Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas to All, with a Special Wish to the Least Fortunate Among Us

Christianity as practiced in too much of the USA really has me baffled these days. Where is the outrage among the hundreds of millions of Christians regarding the 99ers and the 9/11 first responders?

The 99ers are the millions left out of the extension of unemployment benefits and are now facing unemployment with zero aid after exhausting 99 weeks of benefits. The 9/11 first responders are those who were left ill after rushing to the WTC to save lives or otherwise help. They now face crushing health care costs. There are now bills pending to resolve these issues, and I urge anyone with a GOP Senator to contact that Senator and urge passage of these bills.

Much has passed recently during this lame duck session of Congress. Perhaps the most costly and high profile action was the extension of the Bush tax cuts to even the very wealthy--at a total cost of $858 billion. The cuts for those making more than $250,000 will cost $75 billion and will have little stimulative impact.

It is truly morally corrupt and deeply anti-Christian to shower massive wealth on the already wealthy while leaving the most unfortunate among us literally out in the cold this Christmas.

I attended St. Isaac Jogues grammar school and graduated from Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The most vivid lesson from that Christian schooling in my mind is: "That which you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto to me." Somewhere American Christianity seems to have lost that fundamental teaching, at least for too many. I sometimes think that too many Christians in the USA think this is a part of the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the tax cutters, for they shall inherit millions tax free."

So, Merry Christmas to all--and if you wish to help the most unfortunate among us this holiday season I recommend food pantries and a letter to your representatives.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender, and Race in 21st Century Sports Law

A new book has just been released called "Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender and Race in 21st Century Sports Law." Edited by andré douglas pond cummings and Anne Marie Lofaso, this book interrogates the "dark side" of sports, focusing on the commercialization of collegiate athletics and the exploitation of college athletes, as well as issues of racism, sexism and discrimination in professional and collegiate sports.

Per the frontmatter: "Reversing Field invites students, professionals, and enthusiasts of sport – whether law, management and marketing, or the game itself – to explore the legal issues and regulations surrounding collegiate and professional athletics in the United States. This theoretical and methodological interrogation of sports law openly addresses race, labor, gender, and the commercialization of sports, while offering solutions to the disruptions that threaten its very foundation during an era of increased media scrutiny and consumerism. In over thirty chapters, academics, practitioners, and critics vigorously confront and debate matters such as the Arms Race, gender bias, racism, the Rooney Rule, and steroid use, offering new thought and resolution to the vexing legal issues that confront sports in the 21st century."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Successful Partnerships

The Economist has recently published a short piece examining the ingredients of successful business partnerings. In describing successful partnerings, like those of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger (Berkshire Hathaway); Michael Eisner and Frank Wells (Disney); and Bill Gates and Paul Allen/Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), the article describes characteristics of successful business partnerings as follows:

"Partners need to be able to trust each other absolutely. . . . Partners also need to possess a delicate balance between similarities and differences. A striking number of successful partners combine similar backgrounds with very different attitudes to fame."

The Economist focuses on one surprising business combination that has worked for more than forty years -- that of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. To read more about the successful Rolling Stones combination of Jagger and Richards, check out the article here.