Sunday, July 31, 2022

Saturday, July 30, 2022

"Follow What Science?"

Wally Bock has some wise cautions.

Patriotism and American Audiences

 Commentary magazine: Rob Long on the movie biz and the Maverick cocktail.

Without a Twinge of Self-Doubt

 And greater love hath no man than this: that of the Washingtn Male for the Washington Male. A really pure Washington Male can be wrong about everything he does and says for decades without harboring a single twinge of self-doubt. (Robert McNamara was probably the platonic ideal here. You would think that a man who had given the world the Edsel, flexible response, and the war in Vietnam would stop to consider whether he was really cut out for executive work. But no, on to the World Bank and to building the debt crisis.)

- Michael Kelly, "A Plea for Diversity" in Things Worth Fighting For (2004)

Great Soundtracks: A Series


"Terms of Endearment"

Nitwittery in Portland

A Portland school is teaching children as young as kindergarteners about the “infinite gender spectrum” and gender “colonization,” according to public documents.

Read the rest of the article at The Daily Caller.

Ice Cream as Health Food

I am aware of what the nutrition books say and am certainly aware of the opinions of the ultra-physically fit.


My body often cries out for coffee and, less frequently, it cries out for ice cream. Not just any ice cream. Certain key flavors. I now regard them as medicinal and actually feel better as a result of limited consumption.

"Limited?" An eyebrow cocks.

Precisely. I'm not like a friend who would say he was getting a "little bowl of ice cream" while getting a very large bowl because he regarded "little" as a term of endearment and not one of measurement.

I mean "limited" in that one bowl will do, but it has to be good stuff, not the bargain basement stuff my parents used to get which, if you read the ingredients - and we kids did - wasn't really ice cream at all but something cranked out with cottonseed oil.

Of course, we ate it anyway. Any port in a storm. But we quietly made vows.

I can hear one of them now.

First Paragraph

This is how River Cartwright slipped off the fast track and joined the slow horses.

- From Slow Horses by Mick Herron 

Harry S

Park Ranger John takes us to the Harry S Truman National Historic Site.

You'll see the lavish lifestyle of the former president and the Bentley hidden in his garage.

Humane Perspective


Friday, July 29, 2022

Turn Down All Invitations


In the Pipeline


Reclaiming the Art of Conversation?

Althouse on reports of changes at Yale Law School.

I wonder if the Yale Law students realize how toxic their brand is becoming to a large segment of the public.

Immigration Enforcement Update

Washington Examiner (Michael Barone): Enter the Biden administration, quickly stopping wall construction and scuttling Remain-in-Mexico. Anyone purported to be seeking asylum is admitted, often flown to the Northeast, and, sometimes, given an easily ignored order to attend a hearing. Official numbers tell an alarming though surely understated story. Southern border crossings fell under 50,000 a month in mid-2019 and throughout 2020, then zoomed to 160,000 a month in 2021 and have plateaued there every month. Border apprehensions from October to March stayed under (sometimes far under) 400,000 from 2012 to 2020. They soared to 1,000,000 in the six months ending March 2022.

NBC News: The Biden administration will be filling the border wall gaps near Yuma, Arizona.

When You are a Person of (Intense) Interest

 Tablet: Jeff Garzik and Jeremy Stern on "The Borg of the Gargoyles." An excerpt:

The consolidation of government, tech, finance, and law enforcement into a Borg-like hive mind that continually collects data on our private lives—allowing it to criminalize, de-bank, and de-platform any citizen at will, without any pretense of due process—has emerged as an imminent civilizational threat.

Orwell Called It

A school wants its students to document micro-aggressions.

What was the name of the Big Brother-approved youth group in Orwell's prophetic novel?

The Spies.

Poetry Break

 "The Contract Says: We'd Like the Conversation to Be Bilingual" by Ada Limón.

Transitioning Questions

 Genspect: An Open Letter to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

When Square Was Cool

 Althouse: "The Cleavers were the best of the TV families."

The Cast

 I need to watch this John Huston film to see where it went off the tracks. 

Amazing cast.

Off The Grid

Recuperating from a proliferation of tasks. Back before you know it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Some Nights It's This or Shakespeare


When Trauma Surrounds Us

 Christine Rosen: "How Trauma Became a Political Tool."

Eventual Payment

Elementary schools that look like prisons. Post offices that resemble hardware stores. Newspapers packed with opinion pieces disguised as news stories. Television programs with commentators peddling snake oil. Chief executive officers with the spine of a noodle. Political candidates who are more programmed than a computer. Children's books with sermons in place of stories. 

At some point, the bill comes due.

You Might Be Wrong

Fundamentalism - the intellectual style, not the religious movement - is the strong disinclination to take seriously the notion that you might be wrong.

- Jonathan Rauch, Kindly Inquisitors

Time to Re-Read "The Bonfire of the Vanities"


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Somehow I Missed This


Abigail Shrier: Science and the Transgender Phenomenon


Hard to Put Down


Disguising Decline

The National Interest magazine: Michael Lind on "America's Grand Strategy."

Not a pretty picture.

Some Books for Perspective on What's Happening Now


  • The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson
  • Getting Under the Skin of "Diversity" by Larry Purdy
  • American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony by Samuel P. Huntington
  • Postjournalism and the death of newspapers by Andrey Mir
  • The Breakdown of Higher Education by John M. Ellis
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Woke Racism by John McWhorter
  • Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
  • Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
  • Beauty by Roger Scruton
  • The Crisis of Liberalism by Fred Siegel
  • The New Class War by Michael Lind
  • Cocktails From Hell by Colonel Austin Bay

Great Soundtracks: A Series


Monday, July 25, 2022

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Make It a Daily Exercise

We may not always have time to think things over so we'd better work on improving our instincts.

[Photo by Anthony McKissic at Unsplash]

The Basics Are Never Old

 Wally Bock has management lessons from Daniel McCallum.

Gurri and Mir

Steve Layman at A Layman's Blog provides the interesting take of Martin Gurri on presidential politics.

I also recommend running, not walking, to get the book "Postjournalism and the death of newspapers" by Andrey Mir.


A Lingering Absence


Reminder: You can fill vacancies but you never replace people.

City Journal: Jonathan Clarke on the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

How Much Time Do We Have?

 Public consciousness has not yet assimilated the point that technology is ideology.

- Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, 1985 

Art Film


Friday, July 22, 2022

The Big Project

There is a serious temptation to trim the branches when what is really needed is to go after the trunk.

But that takes time and thought and delays can demoralize your team so you cannot permit the trunk to be regarded as a huge project, too large to tackle, but instead as a series of small ones that can be picked off one-by-one and eventually will result in the cry of "Timber!"

Andrew Doyle and Friends on Wokeness as a Religion


BBC: Life's Big Questions Series


Reliability Screening

Except on a few subjects where our own knowledge is great, we cannot choose between true and false accounts. So we choose between trustworthy and untrustworthy reporters.

- Walter Lippmann, 1922

Product Liability


Monday, July 18, 2022

Management in the Movies


No More Oscar Madison

What happened to the media? Andrey Mir explains at City Journal.

Very interesting.

[Update: Name correction.]

First Paragraph

You are not fragile. You won't shatter upon contact with a thought or phrase you find offensive. If you really think you're that timid, this is not the book for you.

- From The Rise of the New Puritans: Fighting Back Against Progressives' War on Fun by Noah Rothman

The Man Who Never Sleeps

Nicholas Bate, an international consultant who lives in Oxford when he's not at airports, is a prolific writer. Scroll down on the left side of his blog to find links to his books. The top two are novels so he's not longer limited to nonfiction. 

The man never sleeps.

  • Molly and the Isle of Kasta
  • Meet Molly
  • Do What You Want
  • You, Only Better
  • Being the Best
  • Instant MBA
  • Get a Life
  • The Business Skills Collection
  • Be Bold 101
  • Professionalism 101
  • Love Presenting, Hate (badly used) PowerPoint
  • Brilliant at the Basics of Business
  • How to Be Brilliant
  • JFDI!
  • Unplugged
  • How to Think Like
  • The Beatles
  • 101
  • Moleskine Reflections: Reflections on the Notebook

Saturday, July 16, 2022

News You Can Use

 Go to Google Maps. Type in James Rockford.

The Peshtigo Principle


Wally Bock with a very hot principle I really like.

[Photo by Matt Palmer at Unsplash]

Good Times Ahead


Sanctions against Kremlin doing so well 😜 that rouble now at 8 year high against euro as Russia runs current account surplus 20% GDP because of surging energy prices.

Great Soundtracks: A Series


Biographies, Well Chosen

When President Nixon asked Daniel Patrick Moynihan for his favorite political biographies, Moynihan submitted these titles:

  • Autobiography by John Adams
  • Abraham Lincoln by Lord Charnwood
  • The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
  • Talleyrand by Duff Cooper
  • Melbourne by David Cecil
  • Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock
  • The Republican Roosevelt by John Morton Blum
  • Alexander Hamilton and the Constitution by Clinton Rossiter
  • Disraeli by Robert Blake
  • Zapata and the Mexican Revolution by John Womack, Jr.

The Most Corrupting of Lies

 The worst, the most corrupting of lies are problems poorly stated.

- Georges Bernanos

Good for "The Little Grey Cells"


Friday, July 15, 2022

Everyone Involved Should Be in Prison

 The Spectator: Deborah Ross reviews Netflix's "Persuasion."

Post in the Conference Room

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Crank It Up


How Food Became Politicized

Kooks Burritos—a food truck that served patrons in Portland, Oregon—was a smashing success. Its proprietors became local celebrities. In one interview with a Portland journalist, the truck’s owners, Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly, confessed that they had the idea for their little food truck following a trip to Mexico. There, they fell in love with the cuisine, asked local chefs to share their recipes and techniques, and brought them back to the Pacific Northwest. Soon enough, the phenomenon’s origin story became a subject of outrage. The two women were accused by the city’s identity-obsessed press of being “white cooks bragging about stealing recipes from Mexico.”

Read the rest of Noah Rothman in Commentary magazine.

First Paragraph

 I am the only person - perhaps in the world - who was a friend of both Richard Nixon and Daniel Patrick Moynihan before they knew each other.

- From The Professor and the President: Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Nixon White House by Stephen Hess

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Great Soundtracks: A Series


First Paragraph

If I were to write another long book on diversity, I would take as my model Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America and title it Diversity in America. And I would set out to capture the transformation of a republic founded on the ideals of freedom and equality into a regime scared into submission by the fear of being called a "racist." This all-purpose term of opprobium is diversity's way of silencing dissent and forcing its way ahead wherever its leaders choose to take it.

- From Diversity Rules by Peter W. Wood

Don't Rely


Don't rely on:

  • Magic [a surprising number of people do!]
  • The kindness of strangers
  • Last minute inspiration
  • Best practices
  • People remembering the mission
  • The government
  • Simply doing more
  • The best and the brightest
  • The sacred plan
  • The media
  • Momentum
  • Management by best-seller 
  • Past achievements
  • Luck

[Photo by Shane Rounce at Unsplash]

Quick Look


More to Come

The Native Governance Center's Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgement.

The post-acknowledgement action plan ideas involve voluntary land tax programs and returning land to indigenous people.

Back to Tolstoy

I learned long ago that it is not wise to read thrillers just before falling asleep. 

At two o'clock this morning, I was reminded that it is also not wise to read a business-related book that will generate a wave of thoughts.

My 2:30 a.m. strategy involved switching to a biography of Solzhenitsyn. It's a seemingly dry biography and yet, for late night reading, nothing about Solzhenitsyn is dry. An amazing man even aside from his books.

Tonight, it will be Tolstoy.

Great Soundtracks: A Series


"Sherlock Holmes"

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

DEI: Coming Soon to a Conference Room Near You


Lovers of Lock-Downs

Commentary magazine: "The Mainstream Media Damaged Our Children" by Christine Rosen.

Job Interview


Get Woke, Get Weak

But the no-holds-barred discussions that Rogan conducts have more in common with the original ethos of the Esquire man, for whom nothing was off-limits. (“Try as we may,” the magazine once wrote, “we have yet to find a subject that he considers sacred.”) Rogan and his guests regularly tackle subjects now deemed beyond the pale by progressives, including male–female sex differences and the roots of political correctness. Episodes often run to three hours or longer. One frequent guest is clinical psychologist and bestselling author Jordan Peterson, who has won legions of fans, many of them young men, in part for his positive vision of what masculinity can be. The rare public intellectual who can sell out concert halls, Peterson—who has been tarred as a member of the alt-right and maligned in the press, including by British GQ—has appeared on Rogan’s podcast no fewer than six times.

Read all of the 2019 City Journal article on the decline of men's magazines.

First Paragraph

 Woke has conquered the West. From schools and universities to multi-national corporations, social media, journalism, and even the police and military, woke values dominate every aspect of our lives.

- From How Woke Won: The Elitist Movement That Threatens Democracy, Tolerance and Reason by Joanna Williams

Protests at the Homes of Justices

Jonathan Turley on when a law professor defends mobs.

"Ah, but it's different when we do it."

Monday, July 11, 2022

Jacob Rees-Mogg Gets the Johnny Rotten Endorsement


Don't Let Them Fool You. We're Coming Back.


Great Soundtracks: A Series


Our Essence is Much Broader

 And I think the DEI stuff is a disaster. I think it lowers standards. I think it reifies identity, which we should be trying to rise above. We come to the university as black or white or Latino or gay or trans. That's not who we are. Our essence is much broader and finer and deeper and richer and human than that. The university sells its students short and betrays its own mission if it gets mired in this identitarian, small-minded, narrow way of looking at their charges, our students.

- Glenn Loury

The Culture Wars


Deseret News: Jennifer Graham on the Matt Walsh film, "What Is a Woman?"

Be a Founder

Before I begin, I must recognize that we are currently sitting on the ancestral home of the Apache and that my pronouns are she, her and hers. Also I am a cis–gendered woman, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, generally able-bodied though my eyesight is less than 20/20 and I can’t run more than half a mile. Also, my own family was displaced by Cossacks at some point in the mid-1800s in what is now called Poland and we’re still waiting for an apology.

Read all of the speech by Bari Weiss.



You Know You Want One

WSJ article on the McLaren Speedtail.

0 to 124 mph in 6.6 seconds.

$3 million price tag.

Saturday, July 09, 2022



First Paragraph

When Nancy Andersen saw her son's homework assignment just before Thanksgiving in 2019, she "started getting really, really scared." Her son, who was attending a private K-8 school near Durham, North Carolina, brought home an essay his teacher had given the fourth-grade class, which stated that the first Thanksgiving celebration in the New World resulted in "genocide, environmental devastation, poverty, world wars, [and] racism." The "Pilgrim heart" was one of "bigotry, hatred, greed, and self-righteousness."

- From Splintered: Critical Race Theory and the Progressive War on Truth by Jonathan Butcher

Our Times

Given history, I am baffled by those who would underestimate the skills of farmers when it comes to revolution.

Smart's Limits

Wally Bock presents The Bronx Science Lessons.