Recent Commentaries

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The “R” Word
In a move that surprised many, last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six federal trademark registrations for the name the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” In an story authored by Travis Waldron for ThinkProgress, a liberal blog (June 18), the Patent board said, “We decide, based on the evidence properly before us,...
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June 30, 2014
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Slippery Slope?
According to the Center for Public Integrity (June 20), Supreme Court justices averaged $250,000 last year in addition to their courtly salaries: $244,400 for associate justices; $255,500 for the chief justice. “Top earner Justice Antonin Scalia,” the Center writes, “raked in more than $100,000 in book royalties for his 2012 tomeReading Law: Interpretation of Legal Texts and teaching wages from Southern Methodist University,...
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June 26, 2014
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To Eat or Not to Eat
There are many issues – ethical and otherwise – that we could be spending more time considering, but… this question caught the attention and response of thousands of New York Times‘ readers, (May 3, 2012). Ariel Kaminer, who writes The Ethicist column in the Sunday New York Times magazine, posed the question – is it ethical to eat meat?, then invited readers to “make,  » Read more...
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June 23, 2014
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Trust and the Media
There’s a moment in the long and distinguished career of Walter Cronkite that remains indelible in the minds of Baby Boomers. On November 22, 1963, in the midst of newsroom chaos, the CBS News anchor had interrupted a daytime soap opera with a special bulletin that shots had been fired at President John Kennedy in a downtown Dallas motorcade. In...
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June 20, 2014
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The Ethical Take
From Martha and Macy’s to mayhem in Brazil then back to my favorite CEO, let’s take a look. Nothing to Smile About, Now – Why is Martha smiling? Simple, she was on the stand last year arguing that a deal to sell Martha Stewart branded merchandise at J.C. Penney was perfectly acceptable despite a five year exclusive deal to sell...
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June 18, 2014
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Trust vs. Willful Blindness
Last January General Motors new president Mary Barra released a statement of values entitled, Winning with Integrity, Our Values and Guidelines for Employee Conduct. In the introduction, Barra writes, “During the last few years, we have aggressively pursued a competitive advantage in every aspect of our business. You can see this reflected in our new products, our acquisitions and alliances, our balance sheet...
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June 16, 2014
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The Fabulosity of His Presence
My trainer Steve and I have a special relationship. I share ethical observations with him and he shares his considerable wisdom with me. I stopped during a session once to point out: “It’s not just what you say, Steve, it’s how supremely confident you are when you say it.” He nonchalantly smiled through his sunglasses, “That’s because you are in the presence...
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June 12, 2014
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Two Gentlemen in Paris
It’s easy to succumb to cynicism from the recent ethics-related scandals causing one to lose sight of everyday acts of civility. At the end of the men’s final at this year’s French Open, Rafael Nadal stood on the podium to accept the top prize and the crowd’s approval after four hard-fought sets of tennis against his rival Novak Djokovic. Not...
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June 9, 2014
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The “O” Word
With the conservative political activist Koch brothers in the news questions of political influence always come up: Do the rich call the shots? Has the United States become more of an oligarchy – a power structure that rests primarily with the elite few – than a democracy? The New York Times Room for Debate (Apr. 21), explored those questions. “A recent study...
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June 5, 2014
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Donald Sterling, Part ?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that robs an individual of their personality one piece at a time. Particularly insidious is the fact that some of the personality traits that once appeared as petty irritations of life, can grow to become acts of shocking intolerance. This brings me to the recent news about Donald Sterling. The L.A. Clippers owner went on a racist rant...
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June 2, 2014

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