Dear Seema: The Politics of Prevention

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  Note: Seema Verma is President Trump’s nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the United States. Dear Seema, I’m a Registered Nurse who works in Boston, Massachusetts. I have witnessed first-hand what it is like for people to go without insurance, to delay preventive health screening only to find out that […]

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I am Not Muslim: On Identiy Confusion Solidarity

During the weekend, an “I am a Muslim too” rally took place in New York City at Times Square. A picture of the event shows a large crowd gathered, all mouths opened in unison. A couple of white women are front and center, holding signs of a woman in a hijab made up of stars and […]

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A Statement on Life

I am pro-life. I love babies and mamas. I love ultrasounds that show us the beauty of that baby, perfectly safe and growing in the womb. Because I am pro-life, I am pro-healthcare. I am a nurse, and I have witnessed first hand what it is to have a patient walk in to a clinic […]

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The Echo Chamber of Social Media

I have been caught in the echo chamber of social media for a long time, but the last few months it has become significantly worse. All around me people rise up, whether on Twitter, Facebook or comments, letting everyone know their strongly held opinions. But nothing is original. Everyone is echoing everyone else. As is usually the case, there are two sides and […]

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She’s an Angry Elf

Elf is a well-loved film about a man who thinks he’s a Christmas elf. If you know the movie, you are probably smiling right now. If not, then you are shaking your head and wondering where this is going. Stay with me for a bit, I’ll explain. There is a point in the film where […]

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Rambling Thoughts on Confronting an Idol

I called my mom before the election with one specific question: “Mom, when did American politics get mixed up with Christianity?” I really wanted to know. I didn’t grow up in the United States and throughout my childhood, my parents voted via absentee ballots. I remember political discussions about the U.S. taking place every four […]

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On #InternationalDayofTolerance – Fight for Asia Bibi!

I’m angry.  A Christian Pakistani woman is sentenced to death in Pakistan. Her crime? She is allegedly accused of insulting Islam after a group of Muslim women did not want her sharing the same water bowl as them. She offered them water and they refused stating it was “unclean.” I wish this was hyperbole. I wish that […]

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The Welcome Prayer

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I have to admit I’m really struggling this week. I’m angry at some recent news from an organization close to my heart. I’m disgusted by the political situation in the country where I live. I’m horrified by the people that excuse sexual indecency and the language of predatory sexual assault. I’m embarrassed by those Christians […]

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And Lady Liberty Weeps….

  “Give me your tired, your poor,” she says. Ah, but first we must verify income and employability; we must make sure these people fit with “our way of life.” We must make sure these creatures are not leeches who steal jobs from those who really belong. “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Make sure the […]

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Good Stories Behind Bad Headlines

The headlines chase us down, taunting us with their urgency, telling us to how to respond. They never stop. We may sleep, but the headlines don’t.  And they don’t want us to – not really. The person who is first to share or tweet a story gets the prize. Behind the bad headlines are some […]

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Really?

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  Toddler falls over railing at zoo into gorilla area. Gorilla killed to save toddler. Public outcry from impulse culture addicts. Parent crucified by public opinion. Have to delete all social media, go into hiding. Told they are the ones who should have been killed. Meanwhile,in Syria: NOTE: Quote from Kay Bruner in The Curious […]

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Stop Dismissing Millennials

Mean Girls

Last week, my husband and I had dinner with some friends. We ate fish tacos, caught up on each other’s lives and laughed until we couldn’t breathe. Our friends are a lot younger than us. They are millennials – that group of people who are analyzed, written about, and talked about.  And I realize that I need […]

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Unequal Treatment

These past two days I’ve been at a summit on race and equity. Specifically, A Call to Government and Community. The conference goes across spheres and participants represent housing, justice, immigration, education, the arts, and health. It has been full of stories and ideas –ideas that I agree with and ideas that I don’t agree with. […]

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Beware: the Language of Heaven is Hell for the Passenger

While living in the Middle East, we would often quote Islamic scholars and proclaim that we were “learning the language that we’ll all speak in Heaven.” We were not joking. With its rich phrases and flow, Arabic is a beautiful language. After five minutes in a taxi in an Arabic speaking country, the beautiful sound of Oum Kalthoum’s voice will […]

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Donald Trump, Walt Kowalski and Hope for Transformation

What happens when a bitter racist is transformed? In the movie Gran Torino, Walt Kowalski (played by Clint Eastwood) is a bitter old man living out his years in a neighborhood that has changed from working-class white to Hmong and Chinese.  He does not like it and makes no pretense of civility and no apology […]

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International Women’s Day 2016 – Bringing All Voices to the Table

“What, Sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.” Mark Twain Every year I write about International Women’s Day. This is the one day a year when the focus is solely on women and the issues that are most important to them. In some ways I […]

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Sharmeen Obaid and the Power of Story

Watching the Oscars has long been a tradition in our family. When our kids were younger, an Oscar party was a yearly event. We would literally roll out a red carpet, serve fancy food, and dress up as characters from the year’s films. The kids invited their friends and we had ballots where we would […]

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Traveling While White

Blogger’s note: I have received some good feedback and pushback from this article – always good when you write a piece like this. Based on the feedback, I realize that it’s is not necessarily the simple black and white issue I have made it to be. I still hold to my original premise, that many, […]

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