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Topics - Eamonnca1

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GAA Discussion / Croke Park to be upgraded
« on: January 20, 2021, 07:53:33 PM »
From Dublin Live:

The GAA is reportedly set to spend more than €70 million on a major redevelopment of Croke Park.

The upgrade works will be the first overhaul of the famous old stadium since reconstruction works were completed in 2005.

Those works began in 1991 and ended up costing more than €260 million.

The latest plans will see conference and hospitality facilities expanded at the Drumcondra venue as well as an upgrade of the museum, reports the Irish Independent.

Seems like revenue-generating facilities will get an update. Sounds sensible to me. No point in offering conference facilities if they're 15 years out of date.

GAA Discussion / The GAA is "misogynist!"
« on: January 02, 2021, 11:12:03 PM »
Bit of an embarrassing hit piece in the Irish Times the other day from the comically misinformed Orla Muldoon claiming that the association doesn't treat its female players very well. She's going to feel stupid when she realizes the GAA doesn't have any female players.

The rebuttals have been flowing into the letters page:

General discussion / Nuclear weapons
« on: August 05, 2020, 06:53:09 PM »
There's an op-ed in today's LA Times that confirms what I've known for a while: Japan had been trying their damndest to surrender all summer and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a completely unnecessary war crime.

Op-Ed: U.S. leaders knew we didn’t have to drop atomic bombs on Japan to win the war. We did it anyway

AUG. 5, 20203:05 AM

At a time when Americans are reassessing so many painful aspects of our nation’s past, it is an opportune moment to have an honest national conversation about our use of nuclear weapons on Japanese cities in August 1945. The fateful decision to inaugurate the nuclear age fundamentally changed the course of modern history, and it continues to threaten our survival. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock warns us, the world is now closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since 1947.

The accepted wisdom in the United States for the last 75 years has been that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki three days later was the only way to end the World War II without an invasion that would have cost hundreds of thousands of American and perhaps millions of Japanese lives. Not only did the bombs end the war, the logic goes, they did so in the most humane way possible.

However, the overwhelming historical evidence from American and Japanese archives indicates that Japan would have surrendered that August, even if atomic bombs had not been used — and documents prove that President Truman and his closest advisors knew it.

The allied demand for unconditional surrender led the Japanese to fear that the emperor, who many considered a deity, would be tried as a war criminal and executed. A study by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Command compared the emperor’s execution to “the crucifixion of Christ to us.”

“Unconditional Surrender is the only obstacle to peace,” Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired Ambassador Naotake Sato, who was in Moscow on July 12, 1945, trying to enlist the Soviet Union to mediate acceptable surrender terms on Japan’s behalf.

But the Soviet Union’s entry into the war on Aug. 8 changed everything for Japan’s leaders, who privately acknowledged the need to surrender promptly.

Allied intelligence had been reporting for months that Soviet entry would force the Japanese to capitulate. As early as April 11, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Intelligence Staff had predicted: “If at any time the USSR should enter the war, all Japanese will realize that absolute defeat is inevitable.”

Truman knew that the Japanese were searching for a way to end the war; he had referred to Togo’s intercepted July 12 cable as the “telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace.”

Truman also knew that the Soviet invasion would knock Japan out of the war. At the summit in Potsdam, Germany, on July 17, following Stalin’s assurance that the Soviets were coming in on schedule, Truman wrote in his diary, “He’ll be in the Jap War on August 15. Fini Japs when that comes about.” The next day, he assured his wife, “We’ll end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who won’t be killed!”

The Soviets invaded Japanese-held Manchuria at midnight on Aug. 8 and quickly destroyed the vaunted Kwantung Army. As predicted, the attack traumatized Japan’s leaders. They could not fight a two-front war, and the threat of a communist takeover of Japanese territory was their worst nightmare.

Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki explained on Aug. 13 that Japan had to surrender quickly because “the Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, Karafuto, but also Hokkaido. This would destroy the foundation of Japan. We must end the war when we can deal with the United States.”

While a majority of Americans may not be familiar with this history, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., states unambiguously on a plaque with its atomic bomb exhibit: “The vast destruction wreaked by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the loss of 135,000 people made little impact on the Japanese military. However, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria … changed their minds.” But online the wording has been modified to put the atomic bombings in a more positive light — once again showing how myths can overwhelm historical evidence.

Seven of the United States’ eight five-star Army and Navy officers in 1945 agreed with the Navy’s vitriolic assessment. Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and Henry “Hap” Arnold and Admirals William Leahy, Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, and William Halsey are on record stating that the atomic bombs were either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both.

No one was more impassioned in his condemnation than Leahy, Truman’s chief of staff. He wrote in his memoir “that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender …. In being the first to use it we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

MacArthur thought the use of atomic bombs was inexcusable. He later wrote to former President Hoover that if Truman had followed Hoover’s “wise and statesmanlike” advice to modify its surrender terms and tell the Japanese they could keep their emperor, “the Japanese would have accepted it and gladly I have no doubt.”

Before the bombings, Eisenhower had urged at Potsdam, “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

The evidence shows he was right, and the advancing Doomsday Clock is a reminder that the violent inauguration of the nuclear age has yet to be confined to the past.

Gar Alperovitz, author of “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb,” is a principal of the Democracy Collaborative and a former fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Martin J. Sherwin is a professor of history at George Mason University and author of the forthcoming “Gambling With Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette From Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Historians Kai Bird and Peter Kuznick contributed to this article.

General discussion / Beirut explosion
« on: August 05, 2020, 12:38:59 AM »
Dear god I hope this was an accident. So far the death toll is at least 78 but I'll be surprised if it's not in the hundreds. They say it was a couple of hundred tonnes of ammonium nitrate going up. I remember the damage that a 1.5 tonne fertilizer bomb would do during the Troubles and thinking that was big.

General discussion / John Hume
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:50:26 PM »
We'll probably never see his like again. A towering figure in Irish politics who left a better legacy for all of us.

(I think it's noteworthy enough for a thread of its own, but feel free to lock up if you think the Death Notices thread is fine.)

General discussion / American uses of English that get on my nerves
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:47:33 PM »
"Normalcy" instead of normality.

General discussion / Iconic sporting photos - non-GAA
« on: June 01, 2020, 06:53:11 PM »
Andy Hampsten on the Gavia, Giro d'Italia 1988.

Good article about that episode here:

GAA Discussion / GAA presidential election 2020
« on: February 26, 2020, 02:12:45 AM »
Jarlath Burns and Larry McCarthy the frontrunners, I hear. McCarthy would be a strong candidate. Hugely qualified, and would have a global perspective.

General discussion / 3 children found dead in a house in Dublin
« on: January 24, 2020, 11:38:47 PM »
Distressing news this evening:

It doesn't get much more awful than this. God help them.

General discussion / Scammers
« on: November 20, 2019, 07:55:21 PM »
Anyone getting phone calls from tech support scammers lately? I got one yesterday. I usually don't answer to obvious fake numbers, but it was a slow day at work so I thought I'd play along. He was an Indian lad working from a busy office by the sounds of it. Claimed to be working for AT&T. Talked me through some PC stuff (I have a Mac, so I had to do some googling as he talked to see what I was supposed to be seeing on my screen). After we got as far as the event viewer I couldn't think of a way of stringing him along any longer, so I just asked "Look, do you just want to skip to the part where I give you my social security number and credit card information?"
Him: "Did I ask you to do that?"
Me: "No, but you're going to eventually, aren't you?"
Him: "I'm calling from AT&T, not some random XYZ company..."
Me: "Yeah, right."
Him: "Look, motherf***er, if you don't want to take part in this call, you're free to hang up any time."
Me: "Why are you doing this? Can you not get a real job? There are plenty of honest jobs out there, you don't have to earn a living by robbing people."
Him: "... and don't you dare waste my time. I don't need advice from you, so stick your advice up your a$$hole..."
Me: "I think you need to calm down, go home and re-think your life." - click -

Funny how quickly they become abusive once they realise you're on to them. I got one a few days ago from an Indian lady.
Her: "Hi, I'm calling about your vehicle's warranty which is expiring soon and would like to offer you a chance to renew it."
Me: "Which vehicle?"
Her "Uhhh, your Ford."
Me: "Which Ford?"
Her: "uuuuuh, Escape."
Me: "Oh, okay." (We have a VW Jetta, but she doesn't need to know that.)
Her: "So would you like to renew your warranty?"
Me: "What about the warranty on our other cars?"
Her: "Uh ... uh ... uh ..."
Me: "Are they expiring soon too?"
Her: "Uh ..."
Me: "Come on, tell me about my other cars, since you seem to know so much about them"
Her: "Uh ..."
Me: "What other cars have I got? You must have all that information in front of you"
Her (screaming): "You keep repeating yourself as if I can't hear you!" - click -

General discussion / Point of order
« on: November 13, 2019, 03:39:45 AM »
Can we please try to be civil?

I’ve been scrolling back through some older threads that I missed the first time around and I can’t believe how quick lads are to get into a ding-dong. Someone posts a comment that’s either missing a bit of detail or someone misunderstands or disagrees with, and before you know it you’re wading through three pages of back-and-forth abuse. Knock it off! Learn how to disagree like adults.

If someone says something you know to be incorrect, all you have to do is post the relevant article that refutes it. Instead of saying “you’re talking shite,” try “I’m not sure if that’s true” or “are you sure?” Leave the man a bit of wiggle room to change his mind without losing face.

And if someone does contradict you and you know they’re right, there’s no need to dig in and defend the fort. This isn’t the Oxford Union or the Dail. It’s okay to change your mind and say “point taken” or just “oh, I didn’t know that.”

General discussion / Help with college / university projects
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:36:08 AM »
Would any of you mind helping me out by completing a survey for a bit of research I'm doing for a college project? It takes a minute or two and it's to do with electric cars.

Many thanks!

General discussion / The Troubles - A Secret History
« on: October 03, 2019, 05:07:06 PM »
New thread for fans of the excellent BBC Spotlight documentary.

General discussion / Climate change
« on: September 20, 2019, 08:18:05 PM »
Kudos to all the people protesting today. Governments need to get off their holes and do something.

GAA Discussion / GAA pitches in Craigavon - a gale in a pail?
« on: June 12, 2019, 06:28:03 PM »
What's all the hullabaloo about the ABC council not providing municipal pitches for Gaelic games? According to the shinners the SDLP are being west Brits by going along with the decision to provide facilities for Rugby and Soccer but no GAA, and claiming that the GAA was not consulted.

According to the SDLP this has been a 3-year process in which all councilors, including SF, were involved. The GAA was consulted, the Armagh county board is fine with the plan, the GAA Ulster council is fine with the plan, the North Armagh clubs are fine with the plan, St Ronan's College is fine with the plan, and SF was fine with the plan all along. Only now are SF raising objections.

Is this a bit of a cheap shot by SF or what?

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