Guide Posts

Tax Avoidance – India is not far behind …

Posted on November 14, 2017. Filed under: Business, Guide Posts, The English |

An Editorial in the Guardian – Saturday 11 November 2017

The Guardian view on the Paradise Papers – not all is lost The tax avoidance revelations have unleashed a demand for reform and social justice. Only a rash government would ignore it.

While it is true that until recently the Queen did not even pay tax, it is shocking that her Financial Advisers saw nothing wrong with investing several million pounds of her Personal Wealth through such a convoluted offshore fund. The Queen finances a whisker of BrightHouse, the household goods business accused of exploiting its customers.

Bono owns a bit of a Lithuanian shopping centre. Lewis Hamilton dodged VAT on his private jet with the finesse of an F1 champion.

These are just a few of the headline details that have emerged this week out of the Paradise Papers, a leak of 13.4m files from the offshore Law Firm Appleby. They show the World’s Super Rich employing legions of accountants to legally avoid paying the tax they owe to the Country where they live.

And all over the World, jaws have dropped in astonishment.

The Guardian was one of 95 media organisations with whom the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shared data obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The Papers are a reminder of how erratic and sometimes downright obstructive the British Government has been in its attitude to reforming domestic taxes, and in supporting international attempts to tighten up transparency and accountability rules.

Less than a fortnight out from a budget that is set to maintain the cap on public spending, the discovery of so many who are so willing to flout the rules by which most of us live has provoked the kind of outrage that should be a watershed.

Unlike last year’s leak of the Panama Papers, which exposed illegal tax evasion, the Paradise Papers have not uncovered criminality.

Instead, they reveal a state of mind where it is entirely normal to ignore what most citizens regard as the wider obligations that accompany great good fortune.

So, for example, while it is true that until recently the Queen did not even pay tax, it is shocking that her Financial Advisers saw nothing wrong with investing several million pounds of her Personal Wealth through such a Convoluted Offshore Fund.

The stories that have emerged – some of Celebrity Greed, some of a Rapacious Capitalism – are all the more shocking as the threadbare state of the UK’s Public Realm after seven years of austerity is now unmistakable.

Setting aside the individual pain of impoverished services, in this past week alone a powerful Report from a group of think-tanks argued that the NHS needed an extra £4 bn a year to stand still, while the boss of NHS England, Simon Stevens, issued something close to a back-me-or-sack-me appeal as he demanded a similar increase.

Teachers’ leaders pressed the Chancellor to fund a 5% pay rise; Councils demanded that the cap on their borrowing to build is lifted as more than 78,000 families face homelessness. The crisis in social care is unresolved.

Ending tax avoidance may never be possible. Nor, alone, would it raise enough to restore the fabric of Britain’s Public Services. But it could be much more tightly controlled.

And while some abuses like the offshoring of profits by global companies need the kind of international cooperation Gordon Brown advocated in a BBC Interview this morning, there is plenty of scope at Westminster too.

Yet in the past few weeks an attempt by Stella Creasy to close a loophole that allows foreign-owned Companies to deal in commercial property without paying capital gains tax was defeated.

This week, despite the revelations, Theresa May ruled out using UK Financial Clout to demand a Public List of Beneficiaries of Offshore Trusts.

Financial Services are major Conservative donors. A similar proposal in the European Parliament was obstructed by British MEPs. And HMRC, the Government Department that polices tax gathering, is widely accused of having being captured by the tax avoidance industry.

It is understaffed and underfunded, while most of the Department’s energy is directed towards inventing a customs and excise regime for the world after Brexit.

Death and taxes were supposed both to be inevitable. Now for anyone rich enough, taxes appear merely optional. But an appetite for change and social justice has been unleashed, and it would be a foolish Government that ignored it.

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Einstein and Tagore Square Off …

Posted on November 11, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

The New York Times wrote an Article with the headline ‘Einstein and Tagore Plumb the Truth’ and a memorable photo (of their New York Meeting) titled “A Mathematician and a Mystic meet in Manhattan.”

Unsurprisingly, this fascinating conversation quickly became a media sensation with many publications across the world carrying the recorded version. Here’s an excerpt from this historic exchange of ideas (published in the January 1931 issue of Modern Review)

TAGORE: You have been busy, hunting down with mathematics, the two ancient entities, Time and Space, while I have been lecturing in this country on the Eternal World of Man, the Universe of Reality.

EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine isolated from the World?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The Infinite Personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the Human Personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is Human Truth.

EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the Nature of the Universe — the World as a unity dependent on Humanity, and the World as reality independent of the Human Factor.

TAGORE: When our Universe is in harmony with man, the Eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as Beauty.

EINSTEIN: This is a purely human conception of the universe.

TAGORE: The world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. Therefore, the world apart from us does not exist; it is a relative world, depending for its reality upon our consciousness. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it truth, the standard of the eternal man whose experiences are made possible through our experiences.

EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.

TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realize the supreme man, who has no individual limitations, through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of truths. Religion realizes these truths and links them up with our deeper needs. Our individual consciousness of truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know Truth as good through own harmony with it.

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove, but I believe in the Pythagorean
argument, that the Truth is independent of human beings. It is
the problem of the logic of continuity.

TAGORE : Truth, which is one with the universal being, must be essentially human; otherwise, whatever we individuals realize as true, never can be called truth. At least, the truth which is described as scientific and which only can be reached through the process of logic—in other words, by an organ of thought which is human.

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Environment and Economics …

Posted on September 20, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Business, Guide Posts |

George Monbiot in The Guardian

There was “a flaw” in the theory – this is the famous admission by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, to a congressional inquiry into the 2008 financial crisis. His belief that the self-interest of the lending institutions would lead automatically to the correction of financial markets had been proved wrong.

Now, in the midst of the environmental crisis, we await a similar admission. We may be waiting for some time.

Similarly, Milton Friedman, an architects of neoliberal ideology, put it: “Ecological values can find their natural space in the market, like any other consumer demand.” As long as environmental goods are correctly priced, neither planning nor regulation is required. Any attempt by governments or citizens to change the likely course of events is unwarranted and misguided.

But there’s a flaw.

Hurricanes do not respond to market signals. The plastic fibres in our oceans, food and drinking water do not respond to market signals. Nor does the collapse of insect populations, or coral reefs, or the extirpation of orangutans from Borneo. The unregulated market is as powerless in the face of these forces as the people in Florida who resolved to fight Hurricane Irma by shooting it.

It is the wrong tool, the wrong approach, the wrong system. There are two inherent problems with the pricing of the living world and its destruction.

The first is that it depends on attaching a financial value to items – such as human life, species and ecosystems – that cannot be redeemed for money. The second is that it seeks to quantify events and processes that cannot be reliably predicted.

Environmental collapse does not progress by neat increments. You can estimate the money you might make from building an airport: this is likely to be linear and fairly predictable. But you cannot reasonably estimate the environmental cost the airport might incur.

Climate breakdown will behave like a tectonic plate in an earthquake zone: periods of comparative stasis followed by sudden jolts.

Any attempt to compare economic benefit with economic cost in such cases is an exercise in false precision. Even to discuss such flaws is a kind of blasphemy, because the theory allows no role for political thought or for action.

The system is supposed to operate not through deliberate human agency, but through the automatic writing of the invisible hand. Our choice is confined to deciding which goods and services to buy. But even this is illusory.

A system that depends on growth can survive only if we progressively lose our ability to make reasoned decisions.

After our needs, then strong desires, then faint desires have been met, we must keep buying goods and services we neither need nor want, induced by marketing to abandon our discriminating faculties, and to succumb instead to impulse.

You can now buy a selfie toaster, that burns an image of your own face on to your bread – the Turin Shroud of toast.

You can buy beer for dogs and wine for cats; a toilet roll holder that sends a message to your phone when the paper is running out; a $30 branded brick; a hairbrush that informs you whether or not you are brushing your hair correctly. Panasonic intends to produce a mobile fridge that, in response to a voice command, will deliver beers to your chair.

Urge, splurge, purge: we are sucked into a cycle of compulsion followed by consumption, followed by the periodic detoxing of ourselves or our homes, like Romans making themselves sick after eating, so that we can cram more in.

Continued economic growth depends on continued disposal: unless we rapidly junk the goods we buy, it fails. The growth economy and the throwaway society cannot be separated.

Environmental destruction is not a byproduct of this system: it is a necessary element. The environmental crisis is an inevitable result not just of neoliberalism – the most extreme variety of capitalism – but of capitalism itself.

Even the social democratic (Keynesian) kind depends on perpetual growth on a finite planet: a formula for eventual collapse. But the peculiar contribution of neoliberalism is to deny that action is necessary: to insist that the system, like Greenspan’s financial markets, is inherently self-regulating.

The myth of the self-regulating market accelerates the destruction of the self-regulating Earth. What cannot be admitted must be denied.

Ten years ago this week, Matt Ridley – as chair of Northern Rock – helped to cause the first run on a British bank since 1878. This triggered the financial crisis in the UK. Now, in his new incarnation as a Times columnist, he continues to demonstrate his unerring ability to assess risk, by insisting that we needn’t worry about hurricanes: as long as there’s enough money to keep bailing us out, we’ll be fine.

Ridley, who helped destroy the hopes of millions, is one of the faces of the New Optimism that claims life is becoming inexorably better. This vision relies on downplaying or dismissing the predictions of environmental scientists.

We cannot buy our way out of a process that could, through a combination of heat stress, aridity, sea level rise and crop failure, render large parts of the inhabited world hostile to human life; and which, through sudden jolts, could translate environmental crisis into financial crisis.

The sigh of relief from insurers and financiers when Irma changed course could be heard around the world. In April Bloomberg News, drawing on a Report by the US Federal Mortgage Corporation Freddie Mac, investigated the possibility that climate breakdown could cause a collapse in real estate prices in Florida.

It looked only at the impact of sea-level rise – hurricanes were not considered. It warned that a bursting of the coastal property bubble “could spread through banks, insurers and other industries. And, unlike the recession, there’s no hope of a bounce back in property values.”

The sigh of relief from insurers and financiers when Hurricane Irma, whose intensity is likely to have been enhanced by global heating, changed course at the last minute could be heard around the world.

This year, for the first time, three of the five global risks with the greatest potential impact listed by the World Economic Forum were environmental; a fourth (water crises) has a strong environmental component. If an economic crisis is caused by the environmental crisis, it will be the second crash in which Ridley will have played a part.

They bailed out the banks. But as the storms keep rolling in, you’ll have to bail out your own flooded home. There is no environmental rescue plan: to admit the need for one would be to admit that the economic system is based on a series of delusions.

The environmental crisis demands a new ethics, politics and economics. A few of us are groping towards it, but it cannot be left to the scattered efforts of independent thinkers – this should be Humanity’s Central Project.

At least the first step is clear: to recognise that the current system is flawed.

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Jojo – A Life as Great as Any …

Posted on September 13, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personal Stuff, Personalities |

An edited Version of Raj Mehta’s Tribute. –

What can you say about a brave, outstanding Cavalry officer who was blinded at 22?

That he was blinded by by an Anti Tk shell hitting the turret of his tank as he stood in the open turret in the 1965 War. That he was a topper in all he did? That he was handsome, personable, perceptive and lovable. That the only battle he ever lost, was surrendering with a half smile to the insidious lung cancer.

His name – Jayanta Kumar Sengupta. Born on 17 October 1942, Chotu was the second son of Amar Prashad, a corporate executive, and Namita Sengupta. He left Huddard High School after making it to the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehra Dun. He was adjudged ‘Best Cadet’ – stood 1st in the All-India UPSC order of merit for NDA and won the Gold Medal for the 22nd course at NDA and again the Gold Medal at IMA, passing out tops with the 31st course.

Commissioned into India’s oldest Cavalry Regiment, the 16th Light Cavalry in December 1962, Chotu was awarded the Silver Centurion trophy for best Young Officer at Ahmadnagar. When the 1965 Indo-Pak War started, he was attending a Gunnery course at ‘Nagar.

Currently US based veteran, Lt Col Kartar Singh Sidhu Brar, Chotu’s CO, recalls that Chotu rejoined the Regiment on 17 September and that Chotu “had a very special place in our hearts”. On arrival on 17 September, Chotu was appointed troop leader in B Squadron under Maj ‘Morris’ Ravindran.

On 21 September morning, Chotu was standing up out of the cupola with his binocs when his tank got a direct hit on the turret. The blinding flash, splinters and glass lacerated his face. ‘Wendy’ Dewan who was close recalls Chotu’s calmness – “I can’t see but I’m fine. How are the boys?” Chotu was placed on blankets on a tank deck and brought to RHQ where Gen Rajinder Singh had landed and him evacuated.

After Army Hospital Delhi, Chotu was moved to INS Aswini. His optic nerve was severed and that meant “profound, 100 percent blindness”. At St Dunstan’s he learnt Brail, powered by his wit, humour, zest for life. In 1967, he was boarded out from the Army with 100 percent disability.

In a rare interview, he smilingly recalled that ‘there was no emotional setback following the mishap. Indeed, my family and the Army were strong sources of support.” He added that his St Dunstan’s stay where soldiers blinded in war are trained was a godsend – it was a new beginning. ‘I met a lot of Britishers with a similar disability. Seeing them go about their work inspired me.”

Focusing on winning the ‘Battle of Life’, this unassuming, genuine real-life hero attracted people like a magnet. He took up a dealership with Tata Oil Mills and in 1972, he was allotted a LPG dealership in Siliguri by the Army and he relocated there from Calcutta with infectious positivity.

In 1977, Chotu got married to Ms Rita Biswas – a teacher driven by passion. The duo were like minded, compassionate and compelling. Jojo is on record paying his wife a handsome tribute for bringing greater focus, happiness and harmony in his life. Blessed with twin daughters, Sreemoyee and Sreerupa and a younger son Bibek, he and his wife were well settled when his number of days on Earth were completed. He on August 31, 2013 but his family is living out his dreams with character courage.

Jojo had kept the Honour Board ticking. He did his BA from North Bengal University obtaining the expected ‘First-class-First’. He routinely won the ‘Best Dealer’ Award from Tata Oil for several years. As an LPG dealer at Siliguri, his consumers remember with awe how he had memorized some 8000 subscriber names, consumer numbers and addresses, compelling them to call up ‘Joy Da’ – to verify their details instantaneously when seeking gas refills, terminations or transfers of LPG connections.

Chotu went through a transformation in 1990 by taking up social work on a large scale. By 1998 he, Rita and friends had founded the Prerana Educational Centre. Flourishing, it has 145 physically challenged students on its rolls. Earlier in 1990, Jojo had also founded the North Bengal Council for the Disabled (NBCD) to run the centre.

Apart from Prerana, he also reached towards the rural handicapped under the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program. Since 1998, about 700 villages around Siliguri have been covered to help the rural disabled to cope. Jojo ensured that the CBR became a WHO certified initiative which today benefits some 3000 people.

In 2003, Capt Sengupta’s daughter, Sreerupa married Maj Gopal Mitra, SM (Retd). Alas Maj Mitra was totally blinded in a terrorist encounter in Kupwara, Kashmir. Commissioned into 15 Mahar, this St Xavier’s Calcutta Honours graduate suffered total visual impairment.

He underwent extensive reconstructive surgery but his military career was over. The young gallantry award winner underwent several reorientation courses, ending up with his being the first blind student to top a Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai post graduate course.

Mitra then did M.Sc. in Development Management at the London School of Economics (LSE) with outstanding grades. After several career advancements, he is now with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund as Programme Specialist for Disability. Sreerupa completed her Masters from LSE, London and now works at the United Nations along with husband Gopal.

Her twin, Sreemoyee completed her Masters in Early Years Education from the famous Institute of Education, London and now teaches at Neev School, Bangalore.

Jojo’s son, Bibek, is a top-notch financial expert and Chotu’s sister-in-law, Nalini Sengupta, runs the famous Vidya Valley School at Pune, where Chotu was on the Founding Governing Board. Ms Rita carries on her legacy with Jojo and has ensured that the Institutions they started are vibrant and flourishing.

Suffering for almost a year from lung cancer, Capt Sengupta passed away at Command Hospital Pune at 0945 hours on 31 August 2013. Chotu had realised a week or so before his death that he would lose this battle.
Brave and courageous as always, he requested to ba shifted to the Officers Ward from the ICU where he could be visited by only a few and very briefly.

He faced death with the same calmness that was his trademark during all the turbulence in his life.

Arriving 15 minutes after he had gone with his trademark of a lingering, wry smile while nurses, doctors, officers were in tears and his family stood bowed in respectful silent grief.

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For those wanting to know about the Division and what it did ..
https://improveacrati.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/indo-pak-war-sep-1965-part-1/

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Something for Mankind …

Posted on August 9, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Quotes, Searching for Success |

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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Gen Bhimaya on Leadership …

Posted on August 9, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Guide Posts, Searching for Success, Sports |

Here is the noted Thinker and Historian on Matters Military, commenting on a recent ‘Take’ on this riveting subject. Though the US Brigs SLA Marshal’s and Bill Slim’s lecture to West Point Cadets are among the last words on the subject, the field remains wide open for endless discussion. My vote is for Slim’s take!

LEADERSHIP 101 — BACK TO THE BASICS

To revisit a field that is well-beaten is both exciting and challenging. One is excited to find something new that might pique one’s interest, or that might have escaped one’s attention before. One may also find it challenging because, often, the simplest concept is difficult to explain because of the embedded nuances.

Then, there are always the rewards of serendipity to boot. I leave it to the readers to delve deeper into this bold if unverified statement to identify examples from their own experience.

The preceding thoughts were my initial impulses when I came across a research article on leadership of great team captains in sports (The Wall Street Journal, May 13-14, 2017, C1-C2)

To make it easier for the reader, let me follow the bullet format to list important findings, summarized in this article. Against each finding, I have added some brief but controversial comments in parentheses, primarily to provoke a discussion.

v “The leaders of history’s championship dynasties relied on a range of surprising traits, from dissent and rule-breaking to emotional self-control and a low-key communication style.”
(This is the central finding and readers might want to keep this uppermost in their minds).

· True leaders took care of tough, unglamorous tasks. They did not dazzle in the field but labored in the shadows and often led from the back.
(How true! The true leader toils in the background lending a helping hand to the needy, encouraging the weak, while cleaning up their mistakes firmly but unobtrusively. They seldom crave for recognition; the team’s success is their final reward).

· True leaders broke the rules for a purpose. They are not exemplars of fair play. They often test the limits of the rules, but soon after the objective is achieved, they return to normal. (Does the “out- of- the- box leadership of Major Gogoi fit this description?)

· True leaders communicated practically, not in grand speeches (Simple, understandable language that the riflemen understand is important. This implies ruthless elimination of English words that may mean different things to different riflemen; according to some officers who had the privilege of commanding both the Gorkhas and the Garhwalis, important patrol briefing used to be done by the Subedar Major, to combine experience with clarity of thought and expression. It may not be necessary now as most of us, hopefully, understand the language our troops speak. The important thing is grandiloquence and grandstanding are less important than simplicity and clarity.)

· True leaders knew how to use deeds to motivate. (Words are not enough. True leaders should exercise leadership by example of deeds, not merely by words. Deeds by example have tremendous substantive, as well as symbolic values).

· True leaders are independent thinkers, unafraid to dissent. (While dissent is a necessary part of healthy discourse that often leads to robust decision-making, one does not have to dissent as a matter of habit, or on frivolous issues. Dissent must be grounded in solid reasoning (MacArthur’s dissent with the Navy and the Joint Chief of Staff about his plan for the Inchon landings was not based on his ego, but a careful study of the British General Wolfe’s audacious and successful battle against the French in Quebec).

· True leaders are relentless. (In brief they follow the dictum, “Never give up.” And they cling to this spirit until the end: victory, or fighting to the last).

· True leaders possessed remarkable, emotional self-control. (Now, this is a tough one. This implies the ability to block out negative feelings and supplant it with emotional fortitude: courage in adversity, ability to handle panic with whatever it takes, for example, steadfastness, if possible, and humor, if necessary).

I do not wish to paraphrase the concluding remarks of the author.

He states, “They helped their teams to become dynasties by behaving a certain way, by making the right choices on the job—every hour, every day. They were dedicated to doing whatever it took to make success more likely, even if their efforts were unpopular, controversial, or completely invisible. They were not in it for personal glory but for the greater good of the team.” (Can there be a better epitome of selflessness?)

It is important for officers to study leadership in all walks of life, so they can be eclectic in internalizing their virtues. As leaders, it is our indivisible responsibility to identify leadership potential among our men, and help develop it.

It is a continual responsibility that needs to be shouldered with care and circumspection.

Bhimaya

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Falling in Love …

Posted on June 12, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts, Mars & Venus, Searching for Success |

During a seminar, a woman asks, “How do I know if I married the right person?” There was this guy sitting next to her, so the guy asks, “Is that your husband?” Taken aback she asks, “How did you guess?” He goes onto explain.

’Every relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love. Because it’s happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.” Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It’s a passive and spontaneous experience.

But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens) and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship but if you think about your marriage you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angrier subsequent stage. At this point, you or your spouse might start asking, “Did I marry the right person?”

As you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown.

People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better.

But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because, THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t “find” LASTING love. You have to “make” it day in and day out.

That’s why we have the expression “the labor of love.” Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM.

You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work. Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s  direct cause and effect.

If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. You can “make” love. Love in marriage is indeed a “decision”. Not just a feeling. “No one falls in love by choice, it is by CHANCE. No one stays in love by chance, it is by CHOICE.’

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This Wonderful English Language …

Posted on December 24, 2016. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

C. N. Annadurai was a prominent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India,  known for his proficiency in English. Once at Yale University he was asked to mention a hundred words which did not have any of the letters –  A, B, C or D.

He promptly recited ‘One to Ninety Nine’ ………….. and then shouted ‘STOP’ – thus completing the one hundred words without any  of the Four Letters !

The next request was to  construct a sentence repeating ‘because’ three times contiguously.

After a moments thought, he says, “A sentence never ends with ‘because,’ because ‘because’ is a conjunction”.

Over to Messrs Shakespeare and Milton!

 

 

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Colin Powell’s Lesson for the Officer Corps …

Posted on December 2, 2016. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Uncategorized |

Colin Powell is a truly Great Man who because of loyalty to his Boss, President George W Bush, compromised himself – so very tragically. Here are his maxims

Check small things – Share credit – Remain calm – Be kind.

It ain’t as bad as you think – Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier – Get mad, then get over it.

It can be done  – Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

Have vision –  Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.

Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

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Machiavelli and Cicero on Political Power …

Posted on November 16, 2016. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Guide Posts, Personalities, Uncategorized |

“The Prince” is an extended analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. The dedication declares Machiavelli’s intention to discuss in plain language the conduct of great men and the principles of princely government.

The book’s 26 chapters can be divided into four sections: Chapters 1-11 discuss the different types of principalities or states, Chapters 12-14 discuss the different types of armies and the proper conduct of a prince as military leader, Chapters 15-23 discuss the character and behavior of the prince.

Golden Rules

It is better to be stingy than generous ………….. It is better to be cruel than merciful.

It is better to break promises if keeping them would be against one’s interests.

Princes must avoid making themselves hated and despised; the goodwill of the people is a better defense than any fortress. …. Princes should undertake great projects to enhance their reputation.

Princes should choose wise advisers and avoid flatterers.

Fortune controls half of human affairs, but free will controls the rest, leaving the prince free to act. However, few princes can adapt their actions to the times.

And Now Cicero

Quintus Cicero’s letter in 64 BC containing some practical advice to his more idealistic brother Marcus which became the work “How to Win an Election” (Philip Freeman), which includes political principles like:

  1. Have the backing of your family & friends. Surround yourself with the right people.
  2. Call in ALL favors. Build a wide base of support. Every vote counts.
  3. Promise EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY. It’s easier for people to vote for you if you come up with excuses for why you couldn’t keep your promise later than flat out refusing to make a promise in the first place.
  4. Communication skills are KEY. Give people hope..  Flatter voters SHAMELESSLY.
  5. Know your opponent’s weaknesses and exploit them.

How did the election go? Well, Marcus went on to win and there’s a book called “How to Run a Country” (also by Philip Freeman) which contains Marcus’ letters, speeches, and other writings on the subject.

While some things change, the principles stay the same.

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