December 2010

“There is something about too much prosperity that ruins the fiber of the people.”      – Diplomat Dwight Morrow

In 1933, the president awoke to the news that the United States banking system had collapsed. Unemployment had reached 25 percent. Hourly wages nose-dived 60 percent. Distraught … Read More

And the Winner is…

In their annual roundup of factually incorrect stories of 2010,, the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning project set-up by the St. Petersburg Times, offered this example from Fox News’ Glenn Beck.

“On his Nov. 22 radio show,” Politifact reports, “Beck told the story of … Read More

Moving Towards a More Compassionate Life

I met Karen Armstrong two years ago at a local talk she gave on the release of her book The Case for God – a thoughtful and highly readable history of the importance of belief. In a brief but private conversation, I found her engaged, … Read More

A Seat at Humanity’s Table

“Everyone deserves a seat at humanity’s table.” That was a favorite expression of my friend Frank Kelly, who died in 2010, one day before his 96th birthday. Frank believed it was essential for a peaceful future that everyone be seated at that big table and … Read More

baQa, timHom!

Spoiler Alert: This has little to do with ethics. Think of it as a little Christmas cracker.

In the beginning… there was Charles Dickens classic tale of greed, redemption and compassion. In short order, Dickens, or rather Hollywood, begat Once Upon a Christmas, Twice Upon Read More

Alter on Journalism

This idea of self-restraint and the press is a debate that often comes up. The last several weeks has seen hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents made public by founder Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

To Assange “all transactions between nations and leaders should be … Read More

In 1994, while doing research on the creation of the Lone Ranger for my first book, I spent four days with Fran Striker, Jr., the son of the creator. It still surprises me how few people know that an unassuming, imaginative writer from Buffalo, New … Read More