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Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Editor
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A Book of Revelation

“When people reveal who they really are, be sure to pay attention.”–Gene Griessman

New World On Its Way

“The experience of each new age requires a new confession.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson (American philosopher, 1803-1882)

“As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”  –Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862

Unorthodox Religion

“Awe is my religion and mystery is its church.” –Charles Simic (Serbian poet, 1938–)

The Drudgery of Achievement

“To conceive a work of art is exciting but to execute it is drudgery.”  –Marcel Duchamp (French artist, 1887-1968)

“…there is not a more fatal error to young lawyers than relying too much on speech-making. If any one, upon his rare powers of speaking, shall claim an exemption from the drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance.” –Abraham Lincoln


“A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism.” –Pope Francis (1936–)

“Luck doesn’t come to live. It comes to visit, so you better make the most of it while it’s there.” — Anonymous


“The basic ingredient for all top performance is self-confidence.” –Timothy Gallwey,  (author of “The Inner Game of Tennis,”  1938–)


“The plays I’ve finished are a small minority of the plays I’ve started.”  Arthur Miller (American playwright, 1915-2005)

“In any field of endeavor, the difference between the good and the great is that voluntary willingness to make that little extra effort that is not demanded by the coach, that little extra which comes from within oneself.” –Knute Rockne (American football coach, 1888-1931)


“When a great man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits, on his manhood; he has gained facts, learns his ignorance; is cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson


One Reason Lincoln Succeeded 

At Lincoln’s request the creator of New York City’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead, played an important role in the Civil War.

Here’s how. Over 620,000 Americans died during the Civil War, two-thirds from infections or illness.

Camp conditions were appalling. Military hospitals were filthy. Surgeons often worked with unwashed hands. Soldiers drank from ponds and streams where they bathed, washed clothes, and relieved themselves.

Lincoln recruited Olmsted to deal with the deadly problem, naming him executive secretary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

Lincoln, to show his personal support for the undertaking, donated signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, which were auctioned off at “Sanitary Fairs.”

An edition of 48 signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation was printed. (Only 26 known copies now exist. If you happen to find one, you will be about $2 million richer.)

The U.S. Sanitary Commission, despite its clunky name, contributed enormously to Union success. By war’s end there were far fewer deaths from infection and illness in Union camps than in the camps of the Confederacy.

Lincoln’s choice of Olmstead for this undertaking illustrates a principle of great leadership: effective leaders recruit strategically.

Read the complete article on which this article is based in “The New York Review of Books,” November 5, 2015

Was Lincoln A Teetotaler?

In 1909 under the auspices of the Lincoln Centennial Association several men who had known Lincoln met to reminisce about the great president. One of them was William T. Baker, who was Lincoln’s mess mate in the Black Hawk War.  Baker made these comments: “During the past year there has been a great effort to prove that Mr. Lincoln was not only a temperate man but that he was a teetotaler. In regard to this I want to say that I have seen Mr. Lincoln take a drink many a time at my father’s house at Mount Pulaski at Pottsville in Logan County and at other places. Mr. Lincoln was too liberal to have been a teetotaler.”

For the complete story, read “A Reporter’s Lincoln” by Walter B Stevens, edited by Michael Burlingame, pp.126, 127

The Real Cause Of The Civil War

Through the years many people have told me slavery was not the cause of the Civil War, that it was a fight over tariffs, that it was a struggle to be free from a tyrannical government, that it was over states’ rights.

There’s actually some validity to these assertions. Few if any events in history have just one cause.

There was indeed controversy over tariffs that pitted manufacturing interests against agriculture. There was a fight over taxes.  In fact George Washington put down an anti-tax rebellion by whiskey distillers who regarded taxation as government theft. Washington called out troops to help change their minds.

And there were countless squabbles over states’ rights that pitted founding father against founding father.

So what about slavery?  What role did it play?

Slavery was a major part of the American economy, in the North as well as the South. Lincoln was withering in his denunciation of slavery but deftly acknowledged the economic part of the equation in the Second Inaugural Address. “All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war.”

Lincoln referred to slavery as an “interest.”  Remember, Lincoln thought like a lawyer. An interest is “an entity’s rights in property.”  Slaves were property.

But those economic interests were supported by the widespread belief that blacks were innately inferior, that it was their destiny to be enslaved. Many believed it was God’s ordained plan, a result of the so-called “curse of Ham.” (This belief persists among fundamentalists even today.)

Alexander Stephens, a Georgian and vice president of the Confederacy, and a personal friend of Lincoln’s, described this belief in no uncertain terms.

Jay Bookman, a columnist of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found a quote by Stephens that answers the question for all time.

Here’s what Bookman found:   “In an 1861 speech in Savannah, Georgia, Alexander Stephens told his listeners that the Founding Fathers had believed in their hearts that slavery was wrong. Even slaveholders such as Thomas Jefferson believed that ‘the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically,’ and would eventually be ended. But the Confederacy was different:

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

To read the whole story, see JayBookman blog. AJC, Oct 13, 2015




“Thanks for these inspirational quotes. I’m still offering George Washington for people to emulate.” — Jim Hodges

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“I liked the joy of the delivery, the power of the words, the excellence of the effect.”

“I love that he stayed in character. It added a whole new level to the experience.”

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