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  • June 20th, 2019


By Joel M. Vance


I owe an abject apology to Ireland, the country from which my family emigrated  a couple of centuries ago. In a recent blog I said that Northern Ireland was sympathetic to Nazi Germany during World War II. This is 100% wrong.


My good friend and faithful reader Paul Vang set me straight.”You might want to take another look at your reference to Northern Ireland supporting Hitler during WWII. I think it’s the other way, with Eire (Ireland) having sympathizers. Northern Ireland is an official part of the U.K. and is closely allied with England – or at least the Protestants are.” Paul obviously is a far better student of Hibernian history than I am.


I was commenting on Donald Trump’s idiotic proposal that the Irish should build a wall to separate Northern Ireland from Southern Ireland (Eire) as a solution to the country’s long and involved political and religious unrest. Trump is an idiot and I feel like one also for being so egregiously wrong. Northern Ireland pledged support and loyalty to the fight against Germany from the outset, while Southern Ireland, technically neutral, did harbor a number of Irishmen sympathetic to the Hitler regime.


Separation between the two parts of Ireland dates back almost a century.  The South now is called the Republic of Ireland or the Irish free State, while the North remained part of Great Britain, along with England, Scotland and Wales. The southern part of the country became the Irish Ffree State in 1922.


Northern Ireland served as a staging area for troops gathering for the 1944 invasion of Normandy, was host to a number of Royal Air Force bases, and contributed troops to the fight against Hitler’s awful regime. I can only offer my deepest apologies to the six counties that constitute Northern Ireland, although it probably makes no difference to any sons of Erin. If it’s any consolation to those whom I might have offended, I treasure the soothing taste of Bushmills or Jameson’s  Irish whisky, love the music of Da Dannan, and one of the earliest songs I learned to sing was Galway Bay (Johnny Cash, my favorite singer, also learned the song as a kid and does a touching rendition of it in a collection of homemade tapes, available on compact disc)


I hope I’m right in correcting my wrong. If not, I hope that Paul Vang will set me straight.


It is a slogan often seen in backwoods taverns: “Cheer up. They said things could be worse. And sure enough, they got worse.” There is good news from the White House. Sarah Sycophant Sanders is leaving her job as Press Secretary and as Donald J Trump’s favorite ventriloquist dummy, and Kellyanne Conway, the Wicked Witch of the West Wing, has been recommended by the office of the special counsel  for dismissal in for mixing political activities with her government job— a legal no-no. The bad news in all of this is that Sanders is being touted as a gubernatorial candidate for Arkansas. That’s especially bad news if you happen to live in Arkansas where her father was governor with a dubious record and where other politicians have had less than stellar personal lives (and I include Bill Clinton in any listing of dubious Arkansas politicos).


My home state of Missouri has had its share of boneheaded governors (the present one replaced Eric Greitens  who resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct and campaign fund shenanigans) but we’ve had no one who can compare to Arkansas’s Orville Faubus, way back when, then up to and including Clinton and Sanders One.


Conway, even if justifiably canned , no doubt will have no trouble finding a new job—perhaps as the Red Queen in a revival of “Alice in Wonderland”. And there’s always Mrs. Hannigan in an “Annie”-revival or the evil stepmother in “Cinderella”.


The Fourth of July is a few days away and here are a few thoughts about that event. Trump apparently is going to get his cherished parade and as I write this there still is scheduled a speech by the big baby boy himself. Without a doubt this unwanted talk will be nothing but a campaign speech larded by personal attacks against his favorite Democratic party adversaries. There may be a flyover by Air Force One possibly repainted with Trump’s latest campaign slogan. There are no plans announced as to who or how this parade will be paid for, but you can bet that the American taxpayers are going to get stuck for it— creditors still are waiting to be paid for some of our deadbeat president’s other nefarious escapades.


Donald Trump long has wanted his very own parade in Washington, featuring tanks, guns, and Army Navy and Marines. Rather than mobilizing the nation’s armed forces for the glorification of the Great Leader, why not just mobilize all the people who have been fired or resigned from the Trump administration and march them down Constitution Avenue. They might outnumber the sparse crowd on the Capitol Mall that attended Trump’s inauguration.


Protesters already are petitioning to hoist the Baby Trump balloon like the one that welcomed him to England recently — perhaps the one of him sitting on a potty. I’m sure that the English, now that they have gotten rid of the pudgy interloper, would be happy to loan it out for Trump’s extensive parade of former employees.  Trump initially had backed down on his parade idea, blaming the local politicians for not supporting him accusing them of inflating the cost in order to cast a pall on his megalomaniacal proposal.


It would be interesting to know what the average English person thinks about our American president who bragged in an interview that he not only would accept help from a foreign government to get himself reelected, but he actually had a conversation with (and I am quoting from one of his tweets) “the Prince of Whales. Sarah Sanders claims that Trump was chosen by God to lead our country— not only God but apparently the Clown Prince also has a direct line to Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.


“Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly. But nobody’s been treated badly like me.” That’s what Trump said to interviewer George Stephanopoulos.  Trump proposed that he make a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on July 4, the most celebrated holiday we have, specific to our independence and our democratic system of government. Such a desecration of our proud heritage is so awful an insult to every citizen that even the most ardent Trump supporter should be ashamed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the iconic seated statue of Abraham Lincoln would slump over, much as Mr. Lincoln did in Ford’s Theater a moment after he was shot from behind by John Wilkes Booth. That sad event would seem to trump Trump as an example of being treated badly, but not according to poor pudgy picked on Donnie.


It seems there is no cherished institution of our democracy that Trump can’t throw mud on. Donald Trump the most narcissistic politician in the history of the country reminds me of the evil queen from Disney’s cartoon “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” who daily looks in her mirror and asks “Who is the fairest of them all?” To which the mirror is supposed to exclaim “Why, you are mama!”


Except that there comes a day when the mirror, which probably surreptitiously voted Democrat in the previous election, says “it ain’t you, baby!” Trump is far less charming than the evil queen and if he resembles anybody in Snow White it’s Dopey, the dimwitted dwarf— although Dopey is well-meaning and sweet tempered, attributes which no one believes about Donald Trump except that 40% of muddled voters who continue to support the old fruitcake , endorsing the cracked mirror into which he peers constantly.  I’m reminded of the Rodney Dangerfield joke “my psychiatrist told me I’m going crazy. I told him, “if you don’t mind, I’d like a second opinion.” He said, “All right, you’re ugly too!”


And then there’s another Trump appropriate joke about mirrors from Dangerfield, “I went to see my doctor.‘ Doctor, every morning when I get up and look in the mirror I feel like throwing up. What’s wrong with me? He said, ’I don’t know, but your eyesight is perfect’”.


My apologies to the late Mr. Dangerfield.


I can’t get over the sight of Trump hugging the furled American flag as if it were his own personal banner. Grinning like a deranged chimpanzee, Trump was photographed on Flag Day, of all things, which also happened to be Trump’s 73rd birthday. If any more evidence were needed of Trump’s mental disintegration, that photo, officially issued by the White House, should be ample proof. Once he pried himself loose from that unhinged embrace of Old Glory, Trump went on to attack Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign conspiracy with Russia, calling it “bullshit.” If anyone knows bullshit it is Donald Trump who daily spews more of it than a stampede of uncastrated male bovines.


Proving that Twitter is not the exclusive domain of Donald Trump, one veteran (which bone spur deferred Trump is not) commented on the goofy photograph, “That photo intensifies the disgust most veterans and active duty military feel when they see you treating our flag with such disrespect. The flag is not to be fondled like some porn star. Despicable.”


Apparently there is no institution of our democracy that Trump can’t diminish. Already he has ignored the constitutional imperative that no president may serve more than two terms by suggesting that somehow he is owed two terms plus two more years  because of the length of the Mueller investigation—and he has intimated that being president for life like Chinese dictatorXi Jinping would be just fine by  him. Of course, it is not going to happen and if there is a just God and a viable legal system in this besieged country he won’t even make it through one term.


It has been nearly 250 tumultuous years since this country officially separated from England and  became, however tenuously at times, the United States of America. There have been wars upon wars and the bloodiest of them involved a four-year squabble between the states as to whether they truly are United or not.


But still, despite a civil war, despite long-standing disputes over states rights, federal rights, and individual rights, on July 4 we celebrate our unity. We must do this to preserve the image that we have created of a nation where truth, justice, and the pursuit of liberty are triumphant.


We do this in spite of the most awful president in our long history, one who treats our most cherished documented=io tributes to those ideals as outdated pieces of paper to be ignored and scorned at his whim. We don’t hug our flag as if it were one of his pornographic girlfriends, we fly it high and free, rippling in the sweet wind of liberty.


Let’s just, for one day, ignore our would be dictator and salute our flag and our history, no matter how frayed it sometimes is, and proclaim loudly and proudly to whatever deity we believe in, “God bless America!”






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  1. Paul F. Vang

    June 20th, 2019 at 9:24 am


    You got it right this time!

    Living in Butte MT, per capita the most Irish city in these United States, we almost absorb Irish history through our pores.

    I also recall reading some stories about Irishmen who served in British military during WWII because “it was the only war around.”

  2. Carrie J DeValk

    June 28th, 2019 at 7:16 am


    I’ve been waiting for a Prince of Whales reference. Yes, nailed it!

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