Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Christmas From Fluffy Biscuits :)


2012 was a rip roaring success. The blog has had about 4000 hits,a lot more than I thought so a big thank you to everyone who has read or contributed or commented. 2012 has seen the worsening of the economy, the rise of the far right, the push for legislation for the X-Case and a plethora of other changes in society. Looking to 2013 there is a lot more in store.
Some quick opinions:
Site of the year:
Going to go with which has become my home on the web. From the start it has always been welcoming and friendly. There are a lot of differing opinions and I dont see eye to eye with some people but that is just life! Many thanks to Cactus and the mods and users of the site whom have made the site a firm favourite of mine
Honourable Mentions:
Maman Poulet, Rabble, Indymedia, Red Pepper, Broadsheet, Guardian,, wikitravel
Worst Sites:
No time at all for, ruined with trolls IMO.
Dishonourable Mentions
Youth Defence Facebook page, MSN, RTE News

Hero of the Year:
Savia Hallenpalavar

Her death was not in vain, we all know the history behind it

Villans of the Year:
Take your pick! Labour/FG/Ronan Mullen

We here at Fluffy Biscuits wish you and yours a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year xx


Monday, 17 December 2012

The South African Far Right have not gone away...

Federal Freedom Party (FFP) is a relatively new group or party that has been operating for some time in South Africa. Their prime aim is to have self determination for Afrikaaner whites in South Africa. Two members of the group were arrested in the last day or two along with two other roght wing extremists after planning to blow up a meeting of the main ANC party which is South Africas ruling party. The FFP released a statement to say that

"We are a political party, not a military organisation," national secretary Francois Cloete said.

"They are innocent until proven guilty, but our party doesn't stand for acts of terrorism."

This is not the first time though that extremists have been arrested for plotting against the South African state.

In July, a former university lecturer was found guilty of orchestrating a 2002 plot aimed at assassinating Mandela, overthrowing the ANC and driving South Africa's black majority out of the country.

Media Bias - Conneticut Shootings/Children Killed in Pakistan Drone Strike

What is the measuring stick with which to measure the bias that is evident in the media these days? Through the Huffington Post I found out that there have been 176 children killed because of US Drone Strikes in and around Pakistan but none of this makes the main stream news. ( Nothing mentioned on most of the major news sites:

BBC and Reuters have no mentions from the results of the drone strikes and CNN gives it a cursory mention. Contrast this with the Conneticut shootings and they are front page on all of the news sites. Is one life less valuable than another?

Monumental Fuck Up from Israeli Embassy in Ireland

Why is this not surprising?

Broadsheet reports here:

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Psychology of Identity and Nationalism

Identity is a key cornerstone of any person and forms a central part in helping a person to place themselves in society. People will ask who they are from the time they are very young and will take on various cultural aspects to their psyche that they use to create an identity.

We choose to identify with a particular identity or group. Sometimes we have more choice than others. This chunk will address the relative importance of structures, the forces beyond our control which shape our identities, and agency, the degree of control which we ourselves can exert over who we are. 

although as individuals we have to take up identities actively, those identities are necessarily the product of the society in which we live and our relationship with others.

This brings me to the question how does nationalism and identity fit in together? Notions such as borders and countries create a shared and common collective conciousness and invariably this leads to the banding of people together from everyone such as travellers to Irish nationalists to loyalists, from Dubliners to country people, identity creates these groups with common bonds. Nationalism stems from one group with a collective conciousness that want to control for themselves as a group . These groups are more than likely to work together to compromise for the best deal for themselves as a group rather than individuals.

 The research on cultural differences in thinking suggests that the patterns of differences that have been found are related to the distinction between individualist and collectivist cultures. That is, members of collectivist cultures tend to exhibit behaviors like being likely to compromise and for their memory for objects to be influenced by context. Members of individualist cultures show a preference for one side or the other of a debate rather than compromise, and their memory tends to be uninfluenced by culture.

Regarding the issue in Belfast with the British flag over city hall and Unionists feeling aggreived at it it only being flown 15 days of the year, are nationalists and unionists collectivist cultural groups or individualistic? The Alliance party put forward a motion to keep the butchers apron flying a few days a year while one side of the argument seemed to react in extremis nearly storming city hall. SF the Guardian seems to think that this is some sort of passive move to split the Unionist identity and perhaps make them lose confidence in Unionism:

Sinn Fein's desire to see the union flag removed from the city hall may not be written into its manifesto – but it is abundantly clear in its passive-aggressive politicking that this is an orchestrated tactic. The message is obvious: destroy unionist and loyalist confidence and the rest will follow. In fact, the message hasn't changed that much since the summer of 1971, when the then Sinn Fein president Ruairi O'Bradaigh claimed: "We're on a high road to freedom, and what we need to do now is to rock Stormont and to keep it rocking until Stormont comes down."

Through manipulation of identity on a psychological level a lot of parties are building their support by telling people they must pledge allegience to either one side of the argument or another. As per Sideys "Im either Irish or Im not" rhetoric it fails to take into account that there are numerous grey areas in between . Some of us may see ourselves as being European , some of us may simply see ourselves as being part of humanity or some us are just simple products of a capitalist regime .

Bishops go nuts over Marion Rosenstock sketch

Not content with years of rape, helping to crush womens rights and teaching generations of school children fiction and not having to pay a penny in damages, the church is now up in arms over a Mario Rosenstock sketch.An association of cat-licky bishops wrote to RTE. About the complaint:

It specifically is in relation to a sketch which mentions the Olympic boxing medal winner Katie Taylor (who is not shown in the sketch), and “shows a man spitting into a bucket before receiving Holy Communion”. The complaint and calls this “grossly offensive to all Catholics”

Paralysed Woman looks for right to die in Ireland.

Marie Fleming who is suffering from MS is seeking the right to die in Ireland. Mrs Fleming registered a few years back with Dignitas as a patient but was talked out of it by her husband. A solictor has been engaged to work on her behalf to challenge the ban on assisted suicide and that the prevention of her right to die is an infringement of her dignity and autonomy.The court has ruled on such a situation before:

In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to die included the right to die a dignified and natural death in a case involving a woman who had been in a near-persistent vegetative state for more than 20 years. 
People who are in the legal definition "compos mentis" should have at their disposal all tools to enable them to die as they see fit. Such a choice rests with the person alone and no one else and those who aid them in situations where it is not murder or under duress should be free from legal reprecussion. The opinion of two doctos perhaps sought and a psychologist to ensure that the decision is entirely voluntary. We have DNR's already in Ireland as part of the legal framework, the right to die should be included too.

Canadian Govt Sells Its Soul for More Dollars...

Leaked documents obtained by Canadian Broadcaster CBC, that were marked highly classified have shown that the Canadian governent is selling itself. The document mentions the opening up of trade with Asia and South America and places less emphasis on dealing with the US with its volatile economy at the moment. Africa is also mentioned as being one of the areas with the biggest middle class spenders in the world and is set to explode. While the document mentions links to trading the document fails to take into account numerous aid work done (Haiti) and diplomatic work to pressure nations with appaling human rights records into creating better conditions.

CBC quoting Canadaian Primeminister Stephen Harper in 2006:

"I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide and we do that," the prime minister said in November, 2006. "But I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values, our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights. They don't want to sell that out to the almighty dollar."