Category Archives: Relatives

American Society’s Unnatural Attitude to Aging Naturally

Culture, Ethics, Family, Morality, Pop-Psychology, Psychiatry, Relatives, The Zeitgeist

In “No Country for Old Age,” The Hedgehog Review’s Joseph E. Davis writes, in essence, of the cruel biological reductionism and medicalization of old age, a natural stage of life that ought to be valued:

“When it comes to old age, illness, and death, little remains to us of common meaning or shared social rituals.”

Here are some of many profundities excerpted:

… In our society, to come directly to my point, old age is understood and framed in ways that lead inevitably to its devaluation. Its status is low and arguably is falling.
… old age [is seen as having] no value in itself. ‘Old’ signifies bodily decline, while “success” involves a ceaseless battle to defeat degeneration, and hope is always invested in the prospect of overcoming limits through self-reliance and technological interventions.

There is no space here for stillness or release, no sense of value or consolation in the evening of life. Even cultivating spirituality is framed instrumentally in terms of promoting ‘better physical and mental health in old age.’ An imperative to defeat aging and even death can only consign these realities to fear, shame, and avoidance.

…Representations of old age that add censure and shame to greater dependence and loss of one’s powers can only make matters worse.

… the sociologist Norbert Elias argues that, over time, these weakened bonds and other common features of the later years have been compounded by increased individualization and the isolation of the “ageing and dying from the community of the living.” In contemporary society, Elias argues, older people are “pushed more and more behind the scenes of social life,” a process that intensifies their devaluation, emotional seclusion, and loss of social significance. A physical and institutional sequestering and a pervasive cultural tendency to “conceal the irrevocable finitude of human existence” have made it harder for them and those around them to relate to, understand, and interact with one another. The aged and dying are less likely to receive the help and affection they need, and more prone to different forms of loneliness and painful feelings of irrelevance. “Never before,” Elias writes, “have people died as noiselessly and hygienically as today in [more developed] societies, and never in social conditions so much fostering solitude.”

… Health and longevity are the ends to which remedial action is directed and by which outcomes are evaluated. Even in discussions that include exhortations to build strong connections and communities, loneliness and isolation are treated as individual conditions, and references to community easily coexist with talk of genetic hardwiring, the role of the prefrontal cortex, and the ways in which neural mechanisms might generate feelings of loneliness.

… Typical advice is often some form of self-help: “take a class,” “get a dog,” “volunteer”; build your confidence with social skills training; seek out behavioral therapy. With therapy—highlighted for its positive “impact”—the aged lonely can be helped to see that their low self-worth, perceived isolation, or feelings of being unwanted are probably just cognitive misapprehensions that need to be “restructured.” Once this restructuring is accomplished, the aged can better match what they want in social life with what they have and get on with aging with more success. The status quo can now appear in a new, more uplifting light.

Current constructions of old age in individualistic terms of self-reliance, the fit body, productive accomplishments, or an imperative to deny or defeat aging technologically cannot but deepen our predicament and the need to render it invisible. This is what makes the cultural logic of these constructions irredeemable. They leave us in a cul-de-sac, hemmed in by a predatory commercial culture, a punishing ideology of health, fewer and weaker social ties, an ethic of active striving and mastery, and a mechanistic picture of ourselves. Moving beyond the devaluation of old age requires other orientations and other practices for which we must look elsewhere—to other societies, past or present, and to older traditions. …

… The social orientation of the evening of life need not be individualistic, but toward family and the localization and strengthening of social relations. Similarly, the view of the life cycle need not take its bearings from youth and middle age but from roles and identities appropriate to old age, with their own norms and rewards. These norms and rewards need not be defined in terms of active striving and productivity, but in terms of release, such as from social climbing, and a more contemplative attitude toward the world.

No Country for Old Age,” by Joseph E. Davis, The Hedgehog Review.

Another Kennedy Crime: Child Abuse: Institutionalizing, Lobotomizing & Never Visiting Sister Rosemary Kennedy

Criminal Injustice, Morality, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Relatives

Other than that she was not “perfect” like her siblings; there was nothing terribly wrong with gorgeous Rosemary Kennedy. She had learning disabilities. But Rosary looked lovely and was a sweet child.

Alas, she “never proceeded mentally beyond third or fourth grade intelligence.”

WHICH BY TODAY’S STANDARDS, YOU’VE GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL.

Still, after being locked up in “a boarding school for misfits,” she was smart enough to pen a heartbreaking (grammatical) letter to her ruthless father, patriarch Joe Kennedy:

Darling Daddy, I hate to disappoint you in any way. Come to see me very soon. I get very lonesome every day.

Are these the words of an irredeemably retarded girl?

The rest of her life reads like a Medieval horror story. This is worse than genital mutilation, which can be survived. The bloody Kennedy clan was never implicated in decades of cruelty:

In November 1941 Dr. James Watts carried out a frontal lobotomy on Rosemary Kennedy’s brain at a facility in upstate New York.

A psychiatrist present at the lobotomy asked Rosemary to tell him stories and repeat the months of the year. The doctor kept scraping away brain tissue until Rosemary could no longer talk.

Only then did Dr. Watts stop.

Following the lobotomy Rosemary could barely walk and knew only a few words. She would spend most of her life hidden away from the world and even her own family.

Such was the price the young Kennedy girl paid because her parents feared her condition would puncture the perfect impression of the relentlessly ambitious Kennedy clan.

Kate Clifford Larson revealed a host of new sources for her story of the tragic Rosemary for her book “The Hidden Kennedy Daughter,”published last year.

It is a book that shows Joe and Rose Kennedy in a dreadful light, prepared to sacrifice their daughter for their sons’ political careers.

Larson says that right from the beginning, when the obstetrician who was to deliver Rosemary was several hours late and a nurse botched the birth, Rosemary Kennedy was deeply unlucky.

By kindergarten Rosemary was called “retarded,” in the lingo of the times, and such children were considered defective. For Joe Kennedy, obsessed with the family image, it was a disaster.

Rosemary never proceeded mentally beyond third or fourth grade intelligence and she was packed off to a boarding school for misfits.

From there she wrote her father a heartbreaking letter as Larson reveals: “Darling Daddy, I hate to disappoint you in any way. Come to see me very soon. I get very lonesome every day.”

Rosemary finally caught a break when her father became Ambassador to Britain and she thrived in a London convent school. But back in the States, Rosemary, a stunning looking girl, began attracting admirers. At twenty she was “a picturesque young woman, a snow princess with flush cheeks, gleaming smile, plump figure, and a sweetly ingratiating manner to almost everyone she met.”

As Larson writes, “Her parents found her sexuality dangerous.”

In early 1941 Joe learned about frontal lobotomy, then coming into vogue, which allegedly “calmed” hyperactive patients.

Joe Kennedy ordered the surgery done immediately.

Later, Joe and Rose told all who asked that Rosemary was teaching at a school for handicapped students in the Midwest. In fact, she was in a home in Wisconsin, had the mind of a two-year-old, and was unable to do anything for herself.

After Joe Kennedy’s stroke Rose went to meet the daughter she had abandoned. When Rosemary saw her mother she ran to her then began beating her mother’s chest in deep distress crying and moaning.

It seemed, despite all the covering up, she still remembered her and what had been done to her.

The other Kennedy children also learned the truth and adopted an entirely different approach, visiting Rosemary and bringing her to Boston on many occasions.

Eunice Kennedy based her creation of the Special Olympics on Rosemary. She broke the family’s silence on Rosemary in the Saturday Evening Post, but it was not until 1987 that the story of the lobotomy became public.

Rosemary Kennedy was never allowed to live any kind of life by her ambitious parents, but in the end how she was treated by them, especially Joe, says far more about him than anything about her.

She just had the misfortune to be a Kennedy in an era when mental retardation was a large and ugly secret. She died in 2005 and, ironically, we have learned far more about her since her death than when she was alive and this new book adds valuable knowledge.


From: “The sad and dreadful life of Rosemary Kennedy.”

Inbreeding Among Muslim Villagers: A First-Hand Account

Ilana Mercer, Islam, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Relatives, Science

Inbreeding among Muslims, as described by “Prof. Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists,” at least among simple villagers, is a reality with which I’m personally familiar.

The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins.
He said that Bradford has a particular problem and warned that it could affect the health of children born into these marriages.
Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.
Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.
Prof Jones, who writes for the Telegraph’s science pages, told an audience at the Hay Festival: “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful. …

My late stepfather was an Israeli doctor, who worked in the “occupied” territories, specifically in the villages of Tira, Tulkarem and the Jenin neighborhood. The Triangle, it was called. He was, incidentally, beloved by his patients, who were very hospitable to us, the family. We’d be invited to many a wedding. They’d always send him home with magnificent produce as a sign of their appreciation.

Violence was almost unheard of then. Maybe because of a mighty Israeli presence. In any event, approve of it or not, after Occupation, the villagers got potable water, sewer services—before that human waste ran down the streets—and a clinic run by my devoted stepdad and his staff, fine people all. I knew them all, down to the ambulance driver.

As a doctor for the villagers, my stepdad was tasked with reducing inbreeding. As you can imagine, it caused a variety of abnormalities. (I had considered doing my high-school, biology graduation thesis on his statistically significant achievements.)

The other ghastly labor of love the poor man performed is described in the 2003 column, “THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL FEMINIST”:

One of the activities my stepfather undertook (but didn’t have to) was to surgically stitch up the hymens of young girls so as to prevent their barbaric mothers and fathers from slaying them. He was always very sad when his secret patchwork failed to convince the family, and the girl was found the next day with the traditional axe in her spine. Sometimes a virgin was slaughtered if she didn’t bleed “sufficiently” on her wedding night. …

MORE inbreeding.
MORE honor killing.

Corey Lewandowski’s A Class Act; What About Those Who Got Him Fired?!

Donald Trump, Elections, Family, Relatives, Republicans

Corey Lewandowski is a class act. His loyalty to Donald Trump and his admiration for the candidate are unmistakable and admirable in the face of a cruel sacking. Yet, the rumor goes, Trump heeded the Pink Brigade within his campaign (his daughter and her houseboy), and fired this man, who has the generally hostile Dana Bash, leftist reporter from CNN, eating out of his hand. (This feat takes talent Trump doesn’t have.) Ivanka is a decorative lovely girl, but she’s no Corey. She doesn’t have his core beliefs. When she speaks, you get the impression she’s more liberal than she lets on.

Ivanka, moreover, is consumed with the shallowness of brand. Via Politico:

… Lewandowski was someone who had to go because he was identified with the early, primary-season version of Trump that, according to recent polls that show Hillary Clinton with a widening lead, is not likely to be enough to get him into the White House. According to POLITICO, “Ivanka Trump, especially, was said to be concerned about the effect of Lewandowski on the Trump family brand.”

The dismissal of Lewandowski is a blemish on someone who prides himself for his loyalty. Yet Trump loyalists refuse to say it, because they’re turning into blind followers.

Another bad omen: Establishment Republicans, masters of branding, rebranding and bullshit, are thrilled about the ousting of Lewandowski.

As is Megyn Kelly and her protege Michelle Fields, tartlet and false accuser. Both were overjoyed, feeling vindicated, presumably.

CNN:

For months, tension had been building within the Trump campaign and small circle of advisers. Simultaneously, a quiet campaign to convince the New York billionaire to cut Lewandowski loose was gaining traction.
The breaking point: Lewandowski had gone one step too far by targeting Trump’s family.
The relationship between Lewandowski and Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, grew increasingly strained.
Fired Trump campaign manager: ‘No regrets’
Rumors that Lewandowski had attempted to plant negative stories in the press as part of a broader strategy to “take Jared down” sealed Lewandowski’s fate, sources said.
Multiple sources told CNN that Ivanka Trump and Kushner were central to Donald Trump’s ultimate decision to fire Lewandowski.