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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 29, 2014 / 29 Nissan, 5774

The golden platter of privilege, spat on by ingrates

By Christine M. Flowers




JewishWorldReview.com | Let's get the magic, constitutional language out of the way first. Nothing I am about to say presumes guilt. We all learned from some Duke lacrosse players where that tends to lead. But, assuming, arguendo, that some local prep-school graduates did what the Montgomery County D.A. says they did and spearheaded an upscale drug cartel, we are left with this:

Ingratitude can be criminal.

I should probably put all my cards on the table at the outset. Twenty-some years ago, I taught AP French at the Haverford School. At 5 feet 2 inches and not yet 30, I didn't cut much of an imposing figure among seniors who towered over me, but the boys were kind and pretty much adopted me as a novelty on a campus that was 99 44/100 percent pure (that is, male.)

Haverford is styled after an English prep school (think "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" meets "Dead Poets Society" with a slight dash of "Boys Town"). The students were for the most part very privileged, and I recall being able to differentiate between the teachers and their pupils by the type of cars in the parking lot: The boys drove the vastly better ones. But I can honestly say that I never felt that those kids underestimated the gift they'd been given of that type of education.

My own brother spent six years there, from seventh through 12th grade. The school helped him through the death of my father, and I will never forget that debt.

But all that being said, and with a very deliberate nod to the due process we consider fundamental to our American identity, I'm so damned angry at what happened this week. Angry, and disgusted by the phenomenal lack of gratitude shown by those former students who, if the allegations from the D.A. are true, spat on the great and glorious promise they'd been offered on a golden platter.

Here we have young men, and one young woman, who apparently, allegedly and supposedly decided that earning money the legitimate way (first asking daddy, then getting an exceptionally lucrative job) was far too demanding. They also bought into that evolved theory of pot being just another commodity for sale and the Controlled Substances Act a tiny road bump on the way to Pablo Escobardom.



These students had the world at their fingertips, or at least within arm's length. They perverted Robert Browning's famous lines, "A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for?" into "A man should pervert the heaven he's been given." Or, maybe this, from "Paradise Lost": "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven."

This is not to say that privilege is necessarily a vaccine against pain, want or psychological distress. There are children of noblesse who deal with a certain existential distress that material affluence can't neutralize. But the one thing that they do have is options, which is something you don't often see in the inner city.

Believe me, I'd be just as angry if the faces that appeared on the front page were black or brown, and hailed from Overbrook, Point Breeze or Kensington. No one gets a pass because he or she has a sad backstory. My own father grew up in West Philadelphia, spent some time in foster homes and barely made it out of adolescence without a rap sheet. He took what opportunities were available to him, listened to the priests at St. Tommy More, did a stint in the Army in an isolated NORAD outpost in Greenland and came home. To college, which he paid for entirely by himself while working two jobs. To Temple's Law Review. To a brilliant career.

Google the name Theodore Flowers, and you'll find that he was voted a Legend of the Philadelphia Bar Association by his peers, many of whom never knew what it meant to go to bed hungry.

So, the whining about those poor inner-city kids having to deal drugs to survive gets no purchase in this precinct. They're little criminals, regardless of their sob stories about absent fathers and addict mothers. And the racism angle, please, don't even get me started.

But the kids from Haverford are even worse than the reprobates from the inner city, because they were given the keys to the kingdom and instead, it seems, used them to unlock a world of depravity.

If they were addicts trying to get a fix, that's one thing (although I have little sympathy for even that excuse). But this epic endeavor, involving an arsenal of weapons, Moneyball-style accounting techniques and an attempt to pull in other kids from other campuses and turn the Main Line into a white-bread version of Cali, Colombia, wasn't to satisfy some physical craving. It was that most banal yet deadly of motivators: greed.

The glee with which some experts in class warfare are greeting this story is vile. But it is not wholly unexpected. Nor, I say weeping, undeserved.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Christine M. Flowers Archives

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

© 2014, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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