The Wednesday Curator – 9/3/14

Welcome to the 30th edition of The Wednesday Curator!

I rarely write about the Middle East. Lots of emotions are bound up in any exchange, and I truly believe regular people don’t/can’t know what’s really going on, any more than we can know what’s really going on here in the United States. So it’s with a high degree of wariness that I share The End of Liberal Zionism by Antony Lerman, published in the New York Times on August 22. Mr. Lerman’s provocative piece raises hard questions, not to be considered in the midst of a war but soon after, and… Continue reading

The Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Senate

Well, the official election season has begun! (Tradition says campaigning doesn’t REALLY count until after Labor Day.)

Lots and lots of misinformation abounds. (One bit I did not enjoy? Ads from the Republican Governors Association, telling us Fred DuVal, Arizona’s Democratic Party nominee for governor, voted to raise college tuition by almost 100% when he served on the Arizona Board of Regents. True statement? I think so. Grossly misleading? Absolutely, for it ignores our R governor and R-controlled legislature’s failure adequately fund higher education. [Disclosure:  I’ve known Fred since high school, he’s a great guy, and he can win. You… Continue reading

Labor Day

Labor Day began in 1882, in New York. It became a federal holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in September, annually, in 1894.

Labor Day

is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. (From the U.S. Department of Labor website.)

We live in difficult times—clichés are true, often—and it’s easy to forget the people who make our things, build stuff for us, get our goods to and from… Continue reading

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, cont’d

I didn’t tell people about my trepidations regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge piece, mostly. Now, I’m a worrier—if you’re an attorney, you’re probably a worrier, as you get tasked with taking on OPP aka Other People’s Problems—but this subject worried me lots. Somewhere, somehow, I picked up this “negative/downer” thing, and tackling a popular Internet phenomenon left me nervous.

With one exception, I received only positive feedback. Lots of readers and several comments, many of which came via email, phone, or direct contact. (There’s a lesson here, too, albeit not the main lesson of this post. Don’t assume everyone… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 8/27/14

It’s the last Wednesday of summer—if summer is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day—and the Curator wants to know, “Where did it go?” Hard to believe the kids are back in school, and that summer can only justify one more “I’m slipping out at 4 on Friday.”

Speaking of school, here’s a piece from NPR.com, A Picture of Language:  The Fading Art of Diagramming Sentences, by Juana Summers. TBT, I can’t diagram a sentence to save my life. Honors English all through junior high and high school, and I never learned the skill. I also have no… Continue reading

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, someone asks you to donate $100 to the ALS Association, which works to finds treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis aka ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. Donate, or you get a bucket of cold water dumped on you, and I’m pretty sure most people write a check and get wet!

What’s up with this? Why now? Before I try to address the questions, though, let’s all agree:  ALS is a dreadful condition, and those words don’t begin to describe its awfulness. Friends of mine have died from ALS, and I cannot imagine… Continue reading

Professional Responsibility; Conflicts of Interest

Last week I wrote about confidentiality. Another core element of attorney ethics is conflicts of interest.

While confidentiality comes within one rule—ER 1.6—with a few touches elsewhere, conflicts of interest take up ERs 1.7-1.12 and lots of subparts. The structure is pretty simple. Current client issues are in ER 1.7, ER 1.8 addresses a dozen special situations, ER 1.9 describes duties owed to former clients, ER 1.10 focuses on indirect conflicts of interest faced by law firms, and ERs 1.11 and 1.12 deal with government attorneys and judges/mediators, respectively. (Lots of material here; you’re getting a “broad brush overview,” and… Continue reading

Government, Doing Its Job

Joe Nocera writes for the New York Times Op-Ed page, and also has a pretty regular slot on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. He’s been writing about business issues for decades, and he’s top-drawer.

I’ve read two Nocera pieces in the past week or so, The Man Who Blew the Whistle and Lessons Not Learned. I also read How Uber Will Conquer America, written by Andrew Leonard for Salon on Friday, August 22.

There’s a common thread; first, though, a bit of background. The whistleblower was Bill Lloyd, a MassMutual employee who received 25% of a… Continue reading

Just Bagels and Pizza

You and I both expected some thoughts on aging. For me, the prompt was the fact that I’ve started working out at the UA Student Rec Center again, and I’m sure I’m in the 95th percentile by age, among all users. After three boring starts, I realized I don’t have anything original or meaningful to say about getting old. So, in the immortal words of the amazing—and sorely missed—Emily Litella (Gilda Radner) “never mind!” (Here’s Ms. Litella on busting school children.)

On to bagels and pizza. I’m three weeks into Bagel Making 101, a self-taught course. Pretty satisfied, as they’re… Continue reading

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