Friday, February 3, 2012

Poverty Again

Maybe Mitt Romney's remark about the poor will have some good reults. If it keeps the issue before the public (which we know has a limited attention span), it might help keep the discussion and action going.

However, George Clooney in his recent "Inside the Actor's Studio" appearnce said something I found to be a bit daunting. CLooney has been active in keeping the public aware of problems in Darfur and Haiti and trying to help the people affected. He said that shining a light on the problem doesn't make it go away. That really gives us quite a challenge. Shining a light, spreading the word on issues such a proverty or the situations in Darfut or Haiti is necessary, of course, but it just can't stop there. We, the people, the decision makers, and leaders, too, must act in order to solve these problems. So we must do something to help alleviate suffering, help those struggling, and generate better policies to create better situations in the future. I know it's tough; we all work so much, have families and other responsibilities. But I hope that we can do something. Collectively, even small actions can help. Now if I can get it together and do something... It's a challenge for me as well as for others (although I'm amazed at what some others do to help things). But I definitely should do something. I hope we all will.

Remember Civility and Civil Rights

Many recent reports make me wonder what we've descended to. A fellow was arrested because they THOUGHT he had protested against Romney in NH. Read about it in his blog here. A Ron Paul supporter was treated roughly by Gingrich security; read here. And some Ron Paul supporters have harassed a professor online (story here) . Haven't heard stories about such things on the Democratic side recently, but if they are happening, they're also shameful.

First, while there is a need for security, we should not permit security to become abusive. That's NOT what America is supposed to be about. Second, we simply MUST start respecting the right to protest and dissent. If the United States is to truly stand for freedom we have got to make sure we honor the Freedoms of Speech and Assembly among others. Third, we NEED to agree to disagree and not be so disagreeable in the meantime. We are going to have differences of opinion and it is crucial that we maintain some basic civility and respect for each other as we make our way through challenging times. We have got to remember two things: one: we're all in this together and two: the golden rule - treat others as we wish to be treated. MAYBE if we remember those things we can make some real progress.