Friday, January 26, 2007
The Irish Children’s Program in Rochester, New York
Since the 1998 Belfast Agreement, the violence in Northern Ireland has eased considerably. But still there is a wall of suspicion and mistrust between the Catholic and Protestant communities. Summer in Rochester is a way to ease that tension, a few children at a time.It struck me as an anachronism, coming as it does almost ten years after peace broke out in Northern Ireland. In retrospect, I guess the declaration of peace was as premature as that "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq banner displayed behind Bush on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln way back in May, 2003.
Aileen and my other good friends over at A Tangled Web who live in Northern Ireland day in and day out all seem to have problems of one kind or another with the "Peace Process" just like I have problems with America’s ongoing military presence in Iraq. I said the other day in reply to a comment ("Anyone who wants to stop the instability should support the Coalition efforts") by Charles in Texas.
Yes, Charles, let's see if we can tie all this back into Northern Ireland. The coalition has an army in the field trying to suppress inter-tribal violence that is killing civilians as well as military personnel. Some of the death squads are in league with the local government. Some of the death squads consider the coalition to be an army of occupation that they must drive from their land. Foreign countries (or citizens thereof) are sending guns and money to both sides.Reminds me of an old joke about Richard Nixon: At least he kept our boys out of Northern Ireland.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Bush Has Stopped Beating Up on FISA
George Bush's attorney, Alberto Gonzales, announced this week that the President has stopped beating up on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the statute of limitations hasn't run out. After Bush admitted in December 2005 to violating FISA for more than four years, Attorney General Gonzales defended his boss by saying that FISA did not apply. Now Gonzales says that, not only does it apply, but they have decided to obey the law, five years too late.
In a normal world where normal rules of criminal procedure apply, a felon who admits to violating the law is indicted. In the constitutional separation of powers, an indictment is called IMPEACHMENT. The 109th Congress failed to impeach (indict) Bush after he admitted to high crimes in 2005. Now he has affirmed his confession through his attorney in 2007. Will the 110th Congress also shirk its DUTY TO IMPEACH?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Another Story for Aileen in Northern ireland
Way back in Part 1, I introduced you to Bill Broadhurst via an email he had sent to me in 2002. Here's a little more background on Bill from his website:
A HISTORY OF BELFAST FIRE BRIGADE by Bill Broadhurst and Harry Welsh
Bill Broadhurst retired on 24th October 2003 from the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade while Harry Welsh officially retired on the 1st June 2003. Initially they became friends during their service together on White Watch at Central Fire Station Chichester street Belfast, when they discussed the history of the Belfast Brigade and where it could be found. Shortly afterwards as a search began it quickly became apparent that all or most of the records kept by the brigade had been destroyed or re-cycled during the Second World War to assist with paper shortages.On the third page of Bill's website is, in fact, another photo of my grandfather just as Bill had told me there was. (Scroll down to the third picture which has the caption The Belfast Fire Brigade also operated the Emergency Ambulances throughout the city. They regularly took part in the many competitions which were held throughout Ireland. My grandfather is the third from the left in the first row.)
The history of the Belfast Fire Brigade has now been compiled to the best of their ability and a Book entitled "THE FLAMING TRUTH, a history of the Belfast Fire Brigade" has been published by Flaming Publications and printed by The Priory Press, Holywood, Co.Down after assistance with the costs were granted by the Belfast City Council.