It is public knowledge that the Catholic Church ruled the roost in Ireland. The Church’s education system was harsh and children in school were beaten. The allegations of child sexual abuse were proved true and compensation was provided – ten percent coming from the Catholic Church and ninety percent from the state.
An investigation commission was set up in 2000 to hear from persons who allege they suffered abuse in childhood, in institutions, during the period from 1940 or earlier, to the present day; to conduct an inquiry into abuse of children in institutions during that period and, where satisfied that abuse occurred, to determine the causes, nature, circumstances and extent of such abuse; and to prepare and publish reports on the results of the inquiry and on its recommendations in relation to dealing with the effects of such abuse.
The report of the Commission was published on 20 May. The revelations contained therein are obscene:
“Grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented” was how former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Charles J Haughey described the discovery of a murderer hiding in the Attorney General’s apartment in 1982. Since then, the acronym has been used to describe scandals in Irish political life. Times may have changed since The Boss grasped power, but politics are much the same.
Brian Cowen is now our glorious leader and under his leadership, the Government has reeled from pit to post with the effectiveness of a drunken bullock. The Irish economy is crashing down around our ears with levies imposed on public sector workers, massive layoffs, huge deficits and soaring national debt. The Finance Minister, Brian “I didn’t read that part of the report” Lenihan, is producing his third budget of 2009 to be announced on 9 April. The nation is holding its breath, waiting for the axe to fall and simultaneously hoping that third time is the charm for Lemonade Lenihan.
The excitement on the Irish front this week pertains to the latest misstep of the beleaguered Irish Government. “Cowengate” or #picturegate is the latest scandal that might qualify as GUBU. To the amusement of the nation, a prankster broke into Royal Hibernian Academy gallery and the National Gallery of Ireland and hung up two nude portraits of the Taoiseach. Continue reading
When fashion becomes a crime worthy of the expulsion of winsome celebrity chef Rachael Ray from the billboards of Dunkin’ Donuts, it is clear that the laws of sensibility have been hurled through the moral window.
The advert, depicting Ray and her luminous gnashers against a be-blossomed backdrop, evokes the anticipated summer ambiance and a rapacious craving for the glazed fancies.
Unless, of course, you are a member of the Fox News posse, for whom this is no ordinary advert: it is the manifestation of terror, the teasing tentacle of subversion, and a candid infringement on the security and morals of American society.
The means by which the cheeky chef and her cup of coffee prompted such outrage is inscrutable to the eye of the average individual, yet by viewing the image through the murky vision of the scandal-mongers, all becomes less clear.
Certainly, it is a scarf. A black and white scarf – in paisley, no less.
But wait, as the vision clouds further it resembles a… a… keffiyeh? Continue reading
This article was originally published in Jordan’s Living Well magazine
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How could I not write about this? Would I let this one pass and be able to live with myself? You know me too well by now. This is too classic to let go of.
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You see, Arabs and Muslims have solved all their intractable problems. They live in peace with each other and in harmony with the rest of the world. Poverty and illiteracy are things of the past. Unprecedented economic prosperity is coupled with an individual drive for scientific innovation that dwarves all the inventions of Thomas Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci combined.
Our universities are oozing with hordes of promising generations, our factories are exporting marvels to the world, our theatres are beaming with cultural talent, and our cities are virtual gardens of earthly delights. Foreigners are queuing at our embassies begging us to live in our midst. The new UNDP report is composed of only one paragraph that describes us as a perfect people.
We’ve conquered life and grabbed our destiny by the balls, and we have become a model for all nations to emulate.
But there is one lingering problem that we are yet to overcome before we herald the inauguration of heaven on earth. Our men and women are mixing at the work place, and this blasphemy is abominable in the eyes of God; it may actually threaten to destroy everything we have achieved so far. But Dr. Izzat Atiyeh, the Chief of the Hadeeth Department at the Azhar University, would not sleep at night before unearthing a way to deliver us from evil. From his influential post at the Vatican of the Muslim world, salvation would be rendered. Rejoice, for redemption is forthcoming.
Abilene Town dvd You may be familiar with this story already, but it deserves a retrospective look. Continue reading
There is a strange truism at work in modern society: people who are capable of instigating real change, those who possess intellect and charisma as well as the circumstantial power to influence and motivate others on a massive scale, have a tendency to end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Continue reading