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St. Patrick Ended Child Sacrifice in Ireland. Will Fine Gael Bring It Back?

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 17:21

Today the world commemorates St. Patrick's Day with revelries, drunkenness and cartoonish leprechauns. But the great evangelist known for Christianizing Ireland in the fifth century deserves better remembrance. In fact, Patrick is a model of Christian virtue to be emulated.

Roaming bandits kidnapped Patrick from his home in Britain when he was a young man. They enslaved him for years in Ireland. Nevertheless, God used that experience for good. He inspired Patrick to become a bishop, and eventually to call the land where he had been a captive to repentance. Patrick lamented that the people of Ireland "never had the knowledge of God, but until now only worshipped idols and abominations." Thus began the task of cultural reconstruction.

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How Patrick Defeated Paganism

Except for two letters written by Patrick himself, details are scant about his life and ministry. But later accounts allege that he fearlessly spread the Gospel and actively condemned barbaric cultural practices. At that time, Ireland was controlled by the Druids. These pagan warlocks are believed to have regularly practiced human sacrifice, particularly of newborns, to please their bloodthirsty idols.

According to the legend, the Druids had assembled before the king for an occult festival celebrating the Spring solstice. During the festival, no other fires were allowed to burn but their own. St. Patrick and a few other Christians ascended the Hill of Slane, like Elijah before the prophets of Baal, and defied the law by building a massive bonfire that all could see. Patrick literally "let light shine out of darkness" as a witness to the glory of God.

Patrick was brought before the king where he professed the blood of Christ as the sacrifice for all time and condemned the Druid sacrifices. At this, the queen and many courtiers repented and were converted. According to lore, Patrick baptized thousands. His brave action on the Hill of Slane broke the back of paganism in Ireland and effectively ended human sacrifice and slavery across the island.

His brave action on the Hill of Slane broke the back of paganism in Ireland and effectively ended human sacrifice and slavery across the island.

The Return of Child Sacrifice

It may be no coincidence that even today, abortion--child sacrifice to the idol of convenience--remains illegal in almost all cases on the Emerald Isle. Nevertheless, there remain a few snakes in Ireland.

The conservative Fine Gael party, which controls the Irish parliament is now split on whether to support abortion legalization. Despite running as a pro-life candidate, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that he will campaign to overturn Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which prohibits abortion. He claims his views on abortion have "evolved." Micheal Martin, the opposition leader, has also declared support for repealing the Eighth.

Why now? International abortion groups are driving the agenda. Amnesty International even took an illegal EUR137,000 grant from George Soros to liberalize Ireland's abortion laws. And pro-abortion giants have funneled millions of dollars from international sources to promote the repeal campaign.

“I fear nothing, because of the promises of Heaven."

The Irish people today face a struggle unlike anything since the days of St. Patrick. A referendum on the Eighth Amendment will be held before the end of summer. Yet two-thirds of Ireland still believes abortion should not be available-on-request. Perhaps a pro-life majority will yet rise up, reject abortion extremism, and save the Eighth. A new cultural renewal is needed, and there is much work to be done.

God Save the Irish

Patrick wrote, "Daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery. … But I fear nothing, because of the promises of Heaven." His desire was that Christ be remembered, "in the heart of every man who thinks of me; Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me."

This St. Patrick's Day, let us pray that Christ would be remembered in all those who labor for life in Ireland. Let the Irish be inspired by the spirit of St. Patrick to fight against child-sacrifice in their great country. And with the same courage that Patrick drew upon to confront the evil of his time, let us rise to confront the evils of ours, armed with the Word of our testimony and the blood of Lamb, so that Christ's name is proclaimed over all.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Josh Craddock lives with his wife and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Douglas Brinkley Goes Full Drama Queen Over McCabe Firing

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 16:53
<p>Quick! Somebody pass the smelling salts to CNN's Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley.</p> <p>He went full blown hysterical on CNN's <em>Tonight </em>on Friday over the news about the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He tossed out words like "Friday night slaughter" and "paranoid" to describe President Donald Trump and he was only getting warmed up. He acted as if the firing was strictly political and unjustified. However, as we shall later hear from reknowned legal scholar Jonathan Turley, the firing was not only justified but probably mandatory.</p>

A Second Amendment Spring Break, Part 1: Introduction and Hitting the Road

NRA Blog - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 16:30
Two pro-gun college students tour the USA...

This Week in Media Bias History: Stop This Patriotism Before It Gets Out of Hand!

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 16:15
<p>After the Gulf War in 1991, <em>Time</em> magazine was worried about an outbreak of patriotism. It must be stopped before it “bursts the bounds of reason” and “passes into jingoism.” Another example from the <a href="" target="_blank">This Week in Media Bias History</a> archives: Dan Rather, he’s not subtle. The now-disgraced <em>CBS Evening News</em> anchor in 1995 described the 1994 GOP congressional class as aiming to “demolish” programs “helping children and the poor.”</p>

Juan Williams Plays 'But Trump!' Three Times in Excusing CBC Dems' Embrace of Farrakhan

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 15:05
<p>On the March 10 midnight edition of <em>Fox News @Night</em>, Juan Williams disingenuously made three attempts to create a false equivalence between Congressional Black Caucus leaders' political and physical embraces of National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Donald Trump's non-existent relationship with the KKK. Host Shannon Bream and the Daily Caller's Vince Coglianese weren't having any of it, but Williams wouldn't let go.</p>

After Tens of Thousands Rally to Save the 8th, Ireland Activists Look to Referendum on Abortion

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 15:00

Last week tens of thousands gathered in Dublin, Ireland for the nation’s annual pro-life rally. Pro-lifers have marched in Ireland since 2007. But this year, they bore a heightened sense of urgency. Headed by the pro-life group Save the 8th, they marched to keep abortion illegal. 

Ireland’s constitution bans abortion. In this, the nation is rare in the developed world. Adopted in 1983, the constitution’s Eighth Amendment “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn.” Abortion is only legal to save the mother's life. 

That could soon change. Citizens can vote in a constitutional referendum in May or June. Their choice will then be submitted to the president for signing. Any change to the constitution would only allow abortion up to 12 weeks, according to Irish Health minister Simon Harris.

In a show of support for the Eighth Amendment, around 100,000 showed up to march last Saturday, organizers estimate. Media reported tens of thousands. It was more than expected, said a spokesperson for Save the 8th. But “it was evidence of the strong pro-life position around Ireland.” reported there was a relatively minuscule counter-protest.

Support for the Unborn

The rally featured a variety of pro-life speakers, including American Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa. Herndon-De La Rosa made news last year after her pro-life group, New Wave Feminists, was booted from partnering with the Women’s March on Washington. In her speech, she called abortion a “symptom of women’s oppression.” 

The line-up also included Charlie Fien, a pro-life activist with Down syndrome. Fien noted the high abortion rates of unborn babies with Down syndrome around the world. “Saving the Eighth will save the lives of babies with Down syndrome,” she said.

Part of Save the 8th’s campaign focuses on supporting the rights of people with Down syndrome. 

What Does Ireland Want?

Those fighting to “save the 8th” insist the Irish people don’t want or need abortion. In an interview with The Stream last August, pro-life activist Niamh Ui Bhriain claimed foreign funding and biased media fuel the Irish pro-choice movement.

“Ireland's experience shows that you could ban abortion and protect women’s lives,” Ui Bhriain said at the time. According to data, Ireland’s maternal mortality rate is among the world’s lowest. Abortion advocates “know pro-lifers the world over can look to Ireland as a real, proven example of why abortion is never necessary,” she said. 

‘Abortion is Not the Answer’

Despite pro-lifers’ insistence that Ireland rejects abortion, Irish media tells a slightly different story. According to an Irish Times poll this year, 56 percent support allowing abortion up to 12 weeks. 

How do pro-lifers respond? “The Irish people have not been afforded a fair and balanced discussion,” Save the 8th maintained in a email to The Stream. “When the Irish people are made fully aware of the actual wording of the referendum question, we have no doubt that these numbers will shift to a pro-life point of view.” 

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The spokesperson pointed to the Life Canvass, an effort begun in 2015 by pro-lifers. Volunteers knock on doors to engage citizens in discussion about abortion. “The response is predominantly positive [toward the pro-life position].” 

Pro-lifers still think Ireland could stand to improve the way it helps struggling mothers and families. For instance, with better healthcare and social support. But “abortion is not the answer.” 

In a few months, the referendum will reveal whether the rest of Ireland agrees. 

Chart of the day: Creative destruction, the Uber effect, and the slow death of the NYC taxi cartel - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 13:58

From the article “This Chart Shows the Slow Death of the NYC Yellow Taxi” by Nick Lucchesi:

A new chart released this week shows that the New York City taxi cab is not only an endangered species but that its days are numbered. Today, there are 65 percent more ride-hailing trips than taxi trips in New York City (see chart above).

Genius employee and data-visual enthusiast Todd Schneider pulled from the reams of data released by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission each month that shows fares by car type — taxi or ride-hailing service. His analysis shows the tide has turned: At the end of 2017, all monthly ride-hailing pickups (Uber, Lyft, Juno, Via, Gett) numbered 15 million, while taxi pickups numbered less than 10 million. As use of yellow taxis (which primarily serve Manhattan) and green taxis (which primarily serve the other four boroughs) has been on the decline, there’s been a sharp increase in the use of ride-hailing apps.

The chart above shows the data behind one of the most dramatic changes in America’s largest city over the past five years. The way people in New York (tourists and locals alike) get around has flipped, and it doesn’t show any sign of stopping, according to Schneider’s analysis.

Related: According to the most recent monthly report from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for taxi medallion sales in February, most of the medallion sales are now foreclosures (24 out of 37) and one medallion sold for only $125,000. The January report was equally as bleak — one taxi medallion sold for $120,000 and the majority (47 out of 62) were listed as either bankruptcy or foreclosure sales. As recently as August 2014, NYC taxi medallions were selling for $1 million, just as the ride-hailing revolution was beginning (see chart) and Hurricane Joseph Schumpeter started disrupting the NYC transportation market with a very large, once-in-a-century tsunami of creative destruction called “The Uber Effect.”


White House Pushes Back Against Reports of Tumult, Purges

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 12:51

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is pushing back against talk of a staffing purge, insisting that reports of tumult and imminent departures are overblown.

Chief of staff John Kelly, himself the subject of rumors that his job may be in jeopardy, has assured some staffers that they’re safe, at least for now.

The message he conveyed was an attempt at “reassuring them that there were no immediate personnel changes at this time and that people shouldn’t be concerned,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.

But days after President Donald Trump’s secretary of state was ousted, many close to the Trump think more upheaval is coming soon.

Trump has been moving toward replacing national security adviser H.R. McMaster but has not settled on exact timing or a successor, according to four people with knowledge of White House deliberations. Kelly has also worn on the president, Trump confidants said. And Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, under fire for ethics violations, appears to be grasping to keep his job.

Sanders gave multiple reassurances about McMaster -- first in a tweet Thursday and then from the briefing room podium the next day. She said Trump had indicated that no changes were coming.

McMaster said Sanders had “set it straight” but struck a slightly different tone.

“Everybody has got to leave the White House at some point,” he told a reporter from ABC News outside the West Wing. “I’m doing my job.”

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But the air of stability the White House tried to project felt more like a pause than a permanent shift.

Trump is privately weighing still more changes, expressing frustration with some aides and sifting through possible replacements. Reports of tumult in the administration were at such a feverish pitch that the president on Thursday reflected on the latest staff departures during an Oval Office conversation with Kelly and Vice President Mike Pence.

With a laugh, Trump said: “Who’s next?”

It’s a question that has the whole White House on edge.

Kelly has told confidants that he believes he can weather the current storm. But he has grown increasingly frustrated with the constant turmoil in the West Wing, believing at times that Trump intentionally fuels the chaos to keep his staff on its toes and his name in headlines, according to a person familiar with Kelly’s thinking. The person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

This account of the tensions in the White House is based on conversations with more than a dozen officials inside the White House and familiar with West Wing deliberations, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal matters.

Trump’s administration has set records for turnover among senior administration aides. Top economic adviser Gary Cohn and communications director Hope Hicks are leaving in the coming weeks. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was just unceremoniously ousted. Trump personal assistant John McEntee was removed from his job and escorted off White House grounds -- then quickly handed a job on Trump’s re-election campaign.

In private conversations in recent weeks, Trump has reflected on his desire to reshape the administration. Though the drumbeat of the Russia probe has only grown louder, the president believes that his recent decisions on tariffs and North Korea have breathed new life into his administration, and he is eager to take more bold steps that make his own mark. He has told confidants he wants to rid himself of staffers who hold him back.

Trump chafes at McMaster’s demeanor, complaining that his aide lectures him, according to three current and former administration officials. Officials said personal tensions have led McMaster to be sidelined in some internal discussions, including a recent meeting on Venezuela sanctions, with Kelly taking on a more active role in foreign policy decisions.

The president and McMaster have disagreed on a number of issues -- including the Iran deal and the U.S. approach to North Korea -- and the national security adviser has also clashed with Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the officials.

During an earlier round of Trump discontent, there was talk of providing McMaster, a three-star general, with a soft landing by giving him a fourth star along with a command in a priority area such as Afghanistan or Korea, according to a former senior administration official. But there are few openings for combatant commanders.

Kelly has been credited with imposing order on the chaotic West Wing, but his relationship with Trump has also come under strain. The president recently told an ally that he was still frustrated by an interview that Kelly gave to Fox News nearly two months ago in which he suggested that Trump had “evolved” in his thinking about the need for a wall on the Mexican border.


Lemire contributed from New York. Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

State: Voicemail About Cracking in Bridge Wasn’t Picked Up

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 12:40

MIAMI (AP) -- An engineer left a voicemail two days before a catastrophic bridge failure in Miami to say some cracking had been found at one end of the concrete span, but the voicemail wasn’t picked up until after the collapse, Florida Department of Transportation officials said Friday.

The voicemail left on a landline wasn’t heard by a state DOT employee until Friday because the employee was out of the office on an assignment, the agency said in an email.

In a transcript released Friday night, Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Group says the cracking would need repairs “but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective.”

The bridge collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people. Authorities are slowly removing the debris, looking for more victims.

At a news conference Friday night, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said they have just begun their investigation, and cannot yet say whether any cracking contributed to the collapse. They also said workers were trying to strengthen a diagonal member on the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University when it collapsed.

Robert Accetta, the investigator-in-charge for the NTSB, said crews were applying post-tensioning force, but investigators aren’t sure if that’s what caused the bridge to fall.

In a news release late Friday, FIGG Bridge Engineers said it “continues to work diligently” to determine the cause of the collapse, and is examining the steps its team has taken. It added, “The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues.” It also asked for time to accurately determine what led to the accident.

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A college student who narrowly escaped from a car that got smashed in the collapse said he watched helplessly as the structure tumbled down atop the vehicle and killed his friend Alexa Duran, who was sitting next to him in the driver’s seat.

Richie Humble, who studies at FIU, was riding in a car under the pedestrian bridge when he heard a long creaking noise coming from the structure that spanned a busy Miami-area highway. It sounded different from anything he had ever heard before.

“I looked up, and in an instant, the bridge was collapsing on us completely. It was too quick to do anything about it,” Humble said Friday in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

Once Humble realized he was alive, he also realized that he could not get to Duran. He called to her but got no response. A group of men outside the car started yelling at him to try crawling through the rear window.

He couldn’t squeeze through because the window was crushed. The men outside grabbed a wooden plank and pried open the rear door to pull him free, he said.

“I was trying to get people to realize my friend was still in there,” he said.

He suffered cuts to his leg from glass and a slight fracture to a vertebra, but he was able to walk away from the scene.

While families waited for word on their loved ones, investigators sought to understand why the 950-ton bridge gave way during construction. The cables supporting the span were being tightened following a “stress test” when it collapsed, authorities said.

The Florida DOT said in its Friday release that it had not been notified of any stress test.

Detectives declared the rubble a homicide scene.

Scheduled to open in 2019, the bridge would have provided safe passage over a canal and six lanes of traffic and created a showpiece architectural feature connecting the campus of FIU with the community of Sweetwater, where many students live.

The $14.2 million project was supposed to take advantage of a faster, cheaper and safer method of bridge-building promoted by the university.

Authorities have not confirmed the victims’ names. Duran’s family has said she died. The fatalities included a student at FIU. One person died at a hospital. Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said five bodies were located with the help of cameras but had not yet been retrieved.

In a Facebook post, Chelsea Brownfield said she was awaiting any information about her husband, Brandon. According to a Go Fund Me page set up for the family, Brandon Brownfield was driving home from work when the collapse happened.

“The outpouring of love we have received is incredible,” Chelsea Brownfield wrote. The post ended with the hashtag “praying for a miracle.”

Brownfield declined to comment in a message to The Associated Press.

Jorge and Carol Fraga feared their relative’s car was trapped beneath the bridge. Jorge’s 60-year-old uncle, Rolando Fraga, lives in the area and frequently takes the nearby turnpike to work, but no one has heard from him since midday Thursday.

“The waiting is so … I don’t have words for that,” Carol Fraga said through tears.

The bridge was put in place March 10, five days before the collapse.

When finished, the span would have been supported from above, with a tall, off-center tower and cables attached to the walkway. That tower had not yet been installed, and it was unclear what builders were using as temporary supports.


Associated Press writers Tim Reynolds, Josh Replogle, Freida Frisaro and Curt Anderson in Miami; Jason Dearen in Gainesville; Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg and Rodrique Ngowi in Boston contributed to this report.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe Fired From Agency

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 12:23

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, a regular target of President Donald Trump’s anger and criticism, just two days before his scheduled retirement date. McCabe immediately decried the move and suggested it was part of the Trump administration’s “war on the FBI.”

The Friday dismissal was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials and comes ahead of an inspector general report expected to conclude that McCabe had authorized the release of information to the news media and had not been forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability,” Sessions said in a Friday night statement.

In an extraordinary rebuttal released immediately after the attorney general’s announcement, McCabe said his credibility had been attacked as “part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally” but also the FBI and law enforcement.

“It is part of this administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day,” he added, referring to Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. “Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel’s work.”

McCabe also asserted that he was being singled out because of the “role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.” Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s actions, including firing Comey as FBI director last May, constitute obstruction of justice, and McCabe, a close Comey confidant, could be an important witness. McCabe said the release of the findings against him was accelerated after he told congressional officials that he could corroborate Comey’s accounts of his conversations with the president.

Though McCabe had spent more than 20 years as a career FBI official, and had played key roles in some of the bureau’s most recent significant investigations, Trump had repeatedly criticized him over the last year as emblematic of an FBI leadership he contends is biased against his administration. He appeared to revel in the termination, tweeting early Saturday that it was a “great day for Democracy” and a “great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI.”

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The dismissal is symbolic to an extent since McCabe had been on leave from the FBI since January, when he abruptly left the deputy director position. But it comes just ahead of his planned retirement, on Sunday, and likely jeopardizes his ability to collect his full pension benefits upon his departure. It could also add to the tumult that has enveloped the law enforcement agency in the last year amid the firing of former director James Comey in May and an ongoing FBI probe of the Trump campaign that the White House has dismissed as a hoax.

The firing arises from a wide-ranging inspector general review into how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. That inquiry view focused not only on specific decisions made by FBI leadership during the probe, but also on news media leaks.

McCabe came under particular scrutiny over an October 2016 news report that revealed differing approaches within the FBI and Justice Department over how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The watchdog office has concluded that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak to a Wall Street Journal reporter for that story and that he had not been forthcoming with investigators, which McCabe denies.

In his statement, McCabe said he had the authority to share information with journalists through the public affairs office, a practice he said was common and continued under current Director Christopher Wray. He said he had honestly answered questions about whom he had spoken to and when, and that when he thought his answers were misunderstood, contacted investigators to correct them.

The media outreach came at a time when McCabe said he was facing public accusations of partisanship and followed reports that his wife, during a run for state political office, had received campaign contributions from a close Clinton ally. McCabe suggested in his statement that he was trying to “set the record straight” about the FBI’s independence against the background of those allegations.

Despite his defense, officials at the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended the firing, leaving Justice Department leaders in a difficult situation. Sessions, whose job status has for months appeared shaky under his own blistering criticism from Trump, risked inflaming the White House if he decided against firing McCabe. But a decision to dismiss McCabe days before his firing nonetheless carried the risk of angering his rank-and-file supporters at the FBI.

McCabe enjoyed a rapid career ascent in the bureau after joining in 1996. Before being named FBI deputy director last year, he led the bureau’s national security branch and also the Washington field office, one of the its largest.

But he became entangled in presidential politics in 2016 when it was revealed that his wife, during an unsuccessful bid for the Virginia state Senate, had received campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval about his wife’s candidacy and was not supervising the Clinton investigation at the time.

He became acting director following the firing last May of Comey, and immediately assumed direct oversight of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign.

He quickly found himself at odds with the Trump administration.

As a congressional hearing days after Comey’s dismissal, McCabe contradicted White House assertions that the Trump campaign investigation was one of the “smallest things” on the FBI’s plate and strongly disputed the administration’s suggestion that Comey had lost the support of the bureau’s workforce.

“I can tell you that the majority, the vast majority of FBI employees, enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey,” McCabe said.


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Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Russia Expels 23 British Diplomats in Spy-Poisoning Response

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 12:05

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia on Saturday announced it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatened further measures in retaliation in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said in a statement that it is ordering the closure of the British Council, a government organization for cultural and scientific cooperation, and that it is ending an agreement to reopen the British consulate in St. Petersburg.

It ordered the diplomats to leave within a week.

The announcement followed on the heels of Britain’s order this week for 23 Russian diplomats to leave the U.K. because Russia was not cooperating in the case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, both found March 4 poisoned by a nerve agent that British officials say was developed in Russia. The Skripals remain in critical condition.

Britain’s foreign secretary accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the poisoning of the Skripals. Putin’s spokesman denounced the claim.

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The Russian statement said the government could take further measures if Britain takes any more “unfriendly” moves toward Russia. British Ambassador Laurie Bristow was called to the Foreign Ministry Saturday morning to be informed of the moves.

“We will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves, our allies and our values against an attack of this sort, which is an attack not only on the United Kingdom, but upon the international rules-based system on which all countries, including Russia, depend for their safety and security,” Bristow told reporters after being informed of the expulsions.

“This crisis has arisen as a result of an appalling attack in the United Kingdom, the attempted murder of two people, using a chemical weapon developed in Russia and not declared by Russia at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as Russia was and is obliged to do under the Chemical Weapons Convention,” he added.

A Russian lawmaker warned Britain against escalating the crisis.

“It is possible that (Britain) will continue to respond; we are ready for this. But London must understand that this will not do anything, it is useless to talk with Russia with such methods,” Dzhabarov was quoted as saying by the state news agency RIA Novosti.

While Russia has vigorously denied involvement in the attack, Western powers see it as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling abroad. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin’s expected re-election Sunday for another six-year presidential term.

Meanwhile new tensions have surfaced over the death this week of a London-based Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov. British police said Friday that he died from compression to the neck and opened a murder investigation.

Russia also suspects foul play in Glushkov’s death and opened its own inquiry Friday.

British police said there is no apparent link between the attack on Glushkov and the poisoning of the Skripals, but both have raised alarm in the West at a time when Russia is increasingly assertive on the global stage and facing investigations over alleged interference in the Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

The source of the nerve agent -- which Britain says is Soviet-made Novichok -- is unclear, as is the way it was administered. Russia has demanded that Britain share samples collected by investigators.

Top EU diplomats were expected to discuss next steps at a meeting Monday, with some calling for a boycott of the upcoming World Cup in Russia. British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a global coalition of countries to punish Moscow.


Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this story.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Trump needs to be clear about one thing in meeting with Kim Jong Un - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 12:00

With the nomination and likely confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, President Trump will soon have a trusted adviser who can prepare him for his upcoming summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Pompeo’s first job is to make sure Trump understands one thing going into those talks: North Korea has no plans to give up its nuclear weapons at the negotiating table.

Kim knows what happened to Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi when, after the capture of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, he handed the entire Libyan nuclear weapons program — the uranium, the centrifuges, the designs to build bombs — over to the United States for secure storage. Seven years later, the Obama administration launched a military intervention in Libya during which Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces. Don’t think Kim has not seen the video of Gaddafi’s gruesome death, or concluded that it would never have happened had Gaddafi kept his weapons.

Kim is also fully aware of what happened to Ukraine after it gave up the nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons it possessed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In December 1994, in exchange for denuclearization, Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum of Security Assurances promising to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.” In 2014, Russia invaded a denuclearized Ukraine and annexed Crimea.

The idea that Kim is going to look at this history and decide “Third time’s a charm!” is absurd. Any promise for complete denuclearization he gives Trump will be a lie – just as his father lied in 1994 when he agreed to abandon his nuclear program. Kim is coming to the table to extort money and get the United States to withdraw forces from the Korean Peninsula so that he can pursue his ultimate goal of unconditional Korean unification under Pyongyang’s rule.

So why should Trump even bother to meet with Kim? Because a direct meeting may be the only way to convince the North Korean leader that Trump is serious about taking military action if Kim does not abandon his quest to threaten American cities with nuclear missiles. In January, I asked Pompeo in a conversation at the American Enterprise Institute whether Kim actually believes that Trump would pull the trigger on a military strike. “We’re concerned that he may not be getting really good, accurate information,” the CIA director replied. “It is not a healthy thing to be a senior leader and bring bad news to Kim Jong Un.”

A face-to-face meeting is a chance for Trump to look Kim in the eye and tell him: You will not be allowed to deploy missiles that can reach U.S. cites. I am not like my predecessors. If you continue on this path, America will have no choice but to take military action to destroy your missile and nuclear capabilities. Such strikes will be limited — unless you retaliate, in which case your regime will end. I would prefer it not come to that, but the decision is in your hands.

If Kim walks away unconvinced, and continues to pursue nuclear ICBMs, Trump can back up his message with limited actions. These could be undertaken covertly in order to avoid publicly shaming the North Korean leader. For example, Richard Ellings of the National Bureau of Asian Research recently suggested that North Korean submarines could suddenly start silently disappearing beneath the sea. No one would know except the North Korean leadership. This, along with even more painful sanctions, would send an unmistakable signal to Kim that Trump was serious.

If, despite all this, Kim continues to push forward, then the United States must be prepared to take out Kim’s nuclear and missile facilities, as well as the artillery pointed at Seoul. But preventing the need for military action — which risks escalating into all-out war if Kim miscalculates — is why it is important for Trump to meet the North Korean leader. It may be that only a threat delivered in person can finally convince Kim that Trump means it when he says all options are on the table.

Bozell & Graham Column: Deeply Loving Disruptive Walkouts

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 11:52
<p>The leftist-organized wave of school walkouts to protest “gun violence” on March 14 is a classic example study in the way protests are categorized by our news and entertainment media. Liberal protests are always authentic, newsworthy, and even apolitical. Conservative protests are phony, boring, and yet extreme.</p>

The Snakes Are Back In Ireland

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 11:48

The band Horslips were Ireland's high kings of '70s Celtic rock. There's a spooky instrumental on side two of their underrated fourth album, The Unfortunate Cup of Tea. It's "The Snakes' Farewell to the Emerald Isle." Listen and you can hear amidst the melancholy strains a defiant undertone suggesting "We Shall Return!"       I bought all 12 of this little-known-in-America group's albums. Strangely enough, years later I found my newlywed self living directly across the road from, and making friends with, the producer of Horslips' last several discs and his wife in Upstate New York. Steve Katz is the pioneering blues-rock guitarist who co-founded Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Horslips is short for "The Five Poxmen of the Horslypse." That was one of the lads' retort, drunken no doubt, upon hearing someone say, "How about calling the band The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse?"

That Old Serpent

In the Book of the Apocalypse, the serpent awaits as the "woman clothed with the sun" gives birth, poised to devour her child, "that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world."

The snakes have finally made good on their vow to return. The Republic of Ireland may this year yield to their seduction and legalize abortion on demand. I lived in Dublin in the early 1980s. One of the most fashionable student accessories at Trinity College was a light-green button. Its navy-blue block capital letters declared, "I'M AGAINST THE AMENDMENT." That's the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's Constitution acknowledging "the right to life of the unborn." There was many a boisterous and blasphemous student demo. Still, it was enacted by referendum in 1983. It got 67 percent support and 54 percent turnout.

The snakes have finally made good on their vow to return. The Republic of Ireland may this year yield to their seduction and legalize abortion on demand.

Ireland's current and first openly-homosexual prime minister, Leo Varadkar, whose Hindu father was born in Mumbai, was four and a half at the time. Nearly three years ago 62 percent of Irish voters legalized same-sex marriage. The referendum enjoyed a more-than-60-percent turnout. By an even larger turnout Ireland had legalized divorce by the slimmest of margins in 1996. The Catholic Church strongly opposed both these changes, to no avail. As Steve's oft-time companion in the Greenwich Village of the sixties, Bob Dylan, would say, "The Times They Are a-Changin'."

Sin is at the root of the upheaval. The social ripples from the clergy underage sex scandals were immense. They gave a population 95 percent of whom attended Mass every Sunday a seeming moral license to defy the priests, the bishops, the Pope.

Save the Babies, Save the Eighth

Despite that revolution, today's Save The Eighth movement is more than robust. As many as 100,000 marched in Dublin on March 11th, One of its leading supporters is Ireland's most prominent hi-tech entrepreneur. Rivada founder Declan Ganley is a longtime critic of European Union excesses. He's now even making some Trump-sounding populist noises. He warned that a sleeping giant has been roused. "There is a reason that the pro-choice lobby has been so consistently supported by UK abortion providers," he said. "Just like Big Tobacco wants to create more smokers, and the alcohol industry wants more drinkers, the abortion industry is interested in acquiring more customers."

Ganley said, "The often-cited and horrifying statistic that in the UK and Germany, a pre-natal diagnosis of Down's syndrome will result in abortion more than 90 percent of the time should make us think." He cautioned Ireland's "political class": the marching masses "are not represented by any political party."

Deadly Cliches

Varadkar, however, is making the most of being an MD and former minister of health. He appreciates the subtlety an ongoing social revolution requires. In January he announced a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment. It's expected in May. "We already have abortion in Ireland" through mothers getting abortions in Britain. Plus mailing for abortifacients from abroad. But "it is unsafe, unregulated and unlawful. We cannot continue to export our problems and import our solutions."

Not surprisingly, his proposed new 36th Amendment does not mention the ugly word abortion: "Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy."

He is armed with the usual cliches. They're long since battle-tested in one form or another on this side of the Atlantic. "For most of us, it's not a black and white issue; it's one that is gray... My own views have evolved... I believed we could no longer approach the issue with cold certainty but needed to do so with compassion." And of course the contention that the Irish people will be undertaking "a collective act of leadership to show empathy..." Like last year, Varadkar will continue the long-standing St. Patrick's Day tradition. He'll present President Trump with a crystal bowl of shamrock at the White House.

Dubious Horror Stories

The Irish media's tradition regarding abortion is to report horror stories. Like the 1991-92 "X Case." A restraining order prevented a suicidal 14-year-old rape victim from traveling to England. It was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The girl miscarried.

The 1997 "C Case." This was a 13-year-old rape victim apparently taken to Britain on false pretenses by a foster mother. "I didn't understand what was happening," she said in an interview years later. "There were social workers at the table...I thought I was getting the baby out...I remember waking up from the abortion and screaming and screaming and crying with the pain so they gave me another injection to fall back to sleep... I woke up then and I was in no pain so I asked for the baby and they told me there was no baby...I wouldn't have wanted to keep the baby but I would have liked for it to be put for adoption."

If abortion is legalized in the Irish Republic, the only part of the island where abortion is illegal will then be Protestant-majority Northern Ireland. St. Patrick is buried there.

Most infamous, however, was the case of a 31-year-old Indian-born dentist. Savita Halappanavar died after a sepsis miscarriage at 17 weeks in 2012. It spawned an Irish Times headline, "Woman ‘denied a termination’ dies in hospital." Demonstrations ignited at several Irish embassies. India acted like a declaration of Hindu vs. Catholic war was in the works.

But the reporter is daughter of two longtime leftist activists. She admitted she didn't know if Halappanavar had requested an abortion. There were investigations. The Galway hospital caring for her had previously performed abortions. This was to save mothers' lives. That was in accordance with Irish law. But this time it failed. The hospital didn't follow medical protocols. Nonetheless, the case was immediately hijacked by pro-abortionists. As Saul Alinsky advised, "never let a serious crisis go to waste."

St. Patrick in Ulster

If abortion is legalized in the Irish Republic, the only part of the island where abortion is illegal will then be Protestant-majority Northern Ireland. St. Patrick is buried there. On the grounds of a Protestant cathedral in the Catholic town of Downpatrick. Where the devouring snakes he drove out have as yet not returned.


Thomas McArdle was a White House speechwriter for President George W. Bush and is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin

Military Photo of the Day: Innocent Victim

The Stream - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 07:00

“Innocent Victim: Marine Lance Corporal William G. Gilliland, 19, of El Paso, Texas, rushes an injured Vietnamese child to medical aid after a grenade exploded in a residential courtyard, 200 yards from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Da Nang base, March 4. Two suspects were apprehended at the scene. Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen treated and evacuated the injured official USMC photo by Staff Sergeant W. F. Schrider).” From the Jonathan Abel Collection (COLL/3611), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections.

PBS's David Brooks Rips Larry Kudlow, John Bolton as the Republican D-List of Aides

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 02:46
<p>On Friday's <em>PBS NewsHour,</em> David Brooks, who is somehow described as the Republican or conservative half of the pundit panel, dismissed the ascent of men liked by the conservative movement as the worst kind of public servants, the C or D level of Republican aides, because they're too ideological. Larry Kudlow is just the "worst," and John Bolton is "anything but neutral on anything." </p>

Murder of Four in South Carolina Virtually Ignored; Is It Because Killer Didn't Use a Gun?

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 01:46
<p>On March 10, "authorities say," a 22 year-old man in South Carolina killed "his grandparents, an aunt and a cousin." It appears that only the Associated Press has given attention to this story. By contrast, recent "mass killings" involving fewer victims received widespread national coverage. Why is that? The answer appears to be that the South Carolina attacker didn't use a gun.</p>

ABC, NBC Refuse to Cover New, Sad Twist in the Death of Kate Steinle as Illegal Immigrant Sues Feds

NewsBusters - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 00:49
<p>On Friday night, ABC’s <em>World News Tonight </em>and <em>NBC Nightly News</em> showed zero interest in informing viewers about a new but sad twist involving the death of Kate Steinle as the illegal immigrant who was acquitted last year of her murder filed a lawsuit against the federal government. In contrast, the <em>CBS Evening News </em>gave this lawsuit by illegal immigrant Jose Inez Garcia Zarate its due diligence with two teases and a full segment. </p>

Russia’s latest attacks on UK soil could spark World Cup boycott - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 00:27

In the wake of the poisoning of the one-time Soviet intelligence officer turned British-controlled mole, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, Prime Minister Theresa May has bounced 23 Russian “diplomats” from Britain.

The attempted murder with a deadly nerve agent is not the first occurrence of a Russian hit job on UK soil. Although the most famous previous case was the Kremlin-ordered murder of another former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, in 2006 by exposure to radioactive polonium 10, there have been a number of other suspicious deaths that have occurred in Britain in recent years that are possibly linked to Moscow. Indeed, there was another such death just this past week.

However, May’s decision to PNG nearly two-dozen diplomats, while a good first step, is just that. In response, the Russian government will expel British diplomats stationed in Moscow.  The only other reaction from May’s government has been to announce that the royal family will not be attending the World Cup this summer in Russia. It’s doubtful that Putin will lose any sleep over either of the measures May has taken.

However, Putin would lose sleep if the UK and NATO allies agreed to pull their national soccer/football teams from participating in the World Cup as long as it is held in Russia. And if Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer’s international governing body, refused to change the venue, then an informal coalition of like-minded nations should put on a tournament in a country or countries that aren’t behaving like the rogue state Russia has become. Yes, contracts will have to be broken and lawsuits might follow, but can one really say that the downside is greater than the Russians using a chemical weapon on another sovereign state? Already the leaders of France, Germany, the US and the UK have condemned this “first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.” Now they have do something.

Hosting the Olympics has long been a goal of nations wanting to tout their arrival on the world stage. While the most famous case was Nazi Germany’s hosting of the summer Olympics in 1936, in more recent times we’ve seen the summer Olympics given to China in 2008 and Brazil in 2016, and the winter Olympics to Russia in 2014. Now it appears the World Cup has taken on the same legitimating role, with plans to hold the tournament this year in Moscow and, in 2022, in that “traditional” hot bed of soccer, Qatar.

One would think that the cheating done by Russian athletes in past international sporting events would be sufficient to put a halt to such gifts, but, apparently, not. Even the military invasion of Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea haven’t put a hitch in FIFA’s decision to back away from a Putin-hosted World Cup.

Of course, as repeated investigations of FIFA have shown, integrity is not a singular feature of that governing body. Corruption and self-dealings in awarding Cup sites have been all too frequent. And while this past summer the release of the Garcia report, a 2014 internal report based on the investigation by a former US Attorney, found no smoking gun when it came to Moscow’s bid to host the World Cup, the report’s findings are marked by the caveat that Garcia had no subpoena power and therefore relied on the voluntary cooperation of the very individuals they were investigating. And, in fact, as the New York Times reports:

Over the course of 430 pages, the secret report provides provocative glimpses of unmistakably questionable behavior by some of world soccer’s top officials, as well as others eager to meet their every demand. Huge amounts of money ending up in strange places. High-ranking executives behaving shadily, petulantly and, at times, perhaps illegally. Rules broken, slyly circumvented or simply bent beyond their intent.

Given the amount of money that the Kremlin’s henchmen toss around in Europe and elsewhere on all kinds of fronts and for all kinds of issues, it would be remarkable indeed if somehow this World Cup bid is the exception to that behavior.

In 1980, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter pulled the US Olympic team from participating in the summer games that were to be held in Moscow—this coming from a president who only a few years before had decried Americans’ “inordinate fear of communism.” So, the precedent exists.

Given all that is on Prime Minister May’s plate these days, and her own iffy political situation, it might be a bridge too far for her to unilaterally take this step. On the other hand, if London’s allies were to support her by pulling their squads and, in turn, putting on a tournament outside of Russia, it might just be a turning point for pulling international soccer out of the muck its long been in. More importantly, it could also serve to remind the Russian people before they reelect Putin to the presidency in just a few days that there are costs to their nation to his continued rule.

St. Patrick’s Day: Understanding Antifa from Two Irish Songs

The Stream - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:24

St. Patrick's Day means a good deal to me, since I'm half-Irish and my middle name is Patrick. Many Catholics will pen essays about the day's religious significance. So they should. What made Ireland distinctive from Wales, Cornwall, and Scotland was that it was not merely Celtic. No, it clung to its "old religion" despite persecution over centuries.

If later this month, it abandons it by legalizing abortion, then it will squander that proud history. If the Irish adopt the same slack laws that leave the unborn unprotected, its independence means nothing. It will finally have converted to the same religion as England: a bland, senescent post-Protestant suicide cult.

The old expression for an Irishman who betrayed his faith or nation was this: "He took the soup." That comes from the days of the catastrophic Potato Famine, when one in four Irish died, and half the survivors fled. The nation's population fell by 50% in just a few years, and has not yet recovered. (My mother's grandparents were among the malnourished who sailed to New York in "coffin ships.") Some English missionaries offered help: mobile kitchens offering nourishing soup. There was just one catch: You had to convert to Anglicanism. That was the price of "taking the soup."

The soup on offer now is poisonous, of course, compared to 19th-century Anglicanism. And the Irish aren't starving. In fact, they're too rich, fat, and happy. It's not a condition natural to the Irish, and they don't handle it well. (See Teddy Kennedy.)

Today I'd like to look at two pieces of Irish patriotic music, and see what they teach us about the issues we face in the U.S. today: Racial resentment, "intersectional" leftism, and the politics of Victimism. (Victimism was philosopher Rene Girard's term for those who pervert the urge for justice into revenge.)

I love both songs. Each one is great to sing along to over a pint of Magner's or a shot of Jameson's. But one of them I like because it appeals to my healthy instincts. It stirs in me love for my ancestors and the sacrifices they made to keep faith with church and nation. The other taps into my darker side, a side that I see with chagrin I share with the campus radicals of Antifa. It goads me to pick a fight.

For each I'll give a video, then analyze the lyrics.

The Foggy Dew

Here's the most beautiful version I've heard of the first one, "The Foggy Dew." It's sung by the troubled but gifted Sinead O'Connor. The video features images from the powerful film of the Irish fight for independence in 1916, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.     The full lyrics of the song (she skips a stanza) follow. They were penned to a traditional Irish tune by a priest, Canon Charles O'Neill. He wrote just three years after disarmed Irish rebels from the failed Easter Rising of 1916 were summarily shot by the British government. Ironically, the Rising itself was deeply unpopular in Ireland. More than 100,000 Irishmen had volunteered to fight for Britain in World War I.

Cruelty Backfires on the Brits

But the cruel treatment of the rebels swung Irish opinion radically against the British. Worst was the execution of a wounded man, James Connolly, whom the Brits had to tie in a chair to keep him sufficiently upright to shoot him. British brutality backfired. It goaded the (ever sentimental) Irish into demanding autonomy, under the Irish Free State. Those who wanted full independence formed the Irish Republican Army. They launched the Irish Civil War, which ended with a partial victory for the original IRA: No ties at all to Britain, but six counties of Northern Ireland with Protestant majorities still under the Crown. Rent Michael Collins with Liam Neeson for one view of that conflict.

As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I. There armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin town they hung out the flag of war 'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sedd El Bahr And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through While Britannia's Huns, with their long-range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

'Twas Britannia bade our Wild Geese go that small nations might be free But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves or the shore of the Great North Sea Oh, had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha Their names we would keep where the Fenians sleep 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more But to and fro in my dreams I go and I kneel and pray for you, For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.

Celebrating the Dead

A wonderful poem and a beautiful song. It celebrates actual heroes, who gave their lives in what seemed a Quixotic fight against 400 years of occupation and religious discrimination. It criticizes Irishmen who went and fought for England. But in a mild tone. It doesn't mock their suffering, or sneer at the dead. It simply observes that their memories would be held in higher esteem had they died for their country -- not England's king.

One of these songs appeals to my healthy instincts. It stirs in me love for my ancestors and the sacrifices they made to keep faith with church and nation. The other taps into my darker side, a side that I see with chagrin I share with the campus radicals of Antifa. It goads me to pick a fight.

But mainly the song commemorates the patriotic dead, and honors their ultimate sacrifice. It pokes the British for the wartime hypocrisy: Calling Irish to fight for "small nations" (such as Belgium) while their own small nation remained subjugated to Britain. Its sharpest barb is "Brittania's huns," which compares British soldiers to the Germans who savaged Belgium. Still, these nationalistic gibes don't shatter its tone of solemn commemoration, which culminates in piety: Praying for the dead. (It's a Catholic thing.)

Come Out Ye Black and Tans

Let's look at another Irish patriotic song. It was written a little later, by Dominic Behan. (His brother, Brendan, was one of the most famous Irish poets of the 20th century.) The Behans' father had fought as part of the original IRA, against any settlement that linked Ireland to Britain.

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First a video, then the lyrics, then some analysis. This version is by the popular Irish band the Wolfe Tones.    

I was born on a Dublin street where the royal drums did beat, And those loving English feet they tramped all over us, And each and every night when me father came home tight He’d invite the neighbors out with this chorus:

Come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man, Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders, Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.

Come tell us how you slew them poor Arabs two by two, Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows, How you bravely faced each one with your 16-pounder gun, And you frightened them poor natives to their marrow.

Come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man, Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders, Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.

Come let us hear you tell how you slandered great Parnell, When you thought him well and truly persecuted, Where are the sneers and jeers that you bravely let us hear When our heroes of ’16 were executed?

Come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man, Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders, Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.

Now the time is coming fast and I think them days are here When each English shawneen he’ll run before us And if there’ll be a need then our kids will say God speed With a verse or two of singing this fine chorus

Come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man, Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders, Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.

From Patriotism to Tribalism

Again, it's a heck of a song. There have been days when current politics provoke me to walk around with it running through my head. Its author's bitterness was something he came by honestly: He saw his own father suffer for Irish independence.

The lyrics are witty and biting. They mock the British military's reputation for courage and steadfastness. How? By pointing out that the Empire wielded fierce modern weapons against underdeveloped nations: Using "16-pounder guns" to fight "Arabs" and "Zulus" with only "spears and bows and arrows."

Come tell us how you slew them poor Arabs two by two/Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows.

Great stuff. But look at it closer. Who's the target of the song? Not British soldiers (among whom were the brutal "Black and Tans"). It's Protestant civilians, who stayed behind in Dublin after Irish independence. (In point of fact, most of them took such treatment as a warning, and left the country.) The singer's father is harassing his neighbors in peacetime, with a jeering drunken song when they’re trying to sleep.

The song taunts the neighbors about the "slander" of Charles Stewart Parnell. An early advocate of Irish autonomy, he was falsely accused of murder by his opponents. Those charges got disproven. But Parnell's career was ruined when real charges of adultery emerged, and the Catholic clergy turned against him. That set back Irish independence by decades. But it happened in 1890. And the neighbors presumably had nothing at all to do with it. They would have been children, or not yet born.

Next the song accuses the neighbors of cruelty. They let out "sneers and jeers" when "our heroes of ’16 were executed." No doubt some British loyalists did that. They saw the rebels as terrorists, who tried to take over Dublin in the middle of World War I, using weapons they got from the Kaiser. (During World War II, some in the IRA would collaborate with the Nazis.)

But were those specific Protestant neighbors really among those jeering when Padraic Pearse was shot? More likely the speaker is simply engaging in tribalism -- blaming the nearest examples of a hated group for the sins of their distant cousins.

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From the IRA to ANTIFA

The song's rousing climax dreams of a day "When each English shawneen he’ll run before us." The word "shawneen" is the feminine form of "Sean." It doesn't refer to soldiers, such as those up in Belfast. No, it's just a way of demeaning the male neighbor's manhood. (He's the "Black and Tan" who won't "come out and fight me like a man.") So this last verse seems not to be about expelling British soldiers from Ulster (which was then and still is majority Protestant and Loyalist).

No, it seems to be a fantasy of full-on ethnic cleansing of "English" from the island. These neighbors aren't English. They're Irish Protestants. To the singer, this makes no difference. Only those of his creed can be part of his tribe. It's ugly, illiberal stuff.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy this song. But examining why I do helps me understand a little better the mindless rage that stirs ethnic activists today in other groups: Blacks who blame white cops today for slavery. Latinos who want to take back the American Southwest for Mexico, or storm across our borders without our say-so. Or those well-off white leftists who dredge up sins from past decades or centuries, to denounce Western civilization or Christianity in toto.

There's a point where a rage for justice slides, greased by original sin, into something sinister. We see exactly how sinister today, as the South African government tears up its promise of race-neutrality, and threatens to seize all white farmers' land. If that happens, the nation will starve as Zimbabwe does. But at least those left behind will have some knockout songs, such as “Kill the Boer.”    


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