Grin and bear it

This is a nice from of protest. A Swedish advertising firm organised a Teddy Bear battalion of 1,000 bears to parachute into Belarus holding signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.

The two protesters who carried out the stunt flew a small plane across the Lithuanian border, dropping some bears on the town of Ivianiec and the rest over southern Minsk before fleeing across the boarder again.


Two senior officials, the country’s top border control official and the top air force commander were fired over the incident.

And one Swedish advertising firm generated some pretty good publicity.



Good news for stags

Our last government here in Ireland was a coalition  between Fina Fáil and the Green Party. The Greens were actually an okay party and they brought Ireland up to date, somewhat, on our environmental legal requirement sent down by papa bear, the EU.

The Greens also implemented a ban on stag hunting, which rallied up all the angry hunters and Rural Ireland Says Enough or RISE was born.

RISE is for those who do not understand simple governance and believe they should be allowed do whatever they want because they live in the country side and people from Dublin and the EU can’t tell them what to do! Rabble Rabble Rabble!

That colitation government failed some time ago and the current governments (Fina Gael) leader Enda Kenny has recently come out to say there will be no re-establishment of deer hunting licences. Regardless of the promise of one idiot councillor. Hurray!

On the RISE blog is a picture of sign waivers, many of them young women or teenage girls – not the primary hunting demographic, may I suggest forced cohesion from the  parents, anyone? Lets take a look:

RISE banner

RISE banner

Sings like:

PLEASE DON’T BAN COUNTRY LIFE – Stupid – I personally guarantee this woman country folk will NOT be killed with the introduction of this hunting ban. Country life many continue as before, minus needless cruelty. She’s probably referring to the culture country folk enjoy and I can assure you, very few country people go hunting and fewer women still.

BAN HUNTING DENY OUR HERITAGE – Heritage? HERITAGE? This woman feels she is entitled to run around, chasing animals and hunting them with the intention of killing them because it a noble and honourable right, descended from her ancient Irish forefathers. She is all wrong, but pull out the heritage card just because she’s from the country and I have to say, that lacks style, ma’am. I’ll come back to this heritage/entitlement idea later.

PLEASE DON’T BAN MY HOBBY Erm, fuck you! Get a new hobby, try chess or read a book. You don’t have to kill something.

Now this isn’t because all hunting was banned in Ireland it’s all because the Ward Stag Hunt in Co Meath was not renewed their hunting licence back in 07 and as they were the only stag hunting group in the country the sport was banned de facto. This has caused every hunting group in the country to kick up a shit storm, as to ensure they can continue their hunt, whatever it is (fox, hare).

The Ward Stag Hunt had bad press at the time as their stag was hunted into a primary school playground at Kildalkey, Co Meath by the hunting dogs, causing a lot of stress to the children, parents and a particular stag.

Now I want to mention this heritage line that keeps rearing it’s ugly head. Heritage is not necessarily something to proud of because it depends upon what you have inherited. I’m Irish and have inherited a pride in my ancient ancestors and their ability to create a huge stunning mound:

Knowth one of 3 mounds in the Boyne Valley and ironically in Co. Meath.

or a ring fort on a cliff:

Dun Aengus on a 100m cliff facing Canada, Co. Galway. It's amazing too.

or whatever other weird thing the Irish were making back then.

These are beautiful structures, they had a purpose, be it spiritual or domestic and they have lasted the test of time, thousands of years!

The sites in the Boyne Valley in meath (where Knowth is) were built before the great Pyramid of Giza! So special are the sites here, they are not seen as just the inheritance of the Irish or Europeans, but all of humanity! (UNESCO).

This is what heritage is and what heritage we should be defending, the ancient, the amazing, perplexing, beautiful and useful. But not this relatively modern nonsensical hunting and killing of defenceless animals for no purpose other than sport. And no, it’s not a real sport.

This form of hunting does not fit under the umbrella of heritage; it is not ancient nor is it honourable, it is not masculine or necessary, once humans hunted animals themselves, to survive, but what does today’s huntsman gain from the experience?

Gaddafi, dead?

Reports and images of a dead Gaddafi have been emerging, stating the dictator was killed in his home town of Sirte, in Libya.

Rebels claim to have killed him following a siege and have released this photo:

It does look like Gaddafi, they guy was a mega dick but the image is still harrowing, I think.

A soldier told the BBC Gadaffi pleaded “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” when found in a hole. After his capture, a soldier is reported to have waved the dictators gold pistol around.

I’d like to note, this is all unconfirmed.

Let the conspiracy theorists begin…

Of politicians and ditches

Studying an environmental science isn’t easy, we spend years studying to get a grasp of complex systems so to expect anyone to just understand in a 5 minute conversation is quite unfair. This post is a remark upon the irrational manner in which local councilors have reacted to the allowing hedges to grow in summer, allowing among others, birds to nest.

We know when political figures think they can gain a vote or two, logic and reason take flight only to be replaced by ridiculous arguments and to be honest, they are not usually eloquent.

The Anglo-Celt reports that Cavan County Council attacked The National Wildlife Service over the dates which hedgerows may be cut.

Under section 40 of the 1976 Wildlife Act, as amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Amendment Act, 2000, it is forbidden to cut or remove hedgerows or destroy other vegetation during the bird nesting season, from the 1st of March to the 31st of August each year.

Cllr. Danny Brady (FF) (no relation) has stated that most farmers comply with the rules when it comes to hedge and verge cutting. However, there were some who didn’t comply and should expect a visit for The National Wildlife Service. Though Cllr. Brady doesn’t appear to agree, it would seem from the Anglo-Celts article that Cllr. Brady does not care these people broke the law.  Is anarchy this Finna Fáil members approach to society?

Brady does state the danger of over grown hedges, which of course is very real and being from rural Cavan, I know them only too well. Which was a more sensible argument than Cllr. Shane P. O’Reilly (FF) made it comes down to what’s was more important – the life of a swallow or the life of a human. Which is basically a false dichotomy, humans and swallows can co-exist quite peacefully I think you’ll agree.

The general departure from reason is where I take issue. It appears a pack mentality set in on the councillors over this topic, everyone knew about this problem, it’s a disgrace, it an attack on rural Ireland, it’s this and that but IT’S THE LAW! And has been for some time, amended ten years ago from a 35 year old wildlife act. Why is it only now that this issue is being raised?

This isn’t a recent problem; hedgerows have always grown out in the summer to be cut back in autumn, since I was a child anyway. The problem is the increase in traffic in rural areas, all the houses lining once beautiful countryside need entrances, but the councillors didn’t think of that when they were granting housing permissions left, right and centre, they didn’t think an increase in population will require an increase in spending to upgrade and maintain services. Which isn’t done.

We, living on an island have inherited a quite unique heritage of Flora and Fauna, in recent times more and more species populations have started to decline and of course there have been extinctions, but we now know the importance of small seemingly insignificant habitats, they are vital homes for hundreds of species. If the councillors cannot understand the importance of biodiversity, then should they really be standing for positions of power in a constituency that is heavily reliant on agriculture? And in what field exactly have these councillors been educated? Surely none have a biological or agricultural background. Why did they wait until September to raise this issue? The hedges are all nice and trim now.

Here’s a nice paper on hedgerows in Ireland by Notice Nature, if you fancy reading up. Perhaps some of the councilors will read it?

FYI, if you didn’t know already 2010 is the UN designated year of Biodiversity.