Friday’s Odds and Ends

Tonight we open The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. I directed the show, with the help of my assistant, Cindy Sanders, and a host of other Theatre Moms who shared their kids with us, as well as helped with costumes, props, etc. What a joy it has been to “play” with these kids for six weeks. This is a fun show and the community is all abuzz about it.

Now on to the news.

Much has been said about Emma Sullivan, the student in Kansas whose Tweet about Governor Sam Brownback went from obscurity to national news after an aide in Brownback’s office saw the Tweet and contacted the youth organization that arranged the school trip to meet the governor to report it. That organization contacted Emma’s principal, who told her she had to apologize for the Tweet, which read “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.”

Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald columnist, defended Sullivan’s refusal to apologize, saying that she had the right to Tweet that, even though it was rude.

That is true. The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech, but I don’t think that right should excuse the crude and sometimes vile things that are written just because we can. Emma’s mother defended her daughter saying, “I raised my kids to be independent, to be strong, to be free thinkers. If she wants to Tweet her opinions about Gov. Brownback, I say for her to go for it, and I stand totally behind her.”

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus suggests that Mrs. Sullivan also teach her daughter about civil discourse and what is considered crass language. The fact that this is the way kids communicate with each other does not make it acceptable. Marcus wrote, “If you were my daughter you’d be writing that letter apologizing to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownbeck for the smart-alecky, potty-mouthed Tweet you wrote….”

Marcus does uphold Sullivan’s right to free speech, she just wishes that parents would teach their children how to express their views without resorting to trash talk.

What do you think?

Mitt Romney is being maligned in political ads for flip-flopping on issues, primarily abortion. He went from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life and some see that as a weakness. Kathleen Parker points out in a recent column that Romney’s switch was not a flip-flop, but a well-thought out decision based on research and information he learned from William Hurlbut, a physician and professor of biomedical ethics at Stanford University Medical School.

Parker suggest that ideology often changes as we mature and perhaps Romney’s changes were not just done out of political expediency, but rather a new maturity.

I am not necessarily a Romney fan, nor am I endorsing him for the Republican candidacy, but I do think the ad is misleading and we need to be aware of the reality as we consider who to vote for.

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