Friday, May 31, 2024

The Impartial Judge

 The judge donated money - a tiny amount, $35, but in plain violation of a rule prohibiting New York judges from making political donations of any kind - to a pro-Biden, anti-Trump political operation, including funds that the judge earmarked for 'resisting the Republican Party and Donald Trump's radical right-wing legacy.' Would folks have been just fine with the judge staying on the case if he had donated a couple bucks to 'Re-elect Donald Trump, MAGA forever!'? Absolutely not.

- Elie Honig, "Prosecutors Got Trump - But They Distorted the Law" in New York magazine 

We Were Warned


The Trump Verdict


A range of comments from:

Very Disturbing

 Google’s Woke AI Wasn’t a Mistake. We Know. We Were There. | The Free Press (

"We Are All Jews"

 From 2016: An account of heroism in World War II.

I Wonder If He's Still Studied in Schools

 Show me the man and I'll show you the crime.

- Lavrentiy Beria

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Back By Popular Demand


Poetry Break


Scattered But Focused

One friend practicing law from the forests of New Mexico. One practicing law in Arizona via Hawaii. Another friend retired in New Orleans. Still another running a bed-and-breakfast in Michigan. One with a DC think tank. Another is a retired professor. The retired cattleman is in touch with the retired judge. Several are still in business, consulting, government or practicing law. 

Even the retired ones keep busy with volunteer projects. Some split their time between Arizona and Mexico.

Never retire.



Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wills and Estates


Bureaucracy Busting: Lazy Conspiracies

 Most of us are not inclined to believe in conspiracies, especially after having seen how much organizational misconduct can be more accurately linked to ignorance and blundering than to intentional direction.

That does not mean that conspiracies don't exist but that they aren't as numerous as might be suspected.

But what about lazy conspiracies? By that I mean the little practices that come into being by design and then are not maintained by a cadre of conspirators but by simple inattention and inertia?

I've seen several of those and they are impressive. Once launched, they can drift along for years under titles that are as inaccurate as they are bland. Their budgets are automatically approved. Their results are not scrutinized.

And all that those who favor their slant need to do is keep quiet about them.




Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Found On The Internet


First Paragraph

 "Conservative futurism" might seem to be a comical oxymoron, much like "honest politician" or "military intelligence." But Walt Disney, one of the most famous Americans of the twentieth century, certainly qualified as a conservative futurist. Let's start with the conservative part. Walt was a capitalist and a right-winger, through and through. There's no question about that. On October 24, 1947, he testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee - popular actor and future American  president Ronald Reagan had testified the day before - about union activity at his company and employees he believed to be communists. Walt was also a supporter of Republican politicians Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Barry Goldwater. When Walt received the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the nation's highest civilian award - from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, he wore a Goldwater button under his lapel.

- From The Conservative Futurist: How to Create the Sci-Fi World We Were Promised by James Pethokoukis

The Twitter Files


Casting Decisions

 Screen Actors Guild: Diversity-in-Casting Incentive Information.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Saturday, May 25, 2024

VP Possibilities

 Althouse points to some VP possibilities for President Trump.

Flannery's Stories Will Haunt You


Woke Journalism


Drafts and More Drafts

I am in the process of writing a book. It has gone through multiple drafts.

But it is close to the That Is It point.

In the meantime: scribble, scribble.

Good Initial Question

 What's happening here?


  • What do they want to happen here?
  • What do they think is happening here?
  • What do they say is happening here?
  • What should be happening here?
  • What once happened here?

Friday, May 24, 2024

Back By Popular Demand


Life Advice

 City Journal: D.G. Hart on Jerry Seinfeld and Benjamin Franklin.

On My List


"Morning After the Revolution"

 UnHerd: Kat Rosenfield reviews Nellie Bowles's new book:

Why progressives want to forget George Floyd. 

Off-Ball Baseball

 "Mr. Martino, a reporter for SportsNet New York, offers a meditation on one of Gene Michael's obsessions, off-ball baseball: the art of watching what happens on the rest of the field when the stadium audience and TV cameras are focused on the ball. Is the left fielder paying attention in the middle of a 4-6-3 double play? Is the third baseman engaged when the batter lifts a lazy fly ball to the right? As Mr. Martino notes, off-ball baseball provides insight into a player's discipline, focus and ability to anticipate all the things that can go wrong when a bat and ball collide."

- From David M. Shribman's review of The Yankee Way by Andy Martino (The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2024)

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Civilization Boost


Pro-Genocide Radicals

 Commentary magazine: Abe Greenwald on the Woke Jihad.

Poison Control

 Ravi Iyer presents the case for age-based verification to protect children on social media.

Greater Idaho Measure

 The Post Millennial: A 13th Oregon county has voted to secede and join the state of Idaho.

More here on the Greater Idaho Movement.

Holistic Thought Advisor


Helping the Unintelligent Machines

 The first thing I would like to say is what I am not going to talk about. I want to talk about the future of computing machines. But the most important possible developments in the future are things that I will not speak about. For example, there is a great deal of work to try to develop smarter machines, machines which have a better relationship with humans so that input and output can be made with less effort than the complex programming that's necessary today. This often goes under the name of artificial intelligence, but I don't like that name. Perhaps the unintelligent machines can do even better than the intelligent ones.

From "Computing Machines in the Future" in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P. Feynman

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

On My List


The Joys of Disparate Impact Analysis


The Job Market

 "Stephanie Johnson, a career development lead with the computer-science department at the University of North Carolina, said her students on average were applying to 150 or more jobs. Many were still waiting for offers in the spring. Just a few years ago, they might apply for 20 or 30 positions - and get a final offer in the fall."

- From "Computer-Science Students Face Weaker Job Prospects" by Katherine Bindley, Corrie Driebusch, and Lindsay Ellis in The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2024.

Lawfare Update

 Jonathan Turley on the sham trial in New York.

Scrolling Alone

 American Affairs: Michael Toscano reviews The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt. An excerpt:

One cannot understand the character of social media without considering that it comes after mass media. What television replaced was an endless panoply of local folk cultures, where art was performed by and for the community. Mass culture swept these local practices of storytelling and beautification away, consolidating the attention of whole national populations around a set of centralized media points. In the United States, Hollywood, New York, and, with the rise of political celebrity, even Washington, D.C., dominated the national mind. Later, social media shattered this concentration of culture, but rather than allowing for local, embodied culture to reemerge, . . . it commodified its fragmentation.

An Election Year Film


To Be Heavily Used This Year

 "He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

- Groucho Marx


 When the Cine Capri movie theater opened in Phoenix, Arizona in 1966.

The film was "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and Charlton Heston put in a personal appearance.

From Grok


Monday, May 20, 2024

On My List


The News Media/Big Tech Alarm Bell

 I believe a question to use when determining your vote for a position such as governor or president is whether the person's mistakes and misconduct would be thoroughly scrutinized and reported by the news media and big tech.

If the answer is no, i.e., the news media and big tech will actively seek to slant the reporting and/or cover things up, then that should be regarded as an alarm bell.

Compare This with the Recent Portrait of King Charles


Portrait of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams at the National Portrait Gallery.

Back By Popular Demand


Saturday, May 18, 2024



On the Internet

 How many seconds does it take to find:

  • Inflated job descriptions?
  • Meaningless mission statements?
  • Confusing instructions?
  • Someone who is famous for being famous and not for any serious achievement?
  • Signs of societal decline?

I Need to See This


Old School

 As much as my clients enjoy the electronic booking of meetings, in my mind nothing is official until it is listed, in pencil, in the leather-bound appointment book I got many years ago at Levenger's.


One of the true pleasures of Saturday morning is receiving the Weekend Edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Just In


Books to Re-Read: A Series


Back By Popular Demand


Wuhan Developments

This story from the New York Post brings to mind the days when Wuhan was a forbidden topic.

We're in the best of hands.

First Paragraph

 Toward the end of November 1990, park and road development in the Peace Forest to the south of Jerusalem led to an unexpected discovery. As the ground was cleared and leveled, a tractor suddenly plunged into the roof of what appeared to be a cave. The matter was reported to the Israeli Antiquities Authority, who sent a team of archaeologists to investigate.

- From Caiaphas: Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus? by Helen K. Bond

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

You Are All Diseased

 The Free Press: Robert Parham's commencement speech. An excerpt:

Based on every objective measure of well-being—safety, health, wealth—if you are a college student in America today you are better off and wealthier than the king of England was 300 years ago. You have better access to education, entertainment, leisure, and healthcare. You have cleaner water and more abundant food. You have a significantly safer and longer life. And you have access to all of the world’s knowledge, including this piece, in the palm of your hand.

In the Stacks

Some of the happiest times in my life were spent in the reading stacks of a university library as I discovered marvelous books I was not looking for.

[Photo by Henry Be at Unsplash]

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Well Done!

 Sippican Cottage has a heart-warming family story that should be picked up by Hollywood but won't because it is about achieving and not being a victim.

Congratulations to all!

[HT: A Layman's Blog]

Censorship Reminder from Nazi Germany


Reviewing the Assumptions and Comparisons

 As the project continues, the assumptions are being listed and analyzed. So too are the comparisons.

Comparing apples to oranges is still widespread.

The project involves the courts in ancient Rome.

More on that when the project is completed.

Time to Re-Watch


Late Night Draft

 More and more material.

Back to the question of simplification.

I'm drawing a map for myself.

It's the old balance of Content and Clarity.

Monday, May 13, 2024

From Spain: A Cheery Look at the Future


The Joy of Finding Something Missed

Draft after draft after draft and then, you spot something missed; a new way of looking at a subject or conversation or term you've known for years.

Big smile. You don't always need to be right. 

Sometimes, right is shy and takes time to appear. Welcome it into the room.

Author Interview

 The Paris Review interview of Joan Didion.

How Could I Have Missed an Invasion Movie?


Sunday, May 12, 2024

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Douglas Murray: Be Proud of Western Civilization


Great Minor League Baseball Team Names

Some reasons why it can be better to have an inexpensive but enthusiastic minor league team in town.

In the Pipeline


Flashback: I've Got Mexico


The Little Things

 Just as the little things can bring a nation down, so too can small acts revive a nation's fortunes.

What are they?

Small acts of kindness, patience, reflection, generosity, courage, support, and persistence quickly come to mind.

We must not underestimate their importance.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Good Times Ahead


Big Step Forward for Viewpoint Diversity

 MIT has stopped using DEI statements in faculty hiring.

On Putin's Claims

The New Criterion: Gary Saul Morson on narratives of Russian history.

I've taken to reading The New Criterion over breakfast. A truly great journal.

Quick Look



 If I correctly understand many in the news media, the side that favors strong protection of freedom of speech, objective journalism, a greater emphasis on individual rights, viewpoint diversity in universities, strict law enforcement, a healthy federal system, smaller government, reduced governmental spending, protection of personal property, equal opportunity, courts that strictly follow the text of the law, protection of freedom of religion, protection of the right to bear arms, protection of children and parental rights, more transparency in schools, greater accountability for academic standards, protection against FBI and CIA misconduct, protection of women's sports, protection against privacy intrusions by government and big tech, increased treatment of the mentally ill, secure borders, legal immigration, fewer military involvements, maintaining the filibuster, greater controls on nuclear proliferation, a simplified tax code, more marriages and families, no funding of terrorist groups, support of Israel, more consumer choice when it comes to appliances, protection against "debanking" actions, and a greater reliance on common civility is the side that imperils democracy.

Real Life and The Oh So Poetic

 City Journal in 2015: Theodore Dalrymple on Dylan Thomas, the last bohemian.

Some Performances Cannot Be Surpassed


Thursday, May 09, 2024

Books for Our Times


Check Out His Book: "The Anxious Generation"


The Theme

The project has a theme, not themes. One central idea that makes all the difference. No detours. No sidebars.

And all of those working on the project need to know the theme and, periodically, need to be reminded of it.

Because themes, as important as they are, can be forgotten.

Follow the Money

 Tablet magazine: Who's behind the protests?

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Proposed Replacement for the Ivy League


Dumpster Fire in Manhattan Courtroom

 "It is not the witness, but the case that seems increasingly obscene."

- Jonathan Turley

Three Monsters

Beware of these three monsters:

  1. Perfectionism. It lures you in with its attractive features and then paralyzes you with fear of failure.
  2. Imaginary Critics. You can argue with and learn from real critics. Often, they are a gift. But the imaginary ones hide in the back of your mind and set boundaries: you can't do this and don't even consider doing that! Ignore them if you want to break out of your comfort zone and achieve extraordinary things.
  3. Distractions. Our high-tech society is filled with them. Some distractions are inevitable but less is truly more. Limit your smartphone and social media time. Get a real life,

The Paper War

 The books will go there and the files will go over there and the writing materials will be here.

All else will be jettisoned.

Oh yes. The large flip chart will go into the hallway during the campaign. It can return when the smoke settles.

The initial artillery barrage will be at 8:00.

Monday, May 06, 2024

That's the Ticket!

 Jonathan Turley on the questionable strategy of using Michael Cohen in the case against Donald Trump.

Teacher Appreciation Week

 It's Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States.

And although most of us remember having outstanding teachers at various points in our academic careers, we also remember encountering terrible teachers; people who should have never been in a classroom and who should have been promptly terminated.

If there is a campaign to raise the pay of excellent teachers while firing the bad ones, I'd like to know about it.

Cops on Campus

Whether that’s true—it’s hard to imagine a person carrying such exquisite fragility into adulthood—or whether Ahmed was just mimicking the debilitating sense of entitlement around him is less important than the fact that he was unashamed to say this sentence out loud to a newspaper reporter. In the bubble of “elite” campus culture, this is a normal thing to say. One is left wishing there were some institution that could prepare college graduates for the world.

From the essay by Seth Mandel on American exceptionalism and the NYPD.

Controversial. Thought-Provoking.


Keeping the Left. Losing the Center.

 New York Magazine: Biden is losing the center.

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Keep in Mind

 Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.

- Albert Einstein

A Higher Status

 The New Criterion: Laurent Lemasson on the French move to make the right to an abortion part of their Constitution. 

He cites an intriguing similarity to a slave-state strategy noted by Abraham Lincoln.

The Silent Majority


Gaze into the Heavens

 Welcome to the Vatican Observatory.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Personnel Is Policy

Jared Bernstein, who was appointed by President Biden as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has gotten some attention recently.

Interesting tidbits: He has a music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a Master of Social Work from Hunter College, and a Doctor of Social Work from Columbia University's school of social work.

[Updated with video link.]

Films to Which I Keep Returning


Reading and Enjoying: Stunningly Original


Our Times


Thursday, May 02, 2024

This and Much More at Yahooey's Blog


Check it out.

History Rules!

 Steve Layman knows what many of us have long suspected: Everyone who did not do so wishes they'd majored in History.

It was my minor, but I have fond memories of classes on the history of France, the United States, the American Civil War, Britain, Rome, the Soviet Union, and Mexico.

Miscellaneous and Fast