Digest – August 15 2010

It’s back. The Digest is all up in this here! Rejoice dear reader! Rejoice!

Or don’t.


Gerard O’Neill, ‘fear itself’.

Here in Ireland we appear to be suffering from an unholy combination of inaction and over-reaction – giving rise to the mood of negativity that Coleman and others have recognised. NAMA is the over-reaction: the inaction relates to the wider re-structuring of our economy to ensure we never again suffer the consequences of our self-inflicted crack-up credit boom. One advantage of de-commissioning NAMA would perhaps be to re-start a debate about the future structure of our financial institutions.

Iain Nash goes for the chicks (I kid! I kid!) of  The Anti-Room.

Gav Reilly; How AIB’s gym fees staff expenses could cost more than double the amount it will make from increasing mortgage interest rates.

In the name of faux-balance (more because it is a beautifully written piece of work) June Caldwell of The Anti-Room on the ‘still missing’ women post-Larry Murphy’s release.

Despite the medieval braying from the tabloid press that he’ll strike again and soon, I personally don’t believe for a second that Larry Murphy is going to put a foot wrong for a very long time. He can wait. He can play with the authorities and the public. Memories will sustain him. This day is a very special one for him after all. Even just the God of small things: he hasn’t seen any of our modern capital’s hallmarks for a start: the Luas, the spire, etc. There’s a lot to take in. Especially the reams of happy young women pacing along the city streets, tired women too, stomping home from work. Women who will have no idea who he is or what he’s done. It’s been an age since he was able to glance sideways at strangers, with every ounce of his civil rights protected. The fact remains that there are dozens of Larry Murphys out there, a lot of whom we’ve handily forgotten.

Seamus Coffey on stamp duty; ‘Stamped out’.

I’m not sure if Hugh Green’s criticisim should be directed at the editorial or the broader arguement, either way, he makes some interesting points in this piece about Wyclef Jean, the US and Haiti.

Did you miss this? The Last Word with Matt Cooper; Minister O’Cuiv admits rollback on employment investment.

Speaking on The Last Word on Today FM Thursday evening, Minister for Social Protection Eamonn Ó’Cuiv admitted the Employment Subsidy Scheme – to which the government allocated €250m – had in fact ceased with only €133 million spent.  The Employment Subsidy Scheme was set up in 2009 to protect jobs at viable but vulnerable businesses. ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding sought the Minister’s clarification on this point to which O’Cuiv confirmed, “Yes, that figure is correct”.


Matt Yglesias on the 20 years of The American Proscpect, the US liberal foreign policy magazine.

Conservative American bloggers select the 25 worst figures in US history. Barack Obama doesn’t ‘win’.

World population by longitude and latitude.

Mikey Hemlock on the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ thingy.

But here’s the thing. It’s not about Ground Zero, it’s not about the constitution, and it’s not even about religious freedom. Ultimately, its about us. All of us Americans, collectively. We need to decide what kind of society we want to live in. We need to figure out to what extent we want other people’s hatred to determine whether we can actually have faith in the promises and guarantees made to us in the founding documents. We need to decide if we want to follow the example of Ibn Saud, or that of Thomas Jefferson. We need to choose whether we show the world we stand uncaring and powerless before our base fears and tribal hatreds, or if instead we stand up and demonstrate, once again, that America defends her values fearlessly and without reservation.

Arghhh, I’m so torn. Reporter Without Borders criticises Wikileaks.

This is Africa: ‘Diamonds, weekend herdsmen and why they don’t make botho like they used to…

The day was nonetheless an eventful one. Leaving Mokolodi in the morning, we hitched a ride with a man named Tsepo, a self-described “weekend herdsman” who spends his workweeks as a professor of physiology at the University of Botswana. On the weekend he tends to his cattle on farmland some 30 kilometers south of Gaborone, the discussion of which occupied a good portion of our drive into town. Tsepo asserted that your average Motswana (plural: Batswana) was more or less not worth his weight in cow dung if he couldn’t precisely enumerate the size of his herd, rattle off the going rate for a calf or stud at market, and show a nearly fanatical obsession with the breeding habits and preferences of various types of parasites. Had this reporter had his notebook handy, the reader’s knowledge of the cattle industry would have no doubt grown exponentially with the preceding paragraph.

Guido; Death by Spin.


Old BBC series, Funny Talking Animals. Who wouldn’t love this?