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Bill Sullivan Says:
Most people look at the crises of the world and feel hopeless, stating that whatever sorrow or horror they may feel, that there is nothing they can do. People throughout the world are troubled by the site of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the cruelty of the Assad regime. But few people really know how to help. Michael and Tara are extraordinary because when it comes to helping others, they refuse to feel overwhelmed by circumstance, rather it be global or local. They ignore the naysayers, think for themselves, and simply take matters in to their own hands. Every Christmas here in Los Angeles, those of us fortunate enough to know Michael and Tara receive their invitation to round up our excess food and clothing in to the back of pickup trucks, and to personally distribute them to the homeless on Skid Row. With Michael and Taraâs approach, there is no administrative middle person (which is a necessity with most giving). Caring people are empowered by Michael and Taraâs aggressive compassion to simply address the need for giving by ourselves. And it is always a moment of Christmas magic to see the gratitude in the eyes of homeless people receive food and clothing from us as a result of Michael and Taraâs caring leadership. And so this article in the Culver City News about Michael and Taraâs compassion on a global level comes as no surprise, and is greeted with an expected, warm smile.
In preparing for their mission to aid the refugees, Michael and Tara creatively employed every self-starting method of amassing support that a resourceful, compassionate person can muster. They formed their own two-person organization. Just as they do at Christmas, they reached out to every friend via email and Facebook soliciting donations of clothing and suitcases to carry the clothing in. For days, friends delivered goods directly to Michael and Taraâs doorstep, or had them delivered via other friends. Cash donations were also sought, with a Pay Pal account arranged to make it convenient and easy for all to contribute. With their giving infrastructure in place, the follow up was next: Michael and Tara worked their extensive rosters of friends and contacts via phone and email, and urged others to do the same on their behalf. Once everything was in place for the huge delivery, Michael even persuaded Lufthansa to set aside its baggage fee policy so that the suitcases full of donated items could be hand delivered to the refugees without paying excess luggage charges.
Observing this as an act of compassion towards suffering people is easy enough to do. But the politics of this we also know too well: concerns over terrorism and the European job market fueling the Brexit vote, and a fresh round of conservative rebellion against German Chancellor Angela Merkel with renewed calls for her resignation following the recent terrorist attacks in Munich. And, of course, the troubling nature of the discourse in the current US presidential campaign. In the face of all of this, it takes courage to not be shaken by terrorism, and to simply remember that the vast majority of these refugees are simply innocent people who are fleeing oppression the same way that our own American ancestors once did between one and four centuries ago. Just as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is remaining steadfast in her commitment to compassionate Christian principles by wanting to aid refugees in spite of acts of terrorism, Michael and Tara maintain a clear focus on the bigger picture that all people are ultimately good, in spite of the isolated acts of a few troubled people who oppose multi-cultural understanding, and who seek to ruin these feelings of peace and unity for the rest of humanity. The beauty of Michael and Taraâs perspective is that they cannot be jostled by terrorism, and can put politics aside, and simply recognize that these are innocent human beings who need food, clothing and shelter, and who are tragically caught amidst terrible political circumstances that are much larger then themselves. Most of them are not terrorists, just as most of our own ancestors were not criminals - but dignified and decent people who could contribute to any country that is able to have them. And at the dawn of the 21st Century, Michael and Taraâs compassion reminds us that we have a new opportunity: the chance to welcome a full spectrum of people from all religious and cultural backgrounds in to the world of peace and democracy. Michael and Taraâs spirit reminds us that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists really can share the planet together in the most universally compassionate of ways. And it is upon this foundation of shared human understanding, that our entire planet will someday achieve world peace. Acts of war remind us that there will be bumps along the way to world peace, and that while it may be prudent to take appropriate measures to protect ourselves, we must not forget that the majority are innocent, and that the decency of humanity is what must be enacted in to our behavior and our public policy. And so Michael and Tara remind us to think for ourselves amidst the maelstrom of fear, and to keep our eyes on the prize of multi-cultural peace and understanding. This is why I am with Michael and Tara. This is one of many reasons that I am proud to be their friend, and to answer their call.
Kathy Parker Says:
This letter is to Pere Whalon-Pete-I always enjoy your column-but the "-Old guys drool" had me laughing like a old lady!!! Was VERY entertaining and spot on!! Keep up the good work!! And as a woman who will be 53 on Friday-I vow to stop saying "awesome"-oh and I still call it weed-I overheard a old guy calling if "grass" the other day!!
Maurice Joseph Says:
You were "bullied and discriminated upon" because you write with your left hand grow up. I am also a lefty and the Nun's that taught me to print and write Thank God would not let me hook write and as a result my penmanship is neat and 100% readable nor have I ever had ink stained shirt cuffs. To hear someone say they feel they were bullied because they were the last one in their class to be given a fountain pen because there penmanship was not neat and tidy is absurd, you were not bullied you are being a crybaby. Now that you have grown up enough to hold your pen or pencil correctly maybe you can progress enough to quite writing on a backwards slant. Contary to what you may remember it is ok for your letters to be vertical or slanted to the right but handwriting with a backwards left slant are considered be many to look evil and while I disagree their are plenty who do think that way so open your mind again and practice until you get it write because many people and I am one of them will use a persons signature to help me judge the character of a person. Let's face if you don't think enough about your self to have a good looking and legible signature then what else don't car about.
Bayo Olabisi Says:
Great.. delightful and most heartening. Keep flying high!!
Shari, it was nice meeting you at Hillary and Monica. I agree it is a very funny play.
Rebecca Stout Says:
It may surprise you to know that not only am I a woman who meets with the same group of women every Wednesday night... I've been doing it for 12 years straight! It may further surprise you to know that the groups is comprised of no less than 15 WOMEN and has been meeting for 35 years consecutively to chat and sing choral music together. Women of all ages! From 18 to 75. And to top it off, we all love each other. We sing at each other's weddings, we have birthday parties nearly every week, we throw baby showers for each other, we sing at memorials together, we even take vacations together! Occasionally we work on additional music projects together outside of our main women's group. In short, we are devoted friends and professionals. I can't imagine ever leaving this group of beautiful female friends.
I'm not sure what type of women you generally hang out withâ¦but to be brutally honest (like you) maybe you should clarify that the imaginary group of women you discuss in your article are actually NOT well-adjusted women. Rather, they are women who happen to be small-minded, sexist, and bigotedâ¦.just like the men who hang out with them and write articles about them.
In closing, I'd like to add that according to most dictionaries, it's GEESE that hang out in gaggles. CHICKS hang out in broods or flocks, and the WOLVES who eat them... hang out in packs.
Les Greenberg Says:
Ms. Bunker: Without amending the Procedures that this Council adopted in November 2013, the Council has absolutely no authority to modify the parking restrictions on Farragut to do a "parking study" or otherwise. The "parking study" authorizes the modification of the parking restrictions. The Council changed the Procedures to get authority. The Brown Act requires that the Council give notice that it intended to change the Procedures. Nothing like that was on the agenda. If it were, thousands of irate residents would have appeared at the hearing.
Ava swartz Says:
We need to file a class action lawsuit against the FTA because low flying jets every 60 seconds day and night is an outrageous violation of the quiet enjoyment of our property. Never before (even living between two airports in NYC) have I ever experienced such noise. I hear planes between midnight and 6:00 am as well!
GENEVIEVE GILBERT-ROLFE Says:
To be clear and honest: Daniel Lee won the most votes from the student straw poll, Meghan Sahli-Wells came in second and Scott came in third. Your headline is misleading. Please print a correction!
Kathleen Bunker Says:
All the council did was vote on a traffic study for the street Mr. Greenberg lives on and the impact on surrounding streets,which by the way is tremendous. This is not illegal as stated by the city attorney.
Daniel W Lee Says:
I'm not sure third place is winning the "Ask to Know" forum. If you follow the official results I came in first. Meghan Sahli-Wells came in second and Scott a respectable but not winning third.
(will not be published)
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