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Sunday: Denise Richardson

Our friend Betty Jean at Free Us Now sends the following sad news:

Denise Ann Richardson, my beloved daughter, entered the world 9-7-63.  She made this world a better place.  Escorted by her brother Mikie, who preceded her by 9 years, and on the wings of angels, left us with a smile 3-7-09.

Denise Richardson
Denise Richardson

She battled ovarian cancer for nearly 36 months.  She spent her final 36 hours surrounded with love was comforted by those she loved and trusted including Louisa who was with her in a special way. She got to Say I love you and kiss us goodbye.  We got to say thank you.  We got to say I love you.  And kiss her goodbye.  Denise did a lot of great things, for a lot of people. Anyone that ever met Dee had something to thank her for.

The Confluence would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Betty Jean and her family for their loss.  We also keep in our thoughts Louisa, who was callously shot by her former brother-in-law just before Christmas and remains critically injured.  We hope for a day when Betty Jean will be free from sorrow and will once again taste the sweetness of life.  We’re here for you Betty Jean.

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Sunday: Louisa

Conflucians, I am keeping this post up and will update news from Betty Jean on the condition of her daughters, Louisa and Denise, when it becomes available.  We would like for news of this incident to become viral and spread throughout the internet so please send this link to as many people as you can.

Updates on Louisa:  Last night, I received the following information passed along by Sheri Tag:

Email From BJ:
Just got home after a 36 hours shift but it was worth is – time for a new brain hemorrhage is passed now – and we think the brains on the left side is not in heal mode – Thank You Jesus
Now if we can keep her fever down and infections away for another full week – there is reason to hope that with prayer we might consider a possible partial recovery !
Louisa will never be the same – but 15 hours ago we were having the pull the plug discussions and now we are having a different one – so Please keep the prayers coming!

BJ asked I relay this information:

Swelling has reached its peak and starting to subside and reverse.

Today Louisa grabbed and squeezed BJ’s and the doctors hand.

The breathing tube will be removed and a trache will be put in, with the anticipation of Louisa breathing 40% on her own.

The main concern at this time is infection.

BJ wants to thank everyone again and asks for continued prayers because this week Louisa will really need it.

So, it looks like Louisa is starting to come around.  This is good news.

Continue reading

Thursday: For Louisa

Both clinging to life

Denise and Louisa, Betty Jean's daughters: Both clinging to life

The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders.  Many PUMAs know Betty Jean Kling, a tireless Hillary Clinton supporter who had a passion for healthcare reform.  Betty Jean’s son died of cancer and her daughter Denise is living with advanced ovarian cancer.  Betty Jean’s heart’s desire was to see that her daughter, and all those affected by serious disease, get the treatment they need.

But an evil genius works against Betty Jean.  Last June, Denise was attacked in her sleep by her estranged lover, George Hartwig.  He hit her in the head with a hammer.  He was sentenced to 3 months in prison for the attack and released.  Monday night, as Betty Jean attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York City to help her pay off her remaining debt, Hartwig struck again.  He shot Denise’s sister, Louisa, in the face when she got in the way.  Louisa is now in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital.  (One of our commenters reports that Louisa has lost an eye and may suffer brain damage if she survives.) You can read about the attack here, here and here.   This has been devastating to Betty Jean who is now dealing with two daughters who are fighting for their lives.

Domestic violence is a sensitive subject for many people.  I don’t know why it should be.  You shouldn’t be allowed to commit violent acts against another human being no matter what degree of relationship exists but violence is often tolerated in marital situations. Still, it is imcomprehensible that an attacker would be allowed to roam free after he heartlessly attacked a cancer patient with a hammer.  That this man had the ability to shoot her sister with a shotgun is simply unbelievable.  Where were the local police?  The New Jersey justice system?  How can targets of domestic violence sleep easily if their predators are not actually restrained?  The attackers in instances such as these seem to be operating with a single minded obsession, as if they are determined to remove a weed from their garden.  It’s irrational anger projected onto a hapless target.  If the crazy worldview of the attacker can’t be changed, the attacker himself needs to be locked up.

We need a Louisa’s Law that will prevent the release of these attackers who, like pedophiles, have a habit of being repeat offenders.  They need an attitude adjustment that only a lot of time with a prison psychologist can accomplish, along with restraining orders, ankle bracelet monitoring systems and no legal access to firearms.  Of course, that doesn’t prevent the abuser from using hammers so maybe locking them up and strapping a GPS device to them when they’re released until they get the point is the only way.  Worldviews are very difficult to change unless the person sees there is really no alternative and that society will simply not allow them to act on their murderous rage.

If you want to help Betty Jean advocate for a new Louisa’s Law, please contact her at Free Us Now.   NJ Senator Menendez sponsored legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  You might want to drop him a line if you agree with him or contact your own senators.  NJ Senator Lautenberg  wrote the Domestic Violence Gun Ban and Brady Law.  Both of these Democrats know how serious this issue is but they have faced a tough fight from the NRA in recent years.  It is time we focus our attention on the risk that Domestic Violence poses to their victims and others who get in the way.

The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women has many services for women who are facing domestic abuse but surprisingly little on their legislation page.  If you are a lawyer or advocate in this area, or have experience lobbying for legislation, let them know you want to help.

Finally, there will be a hearing  on the arraignment of George Hartwig.  The Honorable Judge Harry Carroll will preside.  His contact numbers are voice: 201-527-2460, fax: 201-752-4109 if you would like to politely urge him to keep Hatwig behind bars until his trial.

We send our positivc thoughts to Betty Jean.  The Trial of Job didn’t last forever.  It ended well.

(It’s Not Easy) Being PUMA

As Sheri Tag, host of “No We Won’t” on PUMA UNITED RADIO said on BettyJean Kling’s inaugural BlogTalkRadio show, “Free US Now“:

It’s not easy being PUMA.

So right you are, Sheri, and congratulations to BettyJean on her new show.

Just like Kermit, we may not be as flashy-sparkly as the others. For us, our opponents appear to have so much going, with their money and their trappings. (Huh, didn’t that used to be the Repubs?) But we are heartfelt, true, and committed to our cause.

Paula Abeles, tireless co-founder of Real Democrats, aptly states the case about the crux of our protest: the right to free speech and the right to vote. In this video from their latest canvassing in Ohio, Abeles proffers our beef about ACORN, Obama’s nosing Hillary and us out of her nomination, and his attempted Iraqi October surprise (oh, no, Mr. Bill!)

A case in point. What’s interesting, and very sad for me, is that after I published my first version of this post on Lady Boomer NYC, about it not being that easy to be a PUMA, one of my dearest friends wrote a response to the comments on my blog. She felt like I was separating myself from her and my friends, even inciting hate. Whereas, I feel it’s the other way around, because the Democratic Party has marginalized, alienated, excluded, and demonized us—and our candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton. In these final ten days, you can betcha, the juice is up. People are getting even more inflamed and coming from a place of fear.

Because of the volatile atmosphere we face, I, like many in our movement, have chosen to go underground and separate my political from my personal identity. I have been extremely careful to not speak my views in “mixed company.” For that reason, in addition to being friends for over thirty years, her words stung me deeply.

Is friendship based on shared beliefs? Sometimes. but hopefully it’s bigger than that. How do individuals have differing beliefs and still stay friends? —especially, once the election is over. It is my hope that even when we have hurt feelings, we can move beyond them and work toward the common good. That’s why I have thrown my lot in with PUMA, The Confluence, For Democratic Reform, and others.

Our charge is to continue to support each other and keep the faith in the face of personal and public attack. How do we support each other, given that we’re not supporting McCain, but are working to change the process? Given our protest, and regardless of the winner and the loser, the democratic process needs to be changed. It is my commitment to see that fight through to the end, to realize the reforms that we need in the Democratic Party and the election process.

No matter who wins the Presidency, it’s obvious that we have our big work cut out for us. Buckle up, kids! So we say, it’s not that easy being PUMA, but we like it. Given the situation, we would not and could not be anything else.

Paraphrasing the late, great Joe Raposo’s “(It’s Not Easy) Being Green” —

It’s Not Easy Being PUMA . . .

And PUMA could be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When PUMA is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But, why wonder “why”?
Wonder
I’m PUMA
And it’ll do fine
And it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be