Category Archives: Quotes

Crucial lesson in understanding by Dr. Rick J.

My first job out of college was as a newbie Engineer/Programmer hybrid at GE Power Generation Engineering. I was teamed with a gifted engineer, Dr. Rick J., for one early project. Working late one evening driven by determination while addled by advancing (likely Mountain Dew fueled) punchiness (not a sanctioned suffix admittedly) he asked if I understood and I said yes to which he retorted.

“No, grasshopper. The first step in the journey to true understanding is understanding that you will never reach a point of full understanding.”

To which I retorted:

“Ah, so once I understand that I truly do not understand I will have attained the first level of understanding.”

So on and so forth back and forth until we realized that we had a witness to our caffeine based lunacy in the form of another colleague working late down the aisle who laughed out loud and declared that we had lost it and needed to go home.

We listened. But, his words, at least in part meant in jest, stayed with me as it contained a truth. Like my father taught me as a child in order to grow I needed to:

“Never be so stupid as to think that you know everything and have nothing left to learn.” -RLW

12.3% and “Give us the ballot” -Martin Luther King, Jr. with Voter Lookup Widget

“It brings me to tears hearing … how important it is to vote, for the people that lost their lives, when we’ve had to almost try to convince people to utilize this precious tool.”
-JOHN GASKIN, MISSOURI NAACP

“This year, just 12.3% of eligible voters cast a ballot, according to numbers provided by the county (Ferguson). In 2013 and 2012, those figures were even lower: 11.7% and 8.9% respectively.” -MSNBC

12.3%…

12.3%!

For certain immediate action is needed in response to this tragedy, and justice needs to be served… and voices should continue to be raised until that Constitution backed justice is put in to action across the board… but if after time passes, after people calm down, after the protest numbers decline, after curfews are rescinded, after Police Chiefs and politicians finish their asinine press conferences, after the police put their tear gas, assault rifles, tanks and other surplus military supplies back on the shelf for now, after pundits stop pontificating… if after all this the voting booths our ancestors fought so hard to make available to us stay vacant there is no hope for real, long-term, sustainable change.

I would add more, but Martin Luther King, Jr. covered this quite eloquently and much more effectively than I ever could many years ago.

“First, politics is the process by which we in a democracy create laws from our beliefs. Second, politics is the process of determining who gets how much of the whats, wheres, and hows in five areas: income, education, health care, housing, and justice…

On that bright spring day in 1957, at a time when civil rights activists were focused upon the efficacy of action in the courts, the prayer rooms, and the streets of America, Dr. King pointed the way to the efficacy of action in the voting booths. If we go to the polls to vote, he said, then we can elect people who understand our beliefs—and who will create public policy and practice from that understanding. And the vote gives us power: We have a say in what goes where, and how, in those five essential elements of living.

“Give us the ballot,” he said.”

The Honorable Walter E. Fauntroy

“Give Us The Ballot” Introduction,

“A Call To Conscience”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

[voterinfotool]

What Happened to the Roosevelts? – Rob Goodman – POLITICO Magazine

An interesting read…

“Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the Fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.” -FDR

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/what-happened-to-the-roosevelts-111686.html#.VDdYJvTD9Ds

12.3% and “Give us the ballot” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It brings me to tears hearing … how important it is to vote, for the people that lost their lives, when we’ve had to almost try to convince people to utilize this precious tool.”
-JOHN GASKIN, MISSOURI NAACP

“This year, just 12.3% of eligible voters cast a ballot, according to numbers provided by the county (Ferguson). In 2013 and 2012, those figures were even lower: 11.7% and 8.9% respectively. As a rule, the lower the turnout, the more the electorate skews white and conservative.” -MSNBC

12.3%.

For certain immediate action is needed in response to this tragedy, and justice needs to be served… and voices should continue to be raised until that Constitution backed justice is put in to action across the board… but if after time passes, after people calm down, after the protest numbers decline, after curfews are rescinded, after Police Chiefs and politicians finish their asinine press conferences, after the police put their tear gas, assault rifles, tanks and other surplus military supplies back on the shelf for now, after pundits stop pontificating… if after all this the voting booths our ancestors fought so hard to make available to us stay vacant there is no hope for real, long-term, sustainable change.

I would add more, but Martin Luther King, Jr. covered this quite eloquently and much more effectively than I ever could many years ago.

“First, politics is the process by which we in a democracy create laws from our beliefs. Second, politics is the process of determining who gets how much of the whats, wheres, and hows in five areas: income, education, health care, housing, and justice…

On that bright spring day in 1957, at a time when civil rights activists were focused upon the efficacy of action in the courts, the prayer rooms, and the streets of America, Dr. King pointed the way to the efficacy of action in the voting booths. If we go to the polls to vote, he said, then we can elect people who understand our beliefs—and who will create public policy and practice from that understanding. And the vote gives us power: We have a say in what goes where, and how, in those five essential elements of living.

“Give us the ballot,” he said.”

The Honorable Walter E. Fauntroy

“Give Us The Ballot” Introduction,

“A Call To Conscience”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Walter Cronkite quote excerpt from “Why I left 60 Minutes” by Charles Lewis

“the networks, including my own, do a first-rate job of disseminating the news, but all of them have third-rate news-gathering organizations. We are still basically dependent on the wire services. We have barely dipped our toe into investigative reporting.” -Walter Cronkite, excerpt from “Why I left 60 Minutes” by Charles Lewis

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/chuck-lewis-60-minutes-108415.html#ixzz369QuOEBR

Simple truth. Network and cable news are for profit entities. It is about ratings, not a public service. -ELW

Dadism and extended RNF – “Don’t talk, do.” -RLW

My father taught much by Dadism, lecture, and justified admonition, but he taught me more by his actions. Of the many unspoken lessons the one that stands above all others is:

“Don’t talk, do.” -RLW

He never spoke the phrase. He lived it. Most of my childhood my father drove truck…

  • Let’s put a pin in that ramble for a moment to lift up the significance of semantics. My father drove truck. As a child I thought, and still think, there was little else cooler than being at the wheel of a big rig. One day I called my father a truck driver and he politely stopped me and offered, “I choose to drive truck so your Mother and I can put food on the table, a roof over our heads, provide you with an education, and one day retire comfortably. For that I am appreciative, but I am not a truckdriver. That is a very limiting term. A job is to finance ones life, not become ones life.” In that one exchange my mind was opened up to the truth that no matter where we are in life we are to define ourselves and not allow our situations to define us. And we are back in 1, 2, 3…

… and one day I received a call from my Father who is not a big phone guy. It was outside of our traditional Thursday night post Cosby Show (yep, I am old) weekly wrap up so this was kind of a big deal. The reason? For my junior and senior years of college I was 90 miles deeper in to upstate NY than my home town, which was already pretty deep upstate (although those in Plattsburgh and Buffalo may beg to differ. Middle state?). He would be coming through town and wanted to know if I was free to meet up. Always a yes. I do not remember the exact topics of discussion, but this day sits above all others among my college memories. The picture above is the picture I took of my father crossing the street to meet up that day. (I have kept a camera handy for a long time.)

At the start of my college career my parents dropped me off at the alma mater of my Uncles in NC. Loving words and goodbyes were exchanged and they returned home to NY.

By the time this picture was taken my college career had taken a less than conventional path that found me in Utica, NY (Go whatever the SUNY Tech sports team was named!). But he never withdrew the promise of an education spoken to me as a young child.

His old school Alabama upbringing meant the words I, love and you were not thrown around in that order willy-nilly. But when my belief in myself faltered he believed in me enough to carry me through.

He never went on and on about how to be a good husband, father, and a man in great detail. But his never raising his voice nor speaking an unkind word to my Mother or myself spoke volumes.

Silent. Strong. Calm. Wise. Ever present.

Don’t talk, do. Saying is fine, but doing is what matters. Apologies are fine and necessary at times, but it is better to live ones life so they are few and far between. Excuses never.

In a world often obsessed with empty words and promises with little or no action to back them up this is one of the greatest lessons that one can learn.

Recently someone compared me to my father. While I have a long way to go to merit such a comparison I can think of no greater compliment.

-ELW