The Quotations of Chairman Harold Newman

Introductory Note

In this 50th Anniversary year, we at PERB have been excavating our archives in preparation for the celebration scheduled for May 10 and 11, 2018. In reading through the back issues of the PERB BULLETIN, which, unlike our more general PERB NEWS, was limited to conciliation matters, I noticed that Harold Newman (PERB's first Director of Conciliation and second Chairperson) liked to strew quotations as a way of lightening what could be otherwise fairly technical pieces.

Some of the quotations are obscure, some well-known; some comic, some inspirational, and some wry. Some are made up by Newman himself, or practitioners. But half the fun is seeing how Harold (I'm sitting at what used to be his desk, both literally and metaphorically, so I think he'd forgive the liberty) will tie the quotation to the article. So each quotation is presented with a hyperlink to the article in which it is used. The articles themselves retain much of their interest, as they reflect how PERB's Conciliation Department approached a wide variety of issues, some of which have been resolved by statutory or rule amendments, but many of which still confront the parties and practitioners.

The quotations and attributions are as given by Harold; careful readers will notice a fondness for Gilbert & Sullivan, particularly Iolanthe, and one or two multiple reappearances of favorite quotations.


John F. Wirenius, PERB Chair


"Cynics know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

                                                                                   -Oscar Wilde

"The mountain sheep were sweeter
But the valley sheep were fatter
We therefore found it meeter
To carry off the latter."                                                 -Walter Savage Landor

"Long years ago, one of my brothers in a moment of youthful puzzlement and confusion
wrote, 'Freud, where would be your Inhibition, if mortals got their young by fission?'

                                                                                   -Harold Newman

"Fact-finders please take very cautious heed, The parties take seriously what they read."

                                                                                   -Harold Newman

"Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect."

                                                                                   -George Santayana

"There are no whole truths; all truths are half truths.
It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."

                                                                                   -Alfred North Whitehead

"I often think it wonderful how Nature always does contrive.
That every Boy and every Girl that's born into this world alive,
Is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative!!"

                                                                                   -Gilbert and Sullivan 'Iolanthe'

"Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven;
Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven."

                                                                                   -Sir William Jones (1746-1794)

"Lead me from the unreal to the real."

                                                                                   -Brihadaranayaka Upanishad

"For solitude is sometimes best society, And short retirement urges sweet return."

                                                                                   -John Milton

"Wer Fremde Sprache nicht Konnte, Weisst nicht sein Eigene." [One who does not know other
languages really does not know his own.]

                                                                                   -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
'It is futile,' I said,
'You can never'
'You lie,' he cried,
And ran on."

                                                                                   -Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

"The freedom to persuade and suggest is the essence of the democratic process."

                                                                                   -Edward L. Bernays (1871-1900)

"How long soever it hath continued, if it be against reason, it is of no force in law."

                                                                                   -Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634)

"When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the
          lecture room."

                                                                                   -Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."

                                                                                   -George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Glendower - "I can call spirits from the vasty deep."

Hotspur - "Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for

                                                                                   King Henry IV (Act III-Scene 1)
                                                                                   -William Shakespeare


Authorities of New York State
Now order me to arbitrate
Which workers are to do which works
Under their Contracts' murky quirks.

Although my legs aren't very strong
To OZONE GARDENS, Island Long,
I must now hobble with my cane
To hear the parties both complain:

Not at each other but at me!
What must their wild reactions be
On seeing that the Board has sent
A superannuated gent

Who seems to lack a balance such
As arbitrators need so much.

So I'll say no, I will not go
I'll just say no, no no no no

                                                                                   -Bertram F. Wilcox July 19, 1974

"Solitudinem faciunt, Pacem Appellant"
[They created a wilderness and called it peace]


"For everything there is a reason, and a time for every purpose under Heaven."

                                                                                   -Ecclesiastes 3:1

"When Britain really ruled the waves--
(In good Queen Bess's time)
The House of Peers made no pretence
To intellectual eminence,
Or scholarship sublime;
Yet Britain won her proudest bays
In good Queen Bess's glorious days!

When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
As every child can tell,
The House of Peers, throughout the war,
Did nothing in particular
And did it very well;
Yet Britain set the world ablaze
In good King George's glorious days!

And while the House of Peers withholds
Its legislative hand,
And noble statesmen do not itch
To interfere with matters which
they do not understand,
As bright will shine Great Britain's rays
As in King George's glorious days!"

                                                                                   -Gilbert and Sullivan "Iolanthe"

"I am not determining a point of law; I am restoring tranquility."

                                                                                   -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
                                                                                    Speech on Conciliation with
                                                                                    America 1775

"When baiting a mouse-trap with cheese always leave room for the mouse."

                                                                                   -SAKI (H.H. Munro) 1870-1916

"Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum."
[Let him who desires peace, prepare for war.]

                                                                                   -Vegitius (4th Century A.D.)

"When you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research."

                                                                                   -Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)

"Facts Are Stubborn Things."

                                                                                   -Alain Rene LeSage (1668-1747)

"Here lies our Sovereign Lord the King,
Whose word no man relies on,
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one."

                                                                                   -"Epitaph on Charles II", John Wilmot Earl of Rochester(1647-1680)

"Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem - In my opinion - to characterize our age."

                                                                                   -Albert Einstein 1879-1955 "Out Of My Later Years"

"Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly."

                                                                                   -Marcus Licinius Crassus (70 B.C.)

"Patience Is the Best For Every Trouble."

                                                                                   -Titus Maccius Plautus 254-184 B.C.

"The people, Sir, are a great Beast."

                                                                                   -Alexander Hamilton 1775-1804

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak-
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life,"

                                                                                   -Lewis Carroll (Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), "Father William", Alice in Wonderland

"You are young, Father Harold, and perhaps you're naïve
To expect that the parties will reason
When their purpose is just to mislead and deceive.
And avoid claims of 'sell-out' and 'treason'.

Experience teaches most labor disputes
Are products of rampant emotion;
Compulsive desire to stir up emeutes;
And a thirst for chaotic commotion.

The parties agree when this instinct recedes,
And self-interest dominates passion,
Until this occurs, none listens or heeds
In a logical common-sense fashion.

Disputes like a fever must run out a course
And crisis of charges and hating!
It's not every marriage that ends in divorce!
There's service in patiently waiting."

                                                                                   -Peter Seitz July 26, 1975

"After quashing a magistrate's order for a 12-stone Great Dane to be destroyed because
it was dangerous, Judge Robert Lymbery yesterday gave it a friendly pat at Bedford
Crown Court. The dog bit the judge's hand twice - and the Judge was taken to hospital
for treatment."

                                                                                   -New Statesman (London England) January 9, 1976

"It was the English," Kaspar cried,
         'Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for
          I could not well make out.
But every body said,' quoth he,
'That 'twas a famous victory.'"

                                                                                   -"After Blenheim", 1815, Robert Southey

"There is no law governing all things."

                                                                                   -Giordano Bruno 1548-1600

"We are born for cooperation, as are the feet, the hands, the eyelids, and the upper and
lower jaws."

                                                                                   -"Mediations" Marcus Aurellius Antoninus (121-180)

"There is such a thing as legitimate warfare: war has its laws; there are things which fairly
may be done, and things which may not be done…."

                                                                                   -Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) (Apologia pro Vita Sua 1864)

"Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be
the same…the golden rule is that there are no golden rules."

                                                                                   -George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) "Maxims for Revolutionists" in MAN AND SUPERMAN

"Quando la vita vi da dei limoni fatta delle limonite." [If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade.]

                                                                                   -Giancarlo Pellegrino Suriano-Siboletti (1976)

"The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that's excellent.
It has no kind of fault or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law."

                                                                                   "Lord Chancellor's Song Iolanthe", W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

"The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I; let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me..."

                                                                                   -Last Poems, A.E. Housman (1859-1936)

"Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose.
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I've told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is the Law."

                                                                                   -"Law, Say the Gardeners, Is the Sun", W.H. Auden (1907-1975)

Othello: "Is he not honest?"
Iago: "Honest, my lord!"
Othello: "Honest! 'ay, honest"
Iago: "My lord, for aught I know!"
Othello: "What dost thou think?"
Iago: "Think my lord!"
Othello: "'Think my lord!' By heaven he echoes me,
As if there were some monster in his thought too hideous to be shown."

                                                                                   -William Shakespeare, "Othello", Act III-Scene 3

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

                                                                                   -Revelation 22:12 "Othello", Act III-Scene 3

"You cannot eat breakfast all day,
Nor is it the act of a sinner,
When breakfast is taken away,
To turn your attention to dinner.
And it's not in the range of belief,
That you could hold him as a glutton,
Who, when he is tired of beef,
Determines to tackle the mutton."

                                                                                   -Gilbert and Sullivan's -"Trial by Jury" "Othello", Act III-Scene 3

"SOPHE CHATTEL-MONKHEIM was a Socialist by conviction and a Chettel-Monkheim
by marriage. The particular member of that wealthy family whom she had married was
rich, even as his relatives counted riches. Sophie had very advanced and decided views
as to the distribution of money: it was a pleasing and fortunate circumstance that she
also had the money. When she inveighed eloquently against the evils of capitalism at
drawing-room meetings and Fabian conferences, she was conscious of a comfortable
feeling that the system, with all its inequalities and iniquities, would probably last her time.
It is one of the consolations of middle aged reformers that the good they inculcate must live
after them if it is to live at all."

                                                                                    -The Byzantine Omelette, (H.H. Munro) 1870-1916

"Sir if I were to suggest that-in the interest of economy, quietness, encouragement of
individual initiative and promotion of family life - all television broadcasting be banned for
one day each week, would I be a lone voice?"

                                                                                   -Gilbert and Sullivan's -R.A. Spalding, The Vicarage Babraham, Cambridge Letter to LONDON TIMES January 22, 1977

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."

                                                                                   -Gilbert and Sullivan's-Edward John Phelps (1822-1900)

"O'er the rugged mountain's brow
Clara threw the twins she nursed,
And remarked, "I wonder now
Which will reach the bottom first?"

                                                                                   -"Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes"Harry Graham (1874-1936)

"Nay, whoever hath an absolute authority
To interpret any written or spoken laws,
It is he who is truly the Lawgiver to
All intents and purposes, and not the
Person who first wrote or spoke them."

                                                                                    -Benjamin Hoadly Bishop of Bangor [Sermon Preached Before the King- 1717]

"Don't go into the front room, Dad,
Nancy is there with her caller,
Daddy dear, won't you stay out here?
Rose has a friend in the parlour.

Don't go into the kitchen, Dad;
I'll be there with my beau.
Since all of his girls have steady young men,
O'Brien has no place to go!"

                                                                                   -From: "O'Brien Has No Place To Go," Irish Song

"How happy is he born and taught
that serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!"

                                                                                   -From: Sir Henry Wotton 1568-1639, "Character of a Happy Life"

"Neutral men are the devil's allies."

                                                                                    -Edwin Hubbel Chapin (1814-1880)

"How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! Yea, to get understanding is rather to be
chosen than silver."

                                                                                    -Proverbs of Solomon 16:16

"How long soever it hath continued, if it be against reason, it is of no force in law."

                                                                                    -Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634)- Institutes. Commentary upon Littleton

"There can be no question of holding forth on ethics. I have seen people behave badly
with great morality and I note every day that integrity has no need of rules."

                                                                                    -Albert Camus (1913-1960)- THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS - Alfred A, Knopf & Co., NEW YORK 1955

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

                                                                                    -Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881)

"The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing."

                                                                                    -Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

"I told him it was law logic - an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of
justice, but good for nothing anywhere else."

                                                                                    -John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) to Chief Justice Marshall

"I don't have a free day for the next eight months. Let me show you my calendar."

                                                                                    -Some PERB Arbitrators

"I never get any work from you. Don't you send my name out?"

                                                                                    -Other PERB Arbitrators

"Away with him! Away with him! He speaks Latin."

                                                                                    -King Henry VI -Part II, Act IV-Scene VII

"All is flux, nothing stays still."

                                                                                    -Heraclitus (C540-C480 B.C.)

"A chap by the surname of Newman
was distinguished for "striking" acumen
Had that been a Verb
His future at PERB
Would die before it got bloomin'."

                                                                                    -Erwin Kelly


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