Recent Commentaries

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The Tea Party
In my Honesty and Trust report (Aug. 2006), The Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis wrote, “The survey reflects a growing perception of a large gap between the values of corporations and government institutions and the values of the American middle class. Values gaps are always perceived as threatening, and a perceived threat to the middle class inevitably leads to social action as it...
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October 29, 2010
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What is an Ombudsman?
The Juan Williams matter brings up a topic that’s important to explore – the role of an ombudsman. Alicia Shepard is NPR’s Ombudsman, and according to her bio, “Shepard was appointed… in October 2007. In 2000, NPR was the first U.S. broadcast news organization to create an Ombudsman position. “In this role,” NPR writes “Shepard serves as the public’s representative, and is responsible for bringing transparency...
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October 27, 2010
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There’s a very old fable of unknown origin that goes something like this… A scorpion comes upon a river and asks a friendly frog for a ride to the other side. The frog laughs and says something like, “Are you nuts? You’re a scorpion. You’ll sting me!” The scorpion replies, “Why would I do that? If I sting you, we’ll...
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October 25, 2010
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Little Notice, Big Mistake
It was a story that got very little notice. In fact, I almost overlooked it in a small corner on a back page of The New York Times. “House Ethics Official Steps Down,” (Oct. 15) the headline reads.  “The staff director and chief counsel of the independentOffice of Congressional Ethics in the House, Leo J. Wise, (pictured),  » Read more about: Little Notice,...
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October 22, 2010
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The Ring of Gyges
Angelo Mozilo, U.S. Representative Charlie Rangel, Tiger Woods, Quarterback Brett Favre, Governor Mark Sanford are just a few who have been involved in ethics-related scandals. “Why do powerful people with so much to lose push so hard to squeeze out a little more gain for themselves?” That’s the great question posed by Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Zweig recently. (Oct. 16). Zweig...
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October 20, 2010
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The Emperor’s New Clothes – Ver. 2.0
Once upon a time, in a country wide and beautiful, there was a very audacious and flamboyant financier who liked to wear very nice clothes. (Here he is in his gold tie and pinstripe finery.) One day, this very daring man saw a need in the housing market, and lo, with a skill for salesmanship and the help of the...
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October 18, 2010
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Speech v. Respect
On October 8, 2010, I posted a commentary regarding Snyder v. Phelps, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the key question, as outlined by the court, is “Does the First Amendment protect protesters at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the family of the deceased?” Among the comments I received, was this one that sided...
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October 15, 2010
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Camp Hope
“Bienvenido a la vida.”  “Welcome to life.” That’s what Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said to Victor Segovia, the 15th miner to emerge from a rescue capsule after being trapped more than 2,300 feet below the surface for 69 days. “We always knew that we would be rescued,” said, Mario Sepulveda, the 2nd miner brought to the surface. “We never lost...
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October 13, 2010
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October 2010 Ethical Hero – Mother Teresa
I cannot think of compassion and unconditional love without thinking of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, also known as Mother Teresa. It’s hard to imagine that the world has been without the presence of this most selfless of individuals for 13-years this month. In 1928, at the age of 18, Agnes left her home in Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia to join...
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October 12, 2010
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Snyder v. Phelps
Last Friday (Oct. 8) I published a commentary discussing the case Snyder v. Phelps currently before the U.S. Supreme Court; a case that, at first glance, would seem to fall under the free speech aspect of the First Amendment. Quoting from the Court’s own website: “Does the First Amendment protect protestors at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on...
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October 11, 2010