Digest – Jan 3 2010


Fiona de Londres of UCD on the Human Rights in Ireland blog, writes about the blasphemy law.

Cian O’Callaghan of Ireland After NAMA on NAMA staff being exempt from public sector pay cuts.

Belfast Gonzo of Slugger on dissident republican’s “uninspiring” New Year’s statement.

Suzy on the Green Party state board appointees.

Interesting piece on the possible non-illegalities and potential failures of the Athiest Ireland campaign of purposeful blasphemy by Colm MacCárthaigh.

Brendan Hughes of the Irish Internet Association’s Social Media Working Group on the opportunities for Ireland in 2010.

There has been a growing mistrust of all that is BIG. Big business. Big government. Big economy. Big media. Big brand. Big church. The past 18 months was particularly torrid for BIG. The corporations and institutions that dominate modern society, for increasing numbers, are no longer seen as the bastions of all that is good. The doubters are no longer just those on the fringes or with leftist leanings. Capitalists, communist and fundamentalist alike are taking a stand.

In many cases we are revolutionaries and not even aware of it. Have you transferred from a monopolistic brand in favour of a new market entrant? Have you read a blog instead of an opinion piece on a broadsheet? Have you purchased online from a foreign retailer rather than head to the local mall? There are many small acts that cumulatively and over time mark a clear shift in intention and action away from BIG organisations.

However BIG is not going away…

VonPrond on Student “Enterprise”. This raised a few questions for me. He notes that many students would be engaged in would could technically be called full-time employment. I worked about 30 hours a week while in college, I think, taking in freelancing and part-time working. I then quit part-time working (in Debenhams, oh, the glamour) and struggled freelancing for a while before taking two (unpaid) internships which led to reliable freelance work (for the time being). I should still be in college now, actually, but deferred the last year.

So essentially, my student “enterprise” led to a job, albeit one that is cobbled together between two part-time jobs and freelance pitching, it also ate into the study time I alloted to myself. It also led me to leave college. So was the student enterprise a positive or negative? Hard to know. I’m happy enough for the time being without any letter stitched onto my name at either end…


James Fallows of The Atlantic, in the context of Paul Krugman’s latest article, on the Chinese predetory policy of allowing its currency to devalue and how it “could and should” “provoke retaliation” from countries in the West. Definitely worth a read.

The GOOD Guide to Shadowy Organistions; Not sure what to make of it, GOOD is usually quite good though (as in non-conspiracy theory-based info), their frontpage usually has some interesting articles.

I’m always linking to Marc Lynch of Foreign Policy here, not alone because it’s the best Middle East blog I read, but because he writes stuff like this article on the reaction to the underpants bomber. Essentially it’s a “relax, don’t go all swine-flu on Yemen lads, keep your heads screwed on, it’ll be all right, settle now, good” type piece.

Also on the underpants bomber, from a different angle, P O’Neill.

Julian Frisch, on of my favourite EU bloggers, writes about the new Kazakh presidency of the OSCE.


Judging by this piece of jewellery, it appears the BBC have developed an innovate new way of holding onto their key staff through periods of public sector pay cuts. Via Memex 1.1 (aka John Naughton).