Thursday 24 September 2009

Wrongway Corrigan

This is the music video to accompany a great song and a true story. Douglas Corrigan was an ancestor of the Corrigan Brothers, and like them his was a transatlantic tale:

Douglas Corrigan (January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995) was an American aviator born in Galveston, Texas. He was nicknamed "Wrong Way" in 1938. After a transcontinental flight from Long Beach, California, to New York, he flew from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, to Ireland, though his flight plan was filed to return to Long Beach. He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. However, he was a skilled aircraft mechanic (he was one of the builders of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis) and had made several modifications to his own plane, preparing it for his transatlantic flight. He had been denied permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland, and his "navigational error" was obviously deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally. (Ref Wikipedia)

Read more HERE
Download the track on itunes Here: Corrigan Brothers - An Irishman Invented Rock and Roll - Wrong Way Corrigan

Monday 21 September 2009

Churches get off the fence on Lisbon

I am very encouraged to see such a well thought out statement on the Lisbon treaty coming from among others my own Church of Ireland - Well done! Not often we stick our heads above the parapet but this time it could not be more important and I am so relieved we have not fallen for the percieved need to be unbiased in matters political. Signs of leadership here! :-)
Statement follows:

Statement on the Second Lisbon Referendum by the European Affairs Working-Group of the Church of Ireland Church in Society Committee, the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Methodist Council on Social Responsibility and Mr Alan Pim, Clerk of Ireland Yearly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends.

We urge voters to consider carefully the changed context in which Ireland finds itself following the rejection of the first referendum, and in the light of the Declarations of the European Council. These guarantees provide that Ireland will keep a commissioner, will remain in control of our own tax rates, will retain control over neutrality (no conscription and no defence alliances), over sensitive ethical issues such as abortion, and that workers’ rights and public services will be valued and protected in Ireland and across the Union . We therefore urge that serious consideration be given to the following questions. What impact would a negative Irish vote have on our partners in the Union when they have given legally binding guarantees? If we do not trust either the intentions of 26 partners, or the capacity of our government and EU representatives as members of the Union to negotiate in Ireland’s and the Union’s best interests, why remain in the Union? What are the implications of increasing isolation for Ireland’s future in the context of our current crisis?

* In the light of the Council’s assurances, there is a renewed opportunity to consider the core purpose of the treaty, which is to streamline the institutions of a Union designed initially for six partners. The complexity of the treaty is the direct result of long and exhaustive negotiation between all the member states, which needed to be satisfied that not only would the treaty make the Union more efficient but that its provisions in detail would not damage – on balance - their individual interests. Ireland took a leading role in that process. The Treaty contains important structural changes that will enhance democratic participation both by increasing the competence of the European Parliament and the roles of national parliaments. Thus the key question is whether the Union will function more efficiently, effectively and democratically as a consequence of adopting a treaty that our partners are satisfied will achieve these objectives. Outside the Union, how will another rejection by Ireland be viewed by potential investors or by aspiring member states, which will have to wait indefinitely until the Union is in a position to carry out the similar structural reforms to those proposed in the Treaty? That will be a long time coming if this treaty fails. The effect will be to deny to others the enormous benefits we have enjoyed since joining the Union.

* In a global context, faced with enormous trade, energy and environmental concerns, will we be better served by membership of a Union with improved internal structures and processes, or with a less effective Union of 27 members hampered by outmoded structures designed to cater for six members in 1956?

* For information on the Lisbon Treaty we refer readers to the publications of the Referendum Commission, .

Wednesday 16 September 2009

A Song and a Reflection on NAMA DAY

It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is raining,
and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is
in debt, and everybody lives on credit.
Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.
He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter,
and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.
The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to
the butcher.
The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig
The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the
supplier of his feed and fuel.
The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his
debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services"
on credit.
The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note
to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she
brought her clients there.
The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so
that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.
At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms,
and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the
rooms, and leaves town.
No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and
looks to the future with a lot of optimism..
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Irish Government is doing
business today. (Author unknown)

Sunday 6 September 2009

The God who beckons - Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister here makes a very intriguing contribution to the God & Science debate. Well worth a read: CLICK HERE

'No one has ever fallen off the floor'

This from Brian Mclaren - a very influential emergent Christian leader who takes post-modernity seriously in his theological thinking and praxis. I hadn't realised he was a songwriter.....

a new song ...

... it's called "status"

It starts out feeling beautiful: the smiles and long applause
Then pride comes like a shark attack and gets you in its jaws …
You’re surfing high on a wave of fame on a tide of high self-worth
But when pride grabs you by the leg, who will bring you down to earth?

The higher that you climb, the lower down you’ll slide
So get down off your pedestal, and dismount your pride.

They’ll give you long introductions and be proud to drop your name
They’ll stroke your ego and if you do too, then you’ll go down in flame.
Status is like a big red balloon. You find it at the top.
But when you blow it you’ll find out real soon how easily it will pop.

The higher that you climb, the lower down you’ll slide
So get down off your pedestal, and dismount your pride.

Your deeds and your opinions may be highly rated
But your heart starts shrinking when your head starts to get inflated.
It’s a sad and common story. Like tumors, egos grow …
And when you’re high on your own glory, you’ll be the last to know.

The higher that you climb, the lower down you’ll slide
So get down off your pedestal, and dismount your pride.

Guard your heart well for from it flow the vital springs of life.
Keep learning from your critics, and your husband or your wife …
And when you go to the wedding feast, take the lowest place for sure,
For no one has ever fallen off the floor - that’s why that place is so secure.

The higher that you climb, the lower down you’ll slide
So get down off your pedestal, and dismount your pride.