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Wednesday, 26 August 2009


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It's a shame that Mary Jo Kopechne's name never came up in your tribute to Teddy.

For all his contributions and legacy, this man left a woman to drown in his car, and didn't bother reporting it to the authorities until the next day.

Well said, Mike. Would that all of us could overcome our personal failings and make lasting contributions to our communities the way Ted Kennedy did. May he rest in peace.

He lived his life under intense scrutiny and managed to chart an even course for the most part. Certainly he was not without some serious flaws. Personally I'll miss his contribution to the well being of our country. It seems fashionable in new century politics to take an us versus them approach but Ted managed a number of compromises in his day.

Mike, thanks for the posting. To me, Ted Kennedy was a real human being, with the flaws and the virtues of someone made of real flesh and blood. As a politician, he was a fighter, courageous but pragmatical, and his heart was in the right place. As a Brazilian, I can say in my country he was much admired - as were Jack and Bobby. May the US have many more politicians like him. I will miss him. I only hope America can muster the courage and determination to carry out what was his life's quest, that of being able to take good care of all its citizens. All of them.

Despite the prominence of his family and his affluence, Ted Kennedy was always focused on making this country a kinder, gentler, more just, more inclusive place for all its citizens. He was particularly concerned for those with less, and he understood what government and policy could contribute to society. Very few of us can know all the things Senator Kennedy did for us or all the harmful proposals his efforts protected us from.

I will miss him.

Regardless of one's social and political beliefs you must admit that Ted's death represents the closing of an American history era the likes of which we're unlikely to see again in out lives. Remarkable people from a remarkable family making an indelible impact during remarkable times of social change.

Personally, I'm saddened by Ted's passing.

I'm really not familiar with the lower echelons of the American politics. Is there a Kennedy in later generations who got into politics? I'm not counting that Kennedy by marriage.

And scuse me for my irreverence, but that photo of the three of them has a very distinctive family trait. Once you notice it, it just draws your eyes... :-)

People don't really have 'defining' moments, that demonstrate who they are, once and for all, past and future, in sum and total.

Those are the creation of mythmakers and mythbusters. Singular events in the distant past have little bearing on what those people do with their lives.

MJK has as little to do with the sum total of EMK's life and career as PT 109 did with JFK.

Symbolic events get people elected or derail their ambitions, but beyond that they say nothing of the import of the individual's life. They're like sound bites-- easily remembered, easily digested, and not especially nourishing nor informative. Campaign fast food.

Yeah, I'm sorry a woman died 40 years ago; I'm glad a handful of men got rescued 25 years before that. But the real impact of the Kennedys was (good, bad, or ugly, depending on your political leanings) a million times bigger than the handful of people who folks have set up on symbolic pedestals. Placed against the full scale of how both these folks affected the world I live in and the people I know, those two events barely even move the needle off of zero.

Perspective. It's not just an artistic term.

pax / Ctein

"Is there a Kennedy in later generations who got into politics?"

One was a Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and one a representative from Massachusetts. Neither still the case.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a lawyer and environmentalist who is deeply involved in public service, but an early arrest for heroin possession meant that any potential political career was stillborn.

Caroline Kennedy (she did not change her name to Schlossberg when she married Edwin Schlossberg) made a brief play for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, but didn't get very far.

Coincidentally, both have verbal tics or problems. RFK Jr. has a voice that sounds oddly strangled due to a condition called spasmodic dysphonia, and Caroline Kennedy says "you know" about forty times a minute. Neither one would make much of an orator.


Teddy's son Patrick is the Representive from the 1st Congressional District of Rhode Island. ch

Please, Mike, it's tiresome enough today be hearing or reading about nothing* other than Kennedy, without finding it here, where I came seeking refuge from all the pro-Kennedy blather.

Looking forward to your getting back to photography-related subjects, about which you (and Ctein) write so well.

*Well, it seems that way to me, given that I've never been a fan of his.

Folks, I'm not posting the inevitable negative knee-jerk partisan comments. Not the time. I detested Ronald Reagan, but I was polite enough not to vent my opinions to his admirers on the day after he expired. Perspective, moderation, and civility are called for, and, as I said to one reader, respectfulness even if you have no respect.

--Yer Humble Host

I can respect Ted Kennedy for his devotion to what he believed in. I can also recognize that he was a deeply-flawed individual. I think his life can be summed up as follows: his life was the ultimate demonstration of the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

I find it sad that he's been fighting for universal healthcare for almost 30 years...and he has not lived to see it instated. I wonder if any of us will...


Thank you. I enjoy your non-photography-related posts. They humanize you and bring us closer together as neighbors across the great divide.

I just finished watching the American Experience episode tonight, re-broadcast by our excellent Ioway public television network.

I just now signed a petition, too, to append Ted Kennedy's name to the health reform act.

And when I'm paying the dreaded Citi card bill tomorrow, I'll hold back a little to send your way, and to public television (Remember Ken Burns' upcoming National Parks extravaganza), and to my other favorite causes.


I always find it interesting to watch the reactions of the TV news networks after a political figure dies. After Reagan died it was all smiles and pleasant memories, even from the networks whose views clashed with his and who had never had a problem showing it.

Same here with Kennedy. I'm not complaining, mind you. A little civility is always a good thing, even (or especially) when ideas clash.

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