It’s March 17th So Some Facts About Saint Patrick Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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march 17 st patrick's day

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all who celebrate these things.

Grab a glass of your green beer and find out a few facts about St. Patrick that you may find interesting and a little surprising.

Enjoy.

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donald duck st patrick's day

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Let’s start with this fact,

Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish

and he wasn’t born in Ireland.

Although he is remembered for introducing

Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick was

born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in

the late fourth century (about 385 AD)

so actually he’s British!

 

British Order of St Patrick
British Order of St Patrick

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And while we are doing a bit of myth-busting,

you might as well also know that the

Shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland.

It is a popular Irish symbol,

but the symbol of Ireland is the Harp.

As early as the medieval period, the harp appeared

on Irish gravestones and manuscripts and was

popular in Irish legend and culture well before that.

King Henry VIII used the harp on coins as early as 1534.

Later, it was used on Irish flags and Irish coats of arms.

Starting in 1642 the harp also appeared on flags

during rebellions against English rule and when

Ireland became an independent country in 1921,

it adopted the harp as the national symbol.

Harp national symbol of Ireland
The Harp is the national symbol of Ireland.

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Although today many people claim that

the shamrock represents faith, hope, and love,

or any number of other things,

it was actually used by Patrick to teach

the mystery of the Holy Trinity,

and how three things,

the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit

could be separate entities, yet one in the same.

Obviously, the pagan rulers of Ireland found

Patrick to be convincing because they

quickly converted to Christianity.

 Holy-Trinity-Shamrock

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Patrick’s first introduction to the Irish was not a pleasant one.

At the age of 16, he had the misfortune of

being kidnapped by Irish raiders who took him away

and sold him as a slave.

He spent several years in Ireland herding sheep

and learning about the people there.

At the age of 22, he managed to escape and

made his way to a monastery in England where

he spent 12 years growing closer to God.

 (St) Patrick being given the opportunity to leave Ireland where he had been held as a slave

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The original color associated with St. Patrick is blue,

not green as commonly believed.

In several artworks depicting the saint,

he is shown wearing blue vestments.

King Henry VIII used the Irish harp in gold

on a blue flag to represent the country.

Since that time, and possibly before,

blue has been a popular color to represent

the country on flags, coats-of-arms,

and even sports jerseys.

Ireland’s association with the color green

came later, presumably because of the greenness

of the countryside, caused by endless rainfall.

Today, the country is also referred to as the “Emerald Isle.”

 saint patrick color blue

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The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented

in the United States, not Ireland.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the British army

marched through New York City, the parade and accompanying

music helping the soldiers celebrate their Irish roots,

as well as reconnect with fellow Irishmen

serving in the British army.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies united

their parades to form one official New York City

St. Patrick’s Day Parade which has become one of the

largest St Patrick’s parades with about 200,000

participants and 3 million onlookers.

It is also the oldest civilian parade in the United States.

Only the City of Boston rivals it.

 st patrick's day parade new york city

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By contrast, the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day

parade is in Dripsey, Cork, where the

parade lasts just 100 yards and

travels between the village’s two pubs.

 St. Patrick’s Day parade Dripsey Cork

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And only the Irish know why this parade goes from

one pub to the other because until 1970 St. Patrick’s

was what was known as a dry holiday in Ireland,

meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day.

The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s

was reclassified as a national holiday

– cheers to that!

 green-beer

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In the United States during the mid 19th century,

the Roman Catholic Irish faced discrimination

much like that faced by African Americans.

Unlike the Protestant Irish who quickly assimilated

into their new country and became Americans,

(their descendants now number many millions in the USA),

the Roman Catholic Irish clung to their religion and culture

and were perceived as a potentially disloyal.

To combat this, they began to organize themselves politically

and by the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was

a large holiday for the Roman Catholic Irish and an occasion

for them to demonstrate their collective political and social might.

In more recent times the political emphasis has faded along with

the discrimination, and the holiday has now become popular as an

opportunity for festivity regardless of one’s cultural background.

 St. Patrick’s Day parade new york roman catholic irish

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The New York and Boston St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

may well be impressive in their own right,

but they have a rival.

St Patrick’s Day has twice been celebrated in space.

In 2011, the International Space Station hosted

a St. Paddy’s Day celebration with Irish-American

astronaut Catherine Coleman playing a hundred-year-old flute

and a tin whistle belonging to members

of the Irish group, the Chieftains,

while floating weightlessly in space.

Coleman’s performance was included in a track entitled

”The Chieftains In Orbit” on the group’s album, ‘Voice of Ages’.

And in 2013, astronaut, Chris Hadfield, celebrated

St Patrick’s Day by photographing Ireland from

space while singing Danny Boy.

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The Ambassadorks Of America!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Oh dear where to start. 

I’ve said before that America is bad – that’s capital ‘B’, ‘A’ and ‘D’ – at foreign policy. The US Government should know this by now, I’m not the only one saying it. It is a well known fact all over the world – except in America which apparently doesn’t know very much about the rest of the world and also apparently isn’t going to learn any time soon.

There hasn’t been any time in history when America needed to take stock of what has happened and try to make a few friends out there in the big wide world rather than pissing everyone else off needlessly.

Sure if you’re the biggest and strongest on the field you can kick anyone around. But to what purpose when it’s just as easy to get people on your side. Most of the woes America faces, the rest of the world faces too. There’s more in common out there that you might at first think.

Cue the man who was going to bring in great change and had the power to do so. But, no, President Obama hasn’t changed a damn thing. He inherited a great big hole and he just jumped in there with his shovel and keeps on digging.

Worse, he has yet again allowed croneyism to take the place of innovation and good sense.

To help him he has given government positions to the biggest bunch of idiots that you could ever imagine.

Their first job it seems was to continue to piss off Europe. Hot on the heels of the NSA getting caught spying on German Chancellor Merkel,  the U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, was caught in a phone call recording saying “F*** the EU”.

Yes, you read that correctly. And she did all this as she was discussing who should be in the new Ukrainian government. 

Whoops! And Double Whoops!!

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Here it is if you want to hear it for yourselves.

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That’s the Secretary of State.

Now what about the Presidential appointeees, the Ambassadors.

You would think the main criteria for choosing your Ambassadors would be to get someone who has an in depth knowledge of the country where they will be posted. Someone well versed in the culture, history, politics etc. Someone who will fit in straight away and make a good impression on behalf of the American people.

Sound sensible?

Yes, of course it does.

Is it the way America chooses its Ambassadors?

No, of course it’s not.

America chooses its Ambassadors, not on ability, but rather on how much money they have raised for the President’s election or re-election campaign.

That’s what you call corruption in any other country. I’m not sure what it’s called in America but the consequences are plain and pathetic to be seen.

Nowhere better than in the most recent hearings for the ambassador positions.

In this lot of new Ambassadors we had Colleen Bell, a TV producer for a soap opera who was picked as the U.S. envoy to Hungary. Did she know anything about Hungary? No. She didn’t utter a word of sense, just relied on waffle and bluff.

The only thing that eased her humiliation was the new Ambassador to Norway who was so clueless he didn’t even know who was in Government there. He even called the Progress Party, which is part of Norway’s ruling coalition, a hate-spewing “fringe element.”

And last in these examples, but not least in terms of inability and unsuitability for the job, was Noah Bryson Mamet. He was the nominee for the Argentina ambassadorship despite the fact that he’d never even visited that country and can’t speak Spanish.

A couple of million dollars for Obama apparently goes a very long way to getting you the job of representing America on the world stage.

Incredible! And not in a good way.

I’ll give you the opportunity to hear Anderson Cooper’s take on it too.

Until the next rant!

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And Abbey Martin

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Lost In Translation Too!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Last Saturday I talked about the movie ‘Lost in Translation’ and how trying to communicate in a language that you don’t understand can have comic consequences.

I have had a few dodgy experiences using things like Google translator or Bing’s verson or even Bable Fish, but thankfully none quite as bad as this next bunch of signs.

Enjoy.

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All of which goes to prove that it is easier to get the

message across using symbols instead of words!

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Lost In Translation

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There was a movie a few years ago called ‘Lost In Translation’ starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. It was about a jaded film star and a neglected wife who form an unlikely bond after meeting in a hotel in Tokyo, with the problem of translation between English and Japanese forming a sub theme.

It wasn’t a movie to everyone’s taste, but if you haven’t seen it definitely worth a look. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Bill Murray, and Best Director for Sofia Coppola, with Coppola winning for Best Original Screenplay. Scarlett Johansson won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

All that is by way of introduction to today’s post which is also about how the real meaning of what you try to say can sometimes be lost in translation.

The following signs are good examples that illustrate the point and hopefully amuse.

Enjoy.

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A Thought For Easter Sunday

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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truth lies

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My father, who I loved and respected deeply, passed quite suddenly many years ago one August 12th. Now don’t worry, tissues not required, this isn’t going to be one of those sentimental posts as you will see in a moment, just setting a principle.

You see ever since that day I always know that when August 12th comes round that is the anniversary of his passing. Not that I do much to commemorate it or anything, but every year – same date – that’s it.

So why am I talking about something that happened in mid August now at the end of March?

Well, because they tell me this weekend is Easter and that always messes with my logic circuits.

Easter is a day that is honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which took place on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary.

So here’s a simple question.

If someone we know dies on a certain day of a certain month that date remains constant, it does not change, the anniversary is the same every year.

So why do we celebrate the Resurrection (death plus three days) of Jesus on such wildly varying dates?

For example in 2011 it was April 24th, last year it was April 8th, this year it is March 31st and next year it will be April 20th.

The only way that makes sense, is if the date we are told to celebrate has as little to do with the Resurrection and Christianity as have eggs, bunnies or candy.

It doesn’t seem to matter any more in America and many other western countries because the powers that be are intent on abandoning their Christian ethos for fear of offending those who refuse to abandon their religious beliefs. They are quite happy with the confusion.

It is, however, fairly clear if you do even a little bit of research on the subject, (and I encourage you to do your own research and not take my word for it), that most of the things people now commonly associate with Easter have in fact pagan, rather than Christian, origins.

And the pagan roots of Easter lie in the worship of pagan gods and in celebrating the spring equinox, which marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of a “dead” season and the rebirth of life, as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.

References to a similar holiday have been found as far back as 2400 BC (that’s ‘B’ as in ‘before’ ‘C’ Christ) when, for example, the city of Ur apparently had a celebration dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox which was held some time during our months of March or April. “Ishtar”, which is pronounced “Easter” was a day that commemorated the resurrection of a pagan ‘god’ called “Tammuz”, who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god. In other cultures he acquired different names, including “Osiris”, “Orpheus”, and “Dionysus”.

The Phrygian fertility goddess “Cybele”, was one of the most popular of these pagan gods, and worship of “Cybele” started in Rome around 200 BC. Ironically, a cult dedicated to her was even located on what is today Vatican Hill.

Even today modern Wiccans and neo-pagans celebrate “Ostara,” or “Eostre” which are derived from the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess, “Eostre”. “Eostre’s” feast day is held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox – a similar calculation as is used for Easter among Western Christians. On this date the goddess “Eostre” is believed by her followers to mate with the solar god, conceiving a child who would be born nine months later on Yule, the winter solstice which falls on December 21st.

Two of “Eostre’s” most important symbols are the hare (both because of its fertility and because ancient people saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg, which symbolized the growing possibility of new life. Each of these symbols continues to play an important role in modern celebrations of Easter.

So Easter, like many other things the establishment encourages us to believe, is not quite what it purports to be.

I’ll leave the last word to someone smarter than me,

“See that no man deceive you.” Matt 24:4

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Remember The Good Old Days?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Remember the good old days?

In these difficult times there is a great comfort in looking back and remember how idyllic things were in the past. It is a place where all the summers were warm and sunny and the winters picturesque and pleasant.

At election times political candidates always like to remind us of times past and how good they were, implying that if they are elected they will see that all returns again to the way it was. 

Certainly some things were a lot better in many ways, but there are also a lot of things that were wrong too. 

It’s a subject I will probably return to again, but in the meantime here are a few old advertisements to remind you of how it used to be.

Reminisce and enjoy! 

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Things Your Grand-kids Will Probably Never Know

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We all happen to be living during a time when there are great advances and changes being made in the way we live our lives. Some of them are to our benefit, other not so much so.

Politically and financially the world is in turmoil. There is an accelerating and inevitable shift of power and influence towards the east, with former great powers like Britain and America declining in their influence and their economic might.

Perhaps that is a natural phenomenon, after all as they say “every dog has its day”, but I happen to believe that a lot of it is due to stupidity and mismanagement allied with a self-defeating philosophy that the west somehow has a duty to police the world and to create nanny states for its citizens where they will neither have to work nor want.

Technologically there have also been many changes and many more to come. During the past twenty years with the advent and growth of the internet everything has changed, from the way we interact socially, to how and where we work, and how we manage our affairs whether that be banking, shopping or whatever.

What a lot of these changes mean is that future generations will have no idea of how our lives used to be. Already many of us who have lived through the changes have forgotten how we used to have to do things. What would it be like trying to explain the ‘old days’ to a generation with absolutely no point of reference to the world we were born into?

To remind you of how it used to be here is a list of some of things we have known and lost, consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Feel free to add your own items to this list of things that your grand-kids will probably never know.

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Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.

Dewey Decimal System

Finding books in a card catalog at the library.

A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.

Reference books such as phone books, encyclopaedias

Finding out information from an encyclopedia.

library_cartoon

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Having to manually unlock a car door.

Looking out the window during a long drive.

Using a road atlas to get from A to B.

Getting lost in a world without GPS.

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Being able to add and subtract without a calculator

Long division and multiplication

Trig tables and log tables.

Slide rules

Slide Rule

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House phones

Phone books and Yellow Pages.

Rotary-dial telephones.

Pay phones.

Phones with actual bells in them.

Answering machines.

Fax machines.

Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.

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Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.

Betamax tapes.

Video tapes and renting movies

Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.

Laserdiscs.

8-track cartridges.

8-Track-tape-Player

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Casette Tapes

Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.

CDs and DVDs

Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo.

Taping songs off the radio

A Walkman.

cassette tape

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Rotary tuners that scanned the radio dial and hearing static between stations as you went through the ether.

Shortwave radio.

CB radios.

Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.

Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.

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DOS.

The buzz of a dot-matrix printer

5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.

Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.

Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.

Counting in kilobytes.

Joysticks.

Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.

Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.

When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

NCSA Mosaic.

Netscape

Alta Vista

Being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.

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Cash.

Writing a check.

Doing bank business only when the bank is open.

Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.

Being able to buy something in Walmart that isn’t made in China

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Privacy.

Being able to take a drive or walk down the street without being surveilled on numerous cameras

Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.

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Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.

Neat handwriting.

Spelling

Grammar

The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.

Typewriters.

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Putting film in your camera

Sending that film away to be processed.

Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.

Film_Strip

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Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Ashtrays

Roller skates, as opposed to blades.

Ashtray

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