Posted by: shannynmoore | August 26, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy’s 1968 Address to Alaskans: The Dream Goes On…

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy speaks to the Alaska Democratic Party Convention in Sitka on April 7, 1968, shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Senator Kennedy was standing in for his brother, Robert, who’d been scheduled to speak. Courtesy the Alaska State Library Historical Collections. It was discovered as an open real simply marked “Ted Kennedy Sitka” after forty years and was in near perfect condition.

Senator Mark Begich referred to this speech in his statement:

“Many Alaskans remember Senator Kennedy’s visits to our state – notably in 1968, when he joined Alaskans in mourning the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1971, when he promised rural Alaska help fighting poverty, a promise he made good on. I was reminded of those visits when I traveled to Bethel recently with members of President Obama’s cabinet. Senator Kennedy is one of just three senators who have the distinction of serving with all seven senators that the people of Alaska have sent to Washington, D.C.”

The Dream Goes On…


  1. Proof That Socialized Healthcare Works Better Than Our System

    There has been a lot of noise in the past week or so regarding socialized healthcare, with critics claiming that systems such as the one used in the United Kingdom (UK) are inferior to the one we have here. My husband, being British, finally cracked and decided to take a look at the facts for me. Bear in mind that his 93 year old mother is alive and well in the UK. She pays nothing for house calls by her Doctor and social workers, preventive screenings or any other healthcare cost. Here’s what he has to say…
    The healthcare system in the United Kingdom is almost completely socialized. The government runs almost all healthcare providers and the system is paid for out of taxes. There are private insurance plans, but their only real benefits are private rooms and shorter waiting lists. What worries me is that American critics of the UK system are like lemmings being led over a cliff edge by blind leaders. They are quick to seize on any published failures of the UK system, which the British complain about continually until you ask about the cost and quality of actual care (along with the weather and the train services) but ignore similar problems here. The critics are ignoring the facts.

    Let’s start with a couple of observations. In June 2009 a team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine that three of every five bankruptcies in the United States are now caused by medical bills. That amounts to approximately 3,450 bankruptcies each day as a result of medical bills. Even worse, three out of four of the people declaring bankruptcy as a result of medical bills have insurance coverage. That’s right! They have insurance coverage, but it failed them when they needed it most. The system is broken.

    We all know that one sixth of Americans have no health insurance. One third are covered by government schemes. One half are covered by private schemes. Do you understand that, critics of socialized healthcare? One third of Americans are already covered by completely socialized government schemes. Guess what happens when the uninsured have to receive emergency treatment? The government, charities or healthcare facilities pick up the costs. If it’s the healthcare providers they simply increase their prices to the rest of us to cover their losses. Any way that you look at it, the rest of us are already helping provide minimal support to the uninsured. Moving them to a government system will cut costs by providing preventive screening, guarantee healthcare for everyone and allow us to properly account for the costs.

    Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story for the uninsured. There have been calls lately for the President to declare a “War on Diabetes”, which kills 18,000 Americans a year. They are missing the fact that there are around 22,000 excess deaths per year among uninsured adults aged 25-64. Our health insurance system is killing 60 Americans a day by ignoring them.

    We reported in an earlier article that the United States came in at numbers 37, 24 and 72 in three studies of the effectiveness of healthcare systems. How can anybody sensibly claim that we’re number one? There are many components to any assessment of healthcare systems, but I’ve summarized a few key facts below. The USA has a much larger population than the UK, so I’ve averaged figures from France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain and compared them with the USA. They all have socialized healthcare systems. The total population of those countries is 315 million, which is comparable to the USA’s population of 307 million.


    (the first # is America.. second # Europe… Martha)

    Factor United States of America Top 5 European Countries
    Number of excess deaths per year among uninsured adults aged 25-64.
    Number of bankruptcies per year as a result of medical bills.
    1.26 Million
    Number of divorces per year to qualify for government aid with medical costs.
    Percentage of the population without health insurance.
    Average percentage of income spent on out-of-pocket medical bills.
    20% 1
    Average annual cost of healthcare per person.
    Average life expectancy at birth.
    80 2
    Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births).
    Under-five mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births.
    Percentage of the population rated as obese.
    WHO measurement of healthcare system responsiveness (higher = better).
    1 The average out-of-pocket medical bill rises to 35% of income for seniors and the chronically ill.
    2 Ranges from 79 to 80.2 with an average of 80.

    So, as a nation, we pay more than twice as much per head for our healthcare as the ones with predominantly socialized healthcare, but the only real benefit is that we get treated faster. A cynical person might think that’s because the providers want your money sooner. If you don’t have any insurance, or enough cash/credit, you may have to wait a very long time, or die waiting. I’ve experienced both systems (UK and American) and have family members working in the healthcare industry in both countries. If you look at the above factors there’s no doubt that the socialized systems win hands down

  2. Thank you, Martha, for providing that information.

    Twice in my lifetime I went without health insurance while dealing with a medical condition.

    Thanks, Shannyn, for sharing those videos!!

  3. Actually it was on a reel ( 😉 ). You wouldn’t believe how long it took them to find a place that was capable of converting it for them. They were rather surprized when they played the tape for the first time and discovered what it was!

  4. US Senator Ted Kennedy, a lion of the American left and the last of the brothers who dominated US politics for years, has died of brain cancer, his family said. He was 77.

    Edward M Kennedy was a towering, controversial figure whose death late on Tuesday night at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, ended an era when his family appeared born to rule.

    “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,” his family said in a statement.

    ”We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.

    ”He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”

    The ”liberal lion” of the Senate was the youngest of the Kennedy brothers.

    President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

    Senator Robert Kennedy was shot dead as he campaigned for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.

    Joe Kennedy, a pilot, died in World War II.

  5. It is so ironic that Senator Kennedy’s last speech, “The Dream goes on…” was given one year ago, yesterday…a very significant passing of the torch.

    Embrace the Dream.

  6. We teachers, who were handed *government-issued* tests and ordered to train students to regurgitate the approved answers, would like to express our deep sorrow at the loss of this great American. Without his influence, the last six years would have been spent educating and preparing children for higher learning and gainful employment. Without the legislative acumen of this Lion of the Working Class, teachers would have been forced to allow impressionable children to learn how to process and distill information; the horror — your children would have learned to approach problems logically and with forethought. Fortunately, any teacher who refused to teach to the *government-approved* test was threatened — and many dedicated educators were rewarded — with dismissal.

    Ted Kennedy. Directly responsible for “No Child Left Behind”. Lion? Hardly.

    I understand that people see the Kennedys through rose-colored glasses. But I am still dealing with the fallout from his work — and mourning an entire generation that was stripped of their right to an education.

    As for the rest of Senator Kennedy’s purported achievements — While he sat through nine terms in Congress, we dwindled from a one-paycheck middle class life to a two-paycheck poverty-level existance. The Constitution was set aside while he dined out on his name; our economy was turned over to shadow corporations, women’s medical rights, public health care and Veterans’ care were gutted. I understand that there are 100 senators — but the man being feted in absentia was one of the most powerful, and our country crumbled while he lived well.

    Kennedy was “tireless” in promoting blue collar rights — but whistle-blowers during the last eight years ended up chronically unemployed, even in prison — and Ted, despite all his rhetoric, didn’t buck the administration for these heros. And Senator Kennedy was present when union contracts with workers were VOIDED by government — while vague, back-dated and quickly produced contracts for bonuses with upper-management drones in finance companies were declared fireproof.

    In Oregon, the Kennedy cache is proving invaluable to Jackie O’s half-brother — despite having a computer full of images of child pronography, despite the fact that he was reproducing those images, he’s been assured, by authorities, that he is NOT facing jail time! After all, it is only his first offense. Without the support of a famous, near-royal family, I know a woman here in Alaska who is paying for the sale of ten pills with three years of her life — and it is her first offense, as well.

    Last week John McCain blamed Senator Kennedy for the lack of progress in the health care debate — it was a low, classless thing to say about a man who was undoubtedly in a coma at the time. I felt for his family. But having dealt with the results of the man’s work, and seeing the actual, long-term results of his work — which have, for the most part, evaporated from day-to-day lives at most economic levels of society — I cannot see why we are expected to mourn the man as a great legislator.

    As an educator, I can honestly say no man has ever caused more immediate, greater or more lasting damage to our children’s lives. Whatever else Ted Kennedy did, “No Child Left Behind” is the reason I shall always remember him.

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