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Braley: Respect Your Elders PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Bowman   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:12

The past few weeks have given us the 75th anniversary of Social Security, the 47th of Medicare, and a reminder of the millions of people the programs have assisted throughout the past decades.

Social Security and Medicare provide protection and support to millions of seniors, and were started with the spirit and belief that America’s seniors should maintain a basic quality of life in their golden years. This social support is critical to protecting the health care and basic needs of our elders, here in Iowa and around the country.

That’s why I’m baffled when I hear that some politicians are trying to do away with Medicare and privatize Social Security.  After years of service and work, our seniors deserve a happy, secure retirement and access to quality, affordable health care.

And I know this through personal experience in my own family – my mom, Marcia, receives both Medicare and Social Security.  She earned it, just like millions of other seniors.

But everywhere you turn, you hear the latest outrageous claims about Medicare and Social Security.  So, to put it in plain English, here’s how I view it:

1.       The term “entitlement” is misleading.  It should be “investment.”  My mom paid into Medicare and Social Security her entire working life, just like every other working Iowan.  She paid for those benefits, and nobody should take that away.

2.       It’s not just seniors who have paid into Medicare and Social Security.  If you are working, then you are helping pay for these programs, whether you’re 25, 55, or 65.  So when politicians talk about cutting benefits for those 55 and younger, they’re still talking about a breach of contract.  If you’re 54 years old, you’ve probably been investing in these programs for over 30 years.

3.       Medicare is currently solvent until 2024, and Social Security until 2033.  These are the facts.  This means that we should be thinking about the future of the programs, but we should not give in to knee-jerk reactions or those who use scare tactics to call for immediate, drastic changes.

I believe that we can protect Medicare and Social Security, maintain all current benefits, and keep the programs solvent.  We should not privatize the programs, turn them into vouchers, or cut benefits – these are just too drastic, and would be bad for seniors and Iowa families.  I’m confident that if we bring a little Iowa common sense to Washington, we can come up with ways to ensure strong, solvent and stable Medicare and Social Security programs for years to come.  I’m not just protecting these programs for my mom, Marcia.  I’m also protecting them for my daughter, Lisa.

# # #

 
Governor Quinn’s Office of New Americans Announces 1st Annual 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month Art & Literary Work Contest PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:10

The Office of Governor Quinn encourages all Illinois youth between K - 12 to participate in this 1st Annual 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month Art & Literary Work Contest. There is no entry fee and submissions are limited to one entry per person. Contest participation requires the creation of one original piece per person, inspired by the interpretation of the Hispanic Heritage Month theme “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit” and as described in the guidelines below.  There will be a total of four (4) $100-$200 cash prizes that will be awarded to winners based on their age range. Winners will also have their art or literary work displayed in the Illinois State Capitol Building throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.

Art Entry Guidelines:

The Hispanic Heritage Month Art contest is open to all Illinois students in grades K-12. Two winners will be selected: one elementary student (grades K-5) and one middle-school or high-school student (6-12).

In your artwork, depict how Hispanics/Latinos have contributed to the American spirit. You may use traditional, cultural or historical images in your piece.

·      Medium can be mixed, watercolor, acrylic, oil, pen, pencil, chalk, or marker on any type of paper or canvas.

·      Artwork must be two-dimensional and must not exceed 24” x 48”

·      Student’s original signature should be at the bottom right corner of the artwork or on the back of the art piece

·      Judging is based on originality, creativity and interpretation of the Hispanic Heritage Month contest theme

Each art entry must include a title page with the following information:

·      Student’s Full Name,  Student’s Grade Level

·      Title of Work, Medium

·      Sentence about inspiration or description of work

·      Sentence about the student’s interest in art

·      School or Organization Name and Address

·      Student’s Home Address, Telephone Number

Literary Work Guidelines:

The Hispanic Heritage Month Literary contest is open to all Illinois students in grades K-12. Two winners will be selected: one elementary student (grades K-5) and one middle-school or high-school student (6-12).

In your literary piece, describe how Hispanics/Latinos have contributed to the American spirit. You may use traditional, cultural or historical references in your work.

·      Acceptable literary forms include essay, poem or short story only.

·      Submissions must be typed; handwritten submissions will not be accepted.

·      Piece must not exceed 500 words, and must contain page numbers at the bottom.

·      Each essay must reflect the contestant’s own research, writing and original thinking.

·      Essay must be written in English but may include Spanish vocabulary.

Each essay must include a title page, not considered part of the 500 word text, with the following information:

·      Author’s Full Name, Author’s Grade Level

·      Title of Literary Piece

·      Sentence about the student’s interest in art

·      School or Organization Name and Address

·      Student’s Home Address, Telephone Number

Deadline: 5pm, Monday, Sept. 10th, 2012.

Early entry submissions are encouraged.

Mail all entries to:

Office of Governor Quinn

Attn: Office of New Americans

100 W. Randolph St., #16-100

Chicago, IL 60601

 

Additional Terms:

·      One entry allowed per student

·      No entry fee

·      Art and literary works will be judged by a panel of experts.

·      The Office of Illinois Governor will have final authority to define what constitutes an acceptable entry

For additional questions or concerns, please call or email:

Socorro Del Real · Office of Governor Pat Quinn · (312)814-1604 · This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

General Release:

By entering the Contest, contestants release and covenant not to bring claim against Sponsors and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, directors, officers, employees, representatives, partners and agents from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Contest or with the acceptance, possession or use of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light). Winning artists grants the Governor’s Office permission to reproduce his or her artwork for non-profit purposes; all other rights to the image remain with the artist. An entry to this contest constitutes full agreement on the part of the artist or their guardian to all conditions outlined in the entry guidelines.

 
Will Iowa’s Congressional delegation Protect Iowa Seniors? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Matt Sinovic   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:04

Local organizations launch petition drive at ProtectIowaSeniors.com


DES MOINES, IOWA -- Iowans are petitioning their members of Congress today to ask: will you protect Iowa seniors? The petition drive was launched at ProtectIowaSeniors.com by the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Progress Iowa, and Protect Your Care. The petition calls for Iowa’s delegation to reject the Romney/Ryan budget and support the reforms made in Obamacare.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the most anti-senior ticket in history,” said Jan Laue, President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. “Their ticket and the Romney/Ryan budget pose unprecedented threats to all Iowans, particularly Iowa seniors. We are calling on Iowa’s Congressional delegation to reject the Romney/Ryan budget, and protect the programs that benefit our seniors.”

The Romney/Ryan budget ends Medicare as we know it for more than 500,000 Iowans through privatization, replacing the current payment system with a fixed-cost voucher program. The budget also forces more than 60,000 Iowa seniors back into the prescription drug “donut hole” and raises the amount they have to pay for medicine. Iowa’s Congressional delegation has twice voted on the Romney/Ryan budget. Congressmen Dave Loebsack, Bruce Braley, and Leonard Boswell have all opposed the budget. Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King have supported the budget.

“Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have provided a strong foundation for Iowa seniors,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “And the new reforms in Obamacare only strengthen the care seniors receive. We are now asking Iowa’s congressional delegation: will you protect Iowa seniors by standing up for the reforms we’ve fought for, and by rejecting the Romney/Ryan budget?”

Since Obamacare became law, Iowa seniors have saved more than $32 million on prescription drugs, and more than 400,000 Iowa seniors have received free preventive care. In addition, the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund is extended by reducing overpayments to insurance companies and cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.

To learn more about the petition and issues facing Iowa seniors, visit ProtectIowaSeniors.com.

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4 Reasons More U.S. Churches Should Sanction Same-Sex Relationships PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 24 August 2012 08:49
Exclusionary Policies Run Counter to Christ’s Example,
Author Says

An evergreen tender spot on the religious-political landscape is homosexuality and gay marriage. When a politician, pundit or gadfly wants to gin up his or her base, an easy tactic is to make a statement about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, says media analyst Paul Hartman.

“It’s one of those issues where everyone has an opinion, one way or another,” says Hartman, a retired PBS/NPR station executive and author of “The Kairos,” (www.CarpeKairos.com) a five-star-rated suspense novel that imagines Jesus Christ as gay.

“One of the many roles that Jesus modeled for us was that of social reformer. He championed the equality of outcasts – prostitutes, beggars, widows, orphans, lepers.  He ignored their ‘pre-existing conditions’ and just loved ‘em. You don’t have to be a well-educated liberal today to be on the right side of history, you just have to follow Christ’s example.”

Currently, there are three American Christian denominations that officially accept homosexuality in their clergy: Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians. In July, the Episcopalian Church became the largest U.S. denomination to officially sanction same-sex unions by authorizing a “blessings” ceremony.

Hartman cites four reasons why American churches should accept homosexuality and gay marriage:

• In support of family and monogamy: The current estimate of U.S. citizens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) is 12 million. Due to lingering stigmas, that self-reported number is likely only a fraction of the actual. Even 12 million is a significant portion of the population who have been forced to live on the sidelines and denied the rights and responsibilities that other Americans enjoy, including marriage, and the adoption of needy children. Such denial of freedoms for sexual minorities runs counter to the Christian belief in family values.  Indeed, there are many theologians who argue homosexuality is one of God’s diverse gifts in His creation of families.

• Avoiding hypocrisy and elitism: Like so many topics in the Bible, its few brief references to same-sex relations beg for intelligent interpretation. The original Bible writings, Hartman argues, never used the word “homosexual.” Translators introduced that term.  In context, biblical “clobber passages” condemn “unnatural relations,” meaning God finds it an abomination when straight persons ignore their nature and have sex with partners of their own sex.  Logically, people whose natural orientation is toward their own gender would have “unnatural relations” if they’re intimate with opposite sex partners.  Another example is when people parrot what they’ve heard about the sin of Sodom being same-sex relations.  They don’t realize that the Bible itself repeatedly and clearly defines that city’s wicked sins as inhospitality and unloving acts toward others.  That’s a charge some make against churches which discriminate against members of the GLBT community.  “When will we learn?” Hartman asks.  “Christ’s message is inclusive, not exclusive.”

• Already accepted in three denominations: Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians – none of them wildly radical sects of Christians – now ordain openly gay as well as openly straight clergy. While it’s nothing new for denominations to disagree, it should be noteworthy that three mainstream Christian churches have accepted and embraced gay people.

• Most importantly, “Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.” Modern-day Pharisees love to emulate God’s role as judge more than Christ’s model of loving caregiver to the littlest, the lowest, the last and the least.

About Paul Hartman

Paul Hartman is a retired PBS/NPR station executive with a passion for biblical history. He is a Presbyterian elder, a lay preacher and a Dead Sea Scrolls aficionado. A father and grandfather, Hartman says he wrote “The Kairos” after serious Bible study revealed two repeatedly-quoted words from God as the answer to his lifelong battle with fear.

 
UUCQC Adds 2nd Service PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Margaret Thomas   
Friday, 24 August 2012 08:36

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities

3703 Eastern Ave

Davenport, IA 52807

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities announces a change in its Sunday services schedule.  Beginning September 9, 2012, there will be two services every Sunday to better serve the needs of our Congregation. The first service will begin at 9:00 A.M., followed by coffee and socializing in the Social Hall at 10.00. At 10:15 each week there will be a Forum in the Community Room with a speaker on a topic of interest to the community. Look for the announcement of the topics on our website, qcuu.org. The second Service will begin at 11:15 A.M., with the Religious Education program running concurrent with that service.

With these changes, we will be able to offer greater flexibility in using our beautiful worship space surrounded by windows looking over our wooded campus. We have hired a second pianist to provide the music for the early service. Her name is Zoe Pinter, and she will begin on September 16. Sheila Doak, our Music Director, will provide the music for both services on September 9.

All are invited to come join our celebration, with our Minister Jay Wolin, starting his second full year with us, and our choir in our geothermal conditioned worship space and Social Hall.  For more information, call the congregation office at 563 359 0816.

 
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