Art Break: Sheridan
Art Contrarian looks at the work of John E. Sheridan.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
How long would you have to think before concluding that a "Southern Accent Reduction Training Program" might not be a good idea, especially in Tennessee?
"Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip triggered a bloody war."
The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Most of what exists in the universe - our actions, and all other forces, resources, and ideas - has little value and yields little result; on the other hand, a few things work fantastically well and have tremendous impact.
Althouse reacts to Jonathan Gruber's convenient switch. She notes:
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them . . . well, I have others.
BBC Proms: "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter.
Ryan Radia at the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the day "Mr. Mandate" talked about the state exchanges.
Westerners have abandoned an ethical basis for society, believing that all problems are solvable by a good government. . . . In the West, especially after World War II, the government came to be seen as so successful that it could fulfill all the obligations that in less modern societies are fulfilled by the family. . . . In the East, we start with self-reliance. In the West today, it is the opposite. The government says give me a popular mandate and I will solve all society's problems.
Back by popular demand. Suzanne Vega: "Tom's Diner."
I had breakfast with a city official this morning. Since both of us are history buffs, before getting down to business we discussed the history books we've been reading. That resulted in a review of decisions made during World War II. A thought came to mind: Once France had invested its time and treasure so heavily in the Maginot Line, what were the odds that it was going to back away from that strategy?
One of the saddest sentences I know is "I wish I had asked my mother about that." Or my father. Or my grandmother. Or my grandfather.
To win at any endeavor requires a competitive edge with an ability to outperform the competition consistently and definitively. That's called success - a simple word that is not so simple to understand, let alone achieve. In business, we define success as meeting the needs of all major stakeholder groups (customers, employees, investors, suppliers, and communities) consistently over the short term and the long term.
Jimmy Durante and Monty Woolley in a scene from "The Man Who Came to Dinner."
The world is rich in possibilities. It overflows with the good things that humankind has created for itself. They're out there for the taking. But before you learn how to take them, you must learn that no one will do it for you.
Picture your audience. Outline. Review. Scramble to produce the first draft. Don't edit heavily as you write. Get it done. Know that you're putting in too much at some points and too little at others. The addition and subtraction will come later. Be especially wary of anything which is clever. When the first draft is done, check for tone, order, and flow. Above all, check for clarity. Write another draft. Then another and perhaps even more. Learn how to write quickly without becoming impatient. Impatience fosters mistakes. [You'll make enough mistakes without it.] Impatience can cause you to ignore alarm bells.
It is two in the morning and I am awakened by a wet-nosed dog. I look at my watch and groan. She wants to go out. Her usual schedule was disrupted by the bi-weekly irrigation which flooded both of our yards and although she sleeps on the floor next to my wife's side of the bed, she is savvy enough to know that any chores will go to dad, the elderly retainer. My wife sleeps or feigns sleep. [I think I detect a small smile.]
Since civilization was something that could be achieved, everything was enlisted in order to push back barbarism and ignorance and spread civility and refinement. Courtesy books that told Americans how to behave doubled in numbers during the middle decades of the eighteenth century. From such conduct manuals people learned how to act in company, how to clean their bodies, how to refine their tastes. Compilers of dictionaries attempted to find the correct meanings, spellings, and pronunciations of words and freeze them between the covers of their books. In these ways peculiarities of dialect and eccentricities of spelling and pronunciation could be eliminated, and standards of the language could be set. Even dueling, which flourished in the eighteenth century as never before, was justified as a civilizing agent, as a means of refinement; the threat of having to fight a duel compelled gentlemen to control their passions and inhibited them from using "illiberal language" with one another.
The Millennials have been cheated out of a serious education by their Baby Boomer teachers. Call it a generational swindle. Even the best and brightest among the 20-somethings have been shortchanged. Instead of great books, they wasted a lot of time with third-rate political tracts and courses with titles like "Women Writers of the Oklahoma Panhandle." Instead of spending their college years debating and challenging received ideas, they had to cope with speech codes and identity politics. College educated young women in the U.S. are arguably the most fortunate people in history; yet many of them have drunk deeply from the gender feminist Kool-Aid. Girls at Yale, Haverford and Swarthmore see themselves as oppressed. That is madness. And madness can only last so long. So, I plan to continue writing books and articles, making my Factual Feminist videos and lecturing at as many campuses and laws schools as I can.[sic] American colleges have been described as islands of repression in a sea of freedom. I want to encourage rebellion among the islanders.
Under the shadow of Boston State House, turning its back on the house of John Hancock, the little passage called Hancock Avenue runs, or ran, from Beacon Street, skirting the State House grounds, to Mount Vernon Street, on the summit of Beacon Hill; and there, in the third house below Mount Vernon Place, February 16, 1838, a child was born, and christened later by his uncle, the minister of the First Church after the tenets of Boston Unitarianism, as Henry Brooks Adams.
One of the scariest aspects of our time is how seldom either people or policies are judged by their track record.
"This board meeting is adjourned," announces Daniel Pullman, the domineering chairman and CEO of Genemodem. The elegant conference room hums with conversation as the directors start to depart. The last quarter was the best in the history of the company. The directors are pleased, but no one is overly excited. They have come to expect it. For the past six years, almost every quarter has been better than the preceding one.