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March 17, 2011



Happy St. Paddy's Day, from someone still searching feverishly for her Irish roots. Come on, ancestry.com, show me an Irishman...


Well, I am Irish (maiden name Mc -------), and I am sure Sue has some Irish roots based on her comments here!:)

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Danube of Thought

Sorry to go OT so soon, and also for the length. This is uncut, from my dear cousin aboard USS Mustin:

Dear friends and family, I am in complete amazement. The number of recipients of this e-mail has grown exponentially, and I quite literally have received replies from people all over the world. I have shared your thoughts and prayers with my sailors and they appreciate the support as much as I do. I am writing to give a second update on the events off the coast of Sendai.

I stood watch this morning from 2-7 am, carefully maneuvering through the darkness so as not to hit half submerged cargo boxes and overturned boats. To add to the challenge, our visibility decreased from about 8 miles to less than one in a matter of minutes as we entered into a blizzard. And if that wasn’t enough, we still are remaining cautious of the radiation hazard a couple hundred miles away and feeling various aftershocks. In my Captain’s words, “You couldn’t write this stuff.” Every day has been an adventure.

Today our helo was vectored off to an isolated hospital with SOS showing on the rooftop. This hospital contained over 200 patients still alive and in desperate need of supplies. We delivered food, water, clothing, and blankets. The pilots are about to make a final run for the day right now and are calling for any last things we can bear to give up. I managed to grab another jacket from my closet and my old UGG boots. I figure I don’t need much more than coveralls and a pair of black boots to live on a ship.

A major concern for us out here on the water is the people we left behind. The Navy has around 25,000 people living in the Yokosuka area. As a preemptive measure, they have just begun voluntary evacuation of families from Japan due to the uncertainty of the nuclear plants and the potential for the winds to shift and spread radiation to the south. They also are feeling the many aftershocks from the initial earthquake, including a six that occurred just across Tokyo Bay from the base. For me, I only have to worry about the state of my household goods, for most of my sailors, they have a lot more on the line.

Please keep all of these people affected in your prayers, from those suffering from injury and loss, to those isolated, yet struggling to survive, and finally for the Sailors and their families who want to help, but must care for their own at the same time.

Many of you have asked how you can help and for now, I don’t have much information as we are only doing what we can from the ship. However, people from our ship are donating money to the American Red Cross who has been working with the Japanese Red Cross to tailor to their specific needs. I will try to find a point of contact in Japan that can provide more information on donations.

Again, thank you for your support, your prayers, your pictures, and the notes you have sent. I am very thankful to have such an awesome group of people to lift me up.


Danube of Thought

Minus 20 at Raz today. Plus there's this:

Just 22% believe the U.S. is heading in the right direction. That's down five points from a week ago and the lowest total since President Obama took office.


Also at Ras:

Sixty-five percent (65%) say if deductions for charitable donations were reduced for wealthy Americans, the wealthy are less likely to give to charity.

That's ridiculous, of course. Our president assured us in one of his early 2009 prime-time pressers that reducing deductions wouldn't make a difference in how much you donate. Right?

Funny how these fixed-economic-pie people think the pie magically expands in certain contexts, i.e., when they want to tax you.

Army of Davids

"Welcome Back Kotter"

Payin at the pump....Food Stamps

Ain't we lucky we got em...."Good Times"


Thanks for sharing that, DoT.

As for TM's post..Jews are always joking. That's why we're still around. My mother was a member of the Hiken family--the most well known of whom was her first cousin Nat Hiken, creator, inter alia of the Sgt Bilko Show. You may not believe me but he was no funnier than any other member of that family.

Even when my grandfather was dying he was joking with us..If you remember the movie Coming to America the old Jewish guy in the barber shop looked and joked exactly as my grandfather did. I never laughed harder than I did when I sat Shiva for him. His surviving brother (there had been 10 boys and 1 girl) told me stories about my grandfather I had never heard before.

Their jokes were always--like Bilko's--based on the foibles of man and never mean.


Thanks for sharing that email, DoT. On local talk radio, as I was driving home from work last night, they interviewed someone in Japan. Basically, he said they need help - financial help and material help - and if all you are sending their way is a prayer, it is not enough.

He was pretty powerful in what he said.


Walter Russell Mead has an excellent blog today, Give Ireland Back To The Irish, about the appalling behavior of the larger Euro countries: Germany and France.

The Irish were once expected to pay with their heart’s blood for British imperial glory around the world; many of the soldiers and sailors who kept Queen Victoria’s empire strong were the sons of poor Irish crofters who took the Queen’s shilling because they had no alternative. Now France and Germany (two countries to whom the Irish turned in the past for help against Britain) want Irish taxpayers to pay the full and bitter price for the destructive folly of European bankers. And by fair means or foul the two largest powers in the EU want to force Ireland to give up its low corporate tax rate — widely seen in Ireland and around the world as one of the few tools that country has to promote its economic recovery.


At the recent EU summit, the European superpowers put their cards on the table: they were willing to reduce Ireland’s interest rate if and only if the Irish would raise corporate taxes.

This was a brutal abuse of power; when the IMF, the World Bank and other lenders impose conditions on borrowers, those conditions are supposed to be things that might hurt in the short run but would help the indebted countries in the long term. Leave it to the French and Germans to use conditionality to damage a debtor’s economy and ability to pay. (Even longtime allies of the French and Germans like Jean Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg were a bit shocked. Juncker denounced the “torturing” of Ireland at the last EU summit.)

The British view on this is also well worth reading: Total German triumph as EU minnows subjugated

Europe’s whole financial system was out of control, and still is. The North has not yet forced banks to rebuild their capital buffers or nationalize those that cannot do so, understandably in one sense since it might risk a credit crunch. Germany’s policy towards the Landesbanken is a study in paralysis.

That is why Europe dares not lance the boil with "haircuts" and debt restructuring. It dares not risk a repeat of Europe’s Lehman moment in May 2010. It is why the EU has scotched any quick move by Ireland to deflect the shards of pain from taxpayers to senior bank creditors.

How long will democracies accept being made the scapegoat for what is in part a Franco-German-Benelux banking debacle?

Not for ever, judging by comments this week by Avriani, a paper with ties to Greece’s ruling PASOK party. "We should default and return to the Drachma to punish foreign loan sharks who have bled us dry," it said.

Ireland’s Enda Kenny may ultimately have to choose between his EU club loyalties and his duties to the sovereign nation that elected him. Some within his coalition ranks already seem tempted to retaliate by pulling the plug on EU banks. That would certainly remind Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy what this crisis is really about.


Just a few minutes ago, on our local talk radio show, WBAP, a man called in and was asking the host filling in for Mark Davis why the MFM (my words, not his) have not shown the clips of Obama as a senator when Bush presented his budget and it didn't deal with entitlement programs. He called it a failure of leadership. The host of this morning's radio show owns KLTV in Tyler, Texas. He is looking high and low for the clip and can't find it. Anyone here remember it? If you can find it, let me know. I'll try to get it to the fill-in host and owner of regional tv stations.


Democratic Representative calls for the end of public financing of elections

REP. JIM McGOVERN (D-MA) at a House committee hearing to end federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) -- as prepared: "Over the past several years, it has become clear that the Fox News channel is wildly biased. They continue to employ a talk show host who called President Obama a racist. They continue to employ several prospective Republican Presidential candidates as “analysts,” giving them hours and hours of free air time. And their parent company has donated millions to GOP-linked groups.

My amendment would prohibit federal funds – taxpayer dollars – from being used for advertising on the partisan, political platform of Fox News."



I've found a wee bit o' the Irish in me...me gggrandmother was a Roney.

Rick Ballard

Primo Levy injected some humor into his account of time in the camps and Giovanni Guareschi's biting ridcule of his Nazi captors foreshadowed his treatment of Italian commies after the war.

I'd be amazed if the Japanese workers who elected to stay on at Fukushima weren't exchanging glow in the dark quips as they man their posts.


M K Bhadrakumar's latest is well up to his usual high standards for subtle insight into world affairs: Saudis bring Iran, US closer together.

The tussle between the brain and the brawn is a constant feature of international politics. The "Turkic" and "Persian" streams of consciousness on the Central Asian landscape provide a fine example. The tussle between Israel and Iran has been no less acute - or between the late Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Iranian leadership.

Bahrain developments bring to light all over again the Iranian trust in "brain" - how to optimally deploy intellectual resources in situations where fools rush in with might and armor, full of passionate intensity. If someone in Washington cares to watch, Tehran's moves since March 15 offer a case study for reaching some major conclusions about how Iran lives and works.

It's a longish but fascinating read, concluding:

White House spokesman Jay Carney revealed that Obama spoke by phone to Abdullah and King Hamad of Bahrain and "expressed his deep concern over the violence ... and stressed the need for maximum restraint".


Obama's predicament is acute. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Abdullah disregarded US advice and sent in the troops to Bahrain. Reading very carefully between the lines, Tehran senses Obama's dilemma.

Rhetoric is one thing and Tehran will make the most of it, but it cannot be lost on the Iranian "brains" that for the fourth time in a row within the past six weeks, Iran and the US are finding themselves on the same side of the fence - on Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and now Bahrain. The big question is whether Obama notices it.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)


You should send that email to Insty. I intend to read it on the radio if that is okay.


I intend to quote it in Sunday's column if DoT has no objection.


Pajamas Media, of all unlikely internet outlets, had (Monday) a pretty good analysis of those Neocons lending their influence to help Gaddafi--or as they put it: "Libya." U.S. PR Firm Aiding Libya May Have Violated Federal Law: Directors and officers of the Monitor Group could be liable for federal penalties and imprisonment for willful omission of foreign agent activity.

It's a longish but fairly acute analysis, stressing the provisions of FARA. Remarkable, however, the author, Richard Pollock, manages to get through the entire article without mentioning Richard Perle's prominent involvement.

Danube of Thought

Please do go ahead, Jane and Clarice.

Danube of Thought

How does one send something to Insty?

Rob Crawford

[email protected]


His addy is on the right side of his webpage.


Their jokes were always--like Bilko's--based on the foibles of man and never mean.

One of my favorite sites.

DOT - "[email protected]", says the contact link.


You don't joke around when you're starving to death

I thought I didn't eat when I'm starving to death.

See how easy that was, Noel? And I just skipped breakfast.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

How do "taxpayer funds" pay for advertising on Fox?

Jim McGovern is the guy who was emailing the FALN terrorists.

hit and run

Of course Rob and bgates fire right out with Instapundit's email address. The two most-oft quoted JOMers there...


I don't think the Donald is kidding around with us. LUN for a fun, feisty and informative video interview with ABC---yes, that ABC.

The magnificent Mister T also thinks Tea Parties have common sense and Barry's origins are slightly lacking in transparency..


How do "taxpayer funds" pay for advertising on Fox?

First, if you promise to adhere to the public campaign financing structure like Obama did, except you're not lying like he was, then you get some tax money to spend on advertisements anywhere (even Fox boo hiss).

Second, he's a Democrat, so he thinks all money is "taxpayer funds", ie "his".


Um..that would be Tea PartieRs..


Except MSNBC is owned by GE, which received federal funds, and is on at least one on the
government boards. then again, practically no one watches MSNBC.

Danube of Thought

Thanks for the addy, guys--just sent her e-mail off to Insty. Amazed that I still can't find his address at the site. Well, not so amazed...


Good link OldTimer to Trump. Good for him for pointing out how sketchy Obama's background is...& how anyone that doubts the "official narrative" is mocked. Good for him.
That reporter didn't pursue it at all.

Rob Crawford

Of course Rob and bgates fire right out with Instapundit's email address. The two most-oft quoted JOMers there...

The last "Robert Crawford" he quoted was an impostor -- there was mention of a wife.


I just saw on Twitter breaking news that Obama is going to Ireland in May.

I think the only reason he became President is so that he and Moochelle can jet set around the world on AF-1.

Frau Irländerin

" ... Obama is going to Ireland in May."

Sams Club members? Is it true that Air Force One has a map of the world on the side that Obama and the Missus are using to fill in the countries they have visited?


@ Clarice

"My mother was a member of the Hiken family--the most well known of whom was her first cousin Nat Hiken, creator, inter alia of the Sgt Bilko Show."

Ha! My husband (while in high school) had a blind date with your second cousin -- Nat's daughter. As Michael Stipe might put it, "I've said too much, I haven't said enough."

Also, Viktor Frankl writes movingly about (I guess this might be considered a comedic genre) concentration camp humor in "Man's Search for Meaning."


Just saw a new name for BOzo on twitter:


Dave (in MA)

On the topic of bad/dumb jokes... Whenever someone wishes me a happy "St. Patty's Day", I reply:

St. Patricia's day is August 25.

Jim Miller

Some of the best jokes in Isaac Asimov's first joke collection are in his "Jewish" section. But it does matter who tells them. I have borrowed many jokes from him over the years, but I am always careful when I borrow jokes from that section.

Here is one of those jokes:

Dave Levine looked terribly depressed and a friend stopped to ask him what was wrong.

Dave shook his head dolefully, "Applied f-f-f-for a job, he said through his usual stutter. "D-d-d-d-didn't get it.

"What kind of job?"

T-t-television announcer. Th-th-they asked my n-n-n-nuh-name and all I ever said was 'D-d-d-david Luh-luh-levine' and they turned me down at once. L-l-l-lousy anti-Semites.

I first heard that joke in the late 1960s, in Chicago. But in the version I heard the job applicant was black -- and I heard it from a black teacher.

And I don't doubt that there are as many variations of the joke as there are ethnicities.

And that the joke will work better if the person telling it is telling it about his own group.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Well, I am Irish (maiden name Mc -------)

Sounds more Scot than Irish.

Dave (in MA)

So this Irish guy walks past a bar. What's so funny? It could happen.


which one, Tonto? After reading the book about him, I contacted his daughters and invited them to join the family on Geni. I'm trying to get to NYC to visit the one who lives there. She sounds very nice.

Also in the family at the same level (mother's first cousin) is Gerald Hiken a well known character actor who was particularly good in the Chekov plays and a bit further on the tree Charlotte Rae, the comedienne.

These folks (my grandfather and his sibs) had a sense of timing and a wry way of looking at the world that was incomparable. (No stock jokes..that would be too easy..)


Sounds more Scot than Irish.

Sounds can be deceiving. First recorded use of my maiden name was found in Munster (a province in southern Ireland, whose largest city is Cork).

Of course, family may have intermingled with some Scots along the way - lol!

Sara (Pal2Pal)

No I'm not kidding you.

Can you spot what's wrong with this commemorative royal wedding mug?



uh, Will's hair turned red, and his face morphed to rather look like his rascal brother?

Sara (Pal2Pal)

My Irish ancestors were mostly Scots-Irish. They lived mostly in Northern Ireland and had one thing in common, they were all protestants (Presbyterian). They can be traced back to various Scot clans, mostly rebels and rabble-rousers. Very independent thinking and ready to fight for their right to be left alone by governments.

hit and run

Surely I've told this story before.

Sunday school,I'm maybe 9. We're in Genesis. Teacher decides to help us understand the listing of all the begats and whatnot,so we all discuss our families.

Teacher: "Does anyone know where their families came from before coming the America?"

Me: ::raises hand very enthusiastically:: "I have a little Scott in my family!"

Teacher: "Ah,that's nice. Let's look at this map and find Scotland on it..."

Me: "No. I mean my little brother. His name is Scott."

Teacher: ::sighs::

Me: "You want me to sit in the corner again,don't you Mr. Zelious."


And so began Hit's descent into wickedness and iniquity..

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Good grief, these people are more than whacko:

Union thuggery against Althouse and Meade: "We will hang up wanted posters of you everywhere you like to go."

Here is except, but the whole thing is bad.

Because of their extensive, lifelong, union freeloading (Althouse, the breadwinner of their pathetic, sexual-frustration driven “family” is an AAUP freeloader, a public sectorsecondary education freeloader, a University of Michigan freeloader, a University of Colorado freeloader and, most disgustingly to us, a University of Wisconsin Freeloader),their movement freeloading (they have greatly enhanced their reputation and socialcurrency both within her nauseating Tory brotherhood they represent and across theinternet by wandering around Madison lying about all they see) their repeated lies andgeneral commitment to irresponsible citizen-journalism (how dare they sneak around anongoing citizen protest movement taking pictures of trash minutes before ourvolunteers clean it), their false claims to have infiltrated the movement despite the factthat as a decentralized, participatory and democratic movement #wiunion cannot be“infiltrated” and indeed welcomes the attention of hostile outside observers, theirattempts to incite Tea Party Falangists to act on their sadistic and violent impulsesagainst fourth grade teachers and their students, and their desecration of the statue of Hans Christian Heg Ann Althouse and Meade are hereby put on notice. NOTICE – YOUR CITY OF MADISON PRIVILEGES HAVE BEEN REVOKED. MADISON IS A #WIUNION CITY AND WE ARE MADISON.Did you really think this could go on forever? That you could sit on the steps of ourhouse, walk the streets of our city, lie about us to strangers, tell gun-toting rednecksfrom out of state and the Northwoods how depraved and deserving of punishment weare all while maintaining plausible deniability for any of the consequences that youractions might cause? Did you think you could fuck with HANS and get away with it?This isn't a one way fight any more. We will take it from the internet right to 2114Chamberlain Avenue. Do you have any idea where you live? Let us spell it out for you.We understand that you like to eat on the square. You like the Baked Potato at the OldFashioned, do you? ...more

All because they spent days trying to document all sides with video, pictures, and interviews.

Rob Crawford

Sara, the part that has me quivering with rage is the reaction of the leftists in Ann's comment section.

One (1) of them said "that's not right; I'll let the idiot know it's unacceptable".

The others -- including one being particularly persistent -- are declaring it fake.

They know damned well it's not a fake. They know damned well there are people they're inspiring to violence. And they have no problem with it.

Every damned time a leftist commits or threatens violence, the left turns a blind eye. "Provocateur". "The CIA made them do it". "COINTELPRO!!!!"

Every damned time someone not explicitly and unambiguously on the left commits or threatens violence, the left screams "look at what you right-wing haters inspired!" It's all BS -- they want us to shut up; they'll declare even the mildest and incontrovertible statements to be "incitement".

All the left's concern, ever, over violence is fear that they'll lose their monopoly.

Intrinsic Value

LOL nice pick up and article.

keep up the good work

Captain Hate

Well and they'll get their pansy asses kicked, Rob; they aren't big on fair fights.

To hell with them; I'm a Welsh mongrel so there's no way I wear green today (and if I'm in a particularly bad mood it's time for donning the orange) but I got Hell's Ditch by The Pogues on now. It just seemed right.

Rob Crawford

Oh, and LUN, a WI Senator has had the windows of his car broken and "nails" (likely "star nails" -- multiple nails welded together so one point always points upward) scattered in his driveway.

My prediction, based on past patterns seen in "union actions" -- pipe bombs before the end of the month.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

donning the orange

My Dad used to say that I should wear orange on St. Pat Day. I always thought it was the Scots-Irish protestants in the pedigree, but he was Welsh thru and thru, so maybe that was it.

I have a letter dated 1849 written from Drumliff at Ballyhaise, County Cavin, Ireland by my great-great grandfather to his son, my great grandfather who had come back from the gold fields in California and settled in Western Pa. The letter informs him that his brother had joined the Orangemen and then goes on to talk about some of their goings on.

Captain Hate

Have you ever been to Wales, Sarah?

Rob Crawford

One of those arrested trying to break into the Michigan capitol the other day was armed. LUN.


I tell ya Rob, every one of those reports make me sick at the lies told about Tea Parties. Weapons, death threats, cursing, biting someones finger off, assault,...there was that young couple in Louisiana (I think) where the thugs broke the boyfriend's leg...
and all they have on the Tea Parties is a made up lie by Cleaver, Lewis, & Carson coordinated with the MFM.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

CH: No, I've not been to Wales. When I had the money to travel, I didn't have the time, now I have plenty of time and no money. I have researched my ancestors and found the sites of both their main farm and their Summer one. They were from South Divn, Nantmel Parish, Radnorshire, Wales. My immigrant ancestor came to America in 1726, a Quaker convert. He arrived at age 14, along with his brother 18, and sister 8, leaving behind his parents and 3 other siblings. They were met by 2 of their paternal uncles. Surnames were Griffith, Rhys, and Morgan.


They were ALL named Griffith, Rhys, and Morgan ... unless they were named Davies.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

SBW: I don't have any Davies in my direct line, but when my Grandfather remarried after my Grandmother died, his second wife was a Davies.

And there are a few Jones names floating around, but these were siblings of my Thomas John Griffith, named Thomas ap [son of] John ap Griffith, John for his father and Griffith for his grandfather, but his sister was Mary verch John [John's daughter} making her Mary Johns, later Jones. It was a nightmare trying to get it all straight back when I was working on this line.

Captain Hate

Sarah I'm a Griffith but my ancestor came over sometime in the 1800s. Mrs H and I took a cruise for our 25th anniversary called Voyage of the Vikings which started out of Dublin and hit Wales, Scotland and a bunch of islands before going across the North Sea to Sognefjord. We were in the Northwest part of Wales (Radnorshire is in the central east) and drove into the mountains around Snowdon plus some places with the longest names I've ever seen. People were extremely friendly; I hope you get the opportunity to go there because there's something inexplicably satisfying about being where you're from.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Thomas Griffith's mother was a Morgan and her mother was a Rhys.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

CH: It is a dream of mine for many years.

In the mid 1980s, I began to try, operative word try, to catalog the various Griffith family lines from the immigrant thru at least the first 3 generations in this country. When my database exceeded 40,000 names, I gave up and concentrated only on my own line. I still have boxes and boxes of raw material, letters and pedigree charts, Bible entries, etc, that I got from those wanting to be a part of the Griffith Project, about half of which are still to be extracted and compiled.

I was working with DOS 3.0 at the time and we only had the Compuserve Roots forum and a couple of Bulletin boards to get the word out.


I took a trip to Ireland this past summer with my high school girlfriends and it was fabulous, I'm half Irish on my dad's side and half Slovenian from my mom.

Captain Hate

Did you fly in at Dublin, maryrose? It's pretty disconcerting figuring out to look opposite to what you're conditioned to do before stepping off a curb when crossing a street.


Learning to drive on the wrong side is fun, too. Particularly when you have to make a quick decision and instinctively swerve ... the wrong way.


I went to England for my friend's wedding, and we were driving over to the dress shop for a fitting. We were gabbing along, and I wasn't paying attention, and every so often I would glance out the front window. AND THERE IS A GIANT TRUCK AND IT'S IN OUR LANE COMING STRAIGHT AT US!!! Oh, no, it's ok, they drive on the other side here...

I think each 3 seconds of sheer terror took about 15 minutes off of my life!

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