Over the last decade, Hannity appears to have built a real-estate empire worth tens of millions of dollars that spans at least four states.

As usual, Dan Rodricks is absolutely correct ("Expressing shame in an era of shamelessness," April 24).

Today, winners and association with winners trumps shame. As long as you win — however winning is defined — there is no need to be ashamed of how you got there. And those who boost their fragile egos or seek advantage by brown-nosing winners have no place for shame until their heroes are brought low by losing (however that is defined). Today, shame is only for losers.

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The real moral rot in our culture is characterized, in part, by the exaltation of winning as a zero sum game and the crowning of such winners with plastic wreaths of truth and righteousness — plastic as in pliable and artificial.

All of this of course describes aspects of pride, and the soul swelled with pride always falls of its own weight. The tragedies are that the prideful often do much damage to others before they fall, and one generation never seems to learn from another about pride's dangers.

Ed Schneider, Baltimore

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