Recent Commentaries

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A Cup of Good Joe
One of the things that distinguish great sports figures from the rest of the pack is their direct and honest approach to both their work and their life. They consistently strive to live up to their own highest standards for both themselves and the rest of us. A good example is Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach for the Nittany Lions...
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February 26, 2010
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Springtime for Hitler?
“Don’t be stupid, be a smartie. Come and join the Nazi Party.” – Stormtrooper, The Producers Okay, boys and girls, it’s ethical conundrum time! The New York Times reported (Feb. 5) that the “…copyright on Mein Kampf [Adolph Hitler’s autobiographical, political rant] in the hands of the Bavarian government since the end of the Nazi regime, has long been used to keep his...
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February 24, 2010
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We All Need Rehab
Are you caught in a constant cycle of pedantic punditry? Have you been secretly watching The Real Truth Behind Michael Jackson’s Death over and over again? Are you using a copy of USA Today to hide a copy of People magazine while reading, “Is Elin Coping in Cabo with Cabana Boys?” Welcome to Piney Breezes, where we fix your fixations.  » Read more about: We All Need...
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February 22, 2010
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The Lone Ranger, Tonto and Me
“Silence, intense and oppressive, gripped the desolate landscape as two lone figures rode toward the town ahead. “The taller of the two sat astride a magnificent white stallion and although his face was masked, all who had known him knew that he was as legendary for his remarkable sense of justice and fair play as for his skill with six-gun, rope and horse. His faithful Indian friend was his only companion. “A few miles more and...
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February 19, 2010
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The Aspen Summit
In 1992, Michael Josephson called together leaders from a variety of groups and backgrounds to meet for a special conference in Aspen, Colorado.  Their common denominator: all had a commitment to character education.  Their goal:  to devise a set ethical values that they would all agree on and would, along with The Josephson Institute promote. The conference produced The Aspen Declaration: 1.  » Read more...
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February 17, 2010
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The Golden Rule
“Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.”- derived from Ayn Rand Regarding The Golden Rule – one aspect of the Five Steps of Principled Reasoning by The Josephson Institute outlined in the last post, one reader wrote, “The problem is that all ethics is contextual for personality, hierarchy (not all issues are...
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February 15, 2010
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The Other Entitlement
There’s a scene at the beginning of the Albert Brooks comedy Defending Your Life in which our angst-ridden hero is celebrating his birthday with a brand new BMW. Putting his dream car through its paces with Barbara Streisand blaring over his stereo, he makes a tight turn and all his CD’s slide off the passenger seat.  Leaning over to pick them...
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February 14, 2010
Featured image for “Ethics Stupid, Swimsuit Edition”
Ethics Stupid, Swimsuit Edition
Okay, I’ll confess to a little shameless self-promotion. But before you consider burning me at the alter of Gloria Steinem, let’s take a moment to think about this in the context of ethics. What if… ethics was fun… …where the only difficult decision is a choice between which swimsuit model you want to wrap a towel around, and the only responsibilities you...
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February 10, 2010
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Gaming the System
Just when I thought I finished covering high school cheating, I received word from former Washington Post columnist, current high school teacher Colman McCarthy about the latest scandal taking place at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland. According to the Post (Feb. 5) disciplinary action will be taken “…against seven students who were allegedly involved in a computer-hacking scheme in which grades were changed,  » Read...
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February 8, 2010
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Risky II
Last week, I spoke to four High School classes about the importance of honesty and trust. As part of their take-home assignment, I asked them to answer a six question survey – part of a national survey given to High School students across the country by The Josephson Institute of Ethics. They only have to respond “Yes,” or “No.” 1. In personal...
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February 5, 2010