Recent Commentaries

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Fish Story
I’ve written ethics-related stories regarding baseball, football, golf and tennis. But this story fished me in! When Lincoln, North Dakota resident Tom Volk dropped his line in the Heart River on Easter Sunday, God must’ve been smiling down on the 41-year-old fisherman as he reeled in a 16-pound, 9-ounce walleye, crushing a state record set last year. “Volk caught the...
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May 31, 2019
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This is What Civic Virtue Looks Like
Earlier this month, Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island announced that it would ban any student from the school’s hot meal service if they had not paid any outstanding balance owed. Their only choice at lunchtime: a sandwich made from “sun butter and jelly,” (sun butter?). The unpaid amounted to $77,000. After word quickly spread on Facebook, outrage built against...
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May 29, 2019
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That Night in Vietnam… And Those That Followed
One night in December 1968, SP4 Dennis E. Haines’ life changed literally in a flash. “Our mission was to encircle a village,” his buddy John Miller recalls. “It was on this path that Dennis and I were sent to act as a listening post, waiting for darkness until the rest of the company would join us. “There was a problem....
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May 27, 2019
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Republicans are Lost
At best, the presidency of Donald Trump is bad soap opera. At worst, it undermines everything the country stands for. Lately, that’s constitutional oversight and the rule of law. Republicans in Washington are, for the most part, lost. A majority don’t work for the people they represent. They work for their own political interests. On the soap opera side, Trump’s...
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May 24, 2019
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The Billionaire and The Debt
Commencement at colleges and universities around the country is a time for the well-known and lesser-known luminaries to make speeches that inspire a graduating class. Billionaire Robert F. Smith kicked it up a notch. Smith, the founder, and CEO of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners had already pledged $1.5 million to Atlanta’s Morehouse College when he announced that...
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May 22, 2019
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“Consensual Rape.” Really?
Last Friday, during the debate in the Missouri state House on a new bill designed to ban abortions for women at eight weeks of pregnancy, Republican Representative Barry Hovis said that the majority of sexual assaults he dealt with in law enforcement were not strangers “jumping out of the bushes” but instead “date rapes or consensual rapes.” according to an...
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May 20, 2019
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Last Women Standing
What Alabama’s state Senate did was nothing less than a return to the dark ages for women. In Tuesday’s debate in the Alabama state legislature, Democratic Senator Linda Coleman-Madison asked her Republican colleague a question regarding a proposed bill that would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Coleman-Madison asked Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss about a passage in...
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May 17, 2019
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Textbook Corporate Integrity
In August 2001, I interviewed Johnson & Johnson Chairman James Burke for my book, What Do You Stand For? In the wake of the poor decision-making and crisis management from Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, it’s worth recalling the time when, in the fall of 1982, Burke and Johnson & Johnson were confronted with a nightmare scenario. Seven people in the...
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May 15, 2019
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They Knew
On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 took off from Jakarta, Indonesia in a brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8. Within moments, without a cloud in the sky, the plane “repeatedly bucked downward,” The New York Times reported (Mar. 20). Lion Air 610 crashed into the Java Sea, losing all on board. According to The Times report, the plane “should...
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May 13, 2019
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Maximum Challenge
“I tried to handle this in a nice, quiet way, and I didn’t think there was enough said about the trip our horse had. Now, given some of the recent comments, I’m pissed off.” That’s War of Will trainer Mark Casse in an interview with The Louisville Courier Journal (May 8), in response to Gary West, owner of Maximum Security,...
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May 9, 2019