St. Patrick’s Day Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    My parents told me that when they were growing up in Ireland the only thing that marked St. Paddy’s Day was the same thing as for other Saint’s days – they had to get up early to go to mass before school. Ireland now has parades and pub specials, but that is in response to American tourists who started coming in the 70’s expecting them.

    The boiled dinner (meat, potatoes and cabbage boiled together in a pot) IS an Irish staple and my mother cooked all sorts. Chicken, spare ribs, regular beef, lamb shanks, ham. Very occasionally she did use corned beef but it’s really an American dish. I assume it is on the menu in Ireland now, but like the parades and the drinking it originated in America.

  2. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve been to Ireland…I’m pretty sure that the drinking originated there… 😀

  3. CSK says:
  4. Rick DeMent says:

    I’m not Irish, but I simply can’t believe that any self respecting Irish man or woman would consider for a moment screwing up a good glass of beer by dumping green dye in it.

  5. CSK says:

    Tomorrow’s the 33rd anniversary of the Gardner Museum heist.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: FWIW, both sides of my family, at least for my age and above, are moderate to light drinkers. I always associate really heavy drinking with the English, more so than even the Scots. The English drink huge amounts and in a pretty public and obnoxious way. The Nordic countries also seem to have very heavy drinkers, but more in private settings. And the Germans strike me as drinking as much and as obnoxiously as the English, but more on special occasions like Oktoberfest (that could be tourists though).

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Okay I got curious, and looking at this list the Irish do rank up there. Germany leads them, but the United Kingdom (they don’t separate England out specifically) while high, trails the Irish by 10%. The US is 15% down from the British. France is very high, but I suspect that for them it is more of a glass of wine with dinner thing than a “let’s go down to the pub and drink until we stagger out and puke on the sidewalk” thing.

  8. CSK says:


    When I lived in Edinburgh for four years, I grew accustomed to seeing drunks staggering around, lying in the gutters, and throwing up in alleyways, particularly after closing time, which was 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday nights.

  9. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: My husband is British, and we visit the UK pretty frequently. What I’ve observed is that consumption is higher there than in the US–whether England or Scotland. Ireland, when we visited there, had similar patterns (fine to have a drink or two with lunch, visit the local after work, have some with dinner, and sure, a whiskey to follow is a good idea…go on a wander at the weekend and take a break, have a half pint of cider, etc.)

    I don’t really recall anyone getting sloppy, but we aren’t exactly night owls so wouldn’t be around for last call!

  10. CSK says:


    Thanks; that chart was very interesting.

  11. CSK says:

    A Scotsman once said to me: “The difference between Scots and Americans is that you Americans drink for pleasure and we Scots drink to get drunk.”

    He said it as if getting drunk was something of which to be proud.

  12. Mu Yixiao says:

    After coming back from China, and finally passing 50, I went in for a “Okay, I’m old, I should have all this looked at” physical. My doctor went through the full list of “things to ask old people”, and when he got to the part about drinking, he prefaced it with “Taking into consideration that we live in Wisconsin… would you say you’re a light, moderate, or heavy drinker?” 😀

  13. Mu Yixiao says:

    In a couple weeks, I’ll be traveling to Seoul for a vacation (and meeting up with a friend). I’m actually going to be there long enough to see the city this time.

    Anyone have recommendations of good local restaurants, or must-try street food?

    On the list so far is spicy fried chicken (with beer), and kimchee cheese toast.

  14. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Today would be a good day for an indictment to drop.

  15. Just nutha ignint says:

    @Mu Yixiao: At the Green Line Subway Yonsei University stop there used to be a toast sandwich stand that made a western omelet type toast sandwich. If it’s still there, that was really good. And find an open air market that makes juk–whichever flavor you prefer is fine. There was a good juk place near the public market at the Seoul National University stop on the same line.

    I lived on the Green Line (the inner city loop, in case they’ve changed colors) for about a year, but I don’t know from restaurants as I usually only ate at shikdang (diners) places and they are uniform. My Seoul friends always wanted to eat euishik (foreign–as in not Korean–food) when I was with them. But if you want a good Middle Eastern restaurant in Itaewon, I’m your guy.

  16. JohnMc says:

    Just saw a Guardian story alleging that Mr Bragg is investigating Truth Social for taking $8million from a Putin-connected fund.

    Sorry unable to link.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    Some day that whodunit will be solved and the paintings recovered, likely from the private collection of some master of the universe.

  18. Chip Daniels says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    But not until he invites nine guests to his private island for a whodunnit party and gets exposed by Benoit Banc.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Repeat with the your choice of Scotch or Irish accent.

    At the pig fair last September, a day I well remember.
    I was walking up and down in drunken pride.

    When my knees began to flutter and I sank down in the gutter.
    There a pig came up and laid by my side.

    As I laid there in the gutter, thinking thoughts I could not utter,
    I chance to hear a passing lady say.

    You can tell the man who boozes, by the company that he chooses
    and with that the pig up and walked away.

  20. Joe says:

    Despite being very nearly 100% Irish, I stopped doing much for St. Patrick’s Day after my two years in Boston where I learned it was a day for the local Irish to get on their knees to thank God they weren’t born Black or Italian.

  21. CSK says:


    Strange, because the Irish were treated worse by the WASPs than any other ethnic or racial group here. You’d think they’d have learned.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Here I’ll repeat my mantra: If the reaction to being mistreated was to treat other people better, we would have had peace on earth millennia ago.

  23. CSK says:


    It would seem more logical to aim your ire at the people who mistreated you. Yeah, yeah, I know.

  24. Kathy says:

    Yesterday we had to upload two proposals. The government website designated for the purpose began to malfunction around 7:30 pm. You could log in, but then it would display an error and not load the main site at all.

    I left at 1:10 am, abandoning my coworkers to carry on.

    I got back in at 8, and learned the site had began to work around 3 am, but intermittently. It returned to normal around 7:50. One proposal, the far larger one, was due at 10. they manged it at 9:45, not even at the last minute.

    The thing is that no matter how much time you were given to prepare and upload your proposal, you’re entitled to every last femtosecond of that time. If the one website where you have to upload it fails, and you can’t upload your proposal in time, there’s a valid complaint and call for an exception to the deadline to be made.

    So, we’re expecting a deadline extension, perhaps, once other participants manage to contact the agency, or the department in charge of the website.

  25. CSK says:


    And Trump is in a rage because DeSantis is making payments to The Babylon Bee.

  26. MarkedMan says:


    It would seem more logical to aim your ire at the powerful people who mistreated you

    I would agree that it is more fair to aim our ire at those who mistreat us, but logical? I mean, they have more power than you! Humans are social animals, and being a social animal is all about group hierarchies. The drive is to obtain the highest position the animal is able to obtain within the hierarchy, and keep it. They keep it by kicking down, because kicking up represents a challenge to the existing hierarchy and must be carefully considered. Kicking down is just reinforcing the current hierarchy and poses no threat to those who can destroy you.

    The amazing thing about humans is not how unjust we are, but that we are in any way just at all. In some places (and, yes, that definitely includes the US) we have created systems and laws and structures that afford even the most downtrodden and despised some basic rights. But those systems are not “natural” and must be fought for every day.

  27. gVOR08 says:

    Do we have a March Madness pool going? I want Fulton County DA Willis on next Wednesday.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Everyone needs someone to disdain. Even Irish someones,….

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: I 100% agree with Andy Samberg’s picks. They start at about the 3 minute mark. His Texas T&A and Duke Nukem picks were especially insightful.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Very few of us ever have the power of position to aim at those who mistreated us, so we have to settle for the **** down stream who has no curtain rod or sparrow and whose box isn’t as sturdy.

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s been my experience that the Finns can drink the Russians under the table….(knowledge courtesy of a train ride from St. Petersburg to Helsinki. Wow.)

  32. dazedandconfused says:

    This produced a reaction in my brain that feels remarkably like a hang-over.

    Scientists demonstrate time reflection of electromagnetic waves in a groundbreaking experiment

    NEW YORK, March 13, 2023 — When we look in a mirror, we are used to seeing our faces looking back at us. The reflected images are produced by electromagnetic light waves bouncing off of the mirrored surface, creating the common phenomenon called spatial reflection. Similarly, spatial reflections of sound waves form echoes that carry our words back to us in the same order we spoke them.

    This feat caused a significant portion of the broadband signals traveling in the metamaterial to be instantaneously time reversed and frequency converted. The effect forms a strange echo in which the last part of the signal is reflected first. As a result, if you were to look into a time mirror, your reflection would be flipped, and you would see your back instead of your face. In the acoustic version of this observation, you would hear sound similar to what is emitted during the rewinding of a tape.

  33. Senyordave says:

    Ripped from Today’s Headlines:
    No, Silicon Valley Bank did not donate ‘more than $73 million to Black Lives Matter’
    The lie is being peddled by the Claremont Institute. When you read the article you find that SVB did not donate any money to BLM or any groups directly associated with it.
    But the right-wing think tank recently launched a database, which it announced in a Newsweek article, meant to track pledges and donations “to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes” that companies have made since 2020, when George Floyd’s murder set off nationwide protests and a reckoning over longstanding racial inequities.
    related causes include the NAACP, the ACLU, and racial reparative initiatives [including] race-based, discriminatory hiring programs; race-based, sub-prime lending; partisan voter initiatives; and DEI efforts.”
    In other words any charity or cause that is not associated with the klan, neo-nazis or the Proud Boys.

  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    As I sign off on this Feast of St. Padraig, I raise a glen cairn of 12-year Redbreast, single pot still, Irish whiskey, and say:

    Slainte agus frad saoradh!
    (To your health and longevity)

  35. Kathy says:

    Here’s a hypothesis:

    People are more willing to tolerate a price increase of a commodity when they have difficulty finding it.

    Say limes are very expensive because a bad season means there are fewer available to sell. Fine. But if you go to the stores and 1) they all have limes all the time, and 2) in about the same amounts they usually do in good seasons, you may reasonably ask where the hell is the shortage, right?

    In contrast, if you couldn’t find them in every store, and the bins were not overflowing with limes, you’d see why they cost more just now.

  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    In my 20s, a group of my friends discovered that St. Patrick’s nephew was also a saint whose feast day was February 7th, so we used to go celebrate St. Mel’s Day, which was exactly like St. Patrick’s Day except the Irish bars weren’t overcrowded

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I realized after I posted that another thing to get if you can find them is Hwang mandu. In English they will sometimes be called “giant mandu” and they are approximately like large Chinese bao. Very tasty and make a good walking lunch. Get one kimchee and one goggi (meat). You may also find regular mandu on street stands. but they are significantly different being made from dough more like a won ton wrap.

  38. JohnSF says:

    It’s really remarkable.
    People that, a decade or so ago, were going on about the importance of objective and invariant ethical standards as the foundation of law, and condemning moral relativism, are now willing to twist anything to score a point.
    And they fail to see what’s happening to them.

    They remind me quite a bit of the French Monarchist/Catholic reactionaries during the Dreyfus affaire 1894/1906, who ended up saying (in effect) “we know Dreyfus is innocent; but his guilt must be upheld to advance our cause.”

    What’s really remarkable is that they can’t see how that worked out: the Dreyfus affair ended up wrecking the credibility of the French monarchists.
    Similar things have happened with other groups, both left and right, who ended up going down a rabbit-hole of self-justification.
    Thing is, a lot of the general public may not care, for a good long while, and a significant minority may buy a ticket on the crazy train.

    But eventually a majority a likely to decide: “you guys are just nuts!”
    See also in the US the eventual majority rejection of formal “Jim Crow”, UK the failure of Tory ultra-Unionism re. Ireland, the decay of falangism in Spain, etc.
    As long as the mechanisms of democratic constitutionalism and governmental change can be maintained, the lunatics tend to get squeezed out.

    But then, the smart lunatics probably now realise that.
    I wonder how much the Claremont guys privately envy the Iranian mullahs or Russian siloviki.

  39. charon says:

    While America is focused on indoctrinating our children with rainbows & pronouns, our adversaries are training their children to be warriors.

    American world dominance is dwindling and the future is not pretty.

    Here is a newsflash, moron.

    We did the same exact thing in the Soviet Union. We were taught to assemble AK-47s. We had grenade throwing in gym class. We had to do military march contests.

    And USSR is dead because the West had Michael Jackson and blue jeans.

  40. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    There really is a Saint Mel. I thought you made it up. Son-of-a-gun.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:


    Part of the fun was everyone thinking we were making it up when we weren’t =3