Back In The Game

Well, now I know that at least one person other than Me, Myself and I drop in here…I was asked to moderate the first spam comment in literally years this morning. Something about “arena oxides” and how much the princess, their friend, was edified by the deep thinking and perceptive helping nature that I displayed in a post a few days ago, accompanied by a gibberish email address and several links that even I am too timid to follow. I guess I should thank Google for the exposure.

On Discipline

David Warren’s “Essays in Idleness” blog is usually at least amusing or interesting, and not uncommonly thought provoking. I don’t know him personally, but I have the feeling that he’d be somewhat uncomfortable being described as “profound”, so I won’t do so. Today, he’s at least worth quoting:

“A lot of time has been wasted by busybodied fools arguing that someone other than Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare; that someone other than Homer wrote Homer. (“Another poet of that generation who happened to have the same name.”) The time would be better spent reading such authors. The same is true, generally, of the Church Fathers: better to read them in their breadth, and not with a view to pursuing small vexatious points — inevitably to factional ends.”

Do yourself a favor and read the entire article here

Why Add to a Blog in 2016?

Why, indeed? When Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media silos exist out there, where Everybody is following Everybody else, why write something new to add to something as old-school, so Last Year or Last Decade as a blog, where arguably nobody will see it?

Well, trust me, I’ve tried to share “socially”, at least on FB. I resisted joining that Place where Youngsters Talk Past Each Other for a while. My tipping point came sometime in the spring of 2012 while I was visiting Maryland to stay with my ailing Father. My first night there, my baby sister (who lived next door to him) dropped in and said, “Congratulations!” I was grateful for the kind words, but didn’t know why I was to be congratulated. “Because Caitlyn is having another baby – you’re going to be a Great-Grandpa again!” It turns out that any family news is now shared on Facebook and nowhere else. OK, I may be a Canuck by choice, but I’m not going to be Canute, ordering the tides to cease. I joined Facebook and tried to play the game.
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September 10, 2001

It’s a stretch to remember what concerned me fifteen years ago, on September 10. 2001.

William Butler Yeats wrote Easter, 1916 in part describing Easter Sunday, April 23, 1916, the day before the Easter Rising, and how after Easter Monday:

  He, too, has resigned his part
  In the casual comedy;
  He, too, has been changed in his turn,
  Transformed utterly:
  A terrible beauty is born.

And W. H. Auden, in September 1, 1939 covered the same ground as Germany poised to invade Poland:

  Uncertain and afraid
  As the clever hopes expire
  Of a low dishonest decade:
  Waves of anger and fear
  Circulate over the bright
  And darkened lands of the earth,
  Obsessing our private lives;
  The unmentionable odour of death.

I can’t help noticing a significant difference that we face today, however.

The Irish Republic was established three years after the Rising, and WWII had come to an end in just under six years after the invasion of Poland, long, terrible years that they were in both cases, but the still the denouement was achieved.

And here we are, fifteen years later.

I had no idea. Did you?

Have you found the poem describing September 10, 2001? Is it too soon?

h/t to Gerard Van der Leun

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.

Miracles

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.

Miracles

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 made 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