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, 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

Oh Lord, Where Do I Begin?

Oh Lord, where do I begin? The world may be more effed up right now than it has been in my almost 57 years on G-d’s green earth. We have wars or near wars in Ukraine, Syria, Gaza/Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and places in Africa I’m ashamed to admit I can’t readily identify on a map. One in seven American families need food assistance from a food pantry or shelter. We have American companies which have discovered the “inversion” tax scam, where they merge with a foreign company to get a new domicile as a tax dodge, while they still expect to… Continue reading

If You Like Food … !

I was having a drink Wednesday evening with my friend Stephen Caine. The chatter wandered, aided by a decent dose of very fine, very cold gin. At a point in time, probably about two-thirds of the way into the conversation, we hit our marks. (Ever notice how most any discussion has its really important dialogue during the last 30% of the time, plus or minus. Almost like a law of nature!)

And what were our marks? Well, Stephen shared being at Woodstock for one night. Cold, smelly, wet, but an experience never to be forgotten. Or encountered/replicated again! And it’s… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 8/20/14 (Special Robin Williams Edition)

I did not expect to have more Robin Williams’ posts. The media did wrap things up in good order within a few days—think Michael Jackson, for example, about how awful the media can be—but there was definitely some “over the top” stuff last week. That aside, I saw some material I wanted—and needed—to share. Here it is:

Adam Hills, taking apart the Westboro Baptist Church—the funeral crashers—in Westboro Baptist Church Rant – The Last Leg.

Robin Williams, on the first decade of the century, in We Are Most Amused. (Warning! Degraded video; still “bust a gut” funny!)

A… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 8/20/14

It’s Wednesday, and there’s lots to share. Ferguson, MO is weighing heavy on me, for it’s a terrible exemplar of how far we have not come in 50 years. Lots of material out there, but I do try to find what you won’t read elsewhere. Here’s Driving While Black in Ferguson, written by Victoria Bekiempis on August 14 for Newsweek. (Who knew Newsweek still existed?) The story repeats itself in too many places around the country, with government as a business, trying to figure out how to make as much money as it can, and the public be damned.… Continue reading

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