Friday, December 31, 2021

When You Have to Fill In for Peter Ustinov


Crank It Up


Depicting Hercule Poirot

 Art Contrarian provides some examples.



Noble Work

The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) is making its end of the year appeal.

I am contributing time and money to its Pro-Human message.

 Check out FAIR.

Letting 2021 Go

I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep...

Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

- From The Journals of May Sarton, Volume One: Journal of a Solitude

[HT: James Clear]

First Paragraph

 On a breezy night in March 2016 at the Tesla design studio, Elon Musk took the stage in front of a crowd of supporters. Dressed like a James Bond villain, in a black jacket with the collar up, he was on the cusp of achieving a decade-long dream, a goal the famed entrepreneur had spent years building toward: the grand reveal of his Model 3 electric car.

- From Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and The Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins

Auld Lang Syne

Start singing it now and you'll be ready for tonight.

On Twitter

Don't lose yourself here [on Twitter]. It will only radicalize you and make you "other" everyone who disagrees with you over time. It flattens us all into characters. Commies. Lefties. Fascists. In 2022 I will minimize my time here. It brings out the worst in me. Twitter is the bad place.

- Bridget Phetasy

Contains Career Tips for 2022


Thursday, December 30, 2021


My schedule has been somewhat chaotic for the past few days due to a joyous reason.

I promise to return soon to my usual glum and somber routine. 

First Paragraph

 In early 1861, on his long, meandering journey from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, DC, president-elect Abraham Lincoln stopped in Philadelphia on February 21 and gave a couple of brief but revealing speeches. By then six slave states had seceded from the Union - a Union Lincoln was determined to hold together. At Independence Hall, inspired by the place where his country had been founded, Lincoln could "listen to those breathings rising within the consecrated walls where the Constitution of the United States, and, I will add, the Declaration of American Independence was originally framed." Lincoln believed that, taken together, these two documents - the Declaration and the Constitution - stated plainly the bedrock principles of the American nation. In one of those biblical allusions at which he was so adept, Lincoln swore an oath: "May my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if ever I prove false to those teachings."

- From The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution by James Oakes

COVID Skepticism

LessWrong: COVID Skepticism Isn't About Science

Wednesday, December 29, 2021



Deadhead Entrepreneurial

 Check out Garcia Family Provisions.

When You Go Into Politics and Politics Goes Into You



 It is a common mistake to underestimate the damage which one bad executive or manager can do to an organization.

It is also a common mistake to underestimate the good which an excellent executive or manager can do.

And remember, each type tends to attract others who share their nature. 

[Photo by Dan-Cristian Paduret at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

 In the aftermath of World War II, America - the new leader of the West - stood alone as the world's premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, a burgeoning elite in New York City and Washington, D.C., embraced not only the war's refugees but also many of their resolutely nineteenth-century "modern" ideas as well.

- From The Devil's Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West by Michael Walsh

The Sequel to "Meet Molly" Is Out!


By The Incomparable Bate, a.k.a. The Man Who Never Sleeps. 

[This sounds intriguing. I will definitely be reading it.]

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Essential Conductor



Historians have not been notably successful in predicting the future. They are not even, a wit has said, very good at predicting the past.

- Gertrude Himmelfarb


If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.

- From A Nation at Risk, a blue-ribbon presidential panel report written in 1983

The Inevitable Review

The Atlantic: Caitlin Flanagan on "The Autumn of Joan Didion."

Monday, December 27, 2021

Scan the Skies


In My Reading Stack

Smartphones and Teenagers

Given the choice, would you rather your teenager hang around with friends who are heavily engaged with their smartphones (and all that such phones can provide) or ones who have a simple flip-phone or perhaps even no phone at all?

"Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you." - Flannery O'Connor

[Photo by Debby Hudson at Unsplash]

On DEI Training


Get an Almanac

When I was young, my grandmother used to send me an almanac once a year. I found them to be intriguing.

Go for it. I'm getting mine this week.



The Undone Beneficials


I've followed a strategy over the years:

Identify a practice which, for whatever reason, most of your competitors don't do and yet it would benefit both you and your customers.

Do it.

Practicing for Conflict

 There's very little in most people's upbringing or education that prepares them for the ambiguity and uncertainty of heated debate. But that can be learned.

- Margaret Heffernan in Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Measures

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Best



I've seen some miracles in my life and I don't use that word lightly. I also rarely talk about them.

As C. S. Lewis noted in his book on miracles, there is no miracle so impressive or extreme that it could not - and would not - be quickly dismissed by those eager to do so. You can guess the explanations: deception, misperception, hallucination, mass hallucinations.

Those of us who have experienced them are more inclined to believe that there is far more to life than is generally acknowledged. 

Merry Christmas!

May the blessings of this day be with you throughout the coming days.

[Photo by Charlotte Coneybeer at Unsplash]

Friday, December 24, 2021

In the Background


More Than the Story of a Whale


Much more at Cultural Offering.

First Paragraph

Fife Symington had just finished reciting the Lord's Prayer during a Saturday morning prayer breakfast in early 2001 when he felt the quaking of the phone in his pocket.

- From Old Money, New West: Fife Symington and the Uniquely American Landscapes that Made Him, Broke Him, and Made Him Anew by Robert Nelson and Jack L. August, Jr. 

Back to Basics in the Italian Alps


From "Dakota Christmas"

 Her hair was the same thin shade of gray as the weather-beaten pickets of the fence around her frozen garden. She had a way with horses, and she was alone on Christmas Eve. There is little in my life I regret as much as that I would not stay for just one cookie, just one cup of tea.

- Joseph Bottum

Getting Close

[Photo by Michal Pechardo at Unsplash]

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Going Roman


On Studying Latin

 "I learned something very important that has helped me all through life: There are certain things you have to do even if you don't want to do them."

- Sir Kenneth Clark

The Author of "Apollo's Arrow"


A Fashion Confession

FutureLawyer has a confession: He owned (and wore!) a leisure suit in the 1970s.

For those of you who are too young to recall the Seventies, it was a toxic waste dump for fashion. Otherwise sane people wore bellbottoms. The men's ties were wider-than-wide. The colors were bold, brash, and cartoonish.

I hope that we've acquired herd-immunity.



Covid and Relative Risk

All this might just be a species of prudence if it wasn’t contributing to a psychological orientation that can no longer gauge relative risk. Indeed, it’s a persuasion that rejects the compartmentalization of relative risk entirely.

Read the rest of Noah Rothman's essay in Commentary magazine.



In the Old Royal Navy

New Criterion: John Steele Gordon on "Hornblower at the Helm."

Great stuff. The books by Alexander Kent are also excellent. Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series is the gold standard.

Why limit yourself? Read them all.

Civilization: Closing Comments


Transparency Legislation Vetoed in PA

 If you think it's obvious that the public should know what is being taught in the public schools, think again if you live in Pennsylvania.

The argument that transparency would be burdensome is ridiculous. So too is the view that the legislation is not needed because parents can already request such information from individual schools. Most parents will not do so unless they sense that there might be a problem. Why not provide the basic information upfront so they can decide if additional questions are appropriate?

I think we know the answer to that.

An HR professional once told me that he didn't want an easy-to-understand complaint process because it might result in the employees filing more complaints. He didn't want a credible and substantive complaint system. He wanted a superficial one.

There's a similar game being played in Pennsylvania.

A Dirty Little Secret

 Ninety percent of what we call 'management' consists of making it difficult to get things done.

- Peter Drucker

"History does not teach fatalism."

Remember this lesson. History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. People get the history they deserve.

- Charles de Gaulle

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Improving the Star Wars Holiday Special

 Political Calculations has the details.

An excerpt:

The year was 1978. Americans were suffering under the weak leadership of an ineffective president. Inflation was running hot and about to get much worse. And then, as if to put an exclamation point on just how bad things were getting, one of the three broadcast television networks that existed at the time aired The Star Wars Holiday Special.

Twas the Night Before Christmas, Legal Version

Very well done.

[Photo by hue12photography at Unsplash]

Let the Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits Commence

 Benjamin Morley on speaking out against discriminatory training.

Return to Hogwarts


"Inside the Omicron Fear Factory"

The Spectator: Heather Mac Donald presents some needed balance to the fear-laden messages that currently are in vogue.

[Thanks, Kurt.]

[Photo by Dave Anker at Unsplash]

Many a Parent Will Smile


Sins of the Left

 Ruy Teixeira on "The Five Deadly Sins of the Left."

Ann Althouse will be weighing in.

Robert George


Who's in the Dark? Communication and Customer Service


At Organization #1, the customer was told that everything was ready and that the order would be shipped by Organization #2.

Just be patient, they said. It may take around 10 days.

In the meantime, Organization #2 was awaiting notice from the customer that a separate product had been received from another organization we'll call Organization #3.

But no one told the customer, so no notice was sent to Organization #2.

Then again, that would have been impossible even if notice had been given to the customer because Organization #3 was not going to send the separate product until they'd gotten a document from the customer. 

But no one told the customer.

In short, the process was blocked at Organizations #2 and #3 because they were awaiting information from the customer, but no one told the customer and so the customer and Organizations #2 and #3 continued to wait.

Lessons Learned: Overcommunicate, follow-up, and look for areas in which projects can fall between the cracks and be forgotten or lost.

Another Christmas Film


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

GE Sinking

The book review by Wally Bock.

David Suchet Need Not Worry


You Will Smile and Think

Take frequent visits to The Hammock Papers. It is a very pleasant place.

Modern Times

At the point a certain cohort discovered it could have both maximum apparent virtue and maximum real income — at the same time — it ceased all learning, lost all humility, and devoted itself to securing its advantage by any means possible.

- Walter Kirn



The Need for Illusion

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

- Saul Bellow

Needed Classes for Our Times

  • "How to Say No."
  • "Where Money Comes From."
  • "Life is Unfair."
  • "How Not to Alienate Others."
  • "Gratitude."
  • "Patience."
  • "The Meaning of Freedom."
  • "Basic Logic."
  • "Standing Up to Bullies."
  • "Turning Off a Television."
  • "Dressing Like an Adult."

"A Winter of Severe Illness and Death"

ABC News reported the statement of a top White House Covid advisor.

Although few leadership consultants would have suggested such language, it may have been inspired by a scene from "Zulu."

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Shocking and Not Shocking

 The Spectator: The head of the Sage Covid modeling committee reveals their technique.

Well, he gets some points for being candid when questioned. The grade for the formal report is another matter.

Bock Cuts Through "Noise"


Wally Bock reviews "Noise." The book is on my shelf but I haven't started it. 

This review will be very helpful in getting to the key parts.

Something Known as "Conversation"

JK Rowling versus the Loons: A Harry Potter Sequel

"Just give up, people."

- Ann Althouse

Read the whole pathetic story here.

Drawing a Line by Purdue University President Mitch Daniels

Diversity, Community, and More


Walter Berns, Making Patriots. [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.]

Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging. [Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2018.]

Christopher Caldwell, The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties. [New York: Simon and Schuster, 2020.]

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read, and Remember. [London: Atlantic Books, 2010.]

Donald T. Critchlow, Revolutionary Monsters: Five Men Who Turned Liberation into Tyranny. [Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2021.]

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. [New York: New York University Press, 2017.]

Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. [New York: Ballentine Books, 2008.]

Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry, Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law. [New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.]

Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know. [New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2019.]

Mike Gonzales, The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free. [New York: Encounter Books, 2020.]

Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. [New York: Vintage Books, 2012.]

Victor Davis Hanson, The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America. [New York: Basics Books, 2021.]

Noreena Hertz, The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart. [New York: Currency, 2021.]

Paul Hollander, Anti-Americanism. [New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers,1995.]

Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. [New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.]

Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist. [New York: One World, 2019.]

Rushworth M. Kidder, Moral Courage. [New York: William Morrow, 2005.]

Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America. [San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000.]

Richard D. Lamm, Two Wands, One Nation: An Essay on Race and Community in America. [Golden: Fulgrum Publishing, 2006.]

Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism. [New York: Basic Books, 2016.]

Greg Lukianoff, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. [New York: Encounter Books, 2012.]

Gred Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. [New York: Penguin Books, 2018.]

Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. [New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018.]

Irshad Manji, Don’t Label Me: How to Do Diversity Without Inflaming the Culture Wars. [New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2019.]

David McCullough, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For. [New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017.]

John McWhorter, Winning the Race. [New York: Gotham Books, 2005.]

John McWhorter, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. [New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2021.]

Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. [London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019.]

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, Together: The Healing Power of Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. [New York: HarperWave, 2020.]

Jacob Needleman, The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders. [New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003.]

Steven Pinker, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters. [New York: Viking, 2021.]

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity and Why This Harms Everybody. [Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2020.]

Vivek Ramaswamy, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam. [New York: Center Street, 2021.]

Amanda Ripley, High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out. [New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021.]

Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Conversation: A Language of Life. [Encinitas: PuddleDancer Press, 2015.]

Noah Rothman, Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America. [Washington D.C., Regnery Gateway, 2019.]

Gad Saad, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense. [Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2020.]

Ben Sasse, Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal. [New York: St. Martin’s, 2018.]

Ben Shapiro, The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent. [New York: Broadside Books, 2021.]

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. [New York: Penguin Books, 2008.]

David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. [New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1991.]

Thomas Sowell, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? [New York: Quill William Morrow, 1984.]

Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities. [New York: Basic Books, 2019.]

Shelby Steele, The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America. [New York: Harper Perennial, 1998.]

Shelby Steele, White Guilt. [New York: Harper Collins, 2006]

Deborah Tannen, That’s Not What I Meant! How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships. [New York: Harper, 1986.]

Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. [New York: Penguin Books, 2015.]

Jay J. Van Bavel and Dominic J. Packer, The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony. [New York: Little, Brown Spark, 2021.]

Charles H. Vogl, The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging. [Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2016.]

Peter Wood, Wrath: America Enraged. [New York: Encounter Books, 2021.]

Kenny Xu, An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy. [New York: Diversion Books, 2021.]

Friday, December 17, 2021


 Commentary magazine: Christine Rosen on "The Real Misinformation Problem."

I was recently talking to a teacher about freedom of speech and he got uneasy because I did not favor squelching "misinformation."

I Need a Bookstore Film


Away But Not Quite Away

I wasn't at the above convention.

The times that are in-between meetings and projects can be invaluable when it comes to discovering fresh approaches. Recently, through a combination of things, I wound up having to handle an organization's exhibit booth at a large convention. I have not done anything of that nature in years (lucky me) and I quickly encountered the usual array of bureaucratic rules. Rather than be bothered, I decided to use the time in-between the rush of crowds as a chance to make notes on how the booth could be designed in the future.

It was very helpful. I doubt if several thoughts would have emerged if I were not making observations so close to the moment. It may have been the productive equivalent of taking a walk or a shower.

And we all know how productive those can be.

[Photo by Branden Skeli at Unsplash.]

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Wednesday, December 15, 2021





My wife is sick. My dog is sick. The woman who was going to handle the booth at an important conference today and tomorrow is sick.

But I'm up and moving and making plans.

Listen to the rocks grow. Fast is slow. Slow is fast.

Everything that needs to get done will get done.

Rest in Peace

Cultural Offering has the details.

Very Few

Very few people come to work to be negative or to do a lousy job. People come to contribute to a purpose.

- Horst Schulze, co-founder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

2021 College Free Speech Rankings


Very interesting. My alma mater came in 9th.

[Photo by Christopher Yoder]

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Love the Title


In the Pipeline


25 days of Thankfulness

Steve Best is posting 25 days of thankfulness and it's a great reminder of looking around and saying thanks. 

Every day is a gift.

[He also kindly mentioned this blog and I am deeply appreciative.]



Nicholas Bate, Novelist

In addition to being a gentleman and a scholar, Nicholas Bate is very kind.

He is also prolific and the sequel to his first novel is close to completion.

Extra Points Go to the Side That . . .


  • Doesn't ban books.
  • Doesn't restrict freedom of speech.
  • Doesn't "cancel" people.
  • Doesn't end friendships because of political differences.
  • Doesn't assume that it is always right.
  • Is willing to listen - genuinely listen - to others.
  • Avoids quick labels.
  • Accords the presumption of innocence.
  • Doesn't hold people (or nations) to impossible standards.

Christmas Eve Movie

I know that many of you would propose the usual holiday favorites such as Die Hard, My Dinner with Andre, and The Battle of Algiers, but set those aside and name the best film for Christmas Eve.

[Photo by David Beale at Unsplash]

Monday, December 13, 2021

Rising in the East

 UnHerd: Ian Birrell on "How China Made Covid Worse."



TIME's Person of the Year

 Was it even a contest?

But Only If They Condense Them

"If you ask CEOs 'What's important?' a lot of them will give you twenty-one single-spaced pages of their priorities."

- Greg Brenneman

For the Spirit


California Sinking

UnHerd: Ayaan Hirsi Ali asks "Will California Ever Be Safe Again?"

Moving Mountains

"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


Black Swan Europa examines the appeal of Charles de Gaulle among current French politicians.


I may be the only person in the United States who has a portrait of de Gaulle in his living room.


We have an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in this country. 

We do not have an Equal Employment Equity Commission.

Those who believe in the creation of the latter should seek to change the law. 

That's how it's done in a democracy. 

Mickey Rourke Wins WWII


Sunday, December 12, 2021


What is happening in women's swimming is outrageous.

The backlash is going to be huge.

Aside from Oppression and Millions of Deaths

Check out the page on which Britannica Kids describes Communism

One of my favorite lines: 

"After World War II ended in 1945, the Soviet Union encouraged many countries in eastern Europe to set up Communist governments."

"Encouraged" via the Red Army and the secret police. 

Find Something Beautiful Today

[Photo by Benjamin Voros at Unsplash]

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Murder Most English

On October 4, 1949, Stanley Setty was stabbed to death in a North London suburb, and his head and legs were hacked from his torso. These were then wrapped in a parcel, flown out to sea the next day in a light aircraft, and thrown into the waters below. The following day, his torso met a similar fate, but, unlike the previous body parts, it did not disappear forever, instead returning on the tide to some marshy land on the Essex coast, where Sidney Tiffin, a farmer out shooting ducks, found it. Tiffin fetched the local constable, who said, on seeing the remains, “There’s something wrong here.” Tiffin replied, “Yes, I think there’s something wrong here.” “It’s my opinion this is a murdered body,” continued the constable. “Yes, I do think it is a murdered body,” said Tiffin.

Read the rest of Theodore Dalrymple's article in City Journal.

Bock's Links (and Books)

The above is rumored to be a glimpse of the Bock library.

Wally Bock writes an essential blog for leaders and managers (and who doesn't do both?). Here's a good example of a post filled with goodies.

He continues to add to my reading list.


David Boyd was with Sherman when the read the news [of South Carolina's secession], recalling he "burst out crying like a child, and pacing the room in that nervous way of his, he turned to me & exclaimed: 'Boyd, you people of the South don't know what you are doing! You think you can tear to pieces this great union without war! But I tell you there will be blood-shed - and plenty of it.' Sherman's agony was real. Secession cut him to the depths of his nationalistic soul: what he had been avoiding all his life had come to pass. It made no sense. 'The North can make a steam-engine, locomotive or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical and determined people on earth....You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war."

- From Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman by Robert L. O'Connell 

When Good Advice Becomes Bad Advice

 Those who are in the market for good advice should be wary. 

When applied to the complexities of people, advice often has a short shelf-life. Wisdom can evaporate in hours and what produces an astounding success in one setting can be far less effective in another.

It is not "one size fits all."

Friday, December 10, 2021



"What I Told the Students at Princeton"

"All of which is to say: I'm not a provocateur. I don't get a rush from making people angry. You don't have to be a troll to find yourself in the center of controversy. You need only be two things: effective and unwilling to back down." 

Read all of the important essay by Abigail Shrier at Substack.

The Turn

Tablet: Liel Liebovitz describes "The Turn." An excerpt:

And then came The Turn. If you’ve lived through it yourself, you know that The Turn doesn’t happen overnight, that it isn’t easily distilled into one dramatic breakdown moment, that it happens hazily and over time—first a twitch, then a few more, stretching into a gnawing discomfort and then, eventually, a sense of panic.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

I Fear That We're Moving Toward This

If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They'll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. 

- Dwight Eisenhower

When Adults Were AWOL

New York Post: Bethany Mandel on the damage done to children during Covid.

Christmas Film


Off the Grid

Back soon. Some quotes in the meantime:

For a long, long time it seemed to me that I was about to begin real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

- Alfred Souza


Never go out to meet trouble. If you just sit still, nine cases out of ten someone will intercept it before it reaches you.

- Calvin Coolidge


For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.

- Larry Eisenberg


We are all of us compelled to read for profit, party for contacts, bowl for charity, drive for mileage, gamble for charity, go out for the evening for the greater glory of the municipality, and stay home for the weekend to rebuild the house. Minutes, hours, and days have been spared us. The prospect of filling them with the pleasures for which they were spared us has somehow come to seem meaningless, meaningless enough to drive some of us to drink and some of us to doctors and all of us to the satisfactions of an insatiate industry.

– Walter Kerr


The thing to remember is that the future comes one day at a time.

- Dean Acheson

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Hans is Back


Modern Times

Black Lives Matter issued a statement on the trial of Jussie Smollett.

Havana Syndrome

Eric Rubin is president of the American Foreign Service Association, which represents 17,000 foreign service officers spread across several agencies—including 13,000 in the State Department. “We are not sure what has caused this,” he told me, “but we’re quite sure that it’s serious and that the effects on our colleagues are real and very frightening.”

Read the rest Peter Savodnik's essay at Common Sense with Bari Weiss.

"Lexical Imperialism"

Angel Eduardo on the ideological slant of Latinex.

An Orwellian twist. First, they control the language.

New Leadership in Germany

Olaf Scholz has become Chancellor of Germany. He's leading a rather interesting coalition so whatever changes are made from the Angela Merkel years should be interesting.

Viewpoint Diversity: The Direct Approach

Many organizations assume that if they achieve racial or ethnic diversity, they will also achieve viewpoint diversity.

Which is not correct.

Examine a diverse department of sociology at a large university and try to find a political conservative.

Viewpoint diversity itself is not always desirable. You don't want frequent dissent when it comes to ethics and legal compliance. There are many areas, however, where getting other perspectives is very valuable and may even be an essential ingredient in the organization's success.

If you want those fresh perspectives, you'll have to search for them.

Let's Get Cooking!


Good Money

High school juniors and seniors in the United States should check out FIRE's free speech essay contest.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Trial of the Century

Kyle Smith on the Smollet trial. An excerpt:

As for the Smollett pals testifying against him, they produced a $3,500 check Jussie had written them as advance payment, because the ringmaster of this flea circus was too dumb to understand that cash is the preferred payment method when doing stuff you don’t want others to find out about. Smollett’s lawyers’ explanation? That was merely for nutritional tips. The supposed nutritional-advisory siblings said no one had ever paid them more than $100 for such advice before.

Mission Creep


There Is, Of Course, The Obvious Choice

A few years ago, I learned that if you want to spark a lively debate, declare which is the best film version of "A Christmas Carol."

[Photo by Maria Brauer at Unsplash]


There are many days when you are only as good as your research.

Bring along an Einstein-Holmes-Poirot-Curie passion and it will be much more enjoyable.

There's a Lot of This Going Around



Through democracy, bureaucracy has consistently expanded, the result of the rising number of social and economic functions taken on by the democratic state. But when bureaucracy reaches a certain degree of mass and power, it becomes almost automatically resistant to any will, including the elected will of the people, that is not of its own making.

- Robert Nisbet

Pearl Harbor Day

We live in dangerous times and have enemies who would enjoy choosing significant dates in our history for their villainy.

"Remember Pearl Harbor" means the event itself but it also means remembering the need for vigilance.

Monday, December 06, 2021



But It's High in the Faculty Lounge

Only 2 percent of those polled refer to themselves as Latinx, while 68 percent call themselves “Hispanic” and 21 percent favored “Latino” or “Latina” to describe their ethnic background, according to the survey from Bendixen & Amandi International, a top Democratic firm specializing in Latino outreach.

Read the rest at Politico.

On My List


While We Were Debating Pronouns


Quillette: Andrew Roberts on The Decline of American Power: A K├╝bler-Ross Analysis. An excerpt:

"The via dolorosa presently stretched before the United States will likely encompass the replacement of the dollar as the global currency of last resort, the recognition that the South China Seas are no longer navigable by the US Navy, the understanding that Africa has been effectively colonized by China, and the possible swallowing of Ukraine by Russia and Taiwan by China. If the United States maintains its present course, Americans should prepare themselves for a century of humiliating retreats. So, how are these developments likely to play out in an already deeply divided polity and society?"