On Religious Freedom

A military chaplain, the Rev Ronald Apollo, sued the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to be able to practice his religious beliefs and won. BOP wanted all personnel to carry pepper spray, including chaplains, so that if attacked by an inmate they could protect themselves. Apollo challenged the rule and now prison chaplains will no longer have to carry pepper spray. That to some may be just another example of how the Christian right asserts its values on the society, but it is more than that. First of Continue reading “On Religious Freedom”

The Lack of Palliative Care

In many poor and middle income countries untold millions are in pain due to illnesses like cancer and are not able to receive needed relief.  A chief reason is the opioid epidemic in the US. These countries are afraid that if the opioids needed to alleviate pain were made available more freely, that they too would end up with an epidemic.  While the US has 31 times the amount of drugs it needs, the result of this fear and avoidance is that Haiti has about 0.2% of what it requires and Nigeria even Continue reading “The Lack of Palliative Care”

Age Friendly Cities

Imagine a city that offers the elderly opportunities  where physical and mental disabilities are not an obstacle, where you can live your final years with grace and dignity? That is what is being proposed in Valdivia, in southern Chile. And if it works they hope to expend it to the rest of the country. Chile not only has a problem with the percentage of its population Continue reading “Age Friendly Cities”

Donations From Inmates

In Texas, inmates got together and donated almost $54,000 towards the relief of hurricane Harvey. That is not the first time. After Katrina and Rita inmates collected $44,000. What makes these donations truly laudable is that they come from the trust funds of the inmates, money used for them to buy snacks or things they may otherwise not have.  In about one month 6,663 inmates donated $53,863, all the more impressive since most of the inmates had $5 or less in their account.  It may sound commendable when a celebrity donates millions, but these donations seen as a percentage of total assets stand out far more. These are small donations, and in some instances the larger ones the Continue reading “Donations From Inmates”