I go back and forth on an athlete’s right for guaranteed money in long-term contracts. I have finally come to the mind that there is no perfect answer to guaranteed money. Rather, the only way to bridge the difference is by figuring out a solution to ensure some sum of guaranteed money to players, while protecting owners on the downside in the event the player doesn’t perform or is injured. How about this thought? Base salary per year should be significantly lower than it is today, but it should all be guaranteed money, providing players with the financial visibility they seek while providing owners with a lower upfront balloon gaurantee. To compensate, players should be entitled to receive an undetermined bonus at the end of each season that is prenegotiated to be within a certain range of X to Y. However, the team is not obligated to pay within that specific certain range. It is there discretion based on the player’s performance/health to pay what they feel is market, just like any business. However, if the owner pays a bonus lower than the range of X to Y, then the player has the option to pursue free agency or a trade. Let’s make sports truly capitalistic and truly a free market. Provide both sides with flexibility. This does, however, provide one glaring issue … free agency will be more vibrant, not less vibrant as a result. So, to poke a hole in my own theory, why as a fan would I want to potentially see a bunch of new faces year after year, versus developing familiarity with the same core players that drives fan loyalty? I guess, my own response would be that as a fan, I want my GM or owner to have maximum flexibility to put the best players on the field each year. Do you think the SF Giants are exactly happy that they are stuck with a Armando Benitez’s 3-yr, $21M contract when the guy has effectively been injured during the first 2 years of his contract? As a fan, I would like Brian Sabean and Peter McGowern to have the flexibility to undercut his bonus in year 1 and use the remaining part of his contract to pick up a legitimate, healthy closer to give my team a better chance to make a run at the pennant.

On a day that included non-sensical ramblings by significant world political feagures: Venezuala’s President, Hugo Chavez, and the flamboyance of his demonizing tongue calling out Bush, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his complete and utter lack of interest to answer CNN’s Anderson Cooper with substantive, definitive answers on Israel, the Holocaust and other sensitive diplomatic and foreign policy issues and of course, our very own, President, George W. Bush, who continues to support the actions that the rest of the country and even a large portion of his own administration have realized as mistakes. Bush continues to remind me of a patronizing Don King promoting situation after situation without a realization of the ruins left behind from previous promotions. I see this uncomfortable level of desperation in Bush – looking out and trying to convince a world populous of naysayers with non-substantive attacks. Let’s be honest, George, assuming Iran’s nuclear activities are truly intended to have a military bias, rather than a domestic production benefit to produce electricity, Iran would NEVER in their right mind unleash a nuclear warhead towards the United States or one of our allies. Think about this from a political and strategic framework. What do they have to win by doing so? The international response would completely and utterly destroy the very land they are trying to protect, prove to foreign diplomats that currently disagree with the Bush Administration’s strong position with Iran that the US and Bush were actually right all along and lead them into a war they know they couldn’t win.  No way, they have far more to lose than they do to win. They want to be significant, they want to be considered relevant in the developments of the world. And let’s face it, military strength seems to be an important characteristic of a leading world power.  Look what happened to the helpless Lebanese who stood no chance without a military strength.  Military strength is not always about unleashing force, but rather the benefits that come with knowing that others respect your ability to protect itself.  By no means do I support Iran or any other country in the world (including the US) to build nuclear military power.  However, I have a hard time sitting in a protected country ripe with military strength and not appreciating why others seek the same defensive security.  This has to be handled with caution and can ONLY be handled through Diplomacy. A stalemate will not serve either side well and it certainly won’t serve the citizens in either region with any level of comfort and calmness. Collaborate on the situation to make the world a more peaceful place!

And through all of this, while the world leader’s had a stage to make a difference, convert rhetoric into policy and show the world as a whole that we can trust those that we have empowered to embrace diplomacy that constitutes humanity as its single most important objective, we ended up with bitter words, diffusive arguments and a taller, deeper wall that divides humanity and diplomacy.

And yes, the ONLY person that rose from the “sulfur of the stage”, was Former President Bill Clinton. For those of you who had an opportunity to watch his CNN interview in entirity, it was a sad reminder of how good it used to be and how close we really were to establishing peace in the middle east.  Charasmatic, direct, articulate, INTELLIGENT and strategic. He is a clever individual that understands human psychology and how to address situations that have obvious and clear opponents. He can bridge differences which is in stark contract to Bush, who would rather destroy a bridge rather than work hand in hand to build one. Bill Clinton, while a bit self-serving through his interview, was brilliant in his ability to insert his jabs at the Republican Administration, present and past, and remind the common citizen that one of our greatest past leaders is likeminded in our thinking of foreign policy with understandable outrage at the current administration. Life is not entirely rosey with Clinton.  Anyone as intelligent and shrewd as he must have hidden political agendas and motives that lie deep and far out – helping the democrats win position in the Presidency, gain majority in the House and if possible, inch closer to 50/50 in the Senate are obvious. And why not? Outside of the fact that he is supporting his very own party, could it be because Hillary will be running 4-8 years out? And a strong Democratic party with a wave of momentum at the time of her election could only help her cause. And let’s face it, there is only one thing Clinton would hate to see more than another string of bad Republican leaders, is to see his wife lose to a Republican led campaign and potentially smear the Clinton legacy. We all know that Clinton was soft on foreign policy as it relates to sending a message of fear. But, his softness was a simple result of peacemaking. It is tough to inspire peace, while drawing out reactionary threats and ultimatums if peace policies are not reached. Credibility is a critical attribute. Like stated in the Art of War, keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. Clinton knew that strategy well and a lesson that Bush should take as he suckles on a bottle of warm milk.

I don’t understand the fuss over user-generated content versus copyright laws and IP infringment. I don’t understand why they have to be mutually exclusive. The leading social networking sites, MySpace, Classmates, Facebook, Bebo, etc. and blog publishers, WordPress, SixApart, Blogger, etc. that are pioneering the surge of consumer interaction on the web have a fundamental obligation to provide users with the right to interact with prior art or existing IP, while compensating those IP holders for their assets. MySpace’s next generation and leap forward will be its ability to enable users with powerful platforms to allow consumers to create their own content and tie-in the rights holders to earn a piece of their hard earned Intellectual Property. Each MySpace page can either be a depiction of you, a home for your friends and family to find out more about you or … a storefront to sell your unique/amended content. Kudos to WB and YouTube on their recent deal. IP is king and let’s not quickly dismiss the value and cost to develop successful IP. Imagine a world without Gone with the Wind, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and of course, South Park. We all have benefited from others who have created IP. Let’s not cut them out of the puzzle, but rather, add consumers to the value chain as the uber creation and distribution vehicle. At the end of the day, consumers know best and they know what they want. So, why not engage them with tools to create the next citizen journalist, personal broadcaster or video jockey? As Tiger Woods receives a healthy royalty check from EA each year for building a game with his name, why can’t the IP holders empower the consumer to create content around their original works and share in whatever value creation they create? Ode to the IP holders working hand in hand with consumers (through the publishers). And to the IP Holders, don’t be concerned about what consumers are saying about your brand, product or asset. You, the IP Holder, have a moral obligation to build with ethical standards. Regardless, consumers will blog about it all day long, so the negative message, if there is one, is already out in the public domain so letting consumers “edit/change/control” your IP is not really “changing” much public opinion. Don’t fight it, get paid for it.

Initiating Post

September 19, 2006

First and foremost, I am a big fan of WordPress. I am also a big believer and an avid follower of everything online media, online consumer oriented. With that said, I have been slow, if not delinquent, in embracing the blog environment as a site owner. Today is the day that I have finally built up the courage to create my own blog and share with the world the various thoughts that dance around in my often cluttered mind. A forum, if you may, for me to release the often opioniated, yet not always justified, musings that I often share with friends, family and colleagues. So, get the whipping sticks out and feel free to comment as openly and honestly as you can.

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