are some of our picks for the Best & Worst of 2005. Now that the
show has aired the cat's out of the bag for our Person of the Year
for 2005: Pope John Paul II For his attempt to heal the deep
divisions between the Catholic Church and Judaism. He was the first
Pope in history to visit the Holy Land.
picks for our Best & Worst of 2005 are:
#1 Best - In Bioethics for 2005 is the passage of both federal and state legislation on use of stem cells extracted from umbilical cord blood vs. embryo stem cells. Congress passed a bill to establish a national databank of umbilical cord blood and bone marrow that would allow doctors to quickly find a match for patients who need transplants. And Wisconsin signed into law a bill which requires prenatal health care providers to offer pregnant women the option to donate the umbilical cord blood of their newborn child to a blood bank. We applaud both these actions and hope the rest of the states follow Wisconsin's lead in 2006.
#1 Worst - Certainly the recent scandal of South Korea's cloning star, Professor Hwang Woo Suk, the one who claimed to have cloned the first dog, the national hero of Korea who is now being called the biggest liar for falsifying research on human embryo cloning, would be a good choice, which we hope will put a big caution sign in everyoneís mind on the issue of cloning & the ethics of those who want to use it. Or it could be the story in May of a leading Israeli doctor and medical ethicist called for the prosecution of doctors responsible for thousands of unauthorised and illegal experiments on small children, geriatric and psychiatric patients in Israeli hospitals. An investigation by the government state comptroller revealed that researchers in 10 public hospitals administered drugs, carried out unauthorised genetic testing or undertook painful surgery on patients unable to give informed consent or without obtaining health ministry approval. But, our choice for #1 worst in bioethics in 2005 is without a doubt the national, publicized-daily-for-weeks horrific euthanasia case of Terry Schiavo.
#1 Best - All we hear these days out of Israel is bad news regarding the conflict with Palestinians. But thereís alot of good things happening there, too. For instance, the year 2005 was a big one for Israel's economy, at least judging by the preliminary estimates that the Central Bureau of Statistics released recently, which estimates that Israel's gross domestic product increased by 5.2 percent in 2005, compared with 4.4 percent in the preceding year. That makes Israel's economic growth the fastest in the West! But our #1 pick for the Best story out of Israel is: Israel sent 80 tons of goods to New Orleans. That's right, 80 tons of tents, folding beds, bottled water, blankets, dried food, formula, diapers and other equipment sent to the disaster area. Magen David Adom launched a campaign called "Brit Ahim" (Brotherly Covenant) to raise funds and equipment to aid homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina. This tiny country sent America some of the most aid.
#1 Worst - Our choice for worst could have been news such as Iranís Presidentís public call for wiping Israel off the map, but the forced deportation of Jews from their homes and land in Gaza by their own government takes first place. 9,000 Jews, many forcibly removed, were set up in hotels and tent cities, promised $200,000 for their homes, yet months later many are still living in the tent cities and have not received the money they need to resettle in new homes. All done in the name of peace with the Palestinians. But there has been no peace, and there are well-founded concerns that Gaza will soon become a hotbed for terrorists.
#1 Best - is President Bushís resolve to perform his #1 duty to protect the American people. There hasnít been another terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11 despite the stated goals of Islamic extremists to destroy America. Thousands can gather at events like New Years Eve in Times Square, without incident.
#1 Worst - Could have been Howard Deanís statements that we canít win in Iraq. Or the Ninth Circuit Courts ruling against the pledge of allegiance, or against parents in regards to being the primary authority in matters concerning the sex education of their children. But our choice for worst in 2005 this year goes to the U.S. Supreme Courtís PREPOSTEROUS approval of the government's ability to seize your home or business for the development of the property and the resultant profits to go to public coffers in the name of "public use" (eminent domain). According to the ruling, if your property is valuable enough then the government can take it because the proceeds of the "value" will go to the public coffers, benefiting the public and thus satisfying the 5th Amendment clause.
Sharon Hughes - Sharon is the President of The Center for Changing Worldviews, and hosts Changing Worldviews TALK Radio which is heard
on KDIA AM1640 San Francisco; KGDP AM660 Santa Maria, CA and WITA AM1490 Knoxville, TN, as well as online daily at Oneplace.com. Her column appears on several online news sites including CaliforniaRepublic.org, ChronWatch.com, Ediblog.com, chNews.com, NewsWithviews.com, RenewAmerica.us and others. For further information visit her: Website www.changingworldviews.com