Recent Commentaries

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Mr. Specter’s Choice
The big political news on both the Internet and cable channels was not President Obama’s “First 100 Days.”  It was the announcement from the five-term former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. “In a stunning turnabout in political loyalties,” the New York Times reported, “Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania… announced he was leaving the Republican Party to become a Democrat.” Was it due to...
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April 29, 2009
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First 100 Days of the ‘New Era of Responsibility’
President Obama has called for “a new era of responsibility… Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”  Last week he pointed to “a confidence gap, when it comes to the American people… [and said] we’ve got to earn their trust.” So, when it comes to responsibility and openness, how is Mr. Obama doing?  Is...
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April 27, 2009
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Separated at Birth, Part II
Here we go again! What’s the difference between Somali pirates and credit card executives? If you ask a growing number of Americans – many of whom have been hit with higher interest rates recently – not much. According to a Fox News report (Apr. 23), “‘Bank of America is doing the most dramatic changes I’ve seen,’ said Emily Peters, a personal-finance...
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April 24, 2009
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Why Be Ethical?
A weekend conversation with a friend prompted the following: “Why be ethical?  What’s the payoff?” The standard fall-back:  “Virtue is its own reward.” Another might be the adage by Louis Armstrong when asked the definition of Jazz: “If you have to ask… you’ll never know.” The reality is that most of us face issues that challenge our ethical integrity on a regular basis.   » Read...
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April 22, 2009
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The Incredible Power of Stories
Occasionally, someone will ask, “Why do you use stories to give us the message?  Why not cut to the chase and just give us the message?” Stan Williams’s excellent book, The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box-Office Success was written with that question in mind.  Here’s an edited version of a question about that issue and Stan’s response from his blog.  » Read...
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April 20, 2009
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Separated at Birth
What do octuplets’ mom Nadya Suleman and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have in common? They both share a desperate/obsessive need for drama played out in the media. Wednesday, the embattled Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to 16 federal criminal counts stemming from a variety of corruption and kickback schemes that included an exchange of money for the Senate seat vacated...
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April 17, 2009
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Whose Interests?
What’s the definition of a public servant? You would think that it means an individual who is elected or appointed to serve the public.  But apparently, that’s not a definition embraced by former Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Last Monday, (April 13) a three-judge panel in Minnesota certified that Democrat Al Franken was the victor in the 2008 Senate race against...
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April 15, 2009
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An Innocent Man
“Some people hope for a miracle cure Some people just accept the world as it is But I’m not willing to lay down and die Because I am an innocent man…”             – Billy Joel, “Innocent Man,” 1983 Considering the “cure” that happened last week when a federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction against former Senator Ted Stevens,  » Read more about: An...
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April 13, 2009
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April 2009 Ethical Hero – Sue Adams
Anyone who has ever had to deal, firsthand, with the affects of Alzheimer’s disease, knows how it slowly robs the person affected of their heart and soul. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease that affects as many as 5.3 million Americans. “The disease destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to...
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April 12, 2009
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Nothing Else Matters
On page A-18 of Thursday’s (April 9) print edition of the New York Times, three of the four stories on that page were about ethics: “New Scrutiny of Other Alaska Corruption Cases” “Director of Ethics Office Is Replaced at Justice Department” “Congressional Ethics Office Opens Inquiry into Rep. Jackson”         I typed “ethics” into The Washington Post search engine and...
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April 10, 2009

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