Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 37683
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2018/10/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/16   

2005/5/14-16 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Others] UID:37683 Activity:high
5/14    This is just depressing stuff. Woman kicked like a soccer ball dies.
        http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/05/15/MARIA.TMP
        \_ Tragic, but you'll note that her family offered to buy her a home
           in Chicago and she refused because of the weather. Yes,
           homeless is so much better.
           \_ The woman got stomped to death after living a life that would
              break just about anyone.  How about you just shut the hell up
              and stop trying to score some meaningless points.
              \_ I think you got trolled.
           \_ She has mental problems.  Give her a break.
                 \_ Trolling is also trying to score meaningless points.
           \_ She had mental problems.  Give her a break.  Besides, there is
              this line in the article: "Calls home became less frequent, and
              more desperate for money."  I doubt if her family was really so
              generous as to buy her a home.  Otherwise she wouldn't need to
              sound desperate for money.  Maybe her family only offered a small
              downpayment and she was supposed to handle the mortgage.  Some
              people like to exaggerate their goodness when there's no one to
              counter them.
              \_ You might be correct, but people are often reluctant to
                 give money without strings to crazy/drug addicted people.
                 This is not unreasonable.
           \_ well, in my country, they say that America is a great country
              with lots of opportunities IFF you're young and fit, because
              if you're not, there's no one (government) to take care of you.
              In this case, she got a physically debilitated and things seemed
              In this case, she got physically debilitated and things started
              to go downhill. In my country, this would never happen. But
              then again, my country isn't as big and powerful as America.
              \_ What's your country?  I was very surprised to see how many
                 homeless and despondent people I saw on the streets of
                 "functioning" places like Vancouver, London, Tokyo and
                 Frankfurt.  Even Sweden & Denmark have the pooor, broken
                 bastards that just fall through the cracks.  -John
              \_ Simple response - Move back. Seriously.
                 \_ I will gladly get out of your facsist imperialistic country
                    and move back when I've made enough money for retirement.
                    I'll reap social benefits of my country while enjoying
                    wealth that I earned when I was young and healthy. You
                    on the other hand are stuck with broken infrastructures
                    and national deficits. Anyways, this is what I love about
                    America. I get free education (scholarships), I make lots
                    of money with only 30% tax, and I get to take everything
                    from America back home. America IS a great country.
              \_ I was going to say "Yeah, but how much tax do you pay in your
                 country?"  But then I just remember that we pay lots of tax
                 here too.
                 \_ US is 15% for the poor, 40% for the richest. I am
                    personally paying 30%, and I wouldn't mind paying 50% if
                    1) my government would stop squandering money on pointless
                    war, propaganda, and Corporationally aligned agendas and
                    2) my government starts improving things INSIDE the U.S.,
                    like better (more organized) mass transit, better road
                    systems, better education, and infrastructures in general.
                    I personally prefer a country run by Denmark/Switzerland
                    like government with lots of accountability and a sense of
                    duty and ethics than see it run over by private
                    corporations like it is now. This whole talk on
                    privatization on every little thing is sickening me.
                    \_ I think the word you're looking for is
                       "accountability."  Be wary of using places like .dk and
                       .ch as examples--they have a lot of problems too, they
                       just don't show up as much because they're generally
                       on a smaller scale.  -John
                       \_ Tell us about their problems. Percentage-wise, is it
                          worst than U.S.? Do they also privatize social
                          security, electricity, water, and other things?
                          Is the quality of education level more "flattened"
                          thoughout the country, or is it very aymmetrical
                          like the U.S.?           -Curious liberal red-neck
                          \_ I dunno about Denmark, althoug they have a m4d
                             immigration backlash.  .ch privatizes most
                             utilities to heavily regulated companies.  The
                             problems are way different (mainly to do with
                             immigration/integration and heavy-handed
                             bureaucracy stifling business and innovation.)
                             You can't draw comparisons between ethnically and
                             culturally homogenous countries of < 20 million
                             and the US.  -John
2018/10/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/16   

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sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/05/15/MARIA.TMP
She is the homeless everywoman, slumped in a heap of regret day after day on Main Street in Berkeley. But there was only one Maria Catherine King -- a university graduate and legal writer who, even when her life took a dive, found a bit of dignity on the streets by helping other lost souls. King could be counted on fo r cookies, free legal advice or a shoulder to cry on. That is, until two young men kicked her head in and killed her. Tiny, less than 100 pounds and struggling with mental illness, King predi cted to friends she'd never live to see 50. In February, barely two mont hs into her 49th year, death came in the form of strangers in the dark w ho approached her behind a second-hand clothing store where she often ru mmaged through donations. A witness, peaking through venetian blinds across the street, later told a courtroom that he saw two hooded figures kicking something, "as if the y were kicking a soccer ball as hard as they could." As the two attackers walked away, th e witness testified, one turned back, got a running start, and "jumped o n the object with both feet." Doctors said th e beating was so bad that her brain shifted 5 centimeters. An 18-year-ol d from San Leandro was arrested around the corner from the crime with bl ood on his shoes, after blurting to police, "I really kicked her ass." Jarell Maurice Johnson, who faces a murder trial next month, told police he was looking for Bob Marley or Jimi Hendrix records in a box on the si dewalk near King when she woke up, cursed at him and pulled his hair. Police have posted a $15,000 reward to find the second attacker. King's death sent a pall through the group of homeless men who scavenge r ecyclables along University Avenue. It was the worst fear realized for K ing's family members, who tried unsuccessfully to pull her out of the gr asp of poverty and mental illness. From the social workers who tried to help her, the beat cops who took her to jail when she was too drunk to be outside, and to friends who tried to find her odd jobs and low-rent rooms, King's death represented a fail ure -- theirs, hers and society's. "It hit me really hard," said Berkeley homeless activist John Delmos, who spent several years with King on the streets before he recently found h ousing. "It's shameful this happened in Berkeley -- a city that is suppo sedly compassionate with the homeless." Life of what-ifs Maria King's life story is filled with what-ifs. Born in 1955 to a Polish father and Scottish mother, King came from a lon g line of intellectuals and political activists. Her father survived Sov iet death camps in Siberia as a teenager and served as an interpreter in London during World War II. At college in Scotland, he met his wife, th e first woman to receive a full scholarship to Glasgow University. King grew up with an older sister and two younger brothers, playing stick ball and roller hockey in the streets of Chicago. Academic debate was co mmon at the family dinner table, led by a father who taught high school English and a mother who worked as a grammar-school teacher. She was cheerful and loved t o read, but after she took a bad fall off the monkey bars, her family no ticed her temperament change. King graduated in 1977 from Illinois State University with a bachelor's d egree in history. She worked briefly in a nursing home and with disabled Vietnam War veterans. But she found a good job came along as a legal writer for a Chicago publi shing company called Commerce Clearing House. Within a few years, she tr ansferred to the company's San Rafael offices. She found the Bay Area a perfect place for her activist spirit. She quick ly found a welcome hangout at a women-owned cafe/bookstore, Mama Bear's in Oakland, and helped deliver their community newspaper. She joined pro test marches for civil rights and women's rights. Then, in the mid-1980s, King tried to move a desk in her office. The resu ltant back injury would precipitate her long slide into despair. Surgeons fused her bottom three vertebrae, but it only made the pain wors e She tried several different treatments, but had to quit work around 1 990 and live on $820 monthly Social Security disability checks. She took classes fo r her teaching credentials and worked part time as a paralegal in Oaklan d But her back got the better of her, and she became permanently unempl oyed. When the dot-com boom hit and rents shot up, she found herself bouncing d own the apartment food chain. She lived in a dingy place under the freew ay in Oakland, in the canal district in San Rafael, and finally moved in to a storage locker in San Francisco's Mission district. As her stress level rose, her physical and mental health declined. She de veloped an inflamed uterus and doctors performed a hysterectomy. Her lif elong dream to bear children ended and soon after, she tried to hang her self with a curtain, said her brother Richard King, who lives on the Eas t Coast. Suicide attempt King was sent to a state mental hospital in 1995, where she again tried t o hang herself. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a nd put on a regimen of antidepressants, muscle relaxants and painkillers for her back. It would be a year before she was ready to try living on her own again, but by now, she had developed an addiction to her prescri ptions. Family members offered to buy her a home in Chicago, but she refused, cit ing the cold weather. They helped move her into several subsidized apart ments for disabled tenants, but King never stayed long. King's former co -worker Debi Mazor helped get her in a residential hotel near Oakland's Lake Merritt, where King lived for two years. She served as a pro-bono l egal adviser for the tenants and made weekly visits to Mazor's 90-year-o ld uncle in a convalescent home. Soon she was fighting her own legal battle against her landlord. King bla med him for inadequate security, and said tenants were going into her ro om, someone was stalking her and that she had been assaulted in the unli t alley. Social workers gave her vouchers to stay in motel rooms, but she was too afraid to use them when she found out they were located in the notorious "kill zone" of deep East Oakland. Richard King visited his sister in a women's shelter and agreed with her assessment that there were more practicing than recovering addicts livin g inside. "Maria sometimes stayed in the men's shelters, because the men were more respectful and protective of her," he said. In some ways, King felt safer on the streets, her brother said. She began to frequent the intersection of California Street and Universit y Avenue in Berkeley, by a fluorescent-pink second-hand store called Out of the Closet. Calls home became less frequent, and more desperate for money. She started visiting a therapist at the Berkeley Mental Health Ce nter regularly. Accumulating stuff She began to collect things for her future home -- furniture and electron ics, records and magazines and curtains. Her hoarding got so obsessive t hat she filled three storage lockers with her possessions. Friends stopped offering t heir couch to King because within days she would clutter their homes. Among her possessions was a brochure for a live-in recovery center in pas toral Sonoma County. It was a place of fantasy for King, and at $5,000 a month, out of reach. But in reality, King spent many nights under a canopy of a willow tree in the parking lot behind a Berkeley Radio Shack, hidden behind the dumpst er. Even at her lowest, King's first thought was for other people, said Bret Noe, who was resting with his shopping cart recently near the spot where King slept. She bought McDonald's meals for homeless friends with her disability inco me, he recalled, and liked to pass out cookies on the street. King was one of the few people he felt he could talk to about his visions and the voices in his head. All the guys who do recycling around here, they are all aff ected by her death." A last attempt to help A couple years ago, Mazor tried one last time to help her friend. She loc ated a low-rent apartment in Alameda and gave King $1,600 for the securi ty deposit and first and last month's rent. M...