COMMONTARY

July 15, 2020

Recent current events reminded me of a beautiful story I heard years ago. A boy was shorter than his younger brother, and it bothered him greatly. One day, he shoved his brother into a shallow ditch, and then stood beside him and gloated that he was now taller. His father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, approached with a stool. He helped his younger son out of the ditch, and then instructed the older boy to stand on the stool. Who...

July 10, 2020

Clockwise from top left: Bill T. Jones, Gloria Steinem, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Salman Rushdie, Wynton Marsalis and Margaret Atwood

Is our democracy truly at risk right now, or is this simply an alarmist exaggeration from those with some political axe to grind?

Over 100 intellectuals and writers from across the spectrum of political affiliation have come together to write and sign this very important and timely letter which warns...

July 3, 2020

With all of its flaws and opportunities for improvement, what is great about America is the ideal, enshrined in its founding documents, that all of its citizens are free to believe and practice as they choose. 

There are those who believe at this moment that America's independence is not something to celebrate. They are highly attuned to the oppression that mars our history and the bias and inequity that continue to exist even...

June 24, 2020

I read an interesting line today from an author I respect, Jonathan Tobin:  "Those who marched in the past for civil rights did so not because they felt that America was an irredeemably racist nation that needed to be completely rethought, but because they thought racism was a betrayal of the nation’s founding principles."  (https://bit.ly/2zXjzVI)

One of the essential questions at this moment seems to be this: is racism a...

June 9, 2020

25 years ago, I married the spectacular woman who I had been lucky enough to meet and fall in love with eight years earlier when we were in highschool. I have been blessed with her companionship and guidance, and with the beautiful family that we have worked together to raise.

This is not a love note to my wife. I will send her that privately. This is a note that I wanted to share publicly as I thought about the lessons we have...

June 2, 2020

The world is not black and white.  It is complex and puzzling.  There are no easy answers.  But sometimes, things are clear.  It is clear at this moment that black Americans have suffered violence and bias in this country for far too long, and more must be done by all of us to support and defend them, to assure them that we will no longer tolerate racism in any form.  We have waited too long, we have spoken up too infrequently...

I've been asked by many about my feelings about the murder of George Floyd, and subsequent reactions. I've wanted to sort my thoughts, choose my words, and move slow. I'm extremely concerned about our future, and only want to say and do things are meant to help us to a better one.

1. This is a complex, nuanced subject with lots of sides to stories, inbetweens, and shades of grey. If your thoughts can be expressed in a bumper st...

May 7, 2020

Anyone who enjoys exploring issues from multiple angles should definitely check out The Flip Side.

Simply subscribe, and every day you'll get an email in which they present one current event issue from both sides of the aisle. They provide a one sentence summary of how the issue is viewed by the left and the right, and then link a number of op-eds from each angle.

The Flip Side team is comprised of staffers with dive...

August 6, 2019

There is clearly something wrong in America. We didn’t need two more mass shootings over the past weekend to convince us of that, but they certainly did shine a glaring spotlight on our defects and instability. Anyone who is unaware of the crisis in this country need only peruse the media headlines in the days and weeks BEFORE the recent shootings, and s/he will find all the evidence needed to conclude that we are a nation at...

Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines, recently gave the graduation keynote speech for Southern Methodist University’s class of 2019 — and his message is urgent for these divided times.

Parker said that current levels of political polarization in the U.S. may seem normal to young people, but are concerning to older generations who know it hasn’t always been this way — and encouraged them to stop it from becoming th...

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