Recent Commentaries

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The Noble Cause
“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it.” That’s 92-year-old Hyman Strachman, a World War II vet, after spending eight years and his own money duplicating and sending thousands, according to The New York Times, (Apr. 26) “hundreds of thousands of copies of The Hangover, Gran Torino and other first-run movies from his small Long Island apartment to ship overseas.” “And,...
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April 30, 2012
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Ground Rules
From January 1 to December 31, 2007 I decided to search, read and clip all the ethics-related stories I could find from The New York Times and Washington Post. The final count totaled 1,657 ethics-related stories. That’s an average of 4.5 stories per day. Looking at today’s (Apr. 26) Times and Post, here’s what I found: The Times – Fall of Chinese Official...
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April 27, 2012
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When was the last time I devoted an entire commentary to citizenship? I don’t know. I do know that while I’m sitting here waiting to be called for jury duty, I’m thinking about the hundred other more satisfying things I could be doing with my time. I’m also reminded of the frustration I feel when I’m seated in the jury box, am...
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April 25, 2012
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Cognitive Dissonance
Should The Los Angeles Times have published photos of American soldiers in Afghanistan posing with enemy body parts? The story’s sub-head reads: “An American soldier says he released the photos to the Los Angeles Times to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline.” “The Army launched a criminal investigation,” reporter David Zucchino writes, “after The Los...
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April 23, 2012
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Who is Wendell Potter?
Like many, I’ve been frustrated and confused by all the talk about health care costs and reform. (I recently changed my insurance plan from a low deductible to one three times higher in order to save $7,400 over a year.) While The Affordable Care Act has been signed into law, the component that establishes affordable insurance exchanges is not due to take...
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April 20, 2012
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On Becoming Human
Sometimes we can be so focused on the details of life that we forget to look at the bigger picture. I was re-reading portions of peace activist David Krieger’s book “Hope in a Dark Time: Reflections on Humanity’s Future,” (Capra Press,2003) and was reminded and inspired by a larger purpose. To be human is to recognize the cultural perspectives that...
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April 18, 2012
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Martha Stewart
Last Monday’s commentary (The Trust Deficit) talked about insider trading – the use of non-public information to trade on stocks and other securities. However, what has been illegal for most of us has been perfectly legal for officials in Congress. With the passage and signing of The Stock Act, all this ends. Among the examples of insider trading, I cited author,...
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April 16, 2012
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The Trayvon Martin Case
On February 26, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman near his home in Sanford, Florida. The 17-year-old, unarmed Martin was returning home after visiting a convenience store. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer claimed that he shot Martin in self-defense. After Florida’s special prosecutor Angela Corey met with Martin’s parents she stated, “We did not promise them anything. In...
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April 13, 2012
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The Lifeboat Dilemma
You’re on an ocean liner in the middle of the Atlantic when tragedy strikes and you’re ordered to a lifeboat. While women and children are the first priority, you hear from others that lifeboats for the men are being readied on the other side of the boat. Immediately, all the men move to the other side except you and a...
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April 12, 2012
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Jeff Wigand on Mike Wallace
In August 2000, I contacted Dr. Jeffrey Wigand to contribute to my book, What Do You Stand For? Jeff is notably remembered for his interview with Mike Wallace for the CBS News show 60 Minutes as well as the subsequent legal turmoil in which Brown & Williamson threatened CBS with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit if the interview was aired. What did Wigand know that...
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April 10, 2012