My Perspective

June 24, 2022

The beginning of July has forever inspired me to create a summer reading list. Over the years, shifts in my concerns, values, and interests have been mirrored in the books I have chosen to devour during this, my favorite time of year. In my earlier years, I favored fiction’s lighter fare: murder ...

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The beginning of July has forever inspired me to create a summer reading list. Over the years, shifts in my concerns, values, and interests have been mirrored in the books I have chosen to devour during this, my favorite time of year. In my earlier years, I favored fiction’s lighter fare: murder ...

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I graduated from Fordham University in 1970. My college days at the beautiful Rose Hill campus in the Bronx were wonderful; a time for making close friends, exploring ideas, and setting my life’s course. It’s no wonder that when reunion time came around every five years, I never missed one. But ...

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In a recent conversation with my lifelong friend, Peter, he asked if I would write about the meaning of life. I don’t normally take requests for my columns but in this case, I made an exception.   In any philosophical endeavor, looking at the precise meaning of the words you are using is ...

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In a recent conversation with my lifelong friend, Peter, he asked if I would write about the meaning of life. I don’t normally take requests for my columns but in this case, I made an exception.  In any philosophical endeavor, looking at the precise meaning of the words you are using is ...

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I know what you are thinking. Kindness? Empathy? Humility? You must be kidding. I hear you loud and clear. We live in a time when it is so easy to feel despair, as we witness the diminishment of the precious virtues of kindness, empathy, and humility. Who does not feel the weight of a collective ...

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It is natural for us to be inspired by a moving piece of literature. I recall fondly, in my youth, being moved by the lawyer and father, Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Later, in my early 20s, Edward Bellamy’s classic book, “Looking Backwards,” convinced me to dedicate my ...

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In “Cyrano,” a touching movie that seemed to go largely unnoticed this year, there is a delicate and moving song, “Wherever I Fall.” The backdrop is simple — three soldiers, about to go on a suicidal mission, write farewell letters to their loved ones. The first soldier writes to his wife and ...

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In the spring of 1974, the then United States President Richard Nixon was feeling the heat brought to bear by the Senate Watergate Committee. As the walls seemed to be closing in, it is reported that he had a meeting with good friend and super political promoter, Roger Ailes. Nixon was frantic ...

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This Sunday, Mother’s Day, I will take some quiet time to remember and honor my departed mother, Rose, whose intelligence, humor, compassion, warmth, and love were the greatest influences on my life. She and my late father, James, were married for 57 years and their love and devotion to each other ...

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In the summer of 1970, I was invited to spend several weeks with my old college professor, mentor, and friend Dr. Robert Mulvaney at his home in Columbia, South Carolina. While he was at Fordham, we had team-taught a course entitled “The Philosophy of Education.” Now, at his new school, I was ...

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Who is the greatest athlete you ever had the privilege of seeing perform in person? It took me a while to answer that question. During the last seven-plus decades, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing several impressive athletes. My list includes Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Clemens, Bo Jackson, ...

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I wasn’t alive when Adolf Hitler stormed through the continent in his attempt to bring Europe to its knees and under his rule. In some ways, being born after World War II, I confess I’ve taken our democracy for granted, ignoring its fragility and the threat it constantly faces.  There have been ...

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Whether it is a new job, school, or even neighborhood, we all have a desire to be accepted and “fit in.” As an 18-year-old African American woman, can you imagine how unwelcome Ketanji Brown Jackson felt during her first year at Harvard University, where a confederate flag was hung from a ...

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It was a beautiful spring morning, in 1967, when one of my best friends in college, Carl Vizzi, burst into my dorm room at Fordham’s lovely Rose Hill campus. As he rudely woke me up, he excitedly announced that the famous media guru, Marshall McLuhan, would be teaching a course at Fordham. “We must ...

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One advantage of living a long life is that you have likely experienced something first-hand that hopefully now offers insight into a current problem. Consequently, when Vladimir Putin recently threatened nuclear war (twice) and put his massive nuclear arsenal on high alert, I was reminded of 13 ...

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Z

It was a cold Tuesday evening in December in 1969. It was a tumultuous time with the war in Vietnam still raging and anti-war demonstrations at their zenith. My fellow Fordham senior and good friend, Frank, suggested that we catch the release of a new Costa Gravas movie, “Z,” which was playing at ...

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Z

For time immemorial, sentient beings (especially historians) have successfully identified and commented on recognizable patterns in human history. But in 2022, viewing our complex world, replete with disparate and often incomprehensible developments, I find myself struggling to find a definitive ...

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Philosophy, law, and science, my three favorite subjects, all consider the process through which we make decisions. My interest dates back to my graduate school days when I gave a lecture on the interplay of mental illness and legal and moral culpability. From the law’s perspective, the default ...

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On April 30, 1939, neither rain nor a bone-chilling wind could dampen the spirits of over 200,000 people who excitedly gathered to celebrate the opening of the World’s Fair in Queens. My aunt and uncle, Michelina and Mike, were among the attendees and later returned home with a cherished orange ...

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On my three-quarters of a mile trek to grammar school, I would pass by a rather large and colorfully decorated Esso gas station. At that time (1959), the station’s promotions included a large tiger accompanied by the slogan, “Put a Tiger in Your Tank.” Soon after, the gas station became an EXXON, ...

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This year marks the centennial anniversary of the rise to power of one of democracy’s greatest foes: Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini. In her recent book “Strongmen,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat identifies Il Duce as the first leader in the 20th century to not only kill a democracy but also create the ...

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Up until last week, if you had asked me, I would have told you that the scariest book I had ever read was “The Exorcist.” When I later saw the movie, at the encouragement of my law school classmate who was in the film, my fright level doubled. But just this week, two recently released books ...

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Last year, we lost so many individuals, from the very famous to the virtually unknown. From Bishop Tutu to Bob Dole, from Ed Asner to John Madden, the list goes on. In today’s column, I would like to bring three individuals to your attention. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1929, Edward O. Wilson ...

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For years, I have been joking with friends that we should create an outlandishly absurd rumor and, given the nature of today’s social media climate, it would return to us as “information.” Unfortunately, my idea is the preferred methodology of many bad actors who have inundated the airwaves with ...

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Like most of us during this holiday season, I found myself perusing several recently released movies and books. I thought it might be fun to share my ideas on some of them with you. “Don’t Look Up” is a satirical movie about the events following the discovery of a comet that is headed to earth ...

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I know these past few years have been a rough ride for us all. Covid just won’t go away. Neither will the purveyors of hate and misinformation who have dominated social media platforms for the last five years. Yet, despite all the dark clouds, it is still a wondrous time of year. If nothing else, ...

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I want to wish all my readers the most joyous of holidays and a healthy and happy New Year. It is my intention in the coming year to continue to explore interesting and important topics with you hopefully in a cogent and compelling manner. But before I get ahead of myself, this year’s holidays are ...

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Throughout my life, I’ve felt the painful tension that exists between fear and courage. As a child, when I played little league baseball, I was afraid of being hit by the ball whenever I took my place in the batter’s box, awaiting the next pitch. I envied the hitters who could dust themselves off ...

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As the days fly by and we find ourselves in the middle of this joyous time of the year, it is appropriate that we attempt to get into the holiday spirit. If you’re like me, and you’ve watched every holiday movie imaginable, you know that if there ever was a time to practice acts of kindness, it is ...

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