Saturday, June 15, 2019

Sturgill Simpson

It's Saturday night. 

Cultural Offering has the song and the video.

Points to Ponder

Wally Bock's leadership reading assignments are especially good this week.

Franco Zeffirelli, RIP

He died at 96.

Time to re-watch "The Taming of the Shrew."

Modern Times

photo of red telephone booth

Spectator USA: John Cleese meets the offense-takers.

[Photo by John-Paul Henry at Unsplash]

Proper Planning

man reclining on blue and brown hammock

You know you've planned your Saturday properly when you can squeeze in a second nap.

- Tim Siedell

[Photo by Dane Deaner at Unsplash]

Is This a Dagger Which I See Before Me"

Althouse notes the breakdown for the two Democratic Party presidential debates.

It will have echoes of Shakespeare.

[Photo by Matt Riches at Unsplash]

There is a Bacon Cheese Burger Exception

flat lay photography of fruits on plate

. . . [T]he writer Mary Eberstadt notes that we live at a bizarre moment when it is nearly impossible to speak with any moral judgment about sexual practices - but a great deal of moral and philosophical energy is spent on the subject of food. You wouldn't dare say that someone ought not put this part there with that person. And you wouldn't say it because (a) your peers wold think you a troglodyte and (b) you don't really think it's wrong. It's just a lifestyle choice. Maybe it's not for you, but who are you to judge? Food, on the other hand, is different. It's morally elevated to eat organic grains and eggs that come from cage-free hens. You're a better person if you only eat locally grown produce. A better person, still, if you don't eat meat. And the best people eat with one eye always - always! - on "sustainability." Whatever that is. On the subject of food, some lifestyle choices are better than others. And we're not afraid to say so.

- Jonathan V. Last

[Photo by Jannis Brandt at Unsplash]

The Obstacle is the Way

An excellent blog - The Sovereign Professional - has Ryan Holiday on Stoicism.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Classic: The Beatles

From The Ed Sullivan Show: The Beatles with "Twist and Shout."

Crank it up.

Shopping at Costco

On this particular Saturday, somehow, it was worse. The place was so packed, I couldn't even make it to the aisle where they keep the drums of ketchup.

- Rob Long 

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

The Little Things

person painting wall

You know the answer to this: 

Which makes a greater impression on a person: assistance on a major project or assistance on a minor item that will nonetheless be noticed every day?

There are times when it is very risky to describe any action as minor.

[Photo by Daniel Chekalov at Unsplash]

California Sinking

Joel Kotkin gives his take on what's happening in "The Golden State." An excerpt:

How long can working- and middle-class Californians endure such conditions while being hectored by billionaires and celebrities? An alternative may exist: the development of a pragmatic, solutions-oriented new party, as proposed by former GOP congressman Tom Campbell. This would constitute what the late historian Kevin Starr called “the party of California”—one that doesn’t adhere to a green religion or do the bidding of tech mavens but instead seeks to restore the promise that attracted so many to this peculiarly blessed state.

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Legal Insurrection reports on the punitive damages in the Oberlin College case.

Postcard from London

Underground signage during daytime

An old episode from the Clive James series.

[Photo by Joseph Balzano at Unsplash]

Highly Recommended

The June 2019 issue of Commentary magazine has a great essay by Joseph Epstein on "The Achievement of Vasily Grossman: Was he the greatest writer of the past century?" 

An excerpt:

"In a conversation sometime in the mid-1970s, Saul Bellow remarked to me on the crucial difference between European and American writers of his generation. Writers in Europe have looked the devil in the eye, he said, while in America writers have to make do with irony, comedy, and anything else that comes to mind. The devil, of course, was totalitarianism, in particular fascism and Communism, which promised its adherents heaven and brought them unmitigated hell."


woman sitting in front of computer monitor explaining something two man and woman beside her

Remember that those who hint think that they are shouting.

[Photo by Mimi Thian at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

In 1903, during America's darkest period of hate, W. E. B. Du Bois heartbreakingly affirmed his intellectual affinity with Western civilization. "I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas," Du Bois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk. "I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension."

- From The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture by Heather Mac Donald

Whenever You Get an Assignment

two person sitting in front of table

Whenever you get an assignment, make sure that you know what is wanted. 

Equally important, however, is knowing what is not wanted.

[Photo by Alejandro Escamilla at Unsplash]

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"

The trailer for "The Intern."

Modern Times

turned on building signage

Everybody says they want to meet interesting people, but few are willing to stay at the $29 motels where you can find them.

- David Burge

[Photo by Nate Watson at Unsplash]

"The Strange Death of Europe"

Although the book has been out for a while, this interview of Douglas Murray by Dave Rubin may be of interest.

First Paragraph

There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog's one defence. But, taken figuratively, the words can be made to yield a sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system, less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel - a single, universal, organising principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance - and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related by no moral or aesthetic principle. These last lead lives, perform acts and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they are in themselves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all-embracing, sometimes self-contradictory and incomplete, at times fanatical, unitary inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce are foxes.

- From The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin

Niall Ferguson

Image result for niall ferguson books amazon

The Rubin Report interviews with historian Niall Ferguson:

Part One

Part Two.

Always worth my time.

Back By Popular Demand

Jordi Savall with Folias de Espana.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Biz Films

The trailers for:

Book Review

Wally Bock reviews the book

[If it passes The Bock Test, it is a book to be considered.]

Music Break

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) with "The Wind."

When Diversity Training Divides

City Journal: Chloé Valdary on how diversity training has shifted away from the racial healing of Martin Luther King. An excerpt:

Di Angelo holds that all whites are complicit in racism by virtue of their skin color. To argue otherwise is racist; to object to the label proves that the label fits. This racial double bind negates King’s belief in the capacity for human goodness. In “The Current Crisis in Race Relations,” King wrote that “the important thing about a man is not the color of his skin or the texture of his hair but the texture and quality of his soul.” For Di Angelo, no distinction exists between skin and soul. She and other purveyors of such thinking embrace a reductive and repellent vision of racial guilt.

[Photo by Shane Rounce at Unsplash]


Cultural Offering notes the return to paper planners.

I've used a variety of paper planners over the years. I'm in the second year of using the Levenger Circa SmartPlanner.

I like the convenience of the Circa binding system and have a punch that enables me to add any size paper I like to my notebook. 

Clients use Outlook to book meetings but my planning takes place on paper. Simple, convenient, and its batteries are unlimited.

Monday, June 10, 2019

"Take the Most Terrifying Journey of Your Life"

They don't make films like this anymore. 

The trailer for "At the Earth's Core."

Update: This film was made a year before "Star Wars."

Mirror Needed

The Spectator: Douglas Murray on The New York Times article regarding radicalization.

Milton Friedman?

Man Seeks New Job

The trailer for "Barry."

Organization Day

crumpled paper

[Photo by Forest Simon at Unsplash]

Discovering Trollope

Picture of Anthony Trollope.jpg

Anthony Trollope

I can recall a meeting with an old professor, a former judge who'd later served as dean of a law school. He had white hair and a long view and was the sort of person you'd think of if you thought of a lawyer who had high ethics. Near the beginning of our meeting he mentioned that he'd recently finished reading all of Anthony Trollope's novels.

I had not read a one.

Later on, with the old man's words in mind, I read "Barchester Towers" and was  pleasantly surprised at its humor. It also has a grand villain named Obediah Slope. [Trollope has shades of Dickens.] In a televised version of the novel, Obediah was played by Alan Rickman. Good choice.

After that, I read "The Warden" and still regard it as an unusual and insightful look at an honest man who becomes the target of an ethics case. Then came "The Way We Live Now" which could have been written in the wake of the Wall Street scandals and "Phineas Finn" which delves into ambition and politics.

I'm now reading "The Last Chronicle of Barset" - another novel surrounding law and ethics - and enjoying its slow unfolding of a scandal. Trollope knew the strange relationship between people and institutions.

As you can see, I haven't approached his work as methodically as my old professor but if you are interested in the big issues of life, don't overlook Anthony Trollope. He is too good to miss.

[Photo by Napoleon Sarony]

Quick Looks

The trailers for:


high-angle photography of staircase

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.

- Warren Buffett

[Photo by beasty at Unsplash]

When the Weasels Abound

Mustela nivalis -British Wildlife Centre-4.jpg

Whether it's the news, health, schedules, work or personalities, there are days when the world gets weird and weasels abound.

On those days, make it a particular point to remember those who were supportive.

[Photo by Wikipedia]