Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Animoto Video Experiment

I created this ANIMOTO video 5 minutes after I went on the site for the first time. I like the tool a lot.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Virginia kills this man at 9:00 pm

The Commonwealth of Virginia will kill John Allen Mohammed at 9:00 PM this evening finally fulfilling our blood lust for him. Once he takes his last breath we will never be able to try and figure out why he did what he did and learn something about ourselves that may help us prevent a rampage like his in the future. What possesses a human being to do what he did? We will never know now....and our blood lust will be satieated. Where are all of the Pro-Lifers tonite? Maybe Mohammed's mother should have just aborted the state is taking over and aborting his life. Maybe everyone he killed will come back to life when he breaths his last.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Virginia steps back in time....

Congrats to Bob McDonnell. He carried Virginia handily in yesterday's election. He also made me very happy that my daughters live in Maryland where their contributions to society will be expected to be more than working in the kitchen and taking care of the family. I hope everyone thinks back 20 years and considers what made up the basic fabric of your thought.

If you are a woman who is working outside of the "Home" Mr.McDonnell expects you to turn in your notice and move back into the house. I hope everyone does it slowly so you can be replaced gradually with all of those unemployed men. Thanksgiving dinner in the Commonwealth should be much better this year with all of the women back in the kitchen safeguarding family values. Heck, why do women even need to vote? Pass the squash please!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What is left of the Flag for me

A bit of Flogging Molly to pick up your spirits as school begins.......

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Buffalo Brand.....

Buffalo, New York is a very unique place. Though I have lived almost 2/3 of my life away from that "city on the lake" I spent the first 20 years of life, including college, in that wonderful incubator of life and was forever branded by that city. Chicken wings, beef on 'wick, Salhens hot dogs, Weber's mustard, and the Elmwood Strip have all played a huge formative role for me.

I hope this video from the Buffalo News helps you to understand why we all believe that hell will freeze over and the Bills will win the Super Bowl.

The Buffalo Brand

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A dear and close friend of Paddy and the Wop celebrated his wedding on Saturday, August 15, 2009 and we wish Chris and his bride Kathleen the best that the world has to offer. Paddy and I could not be at the Wedding in person but we were surely there in spirit. Chris and Kathleen, we love you, and wish you a long and happy life.

An Old Irish Proverb

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.

Walk beside me and just be my friend."

Friday, August 14, 2009

A blog worth reading

An old student from my days at "Hogworth" is writing a blog that is worth reading. His name is Brian and you can link to the The Spliced Travels right from here. It offers a wonderful perspective on Asia from a western point of view. Recommended!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Health Care video

Paddy is in Alaska for a month. I miss his views on every topic I voice an opinion on. He keeps me grounded in reality.

I had a great show last week on Health Care. I found this video on The Economist web site that I think explains a lot of the issues that we face with Health Care. While I do not always agree with answers indicated, I do think that this is a great framework for discussion.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009


I was reading a Blog post by an Irish priest friend of mine (Wish he was Italian :) ) and the following passage made me think of this Blog.

Listen to the tone of these words from James Joyce from Dubliners – words where he mentions barren thorns, “Snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” [“The Dead,” from Dubliners 1916].

We all have thorns in our life. Think about yours.

You can read the entire post by Father Andy at Reflections by the Bay

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This chart appeared in a Wired Article and I thought I would post it here. It is an interesting perspective that deserves consideration. The entire article can be found at

A History
1516 Thomas More's Utopia
1794 Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason
1825 First US commune
1848 Marx & Engels' The Communist Manifesto
1864 International Workingmen's Association
1903 Bolshevik Party elects Lenin
1917 Russian Revolution
1922 Stalin consolidates power
1946 State-run health care in Saskatchewan
1959 Cuban Revolution
1967 Che Guevara executed
1973 Salvador Allende deposed
1980 Usenet
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost
1991 Soviet Union dissolves
1994 Linux 1.0
1998 Venezuela elects Hugo Chavez
2000 Google: 1 billion indexed pages
2001 Wikipedia
2002 Brazil elects Lula da Silva
2003 Public Library of Science
2004 Digg
2005 Amazon's Mechanical Turk
2006 Twitter
2008 Facebook: 100 million users
2008 US allocates $700 billion for troubled mortgage assets
2009 YouTube: 100 million monthly US users

Is the Internet the beginning of the distingration of the state? Comment if you wish.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Leopard (Everyman's Library Classics) The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is, first and foremost, a beautifully written story. What Dickens achieves by his wonderful descriptions of the grim, dilapidation of an over-crowded and underfed Victorian London, Lampedusa attains by invoking the sun-drenched hills of Sicily. But whereas Dickens excels at setting his scenes visually, Lampadusa works all the senses, using touch, taste and smell, especially smell, to conjure up incredibly powerful and sensual scenes. The consumption of a macaroni pie around an evening's formal dinner table, for example, becomes the vehicle for revealing the interior world, social status, emotional desire, and even the sexual appetite of his characters: "Tancredi, in an attempt to link gallantry with greed, tried to imagine himself tasting, in the aromatic forkfuls, the kisses of his neighbour Angelica, but he realized at once that the experiment was disgusting and suspended it, with a mental reserve about reviving this fantasy with the pudding." Lampadusa has produced a tidy story, expressed in exceptionally accomplished prose, of a noble Sicilian family in decline, left behind on history's dust-heap as it were. But beyond the scented scenes and crinolined coquettes, there is little but nostalgia and an undercurrent of bitterness (the scent of defecation and the sour taste of vomit recur throughout) to take away. Depth comes from the author's supreme unease with modernity itself, with the ill-mannered, the uncultured, with foreigners, and even with the concept of a united Italy, dominated, of course, by Northerners. 'The Leopard' is evocative to be sure and quite enjoyable, but lacks a certain gravitas to merit 'great book' status.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The "Hitler Myth": Image and Reality in the Third Reich The "Hitler Myth": Image and Reality in the Third Reich by Ian Kershaw

My review

For those Catholic-bashers out there, Kershaw points out that Catholic leadership vocally resisted Nazi doctrine and openly attacked Hitler as "the incarnation of evil". For their efforts, heroic resistors such as Dr. Fritz Gerlich and Fr. Ingbert Naab were murdered or sent to the concentration camps. There exists, especially in the United States, a popular misconception that the Holocaust was the product of 'good people doing nothing'. Many good people did stand up to the Nazis and paid for it with their lives. History is rarely as simplistic, and moral, as most would have it. The good people of history are all too often pushed aside or eliminated by the mass of idiots. Kershaw shows how relentless Nazi propaganda, with a complete monopoly of media control after 1933, converted the good to idiocy. Few 'good people' existed. however, to raise their voices against the murder and extermination of German Communists, who went to the concentration camps two years before the passing of the Nuremberg Laws against German Jews.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Irish Blessing....

I found this on a blog I helped a friend start.....


may you hear a song inside your mind,
may you feel a dance in your step,
may you have a smile on your face,
may good words flow out of your mouth,
and may generosity jump out of your wallet.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day. I will never forget St, Paddy's Day at Nanny's--when it was still Nanny's.

Friday, March 13, 2009

News from the Midwest

I realize I've fallen off for a while, but as winter quarter winds down at the University of Chicago, I find myself with a bit more time and clarity, and so I turn first to paddywop.

Before I go any further, I thought readers would enjoy a NYT piece on something close to all our hearts:

Its not exactly breaking news for most of us, but it gives a voice to the phenomenon that has rocked nanny's and many other formerly enjoyable irish pubs.

Second, I'd like to chime in on Obama. Its been nearly two months since his term began and, as a representative of one of the most fervently Obama-supportive demographics in the country, I think a few points are worth making. First, from the day he took office, its been evident that 24 hour news programs, popular news publications, and even legitimate academic works have been scrambling (now less and less) to find ways to criticize the man. Foreign Policy's January/February edition titled, "Yes he did, but what if he can't" symbolizes what I have felt to be a beltway translation of the sentiment: "I want to elect the black man because I don't want to be a racist, but lets doubt his abilities at every step of the way." The problem here, for me at least, is not that these groups have sought to criticize Obama. In fact, I think more criticism is needed if he is going to make a substantial difference as president. But to question his ability seems to avoid the problems that still seems too touchy for mainstream america to confront, but are the ones that stand in the way of an improved US. If any one can deal with problems of massive debt, improving one's image in a community of wary dissenters, and cleaning up the mess of an ignorant white man, it should be Obama.
The other strain of dissent, one I am beginning to sympathize with, is that his optimism is getting in the way of making progress from the Bush years. In attempting to win republican support for economic measures, this guy has relaxed all of his campaign promises: from human rights stances, to military agendas, and across the litany of domestic issues that he campaigned so strongly for. Frankly, the sentiment that I'm picking up on is that this guy is listening to too many sources, too many requests, and is trying to appease too many different opinions. This is a huge problem. America is an intensely diverse country, only getting more diverse, and as a result it will become harder and harder to identify what a certain frenchman once deemed the "volonte generale." Bush did a spectacular job of confronting this problem, simply by not giving a shit. Obama seems to have appealed to some distorted Hegelian sense of improvement by embracing the polar opposite of Bush neglect, and as a result seems dragged down by a bloated forum of opinion. If any lessons are to be taken from the Bush administration, it is that the executive office can be made as powerful as it wants. Bush rewrote executive authority laws, manipulated the entire government to support his agenda, despite broad national opposition, and probably never lost a minute of sleep over it. Obama needs to forget about the image he created for himself over the last two years of campaigning, accept a few enemies, but deliver on the promises he made during the campaign, with the same type of conviction that we saw in Bush. Conviction and fortitude should not be equated (or inherently linked) with ignorance and insensitivity. Bush made this equation easy, but it does not need to be the case. If Obama continues to flop around on all the issues he seemed so sure about 3 months ago, I and my peers will be sorely disappointed. While his hyper-sensitivity is a safe move following the bush years, nothing will be worse for america than four years of an indecisive leader. I haven't written this one off, but simply noticed a few initial gestures that make this trend seem like a distinct possibility.

Finally, on a far less controversial note, I will not be returning to DC for a while: flying home for a week doesn't make as much sense anymore, given the price of flights and the tanking economy. As a result, two of my good friends and I will be spending spring break in the solitude of the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri. At heart, these two guys are certainly of Hibee quality, but in planning for the trip I had to introduce them to the necessity of Edgar Allen Poe, burning effigies, and consistently referencing pumpkin head without contextual basis. They seem positively inclined to the new measures, so I'm definitely looking forward to a great trip. Expect pictures.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cape Breton Fiddle Tradition

Many people who know me understand that I have a great love for fiddle music, especially in the Celtic tradition. I also spent my honeymoon in Nova Scotia and have always wanted to go back and explore Cape Breton Island. I have recently discovered a fiddle tradition that has made that desire to return even stronger. I hope this performance by Natalie MacMaster in a TED talk helps you to understand why.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaming is coming of age......

I have been playing games since I was a little boy living on Kermit Avenye in Buffalo, New York. I am convinced that my love of history and learning can be directly connected to all of the historical simulation games that I have played and will continue to play until I die. They truly fired my imagination in ways that school seldom did. A wonderful article appeared in the Washington Post on January 4, 2009 focusing on the emergence of simulation gaming in area schools. Click here and take a look.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interesting Article about the Net, Facism, and Obama

"Can Obama's plan for universal broadband turn the recession into a political nightmare resembling the 1930s? Yes, it can, writes the author of the controversial book, The Cult of the Amateur."

As I contemplated the irony of the declaration of a state of emergency for the District of Columbia as we prepare for the inauguration of Barak Obama I found this article which made me step back and wonder. Scary thoughts. Give it a read.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gogol Bordello

Tonight is the nigth. I am so excited about Gogol Bordello. Paddy, the boys and I are going to have a night of it at the 930 Club. I have done very little partying on this break and this will be a wild night.

Gogol Bordello Videos