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Mixed Sentiments — from a different battlefield — on the Passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, who valiantly fought: Brain Cancer, for Not Leaving Children Behind, and for Caring for the nation’s Health.

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AUGUST 26, 2009

 

I rarely sleep, and as the TV flashed with news of this lion of a personality, and carrier of the family name, it coincided unfortunately with the third year since I lost my daughters to felony child-stealing, in retaliation for reporting, in seeking asylum from domestic violence.

I struggle with respecting this event, with discomfort about our nations hyper-respect of public figures.  Senator Ted apparently was a womanizer as well as struggled with alcohol, and eventually married a woman 22 years his junior; do his many public accomplishments compensate, is this just the way of “famous men” that change society?

He lost two brothers to assassination, assassinations that affected our country.

I am currently reviewing the work of a young woman, local, that lost a sister and a brother to murder, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and probably also wrong color.  She too is near the end of her dynasty — both parents gone.  Her mother took the loss of two children hard, and also was fighting cancer.  Her older sister was seen talking to some people in a van.  She was found later, hog-tied, stabbed many times, raped many times, and thrown out like trash in a dumpster.  Her SISTER.  Her brother was stabbed in the heart for confronting someone trailing other women.  Why do I run across people like this?  I don’t know, except I don’t live in a castle or gated community, and I find people’s stories interesting.  I have been cut out of my own daughters’ stories by a  top-heavy, supposedly well-intentioned system that knew that two bright girls were not going to escape its radar or grasp, and that mother must therefore disappear.

Unlike me, she figured out FAST that a system was not going to protect her own two sons, and found a trusted friend to become guardian, so at least she can see them.  Like others, for a fee.  Like me, she wants some version of the truth to survive for her children.


We are allowed to give birth, but too often, not to also speak.

 

How famous is Senator Ted, then, and how much more important his story, and his contributions?  Should I mourn him more than others?  And yet it’s clear he worked hard, campaigned hard, pushed initiatives through, and changed our society.  How can I handle this today, when I shouldn’t be blogging but doing something more self-preserving.  Do I share the national regret and awe?  

Quite honestly, no, but I mean no harm in saying so.

How long can I afford to pause and commemorate? 

Probably shouldn’t have today, but i did.

 

it is easy and common to pick heroes and praise them, and transfer parts of our identity to heroes who gave their lives in service, and forget the non-heroes, some of whom I commemorate below.

I am not sure where Senator Ted falls in this mix.  I think the metaphor of this book has come to the rescue.  It seems both to symbolize the federalism and the poverty, and the reporting of it that go together in the topic “FAMOUS.”  

 

 

Let us Now Praise Famous Men

The book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men grew out of an assignment the two men accepted in 1936 to produce a magazine article on the conditions among white sharecropper families in the U.S. South. It was the time of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt‘s “New Deal programs designed to help the poorest segments of the society. Agee and Evans spent eight weeks that summer researching their assignment, mainly among three white sharecropping families mired in desperate poverty. They returned with Evans’ portfolio of stark images—of families with gaunt faces, adults and children huddled in bare shacks before dusty yards in the Depression-era nowhere of the deep south—and Agee’s detailed notes.

As he remarks in the book’s preface, the original assignment was to produce a “photographic and verbal record of the daily living and environment of an average white family of tenant farmers.” However, as the Literary Encyclopedia points out, “Agee ultimately conceived of the project as a work of several volumes to be entitled Three Tenant Families,though only the first volume, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, was ever written.” Agee considered that the larger work, though based in journalism, would be “an independent inquiry into certain normal predicaments of human divinity.

 

The resulting single book is a critically praised opus that leapt over the traditional forms and limitations of journalism of the time. By combining factual reportage with passages of literary complexity and poetic beauty, Agee presented a complete picture, an accurate, minutely detailed report of what he had seen coupled with insight into his feelings about the experience and the difficulties of capturing it for a broad audience. In doing so, he created an enduring portrait of a nearly invisible segment of the American population.

 

My father had a love, and some ear, for poetry, and always claimed he could hear the rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer (or possibly it was the 23rd psalm) in Agee’s “Knoxville, Summer of 1915.”  Ever the critic (and unable to carry a tune himself) he tried to talk me out of both music, and Christianity (unsuccessful in both cases), and we had something of a truce.  I do not have, emotionally or socially, a family at this point; I have made my own in life, and as to the one with whom I share DNA, it’s the two daughters only (now gone) and the deceased Dad, and my memories of him will have to do.  . . .  

So perhaps the Agee reference, the federalism, and my wish to point out, that deep poverty and distress still exist, sometimes still caused by either the basic human lusts, or the governmental god-like posturing, will make up for my mixed sense of duty in perhaps failure to “note” with enough awe, the passing of another member of the Kennedy dynasty, regardless of on how wide a screen and with how broad a stroke for how long, he painted his visions of what the United States should be.  For one, as a woman, a mother, and a Christian, I do not share his multiple visions on how to help the poor and educate America.  I do not think this is the original American vision, a totalitarian welfare state, an inverted pyramid building the 21st century equivalent of pyramids of social structure.  I think this “nation/religion” is the way of Egypt, milennia ago.  No, I do not.  But still, Let us Now Praise Famous Men.  

 

One of the follies of humanity is poor choice of who to praise and with whom to associate — famous  preempts worthy. 

 

Throughout the book, Agee and Evans use pseudonyms to obscure the identity of the three tenant farmer families. This convention is retained in the follow-up book And Their Children After Them

lthough Agee’s and Evans’ work was never published as the intended magazine article, their work has endured in the form in which it finally emerged, a lengthy, highly original book. Agee’s text is part ethnography, part cultural anthropological study, and part novelistic, poetic narrative set in the shacks and fields of Alabama. Evans’ black-and-white photographs, starkly real but also matching the grand poetry of the text, are included as a portfolio, without comment, in the book.

Although at its heart a story of the three families, the Gudgers, Woods, and Ricketts (pseudonyms for the Burroughs, Tengles and Fields) the book is also a meditation on reporting and intrusion, on observing and interfering with subjects, sufficient to occupy any student of anthropology, journalism, or, for that matter, revolution.

 

 

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY 1962-2009

August 26, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Senator Kennedy has authored more than 2,500 bills throughout his career in the United States Senate.  Of those bills, several hundred have become Public Law.  Attached is a sample of some of those laws, which have made a significant difference in the quality of life for the American people. Download the PDF document of his accomplishments here.

 

Reflections:

Who old enough does not remember? the assassinations, the plane crash, and now we have newsbroadcasts, and a nation commemorating the legacy of this Senator from Massachusetts.  It is healing to commemorate, with respect, men who have changed the face of the nation.  Last night, I watched on TV, Charlie Rose seeking to know this man through former friends and writers, and also speaking with the Senator also.  As I saw the shock of white hair, the broad, broad charismatic smile, and listened to Senator Kennedy promote Education and Health Care, his two major federal programs and passions, I had a hard time.  I heard the Senator talk about how America cannot be left behind in globalization and MUST give EVERY child the capacity to succeed in a global economy.

 

I thought, where are the memorials for the people who were not born into Kennedy family, but still died?  

Viet Nam Memorial

By thee have I run through a troop and leapt over a wall

Psalm 18:

1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

. . . . 

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip

 

WHO MOURNS THESE?

 

Deborah Ross (51) and Ersie Charles Everette (58)

2009 Tried to break up, Shot to death at work, in a Tollbooth, and her male friend in a parking lot, ambushed

Cross said the shootings appeared to stem from a domestic dispute as Burris and Deborah Ross, 51, a California Department of Transportation toll booth collector, had recently broken up.

“He clearly had no regard for human life, so we wanted to apprehend him as soon as possible,” Cross said. “We had authorities all throughout Northern California trying to find this guy.”

Burris apparently opened fire with a shotgun shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, killing Ross and Ersie Charles Everette, 58, of San Leandro, Calif., who was sitting in his truck in the toll plaza parking lot.

Ross and Burris had shared a house in Richmond, and neighbors said the two had been having financial problems. Richmond Police were called to the house on Saturday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Bisa French said Wednesday. It is unknown what the nature of the call was as no report was taken, French said.

Although their relationship had just ended, Burris was aware of Everette, who drove Ross to work Tuesday, Cross said.

“Somehow, he knew the guy was there at her job, there’s a connection between the two victims, but what that relationship is, we don’t know at this time,” Cross said.

Everette, known as “Chuck” by those who knew him, was a longtime, well-respected bus driver for Golden Gate Transit who had received numerous accolades, spokeswoman Mary Currie said Wednesday.

“He was a likable guy, a good guy,” Currie said. “Passengers liked him. His co-workers liked him.”

Tuesday’s shootings occurred at the bridge over the northern portion of San Francisco Bay that connects well-to-do Marin County with Richmond and other East Bay suburbs. Witnesses said a man used the butt of a shotgun to shatter the window of the No. 3 toll booth, then fired at least three times inside, stunning rush-hour commuters in the westbound lanes before fleeing in the van owned by Western Eagle Shuttle of San Rafael, Calif.

Officers found Ross’ body inside the booth, while Everette was discovered slumped over in a white pickup truck in a nearby parking lot.

> > > 

2009/2008  Torres, Catalina (44) & Eustacio (41),  Sgt. Paul Starzyk

Brother, Sister, both domestic violence workers, both murdered by an “ex”

 

According to the San Francisco chronicle, on the evening of July 19th, Eustacio Torres was shot by his ex-girlfriend at a converted garage that Torres was renovating. Torres and his girlfriend, Bernadette Agustin, met about five years ago when Torres was renovating her house. They became partners in that business for a few years. The market started to tumble downhill, and their buildings went into foreclosure causing them to lose money. This caused tension between the couple. After some time, their relationship started to become difficult for both of them. Torres realized that Agustin was dangerous; however he never got a restraining order against her. On the evening on July 19th Agustin went to meet Torres at the garage. Prior to this incident she bought a pistol. She brought shot him with it.

About a year ago Eustacio Torres’ sister, Catalina Torres, a volunteer for a battered women’s group, was shot and killed inside of her Martinez apartment while trying to protect one of her customers in a beauty salon.

Her customer’s husband, Felix Sandoval, entered the beauty salon raged at his wife who had a restraining order against him. Catalina and her customer jetted out of the beauty salon. Sandoval couldn’t find his wife so he followed Torres to her apartment and shot her in the head, simply because she was affiliated with the incident. He then shot at the door and hit Sgt. Paul Starzyk. He still busted in and shot and killed Sandoval.

Since these two murders are a year apart and both victims come from the same family, the Torres family is suffering deeply from these two tragedies.

It is sad, yet ironic how both tragedies happened in the way that they did. They were related and both incidents happened a year apart. Considering the fact that Eustacio, Catalina’s brother had to help bury her, it is sad that he got killed also. They both worked together in a domestic violence group together. Now the Torres family has lost two of their family members to similar incidents.

MARTINEZ — Last September, Catalina Torres’ family struggled to find answers about why she died at the hands of an estranged in-law who also killed a Martinez police sergeant.

> > >

Less than a year later, they find themselves again trying to find clarity after the slaying late last month of her brother, Eustacio Torres, by an estranged girlfriend in San Diego.

According to San Diego police, the bodies of Eustacio Torres, 41, and Bernadette Agustin, 52, were discovered by his nephew — Catalina Torres’ son — in the early-morning hours of July 20 at his home on in the Paradise Hills area. Investigators believe that Agustin shot Eustacio Torres and herself.

Eustacio Torres’ death follows the slaying of his sister Sept. 6, 2008, by Felix Sandoval. Sandoval burst into a Martinez beauty salon looking for his wife. She was not there, and he confronted her cousin, Catalina Torres, at a nearby apartment. While she shielded one of the home’s residents, Sandoval shot and killed her.

Sandoval then shot at police approaching the apartment, mortally wounding Sgt. Paul Starzyk. But Starzyk’s final act was to kill Sandoval, saving the others in the apartment.

Sandoval was in the midst of a divorce from his wife, who had filed a restraining order against him, and Catalina Torres had been supporting her separation from him. In San Diego, Eustacio Torres was severing ties with Agustin. Although the Torres family has experienced two devastating losses, Noe Torres, youngest of the six siblings, said they do not feel like victims.

A memorial fund has been established in Eustacio Torres’ name. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the account number 2629533015.

 

Since these two murders are a year apart and both victims come from the same family, the Torres family is suffering deeply from these two tragedies.
It is sad, yet ironic how both tragedies happened in the way that they did. They were related and both incidents happened a year apart. Considering the fact that Eustacio, Catalina’s brother had to help bury her, it is sad that he got killed also. They both worked together in a domestic violence group together. Now the Torres family has lost two of their family members to similar incidents.

 

2008 account “Details emerge in Martinez triple shooting:

Catalina Torres survived domestic abuse and became a strong advocate for a nonprofit group that helps victims of domestic violence.

“She was a battered woman who became an advocate,” said Maria Preciado, Torres’ close friend. “She took negative experiences and turned them into positive things.”

In a tragic turn of events, the 44-year-old STAND Against Domestic Violence volunteer lost her life Saturday, an innocent bystander in a deadly domestic disturbance involving her cousin’s estranged husband.

Officers were called to the salon about 11:35 a.m. Saturday on reports of a domestic disturbance. Sandoval broke the salon’s front window with his hand and entered holding a gun, police said. According to witnesses, he was looking for his estranged wife, salon owner Margarita Sandoval.

Martinez police Chief Tom Simonetti said Felix Sandoval, who was waving the gun around, never fired a shot in the salon, but confronted his teenage daughter in the parking lot behind the salon and told her he was going to kill his wife and his other children. Sandoval ran to an upstairs apartment on the opposite side of the parking lot where Torres, an unidentified woman and three of Sandoval’s children were, the chief said.

 

Elnora Caldwell, 46

She asked for protection

 

SEPTEMBER 2008, This beautiful woman Tried to Leave, Died, Stabbed, on side of the road

Contra Costa sheriff building death penalty argument in wife stabbing

 

 

Investigators said Monday that they are trying to build a death penalty case against an Oakland man who allegedly stabbed his estranged wife near the Caldecott Tunnel and pushed her out of his pickup in front of stunned motorists. Robert Woods, a 47-year-old former maintenance worker for the city of Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of murdering Elnora Caldwell, 46. Caldwellobtained a restraining order against Woods earlier this year, saying she was afraid of him. She was stabbed to death Saturday night and pushed from the pickup on a stretch of Fish Ranch Road that passes over the east end of the Caldecott Tunnel. ..Caldwell’s family members believe she was kidnapped Saturday from her Oakland home, perhaps by someone other than Woods.

Police and witnesses said Woods went to Caldwell’s Oakland apartment and washed up, then turned himself in to an Oakland police officer in the area. More than a dozen motorists stopped to help Caldwell. Some gave her chest compressions and others jotted down the license plate number of the GMC pickup. Alameda County Superior Court records show that Caldwell applied for a domestic violence restraining order against Woods on April 29, and that the order was to be active until 2013. 

Caldwell wrote in her application for the restraining order that Woods had shoved her after showing up unannounced at the Nordstrom department store in San Francisco where she worked and accusing her of infidelity. In 2007, she wrote, Woods pulled her hair during an argument in his truck, forcing her to flee and take a taxi home.

In a third incident, Caldwell said, her husband broke a glass sliding door at her apartment.

It has to stop,” Caldwell wrote of alleged verbal and physical abuse.

Court records show that Woods was fired from his job as a maintenance worker for the city of Oakland last year for allegedly doing drugs and threatening to kill co-workers.

? ? ? 

 

Domestic Violence Murder/Suicides – Here’s a summary:

In the U.S., estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) are that more than three women a day are killed by their intimate partners. Women are killed by intimate partners more often than by another acquaintance of stranger.Most of these murders involved were preceded by physical and psychological abuse.

Outside the domestic realm, males are killed much more often than females; they are killed most often in fights with other men.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 1,055 women and 287 men were murdered by their intimate partners in 2005. These figures are striking, because in the past, in the 1970s and earlier, the numbers of men and women so victimized were about even. In other words, there has been a significant decline in the numbers of men killed by their partners but not for women.

The number of men who were murdered by intimates dropped by 75% between 1976 and 2005 (BJS). The number of black females murdered in this time has declined but the number of white females murdered has dropped only by 6%. Statistics Canada (1998, 2005), similarly, reveals a sharp decline in the numbers of male domestic homicide victims but not of female victims of homicide.

The reason that women are resorting less to murder of their partners is most likely because many of these women were battered women who felt trapped in a dangerous situation. Today, the presence of violence prevention programming and the availability of shelters are paving the way to other options. The fact that domestic violence services apparently are saving the lives of more men than women is a positive, though unintended consequence of the women’s shelter movement (see van Wormer and Bartollas, 2007).

 

 Nina Reiser (31), mother of 2.  No asylum in America

2006, Russian-born Oby/Gyn tries to divorce Hans Reiser (WIKIPEDIA) but disappears on exchange of children

Nina Reiser Hans Reiser

Hans Reiser Admits to Murdering Nina Reiser, Pleads to Reduced 

In 1998, while working in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Hans Reiser reportedly selected from a mail-order bride catalogue,[9] and subsequently married, Nina Sharanova (Нина Шаранова), a Russian-born and trained obstetrician and gynecologist[10] who was studying to become an American licensed OB/GYN. Reiser himself stated that he met Nina when he went to a date set up by a Russian dating service; Nina had come along to translate for his date. . . . 

In May, Nina Reiser alleged in court filings that her husband had failed to pay 50 percent medical expenses and childcare expenses as ordered by a judge and was in arrears for more than $12,000. [13]

Recovery of Nina’s body and sentencing

According to officials, prosecutors agreed to a deal whereby Reiser would reveal the location of his wife’s body in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The deal was made with the agreement of Nina’s family, but was subject to final approval by Judge Goodman.[45][46] On Monday, July 7, 2008, Reiser led police to Nina’s body buried in the Oakland hills. Reiser’s attorney, William DuBois, who was handcuffed to Reiser and accompanied by a heavy police guard to the site, said that the remains were found buried on the side of a hill between Redwood Regional Park and the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, less than half a mile (< 800 m) from the home on Exeter Drive where Reiser lived with his mother, and where Nina Reiser was last seen alive on 3 September 20

 

Anastasia Melnitchenko, 22, unmarried, No asylum in America 

2005 Tried to break up, stalked; a clearly preventable homicide — her body found in car trunk

Body-in-trunk suspect got lots of counseling

‘Doing satisfactorily’ after 6 months of weekly sessions

He was fulfilling that obligation Oct. 19, two days before Melnitchenko disappeared, when he attended a weekly session of a program in Richmond run by Priority Male Center for Positive Peaceful Living

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The El Sobrante man charged with murdering a woman he had repeatedly terrorized attended a two-hour counseling session for domestic violence offenders just days before the slaying, authorities said Tuesday.

McAlpin was on probation stemming from eight felony convictions in two separate cases for stalking, threatening and attacking Melnitchenko on several occasions from 2001 to 2004. Part of his sentence in the most recent case was that he attend a yearlong domestic violence prevention program.

THE BEST WAY TO “PREVENT” VIOLENCE IS TO SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO GIVE NO QUARTER TO PERPERTRATORS.  MCALPIN WAS A COCKY OVERENTITLED YOUNG MAN WITH NO RESPECT FOR THE WOMAN, OR THE LAW — AND FROM THE STORY, IT’S CLEAR WHY HE HAD NO REASON TO RESPECT THE LAW, TOO.  I DNR BUT I SUSPECT HE WAS WHITE.  I DON’T THINK THIS POOR WOMAN EVER EVEN LIVED WITH HIM.  THEY DATED BRIEFLY.  SHE DIED.  THE STORY OF HER DEATH INTERSECTS WITH THE STORY OF A JUDGE WITH A MISSION; I MAY TELL IT ANOTHER TIME.  THIS EVENT INTERSECTS WITH MY ATTEMPTS TO GET HELP IN 2005, THE SAME YEAR. I REMEMBER TRYING TO TELL MY FAMILY THAT THIS STALKING, THESE INDICATORS, SPELLED TROUBLE!  MY PROBLEM WAS WHO I TOLD, WHO I SOUGHT HELP FROM, AS WAS ANASTASIA’S.

Taking matters into their own hand; two brothers kill widow & her relatives: 

Winta Mehari, 28; her brother Yonas Mehari, 17;

and their mother, 50-year-old Regbe Bahrengasi

Widow and HER relatives killed in revenge, seeking money, by deceased husband’s relatives.  2 year old involved.

2006 – No Asylum for Eritrean Family from revenge, greed,

extortion? in the Golden State

Planned to exterminate family during Thanksgiving Dinner?  

ALAMEDA — A dispute over money was the cause of the shooting deaths of three members of an Eritrean family in Oakland on Thanksgiving Day, a relative of the victims alleged Tuesday after the suspects in the case were arraigned on charges that could bring them the death penalty.

Asmeron Gebreselassie, 43, the suspected gunman, and 39-year-old Tewodros Gebreselassie were each charged Tuesday with three counts of murder; one count of attempted murder for the non-fatal shooting of Yehtram Mehari, the brother of Winta and Yonas; one count of kidnapping for allegedly taking Winta Mehari’s 2-year-old son from the scene; and two counts of false imprisonment involving two other family members, Angersom Mehari and Merhawi Mehari.

 They also were charged with two special circumstances murder allegations that could earn them the death penalty: multiple murder and murder during the course of a kidnapping.

 The victims and the defendants were all members of Oakland’s sizable Eritrean community. About 50 members of that community, many dressed in traditional Eritrean clothing, packed Tuesday’s court hearing.

Oakland police say they think the motive for the shooting at the Keller Plaza apartment complex at 5301 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland about 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving was that the Gebreselassie brothers wanted revenge for the death of their brother, Abraham Tewolde, 42, on March 1.

Police said Abraham Tewolde’s cause of death was undetermined and his brothers were suspicious of Winta Mehari, his widow.

 Keflezighi said Tewolde died of natural causes but Tewolde’s family members asked Mehari’s family members to give them money.

 

I REMEMBER THIS ONE.  I WAS DRIVING TO EAT DINNER, TAKEN CHARITABLY IN, NOT WITH MY DAUGHTERS, BECAUSE THEY’D ALREADY BEEN TAKEN, COMPLICIT WITH MY OWN FAMILY AND AROUND MONEY ISSUES ALSO.  I RAN INTO POLICE CARS & TV CAMERAS BLOCKING THE WAY.

Was this misogyny?  Was this something like an honor killing?  What WAS this?  A young man, apparently a good one, was killed, victim to two men seeking revenge on his mother.  His crime?  Being a brother, apparently!

Meanwhile, students and teachers at Berkeley High School were mourning the death of Yonas Mehari. The boys varsity soccer team, which he played on, wore black armbands in his honor and dedicated its season to him Monday night.

All the victims and suspects were immigrants from Eritrea, and the killings have shocked the East Bay’s tightly-knit community from that small East African nation. Many people packed the courtroom today, and others without seats waited in the hallway.

Hundreds of mourners have been visiting the apartment complex, home to a large number of Eritreans and Ethiopians, to pay their respects. Many have also brought food for the family and donated money for transporting the three bodies to Eritrea for burial, for medical bills for others injured in the attack and for care of Winta’s Mehari’s son.

Police said the brothers, who also live in the apartment complex, were angry at Winta Mehari over the unexplained death of their brother, Abraham Tewolde, 42, who was her husband. A mechanic who ran a small auto shop on Broadway, Tewolde collapsed and died March 1. An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of his death, coroner’s officials said.

Police said the Gebreselassie brothers suspected Winta Mehari had some role in her husband’s death. Tewodros Gebreselassie, an engineer, attended the party at the Mehari’s third-floor apartment on Thanksgiving, and police said he admitted to helping his brother plan the attack.

Witnesses told police that Tewodros Gebreselassie was talking on his cell phone and said, “Yeah, they’re all here,” according to court records. Minutes later he opened the apartment door for Asmeron Gebreselassie, who then opened fire on the Mehari family. When the shooting started, Tewodros Gebreselassie grabbed his 2-year-old nephew, Winta Mehari’s son, and carried him back to the second-floor apartment where the Gebreselassie lived, witnesses said.

Asmeron Gebreselassie also shot his brother-in-law Yehtram Mehari in the foot, witnesses told police. Another brother, Angersom Mehari, jumped out a window and suffered a broken back. A third brother, Merhawi Mehari, hid in the closet and avoided injury.

Police found the boy unharmed after the two brothers surrendered to a SWAT team following a brief standoff at their apartment. The guns he allegedly used were later found, police said.

At Berkeley High School, students, teachers and counselors spent Monday and today remembering the 17-year-old Yonas Mehari, who played soccer, ran cross country and helped tutor other students.

“I’ve known him for four years, and I really saw him as a leader, an independent thinker and just a really sweet kid to be around,” said Kristin Glenchur, athletic director at Berkeley High. “He was always around volunteering for something” such as working the scoreboards during football games or the concession stands, she said.

His slain mother was active in the Eritrean Orthodox Church in Oakland and was popular among her immigrant community, estimated by the Eritrean consulate in Oakland at to be about 3,000 people.

Donations to the Mehari Family Fund can be deposited at any Bank of America branch under account number 0560942210.

 

SUMMARY:

Sometimes there is no refuge from family violence — members take the law into their own hands; oftentimes greed is a factor, as in many cases above.  McAlpin appears to have just been a man with a mission intersecting with a system with a different mission.  She got cross in the cross-fire of attempts to reform a man after:  kidnapping, stalking, assault, and threats to kill.  

How IMPORTANT is it that the United States set the standard that misogyny is “anathema” it’s unacceptable?

I fear that Senator Ted, Presidents Bush, Clinton, and now Obama, have failed to do this.  Moreover, women’s groups also, subject to the same human emotions, claw and fight each other sometimes to the top, seeking scarce prestige, or abundant federal funds.  This is also a spinoff of misogyny.  We who watch such things don’t see such huge, huge divides among the men’s groups.  We have now an older Republican white President, a young and charming (and philandering) white President, and an even younger and MORE charming African-American President, all united in fixing the crises of fatherlessness, and making sure that mothers don’t actually get to (safely) fulfil their motherhood unless a man is present, and it’s CLEAR we do not have have equal protection or rights under law, despite the claims to the contrary.  If so, where are all the dead men on the side of the road simply for leaving?  Where are the women blowing away a few family generations to take the law into their own hands?  They just aren’t there!

 

I should be more respectful, and I will take another day to be so, of the passing of a major political figure this week, Senator Ted Kennedy.

I wish I did not have a troubling memory of his womanizing, of the two programs he promoted the mOST (education/health) which have negatively affected my family the MOST.  I wish that the date of his passing did not coincide with the date my kids were stolen, yet remain within (at last sighting) driving distance, but inaccessible to me, because I simply took a stand against misogyny and violence.

I took a stand for telling the truth in court, and not mincing words.  Perhaps I am very disrespectful.

I wish I were not thinking of how he endorsed our current President, for whom I too voted, not being fully aware of his stance on the ubiquitous and impoverishing, endangering to women “fatherhood” movement.  It is never enough, never enough — always another initiative, another grant, through churches, through family members when they are themselves swept up and confronted by their failure to confront, and through family law system, and through an unbelievably condescending virtual caste system by the elite making it near impossible for less fortunate to escape the economic abuse that would enable them to escape threats of injury, death, having children abducted, either by the ex or through the courts or (case in point) both, and through violence to our civil rights within this nation.

They said Sen. Kennedy worked like a dog, and i believe it. Some of us do, too, on a single issue that doesn’t often go away.  I never tried to raise his offspring, and I do not appreciate his or any other administration , or their programs, just because they have the platform, prating on about how to raise mine, married or single, through a burdensome system that doesn’t even impart decent values, let alone decent academics.  And in 20 years of THIS battle, I’ve never had a hand laid on any of mine, anything that was mine, or on ME, from someone who openly said he or she hated me or wanted to hurt me.

It was always from the “helpers” and those “concerned.”  Sure. . . . 

 

But in re:

Kennedy’s Battle With Cancer Lost


U.S. has lost a great statesman, obviously.  But before this, long before this, we have lost something else.  We have lost self-respect as individuals, and transferred it to our leaders, HOPING in them.  This is misplaced hope too often, and it’s unwise.

Jeremiah was a prophet who watched and spoke out against the deterioration of his nation:  For this, he got left in a pit without water, and would’ve starved there, were he not later rescued.   Later, Jesus Christ, also preaching “repent” got crucified.  

Jeremiah 17

.

5 Thus saith the LORD: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited.

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out his roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but his leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it?

10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

11 As the partridge that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For the past 20 years, I have sought refuge in my home, from my home, from my family’s close resonance to the tune my ex-husband played. I have a logical mind, and mind seeks logic to piece a life together, even if the logic is to accept chaos.  But I HAVE found a logic to the, what I will call, narcissistic, self-referential habit of federal domination of the markets — well MOST markets.  Education, family design, health care, welfare, child-bearing practically, and reform.  

The U.S. is succeeding at incarceration — we are the world’s LARGEST jailor — and failing at education.  The reason we are failing at education is because we have trusted our leaders to design a system.  Instead, they designed an ECONOMY to support themselves, and placed our children at its mercy.  This was a transformational system of values sold as good, but not in practice good.  It is possible to succeed very well in this educational system and be an utter failure as a person.  It is also possible to fail in this system and be a business success.  Or to fail all round.

I am 50-plus.  At this age, I had to pick WHAT to dedicate what’s left of my life to; and it was a hard choice between Family Law system and Educational System.  Both systems hurt my kids and my family, and are creating the tiered society, while claiming to provide the opposite.  I have a relative with her own children run through a private school system that took offence that i too — in a different way — opted out of the local public schools.  In truth, I believe that if our daughters succeeded without wealth at what she’d sacrificed to become wealthy and with wealth BUY, it would somehow show up her life plan.  Our respective nieces might be competing for similar college slots – – I don’t know.  

But I have watched close up, and then system-wide, forced failure and social exclusion for simply doing something about it.  So have many fellow-blogger mothers (see right column).

Look at this graphic:

(it’s an old one) from “America, What Went Wrong“? An book that documents the destruction of the middle class.

An INDEPENDENT middle class, with time to think, and understanding basic business principles, will hold its government accountable.  A DEPENDENT (upon professional jobs, many of them government-sanctioned or supplied), which my generation came from (but not my parents) will indeed do the dirty work and bidding of the top group, keeping the heirarchy in place.

From 1990 to 2009, I have been overexposed to impoverishment, and how it’s manufactured.  I watched my husband do this, in order to keep himself on top, he was willing that the ship should go down.  Nothing more mattered, and all discussions were moot (or off) that didn’t first establish this dominance.  Neither I nor our children were actually to show up as people, or with needs, but as performers.

Now, according to the myths taught in public school (and elsewhere) about HOW government works (which dealing with in-home abuse didn’t really leave time for an official study of), it should be possible to leave the situation.  No one should care HOW I leave it, so long as it’s done legally and without harm to our children.  However once we showed up as a household, without a resident male, in waltzed the “experts,” ignoring the facts, the danger, the track record, and proudly proclaiming situations that didn’t exist as though they did.  

Having some exposure to the Bible and its language, this was easy to detect as playing “god.” And naturally, I protested.

And so, the divide and conquer of the middle class, overeducated fools (lots of academia, insufficient truly hard times), scrabbling to assert their intellectual dominance and right to explain away that violence happened in their family, and they, too, failed to report.  

In the long run, I chalk it up to basic human emotions of (1) pride (2) fear (3) greed (4) prejudice (THIs kind, “misogyny.”)  Where logic fails, dominance by gender — or age (it keeps flipping around, the varieties of messages I get), only a few years — or marital status, or SOMETHING to preserve the us/them, Object/subject relationship which is not a human relationship.  Because surely they didn’t misdiagnose a situation, the judges were wrong, I was wrong, the statistics were wrong, everyone else was wrong, and this intact family unit (sort of) was “right.”  Or else. . . . . Social shunning was tried, and I didn’t repent, to the antes were upped, and my kids were stolen, and all contact cut off.  

Perhaps it is because of working so hard on these issues, I have been watching politics from afar.

Perhaps it is because of these issues, I have a different “take” on the passing of a Senator that was compared last night to Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.  The words “dynasty” may apply, but these are NOT words coherent with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Here’s a woman talking sense:

 

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts…. New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

 

This is the theme of the National Fatherhood Initiative, there is a “crisis in fatherlessness.”  I have watched these manufactured crises on a personal level and also a national level and have begun to get an understanding of some of the causes and sources, ONE of which is most definitely the educational system.  Divide and conquer, and assume control of assets and assessments.  That’s elementary.  One very empowering activity, to young people, is the arts, and self-sufficiency.  No problem.  Delete the arts, if possible, and free time, and uninterrupted quantities of time for reflection, and also do not study (honestly) either history or the economic system, in particular not the history of any system one is currently in.  Again, I saw this in my marriage, how the most basic amenities were threatening to my “intimate partner.”  THE most threatening one apparently was access to a steady cash flow.  If I got this by working, the reserves must be eliminated by his working less, or making the process of getting to/from work more burdensome and timesconsuming.  Rooms got trashed or re-arranged while I was out, at class or working or with the kids.  There was no stability.  Once you get the pattern, it’s only a matter of breaking it.  My writing (I was also journaling the abuse) threatened this person.  I exported the journals.  He exported his behind and friendship to the people into whose care I’d put them.  I went and got them back. . . . . But it was too late.  They had to be turned, I guess (?).

Here’s another one which speaks to it about “lockdown” of the fortress continents.  Care must be taken to incorporate cheap labor:

Fortress continents

The US and Europe are both creating multi-tiered regional strongholds

There is so much in life to be considered, but in considering memorials, again, I keep coming back to scripture:

“Pray for kings and all that are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Tim. 2:1).

“It is not good to have respect of persons.” (James).

You know what, with all due respect, it’s not.  LIFE is about what you respect, and who you honor:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

There is not to be a tiered respect of people according to how MUCH of this world they’ve changed.  We, ALL of us in the U.S., are to respect ourselves, and the founding principles of this country, which then allow us to respect at LEAST our neighbors.  

“Love worketh no ill towards his neighbor.”

Sometimes it’s simply in what one does NOT do, that love.

So, below are my unforgiveable (??) thoughts, in respect that a Senator has died, on seeing the extensive television recognition of this man, and hearing about what he had been doing while I was across the country, trying to stay afloat and keep the pilot light lit in my own life, spiritually and physically.

And I have to go about what’s left of this day, seeking funds sufficient for today and build something to tomorrow.

I saw a charming, Robert-Redford smile, and I thought about Chappaquiddick

about this man’s marriage to a woman 22 years his junior, a 38 year old divorced attorney single mother, and wondered things that were less respectful than appropriate.  I thought about the CFDA pie chart I know, where his two most passionate areas:  Education and Health — were THE largest and most impoverishing segments of the budget; and the effect of this incredible top-heavy Federal language transformation into a welfare state directing lives of the lowly.  

It did not help when I learned that this person was a prime author of the “No Child Left Behind” act and a real pusher of Head Start.  Trust the elite to prescribe for the poor every time.  It is also quite unfortunate that his death this week commemorates about 3 years fo the “death” of my relationship with my own daughters, and primarily because I REFUSED to accept that poverty resulting from violence should result in becoming a surrogate womb for childless narcissistic relatives convinced that, having not experienced what my daughters and I did, or accepted court rulings already made, that they, TOO, “knew what was best” for three females leaving family violence.  When I refused, I was punished by these people, and part of the punishment was declaring what I provided for our daughters, either was irrelevant and did not exist, and what they wished instead, was somehow superior.  

The punishment included the gradual deletion of the arts, the dumbing down of my children, the deletion of jobs in my profession (in the arts) because of the need to fight family!, and eventually the criminal removal of children (minors) from my household in order to, ostensibly, “rescue” them somehow, by totally removing all contact with a law abiding, working, intelligent, informed and independent mother. I have had cause and many years to reflect on the benefits and fallbacks of my own, and my ex-spouses public educations amid dysfuncitonal families, mine in a different way from his, and the values that differ.

This gives a totally different perspective on “No Child Left Behind,” when one realizes that the children of those promoting this policies (if such exist) do not always attend public schools, and if they did, they are not in lower-income neighborhoods.  To me, the mark of acceptability is, if it’s good enough for YOUR child, then I’ll listen.  

I’ll finish with this well-written summary:

MichaelMoore.com Commemoration


August 26th, 2009 2:25 am
Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77

 

‘Liberal Lion’ of the Senate Led Storied Political Family After Deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy

ABC News

Aug. 26, 2009 — Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.

The man known as the “liberal lion of the Senate” had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the Kennedy family said in a statement. “He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”

Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy brother who was left to head the family’s political dynasty after his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.

Kennedy championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights in his storied career. In August, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — by President Obama. His daughter, Kara Kennedy, accepted the award on his behalf.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, known as Ted or Teddy, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May 2008 and underwent a successful brain surgery soon after that. But his health continued to deteriorate, and Kennedy suffered a seizure while attending the luncheon following President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

For Kennedy, the ascension of Obama was an important step toward realizing his goal of health care reform.

At the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, the Massachusetts Democrat promised, “I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test.”

Sen. Kennedy made good on that pledge, but ultimately lost his battle with cancer.

Kennedy was first elected to the Senate in 1962, at the age of 30, and his tenure there would span four decades.

A hardworking, well-liked politician who became the standard-bearer of his brothers’ liberal causes, his career was clouded by allegations of personal immorality and accusations that his family’s clout helped him avoid the consequences of an accident that left a young woman dead.

But for the younger members of the Kennedy clan, from his own three children to those of his brothers JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy — once seen as the youngest and least talented in a family of glamorous overachievers — was both a surrogate father and the center of the family.

And certainly it was Ted Kennedy who bore many of the tragedies of the family — the violent deaths of four of his siblings, his son’s battle with cancer, and the death of his nephew John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash.

 

 

Kennedy, Youngest Kennedy Brother, Led Political Dynasty in Wake of Tragedy

Edward Moore Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass., on Feb. 22, 1932, the ninth and youngest child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

His father, a third-generation Irish-American who became a multimillionaire businessman and served for a time as a U.S. ambassador to Britain, had risen high and was determined that his sons would rise higher still.

Overshadowed by his elder siblings, Teddy, as he was known to family and friends, grew up mostly in the New York City suburb of Bronxville, N.Y., and attended private boarding schools. He was expelled from Harvard during his freshman year after he asked a friend to take an exam for him.

After a two-year stint in the Army, Kennedy returned to earn degrees at Harvard and then the University of Virginia law school. He married Virginia Joan Bennett, known by her middle name, in 1958. The couple would have three children, Kara, Teddy Jr. and Patrick.

By the time he reached adulthood, tragedy had already claimed some of his siblings: eldest brother Joe Jr. was killed in World War II, sister Kathleen died in a plane crash, and another sister, Rosemary, who was mildly retarded, had to be institutionalized following a botched lobotomy.

But then the family hit its pinnacle in 1960, when John F. Kennedy became president.

His brother’s ascension created a political opportunity, and Joe Kennedy decided he should take over JFK’s Senate seat. Ted Kennedy was only 28 at the time — two years short of the required age — so a family friend was found to hold the temporary appointment.

In 1962, Ted Kennedy — backed by his family money and the enthusiasm his name generated among Massachusetts’ Catholics, was elected to the Senate.

 

The Only One Left

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. His brother Robert became the focus of the family’s — and much of the country’s — dreams.

Following the tragedy in Dallas, Robert and Ted Kennedy became closer than they had ever been as children.

“When I was working for Robert Kennedy, there was hardly a day in which the two of them didn’t physically get together, I would say at least three or four times,” said Frank Mankiewicz, who served as an aide to Robert Kennedy. “I mean, if, if Sen. Robert Kennedy wasn’t in his office, and nobody knew where he was, chances are he was seeing Ted about something.”

Five years later, while pursuing the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 against Lyndon Johnson, Sen. Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed. That left Ted as the only surviving Kennedy son.

“He seriously contemplated getting out of politics after Robert’s death,” said Kennedy biographer Adam Clymer. “He thought, you know, it might just be too much. He might be too obviously the next target and all of that. But he decided to stick it out and as he said on more than one occasion, pick up a fallen standard.”

Kennedy was seen by many as his brothers’ heir, and perhaps he could have won the White House had he stepped into the presidential race then. But he didn’t. And the very next year there occurred a tragedy that would forever block Ted Kennedy’s presidential ambitions.

In July 1969, following a party on Martha’s Vineyard, Kennedy drove off a bridge on the tiny Massachusetts island of Chappaquiddick. The car plunged into the water. Kennedy escaped, but his passenger did not.

Kennedy later said he dived into the water repeatedly in a vain attempt to save Mary Jo Kopechne, one of the “boiler room girls” who had worked on Bobby Kennedy’s campaign. But Kopechne, 28, drowned, still trapped in the car.

Questions arose about how Kennedy had known Kopechne — he denied any “private relationship,” and Kopechne’s parents also insisted there was no relationship — and why he failed to report the accident for about nine hours.

Kennedy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He received a two-month suspended sentence and lost his driver’s license for a year, but the political price was higher.

Kennedy was re-elected to the Senate in 1970, but the accident at Chappaquiddick effectively squashed his presidential hopes.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1979 against incumbent President Jimmy Carter.

Once when his daughter Kara, then 19, was passing out campaign leaflets, a man took one and said to her, “You know your father killed a young woman about your age, don’t you?”

 

 

Kennedy Curse: Political Power, Personal Tragedy

Sen. Ted Kennedy was not done confronting personal tragedy.

In 1973, 12-year-old Teddy Jr. was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he had to have a leg amputated. Kennedy’s marriage to Joan deteriorated. Some blamed her drinking, others cited his alleged womanizing. The couple divorced in 1981.

In contrast, Kennedy’s career in the Senate continued to flourish.

He supported teachers’ unions, women’s and abortion rights, and health care reform. He sponsored the Family and Medical Leave Act. And he was seen as a stalwart of the Democratic Party, delivering several rousing speeches at conventions.

Former Boston Glober reporter Tom Oliphant, who covered Kennedy’s career in Washington, observed, “It’s not all back slapping and, and personal relationships. I think one of the things that sets Kennedy’s politics apart is his, what I call his dirty little secret. He works like a dog.”

Political analyst Mark Shields said Kennedy’s “concerns were national concerns, but his forum for achieving his ends and changing policy, became the Senate. And he mastered it like nobody else I’ve ever seen.”

But another family incident exposed Kennedy’s vulnerabilities and held him up to public censure.

A nephew, William Kennedy Smith, was accused of raping a woman at the family’s estate in Palm Beach, Fla. The case generated lurid headlines around the world. Kennedy was at the estate at the time of the alleged attack and had been at the bar where Smith met his accuser.

Eyebrows were raised even further when a young woman who had been with Kennedy’s son Patrick that night revealed that she had seen the senator roaming around the house at night, wearing an oxford shirt but no trousers.

Smith was acquitted following a highly sensational trial, but the incident definitely left a dent in Kennedy’s armor. His alleged heavy drinking and womanizing were widely lampooned, and in October 1991 he thought it prudent to be low-key in his opposition to Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who had been accused of sexually harassing a former subordinate.

Kennedy’s life, both professional and personal, took a turn for the better in 1992.

He married Victoria Reggie, a divorced attorney with two children from a previous marriage, Curran and Caroline. That year Kennedy also supported Bill Clinton, an open admirer of the Kennedy clan.

“Well, sometime during our courtship, I realized that I didn’t want to live the rest of my life without Vicky,” Kennedy said about his wife of nearly 30 years. “And since we have been together, it’s made my life a lot more fulfilling. I think more serene, kind of emotional stability.”

Elected in 1992, President Bill Clinton appointed Kennedy’s sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, ambassador to Ireland. And in 1994, Kennedy had the satisfaction of seeing his son Patrick elected to the House of Representatives from Rhode Island.

But tragedy returned that year.

In May 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of cancer. Kennedy had remained close to his sister-in-law, who once quit her job at a publisher’s after it came out with an unflattering biography of Ted.

 

 

Kennedy’s Battle With Cancer Lost

Kennedy had served as a surrogate father for many of his nephews and nieces, but he may have been closest to Jackie’s children, Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr.

He was horrified when in July 1999, five years after Jackie’s death, John Jr. and his bride of two years, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, along with her sister Lauren Bessette, were killed when the small plane John was piloting crashed off the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Sen. Kennedy led the family during the harrowing wait for information as Coast Guard crews searched for the missing plane.

When the bodies were retrieved from the ocean, Kennedy and his two sons went to identify the remains. The senator’s eulogy for his nephew who “had every gift but length of years” and “the wife who became his perfect soul mate” touched grief-stricken Americans.

It was an all-too-familiar sight for those who remember Ted Kennedy mourning the deaths of his brothers John and Robert, and helping the family bear up after the deaths of Robert’s sons David and Michael.

For decades, it was Ted Kennedy who carried the burden and led the way as the patriarch of a family seen as America’s answer to royalty.

 

With all due respect, we do not need any more royalty in this country.  We need to set our sites on something invisible, something written, but something of principle, that unites us.  Our leaders need to stick to that, and out of respect to OURSELVES ,we should demand that.


2 Responses

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  1. Very good article. I’m facing many of these issues as well..

    Joanna

    September 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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