The new Business[week] daily — on getting the kind of gun control the founders of the republic wanted!

Feb 21st, 2014 | By | Category: USA Today

November 6, 2000 issue.

The print edition of Business Week magazine, “which was founded in 1929, just weeks before the October stock market crash that led to the Great Depression” used to play a big role in my life.

At some point in my not-too-early adulthood (late 20s I think) I suddenly realized that I was going to have to learn at least something about what I had traditionally thought was a boring world, in order to continue making a living in comfortable clothes, supporting several bartenders, assorted in-laws, and so forth.

I noticed a superior I admired, who came from a similar background to mine, recurrently reading Business Week. So I subscribed and began to read the thing myself, on my train rides to and from the office and other such occasions.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed my new homework. Even for someone like me, Business Week somehow managed to make business interesting.


1. My subscription to the old print edition

June 30, 1980 issue.

The Talking Biz News website in the early 21st century has explained that the old print edition of Business Week lost $1.5 million in its first six years, but then became a great success.

The secret of its success was an “ability to give a broad, but comprehensive overview of issues and trends affecting industry and the economy” — and I would add  in engaging prose and (often) without the right-wing social ideology frequently identified with business thought.

Alas a number of years ago, in the midst of a wider change in reading habits induced by the Internet revolution and all that, I stopped subscribing to the Business Week print edition.

I don’t remember the exact circumstances now, but I can’t have been the only one who did this. When Bloomberg LP (yes, owned by the former Mayor of New York) finally bought Business Week in October 2009, Talking Biz News wrote that : “When founded, the magazine had 14 staffers. That number grew to more than 600, but in recent weeks had been down around 400.”

2.  The new BloombergBusinessweek daily on the net

Controversial July 15, 2013 cover : According to Salon.com : “The magazine takes a shot at male virility to symbolize the decline of power among Wall Street's elite.”

Most recently, I am happy to report, some of my original Business Week print edition bromance has been revived  — by something called the Bloomberg Businessweek daily, which I have been receiving in my email inbox.

It includes about half a dozen articles each day, in a short email message that is easy to glance at  and then get more detail if you really want to. I should point out too that I am not paying for this.

I did subscribe to the print edition of Business Week for about a quarter of a century, dutifully paying all requisite fees etc. And it seems that the organization in its current incarnation, which always has kept in touch with me digitally, ever since our print edition divorce, believes I am worthy of receiving the new Bloomberg Businessweek daily email for free — for a while at least.

As in so many other places, this corporate largesse just cannot go on too much longer, I agree. It defies all the natural laws of both business and economics. But that’s another story.

3.  Paul M. Barrrett’s piece on Gun Control and the Second Amendment in the USA

July 20, 2006 issue.

The main thing I really set out to do here (very badly, it turns out) was give an example of the kind of helpful entertainment offered by the Bloomberg Businessweek daily.

(I know, I know. The counterweights editors have already had a stab in this direction with “The Great Gatsby Curve : Bloomberg Businessweeks’s Christmas present for all we left-wing kooks,” back this past December. But I am hoping to add a kind of more personal note here.)

The example I want to highlight at the moment is Paul M. Barrrett’s piece on “Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?” in the  BloombergBusinessweek daily for February 20, 2014.

What does this have to do with business or the economy, you may ask? And I at least would argue that if you do, you’re being … well less broad-minded than the people who are somehow trying to revive something I used to like about the old Business Week print edition.

4. Just five little words more … and the Second Amendment makes sense!

In the email announcement you get about this piece, the headings are somewhat different — designed more to grab your attention than anything else : “Should We Amend the Second Amendment? … Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens thinks the addition of just five little words would do the trick.”

Charlton Heston addresses National Rifle Association meeting in 2002.

This is what hooked me into reading the longer article. I wanted to know just what the five little words were.

As it happens, I have also now already taken up too much space here. I just have time left to get down to the five little words right away.

As background, remember that the Second Amendement to the US Constitution says : “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” And this rather ambiguous late 18th century prose has been used by present-day anti-gun-regulation airheads (like the Hollywood actor Charlton Heston) to prevent much sensible public policy on dangerous firearms in the United States.

From here I will let the prose of Paul M.Barrett take the ship the rest of the way to shore. To start with, note that his article begins with : “The liveliest (and oldest) former member of the US Supreme Court is at it again. John Paul Stevens, 93, served on the highest court in the land for an impressive 35 years, from 1975 until his retirement in June 2010. Known for his bow ties, brilliant legal mind, and striking transformation from Midwest Republican conservative to hero of the political left, Stevens remains an intellectual force to reckon with.”

After various further words of interest and information, Barrett comes to the big point I was wondering about : “Since Stevens believes that the authors of the Second Amendment were primarily concerned about the threat that a national standing army posed to the sovereignty of the states—as opposed to homeowners’ anxiety about violent felons—he thinks the best way to fix the situation is to amend the Second Amendment. He’d do that by adding five words as follows: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.’”

Justice John Paul Stevens in his chambers at the Supreme Court, shortly before his retirement in 2010.

So … the extra five words that former Justice Stevens wants added are “when serving in the militia” — which means that Charlton Heston and so forth would have to join a militia to fully exercise their right to bear arms. (And that would no doubt in most cases be a little too much like real work?)

Apart from anything else, I think this is quite hilarious. Justice Stevens is a wit in the manner of Jon Stewart as well as a brilliant legal mind and a Midwest Republican conservative hero of the political left. And if all this is really starting to confuse you, that probably means you should read Paul M. Barrett’s entire short article. And the easiest way of doing that is to just CLICK HERE.

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