Friday afternoon linkzookery

I think I’m going to make Friday Linkzookery a regular feature on MO, sort of a catch-all for stories and links I find noteworthy but didn’t do a full post on during the week. Many will be from readers. Some of them might be a bit dated. I may or may not comment on a few of them as the muse strikes. This is truly random stuff we’re talking about here.

In no particular order:

Angry man “delivers the goods” to tsunami victims

U.S. Navy Completes Initial Testing Of Lockheed Martin Naval Gun

Think Ireland’s a paradise?

German soldier wins software right of conscience

German soldiers allowed to keep mullets


  1. Ireland article requires registration :I I just wanted to see what it was about to see if I wanted to read it, really.

  2. Sorry Nicholas. Here’s the story providing Murdoc’s comment space has room. ASBO = ‘Anti Social Baring Order’ YOB = ‘A person who commits anti-social crimes’ ‘The ugly truth about living in Dublin inner city!’ ISN’T what you expect to happen at 5pm on a Dublin city street. One minute, you are walking along, minding your own business. The next minute, blood is running down your forehead and your head is aching. But then this is Dublin in 2005, where law and order is something on the television, not something on the streets of our capital, and where no one, least of all their parents, wants to take any responsibility for their out-of-control kids. I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened to me, but the gardai in the local station knew immediately when I told them of my experience. For I wasn’t the first. Some yob in the nearby local authority flats is spending his time throwing objects at people walking past. I was just the latest victim. So what would the Gardai do about it? Well, nothing, actually. What could they do? No one ever saw who it was doing the pelting. And they couldn’t expect any help from the people in the flats. Even the Gardai get pelted by the locals if they try to investigate. So they recorded the incident in the book, and that was that. Roll on the next victim. If they are lucky they’ll just end up with a headache, a cut and maybe a hospital trip. If they aren’t, they could be knocked out in front of passing traffic and end up in a coffin. That’s inner-city Dublin, 2005-style. But before all the do-gooders begin whingeing about poverty, deprivation, how all the thugs need is a little love and some hugging, let’s tell the full story. A few weeks ago my new Spanish flatmate moved in. He’s lived in many places, but nothing had prepared him for Dublin. Groups of kids hanging around outside apartment complexes to pelt him, and everyone else going in, with eggs. Walking from a friend’s house and having to dodge glasses being flung out of an upstairs window by drunks. Screaming women shouting obscenities to passers-by. And parents, if that is the right word for it, who not only don’t give a damn about what their children do, but actively encourage them to be thugs. A couple of months ago, the kids in another block of local authority flats nearby shunted a car from its parking space to beside the flats and set it alight. Then 20 of them stood around cheering. As I watched in amazement, their parents came out on the balconies and laughed. ‘Nice one, guys.’ ‘The nigger’s car makes a great bonfire.’ ‘F***ing ace.’ Then the gardai and the fire brigade arrived. A few parents rushed out to bring in their brats so that they could claim they had had nothing to do with it. Some brazenly stood outside, screaming abuse at the guards and the firemen. All the while, the polite, well-dressed African gentleman whose car it was, stood there stunned, in tears. Ireland of the Welcomes? Bullshit. Walking outside at 11pm, I often find groups of 10-year-olds and younger hanging around on the streets. What sort of idiotic parents allow 10-year-olds hang around town at 11pm? Drunks scream abuse in the street outside the pubs. Walking in the locality regularly involves stepping over broken glass from smashed ‘What sort of idiotic parents allow 10-year-olds and younger hang around town at 11pm?’ windows, or seeing shop-owners sticking tape over cracked windows to hold them together until the latest replacement window arrives. Last Wednesday I told a friend what had happened to me. He said recently someone from the Corpo flats near him had flung a melon at him. His neighbours regularly have the windows of their cars smashed. It isn’t robbery. It is just ‘for the divilment’, as they used to say. Luckily his job allows him to spend time in Lisbon, away from Dublin scumbags. Within 24 hours last week, two derelict buildings in my neighbourhood were burned down. It only dawned on me then that in the five years I have lived in the inner city I have rarely seen a derelict building in the area that hadn’t been set alight. So you bet I want to see Asbos brought in. If communities and parents can’t be bothered to take responsibility for their out-of-control kids, someone else has to. Don’t believe all the liberal do-gooder whingeing. So what if the people in the inner city are poor, if the kids have no place to play? Since when is that a justification for acting like scumbags and vandals? All the do-gooders do is offer excuses for the inexcusable. They want to let unfit parents and out-of-control kids off the hook. But they don’t have to deal with the aftermath. After their cosy student marches, they head back to their middle-class homes in leafy, middle-class Dublin and leave everyone else to live with the hell out there on Dublin streets. If the yobs find themselves with Asbo convictions: tough. They have earned them. It is their responsibility: not society’s, not the Government’s, not the Guards’. For too long, everyone else has suffered the consequences of the yobs’ actions. It is about time the yobs, the thugs and the unfit parents suffered the consequences themselves. They deserve it.