POLITICAL: New drink driving laws in Eire are stealing businesses


New drink driving laws could close half of Ireland’s pubs
Greater public safety means less indulgence
By ANTOINETTE KELLY, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Published Saturday, October 29, 2011, 7:23 AM
Updated Saturday, October 29, 2011, 7:32 AM

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A new drinking and driving law could lead to the closure of up to half the pubs in Ireland.

Irish publicans have reacted with scorn to new drink and driving legislation that reduced the blood alcohol limit to 50mg per 100mls of blood.

The new law has come into force this week, and it’s already being called a deadly blow to the pubs of rural Ireland. In fact, some publicans warn, the new restrictions could lead to the closure of up to half the pubs in the country.

Kerry County Council member and publican Bobby O’Connell told the Irish Examiner that vintners are convinced that up to 50 percent of all Irish pubs will be forced to shut down within the next five years. 

“Rural pubs are being decimated,” said O’Connell. “The recession and the off-licence trade have done irreparable damage to the pub trade and now we have this.”

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How can the politicians just steal these businesses?

If a society decides to virtually outlaw drinking, then it has the obligation to pay for these businesses.

As a little L libertarian, I think this is all wrong.

I believe that what was originally considered to be bad was fatalities or injuries from accidents as a result of drunk driving. Somehow it’s morphed into driving after having had a beer.

If that was true, my entire generation should be dead.

I think we need a better standard. (1) There has to be a injury or accident. (2) After conviction, there has to be a substantial penalty — financial and jail time — plus restitution. (3) Second offenses, multiple offense, should be impossible due to the jail terms.

Only then will society be protected from irresponsible people.

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TECHNOLOGY: Yet Another “Digital Public Library of America”


The DPLA Steering Committee is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all.

About | Elements of the DPLA | Secretariat | Steering Committee

The DPLA planning initiative grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together over 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. In December 2010, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, convened leading experts in libraries, technology, law, and education to begin work on this problem; a two-year process of intense grassroots community organization, beginning in October 2011 and hosted at the Berkman Center, will result in a realistic and detailed workplan for launching the DPLA, as well as unveiling of a prototype of the system with specially digitized materials.

The vision of a national digital library has been circulating among librarians, scholars, educators, and private industry representatives since the early 1990s, but it has not yet materialized. Efforts led by a range of organizations, including the Library of Congress, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive, have successfully built resources that provide books, images, historical records, and audiovisual materials to anyone with Internet access. Many universities, public libraries, and other public-spirited organizations have digitized materials that could be brought together under the frame of the DPLA, but these digital collections often exist in silos. Compounding this problem are disparate technical standards, disorganized and incomplete metadata, and a host of legal issues. No project has yet succeeded in bringing these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together with leading technical experts and the best of private industry to find solutions to these complex challenges. Users have neither coherent access to these materials nor tools to use them in new and exciting ways, and institutions have no clear blueprint for creating a shared infrastructure to serve the public good. The time is right to launch an ambitious project to realize the great promise of the Internet for the advancement of sharing information and of using technology to enable new knowledge and discoveries in the United States.

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What about the Internet Archive, Google’s book capture, and the myriad of other such efforts?

I guess time will sort it all out.

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