Thoughts

On science and cynicism

Category: Politics (page 1 of 2)

It Creeps In

Fascism won’t come goosestepping down O’Connell Street. It won’t suddenly mark its arrival in a dramatic public oration delivered by a demagogue promising the dawn of a new era. Continue reading

Kwan-Li-So

The homeless man next to him was also bare bones, with a cut on his leg next to the knee that had become infected, and flies had laid their eggs in there. He had a little stick and was flicking the larvae that were coming out. Even seeing all this, Mary Lou said, she never thought there was anything wrong with North Korea.

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UKIP and the Irish Right

Question: What do the Pro Life Campaign, TheLiberal.ie, and UKIP/Nigel Farage all have in common?

Answer: Members of a family who were once directors of a Co Louth-based company called Vicarage Green Ltd, now in receivership, fined in 2009 for non-payment of taxes: among others, Enda, Leo, and Cora Sherlock. Continue reading

Iona Irrationality

If you were listening to Marian Finucane on RTE Radio One over the weekend you may have heard her chatting with with Breda O’Brien, patron of the lobby group the Iona Institute (a business name for Lolek Ltd). During the interview she stated that the Iona Institute is not a Catholic group. My eyebrow was certainly raised at this, and it echoes what her fellow Iona patron, Patricia Casey said to Matt Cooper on Today FM early last year:

Casey: “We’re not a Catholic institute.”
Cooper: “Alright. A Christian institution?”
Casey: “No. We’re not. We support the role of religion in society but we’re not a religiously based organisation.”

You only need to go as far as Iona’s website to see the tagline in the heading, For Religion and Society, and their four (possibly four; O’Brien seemed a little unsure when speaking to Finucane) patrons are all Catholic.

This probably gives you a bit of a taster into the odd, topsy-turvy logic and confusion the Iona Institute put forth on a regular basis. You’d previously have been excused for not knowing much about Iona, but if you’re reading this you’re probably aware at this stage of the whole Pantigate craic that’s been going on of the last while. Continue reading

The Hidden Face of Direct Democracy Ireland

Direct Democracy Ireland. A relatively new political party often put forth as a viable alternative to the current Fine Gael/Labour government by employing a new type of political process in the country. I’m a something of a syndicalist so the idea of direct democracy is something that appeals to me, so I decided to do a bit of research into Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) to see if they would be a group I could support, or at least keep an eye on.

Lo and behold, just a little bit of research turned up some interesting points, and not the sort of stuff I was expecting. Here’s what I found out. Continue reading

Ireland and the Realities of Sexual Relationships

For decades now, while we have made some positive steps, Ireland has had an unhealthy attitude towards sexual health and awareness. By being willfully ignorant of sexuality and sexual health in our society, the country had effectively tricked itself into believing that such things didn’t happen in Ireland: extra-marital relationships, contraception, same-sex relationships, abortions.

Many of you will have picked up today’s Sunday Independent and read the front-page article describing Michelle Mulherin TD’s outrage at a website giving advice to teenagers and young adults about sexual relationships. The advice in question dealt with threesomes and relationships involving more that two people. You can read the article at SpunOut.ie (which is an excellent website that helps young adults deal with the various issues that arise during growing up).
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Political Lobbying and the Anti-Choice Movement

Youth Defence and the Life Institute have ignored six requests by SIPO to disclose their sources of funding. This has been covered in the Irish Times today and in January. Continue reading

Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London

Just a short post to outline a couple of things as I understand them, as of Saturday morning.

You can watch a 24/7 video feed from outside the embassy at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/aejkohl. This will broadcast until Sunday, I believe. Continue reading

The Day I Grew Up

Everyone was looking forward to getting their Junior Cert results, and had been for quite a few weeks. It was going to be really exciting – the first big exams we had ever taken, and ones we would depend on as we made our way to the Leaving Cert and beyond!

It was meant to be exciting. It was meant to be full of nerves. Once we got our results we were meant to doss off school for the rest of the day and have a laugh with our friends in a local diner (or sneak off later that evening to rebelliously sample a few mouthfuls of forbidden drink).

The day was dark and gloomy. We stood in the room waiting for our names to be called out to get our results. Even our Year Head was distant.

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No More Hiding Behind White Collars

‘Questioned if the seal of confession was above the law of the land, Fr Madden said: “Yes. I cannot presume to break that seal if someone comes to me as a penitent”.’ – Irish Times

I read this only moments ago, and it reaffirms my disgust for the Catholic Church.

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