Showing posts from November, 2014

NFL concussion settlement: Who wins, who loses

Image by Artamp Though a court recently found no “obvious” red flags in the proposed concussion settlement between the NFL and thousands of ex-players, the settlement is fundamentally unfair. [1]  True, it’s generally easy to accuse class action settlements of unfairness. [2]  But the proposed NFL settlement—even in its current mutation—merits a double-helping of criticism. [3]  The settlement gives only some players a fair shake while others get the shaft. All the while, the NFL wins big. Concussion Settlement Basics: The NFL’s Victory The settlement’s basic terms are easy enough to understand: All 20,000-plus retired NFL football players, except those who opted out, will  forever  forfeit rights to sue the NFL for health problems related to head trauma. [4]  In return, each ex-player can receive  limited  compensation for  only specific  health problems related to head trauma. [5]   Though ex-players don’t have to do anything to prove the NFL actually is to blame for thei

Thoughts on bigotry

"Bigot" is a word almost constantly creeping into political discourse nowadays. But the term has not proven particularly productive. There is confusion about what bigotry means or should mean, and logical incoherencies within the many definitions proffered. Fascinatingly, in the middle of the chaos, people tend to agree that whatever bigotry is, it is utterly reprehensible. Whatever a bigot is, it is one of the worst things people can call you. The tension in word meanings, combined with reckless usage and almost paralyzing social stigma, are rather damning to political discourse. We should either agree on a coherent, functional definition of bigotry and its variants or avoid such terms altogether. Perhaps we should do both. Before going further, let’s crack open the dictionary—err, internet. What is a bigot? This is  Merriam-Webster ’s best stab at defining bigot: Under Merriam-Webster’s first definition, the first qualification to being a bigot is tha

Mormon convert, mother of three, makes election history

Mia Love and her husband, Jason. Mia Love made history last night as the first black Republican woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate. She will represent Utah's 4th District. Her history is a fascinating one and makes her perhaps the single most diverse personality in American politics. She is a minority several times over: Black Mormon convert. Married to a white returned Mormon missionary. Mother of three young children. Daughter of Haitian immigrants. Mia Love joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS / Mormon church) after college, leaving behind Roman Catholicism. She moved to Utah from Connecticut where she'd wrapped up her degree in the performing arts. Love got help moving into her new place from some missionaries she had met in Connecticut, including Jason Love, whom she ended up marrying a few months later. Though I didn't vote for Mia Love (I couldn't because I live in the wrong district), I am excited to see what she will accompli