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Guest of The Nation

By Mahons On August 9th, 2020 at 11:09 pm

My wife’s family has a small farm in the Irish Midlands. Usually the house sits empty until she and the kids go over in the summer. I usually join them for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t get to join up with them last summer and was looking forward to going this year. Then the pandemic knocked everything for a loop. It is a shame as I enjoy the fun of renewing friendships and seeing the familiar places.

The last operating pub in one of the nearby villages has shut down. Rural Ireland’s pubs, especially off the tourist routes had been fighting many a losing battle that the lock down served as a last straw. It is unlikely to return. I can remember being in it after a family funeral with probably the entire village. We had dug the grave with a shovel the night before, passed a bottle of whiskey round, and after we carried the coffin on our shoulders from the church down the narrow street to the graveyard for the burial we then repaired to the pub for a session out of legend. It had a bar and a lounge, and enough characters fill three novels and two short stories.

The country has been changing and the practical ability to run a rural pub has diminished. A shame, I’ve been in ones that doubled as grocery stores, post offices, petrol stations and undertakers. The publicans usually had diplomatic skills to rival anyone, and served not just as hosts but as adept listeners, talkers, and performers. As a stranger you might enter into a quiet gathering (while they figured you out) but you would leave late, as if you had a reunion with lifetime companions. The patrons were neighbors for generations. The local was as holy ground to them as any ground they ever walked upon. If you did something stupid in London or funny in the Bronx they would somehow be talking about it before the sun set the next day. And the old stories were told time and again as if the fading years had not faded.

Change comes to all things, it is perhaps the one certainty of life. But we who grow older need not welcome it. Next year God willing I’ll have to drive a few more kilometres into the bigger town, and even there the score of pubs that used to be open when I first went twenty years ago are down to a handful. The small shops closing if not closed. Modern life, not just modern highways, are bypassing these small towns. I’m glad I experienced it all before it disappeared. The desperate gastro-themed-craft-beer-pushing-faux-farm-implements on the walls of the modern sterile replicas leave me cold. Come ye back? I surely will. But it will be with a wistful ache for what is no longer there.

I always liked the Harmonica

By Patrick Van Roy On August 9th, 2020 at 9:24 pm

This weeks two shot is from a guy named Juzzie Smith…… and they’re damn good.  The first is Harmonica Jam & the other is Bluesberry Jam. Make some toast and taste these Jams


Oui Monsieur, Mais Bien Sûr

By Patrick Van Roy On August 9th, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Guest post Paul

The British are apparently to ‘demand’ the French curtail dinghies of asylum seekers / immigrants crossing La Manche from France and landing on the Kent coast to claim asylum.


Can someone explain exactly how this is supposed to work? The British are party to the UN 1951 Refugee Convention and since leaving the EU the Dublin Regulation, a EU law that determines which EU Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum, no longer applies to Britain, (and certainly not after the transition period finishes in January). This really is a tricky one, British sea vessels can’t enter French national waters without prior authorisation from the French authorities so returning them to France seems to out of the question. 

Now, while there is a bilateral agreement between the UK and France for ‘juxtaposed controls’ and French and British police to maintain immigration & border controls in each  respective national territory via the Treaty of Le Touquet this only extends to sea ports: 


The terms “Control Zone”, “Restricted Zone” and “Sea Port” have the same meanings as in the Treaty. A reference to a “Sea Port” means a Sea Port designated under Article 1(3) of the Treaty and a reference to a “Control Zone” or a “Restricted Zone” means a Control Zone or a Restricted Zone established or modified under that Article, except that a reference to any of these terms is a reference solely to Control Zones or Sea Ports on French territory


Two interesting Brexit related issues that the dilemma exposes is the myth of non EU related immigration being fused with the right of free movement within the EU prior to the referendum. It was constantly explained to Brexiteers here that non EU immigration to Britain was solely within the competences of the UK government and had absolutely nothing to do with the EU, this demonstrates that to be true. Another is the central Brexiteer doctrine of ‘taking back control’. ‘Demanding’ an EU nation control your maritime borders doesn’t seem like ‘taking back control’ at all.

Sounding Forth The Trumpet

By Mahons On August 9th, 2020 at 1:19 pm

There was something delicious in President Trump fleeing his Press Conference yesterday when a female reporter fact checked him on his lie that he initiated the Veteran’s Choice Program after he falsely claimed once again that he initiated it after “no one did anything for fifty years.” The program was signed into law by President Obama in 2014. Trump signed an extension to the law, he did not initiate it after 50 years. it was signed by his predecessor and spearheaded by the late John McCain and Bernie Sanders.
Next he’ll tell us he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, or remind us when he delivered the Gettysburg Address. CNN calculated that Trump has made this false claim about 150 times, so it was not particularly hard for the journalist to challenge him on it. He abruptly ended his conference without answering her challenge, fleeing rather quickly for a man who suffers from bone spurs.
In the beautiful anthem The Battle Hymn of the Republic there is a line “Sounding Forth the Trumpet that shall never call retreat”. The President sounded forth his trumpet and then retreated. I suppose historians and forensic psychiatrists will ponder why a man would think such an obvious lie would not be exposed. They will no doubt conclude he either felt immune from lying, accustomed to lying or incapable of not lying. His lies are marching on.

Trump holds news conference from NJ, signs executive orders on coronavirus relief

By Patrick Van Roy On August 8th, 2020 at 11:14 pm


Announcing the tiring of the Democrats playing Politics with the Chicom Flu, President Trump signed several Executive Orders to start the flow of money and help to people in need that the Democrats let expire at the end of last month and have been holding up for blackmail.

Half this video is Trump listing the implementation of voter fraud , and other goodies the Democrats stuffed into thier 3 1/2 Trillion Dollar “RELIEF” Bill, that less than the first Trillian is even designated for dealing with the issues from the Chicom Flu. 

August 8 1974

By Patrick Van Roy On August 8th, 2020 at 10:47 pm

Left reeling from the Watergate scandal, and facing the looming prospect of impeachment, President Richard Nixon broadcasts his decision to resign. A first in US presidential history, the resignation will become official the next day, ending an infamous chapter in political corruption.


By Pete Moore On August 8th, 2020 at 7:48 pm

Watching the cricket highlights on the TV then the garden, a wireless speaker and some beers call on another balmy evening. Have yourselves an Open Thread then. This one comes decorated with Julio Iglesias tucking into a Spanish omelette, a KFC bucket and a Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Tell us what you know –


By Pete Moore On August 8th, 2020 at 7:33 pm

Spain has released its latest figures on the Chinese epidemic. Professor Carl Heneghan (his lengthy bona fides are here and here), estimates an infection fatality rate of 0.1%.

A bit like flu then.

We’ve trashed our economies, loaded the young with mountainous debt, wrought an epidemic of mental illnesses, allowed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands to die in the long run from non-Covid conditions, and wrecked the educations of hundreds of thousands of you people.

For something like the flu.

The general lockdown orders are the most catastrophic and ruinous peacetime decisions since Western countries adopted policies of mass immigration from backward societies.


By Pete Moore On August 8th, 2020 at 6:35 pm

Lebanon is an unstable country with a corrupt power elite, a collapsed economy, lots of weapons and competing factions. This has the potential to go really bad very quickly.

Trump “Get Behind Me Biden”

By Mahons On August 7th, 2020 at 10:30 pm

According to President Trump his challenger Joseph Biden wants to hurt God and hurt the Bible. The President did not favor the nation with any particular details to support this claim. Like the President’s “beautiful” health care plan it appears to be something he doesn’t think has to actually exist.
When one is presiding over particularly bad times and is clearly unable to deal with them it may be customary to turn to God, but usually for guidance and comfort and not as a campaign accusation. Perhaps the President thinks Biden will raise God’s taxes. Maybe he feels God is like him because he built the Pearly Gates to keep out the unwanted (God’s wall, thought he didn’t make Hell pay for it). Or does Trump think he is God and Biden will hurt him? How will Biden hurt the Bible? will he step on it, burn it, refuse to allow it to have photo opportunities with the President?
Is there another democratic nation on Earth where an elected leader speaks of the opposition this way? None springs to mind.
I suppose in his growing alarm at falling behind Biden we shall see more appeals to this type of idiocy. As for how much lower Trump can go, well only God knows.