Digest – July 25 2010

I’m still trying to catch up with this Wikileaks thing. No time to write anything smart or amusing here.


Only caught this now, via Anthony; ‘Developers bribed planners with discounts on apartments‘.

Jim Stewert on Progressive Economy; ‘The privatisation board, what will it do?

Gerard O’Neill; gainfully employed.

I never thought I would say it, but Willie O’Dea TD is right. He proposes in today’s Sunday Independent that:

We should be seriously considering a scheme here where 100,000 people on the dole could be paid an extra €100 per week for the next 12 months to undertake vital work in their community. The work should match the people to their existing skills and training — whether that is in IT or building. It would be a social work programme, not a social welfare one.

Week’s read: Suzy Byrne; playing games with people’s health.

Colm Keaveney is a Labour Party Councillor in East Galway and a SIPTU official.

[…] Not sure if Colm knowns anything about transgender issues and the impact of waiting for surgery on peoples lives or indeed the impact of politicians spouting this sort of rubbish on the safety and mental health of transgendered people in Ireland. Well given that Colm was President of USI when I knew him and supported the development of structures for lgbt students one might have thought he would know better. It’s fairly clear he can’t see things with their eyes and empathise with them.

Jim O’Leary in The Irish Times; I should have been more pushy at opposing risk-taking in the bank.

A critical impediment to be overcome in the delivery of good corporate governance outcomes is asymmetry of information. Put crudely, the starting position is that a company’s managers possess all the relevant information while the board or at least the non-executive directors have none. The board is given as much information as management is prepared to share with it.

By information, I don’t just mean raw data; I mean the wherewithal to interpret the data intelligently. Nor do I mean only the kind of information that is amenable to quantification or communication in discrete form.

Basically, management was collectively (selectively?) incompetent?

Venividi (Ireland’s best photoblogger) Dublin port medallion. Worth spending some time on that blog, fantastic photo archive.

ScandalCentral; Fine Gael in crisis in Cork North Central?

P O’Neill has a puzzler; who’s getting Anglo’s €22bn?


The Big Picture; Oil spill in Dalian China.

Valuable read – Marc Lynch of Foreign Policy; why the clash of civilisations won’t go away.

The power of these post 9/11  confrontational narratives about Islam has been on full display  of late.   What I like to call stupidstorms break out with alarming regularity, driven by right wing media:  the frenzy around anodyne comments by the NASA director about engaging Muslims, the firing of Octavia Nasr over her Hezbollah tweet, the especially nasty clashes over the Ground Zero mosque complex.

The sheer amount of disinformation, vitriol, and agitation against Muslims and Islam in pockets of the right wing media (new and old) beggars belief.  Part of the blame also lies with right wing politicians, who cynically (or, more frightening, sincerely) exploit the anti-Islam tropes to drum up votes and to grab attention.   And part of the blame lies in the reality of the persistence and terrorist attacks of al-Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers. , and the polarizing effects of the escalating arguments over Israel, Gaza, and Iran.   It isn’t just the right wing echo chamber, though — the frenzies over the Captain Underpants failed bomber and the Times Square failed bomber show a mainstream media still hardwired to fall back into the comfortable tropes of the war on terror.

David Cohn; the ethical argument for transparency in journalism.

And herein lies the base of this whole thought process. It comes down to the individual. It is the individual, as part of a collective, that journalism seeks to inform. The individual should be actively participating in the dissemination of information for several reasons:

1. On a utilitarian level, they will become more informed and help inform more people. If the good of journalism is to inform, then letting more people participate will inform more people. Similarly, the mission of roads is to enable travel/transportation, not to safeguard public transportation. (There could be unintended consequences, of source, such as pollution.) The mission of journalism is to inform, not to safeguard journalism companies. A network has infinity more connections and that requires active participation and self-informed informants […]

Kenyan Pundit; those with nothing?

Oh boy.

So what bothered me was a missed opportunity to frame the images purely as look how creative these young kids are, without the “they-are-so-simple-and-happy-in-their-poverty” BS.

Glenn Greenwald; the revolving door spins faster on healthcare reform.


Sage Francis knows how to play with words. Mermaids are Sea Sluts. Love this poem. Video below.

Lastly; continuing the Feynman theme from last week. ‘Take the world from another point of view’ part 1. Definitely worth watching all four parts. Feyman is the dude, dude.

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