A housing problem and more
Mayor Woodward and Councilmen Cathcart and Bingle think being unhoused is too “easy and comfortable.” They’d rather risk a lawsuit than spend money to implement a few key solutions used successfully in other communities. They believe, despite data to the contrary, that homelessness is perpetuated by vices, laziness, hoards bused in from other locales and those who prefer a camping lifestyle.
In Spokane and nationally, budgets for affordable and subsidized housing are out of balance with needs. Wealth disparities keep climbing, housing is marketized as a wealth-building tool for investors and policy inequities have ravaged middle- and lower-income working folks. Mean-spirited, inhumane policies are evident in multiple quality-of-life measures.
America has a mental health problem, valuing profits over people, capitalism without compassion, weapons of war over human life and safety, arrogant privilege disparaging the humanity of others, imposed intrusion into individual privacy and control over female autonomy. Our illness is apparent in lack of attention to the most basic of essential human needs: clean air, water, nutritious food, housing and belonging in community.
Many of our elected leaders tout a value system supposedly based on specific religious tenets. Yet they impose punitive, draconian measures that reek of elitism and judgment. Vote in elected leaders who value people and the environment on which people depend. Vote for those who will pivot our society toward sustainability, inclusivity and healing from power over others. We will all do better when we all do better. Let’s get on with it.
It isn’t Christianity
I am not sure what all this angry, chest-thumping, “Don’t tread on me,” thing that we’ve come to call Christianity is, but here is what I know.
It isn’t the Gospel.
It isn’t good news for the poor and marginalized.
It isn’t the prince of peace.
It isn’t the perfect love that casts out fear.
It isn’t Jesus by any measure.
It is a toxic cocktail of power, control, fear, nationalism and white privilege. It is more like the bloated opulence of Rome than the early church that resisted it.
Jess Steven Hughes
End of Roe is a call to all physicians
When I received my white coat, I took an oath to “practice medicine with compassion and thoughtfulness, recognize that health is a human right, place patient interests before our own and respect the privacy, individuality and autonomy of patients.” Abortion bans inhibit my ability to fulfill these promises.
Every physician has the right to their own views about abortion. Doctors do not have to like or even ever perform an abortion, a provider may actively be saddened or dislike it.
I do not hope for physicians to change their views on personhood, but for providers to recognize abortion bans as bans on physician-patient responsibilities. Supporting the end of Roe supports interference in patient care by nonmedical institutions.
All physicians take an oath like the one I took, based on a document older than the Constitution itself. Abortion is a topic that can tug on emotional strings and personal religious values. That is OK. But it is also a topic that occurs within the sphere of medicine and state bans are a restriction on the ability of providers to uphold our oaths and effectively participate in responsibilities of our profession. As doctors, our emotions are not more important than our patients’ bodily autonomy.
All doctors, regardless of personal belief or area of practice, must recognize the ways abortion bans infringe on the responsibilities all doctors have, including future physicians like myself. To uphold the oaths we vowed to when we accepted our white coats.
Fourth of July massacre
So it goes again! We can’t even go to an Independence Day parade without having some good, law-abiding citizen who has legally purchased a weapon of mass destruction blow a bunch of us away. Thanks, NRA, for making us all safer and protecting our rights!