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Showing posts from June, 2022


  1968                   Gerry OShea The Latinists with good reason named 1968 as annus horribilis, an awful year, a terrible time in America . It started with the Tet Offensive in January when the North Vietnamese launched surprise attacks in thirty-six major cities and towns that completely flummoxed the American and South Vietnamese forces. Tet signaled the beginning of the end for America’s mistaken involvement in that jungle war which a few years later left them scampering to evacuate the country after a major military defeat. At home, huge anti-war protests took place every week, and sections of the big cities were torched as thousands of young Americans came home in body bags. In April, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Atlanta, and two months later Robert Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles. In the spring, President Lyndon Johnson, bewildered by the Vietnam imbroglio, announced that he would reject his party’s nomination for re-election, and Richard Nixon defeated the

American gun Culture

  American Gun Culture                Gerry OShea I have spent about half my life in the United States and the remainder in Ireland. From early on in New York, I was struck by the glaring   differences between the two countries in the area of gun ownership. In America, there are more guns around than people; to be precise, every hundred residents possess, on average, one hundred and twenty firearms. By comparison, in Ireland the number of people owning a gun in the same proportion comes to just seven. The historical context for this Irish number merits reflection. After the Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved in the Dublin parliament in January 1922, a strong minority, who believed that the agreement was a sell-out, took up arms in defiance of the new government and a short but often savage civil war ensued.   To help deal with the crisis, the ruling cabinet set up the Special Infantry Corps (SIC), an armed group of about 4000 men divided into eight battalions, to impose law and orde
  Immigration and Replacement Theories        Gerry OShea  The economic and political impact of immigrants and refugees on American lives has become a lightning-rod issue, sparking strong feelings on both sides of a widening political divide. Many people, nearly all associated with the Republican Party, feel that foreigners, mostly coming from Central and South America, take the jobs of locals and, if allowed to settle, will eventually lead to Democrats stealing political power in Texas and beyond. Opposition to non-white immigrants is often wrapped up in what is now dubbed the Great Replacement Theory. Americans first became aware of this cockeyed idea when far-right activists organized a rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they marched through the center of the town chanting menacingly about Black Lives Matter and Identifying Jews as heading up white replacement strategies. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was murdered by a neo-Nazi driving his car at full speed