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Showing posts from August, 2023

The Need for Strong Trade Unions in America

  The Need for Strong Trade Unions in America        Gerry OShea In John Lennon’s fine album titled “Working Class Hero” he bemoans the betrayal of the American working class, “duped by religion, sex and TV” into believing the myth that they, above people in any other country, live in the land of the free and the home of the brave where every man and woman can join the elite. On the same theme of workers’ abandonment in England, “The Red Flag,” the idealistic anthem of the British Labour Party, invites a cynical response from some party supporters that matches Lennon’s bleak words about American capitalist culture. The working class can kiss my ass, I’ve got the foreman’s job at last. Adolph Wagner, a famous German 19 th century economist assessed the burgeoning industrial revolution underway in those years and foresaw good times ahead driven by what is now called “Wagner’s Law” which confidently predicts that when countries get richer people always get better salaries and m
  Muslims in America             Gerry OShea The four current Muslim members of congress are all Democrats. Last year, one of them, Ilhan Omar, unwisely engaged in antisemitic tropes while legitimately lambasting the Israeli Government for its maltreatment of Palestinians, a position with wide support among Americans concerned with human rights. Democrats immediately condemned her flirtation with antisemitism, and she quickly backed down and apologized unreservedly. Kevin McCarthy and other Republican leaders rightly excoriated her for her extreme views and tried to portray her opinions as typical of a far-left coterie of Democratic members of congress, without providing any evidence for that contention.   Amazingly, Republican leaders have shown no outrage at their many members who openly identify with the Christian nationalist movement which, in blatant contradiction to the American constitution, would consign members of non-Christian religions to second-class status in America

The Lundy Principle in Northern Ireland

          The Lundy Principle in Northern Ireland     Gerry OShea In times of crisis, unionism still reverts to the Lundy principle and the predictable rhetoric it entails. In the siege of Derry in 1688 the Catholic forces of the recently deposed James 11 surrounded the largely Protestant city. Its governor, Robert Lundy, wanted to negotiate a surrender because he was convinced that they didn’t have the resources to withstand the siege. Thirteen apprentice boys bravely defied him and asserted their leadership of the dire situation. The siege lasted 105 days. Derry’s inhabitants were reduced to eating dogs “fattened on the flesh of the slain Irish”, as well as horses and rats. Fever swept through the city and multiple thousands died, but the defiant cry of no surrender empowered the protectors of the city until they were relieved by the army of the new king, William of Orange.   Every year in the month of July the Orange Order, led by proud modern Apprentice Boys, celebrates tha

Guns in America

  Guns in America               Gerry OShea I had a surprising encounter with an Irish woman named Maura last week. She is married and living with her husband – also Irish – in a town in Northern New Jersey. They both work in the city, she as an executive with an insurance company and he as a public high school teacher in Manhattan. They have three children under five, two boys and a girl. Their living arrangements include paying an au pair who hails from Mexico and who fits in very well with the family. Their older son will start in their local elementary school this September. She shared with me that her own salary is more than double her husband’s, but she added that his excellent family health coverage, generous pension arrangements and long vacations go a long way to compensate for his paltry monthly cheque. Overall, she described their situation as financially secure, enjoying a satisfactory standard of living and with nourishing roots in the New Jersey community where they