The Wednesday Curator – 4/1/15

In the Sunday New York Times, on March 22, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz posed the question Just How Nepotistic Are We? In the political context, his answer is a sad and infuriating VERY! At the non-presidential level the numbers are stunning and, with the next election 588 days away, the two people most likely to be our next President of the United States are a former First Lady and the son/brother of two former presidents.

Collaboration, from the Wright Brothers to Robots was written by Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, for the Harvard Business… Continue reading

Yates v. U.S. Update; Spiderman, Too!

The Fish Case aka Grouper-Gate aka Yates v. U.S., No. 13-7451, appeared here on December 1, 2014. The case posed for the Supreme Court this question: Whether Mr. Yates was deprived of fair notice that the destruction of fish violated provisions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes criminal “knowingly alter[ing], destroy[ing], mutilat[ing], conceal[ing], cover[ing] up, falsif[ying], or mak[ing] a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object,” intending to impede or obstruct an investigation.

The case involved claims by the government that commercial fisherman John Yates destroyed under-sized fish to avoid prosecution. (I’m not going to dwell… Continue reading

Indiana’s Mess

Republican Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on March 26. The law allows religious beliefs to trump individual rights; if it matters at all—more below—it will likely impact the LBGT community most greatly.

Why was this law passed? Was there a problem? Somebody’s religious rights being trampled? You decide, based on a brief Q and A between Governor Pence and conservative talk show host Greg Garrison:

Garrison: Just real quickly – Is the answer to my question about whether or not religious freedom has been threatened in Indiana yes or is it no?

Governor Pence: I’m not… Continue reading

Happy Anniversary, Lorinda Wheeler

In about 3-1/2 hours Lorinda Wheeler and I will reach a milestone. We started working together on March 26, 1990, 9131 days ago. (An HP12c is great for counting days; for those who slice and dice a bit less, and don’t need a fancy calculator to count, think 25 years!)

Here’s the history, in a quick nutshell. I had a secretary in my first law firm, for about 16 months. I joined another firm, where I stayed for 16+ years. I shared a secretary briefly, then I shared another for a year or so. Given a choice, she stuck by… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 3/25/15

Wednesday again! Out of the box, there was a tempest in Maine a few days ago. Governor Paul LePage—a Republican and the only major elected politician in the nation who makes Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) seem like a nice fellow—claimed Stephen King—yes, that one—and others supported tax increases and, then, left that state. FaithGardner for DailyKos has Stephen King calls BS on Maine Gov. LePage, tells him to ‘man up and apologize’. Very funny!

Here from Talking Points Memo is Geography Fail: Tom Cotton Warns of Iranians’ Control of Tehran. Tom Cotton, the newly elected Senator from Arkansas,… Continue reading

Musings on the First Amendment

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., No. 14-144. The case involves specialty license plates, and a state’s right under the First Amendment to limit the messages. In a nutshell, almost, the Sons of Confederate Veterans want a specialty license plate in Texas. The state said no, the trial court said no, the Fifth Circuit said yes, and the Supreme Court said “let’s take a look.”

Lyle Denniston for SCOTUSblog provides his usual first-rate analysis in Assuming the Answer, Up Front. As it is with so many issues, the… Continue reading

Israel and the Self-Hating Jew

Blame it on Congressman Steve King (Rep.-Iowa). I had no plans to write about the election in Israel, or about Israel at all. Then, I saw Rep. King Doubles Down on Asking How Jews Can Be Democrats by Daniel Strauss for Talking Points Memo. In particular I focused on the exchange between Congressman King and Congressman Steve Israel (Dem.-N.Y.). It started with this comment from King:

Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that, that decided they would boycott the president’s speech. Here’s what I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and… Continue reading

Nonprofits Revisited: The Training Institute

I wrote The Nonprofit Sector aka My Former Life almost eight months ago. Buried in the recitation of the remnants of that life was “tried to start a training institute.” It’s my subject today.

Many years ago a local nonprofit ran an inclusion program, designed to train and place minorities on nonprofit boards. There was nothing especially unusual about the program. Similar programs existed—and exist today—in many communities. The programs offer training in how to serve in the nonprofit community, along with a placement effort. Nothing wrong with any of this … but, and this is the question no one… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 3/18/15

There’s a new kerfuffle—a new word for the Curator, and for MRW—in Florida and Washington over climate change. Miami Finds Itself Ankle-Deep in Climate Change Debate was written by Carol Davenport for the New York Times on May 7, 2014. And last Thursday Caitlin MacNeal reported for Talking Points Memo on a speech by Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he alluded to an informal ban on the use of these terms—climate change, global warming, and sustainability—by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, reported by several employees. Banner-in chief Governor Rick Scott denies the charge. (Governor Scott on the… Continue reading

Additional Thoughts on the Iran Letter

Apologies! MRW posted 47 Again – The Letter to Iran on Friday, March 13. In the post we noted several lame, after-the-fact attempts to explain and justify the Iran letter, including a rush to leave town on account of snow. (I’ve lived in DC; two flakes and the schools close.)

Now, finally, a week after the letter came out, the National Review has cleared everything up. In The Cotton Letter Was Not Sent Anywhere, Especially Not to Iran, Deroy Murdock notes the fact—I assume it’s a fact—that freshman Senator Tom Cotton (Rep.-Ark.) and did not put the letter in… Continue reading

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