Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Great Clarification - A Series

It is amazing how so many so-called curers of hate — a lucrative industry — got cold feet, turned coward, equivocated, excused, both sided, delayed or even ran away when confronted with actual, true hate.

- Eli Steele

Silence, Marginalize, and Suppress

 Their objective was simple: silence, marginalize, and suppress - all, somehow, in the name of tolerance and an open society. At the time, I thought of myself as a moderate. But that experience opened my eyes to the real nature of left-wing politics. It radicalized me.

- Christopher Rufo, America's Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything

The Counter-Revolution Is Beginning


Check out Niall Ferguson in The Daily Mail. An excerpt:

Anonymous letters of denunciation, cancellation campaigns on social media, the bearing of false witness, public mobbings, and extra-legal investigations — I have seen all of these used against professors who dared to resist the woke cultural revolution.

The Modern Friends of Ribbentrop

 David Bernstein on understanding pro-Hamas sentiment on the far-Left.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Nitwittery Update

 The Free Press: evidence that you can get sociologists to support monsters.

Bad Influences


Fatigue ~ Impatience ~ Sloth ~ Hubris ~ Envy ~ Anger 

Fend them off as quickly as possible.

[Photo by Henry Hustava at Unsplash]

Why Is Everyone Losing Their Minds?


Chicago PD


Good Beginning

If you ever saw the old movie Fiddler on the Roof, you know how warm and emotional Jewish families can be. They are always hugging, singing, dancing, laughing, and crying together.

I come from the other kind of Jewish family.

- From How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Felt by David Brooks

First, Hook the Reader

A veterinarian prescribed antibiotics Monday for a camel that lives behind an Iberville Parish truck stop after a Florida woman told law officers she bit the 600 pound animal’s genitalia after it sat on her when she and her husband entered its enclosure to retrieve their deaf dog.

- From the Advocate of Baton Rouge, September 23, 2019

Friday, October 27, 2023



Dictating From the Beach

The FutureLawyer is on Substack and is using Chat GPT.

The Fall of Civilization?

I lived through the turmoil of the Vietnam and Watergate days. At no point did I ever encounter people who felt that our civilization was in peril.

Now, however, that is a frequently-mentioned worry. Institutions that once were bulwarks against craziness from either the Right or the Left are now seen as either too weak to mount any resistance or, worse still, as part of the problem.

The concerns don't just come from one ideological zone. Liberals, moderates, and conservatives voice their worries. 

Extreme parts of the Left are seen as the primary culprit. They have no regard for freedom of expression. Their loathing of our nation is unparalleled. 

Get ready. The pushback is coming.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Wrist-Slapping Is Scheduled

Althouse with a case of transparent lying.

Of Course, Rational Decision-Making Is in Short Supply

 I see no rational reason for refusing Secret Service protection for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Everyone Should Know Damon Runyon

The Damon Runyon Omnibus where you'll find the Runyonesque style of writing. A sample:

Of course Judge Goldfobber is not a judge, and never is a judge, and he is 100 to 1 in my line against ever being a judge, but he is called Judge because it pleases him, and everybody always wishes to please Judge Goldfobber, as he is one of the surest-footed lawyers in this town, and beats more tough beefs for different citizens than seems possible. He is a wonderful hand for keeping citizens from getting into the sneezer, and better than Houdini when it comes to getting them out of the sneezer after they are in.

The Damon Runyon House.

[Photo by Noah Silliman at Unsplash.]

Business Novels


strategy + business: I am adding The Lincoln Lords to my reading stack.

I Think We Know the Answer

The Hill: Robert Maranto explores whether there is a place for conservatives in political science.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Secure Borders?




Topics on the Horizon


In the months ahead, watch for increased discussion of these topics:

  • Secure borders.
  • Assimilation.
  • Deportation
  • Media bias.
  • Reinstating the draft.
  • University costs.
  • Community colleges.
  • The "broken windows" theory.
  • Institutional neutrality.
  • Banana republics.
  • Cartels.
  • Devil's Island.
  • Degree requirements.
  • Civic responsibilities.
  • The National Debt.
  • Influence peddling.
  • Gated communities.
  • Water shortages.
  • Nuclear power.
  • Sovereign individuals.
  • Universalist vs. Particularist ethics.

Why We Drive

Nobody is tracking you, directing you, or managing you. You are roaming: an excellent tonic for the confinement of work and family. The gas pedal and the steering wheel are wired directly to your will, via the seat of your pants, and there is no committee involved.

- From Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


There are two kinds of egotists: Those who admit it and the rest of us.

- Laurence Peter

Quick Look


Watch Out for These


  • Solutions that have become problems.
  • Weaknesses disguised as strengths.
  • Shy people who hide their achievements.
  • Failures hidden within accomplishments.
  • Fig-leaf merchants.
  • Rugged individualists who need to be polished by a community.
  • Faux teams.
  • Empire-destroyers.
  • Executives who hire too quickly and fire too slowly.

Sign Me Up


Monday, October 23, 2023



The Day the Delusions Died

The Free Press: Check out Konstantin Kisin's essay on why a lot of people woke up on October 7 as progressives and went to bed that night feeling like conservatives.

Recommended Reading for Today's College Students


  • Why? Explaining the Holocaust by Peter Hayes
  • Modernity and the Holocaust by Zygmunt Bauman
  • Perpetrators Victims Bystanders by Raul Hilberg

The Great Clarification: A Series

 Tablet magazine: The silence of the activists.

Good Management

Good management is the art of making difficult things simple, not simple things difficult.

- Anonymous

On My List


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Saturday, October 21, 2023


The obscure we eventually see. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.

- Edward R. Murrow

Additional Evidence That The Man Never Sleeps



 I know some of you with your business-school backgrounds are out there already beginning to draw organization charts and write manuals for operating procedures. As soon as I find out who you are, I'm going to fire every last one of you.

- William G. McGowan, founder and CEO of MCI Telecommunications Corporation

Crank It Up


Off the Grid



Friday, October 20, 2023

Night in October


I was working on a draft last night when the dog wandered into the office and scratched my leg. That was all-too-predictably followed by the famous "dog eyes stare."

All dog owners know the irresistable begging expression passed on generation to generation from the very first of the cave dogs.

For some reason, this fit in perfectly with the feel of October.

Family. Home. Crescent moon. Coziness. Dog.

Fall is here.

[Photo by Monica Ballester at Unsplash]

We Live in Interesting Times


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Cowardice on Campus

 University of Florida president Ben Sasse put it well: “I will not tiptoe around this simple fact: What Hamas did is evil and there is no defense for terrorism. This shouldn’t be hard.” And yet, for American university leaders, clearly it is. Fewer than half of the top 100 presidents could be brought to say it outright.

Read the rest of Max Eden's essay in City Journal.

First Paragraph

The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.

- From Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

[Time to re-read this one.]

The Importance of Community


When people were tied to a given place, where their families settled for generations, they understood that their wealth was built through allegiance to that place, and thus carried various obligations. In contrast, with money increasingly tied to individuals rather than place, loyalties to a community or town are much attenuated today. We have more national nonprofit organizations than ever, but fewer ways to bring people together across various divides or to effect change in our own neighborhoods and communities.

-  Seth D. Kaplan, Fragile Neighborhoods: Repairing American Society One Zipcode at a Time

Quick Look


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Westminster Declaration

 "Open discourse is the central pillar of a free society."

The Good Old Days


Subscription List

The subscription list by Kurt Harden has prompted a review of my own - soon to be whittled - list:

  • City Journal
  • Commentary
  • Imprimis
  • The Arizona Republic
  • The Atlantic
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • The Epoch Times
  • The New Criterion
  • The Telegraph
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Examiner

On My List


Monday, October 16, 2023

May Soon Be Back on the Best Seller List in France


Some Interesting Takes on Why We Are How We Are


Anton Barba-Kay, A Web of Our Own Making: The Nature of Digital Formation. [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023.]

Bill Bishop, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. [New York: Mariner Books, 2009.]

Timothy P. Carney, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse. [New York: Harper, 2019.]

William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of The American Elite & The Way to a Meaningful Life. [New York: Free Press, 2014.]

Walter Kerr, The Decline of Pleasure. [New York: Tim Incorporated, 1962.]

Andrey Mir, Postjournalism and the Death of Newspapers: The Media After Trump: Manufacturing Anger and Polarization. [ Toronto: Andrey Mir, 2020.]

Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order & Freedom. [San Francisco: JCS Press, 1990.]

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

Surgeon General’s Advisory on “Effects Social Media Use Has on Youth Mental Health.” [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 23, 2023.]

Jean M. Twenge, Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents – and What They Mean for America’s Future. [New York: Atria Books, 2023.]

[Photo by Brooke Cagle at Unsplash]



Ahead of His Time


I recall when this book came out and Steyn was called an alarmist.

Europe is about to learn the unfairness of those accusations.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023



Let the Chips Fall

It is increasingly evident that a primary supporter of Hamas has been Iran. 

Given that, would it not be appropriate to examine what the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations did with regard to Iran?



Make a habit of getting out in the countryside. Think of all of the skills required to be a successful farmer. Consider all of the uncertainties that come with such a life.

And it's not a job, it's a life.

Friday, October 13, 2023

If You're a Slow Horses Fan

 Go ahead and read the entire series of Slow Horses/Slough House novels by Mick Herron and then savor the above. It ties together the backgrounds.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

This Is No Time to Be Neutral

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Discover Life

Facebook friends are not real friends. ~ The Cloud is not a community. ~ Scrolling destroys deep thought. ~ Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) produces Willingness to Waste Time (WTWT). ~ The best things in life are not on a screen. ~ Don't be a lab rat for the tech firms.

[Photo by Tam Nguyen at Unsplash]

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Smart. Funny. What More Do You Need?

Sippican Cottage gives us a lot to choose from and all of it is good.

Revisit "The American Soul"


We were sitting on the patio under a black, moonless sky, our faces lit by the flickering light of a few candles in the center of a large stone table. We all had iced drinks in our hands or in front of us. His interruption took the form of very slowly putting down the glass that was in his hand - so slowly and so quietly, and with such a measured, even movement that at first it seemed like some kind of ritual gesture. Everyone suddenly became quiet and looked at him, waiting. I remember listening for a long time to the waves of the bay and watching the lights of San Francisco across the water. The wind was shifting and turning cool. People were putting their collars up and hugging themselves, but no one dared get up. Foghorns were answering each other like far-off, unseen sea creatures.

Just as slowly and evenly, he angled his long, lean body back in his chair and gazed at nothing in particular. Then he turned his head as though it were a gun turret and looked directly at the husky, bearded young man who had just been speaking about the crimes of America. In the flickering candlelight, his bony face seemed wondrously alive and menacing at the same time. What he said to the young man - and of course to all of us present - was only this:

"You don't know what you have here." Then, after an uncomfortable pause, "You simply don't know what you have."

- From The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders by Jacob Needleman

[Photo by Max Sulik at Unsplash]

Reminder from Adrian Savage

 Over the years I have posted this advice from Adrian Savage, the leadership author and scholar:

You don't need a life plan. You don't need motivation, self-confidence, peer support or even luck. All you need is the willingness to take the most obvious step - then repeat the process again and again, regardless of how you feel. Try it. Happiness comes from seeing the results of your efforts. You don't need it before you start.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Back By Popular Demand: The Bandit Story

There is a story about a wily bandit who was finally captured by the king's troopers. The king, a man fond of games and riddles, made the bandit a proposition. He told the bandit that he was allowed to make one statement. If that statement contained the truth he would be shot, if it contained a lie, hanged. The bandit, after some thought, said, "I am going to be hanged."

- From Organizational Paradoxes: Clinical Approches to Management by Manfred F. R. Kets De Vries

Aiding Terrorism

Let’s start with Biden’s policy to restore U.S. funding for Palestinian development after the Trump administration ended it. As The Washington Free Beacon first reported in August, internal documents show the State Department, in 2021, secretly sought a Treasury Department exemption to release more than $360 million to Palestine despite concerns that at least some of it would go to Hamas. (According to a May 2021 State Department press release, that money went to humanitarian organizations providing, among other things, emergency shelter, food, and healthcare, including “mental health and psychosocial support.”) 

Read all of Eli Lake's article in The Free Press.

[Execupundit note: The idea that aid can only be used in one category is ludicrous and misses the fungible nature of funding.]

Our Porous Borders and a Prediction

In the coming months, we will discover the true nature of some - perhaps many - of the people who walked across our open borders.

That, of course, is a guess but it is sparked by the following: we know nothing about most of those who have arrived and it would be a negligent terrorist group that did not regard the administration's gross negligence as a grand opportunity.

There is a reason why we have immigration laws and screening.

Please Understand

Please understand there is no depression in this house and we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.

- Queen Victoria 

Enemies Lurk

“Our first task therefore is to try to grasp what the concept of the enemy really means. The enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the enemy always hates us for a reason, it is his reason and not ours. He does not hate us for our faults any more than for our virtues. He sees a different world from ours, and in the world he sees, we are his enemy. This is hard for us to comprehend, but we must if we are to grasp what the concept of the enemy means.”

- Lee Harris, Civilization and Its Enemies

Nitwittery Update

 Joint Statement by Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups on the Situation in Palestine

We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.

The entire document is here.

October: Crank It Up


Sunday, October 08, 2023

Saturday, October 07, 2023

Don't Be a Moral Agnostic

“I decline utterly to be impartial between the fire brigade and the fire.”

- Winston Churchill 

Clear Leadership


Our Times




Bowling with Others

Does diversity foster social distrust?

Commentary magazine October 2007: James Q. Wilson responds to the famous "Bowling Alone" study by Robrt D. Putnam.

First Paragraph

In Munich are many men who look like weasels. Whether by genetic accident, meticulous crossbreeding, an early and puzzling migration, coincidence, or a reason that we do not know, they exist in great numbers. Remarkably, they accentuate this unfortunate tendency by wearing mustaches, Alpine hats, and tweed. A man who resembles a rodent should never wear tweed.

- From "The Schreuderspitze" by Mark Helprin [published in Ellis Island & Other Stories]

Grow Every Day

[Photo by Dan Meyers at Unsplash]

Friday, October 06, 2023


 City Journal: John McMillian on the Bernard Goetz video.

The Subtle Stuff


First Paragraph

 No one is left from the Glenn Valley, Pennsylvania, Bridge Club who can tell us precisely when or why the group broke up, even though its forty-odd members were still playing regularly as recently as 1990, just as they had done for more than half a century. The shock in the Little Rock, Arkansas, Sertoma club, however, is still painful: in the mid-1980s, nearly fifty people had attended the weekly luncheon to plan activities to help the hearing- and speech- impaired, but a decade later only seven regulars continued to show up.

- From Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

"In the Beginning"


I first learned of this Kenneth Clark documentary while exploring the footnotes in Michael R.J. Bonner's thought-provoking book, In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present.

New Math

One of the mysteries of politics is found in people who believe that you can build mass movements by subtraction.


 The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.

- Alben Barkley

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

You Need to Know

The notion that one can teach "metacognitive thinking" in the abstract is senseless. Students need to learn something to learn how to learn at all. The claim that prior knowledge is superfluous because one can always look it up, preferably on the Internet, is equally senseless. Effective research depends on preexisting knowledge. Moreover, if you don't know in what century the atomic bomb was dropped without rushing to an encyclopedia, you cannot fully participate in society.

- Heather Mac Donald, "Why Johnny's Teacher Can't Teach" (City Journal, Spring, 1998)



Smart Move

 Daily Mail: The move to ban smartphones from schools in Britain.

Life Sometimes Brings Good News

Sippican Cottage is back.


Lessons From the Roman Empire


Full Disclosure

 Full Disclosure: The author knows diddly about the stock market. He went through college on a journalism program, for God's sake. He last understood the mathematics curriculum in the fourth grade. Like most journalists, he only vaguely and dimly grasps the economics of his own business. He did not know the difference between a bull and a bear market until he was in his midthirties. His father-in-law has several times explained to him the concept of a "put," yet it remains to him a mystery. His wife handles all aspects of the family's financial life. He does not even have his own checkbook. He has an ATM card, which he frequently loses.

- From "Truth Be Told" - an essay by Michael Kelly in the August 7, 2002 edition of the Washington Post.

[Execupundit note: The late Michael Kelly, gone far too soon, would be an insightful observer of our times.]

Sunday, October 01, 2023