Articles on PR for People

The Pandemic Magnifies Democracy’s Fissures

This will be the fourth month in a row that I have written about the coronavirus pandemic, and this month I will try to amplify some of the painful consequences of this crisis. We understand all too well that the virus is highly contagious, that there is no way to pre-identify someone who can transmit the virus, and that it is not simply a terrible infection in the lungs alone. We understand that the administration was late to take the potential impact seriously enough to begin assembling testing supplies, ventilators and the corresponding drugs used with ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel and first responders, or working to map the virus so as to accelerate the discovery of a vaccine. 


At Ground Zero in Washington State

“I can’t believe the city is canceling the St. Patrick’s Day parade and run next weekend. Don’t you think this is an overreaction?”


“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.'' - From The Prophet Amos

On January 9, 1987, a date when most of my current students had not yet been born, President Ronald Regan proclaimed the third Monday in January of each year a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK). He left an indelible mark upon me and hundreds of thousands of other Americans.


Why Draw Up Articles of Impeachment?

There are those who would argue that Democratic members of the House of Representatives are engaged in a bitter and vengeful effort to unseat the president of the United States, that the focus of U.S. House Committee on Intelligence and the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has been much fuss about nothing. It is expected that the Judiciary Committee will release the actual articles of impeachment this week, and that a vote in the House will occur before Christmas.


Risk, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

Recently, probably because of local elections and the national political climate, I’ve spent more time reading and thinking about how to “backstop democracy,” – I strongly recommend reading The Brookings Institution’s new white paper, The Democracy Playbook: Preventing and Reversing Democratic Backsliding.


“A Republic, If You Can Keep It”

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


Risk Management and Mass Shootings

The risk explored here today is that of mass shootings. The question is whether we are doing all that we can to mitigate that risk – and whether, beyond some very straightforward laws that could be put in place, it is even possible to mitigate the risk. 


Enlarging Our Discourse

The column I wrote for the June 2018 issue of ASA News & Notes could easily be the column I write this month: a year ago, it covered school shootings, mass shootings, the Trump administration’s separation of children from their refuge parents, and insult with bluster as a form of diplomacy. A year later, we see not much has changed, and each of these topics makes news regularly.


America is Still a Killing Field

In October of 2017, the title of this column was “America as a Killing Field,” after the Las Vegas mass shootings. I have written little about the terrible toll that guns are taking on our society since then, and only briefly in February of 2018 following the Stoneman-Douglass school shootings.  Since that time, there is estimated to be a school shooting every 12 days.


Boeing 737MAX Issues Illuminate the Costs of Ill-Considered Risk

How we got to this point, with Boeing 737MAX airplanes grounded all around the world, has been written about extensively. Here I should like to analyze the situation using an operational risk lens to look at the types of risk at this point in what is still a very dynamic situation.