Recent Commentaries

Featured image for “Ferguson”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.” – Atticus Finch, “To Kill a Mockingbird” There’s a moment in the film, To Kill a Mockingbird that’s particularly compelling. Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in a small...
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November 26, 2014
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Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby and Lance Armstrong would appear to have much in common. Both worked hard in their respective fields. Both became popular figures and spokesmen for important issues: Cosby on education; Armstrong for cancer survivors. Throughout several decades, both reached a rare level of success and celebrity. And both cultivated a position of power based on that celebrity. And now...
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November 24, 2014
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End of the Road
What’s disturbing about Lance Armstrong is not just that he used banned drugs to unfairly compete. What’s disturbing is how effortlessly, how compulsively he lied, and how ruthless he became in protecting that lie. And, in a sense, we were all complicit. “There are these two, completely opposite narratives,” Armstrong tells documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. “The only person who can...
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November 21, 2014
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The Problem of ‘Moral Licensing’
Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman are physicians on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Wednesday’s Op-Ed, from The New York Times (Nov. 19), discusses the corruption in medical practice, largely conducted behind the scenes, at a cost to all of us. “When we are patients, we want our doctors to make recommendations that are in our best interests as individuals....
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November 20, 2014
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The Little Lies We Tell Ourselves
In line to buy Boris Johnson’s The Churchill Factor (see Nov. 14), I spot a tantalizing little book by Lauren Hom, playfully entitled, Daily Dishonesty – the beautiful little lies we tell ourselves every day. It not only made me laugh, it made me realize that all of us, (even us ethical folk) routinely tell lies of convenience.  » Read more...
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November 17, 2014
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A Singular Force
With the possible exception of Lincoln, the politician whose speeches and quotes I return to the most is Churchill. Why? When it comes to  wit, wisdom and statesmanship, Winston Churchill truly stands alone. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” He could be inspiring: “Success is...
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November 14, 2014
Featured image for “Armistice”
The Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1919, officially ended the conflict known as “The Great War,” what we now call World War I. “However,” according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site, “the fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on...
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November 11, 2014
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Bad Medicine
On November 8, Dennis Wagner, writing for The Arizona Republic, reported that the Veteran’s Administration, charged with the healthcare needs of American veteran soldiers since 1917, “has been under fire since April, when Arizona whistle-blowers set off a national furor by exposing mismanagement, falsified data, delayed medical care and a broken ethics system.” Wagner points to many changes that have...
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November 10, 2014
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Where do we go from here?
As election results came in late last night, it became clear that the Republicans would indeed take control of the Senate, but the night was not without many surprises in the governor’s races around the country. Among them: Republican governors will become chief executives in three states, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois long held by Democrats. Now, that the results clearly...
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November 6, 2014
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Oh, Mitch!
It’s Election Day and in Kentucky, longtime Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and his minions have been working the precincts with supporters carrying signs proclaiming, “Go, Mitch!” While the majority of polls favor the Republicans retaking the Senate, pollster John Zogby has an interesting, and frustrating personal story about McConnell that, sadly, confirms the worst of some politicians. “I gave a...
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November 4, 2014