Recent Commentaries

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The Pledge
As promised, Jennifer, a congressional staffer who’s helped me navigate the Denver convention, came through with tickets for the big Kanye West concert. “Is everybody ready to PARTY?” she shouts. “YESSSS!” we all cheer. Suddenly, Jennifer’s BlackBerry rings.  “I have to take this.  Uh-huh, uh-huh… uh-oh!”  She turns to the crowd.  “We can’t go.” “WHAT?” everyone shouts in unison.  » Read more...
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August 29, 2008
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A Night at the Oprah
The Visa party went well.  Who knew Rham Emanuel was so fluent in Kantian ethics, (and that Wolf Blitzer could devour a whole tray of crab puffs)? The media has descended upon Denver like a biblical cloud of locusts.  According to CNN, there are approximately 15,000 media to 4,367 delegates at this year’s Democratic convention.  However, thanks to my new...
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August 27, 2008
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Diary of an Ethical Hack
It’s Sunday, and eighty-two degrees at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks cool and relaxed quietly nursing a Corona at Panzano’s, the tony Italian eatery on 17th street. Most of the patrons, Nancy included, keep glancing up at the 42-inch plasma above the bar watching the final Olympic ceremonies play out.  Party Chair Howard...
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August 25, 2008
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“First, Do No Harm”
One of the most ancient and fundamental principles taught to all medical students.  Perhaps it should be a mandatory part of the legal curriculum as well. Two years ago, 14-year-old Danieal Kelly, “…who suffered from cerebral palsy, wasted away in a squalid West Philadelphia row house while under her mother’s care and the supervision of the city’s Department of Human...
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August 22, 2008
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Dinner at Eight, Part II
Earlier this year I was invited to attend the Gala of a restored theater in the downtown area where I live. My wife has been one of many involved in a local non-profit effort to bring back a much loved landmark built in 1924.  Although we had been invited to the event, we had to pay the $70 per person...
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August 20, 2008
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Now, You See Him…
“Removing her ex-husband from more than a decade of memories may take a lifetime for Laura Horn,” a New York Times article began.  “But removing him from a dozen years of vacation photographs took only hours…” due to the skillful help of a friend and the popular digital-editing program Photoshop. “What we’re doing,” photo-teacher Chris Johnson explained, “is fulfilling the...
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August 18, 2008
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Dinner at Eight
Okay, boys and girls, here’s today’s ethical dilemma. You attend a Gala fundraising event for a non-profit group in your community.  While walking through the entrance your hand is stamped for what turns out to be access to an exclusive, after-event, dinner party.  You’d like to attend, but you paid $70.00 to attend the Gala and the dinner party costs...
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August 15, 2008
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August 2008 Ethical Hero – Lewis C. Merletti
Few of us get the opportunity to meet a true leader.  Fewer still get to spend time with one who is also a genuine hero. An authentic leader is someone committed to absolute integrity.  Their voice and their vision not only inspire loyalty but motivate those around them to live up to a higher standard. I’ve been privileged to spend...
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August 13, 2008
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Stay the Course?
Watching the Discovery Channel the other night, I got hooked on another episode of “Deadliest Catch.” Long considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, these crab fisherman risk the treacherous Bering Sea for the boat-load of money they can catch in a short season – as much as $60,000 – $70,000 per deck-hand.  The crews are a...
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August 13, 2008
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Three Qualities
The Olympics is always celebrated with a great deal of pageantry, nationalism and achievement. For all its talk of “sporting excellence,” the media tends to distill everything down to the medal count.  (The New York Times’ Olympics 2008 website carries an updated count by country at the top of its page.) In one of the first events held Saturday in...
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August 11, 2008