A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

This is a tale of two septuagenarians: one a journalist, the other a Cardinal. You know which one should come first. It was 1981, and Ita Buttrose was the Murdoch recruit, the new editor-in-chief of the Sydney Daily and Sunday Telegraph, after a sterling career as an editor for Sir Frank Packer for the popular … Continue reading A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

Winless in Sydney: Fears of a winter of discontent for the Swans

Shades of 1993. My favourite Australian Football League (AFL) team, the Sydney Swans, have lost their first four matches of the year, the most since that dire season of 1993 when the team set a record of 26 straight defeats. Last night, the Swans lost by 26 points to the West Coast Eagles in Perth, … Continue reading Winless in Sydney: Fears of a winter of discontent for the Swans

Food for a Journey: Poems and prayers and memories of a renaissance man

I have written many book reviews over the decades, but this one means a lot to me. It’s about a book of poetry by my cousin – a friend, a former priest, an editor of an acclaimed Jesuit magazine, America, an appellate attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice fighting for … Continue reading Food for a Journey: Poems and prayers and memories of a renaissance man

Are you okay, Buddy? It’s not a crime to say you need help

Depressed. Feeling down. In the dumps. Bitten by the Black Dog. Beyond Blue. All the phrases and words above have been associated with depression. I have been thinking about depression for some time, as my brother Jack committed suicide 24 years ago in September 1991, and I have been asking why ever since. I know … Continue reading Are you okay, Buddy? It’s not a crime to say you need help

An Irish journey around the Sydney Writers’ Festival

The Sydney Writers’ Festival ended over a week ago, and I thought it might be too late to write about it, until I received an email this week from the Artistic Director, Jemma Birrell, with a summary of the books fest, a newsletter titled “It’s a Wrap.” http://bit.ly/1hqKA41 She quoted Irish author, Emma Donoghue (photo … Continue reading An Irish journey around the Sydney Writers’ Festival

A letter from the ‘Tea Party’ lady who helped JFK get elected

UPDATED NOVEMBER 25: I thought my blog post yesterday would be my second and last on the assassination of President Kennedy 50 years ago on Friday. My first post asked the usual question: Where were you when you heard the news that John F. Kennedy had been shot? My second post was prompted by a … Continue reading A letter from the ‘Tea Party’ lady who helped JFK get elected