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Old 08-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #106
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Martin Naughton’s far-reaching passions include Irish-America, the values that kept Glen Dimplex out of the global financial mire, and the value of bringing 35,000 fans of American football to Dublin, in league with Don Keough

WE NEVER quite understood them, those Irish-Americans. Giddy as toddlers while touring “God’s own country”, with their guileless questions, their insatiable thirst for the land of The Quiet Man, the search for roots that inevitably led them up some godforsaken boreen and to bemused cousins 10 times removed
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An interview he gave The Irish Times in late 2010, a week after the troika entered Ireland, elicited some trenchant views from him that produced “a huge postbag”, he says now. “And not all of them were positive. But they mostly were.” Back then, he suggested the Dáil should be halved in size and that questions should be asked about the need for a Senate and a standing army. He believed that Ireland had “plenty of politicians and very few statesmen”.

He also had a lash at ordinary people and their sense of “entitlement to everything”, unlike his parents’ generation with their self-reliance and enormous sacrifices.

Two years on, he seems a lot more sanguine, or perhaps just more determined to be positive. “I think we’re much harder on ourselves than other people are. This is not a unique situation here . . . But I never liked the ‘Celtic Tiger’ as a phrase. I thought it was arrogant and I used to go mad when I heard ‘We’re the richest country in the world, therefore we can do this or that’.”

Among the big hitters in corporate Irish-America, he says, “the attitude to Ireland is that we dropped the ball, but it’s always said in a way of regret more than anything else . . . And I think genuinely there’s now a sense of respect that we’re getting our act together, taking the medicine without rioting in the streets and burning down buildings. I think we’d be regarded as very mature about how we voted in the last referendum, ie to carry on doing what we’re doing. But we’ve gone down the greasy pole a fair old bit all the same. I would like a faster pace of action, but we are on the right track.”

HE HEAPS PRAISE on the Irish business-manager class, recalling a time when any company coming to Ireland “had to bring everyone in, from supervisors up; when all we had was cheap labour, nothing else. I think the future for Ireland is bright, but we’ve got to balance the books, sort it out.”

He produces a graphic that shows people’s average earnings in eurozone countries over the past 10 years. This demonstrates, as he puts it, that Ireland has “done better than anyone else in the action we’ve taken”. It shows the mountainous earnings spike of Greece, Ireland and Italy around 2009, followed by a vertiginous drop in Ireland. Proof positive that the medicine has been taken.

Bringing home the 'fighting Irish' - The Irish Times - Sat, Aug 25, 2012
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:02 PM   #107
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Awwww, thanks for that story, MrsS, that's really cool . What luck!

I'm glad the woman's going to be able to afford her procedure, and good for Mr. Warner for doing his own research to see what else can be done to help .
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:32 AM   #108
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An all too familiar and sad story, but with a happy ending.

Body shop repairs bullied Jordan Addison's damaged car for free - UPI.com
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #109
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Sad story turns into a happy, emotional reunion:

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Nicole Culverhouse's story starts 36 years ago in a Bogotá, Colombia. A young girl, she was playing in the park with her brother Jose as her parents worked at a food cart nearby. Her brother ran to get a drink, but Culverhouse stayed behind. That was the last time her family saw her -- until recently.
Nicole Culverhouse Reunited With Her Colombian Family After Being Kidnapped As A Child (VIDEO)
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:35 AM   #110
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Oh, my goodness, how frightening. I can't imagine.

I'm glad she's okay, though, and yay for happy endings and reunions! That's wonderful. Definitely quite a story.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #111
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Prepare for your hearts to turn into mush...

The 50 Most Romantic Photographs Of All Time
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:09 AM   #112
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Awwwwwww . Hard to pick out a favorite, all those stories are awesome. Some of them got me a bit choked up, too.

Also, I agree with Joanne Woodward, a man with a great sense of humor is indeed VERY sexy.

Thanks for sharing that, that was really sweet.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #113
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Will have to take a better look at those on my laptop. Nice to see that photo of the gay soldiers that I had posted here before.

Paul Newman was so sexy. Everything about him, especially his charitable heart.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:33 PM   #114
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Feel absolutely disgusted, that those kids did that to her. Feel good that she's having the last laugh, and that people are reaching out to her like that. God high school is still so awful. I can't wait until they have to face the reality that they're not hot shit and never were. Some people never outgrow it though.

detroitnews.com

September 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Town turns tables on school prank

Whitney Kropp, a free spirit with few friends, was named to the homecoming court as a joke by her classmates, but the tiny farm town of West Branch has rallied around her.

West Branch, Mich. — High school student Whitney Kropp was shocked earlier this month when she was named to the homecoming court.

Her happy surprise turned to humiliation when she learned the reason. The students thought it would be funny if the popularity contest was won by someone who was unpopular.

Kids pointed at her in the hallways and laughed. The boy who was picked with her withdrew.

Students told her that, in case she was wondering why the boy had dropped out, he was uncomfortable being linked with her.

"I thought I wasn't worthy," said Kropp, 16. "I was this big old joke."

Her embarrassment was complete, but it didn't last long.

This tiny farm town an hour north of Saginaw quickly rallied around her.

For the homecoming dance Saturday, businesses will buy her dinner, take her photo, fix her hair and nails, and dress her in a gown, shoes and a tiara.

For the homecoming game Friday, residents will pack the football stadium so they can cheer when she is introduced at halftime.

They will be wearing her favorite color (orange) and T-shirts with messages of support. A 68-year-old grandmother offered to be her escort.

"I am in awe, overwhelmed at the amount of support," said Jamie Kline, 35, who began a Facebook support page. "I never expected it to spread as far as it has."

For Kropp, a sophomore at Ogemaw Heights High, it's been a remarkable transformation.

Before the homecoming vote, she was either ignored or scorned by classmates.

Now, when she isn't fielding yet another free offer from a business, she's being lauded by hundreds of strangers on the support page.

Cast in an unlikely role, she has embraced it. She vowed to continue representing the sophomore class, even if she has to do it alone.

I'm 'a beautiful person'

Kropp was sitting in her geometry class Sept. 13 when the results of the homecoming vote were announced over the school PA system.

Most of the students picked as class reps that day were among the most popular kids in the 800-student school. Then, out of the blue, Kropp heard her name.

She hadn't sought the position. Students were free to vote for anyone in the class.

Perhaps her selection should have made her suspicious. She is a free spirit with few friends. Her black outfits and strange hair colors don't mesh well with other kids in the rural community.

But she has a guilelessness that doesn't see the bad in people, said her mom, Bernice. Her reaction to winning was simple: She was happy.

"The first thing is softhearted," Bernice Kropp said when asked to describe her daughter. "She's just sweet. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body."

Kropp heard that other classrooms had laughed when her name was announced. And then Josh Awrey, a popular football player, quickly withdrew as the other sophomore rep.

Despite all that, she was still excited.

"In the Homecoming Court! " she wrote on her Facebook page. "Little nervous but this is going to be fun "

"Probably not with Josh though," wrote back a sophomore girl.

"He couldnt do it cause of football plus he never goes to homecoming," said Kropp.

"That's not what he told everybody," said the girl.

"what did he say?" asked Kropp.

The other girl didn't respond.

"Oh. Well it don't matter to me anyways," Kropp wrote four minutes later. "I thought it would be awkward anyways."

That night, Kropp's mom found her crying in her bedroom. She no longer wanted to do it.

As a member of the homecoming court, she and other class representatives are dressed formally as they're introduced during halftime of the football game.

Kropp's mom, sister and grandmother told her that she should show up the bullies by going to the game and having a great time. Several friends said the same thing.

Before going to bed, she decided they were right.

"Going to homecoming to show them that I'm not a joke," she wrote on Facebook. "Im a beautiful person and you shouldn't mess with me!"

The school district said it's investigating the incident.

'Team Whitney'

Word of the prank quickly spread through this small town, whose water tower is a yellow smiley face.

Kropp's sister told her friends, who told their parents, who told their friends.

The Facebook support page was created, quickly drawing hundreds of messages of encouragement. The page has more likes (more than 3,500) than the town has people (2,100).

A bank account was opened for Kropp's homecoming expenses but wasn't needed. So many businesses donated services that everything was covered.

Shannon Champagne and another beauty salon worker offered their services and asked other businesses to do the same.

"It really touched me. I can't believe that kids can be so mean and ruthless," said Champagne, 28, a nail tech at Whit's End Hair Studio. "In high school, everything means everything to you. You don't realize that none of it will matter after you leave."

The issue resonated far beyond the town.

It seemed to touch a chord with anyone who had a tortuous experience in high school, which is just about anyone who ever went to high school.

Hundreds of people talked about their own experiences. A 60-year-old Wyandotte man talked about a 1966 bullying incident like it happened a day earlier.

After the uproar in town and on the Web, Awrey, the football player elected with Kropp, changed his mind and decided to remain a class rep.

He said on his Facebook page that he had never wanted to be part of homecoming.

"Im sick of everyone blaming me. I had nothing to do with this," he wrote. "I think what they (students) did is rlly rude and immature."

It's hard to eclipse high school football in a small town but, this Friday, West Branch will give it a try.

Residents will fill the concrete stands behind the high school for the homecoming game against Cadillac High. Some are grads who haven't been to a game in decades.

"We want to make this the best homecoming ever," said Rebecka Vigus, 58, a longtime resident who taught for 22 years in elementary and middle schools.

Like Vigus, many won't be there for the football.

Clutching posters and wearing T-shirts that say "Team Whitney," they will cheer heartily at halftime as a slightly awkward teenage girl in a stunning red dress circles the field in a convertible.

A pariah in the harshest social system in the world — high school — she will be the center of attention on one of its most prominent stages.

Under the Friday night lights.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #115
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Well, if the kids who mocked her don't have the biggest egg on their faces right now! I hope they're feeling deeply embarrassed and ashamed, they deserve to be.

That is great to see people showed such support for the girl like that. Very cool . May she have a good time at her dance, and hopefully some of those kids who treated her badly will wise up and learn from this.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:24 PM   #116
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Concerntrolling indeed. He can think that all he wants about her appearance, but to actually sit there and write that (incredibly condescending) e-mail-well I just don't get it. Worry about your own life dude, and she'll take care of hers. I'm sure she still has the brains to do her job.

The Best Thing You'll See All Day: Local News Anchor Has On-Air Message for Viewer Who Called Her Fat
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #117
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The guy who emailed her must be one miserable a*hole to send that to her. I can't fathom why else he'd do that.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #118
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The guy who emailed her must be one miserable a*hole to send that to her. I can't fathom why else he'd do that.
Oh he's just a fitness buff, have you seen his photo? On my phone now or I'd post it for you. He thinks everyone should look as good as he does, he's just being altruistic.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #119
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Oh he's just a fitness buff, have you seen his photo? On my phone now or I'd post it for you. He thinks everyone should look as good as he does, he's just being altruistic.
LOL!

I've been clicking around, but can't find his pick. Yes, I'd like to see him.

But either way, he's a miserable prick or just plain arrogant to do something like that. Get a life, dude.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #120
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Bringing on more love....

24 Grooms Blown Away By Their Beautiful Brides
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