Recent Character Commentaries

Featured image for “Common Sense, Uncommon Man”
Common Sense, Uncommon Man
At the lowest point in America’s war for independence from Great Britain, General George Washington read an inspiring essay written by British-born sympathizer Thomas Paine.  Entitled, The American Crisis, it began like this – “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but...
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May 12, 2010
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It’s the Media, Stupid!
“Just because the microphone in front of you amplifies your voice around the world is no reason to think we have any more wisdom than we had when our voices could reach only from one end of the bar to the other.” —Edward R. Murrow During the pioneering days of broadcast journalism, Ed Murrow was the gold standard of journalists. Known...
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May 7, 2010
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Public Service Extraordinare
Former Santa Barbara Mayor Harriet Miller was memorialized as a fearless and, at times, fearsome public servant whose direct, no-nonsense approach made the city a better place for all. What I remember most about Harriet is her determination and dedication to getting things done, period.  When Harriet gave you her word or support, you could take it to the bank.  And...
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February 1, 2010
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Character and Courage
The election victory and nationwide coverage of Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts had me revisiting a piece I wrote in July, 2008.  In light of the current fuss and fracas between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the lesson from this commentary is more timely than eve Whom can we trust? Who has the credibility to lead? These are just two...
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January 25, 2010
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My Friend Sam
Sam Adams, world-class decathlete, coach and mentor to numerous athletes passed away Tuesday, January 12. “The finest decathlon coach in American history,” wrote Frank Zarnowski for The Decathlon Association newsletter.  “The decathletes, pentathletes and heptathletes who trained under Sam’s watchful eye read like an American Who’s Who. You start with Bill Toomey and Jane Frederick, and Russ Hodge, and, well the list would...
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January 22, 2010
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The Time is Always Right
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. The words of Dr. King were meant to inspire us to grow beyond hatred, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive...
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January 18, 2010
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One of the things I like most about the writing of conservative columnist Peggy Noonan is the way she engages both the intellect and the emotions.  Nowhere is that more evident than in an essay about President Ronald Reagan.  Noonan was Reagan’s speech writer, and looking back at many of those speeches it’s easy to see how effectively the Great...
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January 15, 2010
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Delivering More Than Expected
There’s a scene early in the film Bull Durham where the Kevin Costner character is being sized up by the Susan Sarandon character. She’s making a choice between two minor league ball players as to whom she’ll guide and girlfriend throughout the season. Up to this point, Sarandon – by virtue of her charismatic charm, not to mention an incredible body –...
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December 9, 2009
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Character as Destiny
There’s a scene late in the film The Emperor’s Club when William Hundert, a teacher who believes that character is the path to true success, dispenses a final lesson to an errant student. “All of us, at some point,” Hundert tells an older but no wiser Sedgewick Bell, “are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror and see who we really...
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November 20, 2009
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What’s in a Name
Most people may not recognize Carl Muscarello by name but are probably familiar with his picture. He’s the sailor kissing the nurse in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic, 1945 photograph on V-J Day in Times Square. However, Carl describes himself as, “an Italian-American kid from Brooklyn, New York who has been fortunate in that happiness in my life has come from my...
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August 31, 2009

Read Some of the Most Recent Articles
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Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us
“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. — Rene Descartes, 16th century French Mathematician While...
Will Donald Trump Finally Get His Comeuppance?
Is there any Rubicon, despicable, illegal or otherwise, that Trump could cross that would change the hearts and minds of loyalists? Fox pundit Sean Hannity...
Fraud at the Polls?
The cancer of false conspiracies, lies, and cynicism eating away at the Republic—lies propagated and fed by the former president and his allies—has metastasized to...
“I. Do. Not. Like. Bullies.”
That’s Arizona Republican and Speaker of the House . . . correction, former Speaker of the House, Rusty Bowers who had been abruptly shown the...
Debate: How We’re Doing It Wrong
Every time another mass shooting occurs, the debate begins again. FOR GUN CONTROL – Nineteen, the number of mass shootings that have occurred since January...
Think It Can’t Happen Here?
     “If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, it’s that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what...