Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Pint of Guinness

Well, here I am back in the wooded hills of north Mississippi after two weeks in Ireland, one of which spent in the Ballybofey/Stranorlar area. My host was local historian, poet, and writer, Ivan Knox and his lovely wife Letitia. We were up and down the Finn Valley, to Drumboe, on to Whitehall, down to Castlefin, out to Port Hall and StJohnstown, and then over to Donegal Town, etc. all several times over. Our mission was to visit many of the McCains and their kin throughout the district, which we succeeded in doing. A large Howdy to Jonathon McKane and Mrs James McKane in Drumbo, to James and Irene McKane at Whitehall, to Iain and Joyce McKane at Port Hall, and to the many other McCain relations I visited. It was great also to visit McKane’s Corner and see the lads that still come there for the craic.

I was up in Letterkenny briefly to do be interviewed by Shaun Doherty. The highpoint of that visit was getting to meet Fr Shane Gallagher, who was in the Highland Radio studio being interviewed himself. He’s an impressive young priest and the sort of fellow that makes you have hope for our future. In these days of rapid secularisation of society, it takes courage and grit to walk the path less travelled, to stand for something good, yet Fr Shaun has done just that; our prayers and best wishes to him and his family.

Ivan Knox did inspire me. His knowledge and love for Finn Valley people and their traditions impressed me. One focus of his energy has been the bringing back of the Mummer traditions. This I found fascinating, because in my part of the Diaspora we used to also have Mummers. It has fallen off nowadays, the enormous weight of modernity often pushes aside these wonderful folk customs that mean so much when you stop and think on it and also add to our quality of life. I am going to take a page out of Ivan’s book and see if I can awaken a Mummer tradition here in north Mississippi.

Lastly, I’ll leave y’all with a puzzle. The prize of a pint of Guinness here in Mississippi runs around 2.25 Euros. In Donegal it runs around 4.20 Euros. Figure that one out for me please.

Barry R McCain © 2008
Oxford Mississippi

Barry R McCain can contacted at;

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good Beer from Mississippi

Good beer is serious business. God himself wants Man to have good beer. Now Mississippi is not a place one associates with beer brewing, but I am here to tell you all that it is now. There is now Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln, Mississippi. They make a full range of ales; some that I've had are Indian Summer ale, Southern Pecan ale, Jefferson Stout, Southern Gold ale, and the one that I'll stand up against any ale in the world is Lighthouse Pale Ale.

I had my first Lighthouse Pale Ale at Proud Larry's, just off the Square here in Oxford. What a lovely beer...

Barry R McCain

The Tax Poem

The Tax poem and comment sent to me by a Canadian friend of mine. The poem and comment applicable to the United State and indeed all Western countries. American readers just substitute the word State where there is Provincial. When I am around real people, you know the ones that do the work and keep nations going, the subject of high taxes is constant. The only people who don't complain are those living off the work of others and academics. The Nanny state mentality has taken root throughout the West. It is just socialism, nothing more. It is dressed up now and is called by different names, but it is just the same dysfunctional system that has brought so much mediocrity and worse to the world.

The Tax Poem

At first I thought this was funny...then I realized the awful truth of it. Be sure to read all the way to the end!

Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule.
Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts Anyway!
Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat.
Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think.
Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears.
Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass.
Tax all he has Then let him know That you won't be done Till he has no dough. When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he's laid. Put these words Upon his tomb, 'Taxes drove me to my doom...'

When he's gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax Airline surcharge tax Airline Fuel Tax Airport Maintenance Tax, Building Permit Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Death Tax,
Dog License Tax, Driving Permit Tax, Excise Taxes, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment, Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Gasoline Tax ( too much per liter), Gross Receipts Tax, Health Tax, Hunting License Tax, Hydro Tax, Inheritance Tax, Interest Tax Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Mortgage Tax, Personal Income Tax, Property Poverty Tax, Prescription Drug Tax, Property Tax, Provincial Income Tax, Real Estate Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, Retail Sales Tax, Service Charge Tax, School Tax, Telephone Federal Tax, Telephone Federal, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax, Water Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax...

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.