. It accounts for 23 per cent of trade as it has 30% of the world's population. No other reason it is merely a distortion of figures point. There is no real trade benefits to joining. There is also no loss of sovernity involved in joining it. Also the Commonwealth is in decline. Countries are looking away from one another and looking to regional partners instead eg the EU. Also it has been shown by Zimbabwe who have left the organization that it has no power to influence member states to adhere to Human rights and democratic principles. The only benefit to Ireland would be that our athletes would get to run in the commonwealth games and is that really worth a referendum. The Reform movement need to realise that Ireland is a country just as valid as any other country including Britain and it can also be their country. Just as you can be Irish American you can be British-Irish. Also republicans have to realise that British-Irish are as entitled to be considered Irish as Gerry Adams. Remember the Irish flag is as much orange as green.