Upside Down

Photo by Grey Villet/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images no infringement intended

Photo by Grey Villet/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
no infringement intended

When I was trying to get into the  ad business I quickly learned to be shameless. Wallflowers and polite young people taught to say Mr. and Ms. were at a distinct disadvantage.

So I changed my ways in order to get someone, anyone, with a job in advertising to hire me. A friend of a friend worked for legendary copywriter Tom Messner, pictured at right, who was part of an attempt to reconstitute the Tuesday Team, that group of top shelf ad guys who created Continue reading

And Men Plunder

Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future
Mark R. Levin

plunderEver since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed getting a package in the mail. Paradoxically, the mystery contained in the big envelope or box remains even when I’ve place the order myself.

So when I found a Jiffy bag on my doorstep one day last fall I was intrigued. I hadn’t ordered anything. What could Continue reading


How Americans (or anyone else for that matter) would react to a New York/Tri-state dream ticket.


Give the Devil His Due

All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera

Devils_HereCatholic schools do a good job of making sure you know about Catholic heroes. Like Junipero Sera. Perhaps you’ve heard of the good friar? Founder of California’s missions?

Whether you have or haven’t is irrelevant. I bring it up only because the flat accents of NPR‘s on-air staff led me to believe that there was a financial journalist I hadn’t heard Continue reading

Capital, It Fails Us Now

A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression
Richard A. Posner

Posner_coverJudge. The word suggests a lot of things. A sense of right and wrong. Belief in  truth as a non-relative concept. A willingness to face facts. And all those great synonyms: probity, rectitude, morality, virtue, honesty and on and on. There’s even a book in the Bible entitled Judges just in case you missed their importance. (I promise it’s there, right between Joshua and Ruth.)

Not all judges are up to that standard. Luckily Continue reading

Everything has a Price to Pay

The Price of Politics
Bob Woodward

Price-of-PoliticsSomething about yard work seems to tick Bob Woodward off.

Before I get to speculating just why that might be, though, allow me to remind you who Mr. Woodward is. As a bright young reporter on the Washington Post metro desk, Mr. Woodward and his former partner Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story.

Maybe you heard about it? Brought down the Nixon presidency. Made journalism cool for Continue reading

Your Hairdresser Has More Going on Upstairs than You Knew

The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker
Mike Rose

A snapshot of how things get on my radar.

Sunday night, late August. Homeward bound from Long Island. My wife suggests we make a quick stop at the supermarket on the far side of the GWB. I agree and stay in the car with the sleeping child. Searching the Sunday night radio ghetto for something, anything, to pay attention to. Music exhausted I turn to WNYC and find a show with a weird title for public radio in this market–Speaking of Faith.

Faith is one of those words that always catch my ear so I stuck around. And I was glad I did. What ensued was a nearly hour-long conversation* with Mike Rose, an academic at UCLA with whom I was unacquainted. Rose studies education but initially it was his back story Continue reading