Demurring to the monstrous gods of capitalism
* Nothing beats spelling it out – especially when the ramifications are all-pervasive, and the potential counter-benefits patently ubiquitous.
Philip O'Neil (Letters, April 8) sustains his relentless 'missive-mission' with another 'tonic-tablet' of weathered wisdom.
Hitting the societal nail squarely on the head with a firm evocation of some key home truths permeating in and around the modern penchant for free-market materialism, he lays it clearly on the line.
"Moral sensitivity does not sit easily with unfettered capitalism; it tends to subvert it." Ne'er a truer sentiment uttered.
Chalk it down, boom it from the mountain-tops, and have it tattooed on every new-born child in the nation.
In many ways, it's screamingly obvious. How could addiction to profiteering, usury, entrepreneurial overkill and bottom-line corporatism ever offer a template of empathic decency or ethical morality for an egalitarian society. A 'greed-is-good' mentality is the only logical outcome for dedication to the false icons of the filthy lucre.
"We have colluded in allowing economic activity to develop a life of its own, accountable only to itself," Philip O'Neil adroitly states.
We are left, thus, with a 'pig-in-a-poke' fallacy of pseudo-aggrandisement debilitating a nation. By omission and/or commission, we all have allowed this to take root, flourish and fester.
It implicates us all. We seem to tolerate the status-quo as something of an inevitability and demur to the gods of a monstrous global failure, ie free-market libertarianism with its in-built survival-of-the-fittest motto.
The planet has only a finite amount of wealth potential, be that energy, food, water or other precious natural resources. Skewed consumption/comfort quotients coupled with a steady 'diet' of famines, wars and pestilence ensure that an uneasy, unstable and grossly unfair 'balance' prevails.
However, we seem to persist with a corrupted/distorted democratic dynamic, electing inept folk of questionable ability or generosity of spirit who perpetuate a flawed concept on a sadly under-motivated, uninitiated and/or unsuspecting populace.
Jim Cosgrove Lismore, Co Waterford
HACKING AT OUR NATURAL BEAUTY
* The current mindless rage for killing trees in our public spaces is heartbreaking. No prior gesture towards consultancy is given by the nameless folk who authorise such wanton felling.
Trees that graced the city for decades are being cut – witness the recent destruction in Dun Laoghaire's Peoples' Park and last week's uprooting of the flowering magnolias at the entrance to the National Gallery. In this time of austerity, surely the joy and spirit-lift gained from the free enjoyment of natural beauty should be augmented, not lessened.
Jackie O'Brien, Glasthule, Co Dublin
UNLOCKING THE CHAINS OF 1916
* In the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster on April 8, President Higgins said, in his address, that independence for Ireland cast its long shadow across our relations with Britain, causing us, in the words of Irish MP Stephen Gwynn, to "look at each other with doubtful eyes".
Stephen Gwynn, a grandson of William Smith O'Brien, also said in 1926, that 10 years had been added to the waiting period for Irish political unity and that Ireland would wait forever if it remained chained to the ideal of 1916. The waiting seems now to be over. A champion of Home Rule, Gwynn once described it as a post-dated cheque.
Patrick O'Brien, Phisborough, Dublin 7
TURN OFF THIS DISGUSTING SHOWER
* An old proverb crushed by modernity . "You can't get water from a stone" they said, but what they didn't say was water could get cash from the populace.
If I buy petrol, I don't expect to pay a standing fixed charge equivalent to a third of the purchase. If I buy a pint, I expect to pay for what I get when I buy it. Naturally, those burdened with income tax, LPT, UHC, unemployed children etc, will carry the latest burden in addition to the daily diet of austerity soup.
Once upon a time, governments purportedly represented their populace. This one of ours represents itself, its pals and its backers, and we pick up the tab. Anyone out there with the balls to turn off the tap on this disgusting shower?
John Cuffe, Meath
CHRISTIAN MARKING OF PASSOVER
* The Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples took place on Passover, a holiday of redemption set in place by God, Jesus, or Yeshua – as He would have been called in His lifetime, who instructed His followers to remember His death (not His resurrection) until He come.
Strangely, the church ignores Passover altogether, as most of the early church fathers were extremely anti-Semitic and deemed the feast as 'too Jewish.' Instead, the majority of Yeshua's followers today commemo-rate the event on 'Maundy Thursday', although no specific day of the week is mentioned in any of the Gospels for the Last Supper or the Crucifixion.
A Biblical day, however, according to the Book of Genesis and the calendar that Yeshua Himself would have kept, begins in the evening at sunset, the second daylight portion then follows. A day divided at midnight is the invention of man.
This year, Passover fell on April 14, which in the biblical calendar is Nisan 14, and as it begins at sunset, the second daylight part follows the next morning which allowed for the Last Supper and the Crucifixion to both occur on the same day, according to the Genesis ruling. In the Gentile/Christian calendar, this takes two days to commemorate, ie Maundy Thursday and Good Friday due to the midnight time division.
If Yeshua were to come back today, the natural day for commemorating these events would be on the date of Passover itself, not Maundy Thursday. The symbolism of the slaughter of the Passover lamb, the redemptive qualities of the shed blood. Maybe it's time the church re-examined the status of Passover, also demonstrating that the hierarchy is no longer anti-Jewish and that the holiday has benefits and significance for both Jews and Christians.
Colin Nevin, Bangor, Co Down
LIVELIHOODS SOLD TO HIGHEST BIDDER
* One of the most invidious acts, regrettably among many others, needlessly perpetrated by this Government on Irish citizens, must be the recent sale of the 13,000 mortgages of Irish Nationwide to two American distressed fund companies. These companies bought the mortgages from the special liquidators KPMG at a huge discount of several billion euro, again courtesy of a lazy and uncaring government and, ultimately, the Irish taxpayer.
The most appalling and callous aspect of this deal was that the owners of these mortgages, Irish people in the main, were not afforded an equal opportunity by their government to buy their own loans to ease their distressed financial state; it is almost certain that many of these unfortunates will lose their homes as a result.
The modus operandi of the new owners will be to relentlessly chase the unfortunate mortgagees for the full amount, pocketing huge profits in the process. There will be little or no sympathy from the Government for the dire personal, familial and societal consequences.
What is also disturbing is the almost complete failure of the media to report on the injustice of the matter. Not a peep as usual from the top brass of the trade unions. God be with the days when the Catholic Church would raise its voice.
John Leahy, Wilton Road, Cork