Friday, May 26, 2017

"None of the students were suspended or expelled"


Middlebury College Administrator

Disrupt a speech? Act like a bunch of thugs?

No big deal if you're on the Middlebury College campus. The New York Times reports on one of the latest cases of administrative spinelessness.

It's Not



It;s not "Can we do it?" but "Should we do it?" 

It's not What so much as How. 

It's not simply being legal but also being ethical. 

And sometimes it's not the finding but the looking.


Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

It's easier to correct course 100 yards into the journey than 100 miles into it.

- Mike Figliuolo

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Get Your Kicks

Specialty license plate wins national contest:

(ADOT Image)

Music Break

Reprise: Iris DeMent, Emmylou Harris, and Aly Bain with "Our Town."

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere


An enchanting video of various children reciting the famous Longfellow poem.

You will smile.

Dismal Futures

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Some films are so bad, they're, well, bad.

The trailers for:

CBO Scoring and Insider Lies

Cultural Offering provides a very interesting analysis of the scoring by the Congressional Budget Office. An excerpt:

I can’t pick on the news media for reporting on the CBO scoring. It is what they do. Increasingly I find that there are what I will call “insider lies” which insiders - the media, politicians, and analysts - know aren’t true but propound anyway because they are all they have. Insider lies offer a clear but incorrect explanation. Since everyone wants an explanation, they accept the lies.

The Waiting Game


Waiting for a return call or email. Waiting to get in the right mood. Waiting until all of the information is available.Waiting until the moment seems just right. Waiting for someone else to say something. Waiting for a better option. Waiting until your schedule clears up. Waiting until everyone is back from vacation. Waiting until the right people are on board. Waiting for s change in opinion. Waiting for perfection. Waiting for others to stop waiting.

Sometimes, waiting becomes a major activity. 

How many years do we spend simply waiting?

First Paragraph

Benjamin Disraeli's career was an extraordinary one; but there is no need to make it seem more extraordinary than it really was. His point of departure, though low by the standards of nineteenth-century Prime Ministers, was neither as humble nor as alien as some people have believed. It is possible to overestimate the obstacles in his way and underestimate the assets he possessed.

- From Disraeli by Robert Blake

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

It did seem to me, in my early army days, that too many of the older officers, when they came to command posts, made it a study to think what orders they could publish to annoy their subordinates and render them uncomfortable.

- Ulysses S. Grant

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Pondering Change


Anderson Layman's Blog points to a very astute question by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

Consider how seldom that one gets asked.

And Now, #1

I've followed Cultural Offering's periodic postings of 40 Albums You Should Own with a great sense of humility as I own darn few of them.

He has now posted his top choice.

I just ordered it.

Evil Losers

President Trump called them "evil losers." I have no problem with the use of that label. The "loser" part may be calculated to diminish ISIS recruitment of young people but it carries weight on its own. The "evil" part, of course, is the main feature.

There is something particularly evil about a group that supports and applauds the intentional murder of young people and children. This recent atrocity, however, is simply a reminder of their nature; a nature that includes cutting throats and burning people alive. We've seen enough evidence of how they revel in cruelty.

No negotiations. No rationalizations. They have got to be destroyed.

First Paragraph

We all know the noun "adult." But I was perplexed last year to begin regularly hearing the new verb "to adult." In social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram, it birthed a new hashtag as well: #adulting. As in: "Doing laundry/dishes/cleaning my bathroom at midnight #adulting" or "Just paid this month's bills on time #adulting" or "Decided I couldn't watch Netflix for 8 hours straight and went to the grocery store instead #adulting."

- From The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis - and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Abundance of knowledge does not teach a person to be wise.

- Heraclitus

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You Have a New Job


You have a new job. 

It is your current job but pretend that you've just gotten it. Which items would you change? Which projects would you drop and which ones would you initiate? Would you have more meetings with your colleagues to get their thoughts? Get a better handle on the concerns of your customers? Would you change your priorities and adopt an entirely new strategy?

You might.

And if so, why aren't you doing that now?

First Paragraph

It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb. There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years. And it was so exquisitely far from the rest of my life.

- From Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.

― Hilaire Belloc

Monday, May 22, 2017

Attack in Great Britain

The Telegraph has updates.

Both sad and infuriating.

40 Albums You Should Own


He's down to album #2.

I can hear a drum roll in the distance.

Greatest Threats


The Incomparable Nicholas Bate lists the seven greatest threats to Earth and mankind.

Thought-provoking. I'm pondering what would be on my list. What would be on yours?

The Sippican Habit


Obligatory Moose Photo

Get thee to Sippican Cottage. Read, scroll down, and read some more.

The Making Things Harder List


The plan for every major project should include a Making It Harder List. 

That one sheet can be a simple accounting of ways in which, if we don't watch out, a project can be made more difficult. It can include traditional approaches such as "Refuse to seek help" and "Let your research be never-ending" but new ones are also likely to appear.

Acknowledging and controlling our proclivity for complexity can help to produce simplicity. Teams don't just tackle problems, they also produce a few along the way.

First Paragraph

Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce. In summer, we work hard to make a tidy garden, bordered by pansies with rows or clumps of columbine, petunias, bleeding hearts. Then we find ourselves longing for the forest, where everything has the appearance of disorder; yet, we feel peaceful there.

- From Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

I would have written a shorter letter but I did not have the time.

- Blaise Pascal

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Find Something Beautiful Today


Saturday, May 20, 2017

First Paragraph

The woman veered toward Ravic. She walked quickly, but with a peculiar stagger. Ravic first noticed her when she was almost beside him. He saw a pale face, high cheekbones and wide-set eyes. The face was rigid and masklike; it looked hollowed out, and her eyes in the light from the street had an expression of such glassy emptiness that they caught his attention.

- From Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque

Creating a Culture of Candor


Wally Bock explores a subject that deserves wide attention.

A Daily Visit

Anderson Layman's Blog: Where you can learn about the perfect gift (attention, wine lovers) and the importance of shoes.

Military Recruitment Ads: An International Sample


Recruitment videos (some are a tad strange) for the:

Media Bias

Althouse notes the Harvard Kennedy School's study.

It's as if most of the major media sites no longer even pretend to be objective. I think that CNN in particular has wigged out.

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Who is wise? Those who learn from everyone.

- Benjamin Franklin