Mary Coughlan — World’s Stupidest Politician

New education minister comes up with most moronic idea yet

Let’s see now?

Who could we put in charge of education?  Let me think.  Let me think.  Let me think.

Processing … processing …

Wait.  I know!  Let’s appoint a fool.  Isn’t that a great idea?  Let’s appoint a complete idiot with no grasp of their brief, who understands nothing and cares less.

There’s only one person for the job.  It has to be Mary Coughlan, the government minister who thinks Fuck You is a polite form of address when meeting foreign dignitaries.  Mary Coughlan, who disgraced Ireland on every single foreign trip, and whose civil service minders despaired as she farted and cursed her way across Europe.  An uncouth, unlettered goon.

Who better to put in charge of education?

Hey, this is Ireland.  We don’t do ministers.  We don’t do management.  We do politicians on a permanent war footing thanks to our stupid electoral system. We do patronage, and so we appoint an incompetent like Mary Coughlan to make the decisions that will determine our children’s future.

What about Mary’s latest bright idea?  Mary wants the third-level colleges to admit students who have failed higher-level maths.  She wants them to treat a Grade E as sufficient for admission.

Listen.  A monkey with a rabid dog up its arse, even if the dog had an electrified mallet up its own arse, would get a grade E, though obviously, an electric-doggified monkey would be well above Mary’s intellectual level, our minister for education.

Isn’t that a stroke of genius by the thickest politician this country has ever produced?   Treat failure as success.  A motto for our times, and thoroughly redolent of everything Fianna Fáil has stood for.  Pretend it isn’t true.  Forget about quality.  Make up bullshit and everyone will believe you if you say it loud enough.

Isn’t this the ultimate example of their failure to understand?  Don’t improve the quality.  Just drop the standard.

What a useless crowd of bastards.

154 thoughts on “Mary Coughlan — World’s Stupidest Politician

  1. “Mary wants the third-level colleges to admit students who have failed higher-level maths. She wants them to treat a Grade E as sufficient for admission.”

    A lot of courses dont need maths, so why not?

    ( I agree with your overall assessment, but I also agree with subject matriculation)

  2. and the education system should accord to the opinion of a Limerick based blogger because…..?

    by failing the LC maths exam, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a person is innumerate.

  3. No you didn’t. Why is it relevant that I’m based in Limerick, as opposed to Galway, Cork, Sligo or Dundalk?

  4. Well it depends on the course, IMHO. If it’s a diploma in pebble-polishing or split-ends management, why the hell not? It’ll keep the idiots off the dole for another few months.

  5. Not having maths is one thing but correct me if I’m wrong, don’t you need a foreign language (i.e. French, German, Spanish etc.) to be awarded a place in one of the universities?

    So you can get 100% in Maths and Applied Maths and Physics and Chemistry, and still not get a place in a university because you don’t have a leaving cert grade in a language other than English or Irish.

  6. Learning a foreign language doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Germans, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Finns, French or Spanish if they want to enter third level education. In fact, they seem to learn foreign languages anyway, third-level or no.

  7. Bock; you’re being a bit sexist there. By Mary’s own intellectual standards, slagging a woman for being utterly shit at her job, is sexist. Shame on you! Mary Couglan is a perfectly functioning an immense moron.

  8. Learning a foreign language doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Germans, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Finns, French or Spanish if they want to enter third level education. In fact, they seem to learn foreign languages anyway, third-level or no.

    Indeed but having a a second or third language I’m guessing is not an entry level requirement for someone intending to take an undergratuate course.

  9. True enough, Robert. But I can’t imagine Mary asking the universities to accept an E in English. Can you?

  10. No.

    But I can’t imagine requiring someone wanting to study Applied Psychology, Early Child Care Studies, Sports Studies & Physical Education etc, to have “another language” makes sense either.

    Someone wants a degree in childcare but cannot do so because they haven’t acheived the required grade in French, Chinese, Russian, Polish etc. smacks of exclusivity but I suppose it’s one way of keeping the Universities relatively elite.

  11. It seems to me that certain things are fundamental in education. As well as English and mathematics, I’d insist that students demonstrate at least a basic understanding of art, music and science.

    Old-fashioned me, you know?

  12. Oh I know!

    But the wonder that is the Irish Educational system still provides for those that would like to study my afore mentioned subjects. Just not in a University, hence my remark about the elite.

  13. It isn’t limited to Universities of course, but having Grade E in maths as sufficient for admission to third level education should equally transpose to Grade E in French or whatever being sufficient for admission to a university? Using Coughaln’s own argument thousands are being turned away from all colleges and universities for not having the right qualifications.

    You are right of course when you stated “Don’t improve the quality. Just drop the standard.”

    An Irish solution to an Irish problem.

  14. “Don’t improve the quality. Just drop the standard.”
    No Robert, an American solution to an Irish problem. Good citizens stop looking west!

  15. If only you were wearing your 1-D FF reality-distortion glasses it would become apparent to you that this move is not stupid but a going-forward ™ piece of extreme brilliance.

    It’s all about the unemployment figures. Let’s shunt de yout’ into Institutes of Technology and keep them off the live register. Then they can all have First Class degrees.

    Then they can emigrate.

  16. Another great Fianna Fail idea.

    I agree with what you are saying Robert but I don’t think it’s to keep the Universities elite. It costs nothing to learn a third language at secondary school, in principle. I have serious problems with our education system. In most instances we are not taught the subject, we are thought to pass the exam. In my experience there is very little joy in studying a subject at second level.

  17. @Big Dave

    “A lot of courses don’t need maths, so why not?”

    No, sorry, that doesn’t wash. Anyone who can’t get a pass at Leaving Cert mathematics doesn’t have the ability to do logical thinking, and studies at real third level standard would pass them by.

    I would favour free open access (not grinds) to remedial maths teaching, however, for those wishing to enter third level. A lot of students, in my personal experience, need far more one-to-one teaching to do adequately in a subject like mathematics where the bright and self-motivated can manage in a large classroom but others struggle. A blockage with maths is often an issue of self-image, confidence and motivation.

  18. I was trying to count the number of grammatical, spelling, and other mistakes in the comments, but I gave up. I ran out of fingers.

  19. If Maths is not a necessary skill in a course, there is no need for a prerequisite.

    Different courses require different skillsets. A lot of those skillsets require maths.
    Therefore a student should only be admitted if there is a certain mathematical ability evident.

    But for courses where there is not requirement – get rid of the maths requirement.

    While this “doesn’t wash” argument sounds all very well, everybody will always have
    some gap in their skill set.

    (It is just a blog – who cares about typos)

  20. @Big Dave

    I was trying to think of a third level course where basic mathematical literacy (and that’s all you get with a pass at Leaving Cert in maths) would not be necessary. We’re of necessity talking about a course that does not touch on any of the sciences, social policy, technology etc.

    Philosophy? No. A student needs to be able to distinguish a valid argument from an invalid one and need some understanding of symbolic logic. Proving theorems is the best training for that.

    Fine Arts? Possibly – although a good understanding of geometry would be an advantage.

    History? The history of science and technology is increasingly seen as essential in a general history course. It would help to have enough maths to understand Newton’s laws of motion, for example. You would need an understanding of stats to do quantitative history.

    Meeja studies? Now you’re on the money!

    So, yes, perhaps a small minority of courses could be taught to those without a basic education in mathematics, but they would be few and far between.

    However I’d argue that every citizen should be mathematically literate. Anyone who can not look critically at the deluge of ideologically slanted data and statistics with which we are bombarded is informationally disabled and credulous in the modern world.

    Perhaps there should be a maths test as a prerequisite for being allowed to vote.

  21. Arts, Media and loads of humanities courses.

    As regards your examples – you havent a breeze what you are talking about. give over!
    your history example in particular – dont be ridiculous!

    If you bothered to consider my argument for a second. I said I was in favour of subject matriculation.
    (post 1 ” I agree with your overall assessment, but I also agree with subject matriculation”).

    This means you only get to do a degree course if you have the prerequisite skillset. meaning that only certain courses get cut off – rather than a chance of a college education itself.

  22. You probably do – but you shouldn’t.

    This isn’t journalism we are tlaking about here.

  23. @Big Dave

    The history example was perhaps OTT – perusal of the prospectuses (4th declension) of undergraduate history courses doesn’t reveal much taste for courses on numerical methods.

    Please feel free to disregard my rants as pure mathematical chauvinism, however. Ignorance of science and mathematics seems to be the norm in politics and journalism, so it’s clearly no barrier to power. What Ibn Khaldun called “idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data”, seems to do them quite nicely, thank you.

  24. A lot of colleges (NUIG, Maynooth, Sligo IT, GMIT) already allow people who have failed LC maths to do a refresher course and have a go at their internal exams–of course, they still have to pass them!

    But I’m not so sure that your mallet-assisted dog-arsed monkey could so easily win an E grade in LC Higher mathematics. Perhaps some poor chap was struggling to achieve something better than Ordinary (or even Foundation!) level and unwisely tried the Higher paper, failing because of some unlucky combinations of questions.

    Regardless, what the Minister’s recommendation suggests is that an E grade at Higher level might be at least equal to a pass at Ordinary level. Now, whether that’s valid or not, I couldn’t really say, but that’s what should be up for discussion here.

    Colleges currently refuse admission to people who have failed LC maths at either level.

    Is a noble failure better than a pedestrian success? I’m reminded of a certain Ivy League college professor’s 6-level grading system. The interesting subtlety here is his placing the criterion for C. above that of D.

    A. Right As Usual
    B. Right This Time
    C. Wrong For Once
    D. Right For Once
    E. Wrong This Time
    F. Wrong As Usual

    ::

  25. you being limerick based blogger?
    – means you are not a nationally focussed educationalist.

    Limerick is a “working class” city, moreso than other cities. I am not having a go at it. It is just a fact.
    Socio-economic status is reflected in attitudes to education. The more affluent an area is , the better the prevaling attitude to education.
    (This isnt a statement on anybody educational status – I am not accusing anybody of being uneducated)

  26. Dave — What a condescending heap of horseshit, if you don’t mind my saying so. If you’re based in Dublin, as I think you are, I might as reasonably suggest that you’re obsessed with shallow, inconsequential posturing, but that would be a stupid generalisation, much like your comment. Not all Dubliners are overbearing, self-important blowhards.

  27. Sad but True

    you can bitch and mon all you like, but the fact remains that Limerick is a city in serious trouble.
    In fact it was in serious trouble throughout the Celtic Tiger. The Dell situation just made it worse.

    You can either keep sticking your head in the sand – or you can do something for you city.

    Your Choice.

  28. Dave — This was a post about standards of mathematics in third level institutions, and yet you somehow found the warped outlook necessary to turn it into a rant about Limerick. I won’t bother arguing with that outburst. I’ll just leave the utter stupidity of it to speak for itself.

  29. you asked for an explanation – and you got it.
    You can piss and moan about it all you like – but you only have to look around the city to see I am right.
    Get over it.

    Again – The required standard of maths should be decided on a course by course basis. As we established earlier – it shouldnt be a disqualifier for courses like English, Communications ( a very underrated discipline) and History.

    (Further to that – admission to engineering courses should require two engineering related LC subjects)

  30. Dave — The post is about maths in college, not about Limerick. Can you figure that out? Is it too complicated for you?

    Or maybe you’re just trolling.

  31. You are the one who wanted to discuss it, not me.

    Fine – lets leave Limerick for another time.

  32. No I did not. You came up with some irrelevant nonsense about where this site is based. You’re well able to accuse others of talking shit, and you can expect to be challenged when you do it yourself.

  33. yes you did – read your own posts for crying out loud.
    essentially I was making that point that you were not suitably qualified to make judgements on the education system ( and you’re not) , you are the one who made this about Limerick. Get over yourself.
    I am just telling like it is – whether you can handle it or not is your problem

  34. Dave — what you think you know about me is whatever I choose to let you know. Nothing more and nothing less.

  35. All I know about you is through your articles and posts. That much should be obvious. The thing is – they say a lot about you.

  36. Dave — I have news for you. Every citizen of this state is entitled to have an opinion on the utterances of our government ministers. Even if they come from Limerick.

    Furthermore, as a parent, I have legitimate concerns about the way our third level system is being dumbed down.

    If you don’t realise that a basic grounding in maths is an important part of a person’s general education, and not simply a means of passing a course, that’s your loss. It’s a limited outlook but I’m not here to enlighten you.

  37. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced this is really the most retarded decision, ever.
    It surely is a dimwitted attempt to make a short-term fix for the problem we have re. graduates; get as many in and as many graduated in as short a time as possible and bring the Yankee and German factories back into Ireland.

    That way we can recall our glory years where “Computer Scientists” rubbed shoulders with “Electrical Engineers” on production lines building computers.
    (The fact that maybe 1 in 10 of them actually had the intellectual capacity to actually work in their degree fields is N/A; we were able to say “look how good we are; we have so many graduates they have to do manual labour, come and build your factory here please”)

    Leaving aside that someone who failed maths is likely to have failed or done really poorly in many other subjects; the fact that Maths is probably one of the few LC subjects where it should possible to mark an answer as plain “wrong” (as opposed to some of the more creative parts of English, etc) should mean that it is a core yardstick when it comes to measuring someone’s intellectual capacity, since not everyone takes a science subject for the LC.

    To make it worse, because we allow fairly significant marks in the Maths exam for “trying” by which I mean, if you can demonstrate that you know how to get the answer, but still get it wrong, you can get a large % of the marks for a question, it therefore means that anyone who got an E in maths in the LC is either really, really stupid or just didn’t bother.

    And these are the last people we should be sending to college.

  38. I never said they didn’t. But no one should presume that they speak for the rest of the country!

    What Coughlan actually – actually proposed – and what I counter-proposed – doesnt constitute a “dumbing down”.
    Does “dumbing down” exist ? yes
    Is it rampant? Maybe
    Should something be done about Maths in school? Definitely.
    Is this really “dumbing down”? No

    university isn’t “general education” . God help you if you think it is.

  39. Ah! Bock, I’m with big Dave on this one, I enjoy your blog, but jaysus you’re a bit sensitive when anybody expresses an opinion differing from your own, ok, we all know it’s your train set so I do agree Mary is a Tool.

  40. Dave — Two questions.

    Where did you notice me saying that university was general education?

    Where did you notice me speaking for the rest of the country?

    Robert — When somebody cites where I live as relevant, I’ll react. Wouldn’t you?

  41. Bock, I think you’re missing Dave’s point. I hope I can clarify.

    By writing an article about government ministers, public service, Europe, our electoral system, and education policies, you made this all about Limerick.

    And as a Limerick blogger you are unqualified to make judgements on the education system. Also, you cannot be ‘nationally focussed’ while in Limerick; you must be in Dublin to do that.

    In addition, since it’s ‘just a fact’ that Limerick is ‘working class’ and that ‘socio-economic status is reflected in attitudes to education,’ it follows that your attitude has been corrupted by the city you live in.

    Furthermore, Dell closed down and you did nothing about it.

    That about it?

    ::

  42. Thanks for those stupid snide remarks, Darwin, they are a great help in clouding the issue….which is what we really need right now

  43. to be nationally focused – you need to a national educational body – like the parents council, the teacher unions or some national education or training body….

    if you are – then you have some chance of making a proper judgement on the state of irish education

  44. Now there is an idea!!!

    As you said yourself – if you talk shite, dont be suprised if you are called up on it.

    an opinion is an opinion – and talking shite is talking shite…..

    (going back to post 1 – I dont fully disagree with you )

  45. Dear Dave le Grande,

    Now you’ve really riled me.

    “Socio-economic status is reflected in attitudes to education.” Translation: Education is wasted on the working classes.

    Well if your experience extended beyond the Dub middle classes you would know that many working class parents try to give their children the best education they can and are often frustrated by lack of money.

  46. 1) maths is an important part of a person’s general education, and not simply a means of passing a course

  47. I recognize the reality for what it is, but I want to change it. I am all in favour of promoting education in all sectors of the community..

    To solve that problem, We have to be honest about what that problem really is.

  48. eh – yes it was……

    the second question : this applies to the entire country, therefore you are speaking on behalf of the country.

  49. Pope — Just leave out the bit where you called Dave a fuckwit.

    Dave — Those two questions I asked you. Should I repeat them?

  50. [edit]

    Pope – get over yourself. Stick your head in the sand all you like, but the reality is plain for all to see.

  51. Dave — Sorry. Our comments crossed. I can see that rigorous logic isn’t your area. Now I understand why you don’t consider a mathematical grounding important to everything.

  52. BigDave: I don’t really see how you can disagree with my ‘stupid snide comments,’ I was mostly quoting from your remarks. So much for my trying to be helpful.

    I wonder which points I inaccurately summarised.

    ::

  53. @ Bock – it is there in black and white – “rigorous Logic” doesnt come into it.

    @Darwen – you were misinterpreting those same quotes – and adding stupid snide commentary. Anybody with a bit of sense would see that. Never mind, I am sure your family like you.

  54. Dave — No it isn’t. I didn’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself. I spoke about the country, not on behalf of it.

    Can’t you tell the difference?

    By way of example, Stephen Hawking isn’t talking on behalf of aliens. He’s just talking about them.

    If you comment on the World Cup, you’re not talking on behalf of the whole world. You’re just expressing an opinion on the World Cup.

    Are you beginning to grasp the difference? That’s what mathematics teaches kids: the ability to distinguish between different concepts. It’s very good.

  55. anyway here is a crazy idea

    lets talk about subject matriculation – should it be brought back?

  56. read the second sentence of your article – and then say that….get over yourself.

    subject matriculation?

  57. That was going to be the subject of my next post. People who tell you to get over things. Please stop doing that. It’s both childish and annoying.

  58. Oh my god – I am being childish and annoying ? Oh I am so so sorry….I am mortified.

    go on – what are you going to say about subject matriculation?

  59. Bock: Judging by his comments, I’m starting to think that Big Dave himself has been a hapless victim of this country’s woeful educational system. In light of that, maybe we should give his comments more ‘careful’ consideration.

    Either that or he is, going by his own criteria, a ‘national education body,’ as he clearly considers himself qualified to voice opinions on the subject.

    Oh well, as he says himself: ‘it is just a blog.’

    ::

  60. Dave — You might not have noticed it, but this post is about Mary Coughlan’s request to the third level institutions to accept an E-grade in mathematics.

  61. Darwin – When some insinuates that you are “special”, you have to retaliate with something else – but not that they are “special”. It is just sad. Call me a fascist instead – you wont look as bad

  62. “That was going to be the subject of my next post” – What was, in that case

  63. Respect is a two way street – Can I be shown respect by the other posters?

  64. Dave — Figure this out. You can say what you like about other people’s ideas. Just don’t get personal with them. It’s basic courtesy. Drop the retard comments. I’ve already asked another commenter to show you the same respect.

  65. dont need to “figure” anything out.

    I never made this personal.., and I would have liked it if poster maintained a level of respect for each other.
    But it has been like this for quite a while now…

  66. you’re welcome

    (signing off – somebody is storming the dail, and readers of the internet need my opinion on the matter)

  67. This country in the days of Dev the thief, dropped the science based school system inherited from the brits and replaced it with a system supposedly designed to get us all back talking Irish. The system that for years produced some of the worlds great thinkers got shafted for a system that produced the opposite.
    Yesterday the statistic released told us one in four in Ireland is now illiterate. Coughlan is simply carrying on taking us all in the direction Fianna Fáil have always been taking us.
    Surely that’s what we all want isn’t it?

  68. I’m innumerate and although I don’t recommend it it is not the equivalent of illiteracy. The correct term is dyscalculia and I have only a mild form. Innumerates are only the equivalents of dyslexics, nothing more nothing less.
    Anyway, as Billy Connelly said…… why should I learn algebra… I ‘m never going to go there !
    Why should math be required to study Ancient History, Modern History, etc. etc. A generation ago, a similar protest would have been raised when Latin was dropped as a requirement for medicine.

  69. A symbol of the mediocrity that pervades Ireland, that woman. As is the university thing. In America, kids who want to get into good schools, where all their competitors will have good grades, do so much more to broaden themselves. Volunteering, extra-curricular activities, sports and music… these are just as important as getting the grades.

  70. Lapsedmethodist — Maths is not primarily about calculation. It’s about identifying the essentials of a situation and applying reasoned logic to them.

    That’s something we need a lot more of in this country, not less.

  71. Bock – the LC maths syllabus IS about calculations and only calculation. There is no study of logic or anything like that in the course. The statistics element is rudimentary at best.

    (So you aren’t going to do anything about Darwin’s last comment then? – you only get pissed off when it is me?)

  72. Dave —

    Calculation is simply the means of executing the solution. The problem must first be analysed, and this is an excellent way of training people to think rationally and logically, by abstracting the essential elements. Such rigorous thinking is useful in every area of life and in every academic discipline.

    If we had more training in the analysis and solution of problems, this country would be far better managed than it is today.

    Did you know that in Finland, all school maths teachers are required to have a Masters degree? It’s no coincidence that in science, Finnish 15-year-olds ranked first of 56 countries in the 2006 OECD survey. The Finns understand the value of providing students with a sound mathematical grounding.

  73. First off, Bock – are you going to delete that retard comment or not……

    this isnt about Maths in general , this is about the LC Maths.

    While your comments are all very well, and I am sympatethic to them – they have not fit very well in the context of the Leaving cert course.
    You dont seem to realise that there is very little of what you referring on the course. It doesnt deal with the philosophical stuff at all – it goes straight into some very opaque formulae – to be learned off by heart. ( There is the Log tables too, though)

    I actually give grinds in maths myself – I deal with this problem first hand.

  74. That retard comment was taking the piss out of what you said.

    Your point about the Leaving Cert suggests that we need better maths education and a better curriculum, not the dumbing down that Mary Coughlan is asking for. Following the minister’s prescription is simply starting a race to the bottom.

    As I said in the beginning, that’s what happens when you put an idiot in charge of education.

  75. my retard comment was just taking the piss out of what he said

    Delete it please – or else stop telling me off for being disrespectful

  76. The only comments deleted here are defamatory and racist ones. All other personal comments are dealt with by a request to desist, and if the person continues, their commenting privileges are removed.

    No comment of yours has been deleted and this one won’t be either.

    That’s the site policy and it will continue to be the policy.

  77. In keeping with ” respecting other posters” you specifically asked me to edit my comment, and I did.

    Please do likewise with that comment, with a “Darwin – please delete your comment ASAP”

  78. Dave — I did not ask you to edit your comment, and I didn’t notice that you had. I asked you to drop the retards.

  79. Yes you did – Read post 84 – 88

    Seemingly you only enforcethis “respect other posters” policy on people who disagree with you – your own buddies get a free rein to say what they like

  80. While I dont mind a good row , this can not be seen to be anything other than Double standards, bock. Why not have a read of your comments policy yourself.

    How can you rightly complain about the lack of integrity of the people running this country, when you are just as bad yourself….which is precisely the case.

    You claim to value Free Speech , Fairness and Respect – but seemingly you only practice it when it suits you

  81. Dave — I think your faux hurt has seen enough pandering now. In case you missed it, this isn’t an agony column.

    Now, unless you have something to add to the discussion about Mary Coughlan’s request..?

  82. Hold on – a while ago you were talking about the comments policy , now your attitude seems to be “screw the comments policy” .
    You are letting Darwin off the hook completely for his comment – It just desn’t wash…

    I have plenty to say about maths teaching – but I want to say it in a forum where there is some level of respect for every poster.

  83. You made your compaint. You received an answer. You were told that comments are never deleted unless they’re defamatory or racist. I have asked Darwin not to call you a retard again. Likewise, I have asked you to drop the retard comments.

    What more do you want? I haven’t got the time or the inclination to be indulging you.

  84. I didnt receive an answer – I received a brush off.

    Why didnt you tell him to “drop” his comment……yesterday you meant that as editing it out, today you want it to mean something different..

    Bock – start taking the comment policy seriously – your own comments policy.

  85. Tell you what – A zero tolerance policy on going OT or even the slightest personal remarks for the rest of this thread – we have had more than enough already –

    MC and Maths only.

  86. Big Dave, I’ve posted this elsewhere in response to a dig I had at Bock, and my response was this: I realise its probably harder to be in reciept of everyones opinion, and then be asked to favour everyones thoughts. This must be a little irritating to say the least. But as you know and I’ve shown, its very easy to get upset with your keyboard or the guy/girl on the other end of a post, but try asking that same poster to get off his arse and march and you’d see what we’re left with, letargic armchair politicians complaining that our representitives don’t do enough and when we get a chance to stand, they’re all at home watching “Eastenders” and hoping We won a victory for the people. I feel at times when I send an e-mail to some prick politician or post a comment on a site that I’m really contributing but instead I’m sending my thoughts away, allowing Yahoo/Facebook and so on to tell the world what I think, instead, I should walk up to the politician and speak my mind, I need to ignore the national broadcasters media blackout and boycott the pro-FF/Green newspapers/reports/reporters and so on.
    They’ve told us the music we like is Drug fuelled and damaging to society, we’ll let me end on this, lets look at the logic, I would like to see us better our country, I’m not religious, but this man I believe wrote like a prophet and spoke like one:

    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.

    Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.

    Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.

    Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!

    Man is a universe within himself.

    The more people smoke herb, the more Babylon fall.

    When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.

    Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?

    None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.

    You have to be someone.
    Bob Marley

    Big Dave, if you’ve bothered to read this far, I’m not really taking a shot at you. I’m relatively new to the site and have read alot of your opinion and to be honest, its honest, I threw a bit of a fit the other night and wen’t a bit over board but like I said above, if you put the same into actual protest as much as We all do on the cyber side we’d get the pricks out of government that have turned us all against each other with irrational rationalisation of nothing. Dave, big or small, if you stood by your views, you’d find many would stand beside you, but as I’ve found, no matter how valid, its your opinion, don’t take it out on what I have to say is our “Bull” Ceann Coirle, we give him our Life of Bull to deal with and expect him to agree with every view we put to him/her or them.

    Big Dave, I expect to see you and others at the next rally/protest/general assembly to support the view that life is shit, and together is better then apart.

    Peter

  87. I dont want or need folks to agree with me….I like a bit of intellectual pugilism. It is just a bit of craic for me.
    The one thing that does really cheese me off is Double Standards.

    Bock has handled this situation really really badly.

  88. Big Dave,
    Bock could be 15 people sitting all around the country in chat-rooms to be honest. Your fighting yourself buddy I’m afraid, I posted previously that someone once said that “depression is merely anger, without enthusiasm”, don’t get so worked up over someone not agreeing with your view and maybe take a look at your posts, are you intending to make a point or start a row? The point was made several posts ago, don’t let your agression be wasted, take a proper stand for yourself and the people close to you and go do something about the problem.
    When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. -Confucius

  89. Big Dave, are you always this precious about stuff? You received your answer but you seem to want Bock to prostrate himself at your alter and cry mercy and forgiveness. C’mon, Big D, grow a pair.

  90. I didnt receive an anser. To say otherwise is complete bullshit.I dont want anybody to prostate – and I dont want anybody to say sorry. Double standards are double standards.

    Bock wants me to treat you lot with respect, I want to be treated with respect in return. Surely that is not too much to ask …

  91. “don’t get so worked up over someone not agreeing with your view ”

    There is nothing in this trhead to suggest that I have got worked up about people not agreeing with me. In fact I endorsed it…

    Read the thread properly

  92. If you fail pass Maths you don’t deserve to go to University, the country needs standards, Harsh, but the world need rock breakers aswell and anyone who can’t get a D2 in a simple pass Maths paper now shouldn’t be in any way considered for University eduacation. It would totally undermine our education system and offer further proof if needed that we are a country run by muppets.

  93. Dave,
    I got really bored reading your posts to be honest, I gave up ages ago, all I can see is you bleeting on looking for something your obviously not going to get. I suggest maybe an arm-breaker of a wank buddy and relieve that stress….. Your just being a bit of a spanner now, look how many posts you’ve put up and ask yourself, if you we’re wronged outside the comfort of your keyboard would you be so verile? Possibly not, its easy to get mad and pretend its intellectual debate, but its not, its just babble now and a little bit boring, everyone elses has fucked off because they cant get a word in, I’m just wondering, Is this actually Mary Fucking Coughlan posting here, disruptionist behavior to say the least.

  94. Peter

    Believe me when I say – I could not care less what you think. I couldnt care less if this is boring you. I couldnt care less if nobody is bothering to post here. I couldnt care less about Bob Marley .

    I just could not care less about you….

    off you go!!

  95. Your claim for intellectual debate is farcical, o.k you might be an intelectual but your debating yourself which isn’t intelligent at all now is it?
    I know the site refrains from personal insults so I’ll continue, if I knew some called Big Dave, I’d think him a bit of a prick to be honest, he claims to be smart, but lets examine his last post, number 124, a real cry for help, a little aggitated by my comments about getting off his arse and protesting outside, this obviously doesn’t sit well with Dave. You’ve tried to give the impression I believe that you were of some intelligence in previous posts, I really do hope someone hasn’t used your computer without you knowing.
    It’s not the post thats boring, its you Dave- have you nothing better to do then demand apologies from computers? Who did you vote for on Fame Acadamy?

    Cheery Bye Loonibin xxxxxxxxxxx

  96. Thanks for that pointless, nonsensical irrelevant Rant .

    124 is a cry for help? eh no – it is a polite way of informing you that your contribution is completely useless.
    you should really learn how to take a hint.

    Cheery bye to you too,

  97. Dave – Now you really are trolling. Catch onto yourself,

    Take a hint or take a holiday. I won’t have you monopolising this site.

  98. Someone who contributes 48 posts to a 126 posts site just likes to hear or read the sound of their own voice. Your not very Big at all Dave are you? A fucking mouth on a stick would be the best term I’d know,

    I wonder if anyone else would have a word or words for people who’d post approx 48 times (not counting the spannerisms that might have appeared between writing), mostly just to demand stupidity be his to keep. Listen to me, I’m Big Dave….. I know stuff about stuff
    What I just did was almost Maths Dave, I counted the number of times I saw your name, if you add that to the number of people who couldn’t care what you think, you’ll find reality.

    Love,
    Peter

  99. Wrong I am not trolling – I actually want to talk about the actual topic.

    I refer you to post 115 – It is pretty clear what I meant there.

  100. peter

    you counted how many of the posts were mine? Now that is just pathetic.
    Just as pathetic as your overall contribution?

    Bob Marlay? For fuck sake?

    Peter, run along

  101. I could have quoted anyone but thought someone who’s music and more so good feeling has surpassed his death, I doubt many will be singing Big Dave’s Bock the robber posts in years to come, maybe your one of the few who can’t see threw the weed and listen to the words on peace/love and world harmony founded on the principal that everyman is equal no matter what race/colour or creed he or she may be but the first quote from Bob and from one of his many songs is this “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.”
    You think your intelligent, therfore your intelligent- bullshit, Your an idiot wrapped in a moron to be honest. I’m sick of listening to you dave…big dave… sound like little man syndrom, you should get that checked out.

  102. Bock.. you don’t need math to open the property page of the IT and see that Smirk and Lear , estate agents to the gods are asking for one and a half mill for a semi in Dublin and upon turning the page you read that for that same one and a half mill you can buy a French chateau, a Venetian Palace, two thirds of Albania and a ranch in Texas. To figure out that there’s a scam abroad re- Irish property an E would do fine.
    The people who scammed the system are de facto mathematically proficient so we gather from that that a facility with numbers is not linked, in any way,shape or form with a grasp of ethics.

  103. Dave,
    Didn’t count, typed in Big Dave under “Find” and hey presto, you see how many times your name pops up…..
    A day you don’t learn something, Is a day wasted.

    That ones for free Dave,
    Ras Tafari

  104. Bye? you are blocking me or something.
    take the easy way out? Easier to be a weasly little hypocrite than being even handed and having a bit of backbone.
    you bitch and moan about what is wrong with the country – what is wrong with the country is the likes of you Bock. It is spanners like you that brought this country to its knees

    Peter – you are just a sap. Get lost.

  105. Peter
    ” typed in Big Dave under “Find””
    Even that is pathetic…..

  106. Big Dave, I might well be a sap, aren’t we all, the sap of our father and womb of mother, we are sap, seed, bulb and flower everyone of us, thats not a quote, thats just me- you can use that next time someone calls you a sap, (again, free of charge, at this rate I’ll be out of the quote business), I have been called this before but ideally that will involve returning to the 1980’s to understand the hurt involved in your childish Back to the Future insult. I’m flattered by the appreciation overall you’ve had on my work, the use of spanner while ranting at Bock, you were obviosly thinking of me, thats really cute Big Dave, thanks, your such a little darling…… I’m thinking of you too………… Ummmmmmm
    Please, I must go, my Flux Capacitor is running low and I need Sodastream parts before the Doc arrives.
    But again Dave, I’d suggest a good ‘oul wank.

    And by the way,
    Mary Caoughlan is a complete idiot, watch her wait for the eye signal in the Dail to see if she gets the answers right, I’ve asked Enda Kenny by e-mail why they can’t interigate these people as a joint opposition and stop them bullshitting their way through each Dail Session, its a 14year performance art to these muppets— But seriously, would you let your childs education/health/future rest in any of these pieces of shit????

    Peter

  107. usage of Spanner and Sap was a tactical – so Bock couldnt give out to me

    (at least that was the plan – I didnt count on him being a total hypocrite, which it looks like he is)

    Enjoy your wank, pete

  108. Thanks Big Dave, I’ll be thinking of you………….. I’m going to have 2, each hand, I might even start calling my Todger “Big Dave”.
    Hypocrite is really someone who’s determined to have a different view/outlook/position/experience then you Dave, to call someone a Hypocriate is Hypocracy in itself.
    You don’t agree with me so your a prick mentality, it doesn’t work- Its Futile

    Take a breather man and lets wax lyrical somewhere in future post world on a common ground and stop all this name calling bollox, its a good site, and I promise you’ll feel like an internet prick later on.

  109. Let’s drop this now please. Dave was given a choice. Take a hint or a holiday. He chose the holiday.

  110. …and all because he read the word “drop” as meaning “go back and edit” instead of the vernacular “stop doing it in future”.

    Jaysus , I have a headache after reading 100+ irrelevant posts.

    So anyway, Mary Coughlan, what a dumb proposition, eh?

    :)

  111. She is very thick indeed, she gives stupid people hope. Taken like all the rest from the shallow end of the Gene pool and let fuck up the world because instead of doing her job she’s either out of the country or at a fucking funeral.
    The next funeral they should all attend is that of the Dail, its a dead or at least dying institution, it’s proved useless for so long, only proving to serve the wealthy, hiding behind the same Constitution they or at least people like them wrote, and future generation of politician has rewritten and abused to serve the greedy, yet when the Constitution needs to be changed for the good of the people at the sake of the rich, well, thats Unconstitutional, init.

  112. I’d like to pause for a minute and reiterate the policy of this site regarding comments.

    While I have no objection to robust debate, I think people diminish themselves and their argument by personalising what they say to each other. Therefore, commenters are asked not to throw insults. However, if somebody starts throwing shit, they can expect shit in return.

    There is no such thing as free speech. I’m not free to call you a murderer or to shout FIRE in the proverbial crowded theatre. I’m not free to force my opinions on you either. You have the right to switch me off.

    By the same token, this kind of site is like a public house and everyone is free to come in. However, if they start insulting the other customers, they can expect a warning. If they ignore the warning, they will be asked to leave. If they shout abuse at the landlord, they will be thrown out. If they piss on the floor, they will be pissed on in return.

    And finally, if they take me for a complete fool by trying to sneak in by the back door, they will never get in again.

    I pay good folding money for the upkeep of this site, and I don’t hand over that cash so that some langerhead can have a free platform to shout at me.

  113. Eh, can I butt in here now? I just wanted to point the necessity of maths in history and media studies.

    Without maths, you’d find it difficult to trawl through Griffith’s Valuation (almost a necessity for any nineteenth century historian), count how many ha’pennies there are in £13 6s 5d, who is entitled to a kingship in a tuath, tackling population statistics, and counting years in particular, is a must. They are just a few examples.

    Media studies combines philosphy and art (and anything else you can think of). Again, you would need maths for the editing process, working a camera, radio, documentaries etc. And frequency of phraseology, the manufacturing of consent and other media studies theory would require maths.

    Child Care and Social Work courses also require maths, as they incorporate psychology, where maths is a must. And i suppose you’d need to count the number of children.

  114. While pissing contests can be sometimes enjoyable to watch, this is getting very dull Dave.
    In any case back to the topic.

    Those of us who did bother our arses to get a university education did so by working hard to achieve the standards required to enter the courses and then working and continuing onto the next level at each examination stage during the course.

    In my case it took a route whereby I tried one course, having to repeat leaving cert because of being a skobey layabout for the first effort at 6th year and not getting teh required results, but after two years at the course, I figured that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my days watching videos of people putting a Valve together to see where I could gain them 0.01 of a second per part. Good work for someone if you are prepared to do it I suppose, but just not for me.
    I went back to my roots, worked on the building sites for a couple of years and then went back to college doing something that I had an interest in. Mind you I now am of the opinion that any degree is a bit like a driving licence, allows you to drive but doesn’t prepare you really for actually working at keeping a car on the road.
    I still had to achieve the necessary standards in the subjects required to enter the course, and at each stage had to achieve the necessary standards to move onto the next part.
    Now if Mary coughlan reckons that you should be able to enter a course by failing an examination, the default next step is that you should be able to go on to the next part by failing an examination and so on, ad infinitum. With the result that you can get a degree by failing an examination.
    Where is the sense in that?
    The process she proposes results in degrees being of no more use to anyone than toilet paper, devalued, worth less than the paper they are written on..

  115. This thread certainly seems to have generated exponentially more heat than light.

    Now that The Geek has dragged it back on topic, can anybody provide a link to the original statement from Mary Coughlan? My search of the usual suspects hasn’t turned up anything helpful.

    What is an ‘E’ these days, anyway? Is it 40%?

  116. Thanks for that link to kildarestreet Norma, the transcript of the Dáil debate is enlightening. While I’m certainly no fan of Mary Coughlan, or Fianna Fáil, her position appears to be misrepresented here.

    As I read it, she is asking for the admission boards of the third level institutions to award greater merit to a candidate with low marks on the Higher Level paper. This, she says, is to encourage students to take the Higher Level syllabus rather than the easier option of the Ordinary Level.

    For anybody who believes that

    “A monkey with a rabid dog up its arse, even if the dog had an electrified mallet up its own arse, would get a grade E”

    as Bock put it, take a look at the 2009 Higher Level paper (caution: ridiculously bloated multi-megabyte pdf files):

    http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2009/LC003ALP100EV.pdf (paper 1)
    http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2009/LC003ALP200EV.pdf (paper 2)

  117. Well she is only thinking up ways to allow the teaching unions to continue boasting about the wonderful eduaction sysytem they work in !

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