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Showing posts from January, 2020

Major political Changes in the Offing in America

Major Changes in the Offing        Gerry O’Shea The Greek word peripeteia doesn’t have a clear equivalent in English. For the ancient Greeks it conveyed a major cultural turning point, a time when the body politic pivots from one set of standards or beliefs to something very different. We may be at such a time in American politics. Our whole system of governance is so out of kilter that large numbers of people seem ready for major systemic changes, unlike anything since FDR and the New Deal in the 1930’s. Consider the following indicators of Americans’ serious unhappiness with the status quo. In a recent poll, 44% of voters aged 18 to 21 expressed a preference for a socialist system in America with 42% opting for a continuation of capitalism. Such results would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago at the turn of the new century. These numbers seem to be validated by support for Senator Bernie Sanders, the lone socialist candidate seeking the Democratic nomination. D

The Ideal and the real in Modern Irish History

The Ideal and the Real in Irish History       Gerry OShea   Every country has a story told by its own citizens that marks it as different, setting it apart in some way from other places, usually highlighting positive aspects of the country’s culture or geography or tradition. For the first sixty years or so after independence in 1922, the Irish story promulgated by church and state was that the country had emerged from hundreds of years of abuse and denigration by a foreign   power, but now that the Irish had their freedom the real character of the population emerged – noble and religious people, living a simple but wholesome lifestyle, very different from the pagan country next door. Eamonn De Valera, who was prime minister for about half of the years we are talking about, added to this positive image of Irish life when he engaged in some idyllic imaginings in 1943, praising the image of “comely maidens dancing on the village green.” Frank Duff the founder and drivin