Thursday, June 26, 2008

Somebody Got Murdered

So the well known provo-fucker who was charged with the kidnap of Don Tidey gets off. C'est la vie. But tell me this - if an elected representative of any other political party stood side-by-side with a suspect in a kidnapping that left a police officer and a soldier dead what would the reaction be? Yet Arthur scumbag Morgan, TD for Louth, does and no one will bat an eyelid. This fucking country...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Silver And Gold

It's recession time. Today's Irish Times editorial claims that "[t]he economy's swift reversal of fortune has caught all off balance." It hasn't. I'm no economist (didn't even study it for the Leaving Cert) and I saw this coming 15 months ago. Fianna Fáil really should have thrown the election that time, like I thought they would. Although Teflon Taoiseach Bertie's timing seems to have been absolutely impeccable!

All the eternal optimists (who had nothing at all to gain from ordinary people spending money they didn't have, of course) told us there was supposed to be a soft landing but someone seems to have taken away the pillows.

Still, this should coincide nicely with an upturn in our football fortunes. Especially if we get Lisbon forced through. Because what do you need to be good at international football? That's right - poverty and dictatorship!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beautiful Day

Now the Euro quarter finals are over I have to say just how much I have thoroughly enjoyed the tournament so far. It really has been fabulous. Loads of goals, great team play, defensive teams getting beaten and knocked out, and a massive reduction in cheating... well until last night anyway. Delighted to see the boring Greeks go out with a whimper, the cheating Portugeezers and the cynical Italians.

Before the tournament I wanted Spain to win it, simply to see an end to their biennial choke job. But considering the trouncing they took from Spain, the Russians have been an absolute revelation. I want whichever team wins that semi to go on and win the final but I sneakily hope the Russians win it now, playing the way they do and beating the Krauts in the final.

Another Time, Another Place

Today's Paddywhackery of the Day award goes to Deirdre Uí Bhrógáin from Dublin who writes in the Irish Times: "We hear repeatedly how the politicians who demanded a Yes vote "respect the decision of the Irish people", yet the direct opposite is the case. We have been harangued and insulted unremittingly since they lost. Brian Cowen, Micheál Martin, Enda Kenny and (particularly) Gay Mitchell are so angry that they have lost all restraint."

Harangued and insulted. Right.


I like the cut of this guy's jib, though:

"I voted Yes to Lisbon, and I'm fed up being patronised by the No side.

It's true that France and the Netherlands voted No to the European Constitution. But why is it that the Yes votes in Spain and Luxembourg are ignored? Are Yes voters somehow morally inferior? Yes voters are people too.

I'm tired of being told that the Irish people are being bullied. Being made aware of the consequences of one's decision is no more bullying than is telling someone who smokes that they may get cancer. Do the No lobby go around shouting at "Speed Costs Lives" signs to stop bullying them?

I'm tired of pandering to the neutrality lobby. Under the ridiculous triple-lock law which we brought in for them, we have effectively taken control of our own armed forces away from the Irish people and handed it to the Russians, Chinese and others through the UN Security Council. We have also shamefully told our friends in Europe that at the first sign of trouble we will run, and they needn't dream of thinking that we will stand by them. Short of promising to attack our EU friends, I don't know what more we can do to placate these people.

I'm tired of having Cóir/Youth Defence declare that they speak for ordinary decent Irish Catholics. I'm a Catholic; I try to live a decent life; and that bunch with their weird values sure as hell don't speak for me.

I'm tired of seeing right-wing Tory and UKIP politicians - who have, for example, pledged to abolish the EU social charter that ensures decent workers' rights - toasting us. I'm appalled to see that Sinn Féin has finally brought us back into place as John Bull's obedient little friend.

Finally, I'm mortified that we voted No to an EU that has been generous to us and understanding of our values. I don't believe we have to bow and scrape towards everything from Brussels, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I do believe in loyalty towards one's friends. Especially as they've always been loyal to us"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Safe European Home

A response to Paddy...

"It would be nice if you had some original thoughts instead of regurgitating the usual 'Yes' shite. Oh, and how about a bit of respect for voters who don't share your own tired perspective (it's called democracy, by the way)."

Bollox Paddy.

Why should I respect the voters? I firmly believe they have made the wrong decision. Do YOU believe that the voters are always right? Were they right in the '80s to reject divorce and somehow also right ten years later to accept it? I must accept the result, which is entirely different to respecting it.

What kind of fucking tyranny do you believe in where 50% -1 have to accept the decision of 50% +1 without a murmur? Does the decision of voters mean I have to alter my opinion? Change my perception of reality?

Do you know that both the Nazis and Fascists effectively sidelined parliament for plebiscite in the name of 'democracy'?

If referendum is democracy why don't we run the country that way? If the people of the North were asked to vote on Civil Rights for Catholics in 1968 and they rejected it owing to their unionist majority would you respect their 'democracy' today?

Maybe I have no 'original thoughts' because I have the right thoughts. I don't need to tell lies to halfwits to get what I want.

But here's an 'original thought'. Suppose the EU wants to legislate for a minimum Research and Development spend, for example, in order to compete better with the US and Asia. Backward thinking national governments don't like investing in R&D because there's no obvious short-term gain to help win the next election.

So the EU would (once again) be doing its citizens a favour - thinking long-term about jobs and people's well being instead of just about winning the next election. Under Lisbon the EU could possibly get such a measure through despite the objections of the skin-saving few. Instead we have just voted to allow a Malta or a Latvia, for example, blow such a move out of the water (possibly influenced by the yanks) even if every other nation wanted to vote it through. Obviously the individual governments *could* go it alone and vote in such a measure themselves but why would they - it's not a vote winner?

It's a crude example, but maybe it's a 'thought' to get your bigger-picture juices flowing?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Car Jamming

To date this year I've spent €930 on petrol, so I decided to work out exactly what a trip home in the car costs me in terms of fuel and tolls. The distance from my gaff in Cork to my home is 340 Km, give or take a few metres.

I filled the car at my nearest petrol station before leaving and filled it again at the nearest station to my home, which was charging 131.9 c/L at the time. Filling up after the journey cost €32.96. During the trip I went through three toll booths, totalling €5.60. Therefore I can guesstimate that the round trip is approx €77.

That's a fair bit - and €13 more than a return trip on the train. Incidentally I spent €800 on petrol in the same period last year.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Time, Another Place

I'm having fun with this...

My 'Paddywhackery of the Day' award goes to Dr Muireann ní Bhrolcháin from Kildare (not Cill Dara?...) whose fantastic reason for voting no to Lisbon was, according to her letter in today's Irish Independent, "the wilful destruction of the Gabhra Valley, Tara's landscape, against the wishes of the majority of Irish people. (A RedC survey of 2005 showed that 70pc were against the chosen route.)"

Democracy, eh? No more than a telephone survey at this stage, it would appear. Bloody hippies. I'm sure her PhD was earned in one of the more worthy fields of research.

Safe European Home

'Munster MEP Kathy Sinott is joined in protest in Brussels yesterday by Eurosceptic MEPs, clockwise from top left: Gerald Batten, Geoffrey Bloom, Mike Natrass, Geoffrey Titford (all members of the UK Independence Party), and Bas Belder of Hollands ChristenUnie-SGP.'

From the front page of today's Irish Times. 'Oops' anybody?...

A Man And A Woman

'A new survey published today shows that women on average work about 39 minutes longer per day, when both unpaid and paid work are taken into account... The report, published jointly by the ESRI and the Equality Authority, shows the disparity between genders is most pronounced in childcare...

'Women spend more time on domestic activities like cleaning and cooking, while men tend to do house repairs and gardening. Women spend more time on the physical care and supervision of children, while men spend a much greater proportion of their time on "social childcare" such as playing...'

In other news the Pope is actually a Catholic and some bears are believed to have shit in some woods.

But seriously if this is another move to force the government to pay housewives a 'wage' they can fuck right off. More than enough of my taxes pay for other people's social welfare as it is. I'm damned if I'm going to contribute to a wage so some other bloke's wife can stay home with the kids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Time, Another Place

Today's Paddywhackery of the Day award goes to Gearóid Ó Dubháin of Cork who writes in the Irish Independent: "he [some German letter writer previously] overstates the case that Ireland is one of the EU countries that has benefited most from EU membership. The genesis of the present EU was in the ruins of a Europe devastated by Germany's second war of aggression in the 20th century. Arguably, it is Germany which has benefited most from the EEC/EU" Ouch!

Honourable mentions for Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin of Co na Gaillimhe and Macdara Ó Cuaig, also of Co na Gaillimhe, who writes in the Irish Times "A chara, - Is it not interesting that the treaty "designed to make the EU more democratic" has been rejected by the only member-state that provided its citizens with a democratic voice. And the result? 'Crisis.'"

Well, Macdara, one could argue that a referendum in which less than 50% of the eligible voters cast a vote is not much of an exercise in democracy. And, furthermore, every country in Europe provided their citizens with a democratic voice - they were given the chance to elect governments to make decisions with their national interests at heart.

If the citizens of those countries don't like the decisions made they can turf those governments out of power at the next election. THAT is democracy, not the bullshit exercises in populism that referendums are.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Overpowerd By Funk

Out of curiosity I checked over lunch when Wolf Parade's new album was due for release. By sheer coincidence it was released today! So I bought it although I have no idea if it's any good or not. Sure I'll know soon enough. I also bought Fleet Foxes and had a good listen to that last night. Pretty good!

Mercury Rev announced a series of intimate gigs including one in Cork on Halloween, which I snapped up tickets for as soon as they were out. Except I'll be in Bahrain at a wedding that week. D'oh! Ah well, I'll have no shortage of takers I would think... even in Cork.

Another Time, Another Place

If, like me, you have the poor sense to read the Letters pages of the national broadsheets (and, worse, let the opinions of the contributors bother you) then here's a simple rule of thumb: people who give their names and addresses in Irish are usually dingbats and should be laughed at. Take some of today's contributions...

In the Irish Times Fionntáin Ó Súilleabháin from Loch Garman writes: "A Chara, - Friday 13th proved to be a very lucky day for the Irish, for the 99.3 per cent of Europe denied a vote and for democracy in general..."

Piaras Mc Éinrí from Corcaigh contributes, as does Seán O'Ceallaigh from Dublin (not Baile Atha Cliath, disappointingly) who writes: "As for the charge that we are being ungrateful for all the benefits we have secured from Europe in the past, Mr Cowen might remind them of the immense debt which Europe in turn owes to Ireland. During the Dark Ages, when Europe was a spiritual wasteland, it was Irish missionaries who revived Christianity there and it was Irish saints who, by copying the ancient manuscripts, enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved while many libraries on the continent were lost forever. - Is mise..." Hmmm, well Jesus is probably weeping right now.

In the Irish Independent Ciarán Mac Guill living in 'An Fhrainc' (or 'France' to normal people) writes: "Why take so much delight in a failed referendum? Because the democracy-loving Irish Government has consistently refused to give the vote to Irish citizens living in Lisbon, in Portugal and throughout the European Union."

And, luckily for Irish Independent readers, Fionntáin Ó Súilleabháin's letter appears there too!

Meanwhile the front page of the Indo gives the 'real reasons' for the treaty's defeat. Women, eh?

Did anyone else detect a fairly large collective 'Oops' the last couple of days?...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Complete Control

There is a certain irony in reading / listening to journalists talk about how politicians 'don't listen to the people' when they themselves then go off and and tell those same people what it is they are supposed to be thinking... and not be right at all.

1977

31 yesterday. Doesn't seem as life altering as 30 was last year. But 31 feels a hell of a lot older, as if being 30 was just the logical conclusion of my twenties. It's a bit like all those rows about how the millenium wasn't really 2000 but 2001. Sort of.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Just heard Gerry Adams on RTE. The guy is a clueless fucker who hasn't a notion about ordinary politics. But as soon as he was challenged he started his riposte with 'With respect...'. Fuck off and shave. Bloody shinners - haven't a bloody clue about governance but experts at the obstructionism line. They'd be a disaster if they were put in charge of a bloody tea party

Safe European Home

The 'No' campaign appears to have won. Holy fuck.

This really is a country of complete mutton-heads. People who decided to vote 'no' apparently did so because they 'didn't understand the treaty'. Fuck sake. If you're too fucking lazy to make a bit of an effort to find out what it's about, then stick to voting on fucking reality-TV shows, which is clearly as far as your intellect stretches. Fucking halfwits.

Then there's the people who voted 'no' simply because they didn't like being told to vote 'yes'. What a bunch of precious cunts.

People who actually chose to side with a mishmash of self-serving gobshites (imagine that Ganley creep and the fucking Shinners in bed together for God's sake), who did all the scaremongering themselves, then threw the scaremongering accusation all 'round the place like shite in a zoo.

People who go on about 'losing' a Commissioner as if they're just more parochial pothole fixers when the whole point of the Commission is to serve the EU as a whole, not fix said potholes in each commissioner's home country.

People who go on about 'Ireland getting a better deal' as if they'll go back to some negotiating table somewhere with us on one side and the rest on the other asking us what we want... What DO we fucking want?

There should be no real surprise if we say 'no'. That's all we're fucking good for in this country. No to fucking everything unless it lines our fucking pockets somehow. We're no fucking worse now than all that Murdoch-driven, Tory anti-Europe crap that goes on in England. We're closer to that old git Paisley than we realise.


The coverage of this bullshit is going to be fucking nauseating. As if the 'Irish people' rejected the treaty because of some 'grand disillusionment with the EU project' or some such utter wank. Or, even worse, the government will actually pander to that 'not enough information' rubbish. Seriously you should be made take a 'prove you're not a fucking idiot' test before being given a vote. I think I'll go to bed for a week.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Didn't get a chance to put this up yesterday:



"Demonstrators outside the gates of Milburn Primary School, Coleraine, Co Derry, protest against the visit of President Mary McAleese. The President and her husband Martin were jeered and subjected to sectarian abuse."

That numpty on the left belongs inside the Primary School, don't you think?

Diseased shithole of a place...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

I have, as of last night, added Grey's Anatomy to my list of things that are "worse than a kick in the stones".

The list now reads:

1. Watching Boring Munster
2. Two kicks in the stones
3. Reading the Sunday Independent
4. Watching Grey's Anatomy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Sort Of Homecoming

Ridiculously mixed feelings on the weekend's sport.

A fabulous win for d'town on Friday night against Shelbourne in the FAI Cup (goals at 1:35, 7:50 and 9:10 if you don't want to watch the whole ten minutes):


2008.06.06 - Shels v Dundalk - FAI Cup from SSDG DVD on Vimeo.


But as for the Leinster Championship annihilation by Dublin, well the less said about that the better.

Monday, June 09, 2008

If God Will Send His Angels

My parish church at home got one amazing facelift. It's really lovely. Took a couple of phone-photos yesterday, they don't really do it justice though...



Beautiful Day

Saturday was class - beautiful weather, nice pub, great set-up for the gig, good atmosphere all day. Lovely.

But, to be honest, the whole two hours of the Radiohead gig are a blur. The whole set was from their new crap (or what I like to call 'the musical wankings of Yorke'). Not only was there no 'Creep' (bastards), there was pretty much no Bends or OK Computer either.

I really don't remember any of it. I stopped paying attention before the encore and just sat at the back of the field chatting to my girlfriend. Still, it was a great day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Exchavaganza

Cork chav of the week competition finds another winner. This beauty is from the streets of Crosshaven:

If Music Could Talk

So off to Radiohead tomorrow in (hopefully) sunny, chillaxed Malahide Castle (after a few preparatory drinks in the lovely Gibney's). I'll be the one at the back giving 'Thom' the signal to play Creep. None of that new crap.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Silver And Gold

'The European Central Bank is stubbornly refusing to cut its rate because of fears of inflation, despite the fact that consumers and business throughout Europe are crying out for action. This ECB policy is particularly damaging to Ireland, according to the Construction Industry Federation chief, Tom Parlon' - Irish Independent, 28/3/08

"I think the ECB will reduce interest rates two or three times in the coming year. This will boost sentiment towards the Irish housing market." - Austin Hughes, IIB - Irish Times, 14/2/08 (see below!)

'...with the ECB likely to cut interest rates in the coming months...' - Property Supplement, Irish Times, 14/2/08

'Interest rate cut likely as ECB alters its stance' - Irish Times headline, 8/2/08

'The European Central Bank (ECB) yesterday paved the way for the first cuts in nearly five years. As it dropped its previous threat to raise rates to combat inflation, some analysts said borrowers could benefit from a cut as soon as April.' - Irish Independent, 8/2/08

'BoI predicts 0.5% cut in interest rates this year'; 'The bank's chief economist says he expects two rate cuts in the second and third quarter of the year in light of the current economic turmoil in the US.' - Irish Independent, 25/1/08

'Climbing rents and an expected cut in interest rates will combine to improve the situation, says Hubert Fitzpatrick, director of the Irish Home Builders Association' Property Supplement - Irish Times, 6/12/07

'In his quarterly economic review yesterday, Alan McQuaid, economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers, said a cut in rates was very much a possibility, the longer the global credit crisis goes on and banks continue to encounter funding problems.' - Irish Independent, 14/11/07

"Based on current trends and data, I expect Eurozone interest rates to start coming down by mid-2008, with the ECB cutting rates by half a percentage point before the end of the year" - Geoff Tucker, Hooke & McDonald - Irish Independent, 5/10/07

'ECB will slash, not raise interest rates claims economist'; 'A leading economist claimed that the European Central Bank is now likely to cut interest rates, rather than raising them, over the next few months. And a fall in interest rates could be the best chance of avoiding financial ruin for thousands of consumers who have over-borrowed in the past few years, IIB Homeloans economist Austin Hughes said yesterday.' - Irish Independent, 11/9/07

'ECB urged to cut interest rates' - Irish Times headline, 19/9/07


etc, etc ad nauseum


'ECB Says rates could rise next month' - Today.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car

A letter in today's Irish Times:

"Madam, - On the bank holiday weekend, when seven lives were lost in road traffic accidents, I was pulled over by gardaí and reprimanded for driving too slowly. A garda informed me I was travelling at 60kph on the R752 approaching Rathnew, a winding stretch of road with a limit of 80kph.

What message are the Garda trying to give? - Yours, etc,

Some Woman, Dublin"

37 mph on a main road? He's trying to tell you you're a bloody liability! Good on ya Garda!!
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