Category Archives: politics

O’Bama the new BIFFO?

He's not arrived already, has he? Ah dear, the place is a mess, I haven't had time to tidy up yet, fix my hair, sort out the economic mess or anything.

O’Bama’s coming. I know you’ll miss him over there. But he’s returning to his roots over here shortly.

No, not Kenya. Obviously.

Ireland.

But the big question? Is O’Bama the new BIFFO? Continue reading

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Things you don’t expect to see in Harlem

So I was wandering through Harlem (New York) when I saw this sign. I did a double take. Checked my surroundings. Re-checked. Yup, still in Harlem.

No – the letters on the sign haven’t been mischievously rearranged Continue reading

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A joke for Europe

Greetings from Füssen in Bavaria.

You’ve heard of A Song For Europe? (It’s almost that time again – the Eurovision Song Contest is in Dusseldorf this year.) Well – here’s a joke for Europe.

An Irishman, a Greek, a Portuguese and a German walk into a bar. Continue reading

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Is this racist?

Is this racist? Or sectarian? Or more simply – just bullying?

Or perhaps it’s somewhere on the spectrum between fair comment and edgy political satire?

That’s one side of a lantern at what some call the world’s biggest moving outdoor art display – the Basel Fasnacht. The other side – the more offensive side is Continue reading

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Hamburger Helper

Reports from the frontline in Iraq, the classroom and Japan. And I need your advice about visiting New York (see bottom).

1. HAMBURGER HELPER. This is from the Conservative Lie blog by veteran Dave Jeffries. Whether you agree with his politics or not, this poignant memory from his time in Iraq is worth reading. It gets gruesome if you click on the link – which is also where you’ll find his thoughts on combatants’ motivations. Here are the opening lines:

Sometimes there are scenes from my time in Iraq that won’t quit looping through my mind. So, I thought that maybe writing about it might be cathartic and help me put paid to it for a while. I suppose, in a way, this is political, but I really don’t care.

While in Ar Ramadi, we had a network of computers that had limited internet access, but a great intranet system that allowed us to communicate with each other very well. One day, as I was perusing the list of messages, I came across one labeled “Hamburger Helper”. There were a few jokers in the Regiment, so I opened it up anticipating something that would make me laugh. Instead Continue reading

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This made me cry…

This story made me cry. Which is unusual. Continue reading

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Imam learns the high price of speaking out

Here’s a happy, sad and messy story about the imam of a London mosque who  preached – or at least opened for discussion the idea – that Islam and the theory of evolution are compatible – and that Muslim women should be allowed to uncover their hair in public. Continue reading

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Robot Wars

Robot Wars

This is worrying. You can now buy an instant army of fake online commenters to sway any public argument your way. Continue reading

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20 reasons why it’s all kicking off

This is an attempt to find common reasons behind all the upheavals happening in the world at the moment. It’s from the BBC Newsnight‘s economics editor Paul Mason, who’s also on Twitter.

As the cartoon on the left from Buttersafe suggests, having a wee scoot around the web is a way to lose aeons of time, but you sometimes find interesting things like Paul Mason’s take on the global social dynamic.  The short version identifies graduates, often female,  with no future, but access to social media and less tied to old ideologies as drivers of change. See what you think of his longer version:

We’ve had revolution in Tunisia, Egypt’s Mubarak is teetering; in Yemen, Jordan and Syria suddenly protests have appeared. In Ireland young techno-savvy professionals are agitating for a “Second Republic”; in France the youth from banlieues battled police on the streets to defend the retirement rights of 60-year olds; in Greece striking and rioting have become a national pastime. And in Britain we’ve had riots and student occupations that changed the political mood.

What’s going on? What’s the wider social dynamic? Continue reading

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Phew! We’re not all doomed after all

If fear of impending global disaster is seldom far from your mind, you can take a deep breath, let it out… and relaaax. Apparently the population timebomb is a myth. Continue reading

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