Sunday, June 30, 2024

Friday, June 28, 2024

White Guilt


The Need for Intellectual Humility

Today's social scientists are to social scientists a century from now as alchemists are to chemists. The idea that scientifically objective social policy is feasible today is risible.

- Charles Murray, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission



An Open Convention?

 In the wake of the presidential debate, Politico reports that the level of panic has risen in the Democratic Party.

A few observations:

  • Much of the criticism is coming from the same media and political figures who've been assuring us for months that the President is as sharp as a tack.
  • I don't know how they push aside Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • This, however, is the world of politics and so if it is in their self-interest to have an open convention, they will have one.
  • But rest assured, none of this will be smooth. We're not back in FDR's day.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Compare and Contrast

The National Park Service provides helpful links to the content of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

Don't miss Harry Jaffa's great book: 

Arrived Yesterday


Desk Warriors

The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.

- Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom 

I Highly Recommend Watching the Entire Poirot Series During the Campaign Season


And there is only one actor who properly plays the part, David Suchet.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


 Teaching a leadership workshop today. The "to do" recommendations are easily matched if not outnumbered by the "don't do" ones.

But it's an enjoyable class and much of it centers around values.

The Corruptive Influence of DEI

 City Journal: Christopher Rufo dissects DEI.


The office reorganization campaign has escalated from getting rid of documents to getting rid of boxes and boxes of documents.

My goal is to hear an occasional echo.

Let the caravans begin.

[Photo by Jeff Jewiss at Unsplash]

If You Want a Great Dystopian Novel


Bob and Ray

 The Internet Archive has recordings of their programs.

It is rumored that modern journalism schools use the program on the Komodo Dragon so students can learn effective interviewing skills.

Monday, June 24, 2024

The Auld Country


Every European Should Read This Book


"Balcony in the Forest"

 A riveting novel by Julien Gracq about a French Army officer assigned to a small post in the Ardennes Forest during WWII as "the phony war" begins to turn dangerous. An excerpt:

"You can keep your stovepipe and all that goes with it. Along with the first armored units you'll have engineers and motorized sections right away - and tough ones. And those bastards won't come by the road, either: they'll go around. They come and knock very politely at your bank-vault door, but after a couple of hand grenades you can say good night."

The Brutal Truth

 Commentary magazine: Gary Saul Morson on "Solzhenitsyn Warned Us."

Music Break


The Missing Alarm


There are alarm clocks, fire alarms, seat belt buzzers, burglar alarms, smoke detectors, motion detectors, and an array of similar products, but no bell, buzzer, or flashing light is set off when top management makes a terrible decision.

[Photo by Mitchell Luo at Unsplash]

Very Interesting


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Friday, June 21, 2024



Some Points to Ponder

The Free Press: Niall Ferguson on "We're All Soviets Now."

Going Too Far

 Monica Harris on "Deconstructing the LGBTQ+ Backlash."

Crank It Up

[HT: The Steve Laube Agency]

The Great Reset

 A word of caution is needed about the pretentious and supposedly benign signature title of the Great Reset project. Assume the worst when the adjective "great" appears in connection with envisioned fundamental, government-driven, or global political changes. What was similar between Lyndon Johnson's massively expensive but failed "Great Society" and Mao's genocidal "Great Leap Forward" was the idea of a top-down, centrally planned schema, cooked up by elites without any firsthand knowledge, or even worry, how it would affect the middle classes and poor. So often, the adjective "great" is a code word of supposed enlightened planners for radical attempts at reconstruction of a society that must be either misled or forced to accept a complete overhaul.

- Victor Davis Hanson, "The Great Regression" from Against the Great Reset: Eighteen Theses Contra the New World Order, edited by Michael Walsh

Missing Conservatives on University Faculties

 National Affairs: Steven M. Teles on "Beyond Academic Sectarianism." An excerpt:

Claremont McKenna's Jon Shields summarized the basic trend in the Fall 2018 issue of this journal, finding that outside of economics, the percentages of conservatives in the social-science and humanities disciplines have dropped to the single digits. In my own field of political science, Harvard professor Pippa Norris has found that the cohort born in 1990 (the newly minted full professors of today) is considerably further to the left than those born in 1960 (those approaching retirement). This means that a further drift leftward among the professoriate is already baked in as a result of generational replacement. At my own university, I would be hard-pressed to name a single tenured professor in the social sciences and humanities who is openly right of center in any reasonable understanding of the term.

Execupundit note: The odds are heavily stacked against an openly conservative academic being hired at an Ivy League university. Look at the reports of party identification in the political science, history, and sociology departments.

This goes beyond viewpoint discrimination. Most academic departments need viewpoint diversity in order to foster the marketplace of ideas one would expect at a university. The viewpoint statistics should be publicly posted.

The Everlasting Affection for Monsters

 The New Criterion: Lenin Everlasting.



Thursday, June 20, 2024

Viewpoint Diversity Update

"Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy previously added Bill DeBlasio to the faculty and will now add Lori Lightfoot despite their controversial terms as mayors. Despite the criticism, faculties continue to maintain a spectrum of thought that runs from the left to the far left."

- Jonathan Turley


 '''Groundhog Day' was one of the greatest scripts ever written. It didn't get nominated for an Academy award."

- Bill Murray

What We Face


Guaranteed Hit

 FutureLawyer Rick Georges has a poster for a reality TV show that could be a hit for years to come.

You Will Follow Orders

 Commentary magazine: James B. Meigs on "The Fauci Conspiracy." An excerpt:

And then there was the lab leak. It takes a lot to shock me, but, after following the lab-leak debate for four years, I continue to be stunned by the duplicity of Anthony Fauci and other leading health officials on this issue. I’ve written column after column about how Fauci and his nominal boss, National Institutes of Health head Francis Collins, joined several key virus researchers in scrambling to distract Congress, the press, and the public from questions about their long-standing links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Indeed, long before most American conservatives had even heard the term “lab leak,” Fauci was denouncing the idea as a nutty conspiracy theory.

This Is Not Who You Are


Are You at the Table?

There's a particular table for every want, every heart's desire. You can only win if you're at the table.

- Ben Stein

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

So I've Noticed

 History never looks like history when you are living through it.

- John W. Gardner

Good Times Ahead


Barbarian Update

 Some climate protesters sprayed orange paint on Stonehenge.

I wonder what the Druid punishment would be for the offense.

Life Well-Lived

A daily example can be found at Cultural Offering.

Learn from the Long Shots

There's only so much you can learn from the people who have had almost unbridled success. Check out the ones who have to overcome serious challenges. A few examples:

  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Charles de Gaulle
  • Viktor Frankl
  • Helen Keller
  • Frederick Douglass

Hiring Decision


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Willie Mays, RIP


Willie Mays has passed away. True greatness.

I had a pair of those sunglasses when I was a kid.

Wild Followed by Wilder

 Commentary magazine: Joseph Epstein on the Sixties.



First Paragraph

 While riding in a crowded airplane in the spring of 1973, I overheard a conversation about Watergate. One comment was, "Nixon, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman are on the verge of taking over the government."

- From The Plot That Failed: Nixon and the Administrative Presidency by Richard P. Nathan

Monday, June 17, 2024

The Rise of the Grandfamilies

 The Free Press: When Opioids Steal Your Parents.

In Person

 Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering wisely notes that it's time to return the person to meetings.

The Project Box


There are few office items that consume my affection and respect as much as the project box.

Nicholas Bate has the details.

First Paragraph


"The old American republic is collapsing. And a new American republic, as yet unrecognizable, is under construction."

- From The Fourth Turning Is Here: What the Seasons of History Tell Us About How and When This Crisis Will End by Neil Howe

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Happy Father's Day

My father was completely fair, never showing the least favoritism between my brother and me (a judgment my brother has confirmed). He also set an example of decency, nicely qualified by realism. "No one is asking you to be an angel in this world," he told me when I was fourteen, "but that doesn't give you warrant to be a son-of-a-bitch." And, as this suggests, he was an unrelenting fount of advice, some of it pretty obvious, none of it stupid. "Always put something by for a rainy day." "People know more about you than you think." "Work for a man for a dollar an hour - always give him a dollar and a quarter's effort."

- Joseph Epstein

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Push Back in Europe


And That's Saying Something

 "This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in The New York Times."

- Ann Althouse opens fire.

The Molly Trilogy

 Nicholas Bate is The Man Who Never Sleeps.

Parkinson's Law Will Be Taped on the Wall

 One book is going off to some agents. Another has been outlined and the first chapters will be written this weekend. I'm weaving scribbling time in-between teaching, coaching, and reading. 

And mowing the lawn. 

And goofing off.


 "There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all."

- Rebecca West

"The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard. Some of the best talkers are, on this account, the worst company."

- William Hazlitt

Taken from The Laws of Connection: The Scientific Secrets of Building a Strong Social Network by David Robson

I Doubt It


Friday, June 14, 2024

Read the Novel First


Gushing Review

 "If there is a prize for the worst book of the year, then Jacob Heilbrunn's America Last: The Right's Century-Long Romance with Foreign Dictators should be the runaway winner. The book is bad in every way a book can be bad: it is badly written, badly argued, and badly titled. It is also mostly wrong. Some might say it is dishonest. The publisher should offer a refund to anyone paying good money for this poor excuse for a book."

- James Piereson, "The Worst Book of the Year" in The New Criterion, June 2024

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Too True

 The prolific Nicholas Bate: Writing is a craft.



And Speaking of Old School

Check out Ralston College

I recently saw one of their excellent ads.


At the bottom was: We also teach boxing.

Old School

 Prediction: This may be wishful thinking, but I am hoping to see more organizations that have a smaller remote workforce, fewer computerized "chats" and more person-to-person conversations in person or over the phone.

I want to see "old school" as a competitive advantage. What would be a good test?

Just how easy it would be to cancel a subscription or return a product.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Crank It Up


The AI Questions

 Despite all of the warnings, the world is rushing to embrace artificial intelligence. 

I hear marvelous stories of the many things AI will do. Those are quickly followed by tales of how humans will enjoy vast amounts of leisure time.

The period between the removal of work and the leisure time is not described. The looseness of the term "leisure time" is also troubling.

Those are worrisome enough without even considering the truly scary scenario of a world run by, and perhaps destroyed by, machines.

It is a reminder of the significance of one of the all-time most important questions in life:

"And then what?"

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

January 6: Nancy Pelosi and the National Guard

 We have responsibility, Terri. We did not have any accountability for what was going on there. And we should have. This is ridiculous. You’re going to ask me in the middle of the thing when they’ve already breached…that, should we call the Capitol Police? I mean the National Guard? Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?…They clearly didn’t know, and I take responsibility for not having them just prepared for more.”

“I Take Responsibility”: Pelosi Admits Fault for the Lack of Security Precautions on January 6th – JONATHAN TURLEY

Allen Guelzo on the American Civil War


It Got Way More Interesting After That

 Every few minutes another bus emerges from a dust cloud and stops, unloading dignitaries by the dozens. They are dressed the same: men in blue suits, women in high heels. But they are different. Some are black; some white; others Japanese, creating a cultural mix rarely seen in these parts in large numbers. It's a sunny spring day in rural Canton, Mississippi, and hundreds have come to hear the words of a fiery, intellectual, Brazilian-born, French-educated man of Lebanese descent, Carlos Ghosn.

- From Turnaround: How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan by David Magee

Before They Reach Campus

 From 2014: A Canadian professor notes the biggest challenges for universities.

I wonder if any of them have changed.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Lionel Shriver: Immigration, Cultural Appropriation, and Our Strange Times


The Phone-Free Friday Summer Challenge


After Babel: (18) CALLING ALL GEN Z: Phone Free Friday Summer Challenge! (

The Smartphone Liberation Movement.

[Photo by Alicia Steels at Unsplash]

Saturday Morning

There will be dark coffee and English muffins and the Saturday Wall Street Journal and then yard work before the desert sun takes its throne. Some smiles and grunts and joy at what was accomplished and a quick assessment of what remains to be done. [Plenty.] There will be catching-up and jokes and the dog, wandering about, to remind us of the basics. There are books to be read and books to be written as well as some great music along the way.

We need to catch up but it's life, after all, and not a death march.

Gratitude is needed. Lots of gratitude.

We Need This


Ancestor Armory

There's a Civil War cavalry saber from an ancestor, although I'm not sure which one. There's an 1876 French sword bayonet my great-uncle brought back from the First World War. There's a single-shot rifle my step-grandfather had when he was in the cavalry in the early 1900s. There are several bayonets. 

And a truly vicious brass knuckles/knife combo a WWII Navy vet neighbor gave me. He said he won it in a card game.

If you grew up in the Fifties and Sixties, the odds were high that you'd acquire a lot of weapons.

Along with more modern pieces, we're ready for any zombie invasion.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Very Serious

 I have a serious addiction to The New Criterion

Japan's Unwritten Rules

 City Journal: Society of Norms | City Journal (

First Paragraph

"We have figured out your problem. You're the only one here who believes in God." 

- Comment by one seminary student to another, Exodus: Why Americans Are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity by Dave Shiflett

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Also Check Out the Percentage of Male Teachers in Grade Schools

 Check out: What’s Wrong With Boys at School? | Institute for Family Studies (

Around the World with Douglas Murray


Adverse Family Culture

Travel ball, family schedules, birth rates, and more:

Adverse Family Culture: 10 Blocks podcast | City Journal (

Obvious Solutions and Common Sense

 Obvious solutions are not obvious. Common sense is not common.

The link between them is forged by people who are willing to avoid what everyone else is doing.

The well-worn paths will often take you into mine fields.

Let Them Discover Face-to-Face Conversations

No smartphones for kids.

Mental disorders may spread in young people's social networks | ScienceDaily

How Many Drafts?


Many drafts completed. I am almost done with the book, but my proof-reading wife and I will go over it at least one more time and then it's off to an agent.

What am I doing when I'm staring into space? Working on the draft.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

In the Stack


"We Have Been Subverted"

 Check out: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: We Have Been Subverted | The Free Press (

Yale Law Professor on the Trump Verdict: This Deserves Wide Distribution


First Paragraph

 My son returned home from sleepaway camp this summer with a stomachache. When it didn't quickly abate, I took him to a pediatric urgent care clinic, where a doctor ruled out appendicitis. "Probably just dehydration," came the verdict. But before the doctor cleared us to go home, he asked us to wait for the nurse, who had a few questions.

- Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren't Growing Up by Abigail Shrier

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Crank It Up


The Notepad by the Side of the Bed

 That notepad or notebook by your bed is essential. You may think that when morning arrives, you'll remember the brilliant idea or project that floated in during the late evening or the middle of the night.

You won't.

But you'll probably remember the lyrics to some mind-numbing song from the Sixties.

Ideas are fickle. They want immediate attention.

Write them down.

[This public service message will be repeated periodically.]