Welcome to  GordonHumankind.com

To become a sponsor, benefactor, or contributor:

Contributions Welcome through PayPal

Click on "Home" at the top of the page for

the PayPal button.

Contributions are not tax deductible 

  •                                                                                Wishes for the Family of Humankind

                                                                                     Offered by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.

                                                                                                  January 10, 2013

The original version was authored July 18, 1996 and submitted to The Millennium Project at a World Futures Society Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.  That version has been slightly augmented and modified by the author.

Ø  Cultivate and realize the fullest possible expressions of love, harmony, humanity, civility, and cooperation. Recognize that if we fail to recognize and move toward a fuller expression of our essential nature — our essential humanity, and as many would say, our essential divinity — that life on earth will become increasingly brutish, cutthroat, deadly, anarchic, and chaotic.

Ø  Recognize that the ills that have arisen and that can arise from the uses of technology can be prevented, mitigated, and addressed so long as we remember that we have it within our power to make technology our servant. We can use technology to serve the needs of humankind and to improve the quality of life. By using technology in these ways, we are acting to free ourselves to explore and to live and experience life to the fullest. The value of technology lies in the extent to which humankind can devise ways of using it for the betterment of humankind. Humankind is taking part in its own self-destruction to the extent that it acts in ways that divorce the use of technology from basic human values of life itself, human health and welfare, and the freedom with which to enjoy, experience, and realize all of these values to the fullest.

Ø  The rigidification of rules and regulations, microlegalisms, and micromanagement that fly in the face of common sense, understanding, experience, judgment, and wisdom, are creating conflict and problems; seriously restraining creative uses of energies and resources to address our problems; as well as threatening our mental and physical health, sanity, freedoms, and our very humanity.


Ø  It is essential that widely held views regarding the role and nature of science and scientific endeavor and the explanatory usefulness and applicability of Newtonian physics to the understanding of human and societal behavior need be reconsidered. The "soft sciences" have failed to increase in any profoundly human way our understanding of human and societal behavior and problems. This widely accepted "value neutral" approach to "understanding" is widely sanctioned and rewarded in academic and professional communities, including business and public administration. The widespread acceptance of this scientistic, value neutral approach has been responsible for the destruction of idealism, realism, human understanding, and common sense in untold numbers of human beings and, importantly for the future, of unknown num­bers of students and graduates. This approach has impaired our capacity to address with humanity our most pressing problems. This approach has too often kept persons in roles of responsibility from even recognizing and coming to terms with the nature and root causes of the problems that face us. The embrace of such value neutrality and such superficial and inadequate approaches to analysis and understanding has too often led to actions that are divorced from human consideration, feeling, insight, experience, knowledge, wisdom, common sense, and judgment, and from common human values and humanity. Arthur Koestler made some of the same observations. In recent years, Margaret Wheatley is among those making a similar case.


Ø  Recognize, as Mary Parker Follett in her works had noted, that the definition of the purpose of democracy can be seen as the unleashing of creative energies. Recognize that these unleashed creative energies can be used for the benefit and the betterment of individuals as well as society as a whole. In fact, Ruth Benedict's notion of the healthy, "high synergy" society was one in which individuals acted in a way that served both their own interests and the best interest of the social whole. A "low synergy" society was one in which the actions of individuals were counter to the interest of the social whole. Another way of looking at health and unhealthy groups and societies was suggested by Herbert Shepard. He said that the "mentality assumptions" of competition, compromise, and coercion typify unhealthy organizations or cultures and that the direction that we need to move in if civilization is to survive is toward a healthier set of "mentality assumptions" that includes cooperation, collaboration, and consensus seeking, and one would add, caring.


Ø  Encourage the adoption or re-adoption by the nations of the world of a concept of the public good and the public interest which emphasizes the need for governments in free societies to act in ways that maximize the values inherent in a free society — values of life, health (individual and societal), and freedom (individual and political). Try to help those who have as yet failed to move in the direction of such an understanding through the use of educational strategies and through example.


Ø  Address the major problems of our times and encourage governments and all segments of society to recognize the importance of devoting time, energy, understanding, and resources to doing so. Adopt approaches and policies that address the underlying causes and unmet needs that give rise to problems that are affecting human health and functioning and the realizing of societal stability and viability.


Ø  Recognize that drug abuse and substance abuse of all kinds is destroying the mental and physical health of an increasing portion of rising generations throughout the globe. Recognize that an increasing portion of the adult population is also being affected. Take steps to address the underlying causes of the problem of substance abuse and rec­reational drug use and experimentation, one of our most pressing human and societal problems facing humankind. Without will power, without soul power, there can be no initiative; there can be no sense of responsibility for ourselves or future generations. Recognize that substance abuse and other forms of addictive behavior are taking a considerable toll on mental, physical, and societal health, not only on those who indulge, but on those around them, including those who love them or depend on them.


Ø  Recognize a central underlying cause of many of our societal ills today is an absence of meaning and purpose in life. This can involve an absence of motivation and a sense of anomie. It can involve an absence of any healthy values and an absence of human feeling and sense of connection to others. Love, faith, trust, human feeling, and purpose, and a valuing of life itself, all need to be cultivated and nurtured. Even the presence of just one caring person in an individual's life can make all the difference. Restorative efforts are essential to the success of any attempts to address such ills. Addressing underlying causes and other unmet needs can also be critical to long-term success.


Ø  Address the problems of unemployment and underemployment by applying human ingenuity and creativity to the solution of these problems. Act to instill and encourage the valuing of all kinds of useful work and service, along with the valuing of other creative contributions to culture and society that enhance the quality of life and contribute to the health, happiness, and fulfillment of individuals and humankind.


Ø  Recognize the inhumanity of any national or global policy that does not have as its goal "zero" unemployed and require that reporting and analysis of the actual number of those who are unemployed and underemployed not be intentionally or unintentionally obfuscated. It is essential that the true extent of the problem be recognized so long as "unemployment figures" are allowed in effect to dictate national or global economic policies.


Ø  Address the problem of crime in a way that takes into consideration the root causes and unmet needs that give rise to such behavior. Adopt approaches to prevention, early intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation that are humane and that foster healthy human development.


Ø  As Abraham Maslow pointed out, recognize that it is crucially important that we decide what it is that we are trying to achieve through education. Question seriously the goal of global competitiveness. If, first and foremost, the purpose of education to help assure to the realization or continuation of a free and democratic social order,  then all of our efforts in education need to be imbued with and informed by the values that are essential to sustaining freedom, democracy, and a responsible citizenry. 


Ø  Recognize the need for adequate shelter and health care as being a societal goal. Apply ingenuity and resources to addressing these needs. Avoid taking steps that turn people into numbers and dismiss the preciousness of every human life. Address the symptoms as well as the underlying problems and unmet needs that have given rise to these problems. Take steps to prevent the cycle from beginning in the first place and take steps to intervene at all subsequent stages of the cycle. 


Ø  Resist the currently popular impulse and the bias to simply study and research problems. Resist also the impulse to try to address all problems by "committee" or reaching group consensus in a "bottom up" approach. If we neglect the people who have insight, vision, and understanding, persons with philosophical insight and with first hand understanding and experience of how to bring about change in non-coercive and non-intrusive ways; we will have failed to use what should be among our most valued resources. Provide opportunities for such individuals to contribute in major ways to the solving and amelioration of the problems and challenges.


Ø  Move beyond typical efforts to simply research problems. Encourage and value the development of the human capacities for common sense, understanding, ingenuity, sound judgment, responsible action, vision and leadership coupled with the all-important courage and initiative to take action. See the importance of the need for persons who are in roles of responsibility to have an understanding of the problem as well as the will and the courage to take action and the capacity and the gumption to act wisely. Cultivate understanding of the kinds of constraints that can get in the way of healthy change. It is unrealistic to think that persons who have adopted the role of non-participant/researcher observer will necessarily have the needed insight and experience to be able to envision workable or politically and organizationally feasible solutions or ways of addressing societal problems and challenges. It is even less typical that they will have the determination, courage, ethical and moral compasses, and cultivated sense of responsibility needed to carry out solutions or take action to address problems and challenges. While such characteristics typified the finest persons who have served in government in the past; in recent times the focus of academic and professional training programs have failed to develop persons with such attributes, character, capacities, and capabilities. For these and other reasons, the number of such persons needs to grow, not diminish.


Ø  Recognize the need to help cultivate the elements of citizenship that are essential to effective and responsible government. In situations where these fail to be present, adopt educational strategies that will serve to help inculcate them. Recognize that a major problem being faced newly emerging, would-be democracies, is that citizens in these reoriented nations are without current or recent experience of what it means and what it can entail to be a responsible citizen of a free and democratic society.


  Consider the merit of slower and more carefully considered approaches to change so that populations are not thrown into social and economic chaos. Try to learn from mistakes that have been and are being made.


Ø Encourage corporations and those in business, as well as others to adopt an attitude of social responsibility and discourage greed and lust for power as ends in themselves. Encourage a balancing of profit-making and giving back to society, in a way that fosters the unleashing of creative energies for the betterment of humankind 


Ø  Recognize that the playing of political games takes precious attention, energy, and resources away from critical human and societal problems.


Ø  Recognize that when persons in roles of public responsibility and trust play games with people’s lives and with society’s and civilization’s fragile future, that their actions are not only irresponsible, but some would say criminal.


Ø  Recognize that it will be difficult if not impossible to begin to ameliorate the problems that face us until and unless we achieve some agreement that our highest commonly shared value is the value and preciousness of life itself, be it perceived as being God-given or an existential given.


Ø  Recognize that honesty, fair play, and tolerance are essential if the family of humankind is to move in the direction of healthy societal development.


Ø  Recognize the need for focusing attention on nurturing the healthy development of humankind and adopt an attitude of individual and societal stewardship and responsibility for both human and natural resources. It is especially critical that those in positions of public responsibility cultivate such attitudes.



Some have said that we are that we may know joy and love, that we may experience the fullest possible meaning of existence. Others have said that to live life fully, to experience joy and love fully, is to know God and realize a divine destiny.


May we live in such a way and encourage others to live in such a way through example and deeds that all increasingly realize and experience a sense of meaning and fulfillment in their lives and come to contribute as a matter of course to the realization of that potential for the benefit of all of humankind.

                                                                       * * *   

Copyright by Paula D. Gordon

E-Mail:  pgordon@starpower.net

Added with permission of the author to Global Futures Intelligence System of The Millennium Project at https://themp.org/challengegroup/15/resources/


Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. is based in Washington, D.C. Her Ph.D. in Public Administration is from American University; her M.A. in Public Administration and her B.A. in Rhetoric are both from the University of California at Berkeley. Her areas of specialization include Public Administration, Public Policy, Management and Organizational Behavior, Ethics, Leadership and Change, Organization Theory and Behavior, Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Diffusion, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Policy, and Drug Abuse Prevention Policy.

Dr. Gordon is an educator, writer, and consultant. She teaches courses at several different universities. She has served as staff officer, policy analyst, or special projects director for the National Institute of Mental Health, the Federal Energy Office and Federal Energy Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Governmental Relations. She also ran for Congress in Contra Costa County in the Bay Area in California. She has an extensive background in a variety of domestic policy arenas including drug abuse prevention, emergency management, and homeland security.

Dr. Gordon’s websites include the following:







These websites include her work on some of the following topics: transforming and leading organizations, nurturing ethical and value-based behavior in the public service, unleashing creative energies in organizations for the benefit of individuals and society, and improving the problem solving and knowledge transfer processes.  Also included is a website on an innovative theory of carcinogenesis and anti-carcinogenesis.  Her doctoral dissertation, “Public Administration in the Public Interest” ( accessible at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  ) focuses on the role of government in complex societal problem solving. In that dissertation she describes a new paradigm of public administration and governance.


                                             Auburn University Outreach Online Courses Being Taught  in 2023

                                                                        By Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.

                      For additional details and dates for the following three or four week online  courses,

                                                     see  http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  .

  • The Effects and Impacts of Marijuana Use ~ Policies and Approaches Addressing the Challenges  
  • Transforming and Leading Organizations  
  • Key Elements of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Continuity Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina
  •  Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid and Fentanyl Crisis ~ A National Public Health Disaster
  • Planning & Preparedness for Homeland Security & Emergency Management Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina
  • Unmet Needs & Challenges: Some Key Challenges Facing Homeland Security & Emergency Management Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic ~ A Public Health Disaster

The following is from http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/

Emergency Management is the managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters. The profession seeks to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to protect and mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters 1. Underpinning this goal is risk-informed planning and decision making that produces integrated, coordinated, and synchronized plans for the community 2.

Likewise, when business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential 3. Currently in the United States, more that 60% of businesses do not have disaster response or business continuity plans.

Emergency Management leverages the Whole Community. Under this approach, the full capacity of the private and nonprofit sectors, including businesses, faith-based and disability organizations, and the general public, in conjunction with the participation of local, tribal, state, territorial, and Federal governmental partners, organize and strengthen their assets, capacities, and interests in the face of all hazards 4.

Quick Facts about the Program

Earn the Emergency Management certificate by completing a minimum of five (5) courses. Individuals enrolled in the Emergency Management Certificate program must complete all four specified core courses as well as one elective. Courses may be taken individually and independently from the Emergency Management Certificate.

Designed to meet the specialized needs of:

Governmental Managers and Leaders
Elected Officials
Individuals employed by Governmental entities
Individuals employed in the Public Sector
Private and Non-Profit Sectors
Faith-Based Organizations
Disability Organizations
General Public

Endorsements from Students Taking the Courses in the

Emergency Management Certificate Program taught by Dr. Gordon:

Participants in the courses come from widely varying backgrounds.  They have included Local, State and Federal government agency officials; Fire Chiefs and Fire Department officials, Police Department , local and regional  Emergency Management Directors and officials, and other individuals in roles of public responsibility for emergency management, homeland security, and public safety , including, officers in the military,  University officials responsible for health, safety, and security; and individuals in academia including those responsible for curriculum development. 

From a Federal official with responsibilities for emergency management and emergency planning:

I think this is a great course….. 

I would recommend for anyone involved in the emergency management field or involved with emergency planning.

 I would definitely want my staff to take this course….


From an official of a large university with responsibilities for campus-wide Public Safety Information & Education:

This course has really helped me realize the impact on planning and preparedness of the differences in catastrophic and non-catastrophic events, and has helped me feel more equipped to address the planning challenges related to catastrophic events.  In the past, I have focused mainly on technical and operational issues, but I can now see the importance of the broader perspective… It has also really emphasized to me the importance of understanding complex problems and the value of generalists, who can lead multi-disciplinary teams of experts in finding solutions to these complex problems that we face in emergency management today. 

From a Retired Military Officer currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management:

This course has shown me that there is so much information available if you simply look or ask for it. One of the main things I took away from this course is that flexibility is absolutely essential. There are so many variables that it is impossible to plan for every single situation. Even disasters that are classified the same, such as earthquakes, are very different as pointed out by Timothy Manning from a geologist perspective. I think if you understand that there is no “one size fits all” accompanied with a solid foundation of knowledge, flexibility will provide the necessary ingredient to be successful. Secondly, mitigation and preparedness are extremely critical when it comes to disasters/threats. Proper preparedness and mitigation start  with each individual and if everybody does their part, the end-result will be very different from those communities that lack mitigation practices and a preparedness plan.



                                       Paula D. Gordon A Selected Publications, Reports, and Presentations  

For Paula D. Gordon’s Doctoral Dissertation “Public Administration in the Public Interest” see http://GordonPublicAdministration.com   Also see the accompanying June 2014 PA Times column by Dr. Mary Hamilton on the continuing relevance of the dissertation today



                                                    The Need to Establish the Purpose of Government

                                                                       by  Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D

The following is based on a presentation given at the National Press Club on September 17, 2007 and a chapter in Cal Clark and Don-Terry Veal (eds.) Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011.


     My doctoral dissertation was entitled “Public Administration in the Public Interest” (http://GordonPublicAdministration.com ) and one of my major areas of interest has been the relationship among public administration, public service, and ethics.  Currently, I am focusing upon specific problem areas and challenges that are facing the nation, in particular Hurricane Katrina:  the way the country responded to it, and the leadership questions that arose.  More broadly, I am involved in extensive research on emergency management and homeland security since 9/11.  I sometimes think of my work as representing a 70,000-foot perspective in which I am trying to identify the fundamental concerns that face our country today.


     What particularly strikes me is the need for leadership.  My master’s thesis was on leadership behavior and task-oriented workgroups.  In it, I developed a model of leadership based on Abraham Maslow’s concept of “metamotivation.”  Meta-motivation involves “being as concerned for the welfare of others as one is for one’s own self.”  I believe that this meta-motivational leadership model was in place at the time of the founding of the nation and that the challenge before us now is to move back to the same kind of selfless service of America’s Founders. 


     In 1976, I attended a six-week symposium about public administration at the time of the nation’s founding.  It was sponsored by the National Endowment of the Humanities and directed by Martin Diamond, a noted scholar in constitutional law at Northwestern University.  The discussion and controversy amongst the dozen or so participants in that symposium focused on the basic nature of government.  I don’t think that we can get very far until we’ve dealt with these fundamental issues.


     I recall that at the time the first “Reinventing Government Report” came out, I was working as the Director of Special Projects at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR).   John Kincaid served as the Executive Director of the Commission at the time.  The authors of the “Reinventing Government Report” initially briefed members of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). I had accompanied John Kincaid, a NAPA Fellow to the meeting.  After the authors had discussed their findings and recommendations, the NAPA Fellows in attendance were invited to ask questions and make comments.  John Kincaid asked what I thought was a most striking question.  He asked the following question: “What do the results of (the Reinventing Government Report) have to do with the mission of government?”


     David Osborne, the person who was a key author of the report admitted (and I thought did so very graciously and humbly) that the authors of the report had not really dealt with that issue, but that he anticipated that they would address the question of the mission of government as their work continued.   Well, I think that was a major oversight.


    Take the impact of 9/11.  In my view, the controversy that still continues is whether or not there has been a fundamental change as a result of 9/ll.  Some people don’t seem to have changed their understanding of the nature of government and the nature of the challenges that have confronted us since 9/11.  For others (and I personally agree with them), we now live in an entirely different world.  They believe that the future of civilization is in the balance in a way that it never had been before.  This is owing to the fact that anything can happen at any time as the result of the use of any tactic or weapon of mass destruction or disruption by non-state actors.  It may be hard to acknowledge this, but if this is the case, then those who are in position of responsibility in government need to be able to understand the nature of the situation that we are in.  They also need to be able to lead our nation so we can survive as the beacon of liberty and freedom and justice in the world.  They need to be able to lead that nation in a way that advances the survival of humankind and civilization.


     What lessons might be gleaned from the way in which the government responded to Hurricane Katrina.  I don’t think that the nature of the problem concerning what happened in Hurricane Katrina and concerning the government’s response to it were well understood.  Unfortunately, people blamed each other for things that exceeded the capabilities of individuals or government.  There was little recognition of this reality.  There was and has been very little forgiveness.  Many people have the sense that all you need to do is put the proper processes in place and you will be able to survive anything, including a catastrophic natural disaster.  Well this isn’t necessarily the case.  There are catastrophes that can happen that have impacts that are beyond our control.


     Katrina was one of the greatest catastrophes that happened in a populated area in the United States.  General Honore seems to be one of the few people who, I think, fully understood this.  Most of those contributing to after action reports failed to comprehend the difference between a disaster that was moderate in size and a catastrophic event.  General Honore’s statements about Katrina were pithy and insightful.  For example, he likened responding to Katrina to a football game in which there was little or no chance of gaining any yardage in the first quarter.  When all of the major elements of the critical infrastructure are in a state of failure and all the lines of communication are down, no one is going to be able to do anything.  You can’t fly in planes or helicopters, and you can’t network and coordinate efforts.  You can’t even establish what the status of the situation is.


     One of the things that should have resulted from Katrina, but has not as yet, is a heightened level of understanding of the importance of preparedness, not just for hurricanes or tornadoes, but for the whole range of disasters that could befall us.  So, to make a long story short, I would like to suggest the possibility of a national alliance for the transformation of government, one that would incorporate a focus on the need for transparency and on the fundamental role of trust in government, and that even more importantly focused on the need for the realistic assessment of the challenges that face us and a common of mission that focuses on a commitment to addressing those threat and challenges.


     Dwight Waldo, a luminary in the field of public administration, both a friend and influence in my life, wrote extensively on this subject.  He and Herbert Simon in fact had a falling out in the 1950s and 1960s concerning the nature of public administration and the purpose of government.  While Simon emphasized the matters of process, Waldo argued that the purpose of the field of public administration and government had been overlooked.  He had written a famous article in the 1960s entitled “Public Administration and Change: Terra Paene Incognita.” The “little known territory” he spoke of was the purpose of government and where it should be going.  Waldo argued that the field of public administration had no underlying philosophy of change.  In effect, there was a metaphysical nihilism underlying the efforts of those contributing to the field.


     I believe that we need to achieve a renewed consensus about the direction of change in public administration and government should be before we talk about the need for transparency in government.  We need to return to the values of America’s founders, as embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution.  What this suggests to me is that we need to clarify what we mean when we talk about acting in the public interest.  To me acting in the public interest is acting in such a way as to advance the values of life, health and freedom and that does so in a way the maximizes and respects the humanity of all concerned.  We need to recognize that we are living in a time of chaos and turbulent change, where measurement and focus on process does not really help, since by the time that we have measured something, the entire situation has changed.   What good is focusing on process if we have no idea of the values or purposes that the process is intended or apt to serve?   We should be doing what we had done with the Marshall Plan for reconstructing Europe after World War II.  Then, we focused on the nature and scope of a huge problem and took the action that needed to be taken based on our understanding, experience, intelligence, ingenuity, and skills.  That is what we should be doing now.  We need to adopt more of a practical strategy that focuses on doing what we know to be right and what our experience and understanding helps us to see is the right course of action.   I believe that instead of focusing primarily on transparency, we need to address the greater challenge facing America, the need to renew our understanding of the very mission and purpose that drove the efforts of the Founders and that should still be driving our efforts today.

Reference:  Dwight Waldo (1969). “Public Administration and Change: Terra Paene Incognita.” Journal of Comparative Administration 1 (May 1969):94-113.


About the Author:

     Paula D. Gordon is an educator, writer, and speaker.  Her graduate degrees are in public administration from the University of California at Berkeley and American University in Washington, D.C.  She has worked in a variety of capacities from policy analyst, staff officer, director of special projects, contractor, and consultant for a wide range of Federal agencies and departments.  She has also run for Congress in California’s 7th District.  Her websites include http://gordonhomeland.com , http://GordonPublicAdministration.com; and http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com .


     These websites include articles, reports, publications, presentations and op-ed pieces on homeland security and emergency management, on drug abuse prevention, on public policy issues, and on ethical, organizational, managerial, and educational topics.  Her dissertation, “Public Administration in the Public Interest” is accessible at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com .   For a bio, see http://lifeboat.com/ex/bios.paula.d.gordon.         E-mail: pgordon@starpower.net .


                                                Paula D. Gordon Statement to the Advisory Committee
                                                         of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Board

The Statement that follows refers to the following article:

 Paula D. Gordon, The Japan Earthquake and the Tsunami: Their Implications for the U.S.,  The Journal of Physical Security 6(1), 1-9 (2012), http://jps.anl.gov/

February 28, 2013 Statement by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. to the Advisory Board of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce

      Thank you for this opportunity to make a statement at this meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

     I would like to raise a question and make a recommendation. These pertain to some issues raised in a review piece of mine that some of you may have seen.  The review piece was recently published in the Journal of Physical Security. (See Paula D. Gordon, The Japan Earthquake and the Tsunami: Their Implications for the U.S. in The Journal of Physical Security 6(1), 1-9 (2012), http://jps.anl.gov/ ).

     I believe that a solid case can be made and has been made that those individuals, primarily structural engineers, who set the safety standards used for building nuclear power plants in the U.S, including plants in seismically active areas, that those individuals did so without adequately taking into consideration mechanical engineering principles, specifically the implications that mechanical engineering principles have for setting the standards for the bearing clearances in rotor bearing systems in nuclear power plants, including primary fluid coolant pumps and generators and other rotor bearing systems that could become projectiles in an earthquake and damage the reactors and the facilities.  If this is the case then, such nuclear power plants will not likely withstand even the magnitudes of earthquakes that they have been built to withstand, let alone earthquakes of higher magnitudes and tsunamis that could accompany those higher magnitude earthquakes. 

     My question and recommendation to you and to others in the executive and legislative branches of government are as follows: 

     Shouldn’t this serious matter be addressed not only by those who have regulatory responsibility in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), but shouldn’t this matter be addressed as well, by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program along with the Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC) and others with relevant responsibilities in other parts of the government?  That includes those with responsibilities for prevention, mitigation, and emergency management; including preparedness, response, and recovery, responsibilities that should become a matter of concern now owing to the potential catastrophic impacts that higher magnitude earthquakes could have on nuclear power plants in seismically sensitive areas of this country and the potential impacts that accompanying tsunamis could have on plants located in coastal areas.  It does not seem likely that one agency such as the NRC could possibly undertake all the protective, remedial and other actions that are needed.   Awareness of the vulnerabilities that exist and commitment to taking appropriate actions should not be limited to the NRC alone.  The creation of a Federal interagency task force would seem to be in order to raise awareness regarding the mechanical engineering principles that appear to have been overlooked in the setting of standards for building nuclear power plants in the U.S. and for configuring the bearing clearances in rotor bearing systems in nuclear power plants. Such a task force is needed for consolidating knowledge and expertise on these vulnerabilities and for taking appropriate action. 

    Thank you for the opportunity to raise this question and share this recommendation with you. 


                                             Paula D. Gordon A Selected Publications, Reports, and Presentations  

The list includes the following:

 Work Related to Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and Comparative Scenario and Options Analysis

 Work Related to Public Administration, Leadership, Organizational Culture, Ethics in the Public Service, Problem Solving, and Knowledge Transfer

 Work Related to Drug Abuse Prevention, Health Care Reform, and A Theory of Carcinogenesis and Anticarcinogenesis

 Work Posted in the Global Ethics Section of  The Millennium Project’s Global Futures Intelligence System Website at https://themp.org/challengegroup/15/ :  " Wishes for the Family of Humankind ".  Also posted at http://GordonHumankind.com .

   Selected Relevant Websites







                                                   Selected Publications, Reports, and Presentations

                                       Related to Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and

                                    Comparative Scenario and Options Analysis  by Paula D. Gordon

Improving Homeland Security & Critical Infrastructure Protection and Continuity Efforts,  March 23, 2003  Report for the Lexington Institute . See http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/hscipreport.pdf   or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

 The Different Nature of Terrorism and Terrorist Threats Post 9/11 and the Implications of These Differences See http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/thedifferentnatureofterrorism.htm  or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com  .

 The Homeland Security Impact Scale:  An Alternative Approach to Assessing Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection Efforts and a Frame of Reference for Understanding and Addressing Current Challenges.  See http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/thehomelandsecurityimpactscale.htm  or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com  .

 Using E-Technology to Advance Homeland Security Efforts.  PA TIMES, Vol. 25, No. 1, January 2002.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/etechnology.html  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  .

 Comparative Scenario and Options Analysis:  Important Tools for Agents of Change Post-9/11 and Post Hurricane Katrina.  Homeland Security Review, Vol. 1 No. 2, 2006.  Also posted at http://gordonhomeland.com  or http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/optionsAnalysis.html .

 Pre- and Post-9/11 Perspectives:  Understanding and Teaching about Differences in Perspectives Affecting Governance and Public Administration Post-9/11. (Ethics Today, Spring and Summer 2009).  Also see  http://gordonhomeland.com 

 Thoughts about Katrina: Responses to Two Questions about Hurricane Katrina and America's Resilience,  December 1, 2005.  (The Forum on Building America's Resilience to Hazards, held December 19-21, 2005, was sponsored by The American Meteorological Society in collaboration with The Space Enterprise Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  See http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/katrina.html  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  .

 Capabilities and Skills Needed by Those in New Roles of Responsibility for Homeland Security at the State and Local Levels of Government.  Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/CapabilitiesAndSkillsNeeded.html  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  . Also published in the PA TIMES, March 2005 (a publication of ASPA).  

 Key Challenges for the Future of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Education, PA TIMES, Vol. 31, Issue 8, August 2008. (The PA TIMES is a publication of the American Society for Public Administration.) (Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com .)

Some Innovative Elements of Several Courses That Integrate Emergency Management and Homeland Security Concerns.  FEMA Higher Education Conference Presentation, Emmitsburg, MD.,  June 9, 2011.  Posted at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  .

A Matrix Approach to Comparing and Contrasting Some Differing Perspectives on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in a Post-9/11 World.  FEMA Higher Education Conference Presentation, Emmitsburg, MD., June 9, 2011.  Access at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  .

Strategic Planning and Y2K Technology Challenges: Lessons and Legacies for Homeland Security.  PA TIMES, Vol. 24, No. 11, November 2001.   Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/homeland_strat.html  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  .

List of Selected Homeland Security and Emergency Management References and Resources” compiled by Paula D. Gordon (119 pages) (Updated July 28, 2011.) See the file section of http://GordonPublicAdministration.com .  (This List is incorporated in the collection of the Homeland Security Digital Library, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California.)

The Japan Earthquake and the Tsunami: Their Implications for the U.S.,The Journal of Physical Security 6(1), 1-9 (2012), http://jps.anl.gov/  and  a related Statement To the Advisory Committee of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, February 28, 2013, posted at http://GordonHumankind.com  .


           Work Related to Public Administration, Leadership, Organizational Culture,

Ethics in the Public Service, Problem Solving, and Knowledge Transfer by Paula D. Gordon

Transforming and Leading Organizations.   Government Transformation,  Winter 2004-05 issue. (Also posted at http://gordonhomeland.com   and http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/transforming_orgs.pdf  .)

Changing Organizational Culture: Unleashing Creative Energy. Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/change_culture.pdf  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com   .

The Ethics Map: An Interview with Paula Gordon, by Paula Gordon and James Heichelbech. Published in Ethics Today, Volume 7, Number 2, Winter 2004.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/EthicsMapInterview.html  and http://gordonhomeland.com .)

The Ethics Map ~ A Values-Based Approach to Defining Ethics and Integrity in the Public Service.  Based on a Paper Prepared for the Normative Foundations Group Transatlantic Workshop on Ethics and Integrity, March 21 - 23, 2007, Adelphi, Maryland.  (Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com .)

Knowledge Transfer: Improving the Process. Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003.  Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/knowledge_transfer.html   or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  

Recognizing and Addressing Problems of Scientific and Technological Complexity. Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/problems_scientific.html   or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com   .

Common Sense, Law, and Public Administration: A Review of Philip K. Howard’s Book  The Death of Common Sense ~ How Law is Suffocating America and A Discussion of Related Developments, Themes, and Issues in American Public Administration.  October 3, 2010.  Access at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  .

The Need to Establish the Purpose of Government. A chapter in Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011  (A file copy of chapter is accessible at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com .)

Dissertation: "Public Administration in the Public Interest: A Prescriptive Analysis of a Democratic Humanist Paradigm of Public Administration"   (A file copy is now accessible at  http://GordonPublicAdministration.com .  Also see a June 2014 column in the PA Times by Mary Hamilton about the relevance of the dissertation to today.)


    Work Related to Drug Abuse Prevention, Health Reform and 

A Theory of Carcinogenesis and Anticarcinogenesis by Paula D. Gordon

 The Harm Caused to Individuals and Society by the Use of Marijuana, December 29, 2009. (See http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com  or  http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5140/pub_detail.asp .  Also see http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com for reports and journal articles relating to substance abuse.)

 Health Care Reform: A Modest (Hippocratic) Proposal.  December 29, 2009   (See http://GordonPublicAdministration.com  or http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5126/pub_detail.asp  

Health Care Reform: On the Brink of a Possible Unprecedented Societal, Legal, and Constitutional Crisis posted at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com

 A Theory of Carcinogenesis and Anti-Carcinogenesis at http://GordonCancerTheory.com  


Wishes for the Family of Humankind  (Posted in the Global Ethics Section of The Millennium Project’s Global Futures Intelligence System website at  https://themp.or/challengegroup/15/ and at http://GordonHumankind.com .)
Coming soon: http://GordonEbolaImmunity.com



        Excerpts from the (Rare) Whimsical Writings of P.D. Rivers Gordon:

           The Hic-cu Chronicles ~

Mind Candy for the Heart and Soul


Hiccus are little anecdotes and observations, most of which (but not all) are totally true. 

Some are like Zen koans. 

Some are like nothing else.


A Hic-cu by Any Other Name


A poet friend of mind calls my hic-cus: "hip-coos"

To each, his own.


That poet friend has written his own hip-coo:

"I love Hip-coos.

For they jump off the page

And kiss you."


    Rules for Hic-cu Writing?


That poet friend once asked me what the "rules" for hic-cu writing were.

I replied:

Hic-cu writing rules?

Surely you jest!


I am so glad!




I love to hear from you by e-mail.

Sometimes, even when you're here,

I want to hear from you by e-mail.


The Top of My Refrigerator

Today I cleaned the top of my refrigerator.

It had not been cleaned so well since I moved in ~

I will not say how long ago that was.

Tomorrow, I start on the file cabinets in my head~

I have not cleaned them since I moved in ~

I cannot say how long that has been.


"Two…I Mean One…"..

I talk to myself from time to time when there is no one else around.

One day I was driving home while engaging in the following conversation:

"How would you like to go to a movie?"

"Great idea…."

When I got to the movie theater, I walked up to the ticket booth

and said, " Two, please."

I realized what I had done and quickly said, "Oh, I mean one."


The World Turned Into a Telephone Booth

People walking down the street,

Talking on cell phones,

Turning the world into a telephone booth….



Person Waiting


He had hung his jacket over his chair at the restaurant.


I said, "Your cell phone in your jacket pocket is ringing."


He said, "Thanks" and answering his cell phone, put me on "Person Waiting".




A Mind of Our Own


I once ordered a hot fudge sundae at a Svenson's.


"No," the waitress said.  "You want the hot caramel nut sundae with whipped cream."


I seemed to have no choice.


She brought me one.


She was right.




Excerpts from an unpublished manuscript.

Copyright P. D. Gordon 2015, 2019


If you would like a file copy of the complete manuscript, please send a suggested contribution of $21.00

via PayPal with a note that it is a contribution for The Hic-cu Chronicles

and at the same time send an e-mail with your name  with your return e-mail address to pgordon@starpower.net

requesting a file copy.  Click on "Home" at the top of this page to find the PayPal Contributions Account button.