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Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 2013 Quotations and some new Laws of Life

"What does labor want? We want more school houses and less jails. More books and less guns. More learning and less vice. More leisure and less greed. More justice and less revenge. We want more . . . opportunities to cultivate our better natures."
~~ labor leader Samuel Gompers [1850-1924]

"The man who complains about the way [that] the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it."
~~ football coach Lou Holtz

"Take care of what you like or you will be forced to like what you get."
~~ George Bernard Shaw [1856-1950]

"Power doesn't always corrupt. Power can cleanse. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals."
~~ Robert Caro

"If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know [that] it is part of a tree."
~~ Michael Crichton [1942-2008]

“[Corporations] cannot commit treason . . . for they have no souls."
~~ Sir Edward Coke [1552-1634]

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
~~ Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826]

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
~~ Benjamin Franklin [1706-90]

"Paris is always a good idea."
~~ Audrey Hepburn [1929-93]

"Temples are to be dedicated to the gods, and books to good men."
~~ Aristides the Just [530-468 BCE]

The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land."
~~ G.K. Chesterton [1874-1936]

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing [that] it is stupid."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"I am an optimist because I don't see the point in being anything else."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste."
~~ Charlotte Brontë [1816-55]

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."
~~ Bertrand Russell [1872-1970]

"Always have bail money."
~~ rapper 50 Cent

"It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do."
~~ playwright Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière [1622-73]

"[Republicans in Congress] will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."
~~ President Barack Obama, January 2013

"You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun."
~~ blatherskite Limp Rushbaugh, on 16 January 2013

“Thank God [that] men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”
~~ Henry David Thoreau [1817-62]

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity."
~~ George Orwell [1903-50]

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope."
~~ Maya Angelou

"A secret is something [that] you can only tell one person – at a time."
~~ Beat poet Allen Ginsberg [1926-97]

"Humility is attentive patience."
~~ Simone Weil [1909-43]

"The real is always way ahead of what we can imagine."
~~ novelist Paul Auster

"We must have standards, no matter how low."
~~ Anne Lamott

"When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position."
~~ John Maynard Keynes [1883-1946]

"I think [that] the universe is all spots and jumps, without coherence or orderliness . . . it consists of events - short, small, haphazard. Order, unity, and continuity are human inventions just as truly as are catalogues and encyclopedias."
~~ Bertrand Russell [1872-1970], in 1931

"I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy."
~~ sign at Sandy Hook rally in Pennsylvania

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"You never fail until you stop trying."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68]

"It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact."
~~ Edmund Burke [1729-97]

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a noble art of leaving things undone."
~~ Lin Yu-T’ang [1895-1976]

=== more Laws of Life ===

Murphy's Paradox
"Doing it the hard way is always easier."

Spencer's Three Laws of Data
1. Anyone can make a decision given enough facts.
2. A good manager can make a decision without enough facts.
3. A perfect manager can operate in perfect ignorance.

Meadow's Maxim
"You can't push on a rope."

Leo Rogers' Commentary
"If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

Howe's Law
"Everyone has a scheme that will not work."

Munder's Corollary:
"Everyone who does not work has a scheme that does."

O'Brien's Law
"Nothing is ever done for the right reasons."

Hardin's Law
"You can never do just one thing."

Law of The Individual
"Nobody really cares or understands what anyone else is doing."

Hane's Law
"There is no limit to how bad things can get."

Jay's First Law of Leadership
"Changing things is central to leadership, and changing them before anyone else does is creative leadership."

Thine's Law
"Nature abhors people."
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Friday, January 18, 2013


1) It was on Fox News, so it must be true.

2) If you give money to the One Percent, it will 'trickle down' as jobs for the 99%. (Hasn't happened in the history of Mankind, and is now known as 'Tinkle-Down Economics'.)

3) Labor is the problem, off-shoring jobs and factories is the solution. {See #2.}

4) If the Democrats would only concede [the issue], we'll give up our obstruction.

5) {choose from list} is/are your friend!
a) mountaintop mining
b) toxic fracking chemicals
c) genetically-modified food
d) global warming
e) clear-cut logging
f) Big Oil / Big Pharma / Big Banks / Big Farming
g) Wall Street
h) de-regulation

6) Preventing solutions by Congress is actually a solution.

7) Obedience to {choose from list} will keep America free.
a) the pseudo-Christian fundamentalist taliban
b) the Koch Brothers & A.L.E.C.
c) bankers
d) gun manufacturers and the N.R.A. gun lobby
e) international corporations & banks not based in the U.S.A.

8) Attacking (yet another) foreign nation will free them from oppression.

9) We have to destroy {choose from list} in order to save it.
a) Social Security
b) Medicare & Medicaid & ObamaCare
c) the Post Office
d) free education
e) government

10) Don't worry about giving up your rights, it is only temporary. And besides, the fascists are your friends.

“If the Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections.”
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Essay #103 "The Distinction EVIL (Redux)"

Evil is simply the dis-empowerment of oneself or another being.

•       Warfare, between gangs or tribes or nations.
•       Homicide or suicide.
•       Genocide.
•       Terrorism.

        All the above are obvious and terrible dis-empowerments, the taking of somebody's life.
        But there is also:

•       Theft, of so many kinds, from plagiarism to safe-cracking to 'white-collar' crime to shoplifting, to the theft of reputation by slander or libel.
•       Assault.
•       Kidnapping.
•       Piracy.
•       The illegal drug business.
•       Pimping and prostitution.

        All such crimes are dis-empowerment.

        The two groups of examples above are indefensible and obvious evils; the examples that follow will be defended.

•       Bigotry, whether based on race or creed or origin.
•       The entrenched class system, within a society.
•       Carnal knowledge of children.
•       Cheating on taxes or on tests or on spouses.
•       Family violence, but also subtler forms of child or spouse abuse; the violence of fraternity or sorority hazing; abusive treatment of animals; practical jokes.
•       Slavery, including economic slavery.
•       The subjugation of women by a society; other forms of sexism and ageism; pornography.
•       Religious intolerance and discrimination.

        Yes, you can bet that these latter examples will be defended. In fact, for many readers, your False Mind is defending them right now!
        The only argument against the list immediately above is that these actions dis-empower – and that is the only argument necessary.

        But then, there are also the really subtle dis-empowerments:

•       Telling a child that he/she is 'not good enough', once or over a period of years.
•       Passing over excellence in favor of the common or mediocre.
•       Social strata, from the schoolyard to the United Nations.
•       Scoff-law practices, such as: parking in handicapped zones; tossing empty beer cans, or any trash, out of moving vehicles; running red or yellow traffic lights; smoking tobacco where prohibited; jaywalking.
•       Rudeness, from cutting lines to talking during artistic performances to high-pressure sales tactics to modern 'road rage'.
•       Stiffing the wait-person and-or putting less than your fair share on the table for the check.
•       All gossip – even if it is objectively true.
•       Spurious lawsuits. Heck: most lawsuits.

        And the U.S. Republican Party deserves their own section, because they advocate:
•       Subjugation of women and minorities.
•       Reversal of Constitutional precedent, including Separation of Church and State.
•       Blatant lying, to the extent of Fox News editing President Obama's speeches for false reporting.
•       Election fraud, as recently attempted in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
•       Admiration of fascist operatives like Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan - too many to list.
•       Giving ruthless corporations a free hand in pollution, economic piracy, financial trickery, and bribery & extortion in politics.
        "If the Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections."

        Every instance where someone 'gets away with something', some other person or persons have been dis-empowered. We are all very well trained in dis-empowerment. And we dis-empower ourselves by allowing others to perpetrate such acts.
*          *          *          *
        There are only two natural human fears; that is, only two fears already in humans at birth. These two natural fears are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears in human beings are learned.
        Most fears are intentionally taught. All encouragement or teaching or training for abstract and non-natural fears is dis-empowerment. The family, the school system, religion – all are designed to teach their innocent charges the proper fears, ones that will make them – you! – properly-conditioned minions: willing soldiers in the Corporate Wars, nice and quiet Stepford Wives, obedient consumers of plastic trash, numbed voters for 'the lesser of two evils'.
        Some fears, however, may be not so much taught as they are learned by the individual in reaction to circumstances: agoraphobia, claustrophobia, xenophobia, and other such vague yet powerful fears that lodge in the subconscious and dictate an individual's behavior. This is dis-empowerment of oneself, to decide that 'I will never...' or 'I can't...' or 'we dare not...', each based on some sudden, unforeseen event in the past and its aftermath, perpetuated by a long-forgotten decision embedded deep in the psyche. Dis-empowerment from others follows in the form of agreement that the fear is valid or real or permanent.
        It is quite valid to fear 'The Tiger', my symbol for real danger. But such fear is valid and natural only when The Tiger is literally present, when the danger is real and imminent. Fear of a possible Tiger or fear based on a report of a Tiger or fear of a Tiger [event] that occurred years ago will take root in the psyche only to the extent that the person is already dis-empowered by him/herself and by others. The constant fear-inducing barrage delivered by the media is only part of the problem – You tune in, don't you? Your False Mind loves giving you more fear-mongering input.
        The antidote to these unnatural fears is always Objective Reality. When faced with a real Tiger, the real emergency causes one to invoke responses based on Objective Reality, such as the standard responses of 'fight or flight': either battle the real-world Tiger or get the hell out! When the False Mind generates a fake Tiger – based on some memory or feeling, not on a real Tiger – one is dis-empowered because neither fight nor flight has any effect on a fake Tiger.
        So the antidote to fear is Objective Reality, which can be located via the Working Mind: Am I really in danger? What is really going on here? What should I do about this [about this fake Tiger]?
        The Culture-Structure uses simple scare tactics, by which you have been taught that many fake Tigers await your least misstep, ready to pounce and destroy you and your loved ones. The priests of religion and of academia, the priests of commerce and of war have you convinced that unless you obey every anti-Reason False Value [or deity-given Law] that they offer, that then you are destined to rot in Hell {Chapter 10} for all eternity, or watch your children burn in a nuclear holocaust, or never attain some form of tenure, like a pension, and thus sentence yourself to later-life years of grinding poverty.
        The choice provided by the Culture-Structure is always between obeying False Values or ostracism: 'my way or the high-way'. The Culture-Structure will not offer the choice of Empowerment; the Culture-Structure wants you to live in fear. Franklin D. Roosevelt was not kidding when he said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." The other pertinent saying is "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the hero dies but one."
        Learn to face the fake Tigers in Life, the ones that your False Mind and the Culture-Structure make up to keep you dis-empowered. The development of your Working Mind will produce this result.

*          *          *          *
        Evil is simply the dis-empowerment of oneself or another being.
        Or the dis-empowerment of Nature.

        All the stuff of our existence was not put here on Planet Earth 'for a purpose'. You can argue that matter, but you can only cite belief for your argument.
        We are indeed here, on this blue orb circling a star-sun named Sol. And the birds and beasts of the field and of the sea are here, all the flora and fauna. That is objectively obvious. We are here, and we call ourselves 'Mankind'. And that which is here with Mankind is available for use. Mankind has long-established rules of property and so on to manage things.
        But that which is here alongside Mankind is not available for wanton destruction.

•       Poisons in our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans, and in the soil.
•       The entire technology of hydraulic fracturing, known as 'fracking'.
•       Toxins in the air, and the destruction of the ozone layer.
•       Alar on apples, or any other nasty agricultural chemicals.
•       The Pandora's Box of unregulated genetically modified anything.
•       Corporate abandonment of clear-cut forests and of strip-mined valleys and hillsides.
•       Endangerment, even extinction, of entire species for the profit of some corporation that is headquartered half a world away.
•       Burning of the Amazon, Indonesian or any other watershed.
•       All the behaviors that contribute to global warming, down to leaving lights burning unnecessarily.

        Such destruction, however minor and traditional and 'necessary', weakens the Planet, our Holy Biosphere, by its steady onslaught. This Culture-Structure-sanctioned destruction of the environment, the sum of the practices of millions and billions of unthinking residents of the Holy Biosphere, steadily weakens the ability of Mankind to survive.
        This too is dis-empowerment.

Evil is simply the dis-empowerment of oneself or another being.

[copyright 1999 & 2002 & 2013 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

The preceding is Chapter Four of my forthcoming book, "Working Minds: A Philosophy of Empowerment" and was published as Issue #27 of the WMail ezine in September 2002.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Website Statistics for 2012

The website statistics for my many websites were gathered together on January First, and posted on my Annual Website Statistics Page. Too much info to include here (and the Blogger editor is a supreme hassle for coding tables), so here is the link and here is a very short summary:

I constructed 136 new pages last year for a total of 1,236, and coded 2,172 new book/DVD line items for a total of 17,936 on all the websites. Also I now have 321 connections on LinkedIn and posted a total of 45 essays or quotation pages or news factoid pages to this blog (this post is #255).

G.E. Nordell main website
Rick Walker, P.I. detective novels
Dateline Chamesa weblog [est. 2005]

Maison d'Etre Philosophy Bookstore & Beatnik Coffeehouse
BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Magic Lantern Video & Book Store
'Readers of the Purple Sage' Western Bookstore
Spirit of America Bookstore

The Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved