Saturday, March 30, 2019

Noir Break

The trailer for "Out of the Past."

Modern Times: Silencing

"Silencing people we don't like will make it easier for others to silence the people we do."

- Ian Buruma in the Financial Times

I found the part about the "younger editors" to be especially troubling. The intolerance found on campuses will drift into the workplace.

From the Soviet Union

The trailer for "Repentance."

Althouse: Stephen F. Cohen mentioned it in a column on Russiagate.


white robot near brown wall

Wally Bock's weekend leadership assignments discuss innovation.

[Photo by Alex Knight at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

Yesterday morning as I was about to enter the lecture hall, I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice, "Have you heard about the Emperor Theodosius?"

- From Julian by Gore Vidal

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Tomorrow Man."

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Brexit Drama

silhouette of 3-tower building with flag of U.K.

There is no drama on television that compares with what has been happening in the British Parliament.

[Photo by Matt Milton at Unsplash]

Justice in Chicago

Smollett’s celebrity and political connections may have been factors in the decisions made by Cook County prosecutors throughout the course of this case, including State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to recuse herself. But the unfortunate truth is that such leniency isn’t rare in Chicago. Hardened criminals are constantly given sweet deals, with much more serious costs.

Read all of Rafael A, Mangual's essay in City Journal.

Which made me think to Carl Sandburg's great poem, "Chicago" and its reference to gunmen who kill and go free to kill again.

Here's a video of Mayor Rahm Emanuel reading the poem.

"Get That Jeep Across the Field"

Wally Bock recalls a life-long lesson from a Marine Gunnery Sergeant.

Well worth the time.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Chernobyl."

Morning Thoughts

I was up far too early. My wife stayed in bed. 

The dog followed me about and I fed her. She went to her position on a sofa in the den where she can watch the street but I delayed opening the curtains so she wouldn't bark at the early morning joggers. My own morning routine kicked in: espresso, muffin, newspaper, and book. 

I'm still reading "The Revolt of the Public" and morning is a great time for a shameless book marker who scrawls notes in margins. 

Last night brought a long conversation with a friend about a problem confronting a board of directors. The problem mainly involves the challenge to achieve simplicity as opposed to the creation of unnecessary complications. 

I will be thinking about that today by not thinking about it today.

Back Soon

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Deep Breath

I just discovered that the LED light inside my desk lamp cannot be replaced.

Cannot. Be. Replaced.


Quick Look

The trailer for "Hotel Mumbai."

Meeting Prep

The homework. The agenda. The participants. And the ever-present questions of "How is this moving us forward?" and "What important items are not being addressed?"


It may seem odd but in my life, the advice I got along the lines of "don't do" was far more accurate and helpful than the advice along the lines of "do."

Your Vampire Fix

The trailer for "What We Do in the Shadows."

I like the energy vampire.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dangerous Idealists Update

City Journal: Claire Berlinski visits a Communist festival in France. An excerpt:

Che’s face was on posters, drinks, T-shirts, and tattoos, but Castro was invisible. So was Stalin. So, for that matter, was Lenin. Che was the man. The real Che would have executed everyone at the festival.

For Insight and Class

Yes, it does have a special appeal for independent professionals and stoics, but The Sovereign Professional is for everyone who likes civilization and style.

Check it out.

[Photo by Samuel Zeller at Unsplash]

The Once Upon a Time Rebels

Remember this Sprint commercial where a powerful executive talks about "sticking it to The Man?"

I often think of it while reading news stories. Many who consider themselves as rebels fail to realize that they have become the establishment, a.k.a. The Man.

Which is one reason why Trump, Brexit, and the yellow jackets freak them out.

During the Dan Rather debacle on George W. Bush's National Guard service, a network executive derided the blogger/critics as people sitting at home in their pajamas; amateurs who were grossly inferior to the CBS fact-checkers. 

He did everything but take snuff and pull a handkerchief out of his sleeve. As it turned out, the pajama-wearers were right.

The information revolution was taking place and he had become The Man.

An Ordering Vacation

assorted threads on rack

Visit Cultural Offering and learn about his great practice of taking two distinctly different vacations.


[Photo by Annie Spratt at Unsplash]

The Annual Physical

I had my annual physical yesterday. Since I'm still awaiting resulting from the blood work, I am not yet in the clear but the doctor is optimistic. That is good because I am a natural worrier when it comes to matters in the medical realm.

In fact, this sums up my attitude:

"The kind of doctor I want is one who when he's not examining me is home studying medicine."

- George S. Kaufman

Novels for Leaders

Image result for The day of the jackal amazon

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Quick Look

The trailer for "Deep Impact."

San Antonio Opens Pandora's Box

The City of San Antonio goes after Chick-Fil-A because it donates to Christian groups, such as The Salvation Army, that the City perceives as anti-gay.

This is a step beyond saying they cannot discriminate in their stores. Here are some questions in addition to the ones raised in the article:

  1. Would the City of San Antonio be able to pass its own test if we examined organizations the City has been funding?
  2. Would other groups be able to pass the test if their donations were examined in terms of anti-Christian bias?

The Overlooked Hour

You already know this: Dedicate one hour of each day to a new and more productive activity and you will have made a gigantic difference in your life over the course of a year.

That hour has not been hiding. It has been overlooked.

Well, Not That Inclusive

The Hollywood Reporter: Andrew Sullivan was jeered at a Hollywood "inclusion" event.

A Daily Essential

One of the first blogs I check every morning is A Layman's Blog.

Click here and you'll see why. Wit, music, insight. 

Great stuff. 

They must put something in the water of Newark, Ohio. Some truly great blogging is done there.

Finish the First Chapter

Image result for Tishomingo Blues amazon

. . . and you'll want to read the entire novel.

Novels for Leaders

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Lessons in risk management.

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Keeper."

Monday, March 25, 2019

In the Background

Image result for the thin red line soundtrack amazon

One of the greatest soundtracks ever.

Van Halen

Cultural Offering has the essential mixes.

The Stories They Tell

printing machine

Althouse and others on the Mueller report and the press fallout.

"In a self-destructive mode" may be one of the kinder ways of describing the American news media.

[Photo by Bank Phrom at Unsplash]


ice cream on road

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

- Oscar Wilde

[Photo by Pawel Janiak at Unsplash]

Call for Back-Up

parked police

You've often seen it in films and television programs. A couple of detectives have traced a vicious killer to some remote spot, perhaps a cottage or some abandoned castle. Usually it's dark outside. The killer could easily lunge from the shadows. 

Anyone with any smarts would call for more officers.

Of course, the brilliant detectives don't. As a result, they barely escape with their lives.

Such "heroism" produces great drama on the screen but not in real life. Lawyers, Human Resources professionals, and the most savvy of professionals - management consultants - will tell you that no one has ever sought their help too early.

Perhaps just in time, but never too early.

Call for back-up. That's what they are there for. 

After all, the last thing you want is a fair fight.

[Photo by Jeff Mendoza at Unsplash]

Novels for Leaders

Image result for The last of the mohicans amazon

An Early Feminist Film, No Doubt

Sophia Loren and Tab Hunter in "That Kind of Woman."

The co-stars are also rather interesting.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Incomparable Bate

Nicholas Bate is very, very, kind. His blog is a daily read.

First Paragraph

They were watching Ryan beat up the Mexican crew leader on 16 mm Commercial Ektachrome. Three of them in the basement of the Holden County courthouse: the assistant county prosecutor who brought the film; a uniformed officer from the sheriff's department operating the projector; and Mr. Walter Majestyk, the justice of the peace from Geneva Beach.

- From The Big Bounce by Elmore Leonard

From 1966

Behind the scenes of "Grand Prix."

Modern Times


This and much more at Despair.

"Red Flags"

Probably 95 percent of the "red flag" warnings that you'll encounter in your life are not even close to being identified as warnings.

If you see or read an action or message - even an omission of some sort - and feel the slightest sense that something is not right, then regard that as a red flag. 

Pay attention to your mind's warning system. It may be trying to tell you something.

Bock's Reading

There is a real mixture in Wally Bock's weekend leadership reading.

[Photo by Ryan Jacobson at Unsplash]

Friday, March 22, 2019

T-Shirts in Our Time: A Series


Clothing of the well-dressed FutureLawyer.

T-Shirts in Our Time: A Series

This and more at Libertarian Country.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Delhi Crime."

Inconvenience and Management

An organization that is one of my clients occupies a large and very nice building that has one significant omission: it does not have a coffee shop. There's a restaurant that is relatively close but it is not the sort of place one slips into for just a cup of coffee and its service is slow. I believe the lack of a nearby coffee shop where people can pop in for quick meetings reduces informal communication and relationship-building. That gap can be enormously important.

Likewise, another client farms out all of its legal work to a highly-respected law firm. There are benefits to that approach but, once again, the inconvenience factor arises. Managers who want to get a quick off-the-cuff legal opinion can't just walk down the hall or to another floor to chat with a lawyer co-worker. They have to contact the outside law firm which in itself is inconvenient. Doing so may even require the approval of their boss. As a result, they don't get legal guidance until a crisis has arrived. If they have made mistakes in the interim due to the lack of timely legal advice, that delay may be very costly.

Watch out for the subtle ways in which the organization can be affected. Bricks, mortar, and distance can affect communication.

As San Francisco Declines

City Journal: Erica Sandberg on the City's attempt to put a homeless shelter on the Embarcadero.

Novels for Leaders

Image result for mendelssohn is on the roof amazon

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Florida Man Challenge

The Naples Daily News examines the bizarre activities of a modern character who arises in many a news story and Google search: Florida man.

The game is played by putting "Florida man" on Google followed by your birth date.

Click and a strange story emerges.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Grand Prix."

How to Dress Like a Neapolitan

The Rake has some guidelines.


Historian Edmund Morris discusses Theodore Roosevelt with Charlie Rose.

When It Happens

David Kanigan receives a text message and a wave of thoughts on an extraordinary man.

Rest in peace.

Daily Planning and The YOU Section

When preparing today's index card, the one that will guide your activities, you may find that the natural tendency is to list tasks related to commitments to others. 

That's fine, but under a section at the bottom called YOU, list two things that will make you (remember you?) very pleased if you do them today. They may not be capable of full completion, possibly because they are of an ongoing nature, but if you make progress on them, you will be happy.

An important note: the tasks should conform with the sort of person you want to be.

The King of Crime Fiction

From the August 21, 2013 copy of The New Yorker: Anthony Lane on "Elmore Leonard's Talk."

An excerpt:

"One problem was that a single page of him made other writers, especially the loftier and more lauded variety, seem about as legible as wallpaper paste."

The first Elmore Leonard novel I read was "City Primeval." That was the beginning of a serious addiction.

Amazing writer.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Quick Look

Image result for out of sight poster amazon

The trailer for "Out of Sight."

Fast is Slow. Slow is Fast

Within the last 24 hours I've encountered two examples of sensitive situations in which the wisest advice is "Slow down." The desire to speed through a sensitive matter is entirely understandable. The issues are unpleasant and people want them resolved pronto. Unfortunately, rushing can create new problems. The counter-intuitive strategy of slowing down will save time in the long run by preventing possible mistakes and by improving the overall quality of the resolution.

As Dwight Eisenhower used to say, "Let's not be in a hurry to make our mistakes."

These are "The Good Old Days"

The trailer for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."


The word "swamp" is dressed up in the workplace. Some words that are used in its place are:

  • Committee
  • Research
  • Matter
  • Inquiry
  • Study
  • Opportunity

Fitness Test

Althouse has a fitness test for you.

I advise not trying it in public.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lingering Lingo

I just dated myself by telling a lawyer my old email address is "kaput."

Wanted him to know I am on the up-and-up and am not trying to hornswoggle him.

The Good Man

Orson Welles discussing Shakespeare, Falstaff, and "Chimes at Midnight."

I find it difficult to watch this and not want to have a prolonged conversation with him. Fascinating man.

Slaying the Small Dragons

dragon statue with light

You can't avoid the large dragons that are going for your throat. A significant amount of anxiety, however, can be created by the small dragons that are in your territory and which have not yet been slain. 

You know you need to confront them but other things somehow always seem to arise.

If you currently are not in a battle with a large dragon, finish off at least one small dragon today. 

How do you know it is a small dragon? There are two simple criteria: you've been putting off the task and you will feel much better when it is finished.

And remember, if left alone, small dragons get bigger.

[Photo by Thomas Despeyroux at Unsplash]

Some Groups to Check Out

First Paragraph

K-Sue Park volunteered with the American Civil Liberties Union as a law student, but by the time she was a Critical Race Studies Fellow at UCLA a few years later, she had concluded that the ACLU "should rethink how it understands free speech." Its "narrow reading of the First Amendment," she wrote in the New York Times, blinds it to the illegitimacy of "hate-based causes." "More troubling," Park continued, "the legal gains on which the ACLU rests its colorblind logic have never secured real freedom or even safety for all."

- From Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America by Noah Rothman

Novels for Leaders

Image result for the family moskat amazon

Monday, March 18, 2019

Not About a Horse

The trailer for "Fury."

"What the Hell is Going On?"

man in maze-like building

Politics. Commerce. Education. Communication.

Take some time today and read this essay by David Perell.

[Photo by John T at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

"With this fifth volume of my memoirs I begin the story of what happened to me when I left Fleet Street in 1982 and went into television as the main way of earning my bread. The effect on my literary reputation was immediate. It was thoroughly compromised, and even now, after a quarter of a century, it has only just begun to recover. After the calamitous reception of my Charles Charming show in the West End - the disaster is only partly evoked in the final chapters of my previous volume, because so many of the details remain too humiliating to write down - I regained the will to live by painting bicycles for my children.This creative upsurge extended itself to the construction of a novel, Brilliant Creatures. Overly decorated with flash, filigree and would-be-satirical pseudo-scholarship, the book nevertheless achieved the approval of the public. It even hung up there near the top of the bestseller list for a little while, like a parachute flare with delusions of stardom. I had to admit that the change of title might have helped. My original title had been Tactical Voting in the Eurovision Song Contest."

- From The Blaze of Obscurity: The TV Years by Clive James

Currently Reading and Enjoying

Sean Penn and Mel Gibson

The trailer for "The Professor & The Mad Man."

When Australia Invaded Britain

The trailer for the documentary "Brilliant Creatures."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I Think I Want to See This

The trailer for "The Hummingbird Project."


For those of us who worry, there is a valuable insight at The Hammock Papers.

"How I Built This"

This program by Guy Raz is one of the most interesting shows on National Public Radio.

Novels for Leaders

Image result for on the beach nevil shute amazon

A Changed Washington

In Commentary, Andrew Ferguson writes a farewell to the Washington he once knew. An excerpt:

In the meantime, the city that Nathan knew slowly vanished, swamped in money. The riches showed in the demolition of old neighborhoods, downtown and elsewhere, and their replacement by boxy office buildings wrapped in ribbon windows and, lately, block after block of luxury apartments outfitted with roof-deck swimming pools and climbing walls. As a result, the city is safer, more comfortable, more abundant, and far less interesting. Not long ago I passed by the sight of Al’s Magic Shop—a cobwebby, cluttered gag store I wrote about a couple times. I saw George H.W. Bush at Al’s one day back in the eighties, when he was still vice president. As his Secret Service detail stood watchfully by, Bush loaded up on hand-buzzers, whoopee cushions, and fake vomit. He was a notorious gag guy.

Hitchens is Missed

greyscale photo of rooster on pavement

Clive James, in North Face of Soho, imitating Christopher Hitchens describing the chicken crossing a road:

"Blind drunk . . . drunk as only a chicken with no head for alcohol can be . . . headless chicken . . . sobbing, clucking drunk . . . not shedding the occasional feather as chickens are wont to do . . . every feather glued to its body by wine-flavoured perspiration  . .  out of El Vino's with hanging beak . . . the busy road looming before it . . . the broad thoroughfare as an unbridgeable chasm, if I may quote Edith Wharton . . . doomed from the egg onwards . . . a fish out of water . . . standing up to be counted . . . helplessly victimized in a chicken-hostile environment . . ."

[Photo by Keagan harris at Unsplash]

Bock's Assignments

clear drinking glass beside pen and paper

Wally Bock has weekend leadership reading for us.

[Photo by Steve Johnson at Unsplash]

Friday, March 15, 2019

First Paragraph

Can there be a connection between online universities and the serial insurgencies which, in media noise and human blood, have rocked the Arab Middle East? I contend that there is. And the list of unlikely connections can easily be expanded. It includes the ever faster churning of companies in and out of the S&P 500, the death of news and the newspaper, the failure of established political parties, the imperial advance across the globe by Facebook and Google, and the near-universal spread of the mobile phone.

- From The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

Quick Look

The trailer for "Interstellar."

Pray for the Victims

New Zealand: A sad reminder that there is great evil in the world.

Quick Look

Image result for lord of war poster amazon

The trailer for "Lord of War."

The Lasting Influence of a Great History Teacher

Cultural Offering has the details. An excerpt:

Mr. Stevens walked up and down the rows of desks, hands clasped behind his back, describing historic moments - battles, important meetings, compromises, and declarations.  

He told stories.

Projects and Relationships

Over the years I have come to regard projects as a boat in the ocean and relationships as the ocean.

[Photo by Oliver Cole at Unsplash]


ESPN: The story of "Animal House" and the University of Oregon.

Poetry Break

"The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" by Edward Lear.

"They took some honey, and plenty of money."

Novels for Leaders

Image result for steven pressfield alcibiades amazon