Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ireland: FG Job Creation Subsidy Plan offers up to 40% of dole costs to employers

Job Creation Subsidy under FG Plan

Employers considering taking on new staff can avail of a €4,000 subsidy for one year to support those new jobs under proposals announced outside Trinity College last Tuesday by Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD and Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael’s Enterprise Spokesman. The €4,000 back to work subsidy, which is the equivalent of 37% of the annual jobseekers’ allowance in year one, reduces to €2,000 in the second and final year of the subsidy and will be paid through deductions through the PRSI system for the employer.

The back to work subsidy complements Fine Gael’s policy of exempting PRSI for employers recruiting new staff in 2009 and 2010 but is particularly targeted at companies considering recruiting younger workers who, because they tend to be paid less, would benefit less from the PRSI exemption alone. Commenting on the back to work proposal, Enda Kenny said: ‘Ireland is facing the very real prospect of a lost generation of young people who cannot get work. Recent CSO figures showed a 123% increase in the live register in the last 12 months for the 25 to 34 age group, an increase of 68,760 people.

At the same time, many companies would love to expand but cannot afford the cost of taking on extra staff’.“That is why Fine Gael is proposing a job creation subsidy to help employers create new jobs and get people off the dole. This will allow employers who create new positions to claim a job creation subsidy of €6,000 over two years, with €4,000 paid in the first year and €2,000 in the second. The subsidy will be copper-fastened to ensure that if the new position is not retained for a full two years, the subsidy must be re-funded on a pro-rata basis.“This proposal complements Fine Gael’s plans for a two-year PRSI exemption on new jobs.

Employers will be able to choose either option, but the back-to-work subsidy will give them more flexibility by allowing them to select the option that suits them best.”Commenting on the measure, Deputy Varadkar said: ‘Fine Gael’s back-to-work subsidy will benefit the Exchequer by increasing revenue and reducing social welfare costs. But it will also be a vital tool in fighting the unemployment crisis that has convulsed the country, in the face of Fianna Fáil’s failure to produce any meaningful proposals’.“The Government hasn’t even realised the scale of the problem facing Ireland, in particular our young people who have been cast adrift by Fianna Fáil. This 25 to 34 year old generation bought into the housing bubble, and is now suffering most as a result of the collapse in house prices and the unemployment catastrophe.

“This proposal will help the Exchequer and it will particularly target younger workers. This type of scheme can be of particular use in terms of the recruitment of young graduates, given that the average salary for new graduates is of the order of €20,000. This back to work subsidy can be introduced very quickly through amendments to a new Social Welfare Bill, and can begin to arrest the growth in our dole queues.”

North Korea is a giant concentation camp where hunger and repression reign supreme under megalomaniac Kim Jong-il

North Korea is a one party state led by megalomaniac Kim Jong-il and the Korean Workers Party. It is essentially a Stalinist dictatorship underpinned by a most extreme form of Marxist-Leninism.
There is no freedom of assembly or speech. Freedom of religion is outlawed. It has been replaced by worship of a mad man. Human rights have been trampled upon. There are thousands of public executions annually. Murder, rape, forced abortions and medical experimentation are other tools of repression used by the regime. Millions have fled, and thousands have died trying to escape North Korea.It is estimated that there are at least 150,000 people held in prison and detention camps.

Aid agencies estimate that 13 million people in North Korea — more than half the population — are malnourished. Two million people have starved to death.
The North Korean government has claimed that military expenditure for 2009 will amount to 15.8% of GNP. This is a gross underestimate. The real level of military expenditure is believed to be at least 25% of GNP. The country has the fifth largest army in the world. The regime has assembled a massive surveillance network within the country-similar to that operated by the Stasis in East Germany- designed to cow its citizenry. The Communist regime pursues an ambitious missile and nuclear programme designed to blackmail its neighbours whilst its citizens undergo the most intolerable privations. The giant military machine mops up scarce financial resources whilst millions suffer hunger and malnutrition. This is the legacy of the world's newest Stalin.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Republican Criticism of Sotomayor is justified on the basis of her ill-judged comments and likely policy positions

There has been criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor from Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Quite frankly this is justified.

In a California speech in 2001 she stated that, on a court, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
On the basis of these statements she has been labeled a “reverse racist" by Gingrich and Limbaugh. It was Sotomayor who introduced racism into the political mix. Any opposition worthy of the name is duty bound to grill her on these comments. Failure to do so would be a dereliction of duty.

However critics must ensure that criticisms cannot be misconstrued as a ethnic attack. Democrats and their friends in the liberal media will of course seek to misrepresent the facts and paint the GOP as anti Hispanic. It is the duty of an opposition to ask the hard questions.

There are risks for conservative Democrats who fail to challenge Sotomayor on her comments. Support for an activist judge could be very costly in electoral terms.

It is highly likely that Sotomayor will adopt a liberal position on abortion. Obama would not have chosen a judge who is pro life. A pro abortion position is at odds with the views of the majority of Hispanics. Here Republicans will be operating on fertile political territory and will be at one with most Hispanics. Republicans with a modicum of common sense can outwit Obama on this issue.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Video: Sissel sings Spread Your Wide Wings- an old Swedish folktune

Bred Dina Vida Vingar:

Förlåt mig alla synder
och två mig i ditt blod.
Giv mig ett heligt sinne,
en vilja ny och god.
Tag i din vård och hägnad
oss alla, stora, små,
och låt i frid oss åter
till nattens vila gå.

English translation:

Spread Your Wide Wings-

Forgive all my sins
and wash me in Your blood!
Give me a holy mind,
and a new will that is good!
Take us all under Your care and protection,
the little ones as well as the grown
and let us all go to our night's rest
in peace!

This is a breathtaking perfomance by the Norwegian soprano Sissel. Here she is singing a very old Swedish folktune. She was at this time 22 years old and the voice was extremely powerful.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Video:Go Light Your World (Carry Your Candle) - Kathy Troccoli

There is a candle in every soul.

Some brightly burning some dark and cold

There is a spirit, who brings a fire

Ignites a candle, and makes his own.


Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn,

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, go light your world.

Take your candle; go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to

Light his own candle, some other way

See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to

Still holds a candle without a flame.


Carry your candle, run through the darkness,

Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn

Hold out your candle, for all to see it

Take your candle and go light your world,

Take your candle go light your world.

We are a family, who hearts are blazing

So let’s raise our candles light up the sky

Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus,

Make us a beacon in darkest time


Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness,

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle go light your world

Take your candle go light your world

Friday, May 22, 2009

Video: Thin Skinned Obama blasts Bush at Naval Academy Graduation and fails to take responsibility for his own decisions or lack of them

Sometimes it appears that Obama is still fighting the presidential election campaign of 2008. He loses no opportunity to snipe at the previous Bush administration. He seems to forget that he is already in power for five months. It is now time for him to take responsibility for decisions which he makes. Obama's spending plans will triple the national debt which he inherited from Bush. Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress have avoided the hard decisions on public expenditure.
His speech at the Naval Academy Graduation in Annapolis contains the following:
"When America strays from our values, it not only undermines the rule of law, it alienates us from our allies, it energizes our adversaries and it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops."
Here Obama is hammering his predecessor as usual. Perhaps he might care to define what he means by values. He has a selective approach to the term. He has strayed from American values with his support for the Culture of Death. He is a pro abortion extremist. Tripling the national debt is certainly not in accord with American values. It is Voodoo economics. Increasing the influenece of the State is at odds with the beliefs of most Americans who are certainly not Socialists.

Ireland: MEP Colm Burke campaigns in Waterford

MEP Colm Burke has issued the following statement:

In my recent campaign visit to Waterford jobs, jobs, jobs” was key message from people and also that the Government must apply for European funding for Waterford immediately. The message from the people of Waterford could not be clearer; Waterford has suffered more than most counties from the economic downturn. Many people I have met on the canvass are struggling to cope and are desperate for the Government to take a proactive lead in ensuring that Waterford receives its fair share of support and European funding.

I voted recently in the European Parliament to change the criteria under which applications can be made for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It will now be easier for EU funds to be deployed to help laid off workers in Waterford Crystal and in downstream companies which have also been affected.

The Government must apply for monies from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund as a matter of urgency to deliver benefits for the laid off workers in Munster. The Government has no reason not to submit an application now. Any delay on the Government’s part will only further prolong the struggle being experienced by Waterford workers and their families.. There is also nothing preventing the Government from now putting mechanisms in place to prepare for the retraining and up skilling of those that have been made redundant.

Under the new rules, member states will be able to apply for financial support for businesses that lay off 500 or more workers, as opposed to the current threshold of 1,000.Over the next two years, the level of EU-provided financial support will increase to 75%, compared to the current 50%,. The ball is now in the Government’s court to proceed with an application. If it is successful the EU will provide €3 to match every euro the Government puts forward, up until now it was euro for euro.In real terms this should mean greater funding to help retrain and upskill and give entrepreneurial advice to workers laid off. It sends a strong message from the heart of Europe that funds are there to help those who, through no fault of their own, are affected by this crisis. Assistance of this kind is paramount so that those laid off can recover and drive Ireland out of recession.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Volcanic Eruptions such as Mount Pinatubo impact on climate change

When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines June 15, 1991 (Image courtesy of NOAA) an estimated 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide and ash particles blasted more than 12 miles (20 km) high into the atmosphere. The eruption caused widespread destruction and loss of human life. Gases and solids injected into the stratosphere circled the globe for three weeks. Volcanic eruptions of this magnitude can impact global climate, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface, lowering temperatures in the troposphere, and changing atmospheric circulation patterns. The extent to which this occurs is an ongoing debate.

NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) enables study of the chemistry, dynamics and energy balance in the atmosphere layers above the troposphere. UARS provides near-global (-80 degrees to +80 degrees) measurements of the atmospheres' internal structure as well as measurements of external influences acting on the upper atmosphere. These measurements are made simultaneously in a coordinated manner. The UARS dataset spans from September 18, 1991 through August 31, 1999. UARS data are available from the Goddard Space Flight Center DAAC (now named the GSFC Earth Sciences DAAC).
SAGE II, launched in October 1984, uses a technique called solar occultation to measure attenuated solar radiation and to determine the vertical distribution of stratospheric aerosols, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and water vapor around the globe. SAGE II data are available from the Langley Atmospheric Sciences Data Center DAAC.

Multi-Channel Sea Surface Temperature (MCSST) data are derived from measurements of emitted and reflected radiance by the five-channel Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR) onboard the NOAA -7, -9. -11 and -14 polar orbiting satellites. MCSST data currently extend from November 11, 1981 through June 7, 2000, and are updated as new data become available. The sea surface temperature data sets may be ordered from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory DAAC (now named the Physical Oceanography DAAC).
Large-scale volcanic activity may last only a few days, but the massive outpouring of gases and ash can influence climate patterns for years. Sulfuric gases convert to sulfate aerosols, sub-micron droplets containing about 75 percent sulfuric acid. Following eruptions, these aerosol particles can linger as long as three to four years in the stratosphere.

Major eruptions alter the Earth's radiative balance because volcanic aerosol clouds absorb terrestrial radiation, and scatter a significant amount of the incoming solar radiation, an effect known as "radiative forcing" that can last from two to three years following a volcanic eruption.

"Volcanic eruptions cause short-term climate changes and contribute to natural climate variability," says Georgiy Stenchikov, a research professor with the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. "Exploring effects of volcanic eruption allows us to better understand important physical mechanisms in the climate system that are initiated by volcanic forcing."
Stenchikov and Professor Alan Robock of Rutgers University with Hans Graf and Ingo Kirchner of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology performed a series of climate simulations that combined volcanic aerosol observations from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) available from the Langley DAAC, with Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) data from the Goddard Space Flight Center DAAC.

Volcanic ash, like this from Mount St. Helens, is not really ash, but tiny jagged particles of rock and glass. (Image courtesy of the USGS, from the USGS Fact Sheet 027-00

The research team ran a general circulation model developed at the Max Planck Institute with and without Pinatubo aerosols for the two years following the Pinatubo eruption. To study the sensitivity of climate response to sea surface temperature, using data from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory DAAC, they conducted calculations with climatologically mean sea surface temperature, as well as with those observed during particular El Niño and La Niña periods.
By comparing the climate simulations from the Pinatubo eruption, with and without aerosols, the researchers found that the climate model calculated a general cooling of the global troposphere, but yielded a clear winter warming pattern of surface air temperature over Northern Hemisphere continents. The temperature of the tropical lower stratosphere increased by 4 Kelvin (4°C) because of aerosol absorption of terrestrial longwave and solar near-infrared radiation. The model demonstrated that the direct radiative effect of volcanic aerosols causes general stratospheric heating and tropospheric cooling, with a tropospheric warming pattern in the winter.
"The modeled temperature change is consistent with the temperature anomalies observed after the eruption," Stenchikov says. "The pattern of winter warming following the volcanic eruption is practically identical to a pattern of winter surface temperature change caused by global warming. It shows that volcanic aerosols force fundamental climate mechanisms that play an important role in the global change process

This temperature pattern is consistent with the existence of a strong phase of the Arctic Oscillation, a natural pattern of circulation in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates, bringing higher-than-normal pressure over the polar region and lower-than-normal pressure at about 45 degrees north latitude. It is forced by the aerosol radiative effect, and circulation in winter is stronger than the aerosol radiative cooling that dominates in summer.
Man-made, or "anthropogenic" emissions can make the consequences of volcanic eruptions on the global climate system more severe, Stenchikov says. For instance, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere start a chain of chemical reactions on aerosol surfaces that destroy ozone molecules in the mid-latitude stratosphere, intensifying observed stratospheric ozone depletion.

"While we have no observations, the 1963 Agung eruption on the island of Bali probably did not deplete ozone as there was little atmospheric chlorine in the stratosphere. In 1991 after the Pinatubo eruption, when the amount of CFCs in the stratosphere increased, the ozone content in the mid-latitudes decreased by 5 percent to 8 percent, affecting highly populated regions," says Stenchikov.
NASA and the National Science Foundation have funded Robock and Stenchikov to study the Pinatubo eruption in more detail, and to conduct another model comparison with the volcanic aerosol data set. They plan to combine SAGE II data with available lidar and satellite data from various DAACs to improve their existing data set.
By understanding the impact of large volcanic eruptions on Earth's climate system in more detail, perhaps scientists will be in a better position to suggest measures to lessen their effects on people and natural resources. ( Article by Jason Wolfe- NASA)

Kirchner, I., G. Stenchikov, H.-F. Graf, A. Robock. J. Antuna, Climate model simulation of winter warming and summer cooling following the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 19,039-19,055, 1999.
Stenchikov, Georgiy L., Ingo Kirchner, Alan Robock, Hans-F. Graf, Juan Carlos Antuna, R. G. Grainger, Alyn Lambert, and Larry Thomason, 1998: Radiative Forcing from the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption. J. Geophys Res. 103(D12), pp. 13837-13857.
This article contributed by NASA's Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs.) For more information visit NASA's Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Video: Andrea Bocelli sings Schubert's Ave Maria

Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Tui, Jesus
Sancta Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae

Burma Video: Show Trial of Aung San Suu Kyi begins in Rangoon

Aung San Suu Kyi -the Burmese opposition leader has remained under house arrest since 2003.

The law called the "Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts" ordains that the maximum period someone could be held without trial was five years. Accordingly it was assumed that she would be released in 2008. This was not to reckon with the malfeasance of the Burmese junta which simply extended her detention by another year on the pretext that the first year of detention did nor count. She was now due for release in 2009. Undoubtedly the Burmese junta would have manufactured a pretext to ensure that she was not released.

Enter John Yettaw-an American who swam across Inya Lake on 3 May to reach the opposition leader's house. Undoubtedly the authorities could have prevented this but failed to act. He remained at the house for two days pleading exhaustion. This offered the Junta the perfect pretext to deny Ms Suu Kyi her liberty. Ms Suu Kyi and her two assistants were arrested and taken to Insein prison, where they went on trial today. She has no prospects of a fair trial. This is a show trial designed to ensure a prison sentence which will keep her out of circulation in 2010 when elections are due to be held.

China, India and Russia have strong trading links with Burma. There is also close military cooperation between the Chinese and the Burmese junta. China and Russia have vetoed resolutions at the UN designed to bring the junta to heel. Consequently the Butchers of Rangoon are impervious to realism. They feel impregnable. World public opinion is of little concern to them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Video:Pro Life supporters interrupt Obama speech at Notre Dame

Obama is a pro abortion extremist. This is the man who voted against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act when it was in the Illinois state legislature and who overturned the Mexico City policy three days after he took office. In addition he has decided to fund abortions in foreign countries with American tax dollars. Finally he has stated that he wouldn't want any daughter of his who made a mistake to be "punished" with a child.
Obama professes himself as being opposed to torture yet is an ardent supporter of the torture of the innocent unborn child in the womb. Just visualize the agony suffered by the defenseless child in its mother’s womb as it struggles against the abortionists forceps and the scissors and the high powered suction tube. What a hypocrite.

Excerpt from text of Notre Dame's honorary degree to Barack Obama

He now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good.

Obama has trampled on the human rights of the innocent unborn child. Yet an ostensibly Catholic institution awards him an honorary degree for upholding human rights. Notre Dame has disgraced itself. The words Notre Dame translated into English mean Our Lady. This is an insult to the Mother of God.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Newt Gingrich joins the Washington Examiner as a weekly political commentator

Great news for political junkies.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich debuts in Friday’s edition of The Examiner as a weekly political commentator, writing a broadly focused column on national and international politics, public figures and current issues...Gingrich’s column will appear on Fridays in both the print and online editions of The Washington Examiner and the San Francisco Examiner.

Gingrich is a true conservative who believes in low taxation and balanced budgets. He played a major role in the formulation of the Contract with America in 1994. The Contract with America was introduced six weeks before the 1994 Congressional election. On the back of the Contract the Republican Party gained majorities in the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
Gingrich is highly intelligent and a creative thinker. He is a veritable powerhouse of ideas and is not afraid to slay sacred cows. It is anticipated that Gingrich may throw his hat into the ring for the Republican Party nomination for the 2012 presidential election. This column may offer pointers as to his future intentions.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ireland:Scrap NAMA and set up National Recovery Bank to drive new lending and job creation - Bruton

FG is opposed both the Government's creation of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and Labour's temporary nationalisation plans for Irish banks.
Richard Bruton argues correctly that:
"Under Labour's proposal the taxpayer will become fully responsible for all the unknown, but potentially massive, banking losses that will materialise over the coming years"
He further argues that:
Under both NAMA and nationalisation, loan losses will only be shared between ordinary shareholders and taxpayers, while other providers of long-term capital and funding walk away scot free.

He criticizes proposals to waste taxpayers' money by propping up dodgy developer debt and bailing out international bond markets. He suggests that the Government should invest scarce taxpayers' money in clean banks with healthy balance sheets and an appetite to lend to struggling Irish businesses.

FG proposals to tackle Ireland's Banking Crisis:

Speaking during the Oireachtas debate on the banking crisis, Fine Gael Deputy Leader & Finance Spokesman Richard Bruton TD called for the establishment of a new State-run National Recovery Bank to drive new bank lending for investment and job creation, instead of the Government’s misguided National Asset Management Agency.“Eight months into the crisis, the Government has failed to get banks lending again. Thousands of jobs continue to be lost every month as credit facilities are withdrawn from viable businesses and financing remains scarce for new investment.“Fine Gael is deeply disturbed that the Government has rushed headlong into the NAMA scheme whereby the taxpayer will shoulder the responsibility for working out the losses on the massive €90 billion pot of loans on development lands and unsold or partially-built properties. This is an undertaking of Napoleonic proportions.“At a time of huge uncertainty when Governments the world over are cautiously groping towards solutions, this is not the time for a small country with a deep problem in the public finances to plunge into a project on a scale never before attempted. A similar, though more modest, approach adopted by the French Government in 1995 following the Credit Lyonnais crisis ended up costing taxpayers there €18 billion.“It is especially foolish to do this on the basis of a flimsy recommendation without any detailed evaluation of the potential hazards along the way. Huge concerns have been raised by many independent commentators about:

• The difficulty of pricing the loans to be purchased and the risk of taxpayers left shouldering huge losses;• The risk of long court battles with developers;

• The moral hazard of bailing out bondholders and other professional investors who created a banking bubble;

• The difficulty of managing an agency on this gigantic scale;

• The politicisation of loan recovery and write off.

“None of the many legitimate questions are being answered. Yet we learn that already a Chief Executive and an interim board is about to put this grand experiment into action.

“I can well understand why many favour nationalisation over this extraordinary gamble proposed by the Fianna Fáil Government. However we must also tread carefully regarding the option of nationalisation. It may not require the immediate injection of cash up front, but it does force the taxpayer to shoulder all of the problems created by the banks. It risks the taxpayer having to pay too much for the shares. It allows professional investors who funded highly risky activity by the banks to walk away scot free. And it politicises new lending decisions by the banks which in other countries have seen big powerful companies win out over smaller businesses.

Fine Gael favours a different approach. The first step is to establish a National Recovery Bank. This would be a wholesale bank funded by the ECB which would stand ready to provide the necessary liquidity to the covered banks to get credit flowing. It would be willing to buy at a fair market price the small business lending books or the mortgage books of any bank. The key features of the National Recovery Bank would be as follows:

• The necessary capital would be provided by the State, and could initially be in the range of €2 billion;

• It would be set up under well-established Irish Asset Covered Security (ACS) legislation, allowing it to efficiently raise additional funding of €30-€40 billion, initially from the European Central Bank and over time from private markets when they re-open;

• It could be established and operational within four to six weeks, and inject new lending into the economy without delay.“The advantages of this proposal over the other options are several:

• It immediately gets credit flowing – a straight fusion into the blood stream of small business;

• It helps banks to strengthen their balance sheet by swapping parts of their loan book for cash;

• It creates a solid spine to underpin present and future banking for the economy at a time when existing banks are intent on shrinking their own balance sheets to protect their independence;

• It allows existing relationships between businesses with their banks to continue, but in a new prudent framework dictated by the State bank;

• It leaves toxic property-related loans in the hands of the private banks who made them, and who have better skills and incentives than any State agency to recover as much as possible from those loans;

• It allows the banks to refocus on restructuring their operations and on working out the losses that they have incurred in an orderly way.

“Fine Gael recognises that the establishment of this National Recovery Bank is just a first step. The problem of unwinding non-performing loans remains. However, it would be foolish for the taxpayer to rush into undertaking this huge responsibility, either through NAMA or through nationalisation, without a proper assessment of the landscape ahead and a system for sharing out the losses equitably. The taxpayer simply can’t save everyone in this situation. Other countries are also coming to recognise this and are developing ways in which professional investors share in the cost of adjustment. Ireland would be foolish to rush in to solutions that close off new thinking.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Australia-Sydney:Friends seek missing Irishman

Friends of an Irishman who has gone missing in Sydney are seeking help to locate him.
Sean Walsh-a native of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford-lives in the Randwick area and friends are hoping someone may have seen him in a pub or a party over the weekend.
Police have also joined the search for Mr Walsh. Detective Inspector Paul Pisanos of Maroubra Police said they were considering all possibilities. “We have escalated our response based on the concerns of the family,” Det Insp Pisanos said.

“We are not treating it as a suspicious death, but as a high risk missing person. It is definitely out of character.”
If you have seen Mr Walsh since Sunday morning, please contact Brian Flanagan on +353879509895 or Maroubra Police on 9349 9299.
Southern Courier

Monday, May 11, 2009

Notre Dame must choose between God and Obama the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history

You cannot be Roman Catholic and be pro choice. Those Catholics who facilitate the provision of abortion in any way excommunicate themselves. Pro choice is a euphemism for the support of the slaughter of the innocent. It is sanitized language. Let’s call abortion what it really is. It is the murder of the innocent unborn child in the womb. It is a heinous crime.

Obama is a pro abortion extremist. This is the man who voted against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act when it was in the Illinois state legislature and who overturned the Mexico City policy three days after he took office. In addition he has decided to fund abortions in foreign countries with American tax dollars. Finally he has stated that he wouldn't want any daughter of his who made a mistake to be "punished" with a child.

The abortion clinics are the new death chambers. We now have the modern holocaust. The abortion practitioners are the new NAZIS. Obama is the most pro abortion president in US history. He supports the culture of death.
Obama thumbs his nose at the Law of God and Notre Dame disgraces itself by honoring a man who is a pro abortion extremist. Obama professes himself as being opposed to torture yet is an ardent supporter of the torture of the innocent unborn child in the womb. What a hypocrite. Shame on Notre Dame for inviting him. It is not upholding Catholic teaching on abortion. It is no longer a Catholic institution.

Leanne Chaulk from Newfoundland sings Lilacs Are For Angels

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ireland: Socialist Fintan O'Toole's flawed political agenda laid bare on Late Late Show

Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole along with Nell McCafferty and Dr John Crown- appeared on tonight's Late Late show and attacked deficiencies in the Irish political system. Present in the audience were politicians from FF, FG, Labour, Sinn Fein and Greens.

O'Toole criticized the parish pump mentality and lambasted cute hoorism. He savaged the clinic system and demanded an end to multi-seat constituencies and a fundamental realignment in party politics.
Undoubtedly he is correct in some respects but in reality he is an elitist and a theoretician. The clinic system keeps politicians in touch with the requirements of the electorate. This is something which Fintan would not understand. Ending mult-seat constituencies would be undemocratic and would skew the results of elections in a manner similar to the UK. There the Lib Dems can secure 20% of the vote and yet end up with a very low proportion of seats. O'Toole has a leftist political agenda-something which he failed to declare. He took a cheap shot at FG leader Enda Kenny. O'Toole wants a left wing government. He has contempt for an electorate which in the main votes for centre right parties. We must do Fintan's bidding apparently. Tonight Fintan hectored and lectured not alone the politicians but also the electorate.

Spain and Britain have political systems polarized on a left right basis so beloved of O'Toole. The Spanish and British economies have been run into the ground by their Socialist governments. Fintan O'Toole needs to divest himself of his Socialist dogma and go back to the drawing board. He is out of touch on many issues.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dublin: Patricia McKenna ditches the Green Party to run as an Independent in Euro Elections -huge split opens up

Patricia McKenna has confirmed, in an interview with Hot Press, that she’s quitting the Green party to stand as an independent Euro candidate.

The decision of Patricia McKenna to leave the Green Party was inevitable. Since the vote to enter government with FF in 2007, there has been a sizeable rump- within the party- which has been uneasy as Green ministers jettison more and more core beliefs. In essence the realos within the party have outmaneuvered the fundis. It is an open secret that some in the leadership wished to push McKenna out of the party. This is borne out by today's reaction of Senator Deirdre De Burca party candidate for the Euro elections in Dublin. She said:

“The pity about Patricia McKenna’s move is that she did not do it at least a year ago and spare herself and her party colleagues a lot of time-wasting and strife,” the Senator said. “In my view she is addicted to the politics of opposition and appears reluctant to move beyond that comfort zone,” she said. “In my view she is addicted to the politics of opposition and appears reluctant to move beyond that comfort zone,” she said. “The Green Party is committed to the constructive politics of engagement and bringing about real change from within.”

McKenna is a conviction politician who believes that core principles must be preserved at all costs. Whilst many of her policy positions are too extreme she is a politician of the highest integrity. A series of party u-turns have become too much for her. The party has u-turned on incineration, the use of Shannon Airport by the US military, GM feed, social housing and the Shell to Sea dispute.

I feel embarrassed about being a member of the Green Party," McKenna told Hot Press, "because of what we said in the past and the promises we made, which we failed to deliver on. I just knew that I couldn’t run under a Green Party ticket and pretend that everything was alright because I’d be lying."
Asked by Hot Press if she believes the Greens have sold out, she answers unequivocally: "I do”.

The Green Party has already lost Dublin City councillor Bronwen Maher and Cllr Chris O'Leary in Cork-both of whom have resigned.Increasingly its organization has begun to crumble.

McKenna is a formidable candidate with a strong record. She made political history in the 1994 European Elections when she topped the poll in Dublin and became Irelands first Green MEP. She spent ten years as an MEP.
She narrowly lost her seat in the Euro 2004 election. She is a strong media performer and will certainly damage the very slight prospects of Senator Deirdre De Burca. Indeed she may outpoll De Burca. This would be the ultimate humiliation for the Green Party. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that she may yet lead a new party.

Apparition of Virgin Mary to Mirjana at Medjugorje on May 2 2009 (dark blue Cross)

Dear children! Already for a long time I am giving you my motherly heart and offering my Son to you. You are rejecting me. You are permitting sin to overcome you more and more. You are permitting it to master you and to take away your power of discernment. My poor children, look around you and look at the signs of the times. Do you think that you can do without God's blessing? Do not permit darkness to envelop you. From the depth of your heart cry out for my Son. His Name disperses even the greatest darkness. I will be with you, you just call me: 'Here we are Mother, lead us.' Thank you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ireland-Huge coup for FG as George Lee opts to contest Dublin South by-election for the party

The decision of RTEs economics editor George Lee to seek the FG nomination at the Dublin South Convention on tomorrow night is significant on many counts.

Assuming that he is selected on tomorrow night (a foregone conclusion) he will make a powerful candidate. Up to now Labour's Alex White was perceived as the front runner. However FG has a strong chance of now winning this seat as George Lee is a polished media performer. Whilst FF secured 40% of the vote in the 2007 general election, it is highly unlikely that it can hold its share of the first preference vote even with Shay Brennan as the likely candidate. Dublin South is largely a middle class constituency and is thus particularly suitable for a Lee candidature. Middle Class voters have been hammered in the budgets and a sizeable majority of middle class voters are disillusioned. Lee has never pulled his punches on the Irish economy and had continuously warned-before the housing crash- about excessive government expenditure and over reliance on the property market as a source of taxation. Consequently he starts with a formidable pedigree.

The election of George Lee would send shivers down the government benches as his forensic questioning on economic matters would put government ministers under intense pressure.

George Lee will further increase the level of economic expertise at the disposal of the FG party. Front benchers Richard Bruton, Kieran O’Donnell and Leo Varadkar are already a formidable trio on economic matters.

Lee’s decision increases the electability of the party as it can argue convincingly that it has the level of economic expertise needed to rule the country.

It further boosts morale in the run in to the European Elections and the two Dublin by-elections.

It also increases the likelihood of a further influx of talent into the party as it is on an upward curve.

No wonder Enda Kenny is smiling.

Bring Flowers of the Rarest (Queen of the May) Catholic Hymn sung by Maureen Hegarty

This is the month of May, the month of Our Lady. 'Bring Flowers of the Rarest' is often sung in churches during May Devotions. "Bring Flowers Of The Fairest" was composed by Mary E. Walsh, who was a pupil of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Under the title "Crowning Hymn" it was published in Wreath of Mary, 1871 and later in St. Basil's Hymnal, 1889.

Frank Patterson sings Bring Flowers Of The Rarest - Queen of the May HERE

Monday, May 4, 2009

Video of Leinster tries against Munster in Heineken Cup semi-final at Croke Park Dublin-2/5/09

Ireland: Heineken Cup Semi-final- Reasons why Leinster defeated Munster on a score of 25 to 6 at Croke Park

Odds on favourites Munster suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Leinster in the Heineken Cup semi-final played at Croke Park. Few pundits or Munster supporters gave Leinster any chance. However the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The post mortems have already begun. A multiplicity of reasons can be put forward to explain the defeat of the champions:

The overconfidence which pervaded the province translated itself to the players. In addition the media built up Munster as probably the world’s greatest club side. Much of the talk concerned Munster's likely opponents in the final. Even the best professionals can succumb to such pressure. This blunted the edge required in the field of battle. Munster lacked the hunger of heretofore.

In contrast Leinster was roundly criticized as weak spirited and lacking in the bottle required to topple the champions. The savage criticism meted out to Leinster fuelled an insatiable desire to topple Munster. The Leinster players were hungry for success.

The selection of eight Munster players for the Lions tour of South Africa undoubtedly weakened their focus on this game albeit subconsciously. This is undoubtedly borne out by the fact that Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara did not play to their own usual high standards. In addition Paul O’Connell may have lost focus- having been chosen as Lions captain.
The injury to Tomas O’Leary may have affected those chosen for the Lions tour.

Leinster "out-munstered" Munster in the physical battles. Indeed it is safe to say that 14 Leinster players bested their immediate opponents. The physical power of the Leinster pack overwhelmed Munster. Players such as Shane Jennings, Leo Cullen, Jamie Heaslip and Stan Wright were a revelation. Jennings and Cullen have benefited from their stay at Leicester. However it was the signing of Australian Rocky Elsom which was the icing on the cake. Elsom oozes power and class. This is enhanced by a huge work rate. The man is a colossus. Over the last two years Leinster coach Michael Cheika has gradually assembled a powerful pack to complement the class of backs such as Darcy, O’Driscoll and Fitzgerald. Yesterday Cheika got team selection correct.

Errors by Munster players resulted in two tries for Leinster. A missed tackle by Paul Warwick led to a Leinster try by Luke Fitzgerald whilst a misplaced pass from Ronan O’Gara gave the ball to O’Driscoll who duly scored. The loss of Rua Tipoki has severely weakened the Munster back division.

In addition players such as John Hayes, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace are undoubtedly approaching the end of their careers as age begins to catch up with them.

Also Leinster played close to the edge-the mark of a good team.

Good luck to Leinster in the final. Hopefully Leinster can keep the Heineken Cup in Ireland. However Leicester will be formidable opponents. Munster will be back.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Video: St. Mary's Cistercian Abbey Glencairn Co. Waterford Ireland

St. Mary's Abbey, Glencairn is situated on the banks of the river Blackwater, about three miles west of Lismore, in Co.Waterford.It is a community of monastic women belonging to the Cistercian Order.The nuns follow the ancient Rule of St. Benedict, which goes back to the sixth century.There are three key elements in their day: liturgy, lectio divina, and work.They are the only community of Cistercian women in Ireland.

Video: Supermodel Kathy Ireland tells Mike Huckabee why she changed from pro-abortion to pro-life

Supermodel Kathy Ireland explains why she has changed form a pro-abortion position to a strong pro-life stance. She uses science to guide her and quotes the law of biogenesis to buttress her argument. This is the finest exposition of the pro-life position that I have ever heard.