Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A murder, the IRA and a joke.

President Bush has spoked out against the IRA. This is good news, it shows the world we are not fighting against Islam but against those using violence to oppress others.

Over at the New Sisyphus they spend quite a few words explaining what all of the fuss is about. I must admit not to being very up on Northeren Ireland other than from a very high level. It is frequently viewed as Protestants vs. Catholic or Irish vs. UK but in reality Northeren Ireland is quite happy with its current state of affairs and does not want to unite with The Republic.

Recently the IRA murdered a man in a pub. Their goons came in threatened everyone and cleaned up the pub to remove the evidence. The family of the murdered man is sitting down and is speaking out against the IRA and has motivated many in Northeren Ireland to do likewise. In fact this incident is spiling over to the US and has caused the President to dis-invite Gerry Adams from the Whitehouse St. Patrick's Day Observance. I can not say I have had much in favor or against Gerry Adams but I figured standing up against the IRA would be one way to prove to the Islamists we are not out to get Islam just those who murder in the name of political causes.

Now the joke part. Some years ago my brother and I toured Ireland. We rented a car and drove around, we would reach a destination, find a place for the night, park and hoof it onto a pub somewhere. One day we were in Tipperarry Town (family lore has it we have descendants from Tipperary Town and I found it intriguing to not be "a long way from Tipperary").

Anyway we were at this one pub and had struck up a conversation with this fellow. He was interested in talking about the IRA (we saw plenty of IRA & Sinn Fein propaganda in nearby Cork) and we all nodded about the usual plattitudes against violence so I thought this one particular joke would be okay.

A guy is walking around in Belfast late one night when all of a sudden he feels the muzzle of a gun in his back and hears the following question: Protestant or Catholic? The man thinks I have a 50/50 chance here and I want better odds. Thinking quickly on his feet he blurts out: Neither, Jewish! The man with gun then exclaims: Well well! I must be the luckiest Palestinian in Belfast tonight!

Our "friend" got real weird on us. At one point he acted as if he had a knife and was going to use it on us. My brother and I quickly downed our pints (of Guinness of course) and got out of there. Later at another pub we ran into the bar tender from the bar with "our friend" and the man confirmed we were talking with a real nutjob. I was starting to plan out fight vs. flight scenarios in my head. In all of my travels this was probably the most frightening incident I ran into.