Monday, March 17, 2008

The Morning News

---As a part-time resident of southern Arizona, I joke that I'm against that anti-immigration fence on the border because we might some day decide to flee to Mexico. In a depressing article in today's Slate on how American business incompetence has become a laughingstock worldwide, Daniel Gross reports: "Americans abroad are constantly taunted by perceived failings of American management. America's aviation system is now the butt of jokes because 9-year-olds have become accustomed to removing their Heelys before boarding a plane. As my family and I passed through the snaking security line in CancĂșn, Mexico's airport last month, we were harangued by a security guard who encouraged tourists to sing along with him: "Please. Do not. Remove. Your shoes."

---There will always be a Duffy: On St. Patrick's Day, the encouraging news that a Queens bar owner has banned the singing of "Danny Boy" for 48 hours is overshadowed this morning by the ravings of one Peter Duffy on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal. In late 1846 and early 1847, says our man Duffy, Protestant clergymen and "the WASP establishment" including "the cream of New York society" were so stricken by reports of abject suffering and death from famine in far-off Ireland that they mounted a city-wide fund-raising campaign on behalf of th' poor, starvin' Emerald Isle.

The fact that the famine nevertheless "dragged on" for years "doesn't absolve New York's Irish from recognizing the generosity shown to them," insists this Duffy, who appears to be the type who used to stay for the recitation of the Rosary after all the other men had scooted out once the damn priest was seen approaching the scene of the wake.

News for ye, Duffy, me lad: The reason the "cream of New York society" was raisin' th' money was to try to keep th' poor starvin' Irish from actually comin' to New York, where a vicious nativist movement was gunning for them. Didn't raise enough dough, it would appear.

And a happy St. Patrick's Day to yez all.

---Except the McGreeveys, that is. To switch vernacular: Oy. (The story was broken yesterday by the Star-Ledger newspaper in New Jersey, which has a terribly designed Web site. As it its wont, the Post failed to credit its betters).

---And this just in: Glad to know these bozos have their eye on the ball and are spending their time concerned about what's really important, curse words.

---Excited Drudge headline of the day: "Paper: Why Does Hillary Wear Such Bad Clothes?" You have seen that boy Drudge's absolutely precious fedora, right?


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