Sicilian NotesFallibilist: Add It To Your List (13.2.2006, 16:54 UTC)
Friend and colleague has Karole has launched a blog, Fallibilist. I've admired his work for a long time and I'm delighted to see this new venture arriving in the Irish blogosphere. Happy blogging Karole. Update 1: The post below has a number of errors in formatting and the like that for technical reasons I've not been able to fix yet. Apologies. This update will be removed once the corrections have been made.
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Sicilian NotesChecking the Vital Signals of Left and Right (13.2.2006, 16:21 UTC)
Two bits of news today have me wondering about the intellectual health of the 'Right' and 'Left'. (No, the terms don't really work, but don't start complaining until you've found better ones.) I've long thought that the surest way of diagnosing the health or otherwise of political movements is to check the vitality of their leading journals. Don't forget that the rise of the American right began not just with the Goldwater presidential campaign of 1964, but a decade earlier with the launch of N...
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Sicilian NotesRecommended Reading (10.2.2006, 12:50 UTC)
Posting will be tricky over the next day or two, but not wanting to leave you empty handed I thought I'd link to a few articles I enjoyed during the week that might make fun weekend reading if you haven't already come across them.Michael Kazin has an article in the latest issue of my favourite left-wing journal, Dissent Magazine. Titled A Difficult Marriage: American Protestants and American Politics, it's both a consideration of Protestantism in American politics and a rumination on the life an...
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Sicilian NotesFrom the Letters Page (10.2.2006, 00:55 UTC)
Two letters worth highlighting this Friday. Tony Allwright is in with another little gem: Madam, - "The cartoons are racist," declares David Manning (February 9th). Perhaps he would care to state what "race" he is talking about. While we can pick and choose and chop and change our religious beliefs, each of us is stuck with his/her race, ethnicity, DNA. That is why lampooning someone's religion is acceptable, but ridiculing his/her race is not. - Yours, etc, TONY ALLWRIGHT, Killiney, Co Dublin...
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Sicilian NotesComments (9.2.2006, 23:46 UTC)
I've flipped on moderation. Some members of the neo-Nazi site Irish-Nationalism have a bee in their bonnet and I'm not inclined to leave the comments unmoderated while I'm not online. As I'm travelling for much of tomorrow, there will be a considerable delay in my approving comments. Comments on the good side of the comments policy will appear once I get this hooked up tomorrow evening. Thanks, while I think of it, for the comments to date. There have been over three hundred and fifty in the f...
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Sicilian NotesThanks (9.2.2006, 13:20 UTC)
I'd like to say thanks for two links from: Architecture and Morality and The Bewilderness I've been reading both for a long time. Check them out. Update 1: More thanks: Iain Dale and Irish Election Blog
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Sicilian NotesMemo to McDowell (9.2.2006, 12:46 UTC)
Shortening drinking time to combat anti-social behaviour is a dumb idea. Here's the proof, from Britain: Major industrial cities, seaside resorts and market towns from the south coast to Cumbria are reporting dramatic falls in alcohol-fuelled assaults and woundings after the country's antiquated drinking laws were overhauled. The statistics, released today, will confound critics who warned that the Licensing Act, which allowed 24-hour drinking from November, would lead to an upsurge in violenc...
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Sicilian NotesBush Goes Neo-Realist? (9.2.2006, 09:16 UTC)
A puzzling article in this morning's Telegraph:A shift in the Bush administration's approach to the world from "with us or against us" to diplomacy has led to the coinage of a new phrase - "neo-realism" - to describe the philosophy of the key figures behind the president's foreign policy.Neo-realism is intended as a play on neo-conservatism, the belief in a muscular foreign policy that dominated the administration's thinking after the September 11 attacks.The neo-realists are seen as pragmatists...
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Sicilian NotesRemembering the Somme (9.2.2006, 09:04 UTC)
The government last night announced details of plans for the first Easter Rising march since the Provisional IRA's terror campaign. You can read my post 'Against the Rising' if you want my views on the matter, but my unease at the glorification of the 1916 proto-fascist insurrection was tempered a little by a line towards the end of the Irish Times report on the story: Close to July 1st, the Government plans to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, in which many Irish so...
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Sicilian NotesBolton Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize (8.2.2006, 23:34 UTC)
I find this fascinating and intriguing: Bolton and Kenneth R. Timmerman were formally nominated by Sweden's former deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark, for playing a major role in exposing Iran's secret plans to develop nuclear weapons. They documented Iran's secret nuclear buildup and revealed Iran's "repeated lying" and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a press release said.As Glenn Reynolds remarks, "not bad for a guy who couldn't get confirmed".
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Sicilian NotesBlogs and Personal Security (8.2.2006, 22:15 UTC)
A nasty incident I read about got me thinking this evening. Mark Humphrys will be known to quite a few of you as an insightful and dedicated observer of Irish and international political developments. I find the material he has catalogued on his site an invaluable resource, and it doesn't hurt that I find his politics agreeable and informative. Not everyone agrees, and I don't mean those of you who take anti-war positions. Mark recently posted on the semi-literate morons at Irish-Nationalism, a...
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Sicilian NotesLate Breaking Photos From London Protests.... (8.2.2006, 21:12 UTC)
(pinched from Iain Dale's blog)
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Sicilian NotesThe Politics of Blog Links (8.2.2006, 16:53 UTC)
Can't be too careful these days. I was dropping by Tiny Timid Thoughts earlier and came across this: This blog is written by a Corkman who has lived in Cork his whole life. Imagine his shock and horror at seeing his listing in Richard Waghorne's blog. His blog is listed under Dublin. Dublin. The Pale!!! I feel dirty! Get it off! Get it off!Resisting the temptation to notify the garrison of such brazen disturbances against public order, I've made a discreet change to the links to your right. Th...
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Sicilian NotesBenedict Talk (8.2.2006, 14:53 UTC)
If you are in the UCD area around lunchtime tomorrow, you could do a lot worse than drop in on a talk hosted by the Atlantis group. Dr. Vincent Twomey of St. Patricks College will be talking about the life and thought of Pope Benedict XVI. Twomey was a doctoral student with Joseph Ratzinger and is regarded as a leading authority on the scholar. The Claremont Review of Books recently published Twomey's definitive review of Ratzinger commentary. Benedict's importance as a moral philosopher is oft...
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Sicilian NotesDissent is in Good Health Actually (8.2.2006, 11:30 UTC)
Deaglan de Breadun has a question: Where now is the righteous anger that pulsed through the veins of figures like Browne and his close associate Jack McQuillan, not to mention Fergal O'Connor, Owen Sheehy-Skeffington, Hilda Tweedy, Matt Merrigan, Fr Michael Sweetman, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Peadar O'Donnell and others from a bygone era, when an outspoken dissident could upset the apple-cart in Irish society?I suggest he reads his own newspaper. Vincent Browne, Fintan O'Toole, Martin...
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Sicilian NotesAdded (8.2.2006, 10:58 UTC)
Newest member of the 'Washington' line-up to your right, The View from 103.
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Sicilian NotesHow Low Can You Get? (8.2.2006, 00:28 UTC)
Correta Scott King's funeral took place today, with four US Presidents in attendance. President Bush spoke to praise her life and example. Rev Joseph Lowery also spoke. He chose a different angle: We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we knew that there were weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance, poverty abound, for war billions more, but no more for the poor.I can think of little more inappropriate that hija...
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Sicilian NotesOn the Structure of Irish Academia (8.2.2006, 00:12 UTC)
This article was published in the June 2005 issue of Magill Magazine, Ireland's national political and cultural monthly. Disclosure: At the time of publication the author was a member of UCD's Academic Council. He has subsequently joined the staff of the UCD School of Politics and International Relations. Students were a problem once. Part of the fun of many Irish universities campuses is spotting the carefully designed crowd control measures, from oddly sloping surfaces to strategically plac...
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Sicilian NotesTaking Religious Objections Seriously (7.2.2006, 23:35 UTC)
The government in Slovakia fell today. At the heart of the dispute was a treaty the Slovak Republic wished to sign with the Vatican. The treaty was intended, so far as I can discern, to give force to the rights of Slovak citizens to choose not to work on days of religious obligation and not to be required by their terms of employment to perform acts that they cannot in conscience countenance. According to reports: The agreement deals with principle dubbed as "objection of conscience" in the tr...
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Sicilian NotesEarly Tallies (7.2.2006, 23:19 UTC)
I asked about the composition of the Irish blogosphere last night, suggesting that it stood, taken collectively, a little left of Ireland generally. Fiona helpfully devised a set of questions that has spread faster than syphilis at a French Foreign Legion outpost. The answers should be interesting.The Saint at the Dossing Times argues, not unpersuasively, that the lack of well-balanced adversarial blogging camps might acutally be a strength of Irish blogs:I think this is bad. I don't want the ei...
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Sicilian NotesGod Bless Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (7.2.2006, 23:12 UTC)
Monarchy has its upsides: We are being challenged by Islam these years - globally as well as locally. It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and lazy. We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenie...
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Sicilian NotesA New Candidate for Most Hated Country (7.2.2006, 18:15 UTC)
Iran's numbers aren't looking good: A major BBC World Service poll exploring how people in 33 countries view various countries found not a single country where a majority has a positive view of Iran’s role in the world (with the exception of Iranians themselves). Views of Iran are lower than the US, although the US continues to get low marks, as does Russia. Views of China, France, and Russia are down sharply compared to a similar BBC World Service poll conducted at the end of 2004. Ja...
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Sicilian NotesContra China (7.2.2006, 13:16 UTC)
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Sicilian NotesWho Are We? My Answers (7.2.2006, 12:46 UTC)
Fiona has done everyone a great service by starting a meme to discover more about the collective tendencies of the Irish blogosphere, something I expressed curiosity in yesterday. Her pop quiz is a good way of getting a handle on this and my only comment on the questions is that it's hard in a few cases to keep answers short, though I'll do my best myself. As per Fiona's post, I'm passing on a few of them. Anyone else tackling the questions might want to work of the originals. Gender: Male A...
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Sicilian NotesWhat A World (7.2.2006, 01:15 UTC)
My nomination for oddest story in Tuesday's papers: BELGIUM: A sculpture of a tied-up Saddam Hussein floating in a water tank has been banned by the mayor of a Belgian town. The sculpture, by Czech artist David Cerny, was to be displayed in the coastal town of Middelkerke during an arts festival starting on April 1st. However, mayor Michel Landuyt would not allow the sculpture to be displayed within the town, saying: "It is a controversial, potentially explosive thing." The sculpture depicts S...
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Sicilian NotesWho Is the Irish Blogosphere? (6.2.2006, 20:08 UTC)
It seems that nobody else shares my distaste for discussing abortion across blogs. Oh well, not to worry. Still, the question got me thinking in other directions. One thing I would be curious to know is what the feeling across the Irish blogosphere is on abortion. I suspect, without knowing, that there is a pro-abortion majority, which of course would be a reverse of the general situation. That would stand to reason, as crusty conservative types are hardly the likely users and readers of blogs ...
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Sicilian NotesCheck Out The Sunday Brunch (6.2.2006, 16:01 UTC)
Richard Delevan is really blazing a trail here. The Sunday Brunch is the real deal - here it here. One caveat, some weird right-wing guy makes a pitch for limited government somewhere in the middle. Update 1: Just finished listening. The Sunday Brunch truly is the next Big Thing. Even the one technical glitch sounded slick somehow and the half hour had more in it any Sunday morning radio show that I've ever heard. Hats off the Richard Delevan. The Sunday Brunch is seriously impressive.
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Sicilian NotesAbortion: Are Blogs Really the Place? (6.2.2006, 15:04 UTC)
Fiona de Londras writes today: I have yet to hear a rational, non-emotional and non-theological argument against legalising abortion in Ireland.It's news to me that Fiona thinks arguments should be non-emotional *cough* but are blogs really the right way to approach this issue? I am pro-life and have been since I first formed an opinion on the matter. My views on abortion have not changed even as my philosophical and theological views have. But through blogs? There is no issue that is as sensi...
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Sicilian NotesThe Limits of Protest (6.2.2006, 14:41 UTC)
A few weeks ago I wrote that locking up David Irving was a mistake. My touchstone there was an idea popularized by Charles Krauthammer called situational libertarianism. The basic idea is that you start with a presumption in favour of unfettered free speech and only intervene if what someone is saying is a direct instigation of harm to someone else. If a bank robber has a gun to someone's head and the teller says 'shoot him', few would reach for free speech as a defence, either moral or legal.Ar...
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Sicilian NotesIn Praise of the Thinker-Leader (5.2.2006, 20:10 UTC)
Churchill's greatness is hard to pin down. Being a man of so many parts surely has something to do with it. He distinguished himself as a historian, war correspondent, painter, minister, war leader, novelist, orator, and on the field. The tradition of the thinker-leader appears to be in decline. With the inauspicious exception of de Villepin in France, it's hard to think of current Western leaders who excel both on paper and in power. Unhappily, a good case can be made for Osama bin Laden as a...
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