THE SPINE DECEMBER 30, 2009
Brooke Astor's son, Anthony, whom the Daily News called a “convicted swindler,” was accused by his own son Philip basically of “elder abuse.” It's quite likely that Philip hated his father even than more than he may have loved his grandmother whom, we were told ad nauseum, all New Yorkers adored. This mass of people was represented in the court proceedings by just plain folks like Henry Kissinger and Annette De La Renta. Their accusations against the Astor fortune heiress' only child seemed real, and the judge was, well, judicious. So I don't have any complaint about the trial or the outcome which will put Anthony behind bars for from one to three years.
The incarceration of his father is a triumph of sorts for the Astor grandson. But who knows what kind of torment turned Philip so against his parent. Don't envy him his victory.
In the case of the Christmas terrorist, it was the father, one of the wealthiest of Nigeria's (usually corrupt but not, I suppose, necessarily) elite who had tried to turn in his son. It could not have given Alhaji Umaru Mutallab much pleasure or satisfaction, this fingering to Nigerian, British and American authorities of 23 year old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, whose photos make him look more boy than man. I suspect he was at least as worried about his child than the West.
So there is clearly much pain in this narrative. Maybe Barack Obama, who clearly didn't and may not yet grasp the extent of the story, might offer this tragedy-touched African banker the U.S. Medal of Freedom. It would be another way of showing the president's tiers mondisme.