Thursday, September 27, 2012

Irish Muslim protesters chant ‘USA, you must pay!’ at Dublin demonstration

200 - 300 Muslims march in protest by American and French embassies in Dublin

KERRY O’SHEA, - IrishCentral Staff Writer
A largely peaceful protest took place in Dublin following a string of highly violent protests in the Middle East in response to a YouTube video depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a fraud.
The Irish Times reports on the demonstration that saw between 200 and 300 Muslims march from St. Stephen’s Green to the American and French embassies in Dublin on Wednesday.
One of the organizers of the march, Khurram Khan, told The Irish Times that the demonstration was not political and insisted that the marchers did not represent any Islamic groups.
Khan added that Muslims in Ireland had been waiting for “someone to take the initiative” to organize a demonstration, and that Irish Imams were reluctant to organize an event with the fear that it may have been poorly received.
Despite organizers intending for the demonstration to be a silent one, chants of “USA! You must pay!” and “There is no God but Allah!” began almost immediately after the beginning of the protest.
“We tried our best to keep it silent but the people have emotions as well,” Khan said afterwards.
Abdul Haseeb, former editor of Irish Muslim magazine, was in attendance, though he did not support the way in which the group was trying to get its message across; he believes that lobbying would have been a more effective route.
“Pressure would have changed things,” Hasseeb said, feeling that protests like the one in Dublin alienate the wider society.
The protest went over without much incident. Upon passing the US embassy, some protesters did shout, “USA! Shame! Shame!” but they were briskly waved on by organizers to keep moving.
Both the American and French embassies issued statements after the march saying that they respect freedom of expression, as well as the “spirit of responsibility” from the protesters.

Is this a once off protest in support of their Muslim brothers in the Middle East by some of the “new Irish” or a sign of things to come? You be the judge, but, I have no hesitation in stating that it is very disturbing to me as a home owner and very proud citizen of Ireland.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

Monday, September 24, 2012

US politicians urge Kenny to halt bid to legalize abortion

A group of American politicians has written to the Taoiseach urging him to halt any attempt to legalize abortion here and to ensure that Ireland remains "staunchly pro-life".
In the letter, signed by 16 Republican and one Democrat member of the US Congress, the politicians said they were concerned that the expert group, appointed by Health Minister James Reilly to present a report on abortion, included some who are pro-choice.

The minister established the group last January in the wake of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Ireland must give legislative effect to the 1992 Supreme Court judgment in the X Case which ruled that a woman was entitled to an abortion if her life was in danger as a result of her pregnancy.

The expert group, due to present its report shortly, is expected to recommend either regulation or legislation. Dr Reilly will then bring that recommendation to Cabinet.

"A concern has been expressed to us that the composition of the expert group seems predisposed to issue recommendations that infringe on the right to life, rather than a simple clarification," says the letter.

"The absence of experts of known pro-life views and the presence of some of known pro-abortion views were especially noted," say the members of Congress.

Among those who signed the letter is Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs who was forced to apologize last year to Mr Obama after saying that working with him was like touching a "tar baby". Lamborn used the racially charged term during an interview on a Denver radio station.

The letter is also signed by Trent Franks, a Republican Congressman from Arizona, who earlier this year sought to push through legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia.

When the White House voiced opposition, Franks called Obama "the abortion president".

The 17 Congress members say Ireland "has been an example to the world" in not legislating for abortion.

"It is our hope Ireland remains staunchly pro-life and continues to give this vital example in Europe and throughout the world."

Addressing the Taoiseach directly, they say: "We offer our strong support to you in this effort."

The only Democrat signatory is Dan Lipinski, from Chicago, who co-sponsored a bill to prevent women from obtaining abortions on health insurance unless they had been raped.

The fact that members of the U.S. Congress feel this strongly  about right to life issues in another country is merely an affirmation of a trend has been known to Irish Catholics for the past several years. Ireland is, to its eternal shame, been moving steadily away from a country that was once a beacon of light for the rest of the world in their staunch support of the principles of Catholicism. It is truly unfortunate that the land of our heritage can no longer make that claim.
 With the advent of multi-culturalism resulting from the now defunct “Celtic Tiger economy”, came a steady transition from Catholicism to secularism. Today, that transition is very close to complete and it is a very sad fact of life that Ireland has abandoned those principles that it once held so dear.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus – 4th Degree

Friday, September 14, 2012

I am Old Glory
I am old glory: For more than ten score years I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born amid the first flames of America's fight for freedom, I am the symbol of a country that has grown from a little group of thirteen colonies to a united nation of fifty sovereign states. Planted firmly on the high pinnacle of American Faith my gently fluttering folds have proved an inspiration to untold millions. Men have followed me into battle with unwavering courage. They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity. They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to enjoy the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which have been granted to every American as the heritage of free men. So long as men love liberty more than life itself; so long as they treasure the priceless privileges bought with the blood of our forefathers; so long as the principles of truth, justice and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States of America.
One nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The House of Representatives approved NAFTA on November 17, 1993, 234-200. The agreement's supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38. Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; it went into effect on January 1, 1994.
President Bill Clinton while signing the NAFTA bill stated that "NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement."

U.S. Economy Lost Nearly 700,000 Jobs Because Of NAFTA

 When the North American Free Trade Agreement was first signed in 1994, proponents said it would eventually create jobs for the U.S. economy.
17 years later, a new report estimates, the American worker only has hundreds of thousands of job losses to show for it.
According to a report by Economic Policy Institute economist Robert Scott, entitled "Heading South: U.S.-Mexico trade and job displacement after NAFTA," an estimated 682,900 U.S. jobs have been "lost or displaced" because of the agreement and the resulting trade deficit.
The historic agreement, signed just three years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, tore down trade barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, making trade and investment easier for businesses without allowing for the cross-border movement of labor. Despite the agreement being considered a boon for Mexico, the country's economy grew only 1.6 percent per capita on average between 1992 and 2007, The New York Times reported in 2009.
The EPI's calculation of 682,900 jobs lost to NAFTA takes into account jobs created as a result, too. Last year, for example, U.S. exports to Mexico supported 791,900 jobs. It's just that those jobs created pale in comparison to the 1.47 million U.S. jobs that would be necessary without the imports resulting from NAFTA, the report found.
Still, the number of jobs lost to NAFTA looks minimal when placed against the havoc freaked by the financial crisis. Only in 2008, at the height of the crisis, the U.S. economy hemorrhaged 2.6 million jobs, according to CNNMoney.
The U.S. is currently considering a similar trade agreement with South Korea, called U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). KORUS, like NAFTA, could similarly displace American jobs, EPI warns.
Perhaps the most drastic switch post-NAFTA has been in the two country's trade deficit. In 1993, before the signing of NAFTA, the U.S. held a $1.6 billion trade surplus over their neighbor to the south, which supported 29,400 jobs. By 1997, the tides had turned, and Mexico laid claim to a much larger surplus of $16.6 billion. As of 2010, it's not even close. Mexico's trade surplus now hovers around $97.2 billion.
Jobs continue to be lost to NAFTA today. In the years 2007-2010, the U.S. economy has lost 116,400 as a result of the trade deficit created by NAFTA. And last year, the growth of Mexican auto exports to the United States alone created more Mexican jobs -- 30,400 -- than the entire U.S. auto industry.
It's the U.S. manufacturing sector that has suffered most mightily from NAFTA, alone accounting for 60.8 percent -- 415,000 total -- of the jobs lost to the agreement. Specifically, those making computer of electronic parts have accounted for 22 percent of all job losses, and motor vehicle and parts workers accounted for 15 percent of job losses.
Job losses haven't been limited to certain geographic regions, either, as all fifty states have lost jobs as a result. And while the states with the largest total number of job losses, California and Texas, do hug the southern border, it's actually manufacturing-heavy states to the north, such as Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, that have lost the largest share of jobs to Mexico.
This is self explanatory. Read it and weep for our American workers!!!
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America