Latest Blather

Massive queues crossing Spain-France Border following controls put in place after November Paris attacks.
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We’re all here, nose to tail, thanks to the “border controls” that the French government, brought into force following the Paris November 13th attacks. In a previous article, I documented my recent slow crossing from Belgium into France. That crossing was rip-roaringly rapid in comparison to today’s torpid crawl. This is the real deal, with three 120 kilometre-an-hour lanes slowed to nothing, then funneled into one. It's a farce.

The Belgian-French Border (c) Dave Walsh 2015
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The French are serious, they’re going to check everything. The road surface will be immaculate. They will ask complicated questions. That’s what this big delay is all about. I have a piano, several lampshades and a box of garden worms in the back of the car. How will I explain myself?

An Beal Bocht, Dave Walsh
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Ireland's dear and glorious leader, Taoiseach Enda Kenny stood manfully astride the COP21 podium in Paris. Holding the lectern in a white-knuckled embrace, Enda rolled out Ireland’s comprehensive plan for taking global leadership on climate change, and he would personally corner Hollande, Obama, Merkel, Putin and Xi Jinping and the rest of them into finally saving the planet.

Brussels Lockdown, Federal Police Cat Meme
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That was a weird weekend. Brussels, the world’s 2nd most cosmopolitan city, with 62% of its population born elsewhere, has been a standstill for three days. The metro is still not running. Music venues, bars, cinemas, suburban swimming pools, all closed. Parents have kept their kids home, waiting for news on whether schools will reopen tomorrow. Soldiers and armed, balaclava wearing police patrol empty streets downtown, and in some of the suburbs. On our roof terrace on Sunday afternoon, the cold November air smelled of barbecues and baking apple pies. There's rumours of a baby-boom in nine months time. Across...

All Stops to the Point, by Suzanne Walsh
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All over the city my friends are losing their homes. The ones you think will last forever, passed from one artist to another, a bit crumbly, with uncertain heating but warm in atmosphere, always with stuff left over from previous inhabitants. Bit by bit they are getting sold or renovated for higher rents and more desirable tenants. But then for others it is worse still: families sleeping in cars, families fleeing conflict across land and sea, braving great dangers for a place to lie safe at night. Where are we all to go?

Admit nothing, blame everyone, be bitter
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I paused at a crossroads. An image of a postcard flashed into my head. A postcard I received from my friend Donal, years and years ago. A black and white image showing two hands barely meeting across a map, with three commandments in red strips overlaid: Admit Nothing. Blame Everyone. Be Bitter.

Symptoms of the Subterranean
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I’m sick again, and so my world shrinks to the boundaries of the house, sometimes to the bedroom walls or the soft edges of the bed. The living room feels remote, but when I’m a little stronger it become safe territory again. The outside world is still too brash, too bright, in its distance.

The beach at Culleton's Gap, Curracloe, Wexford. Christmas Eve, 2012.
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As I write this, I’m sitting in a café in Brussels (where hundreds of refugees are camped in parks, understandably turning down government dormitory accommodation). I’m Irish. I live here, for now. I migrated here, but I’m not a refugee. But look at the history of the Irish diaspora, or that of your own country. Look at how many people in your family or friends are descended from or connected someone who was displaced by war or crushing economic pressures, and think, did any of these people - the Syrians stranded on the beaches of Kos, or arriving in Munich...

The last Of Our Kind
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Beautiful and poignant reaction by Suzanne Walsh, to this weeks news of walrus beachings in the Arctic, and the deplorable global loss of our fellow animals: "And yet not completely: the soft top of the head can still twitch with incoming images, like walrus stampedes on melting ice-floes. It's better to be the last of your kind, when you rule the world, because your kind is burning it up, even here under the clear blue skies." Continue reading The Last of our Kind, over on Visual Verse.

The Crossabeg Book: The Slaney and the World by Dave Walsh
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or all the travelling I've done, it's always good to come home. I am writing these words 50m away from the River Slaney, in the south east of Ireland, with a a copy of Crossabeg: The Parish and its People (Vol 2) waiting for me. And I'm honoured to be featured in the book. When my neighbour here, Alice Devine, one of the team who put the book together asked me to write something about my travels, I thought the best way was to show how my upbringing in Crossabeg provided the foundation for everything that followed - including my...

JFK Assassination

Rosemary Willis, a girl of ten, in a red skirt and a white, hooded top, runs on the grass alongside the limousine, filmed by Abraham Zapruder. At frame 190 of...

JFK and the Unspeakable

'Did the U.S. Military Plan a Nuclear First Strike for 1963?' is the title of an article by James Galbraith (son of John Kenneth Galbraith, JFK's ambassador to India), published...

Perils of Dominance

Many years ago now, the film JFK sparked the debate about whether Kennedy would have sent troops (combat troops) into Vietnam or not. Had he lived, would JFK have refused...

Martin-Wilderness-of-Mirrors

There is another backdrop to Oswald's defection and redefection, and the Kennedy assassination, and that's the bleeding edge of the Cold War, with secret agents from Western and Eastern power...

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald Once again this blog turns to John Newman's Oswald and the CIA (2008 edition) for evidence from the vast depths of US government files. In this way,...

Marina Oswald

Marina Oswald Today, 18 October, is Lee Harvey Oswald's birthday. He would have been 74 today (JFK would be 96). At the time of his 24th birthday, in 1963, his...

Lee-Harvey-Oswald-backyard

Continuing directly from the last entry, we examine more of John Newman's trawl through the declassified files in his book Oswald and the CIA (2008 edition). Government interest in Lee...

newman

There are many mysteries about Oswald, beyond the JFK assassination - his defection, redefection, New Orleans, Mexico, etc. - and no-one seems to clear up mysteries like these better than...

Mystery Man

Oswald in Mexico! Directly continuing from the last entry in this series, the reference book to hand is still Deep Politics II The New Revelations in U.S. Government Files 1994-1995...

deep-politics-ii

There are mind-bending Oswald mysteries in Mexico! Peter Dale Scott's Deep Politics II The New Revelations in U.S. Government Files 1994-1995 Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba (1995) (3rd edn....

Deep Politics

'There is no danger of a deep state out of control in some way,' said William Hague, the UK's Foreign Secretary in June 2013, speaking about the Edward Snowden revelations....

Who's Who in the JFK Assassination

This wonderful idea for a book was realized in 1993, for the 30th anniversary: Who's Who in the JFK Assassination, An A-to-Z Encyclopedia, by Michael Benson, with the subtitle Information...

Reasonable Doubt

Last week we were some way into showing how Henry Hurt's Reasonable Doubt shows that Oswald did not commit murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Let doubt be our guide as...

Reasonable Doubt

The other great general book about the JFK assassination is Reasonable Doubt by Henry Hurt. First published in 1986, this is the Owl Book Edition of '87. Unfortunately it's never...

Kennedy Conspiracy

This week, I present one of the best general books on the assassination, The Kennedy Conspiracy by Anthony Summers. The title does not 'reflect a set view by the author'...

ramsay

Here at Blather Sub-aqua HQ in the ice-caverns of Crete, we are watchful of the time, and are therefore very much cognisant of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination...