Category: Politics

Off To Vote No. Again.

Right, I’m off to vote No to Lisbon, for the second time. Making life even easier for pols at the expense of the people they’re supposed to represent, is not my idea of good policy.

DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated

This is going around the security networks, but it’s kind of important to everyone else too. Note my emphasis in the quote.

New York Times: Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

FF Copy And Paste Press Releases

Or perhaps they’ve taken up cloning? Fianna Failures do tend to look and act suspiciously similar…

via Foot.ie.

Cork City Litter Wardens: 2 Fines A Day?

Cork Politics published this a couple weeks ago*:

City council issued 1,565 litter fines in 2008

NEW figures unveiled by Cork City Council have revealed that the local authority issued 1,565 on the spot fines in 2008. A total of 670 of these were issued for offences committed at The Fairfield and Clashduv Road bring sites. The figure represents a substantial increase on the number of fines issued in 2007, something which the council attributes to a new pilot programme introduced last year whereby CCTV cameras were installed by Cork City Council at the bring sites at The Fairfield, Fairhill and Clashduv Road, Togher. Under The 1997 to 2003 Litter Pollution Acts fines are issued for any incidents of dumping .

The wife reckons there’s about 240 working days in the year, including annual leave. I emailed and asked how many wardens there are, and apparently there’s 3 wardens and 1 supervisor. Even if you assume the supervisor doesn’t issue fines, according to my (admittedly terrible) maths…

1565 / 240 = 6.5 / 3 = 2.16

…the Cork wardens are issuing just over 2 fines a day each? That can’t be right surely? Snowed under with paperwork? According to minutes from 2005 there’s more people to help when needed – 14 back then – so surely not. Is there some other kind of work the wardens do? Seriously, it can’t just be 2 tickets a day like!

* I can’t check because for some bizarre reason their posts aren’t dated!

Micro-USB Mobiles in Europe

Obsolete before it actually happens?

Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, the European Commission said on Monday, hailing the pact as good news for consumers and the environment.

The Commission said the agreement would involve the creation of an EU norm, and that the new generation of mobile phones would use a standard micro-USB socket to ensure compatibility.

via Reuters.

I’m voting for myself.

Reposted from Foot.ie:

I’m lost to be honest. Who can I vote for in this election? I won’t be voting for FF, because they put us where we are today; I won’t be voting for the Greens, because they don’t honour their promises; I won’t vote for Sinn Fein, because they’re populists without credible policies; I won’t vote for Fine Gael, because they’re Fianna Fail by another name; and the party I’m actually a member of gets up to the kind of antics mentioned above, and don’t even respond to my emailed complaint. Independents? Sure they’re all probably Fianna Fail anyway.

Think I’ll write my own name onto the ballot card, stick a tick beside it. I think I can trust myself.

Irish Foods Under Threat

Great post by Kieran Murphy about Tesco’s decision to deprioritise Irish products on the shelves of shops on the border (and in the new Extra store in Douglas in Cork):

It’s a story that should have caught the attention of anyone who loves food in Ireland, since the ripples of such a decision would be immense. Tesco own around 23% of the Irish food market, and the impact upon Irish food producers (and Irish employment) in losing such a huge chunk of market share could be catastrophic. According to Bord Bia, the average spend of Irish people on imported foods has risen 50% since 2000. With Tesco dumping Irish brands, that percentage would skyrocket as a large segment of Irish consumers would lose easy access to Irish brands. There could be many Irish food companies that would not survive losing such a large percentage of their sales.

I predicted an economic recovery (2 quarters of positive growth) of mid to late 2010 on Foot.ie back in November, however this kind of thing makes me worry that if anything recovery will happen too soon, and bolster the new addition of instant gratification to our national psyche. Irish people need to start thinking beyond the short-term bottom line, to a possible future where we’re being screwed to the wall with no choices because of monopolies and cartels.

An economic recovery without recovery in employment, which is of course what’s going to happen, will not help the situation. Something needs to be done at Government level, and FF and their clown partners are not the people to do it. FG aren’t either, which is why we need Labour in Government with them (despite recent idiocy on their part).

Dear Senator Alan Kelly…

…of the Labour Party. If you send me another piece of campaign literature on Senate headed notepaper or in an Oireachtas prepaid envelope, you’ll be guaranteeing your non-appearance on any ballot card of mine.

I’ve heard all the excuses and had a discussion with Mike Allen about it in 2004, and my opinion remains the same: What you’re doing is theft, right out of my pocket and the pockets of every person in Ireland.

Have a bit of respect for the people and the party you’re supposed to represent, for fuck’s sake.

UPDATE 08/05 11:37: Received another letter in a Dail envelope this morning, with my (renewed) Labour membership card. An incorrect membership card at that. I’ve asked them to send a replacement in an envelope paid for with my membership fee, not my taxes, or a refund.

UPDATE 09/05 15:58: Maman Poulet has received a letter from Green Party candidate David Geary, lobbying for Mr. U-Turn, again in a prepaid Oireachtas envelope. MP takes the time to point out the following section of the Code of Conduct for Office Holders:

Official facilities should be used only for official purposes. Office holders should ensure that their use of officially provided facilities are designed to give the public value for money and to avoid any abuse of the privileges which, undoubtedly, are attached to office.

Lobbying is private party business, not official goverment business. Should we be voting in people who break the rules before the election, never mind after?

UPDATE 13/05 11:37: Phone call from Labour, telling me it’s my fault they didn’t update my constituency when I provided my new address, and that it’s ok to use the Oireachtas envelope because it’s Eamon Gilmore’s. I don’t even understand the logic of that. They also admit that the envelopes are handed over to a private company for the purpose of distributing their membership cards.