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Showing posts from January, 2019

The Grievance Culture

The Grievance CultureGerry O'Shea
The Senate hearings for the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh started on September 4th last year. Early on in Mr. Kavanaugh's testimony, he accused his opponents of "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" motivated by people seeking revenge "on behalf of the Clintons."
President Trump supported his nominee's assertion by adding that the liberal billionaire, George Soros, was orchestrating the opposition, including paying the protesters. Senator Charles Grassley, the hearings committee chairman, warned that "we will not be bullied by the screams of paid protesters."
It is difficult to believe that at this stage in our mature democracy these bombastic accusations were given credence during confirmation hearings for a justice of the Supreme Court. The outcries by Kavanaugh, Grassley and Trump have all the marks of a grievance culture, of men convinced, it would seem, that Democrats would stoop to the bases…

The Crisis in the Catholic Church

The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Catholic ChurchGerry O'Shea
2018 was a disastrous year for the Catholic Church. The publication of clerical sex abuse reports by state attorneys general combined with widespread stories of cover-ups by bishops and religious order superiors plus revelations about the disgraceful behavior of two cardinals, both child abusers, led to Pope Francis calling a special synod of church leaders which will be held in the Vatican from February 21st to the 24th.
Many Catholics will question whether such a consultative conference in Rome, involving a few hundred elderly males, is the optimum arrangement for solving a massive crisis in a church with more than a billion members. What credibility will the synod recommendations, which will be voted on by male celibate prelates only, have with Catholics in the pews?
The 500th anniversary of the last great crisis in the Christian Church, the Reformation, was commemorated with considerable pomp two years ago. Luther's c…

Joe Biden for the White House

Joe Biden for the White House?Gerry O'Shea
Joe Biden ran unsuccessfully twice for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, at age 76, he is seriously contemplating another campaign to represent his party in the 2020 White House election.
Some recent polls place him well ahead of the field at around 30% while, apart from Bernie Sanders who registers about ten points behind, none of the other presumed candidates exceed single figures in these early indications of support.
Of course, the election is almost two years away and any poll at this stage should be taken with a big grain of salt. Two years before the last presidential election Gallup had Jeb Bush close to the top in the crowded Republican race, and he is still bewildered by the collapse of his well-funded campaign when faced with Trump mockery in the early debates.
Still the Biden team will be well pleased that his possible candidacy has widespread public support. In most previous presidential primaries the eventual nominee …