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Showing posts from April, 2019

The Amazing Peter Buttigieg

The Amazing Peter ButtigiegGerry O'Shea
A few months ago very few people outside of Indiana had heard of Peter Buttigieg and fewer still could pronounce his surname. That has changed because now he is recognized as a serious candidate for the Democratic nominationto contest the presidential election next year.
He describes himself wryly as "definitely the only left-handed Maltese-American, Episcopalian, gay, millennial, war veteran in the race." He could have added that at a mere 37 years he registers as the youngest candidate in the large Democratic field, just two years past the minimum legal requirement for serving in the White House.
Elected mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in 2012, he sees himself as a new kind of politician, inviting comparison with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, senior statesmen ahead in all the early polls for the Democratic nomination, but both in their late seventies, forty years older than the mayor.
Buttigieg graduated from Harvard and was selected …

Review of "We were Rich and we Didn't Know it" by Tom Phelan

We Were Rich and we Didn't Know it by Tom Phelan
Review by Gerry O'Shea
John Joe Phelan, the author's father, is the central character in this engaging memoir about growing up in a 52-acre farm in Mountmellick, County Laois in the Irish midlands in the 1940's and 1950's. He is the undisputed boss of the house, determined to provide for his wife and family, working seven days a week to eke out a living at a time when most farmers in Ireland were defined by subsistence.
Mr. Phelan, a dominating paterfamilias, struck oil when he married Annie Hayes from a neighboring family. Sheknew her place in the Phelan house, taking care of all domestic matters; a flock of Christmas turkeys allowed her some extra holiday money every year and was the extent of the contact she had with the farmyard.
Annie was always treated with love and respect by her impetuous husband, a rather angry and frustrated man, who on most occasions yielded to her moderating promptings when he tended to explo…