Monday, March 30, 2009

Gone

Hmmm. That performance on Saturday wasn't much cop at all. And tomorrow morning I'm heading to Ialy for the biggest match of Trap's reign so far. We should get beaten and maybe fairly well. But the defence have been playing very well mostly - although Killer at left back is a disaster and the two up front would be fine with some service but God we have nothing in the middle at all. I cannot understand how Glenn Whelan gets a game for the life of me. Ah well let's see what happens, eh?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Y'see no matter what level of depravity and/or total fucking lunacy nordie psycho-killers subject the rest of us to, there's always some clichéd tosser who's in need of a bit of electro-shock:

New comments have been posted to your account. To manage these posts visit:
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Ben wrote the following:

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/dealga/3879976945443939411/
You talk of the north as is its some foreign country, shame on you and the other free staters who accept this lie.This is occupied Ireland and always will be Ireland no matter how many times the British...

Unfortunately for all of us he seems to have deleted it since, and Haloscan only email you the first bit of a posted comment, so that's only a flavour of the genius I've obviously missed out on.

EDIT: You'll see below that the full comment is available, along with some choice words for my good self, which had me sniggering up my sleeve.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Somebody Got Murdered

I burst out laughing when I read this:

"29-year-old Philip Collopy accidentally shot himself with a handgun in a house in St Mary's Park, Limerick, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Gardaí believe Mr Collopy was showing a friend how to kill someone when he put the gun to his own head without realising there was a round in the breach.

There were about seven people in the house at the time.

Members of the armed garda regional support unit were on patrol when a man came running out the house and alerted them to the shooting.

Mr Collopy died in at the Mid Western Regional Hospital at 8.30pm last night."

Beautiful Day

That has been some week of sport for me - Liverpool thrashing ManYoo, who then go into mini-meltdown, D'Town thrash $helbyville, nice-guy Bernard Dunne comes back from humiliation to be a world champion and the egg-chasers end their hoodoo.

It's great for those players - O'Driscoll in particular - to finally get their Grand Slam. I'll just have to avoid the mountains of utter guff undoubtedly being spoken to maintain my levels of goodwill.

I wondered on Saturday how long it would take for someone to predict that finally doing something the other three serious teams, and even Scotland, have managed in the last ten years without much hoopla would be a cure for all the country's current woes. Well George Hook did it with some marvellous hyperbole less than ten minutes later.

P.S. I might not know much about the old egg-chasing. I do know, however, that Ireland spent most of the match offside!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Overpowered By Funk

I had the displeasure of watching some of the Meteor awards the other night.

Class acts like Elbow and Imelda May (who I had seen the week before in Cork) wasted on a bunch of disinterested chav kids.

And Amanda Byram, who I used to think was hot, was a joke of a presenter - all head and arm movements like she mimicing a stroppy African-American reality TV contestant. She also managed to say 'Jesus' a few times, which put me out more than I would have thought. It seemed improper - not offensive, just unprofessional and unnecessary.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Silver And Gold

I completely agree with all of this:
"We were warned repeatedly that the property bubble would burst but preferred to dwell in low-tax illusion

‘SURE THEY’RE all the same,” goes the bitter refrain. The funny thing is, I’ve checked and it’s true. A comparison of each party’s 2007 manifestos reveals remarkably similar policies, especially on taxation – the bedrock of the economy. Sinn Féin’s are the best written and the Green Party’s have some peculiar extras, but by and large they are the same.

The fundamental political ideal on which all parties base their taxation policy is that income tax is an abomination from which all righteous citizens should be liberated. Conveniently most parties also agree on who should be the target of the Revenue Commissioners’ zeal.

There are the tax exiles who should be required to hand over a first born along with their passports. The production of food renders one impure and therefore farmers are deemed taxable.

Polluters are a target, too – though in a corporate rather than personal capacity. Finally there are the resident “super-rich” who should be taxed not only on their income, but their houses, art, jewels and audacity in daring to earn what Mary Lou McDonald has called “disgraceful” levels of income. Corporations may also be taxed but happily yet again there is unanimity – the 12.5 per cent rate should stay, no matter how much that bugs the Germans.

Everyone else is a hard-working, hard-pressed, middle-income couple with a big mortgage and bigger creche bill who must be saved from the injustice of paying tax on their income.

Of course, there are few specifics. I have no idea what “middle-income” means. Most Irish people claim to be middle class, so presumably they labour under the illusion of earning “middle incomes” too.

I do know that almost 40 per cent of the 2.4 million income earners in the State are entirely exempt from income tax and that every party thinks this number should be increased.

When asked who should pay tax so that there’s enough money to fund the most generous social welfare payments in the EU, we are back to – you’ve guessed it – the tax exiles. Of course, that’s hardly surprising. Tax exiles don’t vote and the 900,000 exempted earners do.

If you woke up tomorrow morning in a Kafkaesque nightmare as the leader of an Irish political party you’d probably sign up to the political consensus too.

Of course this system has rendered the State disastrously dependent on cyclical taxation – VRT, VAT and stamp duty – a recipe that ensured our fiscal souffle did not so much collapse as implode.

Yes, at the other end of the scale generous tax reliefs enabled the business classes to reduce their tax liabilities, but figures from the Department of Finance are indisputable – the top 20 per cent of income earners pay 77 per cent of all income tax. So facts are facts and the fact is that hundreds of thousands of earners and voters believe they have done well out of a system which taxed consumption rather than income. Fianna Fáil drove the policy and the others gasped in their efforts to keep up. Why? Because clearly that’s what the majority of people wanted. If the other parties didn’t offer a policy alternative it was because not enough people wanted one.

There is no other explanation. Well, there is. It’s that people were stupid and wilfully ignored the consequences of their actions. But surely no one will argue that the people are stupid because Ireland’s electorate is famous for its sophistication.

Nor can anyone argue that the people were in some way misled. Night after night and day after day journalists from McWilliams to Lee and economists from Ahearne to Kelly warned of the consequences and were simply ignored.

So we must accept this fact. Irish voters are pretty much a right-wing bunch who want the government to leave as much money in their own pockets so that they can spend that money in a manner of their choosing. We’re republicans alright, but the American kind and with great benefits. It’s called having your bread buttered on both sides.

That’s why Joe Higgins, the only actual socialist, lost his seat in 2007. That’s why the Sinn Féin surge never materialised. And that’s why people didn’t vote Labour. Because no matter how much our lily-livered left attempted to dress up their “Me too” policies, the bouncy castle-renting suburbanites knew they’d been having an income-tax-free party for 10 years and hoped Fianna Fáil would keep the party going.

So now what? It’s payback time. The middle income earners are furious because they’ve been encouraged in the delusion that were it not for a chap called Madoff, a company called Lehman Brothers and a golf-playing rugger bugger called Seánie, Ireland would remain a land of fiscal harmony and shopping trips to New York.

It’s time then to take aside the only demographic in town and tell them some truths. The CFDs, the subprime lending, the shunting of millions and billions between banks, all of these things are terrible and have made a bad situation worse. But we have two crises – a monetary meltdown and a fiscal collapse. They are intertwined and yet independent. Without a banking crisis we’d still have a fiscal disaster.

The mother of all property bubbles just burst. It was always going to burst and we were warned repeatedly what would happen when it did. The Order of the Soft Landing did not have a monopoly. No one can say that they weren’t told. If they didn’t listen, they have only themselves to blame."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unforgettable Fire

A timely article on that nutjob (ex)teacher in Mayo:

"MAURA HARRINGTON Political Prisoner of Shell” proclaimed the poster being held by her husband, Naoise Ó Mongáin, standing outside the Department of Justice in Dublin on Friday, writes PETER MURTAGH .

So it’s “here we go again” time on the Corrib gas controversy, although at least this time it’s not going to be “Free the Rossport One”. No, according to Ó Mongáin, Shell’s political prisoner is happy to do her 28 days in Mountjoy . . . and an extra 28 days if necessary.

Asked if the campaign against Shell welcomed the support it gets from Republican Sinn Féin, thought by the PSNI and Garda to be the political wing of the Continuity IRA which murdered Const Stephen Carroll, Ó Mongáin said: “We welcome support from everyone and every quarter, we won’t deny support from anyone.”

This is indeed the case. The Shell to Sea campaign, of which Harrington is spokeswoman and perhaps its most fervent advocate, has accepted support from several extreme organisations and individuals whose beliefs and track records would make them unacceptable to most right thinking people. Such individuals include Dominic McGlinchy, the son of the late and notorious INLA murderer of the same name, and former IRA man Robert Jackson, who served 20 years for explosives offences. Each participated in a road blocking protest in north Mayo in November 2007 which turned violent. Each was convicted and given the Probation Act.

Other so-called dissident republicans have attached themselves to the Shell to Sea protest wagon without, it seems, the anti-Shell crowd batting an eyelid. This has contributed to the poisonous mixture of lies and propaganda bleeding from north Mayo for some years.

Apart from the sustained abuse and intimidation of anyone associated with the Corrib project, the poison is evident in some of the language of gross exaggeration used by the protesters and their assertions of conspiracies at every turn.

Consider, for instance, the “note to editors” at the bottom of a Shell to Sea statement last week about Judge Mary Devins. Sitting at Belmullet District Court, Devins sentenced Harrington to 28 days and ordered her to have a psychiatric assessment for assaulting Garda Eamon Berry on June 11th, 2007, by slapping him across the face during a protest. The note said: “Judge Mary Devins is the wife of Government Minister Jimmy Devins.”

The implication is clear: it’s all part of the ginormous conspiracy involving the State, the judiciary, the Garda Síochána, the media and the evil multinational murdering oil company Goliath Shell against the plucky, hard-done-by Davids of north Mayo. I don’t know Mary Devins but I read reports of her work regularly in the Mayo News and I’ve never read, or heard of, anything to question her integrity.

Gardaí in north Mayo are routinely abused, attacked and characterised as “Shell’s cops”. When Harrington was sentenced last week, Shell to Sea’s statement proclaimed: “Political policing sees Maura Harrington jailed.”

Spokesman Terence Conway said: “Now that Shell is about to begin their works in Glengad, it seems that the State operation against the community has kicked into gear.” Pat O’Donnell, a local fisherman, was quoted: “Maura Harrington is a political prisoner sentenced at the behest of Shell.”

Sorry, but Harrington is not a political prisoner and nor was she sentenced at the behest of Shell. Rather, she is a person of strong views about the Corrib project who also happens to have a fairly long record of being drunk and disorderly, verbally abusive and violent, all of which has been detailed in court cases resulting, almost invariably, in conviction.

So please, spare me the guff about the doughty, campaigning political prisoner. Much of what is asserted about the Corrib project is lies or, worse, half-truths.

And the problem with that is that lies usually lodge more firmly in the consciousness than truth.

As Winston Churchill said: “A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has a chance to get its boots on.”"

One Day Like This

Went to Wembley to see Elbow on Saturday night. Awesome. Again.



Because of the related travelling I only saw the ManYoo Liverpool match last night but hallelujah it was only fantastic to watch! The exits appear to be well designed at OTT...

On the flipside D'Town has made a poor start to the season. Still it's early days and a good spanking for Shelbyville this weekend will ease the nerves.

But y'know the weather is good, the relentless bad news has eased off in the last week or so, U2 have a decent album out for a change and I can finally sit in my house on a day off and not feel like I'm faced with a mountain of DIY to get through.

Apart from those fucking assholes in the North life's good, really!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Somebody Got Murdered

I don't fucking believe this. Will somebody please cut these fuckers' testicles off with bolt-cutters before they fuck anything else up?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Unbelievable. This shit again. They really are a bunch of stupid cunts up there. Hateful, hateful bastards.

I hope that the retard that's after ordering this gets a bullet or two in the head from the SAS ASAP. Absolute hateful bastards.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Sort Of Homecoming

C'mon d'town!

Really looking forward to this season now. We looked good in our pre-season, I believe, and tonight we're back in the big time, live on RTE, playing the champions. Sweet.

Silver And Gold

What I would do (my tuppence worth):

I would scrap a lot of the items you can claim tax credits or tax relief for - like work clothing, service charges, medical insurance, union subscriptions and so on - the items that can't be considered to be impacting the elderly, infirm or disabled or to be impacting job security or job creation (so not tuition fees, business expansion plans and so on).

I would get a lot tighter on the self-employed writing anything and everything off as 'business expenses'. The self-employed do not pay anything like the same tax as PAYE workers - fact!

I would scrap Rent Credit. Not just because I'm not renting anymore! But because rents are now lower than they were at the turn of the century.

I would reduce the TRS for first-time buyers from 7-years to 5-years. Anyone who got a mortgage between 2002 and 2004 does not need that support.

I would tax all foreign currency transactions.

I would bring in a two tier VAT system for Irish and non-Irish goods (say 15% and 25% respectively). If that's not legal, then EU and non-EU goods would be a reasonable substitute.

As much as I hate to say it I'd whack a carbon tax on petrol and diesel, but exempt hauliers and couriers. The end price would have to be no more than the price up North, though.

I'd possibly bring in an incentive to buy new 'greener' cars that would exempt people driving cars under (whatever) emission level from the carbon tax. That should be easy enough - a swipe card sold with the car that lets you use a different pump or something.

I would tax text messages and internet downloads - say 2c per text and 10c per GB downloaded.

I would bring in legislation to claim all unclaimed Prizebond prizes from pre-2000 and the contents of all dormant bank accounts from pre-2000. That might be unconstitutional but there could be a way around it.

I would replace all children's allowances with an An Post administered voucher system for books, uniforms, clothing and medicines and I would means test it.

I would bring in a third-level fees contribution that would be graduated on a means-tested scale that farmers (in particular) wouldn't be let screw with.

I would reduce tax relief on PRSA AVCs to 10% for everyone under 49 and 30% for everyone aged 50+ , even though that would be a bit of a kick in the stones for me.

I would treat married couples as one person for all tax assessments.

I would introduce a 4-tier tax system of 10%, 25%, 50% and 60% and adjust the bands to bring more lower earners back into the tax system, but at a low level; try to keep tax rises for low - middle income families at a minimum; start to hit people for more at around the 60K mark, then more again at about the 120K mark.

So now.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Magnificent

Jesus it really is class.

And I now have a few more potential blog-post titles. If only Joe Strummer were still alive...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

All I Want Is U2

First impressions? I like it. I really like it. All I was looking for was an album that would be a lot better than the last two and it definitely is that.

Magnificent is exactly that (I bet no one else uses that line...) and is probably the best song they've recorded since Miss Sarajevo

Title track No Line On The Horizon appeals to me a lot more than Beautiful Day or Vertigo ever did.

Things disimprove, though, with Moment of Surrender being more Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own than One while the next two tracks wouldn't be out of place in the middle of some of the more anonymous songs on All That You Can't Leave Behind. I can see them being played live on tour now - crowd standing there watching, politely appreciating, wondering when a song they can sing along to is going to be played.

But as a result you can actually see the point of Get On Your Boots in the context of the album. It works, and it's a good pick up from the three previous songs. The rest of the album is consistently strong from that point too.

The big difference between this one, though, and the last two is that it actually feels like an album and not just a collection of singles 'n' filler. I can put it in and not feel the urge to skip tracks. There's no Grace, for example, and no Miracle Drug either.

On the flipside Bono's lyrics have further disimproved - Unknown Caller being particularly non-sensical. But lyrics have always been the least important part of music to me anyway. If I want words to soothe my soul I'll read. So I'm already over that irritation.

All-in-all it's a good 'un and a grower. But it's quite possible that without Magnificent it might have been one of U2's poorest albums to date.
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