Recent Commentaries

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Heresy, Part III
What former Republican representative Mickey Edwards proposes in his new book, The Parties versus the People, can be seen by both Democrat and Republican parties as nothing short of heresy for a political system that has benefited them so much in the past. Both parties tightly control the process from primary through general elections, right into congressional committees. “We cannot go...
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October 31, 2012
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Heresy, Part II
After serving 16 years as a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, Mickey Edwards saw, firsthand, how the political system became dysfunctional. In a book that I believe should be required reading for anyone who wants a clear explanation, as well as solutions, to the gridlock facing Washington, Edwards latest book, The Parties versus The People – How to Turn Republicans and Democratsinto Americans makes...
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October 29, 2012
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The Fool and the Statesman
One day a fool and a statesman were featured on a television broadcast. While the fool had been featured on many, manybroadcasts over the last year, the statesman – ever mindful of thinking before speaking – chose to stay out of the spotlight. The fool carefully primed the media pump by telling many,many people – especially Fox News’s FOX & Friends – about a...
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October 26, 2012
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Heresy, Part I
“Heresy: any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.” “[James] Madison understood that in the end, democracy is not about policy but about process – it’s about how we select our leaders, how we deliberate, how we decide – and it is the process itself that has broken down.” I’m going to tell you about...
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October 24, 2012
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My opponent and I slowly walked to our lecterns. While I was confident of my argument, I was nervous for the simple reason that this was my first debate and I had absolutely no idea how my audience would react, much less what kinds of questions would come in the second part. The topic was “Television in the Classroom” and...
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October 22, 2012
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From out of the Past, Part III
This final ode to baseball comes from writer Norman Corwin. Originally posted May 12, 2008, he talks about two words that largely go missing today. Last week I attended a special memorial of this master of word, wit and wisdom known to most simply as Corwin. After listening to stories from Norman Lear, Stan Freeburg, Norman Lloyd and others, I...
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October 19, 2012
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Out of the Past, Part II
At one time or another, all of us have benefited from the inspiration of someone – a teacher, mentor – someone. John McCarthy, a friend and teacher based in Washington, D.C., inspires excellence in his students. “The Manny Burriss Story,” from May 2008, is but one example. USA TODAY – May 10, 2008 – Manny Burriss went 3-for-4 with a...
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October 17, 2012
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From Out of the Past
October is my time of the year for one reason – baseball playoffs followed by the World Series. The critical difference between baseball and politics: baseball is played according to specific rules, and when violations occur they usually get called on it. It’s also a game based on merit. Politics – well, you get the idea. In honor of America’s...
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October 15, 2012
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October 2012 Ethical Hero – Malala Yousafzai
By now most of the world has heard about the heroic, Pakistani human rights activist – 14-years-old, no less – who stood up to the Taliban to encourage girls to get an education. After several threats, a Taliban gunman shot her in the head on October 9th hoping to silence the young advocate.  It didn’t work. In spite of a...
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October 12, 2012
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Speaking of Optimism
“There are no easy answers’,” Ronald Reagan used to say, “but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” There is moral right and moral righteousness. And there are far too many in Congress who act from the later and not enough of the former who are willing to stand up...
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October 12, 2012