Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sister Liz Mackie gets well-deserved recognition

I have the honor of being one of Liz Mackie's brothers.  Here's a story today about her recent retirement and her work helping families with cancer kids.


Liz Mackie rifles through an enormous folder and pulls out a yellowed Herald newspaper clipping.
"This is Ben Suggett," she says, pointing at the 1995 photo of the then eightyear-old boy. "I was at his wedding three summers ago," Mackie adds with a beaming smile.
Ben is just one of the hundreds of children Mackie has taught at Jamie's Preschool, a special school for kids with cancer, their siblings and other children with compromised immune systems.
"I keep in touch with the majority of the families over the years as much as I can, because I love everyone of the children I have had the honour of teaching," says Mackie.
On Wednesday -the last day of classes before the summer break -the 60-year-old "ageless" grandma with a teenager's figure is retiring after 19 years at the preschool run out of the basement at St. Andrew's United Church on Heritage Drive S.W.
Mackie says she initially declined the offer to work at Jamie's.
"I said no because I had all of these preconceived notions that working with kids with cancer would be very sad," says Mackie. But she was urged to meet the children before deciding.
"So I went and met the kids and I basically started right away and never left," she says, with a laugh.
Mackie looks around the STARS gym where the children go every Thursday to run around, jump on trampolines and just be normal kids. "This is a place of joy. It's a place of hope and it's a place of love. These kids and their parents have had an enormous impact on me," says Mackie.
"I've received so much more than I've given."
That last statement is one that the owner and founder of Jamie's Preschool and the parents Mackie has "come to love" disagree with adamantly.
"Liz is just a treasure," says Sheri Ewing, who started the preschool in 1986, when her own son, Jamie (who is now 28), was battling cancer and couldn't be around other children for fear of catching colds and the like.
"She is so much more than a great teacher who comes in to work three days a week. She goes way beyond the call of duty. She has the moms over to her house for regular potluck dinners, she takes them on spa days and is there for them 24/7," says Ewing.
Brandi Dickman simply calls Mackie "a godsend" and her "mentor."
Dickman met Mackie when her second child, Callim, was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma tumour the size of a grapefruit in his gut in September 1996. He was just nine months old.
While Jamie's is undoubtedly a safe place for children with weak immune systems to have a sense of normalcy as they undergo cancer treatments, Mackie has also turned it into a refuge and community of caring for the parents and siblings as well, says Dickman.
"In a life of crisis and chaos, Liz made Jamie's Preschool a sunny rock in a stormy sea," says Dickman, who recently became the community and events coordinator at the preschool.
Sadly, Callim passed away on his wish trip to Disneyland in February 1999 when he was just three.
"Liz was there for me every step of the way," recalls Dickman. "I would call her at 2 a.m. and I knew I would wake her up, but she never seemed to mind. She always knows when to just listen or when to say something. Liz has been the rock to so many of us because she exudes a kind of confidence to desperate parents."
Candace Cooke agrees. Even though her son, Kaidan, died four years ago at the age of 18 months, after a one-year battle with infant leukemia, she still brings her preschool-aged children -Isla, 3, and Ashton, five months, to the school to be a support to other moms living through the hell of having a child with cancer.
"After Kaidan died, Liz came to see us every day," says Cooke, 37, who has another son, Josh. "I was breaking down all the time, saying I didn't think that I would ever be happy again. Knowing that she had gone through this with other people really helped me a lot. It helped me believe in a future. She was just so warm.
"I used to call her in the middle of the night and just bawl away on the phone. I remember I called one time and I couldn't even talk and she just stayed with me on the phone and said, 'I'm here, Candace, I'm here.'"




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Destroying lives in the name of immigration

The state is not merely a bunch of bumbling, corrupt fools.  When it regards matters as deadly serious, it turns arrogantly vicious.  Lew Rockwell underscores this point in an article about state jackboots busting an honest enterprise in the western US.
The owners of Chuy's Mesquite Broiler in Phoenix and 13 other locations around western states have been kidnapped from their popular restaurants and dragged to jail. This will be followed by trial, and certain personal bankruptcy. They could face 80 years in prison. In the raid, "Homeland Security" stole their computers, their accounting and employment records, and walked out the door — just like a gang of thieves. The only difference is that these thugs operate under the cover of the law.

And what evil did these restaurateurs do? Were they poisoning people, stealing customers' wallets, secretly running an assassination conspiracy, sending in the predator drones against people they hate, or what? To lock anyone away for life is a shocking sentence, so surely the punishment must fit the crime. Psycho sniper murderers have gotten less.

What they are alleged to have done is to hire people who don't have the proper bureaucratic forms filled out for them. That's all. Nothing more. It is being done in the name of immigration enforcement and cracking down on illegals. The workers themselves are untouched by any of this. Their benefactors — and the benefactors of society — are the ones being targeted with police-state tactics.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"The Sovereign State of Congress"

Gary North worked as a staffer for Congressman Ron Paul of Houston in 1976 and wrote an essay about his experiences a year later that was published in Remnant Review.  "The rules and regulations that are strangling the citizens of the United States do not apply on Capitol Hill. They know what they are doing at least to this extent."

Read the full article.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bilderberg 2011

What do Jeff Bezos (founder & CEO of Amazon), Chris R. Hughes (co-founder of Facebook), Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google), Charlie Rose (TV interviewer), and David Rockefeller (Former Chariman of Chase Manhattan Bank) have in common?

They were all attendees at the 2011 Bilderberg Meeting in St. Moritz, Switzerland, according to Prison Planet.

Watch this YouTube video for more information.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Homeowner forecloses on BoA

The bank tried to foreclose on a house that a couple had paid cash for.  The bank prosecuted and lost, and the judge told the bank it had to pay for the couple's court fees.

"After more than 5 months of the judge's ruling, the bank still hadn't paid the legal fees, and the homeowner's attorney did exactly what the bank tried to do to the homeowners. He seized the bank's assets."