My fellow Americans... no, wait that is the beginning of a presidential address, and this is not a presidential address, although it is about some of the presidential candidates. We are still over a year away from the election, and already the news and sound-bites are getting tiresome. Rick Perry has called President Obama a traitor. Perry has also said that global warming is not a problem, and even joked that the leading source of “supposedly deadly carbon dioxide” is the mouth of Al Gore.
Other than the fact that she is associated with the Tea Party, which has become just another self-serving entitiy, Michelle Bachmann seems to be holding in the name-calling and focusing on issues. It is not her fault that the media decided to publish that awful picture of her eating a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair and then lead the public down that suggestive path. Shame on the media for that one.
Instead of relying on the nightly news on television or the latest from CNN or Fox News online, the savvy voter would do well to research for themselves what the candidates stand for. To get in-depth information on all the candidates without media bias, here is a Website that has all 2012 candidates listed along with their policies, plans, and qualifications.
Okay, enough about politics. When I wrote Monday’s post about young people making a difference, I missed the opportunity to mention a very special 9 year-old girl who lived near Seattle. New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote about her recently, and I saved that column. Rachel Beckwith learned about Locks of Love when she was 5 and grew her hair out so she could then cut it and donate it to be made into a wig for a child going through chemotherapy. Then when she was 8 she learned about an organization called Charity:water. Instead of having a 9th birthday party, she asked her friends to donate $9 each to Charity:water for water projects in Africa. This was on June 12, 201,1 and she set up a birthday page on the Charity:water website with a goal of raising $300.
On July 20, Rachel was critically injured in a car accident while traveling with her family. Family and friends started donating to her birthday fund and the amount raised passed the goal, and kept on going. Sadly, Rachel did not recover from her injuries, but she continued to give. Her parents donated her hair one last time to Locks of Love and her organs were donated to other children in need.
Donations continued to pour into the Charity:water site, and when Kristof wrote about this on August 12, the total had topped $800,000. Kristof ended his column by writing, “Youth activism has a long history, but this ethos of publis service is on the ascendant today – and today’s kids don’t just protest against injustices, as my contemporaries did, but many are remarkable problem-solvers.
“Rachel Beckwith, RIP, and may our generation learn from yours.”
I chose these two topics today because the contrast is so telling. I used to tell those in the public sector to stop acting like children, but perhaps they ought to consider it.