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Archive: June, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 5:05 PM
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Death.  Like taxes and the Kardashian sisters, it is unavoidable.  I don’t usually like dwelling on it, because it tends to depress me, particularly as I enter that sun-dappled grove called “After 50.”  But every now and then, some lives are worth examining at their natural end, because even though the sorrow is palpable, so is the sense that all of the beauty and laughter created by that creature when living remain in the wake of her passing.  That happened for me with Nora Ephron.

I can’t remember when I first heard her name, but it was probably around the time when I saw “All the President’s Men” with my mother on the Million Dollar Movie.  She mentioned to me that the short reporter played by Dustin Hoffman in the film was once married to a really good writer named Nora Ephron, who reacted to his cheating on her by writing a tell-all novel called “Heartburn.”

It was both loving and bitter, sweet and caustic, funny and tragic.  I was hooked. Here was a woman who could take her own personal humiliation and turn it into a publishing triumph, all the while making you laugh.  But make no mistake:  Ephron was a serious lady with a serious message, particularly compelling for someone like me who has a tendency to lose focus when life sends  curveballs:  “be the heroine in your story not the victim.” 

Christine Flowers @ 5:05 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 5:04 PM
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Shoeless Joe Jackson

Legend has it that when Shoeless Joe Jackson was leaving a courtroom during the Black Sox scandal of 1919, a little boy looked at him and said “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”  Sadly, it was.

Those words which were probably never spoken have nonetheless become the symbol of supreme betrayal, of the shattering of bonds that connected wide-eyed kids to their towering sports heroes.  And they ushered in the age of cynicism.

Very few of today’s kids think that sports stars are perfect, except perhaps when it comes to their stats.  They know about steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, and they probably even think it’s okay to cheat a little bit, since winning is so important.

Christine Flowers @ 5:04 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 3:53 PM
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WhaT's the rush?

Why do I get the impression that people are annoyed because the jury in the Catholic church sex abuse scandal hasn’t arrived at a verdict?  Perhaps it's the fact that the judge seems impatient at all of the issues raised for clarification.  Perhaps it's the fact that one of the defense attorneys made the rather petulant comment that he had done his job, the prosecutors had done their job, the judge had done her  job so ‘they’ (presumably the 12 good Philadelphians) should do ‘their’ job.

The fact is, there is no egg timer in the room with those jurors.  They aren’t doing a relay where you need to top someone else’s best time.  You can’t expect them to simply render a boilerplate decision after eleven weeks of trial and countless months of pre-trial publicity.

It annoys me that this whole “I want it now, or yesterday” mentality has seeped so deeply into our culture that we now display anger at serious citizens who are simply trying to do justice.  I’m sure some people would like it better if this were one of those Nancy Grace specials with up-to-the-minute newsflashes and a digital clock on the screen ticking away the deliberation minutes.

Christine Flowers @ 3:53 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 1:16 PM

Every now and then, life gets you down.  It might be a bad grade in an important class, a letter from your first-choice college saying “no thanks,” a break-up with a boyfriend, a demotion at work, not even being at work, or simply the realization that we haven’t accomplished everything that we thought we would have at 30, 40, 50 or beyond.  It’s a momentary hiccup in the normal, clean respiration of our existence.

And then you happen to come across something that makes you realize how unimportant those temporary interruptions of an otherwise peaceful life really are.  This morning, while reading the paper, I skimmed the obituaries section.  As I’ve gotten older, it’s something I tend to do with a little more frequency than before, especially since they’ve started printing photographs of the deceased.

That’s what made me stop, mid-sip of coffee, and do a double-take.  There, staring out at me from the middle of the page was the glorious and glowing face of a truly beautiful young woman.  She was smiling, and the wattage of that smile would have put PECO to shame.   And while the photo was beautiful, the story beneath it was heart-breaking.  Jamie Brooke Lieberman died yesterday after battling inflammatory breast cancer for a number of years.  They didn’t say how long she lived with the disease, but you got the idea it was a very long time.

Christine Flowers @ 1:16 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5:40 PM

Democrats like to paint themselves as the party of the immigrant.  They also tend to hitch their wagon to lots of other interest groups, including women, racial minorities, sexual minorities, and endangered species (except the most endangered species on the planet, the white, straight, male.)

As an immigration attorney, I'm rather skeptical of any partisan claims to sanctity.  Democrats are as political as the GOP when it comes to doing for the 'undocumented.'  Yes, Republicans have a tendency to put their feet in their mouths more obviously, as when Mitt Romney made that really stupid comment about immigrants self-deporting. (The government, up until now, had a problem perfecting the deportation process, so imagine how a poor, illiterate immigrant could manage that feat.)

But the really stupid thing, worse than any malapropism from the Romney camp, is the way the Obama administration and its proxies tried to capitalize on that comment.  If Obama were a wise man, he would have stayed far away from criticizing anyone about deporting 'illegals' and the manner in which it is done.

Christine Flowers @ 5:40 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5:37 PM

Democrats like to paint themselves as the party of the immigrant.  They also tend to hitch their wagon to lots of other interest groups, including women, racial minorities, sexual minorities, and endangered species (except the most endangered species on the planet, the white, straight, male.)

As an immigration attorney, I'm rather skeptical of any partisan claims to sanctity.  Democrats are as political as the GOP when it comes to doing for the 'undocumented.'  Yes, Republicans have a tendency to put their feet in their mouths more obviously, as when Mitt Romney made that really stupid comment about immigrants self-deporting. (The government, up until now, had a problem perfecting the deportation process, so imagine how a poor, illiterate immigrant could manage that feat.)

But the really stupid thing, worse than any malapropism from the Romney camp, is the way the Obama administration and its proxies tried to capitalize on that comment.  If Obama were a wise man, he would have stayed far away from criticizing anyone about deporting 'illegals' and the manner in which it is done.

Christine Flowers @ 5:37 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 5:10 PM

I just un-friended Facebook.  It’s not that I have a problem with Mark Zuckerberg.  He seems like a sweet, filthy-rich kid with a lot going for him, including a smart and lovely new wife.  I hope he doesn’t take this personally.

But I can no longer live two lives, the one involving real people and problems and the make-believe one that skips across my computer screen every 20 minutes.

Actually, that’s the problem.  When I was ‘on’ Facebook, I had the constant urge to check in with my 398 friends, most of whom I’d never actually met and wouldn’t recognize if they were in the process of giving me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Christine Flowers @ 5:10 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, June 1, 2012, 3:28 PM
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Did Time have to pay a royalty for that heart?

Recently, NPR (yes-I listen) had an interesting segment on organ donation, and whether it was now time to start paying people for their spare parts.  Aside from the logistics of the operation, matching organ to person like a set of Garanimals clothing items, there are some overriding ethical considerations.

Ethics?  I know.  In a world where women can rent someone else’s womb and gender can be changed with the snip of a scissors, ethics might seem to be a quaint and outdated notion, especially when it smacks into free-market capitalism and the libertarian ideal of “if it’s in or on my body, I get to do what I want with it.”

But it’s important to look at what kind of world we will enter if we start putting price tags on kidneys.

Christine Flowers @ 3:28 PM  Permalink | 0
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See Christine Flowers on Channel 6's "Inside Story" Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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