Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Ok, here is a quick list of the guys on the list and what Google reveals about them. I think most of these people are right as they seem to have connections to Bertie, but that could be just a coincidence, so some people may not be the people. If anyone knows if I am wrong or knows other details, let me know. (Updated 23:00)
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
As well as beating the males in Junior and Leaving Cert exams, females do better in most areas of higher education, according to a survey carried out for the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC). At undergraduate level the female/male enrolment ratio is 59:41, females also get 54.7pc of the first-class and two-thirds of the second-class honours degrees.Ok just a quick note. If the ration is 59:41 that means that 59% of students are female. Now that means that 59% of first class honours should be awarded to females. But no it is 54.7% so in fact females are preforming slighly lower then males at first class level.
Monday, September 25, 2006
How ya doing. Just a quick tip for you: if, as you say…
The mission of the Irish Labour Party is not just to change government but to change Irish society and to make Ireland a fair place to work and to love
How about starting to make Ireland a fairer place to love by reversing the party’s decision not to support gay marriage. Until that time, don’t use the word “love” in the same sentence as the word “fair” without prefacing the word “fair” with “not”. Ok.
Regards, etc., etc.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Anti-social behaviour is hurting our society. Every day, in every neighbourhood,
Why do they need a photo gallery of Anti social behaviour? Surely if it is in every neighbourhood people know what it looks like?
IRELAND will refuse to give up its veto on justice issues, TÃ¡naiste Michael McDowell said yesterday as he accused the European Union of constantly trying to extend its power. The Justice Minister will stand shoulder to shoulder with Germany and Britain against extending EU power in the areas of justice, immigration and police co-operation when the issue is discussed for the first time today.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso insists that dropping the veto is essential to ensure EuropeÂs security in the fight against terrorism.So basically 2 of the 3 countries in Europe who have had to deal with significant terrorism do not think it is a good idea? Emm maybe that suggests that it is not a good idea or is needed to fight terrorism? I mean surely if this is needed to fight terrorism Ireland and especially Britain would be massively in favour of it.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Fighting for our security alone makes this fight just. Fighting for the security of other nations as well makes it generous. Fighting for the ascendancy in the world of our values makes it noble. That is the burden and the honor history has offered us. So let us take care, just as we take care to minimize civilian casualties while our enemies deliberately kill the innocent, not to provide our critics with an excuse to doubt how seriously we take our obligations to abide by our values even in times of war, no matter how cruel, difficult or unusual that war.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The Popes actions were certainly unwise...a little careless even. The whole furore over those infamous Danish cartoons vividly illustrated just how sensitive the Muslim world is to any percieved slight on their faith. Open and frank discussions are frankly a non-starter. Certainly, Western values and practices should be left at the door in any "discussion" on Islam if offence is to be avoided.
However, were the Pope's action really that unreasonable? What exactly did he do that created such offence and has resulted in him issuing a public and personal apology today? Forgive me, but I just can't see it. Are all unkind words on Islam forbidden, even if the context is merely to point out that someone else uttered them? That is in effect what the Pope has done.
Once again a claim that Islam is not a peaceful faith has prompted the threat of violence from some quarters, the charge of offending the Islamic faith from others and a blanket refusal to accept any form of critical dialogue. Of course the irony in this reaction remains, but by now it's getting a little tiring.
Today the Pope has issued a personal and public apology for any offence caused by his comments. However, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood have since stated that this apology is insufficent as it is not a 'clear' apology.
It is high time Muslim leaders stood up and were counted. The Pope's speech and its infamous quotation was greeted with prompt and loud calls for an apology for the offence caused. However, where are the similar reactions to the angry mobs who, in the name of Islam, burn effigies of the Pope and threaten violence to all who criticise Islam? Is it really the case that the former causes the greater offence to Islam?
COME on MAYO
What a game it looked like Mayo were going to be trashed being 12 points down but then they started to come back to bring the margin down to 6 points. With one of the goals coming from a point attempt hitting the post and coming down to a mayo guy. at half time. 3:8 Kerry 3:2 to Mayo.
One of the main policy platforms of the Green party is the introduction of a carbon tax. The purpose of the carbon tax is that by putting a certain amount of tax on carbon emissions that people and industries will change their attitudes, emit less carbon emissions and invest more heavily in renewable energy sources. Now it sounds great doesn’t it? But in reality it will do feck all to achieve any of the aims of Carbon Tax and will punish the poorest hardest.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
A while back it was reported in the Irish Times that the ESRI urges less spending, more taxes. Now I know what you are thinking: an economic policy unit coming out in favour of new taxes must have hit their heads. But no, they were not talking about raising tax for equality or other such stuff; they were calling for a raising of taxes in an effect to change people’s behaviour. But does it actually work?
One of their calls was for increased tolling on the nation’s roads. The reason being that it would reduce the demands on the nation’s roads and help reduce the congestion. But the line that I picked up on is:
The Government will have to introduce measures to change how citizens use infrastructure being built under national development plans,
There are two ways in which the government controls what people can do: either through the law or through taxation. I think everyone will agree that the laws are what is there to allow a coherent society function, be they smoking bans in pubs, age of sexual consent, etc. But what of the government trying to change the attitudes of people on matters that the government does not deem important enough to legislate against?
Changing people’s opinions on something is not as simple as “slapp a tax on and it will change people”. The classic example is the plastic bag levy. By putting a 15 cent tax on a plastic bag, people started carrying their groceries without plastic bags and began to realise if you buy a paper and a bottle of coke, what do you need a bag for? Overnight, the plastic bag consumption in Ireland dropped. People also started carrying bags with them—sometimes eco-friendly bags, other times plastic—and re-used them over and over again. The change was remarkable and all for a tax of 15 cent. But the times are changing and there is much talk of the need to up the tax as it is losing its effect. But the financial aspect of the tax was never the cause of the change: the cause of the change was the fact that people were forced to think about the plastic bag. Previously it was a kind of instinctual thing to get a plastic bag. The effect of the tax was to make you stop and think about what you were doing. When you stopped to think about it, you realised that you didn’t need the bag anyway. Hence why it worked.
However now the plastic bag tax has come part of everyday life, people are used to it and instinctually hand over money for the bag. If this value is increased by a small amount then the tax is not breaking the mindset of people. The value at which the tax changes to a small amount to a amount that makes people change their minds is subjective to the person. To some people, 50c would be make them change, for others a euro would be the required amount. When the tax was introduced, the change from 0c to 15c was an infinite increase in the value of the bags and a similar increase in the physiological impact. While an increase of 15c to 30c. Is only double and the impact on people’s actions is little.
So what of attempts to alter people’s perceptions? For instance, Branedy’s suggestion that scientists get tax free status:
If Ireland can support the Arts and Music with a tax free environment, but is now worried about Science, Mathematics and Research. Why not grant the same favor to Scientists, Mathematicians and Researchers? Since there are fewer Scientists, and Mathematicians, than there are Artists and musicians, and in generally they make less money, and hence pay less taxes anyway, why not support them, and make it entirely free of taxation.
Now, being a physicist, I think it is a great idea. But what of the idea? There is much talk about the country’s need for more scientists and that the wages are not decent enough to encourage kids to take up science in University. And this would have the effect of changing people attitudes towards science. Wven if the wages did not match that of the other industries, the effect would be similar to the plastic bag tax. The attitude would be changed even if the financial situation changed little. People would perceive themselves as being better off. Perception is everything.
Now I know I have rambled on a bit here and if you are still reading this then sorry for making you think that maybe I have a great point somewhere . I don’t really. Just that if the government want to use tax as a method to alter people perceptions on living in the countryside, plastic bags, science SUVs, etc., it is not the financial aspect of the tax that has the biggest effect, it is the physiological effect of a person being forced to change their daily routine. Simply increasing tolls will not do this. Varying tolls however where the toll rate changes during the course of the day can have this effect because it will force people to consider their journey and think “do I really need to travel at 5pm when I can travel at 6pm for free?” So far only the Greens have picked this up.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Also a good show from the ever brilliant and libertarian. Penn and Teller.
In his book, Darwin’s Black Box, Michael J. Behe coined a term: “Irreducible Complexity,” which he defined as: “A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”Irreducible complexity implies that God resides in the “gaps” of our knowledge. Science students who are introduced to the idea that God is only present in what we don’t understand, i.e. the mysteries of the universe, are left with difficult issues to resolve. If God is found in the mysteries, as their understanding of the natural world grows, then God (the mysteries) gets smaller. Faced with this appalling conflict, many students will reject knowledge. Others have a crisis that causes them to lose their faith and beliefs. This completely contrived conflict should not be going on anywhere in public education
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I can't say with certainty why motorsport, in particular Formula 1, evolved from mere cars going round in cricles, to defeat all other sports and capture my imagination as strongly as it has, but I am sure that Schumacher is a primary reason. For me his performances against the superior Williams and Mclarens in the mid to late 1990s were magical. This was my favourite period of Schumachers career, although his most successful would come in the new millenium. I wish I had the words to explain how it felt to watch this man work miracles as the under-dog every forthnight. His performances in the wet were simply remarkable. When he finally sat into the best car he began an unprecedented period of domination which ultimately resulted in a series of rule changes to make the sport competitive again. He has been the Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer of motorsport for the last 10 years.(Indeed Tiger said today that Schumacher is the greatest active athlete on the planet)
Schumacher is the most successful driver in the sports history holding all but the most inane records. He is also its most divisive driver. The phrase "you either love him or hate him" has never fitted more perfectly. With a number of controvercial moments such as championship deciding collisions in 94 and 97 and the "parking" incident in Monaco this year, it is fair to say that he is the hero to the minority of fans. However Schumacher's mere presence got the pulse racing and a cursory glance at the memorable moments in the sport over the last 10-15 years will reveal Schumacher involved in well over 90%.
Schumacher has been the sports yard stick for longer than any driver in its history. In 15 seasons in the sport he has failed to finish in the top 3 of the championship on only 2 occassions; once during his second full season in 1993 when he finished fourth, and again in 1999 when he missed 6 races due to a broken leg and finished 5th. He has also won at least one race in each of the the full championship seasons he has competed in. A remarkable level of consistency in a world where every thousand of a second is vital. During that time he has won the World Championship or been part of the championship battle in 10 of those seasons. His absence will leave a huge hole in the sport and I can't imagine how strange it will feel to watch races without Schumacher.
It has been a privilege to watch this great man compete and although I am saddened by his announcement I wish him all the best in his retirement. His example has sparked a passion and obsession in me that anyone who knows me, including Simon, can attest to and will remain with me for life. For that, I thank him.
I have searched Youtube for a fitting video tribute to the man. These two videos are my favourites, a great example of the excitement he generated and his ability against the odds. They are clips from the qualifiying session of the 1996 Monaco Grand prix where Schumacher, driving a pig of a Ferrari,(described by Eddie Irvine, his team mate as "An accident waiting to happen") goes for pole position around the ultimate drivers circuit against the vastly superior Williams (Commentary by Ben Edwards and Jon Watson).
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The PDs are probably the DailÂs laziest party when it comes to building constituency support and theyÂve nobody to blame but themselves for being ghettoised in fashionable postcodes.One I don't think Longford/Roscomman have ever been called fashionable. No offence to Longford or Roscomman people I know some they are cool but you know what I mean. But also 4 out of the 8 PD TD's come from places with out post codes. Unlike the Greens for instance where only 1 out of six comes from non-postcode land. We do exist outside the pale you know Richard. :) But here is a great line.
In truth, despite the image, the rich are the last people who need the PDs. Where there’s money, there’s always a way to keep it – as the scandals and tribunals of recent years confirm. Government waste and spending – the politics of the taxpayer-funded giveaway – are most lethal for the small businessman and ordinary taxpayer who get squeezed hardest by the drop in opportunity, competitiveness, and openness. Left-wing politicians like to speak in the name of the poor, but the economics of state dependency leave vulnerable individuals tied to an impersonal and incompetent welfare system.And this got me thinking for an Irish Election post.
Richard Waghourne inadvertently points out why McDowell and the PD’s will always struggle in there present guises to win over the electorate. And indeed this goes for Labour and the Greens as well.
McDowell may have indulged himself in a little Latin yesterday, quoting Virgil to declare that ‘fortune favours the brave’,
Now picture this, could you ever ever I mean seriously ever see Bertie Ahern quoting Latin. Now I am sure he knows a bit but would he ever do it. Even quoting Carpe Diem or some other well known saying from a movie. Of course not. He is far to clever for that. Now I know it might seem to some people an oxymoron that not using Latin makes you clever. But Bertie knows the electorate.
Monday, September 11, 2006
You know sometimes I have to wonder do Sinn Fein actually get the irony of their existence. Take this statement More prisons and bigger prisons not the answer — Ó Snodaigh.
Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said that ‘more prisons and bigger prisons is not the answer’. Suggesting Minister McDowell was posing as tough on crime rather than dealing with the problem,
So McDowell is posing as tough i.e. he is not really tough. Coming from a party who thinks that putting Black and Decker drills through teenagers knees because they did a bit of joy riding really does not say a lot on whether or not McDowell is tough on crime at all.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Including the beautifully shot season ending. By the way I know I am an old romantic but feck it. It's my blog and I can do what I like. Now to get my macho image back here is a clip of the alternative ending to Rambo.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
THE National Roads Authority have admitted "questions need to be answered" after a cottage was mistakenly demolished this week without the knowledge of its owners.The house, near Annaholty, Lisnagry on the Limerick/Tipperary border. was knocked to the ground this Monday by contractors.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I am still getting those emails from the republicans but just for a change I will change the email into an Irish Context. Changes in bold.
Thank you for your support and dedication of our Fianna Fail candidates.
So many Dail candidates are under attack and in desperate need of support, and our resources are stretched thin. Because of your contributions, we can now help a few more Fianna Failers that need immediate assistance. But we still have a long way to go before Election Day.
I am sure I will have to call on you again for help next Summer, and I know you will be ready to help fight back against the Blue Shirts. The Socialists and hippies 527's(no idea what this refers to) will stop at nothing to take-over the Dail. They have no regard for the truth or the reputations of hard-working, dedicated men and women running for the Dail. Together, we will continue to fight back.
Please remember to help your local Fianna Fail candidates by volunteering, putting a sign in your yard or by talking to your friends about the candidates. On our website Fianna Fail.ie, we have the contact information for campaigns across the country. To find out more, go to this link, click on your county and locate your district. Then call or email the campaign and find out how you can get to work! Volunteers are a vital part of campaigns and they need you. Be sure to bring a friend, family member or neighbor along with you to help.
Your support of Fianna Fail and our Dail candidates in every County is essential. Election Day is nine short months away and we have a lot of ground to cover. I know you will continue to work hard alongside of me, the Fianna fail committee and local Fianna Fail campaigns right up until June Thank you again.
Can you imagine this email being sent out. Neither can I. But that is
Monday, September 04, 2006
Many people who are against torture will point to examples of the Guilford Four who were tortured into confessing that they had blown up a pub in
But what of the Jack Bauer example where it is a race against time to get the information to save lives. What is human rights vs thousands of lives? Around the time of the terror plot in
But a few weeks later it has emerged that maybe it was not Jack Bauer that saved the day maybe even their was no day to save. According to the New York times (hat tip Andrew Sulllivan) the terrorist had not bought plane tickets, did not yet have passports and had no bombs made. Not exactly a Jack Bauer situation. Firstly did they knew what stage they were at? The answer is yes due to the fact that they had camera’s installed in the flat. They were watching them al the time. They knew exactly what they were doing and what stage they were at. They got the tip off from locals in the area.
So where did the torture of a man in
So what did Jack Bauer style tactics give them?
But what of torture itself is it ever justified. Can it ever provided the information that is needed. That is very debatable. Torture someone and they will tell you what you want to hear. It may not be the truth but you will get what you want. This info will always be highly suspect and never trust worthy. Acting on it as the British may have can actually mess up your operation of real significants.
Television personality and environmentalist Steve Irwin has died after being stung by a stingray while filming off north Queensland.
Known worldwide as the Crocodile Hunter, the 44-year-old was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry "Crikey!"
The Queensland Police Service issued a statement saying Irwin collapsed after being stung at Batt Reef, Low Isles, off Port Douglas about 11am. He had been filming a documentary.
What a load of crap. Do you hear that playing in the background the smallest violin. No Well maybe that is because it is so small it is sub sonic. How often do we read an article headed Job hell, or
Never? Why is it that it is shocking that
AS for the likes of David in Artane.
Yes, if I was offered the same job, with the same promotion opportunities and the same salary. I am not able to get on the property ladder. At least if I moved West I might actually be able to make a purchase and get some value for money, plus it would probably do me the world of good to get some clean, fresh country air.
Who basically want the same money but have to spend less. It doesn’t work like that David wages are lower because the cost of living is lower. You don’t need the same salary to have the same amount of money in your wallet. But people always look at the bottom line.
As for the various people going on about the poor infrastructure. How long do you queue in traffic again in
As for Rebecca from Booterstown
We have little lives is it. How nice. I will think of that as I go to work with a nice fast commute as you are stuck in your little car in your massive tailback with your little mind.
"People in rural
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Anyway think of the Kennedy Assassination and you think “back and to the left”. This is supposed to show that Kennedy was shot from the front, as the head went back and to the left and I will admit I used to believe that as well. However when I thought about it back and to the left actually disproves the theory that there was a gun man on the grassy knoll.
It is possibly difficult to explain this but here goes. For back and to the left from the Grassy knoll to be true the bullet would have had to stay in the brain for momentum to be conserved. However the bullet didn’t it left the brain. Now the bullet is going to lose very little energy on entering the brain the pressure on the point in the head that it hits is great and offer little resistance to take momentum. Imagine trying to push a slab of butter with a slowly pushed spoon and a hot carving knife at speed and you get the idea . Indeed it would pass through without losing all its momentum.
However on leaving the brain the bullet is going to drag a lot of Brain matter with it. This is going to be spewed out in the direction of the bullets path.
The matter leaving in the direction of the bullet would cause, by Jet propulsion the head to go in the opposite direction. So what was back and to the left of Kennedy and thus the path of the bullet? The book depository.
Now maybe there was a gunman on the grassy knoll, but one thing is for certain that back and to the left shot was not from there and considering that tends to be the only shot attributed to him/her it is highly unlikely that anyone was there.
Also the big part of the magic bullet theory that got me. The bullet stopping in mid-air seems to be false. Dahm you Oliver Stone