Tremble and Obey
Some bigotry in Kansas against the symbol of a new religion.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
Some bigotry in Kansas against the symbol of a new religion.
"What did you think of his report? It sounds to me like he's on the right track."
I am amused at the attention given in the media to presidential reading lists. Much is made of whether a President is reading fiction or non-fiction and which authors are catching the Chief Executive's eye and yet there is no report of whether five pages were read and then the book was thrown across the room.
Put down that cassette. Check out this fascinating - and changing - chart at Cultural Offering.
A few types to watch for in the workplace:
It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.
Steven Pressfield on the varied attributes of George Patton.
General rule: We should not go after the prospects that need us the most. It makes more sense to pursue the ones who want us the most. The trick is it is usually easier to reach the ones who need us the most, but that is a diversion. We will resemble the person who wanted to search in the living room for a ring that was lost in the bedroom simply because the living room had more light.
Writing in City Journal, Heather Mac Donald on the marvelous public service provided by Great Courses:
Cultural Offering offers the thought-provoking, both in prose and art.
At CoolTools, some info on Diceware, a random password generator. And it's free!
It is a job requirement of auction house experts to keep a dinner jacket and black tie on the back of their office door. Private views and cocktail parties come straight after work - so at 6:00 P.M. one brisk April evening in 1996, every lavatory and spare corner of Sotheby's, New York, was alive with staff slithering into their smart evening outfits.
The trailer for "Midnight in Paris." I just saw it today. [May well be the last person in the United States to do so.] Very enjoyable. Am planning move to a Parisian garret where I can learn to write like Josephine Baker and dance like Ernest Hemingway.
An excerpt from professor King Banaian's speech celebrating the birthday of Milton Friedman:
Art Contrarian examines an unworldly example of Soviet art from 1937.
The trailer for "Miller's Crossing."
I have no doubt that during the French Revolution, a few blocks away from the crowds surrounding the busy guillotine, you could find individuals worried about the details of life. Should I see a physician about this cough? Will my children be happy? Do I have enough money to get to the countryside in a month? Does this coat need to be brushed?
In all my life I have met only one person who claims to have seen a ghost. And the interesting thing about the story is that the person disbelieved in the immortal soul before she saw the ghost and still disbelieves after seeing it. She says that what she saw must have been an illusion or a trick of the nerves. And obviously she may be right. Seeing is not believing.
FutureLawyer on why he is a solo practitioner. It involves an Umbrella Cockatoo.
Writing in City Journal, the always fascinating James Q. Wilson on why crime declines. An excerpt:
Be sure to check out the 100 Greatest Albums list at Cultural Offering.
From an ad published in the Mohave County Miner in 1931:
Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time. The hovels that encrust the river's edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark.
I had no idea that Martin Scorsese was making a film about George Harrison. Here's the trailer.
There are notable exceptions, but in most cases a clear decision is better than hesitation or half-hearted execution. It's that old Yoda line about do or do not, there is no try.
The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.
Pulp Serenade goes on a shopping spree in Orlan, Maine:
Tongue-in-cheek empathy at Cultural Offering.
Steve Jobs is resigning?
The robes. The hats. The sunglasses.
Fallacies are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical - but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to "unintended consequences," a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment.
Did you notice...
Dan McCarthy explores "fun" programs at work. An excerpt:
Writing in City Journal, Michael J. Totten reviews The Devil's Double:
When I was a boy I was taught that the men upstairs knew what they were doing. I was told, "Peter, the more you know, the further you go." So I stayed in school until I graduated from college and then went forth into the world clutching firmly these ideas and my new teaching certificate. During the first year of teaching I was upset to find that a number of teachers, school principals, supervisors and superintendents appeared to be unaware of their professional responsibilities and incompetent in executing their duties. For example my principal's main concerns were that all window shades be at the same level, that classrooms should be quiet and that no one step on or near the rose beds. The superintendent's main concerns were that no minority group, no matter how fanatical, should ever be offended and that all official forms be submitted on time. The children's education appeared farthest from the administrator mind.
I just read an essay by Mark Steyn in which he discussed the London riots and mentioned Clockwork Orange and The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess.
I've never considered that a mousepad could extend the life of a wireless mouse but CoolTools has the details.
The smart ones ask when they don't know. And, sometimes when they do.
At Eclecticity: Yes, I would like this Cadillac.
FutureLawyer has some success tips from Einstein.
Anyone wishing to purchase a book in London in the year 1660 had a choice of four areas. Ecclesiastical works could be bought from the booksellers in St. Paul's Churchyard, while the shops and stalls of Little Britain specialised in Greek and Latin volumes, and those on the western edge of Fleet Street stocked legal texts for the city's barristers and magistrates. The fourth place to look for a book - and by far the best - would have been on London Bridge.
Back by popular demand. I searched for this performance of Corelli at Cultural Offering.
Flashback time: Some great moments in press relations from Baghdad Bob.
If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, "You know, we're all right. We are dang near royalty."
Cullen Gallagher on the great W.C. Fields:
Captain MacWhirr, of the steamer Nan-Shan, had a physiognomy that, in the order of material appearances, was the exact counterpart of his mind: it presented no marked characteristics of firmness or stupidity; it had no pronounced characteristics whatever; it was simply ordinary, irresponsive, and unruffled.
In a now infamous 1994 interview with journalist Michael Ignatieff, the historian was asked if the murder of "15, 20 million people might have been justified" in establishing a Marxist paradise. "Yes," Mr. Hobsbawm replied. Asked the same question the following year, he reiterated his support for the "sacrifice of millions of lives" in pursuit of a vague egalitarianism. That such comments caused surprise is itself surprising; Mr. Hobsbawm's lifelong commitment to the Party testified to his approval of the Soviet experience, whatever its crimes. It's not that he didn't know what was going on in the dank basements of the Lubyanka and on the frozen steppes of Siberia. It's that he didn't much care.
There must be 500,000 rats in the United States; of course, I am only speaking from memory.
"Eh bien, mon prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now no more than family estates of the Buonapartes. No, I warn you, if you don't say that this means war, if you still permit yourself to condone all the infamies, all the atrocities, of this Antichrist - and that's what I really believe he is - I will have nothing more to do with you, you are no longer my friend, my faithful slave, as you say. But how do you do, how do you do? I see I am frightening you. Sit down and tell me all about it."
Seth Godin on the three things clients and customers want:
Good country song lyrics can be remembered for years. Such is the case with The Amazing Rhythm Aces and "Third Rate Romance."
If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.
The bench sank into the corner; after seeing the wood-chunk-wall, he knew all too well why the chairs had invited him over.
Check it out at Unhappy Hipsters.
Geez. Another dust storm is rolling through Phoenix.
From 1978: Singing "Pancho and Lefty."
The tale of an unusual employment discrimination case:
[HT: Drudge Report]
Friday the nineteenth of May was a full day. In the morning I bought a counterfeit sweepstakes ticket from a one-armed man in a barbershop on West 22nd Street, and in the evening I got a phone call at home from a lawyer saying I'd just inherited three hundred seventeen thousand dollars from my uncle Matt. I'd never heard of Uncle Matt.
Some people build a career by:
I watched a mayoral debate the other day. As someone who has written on and teaches presentation skills, I was more than stunned at the low caliber of the performances by most of the candidates.
For three days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
Shortly after I started management consulting - in the days when the Earth was still cooling - a prominent attorney and I submitted in what we thought was a brilliant proposal to help a major university set up its EEO/Affirmative Action program.
Cultural Offering goes after adults who want to act like kids. An excerpt:
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Rob Long examines the ramifications of this serious national problem.
The grocery store on Uhuru Avenue (formerly Queensway) was owned by Sam Fong, a Chinese immigrant. They called him an immigrant; actually he had lived in East Africa longer than the Prime Minister, who was an African. But to be one Chinaman in a country of seven million Africans is not easy; you stand out; the East cannot save you; you remain a visible immigrant all your born days and so do your children, and so do theirs.
Gary McCully on signs that your vulnerability management program is failing. An excerpt:
Wally Bock: Make appointments with yourself.
Two paralyzing - and motivating - forces in life are vanity and fear. To direct them in positive directions, it helps to use some counterweights.
Tom Selleck in a 1993 ad. How many of the predictions came true?
Hard experience has taught me that there are many individuals in the workplace who, far from being driven by any pursuit of excellence, are satisfied to perform at an above average level.
The man from Bisbee was large and heavily whiskered. He brought his boots down on the dusty surface of Tombstone's main street as if he were stomping the life out of something he loathed and despised. His gleaming eye was full of the scorn which all the citizens of Bisbee felt for Tombstone. Growling to himself, he kicked open the swinging door of the Crystal Palace and turned to jerk viciously at the leash which was wound around his hand. At the other end of the leash was a large, live, resentful wildcat.
At The Hammock Papers.
Joseph Epstein reviews the new book by Lee Congdon on national pastime:
Eclecticity looks at the main character in Mad Men. In fact, I'm not sure if that program has any other characters.
Miquel Angel Jimenez has adopted the Cultural Offering exercise routine.
A head of department, working quietly in his room in Whitehall on a summer afternoon, is not accustomed to being disturbed by the near-by and indubitable sound of a revolver shot.
With scenes from "O Brother Where Art Thou": "I'll Fly Away" by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.
Art Contrarian looks at some last ditch car styling.
Steven Pressfield has a memorable post on a true hero:
Writing in First Things, Wilfred M. McClay on Irving Kristol:
Extraordinary: The week in pictures at The Telegraph.
There are days when Plan B is not only as good as it gets but as good as it would have ever gotten. We can plan various actions and then the world intervenes. We inwardly (sometimes outwardly) groan over the obstruction of those narrow-minded people who don't see things our way.
I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not.
Joel Kotkin on the decline of Los Angeles. An excerpt:
I've posted this video by Dennis Prager before, but am doing so again due to some recent conversations that have indicated the problem is much worse than many of us have assumed.
Charles Krauthammer extols the beautiful messiness of democracy:
On Monday the thirteenth of May in the year 1876, between the hours of two and three in the afternoon on a day that combined the freshness of spring with the warmth of summer, numerous individuals in Moscow's Alexander Gardens unexpectedly found themselves eyewitnesses to the perpetration of an outrage that flagrantly transgressed the bounds of common decency.
A preview of the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Designed by architects with honorable intentions but hands of palsy.
Seth Godin on dealing with hecklers. Sound advice.
T-shirts at Mental Floss.
These days, it is refreshing to see an example of civilized behavior.
From James Buckley's Claremont Institute article:
Ever since Jack Aubrey had been dismissed from the service, ever since his name, with its now meaningless seniority, had been struck off the list of post-captains, it had seemed to him that he was living in a radically different world; everything was perfectly familiar, from the smell of the seawater and tarred rigging to the gentle heave of the deck under his feet, but the essence was gone and he was a stranger.
A video of the world record for parallel parking.
Classic photo at Cultural Offering.
I was recently reminded of the event that George Orwell relates in his book on the Spanish Civil War. Both sides would shout slogans at one another across the "no man's land":