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Brief asides


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POSTED: Thursday, July 09, 2009

BEST WISHES

Enjoy the jackpot

Rebecca Berry, the secretary who hit it big at a Minnesota Casino Monday, is recovering after falling ill hours after winning. At age 80, she's ready to enjoy some well-deserved retirement, planning to quit her job after reeling in the $1.3 million bonanza. Here's to getting some rest and recovery to enjoy the spoils of her jackpot win.

HACKED

Not the assault that was expected

The United States was expecting a strike by North Korea, but not the one it apparently got. While eyes were on the skies on the Fourth of July, and the communist regime carried out its threat to fire several missiles, simultaneous cyberattacks crippled the Web sites of major American and South Korean government agencies, including those of the White House, the State Department and the New York Stock Exchange. The North or its sympathizers are accused of the strikes, which resulted in some sites still malfunctioning days later, long after the seven short-range SCUD missiles fell harmlessly into the sea on Saturday.

LASTING IMAGE

Let them grieve in private

It's hard to imagine that Michael Jackson would have wanted the three children he shrouded from public scrutiny for so long to be displayed so at his memorial service. There was something downright sad about the crush of Jackson siblings surrounding their 11-year-old niece Paris, urging her to get closer to the microphone, and to speak up, as she struggled through sobs to eulogize her father, the King of Pop.

It is in the extended clan's interest to humanize the eccentric star and to cement his legacy as an entertainer, which was overshadowed in recent years by his questionable, perhaps even criminal, behavior. Presenting the grieving girl to the world, with her memories of a loving father, did humanize Jackson. But she also provided a painful image of a telegenic, vulnerable kid, managed by adult “;handlers”; with their own interests in mind. Michael Jackson was once that child. It would be a shame if his kids ended up the same way.