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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening To… Tom T. Hall July 4, 2015

Posted by yourcousin in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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A very welcome and given it’s the 4th of July appropriate guest post from YourCousin.

One can’t begrudge success. And classic country acts who have a certain cross over appeal are as legitimate as anyone else. But there comes a time when the cross over appeal becomes cooption. I would put Johnny Cash into that category. I remember where I was when both June Carter and Johnny Cash died, the exact moment and location. He is understandably a bigger than life icon, but when Jay Z and Jonny Depp, and Owen Wilson show up in the your music videos well it should give one pause (I mean he’s dead so it’s not his fault, but still). So any more when someone asks me who my favorite country musician is I always say Tom T. Hall. If they say, “who?” then I get the chance to play a song or two for and if they already know then they get extra brownie points. A songwriter whose influence was felt by other artists rather than by the public at large, I always considered him a good journeyman song writer. Someone who approaches the artistic process as a craft,
with skill and a matter of factness which some of the the more “artistically inclined” folks may not always have. For a better take I would direct folks to this article from The Guardian.

Independence Day July 4, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.


July 4th, Independence Day, and as noted last year on this date the day celebrates one of the great revolutions, one of the three great revolutions across, what, three hundred years or so, that shaped the modern world.

Battle Lines Drawn……. July 3, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

From ‘Family and Life’

Brace yourself for a major new attack on life – and it’s coming at us like a runaway train! As one of Family & Life’s faithful supporters I want to give you a clear picture of what we’re up against. Let me explain very bluntly the abortion nightmare we’re staring at.

Pro-abortionists ready to pounce and shred the 8th Amendment

Fresh from destroying the definition of marriage – and bursting with confidence – this same pro-abortion crowd now have their sights set on shredding the 8th Amendment to our Constitution. The 8th Amendment, as you know, is the only remaining obstacle to the abortionist’s dream of abortion on demand in Ireland.

Abortion on demand is exactly what we’re facing if the 8th Amendment is removed. But that won’t be the end of it. There are already moves afoot to legalise killing the sick and elderly by euthanasia. And eventually, once babies with “defects” can be killed before birth, there will be demands to allow their killing after birth too.

Here’s how the pro-abortionists plan to bring this about: Word among political insiders is that the general election could be as early as November. That will allow the new government to schedule a “Dump the 8th Amendment Referendum” as soon as early 2016.

Leading the charge is the “Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.” It includes the Abortion Rights Campaign, Choice Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (among other Atlantic Philanthropies funded groups), the National Women’s Council, and Atheist Ireland. This coalition is working closely with the Irish Family Planning Association –the Irish affiliate of Planned Parenthood. . . and former human rights group Amnesty International.

As we saw in the marriage referendum, many of these groups are well-financed and between them all they have troops on the ground in most parts of the country. They are fired up and ready to go!

But don’t despair – that’s just what the pro-abortionists are counting on!

We can beat them and we will beat them! But saving the 8th Amendment depends on how quickly we can launch the grassroots community organising programme I’m about to explain . . .

This is a battle that will be won or lost in local communities. It can’t be won just from our office in Dublin. This local action programme isn’t “flashy” and won’t gain plaudits from the media. But it will win. In fact, local action is the ONLY way to win . . .

It’s essential that we immediately organise pro-lifers in carefully targeted local communities. For this we need the services of a top-notch organiser with a track record of winning tough fights.

We’ve lined up an experienced pro-life organiser who’s widely acknowledged as perhaps the savviest local network manager in Ireland. I’ll not reveal the name yet because the agreement is still pending, but if we can recruit an organiser of this person’s calibre, then pro-abortionists will be facing the fight of their lives!

On top of that it’s vital that we print and distribute 500,000 copies of our new brochure, “Save Irish Babies – Defend the 8th Amendment.” This will spell out in detail what the loss of the 8th Amendment would mean: Abortion on demand . . . then eventually euthanasia of the sick and elderly . . . and ultimately the killing of babies born with “defects.”

The distribution of this booklet is the perfect way to start re-energizing and developing new local groups throughout Ireland and setting the tone early as to why the 8th Amendment must be defended.

Needless to say it goes on to ask for money umpteen times…. Wonder who “the savviest local network manager in Ireland” is?

Whoosh… July 3, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…something went right over someone’s head…

A Government backbencher has fiercely defended cuts to the lone parent’s allowance and the legislation to enforce payment from “won’t pay” debtors.

And she said that for a couple with two children with water charges capped at €260 and the €100 conservation grant, their water could cost €3.07 a week “to have clear water, to take your showers, to wash your vegetables, to wash your babies, to fill up your babies’ bottles”.
And yet, she said, “I see people going into the supermarkets and weekends and stacking their trolleys with beer and everything else and water and there’s no need for it”.

Quite a list of discontents in there…Here’s Liberius’s take on it….

On the subject of Burton, her coalition colleague Catherine Byrne as come out swinging in her defence with this line:

for the first time in society, for the first time, we have a Minister in Joan Burton who is prepared to change the way we have treated the social welfare system in this country”.

There is also this about her daughter, who is naturally superior to the rest of the human race:

I see somebody who’s made a life-changing decision. She didn’t sit at home, she didn’t have children, she went out, she got her education and then she went to work”

And this, the last bit of which is classic dehumanisation of people:

“I have many friends and many of my children’s friends have young children, but [it’s] to give them an opportunity to step back into the world of reality and to step back into education and to become a person for themselves.

Finally this, after all that bile, we’re not even allowed to drown our miseries in mind-altering substances.

“And I see people stacking up their trolleys with drink and wine and I can guarantee you some of them shouldn’t be stacking up their trolleys with drink and wine.”

Odious, that is the only word that I can possible say about Catherine Byrne.


Labour and Sinn Féin July 3, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

Curious in way to see Joan Burton take the following line in debate over cuts to Lone Parents benefit this week in the Dáil. I suspect that this issue has stung her, and hence the hyperbolic response.

Mary Lou McDonald said Ms Burton had pledged she would not introduce cuts until there was adequate, accessible, affordable childcare.
“My concern today is that the Minister is taking money from the pockets of lone parents,” she added.
Ms Burton replied: “Sinn Féin has a concept of a welfare country. Let me tell the deputy about welfare.
“Jean McConville had 12 children and what did Sinn Féin’s associates in the republican movement do?”

it’s an intriguing debating/political tactic, isn’t it? But does it work? The evidence so far is spotty in that regard.

Pat Leahy amongst others has argued that the electorate, or at least a good portion of it, has effectively parked the conflict in relation to SF. Just in passing it’s worth noting that of those SF TDs in the Dáil quite some number joined the party in the 1990s. And yet the attacks along the lines of that above continue to be made. I’m presuming someone has assessed in some respect the potential effectivity and perhaps all this is about is solidifying what remains of the base.

What do others think?

Pope infuriates some of the global elites July 3, 2015

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Many thanks the person who forwarded this from Archon of the Southern Star.

IS the Pope a communist? To judge by the backlash to his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ (in which he makes clear his position on global warming and the exploitation of the planet’s resources) commentators in the United States, Poland, Australia and Britain seemed to consider the Pontiff to be some sort of Red agitator.

The argument he makes in the encyclical is straightforward: climate crisis and poverty can be attributed to unequal economic, social and political systems. But his point of view was considered so radical that it infuriated the global elites. An incandescent Jeb Bush, US presidential candidate and scion of the infamous warmongering family, warned the Vicar of Christ to butt out of the climate debate. ‘I don’t get my economic policy from the bishops, the cardinals or the pope,’ he snarled.

Lobbyists on behalf of Shell, ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies backed the presidential wannabe, as did the Heartland Institute, a prominent Chicago-based think tank. The latter deemed any move to fight climate change to be a threat to the American economy, and that Pope Francis’s encyclical was no more than a ‘left-wing communist conspiracy’!

Another think tank with the ear of the US government, the pro-business and free market Washington Heritage Foundation, announced that the Pope clearly had Marxist leanings: ‘It’s unquestionable that he has a very vocal scepticism about capitalism and free enterprise,’ it declared.

A foaming-at-the-mouth Fox News was unable to contain its fury. ‘The Pope wants to shame people into distributing wealth based on alleged global warming … He’s the most dangerous person on the planet,’ it shrieked.

Even the prestigious ‘Wall Street Journal’ got in on the act: ‘Can the Church be making a mistake by trying to prevent another Galileo incident?’ it enigmatically asked.

The encyclical was denounced on Rush Limbaugh, the most listened to radio show in America, as a ‘Marxist rant’ that promoted ‘rich countries being asked to keep giving money to the poor until our rich are no longer rich.’

In Poland, a country dependent of the coal industry for jobs and power, the media dismissed the encyclical as anti-Polish. The leading newspaper, ‘Rzeczpospolita’, the equivalent of the dreary ‘Irish Times’, attacked Pope Francis on the basis that his concerns about climate change amounted to a threat to Poland’s coal industry: ‘We can’t turn our backs on coal production, coal mines, or building coal power plants,’ said a very hot and bothered Deputy Andrzej Jaworski.

In Australia, another coal-dependant nation, climate-warming deniers lambasted the Pope on the grounds that he wanted standards of living to drop.

In Britain, the response from the right-wing press was vintage Oliver Cromwell, an anti-papist blast from the past. A lady with a double-barrelled moniker in the ‘Telegraph’ announced that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church had lost their right to hand out moral lectures to the rest of the world. ‘Whether you’re a card-carrying eco-alarmist who worries daily about your carbon footprint or whether you are Jeremy Clarkson, what the Pope has to say about tackling climate change as a moral issue is about as relevant as Kim Kardashian’s views on the future of the euro zone,’ she proclaimed.

The Catholic Church, the newspaper bombastically declared, knew next to nothing about climate science and was out of touch with its own congregations. Indeed, it had such ‘moral culpability’ that it was not fit to lecture anyone on anything.

Almost as nasty as the ‘Telegraph’ was, the London edition of the news network Breitbart. Its editor told the British news show ‘Daily Politics’ that, if the Pope really cared about the poor, the last thing he should be doing was to endorse ‘this (anti-global warming) nonsense.’ The erudite gent attacked the Pope for spouting the sort of ‘dubious science’ that one might expect from a 16-year-old ‘trotting out the bilge required these days to pass an exam paper in Environmental Science.’

The response of the reactionary factions within government, big business and media is interesting, if for no other reason than that such groups perceive a threat to their economic interests should they accept the notion that global warming is a man-made problem that hurts the poor most.

In the opinion of the Pope, the situation now is so serious that a new ‘true world political authority’ is needed to implement the ‘reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions’.

The encyclical goes beyond the matter of climate change. It focuses attention on the need to ‘tackle the structural, root causes of inequality, injustice, poverty and environmental degradation’ and it states unequivocally that people have a fundamental right to water, food and housing.

In a paragraph that has some resonance in this country, it questions the morality of privatising water and transforming it into a commodity that’s subject to market forces – ‘the control of water by large multinational businesses may become a major source of conflict in this century.’

Intriguingly, Pope Francis does not have confidence in the markets to solve the world’s social and environmental problems. In fact, he reserves particular scorn for the offshoot of the market economy, consumerism. ‘This obsessive consumerism makes everyone believe that they are free when in fact those with the freedom are those that are part of the minority who holds the economic and financial power,’ he said.

It is also clear that the hostile reaction to the encyclical came from the proponents of an unimpeded capitalism that seeks to delay environmental action or strategies for renewable energy. They are the people who put profit before the common good and who are guilty of what Pope Francis termed the ‘myopia of power politics’.

As far as this country is concerned, it is too much to expect a coherent response to the encyclical from a government that has exhibited a manic aversion to papal matters. Let’s not forget that Kenny inexplicably closed the Irish embassy to the Vatican and showed such disdain of the then Pope that, like a recalcitrant schoolboy, he preferred to fiddle with his iPhone rather than listen to what the man had to say.

As for global warming, forget it! Just as news was breaking of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Ming Flanagan MEP informed us of a meeting he attended with the EU Commission. Topics under discussion included an interconnector to France and the UK, and wind-farms in the Midlands. Not one member of the government was present.

According to Ming Flanagan, this was ‘beyond shameful’ and was symptomatic of a government washing its hands of issues that have major implications for everyone.

It was an example of what the Pope might call ‘the myopia of politics’!

More on those weekend polls and Labour and Independents and Others July 3, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
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Two useful pieces in the SBP on their RedC poll. One by Richard Colwell sifts that data. He notes that Labour has retained little or no benefit from the marriage equality referendum. I’d even wonder was it any use to them at all – though I heard many reports that LP members thought it would be to their advantage, perhaps mistaking the reception campaigners met for enthusiasm for that party. Anyhow, Colwell notes:

There appears to be a correlation between Labour support and any media coverage the party receives, with its impact being more keenly felt by Labour rather than other larger parties. When surrounded by positive news stories, such as the recent marriage referendum, Labour, to a degree, sees the benefits, noting a positive uplift.
However, when a negative story breaks, either directly related to either Labour or Fine Gael, it is most likely to be Labour that incurs the impact.

Which has obvious outworkings in relation to a raft of issues that impact at the local or personal level for citizens. He also notes that of those who voted for the LP in 2011 only a third remain with that party, a third are voting for other parties and a third have gone over to Independents/Smaller parties. That’s quite some cohort, isn’t it?
And where might they go? Cowell suggests this:

…more recently, there have been rumours of an impending new party, consisting of independent TDs Róisín Shortall, Catherine Murphy, and Stephen Donnelly. Shortall is well regarded among the Labour voters, and may be taking some of her old party support towards independents. It will be interesting to see the impact if a new party does emerge, given that Renua has to date had little impact, with 1 per cent support in this most recent poll.

It would appear that there’s more than enough voters there who might be persuaded to support just such a formation.

Perhaps small wonder that the Ross Alliance emerged blinking into the sunlight this week, they know that they have to steal a march in a political environment that has suddenly become considerably more crowded.

Interesting too this:

Mr McGrath said they were running as independents and were not there to prop up anyone.

Well, alright. We’ll see.

Meanwhile Leahy has produced a documentary for RTE which airs this week on the independents and smaller parties and those voting for them. Just to say it’s a frustrating category, and an absurd simplification given the varied nature of those under it. Anyhow:

We found a huge degree of dissatisfaction with the way Irish politics is organised, conducted and managed – and special contempt for what many believed was the failure of the current government to live up to its promises of reform.
In this, the new wave of independents and small parties echoed the desires and frustrations of their voters. But we also saw, at first hand, how the forces that has arisen in response to the desire for change have

splintered rather than come together. This will, inevitably, make it harder to achieve many of their goals.
How could it be otherwise? But there are political implications:

The trend is clear in the opinion polls. From a first preference vote of 15 per cent in the last general election – itself a record high – support for those outside the political mainstream has grown consistently and relentlessly. Today’s numbers from Red C, showing a five-point jump in support for independents and small parties since last month to 27 per cent, demonstrate that the trend is not abating, even as an election looms into view in the middle distance.

But what is clear is that it is impossible to view the independents and small parties as a single entity. Its constituent parts are, in some respects, as different from each other as they are from the main parties.

And there’s the thing. It is near impossible to predict outcomes. There’s a basic political instability that has underpinned politics in this state in the last seven or eight years and that appears to continue apace. This doesn’t mean administrations cannot be formed, they clearly can. But their ability to lock in and retain support appears hugely compromised and beyond them lies that varied opposition and all that that implies.

Greece and unsustainable debt July 3, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting, isn’t it, what a difference a day or two makes. As many have noted here and elsewhere the divergence between the ‘this isn’t working’ and ‘but you’ve got to keep doing it anyway’ approaches in regard to the sustainability of the policies imposed on Greece has become ever more obvious, perhaps it’s no surprise that yet more commentators add to the consensus that the EU/ECB/IMF approach has been wrong from the off. Today it’s Brian Lucey in the IT saying:

The Greeks must implement a plan doomed to failure in order to succeed.

And intriguingly:

Naive and inexperienced Syriza may be, but it has been willing to confront many of the ills to which Greece is heir, in terms of modernising and confronting inefficiencies.

But now comes news:

Greece will need debt restructuring and a possible debt write-down to tackle its “unsustainable debt”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday in a stark analysis of the embattled Greek economy.

“Modern Wife, Modern Life” Exhibition July 3, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Was at the opening of this wonderful exhibition on Wednesday evening in The National Print Museum. It is beautifully displayed and put together, and well worth a visit over it’s run.
From the exhibition website (which also has pictures of some of the objects on display)

Modern Wife, Modern Life is an exhibition exploring the ‘ideal wife’ turned ‘modern wife’ in 1960s Ireland as seen through the pages of women’s magazines. Curated by Ciara Meehan, it will be held at the National Print Museum in Dublin between 1 July and 30 August 2015.
Manuals on how to be a good wife had been widely available in Ireland at the start of the twentieth century, but with the emergence of new technologies, the advice extended to newly married women and housewives began to change in the 1960s. The concept of being an ‘ideal wife’ became closely bound up with being a ‘modern wife’. This is best identified in the pages of women’s magazines, which came to replace the traditional manual as a source for guidance. The message, driven by the advertisers, was clear: a ‘good wife’ was not just beautifully presented, but also used all the latest ‘modern’ devices. Her home – especially the kitchen – was an extension of her appearance and reputation. ‘Modern life’ and ‘modern wife’ became blended into the one ideal.

The exhibition covers several themes: the growth of women’s magazines; advice for newly-married wives; beauty and presentation; the Housewife of the Year competition; new technologies and the home; women behind the wheel; and wives who work.

In addition to the magazines, a series of objects — many of which are on loan from the Irish public — will also be on display.

This Week At Irish Election Literature July 3, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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A “Solidarity With The Greek People” Leaflet from the Socialist Workers Party

A leaflet from Independent Councillor Cieran Perry which announces that he will be contesting the next General Election in Dublin Central

Finally one from Stephanie Reagan recently selected to run for Fine Gael in Dublin Bay North


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