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Some days, I wake up in a sour mood, and as the day progresses, it just gets worse.

Today was one of those days.  At one point, I even tweeted that my dangerous mood had turned downright poisonous.  It’s probably a good thing that I’m not around as many people during the day as I used to be.  My mother, seeing the post on Facebook, remarked that she could just see the look on my face, and urged me to hold my tongue.  She knows that when provoked, the ensuing thunderstorm can be rough.

Initially, I thought that it would be hard to pinpoint exactly what had caused the snit that I was in.  After we got home from Ben’s football practice, as I let a warm shower soothe me, I realized that a big part of what was bothering me had to do with the Penn State scandal, and the coverage of last night’s Republican debate.

I’m a news junky.  I turn the television on when I wake up, and tune immediately to the news.  I check several sites throughout the day and scan headlines, and typically have CNN or local news on when I’m writing my posts at night.

As I was writing last night’s post, I struggled to find something positive to write about, as the news outlets switched from coverage of students rioting over Joe Paterno’s firing, to Rick Perry’s dreadful gaffe during debate, to Herman Cain’s blatant smearing of women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

All of this was apparently heavy on my mind, as I did not sleep well.  This morning, someone tweeted the link to the grand jury indictment in the Penn State case.  After reading it, I was sick to my stomach.  If these allegations are true, there are many, many more people than just Joe Sandusky that should face criminal charges.

I am watching things like common decency and concern for humanity become the exception, rather than the rule.  In three very distinct cases, we’re seeing the very worst of ourselves.  In the case of Penn State, there are so many levels of wrongdoing that it is staggering.  The fact that someone could inflict such damage on children is nauseating.  To know that people saw these things actually happening and did nothing?  These people should be considered criminals, as well.

Herman Cain continues to raise money, and refuses to acknowledge that there are settlements in the sexual harassment cases brought against him.  How does this work, exactly?  Seems to me that if there’s a settlement, that’s the same as essentially admitting that there has been wrong-doing.  Instead, the victims will be dragged through the mud, subjected to a different invasion of privacy and discredited.  I believe that people should reserve judgement and wait for the facts of a case.  Again, though, if there have been actual settlements, doesn’t that mean that there has to have been something to the accusations?

Finally, there’s the fallout over Rick Perry’s blunder during the debate last night.  I didn’t see it live, but it’s been everywhere.  I can’t believe that I’m going to say this, because Rick Perry represents so much of what I find repulsive and alarming about the Presidential race right now; but, I actually felt sorry for him.  As someone who has to get up in front of people to speak, I completely understand how you can forget an important point, or get something backwards.  To do it on national television would be one of my worst nightmares.  Immediately, there were those that said that his campaign was over, and this would finish him.  Now, I do NOT want Rick Perry anywhere near the White House; but, I do not feel that these canned debates do anything to educate the public about what the candidates actually represent.  Just because he got tongue-tied and forgot a point, he’s being crucified by various media outlets.  I think that it makes him more human.

All three of these situations have generated tremendous amounts of coverage in the media, on social networking and in general conversations.  What’s alarming is the way that people rabidly pursue their own points of view, either without looking at the facts or by choosing to ignore them.  There’s such a divide in this country and it’s become so commonplace that I feel that the breach is too wide to overcome.

My friend, C, wrote a wonderfully poignant post on her blog, Streetlights Imagination.  There she talks about how people talk a good game when it comes to things like family values and protecting our children, yet do nothing or worse.  Take a few moments to stop by her site.  While we come from very different viewpoints on things, she and I both agree that we must make a point of instilling in our children a sense of humanity and of caring for our fellow man.  We must make sure that they learn that each person is valuable, that every child should be protected, that no woman should be made to feel inferior and that no man should be ridiculed for being human.  To teach this, we must first lead by example.

Her post did make me feel better today.  I am thankful that there are people in this world that do not base their actions on things like politics or religion alone.  They rise above labels and serve as an example of common decency for all of us.

I’m participating in #30daysofThanks, inspired by my friend, Amanda, over at www.memydogsmylife.com.  We are finding one thing each day in November to be grateful for.  Join in!  Just use the tag #30daysofThanks and blog or Tweet your daily item.