Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breaking News - Equality Authority CEO Quits

More here as it unfolds.

Seanad Reform - After 30 years can we have our votes now?

It has been 12 months since this announcement and we've seen no action taken to advance the reform of the Seanad. In particular the rather straightforward reform of the university panels to give effect to the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.

I've recently written to the 6 university panel senators asking that they do rather than talk when it comes to this matter. I'm currently awaiting their responses, and will post the letter and responses if I receive them. In the continued absence of any movement I've decided to try and get some traction via other means. Hence this facebook group

Seanad Reform - After 30 years can we have our votes now? | Facebook

I also hope to be announcing in the new year some events as part of a rolling campaign to culminate in the period of the 5th of July when the referendum was held 3 decades ago and the 5th of August when it was signed into law.

Is wider reform of the Seanad needed? Yes, in fact it is long overdue but this is the necessary first step in that process.
Are there more important things? Indeed, but we have a parliamentary and cabinet system of government so that more than one problem can be tackled at any one time.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The cause of the finanical crisis revealed!

A good number of years ago I had a not very demanding job in a land very far from home. My employer wasn’t doing great things for me and the young lady I was interested in at the time wasn’t interested in me. She did think I was quite lovely though. So I created a fantasy job, a diversionary daydream if you will. It was of the road not taken variety. In contrast to the road I was on which was well and truly of the dead end variety.

It evolved from a series of aptitude tests I and others had done for a company in the final year of college. The results had been incredibly, perhaps some might say even freakishly positive for me. There again it was very reassuring at the end of my time to discover that yes engineering was for me! As for the daydream position I would have magically acquired it upon leaving college by means of similarly interesting aptitude tests and other probing physical examinations that would have revealed my undoubted brilliance and suitability for the role.

The job started out being somewhat vague as these things tend to do in daydreams. It did involve a very nice office based in the IFSC if I recall and such excitements as a PA and a well appointed apartment. I was on a promise that I was to be extensively trained in many interesting skills, foreign languages, how to handle the media, high finance, fighting skills and so forth. It was a daydream after all, and I wanted to leave it open enough that some spying/espionage might be involved. To assist me with achievement of all this I had access to many quite peculiar and very futuristic looking pieces of technology that seemed quite out of this world. As is my wont with any such fantasy I create, I came quickly to undermine it by introducing various unsettling and disturbing elements. The excessive secrecy about my eventual role in the organisation, the origins of the top people, the disappearance of colleagues or indeed what it was the company actually did.

Later on in the daydream, (which at this stage was evolving into proper movie serial mode) I was to find after a number of worrying signs and interesting scraps that in my superior’s office was a hidden cupboard which in fact contained a teleportation device. This chamber brought me to a very substantial but largely unmanned spaceship in orbit around the earth. Yep, we were firmly back in my usual comfort zone of sci-fi territory. I snooped about the ship as one does in these things and discovered that the organisation was seeking to become the overlords of the Earth. This they would do by taking control of our financial system and by extension our political system and petitioning for the Earth’s entry into a galactic trading system whereby they would be recognised as de jure and de facto Rulers of the Earth. I’m not 100% sure that the R and E were capitalised in the fantasy but they seem sort of appropriate now. This state of affairs once ratified by the galactic authorities could not be overturned and would be enforced by the other worlds.

It was in some sense all in the best traditions of Western European colonisation - a West Spiral Arm Trading Company if you will. I was to be one of the front men (my tests had revealed a certain detachment from my fellow man, well I did say at the outset that I didn’t much like my job and so I was of a mood to feel a tad disconnected) as they declared to the leaders of the world that they had, in the parlance of the times, the financial system by the balls and having brought it to the brink of collapse they could cast our world into the abyss.

They had over the last few centuries progressively invested in those new technologies that they knew from the experience of other similar worlds would ultimately succeed over the long run. They had gotten their initial seed capital from their superior mineral assaying abilities which had given them local mineral wealth and then they had simply waited for humanity to discover the obvious to them scientific advances, with the very occasional nudge, that they could invest in and turn into even more wealth and influence. After all, transporting millions of troops across space is a very expensive way to take control of a world. If your lifespan can be measured in centuries why not just find a world that is close to making the jump to space travel and simply entangle yourself in its affairs such that its ascent becomes the engine for your own wealth.

They had completely embedded themselves in the stock market and the global financial system. Just at the point that I had been hired they were finally in position to leverage their position in the financial system such that they could readily collapse the world’s economy if our leaders decided to choose incorrectly.

Now, let’s get back to the beginning here. This was just a wish fulfilment exercise on the part of someone with a not too demanding job and too much time on his hands. Right?

I mean I was just daydreaming; not exhibiting pre-cognitive abilities like my auntie Mary had...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Who has been telling porkies

I am half expecting an outbreak of cannibalism within a week if rumours spread that human flesh is the closest thing to the taste of pig meat. And was it really necessary to destroy all pork meat? Sure I can understand in general saying destroy it instead of eating it, but couldn't it wait in the freezer for a few more days until we're sure what the specific problem is and how extensive the impact is?

And God help us but it was bad enough that this was uncovered by another country's authorities but that it was Italy makes us like even more like eejits. A country run by Burlo backhander has better standards of food enforcement than we do. OK, they do have a proper culinary tradition and they like their food.

RTe were reporting in their coverage that in Belgium 3, count them 3 government ministers resigned on foot of their dioxin scandal there in 1999. Which little piggy in cabinet will go wee-wee-wee all the way home from this?

Update: I started the above post on Sunday but am only getting around to posting it now. In the light of the review from the EU. As I said above - what was wrong with just telling people that they shouldn't eat pork until the relevant authorities had decided on whether there was a real risk to public health. By all means tell shops to take it off the shelves and that restaurants should not serve it, but to advise people to throw it out was reckless and as it is now revealed completely wasteful.