A quarter way through Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and I must say it’s much more than just dish and diss on the Trump administration. It’s a sidebar tour of recent NYC media and PR history, a swipe at fresh from the farm Big Apple billionaire “swells,” a tickle of fly over country conceits, and some interesting throat clearing concerning new money feminism.

I’m taking my time. Because I’m also reading an old Max Brand Cowboy anthology, and Philip Bobbitt’s, “The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made.”

Bobbitt’s central thesis about The Prince seems to me to embody a valuable corrective. He is right to stress that, not only in the famous letter to Vettori but in several subsequent references, Machiavelli speaks of his book not as The Prince but as a work on principalities. It is also true that the first half of The Prince is largely given over to a taxonomy of different kinds of state and how they can be acquired, whether by inheritance, donation, election, or conquest. Most important, Bobbitt is right to emphasize what he describes as Machiavelli’s reification of the state as an entity with its own reality that is not to be identified with the personal power of the prince. This development seems especially worth emphasizing in view of the fact that the term state is so often used nowadays as little more than a synonym for government. Bobbitt has already stressed in The Shield of Achilles how much is lost if we refuse to conceptualize the state as a distinct apparatus of power, and he now points to Machiavelli as the originator of this line of thought.

— Quentin Skinner, What Should You Learn from Machiavelli?, New York Review of Books

And old Bobbitt is an award winning poet.

And I think I might poem or two tonight while sipping some HillRock Estate Bourbon Whiskey. Sent via our families Brooklyn connection. It’s from New York State, and Solera aged.

“Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. The purpose of this labor-intensive process is the maintenance of a reliable style and quality of the beverage over time.[1]Solera means literally “on the ground” in Spanish, and it refers to the lower level of the set of barrels or other containers used in the process; the liquid (traditionally transferred from barrel to barrel, top to bottom, the oldest mixtures being in the barrel right “on the ground”), although the containers in today’s process are not necessarily stacked physically in the way that this implies, but merely carefully labeled.” Wikipedia.

2 Replies to “Empire State Bourbon?”

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