Op-Ed

Meet our letter writers: James F. Wisniewski

James F. Wisniewski

Retired Illinois attorney moved to Lexington in 2010. Former adjunct professor of medical-legal ethics. A veteran married for 38 years to college sweetheart. Father of three, grandfather of four. In Illinois, was active in school-board politics at high school level, successfully involved in taking back a school board that ceased listening to the community. Was active in youth sports.

What motivates you to write?

I write because practicing law taught me that there are very few absolute facts; there is always another side to every story, no matter how nuanced. I have learned to distinguish between form and substance. Although English is a precise language, after writing hundreds of legal briefs, I know language can be crafted, even manipulated, to advance a certain point of view or agenda. I normally write to call attention to that other side and express a contrary viewpoint, although occasionally it is to express outrage.

What shaped your worldview?

Like everyone, my view of the world was shaped by my life experiences. That viewpoint is seen primarily through the lens of a lawyer. Unfortunately, as a Vietnam veteran, I saw the toll war takes, so I despise politicians who wouldn't risk their lives (Dick Cheney) but are hawks with the lives of others.

As a government attorney, I saw those who expected and demanded unlimited services, but then complained about government being intrusive. As an attorney in private practice, I have listened to people who ridicule the legal system, except when they need help from that system.

As a person of faith, I resent having to listen to people professing faith whose behavior does not conform to those professed beliefs and merely serves as a pretext to usurp God's function so they can judge others.

My view of the world begins with an intolerance for hypocrites and an appreciation for those who are not, but who remain silent because they think they are in the minority.

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