Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Women of Ireland

With love to all.

Redemption Song

Odd what you can find on You Tube, isn't it?

There is something authentically Irish about the theme of this song. How many songs do the Irish sing about the struggle for freedom? Too many to count, I suppose.

And for those of us whose families made the journey to America in the 19th century, have not our ancestors hopes and dreams been redeemed? To celebrate St Patrick's Day in America is to celebrate those hopes, their dreams, and that redemption.

In a year of economic hardship for so many, it is good to recall that others with fewer resources and far greater troubles persevered and found redemption. It is also a good time to look upon our neighbors in this world and see our own refugee ancestors in their eyes, and hear our own songs in their music.

It is a great day to be Irish and American and to feel connected through that unique identity to all those who struggle in this world.

Have a wonderful and happy St Patrick's Day!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Remembering Derek Bell

The late Derek Bell is featured on this performance by The Chieftains of O'Carolan's Fanny Power

Irish A Capella

Sunday, March 15, 2009

AIG Bonuses

Can anything be more damning than this - that AIG executives in the business unit that has absorbed more than $100 billion of taxpayer dollars, due in large part to their mindless negligence, are now being paid millions in bonuses?

In Pakistan, thousands have taken to the streets to demand an independent judiciary. Here in America, we are placid. Complacent. Resigned, perhaps. But utterly passive.

We do not deserve the freedoms we enjoy, and we may not keep them. We think they are God-given, inalienable, but that does not guarantee them in perpetuity.

In the comfort of our lives, we have granted powers to the managerial class - the highly compensated stewards of our major corporations and capital markets - and their political allies and servants. Why have we been so willing to abdicate in the exercise of our citizenship? Because we have vastly undervalued that franchise.

I watched Oliver Stone's "W" recently and wondered once again, as I did in 2004, how Americans could vote for such a mean-spirited punk, such a second-class mind, such an undeserving pretender. It says much about us, and we have not learned a thing from the experience of the past 8 years. We think George W Bush is to blame, but the blame is ours, and we must understand that if there is to be any hope at all of fixing what is so greatly in need of fixing.

I do not believe we have it in us, as a nation. I live among silly, self-centered, under-educated, incurious, and unreflective fools. A nation of such people cannot long remain great.

America is a great nation, and Lincoln was right to see her as the last, best hope of man. Were he here today, I wonder how hopeful he would be.

Reel Fiddling

Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, of the group Altan.

The Bush Stain on American Honor

Read all about it.

Now what? Where do we go to get our good name back?

Que lastima.

Lover's Waltz

Lovely music.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dreaming of the one I love

I think we could dance to this - eh?