Assessment for government programs

In my field of higher education, the big idea is assessment.  Accreditors are requiring that we assess what we do; that is, that we give evidence for the quality and effectiveness of our programs and operations.  Businesses too are measuring product quality and customer satisfaction.  But there is almost no assessment of government programs.  Very little data is gathered to determine whether or not a program works or fulfills its purpose.  As a result, once a program is enacted, it is almost impossible to kill.  But now some economists are proposing ways to bring assessment to the government. [Read more…]

Atheists want to participate in interfaith services

Atheists in Boston are complaining that they haven’t been invited to participate in the interfaith services held in connection to the Boston Marathon bombings.  See No Room for Non-Theists at Boston Interfaith Service | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches. [Read more…]

CSI, Boston

Here is a fascinating account of the police work that led to the identification and apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombers:  Police, citizens and technology factor into Boston bombing probe – The Washington Post.

The legal issue now is whether “Jahar,” the surviving terrorist, should be considered an “enemy combatant” or whether he should be given all of the legal rights to which he is entitled  as an American citizen, including the right to remain silent.  What do you think?

Boy Scouts to admit gay members but not leaders?

The Boy Scouts of America will propose a change to their policies that will admit gay members but still not allow gay scout leaders.  Is that a good compromise?  Gay activists are attacking the proposal, insisting that the scouts also allow for gay leaders.  The organization will vote on the proposal in May. [Read more…]

Second bomber captured

From Fox News:

BREAKING: A day-long dragnet for the second of two brothers believed to be behind Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing ended Friday night, with police capturing the suspect covered in blood and hiding in a boat in the backyard of a man who called 911 after become suspicious of activity on his property. [Read more…]

New system for our “comments”

Patheos, which hosts this blog, is going to be making some major upgrades, including moving to a higher-end server, that should decrease load times, eliminate spam, prevent a host of problems, and make possible new features.  One new feature that will be added before moving to the new server is the Disqus system for comments.

Comments will stream as they are made.  You can go back and forth to and from different discussions.  You can follow different commenters whose thoughts especially interest you.  If I’m understanding it aright, you can follow and take part in related discussions that bridge different blogs.  Here is a description of the few features, some of which I don’t fully understand:  For Websites – DISQUS. [Read more…]