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4 September 2008 Edition

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The Fifth Column

The hot ticket from Alaska

SARAH PALIN has certainly turned heads as the hot new ticket for US Republicans.
The ultra conservative former beauty queen and pistol-packing, fishing and hunting hockey mom likes to shoot moose and wants open season on cuddly white polar bears. And she’d plant an oil well in your back garden or in the Garden of Eden in a blink of her twinkling eye.
If she succeeds in being elected vice-president of the USA, she could really be, as they say, “a heartbeat away from the presidency”. Republican presidential candidate and elder statesman John McCain has some serious health issues.
So why would the man who wants to be president of the USA give the inexperienced senator from Alaska the nod as his running mate?
Should the 72-year-old John McCain keel over in the White House, some say cruelly, look at Sarah Palin compared to the discarded Mitt Romney and who would you want giving you the kiss of life?

Bristol fashion

SARAH (44) is the mother of five children. Very responsible you might think. But how has she treated them?
She has named her eldest Bristol, after Bristol Bay, where the family fishes. Then there’s Willow (aged 14) and Piper (7) - Willow might be after another town in Alaska and Piper after a light aircraft.
A keen runner, the propsective vice-president’s eldest son is called Track because he was born during the track season 18 years ago (bet he’s glad it wasn’t the moose or the bog-snorkelling season).
And then there’s four-month-old son Trig Paxson. Paxson is the name of another of Mrs Palin’s favourite spots in Alaska. Big Rat Lake and Dead Horse are also in Alaska but, thankfully, they’re not on the hot mom’s hot spots. Trig is apparently Norse for ‘true’ or ‘strength’ and is not a homage to Trigger in TV’s Only Fools and Horses.
I’d still call Social Services.

An ill wind

HURRICANE GUSTAV had one welcome casualty - it stopped personal appearances by George W Bush and Dick Cheney at the US Republican convention to select McCain as a presidential candidate.
RTÉ and US Republican pollster Frank Luntz (remember him?) said ahead of the impact of Hurricane Gustav, that was then threatening widespread destruction and serious loss of livelihoods, if not life:
“It could be a big success for the Republican Party if - and this is a big if - they handle the tragedy effectively.”
Even hurricane clouds have a silver lining for pollster Luntz.

Scot free

BRITISH SOLDIER Mark Wadell has been let off by an Edinburgh court with a warning to behave for six months after head-butting a drinker in a local pub in June and screaming racial abuse about Iraqi people after he was arrested. The Royal Scots Borderer had just returned from Iraq.
He has now returned to duty. And if he was in the Royal Irish Regiment, the Alliance Party and the other unionist parties would give him a welcome home parade.

Could You Be Loved?

A SERBIAN village has put up what it says is Europe’s first statue to Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley to promote peace and tolerance in the war-ravaged Balkans.
Croatian and Serbian musicians heralded the unveiling in the village of Banatski Sokolac.
Maybe Paul Butler or Daithí McKay should ask the unionists to put up a statue of Bob Marley too. We could get the Royal Black Preceptory to do the honours.

Fowl Fine Gael

THE Cappoquin Chickens jobs threat in County Waterford had Fine Gael Agriculture spokesperson Michael Creed in a flap on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime on Monday evening.
Creed (quite rightly) highlighted the fact that some poultry products originated abroad are flying under false colours in Irish supermarkets.
Because the meat is processed here, the migrant poultry can be labelled as Irish, complete with an Irish flag: “green, white and gold”, the Fine Gael frontbencher said. GOLD? Does the self-styled “United Ireland Party” not know that the national colours are green, white and ORANGE?
What a plucking disgrace.

National question

UP in Dublin, Newstalk 106 is having its own identity crisis when knowing its national niceties.
One quiz question on the Tom Dunne show was: “How many counties are there in Ulster?”
Answer: “Six.”

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