SC

Len Anthony: Why Nothing Changes

THE ANSWER IS “US” By LEN ANTHONY || I am tired. It seems that nothing changes. Twenty years ago the FBI executed Operation Lost Trust in South Carolina resulting in seventeen legislators being convicted or pleading guilty to public corruption charges. I know an attorney who represented one of the…

THE ANSWER IS “US”

len anthonyBy LEN ANTHONY || I am tired. It seems that nothing changes. Twenty years ago the FBI executed Operation Lost Trust in South Carolina resulting in seventeen legislators being convicted or pleading guilty to public corruption charges.

I know an attorney who represented one of the legislators. He told me “South Carolina legislators have been selling their votes for years. If the Federal folks are going to start enforcing the laws they should have warned us.” Today, with the corruption plea deal involving former House Speaker Bobby Harrell, it is déjà vu all over again. Nothing changes.

I just finished reading two books. The first was “State of War” which describes the actions of the CIA and the administration of George W. Bush in initiating and pursuing the war in Iraq. It paints a picture of a war caused by politics, egos and incompetence. The second book was “13 Hours” written by three of the American security contractors who fought in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 when US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

The book attempts to be purely factual but given the events described therein and the events that have occurred since the attack, the reader has to conclude the administration of Barack Obama did a lot of “spinning” of the facts because the November elections were just weeks away. It appears the Administration’s primary concern was the political impact of the tragedy, not the tragedy itself. Nothing changes.

Twenty eight years ago when I was an in-house lawyer for BellSouth (one of the Baby Bells resulting from the break-up of the old AT&T) I performed the legal research that nixed a proposal to add a charge to residential customers’ bills for a service they did not request.

Management, including my boss, was not happy. Today, the new AT&T stands accused of offering an “unlimited data” plan that has an undisclosed data usage threshold that when exceeded results in speeds slowing to a crawl. Again nothing changes.

We continue to elect legislators and Presidents who care more about themselves and their political parties than their duties as our representatives. People with questionable ethics continue to be placed in corporate executive positions. We continue to patronize stores and buy products from companies run by unethical management teams. We continue to work for unethical bosses and management.

Why? Because there is usually a real or perceived personal benefit in doing so. We vote for those legislators and Presidential candidates we think will support initiatives or laws that will benefit us personally. There is a trade-off. We tolerate the dishonesty in return for what we believe will be personal gain. The politicians may have no morals but as long as they “bring home the bacon for us”, be it federal programs, student loans, or infrastructure in our districts, or profess to support our causes, we will vote for them.

My wife’s grandmother is as fine a person as you will find, and she sings the praises of deceased South Carolina Senator Jack Lindsay because he “helped people back home”. No one “back home” apparently cared about his ethics. (For those of you unfamiliar with Senator Lindsay you may want to “Google” him.)

We continue to work for sorry people and companies because we need a paycheck. We have mortgages to pay and families to support. Besides, as one CEO I worked for put it to a poor soul in a meeting: “If you will not do what I want, there are plenty of other folks here that want your job who will.” So, nothing will change if you take a stand.

We invest in companies that we think will provide a good return. The ethics of the company rarely factor into the investment decision. If the return is good, we turn a blind eye to how the company makes the return.

We rarely pay attention to the ethics of the makers or sellers of the products we purchase. If the style or price is right, we buy it. We have limited resources, paying more for a product because the seller has ethics means we have less money to buy other things.

Finally, closer to home, for those of you who enjoy criticizing me for being a lawyer, when is the last time you heard someone say: “I need a lawyer. Does anyone know a good, honest, fair decent one who will treat everyone respectfully and seek to obtain an equitable result?” Nope, when hiring a lawyer most people want aggressive, tough, mean lawyers who will go to any length to win, i.e. get you some money.

So, we are the problem. We need and want things. Money is important. But if we want the world to change, we have to change. The irony is I know some really great, honest people – people who would never do anything dishonest or because of greed. I think they don’t see their votes, purchases, lawsuits or jobs as greedy or dishonest. They are just being practical and realistic. Therein lies the rub. We can stand on principle and be righteous, but often to our financial detriment, or we can be practical and realistic, to our financial benefit, and nothing changes.

Unless and until society rewards ethics, honesty and integrity, nothing will change.

Len Anthony spent thirty years as in-house counsel for a public utility.  He’s now semi-retired living in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.  Wanna sound off on FITS? Submit your letter to the editor or opinion column HERE.

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65 comments

Happy wife=Happy home November 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

So does that mean you’re going to church now?

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diamond jim November 3, 2014 at 7:51 am

Nice.Len is preparing for that “D” ass kickin on Tuesday and appears hopeless in the change that is about to occur.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 12:23 am

Simply stated – because people keep electing REPUBLICANS!

does “conservative” ring a bell?

fucking idiots… I swear.. it must be a virus, or the southern diet… perhaps Republicans are the genetic dead-end of the naked mole rat.

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truthmonger November 3, 2014 at 2:04 am

Smoking crack is bad for you, EUWE. And some of those WMDs that disappeared from Iraq into Syria and Libya right before the invasion have since seen some use by ISIS. Interesting, huh?
That said, it is POLITICIANS as a whole that are dishonest, not a particular party. Face it, Obama is every bit as much a liar as Haley.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 2:26 am

some of those WMDs that disappeared from Iraq into Syria and Libya right before the invasion have since seen some use by ISIS.
——–
https://10005352664844561780.googlegroups.com/attach/77ab75304092e886/batshit%20crazy.mp4?part=0.1&view=1&vt=ANaJVrFaTja1Djwy_bYofO-xNM5Z5McRDiTWcWqdumAe3kTwZ69xpNe3VzxmqkMYDNkvqGpGfUV_KM_PN6z4kXu5VgvRjGbZvC95LEZ6d0nzjfrZC-tVHlA

They “found” nothing that Bush didn’t leave behind…. decayed, rusted, useless crap left over from the first gulf war… that EVERYONE KNEW WAS THERE!

Syria, my ass.. you should try reading some fact-based reality-oriented news for a change.

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FastEddy23 November 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

That’s the funniest “blame it on Bush” I’ve seen this week! … Except that folks are dying from those WMDs.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

which WMD’s? did someone get lockjaw from a rusty piece of shit?

wow November 3, 2014 at 11:43 pm

People really believe that the WMD we all agreed never existed nor could find are now being used? I’m totally falbergasted – Ade people this inane to ignore the truth based on their dislike of party or politician!?!

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm

yes.

unbelievable November 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Well I appreciate Einstein Jr aboves comment that we just should have bombed the WMD caches “then” so we knew where they were but to shoot himself in the foot politically Bush just ‘acted’ like he couldn’t find them? Phew, reality hasn’t been suspended its been expelled.

euwe max November 4, 2014 at 1:45 am

Reality, my friend, is a liberal hoax.

FastEddy23 November 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

“… the WMD we all agreed never existed … ” What do you mean “we”, kimoslobby?

Just because the anti-Bush biased, mean scream media would not investigate what the Polish Army found in Sadamn’s western desert, does not mean that something did not exist there.

“Chemical Weapons are NOT WMDs” – TheDiplomate.com – By James R. Holmes – August 31, 2013 ( http://thediplomat.com/2013/08/chemical-weapons-are-not-a-wmd/ ) … So I guess there may be a semantics question here,

It’s OK, it’s OK … I deny that man-made global warming exists.

FastEddy23 November 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

You may have been asleep for that one: President For Life of Syria Assad used Sadamn’s WMD chemical stockpiles to kill Syrian’s own citizens … Best estimate so far is more than 10,000 have died from Sadamn’s WMDs in Syria alone. Now those chemical WMDs are in the hands of ISIS.

BTW: At one time Google Maps / Google Earth showed the locations of the buried chemical and biological WMDs … discovered and photographed and posted on those maps by the Polish Army and UN inspectors, buried in the desert sands right west of the Syria / Iraq border … And that’s where ISIS found them.

euwe max November 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I think you were the one dreaming.

As if gripped by a mental grand mal seizure, the right wing side of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons inevitably grabs its chest, and looking up to the sky, shouts out “It’s the big one, I’m coming to join ya WMD” …… and there, resurrected, looking down into the conversation from heaven, are all the dead claims of WMD in Iraq prior to 2003.

This “they moved them! We KNOW THEY DID!” theory isn’t new. Senior Bush administration officials publicly flirted with the idea that Iraq transferred weapons to other nations. The claim has been promoted on conservative media and Fox News for red meat many times over the years. In 2007, Mitt Romney said that it was “entirely possible” that weapons of mass destruction were moved from Iraq to Syria during the run-up to the Iraq war. Entirely. Thanks Mitt, for the detailed analysis.

Colin Powell used the words “evidence” “true” and “well-documented” here, read it yourself. He didn’t stutter.

And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.

He staked his *reputation* on it!

Alas, even poor Colin Powell was taken in by the cover up. Someone should have told him there really were WMD, before he broke down and turned traitor:

“It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable,” Powell told the Guardian. “The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] as to why this wasn’t known before the false information was put into the NIE sent to Congress, the president’s State of the Union address and my 5 February presentation to the U.N.”

“That devastated me,” he said.

The fact remains, there is absolutely zero credible evidence that this was ever the case.

Here’s an AP report from January 2005:

Intelligence and congressional officials say they have not seen any information—never “a piece,” said one—indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria, Jordan or elsewhere…The [Bush] administration acknowledged…that the search for banned weapons is largely over. The Iraq Survey Group’s chief, Charles Duelfer, is expected to submit the final installments of his report in February. A small number of the organization’s experts will remain on the job in case new intelligence on Iraqi WMD is unearthed.

But the officials familiar with the search say U.S. authorities have found no evidence that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein transferred WMD or related equipment out of Iraq.

A special adviser to the CIA director, Duelfer declined an interview request through an agency spokesman. In his last public statements, he told a Senate panel last October that it remained unclear whether banned weapons could have been moved from Iraq.

“What I can tell you is that I believe we know a lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria. There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points,” he said. “But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say.”

Last week, a congressional official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said suggestions that weapons or components were sent from Iraq were based on speculation stemming from uncorroborated information.

After the subsequent report was released, Duelfer gave an interview to PBS NewsHour in which he expressed doubt that Iraq transferred WMDs to Syria prior to the US-led invasion. “Syria, we had some intelligence that perhaps some materials, suspicious materials, had been moved there,” he said. “We looked as closely as we could at that, there were a few leads which we were not able to fully run down, largely because of the security situation, but it’s my judgment that had substantial stocks, important stocks been moved to Syria, someone would have told something to us about that.”

And in the years since, no new evidence has come to light suggesting otherwise, unless you call Glenn Beck’s musings publishable fact, or perhaps you’ve hung your hat on an “official opinion” – maybe this kook caught your attention?

Former United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw alleged that the Russians played an extensive role in transporting materials into both Syria and Lebanon, “to prevent the United States from discovering them.” Shaw claimed trucks were transporting materials to Syria and returning empty. In addition, containers with warnings painted on them were supposed to have been moved to a Beirut hospital basement. “They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units out of uniform, that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence”. The People’s Republic of China is also alleged to have helped remove WMD equipment.Principal

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Lawrence Di Rita called Shaw’s charges “absurd and without any foundation.” DiRita noted that Shaw “has been directed on several occasions to produce evidence of his wide-ranging and fantastic charges and provide it to the DoD inspector general. To my knowledge, he has not done so.”

Dueling “officials,” anyone?

Ever hear of “official hearsay” being used as “evidence”?

I have. It is called “WMD”

RogueElephant November 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

The terrorists in Syria just stumbled on all those WMDs that didn’t exist . LOL Bush said they were there, they were there. I just never did understand why we didn’t bomb them where they were. I guess they were saving them for the next war.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

LOL Bush said they were there, they were there.
——–
Bush said they weren’t there. Laughing out loud doesn’t erase a fact from history.

AUGUST 21, 2006

SPEAKER: GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

“Now look, part of the reason we went into Iraq was — the main reason we went into Iraq, at the time, was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn’t”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082100469.html

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 2:28 am

Obama is to Republicans, what a drunken Baptist is to a Serial Killer.

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FastEddy23 November 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

Praise Him … ” Thank God Almighty, Free at last ” (?)

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

If only Bush hadn’t sobered up. It would have been better for the world if he had lain in the gutter until worms ate out his eyes, than to take office as a dry-drunk puppet of the PNAC crew.

idcydm November 3, 2014 at 7:21 am

Bet you won’t spend much time in the voting both, pulling that D lever doesn’t take much time at all.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

Gotta look to see if there’s any “I” ‘s in there against a Republican without a Dem… or without a liberal Dem, I should say. I have to take a cheat sheet with me, because I don’t know any of these scoundrels.

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idcydm November 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

Didn’t you say you lived in Texas?

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idcydm November 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

Didn’t you say you lived in Texas?

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

Home of Ron Paul.

idcydm November 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

Then why spend time on a South Carolina blog, as red as Texas is I would think you would be fighting down there.

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

Do I tell *you* how many sheets of toilet paper to use?

I do what I please until the shooting starts.

idcydm November 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

What did I tell *you* to do, I just asked a question and made an observation.

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

oh.. sorry. My bad. The question seemed to imply that there was something I could do that would suit you better.

The straight answer to

why spend time on a South Carolina blog

is

“because I want to.”

idcydm November 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Good answer.

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I was hoping you’d say so. :)

Soft Sigh from Hell November 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

“why spend time on a South Carolina blog?”

“Why do men go to zoos?” — HLM

RogueElephant November 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

“Republican in Democrat clothing.” The other side is a Democrat in Republican clothing. You will do just fine voting for Graham , won’t you ? At least you have a cheat sheet. Most Dims just pull the “D” leaver or button and can’t even tell who they voted for.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

It would take a major stroke for me to vote for Graham.

FastEddy23 November 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

… And thank God the poli-wogs have not tried to mess with the First Amendment… Oh, wait!

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

The first is in much better shape than the 4th.

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FastEddy23 November 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

Or the Second! … Or the Tenth.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

That 4th is completely useless now. I can’t believe the Supreme Court actually believes that amendment has a place in the bill of rights. Why don’t they just get rid of it? It’s no more use than these laws we have in Texas…

One must acknowledge a supreme being before being able to hold public office.

It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

criminals have to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home

Bible Thumper November 3, 2014 at 9:58 am

Who bothers to read the Encyclopedia Britannica when you can go online and learn how to build an IED or vest bomb.

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

I *said* they were useless laws, didn’t I?

Smirks November 3, 2014 at 9:58 am

It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

Well that one makes sense, it gives the shooter an unfair advantage. Buffalo can’t climb stairs and may not fit in some elevators. Totally unsportsmanlike.

Bible Thumper November 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

Now if they would only pass a law against snakes dropping from a limb into your boat. It’s not fair. Do you shoot it or not?

Smirks November 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

Depends on whether crapping my pants scares it away before I can reach the gun.

Bible Thumper November 3, 2014 at 10:06 am

I guess I’ll have to go up to the Third floor.

Bible Thumper November 3, 2014 at 10:06 am

I guess I’ll have to go up to the Third floor.

euwe max November 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm

If Texans are anything, it’s buffaloed.

FastEddy23 November 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

That’s nothing. Here in Taxifornia the g’ment regulations say you can marry a goat or a sheep and get a farming subsidy for it.

euwe max November 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I don’t know about goats and sheep, but I understand there are severe sanctions in the bible for approaching oxen unnaturally.

FastEddy23 November 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

Now how do you know that? Been doing the research?

euwe max November 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

I’m familiar with the old classics.

FastEddy23 November 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

Jus’ tryin’ to get your goat … :>) … :>)

FastEddy23 November 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

Now how do you know that? Been doing the research?

diamond jim November 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

Sounds like a campaign commercial from that lying abortion loving ,whore and bitch, Democrat Wendy Davis who is running for governor in Texas-and down about 15 points.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

9 points.

Why are you so interested in other women’s uteri?

Just how interested *are* you in other women’s uteri?

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Soft Sigh from Hell November 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm

“naked mole rat”

Someone here used to post with the picture of a naked mole rat. Shared one or two other characteristics too if I recall correctly.

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euwe max November 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

coprophages.

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Fish November 3, 2014 at 1:26 am

Excellent OP-ED, Len …

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Soft Sigh from Hell November 3, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Dittos

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Amanda November 3, 2014 at 6:19 am

Wow talking about Nikki Haley.

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GrandTango November 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

Gay marriage, clean-burning coal plants being closed down, lowest job participation rate in 35 years, declining salaries, illegal immigrants and Ebola being beckoned by the president, average $3-plus a gallon for gas for six years, higher taxes on suffering people, socialized medicine, government embracing the global warming myth…etc …

The only thing not changing are the dumb@$$#$ sitting around repeating cliches, while the nation is getting bent and reamed, because of the ones too stupid to think nothing changes…

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Smirks November 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

clean-burning coal plants

Other great oxymorons:

* Jumbo Shrimp

* Living Dead

* Deafening Silence

* Smart GrandTango

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GrandTango November 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

Sorry, but I don’t let leftwing mythology get in the way of common sense and reality.

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Bible Thumper November 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

Have you ever thought about writing anything on the bright side?

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Dave Chappelle I'm Rick James November 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

Bravo!

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idiotwind November 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

i get it, humans are the problem, not bobby harrell. he shouldn’t go to jail, ‘society’ should go to jail. what a lot of adolescent moaning. i refuse to believe that someone of your age and experience actually holds such naive views of the adversarial trial process or electoral politics, so i must believe you are full of shit. ‘nothing changes’? what is supposed to change? humans don’t evolve over spans of 20 years. so we arrest people who break the law. its the best we can do.

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more inaneness November 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Plus 10

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