Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ben & Jerry's Blunder - Black & Tan Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont manufacturer of ice cream, is in hot water with Irish-Americans. A recent story by Reporters Without Borders in the London Independent told of the firm's unbelievable lack of sensitivity in naming a new flavor Black and Tan. Company officials claim they had no knowledge of the name's history. Hard to believe that not a single person there knew a little about what had happened in the past.
The Black and Tans, so named by the Irish because of the colors of their uniforms, were the brainchild of British politician Winston Churchill. Most were British veterans of the First World War and the vast majority were thugs, rapists and murderers. Churchill organized them and sent them to Ireland in the years 1920-22 in the mistaken belief that if they killed enough Irishmen the IRA would wither and die. Fat Winston never saw another country that he didn't believe should be occupied by the British and he was irate that after centuries of occupation the Irish had had enough.
Not everyone in Britain agreed. The London Independent story gave a few examples. A Labour Party commission told of the "insolent swagger" of the Black and Tans, calling them "rough, brutal, abusive and distinctly the worse for liquor." General Frank Crozier resigned in 1921 because the Black and Tans were "used to murder, rob, loot and burn up the innocent because they could not catch the few guilty on the run." Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson said of a conversation with Churchill, "I warned him again that those Black and Tans who are committing very indiscriminate reprisals will play the devil in Ireland, but he won't listen or agree."
Even Churchill's wife Clementine sided with those protesting, telling him, "It always makes me unhappy and disappointed when I see you inclined to take for granted the rough, iron-fisted 'Hunnish' way will prevail."
She was right, those methods didn't prevail. The IRA led by such men as Michael Collins (the big fella) and Eamon de Valera (the tall fella) could not be defeated and soon 26 of Ireland's 32 counties were an independent country forever free of the British.
So what were the Black and Tans really like? One commander told his men, "Innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped, and you are bound to get the right parties some time. The more you shoot the better I will like you, and I assure you no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man." He didn't mention rape, but that was prevalent among the brutes.
And now Ben & Jerry's has named an ice cream flavor Black and Tan. Until they rename it a great many people, me among them, will never again sample their wares. Posted by Picasa

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