Friday, December 23, 2016

Dealing with Toxic Family: The Smear Campaign

Here is a great article by Gail Collins on how to recognize and respond to a smear campaign you'll experience when you are the scapegoat in a toxic family.  I wih I had read it years ago.

Gail Collins: The Smear Campaign

Saturday, January 23, 2016

NYT: In Case of Blizzard, Do Nothing

Having lived through more than a few blizzards in my day, I find the advice in this article spot on.  

"Unless you’re a plow driver or a parka-clad elected official trying to look essential, one doesn’t pretend to do battle against a blizzard. You submit. Surrender. Hunker down. A snowstorm rewards indolence and punishes the go-getters, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is."

Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

C'mon Barcelona!

Today at home in the Nou Camp - got to get 'er done against Arsenal!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Impending UEFA Crackdown on Big Spenders

The Times of London sounded the alarm back in November with this article and now it appears imminent that UEFA will restrict the big spending habits of some of Europe's richest clubs.

In a 60-page plan being worked up at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, clubs would only be able to spend only what they earn and not be allowed to take on large debts (and operating at a loss) to fund player acquisitions.

The entire effort is an attempt by UEFA president, Michel Platini (pictured above), to end what he calls "financial doping" – in which wealthy owners underwrite huge losses, and transition to a system where clubs can only spend what they earn.

These proposals, which UEFA intends to bring online 2012, will permit owners to fund losses for a transitional period but under close scrutiny by the governing body. Initially losses of up to €45 million would be acceptable in the three years up to 2015. After that, the number will drop to €30 million over the next three years, with UEFA finally reaching a point where clubs are breaking even.

It seems these proposals are intended to fulfill two objectives. First, the ensure the solvency of Europe's biggest clubs to ensure their financial survival in tough economic times and secondly, to level the financial playing field in the European game; bolstering competition and making the leagues more attractive to fans who are tiring of seeing the same handful of clubs win all the trophies.

While much of the attention in the English language press has focused on the Premiership clubs, the need for these new rules is most starkly displayed in the Spanish Primera, where club revenues average €72 million but average net debt is €860 million - the kind of ratios we're used to seeing in failing Wall Street banks, not big football clubs.

Will these new rules have the desired effect or will clever owners find a way to circumvent them, by (for example) funding player bonuses through advertising schemes, etc? Or, will the big clubs. with broad brand recognition, continue to outpace the smaller clubs in revenues and stay on top? Only time will tell but its obvious that you won't see much change on this until the 2018-2020 timeframe when the policy (if it survives) is fully in effect and operating through two full transfer cycles.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sustainable Christmas Gifts

The upsurge in generosity and the feelings of goodwill, demonstrated in traditional Christmas fashion, may lay a devastating burden upon our environment. Christmas packaging alone creates an additional 1 million tons of waste per week between Thanksgiving and New Years. Not to mention the short life-cycle gifts of toys, of which one UK report places at more than 40% tossed in landfills within three months. Americans spent 66 billion dollars on Christmas in 2007, and even with the current economic crisis, Americans will still spend precious resources on gifts.

According to Joel Waldfogel, author of “Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays”, most sentimental gift giving produces inefficient, unsatisfying and declining values. While I won’t discourage the spirit of benevolence, it is certainly time for thoughtful and intentional gift giving of sustainable proportions.

Some gifts that are more economically sustainable, and gentle with our earth, include hand-made, local products and services (including your very own!) These can include everything from unique pieces of art by local artisans to handmade soaps and lotions and can include gifts of time, such as volunteering with a SHARE program, or something requiring a more personal investment, such as attending the dying through hospice care, or working with a Special Olympian.

Far and away, our gifts can be the high value, low impact, and soul-satisfying demonstration of charity we intended toward our fellow man, through thoughtful choices which enrich and sustain life.

Here’s one creative gift to fight pollution and climate change... Posted last year, this little quip provides a gift solution certain to make a difference.