Recent Commentaries

Featured image for “The Ethical Take – Celebrating Good News”
The Ethical Take – Celebrating Good News
The Take was amazed and gratified by three positive events that demonstrated the best we can be. Forgiveness – At the bail hearing for the murder suspect in the Charleston Church shooting this past week, a remarkable and noble spirit spoke. As reported by the Christian Science Monitor (June 20), “ ‘We already forgive him for what he’s done, and...
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June 29, 2015
Featured image for “Let’s Be Honest – <em>The Many Ethical Faces of Donald Trump</em> Edition”
Let’s Be Honest – The Many Ethical Faces of Donald Trump Edition
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June 24, 2015
Featured image for “In the Land of Canna”
In the Land of Canna
I rarely comment about ethical lapses that happen outside the United States, but this one’s unique. The small island of Canna, off the coast of Scotland in the Hebrides, is a stunningly beautiful and tranquil place with a population of just 19 adults and four children. It is also a place that faced its first case of dishonesty in 50...
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June 24, 2015
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After the Fall
Should we forgive Brian Williams? After four months, we now know what will happen to former NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams after being suspended for lying about his “war time” experience: He will not be returning to the anchor desk. The very able Lester Holt, who’s been filling in for Williams, will become the permanent anchor, a position well...
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June 22, 2015
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Running on Empty
Ladies and gentlemen, gracious readers of this website, I have the distinct pleasure to announce that the most forthright, magnanimous, trustworthy, humble, most noble… …Oh, hell, I can’t do it. I’m sorry, Donald, I’m returning your check. I just can’t vouch for your character. In case you’ve been cocooned from radio, TV, the internet, social media, or social friends for...
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June 19, 2015
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Deflategate Redux
Since the ignominy of Richard Nixon’s attempt to bug Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel in 1972, the media likes to christen any high-profile scandal with the suffix “gate.” The simple fact is that the deflation of footballs can’t compare to the pervasive illegality of President Nixon’s actions that led to his resignation. Nevertheless, Steve Ambra’s ethics class was tasked...
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June 17, 2015
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Seeking a Higher Ground
Even as he took the oath of office, Lincoln knew that civil war was coming. In his first speech as commander and chief, even as he urged restraint, he made clear “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war… You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while...
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June 15, 2015
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Moral Purpose
On the first day of class, Professor William Hundert stands before his high school boys in the film The Emperor’s Club and succinctly explains the purpose he is reaching for with his students. “Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance. What will your contribution be? How will history remember you?” June is a time of graduation and having...
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June 12, 2015
Featured image for “The Status Quo Just Changed”
The Status Quo Just Changed
The Boy Scouts of America have merit badges for Camping, Pathfinding, Farm Mechanics, Dog Care, even Pulp and Paper. In 1951 they added Citizenship in the Nation followed by Citizenship in the Community, while ‘72 brought Citizenship in the World. In all, there are more than 100 opportunities for Scouts to learn and earn. Surprisingly, there has never been a...
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June 10, 2015
Featured image for “The Liebermann and the Caveat”
The Liebermann and the Caveat
On June 24, Sotheby’s, London will be asking one exceptional buyer to spend more than $500,000 for an exceptional painting that has been hidden from the public for decades. German painter Max Liebermann’s Two Riders on a Beach is one of only two recovered works of art returned to their original heirs after it was discovered hanging in the Munich...
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June 8, 2015