Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mini-moto kid-killer machines

Why do people let their children onto these things?

December 2009: A five-year-old boy has died after crashing a mini-motorcycle that he was given for Christmas.

October 2008: Blessing Dzimati, 15, … died when his mini motorcycle was involved in a collision with a car on 17 October 2008.

May 2008: A three-year-old girl was killed when a mini-motorcycle she was a passenger on collided with a pick-up truck.

December 2007: A seven-year-old girl was killed riding the quad bike she was given for Christmas when it collided head-on with a Range Rover on a country road.

July 2007: A six-year-old boy died after a motorcycle he was riding hit a tree.

June 2006: A three-year-old girl has died after a car accident near Swadlincote in Derbyshire involving a quad bike.

May 2006: Two young motorcyclists have been killed in an accident in Halifax… The two riders had come off their unregistered mini moto bike. One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died an hour later in hospital.

July 2005: A five-year-old girl has died after a "tragic accident" involving a quad bike, police said. Lucy Wilson and her eight-year-old sister Anna had been playing in a field at their home…

May 2005: The 13-year-old boy who died after the mini motorcycle he was riding was involved in a collision with a car in Greater Manchester has been named.

April 2005: Children at a school in County Fermanagh are mourning the death of one of their fellow pupils who died in a mini-motorcycle accident. Robert Corry, 12, was a student at St Mary's College in Irvinestown.
A seven-year-old who was on the back of the motorcycle escaped injury in the accident.

February 2005: A four-year-old boy has died following a road accident in west Belfast. David Spence from the Shankill estate was a passenger on a mini-scrambler motorbike which was being ridden by an adult.

January 2005: A six-year-old boy died when he crashed his mini-motorbike after being startled by a dog, an inquest was told.

December 2004: A 15-year-old boy has been killed in an accident involving a quad bike at a disused quarry.

April 2004: A seven-year-old girl has been killed in a quad bike accident in County Antrim.

September 2003: A 10-year-old boy has died after an accident involving a quad bike in West Lothian. … Police believe the driver, a 15-year-old boy, lost control of the vehicle.

July 2003: A teenage girl has died after a quad bike she was riding flipped over on a Scottish beach. … Another 17-year-old girl who was riding pillion on the quad bike was unhurt in the crash.

Temple Street's secret DNA database

Temple Street children's hospital has kept DNA records of pretty much everyone born in Ireland since 1984 - 1,548,300 blood samples kept in breach, it is alleged, of data protection laws.

There's an interesting discussion of it here:

And guess what? It looks as if the fault may ultimately lie with the HSE. Do we have any organization less capable of functioning competently than the HSE? (Oh yeah, we do...the banks...)

The HSE - a great example of what public service reform can achieve when it's carried out by gombeen politicians and union hacks.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homophobia is not a religious freedom

The link below is to an interesting post by Maman Poulet on the subject of civil partnerships, in particular on the issue of civil servants deciding not to do their jobs because of religious objections. What are the logical conclusions of allowing someone to decline to conduct their duties because they don't like them? Will Catholic GardaĆ­ be allowed to decline on grounds of religious objection to investigate homophobic hate-crime? Will Muslim teachers be allowed to refuse to teach classes in which girls do not cover their heads? Will a Catholic librarian be allowed to decide which books he or she issues? ("You want to borrow Portnoy's Complaint?? I don't think so - I consider it a mucky book so you'll have to get it from some other librarian.")

The position of Lucinda Creighton and Mattie McGrath, amongst others, is a worrying and a wrong one.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Liu Xiaobo jailed by China [U]

Nicely timed to coincide with much of the world being distracted by xmas, China's jailing of human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo comes after a trial lasting just two hours and despite calls for his release made by the EU and US.

Liu Xiaobo is a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and has been jailed before by the Chinese authorities because of his calls for freedom of assembly, expression, and religion.


And while they're in the xmas mood, the execution of Akmal Shaikh is imminent. Read about his case:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The BaNama Republic

Morgan Kelly's analysis of the current mess, how we got into it and how we might (not) get out of it any time soon...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Panto season

It's definitely all got a bit (more) stupid.

Michael Lowry to star in pantomime as 'Good Mayor' (makes a change from his usual role as limelight-hog and tax-dodger).

And in Kerry, "Dozens sympathise with sex offender" (dozens including a Parish Priest, according to Mark Little - nice timing and PR skills there Father Mc Priesty).

Aren't we a grand little country?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It gets stranger #Trafigura

My tweet about the removal of the News Statesman #trafigura article on the removal of the BBC news story has been removed!

Glinner on Twitter

See also this earlier post.

The New Statesman article is here.

Youtube Newsnight is here, for now...

Sounds reasonable...

The Guardian's take on "What David Miliband should say to Tzipi Livni"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Molloy would not be impressed

Dear Bicycle, I shall not call you bike...

According to Dublin City Council the new €59,950,000 Samuel Beckett Bridge is "an important pedestrian and cycle crossing facility".

If that's the case then why are the cycle facilities so comprehensively shite?

Just how cretinously bad they are is described in impressively calm and well-illustrated detail here.

BBC deletes #Trafigura story [U]


WikiLeaks: BBC deletes important story on toxic waste dumping in the Ivory Coast after legal threats, 12 Dec 2009

[UPDATE: See this too from Glinner on Twitter]

"Attack" is a bit harsh, to be fair

(via Dave Gorman)

Government Sells Ireland to Brazil to Clear Debt

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Education Educashun Edewkashin

I'm all for the separation of church and state, but I'm reluctant to support an educational campaign group that has a spelling mistake in its own name.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Oh the irony...

"Major Labels Accused Of $6 Billion Worth Of Copyright Infringement In Canada"

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Blind Faith

For the love of jaysus some people are so fuckin' stupid...
A GALWAY eye surgeon has described as “unprecedented” the rise in the number of cases of an eye condition which he says can be directly attributed to people staring at the sun during recent events at the Knock shrine. (See the Irish Times for the full report.)
I particularly like this bit:
“Since the time of Galileo people have known that looking directly at the sun can do damage to your eyes,” Dr O’Donoghue added.
That would be the Galileo whose theory about the solar system, posited around 1610, was accepted by the Catholic Church almost 400 years later.

In fact, in 1990, Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, argued in a speech at La Sapienza University in Rome that the church was more true to reason than Galileo because the church had in mind the ethical and social consequences of the theory, and that a change in the church's position could be justified only by political opportunism.

So, in other words - sod the evidence because the Catholic Church knows what's best for you... the kiddy fiddling halfwits. There's blindness for you.