Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Appreciating Disconnection


We have never appreciated a solitary stroll, a camping trip, a face-to-face chat with friends, or even our boredom better than we do now. Nothing has contributed more to our collective appreciation for being logged off and technologically disconnected than the very technology of connection. The ease of digital distraction has made us appreciate solitude with a new intensity. . . . In short, we've never cherished being alone, valued introspection, and treasured information disconnection more than we do now. Never has being disconnected - even if for just a moment - felt so profound.

- Nathan Jurgenson

Sleep Secrets

What is a common topic of discussion in my social circles? 


People can't get enough of it. They try breathing techniques with mixed success. Adjusting the daily schedule only works if one has the power to do so. Various over-the-counter medicines don't always kick in.

I'd be tempted to say it is a true sign of aging but many young people have the same problem.

If you know of serious solutions, please pass them along.

Learning Leadership and Management from History: A Series


Monday, September 27, 2021

Justice for Donovan

Althouse points to yet another opossum outrage.

Wait until The Opossum Lady gets wind of this.

The Endurance of Paper

My starting point for this book was not Leonardo's art masterpieces but his notebooks. His mind, I think, is best revealed in the more than 7,200 pages of his notes and scribbles that, miraculously, survive to this day. Paper turns out to be a superb information-storage technology, still readable after five hundred years, which our own tweets likely won't be.

- Walter Isaacson in Leonardo Da Vinci

Find Your Style

[Photo by Wesley Tingey at Unsplash]

Get Out There


The Debt Ceiling Kabuki

Back in that summer of discontent I talked to a journalist who was very concerned about the “dysfunction” in Washington. So am I. But I told her then what’s still true today: that the real problem is not the dysfunctional process that’s getting all the headlines, but the dysfunctional substance of governance. Congress and the president will work out the debt ceiling issue, probably just in the nick of time. The real dysfunction is a federal budget that doubled in 10 years, unprecedented deficits as far as the eye can see, and a national debt (more accurately, gross federal debt) yet again bursting through its statutory limit of $28.4 trillion and soaring past 120 percent of GDP, a level previously reached only during World War II.

Read the rest of David Boaz at The Cato Institute.



Making It Look Easy

If you and your team do extraordinary work and fail to provide at least some information to your boss as to what went into that achievement, then you've made what may be a huge mistake. You've inadvertently downplayed achievement, perhaps in the name of modesty. Don't be surprised if that work is later regarded as routine and not much of an achievement at all.

Learning Leadership and Management from History:


Interview with Andrew Sullivan

I Retired from Celebrity Status Years Ago

Shaq is retiring from celebrity status, noting that celebrities are out of their minds.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Back By Popular Demand


Required Reading


On My List

Age of Acceleration

 We're entering an age of acceleration. The models underlying society at every level, which are largely based on a linear model of change, are going to have to be redefined. Because of the explosive power of exponential growth, the twenty-first century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today's rate of progress; organizations have to be able to redefine themselves at a faster and faster pace.

- Ray Kurzweil

In the Background

If His Life Had a Soundtrack

Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering reveals ten albums that have become an important part of his life. 

Eclectic and interesting choices. I have to catch up on some of them.

Power and Harmony

 A free society requires some confidence in the ability of men to reach tentative and tolerable adjustments between their competing interests and to arrive at some common notions of justice which transcend all partial interests. A consistent pessimism in regard to man's rational capacity for justice invariably leads to absolutistic political theories; for they prompt the conviction that only preponderant power can coerce the various vitalities of a community into a working harmony.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Learning Leadership and Management from History: A Series

An excellent place to start.

Crank It Up


Friday, September 24, 2021

The Factory of the Future

 The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.

- Warren Bennis

Marketing Meeting

"Okay, team. We want to sell a variety of products to this group of customers. How should we do that?"

"Consider their needs and wants and show how our products can help them?"

"Maybe, but perhaps a little too traditional. Any other ideas?"

"Insult them. Peddle guilt. Tell them that they are morally deficient or in some way deeply flawed and that only by supporting us will they be somewhat redeemed."

"I like that. I really like that."

Thursday, September 23, 2021



Russiagate, More Like Watergate

Matt Taibbi on the Durham investigation.

[HT: A Large Regular]

First Paragraph

 China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shook the politics of China and the world between 1966 and 1976. It dominated every aspect of Chinese life: families were separated, careers upended, education interrupted, and striking political initiatives attempted amid a backdrop of chaos, new beginnings, and the settling of old scores.

- From The Cultural Revolution: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Curt Kraus



The Rise is Not Guaranteed

There is a widely held belief that high quality will always overcome barriers and eventually achieve its just and appropriate level.

That is comforting but untrue. Consider how close we came to missing the true abilities of George C. Marshall, Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, Ulysses S. Grant, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others.

In Time for Halloween


A Major Media and Big-Tech Scandal

 David Harsanyi with the latest on the Hunter Biden email story.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The 2 Minute Rule


Why Would a University Remove Alumni Photos from 1907?

 You guessed it.

The Soviets would be proud.

Trudeau Stays in Power, But

 BBC News on the Canadian election.

Miscellaneous and Fast


Catchy Tune

Worse Than Porn

Bridget Phetasy tells of her California dream and a political revelation.

And It is Worse Today

Not only do the democracies today blame themselves for sins they have not committed, but they have formed the habit of judging themselves by ideals so inaccessible that the defendants are automatically guilty. It follows that a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does and thinks will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself when its existence is threatened. Drilling into a civilization that it deserves defending only if it can incarnate absolute justice is tanamount to urging that it let itself die or be enslaved.

- Jean-Fran├žois Revel in How Democracies Perish (1983)

I Heard of One Candidate Who Replied, "Fried Chicken."


Monday, September 20, 2021

On My List


Reading Lists and Stuff

Part of the morning was filled with correspondence and preparing reading assignments for some coaching clients.

My ancient HP laserjet printer, a real warhorse, finally went down after years of loyal service. I need to schedule a ten minute mourning period before the new one arrives.

I've been asked to give a (super-condensed) presentation skills briefing via Zoom to a team of leaders who are scattered around the country.

Less is more.


Excitedly, I told Gabe how Ezra had removed a block - and that's when it clicked for her. Her response gave me the language to bring countless others up to speed, without them walking around in circles behind a lawn mower and then spending hours playing Legos with a toddler. She said, "Oh. So, you're wondering whether we neglect subtraction as a way to change things?"

That sounded right to me.

- From Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less by Leidy Klotz

Not a Documentary




First Paragraph

 The Founding Fathers who drafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787 feared political parties, popular democracy, and centralized government. Contrary to these sentiments, the national politics that emerged has been that of intense partisan conflict, the continual expansion of suffrage, and the expansion of federal power. Early on, American politics became a blood sport with political candidates and officeholders assailing opponents in negative, and often, vicious ways, to win votes within an electorate that had increased in size and expressed a multitude of interests. By the 1830s all politicians, whatever their party affiliation, proclaimed themselves democrats and "men of the people." The only consistency between the Founders' dream for the new republic and what emerged was a profound faith in constitutional government.

- From American Political History: A Very Short Introduction by Donald T. Critchlow


There was first word in 2017 that Daniel Silva's extraordinary Gabriel Allon spy novels would be coming to the screen.

Fans cheered and immediately made casting speculations.

And then, silence.



We Live in Strange Times

Jonathan Turley on the allegations regarding General Milley's calls to China.

I was expecting an immediate denial. This entire story is very disturbing.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Two Roads


Starting Soon


Decisions, Decisions

Option A: You have given up no options, the situation is stabilized, and you retain the ability to pursue those options in the future.

Option B: You have taken a seemingly bold step which might be emotionally pleasing but the other options have now disappeared and you have surrendered the initiative to the other side.

Frequent Reaction: Option B! Option B!

Celebrity Sells


California, There It Goes

 City Journal: Joel Kotkin looks at the California recall election.

Big Rod

Cultural Offering has Rod Stewart's essential mixes.

Overcoming Toxic Polarization

Dawn Newton
talks to Peter T. Coleman about his book, The Way Out.

First Do No Harm

Newsweek: Bob Woodson and Ian Rowe note the harm produced by Critical Race Theory.

First Paragraph

White against green. The contrast was beautiful, thought David Victor Jones, resting on a hill above the rice paddy. The paddy was bright jade, the trees around it emerald, and the ducks were white.

- From Means of Escape: A Memoir by Philip Caputo

Bring Donuts to the Hearing

 For example, judges have been found more likely to grant parole at the beginning of the day or after a food break than immediately before such a break. If judges are hungry, they are tougher.

- From Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein


For leaders and managers,
Wally Bock's blog is a treasure trove.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Another Diplomatic First

 France recalls its ambassador to the United States.

Well Done


In the Stack

A Confession


I resisted getting a smartwatch. The more the FutureLawyer extolled the virtues of smartwatches, the more I admired the beauty of my Seiko kinetic watch. From the standpoint of beauty, my Seiko is not equaled by any smartwatch on the planet.

But then I figured that I could benefit from the health features of a good smartwatch. During a false start with a minor smartwatch - which I returned - I consulted the Sage of South Florida, who owns more smartwatches  than - to borrow an old expression - Carter has pills. After learning that I'd committed the sin of getting an iPhone, he sighed for a while then made an important observation. I'm paraphrasing here but he muttered that it would be easier to transfer everything from my iPhone to an Apple smartwatch.

He could not bring himself to utter the word "Apple" but I know what he meant.

And so I pondered.

Being somewhat impatient and seeking simplicity, I finally got an Apple smartwatch. To my surprise, I really like it. Knowing about health and emails and texts is one thing, but the best feature, oddly enough, has been the Dick Tracy feature: being able to make and receive phone calls from my watch. 

That may sound minor but on several occasions, I have learned about important calls which I would have missed if I had not been able to glance at my wrist and see the number. Missing those calls would have greatly complicated my day if not the order of the universe.

Do I like the look? It's okay.

Are there androids that are prettier? Undoubtedly.

Is the wristband dorky? You bet.

Does the watch do what I want it to do? Definitely.

And that last point wins the day.

Theology from an Oxford Don

There are few ministers who've influenced as many people as C.S. Lewis.

[Photo by Luke Tanis at Unsplash]

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Never Discount the Usefulness of a Magnetic Level

 Patrick Rhone is making impressive progress on the fence.

When the Vaccine Mandate Reaches the Courts

 Inc. magazine: Why the vaccine mandate might fall apart.



Marketing "Death Wish Coffee"

Here's the story.

Sites to Ponder


Ayaan Hirsi Ali

                                Robert D. Putnam

                                                                      Sebastian Junger

Beautiful Meetings

  • Clear objectives. 
  • Prepared participants. 
  • Shared commitment. 
  • Careful listening. 
  • Candor. 
  • Specific actions.
  • Follow-up.
  • Tangible progress.

First Paragraph

 There were no taxis outside the station, but there were plenty of porters. One of them took my suitcases.

- From Surrender on Demand by Varian Fry

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Our Times

 First Things: Mary Harrington on "The Gender Resistance."

I'm Not Sure This is a Comedy

Reprise: Late Night Reading (a.k.a. Nostalgia for Roy Macridis)

Your late night reading shouldn't be a thriller. After all, you want to fall asleep. It shouldn't be any book that you cannot put down. Whenever I see a book reviewer announce "This book kept me up until two in the morning," I think, "Do I really want
that book?"

I have to confess, however, that the only book that invariably put me to sleep - and I mean within ten minutes - was Roy Macridis's book on comparative government. When I was a young and alert student of government at the University of Arizona, I had to take a comparative government class. The class was challenging and interesting but packed with little drills such as comparing the Swiss government to that of the Italians or the Chinese. For some arcane reason, the Macridis book was part of the required reading. Regardless of the time of day, it was the equivalent of chugging a gallon of ZQuil.

Now, of course, there are nights when I regret having given it away.

First Paragraph

When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. Our apartment was on the Schiffbauerdamm near the river, right in the middle of Berlin. From its windows we could see the dome of the parliament building. The wireless in the living room was turned up loud so Hans could hear it in the kitchen, but all that drifted down to me were waves of happy cheering, like a football match. It was Monday afternoon.

- From All That I Am: A Novel by Anna Funder

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Comedy Legend

 Theodore Kupfer remembers Norm MacDonald.

Quick Look


California Recall Election

 Will it be South Central or French Laundry?

Woke Schooling Toolkit

This toolkit is in high demand.

Very Interesting


First Paragraph

In the summer of 1955, at the end of my sophomore year in college, I worked as a chauffeur in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It had not been my first choice of jobs. I was originally supposed to work as a salesman for the Continental Insurance Company, which had made me an offer during a campus interview at my school, DePauw University. When the interviewer said there was an opening for me in the company's Atlanta office, I jumped at the chance. It was the perfect arrangement for me. I would have a job in the place where I most wanted to be - at home in Atlanta. At the end of the term, brimming with the confidence of a young man with two years of college behind me, I packed my bags and headed south thinking everything was in place.

- From Vernon Can Read: A Memoir by Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

Cheers for WordPerfect

FutureLawyer's praise for WordPerfect hits the spot. I used Word Perfect years ago and found it to be far superior to Word. 

Unfortunately, since 99% of my clients were using Word, I made the shift to The Dark Side.

For a non-techie such as myself, WordPerfect was far more intuitive. It was much easier to sort out any questions than navigating the maze in Word's system.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Find Your Style

[Photo by Manik Roy at Unsplash]

Service Year Alliance

How about a year off between high school and college? Makes sense to me. 

This group's approach is intriguing.

Joaquin's Back


"Dismal Sequels"

Americans intervened in Afghanistan in order to deny safe haven to terrorists and somehow to change that country for the better. Alas, at the end of the 20 years, Afghanistan finds itself back in the seventh century. It was America that got changed, almost beyond recognition. Americans split down the middle and became their own worst enemies. Their politics grew hysterical and vicious and surreal. They took to despising one another.

Read the rest of Lance Morrow's essay in City Journal.

My Dodged Bullets List

As I grow older, I have learned to shift many of the setbacks in my life to what I call My Dodged Bullets List. 

When the events happened, of course, there was pain, anger, embarrassment or frustration. I cannot pretend otherwise.

Time, however, has brought perspective. Now I find myself saying, "Thank God I didn't get stuck with that!"

If you don't have such a list, I strongly recommend starting one.

You may need several pages.

[Photo by Jan Kahanek at Unsplash]

Why Nations Fail


Sunday, September 12, 2021


Do you remember the first snowfall on a late autumn or winter day, when you were a child? It was like the intrusion of a new reality. Something shy and strange that had come to visit us, falling down upon and transforming the world around us, without our having to do anything. An unexpected gift. Falling snow is perhaps the purest manifestation of uncontrollability.

- Hartmut Rosa in The Uncontrollability of the World

[Photo by Filip Bunkens at Unsplash]

Find Something Beautiful Today

[Photo by Marin Tom at Unsplash]

Saturday, September 11, 2021



First Paragraph

The mailman delivered the packet just as Captain Finsterwald and Airman First Class Merriwether had finished searching Major Davies's cottage.

- From Our Man in Camelot by Anthony Price

One of the Early Novels about Terrorism

The last paragraph of The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:

And the incorruptible Professor walked, too, averting his eyes from the odious multitude of mankind. He had no future. He disdained it. He was a force. His thoughts caressed the images of ruin and destruction. He walked frail, insignificant, shabby, miserable - and terrible in the simplicity of his idea calling madness and despair to the regeneration of the world. Nobody looked at him. He passed on unsuspected and deadly, like a pest in the street full of men.

Never Forget


Friday, September 10, 2021

As We Near 9/11

City Journal: Hannah E. Meyers notes a 9/11 law enforcement lesson.

Always Thought-Provoking


Wally Bock with leadership reading from the independent business blogs.

Gone Wild

Stakeholder capitalism pretends to be a milder form of capitalism, but it's actually capitalism gone wild: it encourages capitalism's winners to wield greater power in our democracy. Ordinary Americans who vote at the ballot box each November are like the poor devotees who wait in the long line at the temple. Meanwhile, CEOs and investors issuing moral fiats from Davos are the rich devotees who get to cut the line.

- Vivek Ramaswamy, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam

A Leader, Both Future and Present: Immunized from Woke Politics

When acceptance is the highest value, when avoiding condemnation online is worth more than the truth, the truth will be swiftly discarded. Online likes, followers and reputation — weak, empty values — dominate the teenage world because teenagers are not being taught alternative ones by the culture or, often, by the adults in their lives. They — we — are not being given the tools to answer the questions that really matter: What is truth? What is justice? And what is the purpose of life?

Read all of David Idfresne's essay at Common Sense with Bari Weiss.

Quiet, Slanted, and Dangerous

We've all heard of people who have been stealing from their organizations for years. 

I'm more worried about those who been quietly inserting extreme ideological slants into HR training programs.

"Unhinged" is a Word That Often Comes to Mind Nowadays

Like most persons trained in political science during the 1960s my early writings were concerned with describing the process by which policy is shaped and with mapping the alignment of forces rather than with evaluating the substantive content of policy. Nonetheless, firmly seated in the back of my mind, was the substantive interest in reconciling the need for governmental authority with claims of liberty and fairness. As I grew older and grappled yearly with the task of explaining new laws and Supreme Court decisions to students, a conviction grew until it weighed on me like lead - that many civil libertarians had become unhinged.

- Richard E. Morgan, Disabling America: The "Rights Industry" in Our Time (published in 1984)

Chuck Braverman's Quick Look at 1968


Thursday, September 09, 2021



Book-Burning in Canada

“We bury the ashes of racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the hope that we will grow up in an inclusive country where all can live in prosperity and security,” says a video prepared for students about the book burning, Radio Canada reported.

In total, more than 4,700 books were removed from library shelves at 30 schools across the school board, and they have since been destroyed or are in the process of being recycled, Radio Canada reported. 

The National Post on a bizarre "reconciliation" effort

These people are dangerous. 

Nike's End of Men


For all the talk of a racial reckoning within major industries, Nike’s main problem is this: It’s a company built on masculinity, most specifically Michael Jordan’s alpha dog brand of it. Now, due to its own ambitions, scandals, and intellectual trends, Nike finds masculinity problematic enough to loudly reject.

Read the rest of Ethan Strauss's essay here.

Scholars Under Fire

 FIRE: The targeting of scholars for ideological reasons from 2015 to the present.

[Photo by Nathan Dumlao at Unsplash]

Wednesday, September 08, 2021



Not "The Onion"

 The Hill: State Department voices concern over all-male Taliban government.

Intolerance on Campus

 Common Sense with Bari Weiss: Peter Boghossian resigns from Portland State University. An excerpt:

I noticed signs of the illiberalism that has now fully swallowed the academy quite early during my time at Portland State. I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view.  Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male.  

Pathological Dualism

There is a moral dualism that sees good and evil as instincts within us between which we must choose. But there is also what I will call pathological dualism that sees humanity itself as radically . . . divided into the unimpeachably good and the irredeemably bad. You are either one or the other.

- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On My List


In Search of Heretics

 Matt Taibbi on the moral majority media

Charming people.


Purpose gives direction to one's efforts, but it does not necessarily make life easier. Goals can lead into all sorts of trouble, at which point one gets tempted to give them up and find some less demanding script by which to order one's actions. The price one pays for changing goals whenever opposition threatens is that while one may achieve a more pleasant and comfortable life, it is likely that it will end up empty and void of meaning.

- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Good Intentions and Bad Ideas

Carefully going through this in preparation for a project. A friend who works in civil rights said he's read it three times. I can understand why.

Color Us United

Check out Color Us United.

I'm volunteering for FAIR, which has a similar goal.

Monday, September 06, 2021

The Hard Work Behind "Other People's Money"

After attending City College of New York, Mr. Sterner sold tokens for the New York City Transit Authority. (They cost 15 cents each at the time.) He worked from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and wrote seven plays in nearly six years in the booth. When he could not sell his work, he went into real estate.

- From the 2001 New York Times obituary for playwright Jerry Sterner.

The trailer for the film version.

Labor Day


When people choose not to work somewhere, the somewhere isn't a company, it's a team. If we put you in a good team at a bad company, you'll tend to hang around, but if we put you in a bad team at a good company, you won't be there for long. The team is the sun, the moon, and the stars of your experience at work. As Edmund Burke, the Anglo-Irish writer and philosopher put it as far back as 1790, "To love the little platoon we belong to in society is the first principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections."

- From Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall


An extraordinary book! Highest recommendation.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Music Break


The History of the Future


Down for the Count

The next time some academics tell you how important 'diversity' is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.

- Thomas Sowell

What We Need

A stack of sharpened pencils. A notebook with quality paper. Coffee from a decent bean. A chunk of solitude. 

- Nicholas Bate, whose blog slogan is "Business of Life + Life of Business." 

The Worst Is Yet To Come

 "This is the greatest loss of military equipment in the history of warfare by one power."

- Victor Davis Hanson

Read more and see the chart at Cultural Offering.

On My List


Friday, September 03, 2021

Thursday, September 02, 2021

I Prefer "Moonstruck"


We've Sunk Deeper Since Then

Something has gone terribly wrong with the way we view and talk about 'race' in America. For the truth is that we no longer make sense on the subject of 'race.' We have talked ourselves into a hole full of rhetorical quicksand. Our attempts to clarify merely confound, and language itself has become a trap.

- Orlando Patterson in The Ordeal of Integration (1997)

Political Evolution

UnHerd: Peter Hitchens on the making of a reactionary.





Wally Bock has a great post on the meaning of "leader."

[I had to smile at his mention of the Landmark books on history. I loved those books!]

Anxiety Reliever

 Fast Company: Why it may make sense to schedule your worry time.

Indoctrination Update

City Journal: Michael Torres reports on how Critical Race Theory and related subjects have been merged into elementary schools in Pennsylvania. 



Late Night Entertainment

 An overflow from the air conditioner drain last night as a rain storm moved in.

A sound reason for stoicism and letting the nerve endings die out.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Training Generals


The Hippy Hogwarts?

This reminds me of my old college.

I will refrain from further comment.

"The New Puritans"

 Right here in America, right now, it is possible to meet people who have lost everything - jobs, money, friends, colleagues - after violating no laws, and sometimes no workplace rules either. Instead, they have broken (or are accused of having broken) social codes having to do with race, sex, personal behavior, or even acceptable humor, which may not have existed five years ago or maybe five months ago. Some have made egregious errors of judgment. Some have done nothing at all. It is not always easy to tell.

- From Anne Applebaum's "The New Puritans" essay in The Atlantic

The Final Final Bond Trailer


The Great Clarification

The United States is going through what I call The Great Clarification. For years, many of us took for granted that the consensus between liberals, moderates, and conservatives which had been crafted via federal and state legislation and subsequently upheld in the courts would be respected. 

We now realize there are governmental and school programs which directly collide with that consensus. There are rules which have never gone near a legislative hearing that have been quietly adopted by a multitude of organizations.

The game is up and the coming decade will be lively.

As we all know, sunlight is a disinfectant.

How a Dictatorship Eliminated Unemployment

 'Miss, you are not unemployed,' she barked.

'Of course, I'm unemployed,' Julia said. 'Why else would I be here?'

'This is the Employment Office, not the Unemployment Office. You are not unemployed, you are seeking work.'

Julia wasn't daunted. 'I'm seeking work,' she said, 'because I am unemployed.'

The woman started to shout so loudly the people in the queue hunched their shoulders. 'I said, you are not unemployed! You are seeking work!' and then, almost hysterically, 'There is no unemployment in the German Democratic Republic!'

- From Stasiland by Anna Funder

Start Me Up


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

I Weep for You, the Walrus Said

After watching the news, I have concluded that it is time to revisit Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter."

LA Takes

The Nation: Kate Wolf on stories about Los Angeles.

Answering a Dumb Question in a Job Interview


Forming a Working Group

When it comes to judgment, the group is not inherently superior to the individual. [Sometimes, all of us are dumber than one of us.] When forming a group for action, it is important that personalities and proclivities be considered because the little things will ultimately mean a great deal, regardless of how impressive the credentials or backgrounds. 

This is not a group of individuals as much as it is a group of relationships. To assume that productive relationships will naturally ensue is to believe in magic.

And it is not wise to rely on magic.

I Doubt If Critical Thinking Gets Much Attention

“There is no such thing as learning loss,” she responds when asked how her insistence on keeping L.A.’s schools mostly locked down over the last year and a half may have impacted the city’s 600,000 kindergarten through 12th-grade students. “Our kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.”

- The head of United Teachers Los Angeles quoted in Los Angeles Magazine

Monday, August 30, 2021

The New Kabul Reality

 Washington Examiner: Tori Richards on a place that has gone back. Way back.

"What the hell is happening Down Under?"

Writing in City Journal, Arthur Chrenkoff explores Australia's heavy-handed response to COVID.

Chance or Destiny?


And Yet Another Think Tank

 The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

Does Google Chrome Have Privacy Issues?

 Forbes: Zak Doffman believes it does.

On My List


Part of Your Primary Course of Study


  • When do you make your best decisions?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?
  • Which of your strengths may keep you from being more effective?
  • Where do you invest your time?
  • How much time do you squander with self-reproach?
  • Have you underestimated the amount of your impatience?
  • Do you permit others to make you upset or angry?
  • How much of your career was chosen to please others?
  • Is there a statute of limitations on your mistakes?
  • Do you listen as well as you speak?
  • Is your head in the game?
  • Are you good at saying no?
  • Do you feel guilty about decisions over which you had no control?
  • Do you continually compare yourself to others?
  • If others win, do you lose?
  • What would you regard as success?

They Don't Just Happen

Successful communities, successful countries, don't just happen. They are built by dedication, sacrifice, and hard work. They must find or build unifying bonds and values. They are also built by caring for each other, helping each other, and working jointly on projects and programs.

- Richard D. Lamm

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Meanwhile, on Bourbon Street

 Check out the Earth Cam. [Hit the "Live" button.]

[I contacted a friend who lives in New Orleans. He sent a note back saying that he's waiting out the storm in Meridian, Mississippi.]