Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Management Myth: Debunking Modern Business Philosophy

As far as employment went, I somewhat enjoyed financial analysis and accounting-related work.  But what drove me out of the business environment and into law school was the intellectually hollow corporate babble that seemed to invade most aspects of the job.  There was the constant talk of “driving the business,” the prodding to “think outside the box,” and even the brilliance of “management by walking around.”  (They seriously called it that, and management gurus made a fortune selling it to brain-dead business leaders.)  And of course, any employee who refused to place his faith in the latest management buzzwords and catchphrases, and instead questioned the underlying thinking, was not being “a team player.”  Fortunately, in response to all of this stupidity, Matthew Stewart has written what should be mandatory reading for everyone in the corporate world: The Management Myth: Debunking Modern Business Philosophy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keep your hands off the meat

Criminal defendants are often shocked when they wind up in jail or even prison for minor transgressions.  In such cases, their crimes run the gamut from negligent and strict liability crimes (where there is no criminal intent and often no direct or indirect harm to anyone) to small-time property offenses (where the financial harm is very minimal).  The best example of harsh punishment for property crimes can be found in California, where the Golden State’s infamous three-strikes-and-you’re-in program often puts petty shoplifters behind bars for decades or even for life.  But Wisconsin is no slouch either, as one criminal defendant recently found out the hard way.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A satirical take on college bowl games: Area doctor launches “Don’t Overeat Bowl”

Bowl games aren’t just for the big corporations and not-for-profits anymore.  Area doctor Joseph Mathew has just announced the Joseph Mathew Dont Overeat Bowl, which will be played next year after the Bowl and before the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  The Dont Overeat Bowl will be held in Springfield Memorial Park Stadium, located in Dr. Mathews’ home town of Springfield, Illinois, and will feature the sixth team from the Big Ten "Leaders" Division versus the fourth team from the Sun Belt Conference. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Prosecutor babble and double-speak

By now, most people have heard of the Wisconsin prosecutor who threatened to criminally charge school teachers for teaching sex-ed classes, even though parents could opt their children out of the sex-ed program, and even though the sex-ed program itself had been approved by the state legislature.  But not all prosecutors take this anti-legislature approach; some will justify their acts, no matter how absurd, by attempting to align themselves with the legislature.  That is, if the legislature fails to specifically forbid the bizarre, unimaginable thing they want to accomplish, then, they reason, their actions must be acceptable.  That’s the tactic a different Wisconsin prosecutor used to justify charging a six-year-old child with felony sexual assault for "playing doctor" with a five-year-old.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Technically, That’s Illegal: A book

Ridiculous laws can be interesting and fun to read about.  But the fact is that they are not anomalous; rather, they engulf us all.  From people being detained for taking pictures of law enforcement officers or pictures with “no aesthetic value” (as determined by law enforcement officers), to people being imprisoned for failing to sod their lawn, to teenagers being forced to register as sex-offenders for typical teen shenanigans, author Ann Sattley demonstrates that we’re all at risk for detention, formal arrest, conviction of a crime, or even worse.  If you want to be entertained—or possibly infuriated—by our multiple levels of overreaching government, check out her book Technically, That's Illegal.  You’ll be happy—or possibly angry—that you did.