Recent Ethics Commentaries

Featured image for “At the Throat of American Democracy, Conclusion”
At the Throat of American Democracy, Conclusion
“To meet the challenge of our times, so that we can later look back upon this era not as one of which we need be ashamed but as a turning point on the way to a better America, we must first defeat the enemy within.”—Robert F. Kennedy How close did we come to the end of American democracy on January...
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January 25, 2022
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At the Throat of American Democracy, Part 2
On February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy stood before the County Women’s Republican Club in West Virginia and stated, “I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the...
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January 21, 2022
Featured image for “At the Throat of American Democracy, Part 1”
At the Throat of American Democracy, Part 1
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana, American writer, and philosopher On the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, President Joe Biden made clear that “The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. . . . [and] held a dagger at...
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January 18, 2022
Featured image for “The Few. The Proud. The Stupid”
The Few. The Proud. The Stupid
It’s been little more than a year since the January insurrection where Senators and House members hid from an angry mob of Trump supporters, (And yes, Republicans, a majority of rational people know this. They’re just spending too much time on the bench to take action against what’s likely to come.) Now, with the surge of the Omicron, a variant...
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January 14, 2022
Will We?
“I’m suggesting, Mr. President, that there’s a military plot to take over the government.” —Seven Days in May “People have got to understand the danger of President Trump and the danger that he posed on that day.” —Wyoming Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney Embed from Getty Images After the Cuban Missile Crisis, where America came within inches of a nuclear war...
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January 7, 2022
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Are Vaccination Mandates Ethical?
To mandate, or not to mandate, that is the question. For 18 months, Americans have tolerated masks, travel, and event restrictions, and virtual home hibernation. “Overall in the United States, 74.1 percent of Americans over five years old have at least one coronavirus shot, and 62.8 percent are fully vaccinated.” However, just when you thought it was safe to step...
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November 30, 2021
Featured image for “How Do We Fix Facebook? – Part 2”
How Do We Fix Facebook? – Part 2
Easier said than done. However, Frances Haugen, the former Facebook data scientist who came forward with thousands of internal documents to back up her claims that the engagement-based algorithms created by the tech giant are used to deepen “divides, destabilize democracies, and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies,” has been in talks with the House Judiciary...
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October 22, 2021
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That’s Their Mindset
What do these four things have in common: money, status, power and politics? “Gamal Abdelaziz, a former hotel and casino executive is accused of paying $300,000 to get his daughter admitted to the University of Southern California as a basketball player based on false qualifications. “John Wilson, a private equity executive, is accused of paying $220,000 to get his son...
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October 12, 2021
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No QVC?
Hunter Biden has a new career: painting and selling his artwork. While that’s good for him, it’s not so good for dad. Big ethics issue. “‘The whole thing is a really bad idea,” said Richard Painter, who was chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007,” The Washington Post reports (July 8). “‘The initial reaction a...
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July 14, 2021
Featured image for “An Undiminished Devotion”
An Undiminished Devotion
In 1826, a month before the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Washington publisher, and civic leader Robert C. Weightman declining an invitation to attend next month’s celebration due to his “sufferings and sickness.” While the first reading of American Independence took place on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia, the first event honoring...
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July 2, 2021