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  • Government | Writing, life and other animals
    of those we choose to lead us When the going got tough they chose to target the most vulnerable in society the very old and the very young or to put it another way those least likely to fight back Of course they underestimated the backlash they seem to underestimate most things with the notable exception of their own competence to govern The irony here is that health and education are probably two of the last places a Government should look to reduce funding the first is vital to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce today a workforce that will help our beleaguered economy push through the recession the second is the foundation stone on which all future prosperity will be built Now Mr O Keefe perhaps you can explain to parents teachers and most of all to children how undermining the stability of that foundation could possibly be considered a good idea Posted by Calvin at 4 22 Tagged with Batt O Keeffe Education Politics recession School Change at home is what Ireland really needs Comment Evening Echo Column Government Parenting Politics Rant Writing 1 Response Nov 12 2008 Image by jmtimages via Flickr On the 4th of November 2008 Barack Obama made history when he was elected as the first black president of the United States of America It s an achievement that is remarkable for a lot of reasons and one that has far reaching implications not just for Americans but for people around the globe One of the most striking things for me about Obama s election has nothing to do with race It is the overwhelming impression I get that here finally is a politician who has been elected into office on merit That may not sound like such a revolutionary a concept but here in modern Ireland it s practically unheard of Our incumbent administration endures because a large chunk of the electorate has zero confidence in the competence of the opposition to govern It really is that simple Back across the Atlantic I refuse to call any ocean a pond you could argue that the same thing applied last week The alternative to the Obama Biden ticket was hardly a compelling proposition You d be hard pressed to find anyone who could convincingly dub John McCain a dynamic force for change and as for Sarah Palin well I think enough has already been said on that score But despite the fact that Obama would probably have won the election anyway through lack of viable opposition I m still left with the very strong feeling that he won the votes of the undecided masses largely on the merits of his policies and the overwhelming belief that here was a man who had the best interests of the American people at heart That last point is an important one but one that seems to have been overshadowed by the Obama Mania that s gripped the world over the last week Buoyed on a wave of

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/government/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Batt O’Keeffe | Writing, life and other animals
    school they must go and while spending lots of time with them over the holidays has been wonderful for the most part I ll be happy to reclaim the bulk of my working week as we head into what promises to be a very challenging year Talking of challenging years I guess I should be grateful that the children have a school to go back to in 2009 given the cutbacks our esteemed Government is imposing on our education system Faced with the cost cutting initiatives spearheaded by Cork TD and Minister for Education Batt O Keeffe financially embattled schools across the country are facing a very tough 2009 on the fiscal front and will no doubt be looking to parents for fundraising and direct financial contributions The Government will bail out the banks it seems but bailing out the schools falls to mums and dads I m all for parents getting involved and raising money for schools but for my money if you ll pardon the pun such funds should surely go towards equipment facilities and resources over and above those demanded by the standard national curriculum Schools should be adequately funded by Government to cover all of the basics When parents have to raise money to subsidise things like the school s heating bill there s something seriously wrong with the system Nobody questions the need to cut Government spending in the wake of the economic downturn but the approach the Government has taken speaks volumes about the character of those we choose to lead us When the going got tough they chose to target the most vulnerable in society the very old and the very young or to put it another way those least likely to fight back Of course they underestimated the backlash they seem to

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/batt-okeeffe/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Politics | Writing, life and other animals
    population Stop polluting our countryside with poster politics and start tackling the issues POLITICIANS you re not that pretty Stop trying to win our votes with banal posters and start tackling the issues show us what you believe in what you stand for and what you re going to do for our community if you want our votes All these posters do is sully the view generally annoy the electorate and add to Ireland s growing waste mountain See some sense please Posted by Calvin at 13 03 Tagged with fine gael Ireland Politician Politics posters Classroom cutbacks show Government s true colours Children Comment Economy Education Evening Echo Column Government Parenting Politics Rant School No Responses Jan 10 2009 Image via Wikipedia With the excitement of Christmas and New Year behind us the kids are gearing up to going back to school Their partly looking forward to seeing their friends again and partly mourning the fact that the holidays are coming to a close I can sympathise with them in part because I still recall the conflicting emotions of going back to school after the Christmas break from my own childhood but mainly because of the clash of sentiments it causes for me now as a parent Back to school means back to routine getting up early making school lunches a personal pet peeve of mine organising the kids getting out of the door on time The return to school imposes structure on the fluidity of life and on one level that s a good thing At the same time structure and routine are always going to be more boring and mundane than disorder and spontaneity and part of me riles against the conformity of it all But back to school they must go and while spending lots of time with them over the holidays has been wonderful for the most part I ll be happy to reclaim the bulk of my working week as we head into what promises to be a very challenging year Talking of challenging years I guess I should be grateful that the children have a school to go back to in 2009 given the cutbacks our esteemed Government is imposing on our education system Faced with the cost cutting initiatives spearheaded by Cork TD and Minister for Education Batt O Keeffe financially embattled schools across the country are facing a very tough 2009 on the fiscal front and will no doubt be looking to parents for fundraising and direct financial contributions The Government will bail out the banks it seems but bailing out the schools falls to mums and dads I m all for parents getting involved and raising money for schools but for my money if you ll pardon the pun such funds should surely go towards equipment facilities and resources over and above those demanded by the standard national curriculum Schools should be adequately funded by Government to cover all of the basics When parents have to raise money to subsidise things like the school s heating bill there s something seriously wrong with the system Nobody questions the need to cut Government spending in the wake of the economic downturn but the approach the Government has taken speaks volumes about the character of those we choose to lead us When the going got tough they chose to target the most vulnerable in society the very old and the very young or to put it another way those least likely to fight back Of course they underestimated the backlash they seem to underestimate most things with the notable exception of their own competence to govern The irony here is that health and education are probably two of the last places a Government should look to reduce funding the first is vital to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce today a workforce that will help our beleaguered economy push through the recession the second is the foundation stone on which all future prosperity will be built Now Mr O Keefe perhaps you can explain to parents teachers and most of all to children how undermining the stability of that foundation could possibly be considered a good idea Posted by Calvin at 4 22 Tagged with Batt O Keeffe Education Politics recession School Change at home is what Ireland really needs Comment Evening Echo Column Government Parenting Politics Rant Writing 1 Response Nov 12 2008 Image by jmtimages via Flickr On the 4th of November 2008 Barack Obama made history when he was elected as the first black president of the United States of America It s an achievement that is remarkable for a lot of reasons and one that has far reaching implications not just for Americans but for people around the globe One of the most striking things for me about Obama s election has nothing to do with race It is the overwhelming impression I get that here finally is a politician who has been elected into office on merit That may not sound like such a revolutionary a concept but here in modern Ireland it s practically unheard of Our incumbent administration endures because a large chunk of the electorate has zero confidence in the competence of the opposition to govern It really is that simple Back across the Atlantic I refuse to call any ocean a pond you could argue that the same thing applied last week The alternative to the Obama Biden ticket was hardly a compelling proposition You d be hard pressed to find anyone who could convincingly dub John McCain a dynamic force for change and as for Sarah Palin well I think enough has already been said on that score But despite the fact that Obama would probably have won the election anyway through lack of viable opposition I m still left with the very strong feeling that he won the votes of the undecided masses largely on the merits of his policies and the overwhelming belief that here was a man who had

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/politics/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Recession | Writing, life and other animals
    parents for fundraising and direct financial contributions The Government will bail out the banks it seems but bailing out the schools falls to mums and dads I m all for parents getting involved and raising money for schools but for my money if you ll pardon the pun such funds should surely go towards equipment facilities and resources over and above those demanded by the standard national curriculum Schools should be adequately funded by Government to cover all of the basics When parents have to raise money to subsidise things like the school s heating bill there s something seriously wrong with the system Nobody questions the need to cut Government spending in the wake of the economic downturn but the approach the Government has taken speaks volumes about the character of those we choose to lead us When the going got tough they chose to target the most vulnerable in society the very old and the very young or to put it another way those least likely to fight back Of course they underestimated the backlash they seem to underestimate most things with the notable exception of their own competence to govern The irony here is that health and education are probably two of the last places a Government should look to reduce funding the first is vital to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce today a workforce that will help our beleaguered economy push through the recession the second is the foundation stone on which all future prosperity will be built Now Mr O Keefe perhaps you can explain to parents teachers and most of all to children how undermining the stability of that foundation could possibly be considered a good idea Posted by Calvin at 4 22 Tagged with Batt O Keeffe Education Politics recession School Recession recession recession Economy Evening Echo Column Politics Rant Writing 1 Response Oct 08 2008 Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia I m already sick of hearing about Ireland s headlong nose dive into recession Between that and calamity in the world s financial markets the doom mongers out there are having a field day Life as we know it is about to end apparently Except of course that it probably isn t Nowhere near it in fact I ll stick my neck out here and make a shocking prediction life for the vast majority of people in Ireland will carry on pretty much the same as before through this recession and out the other side Macro economic cycles come and go and on one level yes they can change things pretty dramatically But the fundamentals of life tend to stay pretty constant The challenges we face as a family with young children in Ireland today are strangely enough much the same challenges as we faced when the Celtic Tiger was in full roar Recession or boom families still have to juggle children manage a household cope with demanding jobs make the mortgage payments put three square meals a day on

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/recession/ (2016-02-15)
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  • School | Writing, life and other animals
    push through the recession the second is the foundation stone on which all future prosperity will be built Now Mr O Keefe perhaps you can explain to parents teachers and most of all to children how undermining the stability of that foundation could possibly be considered a good idea Posted by Calvin at 4 22 Tagged with Batt O Keeffe Education Politics recession School Schoolchildren to get fiscal guidance Children Education Evening Echo Column Politics School 4 Responses Oct 01 2008 Image via Wikipedia A new programme aimed at secondary schools is apparently going to teach our children how to budget save and be smart with money The programme dubbed Get Smart with your Money is a joint venture between the Money Advice and Budgeting Service and the Financial Regulator and encourages students to explore their attitudes to money A free pack containing a teachers manual full of activities tips and case studies and individual learner journals for the students is being distributed to secondary schools around the country The programme was officially launched last week by Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin Having a dedicated module on finance which helps young people to understand budgeting planning shopping around and how to manage their resources in order to make the most of their money is very welcome she said at the launch Students will be able to build on their knowledge from other financial areas of the curriculum such as mathematics and business studies she enthused Given the chronic state of underfunding in our schools both primary and secondary and an economy that s nose diving into the depths of recession I can t help but wonder if Ms Hanafin and her cabinet colleagues might benefit from a bit of fiscal training of their own Technorati Tags Education Irish politics Get Smart With Your Money Posted by Calvin at 23 18 Tagged with Children Education evening echo Politics School School it s a wonderful thing Children Evening Echo Column Parenting School Writing No Responses Sep 04 2008 Published on in the WOW supplement of the Evening Echo on 03 September 2008 Yipee School starts on Monday and for the first time ever all three of the girls are going The little one is five and it will be her first day of big school She s all excited about it but truth be told not half as excited as her Mum and Dad There was a time not so long ago when we were sure sending our baby off to school would be a heart wrenching experience if ever there was a time for a tear in the eye and a lump in the throat this would be it But a long dreary summer with three kids on top of each other in the house constant bickering and all out sibling warfare to be brutally honest we ll be glad to see the school term start Once upon a time the first day of school used to evoke

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/school/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Louder Voice: Tuesday push, 7 October 2008 | Writing, life and other animals
    reviews to your own blog and LV will pick them up from your RSS feed Cross posting of reviews can work the other way around too I think although I haven t done this yet you post to LV via the web SMS Twitter or wherever and LV will publish the review to your blog which is a great way to keep things fresh and varied One of the best things about LV is the vibrant community of reviewers who contribute which means that there s plenty of conversation on everything from the best value wine to the latest tech gadgets to the most popular TV show and everything in between It s a community that s growing all the time as word spreads and LV gains momentum and as a consumer the benefits of exchanging information ideas and opinions is obvious and compelling Reviews and your business But there s another aspect to this conversation and interaction that s often overlooked and the reason I featured LV complete with screenshot as a great example of a review site in the Social Media chapter of Understanding Digital Marketing This is a conversation you can participate in yes but as a business it s also a conversation you can learn from Listen to people find out what they re talking about what they like and don t like Even if they re not talking about your product or services directly there s a wealth of information and intelligence there that can help you to serve your customers better Of course one of the best ways a business can use reviews in order to gauge consumer sentiment is to integrate review functionality into their own website and if you want to explore the possibilities the all new LV for business offers a

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2008/10/07/louder-voice-tuesday-push-7-october-2008/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Tuesday Push | Writing, life and other animals
    application has evolved somewhat since I first looked at it and now lets you selctively delete avatars from the resulting mosaic and even order printed products It also presents you with the HTML code to embed the mosaic on your own website or blog post So if you re on Twitter why not check out your own Twitter Mosaic Great work by Walter and the crew at Sxoop and proof yet again that when it comes to Twitter application ingenuity Ireland in general and perhaps Cork in particular is leading the charge Related articles by Zemanta Sxoop Technologies turn a buck on Twitter patphelan net Tuesday Push Twitter Mosaic from Sxoop Technologies ewritecork com Twitter Mosaic Using the long tail to make money from Twitter antonmannering com Tuesday Push was Sxoop web2ireland org Posted by Calvin at 15 14 Tagged with applications Cork social media Software Twitter Louder Voice Tuesday push 7 October 2008 Business Education Environment Internet Reviews social media Tuesday Push No Responses Oct 07 2008 Louder Voice knocks the socks off other peer review sites in terms of usability design and its community centric features Another example of an Irish tech company delivering a product service that s truly world class And the newly launched Louder Voice for Business offers similar reviews functionality for your business website which is excellent news for businesses who get the shift towards conversational marketing and online consumer engagement What is the Tuesday Push I figured it was finally time for me to engage with this Tuesday Push malarkey I know I know better late than never is probably going to be carved on my tombstone According to Damien Mulley orchestrator of the push T he Tuesday Push is a way for the small but growing tech community in Ireland to make some noise about ourselves by picking a good example of an Irish Tech Company and highlighting their product s every second Tuesday Louder Voice reviews the way they were meant to be The worthy recipient of this week s push is LouderVoice LV a great peer review site that makes reviewing products services and anything else you can think of intuitive easy and convenient You can post reviews via a variety of media directly on the LouderVoice website via SMS so you don t even need an internet connection delighted or otherwise with that restaurant Post a review while it s fresh in your mind through micro blogging services like Twitter you can even post reviews to your own blog and LV will pick them up from your RSS feed Cross posting of reviews can work the other way around too I think although I haven t done this yet you post to LV via the web SMS Twitter or wherever and LV will publish the review to your blog which is a great way to keep things fresh and varied One of the best things about LV is the vibrant community of reviewers who contribute which means that there

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/tuesday-push/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Louder Voice | Writing, life and other animals
    convenient You can post reviews via a variety of media directly on the LouderVoice website via SMS so you don t even need an internet connection delighted or otherwise with that restaurant Post a review while it s fresh in your mind through micro blogging services like Twitter you can even post reviews to your own blog and LV will pick them up from your RSS feed Cross posting of reviews can work the other way around too I think although I haven t done this yet you post to LV via the web SMS Twitter or wherever and LV will publish the review to your blog which is a great way to keep things fresh and varied One of the best things about LV is the vibrant community of reviewers who contribute which means that there s plenty of conversation on everything from the best value wine to the latest tech gadgets to the most popular TV show and everything in between It s a community that s growing all the time as word spreads and LV gains momentum and as a consumer the benefits of exchanging information ideas and opinions is obvious and compelling Reviews and your business But there s another aspect to this conversation and interaction that s often overlooked and the reason I featured LV complete with screenshot as a great example of a review site in the Social Media chapter of Understanding Digital Marketing This is a conversation you can participate in yes but as a business it s also a conversation you can learn from Listen to people find out what they re talking about what they like and don t like Even if they re not talking about your product or services directly there s a wealth of information and intelligence there

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/louder-voice/ (2016-02-15)
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