Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy. ~Ernest Benn

Recent Articles

Straight Outta Mayo: Kenny Finds his Mojo

Straight Outta Mayo: Kenny Finds his Mojo     This was written a couple of weeks back.  I don’t think that anything has really changed, apart from Mr. Martin clarifying the clarifications on the U-turn that’s not one. I am amused, though, at Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly commenting that when it comes to water charges, Fianna Fáil has ‘more positions than the Kama Sutra’.  Considering what they did to the country the last time they were left in charge, it seems like a rather apt piece of imagery.   This piece appears in Chicago’s ‘Irish American News’ for October, 2016. What a week!  First of all Dame Edna Kenny gets his mojo back; and then Fianna Fáil makes a complete turn-around on water charges — which isn’t really a U-turn at all, according to no one but Micheál Martin.  I swear, between the lot of them, they have my head more bent out of shape than usual – and that’s really saying something. Whilst the Fine Gael Party were fretting, sweating and wondering what in the name of all that’s holy AND unholy they have to do to finally get rid of their Beloved Leader, Kenny somehow slipped off the straightjacket, escaped from his handlers and was let loose to actually come out with something that was unscripted. And let’s be honest, we know that NEVER ends well. Obviously still suffering from the rush of blood to the head that saw him playing air guitar at a recent Bruce Springsteen concert, the Dame told a bewildered interviewer: “I’m not interested in history personally at all insofar as myself is concerned.  I didn’t enjoy the election.  I had a reflection on this over the summer.  As I say, I’ve got my mojo back.” Now in fairness, the episode with the air... Full Article →

Entitlements…and Enlightenments

This piece appears in Chicago’s ‘Irish American News’ for September, 2016.   I want to stay away from negative news this month, so let me get my disappointment with Senator Billy Lawless out of the way.  Notice I say ‘disappointment’, not ‘surprise’.  Once a person has become a politician they have moved beyond surprising me.  Word came of his confirmation in the Sunday Business Post at the end of July that he would be claiming the full amount in expenses that he is entitled to — €29,565 – for travelling between Chicago and Ireland. Of course, this is disgusting. And of course it’s gone down like a lead balloon over here. I didn’t expect him to travel for nothing, but yes – I think that it was hoped that he would take on some of the costs, given that these are unusual circumstances.  And of course, since he’ll be claiming this obscene and ludicrous maximum, he does appear to be rubbing it in a little by saying that he’ll pay out of his own pocket for anything over thirty grand. Somehow I don’t think that we’ll EVER be going over that figure. It is almost half his yearly wage AGAIN and is as much as many people earn in a year – for working, not sitting their asses on a plane.  I guess that’s what you get when you do favours for Enda Kenny’s daughter. And please, this nonsense from the Senator that he can’t understand the fuss over the fact that he gave her a job three years ago. (“Why wouldn’t you look after a friend’s daughter if they’re coming out?”) If this guy can’t see that it looks bloody awful that you rub the Taoiseach’s back and the next thing, you find yourself in the Seanad on a... Full Article →

“…a Kind of Insanity.”

“I worked, long ago, in New York City, in construction, like many young men of the Mohawk Nation.  I found that whites were often like us, and I could not hate them one at a time.  But they do not know the earth or love it. They do not speak from the heart, usually.  They do not act from the heart.  They are more like the actors on the movie screen.  They play roles. “And their leaders are not like our leaders.  They are not chosen for virtue, but for their skill at playing roles.  Whites have told me this, in plain words.  They do not trust their leaders and yet they follow them.  When we do not trust a leader, they are finished.  Then, also, the leaders of the whites have too much power.  It is bad for a man to be obeyed too often.  But the worst thing is what I have said about the heart.  Their leaders have lost it and they have lost mercy.  They speak from somewhere else.  They act from somewhere else.  But from where?  Like you, I do not know.  It is, I think, a kind of insanity.” Native American in the novel  The Eye in the Pyramid by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, 1975. Full Article →