Gun control advocates should be thrilled over Hunter Biden’s conviction

There is so much concern for the tender sensitivities of a former drug addict from Delaware.

It’s incredibly touching how the media, and Biden supporters, are rallying around a man who has come close to destroying his family, as so many addicts have in the past.

All my life, I have been told that “addiction is a disease” and that we cannot attack the people who are afflicted with it. I have lost friends who think that my draconian stance on drugs and the people who do them is far less than Christian, and that I am very lucky I don’t have firsthand experience with the horrors of substance abuse.

And that’s OK, because I refuse to be guilted into looking at someone like Hunter Biden and give him a pass for criminal behavior simply because he
committed it while under the influence.

When someone embraces a chemical regardless of the consequences, it’s not enough to say that they need “help.” Sure, they need help, and in this
society there are numerous ways to obtain it. But that does not mean that the privileged son of the current president gets to avoid the consequences of his actions.

There is that first step, that first cognizant act of taking something that does not belong in our system. And while the opioid epidemic taught us that addicts can be created out of innocent victims of pain, the vast majority of those who become addicted to substances do so because they want to escape, want to numb, or accentuate, or obfuscate, or travel in a chemical dimension of ecstasy.

That also goes for alcoholics, who have a slightly more conventional doorway to addiction: drink at parties, drink at home, then drink alone.

So what do we do when these people commit crimes, and put others in danger?

It’s one thing to find within ourselves a well of empathy and try and put ourselves in their places. It’s fine to hope that someone who has fallen into the depths of addiction will be able to claw her way out into the light, and stay there for the rest of her life.

But when someone lies on a form to buy a gun, we don’t get to smile mournfully and nod our heads as we hear about his “struggle.”

We shouldn’t excuse his act, which brings him so close — a bullet away — from shattering someone’s life because he “didn’t think” he was an addict.

He does not deserve the benefit of the doubt when he clearly committed a felony, simply because his dad and mom love him. And we certainly shouldn’t give him a pass because that dad and mom live in the White House, and he isn’t like one of those normal “addicts” who wander aimlessly on the streets of Kensington.

That’s probably the thing that infuriates me most about the way that the media and Biden supporters have framed the case against Hunter Biden.

Whether it amounts to actual nullification, where the weak-souled sisters and brothers on the Delaware jury don’t want to believe that Hunter considered himself to be an addict when he applied for the gun and therefore had no “mens rea” to commit the crime, or whether it’s simply this ridiculous groundswell of misdirected kindness for a man who made a mockery of his life and his family, we should not avoid holding Hunter Biden responsible for his crimes.

And no, the crimes were not the fact that he was an addict, and might in fact still be one. The crimes are not that he is the pampered fair-haired boy of the current president.

The crimes are not that he’s a Democrat, a mediocre businessman with a penchant for dropping daddy’s name, a deadbeat dad with absolutely no redeeming qualities, or a man who slept with his brother’s widow.

The crime is simple, and I’m sure those who support gun control can agree: Hunter Biden tried to get a gun in violation of laws that protect the public against people like him.

If any of the folks who think the Second Amendment is fake or fungible, and who want to ban assault rifles and do all sorts of things to keep guns out of people’s hands have the audacity to excuse what Biden did, we should point fingers at these rank hypocrites.

And speaking of hypocrites, let’s go after lawyers who were gleefully rejoicing over a document fraud misdemeanor case against a former president but who now sniff that Hunter’s felonies are no big deal.

In the end, Hunter Biden is not important.

It would be a blessing if he would simply fade into the ether of a warm Delaware evening, and trouble us no more with his soap opera of a pathetic life.

But he lied to get a gun. He’s what CNN is so delighted to call Trump: a convicted felon.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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Alito dust-up has nothing to do with flags

I have never been married, nor do I have any children.

I grew up around married people. I descend from a whole line of married people. I have friends who are married people. I deeply admire married people, and I think that they tend to be among the happiest folks in the universe.

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but it does not mean that the parties to that institution have actually been institutionalized and administered joint lobotomies where all semblance of individuality and agency has been sucked from them.

My olive-skinned, dark-eyed Italian mother was the aesthetic opposite of my freckled, redheaded Irish father.

Their personalities were also quite different, with mom being generally shy and sweet and my gregarious daddy having that stereotypical Irish temper. In general, they were polar opposites, separate human beings.

Which brings me to the other couple of the week.

Justice Samuel Alito’s wife Martha Ann has a penchant for flying flags that annoy liberals.

Predictably, there is now a ridiculous attempt to have Justice Samuel Alito recuse himself from deliberations over the Jan. 6 and immunity cases.

It’s predictable because the Democrats seem willing to use anything in their arsenal of moral outrage to delegitimize justices who render decisions they don’t like.

While most of the ire used to be directed at Clarence Thomas, the Democrats have shifted their hostility in recent years to Alito, likely because is the face of the Dobbs decision that overturned their sacrament, uh, right to abortion.

But beyond predictable, as I said, it’s ridiculous.

The way they have pivoted from accusing Harrison Butker of demeaning his wife because she chooses to stay home to saddling a husband with his wife’s personal views is almost comical.

But I’m not laughing, because it’s not funny to play games with our democratic system, as the liberals have been telling me since Nov. 6, 2016.

Some would argue that this is not just “a” random husband married to “a” random wife who likes to engage in cosplay with flags.

This is not my mother cringing at my father’s fashion choices. This is a Supreme Court justice who “must” uphold the appearance of neutrality, as if that’s been the rule of the game for every deceased female justice with her own rap name and line of T shirts and mugs.

Of course I do understand that appearances are extremely important.

Legendary Philadelphia lawyer Shanin Specter, son of the equally legendary senator Arlen Spector wrote this on Instagram: “I’m married too. I respect my wife too. She’s independent too. She puts up signs on our property too.

“What is messaged on our property — be it on a sign or a flag — will be assumed to be a statement from both of us. And that means my impartiality might reasonably be questioned were I to adjudicate a case involving such a message. Hence, Justice Alito should recuse.”

I was with him until that last line. It is true that a judge’s impartiality might be questioned for a lot of reasons.

I think Judge Juan Merchan’s impartiality is highly questionable due to his daughter’s activities, and yet I don’t believe that he should recuse himself from the “Trump hush money” case.

Just because we think that a judge might have a bias does not mean that he does, and we don’t get the right to make any jurist remove himself because of our subjective issues.

And finally, we really know what this is about.

As Machiavelli once famously wrote, the ends justify the means. The people who are coming for Alito want to judicially neuter him, not because they think he’s a bad justice but for precisely the opposite reason: they can’t attack his actual jurisprudence.

They can’t go after his legal expertise, so they will do what they tried to do when they defamed Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination hearing: they’re trying to destroy his character.

And they’re using his wife to do it.

Which is pretty pathetic, because no one takes a vow to be there for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health or till exterior decorating us do part.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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Take what Harrison Butker said in context

When Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered his commencement address at Benedictine College earlier this month, the outrage was primarily focused on his comments about a woman’s place in society. The sisters who clutch at their pearls when anyone suggests that being anything but president is a worthwhile profession went ballistic at the suggestion that motherhood was equal, if not superior in value, to the sort of person who scrubs her laptop in anticipation of an election.

But this was a much ado about nothing moment, with most people understanding that the context of the speech was extremely important, as was the nature of the intended audience. And that intended audience included young men as well as young women. If you get beyond the fabricated controversy of his alleged misogyny, Harrison Butker had some extremely valuable things to say to the He/Hims listening intently to the Super Bowl champion’s words.

“Part of what plagues our society is this lie that has been told to you that men are not necessary in the home or in our communities,” Butker said. “As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos set in. This absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation.”

There is such hostility toward the idea of a “masculine” man that we have reached the point that “people with vaginas” can have babies. That doesn’t just delegitimize women, it erases the idea of “father.” Say goodbye to any hope of a nuclear family, with mother, father and offspring. That is the wild extreme that the pendulum has reached, crashing through walls of common sense, not to mention biology.

But even the more moderate forms of hostility toward alpha males is rampant. During the 1980s, 1990s and early oughts, most of the family sitcoms included smart and sassy kids, sexy and intelligent mothers and idiot lumps on the couch. Those idiot lumps were the patriarchal butt of every joke, and they were made to look and feel like useless accouterments. I once had a friend who said that he felt like his wife was the center of the world, the kids were her satellite moons and he was out in deep space, for all he was considered central to the daily routine. I don’t doubt it.

Butker was making the radical point that Male Lives Matter and that we shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate them. More importantly, we shouldn’t shy away from extolling the virtues of the masculine man, which were so beautifully personified by John Wayne and which have crumbled into the bitter nothingness of a bearded Sephora model hawking lipstick and eyeliner.

This line was particularly powerful: “Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men.” I’m glad he told those young men to stop feeling bad about being strong and independent, to stop being the things that we have told our young women they absolutely must be in order to have any worth.

What irony there is in a society that pushes our women to be warriors, and forces our men to be passive observers. This is manifested in so many ways.

When I taught in a boys’ school decades ago, my students were rowdy, athletic, physical and filled with kinetic energy. They rushed through the hallways in bursts of joy and restlessness, and the teachers at the Haverford School encouraged that spirit. But had they been in a coed environment, you can be sure the teachers — mostly women — would have punished them for that natural exuberance. On the other hand, they would likely have encouraged girls to “find their voices” and “be loud.”

There was a campaign a few years ago from Gillette razors that criticized “toxic masculinity.” The brainwashing was so effective that there were men who agreed that this was a problem, and that they were in fact, toxic creatures. At that time I wrote: “I believe this hostility toward men is dangerous, but I also know that it’s nothing new. As the second and third-wave feminists gained momentum over the last 50 or so years, they bolstered a narrative that has become accepted wisdom: Men, the patriarchy, and masculinity in general have been the source of women’s suffering. Women are taught to blame men for everything bad that has ever happened to them. The #MeToo movement is just the next generation of this.”

So I’m very glad that Harrison Butker spoke out on behalf of the men. It was, and you will excuse the pun, just the kick in the butt that we needed from a Super Bowl champ.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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Biden administration targeting pro-lifers with 1994 law

I wish I did more to advance the pro-life cause.

I write about it, I go to marches, I send money to pro-life groups, and I even appear as a speaker at many pro-life events. But I’m not on the front lines, like the men and women who are risking their freedom, thanks to a politicized U.S. Justice Department.

It appears that the Biden administration is annoyed by those whose views violate the core beliefs of the current chief executive, chief among them an understanding that abortion is a moral abomination.

And if the situation ended there, with some fiery speeches from the president and fingers pointed from the mainstream media, that would be fine. Viva the First Amendment.

But it hasn’t ended there. The crusade of this administration to essentially erase and eliminate pro-life dissent has reached a breaking point, such that now it’s not enough to simply mock those of us who defend the right to life from conception to natural death.

It is now necessary to throw us in jail, by employing a law that — while ruled constitutional — is obviously designed to punish the pro-life movement. And the decision to use this law now, and with increasing frequency, shows that selective prosecution is now the modus operandi of the organization we can call Biden Incorporated (he being from Delaware, and all.)

Back in October 2020, a group of pro-life activists obstructed the entrance to a notorious abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., whose principal physician had been known to perform abortions well into the last trimester of pregnancy.

We are all aware of the horror story of Kermit Gosnell, the so-called “Butcher of West Philly.”

Well, Dr. Cesare Santangelo was once caught on undercover video stating that he would deny lifesaving treatment to a child that had survived one of his abortions, and, according to a report from LifeNews, called a nearby hospital’s efforts to try and save the life of one such child “the stupidest thing they could have done.”

That is exactly the level of inhumanity that you find at many of these abortion clinics, the sense that they have a job to do and that they are simply removing a tumor, or taking out the trash.

One can forgive me for doubting the sincerity of anyone who believes that “reproductive rights” is anything other than a euphemism for “it’s not a baby until I say it is.”

But to be honest, this isn’t about our personal feelings regarding abortion.

What matters here, beyond morality and barbarity, is the very obvious fact that Congress passed a law targeting the pro-life movement, and after a few decades of leaving it on a statutory shelf, decided to pull it out, dust it off and use it to crush a movement.

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) criminalizes activities that prohibit access to abortion clinics and churches.

Passed in 1994 and signed into law by Bill Clinton, its constitutionality was challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court.

While some have argued that the inclusion of churches undermines the accusation that this law was designed to gut the pro-life movement by threatening our activists with jail time, it’s a specious claim.

Virtually every prosecution under the law has targeted protesters at abortion clinics. To my knowledge, no one has been charged under FACE with a church bombing, a synagogue defacement or threats called into a mosque.

This is designed to stop pro-life activists from doing what they’ve always done: lobby on behalf of the most innocent.

Last week, Lauren Handy was sentenced to almost five years in federal prison after having been convicted under FACE. The fact that she is a well-known voice on the Left, a progressive Catholic, puts the lie to the idea that pro-lifers are right-wing fanatics looking to bomb abortion clínics.

We are legion, and we come from every race, creed and nationality on the planet. The only thing we share is this: respect for unborn life.

And this: A disgust with this administration and its biased, overreaching Justice Department.

Every person who values their civil rights, as well as the human rights of the unborn, should consider that at the polls in November.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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In memory of her father, a life well lived and over too soon

This week, I don’t want to get political. I’d like to talk to you about someone who is more important than the sum total of the occasional outrage I can muster up for strangers.

Don’t worry, the outrage has no expiration date, and will be useful for another set of Sundays. There are elections to predict, wars to fight, candidates to prosecute and probably even a few more porn stars to tolerate. But not this week.

Forty-two years ago my father, Ted Flowers, passed away.

He had just turned 43, which means the world has been without him for as long as he was in it.

I was 20 when he died, so I’ve lived two-thirds of my life remembering what he looked like, what he sounded like, what he loved and liked and hated.

He was flawed in the way that men of that era were flawed, spending too much time in their offices and too little playing with their kids, being short-tempered and demanding and sometimes even overbearing.

But at his core, at that part of his being that was formed in the womb and then forged in the streets of West Philly, he was a man who needed only 43 years to become a legend.

A few weeks ago, I was looking through clippings and papers from the last year of his life, a time when he still harbored a hope that science would bring the miracles that his renewed Catholic faith promised.

The things that touched me the most were his hand-written notes, the germinal signs of a planned memoir, where he talked about his difficult childhood, his desire to rise above the obstacles of his youth, and his satisfaction at beating the odds.

He hadn’t ended up in jail, or in a dead-end job, or wishing he’d taken the road less traveled.

He took that road, and it landed him at the pinnacle of the legal profession in 1970s Philadelphia.

My friend Nancy, who worked at his firm a few years after he died always tells me that he was still talked about in reverent tones. She called him “The Lion of White and Williams.”

The thing he seemed proudest of, though, happened before he even started at the firm.

It was that time he spent in Mississippi in 1967 registering Black voters and defending Black defendants in courtrooms that were only a few years removed from Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.” But don’t take my word for it.

Listen to him:

“The courtroom reminded me of the Scopes monkey trial that I’d read about. There was no air conditioning, the only ventilation being the lazy movement of some old overhead ceiling fans. His honor was a Justice of the Peace, who was a farmer.

“To make a long story short, my 37 objections were overruled, my points for charge were completely ignored, the District Attorney in his opening and closing remarks created reversible error, and I almost got cited for contempt.

“My clients were convicted.

“When it became apparent what the verdict would be, I seized the opportunity to give the Negroes, who were packed into segregated courtrooms, a show for their money. All the while, a contingent of state police, the District Attorney and even the judge glared at me.

“After my closing, there were a few ‘Amens’ and I resumed my seat.

“After the verdict was in, the defendants thanked me for my efforts, and went away with the Sherriff until bond could be raised.

“I don’t believe I have ever felt more useless in all my life. I had done everything I could, and it wasn’t enough.”

Someday, I will finish the story for my father.

It deserves to be told, mostly because that last sentence of his is the only thing he ever wrote, or did, with which I can disagree.

It was enough. Everything that he did, that he struggled with, that he fought for was “enough.” It was more than enough.

Like most men of that era, and many before but very few since, my father lived his life guided by an invisible but steady compass.

Honor, duty, courage and a refusal to give up even when the inevitability of your destiny is staring you in the face, are the hallmarks of that sort of person.

My father died on May 8, 1982. But make no mistake, his memory will always be a blessing.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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Campus protests are just pale imitations of the 1960s

It seems silly to write a column about the recent college protests.

It’s not really news when privileged students who have never been in the line of fire and whose most pressing concern is what pronoun they’ll use on any given day decide to rise up against the establishment.

And yet, here we are.

Across the nation, college students have been raising their voices against what some call a “genocide” and others call “Zionist oppression.”

They have been supported in their misguided crusade by politicians like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, women who have veered so close to antisemitic bigotry in their acts and omissions that it’s no longer possible to play the “both sides” game: their refusal to come out and condemn without equivocation Hamas and its acts of terror is a fitting representation of the sort of bigotry so clearly present at these protests.

And that’s why I’m disgusted with the attempts to compare the anti-Israel protests — which are at heart anti-Jew protests — with what happened on college campuses in the 1960s.

Back then, the Vietnam War was raging on, and young American men were being sent to fight in a conflict that many people didn’t support, and many more didn’t understand.

I was too young to remember what was happening then. So I asked a good friend of mine to help me comprehend the 1960s mindset.

Dan Cirucci, a blogger and public relations professional, was a young man at Villanova University in 1968 when he marched against the war and supported those who called for its end. So what does Cirucci think of the current protests?

“This is not like 1968,” Cirucci wrote. “College age Americans were fighting and dying on foreign soil in 1968 in a war that seemed to have no end. And 1968 was the high point of the bloodshed, with 16,592 young American lives lost.”

“Authorities were not nearly as tolerant of college uprisings as they are now. Protesting students were often quickly expelled, and since there was a military draft, they could be legally prosecuted,” Cirucci added. “At Kent State University, the National Guard was called in to quell a student protest. Twenty Eight National Guard soldiers fired about 67 rounds over 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others in what came to be
known as the Kent State massacre.”

I think the thing that struck me the most about Dan’s account is the comment about Kent State.

The protesters today are in no danger of anything other than being arrested, and only if they have committed crimes of trespass or assault.

The students we have seen at UCLA and Columbia and other institutions have become violent, whether because they have acted on their own or allowed outside agitators to join the cause and infiltrate the ranks. No one is killing them.

No one is holding them accountable for their “First Amendment” rights, which have turned in many cases into criminal antics.

And not one of them is in danger of being drafted to fight in a foreign war.

Beyond that, as Dan points out, the Vietnam protests were aimed at saving lives.

Dan mentions that he was at Villanova, an Augustinian institution that also happens to be one of my alma maters. There, they prayed for the end of the war, and the safety of the soldiers and the South Vietnamese.

If you attend one of these 2024 protests, it is rare to hear prayers.

More likely than not, you will hear faith being twisted into a weapon, and Jewish students being vilified for who they are, and what they believe.

So no, the protests that are cropping up around us are not “just like” Vietnam.

They are much closer to the BLM protest/riots that engulfed our country a few years ago.

The point of those marches seemed to be grievance and hatred of “the other,” not a true attempt at any social reckoning.

There is no difference with the anti-Israel protests we are forced to deal with today.

Opinions will differ on what is happening in Gaza.

But people who have a better grasp of history, those who lived through this before, know that there can be no difference of opinion on this: The times, they are a’changing. And these “protesters” are nowhere near the caliber of those who went before them.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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Two lawmakers who never agree on anything are taking a stand

John F. Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles In Courage,” a series of essays that focused on eight senators throughout U.S. history who — despite serious pressures from their colleagues and constituents — did what they believed to be the right and moral thing.

I have always been fascinated with people who find within themselves the ability to defy expectations, anger their presumed allies and follow their own conscience.

It is a rare quality, rarer still in this current climate of tribalism. But last week, two men showed up on my radar screen, polar opposites in their demeanor and their politics.

Their courage derives from a refusal to accommodate the blatant antisemitism that is infecting our streets, our media, our campuses and our hearts in the wake of Oct. 7.

Pennsylvania’s junior Sen. John Fetterman has shown immense integrity, wrapped in Western Pennsylvania grit, by confronting the pro-Palestinian advocates who regularly demand that he condemn Israel.

Not only has he waved an Israeli flag at them, he’s mocked them as they should be mocked.

My favorite incident involved an invocation of the Millenials’ Sacred Temple, when he noted that “It is not appropriate or legal or helpful to advance your argument if you show up in a Starbucks with a bullhorn and start yelling at people.”

Well-played, senator, well-played.

Fetterman has incurred the anger of progressives who are shocked that he has his own mind, and is unwilling to play the puppet for their myriad demands and confusing agendas.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, both sartorially and philosophically, is Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.

Johnson seems to have tabled consideration of a bipartisan immigration plan, which angered this writer but which made the MAGA crowd happy enough.

That is, until he decided to defy the pressures of the woman I like to call the Gorgon of Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and brought the funding bill for Ukraine and Israel to the floor.

That made him persona non grata with the conservatives, and didn’t make him any new friends among the Democrats.

Johnson is a man standing on his own tiny island. His only companion on that island, apparently, is his conscience.

Last week, he went to Columbia University to stand in solidarity with the Jewish students who were being persecuted and harassed by the same pro-Palestine protesters who’ve been rightly ridiculed by Fetterman.

According to a Reuters report, Johnson’s visit “was meant to support Jewish students intimidated by some anti-Israeli demonstrators [and] took place shortly after the university extended a deadline by 48 hours to Friday morning to reach an agreement to remove an encampment that has come to symbolize the campus protest movement.”

Johnson stood there very publicly in his nerd-chic business attire and horn-rimmed glasses, looking like one of the prep school boys I used to teach AP French to at the Haverford School, and made the same sort of statement Fetterman did in his hoodies: Don’t screw with the Jewish students. Don’t be a bigot.

Those two men could not be more different. But both have a core characteristic that unites them: integrity.

At a time when far too many are afraid to say things that will anger their friends and provoke their enemies, John Fetterman and Mike Johnson are a shining example of what is possible when we ignore the screams of the tribal elders.

To me, they represent a hope for decency that I didn’t quite believe still existed in this society.

As my father used to say, hope is the last thing to die.

It’s on life support, but with these two, it’s still breathing.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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NPR leader shows her true colors

John Paul II once stated that “there can be no rule of law … unless citizens and especially leaders are convinced that there is no freedom without truth.”

Katherine Maher, the CEO of National Public Radio, has a slightly different take on the issue, noting recently that “Perhaps, for our most tricky disagreements, seeking the truth, and seeking to convince others of the truth, might not be the right place to start. In fact, our reverence for the truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”

She went on to note that there are “many different truths.”

Aside from the fact that John Paul II is now a saint, I tend to give significantly more weight to his opinion than that of a Silicon Valley girl who is worried about hurting the feelings of a diverse and increasingly touchy audience of listeners.

I do not hate NPR. I love their television programming like “Masterpiece” and the Saturday afternoon cooking shows, and the often-mocked but soothing cadence of the presenters is appealing when compared to the screaming amateurs on cable and many podcasts.

I’ve even been interviewed on the old “Radio Times” and “Here and Now” shows, and appreciate their range of topics.

But range is not depth, I can get just as many great British programs on BritBox, and if I need to know how to keep my pie crust flaky the Food Network can step in.

The truth is non-negotiable, and if NPR is no longer in the truth business, they don’t get mine. I emailed my local NPR affiliate, WHYY in Philadelphia, and let them know I would like to terminate my membership.

I doubt that this will be shattering news for the company, especially since they just saved a nice chunk of change when veteran editor Uri Berliner resigned this week after being chastised by management.

His crime?

Suggesting in an op-ed for another news organization that NPR was prioritizing identity over quality.

His critique was something that conservatives, moderates and even honest liberals have known for years: NPR takes sides, massages the message and places agendas over neutral reporting. Add to that an effort to replace unbiased journalism with “diverse voices” and you see why Berliner touched a nerve.

I know that diverse voices are important. I mean, of course they are, right?

We are a nation of immigrants, something I know a little bit about, and the crazy, beautiful quilt of our shared ethnicities and faiths is what sets us apart from every other nation on Earth where membership usually requires a DNA link, even attenuated.

Our DNA link is composed of intention, hope and a desire to belong.

Sadly though, NPR isn’t interested in the sort of diversity you cannot see and cannot fit into tidy slogans like “Black Lives Matter,” “MeToo” and “Trans Rights are Human Rights.”

It certainly isn’t interested in the type of diversity that fits into this slogan: “Make America Great Again.”

For all of its talk about diversity, NPR seems to want to limit that concept to epidermal things like, literally, skin color and “lived experience.”

It’s not interested in divergent viewpoints, as Berliner uncomfortably pointed out in his essay published at the Free Press. As CEO Maher clearly expressed, the company is now focused on “glorious chronicles of human experience and all forms of culture,” as long as those “glorious” things align with their liberal mindset.

To be honest, I have no real problem with any private person or organization setting up its own rules and metrics for operation.

While I strongly disagreed with Kellyanne Conway’s awkward suggestion about “alternative facts” — the Blueberry Princess of South Jersey had ingested too many berries — I had no problem with her saying it.

My tax dollars weren’t subsidizing her position, at least not directly. And if NPR were, say, Breitbart or the Daily Wire, I’d be fine.

The problem is that NPR is supported in large part by taxpayer funding in addition to their monthly panhandling from viewers and listeners.

I willingly gave them my subscription money. I didn’t agree to also supplement them with my taxes. And the thing is, I can cancel my subscription, as I’m doing.

I can’t, however, refuse to pay my taxes. Al Capone tried that, and it didn’t work out too well.

So I hope that those who agree with me and St. John Paul that the truth matters will send a message to NPR that, for the foreseeable future, they actually don’t.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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OJ Simpson’s death is an opportunity for us all

I’m pretty sure that the number of people who are mourning the death of OJ Simpson can fit into the trunk of the smallest car Hertz ever rented.

He was a man who killed his wife Nicole, as well as innocent stranger Ron Goldman, and was acquitted because he played the race card.

As a human being, I am repulsed by the fact that he treated women like a punching bag. As a lawyer, I am repulsed by the fact that he did the same with our legal system.

But perhaps his death can serve a purpose. It will be a chance for us to focus on domestic violence, the generational abuse that ends in death and the destruction of families in every corner of the world.

The incidence of domestic violence is extremely high in many countries in South and Central America, in Africa, in the Middle East and South Asia.

If you were to shadow me in immigration court, you would see women from Egypt who have been tortured by their ex-police-officer husbands, women from El Salvador who were raped by their uncles, women from Mali who were beaten by their fathers as punishment for not marrying the men chosen for them, and women from Pakistan who were shot at by the Taliban for going to school.

They also happen in California, on the steps of a mansion owned by the rich and beautiful wife of an iconic athlete.

Domestic violence has no language, no citizenship, no age, no profession, no sexual orientation, no religion and in some cases, no gender requirements.

It is the one crime that for years went unreported in the United States for this simple reason: It was not a crime.

When I was growing up, men could rape their wives and the marital contract shielded them from criminal prosecution. That’s changed, thank God, but it’s still very hard to get any kind of protection from the authorities when the person beating your face into a facsimile of raw meat is the person who owns the house you live in.

One of the reasons I was disgusted with the OJ verdict was the reaction from some people who both tried to put the victim, Nicole Simpson, on trial. There was that sense that she had options they didn’t, that she could have run away, that money was her safe haven. Unfortunately, money cannot protect anyone from a person who wants you dead.

It also reminds me of the men I represented who were themselves victims of domestic violence either at the hands of their wives or their male partners. People refused to believe they were “real” victims. Imagine the pain of being told that your ordeal is fabricated, or it was your fault.

And then there was the race card.

If Nicole had been a Black woman, it’s still possible that OJ would have been acquitted.

I choose to think, though, the phenomenon of jury nullification wouldn’t have worked, because the subliminal message in the OJ acquittal was “we are protecting a Black man who probably committed the crime to serve justice to all the other Black men who were wrongly punished because of white women’s lies.”

While it is understandable  there would be anger about the Scottosboro Boys and the Emmet Tills, and all of the others whose names are lost to history, this should never come at the expense of a murdered woman.

People might deny this was what happened. People might say that the late Johnny Cochran just did what great lawyers do: argue zealously for the rights of their clients.

The guiltier they are, the more zealously you fight. People might also say that OJ still paid a steep price in terms of complete ostracization, and the loss of most of his earthly wealth. And those of us who believe in karma can take comfort in the fact that at the end, he suffered.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Nicole Simpson has been dead for three decades, that her son and daughter have been without a mother for 30 years, that the Goldman family lost a beloved son because of misdirected, homicidal rage, and that a murderer in all but the sentence was able to spend those last three decades of his life in relative freedom.

Hopefully, his death will bring some solace to the extended network of his victims. And hopefully it will also remind us of the horrific scourge of domestic violence that still exists, along with the repellent attempts to racialize human tragedy.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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In tribute to the insight and longevity of Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem turned 90 years old last month. She is the oldest living feminist from an era when this was a sign of being a “serious woman.”

The thinking goes that unless you call yourself a feminist, people will send you back to the kitchen, forcibly impregnate you and hide your shoes. But that “I am woman, hear me roar” anthem singing is long past its heyday.

Gloria, however, is not. She has tried to remain relevant over the years by popping up and giving her opinion on various current events, like when Donald Trump was elected.

The day after the inauguration, she showed up at the Pink Hat Jamboree saying things like: “We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet, we will not be controlled, we will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up. No more asking daddy.”

I was told that I stand on her shoulders, and should be grateful for the fact that she allowed me to practice law, write a syndicated column, open my own bank account, study abroad, and cut my meat into little pieces all by myself.

So I thought, OK, if this lady is so exceptional, I need to read more of what she’s said because that Pink Hat speech wasn’t all that impressive.

So I bought a commemorative book of her quotations, in order to absorb the genius that is Gloria. After all, she made my life possible, so I want to be able to reference her in my conversations with other people.

Here’s one quote that impressed me, given the fact that the iconic feminist is a huge booster of abortion rights: “Your daughters are watching you.”

My first reaction was: not if you’ve already aborted them, Gloria. My second reaction is unprintable.

Another quote, this one from a collection entitled “The Truth Will Set You Free But First It Will Piss You Off” was particularly compelling because of its absolute irony: “For women, the only alternative to being a feminist is being a masochist.”

The irony comes in the fact that feminism has actually destroyed the lives of so many women who were otherwise content to focus on one of the most important jobs of all: giving life, raising families, being the “goddess” of their own homes and beloved of their husbands. Note that I say “one of” the most important jobs.

There are many women who have never married, never had children and who chose to work outside of the home. Those choices are legitimate.

The problem came in the feminists’ assertion that staying home had no value, or that the value actually needed to be monetized in this market economy. The ability to bear a child was considered just another option, a hobby, an attribute of womanhood and not the greatest biological and spiritual gift that we have.

Another quote that I found particularly interesting was this: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?”

The brilliance in this lies in its simplicity, and absolute narcissism, which has often been a hallmark of second-wave feminism. Gloria is basically saying that if you don’t like the way that the world is structured, you should change it to fit your particular needs.

There is no sense that perhaps your needs aren’t that important, or that if they are, someone else’s needs might take precedence. There is this single-minded, and simple-minded idea that whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, regardless of the consequences.

I also think that this was an early portent of the trans movement, as in, if the gender doesn’t fit, let us change the pronouns. But I digress.

There are also her series of comments about men: “The surest way to be alone is to get married”, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,” and my favorite “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”

This is Steinem’s core belief: men are toxic.

This is also the principle that undergirds her type of feminism. Any man who calls himself a feminist is a man who looks in the mirror and cries.

I’d say that any man who calls himself a feminist is a man who deserves a woman like Gloria.

Steinem is an icon.

But I have realized that it’s not because she’s particularly clever.

It’s because anyone who can write this sort of stuff for this long without being laughed out of the room is pretty darn amazing.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

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