Welcome to episode 2 of ‘America from the outside, Ireland from the inside’. I call them episodes because there is more scandal and nonsensical behavior from people than an episode of Coronation Street.
Starting off on the other side of the ocean, in America this week, the president has accused a former president of tapping his phones during the election of last year, he has signed a brand new executive order making it difficult for certain people to enter the country and he has commented on Arnold Schwarzenegger being fired from the apprentice.
Starting with the first issue. El Prez began tweeting on Saturday about his phones being tapped. He didn’t offer any proof, he didn’t have anyone to blame, it was just something to say on a Saturday morning. His spokespeople then came out and said that they believed it too. When asked for proof, they would reply with the fact that the president has more information than the rest of us. This information has yet to hit the twitter-verse or the real world. I currently have a €10 bet with Trump that an investigation does not take place. The offer of the bet took place on twitter so you know he read it!
By the way @nkeegan is where you can find me.
In relation to social media, I think the reasoning behind him using it is sound. It is a direct line to the people. It is a platform to make sure the message is sent out the exact way you want it to. It would be a great tool for a rational thinking president. Unfortunately it appears that he isn’t the former while being the latter. But this is a 70+year old man. They rarely are.
The second piece of action from President Trump this week, which follows on from an executive order decreed in January 2017. This was an order suspending entry into the country for 90 days for people from Iran, Iraq, Libia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This was released to the media as If it was a press release that they didn’t want people to read. It was put out on a Friday evening. Which is what slimy publicists do when their clients are caught doing something they shouldn’t. They assume people won’t bother with it after office hours before a weekend. So Airports around the world had zero idea of who they should vet why they should vet them and how. Not to mention the fact that the Trump administration had put an ally on the list, while leaving out the country that supplied most of the people involved in 9/11 (Saudi Arabia). But let’s not be rational about this. This was questioned and held up by judges which caused another twitter storm from President Trump.
The Donald had to come up with a new plan.
2 months later, on my birthday (6th March, one for the diaries) a new order is unleashed. The difference? Well Iraq is off the list. It remains in the introduction of the order on the white house wbsite(https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states), but is taken out of the remainder. As an aside, if my attention to detail was this bad, I would be fired. And I definitely do not work for a president.
This updated order begins on St Patrick’s weekend and does not affect anyone with a visa before that point. So what is this? Basically it is targeting a certain group of people without actually saying it out loud. They call it ‘extreme vetting’, but that is like ‘enhanced interrogation’. It is another title for the same thing. Enhanced interrogation was torture, extreme vetting is religious targeting. I thought there was something written in a fairly important American document about freedom of religion? Instead of inclusion, President Trump wants to exclude. Instead of attempting to understand, he prefers to stay on a high horse.
But again, he is 70+ years old, what do you expect?
His final top hit of twitter this week reeked of childishness. His old show, The Apprentice, sacked Arnold Schwarzenegger this week due to bad ratings. It had nothing to do with it being an old show with an outdated format of course. He took to twitter to stick the needle into Arnold. Such childishness and pettiness wouldn’t be out of place in a teenagers twitter account but this is the president. Surely there is something more important for him to do?
But again, he is a 70+year old, what do you expect?
A quick 7 hour plane journey brings us back to Ireland where there is only one story. The discovery of 800 children remains in a tank in Tuam, County Galway on the grounds of a Mother and baby home run by a Catholic order of nuns (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Secours_Mother_and_Baby_Home). The nation was outraged and it showed how in 2017 a country is still afraid of the church. This has been talked about since the 1920’s but no one prosecuted or investigated up until very recently. In 1975 child’s remains were found on the site, nothing happened. In 2012 Catherine Corless surmised that there were hundreds buried on the site. She was lambasted in all quarters of the media. Vilified. This was in 2012! People were still that afraid. That was just after our then Taoiseach Bertie Aherne signed an agreement with the church that the state would cover half of any pay-outs made as a result of child sex abuse. This is the country we live in! Horrific!
The only positive of this is that in 2017 there is social media; there are ways of pressuring government into investigations. We see it with the Garda corruptions and now with the other and baby homes run by the church.
My thoughts on religion are that it is yours. If it gives you comfort and strength when you need it, if it helps you in any way then it is a good thing. If you blindly follow it and are willing to look past things like the above or the rampant and horrific child sex abuse that was/is happening in the church then religion has ruined you as a human being. I am not anti religion; I am anti burying children in a pit or abusing people in any kind of way.
In closing, this story has me absolutely heartbroken. I can’t believe that a human being came up with burying children in a tank as a way of dealing with an issue; I can’t believe someone actually carried out those orders and I can’t believe we live in a country where government is too scared to chase and prosecute the scum who did this.
As usual @nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram.
And let’s be a little bit nicer to each other this week, let’s just try it.