focus

By spotlighting which constituency LEGO must serve, Knudstorp stood a better chance of changing more minds. Such clarity began to infuse staffers with enough confidence to face the future.

Tighter focus leads to profitable innovation

In the 1950s, when the son of the LEGO Group’s founder decided to bet entirely on the plastic brick and cease production of wooden toys, he demonstrated that channeling people’s creativity into one specific area could generate an out pouring of profitable products. In the decades that followed, even as LEGO spun out product lines such as DUPLO for preschoolers and Technic for advanced builders, each of those platforms was rooted in the LEGO building system. By consistently doing more of what it had done before, LEGO improved its chances of making successful products.

– David C. Robertson with Bill Breen Brick by Brick

fragile

But in Washington today, the White House has slipped into a fragile, frantic mode, lurching from crisis to crisis, and not yet able to demonstrate whether its animating value is the preservation of its personnel or its integrity.

-Evan Osnos ‘Can the White House pick its press?‘ The New Yorker

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First Amendment, passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.

Many mainstream journalists sincerely believe they are operating in good faith and doing their job to the best of their abilities. At the same time, it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.

-Jonah Goldberg ‘The press is not the enemy‘ National Review

‘I believe’

I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.

I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.

― John D. Rockefeller

inability

But what Lauer did in that commander-in-chief forum was essentially repeated time and again by every other broadcast network news program, not to mention cable news and some newspapers and magazines. His performance was indicative of something larger: the general inability among the media to make a distinction between Clinton’s e-mail use and Trump’s deliberate falsehoods and his dangerous foreign-policy instincts.

-Sarah Ellison ‘Megyn Kelly, Matt Lauer, and the battle for the future of NBC‘ Vanity Fair

rescue

The political and economic system created by the United States and its allies after World War II—a system built around common defense measures and free trade—rescued Europe from the self-inflicted catastrophe of 1914-1945, prevented nuclear war, preserved the peace until the collapse of the Soviet empire, and allowed once-captive nations to reclaim their liberties.

-George Weigel ‘A modest defense of the ‘liberal world order” First Things