Recent Commentaries

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A Way of Life
News stories regarding a lack of integrity appear far too often. But what does it mean to have integrity? One of the best commentaries on the subject comes from former Commandant of the Marine Corps and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Krulak in an inspiring speech he presented to the Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics in 2000. “We...
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February 27, 2009
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Character Matters
Last weekend’s Wall Street Journal ran an essay entitled, In Praise of Transgressions by Joe Queenan. Without condoning the very public offenses of Tom Daschle, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Phelps and others, Mr. Queenan posits the notion that rather than look upon the destructive actions of high-profile individuals as bad behavior, we should instead, embrace these events as a kind of psychotherapy: “…we...
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February 25, 2009
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Senate Blvd.
“You’re Roland Burris.  You used to be in the Senate.  You used to be big.” “I AM big.  It’s the Senate that got small.” First, he’s in:  Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, arrested on corruption charges stemming from trying to “sell” Barack Obama’s Senate seat, appoints Roland Burris. Then, he’s out:  Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid says the Senate won’t seat anyone appointed...
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February 23, 2009
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Q:  “If your name was not revealed in the [Sports Illustrated] report, would you have come out on your own volition?” A-Rod: “I haven’t thought about that much.” Q:  “Do you consider what you did [using steroids] cheating?” A-Rod:  “That’s not for me to determine. I’m here to say that I’m sorry.” Q:  “Do you feel like your home run record...
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February 20, 2009
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What is Your Purpose?
Jennifer Westbrook is a graduate from Hampton University’s Honors College who loves the music of Miles Davis and the writings of Frederick Douglass. Her story of respect is a timely reminder of the importance of recognizing the dignity of others. “A homeless man sat alone on a park bench amongst the horde of people in the park. No one sat on the...
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February 18, 2009
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Deconstructing the Champ
Who does it hurt? That’s the question that needs to be answered when examining the issue of athletes lying about the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. It’s a question that warrants meaningful examination by anyone who owns a team or sponsors an athletic event in which the public expects that athletes are not only giving it their physical...
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February 16, 2009
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The Obligatory Lincoln Piece
Did you know that Barneys is having a Warehouse Sale with savings between 50-75% off? ABC Carpet & Home is offering similar savings for its Presidents’ Day Extravaganza! What would Mr. Lincoln say? “Money is only valuable while in circulation…” What about the bankers on Capitol Hill, yesterday, answering questions from a Congressional committee looking into what they’ve done with the first round of bailout...
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February 13, 2009
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February 2009 Ethical Hero – Harry Markopolos
When Harry Markopolos testified before the House Financial Services subcommittee this month regarding Bernard Madoff’s $50 Billion Ponzi scheme, what surprised and angered House members most were the numerous and detailed warnings the former investment manager had given the SEC since 2000. “Nothing was done,” Markopolos told lawmakers. “There was an abject failure by the regulatory agencies we entrust as...
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February 12, 2009
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A Bonnie Smoker
Edith Frederickson loves to smoke. In fact, the 72-year-old Belmont, California resident has been smoking for some 50 years in bars, restaurants, airplanes, trains, indoors and out. However, two weeks ago the good citizens of Belmont enacted perhaps the toughest antismoking law in the country by banning smoking in all apartment buildings. The result:  Edith will no longer be able...
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February 11, 2009
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A Good Judge of Character
When New York Federal District Judge Charles Brieant, Jr. died last summer the staff began packing up his chambers.  However, among his personal items was a painting that has many people talking “Hanging on the wall,” the New York Times wrote, “along with portraits of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, was an oil painting of an obscure judge… Martin T. Manton who sat...
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February 9, 2009