Archive for August, 2009
Ted Kennedy’s body will be leaving his beloved Massachusetts, apparently forever, on Saturday, (Aug 29, 2009.
The senior senator, who represented his state in the U.S. Senate for 43-years, will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, that same afternoon.
Massachusetts is saddened greatly to see you go, Senator Kennedy. Part of you will forever remain here, with us.
I wonder if Joe and Ethel Kennedy thought, back when they were raising a family in the early 1900’s, that three of their sons – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK (1963); Robert “Bobby” Kennedy, (1968) and now, Ted Kennedy, (2009) – would be buried alongside each other at one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.
Only two presidents are buried at Arlington Cemetery: William Howard Taft (1930) and the senator’s brother, JFK. Ted Kennedy will also be in the presence of four Chief Justices of the United States: William Howard Taft, Earl Warren, Warren Burger and William Rehnquist.
Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Virginia), is a military cemetery and a visit there is a step back in time. The cemetery was established during The Civil War, and is located near the Pentagon, directly across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. The land once belonged to the estate of the family of Robert Lee’s wife.
More than four million people visit the cemetery each year and about 100 graveside services are conducted there each week.
Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public everyday at 8:00 AM.
It closes at 7PM from April 1 to September 30…and for the rest of the year it closes at 5:00PM.
Senator Kennedy’s journey to Arlington begins on Saturday, August 28, 2009.
According to the Kennedy family, the Senator’s funeral mass will take place at a private church service at 9:00AM, Saturday morning.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be present. Also expected are: President Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Jimmy Carter. President George H.W Bush, Sr., won’t be attending.
But many of the Senators colleagues are expected to be there, and I’m now hearing that world-famous Spanish tenor Placido Domingo and Chinese cellist Yo-Yo Ma could be attending!
According to the Kennedy family, after the service, the senator’s body will be taken to Andrew’s Air Force Base where his motorcade will pass by the Capitol for a stop at the Senate steps for a brief prayer so that Senate staff and members of the broader Senate community with whom the Senator worked can bid a final farewell.
From Andrews Air Force base, Senator Kennedy’s motorcade will travel along the east plaza of the US Capitol building and go past the Senate Chamber steps. The motorcade will then proceed to Arlington National Cemetery.
5:30 p.m. A burial service for Senator Kennedy will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. The burial service is closed to the public.
The family says Senator Kennedy spent a lot of time at Arlington Cemetery, visiting the graves of his beloved brothers and paying tribute to the fallen men and women of Massachusetts who gave their lives for our country.
Now it’s our turn to go and visit him…who gave so much of his life to this country.
I scrolled through world newspapers looking to see which ones covered the death of Senator Kennedy, and many did!
I found this article in Cuba’s Prensa Latina that I’d like to share with you.
(Translated into English by toolbar)
• Democrats and Republicans prepare weapons for Senate seat
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
August 27, 2009, 11:17Washington, Aug 27 (Prensa Latina) The Republicans and Democrats ready their weapons today to win a Senate seat in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, vacated by the death of Edward Kennedy.
For the first time in 25 years this land has an empty seat at the federal upper house, and must be filled by a special election before 160 days.
Nobody knows who will take the place of Kennedy, who remained in his seat 47 years, but one thing is certain, the fight to replace him will be fierce, CNN* estimated.
Massachusetts is essentially a one-party state, the Democrats control the government and Congress, recalls.
However, it stresses, the Republicans have a special interest in that seat, then conquer It will leave the Democrats a majority in the federal upper house.
Currently, the so-called blue party has 60 seats out of 100, while their rivals have the rest.
That number allows the Democrats to defeat any delaying tactics by the Republicans, known in the jargon of American politics as filibustering.
ORIGINAL POST IN SPANISH:
• Demócratas y republicanos preparan armas por escaño senatoril jueves
27 de agosto de 2009
27 de agosto de 2009, 11:17Washington, 27 ago (PL) Los republicanos y demócratas alistan hoy sus armas para conquistar un escaño senatorial por el estado norteamericano de Massachussets, vacante tras la muerte de Edward Kennedy.
Por primera vez en 25 años ese territorio tiene vacío un asiento a la Cámara alta federal, y deberá ser llenado por una elección especial antes de 160 días.
Nadie sabe quien ocupará el lugar de Kennedy, quien se mantuvo en su curul 47 años, pero hay algo cierto, la lucha por reemplazarlo será feroz, estimó la televisora CNN.
Massachusetts es esencialmente un estado unipartidista, los demócratas controlan el gobierno y el Congreso, recuerda.
No obstante, subraya, los republicanos tienen un interés especial en ese escaño, pues conquistarlo le arrebataría a los demócratas la mayoría absoluta en la Cámara alta federal.
En la actualidad, el llamado partido azul tiene 60 asientos, de un total de 100, mientras sus rivales cuentan con el resto.
Esa cifra le permite a los demócratas derrotar cualquier táctica dilatoria presentada por los republicanos, conocidas en la jerga política norteamericana como filibusterismo.
Boston Herald – great coverage! This photo of the Senator’s casket arriving at the J.F. K Library in Boston is from their site:
>>>>>WASHINGTON (CNN*) — As Americans paused Wednesday to remember the extraordinary life of Sen. Edward Kennedy, political observers also took note of a rare development caused by his passing.
For the first time in 25 years, the state of Massachusetts has an open Senate seat. Nobody knows who will take it, but virtually everyone agrees that the fight to replace the Bay State’s liberal lion is guaranteed to be fierce.
Massachusetts is essentially a one-party state. Democrats control the governorship and every congressional seat and have overwhelming majorities in both houses of the state legislature.
One unintended consequence of this monopoly is a lot of pent-up political ambition. Bay State Democrats itching to go to Washington usually have to wait — for a long time. Kennedy won his Senate seat in 1962; John Kerry won his in 1984.
Massachusetts law requires a special election for Kennedy’s seat to be held within 160 days.
A long-term vacancy could have effects far beyond Kennedy’s home state of Massachusetts, since his death deprives Democrats of the 60-vote majority necessary to force laws through the Senate despite Republican objections.
Just last week, Kennedy urged that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election could be held. Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday told Boston radio station WBUR that he is in favor of the change and would sign it into law if the state legislature passed it.
When the special election is over, the winner will serve out the remainder of Kennedy’s term, which expires in January 2013. A slew of local officeholders have nothing to lose and everything to gain by tossing their hats in the ring.
So who’s on the list of possible contenders?
Start with the state’s 10-member House delegation. With the exception of 72-year-old Rep. John Olver, each one is considered a possible contender, said Bill Mayer, a Northeastern University political scientist.
Rep. Ed Markey, a 17-term congressman from north of Boston, ran for Kerry’s Senate seat in 1984. He also briefly aired television ads during his 2004 House re-election bid. Why? There wasn’t a serious threat to Markey’s House seat, but he wanted to raise his profile in the event of a Senate vacancy created by a Kerry presidential win over George W. Bush, Mayer said.
The one caveat for Markey today: He may not want to give up his chairmanship of an influential House committee dealing with climate-change legislation. The same goes for Rep. Barney Frank, who has plenty of name recognition but may not want to cede the helm of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Mike Capuano, now in his sixth term from Somerville, currently has the seat once held by President Kennedy and House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He took office in 1998 by edging out a 10-candidate primary field with 23 percent of the vote.
Capuano and others might try to follow that same blueprint for a statewide victory, Mayer said. As little as 20 percent may be enough to win a heavily contested Senate primary.
Capuano, Rep. Stephen Lynch from South Boston and Rep. Jim McGovern from Worcester might also bet that their stronger urban Democratic organizations can help them eke out a victory if the primary turnout is low.
Money is certain to be a key factor. Former Rep. Marty Meehan, now the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, has almost $5 million in contributions at his disposal that could be used for a Senate run.
Massachusetts Democrats might, however, decide it’s time to turn the political page by sending a woman to the U.S. Senate.
The state’s politically ambitious Attorney General Martha Coakley has the distinction of being one of the few women to win statewide. Rep. Niki Tsongas of Lowell, on the other hand, has the benefit of a famous name. Her husband — former presidential candidate Paul Tsongas who passed away in 1997 — represented Massachusetts for one term in the Senate from 1979 to 1985.
But the most famous name in Massachusetts politics is, of course, Kennedy. Ted Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, has so far expressed no interest in filling the seat, according to sources. Speculation is nevertheless rampant that she might ultimately try to keep the seat in family hands.
Former Rep. Joe Kennedy, who held Capuano’s seat from 1987 to 1999, may also try to launch a political comeback on the strength of the current wave of emotion and nostalgia. The nephew of Ted Kennedy and son of Robert F. Kennedy, he currently heads Citizens Energy Corp., which provides home heating fuel for low-income Americans.
Massachusetts may be headed for its most hotly contested Senate race in at least a quarter century.
News outlets in Massachusetts today are focusing on the same story: The death of our senior Senator, Ted Kennedy.
Kennedy died Tuesday night (Aug 25, 2009) at his Cape Cod home, after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. Accolades are pouring in from around the world for the 77-year-old statesman known as: “The Liberal Lion of the Senate”.
• Kennedy family: We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives.
• President Obama called Ted Kennedy: One of the greatest senators of our time…one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy. His extraordinary life on this earth has come to an end. And the extraordinary good that he did lives on. For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was the defender of a dream.
• MA governor Deval Patrick: A giant of social progress…one of the Commonwealth’s brightest lights went out last night.
• British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown: Kennedy was admired around the world for his efforts to help the under-privileged…a man who “will be mourned not just in America but in every continent.
• Brown’s predecessor, Tony Blair: Kennedy showed a “passionate commitment” to a lasting peace in Northern Ireland.
• British Opposition leader, David Cameron: Kennedy was one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate.
• Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd: A great American, a great Democrat, but also a great friend of Australia…a robust and continuing supporter of the alliance between the United States and Australia.
• Former President, George H.W. Bush: A seminal figure in the United States Senate — a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body’s history.
• Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen: America had lost a great and respected statesman and Ireland, a long-standing and true friend.
• Nelson Mandela (South Africa’s first black president): He made his voice heard in the struggle against apartheid at a time when the freedom struggle was not widely supported in the West.
• German Chancellor, Angela Merkel: An extraordinary personality in American politics” who had demonstrated a firm and resolute commitment to peace and justice.
• Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi: A role model for politicians.
• French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner: A dogged fight for democracy, social justice, civil rights and peace.
• Afghan President, Hamid Karzai: Deeply saddened by Kennedy’s death.
• Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: A great friend of the Jewish state.
Kennedy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where his two older brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert “Bobby” Kennedy are also buried.
Poor Michael Jackson…
Did he have any sperm at all?
To believe news reports, none of his kids are his…they all belong to a rag-tag assortment of hangers on and so-called friends that I’m happy I don’t have.
Way too much sperm was apparently swirling around Neverland. Everybody gave sperm or knows of somebody who donated sperm!
One of them, former child star Mark Lester, godfather to the King of Pop’s kids, says he might, just possibly, be the actual father of Jackson’s daughter, Paris.
He even went so far as to drag his own 15-year-old daughter in front of the camera, (Today Show) into the spotlight, so those of us who can’t rest until we know who fathered Jackson’s kids, can finally have our brains find some peace, like Michael Jackson should!
Don’t stress over it, Mr. Lester; they can’t keep the truth from her! One day she will Google who her real dad is, and your name will come up! She will be very happy you went on TV!
If I was that kid that he’s claiming to father, I’d run as far away for that odious man as I could! Supposing, just supposing, he is the girl’s father, why is he on television making his argument? Is he trying to convince us that he’s a good parent? Who’d put their kids through that?
If those kids were poor little homeless orphans, without a famous and potentially lucrative inheritance, would anybody be coming forward to “claim” them?
Why don’t I say that I’m the real mother of those kids? You know what, I never met Michael Jackson, but I could be those kids mother. Actually, I think I AM THEIR MOTHER! And I want my kids. I miss them so, you see, ever since Michael, with all his celebrity and fame paid me off and took them.
It’s true that if he was still alive today, I would not be missing them so much, but back then, they didn’t have any money of their own. Now, it’s different, with all those record sales since their dad passed away – and I WILL NOT STAND BY AND LET CATHERINE JACKSON TAKE WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY MINE!
Oooh! It was good to get that out of my system.
So, getting back to the King of Pop, the L.A. coroner has made it official. Jackson died from: an overdose of propofol…a powerful sedative he was given to help him sleep.
I would never have thought that! I was thinking all the time that he died from exhaustion, planning that concert in combination with maybe a weak heart? Who would have thought that Jackson and other celebrities indulge in drugs?
Don’t they all just die from old age? I’ve not heard of any other instances where celebrities overdosed on drugs or died from kinky asphyxiations or spousal jealousies…have you?
Jackson’s family lawyer says: “there was a tragic and gross violation of duty and care for Michael Jackson.”
Do any of the Jacksons feel that they should have been looking out for their brother/son?
Where were they while he was being overdosed, fleeced and misled? Could the Jackson family have gotten in touch with the Williams sisters dad?
Think anybody is going to get Venus or Serena Williams so befuddled as to put those tennis aces on propofol without dad Richard Williams breaking that bedroom door down and kicking some butt?
How about Tiger Woods’s dad? You think anybody could have sneaked past the late Mr. Earl Woods to put Tiger on propofol?
I loved to see Michael Jackson perofrm and pity him for his lost childhood, the push for fame and his inner misery. He clung desperately to his missed childhood!
However, Michael isn’t hurting anymore. All the hurting now is being born by those kids. Please leave them alone.
Anyone who claims to love those kids will protect them, and resolve any issues OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT!
As I write this, news that an elderly driver (79) has just plowed into a cop who was working detail for a utility crew in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
By the time the 4 o’clock news teams hit the airwaves, we’ll be told how another elderly driver has done it again – caused an accident to add to the long list that we seem to be hearing about daily.
Within the space of four weeks, there was a rash of serious, sometimes deadly accidents involving elderly drivers in Massachusetts.
An 89-year-old woman allegedly hit and killed a 4-year-old girl in a crosswalk. An 84-year-old woman died when her 83-year-old husband crashed into another car. One elderly woman died after her 92-year-old husband slammed into her while backing out of a parking spot.
A 73-year-old accidentally drove her minivan into a crowd of people attending a Memorial; eight people were hospitalized. A 93-year-old driver hurt a mother and toddler when he stepped on the gas instead of the brake and drove his car into a Wal-Mart.
And as we are won’t to do – the knee-jerk reaction is: Elderly Drivers must be driven off the roads. The MA legislature is considering several options that could reduce the accident risks of elderly drivers due to poor eyesight or slower reflexes. Elderly drivers would have to submit to more frequent, in-person license renewals, vision tests and driving tests.
The Boston Globe cites the following statistics relating to elderly driers and accidents:
• In 2008, Massachusetts drivers age 75 or older made up more than 7 percent of those holding licenses and accounted for nearly 4-percent of all crashes.
• Drivers age 75 or older were involved in about 7,000 crashes out of more than 200,000. (NO data to show how many elderly drivers caused crashes.)
• In the past four years, the percentage of crashes involving elderly drivers has remained consistent at about 3.5 percent of all auto accidents in Massachusetts.
• The percentage of elderly drivers killed in crashes, though slightly higher, remains relatively small, averaging about 38 deaths a year.
• In 2008, nearly 8 percent of the 451 fatal crashes in the state involved a driver age 75 or older.
The US Government Accountability Office says the crash rate for elderly drivers is lower than the rates for younger drivers partly because seniors drive fewer miles per year than younger drivers.
According to the Globe, based on licensed-driver rates: “drivers in the 30- to 59-year-old category are much more likely to kill other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists than elderly drivers.’’
I agree! I walk about four-miles around Boston every day and run into many young drivers who need similar restrictions.
What about drivers who: DO NOT YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS ON THE CROSSWALK, even when the walk sign is on!
How about those drivers?
-Signal says “Walk” and driver cuts across pedestrians, blocks the crosswalk and strands pedestrians in the middle of the street…by the time driver moves and pedestrians can continue traffic is already speeding towards them from the opposite direction?
-How about those cyclists who insist on biking on the sidewalk, even though the law clearly states that cyclists should bike on the sidewalk only in a business district? Cyclists who suddenly and silently come up from behind and pass to your left or right, without warning…so that if the pedestrian had just stepped to that side, the cyclist would have crashed into that unsuspecting walker?
-Cyclists who think that traffic signs/lights are not for them – that they are pedestrians, so when vehicles are stopped on the red light, they should fly past, even if people and vehicles are coming from the other direction?
-How about those cyclists who challenge pedestrians on the sidewalk and come speeding towards you, forcing pedestrians to jump out of their way? Well, I’m the one who doesn’t move. You go around, if you can! OTHERWISE WE’RE BOTH CRASHING TO THE GROUND!
Am I the only person who sees this…or cares?
Do we wait for the knee-jerk first? Do we wait for a cyclist to crash into a pregnant woman or a baby carriage for there to be a crack down?
Is that how we roll? The accident must happen first, BEFORE WE ADDRESS THE POTENTIAL CAUSE
So who’s making the roads unsafe…elderly drivers?! Bah humbug!
Wouldn’t it be nice if the government decided to buy foreclosed homes – invite people to turn in homes they no longer want or can afford – like homes that are not energy efficient? The government could then buy these houses, rehabilitate them and sell them to people who can afford them!
I suggest we call that program: “<strong>Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP)</strong>.
Its forerunner, “Cash for Clunkers” seems to have:
• Ignited under new car sales.
• Thrilled General Motors (GM) so much, the auto maker decided to lend dealers money to run the program…while those dealers wait for the government to reimburse them!
• Increased vehicle production. GM is adding 60-thousand vehicles in the third and fourth quarters and re-hiring about 1400 laid-off workers.
Under The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS program), owners traded in their gas guzzlers. That made them eligible to get from 35-hundred to 45-hundred-dollars towards buying a newer model that meets or exceeds higher mile-per-gallon standards. Dealers fronted the money and the government reimbursed them.
According to the Associated Press, the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program has: <em>revived business at car dealerships, taken gas-guzzlers off the road and given a badly needed boost to struggling auto factories. By many measures, the government’s Cash for Clunkers program has been a success</em>”.
Well then! My “Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP) program could similarly inject a substantial infusion of cash into the struggling housing market/industry.
Under CACLAP, homeowners could trade in that draughty old colonial for that new, energy-efficient detached with the big yard that you’ve been drooling over! Water saving, energy efficient appliances, solar panels on the roof – just think of it!
Cash for Clunkers ends Monday, August 24, 2009. I say we start “Cash for Clapboards” immediately!
I don’t support changing the Massachusetts Succession Law because a situation has developed that could benefit Democrats.
The Boston Globe says Senator Ted Kennedy (who’s been battling brain cancer since May 2008) has written to Governor Deval Patrick asking the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law. Kennedy apparently wants to ensure that Massachusetts will have a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant.
Massachusetts governors used to have the power to fill Senate vacancies.
But in 2004, democratic lawmakers didn’t want republican Governor Mitt Romney to fill Kerry’s seat with a Republican if Kerry became president. So Democrats (who also held the majority back then) changed the law and created a five-month vacancy.
Now that little self-serving trick could come back to bite democrats. President Obama and Democrats may face a close vote to pass health care legislation…and if Kennedy is out of the running, that’s one crucial vote short…unless that seat can be filled quickly!
I tend to be pro-Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I support everything they do…or want to do.
Why don’t I support it? <strong>Because it was Democrats who changed the law when it didn’t suit them – and if they changed it solely to tie Romney’s hands – what makes them think they can just as opportunistically change it now</strong>?
Sometimes just having the required votes and the ability to do something…<em>doesn’t mean you should do it! </em>I like it when people fall into holes that they’ve dug for others!
At one time Rome was the superpower. At one point it was Egypt. The Huns ruled, the Aztecs ruled…and more recently, Europe ruled. Empires come…empires go. Civilizations come and civilizations go!
Learn from this. Politicians come and politicians go. Parties come and parties go!
<strong>Whichever party has a majority should understand that this state of affairs will never last! What use is history is we never learn from it?</strong>
If we’d lived between about 1100 and 750 million years ago, we’d have been able to walk to practically anywhere on the huge supercontinent called Rodina: Russian for “motherland.”
Scientists say when Rodina broke up, around 700 million years ago, the climate cooled dramatically. After Rodina came Pangaea, the last supercontinent, some 300 million years ago. Pangaea broke apart during the dinosaur age, in the Triassic and Jurassic periods.
Since these two supercontinents, the earth has gone through various heating and cooling periods, and we’re apparently heading into a warming cycle. Whether humans are causing or accelerating the cycle, it is happening, and I can’t help but feel that governments worldwide are not taking this seriously enough.
We humans keep acting as though we own the paltry little plot of land that our house sits on because of something called a “deed”! Nature does not recognize deeds. The sea, the desert, the ice caps – they go where they will!
Even the mighty Dutch who’ve tamed the sea for generations are now realizing that it’s best to let nature take its course – so the government is acquiring tracts of land that it will allow to “flood” to ease pressure on its famous dykes.
According to The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global sea levels rose about 3-millimeters each year, from 1993 to 2003. Yet people are continuing to build along coastlines…and demanding that the government and taxpayers prop up their buildings with sand and help from US Army Corps of Engineers.
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development put 10 cities at the highest risk from flooding due to rising sea levels. Among them: New York City and New Orleans. I’m not surprised…scientists say Manhattan was once under a sheet of ice taller than the Empire State building.
Scientists point to the following signs to show that Global Warming is happening:
• Spreading Disease
• Heat Waves
• Melting Glaciers
• Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding
• Spring Comes Earlier
• Coral Reefs are Bleaching
• Downfalls, Heavy Downfalls and Floods
• Droughts and Fires
• Plant and Animal Range Shifts
So what are we doing to deal with Global Warming? We can always colonize space!
Meantime, the animals and plants are planning and evolving.
In Scotland, a species of sheep is getting smaller. According to a Newsweek article (Why Are Scotland’s Sheep Shrinking? July 20, 2009) Wild Soay sheep on St. Kilda archipelago, off Scotland’s west coast, have been getting smaller – by about 5-percent in the last 25 years.
Seems the sheep used to fatten up to survive the area’s harsh winters but as the weather warms up and winters get shorter and milder, there’s more food to go around so smaller, scrawnier, less fit sheep are surviving. These sheep in turn have offspring that tend to be smaller.
According to the Newsweek article, mosquitoes along the mid-Atlantic/Canada seaboard are also adapting to changing weather patterns. Mosquitoes in Maine normally start hibernating in late August, but now with winter arriving later, mosquitoes are hibernating about a week later!
Even California’s Field Mustard Weed seems to be preparing for climate change.
According to the Newsweek article, the plant’s reproductive cycle has sped up. It’s adapting to recent droughts in California by flowering earlier. Smart plant!
Scientists say nearly half of the Earth’s species are adjusting to Climate Change. Birds, insects and plants are changing their habitat and moving north towards the poles…or up mountains.
We should listen. Officials say animals did not die in the tsunami disaster in Asia (December 26, 2004).