Steve the bird suddenly realised he was flying towards one of his exs, but that she hadn’t spotted him yet.
Everyone has a Garda story, about dealing with the force and coming away disappointed or perplexed at a level of service which seems almost Dickensian compared even to other elements of the public service. Yet the Gardai still have my respect. Every few months, we hear stories of unarmed Guards facing down armed bank robbers, and rescuing people from rivers or burning houses. Like the army and the fire brigade, they put themselves into the way of harm to protect others, and that means something. Even the most cynical of us, faced with a break-in downstairs with kids asleep upstairs, will reach for the phone, and be grateful when we see those blue flashing lights arrive and the Guards deal with whatever nut or junkie is threatening our families. There’s no doubt, being a Guard is not an easy job.
World famous golfer Eldrick “Tiger” Woods has pledged to take an African American woman as his next mistress, pledging his belief in an America where adultery knows no racial barriers. Speaking from his bunker (sic) he told reporters ” Like Martin Luther King before me, I’ve never seen colour as an issue when it came to getting some lovely into the sack. To paraphrase Dr. King, I do not judge woman by the colour of their skin, but by the content of her tight-fitting teeshirt.”
I first heard of Paul Gogarty before he was even elected a county councillor. A guy I worked with was raving about the work this Green party activist was doing in the area, and predicted that he would easily get elected in the locals, and then the general. I thought nothing of it but then he topped the poll in his ward. Then he got elected to the Dail in a 3 seater in 2002, no mean achievement for a Green candidate.
I was listening to some DJs discussing the new Samuel Beckett bridge last night, and one commented that it had cost €8 million, after which another gasped and made a remark about how the money could have been spent on the health service. What? It’s one of those lazy remarks that Irish people throw into observations about public life that makes no sense. It assumes, for example, that building a bridge is some sort of vanity project, and that throwing €8 million into the other €16 billion the health service gets will somehow make a difference.
The budget was hard, and will hurt a lot of people. That’s what recessions do. What surprises me about this budget, and FF’s communication of it, is FF’s inability to take FG and Labour to task over their alternatives. Rather than spend money on their we-have-to-have-a-website-so-let’s-have-a-website, why not set up a very media friendly site outlining the opposition’s alternatives, including tallying, dating and costing every “Call for more resources” (And subsequent tax increases) issued by every opposition spokesperson, and putting it all on a single handy-to-read sheet? For example, every opposition TD, when asked to explain how their promises will be funded, tend to use the same sources, tax loopholes and efficiency in the spending. Surely you can only spend that money once, if indeed it does exist at all? I don’t say this out of any particular love for FF, whose weak leadership in the good times has caused the massive and unsustainable spike in spending, but let us at least have a proper debate.
RTE News is reporting that the Cabinet is being briefed this morning on the budget. €50 billion in spending, and they only discuss the entire package now? The argument given is that if people know in advance, they may make different decisions, and thus reduce government revenue. So? The government exists to serve us. We don’t exist as a source of revenue to be tricked into giving them our cash, along the lines of “Damn! He’s put up weasel tax! If I’d known I would have stocked up on weasels beforehand!” The US Congress spends months openly discussing the draft budget, with opponents suggesting amendments. Why don’t we, as opposed to this mad rush? If TDs are not going to take it seriously (And I mean with considered, costed amendments, not “Calls” for “More resources”) Then you have to wonder why we need 166 of them.