Atheist? Muslim? Hindu? Buddhist? Christian? My Religion Is Very Simple

My spiritual compass is guided by the clarity of Francesco Forgione (1887 – 1968), John Woolley (1928 – 2008), and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (1935-).

I am a Catholic first and last because I believe the highest moral standard one can have are the teachings of Jesus. In addition, I also have credence in Buddhism’s karma.

That is my faith in a nutshell.

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means”

(George Bernard Shaw)

My Religion Is Very Simple - Padre Pio
Francesco Forgione (1887 – 1968)
My Religion Is Very Simple - Father John Woolley
John Woolley (1928 – 2008)
My Religion Is Very Simple - 14th Dalai Lama
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (1935- ).

China – Under The Hood: On Censorship

Censorship only needs one excuse to act in the interests of the community.

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, but become blind to the arguments against it

(George Bernard Shaw)

Traditional Chinese code of silence
Traditional Chinese code of silence

Irish eccentricities….. Dustin The Turkey

Over in Europe, 5,820 miles (or 9,366 kilometers) away to the north west of “The Pond” (or  Hangzhou) is a mere slip of an island of beauty ( “a terrible beauty” wrote Leon Uris), and enormous historical, cultural and religious heritage: Ireland

Also known as “The Celtic Tiger”, and “the land of saints and scholars”, and home to Nobel Lauretes James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and Seamus Heaney, musicians U2, Westlife, The Corrs, Van Morrison, and Riverdance, actors Liam Neeson and Colm Farrell, Ireland is considered the “world’s friendliest country to visit” (Lonely Planet, October 2007), “the most globalised country in the world” (A.T. Kearney), and until very recently was the fastest growing European and OECD economy – for nine years in a row.

Given all this ballyhoo, for years our more self-important inhabitants have been slapping themselves on the back in deference to “this great little nation”. “Pretty good for a population of 4.1 millions” (which is about half the population of the City of Hangzhou) they would purr. And sure why wouldn’t they feel swollen with pride, with the southern part of the Ireland or “The Republic” (as our Northern brethren call us Southerners) now the envy of the world? A happening place is our Ireland!

Or t’was! What goes up, comes down, and balloons filled with too much hot air eventually burst. Of late for a nation that never had it so good there appears to be a lot of doom and gloom around. The rugby team’s performance in the 6 nations was woeful, and the economy is adrift in very stormy waters with nobody at the rudder (Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is too busy trying to clarify which of his own many explanations about how he amassed £453,000 as the Minister of Finance in the mid-1990s is true) with some fairly big rocks looming rather largely that need to be steered well clear of if a economic catastrophe is to be avoided.

Which brings me to the point of this missive: Dustin the Turkey

Who is Dustin The Turkey?  

If you haven’t heard of him… You will! It seems that the onus of restoring this great little nation’s greatness has fallen on his wings. OK, so he is a sock / glove puppet, looks like a Turkey, is renowned for his burps, belches and thick Dublin accent, and gets wheeled around in a shopping trolley.

However, Dustin is no ordinary Turkey. No other turkey in the world is a top class pop-star, builder, and Irish TV personality at the same time. And not resting on his feathers, Dustin The Turkey has also tried his wing in politics, running campaigns for a number of Irish presidential elections as a representative of the ‘Poultry Party’.  Eager now to increase his political activities throughout Europe Dustin is said to be in talks with many major European political parties in relation to launching a bid for the presidency of the European Union, which he believes is his by right.

Dustin is confident he has found the winning formula to not only restore his nation’s position of greatness, but one that  will also see him appointed President of Europe.  Declaring a direct link between the recent downturn in Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s poor showing in the Eurovision Song Contest over the last number of years (Ireland have won this European event a record seven times, but recent contests have consistently ranked us near the bottom).

In what he describes as a selfless act based on his desire to help restore his nation’s position as the High Kings of the Eurovision Song Contest, he entered the Irish song contest finals and won.  His song Irelande Douze Pointe (Ireland Twelve Points — in reference to the maximum points each country can give a contestant) will represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia, this coming May, and he is expected to win.

Thereafter he reckons the people of Europe will unite to the turkey beat and have him appointed President of Europe and all Ireland’s economic problems will be solved.

And if you don’t believe that then read the song’s lyrics:

Irelande Douze Pointe

“Oh I come from a nation what knows how to write a song

Oh Europe where oh where did it all go wrong

C’mon, Irelande douze pointe


Drag acts and bad acts and Terry Wogan’s wig

Mad acts and sad acts, it was Johnny Logan’s gig 


Shake your feathers and bop your beak

Shake ‘em to the west and to the east

Wave Euro hands and Euro feet

Wave ‘em in the air to the turkey beat

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

Irelande douze pointe! To the funky beat 


G-o-b gobble b-l-e yeah

Hello Abba, hello Bono, hello Helsinki,

Hola Prague, hello sailor, c’est la vie,

Auf wiedersehen, mamma mia and God save the Queen

G’day Austria, bonjour Serbia, you know what I mean 


Shake your feathers and bop your beak

Shake ‘em to the west and to the east

Wave Euro hands and Euro feet

Wave ‘em in the air to the funky beat

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

To the funky beat


Give us another chance, we’re sorry for Riverdance

Sure Flatley he’s a Yank and the Danube flows through France

Block votes! Shock votes! Give us your 12 today

You’re all invited to Dublin, Ireland

And we’ll party the shamrock way 


Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe! I

relande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe!

Irelande douze pointe! Do the funky beat c’mon

Irelande douze pointe! Irelande douze pointe! 


Eastern Europe we love you do you like Irish stew?

Or goulash as it is to you, Irelande douze pointe

Yes it’s Bulgaria we love you Belarus, Georgia,

Montenegro, Moldova, Albania, Croatia, Poland,

Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, don’t forget Turkey,

Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina

and don’t forget the Swiss….. Cheese .”

Likely, Dustin The Turkey will be construed as the Irish having a bit of craic (The Irish language for “fun”) at the expense of our European neighbours.

However, European eyes will also be glued to Ireland in the run up to the Ireland’s highly anticipated European Union Treaty referendum to be held on 12th June. The Treaty is effectively a Constitutuon for the European Commmunity. All 27 members of the EU must approve the Treaty for it to come into force in January 2009. Ireland is the only country holding a referendum. If Ireland rejects the Treaty, which many observers forecast will happen, as hardly anyone appears to understand what the Treaty is  about, then “this great little nation will effectively be isolated from Europe.

Nervous European lawmakers are already asking: How can you trust a country to have a serious vote when its citizens have recently voted to have a puppet turkey represent it in the Eurovision song contest?

 If you haven’t yet heard of Dustin The Turkey you soon will


Turkey                        tur·key      /ˈtɜrki/ [tur-kee]


  1. a large, gallinaceous bird of the family Meleagrididae, esp. Meleagris gallopavo, of America, that typically has green, reddish-brown, and yellowish-brown plumage of a metallic luster and that is domesticated in most parts of the world.
  1. Slang.
  •  a person or thing of little appeal; dud; loser.
  •  a naive, stupid, or inept person.


May 20th Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals: Well Dustin got well and truly stuffed. Our friends in continential Europe didn’t see the humour. Oh well. One thing is for sure, when Dustin The Turkey returns to Ireland he is in for a roasting, such is the dismay back home.

The written word: Business Vietlish “Our big customer is…. DisneyLand”

Email from prospective Vietnamese supplier dated 24th October 2007:
“...So I decide to writting with you. I was hopping that we can make it get together. Please give me your very detail of plans, products or designs, destination ports…and everythink else. We will offer you , if you accept our offers then we will make the samples for you and go to the everythink plans.I was wondering why I do not tell you about ourseft: Vinh thang is a commercial thing specializing in producing and exporting everythink. …… With staff of skillful, experienced and creative painters, artisans over 200 years oldthat was recognized by the Vietnamese history, at present. Our big customer is …. Disney Land
Tien – Vice Director of Vinh Thang Ceramic
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"-George Bernard Shaw
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”
-George Bernard Shaw

The written word: Business Hinglish “God has given us ample money and no worries”

Emails from prospective Indian suppliers dated 1st November 2007:
Dr Ali, from India, exporter of roses and Palm trees
– and now exporter of ‘Quercus Rubra Northern Red Oak trees’ through his “..Spanish contacts”.
“How can you help me and what advantage do you want”.
Anonymous Indian salesman
 Hinglish anyone

“We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.”

– Oscar Wilde