May 25, 2011

Diaspora's 'soft power' will help fuel our future

Posted in Ireland · 307 comments ·
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David Mc Williams watching Obama’s speech in Fallons in the Coombe on Monday afternoon. Photograph by Gabe Murphy.

THE lad beside me in the queue for Obama had driven down all the way from Donegal. We joined the queue at 2pm, just at the back of Christchurch.

The very same scarf seller who was flogging Porto and Braga scarves outside Lansdowne last Wednesday night was doing a brisk trade in Obama paraphernalia as the wind howled down Thomas Street, encouraged by the wide open spaces at Christchurch.

“Yizzers Obama scarves only a tenner.”

We stood opposite the Lord Edward pub for ages, hardly moving. The crowd were in great form, mainly students and people in their 20s. It was more like a line for Oxegen or the Kings of Leon than a political rally. But that’s the Obama magic: he touches everyone. Every now and then one of the young lads would slip into Christchurch’s garden and scale the railing to see how we were doing. Would we make it, would we not? The hawker is sensing the movements in his market before anyone else.

“Obama scarves only seven euro.”

By half-three we have moved about five yards, things aren’t looking good, but we are all still infused with “yes, we can” optimism. There were no crash barriers and precious few stewards. Quarter-past four, still no news. The crowd started to get a bit restless. There was no information. It had seemed that the bloke on the tannoy had adopted the language but not the method of American crowd control. So there was a lot of talk about Dame Street being “a sterile zone” whatever that is supposed to mean. One of the very few stewards told me that the area was “in full lockdown”. Perplexed? Me too — your guess is as good as mine. The lads flogging Obama gear are looking worried about their pile of merchandise. One thing about this market is that it is all or nothing: flog everything no matter what the price. If thousands of punters are turned away, demand will collapse.

“Yizzers Obama scarves — two for a tenner.”

Will we get in? But there was no information on that likelihood. There was also no mobile coverage in the crowded pocket so no one knew what was going on. But still the mood was upbeat as if the can-do attitude of the president would prevail. Then, when we were only 10 yards from the barriers, tantalisingly close, news started to seep in that RTE was telling people not to head for Christchurch. Ultimately, the guards emerged and told us the event was full. Resigned, thousands of us headed off. We would have stayed had the big screens at Christchurch been working but the Force 8 put paid to that.

“Three for a tenner.”

People were still in good form as we all mooched off to see him on the telly. Straight down Nicholas Street, into a favourite old watering hole, Fallons in the Coombe. Fallons was full of Dame Street rejects, glued to the two TVs in either corner.

Years ago when I lived locally there was a regular in Fallons called “REM”. He seemed a bit past it to be a Michael Stipe devotee, so one day one of us asked him why he was called REM. He took a gulp of stout, wiped his lip and pronounced, “Rangers, England and f***in’ Meath — the three things I hate most in the world.”

Now some Dubs can still understand the Meath bit but after the queen’s visit, the general attitude to England and even Rangers has surely changed a bit! Maybe Ireland is beginning to change and these visits are setting the tone, capturing something.

When Obama finally made it to the podium following Enda’s rousing speech (after which I’d half-expected him to lift the Sam Maguire), the pub fell silent. You could hear a pin drop as if Obama had sprinkled magic mute dust over us.

There were all sorts at the bar, all mesmerised by Obama’s oratory presence and charm. Two garda caps peeked in through the door halfway through and, in the most fitting and biological barometer of how good any speech is, the rush to the jacks at the end was desperate and disorderly.

There has been some criticism of Obama being long on rhetoric and short on specifics, but that is what public speeches are all about. They are supposed to appeal to our hearts, not our heads.

This is the very essence of “soft power”. There are two types of power these days, hard power and soft power. Hard power is what the US has, military and geo-political muscle. It is brute force, the power of the big. Soft power is the power of persuasion, the power of ideas, the power of branding. Soft power allows small countries to be big. The greatest well of soft power that Ireland has is the diaspora, the great Irish tribe all around the world. They are our sales force — far more persuasive than any official proselytiser — and Obama is one of them.

We are now waking up to this powerful notion. It wasn’t always that way. In fact in 2007 — not that long ago — I suggested in ‘The Generation Game’ that, if played properly, there was a transformative potential in the Irish tribe and that the echo of past generations could help reinvent Ireland for future generations, thus the title. One reviewer described this idea as “risible”. Do such cynics think that now?

The economic power of the tribe is not a panacea, but it is a huge help and the presence of Irish-Americans at the top of many multinationals is significant. Years ago, I worked for Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of GE whose grandparents were from Cork. When I asked him did it matter to him that he was Irish when he decided to invest in Ireland, he snapped, “Of course it bloody did, once you guys got your act together, I was always going to favour Ireland.”

Just to put the US connection in context and understand how important it is to have their president claiming to be one of us, consider this: US firms employ approximately 100,000 people directly in Ireland and Irish firms employ more than 80,000 people in the US. American companies spend €15bn annually on payroll and service. US companies account for €90bn of exports. US firms account for over 70pc of IDA- supported employment. US firms have invested $165bn (€117bn) in Ireland — 4.6pc of total global investment by US firms, and more than they have invested in Brazil, Russia, India and China combined.

Tellingly, according to the IDA’s 2010 annual report, the US accounted for 74pc of Ireland’s inward investment in 2010.

This deep economic link is made more, not less, vibrant by having the human bonds of family and heritage reinforced officially. This was the broad idea behind the Farmleigh Global Irish Economic Forum in 2010. Hopefully we can build on it this year again.

As I left Fallons after the speech, I saw the hawker flogging what looked to be the last of the Obama scarves to two, on-duty, giggling female gardai. Glad to see he had a good day too, like the rest of us.

David McWilliams is a director of a community-based diaspora project called Ireland Reaching Out. Visit the website at www.irelandxo.org


  1. dwalsh

    Yes, he told us what a fine lot we are and how he is confident we can live up to our responsibilities – we can do it; which is code for “pay the bondholders”.

    Meantime another wing of the operation is preparing to cherrypick the national assets of Greece at firesale prices. I said this would happen on this blogg months ago.
    Our turn will come soon by the looks of it.

    • bankstershill

      Doesn’t matter now anyways, since Kanhn got canned the ECB – Federal Reserve system is coming down now pretty soon, along with its proponents which includes Obama. so I don’t think it will even get to the stage where the asset sales will take place since they won’t have to as a reorganization of the entire system will take place first.

  2. Today the largest soft power in Ireland is ‘ Italian National Fish & Chip Day’ …Bella Italia …..and all half price nationally

  3. bankstershill

    Obama bin lyin is your typical Wall street sock puppet president, he’s everything to everybody, especially with the election coming up next year.

  4. The Dork of Cork

    @David
    Jack Welsh ? he destroyed his company !!

    Bad example
    Your a nice man but please enough with this Obama /Bono thing
    That era is coming to a end Thank God.

    We will have to turn inward and reject such tinsel.

    Globalisation is a dead horse.

    • Deco

      I get the opinion that globalization was sold to us, in a real hard sell manner by the media – and now we can see the same media organs freely giving their facilities to the likes of Suds and Brute to make the idealistic case in favour of globalization again. It is a repeat of the hard sell, but toned down a bit.

      And there is also an element of patronization in it – if you question the opinion of these “knowitalls”.

      Of course, their carefully crafted deceit ridden opinions do not matter.

      The evidence is what matters. Just look at the rust belt in the US, or the 20% unemployment rate in Spain. That is the evidence that there is something that is not working in all of this.

      • CitizenWhy

        Globalization is designed to:

        1. Even out economies around the world. That is, export wealth from the European and North American people and import poverty to the US and Europe, especially the “peripheries,” the US Midwest and the insultingly named/dehumanized PIIGs of Europe. This is happening, no?

        2. Open up opportunities for the elite to make money anywhere in the world, especially through using the global financial system to extract wealth form taxpayers.

        3. Concentrate wealth in the elite of the world, not just the West.

        4. Eliminate or greatly reduce taxes on the wealthy, in every country. Reduce social benefits for the citizens of the West as an unnecessary cost.

        5. Loosen bonds of patriotism in the elite, making them “cosmopolitan” citizens of the world, like the old aristocracy. In the case of the US, use it as a military guarantee of freedom, that is, elections that disguise the rule of the oligarchic elite.

        6. Move corporate headquarters from the taxing West to tax havens.

        7. Shower a few favored universities with money and use them to educate/miseducate the the children of the elite. In the US, for instance, the elite universities, despite having elaborate scholarship programs, accept only 15% of students from families at the bottom half of incomes.

        8. Fund right wing “populist” groups to create a politics of division, destroy the notion of the common good, and encourage government policies of “austerity” rather than policies that create widespread prosperity.

        9. Deregulate industries, allowing them to do as they please, even if their misdeeds crash the economy and injure the environment in serious ways.

        10. Promote a libertarian ideology, the basis of 18th and 19th century rule of big property owners with little or no concern for universal human rights. The same libertarian philosophy that resulted in the transportation to the cruel prisons of Australia and prevented the British government form effectively managing the potato blight in Ireland.

        With the defeat of communism, US corporate elites realized that they no longer needed to promote class cooperation in the governance of the US. Instead they could aggressively pursue class war against workers and the middle class while accusing anyone who talks about decreasing income inequality and increasing social benefits as inciting class war. They have been sending their missionaries to Europe and winning converts among the elite there.

        Is Obama aware of all this? Yes? Does he want to do something about it? Yes? Can he do much about it? No.

        • BrianC

          +1

          And the vehicle through which they deliver this is through the control of the monetary system based upon usury.

          • bankstershill

            Exactly, take away their control of the means of exchange and return it to the people through the principle of sovereign credit as is codified in the U.S constitution. This is the key to their power and is also the key to us taking it away from them. However given the state of insolvency of their own Frankenstein central banks they may well have done the job for us.

        • Deco

          Actually, by the sound of things, with Blair, Barrosso, Lagarde, Sarkozy etc.. there is no need for “missionaries” in Old Europe…the biggest crooks are here already and running matters. It has now got to the point that Sarkozy has a files on political opponents full of Police information. Up there with Phony Tony and the dossier on weapons of mass destruction. Whatever happened to weapons of mass destruction anyway ? Oh, yeah Saddam did not have any. A bit like Libya, which is turning into another misadventure in peak oil era interventionist foreign policy.

          • BrianC

            The Gadaffy scenario is only helping reinforce the price of oil. Eventually Gadaffy will be removed and a new figurehead will be appointed to look after the new shareholders interests.

        • Praetorian

          Great post Citizen Why. Right on almost all counts, except for Obama, I don’t think he wants to do anything and yes, even if he wanted to he is hamstrung by the job, very much in the matrix, they only flexibility they have is when it comes to issuing platitudes to students about working hard, getting there and all the rest, the speeches are almost meaningless at this stage while the reality of what David McWilliams cites as ‘hard power’ is higher cancer rates in the Iraqi city of Fallujah than post-atom bombed Hiroshima, 3 million orphans, wrecked State, vandalised culture, instability in the region (with Pakistan on the edge) and God only knows how many dead.

          Ireland’s dependance on the US will end in tears especially when US multinationals start relocating to lower wage economies or if Obama decides to drop the US corporation tax rate, which seems unlikely, at the end of the day, all those guys have loyalty to one thing and one thing only, the dollar.

          The only hope for the US is if the people organise and develop a third political force outside the corporate political system, which seems unlikely. The only hope for Ireland is capable political leadership and decent economic policies, which seem equally unlikely, so we all continue to bump along the track for the inevitable train crash.

          • There is a form of consensus running down in this thread and all the comments are sound and fair in my opinion. This shows that many Irish people are not easily fooled by US propaganda and globalisation. This is good news because it is a more realistic debate that what passes for critical thinking in the media.

          • Praetorian

            @Pauldiv, the Queen’s visit, Garret’s passing and Obama’s stopover (like Shannon, enough for a pint and move on) have shown the media in all its despairing obsequiousness, I doubt a critical, independent thought passed the lips of a single commentator in the main stream, commercial media, and for good reason(s), as Chomsky points out, it takes real intellectual discipline to sidestep that which crys out for comment.

            Mortgages have to be paid, careers maintained, invites to the White House sought, while the truth lies hidden in a slowly rotting plastic bag on the edge of a public dump.

    • “Your a nice man but please enough with this Obama /Bono thing”

      Agreed. It is nauseating

  5. gadfly55

    shambolic crowd management in a country of wonderfully friendly and helpful people who just want to be loved and appreciated for their decency and humanity, but the 30million Irish derived cousins could not care less if this benighted fraction of an island sank beneath the weight of interest and principal, as long as they were paid their share Just find out how many are working in the financial services making millions on short positions and CDS against the euro. There is a battle, and we are on the other side of the Atlantic, the staging post for American business in the euro zone, and it has been completely over-played, especially the favourable tax regime and allowances, which get right up the noses of Germany and France. Sooner rather than later we will become a full member of the Anglo-American axis of dollar/Sterling, and the eurozone will concentrate on the northern European plain. Make your choice now, if you have any, who will prosper. Germany or Britain.

  6. The Dork of Cork

    Welch – excuse me

  7. Malcolm McClure

    Obama’s Ireland visit had nothing to do with a hat-tip to his ancestors. It was just a convenient cover story to begin his European trip, ostensibly to discuss Libya, Afganistan and the Arab Awakening with UK and Nato leaders.
    No mention of the financial crisis, which of course was the prime reason for flying bullet proof limos and 300 security and advisors all over the place.

    As stated repeatedly here we are ever closer to the “Crunch”. –Its not just Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Spain,– Belgium and Italy are now in play. There is a paper-loss of roughly €150bn on Greek debt alone floating out there. There is probably another €150bn paper loss (conservative estimate) on Portuguese and Irish debt together. So European institutions face some €300bn of paper losses on Irish, Greek and Portuguese debt alone.

    Kicking the can down the road will no longer work.

    Anatole Kaletsky says: “The risks to the Euro come symmetrically from both debtor and creditor countries – this not just about Greece, Ireland and Spain or about Germany, Finland and Holland but about both – and a radical change in any of these countries’ politics would be enough to blow up the entire process.
    Powerful elements” in any of these countries would be sufficient to sabotage the system. To blow up the Euro will not require a majority vote in a referendum–merely a change of mind by just one powerful political group in just one of the creditor or debtor countries–e.g., the trade union movement in Ireland or the Bundesbank management in Germany or maybe even a single political party, as we are seeing in Finland.
    So far there is not much evidence of the above happening but to rely on such an unstable equilibrium lasting for many more months, or even years, seems rather optimistic.”

    Hold onto your hats. We have reached the summit of the Big Dipper.

    • Deco

      Really, it is extremely obvious what the solution is – it is just that it is unacceptable based on the way that Brussels operates.

      The real result of the 1967 students revolution was that the left was taken over by a bunch of spoiled brats who were not keen on taking over their responsibilities as their parents wished – but then when they grew up and realised that they had to work, became even more corrupt and unprincipled than their parents, but much better at the spin. End result, the Blairs and the Barrossos of this world. Pretend lefties who really are corporate sympathizers, and who can deliver for the corporate world in a way that both the old right and the old left would have regarded as morally repulsive.

      • coldblow

        You said yourself before there was at least a cause involved in the Amrerican student rebellion then but over here it was just imitation. As the hecklers used to yell at the amateur half-time interval acts at the Tunnel Club comedy venue: “Drama students!”

        I read someone else recently dismissing it but can’t remember who just now. You will meet with indignation if you voice such views in company as it is now a contemporary article of faith. The privileged always seem to cloak their behaviour in pieties, it’s just that one set of pieties has been swapped for another.

      • CitizenWhy

        The real significance of the New Left youth rebellion in the USA, led by Students for a Democratic Society, was to turn everything into an entertaining, melodramatic TV/media event. Which is exactly how politics and economics are now treated in the USA. In leading a widely diverse anti-war group, I often saw women from the SDS seeking refuge in our group. They were often treated like chattel by the SDS. In our group we were a bit conservative, that is, we treated each other, everyone, with what used to be called good manners.

        Today the right wing extremists have picked up on the media melodrama of the New Left and are even better at it than the New Left.

    • CitizenWhy

      My summary of Obama’s visit and the Queen’s visit:

      OBAMA. He came to reinforce the Geithner/Obama/Goldman Sachs/ECB/Republican Party USA Doctrine that the foolish debts of big privately owned banks must be paid by governments, no matter what the cost to taxpayers, even if a country is made destitute to do so. His visit was a wee bit of a reward for Enda’s conformity to this doctrine: “Good boy, Enda, that’s a good boy. Don’t worry, my trip will make you look good to the Irish people. You know they have a craving to be liked, even when you’re screwing them. Good boy!”

      THE QUEEN: “My new bank regulator tells me our banks made really irresponsible loans to your irresponsible banks. He and I wanted to give you a better bail-out deal, but Tim Geithner slammed us for that and said we couldn’t. Sorry about that. I thought, however, that I’d pop over and give you a little comfort in compensation. You’ll notice that I did not invite that blighter Blair and his puppet Brown to the wedding. That’s because of Iraq and the way they let the banks here run wild and wreck our economy. Cheers!”

      • uchrisn

        You would have to say that this was a factor, can’t imagine either coming over if Ireland had let the banks go.
        There is really of storm of experts now saying that Ireland is being treated very unfairly. Soros, Roubini, Stilgitz, Johnson, Roghoff, Baldwin,Summers former Eu commissioners. Basically what absolutley everyone in the loop is saying is that the German-French competitiveness pact is biased and won’t work. They are saying that we need growth. To do that we need to restructure debts somehow, issue euro-bonds and expand our money supply. I agree with all of these guys.
        With all this evidence it has become very clear that the Germans and the French are not acting in the Spirit or interest of Europe. They are greedily trying to make sure that their banks are not going be hit for the losses the should have in a fair world.
        They have large power in the ECB and are using this to fight the growing tide of opposition from other EU countries to their obviuosly flawed and biased plans.

  8. Colin

    Obama was taught a history and political lesson by Netanyahu a few days ago, and now Obama’s telling Cameron that peace in the Middle East means 1967 borders for Israel. What doesn’t Obama engage his brain?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvZ3h5auuVY&feature=related

    And the text from Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress

    http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=3665

  9. wills

    David.

    I went along to see Clinton at BoI back in 1995.

    This time I stayed away.

    Why?

    Because Obama, nice fella that he is, and those gnashers of his help to charm, is a patsy.

    Now judging by his remark this afternoon in London in the great hall about possibly himself caught up in the middle of some type of cosmic destiny candid camera *joke* as he said himself before rambling off into speechifying it seems Obama is onto something there.

    Obama is the thinking man’s Forrest Gump. And it seems to me to be the case that he knows it too that he is a hostage to fortune.

    Geithner literally ordered IMF to enforce upon Ireland carry the tab for bondholders. Did Obama stop this. Nope. I would like to know why Obama did not stop Geithner ordering this edict and quite possibly putting BL back in hospital cos of the stress it caused him.

    I think Mrs Obama is sobering force for good for Mr. Obama.

    I think the bla bla on UK / USA *special relationship* is laughable. UK and USA private banks are to blame for the biggest bank robbery the world has ever witnessed.

    The media are full of the go on out there and reboot the economy thats what Obama wants, and Cameron wants, a new start.

    I find this rather disgusting this claptrap.

    Why should anyone go into the economy and give it a shot of new life. One is merely providing the financial gangsters and scallywags with new oxygen to get going again inflating a new pOnzi scam.

    • BrianC

      Yep but that is the system in which we have chosen to live. We are not prepared to commit to the sacrifices that would deliver the YES WE CAN CHANGES.

      Personally I think the Obama trip to Ireland was a bit patronizing.

      The Bankers run the show everything else are just pawns on a board including Obama. For the Irish Morgan Kelly lifted the veil as to who really runst the show.

      You are right they want reboot the computer to deliver the same economic program. Sicken me too. But installing new software to deliver a new economic program will not happen.

  10. Deco

    The most important bit in the entire article is the quote
    {
    “Of course it bloody did, once you guys got your act together, I was always going to favour Ireland.”
    }

    Now, the thing is that the majority of people on this webpage, and the majority of people in Ireland want us to get our act together.

    But, it seems that there is a institutional octopus holding it’s tentacles over the entire society, and it simply cannot be reformed. The culture of organizational gombeenism, pride, and the ridiculous concept of the Irish lifestyle (L’Oreal-man Brian Cowen with his beer belly and ridiculous pension, is a feature of this country, which extends beyond more than just one individual), are the living breathing realities that hold this nonsense together.

    As Samuel Beckett stated . “can’t move on, must move on”. The problem is intellectual. We simply have not done the thinking necessary to get above this mess.

    And if we did that thinking it would shake a lot of useless hoors up – and well they know it. So we are distracted and misled to oblivion, so that it does not happen.

    Well, that is it really can we get our act together. Can we stop bull*****ing, stop wasting our energies on nonsense, stop wassting our money, and actually get our act together ?

    Before we do, we will have to do some very serious thinking.

    • BrianC

      Tell me do you think Kenny Hogan Gilmore Howlin can deliver serious thinking? Before you answer look at their track records if even that would be necessary.

      • Deco

        You left out Noonan. (The McCole Case debacle etc..)

        To answer your question – based on their track records I think we are more likely to get half baked, badly thought out policies, and loads of gestures from these clowns, than we are likely to get any serious thinking.

        We have to do it ourselves. I don’t think that Kenny and Gilmore are up to the job.

  11. Deco

    Now, we have to get our act together in respect of the state system, and also in respect of the domestic economy.

    We cannot afford the nonsense that has been going on in the HSE. We cannot afford more FAS debacles, more CIE overspends and junkets, more local authority waste and incompetence like that farce the other year where Galway Corporation polluted their own drinking water with effluent from their own plant, and the other screw-ups that seem to predominate in the Irish state sector.

    Does Ireland actually mean business, or is Ireland still going on with a load of bull ?

    • BrianC

      You have said it before countless times ‘learning to live within your means’ Some are forced others will not and invent all sort of rationalities to maintain their excess. But someone needs to tell them you can only go to the well so many times and the well is now dry.

  12. Deco

    There is a phrase “never look a gift horse in the mouth”.

    Well, stupidity is so entrenched in this country, that most of us are too proud, too misled, too absentminded, too lazy or too badly organized to do anything better than look a gift horse in the mouth.

  13. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  14. Deco

    I just wonder will Comical Lenny be looking for Royalties, seeing as banks in the US are now behaving like NAMA….and he seemed to have invented the idea of stockpiling houses in an effort to prevent a sharp market drop….

    http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/blog/comments/banks-stockpile-homes-buyers-dont-need-to-buy/?source=patrick.net#blogtitle

    Has Western Civilization lost the plot irredeemably concerning residential and commercial property valuations ?

    The US Federal Reserve provides liquidity to US banks. This enables them to have cash to act as collateral when they repossess real estate. Then they can claim that they are no longer solvent. It is also facilitating them to hold the real estate. Low interest rates facilitate them in holding it a long time. In the wait for a pickup in valuation. But wages are depressed, and the cost of living is sky-rocketting.

    The whole thing is a delusion.

    • CitizenWhy

      Eventually unoccupied houses fall apart, by natural process or vandalism or occupation by crack dealers/users. I am sure that the US government will find a way to compensate the banks for deteriorated houses, after they are condemned and torn down. At full original price rather than realistic market prices. The banks will be kept alive, no matter how badly managed, by any means necessary.

    • uchrisn

      Nice link, at the end of the day the people with property anywhere want to keep the value of their houses up.
      So you go back to the issue of democracy. There seems to be a large group of people in Ireland who support bailing out the banks and stockpiling properties on the basis that it keeps up their own house price. This was reflected in the last general election. Whatever about the ECB and the Americans narrowing our options, the Irish could have chosen a no-bailout government.
      Where is this all going to end?
      Well that large group of people are clearly in control of the countries budget and legislation. So they are going to do all they can to artificially maintain and push back up real estate prices. This has already included bankrupting the country. Basically they are going to do everything to fight house values falling if it includes selling every other part of Ireland.
      It such a shame if they let realestate values fall it could be so good for keeping economic drivers in the country.

      • Praetorian

        Banks get paid for inflated mortgages, banks get paid for subprime mortgages, banks get paid for empty houses, banks get paid for falling down houses, banks get paid for houses that aren’t built yet.

        Banks get paid.

    • BrianC

      No its called the Geithner plan and the tax payer is left carrying the can.

  15. Pedro Nunez

    Pass the dried frog pills quick!

  16. “The crowd were in great form, mainly students and people in their 20s. It was more like a line for Oxegen or the Kings of Leon than a political rally. But that’s the Obama magic: he touches everyone.”

    Where do I start!

    Speaking as a member of the diaspora, I’m embarrassed to be a member of a tribe of sheep.

    • Praetorian

      “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves” – Edward R. Murrow

      I think we have gone beyond listening to speeches we have heard 1000 times, no need to take notes, it goes like this:

      1) opening gag, the good old ‘ice breaker’.
      2) Talk of importance of occasion (mention crowd size).
      3) Invoke history (little green behind the red, white and blue – nice one)
      4) Bring up the time you were put to the back of the St. Patrick’s day parade with the cleaners and openly mock organisers (still can’t let it go)
      5) Flash the smile that everyone came for
      6) Peace process in Northern Ireland
      7) We will always stand with you (always goes down well)
      8) Mention education because everything else is for sale or not good enough to sell
      9) Back to history emphasis on Irish immigrants, building up US, George Washington quote, dying in US civil war (Irish seem to have a remarkable ability of dying in other people’s wars)
      10) Your best days are yet to come
      11) Thanks everybody, keep believing.

      Exit left, plane, out of here before bankruptcy comes.

      • BrianC

        Real nice

        I think 11) Should really say
        Thanks everybody, keep delivering

        • Praetorian

          Well as George Carlin said about the American dream “they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”. He also said politicians are put there to give you the illusion of choice and democracy.

          People would better off taking a sleeping pill and getting a good night’s sleep, because it has almost the same effect as listening to politicians making ‘Sam Maguire’ speeches, about as far from reality as it gets.

          Carlin: “Who Really Controls America” :
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI&feature=related

          • Emperorsgotnoclothes

            I’m a strong believer that what we’ve been presented with as “democracy” is in fact the illusion of democracy, as you point out yourself. The point about the illusion of choice though is even more interesting. It struck me this morning though that in a typical two-party “democracy” (ours being a prime example) that there is also the illusion of political opposition, generally provided by the major opposition party. This belief has been hammered home after the recent election where there has been a seamless transition from FF to FG/Labour. Apart from the smattering of well-meaning independents(JHR excluded!) the political system in this country is simply a form of theatre, and not very entertaining at that. The song may have changed but the CD is still the same!

          • Praetorian

            @ Emperorsgotnoclothes

            British & US politics: one business party masquerading as two political parties.

            Irish politics: one business party masquerading as three amateur political parties.

            As for ‘Barak’ and ‘David’ as they referred to each other, politicans playing table tennis and serving a barbecue, in essence trying to appear like the average person, is just that, appearing to be something they quite clearly are not. New Labour under Miliband the younger isn’t go far either and wouldn’t make much of a difference so you are indeed left with the illusion of choice and democracy, which is the only ‘Left’ in town.

            Now back to Sky Sports with you, enough independent thought for one week (notice lunchtime pairing of somewhat older male presenter and pretty young blonde something or other).

        • Mind the grammar Brian.
          Correction:

          “think 11) Should real easy”

      • Deco

        I think you have it sussed. It is a formula. Press all the right buttons. And the fools lap it all up.

        When you reach a certain age you realise that is a load of deceitful BS.

        Which probably explains why the media are always praising young people for believing – so that they will be less likely to analyze what goes on. It is a numbers game. In a democracy, you need to make sure that at least 50% of the population believes it – then it does not matter how well the rest have sussed it all out.

        Point 11 is very true. For some reason we seem to get continually getting praised for dying (often pointlessly) in other people’s wars.

        The usual equation – for every mistake, there must be some invoking of pride, so that serious questions are not asked about why Paddy died in a field of mud, nearly always for a few shillings to feed his starving wife and kids – whom he never seen again afterwards. It is part of the glorification of “all of our wars syndrome” – which sells this concept that “we only ever go on justified wars”.

        • Praetorian

          Of course, every speech has a formula, you can draw up an equation based on the points needed per situation, he has a team of speech writers doing just that, in Britain we’ll have the magna carta, oldest democracy, steadfast allie, troops, military etc, in Berlin the fall of the wall, rise of the economy, prosperity for all, Afghanistan is about transition to democracy, US support in the war on terror, Pakistan is about doing more, risk of becoming a failed State, BRIC countries about supporting them in their fragile state, developing economies, China lipservices to human rights, massive growth which can’t be ignored behind another cold war style wall (too much money to make), engagement, for the domestic audience in the US, it is about challenging times, hard pressed families, middle class, working hard, American can do spirit, I am the living embodiment of the American dream, we can do this, the moon, JFK and his personal hero, Reagan, a guy who practically bankrupted the country and sent Central America, most notably Nicaragua, back to the stone age.

          Give them what they want and leave them calling for more.

          Politics as showbiz, more in common with a U2 concert (ironically U2 was playing in the background as the Obama’s came out on stage, Bono claims in a Hot Press interview that Obama used their music before, without asking permission, but he isn’t going to sue, nice of him to say so, just for the record).

          One giant game with plenty of spectators literally lined up to take it in. Shambolic organisation (the event in Dublin) was I believed how it was decribed in the Irish Times, imagine if Ireland ever gets hit by a serious incident, oh wait it did, Cork city got blasted out of it with tons of water and the country froze over, great responses all round while a guy in Cork city was able to jump a Garda, take his car and drive from Patrick Street to the airport and get within 5 feet of a plane packed with passengers.

          Amateurland.

          • Deco

            Once again we have that arrogant, tax dodging little so-and-so exploiting a serious state visit for free publicity.

            This is all part of a racket to get US radio stations to play his songs, and think that he is “cool”, and he is Irish.

            Of course, with respect to taxation he is not Irish, and he is far from cool.

            Bono is a fake.

          • coldblow

            12) can for use in future series of Reeling in the Years.

            But we do it better:

            A Chairde, I am delighted to be here with you this evening for the official opening of xxx. X is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and historic areas and is truly a hidden gem etc and I am always amazed whenever I come here by the x of the x and by the sheer x of the x etc

            XXX is a unique annual event that has justly acquired international renown/ respect for the quality of its xxx, the breadth of its vision, the creativity of its xxx etc

            I am delighted that my department has been able to provide €1.4m in funding towards xxx In an ever-changing world this event is of increasing importance in view of the etc

            I note the presence this evening of X and I am sure he will enjoy the occasion as much as I will because [little joke]

            I would like to thank xxxx for their invaluable assistance in organizing etc

            So without further delay I wish to declare XXXX officially open.

            Thank you.

            Go raibh maith agaibh.

            In case of annual event, write 2 different templates and alternate every year. Nobody will notice.

            The Minister of State has a speech defect? Or merely has trouble with the cupla focal? Great, we’ll turn it into a Hollywood blockbuster!

            If Dublin City Council had difficulty in organizing this event it could be because they have got used to offloading them onto the Phx Park or elsewhere for safety reasons and have lost the habit.

            I have a dream…

            Ich bin ein Berliner…

            Hello … (check back of hand) Dublin!

          • Emperorsgotnoclothes

            The whole exercise was cynical, patronising, and insulting to the intelligence. Beyond the empty rhetoric, where was the substance and meaning behind the visit that would have impacted positively on the struggles that the ordinary citizen is confronted with now that they’ve been criminally burdened with private debt? To truly understand this type of event people need to alter their perspective and look at it as a form of entertainment….showbiz. Neil Postman wrote a book some years back called Amusing Ourselves to Death

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death

            which claims that the quality of political discourse, among other things, is greatly diminished by the ongoing pressure and imperative to present all serious discussion in an entertaining fashion.

            Judging the event in those terms Obama was reasonably polished while Enda was cringe-inducing. They should have given the gig to Jedward….at least we know where we stand with them!

          • CitizenWhy

            Sadly I am reminded of Yeat’s phrase, “a nation of clowns.” The context was that an independent Ireland could rise to the occasion and put that description to rest. But casting of a cold eye on the current situation leads to darker thoughts.

          • coldblow

            I forgot:

            “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”

            Can’t see that finding its way into Reeling in the Years somehow.

  17. In the meantime ……Irish citizens now cannot get top up loans like they did because of new conditions for written proof of Income that never was asked before …..so the Real Pain begins …..the Lifestyle Austerity Experience is in Full Swing as we …chat.

    So whats next ?

    • Colin

      Time for the Irish to sell their holiday homes in the sun and use that money from the sale wisely?

      • Colin

        Don’t know about gold or other commodities, but the money could solve cashflow problems in small businesses and replace top up loans. Debts could be paid, primary residence houses could be insulated reducing heating bills, old fuel guzzling cars could be replaced with newer more fuel efficient cars, …etc…

  18. Democracy comes from demos, the people… or, ECB in the real world, not a fairy tale!

    When will this government stop acting the mickey and stop pretending that our problems are due to costs of running this country, and not because private banking debts are socialized, hence subscribed to the the austerity priests of EU/IMF?

    There are those who differentiate between the bad EU and the somewhat not so bad IMF. Well, here is the news, you are mistaken to project a positive picture onto the IMF.

    It would be the same as if a team of a killer thug and a charming thief take you hostage in your own home and you conclude that the thief is not that bad at all.

    The IMF is part of the international Banking mafia and I can only suggest that you look into the history of this organization and inform yourself on the track record. You might find that this charm has a devilish appearance and nothing else.

    x x x x

    From the WGC press release May 25th

    The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has approved gold to be used as collateral confirming its status as a high-quality liquid asset.

    http://www.gold.org/download/pr_archive/pdf/gold_as_a_source_of_collateral_pr.pdf

    The ECB is sitting on a big pile of steaming PIIGS shit. The precise figures are not known, but educated estimates conclude some E50bln in Greek paper alone.

    All this is entirely ECB’s own fault.

    The ECB changed the goal posts again last year when they ditched their Investment grade requirement for collateral when they loan to banks. Trichet ditched it when the Greeks went belly up. Clearly, this was a deliberate move to full his balance sheet with more crap, why else would he ditch this requirement otherwise?

    It is totally reasonable to conclude that Trichet knew too well that now Greek banks will dump their toxic and fraudulent papers on ECB to raise money.

    I stand to be corrected, but I think you will have a hard tome to convince me that this was not Trichet’s deliberate action!

    So the Greek Banks sucked up E 90bln from ECB.

    So what was the fraudulent crap they gave in return? Well that’s an easy one, the biggest banks issued guaranteed bonds to themselves! and put it up as collateral to the central bank. 2010 corrupt Greek government offered the banks E 30bln of loan guarantees, which would allow them to borrow from capital markets.

    In the real world, what happens normally with such binds is that they are sold to investors!

    Now, you probably guessed it, these E 30 bln loan guarantees never were sold to investors, but the banks issued these bonds to themselves. Do you get it? This is the typical way the banks operate to create something out of nothing, this is what brought us into this mass in the first place. -Q.E.D. -

    Nothing ever changed, the smoke screen of Basel III is just that, a smoke screen, and structurally nothing changed, the Banksters still perform the very same stunts that they used to create assets out of nothing.

    The bonds – with the fraudulent guarantee attached – then were posted to the ECB as collateral to raise the low cost funds, and because the ECB was prepared by deliberately lowering their standard to accept only investment grade collateral, they took these bonds.

    Now bear with me, you have to think further one step to fully understand how this scam works.

    What is happening with the low cost E 30 billion loan from the ECB that was pumped into the accounts of Piraeus BanK and EFG?

    They raised the interest rate on over 20 bon of these bonds eight percentage points last week, and this interest rate they are paying to?….THEMSELVES!

    So they increased the value of these bonds, and the funny thing is they blew up the value of the fraudulent collateral that was given to the ECB’s, hence their balance sheet at the same time.

    You get the drift?

    Finally, the ECB is a undemocratic – unelected – Institution and more important they are not accountable to no one. In the cover of this status quo, they do not show the world they true level of exposure to sovereign debts that was guaranteed with fraud like explained above.

    This is why I said to Dorothy’s question in the last article that any default, Irish or Greek would cause the ECB’s crack house policies – Love that term David! – explode in a nuclear mushroom cloud. I bet my bottom dollar, the ECB is overexposed!

    Now the rest of story and the context to the press release to accept Gold now as collateral…. well, I leave that to your own brains to conclude. It is a fucking obvious and desperate move!

    They are going to start stealing Gold now.

    The ECB has turned into Europe’s Mega Bad Bank and their activities from there on were no longer that of a European Central Bank but those of a ideologically and politically locked Institution.

    They will be see as the main reason for Europe’s downfall.

    Now, last but not least, the Irish government does not explain this to you, the irish media blanks it out as well, but trumpet home the need ti impose more Austerity and selling the countries assets down the Swanny to support this Ideology, and this is no surprise, you have to understand this from the context that they are interlocked with their friends in the EPP, the right wing European Peoples Party.

    I rest my case.

    Best
    Georg

    • sorry for typos, I hacked this down life and did not read it before posting.

        • D
          Do not call a German at home unless it is an emergency.

          IRL
          It is considered more proper for a woman to order a glass of beer or stout rather than a pint

          UK
          Crossing your legs at the ankles, not at the knees, is proper.

          US
          Women: do not overdress for daytime or wear flashy or noisy jewelry. American women do not wear a lot of makeup to the office. Low-cut blouses, short skirts and tight clothing are not appropriate office attire.

          China
          Do not in any way suggest that Taiwan is not part of China.

          Russia
          Be feminine. Allow men to open doors, light cigarettes, etc. Even if you think such customs are antiquated or silly, respect the cultural background of your Russian colleagues.

          Jaoan
          The Japanese do not express opinions and desires openly. What they say and what they mean may be very different. – -Confused, was this not Ireland? -

          • CitizenWhy

            But aren’t the Irish raised to, intuit the meaning behind the code words, small gestures, tiny facial movements? I was quite good at this with Japanese people, much to their amusement. When I first visited Ireland it took me a few days to intuit some of the weird family dynamics among the relatives, but I was able to do so through the accumulation of code words, gestures, facial movements.

  19. The Royal visit and the speech from the great one seems to have had the desired effect on a lot of impressionable adults. It is a PR job pure and simple and it is high time the blinkers were thrown back into old the glory hole under the stairs

    It’s amazing how so many people disengage their brains at the sight of the ‘greatness’ and start talking the most cringe inducing nonsense

    We are being patronised about how great we are while Obama, Cameron and the Enfent Terrible are cooking up plans to kill even more people in their wars of imperialism. This hard power has no conscience and it is to blame for many of the world’s problems

    As long as there are large American firms in Ireland paying good wages you will find plenty of people here who will turn a blind eye. Money talks and there are many people who will sell out on their principles when money is doing the talking

    The rich war mongers are polluting poor countries with depleted uranium and land mines which main and kill for many years after the wars have ended and still the Brits, the French and the US are making fortunes in the arms trade

    Judging by the lukewarm nature of the comments above I think you misjudged your readers with this article David and it is far from inspiring

    Over the last week no mention has been made about the manner in which Ireland is being screwed by it’s so called friends. People are in despair out there and the Irish media expect them to cheer as if the words of Obama, Kenny and all the other well trained orators will put food on their tables

    Now that the circus is over reality should hit home with a bang and make everyone realise that we have not solved even one of the many problems we face as a country. Because we can’t?

    • The notion that american companies are enriching Irish society by their very presence is ridiculous. If you look into the depth of it, take ADOBE as an example, and investigate what taxes they avoided to pay in Ireland by using legal loop holes offered to them by Irish the government, then it is evident how the scheme works. The Irish state/people do not benefit from profits made by US giants as they are jot declared here, although the originate in Ireland. Legal eagles in cahoots enable these loop holes to be exploited in Ireland, which is one reason that they are attracted to Ireland.

      • Err… Adobe have a small distribution office in Santry employing a couple of people I believe, I think you mean Google et al

        • Err…

          In 2007, Adobe’s two subsidiaries turnover total came in at $ 2,6 billion. Corporation Tax paid in Ireland for this time was $ 5 million.

          The 1st Adobe Software Trading Comapny had pre-tax profit of 407m and paid 2,1m in Ireland, effective Tax rate of 0,5%

          Adobe Systems Software Irland had pre-tax profit of 36,6m and paid 2,9m, that comes in at effective tax rate of 7.9%.

          Dr. Sheila Killian who now heads up the odious debt case for Ireland, remarked at this time about Adobe, Since the company has a HQ based in Bermuda, it’s reasonable to assume it’s carefully chosen the geographical locations in which it operates so as to minimise its overall tax liability…..

          Most of the creditors from the Irish company are parent and subsidiary undertakings. This is a group that trades extensively within itself, and since it doesn’t report a geographical breakdown, this makes it very difficult for anyone to see what exactly is going on.

          Err…?

          • Georg,

            Adobe is an umbrella corporation basxed in San Francisco that has and continues to take over other software companies working in the same field.

            However, it does not have an on the ground manufacturing or software development facility located in Ireland.

            How it shifts money around its various holdings to limit its tax liabilities is of course of interest to US tax authorities especially given the facts you outline.

            So, given its limited footprint in Ireland, given our knowledge of Double Irish, Dutch sandwiches, and similar CT tax scams, Europe’s concern over our ‘precious’ CT and how it operates, should be self evident:)

            It would be great however if Adobe relocated to Ireland as I’m a great fan of its software and each of its software development teams:)

        • You are right of course about google… double dutch…double irish… Microsoft and so on

          http://www.finfacts.ie/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10005150.shtml

          • Ireland is the world’s most profitable country for US corporations, according to analysis by US tax journal Tax Notes. In a study by the journal’s Martin Sullivan that was published in 2004, it was found that profits made by US companies in Ireland doubled between 1999 and 2002 from $13.4 billion to $26.8 billion, while profits in most of the rest of Europe fell. In his analysis Sullivan termed Ireland a ‘semi-tax haven’ for US firms, because firms are involved in real productivity in contrast with locations such as Bermuda.

            Between 1999 to 2002, US multinational corporations increased profits in countries with no taxes or low rates by 68% while sharply reducing profits recorded in countries where they engage in substantial business activity, the study published in the journal Tax Notes shows.

      • CitizenWhy

        The US theory of how corporations, when locating somewhere, create greater wealth in that location and increase tax revenues:

        More people are hired, often at wages higher than the local average, and so there is more spending power and the government can collect more income tax revenue from those workers. Corporate taxes? The price of that job creation is no or low corporate taxes.

        That’s the theory.

      • It’s interesting that you mention Adobe Georg because companies such as themselves, $MS and Apple are not only paying next to zero taxes, they are making products which are defective by design. I see Colm has reacted and I am not surprised as he is an Adobe man and anyway software has always been a touchy subject on this forum in the past. It’s strange how we get attached to brands, or in my case white label brands

        End users of proprietary products are subject to restrictions of the most draconian kind and locked into an upgrade cycle that is designed for one purpose – to maximise profits from a huge user base of people who simply don’t know any better

        You are told you can’t run Internet Explorer 9 on Windows XP, one of Microsoft’s best selling operating systems ever and one of the most loved. I call this pure abuse and would never tolerate such treatment. That’s why I gave proprietary software the middle finger years ago.

        Apple products are often seen as playthings for the rich and they are effectively useless computing devices which have been hobbled to behave like consumer tools

        These is a massive market for training and certification in the use of products made by Adobe and Microsoft and people are rushing to take up web design courses using Adobe Dreamweaver for example. Not that Dreamweaver will ever make you a decent web designer mind you, it wont

        If anyone in Ireland is thinking of creating the next killer software app then they are more likely to be using Linux, Open Source Software and on Mobile they will target the Android Platfrom

        Here is an interesting infographic I created to illustrate the rise of Android : http://irishlightandcolour.blogspot.com/2011/05/rise-of-android.html

        In the software world it pays to stay informed and not let ourselved be distracted and blinkered by snake oil salesmen

        • I don’t only support Adobe software, eg I’m a huge fan of Android and doing a preso on it in early June, see recent presos, join us at http://www.mmug-dublin/augdublin .

          We’ll probably broadcast it so keep an eye on above url for links to it:)

        • Personal comment: I hate that adobe crap. LOL Flash is a pest and nothing else, and thankfully it will be a species on the brink of extinction.

          Adobe’s massive European price rip offs are well known amongst digital artists – Photoshop, Lightroom etc –

          Open Source = two thumbs up! OS is the way to go, just look at the way they achieve things, such as the Video Lan Client. I used to work with PC’s for decades, but switched to Mac a few years ago.

          It was a spontaneous decision, when I installed windows Vista…. 90 minutes later I shut down the machine and ordered a bunch of Macs from cancom.

          Fwiw, I can not begin to estimate how many hours/days/weeks net time I spent in fixing windows crap, digging in the registry and stuff. Countless.

          Since I changed everything to Mac, Apple and OS software, and this is not a joke, I have not spend a single hour in three years fixing stuff on OS level, not a sausage! In fact there was never anything to be fixed at all! I maintain all my machines with very simple procedures, most of them automated.

          Today, my home is a Microsoft free zone, and this will not change. :)

          • lol there is money in fixing windows crap Georg

            For a computer techie it’s a sure fire earner and a pretty recession proof way of earning a living owing to the sheer numbers of people owning computers running windows. If I went down too hard on $MS I would be working against my economic interests :-) and end up insulting people. People get personally attached to the brands they use

            If someone brings over a pc for repair I thank god for $MS and their crap products… especially if my fridge is pretty empty :-)

            There is a whole industry out there servicing $MS products and those of Adobe which generates plenty of money for training providers and jobs for people who are certified. All that economic activity translates into business opportunities for entrepreneurs and jobs for programmers and trainers

            If the whole world changed to Linux and Open Source tomorrow there would be still be loads of work and business opportunities with the main difference being that there would be no licensing costs and restrictions on what you can do with the software

            All I can say is that after my house became a microsoft free zone it forever changed the way I think about and use computers. It even restored my faith in human nature because every time I sit down to a Linux box today it still amazes me that so many people out there give their time freely to bring us such amazing software without even asking for a penny in return.

            This is true altruism and the Open Source juggernaut will continue to innovate and provide it’s great gift to humanity

          • adamabyss

            What are the specific advantages of using Linux etc. over Windows, if you don’t mind expanding a little Pauldiv?

          • For Adam below
            —————-

            You can use both Adam and it is easy to install Linux
            onto a hard drive beside Windows and choose either when the computer boots up. This way you can keep Windows and explore Linux at your leisure. If nothing else having Linux sitting side by side with your windows install will get you out of trouble if you bork your windows installation

            By booting into Linux you can recover all your important files from the windows drive but Linux is much much more than a system recovery tool for a borked windows install

            It takes time to get used to Linux and it is like going on new journey where you begin to see computers from a new perspective. Free software is a different culture and in this sense it requires a mindshift just like we are always alluding to on this forum when referring to the herd like mentality of the the Irish people in regards to all the highway robbery taking place around them

            With commercial operating systems and software you are
            being constantly reminded that they own the software and not you – you can’t do this and you can’t do that etc. This is anti-social in my opinion and I didn’t realise just how anti-social it was until I read about guys in third world countries using Linux for all their computing needs because the concept of paying $500 for a piece of software was laughable to them on the wages they earn

            I find these guys inspiring because they innovate and
            when they solve a hard problem they share it with the
            world. No patents and all that nonsense

            Windows has more support for commercial software and in some industries like web design Adobe products have been declared to be the ‘standard’. It is anything but a standard because closed proprietary software is about as far from standards based software as you can get. Budding web designers feel that they need to learn these software packages to earn a living but this is not true. However is someone makes cartloads of money from their skills then that is up to them and righly so as long as their customers are getting real value

            It is indoctrination and as proof of that statement all you need to do is look at the amount of people in society who automatically associate computers with ms windows and money

            In Linux there is no concept of license fees, trial
            software, malware and the like and i’ve never even seen a virus on Linux. It runs forever and no matter how often I install and remove software it runs like the day I first installed it. This reliability gives me a far better sense of security

            For me there is no real disadvantages in using Linux.
            For most pieces of commercial software there is usually an open source equivalent. Sometimes the open source version will not be as good but in some cases it will be far better

            I have some illustrated articles on Linux over at my own site which talk about Linux and how it can be great for photography, multi-media and office work. Please see the link below if you want to know more below what Linux can do

            http://irishlightandcolour.com/Life-And-Photography-Journal.php#Computing

            At the end of the day there is no harm in trying Linux
            and you can’t beat the price but for me the real value
            is in the freedom it gives me to learn and do what I
            like with it and that is something you can’t put a price on a price on

          • adamabyss

            Thanks Paul, I really appreciate the time you’ve put into replying to me. I am going to check out Linux this summer while I’m off college and if it’s as good as you say it is then I expect that I’ll switch over. However I’ll try it side by side initially with Windows as you suggest. Thanks again, Adam.

  20. I think DmcW is losing his political, economic and critical nous and in danger of disappearing into the sheeple.

    My daughters, who were there, criticised my misery economics when I criticised them for being there!

    “So, anyway,” I said, “where’s Osama’s funeral being held, as maybe I’d like to attend it and give sympathy to his 12yr old daughter who witnessed her father’s execution?” Silence.

    I didn’t want to be a part of the staged set for Obama’s reelection videos and Guinness fest.

    Glad I didn’t witness in person gombeen Enda redefinition of uaisleacht to exclude the world of banking and economics!

    Obama will rightly get the boot next election, it’s the economy, stupid!

    He’s failed to deal with the banks. We’ve a dead cat bounce.

    The US banks have sucked money away from the American middle class and spent it on more speculation in paper money fed by bonuses building castles of sand. Afghanistan is a mess.

    I guess DmcW is looking for a comfortable niche for himself and all these uber economic misery daffodils may be getting a bit much too hard to swallow.

    At least some guys are still telling it like it is, see Matt Taibbi and Max Keiser below.

    Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi

    “Phony media created division between red and blue”

    http://rt.com/news/2008-crisis-bankers-responsibility/

    Max Keiser:

    http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/episode-147-max-industry/

    ..”nihilistic, for profit media”

    “snow globe of denial”

    “flatter fest”

    Very interesting Reggie Middleton of BoomBustBlog.com on banks taking losses on assets, collateral with negative value, plus low interest rates starving the banks. “The price of saving banks is future growth” ie destruction of the economy…

    ….Actually, the joy of knowledge revealed is often the only buffer to the obscure agenda of hiding truth and misery …..

    Fallons me arse, to get us all to a brighter future I’d rather see a picture of someone studying economics in a library:)

    • ….Actually, the joy of knowledge revealed is often the only buffer to the obscure agenda of hiding truth and misery ….. is mine:)

    • I think DmcW is losing his political, economic and critical nous and in danger of disappearing into the sheeple.

      Cut him some slack. In a certain way, DMcW is an Insider himself Colm. :)

      Not? Of course he is, he plays a role unique in Irish Society, hence he is ‘tolerated’ to act the Rebel and even get’s his slots in RTE for edutainment docus.

      I consider this article to be advertisement.

      David McWilliams is a director of a community-based diaspora project called Ireland Reaching Out. Visit the website at http://www.irelandxo.org

      Bottom line, it is a good cause and I don’t mind that at all. I would not say that he is loosing his bite, but he is balancing his position of course.

      What do you expect him to do? Call for social upheaval or massive civil disobedience?

      You can not transplant a brain into the public Irish body.

      • The most terrifying thought most men have is that their voice will cease to be listened to and that they will fade into obscurity but I don’t think that will ever happen to DMcW

        He is too talented and would probably end up writing best selling novels and stories. You can’t keep a good man down

  21. Deco

    I have to admit, I think we should all be seriously relieved that there were no terrorist incidents.

    I think that it is safe to assume that the American security people must have been shocked at the way we handle security in a place like Dublin Airport.

  22. coldblow

    David, what a bunch of cynics we are.

    It’s true, the heart counts as much as the head. I suppose it’s a matter of striking a reasonable balance.

    Morgan Kelly in his last article referred to Geithner’s veto as an example of US soft power. Will Hutton made a lot about the exercise of US soft power globally as opposed to self-defeating militarism to achieve their goals. Hutton could see where this was going economically, by the way.

    I still agree with you about he potential of the diaspora. Whoever made the ‘risible’ comment, and those of his ilk, was probably acting out of personal begrudgery. It still surprises me how much of this comes down to the personal despite all the abstractions.

    • It’s hard to argue against cynics – they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.

      You write, “I still agree with you about he potential of the diaspora”. What exactly is it you want me (Irishman living in the US) do for ‘Team Ireland’?

      It strikes me that the country needs more cynicism, not less. Perhaps then we can then begin on the path towards true informed citizenship and truly see the self-serving motives of the special interests running the country into the ground.

      • coldblow

        Yeah, I was arguing against my own inclinations there and giving our host a bit of support at the same time. Look, I’ve been like this since I was 11 or 12, and it’s not cynicism either (and I have been called a cynic) rather something like idealism. But then again it’s only a point of view and there’s a bigger picture out there that you have to be aware of even if you don’t agree with it. And frankly I usually don’t, but the thing is it’s not a choice, but rather an imperative to acknowledge and accept it. (talking to myself here)

        There are some excellent posts in this thread, articulating my own thoughts, only better. However, when even Malcolm didn’t step in there to argue the positives the alarm bells began to ring and I thought: steady on!

        The enemy is not optimism per se but stupidity I think. Let’s be clear: people have a right to be stupid and to swallow the BS, but others also have a right to reject and critize. The stupidity is annoying, but occasionally very funny.

        I remember a sentence from Snow’s The Corridors of Power which I read thirty years ago, where the author describes the cynics as the naive ones not the realists they think they are (or something like that).

        There’s “cynicism” and cynicism when you think about it. John Waters talks about the latter (and its associated stupidity) in his column today:

        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0527/1224297845676.html

        He is “cynical” about the cynicism of the media and the whole intellectual non-debate in Ireland. A wilful obtuseness, a deliberate misconstruing of intentions, which is evident every day.

        So, yes, we need more “cynicism”, but of the right kind, where it is driven by good intentions. Idealism in orther words.

        I agree with your post by the way, based on the above definition of “cynicism”.

        By the way, the way I cottoned onto the stupidity of television at a tender age was an English regional programme Nationwide where the content was similar to that of Ken Brockman’s show on the Simpsons. But it was when the presenters started talking in a peculiar way by putting the stress ON random words in THEIR sentences and then other people IN similar shows AROUND the country started copying them. It was soon a plague. A friend at school had reached the same conclusion. I mean, how are you supposed to react?

        • coldblow

          And I didn’t even go into the whole extravert/ intravert thing. The implications are obvious, but I’ve said it all before and my lips are sealed…

        • CitizenWhy

          Perhaps the term you are looking for is skepticism. Open to the possibility, but wanting more evidence, detail, and understanding of consequences. Also open to the possibility that something is false. Also open to the possibility that there are more options to consider.

          Critical thinking, when applied to real world problems and public policy, requires skepticism.

          • coldblow

            Yes, you’re right. Anyway, the word cynicism is used too loosely. In Ireland the herd just starts running off in one particular direction and that’s that. They’ve run to ‘property’ and found nothing there. Now where will they head off to? Sceptics will be told to “get over it” and to “embrace change”.

        • Malcolm McClure

          Coldblow: John Waters says it so much better than I could. Cynicism, without detailed knowledge of their quarry’s circumstances and intentions, is morally degrading to both the speaker and the listener.
          To the speaker because he pretends to possess an authority he doesn’t have, and to the listeners because their curiosity about the real world is inescapably twisted towards a negative construction of events. The resulting downward spiral tends to snowball as other join in the trash-fest.
          Generally, I think the accumulation of preventable, negative results is caused by those responsible being too busy with showy trivia to allow themselves sufficient time to nurture foresight, the essential quality in a leader.

  23. coldblow

    Good review by John Gray here of “23 Things they don’t tell you about Capitalism”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/29/ha-joon-chang-23-things

    “The world is awash with books that claim to explain the global financial meltdown. Not many are written by economists. Ignorant of history, including that of economics itself, most economists not only failed to forecast the crash but, mesmerised by the spurious harmonies of their mathematical models, were blind to the mounting instability of the financial system and failed to grasp that an upheaval of the kind that is currently under way was even possible. After an intellectual failure on this scale, what could economists have to say today that would be of any interest to anyone?

    “Anxiously defending their turf, many have objected that they never claimed to predict the future. But as Ha-Joon Chang writes: “Economists are not some innocent technicians who did a decent job within the narrow confines of their expertise until they were collectively wrong-footed by a once-in-a-century disaster that no one could have predicted.” Far from being an inward-looking, hermetic discipline, economics has been a hugely powerful — and profitable — enterprise, shaping the policies of governments and companies throughout much of the world. The results have been little short of disastrous. As Chang puts it: “Economics, as it has been practised in the last three decades, has been positively harmful for most people.”

    I quoted Gray here before. He’s a pol. philospher and wrote books including False Dawn: the Delusions of Global Capitalism. Interesting, though I’d only agree with him up to a point. Don’t agree with him philsophically, at all at all.

    From wiki: “Gray sees volition, and hence morality, as an illusion, and portrays humanity as a ravenous species engaged in wiping out other forms of life.”

    See what I mean?

    • CitizenWhy

      Nicely put. Should make the rounds in the pubs.

    • BrianC

      Yes I understand what you mean, and with you regards believing all that one tells you. Half truths full truths bits of the truth economical with the truth and so on.

      There is also how we are told the truth, it is sold to us in myriad of ways with many motivations. When the economy was booming the truth of get onto the property ladder was veraciously peddled by brigades of economists with high profile officers such as Dan the man leading the money supply charge. Perhaps the wording ‘avariciously’ peddling is more apt. Now the economy is down it is my fault, I must bear the consequences of my own excesses and dutifully engage austerity in order to become healthy again. Oh mia culpa.

      So what is the truth? In economics that is. Well how the hell would I know being an ordinary innocent sheep sheperd by hermetic ivory towered intellects who ought to know. Being a relative dullard in the esoteric science of economics other experts in this domain are better capable of determining the truth of economics. As most know through direct experience the consequences of getting it wrong is not alone harmful but very painful causing great duress. Maybe Mike Montagne peddler of mathematically perfect economy is pushing the truth where a non cyclical economic world awaits should he have the truth of the real facts debated. Hopefully better intellects than me can enlighten. But I reckon it all goes back to my old lovely hobby horse of fractional reserve banking which so far has failed to deliver sustained prosperity for all.

      • It’s an interesting notion is the truth. Men have asked the question ‘what is truth’ since time began but I have come to the conclusion that the only truth that really matters is the truth inside your own head. That is the place where you are more likely to conceive of and make better use of the truth because you are the truth

        We have enough intellectual snobbery in Ireland without paying Uruah Heep style homage to those who are supposedly superior to us in intellect. It is swings and roundabouts because one man who has a great intellect may be lacking in a moral capacity and a dairy farmer could be morally superior to a college professor

        Economists are usually pretty smart people who are survivors but their profession seems to me to be like a game of dice in that every time they speak they are either forecasting the future or explaining why things went awry in the past

        They never cross the line lest they be left out in the cold and have to deal with the feelings of reject and hurt caused by damage to their professional reputations. They need to be seen as being right and this is a pity because anyone who never makes mistakes never learns much. This is why we can’t leave the truth to the Economists to explain for us – we need to do our own thinking

        We can’t blame Economists for making people stupid en masse. During the boom a house cost more than 10 times the average wage and simple arithmetic and common sense tells us that this is just not on and that the only sane thing to do would be to put the idea to bed and get on with life

        People are emotional creatures who are often guided by urges and appetites that need to be controlled through self discipline and lack of self discipline is a real problem. If you you could teach or bottle and sell self discipline then Ireland’s best days really would be yet to come

        • BrianC

          Yes I concur but does a mathimatically perfected economy as proposed by Mike Montagne work. Can the expert economic minds not look at it and ascertain its merits.

          Paul can you enlighten us non experts in pc software matters as to those open source operating systems such as Linux compared to MS.

          • It seems to me that Economics is an intractable problem Brian and that all the Phd’s on the planet can not come up with convincing answers. If they had the answers then there would no problem. Human weakness is a problem

            On Linux and Open Source I posted above in reply to adamabyss and have put in a link to some nice articles that should get you thinking

    • adamabyss

      Excellent book by Ha-Joon Chang.

    • Breaking away from the illusion of market objectivity is the first step toward understanding capitalism.

      Bingo!

  24. Dorothy Jones

    Great picture; nice touch David, with pen in hand.
    I hope that’s a pint of Bulmers there David…..
    I get a bit confused about the diaspora theme though. Most of the people I know who emigrated and returned lost their jobs and are gone again.

  25. For three years until 2010, Beijing didn’t even allow the IMF to release its annual report on the Chinese economy.

    Hehehehe!

  26. Carre D’Or

    ( aka New World Order )

    Obama is fusing together the golden square of the Anglo American Law Power and initiating a new center of world power that must be controlled from within this new square.Its a ralleying call to the faithful to reposition the inverse of the Marshall Plan.Its a strategy for survival and control and when that is cemented money and busness will flourish within .

  27. PMC

    The proposal by Richard Bruton to cut the ONLY small bit of benefit for the lowest paid is absolutely disgusting. He’s a prime example of a man who’s got educational scrolls rolling out his arse, yet can’t see the wood from the trees when it comes to the realities of life.

    This scenario highlights perfectly, the way this country is run – When it comes to consultants, judges etc… we mess around for months with non-stop talk of should we / shouldn’t we cut salaries; and we continue the procrastination, until a handy distraction rolls up and the issue is dropped.

    When it comes however, to the lowest paid, and I mean the lowest; decisions are finalised with the stroke of a pen in no time at all. People like Jay Bourke telling us he can hire more staff if the paltry little bit extra these people get is cut! Fucking shame on you pal.
    These “savings” will instead, probably be used to ease the outcry over council rates, to ensure these lazy bastards are looked after and kept in a job.

    In Financial Services and IT etc… if employees had to work a Saturday or a BH Monday in any company; the likelihood is that these workers will be paid not only time and a half or double time, but also receive a days holidays in lieu.

    Lest he not forget; it’s the lowest paid that allow the likes of Brendan McGinty from IBEC to sit down in L’Gueuleton on a Saturday night on enjoy spending some of his extortionate salary.

    These people forget that the lowest paid jobs are the most soul destroying jobs in the world. Very low pay, mundane tasks, often useless managers, and then when you factor in the likes of NAMA doing its utmost to keep property prices at an artificial level; well, you get the picture of how life must be.

    Every one of these people should get together and sign a petition which states that they’ll walk if those benefits are touched, and stuff it down Richard Brutons throat where it can sit alongside his Oxbridge Degree. Do it as one, without the Unions, and you’ll get a far more efficient response.

    • PMC – I totally agree!
      Methinks the seeds of destruction have truly been sewn here – particularly by the Labour Party
      -
      Howlin says that they have not yet considered the position – Eh why not and why wait?
      It’s surely a fundamental principle when your a “Labour Party” – You do not reduce the income of the lower paid – and you do not reverse the benefits of working Sunday or Bank Holidays – Isn’t that what Socialism/Unions fought for for generations?

      And then to cap it all you have a former Labour Leader Pat Rabbitte stating that in principle he is against salary capping of the highest paid in RTE;
      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0527/1224297853692.html

      So that’s it then – it’s only a matter of time before they discover a couple of socialists have infiltrated the Labour Party. Then FG/Labour parties start infighting and ultimately get the electoral shaft treatment ala the two Brians.
      Bye-bye to the 2 E’s!
      Who’s next? It’s Sinn Féin at the controls! I hope that their interpretation of “not a cent more” is different to FG/Labours pre election chant!

    • Deco

      In agreement.

      We have a massive cost problem still in this economy. And we have a particular cost problem concerning labour.

      The problem with Baby Brute, is that he is looking at it from the wrong end. He had nothing to say about bankers bonuses, or about the lack of downward movement in protected sectors of the economy – notably the issue of the fees being charged by professionals.

      In particular, no reference yet to the professional fees being charged by NAMA for “services” or any other part of the institutional state, like the fees paid by the HSE for consultants.

      Therefore I agree completely with your sentiments.

      It is completely obvious that Brute cannot see the wood from the ditch, let alone the trees.

      This is the same muppet who wants us to believe he is the best economist in the country – yet his own investment decisions indicate that he has no grasp of economic reality – just look at the shares that he purchased during the boom, and which are on the Dail record.

      Anglo.
      McInerney.
      AIB/BoI.
      CRH.

      All have crashed except CRH – which has only halved.

      Penny wise, and pound foolish.

      Asking Brute to reduce his own salary is now impossible given that he made such awful decisions in his supposed area of expertise.

      • Praetorian

        Agree with you Deco, there is plenty of cutting at the bottom in the interests of ‘competitiveness’ but little to nothing (purely theatrical/public obs) cuts at the top. Kenny is still pulling a flat 200,000 euro per annum at a time of national crisis, Gilmore is on something massive as well. Salaries of top executives in the semi-state sector are a farce and it is all the way down the line, while IBEC show up with very few positive solutions to the impasse.

        I wrote to my local Fine Gael TDs on this scandalous issue of cutting the overtime for people who don’t go to work because they love it but because they need it, naturally I got no response from either one. I was hoping that the current effort was a cunning attempt to destroy Bruton’s credibility by those he sought to unseat about a year ago, if so, then it seems to be working very well, epsiode reminds me of the tax on children’s shoes, a real vote winner.

        If the proposal has any seriousness then it puts it up to the Unions and Labour who talk a great game but so far I have yet to see anything concrete let alone a decent media appearance. There are few champions left in this society of any stature, just insiders playing the game or would be insiders dying to become the connected.

        And I said it before, an education never stopped a person from doing the most ludicrous stuff.

      • PMC

        It’s of vital importance that the cost problem is addressed now, and NAMA is putting a real spanner in the works as far as this is concerned.
        Thinking that the falls in property here are short term is wrong. In order to get things going, our costs need to fall into line re rent, rates, professional fees – NOT cutting paltry sums of the lowest paid.

        The problem with NAMA, is that it was put together before the extent of the problems had come to light. Our debts are continuously growing yet economic growth is zero.

        Instead of NAMA sitting over vacant units, why not give free office / retail space to viable occupiers for a period of time & take a percentage of turnover as opposed to an extotionate fixed rent.
        We should incentivise already successful companies from abroad to occupy these vacant units – get some jobs out of it for people – get money into their pockets – let them spend, and metaphorically speaking, put some oil onto the cogs of commerce – lift the mood in this country.
        Some of these companies would have access to funding from abroad, therefore wouldn’t need the AIBs and BOIs to tell them they can’t have it.

    • BrianC

      Totally agree.

      Well put.

  28. uchrisn

    On the topic of America and Ireland I have to say that there are many decent Americans who have done much good work just as there are not so decent ones. You have to respect the U.S. as a world leader in education, R and D and other areas. However their banks and financial industry have let down their country badly in the last few years. Unfortunatly their banks and financial industry seem to have their government under the thumb, just like in other countries. As such I feel that Obama has been comprimised. I would personally not go out to see him on this basis and would say it to him if we met. Which is why I’m not Taosieach or President.
    We need strong global financial regulation but the G20 can’t agree and Ireland don’t have any clout in that regard. I like if we said it to Obama though.
    The importance of Irish ancestry to Americans deciding to set up in Ireland is overexageratted. Everyone abroad says Irelands greatest asset is its human resources. This is their main reason to come here.

  29. uchrisn

    “The Maastricht treaty explicitly prohibits a eurozone country from leaving the euro, but says nothing about a temporary leave of absence (and therefore doesn’t prohibit one). It is time for Greece, other eurozone members, and the European Commission to start thinking seriously about that option.” – Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard

    • +1

      I’ve proposed this already:)

      • Joining a monetary union with the UK based on a Commonwealth model with greater joined up relationship with NI would make a lot better sense for us.

        • Soorry, forgot to mention, Feldstein (uchris de ye hav link for this?), is talking about leaving the euro, not the EU.

          Unfortunately we don’t have the political leadership savvy…our biggest democratic deficit of all

          • uchrisn

            http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/feldstein36/English
            This is the link. This is a good wesite. Some journalist should write an article putting together the similar views and names of so many international economists who are supporting the position of Ireland. It should br one of Indas no 1 arguments when he goes to Europe. Many of these guys were x-chief economists with the world bank or IMF or have won nobel prizes in economics.

  30. http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0526/bailout-business.html

    British MEP Sharon Bowles, she is

    “The Chairperson of the European Parliament’s influential Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has said she is outraged by the conditions imposed on Ireland regarding the interest rate on its EU loans.”

    On the other hand our Noonan seems to have lost the plot altogether:

    (“We’re prepared to pay the price”, see below)

    “Mr Noonan reiterated that the country hopes to borrow in sovereign debt markets late next year.”

    And would appear to be pouring cold water on efforts being made to reduce our interest rate:

    “Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said today that Ireland would not raise its rate of corporation tax despite pressure from France and Germany.

    ‘We’re not for turning on this issue. We’re prepared to pay the price,’ Mr Noonan told reporters after talks with his French counterpart, Christine Lagarde, on the sidelines of an OECD meeting in Paris.”

    We’re led by stooges and poodles, weep for Ireland, ye vassals, weep:-(

    • BrianC

      @ Deco

      Yes you are right. Stupid me. How could I have forgotten Noonan.

    • Deco

      “We’re prepared to pay the price”.
      I assume this means that the bondholders will not have to pay the price.

      Was this another integral part of the five point plan ?

      Noonan is dithering, and then as an escape clause he just blames the mess on the FF/GP/PD side of the political establishment. He has not copped on yet that he was voted in to do a job – and he is avoiding the issue.

  31. doflynn

    Will anyone from here, at any stage, be joining our protest march to Dublin on Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri next week, our protest march in Thurles this Sunday?

  32. Global Bankster Scam update Q3/Q4 2010

    Note that only 8 participating Mafia Institutions, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States are reporting on the fourth market.

    OTC derivatives rose by 3% Q3/Q4 to $601 trillion. To put that into perspective, gloabl GDP at the ned of 2010 was at around $ 58,3 trillion.

    15% increase in forwards and swaps contracts on precious metals and other commodities.

    Sovereign CDS market up 32% year on year, with 6% increase Q3/Q4 and 26% gain Q1/Q2 of 2010.

    http://www.bis.org/publ/otc_hy1105.pdf

    • In addition…

      Since 06/2010 44 million more people are now below the $1,25 poverty line due to Food price manipulations.

      • remember…HUNGER IS POLITICAL!

      • Deco

        George it goes like this.
        when the poor want food, the sweat and toil for it. The search rubbish tips. The kill animals, eat roots, eat seconds whatever needs to be done.

        When the rich want a bailout…well that is a completely different matter. They go looking to the working segment of the population, where taxation is compulsory, and employ the politicians to divert the fruits of the labour of the working population.

        Dude, where’s my bailout ? – to paraphrase Michael Moore.

        • Praetorian

          @ Georg – Hunger is political, and celebrities do immense damage when they show up and give a largely misleading impression that the devils are the ones to solve the problems they themselves created.

          I think food security/insecurity is going to be one of the dominant issues in the 21st century, scandalous profiteering goes on in the commodities market which is conspiciously avoided by economic and media commentators, which tells you a lot about the institutionalised thinking, what can and cannot be talked about. But slowly we are leaving the air out of the myths of the ‘free market’ and ‘work ethic’ – it is about manipulating an already corrupt system, that is where the real profits are to be made, just don’t forget your political campaign contributions for fear the legal guns get turned to ensure ‘the cut’.

    • Georg, the problem with those figures is its all fiat money based on global debt, in turn based on CDO’s derivatives, and schenanigans like Ireland’s Emerald 5 fund.

      Global paper debt exceeds the assets upon which those figures are based, shakeout lots of those derivatives and they are dust.

      Precious metals are interesting, recent focus of new margin setting to dampen speculation as fiat money sees it as its biggest threat, but even in spite of the new margin calls, precious metals are rising again.

      See coldblow’s Ha-Joon Chang above, when the paper fiat financial instruments such as derivatives finally goes kaboom again as it did before in 2008, and now threatening in the EMU, there will have to be a global writedown and new regulations perhaps even a return to the gold standard or tulips:)

      • It would be interesting to know how much the IFSC is a net benefactor to Ireland’s GDP given that I can only assume most of its trade is in financial paper? Or figures for CT paid through IFSC subsidiaries compared to CT paid by corporations manufacturing in Ireland? Where’s the CT pot-of-gold? We might understand better how precious CT is for Ireland? There’s news blackout on matters such as these as well:)Instead of asking such questions, we should enjoy the Guinness and stop whining:)

      • Deco

        I intend to read the Korean economists book at some stage, when I get a long list of other things done.

  33. CitizenWhy

    The US propaganda war. This film details how the elite dominate public perception and thinking.

    http://metanoia-films.org/watchonline.php

    • I spoke with high ranking PsyOps NAM veterans about this subject 10 years ago, an eyeopening experience!

    • You know, the sad thing is that people do not connect the dots here to the Visitations of Lizzy or Obama…the public brain is infected by PsyOps to a high degree.

      • Emperorsgotnoclothes

        People, by and large, are intellectually lazy Georg. In my experience this would generally be the case. They’ve been conditioned over time, through the indoctrinating effects of state/social/work institutions, not to question authority and to instinctively reject views which deviate from the mainstream narrative. The psychological aspects of these recent visitations are not difficult to appreciate once you begin to look beyond the official interpetation.

        • uchrisn

          This is very obvious in countries with low education standards. Look at the middle East, Africa some Asian countires. Europe a couple of hundred years ago. Education is very important. I feel thats a reason why theres a generally a split in Ireland between generations with the older generation not understanding really whats going on. In fairness to the older generation they have provided a platform for accessible university education. As such their children are better educated than them. So they should listen more to the younger generation.

          • Emperorsgotnoclothes

            That’s a fair point, and becoming more and more applicable in this country with steadily falling standards in education, particularly in literacy. When you couple it to the zombifying effects of modern culture which renders the youth ever more apathetic and ignorant of the staggering events occurring around them then you have a recipe for disaster. The paradox of relative affluence is that people, by and large, seem content once their immediate(food and a few pints at the weekend) and false(consumerist commodities) needs are met and are becoming increasingly indifferent to events that don’t directly impact on them. Given a choice between rousing themselves from their torpor and becoming informed and active, or spending their time immersed in the latest x-box game while chowing down on some mass-produced junk then it’s quite clear how that is panning out. In a sense this is a triumph of capitalism/consumerism where individuals are living ever more atomised lives. While I agree that lack of education is a significant factor, finding the desire to become informed and educated about the things that really matter is as important.

    • Excellent Film…. Highly recommended!

    • Praetorian

      Great post CitizenWhy.

    • Emperorsgotnoclothes

      I echo the comments from Georg and Praetorian in complimenting you on this posting CitizenWhy. It’s documentaries like this, and many many others, which ought to be required viewing to gain a fully informed view of how power really functions and protects itself, whilst furthering its aims and agendas.

    • On rare occasions I forward links on material to my extended peer group, this is one of those that I considered a must see docu.

      Thanks for that!

  34. Deco

    From Paul Moriarty’s link above concerning pay rates in RTE.

    {
    In 2008, the last year for which figures are available, Pat Kenny was RTÉ’s highest-paid presenter, earning a salary of €950,976; followed by the late Gerry Ryan on €629,865; Marian Finucane on €570,000; and Ryan Tubridy on €533,333.
    }

    This is completely obscene. Paying these people outlandishly ridiculous amounts of money to listen to people ringing in talking about hard times.

    If Baby Brute had an ounce of common sense he would be sorting these fakes out instead of attacking those in the minimum wage bracket.

    And the Fat Rabbitte should be ashamed of himself, repeatedly talking about restoring the balance of equity in society, and endorsing this sort of nonsense.

    We need to fix Ireland’s cost base – and the place to start is at the most expensive side of the equation. In particular in relation to the institutional state, and state backed failed formerly capitalist enterprises, and subcontractors in receipt of state money, including external consultants.

    What strike’s me as completely obvious, is that the government is failing abysmally to start in the correct place.

    • Praetorian

      Their salaries are often pegged to the amount of adveritising revenue their shows are associated with, or so the story goes, hundreds of thousands listen to their shows, and by extension to the radio commercials. Gerry Ryan (RIP) used to bang on about the amount of money RTE was making from his show and claimed that his salary in comparison was quite small, this would seem ludicrous to the average citizen struggling with utility bills, but in the bubble he lived in it might have seemed like a fair grievance. Kenny’s salary is off the wall, but again he gave some insight to his thinking when he commented that compared to US hosts he is in the ha’penny place.

      It seems to me that the threat to cut salaries was made, RTE has broken very little critical news of the government (early days I know)just carries on with the same old repetitive stuff, car crash, grey hosptial, problem over here, problem over there and now the sport followed by weather and low and behold, salaries remain largely untouched. I personally avoid Irish television as much as is humanely possible, especially on a Friday night, as least Graham Norton seems to be having a laugh (in exile :-) over at the BBC.

      • Deco

        If salaries are pegged to advertising revenue then this leaves me even more baffled. Try and find somebody who admits to listening Plank, or Tubridy. And then try and find somebody who even goes so far as to spend money on the stuff that they are endorsing, or on the advertising.

        I reckon that this feature of the media, and the connection with a sheepish population peaked about ten years ago – before the internet went mainstream.

        When the printing press was initiated it changed the flow of knowledge. The internet is going to open it up even more. The idea that corporate power can contain the level of intellectual expression, has been smashed.

        These “stars” are big names for a small segment of the population. But, people are becomming increasingly indifferent.

  35. Question -
    Can anybody tell me the date when “Democratic Socialist principles” absolutely and completely died in Ireland?

    Do you think we should have a funeral?

    • Praetorian

      They weren’t born to begin with, so no need for a funeral.

      At the foundation, State opted for the road well travelled, a split with the socialist Republicans. Too much money was waiting to be made, too many silver tongues on the sidelines.

      The consequences are playing out now. Failed State which limps on with the same kinds of people in power, doing the same kinds of things, lashing working people for a problem they had no hand in creating.

  36. The Long Journey of a Black President to Ireland

    His visit will be spoken and written down in history and debated and in many ways it marks a new beginning that JF Kennedy did not do.OBamas visit has set an impact that will only in good time be understood.

    One impact is his colour Black and his Irish genes.

    Ireland is on the western seabord and not part of the continent as we might think we are or have been.Ireland is an Island in the Atlantic and it was the ocean that has shaped us physically and emotionally .

    The earliest evidence of man is deep inside Africa and he was Black.When that man travelled he exited the African continent mainly from two points as follows :

    a) By land accross the Sinai to middle East and Asia ; and

    b) By boat from Morroco to Ireland .

    The first man in Ireland was Black .It was his culture that formed the nucleus of who we are today on this Isle.

    Black man only became white when he became isolated in cold terrain devoid of sun and vitamins during the Ice Age.

    It was Black man who brought the original words to our Isle that we today use in Gaelic / Atlantis.They also brought the first boats eg Curraghs to Ireland and the Gal that gave the names to many places along our western seabord ie Galway , Dun na nGal , Dingle ( also dun na nGal ) ,Galey river in north Kerry ,and family names Gallahers etc .Irish dancing is an African tradition too .

    Our national institutions will need to re-examine the written history of our isle and embrace the real facts from the beginning .The colour Black was the first colour and must be shown in our National Archives and recorded appropriately.

    Irish/Gaelic /Atlantis was a Black language and the Celts spoke a Germanic language when they arrived in Ireland .

    Finally , Guinness is ~BLACK.

    • And very soon the only economy worth talking about will be aswell!

      • I fail to see any relevance on Obama’s, or anybody’s color of skin.

        • agree, it’s all a pigment of the imagination.. often the topic is a cover for racism of one kind or another

        • If You were a Black Irish in Ireland You would want to know everything about Black History in Ireland that predates the current ‘Official Beginning ‘ the State has chosen to commence from.

          Irish written history prior to 1st & 2nd century is only based on recent mythology prior to then .

          Black History in ~Ireland has a New Meaning today since the arrival of President OBama.

          We must Not be in Denial of Facts and we should embrace it .

          • I reject the notion that color of skin has any relevance at all! We are all five fingered human beings, and as such we are all the same.

            2006 Irish census recorded > 40 K people of African ethnicity.

            The extended election campaign of the president of the USA does not add any further meaning to the history of ethnic diverse groups that are resident in Ireland.

            Racism in Ireland is a recognized fact, social discrimination and violence against immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, Asians, Eastern and Baltic Europeans, and Africans is a growing issue. These are the facts we should not be in denial about in deed.

      • @Paul

        Those chalices will come handy .

        • Alphi Bats

          Why does the Gaelic alphabet ignore the following letters :

          J K Q X V X W Y Z

          Why dont we reclaim all the letters ?

          Why are we at odds when a foreigner who comes to Ireland and does not recognise a Taxi Sign because it is spelt as ‘Tacsai’?

          • Just ‘Sile’

            Is Sile na nGig related to Voodoo ?

          • @ John,

            We’re all genetically related to Africa:)

          • CitizenWhy

            Perhaps the term for Taxi in Irish should be fiacre, the now neglected French word for taxi. St Fiacre was an Irish expatriate saint in old France.

            St Faicre is the patron saint for: Gardeners; taxi cab drivers; venereal disease sufferers; barrenness; box makers; fistula sufferers; florists; hemorrhoid sufferers; hosiers; pewterers; tile makers; and ploughboys. His real accomplishments was growing and using herbs and vegetables to effect cures.

        • CitizenWhy

          John Allen. There is an Irish connection to VooDoo and Santeria but it is a recent one. St. Patrick became the disguised form, in the West Indies and parts of Latin America, for the father god (Damballah) of the West African religions.

          It can be argued that the Irish practiced a form of Santeria – honoring pagan gods under the disguise of Catholic saints – for centuries.

    • CitizenWhy

      OK, I was going to hold my tongue on this race thing, figuring that this commentary is somewhat tongue in cheek (and maybe not). But I feel I have to say something. Bear in mind that I have black African (Europe based) first and second cousins on my mother’s side and my father’s side. They are often in Ireland visiting the relatives. In fact one day when visiting some first cousins in Ireland with an American friend, all their grandchildren at the house that day happened to be African-Irish-British or African-Irish-French (there are other grandchildren). Needless to say this scene did not fit into his romantic notion of Ireland, both for its prosperity and its not-so-Celtic mixture. The prosperity was not based on real estate speculation, but on farming and business, mainly exporting.

      Genetic analysis shows that the Irish, English and Scots are most closely related to the Basques of Spain/France. This relation to the Basque is not true for the rest of Europe. The Basques speak a language related to no other, and are probably the original European population, being forced to flee from various invaders up into the mountains and out into peripheral areas. Those in the Islands of Ireland and Great Britain eventually adopted the languages of their conquerers.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/science/05cnd-brits.html

      The Celts of Ireland (and Scotland, due to irish invasions) speak the Eastern form of Celtic. The Celts in Wales and Brittany speak a Western form of Celtic, as did the ancient Celts of Europe. The Celts of Ireland apparently came from Galicia in Turkey, migrating through North Africa to Spain before coming to Ireland, and in Africa picking up many black African clans along the way. So there have “black Irish” in Ireland before recorded history.

      In a linguistic analysis designed to specify the language most closely related to the ancient Hittite language of Turkey, Celtic turned out to be it. The researches were expecting that language to be Sanskrit, but it turns out Sanskrit was a later development. An article on this topic also has appeared in the New York Times but I did not Google it. The link is easy enough to find with key words such as “Celtic Hittite Sanskrit New York Times.” P.S. Understanding the role of Hittite is considered very important because the spread of agriculture to Europe spread out from the Hittite region of Turkey. But the underlying genetic base of the Irish is not Celtic.

      It is also established that all humans are descended from one woman in Africa. This descent and the development of different “races” is hugely ancient and not directly linked to the not-so-ancient ancient settlement of Ireland.

      “God loves all the children of the world.”

      • coldblow

        Interesting, CitizenWhy. I’ll do the Google search. Curious to hear Gaelic (I don’t like to call it Irish for reasons of, er, cussedness) described as eastern Celtic. It’s a field notorious for its traps and will o’ the wisps, of course. I’m obsessed by language myself and have even gone so far as to learn Basque (not to an advanced level). Re the Hittites, I saw a tv documentary a few years ago where Hittite records were used as a way of correlating some theory or other about the location ect of Troy.

        As for the Irish, my first cousin in the US did her own DNA research. This how her subsequent letter to my mother begins:

        “Dear Margaret.

        It’s true. The Irish are the lost tribe of Israel…”

    • Actually the good news is that this whole “Black” thing is a complete fallacy!
      That’s why the Gaelic term for what we modern types call a Black person is “Duine Gorm” – which of course literally translated means “a blue person”.

      And whoever developed this wonderful language were far wiser than we!
      For instance “a person with mental disability” or what modern man used to call “handicapped person” the only known Gaelic term is “duine a leag Dia lamh ar” which of course means;
      “person touched by the hand of God”

      Beautiful really when you think about it?

      So let’s just check the score board there, that’s;

      Ancient Man 2 Modern Man 0

      And I’m with Georg on the significance!

      • CitizenWhy

        I have always been a “race” skeptic, even as a child not quite understanding what “race” meant, since there were so may differences among people. So why focus on the skin tint difference? I have always been fascinated, however, by the development of language groups and the cultures related to languages.

        By the way, among recent irish Americans, people with mental illnesses were referred to as “not right,” said with a certain kindness and sympathy.

      • @Paul

        Duine Gorm …..is a State version of Irish and does not reflect the old Irish.

        • coldblow

          I doubt that is true. There was a discussion about it on Leagan Cainte once. I don’t remember much, but it seems to be rooted somehow or other in popular speech.

  37. Emperorsgotnoclothes

    @adamabyss
    I was referring to Jackie Healy Rae when I used the abbreviation JHR. I know he’s retired now but it was him, and his ilk, that I was talking about.

  38. Emperorsgotnoclothes

    And so the Orwellian nightmare continues. Kenny reassures the world that we will meet our debt obligations in full, that we will not restructure those debts, and that we will pay them back! The emotional reaction would be to claim that the man has lost what little sense he possesses. Of course it’s obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that it’s not going to be possible for us to pay off all of this debt(leaving aside, as the mainstream media have done, the immorality of asking the taxpayer to pay off debt they haven’t incurred). So the logical conclusion is that Kenny fully appreciates the arithmetic…..or am I crediting him with too much in the grey matter department? Possibly the term “intelligence” is the wrong one to use when referring to spoofers like him. He’s been in the political game for so long now that he (and his like) has cultivated an animal cunning. Their overriding imperative is self-preservation and a consolidation and furthering of their own interests. When he utters this patent nonsense and isn’t universally rounded upon by journalists/media it amounts to a wholesale abdication of responsibility and a gross dereliction of duty. Of course when you’ve got a seat at the big table and your snout in the trough it’s not really in your interest to ask awkward questions for fear of banishment to the wilderness.
    This, in effect, is how consensus is engineered, much as Chomsky outlined in “Manufacturing Consent”. It occurs to me, as a follow on, that the elites also attempt to engineer the zeitgeist, rather than allow it to develop a life of its own. We see it in the hoopla surrounding the recent royal and Obama visits where the nature of the prevailing mood is presented to us, as opposed to it being reported ON. In this way people are encourage to embrace the mood of the moment — fear of exclusion is a powerful motivator!

    • Deco

      Fair point.
      Classic example was Phony Tony and his “Peoples Princess” moment over Lady Diana. And the later his Millenial mania over the Millenium where he completely lost the run of himself. It was all about having the population excited as a herd of lemmings and all headed the same direction – into oblivion.

  39. Deco

    One voice speaks out in the US Congress.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-olNr4UuVqY&feature=player_embedded

    I think the Diaspora will have enough to keep them far too busy to be bailing us out.

    In the EU, are we heading in the same direction – with the “involvement” in Libya which is neither war nor peace. The jsutification is short term, because their is no sensible long term strategy. GSucks get to provide the next ECB head. This despite the way that the Greek government were enabled into the Eurozone in a fraudulent manner. And now there is austerity program for Greek citizens, with this inherent assumption that they are responsible for the fact that they were deceived.

    • Emperorsgotnoclothes

      Great link Deco. I see that Fox News etc have done everything in their power to turn opinion against Ron Paul. You would presume then that, given their obvious allegiances, they must view him as a threat.
      If the predictions contained in this link

      http://www.youtube.com/user/AwakeningThePeople?blend=3&ob=5#p/c/EF04418313916529/6/VFKDaGKR5OI

      are even remotely close to the mark then the Diaspora will have plenty on their plate to keep them occupied.

      • Huge pity, he’s otherwise such a worthwhile candidate:-(

        • You can tell how dangerous Ron Paul is to the status quo when they try and nail him on this muck.

          The guy is the only man who has consistently voted against endless wars, the patriot act, pork barrel spending, QE1 + QE2, refuses corporate donations etc.

          The US ‘Progressive’ and ‘Republican’ media ridicule him or else they just plain ignore him, despite his consistently winning countless poles.

          I am as skeptical and bitter an Irishman as they come and I can genuinely say that this is the only politician I have ever had respect for (I’ve recently moved to the US from Ireland). He’ll probably not win the GOP primary as they are largely a party of flag waving corporate lackies, however I wouldn’t rule him out running as an independent. If this guys gets mass exposure, there is no stopping him.

          “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.”

          Ron Paul 2012

          • Praetorian

            If you are truly interested in a courageous voice in then check out Bernie Sanders a senator from Vermont, the only democratic socialist in the Senate, a man who has tirelessly fought for the rights of working people and spoke out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            In the ‘herd of independent minds’, narrow criticism of the system is allowed, pointing out where it has gone wrong, where it needs to be modified etc however those who challenge the actual system itself are not tolerated, rarely given a voice in the commercial media while as Orwell wrote in his preface to Animal Farm “even in ‘Free England’ unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force”.

            There Is A WAR Being Waged Against The Working Families Of America! Sen Bernie Sanders
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcLWDGb0RqA

          • adamabyss

            Excellent speech but he’s wasting his time. The elites don’t give a monkey’s – no one listening. Greed is their God.

          • adamabyss

            George Orwell must be spinning like a whirling dervish in his grave at what is going on in the world right now.

        • Re DigitalOrchard “You can tell how dangerous Ron Paul is to the status quo when they try and nail him on this muck.”

          The problem is he’s dropped himself into the crap allegation of free heroin for everyone.

          I’m curious how he came up with the idea? Is he as in the suggestion by praetorian limk above, ‘who really controls America’, part of the political establishment, so insulated from ordinary citizens, that they fail to see the connection between free heroin for all and corruption of values that outlaws lawlessness, crime. Why not remove all rules of the rosad from the statute book. Maybe what the guy has got in smarts, he lacks in wisdom. Who wants their children at a party offered free heroin? Very, very sad to see him come out with crap like that, it demaens all the good things he has to say and offer and makes him look ludicrous!

          • PMC

            Re the free heroin – I’ve argued for this for some time, as I believe it’s the only way to get a handle on the drug problem.

            Many people take an immediate, short-term view of the consequences they believe will unfold; however to look beyond that, further down the line, is the key.

            As we stand, young people take drugs because its edgy, its pushing the limits, shady tales to the movement of drugs… films glamourise the industry, red-tops dedicate themselves to it.

            Those that produce and sell drugs do so for profit.
            This is what keeps them in the game – Remove the profit element, and what’s left? Nothing

            The South American Cartels should be smashed by a fully equipped army, and plantations taken over.
            These thugs have turned their societies into lawless hellholes, and the regular police haven’t a chance.

            Take the plantations over, retain drug cultivation, install a responsible distribution framework of drugs to pharmacies / hospitals or same. The glamour gradually fades as people go down Sam McCauleys with passport in tow as ID, to procure a free bag of heroin. As younger generations get older, the notion of glamour and edge in the drug industry as we know it, becomes redundant.

            This should have been done decades ago, as Governments nowadays are happy to turn a blind eye to this. It brings enourmous some of cash into the economy. **Spain**

            The drug industry retains poverty and desperation for the poor. The industry drains cash away from worthwhile causes and instead sucks it towards increased spending on policing, healthcare, drug taskforces, naval operations etc…
            This problem requires a monumental shift of thought, away from what we have at present.

          • CitizenWhy

            I respect but do not support Ron Paul but I certainly undertand his stand of “free heroin,” if that is in fact his stand.

            The Drug problem in the USA is not addiction but the police state apparatus that the “War on Drugs” has allowed the US government to develop. This police state infrastructure has been made far worse by the so-called Patriot Act, for which the police agencies of the government have a secret interpretation which does not fit with the original intention of the Act or with what most people in Congress understand the law to mean. As a Civil Libertarian (as well as an economic Libertarian), Ron Paul is well aware of this danger to democracy and simple decency and strongly opposes the War on Drugs and the Patriot Act, as do most Progressives on the Left.

            As a Texan Ron Paul is also aware of how the drug trade and the war on drugs is destabilizing Mexico and much of Texas. If you make heroin free, the gangs lose their grip, and the police state apparatus, which can never arrest or stop all those gangs, gets dismantled.

    • Enjoyed this too Deco. However your posting re John Edwards on a previous string;
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/03/john-edwards-scandal-andrew-young
      I found this riveting
      - My fear of course is that way back then when I first saw Edwards run with Kerry I thought to myself “Now there’s talent in a man of integrity! Surely a future President!”
      - How wrong I turned out to be. Obama also rocked my boat too, but alas!
      And if Ron Paul does turn out to be the real deal then that probably makes him unelectable prone to meet with an accident!
      My God what’s happening to me? I used to be such a positive optimist!!!

      • Deco

        Actually, I was pointed to that article by another poster here – Tim.

        I also seriously thought that John Edwards would do something about the underclass in the US which is held in the grips of a vice and is given one route out – “join up”.

        It turned out that the whole thing was a hard sell package of lies, from a very effective liar.

        I still reckon he is more honest than Hillary Clinton :)))

        Before the last election – it was all about narrative.

        US war hero, who got the living daylights beaten out of him in a war, and who has given his life in service of his country (unlike previous draft dodgers Cinton and Bush) and who is more honest than your average GOP candidate
        versus,
        First african-american who lived an unconventional upbringing, who made it though university and became Illinois senator (even though the local machine tried to out muscle him) – who has more of a clue of how tough life really is than your average US Dem candidate.

        To be honest – it was more like a Walt Disney production than a job selection process.

        In fact in the end it descended into a team sport.

        Policies – the candidates talked about bit about the them from time to time – but the media was far more interested in the fairytales.

  40. Praetorian

    Serious scenes coming out of Spain
    http://bit.ly/iipgA9

  41. CitizenWhy

    In effect Irish and Greek risks have been transferred to the ECB. That’s why the ECB insists ion full payments from Ireland and Greece even though those payments are not sustainable after a few years. So if Ireland defaults on bank debt (not sovereign debt) the ECB could collapse.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/05/risks-transferred-to-ecb/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBigPicture+%28The+Big+Picture%29

    • Precisely, and more… this is why the EU now accepts Gold as collateral and begins to pressure Greece into privatization and begins to steal their Gold.

      ECB is overexposed with PIIGS shit, a big steaming pile of it in deed, and this is entirely their own crap and sole responsibility! Not a single asset of the people so f Greece should go towards collateral, not a sausage!

  42. CitizenWhy

    Sen. Hollis summarizes what’s wrong with the USA: “Nobody wants to pay for government and our economy is being off-shored.”

    Excellent, short article on the inefficiency of the US system:

    http://rule22.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/managing-the-budget-an-american-story-of-structure-induced-inefficiency/

    So do you think the US can save Ireland?

  43. Morning.

    Just boarding for Argentina. I will keep you updated on what it is like in a country that has defaulted. As you know, I am a regular visitor to the Pampas and have a small business there, which is going well.

    Enjoy the games tonight and today – lets hope the beautiful game triumphs in both finals!

    David

    • Looking forward to it! Have a nice trip.

      Thinking about the events in Argentina … The Vulture funds story come to mind of course!

      More important is that fact that today Argentina knows too well that the 2001 default on $100bln was due to the IMF Mafia prescribed policies!

    • Perhaps worth a look for everyone who is not that familiar with the history of IMF Interventions in Argentina.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH6_i8zuffs

    • April 2010:

      “If we had followed the recommendations traditionally made by (the IMF) — which have favored opening our economies, foreign indebtedness, financial liberalization and ‘unbeatable’ market-oriented reforms — the outcome would have been totally different and today we would have been embroiled in a fresh economic, social and political crisis,” the statement said.

      “Therefore, we celebrate today our well-gained economic independence.”

      The country also said it expects 2010 economic growth in the range of 3.5 percent to 5 percent, “tilted to the upside.”

      March 18th, 2011 Wallstreet Journal

      Argentina GDP Surges 9.2% In 2010

      • CitizenWhy

        Thanks for this excellent quote. Financial capitalism, i.e., debt capitalism is only one form of a market system, and actually undermines the efficiency of markets. But it does nicely concentrate wealth in a few hands, not so invisible.

        • The visitations of US and British leaders has so much more underlaying reasons than what the public is being told in the propaganda media.

          Two days after Obama left Ireland, Kenny made a statement that Ireland will not restructure debts.

          Banker Matthews turned Politicians, now FG, claimed on VB that this was a misunderstanding and that Kenny was not speaking about banking debts but sovereign debts.

          To date, and to the best of my knowledge, the matter stays unresolved, no clarification has been issued by the government on this part.

          The repudiation of all private banking debts in Ireland on the grounds of being odious debts, is the only acceptable and valid political statement that I expect from politicians to make on behalf of the Irish public, the latter needs to be asked in a referendum on the odious debts.

          Any whitewash or half hearted actions, any smoke screens thrown up to blind the public can only be considered actions by traitors.

    • Praetorian

      Thank you for this, very useful.

      In TG4′s ‘Ag Lorg Che’ with Joe Higgins, Joe visited a hotel in Buenos Aires now being run as a co-operative. A former cleaning lady, is now the lead force on the co-operative committee that runs the hotel to the highest possible standards, all profits are shared equally.

      I like others believe co-operatives are simply the most equitable way of ‘doing business’. Michael Moore has a very nice section of a co-operative in the US, where from the receptionist to the General Manager, all voting rights and profits are equal. Ireland was once a leading light in the co-operative movement (remember Horace Plunkett)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Plunkett

      • CitizenWhy

        A cousin to the cooperative is the mutually held corporation. At one time, before deregulation, many large and medium-sized and small US financial corporations were mutually held (that is, technically owned by their customers, to whom dividends were distributed). These mutually held corporations were risk-averse and bureaucratic but quite reliable and trustworthy in their services and in the longevity of their jobs.

        Their risk-aversion was balanced by a financial system that included slightly more risky large publicly owned/stockholder owned commercial banks and even riskier private partnership investment banks and trading firms. The system worked quite well.

        But deregulation wrecked this system and eventually wrecked the US and the world economy through a overly clever financial system based on speculative trading in turn based on the multiplication of debt far beyond the worth of any collective assets and any national income, that is, beyond the ability to be repaid. The idea is that these debts never need to be repaid. They just need to be continually traded, or stored as fictive “capital” on the books of banks and corporations. Yikes!

        • CitizenWhy

          Forgot to mention that these mutually held corporations never needed to undergo “scrutiny for efficiency” from Wall Street, since they were not traded by Wall Street. Efficiency means cutting costs, preferably jobs. Cutting jobs increases the stock price, the sacred cow of the new system, the MBA Doctrine of “increasing shareholder value” even at the price of destroying the common good, emptying the economy of steady jobs, and concentrating wealth in the hands of a few.

          • Deco

            Citizenwhy – thes muppets NEVER actually increase shareholder value in the long run.

            Mostly they present strategies loaded up with buzzwords, agendas, structural upheavals and nonsense.

            There is also a school of thought out there, that is all a game of opportunism, sabotage, and pretence.

            Just look at the Irish version of capitalism practiced in the past few years.

            It all works fine when interest rates are low, and the repayments required to justify all of this nonsense can be met.

            But when interest rates go up the whole thing becomes very transparently a farce.

            It is at moments like this that you get muppets like the Drumcondra ditherer telling the world that the crisis “was caused by Lehmans”. In other words the problem was rising real interest rates. No the problem is that the business model is based on debt, and ponzi scheme machinations.

  44. Praetorian

    Anti-cuts groups descend on banks in NHS protest. Branches occupied or picketed in day of action spearheaded by UK Uncut and unions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/28/uk-uncut-nhs-bank-protests

  45. Lech Walesa refused to meet with Obama

    Lech Walesa, former leader of the Solidarity union, former President of Poland and winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983 refused to meed with Obama!

    I expect this meeting would only amount to a photo opportunity, Walesa told AFP

    …while we are at it, Solidarity and all, when I saw recent pictures from Madrid… Well…. how I wish people would show their solidarity with them… and the people of Greece… and so on….

  46. Tull McAdoo

    Events seem to have a habit of “sneaking up” on us here in Ireland. That’s what we have been told anyway. This latest fiasco of “Economic collapse” follows a whole line of failures since the foundation of the State, with the only common factors being ….“Nobody seen it coming” ….“We are where we are”…. “Austerity”….” We need to tighten our belts” and so on.

    Puts me in mind of that famous scene from the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales” where the Indian character Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) tells how the Five remaining tribes (PIGIS) were sent to the “nations” so that they could become civilised. He talks of the “trail of tears” where many of his Cherokee were lost. We have our own “trail of tears” here in Ireland, out to Terminal’s 1& 2 and in some cases the boat ferry where our future generations are being lost.

    Lone Watie tells of how they go( all dressed up like Abe Lincoln) and meet the Secretary of the Interior to complain about how their land (wealth)was been taken away. He tells them that they must “endeavour to persevere “. This is what we got from the Queen and Obama, telling us that we in Ireland must also “endeavour to persevere”

    So there ye have it folks, we have the Anglo/ Americans telling us that we must “endeavour to persevere” while on the other side we have the Europeans telling us we must “persevere with our endeavours”

    The old chief tells us at the end of the clip that the “Horn toad” can tell you which direction you should go. I’ll take the Horn Toad any day of the week ahead of them gobdaw’s above in the Dept. of Finance.

    I think David McWilliams has his own “Horn Toad” and it is pointing him South towards Argentina. My advice is ring Willie Walshe over in British Airways and charter a couple of big boys to Rio De Janerio…..P.S. Here’s that clip I’m on about from the movie…take five minutes and have a watch…..LOL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF8ETyOcDCE

    • CitizenWhy

      The Cherokee Nation was made up of many clans, including Scottish and Scotch-Irish clans. The Supreme Court of the United States in a unanimous decision, ruled that President Jackson broke a legitimate treaty, and therefore violated the Constitution, when he forced the Cherokee Nation to leave their lands in the East and walk “the trial of tears” to Texas and Oklahoma. The President ignored the Court. President Jackson is noted for ushering in Jacksonian Democracy, an early form of US populism. US populism seems to be always linked with racism,including Tea Party and radical right anger at Obama for being a black man in the White House.

      • The ways many of these Nations were organized, their traditional ways, it was a very advanced form of participatory democracy. This circle was broken by force.

        We would do well to look back and learn from the old ways of Nations that walked the earth for 10,000 – 12,000 years. There is a lot to learn that could help us, if we would look at it with an open heart.

    • Great post Tull, thx, great Movie, go find the Horn Toad! Re Argentina, we can do a better restructuring than Argentina. One of their problems was overnight they switched the currency of savers from the dollar to their new currency with instant loss for ordinary folk of 60% and the people were gated out by the banks who wouldn’t allow them in to withdraw money…Its the way we should go, but we can handle it better.

    • BrianC

      Brilliant

      And as long as we keep believing in the dross they dish out we commit to keep delivering at our expense for their gain and will never make it to Mexico.

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