Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama surrogate Wesley Clark attacks McCain: Democratic Campaign reaches a new low

Interestingly Barack Obama has usually been fulsome in his praise of John McCain's war record. Nevertheless the attack by Wesley Clark on John McCain certainly came about with the approval of Obama. Obviously Obama is endeavouring to be a little too cunning for his own good. He lacks the gravitas necessary to attack McCain's experience. So instead he uses a surrogate in the form of retired General Wesley Clark.

Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be President, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS Face the Nation. He also,sniped at McCain’s military service.
Barack Obama told a group of donors in Jacksonville, Fla Friday night last that Republicans would try to make voters afraid of him, and suggested they would use his race to scare up votes for John McCain. Here he is playing with fire. It is he who is introducing race into the campaign and not John McCain. Obama's approach is the most cunning and the most devious adopted by any Democratic Presidential candidate in the last thirty years.

He is using a multipronged approach. He is injecting race into the campaign to galvanise the African American vote. He then attempts to insulate himself from attack by insinuating that any criticism is motivated by racial considerations. Indeed many in the Clinton campaign believe that similar dirty political tactics by the Obama campaign cost Hillary the nomination. He is now using a surrogate to attack McCain's military record in an attempt to neutralise McCain's advantage in terms of experience. He avoids many of the issues like the plague. Speeches are usually full of empty rhetoric but devoid of substance.

So much for the change promised by Obama. It is a chimera.

Apache And Cobra Takes Out Insurgents Hideout With 30mm And GAU-17 Mini-Gun At Night In Iraq

US Marines from 3/7 Kilo called in airsupport to take out insurgents hiding in a building at night in Ramadi, Iraq.

Ireland: Provisional Licence Law Change -Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority discusses implications

Click on player to listen to the full interview.
The law requiring learner drivers on a second provisional licence to be accompanied by a fully qualified driver comes into effect from midnight tonight.
The change in the driving licence system, announced by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey last year, affects up to 92,000 people.
Holders of all other provisional licences are already required to be accompanied.
Drivers may only get a third or later provisional licence if they can show that they have taken a driving test within the previous two years....(RTE )

According to Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio News At One programme Assistant Garda Commissioner Eddie Rock has stated that the guards " Will be applying the law in an appropriate and proportional manner".

Friday, June 27, 2008

British Labour Party is blitzed in Henley by-election:What are the political implications?

  • John Howell (C) 19,796 (56.95%, +3.46%)

  • Stephen Kearney (Lib Dem) 9,680 (27.85%, +1.84%)

  • Mark Stevenson (Green) 1,321 (3.80%, +0.54%)

  • Timothy Rait (BNP) 1,243 (3.58%)

  • Richard McKenzie (Lab) 1,066 (3.07%, -11.68%)

  • Chris Adams (UKIP) 843 (2.43%, -0.07%)

This Henley by-election result is a further boost for David Cameron and the Conservatives. However too much should not be read into the outcome as this Oxfordshire seat, is natural Conservative territory. The Conservative candidate, John Howell, won with a majority of 10,116, a 3.46% increase on the Tory share of the vote in the 2005 General Election. Also the Tories have managed to get the Liberal Democrat monkey off their backs. Indeed many Liberal Democrat seats could fall to the rejuvenated Conservatives in the next General Election. So the Lib Dems have cause for worry also.

This is a humiliating defeat for the British Labour Party. Richard McKenzie the Labour candidate-who lost his deposit- even finished behind the extreme right British National Party and only just above UKIP. The Labour party vote is down –11.8% on the 2005 General Election.This electoral disaster for Labour comes just weeks after Mr Brown suffered heavy defeats in local elections, the London mayoral race, and the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. There is a danger for Brown that he will be perceived as a loser. However a leadership challenge is unlikely before the next General Election.

Clearly momentum is building up behind the Conservative Party. Gordon Brown has been unlucky since his accession to the leadership of the British Labour Party. His government has been hit by the international downturn, the collapse of the Northern Rock Bank, higher Government borrowing, slackening growth, higher food and oil costs. In addition he comes across as dour in marked contrast to David Cameron-the Tory leader. Also there is probably an element of English unhappiness with the fact that Brown is Scottish. This is generally not expressed publicly but is there in the background. Gordon Brown appears to lack energy and dynamism. It is as if his years as Chancellor and his obsession with securing the leadership of the Labour Party have sapped his vitality.

A Conservative victory is by no means assured in the next General Election. The party will struggle to make seat gains in Wales, Scotland and Northern England. However it is now a strong possibility.

Obama attempts to woo Evangelical Conservatives a massive con–trick that must be exposed.

Recently in Chicago Obama met with religious leaders including conservative evangelicals. He has now launched a campaign to reach out to evangelical conservatives. His campaign also plans thousands of "American Values House Parties," Ostensively Obama is a firm believer in Christian principles. The reality of course is different. His Christianity is a pick and choose Christianity. Christianity a la carte.

Obama is attempting to square the circle to reach out to the evangelical right. He is endeavouring to prise sufficient evangelicals and Catholics from the GOP to scuttle the McCain campaign. Unfortunately for him his Christianity is contaminated by his adherence secular humanist beliefs. In reality his true religion is secular humanist in character with a little leavening of Christianity. When Obama is faced with a choice between Christian principles and secular humanism he invariably opts for secular humanism. He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate and is a powerful supporter of partial birth abortion. He supports the destruction of the unborn child in the womb. He supports barbarism. The Fifth Commandment states” thou shalt not kill”. There are no ifs no buts here. No provision for the woman's right to choose.

You see Obama wishes to have his cake and eat it. The pro-abortion position is irreconcilable with the anti-abortion position. Obama attempts to bridge the irreconcilable with obfuscatory rhetoric. Lets be blunt. He has deliberately misrepresented scripture in an effort to justify the unjustifiable. The devil can quote scripture to suit his own purposes. Similarly with Obama.

Obama has said:
"Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. "Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the civil rights leader.
Here he is attempting to muddy the waters to justify his secular humanism. The Ten Commandments must the guiding principles for all Christians.

Obama supports the culture of death. McCain supports the culture of life. As such Barack has set himself against Christian principles. Flowery language is no substitute for fundamental principles. Secular humanism is the enemy of Christianity. A President Obama will appoint liberal judges. A President McCain will appoint conservative judges.
McCain is riding the Christian horse. Obama is riding the Secular Humanist horse.
Catholics and evangelicals must not be seduced by the syrupy rhetoric of Obama.
Obama’s secular humanism is the antithesis of Christianity.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New York Times-Roger Cohen attacks the Irish electorate's rejection of Lisbon Treaty in "The Muck of the Irish"

The following are some excerpts from his article in the New York Times titled The Muck of the Irish (Which I rebut):

"…But when it comes to sheer electoral crassness, it’s hard to beat what the Irish have just done. I can’t think of a country that’s benefited from European Union membership more than Ireland. It has catapulted itself in a few decades from beer-soaked backwater to the Celtic Tiger whose growth rates, foreign investment and rags-to-riches story were the envy of every languishing small nation with a thirst for a makeover.

Enormous E.U. farm subsidies, access for foreign investors to the E.U. market, and the liberation from a Britain complex afforded by new European horizons all contributed to the rebranding of Ireland. Dublin was suddenly hip; the peat bogs were passé. No wonder the Irish adopted the euro with élan while the British shrunk from “the Continent” and stuck with sterling.

Yet here we have the Irish, in a fit of Euro-bashing pique worthy of the worst of little-Englandism, rejecting the renegotiated Lisbon treaty essential for the functioning of an expanded 27-member E.U. Biting the hand that feeds you does not begin to describe this act of bloody-mindedness………………………………"


To put it mildly this article is insulting and reeks of condescension and ignorance. It is written from a distance and is littered with half-truths. The use of the term beer-soaked backwater is a cheap shot. There is an element of the Paddy bashing about it often heard in British upper class circles. Sure Ireland has benefited from EU membership. Certainly we have access to the huge EU markets. Sure farmers have benefited from EU subsidies. This was not a vote to leave the EU. It was a vote for an improved version of the Treaty.

Cohen makes no effort to investigate possible causes for the defeat of the referendum. Rural Ireland revolted against the oppressive burden imposed by EU bureaucracy. Un-elected Commissioners have made decisions, which have severely worsened the quality of life in rural communities. Mountains of bureaucracy and quotas hamstring farming and fishing. EU agriculture Commissioner Peter Mandelson is viewed as a second Cromwell who is prepared to sell out EU farmers at the WTO. EU Commission restrictions on turf cutting proved the last straw for many. Rural Post Offices are closing because of EU competition rules in the postal service. Often the postman is the only visitor to the isolated homestead of an elderly person.

Fishermen watch as Irish waters are denuded of fish by EU trawlers. Ireland with 16% of the EU sea area has only 4% of the fish quotas. EU trawlers have taken at a conservative estimate €50 billion-€60 billion worth of fish. Some estimates are as high as €120 billion. Ireland is in all probability a net contributor to the EU.

Many small businessmen dependent on farmers and fishermen voted No.
Other businessmen voted No fearing that the 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax is under threat. And it certainly is.

Working class communities in Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Dublin and other cities came out against the Treaty fearing that paid employment has become a race to the bottom under pressure from EU decisions on workers rights and immigrants.
Others assessed correctly that the EU Commission is undemocratic.
There are fears that the EU courts will legalise abortion in Ireland.

Also there is the fear that an EU army would compromise Ireland’s neutrality. Many female voters feared that their sons could be sent to war.

Stupid comments from some French and German politicians and from Jose Manuel Barroso angered the electorate. So you see Mr Cohen your diatribe failed to detect the reality on the ground. In short you are out of touch.

John McCain Won't Raise Your Taxes-Obama will

The following are some of Obama's Taxing proposals :

  • He will create a 60 percent tax bracket for upper-income Americans and raise the top bracket to 40 percent. He will apply FICA taxes to all income, not just that under $100,000 as at present. ( 40 %+ FICA’s 12.5 % + Medicare’s 2 % + state and local taxes averaging, after deduction, at 5-6 %=60 %. (Source-Dick Morris )

  • He will double the capital gains tax. The likelihood of an Obama Presidency could trigger a Stock Market Crash as investors rush to sell shares to avoid the higher rates of capital gains tax.

  • He will double the dividend tax.

  • His opposition to nuclear power and extra oil drilling means that energy prices will remain high. America's over reliance on oil imports will continue.

Obama plans to raise spending by $800 billion over 4 years. The Tax Payer will fund the Socialist policies of a President Obama.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ireland- A net contributor to EU?

There has been criticism of Ireland's decision to reject the Lisbon Treaty especially in France and Germany. Much of this is patronising and insulting. It is accompanied by references to Ireland’s alleged ingratitude to the EU. Undoubtedly Ireland has much to be grateful for-especially the access to huge EU markets and financial transfers which aided the development of infrastructure et al.

However there are also transfers from Ireland to the EU.
Ireland, controls 16% of EU waters, yet has only 4% of the EU fish quota. Some Irish fishing sources estimate that EU countries have taken €120 billion worth of fish since Irish membership in 1973. A conservative estimate is €50 billion to €60 billion. Many species of fish such as cod are on the verge of extinction in Irish waters thanks to over fishing by foreign trawlers.
It is not unlikely that Ireland is a net contributor to the EU. Time for answers from our politicians.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ireland:Cowen's Downfall-What happened after referendum on Lisbon Treaty went down (Comedy)

Per Damien Mulley

Very funny comedy. Brian Cowen goes to war with the the middle class, working class, farmers, Dick Roche, Brian Lenihan, Micheal Martin, Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Patricia McKenna and Sinn Fein.

Latest ESRI report paints gloomy picture on the economy:Ireland is now in recession

According to The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its latest Quarterly Economic Commentary the economy will experience a recession this year for the first time since 1983, and a return to net emigration in 2009. Ireland of the Celtic Tiger is no more.

It expects that the economy will contract in size by 0.4% this year. The ESRI calculates that the volume of domestic spending this year will fall by 2.6 %. Investment spending is expected to fall by 14.9%. Real consumer spending growth in 2008 is expected to reach just 1%.
The ESRI predicts an economic growth of 1.9% for 2009.
It expects that net emigration will reach 20,000 in 2009.

The unemployment rate is forecast to rise from 4.5% in 2007 to 6% this year and 7.1% in 2009. The Government had a budget surplus of €5.2 billion in 2006. It will have a budget deficit of €7.4 billion in 2009 according to the ESRI. This represents a deterioration of more than €12.5 billion in the space of three years.
The ESRI predicts an inflation rate of 4.5 % for 2008.

Quite frankly many of the problems were foreseeable three years ago. In the run in to the 2007 General Election the FF/PD Government ramped up public expenditure. It rose by 13% alone in 2007. It undoubtedly helped FF win the General Election. However the flood of taxes into the Government coffers-which supported this splurge- stemmed mainly from an unsustainable property boom. Now the bubble has burst with house construction down from 90,000 three years ago to 40,000-45,000 this year.

The economy was growing strongly in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It did not need a huge injection of public expenditure, which just fuelled inflation. Richard Bruton FG spokesman on Finance railed strongly against this approach as did some economists such Dr. Alan Ahearne , David McWilliams and George Lee. Dr Alan Ahearne warned about the dangers of a crash in house prices. More recently Jim Power has been critical.
Unfortunately many economists were swept along on the tide of boom and bloom.
Critics were painted as prophets of doom who were talking down the economy.

A more prudent approach to Government spending from 2005-2007 would have allowed the Government some leeway. Now the cupboard is bare. There are precedents for the inadvisability of the budgetary strategy adopted by FF/PDs in 2006 and 2007.
The boom bust approach was adopted by FF in 1977-81. Its 1977 Manifesto was a winner with the electorate promising no rates and no car tax. FF inherited an economy, which had come out of recession and was growing solidly. The Lynch and Haughey Governments pump primed public expenditure –much of it funded by borrowing. By 1981-82 the economy was in serious trouble. The hardship of the 80s had its genesis in this irresponsible Manifesto.

In the run in to the 2002 General Election the FF/PD Government let public expenditure rip. Once more Charlie McCreevy slammed on the brakes in the wake of the 2002 General Election.
The FF/PD/Green Government is now facing a double whammy. Internally tax revenue is way below expectations, the housing sector is in free fall, inflation is close to 5%, and unemployment has risen by 48,000 in the last twelve months. Externally rising fuel prices and higher interest rates have impinged strongly on the Irish economy.

The ESRI expects the general government balance to show a deficit of 2.8 % of gross domestic product this year after a 0.3 percent surplus in 2007 and worsen to a 3.9 % deficit in 2009.
"On the face of it, a breach of the 3 % ... (EU Stability and Growth Pact) guideline in a single year does not signal the death knell of fiscal prudence and given our very low debt levels could well be afforded," it said in the survey.

This advice from the ESRI should be binned immediately. The country cannot buy its way out of the mess. Unfortunately hard decisions on public expenditure are necessary. The advice from the ESRI would return Ireland to the failed policies of the late 70s and 80s.
It is likely that the real tax burden will rise. This will be supplemented by increases in stealth taxes such as local authority charges, and by large public expenditure cuts. All in all not a pretty picture.

Monday, June 23, 2008

North Korea joins Castro, Hamas, Gaddafi and Chavez in expressing support for Obama:

The following is an excerpt of a fascinating story carried by the World Tribune newspaper: According to the Choson Sinbo, a newspaper run by ethnic Koreans in Japan and which supports North Korea, “North Korea prefers Democratic candidate Barack Obama over Republican John McCain.

"The Communist country, which has survived a relatively hawkish Bush administration, considers McCain "a variant of Bush" and "nothing better than a scarecrow of neoconservatives”……………………….”The newspaper expressed hope of better ties between North Korea and the United States under an Obama administration...”

This is highly embarrassing for Barrack Obama as already Fidel Castro has referred to him as “the most progressive candidate to the U.S. Presidency”. Gaddafi of Libya has already -on Al Jazeera- expressed a preference for Obama.
In addition Hugo Chavez of Venezuela favours Obama over McCain. Barack Obama -whilst cautious-has stated that he could meet Chavez.

Aaron Klein and John Batchelor interviewed Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas, on WABC radio. In the interview he stated that “Hamas has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Yousef said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election."
The interview is carried here:(Click on black arrow)

These endorsements are highly embarrassing for Obama and will undoubtedly become a major issue in the Presidential Election campaign. They reinforce the belief that Obama is suspect on foreign policy. Advantage to John McCain.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ireland’s No vote on Lisbon Treaty blows French attack on Ireland’s Corporation Profits Tax out of the water

Today Shane Ross has an excellent article on this topic in todays Sunday Independent.
France will assume the EU presidency in July from Slovenia. It will chair all meetings of the EU finance ministers at the Council of Ministers. The European Commission plans to introduce a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). The plan to introduce this proposal was delayed until after the Irish referendum to avoid damage to the Yes campaign. This plan will result in the imposition of harmonised corporate tax rates on EU states contrary to Commission denials. The Commission has Ireland’s 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax in its sights-contrary to denials. France is a strong supporter of (CCCTB).

Prior to Irelands referendum on the Lisbon Treaty Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister was determined to push ahead with the proposal under the French Presidency. Shane Ross alludes to this. According to last Thursdays Financial Times Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister, said "that while the proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base had not been abandoned altogether, Paris would no longer press other governments to back it over the next six months.
"It is on the agenda, but we are not pushing it," said Ms Lagarde in an interview. "It is alive, but not kicking very much."
She is basically admitting that The EU intends to dismantle Ireland's tax advantages by stealth. It is prepared to hold off until a second referendum on the Lisbon treaty is held in Ireland. As Shane Ross points out the No vote has stopped the French in their tracks.

So this plan has been parked temporarily. Now is the time for Ireland to ensure that all threats to Irelands 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax are removed. The threat lies dormant for the present. This is a matter of life and death for Irish industry as Ireland is on the periphery of Europe and consequently industry sufferers from higher transport costs to key EU markets. France and Germany do not suffer from this handicap. The 12.5% helps to compensate for this disadvantage. Removal will devastate Irish industry.

Hands off the 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax. If this issue is not satisfactorily resolved it will emerge with greater intensity in any second vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sunday Business Post/RedC Poll (for June) : FF and FG down 2% on General Election of 2007

  • FF 40% (No change)

  • FG 25% (-3%)

  • Labour 10% (No change)

  • Sinn Fein 10% (+1%)

  • Greens 7% (+2%)

  • PDs 2% (No Change)

  • Independents 6% (No change)

Changes since the last poll are in brackets.

Both FF and FG are down 2% on their General Election results. FF has lost a referendum so 40% is quite a good result for it. Successful spinning by the FF Party leader Brian Cowen where he alleged unfairly that FG had not worked hard enough in the campaign has partially insulated FF. In addition Cowen is still in a honeymoon period.

FG has taken a hammering in the media especially in the Irish Times. In addition on last Monday nights Questions and Answers programme FF supporter Noel Whelan launched an unfair verbal assault on FG MEP Maighread McGuinness in relation to the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. This had an impact on public opinion. Also FF had two speakers on Questions and Answers.
In addition stupid comments from FG MEP Gay Mitchell on TV served to deflect blame onto FG and away from FF for the referendum defeat. Mitchell needs to think before he speaks. He ended up doing FF’s dirty work for it. Many FF front benchers kept a low profile on the referendum issue.
FG leader Enda Kenny has suffered from a prolonged media assault.

Sinn Fein has benefited from its role in the No campaign and is up 3% on the General Election.

The Greens are up 2% on their General Election result benefiting form support for the Lisbon Treaty and from Patricia McKenna’s opposition.

The PDs at 2% are down almost 1% on their General Election result.

Independents at 6% remain unchanged since last Sunday Business Post poll.

Answers to opinion polls appear increasingly influenced by spin. It will be interesting to analyse the impact of the developing recession on Party fortunes. Unemployment has risen over the 200,000 mark last month whilst a huge deficit is opening up in the exchequer finances. Will the resulting pain for the electorate swamp spin from the Government spin machine?
The poll also confirms that the No voters in the referendum were strongly influenced by the abortion and neutrality issues. Also fear of the loss of influence and threats to Irelands taxation regime were major reasons for the No vote.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gaddafi talks on Aljazeera TV about why he is throwing his full support behind Barack Obama

Obama has alleged that Republicans have smeared him. He conveniently forgets that the Barack Hussein smears came from fellow Democrats during the primaries and not from GOP sources. He might also chat with President Gaddafi.

Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi: Obama Suffers Inferiority Complex That Might Make Him Behave "Whiter Than the White." He Should Be Proud of His African, Muslim Identity. Ben-Gurion Gave the Green Light for the Killing of JFK :

Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi marking the anniversary of the U.S. air raid on Libya. The address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008:Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi:

It has been proven that there is no democracy in [the U.S.]. Rather, it is a dictatorship no different than the dictatorships of Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and the rest of the tyrants. In the days of crazy Reagan, the American president issued a presidential order to launch a war against Libya, for example, a presidential order to besiege Libya, a presidential order to boycott Libya, and so on. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?[...]

There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama. All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency. But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan brother, who is an American national, made statements that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the Islamic world.

We hope that this is merely an elections "clearance sale," as they say in Egypt – in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce of elections – a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote for him, and afterwards, when they say to him: :"You promised this and that," he says: "No, this was just elections propaganda." This is the farce of democracy for you. He says: "This was propaganda, and you thought I was being serious. I was fooling you to get your votes."Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda. Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis. This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics, and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict.................................


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irish No vote:Unhelpful comments from Mandelson and d’Estaing hinder resolution of difficulties

Today the King of spin EU Farm Commissioner Mandelson made a slashing attack on the Irish Yes campaign. He said in reference to the debate in Ireland “All of those fears should have been addressed all those misrepresentations should have been corrected. Frankly, the untruths that were put out by some of the propagandists should have been rebutted right at the beginning of this campaign. [By the Yes campaign]
If you don't defuse it and demolish it instantly, it gets its skates on and it's around the country and everyone is assuming it's right before the other side get up on their soapbox."

Peter Mandelson should look closer to home. His behaviour at the WTO talks triggered a massive rural backlash and protest vote at the polls. This came not alone from farm families but from small businessmen dependent on farming and food processing workers. Has he forgotten the destruction of the sugar beet industry? He appears well on the way to destroying Irish agriculture. Spin Mr Mandelson does not put bread and butter on the table.
Mandelson could show his bona fides at the WTO talks and desist from lecturing the Irish electorate.

Today former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said that Ireland must either hold a second referendum on the EU reform treaty or negotiate a special accord with the European Union in the wake of its No vote last Thursday.
Giscard d'Estaing was the chairman of the Convention that drafted the EU constitution, which collapsed when French and Dutch voters rejected the text in 2005.
He said in an interview to RTL radio. "A country that represents 0.7 percent of the European population...cannot decide for the others." Once more he is dictating to the Irish.
This intervention is unhelpful and displays arrogance typical of an out of touch liberal. This is par for the course with d’Estaing who was critical of “mistakes” made by French and Dutch voters when they rejected the EU Constitution in referenda.

Whether elitists like it or not a large segment of the Irish electorate has major concerns with the Lisbon Treaty. It is time to address them now. Cast iron guarantees from the EU on Corporation Profits Tax, neutrality and abortion-with no loopholes Mr d’Estaing- are essential, allied to a change in policy by Mandelson or his successor at the WTO talks. Otherwise this crisis will persist. It is time to put d’Estaing and Mandelson out to pasture.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Video-Stormy debate on Irish rejection of Lisbon Treaty at European Parliament

Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report 2008 for Co. Waterford recommends radical changes for 2009 Local Elections

Cick on image to enlarge

In order to ....... rebalance the population per member within County Waterford, the Committee recommends: -

1. The transfer of electoral divisions as follows:
1.1. Ballyheeny, Clashmore, Dromore and Keereen (total population 1,372) from
Dungarvan to Lismore electoral area.

2. The creation of a new electoral area as follows:

2.1. A new electoral area of Comeragh to be created by amalgamating the existing electoral areas of Suir and Kilmacthomas.

The redistribution of council seats among the electoral areas as follows:

3.1. Dungarvan 6-seats; Lismore 4-seats; Comeragh 6-seats; Tramore 7-seats.

The following is a detailed description of each recommended electoral area:
The town of Dungarvan and the electoral divisions of Ardmore, Aird Mhór, An Rinn,
Baile Mhac Airt, Bohadoon, Cappagh, Carriglea, Clonea (in the former Rural District
of Dungarvan), Colligan, Courmaraglin, Dungarvan Rural, Glenwilliam, Grallagh,
Grange, Kinsalebeg, Modelligo (in the former Rural District of Dungarvan),

The electoral divisions of Ballyduff, Ballyhane, Ballyheeny, Ballyin, Ballynamult,
Ballysaggartmore, Cappoquin, Castlerichard, Clashmore, Dromana, Dromore,
Drumroe, Gortnapeaky, Keereen, Kilcockan, Kilwatermoy East, Kilwatermoy West,
Lismore Rural, Lismore Urban, Mocollop, Modelligo (in the former Rural District of
Lismore), Seskinan, Tallow, Templemichael, Whitechurch.

The electoral divisions of Annestown, Ballydurn, Ballylaneen, Ballymacarbry,
Carrigcastle, Carrickbeg Rural, Clonea (in the former Rural District of Carrick-on-Suir
No.2), Comeragh, Dunhill, Fenoagh, Fews, Fox’s Castle, Gardenmorris,
Georgestown, Glen, Graignagower, Gurteen, Kilbarrymeaden, Kilmacomma,
Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden (in the former Rural District of Carrick-on-Suir No.2),
Kilmeaden (in the former Rural District of Waterford No.1), Kilronan,
Knockaunbrandaun, Knockmahon, Mothel, Mountkennedy, Newcastle, Newtown,
Portlaw, Rathgormuck, Ross, St Mary’s, Stradbally, Tinnasaggart.

The electoral divisions of Ballynakill, Drumcannon, Faithlegg, Islandikane, Kilbarry,
Killea, Killoteran, Kilmacleague, Pembrokestown, Rathmoylon, Reisk, Tramore,

Electoral Area Boundary Committe Report 2008 (Full Report can be sourced here)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience a huge threat to American security

So Barack Obama would withdraw US troops from Iraq in 160 days. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the decision to send US troops to Iraq the reality is that a US withdrawal in 160 days would plunge Iraq into chaos. Civil war would develop between Shias and Sunnis. Saudi Arabia has stated that in such an eventuality it will support the Sunnis. It is highly probable that Iran would neutralise Iraq. In essence Iran would begin to dominate the Gulf area.
This would threaten oil supplies and add to the upward spiral in oil prices as supplies from the Middle East began to dry up.
It is highly unlikely that Israel would stand idly by and allow an emboldened Iran to threaten its own security. The Middle East would be plunged into a military conflagration.

Obama has also threatened to intervene in Pakistan in pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. This would immediately precipitate the fall of the Pakistani Government. Moslem extremists would then seize power and take possession of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. This would bring about a nuclear Armageddon.

Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience has frightening implications not alone for American security but also for the security of the West and friendly Middle East countries.
On security issues Obama lacks maturity and sound judgement. Countries such as Iran are more likely to challenge an inexperienced President. John McCain is strong on foreign policy issues. Hence it is unlikely that unfriendly countries would be too anxious to test his resolve.


ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign today announced a group of prominent Democratic and unaffiliated leaders and activists who have joined "Citizens for McCain," a new grassroots effort headed by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to rally Americans of all political parties to support John McCain's candidacy.


Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson (Arizona)
Former Arizona State Legislator Phil Hubbard (Arizona)
Mammoth Mayor Craig Williams (Arizona)
Former Arizona LULAC Director Ray Gans (Arizona)
Democratic 25th Precinct Chair Silverio "Silver" Salazar (Colorado)
Adviser to Democratic Presidential Candidates and Georgetown University Professor Robert Lieber (District of Columbia)
Blogger on Renee Slater (Florida)
Former Sheriff of Highlands County Howard Godwin (Florida)
Jewish Outreach Adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs
Georgia Political Director for Gore-Lieberman '00 Joseph O'Farrell Jr. (Georgia)
Former Democratic Des Moines County Chair Bruce Shulte (Illinois)
Former State Representative Brian Golden (Massachusetts)
Commander of Newport Memorial-VFW Post 1119 Francis Harding, Jr. (Maine)
Former Palmyra Budget Committee Member Herb Bates (Maine)
Former Lt. Governor and State Supreme Court Justice Alexander "Sandy" Keith (Minnesota)
Former U.S Representative and 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny (Minnesota)
Former State Representative Steve Wenzel (Minnesota)
City Clerk Judi May (Mississippi)
County Supervisor Gary Dearman (Mississippi)
Alderman Bill Mosby (Mississippi)
Former State Representative Jim Gamache (Missouri)
Presiding Commissioner in New Madrid County, Clyde Hawes (Missouri)
Former Concord Mayor Bill Veroneau (New Hampshire)
Former Democratic Mayor of Waterford Township George Fallon (New Jersey)
Former Democratic Committeeman in Warren Township Jeffrey Golkin (New Jersey)
Former State Chair of Environmentalists for Clinton-Gore 1992 Roberta Weisbrod (New York)
Former Majority Leader in the State Senate David Carlin (Rhode Island)
Former Texas Democratic Party Chairman Roy Orr (Texas)
Elected National Delegate for Senator Hillary Clinton Debra Bartoshevich (Wisconsin)
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Frye (West Virginia)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Michael Fisher looks at events surrounding the visit of US President George Bush to Northern Ireland

Hysterical Reaction to Ireland's rejection of Lisbon Treaty begins to die down

Over the weekend there has been a hysterical reaction amongst some Irish, German and French politicians and media organs to Ireland's No vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum. However today the reaction of EU Foreign Ministers-in Luxembourg-to Micheal Martin was conciliatory. There was no finger pointing. Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and Britain's David Miliband were particularly helpful.

Quite frankly I cannot understand what all the panic is about. The Dutch and French voted No in an EU referendum. Were those countries ostracised? Of course not.

Ireland needs cast iron guarantees on several issues such as Corporation Profits Tax, Neutrality, Social Issues and the loss of a Commissioner. It is essential that the 12.5% Tax rate is safeguarded. Otherwise the country will become an industrial desert. It is pointless being good Europeans if we sell out on these issues.

Watertight guarantees on Neutrality and Social Issues should not be beyond the bounds of diplomatic ingenuity.

The office of Junior Commissioner could be created for countries losing a Commissioner.

Greater understanding from the EU on Ireland difficulties in the fields of agriculture and fishing would generate goodwill in rural communities and help seal the deal.

It is time for solutions.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reflections on Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty-Some lessons for EU Commission

Just been listening to Newstalk’s discussion on Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.
Journalist Michael O’Regan took a very hard line on some of the No voters. However I thing that it is necessary to delve into the mindset of NO voters.

Critics of the No vote in common with the major political parties and the EU Commission have failed to get the message been sent out by voters in countries such as Ireland, France and Holland.
The No vote is not a rejection of the EU. However it is a message to integrationists to slow down. Many in Ireland see the EU Commission as remote undemocratic and at times dictatorial. Comments from Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and some French politicians cemented this view.

Farmers labouring under increased EU induced bureaucracy and quotas have begun to realise that their way of life is under serious threat. The destruction of the Irish Sugar beet industry by the EU Commission has alarmed farmers and struck a psychological blow. Whilst it may have slipped from public consciousness it was at the back of many farmers minds. The fear is that the dairying, beef, poultry and pig farming sectors will disappear in a similar manner.

Yet the Commission is perceived in rural Ireland as not taking a hard line with on foreign food imports which lack traceability. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s antics at the WTO negotiations where he appears prepared to sell out agriculture struck terror into farmers. There is a feeling that Commissioners are too powerful and not accountable to the electorate.

As farming declines large numbers of small businesses dependent on farming are under pressure. Many small businessmen, shopkeepers et al voted No for this reason.
Many workers in food processing voted No fearful for their jobs.
As EU inspired liberalisation of the postal service comes about the rural Post Offices have come under increasing threat.
The coastal communities hammered by EU regulation-specifically fishermen- are on the verge of revolt.

The reality that much of the productive sector in rural Ireland is increasingly hampered by EU Commission induced regulation.
Many people’s backs are to the wall. Elites in the Pale have failed to take cognisance of the the economic stresses building up in rural Ireland

Others voted No because the 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax is under threat. This is not a groundless fear. France and Germany appear determined to destroy Ireland’s competitive advantage. Ireland must defend this tax rate at all costs. There can be no surrender on this issue.
There is a strong fear that the EU Court of Human Rights would impose abortion on Ireland.
Working class voters-many of whom had begun too see living standards rise- have seen a rise in unemployment.

In summary the EU Commission has scored an own goal. It comes across as arrogant and out of touch not just to many Irish voters but many voters in France, Germany, Holland and Sweden. It needs to listen. It must be made more accountable. It must become more democratic. If it persists in ignoring large numbers of EU voters it runs the risk of spawning new extreme right wing and left wing parties.

Cast iron guarantees on issues such as Corporation Profits Tax, Social legislation and Irish agriculture are a sine qua non in any new negotiations to salvage the Lisbon Treaty. A little humility from the EU Commission mightn’t go amiss either.

ABBA Agnetha Fältskog I'm Still Alive (Japan Live Concert 1980)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sen. Clinton Accused Obama Of Wanting "A $1 Trillion Tax Increase."

Sen. Clinton said : "I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors. If you lift the cap completely, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don't think we need to do that." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)

Ireland's Voters Have Rejected the Lisbon Treaty-(Reasons why)

Firstly this is a vote against the Lisbon Treaty and not a vote against the EU as such. However it indicates a strong concern at the direction in which the EU is moving. This concern exists amongst voters not alone in Ireland but in countries such as France, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. There is a strong belief that Eurocrats are following their own agenda and are not in tune with the views of the voters. As the EU enlarges it runs the risk of disintegrating under the pressure of its own contradictions.

It is noticeable that Working Class areas voted strongly against the Treaty whilst more Middle Class areas were more in favour. In general rural voters leaned against the Treaty. The combined strength of FF, FG and Labour and the political establishment was unable to secure a Yes vote.

Reasons for Ireland’s No vote:

(1) Voters were not prepared to accept a loss of influence- particularly the loss of a Commissioner.

(2) Fear of the development of a European army- many women feared that their sons could be sent to war.

(3) Interference from Jose Manuel Barroso and threats from French politicians that Ireland would suffer angered voters.

(4) A fear that Europe is becoming increasingly bureaucratic and a pent up anger at high levels of bureaucracy.

(5) Anger in rural areas with Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner and a fear that the EU is determined to sacrifice farmers at the WTO. Agriculture is under enormous pressure. The destruction of Ireland's sugar beet industry is fresh in the minds of farmers.

(6) Fishing communities are under extreme economic pressure. They have protested strongly in the ballot box.

(7) Working class voters vented their anger at high inflation and increasing unemployment especially in building and construction.

(8) Many voters did not understand the Treaty.

(9) Respected businessmen such as Ulick McEvaddy and Declan Ganley-leader of Libertas- came out against the Treaty. In addition the NO campaign had excellent media performers such as Caroline Simons.

(10) Fear that Ireland’s 12.5% Corporations profits Tax would disappear.
A feeling that the EU Commission is undemocratic and is unprepared to listen to ordinary voters.

(11) Fear that abortion could be legalised.

(12) Some newspapers such as the Sunday Times opposed the Treaty. Shane Ross- business editor of the Sunday Independent- outlined arguments against the Treaty in a very influential article.

(13) Some voters wished to protest against the Government.

(14) The Government campaign was in all probability too slow getting off the ground.

(15) The NO campaign - a loose coalition of Libertas, some businessmen, Sinn Fein, some unions,the Socialist Party tapped into the mood of discontent which has been heightened by bleak economic news. Many voters are fearful for their future economic prospects.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama's Spending Plans involve a smash and grab raid on American Taxpayers

Many voters are besotted with the rhetoric, oomph and personality of Barack Obama. All this comes with a price tag. Unfortunately most of his supporters have failed to delve into the specifics of his taxation policy.
Obama’s taxation policies are a mirror image of the failed taxation policies of the French and Swedish Socialist parties.

He has promised to raise the capital gains tax from the current 15% to 28%. This is a recipe for disaster. Lower rates of capital gains tax bring in higher revenue yields. Reganomics proved the veracity of this statement.
Obama’s capital gains tax increase will hit 100 million American tax payers. Investors are likely to move in advance of an Obama Presidency- to sell shares. This may trigger a stock market crash.

He is a strong believer in higher Government spending. His promises so far amount to $800 billion over four years.

He intends to allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. This will raise taxes on millions of Americans by many billions of dollars.

He intends to tamper with the $102,000 FICA payroll tax cap. A President Obama will ensure that anyone making over $102,000 will pay an additional 7% in taxes on earned income.
He also intends to target the loan dividend tax rate implemented by George Bush.

Obama’s rhetoric may hypnotise many voters but his taxation policies leave a sour taste. He is on the extreme left of the Democratic Party and is no more than a tax and spend liberal. He is the darling of the Democratic Socialists of America .This group was formed from an amalgamation of Trotskyites, Communists and extreme left elements.

Ireland- Protesting Fishermen blockade Cork Harbour

Tom McSweeney Marine correspondent of RTE reports on fishermen's demonstration against high fuel prices and low quotas.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ireland- Live Register breaks 200,000 for first time this decade-Unemployment rate now 5.4%

The number of people signing on the dole for unemployment rose by 47,746 in the 12 months to the end of May. This is the highest level since January 1999.

New CSO figures just issued show that when adjusted for seasonal factors, the register rose to 207,300 in May. That's up 7,600 on figures for April and over 47,000 higher than May 2007. These figures indicate a massive 30% increase in one year as Ireland dips into recession. Job losses are now spread across the whole economy, not just the housing sector.
Ireland’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.4% - a half percentage point higher than at the start of the year.

The May Exchequer Return figures show that Ireland is headed for a €3 billion shortfall in taxes - on top of an already planned-for €5 billion Government deficit this year.
There has been a €10 billion reversal in our public finances. Ireland had a €2 billion surplus in 2006. Over the last two years the Government has increased its day-to-day spending by 65%. It must attempt to curb the increase in public expenditure at a time when unemployment has breached the psychologically important 200,000 barrier. It now has the worst of all worlds. Planned cuts will be painful and will trigger a backlash.

The massive increase in public expenditure contributed to the feel good factor, which helped to propel FF to election success in 2007. It is now time for retrenchment.
The 2007 General Election was the election to lose. FG and Labour politicians will thank their lucky stars.

Obama the Big Spender makes Pricey Promises -So says the National Taxpayers Union (NTU)

  • Presidential Candidate
  • John McCain
  • Barack Obama
  • Congressional Spending
  • $8.8 billion
  • $40.5 billion
  • Proposed Spending
  • $6.9 billion
  • $307.2 billion

* NTU Congressional Rating

  • John McCain
  • 88% (A)
  • Barack Obama
  • 5% (Fail)

*The Washington DC- based National Taxpayers Union, a non profit making group which aims to protect private wallets from the government's claws rated both candidates based on his willingness to spend the taxpayers priceless dollars. Here Obama scores just 5% indicating an irresponsible approach to spending. An Obama Presidency will be characterised by rocketing taxation.

John McCain scores an excellent 88% indicating that he is a prudent spender. The natural corollary of this is that a McCain Presidency will be characterised by low taxation.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Peter Queally-new Waterford Senior Hurling selector

Peter Queally has played Senior Hurling and Football for Waterford. He has coached Waterford Minor Hurlers and is the current coach of Ballygunner.

Maurice Geary-new Waterford Senior Hurling selector

Maurice Geary has won two Waterford Senior Hurling medals with Ballyduff Upper in 1982 and 1987 and has a successful track record as a coach at the old CBS school Lismore. He coached Ballyduff Upper to victory in the Waterford Senior Hurling Championship in 2007.

Waterford Co Board-ratifies Davy Fitzgerald, Maurice Geary and Peter Queally as new management team

Tonight at a meeting of the Waterford Co Board in Dungarvan Davy Fitzgerald- star former Clare goalkeeper was ratified as the new manager of the Waterford Senior Hurling team.
He will be accompanied by Maurice Geary of Ballyduff Upper and Peter Queally of Ballydurn. Davy Fitzgerald has won two All Ireland Senior Hurling medals with Clare. He has coached LIT to two Fitzgibbon Cup victories and has a strong club coaching record. He is sure to bring energy and enthusiasm to the task.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

ABBA Cassandra 1982

Red C Poll:Yes marginally ahead with the No side gaining

The last Red C/Sunday Business Post opinion poll on the Lisbon Treaty -before the referendum- shows Yes at 42% a gain of 1% and No at 39% a gain of 6% since the last Red C poll.

The poll also found that among those who say they are certain to vote, the Yes side is even further ahead. However the Red C and the Irish Times/TNS polls have now shown large rises in support for the No campaigners. Dont knows stand at 19% down 7%. Of those very likely to vote-50% of total- Yes stands at 46% and No at 37%.

This referendum is wide open and could go either way. The fact that the number of Dont knows stands at 19% less than a week before the referendum indicates major uncertainty amongst a large segment of the electorate.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll shows Lisbon Treaty heading for shock defeat

"The Lisbon Treaty is heading towards a shock defeat with the No side now in the lead, according to the findings of the latest Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll.

It will take an unprecedented swing in the last week of the campaign for the Treaty to be carried.
The poll shows the number of people intending to vote No has almost doubled to 35 per cent (up 17 points) since the last poll three weeks ago, while the number of the Yes side has declined to 30 per cent (down 5 points).
The number of undecided voters is still a significant 28 per (down 12 points) cent, while 7 per cent won’t vote.

The massive increase by the No vote since the last poll has mainly come through gains among undecided voters but, even more ominously for the Yes side, it has lost some support to the No camp.

While the final outcome is still in the hands of undecided voters, the clear momentum is now with the No campaign, and it will take a dramatic shift in public attitudes over the next few days for the Yes side to win.

The swing to the No camp has not been prompted by domestic considerations, with just 5 per cent of those opposed to the Treaty saying they are influenced by a desire to protest against the Government.
The reason most often cited by No voters is that they don’t know what they are voting for or they don’t understand the Treaty, with 30 per cent of No voters listing this as the main reason for their decision. ......................................." Read full story at Irish Times

GAA:Justin McCarthy steps down as Waterford Senior Hurling manager

Today sadly Justin McCarthy resigned as Waterford Senior Hurling Manager on the basis that he had lost the support of some of the players. Tonight the County Board accepted his resignation. Selectors Seamie Hannon, Michael Ryan and Nicky Cashin have resigned also. The Board has now set in train the process to find a new manager.

Justin's seven years as Manager have been quite successful. In this period Waterford has won three Munster Senior Hurling titles and one National League title. As a hurling purist McCarthy greatly improved the players' skill levels. Waterford confronted and defeated teams such as Cork and Tipperary in some of the greatest hurling games that I have ever seen. McCarthy instilled a will and determination to win. This had been missing heretofore. Waterford players no longer suffered from an inferiority complex.

It was no secret that all was not well in the camp for some time and that some players were unhappy with the manager. The have finally got their way. Can they now deliver the exclusive All Ireland? One thing is certain. This is an appalling mess in the middle of the hurling season.

There is speculation as to the likely replacement. Names such as Eddie O'Connor, Donal O'Grady, Tom Ryan and Nicky Cashin have been mentioned. It is probably best if a manager is chosen from outside the county. Such a manager can take hard decisions and keep inter club rivalry at bay.

Statement by Justin McCarthy:

"Today I informed the Chairman of Waterford County Board that I intend to step down as manager of the Waterford Senior Hurling team. I made the decision as I feel I no longer have the full support of all the players on the team. I would like to thank the County Board for their co-operation, and for the support they have always given me, and I wish the players and the new management team every success in the future. I also want to thank the selectors and backroom team, and the great loyal supporters who have followed Waterford through thick and thin. Over the last seven years Waterford has enjoyed unprecedented success on the hurling field and I am privileged to have been involved with such a great team. I regret that my decision to step down has come in the middle of the championship season, however I feel it is the best course of action for everybody involved. I will be making no further comment at this time."

End of Statement

Survivor: Mother Jodie Percival's anger turns to joy as baby Finley survives an abortion

The following beautiful story is taken from the Mail Online Hopefully the pro-abortion lobby will accept that the life of the unborn child in the womb is sacred.

Finley Crampton really shouldn't be here. Although his parents would have loved another child, they knew their baby could inherit a life-threatening kidney condition – and they couldn't take the risk.

After all, their first son had died of the condition and the second was born with serious kidney damage.

So when Finley's mother, Jodie Percival, became pregnant while on the Pill, she and her fiance Billy Crampton, 35, made the agonising decision to abort this child.

'Deciding to terminate at eight weeks was just utterly horrible but I couldn't cope with the anguish of losing another baby,' said Miss Percival, 25.

However, Finley had other ideas. And some time after the operation, Miss Percival felt a fluttering in her stomach.

Eventually her doctor sent her for a scan – and she discovered she was 19 weeks pregnant.

The child had survived the abortion and thrived in the womb. 'I couldn't believe it,' said Miss Percival. 'This was the baby I thought I'd terminated.

'At first I was angry that this was happening to us, that the procedure had failed.

'I wrote to the hospital, I couldn't believe that they had let me down like this. They wrote back and apologised and said it was very rare.'

But a week later, another scan confirmed that this baby had kidney problems too, like the couple's previous children.

Miss Percival carries a gene which triggers multicystic dysplastic kidney – which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys of an unborn baby.

Her first baby, Thane, had lived for only 20 minutes after she was forced to deliver him prematurely.

Her second son, Lewis, now 20 months, was born with a similar condition. He survives on one kidney.

However, doctors told the couple from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, that this child was likely to survive, so they decided he deserved a chance.

And in November, Finley was born three weeks premature, at 6lb 3oz.

He had minor kidney damage but is expected to lead a normal life.

'I knew if that operation hadn't failed he wouldn't have been there,' said Miss Percival, a hairdresser.

'I just couldn't believe that this child had got through it all and looked so perfect.

'He may need an operation but as only one of his kidneys is affected he can survive.

'I still struggle to believe just what he has fought through. Now he's here I wouldn't change it for the world.'

Such stories are not unknown:

Gianna Jessen came into the world as a surprise. Her 17-year-old mother knew she was pregnant. She also knew she didn't want to be. She underwent an abortion procedure, having toxic saline solution injected into the womb during the third trimester.

Jessen, then in the womb for 7½ months, spent 18 hours in the solution. "It burns the baby inside and out," she said. "(The mother) is to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours." But when a 2-pound Jessen emerged, she was alive.

"I did not die that day," Jessen said. "I was delivered alive in a Los Angeles County abortion clinic in a room full of teenage girls who had already had the saline injections and were feeling their children die inside of them."

Hillary Clinton: John McCain brings a life time of experience, Obama brings a speech from 2002

In this video both Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Joe Biden launch devastating attacks on Obama's lack of experience. John Edwards states that (Obama's) rhetoric is not enough. Hillary Clinton states that John McCain brings a life time of experience and crosses the Commander in Chief threshold. She stated that Obama brings a speech from 2002. In essence neither Edwards, Clinton or Biden believes that Obama has the experience necessary to assume the position of Commander in Chief.

Video Script:

HILLARY CLINTON: In this election, we need a nominee who can pass the Commander-In-Chief test. Someone ready on day one, to defend our country and keep our families safe. And we need a President who passes that test.

JOHN EDWARDS: Rhetoric is not enough. High falutin language is not enough.

HILLARY CLINTON: ...No time for speeches and on the job training. Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked "Is he ready?" You said "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on the job training."

JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.

BILL CLINTON: When's the last time we elected a President, based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running? He will have been a Senator longer by the time he is inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for President full time, you don't have time to do much else.

HILLARY CLINTON: I think it's imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the Commander-In-Chief threshold. And, I believe that I have done that, certainly Senator McCain has done that, and you will have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Swiss flyer Ueli 'Sputnik' Gegenschatz, glides from above the Aran Islands over Galway Bay to Connemara

Swiss flyer Ueli 'Sputnik' Gegenschatz, donned a specially designed wingsuit and glided from above the Aran Islands over Galway Bay to Connemara. He completed the journey in 5.45 mins beating the average flight time by more than a minute........RTE

Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah

Jeff was born in Anaheim California on November 17th 1966. He was the only son of Mary Guibert and Tim Buckley. His father was the descendent of Irish immigrants from Cork.He died on May 29th 1997.

Lobo - Me and You and a Dog named Boo

New Orleans Speech:McCain outlines his vision for the future and proves that he is the real candidate for change

Bobby Jindal in his introductory speech was effusive in his praise of McCain.

In a wide-ranging and skilfully constructed speech tonight, John McCain outlined his blueprint for change. This would involve huge support for renewable energy, education reform, stringent curbs on wasteful expenditure, reduced taxes and a strong military. He would work with Republicans and Democrats alike to increase the prosperity of the country.

He opened by paying tribute to Hillary Clinton and made a strong play for disaffected Clinton voters.
He skilfully outlined his differences with the Bush administration on the war in Iraq, federal spending, emergency aid and the environment.

He stressed that he believed in change for the future-the right type of change whereas Obama believed in the wrong type of change- a change to the failed policies of the past.
He emphasized his determination to ruthlessly prune wasteful Government spending. He explained how he had opposed the Bush administration and Democrats on escalating federal expenditure. He strongly opposed Big Government; in contrast Obama continuously voted for ever increasing Government expenditure. Obama has the most liberal voting record of any senator in the country.

He explained how Obama would increase taxes on the old, those who invest in the stock market and on families.

McCain outlined how he had put the country before party whereas Obama had failed to take on special interests within the Democratic Party. McCain had opposed corruption in both parties.

He outlined the dangers posed by Obama's lack of foreign policy experience. He described how Obama had voted to deny funds to the soldiers in Iraq. How he had failed to travel to Iraq. He stated that the course advocated by Obama would draw the US into a wider war.
He criticised Obama’s promises to row back on free trade. Such a misguided policy would not restore lost jobs. It was pointless offering false hope to workers.

McCain has made a good start to his campaign.

Clinton Attempts to Outmanoeuvre Obama

As Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination grinds to a conclusion, today she gave a broad hint of her interest in the Vice–Presidential slot.

The Clinton campaign partly fuelled by the oxygen of racism has spent months emphasizing the point that Obama is incapable of defeating John McCain. The hatred between both candidates is palpable. Indeed it is difficult to see how both could work in tandem. In addition Bill Clinton would undoubtedly involve himself in the election campaign. His bad tempered outbursts would be manna from heaven for McCain.

According to the Associated Press Obama has now amassed sufficient delegates to lock up the nomination. Unfortunately for Obama most political discussion is not about this today. Rather it is about Clinton’s possible Vice Presidential ambitions. Clinton has staged a publicity coup. Hillary may not even be serious. Rather it may be a case of pay back time as she seethes over her failure to secure the nomination. Is she prepared to accept second best? Certainly many of her supporters feel that she has been cheated of the nomination because she is a woman and are unlikely to accept a consolation prize.
If Clinton fails to secure the Vice Presidential slot she will set her sights on 2012.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

San Francisco Bay, California ( Hayward Fault,San Andreas Fault)

Photo of the San Francisco Bay, California taken from space. Here two northwestoutheast-trending faults are discernible, the Hayward Fault, bordering the urban area east of San Francisco Bay, and the San Andreas Fault, crossing the mid-San Francisco Peninsula before dipping beneath the Pacific Ocean and surfacing again northwest of Golden Gate Bridge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Obama the Radical

Click on Image to Enlarge.

Munster Senior Hurling Championship-Clare defeats lethargic Waterford

Today at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick, Clare easily defeated reigning Munster Champions, Waterford by 2-26 to 0-23.
This was one of the poorest performances from a Waterford side since the early eighties.
Whilst deprived of the services of injured players Ken McGrath, Eoin Kelly, Eoin Murphy and Paul Flynn, the reality is that the team with some notable exceptions displayed an insipid attitude and appeared singularly short of the fitness levels required.
An insidious mentality has begun to permeate hurling circles in Waterford. There is a belief that the Munster Championship has lost its significance. This appears to have translated to the players. There was a lack of appetite for this game.

In marked contrast the Clare players were superbly fit. Except for the first ten minutes of the game the Bannermen were on top.
Their backs hunted in packs. Waterford forwards were generally surrounded by two to three players. Waterford attackers attempted to mix it with the Clare backs. This led to bunching and suited the Clare defence. More ground play, less bunching and more wing play and low ball could have opened up the Clare defence. Waterford forwards were largely static and failed to move off the man. They were sitting ducks for the no nonsense Clare defenders. Waterford forwards generally played as individuals. John Mullane gave probably the greatest performance of his life in a Waterford shirt and was certainly man of the match.
It is obvious that injuries have taken their toll on Dan Shanahan and Seamus Prendergast. It was noticeable that Clare halfbacks cleared their lines with little pressure being exerted by Waterford half forwards.

The Waterford defence was under extreme pressure throughout the game. Similarly at centre field Clare dominated. Both in defence and at centre field the Waterford marking was too loose. A simple illustration of this, Diarmaid McMahon was moved onto Brian Phelan. He promptly drifted away from his marker and scored three points in quick succession in the first half. Even in victory loose marking has been a facet of the team’s play, which was unsatisfactory. Much of the pressure exerted on Waterford backs emanated from ball supplied by Clare halfbacks and centre-field. In fairness Dave Bennett was immaculate from placed balls.

It is time to radically recast the team. Ken McGrath should be placed at full back and Brick Walsh at centre back. Tony Browne is beginning to slow and should be placed in a corner back position. Kevin Moran should be tried at centre field. It is time for Waterford mentors to insist on man to man marking in defence. They must be ruthless with players on this issue. In the course of Championship matches one mentor should supervise the backs, another keep an eye on centre field and a third should monitor the forward line.

Finally in future National Hurling League campaigns Waterford must experiment more. Today Garry Hurney was thrown in at the deep end. He has plenty of potential but would have benefited greatly from experience gained in the National Hurling League.

It is back to the qualifiers now for Waterford. The team has the capacity- especially with the return of injured players- to undo the damage inflicted today. The back room team must radically recast the defence for the game against Antrim. Hopefully fitness levels will improve. Tight marking by the defence and centre field is a sine qua non. No opponents should remain loose between the 65 metre line and the Waterford goaline. A return to combination play by the forwards allied to more wing play and ground hurling is an essential prerequisite for success. In addition forwards must move off the backs more.

Shuttle Discovery blasts off for space station

Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven has blasted into orbit, carrying a Japanese lab addition to the international space station along with something more mundane -- a toilet pump. It launched at 5:02 p.m., right on time. (May 31)