Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?
BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.
OBAMA What would you do?
BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I'm not an expert on stock markets by any means, but there is an interesting fact that could have relevance to today's crisis. The reason that people buy shares is, fairly evidently, for a share of the company's profits. In the long-term, shares need to give a higher return that the rate of interest in a bank. Otherwise, there'd be no reason to buy them in the first place. Historically, the rate of return on shares that the market has settled at means that people make their money back in 14.5 years, in other words an interest rate of 6.89%. That's a reasonable return, and enough more than putting your money in the bank to make the risk of buying shares worthwhile.
As the above graph shows, the prices at the moment are still well above that level. At the moment, the price of shares is around 25 times the annual earnings, or an interest rate of around 4%. Given that you can get a rate that's higher than that from a lot of banks' saving accounts, and the current market turmoil, there is every chance that share prices will continue to fall.
Notes: 1. I wrote this before the announced bailout, but think it is still relevant
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Aisling and Fergus
Stephen's Green Lake
Me, taken by Aisling
Stephen's green evening sunshine
Friday, September 19, 2008
Brian after his shift at the grind
Ian and the (sadly non alcoholic) Kopperberg
Ciaran looking happy with Cranley's sticker...
Don't mess with the auditor during fresher's week!
Susan leaves her mark...
...and shows off her hemming skills!
James on security detail
Shane maintains that he was neither to fat, nor too ugly to model for Ralph Lauren, they just wouldn't pay him enough
Gregg being all busy and important.
Click to enlarge any of the images
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Conor and The crowd (the guy to his left doesn't count)
Dwarfed by history!
Mags takes the hecklers down
Sheehy and Janine
Daithi in pauses for laughs
Ian getting his porn talk on
Thursday, September 11, 2008
It's a large hadron collider!
Mags in one of her two (wonderful) speeches!
Jarlath, as seen on tv3
Mary before the debate
Aisling and me
Conor gets his verbosity on
Sunday, September 07, 2008
My favourite part reads as follows:
Derek Freedman, a leading specialist in STI treatment, said recently that he sees in his Dublin clinic a steady stream of UCD students, with many boasting they have had as many as 20 sexual partners, and often unprotected.Aside from '', and often unprotected'' being the product of diuretic sub-editing, the content seems a little... unbelievable to say the least. It's notable that the ''boasts'' are not a quote from Dr. Freedman, and it doesn't sound like something a doctor would say, even if it were true. Moreover, can you really imagine somebody walking into a clinic and effectively declaring ''look at me, I had enough unprotected sex and got gonorrhea, I'm amazing!!!''. In the history of boasts about sexual bravado, that one doesn't rank so highly in the memorable quotes chapter. Never mind that the average lifetime sexual partners in Ireland is 10.6 making 15-20+ in your early twenties a very obvious exception to normal student (or adult) sexual activity. But ignore that, it doesn't fit with the story! Where's the sensation in that!
As for the ''One Cigarette is the Price of Oral Sex in UCD'' (the other part of the headline), it turns out that's something that happened, once, outside the ''notorious'' student bar in UCD. Those first year students who ran out and bought a pack of 20 for €5 thinking it represented pretty good value might find themselves a little disappointed.
Friday, September 05, 2008
*The Washington Post carried the shocking statistic that "Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor were black."
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
According to seveal reaports, when Obama was picking Joe Biden as his running-mate, one of his major considerations was to pick somebody to do the dirty work for him, and go on the attack during the closing months of the campaign. It seems to be a job that he's taking to with relish. There won't be any Kerry-esque critique's coming Biden's way if he keeps going after people with the relish that he did today:
They might not be friends for much longer...!
“I heard my friend, and by the way he is my friend, I heard Red October up there hunting for votes,” Mr. Biden said, imitating Mr. Thompson’s gravelly voice and alluding to one of his acting roles. “Fred got up there and he said well, the Democrats are going to raise your taxes.”
Mr. Biden said that the Democrats’ tax plan would raise taxes only on some corporations and the wealthiest Americans, including successful actors.
“Fred, look at me. We’re going to make sure you don’t get another tax break because I’ve going to give a tax break to the people right here in this room.”
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sax on the coast
A very long Teddy's queue!
A well populated peoples' park
Lots of interesting instruments on display!
Please buy our CD!
There were topless drummers...
...and barefoot dancers
And even sand sculptures!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
"By deploying, Poland is exposing itself to a strike - 100%,"
And went on to add, as if that wasn't clear enough, that
Russia's security doctrine allowed it to use nuclear weapons against an active ally of a nuclear power such as America.
A little worrying that. Generally, invading your neighbours is considered to be slightly bad form, but blowing them up altogether really isn't looked upon kindly. Russia have been flexing their muscles like an Olympic greco-roman wrestler for some time now, resuming long-range bombing flights and making noises about, well, just about everything. That they have progressed to using their military instead of their press department is deeply worrying, and should not go unchecked by the international community.
I think the Economist are on to something when they talk about increasing the power of the G7 to the exclusion of the Russians and preventing their progress in attempting to join the WTO. While the Guardian are right to a certain extent that
"Western governments should think long and hard before enacting measures to exclude Russia from the international arena"their assertion that
"NATO members.... should rebuild, extend and enforce Russia's international obligations. They should not be wilfully tearing them down."seems to totally ignore the situation on the ground. Allowing Russia to join the in with the G8 and movements towards allowing them to join the WTO were both based on them acting responsibly and becoming more democratic and accountable. When they move in entirely the opposite direction, it seems rather silly to reward them for their behaviour. Their newfound buoyancy is based around a massive influx in oil and gas revenue. Their reliance on natural resources makes them vulnerable to trends in the global markets, and therefore more susceptible to international pressure.
That seems to be the line that America are taking, with Bush making a reference to the G7's role in a speech yesterday. There is a bizarre brand of Anti-Americanism which derides America no matter what they do, good or bad. It was in evidence on the Drive Time radio panel yesterday, with one of the panelists asking ''why do we allow America to say they're the world's policeman in these kinds of situations''. (The same woman moments later deriding Bush's trip to China and his failure to stand up for human rights) What the world should really be asking for is decent leadership and a way to help bring to an end, or at the very least minimise, Russia's aggression towards their neighbours. Unless there are consequences for their actions, that's highly highly unlikely to happen.