Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clearing The Desktop...

As we have sat in horror, seeing and reading about the events that had occurred in Tucson, items have piled up on our desktop that should be mentioned.  
To begin with, we note with sadness the passing of R. Sargent Shriver at 95.  He was often simply identified as a Kennedy in-law, with the press passing over his many accomplishments as the Director of the Peace Corp., as a leader in Johnson’s War On Poverty, and as Ambassador to France.  His wife, Eunice, the creator and director of the Special Olympics, passed away two years ago.  What special people they were in their efforts to help the forgotten ones--the poor, the handicapped, and disabled.  Who, outside their family, will take their places?  Who in the coming generations will care as deeply as those two did?  We honor and salute them both and say farewell to Sargent. [Here]
In the coming weeks, let us try to ignore the stupid and media-catching sentences that the new GOP Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, and Governors are pumping into the msm.  I can’t blame reporters for picking up some of the nonsense because they make a living this way, but still...  Do we really need to know that the newly installed Alabama Governor made a speech in which he said that only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior are his “brothers?” [Here]  He did say that he was governor of all Alabamans BUT only those who were "true" Christians (by his definition) were his “brothers.”  I am certain that if I lived in Alabama I would take comfort in that.  (I’m particular about familial members.)
Let us offer up a particular deaf ear to what is floating downwind from the Hill.  Remember that many of those folks have been saving up outrageous things to say since mid-November and now is their chance!  Newly-elected Nevada Senator Mike Lee’s statement [Here] that disaster relief is not a federal matter (“It’s Unconstitutional!”) or Congressman Steve King’s curt dismissal of the idea [Here] that pre-existing conditions should be a part of any national health care reform are just two examples of the hot air.
As I used to say to my dog Sammy as we walked past a particularly interesting or ferocious dog, “Pay no attention!”
Wednesday’s NYTimes ran an account of a newly found letter that the Vatican had sent to the Irish bishops in 1997 warning the bishops that Rome had serious questions about the bishops‘ policy of  reporting child abuse to civil authorities.  As the Times reporter Laurie Goodstein gently put it: [Here]
The document appears to contradict Vatican claims that church leaders in Rome never sought to control the actions of local bishops in abuse cases, and that the Roman Catholic Church did not impede criminal investigations of child abuse suspects.
The article goes on to say that this letter will prove invaluable to the abuse victims who are pursuing lawsuits against Rome.  They are calling this document the “smoking gun” that they have been searching for.
Let us hope that this letter will speed the closure on these cases so the victims can begin to rebuild their lives--and perhaps their faith. 

And, finally, let’s end on a positive note.  We understand that Gabby Giffords will be moved on Friday, probably by medevac, to the TIRR Memorial Herman Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, Texas.  By some accounts this center is the finest rehab facility in the world for brain trauma injuries.  We are also told that she stood on her feet today.  What glorious news!  [Here]
In an appreciative piece about Gabby, Robert Reich, the economist, wrote about telling her to be careful after her front office door and window were shattered last March.  She laughed and told him: [Here]
 I’m tougher than nails.  Nothing’s gonna stop me.
If “tough” means courageous and positive, we certainly have seen it.  
She has the admiration and best wishes of the nation...

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