Tuesday, June 30, 2020

How to measure a mind

Everything animate has a mind measurable by its wants.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Presidential Updates

@WhiteHouse: Today, President @realDonaldTrump took action to help ensure that children in America's foster care system receive the support and services they need for a bright future. https://t.co/OmRikN1uT5[…]

@FreeBeacon: Members of the House Freedom Caucus urged federal law enforcement agencies to arrest and punish rioters who are responsible for destruction across the country, including toppling statues and looting businesses. https://t.co/ambLj0Z3er[…]

Monday, June 29, 2020

Higher Education Updates

@chronicle: Academic administrators learned many lessons from the pivot their institutions made to online learning this spring, among them: Faculty need a lot more support to teach online than expected. https://t.co/t65oQryHao[…]

@PrayforCongress: @SenateFloor @SenJohnKennedy @SenJohnKennedy's comments on #ConfuciusInstitutes, the Communist Party of China (#CCP), and subsequent @SenateFloor passage of #S939, from the #CongressionalRecord. https://t.co/Pu2KmzcStw[…]

@PrayforCongress: @SenateFloor @MarshaBlackburn Senator @MarshaBlackburn comments about #ConfuciusInstitutes in the United States and the Communist Party of China (#CCP), from the #CongressionalRecord: https://t.co/4u4xS3U3Oe “72 of our Nation's colleges and universities are hosts” to CCP-funded Confucius Institutes.[…]

@PrayforCongress: @SenateFloor @senrobportman @SenRobPortman re: #ConfuciusInstitutes in the US and the Communist Party of China (#CCP), from the #CongressionalRecord: https://t.co/y1Z2C0TvUM “our @StateDept has attempted to set up something comparable on Chinese university campuses” and “has been unable to do so.”[…]

Mark Twain understood the meaning of church

At one point on their journey, Mark Twain wrote, “I wish to see all the places that's mentioned in the Bible.”

Mark Twain visited “the site of that one of the Seven Apocalyptic Churches of Asia which was located here in the first century of the Christian era; and the grave and the place of martyrdom of the venerable Polycarp, who suffered in Smyrna for his religion some eighteen hundred years ago.”

Friday, June 26, 2020

Nature and Resources Updates

@Climatologist49: Hours of daylight on the Summer Solstice. https://t.co/wFkwM9xoj8[…]

@nautilusint: Stranded at sea: the crew members trapped on cruise ships - podcast https://t.co/1DcJeMz2hq[…]

We've got one more week in #WashingtonDC with daylight change amounts being less than 30 seconds per day. https://t.co/R4NfON9rJr[…]

@USGS: M 7.4 - 11 km SSW of Santa María Zapotitlán, Mexico. https://t.co/3sOT3XVzim https://t.co/YVsYz3E0pI[…]

Thursday, June 25, 2020

SCOTUS Updates

DACA survives on technicality https://t.co/lnKhhnwq5B (WORLD) — […]

@KevinDaleyDC: The Supreme Court has blocked President Donald Trump's bid to rescind DACA. Chief Justice John Roberts delivers the 5-4 decision. #SCOTUS https://t.co/5pkmgMVeyP[…]

@ReutersLegal: U.S. Supreme Court rules against Trump bid to end 'Dreamers' immigrant program https://t.co/RkGeK0nCJR https://t.co/DeuVdxowGX[…]

@AP_Courtside: The Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to end legal protections for young immigrants. https://t.co/GDVHePstMx[…]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Why we invent

Originally this post was just going to be a book excerpt, and maybe a little commentary at the end. Instead, the book excerpt remains and is followed by my reframing of the underlying issue posed.
A glance at the historical record suggests that something more than just inequality and austerity and outsourcing is contributing to deceleration and stagnation.

• If an unequal society and an entrenched ruling class were sufficient to choke off growth, the industrial revolution would have never gotten off the ground in the first place.

• If soaring fortunes necessarily came at the expense of middle-class incomes, then the 1990s, the last decade of solid growth, would have been the worst recent era for middle-class prosperity rather than the best.

• If correcting neoliberalism with protectionist policies were the path back to another trentes glorieuses, France would be the strongest economy in Europe.

• If correcting neoliberalism with socialism were the golden ticket, Venezuela would be the tiger of Latin America rather than a basket case.

Federal, International Updates

@statedeptspox: With the activation of the Caesar Act sanctions, the U.S. is increasing economic pressure on the Assad regime, its cronies and enablers to stop the war in Syria. Read the full statement from @SecPompeo: https://t.co/TmBnXllSQa[…]

Just so we're clear... Tech companies want #Section230 protection from liability for content posted by their users. and @Google wants to hold companies responsible for content posted by their commenting users. https://t.co/L2txV7J341[…]

@FRCdc: At least 20 soldiers and 40 civilians, including a 4-year-old girl, were killed in two attacks claimed by a #BokoHaram faction last Saturday. The trend of extremist violence in #Nigeria continues. @ChristianPost https://t.co/XORFSni3mb[…]

Efforts to #StandWithHongKong on the @SenateFloor yesterday: #HongKong https://t.co/9gWqqKibiy[…]

@RepMarkGreen: It is now illegal in Tennessee to perform an abortion when a heartbeat can be detected. I'm proud of our State for defending human lives. https://t.co/niel3m4rUj[…]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Protests against nothingness

The monuments of the nations are all protests against nothingness after death; so are statues and inscriptions; so is history.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Presidential Updates

@markknoller: WH posts text of Executive Order on police reform signed today by Pres Trump. https://t.co/ZtHFdUHDAX[…]

@POTUS @realDonaldTrump signs executive order on #policereform https://t.co/F4dSGjflG3 via @STcom — […]

@AirForce1: Remarks by President Trump in Roundtable Discussion on Fighting for America’s Seniors https://t.co/6v5b0fcaNX https://t.co/wN1GM3ZH3w[…]

Remarks by @POTUS @realDonaldTrump at Signing of an Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities https://t.co/Jvm7mKzIhW via @WhiteHouse — […]

@Heritage: Today President Trump signed an executive order on police reform — @KayColesJames and @malcolm_john offered this response: https://t.co/SB6ZckgtVI[…]

Monday, June 22, 2020

Mark Twain's visit to Russia

At the appointed hour we drove out three miles, and assembled in the handsome garden in front of the Emperor's palace.

We formed a circle under the trees before the door, for there was no one room in the house able to accommodate our three-score persons comfortably, and in a few minutes the imperial family came out bowing and smiling, and stood in our midst. A number of great dignitaries of the Empire, in undress unit forms, came with them. With every bow, his Majesty said a word of welcome.

I copy these speeches. There is character in them—Russian character—which is politeness itself, and the genuine article. The French are polite, but it is often mere ceremonious politeness. A Russian imbues his polite things with a heartiness, both of phrase and expression, that compels belief in their sincerity.

As I was saying, the Czar punctuated his speeches with bows:

“Good morning—I am glad to see you—I am gratified—I am delighted—I am happy to receive you!”

All took off their hats, and the Consul inflicted the address on him. He bore it with unflinching fortitude; then took the rusty-looking document and handed it to some great officer or other, to be filed away among the archives of Russia—in the stove.

He thanked us for the address, and said he was very much pleased to see us, especially as such friendly relations existed between Russia and the United States.

The Empress said the Americans were favorites in Russia, and she hoped the Russians were similarly regarded in America.

Higher Education Updates

@chronicle: "We are where we are as a country because this is what higher education has produced," says @michaelsorrell https://t.co/CROdVglyvo[…]

@chronicle: Many colleges will mandate that students wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and not hold any large gatherings this fall. One administrator said: "I fear we are asking students to do something impossible." https://t.co/kTIV9hs3JJ[…]

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Talk Show Recap: Law enforcement reform, coronavirus, immigration, oversight

Preview: Bolton delivers bombshell while US tackles COVID-19, police brutality

Recap: Bolton's book reverberates

Clips on Twitter

A Father who needs no intermediates

God never seemed so actual and so near by; it was as if he were there bending over them or sitting at their side—a Friend whose favors were to be had by the most unceremonious asking—a Father to whom all his children were alike in love--Father, not more of the Jew than of the Gentile—the Universal Father, who needed no intermediates, no rabbis, no priests, no teachers.

The idea that such a God might send mankind a Saviour instead of a king appeared to Ben-Hur in a light not merely new, but so plain that he could almost discern both the greater want of such a gift and its greater consistency with the nature of such a Deity.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Friday, June 19, 2020

Nature and Resources Updates

This is the last week of days getting longer each day until December. — […]

@GlobalFishWatch: "Phantom ships" that appear to be sailing in circles off the coast of San Francisco have been discovered by @SkyTruth analyst Bjorn Bergman while examining vessel tracking data. via @hannah__osborne @Newsweek https://t.co/lvr2vntBBu[…]

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Contagious Focus

My tiny high school had twenty-seven boys—farm boys—on the football team.

There had never been a pro athlete from that high school before I got there, and never one since I left. Not one.

Based on the statistics I just showed you of high school players turning pro, how many of those twenty-seven farm boys on my team do you suppose went on to play in the NFL?

Answer: Four.

Four of us played in the NFL for a total of twenty-five years, with two Super Bowl appearances.

That’s a statistical impossibility. That can’t happen. Especially given that there’s never been a history at the school for pro athletes of any kind.

So how do you explain it? Coincidence? Something in the water? Sheer dumb luck?

SCOTUS Updates

@FreeBeacon: The new push to reform police practices will face an early test at the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, as justices decide whether to revisit a rule that protects police officers from lawsuits involving constitutional violations. Via @KevinDaleyDC https://t.co/mNekTvN8BD[…]

Supreme Court sides with LGBT employees https://t.co/CDE7JIjd9v (WORLD) — […]

@KevinDaleyDC: Tons doing on this morning's orders list from the Supreme Court. The Court has denied many high-profile appeals, including Trump's challenge to California's sanctuary law; challenges to qualified immunity; and lots of Second Amendment cases. #SCOTUS https://t.co/UkmwUV4d9I[…]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A brief history of electricity

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, theories and experimentation continued, with

the definitive link between the theory of electricity and lightning (1752);

the theory of bioelectromagnetics, which established electricity as the mechanism by which neurons passed signals to the muscles (1791);

the recognition of electromagnetism (1820); and

the invention of the electric motor (1821).

Discovery and invention continued throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth with such developments as the electric battery, the telephone, radiotelegraphy, light bulbs, and rotating magnetic fields.
Source: The Story of Technology by Daniel M. Gerstein

Federal, International Updates

@revmahoney: Mike Pompeo criticises HSBC for backing HK security law. I pray America continues to stand with HK! #StandWithHK https://t.co/M2RDBGG1P2[…]

@davidpwhelan: Thank you, @SecPompeo @StateDept, for calling out #Iran, #Russia, and #Venezuela about Americans Tomeu Vadell and the @FreeCitgo6, Baquer and Siamak @FreetheNamazis, #FreeMorad Tahbaz, and my brother, #PaulWhelan. It's time to end hostage diplomacy https://t.co/UM5gOfSf6a[…]

@J_Andrew_Boyle: Secretary of State aims for @IntlCrimCourt and hits GTMO: https://t.co/mXGvJdDaKL https://t.co/J7PtlaG5Fs[…]

@Reuters: Washington would not allow Americans to be threatened by ‘a kangaroo court,’ said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after President Trump authorized sanctions against an International Criminal Court investigation into whether U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan https://t.co/wjwpnG8yao[…]

@State_SCA: As @SecPompeo and @IRF_Ambassador Brownback underscored this week, we welcome the great strides and real progress on religious freedom in Uzbekistan and look forward to more steps to protect religious groups and freedom of religion or belief. #Religiousfreedom https://t.co/wFrMy6L8zx[…]

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Weeds of the mind

Suspicions, as we all know, are weeds of the mind which grow of themselves, and most rapidly when least wanted.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Presidential Updates

@henryrodgersdc: …economic sanctions on employees of the International Criminal Court for pursuing investigations into U.S. military and intelligence personnel at Russia's behest. My latest with @TocRadio: https://t.co/PldEbasfRJ[…]

Remarks by @POTUS @realDonaldTrump in Roundtable Discussion "with friends of mine and members of the African American community, and we’re going to be talking about law enforcement, education, business, health, and various other things." https://t.co/9szQ0ZPtbj via @WhiteHouse — […]

Remarks by President Trump During a Roundtable: Restoring, Rebuilding, and Renewing | Dallas, TX https://t.co/1qSpT1c1XS https://t.co/iek7qNSh3A[…]

Remarks by President Trump at the 2020 United States Military Academy at West Point Graduation Ceremony https://t.co/FCjrWcGSzg https://t.co/u85Xa4Y5LI[…]

Monday, June 15, 2020

Higher Education Updates

@timeshighered: “Asynchronous teaching methods are capable of improving our ability to offer alternative learning times and communication forms that are more inclusive of our students’ learning styles.” https://t.co/D27CBq35S0[…]

@Harvard_Law: "Unmute yourself … identify those things that annoyingly keep you silent when your friends or your family or your community need your voice." Watch Professor Ruth Okediji’s 'Last Lecture' to the Class of 2020 https://t.co/FypQxOqwfx[…]

@chronicle: Frustrated with the seeming hypocrisy of some colleges’ statements on Black Lives Matter, two friends and black scholars started tweeting about incidents of racial bias in their careers. https://t.co/fB3JR1fJ4J[…]

Standing where Paul once stood

The full moon was riding high in the cloudless heavens, now. We sauntered carelessly and unthinkingly to the edge of the lofty battlements of the citadel, and looked down—a vision! And such a vision! Athens by moonlight! The prophet that thought the splendors of the New Jerusalem were revealed to him, surely saw this instead! …

To the right was Mars Hill, where the Areopagus sat in ancient times and where St. Paul defined his position, and below was the market-place where he “disputed daily” with the gossip-loving Athenians.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Nature and Resources Updates

@JimBridenstine: The cost-saving success of @Commercial_Crew is based on @NASA establishing high-level requirements and letting private companies innovate. For the Artemis Moon base, NASA will establish a cost per ton delivered and once again let private companies innovate. https://t.co/KFhlI9KzHU[…]

@elonmusk: @JimBridenstine @Commercial_Crew @NASA Outcome-based contracting with multiple competitors is vastly better than cost-plus (especially if sole-sourced), as the former rewards results and latter rewards waste. Outcome contracting should be applied broadly within government. The difference in results will be incredible. — […]

@SciDiplomacyUSA: A robust and ready Polar Security Cutter fleet supports our national interests, economic strength and scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic region. Here are the steps we're taking to have a U.S. icebreaker fleet ready for our future. https://t.co/SjSoTBwMJl[…]

The Mailboxes

College is not just about the things you learn from the curriculum, even the things a college specifically designs itself around.

Memories in college are not just around the friends you have.

Sometimes, even in the midst of the normal routine, things make their way into your life that stick with you for a long time to come.

These things don't have to be complicated or profound—just meaningful.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The question rarely asked of Al Pacino

I asked all the people in classes with me, “Who’s the greatest stage performer of all time?” and they all said, “Al Pacino.”

Obviously, I needed to meet Al Pacino. I just needed to figure out how to make that happen.

A couple of days later, I was having dinner with a friend. Anna Strasberg, Lee Strasberg’s widow, was in the restaurant. My friend knew Anna and introduced me to her. So I did what I do, which is ask questions.

Here’s the widow of the best acting coach in the world—of course I was going to learn whatever I could. How could I be the best? What should I do? What would Lee have told me to do?

Turned out Anna liked me because I asked all these questions about how to improve my acting. It also turned out that Al Pacino is the godfather for her two sons. When I heard that, I immediately asked for an introduction to him. I told Anna that I wanted what Al Pacino had. I wanted to be the best stage actor, so I needed to find out what he did.

Anna agreed to introduce us, which is how I ended up playing touch football in the snow with her two sons and Al Pacino and then went to his house, where he spent three hours breaking down the next fifteen years for me.

SCOTUS Updates

@DukeFirearmsLaw: What's going on with the gun cases? Who really knows, but @JacobCharlesNC outlines some possibilities in this week's SCOTUS Gun Watch. https://t.co/vKRF8nLNMJ[…]

@FDRLST: Contrary to the Supreme Court's recent 5-4 opinion that cut against religious liberty, it now looks like church health guidelines were subjective. https://t.co/n8shhYhJ2y[…]

@BECKETlaw: "In Fulton, the Court should restore the Free Exercise Clause's original public meaning, our national traditions and the Founders' prevailing political philosophy." Read this @Newsweek op-ed from former US AG @EdMeeseIII: https://t.co/bHcOIjMJyG @Heritage #SCOTUS #FosteringLove — […]

@richardjwolf: End qualified immunity? Supreme Court's deference to police for 'reasonable' conduct faces scrutiny in wake of brutality cases https://t.co/ec0ECVo21d via @usatoday #SCOTUS — […]

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Identity Capital

Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time.

These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are.

Federal, International Updates

@LTrails: In Such a Time as This, Let Us Pray . . . - https://t.co/lArKqouvu9 https://t.co/v4KZrjU8eP[…]

@IndoPac_Info: June 4, 1989. A day of infamy! We do not forget!!! #Tiananmen31 #TiananmenMassacre #TiananmenSquaremassacre https://t.co/msa1sGx1VZ[…]

@demosisto: In the shadow of #NationalSecurityLaw, thousands of #Hongkongers broke barricades and started to assemble in Victoria Park to mourn #TiananmenSquareMassacre. https://t.co/y6mtGCs689[…]

“Reform advocates have proposed repealing barriers to accountability for problem officers, such as qualified immunity and law enforcement officer bill of rights, and scaling back police militarization.” https://t.co/q6zcJbkyGu[…]

@AmbasciataUSA: At the invitation of Italian Foreign Affairs Minister @luigidimaio and of Secretary of State @SecPompeo, the Foreign Ministers of the Global @Coalition met virtually today to reaffirm our shared determination to continue the fight against Daesh/ISIS. Read the joint communique https://t.co/wdGiX05gv4[…]

@TheJusticeDept: Attorney General William P. Barr's Remarks on Mr. George Floyd and Civil Unrest https://t.co/uDpN2MewdR[…]

@SenateNews: #SenateHearing to examine the crisis in Hong Kong, focusing on a review of United States policy tools, including #S3798, to impose sanctions with respect to foreign persons involved in the erosion of certain obligations of China wrt HK. https://t.co/cMZUw5WIcA[…]

@IndoPac_Info: Exclusive: Pompeo to urge stock exchanges globally to tighten rules for #Chinese companies Pompeo warns American investors against 'fraudulent' accounting practices of China-based companies. https://t.co/ReQUHGno90[…]

Happy Constitution Day to Denmark! @SecPompeo: “The Kingdom of Denmark and the United States are steadfast allies and partners, and we greatly value Denmark as a leader in promoting peace throughout the world” https://t.co/nC8NEXkOn2 via @StateDept — […]

Remarks by @VP @Mike_Pence in Listening Session with Faith and Community Leaders | Beltsville, MD https://t.co/VCYvtqvaRk via @WhiteHouse — […]

China's plan:
Stage 1: military build-up
Stage 2: international influence https://t.co/K2zlHGGcaC[…]

@IndoPac_Info: #IndiaChinaStandoff - Alleged video of a #Chinese highway where there are a lot of trailer trucks transporting tanks, armored vehicles, etc to the #Indian border. Definitely a significant build up. Via @shuangyinghe #StandWithIndia https://t.co/5n7KlE9nYg[…]

Plans reaching fruition are cause for formal celebration and public acknowledgment of the Lord’s help.” https://t.co/bjKC362J5S @TheVoiceBible #GTD https://t.co/bqKcheOguS[…]

@SecPompeo: The Chinese Communist Party’s callous attempts to exploit George Floyd’s tragic death for its own political gain will fail. During the best of times, Beijing ruthlessly imposes communism. Amid the most difficult challenges, the United States secures freedom. — […]

@joshuawongcf: 1/ Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of our anti-extradition bill movement since June. Over the past year, Hongkongers and the world have been bearing witness to the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, with Beijing tightening its grip over the city’s liberties. https://t.co/q5VDIIjscP[…]

@AUL: We speak with @xan_desanctis this week on “Life, Liberty, and Law" on Planned Parenthood and where "fake news" comes from when reporters behave like activists. https://t.co/qdcjYqMKb8[…]

@TomTugendhat: This is a strong statement from a close ally - On China’s Attempted Coercion of the United Kingdom - @StateDept @SecPompeo https://t.co/8qO6GQVfIt[…]

Presidential Updates

@AirForce1: Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom https://t.co/lbgdcqgSkt https://t.co/ytWWmlyGh4[…]

@FDRLST: The entire narrative the media glommed onto in lockstep was that Trump was a monster who tear-gassed peaceful protesters to do something meaningless. None of that was true. https://t.co/5wUGzYRtnK[…]

@CCHFreedom: Medicare Opt-Out Update | Listen to Today's HFM audio on CCHF's Homepage: https://t.co/iC1CyqOZVS https://t.co/hFDXmyCBq5[…]

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The greatest of all arts

From Mark Twain, 120 years ago tonight:
The greatest of all the arts is to write a drama. It is a most difficult thing. It requires the highest talent possible and the rarest gifts. No, there is another talent that ranks with it—for anybody can write a drama—I had four hundred of them—but to get one accepted requires real ability. And I have never had that felicity yet.

But human nature is so constructed, we are so persistent, that when we know that we are born to a thing we do not care what the world thinks about it. We go on exploiting that talent year after year, as I have done. I shall go on writing dramas, and some day the impossible may happen, but I am not looking for it.
Source: Mark Twain Speeches


The greatest of all arts is to know the thing to which you were born.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The most poetical thing from Pompeii

In one of these long Pompeiian halls the skeleton of a man was found, with ten pieces of gold in one hand and a large key in the other. He had seized his money and started toward the door, but the fiery tempest caught him at the very threshold, and he sank down and died. One more minute of precious time would have saved him. …

In one apartment eighteen skeletons were found, all in sitting postures, and blackened places on the walls still mark their shapes and show their attitudes, like shadows. One of them, a woman, still wore upon her skeleton throat a necklace, with her name engraved upon it—JULIE DI DIOMEDE. …

How teaching became a pastime

Contenting himself for the present with the three, he strove to train and educate them for systematic action. For that purpose he carried the officers over into the lava-beds of Trachonitis, and taught them the use of arms, particularly the javelin and sword, and the manoeuvering peculiar to the legionary formation; after which he sent them home as teachers. And soon the training became a pastime of the people.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Higher Education Updates

@chronicle: Some colleges have proposed holding classes outdoors, to prevent coronavirus transmission. It’s “going back to the Greek ideal of academe, which was the olive grove where the philosophers would meet,” one president says. https://t.co/HY8RiQrmaq[…]

@eAsiaMediaHub: What are Chinese Communist Party (CCP) motives? This was one of the questions @MariaBartiromo asked @SecPompeo: “This is a CCP that has come to view itself as intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies, Western values.” https://t.co/1GzlHLdM2A[…]

@BillGertz: US suspends student and research visas for Chinese nationals linked to CCP and PLA https://t.co/ItXwpVYBHV[…]

@chronicle: In response to recent protests, many college presidents have put out statements acknowledging racism in American society — but not within higher ed itself. https://t.co/DJGnBD8CaP[…]

“In the moment that #science had seemed poised to achieve its final goal—to develop the much anticipated ‘Theory of Everything’—scientists stumbled. There was one thing that they could not explain. That was the scientist himself.” https://t.co/QlmPyznZIS[…]

Friday, June 5, 2020

My favorite President Reagan story

On the Sunday after we return from our Memorial Day trip to Santa Barbara, James J (Jack) Kilpatrick, the newspaper columnist, invited Nancy and me to his home in Virginia for lunch. The security people gave their okay, and that Sunday afternoon I discovered another of the more enjoyable perquisites of being president.

We lifted off from the South Lawn aboard a Marine helicopter at about noon on a bright, beautiful spring day, and twenty minutes later were landing a couple hundred yards from Jack’s home in rural Virginia. He was waiting to meet us, and on the way to the house he pointed out several men who were busily working in a tent.

“Your fellows have been here all week installing your phones,” he said.

“What do you mean, my fellows?” I asked.

“They told me they work for the White House and wherever you go, you have to be able to talk to anyone in the world—in case there’s an emergency.”

It was the first time I’d heard that. Later, I discovered that even a dinner invitation to a friends home in Washington meant White House phones would have to be installed and operating there when we arrived. But that Sunday morning, it was news to me.

As we walked toward the house, Jack told me more about his conversation with the people from “Signal,” the White House communications agency.

He said he had questioned their boast of being able to reach anyone in the world from the temporary phone set up.

According to Jack, they said: “Okay, name someone.”

Nature and Resources Updates

Remarks by @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @VP @Mike_Pence During Briefing on the 2020 Hurricane Season https://t.co/1KEN9vK0L8[…]

@STcom: India warns airlines of locust swarm flight risk https://t.co/ApsMacVwOC[…]

Doug just described the dinosaur stowaways that made their way onto #Dragon for #LaunchAmerica today. That toy on a spacecraft with that name is all very #Job41. — […]

@Space_Station: The @SpaceX #CrewDragon makes five spaceships parked at the station. https://t.co/lLZYDJUn1N https://t.co/la06vhjgOW[…]

@NHC_Atlantic: Today is June 1st and hurricane season is off to a busy start! A disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula has a high (80%) chance of becoming a tropical depression during the next couple of days when it moves over the Bay of Campeche. More: https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb https://t.co/8BFC0iYYFO[…]

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Unmanned aircraft staffing shortage

Artificial intelligence may create new jobs.
Instead of humans competing with AI, they could focus on servicing and leveraging AI.

For example, the replacement of human pilots by drones has eliminated some jobs but created many new opportunities in maintenance, remote control, data analysis, and cybersecurity.

SCOTUS Updates

@JanetMefferd: 2nd church files emergency request with Supreme Court over coronavirus order, citing precedent in 1947 case: “Neither a state nor the Federal Government .. can force nor influence a person to go or remain away from a church against his will.” https://t.co/sN16ECzbGS[…]

@richardjwolf: Legal immunity for police misconduct, under attack from left and right, may get Supreme Court review https://t.co/L29FVvGxyX via @usatoday #SCOTUS — […]

@scotusreporter: Supreme Court considers churches’ demands that states lift pandemic restrictions https://t.co/o9aXLS9hVc[…]

Federal, International Updates

An ounce of an admission by the @HKPoliceForce that it’s members should follow the law. https://t.co/B48amCzMlG[…]

@AP: With numerous precautions in place, some congregants around the country headed for their churches, synagogues and mosques, days after President Trump declared houses of worship essential and asked governors to reopen them. https://t.co/9OHTarKodQ[…]

@WHNSC: (1/2) Brazil is one of our strongest partners in the world. @realDonaldTrump has implemented temporary restrictions on foreign nationals traveling from Brazil for the shared protection of our people from #COVID19, similar to current restrictions with other countries. — […]

@Reuters: Former Hong Kong governor: China's proposed national security law should be on G7 agenda https://t.co/OyNhclwMjp https://t.co/djtpwEZAjn[…]

@CBNNews: In the Chinese government's continuing effort to crush Christianity inside its borders, teachers are now being told to renounce their faith or face the consequences. https://t.co/A8iNWvD7qh[…]

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A stretch, not a shrink!

Harvey would always blush when the top players referred to him as “baseball’s best kept secret.” They would lovingly refer to him as “baseball’s shrink.”

But Harvey would laugh in protest and say, “I’m not a shrink. . . . I’m a stretch! I’m trying to get these guys to stretch their minds!”
Source: Coaching the Mental Game by H.A. Dorfman

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

3 keys to Roman supremacy

Roman supremacy in arms lay in three things—submission to discipline, the legionary formation of battle, and a peculiar use of the short sword.

In combat, they never struck or cut; from first to last they thrust—they advanced thrusting, they retired thrusting; and generally their aim was at the foeman's face.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Presidential Updates

@AAPSonline: "Trump ‘has a point’ on WHO: German Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Financial Times that the U.S. 'does have a point — the WHO needs to reform its governance and accountability. We need to figure out exactly where the money goes.'" https://t.co/LYhcj2LPRf[…]

@AEI: The United States should not hesitate to impose a tremendous price for any crackdown in Hong Kong, writes @marcthiessen. https://t.co/UI6HTc29v0[…]

@postpolitics: The Energy 202: Trump administration pauses some oil and gas leasing amid coronavirus pandemic https://t.co/xVGWIpQ3Ew[…]

@joshuawongcf: [Sanction red capital, dual-used tech and white glove companies as the way to send a warning signal to China] 1/ @Reuters and @business Bloomberg just confirmed that the US is likely to sanction China if it approves the hugely controversial bill that damages HK's autonomy. — […]

Monday, June 1, 2020

How to conquer your tour guide

(This guide) marched us through miles of pictures and sculpture in the vast corridors of the Vatican; and through miles of pictures and sculpture in twenty other palaces; he has shown us the great picture in the Sistine Chapel, and frescoes enough to frescoe the heavens—pretty much all done by Michael Angelo.

So with him we have played that game which has vanquished so many guides for us—imbecility and idiotic questions. These creatures never suspect—they have no idea of a sarcasm.

June 2020 Presidential Proclamations

Proclamation on National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2020

Proclamation on African-American Music Appreciation Month, 2020

Proclamation on Great Outdoors Month, 2020

Proclamation on National Ocean Month, 2020

Proclamation on National Homeownership Month, 2020

Presidential Launch Viewing

May 30, 2020

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure

Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure

Remarks by President Trump After Viewing SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 Launch

Remarks by Vice President Pence at Kennedy Space Center | Cape Canaveral, FL

Remarks by President Trump at Kennedy Space Center

Higher Education Updates

@LTrails: Bad Counsel to a Christian Girl at a Contemplative College - https://t.co/ELDktGSHBR https://t.co/Sx1cbjM0A8[…]

@timeshighered: UK universities favour blended learning approach for 2020-21: THE snapshot survey finds most institutions will deliver mix of face-to-face and online courses, with social distancing measures in the early planning stages https://t.co/pKuoGZ7pFU https://t.co/sz8FPts6Xe[…]

@timeshighered: UK universities plan to deliver blended teaching models from the autumn in a bid to maintain the “full student experience” as much as possible and prevent students from deferring a year, according to a THE snapshot survey. https://t.co/pKuoGZ7pFU[…]

@SunnyCheungky: Our students deserve liberty, not detention. #StandWithHongKong https://t.co/NpUmB4ZZ5b[…]

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