I can’t believe it is 6 months since I first posted about this project of mine. If anyone is interested, here is an update on my progress since then. First of all I need to explain that this is part of a long term project which includes a non-fiction book about the Great Irish Famine, as well as the historical novel based on the activities of Capt. Arthur Kennedy and Colonel Crofton Vandeleur in Kilrush between November 1847 and 1851. I have been working hard on the non-fiction work over the summer and have what I consider to be a … Continue reading The Poor Law Inspector – Update.
Yesterday, fellow blogger Sha’Tara, aka Burning Woman, posted up a collection of “Anarchist memes, facts and headlines”. I challenged one of them in the comments. Another demands a longer response. The world spent $1735 Billion dollars on war in 2012. It would take approximately $135 Billion dollars to totally eradicate (systemic) poverty. For the sake of complete transparency I must admit a few things so that my readers can understand any bias I might bring to my analysis. First, I used to be a pacifist. I gave that up after giving serious consideration to the need to overcome tyranny – … Continue reading Must the Poor Always be With Us?
Thanks to Stevie over at https://steviet3.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for the ‘Three Quotes for Three Days’ challenge. The rules of the challenge are: Three quotes for three days. Three nominees each day (no repetition). Thank the person who nominated you. Inform the nominees. For my 2nd contribution I am quoting Margaret Thatcher: There is no such thing as society. Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, 1979-90, in an interview for Woman’s Own, September 1987. Often quoted, frequently misunderstood, this single remark is held up as an example of her government’s belief that the state had no role to play in the … Continue reading Society: what is it exactly?
Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:
In this age of immediate connections though the ubiquitous i-phone, Facebook and other media, many people still long for “real community”. A documentary on the radio today investigated co-housing, an experiment in community living. There are hundreds of projects currently up and running in North America. The particular subject of this programme, was the Harbourside Co-housing for Seniors, in Sooke British Columbia. Denmark first developed this concept in the 1960’s, but now there are many projects of different longevities, and more currently in development, in Europe, the UK, New Zealand,… Continue reading Co-Housing and Community – Guest Post…
Following the EU Commission’s findings released on 29th August, Irish politicians and commentators, as well as some further afield, have struggled to find the correct response. In the end the Irish government agreed to join Apple in lodging an appeal against the findings. The methods that Apple, and some other large corporations, use in order to avoid paying tax are well enough documented. A complex series of financial transfers enables Apple to show the greater portion of its profits as eligible for tax in a jurisdiction where the tax rate is zero. It pays tax in Ireland at 12.5% on … Continue reading Apple’s €13 billion: Yours? Mine? Whose?
How should we respond to disasters? Natural events – earthquakes, floods, forest fires – usually evoke an outpouring of sympathy accompanied by the dispatch of all manner of aid. Engineers, medics, machinery and food are flown in to the disaster area to ensure that victims receive succour. Appeals raise millions of dollars to support such efforts. Is our response to famine different? Should it be? Are we more inclined to seek the cause of the catastrophe before making a commitment to assist? How deeply ingrained in our knowledge of Judao/Christian history is the story of how Joseph taught his Egyptian … Continue reading The Proper Response to Famine
The story began a few years ago when a certain gentleman (I’ll call him Paddy) joined our local writers’ group. Some years previously he had suffered serious injuries in a road accident and had subsequently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. From being a successful professional, keen golfer and member of Toastmasters, he was facing the frustrations of a debilitating condition that makes communication difficult. Nevertheless, he was determined to produce a collection of anecdotes and stories from his family history, humorous incidents from his long career, and adaptations of Irish folk tales. With help from members of the group he … Continue reading Nineteenth Century History – a new project (or two) for me?
A recent article in the Irish on-line newspaper thejournal.ie, reporting on calls for the annual commemoration of the 19th century potato famine to have a fixed date, drew an inevitable spate of comments pointing out that this event was really an example of genocide. Are such claims fair? The starting point for my response is to look at motives. If you believe that the responsibility for the economic and/or social problems being faced in a particular place or time can be laid at the door of a specific group of people you are embarking on a journey that certainly can … Continue reading Final Solutions: the road from Scapegoat to Genocide
I’ve heard it said time and again: the Euro is weak, the Eurozone a busted flush. And the strange thing is that no-one seems to contradict it. I’ve been living inside the Eurozone for almost 10 years now. My income is in pounds sterling which I have to convert into Euros for my day-to-day spending. I can tell you from personal experience that the Euro is not as weak as the pound. When we first moved here, late in 2006, a pound would buy 1.5 Euros. After the 2008 banking crisis, the two currencies came close to parity. This was … Continue reading The Myth of a Weak Euro
Time, I fear, for another rant. I’ll start with the assertion that work is not a right, it is a duty. Consider this: nothing of use exists without work. The most precious metal has no value until someone digs it out of the ground, someone else refines it, yet another shapes it into something desirable. Consider, too, the most primitive form of human existence, the hunter-gatherers. Are hunting and gathering not forms of work? Maslow’s hierarchy of need places food and shelter at the bottom of the pyramid. They are the things without which we cannot survive. If you have … Continue reading Work and Wealth: #atozchallenge