Have you ever noticed the similarities between Santa and Jesus? I don’t mean that in a smart arsed or mocking way, I’m genuinely surprised at all the overlap between the two. In the run up to Christmas (a day they both share) I thought I’d examine the similarities between the two (Note: this is as Christmassy as this blog will get). Both are the symbols of good and both can achieve anything. And of course, neither is real. Continue reading “Santa And Jesus”
The recent shootings in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut have made many question the role of guns in American society. This is a sharp contrast the Ireland where we have so few guns that even the police are unarmed. To an American this must seem like madness or liberalism run wild, but it actually works very well. In fact it is a policy that is universally supported across the political spectrum and among commentators. Instead of relying on the threat of violence, they rely upon their authority and consent of the people. As a result, the police force is one of the few institutions in Irish society that people still trust and respect. Continue reading “Unarmed Police”
What could possibly go wrong? In the aftermath of yet another gun shooting many people (myself included) have called for more control on guns. However other people have drawn the opposite conclusion. They believe that the problem isn’t too much guns but not enough guns. They believe that if the victims had been armed then the shooting would have been prevented. I thought this idea was too daft to give any mention to in my last post but a lot of people (if you don’t believe me check the politics tag) seem to believe that the solution to a gun problem is more guns. Continue reading “If We All Had Guns”
The world has been shocked by the news of the shooting in Newton, Connecticut. Although we don’t have all the details, it 28 people (20 of whom were children) were shot. What makes this massacre particularly tragic is that it occurred in an elementary school for children aged between 5 and 11. I was horrified and like most Europeans I wondered if America would now do something about its serious gun problem. It seems that every couple of weeks there is a new gun rampage and massacre. To those who say we should not politicise this event, let me say that we must learn from this incident so that it never occurs again. If this isn’t an event to make America re-examine its laws, then what is? Continue reading “Time To Fix Americas’ Gun Problem”
The results of the 2011 census show that the population gap between Catholics and Protestants has narrowed significantly. In fact, at current rates, the Catholics will be a majority after 2016. This has the potential to significantly destabilize Northern Irish politics. The fragile peace established by the Good Friday Agreement could fall apart. Republicans are excited with dreams of a United Ireland and Unionists are terrified with similar nightmares. However there is the lurking threat of a return to violence and a second wave of Troubles. Continue reading “A Catholic Majority In The North?”
What if everyone spoke the one language? What if this was done on an equal level instead of one culture dominating all others? What if there was a language designed so that it was easy to learn? What if there was a language without all the pointless and confusing grammar? What if there was a language to unite the world? There is, and it’s called Esperanto.
We Irish have a love-hate relationship with our language. We can’t decide if it’s a large part of our identity or a useless waste of time. One thing everyone agrees on is that it is dying. Only 2% speak Irish day-to-day and that number is continually shrinking. It is not spoken outside of remote pockets on the West coast. Young people show little interest in learning it and it seems to doomed to slowly die out.