Honest exceptions are rare political events

The Irish are exceptionally generous people, and as such are particularly forgiving of their politicians. They often boast about who has been talking more brown envelopes than another, down at the Pub. I can only think that the general public here expect that taking bribes and ‘wink and a handshake’ deals are the norm for all politicians, and that to get anything done, it’s who you know, not how honestly you deal with people.

The worst thing is, these things are almost the first thing I ever hear about Irish politicians, and that hasn’t changed in the 4+ years I’ve been here. When the general population believe that they live in a third world banana republic, then truly they don’t show much faith in their current government to make things better. And their lack of motivation to change this government reminds me of a passage in the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

This may be the situation here, that they believe they can do no better, but this sure sets the bar very low as regards to the implied social contract of the people with their government. The Irish should expect better from their elected officials, they should expect to be treated as generously by their government, as they treat their own neighbors and the odd tourist that cross their paths.

Aer Lingus expectations falling

If you haven’t noticed, the government has been busy lowering expectations on the value of their, and the Irish publics 80% share in the privatization’s efforts of Aer Lingus. They have been so busy that “Mr Ahern has taken a defamation action against Mr O’Brien arising from his claim that he had given the Fianna Fáil leader £50,000 on behalf of a property developer” as a red herring.

Or maybe not, in any case the Irish Elections are starting to get interesting.

Why don’t the Americans riot against Bush

If the Hungarians can riot about a government that lies to win an election as here:

The violence erupted at the state TV building following a largely peaceful rally calling on Mr Gyurcsany to quit.

In a leaked tape, Mr Gyurcsany admitted his government had lied to the public.

His comments, which were recorded just after a general election in April, have prompted calls for his resignation from opposition parties.

Why won’t the American’s riot against Bush, a master at lying to the americans? Mr. Gyurcsany only lied about the economy, Bush has been caught flatfooted in more lies than you can count. Why is he still in power, because the truth in the U.S. died a long time ago, that’s why. And the press have failed in their responsibility to report the facts to the american people.

technorati.com is censoring blogs

I’m not sure but I feel discriminated against, technorati.com claims I have not posted in 97 days. Not true, but even when I force ping it at it’s own website, it does not update me. The real question is this, is technorati.com censoring political blog sites? Though I’m not much of a threat, but did someone blacklist me? Feedster Interesting!

Ring Forts and Nuclear Weapons

The wife and I have been exploring Ring Forts in Cork, and I’m of the conclusion that we as a people must spend a majority of our time on this planet being afraid. When I look at the effort that primitive (100BC – 500AD) man and women have spent building ring defenses and fortifications against their neighbors or some other invader. It’s staggering how powerful fear is. Mind you I have often wondered how violent the past times these forts were built in, what terror forced them to expend so much time and energy on their construction.

And I wonder how much was real and how much was the effort by some leadership to condense power and control. What was the frequency of Viking attacks, or land grabbing by neighbors, or worse yet livestock rustling (and you thought this was a cowboy story)

How do you build a defense that will make people feel safe? What does it take to make safety tangible. It was quite apparent that these ring forts were evidence. The efforts of the entire community were applied to their construction, and maintenance.

What makes a community feel safe in the Nuclear age? What tangible artifact can you construct that will make you feel safe? Not much is seems, much of the control for the defense is outside of the control of the community that fears it most. In hands that seem unable to place restraints on their threat and their use AS a threat. In trust that people have for their leadership that such weapons will neither strike them, or cause others to strike at them with such weapons. So while ancient man built forts, forts were made obsolete by better weapons, but made unnecessary as trade made social interactions between people more profitable than war.

But now we have oil, and while we have been trading in oil for ages, we have come to an impasse of a diminishing resource. Much like the cattle thief’s we try and steal what is not ours. We wage war on issues that on the surface make sense, but only mask what we have failed to learn from our past. That our ring forts no longer act as a deterrent to theft. That there is no defense, except social interactions, of cooperation, of diplomacy, of fair trade. Because as sure as one side strikes a blow, there will be a counter-strike. And all reason goes out the window, pandora’s box is open and the only hope is reason.

(originally posted May 2, 2006)

UPDATE: it seems like there is no difference between the past and the present, ring forts still have their purposes Iraqis Plan to Ring Baghdad With Trenches

Irish Rights gets visibility

Digital Rights Ireland has gained new visibility in this article Digital rights activists take aim at EU data laws And more power to them. It’s about time that the governments of EU remember who they work for, the citizens of the EU.

As in the words of V ‘people shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their citizens’

The one great reason to avoid Zune

In this article hyping Five Reasons Why The Microsoft Zune May Succeed , they give the one greatest reason not to ever buy a Zune

… but the next generation Zune will be even better. Why? Because Microsoft is developing that one entirely in-house. As we saw from just about every product they’ve put out, the second or third iteration is when they get things right. By half-skipping over the painful first-gen by using Toshiba, Microsoft may just shortcut their way into a great player.

The trick here is that if people find that the “Painful” first generation is painful, and that the real Zune isn’t for one or two more generations. Then no one will buy the first generation Zune, there will be no Zune community (one of the other points) and Zune will fail.

It took MS two years to get to windows 3.11, it too 3 years for MS to get to XP service pack 2. And second and third generation Zune is at least that far in the future.

The easy recomendation here is, save your money, or buy something else (an iPod comes to mind). Save yourself the ‘pain’ of being a MS Beta tester for Zune.

Dublin <> Ireland

After a few days at the new job in Dublin, I’ve come to the conclusion that Dublin in not in Ireland. I’m not sure I know where it’s at, but I’m sure that it’s not in Ireland. The environment is like a California suburb transplanted into the hinterlands without the infrastructure. I saw a prime example of why Dublin is such a wreck, in the form of the Cherry Orchard rail station. The despicable conditions are a prime example why the streets in Dublin are in gridlock. No one in their right minds would risk their lives using it a commute to or from Dublin.

Dublin is all flash and no substance, nothing real, and nothing of value. Shallow as a sidewalk puddle. Glass windows with moss.

Al Qaeda, the Propaganda wing of the GOP

This new message Al-Qaeda calls on US to convert and Qaeda urges Bush, non-Muslims to embrace Islam could not be better GOP propaganda than if Carl Rove wrote it himself. If the goal is to instill fear that Al-Qaeda wants to take away Christianity from the GOP base of Christian fundamentalist this is the best way to fire up them up. Scare the Fundies, upset the moderates, and paint all others as anti-Christian terrorists.

Makes you kind of wonder who wrote this, first the Fox reporters, forced to convert to Islam as a trial balloon, then get the GOP propaganda wing, Al-Qaeda to publish a new threat. Sounds like a plan to me!

UPDATE: “…Republicans are hoping for some outside event that would show the president and their party in a better light — a spate of good news from Iraq, a foiled terrorist plot …” a letter from Al-Qaeda?

Personal Demons

I’ve heard of people fighting their personal demons, the ones carried deep inside their own minds, but this takes the cake Bush Says Iraq War Is Part of a Larger Fight

…because it is a battleground in an epic struggle between democracy and tyranny

Seeing how his personal demon is Democracy, the tyranny that he is fighting for in Iraq is his own to reap in the U.S. as he continues to use the war as a means to destroy that ‘Goddamn piece of paper’ called the U.S. Constitution.

Here’s hoping that the GOP looses the House and Senate this year, and we get to impeach Bush before he declares another war.

UPDATE: A good rebuke Death of Habeas Corpus: