Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Rules

Unfortunately, when I first started this list I wasn’t expecting to publish anything. As a history buff I noticed that the patterns of life kept repeating and therefore it was for my own edification that I started creating this list. Consequently I didn’t track who said what initially, and I can’t remember where all of this information came from. I have sent "The Rules" to many of my friends and they all have said the same thing…..This is great; why don’t you publish it. My answer is always the same. Many of these rules are completely mine. However, some are a combination of my thoughts and the thoughts of others and some are completely the thoughts of others; so to publish it as my own would be plagiarism. The number and configuration will shift as time goes by as I intend to update "The Rules" occasionally. However, under the understanding that I am not the originator of everything listed below, I would like to share “The Rules” with you. Best wishes. Enjoy! Rich Kozlovich

1. Every problem has a solution. You may not have the necessary facts and understanding. You may not have enough money or the necessary technology. You may not have the will or desire to find it and if you do; you may not like the solution. None of this changes the fact the solution exists.

2. Dunn’s First Law. With enough idiots, you don't need a conspiracy.

3. Wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding.

4. What does it take to be the smartest person in the world? You have to understand six things.
•First, everything is the basics.
•Second, some things really are right and some things really are wrong.
•Third, there really is such a thing as good and evil in the world.
•Fourth, everything has an historical context.
•Fifth, everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality.
•Sixth, you need the balancing effect of other people’s personalities in your life.
5. Why do we all do really stupid things? Because we don’t think. Why don’t we think? Because we aren’t taught how to think, we are taught what to think. Clear thinking requires an understanding of seven things.
•First; we have to be smart. A good IQ helps, but learning a great deal about a great many things is more important.
•Second; pay attention. Reality should bear some resemblance to what we are told.
•Third; anticipate events. To do this you must be able to see far, deep and wide. That requires some deep thinking on a great many small things.
•Fourth; the combination of being smart, paying attention and anticipating events is called analysis. We must put the information together in some sort of logical order.
•Fifth; we have to be aware that even with knowledge and analysis we can still draw the wrong conclusions and the end result is that we will do something stupid
•Sixth; not thinking at all and thinking badly amounts to the same thing. We do stupid things.
•Seventh; how do we avoid thinking badly? That isn’t always possible, but as we gain experience in life and have a keen insight into history and understand that traditional values have stood the test of time we have a better than average chance of not doing as many stupid things as everyone else over the course of a lifetime.
6. Everything is “the basics”. See things in their simplest possible terms. Focus on the root of the problem. All problems are simple and have simple solutions. It’s the ancillary problems that keep getting attached to the primary problem that make it seem complicated. Destroy the basic root problem and the tree dies. The ancillary problems fall to the ground and take root as separate problems, which can then be easily overcome. Don’t let your ego get in the way of the mission. Leave your personal problems out of it.

7. Look at your feet. Look down the road. Look at the horizon. Look beyond the horizon. Problem solving is thinking and seeing deeper, farther and wider then everyone else.

8. Being able to draw correct conclusions from inadequate facts is a skill that can be developed if you think and see deeply about a great many things on a regular basis.

9. The patterns of life keep repeating.

10. The difference between an opinion and a conclusion may be subtle, but that subtlety is important. Opinions are strongly based on emotions and conclusions are based on facts. Either or both can be wrong; the difference is that those who are concerned about conclusions are willing to follow the facts wherever they may lead.

11. The rules for being right.
•You must have the desire to be right.
•You must be willing to take the time to be right.
•You must be willing to put the effort into being right
•You must have the courage to say so.
•You must have to fortitude to be right, since the onslaught will not be pleasant if being right means being against the conventional wisdom.
•Heterodoxy is not for the faint of heart.
12. All information is worthless by itself. Eventually enough worthless information will fit together into cohesive, insightful thoughts.

13. Some only care about facts. Some only care about emotion. Facts are valueless without application. Application without facts is hysteria. When you balance it all you get something called truth.

14. There are three types of goals. Short term, intermediate and long range goals. Do your best to not mess up the long-range goals to accommodate the short and intermediate range goals.

15. Know who your friends are and who your enemies are. If it’s personal, destroy them. You can’t change them. If it’s business, work it out, there’s usually room for compromise. If it is personal being disguised as business, compromise as cheerfully as you can when you can. This will give you time to expose and destroy them.

16. If you truly are a leader you will have a few friends, a few allies, some enemy allies and a lot of enemies.

Friends are small in number. Just because you are their friend they will stand solid through thick and thin. When they disagree with you they will often be silent because you are their friend and they are prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt. They may support you in some way in the background. When they agree with you they may or may not be vocal, but they will support you to the hilt. Their support works well over the long haul. You must never betray that friendship for any gain of any kind.

Allies may or may not be friends. Allies will be issue oriented. If you are their friend it may be because you are on their side. They will give you the benefit of the doubt, but if you drift too far from their paradigm they will openly abandon you since the issues are more important to them than friendship. They can be trusted to a large degree. Since the issues they support are obvious, it is fairly easy to know when they will abandon you. You must never lie, cheat, steal of undermine your integrity with this group. Once that happens they will never forgive you. All of these ones will be potential rivals for leadership.

Enemy allies will go back and forth depending on how the issue affects them. They cannot be trusted at all since their motives are totally self-serving. They can be temporary allies only, but can be used when it suits your purpose. How you deal with them will affect how much support you can maintain from your friends and allies. Many times these people have egos far larger than their talent or intelligence. Dealing with this group may require you to be somewhat self deprecating and you may have to tolerate a certain amount of personal attacks and abuse in order to keep them unaware that you know who and what they are in order to attain your goals. Eventually you will have to crush them. Never let them know that they don’t have the upper hand before you do it.

Enemies will stand against you no matter what. It doesn’t matter what you do to them or for them as they will do everything in their power to crush you. Their hate may be silent, but it is very real and insidious. How you deal with them will also affect your relationship with your friends and allies. Enemy allies will gleefully join with them in an effort to crush you if it looks like they have a chance to win. You must never give them any ammunition that will allow them to attack your integrity that has any basis in reality. You must do everything you can to destroy their influence, but you must maintain your integrity while doing so.

Since the numbers will fluctuate within those groups, the real trick is to determine who these people are. It is very hard to plumb the depths of people’s personalities and qualities. You will have to test the waters of their character to find out. This can be a painful and time consuming experience, but a leader must know who are his friends, who are his allies, who his enemy allies and who his enemies are or he will not be a leader very long, nor will he accomplish very much. You must continually test these qualities, as it is difficult to know when someone changes or for what reason. Effective leadership requires it. After all, wasn’t it Caesar who said Etu Brute?

17. Never mistake amiability, humility or modesty as weakness. Those are positive qualities indicating strong character and moral foundation, which is a powerful platform to do battle from.

18. Know the difference between compromise and capitulation.

19. Never let anyone know your respect is unattainable, otherwise they will stop trying to attain it.

20. Every enemy has a boss.

21. If a friend turns on you once, never forget, they WILL do it again.

22. Easily forgive others. You may need it back someday.

23. Life is bank account of good will. If you never make any deposits, you can never make any withdrawals.

24. If you’re pleasant to everyone you never know what seeds you have planted for the future. Even if nothing grows from those seeds you will have lived a pleasant life.

25. Smile! It makes you enjoyable to be around and drives your enemies crazy.

26. Be sure your right. If you’re right, the facts will support you. Be prepared to defend your position. Never back down. You can side step, back up, maneuver, but never back down, unless you’re wrong; then apologize

27. Knowing what’s right is not the same as doing what’s right.

28. In a war between the barbarians and the wimps the barbarians will win every time.

29. The best lesson in strategy I ever had was a conversation related by a U.S. Army Major who while at the Paris Peace Talks discussed the Vietnam War with a N. Vietnamese Colonel. He told the Colonel “you never beat us.” The Colonel replied. “Does it matter?” Moral of this story? He who lasts the longest wins.

30. Everything has a window of opportunity. When that window closes the opportunity ends.

31. We are all entitled to our own opinions but only one set of facts and opinions aren’t fact………Daniel Patrick Moynihan

32. Laugh at yourself. No matter what they told you in school, you aren’t really all that special. Just ask everyone else.

33. You can say the most terrible things to people if you say it with affection and a smile.

34. If you want someone to hear you, say something negative about them. They are bound to be with-in hearing distance.

35. Outline a plan. It drives your enemies crazy, makes your friends proud and impresses everyone else.

36. Never violate your integrity to make a point. Just open the closets and let everyone see what’s inside for themselves.

37. Never lie, cheat or steal. Even your enemies will respect and trust you for it, and they can never get anyone to believe otherwise about you.

38. Never be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Never be unwilling to find out.

39. Be gracious to others and graciously accept praise from others. Deflect too much praise away from yourself to others.

40. Always commend and recognize what others have contributed, even if it’s only silence

41. Most people don’t get any older than 19. There is a handful that gets over 30. The numbers who get past 50 is miniscule. Work on that for a while. It will be a good intellectual exercise.

42. The most worthless people in the world are bar people. They never get beyond a mediocre level of understanding, intelligence or knowledge and will accept any stupidity as long as they can be accepted by the herd of their fellow bar people. The leader of which is the loudest, biggest and scariest. He is usually surrounded by a band of sycophants who would love to be the loudest, biggest and scariest but will settle for being accepted by the one that is. The most interesting thing about bar people is that anyone who disagrees with the general consensus of loud, stupid, unending commentaries about things of which they know nothing about, is called opinionated. There are a lot of bar people in the world that don’t go to bars.

43. Some people are just dumb and some people are just lazy. Most dumb people aren’t really dumb; they’re dumb because they’re lazy.

44. The skull cavity of human beings is interesting. It can hold the most gigantic ego in the world while housing the smallest intellect.

45. I have often heard is said that someone is too smart for their own good. Is that worse than being too stupid for their own good?

46. We have way too many people that are overeducated and under smart. This bodes well the question; is it better to be over educated and under smart or over smart and under educated? The correct answer to that is more complicated than it appears.

47. There is a big difference between having formal education without experience and having experience without formal education. Which is best? Best is relative. Experience without formal education is best for getting things accomplished. Why? Because formal education and self-education amount to accumulated knowledge. The difference is that it is one’s experience in life makes that knowledge useful. Formal education actually teaches you what to think, whereas a self educated person has had to learn how to think. Unfortunately, only those with formal education are given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to jobs and position. It all depends on one’s goals and view of life.

48. All through time the educated classes have worried about the uneducated classes. At times they worried they would stop being ignorant and become educated. At other times they worried that they weren’t being educated enough, ensuring ignorance. With the level of ignorance of the educated classes we now have parity. Now everyone has to worry about the ignorant.

49. Lack of reading definitely causes ignorance.

50. Nothing will make a person more miserable than convincing them that everything they believe in is stupid. No effort will generate more anger.

51. People hate information. It interferes with a good time and may require changes or effort. Worse yet it makes them responsible.

52. It is impossible to explain anything to people who are so ignorant that they don’t even know they are ignorant. Worse yet, they think they have all the answers when they don’t even know the questions. In order to teach them the truth you have to first teach them what is inaccurate. Since they like being ignorant you are spitting into the wind. Of course they must defend their level of ignorance by attacking you personally and then become ignorant and stupid. If there is a crowd they will resort to consensus stupidity and do it with great glee.

53. In my youth I used to think that if you explained something properly everyone would see the logic of what you were saying and come to the same conclusions that you came to. As I grow older I have come to realize that kind of thinking leaves out an important reality. All you are doing is trying to convince them that everything they believe is wrong, which is bound to get an emotional response, since they already know that they possess the moral high ground. An argument in opposition to their position based on facts and logic only gets you labeled as someone who is a stupid opinionated jerk who is out of step with the latest philosophical flavor of the day commonly known as conventional wisdom. The amount of time spent trying to present a logical argument (worse yet if you have a lot of facts to support your position) to anyone with this level of moral superiority is an effort in futility. Especially when that position is fortified by an inordinate level of ignorance. Save yourself from all that frustration and remember the Biblical admonition about not throwing “your pearls before swine.”

54. In the long run the inability to put together facts and logic in some understandable order will not be offset by attacking the motives and character of someone who disagrees with you. That is a short term tactic that will eventually backfire on you. The other part of this that amazes me is when all else is lost they abandon any illusion of argumentation and just attack you personally. None of which has anything to do with what is being discussed. If you do this with a liberal, he will blow his stack and scream invectives and personally insult you. That seems to be the most effective way of shutting out intelligent discussion.

55. One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people's motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans-- anything except reason. Thomas Sowell

56. What is the mission of the environmentalists? To spread the truth! No matter how many lies it takes.

57. The bulk of those in the environmental movement are so enthralled with their vision of creating a “natural” world that they can’t see the real disasters they have created. The fact that they are all basically misanthropic in their views may be the reason for that.

58. Those commonly referred to as the “left” want rights to become crimes and crimes to become rights. Thomas Sowell

59. I keep hearing nonsensical statements repeated over and over again until everyone believes them. That doesn’t make them truthful.

60. It has been said that knowledge is power but, politically, power trumps knowledge, philosophy trumps fact and emotion trumps intelligence. In the day-to-day world, biology trumps all of them. Discipline is the power that governs knowledge, philosophy, facts, emotion, intelligence and biology. Discipline is the real power, all the rest are tools.

61. People keep making the same mistakes over and over again because they can’t admit they’re wrong. Even when all the evidence shows how wrong they are. It’s easier to tread down the well-worn paths of their minds rather then cut a new road through the jungle.

62. Humans are capable of reaching up to the greatest heights and descending to the lowest depths. Anyone is capable of anything. It might even be said that everyone is capable of everything.

63. Everyone lies.

64. The thing all humans have in common is they’re human.

65. When you get old you find that you don’t have enough time left to fix your mistakes unless they’re little ones.

66. Listening is better than talking. If you insist on talking, learn to listen, think and plan while you’re talking, that way you can stay ahead. Listening is better than talking. It makes thinking and planning easier.

67. When someone is talking to you give them the courtesy of your attention. You never know when they will say something really smart. If your mind should wander during a conversation they will know, so just stop them and apologize and ask them if they would please repeat what they were saying. Strange as it may seem, they will appreciate you all the more.

68. Like people for who they are and what they do, not what they have.

69. Most people really have no idea who or what they really are.

70. The most important thing to remember about being a rational creature is that you can rationalize so easily.

71. Knowing and being honest about yourself as to whom and what you really are is the key to knowing who and what others are. That can and will be an unpleasant exercise, but you can’t fix your shortcomings if you don’t recognize them and you can’t properly evaluate and deal with them in others. If you can read yourself, reading everyone else is simplified.

72. When people like you or are good to you, you need to try and find something to like about them. It’s good emotional and intellectual exercise.

73. A little guilt reflection keeps your head on right, but dwelling over long on the woulda, shoulda, and coulda’s destroys your self worth and your ability to move on.

74. Focusing solely on the poison of the ills and injustices of the past poisons our ability to see the opportunities of the future…Thomas Sowell

75. If you want to find out what a person is really like, find out how they treat the least important person in their life.

76. Respect is a mixture of fear and affection.

77. They don’t read your resume at the funeral.

78. Regarding Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson once said “he was chicken manure (actually he used another term). Sometime later at an event he greeting Nixon cheerily, shook his hand and acted like an old friend. When reminded of his previous comment Johnson said “In Washington yesterday’s chicken “manure” becomes today’s chicken salad.” No matter who you are you still have to work and deal with people.

79. Those that like talking about problems hate it when you talk about solutions. Those that talk about what needs to be done hate those that actually are capable of doing them.

80. Many in prominent positions are only good at being prominent.

81. There are two types of people in the world. The Winston Churchills and the Neville Chamberlains. Chamberlain was one of the go-along-get-along guys. Everyone likes them, as they are agreeable. Everyone hates the Churchills because they are opinionated, out spoken and in disagreement with the go-a-long-get-a-long crowd. When the Chamberlains screw everything up they all turn to the Churchills. After the Chruchills fix everything they can’t wait to get rid of them. Why? Because they don’t know how to go-along to get-along.

82. There are two types of people in the world. The McNamaras and the Iococas. McNamara, a Harvard wiz-kid type understood the bottom line on everything. Iacoca understood the automobile industry and Americans love for cars. McNamara contribution was the Falcon. Iacoca’s contribution was the Mustang.

83. There are only two types of people in the world. The privileged and the masses. The privileged only want to maintain their privileges and the masses only want security. If neither one of those groups feel threatened as a group you can reach in and pluck out any individual or group of individuals out of either of those groups and the rest of the group will not only thinks it’s ok, they will find reasons why it was necessary for you to do it. If either one of the groups feels threatened as a group, they will destroy you…Machiavellian concept

84. We tolerate despotism because of the things that we own - Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

85. When people have nothing to lose, no risk is too great.

86. Most people only want three hots and a cot. If that isn’t jeopardized you can get them to go along with almost anything.

87. Experts should be on tap, not on top.

88. Bean Counters and Concept people: Bean Counters are usually neat, detail oriented and petty. They are not concept people and hate those that are. Concept people are sloppy, their thoughts going off in 100 directions at the same time, not good at details, hate pettiness and are wrong a lot, but when they are right it’s usually a big thing and pays the bean counters salary. Bean counters don’t believe in the need for new concepts or concept people because all they do is change everything and will cause bean counters more work or worse, different work. Concept people know they need the bean counters to take care of the details. Concept people must be in charge of bean counters as they can adapt. Bean counters will fight to the death (yours, not theirs) to maintain the status quo. They give the impression (and believe it) they understand all things because they understand the numbers. They are smug and insidious but not courageous. They would coldly do to others what they would shed a waterfall of tears for if it was done to them. They are finger pointers and enjoy the failure of others. They never saw a mistake they couldn’t pin on someone else. Never let a bean counter get it over you or think he has it over you. If you want to appease a bean counter at the start of the conversation say, “Its my fault, I’m sorry, how can I fix this’. Sitting behind a desk all day long has the tendency to make them nasty and rude and inconsiderate since their little area is an empire to them and they are king of that empire. Every bean counter has a boss. They have to be put in their place regularly. You can hire a Kelly Girl to count your beans. Bean counters hate the boss. Bureaucrats and bean counters are interchangeable. The only thing they either of them lack that prevents them from becoming politicians is a personality.

89. Bureaucrats are smart people who can’t, whose job it is to find fault with smart people who can.

90. “You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing. If you have been living in a world where outcomes are everything, you may have a very hard time understanding bureaucratic thinking or practices.” Thomas Sowell

91. If it is simple a bureaucrat will hate it.

92. Bureaucrats need activity. It is their substitute for actually accomplishing something worthwhile.

93. All public servants are aliens from another planet. How do we know this? Because they claim to be the only ones that are capable of understanding the complex problems facing mankind and the only ones with the answers which the rest of us are incapable of understanding. That means they did not originate from the rest of us mundane creatures and therefore must be from another planet or angels.

94. “It is truly a triumph of rhetoric over reality when people can believe that going into politics is "public service," but that producing food, shelter, transportation, or medical care is not. It’s interesting that those that are producers are constantly being condemned by those that are supposed to be in the public's service” who have never really held a real job, started a business, or worse yet, started a business that failed…Thomas Sowell and me.

95. You only need two things to be successful in business. Brains and guts and you can hire brains…Chuck Steinmetz

96. Leadership is like a string. If you grab a hold of it and pull, it will follow along very nicely, but if you get behind it and push, it just folds up on you.

97. If you are in a position of leadership, it is important to be able to see all sides of an issue. You just can’t be on all sides of an issue, if you really want to be a leader.

98. It’s usually easy to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Often times in a leadership role you don’t have the luxury of picking between the two. Often times you have to pick which wrong is the most right. That, is what’s really hard to know.

99. It’s good to know what your good at, what you’re mediocre at and what you stink at. This way it’s easier to determine what your needs are and find someone who’s good at those things.

100. There are no real leaders in the world. There are only those that organize the direction that everyone wants to go. If a person in a leadership role stands up and says “we are all going in the wrong direction” the mob will kill him and put someone else in his place who will continue organizing the direction everyone wants to go.

101. No matter what they teach in business school the boss really doesn’t want someone smarter or more capable than himself under him. Middle management is a job of endless frustration. By hiring people less smart and capable than himself he protects his job but limits his production thereby limiting his upward mobility. His boss did the same thing and will not leave until he retires. When he does they hire someone capable from outside the company who was smarter than his boss but had nowhere up to go. That is why so many get promoted in a company only after they leave and work for someone else for a while

102. If someone is successful at what he is doing, leave him alone. You can’t do his job better than he can and you will probably just screw things up. If someone isn’t doing his job, fix him or fire him.

103. The worst thing you can do to yourself is tolerate negative people. A positive person in a group will pick up the whole group. A negative person in a group will take the whole group down. Here is the secret. If there is a positive person and a negative person in the group the negative one will win. Why? Because it is easier to be negative. Interesting they are usually excellent workers. However, their volume of work doesn’t offset the trouble they cause. Fire anyone negative. You’ll feel much better down the road and so will your employees.  In our personal lives we need to avoid them like the plague since negative people can never be happy and will prevent others from being happy, robbing them of the healthy pleasures of life. 

104. The worst quality a manager can have is the inability to fire. A manager’s unwillingness to face that unpleasantness does a disservice to the company, himself, the other employees and lastly, the one to be fired. Now he is free to get a job he can do. If you kept them overlong due to your failure of duty, you will have to face that unpleasantness anyway and you will have compounded the problem of their incompetence with time. If they are there way too long, their age may begin to work against them in their future job search. The manager should have been fired. The manager’s boss should be looked at very carefully.

105. A good occasional firing gives direction to the company and gets everyone’s head on right.

106. Everyone in the company knows who should be fired except the boss. Make sure that the ones you fire are the right ones

107. A permanent lay off is less expensive than a lawsuit.

108. Most bad employees aren’t really bad employees. They are just in the wrong job.

109. Rewards to the undeserving destroy the morale of the troops and their confidence in the boss.

110. Working smart is better than working hard. Working hard and smart is best.

111. Working long hours isn’t the same as working those hours efficiently.

112. Corruption starts at the top.

113. A company will take on the personality and traits of the boss.

114. If you want to find out why people are doing what they are doing, find out how they are being rewarded.

115. It is a kid’s job to be bad. How else will he find out what the boundaries are? It’s the parent’s job to take advantage of that to help them to understand the rules of life. Adults are big kids. They constantly push the boundaries to see if they have changed.

116. Cheaters are repeaters.

117. Addicted people are always addicted people.

118. Most people who have screwed up their lives have done so because they wouldn’t listen to anyone. Now they want everyone to fix it for them. Just so long as you don’t you dare to ask them to make any changes.

119. No one is ever at fault! Just ask them.

120. The sure fire way to become a loser.
•Ignore traditional values.
•Abuse your mind and body with illegal drugs or booze.
•Watch movies and listen to music that is morally degrading.
•Constantly be self absorbed.
•Never think of others.
•Be easily offended. This way no one will ever be willing to step forward and
•try to help you for fear of offending you.
•Find fault with everyone and everything.
•Constantly be negative.
•Nothing is your fault.
•Nothing is your responsibility.
•Hang around with people just like this.
•Most importantly, refuse to work.
There is no sure fire way to become rich, but by avoiding all of the above is a step in the right direction for having a decent life. If “rich” happens to come around as a result of hard work, dedication to duty and responsibility then that would be nice too. (I forgot where I got this from, but it is pretty good.)

121. How much you make is important. How much you spend is more important.

122. When people say it’s not the money, it usually is.

123. Teaching abstinence is important. Being able to spell abstinence would be nice.

124. When I talked salary and the boss talked dedication I always expressed my admiration that he able to afford the house he lives in, the cars he drives, the stay at home wife who drives her children to private schools while working so hard for free.

125. If someone lives in a 10,000 square house, and pays $15,000 to $30,000 in real estate taxes, it doesn’t really matter what they pay for pest control.

126. Be fascinated by everything. You will never do anything if you wait until you can do so well that no one can find fault. No matter how lofty you goals, ideals and dreams are, none of them will work if you don’t…Thomas Sowell

127. A man is actually three men in his life. The man he thinks he will become when he is a boy, the man he becomes, and the man he wished he had been when he is old…Robert Ryan in The Tall Men.

128. Technology doesn’t grow in a vacuum.

129. The law of unintended consequences is triggered by every action. The consequences can be negative or positive or both. Whether you will be mostly affected by the negative or positive consequences many times depends on the integrity of your actions.

130. The more complicated you make something, the less profound it becomes.

131. There is an old axiom that says, “In the land of the blind the sighted man is king”. That’s a lie, because the blind gang up on him and kill him.

132. Conventional wisdom has the march of time and circumstances to deal with. Conventional wisdom and traditional wisdom are not the same thing. Traditional values are called traditional because they have stood the test of time versus the latest philosophical flavor of the day, which may not last as long as the latest ladies fashion and may leave disaster in it’s wake. Very often what is in reality the latest philosophical flavor of the day is called conventional wisdom…. Thomas Sowell and Me.

133. Bozone : The layer of substance surrounding stupid people that prevents any bright ideas or solutions from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. It does however allow for a constant level of inactivity, nay saying, obstructionism, and smug self-congratulations. Too long a period of exposure to the bozone layer eventually leads to Glibido. A condition that is all too common among many prominent individuals. All talk and no action. This has been known to lead to the Dopeler effect. This is the tendency to have stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. Eventually these are people will have achieved the ultimate goal of their lives and become Ignoranus’. These are people who are afflicted with cranial rectal intrusion………..Anonymous

134. No act of unkindness can be undone. No unkind word can be taken back. No apology can entirely heal a stab to the heart. Just as with a gouged piece of furniture, the scar will remain forever.

135. Timing is everything.

136. Just when you think it is the best time to say something it may in reality the best time to be quiet.

137. Happy memories never wear out their welcome in our lives.

138. Good decision making and happy memories go hand in hand.

139. If you do good things for the pleasure of doing them. You will never get a bounced check.

140. Never deprive someone of the pleasure of doing a good thing.

141. I have been asked; when is the right time to marry? My answer is always the same; “How would I know?” Some marry at 18 and are successful and others that marry at 30 fail in six months. One was ready for marriage and one was merely old enough. There are however some rules that are absolute.

First off, look for the most important quality necessary in a potential marriage partner. Kindness. Kindness is the positive expression of all the positive qualities in a person’s heart. All other qualities are internalized. The only ways in which these qualities can be externalized are through acts of kindness. As kindness is the positive expression of all the positive qualities, cruelty is the negative expression of all the negative qualities. Kindness and cruelty require action and are the windows to the heart.

Secondly, look to see how they treat the least important person in their life. That is who they are. Treating parents respectfully is important, but there is still something to be gained there. See how they treat the waiter in a restaurant or the janitor where they work. That is who they are.

Thirdly, you have to like them. Love in the early days is in reality mostly passion. After that wears off (and it will) you had better like this person. That is when you really become in love. True love is a learning process and it will only grow deeper and larger with time, if you like them.   Passion is the initial fertilizer that starts the seed of love to grow, but liking your partner is the water that sustains growth over the span of time, which creates devotion and commitment. That is real love.

Finally, the fourth and final rule on how do you find the right marriage partner? You have to be lucky.

142. We constantly hear that if we want a successful marriage it takes work; everyday. Everyone agrees, but no one ever tells you what kind of work. Even in a good marriage you have to understand that a good woman is still a woman. They constantly want to express their feelings and expect you, their husband, to listen and most importantly, to understand. What is their big complaint? You never talk to me. Aren’t they really saying, you never listen to me? The work in this case, is to act like you are paying attention and really care what they have to say. Everything goes much smoother that way. This is especially true when you act like they really had something important to say. If you really want to make points, end the conversation by saying “I really enjoyed this conversation, we ought to talk like this more often”. That is why the most important conversation a man has with his wife is “yes dear” or “I see, dear” or “whatever makes you happy dear”. Don’t worry about the rest of the conversation because she is filling in all the rest of it. This is her idea of a “great” conversation. See how hard marriage is? Fortunately as you get older things get smoother. Why? Here is an example! What do you call a couple sitting down to dinner without talking during that whole time? Married. By the time you get to be 60 years old you have heard everything each other had to say. You know what you agree on and what you disagree on. If you agree there is no need to talk and if you disagree there is no desire to talk. That pretty much leaves nothing to talk about except the kids and the latest gossip about your wife’s friends and or acquaintances and the few friends you still choose to see. Actually those “friends” you choose to see are most likely those you golf with since men become far less social as they age. As you get older you will need and want fewer friends as friends are a lot of darn work and now your goal in life is to have everything go smoothly. Wives never seem to have enough friends or gossip. They can talk on the phone to their friends for hours about someone. Actually, about anyone. Even you and sometimes, especially you. Make no mistake about it; you will not look as good after that conversation. Furthermore, they will never forget one stupid thing you ever did. She will say things like “you do this all the time”. You respond by saying, “what are you talking about, I did it once 25 years ago, how is that all the time?” She just smirks and worse yet, she smirks with an air of self-righteousness that is really irritating. You know there is no point to this conversation because you can’t win. Yes, it is true. Men have to work awfully hard to maintain a good marriage.

143. The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

144. When a famous writer killed himself it was commented that he went out in a blaze of glory. Suicide is a result of a sense of hopelessness based on misery and despair. That isn’t going out in a blaze of glory. It is the final selfish act of a selfish self centered life, where the only person they really cared about was them self.

145. "Keep your thoughts positive because thoughts will become your words. Keep your words positive because words will become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because behavior will become your habit. Keep your habits positive because habits will become your values. Keep your values positive because values will become your destiny." Arun Gandhi, the grandson

146. Maintaining trust is much easier that regaining it.

147. “It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else's opinion.” Thomas Sowell

148. Insults are not arguments.

149. “Some things are so stupid that only an intellectual can believe them.”

150. There are no dead end jobs. Just dead end attitudes. Every job lends experience and opportunity. If you are out there Serendipity may strike. You know the Serendipity story? It goes like this. If you are looking for a four-leaf clover in the paved parking lot of a shopping mall your chances of finding one is zero. If you move over into the lawn of the shopping mall your odds have gone up only slightly, but if wherever you go you look in every lawn you see you will eventually look down one day and lo and behold there will be a four-leaf clover. Serendipity is generally considered dumb luck, but luck is mostly made.

151. One of the requirements Napoleon had for his generals was that they had to be lucky. I read that when I was 16 and thought it was the stupidest thing I ever read. No wonder he lost, I thought. Yet, as a commander Napoleon fought and won more battles over more diverse terrains than anyone in history. As I grew older I began to realize his concept. Luck was generally a result of hard work, initiative, planning and imagination.

152. “I never cease to be amazed at how often people throw around the lofty phrase "social justice" without the slightest effort to define it. It cannot be defined because it is an attitude masquerading as a principle” Thomas Sowell

153. “The latest trend in language is to make certain words mean everything. When that happens they mean nothing. The other trend is to reverse what they had always meant in the past. This only clouds understanding. Is it possible that is the goal of those engaging in such practices?” Thomas Sowell

154. "Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a full-time job"….. W. Somerset Maugham.

155. Unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance.

156. Down through the ages man has known that he was set apart from other animals by his mind’s power to have an idea, a vision, and shape the future of it … when he discovers and creates and shapes a future different from his past, he is a man, a human being.”………. Kara Hopkins

157. Why is it that people who have taken too many foolish or unnecessary chances in life rail against life when they only seem to have what they call bad luck? An old work mate of mine once said he didn’t believe in God because God never answered his prayers. I asked him what he was praying for. He said, “I prayed to hit the lottery and I never did.” I told him that God answered his prayer. “The answer was no.” That sounds trite, but the reality is that these people have only themselves to blame for their failure to enjoy life. They want to do all those things that work negatively in their lives and expect positive results. Then when the results are negative they condemn __________(fill in the blank) for their lives being unhappy except they fail to blame the one actually responsible---themselves.

158. If you never recognize your shortcomings you will never fix them.

159. Compromising by splitting the difference may solve many immediate problems by creating bigger long-run problems. Splitting the difference rewards the side with the most extreme and most intransigent position, guaranteeing continuing unreasonable demands and the continuing strife this generates….Thomas Sowell. My question is this. If splitting the difference rewards our enemies and allows for more unreasonable demands, what happens when we get nothing by way of compromise except a short period of peace?

160. “One day you will come to a fork in the road. And you're going to have to make a decision about what direction you want to go. If you go in one direction you will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments. Or you can go another way and you can do something. If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself and your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?”…Colonel John Boyd.

161. Wrong perceptions, (about ourselves and the world around us) are what prevent greatness. To achieve any level of greatness requires the willingness to go against all the odds. Once that happens a person believes they can do almost anything. Greatness, no matter how brief, once experienced changes you forever.

162. Those that did well in school or led golden lives in their youth never had to swim against the current. They were part of the current. As a result they aren’t used to dealing with adversity. Interestingly most of the really great achievers were mediocre students or had real adversity to overcome in their youth. The golden kids usually have good job, but most of the time greatness comes from the “C” students.

163. Life is all about tides. There are those who catch the tide and those who row against the tide. Those rowing against the tide will always go in that direction no matter which way the tide is moving. The rest have no direction and will simply follow the tide. Those who row against the tide are in better shape than those who go with the tide. Not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally and psychologically. When the tide changes direction, and it will, guess who will be in the lead?

164. People who refuse to face the reality of hard choices are forever coming up with some clever "third way"-- often leading to worse disasters than either of the hard choices. Thomas Sowell

165. There is an old line that says, "If you don't stand for something, then you stand for nothing." That isn’t a true depiction. In reality if you don’t stand for something you will stand for anything.

166. “The survival of any society depends on commonsense. Commonsense is a result of clarity of thought. Without moral absolutes there is no clarity of thought.”

167. In an effort to avoid conflict so many people only want everything to be gray? The reality is that there are times when there are “two irreconcilable viewpoints and standards of judgment. Two irreconcilable moralities proceeding from two irreconcilable readings of man’s fate and future are involved, and, hence, their conflict is irrepressible.” Whittaker Chambers

168. Did anyone ever wonder why anyone ever became addicted to smoking? The first time anyone took a drag off a cigarette and inhaled it caused their body to convulse into such spasms of coughing so bad that you wanted to throw up. Many are sick for hours afterward. Yet we kept right on doing it until we our body no longer resisted. What would possess us to work so diligently to overcome those natural body defenses against the harmful intrusion of this toxic product so that we can be addicted to the filthy, smelly, unhealthy habit for the rest of our lives?

169. Did you ever wonder why anyone would go through the obviously painful and uncomfortable process of having their bodies stuck full of metal parts. “Comes now yet another report detailing the potential consequences of tongue studs. Among them: tetanus, receding gums, chipped teeth, heart infections, and brain abscesses. Why would anyone, even the dumbest adolescent, want to risk such problems from a piece of metal piercing the tongue, the mouth, or any orifice?” Yet we keep being told this is “cool”. Is cool another term for stupid?

170. Did you ever wonder how life got so bad? In 1915 the life expectancy was 55. In 1967 it was 71. In 2006 it is 78. Yet the environmentalists tell us that life is worse than it is ever been and we need to go back to the old days before chemicals and it is “cool” to be a part of that paradigm. Did you ever wonder how anyone got so “cool”? Did you ever wonder how we came to believe they knew what they were talking about? It really is true…cool is another word for stupid!

171. Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.• Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
• Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
• Education cannot: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
• The slogan, “press on” has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.”
172. Recently I was called a bulldog because of a conversation with a state regulator and my efforts to get a straight answer. I don’t really mind that except for this one small point. If they are going to compare me to an animal I would rather they compared me to a grizzly bear.

173. When asked why do I watch so much television; I respond; first of all I enjoy watching television, secondly I don’t care that it is perceived as not being really important and thirdly, because I suspect that so many of the other things which are “really important” are in reality equally unimportant and not nearly as enjoyable.

174. What are the benefits of making decisions by committee? Generally you get nothing done unless you create consensus. This in return guarantees mush like solutions based on the lowest possible standards. This makes them “look” like leaders when in reality they have acted like appeasers. As for the one who actually stood up for something, he is accused of not seeing the nuances. Someone who is closed minded and one sided. If someone is right, what is wrong with that? Unfortunately those who stood for nothing believe that person simply doesn’t have the depth of vision and nobility of heart that they have. Everyone then sits around and wonders what went wrong. Ask me, I know the answer.

175. When any society expends a great deal of energy and money on litigation, that society slowly dies from the lack of peace and commonality needed to progress. They cease to grow because of the lack of zeal and resources for new projects. In the end even the lawyers do not benefit because they are thriving in a dying society.

176. I hear the term “religion of peace” all the time. Even though most of the Muslim community probably really wants peace, but they are not in charge. The radicals are and they are vocal, armed and forcing the “peaceful” Muslims to go along quietly. Since they aren’t vocal it doesn’t matter what they think.

177. Being a moderate means that you don’t really believe in anything.

178. Self-pity and gratitude are mortal enemies. Where one exists the other cannot. Since both are highly contagious, individuals must choose gratitude before becoming too thankless to do otherwise….Mike S. Adams

179. Mike S. Adams three rules of capitalism.
•Capitalism is the worst economic system ever invented, as long as you exclude all other economic systems used over the course of human history.
•The secret to occupational happiness is tricking others into paying you to do things you would probably do for free.
•You must continue to follow principle #2 until you save enough money to pay people to do all the things you don’t like to do.
180. In order to have a settled mind it is important to understand that there really is such a thing as good and evil in the world. We need to recognize that the philosophy of moral relativism is a form of mental, emotional and social suicide. We need to continually review what we face in our daily lives and recognize what events reflect those two polarities in our daily lives. It is important to take a stand. It is important that the stand we take is for the good. To do good, to defeat evil and to be prepared for the consequences, while not taking ourselves too seriously.

181. When a yes or no is required, giving a definite maybe isn’t an option.

182. People who refuse to face the reality of hard choices are forever coming up
with some clever "third way"-- often leading to worse disasters than either of the hard choices. - Thomas Sowell

183. I am often accused of not seeing nuances. How is this? I believe the death penalty is absolutely necessary to keep crime and criminals under control. I also believe that those who are entrusted with that power aren’t worthy of that trust, as they have so often shown. Therefore I am philosophically in favor of the death penalty while at the same time seriously concerned as to its implementation. Is there a nuance I have missed here?

184. Why is it that some concepts such as socialism and central planning fails wherever it is implemented and socialistic ideas, which are a failure everywhere, are still touted as viable options? Why is it that some concepts such as capitalism and self-determination is invariably successful everywhere and are still denigrated as unfair or out of balance?

185. Why is it that under capitalism those who benefit the most in relationship with they have or what they need is the respectively the very rich and the very poor and they are the first to demand socialism, which will punish them both?

186. The interruption scenario. You walk up to someone you need to talk to someone who is talking to someone else. You walk up and wait while they deliberately ignore you. You can’t wait so you interrupt and they are aghast at your rudeness. Since it was obvious that you needed to talk to one of them, I have some questions.
1. Why then didn’t they offer you the opportunity to interrupt?
2. Who really was rude?
3. Who wasn’t polite?
4. Is the problem good manners or arrogance?
5. Who was arrogant, the one needed to talk to someone or those who thought their conversation was so important that no inferior dared interrupt?
6. If their employer interrupted would they be offended?
7. If a prominent person in their field interrupted would they be offended?
187. “Passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason.”—Alexander Hamilton and James Madison – I wonder though; can reason exist without passion?

188. "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't" -- Margaret Thatcher British Prime Minister (from 1979-1990)

189. If you start from a belief that the most knowledgeable person on earth does not have even one percent of the total knowledge on earth, that shoots down social engineering, economic central planning, judicial activism and innumerable other ambitious notions favored by the political left…Elites are all too prone to over-estimate the importance of the fact that they average more knowledge per person than the rest of the population -- and under-estimate the fact that their total knowledge is so much less than that of the rest of the population….The ignorance of people with Ph.D.s is still ignorance, the prejudices of educated elites are still prejudices, and for those with one percent of a society's knowledge to be dictating to those with the other 99 percent is still an absurdity. …Thomas Sowell


190. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.… [T]hose who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C. S. Lewis

191. Everything is paradigms and demographics. Paradigms create demographics and demographics create paradigms.

192. What do all scientists view as their ultimate goal? Truth? No, it is to acquire as much grant money as possible and if accepting lies in place of truth is the price they have to pay to get it; then they will do it.

193. “Mankind, in order to survive must be able to alter his environment. Anything less is eco-terrorism.”

194. One of the great paradoxes of life is that really good people will find many things about themselves that they don’t like. The really bad people can’t find anything about themselves that they don’t love. Thomas Sowell

195. The Serendipity Story. If you are looking for a four leaf clover in the paved parking lot of a shopping mall your chances of finding a four leaf clover are zero. If you move into the lawn of the paved parking lot your chances go up, but if that is the only lawn you look in your chances haven’t gone up much. If however, you look in many lawn and grassy areas you will look down some day that lo and behold there will be a four leaf clover. That is how life works. If you put yourself in a position for good things to happen to you eventually some good things will happen. Some bad things will happen along the way also, but by overcoming them you will learn more from all these bad things than all the good things combined and that will make the good things even better.

196. ”Fallacies are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment-Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies”

197. Ignorance is the natural state because we all start our lives ignorant. And for all of our lives we will remain ignorant about a great many things. Because there is so much to learn about so many subjects, a degree of ignorance is understandable. Ignorance simply means that we don’t know. That is fixable! By learning about things, many things, we can reduce our level of ignorance continually, but never totally! However, if we choose to remain ignorant, that is stupidity. It is the stupidity that I hate.

198. Being insatiably curious is its own reward and its own punishment.

199. History only works when we read it. It only matters when we remember it correctly.

200.  Truth is the convergence of history and reality!