Archive for Ethics – Page 3

Murderers Pardoned…

Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher

You’re not alone if you missed this news last week. It was hiding on Page 15 of the New York Times and Page 4 of the Seattle Times – far less newsworthy than the frenzied presidential impeachment inquiry – but, standing alone, it deserved Page 1 treatment. Three American military officers charged with and/or convicted of murder by military courts were given full pardons by President Trump.

“Unprecedented” is a term often applied to this Commander-in-Chief’s actions and commuting the sentences of US servicemen convicted of war crimes by a jury of their military peers definitely meets that standard. This president, who never served in the military and is not a lawyer, feels he knows better than the courts. His justification for the pardons was “War is chaos” – suggesting a different standard should apply, even though the Uniform Code of Military Justice explicitly covers the situation. read more

Cowardice – the Latest Superbug

America today is not the America I grew up in. It is not the America whose flawed but aspirational history I studied in school. It is not the America whose founding principles I knew and understood. It is not the America I served for seven years as a Marine pilot.

Today, America is a country whose leadership choses to ignore science, a country where facts no longer matter, and a country where the truth is under attack. It is an America where elected and appointed officials have allowed the President to engage in outrageous, dangerous, and morally reprehensible behavior without the courage to challenge or censure him. They have ignored facts, behavior, and consequences in the defense of the indefensible. read more

Berlin, 30 Years Later…

The Death Zone

We were euphoric. On October 3, 1990 I walked through the Brandenburg Gate, the barrier dividing West Berlin its other half in the East. It was the official day of German re-unification. A year before, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall had been breached, and within months the Soviet Union imploded, the Cold War ended, and the West declared victory for its values and the institutions of liberal democracy.

In the 1970’s and 80’s I lived and worked in West Berlin. And, occasionally during those years I would make a wrong turn while looking for an unfamiliar address and end up facing The Wall. It was always disarming. I was living an ordinary life – except that I couldn’t walk, bike, or drive out of the city without running the East German gauntlet of checkpoints, blockades, and restricted rest stops. Life seemed normal enough – get the kids to school, go to work, shop at the local supermarket, hang out in trendy bars and cafes, and run in the Grunewaldwith the wild boars. For the most part it seemedlike a normal life. But… there was always The Wall. read more

La Vita… Not so Dolce


I’ve written a number of blogs about friendship and recently read a study showing that social relationships (friendships) are as important as an active lifestyle and good nutrition when it comes to longevity.

My best friend, Harry Bingham, had all those elements in his life but still didn’t make it. Occasionally, personal pain or a faulty gene gets in the way. It happened to Harry. A graduate of St. Paul’s, Harvard, and Tufts Medical School, he committed suicide and denied us a lifetime of shared friendship and adventures. He was 36 years old. read more

A Steyn for a Stain…

Sebastian Gorka

Remember him? Sebastian Gorka? He’s like Bozo, the inflatable clown punching bag, he just keeps bouncing back. He’s such an unlikely success story – if this is what success looks like – a Hungarian anti-Semite and neo-Nazi sympathizer is granted a US Green Card on the strength of his marriage to an American heiress, and together they seize onto a feverish alt-right dream they can pedal to right-wing American media.

In a calculated move, on arrival in the US, thanks to his wife’s conservative connections, he meets Robert and Rebekah Mercer, underwriters of Breitbart News, and soon he’s a Breitbart on-air darling. In time, he moves over to Fox News where he serves up self-important, European-styled expert opinion on immigration and terrorism. Next, in a giant leap far beyond his inflated resume’, he impresses “the chosen one” and gets himself appointed Deputy White House Assistant for Counter-Terrorism. read more