Category: The Other World

Chasing the Dead in Ireland

By Randall Delaware

The Butler Arms Hotel in County Kerry, Ireland, owned by the author’s family since 1916. Photo by Randall Delaware. 

My grandmother, who lived in Derry, New Hampshire, asked me, I think, in late summer of 1984, after I returned from a summer in Europe, “Did you visit Ireland?” I said “No.” And then this woman of 96 years old said, “I suppose everyone I know is dead now anyway.” I felt bad that I didn’t visit my grandmother’s hometown and that I hadn’t any information from relatives to bring to her.

About 2001 or 2002, I received Irish citizenship, and I wanted to learn more about my grandmother’s Ireland. I contacted an American cousin living in Massachusetts, who was the granddaughter of my grandmother’s sister. She was raised Catholic, her grandfather’s religion, yet didn’t know her grandmother was originally Protestant. Her grandmother was baptized through the “Church of Ireland” back in County Kerry in Munster Province in Ireland. This sparked some curiosity, because my grandmother said people “got along.” So I read several books on Ireland, and I learned a lot. This I’ll share with you.

In the late 1500s and early 1600s the English organized two settlements in Ireland. The best known is the Ulster Settlement in Northern Ireland. The settlement in the south, in what is now the Republic of Ireland, was the Munster Settlement. The Ulster settlement rewarded loyalists to England with land. This land, which was confiscated after war, was taken from the wealthy native Irish and the Catholic Church. The land division and grants were given out in roughly three equal amounts between English settlers, Scots settlers and native Irish. The Irish portions was mostly granted in 3,000-acre lots, while the English portions was mostly granted in 2,000-acre lots, and the Scottish portions in mostly-1,000 acre lots, thus giving land to a larger number of Scots. The book “The Plantation of Ulster” by Philip Robinson, a historical geography, gave me greater insight into the history of Northern Ireland.

The Munster Settlement was not easily settled, because many an Englishman didn’t want to venture into Ireland and southwest Ireland was certainly “beyond the pale.” That expression may cause some confusion to the unfamiliar, but just think of “pale” as a protective fence keeping dangerous people outside. At one time anything outside of Dublin was considered “beyond the pale.”

What England resorted to was to send the Palatines, German Protestants from the Rhineland escaping continued war; the Huguenots, French Protestants who fled France for England and other Protestant countries to avoid torture, imprisonment and death for practicing a different religion; and former British soldiers, granted land for military service. Michael MacCarthy-Morrough has written a fine account of this settlement in “The Munster Plantation: English Migration to Southern Ireland, 1583-1641.”

So how did my Protestant ancestors get along with their Catholic co-inhabitants? There were some difficulties, but nothing of the scale and duration of Northern Ireland, which another branch of my family left in the 1700s to move to Maine. These settlers did not own the land that they farmed, because some powerful men in London received the land grants and leased the land to settlers. Typically, these landowners never left England. The settlers not only paid to use the land but also had to pay a tithe or tax on the bounty from their rented land.

My grandmother grew up in County Kerry, although it was County Limerick where the Palatines and others first settled. It’s County Kerry that I want to write about. Perhaps you have heard of the “Ring of Kerry”? Well, that’s the area. The Catholics and Protestants on this western coast got along okay. There was one skirmish, which left one Protestant dead, as told to me by my Irish-born cousin, who, like me, has a Catholic mother and a Protestant father, and is descended from another of my grandmother’s sisters.

When I first met Cousin George, a fellow hobby genealogist, and a Trinity College Dublin graduate with a history degree, he brought me to his parents’ home, where his mother, not a fan of genealogy, admonished us: “Stop Chasing the Dead!”

But anyhow, let me continue. County Kerry was where Daniel O’Connell, the first Irish Catholic Minister of Parliament in London representing Ireland, was born. The O’Connell home is about 10 miles down the road from my grandmother’s birthplace. Daniel O’Connell’s family had a relative, whose family was native Irish but Protestant by choice, which allowed many privileges. O’Connell’s family was wealthy, and very interesting. O’Connell’s uncle, “the Colonel,” was one of the “Wild Geese” who fought for the French in France, a country that England wanted to prevent from getting a foothold in Ireland. “The Last Colonel of the Irish Brigade,” by Morgan John O’Connell, provides a better understanding of this leader of the “Wild Geese.”

Additionally, the O’Connells were smugglers. Cognac was one such item smuggled in, and this Catholic family didn’t hesitate to sell their goods to wealthy Protestants, who had a taste for French spirits. County Kerry also had its small share of Catholic/Protestant weddings. Which church the mother, father and kids went to just depended on the family. One such arrangement was the mother and children going to the Catholic Church and the father going to the Protestant Church. The book “Daniel O’Connell: Nationalism Without Violence,” by Raymond Morley, gives a wonderful description on life in Ireland in the early 1800s.
Life in the early 1900s was different, and many an American of Irish ancestry knows of U2’s song “Bloody Sunday” about the war in Ireland. So what happened in County Kerry? Well, World War I broke out in 1914, and many Irish Protestant and Irish Catholic sons fought in the Great War against Germany. But also during this time period the Anglo-Irish War broke out, which was followed in the early 1920s by the Irish Civil War, which had the IRA fighting the IRA, disagreeing over the division of Ireland into two countries. American-born Eamon de Valera would survive the Civil War, and Michael Collins would die in an ambush. These were two of the great figures in the Irish Civil War. Collins was sent by de Valera to negotiate with the British and was blamed for the division of Ireland into two parts.

What gave rise to Britain’s willingness to grant independence to the 26 counties in Ireland was Germany’s powerful onslaught in France, which required as much manpower as Britain could get. The British, not needing to prolong a big war in Ireland, offered independence if helped by the Irish against Germany.

Anyhow, my grandmother’s uncle, who was a Protestant in Waterville, County Kerry, bought the Butler Arms Hotel in 1916, which is still owned by the family to this day. To buy a hotel during the Anglo-Irish War says something about my family’s relations with Catholics in this area. When my great grandmother died in the 1920s, her obituary noted that the procession was large due to the numerous Catholics attending my great grandmother’s funeral. She was well liked.

The Bay View Hotel in Waterville was also owned by another relative, but was recently sold to purchase another in Killarney, County Kerry. But, if you ever go to Waterville, you’ll see a statue of the actor Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), whose hotel of choice, during his summer vacations, was the Butler Arms Hotel. Waterville is a nice little village on the southwest coast of Ireland, with a nearby golf course. In nearby Caherciveen, which has three spellings and where my grandmother called her childhood home, there is an Englishman named Mr. Cooke, who will take you trap shooting for a fee. He is married to an Irish woman, whom he followed back to Ireland. There are some excellent restaurants nearby; at one, the bartender and wait staff advertise Mr. Cooke’s shotgun shooting business.

Another book, which reads a little like a textbook, but which gives readers a good understanding of the development of labor unions in Ireland, is “The Trade Union Pint: The Unlikely Union of Guinness and the Larkins” by Martin Duffy. The Guinness family, an Irish Protestant family, established the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. The company had always been one of the highest paying companies in Ireland. But, although they continued to be the best paying company in Ireland, they failed to keep sharing their increased wealth with the workers until Jim Larkin Jr. and the Workers Union of Ireland (WUI) persuaded Guinness to change. Jim Larkin Jr. was able to improve working conditions and introduce methods of communication that aided Guinness by allowing feedback from the lowest level of workers to the top level of workers. This turned out to be a win-win situation.

A statue of American actor Charlie Chaplin in Waterville, Ireland. Photo by Randall Delaware.

My last visit to Ireland was a couple of years ago. I was able to travel the country quite cheaply by bus. If you have a liking for history or are into genealogy, you’ll find much of interest in Ireland. Dublin is a great starting location. If visiting cemeteries and taking photographs is your thing, then a car or bus or train will get you there.

Dublin is where the National Archives are held, which possesses the 1901 and 1911 census records. Listed are my grandmother and my great grandparents. My great-grandparents are listed as speaking both English and Irish (or Gaelic, the Latin term).

I hope I provided you with books to read and a better understanding of lesser-known facts. If you ever visit Ireland, the drinking age is 18, so have a pint of Guinness or Baileys Original Irish Cream.


An American’s Perspective on Tunisia and Turkey

By Randall Delaware

In the summer of 1982, after dropping out of college the previous fall, I decided to backpack Europe. My plans were to visit my Ohio Wesleyan University roommate in his home country of Tunisia and then to visit an older coworker from a summer job at a boys’ camp in New Hampshire, who had finished his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale and Columbia and become an American diplomat in Bulgaria.

After landing in Luxembourg and spending a few days at youth hostels, I took the
train south using my European Rail Pass, which I purchased for about $460 and
which provided me with unlimited first class passage for 2 months. Hopping on the train in Basel, Switzerland, I ended up in Palermo, Italy, on the island of Sicily, where I spent two nights with a very kind Italian family. I was introduced to their son by another American at the rail station. From there I boarded the ferry to Tunisia, having as my roommates three Tunisian policemen.
In Europe, one pays for a bed, not a room.

After arriving in Tunisia, I made contact with my college roommate, Jamel. His family lived on the main street of the nation’s capital. His family was very friendly. His sister was a flight attendant for Air France. Tunisia, formerly a French colony, still had
many bilingual Tunisians, able to converse in both Arabic and French. Jamel and his sister were trilingual, adding English to the mix. Tunisia was one of the most liberal of Muslim countries; therefore his sister wore blue jeans and blouses and no head scarf. Jamel’s mother, on the other hand, liked to
wear her head scarf. Working for the airlines and visiting the world, Jamel’s sister was very cosmopolitan.

Continue reading “An American’s Perspective on Tunisia and Turkey”

How Bitcoin Works and Why You Should Care

By Jan Rankowski

If you’re paying attention you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin, but most people either don’t care or don’t understand it as anything more than “magic internet money.” In this article, I’ll give a very brief summary of why you should care, and how Bitcoin works. If you pay attention, you might learn something, or even earn some money from this article.

Why you should care: Bitcoin allows even poor people to get rich quick if they’re smart enough. Yes, that means you, college student with $73 to your name. Before Bitcoin, if you wanted to get into day trading, you’d need a lot of money up front in order to net appreciable gains. With Bitcoin, you can start with only $50 and double that
within a few days if you’re clever about it. If you’re really patient, you can make even more; I bought a measly $200 of Bitcoin when the price was at 1600 — a few months later and the price was at 20,000, and I’d sold for a 1250 percent profit of $2500.

This is a benefit but also a risk. Taking this greater risk also necessarily opens you up to the possibility that you’ll lose everything you’ve invested just as quickly as you could have earned more. In investing, 90 percent of new traders lose 90 percent of their initial investment within 90 days. Bitcoin is extremely volatile, more so than the stock market, because there’s less money in it right now. Tons of people are hiding money from the IRS with stocks, so you need to pour in huge amounts of cash to even see a 3 percent profit — not really worth it to the average person.

Continue reading “How Bitcoin Works and Why You Should Care”

Phi Theta kappa A Mile in Our Shoes, Pt.2

By Dana Abdulhay

Q. What are the most significant factors that contributed to where you are today as a person?
I grow up in a middle-income family that definitely helped me. I feel like I was gifted a lot of opportunities; I had several choices to where I can go to high school. I was able to go to a unique one — it was [a] very personal and very small school with like 400 people, so I made a very intimate relationship with teachers and students, and I feel like that grounded me in appreciating the community. And to the fact that I grew up in a very, very stable home.

Photo by Studs

Q. What kind of experiences have you had in relating with people whose backgrounds are different than yours?
Definitely in high school — even if it was small [it was] very diverse. And because … it’s such an inclusive community, I got to share my experiences with people of different backgrounds. Here at SMCC, working at the tutoring center helps me so much as well, and my work, at a restaurant primarily. We have prerelease workers who are released during daytime to work; most of them have been awesome, and they’re just appreciative to be out and doing something productive … . One friend I made through working at my restaurant, she was an Afghani refugee, and I became very good friends with her and her family — still, to this day.

Q. Have you ever faced difficult challenges, that have prevented you from being who you are?
I have struggled quite a bit with depression in my life, but that’s part of who I am. I don’t know if it challenged who I am. Probably my greatest challenge is financial, and I work a lot, yet I can only afford to be at community college. I still must work and go to school, and it’s incredibly hard to dig out of my financial situation. But I don’t know really if it prevents me from being me. Maybe just a little bit.

Q. Have you ever witnessed prejudice? And whom is the prejudice aimed towards? Have you been a victim of prejudice?
I have witnessed it, especially working in service industry. I saw it on someone else. Definitely witnessed sexism; I haven’t witnessed a large amount of racism, but sexism, I feel like it’s much more easy to pass off as a normal thing. I would say sexism is incredibly common in my life, especially working at a restaurant.

Continue reading “Phi Theta kappa A Mile in Our Shoes, Pt.2”

Email Viruses – How They Work and How to Avoid Them

By Brandon Walp

tech talkWhat exactly is an email virus? An email virus is defined as a virus that is sent with or attached to email communications. Email communications are a way of transmitting messages to someone else electronically, such as through Gmail. An email virus can be designed to cause problems with the computer being attacked and/or allow the attacker to steal personal data from the targeted computer. This form of virus may not be detected by the everyday ordinary eye that is not looking for it. I will discuss examples of email viruses, how they work, how to look for them and how to prevent them.

The Melissa virus was an email virus that was considered to be one of the greatest hacks of all time. It was a macro virus that was distributed as an email that when opened by the target, disabled safeguards in the program called Microsoft Word. On top of that, if the target had the email program called Microsoft Outlook, it would resend the virus to the first 50 contacts in the target’s address book.

The virus came attached to an email with the subject line “Important Message from [the name of someone]” and body text that read “Here is that document you asked for…don’t show anyone else ;-).” If the target clicked on and opened the attachment, the infecting file was read to computer storage.
The ILOVEYOU virus was a worm or script that was disguised as a text document attached to an email. This virus goes all the way back to the year 2000. How it worked was it was an email with the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and an attachment called “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.VBS,” and if the attachment was opened it executed a Visual Basic script that infected the computer. What it did was once the script ran, it emailed itself to the victim’s email contact list and even edited the Windows registry and caused data to be replaced, such as images and Word documents, with copies of itself.

Now that I have explained a couple of email viruses and how they worked, we now need to know how to detect and avoid them. Follow these six steps on how to properly look for a virus within your email.

Step 1: Look closely at the subject line. Don’t click on anything you don’t recognize. If the subject line says something like “CLICK HERE TO CLAIM MONEY,” then it is most likely a virus.

Step 2: Don’t click on any attached files you don’t recognize. A good rule of thumb is if the attached file ends with an extension like .exe or .vbs, DO NOT click it, it is a virus.

Step 3: Be aware of the person sending the email. If you don’t recognize the name or company, do not click it.

Step 4: If you recognize the sender, double-check it by reading it and seeing if there is anything that doesn’t look right.

Step 5: Read the email carefully. Some hackers have the capability of making the email seem like it is sent from a trusted source, but look for spelling and punctuation errors as a sign it might be a virus.

Step 6: Never click or follow a link that you do not recognize. Hackers also use a tactic that involves the virus on a website and will send an email with the link to the infected website. Now, if you’re still not sure you are safe, web antivirus software is out there to do the detecting and preventing for you. Some software may cost a monthly or yearly fee, but there are ones out there for free, too. It’s your cost and your responsibility to choose.


Uninstalling the Uninstallable With Windows PowerShell

By Robert Benn

tech talkWindows 10 comes chock-full of applications and features that support the myriad needs of a vast user base. Unfortunately, Microsoft gives their users scant opportunity to choose which applications they want installed alongside their operating system. Worse still, after installation, some applications cannot be removed by traditional means. Fortunately, users that want to run leaner PCs, or that desire a more tailored experience, do have recourse native to Windows — no third-party applications required.

All user-installed programs and the majority of bundled applications can be removed from a Windows 10 machine via the add/remove utility. Certain programs, however, such as Xbox and Groove Music, have their uninstall buttons grayed out on this menu. Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player don’t even make it onto the list.
For finer control of Windows applications, and of the operating system at large, Microsoft has provided a utility called Windows PowerShell. PowerShell is less intuitive than a wizard, insomuch as it utilizes a command-line interface, but it has the power to alter nearly every aspect of a Windows system. Microsoft refers to PowerShell commands as “cmdlets.”

To get a more complete picture of installed programs, users can run the Windows PowerShell cmdlet “Get-AppxPackage –AllUsers.” This command will return a list of installed application packages for all user profiles. For a more targeted approach, “Get-AppxPackage *[Name]*” will search application package names for the characters between the asterisks. The output of these commands will include the full package name. The full package name can be used in conjunction with the “Remove-AppxPackage [FullPackageName]” cmdlet to uninstall the application. Alternatively, the output of “Get-AppxPackage” can be piped to the “Remove-AppxPackage” cmdlet. Extra care should be taken if using the second method, as PowerShell will attempt to remove all applications that meet the search criteria.

Not all applications can be removed using this technique; Microsoft prevents users from removing applications that will break the core functionality of the operating system. Still others are considered features, and so are not enumerated with the Get-AppxPackage command. Two such features are Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, which can be removed by deselecting them from the Windows features utility available through Control Panel.

Robert Benn Is An Information Technology Major Graduating In May 2018.

To remove Groove Music: Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* Remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.ZuneMusic_10.18011.13411.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbweOr: Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage

Apps and their names in PowerShell:

Office: officehubGet
Skype: skypeapp
Get Started: getstarted
Groove Music: zunemusic
Maps: windowsmaps
Movies & TV: zunevideo
People: people
Phone Companion: windowsphone
Xbox: xboxapp

Tech Talk 1 (Other World)

#MeToo – Taking a Stand Against Women’s Oppression

Courtesy Of International Socialist Organization

womensmarch2018 Philly Philadelphia -MeToo, 2018, February 25. Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 15:33, April 8, 2018 from jpg&oldid=289140009

A new resistance is growing. Ever since the serial abuser Donald Trump assumed the presidency, millions of women and survivors of sexual violence have taken to the streets and lifted their voices in defiance of the status quo. in just over a year, popular consciousness has been transformed, and hundreds of powerful men have been struck down from Hollywood to Washington. There is hope again that sexism and misogyny can be challenged and fought. What will it take to build a movement that can end women’s oppression for good? Join us to discuss how socialists understand sexism, and how we can move forward together toward the liberation of women.