When I was a child here in Philadelphia, a story unfolded which affected the way people felt about a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion for decades. Long before I reached the age when I even began to fully understand the mechanism of reproduction I had had this tale, this true horror, etched into my brain, so that when I "came of age" as we used to say, I didn't know much, but I knew that women should be entitled to this procedure upon their own initiative and that it should be performed in a sterile, competent, medical environment.
So it seems that a well-known young, dazzlingly beautiful red-headed young lady of Jewish heritage met and married a motorcycle policeman from Florida. It made front-page news in the papers here in Philly: he was the son of a fuel distributor in Chicago and later claimed that his bride had told him that her father was a butcher.
In fact, her father was a fabulously wealthy vice-president of the Food Fair chain of supermarkets which had been extremely successful in competing with Acme, Penn Fruit, and A&P. Soon after the union, the bride had a change of heart and moved back to Philadelphia where her mother was concerned that the young lady was pregnant. The mother took her daughter to a physician who stated that he could not determine if someone were six weeks pregnant and the daughter wound up in an apartment of a bartender and his wife, a beautician where she died from complications of an attempted abortion. Search of the apartment found all kinds of instruments and medicaments associated with the procedure as it was being performed by wholly untrained personnel. There were several trials and although the husband/bartender/abortionist received a 3-10 year sentence, both he and his wife were paroled after less than a year. The mother was judged to have suffered enough and was given probation - the judge having stated that the memory of how her daughter died was sufficient punishment.
Two points I would like to make:
1. The story as I related it is almost exactly word for word how it was told to me by my mother, my aunts, and neighbors. It was Philly folklore for years and when abortion was legalized in Pennsylvania, the story was revisited in the newspapers and on talk radio, which, BTW, was very big here in the Sixties and Seventies, primarily on CBS owned WCAU-AM 1210, now a largely hate-radio station no longer owned by the network. This became an oral-history, passed down and sideways among the population of those who understood the implications of the move forward. Parenthetically, I do not believe that most activists in those days could even conceive of the backwards steps society is taking in this regard at this time.
2. This family had "all the dough in the world" and could have sent the daughter to Europe to a clinic which practiced surgical abortions, but they did not. They took a local referral and lost their child. This made news: one can only imagine how many others had the same outcome and never were heard from again.
Coincidentally in recent years, I have become acquainted with several ladies who were friends with the young girl who met such a sad end. As dentists, we meet everyone sooner or later, and in what is really such a small town as Philadelphia it is not unusual to be no more than one or two people removed from just about anyone. When I have discussed this story with these ladies, they just sadly shake their heads and say that it all happened for no reason.
A cruel lesson learned at that time...it will have to be relearned again and again and again. The inhumanity and lack of empathy is pervasive and endemic to the society. It is a sickness unto itself.
Eight months ago she experienced some disturbing symptoms and went straight to her doctor. Several tests were quickly performed and a hysterectomy was indicated which she had performed within two weeks. Upon biopsy, endometrial cancer was discovered but serendipitously, the pathologist noted another type of cellular presence which indicated that she had clear cell carcinoma. Upon her consultation with her female physician, the doctor put her arms around her shoulders and said to her, "I'm so sorry I have to tell you this, but..." and went on to discuss the ramifications of the diagnosis. My sister-in-law, who is ever-practical, asked her what would honestly be the best adjective to describe her chances of beating this, and the doctor, after some hesitation replied, "dismal", since it had spread to the lymph nodes.
Over the next few months, chemotherapy was attempted but to no avail. The tumor has invaded many of her organs including her digestive system and she cannot receive nutrition of any type and is wasting away on IV fluids. She is very brave and has come to terms in many ways with her life and her existence which is now measured in days. She is deeply concerned for my brother, who is in remission himself from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (the 'bad one' as Larry David termed it on Curb Your Enthusiasm) and cannot withstand too many insults to his immune system. She is facing oblivion with resolve and calm.
I speak with her everyday between 6 and 7 A.M. and we talk at length about the past and the future as it relates to the family. She did not have children and her family of origin is quite small so it has fallen to me to act as a sounding board and confidante, a labor which I willingly accept. Each day her voice diminishes in intensity and volume. I have no real sense how much longer this will continue but having been through similar situations before the phone call indicating finality is always a shock.
I post this not to seek sympathy from strangers, but to put her imminent death in context with the six people murdered by the latest miscreant in California. The parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers and acquaintances did not have an instant of rationalization or preparedness for the horror. It is an indescribable manner in which to lose someone and is in stark contrast to what my family is enduring at this very moment. I actually wept when I saw that father up on that podium and was just so appreciative of his anger and his courage to say what he said about the NRA and their toadies in Congress. I only wish I could be more optimistic about the direction of the nation but I am not.
1. NRA will lay low for a while and during this time
2. RWers like Joe Scar will come out for background checks, gun show regs, the usual, but this
3. Is to mollify people like (some of) us who are spitting mad...again.
4. After a time, further betrayal by our legislators as per usual will occur.
5. Joey Scar and his ilk will take their collective feet off the accelerator.
7. Repeat next time.
It's almost funny...
MOST CON ARTISTS eventually end up in court. But few are bold enough to work the hallways and courtrooms of the courthouse.
That's what Jason "Wolf" Parker is accused of doing at Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center - right under the noses of hundreds of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and police officers.
Parker - whom court records show has previously been arrested under the names Jasheon Parker and Jason Parks - was charged during a hearing Tuesday with impersonating a lawyer.
By then, he was already in custody facing a contempt-of-court charge. That case stemmed from the fact that on April 23, Common Pleas Judge Rayford Means ordered Parker, 39, to stay out of the courthouse after receiving complaints that he was interfering with lawyers talking to their clients
Much more at the link!!!! Almost unbelievable...
Catholic school principal apologizes for Ellen DeGeneres' photo on invitation
The principal of a Catholic school in Bucks County is apologizing to parents for using a photo of Ellen DeGeneres on an invitation to an Oscars-themed graduation dance, and is demanding students return them to be destroyed.
It was "completely wrong" to use DeGeneres' picture because the lesbian celebrity "lives her life outside the teachings of the Catholic Church," St. Andrew Elementary School principal Nancy Matteo wrote in an email to parents on Tuesday. The text of the message was provided to Philly.com.
The email doesn't specifically mention DeGeneres' sexual orientation. She famously came out in 1997 and married actress Portia de Rossi in 2008.
She first hosted the Academy Awards in 2007, becoming the first openly gay entertainer to do so. DeGeneres also hosted Marchs ceremony. The image on the graduation-dance invitation appears to be a promotional shot of DeGeneres holding an Oscar statue taken in advance of this year's event, and the top of the invitation reads "Live from the red carpet."
more at the link...
and I were interested in political intrigue and American elections...and let's also say, again, just for the sake of argument that I were a best-selling author who had published many tomes in a series concerning the inter-relationship of an individual with the powers-that-be during my rise from a middle-level operative to the very top of the pyramid, I might write the following:
The popular but hampered-by-Congress President is running for another term. Facing him is a challenger from the other side who is marginally credentialled but has no affinity for the Common Man, and he is slowly slipping in the "all-important swing states". Despite the fact that he himself is not well-liked by the members of his own party, he is considered a manipulable empty suit who may be easily controlled by the monied interests. Desperate to crowbar him into office, a plan is devised.
A lonely outpost in a foreign land recently retaken but which has not been visited by Americans for decades is targeted for a hit. Operatives of a clandestine agency partial to the challenger's supporters are put in place to surreptitiously lead what seems at first as a protest but is predestined to climax as a political assassination of an ambassador and staff, a violation of international law and accepted mores. Since there is little ability to provide significant support quickly for the area, the mission is easily accomplished. The opposition candidate is eagerly awaiting his moment to stage a press conference and blast the President for his mis-handling of the entire situation, in an attempt to call into question the competence of the present Administration. Unfortunately for the challenger, his performance was stilted and staged and the usually complicit media was not playing along with such a ham-handed attempt to usurp the role and powers of the President. The election winds up in the President's favor and the challenger is vanquished for the time being, at least.
But the puppeteers continue on. Utilizing their powers controlling one body of Congress, they relentlessly pursue the story until it becomes the truth for many Americans. After all, they reason, it would not still be in the news if there were no substance. With hearings scheduled, the opposition party chooses an unknown extremist to chair the select committee formed to investigate/condemn the President and his staff, particularly the former Secretary of State who is held in extremely high standing among the American People and has the greatest chance to be elected to President just over two years hence.
The opposition party is never deterred by what is considered a loss or a setback, so it will not matter what the outcomes are from the process. The steady march to the goal of total domination is continuous and the war-weary opposition of the Party of the People is not sufficient to overcome the relentless attacks. The present opposition party is beginning to see success in the not-too-distant future if they can just persevere. this is a trait which they have possessed since the inception of their movement.
one of the greatest experts in the country who is not a national media figure. Sonny Hill is the undisputed source for the early history of the NBA, whose roots are deep in Philadelphia. He knows basketball at all levels unlike anyone else you've ever heard - he's been involved all of his long life and gained entry to local radio and TV since 1969. This is a remarkable interview on our WIP 94.1 station this week.
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