Monday, October 20, 2014

MY WEEKEND



This past weekend was a very happy personal one for me. It was one of celebration spent with my family and with some of their close personal friends. It was also one in which very few have the blessing of participating in the Bar Mitzvah of a Great Grandson.

This weekend was also remarkable because instead of the mountain (family) coming to the Patriarch (me), the Patriarch went to one of the foothills.

Casey Patterson was the magnet that drew me to a small community about as far from Columbus Ohio as Plainfield is from New York.

The logistics seemed foreboding, since a peripheral neuritis (lack of feeling) in the feet makes walking any distance very difficult and exhausting. Today’s trek through not only the size of the airports but also the security and boarding procedures has discouraged me from travelling for the past decade.

Fortunately my son and daughter-in-law came to the rescue and took care of all arrangements including wheeling me through two airports.

One problem we had to take into account was that the airplane service to Columbus was not by a standard size jet but in my case by a United Express regional airline contractor (Republic) who fly good size for turbo-prop planes.

Too often these planes load and unload not at a gate which can be lowered to their door, but by self-contained steps from the apron. At Newark the plane was accessed from a gate at the far end of a long concourse. The problem at Newark was that the plane came in from Greensboro NC and had been held up 3 ½ hours there.

However, at Columbus on the way back although the flight was on time and although the assigned gate at that airport could be used; about 40 minutes before loading a small jet for Chicago was urgently assigned that gate since others were unavailable.

The gate my flight was now leaving from was not functioning so the plane loaded on the apron.  The wheelchair driver assigned to me had to go back three gates to find a working elevator, and then has perhaps a 200 yard push over  multiple cable coils and  low curbs zig-zagging other  obstacles to the plane.  

Anyhow a good flight back and home at almost midnight Sunday. Monday has been a lost day catching up on sleep.

I plan to post an  inform blog about what is a Bar Mitzvah at about 9am Tuesday. 


POST WEEKEND

Personal weekend was "great". Today's blog will be late afternoon at best.
Sorry no OH HELL game.

Friday, October 17, 2014

FOOD FOR THOUGHT




Perhaps the just concluded Vatican Synod is an example. Under Pope Francis’s enlightened leadership the Bishops have concurred that some modification of the Church’s stance on homosexuality and divorce is needed in this the 21st Century.

According to the BBC: “The tone of a preliminary position paper drawn up by about 200 bishops after a week of closed-door discussions shows compassion and understanding not only towards people in single-sex unions, but also to heterosexual couples who live together without marrying and divorced couples who enter a second marriage without bothering to obtain a Church annulment.

The bishops made it clear that there can be no change in basic Catholic teaching on the permanence of the marriage bond, and insist that a valid marriage can only be between a man and a woman.”

There will be no final statement now. First the Cardinals with the Pope will review the findings of the Synod and in Oct. 2015 the Synod will reconvene and make a final decision.

The changes in religion is a subject for another blog.  What happened in Rome is characteristic of changes that are going on in various religions. To survive any religion has to evolve in a manner that reflects the times as long as its basic tenets are maintained.This is reflected in society itself.

There was a long article in a recent NY Times about how various ethnic groups after immigrating to the USA tend to congregate in   separate self-contained units. They all tended to have a church of the same faith as in their homeland.

However as neighborhoods grew older their demographics changed and the congregations dwindled in size. Individual churches that survived did so by encouraging the newcomers of different ethnic origins to attend their services. Those congregations that welcomed them also encouraged their membership to intermix.

The net result was soon a homogenous community no longer heterogeneous.  A community that no longer had an “It’s us or them” philosophy became a successful attractive place for all races and religions to live.  

This homogeneity does not have to start in a church but with people with a genuine interest in society and community. It should not be that only certain ethnic groups get the jobs, but that the most qualified is the job holder.

The three Rs; Race, Religion, and Residency should not be a criteria in a progressive municipality.

If Plainfield would depend on merit no one would be able to look upon Cranford, Westfield, Fanwood, and Scotch Plains in envy.


If I do not post comments it is because I am busy with my family. Perhaps all will return to normal Monday.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

SCOTUS TIME



So little local stuff to write about perhaps some not controversial national and universal subjects can be looked at.

Unnoticed since the new session of SCOTUS began have been several actions that have not yet been at the level of decisions.

No major cases have been heard and in most of those cases the decisions are not released until late June, although some important ones are rapidly disposed.

One ruling the court will ultimately have to make will impact on the future of the ACA. The law is written in such a manner that there is an implication that Federal subsidies for Health Insurance was only for those exchanges that were State, not Federal, sponsored.

The case now awaiting the Court’s attention, and likely to be considered by the Justices as soon as their private Conference on October 31, is King v. Burwell.  It seeks review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding the award of subsidies to consumers who obtained insurance through a federally run exchange.   That ruling conflicted directly with one by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, allowing the subsidies only in the sixteen states where insurance exchanges are operated by the states themselves.

If the Court comes up with a strict interpretation of the law those who have received their health insurance in the other 34 states and the District of Columbia will not be eligible for any subsidy.

Another ruling pending the court hearing was made this Wednesday staying a Texas law that would have closed almost all the abortion clinics in that state.  If that law is allowed to stand imagine the impact possible in all other states with an active right to life organizations.
“Over the dissents of three Justices, the Supreme Court on Tuesday evening barred Texas from enforcing two parts of its new abortion-restriction law — one part as it applied throughout the state, the other as it applied to two clinics in the southwest part of the state.”

Once more the "Republic of Texas" or so it seems is in the middle of a landmark constitutional challenge. In a case that will do so in the near future  “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday afternoon gave the state of Texas permission to enforce its strict voter ID law, finding that a federal judge’s ruling last week barring the use of that law “substantially disrupts the election process . . . just nine days before early voting begins” next Monday. The three-judge panel commented that the Supreme Court “has repeatedly instructed courts to carefully consider the importance of preserving the status quo on the eve of an election.”

Permitting, even temporarily, this law is going to de enfranchise a significant number of lower economic class voters.

This is from a Times article: A Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriage in five states reverberated further on Thursday, with the attorney general of West Virginia conceding that its ban on same-sex marriage was no longer defensible but South Carolina officials vowing to keep fighting to restrict marriage to a man and a woman.

These are just a few SCOTUS actions in the past few days that may impact our lives.


Notice: I will be very busy with family for the next few days, and do not expect to have the time to post even comments before Monday.
I will post some thing Friday if I can find time to write.