Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (12/27/18)

President Trump’s medical exemption from military service during the Vietnam War came under renewed scrutiny on Wednesday when The New York Times reported that the daughters of a New York City foot doctor said their father was the one who diagnosed Trump with bone spurs. They said their father, the late Dr. Larry Braunstein, did it as a favor to Trump’s father, who was his landlord. “I know it was a favor,” said one daughter, Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56. “But did he examine him? I don’t know.” The women said that in exchange their father got access to Trump’s father, developer Fred Trump. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately,” Elysa Braunstein said. “That was the small favor that he got.”

Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (12/26/18)

Pope Francis called for people around the world to recommit to the idea that all humans are part of an extended holy family despite the rise of nationalist movements in many places. “My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity,” Francis, 82, said from a balcony above St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. “Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness.” Francis, a longtime defender of migrants, called for this spirit to heal areas of conflict, including Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, where “millions of persons are refugees or displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance and food security.

Few reasons why Jesus Christ Came

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (12/20/18)

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration’s policy of denying immigrants a chance to apply for asylum to escape gang violence or domestic abuse in their home countries. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ guidance earlier this year against hearing these claims could not be implemented if an immigrant showed a credible fear of persecution or torture, because that would be a violation of federal immigration law. “It is the will of Congress — not the whims of the executive,” that sets rules for turning away migrants, the judge said. A Justice Department spokesman said the administration is considering its options, and is only seeking to restore order to the immigration process.

Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (12/19/18)

Just when you forgot what bipartisan cooperation looks like, Congress goes and passes a long-awaited criminal justice overhaul bill. The “First Step” bill has been kicked around for a while and has an unlikely combination of supporters, including CNN’s Van Jones, Kim Kardashian-West and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was instrumental in getting it to a vote. Trump is expected to sign it this week. This is a pretty big bipartisan victory for his administration, and it turns the page on decades of policies that critics say were brutal, racist, ineffective and costly. Under the law, thousands of federal inmates will be able to leave prison earlier or secure an earlier release for good behavior or through participation in rehabilitation programs. The bill also eases some mandatory minimum sentences, gives judges more leeway with certain sentencing guidelines and eliminates “stacking” provisions that leave offenders serving consecutive sentences for crimes committed with firearms.

Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (12/18/18)

The Maryland Province Jesuits on Monday released a list of Catholic priests in the order who have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children since the 1950s. The clergy members accused of abuse worked in high schools, colleges, churches, and other institutions in eight states and the Washington, D.C., area. One Jesuit priest, Neil P. McLaughlin, is believed to have committed abuse from the 1950s to the 1980s. He was not removed from the ministry until 2007. The revelations by the Jesuits, known for educating young people, come as many Catholic institutions are facing intense pressure to increase transparency regarding sexual abuse allegations.