Recent Commentaries

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Maddow vs. PolitiFact
Amid all the protests in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker calling for cuts in both benefits and bargaining rights for state employees, MSNBCs Rachel Maddow weighed in by declaring “Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsin’s finances, the state is on track to have a budget surplus this year,” she said. “I am not kidding.” According to Politifact, the...
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February 28, 2011
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Washington’s Rules
At the age of sixteen, George Washington copied, by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Based on rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595, the conventions outline how we demonstrate respect for others. In a time of widespread self-interest, the rules focus on others. In his biography of Washington, historian Richard Brookhiser writes, “all modern...
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February 25, 2011
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Think the Best
Do you tend to be trusting of others or distrustful? Trusting others to be considerate and respectful toward us can be difficult in light of our own experiences as well as news reports that tend to show the worst of people. Years ago, I remember being warned by several friends when they learned I would be working with a particular...
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February 23, 2011
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Accepting Criticism
“Improving the world starts with ourselves.” That’s how one New Hampshire student summarized ethics. A straightforward message not far from Gandhi’s assertion that we must “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” However, putting that principle into practice can sometimes be daunting, particularly in dealing with individuals who may interpret the Golden Rule as something considerably less than...
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February 21, 2011
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Breaking Free from Nuclear Deterrence
Last night I attended a lecture sponsored by The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation given by Commander Robert Green (Royal Navy, Ret.) that calls out to every representative of every country possessing a nuclear capability to pay close attention. For 20 years, Green served in the British Royal Navy. As a bombardier-navigator, he flew in nuclear strike aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters. On promotion...
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February 18, 2011
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Greed, Arrogance and Money
Robert Spence works in the financial sector as a broker/dealer. When the company that employed him was acquired by a larger firm, he transitioned to the new organization. At the time, the company policy held that individual investments had to stand on their own merits, have full quality oversight and complete transparency. When, in 2006, Robert began to question a...
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February 16, 2011
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The Ethics Corps
Early in 1995 I was working for a motivational speaker who needed a talk on ethics. I had just finished writing a magazine article on the creation of the Lone Ranger and, in the course of the article, revealed that the character had been created around a set of ethical values in order to teach young radio listeners the importance...
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February 14, 2011
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Real House Members of DC
Episode 6: Sex and Stupidity. “Will someone prove to me not all [Craig’s List] men look like toads?” “Hi, hope I’m not a toad.” (see pic) “I’m a very fit, fun, classy guy…divorced, one child… Live in Cap Hill area. 6ft., 190lb blond/blue… 39…lobbyist. I promise not to disappoint.” “Are you sure that’s not a photo from a JCPenny ad?” “…Here…I...
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February 11, 2011
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Amanda Yost is a frequent visitor to this site as well as a student at Santa Monica College currently studying cultural anthropology, with an eye toward cultural ethnography. (Yeah, I had to look that one up, too.) “I’m hoping,” Amanda says, “to focus on the ethnographic side of anthropology as another way to give a voice to the voiceless. Ethnography takes into...
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February 9, 2011
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Confidence and Optimism
Tributes to Ronald Reagan occupied much of this past weekend on what would have been the 100th birthday of the 40th President. It’s always interesting to observe that the longer a 20th century president has been out of office, the more glowing the tributes.  While many such tributes seem forced, such is not the case with Reagan. Ronald Reagan was...
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February 7, 2011