Wednesday, March 31, 2021

They're All Rich and Don't Need the Rent?

Washington Examiner: No evictions rule extended.

Because, as we all know, landlords don't have expenses or debts.

Down on the Farm


Meanwhile, Down on the Border

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holding facility in Donna, Texas, is supposed to house no more than 250 migrants during the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Tuesday, the tent complex was holding more than 4,100 migrants, including 3,200 unaccompanied children, according to Oscar Escamilla, a Border Patrol official in the Rio Grande Valley who briefed reporters during the first press tour of a CBP facility under President Biden. 

Read the rest of the CBS story here.

Navajo Code Talkers Day

It's official: Navajo Code Talkers Day is a state holiday in Arizona.

For those who are not familiar with the Navajo language, you can listen to KTNN: "The Voice of the Navajo Nation."


FutureLawyer is a fan of DocuSign

The description of it as fast and easy is enticing.

I've found other electronic signature services to be ridiculously complicated.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The New York City police arrested a man for the now-notorious attack of an Asian lady who was on her way to church.

His background, of course, is shocking.


An example of why the
Sherlock series was one of the best things ever put on television.


One of the most underestimated forces in the world is inertia. 

In any particular circumstance, it is wise to determine whether inertia is working for you or against you. Either way, it should be recognized as a silent giant that will boost or hinder your efforts.

Action gets all of the attention but attention does not always reflect power. All leaders need to watch carefully for moments that require silence and events that should be left alone.

Crank It Up

Interesting Websites: A Series

The websites for:

When the Turn-Around Specialist is a Vampire

Floyd Kemske wrote "Human Resources" years ago but the subject continues to be timely. 

[His novels are now free in pdf format?]

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

First Paragraph

Early in the afternoon of December 16, 1850, Herman Melville looked at his timepiece. He was in the midst of composing the novel we now know as Moby-Dick. At that moment he was writing about how for thousands, even millions of years whales have been filling the atmosphere over the waters of the Pacific with the haze of their spouts - "sprinkling and mystifying the gardens of the deep." It was then that he decide to record the exact time at which he was writing these words about whale spouts: "fifteen and a quarter minutes past one o'clock P.M. of this sixteenth day of December, A.D. 1850."

- From Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

Bogus Russian Collusion Claims

Matt Taibbi has compiled a master list.

It has been the old "throw mud against a wall and hope some will stick" strategy.



The Canal


When Baked to Perfection

 Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering has news that all of us can use.

The Church of the Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie.

First Paragraph

When Robert Bork was nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, one of his former colleagues at Yale explained why the Senate shouldn't worry about Bork's somewhat intemperate scholarship. Since becoming a judge, the colleague explained, Bork had changed his reasoning style. Then came the zinger: This eminent professor testified that Bork's "abandonment of his slashing and extreme style in favor of a judicious incremental approach to thinking about the law . . . disqualifies him for a reappointment at Yale Law School." Apparently, only extremists make good legal academics. Reason, moderation, and common sense may be positive traits in a judge, but nowadays they are fatal flaws in a legal scholar.

- From Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law by Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

John Anderson Interviews Laurence Fox


Monday, March 29, 2021

His Own Terms of Endearment

Writing in National Review, Kyle Smith on the underappreciated genius of Larry McMurtry.

[I see now that I have to read Duane's Depressed.]

Your Wodehouse Journey


"The Madness Comes for the Mathematicians"

Writing in Commentary magazine, Jonathan Marks examines what happens when a scholar is regarded as collaborating with the police.

Wait, remember CompStat

For a great account of how that came about, read "The Crime Fighter" by Jack Maple.

But if you want to get futuristic:

The Poisoners

I knew an executive several years ago who was a skilled dispenser of poison. She would tell you in confidence about what someone had said or done. You might, if you were lucky, eventually discover that her account was completely false but at the time, since it was said in confidence, you would not be inclined to check up on her remarks. She never alleged anything extreme that might require prompt corrective action but the comments were just negative enough that they might, down the road, prevent an assignment or quietly sidetrack a career. In short, she dispensed slow-acting poison.

Her practice was discovered when a few people compared notes on what they'd suspected. By then, she was close to leaving the organization and nothing was done. Those who knew the truth, no doubt, wondered what had been said about them and how it might have affected their reputation. There was no reason to believe that anyone was immune.

Normal, honest, people find it difficult to imagine such conduct. Most of us operate with the assumption that people are usually truthful. We scoff at conspiracy theories and suspected plots. It is hard for us to imagine the mindset of someone who would so casually and needlessly harm others.

All of which reminds me of a historian's explanation of what caused Neville Chamberlain to believe that the Nazis would comply with the Munich agreement: 

Neville Chamberlain had never met anyone like Adolf Hitler.

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

No Kitchen is Complete Without One

May be purchased at The Charles Dickens Museum.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Wrong Questions

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.

- Antony Jay

Read "Moby-Dick"


Questions They'd Ask the President

 On the eve of President Biden’s first press conference, Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane weigh in on what questions they’d ask the president—on economics, woke culture, Afghanistan withdrawal, and Taiwan tensions—if given the chance to be White House correspondents for one day.

First Paragraph

"In 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated at Sarajevo, and little of the Europe he had known survived him. His wife, his titles - even his country - vanished in the red madness of the time. The assassins had unhinged the world, which is the only reason we remember their victim. The blunt truth is that he had been brutal and mulish - a Klotz. Yet every funeral has its pathetic personal details, and among the petty but vexing problems raised by the archduke's unexpected demise was the issue of what his executors were to do with his hunting lodge near Werfen, Austria. For four hundred years the lodge (really an immense villa), had been one of the homes of the archbishops of Salzburg, who had commuted between there, their Renaissance cathedral, their theological seminary east of Munich, and their two archepiscopal palaces on the Salzach River. In the new, enlightened Europe, however, the ecclesiastical hierarchy had yielded to royalty. The dull click of rosary beads had been replaced by the clean, sharp crack of sportsmen's rifles. Franz Ferdinand, whatever his other weaknesses, had been a superb shot. In the teeming forests surrounding his lodge he had broken all slaughtering records. His trophies filled the halls."

- From The Arms of Krupp 1587-1968 by William Manchester

Novels and States

Malcolm Gladwell asked his Twitter following for the names of novels set in some southern states he was planning to visit. It's easy to suggest "All the King's Men" or "A Confederacy of Dunces" for Louisiana, but the request causes me to think about other states. Some are far easier than others; e.g., Texas = "Lonesome Dove."

But how about my home state of Arizona?

And what about other states?

[At Book Riot in 2018, Susie Dumond compiled an interesting list.]

What? No "John Doe for Senate" Pizza Boxes?

National Review: What the controversial Georgia voting law actually says and how it compares with laws in other states.

Tanmay Vora

 You will always find much to ponder at Tanmay Vora's blog.

I Wish They Were Still Around

 A partial list of people who would have interesting observations on the state of the world today:

  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • Lee Kuan Yew
  • Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Eric Hoffer
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Tom Wolfe
  • Jeane Kirkpatrick
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Milton Friedman
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan
  • Vernon Walters
  • James Baldwin
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Abba Eban
  • Michael Kelly
  • Irving Kristol
  • William F. Buckley, Jr.
  • John Updike

Weekend Leadership Reading

Wally Bock has the assignments.

[Photo by Austin Distel at Unsplash]

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:



The Importance of Fathers in the Home Should Not Be Underestimated


Friday, March 26, 2021

Larry McMurtry, R.I.P.

The novelist Larry McMurtry has passed away at the age of 84. 

His masterpiece, Lonesome Dove, should be a contender for The Great American Novel, but he wrote other memorable books as well and now is a good time for a McMurtry reading binge.

The dedication to Lonesome Dove borrowed a line from the song, Streets of Laredo. Its original version seems appropriate here:

"Once in the saddle I used to go dashing . . ."

May he rest in peace.

More Than an Icon

Not Just the Suez Canal

At UnHerd: Peter Franklin on the world's many chokepoints.

You Too Can Make a Motion Picture


[HT: A Large Regular]

Because Everyone Needs a Good Fountain Pen

The Study has "5 Elegant Fountain Pens Under $30."

I own a Kaweco Sport pen, which is smaller than the Kaweco pen that is featured. An excellent pen, the Kaweco puts me in a good mood whenever I use it. 

I also have, and recommend, the Lamy Safari pen. If choosing between the two, I'd pick the Kaweco although the Lamy has the more distinctive design.

Headline Prevention


This book falls in the "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" category.

The Long-Awaited Press Conference

Althouse explores The Washington Post coverage of President Biden's press conference here and here.

Of course, for a hint of the reporters' conduct, you can also check The Babylon Bee.

Read the Book First


Therapy Needed

Elie Mystal, writing in The Nation, on "I Am Not Ready to Reenter White Society."

On Twitter, Thomas Chatterton Williams - no fan of the article - asked: Who is going to be the first mover to just come out and unambiguously write “The Case for Segregation?” It will win awards in this climate.

"The Death of the American City"

And that was before Covid hit. Already many poor urban residents subsisted on transfer payments or worked in service industries. They were paid, usually poorly, to clean now-empty offices or work in restaurants and hotels. The lockdowns, whether justified or overwrought, have since pummelled these low-income workers; roughly 40% of Americans earning under $40,000 a year lost their jobs last March.

Read all of Joel Kotkin's essay in UnHerd.

Better Left Unsaid documentary: "Is This Not the Central Problem of Our Time?"


Interesting Websites: A Series

The websites for:

Google Certificates

Google is now providing training in certain specialties.

Due to the length and cost of higher education, I believe we will be seeing many more programs of this nature.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

American Exodus

Tablet magazine: Angelo Codevilla on walking away from the current oligarchy.

[Photo by Robert McGowan at Unsplash]

California's Present and Future

 California is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy—and a world of problems: businesses exiting, chronic homelessness, a dearth of affordable housing, devastating wildfires, maddening political correctness. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and columnist for Hoover’s California on Your Mind series, joins Hoover senior fellow Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss what is to become of the tarnished Golden State.

Delegating Coercion

Glenn Greenwald on Congressional efforts to get Silicon Valley firms to practice more (not less) censorship.

Defending Unto Death Your Right to Disagree

National Affairs: Tevi Troy on how to defend free speech.

The Private Moment

 Author Steven Pressfield on the "private moment" in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia.

Interesting Websites: A Series

The websites for:

Reliving a Day of Panic in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Political Calculations looks at the actions of Governor Cuomo at a key point during the pandemic.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021



Civilization: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Very nicely done. And it is at David Kanigan's very civilized Live & Learn blog.


 A prophet is not someone with special visions, just someone blind to most of what others see.

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Bed of Procrustes

Perhaps We Need a Wall

Gallup survey indicates that 42 million people in the Caribbean and Latin America want to immigrate to the United States.

Find Your Style

[Photo by Etty Fidele at Unsplash]

The EU and the Vaccine

Writing in Unherd, Douglas Murray analyzes the European Union's handling of the vaccination roll-out. An excerpt:

Evidence from around the world suggests that countries which are limber and independent — such as Israel, Singapore and Britain — have been able to act swiftly during the pandemic, particularly with regard to vaccinations. Indeed, there is no logical reason why EU countries could not have been allowed to pursue independent vaccine development, procurement and roll-out. Except for the fact that any such conclusion runs counter to the heart of the EU’s fundamental principle: that its members must act in concert.

First Paragraph

In March of 2013 Oberlin College canceled classes after a student reported seeing someone on campus wearing Ku Klux Klan regalia. Our initial thoughts were that there was unlikely to be a KKK chapter at Oberlin College, a private liberal arts school with a reputation for progressive activism. Indeed, the apparent Klansman later turned out to be a woman wrapped in a blanket (Dicken 2013). The sighting occurred after racist, anti-Semitic, and otherwise offensive messages had been posted on campus during the previous few weeks. These were also not what they seemed, as the culprits were not racists, but two progressive students attempting to get a reaction from the community (Ross 2013).

- From The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning

Apollo 13 Real-time: Flight Director's Loop

What you are about to hear is the Mission Control Flight Director's Loop for the first six hours following the Apollo 13 accident.

You will hear the strength and style of leadership of both Gene Kranz and Glynn Lunney, the legendary Flight Directors on-shift during the accident. You will hear problems develop, symptoms get diagnosed, red herrings get chased, and issues get resolved. You will experience the tight teamwork, grace under pressure, endless resourcefulness, and extensive knowledge of the flight controllers on the ground and the crew on-board the spacecraft.

Click here for the site.

Flying Over the Fear

Spectator magazine: Bridget Phetasy decided to fly to South Africa during the pandemic.

Where Does He Find This Stuff?

This, and much more, at Eclecticity Light.

How to Forgive

A Hasidic parable tells of a king who quarreled with his son. In a fit of rage, the king exiled his son from the kingdom. Years passed. The son wandered alone in the world. In time, the king’s heart softened, so he sent his ministers to find his son and ask him to return. When they located the young man, he said that he could not return; he had been too hurt, and his heart still harbored bitterness. The ministers brought the sad news back to the king. He told them to return to his son with the message: “Return as far as you can, and I will come the rest of the way to meet you.”

Read the rest of David Wolpe's Commentary magazine review of Richard Balkin's new book, Practicing Forgiveness.

Interesting Websites: A Series

The websites for:


Michael Tracey: Helen Andrews on Boomers: How they ruined everything.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Hey, Habit Machine!

 "Humans are basically habit machines. I think learning to break habits is actually a very important meta-skill and can serve you in life almost better than anything else." 

- Naval Ravikant

This, and much more, at A Large Regular.

"The Study"

Patrick Rhone recommended his friend's new blog.

The description hooked me.

Check out The Study.

Quick Look


A Major Incentive to Get Vaccinated

CBS News reports that Kristy Kreme donuts will give anyone who has been vaccinated a free glazed donut every day through the rest of this year.

The Team

"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."

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

[Photo by Smartworks Coworking at Unsplash]

Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on the Georgetown Law Center Controversy


Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights


How will Europe deal with a wave of violence against women perpetrated by male refugees from Islamic nations? How will America counter a “cancel culture” movement that seeks to stifle intellectual debate? Hoover research fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali joins Hoover senior fellows H. R. McMaster and John Cochrane to discuss her new book, Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights, the parallels between Islamists and “Wokeists,” and her life as a target of both career- and life-threatening “cancel” efforts.

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking

Maxim: Timex's popular M79 automatic watch.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Root of the Problem

Saw the dentist this morning. A root canal operation is in my future.

Picked up some medicine for the interim. The side effects for one set of pills include "Seeing giant woodchucks."

Dystopian Dating Game?


Find Your Style

[Photo by Laura Chouette at Unsplash]

Thoughts on What's Ahead


"Prolific author and Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist George Will joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss America’s drift away from the Founding Fathers’ intentions, the failure of its two-party system, the future of taxation and the US economy, challenges presented by a rising China—and his thoughts as he closes in on a landmark birthday (an early May celebration that will coincide with the release of Ferguson’s new book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe)."

Anonymous Complaints?

The New Republic: The Rise of "Bias Response Teams" on Campus.

Permitting anonymous complaints is particularly troublesome. 

[I once worked with an international firm on their ethics policy. When one manager surfaced the idea of permitting anonymous complaints, the Eastern European managers at the conference table almost rose out of their chairs to protest.]

The Bigotry Doctor


Approaching Projects with Fresh Eyes

"I have done this sort of project a thousand times before. What might be different this time? Is there anything I need to watch for?"

"Schools for Misrule"


Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

The Borgias as Power Players

History Today (in 2013): Alexander Lee considers "Were the Borgias Really So Bad?

I've been reading and enjoying The Borgias and Their Enemies by Christopher Hibbert.

[The painting is "A glass of wine with Caesar Borgia" by John Collier.]

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Questioning the Lockdown

Peter Hitchens provides a dissent to the lockdown strategy in Britain. What I find interesting is how the newspaper - the Daily Mail - almost wrings its hands while introducing the "highly controversial" opinion piece.

If a big chunk of your economy is about to be shut down, it might be wise to hear some dissent.

And not just businesses are at stake. John Tierney's recent essay in City Journal on "Death and Lockdowns" goes into more detail.

[Photo by Manuel Peris Tirado at Unsplash]

"The Peace of Wild Things"

Feeling stressed? Read the poem by Wendell Berry.

[Photo by Paul Einerhand at Unsplash]

Find Something Beautiful Today

[Photo by Thea M. at Unsplash]

Friday, March 19, 2021

Why Electric Cars Have Not Arrived (Yet)

The Sovereign Professional examines the drawbacks of electric cars.

[I am amazed at how many Teslas I see in Phoenix.]

The Teen Vogue Vultures

The Atlantic: "America Has Forgotten How to Forgive."

For Alan Rickman Fans


Leave the Game Alone


Hasbro is planning on changing the messages on the Community Chest cards so they are more with our woke times.

[Photo by Pedro Santos at Unsplash]

Key Events and COVID-19

 Political Calculations has a chart showing one year in the COVID-19  pandemic.

Sowell Should Be a Household Name

Law & Liberty: Thomas Chatterton Williams on encountering Thomas Sowell.

Leaving Portland

Michael J. Totten tells his personal story about a city that has gone crazy.

Truly a shame. A beautiful city. I used to travel there to teach management workshops.

"A question mark walks into a bar?"

Cultural Offering has the post you want to read today.

[Photo by Brett Jordan at Unsplash]

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Good, the Bad, and the Crank It Up


Time for a Re-Make with De Blasio and Cuomo


Thoughts While Reviewing a Questionable Report

"That statement is flat-out incorrect, but it may be due to ignorance and not duplicity. More information is needed."

"Are any key items of information omitted? Hmm, yes. Several times."

"Did that reply directly answer the question? No, but it was nicely crafted to appear to answer the question."

"How many vague statements are there? At least twelve. That may be due to sloppiness, deception, or both." 

"What the hell does that mean? Perhaps the author went to graduate school."

"Love the jargon. Ask for definitions."

"That was unnecessarily argumentative. Bad form."

"There is so much detail in that area. Was it meant to distract?'

"The chart compares the current status to last year's numbers. How would it look if the comparison was with the numbers five or ten years ago?"

"Does the author really believe this will convince anyone?"

Interesting Websites: A Series

The websites for:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Uncensored Jonathan Pie Rant on Cancel Culture



I have thoughts in the back of my mind which I call "stuff" but which eventually are quite helpful. I've learned to listen for them and occasionally check their status, all the while knowing that when they are ready to emerge to assist in some endeavor, I will hear a knock and there they will be.

Being Old Can Be Strange. So Can Being Young.


Keep This in Mind

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.

- Philip Roth

Cuomo and the Nursing Homes

 Political Calculations on "A Timeline of Governor Cuomo's Nursing Home Scandal."

The Ultimate Irish Film


Way Outside the Box

The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas

Architect magazine: Joseph Giovannini on the history and concept.

City Journal: Theodore Dalrymple writes a critique of the architecture.

[Note: My favorite architect is Christopher Wren.]

A Cruise and COVID


Home Office

Nicholas Bate's
list of things to consider for your home office reminded me of a filing cabinet I need to replace.

A home office, like a lawn, needs tending.

Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

A Tale of Two Crises


Monday, March 15, 2021

The First Sentence

The first sentence of every novel should be: Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human. Meander if you want to get to town.

- Michael Ondaatje

From Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin Novels


I completely agree. A masterpiece

Well Done!


Frequent Comments to My Dog

  • "You've got a good gig here, dog."
  • "Do you know that you are like a work of art that wanders around the house?"
  • "You have to set an example for the other dogs because they look up to you."
  • "Now I don't want you to act crazy."
  • "I know this is a silly question but would you like a treat?"
  • "What is it like having two elderly retainers who wait on you hand and foot?"
  • "You agree with me, don't you?"

Quiet Hero

Eight and a half million Germans had belonged to the Nazi Party, and their full membership records had survived the war thanks to a paper mill manager in Munich who had deliberately ignored instructions to pulp them. 

- From The Nazi Hunters by Andrew Nagorski



The New Diversity

Diversity is inherently good and schools should do everything they can to foster it. Yet once diverse classrooms and campuses are achieved, students must form racial affinity groups, read authors who look like them, and be provided segregated dorm options to ensure their safety?

- Thomas Chatterton Williams

Tunnel of Death

BBC News: A reminder that the First World War stays with us.

[HT: Bill Wade]

Grace Under Pressure


Interesting Websites: A Series

 The websites for:

Modern Lingo

Urban Dictionary defines "concern troll." 

Technology is Great


Megyn Kelly
Our scale, after it tells you your weight, tells you the weight of the person who last stepped on the scale. Who thought this would be a good idea??