About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oloudah Equiano - ex-slave whose autobiography detailed horrors of the "Trade"

First of all, the term "Slave Trade" is not appropriate. Very little "exchange" was involved, on anyone's part. The very core of this criminal enterprise was theft and usurpation.

Secondly, we note that the existence of a "2d class" of humanity was and is impossible to justify, on any cognizable "ground" other than criminality -- to take what can be taken from those unable to prevent the taking.

I was amazed to see the name Oloudah Equiano resurrected in the film, AMAZING GRACE (written by Stephen Knight, directed by Michael Apted 2006). Equiano was one of the "disappeared" -- an accurate and brave historian of the facts, who wrote an autobiography detailing the horrors of the Middle Passage across the Atlantic. And then , as was done to Frederick Douglas, and countless others, those who stole the lives of those who were enslaved, very successfully deleted the evidence. Almost. Almost.

Is there a single Great Movie about our Founders?

There is no question that the Founders of the United States in the late 1700's were a brave and interesting bunch. Americans seem to recognize this fact, and its significance TO THE WORLD, by buying a huge number of books about the Founders. Does it seem odd, at all, that NOT ONE good movie has been made devoted to the achievements and sacrifices of a single one of the Founders? Methinks it would be huge, if only The Business would take the trouble to make it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Confessions of a Bottom Feeder

Truth to tell, my reputation is bad. For one thing, this sort of "goes with the territory" for attorneys. We are drawn into conflicts where mud is currency. Even the finest characters find themselves covered with splatter, especially those with courage who are not filled with fear for their precious "reputation" as the fur begins to fly. An "attorney" who has never been savaged, never accused of ANYTHING, has probably done very little, or has never represented anyone in any kind of trouble.

Secondly, I have actually TRIED to get into trouble. I was looking for it. Interestingly, I thought lawyers had a sort of public duty to ferret out the wrong-doers. Not content with helping "victims", someone has to actually PURSUE the wrongdoer, make them accountable. Well...that is not going to go down quietly. Wrongdoers do not hesitate, in fact they are the first, to scream accusations. Oh, how "injured" they pretend to be, how the foulers cry "foul", when caught.

Finally, I STARTED my career by offending, entirely inadvertently, Justice Gardiner's highly-developed sense of self-importance. As the incorporator of the first professional "paralegal" organization in Orange County, my name was brought to his attention, and he has punished me ever since. Even now, decades after "paralegals" have become widely-accepted members of the team across every field of law practice, my name was already "associated" with an ancient impropriety -- something unauthorized THEN, albeit acceptable now.

Others are now able to benefit from the development of a more complex, layered, multi-professional practice using "paralegals". But once Justice Gardiner condemned our efforts, my career became a political football, as other judges seeking Gardiner's approval, caught the short-sighted and baseless hysteria.

As President Wilson said, if you want to make powerful enemies, just try making things better.

Hence, to shorten the long story, the reduction of my practice. From work in the office of the counsel to the President of the United States (Kalmbach's librarian when he counseled Nixon in Newport Beach), I am now picking up the cases which are resting on the bottom. And it is a surprisingly rich flow. There is more here, in the darkness, than ever meets the eye....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Theme: To screed or not to screed; why, why not?

TO NOT WRITE:

1. Great Ones do not write
For example, Jesus, Buddha, Socrates.
The more recent religious leaders who
appear to have written certain texts,
actually have an accepted tradition
to the contrary: Mohammad, Smith.

In Mohammad's case, the Quran was
dictated by him to women who could write.
He said he received the revelations
directly from the angel Gabriel.

In the case of Joseph Smith, the
Book of Mormon (1830) was a compilation of
of many ancient prophets, abridged by a
prophet historian named Mormon,
supplemented by his son Moroni (421 AD),
and revealed to Smith through translation
by two stones (the Urim and Thummim).

2. Look at the numbers. Scholars were already
at their limit in Gutenberg's day. Now, with
miles of books/writings pouring in DAILY...it
is obvious there is no great need for more.
Few can apply knowledge; few have ever
been much improved by reading of morals.
The engine of improvement has been compilations
of Science and How To Books. And it's a
bit late in the day to mark your contribution
to this deluge.

3.

TO WRITE:

1. The small and unaccomplished do not write.
As for the Great Ones who supposedly did not
write, SOMEBODY next to the Great Ones,
DID write. And it is implausible, however
it is preached, that "oral" teachings were
somehow memorized, transcribed, or taken down.
The quality of The Written is remarkable and
invariably worthwhile to someone in some function.

2. It is RELATIVELY SAFE to read and write.
As Chesterton put it:
["The Man Who Was Thursday" (7)].

..."Between us, by the peace of God,
Such truth can now be told:
Yes, there is strength in striking root,
And good in growing old.
We have found common things at last,
And marriage and a creed,
And I may safely write it now,
And you may safely read."

3. It is wildly therapeutic; nonpareiled.

4. Writing, with the benefits of speech, but
inside the alpha recording of a Time-Machine which
allows us to Go Back, reflect; in this sense,
it may even be "progressive", enabling one
to reflect on error and improve.

5. It is certainly collegial. You get a "jury"
of comments, many of which are breath-taking
in their insight.