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Thread: A sad commentary on the current state of affairs

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    This is a column by registered Democrat Charlie Reese; it struck an old, familiar chord.

    No Honor

    If there were any honor at CBS, then both the president of the news division and Dan Rather would resign. They, not the underlings who have been fired, are responsible for what goes on the air — in this case, the claims about the president's National Guard duty based on phony papers.

    It's a pitiful excuse when the bosses claim that their employees deceived them when it's the bosses, not the employees, who have the final say. This behavior, however, is typical of corporate America.

    We live in an age when the rich and powerful substitute good lawyers and good public-relations specialists for good character. It was not always so in America. There was a time when a man's honor meant more than his life.

    One of the most intriguing characters in American history is Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy. Stephens was a shriveled little man and a notorious hypochondriac, though nevertheless a brilliant lawyer and an outstanding orator. After the war, he was elected governor of Georgia and got into a dispute with another individual.

    Needless to say, the other individual towered over Stephens, who was less than 5 feet tall and never weighed more than 91 pounds. They got into a knife fight, and in no time, the larger man had Stephens flat on his back, with the blade of his bowie knife at the little man's throat.

    "Retract, damn you, or I'll cut your throat," the man growled.

    "Cut it," said Stephens.

    Fortunately for Stephens, bystanders intervened, but the point is that Stephens' word meant more to him than his life. He had told the truth, and he would die rather than retract it. There might be one or two men in Washington who would react the same way under similar circumstances, but the majority would probably change their tunes faster than a jazz musician can play two notes.

    I have long argued that lobbyists should not be blamed, as editorial writers are inclined to do, for corrupting politicians. The lobbyist can only ask and offer; it is the public official who consents and accepts. When politicians sell their votes, they are just demonstrating that they were dishonorable people long before they got into public office. The only difference is that in private life, they didn't have anything to sell.

    Furthermore, the lobbyist's loyalty is only to his client; it is the politician who has sworn to be loyal to the Constitution and to the people who elected him or her. The betrayer of public trust is the politician, not the special interests.

    You would think that with the nation as overcrowded as it is, we could find some better people than the 535 who do all the federal legislating. By and large, they spend most of their time bloviating, raising money and selling or trading their votes. They have voted themselves far more money and perks than they are worth, and they spend the people's hard-earned money like it was confetti.

    We have come a long way since a Kansas farmer was first elected to Congress and came home and told a friend: "Why, Bob, this is wonderful job. It pays $40,000 in salary alone."

    Well, today it pays well in excess of $100,000 "in salary alone," and members of Congress have, in another dishonorable act, voted to get cost-of-living raises every year. They have the best pension system in the Milky Way galaxy.

    Honor, as a screenwriter once had a character say, is a gift a man gives to himself. You cannot eliminate dishonesty, a lack of ethics or bad character with legislation. If the American people, by and large, are dishonest or at least apathetic about corruption, then so be it. We are never going to have a government better than ourselves.

    And by the way, you can have one of those plush jobs, provided you can raise $300,000 or so for a House seat or several millions of dollars for a Senate seat. We ought to ask ourselves: When does a democracy get so expensive that it's no longer a democracy.


    So sad that "character" has gone out of style.

    Thoughts?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    No Honor

    If there were any honor at CBS, then both the president of the news division and Dan Rather would resign. They, not the underlings who have been fired, are responsible for what goes on the air — in this case, the claims about the president's National Guard duty based on phony papers.

    It's a pitiful excuse when the bosses claim that their employees deceived them when it's the bosses, not the employees, who have the final say. This behavior, however, is typical of corporate America.
    Just a shot in the dark, but are you having yet another subtle sideswipe at Bush for not quitting over Iraqi WMD? You people make me sick, leave the poor man alone.
    Last edited by ilw; 01-29-2005 at 02:44 PM. Reason: clarity

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilw
    Just a shot in the dark, but are you having yet another subtle sideswipe at Bush for not quitting over Iraqi WMD? You people make me sick, leave the poor man alone.
    I am an enabler of those desiring sickness; it is my calling.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    At one time politics was a calling that some answered after having accomplished other things. It was not unusual for such individuals to hold views that crossed political boundaries. Winston Churchill changed parties twice.


    The modern world is filled with political professionals and the game is highly partisan. If one breaks ranks then the rug is pulled firmly from under the feet.

    Politics is much less about what the individual believes than it was once - in my view at least. However, I may simply becoming a curmudgeon.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr JP Fugley
    Then I will wear the same shoe.
    We need more shoes...



    I have worn the label of "curmudgeon" for some time here; however, I am glad to share it around with my friends.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ilw
    Just a shot in the dark, but are you having yet another subtle sideswipe at Bush for not quitting over Iraqi WMD? You people make me sick, leave the poor man alone.
    No J2,

    Let us not brush this comment off with a quip.

    The situations are precisely parallel.

    Bush took his country to war over something that was not there.

    He then blamed "bad information" for this.

    You are right, there is no honor.

    Bush should have stepped down saying, "I got bad information, but I was the enabler".

    You cannot hold Rather and CBS to one standard and Bush to another, just because you disagree with one and agree with another.

    Doing so makes ones' speech about "honor" just empty words.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4

    If there were any honor at CBS, then both the president of the news division and Dan Rather would resign. They, not the underlings who have been fired, are responsible for what goes on the air — in this case, the claims about the president's National Guard duty based on phony papers.
    Well, let's look at this: CBS' reputation if further tarnished, American voters get the lowdown on what happened well before elections, Dan Rather ends his long career with his credibility permanently damaged beyond repair...

    ...and the man he went after, George Bush, gets re-elected by a comfortable margin.

    Even in victory, conservatives never fail to find something to cry about.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    'Tis not my speech, Hobbes, I merely agree with it; but, if you insist-

    I could argue special circumstances for Bush (EVERYBODY else was fooled, too), but will forego that to state that, all other things being equal, I would see Bush remove himself over what I see as a mistake where culpability should be shared.

    I believe also that every Senator who voted to authorize the war should fall on his/her own sword, too.

    I presume you have some recollection of who that would include?

    Every citizen who supported the war would be chastized to whatever extent his support was known.

    There is about your post a whiff of something I abhor-do you smell it?

    It's called moral equivalence, and if we hold to it strictly, we must also lay waste to the rest.

    Just think, though-if the U.N. subscribed to the idea, they would not have been able to ignore their own resolutions, and would have been compelled by principle to remove Saddam.

    That particular see-saw tilts in an infinite number of directions.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    'Tis not my speech, Hobbes, I merely agree with it; but, if you insist-

    I could argue special circumstances for Bush (EVERYBODY else was fooled, too), but will forego that to state that, all other things being equal, I would see Bush remove himself over what I see as a mistake where culpability should be shared.

    I believe also that every Senator who voted to authorize the war should fall on his/her own sword, too.

    I presume you have some recollection of who that would include?

    Every citizen who supported the war would be chastized to whatever extent his support was known.

    There is about your post a whiff of something I abhor-do you smell it?

    It's called moral equivalence, and if we hold to it strictly, we must also lay waste to the rest.

    Just think, though-if the U.N. subscribed to the idea, they would not have been able to ignore their own resolutions, and would have been compelled by principle to remove Saddam.

    That particular see-saw tilts in an infinite number of directions.
    Bush was the ultimate ENABLER- he is the man who should suffer the blame.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Hartha
    Even in victory, conservatives never fail to find something to cry about.
    Your response is classic knee-jerk, Sid.

    Did you read the column?

    Are you so blinded by dislike for conservatives you don't agree the sentiment being discussed applies to all who are without honor?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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