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Friday, September 19, 2014

Tips For Good Living

1  Manners cost nothing
2. Treat others how you wish you be treated
3. Family comes first
4. Two wrongs don’t make a right
5. Treasure friendship
6. Save some for a rainy day
7. Don’t judge a book by its cover
8. Actions speak louder than words
9. As one door closes, another door opens
10. Laugh as often and as much as possible
11. All that glitters is not gold
12. Stay honest and keep your integrity
13. Keep an open mind
14. Never be afraid to make mistakes
15. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone
16. Look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves
17. Only worry about things you can control
18. It’s what’s on the inside that counts
19. Never be afraid to shed a tear
20. Always have a smile on your face
21. Out of debt, out of danger
22. Don’t speak with your mouth full
23. Listen before you speak
24. Try and see the good in everybody
25. The best things in life are free
26. Practice makes perfect
27. There is a light at the end of every tunnel
28. Make time for your favourite things
29. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
30. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
31. Love unconditionally
32. Seize the day
33. You have to be cruel to be kind
34. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to
35. Forgive others so that you may be forgiven.
36. Always go with your gut instinct
37. Live everyday like it’s your last
38. Be somebody’s reason to smile
39. Don’t burn your bridges
40. Time is a great healer
41. You only regret what you didn’t do
42. Never let your fears get in the way
43. Don’t count the days, make the days count
44. Strive for the best
45. Put your best foot forward
46. A picture paints a thousand words
47. The early bird catches the worm
48. Keep your head up and your heart strong
49. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer

50. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back
51 It is better to get along than be right

Photo Minute: Teddy Bear Love

Photo Minute: Making Waves

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Real Ian Paisley

 In today’s world people cannot say in public comments that are likely to incite racial hatred, prejudice or other inducements for hate and violence, and for reasons that are understandable. Yet for over sixty years one man did these things, Ian Paisley, and that for most of his 88 years on this Island he preached hatred with impunity, unaccountability, and wide support within the confines of a gerrymandering majority in a country where they were the minority, and that was the Ulster Unionists. Here It was not black man against white man, nor Muslim against Christian, but Christian against Christian and Irishman against Irishman; and when Paisley finally did the only decent thing in his life, which was to leave this mortal coil, everyone lauded him as a man of peace and not the political grim reaper who finally gave way against the tide of a new world that all but threatened to drown Ulster Unionism within the borders of the EU, and the borderless countries within it.

That clergyman of hate encouraged murder that became murder, encouraged prejudice that became prejudice, for he was the vile speaking leader and cleric that Unionists looked up to like mindless sheep walking in unison to the sound of the goose steps of Nazi’s driven by cloned brains where their own individual thoughts drowned within the chorus of the mob without dissent or reflection. That reflection would come in Ireland only when they knew the game was up just before and after Ian Paisley did and not one minute later than needed.

He once said about the ‘other’ Irishmen that shared the same island as him that they breed like rabbits and multiply like vermin. That was in 1969 and he was not a young man then trying to find himself but one aged 43 years old. He would get worse with age. By the 1970’s and 80’s we were classed as sodomites and line dancing was sinful and an incitement to lust (He actually sounded like an old Catholic there) This was his lighter moments. He also believed that terrorists only came from the south of the country yet classed himself and unionists as cool, determined loyalists to the crown who would never surrender. He shielded and defended at will the alphabet soup of all loyalist terror groups in Northern Ireland under that umbrella of ‘no surrender’ to make sure that their determination would endure, and it did for another hobbling, blood splattered time, that was in the end running out of road without direction. Many Loyalist paramilitaries said that they would never have become involved in violence had they not been inspired by the hate-filled rants of Ian Paisley, and by that they meant they murdered in his name.

It was Paisley’s ego that delayed the inevitable for his ego was bigger than a united Ireland long before it could ever hope to be one. Much like George Wallace, the 1960’s rabid racist  Governor of Alabama, and a man for both their times, changed only when forced to but were one and the same person in every other extreme.

Paisley once said “Never, never, never” to a United Ireland and to any kind of political compromise, as Wallace said “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”  When only the world itself had passed them by and it became political expedient for both, Paisley said that he would never deny that he was an Irishman, while Wallace said that though he looked like a white man he was as black as anyone in the room, a room full of black people.

What was missing from both these racial and religious bigots was the moral backbone and strength to stand up against the mob when it was needed most. What united them both too was that they themselves became part of the mob that fueled it all.

When the political hand wring and crocodiles tears stop flowing for Ian Paisley, his life time legacy of hate will far outweigh his feigned dotage in his last years as little more than his attempt to have history give him a lasting epitaph as a man of peace than the murdering, war mongering bigot that he really was.

Barry Clifford

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Early Road To Happiness

“If you have time to whine then you have time to find solution.”
Dee Dee Artner

“Life is this simple ~ birth, eat, drink, play, explore, and relate to family and friends; be happy and enjoy life…!”
James Murphy

“We all live, but we don't know why or the wherefore. We all live with the object of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same”
Anne Frank

“If you are happy for a day, a thousand people notice it, but when you are sad for years, everyone just walks away.”
M F Moonzajer

“We are so keen in our pursuit of happiness that we forget to be happy along the way!!”
T Varshney

“You don’t have to be happy to smile”
Daniel Willey

“Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, and make you happy. If you know people who do none of these things, let them go.” 
Ziad K Abdelnour

“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”
Swedish Proverb

“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”
William Shakespeare

“When you are happy, you feel the sunshine even inside the fog; when you are unhappy, you feel the fog even in the sunshine.”
Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Being sad with the right people is better than being happy with the wrong ones.”


Article: Gardaí find fresh excuses to delete penalty points

Gardaí have continued to abuse the penalty points system by changing the excuses to avoid detection in any audits.
As further details of the continuing abuse emerged, the Irish Examiner has learned that whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe has been asked to assist the Professional Standards Unit in a bid to crack down on the abuse.
It comes as acting commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan faces more embarrassing questions about why gardaí continued to abuse the system despite changes being made and commitments given by her office.
Thousands of suspicious deletions of penalty points for members of the force, and friends or family, have occurred since the matter first came to public attention over 18 months ago.
However, the new deletions did not use any of the “exotic” excuses that were cited in the earlier controversy. Instead, officers used a number of new excuses that would not ordinarily have aroused suspicions. The vast majority of deletions were for repeat offenders.
The excuses included:
-“Statutory exemption. Emergency Vehicle” — this reason is valid if the detected vehicle was operating on behalf of the force. However, in a number of cases, private vehicles were the source of the detection, including commercial vans, and, in one case, a silver BMW, a model not used by the force.
-“Undelivered An Post” — this reason is valid if the address of a detected vehicle’s owner cannot be established. However, since 2013, it has been used widely. For one repeat offender, it was used three times since September of last year.
-“Townland Incorrect” — in a number of cases exclusively involving members of the force, this excuse was inputted to delete the points. However, all other motorists caught at the same location at that time had to pay the fine and accept the penalty points.
-“Public Interest Sufficient Grounds.” — this would include a narrow category of detections but since early 2013 has been used on a number of occasions for repeat offenders.
The abuse continued even after the announcement on June 18 that deletions would henceforth only be done from the central processing office in Thurles. One member of the force who had five deletions in the past 18 months, had the last one on June 28, 10 days after that announcement.
Another repeat offender had his last deletion just last month. The Irish Examiner understands that despite the new rule brought in by the interim commissioner, these deletions were carried out at regional offices rather than the central processing office.
The abuse was brought to Commissioner O’Sullivan’s attention a fortnight ago, through Sgt McCabe, who was alerted to the abuses by other officers. She referred the matter to the justice minister, requesting that the Garda Ombudsman Commission be appointed to conduct a public interest investigation. According to a spokesman, the matter is now the focus of a GSOC investigation.
“An Garda Síochána takes any allegations of members not correctly implementing policies and procedures in relation to the Fixed Charge Penalty System very seriously,” he said.
“These allegations are currently being examined by senior management. If any infringement of these policies and procedures is found to have taken place then action will be taken.”

The new revelations appear to show that despite the major controversies, including the resignations of both a Garda commissioner and a minister for justice, a number of senior officers continued to delete points on suspicious grounds, albeit in a manner that might well have escaped detection.
Michael Clifford
Maurice McCabe: Al

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Video minute: Do Re Me Fa.........

Video Minute: The Last Walk Of 'The Wild Bunch'

Photo Minute: The Coast Of Scotland Like You Have Never Seen It Before

"The Wild Bunch" A Movie For All Time

In an early scene of "The Wild Bunch," the bunch rides into town past a crowd of children who are gathered with excitement around their game. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. The eyes of Pike (William Holden) leader of the bunch, briefly meet the eyes of one of the children. Later in the film, a member of the bunch named Angel is captured

by Mexican rebels, and dragged around the town square behind one of the first automobiles anyone there has seen. Children run after the car, laughing. Near the end of the film, Pike is shot by a little boy who gets his hands on a gun.
The message here is not subtle, but then Sam Peckinpah was not a subtle director, preferring bold images to small points. It is that the mantle of violence is passing from the old professionals like Pike and his bunch, who operate according to a code, into the hands of a new generation that learns to kill more impersonally, as a game, or with machines.
The movie takes place in 1913, on the eve of World War I. "We gotta start thinking beyond our guns," one of the bunch observes. "Those days are closing fast." And another, looking at the newfangled auto, says, "they're gonna use them in the war, they say." It is not a war that would have meaning within his intensely individual frame of reference; he knows loyalty to his bunch, and senses it is the end of his era.
The video versions of "The Wild Bunch," restored to its original running time of 144 minutes, include several scenes not widely seen since the movie had its world premiere in 1969. Most of them fill in details from the earlier life of Pike, including his guilt over betraying Thornton (Robert Ryan), who was once a member of the bunch but is now leading the posse of bounty hunters on their trail. Without these scenes, the movie seems more empty and existential, as if Pike and his men seek death after reaching the end of the trail. With them, Pike's actions are more motivated: He feels unsure of himself and the role he plays. I saw the original version at the world premiere in 1969, during the golden age of the junket, when Warner Bros. screened five of its new films in the Bahamas for 450 critics and reporters. It was party time, and not the right venue for what became one of the most controversial films of its time--praised and condemned with equal vehemence, like "Pulp Fiction” At a press conference the morning after the premiere, Holden and Peckinpah hid behind dark glasses and deep scowls; it was rumored that Holden had been appalled when he saw the film. After a reporter from the Reader's Digest got up to ask "Why was this film ever made?" I stood up and called it a masterpiece; I felt, then and now, that "The Wild Bunch" is one of the great defining moments of modern movies.
But no one saw the 144-minute version for many years. It was cut, not because of violence (only quiet scenes were removed), but because it was too long to be shown three times in an evening. It was successful, but it was read as a celebration of compulsive, mindless violence; see the uncut version, and you get a better idea of what Peckinpah was driving at.
The movie is, first of all, about old and worn men. Holden and his fellow actors Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Edmond O Brien, Ben Johnson and the wonderful Robert Ryan look lined and bone-tired. They have been making a living by crime for many years, and although Ryan is now hired by the law, it is only under threat that he will return to jail if he doesn't capture the bunch. The men provided to him by a railroad mogul are shifty and unreliable; they don't understand the code of the bunch.
And what is that code? It's not very pleasant. It says that you stand by your friends and against the world, that you wrest a criminal living from the banks, the railroads and the other places where the money is, and that while you don't shoot at civilians unnecessarily, it is best if they don't get in the way.
The two great violent set-pieces in the movie involve a lot of civilians. One comes through a botched bank robbery at the beginning of the film, and the other comes at the end, where Pike looks at Angel's body being dragged through the square, and says "God, I hate to see that," and then later walks into a bordello and says "Let's go," and everybody knows what he means, and they walk out and begin the suicidal showdown with the heavily-armed rebels. Lots of bystanders are killed in both sequences (one of the bunch picks a scrap from a woman's dress off of his boot), but there is also cheap sentimentality, as when Pike gives gold to a prostitute with a child, before walking out to die.
In between the action sequences (which also include the famous scene where a bridge is bombed out from beneath mounted soldiers), there is time for the male bonding that Peckinpah celebrated in most of his films. His men shoot, screw, drink, and ride horses. The quiet moments, with the firelight and the sad songs on the guitar and the sweet tender prostitutes, are like daydreams, with no standing in the bunch's real world. This is not the kind of film that would likely be made today, but it represents its set of sad, empty values with real poetry.
The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." The train robbery is well-planned, but the bunch cannot hold onto their takings. And at the end, after the bloodshed, when the Robert Ryan character sits for hours outside the gate of the compound, just thinking, there is the payoff: A new gang is getting together, to see what jobs might be left to do. With a wry smile he gets up to join them. There is nothing else to do, not for a man with his background.
Seeing this restored version is like understanding the film at last. The missing pieces flesh out the characters. It is all there: Why Pike limps, what passed between Pike and Thornton in the old days, why Pike seems tortured by his thoughts and memories. Now, when we watch Ryan, as Thornton, sitting outside the gate and thinking, we know what he is remembering. It makes all the difference in the world.
The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. The editing, by Lou Lombardo   uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. Like them, he was an obsolete, violent, hard-drinking misfit with his own code, and did not fit easily into the new world of automobiles, and Hollywood studios.

Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984) was a Marine in World War II, apprenticed in Hollywood under the action director Don Siegal, and did more than anyone else to bring the traditional Western into the gloom of a modern, ironic age. He was an iconoclast, warred with the studios, was often drunk, fought even with his actors, but achieved in "The Wild Bunch" and "Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) a fusion of the Western myth and the existential hero. I met him twice, once on the set of "Pat Garret and Billy The Kid “(1973), once in a hotel room when he was touring to publicize "Alfredo Garcia," which then and now was not seen as the great film it is. Both times he seemed tremulous, and I had the impression of almost uncontrollable discomfort. He was clearly drunk (on the set in Mexico, he sat on a chair in the sun, shielded by an umbrellas, hat, dark glasses, relaying instructions to his assistant director). I cannot pretend to know what he was thinking, but I look at the films and I surmise that they represent a continuing parable about a professional doing what he does well in the face of personal and professional agony. Certainly that is a theme of "The Wild Bunch."

Roger Ebert

Just Be Yourself

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
Oscar Wilde

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
Bernard M Baruch

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Marilyn Monroe

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
Frank Zappa

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is.”
Jim Morrison

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Max Ehrmann