Recent Commentaries

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Sophomore English
Ethics is not about what we say or what we intend, it’s about what we do. This is the heart of integrity – demonstrating a consistency between ethical principle and practice. Who we are is never more clearly revealed than in the daily moments of our lives. How we respond to some of those moments reveals whether we stand up for...
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July 31, 2009
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Klaatu, Cronkite, Krieger
Much has been made recently of the health care debate.  And it’s important.  But there’s another issue that is just as critical. Around the time news icon Walter Cronkite died, a harmonic convergence of sorts took place in my office.  I had been revisiting a report by founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation David Krieger entitled, A Return to Sanity...
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July 29, 2009
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The Learnable Moment
I was in the midst of writing a piece on President Obama’s initial remarks made last Wednesday concerning the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates by Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley when news came Friday of Mr. Obama making a new statement to “recalibrate” his language. More accurately, he was recalibrating his judgment. When I first heard the news that Mr....
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July 27, 2009
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Words that Work, Words that Don’t
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”             – Winston Churchill What is said:  “I’m lovin’ it.”  “Can you hear me now?” “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” What you hear:  McDonald’s, Verizon, M&M’s. As pollster and word specialist Frank Luntz points out in his book “Words...
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July 24, 2009
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Monday, July 20th marked the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. In a White House meeting, President Obama welcomed Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and called them “genuine American heroes.  I think it’s fair to say” the president said, “that the touchstone for excellence in exploration and discovery is always going to be represented by the...
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July 22, 2009
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The Most Trusted Man in America
By the time you read this, there will have been many tributes to CBS newsman Walter Cronkite who died Friday at the age of 92.  Most, if not all, of those tributes will mention the word “trust” in describing both his approach and integrity to the news. With 24/7 cable news service today, it’s hard to imagine what it was...
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July 20, 2009
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The Task of a True Statesman
Sitting in a Chinese restaurant, I remember opening a “fortune cookie” which read:  Confucius say… Wealth and renown gained without honor are nothing but drifting clouds. More than 2,500 years later, the Chinese philosopher and social thinker would probably laugh to discover that much of his wisdom has been distilled and tweaked to fit inside the modern invention of a cookie which...
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July 17, 2009
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This One’s for Kyle
I finally got an iPhone. Not exactly a Luddite, I tend to go first by need, then by ability to learn.  I just learned how to use the navigation device in my car and I must admit it was the first time I drove the streets of San Francisco and looked like I knew where I was going. It’s the same...
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July 13, 2009
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July 2009 Ethical Hero – Edmund G. Ross
By a single vote, President Andrew Johnson avoided impeachment by Congress. As the seventh of seven Republican Senators, Edmund Ross of Kansas proved to be the person whose decision would either convict or acquit the beleaguered Johnson of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  Ross’s vote turned out to be the one vote necessary for a required two-thirds’ majority to convict.  However,...
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July 12, 2009
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The Really Dark Knight
It was announced that former Vice-President Dick Cheney has sold the rights to his memoir.  “Mr. Cheney’s memoir,” the New York Times reported, “will focus on the past 40 years of his life, mostly in Washington.” By way of unnamed sources, I was able to get a draft copy of the introduction to “Past Perfect: The Truth, as I Lived...
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July 10, 2009

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