The Plumb Line, by Jennifer LeClaire

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Page 238 of 246

Above All, Do No Harm!

 

Last week I shared a very personal story of my struggle with both cancer and the insurance companies. My doctors informed me that I had two near-death experiences along with a mini-stroke that temporarily caused the right side of my body including my face, arm and leg to be paralyzed. Although I am fine now, that was a scary season in my life.

During my health challenges I met scores of foreigners at Johns Hopkins, hoping the American doctors could save them. Middle Easterners, South Americans and Europeans were among those that frequented various Hopkins departments. Surprisingly the day I met with my surgeon to lay out the plan for my 7.5-hour surgery, an aging man all the way from Hong Kong sat with several family members waiting to see my internationally known doctor. read more

Harry Jackson

Health Care Plan or Health Scare Plan

On August 20, 2005 my wife and I sat in the office of a world famous surgeon from Johns Hopkins hospital. The Saturday appointment struck us as an unusual time to meet with such a prestigious doctor. The hospital was like a ghost town - darkened hallways, empty offices and a skeletal staff poised at the main entrances for security. To our surprise, there were several families going in and out of the doctor's office. He appeared without the traditional entourage of receptionists and assistants. Chipper and buoyant, the doctor greeted us with a glow and a smile. read more

harry-jackson

Has Rodney King Moved to Cambridge?

It is amazing that the biggest news story for the last few weeks has been the arrest of a Harvard professor for disorderly conduct at his home in Cambridge, Mass. Overshadowing the health care debate, national security and every other national concern -- the story simply will not go away. It’s got all the elements of a good television drama, except there’s no sex or violence. read more

Harry Jackson

Abort Abortion

Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, made comments that should have won him an award for the most racially insensitive remarks of the year. His statements were made in a committee markup. An audio recording of the heated exchange between Durbin, and Sen. Brownback, R-KS, revealed the unfortunate bias of the senator from Illinois. Durbin justified the fact that 41 percent of pregnancies in Washington D.C. are terminated by abortion by essentially saying it was a black thing.  His exact words are listed below: read more

An Open Letter to President Obama

The following is an excerpt from a letter that will be sent this week to President Obama from leaders in the African-American community. Two events have precipitated the writing of this letter.

1. The President hosted a Stonewall Riot 40th anniversary celebration at the White House, when no such meeting has been afforded to African-American clergy.

2. The legal attempt to overthrow the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that has come out of Massachusetts last week. read more

Call 2 Fall

Hundreds of thousands of Christians from numerous denominations and independent churches spent at least 3 minutes in their worship services yesterday falling on their knees before God praying for America. This prayer event, dubbed a Call 2 Fall, was the brainchild of the Family Research Council (FRC), the nation's largest Christian policy organization. Skeptics from the press believed that Sunday's event was a public relations ploy to draw attention to key issues of interest to the FRC. Another secular reporter remarked that the religious right had become so discouraged that key leaders of this movement were using prayer as a remedy for its discouragement. read more

Congress Votes for Bad Weather

Last Friday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge in passing a landmark climate bill. For many people concerned about the environment this legislation seems like a major step forward. Unfortunately in life and politics, a supposedly good thing done a wrong way can leave us worse off than if we had done nothing at all. Our first step toward cleaner energy could have begun with increasing our nuclear energy sources or several other strategic beginnings. read more

The New Slavery Must Be Stopped

For several years I (and others) have called the way in which immigrants both, documented and undocumented, are treated - "the new slavery." If you believe that politics as usual can die, the president's statements about immigration at the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference last week were very encouraging.

President Obama declared that he is committed to a "comprehensive immigration overhaul." The dilemma with this statement is that the word comprehensive often includes an amnesty provision for undocumented persons. The problem with blanket amnesty is that there is a wide variety of people within the huge immigrant community, ranging from criminals who scoff at our laws to dedicated family people. To date, a great number of pandering politicians want to avoid dealing with the complexity of the current situation by simply waving the magic wand of amnesty. read more

Harry Jackson

Defending DOMA

Late Thursday, U.S. Department of Justice lawyers filed a motion to dismiss a case that challenged the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act often referred to as DOMA. DOMA currently prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes and other federal rights of marriage.

The Justice Department lawyers concluded that giving federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages. read more

Restoring America's Marriages

Last week marked a nadir in the battle for biblical marriage. Two huge events occurred. First former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney voiced his support for same-sex marriage. Second New Hampshire became the sixth state in the Union to legalize gay marriage. Despite these two events, nationalizing same-sex marriage is absolutely not inevitable. Gay marriage proponents are only too aware that the recent California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the 2008 Proposition 8 victory which, guarantees that a fresh round of marriage amendments, initiatives and referendums will undoubtedly be levied in the states that have scored temporary victories for same-sex marriage. read more

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