Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
A meeting took place in a Dublin hotel recently in which it was decided to buy shares worth up to €500m. Gerry Gannon of Gannon Homes and Sean Quinn are thought to have been targeted to join the consortium. Quinn is already a large shareholder.
Sources close to the group suggest that each member will be asked to put in several million euro. When the fund reaches €500m, it will be leveraged up with borrowings to buy further Anglo shares. ................................................"
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Since the March Poll another was taken in early April in the immediate aftermath of the resignation of Bertie Ahern. The latest figures must be judged against the poll taken in the first week of April.
The following is the outcome of the latest poll taken from Monday 21st April-Wednesday 23rd April. In brackets are the percentage changes since the early April poll.
- FF 38% (-2%)
- FG 29% (+1%)
- Labour 10% (NC)
- Greens 8% (NC)
- Sinn Fein 7% (-2%)
- PD 2% (+1%)
FF support is down 4% on the 07 General Election. Meanwhile the Government is faced with 5% inflation, a 30,000 rise in unemployment in the last three months, a shambolic health service, a likely deficit of €5/6 billion and an increasingly disaffected rural electorate disenchanted with the WTO. Harsh decisions will undoubtedly erode Government support further.
FG at 29% is up 2% on the 2007 General Election. With economic storm clouds gathering FG must aim to drive its support up to 35% to ensure that it will participate in the next Government.
Labour has remained static having secured 10.1% in the 07 General Election. Sinn Fein has undoubtedly eaten into the potential Labour support base.
The Greens at 8% are up 3.3% on their General Election result and are in all probability a temporary abode for dissatisfied FF voters. If we add 3.3% to the FF poll result of 38% we are quite close to the FF General Election outcome of 41.6%
Sinn Fein is static having secured 6.9% of the vote in 2007 General Election.
Sinn Fein appears in recent years to be a refuge for disaffected FF voters who return home in a General Election situation. In previous Sunday Business Post/Red C polls Sinn Fein trended higher when FF dipped to the mid 30’s.
The PDs at 2% are down 0.7% on their 07 election result.
Friday, April 25, 2008
This is the text of a powerful article in Alive an Irish Catholic Monthly. This newspaper is free to 350,000 homes nationwide.
If US Catholics don’t confront the fact that “we are in desperate trouble” it could lead to the collapse of the Catholic Church in America, a leading commentator has warned. Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the US bishops, rejected the view that “we’re doing okay”, describing it as the “happy-talk version of American Catholicism” and as “a central element of the liberal Catholic line".
Against this view he gave a list of statistics which suggested how great the crisis is. Only 30% now attend Sunday Mass, and Catholic marriages are down from 426,000 in 1970 to 200,000 last year. “Hundreds of thousands of American Catholics who marry each year don’t bother having their marriages blessed by the Church,” he wrote. “It is safe to suppose that most no longer practise the faith. I hardly need tell you what that means for the religious upbringing of their kids.” A survey in 2005 found that 75% of US Catholics said good Catholics need not observe the Church’s teaching on contraception; two-thirds said the same about the teaching on divorce and remarriage while nearly one in four held that a Catholic need not believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. In a 2003 survey of Catholics 86% agreed with the statement “If you believe in God, it doesn’t really matter which religion you belong to,” while “74% said yes to ‘The major world religions are equally good ways of finding ultimate truth’.” Writing in Catholic World Report, Mr Shaw, author of 20 books, called for honesty and candour in facing the crisis. “To begin with, our bishops need to face the fact that very many Catholics have lost confidence in them as a group,” he wrote.
“People just aren’t paying attention any more. If Catholic university presidents and pro-abortion Catholic politicians can get away with ignoring the representatives of the magisterium, why not ordinary folks?” Lay men and women must find their proper roles in the apostolate of the Church, as set out by Pope John Paul II in Christifideles Laici, and that does not mean becoming part of a neo-clericalism. “There is a desperate need for moral straight talk, too,” wrote Shaw. “Telling people who rarely or never go to Mass and take for granted their right to dissent that they’re good Catholics does a vast amount of harm.” A priest “who was brave enough to preach against contraception” reported afterwards, “the women got upset and the men got mad.” But the effort to communicate the Church’s teaching has to be made, he said. The commentator believed that “the healthiest development in American Catholicism in a long time was the action of a courageous bishop in Worcester, Massachusetts.”
He told Holy Cross College “it couldn’t go on claiming to be Catholic” if it persisted in acting contrary to Church teaching. Hoping Pope Benedict will address the issues during his brief visit to the US this month, Mr Shaw remarked, “today illusion—the illusion that we aren’t doing so bad—is choking the life out of the Catholic Church in the United States.”
Thursday, April 24, 2008
15,000 devotees attended a Mass said by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican department that oversees the Catholic Church's saint-making process, before the body went on display.
750,000 people have made reservations to see the body between now and December.
Details of some of Padre Pio's miracles can be viewed here at Padre Pio's Miracles
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Pennsylvania Primary: Clinton engages in the politics self delusion-Obama is still odds on favourite for Democratic Party nomination
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Taylor omitted to state the following:
- At least 50,000 jobs are at stake in agriculture, food processing, agricultural engineering, farm insurance and other services. The last four industries were ignored in his article. These jobs would disappear in the short term.
- Food security would be jettisoned. Have we learned nothing?
- The EU would be flooded with cheap food often lacking traceability. Are not EU consumers entitled to high quality food? It is not acceptable to put consumers health at risk.
He speaks about gains in software, business and financial services. Of course there would be some gains. Nevertheless it would be a case of live horse and you get grass.
These gains would not compensate for losses in agriculture, food processing and services linked to agriculture.
Perhaps Cliiff Taylor might care to view the advertisement from the IFA on page 23 of the Sunday Independent.-Message from Rural Ireland Stop Mandelson WTO Sell-Out. This features the businesses affected. This is not just about farmers. Consumers health,food security and spin off industries linked to agriculture come into the picture.
Obviously Cliff Taylor would prefer to buy a pig in a poke.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
“Departing from a previous position made during the 2000 presidential campaign, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain hinted to a crowd of Villanova students that pro-choice Republicans need not apply for the position of his running mate. Mr. McCain said that "it would be difficult" for a pro-choice Republican, like former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, to share the ticket.
"I don't know if it would stop him, but it would be difficult," Mr. McCain told MSNBC host Chris Matthews…………………………”
John McCain is determined obviously to copper fasten the support of religious conservatives within the GOP. A pro-life running mate will reassure Catholic and Evangelical GOP voters. Such voters can be guaranteed to inject muscle into the McCain campaign organization and will undoubtedly turn out in force on Election Day. As Clinton and Obama are strongly pro abortion many pro life Democrats and Independents are likely to defect to McCain. Such voters cannot in conscience vote for the destruction of the unborn child in the womb. In addition many pro life Democrats are revolted at the support of Clinton and Obama for partial birth abortion.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Obama took John McCain's words out of context today in Eerie, PA and launched a dishonest attack in a betrayal of his often stated brand of politics.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Fine Gael Private Member's Motion: WTO Negotiations
Speech by Deputy Michael Creed
Fine Gael Spokesperson on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
"It is difficult to recall a moment in our economic history when so much stands to be lost from the failure of this Government, and indeed its predecessor to defend a vital National Interest. The failure of the Minister for Agriculture, the lead Department in this fiasco to even quantify the consequences of failure is troubling in itself. It is matched only by the "pass the parcel" approach in Government, with the new Taoiseach-designate - Brian Cowen refusing to engage on the matter until his appointment is confirmed. Mr Cowen leaves the Department of Finance in a precarious state, unemployment and inflation on the rise, competitiveness slipping and tax revenues slumped. A word of warning to any "wannabe" Minister for Finance - if the proposals for Agriculture on the World Trade Organisation Agenda by Mr Mandelson become a reality, then the picture will get a lot bleaker. Thousands of jobs at farm gate and in the agri-business sector will be lost and farm incomes will fall significantly. We are most definitely in the last chance saloon and the signs are not encouraging.
Before dealing with the specifics of the motion, there are a few general observations that need to be made to put the debate in context.
(1) Over the course of the last 20 years the E.U. has slipped significantly as a trading block in agricultural commodities. Our share of world imports of virtually all agricultural commodities is increasing far faster than our share of exports. Nowhere is this more evident than in the meat sector where the EU share of trade is down in volume terms from 12% to 9% whilst actual trade in meat doubled over the same period (in volume terms). The latter is no surprise when you consider Chinese consumption per capita grew from 20kg to 50kg between 1980 and 2008. The same is true for the dairy sector with EU share down from 31% to 17%.
What this clearly proves is that the EU and Commissioner Mandelson are systematically exposing its citizens to increased dependence on imports of dubious quality and preventing us from capturing emerging markets, especially in China & India which will be left to those who out manoeuvre and outsmart us in negotiations - the USA, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand & Australia.
(2) This decline of the EU position has occurred at the same time as the EU cost base for primary producers increased significantly. Reforms of the CAP and other initiatives this period have seen consumer concerns move centre stage with food quality, animal welfare and environmental policy at the core of every farmer's daily life.
(3) It is worth pointing out at this stage that the 2003 CAP reforms were widely believed to be the EU's contribution to the World Trade Deal. The radical changes farmers had to make to meet the reform requirements were the quid pro quo for a WTO deal.
Reality of current offer on WTO table
The reality of the predicament we find ourselves in is that we have now been negotiated into a situation far beyond what was asked of the agricultural sector under CAP reform. Concession after concession has left our beef and dairy industries in peril, our consumers exposed to unacceptable levels of risk and cost hikes and the future viability of the family farm as we know it in jeopardy.
I have asked you Minister to lay the facts before the House, to openly admit to agriculture producers and consumers what kind of impact the current WTO proposals will have on the Irish economy. However, you are either unable or reluctant to divulge to the House any kind of substantial evidence of economic analysis undertaken by your Department to assess the situation.
What we have seen however, are figures, undisputed by you, from those working in the industry and those figures are stark;
- €4bn lost to the economy on an annual basis
- 50,000 job losses in manufacturing and services
- 50,000 farmers put out of business
This is not just an agricultural issue, beef and dairy industries together contribute an estimated €6bn to the economy in terms of goods and services. How is this revenue going to be replaced if the current WTO proposals make their way to the finish line?
Apart from the obvious economic carnage in the countryside and the job losses in the food processing & agri-business sector, there are a number of other non-trade issues which have not been taken into account in the current negotiations. Where we are at now in a nutshell is legalising large volumes of imported food from outside the EU that it would be illegal to produce on Irish or EU farms. We are also in one fell swoop undermining the bio-security of the agric-sector and exposing consumers to salmonella, antibiotic resistance, hormone fed meat, avian flu, FMD and a whole host of dangers as yet unknown.
Thanks but no thanks, Minister. Thanks but no thanks, Commissioner Mandelson. This is a time, when the interests of farmers and consumers are at one and a time when that alliance needs political expression which is totally lacking to date.
Non trade issues, including climate change, and food security, should be centre stage at the WTO negotiations. We have received warnings from the IMF, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN in the last few days relating to food security. Food riots, export bans and national inquiries have been introduced to try and maintain local supplies of food but yet this week, Minister, was the first time I heard you speak about food security and its importance in the context of WTO negotiations.
It is your failure, Minister, and that of your Governments that has us where we are now and no amount of bonhomie with farmers can mask that fact. This happened on your watch and whilst you might be preparing for pastures new, many farmers and others are facing annihilation of their livelihoods. Shame on you.
Have you ever bothered to meet Commissioner Mandelson?
Have you thought about the huge challenge ahead to feed the world - a world that is growing by 80 million per annum?
Have you raised with the Commissioner the challenges and consequences of climate change - food miles, CO2 emissions, desertification, increasing consumption, water shortages, record low levels of global food inventories, famine, death?
All of these issues feed into the proper defence of Ireland's and the EU's Common Agricultural Policy from the WTO. Or maybe your understanding of Climate change in this context is taken from Minister Gormley's pronouncements about the twin evils of the "Cow" and the "Car". It certainly looks like this and Minister Gormley could yet have his way as these proposals will decimate the Suckler Cow herd and in one giant leap allow the Government to meet its now legal obligations to reduce the CO2 emissions from agriculture. Somebody on the Government side of the house needs to nail this issue immediately.
Mandelson's WTO Brief
Much has been made by the Minster of the fact that Mr Mandelson is exceeding the brief given to him by the Council of Agricultural Ministers in October of 2005. This raises three questions
1. The 2003 CAP reforms were said to be the EU contribution to a World Trade Deal. Why should EU and Irish farmers have to pay twice for a World Trade Deal?
2. We are now reaching a crisis point in negotiations - what exactly have you done Minister in the last two and a half years to prevent us getting to this point? What have you done to put non-trade issues on the negotiating table?
3. Have you as yet managed to unearth any economic analysis of the consequences of the 2005 brief or is that as hard to come by as figures for the impact of the current proposals?
The answer to the second question is obvious. Nothing has been done. For all your talk about groups of 5, 10, 15, 20, you and your colleagues in the Council of Ministers have not reined in Commissioner Mandelson. That's a political failure - and you can't hide from that!
The consequences for Ireland of 2005 have never been laid before the House by the Minister. I am appalled that the Minister has no homework done on these matters and equally appalled that the Minister finds some sort of high moral ground in the 2005 brief. The 2005 brief mandated Mandelson to offer 50%-60% tariff cuts on Beef, Pigmeat & Poultry tariff cuts of 35%-50%. Butter and SMP 50% tariff cut. That you could find comfort in this sell-out raises questions about your judgement and that you now do nothing when what's on the table is substantially worse than 2005 can lead to only one conclusion. It is blatantly obvious why you have failed to publish a sectoral analysis. You know the consequences and hope to run from the problem in a reshuffle. Shades of Micheal Martin and the nursing home scandal.
Last week when asked whether or not your Department has prepared estimates on the impact of the World Trade deal you replied - and I quote - "We do not have a final analysis completed". How convenient for you Minister. No front page headlines to highlight the extent of the potential damage. No Prime Time Investigates into the death of Irish Agriculture. No public humiliation on radio talk shows.
Fortunately those involved in the industry have taken it upon themselves to assess the effect of Commissioner Mandelson's generosity. Mandelson's proposals will devastate the agri-sector and have a disastrous knock-on effect on associated industries. It is predicted that a 70% tariff cut on beef imports will see prices plummet to €2 per kilo or 70p per pound.
Do you think Minister that Irish farmers can survive on such a price - with the high cost of production in this region? Do you expect businesses to run on a loss? Minister, the future of the Irish beef industry - the fourth largest exporter of beef on the globe, 100,000 jobs, worth €4bn to the Irish economy, and a way of life on family farms from Malin to Mizen - is what is at stake. From the vantage point of this side of the House there appears to be an indifference to the consequences on the Government side at best, or at worst a lack of political will to face the issues concerned. Rumour has it Minister that you are preparing to fly the coop for pastures new. You may run but you will never be allowed to hide if this deal is your legacy to Irish agriculture.
This Government it seems views rural Ireland as the Achilles heel in our economic development. The reality is an estimated 25% of jobs outside of the Pale still depend on agriculture. Will your cabinet colleague Minister Gormley be pleased when we are forced to turn off all the lights, park the tractors and take the trains to the capital? Your Government has ensured infrastructure and employment has been focused on the east coast, while neglecting the rest of the country and you now stand poised to deliver the final nail in the coffin of rural Ireland by consigning 50,000 farmers to the dole queues.
And so Minister we are nearing end game in this process. With the possibility of a WTO Ministerial meeting next month - the time for talking is almost past.
You repeatedly say Minister that you are not prepared to accept an 'unbalanced deal' for Irish agriculture, that you are not prepared to allow Irish agriculture to be sacrificed for the sake of a deal going through. This begs the question, what exactly are you prepared to accept? Are you prepared to accept the agreement in its current format? Because if this is the case, that is an unbalanced deal, that is a step too far, Irish agriculture will be sacrificed, and for what? What are we getting in return?
Here is a clear example of how this Government has taken its eye off the ball, focusing on other issues while a vital part of our economy and heritage is slipping away. Surely the Taoiseach, in his final lap of honour should be using his remaining clout at European level to make contact with as many leaders as possible in an effort to call a halt to this deal, which is like a runaway train fast careering in the wrong direction? It is time for you Minister and your Government to show your mettle, to push for unanimity as a prerequisite in order to reject this deal. You have often spoken of a Group of 20 Agriculture Ministers opposed to the deal - you need to now ensure these Ministers are united against these proposals.
One of the objectives of this Private Member's Motion is to compel you and your Government colleagues to do the right thing for Irish agricultural interests. I call on you - to put it on the record of this House - that you will veto this World Trade Deal as it stands. If you refuse to do this Minister I call on you to look the farmers here present in the gallery in the eye and explain to them why you and your Government refuse to stand by them.
Article 39 of the treaty of Rome outlines the aims of the European Union in terms of agriculture. It seeks to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, increase the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture, stabilise markets, and assure food supply and reasonable price. Now Minister - in a year where all EU eyes are upon us - you have a responsibility to protect the rights enshrined in the founding document of the European Community. You jeopardise the commitment to the European project, of those who have been its most ardent advocates, by not showing honest and courageous leadership on this key issue. By saying no to WTO, you can allow the EU to sleep easy in the knowledge that the Reform Treaty will be ratified. You are allowing the waters of the Treaty debate to be muddied by your indecision and evasiveness on this Trade Deal.
Today Minister is an exercise in Parliamentary accountability. You need to be brought out of the comfort zone of Cabinet Governance and lay before this House once and for all where you stand on this World trade deal.
This is essentially about undue risk;
- You are putting the livelihood of primary producers at risk - farmers across the country who have stepped up to the plate so often to meet EU requirements.
- You are putting the food processing industry at risk, which will crumble and collapse in the face of cheap imports.
- You are exposing consumers to the risk of potentially unsafe products from throughout the world
- And finally, you are jeopardising the safe passage of the Reform Treaty.
Minister, you have failed this House by not putting before it the nature and extent of your intentions on this World trade deal. You have a final opportunity to redeem yourself. Take it and accept the motion which I commend to the House. "
On the economy both candidates were unconvincing. When asked about McCain's accusations that the Democratic nominee would raise taxes, Clinton ruled out a tax hike on middle-class Americans, whilst Obama claimed that he planned to lower taxes on the middle class, but he left open the option of raising capital gains taxes. Both candidates were economical with the truth. The economic proposals of both envision a greater role for the state in people's lives and a plethora of new programmes and quangos. Such programmes will require an enlarged bureaucracy. Ipso facto taxes must rise under an Obama or Clinton presidency.
I have never favoured illegal immigration. Nevertheless it is human decency to feed the hungry. The sum tendered by the Pope was a pittance.
Mehlman made a mountain out of a molehill. His contribution to the show appeared to be a thinly disguised attack on the Catholic Church. Was Mehlman motivated by a desire to damage the Papal visit?
Mehlman who is Jewish is leaving himself wide open to the charge that he is motivated by a detestation of Catholicism. Hopefully this is not so.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Philadelphia debate: Time to challenge Clinton and Obama on their half baked economic policies and forget sideshows
Since the last debate in Ohio on Feb. 26 both candidates have been buffeted by controversy.
There has been a major controversy over comments made by Obama’s pastor Rev Jeremiah Wright.
Tonight Obama will likely have to explain, what he meant when he told donors in San Francisco last week that Pennsylvanians are “bitter” over their economic circumstances and “cling” to religion and guns."
Support for Obama in Pennsylvania was on an upward curve prior to his San Francisco statement. On the basis of several polls Obama appears to be trailing Clinton by at least 6%.
It is likely that Clinton will attempt to goad him, in the hope that he may make another foot in mouth comment tonight. She will attempt to portray him as inexperienced, rash and elitist. Success for Clinton tonight could stampede more blue-collar voters into the Clinton camp and result in a devastating defeat for Obama in Pennsylvania. If such a scenario were to unfold Clinton could sway more super delegates. Nevertheless Obama will probably prevail in the North Carolina Primary. In the unlikely event of a knock out blow by either candidate, the scene is set for a possible bloody convention.
Clinton herself will come under pressure on her Bosnia lies. Indeed she has a history of exaggeration and lies. Obama will probably target Clinton on this issue. He will attempt to portray Clinton as a political insider incapable of introducing meaningful change.
Is it too much to hope for some forensic questioning of both Clinton and Obama on their economic policies?
Both have attempted to bribe voters with their own money. Both are committed to an enlarged role for the state. Increased bureaucracy and quangos- as advocated by both candidates- will lead to an explosion in public expenditure and massive rises in taxation. There are no free lunches.
This is a watershed election. Clinton and Obama are Socialists. McCain is conservative and favours restraint in public expenditure and low taxes.
An appalling vista could unfold: A Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.- both pledged to huge public expenditure splurges. No doubt Clinton or Obama would introduce change. The change would involve higher taxation.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
European consumer agencies have continuously focussed their attention on the price of food. Of course this is only right and proper. However less attention is paid to the dangers posed by cheap food imports to the EU. These are generally produced to inferior standards and in some cases may pose a threat to health. In many cases there is little traceability. EU farmers have been crushed by regulation and red tape. The highest standards of traceability are a sine qua non.
The EU Commission has failed to insist on the same levels of traceability for beef and chicken imports.
The Commission appears determined to sacrifice EU agriculture to ensure greater access to Third World markets for industrial exports. It is prepared to sacrifice security of supply. It appears negligent in its attitude to health threats posed by food imports to the EU.
The FG party has decided to put down a Private Members Motion in the Dail:
The following is the text of the FG press release:
Fine Gael Agriculture & Food Spokesperson Michael Creed TD has warned consumers of the threat posed to Food Safety in this country by the proposed World Trade deal currently being negotiated. Speaking prior to this week's FG Private Members' Motion calling on the Government to take action to prevent the deal being finalised, Creed has issued a stark warning to Irish consumers.
"Irish food producers have worked tirelessly, and invested heavily to ensure that the food on our tables is of the highest quality and fully traceable to source. The current World Trade Deal on offer will mean that all their efforts were in vain - as the EU market will become fully exposed to imports from dollar-a-day economies, where hygiene, food safety and animal welfare are non-issues.
"The Government has failed in their responsibility to consumers, by not ensuring that food safety is a pre-requisite to any World Trade deal. We will be subjected to Battery Poultry from Asia, Brazilian Beef which has already been condemned by the European Food and Veterinary Office, and who knows whatever else from every corner of the world.
"It is widely believed that agreement on the World Trade Deal is imminent. Consumers need to be made aware of the potential horrors that are in store if the Government doesn't act now."
Text of Fine Gael Private Members' Motion below:
That Dáil Éireann Notes:
- With concern the political failure of the Government to have non-trade issues debated in the context of the World Trade Organisation Talks.
- The concessions already made to the WTO by the EU in CAP reforms in 2003.
- The failure of the Government to honour its own commitments in this regard as outlined in the Programme for Government.
- The fact that the current proposals would devastate Irish Agriculture and in particular would decimate the Irish Beef Sector with the loss of thousands of jobs both at Primary Producer and Processing Level.
- That the Common Agricultural Policy currently provides EU consumers with a safe and secure supply of food produced to the highest environmental and animal welfare standards.
- The financial consequences to the Irish economy to be at least €4 Billion P.A.
The current conflict between the WTO proposals as pursued by Commissioner Mandelson and Article 39.1 of the Treaty of Rome.
Calls on the Government:
- To mount a major political and diplomatic initiative to protect the Common Agricultural Policy and Irish Agricultural interests.
- To ensure that food safety & security, climate change, animal welfare, and human health interests are priorities in the context of any future agreement in the WTO.
- To immediately publish a sectoral analysis on the impact of the current proposals for Irish Agriculture.
- To signal its willingness to use all necessary measures to defeat the current WTO proposals.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Spineless Clinton justifies her support for abortion at the Faith in Public Life's Compassion Forum and thumbs her nose at Christianity
As far as Clinton is concerned it justifiable to to destroy the life of the unborn child in the womb because of the sins of the regime.
She said that every woman should be allowed to make her own decision and that abortion should remain safe and legal. God should have no say in the matter.
Clinton proclaims herself a Christian. Unfortunately and regretfully she is a Christian in name only. She has set herself against the laws of God.
The fifth commandment states” Thou shalt not kill”. No ifs no buts.
Women are not compelled by the US Government to have children. How does she justify her support for abortion in the US?
Fact of the matter is that Clinton wishes to to climb to power with the support of the pro aborts. c 1.37 MILLION children were aborted in the US in 2007. In excess of 50,000,000 babies have been done to death by abortion in the US since Roe V Wade.
Clinton lacks the moral fibre to oppose the abortion holocaust. She is a weak and cowardly politician.
Clinton, asked whether she believed life begins at conception, replied that "the potential for life begins at conception," adding that the Methodist church, her denomination, had "struggled with this issue."
Once more she runs for cover. She uses a formula of words to obfuscate.
Life begins at conception. She knows that but cannot admit the truth.
She refers to the Holy Spirit. Does she seriously believe that abortion is in accord with God’s wishes?
Clinton told CNN's Campbell Brown and Newsweek's Jon Meacham. "I don't think that I could have made my life's journey without being anchored in God's grace and without having that, you know, sense of forgiveness and unconditional love”.
Those who support abortion have set themselves against Gods grace. Where is the unconditional love for the unborn child in the womb?
Those politicians who promote abortion have the blood of innocent children on their hands.
No Christian can in good conscience vote for a politician who advocates abortion. The right to life is absolute. Sen Robert P Casey (Jnr) Pa and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer both of whom oppose abortion should reconsider their support for Obama. Hopefully Clinton and Obama will be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
- Peter Gabriel - Lead Vocal
- Mike Rutherford - Bass
- Steve Hackett - Guitar
- Tony Banks - Keyboards
- Phil Collins - Drums
It is anticipated that he may refer to the evils of abortion. Benedict’s clarity on the abortion issue leaves no room for doubt. It may influence millions of Catholic voters, many of whom live in key swing states such as Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly Pope Benedict will refrain from comment on the election itself. Nevertheless he will propound Catholic dogma and doctrine with vigour.
Clinton and Obama support the destruction of unborn life in the womb and embryonic stem cell research. In fact both support partial birth abortion. Whilst John McCain supports embryonic stem cell research, he is strongly pro life.
Catholics who intend to vote for Clinton or Obama support the slaughter of the innocents and are at odds with church teaching. Essentially they are thumbing their noses at the Fifth Commandment.
All Catholics in good conscience must pose the question. Would Jesus support the pro-abortion stance of Clinton or Obama? Self evidently no. Whilst they may like Clinton’s or Obama’s stances on other issues the right to life has pre eminence. No Catholic in good conscience can vote for Obama or Clinton. It is a choice between God and Satan.
Hopefully all Catholic religious will live up to the tenets of their religion and support McCain.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
George Soros and Progressive Media in $40 million dollar plan to attack John McCain-Democratic attack machine gears up
Attacks from this extreme left organization may backfire and are likely to scare off middle income voters. Progressive Media USA supports proposals from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to raise taxes and has a strong Socialist agenda.
Mary Katharine Ham speaks to Fox News about Barack Obama's foreign policy difficulties and George Soros plans to attack John McCain
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Since the foundation of FF in 1926 much of its success has been based on the cult of the leader.
On the election of the new leader the FF spin machine swings into action propagating truths, half-truths and myths if necessary to build up the profile of the new chief. It is a form of deification.
Hand and hand with this goes the demonization of political opponents.
Eamonn De Valera founded the party in 1926. Certainly he was successful in maintaining FFs grip on power. However he singularly failed to reach out to Northern Unionists. Through his constitution he effectively widened the divide between North and South. He took the anti treaty side in the civil war in 1922 but did nothing about unity on accession to power. He failed to tackle the scourge of emigration. He instigated an Economic War, which bankrupted many farmers. He did of course win back the Treaty ports and kept Ireland out of World War Two. He was no colossus.
As Taoiseach Sean Lemass was driven by a desire to promote economic development via the Programmes for Economic Expansion. He was fortunate that the FG Minister for Finance Gerald Sweetman had promoted TK Whitaker who masterminded the development of economic planning. Lemass attempted to reach out to the North. The Lemass O’Neill meetings were a step forward.
Jack Lynch helped alter FF policy on Northern Ireland. Nevertheless he led FF to a landslide victory in the 1977 General Election on the back of the infamous FF Manifesto which triggered the massive economic problems of the 1980s. Lynch was a failure on the economy.
Charlie Haughey doubled the National Debt between 1979 and 1981 and gave a 30% Public Sector pay rise in an effort to bribe the electorate. Under that Haughey Government interest rates hit 21%. This was as irresponsible as the FF Manifesto of 1977. These activities of Lynch and Haughey have been airbrushed from history. In opposition in the 1980s Haughey incited interest groups against the FG/Labour Governments. He fought the 1987 General Election on the slogan of "Health Cuts Hurt The Sick And The Poor". On accession to Government he butchered the health service. Between 1987 and 1989, 200,000 people emigrated. This served to reduce pressure on the Government finances. Gradually the economy recovered. Haughey sought to improve relations with Margaret Thatcher and made some worthwhile moves on the North. Quite frankly he deserves little credit for improvements in the economy. After all Haughey and FF created many of the economic problems.
Albert Reynolds made worthwhile moves on the North and successfully secured 8 billion punts in Euro transfers. Then the FF/Labour Government collapsed.
Bertie Ahern deserves credit for the Good Friday Agreement and social partnership.
He benefited from the 12.5% Corporation Tax rate proposed by the Rainbow Government. This boosted economic development. He was partially responsible for economic success. This was further boosted by low Euro interest rates.
Already the FF propaganda machine with its supporters in the media has been in overdrive talking up new leader Brian Cowen whilst attempting to undermine FG leader Enda Kenny. It glides over the problems in Government Finances major difficulties in the housing market, rising unemployment-up 30,000 in the last three months and 5% inflation.
Yes indeed the cult of the leader is alive and well in FF and in sympathetic media organs such as the Sunday Independent.
The deification of Brian Cowen has begun
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The event will start at 1 p.m., and it will take the torch about an hour and a half to traverse the route.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Tibetan activists have been protesting outside San Francisco City Hall since the crackdown in Tibetan areas began in mid-March. On Monday, three members of Students for a Free Tibet scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to unfurl banners. On April 1, having been pressurised by human rights groups, city authorities released details of the torch route and the mayor publicly assured protesters that they would have access along the entire route. Hopefully as many people as possible will come out to vent their spleen at the jackboot tactics of the Chinese authorities in Tibet. Indeed Darfur and human rights abuses in China itself must not be forgotten
"Just because we have a very large Chinese population in San Francisco doesn't mean we support actions abuses committed by the Chinese government," San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Chris Daly has said. The torch relay has triggered protests in previous host cities, including Athens London, and Paris. The next city stops are Buenos Aires and Dar es Salaam.
Kevin Rudd, the newly elected Australian Prime Minister has shown moral leadership by warning that he would not allow Chinese officials to provide their own security for the Olympic torch when it is carried through Canberra this month.
Mr Rudd referred to the outrageous behaviour of Chinese Olympic officials who were involved in unsavoury clashes with demonstrators in London and Paris- “All security, repeat all security, is provided by Australians,” he told The Times during a visit to London.
The Olympic torch is due to be carried through Canberra on April 24. As many Australians as possible must come out to show solidarity with Tibetans and Darfurians.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
National Hurling League Quarter Final: Tipperary 1-16 Waterford 0-14 (As seen from a Waterford view point)
Waterford started intensive training in February, which is six weeks later than usual.
Tipperary appeared fitter. It is a moot point as to whether Waterford was really serious about winning the league this year.
Waterford’s full back line appears to have tightened up somewhat -from last week- but still needs to adopt a greater man marking approach.
Aidan Kearney did well on Eoin Kelly whilst Kevin Moran and Brian Phelan worked hard. There is scope for further improvement.
The half line of Tony Browne, Ken McGrath and Jack Kennedy played well. However it could tighten up more. Once more greater man-to-man marking is required.
As a general point Ken McGrath-one of the greatest centre backs of all time- might be better off dropping balls short rather than attempting to score from some long range frees.
Dave Bennett -who played in place of the injured Eoin Kelly- had an outstanding game from placed balls and general play. Michael Brick Walsh worked tirelessly.
The forward line is clearly lacking in sharpness. Forwards in general are playing as individuals. Combination play seems to have gone out the window. This year so far there is very little movement off the ball. There appears to be no pattern to Waterford forward play. More ground hurling is essential. At times the forwards are drifting too far out from goal.
In the first half Shane Casey showed up well at times. Eoin McGrath tried hard.
Dan Shanahan and Seamus Prendergast appear to be somewhat unfit. John Mullane might benefit from a move to midfield where he could pick up loose ball. Stephen Molumphy lacks match practice.
This defeat may prove beneficial to the team as it will deflate supporters expectations and take the pressure off the players.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
On Bertie Ahern's resignation the media provided uniformly positive coverage for Brian Cowen. There was coverage of Brian Cowen the family man, Brian Cowen the singer, Brian Cowen the sportsman, Brian Cowen the political heavy weight. Opposition parties were deprived of the oxygen of publicity.
In addition only 500 people were sampled so there is a larger margin of error than for the previous weeks poll. Assuming the total sample is 500, and made up of equal numbers of men and women, the margin of error for each gender could be as high as 6%.
It is likely that Cowen and FF will have a honeymoon period. However it may not last long. Economic storm clouds are gathering. The Live Register has risen by 30,000 since December 2007. New house completions will drop to c45,000 in 2008. The country is heading for an Exchequer Deficit of €6 billion.
- The State of the Parties is as follows:
- FF 40% (+5%)
- FG 28% (-2%)
- Labour 11%(No Change)
- Greens 9% (+1%)
- Sinn Fein 6% (-3%)
- PD 1% (No Change)
- Others 5% (-2%)
Friday, April 4, 2008
This follows an increase of 8,500 in February. Since December alone the number of claimants has gone up by 30,000
The Exchequer figures reveal that after just three months, tax revenue is €600 million behind Budget day projections and €727 million down on the same time last year. The fact that nearly all taxes are significantly behind predictions (Capital Gains Tax and VAT at €311 million and €253 million respectively) suggests the downturn in the house building sector has now spread across the economy. Fine Gael Enterprise, Trade & Employment Spokesman Leo Varadkar TD has said, "In contrast to previous months, when new arrivals on the dole queue were mostly men, the 12,000 increase in March was split evenly between men and women. This confirms that the housing downturn has now spread from the male-dominated housing sector to the wider economy, discrediting Mr Cowen's assertion that what we are witnessing is simply a 'housing sector adjustment'.
House completions in 2006 were 93,419. Completions for 2007 were 78,027. Brian Cowen estimates house completions for 2008 at 55,000. However it is more likely to be closer to 45,000. Failure to tackle the Stamp Duty issue promptly damaged confidence. Also a 2% rise in interest rates helped to burst the bubble.
With inflation stubbornly high at 5%, high interest rates, rising fuel costs and falling house prices, 2008 is shaping up to be a very difficult year for the economy. According to Fine Gael the cost of Government-regulated services has risen by 45% since 2002 and accounts for one half of all non-mortgage inflation.
The Government has sought to blame external factors. This is only partially true. The Government itself opened the purse strings in 2006 and 2007 and allowed an unsustainable escalation in public expenditure. In 2007 it rose by 13%. This poured petrol on the flames and over inflated economic growth leading to a feel good factor, which enabled the Government to win the 2007 General Election. Now the Government must endeavour to reign in public expenditure at a time when the economy could benefit from a stimulus.
Gradually growth projections for the year have been revised downwards. The country could face an Exchequer deficit of over €6 billion for 2008.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Aged 48 Brian Cowen could conceivably survive as FF leader for ten years or more.
If such a scenario unfolds Ministers such as Micheal Martin will have missed the boat.
Cowen has served in a wide variety of ministries and as such has plenty of experience. He is conservative in outlook. His tenure in the various ministries was not marked by many radical initiatives. He referred to the Health Ministry as Angola and was glad to leave the Department.
Fortunately for him he is departing from the Department of Finance at a time when there has been a serious deterioration in the public finances. The Department of Finance will be a poisoned chalice for the foreseeable future.
Cowen is talented and does not suffer fools gladly. However his command of the finance brief was not quite as comprehensive, as is assumed by his admirers.
He generally adopts a more bellicose approach than Bertie Ahern. He once showed his contempt for the PDs by stating, “When in doubt leave them out”
Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore must reshape their strategies if they hope to dent Cowen's prospects in the next General Election. They cannot allow Cowen to browbeat them in Dail exchanges. Cowen will adopt a contemptuous and strident tone in an effort to deflect criticism. Kenny and Gilmore must think quickly on their feet to score direct hits. Opportunities abound for the opposition parties. High inflation,rising unemployment, a ramshackle health service, a serious property crisis and myriad other problems will provide suitable targets for direct hits. Any opposition leader worthy of the name should dent Cowen's confidence.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The decision of Bertie Ahern to resign as Taoiseach and as leader of FF has certainly caught political observers by surprise. Ahern's decision is typical of the man. He has always jelled with the electorate and was certainly a man of the people in the sense that the general public always found him approachable. Nevertheless he is somewhat of an enigma. It can truthfully be said that not even front bench members could decipher his intentions on certain issues. He was closest to his Drumcondra friends.
His travails at the Mahon Tribunal and the evidence of Grainne Carruth effectively sealed his fate. Increasingly government ministers were preoccupied fending off questions on Mr Ahern’s evidence. It is obvious that the pressure had begun to take its toll on him, as he appeared to have aged immeasurably in recent months.
Undoubtedly a failure to resign could have impacted seriously on the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
The verdict of the Mahon Tribunal will play a major role in determining his place in Irish political history.
Clearly his Governments have failed to resolve the health crisis. In addition prior to the 2002 and 2007 General Elections public expenditure escalated out of control. This undoubtedly contributed to the feel good factor which ensured electoral success. In addition in parts of Dublin and Limerick there are major problems with crime gangs. Nevertheless he has had some noticeable achievements to his credit. To this observer the six outlined below are his greatest:
- He championed social partnership.
- He united the warring Reynolds and Haughey factions on assuming leadership of FF.
- He led FF to three successive General Election victories.
- He played a major role in the Good Friday Agreement.
- He was partly responsible for the development of the Celtic Tiger. The Rainbow Government's decision to introduce a 12.5% Corporation Tax rate also contributed enormously.
- He successfully assembled coalition governments with the Greens and PDs
Clearly he has done FF some service.