I’m holding the NEW YORK TIMES (Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, p. A18). The page features a picture of Grady Memorial Hospital and three pictures (large ones): two women and a man who will die very soon without Dialysis Clinic treatment. The Grady corporate, privatized board of their safety-net charity hospital has voted to pull the plug on 92 kidney patients. The “illegal immigrant” 32 year old mother of the 5 year old in another blog told attorney Lindsey Jones today (Sept. 29) that she has given up. She will go home to die in Honduras.
My blue-haired Presbyterian cousins read my blog. They were more than a little upset with my questioning the Grady corporate board’s decision to let people die. They did not believe my report. In fact my not too blue stocking language ruffled their country club feathers. You read the unsavory adjective modifying Atlanta leadership. I apologize for those bad words.

Now that my cousins have read the similar report in the NEW YORK TIMES, I have credibility. Please go to newyorktimes.com Grady Hospital. Read and weep.

A Slow Death

September 23, 2009

A hearing today (September 23, 2009) at 9 am in the Superior Court of Fulton County (Georgia) produced no ruling on a restraining order to Grady Memorial Hospital to maintain the life-saving Dialysis Clinic that the new privatized, corporate board voted months ago to close on September 20. Attorney Lindsay Jones argued that Grady Hospital, having begun treatment for 96 kidney patients is obligated to find available treatment elsewhere. Mr. Taylor, Grady attorney for 27 years, argued that there is no constitutional right to health care in the United States or in the State of Georgia.

A poignant scene in the court room included a moaning dialysis patient on a stretcher whose family had taken him to Florida as directed by Grady social workers. The patient was denied treatment by the hospital in Florida. He is back in Atlanta seeking help to remain alive.

Mayoral candidate Lisa Borders, President of Atlanta City Council and Chair of Grady Hospital Foundation reports that $90 million has been raised for Grady over the last year. Unfortunately, this money must be used for capital improvements, not for operational expenses such as a Dialysis Clinic.

Several people present in the court room for this hearing described the stretcher and the critically ill man lying on it. Family members watched, helpless. Dr. Neal Schulman, the hero who has begged and fought to keep this Dialysis Clinic open watched, helpless. Doctors and nurses of the dying 96 watched, helpless. You have to wonder if that man on the stretcher were the father or grandfather or grandson or son or son-in-law or brother or uncle or cousin or neighbor, would the privatized, corporate Grady Board change their vote? Would a personal touch, touch the heart of Chairman Pete Correll? Would the champion of private enterprise, Tom Bell, be moved if his son were on that stretcher moving to get his breath. Would the Reverend Joseph Roberts, heir to Martin Luther King, III’s pulpit, twitch if that man twitching on the stretcher were his brother?

Quess what? Those 96 kidney patients, every one of them, is our brother, our sister, our father, our mother, our friend, our neighbor. John Donne taught us that no man is an island, and Jesus taught us that if we reach out to one of these little ones, the least of these, we have reached out to Him. Jesus also taught us that the two religious community leaders who passed by the dying man beaten and left in the ditch for dead were not the man’s neighbor. The business man who stopped, gathered up the broken man, and paid for his stay in the next hotel was the neighbor. God give us more corporate people like that good Samaritan. And what did Jesus say about being one’s neighbor? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength.” Then He said “You are to love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

James Wilson Beaty, PhD
Jeremiah 22.16

The weather was cloudy and bleak. Zeus had spoken earlier with flashing lightning and rolling thunder. He’s not happy. However poor little David walked away from court smiling with five smooth stones still at his side. The sun was shining everywhere. In the Superior Court of Fulton County, at 10:30 AM, Judge Ural Glanville denied a motion filed by Atlanta attornys to dismiss the case, The Alanta Task Force for the Homeless v. The City of Atlanta (Mayor’s office). A motion had been filed for this hearing to COMPEL Central Atlanta Progress to produce Documents and to produce A.J. Robinson, President and Richard Orr, Senior Projects Manager, for deposition.

The Judge having said that he found the information in the argument on the motion to COMPEL “relevant” ordered the attorneys, Steve Hall for the Task Force and Steve Riddell for CAP to meet. This meetiing lasted about fifteen minutes. Riddell did not want the Judge to give the order. This means that CAP lawyers will produce all previously subpoenaed documents and all previously subpoenaed persons to be deposed. Those persons so far who have been subpoenaed are Robinson and Orr.

"Not Stable Enough"

September 18, 2009

I learned recently to my dismay that a longtime donor will not give any money to the Task Force during the next fiscal year. Not only was this donor an old friend but also a substantial contributor. The CEO of this corporation frequently expressed pleasure with the work of the Task Force at the Peachtree-Pine shelter. The only word that I received is that a committee decision not to renew funding was based on the fact that the Task Force is “not stable enough.” I could have told these folks that the Task Force has never been and never will be “stable enough.” The heel that presses our neck would never permit financial stability. I ponder “Not Stable Enough.”

Before venturing a guess as to what it means, I want to say a word about giving money. People have the freedom to give or not to give; that is not the question. The right NOT to give is the same for groups: foundations, garden clubs, cathedrals, corporations, small businesses, churches, cathouses; synagogues, mosques or strip clubs.

For instance, I would never give a bean to the Atlanta United Way. My focus is poor people, and I know United Way employs Debi Starnes whose $45,000 salary (every six months) is funneled from Central Atlanta Progress to her bank account. Oh yes, a hotel pays $5,000 of that total, but the Czar under oath couldn’t remember which one. Debi Starnes hurts poor people; she takes water from them when they are thirsty; she orders Rachet Rob “I’ll turn your water off” Hunter to keep them out of the bathroom when they need to go potty; she refuses to let them bath, and then calls them “abysmal.” So, I don’t have to help CAP pay Starnes to torture homeless people; CAP’s millions can do that. I prefer not to join Starnes or CAP or Ratchet Rob “I’ll turn your water off” Hunter or David “Great news” Wardell or the loon at Georgia State who induced Wardell’s ejaculation or A. J. “We’re all kind of mystified” Robinson or Richard “We’re in!” Orr or Rufus “Squirt em with my robot” Terrell by giving money to United Way. The choice is mine.

“Not Stable Enough” carries a fruit basket of possibilities. Since Debi, like Georgia, is always on our mind, we have to ask does she have a plant in that committee the same as she does at the Peachtree-Pine Shelter? Do her tentacles reach as far as the bowels of corporations? Is her TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE all pervasive? “Not stable enough” might mean from a committees’ standpoint that politically the Task Force is just a little too hot to handle just now. Business may suffer if we give what we have given for so long. “Not stable enough” might mean I don’t want to question the wisdom of our leaders at CAP. And on and on we could go from STATUS QUO safety to Charles Dickens’ “Voice of Society” to those stinking homeless people are just disgusting anyway. Whatever the phrase might mean to this committee, the generous funding that came for years is cut off. But many generous and loving people from that corporation still volunteer with love and care for the people at Peachtree-Pine.

To speak of a spiritual standard in a corporate committee might be a bit of a stretch. I don’t know, though. I know many folks in the corporate community who see their businesses as ministries, helping others. I sincerely agree. I know the billionaire Chic fila folks close on Sundays in order to keep the Sabbath holy (which by the way is Saturday). Surely there are myriads of corporate people who are spiritually minded folks.

Therefore to ask our corporate committee to put a spiritual “test” on their decision to cut funds that sustain the poor might not be too far fetched. A “spiritual” standard for some would be “What would Jesus do?” On the stability of the Task Force or the stability of any one or anything in need of help, what did Jesus do? What do the writers of Scripture say that Jesus did?

The first miracle attributed to Jesus in the New Testament took place at a wedding feast. The wedding at Cana. Oops! They ran out of wine! Jesus’ mother told her son that the host is out of wine, and she told him in a way that strongly implied that she wanted him to help with the problem. What did he do? Did he call in the disciples to check to see who failed to plan properly? How in the world could someone have been so unstable as to run out of wine. Did he say, “You know, this wealthy host needs to learn a lesson. I think he should have to do without anymore wine.” Did he say the host is simply “Not stable enough.” Of course not. Jesus called for pots of water and then made 150 gallons of wine. The guests asked why did the host wait until the end of the party to serve his best wine. Two things happened. One, there was a need. Two, Jesus was asked to help. “Not stable enough” did not cross his mind.

What was Jesus’ response to the lame man in John 5 who for 38 years had waited to be healed at the pool of Bethesda? Tradition held that the first person to reach the pool after it was disturbed was healed of his sickness. This poor man was unstable and had lost the race for 38 years. Jesus saw him and knew the problem. What did Jesus do? Did he call the committee to study the situation? Did he tell the man he wanted to help him, but he appears to be clearly “Not stable enough”? Did Jesus say now you work on moving just a bit quicker and you apply next year and we’ll talk. None of the above. Jesus asked the man lame for 38 years if he wanted to be well. Note please that he explained to Jesus that he was not quick enough to get to the pool before someone else beat him to the pool every single time. Jesus did not say that you are “not stable enough.” He did say I heal you; get up and walk. Instantly, with no committee input the man walked away healed.

How did Jesus respond to the young woman dragged before him in the temple (John 8. 1-11). Men in the community had caught her redhanded with a man. No man was dragged in with her, only the “woman” whom some Bible scholars believe may have been a teen. Jesus listens to the blood thirsty mob of men holding stones in their hands. The mob quotes the Law of Moses which says anyone caught in the act is to be stoned to death. The men asked Jesus, hoping to trap him, “What do you say?” To the question Jesus answered nothing but bent down to write on the ground with his finger. When the mob continued asking he stood up and said to them, “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” The oldest old boy there was the first to drop his rock; all the others followed him. The only two left were Jesus and the woman. Jesus did not address her instability. He did not reject her because she proved “Not stable enough.” He said, Where are your accusers? He asked her did not one of them condemn you? She answered, No, Sir. He said I don’t either; you go and sin no more.

We could go on and on throughout the New Testament. When people needed help Jesus responded with compassion. The man with the withered hand was not sent to therapy to get a little more stable. When Lazarus was raised from the dead he was not rejected because he wasn’t moving very well. Perhaps our decision on whether to help should be quided by the need and not by committee buyoff.

James Wilson Beaty, PhD
Jeremiah 22.16

“Not Stable Enough”

September 18, 2009

I learned recently to my dismay that a longtime donor will not give any money to the Task Force during the next fiscal year. Not only was this donor an old friend but also a substantial contributor. The CEO of this corporation frequently expressed pleasure with the work of the Task Force at the Peachtree-Pine shelter. The only word that I received is that a committee decision not to renew funding was based on the fact that the Task Force is “not stable enough.” I could have told these folks that the Task Force has never been and never will be “stable enough.” The heel that presses our neck would never permit financial stability. I ponder “Not Stable Enough.”

Before venturing a guess as to what it means, I want to say a word about giving money. People have the freedom to give or not to give; that is not the question. The right NOT to give is the same for groups: foundations, garden clubs, cathedrals, corporations, small businesses, churches, cathouses; synagogues, mosques or strip clubs.

For instance, I would never give a bean to the Atlanta United Way. My focus is poor people, and I know United Way employs Debi Starnes whose $45,000 salary (every six months) is funneled from Central Atlanta Progress to her bank account. Oh yes, a hotel pays $5,000 of that total, but the Czar under oath couldn’t remember which one. Debi Starnes hurts poor people; she takes water from them when they are thirsty; she orders Rachet Rob “I’ll turn your water off” Hunter to keep them out of the bathroom when they need to go potty; she refuses to let them bath, and then calls them “abysmal.” So, I don’t have to help CAP pay Starnes to torture homeless people; CAP’s millions can do that. I prefer not to join Starnes or CAP or Ratchet Rob “I’ll turn your water off” Hunter or David “Great news” Wardell or the loon at Georgia State who induced Wardell’s ejaculation or A. J. “We’re all kind of mystified” Robinson or Richard “We’re in!” Orr or Rufus “Squirt em with my robot” Terrell by giving money to United Way. The choice is mine.

“Not Stable Enough” carries a fruit basket of possibilities. Since Debi, like Georgia, is always on our mind, we have to ask does she have a plant in that committee the same as she does at the Peachtree-Pine Shelter? Do her tentacles reach as far as the bowels of corporations? Is her TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE all pervasive? “Not stable enough” might mean from a committees’ standpoint that politically the Task Force is just a little too hot to handle just now. Business may suffer if we give what we have given for so long. “Not stable enough” might mean I don’t want to question the wisdom of our leaders at CAP. And on and on we could go from STATUS QUO safety to Charles Dickens’ “Voice of Society” to those stinking homeless people are just disgusting anyway. Whatever the phrase might mean to this committee, the generous funding that came for years is cut off. But many generous and loving people from that corporation still volunteer with love and care for the people at Peachtree-Pine.

To speak of a spiritual standard in a corporate committee might be a bit of a stretch. I don’t know, though. I know many folks in the corporate community who see their businesses as ministries, helping others. I sincerely agree. I know the billionaire Chic fila folks close on Sundays in order to keep the Sabbath holy (which by the way is Saturday). Surely there are myriads of corporate people who are spiritually minded folks.

Therefore to ask our corporate committee to put a spiritual “test” on their decision to cut funds that sustain the poor might not be too far fetched. A “spiritual” standard for some would be “What would Jesus do?” On the stability of the Task Force or the stability of any one or anything in need of help, what did Jesus do? What do the writers of Scripture say that Jesus did?

The first miracle attributed to Jesus in the New Testament took place at a wedding feast. The wedding at Cana. Oops! They ran out of wine! Jesus’ mother told her son that the host is out of wine, and she told him in a way that strongly implied that she wanted him to help with the problem. What did he do? Did he call in the disciples to check to see who failed to plan properly? How in the world could someone have been so unstable as to run out of wine. Did he say, “You know, this wealthy host needs to learn a lesson. I think he should have to do without anymore wine.” Did he say the host is simply “Not stable enough.” Of course not. Jesus called for pots of water and then made 150 gallons of wine. The guests asked why did the host wait until the end of the party to serve his best wine. Two things happened. One, there was a need. Two, Jesus was asked to help. “Not stable enough” did not cross his mind.

What was Jesus’ response to the lame man in John 5 who for 38 years had waited to be healed at the pool of Bethesda? Tradition held that the first person to reach the pool after it was disturbed was healed of his sickness. This poor man was unstable and had lost the race for 38 years. Jesus saw him and knew the problem. What did Jesus do? Did he call the committee to study the situation? Did he tell the man he wanted to help him, but he appears to be clearly “Not stable enough”? Did Jesus say now you work on moving just a bit quicker and you apply next year and we’ll talk. None of the above. Jesus asked the man lame for 38 years if he wanted to be well. Note please that he explained to Jesus that he was not quick enough to get to the pool before someone else beat him to the pool every single time. Jesus did not say that you are “not stable enough.” He did say I heal you; get up and walk. Instantly, with no committee input the man walked away healed.

How did Jesus respond to the young woman dragged before him in the temple (John 8. 1-11). Men in the community had caught her redhanded with a man. No man was dragged in with her, only the “woman” whom some Bible scholars believe may have been a teen. Jesus listens to the blood thirsty mob of men holding stones in their hands. The mob quotes the Law of Moses which says anyone caught in the act is to be stoned to death. The men asked Jesus, hoping to trap him, “What do you say?” To the question Jesus answered nothing but bent down to write on the ground with his finger. When the mob continued asking he stood up and said to them, “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” The oldest old boy there was the first to drop his rock; all the others followed him. The only two left were Jesus and the woman. Jesus did not address her instability. He did not reject her because she proved “Not stable enough.” He said, Where are your accusers? He asked her did not one of them condemn you? She answered, No, Sir. He said I don’t either; you go and sin no more.

We could go on and on throughout the New Testament. When people needed help Jesus responded with compassion. The man with the withered hand was not sent to therapy to get a little more stable. When Lazarus was raised from the dead he was not rejected because he wasn’t moving very well. Perhaps our decision on whether to help should be quided by the need and not by committee buyoff.

James Wilson Beaty, PhD
Jeremiah 22.16

The Village Idiots

September 18, 2009

Frank Schaeffer, author of CRAZY FOR GOD said “You can’t rearrange the village because of the village idiot.” I agree with Mr. Schaeffer; however, when a band of village idiots (or worse) is in charge of the village, drastic rearrangements must take place.

John Stuart Mill, a promoter of happiness and a champion for women’s equal rights in marriage and in the law said of conservatives (I paraphrase): A person who is a conservative is not necessarily stupid: however, I have never met a stupid person who was not a conservative. I wonder which category the brilliant Mill would place the not so brilliant Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Congressman Joseph “You lie!” Wilson.