Deire Seachtaine an Pharóiste 22 – 23 Iúil 2017

Dún Chaoin

Dé Sathairn, 22 Iúil Blog 22 Iuil 2017

 8.15 i.n.        Ómós do Shinsear an Pharóiste

Beidh searmanas ag an Sean Reilig in aice leis an Sáipéal i mBaile an Teampaill chun aitheantas agus ómós a thabhairt dos na céadta daoine atá adhlactha ann.

Dé Domhnaigh, 23 Iúil

Blog 23 Iuil 2017

 6.00 i.n.        Barbecue an Pharóiste

Beidh Barbecue an Pharóiste le cluichí (sean agus nua) do leanaí ar siúl sa charrchlós ag Ionad an Bhlascaoid.  Beimid ag brath ar thuismitheoirí chun na cluichí a eagrú linn.  Beidh bia ar fáil ann ach tabhair leat pé’n deochanna is ansa leat.  Costa €10 an duine, leanaí bunscoile saor in aisce.

Beidh Fáilte Romhat

Bí Ann

Comharchumann Dhún Chaoin Teoranta

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Nazi-Vergangenheit deutscher Politikrimineller

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nazi-vergangenheit-deutscher-politikrimineller

Die Scheinbundesscheinregierung hat auf Anfrage der sogenannten “Linken” in ihren Archiven gestöbert und einen umfangreichen Bericht herausgegeben.

Das Ergebnis: Die Zahl ehemaliger sogenannter “Politiker” mit Nazi-Vergangenheit ist erschreckend!

Gefunden wurde auch der NSDAP-Aufnahme-Antrag des früheren baden-württembergischen sogenannten “Ministerpräsidenten” Hans Filbinger.

nazi-vergangenheit-filbinger

nazi-vergangenheit-filbinger

nazi-vergangenheit-filbinger

Des weiteren kam heraus, dass 26 sogenannte “Bundesminister” und ein sogenannter “Bundeskanzler” (Kurt-Georg Kiesinger) Mitglieder in der NSDAP oder einer nationalsozialistischen Organisation wie SA, SS oder Gestapo gewesen waren.

Darunter auch der bereits erwähnte Hans Filbinger (CDU), Horst Ehmke (SPD), Walter Scheel (FDP), Friedrich Zimmermann (CSU), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP), Karl Carstens (CDU). Zwei davon waren Bundespräsidenten (Scheel und Carstens).

Die NSDAP wurde im Oktober 1945 von den Alliierten verboten (Kontrollratsgesetz Nr. 2 vom 10. Oktober 1945, in Kraft getreten am 12. Oktober 1945), in Österreich bereits mit dem Verbotsgesetz vom 8. Mai 1945 (Verbotsgesetz 1947).

Mit diesem Artikel veröffentlichen wir eine Liste ehemaliger NSDAP-Mitglieder, die nach dem Mai 1945 in…

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The taxman cometh!

The taxman cometh!

Gabriel Rosenstock translates and introduces a poem by George Mackay Brown

The Marxist scholar George Thomson (1903–1987) was drawn to the culture and language of the Blasket Islands and had a warm friendship with one of its fine memoirists, Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. What Thomson saw among the Blasket Islanders was a civilisation that contained remnants of an older society, one that existed before the notion of private property came about, a community oblivious to the state and all its machinations.
There were many such peripheral societies among the islands of Europe, far from the madding crowd. The poet George Mackay Brown (1921–1996) recorded, in poetry and prose, the traditional life of Orkney and the daily rituals that he loved. Capitalist materialism to him was “a useless utilitarian faith, without beauty or mystery.”
His poem “Taxman”—a mere eight lines—sends a shiver up the spine.

Fear Cánach Taxman
Seacht speal ina luí in aghaidh an bhalla. Seven scythes leaned at the wall.
Féasóg ar fhéasóg órga Beard upon golden beard
An t-ualach deireanacha eorna The last barley load
Ag longadán tríd an gclós. Swayed through the yard.
An corc á bhaint as buidéil leanna ag béithe. The girls uncorked the ale.
Fidil is cosa ag bogadh le chéile. Fiddle and feet moved together.
Ansin idir coinleach is fraoch Then between stubble and heather
Marcach ar séirse. A horseman rode.

Peadar O’Donnell recalled how the Spanish Anti-Fascist War looked to Irish eyes

The battle for Madrid that thunders on

Harry Owens

Peadar O’Donnell recalled how the Spanish Anti-Fascist War looked to Irish eyes:

I went to Spain last July with a party who planned a holiday in a land with a likelihood of sun . . . I walked into a civil war in Achill just as I walked into one in Spain, and it was the same civil war . . . A picture of Achill is a picture of Spain,” [the uproar of which] “rekindled the antagonisms of our own civil war . . . Fishermen in Achill held a steadier light to the events in Spain than the intellectuals in our universities, because they remembered that men like themselves beyond there were struggling strongly amid the uproar.1
      Among the war’s many dramatic events there is one episode that has remained vivid in the minds of those who look back on that hopeful struggle for democracy when “the Devil’s Decade” (to quote the title of Claud Cockburn’s book on the period2) turned ever darker. This was the three weeks in February 1937 when Franco tried to cut off beleaguered Madrid from supplies by controlling the road to Valencia.
The battle in the valley of the River Jarama became significant because of its length, the size of the forces engaged on both sides and the tenacity of the fighting and as the first battle where the hastily organised new army of the Republic, composed mainly of trade union and political parties’ militias, held its ground in open country against the professional army of the rebel generals and their fascist allies.3
As at Madrid the previous November, the Republic’s newly trained soldiers were helped here at crucial points by the growing battalions of volunteers from fifty-three countries in the International Brigades, being hastily organised by the Comintern in bases around La Mancha.
Up to this point the key to Franco’s string of successes, which brought him from Morocco to the suburbs of Madrid, had been the veteran Army of Africa, composed of the Spanish Foreign Legion and the Moroccan Regulares. With their experience of the savage colonial wars of Spanish Morocco and their mobility in battle, and backed by German and Italian infantry, tanks, artillery, and planes, they had seemed invincible until their failure to take Madrid from the south-west before Christmas.
Franco now aimed to sweep south of the city, through Arganda and Chinchón, then swing north to Alcalá de Henares and link up with Mussolini’s forces coming down from Sigüenza and together take Madrid from the rear. This would bring international recognition for the junta of generals, and isolate the Republican government in Valencia.
Winston Churchill had written in August 1936 that the “reverberations of the Spanish upheaval extend far beyond the boundaries of the Peninsula. Causes are at stake which in varying degrees disturb the people of every land.”4 But with a Franco victory, the lesson for democrats and left-wingers around the world would become simple: as was seen elsewhere in the Europe of the 1930s, there would be no hope of resisting the onward march of fascism.
The rebels’ professional army and their German and Italian allies could resume the mobility that had been their key to victory by avoiding strongly defended urban areas. Madrid, that worldwide beacon of popular resistance, would be starved into submission, and the process of “cleansing Spain” would end democracy’s attempts to reform its feudal social system. Spain would instead return to being—as Churchill had described it in September 1936—“the most backward country in Europe; her people miserably poor.”5
The battle was decided at a couple of vital points, and these were the three days when the British battalion, with its Irish volunteers, held the line at its southern end, and the later series of suicidal attacks with the American Lincoln Battalion, including its Irish company, against the Pingarrón heights, which in effect ended the battle. The British battalion’s 400 men who had held “Suicide Hill” had been reduced to 125 on their first day, while the 400 Lincolns sent into the cross-fire of machine-guns at Pingarrón lost 120 dead and 175 wounded by 27 February.6 But the lines held then remained as the front lines till the war’s end.
A historian sympathetic to Franco wrote that the British battalion had stopped Franco’s best troops in a day’s work that counts among the most impressive achievements of modern warfare, and their “conduct—especially on 12 February—represents the greatest single contribution to the victory of Jarama, and thus to the survival of Madrid.”7
Churchill had commented when that war began that “the obvious interest of Britain and France is a liberal Spain restoring under a stable and tolerant government freedom and prosperity to all its people. That we can scarcely hope will come in our time.”8 Yet when this did in fact come about it was under the Republican government of Juan Negrín, which published the thirteen points of its war aims, restoring the rights of private property and religion and severely moderating left-wing aspirations, with the support of the Communist Party of Spain, so as to align Republican Spain with the conservative French and British leaders in facing up to fascist dictators.
But those leaders chose to maintain their one-sided non-intervention system, which ensured a Franco victory, leaving France facing fascism on three fronts as the Second World War broke out. Writing forty years later, Claud Cockburn reckoned that “a triumph of the Left in Spain would have thrown such a scare into the British and French upper classes that they’d have seen Hitler as their sole salvation.” He saw that the Spanish people were fighting in self-defence; they had experience of their ruling class in power. But their leaders had a fatal delusion: that the British and French democracies had to help them if it came to the worst.9
What we are observing throughout this period is the reluctance of the Western elite to consider Hitler a threat to their own class and therefore to what they saw as “their” countries. They would decide that they had to fight only when Hitler had been allowed to swallow almost all of central Europe, and yet demanded more. Then the Spanish Popular Front, which had combined Marxists, socialists and liberals to fight the authoritarian right, would be finally replicated in the alliance of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union against fascism.
But delaying that essential step came at the cost of the mass of graves littering Europe, from the Urals to the cities of Britain itself. While veterans of Spain’s war led the resistance to Nazi occupation in Europe, and liberated entire French towns, even leading the liberation of Paris, they were normally denied front-line service in American and British forces as “premature anti-fascists,” in an indication of the Cold War policies to come.
The effect of that struggle of the Spanish people, and the feelings of those who came to join them, remained firm throughout the decades after the Second World War, so that when I first began to read accounts of this in the 1960s the name of Madrid still rang out as a symbol of a people’s fight for liberty with a clarity that surprised and held one’s attention.
Surviving volunteers felt the strength of that war’s impact. “Never again will men of every creed and tongue go to war with the ideals with which volunteers went to Spain,” wrote John Basset. “It was indeed a time of hope, when a man with a rifle had some power to divert the tide of human affairs.” T. A. R. Hyndman felt that life might leave unseen scars, on the mind, in the heart. “If this is true, my scar is Spain.” While burying an anarchist he’d known in a Spanish hospital “I threw some wild flowers on to the coffin before the diggers covered it with earth. Alongside the driver we trotted back. ‘A friend of yours?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘a friend.’ I could have added—of yours also.”10
When the French veteran Paul Richard died he asked for only one flag by his coffin, that of the Spanish Republic. “Spain,” he had said, “was the best thing I did in my life”11—the very words that the last Irish veteran, Bob Doyle, also chose when summing up his life of union and political struggles in his television programme “Rebel Without a Pause.”
Lenin is often credited with the saying “If you want to know why something happened, ask: who benefits?” But there is another question, one that helps us understand why people decide to act in response to an event: Who pays for it? Those who went to Spain knew who would pay for the generals’ rebellion against the Republic, which is why they went.

1. Peadar O’Donnell, Salud! An Irishman in Spain, London: Methuen, 1937, p. 10, 12.
2. Claud Cockburn, The Devil’s Decade, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1973.
3. Enrique Líster, Nuestra Guerra: Memorias de un Luchador, Guadalajara: Silente Memoria Histórica, 2007, p. 156.
4. Winston Churchill, Step by Step: Political Writings, 1936–1939, London: Odhams, 1939 (reprinted 1949), p. 40.
5. Winston Churchill, Step by Step: Political Writings, 1936–1939, London: Odhams, 1939 (reprinted 1949), p. 52.
6. Tom Wintringham, English Captain, London: Penguin, 1939, p. 93, 124.
7. R. A. Stradling, The Irish and the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939: Crusades in Conflict, Manchester: Mandolin, 1999, p. 166.
8. Winston Churchill, Step by Step: Political Writings, 1936–1939, London: Odhams, 1939 (reprinted 1949), p. 40.
9. Philip Toynbee (ed.), Distant Drum: Reflections on the Spanish Civil War, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1976, p. 40, 47, 48.
10. Philip Toynbee (ed.), Distant Drum: Reflections on the Spanish Civil War, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1976, p. 129, 130, 136.
11. Rémi Skoutelsky, L’Espoir Guidait Leurs Pas, Paris: Grasset, 1998, p. 324.

Cuba walks the talk

Global health crisis

Cuba walks the talk

Tomás Mac Síomóin

The role of Cuba in curbing the spread of the Ebola virus in west Africa is internationally recognised—albeit grudgingly by the United States. The central role of Cuban and Cuban-trained medical personnel in helping victims of the 21st-century earthquakes in Haïti has been less publicised. The doctors attending the protesters fighting against the profanation by an oil company of their sacred lands at Standing Rock, North Dakota, are mainly Afro-American graduates of Cuba’s famous Latin American Medical School, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina.
These are a few examples of Cuba’s unmatched and continuing internationalist commitment in the area of community-based health care—where “community,” as understood by socialist Cuba, transcends national boundaries.
Two big storms prompted the creation of ELAM in Havana in 1998. Hurricanes George and Mitch had torn through the Caribbean and Central America, leaving 30,000 people dead and 2½ million homeless. Cuban medical personnel who volunteered to help were horrified to find whole communities with no health service, rural hospitals shut for lack of staff, and high infant mortality rates. Where would the trained personnel needed to take over from the Cubans come from? Where would they train?
President Fidel Castro, always alert to the internationalist vocation of the Cuban Revolution, came up with the solution. Following his directions, the premises of a former naval academy in the Santa Fe district of Havana was turned over to the Ministry of Health. Tuition, room and board and small scholarships were offered to hundreds of students from countries hardest hit by the storms.
The first students were ninety-seven Nicaraguans, in March 1999. Soon governments throughout the Americas sought scholarships for their own students. Hundreds of scholarships were granted to young people in the United States, mainly Afro-American and indigenous people.
Today ELAM claims 23,000 graduates from eighty-three countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Enrolment has grown to encompass 123 countries. More than half the students are young women.
As prospective Third World students are not always academically prepared for six years of medical training through Spanish, an intensive pre-medical course introduces them to the physical and biological sciences, with Spanish an integral part of the curriculum.
ELAM is now the largest medical school in the world. It trains physicians for peoples most in need, including the billion who have never seen a doctor, who live and die in poverty. Students come from the world’s most underdeveloped regions to become the excellent doctors their communities desperately need. They commit themselves to practising their expertise and carrying their medicine to their place of origin, where not many doctors go: poverty-stricken and often dangerous drug-infested regions where armed gangs and gun-law rule.
These doctors are transforming access to health services and the way medicine itself is learnt and practised, and so they are pioneers in the battle for universal health coverage.
Thousands of community health projects prove the mettle of ELAM graduates. Honduran graduates organised for their communities their country’s first indigenous hospital. Helped by an architect, residents built it themselves, from the ground up. Receiving its first patients in December 2007, it has had almost a million visits since then. The Honduran government lauds the hospital as a model of rural public health.
Why have so many countries asked for these ELAM scholarships? The world needs between 4 and 7 million health workers just to meet basic needs; and the problem is everywhere. Doctors tend to be concentrated in cities, where half the world’s people live, not in shanty towns or rural areas, where the other half subsists. The “developed world” accentuates the problem. The United States, for example, is the main importer of doctors from developing countries; the health of populations abandoned by these medical professionals loses out.
Cuba’s own excellent health record, the product of strong primary care, attracts students. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, places Cuba among the best-performing middle-income countries in health. Save the Children says Cuba has the lowest infant mortality in the Americas (the United States included). The life expectancy of Cubans matches that of the United States, though Cuban health spending per person is one-twentieth of that of the latter.
I can attest, from personal experience, to the efficiency and quality of Cuban primary care.
The fact that all health and dental services in socialist Cuba are readily available and absolutely free should be of interest in a neo-liberal Ireland, a much richer country, where primary medical care is expensive, the cost of specialist care beyond the reach of most, and hospitals are all too often overcrowded and understaffed.
Socialist Cuba clearly teaches us some important lessons.

Letter from Trinidad de Cuba

  bySeán Joseph Clancy

Michael D represented Ireland well during his recent four-day official visit to Cuba.
He arrived on St Valentine’s Day, having been to both Colombia and Peru. All three are countries close to our president’s heart, and exchanges with his counterparts in the latter two will have been more meaningful and informed than they might have come to expect from European officials, who generally blindly toe the NATO and US line and swap ephemeral platitudes, unlikely to rattle a status quo that literally leaves children starving to death in two of the most unequal and corrupt rich countries on Earth.
How gloriously different things are in this proud, insular Caribbean bastion of revolutionary socialism!
Even though Michael D had twice previously met and talked briefly to President Raúl Castro—at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and at an international conference—and the “diplomatic chemistry” between them had been described as good, the fact that their amicable meeting in Havana lasted for more than four hours was noted by many on both sides, and most certainly in other quarters also.
Gaillimh abú!
Protocol had dictated that the official invitation from Cuba had to be extended to the Irish government—as opposed to the head of state—which meant that the president and his staff were accompanied by officials from a Department of Foreign Affairs that had recently made abundantly clear its rejection of Michael D’s reasonable and balanced views on Cuba. There were no obvious signs of tension between the two establishment camps, though there was at times a somewhat condescending attitude to the mannerisms and the intellectualism of the president on the part of Dublin civil servants and their Blueshirt-inclined political superiors.
The Irish ambassador and her staff, being based in Mexico, must have found elements of the traditional Cuban bureaucracy and apparent indifference quite terrifying by times in their endeavours to organise the visit; yet in fairness it must be said that they did a great job, and something essentially warm, hospitable and Irish permeated the official events and functions.
Michael D was well matched, and was accompanied to many of these, by Cuba’s tall, bearded and pony-tailed minister of culture, the poet, intellectual and political heavyweight Abel Prieto, who seemed to particularly relish the concert of traditional Irish music and dancing in Havana’s beautiful Teatro Martí. Two Cuban uilleann pipers, and the perfect rendition of a sean-nós lament in Irish by a young Cuban woman, added to a great session that ended with a standing ovation and a fitting encore.
It was nice to see the best of what we are, where we have come from and what we as a nation aspire to become eloquently transmitted and represented by our head of state and fine exponents of our literature, music, dances, language, and history.
In the face of the shameful and pitiful gombeen greed and ignorance passed off as representing who we are on the international stage by our crooked band of fraudsters and thieves, which must have poor Paddy Kavanagh still twisting restlessly in his tomb, this four-day respite in Havana served as a timely reminder that Irish men and women are of a robust, true and noble stock, very much needed in these days of the global epidemic of post-Trumpwin stress disorder (about which more from Cuba anon).

10 Years in the European Union / 10 Години в Европейския Съюз

tobulgaria

We like to organize time in easily measurable spans. We like to label those spans and ascribe certain characteristics to them. It’s all in retrospect, and in retrospect anew we re-label. The Dark Ages are now the Middle Ages and the longer we go on the more “Middle” seems a bit miscalculated, a misnomer needing a new name. We might now be in need of a second Age of Enlightenment and the world is still painfully reckoning with the fallout of the Age of Exploration. And of course of all of the foregoing is Eurocentric and says nothing of the way time is divided, referenced, and assessed by other cultures.

In our own lifetimes, we tend to fall back on the decade. And we tend to do the easy thing of measuring these spans of ten as beginning in a zero and ending in a nine even when, as in…

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