An American in Irelandby The Yank
- Hey Senator Levin - Ireland is NOT a tax haven
- When your daughter insists on going in the One Direction that creates the most stress
- 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
I was on the DART - Dublin Area Rapid Transit - last week when I thought it was sad sign of how bad things have gotten here. I don't ride the train all that often, but I was shocked by the state of the train I was on: broken seats, graffiti and filth. I've seen one of those on a DART train before, but this was the first time all three seemed to be riding so comfortably together.
It was a far cry from my first ride on the DART back in 1985. Back then it was brand new and I, a student from New York, couldn't get over the difference between the DART and the broken down, graffiti-covered, filthy Subway. And even though the DART showed signs of age it never looked neglected. Until now.
On Friday evening I headed back into Dublin, but this time on the Luas - Dublin's light rail system - with my family. What a difference. The Luas is today what the DART was back in the mid 1980s. At least, I hope so because I saw the Luas as a sign that things would get better, that there is hope still. I felt a bit better after the Luas journey.
Today in Fromelles, France a joint Australian-British ceremony marked the occasion of the last burial of the 250 men from the Australian and British World War I armies whose bodies were recently found in a mass grave near the battle site. This follows last week's ceremony at Arlington when American soldier and Irishman Thomas Costello was buried with full military honors following the recent discovery of his body in eastern France.
George Steinbrenner is dead and Yankee fans should say a little prayer of thanks for all he did and they might want to throw in a few prayers asking one or two saints to intercede on his behalf and ask God to overlook many of the things he did.
I'm a Met fan and hate the Yankees. It warms my heart when they lose or even just do something stupid.
Most Met fans, including me, enjoyed the fact that George turned the Yankees into a circus. Before Steinbrenner the Yankees were supposedly all about class and professionalism, but once Steinbrenner got involved all of that went out the window.
On Monday an American soldier killed in action will be buried in Arlington cemetery with full military honors. This soldier was not, however, killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in eastern France in 1918.
Private Thomas D. Costello (60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division) Although the location of Costello's grave was reported at the time, the Army was unable to locate the exact spot after the war. Costello's body was only discovered in 2006 and identified using "forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence," including dental records.
In some ways Costello's death seems almost like ancient history. Yet, during the fighting which claimed his life, he wasn't far from where my own grandfather's regiment (165th Infantry) was involved. Costello never came home, never had a chance to marry, have a family or descendants. That
Costello's nearest living relative, his great-great nephew Michael Frisbie of Maine, will be at Arlington for the ceremony. Until the Army contacted him, Frisbie never knew he had a great-great uncle who had fought in WWI. It's great that Costello's been found, is being buried where he belongs (although the
Irish people used to almost love complaining that "we have the worst roads in the world." I don't know how true that was, but the roads are so much better now that nobody would make that claim today. However, we now own a new "worst in the world title": Ireland now boasts the worst bank in the world.
Of course all of this depends on how you measure the quality of a bank. I'm sure there is a bank out there that someone might believe is worse than Anglo-Irish Bank, but I doubt they'd be able to point to any facts of figures to back them up. It would almost certainly be based more on anecdotal evidence borne of frustration.