Digest – August 29 2010

Right, it’s back properly now. Honest.


P O’Neill with another thing the press misssed or miss-interpreted.

In short, the Irish example of debt reduction as cited by M. Trichet is dodgy.  Yes there was debt reduction, but it wasn’t done by spending cuts, it wasn’t sustainable, and its achievement was symptomatic of deeper structural (and political) problems in Ireland.  And we’ve leave that parenthetical comment for a long in-progress future post on Irish political economy.

Karl Whelan has one too.

Economist obituary to the piper who invaded Normandy. Via John Naughten.

ANY reasonable observer might have thought Bill Millin was unarmed as he jumped off the landing ramp at Sword Beach, in Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Unlike his colleagues, the pale 21-year-old held no rifle in his hands. Of course, in full Highland rig as he was, he had his trusty skean dhu, his little dirk, tucked in his right sock. But that was soon under three feet of water as he waded ashore, a weary soldier still smelling his own vomit from a night in a close boat on a choppy sea, and whose kilt in the freezing water was floating prettily round him like a ballerina’s skirt.

Gerard Cunningham; Changing times.

Anthony Sheridan; why Ivor Callely scares the body politic.

Veronica McDermott on Irishelection.com; The lucky 11. On the taoiseach’s Seanad nominees and Ivor Callely.

Splintered Sunrise; The Birmingham Three, the plot continues to thicken.


Adam Curtis takes a fascinating look at today via the characters on which Mad Men was based; Experiments in Laboratory Consumerism 1957-69

I have quite a lot of film from the archives that was shot in the Madison Avenue agencies in the mid 1960s, and I thought I would put some sections up. It is great because it shows some of the major advertising men and women of the time, many of whom are the real-life models for characters in Mad Men.

But it is also fascinating because it shows how some of those individuals would go on to play crucial roles in breaking open that static world.

And in a strange way – by achieving that – those same advertising executives would lay the foundations of another static world – the one we find ourselves living in today.

Jane Mayer in the New Yorker; Covert Operations – The Billionaire boys waging war against Obama.

Markham Nolan is in Kenya meeting the Kibera News Network, a fascinating project in social journalism (for want of a better term).

The mass rape in the Congo. What happened? A local blogger adds some insightful and useful context.

I’m not even going to specify a post, if you like sport, just go read something on Joe Posanski’s blog.


Might have seen this already but… below The Dark Side of the Lens. A short film about surfing photographer Mickey Smith, shot in part off Ireland’s west coast.