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Miscellany

MEETING THE CHALLENGEHere’s how to become an ineffective board director without really trying:Always arrive late for board meetings. Mutter about “that darned traffic” or “those telephone calls.” Whenever possible, eat a delayed breakfast or lunch at the board table.Find a typo in the minutes and ask for corrective surgery, saying, “I just want everybody to …

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Here’s how to become an ineffective board director without really trying:

Always arrive late for board meetings. Mutter about “that darned traffic” or “those telephone calls.” Whenever possible, eat a delayed breakfast or lunch at the board table.

Find a typo in the minutes and ask for corrective surgery, saying, “I just want everybody to know that I read the minutes.” Drink lots of coffee and liquids during the board meeting, so you have to leave for a bathroom trip. Better yet, go twice.

Always forget to bring the papers marked, “Please bring to meeting.” Even more impressive, don’t read your homework at all. You can ask more naive questions if your mind is not cluttered with facts.

Take a little snooze during slide showings and, perhaps, during the Chairman’s Report. A small snoring noise is provocative and adds a certain charm.

Vigorously push your old college roommate and sailing partner (now unemployed) to be selected as new outside directors. Call all the members of the nominating committee about them.

Eat something that upsets your stomach and render gaseous disturbances during the meeting. As a fair substitute, come to the meeting with a bad cold.

Always leave the board meeting early. Try to go during the most important discussion of the day. Make it a surprise to the chairman.

-Robert W. Lear, Director’s Monthly


THE BUCK STOPS WHERE?

The time is 3 p.m. on a Monday afternoon; the scene, an E train traveling east. Two high-school boys, books under their arms, are discussing the Whitewater affair and the fact that criticism is being directed at the First Lady. “You know what they say,” says the first. “If she can’t stand the heat, she should go back to the kitchen.”

“Who said that?” challenges the second. “Harry Truman.”

“The fighter who beat Dewey?” “Yeah, he later became president.” “Nah, that isn’t what he said. It was something about too many bucks standing around his desk.”

-Alfred G. Fortunato, The New York Times


CONSERVATIVELY YOURS

Who are the intolerant, closed-minded, mean-spirited hate-mongers? As far as I can tell, they are liberal women.

As a young conservative woman, I have experienced a number of acts of hate in the past few months just because I am a conservative woman. I’ve been verbally attacked and given the finger; I thought one red-faced woman, eyes and veins bulging, screaming and yelling, was going to jump through her car window into mine. All of these actions were unprovoked and in response to my “011ie North” and “Buchanan ’96″ bumper-stickers and two anti-Clinton bumper-stickers.

Liberals talk about being open-minded and accepting, but that is only if you have their same views. I did not know there is a clause after the First Amendment stating, “This does not apply to conservatives.”

-Jennifer Bingham, The Wall Street Journal


HOT FLASHES

You may have noticed that the First Lady’s been a little testy lately. Most people think she’s upset about Whitewater. Maybe there’s another explanation…

Here’s how we’ll know if Hillary’s going through menopause:

Bill requests Secret Service protection in the White House bedroom.

Estrogen becomes a covered treatment under Hillary’s healthcare plan.

Hillary volunteers to be spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.

Bill orders the maintenance crew to put locks on White House thermostats.

Pieces of Senator Alphonse D’Amato begin appearing in White House soups.

Chelsea starts referring to Hillary as “Mommie Dearest.”

-The Hillary Clinton Quarterly


DOLLARS AND SENSE

According to Policy Review, the 17th edition of “Bartlett‘s Familiar Quotations” omits a number of conservative quotations, a result of Editor Justin Kaplan’s alleged political bias. Among them is this little gem P.J. O’Rourke said at a 1993 speech to the Cato Institute: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

-compiled by Adam Meyerson, Policy Review


CENSOR VENTURE

Syndicated newspaper columnist Nat Hentoff, who recently wrote a hook entitled, “Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee,” sounds off on some of his pet peeves:

In the early ’80s, I found out from somebody who actually believed in leaving writers to say what they wanted to say that a number of the Village Voice copy editors on Monday nights, which is when we put the paper to bed, would be cutting out-literally with a knife-lines and sometimes whole paragraphs of ideas and/or language that might possibly offend what they regard as our basic constituencies. That would be liberals, radicals, blacks, gays, lesbians, whatever.

And they never told the writers they were doing it. This was considered for the “greater good” of the community. I started to write about it, and I called the series, “The Thought Police of the Village Voice.” I got a useful postcard from Phil Kerby, who was then writing editorials for the L.A. Times, and I’ve used it ever since. It said, “Don’t get so excited. You have to remember that the lust to censor is the strongest drive in human nature. Sex is a very weak second.” On feminist Catharine McKinnon: Her main thrust for years has been to obliterate, to make illegal, all kind of pornography, which she defines so broadly that the censors can include the Old Testament. They wanted to do the same thing in Canada, and they succeeded Canadian Supreme Court, largely because of her and the brief she filed. What do you think was the first publication that was taken off the stands by the police in Toronto? It was a lesbian magazine.

-The Defender


WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE

Those of you who imagine the European parliament to be a dull old place, stuffed with humorless Eurocrats-think again.

At least one Euro MP-Caroline Jackson, a Tory from Wiltshire-is showing distinct signs of wit. She has written to Egon Klepsch, president of the parliament, to see how many of her fellow 515 deputies are still alive.

She says: “For a year, I have been sitting next to an empty chair assigned to an MEP from Naples. He has not turned up for any debate or any vote for a year. Is he possibly dead? In which case, I am very sorry, but maybe he should not be paid his salary, not to mention half his office allowances.”

Jackson adds that “some MEPs have not been seen for years. How many other dead souls might there be?”

Of course, there is always another side to an argument. Perhaps Jackson‘s Neapolitan neighbor has the full measure of the place and is engaged in a lengthy, though silent, boycott?

-Financial Times

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