Moral Authority

When I heard that Pope Francis had visited the Little Sisters of the Poor last night, I heard Martin Luther King’s voice saying his words from Birmingham Jail: “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

He deserves his propers for doing that.


Emmet Fox challenges “believers” to accept that miracles are a necessary part of the gospel story, and likewise challenges “skeptics” to consider that they are a natural part of a universe that science doesn’t fully comprehend.


Now, one must extend every sympathy to the special pleadings of a man enthralled by the beauty and mystery of the Gospels, but who, in the absence of the Spiritual Key, seems to find his common sense and all the scientific knowledge of mankind flouted by much that these Gospels contain. But this simply will not do. If the miracles did not happen, the rest of the Gospel story loses all real significance. Continue reading

The American student

Our educational system is about crowd control, but there is no small cabal of Lex Luthor-style evil geniuses that cackle with glee at their plan. The somnolence and mediocrity go all the way up and all the way down. The Secretary of Education herself would be horrified if she madeĀ a gun out of a Pop-Tart. — James Chastek

Right Place

“If your main goal is to show that your heart is in the right place, then your heart is not in the right place.” — David Schmidtz

It’s Not Your Computer Anymore

Over at Microsoft’s Technet site, the folks at their Security Response Center have posted the “10 Immutable Laws of Security.”

Admittedly, it only covers security for computers (and remember, that means your cell phone and tablet) and websites, but it’s still very worth reviewing. There’s nothing new, nothing arcane there, but they are the cold, hard facts that we all have to remember if we make any pretense of caring about our clients’ privacy. Simple things, like “If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.”

Do you have client phone numbers on your iPhone? Have you installed any apps?

Think about it. Seriously.

Portable Devices and PHI

I recently sent the following to a behavioral health researcher who was planning to develop a mobile application for clinicians that would include client information–I believe that it may be of interest to others who are considering the use of smart phones and laptops in their clinical practice:

“As you know, any high-technology product aimed at the medical market (defined in the sense of being subject to the Federal privacy regulations HIPAA and Hitech) needs to not only take all appropriate steps to protect the clients’ identity and other protected health information (PHI), but it must do so demonstrably. By that, I mean that it must protect the information and also appear to protect it to the satisfaction of funders, consumers and regulators. Continue reading


The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. — George Washington

Despair as Pride

Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love.

Despair is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that [God] is above us. — Thomas Merton (1961)


In life I know, there is lots of grief,
But your love is my relief. — Bob Marley