You Can’t Go Home Again

April 21, 2012

Our daughter Cate matriculated at Beloit College, a fine, small liberal arts college in Beloit, Wisconsin. Beloit–the town, and the college within it–is located along the Wisconsin/Illinois border about 95 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. That Cate enrolled at Beloit College is totally fitting, as she would not be alive if Jane and I had not both been Beloit College students who happened to meet in the fall of 1977, as I was wrapping up my 3-1/2 years at Beloit and Jane was starting hers. (It did take us almost nine years to connect up for real, but that’s another story!)

Beloit was not my home or Jane’s before we arrived there. I was Tucson-raised, while Jane was born in

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Reflections and “Epiphanies” From the Social Venture Partners International Winter Conference in Scottsdale

April 20, 2012

From my life as a member of a venture philanthropy partnership–Social Venture Partners Tucson–here’s a piece I posted early today. For more information about SVP Tucson, go to

There is an old adage about seminars:  Learn one thing and you’ve gotten your money’s worth! I attended the Social Venture Partners Turn Up the Heat: Next-Level Strategies for SVP Winter Conference in Scottsdale on April 16-17, 2012. I went to two programs, learned two big things and got a great reminder about the value of Social Venture Partners. Oh, and there was an EPIPHANY! Pretty good value!!!

First, I attended a dinner focused on collective impact. Several presenters related collective impact experiences in their communities. The issues on which

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My Big Takeaway From Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

November 25, 2011

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is a great biography about a fascinating man. Much of the press about the book focuses on bad behavior, and I suppose no one should expect more. I know I wanted to assume Steve Jobs was a nice fellow, and I suspect I had plenty of company. In fact, the evidence suggests that, at best, Mr. Jobs could be charming when he felt like it, and that feeling like being charming consumed a very small part of many days. The media likes contra-stories, of course, so this is a lollapalooza!

So what’s the real takeaway? The Apple Marketing Philosphy, a one page lesson plan for successful marketing, written by Mike Markkula. Mr. Markkula, an Apple

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September 11, 2011

I’ve wondered for years why 9/11 had to be such a big deal for Americans and America.  About 3000 people died as a direct result of the attacks and the rescue  efforts; reports actually vary with respect to actual numbers.  That number represents about one person killed for every 100,000 residents of the United  States.  In  Israel, a country that is plenty familiar with terrorism and its impact on daily life, a similar kill rate only requires the deaths of about 64 people.  [In nine of the 20 years spanning the ‘90s and the aughts, more than 64 Israelis lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks, albeit not on one day.]

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Job Creators, Taxes and Regulatory Reform = Poppycock

August 14, 2011

Lately we’ve been treated to lectures about job creators, the people who will get us out of the fix we’re in by creating the millions of jobs we need to employ the millions of people who aren’t working. Republicans claim, as necessary elements for job creation, lower taxes and the elimination of regulations that limit business activity. Right or wrong, or as Stephen Colbert poses the question, Yahweh or No Way?

No way, in a big way! No one WANTS to pay higher taxes, and no one WANTS to be told he or she cannot do this or that!!! So it’s easy to come up with arguments for lowering taxes and eliminating regulations. And yes, it’s certainly true that the

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The Balanced Budget Amendment Fallacy

July 30, 2011

Not much, if anything, would be worse for all of us than a balanced budget amendment. Never mind how you feel about government, taxes and spending. Forget about the politics. Simply, the effing thing can’t work.

Budgets are devices that allow people to plan. In government-speak, however, a balanced budget law mandates that an entity not spend more than it collects. Fine! Anyone who lacks credit knows all about not spending more than what’s in the till. (Can you spell “Got any spare change?”) So what’s wrong with telling government it cannot spend more than it has? Lots, if what you’re doing involves more than simply expressing the notion that you oppose borrowing lots of money you don’t have!


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Lessons From Highway Driving

July 4, 2011

I get most of the highway driving duty in my family. I guess we’re a pretty traditional trio, and within our milieu driving long distances is “men’s work.”  We never go very far:  Round trips to Phoenix are the norm, and there’s a very occasional excursion to San Diego or Orange County. Thank goodness!

As a young driver I learned a few rules of the road. One that stuck was “stay to the right.” Drive in the right lane on the highway, move to the left lane to pass and, then, move back to the right lane. Simple and sensible! And the law, as well, as it is set forth in Title 28, Section 721, Arizona Revised Statutes.

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A Father’s Day Thought

June 18, 2011

I’m reading The Social Animal by David Brooks. (Yes, that one!) It’s sort of a work of fiction about an imaginary couple and, so far, their son. I’ve followed the relationship between Julia and Rob and have observed their son Harold from birth through, so far, his senior year in high school. Throughout, Mr. Brooks provides a ton of information about how people relate to one another and, in the process, learn and love.

So yesterday, I’m sharing with my wife how much success in life depends on the bonds we have with parents, other relatives, teachers, etc. Jane asked, if that’s so, how do we scale up when so many people don’t have these relationships in the right doses

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Lower Tax Rates = More Jobs?

May 29, 2011

I’ve been an employer for about 30 years. “But you’re an attorney,” you say. “Yes, of course I am, but I’ve always had a secretary, and the firms with which I have been affiliated have had associates, contract attorneys, legal assistants, bookkeepers, files clerks, etc.” So, directly and indirectly, I’ve been employing people for three decades.

My practice focuses on business and real estate issues. My clients are employers, large and small, in many, many different industries.  I’ve represented my clients in times good and bad, and often talk with them about employment issues.

My point? Never, not once, have I decided to hire someone because I–or my firm–had extra money lying around. And never, not once, has a

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