Archive for the 'In The News' Category

This Brother just ain’t BIG enough!

June 24th, 2009

Rowan Manahan has an excellent post on the attempts made by the city of Bozeman, Montana, to find out everything it can about job applicants by insisting they “list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.”

Those Bozeman bozos are amateurs! They forgot the following:

  • A copy of every key you own, labelled to indicate what it opens
  • A copy of every key everyone in your family owns, labelled to indicate what it opens
  • Your mobile phone
  • A DNA sample from all your sexual partners, ever
  • A video of all your sexual activities, ever
  • Detailed notes on your sexual fantasies, differentiating between those that you would enact given the chance and those that even you consider too obscene to enact
  • A notarised copy of your voting history
  • A list of all the people about whom you have ever said: “I could kill that bastard!”
  • Details of your religious beliefs
  • Details (dates, times, circumstances) of every time you have ever exclaimed “God damn it!” or “Jesus Christ!”
  • A list of every publication you have ever read
  • A list of every country you have ever visited
  • The names, dates of birth, social security numbers and contact details of all your friends
  • The names, dates of birth, social security numbers and contact details of all your enemies

Sardines in The Joy

June 12th, 2009

I am somewhat bemused by a news report on the RTE website about violence among prisoners in Mountjoy Prison. The article implies that the violence is related to overcrowding at the prison.

I believe that prisons should do what they can to rehabilitate criminals so as to minimise the risk of repeat offences and part of that rehabilitation should be reasonable living conditions, so I do I think the authorities should be taking steps to ease overcrowding, perhaps by building another prison.

However, the people really to blame for overcrowding in prisons are the criminals.

If you are unhappy about overcrowding in The Joy, stop breaking the law, yiz gobshites!

North Korean missiles

May 29th, 2009

Where does Kim Jong Il keep them?

This post from October 2006 is topical again. Watch the startling video footage.

“And by ‘respect’, what I mean is…”

May 8th, 2009

According to The New York Times, the Pope has declared his “deep respect” for Muslims.

If I remember rightly, the Pope believes in a place called “Heaven” and also that a pre-condition for entry into Heaven is an acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and one’s Lord and Saviour. The last time I looked, Muslims did not accept that.

So what is the Pope really saying?

You’re all going to Hell, or at least Purgatory, but I think you’re great!

Surely the Pope’s statement reflects his understanding of modern politics and public relations. After all, only a hundred years ago, the Pope would have got away with saying that all Muslims are going to burn in hell, but he would not get away with that today, no matter how much he might think it.

According to Catholic theology, all Muslims are at least going to spend a considerable amount of time suffering in Purgatory, so either the Pope does not have a deep respect for Muslims, or he is calling into question Catholic doctrine. There I go using logical thinking again (which priests taught me at university).

I should just have faith that the Pope really does respect people he believes are not good enough to get into his Heaven.

To the Popes embarrassment, the reception at King Abdullahs palace was not, in fact, a Magnificent Seven themed fancy dress.

To the Pope's embarrassment, the reception at King Abdullah's palace was not, in fact, a Magnificent Seven themed fancy dress.

What’s the matter with blasphemy?

May 1st, 2009

Further to my post below, point 6.1.i of Article 40 of The Constitution of Ireland states:

“The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that this point could not be applied in a legal case because it was not possible to say what blasphemy actually is.

Instead of moving into the 21st century and removing the point about blasphemy from the constitution, Dermot Ahern wants to make it enforceable by defining blasphemy. His proposal for a new law in Ireland against the publication or utterance of blasphemous matter defines such matter as:

“grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage”

Although I am not quite sure how one can “utter” matter, I’ll go with that for the moment.

There are two problems with this definition. Firstly, it does not go on to quantify the phrase “substantial number”, thus leaving it entirely subjective. Secondly, a successful prosecution would be contingent on proving that the defendant intended to cause outrage. So in his attempt to add clarity, Minister Ahern has added none at all.

But let’s suppose he made things clear by quantifying the “substantial number” and removing the clause about intent, there would still be problems.

Then suppose I started a religion which taught that the “God” of the Old Testament was actually the Devil and that he created the world as a prison, a religion which taught that Hell was in fact our own physical world, created by this Devil as a means of tormenting humans, a religion which taught that the resurrection of Jesus was not a physical resurrection of his dead body but more a spiritual awakening akin to Buddhist “enlightenment”.

Now suppose a “substantial number” of Roman Catholics felt outrage, I could be punished simply for expressing a belief that is at odds with what they believe.*

But hang on! What if a substantial number of my adherents felt outrage at the publication of Catholic beliefs? I could have all the Catholics punished!

Yes, everyone punishing everyone else over which mythology is the right one at a time when people are losing their jobs. That is the way to lead the country out of crisis.

I do not believe that simply causing outrage should be punishable. Such a policy tells us that things should be left alone, be nice, don’t rock the boat. But we all know that sometimes the boat needs to be capsized. Of course, people in power tend to lose their balance when boats are rocked, so they don’t like it.

“Outrage” is often just a politically correct synonym for “intolerance” and intolerance should not be rewarded by enshrining it in law.

Interesting article on this topic by Michael Nugent here.

* These beliefs were held by many in the Languedoc region of what is now called France. The Church of Rome was outraged at this blasphemy and dealt with it by torturing and murdering adherents to those beliefs until there were none left.

Irish Blasphemers, get your licks in while you can

April 29th, 2009

I think I just woke up in the 1920s.

The Irish Times on-line is reporting that Fianna Fáil (the Irish political party currently fucking up the country, if you’re not from Ireland) wants to make it a crime to blaspheme.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern proposes to insert a new section into the Defamation Bill, stating: “A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.”

The Cambridge on-line dictionary has decided to be the Cambridge off-line dictionary today, so I went to Merriam-Webster instead. They define “blasphemy” as follows:

1 a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b: the act of claiming the attributes of deity

2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable

I imagine there would be so many legal problems with such a law that it could never be applied.

With reference to 1a in that definition, surely in legal terms, in order to convict someone of showing contempt for God, you would first have to prove that God exists?

In the case of 1b, does the Minister for Justice (no, really, JUSTICE) seriously intend prosecuting every nutter who claims to be God? That’s what he would have to do in order to fairly apply this ridiculous law.

As for 2, it would mean that if even one person considered something sacred or inviolable, that thing would have to be legally protected from blasphemy. For example, I consider my bollocks to be pretty sacred and inviolable. That would mean I could have somebody arrested for laughing at my two veg in the changing room at the gym.

A return to the glory days of the Church?

A return to the glory days of the Church?

Seeing as the Minister wants to turn back the clock, the next thing you know he will want to bring in a law making it legal for the Catholic Church to start raping children again. Oops! Did I just show irreverence for the Catholic Church. Don’t some people consider that institution sacred?

I’ll save you the bother, Minister, I’ll put myself on the rack just after I finish heating up the branding irons.

Gobshite.

Twenty Major says it as eloquently as ever here.

If you want to express your opinion to the Minister, you can contact him as follows:

Constituency Office
Dermot Ahern TD
28 Francis Street
Dundalk
Co. Louth
042 9329023

Dáil Office
Dermot Ahern TD
Dáil Éireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
01 618 3000

dermot@dermotahern.ie

Torture is bad… unless it works

April 21st, 2009

The BBC news website today reports that former USA Vice President, Dick Cheney, is urging the CIA to release memos which make it clear that waterboarding actually works.

Apparently, Mr. Cheney’s has a problem with the fact that certain Bush Administration memos have been published recently which attempt to justify waterboarding without actually showing that it works. Mr. Cheney wants everyone to know that it is a successful technique.

“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is that they put out the legal memos… but they didn’t put out the memos that show the success of the effort.” (Dick Cheney)

So let me get this right, torture is bad unless it works?

Is it working yet? No? Well, keep going because we are breaking the law until it does.

Is it working yet? No? Well, keep going because we are breaking the law until it does.

More bizarreness from PETA

April 9th, 2009

The animal rights organisation called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) could do a lot of good for animals where good is needed if it were not for some of the bizarre ideas they dream up.

In keeping with their futile and laughable attempts to rename things, they have written to The Pet Shop Boys, asking if they would rename themselves The Rescue Shelter Boys.

Apparently, the idea is that if the band changed its name, millions of fans would rush out and adopt an animal from a rescue shelter, instead of from a pet shop. Personally, I am against pet shops selling animals such as cats and dogs and I am for the application of laws that ensure the well-being of animals sold by pet shops.

I admire your motives, PETA, but frankly your tactics make you look like feckin’ eejits.

You need to fire your strategist and hire someone who isn’t a gobshite.

If it were anyone else

April 9th, 2009

If I decided to hit a total stranger, who had done me no harm, across the legs and then shove him to the ground with both hands, I would be charged with assault.

If that stranger subsequently died, I am sure I would be charged with manslaughter.

The video footage of the assault on Mr. Ian Tomlinson shows how human nature controls even trained police. The policeman who assaulted Mr. Tomlinson behaved like a thug when placed into the tense environment of the G20 protests. What is more, none of his colleagues offered Mr. Tomlinson any immediate assistance, I imagine because an “us versus them” mentality had taken over: one of us hit him, therefore he must be in the wrong.

It should be noted that the police (presumably a different group of officers) tried to revive Mr. Tomlinson later when he suffered his heart attack. It should also be noted that the officers involved have come forward, pending an investigation. I feel sorry for them as I would for anyone who lets a tense and emotional situation carry them away. Given a baton and a uniform and a potential riot, how many of us would have behaved better?

However, I feel far more sorrow for the family of the late Ian Tomlinson.

Fireworks thrown at PSNI by fans

March 28th, 2009

Fireworks thrown at PSNI by fans

Fans of the PSNI clearly failing miserably in their attempts to show their appreciation.

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