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Yad Kennedy iPhone 6S Jerusalem, Israel Saturday, September 13th, 2003.

Clay Decoration
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Clay Decoration iPhone 6S Surrey, England Tuesday, May 30th, 2017.

Down to a Frank Lloyd Wright public toilet
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Down to a Frank Lloyd Wright public toilet iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Sunday, April 21st, 2013.

Visitors Center at Florida Southern College
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Formerly the college library, as designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Visitors Center at Florida Southern College iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Sunday, April 21st, 2013.

Welcome to Campus by Frank Lloyd Wright
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Welcome to Campus by Frank Lloyd Wright iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Sunday, April 21st, 2013.

Thomas Edison’s Back Garden Jetty
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Thomas Edison’s Back Garden Jetty iPhone 4S Fort Meyers, Florida Saturday, April 20th, 2013.

Around the Back with Frank Lloyd Wright
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Around the Back with Frank Lloyd Wright iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Friday, April 19th, 2013.

Moving through Frank Lloyd Wright’s Florida Southern College in the late afternoon
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Moving through Frank Lloyd Wright’s Florida Southern College in the late afternoon iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Friday, April 19th, 2013.

College passageway by Frank Lloyd Wright
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College passageway by Frank Lloyd Wright iPhone 4S Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida Friday, April 19th, 2013.

Hot Pipes
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Hot Pipes Olympus C5050 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Sunday, May 18th, 2008.

Forlorn Sundown Strip
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Forlorn Sundown Strip Nokia N95 8GB Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sunday, May 11th, 2008.

Indiana Jones and the Krispies of Coco
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Indiana Jones and the Krispies of Coco Nokia N95 8GB Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sunday, May 11th, 2008.

Across the Universe
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Across the Universe Nokia N95 8GB Key Largo, Florida Saturday, May 10th, 2008.

Sanctuary’s Path
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Sanctuary’s Path Nokia N95 8GB Key Largo, Florida Saturday, May 10th, 2008.

Living on the Island
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Living on the Island Nokia 6630 Manhattan, New York City, New York Tuesday, October 9th, 2007.

New York (Bionic) Eye
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New York (Bionic) Eye Nokia 6630 Manhattan, New York City, New York Tuesday, October 9th, 2007.

City
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City Nokia 6630 Queens, New York City, New York Sunday, October 7th, 2007.

Elegant Mosaics in the Subway for Goodness’ Sake
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Elegant Mosaics in the Subway for Goodness’ Sake Nokia 6630 Manhattan, New York City, New York Sunday, October 7th, 2007.

Manhattan Shapes
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Manhattan Shapes Olympus C5050 Manhattan, New York City, New York Saturday, October 6th, 2007.

Misty Mythie City
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Misty Mythie City Olympus C5050 Manhattan, New York City, New York Saturday, October 6th, 2007.

Smooth & Heavenly
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Smooth & Heavenly Olympus C5050 Miami, Florida Sunday, September 30th, 2007.

Scooters… in America!
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Scooters… in America! Olympus C5050 Miami, Florida Sunday, September 30th, 2007.

Typica Americana
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Typica Americana Olympus C5050 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Friday, September 28th, 2007.

Talk to Us
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Talk to Us Olympus C5050 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Monday, September 24th, 2007.

Welcome to Tropical Florida
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Welcome to Tropical Florida Nokia 6630 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Saturday, September 22nd, 2007.

TV chez Greyhound
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It was simultaneously shiny and desolate because it was a bereft bus station early on a Sunday morning yet there was an unexpected brightness. You can see why if you look to the ceiling – the light in there is all natural. Someone was taking kindly to the poor folk who must ride the bus despite being Americans.

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TV chez Greyhound Olympus C5050 New York Sunday, May 16th, 2004.

•••

Briefs

Friday, September 15th, 2017

A photo essay by Dan Frommer on attending Apple’s iPhone X event — its first at the Steve Jobs Theater.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Now that it’s over, time to tell the neo-medievalists: hurricanes are not new to Florida. Nicely researched and written piece by a chagrined resident.

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Enjoy this superb little series on contemporary American commercial aviation by “Slate, from security theatre to the pilot shortage.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Ever the definite optimist (to use Peter Thiel’s chart), Henry Kissinger argues that the North Korean crisis is an opportunity for the USA and China to get to know each other better as their deep cooperation is the only way to solve the issue. His basic position: China allows reunification, USA and Korea keep the north demilitarized. Unfortunately his can-do spirit (when Charlie Rose asks if he’s “optimistic”, he demurs and says he’s “hopeful”) is, it seems, suddenly of a bygone era.

The Mouse and the Cantilever

Steve Jobs we lost at the age of 56; when Frank Lloyd Wright reached that age it was still only 1923, the time of merely his second comeback with Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel.

Friendship is for Weenies

It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.

This Trip’s Last Day

I went to Astor Place Haircutters. I crossed Manhattan Bridge on foot. I walked west along Canal St, seeking a bamboo steamer.

I, Thou and Pastor Bob

At the Calvary Church here in Fort Lauderdale the Biblical locations feel so far away that they can be abstracted and spiritualized. There is religious energy here.

The Big and Easy

The American stage is grand, as are the achievements and ambitions, but daily life seems lamed by a compulsive denaturing.

A Cabaret, Old Chum

It’s a last bastion of civility, being allowed to drink at Penn Station, Brian mused ruefully as we carried our beers to his train home to Great Neck.

Stars, Stripes & Superlatives

Here in Los Angeles I am bombarded with superlatives. Daniel’s record collection. The Bikram Yoga College of India world headquarters. Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. All mixed in with the most ravaging mediocrity.

Approaching Infinite Justice

Immediately after 9/11, the burgeoning war on terror was named “Operation Infinite Justice”. Within days it was renamed “Operation Enduring Freedom”, but is the new name a mere cloaking of the first?

Don’t Panic!

An academic romp through Jewish American comedy starts out as a veritable rollercoaster ride, but grinds to halt with its obsession with one Bob Dylan.

A Call to Thumbs

When you hitchhike it’s out of your hands, and that’s therapeutic. Paradoxically, you also see how much control you do have.

 

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

In defending Amazon against Trump’s recent broadside, Matt Seybold in the beautiful Los Angeles Review of Books brings out the literary big guns: he notes that Mark Twain defended Rockefeller’s Standard Oil against Theodore Roosevelt’s trust-busting.

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

This long magazine piece on the revolution in Washington lobbying affairs in the wake of Trump reads like a great fun tv show.

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Peggy Noonan opens and shuts the case on statues. To me it’s all very Taliban.

Friday, August 18th, 2017

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

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.

Monday, July 10th, 2017

All our spines. A compilation of what Houston-based chiropractor Dr Gregory Johnson calls his ring-dingers.

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Robots don’t eat chocolate. James Meek weaves a rich tale of Cadbury’s moving its chocolate factory from Bristol in England to Skarbimierz in Poland. We get EU politics, British commercial history and contemporary Polish politics. It’s a microcosm of the economic game of musical chairs happening in our era. [via Tyler Cowen’s marginalrevolution.com]

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Scimitar

Peter Niesewand

♦♦

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.

Monday, June 26th, 2017

“A wordy kind of Kardashian Instagram feed, without the self-awareness.” In this perfectly pitched skewering of Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman & Dave Eggers et al’s confrontation of the Occupation in the West Bank, Matti Friedman wonders what it’s all actually about. All this, plus: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such skilful use of the exclamation mark!

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

This fresh Los Angelino perspective on Frank Lloyd Wright tries to build the case that the somber Mayan style of the four homes he built in the city reflects the devastation of the mass murder at Taliesin a few years earlier.

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Dispensability of Allies by George Friedman — probably the only required reading on President Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, even if it is rather dismal.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

“Even The Beatles have sort of faded for this generation, but Billy hasn’t. Billy’s still cranking,” observes cover band leader Mike DelGuidice. Billy Joel is outearning the likes of U2 and Adele.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This is fascinating: Turks residing in liberal Europe voted far more heavily for Erdogan’s authoritarian referendum — about 70/30 — than did Turks at home, about 50/50. Far less still did Turks in the USA and the UK vote for it — about 84% and 80% against respectively. A measure of ideological/cultural integration?

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Looks like a nice place to be, Amtrak in the 70s.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Fast, clear, cogent, respectful, dominating — what a performance Hugh Hewitt recently gave on Charlie Rose. He even asked Charlie a couple of times what he thinks, and it quickly became two chummy top media guys sharing ideas, not a mainstream media star interviewing a right-wing kook.

Hewitt managed to work in his career in government — which was all very long ago — and the very many people he knows, but without the name-dropping being the point of his responses. He called Charlie Charlie often enough that Charlie finally called him Hugh. “Great to have you,” Charlie ended it. “Good [ie, maybe not so great] to be here,” the response.

I listen pretty regularly to The Hugh Hewitt Show and it would be nice if we could get this fast-talking, super-smart, reasonable and sophisticated guy instead of the dumbed-down base-cultivating borderline bully we sometimes get on his home turf.

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Smart liberal reporters are probably inclined to think that smart liberal experts are right when they say things the smart liberal reporters already agree with.

Jonah Goldberg, The Goldberg File, January 27, 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, explicates the constituent parts of Trump’s foreign policy views — for instance, that multiple bilateral agreements are preferable to multilateral ones (something Israel has always stuck to). Someone recently noted that you can’t point to any particular Washington thinktank and say that this is where Trump gets his views. This might have been meant disparagingly, but it also suggests that the new President has actually been thinking. Indeed, Friedman writes elsewhere that this more general level of thought is the most salutary for a successful presidency.

Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Good point, yes. If under Trump it’s between the symbol of a U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem or the reality of continued building throughout the city—as it may well come down to—then the choice is clear, writes Nadav Shragai.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

David Cripps, the London Symphony Orchestra’s horn soloist, on playing the Star Wars music, and particularly “Leia’s Theme”. Seems clear from this and an interview I read on “Rey’s Theme” that John Williams is inspired by charismatic actors.

The world’s most (only?) prescient columnist takes a step back to show us where Russia and China are similar and different to America. This article is one for these new times, to be sure.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

The New York Times attempts to embarrass Trump’s new appointment by linking to eight of incoming American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s columns in Arutz Sheva as if his words alone are enough to horrify. I for one though agree with everything he writes in these, except perhaps in “Time to Regroup on Iran” where he suggests hitting Hamas harder — not sure about that. I’m with him on J Street, and there’s great stuff on what he dubs the two-state narrative.

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Niall Ferguson on Kissinger on the Obama legacy and Trump prospects. Long, juicy, probably somewhat prescient, also a bit nutty.

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Some tentative optimism from The American Interest: If the new Administration can both push infrastructure and simplify the regulatory process, “it will have proven that the Trumpian earthquake can in fact break certain decades-long patterns of bipartisan paralysis…

This article features a list by Dan McNichol of suggested public works projects throughout the USA. He is author of The Roads That Built America, a history of the Interstate highway system (of which I actually have a copy).

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.’ Salena Zito in this September 23 article in The Atlantic. What a thing.

Also Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept.

And What I learned after 100,000 miles on the road talking to Trump supporters by Chris Arnade in The Guardian.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Among the lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children is to encourage effort rather than praise ability.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

What sets you apart in high school at 17 makes you a cliché in Brooklyn at 27.

Christian Lorentzen , “Toward a Unified Theory of Joan Didion”

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Slate’s Black Film Canon. I’m going to take this in. [via Subtraction.com]

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Nicholas Dames’s Publications page. The man is Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and a mine of gems.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

On “the Weimar aspect of our current moment”: I haven’t read Andrew Sullivan for a long time, but he seems to be hitting it here, Democracies end when they are too democratic, in New York magazine.

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

“The real story of this election is that after several decades, American democracy is finally responding to the rise of inequality and the economic stagnation experienced by most of the population,” writes Francis Fukuyama in Foreign Affairs [requires free registration].

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Nice piece on poetic military language with examples from the Israeli, American and British experiences.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

 
 

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