Michael J. Kerrigan


This review is from: The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite (Hardcover)


Francis Bacon in his essay “Of Studies” stated, “crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them.” The Golden Passport is best not just tasted but chewed and digested fully, as McDonald’s work offers much to be weighed, considered and used.

However, if you do not have time to plough through Duff McDonald’s 600 plus pages of The Golden Passport you can get the gist of his entire book in one sentence… “The school is bought and paid for by the consulting firms.” In my opinion, this prodigious tome is still well worth the considerable effort to read it, notwithstanding the liberal author’s repeated gratuitous shots at two Harvard MBAs like President George W. Bush, Governor Romney as well as a diatribe… Continue reading

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

This post from Crisis Magazine is dedicated to Brigid, my highly educated daughter who, each Christmas, helps improve my taste in classical music, fables and  poetry. Her Christmas book gift this year  was The Complete Book of Fables of La Fontaine. Those of you with more pedestrian taste may enjoy the following lesson in manhood (and character) … By James P. Bernens

For a particular poem to retain its power across years and generations, it must give expression to something that transcends the passing of time, and do so in such an exquisitely memorable manner that it simply cannot be imitated or remade. Competitors and critics may sally forth and give it battle; lesser authors may adopt its theme or mimic its style; but its image will remain—an image somehow more perfect, and more captivating of a deeper truth, than any… Continue reading


The Good, The Bad and The Difference: How to Talk with Chidren About Values 

Michael Sabbeth, Denver lawyer, Socratic teacher of elementary school students and advocate of moral education, offers educators, parents and the general public a treasure trove of timeless lessons learned from his years in the classroom, rich with relevant quotes from classical and modern thinkers as well as references to other publications on ethics and civic virtue.

If readers do not have the time to delve deeply into this comprehensive book, they would benefit from reading the chapters on autonomy, character and sports. I particularly liked Sabbeth’s discussion on the psychology of decline, social decay, mental toughness and civic responsibility.

I look forward to Sabbeth’s next book and hope he will spin off his research into a workbook for teachers on character education, distribute his content of the seven “C’s” on line and collaborate with foundations… Continue reading

The Taliban shot Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for going to school. The following excerpt is from her interview in the December 15th issue of FORBES explains why they shot the wrong girl.


“I was going to school every day. My father, my mother, we all were in a very small house, not rich economically but rich in our values, in our ethics.

Then some extremists, the Taliban, came to the valley and changed our lives. Girl’s education was banned. More than 400 schools were destroyed. Women were not allowed to go to markets. Hairdresser shops were blasted. They said no one had the right to be free.

But education was very important to me. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to have an identity.

I had two options. One was to remain silent and never speak and then to be killed by the terrorists. The second option… Continue reading

The Character Building Project holds that our nation’s schools, including our elite universities should develop character programs for all its students. These elite schools can do so by looking to our military academies and religious schools who already train rising leaders to have the wisdom to know what is the right thing to do, the skill to do it, and the virtue to persevere until it is accomplished. Continue reading

Even after our post on the Character Building Project about the University of Virginia’s 169-year honor system, some still ask why have an honor code? The best answer I offer is straight from the United States Military Academy http://www.usma.edu/committees/honor/info/main.htm Continue reading

Paul Stoltz, my good friend and mentor has served to broaden my outlook. Paul shares excellent counsel with me, such as…. “It is not the distance you travel on the plane that matters but the distance you travel in your mind.”  Paul also advises, “those that limit their vantage point limit their possibilities.” Paul further advises that we “must demonstrate unprecedented cultural agility and alacrity in order to remain viable and marketable.” Continue reading

Today the Character Building Project profiles one of the younger members of the “character community,” namely; Noah Bopp, the Founder and Director of the School for Ethics and Global Leadership. Noah is an extraordinary talented educator and well-accomplished fellow for a man of his young age.  While Noah has 14 years of teaching experience, he has already established an accomplished track record of extraordinary leadership skills, most recently at SEGL, where he teaches English, Ethics & Leadership.   Continue reading

This weeks’ Arlington Catholic Herald caught my attention with an article about John H. Garvey swearing in as the 15th president of Catholic University. Garvey stated… “The measure of our success is how our graduates live their daily lives.” These days, ethics classes are popular in secular universities, he said. But does that go far enough” he asked? Continue reading

Most of you at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership are here to learn how to become ethical leaders who will create positive change in our country and the world. Junior year of high school is a critical time to discern your vocation. You still need to acquire more academic credentials that will help you in your future service career, but it might surprise you to know that much of what you will need and use to change the world and be successful are habits you are forming right now. Today let’s focus on some of these important habits needed for public service, talk a bit about what you can learn from the ancient Greeks about forming good habits, and time permitting, give you a couple of examples of good habits practiced by the ethical politicians, the characters with good character in my book, Politics with Principle. Continue reading

Ironically, while reading Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, a Lutheran theologian has brought me closer to my Catholic faith and has enlightened my thinking about good character as stemming, in many cases, from obedience to one’s faith. Continue reading

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