GE2016 results in weeks of stalemate

Stephen Donnelly did best in the RTE leaders debate, which despite flooding, and massive water protests did not cover envirnemental issues or removal of the 8th Amendment. His high tax position doesn’t stand close scrutiny either.

Greg Canty Fuzion Blog

Stephen Donnelly - Social Democrats

Stephen Donnelly of the Social Democrats did really well during the General Election Leaders Debate on RTE this week. He comes across as an articulate, intelligent and impressive individual and his performance was one of the things that many people were talking about after.

He won over some of the audience!

While he is very impressive it is very hard to buy into a manifesto that wants to keep taxation high and let the state use those funds. If I thought the public service was capable of spending this money wisely and efficiently there might be some merit in his arguments but this just isn’t the case.

Also this high personal taxation philosophy is a huge deterrent for human talent to work and live in Ireland. Sorry Stephen – people want to be able to enjoy the spoils of their labour and will move to more favourable regimes such as…

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The BBC won’t talk about religion

Journalism is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, says the BBC, when asked to explain why secularist thinkers, atheists and pagans are excluded from its religious broadcasting

Volesoft.com

THE UK is becoming increasingly secular and culturally diverse, but the BBC continues to pursue a mostly Christian agendum.  Every morning, BBC Radio 4 starts with a prayer for the day, and during the Today programme, there’s a religious slot at about 12 minutes to eight called Thought for the Day.  The speakers are usually Christian clergy, although every so often, a Sikh, a Muslim or a Hindu or a Jew gets the slot.  There’s never an atheist, an agnostic and we haven’t heard a pagan yet.

Sundays are particularly tedious with a programme on religion between 7:10AM and a religious service kicking in on Radio 4 at 8:10 AM, forcing me to switch to the BBC World Service.

I decided to make use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to see if BBC management could shed any light on the matter.  My request was declined because the BBC…

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The Importance of Political Education – knowing left from right

In the Irish party system, scholars have been trying to pick apart the policy stances of parties for some years now – with varying degrees of success and insight. Most analyses have concluded that the parties in Ireland offer a far less coherent, integrated ideological choice to voters than parties elsewhere in Europe – and many conclude that FF and FG are practically impossible to seperate in terms of political ideology.

A sentiment analysis I performed with Dr Laura Sudulich of Irish party candidates in the 2007 election looked at how they felt about the terms ‘ Right’ and ‘ Left’. It revealed that FF and FG have no sentiment either way (overall) while Labour and SF members tend to have significantly positive sentiments towards the ‘ Left’ and negative sentiments towards the ‘ Right’ .

Labour’s focus on its leader during the campaign, and FF and FG’s ‘party of government’ approach to political ideology meant that only a few independents and PBP members were focusing on matters of political ideology. Thus the election took place in an ideological vacuum, just as ideological decisions to do with taxation and public spending had to be made. The result was a rather opaque fudge – the implementation of existing policy with cosmetic changes, by new management personnel.

Irish Politics Forum

A very interesting article in today’s Irish Times discusses whether Europe should focus on education in its engagement with Africa. The article argues that political education is vitally important for all sorts of social and political outputs:

‘Individual Africans need to become more politically sophisticated. It is hard to think of a political party in Africa which genuinely professes, let alone practises, a coherent political philosophy. Whereas parties in Europe espouse socialist, liberal or Christian democratic values, there is no indigenous African ideology beyond tribalism. Political parties are more often than not built around a commanding personality who offers tribal leadership and is rewarded with uncritical tribal loyalty’ .

The description of African politics rings some surprising bells for students of Irish politics.

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The Politics of Remembrance: Commemorating 1916

Sinn Fein the party that Griffith founded was most explicitly organized to achieve independence even if it had no direct connection to the Rising of 1916. Labour is linked to the rebellion thru Connolly, but FG and FF connections are much more diluted

Irish Politics Forum

By Timothy J. White and Denis Marnane

banksy

Assessing a significant anniversary of an important historical event such as commemorating 1916 is like a juggler keeping three balls in the air. There is the event itself, very likely not something about which there is consensus in terms of interpretation; there is the period of time between then and now in which the event is remembered, in this instance a century; and finally there is the present with its competing agendas for commemoration. These three: history, memory, and commemoration

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art + science colliding, collectives forming

creative collaborative work is at the heart of cultural entrepreneurship. In the Pacific north west, technology plays a really pivotal role

CULTURAL ENTREPRENEUR

WP_20150325_015There is great momentum gathering in our creative community around the role of artists and designers in scientific inquiry. Access is being created for artists and others to explore, interpret and respond to the revolutionary advances and innovations in genetics, molecular and biomedical science. Facilitating synergies between these realms has been my focus.

This Spring and Summer, Ginny Ruffner, Lisa Goodman, Josef Vascovitz and Gaylene Vaden and I have started to host dinners to further inspire conversations. Ginny Ruffner is an internationally acclaimed glass artist most known for her constantly evolving visual experiments. For over a decade, her work has been strongly influenced by genetics. Her recent exhibition, “Aesthetic Engineering,” at the Huntsville Museum of Art was inspired by recent breakthroughs in genetics and bioengineering and the possibilities of future gene sharing between animal and plant kingdoms. She recently was hosted by The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology as an artist in residence and continues her creative pursuits…

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Fluoridation without consent continues and the ‘health’ industry profits

Israel stopped water fluoridation over a year ago, and the USA has reduced the maximum permitted level, while activists in ireland the UK, Canada NZ and Australia are all demanding their states stop adding fluorides to water. UK Scientists here note that people should be aware of the limitations of evidence about its potential harms and that it would be almost impossible to detect small but important risks (especially for chronic conditions) after introducing fluoridation.

It contends that fluoride appears to comply with the legal definition of a medicinal product in the European Union (Codified Pharmaceutical Directive 2004/27/EC, Article 1.2), adding that in 1983 a British judge, Lord Jauncey, ruled that fluoridated water falls within that definition. He refers to the Medicines Act 1968: “Section 130 defines ‘medicinal product’ and I am satisfied that fluoride in whatever form it is ultimately purchased by the respondents falls within that definition.”

Our Birmingham

Birmingham – together with only 10% of the UK’s population – accepted the expense of adding fluoride to its water supplies in 1964. Scientific research gives cause for concern on several counts.

Though apologists stress that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, tea and fish they are economical with the truth: the supplement in water delivered by Severn Trent is one of eleven industrial chemicals now classified as developmental neurotoxins, according to research published in the Lancet.

peter mansfieldSome readers reacted strongly last year after seeing our reference to Birmingham council’s eulogy of fluoridation – one was Dr Peter Mansfield, who has done research on this issue in the city and took part in the York Review, which figures in the reports by Earl Baldwin and Professor KK Cheng.

Prevalence of hypothyroidism in the West Midlands

Earlier this year, the press picked up the news in…

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Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream

It’s great to see that so much great music of the late 70s and early 80s is still providing food 4 thought. Viva NuWave

Big Gold Dream

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I’ve rewound to the early days of 1979. By this point independent music labels have started springing up in Scotland; there’s Sensible and Zoom in Edinburgh for instance, Boring in Glasgow, NRG in Dundee and No Bad in Dunfermline but they’re still a real rarity.

In an NME article titled Product Packaging, and Rebel Music, I read about the most high profile addition to this trend, Edinburgh’s Fast Product, whose first releases, singles by The Mekons and 2.3, had came out around a year earlier.

Bob Last, a former architecture student and theatre set designer at the Traverse, is interviewed and writer Ian Cranna concludes that: ‘Last has the potential to be what Brecht was in theatre,’ a statement that sounds mightily impressive even though at this point in my life I know as much about concepts such as Bertolt Brecht’s alienation effect as I do about quantum…

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