Even though social distancing is still in effect in many Northeastern states, summer time has arrived.  As we approach the Summer Solstice, it is once again time to play  Not-For-Profit Horseshoes.  You remember the game.  A ringer counts for three points.  A double ringer is six.  Closest to the stake is one point, and a leaner is two. (The points for a learner is a local rule, not generally accepted!)

Here are some of the players and their scores in  recent  months:

Apple Computer–a  rare double ringer  for offering individualized lessons to college professors using the iPad and  Apple pencil. Professors such as myself have to spend a lot of time staying current with the subject material we teach let alone mastering new technology in the post-COVID world.  Apple has been making things a lot easier for everyone at colleges and universities, and our classes will be all the better for it.  The double ringer was awarded since Apple originally offered the free lessons through May, but has since extended the program through June.  This is a great example of corporate social responsibility. 

Rutgers University– My alma mater was nowhere near the stake in the  last issue of the alumni magazine. Rutgers was making a plea for donations since it expects its budget to be cut.  As I mentioned in previous blog entries, COVID-19 had hit not only NFP organizations but also state and local governments.  New Jersey funds about twenty percent of Rutgerts’ budget, and the university quite rightly expects there will be budget cuts.  In the same issue, Rutgers proudly talks about  rehiring Greg Schiano, a former head football coach both in the NFL and at Rutgers.  A quick internet search shows his salary is an eye popping  $4 million per year plus a king’s ransom for his  staff’s salary. I won’t go through the story of Schiano’s previous tenure as head football coach at Rutgers or the faculty’s reaction to his return, but it is  not a pretty one. As if this wasn’t enough, the magazine also  had a picture of a former president of Rutgers who is being paid a queen’s ransom for being a  professor after his troubled tenure as  president.  Such media sensitivity will undoubtedly increase alumni donations. Right. 

The Vatican–Have you heard the expression “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades?”  Unfortunately, the Vatican’s last pitch of the horseshoes isn’t even within the explosive radius of a hand grenade to the stake as it is dealing with the recent $225 million dollar plus London real estate scandal. This transaction was  initiated by the Office of the Papal Secretary of State, the Pope’s Prime Minister.  The sad part is the funds involved were purportedly generated by the annual Peter’s Pence collection, which the Vatican claims goes for humanitarian and mission work. It seems a couple of laymen will be tried in a Vatican court and that will be the end of that.  Of course, no senior Vatican officials were involved, right?  Hey, where is that final report on Cardinal McCarrick anyway?  You would think the need for financial transparency would have been learned long ago. It remains to be seen how the bad news that seems to be continually flowing from Rome will be taken by the faithful around the world. 

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