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The Burning of Cork

1920 was a bad year for Cork. Well, a bad year for Ireland. But this is about what happened in Cork.

Ireland was fighting the British for its independence and the fighting in Cork was intense. The Burning of Cork by Gerry White and Brendan O’Shea is a rather detailed account of that fighting.

I found the book a bit too detailed for me so I just skimmed it. But there is certainly a lot of information here, including appendices and references.

The violence escalated significantly during that year with Irish republicans attacking crown forces and crown forces attacking the Irish. And retaliation and escalation ultimately resulting in the burning of large parts of Cork.

The Burning of Cork is a detailed account with both testimony of eye witnesses and testimony before Parliament. There was also a documentary of the same name.

At least part of the book is available online courtesy of Google. Or you could seek out the full book or documentary.

Shipwreck off Ireland 1822

Before getting to the shipwreck off Ireland, let me tell you where I read about it. After all the shipwreck is old news and there’s no rush in getting to the story.

I live just outside West Chester, PA and I signed up for emails from a downtown West Chester business association. Even retired guys try to keep up with what is happening locally. Continue reading

Wolfe Tone in America

Theobald Wolfe Tone, better known as Wolfe Tone, was co-founder of the United Irishmen and an Irish revolutionary of the late 18th century.

At first this political movement attempted to unite the both the Protestants and Catholics of Ireland and sought reform to the parliament to give the all Irishmen more rights. After several years the leaders of the United Irishmen realized reform was impossible and sought revolution to gain independence for Ireland. Continue reading

War on Science

There seems to be a war on science. I am a scientist so my bias is to believe something is probable when most reputable scientists in the relevant field say it is true.

Sure, science gets is wrong once every now and then but not very often. Science is a self-correcting process and mistakes are normally discovered pretty quickly. I suppose a betting man would lose a lot of money by betting against something that most scientists agree with. Continue reading

My Irish genealogy website

I am continuing the update of my Irish genealogy website.

The site serves as the County Limerick pages for IrelandGenWeb. In addition, I have a good place to read or post genealogical queries on the name Reidy and its variants. Also some good information of the REIDY, RIEDY, REEDY, READY, etc name.

The site has lots of links and resources for those of us with family from County Limerick.

I had a good bit of information on Irish Genealogy and I expect it will all be there shortly. Right now I have almost everything on the Reidy name moved, a most of what I have on County Limerick, and some general Irish genealogy information.

And it is all free to use.

The Conservatarian Manifesto reviewed

I’ve spent a good amount of time the past few weeks reading this book, thinking, re-reading, and re-thinking my ideas about politics. Although far from being a believer in the right-wing of American politics, I thought this was a very good book.

The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future by Charles C.W. Cooke presents his beliefs that neither conservatives nor libertarians have a coherent solution to good governing. Continue reading

Major update of my website

I’m pretty busy these days updating my website.

The site is a work in progress as I’ve recent changed from HTML to WordPress. In the long-term I think this will be an improvement. I will be able to do more things and hope to improve the site as I learn. But right now my major task is trying to move all the content from my old site.

It is taking longer than expected. And it is also more work than I expected. But I guess that is the price of progress. A good bit of what I had has been moved over but much is still left to be done.

I had a good bit of information on Irish Genealogy and I expect it will all be there shortly. Right now I have almost everything on the Reidy name moved, a good bit on County Limerick, and relatively little on general Irish information and Irish surnames.

When should I take Social Security?

I’ve been doing this blog called the RetiredGuy and I picked that name because I am a retired guy, I like being retired and I wanted to express my opinions on a variety of issues. But despite calling the blog the RetiredGuy, I usually don’t address retirement issues issues in a big way.

But what started me thinking about was an email discussion of when to start taking Social Security among my high school classmates. Most of us are still working but a few (like me) decided to retire early.

So I looked into Social Security because a big question is Continue reading

Politics of potholes

Having just written about potholes, I was wondering why politicians seem to ignore them.

Fixing potholes would seem to be an issue with considerable popular support. I live in Pennsylvania and potholes are a big problem. They make driving dangerous. You could easy lose control of your car while swerving to avoid a pothole or lose control after hitting a big one. Or someone else could and you could end up in the accident.

Nobody likes a pothole. Continue reading

Prevent Potholes

According to AAA (quoted in a report by WUSA ) damage to cars will cost motorists 6.4 billion dollars this year.

Road departments will be busy filling in potholes now that the winter weather is behind us. But would it not be better if we could prevent potholes from forming on our roads.

Can the roads be made to prevent potholes from forming or at least make it less likely? I suspect the answer is YES.
Continue reading

Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans

A case before the Supreme Court  (Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.)  contests whether the state of Texas can decide not to  issue specialty license plates bearing a Confederate battle flag.

At one time license plates (called tags in some locales) just served to identify the car for law enforcement purposes.  But states realized they could make money by allowing those with registered vehicles to pay a bit extra to have specialty license plates with a logo or message on them.

Texas law gives the state the right to reject specialty license plates that are offensive.  But some things are offensive to a few, and others offensive to many.  Is this standard vague?

Some would have no trouble with “Legalize pot”; others might find it offensive.  Lots of folks would be offended by “Go Nazis” (perhaps with a nice swastika)  but others might not be.

Even words that seem noncontroversial to most, could be offensive to someone.  Where does this end?

A related issue would be that since the state is issuing these license plates, does the state appear to be endorsing a message.  If they can decline to issue license plates with a message they disagree with are they inhibiting free speech?

Since someone who would like to use the vehicle as a platform for “free speech” can easily use a bumper sticker, is the state significant interfering with free speech?

More complicated but related issue is state censorship of personalized license plates.  If someone wanted a license plate that used NAZI or some other word deemed offensive as an identifier rather than the seemingly random state issued combination of letters and numbers, that is more clearly an individual message but still issued by the state.  Would the courts see this issues as similar?

Social Security Budget

One of the many things that impressed me when reading Social Security – Get What’s Yours was that the budget for administering Social Security is clearly inadequate.

Budget cuts have caused the Social Security Administration to cut services in a time of growing demand. The baby boomers are getting to retirement age and we can only expect demands on the Social Security Budget to increase. We should expect better from our government.

Secret Science

Let me start by saying that as a scientist I am against the idea of secret science. Science should be an open process and certainly not secret.

But sometimes, it isn’t.   And there is nothing sinister about that.  And certainly no need  to be reformed. However, that is not what this bill is about. If science needed to be reformed and it doesn’t, Congress is the last place I would think of. Continue reading

Newspapers for genealogy

I’ve been doing genealogy and finding things on family members for years. Over a year ago, I decided to try newspapers for genealogy.

Not exactly a new approach. I had used the occasional search of free resources. I did some research on the Library of Congress site. And the New York Times site. The Times does limit you if you don’t subscribe but we do so there was no problem.

I had found a few things Continue reading

Social Security – Get What’s Yours

I just read Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller, and Paul Solman. It was an enjoyable experience.

Yes, I used the words “social security” and “enjoyable” in the same paragraph.

Imagine my surprise when I read this book that I thought would be important but dull and found it enjoyable. The authors not only convey the basic facts about social security and discuss how to maximize your benefits but do so in an entertaining fashion.

If you are unconvinced, Continue reading