A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This is Owen. Mally was too scary to post.

Here's a weird story

Choose a hero. Michael Collins or Eamon De Valera. This writer doesn't vote for DeValera

‘De Valera was a British spy’
Filed under: an príomhbhóthar
Book claims national hero was ‘turned’ after 1916

By John Spain Books Editor
Monday October 26 2009

A NEW book to be published next month makes the shocking claim that Eamon de Valera, the founding father of the nation, was under the control of the British.

The book, provocatively titled ‘England’s Greatest Spy: Eamon de Valera’, suggests that Dev was terrified of being executed after the Rising and was “turned” in exchange for his life. For some years afterwards, the book claims, Dev was under British control.

The 470-page hardback is published by Stacey International, a London publisher specialising in politics and history.

The author is retired US naval officer and historian John Turi from Princeton, New Jersey. He developed an interest in Irish history through his wife, who was born in Ireland. Turi has been researching his controversial book for a decade.

The case against de Valera by Turi is based firstly on a detailed analysis of Dev’s emotionally stunted formative years.

He claims Dev was rejected by everyone in his early life — his mysterious father in New York (in fact, Dev was probably illegitimate), his mother, his uncle in Ireland, who treated him coldly, even the Church, which rejected his ambitions for the priesthood because of his probable illegitimacy.

His miserable upbringing left Dev with an inadequate personality, Turi suggests, which made him susceptible to being influenced later on.

Turi is scathing about Dev’s erratic behaviour during the Rising, when he was in charge of the men at Boland’s Mill.

He stayed awake for days, became disorientated and issued confused, sometimes ridiculous, orders. “It was not just his tactics the men questioned,” Turi writes, “they questioned his sanity as well.”

Dev kept his men “sitting on their heels” while a short distance away at Mount Street Bridge eight Volunteers were trying to hold off hundreds of British soldiers.

In fact the men at Boland’s Mill played little or no part in the Easter Week fighting, Turi says, because Dev was so exhausted and fearful.

At the end of the week, when word reached Boland’s Mill of the surrender, Turi writes that de Valera “abandoned his men and slipped out of Boland’s at noon on the Sunday, taking with him a British prisoner . . . as his insurance against being shot before he could surrender”.


“De Valera the cowardly, incompetent, mentally unstable officer who deserted his troops was (later) repackaged as de Valera the lonely hero fighting valiantly against overwhelming odds.”

What followed was also suspicious, Turi says.

Dev later claimed that he was tried with a number of other men and sentenced to death.

Turi writes: “Not one of the men allegedly tried with de Valera ever confirmed that such a trial took place, and there is no trace in the British Public Record Office of any trial.”

He also quotes the flat denial by the army prosecuting officer, William Wylie, that de Valera had been tried.

Turi also considers Dev’s fragile mental state and tearful collapse at Richmond Barracks the night before he was taken to Kilmainham, to where condemned prisoners were sent.

All the events indicate that Dev was terrified of dying, Turi suggests, and that it would have been easy for the British intelligence officer Ivor Price to turn Dev into a British collaborator. Major Price was “skilled at manipulating weakness”.

Turi notes that Dev was the only one of four Dublin commandants not to be tried and executed.

He dismisses theories that Dev was spared because he was born in America or because the British realised that further executions would be a mistake; as others were executed later.

The only reasonable explanation, Turi claims, is that Dev was “turned”. In all, Turi sets forth a dozen instances of what he calls “de Valera’s machinations that aided and abetted British interests” to support this claim.


Some of this ‘evidence’ concerns Dev’s activities in the US after he was released from prison — which split the powerful Irish-American lobby.

Turi also says the British feared what Michael Collins might do in the North and used de Valera to engineer the situation that resulted in Collins’s death.

Turi also calls Irish neutrality during the World War II “a hoax on the Irish people and a major boon for English interests”.

His book, which ends with a call for a posthumous trial of de Valera, will be published in Ireland and Britain on November 30 and in the US next year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just dropping in to say hi.

It's been a weird week.

Joel still hadn't got back to me about the car, so I called again Monday. Turns out he was in the hospital all last week. I picked up the car yesterday and drove over for a visit. He's doing OK, but I must have been a little discombobulated. I failed to recognise a client who spoke to me in the hallway there.

Today, mom and I dropped off the laundrey at the laundromat, backsliding on a semi-resolution to do it ourselves this week. Maybe the change in the weather is tiring us out.

Tonight, for the first time I saw 30 Rock. It was very weird. And I had just watched the Office, so I should have been ready for anything. Then I went to the ND site, Rock's House, hoping the dump Weis crowd might be taking the night off and there would be interesting commentary about the upcoming Boston College game.
It was more acrimonious there than ever. Apparently ND announced today we'd be playing a game against Western Michigan next year.

One fan pointed out that we'd played Western Michigan before, in 1919 and 1920 and said perhaps they could promote it as a traditional rivalry. Another said he just felt sorry for Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan who must feel left out. It's all too much and I'm going to bed.

Mally's birthday party is Sunday. I don't know about warm but they say it'll be sunny.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I apologise

to Duval Kamara, the Notre Dame receiver who slipped, running a simple cut at the goal line last night on Notre Dame's final play. I said, on Facebook, that I blamed him for the loss. It's my dark irish side to single out some one to blame for my disappointment. Perhaps, the manager gave him cleets shorter than needed. Besides to single out the last play of the game, and forget all the miscues by other players earlier really isn't fair. And as Kim often has to remind me, how can I be so judgmental and hope to ask for God's forgiveness. And I'm sure he feels bad enough already, though maybe not as bsd as Clausen, Tate, Allen, Rudolph, and Parris who desperately sacrifices their bodies in a quest for victory. And we must remember Kamara wouldn't even have been in the game, hadn't Parris come out injured a couple of plays earlier.

So Duval. don't worry about it. I'm going to forget about that dumb ass play amd just remenber you as the disappointing receiver who frequently got illegal procedure calls for lining up behind the line of scrimmage. Duhhh.

And all respect and gratitude to the five mentioned and others who gave us a great game last night. And a silent moment and short prayer for recovery from injuries, especially for Clausen and Parris.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Words fail me

so here's a post from Rock's House

"It's crazy at ND.
by torontoparent (2009-10-16 17:13:31)
[ cannot delete ] [ Edit ] [ Return to Board ] [ Ignore Poster ] [ Report Post ] [ Highlight Poster ] [ Reply ]

My son '05, just phoned from Chicago. Friends called from ND to say he had to get there it is crazy, great. He is leaving in 5 minutes. When I asked where he is staying he said "I don't know". I would love to be there. I sense a spirit that just doesn't exist elsewhere.

It will help the team."

And I found this inspirational video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good One

Nate Heklman posted this link to Facebook and Stephie commented on it which brought the link up on my facebook page.

Statement of Lynne and Bill Hybels
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees

For the Thursday, October 8, 2009 Hearing on Faith-Based Community Perspectives on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Everybody should read it. One method the elite use to prevail over us is to divide and conquer. Besides a sense working class solidarity, Christian sensibilities also advise us not to fall victim to biases that divide us.

When blacks or latinos demonstrate, or even when they resort to mob action, will you vote for greater social justice or more armored cars for the police? If you chose armored cars you have fallen victim to the exploiters' manipulations.

I confess that I am prone to think blacks are "different from us" when in the same evening news I see clips of grotesque black on black violence first in Zimbabwe then in some US ghetto. I always have to recall the news clips of first day at school in Chicago, the hope and happiness expressed in those little black faces. What happens to that hope and happiness over the next seven or eight years? What despair and dehumanization occurs? If you don't take a moment to feel concern for them it probably wont occur to you to worry about your childrens' grandchildren being consigned to the same conditions.

I feel the same repugnance for the juvenile thugs attaching no value to human life or virtue that most readers do, but remember, they weren't born that way, something happened, something went wrong. And in the prevailing economic system things are going to go wrong for a lot more people. Those little black kindergardners are the canaries in our coal mines.

PS As a token of my appreciation for Christians who identify with Christ more strongly than with Glen Beck, I'm restoring the link to Sojourners which Kim initially installed here, but I must have deleted at some unecumenical moment.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Corporate Debt

Here I go again but not on a topic I've covered too extensively. I have mentioned corporate debt along with mortgage debt, consumer debt, and government debt as big money that's not going to get paid back. I think I mentioned private equity firms buying companies shares with borrowed money, taking the firms private, paying their own company excessive management fees, and paying banks and lawyers tens of millions dollars to manage the deals. All these shysters paying themselves first, taking the money from the businesses, and perfectly good companies are being bled dry.
Here's a sadly illustrative story from the New York Times.

Buyout Firms Profited as a Company’s Debt Soared
Published: October 4, 2009

For most of the 133 years since its founding in a small city in Wisconsin, the Simmons Bedding Company enjoyed an illustrious history.
Noble Rogers worked at Simmons for 22 years, mostly at a factory outside Atlanta. When the plant closed last year, he was left with a bitter taste.

Presidents have slumbered on its mattresses aboard Air Force One. Dignitaries have slept on them in the Lincoln Bedroom. Its advertisements have featured Henry Ford and H. G. Wells. Eleanor Roosevelt extolled the virtues of the Simmons Beautyrest mattress, and the brand was immortalized on Broadway in Cole Porter’s song “Anything Goes.”

Its recent history has been notable, too, but for a different reason.

Simmons says it will soon file for bankruptcy protection, as part of an agreement by its current owners to sell the company — the seventh time it has been sold in a little more than two decades — all after being owned for short periods by a parade of different investment groups, known as private equity firms, which try to buy undervalued companies, mostly with borrowed money.

For many of the company’s investors, the sale will be a disaster. Its bondholders alone stand to lose more than $575 million. The company’s downfall has also devastated employees like Noble Rogers, who worked for 22 years at Simmons, most of that time at a factory outside Atlanta. He is one of 1,000 employees — more than one-quarter of the work force — laid off last year.

But Thomas H. Lee Partners of Boston has not only escaped unscathed, it has made a profit. The investment firm, which bought Simmons in 2003, has pocketed around $77 million in profit, even as the company’s fortunes have declined. THL collected hundreds of millions of dollars from the company in the form of special dividends. It also paid itself millions more in fees, first for buying the company, then for helping run it. Last year, the firm even gave itself a small raise.

Wall Street investment banks also cashed in. They collected millions for helping to arrange the takeovers and for selling the bonds that made those deals possible. All told, the various private equity owners have made around $750 million in profits from Simmons over the years.

How so many people could make so much money on a company that has been driven into bankruptcy is a tale of these financial times and an example of a growing phenomenon in corporate America.

Every step along the way, the buyers put Simmons deeper into debt. The financiers borrowed more and more money to pay ever higher prices for the company, enabling each previous owner to cash out profitably.

But the load weighed down an otherwise healthy company. Today, Simmons owes $1.3 billion, compared with just $164 million in 1991, when it began to become a Wall Street version of “Flip This House.”

In many ways, what private equity firms did at Simmons, and scores of other companies like it, mimicked the subprime mortgage boom. Fueled by easy money, not only from banks but also endowments and pension funds, buyout kings like THL upended the old order on Wall Street. It was, they said, the Golden Age of private equity — nothing less than a new era of capitalism.

The rest of the article may be found here.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


The Irish defensive players must feel good today.

Two goalline stands forcing Washinton's Huskies to settle for one field goal yesterday enabled ND to take the game into overtime, and ND eventually won. The second goalline stand, in the fourth quarter, was extended to eight plays by a "roughing the snapper" penalty on a field goal attempt, which gave Washington the ball first and one on the one yard line. Since the Washington running game had been very successful yesterday, those defensive stops were a pleasant surprise to ND fans, and a real disappointment to Washington and especially to Washington quarterback Jake Locker. This dispassionate account, of course, understates the emotional content of those minutes.

I'm attaching a write up below, but I want first to complement our new defensive line coach, Randy Hart, on his contribution to this success story, and question how the new Washington coach, Steve Sarkisian, and his players must feel about having fired Coach Hart at the end of last season.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – When a defense makes one goal-line stand in a game, it typically becomes cause for celebration, especially when the stop preserves any shot at winning the game.

But for Notre Dame it wasn’t one goal-line stand that led to the latest miracle win, actually it was three such stands that helped the Irish complete a third-straight comeback in a 37-30 overtime win over Washington, in what was the miraculous of the three.

When asked the secret of the success in those three difficult goal-line situations, defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore simply said, “confidence and heart, that’s what pulls you through.”

The first stand came late in the third quarter with the Huskies leading 24-19. The Irish kept Washington out of the end zone on three straight plays inside the five-yard line, and made a fourth-down stop to hold the Huskies scoreless on the drive, and kept this from becoming a two-possession game

“With each stop we just felt like we were just getting more momentum and momentum,” Lewis-Moore said. “And by the time the fourth down came, we just felt like it was all out.”

The first stand helped to save the game. The second and third stands essentially won the game.

In what turned out to be a “double” goal-line stand, Washington ran eight plays inside Notre Dame’s 8-yard line and came away with just a field goal. The Irish made one goal line stand, but a strange roughing the center penalty during a field goal attempt gave the Huskies new life and a first down on the 1-yard line.

Irish head coach Charlie Weis said he expected his defense to be deflated after the penalty and the fresh set of downs for Washington.

“But there were no signs of it,” he said.

Notre Dame dug in and held again, and Washington settled for a field goal and a 27-22 lead instead of what could have been a 31-22 lead.

“The odds of us winning right there, really aren’t very high,” Weis said of the importance of the stand. “We’re in big trouble.”

Instead, the goal-line stands set the table for the Irish offense to take over and complete another miracle drive.

“I was scared but our defense showed a lot of heart and got us the ball back,” said Irish junior receiver Golden Tate. “It’s scary when the defense is on the field because I can’t do anything about that but cheer them on.”

Thursday, October 01, 2009

We're cool

Louie and I are going to South Bend Saturday for the Washington game. Could be a big win, ya never know. The weatherman says rain for Saturday, so I asked Janett for a ride to the thrift store so I could buy a hooded sweatshirt to sit in the rain in. (Joel at VP Automotive has had my car for a week and isn't returning my calls). Janett doesn't think it's cool to brag about my thrift store adventures, but I can't help it. I found this over the top, off the hook, whatever, Notre Dame jacket for $39. Now as you all know, I'm usually conservative when it comes to ND gear, preferring the crest to the monogram, the monogram to "Irish" and "Irish" to the leprechaun, but this jacket has a pugnacious leprechaun 10 inches tall and a foot wide on the back, a smaller one on the right chest, and NOTRE DAME around the right sleeve. I couldn't pass it up. It's what we used to call a car coat, comes over the hips, and appears to be new, even still having the little plastic thing on the cuff of the sleeve where the tags were attached. It might be a little heavy for a nice day but should be good for 50's in the rain. OK, so we'll be rocking, win or lose.

Speaking of which, the market was down again today, and so I'm about back to where I was last Friday on my puts. I hope today's drop on the bad employment numbers puts a little "let's wait and see" into the bulls. I also hope this week's up days were just a result of fund managers buying stocks to list in their quarterly reports, to show their investors they're really earning their money, and that they'll be easing back out of a lot of those positions tomorrow.

Oh, and I haven't posted since my birthday party Tuesday night at Stephie's Lots of fun and good food (soft and hard taco's and funfetti cake). Kim and Ross were there. After dinner Mark couldn't find the Yatzi game and Malachy persuaded us to play Mousetrap, a came involving the construction of a Rube Goldberg kind of mousetrap. (Mally likes the word contraption). Owen was delightful, except for his fascination with my cigarette's which makes Daddy Mark a little uncomfortable.

Then yesterday, while Stephie and Janett were on a shopping excursion, Mally hung out with me down in the office, in his customary supervisory role, including keeping a sheet of paper with Jose and my names on it, scoring our performances with checks or x's. He was great, but I think the experience was tiring for him. He suffered a meltdown when Stephie and Janett returned and it was time to go home. The tiring part was probably mostly having to correct Jose's rude and offensive behavior toward me without becoming rude or offensive himself. Little Mally's officious manner brings out the tease in Jose. At one point the little fellow had to hold up his hand, fingers extended and say "Jose, I'm going to give you this many more chances and then if you're still being bad, I'll have to fire you." A lot of responsibility for a four year old.