Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ireland Mattie McGrath Election Song 2007: Rise and Follow Mattie

(Download QuickTime Player Here)

Rise and Follow Mattie was one of Mattie McGraths election songs for the 2007 General Election campaign. However the rebel South Tipperary FF TD also had another election song called:

Our Guy Your Guy Mattie McGrath

The South Tipperary constituency will see fireworks in the next general election campaign. It is likely that the second South Tipperary FF seat could fall to either Phil Prendergast of Labour or Seamus Healy (Independent). Thus either Mattie McGrath or Martin Mansergh will lose out. Mattie McGrath's opposition to the stag hunting legislation and dog breeding legislation must be seen in this context. He is unlikely to worry too much about losing the party whip. It is a case of man mind thy seat.

Ireland: The FF/Green Government Must outlaw Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Very soon a life or death decision will be made by the Taoiseach Mr Cowen, the Minister for Health Mary Harney and the members of the Oireachtas. Right now the government is drafting legislation, which will decide the fate of the tiniest and most helpless humans of all. Pope John Paul II has called "embryonic stem cell research" "a new form of barbarity". Professors William Hurlbut of Stanford University and Robert George of Princeton University have proven conclusively that "embryonic stem cell research" is the killing of unborn babies.
All members of the Oireachtas should read the following article carefully:

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research is Obsolete(With Kind permission of UFI)

Ahhh…the irony is rich. James Thomson, the first scientist to isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells; the man who, back in 2005, told President Bush he was wrong about not allowing federal tax dollars to go towards embryonic stem cell research, the man who founded a biotech start-up called Cellular Dynamics International with the aim of taking cells from human embryos and turning them into human heart cells; has just purchased the first licensing agreement to use iPS cell technology. Mr. Thomson and his company are moving away from human embryonic stem cell research.

That’s right; the man who insisted that human embryonic stem cells were the future –not adult stem cells—has come to understand what those in the pro-life world have insisted all along. There is absolutely no reason to cannibalize human embryos when it is adult stem cells that have already been and still are producing positive results and cures. Now with the iPS technology, no one can claim that there is any reason to destroy human embryos to “advance science.” Go here if you’d like more details.

Actually, I’m a little surprised that the pro-embryonic stem cell world seems to becoming to its senses this quickly. It was just three years ago that a scientist
at Japan’s Kyoto University introduced the science of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). These remarkable iPS cells behave like embryonic stems cells, but do not require the destruction of new human life. With iPS technology, you add new genes and protein factors to an ordinary cell (skin, bone marrow, etc.) and you duplicate the qualities of the so highly-revered embryonic stem cell.

Just last year, President Obama lifted former President Bush’s ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research claiming it possessed “the most remarkable potential of any scientific discovery ever made with respect to human health.” Did you catch that? Obama was talking about embryonic stem cells. Makes you wonder what Pres. Obama has to say now. Somehow I doubt it will be “I was wrong.” END

There are claims that "embryonic cell research" can cure cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It is a scientific fact that that "embryonic stem cell research" has produced NO treatments and cures for disease. However research using adult stem cells-research that respects human life- has already produced 73 new treatments and promising treatments for illness and disease.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Video: All Ireland Rally for Life -Belfast July 3, 2010

This summer, the most important date on the Irish pro-life calendar is July 3rd. The organisers of Rally for Life hope you join with thousands of others to speak up for the right to life! The event begins at 2pm when those taking part will assemble in Custom House Square, Belfast. Unborn children’s lives are under threat. According to the organisers, "powerful pro-abortion campaigners in Ireland , the UK and the European Union are attacking our pro-life laws. That’s why it’s so important we show our opposition to abortion. On July 3rd, let’s do that together, at the All-Ireland Rally for Life!" RALLY FOR LIFE, 3RD JULY 2010 at 2PM BELFAST CITY CENTRE , IRELAND.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Medjugorje: Annual Apparition To The Visionary Ivanka (June 25, 2010)

The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2010.At Her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year.

The apparition, which lasted 6 minutes, took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said: “Our Lady spoke to me about the fifth secret and, at the end, said: ‘Dear children, receive my motherly blessing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Video:Benny Andersson (ABBA) Swedish Royal Wedding Song Vilar Glad I Din Famn- Stockholm (June 19, 2010)

Wonderful piece that Benny Andersson (ABBA) wrote especially for the wedding of Her Majesty, Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel. Performed during the wedding ceremony in the Stockholm Cathedral.
The Cathedral's own choir is singing together wih Gustaf Sjökvist's Chamber choir, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orsa Fiddlers.
Lyrics by poet Kristina Lugn.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fintan O'Toole Article:"Time for Gilmore to Think the Unthinkable" an exercise in wishful thinking

In an article in the Irish Times titled "Time for Gilmore to think the unthinkable" Fintan O’Toole launches an attack on machine politics and makes a case for a Left wing government- presumably consisting of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein. In short he claims that it is time for Eamon Gilmore to opt for the unthinkable and jettison FG as a possible coalition partner. Fintan is a persistent critic of FG. He argues for a Right/ Left divide in Irish politics. Apparently this will be a panacea for all our ills. Oh that it was so simple!
Perhaps he should turn his attention to two countries, which have a Right/ Left divide.Lets look at the UK and Spain:

Today new UK Conservative Party Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne introduced a draconian budget to tackle the economic mess left by the outgoing Socialists (Labour Party). The UK has the second worst deficit in the EU. Only Ireland has a greater deficit problem.
In Spain the Socialist government is battling a huge economic crisis largely of its own making. In both countries the Socialist governments are largely culpable for the horrific economic mess. Clearly a Left/Right divide in politics has failed. Socialist governments love spending and redistribution but are loathe to take harsh economic measures.

In Ireland Fintan wishes to see the disappearance of the FG Party. This would clear the way (as Fintan sees it) for the Left/Right divide. The natural corollary of this is that Labour/ Sinn Fein/Socialist Parties should come together and form a government. He is clearly living in cloud cuckoo land. There are major differences between Labour and Sinn Fein on economic policy with Sinn Fein further to the left of the Labour Party. Further left again is the Trotskyite Socialist Party.
If such a government were formed it would be the coup de grace for an economy which is struggling to stay afloat. Such a government would dodge the deficit problem and massively increase taxation. The Left loves increased taxation.

Clearly left wing commentators such as Fintan O’Toole have lost the run of themselves. At present the Labour Party has 20 seats and Sinn Fein has 4 seats. There are a couple of leftwing Independents. Now the combined Left would need to win at least 84 seats to have a majority in the Dail (assuming that the Ceann Comhairle would also come from the Left). In short the Left would need to win an extra 62 seats to wrest control. This is pie in the sky. On the basis of one public opinion poll left wing commentators are now engaging in self-delusion.
Fintan O’Toole attacks machine politics. Here he leaves the cat out of the bag. FG and FF are better organised throughout the country than Labour and Sinn Fein.

Labour has endeavoured to address this problem by attracting independents into the party. In short the party will become a hotch potch of far left, left and even some conservatives. Herein lie the seeds of its own destruction. This policy is doomed to failure in constituencies throughout the country. The FG and FF political machines will deliver the seats when it matters on Election Day.
Think again Fintan. The left will be in third place after a 2012 general election. Organisationally and policy wise FG is far superior to the Labour Party.

Land of Midnight Sun Picture-Abisko Northern Sweden June 22, 2010 at 1:40 am

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Irish Independents Kevin Myers Smears FG Party in venomous and shameful article laced with half- truths

Kevin Myers Hatred of Fine Gael

In an article titled "Fine Gael needs a little less of the Kingstown knitting and a little more of the Kshatriya knight" Kevin Myers loses the run of himself and displays an abnormal hatred of the FG Party. Sadly Myers ignorance of Southern History is astounding. In this response I set the record straight.

The article is nothing more than a slashing attack on the FG Party. Myers is the typical Northerner from a Catholic background blinded by hatred of Fine Gael. This hatred is based on the signing of the Treaty in 1922.The article is a mismash of half truths and is completely lacking in balance. Perhaps Kevin needs some history lessons as he continues to make a complete ass of himself

He launches into an attack on the Cumann na nGaedhael Party (ancestors of FG). He omits to mention that it took over a state whose economy had been smashed by the War of Independence and the Civil War. No criticism from him of the needless civil war caused by De Valera and the Anti-Treatites. The country was bankrupt in 1922.
The party set up the institutions of the state. It set up the army, courts and a new police force-the gardai. This police force was unarmed. Myers omits to mention the large number of murders committed against supporters of the government. It cracked down on lawlessness. It made large-scale economic improvements by overseeing the growth of the Carlow sugar beet factory and the development of the Shannon scheme at Ardnacrusha. Patrick Hogan, the Minister for Agriculture, set up the Agricultural Credit Corporation. It managed to manoeuvre FF into accepting the institutions of the state. In 1932 it handed over a democratic state with an unarmed police force to the incoming FF Party(Anti-Treatites).

In 1950 Fine Gael Minister for Industry and Commerce Dan Morrissey established the IDA -The Industrial Development Authority. Sean Lemass in opposition pledged to abolish the IDA if returned to power. FF on return to power in 1951 did not abolish the IDA. The IDA has played a major role in the development of Irish industry.
FF remained in power from 1951- 1954.

In 1954 Fine Gael, Labour, and Clann na Talmhan took office. FG TD Gerard Sweetman was appointed Minister for Finance.
That government inherited an economic mess. Unemployment stood at 421,000 whilst over 100,000 people had left agriculture during the previous 8 years. Sweetman strongly opposed the protectionist policies of FF and took very hard decisions. Sweetman believed that Ireland could grow its economy on the basis off booming exports. In his budget in 1955, he introduced a radical -for the time-scheme whereby a tax exemption was provided for exported goods. He also established the prize bonds scheme as a means of covering the national debt. In 1956 he plucked civil servant TK Whitaker from relative obscurity in the Civil Service and appointed him Secretary General of the Department of Finance. This raised quite a few eyebrows but the decision was a mark of Sweetman's greatness.

The incoming FF government benefited from Sweetman's decisions and indeed the work of Dan Morrissey in establishing the IDA in 1950.
TK Whitaker was the brainchild behind the First Programme for Economic Expansion, which played a major role in Irelands economic development in the 1960s. It is to the credit of Sean Lemass and a mark of his greatness that he accepted Whitaker's proposals and supported free trade policies espoused by Gerard Sweetman and T K Whitaker. In fact Lemass was now advocating policies diametrically opposed to those pursued by FF in power since the 1930. Certainly Sean Lemass was one of the makers of modern Ireland. But so also were Gerard Sweetman and T K Whitaker amongst others. It is important to realise that without the work of Sweetman and Whitaker, Lemass would have achieved little.

The 1973-77 FG/Labour Coalition successfully steered the Irish economy through a massive oil price shock where international oil prices quadrupled. Finance Minister Richie Ryan had been demonised by FF. History now recognises his greatness. It managed to maintain the security of the state at a time of great political violence in the North. Liam Cosgrave signed the historic Sunningdale Agreement on 9 December 1973. This introduced power sharing between the Unionist Party, the Alliance Party and SDLP.

FG/Labour Governments in the 1980s inherited a horrific economic mess from FF governments led by Jack Lynch and Charlie Haughey.
Myers makes a snide remark about a tax on childrens shoes. He forgot to mention that the incoming FG/Labour government found an exchequer completely emptied by Haughey. In fact it had to borrow money from a prominent Dublin firm.
Inflation under Haughey was 21%. Under the the outgoing FG government in 1987 inflation stood at 3%. In 1985 the Garret Fitzgerald and Margaret Thatcher signed the Anglo Irish Agreement.The treaty gave the Irish Government an advisory role in Northern Ireland's government. Donal Creed-Minister for Sport set up the National Lottery.

The 1994-1997 Rainbow Coalition government of FG/Labour/DL was a huge success. It created new jobs at a rate of 1,000 per week. Justice Minister Nora Owen introduced the CAB which smashed crime gangs. It introduced the 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax which has been hugely successful in attracting industry to Ireland.

So you see Mr Myers, FG is fit to govern. You are incapable of being objective where FG is concerned. Colourful writing is no substitute for substance. Your "article" is a rant laced with a venomous hatred of FG. As such it is only fit for the trash can.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ireland: Enda Kenny's New Front Bench must include dissidents to ensure party unity

As expected FG leader Enda Kenny won the confidence vote in his leadership yesterday (Thursday) having dismissed his entire shadow cabinet last Monday after losing the support of most of his front bench in a failed leadership heave. It is generally believed that the margin was about six votes.

Mr Kenny would be well advised to tread carefully. He must ignore the urgings of those who urge a large-scale purge of dissidents. However he must freshen up his team. Several members of the outgoing front bench have ruled out the possibility of serving under Mr Kenny again. No doubt this was said in the heat of battle. Some harsh exchanges occurred in the course of the last week. However there was no vicious infighting reminiscent of previous heaves. Indeed the dissidents have now pledged their full support. Consequently if Mr Kenny shows the required level of magnanimity towards the vanquished the party may actually emerge in a stronger position. His decision not to announce his new front bench next Monday is a hopeful sign as it indicates a determination to consult widely.

Naturally he will feel the need to reward those who stood by him in his fight to hold the leadership. However it must be pointed out that SOME of his closest supporters are not of ministerial calibre. To appoint these to front bench positions would be an act of folly. If FG is to emerge as the largest party the best talent must sit on the front bench.

Former Finance spokesman Richard Bruton has expressed an unwillingness to sit on the front bench. His loss is incalculable. Mr Kenny must offer an olive branch to Mr Bruton and hopefully convince him to return. If Mr Bruton is unwilling to return to the front bench perhaps Michael Noonan could be offered the position of Spokesman on Finance. Noonan is a heavy hitter and would be more than a match for Brian Lenihan. Hopefully Simon Coveney, Brian Hayes and Leo Varadkar at least will be offered front bench positions. Mr Kenny should bring in Deirdre Clune and Lucinda Creighton. It is time for Creighton and Kenny to mend fences. Kieran O’Donnell a trained accountant, Dr James Reilly, Phil Hogan, Jimmy Deenihan and Michael Ring are others who will probably sit on the front bench. David Stanton is underrated and deserves a front bench position. It will be particularly interesting to see if John Deasy makes a return. Others to figure may include Olwyn Enright, Catherine Byrne, Shane McEntee, Damien English,Terence Flanagan and John Perry.

Finally Enda Kenny should take on board some of the criticisms from the dissidents and strengthen his grasp of economics. Unless he can convince the electorate on this score he is fighting an uphill battle. He has less than two years to improve his profile among the voters. On a positive note the FG party has an impressive array of policy documents. It is far superior to the Labour Party or FF on this score. Unfortunately the electorate is largely ignorant of this.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Norway:Hammerfest Webcam- View Land of Midnight Sun

Click on Image Below to go to Webcam

This webcam provides fascinating views of the Land of the Midnight Sun. Hammerfest has a latitude of 70.66 degrees North. So it is well within the Artic Circle. The sun does not set in June so there is 24 hours daylight. In the December the sun does not rise so there is 24 hours of darkness

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll -Labour Party in first place -Analysis (10/6/10)

The Ipsos MRBI poll for tomorrow's Irish Times also shows a drop in support for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and for their leaders.

The poll, taken on Tuesday and yesterday, doesn't fully reflect the impact of the banking reports released yesterday.
  • FF 17-5

  • FG 28-4

  • Lab 32+8

  • Greens 3

  • Sinn Fein 9+1

  • Others 11
Eamon Gilmore has the highest satisfaction rating of 46%, while satisfaction with Brian Cowen is down 8% to 18%, while Enda Kenny drops 7% to 24%.

Satisfaction with the Government is also down since January, by 7% to 12%, while 83% say they're dissatisfied.
This poll has created a stir in media and political circles tonight. However it is important to remember that the next general election is 2 years away.
There is no possibility that FF would secure only 17% in a general election. Many of its supporters will lie to pollsters. In the privacy of the ballot box they will continue to vote FF. Much of that rise in Labour support will evaporate in the course of a general election campaign as it consists of FF voters ashamed to admit that they would vote for FF. There is no possibility of Labour securing 32% in a general election. Just wont happen.

Joan Burton-Labour Finance Spokesperson- has been a star performer in recent weeks whilst Richard Bruton has been strangely quiet. It is of course correct that Labour has skilfully avoided spelling out what harsh decisions that it would take if elected to government. It has benefited accordingly. Herein lies the danger for Labour. The party in the course of a general election campaign will have to spell out where it stands on the various issues without fudging.

It is fair to say that in relation to FG people such as Richard Bruton need to up their game. Much of the FG front bench has been anonymous as far as I can see. I exclude Leo Varadkar from that. There has been a tendency amongst FG politicians to assume that power will just fall into their laps. This poll is an eye-opener for the party.

The core vote for the parties (before undecided voters are excluded) compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (down one point); Fine Gael, 21 per cent (down three points); Labour, 22 per cent (up five points); Sinn Féin, 8 per cent (up one point); Green Party, 3 per cent (up one point); Independents/Others, 7 per cent (down one point); and undecided voters, 23 per cent (up one point).
It is important to remember that 23% of voters were undecided. These votes were reallocated. I have grave doubts that Labour is really on 32%.
However people are very angry.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Video: Barbara Dickson sings the Song of Bernadette

The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto.

At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.

On an errand with her sister Marie and school friend Jeanne to collect firewood outside the town of Lourdes, Bernadette is left behind when her companions warn her not to wade through the cold river by the Massabelle caves for fear of taking ill. About to cross anyway, Bernadette is distracted by a strange breeze and a change in the light. Investigating the cave, she finds a beautiful lady standing in brilliant light, holding a pearl rosary. She tells her sister and friend, who promise not to tell anyone else, but of course they do, and the story soon spreads all over town.

Many, including Bernadette's Aunt Bernarde, believe her and stand up for her with her disbelieving parents, but Bernadette faces civil and church authorities alone. Repeatedly questioned, she stands solidly behind her outlandish story and continues to return to the cave as the lady has asked. She faces ridicule as the lady tells her to drink and wash at a spring that doesn't exist, but digs a hole in the ground and uses the wet sand and mud. The water begins to flow later and exhibits miraculous healing properties. The lady finally identifies herself as "the Immaculate Conception". Civil authorities try to have her declared insane, while the Church wants a formal investigation to find out if Bernadette's a fraud, insane, or genuine. They conclude that her experiences are real.(Text )

Friday, June 4, 2010

Twilight Sky-Co.Waterford Ireland-June 4, 2010

Click to enlarge

Ireland: Fine Gael attacks Pat McArdles half baked analysis of the economy in Irish Times article

FG disagrees with Pat McArdle analysis

Fine Gael Deputy Finance Spokesman Kieran O’Donnell TD has said he fundamentally disagrees with Pat McArdle’s article published in the Irish Times, which takes a very blinkered view of the state of the economy.

“Pat McArdle heaps criticism on the Opposition, but forgets that Fine Gael was the first Party to highlight the scale of the fiscal crisis. We highlighted the need for current spending cutbacks while the Government was still denying there was any problem at all.

“His opinion that the taxation receipts from ‘spending is holding up well’ and may yet offset the significant shortfall in income tax receipts is fundamentally flawed. Tax receipts related to consumer spending are irrevocably linked to the state of the employment market. As a result of catastrophic job losses and a labour market which continues to deteriorate, it is likely that spending related tax receipts are likely to undershoot the already lowered government projections. By his own reasoning, putting faith in spending is ‘absurd’. The reality is that job creation is the key to recovery.

“Pat McArdle made extensive analysis in his piece of the Exchequer Returns, which were released yesterday, but makes no reference to other relevant figures released on the same day, namely the Live Register figures, which swelled again in May. Since this latest Fianna Fáil Government took office, live register figures have increased massively.

“He lauds the Government while forgetting some crucial facts: that 55% of fiscal measures have been cuts in capital investment or tax increases, not current spending cuts. This approach to the public finances will not protect growth and jobs.

“Most of the current spending cuts have been in pay, welfare entitlements and services. Only one in ten of Colm McCarthy’s recommendations have actually been implemented. And nowhere does he mention the fact that unemployment is now at 13.7%, its highest level for 15 years.

“The biggest omission that all the necessary pain in the last three Budgets has been completely undone by the billions in likely taxpayer losses from the Government's banking strategy. Fine Gael instead seeks to break this negative cycle through a programme of innovative economic measures.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Video: Miracle of the Sun Medjugorje, March 2, 2010

Video:The Story of Little Audrey Santo (1997)

This is the story of Audrey Santo (December 19, 1983 - April 14, 2007) who lived in the comatose state called akinetic mutism. Many miracles are believed to have surrounded her since the visit she made to Međugorje soon after her accident at the age of three. Audrey died from cardio-respiratory failure at her home in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Video: Waterford County Museum Dungarvan

Waterford County Museum
is located in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford Ireland. Founded in 1984, it is a non profit, community run museum dedicated to preserving the history of County Waterford. In this video you can learn about the work of the museum.