Dublin is a delightful city. But it is backward.
It was warm last night. From the vent, no Arctic air issued at gale force.
So, we did something retrograde…something that you can’t do in most US business hotels: We opened the window.
In through the window drifted a soft, cool breeze from St Stephen’s Green.
As ye sow…
But we couldn’t sleep.
Some people like the comforting sound of church bells ringing in the wee hours. Others wilt into sleep by their grandmothers’ bedtime lullabies. But when you are from Baltimore, you just can’t relax without the noise of police sirens and occasional gunshots; otherwise, you feel something is wrong.
What’s the matter with Dublin?
In Baltimore, our murder rate for the past year hit a record high — 49/100,000 people…or about 25 times higher than here in Dublin. Dublin’s murder rate of 2/100,000 people seems hardly enough.
What’s the problem here?
Have they no deranged Muslims? No trigger-happy police? No drug wars? No scarred veterans?
‘We are not giving in to this violence,’ said Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, as the killings reached to an average of one voter per day.
No…we are aiding and abetting it!
Somewhere in Tennessee fly-over country at this very moment, a preacher must be connecting the dots. He reads the news. He prepares his sermon.
‘Galatians 6:7,’ he begins grimly, his finger eager to wag at the front pew. ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap.’
Meanwhile, down in Georgia, a Baptist pastor has basically the same idea, but more of a Cassandra tone:
‘Hosea 8:7,’ he begins. ‘Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.’
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The problem with these Biblical insights is that they are hard to apply.
What is the wind?
We don’t know…but there is an eerie and unsettling absence of whirlwind here in Dublin. Like a pot of water without a flame, it refuses to boil.
The streets are quiet. As far as we know not a single person was murdered — neither by a citizen, nor a cop, nor by a returned veteran, nor even by a crazed follower of the Prophet Muhammad.
The police here seem especially inactive.
In 2012, to take a year for which we have a number, 410 people were gunned down by police in the US. One source claims that a black man is killed by police once every 36 hours.
In all of Britain, in the same year, only one shot was fired by police. No one was hurt.
And here in Ireland, a Google search reveals only three Gardaí shot dead in the last 20 years…all by Republican terrorists…
As for police killing civilians, we were only able to find nine cases going back a quarter of a century. Surely, Enda Kenny, Ireland’s top man, can do better.
This can be fixed.
Mr Kenny needs to get some drugs and handguns on the streets. Then crack down hard…and build a Gulag of prisons from Donegal to Cork.
Since the 1970s, spending on prisons in the US has gone up three times as fast as spending on education.
A young black man is more likely to get his advanced training in a cellblock than a university.
Enemies, fear, and violence
For more ideas, Mr Kenny should tune into the Republican National Convention. There he can get some clues on how to develop a real culture of enemies, fear, and violence.
Specifically, he should identify some groups — protestants? — as rapists and thieves and suggest expelling them from the country.
He might pick up the idea of a ‘wall’ too, or an ‘Irexit’ — to keep out the immigrants from Eastern Europe who seem to do all the work in the hotels, restaurants, and bars of Ireland.
He needs to muscle up his rhetoric too…add a little vitriol…a little over-the-top fanaticism.
Take former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for example, who spoke on the first day of the Republican Convention.
‘Islamic extremist terrorists,’ he shouted, addressing people who surely weren’t in the audience and were not listening, ‘you know who you are…and we’re coming to get you!’
There, that ust of hot air ought to get the wind moving!
One thing noticeably missing in Ireland is mass murder. We could find no case of it since the 1916 Easter Rising, when British troops killed more than 300 Irish men, women, and children.
Kenny could probably bring a little of America’s mass-murder pizzazz to the Emerald Isle by backing the Coalition of the Damned in the Mideast.
Send some young men and women to Afghanistan so they can be hardened to violence. When they come back…they won’t be able to find jobs. (Who wants to hire someone who only knows how to kill people?)
Instead, the vets kill themselves at twice the rate of the population…and take aim at the police and others, too.
Good luck, Mr Kenny. We can’t say that this program will be better for Ireland, but at least we’ll be able to sleep better when we visit.
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