Posts Tagged ‘America’
(I first wrote this March of 2011. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)
Coffin Ships are a rather sad part of Irish history. Originating during the Great Irish Famine, and of course the prison ships to Botany Bay. The first vessel with Irish convicts for Botany Bay arrived in Port Jackson on 26 September 1791.
They were called “coffin ships,” because so many poor souls had been dying on them as of late, leaving behind widows and orphans and broken families. Typically untrustworthy vessels, these ships were purchased literally from salvage yards (where they awaiting dismantling) by unscrupulous owners who had no intention of repairing them. Sailors who agreed to serve on board these floating wrecks typically knew nothing of the dangers until they were well out at sea, vagabonds, and those desperate for work (of which there were plenty) quickly volunteered.
Concerned only with profits, these same ship owners heavily overburdened the ships then insured them against expected losses of cargo. They were quite literally worth more at the bottom of the sea than upon it.
The blog is green once again. The quote is changed as it will do so each week this month for something that I feel is witty, applicable or entertaining. Your mileage may vary of course.
A recent conversation reminded me of the dangers of doing my historical work each year on Ireland. We Irish are romantics, we even romanticize our revolutions, and it can be easy to fall sway under the ideology through that silver tongue. I say we, but at the heart of the issue is I am whats usually known as a Plastic Paddy, born in America and accepted by neither. So it is.
My grandfather supported independence, but not the method by which it was attempted or achieved. That’s a serious fence to straddle, especially in Irish politics. I think due him I am of the same. The methods were brutal, ugly, horrible and little more than terrorism. The basis for the action can be understood, even appreciated, but not the extremes to which it was taken. Having never been in that position myself, I find it hard for me to judge any stronger than that.
No side was correct in the conflict and troubles. Both sides did wrong, gave wrong, and escalated wrong. No side was in the right, and it was all painted in shades of gray.
The cease fires are important. Because only by stepping away from the conflict can we see how far down the path we go in losing our humanity, ability, and basic human concern for our fellow man. If one stays in the furnace too long all they see is fire, and everything needs to burn.
I hope by this way of explanation I have somewhat eased my friends’ mind in regards to my own position, complex though it may seem.
The works I have written that are military in nature and gathered may sometimes seem to support one side, or the other, but its not the case. Rather I am attempting to bring perspective, a chance to view for a moment through another eye as best I can. A glimpse behind the curtain if you will. The intent is to explain to my fellow Americans that we are not as insulated as we think we are from terrorism, and all it takes is one action, one straw for the camel that we could be thrust in to a similar corner. At which point only studying history such as Ireland do we find peaceful ways out of that corner, without entering the furnace ourselves.
I first published this at Techography on March 17, 2007. I reposted it here in 2010 for posterity and your reading pleasure! I imagine it will be a yearly thing- BS
I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement [vicus] of Bannavem Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
St. Patrick, The Confessio
The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn Succat, and he almost didn’t get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.
Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.
I first wrote this back in 2007 at Techography. With Calimus’ help I dug it from the archives and republished it here, in 2010. As with all things Irish Heritage, I’ve brought it back once again. Enjoy. -BloodSpite
Now that I’ve learned a great deal about Northern Ireland, there are things I can say about it: that it’s an unhealthy and morbid place, where people learn to die from the time that they”re children; where we’ve never been able to forget our history and our culture-which are only other forms of violence; where it’s so easy to deride things and people; where people are capable of much love, affection, human warmth and generosity. But, my God! How much we know how to hate!Every two or three hours, we resurrect the past, dust it off and throw it in someone”s face.
-Betty WilliamsNorthern Irish Peace activist, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
It”s almost time ye see.
Time to dust off the green carnations, the Erin Go Bragh pins.
Time to remember, and time to celebrate.
It has been said, albeit sometimes bitterly, that Ireland’s best exports were her son’s and daughters. But they have kept the faith, however Americanized. Little Ireland, poor and underpopulated, with it’s humble patron Saint unknown in the rest of the Christian world causing all the fuss one day a year on a day in March.
Saint Patrick’s Day in New York is the most fantastic affair, and in past years on Fifth Avenue, from Forty-fourth Street to Ninety-Sixth Street, the white traffic lines were painted green for the occasion. All the would-be Irish, has-been Irish, and never-been Irish seem to appear true-blue Irish overnight. Everyone is in on the act, but it is a very jolly occasion and I have never experienced anything like it anywhere else in the world
Brendan BenhanBrendan Benhan”s New York
My grandfather used to joke.
“Do ye know what St Patrick’s Day is in New York?”
My family moved south to Georgia, the mountains of the time in the North of the state wild, to escape the lack of jobs and the No Irish Need Applysigns that plagued them upon their arrival to the land of milk and honey.
“No Grandpa.” said I, the youth and unknowing. A babe in the woods. ” What is St Patrick’s Day in New York?”
“St Patrick’s Day In New York is the day all the factory owners on Fifth Avenue watch their employee’s parade in the streets.” he roared, laughing at his joke that took me years to understand.
Englishmen, Scotchmen, Jews, do well in Ireland- Irishman, never; even the patriot has to leave Ireland to get a hearing.
Each day of the Weekend, for the rest of March I will supply some tidbits on life in Ireland, stories my family has past to me, both of their time in Armagh, and upon their arrival here in the US.
I hope that you will See St Patrick’s Day to be more than just a time for green carnations, green beer and music. I hope you will see just what it means for those of us who are Irish, in America.
Thus when you raise your green glass, to your mates and your friends, and you hear the words of every lasses lover in the lyrics of Danny Boy, you”ll have a tear in your eye and your heart, for a people who at once are ready for anything, and prepared for nothing, and proud just the same.
Pretty are they not?
A spectacular show those whom have not experienced the horrors of war. A simulation of the explosions, the roar, and the crackle of fire in the night. But Stinger missiles do not blast in shades of red white and blue, and phosphorus is a white that is blindingly bright that almost burns the eyes while it lights the night sky.
What have we become?
What have we done?
“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”
― Albert Einstein
It’s March again.
I wanted to write this post earlier this week and have it prepped. Unfortunately I’ve been sick the vast majority of the week and frankly anything aside from my eyelids has been a painful undertaking these last several days.
That aside, March has been a special time of the year for this website since its inception.
Long time readers know that every March we turn the page green with the woods of Ireland, and our pages are graced with myth, history and stories about the green isle.
It’s with this 1st of March that I am happy to again paint out pages green, and put forth stories both new and old from previous years to help share the wonder that is being Irish, and Ireland.
I try not to take to much a political vein in my posts, I love Ireland for what it is, what it was, and what it can be. My family left its shore many years ago and I make no denials that many current Irishman would consider me a “Plastic Paddy”. That does not diminish my efforts, or my desire to give some under standings to the struggles our people have been through, or the legends that we were given.
That said join us won’t you? As we celebrate the green month once again, and another year of being Irish, in America!
Last night possibly the worst storm in 29 years rolled through the south east.
More than 200 people are dead across five southern states following what the National Weather Service is calling the deadliest wave of tornadoes since 1974.
Five southern states — Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia — are reporting fatalities, with officials reporting at least 141 dead in Alabama and eight in Virginia.
This storm barely missed my town of Smyrna, and we were lucky. Too many people lost their lives, and I struggle to find a reason for it.
Last night around 8:00, I started getting ready for the worst. Mind you, I am rarely uneasy about storms, but this one seemed different. It was just so hot and humid outside, and with a violent thunderstorm on its way, I knew this is what breeds tornado’s. Unfortunately little else is known about why tornado’s strike with very little warning.
Fear sunk in as I watched the radar and the swirling red and yellow approaching, it was very sobering as I looked around our humble home and chose which of my valuables to save. I packed a couple bags, of course the diaper bag for the baby with diapers and a change of clothes, milk, and juice. Then I looked to our personal valuables. I packed our firebox with priceless jewelry, some files, birth certs and marriage licenses, social security cards. We took our baby’s book which had all the first memories, first hair clippings, and my computers and backup hard drive.
While looking at our bags, and got ready to start taking them down to the neighbors basement, I wondered how many by daybreak won’t even have these few things left.
Every time I hear of a storm, virtualy just wind and rain, 2 of the things that supply life, that is taking lives I have to wonder….
Why does this happen? How is it that 2 of the most important things that sustain human life kill so many people?
Bloodspite said it best when we talk of tornado’s, “They are the literal Finger of God”
I pray for the families that lost loved ones and of the families that lost their houses and businesses, nothing left to do now but to pick up the pieces and move on….
That’s right my friends, I have not only found my daily cigar, but the perfect combo. Here it is:
CAO Brazilia Gol and a brand of Birch Beer only available up north: Weis.
How I came up with this killer combo? When I enjoy a nice cigar, I like to have a beverage with me to keep my mouth moistened, and my palate clean. This past weekend, I was headed out to the porch to savor my newly found favorite moderately priced stogie, when I went to the fridge, I noticed I had nothing worth drinking, then I spotted my wife’s stash of Weis Birch Beer, and figured “what the hell, I’m, an adventurer” and out I went.
I fired up my cigar, and took a few puffs, then opened the can, and what ensued was a barage of flavor, and distinct enjoyment. The flavors of both the soda, and the smoke combined in what I can only describe as an erotic dance.
Now if you will excuse me, I am off to find a distributor of the Birch Beer, as I live in Georgia, and not up north.
Till next time, Happy Smoking.
Hello, this is the long lost soul. I have been a stranger here, but I finally have a chance to breathe.
A lot has happened in my absence, and here is a brief update.
First and foremost, my son started walking, and forced me to lock all the cabinets in the house, as he appears to be a little terror already. Another thing he has started doing is shaking his head no…I wonder where he got that one from.
Another new event is the introduction of yard work to my weekends. For the first year of our marriage, we lived in an apartment, and there was no outdoor maintenance there. Now that we are in a house, and the landlord said to me “Do whatever you want to with it, make it your own, paint walls, take down doors, and rip up shrubs if you want, we dont care…” Yea, I have done all of that, even remodeled the kitchen a bit
With that said, I have taken out all of the shrubs, and tiny trees that were making the front yard look like a bit of a jungle, and constructed 14′ flower beds on both sides of the porch, and the wife and I have planted about 40 flowers in there.
One of the most noteworthy ventures of late, is that I have quit smoking cigarettes yet again, and have repleced them with fine cigars. The little one is starting to mimic everything I do, and I dont want that to be one of the things that he starts because he saw me doing it.
Aside from all that, I have been extremely busy at work, as I have made the move to an IT position in my growing company, it keeps me very busy.
Well, thats all the updates for now, stay tuned…
Time Lines are hell. Especially when you claim to be taking decisive action in a crisis.
Take a look at this one. Look at the rhetoric each day, look at the corresponding action.
Tell me your thoughts. I know what mine are and presented them at the end.
This is in reply to a previous post: Don’t go Fixing your Dishwasher.
Bloodspite and myself had a conversation yesterday about the phosphate content in dish washing detergent. It started when he told me of his woes in the dirty dish land, in which he couldn’t seem to get his dishes clean via his automatic dish washer. I told him tales of the marvelous detergent I had been using in my 22 year old dish washer. Gave him the link in which to find this modern miracle which removed 5 day old spaghetti sauce, and dried up re-fried beans… I was even so bold as to tell him that if id didn’t work, I would refund his money personally….
Then he told me that he had tried it, and that when I opened my new box of this miracle product, I may find my self in his same situation…
He was right….
I wanted to post something for Christmas, as that is my holiday of choice for this time of year. I could find nothing cooler to post than the first pictures my son (11 months old) had made with Santa! So without further ado, here they are, Enjoy!
More after the jump….
Still typing and posting via my phone so unfortunately this will be much shorter than I want it to be and what I have in my head.
But just a few key points.
Best quote on what should have taken place re: White House reaction?
If you publish any more material we will hunt you down no matter the cost, and you either will be killed while resisting arrest or you will spend the rest of your lives in solitary confinement in a Supermax prison, where the highlight of your day will be 1 hour spent in a cage instead of your cell. Don’t look up, that sound of propellers in the air is not a Predator drone.
Here’s my biggest issue that I would really love to get in to but a tiny keyboard prevents me from: When Wiki Leaks released their first salvo back in October there was some outrage, but the our government rolled over and played dead.
Now that heaven forbid the diplomats, politicians and other government civilian types are ousted the State Department is up in arms and launches a investigation.
So effectively what your saying is soldiers lives don’t matter: but government bureaucrats are sacred. When you knew a month ago that the Wikileaks crew were going to do so again and you took no action save for a sternly worded letter.
This administration effectively disgusts me.
Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head? You keep singing it in your mind or softly to yourself, all day, and can’t get it to stop? Well, my friends, that’s your Brain Radio….
Welcome to mine!
Breaking Benjamin – I Will Not Bow, Military music video tribute
Enjoy! Support our troops, and don’t forget about the Valour-IT Fundraiser Auction Part II: Statues, Medals &…Cigars?
Once upon a time the dream of immigrants was American Citizenship.
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God
However, one city, one state at a time, that is rapidly becoming unnecessary. Furthermore those of us whom actually are citizens are paying the price of the disenfranchisement, as well as the price tag of the benefits of not being an American citizen.
On October 12, 2000 at 09:30 local time the USS Cole completed it’s mooring in to the port of Aden for refueling.
As the process started, a little after 11 am a small craft approached the vessel. At 6,800 tons, a US Naval destroyer is not a small ship, but in the warrior class of naval warfare they are one of the lighter combatants.
As I read BloodSpite’s post of the three of us, I couldn’t hold back a few tears. My wife thought it was cute…
Today, and for the past few days I haven’t stopped thinking about it. In middle and high school, we three were inseparable. We have seen a lot in our days. We saw the use of Pagers, and beepers rise, and fall. We used the first cell phones, watched them get smaller and smaller, then bigger and bigger, (I still don’t understand why). We’ve seen our share of hard times, and good. We have seen many girls, and in some cases, we’ve seen each others girls, but that’s another story.
We were three misfits, as it were, and maybe that’s the reason we found such closeness. We started out as “nobody’s” and ended up Kings of our school. Heck, we even raced cars a bit.
I can recall one day in our senior year, we all left school early, and raced back to Calimus’ house, weaving in and out of traffic, and I almost lost it and hit Bethany Bridge….but alas, I was the best driver in the world, (in my own eyes). And the time of BloodSpite’s Brouha on Peoples Valley Rd’s railroad tracks.
Dang, we were indestructible! We lived without a care in the world, Kings..
If we’d have met today, for the first time, would we like each other?
If you look at all our lives after High School…you wouldn’t find 3 other lives that were as different. I guess that’s what makes us such good friends. Its not where you are, or where you’ve been…its who knew you before you were you. That’s what makes true friends, knowing someone for so long that no matter what happens ion your life, when ever you happen to meet up with them later in life, there is still such a strong bond that nothing else matters.
I guess seeing that old picture stirred up some kind of mushy sentiment, whatever it was, I can say that I am very fortunate to have such true friends.