Showing posts from December, 2009


As I've been basically confined to indoors for the last 3 days due to a worsening bout of a chest cold, my siblings tell me they've never seen the local shops so desperately jammed with happy shoppers buying away to their hearts content. Is there a war on? Or a nuclear winter? The papers and radio keep telling me that things are terrible outside but after being surprised by a snowfall on top of the airport hill in Cork last Wednesday I am a little cynical about the roads - to be sure they could be either much worse or much better than I am being told by the media.

Of course, in the US, if a road becomes severely hazardous, never mind impassable, its closed immediately. While I can already hear echoes of "nanny state" you do have to wonder is this a good idea. In parts where roads are liable to snow, such as national parks on a high terrain, its actually illegal to travel without snow chains in the trunk. Although if you've got a 4x4 with tyres marked M+S the…

Marriage Equality and the new LGBT Priviligism

It was with some delight that I read Kate Bornstein's open letter to LGBT activists in the US about the push for "marriage equality." For the very few of you who don't know, the path to adequate recognition of non hetero relationships in the US was for years stymied by the DOMA (the Defence of Marriage Act), which established in the US legal code that "marriage" was a state that could exist only between two persons of the opposite biological gender, and that states were not obliged to recognise anything otherwise that had been carried out in another juristriction. A nasty, hateful, spiteful and vicious piece of legislation which has done nothing but cause pain to LGBT folk and encourage the bile of the far right in the US.

Its no irony that even in Europe, the vast, vast majority of states which now recognise what the LGBT recognise as "full equality" - which basically means that they are either regarded as having equal status in law, or permitte…