Monday, September 25th, 2017
Yes, yes, yes — another nice one by Evelyn Gordon. Unusually, Trump’s UN speech did not even mention the Palestinians. The omission is the first diplomatic suggestion to them that they may have something to lose by intransigence. To date, the only policy I can think of that has served this purpose is settlements.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Thank you Bjorn Lomborg for the courage to articulate the problem that is the climate change distraction. The immediate fallout from fixations is their opportunity costs.
Sunday, September 10th, 2017
Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Friday, September 8th, 2017
Where man could not unravel he learned to create.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Dawn of Day
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
I disagree with his conclusion as I love the new translation (and I disavow anything else on the same site, I disavow!), but here Dr. Joshua D. Wilson, a Baptist pastor, analyses the grammar behind the rather radical recent change in English translations of בְּרֵאשִׁית 1:1 from “In the beginning…” to “When God began…”
Monday, September 4th, 2017
On the Y Combinator podcast (episode #29), Jack Dorsey reads from a couple of books he found important and imparts a daily practice.
Sunday, September 3rd, 2017
Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Saturday, August 26th, 2017
According to this meretriciously entitled New York Post article “Millennials don’t really care about classic movies”, the only 4 overlapping movies among the top 10 most common movies that both millennials and over-50’s have seen are: 1) Forrest Gump, 2) Back to the Future, 3) The Silence of the Lambs, and 4) The Godfather. That’s Zemeckis in 1994 and 1985, Demme in 1991, and Coppola in 1972. No Spielberg, Hitchcock, not even James Cameron. Interesting.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Peggy Noonan opens and shuts the case on statues. To me it’s all very Taliban.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
People who engage in mob political violence ostensibly for ideological reasons have particular psychological profiles shared by relatively small numbers of people.
Adam Garfinkle, “In the Shadow of Weimar”
Friday, August 18th, 2017
Saturday, August 12th, 2017
There are unsettling but persuasive parallels between liberal democracy and communism. A review of The Demon in Democracy by Ryszard Legutko, Polish professor of philosophy, government official and European parliament member. [via the treasure that is aldaily]
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
The key to healthy aging is relationships, relationships, relationships. This from an 80-year ongoing study of Harvard’s class of ’38.
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
The world’s most rhinestone cowboy, Glen Campbell, has died at 81. He is one of my favorites.
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
Sunday, July 30th, 2017
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
InspireConversation is the parenting blog of, together with his wife, Jason Greenblatt. He is the presidential envoy who accompanied Israel’s Head of Security Services to Jordan to defuse the recent Israeli embassy crisis there.
Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Trump Ends Support to Anti-Assad Rebels. Trump’s empty embassy move promise was it seems a symbolic harbinger of things to come. By letting Russia control what happens in Syria near Israel’s border, Trump is betraying the fundamental security interests of ally Israel, not to mention doubling down on its dereliction of superpower duty, which means abandoning American long-term interests.
Modi and Netanyahu, India and Israel’s prime ministers, are a match made in history. By Jonathan Spyer in The American Interest.
Monday, July 17th, 2017
I appreciate this nicely laid out summary of wisdom reminders for the working life by Studio Lovelock, This Much We Know.
Another dizzyingly ironic yet comic and worthy essay by a late 20-something “writer based in Brooklyn” (I shouldn’t disparage, to be such was my highest ambition), this is Daniel Kolitz’s What I Learned at Personal Branding School.
Thursday, July 13th, 2017
Trump: The Art of the Deal
Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz
This chatty, self-serving, very likeable book is arguably necessary reading today, now that the man has climbed to the pinnacle of life.
In buying the Commodore Hotel in midtown Manhattan, his first major success, he had to juggle getting the money from the bankers and permission from the city (though the book’s account glosses over the help he received from his father calling in favors). Each step forward with one party in the deal encouraged progress with another party. This iteration seems to me a fundamental part of the art of the deal: aiming higher than seems reasonable, bringing multiple parties to something they would never have come to otherwise, then inching forward by presenting progress with one party to another party to create confidence, iterating until everyone is aboard.
A must-read coda to the book is the July 2016 New Yorker article with the equally-billed ghostwriter Tony Schwartz wherein Schwartz expresses huge concern about the man he knows well.
Monday, July 10th, 2017
Friday, July 7th, 2017
In a large study of US military veterans, researchers “consistently found a significant association between PPI (proton pump inhibitor) use and increased risk of death”. They don’t know why this happens but do know that “PPI treatment impairs lysosomal acidification and proteostasis and results in increased oxidative stress, dysfunction, telomere shortening and accelerated senescence of human endothelial cells.” [via The New York Times]
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
Giancarlo Esposito talks with Slant Magazine about, among other things, how he created Gustavo Fring. “So part of what I began to do in Breaking Bad was to use my ease of expression—my breathing in and out, my yoga practice—to drop my natural personality. So that I would be calm and relaxed and allow myself to witness a little bit.”
Saturday, July 1st, 2017
In a bookstore this thriller paperback jumped out at me due to its familiarity; I had read it or author Peter Niesewand’s previous thriller Fallback decades ago as an early teenager and remembered it positively.
It’s Americans versus Russians towards the end of the Cold War, and disarmament talks are going on, but the Soviets have been cheating and using secret weapons in Afghanistan. Turns out this author did indeed spend time in Afghanistan, hence the persuasive veracity of the book’s second half. He was a white Rhodesian, a political prisoner, who became a rather glamorous and celebrated foreign correspondent for The Guardian. Sadly he died at the very young age of 39 — Wikipedia says from a disease he contracted in Afghanistan.
It’s fun to read this sort of thing once in a while, even if the protagonists are a bit plasticky. The passage of time arguably gives it more value, as it captures the concerns and conflicts of a particular period.
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
What an internet treasure. Standard Ebooks is — according to their web site — “a volunteer driven, not-for-profit project that produces lovingly formatted, open source, and free public domain ebooks.” These are some beautiful, consistently-designed ebooks. The epub version works a charm in iBooks.
Monday, June 26th, 2017
Sunday, June 25th, 2017
As an antidote to the borderline smarminess of Jason Horowitz’s New York Times article about returning to Rome, here is a more substantial, dignified, rewarding and useful guide to visiting the city by a blogger named Nan Quick: My Recipe for a Stress-Free Week in Rome. Warning: she takes a couple of paragraphs to warm up.
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
He had me with his first-paragraph mention of Trattoria Da Enzo, my favorite. I’ve forwarded to visitors this panegyric to Rome by the incoming New York Times’ bureau chief. A lot of attractive restaurants mentioned and described. [via Juan Carlos Bronstein, who was unimpressed by the tone, as are many others in the comments]
Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
“Gazans today are more moderate than West Bankers on the key question of permanent peace with Israel,” reports David Pollock at The Washington Institute based on what he calls “reliable data from a new survey conducted there May 16-25 by a professional, independent Palestinian pollster.” I thought it might augur hope for an eventual end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but 44% of Gazans and 55% of West Bankers still believe the conflict “should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated”. And 46% of Gazans blame Israel for their economic woes while only 4% blame Egypt. [via dailyalert.com]
At the Borei Choshech blog about depression and Jewish prayer, a brief discussion on an important part of the Jewish morning prayer, Elohai Neshama.