An American in Irelandby The Yank
- Ireland as Britain's wind farm - weighing up the pros and cons of ugly and heavily subsized Irish windfarms
- Justin Bieber's perfectly judged comment on Anne Frank - "Hopefully she would have been a belieber"
- The Irish property tax problem - everyone wants to own some and no one wants to be taxed on it
- American fans right to ignore the World Baseball Classic
- Will Ireland's emigrants catch a break on property tax?
It hasn't snowed in Ireland since before Christmas. You might recall that Ireland was frozen solid for weeks before Christmas, with canceled flights, impassable roads and bursting water pipes. Since then, however, there hasn't been so much as a fleeting flurry.
I see that the Northeast of America is getting some more wintry weather. The latest forecast has upgraded the coming storm, but it won't, apparently, be anything like the storm that dumped a couple of feet of snow just after Christmas.
I happened to arrive the day after that storm. As my flight landed at Newark Airport the plows were still clearing some of the 20" or so that fell the day before. It was a complete contrast to what we'd seen in Ireland before Christmas where snow-showers of an inch or two closed the airport for long stretches.
Chaos and turmoil are two of the words used regularly to describe the Irish government the past few days. Muppets* is getting a lot of use too. Following a weekend of upset after an unsuccessful internal party move against the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen, six cabinet ministers resigned triggering a new crisis.
Cowen tried to replace them, but his coalition partners wouldn't wear that one and forced Cowen to back down and name the date for the general election. Finally. March 11 is the date on everyone's calendar here, the day when the people of Ireland can throw off the yoke of the failures we saddled ourselves with back in 2007.
John F. Kennedy was sworn in as President 50 years ago today. It was 50 years ago today that the Irish in America and in Ireland celebrated one of their own taking the oath of the most powerful position in the most powerful country on Earth. They celebrated the fact that Catholicism and roots in the severe poverty of Ireland's past were no longer a bar to the most powerful positions in American society.
Kennedy's election wasn't revolutionary so much as evolutionary. Irish Catholics had been steadily rising from their lowly, poor, hungry position as immigrants in America following the famine of the 1840s. By the 1950s there were many leading Irish-American politicians, businessmen, war heroes and generals, actors and so on.
You can keep your climate change bill and all the extra costs associated with it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. The climate's changing and it's a calamity. Well, count me as a skeptic.
I am frequently out of step with the modern times, but I suspect I'm in a majority of people living on this small island who regret the decision of the Commissioners of Irish Lights to discontinue using foghorns.