Monthly Archives: February 2012

Study begs question: do people get rich acting unethically or act unethically because they think they are privileged?

The news this week that a new study found that wealthier people were more likely to behave unethically set off a chicken-or-egg debate in my mind.  In the study, Paul Piff, a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley, led

The Great Courses video lectures presents a history of the west and calls it world history

On the back cover of a recent New York Times Book Review was a full-page advertisement for a “Great Course” (that’s the brand name) set of DVDs or CDs titled “The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History.”

By saying Obama follows a secular not a religious agenda, Republicans make case for reelecting the President

The Republicans are doing a lot to restore my faith in President Obama. First Rick Santorum accused Barack Obama of being the most anti-religious president in the nation’s history. Then Mitt Romney said that Obama sought to substitute a “secular

Why pick on affirmative action? Why hasn’t anyone sued universities about favoritism to legacies and athletes?

Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted an appeal from a rejected white applicant to the University of Texas-Austin reminds me that every time the constitutionality of affirmative action returns to the issues agenda, one question is always

MIT professor revisits the cultures that bombed Pearl Harbor, destroyed the WTC and dropped A-bombs

I’m reading a very fascinating scholarly study called Cultures of War by MIT history professor John Dower. Professor Dower analyzes in detail the similarities in the cultural assumptions, bureaucratic decision-making processes, fascination with technology, religious orientation, use of propaganda and

New York Fashion Week and Westminster Dogs: lots of prancing in NYC this week

It is one of those rare poetic coincidences that both the Westminster Dog Show and New York Fashion Week unfolded in the same week this year. Some might even call it proof of an intelligent, if satirical, design behind cultural

There are too many ways that employers can raid pension plans of workers

An article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week depicted the various ways that employers can legally raid the pension fund of their employees and retirees. The premise of the article, titled “Signs Your Pension Plan Is in Trouble,”

In GOP’s alternative world, Social Security is part of overall budget and not in a special trust

The banter between Republicans and Democrats on extending the temporary cut on the Social Security tax continues to take place in an alternative universe. In the real world, cutting a program that is part of the budget doesn’t offset a

There are two types of right-wing extremists and both base their actions on faith, not reason

“Tell me what you think makes a person right wing extremist.” That’s the question posed to me on a personal tweet I received yesterday from someone names Silly Girl.  Silly Girl describes herself as “pro-life” and a “Tea Party Patriot.”

Individuals should take precedence over institutions when it comes to a health matter like contraception

Is it a matter of women’s rights or is it a matter of religious freedom? That question has grown to become one of the major concerns of the mainstream news media since the Obama Administration mandated that contraception be covered