Recent Heroes 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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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 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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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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A Moment of Principle – Part 2
Former WorldCom auditor Cynthia Cooper continues a conversation about the ethical downfall of the telecom giant in her new book, “Extraordinary Circumstances.” What caused employees at WorldCom to become complicit with the fraud? “Most people don’t wake up and say – I want to become a criminal today. Instead, they venture down a slippery slope one step at a time....
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April 11, 2008
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A Moment of Principle
The day Cynthia Cooper’s life changed she was sitting in a hair salon wrapped in tin-foil when she received an angry call from her boss, WorldCom’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan As head of internal audit for the telecom giant, Cooper had asked the company’s external auditor, Arthur Andersen about a questionable accounting maneuver.  Sullivan was incensed that she was...
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April 9, 2008
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Real Leadership
In his book, “A Higher Standard of Leadership” Keshavan Nair writes, “Today, many people believe that it is not possible to be successful in the world of business and politics and still to maintain one’s integrity – integrity not defined by absence of financial corruption, but by adherence to moral principles in all activities. “The standard of leadership depends not...
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March 24, 2008