The Wrong Stuff

I flew to Tel Aviv in a 747, the sole resident of first class. The plane was old, but it was like a huge private cabin. However, I looked forward to the return on a new Triple 7, though I suspected first class would be filled. My plan was to have dinner in El Al’s first class club and sleep for five or six hours on the plane, then do some writing, and have breakfast before we landed in Newark. …


Theodore

TED has always been somewhat pretentious, TEDx a huge dilution of brand. We’re pretty far now from the days of Dan Gilbert and really fascinating, useful information. In the newest offering I received via email today, the “main” attraction was a guy who was going to help us speak up more boldly. After about six minutes my dog fell asleep, and I ended the agony. Then, a woman from the UK who was supposed to be terribly funny, ended each …


Is There A Good Consultant In The House?

We’ll be in Kyoto for the election, I’m happy to report. Odd fact: Much of the Republican leadership doesn’t support their candidate; there are charges of harassment against him; he hasn’t released his tax returns; he keeps shooting himself in the foot every time he speaks; he did not debate well; the media, in any election, lean heavily democratic in their coverage; the sitting President carried about 90% of the African-American vote and he’s actively campaigning; the Democrats have raised …


Just Hold the Wheel Steady and We’ll Give You $34 Million

Football viewership is down on professional and college levels. In a three-hour game, there’s about 15 minutes or less of real action. People can easily watch highlights later. Or they can watch the game on a mobile platform. Football is buffeted with the issues of head injuries, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Technology and social mores change constantly, and any enterprise has to exploit the changes, not suffer from them. The salary of Roger Goodel, the commissioner of the National …


First Things First

First thing in the morning I take the dogs into the yard before heading for the garage and a coffee and biscuit run. But they don’t relieve themselves right away, despite being inside for the prior seven hours or so. Bentley runs up and down the yard six times, maybe 300 yards in total, working off his energy, head high, looking all over. Then he sniffs along the tree line and finally attends to nature. Buddy Beagle puts his nose …


Small Minds

In the latest Balancing Act Newsletter I talked about the current trend in colleges to avoid “micro-aggressions” which are defined by the administration as acts such as saying “you guys” or asking an Asian student you don’t know for help with a math assignment. I mentioned how crazy this can become with this example: “At what point do silly grievances, trivial in their nature, become escalated to ‘micro-aggression’ or perhaps worse, to bias claims? After a presentation, I was approached …


Help Me Out, Here

If one’s position is that people should not base their decisions, actions, and behaviors on religious beliefs, especially in the workplace and political choices, shouldn’t those same people holding those positions be outraged and on the front lines of opposition to radical Islam, which advocates killing everyone else in the name of religion? Is the 23rd Psalm on a school wall, or the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer before an event, more harmful to others than a jihadist with a …


Why Crime Rates Are Down and People Are Unhappy

Major crime in the U.S. is dramatically down from a decade ago across the board. New York remains the safest city of its size in the world. So why are so many people complaining about crime? Why are the politicians making it a major campaign theme? It’s because of a phenomenon I call Unsatiation. Crime is down, people realize it can be successfully diminished, so they want constant diminishment, even though a goal of “no crime” is ridiculous. But we …


Why Bureaucratic Insanity Is Redundant

Most of you reading this have financed a home or car, or refinanced at some point in your lives. If you’ve done this in the past several years, you know that the forms required are voluminous, with everyone engaged in CYA. In fact, there are forms to sign to prove that you’ve read and signed the other forms. But this is all forgery of a type, tasks over result, not at all ensuring what was intended. Most of the time …


Call Paul Krugman, I Think I’m Too Happy

Paul Krugman is an economics professor, Times op ed columnist, and frequent talk show participant. He is liberal and once was interesting. Now he’s apparently not satisfied unless every elected and appointed office in the country is held by a Democrat. Trump must be like the monster under the bed. Lately he’s become so cynical that a cure for cancer would be troublesome for him because of all the problems he’d come up with. This morning he took pains to point …