Friday, January 31, 2020

Quick Look

The trailer for "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words."

Bach, Seneca, and More

book lot on black wooden shelf

Check out The Sovereign Professional and be a better person.

[Photo by Giammarco Boscaro at Unsplash]

The United Kingdom Leaves the European Union

shallow focus of Big Ben

"We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy." 

- Winston Churchill

No one should ever underestimate the British.

Even the British.

[Photo by Marlon Maya at Unsplash]

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

First Paragraph

What are the odds you'd open your refrigerator door and find a zombie in there, knitting socks? The odds are about the same that a touchy-feely, language-oriented person like me would end up as a professor of engineering.

- From A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science by Barbara Oakley

Modern Times

yellow banana fusion bead

Nowadays most of the political commentary is funny and most of the comedy is depressing.

[Photo by Lucas van Oort at Unsplash]

"Free to Be Vulgar"

police wearing armors

Theodore Dalrymple on a French free speech controversy.

[Photo by Randy Colas at Unsplash]

"American Dirt" Protest

Image result for american dirt amazon

An all-too-familiar story.

I am far more worried about the conduct of those who seek to squelch this book than about the book itself.

I have not read the book and have no idea of its quality but note how the news article shifts into a "larger picture" slant regarding representation in the publishing industry. 

That shift favors the protesters. 

How about considering the freedom of writers? 

An Unusual Bed and Breakfast

Image result for the hobbit amazon

Your hide-away awaits. Indulge your inner Hobbit.


Thinking. Scrawling. Typing. Thinking. Revising. [Repeat.]

I'm calling the document a first draft but it's really the third and it is far from the final draft.

That's the way it goes.

Basic Rule #1: To write, you must read.

Basic Rule #2: To write, you must re-write.

[Photo by hannah grace at Unsplash]

But Will There Be New Business Cards?

St. Basils Cathedral

Reuters: A new job title for Putin is being considered.

[It's neither snazzy nor creative. "Vlad the Impaler" must have been overlooked.]

Photo by Nikita Karimov at Unsplash]

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Shadow of the Groundhog

This Daily News article has one of the great headlines.

A New News Site

From Big Rupert: the knewz.

In the Reading Stack

Image result for the long walk amazon

First Paragraph

The Romans incorporated the eastern end of the Mediterranean into their expanding empire in 63 B.C. They called the land on the southern part of this Mediterranean extremity, lying between Syria and the Egyptian desert, Judea, and hence its people became known in the Roman world as Judeans, hence Jews. This Roman appellation accorded with Hebrew people's reference to themselves as members of the tribe, and later kingdom, of Yehudah.

- From The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews by Norman F. Cantor

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Marketing Mistake

Think Twice graphic art

There are many ways to attract customers. You can tempt them, flatter them, tease them, surprise them, amuse them, educate them, and even enchant them but there is one thing you must not do: 

Insult them.

Some organizations don't quite grasp that.

[Photo by Explorenation # at Unsplash]

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Great First Lines - A Series

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

- From One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Our Times


"Deplorables: Trump, Brexit, and the Demonised Masses."

It Does Not Pay

[Note: I first posted this on January 23, 2017.]

It does not pay to:

  • Be too clever.
  • View life solely in a rear-view mirror.
  • Keep score on who did what for whom.
  • Speak without a filter.
  • Assume that your interpretation is the only reasonable one.
  • Mention a minor fault.
  • Worry about matters that are beyond your control.
  • Store grievances.
  • Operate on unexamined assumptions.
  • Think that time moves slowly.
  • Rely on magical solutions.
  • Compose speeches while others are talking.
  • Ignore your homework.
  • Level frequent criticism at others and at yourself.
  • Believe that good intentions excuse poor results.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Math and Artificial Intelligence

Political Calculations on "The Math Helping AI See the World Better."

Happy Birthday to Wolfgang

Born on January 27, 1756.

[Photo by Reiseuhu at Unsplash]

Quick Looks

The trailer for:

Tribalism Has Gone Digital

worm's eye-view photography of ceiling

Science advanced, knowledge grew, nature was mastered, but Reason did not conquer and tribalism did not go away.

- Harold Isaacs in Idols of the Tribe (1975)

[Photo by Joshua Sortino at Unsplash]


From City Journal in 2000: Roger Scruton with "Real Men Have Manners."

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Fanatics Never Quite Grasp This

One of the things you teach law students is that when you make arguments to juries, make sure you don't insult the jury. That is, you don't want to make statements that make them feel stupid or ascribe any bad motivations to them.

- Jonathan Turley

First Paragraph

The mail didn't come that day. It didn't come a week later, either. Yet the sleigh from Kezhma did deliver something to Fedya the storekeeper.

- From Fear by Anatoli Rybakov

A Teacher of Words

fountain pen on black lined paper

"Through him I started to sense that words not only convey something, but are something; that words have color, depth, texture of their own, and the power to evoke vastly more than they mean; that words can be used not merely to make things clear, make things vivid, make things interesting and whatever else, but to make things happen inside the one who reads them or hears them."

- Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life

[Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash]

"The Age of Entitlement"

woman holding white paper with smash the pairtarchy

City Journal: Seth Barron reviews Christopher Caldwell's new book. An excerpt:

Thus, America created a situation in which two constitutional regimes occupy the same space. The first one stresses equality of the individual before the law; the other demands that historical injustices be accounted for through affirmative action, racial preferences, and the imposition of judicial authority over broad areas of social and commercial life to ensure the erasure of inequality. The two constitutional regimes, Caldwell maintains, represent opposite and competing visions of society.

[Photo by chloe s. at Unsplash]

Weekend Leadership Reading

men's black long-sleeved top

Wally Bock's assignments are here.

[Photo by Philippe Bout at Unsplash]

Friday, January 24, 2020

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Very Interesting Reading

Image result for the law in nazi germany amazon

D.Fined Interview


Here's more of the podcast interview conducted by the kind and patient Doug Fine. He skillfully guided me through quite a bit of territory on leadership, management, and more.

When Iguanas Fall from Trees

A poet in the frozen tundra of Florida has risen to the challenge.

A Question to Ponder

woman wearing sun hat walking along seashore

"It's the dirty little question no one wants to know the answer to: Would I be happier if I threw away my phone?"

- Thomas Dolby in the foreword to Left to Their Own Devices: How Digital Natives Are Reshaping the American Dream by Julie M. Albright

[Photo by Pim Chu at Unsplash]

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Truly Beautiful

Law Latte has the stained glass time lapse photography from Washington National Cathedral.


Quick Look

The trailer for "The Last Thing He Wanted."

Jim Lehrer, RIP

Jim Lehrer has passed away.

He was so good he was missed before his departure. I often wondered how he could even watch the bias of other journalists, particularly when they moderated presidential debates.

Please Don't

Andrew Doyle may have to kill off Titania McGrath.


People are finding that, because of the way the machines are changing the world, more and more of their old values don't apply anymore. People have no choice but to become second-rate machines themselves, or wards of the machines.

- Kurt Vonnegut in Player Piano, 1952

"Night on Earth"

full moon and gray clouds during nighttime

The trailer for the Netflix documentary.

The trailer for the 1991 film.

[Photo by Ganapathy Kumar at Unsplash]

Few Thrills

I have no doubt that few thrills can match that which accompanies being completely caught up on paperwork.

And as soon as I catch up, I'll file a confirmation.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Night of the Iguana

FutureLawyer should be able to write a great love poem from the romantic image of iguanas falling from trees.

The FBI Scandal

Eli Lake writing in Commentary magazine.

Part II of Some Novels You May Not Have Read But Should

woman standing in front of book shelf

Part I is here.

Here is Part II:
  • The Time of the Assassins by Godfrey Blunden
  • The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
  • The Devil's Advocate by Morris West
  • Life with a Star by Jiri Weil
  • The Joyous Season by Patrick Dennis
  • An Operational Necessity by Gwyn Griffin
  • A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Killing Mr. Watson by Peter Matthiessen
  • Burmese Days by George Orwell
  • Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
  • Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
  • Black Sun by Edward Abbey

[Photo by Pj Accetturo at Unsplash]

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Well-Earned Mockery

Back by popular demand: The trailer for "Le Redoutable."

My Guess is The Colonel Would Have Approved

The Guardian on the KFC ad that will no doubt lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Why Beauty Matters

person standing near six paintings inside gallery

A video with Roger Scruton.

[Photo by Clem Onojeghuo at Unsplash]


Nicholas Bate with an important reminder about PowerPoint.

Defending Patriotism

US flag

Professor Amitai Etzioni on the complexities of publishing a book in defense of patriotism.

[Photo by Andrew Neel at Unsplash]

For the Growing Good of the World

white wooden house during daytime

For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

- George Eliot

[Photo by David Veksler at Unsplash]

Attention: Robert B. Parker Fans

The Spenser-Hawk novels by the late and great Robert B. Parker are highly addictive.

Here's the trailer for "Spenser: Confidential."

Monday, January 20, 2020

Reading and Enjoying

Image result for paris in the present tense amazon

Mark Helprin may be our greatest living novelist.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

When people explain what makes their lives meaningful, they describe connecting to and bonding with other people in positive ways. They discuss finding something worthwhile to do with their time. They mention narratives that help them understand themselves and the world. They talk about mystical experiences of self-loss.

- Emily Esfahani Smith in The Power of Meaning

Civilization's Beginning

The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

- Sigmund Freud

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020


From Flag to Winslow to Holbrook; and then through strange, sad, desolate little places called Adamana and Navajo and Chambers and Sanders and Houck and Lupton - all the way to Albuquerque, which we reached at sundown. I left the train when two rough-looking customers came aboard my boxcar; one of them began paring his fingernails with a switchblade knife while the other stared at me with somber interest. I had forty dollars hidden in my shoe. Not to mention other treasures. I slipped out of there quick. Suddenly homesick I went the rest of the way by bus, nonstop, about twenty-five hundred miles, the ideal ordeal of travel, second only to a seasick troopship.

- From "How It Was" in Beyond the Wall by Edward Abbey

Count Me In

The trailer for "Star Trek: Picard."


You have to work hard to get your thinking clear to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there you can move mountains.

- Steve Jobs

Law Latte on Boards

Many thanks to Miriam Robeson at Law Latte for the kind comments about my post on the value of having a board historian.

I'll be posting on some related board-management topics over the next few weeks.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Good Old Days

The trailer for "Andrei Rublev."

Skills, Tools & Knowledge for 2020

Here are a few reasons why so many of us read Nicholas Bate every day.

Steeling Yourself

The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can survive on your own. You can grow strong on your own. You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own.

- Frederick Buechner 

Some Novels You May Not Have Read But Should

dog reading book during daytime

You already have a sizable reading stack so let me just say this: I believe the following novels deserve a far greater readership.

  • The Fortunate Pilgrim by Mario Puzo
  • The Wonderful Country by Tom Lea
  • The Last Man in Europe by Dennis Glover
  • Middle Passage by Charles R. Johnson
  • Memoir from an Antproof Case by Mark Helprin
  • A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin
  • Mendelssohn is On the Roof by Jiri Weil
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • The Centurions by Jean Larteguy
  • The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
  • Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem
  • I Was Dancing by Edwin O'Connor

[Photo by 2Photo Pots at Unsplash]


tram in between buildings

This ad for the re-election of Taiwan's President Tsai.

[HT: A Large Regular]

[Photo by Mihaly Koles at Unsplash]

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Quick Looks

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

The trailers for:

[Photo by JESHOOTS.COM at Unsplash]

Let's Make the Morning an Upbeat One

The trailer for "How It Ends."

Slow Down

Three committees approved the report. People debated it, at least superficially. 

All efforts were praised. Bows were taken.

There was only one problem.

No one had read the background information.

But every deadline was met.

Reading and Enjoying

Image result for talking to strangers amazon

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Quick Look

The trailer for the new "War of the Worlds."

Probably Accurate

Image result for i'm no rocket surgeon t shirt amazon

Listening and Reading

Much is made of the problems that can arise when people don't listen but what about the problems that arise when people listen but don't read?

Most Checked-Out

close-up photography of brown wooden card catalog

Check out the New York Public Library's list of its most-checked-out books of all time.

[Photo by Erol Ahmed at Unsplash]


Wally Bock's review hits just below the torpedo line

Among his observations he notes what has become a common problem in the publishing world: the absence of good editing.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Three Questions to Lead the Self

Tanmay Vora has a great story of a priest and a soldier.

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

"Poems for Lovers"

Image result for poems for lovers georges amazon

Rick Georges, The FutureLawyer, is a man of many talents: lawyer, techie, blogger, parrot advocate, smartwatch collector, and poet.

His new book of poems is now available at Amazon. I've placed my order and am planning dramatic readings. 

Because all poetry should be read aloud.