The Digest – Dec 20 2009

Your Sunday supplement – some stuff I find interesting, you may too. The rest of them here.

– Home

This article from the Wicklow People about certain officials’ activities in relation to the granting of a waste permit, a deal worth almost €400,000 to local landowners, raised my eyebrows.

A FORMER director of Environmental Services at Wicklow County Council had a signed waste permit and removed and replaced with an unsigned version.

Papers released by the Department of the Environment under the Freedom of Information Act show that the existence of the permit only came to light after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it had a copy of the permit retained in its files.

The battle of wills between the department of the environment, John Gormley (head of the department, incidentally) and Dublin City Council, relating to the Poolbeg Incinerator, continues. John Gormley opposes what his own department, in conjunction with the council, is doing in his own constituency. During the week he appointed an inspector to investigate the contract for the incinerator. Bizarre stuff, altogether.

Constantin Gurdgiev has published a leaked memo indicating that Irish researchers won’t have access to E-Journals for much longer. Our third level institutes are going back to paper and print, it seems, as the rest of the world moves online. Underfunding is looking terminal, bring back fees, for fuck sake, I say. Also: a partially related post from Ferdinand Von Prondzynski.

Anthony McIntyre, former IRA Volunteer, prisoner in Long Kesh and member of the Republican movement, on the inactions of Gerry Adams in relation to his brother Liam being a child sex abuser.

On RTÉ’s This Week Gerry Adams says his father, also Gerry, also a republican of note in his day, was a child abuser too.

World and Other below the fold…

– WORLD

Richard Tol on The Copenhagen Accord. David Roberts with another view.

Edward Harrison’s guest contribution to Ritholtz is making waves in the macro-economics blogosphere. Worth reading in full.

My Christmas present to TheStory readers; Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. Both in their mid-twenties, both started life as bloggers, both are now respected and widely-read commentators on US politics and policy. This week saw some great examples of their strengths. Read Yglesias on politics as a vocation;

… a lot of what goes wrong in American foreign policy commentary, I came to see, was a refusal to adopt the ethic of responsibility. Instead, people would want to orient themselves in a way that expresses a sense of moralized outrage. So if some country is bad, a proposal to do bad things to that regime must be good, because what’s right is to be on “the right side” in some maximal way. Anything less is “realism” and a betrayal of ideals about human rights and democracy. The problem is that what’s needed, from a humanitarian point of view, is a foreign policy that does in fact make conditions around the world better not a foreign policy that expresses high ideals and a grand sense of purpose.

And Ezra Klein on the health care reform bill.

The most interesting anti-corruption article I’ve found this week is from The New York Times. It covers how a Mexican smuggling cartel infiltrated US Customs.

– OTHER

This must be the oddest rap song ever made, see video box below. Keynes v Hayek, set to some dodgeball mid-nineties beat.

“We’ve being going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free,
We’ve heard the boom and bust cycle and the reasons to fear it,
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates!
[Keynes] No it’s the animal spirit!”

Wait… there’s more, from Keynes’ voice…

“BOOM 1929! The Big Crash!
We didn’t bounce back, the economy’s in the trash
Persistent unemployment; the result of sticky wages
Waiting for recovery? That’s outrageous!”

Back to reality; Adrian Weckler has the top 10 iPhone apps for Irish people.

Adrian Russell has the results of the 2009 Alternative Sports Awards.

Richard Sandmoir on the legend of John Madden.

1 thought on “The Digest – Dec 20 2009”

  1. “The battle of wills between the department of the environment, John Gormley (head of the department, incidentally) and Dublin City Council, relating to the Poolbeg Incinerator, continues. John Gormley opposes what his own department, in conjunction with the council, is doing in his own constituency.”

    It’s all Dublin City Council. The Department’s involvement ended when Dick Roche approved the procurement process which resulted in DCC entering into a PPP contract with Covanta to build the incinerator.

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