Pledge Request: Fax Your TD
John Handelaar is looking for some people to support his efforts to develop an Irish equivalent of the hugely successful UK site WriteToThem.com for contacting UK politicians. The Irish version of the site would allow people to contact their councillors, TDs and MEPs for free. If you are interested in helping out, visit www.pledgebank.com/faxyourtd BEFORE 1ST FEBRUARY.
realitycheck(dot)ieThe Next Big Thing – Abortion Debate (6.2.2006, 22:08 UTC)
Forget months, the Irish blog world year is now being measured in terms of “big debates” – we’ve had feminism and gay marriage – now we’re moving onto abortion (the really “divisive” one). Fiona at Mental Meanderings has started off with a post on why she believes abortion should be legal. Richard at Sicilian Notes doesn’t think this issue should be discussed on blogs – I think blogs are as good a place as any to discuss abortion.Well, ...
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realitycheck(dot)ieGet Your Rev Jesse Tonic (5.2.2006, 14:37 UTC)
Most of Jesse Jackson's antics just make me laugh out load. The latest is his bungled attempt to sit in Senators' seating (and he a mere Congressman) at the SOTU because "he needed his face on TV" (I quote!) From Power Line - I think one of the Republicans' real problems is that it's too easy to look good compared to the Democrats. For the country's sake, that isn't a high enough standard.
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realitycheck(dot)ieThose Cartoons, Again – Why I’m Changing My Mind (5.2.2006, 14:03 UTC)
Some interesting posts around the place on the cartoons. While I posted them, I am starting to agree with the opinions below and don’t know now whether I should have. Free speech does bring many responsibilities. Have we the right to blaspheme any religion?The link from a cartoon to threatening another “real Holocaust” or a 9/11 stuck me as totally out of proportion and to me, those that made the link represent a scary and unreasonable threat to Western civilisation. I posted t...
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realitycheck(dot)ieClap Your Hands Say Yeah Indeed (5.2.2006, 13:05 UTC)
What an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night. An etiquette question first – when selling tickets on the street outside a gig, do you give the tickets to he who says he’ll buy them first, or he who gives you the money first? I said I had extra tickets and was nearly mobbed but one guy said he’d buy them from me first and took his time counting his money, while the other guy had the cash ready. I should have really auctioned them off to the assembled crowd – I could have...
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realitycheck(dot)ieThe Cs - Civilisations and the other c-word (4.2.2006, 12:40 UTC)
I know the "Clash of Civilisations" buzz has been bandied about too much too really interest anyone anymore but this post from the Belmont Club about the cartoons is worth a read - But it does imply that cultural conflict and competition is inevitable and that these clashes must be played out on some sort of battlefield, though not necessarily a physical one. The attitude of many Western intellectuals paralyzed by the cult of multiculturalism is ironically that "they don't do culture". For s...
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realitycheck(dot)ieThose Cartoons (4.2.2006, 02:21 UTC)
In response to Michelle Malkin’s and Richard Waghorne’s calls to show the cartoons that have bizarrely been greeted with such angry violence, I’ve spent the last 2 hours trying to use blogger images.Viola, the cartoons.You can see them in all their big individual (badly drawn) glory here. Slag my religion. Fire away. Draw cartoons. Yes, I care. But my religion demands that I turn the other cheek. Or maybe lead a counter-cartoon attack. And defend your right to draw crappy...
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realitycheck(dot)ieIs Abortion Bad? (3.2.2006, 20:08 UTC)
I say Yes. But check out the debate between William Saletan and Katha Pollitt at Slate.
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realitycheck(dot)ieInternational Day of Anger and Kevin Myers (3.2.2006, 14:08 UTC)
Kevin Myers hits the spot perfectly in today's Irish Times - the international day of anger is not in reference to Myers frequent angry outbursts (which I unashamedly enjoy!) or the reaction of many of his readers but the call of Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, for Friday to "be an international day of anger for God and his prophet". Michelle Malkin has the details. Myers = Across the Islamic world, virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Americanis...
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realitycheck(dot)ieObesity an Infectious Disease?? (3.2.2006, 01:41 UTC)
Obesity might be infectious. I had a bizarre conversation with one of the girls in my class during our 15 minute lunch break (I want longer lunch breaks but there's just too much stuff for everyone else to do to actually sit down - they're all running around like white coated headless chickens and I don't like chatting to my coffee cup on my own) I was telling her how I had alcohol-rubbed my folder, my stetoscope and my pen twice that morning. She thought I was talking about becoming infected ...
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realitycheck(dot)iePlease Buy my Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tickets (3.2.2006, 01:22 UTC)
It’s all sold out for weeks. But 2 of my friends have cancelled and I’m left with 2 tickets for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in the Village Saturday night. I see that some were sold for over 100euro on ebay but you can have mine for face value (16euro including the ticketmaster fee that I ranted on about at the time of purchase!) Please leave a comment if you’re interested. Please be interested – I do not like playing ticket tout outside the Village!
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realitycheck(dot)ieThe Gay Marriage "My Studies Beat Your Studies" Debate (3.2.2006, 01:17 UTC)
Maybe I’ve just a very short attention span, but I’m a tad bored by this debate already.I’ve already noted the excessively shrill response to anyone who dares question the notion of gay marriage as anything less than a human right that should have been legislated for yesterday.I’ve just read Mental Meandering’s maybe-scurrilous attack on Ronan Mullen and quite frankly, Fiona’s going a little bit too far (is it scurrilous? – I’m not a lawyer so I
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realitycheck(dot)ieSOTU, T Shirts and Oil Addictions (1.2.2006, 22:06 UTC)
A few Irish bloggers have said their bit about the SOTU last night – some about Cindy Sheehan’s ejection (Mental Meanderings) and some about Beverly Young’s ejection (Howl @ the Moon). Slugger opened the floor to commentsRichard even had a wishlist. T-Shirt sloganeers Sheehan and Young are not the first to be ejected from the House during hearings. Dave Delp was ejected from the Clinton impeachment hearings for wearing a T Shirt that said “Clinton doesn’t inhale, ...
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realitycheck(dot)ieNaomi Wolf and Jesus..... (1.2.2006, 17:09 UTC)
From the Sunday Herald, via Dawn Patrol - Sarah Carey and I discussed Wolf's new book but I didn't notice this new clanger - Wolf might be a Bible-basher! She pauses then reveals something astonishing: her encounter with Jesus.Naomi Wolf's utterances on everything, from childbirth to Al Gore's demeanour , have a disproportionate effect on public opinion. This latest confessional, a self-acknowledged "bombshell", will make a generation of feminists cringe, while for her detractors, it will be t...
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realitycheck(dot)ieRethinking Abortion (1.2.2006, 14:59 UTC)
I've posted a lot about abortion recently but these 2 articles are well worth a read. First a poll from Sunday's Observer which finds that 47% of women believe the present 24 weeks legal limit for an abortion should be reduced and 10% want the practice outlawed altogether. 42% of the general population want the upper limit reduced which was split into a 36-47% between men and women.Only 1 in 3 agreed that 'the current time limit is about right'. Second in the Sunday Business Post, Geraldine Mar...
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realitycheck(dot)ieAlito's First Supreme Court Decisions? (1.2.2006, 14:24 UTC)
From Bench Memos at National Review Online - At times, Alito followed the lead of the other three justices who sat with him in the front row. When Bush said "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," Thomas looked at Roberts, who looked at Breyer, who gave an approving shrug; all four gentlemen stood and gave unanimous applause. At other times, Alito showed independence from his senior colleagues. When Bush delivered the stock line "The state of our union is strong," Alito dissented...
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realitycheck(dot)ieCan Hamas Be Tamed? (1.2.2006, 00:55 UTC)
From Michael Herzog in Foreign Affairs.I sometimes read Foreign Affairs but more often than not I get a little lost and am driven to get out the oul' Britannica to fill in holes. This article however, was read by me from start to finish without 1 referral to any other source. And that, Madam, must be a record. The most important lesson to be drawn from these cases is that co-optation through political participation is not a given, but rather depends on the existence of certain conditions in t...
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realitycheck(dot)ieMiscellanies (1.2.2006, 00:27 UTC)
I really really need to go to bed now, but I really really want to read the blog “great debate saga” between Richard and Fiona. So I’m going to do that now. But before I do a few things I want to mention – I purchased a new suitcase in Washington to bring home all the books I bought and all the literature I received. I’ve only completed 2 books (of 17!) – “Women Who Made the World Worse” by Kate O’Beirne – it’s an excellent introd...
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realitycheck(dot)ieAlito Yeah! (31.1.2006, 23:29 UTC)
I’m an Alito supporter.I did not like Harriet Myers at all – I thought she was a bit of a lightweight who would take up a spot an eminently qualified candidate should have. Alito is that candidate. A moderate conservative whose professional and academic record makes him worthy of serving on the Supreme Court. As I mentioned before (and am wont to do so again) I sat in the chair of the Speaker of the Senate on one of the nights of the hearings and had my picture taken, just before the...
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realitycheck(dot)ieI can not un-choose, and I can not forget..... (31.1.2006, 22:55 UTC)
and that is why I will be Silent No More.While I didn’t actually go on the March for Life (yes, I’m just a lazy sod who doesn’t believe in marching) but I did however swing by the Silent No More demonstration outside the Supreme Court on Monday evening.It was one of the most moving events I have ever been at. Any woman who has had an abortion, and regretted it, can speak – I saw about 10 women speak, including Dr Alveda King. She is Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece an...
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realitycheck(dot)ieBlogs4Life and Me (31.1.2006, 22:37 UTC)
As I mentioned before I left, I attended the Blogs4Life conference in Washington last Monday. Several of the others bloggers present have already blogged on it – many on the day of it, while I’m about 8 days late. And blogging is supposed to be about instant news media!It was fascinating to meet so many bloggers from so many different roles, religions and backgrounds. Blogging is a much more potent force in American life than here and it was interesting to observe how strongly so man...
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realitycheck(dot)ieHome Sweet Home (31.1.2006, 21:35 UTC)
I arrived back from Washington yesterday – happily jetlagged and absolutely shattered due to no sleep on plane and reduced sleep for many nights. Oh, woe is me.While I did read some stuff on bloglines, I had no time to blog and read all the emails, unpack and get updated on a week’s worth of local gossip (and what a week of gossip it was – why do all my friends’ lives get exciting when I go away?)My first trip to Washington really had me questioning my chosen career of me...
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realitycheck(dot)ieI'm going to Washington Tommorrow (20.1.2006, 19:12 UTC)
and I'm excited.Despite the increasing study pressure, I'm leaving it all behind to go to DC and I'm excited.It's only for a week and I'm debating bringing a small textbook to assuage any guilt that may arise. I think the fact that I thought about bringing one probably exonerates me from actually bringing one. I'll be doing touristy things and meeting people. On Monday, I'll be attending the Blogs4Life conference. It'll be the first time I'll meet other bloggers in person ever. (Well apart from...
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realitycheck(dot)ieNaomi Wolf = SHAM! (20.1.2006, 10:59 UTC)
Well she does when SHAM equals Self Help and Actualization movement. Sarah Carey has a post on Naomi Wolf's interview in the Sunday Times 2 weeks ago (and I ramble on about happiness in the comments) and a post today on Wolf's interview on Ryan Tubridy's show this morning, which I've tried to listen to but the RTE website thing doesn't seem to be working for me.
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realitycheck(dot)ieShe says you want some sauce in dat, Says I, I do in my...roll! (20.1.2006, 10:31 UTC)
From Ken McGuire, the fantastic Jumbo Breakfast Roll by Pat Shortt as seen on the Late Late. Smil version, Mp3 version. Before Fence comments again on the worrying development of people watching the Late Late at all at all, I promise not to watch it tonight! I wonder who got the Jumbo Breakfast Roll notion first - Pat Shortt (whose song is a mini sociological masterpiece) or David McWilliams, who probably eats muesli for breakfast but followed the Breakfast Roll Man up and down the motorways o...
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realitycheck(dot)ieStop listening to that Devil's Music.... (19.1.2006, 20:58 UTC)
and join in me in listening to heart murmurs on your iPod. (check out some seriously intense whackos at Satan's Music) According a new study listening to heart sounds recording about 500 times to reliably discriminate between the different sounds made by various heart problems. After listening to the sounds on their iPod, a group of medical students were better able to identify the heart sounds on a test - up from 30% before the practice listening session to 80 after using the iPod. 500 times ...
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realitycheck(dot)ieIs the Religious Left Right and the Religious Right Wrong? (19.1.2006, 20:42 UTC)
I don’t have a major problem with artists singing/ranting about their politics – if I did I would have about 2 albums, as my “politics” are not quite in line with say, Bright Eyes “When the President Talks to God”. (“patriotic” quote - When the president talks to God Are the conversations brief or long? Does he ask to rape our women's rights And send poor farm kids off to die? Does God suggest an oil hike When the president talks to God? Etc etc et...
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realitycheck(dot)ieCaitlin Flanagan on American Girls' Knees (Teenage Oral Sex) (19.1.2006, 18:16 UTC)
Caitlin Flanagan reviews Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis, a young adult book that takes place on a single day, in which a tough little sophomore named Gin issues invitations to a party at which she and five of her friends will perform oral sex on the lucky guests, a group of popular boys. The girls will each wear a different color of lipstick, so that when a boy has completed the circuit, his penis will bear the colors of the rainbow. The party is to take place after school, to last about an hou...
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realitycheck(dot)ieNeil Young (19.1.2006, 00:08 UTC)
This interview with Neil Young from this month's Rolling Stone starts well but dies somewhere along the way. Worth reading though if you don't know the background to the songs on Praire Wind. Here's the 1st paragraph - The filament tethering Neil Young to the actual world is delicate. One is aware almost on meeting him that nobody else appears to be quite as real to him as he is to himself, and that behind his seerlike eyes is a capacious landscape that is just as absorbing as the one that he ...
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realitycheck(dot)ieEquality Legislation (18.1.2006, 18:14 UTC)
I don't like it. Oh, I'm fine with the big picture - we're all equal without question or qualification. But I hate this nitty bitty lawyers-gone-wild stuff which enumerates every possible inequality and puts realms of it into law. It's fundamentally pointless.Richard Waghorne at his hugemongous blog Sicilian Notes has a post on Maman Poulet's posts on the EU's Resolution on Homophobia.Legislating against speech is a bad idea - for the most part it's subjective and the test of reasonableness i...
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realitycheck(dot)ieWhat makes a good priest? (18.1.2006, 17:40 UTC)
I always thought a man who strived for personal holiness in the context of a religious vocation to serve as priest in Catholic Church was what made a good priest. Bad priests are those horrible weeds of men who abuse children. Good priests are those that struggle daily to become saintly, while helping their parishioners where they can. The fact that they're celibate should not turn away men who can become good priests. In fact, those that truly appreciate the nature of the priestly vocation are...
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