29 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. NY Times op ed:  A St. Patrick’s Day Miracle: United Ireland

    For going on three years now, Britain has taken a holiday from sanity. A tiny island kingdom whose people once ruled nearly a fourth of the world’s land area squabbles over the terms of its self-inflicted diminishing and isolation.

    And really, who cares? Those who believe that history has a wicked sense of humor should care. From the depths of British bungling, hubris and incompetence is emerging a St. Patrick’s Day miracle: the real chance of a united Ireland.

    After more than 800 years, it’s not just possible but also seems inevitable that London’s ruling reach will no longer extend to part of the island west of the Irish Sea. All of the centuries when borders from India to Africa, from the Middle East to British Columbia, were drawn by besotted and bewigged Englishmen may end with the whimpering last gasps of Brexit.

    [….]

    The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 — an instance when “hope and history rhyme” in the words of the poet Seamus Heaney — ended the Troubles. Remarkably, it has held the peace, while essentially erasing the border between the Republic of Ireland and the swath of historic Ulster belonging to Britain.

    No one wants to put up guard stations and customs checks along the invisible 310-mile line separating prosperous Ireland, a member of the E.U., from the shakily peaceful six counties of the north, which would exit. And only the most hateful elements on both sides want a return of violence that is sure to come with a hard border.

    The solution? It’s there in the not-so-fine print of the peace agreement. Should a majority of Northern Ireland residents desire to leave Britain, it is required to call for a vote of those people.

    […]

    When the borders came down, so did many of the walls of religion and nationality. Catholics, long a persecuted minority, will soon be a majority in Northern Ireland if demographic trends continue.

    But the conflict is less about one Christian sect against another. It’s more about how to thrive in an interconnected world. The Republic of Ireland is proudly progressive, led by an openly gay taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who is of Irish and Indian heritage. After a series of scandals, the influence of the Catholic Church has greatly diminished. Last year, Ireland had the fastest-growing economy in Europe.

    Given a choice, a majority in Northern Ireland could well be persuaded to ditch what is left of feckless and intemperate Britain and form a single Irish nation — if for no other reason than they like the benefits that come with being a small country in the E.U. Of course, many things would still have to fall in place. But the stars are aligning.

    Remember: This was all Britain’s doing, unintentional though it was. Hope and history don’t usually rhyme. More often, they bump into each other. That happy accident could result a single Irish nation finally free of foreign rule.

  2. jace, ’tis a lovely tune.  thanks.

    more below from  irisharoundtheworld:

    If there is one song that has been sung over and over again, it would have to be Danny Boy. 

     

    You would be amazed over the years how many people have created a cover of the original song. 

     

    The list includes Thin Lizzy, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley and the list goes on and on! – Source wiki 

    […]

    Here are the muppets version of “Danny Boy”.

    Just great isn’t it?  I also really enjoyed Eric Clapton’s more chilled version of Danny Boy, you can have a listen to it below: 

    If you are looking for some lovely Irish music for St Patrick’s day. This article has a playlist with over 4 hours of great Irish music.

  3. https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/senator-aodhan-oriordan-says-hate-monger-donald-trump-should-not-visit-ireland-911510.html

    […]

    Senator O’Ríordán is holding an ‘Irish Stand’ vigil at the Famine Memorial in Dublin at 3pm today in an anti-racism campaign.

    He hit out at Mr Trump over his anti-immigrant stance, saying: “I don’t think he’s welcome here; I don’t think we want him here.

    “I think there’s a message from Irish people that we reject that type of politics…Today is an opportunity for Irish people to say that when hate causes such hurt and such violence all over the world, that one of the chief hate-mongers out there – Donald Trump – is not welcome in this country.

    “We’ll be saying that quite strongly today.”

  4. “…when hate causes such hurt and such violence all over the world, that one of the chief hate-mongers out there – Donald Trump – is not welcome in this country.”

      he’s not welcome here either.

  5. I’ll have to go have a Guinness in honor of the day. Maybe I’ll go see if I can find a snake to mess with. Otherwise, the annual TurboTax wrestling session and a little yard work if it warms up enough. Everyone’s a little Irish today? 

  6. Happy St. Paddy’s Day.  I do not plan on going to the Guiness brewery in Baltimore today.
     
    Looks like SFB is unable to remember Christmas 2018, a time when he sent hundreds of thousands home in a temper tantrum.  SNL reran the Christmas 2018 show and he acted like it was the first time he saw it.  Idiot.
     
    Here is a picture of a young Bald Eagle eating breakfast.  There were other birds around but they decided not to bother the young one.

  7. from wiki’s Race and ethnicity in the United States

    According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the twenty largest ancestry groups in the United States were (see above for the OMB self-designation options):

     

    Rank Ancestry or race Population Percent of total population
    1 German 46,403,053 14.7%
    2 Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 38,785,726 12.3%
    3 Mexican (of any race) 34,640,287 10.9%
    4 Irish 33,526,444 10.6%
    5 English 24,787,018 7.8%
    6 American 22,746,991 7.2%
    7 Italian 17,285,619 5.5%
    8 Polish 9,385,766 3.0%
    9 French 8,272,538 2.6%
    10 Scottish 5,409,343 1.7%
    11 Puerto Rican (of any race) 5,174,554 1.6%
    12 Norwegian 4,445,030 1.4%
    13 Dutch 4,289,116 1.4%
    14 Swedish 3,933,024 1.2%
    15 Chinese 3,852,099 1.2%
    16 Asian Indian 3,303,512 1.0%
    17 Scotch-Irish 3,046,005 1.0%
    18 Russian 2,843,400 0.9%
    19 West Indian (non-Hispanic) 2,824,722 0.9%
    20 Filipino 2,717,844 0.9%

     

  8. odd that the survey above doesn’t show “Hispanics” generally.  here is the percentage from wiki in their “Hispanic and Latino Americans” report

    As of 2017, Hispanics accounted for 18% of the U.S. population, or almost 59 million people

  9. Getting into the spirit of the day –Thanks Jace
    Some of our neighbors went to Ireland for St Patrick’s Day
    We will be celebrating at home no green beer here but we do like colcannon

  10. I just put the corned beef in the pot and later will pile on the taters, carrots and cabbage plus open a stout for st pat, a fitting feast for today.

    tomorrow, reubens!

  11. ap via msn:

    WASHINGTON — Newly released documents show that a former adviser to Russia’s president sustained a complete fracture of his neck “at or near the time of his death” in a Washington hotel room in 2015.

     

     

     

    The documents from the city’s medical examiner were released to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed nearly two years ago.

    In a report published Saturday, RFE said the finding offers no clear-cut evidence of foul play in the death of Mikhail Lesin, who was a key adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin during Putin’s rise to power.

    But RFE said the documents provide “the most precise scientific description” yet of a death that’s been shrouded in suspicion.

    The official ruling was that Lesin, 57, died accidentally of blunt force trauma after falling repeatedly in his room while intoxicated.

    Yet there is intrigue surrounding the case, fed by circumstantial evidence: It seems odd for someone Lesin’s age to die of blunt force trauma while alone in a room. There is also a gap in security video footage for the hours after Lesin was last seen alive. The police report eventually released to the public has been heavily redacted.

    Above all, there is a long history of high-profile Russians turning up dead or seriously ill in foreign countries.

    RFE said the documents released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner show that Lesin’s hyoid bone had been completely fractured. An official, whose name was redacted, is quoted as saying such breaks “are commonly associated with hanging or manual strangulation,” but that it was also possible that the bone was damaged during the autopsy.

    Lesin had amassed a fortune through a company he set up in the 1990s to sell television advertising. He then spent years as Putin’s media czar, helping bring national television under Kremlin control during Putin’s rise to power. Later he founded the global news network Russia Today, now known as RT. But he abruptly resigned in December 2014 and was believed by some Moscow-watchers to have fallen out of favor with the Putin government.

  12. am anticipating another humdinger of a hearing on this one

    nbc news:

    A former Fox News employee plans to tell Congress about allegations that the outlet tried to stop her from reporting on the Stormy Daniels controversy during the 2016 election, citing an exception to a nondisclosure agreement she signed.

    On Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings formally requested that the reporter, Diana Falzone, talk with committee investigators and provide documents related to her attempts to report on Daniels’ allegations that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer, paid her hush money after an alleged affair with Trump in 2006.

     

    Falzone’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, told MSNBC on Thursday night that Falzone will now comply under an exception to her NDA with Fox News.

    […]

    The New Yorker reported this month that Fox News prevented Falzone from reporting on Daniels’ allegations during the election to protect Trump, which Fox denies. A former Fox News executive also maintains the story was shelved because it was not journalistically ready, not because of any political agenda.

    In her MSNBC interview, Smith specifically rebutted that account, calling it a “lie” and saying the executive was not the person who prevented Falzone’s story from being published.

    “We’ll see what the evidence shows about how Fox reacted to this story,” Smith added.

    […]

    Many NDA agreements include provisions that broadly bar public statements but still provide exceptions for complying with criminal and government investigations. Falzone has not released the text of her NDA.

    Many legal experts say a legitimate congressional request overrides a typical NDA, and even if an NDA tried to bar such cooperation, courts are unlikely to punish someone for responding to a valid investigative request for information.

    [continues]

  13. the twit tweets to faux fox friends according to the hill:

    “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die! Stay true to the people that got you there.”

     

     

    [won’t see above carved on any future  monument in d.c. … not exactly matthew 5 or even “ask not what you can do for your country” calibre ]

  14. Sturge, you back?  Missed your take on stuff. 
    Btw if anyone saw Chuck Todd today, WTF is he doing with his hair?  Who’s handling makeup and hairstyle for MTP ? They need to consider a new line of work. 

  15. Ms Pat,
    That ‘official report’ on Lesin’s death reminds me of a coroner’s report in Texas during the early ’60s, when a government investigator and antagonist of billy saul estes committed suicide by shooting himself in the back 6 times.
     

  16. In 1967, I tried to interest the county attorney of Nobles County, MN to empanel a grand jury to investigate the death of a little boy. The pathologist’s report stated that the boy had multiple fractures of his skull caused by something round, like a ball-peen hammer. However, the sheriff’s official report stated that the boy had died by climbing over the rail of his crib and falling on the [flat] floor. As flat floors don’t produce multiple round fractures from which little cracks radiate, it occurred to me that the sheriff had made a mistake, which a grand jury could rectify. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to see a blatant homicide like this.

    The county attorney told me that there hadn’t been a grand jury empaneled in Nobles County in thirty-five years, and he’d be damned if he’d empanel one now. The county attorney is now under sod. I intend to pee on his grave in the spring.

    My chief suspect is probably about seventy-one years old about now. The boy, had he lived, would be around fifty-five. 

  17. We just attended a memorial event for our friends’ daughter. It was a wonderful event, but I’m grumpy anyway. Parents shouldn’t have to bury their children. 
    dammit

  18. Once again life mimics art. You just can’t make this shit up – unless you’re an underground cartoonist from the 1970s.

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