Friday, March 27, 2009

The Blue Moon Tavern

Growing up, I used to pass the Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, Washington quite often especially since my babysitter was half a block down the street and one of my ways home caused me to go right past it.

It appears there were thoughts to remove it.

Being the child that I was, I never had gone inside until I made a trip to Seattle from Las Vegas to do military duty at Fort Lewis in the 90s. I decided, I want to check it out especially since one of my favorite songs featured an imaginary conversation with a fellow in this very tavern.

I checked it out and it did have character, lots of graffiti, interesting people with whom I had interesting conversations

Here are the lyrics to the whole song


In fact this song was the basis of for a lesson on the Risk Managment process which I presented to my Army safety class. (I sang the relevant lyrics along with my annotations!!)

1. Identify Hazards, (Shanghied in Vegas by a painted woman, hog-tied by a red-head in Ohio, derailed by a dancer down in Dallas, etc)

2. Assess the risk of the hazards - "women gonna be the death a me"

3. Then make the risk managment decision - "but what a way to go"

The Value of Trained Health Care Professionals

This is one of the most incredible stories I have ever heard. A friend of mine attended a seminar to improve his ability to intervene in the event of personnel discussing suicide.

Little did he know that one of the attendees had a plan to commit suicide at that very seminar. This fellow's thinking was that he would demonstrate how trained personnel can miss one who contemplates suicide.

Thankfully, there was one highly trained psychiatrist in the group. As he had listened to this individual over the course of a few days, he recognized that his affect (emotions) was not matching the narratives that he was making. So the psychiatrist sought out the seminar leader and a few others and said that he wanted to make an intervention. The others were flabbergasted but agreed.

So they intervened and the individual confessed what his plans were. There was some sharing and some hugs and then this individual was hospitalized so that he could get intensive professional help.

The story says a lot.
**One, there are some incredibly skilled psychiatrists. But, not everyone is as skillful since no one else recognized it.
**The main learning point is if you identify a potential suicide, get them to professional help.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How I learned guitar

When I was in in 7th Grade, my grandfather bought me a guitar. It was an inexpensive guitar but it was great to learn on. I got some chord charts
and started to learn music theory.

One amazing thing is that so many songs can be sung and accompanied on a guitar with just three chords. The chord chart also show some other chords that can be thrown in.

Of course, there are songs that deviate from the standard three chords, but they are easy after the basic structure is learned.

Every generation needs a very simple song to start playing. My generation had Louie, Louie.

Maybe I can get some suggestions as to what is an easy popular song to start with so one feels good about what they are doing.

After learning, I used to seek out some friends and we would play some songs imagining we were in a rock and roll band. Secret Agent Man was a good one to start with.

Later when I was a Junior in High School, I used to lead the songs any church group that I went to. This was the real acid test since you have to perform. I got feedback that I was pretty good.
(Sometimes I would also lead songs with the piano, it was harder)

Then, the ultimate. I was in a Rock and Roll band when I was in college. We called ourselves, "John 3:16" I was the lead guitarist. I also sang some lead and back-up vocals. I also played bass on a few tunes when our bassplayer played his flute.

We had a few concerts in churches and in a coffee house called, "The Catacombs"
We even had some original tunes like, "Man can't live on bread alone"

Later, I did some solo concerts. Sometimes I would ad lib on stage making things up as I went along. That was fun. My solo concert was actually me leading some songs and then performing some of my original material.

There I was in the Army with the Chaplain. We were out in the woods, in the cold and I was playing the guitar with the troops.

I even was guest guitarist and speaker at a prayer breakfast at Ft Dix, NJ.

Now days, I sing Karaoke in public and my geetar playing is at home, but it wasn't too long ago that I was in Baghdad, Iraq, up on stage with the band singing and playing guitar, bass and piano. Then, I was in Nurnberg, Germany at an Irish Pub and the guitarist let me come up on stage and jam and sing away. Even more recently, I took a chair in the book store and sang a few.

I recommend guitar playing to anyone, but at least consider the autoharp . My elementary school teacher used one to help us elementary kids sing our kids songs like "Roll on Columbia"

Now days, you can buy a key board that will play a chord continuously at the touch of a key.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don't Let Words Go Unsaid, John Smathers

Our Life Experiences really shape us. I have been evaluated psychologically so I guess all things being equal, I would be expected to behave in a certain way.--But for Life Experiences.

I had this experience. I served with John Smathers in Iraq.

I knew him before, he was a lawyer and we had a lot of enjoyable repartee. When he went to Iraq he was valued by the command justifiably for his expertise, his steady hand in tense times, and good humor always.

One day, after we had returned from Iraq, I happened to see John in a line with his unit, the 352 CA Cmd on Feb 3, 2006. I was there finishing up my last military duty before my retirement on March 1, 2006 so this was the last chance where I would run into someone. I had had some experiences in life that made me recognize that I should say how I felt to John. I let him know that I had appreciated being with him in Iraq (Being a man, I couldn't gush and say I loved him but the handshake and exchange of pleasantries accomplishes that among men who have served in harm's way and knew what it was like to look out and care for each other)

The next night, John died running with his dogs, one of which he loved enough to rescue from Iraq. What a relief it is to not agonize over whether I said what I wanted to say. I had told John I appreciated him and those words then resonated with his body, soul and spirit for all eternity and they echo as I repeat them now.

I have seen people roll their eyes sometimes when I let them know I appreciate them (Ok, why are you doing this, what do you want?) But be forewarned. I will keep doing it!!

Tribute to Erban

In December 2007, Erban Flinchum died. He was a English school teacher. I met him and had interesting discussions and then corresponded through email.

Erban was interested in physics. My father had a PHD from Stanford so he was very knowledgible. My father tutored me so I have a least an appreciation for physics. My father had been intrigued by and listened to Michio Kaku (my dad playfully called him cucoo) and I sent a link to an interview

Erban was very appreciative of the link to the Thunderbolts of the Gods

This is what Erban said about it, "There was a link to a plasma electromatic universe. The site is fabulous. I’ve just spend almost five hours exploring and listening to some videos. The most exciting video “Thunderbolt of the Gods” is hypnotizing. I’m happy to find thinkers who think like me! Thanks for the find. This is a must see video about our universe, an alternative theory to almost all the physical laws. As well it blends in ancient mythology with the science. It is free, although one can also purchase the DVD. I recommend just watch it and bookmark it."

Erban also liked this link

These are some more of my thoughts on Erban---
I was honored to know him, meet him and get to know him better. I noticed that his emails had stopped. Like so many, he can not be replaced. My father said it is like there is a star that turns off in the sky. We who remain must shine brighter but if the moon were to disappear (I once saw a Nightline program wherein a professor was advocating we blow up the moon-wacko), a star could not replace it. But perhaps collectively we can all shine a little brighter.

Recently, I encountered a woman who had skidded and crashed her car. I called 911, and checked on her. She was frightened and disoriented. I tried to encourage her and I held her hand to comfort her. I hope that I honor Erban with my actions because he was a compassionate and decent human being who cared deeply about others well being. I am grieving and if anyone else has some thoughts about Erban, they would be comforting

Monday, March 16, 2009

Creating Value

My recommendation for fixing the economy--create value.

This blog was formed to create value in at least a small way. It can't compete with a company like Boeing (I knew it well in my childhood in Seattle) which gathers a lot of people and raw materials and makes airplanes with millions of dollars of value.

But each entry has a potential to at least entertain, to refresh, and renew someone so that they can go back to a job or task that creates value.

Each entry can cause someone to reasses how they do business with the potential that costs can be cut thereby creating more value.

Or changing value systems so that some things that don't seem so valuable, are valued. (I find value in spending time with my children- hopefully creating memories that they will value)
(A fictional look at the value of memories was Total Recall

I am making notes so I can make a recommendation for you on whether to buy or sell stock!!

Backgammon and Safety

As I got older, I began to like backgammon more than chess because it more approximated life. In backgammon, you make decisions, and then roll the dice. The better the decision, the more likely the roll of the dice will bring a good result. It is possible to make good decisions every time but to lose because of the roll of the dice. I had a friend who was infuriating to play against. I would be a position wherein unless this friend rolled double 6's, I would win. More than once, the friend was able to come up with the double 6's.

If you read and study this link, you will know more about analyzing safety than most.

What I gain from this on the topic of safety is this.

1.Everyone makes predictions of the outcomes of behaviors when discussing safety. For instance, driving a car. One wears a seat belt or not, has bald tires or tires with tread, drives the speed limit or not (reducing speed in inclement weather or not), etc
a. So in the case here one has a course of action which results in 17 good possibilities versus 19 bad possibilities
b. In the other case, one has a course of action which results in 15 good possibilities versus 21 bad possibilities
c. In the other case, one has a course of action which results in 19 good possibilities versus 17 bad possibilities

2. How does this have a safety implication? Well it happens that safety is typically evaluated by results - in other words accidents. So if choices a,b result in good results on the next roll and choice c results in a bad result, the layman or uninformed would determine that choice a and b were the best course of action But they were not.

"Safety should be judged by the moves we make which give the best chance to avoid accidents and or to minimize injury and property damage."
Kirk Fechter

3. Check out this website for another application:

Try This, make a choice, track the results
NY Times version
This mathematician has further study

Saturday, March 14, 2009


In High School, my team came in 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the state of Washington respectively my 3 years. I played on the 2nd and 4th place teams as the second board out of 5 member team. I never lost a game at the tournament. Chess was an additional hobby to cross cournty and track training. In my senior year, after playing all day on Saturday (and being worn out-competive chess takes energy) I did my 90 minute running work out finishing at 10 pm. My team mates woke me up when they came by my house in the morning, but I was able to play,

I had an interest in chess from a very young age. Every Sunday, I would look up the chess column in the newspaper and I would replay the games on my chess set. Later I got a book that taught chess. The most powerful book I got was Modern Chess Openings. I remember reading a sample first 10 moves in the book which a recreated in a High School chess match to win the game in 10 moves.

I originally had an interest in chess because it appears to be a game which does not rely on luck such as backgammon where the outcome is highly influenced by the roll of the dice.

Chess is a great game to teach various types of strategy.

There are three stages of the game, the opening, middle game and the end game. Knowing this, I emphasized the study of the opening since loss in the opening would preclude entrance until the other two parts of the game!

ADDITIONS- This fellow thinks like me- 1.d4 e6 Black is Good! Milos Jovicic


My Toys and Activites Growing Up

I had a piano and was given piano lessons starting in first grade. I would spend hours at the piano. The other major item in my house was a TV which I watched for hours. I had books that I would read and my grandI had obtained a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I also read the newspaper.
My typical day was to wake up and watch educational TV, then go to school early so I could play football, basketball. Then go through the day and participate in sports during recess (Recess is a child’s favorite subject.)
In my younger days, I had a baby sitter.I was fortunate that there were children next door and across the street which I played with.
My game playing was not done at home, since there weren’t any toys at my mom’s house but I had friends. At Dave’s house we would have races of golf balls. We would line them up and run them down the hill and keep track of which one came in first. Titleist balls consistently won. Ring toss was also a good game. Another game I played with Dave and my friend Mike was we would wrinkle a sheet or blanket and then distribute marbles. One would push the marble toward another marble having to negotiate the undulations of the blanket. Typically, if a marble missed, it was easily hit by the next shot of the opponent. Dave and I spent a lot of time playing football. We were known to team up to move the ball down the street in decreasing amounts of time to “beat the clock.” My friend David whose family was from China, had a lot of games. He taught me how to play Go, Checkers, and Risk. We didn’t play much Chess because I could beat him in Chess and he did not like to lose. When my mother came home, I would have dinner. My mother would cook steaks that my grandfather would drop off before or during the week. Many times I would make my own dinners. My specialties were heating up frozen poor boy sandwiches in the oven (no microwave), mixing chili with Chinese Egg noodles (our Elementary School had taken a field trip to Seattle’s China town and I had acquired a taste for them.)
I would also forage for food, going the fridge to sample slices of beef, cottage cheese or slices of cheese. I used to also eat a lot of ice cream. (In High School, I would have a half gallon a day for desert after dinner.) And then I would read, watch TV or agonize over homework. (I used to agonize a lot since it was all up to me and there was no supervision or checking of my homework. I was motivated since I would get $5 if I got good grades.
Since I didn’t have “toys” I had some hobbies. I used to collect coins. I would go to the local coin shop and look at coins and I started to check my coins. Tony, the owner of a grocery store across the street (he was Italian) would give me a sack of coins to go through so that I go through them to try to find valuable coins. (somehow I have managed to hang onto some of these) I also collected stamps and still have a few of them. I also collected comic books but I gave them away before really knowing how valuable and worthwhile a hobby I had. I also collected base ball, football cards, etc. I also added mid elementary school a violin. I was in the orchestra. At one period of time, my grandfather was taking me to baseball games, there was boxing award banquet and I had a concert all on the same night. I was wondering how I would make a decision, but I didn’t’ have to worry, the music teacher said that I would go to the concert or I would flunk.
I received an allowance of $.25 a week. This allowed me to save up and buy a $1 model every four weeks. I put together a lot of airplanes, ships, and tanks. I remember the Arizona battleship since it was so historic.
Later, about 6th grade, I got a weight set even including a bench which I used to stay in shape. Regularly, my mother would take us to the “avenue”. This was University Way in the University (University of Washington, my alma mater) District. We would go to Lung Ting, a Chinese restaurant where the greeter would always say, “how are you young man?” and we would go to Pizza Haven,
They had great pizza but they were bought out by Pietro’s till they went bankrupt.I think that my grandfather would have passed muster for toys. When I would visit my grandparents most every weekend, vacations, and summer vacations, I went to a house that had many toys. In my room, there was a nightstand that had drawers filled with books that had stories about Babar the elephant, Christmas stories like the night before Christmas. There were shelves with many books some of which I came in possession of after my grandparents passed away. There were plastic bowling pins which I spent hours knocking over with a softball. I had a train set that even would blow smoke. (I liked the red caboose) I had my own TV which I watched for hours and hours. At my grandparent’s house we could receive Canadian stations. It was educational and I acquired a love for the game of hockey. I Seattle we used to play floor hockey. It is hockey without skates, we run around in athletic shoes. I had a mechanical helicopter, it was a facsimile of the CH-47 Chinook which is known as the egg beater because it has two rotor blades. I had a basketball and there was a hoop outside in the car port. It was low (but late in life it was fun to stuff the basketball) but my cousin and other friends and I had some good games. I also had football, so I could practice throwing and kicking. My grandfather had about an acre in the back yard. So there was room for throwing, kicking, and tree climbing and running. The football came in handy because when I was 10, my grandfather took me to the competition of the Ford, Pass, Punt, and Kick Contest which I won and won a jacket. One of my best moments was I had a car that one could move by pedaling. I had outgrown the pedaling, but my cousin and I took turns riding it high speed down a backyard path until it disintegrated by the vibrations. When I would climb trees, I would get some cherries. We also like to pick raspberries and salmon berries. My grandfather put some sawdust down and a couple pools and put a cross bar up and I would practice high jumping (came in handy, in 7th grade, I had the highest jump, 4 foot, 6 inches) At my grandparent’s house, there was a grand piano. The key action was a bit slow, but it had fine tone. I used to play for hours and my grandmother loved to sit and listen to me play. It was a bonding experience for the two of us. I also had a set up in my mother’s apartment in my room. I ran a rubber band chain between two points and I would high jump over it onto my bed. Every Saturday, My grandfather would take me to the Washington Athletic Club. This was a great place. There was gym class where we would do various activities such as dodge ball, gymnastics, etc. I learned how to swim there. I was captain of a bowling team. I won many boxing matches and even got an award for a draw since it was considered the best fight. During football season, my grandfather and I left from the club to football game, the University of Washington. These were great days. On Sundays, from a young age, my grandfather would take me bowling on Sundays. I usually would bowl eight games. Of course, my grandfather bought me my own bowling ball and shoes. Occasionally, we would also go ice skating. I had a sled, so when it snowed I could go sledding. I first started making forts by covering chairs with blankets. Another activity was to dig holes that I would cover with shingles thereby creating a fort. I also had a bike. I used to ride circles in the driveway until I was old enough to ride on the street. I have a cousin who is only 3 months older than I and I was taken to his house. My cousin had a lot of friends who liked to play football, so we had a lot of. My cousin had a tree house we also used to hang out in. The park was close by and we used to go the playground there. We also used to get in some pretty good baseball games. I used to beat my cousin good games. We played and also touch when we were small and young enough to survive the contact in virtually any game we would play. It could be checkers, football, baseball whatever, but there was one game that he could beat me virtually every time. The Hockey game
My cousin had even had more toys than I had. Unfortunately, his father had a best friend who had two children who were very destructive and they would break many of his toys. (I confess that I broke a few of the toys, I was pretty rough.)His initial instrument was the accordion but later he had a drum set and we used to play music together, me on the guitar and he on the drums. Summers were pleasant because my grandmother would take me to the zoo where she would let me run around and see the animals. My grandparents took me to the park and playgrounds often and I would “free play” by running around. My grandparents did buy me games such as checkers and chess. I grandmother would play checkers with me, but she wasn’t much completion. I had an interest in chess from a very young age. Every Sunday, I would look up the chess column in the newspaper and I would replay the games on my chess set. Later I got a book that taught chess. The most powerful book I got was Modern Chess Openings. I remember reading a sample first 10 moves in the book which a recreated in a High School chess match to win the game in 10 moves. Starting in elementary school, the ground became a major “toy”. I challenged myself to run non-stop from my friend’s house a mile away. In eighth grade, I was on the track team. I remember coming in last in a half mile race. I was so angry that I began a life-long fitness program. That Saturday, I ran 6 miles (there were a couple stops of course the first time.) I had a lot of success in High School, I lettered all three years in Cross Country and Track. I won many races and became the Seattle Southern Division Champion in Cross Country and twice the 2 mile champion. I came in 6th in Metropolitan Championships for Cross Country and came in 6th and 2nd respectively in the 2 mile. I was the Washington state champion in the Track and field federation High School 2 mile. I also competed in the State Cross Country meet. I was voted the most inspirational runner for the Cross Country team and the Track team.
Another big toy I had was a car starting my junior year of high school. This was the biggest toy I played with until I flew helicopters in the Army – my first flight was July 27, 1980.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A B C's of Legal Ethics

Lawyers like to talk about ethics. The non-lawyer can have a difficult task trying to quantify where an attorney fits in on the ethical scale. Here is my rating system to try to help you along."
I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either. A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Grade A - An A can not be achieved in the present legal system because of its flaws- that is why I have the Solzhenitsyn quote. Ironically, primitive people had the right idea when they would arbitrate disputes with extended family and attempted to work out liveable solutions. For an A - truth and mercy have to be combined to make justice. Participants have to spill their guts and all facts must be laid bare. Americans should be arbitrated family disputes such as custody and visitation since the parties must live with the results for decades.

Grade B - This is given to those attorneys who follow the ABA Rules of Professional Responsibility. Inherent in ethical practice is the right of privilege-an attorney does not have to reveal the truth which was revealed by a client. Many injustices result thereby.

Grade C- This is known as the sharp practice. The attorney is really a jerk, follows the rules but is morally bankrupt. For instance, serving papers on someone at Friday close of business for a Friday hearing at 10 AM the next week. The party will be unable to try to get an attorney until Monday and must consult by Thursday or be unprepared.

Grade D - This is the unactionable zone for unethical behavior. A lawyer violates the Rules of Professional Responsibility. The standard to punish a lawyer is Clear, Congent, and Compelling (CCC) evidence. This is almost to the extent of "beyond reasonable doubt". A hard standard to prove.

Grade E - This is the actionable zone for unethical behavior. The conduct is so bad and blatent fulfilling the CCC standard that one is disbarred and disgraced. For instance, Mike Nifong, had made statements recorded by video and sound that the bar alleged were unethical...Hard to beat video evidence, in fact, Mr. Nifong stipulated to the facts of the videos before his hearing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2400 years ago there was an intelligent representation of the strategic issues.Today, we get 30 minutes worth of sound bites

If you take the issue out of moral grounds, humane treatment of prisoners is a combat multiplier.

"This is at once best for the future, and most terrible to your enemies at the present moment; inasmuch as good policy against an adversary is superior to the blind attacks of brute force.’"

In the First Gulf War, I saw video and heard stories of mass surrenders.One helicopter moved about 150 people to captivity.The very worst outcome is to have people fight to the death.

"but we are not in a court of justice, but in a political assembly; and the question is not justice, but how to make the Mitylenians useful to Athens. ......We must not, therefore, commit ourselves to a false policy through a belief in the efficacy of the punishment of death, or exclude rebels from the hope of repentance and an early atonement of their error. [2] Consider a moment! At present, if a city that has already revolted perceive that it cannot succeed, it will come to terms while it is still able to refund expenses, and pay tribute afterwards. In the other case, what city think you would not prepare better than is now done, and hold out to the last against its besiegers, if it is all one whether it surrender late or soon?"
In 400 BC Thycidides wrote about this discussion in His Pellopenesian War available on the internet

I have attached excerpts of the lengthy discussion which startles me on how relevant it is. I attach these few quotes for those unaccustomed to anything longer than a sound bite.

"I have often before now been convinced that a democracy is incapable of empire" "and never reflect that the mistakes into which you may be led by listening to their appeals, or by giving way to your own compassion" "forgetting that your empire is a despotism and your subjects disaffected conspirators, whose obedience is insured not by your suicidal concessions, but by the superiority given you by your own strength and not their loyalty." "The most alarming feature in the case is the constant change of measures with which we appear to be threatened, and our seeming ignorance of the fact that bad laws which are never changed are better for a city than good ones that have no authority; that unlearned loyalty is more serviceable than quick-witted insubordination; and that ordinary men usually manage public affairs better than their more gifted fellows. [4] The latter are always wanting to appear wiser than the laws, and to overrule every proposition brought forward, thinking that they cannot show their wit in more important matters, and by such behavior too often ruin their country; while those who mistrust their own cleverness are content to be less learned than the laws, and less able to pick holes in the speech of a good speaker; and being fair judges rather than rival athletes, generally conduct affairs successfully. [5] These we ought to imitate, instead of being led on by cleverness and intellectual rivalry to advise your people against our real opinions. ", this is not revolt--revolt implies oppression; it is deliberate and wanton aggression; an attempt to ruin us by siding with our bitterest enemies; a worse offence than a war undertaken on their own account in the acquisition of power. [3] The fate of those of their neighbors who had already rebelled and had been subdued, was no lesson to them; their own prosperity could not dissuade them from affronting danger; but blindly confident in the future, and full of hopes beyond their power though not beyond their ambition, they declared war and made their decision to prefer might to right, their attack being determined not by provocation but by the moment which seemed propitious.
"! if you subject to the same punishment the ally who is forced to rebel by the enemy, and him who does so by his own free choice, which of them, think you, is there that will not rebel upon the slightest pretext; when the reward of success is freedom, and the penalty of failure nothing so very terrible? " "Compassion is due to those who can reciprocate the feeling, not to those who will never pity us in return, but are our natural and necessary foes: " "For if they were right in rebelling, you must be wrong in ruling"

"As for the argument that speech ought not to be the exponent of action, the man who uses it must be either senseless or interested: senseless if he believes it possible to treat of the uncertain future through any other medium; interested if wishing to carry a disgraceful measure and doubting his ability to speak well in a bad cause, he thinks to frighten opponents and hearers by well-aimed calumny" "The good citizen ought to triumph not by frightening his opponents but by beating them fairly in argument; and a wise city without over-distinguishing its best advisers, will nevertheless not deprive them of their due, and far from punishing an unlucky counsellor will not even regard him as disgraced. [6] In this way successful orators would be least tempted to sacrifice their convictions for popularity, in the hope of still higher honors, and unsuccessful speakers to resort to the same popular arts in order to win over the multitude. " "the moment that a man is suspected of giving advice, however good, from corrupt motives, we feel such a grudge against him for the gain which after all we are not certain he will receive, that we deprive the city of its certain benefit. [2] Plain good advice has thus come to be no less suspected than bad; and the advocate of the most monstrous measures is not more obliged to use deceit to gain the people, than the best counsellor is to lie in order to be believed. [3] The city and the city only, owing to these refinements, can never be served openly and without disguise; he who does serve it openly being always suspected of serving himself in some secret way in return." "However, I have not come forward either to oppose or to accuse in the matter of Mitylene; indeed, the question before us as sensible men is not their guilt, but our interests. [2] Though I prove them ever so guilty, I shall not, therefore, advise their death, unless it be expedient; nor though they should have claims to indulgence, shall I recommend it, unless it be clearly for the good of the country. " "but we are not in a court of justice, but in a political assembly; and the question is not justice, but how to make the Mitylenians useful to Athens. " ". Now of course communities have enacted the penalty of death for many offences far lighter than this: still hope leads men to venture; and no one ever yet put himself in peril without the inward conviction that he would succeed in his design. [2] Again, was there ever city rebelling that did not believe that it possessed either in itself or in its alliances resources adequate to the enterprise" ". We must not, therefore, commit ourselves to a false policy through a belief in the efficacy of the punishment of death, or exclude rebels from the hope of repentance and an early atonement of their error. [2] Consider a moment! At present, if a city that has already revolted perceive that it cannot succeed, it will come to terms while it is still able to refund expenses, and pay tribute afterwards. In the other case, what city think you would not prepare better than is now done, and hold out to the last against its besiegers, if it is all one whether it surrender late or soon?" "And how can it be otherwise than hurtful to us to be put to the expense of a siege, because surrender is out of the question; and if we take the city, to receive a ruined town from which we can no longer draw the revenue which forms our real strength against the enemy? [4] " "although the right course with freemen is not to chastise them rigorously when they do rise, but rigorously to watch them before they rise, and to prevent their ever entertaining the idea, and, the insurrection suppressed, to make as few responsible for it as possible. " "Only consider what a blunder you would commit in doing as Cleon recommends. [2] As things are at present, in all the cities the people is your friend, and either does not revolt with the oligarchy, or, if forced to do so, becomes at once the enemy of the insurgents; so that in the war with the hostile city you have the masses on your side. [3] But if you butcher the people of Mitylene, who had nothing to do with the revolt, and who, as soon as they got arms, of their own motion surrendered the town, first you will commit the crime of killing your benefactors; and next you will play directly into the hands of the higher classes, who when they induce their cities to rise, will immediately have the people on their side, through your having announced in advance the same punishment for those who are guilty and for those who are not. [4] On the contrary, even if they were guilty, you ought to seem not to notice it, in order to avoid alienating the only class still friendly to us. [5] In short, I consider it far more useful for the preservation of our empire voluntarily to put up with injustice, than to put to death, however justly, those whom it is our interest to keep alive. As for Cleon's idea that in punishment the claims of justice and expediency can both be satisfied, facts do not confirm the possibility of such a combination. "