May 24, 2020

Tuarisc Leabhair Big: An Litir le Liam Mac Cóil

Tá an leabhar ar siúl i gcathair na Gaillimhe sa bhliain sé déag dhá dhéag. Is scoláire coláiste é Lúcás Ó Briain ach d’ainneoin gur scoláire maith é is fearr leis a bheith ina píonsóir.

Maidin amháin, tagann a uncáil go dtí an coláiste agus tógann sé Lúcás amach a thabhairt cuart ar sagart lán rún. Caithfidh an sagart a sheol litir go dtí Aodh Mór Ó Néill sa Róimh, tionscadal rún ar fad.

D’éalaigh na iarlaí as Éirinn cúig bliana roimhe sin mar thóg na Sasanaigh go leor dá n-údarás agus dá dtalamh uathu. Anois, bhí na Sasanaigh ag iarraidh a goidte an talamh ón daoine eile. Is é an súil ag an sagart a cur an eolas sin don Ó Néill agus go bheadh sé teacht ar ais go luath (leis an arm Spáinnise b'fhéidir, nó Fraincise).

Glacann Lúcás an jab. Bhí a thuismitheoira maraithe sa troid leis na Sasanaigh nuair a bhí sé níos óige. Beidh sé mar scoláire ag dul go Róimh staidéar a dhéanamh ar sagartacht. Tá go leor eachtraí agus amhras tríd an lá. Tá a uncail dúnmhairaithe. Tugann a mhúinteor píonsóireach claíomh agus tugann a iníon bonn a croch timpeall a muineál agus póg dó.

Tá beag iomlán an leabhar ar siúl trí lá amháin. Tá sé an-suimúil leis an bheatha den gcathair stairiúil, na heachtraí móra, an machnamh, na daoine éagsúla, agus ar ndóigh, na babhtaí píonsóireacha. Go hiontach ar fad atá an scéal.

Agus tá seanléarscáil den gcathair ann san leabhar ar féidtear a leanúint an gníobh air.

Anois, tá dhá leabhar eile ann mar sraith.

[Bhí an leabhar foilsithe ag Leabhar Breac]

April 19, 2020

Saoilim, Smaoinim, Measaim, Machtnuigim, Samhluighim, Braithim, Meabhruighim

Saoilim, vls., -leachtain, -leadh, -ltin, -lsin, ⁊c., v. tr., I expect, endeavour, think to, deem, suppose, think, imagine; ní mar saoiltear bítear, things are not what one expects (prov.); am má saoilid, when they don’t expect; fáth nár saoileadh, an event that was not expected (S. R.); shaoileas riamh nár mhiste, ⁊c. I always thought it was no harm to, etc.; shaoileas go, I thought that, etc.; shaoil siad é mharbhadh, they endeavoured to slay him (Con.); al. sílim. [1977 O’Dónaill: Síl]

Smaoinim, -neadh, -neamh, v. tr., and intr., I think, imagine, reflect, heed; gnly. with ar; do smaoin ar mhór-olc, who conceived great evil; do smaoin ’na mheanmain aige féin, he considered in his mind; nár smaoin bheith fólta, who did not even think of being a laggard. [1977 O’Dónaill: Smaoinigh]

Measaim, vl. meas, v. tr., I measure, calculate, assess (with ar), esteem; judge, consider, dwell upon, think, suppose; mean, intend, want to, determine on; m. do, I expect of; m. gur cóir duit, you should, I think; m. ar, I judge by; m. agam féin, I consider in my own mind; meas anois é, give your estimate (or opinion) now, price it now; péirse beacht má mheas mé díreach, an exact perch if I calculated aright; cad do mheasann tú? what do you say? what is your opinion? what do you mean (by your behaviour, etc.)? do measadh bheith cóir, who was thought to be honest; m. gluaseacht, I propose to depart; cá mheasair dul? where are you trying to go? mheasas a rádh, I meant (or wanted) to say; mheas sé mé bhualadh, he thought to strike me; anois measann tú, now, what do you think (in parenthesis); m. éag dó, I think he will die; an é an fhairrge shnámh do mheasfá dham? would you expect me to swim the ocean? ní mh. an aois sin dó, I don’t consider him that age; cad í an láidreacht do mheasfá dhó? what strength would you say he was? ní mheasfá ortha go, ⁊c., you would never guess from their looks that, etc. [1977 O’Dónaill: Meas]

Machtnuighim, vl. -tnamh and -tnughadh, v. tr. and intr., I wonder, am surprised at; deliberate, reflect, imagine; al. chide; mhachtnuigheas ar dtúis gur fear do bhí ann, I imagined at first it was a man (R. O.); ro mhachtnuigh sin aige féin, he wondered within himself at that; machtnuigh leat féin gach ainnir, ⁊c., consider how every maid, etc. [1977 O’Dónaill: Machnaigh]

Samhluighim, -ughadh, v. tr. and intr., I appear, dream, imagine, expect, think, impute or ascribe to (le), hint at; compare or liken; am like; s. rud le, I compare a thing to, al. suggest regarding a thing; sh. sin leat, I exclude you (from the prophecy, accusation, etc.); bréag níor samhluigheadh leo, no lie was ever imputed to them; cha samhlóchainn leis é, I would not expect it of him; cha samhlann sí feoil nó lionn le n-a broinn in san Cháitin, she has no taste for flesh or ale in Lent (Mon. song); do shamhluigheas go raibh airgead agat, I fancied you had money; ná samhail (-mhluigh) innse, think not to tell; samhluigheadh dam, it appeared to me, meseemed; tánn tú deáthach led’athair atá ’san chré, gura fada beo samhlóchar thú, you resemble your late father, long be you so; al. samhlaim, -ladh (imper. 2s. and pret. 3s., samhail)—compds., iontsamhlaim, I imitate; for-tamhlaim, I surpass. [1977 O’Dónaill: Samhlaigh]

Breathnuighim, -ughad, v. tr. and intr. (with ar), I discern, recognise, examine, judge; conceive, design; I look, appear; I behold, wath; b. ar, a look at; bhí sé ag breathnughadh bheith téagarthach, he looked fairly stout (Inishm.); ag breathnughadh go maith, looking well; b. ubhall le, I award an apple to (S. N.); I resolve; al. breithnighim. [1977 O’Dónaill: Breathnaigh (also look at, watch)]

Braithim, vl. braith, brath, -athadh, v. tr. and intr., I judge, think, imagine; expect; observe, notice; test; feel; perceive; b. feabhas orm féin, I feel myself improved (in health, etc.); do bhraitheas ar a gcainnt go, ⁊c., I gathered from what they said that, etc.; do bhraitheas im aigne, ⁊c., I settled in my mind that; I depend on; ní bheinn ag braith ort, I would not depend on you, i.e., I would seek some other assistance than yours; ag braith ar na cómharsanaibh, depending on the neighbours, having only the neighbours to fall back on; ag braith ar, intending to, expecting to; ag braith ar dhul go Corcaigh, expecting to go to Cork; b. ar, I spy on, reveal, make known; do bhraith sé trí neithe air féin san traothar so, he revealed three things about himself in this work (O’Gadhra); b. uaim, I miss; do bhraitheas go raibh airgead aige, I suspected or fancied he had money; I deceive. [1977 O’Dónaill: Braith (also betray, wait for (with le))]

Meabhruighim, -ughadh, v. tr., intr., I recollect, remember, commit to memory; consider, ponder, plan; notice, perceive, penetrate, realise; remind, suggest, reveal to (with do); make or feel my way (as in the dark); m. mo scéal do chách, I reveal my story to all; m. a-bhaile, I make or feel my way home in the darkness; nach luath do mheabhruigh sé é, at what an early age he (the child) understood the matter; meabhruigh caoin soillse is dealbh na bhflaitheas, quietly consider the brilliance and beauty of heaven (P. F.). [1977 O’Dónaill: Meabhraigh [also meditate])

—Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, 1927, by Patrick Dinneen

Also see: CEAPADH

April 10, 2020

Ceapadh

Ceap, g. cip and ceapa, pl. id., and cipe, m., a block: a shoemaker’s last; the stock or nave of a wheel, esp. a spinning wheel; fuinnseog an t-adhmad is feárr chum an cheapa, ash is the best wood for the stock (of the wheel); do leigeadh rí a ceann ar ch. an cúirne, she used to lay her head on the stock of the spinning wheel; c. fuinnse, an ash last in shoemaking; c. gabhann, anvil block; c. snoigheagain, a block on which to cut or carve out timber; c. treo, the timber block that is used a a socket for a boat mast (Mayo); glas cir, a rim lock; a leader, a progenitor; the head of a tribe or family, a supreme ruler; a battalion, a body of men in square array; a piece of ground; a small cultivated plot, a nursery bed for plants; c. cabáiste, a nursery bed for cabbage plants; stocks (for a pristoner) (Guy); fig. c. magaidh, a laughing stock; c. céille ná it strae mhargaidh, you might as well be a silly vagrant as a man of deep sense; c. tuisle, a stumbling block; c. scarra, id.

Ceapach, -aighe, -acha, f., a plot of land laid out for tillage, a decayed or denuded wood; a kitchen garden (Con.); a village inhabited by one tribe of relatives (P. O’C); oft. in place-names, as C. Chuinn, Cappoquin, in Waterford; C. na Coire, west of Kenmare.

Ceapadh, -rtha, vl., m., act of seizing, controlling, stoppin; thinking; thought, idea, notion; ní raibh aon ch. agam go, I did not in the least imagine that (Con.); suspicion (ib.); act of forming, training up; iad do ch. ó aois leinbh go diadha, to train them up in virtue from childhood (Donl.); act of lasting, as boots; of composing, of appointing; of dreaming or blocking out stone.

Ceapaim, -adh, v. tr., I stop, catch, seize, control; I think, compose, invent, imagine, resolve, determine on; ceap do shuaimhneas, take your time, al. keep quiet; ná ceap é, do not imagine it; I dress stone; I chip, block out; I form, fashion, train up; c. m’aigne chuige, I make up my mind to it; cheapas im aigne go, I imagined that; I build up, bring about, cause, effect; ceapfaidh an dlighe seo drom ag fearaibh an domhain mar Gholl, this law will cause all men to have backs as strong as Goll; I check, restrain, limit, bound, put in the stocks; ceap na gamhna, keep the calves within bounds (Don.); le n-a cheapadh ó, to restrain him from (N. Con.); I appoint, fix on; ceapadh ’na thaoiseach é, he was appointed leader; do cheapas lá don chruinniughadh, I fixed upon a day for the assembly; I put on a last, as boots.

Ceapaire, g. id., pl. -rí, m., a flat cake; bread and butter; ar chnó ná ar ch. ní dhéanfadh sé an teachtaireacht damh, he would not run my errand for nuts or cake, that is nothing would induce him; c. cneadaighe, a butter cake made for a sick person, esp. for a woman in labour, “groaning cake” (N. Con. folk-tale); c. aráin agus ime, a slice of bread and butter; c. adhmaid, a wooden knob (R.O.); a last-maker.

Ceap-áirithe, a., particular.

Ceapán, -áin, pl. id., m., a stump or pin; a little stock or last; a small plot or field.

Ceapánta, indec. a., stiff, rigid; stubborn, positive; niggardly.

Ceapántacht, -a, f., stiffness; niggardliness.

Ceapóg, -óige, -óga, f., a green plot before a house; any green or bare plot; a quire-song (Contr.); a little stick; c. rámhainne, a worthless or worn-down spade; dim. of ceap; dim. ceapóigín; al. ciopóg, cipeog.

Ceap-órd, m. a sledge-hammer, a hammer for dressing stone.

Ceap-órdacht, -a, f., use of a sledge-hammer; dressing of stone, etc.; gan ch., in a state of crudeness.

Ceap-scaoileadh, m., propagation, descent of a family; development.

Ceap-schoilim, -leadh, v. tr., I propagate; I trace the branches of a family; I develop.

Ceapthach, -thaighe, a., given to planning, conceiving, projecting, framing; inventive.

Ceapuighthe (ceaptha, ceapaithe), p. a., invented, imagined, determined, planned; thought out; intended; selected; appointed; an lá bhí c. aca, the day thay had fixed upon; well-formed; buachaill c., a well-built youth.

—Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, 1927, by Patrick Dinneen

1977 O’Dónaill: Ceap

February 22, 2020

Our democratic system is under attack

Tucker Carlson Tonight, Feb. 21, 2020:

«Our democratic system is in fact under attack. That much is true. But it’s not the Russians who are attacking, it’s not even the Chinese – it’s being attacked by our own ruling class. They’re undermining democracy because they have no choice. If they left it up to voters to decide where to go next, they’d be out of a job tomorrow, because they’ve been terrible stewards of this country – some of them would be in jail. So they’ve got to subvert our system. Their livelihoods depend on it.»

«Trump, Bernie Sanders – the two people who pose at least a credible threat to the way things are – are being tarred by the so-called intel community with Russia collusion.»

«As America’s failing establishment loses its grip on power, They aren’t simply pushing conspiracy theories – though they are – they’re also trying to clamp down on your ability to say what you think is true.»

«Why is the media for censorship? Because they’ve lost control of the story line. They’re no longer the gatekeepers. They’re challenged by the internet, which is hard to corral and control, and so they want to clamp down on it so that they can regain their cartel, monopoly, over information.»

«Economically stratified countries are unstable countries. But recently, there have signs of hope. Wages for low-skilled are growing at the fastest rate in memory right now, nearly 5% a year. For those at the very bottom of the labor pool, those without high school diplomas, wages went up a full 10% last year. This is something that all of us can celebrate. It makes America stronger and less prone to the kind of radicalism we’re now seeing on the horizon. Why are things suddenly getting better? It’s simple. We’re enjoying a tight labor market right now. Immigration to our country is down, employment is up: That means there are fewer available workers. Therefore, employers must pay higher wages to those workers. It’s called supply and demand, the most basic principle in economics. It’s also the healthiest and most efficient way to share the wealth.»

«Nor does our official employment rate tell an accurate story about our labor market. As of tonight, for example, there are 40 million American men over the age of 16 who are out of work. Two-and-a-half million of them say they want a job but can’t find one. More than 7 million of them have left the labor force despite being in their prime working years, 25 to 54. Some of them are just discouraged, others are addicte – to drugs, to video games, or to welfare checks posing as disability payments. Now you can judge these people if you want, but keep in mind they’re our fellow Americans. They built this country, literally. We have an obligation to do everything in our power to help them flourish. But our ruling class, which has betrayed them, would rather pretend that they didn’t exist. These people are dying in huge numbers, no one in Washington cares, least of all Mick Mulvaney. He’d rather replace our American working class with grateful foreigners who will work for less. That way, wages stay low and profits stay high. Donors are happy again.»

February 6, 2020

‘This was the day the fever began to break’ – Mitch McConnell’s remarks on impeachment

February 4, 2020:

These past weeks, the Senate has grappled with as grave a subject as we ever consider: A request from a majority in the House of Representatives to remove the president.

The Framers took impeachment extremely seriously. But they harbored no illusions that these trials would always begin for the right reasons. Alexander Hamilton warned that “the demon of faction” would “extend his sceptre” over the House of Representatives “at certain seasons.” He warned that “an intemperate or designing majority in the House” might misuse impeachment as a weapon of ordinary politics rather than an emergency tool of last resort.

The Framers knew impeachments might begin with overheated passions and short-term factionalism. But they knew those things could not get the final say. So they placed the ultimate judgment not in the fractious lower chamber, but in the sober and stable Senate.

They wanted impeachment trials to be fair to both sides. They wanted them to be timely, avoiding the “procrastinated determination of the charges.” They wanted us to take a deep breath and decide which outcome would reflect the facts, protect our institutions, and advance the common good.

They called the Senate, quote, “the most fit depositary of this important trust.” Tomorrow, we will know whether that trust was well placed.

The drive to impeach President Trump did not begin with the allegations before us.

Here was reporting in April of 2016: “Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet ... [but] ‘Impeachment’ is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”

Here was the Washington Post headline minutes after President Trump’s inauguration: “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”

The articles of impeachment before us were not even the first ones House Democrats introduced. This was go-around number seven. Those previously alleged “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” included things like being impolite to the press and to professional athletes.

It insults the intelligence of the American people to pretend this was a solemn process reluctantly begun because of withheld foreign aid. No, Washington Democrats’ position on this President has been clear for years. ...

Here’s their real position: Washington Democrats think President Donald Trump committed a “High Crime or Misdemeanor” the moment he defeated Secretary Clinton in the 2016 election.

That is the original sin of this presidency: That he won and they lost.

Ever since, the nation has suffered through a grinding campaign against our norms and institutions from the same people who keep shouting that our norms and institutions need defending.

A campaign to degrade our democracy and delegitimize our elections from the same people who shout that confidence in our democracy must be paramount. ...

[I]n reality, both of the House’s accusations are constitutionally incoherent.

The “obstruction of Congress” charge is absurd and dangerous. House Democrats argued that any time the Speaker invokes the House’s “sole power of impeachment,” the President must do whatever the House demands, no questions asked. Invoking executive-branch privileges and immunities in response to House subpoenas becomes an impeachable offense itself.

Here’s how Chairman Schiff put it back in October. Quote: “Any action ... that forces us to litigate, or have to consider litigation, will be considered further evidence of obstruction of justice.”

That is nonsense. “Impeachment” is not some magical constitutional trump card that melts away the separations between the branches of government. The Framers did not leave the House a secret constitutional steamroller that everyone somehow overlooked for 230 years.

When Congress subpoenas executive-branch officials with questions of privilege, the two sides either reach an accommodation or take to the courts.

That is the way this works. ...

And the “abuse of power” charge is just as unpersuasive and dangerous. ...

The Framers explicitly rejected impeachment for “maladministration” — a general charge under English law that basically encompassed bad management; a sort of general vote of no confidence. Except in the most extreme circumstances, except for acts that overwhelmingly shocked the national conscience, the Framers decided presidents must serve at the pleasure of the electorate and not the pleasure of House majorities.

As Hamilton wrote, “it is one thing to be subordinate to the laws, and another to be dependent on the legislative body.” ...

The House Managers argued that the President could not have been acting in the national interest because he acted inconsistently with their own conception of the national interest, a conception shared by some of the President’s subordinates.

This does not even approach a case for the first presidential removal in American history. ...

If Washington Democrats have a case to make against the President’s re-election, they should go out and make it. Let them try to do what they failed to do three years ago and sell the American people on their vision for the country.

I can certainly see why, given President Trump’s remarkable achievements over the past three years, Democrats might feel uneasy about defeating him at the ballot box. But they don’t get to rip the choice away from the voters just because they’re afraid they might lose again.

They don’t get to strike President Trump’s name from the ballot just because, as one House Democrat put it, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach [him], he will get re-elected.” ...

Frankly, it is hard to believe that House Democrats ever really thought this reckless and precedent-breaking process would yield 67 votes to cross the Rubicon.

Was their vision so clouded by partisanship that they really believed this would be anywhere near enough for the first presidential removal in American history?

Or was success beside the point? Was this all an effort to hijack our institutions for a months-long political rally?

Either way — “the demon of faction” has been on full display. But now it is time for him to exit the stage.

We have indeed witnessed an abuse of power: A grave abuse of power by just the kind of House majority the Framers warned us about. ...

[[[[ ]]]]

February 5, 2020:

... The Framers predicted that factional fever might dominate House majorities from time to time. They knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching our Republic.

So they created the Senate. ...

This partisan impeachment will end today. But I fear the threat to our institutions may not. Because this episode is one symptom of something deeper.

In the last three years, the opposition to this President has come to revolve around a truly dangerous concept.

Leaders in the opposite party increasingly argue that if our institutions don’t produce the outcomes they like, our institutions themselves must be broken.

One side has decided that defeat simply means the whole system is broken; that we must literally tear up the rules and write new ones.

Normally, when a party loses an election, it accepts defeat. It reflects and retools. But not this time.

Within months, Secretary Clinton was suggesting her defeat was invalid. She calls our president “illegitimate.”

A former President falsely claimed that, quote, “[President] Trump didn’t actually win ... he lost the election.” And members of Congress have used similar rhetoric.

A disinformation campaign, weakening confidence in our democracy.

The very real issue of foreign election interference was abused to fuel conspiracy theories. For years, prominent voices said there’d been a secret conspiracy between the President’s campaign and a foreign government.

But when the Mueller investigation and the Senate Intelligence Committee debunked that, the delegitimizing endeavor did not stop.

Remember what Chairman Schiff said here on the floor? He suggested that if the American people re-elect President Trump in November, that election will be presumptively invalid as well. ...

They still don’t accept the American voters’ last decision, and now they’re preparing to reject the voters’ next decision — if they don’t like the outcome.

Heads, we win; tails, you cheated; and who can trust our democracy anyway?

This kind of talk creates more fear and division than our foreign adversaries could achieve in their wildest dreams. ...

The architects of this impeachment claimed they were defending norms and institutions. In reality, it was an assault on both.

First, the House attacked its own precedents on fairness and due process, and by rushing to use the impeachment power as a political weapon of first resort.

Then their articles attacked the office of the presidency.

Then they attacked the Senate and called us “treacherous.”

Then [they] tried to impugn the Chief Justice for remaining neutral during the trial.

And now, for the final act, the Speaker of the House is trying to steal the Senate’s sole power to render a verdict.

The Speaker says she will just refuse to accept this acquittal. ... Whatever that means.

Perhaps she will tear up this verdict like she tore up the State of the Union address.

I would ask my distinguished colleagues across the aisle: Is this really where you want to go?

The President isn’t the President? An acquittal isn’t an acquittal? Attack institutions until you get your way?

Even my colleagues who may not agree with this president must see the insanity of this logic. It’s like saying you’re so worried about a bull in a china shop that you want to bulldoze the china shop to chase it out.

And here’s the most troubling part: There is no sign this attack on our institutions will end here.

In recent months, Democratic presidential candidates and Senate leaders have toyed with killing the filibuster — so the Senate could approve radical changes with less deliberation and less persuasion.

Several of our colleagues sent an extraordinary brief to the Supreme Court, threatening political retribution if the Justices did not decide a case the way they wanted.

We have seen proposals to turn the FEC, the regulator of elections and political speech, into a partisan body for the first time ever.

All these things signal a toxic temptation to stop debating policy within our great American governing traditions, and instead declare war on the traditions themselves.

Colleagues — whatever policy differences we may have, we should all agree this is precisely the kind of recklessness the Senate was created to stop.

The response to losing one election cannot be to attack the office of the presidency.

The response to losing several elections cannot be to threaten the Electoral College.

The response to losing a court case cannot be to threaten the judiciary.

The response to losing a vote cannot be to threaten the Senate.

We simply cannot let factional fever break our institutions. It must work the other way, as Madison and Hamilton intended. The institutions must break the fever, rather than the other way around.

The Framers built the Senate to keep temporary rage from doing permanent damage to our Republic.

That is what we will do when we end this precedent-breaking impeachment.

I hope we will not say this was just the beginning.

I hope we will look back on this vote and say: This was the day the fever began to break.

February 2, 2020

Burisma Biden

From Moon of Alabama:

2010 Jul to 2012 Apr — Mykola Zlochevsky’s Burisma Holdings receives lucrative permits for its oil and gas companies while he heads Ukraine’s Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resource

2014 Feb 23 — US-supported coup drives out President Yanukovych

Mar — EU blocks Zlochevsky’s funds among others’

— UK blocks funds of Zlochevsky’s companies, opens investigation against him

Spring — Burisma hires Devon Archer and Hunter Biden (Rosemont Seneca investment firm) as board members (another principal, Christopher Heinz, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, will cut ties with Rosemont Seneca in 2015)

June — Petro Poroshenko becomes President

Dec — Zlochevsky leaves Ukraine after put on most-wanted list

2015 Jan — UK closes case against Zlochevsky and releases companies’ funds

Feb — Viktor Shokin appointed as Prosecutor General

Mar — EU releases Zlochevsky’s and others’ funds

— Hunter Biden meets with US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken

Jul — Hunter Biden meets with US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken

Sep — US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt publicly urges Ukrainian prosecutors to do more against corruption

Oct — US Asst Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies in Congress that Prosecutor General’s office is corrupt

— Shokin announces joint investigation reopening Zlochevsky case

Dec — US Vice President Joe Biden in Kyiv announces $190 million to fight corruption but withholds announcement of $1 billion loan guarantee, says Prosecutor General’s office needs reform

— Shokin transfers one of the cases against Zlochevsky to US-supported National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU)

2016 Feb — Shokin confiscates several of Zlochevsky’s properties

Feb 12 — VP Biden speaks to Poroshenko by telephone, emphasizing the importance of rooting out corruption as obliged by loan guarantee [Biden seems to have conflated this conservation, and perhaps that of Mar 22, with his Dec visit to create his dramatic 6-hours-to-fire-Shokin story]

Feb 17 — Shokin goes on paid leave after being asked by Shokin to resign, which requires parliamentary approval

Feb 18 & 19 — More calls from VP Biden

2016 Mar 1 — Representing Burisma, Karen Tramontano secures meeting with US Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli (overseeing international energy issues) after mentioning Hunter Biden, to discuss ending corruption investigations of Burisma

Mar 2 — Devon Archer (college roommate of Christopher Heinz) meets with John Kerry

Mar 3 — Shokin is back at work

Mar 22 — VP Biden calls Poroshenko

Mar 29 — Parliament approves dismissal of Shokin

May — Yuriy Lutsenko appointed as Prosecutor General

Sep — Ukraine closes case against Zlochevsky

2017 Jan — Case closed against Burisma for 180 million hryvnias (~$6.8 million)

Feb — Burisma hires “former” CIA agent, National Counterterrorism Center director, and Mitt Romney advisor Joseph Cofer Black as board member

Aug — NABU closes case against Zlochevsky

2019 May 14 — Lutsenko says case against Zlochevsky had been reopened some months before

May 20 — Volodymyr Zelensky becomes President

Sep 24 — US House begins hearings to impeach President Trump

January 29, 2020

In time

From This Is Happiness by Niall Williams (2019):

My grandparents never took the electricity. They didn’t act as though there was a lack. They carried on as they were, which is the prayer of most people. They lived in that house until they were carried out of it, one after the other. Because the twelve sons in the corners of the worlds couldn’t reach a verdict, the house was left to itself. The thatch started sagging in two places like consternated eyebrows, brambles overtook the potato ridges and came up the garden, and soon enough in under the front door. Soon, you couldn’t see the house from the road. Soon, too, the bits of hedging Doady had stuck into the ditch to camouflage the broken Milk of Magnesia bottles grew to twelve feet and fell over and grew along the ground then, marrying thorn bushes and nettles and making of the whole a miry jungle. When the roof fell in the crows that were in the chimney came down to see the songbirds sitting in Ganga’s chair eating Old Moore’s and that way becoming eternal. When grown a man, one of the Kellys took out the kitchen flagstones for a cabin he was making. He took out the stone lintel over the fireplace after, and a year later came back for half the gable when he needed good building stones for a wall.

In time, as with all modest places of few votes, Government would be looking the other way when its policies closed Faha’s post office, barracks, primary school, surgery, chemist, and lastly the pubs.

In time, the windmills would be coming. Gairdín na scoile and Páirc na mónaigh would be bulldozed to straighten the bends in the road to let the turbines pass. Any trees in the way would be taken down. Two- and three-hundred-year-old stone walls would be pushed aside, the councillors, who had never been there, adjudging them in the way of the future.

By that time, my grandparents’ house would be another of those tumbledown triangles of mossy masonry you see everywhere in the western countryside, the life that was in them once all but escaping imagining.

January 18, 2020

Why Bernie Sanders would lose to Donald Trump

If Sanders had been allowed to win the Democratic nomination in 2016, it would have been an interesting election: two populists both running against their respective party establishments with a lot of overlap in their platforms, concerning, for example, war, trade, and even the enforcement of immigration laws for the benefit of American workers.

But now in 2020, Sanders has completely adopted the DNC imperative: “Trump is not just a pathological liar, and it’s not just that he is running the most corrupt administration in the modern history of our country, or that he is a racist, sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot. That’s true. But that’s only half the story. The other half of the story is that is that he is a total, 100 percent fraud.” (link) Besides ignoring the fact that he himself was and is still subjected to similar baseless smears, Sanders refuses to acknowledge the overlap of his and Trump’s positions on war, trade, and pro-worker enforcement of immigration laws. In his embrace of the DNC and hatred of Trump, he completely abandoned the latter. And he voted against the USMCA trade agreement that replaces the mutually criticized NAFTA – because, irrelevantly, it doesn’t address climate change! And regarding war, Sanders may occasionally oppose military intervention, but his language repeatedly supports the rationale for it: demeaning other world leaders as thugs and dictators, asserting the USA as necessary to the spread of democracy (which doesn’t reflect much faith in people’s own desire for it, and instead betrays the same tired finger-in-everyone-else’s-pie jingoism by which neoliberal globalism has spread). It is doubtful that he would defy the CIA in any meaningful way but would only continue “humanitarian” intervention, which in action is no different than old-fashioned pillage and slaughter, and in consequence requires virtually permanent occupation since the goal of freedom, democracy, and equality will always remain unattained (especially where the very intervention destroyed (deliberately, as a threat to USA hegemony) the progress that was already being made).

Sanders refuses to acknowledge – and has instead moved away from – not only the concerns that he and Trump had in common in 2016, but also Trump’s progress and achievements on them. He, like all of the Democrats, is running a fantasy campaign. They have so demonized Trump – and his supporters – that they are running against something that doesn’t exist. They are not operating in reality.

In his New York Times editorial board interview (link), Sanders almost acknowledges why voters rejected a continuation of Obama’s failures and took a chance on Trump. But he cannot accept that their choice was informed. He can only explain Trump’s victory as a triumph of racist and sexist demagoguery exploiting desperate people. That requires him to dismiss most voters as deplorable and irredeemable rather than deserving of his interest or concern. Thus Sanders aligns himself with the self-serving ruling elites, not the people.

How did Trump become president? O.K. And I think it speaks to something that I talk about a lot and that is the fact that the — not everybody, but tens and tens of millions of Americans feel that the political establishment, Republican and Democrat, have failed them. Maybe The New York Times has failed them, too.

Brent Staples: That explains the appeal of racism?

Yeah. O.K. What you have is that people are, in many cases in this country, working longer hours for low wages. You are aware of the fact that in an unprecedented way life expectancy has actually gone down in America because of diseases of despair. People have lost hope and they are drinking. They’re doing drugs. They’re committing suicide. O.K. They are worried about their kids. I have been to southern West Virginia where the level of hopelessness is very, very high. And when that condition arises, whether it was the 1930s in Germany, then people are susceptible to the blame game.

To say that it is the undocumented people in this country who are the cause of all of our problems, and if we just throw 10 million people out of the country, you’re going to have a good job, and you’re going to have good health care, and you’ll have good education, that’s all we’ve got to do. So all over the world, Trump didn’t invent demagoguery. It’s an age-old weapon used by demagogues. And you take a minority and you demonize that minority and you blame that minority, whether it’s blacks, whether it’s Jews, whether it’s Latinos, whether it’s Muslims, you name the group — gays? Gays are going to destroy education in America, we all know, yeah. On and on it goes. And you take the despair and the anger and the frustration that people are feeling and you say, “That’s the cause of your problem.”

Now, I think, you raised the question, let me take it a step further. You haven’t asked me, I suppose it’s somewhere on your list, why I think I’m the strongest candidate to beat Trump. Is that on your list of there someplace? Page 2, all right. And that is that there is a hard-core support for Trump, which I’m not going to be able to get through. You’re right. It is racist. It is sexist. I run into that. It’s hard to believe the attitude toward women in some parts of the country. You really would have a hard time to believe it. We’re back into the 18th century in some of these places. It is homophobic. It is anti-immigrant. Do I think I’m going to win those people over? Nah, no way. But do I think we can get a sliver? I can’t tell you how much, 3 percent, 5 percent, 8 percent, of people who voted for Trump because he said, “I am a different type of Republican. I’m not going to cut Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. I’m going to have trade policies that work for workers. We’re not going to be shutting down plants in America.”
But Trump has, unlike his predecessors both Democrat and Republican over the past 40 years, actually followed through on that promise. Insisting that it is not true will not win over voters. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has not betrayed his supporters. Calling people racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant if they still support him or have come to support him is desperate demagoguery itself, and, with a real alternative in the race – which Sanders himself once represented, but no longer does – it will not win.

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P.S.  The other Dems have even less chance.

January 1, 2020

Six common mistakes in Irish | Sé bhotún choitianta sa Ghaeilge

Five years ago, the online Irish culture journal Nós published a short list of common grammatical mistakes (botúin ghramadúla choitianta). They are interesting examples of the unique structure of Irish. Here they are, with translations.



MÍCHEART: Bhí sé ag bualadh mé.
CEART: Bhí sé do mo bhualadh.
Ní féidir le forainm (mé, tú, sé, sí srl.) a bheith mar chuspóir ag ainm briathartha.

“He was hitting me.” A pronoun can’t be the object of a verbal noun (present participle).



MÍCHEART: Theip mé sna scrúdaithe.
CEART: Theip orm sna scrúduithe.
Ní mór an forainm réamhfhoclach ar a úsáid le teip. Agus scrúduithe seachas scrúdaithe an uimhir iolra atá ag scrúdú.

“I failed in the exams.” The verb teip requires the preposition ar. And scrúduithe instead of scrúdaithe is the plural of scrúdú.



MÍCHEART: Bhí an cheist pléite ag an gcoiste aréir.
CEART: Phléigh an coiste an cheist aréir.
Tá rian an Bhéarla ar struchtúr na habairte seo. Ba cheart foirm chaite an bhriathair pléigh a úsáid seachas an aidiacht bhriathartha.

“The committee discussed the issue last night.” The structure of the incorrect example is that of English (“The issue was discussed by the committee last night”). It would be correct to use the past tense of the verb (pléigh) instead of the verbal adjective (past participle).



MÍCHEART: Tá sí pósta le beirt pháistí.
CEART: Tá sí pósta agus tá beirt pháistí aici.
Seo tionchar an Bhéarla arís, i.e. married with two children.

“She is married and has two children.” The incorrect example is the effect of English again.



MÍCHEART: Féachann na fuinneoga tosaigh amach ar an trá.
CEART: Tá an trá le feiceáil ó na fuinneoga tosaigh.
Is fearr gan gníomh a lua le rud éigin neamhbheo.

“The beach is visible from the front windows.” It’s better without making a nonliving thing active. (The incorrect example translates to “The front windows look out on the beach.”)



MÍCHEART: Bhí mé ag caint léi roimh na Nollag.
CEART: Bhí mé ag caint léi roimh an Nollaig.
Ní chuirtear ainmfhocail sa tuiseal ginideach i ndiaidh roimh. Tá sé de nós ag daoine é sin a dhéanamh sa chaint ach níl sé caighdeánach.

“I was talking with her before Christmas.” A noun is not put in the genitive case after roimh (“before”). It’s customary for people to do that in speech but it is not standard.