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How Kennedy Saved a Girl from Bad Soviet Medicine

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:50 pm - August 30, 2009.
Filed under: Amazing Stories,Family,Freedom

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a story on how many citizens of the city where I was born joined with Massachusetts’ Senator Edward Kennedy to help ensure the immigration in 1978 of a girl suffering from a syndrome which Soviet doctors could not treat in her native Moscow:

Jessica [Katz] was born in 1977 in Moscow with malabsorption syndrome, a disease that prevented her from digesting milk or food. Soviet doctors could not cure the condition, and as their infant daughter grew ever weaker, her parents realized her only hope for survival hinged on treatment in the West.

My family played a small part in helping Jessica through her ordeal, visiting her in Moscow in the summer of 1978.  (My Mom is quoted in the article.) The fall after our visit, in large part due to Kennedy’s intervention with Soviet authorities, her family was allowed to leave the Soviet Union where they could build a new life in Boston and she could get treated for her syndrome.

I visited Jessica’s father Boris several times when I was in college.  As most Soviet emigrés, he had strong anti-Communist views and great respect for the then-President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan.  And though the then-senior Senator from Massachusetts harshly criticized (and actively sought to thwart) the Gipper’s aggressive foreign policy, Boris refused to criticize Kennedy, always recalling how he helped secure his release.

He only had kind words for the late Massachusetts Democrat.

Just a reminder that while we conservatives criticize Kennedy’s many flaws, he did do a great deal of good, a very deal of good, by one family suffering under Soviet Communism. And that should count for something.



  1. “He made the trains run on time…”

    Comment by Ignatius — August 30, 2009 @ 3:04 pm - August 30, 2009

  2. How Kennedy Saved a Girl from Bad Soviet Medicine

    … in one case, yet wants to impose Bad Soviet Medicine on literally hundreds of millions of others.

    Even Hitler was kind to animals, you know.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 30, 2009 @ 5:53 pm - August 30, 2009

  3. (sorry, should have written ‘wanted’ – past tense)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 30, 2009 @ 5:55 pm - August 30, 2009

  4. Flaw? I hardly call leaving a girl to die a “flaw.”

    Comment by Julie Kelleher — August 30, 2009 @ 7:11 pm - August 30, 2009

  5. s that the visit where Kennedy contactec the KGB to ask them to help him keep the ‘warmonger’ Reagan from being elected?

    I’m sure the millions who were put at increased risk of nuclear war because of Ted Kennedy’s political ambition were a little happier knowing he did a nice thing for a little girl.

    Ref: The Mitrokhin Archives

    Comment by DaveP. — August 30, 2009 @ 7:39 pm - August 30, 2009

  6. Was this on the same visit to the Soviet Union where Senator Kennedy asked for the help of the KGB in keeping the “warmonger” Reagan form being elected?

    I’m sure the country he betrayed and the millions he put at increased risk of nuclear war weer a little happier knowing that Senator Kennedy helped a little girl.

    Comment by DaveP. — August 30, 2009 @ 7:42 pm - August 30, 2009

  7. Ted Kennedy was a champaign socialist. He may have suffered from silver spoon guilt in his rush for over-reaching to spend other people’s money on the needy to help lessen his guilt. Fine. I have no cause to find him committed to evil. His pandering, slandering, pawing, neglect, and debasing of individual women were undoubtedly not the only story of his character. He also had some commendable moments in his life as a career politician. I will leave it to St. Peter to make the choice at the Pearly Gates.

    If Teddy gets a bag of condoms and a one way ticket to Hell, I will not be surprised.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 30, 2009 @ 9:24 pm - August 30, 2009

  8. Jeez guys, what the hell is different between the comments here and the nasty remarks made by libs against Reagan when he died? There was a LOT I found objectionable with Kennedy, but ya’ll can’t even let one kudos – from a political opponent no less – go by with sniping like this? Damn it looks like common decency is completely gone on the Right just as much as it is on the Left…

    Comment by John — August 30, 2009 @ 9:41 pm - August 30, 2009

  9. #8: “Jeez guys, what the hell is different between the comments here and the nasty remarks made by libs against Reagan when he died?”

    Well, John, the difference is that the comments made by liberals about Ronald Reagan were about Ronald Reagan, and the comments here made about Ted Kennedy are about Ted Kennedy. If that’s not enough to answer your question then I can’t help you.

    Comment by Sean A — August 30, 2009 @ 10:26 pm - August 30, 2009

  10. Sorry about the repeat comment- I thought my first had disappeared down the memory hole.

    John, there is a small difference between a man who basically saved his nation… and one who tirelessly worked to damage it. Sorry if that doesn’t meet your approval.

    Comment by DaveP. — August 30, 2009 @ 11:50 pm - August 30, 2009

  11. John: Kennedy was evil. Yes, I’m sure he did a few good deeds in his life as he joyfully exercised power over other human beings, expropriating their lives and wealth as he saw fit… so do all aristocrats, self-entitled egomaniacs, and dictators. If you don’t know the difference between that and Reagan, give yourself a time-out.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 31, 2009 @ 3:26 am - August 31, 2009

  12. P.S. I don’t wish Kennedy ill, and I never have. I merely call a spade a spade. I’m reminded of an anecdote in one of Tammy Bruce’s books where one of her liberal friends kept champagne in the fridge, to celebrate when Reagan died. That is not the attitude of anyone here. We acknowledge the truth about Kennedy, in sadness. Again, if you can’t tell the difference between that and the kind of nastiness showed by some liberals, kindly run off and think about it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 31, 2009 @ 3:29 am - August 31, 2009

  13. Speaking of Tammy Bruce, here is her most recent Kennedy post:

    One of her colleagues added an update:

    The report that Kennedy actually solicited Chappaquiddick jokes… would be unbelievable if it didn’t come from a close associate. As grotesque as it is, this explains why Kennedy made a public point of acquiring a Portuguese Water Dog and naming him “Splash”. Then, just in case anybody missed the news, he distributed a book about his new pet.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 31, 2009 @ 3:39 am - August 31, 2009

  14. I’m wondering if B. Dan Blatt is posting such gooey sentiments as “…he did do a great deal of good…” and “…let us remember his strengths. And they were many” in order to elicit the more honest assessments of his readers in a fit of surreptitious, passive-aggressive blogging (“I don’t want to be accused of criticizing a man before he’s buried because it’s not nice, so I’ll write leading statements praising him just to goad my readers”).

    I can understand a periodic refraining from criticizing a recently deceased figure who was profoundly wrong and/or was involved in a minor scandal or two. However, Kennedy was a criminal and flaunted the debts to society he was never made to pay. I suppose I can’t blame such a flawed character for taking advantage of an electorate for whom he had such obvious contempt, as they gave him the platform from which he did so much harm. But while the very naturalness and sheer elan of his corruption (similar to the willing, dutiful Eichmann) helps explain him, such an understanding should make him more dangerous, not less so.

    Those who would choose Kennedy’s death to exercise the tritest phrases such as “We’re all flawed” or some such condemn themselves with an implied moral equivalence in an effort to pat themselves on the backs for a polite society that we should all know was never Camelot. True, I’m no saint, but I think I can be forgiven if I reject the current hagiography by responding to Kennedy with a flaw of my own, namely taking pride in an unwillingness to forgive.

    Comment by Ignatius — August 31, 2009 @ 5:28 am - August 31, 2009

  15. Maybe one of the differences John misses, is we do accept that he did good things. But it is right to hold the good and the bad that the man did in his life. It’s not my place to judge him in the next life. But for all the good his actions may have brought about, leaving a woman to die, never asking for benediction nor pennance and enjoying jokes about it says a lot about the man.

    Comment by The Livewire — August 31, 2009 @ 6:53 am - August 31, 2009

  16. As is usual Mark Steyn says it better than I.

    “You can’t make an omelette without breaking chicks, right? I don’t know how many lives the senator changed — he certainly changed Mary Jo’s — but you’re struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy’s Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been okay to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.” What true-believing liberal lass wouldn’t be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?”

    Comment by The Livewire — August 31, 2009 @ 7:34 am - August 31, 2009

  17. […] Gay Patriot – “How Kennedy Saved a Girl from Bad Soviet Medicine“, Leave a […]

    Pingback by Biden: “I’d turn around and there’d be a specialist from Massachusetts, a Doc I never even asked for…literally…sitting in the room with me.” « Ztower — August 31, 2009 @ 8:59 am - August 31, 2009

  18. At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”


    But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I’ve seen left-liberal women claim to be feminists, then knock Sarah Palin dishonestly (not reflecting reality) while papering over Bill Clinton’s abuse of women.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 31, 2009 @ 9:47 am - August 31, 2009

  19. clinton — another one with “flaws.”

    Comment by Julie Kelleher — August 31, 2009 @ 11:56 am - August 31, 2009

  20. Well first of all I’m quite fatigued by the fawning over Kennedy by liberals as well as the at times inappropriate snark by the opposition. Was the Hitler reference really necessary? For all his faults, and Lord knows there were many, Kennedy in no way deserves that. For one thing it cheapens how evil Hitler truly was. Dan’s posts on the matter has struck the right balance in my view. I appreciate snarky humor, like Treacher’s “Lady of the Lake” retort and AoS’ suggestion that if we must rename Obamacare, “Chappiquidicare” is a appropriate, but c’mon. The man did a good thing with this girl and some of the comments in this thread seem no different than much of what many of us find objectionable from libs when one of our heroes dies. Does the man’s death, his near-canonization by libs, etc. mean that we ignore his faults, or God forbid pass Obamacare “for Teddy!”? Absolutely-friggin’-not.

    Comment by John — August 31, 2009 @ 5:14 pm - August 31, 2009

  21. Was the Hitler reference really necessary?

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    John, it is you who has tied Hitler in some perverse way to Kennedy.

    ILC did not. His statement that “even Hitler was kind to animals” is a relevant trope in showing that “good” things can be said about the most evil of people. In no manner whatsoever did he compare Kennedy to Hitler or imply it.

    Your tu quoque fallacy may work on less adequate forums, but it will not fly here.

    You owe ILC an apology.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 31, 2009 @ 7:45 pm - August 31, 2009

  22. Uh-huh. Sure, helio. The most I’ll say is that it danced very close to breaching Godwin’s Law.

    Comment by John — August 31, 2009 @ 10:32 pm - August 31, 2009

  23. […] By datechguy Over at Gay Patriot via Legal Insurrection a good Kennedy deed is brought out of the memory hole: I visited Jessica’s father Boris several times when I was in college. As most Soviet emigrés, […]

    Pingback by Once in a while you let one go « DaTechguy’s Blog — September 1, 2009 @ 8:15 am - September 1, 2009

  24. heliotrope managed to interpret my comment correctly. John, you did not.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 1, 2009 @ 9:41 am - September 1, 2009

  25. To spell out what should have been obvious in my comment: If even the defining extreme of human evil (Hitler) had a few good deeds or habits in his life – and if we investigate him with any kind of honesty, we must consider that he did – then why should we be impressed that people of rather lesser evil (like Kennedy) do also? Every bad person does a few good deeds, if only as “cover”.

    In Kennedy’s case, sure, he was out there dramatically throwing his weight around to save some girl from bad Soviet medicine – while doing everything in his power to impose Soviet-like medicine on his fellow Americans, and as he continued to occupy a position that he should have resigned from instantly after having left another young woman to drown.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 1, 2009 @ 9:59 am - September 1, 2009

  26. John,

    Godwin’s Law is a social commentary and has zero footing in logic. In fact, it actually is based on a fallacy of logic which is the use of the double negative. It implies guilt by association as an ad hominem fallacy. (Wow, we are “implying” guilt by association which would translate to implying an implication.)

    Actual guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.

    ILC did not claim that Kennedy was kind to animals; that Hitler was kind to animals and therefore Kennedy and Hitler shared evil qualities as well.

    Godwin’s Law is the type of smart babble that says sooner or later arguments devolve into playing the Hitler analogy. Maybe he has observed something, but when a reference to Hitler is not an actual analogy, except in the mind of the beholder, it is the beholder who has committed the fallacious thinking.

    Perhaps you would rest better had ILC said: “Even Saul Alinsky loved animals.” But, then, that hardly serves as a useful trope.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 1, 2009 @ 10:05 am - September 1, 2009

  27. Perhaps Kennedy’s un-admitted moral psychology was something like the following. “I did something really bad! That means I get to keep being a United States Senator, so I can have chances to occasionally do something good!” Evidently, power (the chance to wield it) was his personal entitlement program.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 1, 2009 @ 10:12 am - September 1, 2009

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