We The People: Panem et circenses

A Roman satirist lamented the dissipation of civic energy in Rome which led to the demise of the republic and a transition to imperial despotism.He noted that people who used to make laws and command armies abandoned concern for everything except bread and circuses.

We must take note of his commentary on history or it may be repeated. It is the responsibility of each and every citizen to get informed about issues and not just about reality television or sports.

Our leaders have a responsibility to disseminate information about the issues of the day in a way that everyone will want to be able to form an opinion about these issues.

Big Game Sunday is a wonderful celebration of a football game that has become an entertainment business; however, we need to spend as much time on understanding our economy, retirement care, health care and education system as we do on the game.

In Congress, term limits for all senators and representatives as well as an absolute money limit on contributions to any candidate from any source would be a good way to reform the ethical quagmire of politics. If American politics becomes only about money, then the only thing that will matter in American politics is money.

Democrats will lose more seats in the House of Representatives this year.The Democratic grip on the Senate is increasingly tenuous as well.Democratic strategists are considering concentrating campaign money on the Senate races in the hope that they do not lose their majority in that chamber.

Democratic fundraisers have more than $70 million for races in the House while Republican fundraisers have $55 million in the till.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $48 million dollars. Democratic operatives are pushing for the larger pile of House campaign money to be shifted to the Senate races.

Either way, this kind of money only pollutes the election process.We need a Supreme Court that will differentiate campaign finance spending from freedom of speech before we can hope for a change.

In DUMBO, unauthorized signs which remind people to pay attention to traffic and stop texting while walking have been added to DOT signposts.The idea is good and should be officially adopted citywide.

Hopefully, Mayor de Blasio will continue to advocate for more anti-speeding enforcement: NYPD assignments and speeding cameras.Mayor de Blasio can combat traffic safety problems like speeding, U-turns, jaywalking and pedestrian awareness with technology and education.He should encourage public-private collaboration to address those problems.

Midwood and Borough Park are being proactive about camera protection.One hundred taxpayer-funded security cameras will be installed and maintained by a private security firm in those neighborhoods.

Councilmembers Gentile and Recchia provided for NYPD security cameras in Bay Ridge and Sheepshead Bay but 100 “eyes-in-the-sky” would effectively discourage criminals and punks who hurt our quality of life with robberies, drug dealings and graffiti.

Brooklynites were treated to a local circus performance when Representative Michael Grimm, upset at a question about campaign finance investigations, offered to turn a NY1 reporter into a flying Wallenda last week.

After the interview, but with the camera rolling, he threatened to throw reporter Michael Scotto “off this f—–g balcony” in the Capitol rotunda.

Then Grimm, livid and twisted with rage, got in the face of the stunned reporter and told him that he would “break him … like a boy.” Although he originally defended this action, Grimm belatedly apologized for the outrageous behavior. With a representative like this in Congress, it is little wonder we cannot get things done in Washington, D.C.

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