With the shops full – I don’t think they have thought this through…

With non-essential shops due to close this Friday the obvious is happening, everyone is hitting the high street now. Shopping centres are full and there are queues outside many car parks and shops. Now I imagine retail welcomes the boost in the trade but I don’t think it is the best way to reduce transmission. The behaviour of some people is truly bizarre. I witnessed a huge queue of traffic to get into the ASDA car park, even though supermarkets …

Read more…With the shops full – I don’t think they have thought this through…

Join us for a live Martin Luther King III talk this Thursday night at 7pm…

We are partnering with The John and Pat Hume Foundation and Politics in Action to host an online event with Martin Luther King III – the American human rights advocate and son of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr – who will be discussing the developing political situation in the United States and civil rights issues around the world. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook live, click here to register for the event for free… “MLK Peaking …

Read more…Join us for a live Martin Luther King III talk this Thursday night at 7pm…

What’s your wee treat?

I was up in Ballycastle during the summer and they had an open-air artisan market at the seafront. It was the usual mix of handmade crafts as well as local food products. Having a bit of a sweet tooth at the best of times my eye was drawn to a homemade banana bread with chocolate pieces. ‘How much is it?’ I asked the lady. ‘£3.50,’ she replied. I was thinking it was a bit pricey. But I had that awkward …

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Watch the launch of the John and Pat Hume Foundation today at 11am…

A foundation in the name of former Nobel Peace Prize Winner, John Hume, and his wife Pat Hume, will launch today at 11am. The John and Pat Hume Foundation will seek to advance non-violent and peaceful change-making for present and future generations in divided societies and support and inspire leadership for peaceful change at home and across the world through a series of outreach and support programmes. The Foundation’s Leadership and Board is composed of people, from diverse backgrounds and communities, …

Read more…Watch the launch of the John and Pat Hume Foundation today at 11am…

Stupid cars ruin everything. Why we need to go back to the past and make our towns more people friendly…

You may have seen the photo above on social media. It shows the old entrance to Queen’s University before it was removed to make the entrance suitable for cars. Throughout the world, there are very few places that have been improved by building massive roads through them. Here are some old photos of Donegal Street, Carlisle Circus and Clifton St before somebody had the bright idea to run the Westlink through them. When you look at some of the terrible …

Read more…Stupid cars ruin everything. Why we need to go back to the past and make our towns more people friendly…

What can we expect from Season Two of the Trump Show?

The Presidency of Donald J Trump only really makes sense if you look at it through the lens of a bizarre reality TV show come to life. Like a real-life malevolent mashup of Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Thick of It and VEEP. As must as I dislike a lot of his policies, Donald Trump was at least entertaining as he stumbled from one disaster to another – it will be a lot quieter when he leaves the Whitehouse. The latest …

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Confirmed: Biden beats Trump to take the Whitehouse…

Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States. He is the oldest President and also only the 2nd Catholic to hold the post. After winning Pennsylvania he has 274 electoral college votes with some states still to be called Kamala Harris also makes history by becoming the first female Vice President and woman of colour “Trump & Biden” by ekaden is licensed under CC BY-SA Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business …

Read more…Confirmed: Biden beats Trump to take the Whitehouse…

The bizarre world of the US electoral system…

We have all become obsessed with the US election coverage this week and the glacial pace of counting. With still no final decision I thought we could look at the rather strange system they have. The first oddity is the fact that the person who gets the most votes does not necessarily win – it all comes down to the electoral college. There have been five United States presidential elections in which the successful presidential candidate did not receive the …

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To become president, Biden needs to win two out of Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada and Georgia or win Pennsylvania…

The glacial pace of the US Election count continues, but the end might be in sight today. Biden has taken the lead in Georgia and is drawing closer to overtaking Trump in Pennsylvania. Hopefully today we should see a winner but who knows, this election has had so many twists and turns. JUST IN: Joe Biden takes +1097 lead in #Georgia over Donald Trump. If he wins Southern state, would block Trump’s path to 270. https://t.co/p7sxQ8Y0A0 — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) …

Read more…To become president, Biden needs to win two out of Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada and Georgia or win Pennsylvania…

Trump demands ‘Stop the count!'(whatever that means)…

We have not had many posts about the US Election as frankly, we are as stunned by it all as the rest of you probably are. Game of Thrones could not come up with storylines as bonkers as we are seeing unfold in the states. The tension is phenomenal, I am obsessively checking the New York Times homepage. The latest twist is Trump demanding they stop the count: STOP THE COUNT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020 Like …

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Enter The Slugger Big American Election Prediction Competition!

Tomorrow is election day in the good old US of A. Who will win the epic battle of the septuagenarians? In the Red Corner, we have Donald John Trump, a man who triumphed over his upbringing in emotional poverty. In the Blue Corner, we have Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, a newcomer to the scene having been only in politics this last 50 years. This is your chance to predict the results of this historic clash and be in with a …

Read more…Enter The Slugger Big American Election Prediction Competition!

What was the sense of closing the schools only to put all the kids into every shopping centre?

I imagine most parents had that sinking feeling when they learned that they were closing the schools – here we go again. Still, it was only one week extra so we had to suck it up and take one for the team. It could have been worse, it seems Sinn Fein were pushing for a ludicrous 6 weeks off. There has been lots of debate around the importance of school to children. There are obvious things like the value of …

Read more…What was the sense of closing the schools only to put all the kids into every shopping centre?

The first Christmas Tree of the season…

I was out for a walk the other day, and I noticed that someone in the next street had their Christmas Tree up already. It was an odd mashup as they also had all their Halloween decorations up. It was likely everything in the attic was getting an airing at the one time. In normal times you would be tempted to tut and make an observation that Christmas is getting earlier every year, but these are not normal times. This …

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With over 8 hours of news in a 12 hour period is BBC Radio Ulster forgetting its remit is also to entertain?

When the lockdown was reintroduced last week I decided I needed to take drastic action to stay sane. I quit all social media, stopped reading online news, and stopped listening to Radio Ulster. I never watched the news on TV so that was already covered. Now I only read a printed newspaper as I find its less stressful but you can keep up to date. I have also switched to listening mostly to podcasts and music. Like a lot of …

Read more…With over 8 hours of news in a 12 hour period is BBC Radio Ulster forgetting its remit is also to entertain?

Boris says to prepare for a no deal Brexit….

From Sky News: Boris Johnson says it’s time to “get ready” for the prospect of no free trade deal with the EU on 1 January. The prime minister claimed Brussels had “abandoned” the ambition but insisted “we always knew there would be change” next year once the tradition period ends “whatever type of relationship we had”. Speaking from Downing Street after an EU summit both sides said was the deadline for hammering out a trade deal, Mr Johnson said it …

Read more…Boris says to prepare for a no deal Brexit….

Phoney Polish peeler gets himself into a pickle with the proper police…

A story in today’s Irish News provides a bit of a distraction from the unending doom: A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer in Co Armagh. Police said an off-duty officer reported being pulled over on the M1 at Craigavon towards Portadown at around 1am by a vehicle he believed to be a police car. The driver of the unmarked grey Skoda Superb registration FT62 CEX which had been fitted with blue flashing lights, …

Read more…Phoney Polish peeler gets himself into a pickle with the proper police…

A celebration of oats on World Porridge Day…

Over the years I have developed an increasingly deeper relationship with porridge. When I was younger it was a quick bowl of Readybrek fired into the microwave. As I have grown older I have refined my recipe so much that I suspect the O’Neill household is now home to one of the most elaborate porridge feasts on these islands. Many people think porridge is hard to make or takes too long. Nothing could be further from the truth. It can …

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Would you vote for a politician who does not like dogs?

This is one of the best election ads you will see: This US Election Campaign will go down in history as one of the most bad-tempered ones ever, so how do you break through the noise? Dogs of course. How does not like dogs? Well, it seems the Donald does not like dogs (I know, not exactly a surprise). This ad is genius as it cuts through all the negativity to make a simple point ‘Choose your humans wisely’. Photo …

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Do we just need to learn to live with Covid-19 or do we need more lockdowns?

Depending on your view of how we should deal with Covid-19 Leo Varadkar is either reckless or a political genius. He was able to get all the kudos for calmly handling the early stage of lockdown; then he was able to offload the leadership mantle to Micheál Martin for him to deal with the sh*tshow stage. Leo has positioned himself as a clear alternative voice to Fianna Fáil dithering. I expect to see Varadkar back in the Taoiseach seat within …

Read more…Do we just need to learn to live with Covid-19 or do we need more lockdowns?