“Scrushy Wants HealthSouth Job Back” is headline in today’s WSJ. Of course he does, he needs to further pillage the company to help him pay his $25 million dollars in attorneys fees. And he will probably have the support of the elite and poor in Birmingham because they can both benefit from his largesse just like they did in the past. They see more questionable money for cultural projects and more money for welfare.
An article entitled “Prophet of Decline” in yesterdays WJS is worth reading. Quoted are comments made by a woman faced with a jail sentence who was indicted in her own country, Italy, over writings in this book; writings that the Italian government said vilified the Islam religion. Oriana Fallaci wrote this well read book named the “The Force of Reason”. Quoting the WSJ Editorial writer, “the book’s thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a domain of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves to the “sons of Allah”. “ For the contents of the book, she faces two years imprisonment in Italy. Let us give thanks in America to the First Amendment.
Fallaci states “You cannot survive if you do not know the past. We all know why all other civilizations collapsed – from an excess of welfare, of richness, and from lack of morality, of spirituality. (She uses “welfare” here in the sense of wellbeing, so she is talking, really, of decadence.) “The moment you give up your principles and values…the moment you laugh at those principles, and those values, you are dead, your culture is dead and your civilization is dead.” That’s why it should be mandatory to study history in all schools. What kids get is often distorted and watered down versions to make our descendants look like thieves. Of course, as today, many were and are. But most weren’t and that is still why we may be the greatest country in the universe.
Fallaci, an atheist, admired Pope Benedict XVI especially an essay he wrote last year, “If Europe Hates Itself.” The Pope writes, “The West reveals…a hatred of itself, which is strange and can be only considered pathological; the West no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees what is only deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.”
What has this got to do with Scrushy; the man lost sight of what he claims he set out to do; build something great, pure and honestly profitable for employees and stockholders. But success bred greed, envy, ego and abuse of power, the very things that brought down Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia and dozens of other corporations and caused HealthSouth to lose hundreds of millions of dollars for their stockholders.
I just finished the large tome, 700 plus pages, of Kurt Eichenwald’s book called “Conspiracy of Fools”. This is a true story of what went on at Enron and it was much better than any mystery I ever read and impossible to stop reading it. My blogging suffered. This book was recommended to me by Angela Anderson; Angela, I’m sorry I neglected to congratulate you on your recent city appointment.
I do not have the eloquence to write about how envy, jealousy, greed, decadence and oversized egos are ruining this world we live in. I have written that many of our priorities in our country and here in Peoria, are out of sequence. This failure of sequence of priorities shows up every day and very likely will lead to our loss of world leadership in the not too distant future. We will always have the most weapons of mass destruction but they may not be much good as our enemies seek other ways to destroy us thru disruption of our electronic systems and the spread of diseases. (I thought the comic strip panel in the JS today, summed it up. The emperor had just completed a great wall when an airplane was approaching in the distance. So true it’s not funny). Civilization as I knew it 45 years ago has certainly changed, superficially, and perhaps, for the better but certainly not in the betterment of the core interests of humanity.
Unfortunately, too many of our kids are being taught that money and position talks and is the sole symbol of success. Read the Enron book; not many happy people despite all their money and power plus the poor misled stockholders, a few in their own greed, got crapped on. The only happy people if you can call them were the ones that figured out what was going on and took their money and ran. Did you know that at the end when the company was bankrupt, Ken Lay, best friend of George and Laura was asking for $61 million dollars as his walkaway bonus? I read the man is now practically broke, both morally and fiscally. May many more deserving wealthy crooks, join him in his misery.