by Jay Nordlinger

And interesting mail it is. In Impromptus today, I mention a friend of mine who works for a big accounting firm. Sarbanes-Oxley, he says, is terrible for businesses in general — but good for his. They’ve made a fortune. I cite a cynical old saying in golf: “Every shot pleases someone.”

A reader writes,


That’s me with PPACA (Obamacare). I make a lot of money as a physician consultant explaining the law to health-care corporations and others. I wish it were otherwise. I would give up this revenue in a heartbeat if only the PPACA would disappear.

Oh, how I wish that I were helping these people achieve in a truly free market! But life has given me PPACA lemons, and I drink the lemonade frequently, almost daily.

In my column, I talk a little about the decline of nations — I’m not sure how the subject came up. A reader writes,


I am 62 and in great health but sometimes I feel very old. I saw this country put men on the moon. Look at us now.

I still think about those landings. They were a full 20 years before IBM brought out the first real PC. (Mine cost about $5,000. Yikes.) How did we do it?

Related story:

I started college in 1968. I entered the University of Pittsburgh’s Aeronautical Engineering department. I was going to design things that flew in space. Alas, Johnson and the “Great Society” had followed Kennedy. My adviser, an astute man, suggested that I get a more general degree. He told me that the priorities of the country had changed and the space program would never be what it was again.

I took his advice and got my degree in Mechanical Engineering. For a career I chose something more stable — designing nuclear power plants.

We don’t build those anymore either. . . .

We stopped looking to the stars and began staring at our feet. In 40 years.

Finally, a little note on Yefim Bronfman — one of the greatest pianists in the world, one of the greatest pianists ever:

When Fima Bronfman was studying at Curtis circa 1976, I was living with my grandparents in the building next door. They sponsored him, put him up in an apartment in their building, and every night he practiced on their piano (formerly Rachmaninoff’s) in the room next to mine. Not a bad way to do your homework.

Holy smokes. Anyway, thanks to one and all for the mail.

P.S. A lot of people agree with me on the glory of redheads.

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