Monday 17 June 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Trump’s failings are familiar but the US has a booming economy and soaring stock market'

Achievement: US President Donald Trump meets supporters in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Reuters
Achievement: US President Donald Trump meets supporters in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

It's not popular to say it but I find it curious how ill-informed the majority of anti-Trump protesters are, eager to run with the pack without thrashing out the facts and comparing like with like.

Trump without doubt has shown himself to have made outrageous racist and misogynistic comments on his way to and as the president sitting in the White House, but how different is he really to many of the men who have stood in his shoes?

It must be remembered several previous presidents have shown themselves to be misogynists with several sex scandals to their names along with committing their army to wars all over the globe on false pretexts, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

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Most, with few exceptions, had a political map laid out for them, some as early as their college university days, particularly those that came from political dynasties.

Being in this category, as most were, would have seen them surrounded and managed by a political machine that would always be ready jump in and smooth over any out-of-control high jinks or questionable sexual encounters they may have been involved with during their early years.

The real problem Trump is having stems from the fact he was never planning on a political career and did not have a political machine or handlers hovering in the wings when he opened his mouth.

This is why 'The Washington Post' and 'New York Times' had no problem finding the ammunition to laugh off his nomination and then his presidential bid as a joke.

They were horrified when against all the odds he actually made it and they realised he was then the most powerful man in the world who they had savaged and labelled as a joke. A man who shoots from the hip through his tweets is dangerous on the international stage, his views on climate change are almost criminal.

But he is likely to be re-elected because he did what he said he would do: the economy is booming, the stock exchange soaring, he is the first president to sit down and talk with Kim Jong-un.

Anthony McGeough

Kingswood Heights, Dublin

At least missing hurleys didn't butcher your game

I was traumatised after reading Michael Verney's report on the unfortunate London senior hurlers losing their match hurleys at Heathrow Airport.

Luckily their match against Meath was able to go ahead with replacement sticks. In sympathising with London, I want to console the players by explaining how much worse it could have been. My experience was much different!

I worked in Canada during the late 1960s. In 1967 Canada celebrated a hundred years of confederation. As part of the festivities, the Irish Canadian Club in Thompson decided to stage an exhibition hurling match. Dozens of us played a bit of hurling, but there was always an acute shortage of hurls as they seemed to break easier out there.

Anyway, our secretary Vince Conroy gathered the money and ordered 50 spanking new hurleys from Ireland. The genial Westmeath GAA County Board secretary Paddy Flanagan sent my team, captained by my brother Billy, a set of used Westmeath jerseys. The jerseys arrived in lots of time.

The Sunday of the match arrived - but the hurls didn't: NO HURLEYS! They got lost at Winnipeg Airport. Bedlam, despair, anger… and John Deveroux there trying to stay calm as the radio reporter put a microphone to his nose!

There was now a split in the camp, between those who owned a hurl and those who did not. We were going to play seven-a-side - until the split won! We would play football instead: Same teams - same positions.

I was a forward, being marked by a 6ft 2in Kerryman called 'John the Butcher'. Until that day I thought he was called 'John the Butcher' because he worked in the meat department at Safeway.

I spent most of the hour on the hard deck. I caught one ball, quickly deciding that I would for once retain my vertical position by off-loading the ball to a team-mate… any team-mate.

John nonchalantly intercepted my fisted pass, and I can still hear the thud of leather on leather as John the Butcher's size 11 boot left the ball in the other half of the grassless field.

From that day on, any time I got a bit "out of hand" in Thompson, some wise guy would pipe up: "Would someone please phone John the Butcher."

So, you see, my London lads, it could have been much worse. Just think what it would be like if you had to play football against bloody Meath.

Bernie Comaskey

Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Artists provide us all with a 'Hinterland' to enjoy

What will you miss seeing if you don't stop in to the 'Hinterland' exhibition in Dún Laoghaire today?

An animation about the red squirrels that were radicalised on Killiney Hill - not only do they all smoke and cause trouble but they get the birds to take up smoking. This is set to an original jazzy score composed and played by the artist's son.

What else? A stunning ceramic, aluminium and woodblock installation, each material cut in the same size of thin square shapes presented as a leporello (concertina) floating on the floor. Elegant and light, with mysterious markings, this will make you smile. And you will be guessing right that it won the award for best exhibit.

The 'Hinterland' exhibition of collaborative work by 50 artists from across all creative disciplines - writers, poets, sculptors, visual artists, print makers, ceramicists, weaving, photography, water colour, oils, collage and more - will be an online gallery in time (on ArtNetdlr's website).

To drink it in and appreciate it in real time 3D space see it in Eblana House today until 6pm.

If nothing else it is a chance to see this fine old vacant building with terrazzo floors, ceiling mouldings and stained glass.

Alison Hackett

Crosthwaite Park East, Dún Laoghaire

If something is missing, then make it happen

With regard to Eva Parnell's letter bemoaning the lack of women writing to newspapers, I would like to ask why has everything to change for those who could not be bothered to write a letter in the first place?

Go into any newsagent and see the rows and rows of magazines devoted to women's interests from fashion, health, royal babies, pop stars... I could go on.

Men don't blame anyone if there is nothing out there for them; they create a market for a new product. Please stop blaming everything on men.

Joseph Condren

Dublin 24

Post-patent drugs bring savings and competition

Medicines for Ireland claims the pricing and supply deal the innovator pharmaceutical industry has with the State "effectively blocks biosimilars manufacturers from competing with originator manufacturers in Ireland".

Owen McKeon's claim is without foundation, and it is as much an attack on the State as it is on our industry because both are party to the deal.

When a branded or "biologic" medicine goes off patent, it is up to manufacturers, whether generics or originators, to freely compete on the market with their own drugs. So there is no "blocker" in the past-patent market.

If there is an alternative medicine available, a price cut of 30pc automatically kicks in on the biologic one. This year, there will be a saving for the State of €108m on seven biologic molecules.

Pharmaceutical innovators already sell both biologic and biosimilar medicines, some of which are manufactured in Ireland. The evidence from Ireland and across Europe is that originator and biosimilar producers compete in post-patent markets.

The HSE is free to manage its expenditure properly and to achieve efficiencies.

The bottom line is the post-patent market is characterised by both savings and competition.

Bernard Mallee

Director of Communications and Advocacy, Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, Dublin 2

Irish Independent

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