Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 2, 2009

Homeland security: discussing ideas, events, and people

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on May 2, 2009

Friday I received an email with a forwarded trail of other emails.  You know the kind.  Attached to the signature block of a complete stranger was a quote. 

My wife assures me you have already seen this quote. But I had not.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It is possible to discuss people in a great-minded way.  Considering Moses, Socrates, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, Leonardo Da Vinci,  Abraham Lincoln, or Eleanor Roosevelt is one way to discuss great ideas.  But we know — especially anyone who spends much time in Washington D.C. knows — people-discussions that are small-minded.

Homeland Security Watch will discuss people. Who is doing what and how they are doing can be significant.  We will discuss events.  Using events to inform our policy, strategy, and planning judgment is crucial.  But we need much more discussion of ideas.  Homeland security is a young discipline.  The ideas around which we organize and what we do with those ideas will have a significant impact on both people and events.

The folks at Wikiquotes suggest Mrs. Roosevelt probably did not say this and the source is unknown.  Too bad.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 3, 2009 @ 9:18 am

Terrific post! What is also accurate is the relatively young discipline of Homeland Security. It certainly is not exclusively the province of the United States but all nation-states no matter what their political or economic system. The real first question as the oldest and richest democracy (republic) evolves first principles in HS is can our Consitution be preserved. Second can the line-drawing between criminal law enforcement and HS and the US of Armed Forces and HS be done in a way to promote our democracy. Those interested in a Wenn diagram I participated in designing setting out some set theory relating to such line-drawing are welcome to contact me off line at vacationlanegrp@aol.com

Comment by Beth

May 4, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people well small minds discuss people as the lowest concern as average minds discuss events leading up to those great minds discuss the ideas of how to benefit from those people that lost their lives in the event? WTC responders, Gitmo detainees, Katria victims, Iraq war, financial crisis and people are not compensated, remembered, thanked, helped or heard about those traumatic events that they will never forget for those great minds to discuss ideas of how to benefit, profit, protect infrastructure, risk management and/or reward grants to contain the lowest possible threat – the people.

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