Mister Feis

Aaron Feis threw himself in front of students and was shot protecting them from a gunman during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Another staff member, Scott Beigel, was also killed while ushering his students into his classroom out of harm's way.
Image found on Reddit.

Also, from here.

Hi everyone, my name is Sid, I'm a Junior at Stoneman Douglas and I'd like to share my story of what went on in room 1214, the third room that was shot into by the shooter, and where Nick Dworet (second to top right) and Helena Ramsey (second to bottom right) were killed. 2:20 PM – We are working on the laptops doing an online activity when we hear about 10-15 gunshots outside of our door. Everyone scatters and from about 25 kids, two groups were split in different corners. I was in the corner that is immediately to the right of the entrance, Nick was in the back right corner that could be immediately seen from the entrance. The group with Nick and Helena were trying to form a barricade with a cabinet and a computer cart (one that holds laptops and charges them) but without even 20 seconds to react, the shooter comes to our door and starts shooting through the window of the door. He was shooting at the corner that Nick and Helena were in as well as about 12 other students with them in that corner. Nick got caught in the fire and died immediately, Helena also got caught and was shot twice in her chest. I was in the opposite corner so I couldn't see his body because a cabinet was in the way, and I'm thankful that I didn't witness his body because it probably would have affected me much more. A girl told me she had to use Nick's body as a shield once she saw he was dead immediately 🙁 Here is an edited version of the map to show the corner where I was hiding (blue), where Nick and Helena were (orange) and where the shooter was shooting from (red). Thank you for the support you have been giving. And if any of you came out to the vigil yesterday, I have no words for how happy I am that you came to support.

Citibank Proud?

I honestly have no idea what’s happening here. Were the customers inside there closing accounts? Is that reason enough to close the branch and lock them inside?

Why would security guards drag a woman into the bank? Was it because she was attempting to take names while she was outside the bank? Can they be charged with common assault? I presume she wasn’t trespassing as she was on the pavement.

It makes no sense.

Meanwhile in Spain, tens of thousands can peacefully protest without any police in sight.

More: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Dame Street.

Watching as Greece falls apart

Athens has become a battlefield of late. The country has to save 28 billion Euro by 2015 or risk default. I’d ask how the hell that happened but then all you have to do is look at the mess Ireland is in. Sure, they’re very different situations but the end result is the same. Recession and austerity.

How did things get so bad in Greece? This post might go some way to explaining things.

You see, as precipitous as the rise in national debt has been over the last couple of years, it is still amateur stuff compared to the way we piled on the debt between 1981, the year of Αλλαγή, the Change, ushered in by a massive 48% majority, (Time coverage here) and 1993, when the Maastricht rules finally started to bite and we were forced to pull the handbreak on our burgeoning government budget.

Didn’t the Irish Government do something like that in the 70’s? Borrow and borrow and borrow again? Cue Charlie Haughey’s famous quote in 1980. Even though he was living the high life the rest of the country suffered through a bad recession in the 80’s, as it is now..

I don’t know what’s going to happen in Greece. The impression I’ve got from the media here is of a country of self employed people who mostly don’t pay taxes and where jobs go to family members (rather than on merit), of a massive civil service that people aspire to join rather than go into private business (due in no small part to the fact that family members get the best jobs). How depressing but as an outsider looking in I don’t know what’s fact and what’s fiction!

For more, follow some English speaking Greek people on Twitter:

Photos of the protests: 1, 2, 3, 4.

These days will pass, but I have a feeling the EU and the world at large will be a very different world.

Did Chinese soldiers really dress as monks in Tibet?

Pat sent me and I presume everyone he knows on Facebook this photo. The story is that Chinese soldiers dressed up as Tibetan monks and caused a riot at a rally. After a quick search it appears this is a photo taken on a movie set. This post has much more detail including the following:

UPDATE – TUES. APRIL 8: The International Campaign for Tibet made a statement via their website that they do not regard this photo as credible evidence of Chinese soldiers disguising themselves as Buddhist monks during unrest in Lhasa last month. They acknowledge that they are in possession of similar images of soldiers carrying monks robes in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, which were taken during a film shoot in 2001 which involved soldiers appearing as monks.
UPDATE – SUN. APRIL 20: The photo is from the set of "The Touch", starring Michelle Yeoh, shot in Tibet in 2001. This has been confirmed by the films' distribution company, and am waiting to hear about a supporting confirmation from an inside source. Will update soon.

ICT does not regard this photo as credible evidence of Chinese soldiers disguising themselves as Buddhist monks during unrest in Lhasa last month. This image is most likely from a movie set in which soldiers dressed as monks to serve as extras. ICT is in possession of similar images dating from 2001.

Three killed at Dunboy Castle

Three young men were killed today when their car fell into the water at Dunboy Castle just outside Castletownbere in Co Cork.

Investigating gardaí say that the three local young men had been driving in the grounds of Dunboy Castle when their Ford Fiesta got stuck in grass close to a laneway below the castle which is currently being renovated.

Two other friends came to their rescue with a jeep, but for reasons which are not yet clear, all five were in the Fiesta when it slipped from the embankment and into the water.

Sad and shocking as it is, I wouldn’t mention it here except that I drove down there with my family only a week ago. We enjoyed a lovely meal in Castletownbere during which we were told that Dunboy Castle was worth a look. On the way out of the town the castle is signposted so we decided to go look. Here are a few pictures. Judging by the picture on the RTE website I’d say they went into water very close to where I parked a week earlier. That freaks me out a little bit.

Dunboy Castle

Dunboy Castle

Dunboy Castle

Saddam Hussein should have rotted in prison

Why didn’t they let him rot in prison for the rest of his life? I can’t imagine that conditions in an Iraqi prison are anything to write home about and he wouldn’t have been popular with most other prisoners. Instead they hang him and he becomes a martyr. Nothing good will come of taking another life. No right thinking person could support what he did to the Iraqi people but things are definitely going to get worse now that he’s dead.

saddam-hanging.jpg

More coverage including a video of Saddam walking up to the noose, surrounding by black-masked men in what looks like a spartan concrete bunker on Hotair and Google blogsearch.

An uncensored video shot in the same room doesn’t stop where the CNN one above does. It’s on Google Video already and I found it on The Whistleblower. It’s too gruesome for me to embed here so if you really want to watch it click the link.

More on this boingboing post.

Some bloggers on WordPress.com seem to be going mad for the video of Saddam’s hanging. Sheesh!

todays-hot-picks.jpg

After Budget 2007 I'm stinking rich

I was glued to the radio this afternoon like many people in the country listening to the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, announce the new budget. Also like many people I’ll be better off next year as a result of some of the changes he made.

The budget was great for pensioners and first time buyers, of which I’m one of the latter. The news isn’t so good if you’re addicted to nicotine. Still, the price of a pint hasn’t gone up. You might also be able to pay for those cigarettes with the 1% that was knocked off the top rate of tax. That extra €10/month in the children’s allowance could come in handy too.

Anyway, the country is glowing with smiles all-around, except for the opposition of course who complain that not enough was done or done in the right place. I wonder if anyone asked if Paul Stokes was going to get some?

If you want to compare how you’ll do in 2007 versus this year, then compare this 2007 budget calculator and the 2006 one. I’m not PAYE any more but if I was I’d be up a few hundred Euro apparently! Not stinking rich, but enough nonetheless.

News overload again

You go away for a few days and come back to a news aggregator that’s just brimming with posts and articles and teasing you with nuggets of information that you really don’t have time to read. 10 posts there, 20 here, 200 in boingboing. Time to be selective, I really should prune the number of blogs I’ve subscribed to. How many do you read? I have 190 feeds, plus about 10 feeds related to me, wordpress and Automattic. *phew*

It was worth it however. We were in Dingle for an extended weekend. Despite the warnings of a hurricane it only rained on us once on Saturday morning. For the rest of the time we could have been somewhere exotic under blue skies and fluffy white clouds. The number of tourists from the US and Canada was great to see. The price of the US Dollar in Euros certainly makes it expensive to visit here for Americans and the Canadian Dollar isn’t doing too well either. I can’t wait to get cracking on the photos I took. Check out my photoblog, In Photos.org, over the next week for those!

Carole Coleman: "I wanted to slap him"

Carole Coleman made headlines when she interviewed George Bush last year in the White House. Here was a reported who didn’t want to hear the same regurgated speel again and again.
In this extract, she tells why, I wanted to slap him, and recalls the aftermath of her intereview with “the leader of the free world” too.
(Side note.. nowhere is Carole COleman quoted as saying “I Wanted to slap him”, did the Times take creative license with the title of their lead story?)

Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan takes Bush on over his nomination of Harriet Miers to, “be one of only nice justices on the Supreme Court of the United States.”