• Irish County Council Votes To Issue Drunk Driving Permits To Rural Citizens

    25 Jan 2013, 05:25 by Milkshake8

    Ireland, it would seem, has officially decided to just start living up to all the ugliest Stereotypes the rest of the world has about it. Exhibit A: The local council for Kerry County in south-west Ireland has approved a measure that would allow police to issue permits to people living in rural areas that would allow them to Drive Drunk legally. The new rule was proposed by council member Danny Healy-Rae, who we hope to when he came up with this idea, if only because the other option is him being stupid all the time.

    Healy-Rae’s unprecedented argument for more Drunk Driving stems from the fact that some of his older constituents ”are being isolated now at home, and a lot of them falling into Depression,” apparently because they can’t drive home a little sauced from the pub, which is known to be one of the leading causes of depression nowhere, ever. Setting aside for a moment the fact that depression doesn’t actually work that way, is there any reason those folks couldn’t spend the last hours of their time out among friends drinking a club soda or two? Oh, they would rather drive home a danger to themselves and others? Well, now I see the argument. Healy-Rae also pointed out that folks he’s arguing for the permit for live in lightly trafficked rural areas, where you’d have to be a drunk idiot to hit someone with your car, which you would think would be an argument against more Drunk Idiots On the Road, but is apparently not.

    The BBC reports that Healy-Rae, who had the truly surprising grace and good sense to stop his speech before suggesting that some folks might drive better when they’ve had a couple, brought the motion up for a vote toward the end of a council meeting from which more than a dozen voting members had already departed, and it passed with just five votes for to three against, with the seven remaining members abstaining. And it’s just a coincidence, surely, that most of the ‘yea’ votes came from council members who, like Healy-Rae, also just happen to own bars.

    This fact, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with their passage of a bill that would allow them to serve more booze to intoxicated people who would shortly be operating motor vehicles. Even suggesting so would be an offense to a noble group of people who just want to see more inebriated people behind the wheels of Ireland’s automobiles, as God intended.

    The vote doesn’t mean that the permits will be issued, as the matter now goes to the justice department of Ireland for approval.

    (via BBC, image via flickr)
    by Ian Chant
  • Tannahill, Burns, sfeer en humor + folk van de bovenste plank...

    24 Nov 2012, 13:40 by CortezZuma

    Thu 22 Nov – The Tannahill Weavers

    Het zegt je misschien niet meteen wat maar net als de Ierse The Dubliners zijn The Tannahill Weavers een begrip in folkmiddens. Mogen we hen de Schotse evenknie van The Dubliners noemen of is dat te kort door de bocht. Doet het één van beiden onrecht? Alleszins: The Tannahill Weavers staan al sinds 1976 garant voor folk van de bovenste plank. Zo mochten we ook zélf ervaren donderdagavond 22 november op de eerste etage van O’ Fiach’s Irish Pub op de Mechelse Grote Markt.

    Jigs, reels en mooie gevoelige liedjes, ondermeer met teksten van Robert Tannahill waarnaar de band genoemd werd, andere oprechte of militante liederen onbraken ook niet in de set. Dat alles werd gekruid met een flinke portie Schotse humor...

    > volledig verslagje op 'Mechelen Blogt':

    The Tannahill Weavers
  • Pakkende fijne liedjes van Ultan Conlon

    1 Oct 2012, 07:24 by CortezZuma

    Thu 27 Sep – Ultan Conlon

    Op aanbevelen van niemand minder dan Albert Niland , haalde Ron Hunter, Ultan Conlon naar de Ierse Pub in Mechelen. Deze man bezorgde de aanwezigen een klein en fijn concertje tijdens Arthur Guinness Day, donderdag 27 september, in O’ Fiach’s Irish Pub.

    > Lees het verslag op 'Mechelen Blogt':

    Ultan Conlon
  • World’s Richest Woman Says People Are Poor Because They’re Lazy Drunks

    30 Aug 2012, 20:57 by Milkshake8

    Gina Rinehart, the world's richest woman.

    According to the world’s richest woman, low-income people are only poor because they don’t work hard enough, and because the government has coddled them with a minimum wage that is too high. Australian Gina Rinehart, who inherited her $30 billion fortune, said, “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working”:

    “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she wrote in an industry magazine column.

    “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time Drinking or smoking and Socialising, and more time working.

    “Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

    Rinehart blamed what she described as “socialist”, anti-business policies for the plight of Australia’s poor, urging the government to lower The Minimum Wage, as well as taxes, unless it wanted to end up like Greece.

    Australian Treasury minister Wayne Swan replied, “These sorts of comments are an insult to the millions of Australian workers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills.” Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called Rinehart’s comments about the minimum wage “just plain wrong” and an “odd thing to say.” Australia’s minimum wage is $15.96 per hour.

    Rinehart is not the only one of the the world’s richest people to weigh in on public policy recently. Last month, Carlos Slim, whose $65 billion fortune makes him the world’s richest person, said countries that are struggling economically should raise their respective retirement ages to 70.
    By Pat Garofalo
  • Exclusive: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the…

    11 Mar 2012, 19:42 by Milkshake8

    Police union lobbyist John Lovell

    John Lovell is a lobbyist who makes a lot of money from making sure you can’t smoke a joint. That’s his job. He’s a Lobbyist for the police unions in Sacramento, and he is a driving force behind grabbing Federal dollars to shut down the California marijuana industry. I’ll get to the evidence on this important story in a bit, but first, some context.

    At some point in the distant past, the War on Drugs might have been popular. But not anymore — the polling is clear, but beyond that, the last three Presidents have used illegal drugs. So why do we still put hundreds of thousands of people in steel cages for pot-related offenses? Well, there are many reasons, but one of them is, of course, money in politics. Corruption. Whatever you want to call it, it’s why you can’t smoke a joint without committing a crime, though of course you can ingest any number of pills or drinks completely within the law.

    Some of the groups who want to keep the drug Illegal are police unions that want more members to pay more dues. One of the primary sources for cash for more policing activities are Federal grants for penalizing illegal drug use, which help pay for overtime, additional police officers, and equipment for the force. That’s what Lovell does, he gets those grants. He also fights against democratic mechanisms to legalize drugs.

    In 2010, California considered Prop 19, a measure to Legalize Marijuana and tax it as alcohol. The proposition gained more votes than Meg Whitman, the former Ebay executive and Republican gubernatorial nominee that year, but failed to pass. Opponents of the initiative ran ads, organized rallies, and spread Conspiracy Theories about billionaire George Soros to confuse voters.

    Lovell managed the opposition campaign against Prop 19. He told TIME Magazine that he was pushing against the initiative because, “the last thing we need is yet another mind-altering substance to be legalized.”

    But Republic Report reviewed lobbying contracts during the Prop 19 fight, and found that Lovell’s firm was paid over $386,350 from a wide array of police unions, including the California Police Chiefs Association.

    While Lovell may contend that he sincerely opposes the idea of marijuana legalization, he has constructed an entire Business Model predicated on pot prohibition.

    Shortly after President Obama’s stimulus program passed, Lovell went to work channeling the taxpayer money for California into Drug War programs. According to documents Republic Report obtained from the Police Chiefs Association, Lovell helped local departments apply for drug war money from the Federal government. Here’s a copy of one letter sent to a police department in Lassen County, California:

    There is big money in marijuana prohibition. Lovell represented a police union in a bid to steer some $2.2 million dollars into a “Marijuana Suppression Program.” In 2009 and 2010, California police unions sought a $7,537,389 chunk of Federal money for police to conduct a “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” program.

    The anti-marijuana money went directly into the Paychecks of many officers. For example, police departments in Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama Counties formed a “North California Eradication Team” to receive $550,000 in grants that helped pay for overtime, a new officer, and flight operations:

    The total amount awarded was $550,000, to be split between Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties, which make up the Northern California Marijuana Eradication Team (NorCal-MET). Broken down in the agenda worksheet, the sheriff’s office is expecting to spend $20,000 on flight operations, $94,895 for the full-time deputy’s salary and benefits, $16,788 for the administration assistant salary and benefits and $29,983 to cover up to 666.29 hours of overtime.

    The Federal anti-marijuana honeypot might have dried up if Prop 19 had passed. Legalizing Marijuana would have generated billions in tax revenue for the state of California, while also reducing Victimless Crime prosecutions. But for lobbyists like Lovell, legalization was a direct assault on hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential fees for helping to solicit taxpayer money for his clients.

    Police unions also contributed about $100,500 to a campaign account used to coordinate opposition to Prop 19. Of the $386,350 in fees paid by Police Unions to Lovell through 2009 and 2010, status update reports reviewed by Republic Report reveal that Lovell worked on a number of issues, from advocacy against Prop 19 to channeling grants and monitoring Legislation.

    Of course, police unions aren’t the only interest group with a stake in maintaining broken drug laws. The beer industry, alcohol corporations, and prison guard unions also contributed money to help Lovell stop Prop 19. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now helps push for Legalization as a citizen advocate, told Republic Report that drug company lobbyists also fight to keep marijuana illegal because they view pot as a low-cost form of competition.
    By Lee Fang
  • Ben Franklin’s 200+ Synonyms for “Drunk”

    19 Jan 2012, 07:31 by Milkshake8

    Today we’re celebrating Ben Franklin’s 306th birthday. If you’re celebrating at home, perhaps one of these phrases from The Drinkers Dictionary will come in handy. The lengthy list of expressions meaning “InEbRiAtEd” was first published by Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette on January 6, 1737. Feel free to add your own phrases in the comments.

    First, a note from Mr. Franklin: “The Phrases in this Dictionary are not (like most of our Terms of Art) borrow’d from Foreign Languages, neither are they collected from the Writings of the Learned in our own, but gather’d wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers. I do not doubt but that there are many more in use; and I was even tempted to add a new one my self under the Letter B, to wit, Brutify’d: But upon Consideration, I fear’d being guilty of Injustice to the Brute Creation, if I represented Drunkenness as a beastly Vice, since, ’tis well-known, that The Brutes are in general a very sober sort of People.”

    He is Addled,
    He’s casting up his Accounts,
    He’s Afflicted,
    He’s in his Airs.

    He’s Biggy,
    Block and Block,
    Been at Barbadoes,
    Piss’d in the Brook,
    Drunk as a Wheel-Barrow,
    Has Stole a Manchet out of the Brewer’s Basket,
    His Head is full of Bees,
    Has been in the Bibbing Plot,
    Has drank more than he has bled,
    He’s Bungey,
    As Drunk as a Beggar,
    He sees The Bears,
    He’s kiss’d Black Betty,
    He’s had a Thump over the Head with Sampson’s Jawbone,
    He’s Bridgey.

    He’s Cat,
    Cherry Merry,
    Wamble Crop’d,
    Half Way to Concord,
    Has taken a Chirriping-Glass,
    Got Corns in his Head,
    A Cup to much,
    He’s heat his Copper,
    He’s Crocus,
    He cuts his Capers,
    He’s been in the Cellar,
    He’s in his Cups,
    Non compos,
    Loaded his Cart,
    He’s been too free with The Creature,
    Sir Richard has taken off his Considering Cap,
    He’s Chap-fallen,

    He’s Disguiz’d,
    He’s got a Dish,
    Kill’d his Dog,
    Took his Drops,
    It is a Dark Day with him,
    He’s a Dead Man,
    Has Dipp’d his Bill,
    He’s Dagg’d,
    He’s seen The Devil,

    He’s Prince Eugene,
    Wet both Eyes,
    Cock Ey’d,
    Got the Pole Evil,
    Got a Brass Eye,
    Made An Example,
    He’s Eat a Toad & half for Breakfast.
    In his Element,

    He’s Fishey,
    Sore Footed,
    Well in for’t,
    Owes no Man a Farthing,
    Fears no Man,
    Crump Footed,
    Been to France,
    Froze his Mouth,
    Been to A Funeral,
    His Flag is out,
    Spoke with his Friend,
    Been at an Indian Feast.

    He’s Glad,
    Booz’d the Gage,
    Been before George,
    Got The Gout,
    Had a Kick in the Guts,
    Been with Sir John Goa,
    Been at Geneva,
    Got the Glanders.

    Half And Half,
    Top Heavy,
    Got by The Head,
    Got on his little Hat,
    Loose in the Hilts,
    Got the Hornson,
    Haunted with EVIL SPIRITS,
    Has Taken Hippocrates grand Elixir,

    He’s Intoxicated,
    Going to Jerusalem,
    Been to Jerico,

    He’s a King,
    Clips the King’s English,
    Seen The French King,
    The King is his Cousin,
    Got Kib’d Heels,
    Het his Kettle.

    He’s in LIQUOR,
    He makes Indentures with his Leggs,
    Well to Live,

    He sees Two Moons,
    Seen a Flock of Moons,
    Rais’d his Monuments,

    He’s eat the Cocoa Nut,
    Got the Night Mare,

    He’s Oil’d,
    Eat Opium,
    Smelt of an onion,

    He drank till he gave up his Half-Penny,
    Pidgeon Ey’d,
    As good conditioned as a puppy,
    Has scalt his Head Pan,
    Been among the philistines,
    In his Prosperity,
    He’s been among the Philippians,
    He’s contending with Pharaoh,
    Wasted his Paunch,
    He’s Polite,
    Eat a Pudding Bagg,

    He’s Quarrelsome,

    He’s Rocky,
    Lost his Rudder,
    Been too free with Sir Richard,

    He’s Stitch’d,
    In the Sudds,
    Been in the Sun,
    As Drunk as David’s Sow,
    His Skin is full,
    He’s Steady,
    He’s Stiff,
    He’s burnt his Shoulder,
    He’s got his Top Gallant Sails out,
    Seen the yellow Star,
    As Stiff as a Ring-bolt,
    Half Seas Over,
    His Shoe pinches him,
    It is Star-light with him,
    He carries too much Sail,
    Been too free with Sir John Strawberry,
    He’s right before the Wind with all his Studding Sails out,
    Has Sold his Senses.

    He’s Top’d,
    Tipium Grove,
    Double Tongu’d,
    Topsy Turvey,
    Has Swallow’d a Tavern Token,
    He’s Thaw’d,
    He’s In a trance,
    He’s Trammel’d,

    He makes Virginia Fence,
    Got the Indian Vapours,

    The Malt is above the Water,
    He’s Wise,
    He’s Wet,
    He’s been to the Salt Water,
    He’s Water-soaken,
    He’s very Weary,
    Out Of The Way.

    [We first posted this list back in 2010 to coincide with Stacy Conradt's "Monty Python Phrase or Ben Franklin Synonym for Drunk?" quiz. Thanks to for their Ben Franklin archives.]
    by Jason English
  • Lamar Smith Can't Hear You

    9 Jan 2012, 22:37 by Milkshake8

    Here's ChadRocco's Lamar Smith anti-election poster, in honor of the congressman's advocacy for the net-killing Stop Online Piracy Act and his blithe dismissal of the bill's critics.

    Meet Lamar Smith, representative from Texas, and Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. As Chairman he can kill any bill he doesn't like by denying it a hearing while giving priority to the bills he wants to pass, Like SOPA. While addressing the massive outcry over SOPA he stated that:

    “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”

    Above is a list of people that have pointed at the language, including law professors and computer experts. You have a civil war among video game companies, and the successful boycott of a company. How do you ignore that? It's an election year. This November. Whatever happens, Texas, please kick this guy out of office.

    SOPA- I CAN'T HEAR YOU (Thanks, Melted Crayons!)
    By Cory Doctorow
  • Claude Bourbons Acoustics Blend van Jazz, Blues & Folk

    22 Dec 2011, 09:36 by CortezZuma

    Tue 20 Dec – Medieval & Spanish Blues

    Met een naam als 'Bourbon' vrààg je gewoon om een Whisk(e)y-referentie, niet? En het is ook gewoon heel erg toepasselijk. De Frans/Zwitserse (Uk based) gitaarvirtuoos Claude Bourbon trakteerde ons die druilerige dinsdagavond 20 december in O' Fiach's Irish Pub op een heel erg mooie akoestische blend van jazz, folk en blues. Vaak had je ook de indruk een minestreel aan het werk te horen in een of ander groot Middeleeuws kasteel. En dan komen plots Ry Cooder of ... Jaques Brel voorbij...

    De set van Claude Bourbon omvatte voornamelijk instrumentaal werk, met heel veel middeleeuws aandoende stukken dus en, erg opmerkelijk, vaak ook uitstapjes naar blues en jazz. Erg knap was vooral hoe Bourbon erg bekende pop classics in de set integreeerde, op haast onopvallend wijze. En zo waande je je op moment x nog in de Middeleeuwen terwijl daar ineens een fraai 'Ne Me Quite Pas' (jawel!) voorbijkwam. Brel op klassieke Spaanse gitaar: dat had ik nog nooit gehoord. Geweldig klonk het wel!

    Of hoe op een gegeven moment temidden van een heel klassiek stuk, plots een Paris/Texas-achtig slidemoment aankwam zetten. Van de Middeleeuwen naar Ry Cooder. In de 'wereld van Claude Bourbon is dat heel gewoon, de gitaarvirtuoos draaide er zijn hand niet voor om.

    Tijdens de twee korte sets kwamen ook standards zoals 'Summertime' (Gershwin) en 'We'll Meet Again' (Parker/Charles), bekend van Vera Lynn voorbij en uit zijn eigen catalogus bracht hij ondermeer 'There's A Storm Coming', 'Shelter Me', 'Ghosts', 'There's Someone Missing Tonight' en, op vraag van meegereisde kompanen, 'Angel'. Die nummers werden behalve van het knappe gitaarspel ook van zang voorzien door Bourbon. En al zijn er best betere zangers, ook dat klonk allesbehalve slecht.

    Erg knap was de traditional 'That'll Never Happen No More - Blind Blake'. Hoe Claude Bourbon Ravels 'Bolero' naar nieuwe hoogten tilde was een weinig fenomenaal.

    Als je houdt van klassieke gitaar, blues, jazz, folk en al wat mooi is, grijp dan een volgende keer zeker de kans om deze Frans/zwiterse gitaarvirtuoos aan het werk te horen. De man blijkt er intensief te toeren, dus er zijn vast kansen: Doén!

    Claude Bourbon
  • Blues & Tropical Vibes uit Gent, Senegal, Mexico & Ierland

    12 Dec 2011, 11:05 by CortezZuma

    Fri 9 Dec – Five for the Road

    “Er waren eens twee Gentenaars, een in Gent residerende Ier, een Mexicaan en een Senegalees..” zo zou een flauwe mop kunnen beginnen. Maar het gaat over “Five for the Road”, een live-project met Afee Kasee, Bruno Deneckere, Daithi Rua, Luiz Marquez en H.T. Roberts. Goed voor een sfeervolle vrijdagavond met folk, blues en african vibes.

    Vrijdag 9 december was het genieten in O' Fiach's Irish pub in Mechelen van deze aparte en geslaagde optelsom aan stijlen.

    Het volledige verslag lees je op 'Mechelen Blogt':


    set 1 - Bruno Deneckere, H.T. Roberts & Luiz Marquiz
    1. Captain Of My Ship
    2. Robin
    3. Endless
    4. She Gets Along With You
    5. Walking On Water

    Set 2 - Afee Kasee, H.T. Roberts & Luiz Marquiz

    Set 3 - Daithi Rua
    11. Loving All The Rain
    12. Vana's Blue Laces
    13. Ponchartrain
    14. Causeway
    15. Soldier On

    Afee Kasee, Daithi Rua, HT Roberts:
    16. Fatuyo

    #bis - allen
    17. If I Wanted To


    Afee KaseeDaithi RuaBruno DeneckereH.T. RobertsLuiz Marquez
  • Arthur's Day: Guinness & Moakley's Acoustic Soul & Rock Trip!

    28 Sep 2011, 09:29 by CortezZuma

    Thu 22 Sep – Moakley

    De Nieuw-Zeelandse singer-songwriter Mark Oakley was weer in 't land. Ook nu kon een bezoek aan O'Fiach's Irish Pub in Mechelen niet ontbreken. Zijn doortocht vond plaats op Arthur's (Guinness) Day: er zijn slechtere scenario's: The Black Stuff en die geweldige soulstem van Moakley.

    Hij bracht een korte, subtiele en uitstekende set. Met hoogvliegers zoals zijn bloedmooie interpretaties van 'Fields of Gold' en 'Drive'. En dat hij tegemoet wou komen aan mijn verzoekje als allerlaatste bis kon ik zeer waarderen: 'Message to My Girl' klonk dan ook lichtjes geweldig...

    Iets te weinig eigen nummers in de set, te weinig: wat 's mans eigen nummers zijn erg sterk en verdienen om meer aan bod te komen. Maar we kregen natuurlijk wel 'Dancin' Round Each Other For Years', 'What's Inside' en 'I'm in Love With You' als opener.

    Jammer dat de man zijn laatste trein moest halen, anders was hij wellicht, zoals bij een van zijn vorige doortochten nog wat met me blijven doorbomen over muziek en 'the eighties'...

    I'm In Love With You (It Was Always You)
    Total Control (The Motels)
    I'm On Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
    Riding Trains
    Dancin' Round Each Other For Years
    Just The Two Of Us (Bill Withers)
    Drive (The Cars)
    Fields of Gold (Sting)
    What's Inside
    Under The Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    Just Not Today
    Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye)

    Yellow (Coldplay)
    Message to My Girl (Splitz Enz)

    MoakleyO' Fiach's Irish Pub