Mail voting – an auditor’s dream

      4 Comments on Mail voting – an auditor’s dream
mail-in-ballot

My Certified Public Accountant certificate is in retirement status, so I am not speaking in an official capacity here. But if I were still a legit CPA, I would assert that the best mail-in systems around the U.S. are much more secure than any in-person voting process in the country. For one thing, they are much easier to audit after… Read more »

Justice Gorsuch and the two conservatisms

Republican coalition vectors

Religious conservatives were taken aback by the recent Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court case, and especially by Neil Gorsuch’s blunt affirmation of the rights of LGBTQ people in the workplace under his “textual” reading of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I see this as an unequivocally good decision, but the “surprise factor” here is worth some… Read more »

How bad are we really? Humankind by Rutger Bregman

Garden of Eden

An ages-old morality play has started a new season of “reality shows,” run on television every night since May 25, 2020. Was George Floyd a bad man or a good man? How about the four policemen who killed him on the street? Were the street protestors outside the White House on June 1 patriots expressing their constitutional First Amendment rights… Read more »

Worth a read: Galileo and the Science Deniers by Mario Livio

Galileo and the Science Deniers

“[T]he present Pope, who abhors the liberal arts and this kind of mind, cannot stand these novelties and subtleties; and everyone here tries to adjust his mind and his nature to that of the ruler.” Piero Guicciardini, describing Pope Paul V (1550–1621) Astrophysicist and Hubble Telescope guru Mario Livio suggests that you substitute the name of some current political ruler… Read more »

College after coronavirus #3: Sports

Note: This is the last of three posts about threats to higher education exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The second part of this series, on the campus social experience, is linked here. This week the president of the University of Michigan, a pretty good school from which I hold a couple of “credential papers,” announced that, if there are to… Read more »

College after coronavirus #2: The social holding pen

Note: This is the second of three posts about threats to higher education exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The first part of this series, on “education versus credentials,” is linked here. I was like most of my 18-year-old male peers in 1969 when I went off to attend an engineering school in northern Michigan. I wanted my own car. I… Read more »

College after coronavirus #1: Three threats

Oz scarecrow with diploma

I have long been watching three “weak spots” in the American college-level education “business model” that have been greatly exacerbated by the sudden coronavirus-caused emptying of campuses this spring. These three threats will, I believe, fatally doom several four-year colleges and universities within the next year and force major changes at almost all others. The threats I focus on are… Read more »

Driving drunk in Coronavirus World

      No Comments on Driving drunk in Coronavirus World
Covid risk of harm

Whenever I get into my car, even on a nice day while wide awake and sober, I am taking on the risk of death. And very late every snowy winter’s night in Minnesota, some guy is out on the road driving fast and drunk. Which one of these risks is most like the “Coronavirus World” in which we currently live?… Read more »

The ethical theory of “Sucks to be you!”

Coronavirus history US

Utilitarianism is a classic “vector” of ethical theory, a structured way to decide “the right way” to resolve life-and-death dilemmas like the one facing us today. This is a versatile model, one that that has continued to re-emerge in modified forms ever since its roots in the writings of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806–1873). The coronavirus news… Read more »

The person behind the mask

      3 Comments on The person behind the mask
The Lone Ranger

The debate over the general public wearing masks to combat the coronavirus has taken a decidedly political turn. Especially in public places like grocery stores, you could bet with good odds on which television news networks the various customers watch the most. Vice President Pence goes without a mask in public appearances, even visiting at-risk nursing homes, not because he… Read more »