Category Archives: Ethics

Freedom To versus Freedom From

In “Two Concepts of Liberty,” British philosopher Isaiah Berlin defines positive freedom as “the ability to be one’s own master,” and negative freedom as the realm within which a person can “act unobstructed by others.” The former involves doing as … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Ethics, Politics | 10 Comments

Triage

The FDA’s formal approval of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine will facilitate making the vaccine a requirement to participate in public life. Some schools in other parts of the country have already decided to mandate that faculty get the vaccine; some … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Ethics, Politics | 9 Comments

George Floyd’s Legacy

When Minneapolis jurors convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd yesterday, I gave thanks that justice, in this case, had been served. Darnella Frazier’s video of Chauvin’s calloused disregard for the life of the person he sought to arrest might … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Politics | 13 Comments

Mannerly Mississippi

Mississippians scold their children from toddlerhood forward for anything perceived as rude. Say sir and ma’am. Sit up straight. Don’t speak unless spoken to. Don’t say anything that might hurt somebody’s feelings, or about politics, or about church–unless it’s to … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Ethics | 15 Comments

Good Intentions Gone Awry

Here I sit in an empty classroom: after administrators listened to meteorological reports last night, they decided to make instruction virtual. I appreciate that administrators prioritize safety over quality of instruction. However, it sometimes feels like we’ve slipped down the … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Ethics, Politics | 10 Comments

Invoke the 25th Amendment

I had hoped today I would be able to blog about Democratic victories in Georgia. Instead, I am forced to reckon with the most un-American thing I have seen in my 51 years: armed protestors going to our nation’s capitol … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, National Politics | 6 Comments

Pre-Thanksgiving PSA

I hope that your Thanksgiving isn’t entirely virtual–that you’ll be able to eat home cooked meals with the people ordinarily under your roof, spend some time outdoors, and perhaps Zoom with more distant relatives. Inevitably, your conversations will turn towards … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Ethics | 13 Comments

A Life Without Consequences

Everybody knows what would happen if some kid walked up to another kid, called him a punk, and punched him in the mouth. A fight. We understand that to be a just and reasonable consequence to name-calling and battery. What … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, National Politics | 14 Comments

“Fake News” Roots

During last weekend’s interview with 60 Minutes, Pres. Trump admitted to Leslie Stahl that he uses the phrase “fake news” to “demean” and “discredit” legitimate media when they ask questions that discomfort him because, essentially, he wants people to believe … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, National Politics, Social Media | 7 Comments

Your Pending Return

Screen fatigue is real, y’all. After six weeks of a four-by-four schedule of remote classes, I have discovered genuine antipathy for looking at screens of any size. I find myself wishing for an old-fashioned landline. I don’t especially care to … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Ethics | 7 Comments