June Bug Goes to Ireland

June Bug the Terrorist FosterEx Dog and I moved to Ireland today.

We followed Mr. EW by about three weeks, enough time for us to close out the house and for him to get through Ireland’s mandatory two-week quarantine. We intend to stay in Ireland for the indefinite future.

We moved for personal reasons, the two most important having to do with Mr. EW (who has family in Ireland). Those reasons got us 95% of the way to deciding to move.

But that was shortly before armed insurgents streamed into Lansing MI, incited, in part, by the President, trying to undermine sound public health guidelines. It was before a series of increasingly brazen moves on the part of the Administration to undermine rule of law. It was before the Administration and allied governors took affirmative steps to make the coronavirus worse. It was before the President deliberately stoked racism in an effort to divide the country.

We’re not leaving to get away from America. But having made the decision to move, it offers some distance to realize all the things that have become part of an increasingly dysfunctional America — of which Trump is as much symptom as cause — that we’ll leave behind.

Having made the decision, the last few weeks have felt like a rush to get out before a great wave overcame us and submerged us before we moved, most notably European travel restrictions on anyone from the United States, but also the resurgence of COVID itself. Recently, the EU agreed to open travel, but specifically exclude those states — like the US — that have failed to control the spread of COVID, and Ireland is expected to pass new guidelines in coming days that may make flights from the US less frequent. I felt flying on a flight with 40 passengers was an acceptable risk, but such a flight might be too dangerous in the days ahead.

I will be quarantining for 14 days, spending my time between a bedroom and office while Mr. EW shows June Bug the new neighborhood (he took the above picture). Under EU rules, June Bug no longer has a month-long quarantine, she just has paperwork to prove that she’s not bringing diseases that are prevalent in the US but not Ireland. Just us humans have to quarantine now. June Bug’s paperwork — and not the process of getting June Bug into a crate for the trip — proved to be the biggest recent hurdle.

As the fog of the move clears during the quarantine, I hope to catch up on things I’ve noted in passing (though still have a bunch of family things and move-related work to focus on). I don’t expect things at emptywheel to change significantly, but will let you know of administrative details that may change slightly.

Parts of my family, mostly of Irish descent, have been in the US since the famine, arriving in the US between 180 and 117 years ago. Today, during another natural disaster exacerbated by misgovernment, I moved back.

229 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    ah, marcy. i suspected this is what was up, but it doesn’t make it any easier. best to you all on your new path, and i will take some small solace that at some – likely far – future time, we can meet up for a pint on your side of the pond.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There is that Dublin, for example, is one of the top five most expensive cities in Europe. But Dublin is not all of Ireland.

  2. John Paul Jones says:

    “May the road rise to meet you as you go on, etc., etc.” Yes, a cliché, but clichés exist because they store in their hearts a kernel of truth. As an ex-immigrant myself (UK to Canada), I know it can be difficult to adjust, so I wish you luck with all the challenges to come. Looking forward to your next posts, from your new home.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I first heard that at my high school graduation. Ireland’s most famous writer, Anon, was not known for consistency, but one version of that blessing reads,

      May the road rise to meet you,
      May the wind be always at your back,
      May the sun shine warm upon your face,
      and the rain fall soft upon your fields.
      And, until we meet again,
      May God hold you in the palm of Her hand.

    • Jo Chase says:

      I went to Ireland a year after my husband died, with another widow. A beautiful place, for sure. I brought home a print of that prayer, and it is hanging in my bedroom, above the place where I have his ashes. He loved the outdoors, the sun.. Seemed appropriate.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A chunk of my family emigrated to the US after the Irish famine, too. Others have been here longer, some for less time. I’ve heard the Irish Times is worth a read. It will be novel to get Guinness and Harp on tap, not the export recipe, sometimes less than 24 hours old.

    I see that you’ve updated the snail mail address. Will that be forwarded to you or handled by folks in the US? (It relates to stocking the likker cabinet.) Thanks, and Eirinn go Brach.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks. I will wait for a new update or arrangement before refilling the sherry bottle.

    • Eureka says:

      Glad you each asked and answered, because same (along with a letter to the bartender that would probably be long and whiny, as goes life, so best to wait until it would become longer and whinier).

    • pdaly says:

      In emptywheel’s case, I would think Beamish is flowing right about now.
      Marcy, best wishes for the new digs.

      Bmaz, with his car racing background, may be impressed with driving abilities of the average Irishman on those narrow, windy roads. I was certain I was traveling at an unsafe speed when driving through Co. Cork countryside on vacation until I passed a speed limit sign that indicated I was going merely half the speed limit! Minivans were going faster than me.

      • P J Evans says:

        I remember, during that month in Britain, on a barely-two-lane road somewhere in southwest Wales, one with a bend every few hundred feet, seeing a “maximum speed limit” sign…which was 70mph. (Weren’t any other cars out when we were on it, and we weren’t doing anything like that fast.)

  4. pseudonymous in nc says:

    It takes a while for your head to catch up with your body after moving across an ocean or a continent, but it does show up eventually, like a mislaid suitcase. And you often discover that some of the things that get left behind are those you didn’t need and were just carting around. Quarantine’s not a bad thing in that regard. It’s a kind of decompression.

    Things will get politically messy in Ireland as Brexit unwinds, but covid-19 led to emergency reforms of the two-tier hospital system that made Irish healthcare less equitable than most of the EU, and it’s hard to imagine them being rolled back any time soon.

    The creation of EU pet passports made such a difference for immigrants like June Bug, even though acquiring the paperwork and sorting out those very specific travel requirements feels arduous. A lot of British Leave voters will be very mad at Brussels (for irrational reasons) once they no longer have access to them. Or to reciprocal health coverage.

    • Hika says:

      “Things will get politically messy in Ireland …”
      Politics in Ireland has always been messy. Messier than most places.
      Under the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland will be reunited with the Republic upon a referendum vote in NI to that effect. The timing of that referendum is the thing. Demographics suggests that the increase in Catholic population versus Protestant in NI will be sufficient to carry that referendum by about 2024. As the GFA specifies a 6 or 7 year wait after any referendum before another is held, the Commissioner responsible won’t call the referendum until it’s pretty well a certainty to carry.
      The necessary distancing of NI from Great Britain (border checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea; likely people, too) under Brexit arrangements to keep the NI/Republic border open (as required by the GFA) will hasten the process of reuniting Ireland.
      The ‘brains’ running the “Conservative and Unionist Party” are demonstrably not conservative, nor Unionist and only seem to understand greed with a side-order of Russian fealty in service of that greed. A.B.de P. Johnson is still sitting on a report by a Parliamentary security committee into Russian interference in UK elections including the Brexit referendum. The relevant security agencies have all cleared it for publication, so no nat.sec. problems. Just a lot of politically inconvenient facts. About Russians using money and cyberspace to promote leaders who undermine European solidarity. That reminds me of something else I heard about somewhere else…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Dominic hasn’t given Boris permission to publish it yet. He needs to get Aaron and Nigel to OK it first, which is about as likely as Putin voluntarily stepping down. Meanwhile, Dom is busy eviscerating the civil service, in much the same manner that Thatcher gutted the unions.

  5. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Reading with mixed emotions; happy for EW, Mr EW, and June Bug.
    Glad for the update.
    As well as the perspective.

    • David says:

      Dear Marcy,

      I am in shock and very sad, have been reading you daily for so long. I wish you all the best.

  6. Yohei72 says:

    Sorry to hear you’re leaving my lovely home state. Glad to hear you have an exciting new chapter of life ahead of you, in an arguably saner place.

  7. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Best of luck in the transition, moving is hard and stressful. Based on the contents of this site and your Twitter feed it seems like Michigan is losing a resident that cared deeply about the political, financial, and other well-being metrics of those without power.

    Will the focus of the site start including EU surveillance state hijinks or will the coverage mostly stay on the US?

    Ireland has beautiful mountains, quite a nice change from the flat Midwest. And less assault rifles!

  8. Ken says:

    Congrats on moving to some place beautiful; or so I’ve been told. It looks beautiful to me in pics. Take your time getting settled, it’s not like the world is going anywhere or the problems going away anytime soon.

      • bmaz says:

        Welcome new commenter Phred!

        No as to such a suit, but when June/July the Terrorist was here, she did jump up on our glass coffee table and occupy it regally like a queen. With our two bigger dogs looking at her like WTF? It was pretty awesome and wonderful.

        • phred says:

          Why thank you, such a pleasure to meet you, uh, what was your name again? ; )

          I have clearly been away for far too long… When did you get the second dog? I love the fact that JBug took over your house. Clearly, the insertion by her sleeper cell led to the successful coup hoped for by her handlers ; )

        • puzzled scottish person says:

          Small dog, big attitude. Or so I often find. Much like humans, really.

  9. Jaywalker says:

    Will miss the chance to see you from time to time. Hope to see when you are back for a visit and once the plague passes we have a guest room with your name on it. We hope to make it to Ireland one of these days since both my and Ed’s ancestors came from there. If there is every travel again for people who live in shithole countries.

  10. mass interest says:

    Marcy, congratulations, and all the best.

    Hope you are able to explore and enjoy the gorgeous country that is your new home.

  11. P J Evans says:

    Congratulations (I think)!

    I suspect a lot of us would make that kind of move if it were possible.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      I inherited citizenship to another country but it would definitely be a step down & they consider me a draft dodger so I’d have to do two years in their army : (

    • Ruthie says:

      My husband has dual Spanish/American citizenship. If Trump wins in November, we’re definitely leaving – it might take us a few years to pull it off, but it’s gonna happen.

      • e.a.f. says:

        If trump “wins” again, I expect a lot of Americans will leave. Perhaps that is why some want the Canadian/American border to be opened again. Canadians aren’t into it. If Trump “wins” again, I can see BLM people applying for political refugee status in Canada and most likely Dreamers.

        Canada is no longer extraditing people to Hong Kong. I expect there could be changes with the U.S.A. in the future if things continue as they have been. Ms. and Mr. EW and their protector made the right choice.

        B.C. has a shortage of medical staff and teachers and teachers’ assistants. Alberta is going to have a great need for doctors given 42% want to leave the province–the premier cut their salaries by 20% in the middle of a COVID crisis. they can move to a province next door, make more money, better skiing in B.C. and sailing. Just so any one planning to leave the U.S.A. we don’t do guns but we do hand out medical cards with your picture on it and you can walk into any doctor’s office or hospital and be treated for free. We’re not perfect, but our Chief Medical officers are very, very cool.

        I expect Mr and Ms. EW and guard dog extrodinare will find Ireland a wonderful place, at least there is ocean.

  12. Chetnolian says:

    It is such a shame things have got to such a pass that you have to leave your country but I do understand. I suspect I know where that picture is from and if so you have chosen a lovely area.

    I so wish I could say welcome to the EU but our mini Trump and his evil sidekick Cummings have taken the UK out, with Scotland dragged kicking and screaming along with England and Wales.

    Plus everyone who is concentrating really recognises that I as a Scot living in England I will quite soon become an accidental foreigner. Scotland will become a nation again and promptly apply to join the EU. And then the closeness of Scotland and Ireland (the whole island that is) will probably collapse the odd entity in between Scotland and the Republic and England will be surrounded!!
    So good to know you are in the right part of the World, where the almost extinct wish for people to come together still survives.Keep well and safe.

    • puzzled scottish person says:

      I think I know where you are coming from. I used to be a laboratory worker in England until the government decided to privatise most of forensic science. I got enough redundancy money to pay off my mortgage and move back home to Scotland. And then Brexit and coronavirus happened.

      I didn’t plan it but I am really glad I am up here and not subject to Bozza’s shitshow.

      I wasn’t even a Scottish Nationalist – my Mum’s Scottish, my Dad is English – but Boris seems to be on the same sort of nihilistic, me-me-me course as the Orange Blob and I would much rather have Scotland be part of the EU then the UK if that’s what it takes to get a bit of sanity and competence back, and I rather suspect Boris’s legacy is to be the man who broke the Union.

  13. BobCon says:

    That’s a huge change from Michigan weather. I was in Dublin a few years ago in July and loved it, except it had a high of 57F.

    And I guess the winters are mild enough that palms live there happily. Great beer too.

    • Tony Naggs says:

      That’s some kind of deciduous young tree in EW’s photo. :-) Pretty unlikely to see any kind of palm trees in Ireland outside botanical gardens. I have only ever seen a handful in total in the UK.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Palms are common near the south and west coasts of England: Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, and parts of Somerset. Bristol and Bath, for example, have remarkably temperate climates, with pockets of Mediterranean-like climate (Clifton). I imagine there might be similar areas in south and southeast Ireland.

        • BobCon says:

          Digging a little deeper, they’re typically Cabbage Palms, which are certainly not native but can tolerate rare brief freezing spells. They also get planted as ornamental trees as far north in the US as coastal South New Jersey.

        • puzzled scottish person says:

          New Zealand cabbage palms are found at least as far north as Plockton on the West Coast of Scotland. As long as the Gulf Stream lasts, anyway.

          They don’t do so well on my side of the country, I believe, although I did read of somebody on the East Coast planting one by the exhaust of their boiler; it seems to like the heat :-)

        • puzzled scottish person says:

          Apologies if this comes up twice. My first attempt apparently disappeared into The Black Lodge.

          I just wanted to note that palms, specifically New Zealand cabbage palms, can be found as far north as Scotland, for example in Plockton on the West Coast, where they are bathed by the balmy waters of the Gulf Stream.

          How long that will last is another matter, sadly.

      • P J Evans says:

        Yeah, I see no palms there. But fan palms are remarkably hardy – think of the Mediterranean fan palm – and some phoenix (date-type) palms are also.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Palms, but only until global warming shifts the Gulf Stream. Then winters will get back to Michigan normal.

  14. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Erin go bra-less! Sad to see you and your family have departed, just when things are starting to get really exciting–just kidding!

  15. Pete T says:

    All the best to the three of you and extended family. Hope not too many – like none – nearly spent hurricanes pass your way.

  16. Hika says:

    Ms. Wheeler, hope you and your family enjoy settling in and making your new home in Ireland.
    And please keep kicking the pr1cks that need kicking.

  17. Casey McCarthy says:

    Save a spot for us! We may need to follow your lead. Wife’s family is in Dingle peninsula still with their cow farm (rural Dingle).

  18. MattyG says:

    Ah…to the green fields beyond… sniff… I am officially jealous! Best of luck to clan EW!

  19. John Lehman says:

    Please, please, please continue your precious jewelry of informative insights even if they have to cross an ocean and a continent to get to Oregon. Bless you and yours.

  20. Gnome de Plume says:

    Damn! I’m wondering if I present my DNA Results I could move to Germany or another EU country. Most of my family came over in the 1840’s too.

    • JoeyJoeJoe says:

      Ummmm. You’ll need more than DNA results, I’m afraid. Check into the countries where you have ancestors and see how far back you have to go in order to claim. Ireland, for example, allows you to be added to the Foreign Births Register (i.e. become a citizen) with one grandparent born in Ireland.

      Like some other posters here, I’m looking to move there. Got my IRL citizenship in case things went crazy in the US.

      And here we are…

    • Stew McF says:

      Yes, congratulations! I left in 2004 and have never considered going back. The political ups and downs are one thing, but it’s really the healthcare system that makes it feel irresponsible to go back if I have any alternative.

      • Ruthie says:

        Yeah – my son, who has an autoimmune disease, moved to Amsterdam a couple of years ago. He has no intention of coming back, and can’t understand why my husband and I don’t do likewise. Maybe someday.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          If I could afford to live there, I might never leave. It helps if you can swim, like the occasional pickled herring, cheese, gin, coffee, and lots of straight talk, follow the golden rule, and are good at what you do. These days, you have to like crowds, too. People and getting along are still its most important assets, but the architecture is nice, and the health services are normally quite good.

  21. rip says:

    I hope we won’t miss you for too long.

    We’ll look forward to your views from over there. Different problems, different people but still problems and solutions.

  22. Ptayb says:

    This is my first comment. I have been reading this site for a couple of years. And in a strange way feel like I am getting to know you.
    I am sad you have left. As our country crumbles I get strength knowing that first rate minds like yours and your colleagues are fighting for the version of the US that I can recognize. I hope that you will maintain focus and continue your excellent work.

  23. Tom S. says:

    “….The country I was brought up in
    Fell apart and died

    Oh, no
    Ooh, love no longer there
    Cold wind blew away the sun
    That used to warm the air

    Ooh, I’m feeling pretty bad
    Feeling like I lost the best friend
    That I ever had ….” – Chicago

    EW, I’ve lost count of the number of misinformed who I’ve directed to your work on Flynn’s prosecution and plea(s), the Mueller investigation, and the attempt to hold Cheney and his staff accountable for the Plame “outing”.

    I’m half Irish, on both sides. Even half of my Scottish relatives were children of Irish immigrants to the UK coal region (Irish were considered not suitable for coal mining and were employed in nearby chemical plants) before hopping across the wall to Glasgow, from Newcastle-On-Tyne before the generation born in the UK sailed for New York.
    Wish you health and happiness. Looking forward to learning if the mice are any tastier there than in MI. You didn’t say so, but if you’ve kept this news close until now because you’ve “written your mind” much of this century, you are wise and it speaks volumes that publicly presenting verifiable facts is considered so threatening by the executive branch. Truth again is warming up in the batter’s circle.: https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/u-s-district-judge-emmet-g-sullivan-request-for-en-banc-review-of-order-to-dismiss-michael-flynn-case/9f2d0d7b-cf17-4254-89d0-d51507112343/?itid=lk_inline_manual_6
    U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan request for en banc review of order to dismiss Michael Flynn case – Updated Jul 9, 2020 at 3:00 PM

  24. Barbara Grothus says:

    Wow, Marcy. What a big change. I hope the distance will even more finely hone your legendary mad skilz. I have volunteered in my neighborhood HS for many years. One of the first years, the class I worked with read “How the Irish Saved Civilization.” It was pretty much over the heads of the students, but I thought it was a great read. If you haven’t read it, you might enjoy it. All about the love of stories and language, the way the Irish took to written language and more. I look forward to continued enjoyment of your posts and your much appreciated analysis. Happy days for you, Mr. EW and June (or July) Bug. Also, what everyone else said.

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      How the Irish Saved Civilization is an excellent book. It’s even better if you have Irish ancestry. 😀

  25. punaise says:

    Wow! My goodness. Best to you and Mr EW.

    Mme. punaise and I won’t move to France (mostly for financial / business reasons), but having garnered my French passport not too long ago I find some comfort in having a legitimate escape route should things really go to hell in a hand basket here.

    Either that, or promote a West Coast spin-off, but that would be problematic.

  26. Worried says:

    When I saw your post, Ms Wheeler, my wife was sitting nearby and she exclaimed “WHAT??” when I let out a noise.

    I’ve mentioned you often to her over the years and she knows how much I cherish your clear analytical, daring, writings and musings on what the records show who did what, where, and when, and with who.

    I hope you get settled in, find peace and happiness with your husband and puppy, and continue to amaze us with your dogged search for the truth.

    Several Irish ways to say the same thing:

    May the road rise up to meet you

    May you succeed on your road, and my favorite from John Lydon, sometimes called Johnny Rotten

    May the road rise with you

  27. Yogarhythms says:

    Ew, Mr.Ew, Jb,
    Congratulations! So happy for you. My father’s side came over after famine. Tell us the tale after you meet your squire. Xoxo

  28. oldoilfiledhand says:

    Sending wishes of peace and contentment for you, Mr EW and June Bug! We’ll keep the lights on in case you feel like visiting, Thank you for all that you are and all that you do!

  29. Peterr says:

    June Bug’s paperwork — and not the process of getting June Bug into a crate for the trip — proved to be the biggest recent hurdle.

    Given June Bug’s full name (“June Bug the Terrorist Foster Dog,”), you should count yourself lucky June Bug was able to get off the Terrorist Watch List at all.

    *rasing a glass*



  30. posaune says:

    All our best wishes for health, safety, enjoyment and happiness to you and yours!
    I’m really happy for you, mr. empty wheel and Junebug.

    Congratulations! and thank you for all you have done for millions!

    p.s. my dad’s family (protestants from the south) came in 1780 to Charleston; mom’s (catholics from the north) family to ellis island 1905 or so. and when my parents married in 1950, both families expressed deep concern!

  31. Savage Librarian says:

    I don’t know how I could possibly miss you, having never met you, and yet that is exactly the feeling that registered in my mind when I first read this news. So, I imagine you must have a wide range of feelings that are hard to pin down.

    When we moved from Cleveland to Chicago, as young children, my brothers and I had to take speech class to cure what we were told was a Boston accent. To this day we are still told, occasionally, that we have an Irish accent, although nobody there would think so.

    Our great grandfather was from Ireland. He claimed that his grandmother went to college there, but we never knew if that was true. No matter how ridiculous it might sound, I’ve always felt a bit invested in that story.

    When I was a newbie here, this is one of the first poems I shared. I always imagined it being sung as a rollicking Irish pub song. When you’re out of quarantine maybe you can share a few pints with some new friends and give it a go ;-)

    Ways and Means

    You don’t like the applesauce,
    I don’t like the beans,
    I say it’s a double-cross,
    You say ways and means.

    We pass by Pampers on the shelf,
    Today it’s “all Depends,”
    Present, past and future self
    now greets its dividends.

    We’ve seen a host of wonders,
    Mystery still abounds,
    We’ve made a few big blunders,
    Yet we’d like a few more rounds.

    Telomeres will reach their end,
    Our cells won’t subdivide,
    The rosy days of “on the mend”
    Are on the downhill slide.

    They say the hardest thing in life
    is letting go, but then,
    Music from the piper’s fife
    cajoles us home again.

    It’s alpha and omega:
    From beginning to the end,
    Round hole, square peg with
    memory our bookends.

    With memory our book ends.

    • timbo says:

      Very nice. Yes, I too share this sense of loss.

      Thus turn thy hearts to the rising of a sun even knowing it set in the West…

      For some of us our weird is set, and yet for some they set their own…

      And who can judge the best who has not met upon such rocky seas

    • emptywheel says:

      Mr. EW has an Irish accent, but it’s very slight (both because his region has a light accent and because he had been gone so long). Curiously people often misstook it for a Boston accent.

      • Amers says:

        Ah fer fucksake. Also, idjit. Ha. That is all the Irish I know. I got a hollow pit in my chest when I read this. Oddly sad and excited for you. Best to you!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Reminds me of my travels. Having acquired a slight non-American accent, I was catalogued as Canadian. It was said they were like Americans, but with manners.

  32. Eureka says:


    It looks like you’re a county over from one of my ancestor’s places (though that description might near cover the island).

    I am so happy for your EW family, and must admit that I was terrified for JB’s flight until I saw you had commented that the flight staff said she was being treated better than you. I took that to mean she somehow got to fly in the cabin.

    You get to start anew, with all the best butter, cheese, and beer, too: bright, sharp, and dark, as they should be!

    Aside: https://www.thefarside.com/ is back!

  33. Mosey says:

    Congrats on making it to Ireland. Wife and I move from Oregon to BC Canada on August 20. So lucky we can get out of here. The United States gets more dangerous for its inhabitants by the hour.

  34. N.E. Brigand says:

    “Well, well! That is a bundle of news and no mistake.”

    Best wishes in your new home!

  35. pablo says:

    As someone who made the move last August to Berlin for family reasons, welcome. While no longer of the US, and relying on the kindness of strangers in my adopted country, I still follow and am enraged by the events in my country of citizenship. My wife has written off the US, but I won’t, and hope it turns around in November, but MAGAt’s are not going away, that stain will last for decades. Many will die because of the Orange Crush and his aftermath.

    • emptywheel says:

      Likewise. I’m not writing off the country, I think Trump will be turned out in November, but that’s part of why he’s sowing racism, to ensure that if he can’t govern the US (as if he were ever capable!), no one else can either. It’s going to be a tough time ahead.

  36. Duke says:

    Enviously happy for you and sullen for Michigan’s loss. Hope you love Eire as much as the isle will love you back. Both my in-laws came from Ireland in the early sixties. My mother in-law passed before Trump shit all over this nation. She at least did not have to witness five of her six kids succumb Trumps abject horse shit show. She would have been broken hearted for her adopted America.

  37. Philip Munger says:

    Even further from Alaska than before. I hope your incisiveness deepens (hard to imagine) from your new perspective. Best wishes!

  38. Maureen A Donnelly says:

    Marcy, JuneBug, & Mr. EW: CONGRATULATIONS. I was lucky enough to finally get to Ireland in 2018 and I fell HARD in love with the country. So Jealous. Be well and enjoy. If you are in Dublin, please go to #LanigansPub!!! It is the most wonderful pub ever. Fully decorated in wonderful “halloween” type stuff. You’ll love it. Look for a tall Bartender named Conor. You’ll have a grand time. Be Well and Enjoy.

  39. hollywood says:

    I appreciate your knowledge and your commentary, but I don’t understand. OK, there are many issues in Michigan as well as in the US. But we are now at a critical point. It seems Biden can win and we can course correct. You should be here for that. Why not?
    I don’t want to dampen your spirits, but you do realise that Ireland has multiple issues on racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc.?
    So I assume you are moving to the Republic as opposed to Northern Ireland although your post is not clear to me.
    Good luck, but return after Trump is defeated.

    • bmaz says:

      Jeebus. Not everything has to do with Trump, the US or you. People have lives, loves and family too, you know. Stop.

      For everybody, neither Marcy, nor this blog, is disappearing. All will still be here, same as always. That is the beauty of the internet, we can all deal from most anywhere, we always have, and we will all continue to do so.

      • Ed Walker says:

        A-fucking men. I’d move to Paris in a heartbeat if they’d let me (and Jaywalker would go with me.)

        • bmaz says:

          It’s hilarious, we have all been variously at all corners of the US, or even overseas for extended periods, many thousands of miles apart, or all together at once in one living room, restaurant or hotel suite, and nobody knew or cared. But somehow, this is suddenly a freak out moment. I don’t get that.

  40. hollywood says:

    And BTW, do you really want to spend the rest of your days driving on the wrong side of the f’n road?

    • emptywheel says:

      To be honest, I don’t want to drive here at all, unless it’s in a teeny tiny car that’ll fit in the lanes.

      But I’m sure I’ll come around.

        • P J Evans says:

          I spent a month in Britain, with friends who did the driving. One said that “the first week you keep your hand on the gearshift, but after that, it’s easier”. (He had to do it again after we got back.)

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          After a few days, it comes naturally, but it can be like boating: your legs keep compensating for the waves even when you’re back home trying to navigate in the loo. Luckily, the pedals are the same way round, and I found it easier to shift with the left.

          What I found tricky, for starters, was gauging distance on the sides, like how close is my mirror from those on the parked cars to my left. The hard part for me was the country lanes that still have hedgerows. On some of them, you can drive down the middle and still scratch both your doors. In the English West Country, those generally lead down to the beach, so no worries. Just don’t buy a new car.

          • hollywood says:

            You will see an inordinant number of parked cars with outside mirrors that have been knocked off by passing vehicles.

          • Chetnolian says:

            Not in my bit of the West Country they don’t. We just learn to live with it. What happens, here and in a lot of rural Ireland is that with lots of rain the hedges grow fast and are cut in the Autumn/Fall. So about now it all gets really hard.

            But seriuously Marcy be careful for a while if you do drive. It is when it gets easy that on occasions you forget, usually when there is no traffic about- till suddenly there is and it’s coming straight at you.. I did that, fortunately without an accident in Canada last year. That is no doubt what happened to Anne Sakulas,

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              No shoulders? I thought you were a rugby player. Bada boom.

              Near Galway, there will be a few secondary and regional roads, probably the least fun of all. “[T]here is little or no hard shoulder and the verges, hedges and walls encroach onto the road far more than they do elsewhere.” Then there’s the Ag machinery. Occasionally, roads have cat’s eyes, though, which are a delight at night. The US should have more of them.


      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Garda aside, lanes are optional. The left hand is preferred, because by sitting on the right side of the car, you can shift and hold your pint at the same time, nudging the wheel with your thigh. When it comes time to drive rationally, the practical solution will be to prepare for it by driving on the right every other day.

        Like lawyers, bad jokes about supposed Irish foibles are legion. I hope you’ll write a recurring trash talk about learning to live as an expat in a faraway country that is also the center of the universe. You might call it Notes from A Not So Small Island. I also expect to hear great things about the new rugby coach for your local team.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Outdated jokes aside, I found Ireland to be a tough, charming, complex place, familiar and strange, with a lot of good and bad history. Like everywhere else. The IT and business people I worked with were top notch. Property prices are not as high as London’s. It’s not like parts of France, where you could live for thirty years and still be snubbed for being the new kid on the block. It’s not as buttoned down as the Netherlands, also a very attractive place to live, or as hectic as Beijing. Holidays are serious business, local concerns take precedence, and quite often, Irish eyes are smiling.

  41. Tim Cline says:

    Marcy – we will miss you but I think maybe you have made the right choice. My wife and I have a running half-serious game of ‘if we had to move, where would we go?’ Canada figures largely, but wow: Ireland! Best wishes and: May you die in Ireland! (It’s a traditional toast. Seriously. The Google is your friend).

    Tim Cline
    Durham, NC

    • Molly says:

      Sadly, Americans can no longer move to Canada … unless they have an accepted job offer or a very large sum of $$ to start a business. My son has dual citizenship (went to the University of Toronto and stayed) but for now, there’s no legal way for me to move there.

      [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Molly.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • e.a.f. says:

        Molly, in B.C. there is a shortage of medical staff and teachers. Apply. Alberta isnt’ a great place to work these days, but with 42% of the doctors saying they’re leaving, Alberta if you’re a doctor will be hiring some. If people are willing to head north, there are always jobs, but housing is hard to come by–take it with you.

        You might want to have your son check under the Family Class. Its easier if you’re over 65 then to come in that way. I think that class still exists.

        For $850K you can buy your way into Quebec, get off the plane and head anywhere. Not all are happy with it, but Quebec gets you in. the other provinces, you have to purchase an existing business and the owner has to train you.

        The other way is to come as a political refugee. The system is a tad busy so it may take a few years to work your way through the system, in the mean time, you’re here. If Trump is re elected and things really go south, I expect Canada is going to face a real run at the border.

        If you’re of Chinese descent, have a look at the new law. Its dangerous. Canada no longer is extraditing to Hong Kong. People are being advised to not get on Cathy Pacific jets either if they’re “vocal” about China’s human right’s violations.

        Go see a reputable Immigration Lawyer in Canada, or have your son do it, to see if you can get in. If you’re a flat lander the prairies in Canada are cheap and cheerful for purchasing houses.

        Iceland isn’t a bad place to live either. N.Z. and Australia are fine. Europe is just to close to Russia for my tastes.

        • Molly says:

          We have a great immigration lawyer, have applied for the parent/grandparent sponsorship 3 times. I think this is the current version of Family Class but the sponsorship is a farce. For 2 years, it was a lottery (100,000+ applicants, 15,000 offers). Then in 2019, the govt changed it back to first-come, first-served, opening the online application form at noon, and saying to plan on 10 minutes to fill it out. In 5 minutes, the entire program shut down as they’d reached their quota. I tried the self-employed app also but the income requirement was way beyond anything a free-lance editor would make in the Midwest. Having spent my life about 50 minutes from Windsor, it’s strange now to be literally so near, but yet soooo far …

          • bmaz says:

            NZ is absolutely fantastic, but they are pretty buttoned up on long term immigration. Our daughter went for a year, but that was it, and that was before they tightened up further because of Covid.

  42. newbroom says:

    “you can check out any time you like” but…”you can never leave” There’s nothing quite as pagan as an Irish Catholic. ? Have a wonderful life on the ‘olde sod’.

  43. Trevanion says:

    Startled geezer here offers congratulations on moving from national treasure to international treasure. A well thought out picking up stakes can be very good for the soul.

  44. Teddy says:

    Please don’t be a stranger, but continue to be strange.

    Love you and the Wheels! Best wishes, you’re a lucky duck indeed.

  45. CapeCodFisher says:

    Wow. The finest American goes Irish. Best of luck to you and yours. Ireland is blessed yet again. Thanks for all you have discovered about American politics, and to answer a question you posed in a different post “what more could I do?” the answer is “there is nothing more”. Just keep growing. We all admire your insight. Looking forward to more.

  46. ernesto1581 says:

    Bittersweet, to wave a handkerchief at a stranger leaving.
    For those remaining, though, Flann O’Brien (aka Miles na cGopaleen, aka Brian O’Nolan) has some wise words:

    When things go wrong and will not come right,
    Though you do the best you can,
    When life looks black as the hour of night –
    A pint of plain is your only man.

    When money’s tight and hard to get
    And your horse has also ran,
    When all you have is a heap of debt –
    A pint of plain is your only man.

    When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
    And your face is pale and wan,
    When doctors say you need a change,
    A pint of plain is your only man.

    When food is scarce and your larder bare
    And no rashers grease your pan,
    When hunger grows as your meals are rare –
    A pint of plain is your only man.

    In time of trouble and lousey strife,
    You have still got a darlint plan
    You still can turn to a brighter life –
    (altogether, now)
    A pint of plain is your only man.

  47. phred says:

    Sláinte!!! Quite literally, these days ; )

    I have no intention of bidding you any sort of a fond farewell. I have joked for years that I could work from the far side of the moon, if I had a decent internet connection, so I trust that so long as you don’t become too enamored of fresh Beamish at the local pub you will carry on with your remarkable work.

    You are a national treasure, wherever you choose to reside and there is a lot to be said for relocating to be near family as circumstances and opportunities warrant. We wish you and the Mr. and the beloved “foster” dog the all the best in the adventure that is life wherever you choose live it… Cheers!

      • phred says:

        The inability of our hostess to keep track of the keys to the liquor cabinet has been a problem for most of us ; )

        • emptywheel says:

          Every single beer I’ve had so far has been newfangled craft beer.

          Even though the pub on the corner is doing takeaways in 16 oz plastic cups for the COVID.

  48. OldTulsaDude says:

    It’s weird to feel discouraged when someone you really don’t know leaves. Each of us must do what we must. Good fortunes and thank you.

  49. klynn says:

    Please stay safe. I am sending good thoughts your way to make it through quarantine without a hitch.

    Thank you for all you do and will continue to do. Hoping Mr. EW’s family is blessed beyond measure to have you both there.

    • emptywheel says:

      The quarantine is the easy part. The efforts to avoid infection beforehand are the worry.

      I figure if I make it to 5 days I’m probably good. But it’s hard to travel and close out a house without lots of exposure, even if well-distanced.

  50. WitnessWitness says:

    Family, Guinness on tap, the emeraldness, if not the poteen, are all good reasons to move but it’s saddening that the dire political situation at home may have colored the decision.

    A few days ago I came across “Nine ways to oppose Donald Trump” by John Cassidy from December 2016, and was interested to see that one was ‘Support electoral reform’.

    So I can’t help but notice that EW has moved from the country with the worst electoral system to the one with the best. Ireland (uniquely AFAIK) uses ranked choice voting for all elections at all levels, from town council to the Presidency, and has done so for 100 years. Members of the Dail are elected in multi-winner superdistricts. No doubt, the Irish find plenty to complain about – the new coalition seems to have been formed with difficulty – but over the years they have resisted all attempts by pols to revert to the first-past-the-post system. Long may it remain so, for EW to enjoy the benefits and as an example to the rest of us of how it could and should be done.

  51. scribe says:

    Well, good luck.

    It isn’t easy pulling up stakes and moving the whole bit. I did it, alone, across several states some years ago, to a place I’d visited a couple times but where I knew no one. At least you have Mr. Wheel and June Bug along for the ride.

    An ocean is a whole different deal. I remember when I ETS’d back from Germany many years ago to my old home town. For some months thereafter I’d occasionally have the thought pop into my head of “let’s go down to one of the other villages or restaurants or bars” and have to shake that off, once I remembered those villages, restaurants or bars were an ocean-plus away.

    You’re going to have to adjust your sleep schedule if you intend to watch the Bucs, Biebs and Gronk as they will surely get maximal prime-time exposure, meaning staying up 5 hours later on school nights for you.

    Again, good luck.

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t know if the NFL season is really going to come off, but you have to admit, the thought of even aging versions of Brady and Gronk in a Bruce Arians offense might be compelling theater. On any side of the pond.

      • scribe says:

        I think we will have a season.

        King Roger, if he intends to have a season, is going to have to cut a deal with the players to expand the rosters. Or, at a minimum, the practice squads. A look into any past season shows innumerable personnel changes on every team, be it for ineptitude, a better player becomes available, matchups for coming games, or injury. To name 4 reasons not including “sulking”, “being late to meetings”, “saying stuff to coaches” or “bad social media discipline”. The only way to get replacements for players injured or otherwise no longer on the first-string game-day roster will be to have them quarantined before moving them onto the game-day roster. To avoid someone bringing infection with them teams should no longer be able to sign on Tuesday and play on Sunday the guy who was loading beer kegs on Monday.

        And once they expand the rosters, they are going to have to get all those players, minus entourages, into camp and keep them bubbled up there. This is going to be the real pain in the ass. These are mostly men under 25 who are, by virtue of their job, high-status alpha males looking for girls when they’re not playing football. In other words, discipline problems in the making. On the flipside, consider the fury of boxers gone into enforced celibacy before a fight and how something similar will play out in football. If the League still sells violence (it does, don’t kid yourself), with players locked up away from entourages and hangers-on this might be a banner year.

        The threat of being cut and banished from the bubble, which would mean miscreants would be done for the year, period, might work to keep them in line but only after the league had to blow someone up. Korean baseball has been remarkably successful in avoiding infection – their rule says that if someone on a team tests positive for corona, that team is done. Harsh, but effective.

        The flip side of extended camp – which is what this would wind up being – is that the team-building, discipline and play-sharpening would go to a higher level. What I wind up thinking of are old school 60s and 70s training camps, which went on for most of the summer and turned out teams welded into one. We’re seeing a little bit of this with various QBs “having fun” “playing catch”, “tossing the ball around” and otherwise working out with their WRs. The issues King Roger and the players are going to have to work through (after bubbling the teams and expanding their rosters) will be how much contact to allow in drills. This should not be an in-season issue, as teams could be following their normal regimen, but might be during the preseason.

        But, we’ve seen in the past how teams have dealt with (or not) infectious disease. A few years back the Browns had a MRSA problem in their facility locker room and it was a real headache, though limited. I remember hearing something about a tanker truck full of Lysol, but that might be urban legend. But Stiller great Greg Lloyd (leader of their SB XXX team) almost died of MRSA and his career did.

        To the League’s advantage, they are coming “last” in terms of sports dealing with corona – after the various racing sports, Euro soccer, US soccer, golf, Korean baseball, MLB, NHL and NBA. They will get to learn from the other leagues’ performance. I don’t want to say “mistakes” because, after all, this is a new situation and everyone is feeling their way forward to, on the one hand, present their sports and, on the other, avoid contagion.

        I will say, though, that I predict the minute we get live sports on the TV, things will quiet down appreciably. I’m seeing “spring training” baseball games in 10 days, season openers in 12 or 13. Used to be said that religion was the opiate of the masses, referring to church religion. Now, sports have replaced church but the same opiate addiction remains. I for one am looking forward to not having to get up at 3:30 am to watch Korean baseball, the only game in town.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, F1 was on last weekend and it was….okay. The TV feed, in this case Sky, has never really depended on live fans, so that did not really matter. The pre and post race scenes were conspicuously missing the normal 100,000+ fans though. Teams and drivers rusty, but likely better by next round of the circus.

        • BobCon says:

          I’m less sure the NFL will happen. I think the weak spot will be the owners — there are serious GOP types in the cadre, and I suspect some are going to be pushing their teams to undercut NFL rules in the name of a false sense of normalcy.

          I hope I’m wrong. The country could use the example of an institution going to necessary extremes to prevent infections. I think rigorous use of masks, social distancing, and teams forthrightly standing up for employee health would do a lot to remove the stigma of prevention in a lot of places.

      • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

        I live about an hour south of Tampa and figure it’s a 50-50 proposition at this point. Doubt it will be safe for players but the greed of the owners makes it almost certain.

        If you get a chance, check out the NFL Films production on Bruce Arians, great story. He still holds the record for most rushing TDs by a QB from U of Virginia (11 in 1974). Most people think “Michael Vick”! :)

        Good luck to EW and the fam damily in their new venture. Being overseas is a treat in and of itself, imho.

        • bmaz says:

          I’ve seen the Arians thing, and it is every bit as good as you say. He is a really interesting and colorful guy. I hope the NFL comes off this year. Have some doubts, but sure hope so. Am dying to see Brady off the tether and playing loose, even in his old age. Might be a disaster, might be wonderful, but either way it will be compelling theater.

          • hollywood says:

            How many years before Brady starts shilling for some MediCare part D plan or reverse mortgages? He’s already pushing bogus vitamin supplements.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, I KNEW I’d miss GR. We loved our home, our neighbors, our neighborhood. Several times thought about keeping the house, just in case.
      From quarantine, however, that stuff doesn’t hit that hard, yet.

  52. viget says:

    Wow. Many thoughts for you and your family. I hope you enjoy Ireland. Sounds like a great opportunity. I hope the personal issues necessitating the move aren’t too serious, and I will continue to keep you in my thoughts.

    I know what bmaz said upthread, and I’m glad to hear you’re not hopeless about the situation in the US. I was worried that might be the case given the tone of your post. I know there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we’re not privy to, and I just hope you continue to help from across the pond.

    We’ll keep fighting here, FWIW.

  53. John B. says:

    I like thinking of you as an American citizen and a Patriot. Because you are. And the smartest person on the internet. I am glad for you and your family and wish all of you nothing but the best. We do need people like you here though as we all try to make our way through this mess and contagion. We are all better for you and your clear thinking and your talents and hard work. Strange days have indeed found us.

  54. Wm. Boyce says:

    “But that was shortly before armed insurgents streamed into Lansing MI, incited, in part, by the President, trying to undermine sound public health guidelines. It was before a series of increasingly brazen moves on the part of the Administration to undermine rule of law. It was before the Administration and allied governors took affirmative steps to make the coronavirus worse. It was before the President deliberately stoked racism in an effort to divide the country.”

    Well said, and good luck to you, and thank you for all the hard work and incisive analysis in this land of fools.

    I continue run into people who have this optimism about the immediate future of this country, as if the virus is a political problem that will disappear when Trump is defeated. (we can only hope) A lot of people are going to die because of just what you enumerated, and I foresee quite an ugly hunkering down for some time in this country as we struggle with something that’s infinitely worse than it had to be.

  55. Thomasa says:

    Some friends and I have joked about moving to a civilized country for years now. You’ve done it! For me it wouldn’t be for family reasons, though I no doubt have relatives on Jersey. I did add St Helier to my weather app. FWIW it’s 20 and sunny. No it would be to escape the terrorist watch list, neocons, Trump and now Covids (we’re up to 19 now, right). Purely selfish reasons all. But we’ve been gone too long— emigrated to New France, went fishing. If you go visit the continent, go via Jersey if the boats have learned to go around England, it’s charming and you’ll land in St Malo, France, also charming.

  56. Jenny says:

    Congratulations Marcy. A major transformation and a new chapter in your life. Now you will have a new perspective from the other side of the pond. Enjoy beautiful Ireland.

    There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.
    ― Irish saying

  57. Steve13209 says:

    Good luck on your new adventure, EW! I am so jealous though. I have traveled to Ireland a many times on business, north south east and west, and it is a lovely country.

  58. What Constitution? says:

    All the best to you. Have you checked about any words you can’t say on Irish TV?

  59. DAT says:

    For as long as I’ve been reading, (and supporting! A word to the wise!) your blog from northern Indiana I’ve taken comfort in your being just across the state line. Now I’ll continue to take comfort in you still being just across a different state line.
    I raise my milk glass to you.

  60. Rugger9 says:

    Also, don’t forget to go to the Six Nations tournament matches if you get the chance. It makes a difference growing up with the game, and Ireland is damn good.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, I won’t. I’ve been a Rugger but never lived in a Rugby loving nation. So that I look forward to.

  61. jonf says:

    I’m sad, more than I should be, but Trump and AR15 gun culture make me want to join you. Best wishes to you, and please keep writing for those of us who are a little thick on legal stuff.

  62. Hannah says:

    Well.. the last time I looked the USA is not part of Europe… so you have to go through the immigraton process. Unfortunately one cannot just go to wherever one pleases.
    It is not enough to have family there, that does not give you a permanent residence.
    I hope that Ireland is more forthcoming than England, where I used to live for a few years. But I have a German passport as well as the American, so that came quite handy.
    Ireland is very beautiful and the language a bit funny.. but it is much worse in Scotland.
    Have a good start over there :-)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You can bypass immigration if you already hold an Irish/EU passport.

      Ireland is certainly more welcoming than the UK (so is China or France), which is making a fetish out of discovering it is a small island that does not much like foreigners, including the Welsh and Scots.

  63. Stephen Calhoun says:

    May your move provide beneficial increases and enhancements, unique and rewarding experiences, and, replenish your stores of hope and optimism.

    We’ll look forward to hearing about your adventures and of any serendipities.

    (If I had a magic wand my wife and five cats would be off to New Zealand, but, no such wand.)

  64. Mark R Evans says:

    Hey Marcy – Hope your move went well. My wife Ruth and I used to stand around Haisley Elementary for a weekly unofficial dog park with you and Mr EW (to use your pseudonym) back when we had our black lab Shasta and you had McCaffrey (? or something like that)? Always remember that pup for picking up his own leash when he was ready to go.

    Anyway, we just moved to Scotland (Glagow) last year as Ruth is Scottish and a good opportunity presented itself so your announcement post struck a chord with me. Not sure about you, but our move was quite a project and that was well before COVID-19. The dog immigration process was way more complicated than my own, but Ireland might be different. Hope you are both well and resting after arriving. If you find yourself in our neck of the woods, please do reach out and say hi. Cheers and take care.

    • emptywheel says:

      Wild! The move WAS quite a project. But as was perhaps obvious, it has been a focus for some time. We’re in Galway for the moment though that’s an initial landing pad. Dunno where we’ll end up.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Galway, a mere stone’s throw from Doonbeg, though I notice that, typically, the roadway distance is twice the miles a crow flies.

  65. puzzled scottish person says:

    All the best to you and your loved ones, Marcy. Enjoy your beautiful new home.

  66. Adriano says:

    Congratulations. Use the quarantine to watch and read Normal People. I moved from the UK to the US in 1979, I am going back in September.

  67. vvv says:

    Best of luck and lemme note that my Irish friends tell me that, versus here in Chicago anyway, corned boef is not a main entree but rather cheap lunch meat.

    Also, you *will* be forced to choose between Jameson and Bushmill, if whiskey you imbibe.

    Finally and FWIW, I have found I am able in a session to consume more black-and-tan than straight Guinness.

    Double-Secret Probation finally, IMO Ken Bruen is among if not the best of current Irish authors, but ya gotta like the crack, and noir. (John Connolly is also excellent noir with supernatural overtones, but his stories take place in Maine.)

  68. csocks26 says:

    Marcy, best of luck to you. I’m more of an observer than a commenter, but feel compelled to say that I hope to continue to see posts by emptywheel (with highest kudos to all other contributors as well). I’ve been a long time reader of this site and consider it unparalleled in its ability to deliver facts and analysis in a no BS manner.

  69. Naargh Nargo says:

    Oh my. A lurker, mostly, and plenty late to the party here, but I heartily echo all the bittersweet sentiments expressed and all the best wishes for Marcy as we all enter a new chapter together. And a profound Thank You, Marcy, for all you’ve done and will doubtless continue to do ; everyone here is enormously in your debt and in awe of your energy and relentless pursuit of the truth.
    To celebrate, here’s some inspiration from Paul Brady, a kindred spirit if there ever was one :
    (the YouTube closed captions are useless, but you won’t need them) Meanwhile, rest up; there’s much work still to be done !
    Cheers, NN

    • mospeck says:

      Love it –so forthright are the Irish.
      Lotta great pubs over there for sure. Places where they even play the Rattlin Bog.
      Best luck Marcy :)
      Strange with the Irish moving back the other way these days.
      But my one kid lives in Germany and other moves to France in the Fall. It’s a New Slang.
      Hope that if Joe wins that you are his NSA.
      I mean NatSec and Civil Liberties :)

  70. Ewan says:

    I am sure you have thought about it, but do not underestimate the importance of doing things with your American taxes in mind. Remember, you must declare your taxes in the US even if you are not there at all. As an example of an awkward situation that happens: you buy a house somewhere near Galway. Then you don’t like it, and decide to sell it, at a small loss, in euros, and move somewhere else. In the meantime, the dollar dropped compared to the euro, so in dollars, you made a profit. You’ll have to pay taxes on this fictional profit, and also on the profit you fictionally made on your mortgage as well, even though, for all practical purposes, you are out of pocket. and don’t even think about forgetting to declare it, there is FATCA.

    • Ewan says:

      ..it cost Boris Johnson a lot of money in US taxes to move house in London, as he was (is?) an American citizen.

  71. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    Don’t be sheepish about moving to Ireland. I know from prior visits that you will woolly enjoy living there. There is Moher there than than meets the aye, and what meets the aye is quite pleasant.

    (And if you ever need help with tax and FBAR issues I can help steer you in the right direction.)I

      • P J Evans says:

        Imma gonna point you at Diane Duane, US-born writer, living somewhere in Wicklow (her husband is from NI). They have several web pages – one of them is “European Cuisines”.

  72. Pablo in the Gazebo says:

    Last year, in the Before Times, Mrs. Gazebo and I took a somewhat longish vacation in Ireland. Everywhere we went was welcoming, ever person we met was a new friend. Our plan was to take an even longer vacation there and search out realtors as all the bonds that keep us in the US have been broken or passed on. Even our Boston terrier has passed. I had pretty much made up my mind on Killarney.
    We did learn this while we were there: The cows knew the best way to get from one place to another. They made their own ways through the wayside and left a trail. When horses were introduced they followed the same paths, and soon wagons were attached to them, making ruts. So the ruts had to be filled in with dirt and leveled off, and then paved over to make the “modern” roads. That is why none of the roads go in a straight line and why there are no shoulders.
    Either that or the guy driving was doing what the Irish do the best.
    I envy you living on a little island.

  73. Peacerme says:

    So jealous. Inspired. And grateful that I am certain that at least occasionally I will get to live in Ireland-vicariously. I give what I can to support this site. This blog and following it, is one of the best things I ever did in my life. 🙏

  74. LeeNLP says:

    Dear Marcy-

    I dearly wish you the best in your new location, but deep in my heart, even though we’ve never met, I am still a little miffed that you didn’t invite me to come along. :)

  75. icelanterns says:

    End of a chapter but not the story–Michigan and US will miss your physical presence but not the huge impact you’ve had and hopefully will continue to have

  76. Kenter says:


    Thank you for your thoughtful explanation of how your move to Ireland for personal reasons has reframed and informed your views on what’s happening here in the US. I wish you the absolute best in your new digs and continued success, and I appreciate the marketplace of ideas you tender every single day.

    Your thoughts are timely and relevant. For the first two years of Trump’s term I questioned the logic of my friends who wrote about leaving the US and becoming expats due to him and his followers (none did), but the last year has continued to put me back on my heels. We always knew how difficult the transition would be from a world where we white men and women were the majority, ruled with no pushback and were able to shamelessly frame this country as a succession of shining monuments to our own greatness to one where we will no longer be the majority and will to have to reckon with and reconcile a truly horrible history on race, slavery and conquest.

    But holy cow has it gotten rough. For the first time in my 50-odd years on this planet and after years of preaching the virtues of trying to make change within the system, I’m seriously thinking of leaving, to the point that I have been looking at property options with brokers in 3 different countries.

    While I am encouraged by many of the cultural moves that have occurred over the last 4 months, I am equally disturbed by the pushback from Trump, Republican lawmakers and, of course, his base. For me, it all culminated yesterday with Kayleigh McEnany’s statement regarding Trump’s commuting of Roger Stone’s sentence, a flat-out string of lies from beginning to end. This feels like a true tipping point – no more dog whistles, no more classic Trump “people are saying” bullshit-slinging. Nope. Just a bunch of lies, one after the other, stated as absolute fact, plain as day. I guess we always knew it would get to this point, and apparently it’s officially here.

    On one hand, Thomas Fuller wrote that it’s always darkest before the dawn, and one could argue that what we’re seeing is the desperation of white folks who understand that their era is coming to an end. OTOH, I said that in 2016 all the way up until Trump won the Presidency. Gah.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for you comment. I ask you to consider your privilege — the ability to leave when it gets uncomfortable, compared to the lack of privilege Americans who are not healthy white cis-het binary-identified persons. Their lives have always been varying degrees of sometimes uneasy to uncomfortable to miserable. They don’t get to leave; they can’t change the color of their skin, their heritage, their genes, their disability. They’ll be here to slog through to the other side where the future of America waits. It would be easier with allies to help.

      • Kenter says:

        Thanks for this, well stated – I get so caught up in my own head that I forget about this. You’re absolutely right, I have options that many do not, and I will remember that.

        • bmaz says:

          Yep. The grass may be greener on the Emerald Isle, but like everywhere, you still have to mow it. Everywhere has their own problems. The US is pretty screwed up in significant ways, but not in any that are not salvageable.

          People being educated and informed is the first step, the second is, as Rayne intoned, understanding others, and making sure all are included and cared for. They may be baby steps, but the Floyd murder seems to have galvanized many in that regard. It is a start.

          Getting rid of Trump would be another big step. There is a path forward, but it will take a while and a lot of effort from people who care.

  77. e.a.f. says:

    Have a wonderful new home. The wonders of modern communication enables people to continue to work from where ever they want. I expect your life will be less stressful and easier at some levels.

    I am not surprised when people say they’re moving out of the U.S.A. and then doing it. Ireland is a great country and very civilized. enjoy your life there.

  78. williamofockham says:

    Ms. EW,
    I am late to the game. Everyone here loves her/his country. It is tough to see it in such straits for everyone, let alone to be led into such straits. So two small `gifts for your new home from a Scot and an Irishman by gene pool.

    Yeats: A Drinking Song

    Wine comes in at the mouth,
    And love comes in at the eye:
    That’s all we know for truth
    Before we grow old and die.
    I lift the glass to my lips,
    I look at you,
    And I sigh.

    Grace by Jim McCann: A song of love for country and ideal and person. You will probably hear it often.


    [Hi “Williamofockham”. Welcome to Emptywheel, but we would ask that you select an alternate screen name here. We have long had, as in even before this blog formally started, a longtime friend known as William Ockham. So that name is occupied here. Thank you, and do let us know of the change so that everybody knows, because your contributions are sincerely appreciated. Thanks – bmaz]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        “Actually, the [drinking] song is by Yeats.”

        Could that be what the commentator meant by his title – “Yeats: A Drinking Song”

    • bmaz says:

      What in the hell does “Shane” have to do with this post? The movie has nothing to do with Ireland or the Irish. You are quickly becoming a pain in the ass troll, and there is little tolerance for that here.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Maybe hollywood – who never could play volleyball in the danger zone with goose and maverick – is being less literal. Maybe ‘wood imagines that changing the location of a desk and computer is the same as riding off into the sunset. Maybe ‘wood feels abandoned, like a family of dirt farmers, whose blond 5’6″ savior-hero is leaving them to the tender mercies of the next cattle baron who hires a man in black. Naw….You were right the first time.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I’m not more of a film buff than bmaz – he knows the difference between Richard Todd and Richard Carlson, wouldn’t buy insurance from a guy like Hugh Marlowe, and can spot a Dana Wynter in a field of Barbara Rushes. It’s just that he prefers a more obvious connection between post and comment.

            Speaking of which, WTF is a question about the Irish death penalty doing in a post whose topic is, “I know you won’t miss a beat running your site, but don’t be gone too long….I am missing you already.”

  79. tinao says:

    Ahhhh Empy, all the best! Kiss the Blarney stone for me, I could use it. You, on the other hand never have needed it’s blessing.

  80. Epicurus says:


    Your friend has a legendary name! I change my name with due and humble respect! Great group. Yeats may have written a song called “Grace” per Hollywood but the one I referenced was written by the O’Mearas. I am a forever Yeats’ fan and a couple of his poems are remarkably evocative of today’s times. But as a third gift for Ms. EW I would give her Yeats’ Ireland.

    The Lake Isle of Innisfree

    I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
    Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 5
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
    There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; 10
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
    I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

    • bmaz says:

      He is not just my friend, but all of ours here. We do occasionally ask folks to differentiate screen names, especially from front posting contributors, of which Mr Ockham has, even if more usually as a commenter, sometimes been one.

      So, thank you Epicurus. And please do join in often. This place is great because so many people do just that, and, again, thank you.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Welcome! I lurk more than I comment these days, but this is the place that I consider home on the internet. I hope you find it as hospitable as I have.

      • bmaz says:

        Joined. And enthusiastically so as to both WilliamOckham and Epicurus. This kind of interaction is exactly why we still do this. Thank you to both.

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