A welcoming, family-friendly event…NOT!

flag waving

This past Friday marked the celebration of what is referred to as THE TWELFTH, ORANGEMEN’S DAY, ORANGE DAY or even THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a yearly celebration by Protestants in Northern Ireland commemorating the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange (William II or III depending on which kingdom is referring to him) over the Catholic King James (James II or IIV) in 1690. The victory had disastrous implications for Catholics throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. Among other things, Catholics were forbidden to hold public office, vote, or serve as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. parade

While many of the anti-Catholic decrees were repealed during the 230 year (1690 – 1922) union of the three kingdoms, the heavy colonization of Protestants in the six northernmost counties of Ireland (known as Ulster) led to a partition of the island in 1922 after the Irish War of Independence came to a political stalemate. Twenty-six counties became what is known today as the Republic of Ireland, and the six counties of Ulster remained a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Within the six counties of Ulster, which became known as Northern Ireland, many of the anti-Catholic sentiments continued throughout the first 2/3rds of the 20th century. These sentiments and their political repercussions were a major contributing factor (perhaps the sole factor) to the thirty-year ethnic conflict known as The Troubles , which saw Irish nationalist paramilitaries battling frequently with Loyalist unionist paramilitaries, who were aided at times by British authorities, and eventually led to a tit-for-tat campaign of bombings, assassinations and riots. During this period Protestants continued to celebrate THE TWELFTH with celebrations often leading to violence as they purposely paraded past Catholic areas and neighborhoods.

With The Troubles officially ending in 1998 at the signing of the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement, attempts have been made to reshape the image of THE TWELFTH as a celebration that welcomes everyone, a celebration more akin to the FOURTH OF JULY or INDEPENDENCE DAY in America. However, this reshaping has not been particularly successful and bigoted displays have been frequent throughout recent parades. Below is a link to a video taken Friday of a Loyalist riot, complete with the burning of the Irish flag, that occurred after marchers learned they would not be allowed to parade past certain “sensitive” areas. Three days of riots have ensued and dozens of police officers have been injured .

The peace in Northern Ireland has been described many times as “uneasy” and celebrations like this do nothing to make it any easier. As the riots that resulted from the banning of certain parade routes show, there are many in the Protestant community that see the celebration as a chance to enflame tensions in Northern Ireland. Economics (Catholic unemployment and workplace discrimination) were also a key factor in The Troubles and right now times are hard all over the world, the last thing we need is for people to be stoking centuries old conflicts.

VIDEO LINK – http://tinyurl.com/nn5yu6o

loyalist riot

The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a cornerstone for the Black Shuck thriller series with many regular characters having lived through the conflict and baring the scars of it. Want to receive more posts like this? Sign up for the Black Shuck Newsletter or follow this blog on WordPress.

Here’s more on this year’s Twelfth celebrations from the Belfast Telegraph and the BBC.

~ Ian

US aid to Egypt in danger of being suspended due to Military coup?

 While, as a conservative-libertarian, I amislamist mob no fan of Foreign Aid, I believe in this case that suspending it would be a grave error. Denying the Egyptian military as much as 20% of their annual budget may well be the difference between seeing the country fall to Islamist rule and seeing Egypt continue as an integral, democratic partner in the Middle East. We CANNOT afford to cede another country to Islamist rule.

While this might seem to be a political flip-flop on the part of myself (and many other conservatives), I believe it actually shows the importance of governing on a situation-by-situation basis. Adhering to uncle samblanket ideologies has no place in the real world, whether you’re running a business or a country.

Where most real world conservatives have a problem with foreign aid is in its year-after-year dole out. Personally I hate the idea of sending billions to countries all over the planet regardless of whether or not there is anything going on there that is important to either the US Economy or National Security. But I have a lot less of a problem with sending money temporarily to a country that is clearly dealing with a threat that DOES effect our national security. Strategic alliances have a long tradition in the world. France, Spain and the Netherlands all supported us during the American Revolution and America may never have been without those alliances.

Islamists have the potential to start World War III, and if we continue to placate them and even help to put them in power, we are going to be dealing with an unparalleled global crisis and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Here’s more on this from THE DAILY CALLER.

~ Ian

Egypt better under democratically elected Morsi, says Paul? Heck no, says I!


“A military coup in Egypt yesterday resulted in the removal and imprisonment of the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a closure of media ron_pauloutlets sympathetic to him, the house arrest of his advisors, and the suspension of the constitution. The military that overthrew Morsi is the main recipient of the $1.3 billion yearly US aid package to Egypt. You could say that the US ‘owns’ the Egyptian military that just overthrew its democratically-elected leader. ” – Ron Paul

This is one reason that I diverge from Ron Paul (and his son, Rand) and have a hard time supporting him. I love his fiscal policies and his attitude on government transparency, but his foreign policy throws me for a loop. The Egyptian people (and the military) just ousted a dangerous Islamist ideologue who was quickly consolidating power and threatening the destruction of Egyptian society. Under his rule, Christians, who have existed peacefully in Egypt for generations, were being murdered in the streets in horrific ways, political opponents and critical journalists were being charged with crimes and jailed, and repressive laws like those of other Islamist states were being introduced, Morsibut all Mr. Paul can do is criticize the fact that a democratically elected president was overthrown. So what if that elected leader’s policies were looking more and more like that of the dictatorship he was elected to replace, so what if his allies were a cult of death-obsessed radicals and the sworn enemies of humanity, he was democratically elected. That’s all that matters. Under Ron Paul’s leadership the forces of Radical Islam would be left unchecked and the world would be facing an extremely grave situation (WWIII?) within a generation.

That is all. For now. Happy Independence Day.

~ Ian