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Larry Kroger
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Yes, indeed. Our salvation does not lie in our political leaders. Quite the opposite; the idea that salvation lies in politics is the pathway to our undoing. It's a troubling situation we face. Many of us sense that our institutions are coercing us to move in the wrong direction. Decency is punished; destructive aberation is rewarded. In that sense, it seems that politics has a downside but no upside. Bad politics can destroy us; good politics can merely allow us greater leeway to be righteous, if we choose to do so. Sometimes I fear the Judgment is upon us, and we are acting as our own executioners. Must we again deliver ourselves into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar? I hope not! On the other hand, I'm encouraged by the tale of Sodom, which would have been spared had there been ten righteous men in the city. Perhaps a few, small in number, can nevertheless make a difference. Ah, well, here we are, drops in the ocean, part of a wave so much greater than ourselves. Small, but we have our roles to play. Let us play them as best we can. Beyond that, we are in God's hand.
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2012 on The Leaders We Deserve at Susan's Musings
I appreciate this musing. I'd read Prager's article and felt it wasn't quite right, but neither was I entirely sure it was wrong. I'm mostly not into formal boycotts, because life is already too complicated. On the other hand, with every purchase decision I make, I realize I'm financially rewarding someone, and I feel obligated to consider the consequences. But, as I say, things get complicated. For example, in considering a new car, I'd like to buy an American car from an American company. The Chevy Sonic catches my eye. But many components are imported, and I'm painfully aware of the role of the UAW in bringing down GM, and the way the bailouts saved the UAW more than they saved the auto industry. So, darnit, I've already paid my dues to GM by the act of being a taxpayer; there's no reason for me to buy their cars, and in fact there's really no reason for them to even build cars anymore. Just sit around and wait for a check from Uncle Sugar. It's the American way. Don't get me started! Anyway, back to Ben & Jerry's, yeah, I remember an old interview in Forbes with one of those guys, and he basically said they wouldn't hire Republicans. His actual words were to the effect that a Republican probably wouldn't want to work there. So much for diversity. But it's easy for me to boycott Ben & Jerry's, because I steer clear of ice cream. With the government taking over health care, getting sick is a bad idea. I guess the theory is if the quality of the product declines, people will be motivated to not use it. Was I making a point here? I forget. Anyway, yeah, Susan is correct.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2012 on Message to Me at Susan's Musings
These are interesting questions. Variations on the theme come to mind as well. What if a service provider is troubled by his clients? As a taxi driver, should you be required to transport people you know to be prostitutes or drug dealers in pursuit of their trade? I've heard talk (not sure if it's true) of Muslim drivers who wouldn't pick up someone with alcohol or a dog, even a Seeing Eye dog. Of course we can point to old-school racial segregation, and ask how we can outlaw the one but not the other. Yes, it's a slippery slope...a little control leads to a lot of control, and that's a problem, but I can't advocate anarchy as a solution. Of course, I realize this is not reciprocal; that is, there may be legal requirements placed on a public service provider that aren't applied to his clients. But it's all part of the same big question: To what extent do we collectively override individual discretion, either on the part of the server or the served? Broadly speaking, I feel these days in many cases we're overriding where we shouldn't, while in other situations we're allowing too much individual latitude (for example, the current Justice Dept. insistance that you can't ask a voter to identify himself is an obvious invitation to fraud, or the lack of expectation that a child be born into a stable family). Ah, well, I guess I'm curious how Rabbi Lapin will answer this question.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2012 on The Politically Correct Cad? at Susan's Musings
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May 23, 2012