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UFO’s, 7ft telepathic aliens… now that’s more like it! January 31, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Only a while back we were discussing how UFO sightings seem to have diminished radically in an age of smartphones and ubiquitous cameras. But not completely gone, and thanks to Joe Mooney for forwarding the link to this for the Star – a report on how a ‘shaggy haired warehouse worker’ saw “an “evil” seven-foot tall telepathic alien mantis and drawn a picture of the bizarre creature for the Daily Star”.

Not only a drawing, but also photographs of an orange glowing object he saw before the encounter with the mantis. Now that’s the way to do it.

Frustratingly the report ends like this – as he details meeting the alien mantis:

“I felt like it could read my mind and I could read its mind,. “My fear was replaced with completely alien thoughts of utter hatred and evil I felt projected from this thing. “I suddenly snapped out of this hypnotic kind of state and it made a step back as if it was gonna pounce on me.”

And then? What happened next? How did he get away from a creature with telepathy, a glowing aerospace craft and perhaps, just perhaps, an ability to leap huge distances?

Mantis aliens are apparently a thing in the UFO community.

Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… January 31, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Stephen Collins is preparing for the next political war…

Massive extra spending on this scale was required to deal with the war on Covid but, like all wars, it will have to be paid for in time. With luck, economic growth will reduce the proportion of debt to national income but a return to prudent spending policies when circumstances permit will also be required. Finding a way of doing that will be political challenge when the Covid war is over.

Mark Paul continues, yet again, to argue everyone is apparently living in ‘biting fear’ and make the (inexplicable and) unsupported case that indoor dining is being ‘blamed’ for the spike in Covid-19 around and after Christmas.

All of this judgment and aspersion and blame spews from a place of anxiety deep within us. It isn’t normal to have a six-foot commute to work, from the end of your bed to the desk just inside the door. It is depressing. It is upsetting for parents to keep their young children away from their little friends, replacing precious socialisation with awkward interactions snatched on tablet screens. We all miss friends and family. There is a climate of biting fear, even if a little bit of it is logical in a pandemic. This fear and anxiety manifests in us lashing out, often with questionable justification. Recently, every woe currently befalling us supposedly was all down to the decision to reopen indoor dining for a few weeks. That decision may have errant, but it was never on its own a plausible explanation for the scale of the current carnage. Now, all our fingers are pointing at tourists. But nobody can credibly argue that the UK strain could have been kept out of the country. It is unrealistic. We share this island with the UK.

Any other examples welcome…

Television sensation January 30, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Too weeks behind the zeitgeist I was when it came to Lupin, the French Netflix production which this month became extremely popular on the streaming platform. It’s very likeable and watchable – apparently coming out in a season split into two lots of five or so episodes. And here’s a good interview with Omar Sy, the lead role and Louis Leterrier the director. It is, of course, utterly escapist fare, and perfect for the second year of the pandemic in its depiction of a world that seems so recent and yet so different. I guess in tone it is a bit like Sherlock but with considerably more charm.

It’s not alien to the political as the following notes – btw not a spoiler but some may prefer not to read details of scenes:

While using the original stories as a blueprint, by putting Sy’s Assane at the centre of the story, it makes the century old tales feel entirely modern. He is a con artist with a conscience, his target is the wealthy establishment, and he’s happy to use people’s prejudices against them in his scams, while rarely resorting to violence. One particular scene really hammers this home. In a flashback, Assane poses as an undercover detective who persuades an elderly woman to hand over her most valuable items, including a rare Fabergé egg. She shamelessly admits that her husband “assisted with the extraction of diamonds in the Belgian Congo”. “The good old days,” Assane says with a wry smile. “The locals were sitting on a fortune, and they didn’t even realise it,” the woman continues. Assane is just playing the white establishment at its own game, one rigged from the very beginning.

The treatment of race and class is something Sy and Leterrier were both very conscious of, and works well.

Monster(s) movie January 30, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

What’s that you say, that two multi-tonne monsters couldn’t actually stand on the deck of an aircraft carrier as they slug it out with one another? I’m actually really looking forward to this latest addition to the Monsterverse…

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Springsteen Covers January 30, 2021

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.

Heard the Low version of “I’m on Fire” recently and really liked it. So a selection of other Springsteen Covers….

Irish Election Projections Site January 29, 2021

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Interesting new site giving analysis, projections on seats and so on. Lot’s to agree and disagree on in the constituency analysis but worth looking at.

Site is here

Signs of Hope – A continuing series January 29, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

<blockquote>I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.</blockquote>

Any contributions this week?

Delusion January 29, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thanks to BH for pointing to this, from Nick Cohen and a heart-felt plea about Covid conspiracies and how both in their strong form (outright denialism/anti-mask ‘activists’) and weaker form (media scepticism) they endanger life. Cohen (who has actually been a little bit back on form in recent times) points to the tragic story of one anti-masker and how he eventually succumbed to Covid. Tellingly those of a like mind with him have been unwilling to accept that reality (stewing in anti-vax, anti-semitism, conspiracy ‘theory’ viciousness). As Cohen notes, for them…

Covid can’t have killed him, it just can’t. No hard fact can be allowed to break through the defensive walls of an enclosed ideology, even after the death of a friend. “The cause of death is currently listed as Covid-19,” Parker told his followers. “It is now the duty of those he has left behind to ensure that his name is not used to further this gargantuan fraud.” Parker hinted that Matthews had asthma and it might have killed him. (This is news to his family.) Others suggested he took his own life. I’ve seen screenshots of a WhatsApp conversation where a Shrewsbury conspiracist says he “could have been murdered” by shadowy figures – Bill Gates, maybe, or the head of an intensive care unit – because he was “part of the movement, one of us”.

But Cohen rightly – and sympathetically to Matthews – pulls back the focus to others:

How mad and how different from what passes for respectable opinion. But shift the conversation just a little and the conspiracy theories are not so different from the propaganda pouring out of rightwing radio stations and newspapers. Their claims that masks and lockdowns don’t work, that Covid is no more deadly than the flu, that 91% of so-called Covid cases are false positives and that there are no excess deaths are as false as imagining Gates wants to microchip the world and just as deadly. It’s not that they are made by people who know nothing that makes them so objectionable. They are made by people who can never know anything. Just as the anti-vaxxers of Shrewsbury had to deny the reason for the death of their comrade, so the presenters on Talkradio and LBC and the columnists on the Telegraph must maintain their ignorance and scream down all who try to enlighten them or their audience will look elsewhere.

To lose four is… January 29, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

The Phoenix recently noted that:

South Dublin County [Green Party] Councillor Peter Kavanagh is the latest out the door following Dublin City Councillors Liam Sinclair and Sophie Nicoullaud last week.

Lorna Bogue had already left the party due it seems to by support for the CETA agreement by the Green Party. No others are mentioned as about to leave but what are the implications of the four who have already left for local government, and what about the Green Party?

Mixed messages January 29, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Telling isn’t it how on the one hand we hear that:

The Tánaiste has said the country will not be moving from Level 5 to Level 3 in March and the easing of restrictions will resemble the reopening after the first wave of the virus last year. Leo Varadkar also said the number of daily cases would need to fall “to the low 100s”, and the number of people in ICUs needs to drop to, or around, 50, before the Government would ease restrictions.Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, he said those who are considered to be the most vulnerable would need to have received a Covid-19 vaccine before any restrictions are eased.

And on the other:

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night that the country may move to Level 4 measures or “Level 4 with modifications” after March 5th.

I wonder is it far too premature for any discussion of these matters and would it not serve the Government better to perhaps not offer any hostages to fortune particularly after the Christmas debacle?

Thought that Professor Philip Nolan was framing the Zero Covid proposals last night in a slightly curious fashion:

….he told the NPHET briefing, we had to accept that in this country, no such system would guarantee complete exclusion of any new variant or any new disease. In this context, Prof Nolan said it was an “utterly false promise” to suggest we could go to Level Zero or Level One, in the Living with Covid framework, in a matter of weeks or months. He said it was much better to “work to get the level of disease down, keep it down and continue the vaccination programme”. 

Does anyone believe it would be weeks. Months surely, possibly many, and it would have to be outside the ‘Living with Covid’ framework entirely. Moreover, of course there’d be no guarantee of complete exclusion. Neither New Zealand nor Australia have managed that fully. But the point is that the disease is controlled and constrained to the lowest possible extent. Indeed he himself admitted…

“there are two shared “pieces” between a Zero Covid strategy and the actual strategy that’s being adopted now.

One is that the only safe position to be in is to have a level of community transmission that is as close as practicable to zero. The second element is to have only essential travel taking place.

He said we should be doing everything we can, through whatever mix of testing and isolation, to limit the risk of introduction of new variants or further infection.”

But isn’t that fundamental to Zero-Covid in any case? Not sure why one is attainable and the other that is almost identical isn’t?

And speaking of no hostages to fortune, I read this in the Guardian the other day with a real sense of foreboding.

Slumped on the sofa after another day of home schooling, many families will have longingly eyed adverts for getaways: sun, sandy beaches and glittering pools, a much-needed reward after a year in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.But ministers are becoming increasingly concerned they may have to ask the British public to sacrifice their hopes of a break abroad this summer. On Thursday, Priti Patel became the latest cabinet minister to say it was too soon to book an overseas break; Matt Hancock has already announced he is going to Cornwall.

Again how could anyone at this point make any fixed decision about a holiday – particularly abroad? We’ve heard a lot of about resilience and the need to live with the virus but in truth given we see a Europe that is closing down travel – and it is Europe where these UK ‘sun holidays’ are usually located – one has to wonder at who seriously thinks that is going to happen? Again, what is it about a global viral pandemic that people are not getting?

In fairness – at this point – the ROI government seems to have the right idea in this respect with the following: Irish people going on foreign holidays must stop, the Taoiseach has insisted.

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