Black Lives Matter


Honestly my heart hurts. Although I’d normally try and keep a balanced approach to political and social issues. This is not possible in light of recent (and not so recent) events. George Floyd is dead. Ahmaud Arbery is dead. Breonna Taylor is dead.

There are thousands upon thousands of others dead in from similar events. These are not separate events characterised by accidents, but a genocide of systemic portions. I am more concerned by the murdered man George Floyd than a burned down Target.

I am a white European, and I am extremely privileged. I have security, education, and a skin colour that doesn’t endanger me. Although I could never possibly understand what it is like to suffer as people of colour do, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a responsibility to try.

What I have found has helped me understand throughout my life, is to read books written by people of colour. I have listed some of the ones which have made the most impact on me.

Always Reading, Always Learning.

I remember a conversation I had with a dear friend, who said he didn’t bother reading fiction because it didn’t teach him anything. However I convinced him why he couldn’t be more wrong. (Don’t worry he’s also convinced me of new things too).

Reading fiction allows me to spent some time in the shoes of the protagonists. I am always surprised. This surprise is consistently distressing. I learn more about black history by reading these fiction books (and some autobiographies of course) then I learned in school.

I would like to point out that I studied history for my leaving certificate (final school exams), and I did not learn anything about these issues. I learned them while reading books during my undergraduate English course in Maynooth University.

I was terribly sad at times, extremely uncomfortable constantly, and inspired by the resilience displayed in these narratives. I won’t go into too much detail, just a line or two on each. They are worth the time.

Toni Morrison – Beloved

Black Lives Matter

Just read any of Morrison’s books. I’ve read all of them. She is one of my favourite authors. I read this particular book in college though back in 2008, and it was a painful experience. It awakens you to your privilege, and that’s so important.

Set in post-civil war America, it follows the story of former slaves Sethe, and her daughter Denver. This book is distressing, but I’ve always been of the opinion that sometimes you need to feel this way. So you can understand.

Zadie Smith – White Teeth

Black Lives Matter

Another book assigned to me in college and I read it all in one day. I was astounded by the writing, and I really enjoy novels with interlocking stories. These happen to be from the perspective of British families of African, Asian and Caribbean decent.

Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye

Black Lives Matter

Yes I told you that she was my favourite and this was another book assigned to me in college. According to Wikipedia there has been multiple attempts to ban this book from schools due to the content related to racism, incest and child molestation.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah

Black Lives Matter

This book is Poetry. It’s even better served as an audiobook. I listened to Adjoa Andoh’s narration and it was fantastic. Read this book, but if you can listen to it as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I looked forward to my morning and evening commutes so I could hear more about the lives of Ifemelu and Obinze.

It’s written from the perspective of a Nigerian women who immigrates to America to attend university, leaving her family and friends behind.

Zadie Smith – Swing Time

Black Lives Matter

Yes I know, but if I like an author, shock horror, I’ll read more than one of their books! Again, Smith’s protagonists are always intricate, flawed and interesting. She lives in a poorer neighborhood, and she wants to be a dancer. She wants a better life. Yet throughout the novel we grapple with the idea of what a ‘better life’ is. By whose standards?

Oprah Winfrey – The Path Made Clear

Black Lives Matter

I recommend listening to this on audiobook if you can. It has audio from many well known figures, who speak about their experiences finding their way in life. Including Oprah herself.

Barack Obama – Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Black Lives Matter

This candid account of Barack before he became Mr President gives you the parts of his story the media left out. The accusations of his citizenship were addressed eloquently well before his presidential campaign. You see the formation of a man who is forced onto the high road due to the colour of his skin.

Olaudah Equiano – The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano

Black Lives Matter

Not for the faint of heart both this and the following book (Mary Prince) was assigned to me in college. It was published in 1789 and focuses on the Atlantic Slave trade. It is considered to be the first narrative from the perspective of a slave.

Mary Prince – The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative

Black Lives Matter

As with the above book, this is written from the perspective of Mary Prince. Born into enslavement in the West Indies, she escaped to London where she wrote her story.

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Black Lives Matter

I cried. My heart hurt for days. Often I remember this book and the impact it had on me. My fragile bubble burst in those days. Although I understood what colonialism meant, I never understood how it felt.

I also recommend Achebe’s “The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays.”

Maya Angelou – I know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Black Lives Matter

If you have never read any Maya Angelou then I am genuinely shocked. Her semi-autobiographical approach to narratives give the stories a dimension other authors can only dream of. Read this book, if none of the others.

Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

Black Lives Matter

So finally this is my current read. Although I’m only a few pages in I’m already hooked. It has excellent reviews for a reason.

Other Actions You Can Take

  1. Donate to the following charities or find ones that you are comfortable with.

2. Follow black authors, creators, artists, YouTubers etc… on social media to get a new perspective.

3. Share your support if you have a platform.

4. Sign any of the following petitions or find others.


Copyright © 2020 – All rights reserved


Screaming child, clad in dust,

Expenditure on our makeup.

Shockwaves are bigger in person.

Evangelise, in God we trust.

Tough Mondays, are a conjecture,

Convention chic is a fallacy,

While new sneakers squeak,

To notes of fractious conduct.

Billions spent in bloodshed,

The 5th floor for the adults,

Partitioned for your safety,

Plights are triaged for design.

Humanity’s paradoxical helplessness,

Forged in the fire of suffering,

Reminds Death he’s employed.

Hell is another’s misery.


Copyright © 2018 – All rights reserved

Traffic-induced Anxiety – Part III


We are being herded like cattle.

When I began commuting to Dublin in 2012 it was busy but bearable. Now it’s torturous. The transport infrastructure has not kept up with demand, as current traffic levels were not expected until 2020.[i] Some TDs are even calling for a second ring road to be built.[ii]

I’ve spoken about my anxiety here before, and nothing exacerbates my anxiety quite like traffic. When I’m in a room, or shop that’s too crowded, 9 times out of 10 I can leave. When I’m in Dublin traffic, there is nowhere to go, and I’m trapped. Not a good feeling when you have anxiety (or just when you are a human being in general).

I’ve tried many solutions. Trains and buses were out of the questions because they were far more expensive than my own car. (I am on a student stipend). Leaving earlier in the morning, leaving later in the evening was also doomed to fail, as the volume of traffic prevents this from being a viable solution. I’ve listened to audiobooks in an attempt to distract me from the stress and not waste those hours. I’ve even tried breathing meditations. Which work for about 5 minutes until a fellow road user does something completely inconsiderate and I’m back to square one. My only option was to work from home.

Yet I am one of the lucky few. Being able to work from home for most of the last 2 years comes from the flexibility in my career. There is only a need to venture into the city when I have a meeting or some other unavoidable human interaction. This has made my life infinitely better and I am more grateful than ever for my job.

Millions are not so lucky.

Humans continue to behave in ways our bodies were not built for because it is ‘expected’ of us. It is unhealthy for us to sit for 1 – 2 hours plus every day in traffic, with our blood pressure rising, and our mental health deteriorating.

No wonder there is an increase of road rage.[iii]

It’s not healthy for us to spend our days in pursuits that literally makes us depressed. Draining our vital mental energy, so when we finally arrive home, even cooking a healthy meal for ourselves seems like a cruel joke.

Remember, if your brain is sad, this will transfer to your body. That’s because, spoiler alert, your brain is part of your body!

People are out for themselves when they are driving in traffic. I’ve stopped a few feet extra from a red light, to let a car out of a perpendicular road, and I’ve actually been beeped, by the car behind me. More than once. Where is common decency when traffic is involved? People are so amped up and unequipped to deal with the misplaced rage. All we can do as an individual driver is to be the sensible one. Be the one who’s kind and let’s other drivers out. If someone is driving dangerously, get out of their way, because you could end up getting hurt because of their lack of human decency and consideration.[iv]

Working from home is not for everybody!” I hear this on a daily basis, people argue that you’re isolating yourself, or you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. That you need to work harder to prove your worth. As always I say there are positives and negatives to both kinds of jobs:

“There’s also evidence that some freelancers “overcommit” to work and find it difficult to disconnect or relax, which they say negatively affects their mental health. But overall, the health effects of self-employment seem to vary from person to person and—like office jobs—can be either positive or negative.”[v] 

For me especially the good outweighs the bad, because let me tell you something, it would appear that a large majority of workers who have to commute to work aren’t flourishing in that environment either.

Stress is horrible, stress kills, and although we all know this, for some reason we continue to run like hamsters on a wheel. Just because it appears to be the norm, doesn’t mean it’s normal. All of your friends and family are stressed out, so I should just get on with it, right? Wrong. Just google stress-related illnesses. It basically causes a huge amount and apparently autoimmune diseases too.[vi] If that doesn’t scare you it should.

Also, what about the massive amounts of people who die or are crippled on our roads each year? 78 people have died on Irish roads already in the first six months of this year.[vii]

The answer to all of this? Mindfulness. Be aware of who you are as an individual and a human being. Figure out what works for you. If a job is causing an illness and it’s not satisfying, find a way out. Trust me, working for less money, in a more fulfilling career is worth it. I know because I did it, and gave up a lot of luxuries most people think they cannot live without.

Traffic is one of the worst side effects of humanity’s rapid urbanisation. I literally dream of a house in the country. Not because I don’t want people in my life, but because it seems that as soon as someone gets behind the wheel of a car, a rational part of their humanity switches off and they forget common courtesy. We need to reduce traffic anyway for the environment, why not be one of the innovative individuals that changes their own lives for the better.

Copyright © 2018 – All rights reserved









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Today, education is withheld from millions of children. Today, millions flee from their homeland, labelled refugees, making them seem less than human. Today, those who are divergent face oppression, rejection, and suffering.


Today, parents mourn their dead children, killed by tyrannical systems. Today, people get news that change their lives irrecoverably for the worst. Today, women struggle for rights we take for granted on a daily basis.


Today, our fellow human beings are forced from their homes as a result of natural disasters and war. Today, people never make it back to their families, never heard from again. Today, corrupt regimes prevent their citizens from accessing basic democratic rights, such as voting.


Today, I am grateful, regardless of the outcome of this referendum. Today, I vote and my vote is counted. A gift millions of humans worldwide still fight for. Today, I am filled with joy and humility, as I am part of history.

Copyright © 2018 – All rights reserved


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Why I’m voting YES on May 25th

When I was 15 I was forced to watch a video of childbirth in science class. I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and I assume this was done to try to prevent teenage pregnancy. To this day, at 28 years of age, I’m terrified of becoming pregnant. I do not want children. I’m not a monster, but I’m not going to change my mind. Having children was never in the cards for me, I knew I couldn’t marry my first love because he wanted children, and I didn’t. You can’t compromise on a child.

The day I was born I nearly killed my mother. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I did damage to her body. To this day she still suffers the consequences. Now I was desperately wanted, loved unconditionally and so was my younger brother. However, my parents had to discuss if it was safe for my mother to have another child before she became pregnant with him. Woman have to give some of their body and soul to have children. Of course, when a child is wanted, this is a small price to pay for the mother-to-be.

It’s a huge price to pay though, for the woman whose liberty has been taken away. Childbirth is traumatic. So when you say ‘love both’, you are telling the frightened teenager, who got pregnant by accident, that she will have to go through this trauma. That she will have to give birth, and then ‘give up the child’ as you so easily put it.

Even if you thought you were ready to hand over the child, when you’re suddenly faced with the reality of giving the baby away, it’s harrowing. Woman are not monsters and when we hold a baby in our arms, we want to love it. This isn’t always possible. When you say love both, you’re saying to a woman, you must carry this child to term, give birth, and then decide can I, A) give up some of my life force to raise this child or, B) give the child away. All the while knowing that when the child grows up, they will feel rejected because you couldn’t keep them.

That’s what your love both is saying.


Here are some tweets by the Vote No side, which have validated my feelings on repealing the 8th:


Trust me, if a woman is considering having an abortion, she is way ahead of you. Abortions are not just physically painful. Women do not have abortions as a form of birth control, and the decision is never taken lightly. Can you imagine if you’re trying to make this awful decision, and you read something like this?


This person is particularly callous. Note how they say, “Abortion to treat a “mentally unwell” mother is much like treating anorexia with liposuction.” Aside from that horrific statement, lets read what they’re referencing. Yes, in cases abortions may take place after the limit of 12 weeks. Why? Because continuing with the pregnancy will not only result in the death of the child, but the death of the mother. How can you love both if they are both dead? Savita Halappanavar would be alive today if it wasn’t for the 8th amendment. Please get your facts straight, and try to be kinder to those who are already suffering.


While I agree that maternal mental health care, childcare, flexible work hours, housing, financial aid, and emotional support are valid issues in themselves, they are not the issue we are voting for on May 25th. The vote will repeal the 8th amendment, which will stop women from being criminalised in their own country. They will be able to access safe abortion care, rather than travelling or ordering abortion pills.


This could be true, constitutional issues surrounding abortions are exceptionally complex. However, I would like to point out, that it will not remove all rights for the unborn baby. This is very important, and I will continue to state it. A women who is 5 months pregnant will not be able to walk in and get an abortion without a valid, medical reason. When it is repealed it will take 2 years for laws to be constructed and passed to for the female citizens of Ireland.


These numbers are a reflection of the abortions being recorded. They were not recorded as well before 1968 as they were illegal or abroad. Also they are not taking population growth into account. It’s very easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want.


This was tweeted by a male. He thinks, “killing a child in the womb because they are ill or terminally ill is barbaric.” Well I think that making the mother carry a dying or dead child to term is barbaric. I think allowing a sick child to be born, who will only suffer and die, is barbaric.* I think that compassion is right answer here. Compassion for the mother, (who may have children at home already), and compassion to the unborn child, who will be lost.

*Update: An old friend contacted me regarding the language I used here. It really affected them in a negative way, and reading it back I understand completely why. I want everyone to know, that mothers who carry their sick babies to term are absolute heroes. I don’t think that it’s the wrong choice (although it sounded like I did), I think the situation is unique to each and every person. I am absolutely appalled at the idea that I hurt anyone’s feelings on this matter. I have no idea what it feels like to be in this situation. I want to thank my friend for calling attention to it. If anyone felt personally affected by anything I wrote please know, I’m truly sorry, and you are welcome to message me anytime so I can be held accountable for it. 



When a child who has been neglected all their lives, turns to drugs and overdoses, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a father is murdered on his way home from work at 3am, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a girl is raped and forced to give birth to a child, this is a unique life being destroyed. Why is the life of the unborn, of a foetus more important than the already living, breathing, unique life? This is a non-argument. Once the child is born, if it lives in poverty, people couldn’t care less. Also it’s ‘foetus,’ not ‘fetus.’


This is not being supressed, this kind of information is readily available on any legitimate governmental medical site. This is a insensitive description of some hard cases, and is not the norm. What is not being said here, is that these unborn children, are probably already dying. They will not survive in the world without their mother, and will soon perish. This is a terrible tragedy, and no one should have to go through it. Yet when at all possible, shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve the life of the mother? Of the human beings suffering from the death of their child?


Of course she was distressed at having to travel. Her own government made her a criminal in her own country. I have said this, and I will say it again. No one has an abortion on a whim, or as birth control. The entire experience is traumatic, and we are compounding the issue for the women who have to leave their country to do it.


No side debunked:


  1. Yes it will, but there will be laws created in place of it. At the moment, women are criminals in their own country because of this constitutional amendment. If the amendment is repealed, it will make updating the law much easier. As a ‘yes’ voter I want the children protected as much as the ‘no’ side. Unborn babies will have rights. It’s important to state this.
  2. Yes it will legalise abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks / 3 months. A women who presents herself to a doctor, looking for an abortion will undergo a 3 day period in which she will be counselled and presented with each option. These women are being painted as evil, and that needs to stop. Life is not perfect, and sometimes a woman will need to avail of this service so her own life can continue. Don’t make an already difficult decision, more difficult by sending them abroad.
  3. When I see something like ‘Mental Health,’ on a political poster, I wince inside. As someone who has mental health problems, it only exacerbates how we are viewed. As if it’s not a real health issue. The cases they are talking about here are exceptional hard cases. You must remember repealing the 8th will save women like Savita Halappanavar. She was diagnosed, and she needed an abortion. She died because of our restrictive laws. This cannot be allowed to happen again, regardless on your views of what constitutes an illness.
  4. Finally I agree hard cases are the exception to the rule. However the argument is once again, when does life begin? A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. We must be compassionate to the living, breathing woman with a harrowing decision to make.


To end this post, I would like to post some information for the Yes side of the campaign. If you are in doubt, if you are undecided, please read these.


Abortion will continue regardless of the 8th being replealed. Women have a basic medical need withheld for them in their own country. If they need to avail of medical attention, they will travel so they can fulfil that need.


We can save lives. Read this as many times as you want. Savita Halappanavar would be alive today, if it were not for the 8th amendment. We cannot let women die, because the law is criminalising them. We need to stand up for ourselves and vote Yes on May 25th.


There is a reason, human rights advocate Colm O’Gorman and others like him are voting yes on May 25th.


When a women, whose just been told that her baby is dying, and killing her along with it, has to go abroad to seek the appropriate medical attention, a hard case is created. Woman have had to leave their baby in another country, when they died from a fatal foetal abnormality. How cruel is this? We cannot allow this inhumanity to continue. Vote Yes.


Make them keep the baby. Force these woman who have already been violated in the worse way imaginable, to carry their rapists child. To go through the trauma of child birth, and then give up the child. A child who will either, A) find out they are a product of rape, and how is that going to impact them? Or B) will never find out why their birth mother rejected them, and have to live with the consequences of that.


Our Taoiseach is a conservative. Yet he is voting yes.


If this was the other way around there would be all out war. The ‘No’ side’s vitriol, spawned from a generation said and lead by the Catholic Church has providing proof of their awful natures. I can’t help but notice there are 3 men in this photo, taking down a poster which says ‘Stop Policing My Body.’ Horrific.


Why Vote Yes?
  1. Woman should have the right to bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to create a compassionate country for woman in crisis.
  2. Abortions will happen anyway. Vote Yes so they can access abortion care at home. In Ireland,
  3. Babies that are already alive will be loved, woman that are already alive will be loved. Vote Yes so women making a difficult decision, will not have to do it alone in a foregin country.
  4. Woman will not die because of something that never should have been in the constitution in the first place. Vote Yes to allow doctors to treat women without fear of breaking the law.
  5. The UN and the EU are I agreement, Ireland is violating some of it’s citizens basic human rights to safety and bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to regulate and restrict abortion care according to Irish law.



Copyright © 2018 – All rights reserved

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In Defense of Pewdiepie

This week I had a blog post all planned. It was written just waiting in its folder to be edited for upload. All was well until yesterday evening, when I got offended by something. Now let me tell you, I’m a white girl and according to the internet, we have a propensity to get offended by things. So I’m about to launch into a rant because I was offended so it will be a tall order to get people to listen.

What has thus offended me so? Yesterday I came across an article written by a news source I had previously considered to be a relatively reputable, The Guardian. Their offering discussed YouTuber ‘Pewdiepie’ (whose real name is Felix Kjellberg). It was, in my opinion, a pathetic, click-bait-esque, joke. It disgusted me.

Thankfully I was not alone, and Philip DeFranco (also of YouTube) discussed it in his latest video.[i] I won’t link the article, I won’t give them the satisfaction, but the tagline they went with was, “ To call him an alt-right agitator would perhaps be unfair as he has never publicly identified with the proto-fascist movement. But he shares much of their culture and amplifies it across the world. People should pay Pewdiepie more attention.”

In other words, here is a trained journalist writing about a world they don’t understand. They are seemingly praising Kjellberg in a backhanded, superiorly arrogant way. The article is a mess, as the Journalist themselves doesn’t seem sure whether or not they should be chastising him or in awe of him. Let me answer that puzzle for you, it’s simple, be in awe. This one guy has 61,944,085 subscribers and an average of 3 million views on each video.

You are using his name so people will click on your pathetic media source. YouTube has allowed the rise of entertainers such as Kjellberg because people can choose who to watch. Views are the votes, and Kjellberg’s views speak for themselves.

We know the big media corporations fear people like Kjellberg because they represent the shifting tide. People want to watch entertainers who not only understand them and their dank meme posting, game streaming, internet humour lives, but they want them to be just like them. Kjellberg is not a trained actor, reading lines someone else wrote. Or a news anchor who is forced to read the same disclaimer about fake news. People watch him because he is a real person.

This is not a new phenomenon, but it stands that if you are going to report on something nascent like YouTube (10 years old) from a form of media like newspapers (100s of years old) then do some actual investigative reporting and understand why it’s popular.

By the way, Pewdiepie is not anti-semantic, and neither is Mark Meechan of Scotland. Who will now serve jail time, for a humorous video that the stuffy generation (not by age but by choice) didn’t understand.[ii] It wasn’t a joke that didn’t land well, it was a joke that conservative assholes failed to realise was a new type of satire.

Fuck mass media. Learn how the internet works before you make an ass out of yourself commentating on a YouTuber who is loved by millions of people. Do not call him a proto-fascist because you are afraid of him, that’s how people in America were killed during the cold war. They were simply called a communist and then they were ‘disappeared’.

Go watch 50 hours of Pewdiepie videos and you might have a clue what he’s about. Or, go back to writing about truly troubling public figures and stop wasting your time on things you don’t seem to understand.

I will probably write more about this, I image Felix will respond to the article. Until then you can see Philip Defranco’s views on the situation, and subscribe to him and Felix. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.

Copyright © 2018 – All rights reserved



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Torture is haunting humanity like a persistent spectre

Torture is Haunting Humanity.

Suspects are being tortured in Turkey as you read this. Torture merely haunts us here in the safety of the Irish state, but it’s a grim reality for our fellow humans in Turkey. Amnesty International claims that detainees from the attempted coup in Turkey are being held against their will and tortured.[i] The rest of the world watched with bated breath as members of the military attempted a coup on the Turkish government not even a fortnight ago. Yet now I look on in horror as those same people, and possibly even ones that had no hand in the coup, are falsely imprisoned and tortured.

While I understand that the Turkish government must show strength to prevent any further coup attempts, I cannot condone torture. It has existed since the dawn of what we call ‘civilisation’ and while it’s widely known to be barbaric, it’s still being enacted by governments on a global scale each year. This is regardless of the United Nations considerations on the matter:

“Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,”[ii]

Torture is considered inhumane by the United Nations, yet it continues to happen. Hundreds, possibly thousands of Turkish citizens, imprisoned for the right reasons or not, are being tortured. Some for information, some for punishment, some without the courtesy of knowing what they have been accused of. According to Amnesty’s report, the torture doesn’t stop at beatings, it also includes rape.[iii]

I’m saddened by the fact that we live in a time where these horrific acts still occur, and knowing that we are fundamentally capable of these acts weights heavy on my heart. We should not subject another human being to torture regardless of the wrong they are accused of. Especially when there is cross contamination of innocent people and those who could use their positions of authority to commit these disgusting acts. Torture has been found by scholars as ineffective as it often produces either false information or confessions because those being tortured just want the pain to stop.[iv] There is no reason for torture to be used by any governing body and it should not continue.

Humans experience time in a linear sequence, and clearly, we are still in a cruel stage of our civilisation, regardless of how advanced many of us claim to be. Although some believe we may reach a point in humanity in which horrible acts like this will no longer occur, my hope is wearing thin. Cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker believes that human history is becoming less violent and violent acts themselves are in decline.[v] Perhaps this true, and this idea was introduced to me during my undergraduate anthropology course. While this may be enough to feed our hope that those of us who consider these violent acts abhorrent may now outnumber those that are still capable of committing these atrocities, does it still justify those that have died by violence at the hand of another human?

I’ve used the word torture numerous times to allow the repugnance of this reality to sink in. Why we still tolerate it confounds my waking moments. I believe that it’s time we put this specter to rest for good, so we may only be haunted by the horrors of the past, rather than allow our fellow humans to suffer in the present.

Copyright © 2016 – All rights reserved

Did you like this post? Why not check out my last one?

One of the articles I have cited is Contanzo and Gerrity’s 2009 work entitled “The Effects and Effectiveness of Using Torture as an Interrogation Device: Using Research
 to Inform the Policy Debate.” It is worth your time reading it if you are as horrified as I am. Here is a link:








[iv] PDF Page 4.




We should keep talking

When I picture the Earth in my mind’s eye, I often get the geographical locations of countries muddled. Whereas I have other talents, remembering bordering countries has always eluded me. So I often go to Google Maps to remind myself. When I do that, I’m reminded how close Europe is to countries whose daily existences are torn apart by war and dissidence. This saddens me.

People are highlighting the lack of media coverage for the bombings in Bagdad and Istanbul and the fact that Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in over 60 years.[i]  While it’s on people’s social media and we’re having conversations about it, deep down we know it’s not enough. It’s how we categorise our fellow human beings. We call them something else to distance ourselves. Like the word ‘refugee’ for example. When we read stories about the ‘refugee’ child that was found on a beach, it classifies that child differently in our brains. What we really should be saying is “a child was found dead on a beach,’ because that boy is so much more than a refugee. He didn’t apply that classification to himself, and if we could ask him, surely that wouldn’t be the word he would use to describe himself.

Certainly, I’m not the first person to say this and I won’t be the last, but it’s important for me to state my position. That ‘refugee’ was a human. A citizen of Earth, whose fellow citizens failed them, and we are still failing them. What are we doing? Why are we so quick to separate Europe from the Middle East or African nations?

If you’ve never done this. Go to Google Maps, and just see how close Iraq is to Europe. In an age where 1 in 4 Irish shoppers buy from China,[ii] which is a distance of about 8150 kilometers from Ireland, Iraq is closer at around 6010 kilometers. We’ve watched so much media filtered from the U.S.A that Iraq feels much further away. (Bearing in mind that New York is about 4900 kilometers away from us here in Ireland and Los Angeles is 8190 kilometers.

So the only way for me to understand is to read as much of the media coverage from Bagdad, Istanbul, and Ethiopia as possible, in order to picture myself there, and honestly, it’s terrifying. People in Bagdad are struggling to find their loved ones, and some will have to wait for the confirmation from DNA for conclusive identification. An article from CNN highlighted an important point[iii], death is death. The sadness and pain is felt the same way, and just as powerfully each time it happens. We cannot say death is less painful, or passively cross it off as business as usual because of where it has happened. People are losing their loved ones.

There’s a growing ISIS presence in Turkey and the Ataturk airport bombings are just one example of how scared people must feel living their daily lives. There are pictures and flowers in the airport remembering those who died in the attack, yet business resumes.

I wish I could help, comfort those who are in dire need right now, and I know that isn’t possible. All I can hope to accomplish is continuing to spread the already important message: all lives matter. The more we distance ourselves and protect our feelings, the more we perform a terrible disservice to our fellow human beings. People’s lives are being forcefully ended, we should keep talking.

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[i] International Medical Corps:

[ii] The Irish Times:

[iii] CNN :


Borders & Walls

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Robert Frost – Mending Wall

Borders & Walls

Our borders are slowly closing. Fear is taking over nations. As the final day of campaigning takes place for Britain regarding their European Union membership, those of us in Ireland watch, hoping for a remain majority.

Although economically we need Britain, something that grids are the possibility of a renewed boarded with Northern Ireland. With a British exit, this probable border would become inevitable. Yet this is also happening on a global scale, borders are becoming tighter and more complex.

We are letting those who terrorize us control us. Britain leaving the EU would be a backward step for the world, not only economically but socially, and with the advent of a possible president in Donald Trump for the United States, our resolve is waning.

This is what they want. They want to create fear, they want us to be divided.  We are allowing fear to rule our lives and this cannot happen. There is much to fear about the world, sometimes so much so that my heart can hardly bear the burden. Yes, we need to be more secure, yes we need to be creative about how we keep our loved ones safe, but not at the expense of shutting the rest of the world out.

Today would have been MP Jo Cox 42nd birthday. Her death is indicative of a fear of progress, a fear of those different to us, and a fear of letting love in. Advancements cannot be made if countries such as Britain close their borders to those of us who believe that the world should be getting smaller, not bigger. MP Jo Cox was murdered brutally, it close and personal, not by a bomb, but by a knife and gun.

I don’t wish to make it appear as if this tragedy should be used to campaign for the remainder, I’m simply explaining that the world is full of terror that often comes from our own neighborhoods, but this doesn’t stop us from leaving our houses in the morning.

If we keep building borders, then peace will never flourish. Those that are now in their millions displaced will continue to perish, without the hope of welcoming arms. Once again I turn to Frost:

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,”

I plead to Great Britain, please vote to remain, and I plead to the United States of America, please vote for a president that will not build more walls, either literally or metaphorically.

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If you haven’t already, read Robert Frost’s full poem Mending Wall here:

Dear Orlando…

Dear Orlando…

I promised myself I wouldn’t hate. Everything I read about the Orlando shootings stirs powerful feelings within me. I’m very emotional, and in the midst of those emotions, I would not let hatred or wrath rule. There is no room for it, we need to feel the sorrow and realise that we feel it because we love.

We are the ones who love, we are the ones who want freedom for all, we are the ones who are watching these senseless tragedies and asking, “how and why,” because we give love and receive love.

So I promised instead to focus on that love so that I don’t shy away from the world, and while it makes me sorrowful that some people are afraid to simply walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love, I won’t hate the people who oppose them. I will feel sorrow and understand that it reflects my own inner constitution of tolerance, acceptance, and love.

Please, if you do walk down the street holding hands with your loved one, do it with the knowledge that I and countless others will your freedom to do so. Let us be defiant of these acrimonious people together, and instead of hate and fear, let us, love. I’ll say it again, forget hate, forget fear, remember and feel love.

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