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Showing posts from November, 2019

It's the Economy Stupid!

It's the Economy Stupid                      Gerry OShea "It's the economy stupid" is remembered as the succinct message James Carville   conveyed to   the Democratic Party workers during Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency in 1992. He felt that the campaign was wasting too much time focusing on esoteric issues of foreign and domestic policy. Instead, he wanted those knocking on doors and indeed the wider national campaign to engage people on kitchen- table issues - jobs, salaries, taxes, education and healthcare. He stressed that these are the real challenges that impact people every day. Carville was certainly not the first to appreciate this approach to a political campaign. When Jimmy Carter ran against the incumbent president, Gerald Ford, in 1976, he highlighted what he called the misery index which he claimed reflected poorly on his opponent. He explained that this measure of progress is derived by adding the unemployment rate to t

Catholic Women Today

Catholic Women Today                          Gerry OShea About 700,00 people leave the Catholic Church in America every year. These are not lapsed Catholics who drift away from their religious roots, but members of the church who choose to leave the belief system they were raised with. There are multiple reasons for these unprecedented numbers, but the most important consideration centers on the dismal failure of the church in dealing with women's issues. Talking recently at a symposium titled   "The Women the Vatican Couldn't   Silence" in Trinity College, Dublin,   former Irish president Mary McAleese, who spent six years in Rome earning a doctorate in theology, bemoaned   how "women were deliberately made invisible and programmed to stay invisible" because of church structures that are "designed to create and maintain the invisibility and powerlessness of women." Speaking to the same packed auditorium, Joan Chittister, a Benedic

Capitalism or Socialism

Socialism or Capitalism                           Gerry OShea When John Healy, the great journalist of a past era from County Mayo, was   faced with a conundrum that wasn't open to any easy explanation he would challenge his readers by asking "Riddle me that!" I thought of Mr. Healy recently as I tried to understand the policy differences   between two of the prominent candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren defines herself as a capitalist "to my bones."   She says that her goal is to radically reform the economic system and make it work for ordinary people. However, Senator Sanders always presents himself as a socialist and points to his commitment to that philosophy as setting him apart from his opponent on the left from Massachusetts. A perusal of the positions of both candidates on the major issues is revealing. Healthcare     Both Sanders and Warren strong