Archive for April 21st, 2009

I Liked Him in ‘The General’

Britain walks out of conference as Ahmadinejad calls Israel ‘racist’ | World news |

One person not boycotting the conference was the film star Jon Voight, a staunch supporter of Israel who said he had come to confront Ahmadinejad’s position on the Holocaust. Voight told the Guardian: “The fox is in charge of the hen house here. This is supposed to be about human rights, but hidden under that banner is antisemitism. Someone has to respond to it.”

Jon Voight is a raving fruitcake, as this video demonstrates.

And this one:

The ‘barren land into an oasis’ catchphrase echoes the more familiar Zionist one about ‘making the desert bloom’, which is intended to deny the fact that Palestine had half a million Arabic-speaking farmers in it when the Zionists started to arrive.

By an eerie coincidence, Jon Voight once appeared in a film titled ‘Desert Bloom‘, which has nothing to do with Israel. Some people who do have something to do with Israel is the newly founded Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group, who laud Israel for ‘causing the desert to bloom’.

Northern Ireland Friends of Israel was launched by former Northern Ireland First Minister and all-round agent of tolerance Ian Paisley.

His successor is pictured below, on a fact finding mission to the Israeli border area (wherever that is) some years back.


Orgies of Irish-bashing

IrishCentral editors respond to Krugman rant | Irish News | IrishCentral

He has jumped on the merry-go-round that every economist in the world has in an orgy of Irish-bashing that is without parallel.

But I think America would be privileged to turn Irish, Mr. Krugman.

Nowhere in his column has he talked about the Irish people other than as statistics.

That could be because he has never met them, or is ignorant of their history.

What he should know is this.

Yes, things are bad in 2009 in Ireland. But they’ve seen a lot worse.

Back in the 1840s millions of Irish starved to death in Europe’s worst 19th century genocide as the British stood idly by.

The country recovered and defeated the British.

Not only that, they have endured and overcome more than almost any other nation on earth.

In the 1950s the country had nothing and huge numbers emigrated.

In the 1980s the country was broke again and many more emigrated.

So the Irish, Mr. Krugman, are well used to adversity, the kind you could never possibly imagine from your Ivy League office at Princeton.

Confronted with this kind of voluntarist come-all-ye, the average person in Ireland may be inclined to perform serious self-harm with the nearest shillelagh. However, it is important to see this in its true context: as an minor American domestic dispute. The entire population here could be living in crack dens, human trafficking could account for 55% of GDP, and the warlord owners of the country could be launching ballistic missiles unprovoked at the population of Anglesey, and you’d still have lots of prominent voices in the US sticking up for Ireland. I’m not criticising it and I don’t think Irish-Americans should refrain from doing it: in fact I think it’s a quite entertaining feature of American culture.


Last Exit Magazine « Prophet of Profit

Marx may have seen capitalism’s flaws before the rest of us did, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be handing over power to the proletariat anytime soon.

I was very much struck by the ‘we’ in that sentence.

That’s Espéranto To You, Jackass

I just listened to an interview with Libertas founder and international man of mystery Declan Ganley on the farcical right-wing Spanish TV show Más Se Perdió en Cuba. OK, I didn’t listen to it, I listened to it for about 5 seconds. The interesting thing for this non-native speaker is the pronunciation of Libertas by the interpreter.

The word ‘Libertas’ means ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ in Latin. As such, it is a cognate of the Spanish word ‘libertad’. Now, I would have expected ‘Libertas’ in Spanish to be pronounced similarly to ‘libertad’, that is, with the stress on the final syllable: libertás. Or perhaps, taking into account its origins in the Anglosphere, líbertas, with the stress on the first syllable. Curiously, the stress is on the middle syllable: libértas. To my ears it sounds ridiculous. But for all I know it may well be how the Latin word was pronounced back in the days when Latin was the language of the Iberian peninsula. Anyway, given the gravitas with which Libertas pronounces its pan-Europeanism, I would have expected some degree of unitas in finding a common pronunciation for its name.

Anyway, here’s the second part of the interview. Knock yourself out.

In Reverts

Tanaiste reacts to ‘Erin Go Broke’ headline in US – The Irish Times – Tue, Apr 21, 2009

“There has been comment which has been neither helpful nor, in my view, appropriate, and I would like to move on from that and give the view that we have collectively as a Government have, yes, difficult times, but we have the capacity to deal with these issues and we would like to revert back to the international reputation we had and continue to have,” she told The Irish Times.

‘Reverting back’ is one of those phrases that sets my teeth on edge. However, it’s not as bad as when ‘revert’ is used in the place of ‘refer’, as in, ‘for any future issues relating to rottweillers running amok in the playground, please revert to Mrs O’Keefe’. But here, even if we can understand the meaning of revert back, it doesn’t make sense in this context. How can you revert back to something you continue to have?

However, ‘revert back’ is a favourite of American companies in Ireland, so we can’t discount the possibility that Mary Coughlan has gone native in her attempts to convince the Obama administration not to change the tax regime governing US corporations operating overseas.

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April 2009
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