Sunday, September 9, 2007

The grubby side...

I've been thinking a lot, and writing a little, lately about corruption. Sin. Venality. The human tendency to think of something bad as being 'good' for us, in some specific way, and thus as being worth the 'wrongness' of doing it in order to get the results, the benefits.

And the fact is that, without a heroic and consistent effort (beginning with self knowledge and ending with a knowledge of a real responsibility to God) to keep clean, this sort of corruption descends upon too many of us.

And corruption in some form most certainly is a part of every one of us.

The Bible is clear on this, as are all the great and wise minds of all the generations. It required the really really smart people of only the past few hundred years to be so blithely optimistic as to presume that there is either no necessity for man to concern himself with his own evil (because it's not really there), or (and this is even worse) that in the end there is no reason NOT to sin, that there is no God and no judgment and 'no worries, mate'.

Of course, ten minutes alone with our own consciences is enough for sensible people to understand that right and wrong is somehow important, that we 'ought' to do right and avoid wrong-- if for no other reason that it is a natural impulse and therefore should be given at least as much slack as all the rest of those.

But it is also a natural impulse to ignore our consciences and to do wrong in order to benefit ourselves.

So what impulses do we resist, and to which do we acquiesce? Clearly the impulses themselves are not going to provide the answer to that one; each insists that it alone is the most important.

In the linked article on Michelle Malkin's pages, we see to our own dismay how easy it is for people to simply abandon their ethics and moral decency (or perhaps for them to grow up and become adults without having developed any in the first place). And we'd all like to think we are better than these people, but until we have the real opportunity to give in to such temptations, we'll never really know.

One thing is certain, always, so certain it's been sound advice for thousands of years; put not your faith in any man. Build not your house on shifting sands, etc. People are corruptible.

Sadly, these men seem to have sold their souls for the price of a nice set of golf clubs or a cruise to the Bahamas. And the temptation? Seems like it's always the same.

The power to decide how to spend other people's money. Budgets for city councils and school districts, matters of insurance and services, huge dollar amounts which are not attached directly to anyone's well-being or lack thereof. What difference does it make who provides the insurance? Give the contract to whoever will line my pockets. No victims here. No harm done. Besides, I"m just getting one back on the man. I deserve this for my suffering, and that of my people.

If Congressman Jefferson of the cold cash is any guide, these men will not only not be thrown out of office, they'll be elected to HIGHER office.

Rome fell, and we will too, for much the same reasons.

p.s. Alarming, isn't it, how much of this kind of corruption is directly linkable to the Hillary for President campaign?

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