Yearly Archives: 2013

Being Hated, Don’t Give Way to Hating

December 25th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 1 comment

Ken Hutcherson started life being hated by those who did not know him but who disliked him based on the color of his skin. Much changed during his life, but not the ability of many to hate those they do not know. The Seattle Times wrote the following on Dec. 18, as news of his death spread, “While beloved by his congregation, many hated the pastor for his stand on homosexuality.”

I can’t speak for our dear friend, Hutch, but I can convey what I understood after spending much time with him over the years. Ken Hutcherson hated nobody. He completely dismissed the idea of comparing the Black struggle for equality and respect with the homosexual movement. He lived under Jim Crow in the south, barred from certain areas, confined to specific water fountains and at the mercy of a corrupt justice system. Racism was a reality to him. Equating that with a demand for the legal system to change a millennium old religiously based definition of marriage demeaned the suffering and struggle of his family and race.

Pastor Hutcherson’s early years trained him to be a hater; his acceptance of Jesus turned him into a man who loved all people. This love stemmed directly from accepting Christianity as the guidepost in his life. As social mores changed in the past few years, he refused to abandon that guidepost’s teachings on homosexual behavior. He was a man who truly did hate the sin while loving the sinner.

Those of whom the Seattle Times wrote hated the man Ken Hutcherson for his ideas and beliefs, not for who he was.  Had they reached out to him, they might have increased their understanding of humanity. They certainly could have come to know a special person. Instead, they tricked themselves into thinking that they alone have access to truth and projected the animosity in their hearts onto others.

There is a saying in ancient Jewish wisdom that a man should not trust himself until the day of his death. None of us should feel smug that we have battled our bad character traits or overcome temptation; tomorrow more challenges face us. My husband and I visited with Hutch and his wife, Pat, shortly before he died. No matter what those who opposed his beliefs might desperately want to believe, he was still full of love. The world would be better off with thousands of people like Ken Hutcherson, rather than with more of those who choose to hate while spouting words of tolerance.

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Still Different After All These Years

December 17th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 3 comments

Recently, the New York Times ran an article featuring highly successful women on Wall Street and their stay-at-home husbands. I found the piece annoying, not because of the couples themselves, but because of what I, correctly or not, read as a patronizing tone by the journalists.

In an age where marriage is optional and having children is often derided, I applaud the profiled couples for organizing their lives so that earning money, marriage and raising a family coexist. While I personally think that in most cases marriage and parenting partnerships works best with the man being the main income earner and the woman the main homemaker, if the opposite choice is working for these couples, I wish them success.

My problem lies with what I perceived as the snarky tone of the piece. I’d appreciate hearing feedback from others, but I picked up an underlying air of irritation on the part of the reporters.  The New York Times authors seemed to radiate anger that even in these “enlightened” families, men and women aren’t interchangeable.  Here’s an example:

The husbands often feel excluded from the social infrastructure that women have built up over generations to make stay-at-home life more manageable and fun. (“You want awkward? Try a swim play date,” one father said.) Every man interviewed said that many school notices, invitations and Girl Scout troop updates were still sent to their wives, a river they are constantly trying to divert.

When Ed Fassler, married to Marcie Fassler, a vice president of operations at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh, was helping out with a school wrapping paper sale, the mothers gathered to go over the order — and excluded him. “My husband wouldn’t be happy if you’re in my house with us,” the organizer told him.

Firstly, I don’t think that women have built up a social infrastructure “to make stay-at-home life more manageable and fun,” in the same way that hospitals might have a lending library to make a difficult experience less dismal. For many mothers raising a family is not a miserable experience that requires “treats” to endure; the social infrastructure is an enjoyable bonus, not needed compensation.

Secondly, while adjusting an email list so that notices are sent to the parent at home seems reasonable and shouldn’t be difficult to engineer, wishing that mothers and fathers could freely mingle at activities ignores reality. A friendship that sprouts from sharing school-related tasks such as a wrapping-paper fundraiser can easily become problematic. With so many forces pushing against successful marriage, it isn’t unreasonable that some husbands or wives don’t want to increase the peril.

A coed swim date is awkward – and it should be so. For some women, having a man present will cause them to focus on the ten extra pounds they are trying to lose, lessening the relaxed enjoyment. Unless you blindfold the man, he is biologically programmed to focus more on swimsuit-clad women’s body parts and not on their personalities. If you remove that tendency, he is also less likely to enjoy a conversation that entertains the mothers. Expecting him to relate to the other women as if he is one of them, and vice-versa, is absurd.

Was I simply being curmudgeonly as I read the article? Or did it actually reveal less about the highlighted families and more about the authors’ wish to remake human beings in their own desired image?

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How Can I Keep Track of Ukraine When I Can’t Get Through Dickens?

December 10th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 7 comments

It boggles my mind sometimes to think that Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense or Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison’s Federalist Papers were aimed at ordinary men and women. Do you know anyone who thinks their modern equivalents would achieve best-seller status if issued today, as they did in their time? I think it more likely that most Americans, longer schooled than the populace of colonial times, are incapable of understanding these writings.  The American Revolution and our system of government were not initiated by those who looked to late-night comedy shows for insight.

Nevertheless, that is today’s reality. I am not immune. I look at substantial books I once read, both fiction and non-fiction, and am somewhat in awe of my previous self. Too often, when looking for something to read, I reach for something light and distracting rather than weighty and valuable. I’m even nervous about watching classic movies I enjoyed years back for fear that I will find them ponderous and slow moving.

I sat at a Shabbat table this past weekend where the discussion centered on what was happening in Ukraine. While I quickly looked up the news after Shabbat was over, up until that point I didn’t know that anything was happening in Ukraine. (This was before Ukraine became front-page news on Sunday.) Admittedly, keeping track of crisis points in the world could be a full time job, but still, how could I be so out of the loop? At least if I watched late night comedy, I might know that there was something to research.

Like all of us, the more personally affected I am by a topic, the more I pay attention. In today’s world, however, almost anything, anywhere can get personal very quickly. I can’t be the only one who cringes when late night TV hosts send proxies to ask people on the street to name a Supreme Court justice and Judge Judy’s name is the answer. Part of the cringe factor, however, is self-directed. How much less do I know than I should, and to what in my life should I devote less attention so that I can spend more time keeping current? How much worse do things need to get before ignorance and misinformation lead to a reality that is too painful to ignore? At that point, how many of us won’t have the attention span necessary to make a difference?

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Huff, #%&(%#, Puff

December 3rd, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 7 comments

When I signed up for an exercise class, a number of things worried me. Would I end up wasting money by paying a monthly fee and not attending? Would my ratty T-shirts brand me as a fashion nerd? Would the class resemble elementary school gym, where a misstep made you the butt of cruel laughter?

None of those things happened. Fortunately, I saw a Jazzercise class advertised at our local community center and after attending my freebie introduction, I was hooked. While I miss classes when I’m out of town, I am amazingly regular when at home. The group of women I exercise with is friendly, non-judgmental and too busy having fun to be competitive.

It turns out that I didn’t even realize what should have been worrying me. Being somewhat out of step with the culture, I was unaware that much of popular music was becoming increasingly misogynistic, profane and violent. I never thought to ask if songs were screened and while I combat the volume with earplugs, nothing I have heard at Jazzercise has ever made me uncomfortable.

Not so for my friend, Judy. Despite having a few less than stellar experiences while visiting all sorts of gyms and classes, and writing about them in her humorous book, Till We Eat Again, she keeps on trying. Her latest venture resulted in article published in the Wall Street Journal, lamenting how the almost maniacally environmentally conscious gym she joined showed no concern for bombarding its patrons with offensive, demeaning lyrics. When Judy objected to the obscene lyrics of Robin Thicke’s song, Blurred Lines, the owner sympathized, but was unwilling to remove the song from her playlist. Three supportive letters to the editor that the Wall Street Journal subsequently published suggest that Judy isn’t alone in her discomfort.

What I especially appreciated, though, was a personal letter Judy received and shared with me. Another Judi, this one Jazzercise’s founder, Judi Sheppard Missett, wrote to Judy, complimenting her on the article. It turns out that she too, struggled with Robin Thicke’s song. Here, in part, is what she wrote:

“…Most recently, I had choreographed a routine to “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. It had the perfect beat, was dancing to the top of the charts and we were getting numerous requests from our franchisees. It had all the elements I typically look when creating a fabulous routine. I worked on the choreography and was ready to kick off our Jazzercise Fitness Convention in Palm Springs, Calif. with the new “Blurred Lines” routine. The week of the event, I had a change of heart. I listened to the lyrics, thought about the true meaning behind the words, and considered whether this song was in line with the philosophy of the Jazzercise business.
My gut said, “no.”

I decided to change the song in the final hours before the event. I also filmed a video message to our 7,800 franchisees worldwide letting them know the reasons behind my decision. I had received so many requests, I thought they might be disappointed. But guess what? The positive feedback poured in! They understood and embraced my decision to continue to put out positive, uplifting empowering messages, as that is what Jazzercise classes are meant to do.

Since then, we have put more strict quality controls in place to ensure we select the right music for our classes. We screen every lyric to make certain our music feeds the minds, bodies and spirits of our customers. I’ll admit one gets by us every now and then but we are doing a much better job at it…”

So many times, those of us who advocate for decency in popular culture are portrayed as prudes, dinosaurs and completely out of touch with reality. If promoting respect for all people earns that label, I will proudly wear it. Actually, those who think that glorifying profanity, violence and misanthropy has no effect on our standard of living are the ones who are truly out of touch with reality.

For years, I have loved and appreciated my morning Jazzercise classes. While I knew the founder’s name, I knew little else about her. Judi Sheppard Missett’s letter delighted me while reminding me that each of us has multiple moments in our business and personal lives where the decisions we make matter on a larger scale than we might know.

_________

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Would You Rah-ther…?

November 27th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 4 comments

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Some of our children used to love to play a somewhat morbid game called, “Would you rah-ther?” That is “rather” but with an exaggerated British accent. They would ask each other questions such as, “Would you rah-ther have no hands or no feet?” and “Would you rah-ther live through war or plague?” I admit that we did not relish the speculation on, “If one of them had to die tomorrow, would you rah-ther it be Mommy or Daddy?” The questions often led to long discussions as the participating daughter explained her answer.

Here is a question that I think is worth asking yourself and those around you. “Would you rah-ther have freedom or equality?” In many cases, freedom and equality are mutually incompatible values. We can’t have both. If equality is the goal, for example in the boardroom, then a company cannot have the freedom to search for the best candidate. Instead of making the wisest decision, the business needs to check the proper gender and ethnicity boxes along with whatever other criterion are deemed needing equal representation. If freedom of choice is the priority, for example in the classroom, then the computer science department at a university might well be overwhelmingly male and Asian.  There wouldn’t be a great deal of equal representation to be seen.

Our government keeps expanding and enshrining the understanding of equality, most recently wanting to include sexual orientation as a category needing its intervention. Consequently, our constitutionally protected freedom of religion is under attack. In the economic arena, the freedom to succeed requires allowing economic inequality. Both freedom and equality are nice sounding words. However, while they can co-exist peacefully in the abstract, they dance a delicate waltz in real life. 

In our imperfect world, both freedom and equality lie on a spectrum where too much or too little of either one is disastrous. Unrestrained freedom leads to the law of the jungle, where the most vicious and strongest rules. The result for most people will be a decided lack of freedom. Total equality is an unattainable fantasy that leads to misery and servitude for the majority, under the lash of those who, inevitably, unequally hold the reins.

Around 150 years ago, the United States fought an incredibly bloody war to end a terrible institution that made a mockery of both equality and freedom. About 100 years earlier, the country’s founding highlighted the same concepts. This Thanksgiving, as the uneasy truce between equality and freedom seems to be reaching another crisis point we should express gratitude to God for the wonderful country in which we live and reaffirm our commitment to keeping it so.   

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Ted Cruz Fireworks

November 19th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 comments

As I write this, I am at a Wallbuilders conference in Dallas, where my husband is speaking. I have just come back to the room after hearing Ted Cruz. Do you remember the tense weeks back in 2000 when the Bush/Gore election was undecided? A Bush-supporting acquaintance of mine confessed that she and her Gore-championing friend agreed to cut back on their interactions until there was a decisive result. Both of their emotions were so raw that no matter how innocuously their conversations started, each ended up exasperated by the other’s political obtuseness.

Ted Cruz evokes the same kind of passion, though the division is between Republican and Republican, conservative and conservative rather than between blue and red voters. Over the past few weeks establishment Republicans, such as John McCain, have attacked Senator Cruz with intemperate and angry language, more suitable to describing the Boston Marathon bomber. Others who share Senator McCain’s party affiliation view Ted Cruz as a principled straight shooter, championing ideas that need to be aired.

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Smoke and Mirrors

November 13th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 3 comments

How often do we hear or read something that makes no logical sense? This probably happens much more frequently than we realize, since our attention moves quickly to the next item assaulting our senses. Since we don’t closely analyze the barrage of messages coming our way, we are rarely aware of how much nonsense we are fed.
Political promises fall into this category, but so do advertisements and ‘catchy phrases.’ Looking through the newspaper the other day, I found myself stopping and analyzing the half-page (read: expensive), patently absurd, message being sent by UNICEF; the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The ad showed an early airplane prototype, followed by the words:

Man took to flight when we believed.
Children will stop dying from preventable causes when you believe.
Every day, 19,000 children die of causes we can prevent.
We believe that number should be ZERO.

Let’s stipulate that only the most hard-hearted monster wants children to die from causes that we have the knowledge and technology to prevent. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether giving money to UNICEF, or pushing government to give taxpayer money to UNICEF, is a good idea. It also has nothing to do with the fact that while the first two statements of the ad may be designed to provoke compassion or guilt, they are false. If you need to lie to get people to support you, perhaps you are not worthy of support.

Man took to flight when individuals harnessed imagination, knowledge, courage, time and money—not because anyone paraphrased the children in Peter Pan, repeating, “I do believe in flight, I do, I do.” Men took to flight when scientific studies of physics and engineering advanced so that instead of the failed attempts or unfulfilled ideas of millennia, human ingenuity and desire collaborated with technical progress to achieve risky, fledgling steps. If anything, the fact that Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved success while a week earlier the government-funded airplane built by Dr. Samuel Langley toppled into a river, suggests that perhaps supporting entrepreneurial efforts to help children, rather than bureaucratic ones, would be the smarter and more effective plan.

Way too many children have died in the 66 years since UNICEF’s founding because people foolishly followed seductive, but false, ideologies and chose leaders who led their nations (and other nations) into destruction. Sadly, the United Nations, has proven inept—the most charitable interpretation—at counteracting evil.

I don’t know if the last two statements of the UNICEF ad are true or if they are as false as the first two. I don’t know how UNICEF’s real achievements stack up because they are using their marketing dollars to peddle emotional twaddle rather than present statistical evidence. I do know that voting, donating or choosing how to behave based on a child-like belief in government or bureaucracy tends to lead to more tragedy, not less.

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When Loving Children Isn’t Enough

November 6th, 2013 Posted by Practical Parenting, Susan's Musings 11 comments

My husband and I flew home from Dallas a short while ago
after a week filled with appearances, including our multi-day presentation on
marriage and money. Two tired travelers, an evening flight and a crowded plane
suggested that zoning out was the best strategy. I had never heard of the movie
being shown, Way, Way Back, but watching it seemed a good way to ignore
my narrow-seated reality.

Instead, it made me realize a new reality of today’s world.
The movie, described as a “poignant coming of age” film, featured a number of
adolescents. All of them were children of divorce and all of them had parents
who put themselves ahead of their children. The kids were sad and troubled—not
because growing up is challenging—but because of their parents’ self-centered choices.

These were not abusive parents. They seemed the type of
mothers and fathers who might well make the statement, “I’d throw myself under
a bus for my kid.” While, they might choose their child’s life over their own
if confronted by such a dilemma, what they would not sacrifice was their own sex
life. If this movie reflects reality at all, today, the right to sexual
activity is more sacred than the ties between even mothers and children. Each
of the teenagers in the movie felt rejected by one parent and ignored by the
other as the adults who were supposed to love them put their own search for new
relationships ahead of their children. The strangest thing was that these
parents seemed utterly unaware that this narcissism was causing deep damage.
Without stretching too far, you could even say it was a form of child
abuse.  Statistics that reveal the number
of children living with adults who are not either their parent or married to
their parent, or whose parents have ‘friends’ stay overnight, suggests that the
movie reflects reality.

Even granting that seeing a movie on a plane makes it less
attractive than usual, none of the parents in this film seemed appealing. That
is not the case for the character of Sarah Braverman in the popular show Parenthood.
Played by Lauren Graham, she is attractive and funny, and her love for her
children shines through. Yet, after marrying poorly, thus providing them with
an alcoholic, irresponsible father, she repeatedly hurts her children as her
personal life takes priority over them. She is incapable of ignoring the pull
of affection and sex, leading her, for example, to sleep with her daughter’s
high school teacher and to uproot her son and move him to her fiancé’s
apartment (though the sexual tug to her boss will end that relationship).
Somehow, Sarah’s desperate desire to be a good mother ends at the point that
she might actually choose sexual and emotional celibacy for herself to protect
her children.

The show doesn’t gloss over the damage to the children,
including an alcoholic car wreck involving her daughter and her son’s excruciating
emotional pain. Both these results directly stem from their mother’s actions.
Yet, none of the other adults in her life force her to acknowledge the
disconnect between her maternal feelings and her selfish behavior. Is it
possible that the adults and teenagers watching the show also don’t see that
this woman needs to tell herself that her role as mother means she must carefully
weigh up the call of that part of her own life against her children’s best
interests until they become healthy adults?

There certainly would be damage as well if the relationships
shown in the above shows were chaste. The message to the child would still be,
“I come first.” Nevertheless, it is clear in the above situations, the
inability to master sexual urges or the lack of understanding that having
dinner with someone is quite different from sleeping with them, propels
relationships more quickly and less thoughtfully. No one even seems to see that
disrupting the children’s living arrangements makes them less secure and comfortable.
Have we truly reached the point in society where we have bought into the
message that as long as you are protected from pregnancy and STDs, sex can
cause no harm? Have we seriously elevated the right to sexual activity above
our obligations to love, protect and cherish our young? 

The movie on the plane did help pass the time. It also left
me amazed at reviews that cited funny lines or heart-tugging scenes but left
unmentioned the appalling cruelty by parents living in a society that
celebrates social mores that inflict cruel and unusual punishments on our
children.

Is this a trend that you have also noticed?


 

The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here

October 30th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 3 comments

When did
Harry Truman’s motto, “The buck stops here,” turn into Barack Obama’s pass the
buck, “Nobody’s madder than me that the website isn’t working as it
should”? Does anyone truly believe that Barack Obama is more upset about the
disastrous Obamacare rollout than the woman battling cancer who lost her
insurance because of his legislation? Does anyone truly believe that Barack
Obama is more upset about Obamacare than the family whose insurance premiums
just doubled? What, exactly, do those words mean?

Asking this
question set me thinking of past leaders in history. After the sin of the
Golden Calf, Moses pleaded with God to forgive the Israelites. Moses didn’t
tell the children of Israel that he was working hard for them. Instead, he told
God to erase him from His book if He wouldn’t forgive the people (Exodus
32:32).  This was not flowery rhetoric.  From the time we meet Moses until his final
speech begins in Deuteronomy, Moses’ name appears in every sedra (the
portions into which the Bible is divided according to ancient Jewish wisdom)
except for one – Exodus 27:20-30:10.  His
name is erased from this one section, usually read in the week in which his day
of birth and death fall, in tribute to his willingness to sacrifice himself for
his people.

 Years later, Queen Esther approached King
Achashveirush to save her people, risking her life in the process (Scroll of Esther
4:16). Rather than rhapsodizing about her feelings, she put her life on the
line.

Following this
tradition, our founding fathers put the following into writing: “…we mutually
pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor…” These
were not empty words. They risked, and many of them lost, their wealth and
property, their families’ security and their health.  These men put their signatures on a document
knowing that not only death, but also torture, would greet them if their bid
for freedom from England failed.

Here is an
intriguing question. In recent history, which of our leaders do we believe
would sacrifice himself for the American people? No guesswork is needed for
those presidents, Republicans and Democrats, who were military heroes; Dwight
Eisenhower and George Bush Sr., come to mind. In my own mind, I think that
others, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan fit the profile of
men who felt their office to be an obligation rather than a privilege. This
willingness to give all to one’s country doesn’t mean their policies were
necessarily wise or good, but it does suggest their presidencies were not
centered completely on their own ego.

During World
War II, King George of England did not send his own wife and daughters away
from London, despite the Germans targeting the city for bombing. By this
action, he proclaimed that he and his family would rise or fall with the people
under his rule. If President Obama truly believes in his health care program and
cares about the health of all children, why doesn’t he step forward and have
his own family (and his Congressional supporters), reap the benefits or pay the
price of his legislation, rather than being exempt from it?

Only God
knows whether, in his heart, the president truly believes his policies are good
for America or not. We can’t judge his heart, but we can judge his words and
more so his actions. His words do not even reach the level of Bill Clinton’s,
“I feel your pain.” Instead, they focus on him – he is mad. The implication isn’t
that he is mad at himself, but at others. Are we supposed to send sympathy
cards to the occupant of the White House? He initiated and pushed through the
health care law. He promised it would help the people. The president should not
be mad; he should be apologetic, contrite, humble and mortified. He should acknowledge
his own failure of leadership, vision and ability. With the same passion as he
showed in promoting this legislation he should be urging his super-wealthy
Hollywood and business pals to donate money in order to pay back the American
citizens whose taxes were wasted on building a system that is failing so
drastically. 

It is fair
to ask if President Obama’s actions suggest that he, like leaders before him,
would choose poverty, disgrace and even death rather than harm the American
people.  Saying you are upset is easy. Stepping
forward and changing your behavior, undergoing embarrassment, pain and suffering
to make things right, would make the words ring true.

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Union Bashing?

October 16th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 1 comment

After a business trip to Denver and a month in Israel that
was a wonderful combination of being with family, celebrating the holidays and
more work, it has taken me a while to dig through accumulated mail. Coping with
jet lag and fighting a not-very-successful battle against a bug I picked up on
the plane home has made me process my pile of mail more slowly than usual. For
this reason, I am only now uncovering letters that may be a month old.

One of them is a lengthy hand-written letter from a Musings’
reader, taking me to task about using my column to bash unions. I searched for
the letter today, wanting to reread it more slowly and thoughtfully, so I could
respond appropriately, but I can’t find it. So – I hope the author is still
reading online and knows that I’m not ignoring her, although without the letter
in hand, I can only speak in general terms.

My correspondent asked if I was aware of the good that
unions did and if I knew of the terrible working conditions that used to be. The
answer is yes. I learned about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the
Pullman strike, the terrible conditions in coal mines and I read Upton
Sinclair’s book, The Jungle. The grievances that led to the formation
and strength of the unions were real and needed attention. I have no doubt that
a complete laissez-faire economy would be a sad step backward.

However, in what seems to be a problem inherent in the human
condition, we tend to swing the pendulum too far when trying to right a wrong.
We legislate too broadly and for worst-case scenarios rather than validating
the efforts of those who try to behave well. The result is that rather than
creating a more just society, we simply create a different injustice down the road.

A radio listener sent the following quote to my husband:

The strength or weakness of
a society depends more on the level

of its spiritual life than
on its level of industrialization. Neither

a market economy nor even
general abundance constitutes

the crowning achievement of
human life. If a nation’s spiritual

energies have been
exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse

by the most perfect
government structure or by an industrial

development: a tree with a
rotten core cannot stand. This is so

because of all the possible
freedoms the one that will inevitably

come to the fore will be the
freedom to be unscrupulous; that is the

freedom that can be neither
prevented nor anticipated by any law.

It is an unfortunate fact
that a pure social atmosphere cannot be

legislated into being.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “Our Own Democracy”

 

Just as some
employers without unions and legislation to stop them imposed dangerous and
unethical working conditions, others held themselves to a higher standard. I
have no doubt, as my letter writer contends, that many union workers today hold
themselves to a higher standard. Nevertheless, others deploy the union power
structure, destroying lives and our democracy with their own unscrupulous and
unethical methods. In non-union shops, are some employers shortsighted,
greedily reaching for more than is wise? Certainly.  Are some union advocates shortsighted,
greedily reaching for more than is wise? Certainly. Flawed politicians trade
favors for votes, as they always have, further corrupting our system of
government.   When I write negatively
about unions, I don’t mean it as a blanket negativity covering all unions, in
all times and in all places, and certainly not as an attack on my
correspondent. I am expressing my disappointment and anger towards the unions
that I see condemning children to failure, sending operatives to threaten free
elections, and threatening economic productivity, among other things. If I am
tarring with too broad a brush, I would very much appreciate getting positive
details on current union activity. When it comes down to it, we need to hold both
ourselves and others to a higher authority than human laws or we drunkenly
lurch from one hazard to another in a vain attempt to attain perfection. 

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