Website owner:  James Miller

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   A couple days ago I was talking to to a fellow who used to work 
   as a roofer.  He related a shocking little story.  He said when 
   the men were up working on the roof of a townhouse the foreman 
   would walk over onto the roof of an adjacent townhouse and 
   drive his screwdriver down through the shingles into the roof.  
   He would say, "They have money.  They can afford it."  He told 
   me the name of the roofing company and pointed out that this 
   was an old, reputable company with a very good reputation that 
   did a lot of business.  He indicated that things like this 
   caused him to find another occupation. 

   A little while ago my wife was telling me about how restaurant 
   workers would often spit in people's food (for whatever 
   malicious reason they might have).  It seems it is a pretty 
   common practice.  She was telling me about how members of some 
   of our minority groups would spit in the food of white people.  
   An itinerant Hispanic worker, who worked in restaurants, had 
   once told her brother that he often did it.  She said she had 
   read or heard about the practice at different times.  According 
   to her a prominent Black of our society once stated that he 
   used to do it in his younger days.  I have heard that there are 
   many gays working in the restaurant business.  I can just 
   imagine gays with AIDS, out of malice, spitting in people's 

   Programs on television such as 20/20 and 60 Minutes have done 
   reports on businesses like auto repair and appliance repair.  
   They use hidden cameras that show what the worker did and can 
   prove fraud.  The percentages on the number of honest 
   versus dishonest businesses never come up sounding very good.  
   There was an article in the Reader's Digest some years ago 
   about a fellow driving a car across the country checking out 
   auto repair places.  The car was in perfect condition and he 
   would pull a wire off a spark plug then go to a repair place 
   asking them to find the problem.  The number of honest places 
   versus the number that tried to rip him off was not high.  When 
   you take your vehicle in for repair or get an appliance fixed 
   you may suspect you have been ripped off, but the problem is 
   you don't know for sure and can't prove it.  Usually these 
   things are done in such a way that they are impossible to 

   My wife has a lot of gold fillings.  Two different dentists 
   have told her that the work was terrible and that the fillings 
   all needed to be redone.  She is not gullible on such things 
   and didn't go back to either of those dentists.  She might have 
   had some doubt about the fillings if other dentists had not 
   praised the work as really excellent.  I personally don't trust 
   dentists at all.  I have one now that I trust but I went 
   through a whole lot of dentists before finding him.  A few 
   years ago there was an article in the Reader's Digest that 
   confirmed my feelings on dentists.  A person with perfectly 
   good teeth went to dentists across the country requesting a 
   checkup.  The percentage of honest dentists wasn't very high 
   and he had dentists wanting to do $12,000 worth of work on him. 

   You go to a dermatologist to have a basal cell carcinoma 
   removed.  He is a very pleasant, likable fellow of around 60.  
   He tells you he spent the weekend fishing.  He talks.  He is 
   very friendly and agreeable.  He even writes down a recipe for 
   you - the recipe for his favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish.  He 
   removes the basal cell carcinoma with a little tool and a quick 
   flick of the wrist.  The operation takes a fraction of a 
   second.  He puts a bandaid on it and you are ready to go.  A 
   month later you get a statement from your insurance company.  
   The charge is $665, $450 of that for surgery, $90 for the 
   office visit, and the rest for miscellaneous.  The insurance 
   company pays the bill but you or your employer really pay it 
   because the insurance company simply raises its rates to 
   cover it.  

   You have a pinhole leak in a water pipe and call a plumber.  
   The plumber comes and without even looking at the problem he 
   announces it will be a 2 1/2 hour job.  He spends a lot of time 
   cutting a hole in the wall with a tiny hand saw.  After 
   locating the location of the leak he brings out a tiny four 
   inch hacksaw and proceeds to start cutting the copper pipe.  It 
   takes forever.  You ask if there is not a power tool he could 
   cut it with.  He says, "Yes, but I don't have one on my truck".  
   It takes him 20 or 30 minutes to make the cut.  He still has to 
   make a second cut.  Knowing that he is working by the hour and 
   all this time spent is costing you money you bring your power 
   jigsaw and suggest he use that to make the second cut.  He uses 
   it and the second cut takes a few seconds.  He then solders in 
   a replacement section of pipe.  You noted the time he arrived.  
   He finishes just several minutes past an hour later.  He 
   charges you for an hour and a half.  Total charge: $260. 

   A large percentage of small businesses cheat on their income 
   tax.  They use various tricks to underreport the amount of 
   money they make.  I know this to be the case for enough 
   specific cases to make me believe it is very widespread. I 
   wouldn't be surprised if 90% of small businesses did it.  And 
   from some of the corporate scandals that we have heard about in 
   the last couple of years it appears that there are large 
   corporations that do it, too. 

   Welfare types staying awake at night figuring out ways to rip 
   off the system.  Employees testing the limits to see how far 
   they can go.  Everyone playing games.  Everybody going as far as 
   they can go.

   Honesty in this world?  It is scarce.  There might be one man 
   in ten who is honest.  Perhaps.  That might be an optimistic 
   estimate.  There are a lot of people out for quick and easy 
   money and have no scruples on how they get it.  You really have 
   to watch out for yourself in this world.  It is just full of 
   predatory wolves out to eat anyone who comes along. 

   What is the point I am trying to make?  Well --- the point is 
   that this is the world we live in.  This is reality in modern 
   America.  We are all surrounded by deceit, trickery, 
   dishonesty, lack of principle, predatory behavior.  It is 
   everywhere.  This is modern America.  And if so many 
   individuals are corrupt and rotten, what does that mean?  
   Individuals are the building blocks for organizations and 
   institutions.  The millions of individuals that make up America 
   constitute the fabric of America.  If such a high percentage of 
   individuals are rotten, what does that imply about the fabric 
   of America?

   What is the solution?  More laws?  Would more laws help?  The 
   answer to that is, "No".  More police?  No, that wouldn't help 
   any either.  To find a solution you must understand the cause.  
   What is the cause?  The problem is the moral and spiritual 
   vacuum of America.  Can one really expect anything else from a 
   society that makes a big point of keeping God and religion out 
   of schools and all public institutions?  Belief in God, faith 
   in God, is basic to morality.  And morality is of fundamental 
   importance to a society.  Perhaps we should question a 
   political ideology that bars God and religion from public 
   institutions and replaces it with another religion: the 
   atheistic religion of moral relativism and secular humanism. 

   How did America get to this point?  Can you give one single 
   underlying cause?  Yes.  That set of outlooks and attitudes 
   that goes under the name of liberalism, progressivism.  That 
   is what lies at the bottom.  That is the culprit.  And that 
   same evil force is working not just in America but in the whole 

   Having said all this I must say something more.  If things are 
   bad in America, if there is a lot of corruption here, it does 
   seem like they are a whole lot worse everywhere else in the 
   world.  I think of the corruption of Latin American countries, 
   of the countries of Africa, of most of the third world 
   countries.  It is really bad.  Bad enough to make America look 
   good.  A whole lot of it is just human nature.  But the fact 
   still remains that religion and faith is the answer.  It is 
   only religion and faith that gives the kind of good moral 
   character that every country needs.  Christianity is the 
   answer.  True Christianity, Christianity that is practiced and 
   implemented in one's life. 

   June 2003

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