#observation · point of view · politics · riff


OnTyrranySteve Bannon left the White House and his official role in the administration to become an off-campus Field Marshall. He baits the bear, goading a man who needs no invitation to act the fool and to violate the Constitution he swore to uphold into ever more outrageous claims of tyranny. Bannon, like many other advisors in this administration, encourages the illegal and the heinous.

John Kelly, for instance, has redefined “patriotism” to mean “treason for a cause you believe.” He defends Robert E. Lee in these terms and calls the Civil War, in effect, a misunderstanding.

1noAs for Bannon– to all my friends who saw his departure from inside the WH as diminishing his influence– I wish it were so.

The tom-foolery Bannon espouses is dangerous. It flaunts the values the Founding Fathers of the United States enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Unlike Jefferson, Hamilton, Eisenhower, the Roosevelts, John McCain, and Obama (to name a few patriots in our history), he is an unprincipled man. He loves disruption. Like the devil, he looks to sow trouble and division. Like his former boss, he spreads harmful fictions and calls the truth false.

November 15th addendum, out of the blue, or perhaps it’s the red, I should be saying.

By Dietrich Bartel (my father) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97656

Tax cuts, Spkr McCarthy of the House, was saying are about creating jobs and “making America competitive again.” What a cute rephrasing of the MAGA motto! The idea that giving tax cuts to the rich will somehow help the poor is an alt-reality view of the GOP.

Money in the pockets of the well-heeled has never trickled down to the worker. Once it’s theirs, they tend to keep hold of it.

Are tax havens, like Delaware or Singapore, benefitted by the policies that allow corporations to park their businesses without having to fork over revenue to the state? They do so by imposing registration fees in their districts, for example. They do impose unfairly on other countries which would benefit from levying taxes on the corporate entity.

Turning the USA into one big tax break for American corporations and businessmen exposes us to so many other financial problems. Who pays to maintain the infrastructure? How do we keep a police force or a national guard if money is not coming in to the treasury?

There is a sense of the dire which envelops many liberals these days. I am grateful to the New Yorker for its quotes on democracy. Archibald Macleish’s perspective as quoted in the June 5-12 issue by Jill Lepore brightened my day: “Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.”

Baruch-Zicklin lectures on ethics · business ethics · ethics

Not your mama’s ethics class

© Tamara Beck

Do ethical values have a place in the conversation between business and the community? Can values be a stakeholder along with commercial interests and the people served by industry? These are the general themes of the Baruch Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity-HSBC series on business ethics.

The other day, however, the conversation took a new turn when Mary C. Gentile discussed her approach, “Giving Voice to Values (GVV)” which is about scripting and planning to make what you know to be the ethical thing happen.

Dr. Gentile does not “teach” ethics so much as helps students, managers, and others in the business chain rephrase the question. She does not ask what is ethical behavior, but how do we act on our understanding of what is right to effectively do the right thing.

For those who had been in potentially compromising positions at the companies where they worked, the path to an ethical response is one of three forks in the road. Some choose to take themselves out of the situation. Some would prefer not to act contrary to their personal values, but feel that is an unrealistic choice; they go along. Others are simply, as Dr. Gentile says, opportunists for whom there is no crisis of conscience in making an unethical choice.

For the first two categories of actors, GVV offers a program of rehearsing the “how” of ethical conduct. Rehearsals, Dr. Gentile points out, is a powerful tool to make an impact on other’s comportment. Rehearsing what to do gives you a kind of intellectual “muscle memory.” She also pilots the GVV thought experiment which posits the circumstances of an ethical dilemma for a protagonist and then asks “What would you do if you were the principal in this scenario?”

Dr. Gentile’s approach may be the answer to the business educator’s quandary over whether ethics can be taught.

Mary C. Gentile’s presentation was part of a tradition of lunchtime seminars offereed in The HSBC Student Series on Ethics and Accountability at Baruch’s Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity.

#beauty · #living · #observation · #poem · #poetry · #remember · admiration · awe


Central Park 1970 (Tamara Beck, photographer)

As the weather turns from sultry to sublime,/

The leaves blush with the pleasure of the/

new season and in anticipation of a/

frosty sleep to come. In the Fall,/

time is their friend and ours.


ballet meets modern dance · dance

In partnership

Partnering has developed a new look as the 21st century progresses. Partly, this is a reflection of a more liberal social milieu. Gender fluidity is the term of art for this LGBTQ-era. Same sex marriage, mixed use bathrooms, dorms which house both boys and girls on the same floor are part of our new-age maturity. […]

via Howdy, Partner — Our Theater Blog: TandBOnTheAisle

fitness · gym · health · life · riff


By Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1525124, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39487392

We go to the gym to stay healthy.

For most of us, fitness is a path to keeping well for the long haul.

So I worry about the possibility of getting sick at the health club.

It’s not just the sneezy neighbor on the next mat.

It’s also all the dirt and grime on the weights you pick up, and the dust on mats and steps.

#beauty · #living · #moon · #observation · #poem · #river · admiration · awe · boats · brilliance · darkness · dazzling · East River · inspirations · lover's quarrel

At Play

Photo © Tamara Beck

The waters ripple in the evening
Tide, the moon, their soul mate,
Hidden in a darkened sky is not
Playful, even as the river scampers
Across from shore to shore, released
From its daytime duties, away from
The sun, cloaked in darkness
Does it search for the moon’s light?
Or, is it content, running rapidly
On its own, hosting brightly-lit
Boats that appear like beacons
From time to time, lighting up
The dark riverscape, even if the
Moon will not peek out to help
Clarify and inform the water’s path