Features

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Features, International

By Jamison Maeda

Sunday 19 Feb marked 75 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order forcibly removing over 120,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes, and sending them to concentration camps. They were sent to the camps, not because they had committed a crime, but because of their Japanese ancestry.

With one week’s notice, American citizens of Japanese decent, allowed to take only what they could carry, were loaded onto trains and buses by soldiers armed with bayonets, and sent to live in the camps for more than three years. These American citizens lost their homes, their possessions, and their livelihoods.

One of the most well-known of these Japanese-Americans is actor/activist George Takei. His grandparents were Japanese immigrants and though he and his parents were American, they were “rounded up” as Takei described it, when he was five years old and loaded onto a train car. After four days they arrived at a concentration camp in Arkansas, far from the California coast where Mr Takei was born.
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Features

Slither

 

The day you slithered from the womb

the Doctor held you aloft, confirmed what we’d feared:

“Madam, it’s a potential Minister for Health.” And newborn you

screamed what we later understood to mean:

“bring me your perforated eardrums, your infected

urinary tracts, and I will set up a committee to look in them.”

But this most recent birth wasn’t the beginning.

Since shortly before time officially began,

you’ve dragged yourself across the top soil.

 

You were present and correct to brush the dandruff

off the Lord Mayor’s hat each time he visited

the municipal Home for Unfortunate Women

whose babies had to be flogged

to couples named Barbara and Algernon,

so as to be prudent with the Parish’s pennies.

 

You were on hand to personally present

the late archbishop with his fifth chocolate biscuit,

last time he visited the much maligned

School for The Blind, which used to be

where the town abattoir now stands.

 

And it was written

in lines later deleted from the Book of Judges

that it would be you who’d flood

our hospitals with avant-garde urologists

who instead of the traditional

(and far more costly) balloon catheter,

and ultrasonic stone disintegration apparatus,

prefer more radical treatments involving

a fishing rod

and an electric hair straightener.

 

Your upcoming marriage the usual

confidence and supply arrangement

you’ve had every other century.

Your fingers are starving worms

patiently awaiting their moment.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

Animal Welfare, Features

On Monday the 6th of February, RTE’s Claire Byrne Live discussed the topic of the hare coursing ban.
The vet working for Irish Coursing Club is very much biased and un-reliable as her salary comes from said company. Organised outside vetting should be the answer.
Mental trauma and state of mind of the animal should be taken into consideration of animal abuse. In the cases where the hare is not physically injured, they can be emotionally traumatised.

hares running
What’s the reason for using a living hare? Other sports, including greyhound racing, use a mechanical lure that travels round the outside of the track on a ground rail. The lure is normally either a stuffed toy or a small plastic windsock in a variety of colours. Greyhounds chase by sight and sound, not scent. If live hare was not used but a fake substitute instead, the greyhounds wouldn’t know that it’s fake.
If the capturing of the hare from the hare coursing’s peoples point of view can be defended as legal hunting, other hunting pastimes, such as clay pigeon shooting, have been using obvious fake pigeons and till this day that pastime still continues widely despite still not using real pigeons.
If the thrill of hare coursing is the dog themselves competing then there should be no need for a living hare. Unless it’s the thought and sight of a defenceless hare being chased, traumatised, possibly injured, and in some cases being killed, then that should be thought of as a criminal/injustice act such as the widely banned blood sport, cockfighting.
The Republic of Ireland is one of the last remaining countries in the world and in the EU, along with Spain , which is known for its horrific blood sports, and Portugal, to allow Hare coursing. Hare coursing is considered a cruel blood sport and is banned in the countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and remains illegal in most civilised nations.
Even though dogs are muzzled, they can still kill the hare by mauling the hare into the ground or tossing its delicate body into the air, and this often happens. In open coursing, greyhounds still remain un-muzzled.

Hare being mauled by dogs
When the hare is being captured for the purpose of Hare coursing, how are the hares restrained? The netting and handling itself is cruel to hares as they are timid and delicate creatures, and can be injured during that time period, or possibly killed. It’s highly doubted that the men capturing the hares are animal lovers and do this activity with gentle care.
Majority of the Irish republic are strongly opposed against Hare coursing.
A poll ran by RTE showed that 68% of people are in favour of banning hare coursing. And 72% condeming it as cruel.

Features

a poem by Kevin Higgins

While gutless others shivered

alone in wardrobes of their own making,

debating whether to kill

by strangling, or have sexual intercourse with,

themselves;

 

you strode into our national crisis

stage left stylish

as a string quartet about to fiddle out

on viola, cello, Stradivarius

something by the late Benjamin Britten;

a set of implausibly perfect teeth attached

to what sounded like a brain.

 

Your intelligence so vast

you had to get the builders in

to extend the dome of your skull

to accommodate a Masters

degree from Harvard.

 

Not content to be the usual

slight disappointment, you reveal

yourself to be the thinking wing

of the Foster and Allen Party; politically flexible

as a cross-community Belfast brothel;

slick as rubbery bacon; aesthetically pleasing

as a Chicken Snack Box thrice reheated

before nine o’clock in the morning

or a third hand pair of trousers grown

pungent with badly digested cabbage;

 

but destined tonight to be wildly applauded

in darkest Arklow by those who’ll have

the shirts torn from their backs

when next the market crashes.