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.
Disillusioned LeftyAbortion (7.2.2006, 12:39 UTC)
As promised, here's my contribution to the apparently divisive abortion debate. Whether it's party line here at Disillusioned Lefty, I'm really not sure, but I shall be arguing from a pro-life position. Given my general righty economics/lefty social point of view, that may be surprising. But, perhaps even more suprisingly, - in response to Fiona's appeal for a non-emotional argument - I'm going to attempt to justify the prohibition of abortion from a rights versus responsibilities approach. Fir...
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Disillusioned LeftyThe Comeback (6.2.2006, 22:37 UTC)
In case you hadn't noticed (a reasonably likely event), I have been on a temporary hiatus from the hectic world of Disillusioned Lefty. I justified the break with emotional appeals to Kevin concerning the mock exams and educational responsibilities, but, in reality it was probably borne more out of a lack of ideas for posting. In any case, the impending mid-term and a growing sense of guilt after being nominated for Best Group Blog has aroused my blogging desires so my well-deserved rest is ove...
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Disillusioned LeftyBlog News (5.2.2006, 15:59 UTC)
The Disillusioned Lefties like to read a good many articles online. Indeed, there are many pieces we come across that we would like disseminated. However, we're not fans of posting a link to an article without making some semi-original point which is semi-related to the article. It feels like cheating and, as such, sometimes provokes a strange feeling of guilt. A solution has been found; a list of 5 or 10 recommended articles will be placed in the sidebar in the near future. Oh, and in case you...
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Disillusioned LeftyDeeper Problems? (5.2.2006, 14:59 UTC)
The immediate issues surrounding the debacle over the cartoons has been widely discussed, both in the world's media and the blogosphere. The immediate issues have touched on Islam's relationship and disagreements with Western society - namely, that the right to speak freely without fearing for one's life is a value we - should and, mostly, do - hold dear. However, step back a pace or two and one sees that the reaction to the cartoons published in a privately owned Danish newspaper focused mainl...
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Disillusioned LeftyThat Cartoon (4.2.2006, 15:23 UTC)
1. This post disappeared due to, I presume, a blogger malfunction which appears to be/to have been quite widespread. Here are the original comments.2. It disappeared again, so here are the further comments.Someone always said always start with a joke. Someone else tried that a while ago, and that really didn't go down well, so I'll start with some more intelligent humour - mocking people for being so bloody ignorant to the ironies which lay so apparent. Firstly, has anyone noticed that the very ...
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Disillusioned LeftyThat Cartoon (4.2.2006, 00:40 UTC)
Someone always said always start with a joke. Someone else tried that a while ago, and that really didn't go down well, so I'll start with some more intelligent humour - mocking people for being so bloody ignorant to the ironies which lay so apparent. Firstly, has anyone noticed that the very people who demanded an apology from an obscure Danish publication are the ones who have caused the crappy cartoons (degradation of them is simply a must) to become so widely seen and sought out? As I type, ...
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Disillusioned LeftyQuick as a Hare (3.2.2006, 20:15 UTC)
With the firing of France Soir's editor, the Danish cartoon story has really got everybody talking. However, it's a friday evening so you'll have to make do with a shorter post, only related to the incident on the tiniest grounds: articulate comebacks. The Irish Times reports that Michael McDowell lambasted Pat Rabitte as opportunistic, hypocritical, incompetent and xenophobic, evidenced by his recent U-turn on immigration. Soon, McDowell declared that "it is a matter of Old Labour deputies thr...
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Disillusioned LeftyGay Marriage (1.2.2006, 22:36 UTC)
I originally said I'd opine about the recent debate, but I fear I've wandered off the track slightly in trying to find an original angle to approach the issue on. "It is not the citizens who should justify why a law should be revoked, but the government who need to justify why it's there in the first place. If it doesn't have a very good reason, then it simply must go."The above is an extract of a piece written by Michael a while back. It related to drugs policy, but it was one of his concludin...
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Disillusioned LeftyIrish 'sphere: Moving-up in the World? (1.2.2006, 19:36 UTC)
Is it just me, or is the Irish blogosphere becoming awfully highbrow? I noticed this scrolling down IrishBlogs.ie a few minutes ago. It seems some of us are being heard by those outside the strange world of the internet.
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Disillusioned LeftyJust threaten them with guns, I say (31.1.2006, 11:24 UTC)
In a recently publication of a Danish newspaper, a cartoon dipicted the Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist. We're told in today's Irish Times that news of the cartoon was not greeted with self-depracatory laughs by all. No, in Gaza, ten Palestinians armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers wait outside EU headquarters demanding an apology; failing that, they say Danes and Norwegians there are at risk of attack. That's right lads; if an obscure newspaper dipicts your God as a terrorist, don'...
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Disillusioned LeftySlavery and Racism (31.1.2006, 11:19 UTC)
Here's one for you. In a speech made yesterday, Jacques Chirac announced that France will, for now onwards, commemorate the abolishment of slavery every 10th May. In the speech he declared that "slavery fed racism." I'll quickly ask if perhaps it was the other way round; that racism fed slavery. I'm really just throwing it into the air without much thought; so discuss.
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Disillusioned LeftySparse Blogging Ahead (30.1.2006, 18:14 UTC)
Blogging will be light over the coming days. The Disillusioned Lefties have begin their mock exams tomorrow afternoon. However, we expect you to visit everyday - we wouldn't want the hits falling or anything like that.
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Disillusioned LeftyThoughts on a Hamas-led Palestine (29.1.2006, 14:02 UTC)
The surprise victory of Hamas at the Palestinian polls has raised many talking points. How should Hamas be dealt with? What now for the peace process, Does this end the spell of comparative progress? What now of the idea of democratising the Middle East? I'll come to those in a moment, but first I'd like to point out that (we?) neo-conservatives should read some reactions studiously. It appears that the likes of - Galloway supporting, Bush and Blair hating - Chris Gaskin see the election result...
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Disillusioned LeftyDebate Breaks-Out (29.1.2006, 00:36 UTC)
If you find yourself awake, and preferably sober, at this late hour, you might like to check out one of the most astute, constructive and thorough arguments which seems to have come from nowhere. Firstly, I might mention that we had the foresight to interview the two academic players involved in the debate, before it had actually begun. Brilliant, Disillusioned Lefty. Truly brilliant. Fiona De Londras, of Mental Meanderings, explained why she was angered by Oirechtas Committee's report which at...
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Disillusioned LeftyTeaching Entry Requirements (28.1.2006, 14:56 UTC)
Before I begin, I must apologise for this blog's seeming obsession with the education system. Thursday's Irish Times reports, firstly, that Mary Hanafin has decided that Honours Irish will remain a requirement for those wishing to enter various primary school teacher training courses. Secondly, she has concluded that these courses should also require a better Maths result than currently required. While she admittedly says an Ordinary level C3 will be acceptable when the change is made, I thin...
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Disillusioned LeftyInterview #16: Damien Mulley (26.1.2006, 12:54 UTC)
Damien Mulley, the man behind the Irish Blog Awards, has become something of a self-proclaimed 'it' guy of the Irish blogosphere. Of course, the statement seemed in jest, but we just don't know, do we? A Law student in UCC, Damien blogs at Mulley.net and the Irish Blog Awards' blog. He also runs various aggregators, including the Gay-Agenda. We expect you know already, but details concerning the awards can be found here. What is you favourite novel? There's never really one but a seminal ...
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Disillusioned LeftyThe Polls and Democracy (25.1.2006, 15:18 UTC)
Before Noam Chomsky came to Ireland, the press reported that he had declared Patrick Ahern's (who else didn't know our leader's first name?) decision to allow US planes to refuel in Shannon was akin to shining the shoes of George Bush. He said also that the permission granted displayed a disdain for democracy, which is common to most western politicians. How did he come to this conclusion? Well, the Irish Times interviewed the man a few weeks ago. For those who aren't subscribers, you'll be ha...
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Disillusioned LeftyJack Kerouac (25.1.2006, 13:40 UTC)
We're fans of Kerouac around here. Despite not having read enough of his books, any time I try to write a piece of fiction for the English essay, I end-up with prose written awfully, but vaguely imitating the style of the Kerouac, the best of the beats. Such is his influence on me. So, readers might be interested to learn that a scroll - namely the manuscript of Kerouac's tour de force, semi-authobiographical 'On The Road' was found in an airtight black suitcase passed through a security checkpo...
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Disillusioned LeftyFree Kicks: A damning critique (23.1.2006, 22:44 UTC)
Not strictly in keeping with this blog's general output, but Michael has argued that the discussion of football is just as noble as the discussion of philosophy. So, what has annoyed me? Well, I'll tell you what has annoyed me: when a team has a free-kick on the edge of the box, why do they persist in developing new, clever-looking ways of essentially wasting a few yards of space between the ball and the wall? You know the drill - Player A stands over the ball, referee blows the whistle, Player...
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Disillusioned LeftyIrving and the BNP (22.1.2006, 21:01 UTC)
The Observer carries an interview with David Irving today. Reading some of the things he says, my conviction that this man should be allowed to speak freely without facing imprisonment or trial. Why? Well, because his arguments are so ludicrously flawed, they'd be taken down in any public sphere. Firstly, let's make it clear that Irving is anti-Semitic. Irving is an anti-Semitic. His words are directed against the Jews, individually or collectively, insofar as they become hostile, abhorrent and...
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Disillusioned LeftyTechnology's lack of High Flyers (20.1.2006, 16:12 UTC)
Many of us will have read that the vast majority of Ireland's so-called high-flyers aren't choosing technology based courses. High flyers, for those unaware, are Leaving Certificate students who received over 450 of the 600 available points. The seeming lack of this species entering third-level technology degrees is supposedly another thing for us to worry about. The line goes something like this: If our best students aren't involved in this industry, then we won't be at the forefront of techno...
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Disillusioned LeftyMyers, Connolly and Independence (20.1.2006, 00:04 UTC)
Kevin Myer's Irishman's Diary (paid link omitted) is almost always contrary, thought provoking and well-written. His piece on Tuesday, in which he questions the moral validity of the 1916 Rising, was no different. I'm not sure how much of it I agree with. He denounces James Connolly, in a very scholarly manner, as a "totalitarian-in-waiting, proto-Lenin" whose "bloody class war" and "lunatic Marxist ambitions" the electors rejected - note how I quote everything. You see, with my Leaving Cert his...
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Disillusioned LeftyInterview #15: Gerry O'Quigley (18.1.2006, 22:09 UTC)
Since Gerry O'Quigley began blogging in July '05, he has shown himself to be one of the most astute and articulate bloggers out there. Michael also comments that, judging by his picture, he is probably a very nice man. Gerry blogs at the excellent ie-Politics. What is you favourite novel? It's a toss-up between The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarré. What popular political myth would you like to dispel? Oh so many. That commitment to solida...
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Disillusioned LeftyConformist Blog Award Publicists (17.1.2006, 22:49 UTC)
I have a few pairs of cords, so I consider myself extremely fashionable. Right now, it seems fashionable to plug Damien Mulley's fantastic Irish Blog Awards . As such, it would appear the logical thing for me to do would be to plug Damien Mulley's fantastic Irish Blog Awards for which nominations must be in by the 23rd of this month - January. However - despite my comparatively large, curly hair - I'm no sheep. As a statement of my individuality, I will not be publicising Damien Mulley's fan...
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Disillusioned LeftyOf Words and Heroes (16.1.2006, 22:41 UTC)
For those unaware, the BBC is currently running a series called Balderdash & Piffle. It's on every Monday at 9pm. Essentially, the show tries - with the public's help - to beat the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in their current dating, explanation and story behind specific words - formal and colloquial. If successful, the history and story behind the word is changed. For example, tonight the term "nit nurse" was tackled. The OED's source dated back to 1985, but with the help of one interested ...
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Disillusioned LeftyMiddle Eastern Democracy (16.1.2006, 08:56 UTC)
The papers and periodicals have been awash with stories concerning the unsettled atmosphere in the run-up to the Palestinian elections. It seems that Hamas - the Islamic militant group - is likely to poll quite well. The trouble, however, is that all those - East and West - who desire peace, stability and resolution to the Israeli and Palestinian question should favour the Fatah movement. It is they who at least try to calm terrorist activities, they who brought the Palestinians real, tangible ...
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Disillusioned LeftyThe Curious Quandary of David Irving (13.1.2006, 16:54 UTC)
Richard Waghorne has written an excellent, and thorough, piece on the strange case of David Irving on his spiffing new blog, Sicilian Notes . Briefly, Irving is a leading Holocaust revisionist, and was arrested on entering Austria for two inflammatory speeches he gave way back in 1989 concerning the Holocaust. He is charged with inciting hatred. Firstly, it should be made clear that I neither agree, nor sympathise with Irving. However, the decisions made by the Austrian authorities were undemo...
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Disillusioned LeftyInterview #15: Red Rover Cian (11.1.2006, 20:17 UTC)
Cian's started blogging around the same time as me. He was the first blogger who I emailed, firstly concerning a link, but then something to do with Chavez, or something. Well, he's only gone and started making the first moves towards the proposed collective Irish Election blog., which, you'll notice, bares our template at the moment. Cian currently blogs at the left-leaning Progressive Ireland. What is you favourite novel? JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit or Brett Easton Ellis’s Americ...
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Disillusioned LeftyMary O'Rourke (9.1.2006, 21:58 UTC)
All the talk seems to be about Mary O'Rourke tonight. In a celebratory speech last night, she thanked her campaigners who apparently "worked like blacks". What she said was undoubtedly insensitive, unnecessary and ultimately stupid, especially for someone with her job. Richard Delevan produced quite a compelling and thorough argument over on his blog (which, happily, has had a new lease of Tribune-enduced life). At one stage he asks: If the remarks were made by, say, a Senator from Mississippi,...
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Disillusioned LeftyObserving Changes (8.1.2006, 18:17 UTC)
The Observer has followed its sister paper, The Guardian , in changing to a Berliner format. The Berliner measures somewhere between the physical broadsheet and tabloid style newspapers, while retaining the traditionally highbrow, if overly left-wing, theme. In practice, it's just so much easier to read, particularly in the wind. I guess this will be a good move for the paper, which hosts such high-standard commenters as Nick Cohen and Andrew Rawnsley, and would encourage The Irish Times to...
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