Tag: honesty

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“How ya’ doin’?” is the general way the question is asked. People who ask it fall into categories. Some mean, “Hi.” The question becomes an informal greeting. The person isn’t expecting you to answer. Others wonder, truly, about your well-being. The individual is expecting a reply akin to “Fine, thank you.” Their interest is intentional, kind, […]

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As a researcher and writer, I care deeply for factual transparency and honesty in reportage. I read across a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Paid subscriptions from the following are sent to my inbox, all of which I scan (and often read in-depth) daily: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, […]

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Holding Up a Mirror to my Students, And Myself


My practice at the end of my first class of the semester is to see if students want to ask me any questions. A young woman asked me, after my answering the question about alma maters and degrees, including my ThM in Old Testament, “So, did you ever think about becoming a pastor?” It was refreshing to hear such a forthright question, to which I answered, “Yes, I did consider becoming a pastor but discovered that I loved teaching.”

Other questions followed but she and a friend stayed behind after class ended to thank me for my answer, then added, “I am not religious, but I am a spiritual person.” Listening to my culture, I was not surprised by her admission. I had heard it before. What struck me about the conversation was her honest declaration. It was good to hear a student so well articulate her belief, and I thanked her for it

The brief conversation made me think again about how everyone believes something. Claims are staked on those beliefs. My job, as a professor, is to hold a mirror up to myself and my students, asking each one of us to be honest about those beliefs. We may not agree with each other. In the pluralistic public sphere, the freedom of belief is imperative in America. To appreciate others’ points of view without necessarily capitulating ours is important. My responsibility in the public university is not to change students. My job is to make sure they have had an opportunity to consider all sides of an issue before taking upon themselves the responsibility to own their belief. And today, I introduce my students to Thomas Sowell.

Life Lessons from Tom Brady? Well…. Maybe


Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just beat the mighty Green Bay Packers and are on their way to Super Bowl 55; coincidentally being played this year in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have won one Super Bowl. Tom Brady has taken his teams to the Super Bowl nine times and won six. We were New England Patriots fans for over twenty years while living in Boston. We’ve been in Florida since 2003 and never thought Tom Brady (or Gronkowski) would relocate their careers and homes to Florida. I asked my husband this evening: Is it because Tom Brady is such a good football player? He said he’s more than that, he’s an exceptional athlete, one of those rare people that is not only a team player but excels in leadership.

I thought about that comment because I had just gotten off the phone with my older cousin in Las Vegas, who asked me if I had watched the Biden Inauguration and the program after. I said no, and let her talk. She gushed about how she taped it and wept through the whole thing, “the young poet and her words and hand gestures reduced me to tears”, she said, “how Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem while gazing with so much love at our flag, then there was Jennifer Lopez and Tom Hanks.” She said they were cathartic tears after four years of hell. I knew my cousin and her husband were very liberal, and I thought she knew I was conservative, but I let her have her moment and stayed silent.

A Brief Point about Political Dishonesty


It’s taken as a given that our President is a dishonest man. There’s some truth in that, and I’ve said it myself.

But I think the way President Trump is dishonest and the way Vice President Biden is dishonest are different, and different in an interesting way.

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Subconsciously, we know that no one knows everything.  Despite this knowledge, we tend to expect this of the people we look up to most, whether it’s our parents, teachers, or the other adults in our lives.  We create this idea that they are flawless superheroes, as though they never grapple with much of anything, except […]

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Quote of the Day: The Outsider


“Because our politics has always rewarded those who can successfully claim the mantle of the outsider—now even more than usual—the temptation to approach our institutions antagonistically, or to avoid them altogether, has grown very strong. When we look for solutions, we tend to look not to institutions but to individuals, movements, ideals, or maverick outsiders.” — Yuval Levin, A Time to Build

The preference for the “outsider” is more dominant than ever: that’s probably the reason Donald Trump was elected. He was not only an outsider to the federal government but an outsider to any kind of government. And people were looking for a person who had no ties to government programs or agendas, and who was prepared to stir up the swamp; in many ways, that’s just what Donald Trump promised and what he has done.

The Democrats, on the other hand, seem determined to vote for a different kind of “outsider”: Bernie Sanders, who has been in the Senate seemingly forever, but has never supported a democratic republic; he is a self-identified socialist. He has always championed communism, socialism, countries like Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. In spite of everything that this country has made available to him, he fights for an imaginary “little guy,” a supposedly impoverished middle class, and is blind to the irony of his condemnation of billionaires, when he lives in a mansion and has millions himself.

Quote of the Day: Honesty and Deceit


“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noël Coward

That is the reason American politics is so toxic today. You cannot tell the truth without shocking people, but no one thinks twice when a politician lies. They expect it. (How can you tell a politician is lying? His lips are moving.)

Honesty Is the Best Business Practice


Some people choose to make a quick buck the shady way, and some choose to build a reputation and a loyal customer base. I’ve had two good experiences in the past week, and have an appointment with another trusted business tomorrow. Perhaps they will strike a chord with your experiences, good or bad.

Last week, I drove 30 minutes to my dentist, who has been my dentist since 2006. I have no intention of changing dentists, regardless of dental plan, so long as I live within an hour’s drive. This is because bad dentists leverage their expertise to sell unnecessary procedures. Honest dentists tell, and show you, what you must have done to avoid emergencies, then offer additional services you might want if you can afford them.

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(NOTE: The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire’s original free-market think tank, publishes a weekly email newsletter.  This week’s newsletter is a little rumination on partisanship. It’s posted below, in full, for your consideration.  If you enjoyed this essay, you can sign up for the free Friday newsletter here.)   Preview Open

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What Trump and I Have in Common


In reflecting on the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out the reasons for my lessening frustration and growing appreciation—that may be too strong a word—for Trump. I’m a person who doesn’t like to make excuses, who prefers to be responsible and accountable for my decisions, and I’ve struggled with how to frame my support of Trump. I finally realized that my real struggle was less about Trump and more about what I thought was a conflict of values. Surprisingly (for me) the values clarity I reached was reassuring in explaining my present attitude about Trump and his first year in office.

The clarity has come from a careful examination of my personal values. My top three values are integrity, honesty, and persistence. To expand on those, integrity is simply doing what I say I will do; honesty is telling the truth; and persistence is striving to do my best even when the journey is difficult. I also prefer to be with people who feel the same way, because these values are important to me and when others feel the same way, we build strong and loving relationships.

So for the moment, let’s put values aside, and talk about the kinds of people I like. I like people who not only share those same values but are thoughtful, sincere, friendly, helpful—yep, just like boy scouts and girl scouts. The close friends in my life share these attributes, but I do have other friends and acquaintances with whom I am less close and who are less likely to meet my hopes and expectations for friendship. But I enjoy being with them in smaller doses.

Three Cheers for Trump’s “Irresponsibility”


This place is RIGGED!

Four years ago Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren stood before the delegates of the Democratic National Convention and said this: “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: they’re right. The system is rigged,” she said. “These folks don’t resent that someone else makes more money. We’re Americans. We celebrate success. We just don’t want the game to be rigged.”

Can Hillary Do Anything Authentically? #DeleteYourBotsHillary


It’s Friday, and since that’s another day of the week, it means a further example of Hillary’s deception and deceit. The accumulated never-ending pile of poop emojis fills the massive trust and honesty deficit canyon known as Clinton, Inc. as exhibited in yesterday’s incredible video. Even after President Obama endorses the first female criminally investigated presidential nominee, her campaign continues to fray at its tattered and torn duplicitous edges.

If you spend anytime online beyond the friendly confines of Ricochet you are aware there is a yuge pro-Hillary support group who bounce from site to site and regurgitate similar spew with such vitriolic precision that it even astounds those who dwell under bridges. And yet, surprise … it now turns out that most of her soylent green “fans” are in fact not made of people, but bits and bytes. Yes, Hillary’s campaign is spending its contributors hard earned donations on creating robots to saturate Algore’s invention.

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If you support the Conservative-lite approach of winning elections through innocuous center-friendly candidates until we somehow gain an unstoppable majority (which nobody will see coming for twenty years) and then springing a bunch of unstoppable conservative changes upon a helpless country (that is the plan, isn’t it?), you are engaging in a cynical and dishonest […]

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