Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Short Fiction: This is Earth One.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 3, 2017 in eNovels & Writing, Fiction, News from The Future!, Not quite serious.

News Future logo

A short story.

When a tiny nation permits a giant software company to take over the running of the country with its new Artificial Intelligence system, there are global consequences.

Not all are predictable, either.

Download: https://issuu.com/omahonyjason/docs/this_is_earth_one_

 
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The jailing of Hillary Clinton

Posted by Jason O on Nov 13, 2016 in Fiction, Not quite serious., Politics, US Politics

hillaryThe FBI agents didn’t arrive until the media, tipped off by Rudy Giuliani’s Department of Justice, were in place. Secretary Clinton opened the door herself, and invited the flak jacketed agents into her hallway. She looked refreshed and prepared, in a purple pantsuit.

The first mistake happened there. The new FBI director had handpicked agents with a clear disposition against her, and when one agent grabbed her wrist roughly and spun her to cuff her, one of President Clinton’s Secret Service detail stepped forward and pulled the FBI’s hand off her.

“She is cooperating. Show her some respect.” The Secret Service man said, squaring up to him.

The FBI agent went for his gun, but the Secret Service, trained for the sudden appearance of  weapons had their guns our faster.

All on live TV, after the FBI in their zealotry hadn’t closed the door behind them and dozens of zoom lenses and microphones recorded the incident.

Giuliani, who had been watching in his office with his staff of young men, shouted down the frat boy whooping that had accompanied the initial entry into the Clinton home in upstate New York.

He, an old master of the live TV perp walk from his days as a US Attorney, had given instructions for her to be brought out in cuffs. But this was getting out of hand.

On TV, President Clinton stepped through his secret service detail and stood in front of the FBI.

“There’s no need for this. Hillary is cooperating.”

Secretary Clinton put her hand on the Secret Service man’s shoulder.

“Stand down, Tom. Let’s let these guys do their jobs.”

The agent in charge, suddenly realising that the door was open and that they were probably live on TV, had the sense to calm the situation.

“Thank you, madam secretary,” he said, and put the cuffs on her wrists, clicking them loosely.

“Are those really necessary?” President Clinton said.

“Orders, sir.”

“Whose orders?”

“I can’t…”

“Who ordered you to put handcuffs on a 69 year old women with no history of violence?”

“Vince Foster would disagree…” one of the agents quipped, before realising.

President Clinton, spun on his heel and looked at the agent.

“That’s the way it is, it is?”

In his office, Giuliani, listening to the entire conversation broadcast live on TV, was screaming at the screen.

“Close the fucking door! Close the fucking door!”

Secretary Clinton tapped her husband on the arm.

“Don’t worry about it, Bill. Rudy Giuliani obviously thinks I’m very dangerous. Will you bring my reading glasses, honey.”

As she was led out of the house, America had stopped what it was doing to watch the spectacle. A growing crowd was gathering outside the house, and started chanting “Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry!” as she was put into one of the 10 FBI jeeps outside the house. She smiled, and held up her her hands in the air, the cuffs very clear to be seen.

It was an image that would become iconic.

Media helicopters and drones buzzed over the scene, following the FBI convoy as they took her to Manhattan to be charged. By the time she arrived at FBI headquarters, thousands of people were present. Some were shouting “Jail her!” but most were supporting her.

When she was led in, accompanied by her husband, there was a wall of noise as the crowd now covered the entire street. The NYPD were desperately trying to redirect traffic.

After an hour, President Clinton exited the building with with some aides and his Secret Service detail. Half way down the steps, surrounded by the media, someone (on advice from James Carville who was in apoplexy watching from Louisiana) handed the former president a loudhailer and a hand mike. He slung the loudhailer over his shoulder, looking like a superannuated student activist.

“My wife Hillary,” he said in that familiar southern drawl, “is a political prisoner.”

“This is the sort of thing you see in Zimbabwe or North Korea. A new president turning the power of the state on his political opponents. You did not see Reagan jail Mondale, or Bush jail Dukakis, or George W jail Al Gore. This, this is disgusting!”

In the DOJ, Giuliani was fielding a call from the President, who did not like what he was seeing. Then something caught his eye on the screen.

The crowd, now maybe 100,000 strong, seemed to ripple as someone moved across the steps of the building. Then the cheering started as people recognised former President Obama and Michelle Obama pushing through. Clinton saw them, and opened his arms to give both a huge embrace. The crowd started cheering, a chant “Let her out!” started, during into a deafening roar.

Giuliani was smart enough to see this was getting out of hand.

“Yes sir….no, I don’t think we should send in the national guard…we’ve a helicopter…yes sir.”

President Obama took the microphone live on camera.

“Michelle and I were downtown when we heard the news…I could not believe what I heard…is this the America we’re living in, where one party has its opponents picked up off the streets? Hell no!”

The crowds chanted back a “Hell no!” at him.

“What happens next? Is Rudy Giuliani going to have her spirited away to some prison in the middle of nowhere, some gulag?”

Giuliani looked at his advisers. That was exactly the plan.

A helicopter took off from the roof of the FBI building, as someone whispered in Clinton’s ear. Clinton gestured to Obama, who handed over the microphone.

“I’ve just been told that Hillary is on that helicopter, and that they’re taking her somewhere. I don’t know where. But my friends, I’ll tell you this. This is a political arrest, and will only be resolved in one place: Washington DC.”

*****

They could hear the chants in the Oval Office. “Let her go!” from just shy of two million people was very loud.

The president was not happy. Despite many questioning his intellect during the campaign, he’d proven himself to have a shrewd political gut, and this sat uneasily. The polls were showing that whilst a solid 40% of the country supported prosecuting her, 50% saw it as purely an act of political revenge.

In the week since her incarceration in a federal prison awaiting trial, in North Dakota, the Democrats had been galvanized. Millions were marching on the streets, and her name was now being compared to Nelson Mandela and Alfred Dreyfus. Foreign leaders hadn’t been helpful, although Putin and the Chinese endorsed his action in the “fight against corruption”. President Le Pen supported him too. That prick Trudeau had led a march to the US embassy in Ottawa to hand in a letter of protest. It wasn’t helped either by the fact that his coarsest supporters were having a field day on the web making remarks about her being sexually assaulted in jail. The First Lady had walked out of a meeting where such remarks had been made.

The visit to the prison by Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush had looked awful for the administration on TV.

His advisers had all advised that this was to be expected,     and it didn’t matter.

“All this proves is that the people who hate you still hate you,” Chris Christie said.

Giuliani nodded.

“Let’s get through the trial, put her away, and let her rot!”

The meeting broke up with out a decision, the room clearing save for Ivanka Trump. The others knew not to question her remaining.

“This is a huge problem honey!” The president said, slumping in his seat. He was not enjoying being president. He still spent a lot of time in his home in New York, and was beginning to hate having to return to the White House. The constant protest outside Trump Tower annoyed him too. It also grated with him to be booed in his home city, where once people had cheered him on the streets. He’d tried to have them moved on, but both the mayor and governor had refused to deploy heavy forces.

His mood hadn’t been helped by the fact that every business with a Trump in the title was now being permanently picketed by the Let Her Go crowd. Ivanka and the boys had openly talked about rebranding and separating his presidency from his brand in an attempt to save revenues.

“They’re wrong,” she said.

“If Hillary stays in prison she will become the focal point of your presidency. The next election will be a referendum on freeing her. Is that what we want?”

“What’s the alternative?”

“Pardon her. Say that a trial will be divisive and that you want to  bring the country together.”

“My supporters will go nuts!”

“You said you’d put her in jail. She’s in jail. Now the country has to move on. I’ve put some words together.”

She handed him a buff folder, which he opened and leaned back in his seat. He smiled.

“Is this legal?”

“I have half a dozen lawyers who say it isn’t illegal.”

*****

Newsflash: The White House has announced that the president will issue a pardon of Secretary Hillary Clinton for all crimes and misdemeanors committed by her. Unusually, for the pardon to take affect, Secretary Clinton is required to sign that she is accepting the pardon.

Some legal scholars suggest that in doing so she would be admitting to having committed the crimes in the first place.

A spokesperson for the president said that the pardon is on its way to North Dakota by fighter jet, and that Mrs Clinton can be home with her family by tonight if she wishes.

The attorney general, Rudy Giuliani, has resigned. He will be replaced by his deputy, Gov. Chris Christie.

The president shall address the nation tonight.

 
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Pressure Point: A Romney/Obama Adventure.

Posted by Jason O on Oct 25, 2016 in Fiction, Not quite serious., US Politics

Repost from 2012: The following post is an idea for a short story I had about Governor Romney and President Obama being locked in a room together. It’s a very long post. You have been warned!

The governor waved once more to the crowd in the Lynn University auditorium, and walked off the stage, Ann’s hand held firmly in his. In the wings, his campaign manager beamed his reaction to the governor’s performance in the final presidential debate with an enthusiastic two thumbs up.

“Governor, that was marvellous!” he said, with a wide grin. The governor raised an eyebrow. It had been the theme inside the campaign, his alleged 1950s style stiffness becoming a source of light ribbing from his campaign team. He actually found it  quite funny, especially as his sons were very much the ringleaders.

The debate had been the hardest of the three, with the president holding his own and the governor having to tread very carefully, especially on Iran. His pollsters had been very clear: Defend Israel Yes, lead America into another Republican war, a big fat No. He felt he had kept the balance.

His sons were giving him firm handshakes and slapping his back when he noticed the head of his Secret Service detail speaking to another man he didn’t recognise. The agent walked over.

“Governor, the president has asked that you join him. A traditional matter, I’m told.”

The governor stiffened. It was not commonly known, and he had certainly not known until he had been informed on winning his party’s nomination, that a communications line between the sitting president and his likely opponent was agreed early in the campaign. If the candidate was informed of the phrase “a traditional matter” it meant that there was a national security issue he needed to be briefed on, off the record and not for campaign exploitation. It was a matter of pride to all in the know that the system had never been abused since it was set up by President Ford in the 1970s. Read more…

 
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What if…Prime Minister Johnson

Boris-Johnson“Just a mo,” the Prime Minister said, pulling his jacket off, then struggling with the bullet proof vest. His close protection officer helped him. It was the lightest model they could find, as the PM was “fed up looking like the Michelin man” on television, but it still added to his not inconsiderate bulk. The security services had insisted he wear it in public after he’d been shot at a month ago by yet another demented right-winger screaming at him for being a traitor. That was outside of London. In London they screamed at him for being a racist. Tony Blair had rang him recently to thank him for taking the pressure off him.

“I really appreciate it, man. I’m being invited to dinner parties in Islington I haven’t been to in years!”

He ran a hand through his blonde mop, and fell into a seat at the table, facing his chief of staff and that very sharp focus group lady they’d drafted in.

“Right, let’s get on,” he waved his hand in the air, as if signalling a dancing girl whose performance he had to tolerate.

The focus group expert clicked on a slide.

“Basically, they think you’ve betrayed them. The words liar, traitor, all keep repeating. And it is all to do with immigration.”

“But we’ve reduced immigration! Look at the stats! In the last quarter…” the PM blustered.

“Prime Minister, they don’t care about the actual details.”

She wasn’t lying, the PM thought. The justice secretary had his two front teeth punched in by a yob at a public meeting screaming at him about mass migration and “experts”. Indeed, the tone of the country had turned nasty in the three years of his premiership. Hate crimes were going through the roof as people deemed not English, whatever that meant, were subjected to all sorts of abuse on the streets. In some schools they were even having to segregate students to stop them fighting by race.

He’d been appalled by this, and was pouring resources into the police to tackle hate crimes, but that seemed to have angered some people even more. When he appointed the first non-white home secretary the amount of abuse he’d received in the post had been shocking.

“The perception, prime minister, is that you lied about stopping immigration and kicking the foreigners, in particular the Muslims, out.”

“But I never promised that!” he protested.

“They think you did. In some demographics, over 80% of respondents are convinced they heard you make that specific promise. It’s becoming a self-reaffirming loop. The more they get angry at you not delivering what they think you promised, the more they convince themselves as to what they heard you and others promise.”

He picked up a Jammie Dodger and munched on it. He really wasn’t enjoying being PM at all.

“Right, so how do we get the truth out? Brief journalists better? I mean, there’s a 14% reduction in immigration…”

The focus group woman looked at the chief of staff.

“I’m sorry prime minister, but I’m not sure it’s possible.”

“What?” the PM asked.

“This demographic is impervious to statistics or experts. All lies as far as they’re concerned, and Brexit to them was the signal that it’s OK, that they’re the real voice of the ordinary people. They only trust their own eyes, and every time they see a woman in a headscarf or a dark skinned man…I mean, we’ve had to stop using mixed-race focus groups for political work because it’s getting too dangerous. A man was nearly stabbed in one last week. Their measure of success on immigration would involve closing mosques, public arrests of non-whites, evictions from public housing. Making non-ethnic whites carry national identity cards was quite popular, especially if they were required to wear them on clothing…”

“Bollocks to that!” the PM said.

“A significant proportion think we should leave the EU?”

“We have left the EU!” the PM blurted out, biscuit crumbs going everywhere.

“They don’t believe you. Many believe we’re secret members. They believe UKIP are telling the truth. The phrase EU-Lite, you know, his phrase, comes up a lot. Also a number want to know why you aren’t promising to veto Turkey joining the EU?”

“And then there’s the £350 million a week,” the chief of staff said awkwardly.

“Not still!” the PM exclaimed.

The focus group woman nodded.

“It seems to have really locked in to public consciousness. Every local cut to spending, every school, hospital, the 350 comes up. They want to know why you aren’t using it to fund the given service. Some people think you’re using it to build a giant mosque in the next town over. It’s always the next town over.”

“It funds our access to the single market?” The PM said to nobody in particular.

“Yes, well that feeds into the UKIP line about you funding secret membership of the EU.”

The PM looked at his watch.

“I have to go. Have a state dinner for President Capaldi. Wish I had a bleedin’ TARDIS,” he muttered, as he went out the door.

 
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Coming soon to HBO*: “Threadneedle Street”

bank-england-logoWhen the governor of the Bank of England dies suddenly, and his obvious successor Sir Guy Acheson (Rowan Atkinson, in a surprising straight role) is ruled out because of a shares scandal, brilliant but maverick economist Steve Darblay (Episodes’ Stephen Mangan) finds himself appointed Governor of the Bank of England, in the middle of a currency crisis, by the ruthlessly ambitious Chancellor of the Exchequer Tom Parrish (Hugh Laurie.)

For Darblay, his appointment not only places him in the driving seat in dealing with everything from interest rates to the future of the euro to who goes on the new £5 note, but also a target for Acheson who feels bitterly wronged but also that the new governor is not exactly from the right side of the tracks.

With his former Cambridge tutor Bill Burke (Roger Allam-The Thick of It) and even more brilliant economist (and former girlfriend) Yves Cassidy (Lenora Crichlow-Sugar Rush) at his side, Darblay gets ready to take his seat at the most elite of the world’s councils.

Guest starring Delaney Williams (The Wire) as US Fed Chairman Matt O’Malley and Sidse Babette Knudsen (Borgen) as ECB President Martina Delacroix.

Special appearance by Stephen Fry as the Prime Minister.

*I wrote this as a joke, but as I wrote it I thought “Jesus, I’d watch this!”

 
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Supposing drink stopped working? A short story.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 18, 2016 in eNovels & Writing, Fiction, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

No one can be sure for certain when it was first noticed. But it is certainly fair to say that it came to official attention following a row in a pub in Castlebar. The Guards had been called to a heated altercation between a number of customers and the publican, an event not exactly unusual on a summer’s Saturday night. On arrival at the pub however, the Guards had been surprised to discover that drink, although being the issue, was not the usual catalyst.

This was not the usual row between men full of jar. Indeed, it was the lack of jar that was the issue. The three men had been rowing furiously over an accusation by the two that the publican was watering down drink. Others had got involved, some siding with the publican, some with his accusers. But what struck the Garda sergeant the most was the fact that here they were in a pub near closing time and hardly anyone was pissed. There were a small handful well-oiled, but most people in the pub were fully sober. On a Saturday night?

The sergeant calmed the situation, pointed out that watering down drink was a criminal offence, and ordered his younger partner to collect a few samples for analysis.

This was the first submission to the state laboratory, but by the end of the week twenty submissions had been made by both the Gardai and the consumer authorities, all following up complaints by consumers.

Two weeks later the issue had reached the media, as a scandal involving publicans watering down drink.

Except they weren’t, the minister for justice was told as he was being briefed. One or two samples were found to have been diluted, but the vast majority were perfectly normal. Just as the minister started wondering whether some sort of national mass hysteria was beginning to take hold, the minister for health asked the Taoiseach for an emergency meeting.

This drink thing has nothing to do with alcohol tampering, he said. The national infectious diseases monitoring unit had discovered something living in the water supply.

The Taoiseach paled. Normally, being prime minister of a small European country involved just keeping a lid on public expectations about spending. But this was one of those Hollywood moments, he thought, like when the president is told that Martians have invaded. He stiffened in his seat and stuck his jaw out like Martin Sheen did on The West Wing.

The minister was quick to calm the meeting. It’s not dangerous, per se. It’s an unknown parasite that lives and replicates within the human body. Completely harmless. But there is one thing.

The Taoiseach shifted in his seat. He was a fan of zombie movies and his head was spinning.

The parasite metabolises alcohol at an incredible rate. Essentially, it burns up alcohol before it can intoxicate the consumer. If you have it, you can’t get drunk, no matter how much you drink. The European Health Agency and the World Health Organisation have never seen anything like it.

The Taoiseach exhaled. Thank Christ for that. He had visions of blowing people’s heads off in Merrion Square with a shotgun.

Completely harmless, he asked.

Completely, the minister agreed. It got through most of the water supply because it’s harmless. Normally if something dangerous gets into the water supply, outbreaks of illness are what alert us within a few days. But this thing has been active for weeks. It was only when people started complaining about not getting pissed that we were alerted.

What’s the solution, the Taoiseach asked.

Ah, said the minister. That’s the problem. At the moment we don’t have one. This thing is pretty much a superbug. Resistant to everything the doctors have thrown at it. That’s why the EHA and WHO are working on it. We’ve asked the CDC in Atlanta for help too.

I don’t want a load of feckers in yellow spacesuits walking around the place, the Taoiseach said. The minister nodded.

Of course, I’ll have to tell the Dail. How widespread is the infection? The Taoiseach asked.

The minister grimaced. With the exception of Donegal, where we have isolated their water supply, the whole country. Pretty much everybody has it and it has the alcohol neutralising effect on about 98% of those infected.

But aside from the alcohol thing, it’s harmless? The Taoiseach asked.

If anything, the minister replied, it’s slightly beneficial in that it speeds up metabolism. Good for weight loss.

The Taoiseach scribbled that point down. If he was going to tell the Irish that drinking no longer worked, he was going to need every scrap of good news he could find.

*****

The news was met with the usual Irish mix of bemusement, cynicism and suspicion. The leader of the opposition was quick to point out that under this government, even drink doesn’t work.

The publicans and the drinks industry called for a national emergency to be declared, and then proceeded to do the standard Irish two-step of denying the real cause for concern, plummeting alcohol sales, and instead latching onto some other more respectable reason for their anxiety. This is an attack on craic, one spokesman said, raising concerns about the effect on tourism. Another industry voice suggested darkly that this would lead to the Irish people turning to heroin instead. We could all end up out of our heads on horse, he said.

Joe Duffy was inundated with conspiracy theorists suggesting it had been the EU, UN, feminists, the Germans, protestants, Muslims, German protestants and Coca Cola. One call pointed out that this happened after Ireland had voted for same-sex marriage. Is it a coincidence, Joe? I don’t think so. It’s the pill, Joe, said another. It’s turned us all into fairies who can’t hold our drink. Surely the opposite is what’s happening, said Duffy. You’re obviously in on it, Joe. Typical RTE was the reply.

A number of TDs called for the army to be called in to start drinking the national alcohol supply to keep the drinks industry alive. We’re talking about jobs here, they protested. Each deputy was quick to stress how his county was obviously suffering much harder than any other county.

Within a month, the HSE working with its international partners had wiped out the parasite from the water supply. Curing the infected, however, was another matter.

We have found a cure, the minister for health told the cabinet. An American pharmaceutical had amongst many of its obscure patents a forgotten experimental drug which can wipe the infection from the human body, with little or no side effects.  We’re fast tracking the testing to make sure, but we should be able to start treatment very soon.

The cabinet applauded, amidst much joking about dying for a whiskey.

The health minister dampened down the noise. I’m afraid, he said, it’s not as simple as that. The company that owns the patent is looking for around €30 billion to provide the medication.

The cabinet erupted. They can’t do that, said the social protection minister.

Yes they can. We can put pressure on them, publicly, but legally they’re entirely within their rights.

Can’t we just copy the drug? One minister asked. After all, don’t we actually have it for testing and analysis?

We do, the health minister said. The problem is that because there are so many pharmaceuticals here we have very strict patent protection laws. If we do that they can take us to our own courts and get the money that way. And that’s assuming you can find another pharmaceutical willing to manufacture 5 million doses for you, and not get sued themselves.

Let’s just change the law, the agriculture minister said.

Hold your horses for a minute, there, said the minister for enterprise. We rely on foreign companies here for huge employment and investment. If they start thinking we’re one of those countries that just confiscate property on a whim…

This is a national emergency, agriculture said.

Nobody is dying, enterprise replied.

You would say that, agriculture replied, jabbing a finger at the famously tee-total enterprise minister.

The Taoiseach raised a hand. We can’t just confiscate the drug. Can we negotiate?

Health shrugged. Possibly, we might get some leeway on the payment period and that, but not much.

The news about the drug and its company, Haardnex of Texas, leaked soon after. The Irish online community were very quick to decide that Haardnex had “obviously” invented the parasite and put it into the water supply to hold the Irish people ransom. Thousands marched in protests, although the size of the protests started to dwindle when they got mocked on American and British television for marching to demand the right to get pissed. Protestors who brought their children, trying to somehow justify how this was “all about the children” were roundly laughed at on Youtube and Snapchat.

Demonstrators got more and more annoyed at the attitude of foreign journalists who refused to take the issue seriously, especially when they attempted to explain that being drunk was part of the Irish culture yet painting the Irish as a nation of drunks was a racist stereotype. Foreign news crews had to receive Garda escorts.

Eventually, the Taoiseach spoke to the Irish people. We have negotiated, he said, a deal for €25 billion to be paid over ten years to Haardnex in return for the treatment. Given that it is such a huge amount of money, it is my intention to put this vote to the Irish people in a referendum.

The run-up to the vote involved bitter debates in the media and amongst families. The Yes campaign ran on the slogan Sure Didn’t We Bail Out The Banks! and that this was all about saving a crucial part of Irish culture. The campaign was well-funded, with the drinks industry and unions representing the Gardai and social workers, two groups that had lost significant overtime since the outbreak calling for a yes vote. The No campaign was much smaller, and open to physical attack in the streets for being Dry Shites.

The polls were much more evenly balanced, with polls recording that whilst the vast majority wanted the cure, they weren’t happy at having to pay for it. On the radio and online some suggested that once the government had dispersed the treatment it could renege on the deal, but lawyer after lawyer dismissed that possibility.

Day after day debates were held about the influence of drink on the country, the fall in domestic violence and road fatalities, and the fact that obesity figures had shown a marked drop. Cannabis sales were definitely up, the Gardai confirmed, whilst pointing out that alcohol-related public order offences had collapsed. A&E waiting times also fell sharply. The argument that it was harming tourism was disproven by the fact that tourists, who weren’t infected, and could avail of a cheap vaccine, could get drunk. Indeed, that tiny percentage of Irish drinkers who either weren’t susceptible to the infection, or lived in Donegal, found themselves being ostracised by friends. Story after story about how Donegal still got drunk continued to irritate the rest of the country, to the extent that drunken Donegal visitors started getting beaten up in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

American commentators were quick to draw a line between the American love of guns and the Irish love of drink, and the fact that both countries were willing to accept a high casualty rate in return for their right to use the product in question.

Is it possible, the No campaign suggested, that this is not the worst thing to ever happen to the Irish people?

On polling day, the last poll suggested the deal would be rejected by a good ten percentage points.

It passed by 80%. Donegal voted No.

The End.

 
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Montana last US state to ban non-driverless cars.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 9, 2015 in Fiction, News from The Future!, Not quite serious., Science Fiction

News Future logoDateline: Helena, Montana, 2099

Tommy T. Thompson-Guiterrez (Libertarian), Governor of Montana, signed the Driverless Cars Act banning all non-automated cars from operating on the main roads and highways of the state in the state capitol this morning, making Montana the final state in the union to do so. The law itself is primarily symbolic, the governor said, given that 98.7% of all vehicles in the state are driverless anyway.

The bill was rushed through the state senate on Tuesday following an accident where a 103 year old pensioner driving a 2047 Buick caused a pile up on the interstate when he missed his turn, and killed four people. The State Road Agency has pointed out that all vehicle accidents reported in the last  22 years  have been caused by human drivers.

The act will allow driver required cars to be driven on private property, after intensive lobbying by the Vintage Automobile Association of America. A second amendment, sponsored by Hot Tubs On Wheels billionaire J. Stevenson, which would have permitted the provision of hot tubs and related “adult services” in commercial driverless vehicles was rejected. Stevenson pointed out that such a provision in Nevada provides employment for a large number of high school leavers and provides relaxation for tired consumers on their long drives home. The state police have reminded occupants that whilst legal sexual activity in driverless cars is legal, occupants are obliged to close blinds on their vehicles, following last year’s case between Montana Vs. Montana Bondage and S&M Community Annual Roadtrip Ltd.

McDonalds have confirmed that they will be expanding their short-haul “Big Mac Taxi” service to the state, allowing customers to order a McDonalds meal and eat it as they are driven to their destination. Over 45% of all McDonalds meals in the US are now consumed in Big Mac Taxis.

 
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GUN LOBBY SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND RIGHT TO CARRY WEAPONS ON AIRCRAFT.

Posted by Jason O on Nov 30, 2015 in Fiction, News from The Future!, Not quite serious.

News Future logoDateline: Austin, Texas, 2099.

Lobbyists for the National Rifle & American Values Association last night successfully defeated an attempt by the minority Democratic group in the Texas state legislature to end the right of passengers to bring assault rifles onto an aircraft with their hand luggage.

Unlike the states of the north-east and west coast, Texas remains with those states that support the so-called 9/11 law, inspired by gun lobbyists who suggest that if passengers had been armed the infamous terrorist attack of a near century ago would not have occurred. In Texas, the right is so vigorously defended that even Texas Airlines cabin crew wear sidearms as a point of principle.

As it happens, since the Second Amendment was devolved to state level, Texas has had the greatest number of IFIs (In-flight Firearms Incidents) of any state. A small number of planes have been brought down through explosive decompression.

In 2095 two men on a Texas Airlines flight from Houston to Nashville got into a drunken row, and in the gun battle that followed the flight crew were all killed by armour piercing bullets through the door of the flight-deck. The Attorney General of Texas attempted to sue Boeing-Airbus for not supplying an aircraft capable of landing automatically and instead crashing into a mountain.

The company pointed out that the plane did indeed have automatic landing capacity, but its flight controls were not designed to survive a burst of armour piercing machine gun fire. The Texas AG regarded that as an admission of liability, and wanted to know why the entire plane wasn’t armoured. Boeing-Airbus pointed out that it would then be a tank. The case is continuing.

The north-east states, Illinois and the west coast refuse to recognise the law, with flights from “Right to Carry Onboard” (RCO) states not permitted to fly into non-RCO states with armed passengers.

Guns continue to be very much a defining issue in the late 21st Century United States. Those essentially “blue” states have become less tolerant of the casual, if anything hysterical attitude to guns in the south and mid-west. With the Second Amendment now devolved, the borders of the states that take gun control seriously have heavily armed checkpoints of state police and National Guard to prevent Right-to-Carry (RTC) hardliners entering whilst armed, and it gets heated.

Last year, 32 Virginia law enforcement officials were killed in gun battles on the border with North Carolina, both states representing the frontline. On the Illinois/Indiana border in the same year a group of drunks decided to load up their pick-ups and taunt the Illinois State Police, who responded with an anti-vehicle missile fired from a drone.

Kennedy Airport, despite being in the heart of a gun control state, still has to take a tough line with the flights coming in from RTC states. Often, the security at those airports is deliberately scant, sometimes as a political point, and so when the flights land in NY they have to be met by state police with heavily armed combat drones to provide support if the situation gets out of hand.

Last month a newly-elected US Senator from Montana, C. James Dickerson III, found his flight directed by bad weather away from Dulles airport in DC, which as the federal capital turns a blind eye to RTC. Instead he arrived in New York, where his automatic pistol was detected by a SecuriDrone(R) and he was requested to surrender his weapon. Still giddy from his election, and possibly taken in by his own rhetoric, he refused to surrender his weapon, finally drawing it against the drone, which machine gunned him to death.

The US Senate protested vigorously, but the Governor of New York defended the actions of the drone.

 
6

Supposing Bertie HAD done the right thing…

Posted by Jason O on Jul 15, 2015 in Fiction, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.
Supposing Bertie had tried to do the right thing...

Supposing Bertie had tried to do the right thing…

REPOST FROM 2012

June 2007.

COWEN, BLAMING AHERN, CONCEDES DEFEAT AS KENNY OPENS NEGOTIATIONS WITH RABBITTE.

The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, has conceded defeat after tallymen said that FF senator Cyprian Brady would narrowly fail to be elected to the last seat in Dublin Central. This result confirmed that Fianna Fail’s loss of five seats in the general election meant that it was now impossible for the party to attempt to cobble together a majority with the remaining PDs and independents.

Cowen launched a blistering attack on his predecessor, Bertie Ahern TD,  for his decision, following the 2002 general election, to restrict mortgage lending and tax breaks. He identified Ahern’s attempts to dampen down the property market as the key reason for Fianna Fail’s defeat in the general election. The decision to restrict lending was very badly received by first time buyers, who accused the government of treating them like children and not letting them borrow as much as they wished.

Ahern’s January 2003 RTE Prime Time interview, where he suggested that the banks and mortgage holders were piling debts upon themselves based on massively overvalued assets caused the Taoiseach to be savaged by the media, who attacked him (and not just in their weighty property supplements) of being alarmist and talking down the market. Ahern’s refusal to back down led to a gradual slow down and modest dip  in property values, and following heated rows in heated tents in Galway with party supporters, finance minister Charlie McCreevy announced his resignation, accusing Ahern of lacking courage.

The policy led to a substantial drop in employment in the construction industry, with unemployment leaping from 3.1% to 5.1%, and demands for the Taoiseach’s resignation by some FF backbenchers. Fianna Fail suffered heavy losses in middle class areas in the 2004 local and European elections, with Fine Gael trouncing FF with a clear call to reverse Ahern’s restrictions. Polls showed clearly that Ahern’s interference in the property market was deeply unpopular with middle class and aspiring middle class voters,  and in June 2006, following a sustained campaign in the media, Charlie McCreevey announced that he was challenging Bertie Ahern for the party leadership. Although he defeated Ahern in the vote, McCreevy was beaten in the subsequent leadership election by Brian Cowen, his successor as finance minister, who pointed out that he believed in the “traditional idea that the leader of Fianna Failer should be, you know, a member of Fianna Fail.” The new cabinet announced it was reversing Ahern’s restricting on lending and restoring the tax breaks to the building industry.

The incoming Fine Gael/Labour coalition has said that it does not believe the fact that the country is building over 80,000 housing units when Sweden, with double the population, is only building 12,000, to be a cause for concern.

In other news, the family of Capt. Edward Smith, the “mad” captain of the RMS Titanic who rammed an iceberg in 1912 and caused over a £100,000 worth of damage to his own ship, have petitioned the British Government to clear the captain’s name. Smith, who died disgraced in 1950, always maintained that if he attempted to turn the ship away from the iceberg it could have been badly damaged along its hull in such a way as to sink the ship, a theory that modern engineers have recently begun to suggest has merit. For years, the phrase “To Smith Oneself” was a derogatory naval slogan to describe a foolish action taken by a person who claimed that they were attempting to avoid a greater catastrophe.

The former luxury liner continues to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in London, where it is moored.

 
0

Crisis: a nuclear attack on Israel.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 3, 2015 in Fiction, Politics, US Politics

nuke

Repost.

The weapon, later identified as a 10 mega-ton former Soviet warhead, detonated just as the new Knesset began proceedings. In a flash, Israel’s administrative capital, political leadership and just under three quarters of a million Israelis died, along with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The news was greeted in different ways. In the US, the president was rushed to the emergency national airborne command post, whilst the vice president and others were sent to the alternate national command centre in Mount Weather. US forces were ordered to def con 2.

In Cairo, Damascus, Tehran and Riyadh, spontaneous crowds gathered in grotesque displays of euphoria.

Read more…

Copyright © 2019 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.