Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Complicated Definition of Honesty by Louis Evan Palmer

Why does a
single word
cheating and

Honesty as a word for a virtue is doing a heavy-lifting job. It's more than just "not lying", that is, where honesty means telling the truth.

It's more than "not stealing", that is, taking without permission something that does not belong to you.

It's also has "not cheating" as part of its definition which can be construed as stealing & lying together - often where what's being stolen is of an immaterial nature.

How did honesty get encumbered with such a broad scope? Is there a lesson for us in its meaning?

On the face of it, it's difficult to see the commonality between stealing and lying.

When cheating is brought in, we see the lying or misrepresentation as a means of stealing, an enabler, although it does stand on its own as a misdeed.

But lying on its own versus stealing on own - what's the connection? Why are they joined in the meaning of Honesty?

Assuming that our ancestors had some insight into human nature when the various meanings for words were arrived at, we must then assume that there is a connection between these seemingly distinct failings. The one that comes to mind after some thought is that dishonesty is a violation of trust and that at a higher level honesty is a state of trust and a relationship of trust.

That state & relationship encompasses many things - verbal and written statements, material objects, money and financial instruments and out of those manifestations of a state & relationship come the specific facets of lying, cheating and stealing.

Our societies, where lying, cheating and stealing are now a job requirement, stand as monuments to broken trust. We have to learn to navigate through rivers of lies and misappropriations and it is there, in the never-ending recovery from another broken trust, that we suffer the most.

Trust must co-habit with Hope and Respect. All the mundane virtues raising themselves up again. They travel in packs.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
The Complicated Definition of Honesty, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Monday, May 22, 2006

Descartes' Error by Louis Evan Palmer

Dr. McCoy - "Spock, you don't have any feelings!"
Mr. Spock - "Why thank you Doctor."

The book "Descartes' Error" starts with the observation that persons with certain neurological disorders do not feel emotion. They are "flat".

It goes on to point out that these emotion-and-feeling-impaired persons have poor reasoning capabilities as well. They draw inappropriate conclusions and act in what seems to be an illogical manner.

As the author "Antonio Damasio" states early in the book - "The powers of reason and the experience of emotion decline together.."

We still have our will, both free and otherwise, but the context in which that will is driven is derived by both intellect and feeling. There is a constant interaction, a blending and merging, with pulses of intention and action gushing forth from that personal universe.

But the key insight is that emotion and feeling are vital. Without them, we don't function properly and we don't want to do, or do, the right things or do them in the right way.

This applies equally to choosing friends or leaders. But focusing on leaders - when we choose new leaders or evaluate existing ones, we should apply this measure to them. Do they have the emotion and temperament to lead in the right way? We already do this type of thing in the smaller but closer context of choosing friends. It should be used in the broader realm as well.

We may find that the selection process for leaders which we've allowed to take root, prevents the more complete persons from being seriously considered or cuts them down to irrelevance if they do arise.

The selection process must change and it can, bit by bit, around us, around others, now and later, until our process and nations flip themselves right-side up again.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
Descartes' Error, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Where There's Smoke by Louis Evan Palmer

Crimes Cannot
Go Undetected

If someone ever sat down and tried to figure out the best ways to smuggle goods or the best way to hide illegal activities or... What's that? Right. Somone..., many someones, already have.

Some of the conclusions: The best hiding places are in the open; the best way to hide illegal activities is to corrupt and/or co-opt key officials.

For example, if you're aware of a lot of drug-dealing in a given neighbourhood, draw a circle around it and find the police detachments in that area. There are corrupt officers there. That's a guarantee.

If you're aware of large-scale movement of undeclared goods or people across a soverign border, again, you know that corrupt agencies, officials & groups are involved. There's no way around it.

Don't be surprised or shocked that Intelligence Agencies are the leaders in many of these illicit endeavours. Intelligence agencies are particularly well-suited to criminal enterprise; they have resources, training, technology, and the sanction of the state, and, they have the perfect cover - "National Security". (it means what you want it to mean)

Look around at all and sundry of these types of criminal and related activities, and realize that they cannot survive without the connivance or paid apathy of those sworn to defend against them.

The first step in retrieving what's left of our countries is de-corrupting, perhaps disbanding or re-organizing, the agencies and staff charged with protecting the people.

A "War on False Secrecy" must be waged in that effort as this facade is their cover and under this cover, they are stealing away our freedoms and our way of life. They can and do use the vast amounts of money and power they steal and otherwise appropriate to subdue, corrupt, counter, contest and enslave as much as they can.

To show how far things have gone - in most cases, we don't even know who we're up against.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
Where There's Smoke, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Unlearning by Louis Evan Palmer

Easier to
Than To
Change It

Learning is a magical event comprised of a nesting set of related magical events. Perceiving, remembering, experiencing, understanding, communicating. Then calling it forth again and again with pleasure or pain or pressure or at leisure.

This experience and all that it entails forming grooves as it were, ruts & wrinkles, indentations large and small. And these are the myriad routes we follow as we meander or course through what we perceive are our lives and our worlds.

No wonder it's difficult to change things. How do you get above the landscape of your own mind and culture? How do you pull yourself up by your bootstraps?

There are arguments that a calm steady erosion of the old misconceptions can be effective - given time and patience and a toleration of the present circumstance. Others make statements like Godel that you must completely leave one "system" to be able to define & understand it. Godel did that via logic, via the mind, and it appears that it is the only way it can be accomplished.

Is unlearning merely new learning over old or is it a new mould with a new view? How does one know that unlearning is necessary?

One thing we know - unlearning is more difficult than learning, and given its usual context, it has a tremendous impact for the better if one can accept the changes it brings with it.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
Unlearning, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Lessons of Dieppe by Louis Evan Palmer

One Thing
Affects Another


What Should
Be Known
But Isn't

The Dieppe Raid took place on August 19, 1942. Of the 6000 some troops in the Raid, over 5000 were Canadians, most from the 2nd Canadian Infantry Divison.

Another Canadian unit, the Black Watch Regiment, suffered over 200 dead on the beach, the heaviest loss by any Canadian battalion in a single day in the whole war. The losses to the British Airforce on that day were equally grim - the 119 aircraft lost, again the most of any day in the war.

The gains of that Raid are always presented as lessons learned that benefited others in future battles. It is usually remembered, especially in Canada, as a grevious mistake that took over a thousand Canadian lives and made prisoners of over two thousand others. The poor planning and execution of the Raid led some to believe that it was deliberately sabotaged by the British to allay pressures from the Russians and the American public for a full-scale invasion for which they weren't ready.

Time and energy is spent in assigning blame and railing at the waste of it and the tragedy of it, and the stupidity and incompetence of it. And, there certainly was a depressing abundance of all of the above during that Raid and that war - and any other war, for that matter.

But a waste is one thing that Dieppe emphatically was not!

Before getting to that though - this seemingly hidden knowledge is, as is often the case, right out in the open. Residing in a classic in military history, written by one of the most famous of miltary thinkers - Liddell Hart. The book is titled "The other side of the Hill", which is part of a quote attributed to Wellington who observed that he spent much of his time trying to guess at the what the enemy command was thinking, planning, or about to be executing - "they", of course, being on "the other side of the hill".

In it, Liddell Hart interviews German Generals at Nuremberg after the war. They are frank and, for the most part, held to be honest. Mr. Hart would certainly have seen through any material mis-statements. And, it is here, in the Generals' answers to his questions that the true impact of Dieppe emerges.

Hitler was jumpy about a western invasion from 1941 onward. It took a long time coming, probably too long. When it did occur, Russia had already won the European War; the turning point in that victory was the Battle of Stalingrad which ended in February of 1943 with the surrender of Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Paulus.

Despite propaganda stating otherwise, that terrifying seven month Battle could have gone either way. One reason it was won by the Russians, is that in August of 1942, at the very start of the Battle, two of the best German Divisions, the SS-Leibstandarte and the Gross-Deutschland, were transferred out of Stalingrad. Their destination was the French coast. And, they were to be transferred to the West because Hitler was unnerved by the Raid at Dieppe. Only the SS-Leibstandarte made it to France, the Gross-Deutchland was diverted, but the salient point is that they both were both absented from Stalingrad because of the Dieppe Raid.

Generals Kluge, Keitel & Zeitzler felt that the presence of those two Divisions at Stalingrad would have turned the tide in Germany's favour. If Germany has won the Battle of Stalingrad, things elsewhere could have quickly turned her way as well. The edge between one side and the other being ever so fine.

In this post, two lessons are posited from Dieppe - Lesson One: that despite being a tactical fiasco, it had a huge impact on the European War - the Raid's timing was critical; the ever expanding ripples of events and information are often difficult to see or understand even years later; Lesson Two: in this case, however, it was not hard to see - it was seen, it was communicated, and it was ignored and left lying unknown while the blowhards constantly blew about what a waste Dieppe was; firmly entrenched in the small view, the one or two ripples nearest to them.

So we end up with two different flavours of Ignorance which is the dish that the world serves the best and the most. And, it is the starting point.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
The Lessons of Dieppe, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Circularity - Arc One by Louis Evan Palmer

Equals Another
Equals Another
Equals One

As the great sage Nagarjuna is quoted as saying: "Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves."

Similarly, the same can be said about language. Language is a construct that is completely dependent on itself for its meaning. Thoughts which spring from words are themselves constructed of them; or so we think. Key ideas of the world like space and time are built on an edifice of words.

Space is defined in terms of time or matter. Time is defined by the movement of matter or by how much distance you travel in space for a given set of movements of matter.

It's more than duality. It's a vast, whirling juggling of every kind of thing we deem important. And, as long as they're in motion, they appear whole and connected. But, they're not. They're in relation - as we ourselves are; as Plotinus said, we are "Souls in Relation".

One is the word for the number after Zero and before Two. Cold is the absence of Heat. Heat is energy. Energy is excited atoms. Atoms are mostly space or a probability space. You are mostly space. Space is extent of ... space, direction.

Happy is feeling good. Good is feeling satisfied or sated. Feeling satisfied is feeling good. Feeling good is being happy.

At some point in the circle of words and meanings, there is a jump to understanding. Who makes the jump? Where is the jump from? Where is the jump to?

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
The Complicated Definition of Honesty, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Quantum Quandry by Louis Evan Palmer


There's been an air of unreality hanging over physics for more than a hundred years. And, while it's begun to penetrate the obtuse world of the lumpen proletariat, it's still considered 'out there' even as the proofs mount into a veritable Everest of facts.

Some argue that it's only a theory, even now, after all the elapsed time and despite how well it explains or describes various phenomena. It shows up in science fiction. It shows up in news articles. But, it doesn't show up in normal day-to-day life or conversation except around some university faculties.

Lately, the prognosticators of the pseudo-elite, have taken to lamenting that quantum theory, or quantum mechanics, has become a haven for assorted cranks and nouveau magicians. Regardless of the validity of these facile slights, at least these people are trying to absorb the enormity to which quantum physics is pointing. At least these people are trying to see into the True Nature of All That Is.

Hats off to Neils Bohr and Erwin Shroedinger!

We still don't know what we're looking at.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
The Quantum Quandry, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Telltale Nickname by Louis Evan Palmer

Will Out

How telling is thy nickname!

It was reported in many of the alternate news outlets, that away from the press, in the confines of the Oval Office and environs, Karl Rove is referred to as "Turd Blossom". Presumably, this is used in a jocular fashion but either word on its own would definitely constitute an insult to most men although "Blossom" might be acceptable to some women (or a gay man).

In Afganistan, four Canadians were sent on their way out of this mortal coil by an American airman nicknamed "Pyscho". Among other things, this reflected his ability to call up a maniacal killing frenzy - unfortunately, not always when under a deadly threat. This nickname told us all we needed to know about the friendly fire incident - "Psycho" flipped out again. Can someone please take away his toys now and forever?! (and others like him)

In the same way, calling Dubya's top advisor "Turd Blossom" (and it must come from "the top" himself) tells us all we need to know about the perverse, scatological mindset in the blood-soaked White House. It sends us a coded message that reveals dangerous, repressed, violent, immature crypto-felons who will lash out at almost anyone in fear and rage and greed.

Mentally chanting: "Me, me, me. Mine, mine, mine."

How has this come to be? And, not just in America, it's present, perhaps less evident, in other so-called advanced countries - although, there is no doubt that America is the tool-de-jour.

One word.


This is the motive force. This is the sinister obscuring fog & fear that is keeping the crimes & folly from being challenged.

We must use both the carrot and the stick to root out this massive affront to common sense and common decency. And, since it's gone so far, it will have to be the biggest carrot and the biggest stick, the world has ever seen.

To use one of the American wannabee-dictator's favourite phrases, we must stay the course, the cost of keeping a secret is always much greater than the cost of exposing it.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
The Telltale Nickname, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Inner Earth by Louis Evan Palmer


Humans and other land-dwelling creatures live on the dry part of the Earth's surface. There is, however, a considerable amount of space underground where indeterminate numbers of humans or human-like creatures could live.

These natural and excavated underground living spaces do have benefits: less harmful inbound radiation, less impact from weather and other natural cataclysms, less chance of being attacked, and conversely, easier to defend.

It is easy to see land-dwelling creatures going underground at various times for protection and staying at length in the real bosom of the Earth. It requires no stretch of the imagination, or any other non-corporeal capabilities, to see certain numbers of these creatures staying in their underground homes when others returned to the surface.

Or, from another perspective, if we had off-world visitors, they would likely want to stay out of sight. Again, they would likely seek out-of-way areas including underground.

The question is what proof is available, where, when, and the like; also, who might already be in contact with them?

Sources of information - gravity mapping scans, geological surveys especially seismic studies, ground-penetrating emission scans, creditable eye-witness reports.

Find one, find them all.

If ten thousand people show up at a deep underground base and demand entry, it will happen.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2005
Inner Earth, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thou Shall Not Steal by Louis Evan Palmer

Let there be No Equivocation

It means only taking or using what is yours, what has been given to you or what you've made yourself.

It means not taking or using what's not yours; paying fair living wages; not polluting as that steals from Nature; paying fair taxes as not doing so steals from your Community and Country; giving praise where it's due so as to not steal credit from the deserving; it means being careful in jailing people so as to not steal years from their life unjustly.

"Thou Shall Not Steal" is a mind set and a way of life.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2005
Thou Shalt Not Steal, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I know what I like by Louis Evan Palmer

It's not conscious
and in advance.

It's subconscious and invoked.

Is it knowledge or is it a pavlovian reflex to whatever swirl of colour and shape presents itself.

Or, at the second stage, is it a small set of mental objects that get admired and pulled down periodically.

In any case, is it self-knowledge or the mild delusions with which a populace
drugs itself.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2005
I know what I like, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You Say You Do by Louis Evan Palmer

They say that
they follow
the Bible
but what would
it mean
if they did.

Thou shalt not Kill.

If there's no equivocation, if you follow it, then it means: no deadly warfare, no lethal weapons, no abortions, no euthansia, no capital punishment, vegetarianism, no cutting down of trees, no deadly research, no suicides.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2005
You Say You Do, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Monday, May 08, 2006

When Giants Fall by Louis Evan Palmer

The effort in becoming accustomed to dominance is far less than the effort needed to accept diminishment. It applies to people and countries and to theories and "facts". The price to maintain that pre-eminent position is usually integrity and humanity and freedom. It gets easier with each crime and with each explanation. The entire society is complicit and they resonate with the lies and the celebrations.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 2006
When Giants Fall, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,