Recent Character Commentaries

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Essential Duty
To say that Dr. Michael DeBakey was an extraordinary and innovative heart surgeon is a little like saying that Joe DiMaggio was a pretty good ball player. Dr. DeBakey’s pioneering work in the field of cardiovascular surgery earned him international recognition. He is credited with inventing and perfecting scores of medical devices, techniques, and procedures, which have led to healthy...
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July 14, 2008
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40 Years Ago
In the summer of ’68 I was 19-years-old and in my first year of college. During the first of what would become my two favorite years, I listened to the Moody Blues (on cassette), Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” (on vinyl) and Simon and Garfunkle.  I studied theater and philosophy, worked on a college production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the...
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June 6, 2008
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Fifteen Minutes
Patricia Hill Burnett has led an extraordinary life. She was Miss Michigan in 1942 and first runner-up to Miss America that year. She also played the female lead for five years in The Lone Ranger and Green Hornet radio shows. In 1969, Patricia demonstrated her commitment to the women’s movement by founding the first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in Michigan,...
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June 4, 2008
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Teddy Roosevelt’s “True Americanism”
“The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average...
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June 2, 2008
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The Manny Burriss Story
USA TODAY – May 10, 2008 – Manny Burriss went 3-for-4 with a two-run triple Friday versus the Phillies. John McCarthy teaches kids the skills they need both on and off the field – focus, persistence, generosity, and humor. He’s more interested in teamwork than batting averages, and more concerned with effort than talent. Ultimately, he wants them to understand...
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May 21, 2008
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A Principled Gentleman
Steve Allen wrote 52 books, acted on stage, films, and TV, created and hosted The Tonight Show as well as more than 1,000 episodes of Steve Allen Shows and in his spare time, composed more than 9,000 songs! In the last several years of his life, he traveled around the country speaking to groups about the importance of ethics and morality. Although I received...
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May 14, 2008
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The Insider – 12 Years Later
There’s a moment near the end of the 1999 movie The Insider where Jeff Wigand is watching his whistle-blowing interview on 60 Minutes with his two daughters.  During the interview, one of his daughters looks over at him and slowly smiles. Between 1995 and 1996, Dr. Jeffrey Wigand lost his job, his house, his wife and for a time, his...
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May 10, 2008
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A Higher Ground
Dick Capen’s career is a unique blend of newspaper publishing and diplomacy. After leaving as publisher and chairman of The Miami Herald, Capen served as the United States Ambassador to Spain and Assistant Secretary of Defense. Known for his commitment to personal values and a positive approach to life, he is a nationally recognized columnist, author, and speaker on contemporary...
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May 5, 2008
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If Fire Fighters Ran Congress
There’s a new TV commercial making the rounds.  It shows a large group of fire fighters assembled in a room that looks much like the House of Representatives. The House speaker is a fireman, and the man at the podium is a fire chief.  The speaker gavels the group to order and the chief speaks. “Alright, firefighters settle down,” the...
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April 23, 2008
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All for One
Matt Sanchez left Santa Barbara only twice – once when he joined the Marines, the other, when he went to prison. In 1987, as the leader of the Eastside Hoods, Matt called the heads of the area’s other twelve gangs together. After several shootings, he wanted to put an end to the violence. The peace treaty lasted for five years....
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April 14, 2008

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