Saturday, January 21, 2017

Criminal Justice Reform Event

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization
Save the Date-GBIO ACTION
February 2, 2017
Arrive 6:30pm, Sharp start 7-9pm
Bethel AME Church 40 Walk Hill St Jamaica Plain/Forest Hills T
Join us as we come together to address, with key elected officials and stakeholders, the critical issues facing us around:
      Criminal Justice--Passage of true Criminal Justice Reform:
o    Ending Mandatory Minimums for drug offences
o    Pre-trial and Bail Reform
o    Ending Long Term Solitary Confinement
o    Eliminate excessive probation and parole fees and fines
    Affordable Housing--The post election implementation of the Boston Community Preservation Act (CPA)
    Healthcare--The post election effect on our Massachusetts Universal Healthcare System (MassHealth)
    Gun Safety--Update on the “Do Not Stand Idly By” Campaign
The purpose is to continue building power relationships to keep GBIO’s recent work and platforms in the forefront and moving towards winning on our issues.
RSVP today with your GBIO liaison/leader to reserve a seat!
Follow GBIO:
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@gbinterfaith       www.facebook.com/GBinterfaithorganization  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Would somebody please turn on the lights!

Would somebody please turn on the lights!: Is our human compassion being hoodwinked by the promoters of assisted suicide? Last October a Boston newspaper highlighted the issue with a front page story of Dr. Roger Kligler. Dr. Kligler had brought suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts because the state makes it illegal to end his life.



Assisted suicide is not the subject of my post.  That's a separate issue altogether.  What pisses me off is the Globe's manipulation.  The author states that in October's Globe, an article got front page coverage.  The article was about a man who wanted to end his life.  The author sent a letter in response.  It was never published.  OK, but recently a letter supporting the man's suicide was published.  AGAIN the author wrote a letter offering the opposite view.  AGAIN it was ignored.



Do you think the Globe has an agenda?



Do you think the Globe spins the news?



Do you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Abandoned Again

The caller ID on my phone read, “Jill Byron.”  I had just been to a meeting with Jill, a couple of hours ago.  I quickly picked up the phone.  “Hello.”

Shocked!  I heard crying.  “You left me alone!  I was alone.  It was dark.  I was scared—all alone!”

I-I-I didn’t know what to respond.  I thought back.
 
Jill was traveling from Medfield to Holliston’s Community Center.  She didn’t know the way.  We made arrangements to meet at a shopping plaza on Rte. 109, in Medway.  The actual directions were simple.  I’m sure she could have found the Holliston Community Center on Rte. 126, herself.  All you do is take Rte. 109 until it intersects with Rte. 126.  Then you take Rte. 126 towards Holliston, until you come to your destination. 

And we did meet at the plaza and she followed me to the meeting, which wasn’t long.   It just ended a little while ago.

But here is Jill sobbing.

 “I’m sorry.  I thought you were following me.  Everyone left the meeting at the same time.  I thought you were behind me.”  I did remember thinking that I hoped she was in one of the cars behind me.  I was first, and everyone else poured out of the parking lot, one right after the other.  I don’t know how that happened.  So what did happen?

Jill seemed collected now as she told me her story.  First, she couldn’t believe that I, and everyone else, were gone.  She was hurt and bewildered to find herself so suddenly in this situation.  We were all together laughing and talking and then suddenly it was dark; it was quiet; she was alone.  She felt intense fear.

She prayed.

Breaking the quiet, she was startled by a knock on her passenger window.  It was a strange man.  He was motioning her to open the window.

No way.

“C’mon lady.  Let me in.  It’s cold out here.”

Is he crazy?  Jill was fumbling with the keys trying to start the car. 
She dropped the keys.

He was rattling the door handle.  Thank God it was locked.  She was too shaky to fit the key in the ignition.

“C’mon, lady.  Open the door.  Let’s have some fun.”

Finally, the starter turned over.  She put the car in reverse and backed out of the parking spot.  He stood watching her.  He was staggering.  He must be drunk.

But Jill could care less.  She bolted out of that parking lot like a cat stuck in a sack. She automatically turned right and found herself passing familiar landmarks.  Then she sighed with relief when she recognized the big green sign directing her to Rte. 109 towards home.


What a relief!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Abandoned

Da Vinci  Angel Raphael guiding Tobit.

The caller ID on my phone read, “Jill Byron.”  I had just been to a meeting with Jill, a couple of hours ago.  I quickly picked up the phone.  “Hello.”

Shocked!  I heard crying.  “You left me alone!  I was alone.  It was dark.  I was scared—all alone!”

I-I-I didn’t know what to respond.  I thought back. 

Jill was traveling from Medfield to Holliston’s Community Center.  She didn’t know the way.  We made arrangements to meet at a shopping plaza on Rte. 109, in Medway.  The actual directions were simple.  I’m sure she could have found the Holliston Community Center on Rte. 126, herself.  All you do is take Rte. 109 until it intersects with Rte. 126.  Then you take Rte. 126 towards Holliston, until you come to your destination.

But here is Jill sobbing.

 “I’m sorry.  I thought you were following me.  Everyone left at the same time.  I thought you were behind me.”  I did remember thinking that I hoped she was in one of the cars behind me.  I was first, and everyone else poured out of the parking lot, one right after the other.  I don’t know how that happened.  So what did happen?

Jill seemed collected now as she told me her story.  First, she couldn’t believe that I, and everyone else, were gone.  She was hurt and bewildered to find herself so suddenly in this situation.  We were all together laughing and talking and then suddenly it was dark; it was quiet; she was alone.  She felt intense fear.

She prayed.

Then a small flickering light caught her eye.  There was someone walking on the sidewalk.  A lady was walking with a flashlight, towards the parking lot.  Jill started the car and drove to the parking lot exit which blocked the sidewalk, and waited for the lady to come up to her.  Rolling down her window, Jill asked, “Hello there.  Can you give me directions?” 

“Yes, where are you going?”

“To Medfield.”

“That’s easy.  I can take you to Rte. 109, will that help?” 

Jill eagerly responded “yes” and pushed the passenger door open.  After a few minutes, Jill realized that she didn’t know where this lady was going, so she asked, “Where should I let you off?”

“At the Dunkin Donuts.”

Dunkin Donuts was up ahead.  So wasn’t a sign announcing that Rte. 109 was on the left.  Jill turned into the Dunk and said, “Thank you.”

The lady said, “Thank you.  You saved me a walk.”

Just as the lady turned away, Jill called out, “Oh wait, what’s your name?”


“Angela.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Batten Down the Hatches

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes is fantastic.  I keep calling it Ship of Fools, by mistake.  Freudian slip?  No, because Ship of Fools is a book by Katherine Ann Porter and also an award winning movie.  So it's just unthinking slip of the tongue.

However, the plot is the same but different.  Both take place entirely on board ships.  But that's it.  The passengers drive the story line and there's the difference.

You know how I'm usually reading several books at a time.  Once I got into The Ship of Brides, everything else was put on hold.  That's all I wanted to do was to read the book.

The time is after WWII, 1946.  The ship is the aircraft carried, Victoria.  The passengers are Australian brides going to England.  One cabin has four passengers that will pull you into their lives.  You'll be the fifth passenger.

"
Batten down the hatches", you're in for the duration of the voyage.

Monday, January 16, 2017

LWOP


 
Pope Francis has branded life-long prison terms "a hidden death sentence" in an attack on "penal populism" that included severe criticism of countries that facilitate torture.  He said that believers should oppose life-long incarceration as strongly as the use of capital punishment.
 
Below please find a Petition to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to replace all current laws imposing lifelong prison sentences offering no possibility of parole with legislation providing for parole reviews at 25 years.
 
We hope that you will sign this petition and send it to the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition at the address provided. 
So many of us know men and women who are doing 1st degree life sentences, many of who were sentenced at a young age who would be an asset to society.  They would pose no threat to public safety and would significantly save the Commonwealth money .
 
Thank you all for your love and support to our sisters and brothers both in and out of prison.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Anacleto Gonzalez Flores

I was reading about Anacleto Gonzalez Flores in Aleteia, this morning and was poignantly moved.  Here is a saint after my own heart.

He didn't grow up in a particularly devout household--his father barely tolerated the mother's religiosity.  


He was studious and religious.

He was a lawyer and went to daily Mass.

He was married and had two children.

He visited prisoners and taught religion.

He was a writer and published a magazine.

At that time, the Mexican government became very anti-religion.  The government purposely aimed to rid the country of Catholicism.  Anacleto Gonzalez Flores worked to defeat the government's policies.  Eventually, he was martyred for his activities.

May he rest in peace and may we all be as steadfast in faith as he.  Lord Jesus in Your Name I pray.