scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Inspiration & good PR
Fri May 26 2000 - 08:42:44 CDT
Mike posted a story "As Patriots, Boy Scouts put feds to shame", by
Brian Willoughby, from his home-town newspaper "The Columbian", in
The story was heart-warming, in part, but as a retired government
employee I find such articles somewhat offensive because they are not
particularly edifying. It is an example of the public employee bashing
that is so much a part of the non-dialogue and non-engagement that has
become a continuous drumbeat.
(Note: it was a description by a columnist who was not in attendence.)
I wouldn't claim that government employees are perfect. But, those
employees and the conditions under which they work are also a reflection
of the voting (and non-voting) citizenry (YOU) which demands more and is
only willing to pay less. That applies from the disrespect of those who
teach our children or deliver our mail at the local level all the way up
to those who will be processing your Social Security checks when that
People shouldn't feel that they were merely being "processed". People
do deserve more from their employees and of the system.
I'm glad that those Scouts showed up to honor a new citizen. It's easy
to point out that it was they, and not a grateful government, that
presented a flag to a new citizen. There are also the respectful
government ceremonies which honor a veteran and help the grieved as that
veteran is laid to rest. You want both? So would I.
You want a moving ceremony? Tell your Congressional representative to
not only authorize the presentation of a flag ($13-15 each), but also to
appropriate the funds to do so.
At the same time you might want to tell that representative not to take
that money from some other needed service. It is your choice of
resource application, and whether you succumb to pandering politicians
who tell you that services can be supplied on the cheap and with less
If the system is at fault, you must remember that you are part of the
system. Those disrespected public employees put in their 30+ years in
drab offices, and often under difficult conditions, of your making.
They are, also, the unrecognized patriotic heroes who deliver and make
transparent the conveniences you demand.
If you'd like government offices larger, and less drab, it'll cost you.
Yes, elements of the private sector may have nicer offices when you
visit - but you're paying for that because it's corporate welfare,
deductable from their tax obligation. The power to withhold from
taxation is also the power to destroy.
So, if you want a flag presented by Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts, (or any
other group) or to be allowed to applaud its within your power to have
those changes made. Or, you (or a columnist) can sit back at a word
processor and carp.