Updated: Sep 17
While I disagreed with the irregulars, I tried to go along with their argument by taking it to an extreme in order to work out the consistency of their own viewpoint and internal logic. It requires a truly unique individual to first think of the idea and then to launch a scathing criticism of that same idea! We've to play devil's advocate to fully understand the situation. I know there were a lot of controversies and violent atrocities carried out during the Civil War and I’m not trying to downplay it. I just felt that the actions of the irregulars seemed futile with respect to their undemocratic ambitions and lack of military size. Anyone paying attention in second year history about the Renaissance will remember the word “quixotic”! It seems like the civil war was a war to determine whether we should launch another war. Yet I've never really heard of this circular logic being used in other international wars in world history. The only extremely indirect example I can think of would be how the communist revolution in Russia brought an end to Russia's participation in WW1. Although this was a secondary objective for the communists where their primary concern was economic. It was also the other way round in the context of stopping an ongoing war. Another factor is that the unionist population in the 1920s democratically outnumbered nationalists in the north to an amount far greater than they did during the Troubles. So the irregulars were outvoted both in the Dail and in the north.
(Civil war pdf on blog page)
Junior cert history is quite amusing. It begins with chapters on Celtic Ireland and passes by Christopher Columbus and the French Revolution. There’s 3 pages on WW1 and races through 10 pages on WW2 as if there’s a build-up of suspense leading to the 100 page discussion on the Irish War of Independence, the Civil War and then the Troubles. This chronology is as if the Spanish conquistadors and the Renaissance were just background information that’s needed to understand the 1916 Easter Rising!
Even without any good people, evil individuals will eventually come up against people just like themselves. So it’d be in their own interest not to perpetuate evil. If the world only had evil people then all of their victims would by definition be equivalently evil. In terms of the theological problem of evil this solution is still unsatisfactory because evil can be hyperbolically vengeful. Or conversely a lot of individuals can disproportionately escape much punishment. It might seem random but it does show the scales aren’t tipped in favour of evil people as a whole.
It’s a theme that was gruesomely and hyperbolically at play in a horror movie where the evil people eventually started killing each other:
(Ghost Ship - the little girl's story)
I was at my cousin’s house in County Offaly as a young child when everyone decided to rent a movie. Believe it or not we somehow came back with this one. I watched the beginning and then quickly left the room. (Just in case anyone was wondering about where my problems all began!) Here's another example:
The Dark Knight: "You and your friends are dead!"
In a court of law no one can be held responsible for crimes committed by relatives and by extension the historical atrocities from deceased great great grandparents of prior generations. We can sympathise with the suffering of historical people but we can't claim to be victimised by their persecution seeing as most people don't personally know much about their ancestors who are so far back in the family tree. No one is two-hundred years old and so we're not in a position to seek punishment for the crimes of the 19th century or beyond. We'd be more justified in questioning God's non-intervention and the problem of evil than we would blaming modern people.
I’m stating the obvious when I equally condemn all evil violence from any individual who committed terrorist attacks; be they a member of the IRA or from a unionist background. As you can tell from my previous threads I think a mutual collective ignorance about general gun control, self-defence and minority rights exacerbated the Troubles. It seemed to have created a downward spiral effect. I’ll preface the link below by saying if an unarmed civilian is killed by a terrorist with a gun, that is first and foremost a gun control issue. It’s clearly also a sectarian problem but that shouldn’t distract us from the primary dilemma of weapons and guns. Security-wise it’s really and truly moot whether Northern Ireland stays in the UK or joins a United Ireland. Nationalists should have rights for military and police representation in the UK in the same way Unionists would in a multicultural United Ireland. The only people who are being allowed to make fun of the Catholic Church are fellow Irish people; anyone else doing so shall be viewed as sectarian! Although I’m noncommittal on any other Northern Ireland political or cultural issues and view myself as an eccentric! Evil has touched all countries indiscriminately and it has existed since eternity. So no matter what side they were on anyone who supported IRA and UVF terrorism and bombing campaigns will find no other way to justify it to themselves except for the same entitled and paranoid mindset that evil people have had throughout history. Evil is evil and will always be the worst insult of them all since you'd be in the very same descriptive category as every other evil person. (Maybe there may have been a few genuine people in the IRA and UVF who helped bring an end to the conflict. If so then I'll have to view them as collateral damage because making finer distinctions in who's more evil will get me into trouble and so I can only condemn everyone equivalently!)
Post 29 page 1:
At least I don’t think anyone will ever wax lyrical in that way about Northern Ireland!
(I don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to bully Northern Ireland; I’m merely offering advice! Apologies if I’m being presumptuous. It’s just that some of us weren’t born in the 16th century during the European wars of Religion! I know I’m not from Northern Ireland so it’s not really for me to comment on. Nevertheless I think any discussion about its future needs to emphasise real, solid policies and not just geography. For example if the building of Stormont was uprooted and changed location to county Louth then that would technically be a United Ireland even if they implemented the exact same economic regulations and security policies. What precisely will be different in a United Ireland than the current situation in Northern Ireland? We're told a United Ireland will still have orange parades and allow unionists to keep their British identities and heritage. Yet this is the exact same as the status quo already in operation in the north. Thus the only clear difference I can discern is that nationalists hope it will be the Irish Army in Northern Ireland instead of the British Army. This only begs the question of how unionists would be represented in the Irish Army and Garda force. How will unionists be enlisted in a way that's different from the present-day nationalist recruitment in the PSNI or their non-recruitment in the British army? I don't want to give the impression that I'm overly caught up on Ulster. I was only up there twice; once for a Sunday drive and the second time for tennis! The goal for Northern Ireland is to get the best of both worlds between British and Irish culture.)
I solved some of Northern Ireland’s problems during lunch(!):
When Protestants or Catholics really become radicalised Christians(!):
By the way there’s nothing inherently insulting about the word non-Christian. After all there’s plenty of virtuous non-Christian Hindus and Buddhists! So if someone states that they’re Catholic or Protestant then they can be held to account by their own stated beliefs. I received a complaint about that in the past even though there isn’t anything ethnic in nature about those terms. Obviously people who are secure in the consistency of their beliefs and actions won’t feel offended if it was questioned. There’s obviously no such thing as a “Catholic” IRA or “Protestant” UVF. Religious beliefs are a private and personal matter that should never be used as a shield to deflect from criticism. I truly dislike some of the anachronistic rhetoric that was in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. A few people don't mind insulting the countries that people are from but suddenly feel sensitive when the consistency of their actions are assessed relative to their professed faith. Why should it be deemed acceptable for a person's national identity be given less moral respect than one's religion? Society is being terribly hypocritical when it allows me to watch filth on the internet and then thinks I should respect racial and religious sensitivities!
I’m afraid sometimes there’s no easy way to say it and you’ve got to insult both sides to put the situation in context! There's a lot of frustration in Northern Ireland so we might have to appease everyone's anger by offending all sides to get it out of our system. They say you need to get things off your chest so as not to let it build up! Free speech can be controversial when it comes to hate speech. People say that sticks and stones can break my bones and that words cannot hurt me. Educators rightfully say that words can in fact be very hurtful when it comes to derogatory, stigmatising or threatening language. It's very important not to understate or minimise the potential hurt and anxiety caused by slander. Nonetheless the part about sticks and stones breaking bones is still very accurate in its own right. Even though the phrase inadvertently downplays psychological harm by making the unfair comparison, it's nevertheless technically correct that violent actions are always morally worse and more blameworthy than violent words. Therefore it's not that hateful words aren't wrong or shouldn't be prosecuted but that we've to be realistic in recognising that physical violence like murder is clearly an order of magnitude worse. People should always feel free to express angry speech (though not hateful speech!) if it's in a proportionate and critical way. We need to criticise criminal violence in an emphatic tone that reflects the seriousness of the offence. The ends can justify the means where criticising all parties and upsetting people might still deter violence. Positive criticism is intended to change people rather than to demean and dismiss them. Don't be relying on me for your self-esteem! In movies I sometimes get frustrated when the police line operator always tells the phone caller to calm down and speak slowly. Part of me thinks it's two-way where the responder also needs to listen more attentively! If you ever feel the need to self-censor then it runs the risk of normalising the injustice. There were loads of university graduates who lived during the Troubles and who knows if they felt the need to self-censor for security reasons. When journalists cannot give their honest opinion then it might mean that a lot of the public end up getting poor advice. Moreover if journalists in the 1970s were worried about their safety more than the average person was then it further emphasises the loopholes in the manner that gun control was being enforced. For example people under armed threat in the state are sometimes granted garda bodyguards which works well against small criminal gangs but it's unlikely that the state can afford public bodyguards for everyone threatened by a major paramilitary group.
“In 2015, EJI researchers released a report documenting more than 4,400 lynchings that took place between 1877 and 1950. The new study, titled Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, brings the overall death toll between 1865 and 1950 to nearly 6,500.”
While America had a lot of racism in the past, we cannot forget that it’s a country of over 300 million people from a huge number of races. Therefore it’s policies and history are still informative for other troubled regions. Remember that the population of Northern Ireland is under 2 million with little more than 2 ethnicities so the per capita casualties were much higher in Northern Ireland.
“US President Joe Biden's White House voices concern over Belfast disorder”
- Yes, forget the Taliban, the Cold War or nuclear terrorism. Sure Northern Ireland is deserving of its very own White House response! In all seriousness the Troubles somehow inflicted more casualties than the 9/11 terror attacks. It may have been a “low-intensity conflict” in any individual day but that can be misleading as it stretched on for decades. The American Revolution already occurred hundreds of years ago (having included both Catholic and Protestant Americans!). They say that America has its problems but I reserve the right to counterbalance world-views as I see fit! We can learn a lot from countries who've problems that are the opposite of our own. Their message is that the state exists out of convenience and that people are fundamentally individuals. Sadly that message seems to have been lost in Northern Ireland. You could write a thesis about it but really it’s as simple as that. We need to make Americans slightly less American and Northern Ireland slightly more American! I’m not a “troublemaker”! There’s plenty of multiracial countries in the world so there was never anything inevitable about the conflict. The nation state is a man-made construct. It is fallible and it is not the same as Gospel!
Mel Gibson: individuals aren’t owned by a state; the state is owned by us individuals! You're not owned by any politicians. Governments are a very important part of representative democracy because it might be too time-consuming and inefficient if every citizen voted in all parliament decisions. Nonetheless each citizen is still important and so the people in power are like benevolent middle-men between the state and the military or police. But when it comes down to it the military and police forces are still more accountable to each citizen than they are to representatives in parliament. That's why the US requires an oath to the US constitution for soldiers rather than the to their president. Although it might be for mostly symbolic reasons unless God can actually enforce the oath!
Mind you we don’t want to get too American or else we’ll all be hearing gangsta rap about the North East Coast:
In case anyone was confused gang-bang in America refers to "an instance of violence involving members of a criminal gang" without any of the sexual references. Some might call it a bit gay to peek over at so many men even though it'd be in the context of completely dominating a woman! An inherent risk of thoroughly objectifying women is where now only men would be your equal! I tried to intimidate the enemy with misogyny and then undermined myself with homoerotic interpretations! If I tell any more of these jokes I might end up like one of those guys offering shampoo to everyone in the gym showers!
(Recap of previous ideas)
3638 p. 182 plus 3659 and 3660 p. 183:
Ad hominem reply:
The whole interior of Australia is meant to be empty where most people live on the coast. Perhaps Britain could've kept on to a much larger area in the middle of Australia rather than the tiny province of Northern Ireland! Out of all the tropical paradises they once owned in the Carribean, Britain still preferred Ulster! They didn't play their cards right!
(We could all be tempted to do some hyper-masculine smoking videos on certain societal issues. Although the risk is the smoke will become addictive after that one video!)
(I know that it wasn’t just projectile guns and that there were also threats of deadly explosives. That brings up other issues. It highlights the non-defensive and offensive nature of the attacks. I don’t know anything about counterinsurgency but perhaps could there have been more frequent preemptive search warrants at all suspected premises before the devices were made? I don't know how the conflict escalated from shootings up to ferocious bombings. It just so happened to coincide with the Cold War so maybe there were a small few lone wolves among republican and loyalist groups that may have been individually, subconsciously influenced by communist or fascist arguments unrelated to nationalism and unionism. I also find references to telephone bomb warnings not only immoral but also blatantly deceitful and ridiculous. Even from the context of historical military sabotage like WW2 resistance fighters blowing up bridges there's no risk of civilian casualties and only huge infrastructural damage. So this idea of leaving a bomb in a crowded area by accident makes no sense not only from a moral standpoint but also a military or guerrilla one. Even if the intention of the terrorists was solely to instil fear by making people flee there's obvious ways to make loud bangs such as firing a gun in the air with there being no danger of actual casualties. Lastly, if the sinister intention was to inflict some casualties but not many casualties then it still doesn't add up to leave it in such a busy area of all places and somehow rely on most people escaping. Needless to say I'm also condemning all infrastructural and low-casualty attacks. I'm merely stating the obvious that telephone warnings were a ploy to minimise responsibility and hardly heard of outside the context of the Troubles by any other international terror groups. Many civilian deaths in the Troubles can't really be termed collateral damage seeing as the explosions were entirely aimed at civilians. Collateral damage on the other hand would imply that the civilian deaths were unintentional victims of an otherwise military target. Pubs and restaurants bore the brunt of loyalist and republican bombings in a war that was supposedly about the right of self-defence. A foreign person who knew nothing about Northern Ireland would be forgiven for thinking it was a war between rival restaurants.
"Birmingham pub bombings: Botched IRA warning call led to 21 deaths, jury finds -Sky News")
PPS I am aware that there was an arms crisis with Charles Haughey in 1970. It caused controversy because the intended recipients may have been IRA members. The stealthy tone of the operation may have caused further suspicion. I don’t need to repeat myself in being disapproving of all paramilitary membership and their truly repulsive crimes. Perhaps had they openly broached the subject of armed security with England for the silent majority of unaffiliated nationalists then it might have appeared less threatening. Were there strongly vetted nationalist police officers who needed a gun to defend against both loyalist and IRA terrorists then I don’t quite see the problem as both groups were openly armed. Had the paramilitaries been carrying out unarmed assault and murder then there wouldn’t be need for armed police and only more unarmed officers. I keep saying guns are indeed extremely threatening towards unarmed civilians. But I don’t think guns for the purpose of police protection against militant criminals are in any way territorial or militarily preemptive because they’d never even alter the balance of power against aircraft carriers and such in the event of a hypothetical all-out civil war. A quote from my minority rights thread: “An unarmed person can’t beat someone with a gun, armed people can’t beat a fighter jet”. Besides, police being in possession of guns doesn’t mean they’re assuming tactical formations or building trenches. An advantage with focusing directly on the security angle is that self-defence is a very simple and shared human right whereas treaties on political bureaucracies and power-sharing management risks abstraction which in turn might lead to subjectivity. I’m not being preferential because you could make the same claim about armed security for unionist civilians. Thirty years is a long time to wait for terrorists to disarm. The more armed trusted security there is, the more capacity they have to enforce gun control on civilians.
It's a pity that the mayhem of the foolish arms crisis at the very beginning of the conflict was then used as a tacit excuse not to fully appreciate the major threats posed to unarmed civilians for the remainder of the Troubles. The attempt to arm the IRA was so ridiculous that we could almost call it a false flag operation to avoid future responsibility for arming legitimate civilians in self-defence! It thoroughly backfired and tainted discussions about defending nationalists and unionists. The problem with arming the IRA is not only their crimes against unionists but also the way they killed huge numbers of their own nationalists who were accused of being spies. Alleged criminals were also subjected to harsh punishment beatings. Were Northern Ireland a state in America the matter would have been viewed in the context of a gun control debate from the very first incident of a shooting with multiple fatalities. Don't ask me how but that aspect of the situation was somehow overlooked. The problem with nanny states is that people will eventually disagree with each other on whose nanny state it'll be. I've been waiting to deploy that phrase somewhere for quite a long time! Not only was self-defence not a true motive for any terrorist but it was in fact an issue ignored to a fault that left average people vulnerable. Before long every hysterical person in a hundred mile radius started getting involved. The fact that the guns in the arms crisis were imported from abroad only made it look more threatening and illegal seeing as the Irish military already had plenty of guns to begin with! Had there never been an IRA campaign then maybe Britain wouldn't have been opposed to discussions on self-defence laws. There's nothing sinister about fearing a possible tyranny in the future so long as you don't falsely accuse anyone of tyranny. Unarmed civilians were at the mercy of any angry person with a gun. Even without a civil war there will be criminals in any large society. Therefore all it takes is one unauthorised murder to keep prolonging a tit-for-tat scuffle. Such a conflict could go on endlessly if there's no diplomacy. There were so many deaths, multiples more of injuries and exponentials more of grieving relatives but we can't forget that most of the people in Northern Ireland who weren't directly attacked must still have suffered lots of worry and hardship given that the conflict went on for such a length of time.
(Northern Ireland has been a headache for far too long. Time is of the essence and people need to come to a consensus. People's defensive needs are urgent. Thankfully I've resolved the matter on behalf of others and the court of Michael has made a unilateral decision to legalise more gun clubs! At this point in time I'm pretty much at war with the world and am left with no choice but to issue orders! These countries had a very important job to do in policing the Troubles and they simply didn't do it properly. Terror organisations no matter their committment are still outnumbered 20 to 1 by society. I find certain aspects of the reconciliation process well-intentioned but imperfect. People who confess to their crimes and express sadness without actually going so far as to be remorseful for their deeds is better than nothing. It provides some degree of closure. Although a conditional apology would still be better than a bare confession. I find dry humour in the gardai hiring a Northern Protestant to represent them as if this lets them off the hook and solves all our problems!)
(Any paranoid fears about an all-powerful Catholic Church can be addressed in writing to the history departments throughout the various European universities on the continent so don't bother me about it, thanks. I'm not hundreds of years old and so I'd like to profess my innocence of any wrongdoing back then. If it's any consolation I was always rooting for the Aztecs! They were always honest and never morally self-righteous. Their human sacrifices to the gods above show how they were never arrogant in viewing humans as sacred and had a healthy understanding of our expendable nature. Anyway that's the wrong paranoid fear to have; a China-India alliance is the stuff of nightmares!
I think we need to clear up some confusion. A theocracy is where the church owns the state. For example Saudi Arabia has strict punishments for those who break Islamic customs. There were no church authorised executions in Ireland during the Troubles and so any reference to theocracy is grossly hyperbolic. Apostasy has been legal in Europe for centuries. The only reason past governments were influenced by the Catholic Church was because voters freely opted to vote in Catholic politicians. The church never had any direct constitutional control over the Irish State. A collectivist interpretation of the separation of church and state is that civilians can opt not to be in the church while remaining in the state. A libertarian interpretation of the separation of church and state is that church members can form their own militia and non-church members can form their own anti-church militia. People can go their separate ways and everyone lives happily ever after. One reason Americans tend to be more religious than other nations is that they don't have any state religion. Consequently people take increased personal responsibility for promoting their faith because they know they can't rely on the state to do it for them. That's what you call irony! A pejorative term like priest-ridden is often nothing more than a false-dichotomy and euphemism for Catholic-ridden seeing as people chose the faith of their own free will. "Prod" also isn't a legitimate word. I feel as if I could use the Lord's name in vain here to express my exasperation but I fear that this would only offend both religions! Alleging that Ireland had to became Catholic solely because of Vatican priests or that Irish rule is Rome rule wouldn't be much different than saying Britain is Protestant just because of King Henry the Eighth's conversion. We're not slaves. Whatever about forced conversions in early history, people in later eras maintained and promoted their respective religions voluntarily. The gardai don't wear the uniforms of the Vatican's Swiss guards! Let's not forget that Israel is the Holy Land of Christianity; not Ireland or England. I think Irish governments were very temperamental during the Troubles. It's as if they were apologising to both republicans and loyalists for the violence instead of being stern with them.)
(I also think the state has to take more responsibility for the church abuse scandals. I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that the Troubles and the child abuse scandals happened at the same time. It almost feels like there was no one in charge of the country and the place was in a state of anarchy. I'm not excusing the Church's role in the cover up but it seems the abuse often occurred in public schools. Yet it was the state that delegated public education to the Catholic Church in the first place. Priests aren't in the mafia and one can only imagine that it would have been easy for the gardai to catch them if they were being attentive. I'm not sure if the church hierarchy could be convicted of concealing fugitives when the state wasn't even bothering to issue arrest warrants. I'm sure it'd still count as child endangerment but my point is that the state was being very passive on a range of societal problems. When the southern state was trying to prevent anti-Catholic discrimination in the north, presiding over such an abuse scandal was an awful own goal that merely added fuel to the fire in the north.)
(Southern politicians supported a United Ireland using peaceful means and they simultaneously condemned the IRA. Sometimes it feels like they supported the nationalist community in Northern Ireland only to repeatedly distance themselves from all of them for the crimes of the IRA even though the illegal group was simply a minority within a minority. It's hard to form a coherent response when the ultimate objectives are unclear. Being neutral (distant or passive) is not the same as either peacekeeping (UN) or peacemaking (diplomatic and judicial aid) which are both an active process (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peacemaking). The government cannot be neutral when it's own citizens are under attack. Disarming civilians isn't a biased action but strictly speaking neither is it a neutral decision. I think previous Irish governments succeeded from a diplomatic standpoint in organising talks and reconciliation but failed to some extent from a policing point of view. At the time they didn't have a democratic majority for a United Ireland so I think it may have been a bit distracting and advocating defensive rights might have worked better. A United Ireland was promoted as a catch-all solution where the details and ultimate objectives weren't fully worked out. If your worldview is inconsistent then you'll lack the confidence to achieve it. The IRA essentially launched a three-pronged war against Britain, the Irish government and the capitalist economic system. Even when we ignore the immorality of it, the fact that overcoming one of those groups alone would have been unlikely meant that taking on all three simultaneously would've been nearly impossible. This brings up the ethics of waging an unwinnable war. Had the IRA won the civil war in Northern Ireland, then indeed there might have been a final civil war to end all civil wars between the Catholic and socialist sections of the terror group! The Falklands war occurred during the same time as the Troubles and it had a similar theme of territorial possession. So without a democratic majority in favour of a United Ireland it was almost a foregone conclusion that Britain was never going to change its mind. Furthermore some people who condemned IRA attacks but also supported the idea of a United Ireland could have been more specific and vocal about the type of United Ireland they hoped for seeing as it's unlikely they all agreed about a 32 county socialist republic. In my opinion some people's overriding desire for a United Ireland lead to the immediate problem of dealing with terrorist murders against unarmed civilians being sidetracked. If I sound angry it's because I view the problems as relatively straightforward rather than me having expected extreme self-sacrifice from everyone. Minorities shouldn't need permission from the majority to feel safe when their rights should be protected in the constitution.)
(A unification of the island could've been viewed as a long-term goal rather than a short-term one. All that counts for democracy is a simple majority and the blunt fact was that throughout the Troubles most people in the north were unionist. Redrawing the boundaries such that most people in the island of Ireland want a United Ireland without due regard for local democracy isn't how a fair referendum works. Otherwise any large country could simply vote itself ownership of a smaller country by strength of numbers. Voicing support of a United Ireland without qualifying a need to have 51% support in the North or trying to change the mind of a segment of unionist voters would've been slightly unhelpful and equivocal in my opinion. Democracy doesn't work by minority-control or natural entitlements. There'd be no point trying to fix one wrong by creating the opposite wrong much like being cold is no better than feeling too hot. One of the best ways to promote the potential of a United Ireland is to first advertise the advantages of the Republic of Ireland seeing as the Republic will still occupy the largest part of the island in a United Ireland. The more harmonious and egalitarian our own society is, the stronger of an argument we can make. For all the talk of the Troubles the Republic of Ireland has had literally 100 years to make a case for a United Ireland. As such there's really no excuses for promoting vague solutions in the far future. The way I look at the world is that I'm a free person right now; not just from 10 years away. I don't necessarily need a referendum to tell me I'm free. I don't wait around a few decades to make politicians feel happier. Another way of saying an election can be won by a single vote is that it can be lost by a single vote. A sports game can be decided by a single point on the scoreboard. Therefore a narrow referendum victory for victory in the next for years isn't guaranteed and for all we know it might be another 50 or a hundred years. People aren't going to spend 18 years raising an extra child just to get another voter on their side! I feel employment laws and political representation are important but nonetheless secondary to court fairness and security representation because if your life is in risk than every other right is automatically infringed. That is to say if you're in fear of danger then it's not much of a consolation to be employed in a well-paid job.)
(Some alternatives can actually be rather easy. For example one way to have counteracted reports of housing discrimination during the Troubles would be to have simply replaced social housing with rent allowance. Granting people free or subsidised houses is a necessary part of social policy when they're disadvantaged or disabled but the one-off gift is slightly more subjective. By contrast rent allowance is very consistent with an equal amount being distributed to all applicants with similar circumstances. Usually the public departments can be very fair and discerning in selecting the most vulnerable to receive extra help. However if huge problems arise then the simplest thing to do is to give equal payments to everyone where there can be no controversies. One way to have counteracted gerrymandering is to simply vote in a different constituency. Democracy says you can only vote once but seeing as everyone belongs to one country then there's no reason why you can't vote anywhere you want. People tend to vote in their local area simply because it makes the administration easier but it's not a fundamental prerequisite of elections.)
("Margaret Thatcher accused the Irish Government of doing nothing to help extradite a priest who allegedly worked for the IRA, state papers have revealed."
There appears to have been a contradictory attitude of appeasement where it was hoped that placating nationalist and unionist extremists in equal measure would satisfy both sides. It seems like Troubles-era Irish governments lacked a long-term goal about what their intentions were for Northern Ireland. It's one thing being neutral to foreign militaries but it's quite another to be neutral even towards criminals or terrorists. Terrorist organisations are small and informal groups that are far weaker than the Irish State. We don't know the exact content of the investigation into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and perhaps the gardai genuinely did run out of evidence. However there appears to be other cases that truly did end prematurely like the one in the quote below. This makes reports of insufficient detective work in the Dublin-Monaghan attacks even more worrying seeing as it wouldn’t have been unprecedented. Who knows whether it was the department of justice rather than the gardai that were at fault here. There wouldn't be much point having a United Ireland if it became the crime capital of the world. The gardai's net contribution was still neutral given that British and Republican sympathisers within the organisation roughly counteracted each other. The RUC gets more flak because the collusion was one-way towards the loyalists without there being any rogue IRA supporters.
"Mr Ludlow was shot after leaving a bar in Dundalk and his body was found on May 2nd 1976 in a lane near his home.
Noone was ever charged in connection with the murder and his family say gardaí failed to pursue an important line of inquiry – that he was an innocent victim of either loyalist or British forces who mistook him for a senior member of the IRA.
Despite the RUC having identified suspects north of the Border, the Garda investigation was suspended after three weeks without explanation and on foot of what a Garda told the family were "orders from Dublin", they claimed."
'Margaret Thatcher horrified her advisers when she recommended that the government should revive the memory of Oliver Cromwell - dubbed the butcher of Ireland - and encourage tens of thousands of Catholics to leave Ulster for the south.'
Deporting alleged terrorists would have been much less worse than interning them in tiny jail cells or assassinating them on flimsy grounds. I don't support deportation and certainly not against civilians. Had loyalist groups been deported to Britain in equal numbers to those suspected IRA members who'd have been exiled in Ireland then it wouldn't have been as abusive. I only say this in order to emphatically disprove internment as a viable strategy rather than an actual support for deporting people. Indeed I support free movement and the right to fair trial. The interned individuals weren't even placed under house arrest and instead they were summarily jailed.
'The Military Reaction Force (MRF) was set up in 1971 as a counter-insurgency unit and is suspected of being involved in the killing of several innocent Catholics in the 1970s.'
'It is 50 years since internment without trial was introduced in Northern Ireland to try to deal with a worsening security situation in the early 1970s.
John Taylor, now Lord Kilclooney, said: "I supported it. The reason why was that it was the only way of bringing the IRA to heel."'
'Successive Irish governments struggled to maintain a balance of cooperation with the UK whilst appeasing nationalist sentiment among the population – and their own parties, he said...
“This idea that America and Noraid were funding the campaign is not true. Maybe 12% of IRA funding came from North America. The majority came from the south and mostly from bank robberies.”
In 1978 there was almost one bank robbery every second day in the south, and in the early seventies, there was widespread public sympathy for the raids.
“In the early years there was a Robin Hood element among a large part of the public,” he said, but as the robbers became more violent, public support later drained away.'
Mistakes in gun control lead to a domino effect in other types of crime. The IRA had guns in the south that they could use to rob unarmed banks. This allowed them to finance yet more terrorist bombings. To suggest the Troubles-era Irish governments had a secret plan to help the IRA is an insult to some of the nationalist victims of loyalist violence to which the Irish governments partially ignored. I think at worst a far-fetched analogy would be like Nicholas Cage in the Lord of War movie who profiteered from arming both sides! Except the profit was in electoral votes instead of money! The weaponry would also be symbolic!
(I always try to present new ideas in order to capture an audience. As such I don't go into detail about commonly known facts. I didn't give a chronological account of the Troubles because I'm focused more on the underlying problems. The way I don't describe every atrocity by the IRA isn't because I'm biased towards them; rather that there are already plenty of books that do the job for me. This is why I might come across as more critical of government policies than the actual terror organisations.)
The fact that the Republic of Ireland was the poorer neighbour during the seventies can be read in two ways. Firstly it meant that Britain had the greater capacity to resolve the matter and yet failed to do so. Had they subsidised the nationalist community to atone for economic discrimination, this would have been a thousand times cheaper than fighting a thirty year conflict. The conflict economically crippled the whole of Northern Ireland which meant that any potential monetary gain by the unionists from employment discrimination truly backfired. Were it not for the Troubles, Northern Ireland would probably be far richer than the Republic today. On the other hand Ireland's enthusiasm for a unification seemed excessive given their lack of resources to fund the north's infrastructure. There still would have been recessions in the south even had the country never been partitioned.
(Bombings can sometimes give the illusion of civilised killing even though the end result is the same as any another type of killing. This is a common refrain in drone warfare. For example the American soldiers who committed rape and necrophilia during the Mai Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War tried to justify their crimes by referencing the clearing of villages just like their air force. Obviously this only served to highlight the recklessness of their aerial bombing raids rather than to absolve the ground unit of culpability. Shootings and bombings might remove some of the victims' apprehension before their deaths. Nonetheless the scars left on their bodies are no different than the beheadings and dismemberments found in the South American cartel wars. Such public executions might not have been a major factor in the Troubles. Yet it still serves as a grim reminder that violence intentionally committed against noncombatants and violence not done in the name of proportionate self-defence is on a spectrum to savagery.)
"Taoiseach Micheal Martin has pushed back against calls in the US for a referendum on Irish unity, instead stressing the importance of reconciliation.
Speaking ahead of his meeting with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Mr Martin highlighted the work of the Government’s Shared Island initiative and the need to achieve reconciliation in Northern Ireland." (Belfast Telegraph)
I agree with the taoiseach's emphasis on reconciliation. A problem with setting unachievable goals is that instead of inspiring creativity it might lead to a sense of despair at the inevitable failure. Let's imagine that the entire Republic of Ireland was a private enterprise trying to pitch our services to the north. In this case we wouldn't say we half-supported the nationalists in the Troubles but also empathised with the unionists as if this were a mighty act of diplomacy. Nor would we contradict ourselves by saying that we don't want a short-term referendum out of implied shame but in the far future we intend to take full control of the north. Remember that the ambition to unify the north has been a 100 year objective of the south much like the revival of the Irish language. I think we need to promote a United Ireland in a way that's as professional as possible. When we set realistic goals we can motivate ourselves much more to achieve them. People in hot countries are unable to bask in self-pity because if they don't sex themselves up they'll be found suffocated and burnt alive by the sun!
Probably some inappropriate jokes that don’t help my argument:
Bad as absolute monarchy might be, England's colonial expansionism only accelerated after the King was killed! Shakespeare warned us about a possible "descent into madness" from Macbeth killing King Duncan. I don't identify as a loyalist or a republican and instead view myself as a royalist! Absolute monarchy was a lesser evil needed to pacify England. Beforehand they used to inflict their righteous anger only on the Scots and the "Wild Welsh". Then they lost their ways in an attempt to colonise the world!
We need to start preparing for debates on Northern Ireland’s future:
In fact while I was in secondary school I sometimes used to go to lunch with my Orthodox Serbian friend who in turn had a ginger Protestant friend. We were a bit of an oddball group. We never actually discussed any ecumenical matters even though we happened to have come from the 3 churches!
Britain’s Sheep Empire:
“Highland Clearances, the forced eviction of inhabitants of the Highlands and western islands of Scotland... The removals cleared the land of people primarily to allow for the introduction of sheep pastoralism.”
“Settlers set up sheep farms on the extensive grasslands and Canterbury (New Zealand) became the country’s wealthiest province.”
“By the Falkland’s War of 1982 sheep farming was the islands' only industry.”
Our latest stealth technology: they’ll fly below radar even though they’ll be heard 10 minutes before they’re seen.
Historically it was the depressing rain that made everyone desperate to escape England and colonise elsewhere:
I declare my house to be its own microstate:
A tense MI5 drama set in Belfast about a punishment shooting:
I heard a story about my grandfather. The IRA had kidnapped someone at time and the gardai were always going to random houses to ask if the victim had been seen anywhere. He replied that he’d already eight children in the house and so wouldn’t have the space to hide anyone!
Definition of balkanise: to divide (an organisation or system) into small, incompatible units: changes that would Balkanise the corporation.
When the name of your town becomes a verb then that might be due to sinister factors. The last thing we need is any new vocabulary coming from Northern Ireland such as "the situation belfasted".
I was trying to defuse the tension but I better stop these jokes or I'll end up thrash talking everyone like this guy:
Frankie Boyle - Irish
I hear there are some tourist buses for people who want to see the landmarks of the Troubles. When I was in Belfast I got a really high-octane and cosmopolitan vibe from the colourful surroundings and the energetic nightlife. Maybe its tense history inadvertently adds to its dynamic atmosphere so that everyone can de-stress!
"Prince Harry: I've killed in Afghanistan. But Dad wants me to act like a prince"
- The upper class no longer have to lead from 10 miles behind the battlefield and now they can fly 10 miles above in their private helicopters! Their bird's eye view means they can radio in commands to their troops below, "Hurry up; put your backs into it".
The Irish secret service is so secret that no one knows it exists except for the minister of finance who has to try explain away billions in budget deficits. Our submarines have such good stealth technology that if it were right in front you then you still wouldn't be able to see it with your eyes or feel it with your hands.
(Just some macho music to make my piece sound more authoritative. My strategy is to brainwash readers with innuendo. If ever I run for election I'll just put up posters of women in bikinis along with the caption "vote number 1"! My initials happen to be the M.M.M.! Or I could make my street name Triple M to rhyme with a more sinister crime! Alternatively I can trace back my lineage to call myself Michael the Third to sound more aristocratic! On second thought I might leave that one out in case it gets mispronounced as Michael the Turd in a Northern Ireland accent.)
My pantheism thread might have got me excommunicated by every religion had I written it hundreds of years ago. So I think that makes me an impartial voice in the situation! I happen to know English people in the tennis club so I couldn't be racist because it would look a bit awkward the next time I went down to practice! This excuse is like when you take an introductory rock-climbing course on holiday and the teacher tries to reassure you that he couldn't afford your fall on his insurance policy. I'd also have a few relatives who'd be upset since I'd actually a deceased grand-uncle in-law who used to be in the RAF. I heard a rumour that he was in hospital once where one of my relatives told him he'd call the priest. Of course he mixed up the names because a Protestant priest is termed a reverend. Anyway my grand-uncle got quite worried because he thought it was an attempt at a last-minute conversion!
There's a lot at stake. Voters in Northern Ireland will have to choose between Fair City or Coronation Street in the next referendum.
The Protestants and Catholics of Germany managed to see past their differences and unite during WW2 but unfortunately it was in an attempt to take over the world!
Even addressing people as Protestants and Catholics in a sharp voice probably sounds menacing at this stage!
"The Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) was a series of conflicts fought between England and France over succession to the French throne. It lasted 116 years and saw many major battles."
- Great. Who knows if Northern Ireland will still be on the news for yet another hundred years!
Had I been alive during the 1970s I wouldn't have joined any paramilitaries or the Irish or British armies. Instead I'd have learned Russian and volunteered to join their nuclear submarine units out in the Atlantic. If the Cold War turned hot then I'd have added Northern Ireland to my list of targets without unfairly discriminating between nationalists and unionists. Then we'd work on rebuilding society.
The cold breeze can inspire solidarity:
(Just breaking the ice here!)
To be honest I've never noticed much of a posh accent when I listen to upper class English people. I often hear a clear and almost neutral sound from interviews of David Cameron or Stephen Fry. It can actually be their middle and working classes who have the deep regional accents that sound kind of posh to non-natives. I'd find the no-nonsense voice of Gordon Ramsay or Jeremy Clarkson to be far more intimidatingly posh!
We've our own airport at Shannon in Co. Clare along with lots of agricultural land and a large town in Ennis. Perhaps we could go our separate ways and secede our county from the nation! Giving each county their own militia would really up the stakes in the GAA All-Ireland Inter-county Championships! Up Clare! There's as much of an anti-Dublin bias in the west of Ireland as there is in Northern Ireland!
Book your holidays in Northern Ireland(!):
(Hot Fuzz (8/10) Movie CLIP - Mindless Violence (2007) HD)
There never seems to be a whole lot going on in County Meath. It seems like the type of place that were it atom bombed it'd take the rest of the country a few weeks to actually notice that the county was missing!
If I ever descend into criminality I'll make sure not to pick my victims on the basis of race. I'd steal anyone's lunch money irrespective of their ethnicity. Tut-tut! As a sign of trust I chose not to!
Is "Great" Britain short for "Greater" Britain like a greater metropolitan area including the outskirts? Or is it just plain great!?
Ireland couldn't be racist even if we wanted to; we're just too small a country to take on other continents!
I got a taxi home one evening with a black taxi driver. He spoke in an African accent. I guessed that he was Nigerian out of his confident demeanour and fondness for saying "God bless you". In retrospect I'm not sure if it's ethical for me to make these simplistic comparisons!
The Troubles would be a great backdrop for the movie business. It'd be like the Vietnam movies where the bleak weather, vague objectives and amoral crimes sets the stage for humour and existential crises! The absurdity of the conflict would stand in as a metaphor for the absurdity of life itself!
My sympathy extends not only towards victims but also 90 year olds and centenarians who spent such a long time listening to the exact same debate year after year! These are the real experts! And here I am being aggrieved at having to give up a few mere weeks writing the history section!
A few border towns could probably have been dubbed ghost towns even before the violence broke out! If there was ever going to be a zombie apocalypse, you'd swear it'd begin right in Tipperary Town!
Years ago an old lady got on a public bus and looked at me sitting down. I was waiting for her to ask for my seat while she was waiting for me to offer. I tried to hold out but she was growing impatient and pointed beside me to the "please give up seat" sign. I relented!
I think the solution to Northern Ireland's woes are threefold: legalise more gun clubs and in emergencies petition for militias and a slightly reduced age of consent!
Snoop: Nothing but a G thang
(I'm not trying to normalise nor promote such an indecent exposure! In my defence I've to compete with the fact that a few crimes committed during the Troubles sounded like they were influenced by the horror porn genre. The rest of the crimes were merely taken from the horror genre itself! We'd have to warn visitors to avoid the chainsaw cannibals who moved in at the back of the estate!)
To be honest I'm a bit of a supremacist but not of a race or religion. Rather I'm a supremacist just of myself!
I remember they hired a few super-tall eastern European bodyguards to monitor the psychiatric ward. They looked as fierce as a Balkan hit team! Perhaps we could hire a few mercenaries!
When ancient crimes like the Irish famine were so extreme it might be tempting to hold onto suspicion. Sometimes the easiest way to see the unfairness of intergenerational responsibility might be through lesser crimes. For example no one is holding grudges for the penal laws of the 1700s! Except for me; I'm very meticulous!
It might also be possible to interpret certain crimes of the Troubles in the context of toxic masculinity. The conflict coincided with the era of sexual revolution and some may have artificially enhanced their strength levels. Perhaps people chose to fight against dirty tactics with dirty tactics of their own! If a branch falls in a forest and there's no one around to see it, and it's pitch dark, does that count as public nudity?
The independence movement in Scotland never resorted to militancy. You could say that their shared ancestry with England helps to tame the debate. Or you could also say that Scotland simply isn't worth fighting about!
The Northern Ireland accent somehow manages to combine the poshness of the English accent with the wild abandon of the Scottish accent!
I've always been a bit skeptical of how adult themed music can make it past the explicit content censorship. By using innuendo they avoid explicit language even though the themes can be quite explicit when you read between the lines. Perhaps some people are optimistic that blowing someone's whistle is meant in a literal sense! I don't know how the word anaconda could be sexualised in a song without reference to demons! I suppose when we use curse words we often don't visualise them at face value. Anyway keeping a squirrel in your underpants is a safer analogy if animalistic jokes have to be made; bushy tail, nuts and hibernation time!
People already have enough problems in life, from poverty to natural mortality, besides having to deal with criminality and terrorism. You've a right to identify as Irish or British no matter what happens in Northern Ireland. Honestly I haven't gone to mass very much simply because I used to find it repetitive sometimes. People are far more likely to be bored than divided at church. Therefore I won't indulge anyone's melodramatic sob story about ancient religious wars. If you want to live as a hermit without affiliating with a country then that really wouldn't bother me at all. Authoritarian terror groups from either side are not needed. You're not a human shield of gung-ho individuals and be sure to distinguish yourself from anyone claiming to carry out violence in your name. Don't be enfeebled by having to place an undue amount of trust in any rogue or collusive individuals. The sign of legitimate authority is really quite simple: they abide by the same law that they enforce on others. Don't be used as ethnic propaganda by over-zealous individuals. The situation in Northern Ireland was so badly mishandled that it'd almost be a parody if the consequences hadn't been so severe. If a state wants to behave like a childish parody then be obliging and treat them as a parody. I don't believe in non-consensual sadomasochism. You don't owe anyone an apology for your religious orientation. People were very sensitive about religion in the 1970s and I'm definitely very supportive of the Catholic and Protestant religions. Non-affiliated and atheistic people might be far more critical than I was in assessing the Northern Ireland conflict. I say that not out of personal defensiveness but simply as a reflection of the fact that society has become secularised and averse to any notions of religious supremacy. I'm certainly no saint and the fact that even I had to give a moral lecture on the conflict is a sign of how dark the situation was back then. There's a risk that historical victims will be exploited by cynical people with their own pro-militia agenda! We can use Northern Ireland as a human experiment for my militia theory! If you're ever going to make an angry video then you can point the camera upwards to make the viewers feel like they're lying on the ground! Remember that I believe in consistency and would allow ethnic minorities in the Republic including southern Protestants the exact same rights of representation.
Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying. I mean that you've a right to ignore a government if they're being dishonest but I didn't say you've any right to attack them. One of the best ways to counter-act discrimination is to lead by example. For example if you're against terrorists being let off the hook then you ought to have the same attitude towards the rest of the criminal justice system. People who allege that terrorists are criminals have likely forgotten that many criminals in the court system are given preferential treatment. I edited out a bit about not needing permission for gun clubs because I realised I was wrong. I believe you should demonstrate your law-abiding credentials and if you're refused permission then you can engage in peaceful protest. There would've been no point starting a fight about gun rights when there was no attempt to advocate for them before the outbreak of the Troubles. Also note that a democracy affords more protection to a sizeable minority than a tiny minority. So anyone looking to set up gun clubs or militias would need a lot of voters on their side. In other words I don't condone the arming of extrajudicial fringe groups.
I'm afraid I can be a bit impatient sometimes! I confess I've made far too many romantic pacts with my subconscious mind and am now left unable to control my temper! A minute-long video only produced a few clips of usable material! I apply that message to people in both the north and south. I won't take no for answer. Had I lived during the Troubles I'd rebel against not only Britain but also my own Irish parliament! During the Troubles it seemed like the Republic of Ireland endlessly promoted a United Ireland, got tired and then agreed with the loyalists for defending themselves against the Republic. I believe if you call the police the arrival time should be 10 minutes at most and not 30 years! No one should be turned into a sitting duck. Disarming people without providing police backup is almost a form of police brutality. The problem is politicians can go around in circles because the problems are complex. This is why I always go into detail about the pros and cons of each tentative solution. I don't just present gun control as a holy grail nor do I ignore the risk of militias descending into tyranny. Disarm republican and loyalist gun clubs but not those that operate for valid reasons. The UVF and IRA were disbanded and have no direct representation in Stormont. It'd be a bit of a grey area whether political parties that once represented those terror groups could ever be trusted with militias but suffice it to say there are enough moderate parties to take their place. In other words the military representation of the DUP or Sinn fein could be reallocated to milder unionist and nationalist voices if there were a hypothetical militia system in place. Militias could be as diverse as the nations of the world. Therefore it's hard to talk about the morality of militias in general. To fully scrutinise the ethics of forming a militia you'd really need to be specific about the one prospective militia that'd be in question. I find myself getting annoyed at some of the events that happened in Troubles even though we can't change what happened in history. Besides; most of it happened before I was born! I don't know what was going on back then and I take no responsibility! I'm not running for election and truth be told be told I don't need to. In our discussion of relative poverty and economic discrimination we cannot forget about absolute poverty in an international context. I was in Turkey once where the hotel receptionist was in a jovial mood and said I must be rich to have flown in from Ireland. I've never viewed myself as rich and usually the tendency is to try our best to feel empathy for poorer individuals rather than necessarily gratefulness for our own opportunities. But when we visit foreign countries with a larger percentage of working class people it's clear that nations in our part of the world are relatively privileged. I remember looking out of my hotel room window and seeing builders working in intense heat and likely for long hours with low pay. I was out walking really early one morning not because I got up on time but simply because I was up all night and planning to go to bed in the afternoon! My sleep-deprived mind was dazzled by their morning prayers on speaker and large numbers of people withstanding the soaring temperatures for their day's work. When a country has a lot of poorer people it forces them to be extremely efficient and the cafes were very cheap despite selling high-quality and meticulous meals. It reminded me that if people in the second or third world possessed the same resources as citizens in Ireland or England, they'd never voluntarily plough it down the drain on 30 year conflicts like the Troubles. (I know there's a long conflict with Kurd separatists but that's quite a different set of circumstances where a lot of Kurds identify as Turkish. There are drug wars in Latin America but some of that is to do with a lack of government revenue.) If we can afford lots of dual carriage ways in our country then we can certainly afford to pay for thorough criminal investigations into terrorism. If Ireland and England were third world countries in Africa where police forces are routinely cash-stricken then maybe I wouldn't have been as harsh on them. However with all the manpower and finance they had at their disposal I think serious lessons have to be learned. Had I been Taoiseach during the Troubles I wouldn't have tried to invade the North. Instead I'd follow in the footsteps of Ceaușescu and multiply Ireland's birthrate by 10. Then in 50 years time we'd be able to battle against Britain on a more level footing! If anyone has any queries then please read my minority rights thread. Like I said in my spur of the moment thread I agree with financial compensation from the state to victims but not when it comes instead of prosecuting the perpetrators. We can't sue the citizenry if the perpetrators aren't also being sued.
so I asked a friend of mine today I said
to him he's from Ireland and I said to
him hey man you know in the Republic of
Ireland are the people allowed to own
guns and he looked at me as God no John
Edda and so I said like oh okay yeah
that's like Oh how's that how's that
worked for you guys and he goes that's
why the IRA exists and I went whoa
he goes yeah he's like the because if
the people in Ireland were allowed to
bear arms there would be no reason for
the IRA you know what I mean same thing
in Palestine I'll say the same thing in
the Basque region not a hundred percent
sure on that but I don't think the
general populace in the Basque region
are allowed to own weapons but I might
be wrong uh I don't know I can't think
of any more but uh you know and then you
got all even you get the Protestants you
know what I mean
the UVF uff you know those guys battled
the IRA and my buddies my buddy has a
really good point in it it's it all
stems from the fact that the general
populace aren't allowed to own weapons
in that they they're reliant upon this
government that supposedly you know
perfect in all its decisions
you know people are too immature to take
care of themselves you know what I mean
so we're going to take away all this
[ __ ] from you and it's just like well
what does that create does that create a
safer environment it would if it kwas a
perfect government but that doesn't
exist anywhere so it so by taking in my
opinion by by abolishing the Second
Amendment of this country either either
through you know contrived events or
just just whatever but by the general
populace just being completely asleep or
completely apathetic towards it you know
what I mean or just bought and sold by
the propaganda machine you know ii mean
if i don't know where i was going with
that but it's just can't wear with
fuck-ups say but uh it's not going to be
good it's not not when those in control
are more [ __ ] immature the most of
the [ __ ] out in the street or just
as bad as them you know ii mean this is
going to be worse