Recent Commentaries

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A Novena for Strength and Peace
Washington Post opinion writer Robert Kagan’s essay should act as a flock of canaries in the coal mine of America’s consciousness concerning a second Trump presidency. “Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face the stark reality,” Kagan writes, “There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day. In 13 weeks, Donald...
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December 14, 2023
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What Do Donald Trump and Ken Starr Have in Common?
Both willfully compromised the US Secret Service. Among the egregious behaviors former President Donald Trump inflicted on democracy was utilizing, to his own ends, a federal agency whose mandate was the nonpartisan protective mission of the Secret Service. During his time in office, it was axiomatic that anyone in Trump’s orbit faced a Hobson’s choice: loyalty to Trump or the...
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December 12, 2023
It Doesn’t Change the Truth
“What a triumph for our enemies . . . to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves.”—George Washington Embed from Getty Images What or who are these people pledging their allegiance to? Amendment V — “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury...
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December 8, 2023
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A Matter of Conscience
UPDATE: SANTOS EXPELLED BY HOUSE . . . Finally! After months of disturbing reports regarding Representative George Santos’s lies, fraud, money laundering and other offenses, the New York Republican has been removed from office. What’s next? New York Governor Kathy Hochul will now begin the process of a special election to replace the missing seat in the House. The Senate...
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December 1, 2023
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A Nasty, Brutish Man
Seventeenth-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (known by his pessimist fans as Hobb-sy) warned us of Donald Trump. “It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.” In full-dress duplicity, Donald Trump fully embraces Hobbes’s notion. “I alone can fix it!” To his MAGA based, Trump is their hero of hate. (By the way, in Japanese, MAGA means confusion, complication,...
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November 28, 2023
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A Lesson From Tom
With much of the world in chaos, summoning the holiday spirit this year is daunting. Let’s stop thinking about ourselves and think of others. Easier said than done. Nonetheless, this wish came to me the other night when I attended a show at a local theater. Working my way through a large number of people in the lobby, I walked...
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November 21, 2023
The Knight of Knaves
“I’m trying to help them be the best they can be. I have enough of an ego to think I know better than anyone what’s best for them.”—Bobby Knight Embed from Getty Images For legendary Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, what was “best” for his students was to be a legendary jerk. Knight died on November 1st.  » Read more...
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November 17, 2023
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What Would Thurgood Marshall Do?
Many people ask me, “Hey Jim, how do you do it? How do you write and speak on, (and once a year, teach) ethics? After all, you must face the same trials and travails as the rest of us have, right? When ethical decisions get difficult, how do you make the tough calls?” Well, I’ll let you in on a...
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November 14, 2023
Say It Ain’t So, Mickey!
Embed from Getty Images With the end of the 2023 World Series, I became a little nostalgic for the baseball heroes I grew up with.  Most of them were Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Duke Snyder. All great but didn’t come close to the charismatic hitting power of Mickey Mantle. So, when I read a story by former Detroit Tigers...
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November 7, 2023
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A Sad Truth
Stephen King is a remarkable novelist of the macabre. He’s published 65 novels and novellas. Carrie, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Cujo, Misery, The Green Mile—and those are just the works that have been translated into films. On average, King’s novels run 100,000 to 200,000 words, but he needed less than 160 to tell a chilling truth about American culture....
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October 31, 2023