Archive for May, 2010

Sir John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough …

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Personalities, The English |

Winston Churchill writes thus about his ancestor, “Marlborough commanded the armies of Europe against France in ten campaigns. He fought five great battles including Blenheim; and many important actions.  He never fought a battle that he did not win, nor besieged a fortress that he did not take.  He quitted war invincible. No other British soldier has ever carried so great a weight and variety of responsibility.”

Yet it is accepted that Marlborough was ruthlessly ambitious, relentless in the pursuit of wealth, power and social advancement, earning him a reputation for avarice and miserliness. But, notes Trevelyan, nearly all other statesmen of the day were engaged in founding families and amassing estates at the public expense; Marlborough only differed in that he gave the public much more value for their money. Yet in his quest for fame and personal interests he could be unscrupulous as any.

On the Grand Strategic level Marlborough had a rare grasp of the broad issues involved,  As a commander he preferred battle over slow moving siege warfare. Marlborough proved far-sighted, often far ahead of his contemporaries and was a master of assessing his enemy’s characteristics in battle.

Marlborough was more likely to manoevre and was better at maintaining operational tempo at critical times. Yet the Duke qualifies more as a great practitioner within the constraints of early 18th century warfare, rather than as a great innovator who radically redefined military theory. Nevertheless, his predilection for fire, movement, and co-ordinated all-arms attacks, lay at the root of his great battlefield successes

As an administrator Marlborough was also without peer; his attention to detail meant his troops rarely went short of supply. When his army arrived at its destination it was intact and in a fit state to fight. His concern for the welfare of the common soldier together with his ability to inspire trust and confidence, and his willingness to share the dangers of battle, earned him the adulation of his men.

It was this range of abilities that makes Marlborough outstanding. In his Letters on the Study of History (1752), Bolingbroke declares – “I take with pleasure this opportunity of doing justice to that great man as the greatest general and as the greatest minister that our country, or perhaps any other has produced,”

His success was made possible because of his enormous reserves of stamina, willpower and self-discipline. To military historians Marlborough is the greatest British commander in history, an assessment  shared by the Duke of Wellington. who could, “conceive nothing greater than Marlborough at the head of an English army”.

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Marlene Dietrich … Among the Best …

Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Mars & Venus, Movies |

Marlene Dietrich started as s cabaret singer and chorus girl in the 1920s Berlin. She was Hollywood star in the 1930s.  She constantly re-invented herself and became one of entertainment icons of the 20th century. The American Film Institute ranked her amongst the Greatest Female Stars of All Time. Earnest Hemingway on Marlene Dietrich – “I know that everytime I have seen Marlene Dietrich, it has done something to my heart and made me happy. If this makes her mysterious, then it is a fine mystery”. Here she is in her own words.

 I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.

 The average man is more interested in a woman who is interested in him than he is in a woman with beautiful legs.

To be a complete woman you need a master and in him a compass for your life. You need a man you can look up to and respect. If you dethrone him it’s no wonder that you are discontented; and discontented women are not loved for long.

Most women set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him. Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. Grumbling is the death of love.

How do you know love is gone? If you said that you would be there at seven and you get there by nine, and he or she has not called the police yet – it’s gone.

It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich.

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Wit and Wisdom of a Woman …

Posted on May 24, 2010. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Mars & Venus |

Helen Rowland was a very quotable journalist and humorist whose possible counter was the acerbic HL Mencken. Here are her gems.

Flirting is the gentle art of making a man feel pleased with himself.

It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son.  Another woman comes and takes twenty minutes to make a fool of him.

A man snatches the first kiss, pleads for the second, demands the third, takes the fourth, accepts the fifth – and endures the rest for life.

Never trust a husband too far, nor a bachelor too near. There are only two kinds of men – the dead and the deadly.

A husband is what is left of a lover after the nerve has been extracted.

It isn’t tying himself to one woman that a man dreads when he thinks of marrying but it’s separating himself from all the others.    A man’s heart may have a secret sanctuary where only one woman may enter but it is full of little ante rooms which are seldom vacant.

When a man makes a woman his wife, it’s the highest compliment he can pay her. And it’s usually the last.

A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man. And she takes everything he says to her with a grain of salt. To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

Before marriage, a man will lay down his life for you. After marriage he won’t even lay down his newspaper.

When a man spends his time giving his wife criticism and advice instead of compliments, he forgets that it was not his good judgment but his charming manners that won her heart.

After a few years of marriage a man can look right at a woman without seeing her. And a woman can see right through a man without looking at him.

Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.

And Verily, a woman may need but know one man and understand all men; whereas a man may know all women yet understand not one of them.

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HL Mencken … acerbic as any …

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Mars & Venus |

H. L. Mencken, the “Sage of Baltimore “, was an acerbic critic of life and culture. An nfluential writer and prose stylist, made famous by his satirical reporting of the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the ‘Monkey’ trial.  A libertarian, Mencken wrote on just about everything. He attacked ignorance, intolerance, and the fraudulent. Here he is on Life, Love, Women and Marriage.

Time stays, we go!

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.

 The true man or woman is always amused rather than shocked.

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.

Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends – it is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another; it is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia – to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.

Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.

Love is like war: – easy to begin but very hard to stop.

Men and women belong to different species and communication between them is still in its infancy

Temptation is a woman’s weapon and man’s excuse.

If I ever marry, it will be on a sudden impulse – as a man shoots himself.

Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn’t they’d be married too.

The only really happy folk are married women and single men.

When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands. 

Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.

No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.

A man may be a fool and not know it, but not so if he is married.

If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.

When one is young, a wife is a mistress; when one is in middle age, a wife is a companion and when one is old, a wife is a nurse.

Men have a much better time of it than women – for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr … Master of language

Posted on May 22, 2010. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Personalities, Quotes |

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was a jurist and Supreme Court Justice for 30 yrs. He is famous for his concise, pithy, prescient opinions and remains one of the most widely cited Supreme Court justices. He is the author of the phrase, “clear and present danger.” These extracts are from his thought.

ATTITUDE is more important than heritage, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say; it is also more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

Carve every word before you let it fall. A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used. Don’t be ‘consistent but be true.

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past him. Man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.  A new and valid idea is stronger than an army. The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are tending. The rule of joy and the law of duty seem to me all one.

Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part of what we think. People talk fundamentals and superlatives and then make some changes of detail.

To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at the touch, nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power.  Yet nothing is so commonplace that it has not the wish to be remarkable. Beware how you take away hope from any human being.

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On Starting a Biz …

Posted on May 19, 2010. Filed under: Business |

These experiences cum views are garnered from divergent sources . They make a whole lot of sense.

1. Business never sleeps. It is the ultimate rush and is like life –  only harder! Buisness practise is not set in stone. “Dare to err, and Dream … Will it and briskly set to work … Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing …  and he who considers too much will perform little … It hinders the creative work of the mind if the intellect examines too closely the ideas as they pour in”.

2. It all comes down to one word – Desire. How badly do you want it? How much are you willing to sacrifice. Tenacity – that’s the term. Cheers.

3.  If there was one thing I would say is, if you think you have a great idea, DO IT! Don’t wait and let someone else fill in that gap that you think you may have found. Hey! So the majority won’t be successful but its that one in a  hundred that really counts!

4. I do agree with not waiting for perfection when launching a new business, but rather to, launch – be sensitive to responses and then adapt and manipulate what you already have to mirror market demand. I would say don’t over think – just do it and work it out as you go… 

6. .The market is the Best Teacher … Without a precursor of sales revenue, no idea deserves to be spoken of as good, or even horrible – it’s just an untested theory and it deserves the level of enthusiasm that an untested theory should bring.

7. Websites can be a lot of work if you want to make them successful. The websites which make the most are the ones that people haven’t really touched on and made effective yet. About a year ago I began working on creating a system rather than a traditional business. A system that practically runs itself, delivers a product directly to the consumer, out sources nearly all the work hours, and spouts out passive income. THIS is definitely the way to live and earn.

8. What you folks need to be doing is setting up passive income, and systems for making money without you being there. When I tell people I’m self-employed they always assume I work insane hours. This is not so. Who wants to work 80 hours a week? Do you plan on doing that forever?

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Mind, Moods and Will Power …

Posted on May 17, 2010. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

A great many books and articles are making waves re the one thing which is inevitable but most of us love to hate -. Change. Lots of theories too re the brain being divided into two parts – the emotional brain and the rational brain. The emotional brain is likened to an Elephant and the rational brain is likened to the Rider. They say, when we use the rational brain, the Rider takes control. If the Elephant (emotional brain) wants something really badly, there is not much the Rider can do. Well here is more conservative stuff culled from the older stuff taught us and which maked as much sense, if not more. So here is the traditional stuff. 

The human brain has three departments – the intellect, the emotions and Will Power. Of these the Will is the most important for success in life. Without cultivating, developing and strengthening the Will, the other two aspects are near useless. Many persons of strong Will Power have achieved the highest success in life without much help from the intellect or the emotions.

Thinking, planning, reasoning are mental.  Feeling, hoping, wishing, loving, hating,  existing in harmony are controlled by moods and feelings. In this world, the art of living well and successfully, is the art of adjusting to the ever changing tide of circumstance.

The nervous system is the seat of the emotional nature or the passions. The emotional nature moves, charms, fascinates when positive and may irritate when negative. The mental nature convinces and the physical nature overpowers. The Will may direct any or all these natures.

First a bit about the mind. The Mind is the direct governing power of the body it occupies.  Fixed inclinations rule every intelligent person. And habits, which are but fixed methods of doing things, make or mar the clearness of mind and vital existence.

There is nothing so dreary as the empty mind. It can only be countered by having a goal – for the day, for the week, for the month, for the year and a life goal. Have no idleness in your mind, otherwise power slips away.

Do not let the mind drift.  It drifts when it satisfies the desire for entertainment and for being pleased.  Mental wandering destroys power and injures the brain. When ever the mind drifts, ask, ‘What is the use of it?Let no time be wasted in idle talk, idle thinking and useless activities.

Thought is the mainspring of life and it has to be cultivated. Thought must be constant, deep and diverse.  Only by hard thinking does the mind grow.  A thinking mind is necessarily a powerful one. An alert mind is Quick Acting ala Alexander of Macedon.

Keep thinking. Develop the power of thought in the spare moments of the day. Intense wishing stimulates deeper thinking. State of mind affects the whole body. As you see yourself or should see yourself, others see you.  And what you are in relation to yourself, you will be towards others. When you fail to respect yourself, you show it in your manner and bearing towards others.

Shrewd minds are deep and perceive the trend of designed conversations.  Motive is an easy channel of influence. Nobody does a favor without motive. See motive in everything. Then classify motives  –  good or bad.. Analyze the motives of others. Only then can you take the measure of friend or foe. Any analysis of human nature, no matter in what direction applied, results in development of intuition.

Now about the emotions. Facts bring no happiness of themselves. In what we feel is the secret of true living. A person is what he thinks. Thinking makes the self and hence the  Self is the living, thinking, acting being. It is transitory.

Moods and feelings come and go and they make us what we are. Every person is at all times, sleeping or waking, in one or more of the moods. We are the daily creations of our minds and life is the accumulation of our days.

We live in the feelings that possess us and in the moods that are the off springs of the thoughts and experiences that befall us. Out of the ever present activities and thoughts, character is created and becomes permanent. Strong inclinations bring strong feelings. To remain powerful, we have to maintain mastery over the moods

Moods and feelings manifest themselves in waves of influences. And intensity increases the power of these waves. Self is slave or self is master, depending on whether these moods and feelings are cultivated powers or running as habits.  A person, who controls all moods and feelings is in poise; and moods and feelings become his slaves and he their master.

Every great personage, in every era of the World’s history, has been a consummate actor – one who knows every phase of human nature and one, who can step, at once, in to the mood of another. This is the art of supreme control of other human beings.

Slavery to a mood is the most exacting form of slavery. The King Moods are FLATTERY and SELFISHNESS. Most practical of the hard moods is DECEIT. SYMPATHY, is the mood that connects control in every form. These emotions are usually free from the control of either Mind or Body. They control the physical and are rarely subdued by the Mental.

And finally about will power. The Will Power is blind energy with the Mind in control. It is most powerful when it is most definite and most defined.

Will Power is the power behind the throne, controlling the mental, moral and physical. Indomitable Will Power is the genius of all true greatness. Success in Life is always secured by a concentration of attention.

What ever you make up your mind to accomplish that will surely come to pass. Disinclination is the most common symptom of a diseased Will Power.

Development of the Will requires the cultivation of straightforward thought because Will sets the goal of purpose. In private life, many a person has failed in seeking to control the minds and wills of others, whereas a brighter mind has stepped in and won with ease.

No man or woman should ever make you a subject. The body should be free, the mind more free and the Will Power most free of all. Let no one become your victor.

The mind reciprocates the Will. Some Wills are lax, others are firm. But even in the strongest, few are able to weave these energies into concentrated lines. The Will is strongest when its intensity is smoothest. Perfect smoothness is the result of a consciousness of supreme power.

Ordinary thought is automatic. Nothing done automatically has power. Nothing must be done without thought behind it, directing it.  Think in looking. Think in talking. Think in moving. Above all prevent the wandering tendency of the mind. There is no hope of attaining power or developing the Will with a wandering Mind.

There is the Latent and the Active will. Each has its share in every physical, mental and nervous activity.

The latent Will has control and possession of our faculties for the greater part of the time. In all conversation the destroying agency of the Latent Will is present. The thoughts come to the mind, the words to the tongue, the two connect and so pass on their empty mission.

In the presence of others, one must train the Will always to be Active. The Active Will leads and the latent Will follows.  The Active Will is a conscious determination to accomplish a fixed purpose.  Employ the Active Will by meaning what you say.

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Frank Lloyd Wright … the Architect …

Posted on May 12, 2010. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Personalities |

Frank Lloyd Wright was an Architect who designed over a thousand projects, half of which became completed works. He wrote 20 books and was a popular lecturer on both sides of the Altantic. He was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as the greatest American architect of all time. Here he is in his own words. 

“Think simple,” as my old master used to say – meaning, reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles. Get the habit of analysis – analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind. 

The truth is more important than the facts. Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.  Respect the masterpiece. It is true reverence to man. There is no quality so great, none so needed.

The thing always happens that when you really believe in a thing; that belief in that makes it really happen. Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work. I follow in building, the principles which nature has used in its domain. God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has often been said by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.

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Character and the Self vs Moods and Feelings …

Posted on May 8, 2010. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

This is  some real solid stuff – if you come to think about it. Rather bluntly put it is for understanding yourself re what you are and whiither you are tending. And of course how to get where you want to reach as far as your persona is concerned.

Thinking makes the Self’. The ‘Self is the living, thinking, acting being. It is transitory because as our moods change, so do we.

Moods and feelings come and go. They make us what we are.  All of us are, at all times, sleeping or waking, in one or more of the moods that are within us.

We are the daily creation of our minds;’ and life is the accumulation of our days.

Facts bring no happiness of themselves. In what we feel is the secret of our living.

We live in the feelings that possess us and  in the moods that are the off springs of the thoughts and experiences that influence us. Out of our ever present thoughts and actions, character is created which, over time, becomes permanent.

Moods and feelings manifest themselves in waves of influences and these are observable and noticeable by others. ‘Intensity’ concentrates and intensifies the power of these waves

Strong inclinations bring strong feelings. To remain powerful, you have to maintain mastery over the moods.

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Hedy Lamarr … Famous, Naughty, Philosophical

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Books, Light plus Weighty, Mars & Venus, Movies |

Women, at least the glamorous ones, are supposed to be dumb. Hedy Lamar (1913 – 2000) was a curvaceous, sexy Swedish blonde of the 1940s. In the motion picture ‘Samson and Delilah’, she played the ultimate siren to Victor Mature’s Samson. Sadly at the fag end of a great career, she was sent to jail for stealing a sandwich! She seems to have been more intelligent than most and her musings are forthright and indeed as profound as Plato. Here she is on her life and views.

Compromise and tolerance are magic words. It took me 40 years to become philosophical.

I have not been that wise. Health I have taken for granted. Love I have demanded, perhaps too much and too often. As for money, I have only realized its true worth when I didn’t have it.

All a woman needs is a good bath, clean clothes and for her hair to be combed. These things she can do herself.

I very seldom go to the hairdresser, but when I do, I just marvel.

Any girl can be glamorous – all she has to do is stand still and look stupid.

Analysis gave me great freedom of emotions and fantastic confidence.  I felt I had served my time as a puppet.

All creative people want to do the unconventional.

I know why most people never get rich. They put the money ahead of the job. If you just think of the job, the money will automatically follow. This never fails.

I would tell anyone who wants something from someone else to feign as if he/she does not want it. People are perverse. If you show great affection for them, they run the other way.

I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way.

I know when I’m working I seldom get into trouble. My educated guess is that boredom has caused most of the problems with Hollywood celebrities.

And I never go to funerals. To me a person is dead when he breathes for the last time. After that, your memories should be personal.

Experts always know everything but the fine points. When I took my citizenship exams, no one there knew how the White House came to be called the White House.

Mr. DeMille’s theory of sexual difference was that marriage is an artificial state for women. They only want to be taken, ruled, raped. That was his theory.

And American men, as a group, seem to be interested in only two things – money and breasts. It seems a very narrow outlook.

The ladder of success in Hollywood is usually a press agent, actor, director, producer, leading man. And you are a star if you sleep with each of them in that order. Crude, but true.

I liked oversexed people. The few I know were always talented and sensitive. I’m oversexed myself and I’ve never kept that a secret.

A good deal of sex is quite amusing. Maybe, especially in marriage, people overestimate the good or bad that serious sex can do.

Perhaps my problem in marriage, and it is the problem of many women, was to want both intimacy and independence. It is a difficult line to walk. Yet both needs are important to a marriage.

It’s funny about men and women. Men pay in cash to get them and pay in cash to get rid of them. Women pay emotionally, coming and going. Neither has it easy.

Each of my six husbands loved me for a different reason.

I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal. And I never loved any man as much.

Her biography begins –

“On a recent evening, sitting home alone suffering and brooding about my treatment at the police station because of an incident in a department store -and being replaced by Zsa Zsa Gabor in a motion picture (imagine how that pleased the ego!) I figured out that I had made—and spent—some thirty million dollars. Yet earlier that day I had been unable to pay for a sandwich at a drug-store and had had to go to jail.”

For more on Hedy Lamarr

https://improveacrati.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/and-some-on-hedy-lamarr/

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