All Further Articles for 2009-08-12

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Least We Can Do, and So Profoundly Not Enough
In a small, heartbreaking bit of news, two U.S. companies have poneyed up to donate badly-needed new equipment to the Iraqi national baseball team. Having seen their country trashed and their families decimated, the players had the inexplicable grace to be grateful to those "good American people" who came to their aid. Now they will retire their only bat, an aluminum Louisville Slugger. They got new cleats, mitts, bats; no word on compensation for more substantive losses. Assistant coach Yasir Abdul Hasan will put the Slugger on his wall: "This bat deserves to be respected, because it supported us during the hard times."
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"And I Will Take Sickness Away From The Midst Of You" – Exodus 23:25
Organizing to fight the crazies, an inter-faith coalition of religious leaders has kicked off "40 Days for Health Reform," a massive effort to urge Congress to pass a health plan. It joins a group of rabbis campaigning for access to health care as "an essential social justice issue of our time."
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Still Here, Thanks to National Health Care
World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, has admirably chosen to set the record straight after an inept editorial in a financial paper dragged him into the health care fray. Blasting the U.K.'s National Health Service, Investor's Business Daily said the brilliant Hawking "wouldn't have a chance" if he was British. Alas, Hawking - who on Wednesday will receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom as one of 16 "agents of change" - is British. And he says he owes his life to national health care. "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS."
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Saying Goodbye to Another Single-Payer Warrior, a Shooting Star
On Sunday, August 9, 2009, Nicholas Skala died in his sleep in Chicago. Nick was only 27 years old, but as a third year law student at Northwestern University and as a researcher for Physicians for a National Health Program, Nick's influence reached far beyond what most of us will ever achieve. His death was not only shocking and unexpected, it was an absolute reminder of the finite nature of our time on this earth and of our responsibility to one another to leave this a better place than we found it.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Uh-Oh: Homosexuals Running Rampant
Facing a "serious budget shortfall," James Dobson's Focus on the Family will no longer hold its infamous "Love Won Out" conferences, wherein Christians suffering from same-sex attractions learn to respond to their homosexuality "in a biblical way" – ie: by stopping it. Another group will hold the events while Focus tries to make up a $6 million gap "that threatens our ability to reach out to (those) who count on our help."
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Making Change By Leaving Home
Though regularly tailed, harrassed, and threatened with death or acid attack, a 34-year-old, nine-months-pregnant Afghan doctor and mother of four still campaigns for re-election to a provincial council seat. Zaiba Habib Durrani has used her post to advocate for women, literacy and health programs. "The right to rebuild this country doesn't belong exclusively to men," she says. "If we are afraid and sit at home, we can do nothing for women's rights."
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