Character -Reply

Richard Swerdlin Swerdlin at COEFS.COE.UNT.EDU
Sat Apr 20 11:43:00 MDT 1996

Steve Laib:

    Labels can be a bit ambiguous.  This applies to the familiar word
"liberals".  However it applies equally to the word "conservatives".

    In White Plains, New York (conservative Westchester County), a
"conservative" magistrate really stressed "family values" once by
giving a big lecture to a man, who had forgotten to carry his auto
registration in his wallet, but giving only a mild warning to another
defendant, who had beaten his wife.  As a "liberal" spectator in
court, I seemed a bit confused over such "conservative" behavior.

    Another incident of enlightenment is that of the "conservative"
landlord in our apartment house in NYC, who decided to literally
water the paint bein applied in one apartment, as a means of both
saving money and screwing the rseident in question, because said
person belonged to one of those bad, bad "activist" tenant groups.
Interestingly, the resident compalained to a "conservative" judhe,
who somehow thought that "conservatism" might be given a bad press by
such screwing around.  This particular magistrate gave the landlord
reasonable but short period of time in which to repaint the t moer
properly.  Further, it was this same landlord who was order by still
another magistrate to fix a resident's regrigerator, so  ammonia
fummes did not lead to unnecessary and nasty illness or death.  The
landlord had sworn that it was hard to find a repairman, but when the
magistrate gave her all of 224 hours to do so, she was m,iraculously
ablr\e to find such a human, so that the offending refrigerator was
repaiured, without first calling the fire departmenbt life squad.

    Unfortunately, there are many other incidents encountered of the
above tenor.  The moral is really quite simple: fools are fools,
regardless of labels they try to hide behind.

    Overall, the way "character" is often used, it too serves as a
smokescreen for a lack of substance.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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