Tag Archives | USA

Blue Plaque unveiled in Aghadowey

aghadowey church

Yesterday the Ulster History Circle unveiled a Blue Plaque at Aghadowey Presbyterian Church in honour of Rev. James McGregor. Aghadowey Presbyterian Church was founded in 1655 making it one of the oldest congregations west of the Bann. It also has amongst the largest Presbyterian church buildings in County Londonderry. Rev. James McGregor was a veteran more…

US death penalty states seek alternatives to lethal injection

I mentioned the debacle surrounding the execution of Clayton Lockett previously. The problem has been that lethal injection was seen as a humane way to end a condemned criminal’s life. It had the appearance of a medical procedure. Unfortuantely a combination of problems with drug choices and doses and more importantly the limited competence of more…

Killing me softly

At the start it is only fair to state that I am opposed to the death penalty. I respect those with a different opinion but I am clear that I do not support capital punishment. No one directly connected to me has ever been murdered so maybe I am naive and could change my mind more…

Meghan O’Sullivan: “how do we make it possible for the others to deliver on the agreement? . . . I don’t know if there was enough of that in the room this time.”

Whilst the Northern Ireland media continue to obsess over digest the parting shot from Richard Haass on the political parties’ failure to agree to his proposals (version 7), the co-chair of those talks, Meghan O’Sullivan, appears to have been delegated the task of addressing the media south of the border.  [Partitionists! - Ed]  ANYhoo.. In more…

Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911-2013

CamcoDienBienPhu

The death has been announced in Hanoi of Vo Nguyen Giap, the self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam. His generalship at the pivotal battle of Dien Bien Phu, freeing the North from colonial rule and then later forcing the Americans to abandon their support for the various regimes in South Vietnam, was largely more…

Jobs and Freedom for Northern Ireland

20130828 MLK NIA WIP

Sponsored by the US Consulate Belfast, the Washington-Ireland Programme and Politics Plus, Chris Lyttle MLA hosted a remembrance event at Parliament Buildings for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I have a dream”. Chris recalled his experience as a participant in the Washington-Ireland more…

Parliamentary Written Question of the Week…

Now that the US President is back home across the pond, it’s probably safe to note the latest candidate in an occasional series.  From the House of Commons written parliamentary questions 20 June. US White House Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government plans to more…

The fate of peace: President Obama in Northern Ireland

20130617 Obama NI square

My marriage is a transatlantic union between a Midwesterner and a Belfast-born Northern Irishwoman. Fittingly, my wife and I were delighted to receive tickets to hear another Midwesterner, President Barack Obama, at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. With DJ Pete Snodden playing music by American artists, and the 2,000+ crowd performing a Mexican wave, one could be more…

“Adding more weapons to this volatile situation could destabilise the entire region…”

The Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were in a sunny Downing Street garden yesterday, welcoming that suspect package, and extolling the virtues of demonstrating “peacefully, positively, constructively” [Is that with, or without, a Thompson sub-machine gun? - Ed]  Without, probably…  ANYhoo, on the same day Sinn Féin released the text of what appears to more…

“Obama may do things you progressives find distasteful, but at least marvel at how thoughtful and torn up he is about it all…”

With growing domestic political difficulties – the continued fall-out from Benghazi, the IRS caught targeting political opponents, the increased invocation of the 1917 Espionage Act against troublesome journalists, to name but three issues – US President Barack Obama is probably looking forward to his short June break at Lough Erne.  In the meantime, though, take more…

OFMdFM: “as open and transparent as possible”

After much foot-dragging, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers have released the cost [to date - Ed] of their 12-day March junket trip to Brazil and the USA to “Develop and promote political, investment, trade, university and tourism links” – an eye-watering £155,509.  As Mark Devenport tweeted So were FM and DFM’s recent investment more…

Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

The BBC are reporting that there have been two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, three hours after the winners had passed the line.  That’s around 5 hours after the race start.  Currently the number of people injured is unkown.  Live coverage from the BBC here.  Adds Guardian live-blog here.  Update  According to early more…

Weekend White House memes…

OBAMA "I am not a dictator"

After US President Barack Obama mangled his sci-fi/popular culture references with his “Jedi mind-meld”, the White House twitter feed doubled down on the confusion… [The Farce is strong with this one - Ed]  Meanwhile, also via the Professor, his critics are having fun with the latest in an occasional series of Presidential denials. Heh.

King 1963: I have a dream. Obama 2013: I have a drone

obama pic

In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Today, fifty years on, in tribute to the great civil rights leader, the US marks Martin Luther King Jr Day with a federal holiday in his name. Today also more…

“But today, identity seems more central to politics than ever before.”

Brian’s noting of the advice from Richard Haass to the Israeli government reminded me that there are other places, and administrations, who have received similar ‘lessons’ from The Process™ here.  Afghanistan, for example.  Of course, it always helps to have well-placed friends [writing your speeches! - Ed].  And it’s worth noting that Richard Haass’ role here more…

The [animated] view from Taiwan… Redux

Everyone’s favourite Taiwanese animators have neatly summarised last night’s first 2012 US Presidential debate.  Ouch!  Via the Professor’s stand-in team.  And with the incumbent heading for a more comfortable platform on which to revise his debating points after the fact, there’s this for true believers to consider. The fact is that Mr Obama has a talented, more…

“Obviously, people are never going to be seized by the exact same patently bullshit sense of destiny they were last time around…”

The Onion reports, prematurely it would appear, from the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  From the Onion slice. According to sources, none of the students in attendance appeared to be discussing proposals for college debt-relief with quite the same degree of unthinking, asinine fervor as they did in 2008, nor did the more…