Presentism

Here we are on Columbus Day, which ultra-liberal universities such as Brown will call “Indigenous Peoples Day” while themselves being named after the most heinous slave-trading family in history, which funded the university. And people are castigating the late Hugh Hefner for objectifying and demeaning women when, in the 1950s, he enabled people to talk about sexual activity and other “taboos” and had writers such as John Updike, Jean Shepherd, and Philip Roth on his pages. This phenomenon is known …


The Donuts and the Dregs

A woman who once worked for me had a clever expression when she saw another woman dressed and groomed very well: “She’s done up like a donut.” Last evening, in a very trendy Palm Beach restaurant (four Bentleys in casual sight in the parking lot where our limo dropped us), we sat with an unobstructed view of the entrance. During the course of our dinner we saw scores of well dressed, well coiffed women. A half-dozen of so were with …


Where Is Edward R. Murrow When You Need Him?

If you want to appreciate the shallowness of our society and celebrity trumping talent, just watch Megan Kelly. Her Sunday show was embarrassing and now gone, and her morning hour of the Today Show is boring and banal. She’s received kibillions from NBC, and her claim to fame seems to be arguing with the candidate at a presidential debate she was moderating, citing sexual harassment long after it occurred, and wearing inappropriate clothes.


My Insurance Exam

Everything I’m reporting below is true, with no embellishment. I was asked to take a physical exam to renew my major life insurance coverage. I showed up at a place in Warwick, RI. A very nice woman was assigned to work with me. She had very long nails (How would she do the blood test?) and quite a bit of makeup. She spoke English and Spanish fluently. She told me there were a lot of questions, and proceeded to read …


Houston

I hope you’re all considering sending whatever donation you can for relief services in Houston, primarily for people, but also for animals. Unfortunately, we’re about to see the tragedy worsen as people learn how totally inadequate flood insurance is in the US, in terms of acquisition, claims approval, and amounts paid. It’s an inadequate program, poorly run, and nowhere on Congress’s radar.


The Ultimate Stupid

A TV station in Virginia removed a veteran sportscaster from covering a basketball game, Robert Lee, because they were afraid his name would “offend” some viewers. There is a movement to ban the movie Gone with the Wind, because of the racist attitudes —historically accurate, heinous attitudes—portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film (for which Hattie McDaniel won the first Oscar ever for an African-American actor). Where does all this stupidity end? I’ll tell you: With no child understanding history and therefore …



Careful, This is the Acme Company, Not America

It’s always seemed more than ironic to me that America has thrived on believing in and supporting free speech, even if obnoxious, because to shut it down is counter to everything that has made us strong, yet in business we often fire people for engaging in it. Are we saying that encouraging free speech is good for the country but bad for business? Perhaps free speech would have avoided the Wells Fargo mess and created more sensitivity at United.


On Winning

When we chose sides for games back in school—whether athletic or intellectual—we tried to get the best players on our side. When I advised clients on hiring, we tried to get the best candidates. Companies that promote and reward their best people succeed the most. We try to choose airlines that do the best job of on-time arrival, safeguarding our baggage, and comfortable seating. We look for the best deals when we buy something. When we ask for referrals, we …