Manhattan Diaryby Cahir O'Doherty
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay bigots
- Sarah Palin is saving Christmas
- Bill O’Reilly slams Nelson Mandela as an unrepentant “communist”
- Forging a bond with my father during an idyllic trip to Donegal
- JFK and the Sacred Heart were the twin pillars of life in Donegal
Right wing quote factory Sarah Palin this week announced when it comes to Christmas she shares the same sentiments as some of her sometime paymasters at Fox News: there is indeed a war on the most wonderful time of the year.
In fact, she’s so concerned by the big battle that’s brewing she has a new hardcover book to hawk on the subject titled "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas."
That summer we took a holiday in Donegal Town. It was 50 miles from where we set out to our destination, but it seemed to take us all day to get there along the endlessly winding roads.
I was a child and it was the 1970s, so the roads were windier, as was the pace of life. In my memory now I recall that trip as a week of blue skies and shimmering haze. I especially remember the drive though the mountain landscape that rose up after Ballybofey, dividing my northern Donegal peninsula from the south east of the county.
But in Donegal we knew he was on the side of the angels, and we placed him there to make the point. We still do.
Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Maybe it's time we waged a war on Thanksgiving ourselves.
Our Irish American ancestors worked all their lives to hand us all a better future. We cannot meet their challenge with a shrug.
When someone you love kills themselves it is one of the most profoundly isolating experiences of your life. It feels a bit like being airlifted into a strange country and abandoned there. You can't read the signposts. You can't tell where the roads go. When people speak to you, you can hear them but you may not understand a word.
They appear on the sidewalks, looking a bit like refugees. They are young upper middle class professionals in expensive urban hipster wear. Today they are standing in the borough of Queens, where they look astounded to find themselves. The girls usually look a bit like Velma from Scooby Doo and the boys’ look they forgot to shave or have breakfast. They seem nice, and when you talk to them, they are nice.
Don't be fooled though, they're ruthless colonists. In their $500 dollar bespoke tennis shoes they represent the first break of a tidal wave of change that is about to hit your neighborhood. Before you can say “organic kale chips in sea salt” there will be hundreds of them. The old corner pizza joint will close and reincarnate as a vegan ice-cream apothecary. Just you wait.
The clue was right there in the title -- Americans for Prosperity. They decided early against naming it Americans for the Rich, presumably. I expect it didn't test as well.
But the mission remained the same -- protect the assets of the wealthy at all costs.
They had spent the night dancing. Natasha McShane was an exchange student from Northern Ireland studying urban development at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and she was delighted to hear she had just won an internship that allowed her to extend her stay.
Here’s a good rule of thumb. If Sarah Palin appears at your political gathering you're going to lose.
She's become a bellwether that's more accurate than a farmer’s almanac. If that famous beehived and bespectacled face comes within 500 yards of your political event you have just lost the American public. Depend on it.
Give me what I want or I will blow you, me and the world's economy sky high. This is what Republican Congressional politics actually sounds like in 2013.
Having delivered on their carefully planned threat to cause a government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner is now raising the stakes even higher by threatening a catastrophic default.
The damage they are willing to do the nation, our system of government and our international standing makes them the last people we should turn to for good advice.
Well, in fact, you can. But let’s look the other way for old times sake.
For decades now many observant Catholics have longed for the inclusion of their gay family members in the life of the Catholic Church.
Right wing politicians like to talk about the rich as the nation’s job and wealth creators, but the truth is that the rich generally invest or save what they make, often in offshore investments and savings at that.
In fact the rich actually spend too little to actually power the nation’s economy in the way that the politicians (employed by them) like to say they do.
Nothing can be harder to see clearly than the things you look at every day, all the familiar things the surround you. It's because we tend to filter them out in the middle of our busy day.
Places, things, even people can begin to fade into the wider landscape. We decide that they're dependable and we can stop really seeing them at all.
Americas social conservatives seem to have found a new hero: Vladimir Putin.
It doesn't matter that the recently divorced - but newly committed protector of tradition and Christian values - was once an officer in the KGB apparently. Desperation makes for strange bedfellows.
Black people are responsible for financial collapse of the city of Detroit and likewise the Democrats want to do the same to America, Rush Limbaugh claimed this week.
The conservative pundit, who's making increasingly controversial claims as his show's distribution falls, suggested it was the black population of Detroit that caused the 'white flight' from the urban center to suburbia, ultimately leading to the city's financial collapse.
It has never made any sense to me that some people call gay men sissies. It’s nonsense. Spend a day in their company and you’ll realize they’re the bravest men you’ll ever meet.
Because they’ve had to be. Only drag queens are braver, frankly. I mean, if you want to know what real courage looks like, try walking from the East to the West Village in tight pink spandex and six inch heels.
This week a YouTube video is making the rounds internationally. It stars what sounds like at least two young Irish men verbally abusing a young Korean girl who looks frightened out of her wits. The video was filmed in Korea.
It features a terrifying level of racist abuse and dehumanizing aggression aimed at one prone young Korean woman. It's about the saddest, hardest thing I've seen on the news cycle since the Newtown massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing.
It's purgatorial just to have to contemplate.
Lucinda Creighton went there. I was astounded to hear her adopt the 'some of my best friends are -' approach this week.
Speaking to Marian Finucance on RTE Radio, the former Fine Gael Junior Minister denied she is against gay rights.
The immigration reform bill that recently made it out of the Senate with a big majority is now languishing in the House, where most Republicans are eyeing it as though it had been laced with a strain of bubonic plague.
We should be worried. Rank and file GOP supporters hate the bill. More than that, they apparently hate the idea that the invisible people who staff our nation’s restaurants and bars, who pick our lettuce and recycle our trash, who live in fear of an early morning visit from the Department of Homeland Security, will at last be given some measure of security.
I sometimes think about how it must have looked to the locals of Connemara in the late 19th century to witness W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory arrive outside their tiny thatched cottages, dressed in all their finery.
There’s something comical about it. I can hear the clatter of the carriage horses, then the step down onto the plain earth by these two extraordinary personages. It must have caused an oul’ stir. It must have looked a bit like the Martians landing.
Now I'm going to see about my own marriage. I wish you all the luck and I hope you'll do likewise.
And I stood there in the middle of the day in the middle of the supermarket in the middle of my life and I wept.
An Irish and American gay couple could be the first to win a green card after the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck this morning.
Catriona and Cathy completed their interview at the Denver, Colorado USCIS office and cleared all eligibility hurdles except for DOMA.
That left me silent and slightly bereft on a tiny village street in the middle of the afternoon. I just stood there for a moment, lost in time. Until my heart opened, and like the landscape, it steadied me.
The Daily Mail ran an article yesterday about the findings made by Irish researchers from University College Dublin that discovered - on average - students in Ireland drink more than their international counterparts.
Not much more, but the Mail managed to extrapolate from that to make the claim 'that those from the Emerald Isle do drink more than their international counterparts.'
Senator Marco Rubio today vowed that he will vote against the immigration reform bill that he co-authored if the amendment allowing US citizens to sponsor their Cuban born partners is not removed.
'If this bill has something in it that gives Cubans immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done,' Rubio said on Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show.
It was my grandfather's misfortune to find himself coming to maturity among the Civil War generation. Like a lot of the Irish of that era he inherited a war with the British crown and not much else.
His life and his legacy were shaped by that battle, and he helped hand on a new Ireland to my father's generation.
Yes, it's another episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight and the learned fellows are courageously addressing an issue that poses a bigger threat to the nation than gun background checks or gay marriage: you guessed it, they're discussing working mothers.
Everyone knows the growing danger posed to society by these uppity women, but kudos to these gents for having the cojones to admit it.
That sword was proof we didn't always look like that. But in all of the northwest, I realized, there were perhaps 20 people who knew where it was kept, or who had it had once belonged to, or what it had meant and means. And they were as scattered to the four winds as the Earls and my own peers.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in his role as head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has just issued a directive for all parishes to include the following anti-gay message into every Sunday bulletin.
The message opens: 'For the first time in our nation’s history, the Supreme Court is considering two cases about whether or not marriage should be redefined to include two persons of the same sex.'
He was standing on street corner when I came into view. Tipsy and moving in that weirdly delicate slow motion way that drunk people often do, he began yelling the moment I appeared.
It was about seven on Saturday evening and I had been doing laundry a block away in my New York City neighborhood.
New York Senator Charles Schumer is busy this week pushing for what we hope will be a successful comprehensive immigration reform bill as one of the so-called gang of eight bipartisan senators.
Along the way he’s sure to be casting a weather eye on the ways in which his actions now could eventually craft his political legacy, the great work he will be remembered for in decades to come.
We don't really think about what happens to a woman once the plane that's carrying her touches down in England. Out of sight is out of mind.
She becomes someone else's problem, her own mostly. To salve our conscience and keep the peace we temporarily cut her adrift from the island on which she makes her home. While she's away she'll be her own nationality.
Mrs. Doyle owned the tiny shop toward the bottom of the main street. A general store from another era, by the time I was old enough to go in on my own it had a faintly aniseed aroma, as though it were preserving itself.
She was old, and by Donegal standards she wasn’t nice. I had never heard her offer a sharp word to anyone, but I couldn’t recall hearing her offer a kind one either. In my town that got you noticed.
Inforwars, the far right government conspiracy clearing house helmed by crackpot Alex Jones, and one of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s favorite sites on the internet as it happens, sent a 'reporter' to