Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
The Telegraph has a slide show on the best chocolates for Christmas.
Christopher Hitchens weighs in on the airport security issue. An excerpt:
Addison Schacht, the protagonist of Sam Munson’s debut novel, is a foul-mouthed 18-year-old dope dealer who lives in an affluent neighborhood in Washington. He tells disgusting jokes about the Holocaust. He is rude to his single father, his girlfriend, his teachers, and his fellow students. He has few friends. He’s enrolled in the gifted and talented program at John F. Kennedy Senior High School in the District, where he’s applying to the University of Chicago. He scored a combined 1420 on the SAT, got excellent marks on his Advanced Placement exams, and won both silver and gold medals in the National Latin Exam. He quotes Virgil. He is, in other words, one of those intelligent, arrogant, and troublemaking teenagers whom you’d want to rap upside the head and ship off to a military academy in rural Virginia.
For the rest of The Weekly Standard review of "The November Criminals."
Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.
This story about the last preserved gulag archipelago camp is troubling.
Cultural Offering is looking at nontraditional Christmas movies.
From The Wall Street Journal Law Blog: The U.S. Department of Justice is cracking down on counterfeit goods:
Novelist Steven Pressfield on why we love amnesia stories:
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
What I do for a living is unique: I teach people how to disappear. I show them how to live off the grid and erase any connection to their former lives.
My clients range from the paranoid to the extremely wealthy. I hear from victims of dangerous stalkers and the corporate whistleblower who thinks retribution is finally coming his way. This past year it’s been mostly people in the finance industry. My concern there is that six months from now it could come out that they’ve done something illegal. I don’t like to help criminals.
Read the rest of the Men's Journal article here.
The Telegraph has a gallery of landscapes by photographer Andrew Spencer.
Jonathan Miles gives his "top five" list of books on the secrets of espionage.
Bureaucracies try to maximize their missions. They can't help themselves. Adult supervision is required to stand athwart this tendency, yelling "Stop!"
Clothing: A beaten-up pair of jeans, an old shirt, a heavy black-ribbed cardigan sweater, and some ultra-comfortable Ecco loafers.
Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson defending Christianity.
Mitchell and Webb with the other side of vegetarianism.
Cultural Offering has Allen Ginsberg and William F. Buckley Jr.
An anonymous benefactor in Canton, Ohio placed a newspaper ad near Christmas in 1933 and asked for people in need to contact him. At the height of the Great Depression, many were in dire straits and responded by mail. The mysterious “B. Virdot” sent $5 (a generous sum at the time) to 150 families. Virdot never revealed his identity. Then in 2008, Ted Gup unearthed those letters and found out that his grandfather was the man who handed out the money.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
Why I live in the desert:
Well worth checking out: Stuart Buck confronts an unsourced factoid. An excerpt:
Writing in Commentary, Andrew Ferguson on the press, gullibility, and surveys:
Get a load of the menu that Verging on Pertinence has planned for Thanksgiving.
The man has, as they say in some Italian neighborhoods, a heavy fork. In comparison, I'll be attending a diet camp tomorrow.
Since he provides some nifty links for recipes (the one for pecan pie looks especially interesting), here's a pumpkin pie recipe involving cream cheese and see if you can guess the mystery ingredient for Red Velvet Cake.
James Lileks leaves snowy St. Paul and goes on a Caribbean cruise. An excerpt:
“The builders would either forget our instructions or just decide they liked something else more, so we would find things painted completely different colours to the ones we had requested,” Mike says. “But actually it looks rather nice, so we have left it.”
I posted this ad when it first came out, but it is worth seeing again, especially since the Sussex driving safety spot has won the YouTube Ad of the Year.
As a former Army officer, I find this article at Michael P. Maslanka's blog on the differences between the branches of military service to be fascinating.
The fondness of Thanksgiving, the meaning and the appreciation of the ritual, came slowly. It came with my assimilation into American life, with my marriage, and with the family I would come to acquire. I was not fond of turkey, though I made peace with the stuffing. The gravy, for a man of the Mediterranean, was irredeemable. Pumpkin pie and the cranberry sauce were more to my liking.
Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves.
From the New York magazine profile of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
Things Vivaldi: One of the many reasons for visiting Cultural Offering.
FutureLawyer tries to assist a wandering, tech-challenged, soul.
I wrote this several years ago and it has become a Thanksgiving tradition on this site.
"I want to tell them that you favor this project. That's why they should put together a proposal."
Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything.
BusinessPundit has the 10 best websites for Black Friday deals.
Instapundit has the Saturday Night Live TSA commercial.
He stared in wonder at the tops of trees and the texture of the ground and vowed he'd never let the view be so controlled again.
From Unhappy Hipsters.
Stanley Fish has thrown a hand grenade in the room with this article on college costs.
So we had a bunch of meetings and conferences and brainstorming sessions and wrote up the results in a nifty notebook and put it upon the shelf. People talked about the great ideas that were surfaced and argued and fleshed out and, let's be honest, all expected someone else to do something about them because, after all, we were just idea people at the time and no one had the time to sort out just who would get the damned thing done.
"If you give me your attention" - from the truly outstanding film, Topsy-Turvy.
Cultural Offering has a rant on phone upgrades.
Trip leader Hendri Coetzee has three rules leading up to our entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rule #1. Everything is going to take twice as long as it should.
Rule # 2. Everything is going to cost twice as much as it should.
Rule #3. No matter what happens, don't panic!
From "Kayaking Africa" in Outside magazine.
From an account involving the conversation between airport security and some soldiers returning from Afghanistan who were boarding a chartered flight:
It is shameful that we lack the public discipline to live within our means, and will leave our children obligated to pay twice the taxes we do, for what we're spending today.
It is shameful that we've hijacked the language of rights, intended to preserve our common freedoms, in order to advance our own self-interest at the expense of everyone else in society.
Read the rest of Philip K. Howard here.
Now that an anti-immigration party in Switzerland is using nude models in its ads, Europe Tomorrow may be launching an intense study of the subject.
Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go into your library and read every book.
Charles Krauthammer on airport searches and the unspeakable:
A short film of a paletero working on the streets of Nogales, Sonora.
Motor Trend names the Volt as its 2011 Car of the Year and describes it as "a moon shot":
The best managers, like the best lawyers, know how to argue the other side of the case.
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project interviews novelist Terry McMillan:
Jim Stroup at Managing Leadership is back in action!
Tanmay Vora looks at change, improvements, and belief in outcomes:
An important case. It was featured on page 13 of The Arizona Republic.
The predicament of Western civilization is that it has ceased to be aware of the values which it is in peril of losing.
Back by popular demand: The Berlitz commercial featuring the German Coast Guard.
I don’t know when I started signing off my e-mails with the expression “cheers.” To the best of my recollection, I had never used the word in conversation, ever, except when accompanied by a clinking wine glass. I really have no idea how it came to be so rooted in my Internet vocabulary. Out of curiosity, I searched as far back as I could in my Gmail account, and there it was at the end of almost every e-mail, except for ones I had sent to my closest friends and family, which I signed off with the teen-age-y “xoxoxo” or sometimes, for variation, “xxxooo.”
It would be difficult to calculate the amount of damage that management inflicts or facilitates when it:
The fact to which we have got to cling, as to a lifebelt, is that it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet to be fully alive.
Check out this "compare and contrast" ad for the AMC Gremlin.
Well worth your time: Cultural Offering points to the business secrets of a group of highly successful monks.
The paperback edition of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary does not have "curmudgeon" and "hornswoggle" but it does have "bamboozle" and "poltroon."
There was a photograph on Drudge of a nun being frisked at an airport and the headline was "The Terrorists Have Won."
Employment attorney John Phillips, who has a wealth of experience in advising organizations on HR and EEO topics, is moving on.
Only those who haven’t checked out a book in the new millennium would be surprised that the public library is now making video games available. The image of the urban public library as a citadel of culture and quietude shielding patrons from the noisy, dumbed-down, digital world outside has taken a hit in recent years. Anyone who has logged significant time at the library has noticed an environment at odds with what Andrew Carnegie had in mind when he bankrolled the construction of 2,811 libraries—roughly 1,000 more institutions than will be participating in National Gaming Day on Saturday. It’s not uncommon to see Internet porn on library computer consoles, and for those not satiated by simply looking, library bathrooms have become popular rendezvous points. Most conspicuously, the library has been transformed into an unofficial homeless shelter during those daytime hours when the official homeless shelter shuts its doors. Libraries have become comfortable hosting many activities unrelated to the life of the mind.
"...[T]his large corporation would just ride roughshod over our feelings...."
For all of you would-be novelists out there, catch these observations by Margaret Millar on words and writing. An excerpt:
Job search and interviewing expert Rowan Manahan tells the brutal truth:
Red lights are used to designate danger and yellow to urge caution. If you were to walk through every aspect of a customer's interactions with your firm, which stages or practices would merit a yellow light?
Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out.
Nicely done: A film of a Sopwith Camel and a Spitfire.
This is disturbing: A Japanese concert starring a singing hologram.
This morning, I had a long conversation with an old friend, an attorney who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and who has traveled and worked extensively throughout Mexico and Latin America. When I asked him about his latest ventures into the world of Mexican law, he described a recent jaunt in Juarez and noted that he'd feel safer in Afghanistan.
Europe Tomorrow has the trailer for a German film, "Goodbye Lenin!"
The incomparable Nicholas Bate with solid business wisdom that we should read every week.
Anderson Layman's Blog has a video demonstrating a plan that quickly went south.
You care so ...
I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.
When they get to Savannah, the students of Ralston College will find that the school year is the entire year, 12 months, that they are expected to dine together and wear academic gowns, that they will all be reading the same texts organized around a yearly theme (in successive years, the Self, God, Nature, Community and the Beautiful), that the texts will be “supremely difficult” and begin with Greek and Roman authors, many of whom will be revisited the next year under the aegis of a new theme, and that they will also be receiving instruction in the visual arts, mathematics, the sciences and foreign languages (at least two).
Der Spiegel visits a "Disneyland of Terror":
The Daily Beast has a slide show of the 40 most fattening coffee drinks.
Ava Gardner describing director John Ford, with whom she worked on "Mogambo":
I believe that it was Jim Collins who wrote about extraordinary leaders who possess an unusual combination of humility and drive. It is not an either-or choice and yet many leadership stereotypes seem to push that view.
De Laurentiis on his version of "King Kong":
This will put a smile on your face:
Michael Yon follows an American contractor in Afghanistan. An excerpt:
When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "chuck him out, the brute!"
Europe Tomorrow points to the real Marlboro Man.
Althouse looks at a troubling instance of deference to religion in the Elizabeth Smart case.
You should be reading the always essential Nicholas Bate as he elaborates on the seven deadly corporate sins.
This post by Cultural Offering about the pleasure of having lunch at home is a reminder of the importance of small gestures of civilization.
Writing in Commentary, Ruth R. Wisse on the anti-Semite's pointed finger:
Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.
He shook his head. "I saw you lighting a candle. Come here."
CoolTools looks at the GeekDesk, an adjustable desk. Be sure to read the comments. They contain some tips on other products.
We are moving our offices from the first to the second floor in our building, which means we are going to the top floor.
Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.
FutureLawyer has the chart on how iPhone, Android, and Blackberry users see themselves and others.
The effective use of experience involves knowing which skills and insights to apply to the new environment, which must be adapted, and which must be abandoned, at least temporarily.
All you need to know: 1984. Derek and the Dominos. "Layla."
Mark Steyn on the passing of Joseph Stein. An excerpt:
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project is reminding us to smile:
Back by popular demand: 25 unacceptable excuses for not attending the weekly staff meeting.