Learning abut Grace and Gratitude

This week, I have been posting several articles about former president Jimmy Carter’s announcement of his cancer, that the cancer has already spread to his brain, and reaction of the public to those announcements. Clearly, prognosis is not good – but even in this situation, President Carter seems able to teach us a great deal about grace and living with gratitude.

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Jimmy Carter (nonpolitical) Campaign Signs

This week, I am posting several articles about former president Jimmy Carter, his cancer announcement, and the reaction of the public to that situation.  Today’s article is about a beautiful step taken by several people down in Georgia – printing and posting yard signs similar to the political yard signs used by everyone running for office, from running for city council to running for president.  The signs simply read “Jimmy Carter for Cancer Survivor.”

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Even in Cancer Diagnosis, Jimmy Carter Shows Leadership

I’ll say the obvious right up front:  I have been very impressed with Jimmy Carter as a former president.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that he is probably the most effective former president that the US has ever had.  Through his work with the Carter Center to fight disease and to promote democracy, he has accomplished much for the world rather than simply sitting on boards of directors and becoming wealthy.

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As a lawyer, as a supporter of civil rights, as a parent, as a citizen of the United States, I am incredibly proud to be so fortunate as to be alive and paying attention as the Supreme Court yesterday made the United States significantly more inclusive.  This morning, at the breakfast table, I was proud to discuss a landmark decision with my children.

Obergefell v Hodges will forever be a symbol of the ongoing fight against exclusion and bigotry, much like Brown v Board of Education continues to stand for the ongoing fight against racism.

Here is the conclusion of the majority opinion issued yesterday:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.  In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.  As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.  It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.  Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.  Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations’s oldest institutions.  They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.  The Constitution grants them that right.

Tech Need Not Be Anti-Democratic

Today, the Wall Street Journal published a long article about how Tech companies are working to fight off activist investors.  The article is here.  The most popular tactics – undercutting shareholder democracy by granting founders stock with super-rights – are being promoted by luminaries such as VC investor Marc Andreessen, who said in April

Public companies are being basically forced by pressure from activists and their investors to give back huge amounts of cash instead of investing it in their business

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Best Weekend of the Year

The first weekend in April – or occasionally the last weekend in March – is the best weekend of the entire year.  In most places, winter is finally over.  Spring is finally established with its new growth and new life.  But all of those weather-related items could apply to many weeks and weekends as Winter ends and Spring begins.  This particular weekend is different.  It is SPECIAL.

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That’s Using Your Brain!

My younger daughter is very interested in both medicine and robotics.  So she and I were both very interested in a segment on the PBS NewsHour a few weeks ago about advances being made at Johns Hopkins University in developing a new generation in prosthetic limbs that can be controlled by the user’s mind.

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