Uni(ted States)lateral Action

Donald Trump has suggested that he now believes the United States should begin unilateral action, not only against North Korea but possibly against Bashar Al Assad following more despicable chemical attacks in Syria. What we are beginning to see are nations acting in self interest. Russia in Ukraine may be one example.

Trump today said that the chemical attack in Syria crossed “many lines” in response to a reporters question which had a reference to Obama’s red line in 2013. He failed to offer any real details on the possible unilateral action the United States would take but his comments have set the US up in such a way that action is now required and expected.

The conflict in Syria will never end unless someone steps in and finds a way to bring it to an end. Civilian deaths should no longer be accepted and safe zones should now be established and protected with no fly zones. Full access given to the United Nations to give the necessary care to the population. A ceasefire should be implemented with areas of influence remaining for a short time until dialogue can be agreed by those involved. The removal of Assad and the establishment of a cooperation council which should include Assad forces and the moderate opposition but not limited to them. An end to the blood shed should be priority number 1 from today. Too many have suffered and a stable middle east is in the interest of everyone.

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Unseen

Well it’s been a long time since my last update.

The work below is from my current work at college. I started by reading about the Syrian conflict and the lack of material in the the newspapers here in Ireland. I began by looking to build a structure to display the articles I found in relation Syria and the refugees. I looked at structures in Syria so that the structure I build has some relation to the place I want to talk about.

Below is a Syrian Beehive house.

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With this structure, I began to try and create my own. Rather than just just build a similar one I decided to use the news articles as the building material. Below is a trial and error version of a beehive home built from newspaper.

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I used basic garden rope to hang the structure and create a frame for which I could build on. After this, I began to look at other structures from an origami book (the use of paper lead me here). The tent structure was the easiest way to go so I began with an actual tent, this was a little too obvious and far from my starting point. With this in mind, I pealed back the tent to reveal its basic frame. (See below)

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As you can see, I used washing line rope (blue rope) to hold the tent sticks together and give that tension required to bend the bars into the shape. I then used cable ties to hold the rope in place where it crosses itself.

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I used these materials becomes of their softness and minimalist look. I then took the newspaper and lay it on the ground in a formation (5,4,3,2) this created a triangle shape that was wide enough to cover the bottom and top of one side of the tent. It took 3 triangle formations to cover the entire tent shape.

I then painted the tent black so i could project a count up clock on the back and a projection of jumbled words on the left.

 

Front

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Left side

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While projecting on this side (left side) i created a rainbow effect over the shadow of the tent and on the floor, this worked out really well and was very captivating, the rainbow was a symbol of something better, something less dark the tent and what the articles represented.

The projection on the back of the structure was a cunt-up clock, it started at 000,000 and counted up to 432,164, this was the number of refugees that entered Europe in 2013, the clock took 90 minutes to count up and was on loop.

(Back projection image to be uploaded)

More images of the structure internally, showcasing useless and uninformative “news”.

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I am still working on this work, leading up to my degree show in June, this was part of the “unseen” exhibition, NCAD third year interim exhibition.

If I work really really hard, just maybe….

Recently I seen the movie ‘The Giver’ …

In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

This movie is fascinating. It debates the idea of equality, brought in through a system of sameness. A community where there is no war, pain or famine. A community where people have no choice in life, from choosing their family to their careers.

In the movie, the character played by Meryl Streep says “when humans are given choices they always make the wrong ones”.

It made me think a lot about our purpose and what we do with our time. The average life in Ireland lasts 81 years. When you consider that from the ages of 4-21, which is 17 years are spent in full time education, then the average person works until the retirement age of 65. That then leaves you with 16 years of your life, that’s 44 years working full time.

What is it all for ?

when I visualise this in my head I automatically think of a conveyor belt. The start of the journey is similar for most, but the turns you take, the levels you rise and fall are determined on the situation your family are in. Most likely their financial situation. The more money they have or make the more choices that become available to you as you continue this conveyor belt journey from play school, through primary and secondary school, then into university. To be “educated”  in one of the course choices you made on your CAO application, or so you thought! The course you chose can only become available if you attained the required number of points on your leaving certificate, this can be greatly influenced by the school you attended, whether you had an option of support out side of school hours and the educational level of your parents and family at large.

So to cap, you’ve studied for a long time, to get a course you didn’t particularly want, to become “employable” to work a job/career you have zero passion for, to buy lots of overpriced material goods, properties and services. To live through a number of financial recessions only to see your pay decline, taxes increase and public services stripped to the bone, even though you’ve contributed your earnings (tax) to them over the decades.

Now at the age of 45, the income you’re bringing home after years of working hard is now equal to or less than the income you started with on day one. If you’ve been lucky to keep your pay at the level it was before then the new taxes and tax increases will have gotten you, plus you’ve to pay a lot more to use public services like the bus. Did I forget to mention that you’re in negative equity. The 350,000€ home you bought 10 years ago is now worth 265,000€ thanks to the property bubble created by a bunch of lads and some women who don’t seem to have been affected that much, they’re now back in business, buying, developing and selling.

So now you go on your way and be a good citizen, work harder, longer hours, less pay, pay more in tax for reduced services so the government can pay back the billionaires that lost money and blame it one you, the citizens.

So I ask myself again, what is it all about?

News headlines from around the world…

News headlines from around the world.

Africa

  • Senegal closes border closure with Guinea.
  • A woman who was gang-raped and burned in her house tells a DR Congo war crimes trial she saw an army colonel give the orders.
  • 33 people dead and 41 injured after two tourist buses collide in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Middle-East

  • Syrian conflict death toll has risen above 191,000 according to the UN.
  • 18 suspected informants killed by Hamas.
  • Israel kills top Hamas commanders.

Asia

  • General Prayuth Chan-ocha named Prime Minister of Thailand
  • 20 Malaysian passengers arrived back in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia observed a national day of mourning.

Europe

  • Davutoglu named Turkeys new Prime Minister.
  • Russian convoy crosses border into Ukraine without Permission.
  • Moroccan authorities raid camp of migrants waiting to cross into Spain.

Latin America

  • US court rules Argentinian debt plan illegal.

US and Canada

  • Fed chair Janet Yellen cautious in speech.

Yes or Else!

We are now a country of scare mongrels where the truth doesn’t get the answer we want. The current government, more than once has tried to scare people into submission. It may have worked for Lisbon BUT NO MORE! We will not be scared into voting YES or NO. we will vote whatever we see fit for Ireland based on the facts provided.

I personally find it very undemocratic when my own government try to scare me into voting YES or face a tougher budget. This is a treaty for Europe.

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It is not for the Irish people. And I don’t believe the government should be telling citizens that a yes vote will bring jobs and sustainability when clearly they haven’t been able to stick to their election promises so this will be no different.

Fighting the right fight

When you read about Ireland, its past and how we got to where we are now you just can’t believe how much power we have given to central Europe, none elected bureaucrats to control our land and our people.

No man or women back in the days of rebellion in Ireland, the days when we fought to get our own power, to write our own laws, to count our own money and give a future to our young.

Not now, many people won’t make public their opinions, they won’t take action and they won’t fight for that which they know to be right.

If only someone or something could motivate people to stand and take action for that action could help us create a better Ireland a better world.

Europe and Capitalism

Europe struggles to save capitalism while our most vulnerable suffer.

Over the last few months European leaders have met to try once and for all to save European capitalism. While many nations in Europe introduce austere budgets, leaders within Europe increased the EFSF (European Financial Stability Fund) to safeguard countries from a default and to provide access to funds when they can no longer go to the markets.

This may be necessary if we are to halt a total collapse of the euro currency. But we cannot offer a band-aid while injuring the patient simultaneously. The patient being the economy.

Governments need to put in place factors that allow the economy to grow. If our economy grows that will cut the deficit. People can go to work, pay taxes, dispose of their income in the real economy. The approach the Irish government has taken is the wrong one. They are hitting our most vulnerable people by cutting social assistance payments be it the disability payment or the single parents.

They have shown no sign of an alternative way to that of our last finna fail led government.

At the start of the year we voted for an alternative and we get this. Demand that your representative in government stands up for you.

J.Myers