Friday, August 28, 2009

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy died on Tuesday from brain cancer. I was a huge fan. I am however wary of how people are often over glorified after their death so I'm not going to rant on like he was some sort of messiah. One of the reasons I was such a admirer was his image as opposed to what he did. He was the youngest Kennedy brother and if I can just be a little romantic for a moment, what a cool clan they were. He was also an iconic Irish American and not just a plastic paddy. In the early days of his political career he could be accused of naivety toward the Irish problem often appearing to over simplify the Northern Irish conflict by making lazy minded pro nationalist statements. Readers of Gubu World will know that I am fiercely critical of people who act more Palestinian than the Palestinians, more Israeli than the Israelis and more Irish than the Irish. However Ted Kennedy ultimately did not fall into this trap. He was a passionate supporter of John Hume and moderate nationalism. He fiercely opposed IRA violence. I will always remember how he snubbed Gerry Adams in the wake of the Robert McCartney murder. This in a post troubles time when Gerry Adams was seen as a mainstream and even popular figure whom even George Bush was prepared to meet. But Ted Kennedy judged the situation correctly and realised that Sinn Fein were hesitating when it came to pressurising the IRA to end criminality. He also realised that the continued existence of the IRA was an obstacle to peace and he called for the complete disbandment of the organisation. Not long afterward, Sinn Fein and the IRA did what needed to be done and devolution followed. Ted Kennedy in his last trip to Ireland in 2007 attended the ceremony in Stormount that saw the power sharing government successfully returned to power.

This photo was taken in 1962 when the Kennedy's were at the height of their power. Elder brother John was President, Bobby was attorney general and this photos is from the night Ted Kennedy became a senator by taking the Massachusetts seat which became available when his brother was elected President.

America is a very divided country. The divide between the liberal left and conservative right can often be vicious. But somehow Ted Kennedy managed to be unapologetically liberal yet not detested by the right. I'm not sure how he managed this. But it was evident from the many tributes and even the funeral itself which was attended by George Bush, John McCain and other republicans. Below is a sample of the tributes including President Obama's eulogy.

Former President Carter

Martin McGuiness

The Eulogy

And an excellent tribute

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How cool is this

Live World War Two bombs are still being found in England. This one was detonated yesterday in a field in Yorkshire. The Luftwaffe had some powerful stuff.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mary Robinson, Irish Legend

Barack Obama presents Mary Robinson with the US Medal of Freedom

Mary Robinson is a bit of a hero of mine. I am currently studying Irish constitutional law and know that the former President has one of the best understandings of Bunreacht Na Heireann than anyone else in Ireland. She helped drag Ireland out of its socially conservative past. She is the best civil libertarian this country has ever produced. And She was a great president of Ireland. This is why I was so angered by the reaction of the pro Israel lobby to President Obama's decision to award her the Medal of Freedom this week. They called her an anti semite because of her connection with the disastrous 2001 Durban conference on racism, which turned out to be an Israel bashing conference. Her connection however was tenuous. But the truth is the pro Israel lobby used Mary Robinson, a woman most of them knew nothing about, and dragged her name through the mud so they could throw a cheap dig at President Obama, low, really low.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm confused

Tension in Birmingham

I just saw a Sky News report that 33 people were arrested in Birmingham yesterday after clashes between anti fascists and people protesting against Islamic fundamentalism. Hmmm... should they not be on the same side. Of course not, because in the mind of the far left you cannot be a fascist unless you're part of the white establishment. I have been saying for a long time now how nauseating it is to see leftists, who are supposed to be for workers rights, anti racism, equality for women and general fairness in society swallow their principles and become apologists for Islamic fundamentalists who are the worst offenders in the above categories. Its really is GUBU. Its like their level of political correctness is so perverse that if a British Muslim murders dozens of fellow citizens it must be Britain's fault for putting mean thoughts into the murderers head. While in reality his motive is likely his hatred of liberal society. For the record, the politics of Al Qaeda is more right wing than the politics of Nazism. They are racist toward Jews in an extreme way not seen since Auswich. They are more opposed to equality for women that any other category of Human beings on earth. And in any country where they have power the first people they turn on are trade unionists and leftist and anybody they deem resembles a godless Marxist. But for some bizarre reason the far left ignores this to the extent that if people demonstrate against Islamic fundamentalism they will likely oppose the demonstration as racist. If they had any principles at all they would be joining the demonstrations against Islamic fundamentalism, the real fascism. To be fare, I know lots of lefties who are not this extreme and do not become paralysed in confusion when addressing this issue. They recognise that you can be an environmentalist or a trade unionist and a fierce critic of militant Islam. Unfortunately though their voices are usually drowned out by the eccentric hard core leftists whose hatred of the establishment is so extreme that they are willing to come to the aid of conservative Islam.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bloody Sunday Tehran

As I posted on my Twitter page I was at the U2 concert in Croke Park on Monday a week ago. It was the best concert I have ever been to mainly thanks to the spectacular stage and light show. Don't get me wrong, the music was good too. But the highlight for me was when Bono blasted out Bloody Sunday to images of the protests in Tehran. The song Bloody Sunday was written to commemorate the murder of 13 civil rights marchers in Derry by British paratroopers in 1972. This is why the song is particularly appropriate background music for the current Iranian crisis. It was very astute of U2 to highlight the murderous crackdown by the Iranian authorities of civil rights demonstrators in Iran. I tried to film it with my phone but it didn't turn out right, thankfully some other punter put it up on youtube. Enjoy !

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daily brilliance

This clip is amazing. Jon Stewart and the Daily Show have some balls sending someone over to Iran to cover the current turmoil. During my 2004 journey through Iran I spent a day in the beautiful Iman Khomeini square in Isfahan where most of this clip is filmed. Being aware that Isfahan is a particularly devout city and that the square bares the name of the founder of the Islamic republic I thought it appropriate to conduct myself with a certain degree of decorum. Not Jason Jones of the Daily Show. Watch as he plays American football with local kids and tries his hand at some Persian rapping. This is hilarious.

Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - The Kids Are Allah Right
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gotta Love Glenn Beck

I have found myself in recent times becoming addicted to American radio and TV talk show programmes. I'm talking about the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olberman, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bill Maher, Alan Combs and Rachel Maddow. Its not that I tune in to these political pundits because they're good. I think they are entertaining. But then again, these people are not in the media business, they are in the entertainment industry. With these eccentrics its all about creating controversy in order to improve ratings. Each one is constantly trying to out do the other in outrageous statements. Watch this brief clip below of Glenn Beck on Fox news discussing the recent race controversy that President Obama became embroiled in.

This is just how it is in America. The left are as bad as the right. MSNBC are now for Obama what Fox news was for Bush, loyal supporters. But as someone who is used to the Irish media I have to say I find it all incredibly crass and somewhat surreal. Watching these shows is sometimes like watching an episode of The West Wing. Perhaps that's just how it is in the world of privately owned media.