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Monday, 30 April 2012

Dan Rather investigates the disturbing accounts of forced adoptions.

Welcome! in case you have stumbled into my blog, you are reading BEYOND THE BLUE DOMES.  I am a "Baby-Boomer" born and raised in Iran and my topics range from my memories growing up in Iran to homeless community in Santa Monica and beyond.  My theme is social realities and preserving the history. I'd like to connect with people around the world that share the same passion. I appreciate your comments.
Abducted generations?

On Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 8 ET, Dan Rather Reports on HDNet investigates the disturbing accounts of forced adoptions. Here, Dan Rather gives an exclusive preview.

In the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, being an unwed mother carried a significant stigma in America. It’s now called the “baby scoop” era and during this time young women -- usually in their teens -- were either hidden at home, sent to live with distant relatives or quietly dispatched to maternity homes to give birth.
Estimates are as many as 1.5 million young mothers who say they were forced -- some just minutes after delivery -- to hand over their babies for adoption during this period.  It was a decision that they seldom made on their own. Mostly, it was preordained by the young woman’s church or her parents.  Often too, it was a decision that was dictated by the social customs of the time because having a baby out of wedlock was seen as a disgrace to a family.
Since last October, Dan Rather Reports has interviewed nearly one hundred women from around the world who shared a common experience: They say during this time they were lied to, denied their rights and duped into handing over their babies for adoption. And, they believe, it is time to lift the veil of secrecy.
Last month I interviewed two people with very different stories to tell that suggests perhaps some of the policies and practices of the past that led to forced adoptions lingered into the 80’s and beyond.  
Marc Mezibov is an attorney who represented a woman who claims to have been manipulated into handing over her newborn for adoption in 1965 when she was 16 years old. But the story is much more sordid than that.
In a lawsuit filed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 2004, Mezibov’s client, known as “Jane Doe”, claimed that the father of her child was her parish priest.
“The priest and her elementary school teacher, who's a nun, and her parents, are all telling her basically, ‘You need to get things right with the church’,”Mezibov told me.  “And to do the right thing means to keep quiet about the parentage of your child and not to bring any trouble to the church's door.”  
Mezibov says his client was intimidated into relinquishing her parental rights to the baby and as a result had been separated from her child for about 40 years.
“She was told, ‘The fact that you have this out-of-wedlock child with a priest is your fault and your fault alone.  The public must never know that the father of your child is a priest.’”
“And the priest told her, ‘Look, you have to do the right thing. The right thing is -- give up the child -- don't ever tell anyone that I was the father. And, by the way, I'll have to leave the church if the church is required to pay child support for this child.’”
It took about 40 years for “Jane Doe” to come forward with the allegations. When asked why it took so long Mezibov said, “This was a question of coming to grips with the reality of the situation and having the courage to face the situation. This is many years after considerable psychotherapy, some hospitalizations and a lot of emotional pain to get to this point.”
And then there is Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy. She claims at age 19, she experienced a much more subtle form of coercion that led her to hand over her son for adoption in 1987.
As an unwed teen, D’Arcy says the social stigma against keeping your baby was not much better than it was in 1965.
D’Arcy told me, “If you were stupid enough to get pregnant, and then to keep your baby there was something wrong with you. Smart girls didn't do that.” She added, “I was a smart girl.”
During an in-depth interview in New York City at the beginning of April, D’Arcy told me how she was sent from the comfort and familiar surroundings of her Long Island home to the Boston area during her last month of pregnancy.  
D’Arcy says she didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back feels that the adoption agency was actually a place where helpfulness and support masked a hidden agenda.
“Leaving my home, leaving my family, leaving the people around me, going amongst strangers. It was a very supportive environment because everybody had a vested interest in my relinquishment once I was in the agency.”
I asked her if she considered her experience with the agency in Massachusetts coercive.  “At the time, no,” she said. “ With the knowledge that I have now, yes.”
Meanwhile, Ohio attorney Marc Mezibov says his client “Jane Doe”,  was from a devout Catholic family. She was taken out of her parochial high school and shipped off to a maternity home soon after her family learned that she had become pregnant.  
Nearly fifty years after the relinquishment, “Jane Doe” continues to maintain her anonymity, but her story made headlines after the lawsuit was filed in December 2004.
Mezibov says he feels the most troublesome aspect of what the Catholic Church did was taking a mother and a child and separating them for life. “It shouldn't be because some outside force is imposing their will on you,” he said.
We heard lots of stories from women of  “Jane Doe’s” generation, but we were surprised to learn that women a generation younger still felt manipulated or coerced into giving up their baby for adoption.
But the approach in 1987, according to D’Arcy was different. She says the adoption agency wanted her to feel good about helping to “create a family” in order to secure a signature of relinquishment. The end result was the same for D’Arcy and “Jane Doe.”
D’Arcy says she spent a two days together with her son before signing the papers to relinquish him.
“Adoption was supposed to be this one thing that happened that was going to allow me to continue on my life as if I did not have a baby.  And yet, 25 years later, I'm sitting here talking to you because this has been the single most life altering thing that has ever happened to me and has changed the course of my entire life,” she told me. “And not just for me, but for my other children, for my husband, for family members. The ripples and the effect on everybody, and yet they don't tell you that.”
When asked what had happened to change her opinions about adoption, D’Arcy stated simply, “I got the Internet.”
In 2007, D’Arcy was reunited with her son, which she continues to refer to as “Max,” the name she had given him at birth 20 years earlier.
About ten months after D’Arcy and Max happily reconnected, Mezibov and his client had a less happy ending -- their lawsuit was thrown out in January 2008 by the Ohio State Supreme Court on grounds that the statute of limitations had run out.
Mezibov told me, “It remains my opinion that the court was wrong to give the church a pass when they got what they wanted.  And for her to give up the child and for her not to pursue any claims.”
Today, D’Arcy is the mother of four, and lives in upstate New York, and has a blog dedicated to adoption reform.
“People need to realize that adoption is not warm and fuzzy,” says D’Arcy. Adoption is supposed to be about finding homes for children that need it, not finding children for parents that want them.”
We should point out that adoption is not always about painful separation. Thousands of successful adoptions take place every year across the country and many new families are created. And the percentage today of forced adoptions is a fraction of what it was during a time in this country called by some scholars as the perfect storm.  It was a period before oral contraception, before abortion and at the height of the sexual revolution. At its peak, nearly nine percent of babies born to never married mothers were adopted. Today that figure is around one percent.

Kim Kardashian for Mayor of Glendale....

Welcome! in case you have stumbled into my blog, you are reading BEYOND THE BLUE DOMES.  I am a "Baby-Boomer" born and raised in Iran and my topics range from my memories growing up in Iran to homeless community in Santa Monica and beyond.  My theme is social realities and preserving the history. I'd like to connect with people around the world that share the same passion. I appreciate your comments; you may contact me by email: or just leave a comment on my blog. (it's easy if you have a gmail account)

What do you do when you're at a doctor's office waiting for your turn to be called?  That's the best time for me to catch up with reading magazines.  The other day at a doctor's office a Spanish magazine caught my attention.  The March 24 issue of El Aviso, on its cover had the picture of Kim Kardashian and in bold letters it said, "Kim Kardashian Es Considerada La Mujer Con El Mejor Cuerpo Del Mundo!" Translates:  "KK is considered the woman with the best skin in the world."

Today Kim Kardashian is one of the most popular celebrities and one of the best known Armenians in the United States. Kim Kardashian and her sisters never loose an opportunity to flaunt their Armenian heritage.  And I love that.  As the saying goes, "there is not a bad publicity." 
A few weeks ago the talk of the town was that Kim Kardashian announced that she is considering running for mayor of Glendale.  And last night at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Kim Kardashian was the celebrity who took the most hits. Comic Jimmy Kimmel, the dinner host, in several occasions directed his jibes at Kardashian who was among the guests. 

Today, from President Obama to the of Gledale's City Council, everybody is talking about Kardashian.  I even spotted a blurb in Time Magazine about Kardashian running for mayor of Glendale.  For nothing else, thank you kimmy for putting our hometown Glendale on the map.

In the following video which was unveiled at the Glendale City Council meeting and uploaded to YouTube, Kardashian asks the public to join in commemorating "the loss of those innocent lives of millions of people worldwide."

Below you can read a letter to Kim Kardashian penned by Patrick Canneday.  He says: "I find it hard to change the channel when I see a Kardashian in her penthouse or mansion agonizing over what to wear to the photo shoot, who's pregnant and who's not, or which rapper/professional athlete is rumored to be next in line for speed dating." Apparently millions of others share this guilty pleasure. 

I think what he wrote is quite cute. Read the letter below.

Kim Kardashian at the red-carpet in the White House at Correspondents Dinner
April 28, 2012 

Here is a column by Patrick Caneday in Glendale Newspress, the local newspaper: 

Dear Kim,

I hear you want to run for mayor of my hometown, Glendale, California.

I'm sure by now you've discovered one doesn't “run for mayor” of Glendale. No. One first runs for City Council and then wins the annual intra-council rock-paper-scissors contest to become mayor. Or loses it. No one's really sure how it works.

Though I now live in neighboring Burbank, as a son of Glendale (a “Glendalian?”) I felt compelled to write and say this: Run, Kimmy! Run!

At this moment, all nine of my readers are angrily sending nasty-grams asking if I've lost my mind. Maybe I have. But I welcome your ample, well-rounded assets occupying a chair in our local star chamber. No pun intended.

I admit, however, that my motives are not entirely unselfish. Your brand — er, family is one of my guilty pleasures. I'm not a fan of the K-shows, nor is my DVR set to record them. But I marvel at your faux-lebrity; I find it hard to change the channel when I see a Kardashian in her penthouse or mansion agonizing over what to wear to the photo shoot, who's pregnant and who's not, or which rapper/professional athlete is rumored to be next in line for speed dating.

We're all human.

Besides, bringing your special brand of sexy, personal drama to our little corner of the world would give this columnist a bountiful source of material. The possibility that you might repost this to your 8.5-million Facebook followers and 14-plus million Twitter-heads hasn't escaped me, either. Nothing would make me happier than to see this newspaper's website crash under the ensuing inundation of hits.
You like to be seen. I like to be read. I think we understand each other.

Glendale always has had a case of Los Angeles-envy. Becoming the first step on your catwalk to higher office may go far to satisfy those cravings. Not since the Mario Lopez fence-height scandal have feathers been this ruffled in our humble burg.

You see, unlike your detractors, Kim, I don't think you're unintelligent. I know you're smart. Everything you do is for the purpose of furthering your brand. You know exactly who you are, what you bring to the table and how to get what you want. You are as qualified for office as any other concerned Californian who wants to make a difference.

Frankly, after Arnold Schwarzenegger got elected — twice! — I pretty much gave up on the credibility of our voters anyway.

Wanting to be mayor of Glendale because “it's like Armenian Town,” as you put it, is a noble cause. But Glendale is so much more than that. We already have a respected history of Armenian representatives in local politics: Larry Zarian, Bob Yousefian, Rafi Manoukian and Ara Najarian, to name a few.

So if you're going to run, Kimmy, please consider a wider platform. Again, no pun intended.
Before you qualify, though, you'll need to establish residence and get to know us. I'm looking forward to bumping into you squeezing avocados for freshness at Whole Foods, noshing late-night after-party waffles at Conrad's, or getting your stiletto heels fixed at Zinke's Shoe Repair.

I know you like to shop. No doubt you've heard of our elegant, trend-setting fashion mall. People drive from all over SoCal to shop there. But if the Eagle Rock Plaza isn't up to your standards, you can always try the Americana on Brand. It's OK, too.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ils Sont Tombés – A song by Charles Aznavour dedicated to the memory of Armenian Genocide and the victims

   Welcome! in case you have stumbled into my blog, you are reading BEYOND THE BLUE DOMES.  I am a "Baby-Boomer" born and raised in Iran and my topics range from my memories growing up in Iran to homeless community in Santa Monica and beyond.  My theme is social realities and preserving the history. I'd like to connect with people around the world that share the same passion. I appreciate your comments. (It's easy if you have gmail account)

Armenia claims up to 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed in 1915 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies this, saying that the deaths were the result of civil strife that erupted when Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

Ils Sont Tombés is a song released in 1976, written by Charles Aznavour and Georges Garvarentz, dedicated to the memory of Armenian Genocide victims. It was subsequently released in English (They Fell). The text is also translated into Russian and Armenian.

Charles Aznavour - Ils sont tombes

Ils sont tombés sans trop savoir pourquoi
Hommes, femmes et enfants qui ne voulaient que vivre
Avec des gestes lourds comme des hommes ivres
Mutilés, massacrés les yeux ouverts d'effroi
Ils sont tombés en invoquant leur Dieu
Au seuil de leur église ou le pas de leur porte
En troupeaux de désert titubant en cohorte
Terrassés par la soif, la faim, le fer, le feu

Nul n'éleva la voix dans un monde euphorique
Tandis que croupissait un peuple dans son sang
L' Europe découvrait le jazz et sa musique
Les plaintes de trompettes couvraient les cris d'enfants
Ils sont tombés pudiquement sans bruit
Par milliers, par millions, sans que le monde bouge
Devenant un instant minuscules fleurs rouges
Recouverts par un vent de sable et puis d'oubli 

They Fell - text in English
They fell that year,
they vanished from the earth,
Never knowing the cause
Or what laws they'd offended,
The women fell as well
And the babies they tended.
Left to die left to cry
All condemned by their birth.

They fell like rain
Across the thirsty land,
In their hordes they were slain,
In their god still believing
All their pity and pain,
In that season of grieving
Called in vain all in vain
Just for one helping hand.
For no one heard their prayers,
In a world bent on pleasure
From others peoples cares
They simply closed their eyes
They craved a louder sound
In jazz and raggtime measure
The trumpets screamed till dawn
To drown the children’s cries.

They fell like leaves
This people its prime,
Simple men kindly men,
And not one knew his crime
They became in that hour
Like the small desert flower
Soon covered by the silent wind
In sands of time.

Find more similar lyrics on fell that year
Before a cruel foe
They had little to give
But their lives and their passion,
And their longing to live
In their way
In their fashion
So their harvest could thrive
and their children could grow.
They fell like flies
Their eyes still full of sun
Like a dove its flight
In the path of rifle
That falls down were it might,
As if death were a trifle
And to bring to an end
A life barely begun.

And I am of that race,
Who died in unknown places
Who perished in their pride,
Whose blood in rivers ran,
In agony and fright
With courage on their faces
They went in to the night,
That waits for every man.
They fell like tears
And never knew what for
In that summer of strife
Of massacre and war
Their only crime was life
Their only guilt was being
The children of Armenia
Nothing less nothing more

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

President Obama on Armenian Genocide

Obama didn't use the word Genocide in his statement again

For a fourth straight year, President Obama declined to describe the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as a "genocide," again breaking a campaign pledge he made in 2008.

"We honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire," Obama said in a statement today.

The reason for the careful wording: Turkey, a key U.S. ally in Middle Eastern affairs.

Olivier Knox of Yahoo News! reported that "Turkey, a NATO member, fiercely disputes the genocide charge, and has warned that formal U.S. steps to use the term will hamper relations. Turkey's Ambassador to Washington Namik Tan sharply criticized a similar statement from Obama in 2011, taking to Twitter to denounce it as inaccurate, flawed, and one-sided."

Knox and ABC's Jake Tapper noted that Obama used the word "genocide" as an Illinois senator and as a presidential candidate.

"In a January 2008 letter to the Armenian Reporter, Mr. Obama said he shared 'with Armenian Americans -- so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors -- a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide,'" ABC News reported. "'That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history.'"

Here is Obama's full statement on Armenian Remembrance Day:

President Obama Issues Statement on Armenian Remembrance Day

         Welcome! in case you have stumbled into my blog, you are reading BEYOND THE BLUE DOMES.  I am a "Baby-Boomer" born and raised in Iran and my topics range from my memories growing up in Iran to homeless community in Santa Monica and beyond.  My theme is social realities and preserving the history. I'd like to connect with people around the world that share the same passion. I appreciate your comments; you may contact me by email: or just leave a comment on my blog. (it's easy if you have a gmail account)

Below is the statement issued by President Obama today, in which he continues to avoid referring to the destruction of the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 as “genocide,” employing the Armenian term Medz Yeghern instead.

Barack Obama
        Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In doing so, we honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. As we reflect on the unspeakable suffering that took place 97 years ago, we join millions who do the same across the globe and here in America, where it is solemnly commemorated by our states, institutions, communities, and families. Through our words and our deeds, it is our obligation to keep the flame of memory of those who perished burning bright and to ensure that such dark chapters of history are never repeated.

          I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915. My view of that history has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests. Moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past. The United States has done so many times in our own history, and I believe we are stronger for it. Some individuals have already taken this courageous step forward. We applaud those Armenians and Turks who have taken this path, and we hope that many more will choose it, with the support of their governments, as well as mine.

           Although the lives that were taken can never be returned, the legacy of the Armenian people is one of triumph. Your faith, courage, and strength have enabled you to survive and prosper, establishing vibrant communities around the world. Undaunted, you have preserved your patrimony, passing it from generation to generation. Armenian-Americans have made manifold contributions to the vibrancy of the United States, as well as critical investments in a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous future for Armenia. The United States is proud of your heritage, and your contributions honor the memory of those who senselessly suffered and died nearly a century ago.

           On this solemn day of remembrance, we stand alongside all Armenians in recalling the darkness of the Meds Yeghern and in committing to bringing a brighter future to the people of Armenia.

The following is a timeline I composed three years ago, reflectig my disappointment at President Obama for not honoring his campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. 


April 25, 2009 11:00 AM – I am checking my emails. The subject on one of the email reads: “Obama Betrays Armenians.” Since yesterday, I’ve received a half a dozen emails on the same subject. Armenians have rallied to continue their efforts to make U.S. congress officially recognize the long awaited acknowledgement of the “Genocide” So, I hear…

BEFORE THAT – same day 9:00 AM – I pick up the weekend issue of our local newspaper, the Glendale News-Press, and the front-page article with big bold letters says: “Obama’s words rebuked,” I read the whole article. “Armenians are disappointed… Obama danced around the language.” The Armenian communities from “sea to shining sea” are outraged and a firestorm is soon to be ignited. Was the promise a feel-good campaign rhetoric? I am thinking…

BEFORE THAT, the Obameter website, questions Pres. Obama’s integrity, having concluded that he had broken his promise on the Armenian Genocide – one of the 511 campaign promises that the website keeps track of. People are watching…

BEFORE THAT Mom calls and says, “It is April 24th, are you watching the TV? – President Obama is on.” just barely, I get to hear the last few sentences. He sympathizes with Armenian cause. “Nothing can bring back those who were lost in the “Meds Yeghern.” He uses the Armenian phrase “Meds Yeghern” which translates into “The Great Calamity” avoiding using the term “genocide” to describe the atrocities of Ottoman Turks to eradicate Armenians from their homelands. His statement falls short from his pledge. So, I hear…

BEFORE THAT – April 6, 2009 – during a press conference in Ankara, a journalist asks Pres. Obama if he is going to stand firm on his campaign promise. Obama answers: “My views are on the record and I have not changed views.” The reporter presses him about not using the term “genocide.” And he maneuvers around the topic without using the word “genocide.” I am anxious to see, on April 24th, how he is going to recognize the “Genocide” a promise he had made to the Armenian community during his presidential campaign. I am thinking…

BEFORE THAT – November 4, 2008 – I am watching on TV, the sea of crowd at Chicago’s Grant Park, welcoming the newly elected president Obama. I share tears of joy with Oprah, Jesse Jackson and the whole crowd. I am witnessing the unfolding of a new era in the American History – a ripple that will forge new relations and softens the socioeconomic conflicts at the International stage. And the world watches…

BEFORE THAT – January 19, 2008 – as a presidential candidate and as a senator, Obama, makes a promise to American-Armenian community and pledges that he would officially recognize the “Genocide.” Armenians are hopeful and passionately support Obama… So, I hear…

BEFORE THAT – March 7, 2006 – the ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, is recalled by President Bush’s Administration, back to Washington. He had referred to Armenian massacre of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey as “Genocide.” Armenians protest. They are asking John Evans to come back. So, I hear…

BEFORE THAT – April 24, 1995 – I am driving my kids, ages 21, 16, 10, to Montebello, California, where Armenians have erected a memorial monument for the Genocide. I want, us, to be part of the 80th anniversary commemoration service. So, I drive…

BEFORE THAT – April 24, 1965, Tehran. We are gathered, a crowd to the capacity, in the playground of St Mary’s, Armenian church and the connecting high school. I am 16, I hear the priest conducting a mass for the ravished souls of Armenians massacred 50 years ago in Turkey. So, I hear…

BEFORE THAT – August 22, 1939 – on the eve of his murderous attack against Poland, Hitler makes an address to his chief military commanders. He finishes his remarks by saying “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” 10 million people are wiped out by Nazis. And the world watches.

BEFORE THAT – March 15, 1921 – Soghomon Tehlirian, in broad daylight and in the presence of many witnesses assassinates Talat Pasha, the architect of the Armenian Genocide. It takes the jury slightly an hour to acquit Tehlirian. The trial, taking place in Germany, influences Rafael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer to coin the term “Genocide”

BEFORE THAT my ancestors living in Ottoman, Turkey, are slaughtered by Turkish Militia or are evacuated community by community and marched to their deaths in the deserts. And the world watches.

BEFORE THAT – on April 24, 1915, Talat Pasha orders the arrest and persecution of all the Armenian leaders, bankers, professors, doctors, lawyers and many business professionals, in Constantinople and masterminds the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians. And the world watches the first ethnic cleansing of the 20th century.