« May 2019 | Main | July 2019 »

Attractive Organizations

As I have long had an interest in ad hoc citizen organizations and long term ones as well, it is likely that I may post more on organizing and the nature of organizations. Below you can find a list of personal likes I have had in organizations. Perhaps you will find some of your likes on the list.

Factors which have attracted me to a given organization have often been its objectives. An organization attractive to me would certainly have some of the following attributes. An organization which attracts me often has>

  • members who feel connected, involved, and respected.
  • the motive of helping me and others to thrive. 
  • a clear understanding of costs and benefits.
  • many members who promote widespread participation and responsibility.
  • members who embrace reality and are willing to approach the truth.
  • members who value honesty and justice.
  • those who study and promote actions good for me.
  • a mission I find valuable and pleasing.
  • a purpose of advocating and protecting me.
  • enough competent members.
  • plenty of talk in which all participate.


An organization which attracts me is one which

  • keeps me in the information loop.
  • most members feel well connected with leadership
  • makes very clear who pays how much and who gets what.
  • moves in the direction of democracy.
  • tends to be inclusive.
  • tends to safeguard that which I value
  • I find congenial.
  • includes those who study and promote actions good for me and others.
  • advocates and protects people and process important to me. 
  • promotes dialogue which leads to appropriate action.   


  • Plenty of talk in which all participate.
  • Enough competent members.
  • Dialogue which leads to appropriate action.
  • One that advocates and supports people and processes important to me.
  • Those who study and promote actions good for me and others.
  • I find it congenial.
  • One which has a mission I find valuable and pleasing.
  • Has members who value honesty and justice.
  • a purpose of advocating and protecting me.               


I plan to make future organization posts less about me and more about organizations. Still, organizations are about people and I am the person I know best.



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill


Before the end of this year, I hope to get this Mago Bill blog before a greater audience. I also hope to make it easier for you to use and explore. I also hope to complete a couple of posts a bit longer than those I have posted recently. Perhaps I can even find a congenial way for us to chat about the content of Mago Bill

Scientist As "Wage Slave"

We tend to think of a scientist as one of our more creative individuals, and as smart and well educated. We seldom think of a scientist as anything like a wage slave. However, a scientist is usually employed by someone. She has to work for another.  she is bossed. She may be fired.

An institution a scientist works for can be a problem for her. For example>

  • The institution can have values that do not coincide with those of the scientist.
  • A scientist my dislike certain tools or methods of the employing institution.
  • She may find ways in which her institutional manager's communications are distasteful. 


I addition to her salary a scientist receive funding to pay for more of her time, and energy, and knowledge. She might receive funding for attending to interests very different from her own. Her present interests may be interesting new paradigms or the cutting edge of her branch of science. The main interest in her wage paying institution might profit and the control of ideas. Money sure can help these days, but it may work to limit thinking, creativity, and enjoyment.

Really big ideas may be fenced in, or out, or out by a large institution. The scientist may learn to stay on the rails of an old science and to avoid the danger of trying to understand new ideas or taking on promising new work. However, she may not be a happy camper [slave?].

It is not always easy to keep a mind free. One may even lose heart.

May your heart be strong.


by Richard Sheehan                                                                                                                                        for Mago Bill 






Try it where you live.

It is useful to remember that civility is an important part of effective civics and politics.


We can benefit by learning:

  • more of civility.
  • some collaborative leadership.
  • about consensus building.
  • a deeper level of tolerance. 
  • about sources of conflict.
  • people who are fundamentally different from one another can develop sensitivities that will enable them to get along.


We are at our civic best when we:

  • are listening
  • are working in partnership with others.
  • lead by example.
  • have the courage to be appropriately humble.  


We can learn to educate ourselves, find out what others have to say, plan, and organize.

We have a lot to learn. My old aunt said, that, by beginning, we are halfway there. After that one keeps on keeping on.



by Richard Sheehan                                                                                                      for Mago Bill 


Dialogue Pactice

A list, mostly about what this dialogue practice is, and a bit about what it is not.

Dialogue practice is not:

  • a place to make a particular point prevail.
  • a debate or discussion
  • an attempt to "make points."
  • a game to win or lose. 


Dialogue practice is a way to:

  • peace and good-will.
  • see our words as gifts.
  • keep a stream of meaning flowing among us.
  • an activity which helps us to be us.
  • and through the meaning of our words.
  •  an honest and supportive activity.
  •  greater awareness and enhanced consciousness. 
  •  hone our listening skills.
  •  develop new speaking skills.
  •  practice effective methods of communication. cultural preservation, growth, and creation.
  • make a healthy, effective society more probable.
  • meet interesting people.
  • put honest thoughts on the table where we can look at them and begin to find their meaning.
  • find pleasure in speaking up.
  • understanding among us and within us.
  • satisfying relationships.
  • exchange of ideas and opinions.
  • share experience.
  • more effective communication beyond the group.
  • practice a "second" language.


According to David Bohm, dialogue practice is: 

  • participating in a flow of meaning between us, through us, and among us
  • an activity out of which emerges new and renewed understanding.
  • an activity which helps us to be us.



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill

Megalithic Blarney?

There are hits of sophisticated megalithic workings close around Ireland's Blarney Castle! Right on the castle grounds, there are traces of large stone workings in a solid yellow(golden) sandstone like stone . The famousBlarney Stone shows signs of being made of the same hard yellow/gold sandstone.

The last time I was there, there were still stone "steps", seemingly cut into bedrock "sandstone" and disappearing down into the earth around the castle.

I have not yet found anyone who can tell about this ancient stonework. Work much older than old Blarney castle.  

We have much to learn about a Stone Age which was grander and more sophisticated than the Stone Age many of us were taught about.


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill


Senator Sanders

Dear Senator Sanders,
The two parties we have known and loved may be too tattered to be attractive just now. Now might not be the best time to try to refresh the name Republican and Democrat.
It may be time for a new party with new planks a new platform and new active members we can be proud of.
We can attract citizens from all parties and no party. A big place for the Green Party within our fresh new party seems good.
We could as everyone to help us find an appropriate new name.
We can do what we can for the next elections and also begin a decade long teach-in for the effective citizenship of a grand number of fresh faces, minds spirits, and hearts.
You have begun the great work of educating youth for citizenship. It is a wonderful work that will not be completed in our lifetime nor in many lifetimes. Thank you for bringing the best of past political thought to the youth of today.
Thank you for your grand service to citizens past, present, and future.

Richard Sheehan
for Mago Bill
Thank you for your grand service to the people of this country.

We have A Lot To Learn About Canada and Canadians

I believe that these notes relate to doings and happenings which are making Canadians, Canadians:

  • The quiet revolution of the 1960s did much to affect modern Canadians.
  • Canadians use the metric system.
  • Canadian arctic climate seems to be changing faster than most arctic climate.
  • Canada is the fifth largest producer of energy in the world. It produces about 6% of the energy used in the world.
  • It is the largest producer of natural uranium.
  • It is the worlds largest producer of hydraulic energy.
  • Canada's oil sands are still in the news.
  • Only Russia, the People's Republic of China, Saudia Arabia, and the US produce more energy.
  • 98% of Canada's energy production goes to the US. US credit is still good with its neighbors.
  • The structure and functi0n of the governmental affairs of Canadians continue to evolve. Governmental budgetary information, at all levels, is more readily available to Canadians than similar information is to US citizens.
  • "Canada" has its origin in the language of the Iroquois. It meant something like "villages" and was once used as a name for Stadacona, an Iroquoian village that had stood where Quebec City now stands.
  • Basque and Portugues fishermen were very early arrivals in Canada.
  • The war of 1812 greatly affected the development of Canada.


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill

Chief Justice

It is my experience that many U.S. citizens were not pleased with Earl Warren's time on the Court. In reviewing some of his history, I find it pleasing, and the character of the man pleasing.

Let me recall a bit of what I have learned:

His father was an immigrant from Norway. My paternal grandmother's parents had roots reaching back to Norway. That may make me kin to Warren. Hope that doesn't prejudice this account.

He spent much of his childhood and youth in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield is a town on the edge of the desert I have called home. Almost a homeboy.

He seemed to have had a strong dislike for mob action. I don't like it much either

Earl W. was a young charter member of Local 268 of the American Federation of Musicians. I am not a musician, but I have seen value in unity.

Warren quoted president Lincoln as saying, "I'm a slow walker, but I never walk backward." I am not exactly sure of what that means, but it does not seem a bad saying for a politician.

Well, now I feel interested in what Mr. Warren did as Chief Justice of our Supreme Court. I have walked backward from time to time, but just now I feel like working up a little essay on Warren's doings as Chief Justice.


by Richard Sheehan                                                                                                      for Mago Bill 























There Are Still Some democrats

In the distant past, there were democrats. In the recent past, there were democtats. There are still some democrats. A democrat might be thought of as a person believes in the people's ability to learn and to do. I know little about what those who call themselves democrats now are doing.  I do have a sharp emory of that which democrats have done in my lifetime. 

I hope you understand that I am not using "democrat" to refer to a member of a political party, but rather as one who holds a certain philosophical position. A Republican may be a democrat.

Democrats have tended to promote certain doings. Many of those doings tended to be definitive of their beliefs.

Democrats have promoted:

enhancement and protection of democracy among us.

the study of legislation affecting democracy.

vigorous ongoing education about the use and doing of democracy.

  • improved communication among political organizations and within them.
  • development of widespread leadership rather than of super-leaders.
  • enhanced education for participation in governance.
  • cooperative self-governance.
  • willingness to thoughtfully and promptly change a bad law for the better.
  • strong respect for law.
  • inclusivity and diversity in public life.
  • cooperation within and among groups.
  • knowledge of the history of democracy including its limitations and advantages.
  • respect for the varieties of democracy around the world.
  • our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
  • loving care for each and every child.
  • respect and honor for the individual, the family, and the neighborhood.
  • more nearly equal opportunity for access to healthcare for each person. 
  • strong support for public health.
  • respect and support for the positions of minorities.
  • wide, ongoing educational opportunities for all. 


This list can be greatly increased.

However, there is already enough here to suggest planks for the platform of a present political party or candidate; or, for a new party or candidate.


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill 





A Teacher's Activity May Seem Esoteric

A teacher arranges data, facts, information, and knowledge for students, as an aid for them to do the same for themselves and for others.

A teacher helps his students to use logic, definitions, and analysis.

A good teacher's words are like tiny seeds which may be held in many different hands and are pregnant with meaning. A simple utterance such as "The beginning is half of the whole." may confuse a mathematician for a moment, but may serve him well in the most difficult of times. A teacher's words may be dangerous, but a good teacher offers them as tiny, easily controlled sparks which may come to make the smith's fire look small.

To be a truly good learner or disciple is to b heard by the teacher. The teacher is a reacher. She wants to extend herself to the learner. A good teacher wants to be prompt to hear and to listen effectively, but first the disciple must speak. Disciple and master desire to better retain and preserve in memory that which is heard. All interpret.

A good student dismisses nothing which is taught until its rudiments are entirely mastered. It may seem like trying to swallow the configuration whole at first, but tried it may be liked. Try making a framework of the whole yours. Then, as life goes on you may have a useful place to attach, some say hang, new information and understandings of a similar nature.  

A student's activities may too seem esoteric. 

Notes on the Colusa

I intend to write about the early people of North America from time to time. I'll begin now with notes on the great Colusa people. Here on Mago Bill, I hope to write enough about the Colusa to sharpen your interest in the people we have called Indians.  

In the 1500s the Colusa still controlled much of the southwest of what is now the state of Florida. They defended their land from the aggression of others, including Europeans. The Spaniards knew them as fierce.

The Caloosahatchee River, with its mouth on the southwest of Florida, was central to their lands.

They lived mostly along inland waterways and developed them for transportation and food production. The sea was also a source of food for them. They left middens of seashells large enough in size to compete with their great mounds and earthworks. They fished with nets and also trapped fish.

The Calusa may be directly related to the Paleoindians of 10,000 BC. They had seagoing vessels and were probably related to Caribean island people as well. In later years they were famous for their wide use of seashells.

They were physically well developed and in colonial times and later were known for being 3 to 4 inches taller than the usual European man.

The Colusa had a strong influence on the tribes around them. That influence, in some part, may have been due to their wide trading network. They typically used dugouts, for use at sea and along their inland waterways. They also built and used larger vessels. They visited the island we now call Cuba regularly and almost certainly sailed much farther into the Caribbean.

Their homes were built on platforms on pilings over the water. Their buildings had particularly handsome roofing of palmetto leaves. It is said some of their buildings were large enough to easily accommodate 2000 persons. They were excellent woodworkers and they did some fine wood carving.

They were also excellent farmers, sailors, fishermen, and traders. Their large gardens were often surrounded by canals and were built up and fertilized by dredging the canals. They are probably responsible for the construction of what we have called bayous.  


Their high-level culture has been dated to well before 100 BC. Many of their middens and earthworks have been dated to at least that time. And their culture may extend thousands of years before that time.

We have much to learn from and about these people. If you have anything to say about the Colusa please add it to the comment section.


by R.C.S.

for Mago Bill