Recent Responsibility Commentaries

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My Declaration of Conscience
If I were a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, this would be my address to members. Mr. Speaker, Members of the House: We are failing. We’re failing the American people because we’re failing to govern. I know it, you know it, and the American people know it. We have a duty to solve the country’s problems. Instead, we’ve...
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March 21, 2024
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. . . Divided We Fall
Sherlock Holmes had just received a message from London informing him that Professor Moriarty’s gang had been captured. But “the Napoleon of crime,” as Holmes described, had escaped. Over weeks, the great detective had successfully tracked Moriarty to Switzerland. And there, above the roiling falls of Reichenback, the final combat took place. Locked in each other’s arms, Holmes and Moriarty...
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March 7, 2024
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Willing to Pay The Price in Blood
On the 6th anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, the country faced another mass shooting. This time, at a celebratory event for the Kansas City Chiefs football team in downtown Kansas City Once again, Washington leaders remain unwilling and unable to address an issue of such grave and growing importance. Once again, America’s rights trump the responsibilities we have to...
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February 15, 2024
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For Family and Country
Rain Delay. Hope to be back soon. (The original title of this piece was, It’s Citizenship, Stupid! But Sister Mary Aloysius would never allow me to suggest anyone was stupid.) In 2017, President Donald Trump was on his way from the White House to Texas when he told a reporters this: “I think the press makes me more uncivil than...
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January 29, 2024
Stop Sleepwalking and Start Fighting!
Embed from Getty Images Alarm bells go off on every page of former Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s book, “Oath and Honor,” . . . every page. At New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College last Friday, Cheney continued to press her message to primary voters. “Tell the world who we are with your vote. Tell them that we are a good and a great...
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January 9, 2024
Words Matter
Embed from Getty Images It begins like this: Bit by little bit, misleading words grow in shadows where they are picked up and spread. Bit by bit, false conspiracies are created and multiplied. Lies spread, becoming a wildfire of hate from those who feel isolated, threatened, fearful. According to a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll,  » Read more about: Words Matter...
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January 5, 2024
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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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
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Climate Change
We are losing the battle against climate change. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that the planet is experiencing more intense weather than ever before. Fire, floods, unremitting storms—all are having an unprecedented impact on the planet. A report by the United States Geological Survey says it all. “With increasing global surface temperatures, the possibility of more...
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September 29, 2023