Posts Tagged ‘ Religion ’

All Guns Blazing – The Fickle Nature Of Lethal Force

Je_suis_Charlie,_Montreal,_7_January_2015

Recent cases of hostage stand-offs in Australia and France have been ended by force, bringing this tactic into the limelight once again. Unfortunately this means of ending a hostage siege is unavoidably dangerous even amongst the most highly trained of police or military units, and their use should be limited to cases where all other avenues have been exhausted. In particular, negotiated surrender risks falling by the wayside as a viable option. Because society tends to value the hero who dramatically takes lives rather than the hero who quietly saves them, we risk a selection-bias in examining the optimal means to end hostage scenarios.

As a credit to the police units involved, yesterday’s stand-offs in France seem to have been a ‘home-run’. The Kouachi brothers were both killed while the single hostage escaped unharmed, although it appears that they exited without him, determined to die fighting. While four hostages died in the kosher supermarket, earliest reports suggest that they were murdered before the police raid took place. This success is commendable but should not set a precedent to the exclusion of other alternatives. In contrast, the Sydney siege saw the death of two hostages during the rescue and the injury of three others in still unclear circumstances. These cases demonstrate the fickle nature of such raids. Continue reading

News in Brief: Pee, Plinths And ‘Prayery Bikers’

Prayery Bikers (image channel4.com)

Prayery Bikers (image channel4.com)

NIB may have ruined the weather for everyone after complaining it was too hot, it seems to have turned straight into Autumn, we’re not going to lie we’re considering putting the fire on.

But in other news, Cork’s footballers are in hot water after relieving water at the side of the pitch. It seems before their All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Mayo in Croke Park, Corkian Fintan Goold got a bit nervous and just had to go for a tinkle. Fans and the Competitions Control Committee didn’t want to see his winkle though and he could now face a €300 ban. Many took to social media with one tweeting: ‘What about Fintan Goold flopping out the langer in the middle of Croke park and straining the spuds’, NIB couldn’t have put it better and anyway, if you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Stadium full of thousands of spectators or not, he’s just a man! Continue reading

News in Brief- Tesco Launch Not So Eggcellent Trolley Deposit Scheme

jedward

For the day that’s in it and those of you that are in the office and in need of some NIB to brighten your day, let’s kick off with a catastrophe in Kerry.

A crucifix has the whole place divided as councillors can’t decide where to hang the thing in their local offices. Some councillors argue the inclusion of a crucifix, on their office wall; will promote sectarian divisions and religious inequality, while others think the mere presence of a little MDF son of God will make people more honest. Jesus, no pun intended (maybe a little bit); if a wooden statue could stop people lying we’d all be working under mini-statues of our mammies. Councillor Toirèasa Ferris, who labels herself a Christian, opposes the idea as she said; ‘where does religion come into pothole filling’. The councillors have obviously forgotten the real meaning of Easter which is entirely chocolate based.

Tesco in Ballymun understand, they know there are too many Easter eggs and not enough time. Just don’t grab too many, it’ll cost you a tenner for the use of a trolley. The new deposit scheme has been implemented after ‘massive trolley loss’. What constitutes ‘massive’ trolley loss exactly NIB wonders? Who knows though, they may rise again in a few days. Continue reading

Creating Paradise : The Jock Stein Story

Jock+Stein

It was the September 10th 1985, Scotland had just earned a valiant one all draw with Wales at Ninian Park in Cardiff, securing a vital play off with Austria which would eventually lead to Scotland’s qualification for the 1986 FIFA world cup.

The game was rendered meaningless, however, after the news filtered through about the tragic and sudden death of legendary Scottish boss Jock Stein. Continue reading

Pope Francis: “Who Am I To Judge Gay People?”

The Inauguration Mass For Pope FrancisIn a rather unexpected move, Pope Francis – head of the Catholic Church – has announced that he does not judge gay people.

The Pope has been on a week long trip to Brazil, and made the comments on his return plane journey, stating – “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” Continue reading

Death Of The First Republic

The first Republic of Ireland is dead; this is a sensationalist statement to many but we are now in denial at its funeral. We crowd around its coffin, backs turned to the corpse and draw hope and nostalgia from those that brought her to birth, but those ghosts will teach us little more and if they could we would not listen. The lessons, valuable irreplaceable lessons, will only be found in its autopsy and in the investigation of its demise.

The first republic was born from a theatrical passion for cultural fulfilment, ownership and historic tribalism. Born as a hippy child it was raised by conservative parents backed by a regimental religion, hands shackled from liberalist choice in case it cut its knee in self discovery. Through its adolescence in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it made friends in the European playground, picking up its fashionable taste for fast and loose capitalism. Of course young Ireland was not educated to the level of those who had dabbled for so long, but it would posture and be allowed do so. The reigns that had harboured young Ireland so close to its moral centre were quickly being rebelled, mistaking peer pressure of internal financial aesthetics, with the freedom of choice it had for so long wished to be its own. Continue reading

Humanists Offer Fresh Alternative To Traditional Ceremonies

HAILast month, a bill was passed through all stages in the Dail here in Ireland that will allow ‘celebrants’ to carry out humanist wedding and funeral ceremonies in Ireland.  The Humanist Association of Ireland has been campaigning for this bill to be passed for over a decade and they hope that it will be signed into law by the President before the summer. Before the bill was passed couples that sought a humanist ceremony would have had to combine it with a civil ceremony but now couples can legally be married by humanist ‘celebrants’. Announcing the breakthrough on their website, the HAI said, “This is a major victory for the Humanist Association of Ireland which has been campaigning for this change for the past decade…In addition to wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, Humanist celebrants conduct naming ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of a child into a family. They also conduct funerals that aim to balance the sense of loss with a celebration of a life ended.” Continue reading

Catholic Church Still Sits At The Crossroads

popeThe recent news concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has drawn a wide range of reactions from surprise and dismay to sheer indifference. The main reason the outgoing pope has given is that he no longer has the state of body and mind required for the gruelling work hours as Supreme Pontiff in a world “subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.” Pope Benedict is to resign at the end of the month, leaving the throne of St. Peter vacant and paving the way for the first papal conclave since 2005. Continue reading

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

White-Christmas800-864365

George Reed (45) West Bromwich, England

It’s a time to celebrate the life of Jesus and everything he gave for us to be able to live the way we do today. Although in the past two decades the religious elements seem to have been forgotten.

Mary McEntee (36) Loughrea, Galway

Christmas for me is all about the children and making sure they have a good time, and a Christmas to remember. Christmas is a huge celebration for us and we enjoy large family gatherings, with our relatives coming from all over the country. The expression on the kid’s faces is enough to get us from one Christmas to the next.

Lucy Parker (54) Delaware, USA

Christmas is everything really. Spending valuable time with family, lengthy shopping excursions, many days out and lots of enjoyable food and drink. Never ending Christmas parties, a bit of snow, presents (good and bad) and no work. Think that’s everything covered! Oh no wait, can’t forget going Christmas carolling, it’s just so unique and good natured. Love it all.

Frank Carrick (21) Boyle, Roscommon

Christmas is Christmas, it’s the time of year we all need. A time to relax, cherish what we have, have a laugh and exchange gifts.. Do I wish it could be Christmas everyday? Hell yeah I do.

Dylan Keogh (18) Templeogue, Dublin

Presents, presents and more presents. Normally consisting of at least two selection boxes, two sets and some clothes. The bad ones always stand out.

Rory McNamara (27) Blessington, Wicklow

Driiiiiiink, sorry showing my Irishness there. Christmas is all about catching up with people you wish you could spend more time with. And of course it’s the one dinner you wait a while year for, does be worthwhile in the end although the bulging belly will say otherwise.

Andreij Stoparov (32) Riga, Latvia

I think Christmas is a time for getting together with your friends and family and remembering why we celebrate December the 25th. I do like to enjoy opening presents and having a delicious meal, but some people forget what the meaning of Christmas is.

Live Johansson (26) Malmo, Sweden

Christmas means holidays, a time for an extended break from work and to take to the outdoors and enjoy the snow. We have ski parties, if you would call them that, it’s just a time for celebrating Swedish heritage and lifestyle. We hit the slopes with our nearest and dearest and just party. It’s nice to be around family and friends and to see everyone is having a good time. We love listening to Christmas FM!

Nuala Nì Cathasaigh (31) Carrick On Shannon, Leitrim

I think Xmas is as much about giving as it is getting. I also think it’s a time for the whole family to get together and enjoy being with each other. I think that not only is Christmas about being with family but it is a time for giving and not only to your family and friends but to the less fortunate people in third world countries. Christmas is also about realising when Jesus was born and that he died for us.

Peter Carroll (42) Newry, Down

It meant a lot to me when I was a child. I couldn´t wait to get presents, learn and sing Christmas songs and have delicious food.

The meaning has changed a lot. I go to church and try to think of people who are not as lucky as I am. I don´t get many presents and I become more thankful for what I have got. So, I try to think of people living on the streets. I think this year I will help to deliver food to a soup kitchen for the homeless to make them happy and feel loved for at least one day of the year because they deserve it more than many others. I want to give them a warm smile and show that we are all equal no matter what our circumstances may be.

The Best Of The Best And A Christmas To Forget

Christmas Cackers

Over the past few weeks we have been gathering a number of festive related opinions. Here, Irish News Review reveals some memorable Christmas moments and some nightmares worth forgetting in our bumper guide to festive memories. How many can you relate to?!

 

 

Best Memories

Carl O’Malley (24), Clondalkin, Dublin

Last Christmas was my first as a father and it was by far the best Christmas ever. There comes an age between your teen years and your parenting years that Christmas loses something. The birth of our daughter Ava made it all special once again. I can’t wait for this year.

Leo Svambaras (27) Vilnius, Lithuania

I just love every Christmas. It’s the one time of year when everyone is together and happy, it’s a special time which doesn’t compare to anything else. We forget about everything that happened, put all quarrels aside and look forward to a prosperous new year.

Jennifer Maguire (20) Clonmel, Tipperary

My favourite Christmas memory would be 2010. I had only just passed my driving test that November and I awoke on Christmas morning to discover a shiny new Volkswagen Polo in my garden. I couldn’t believe it was for me. I doubt that Christmas can be topped.

David Hayes (36) Sligo

Seeing the Kids faces on Christmas is one of the most joyous experiences one can have. We have a very quiet Christmas with just five of us being at home but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Myself and my wife spent a lot of time experiencing Christmas in different countries before we settled down to have kids but nothing can truly beat Christmas at home.

Aaron Burke (32) Douglas, Cork

It would have to be 2006 when I got engaged to my wife Ciara. She would kill me if I said anything else!

Lisa Perry (32) Toronto, Canada

My best Christmas memory was the final Christmas I had with my parents. It was a great time and amazing to have everyone together for the holidays. It doesn’t feel the same without them but welcoming our children into our lives is starting to rekindle the Christmas magic.

Louise McFadden (26) Firhouse, Dublin

My Best Christmas memory would be our visit to Lapland when I was about nine or so. It was just magical, a different world almost. We got to ride reindeers around, visit Santa’s workshop and more. Myself and my brother were living in a fairytale. We went to Lapland the week before Christmas and got delayed coming back, not that we were complaining. We arrived home on Christmas eve and had a great few days afterwards. We’re lucky the house was decorated before we left!

Brendan Walsh (48), Waterford

Every Christmas is special once family are here. Many of our relatives live abroad and it’s great that they can all come home at a time that matters.

Lloyd Francomb (33) Oxford, England

A few years ago myself and my wife went to Germany to visit the Christmas markets in Cologne and Frankfurt, it was really special. The atmosphere was second to none, everybody was really happy and although we didn’t have kids at the time we felt like kids ourselves. There were endless activities to do from ice skating to craft workshops or even just shopping. If anyone ever feels like they have lost the magic of Christmas I would highly suggest they visit one of the German markets. We plan to go back next year now that we have children.

Ellie O’Bryan (18) Greystones, Wicklow

I have so many favourite Christmas memories it’s very hard to pick just one. I suppose celebrating Christmas in America and meeting Justin Timberlake at dinner stands out. That was just incredible, of all the people you expect to meet you could never have imagined that happening.

Worst memories

Jenny Hayes (28) Bristol, England

My best ever present was a dog I got for Christmas when I was a kid. My worst memory was losing him on Christmas Eve ten years later.

Alison Canning (21) Connemara, Galway

Breaking my leg while messing around with my cousins in the snow. Wasn’t nice to be laid up but everyone made me feel extra special. Thankfully I didn’t spend Christmas day in the hospital.

Gordon O’Reilly (37) Newbridge, Kildare

Telling the wife I would be more than capable of making Christmas dinner and making an unforgiveable mess. I always thought this stuff just happened in films but sadly I was wrong.

David La Vivicreciano (25) Naples, Italy

I was in Indonesia for Christmas 2004 with family when the tsunami struck. It was a nightmare, the destruction was unbelievable. As a 17 year old I was terrified, we didn’t know if we would survive but thankfully we all made it home safe. We were incredibly lucky and thank god for sparing us to this day. We always remember those who weren’t so fortunate at Christmas.

Mark McNulty (19) Castleknock, Dublin

Mine was when I was around six and I was running down the steps and I fell cause there isn’t a railing. I fell right on my face and I went to the hospital where I was told my nose was broken. I spent that Christmas in hospital.

Lee Masterson (23) Granard, Longford

Any retail workers will tell you Christmas sucks when you have to work on Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day. The hangovers don’t be much fun when your surrounded by all the bargain hunters.

Petra Vilanova (33) Split, Croatia

Being stranded in the snow and missing Christmas with loved ones.

Linda McNaughton (32) Gorey, Wexford

My family used to have a tradition of having Christmas dinner at a local hotel, I hated the idea because for me Christmas is a time to have dinner at home. Thankfully things have changed now I have my own home.

Tracy McGarrell (46) Coolock, Dublin

Finding the kids Christmas presents were stolen when our house was broken into. Luckily we had some time to buy a few other presents but all the main bits were gone. We couldn’t believe how anyone could be so desperate. The kids never found out what happened until later years but whoever says getting your shopping over and one with early is best was lying!

Jerry O’Connell (38) Mallow, Cork

I got a car one Christmas and wrote it off the following Christmas Eve. Luckily I escaped unhurt.