NFL and NBA Unions Selling Young Players Down the River | The Economist

The August 16, 2014 issue of The Economist editorializes about the America’s “exploitative” college sports system.  It labels the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) as a monopsonic cartel – “using market power to obtain cheaper inputs – to squeeze its vulnerable employees.”

The Economist identifies several problems that would result from trying to fix the situation by retro-fitting a commercial payment scheme into college athletics.  “A better approach would be to go after the cartel’s silent partners: the NBA and the NFL.. The power to implement this solution lies with the professional players’ unions, who collectively bargain league-entry rules. So far, they have been all too willing to sell future members down the river in exchange for concessions that benefit current ones. That can change. Activists could aim their public-relations campaign at the unions as well as the NCAA, and amateur players could try to sue them for undermining their interests. Professional players are already rich. It is high time for their representatives to demand that younger athletes win the same right to be paid for their labour as every other worker.”

via American college sports: Justice for jocks | The Economist.

“Ukraine seeks to join NATO” – good one!

Reuters reports, “Ukraine seeks to join NATO.”  Ha ha! Good one.

The Ukrainians’ time would be better spent seeking an anti-gravity ray gun or a cloak of invisibility. Make that 45 million cloaks.

And please don’t get me started on the issue of whether the West tricked Ukraine into giving up its nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for guarantees of protection against invasion by foreign powers.  The Ukraines understand English as well as anybody else and, as U.S. former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer recently reported, “it’s the Budapest Memorandum of Assurances and not of guarantees. And we were very clear – and the Ukrainians understood this back in 1994 – that we were not going to use the word guarantee because we were not prepared to extend a military commitment.”  That’s not a trick.  It’s English.

I’m joking, of course; the West (specifically the Americans and the British) put one over on the Ukrainians. The North Koreans and the Iranians will need more than “assurances” before they give up their nukes.  Who can blame them?

Needed: An Honest Debate on War

“[W]e must understand that an army does not fight a war, that a country fights a war. And if we, as a country, are unwilling to fight a war, we must never send our army. We must also accept that war truly demands equality of sacrifice, which means that we must be willing, as Americans have done since the Civil War, to tax ourselves more to pay for the costs of war.”

I wish I’d said that.  Syndicated columnist (and talking head on the American television show PBS Newshour) Mark Shields said it.  Today.

He expands on the issue of “equality of sacrifice” in the link, below, pointing to the increasingly fervent calls for the U.S. to ramp up its response to (Islamic State)  in Iraq and Syria and (by inference) to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  He supports a recent call by some disgruntled U.S. House representatives for a full debate and vote in Congress.

Needed: An Honest Debate on War on