I chose life… and so should you. 347,000,000 adults now diagnosed with diabetes. How one man’s story can help you at once!

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled in three decades, to an estimated 347 million a new study says. The study, led by Goodarz Danaei of the Harvard School of Public Health and Majid Ezzati of Imperial College, London, analyzed diabetes data from 1980 to 2008. Their analysis found that 153 million people had diabetes in 1980; this number had swelled to 347 million in 2008.

Much of that increase is due to aging populations — since diabetes typically hits in middle age — and population growth, but part of it has also been fueled by rising obesity rates.

With numbers climbing almost everywhere, experts said the disease is no longer limited to rich countries and is now a global problem. Countries in which the numbers rose fastest include Cape Verde, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea, and the United States.

More alarming news.

These figures do not reflect the generations of overweight children and young adults who have yet to reach middle age. This will create a massive burden on already severely challenged health systems.

The most alarming news of all… Each of these people could take charge of their disease, but too often don’t, thereby triggering even graver health problems.

“A disease of the mouth.”

I like to say, tongue firmly in cheek, that diabetes is a disease of the mouth: open mouth, insert enough of the wrong things, get disease and all its myriad of complications. I should know; I’m one of the world’s aging diabetics. Now 64, I was diagnosed about 50.

The day my blunt, most direct physician delivered the news he asked me one question: “Do you want to live longer or shorter?” I chose longer; he then laid on me exactly what I needed to do to achieve the objective of more time and that of the highest quality. While hardly an ideal patient, I was more than willing to make the necessary changes in diet and lifestyle. Not only willing but committed and determined to do so. Once over 205 chunky pounds, my 5′ 10 1/2″ frame is now a lean 157 pounds… with all other numbers appropriate; something to write home about, especially since I can wear the same trousers I wore in graduate school 40 years ago! Can you?

What I have learned along the way.

I want to say, right from the get-go, that I am NOT playing physician here; you need to consult yours at regular intervals as I do. Still, diabetes seems to me a disease tailor-made for personal management. There are things, lots of things, you can do to improve your situation. Here’s what works for me:

1) Take ownership of your disease and decide whether you want to gamble with your life by doing little or nothing.

The great thing about diabetes is that its improvement or deterioration is very much in your hands. If you take charge in a positive, pro-active manner you are going to improve. if you persist in fighting your diagnosis and what you can do, right at home, too, you won’t. In other words, you can be adult about it… or select adolescent petulance.

2) Don’t try to change everything overnight; do start making changes at once. Remember, diabetes and what you do to manage it is a marathon, not a sprint. This is a disease without (just yet) a cure; it’s a disease that’s with you sleeping and waking. You cannot, therefore, do something today and then ignore it. With diabetes you’re fighting a war, not a battle. Treat it accordingly.

3) Clean out your cupboards… clean out your refrigerator.

If you don’t have readily at hand the destructive things… the high sugar drinks, the cakes and bakery goods… all the things that work against your success and create long-term problems, so much the better.

If you don’t have readily at hand the bad things and have to make a special effort to go out and get them, you will, perforce, ingest less.

4) Don’t think in terms of diets and deprivations. Think in terms of the additional life and time you’re getting.

We live in a culture that screams “I want this and I want this NOW!” We are all influenced by the “I’m worth it and I’m going to have it” mentality. Thus you need practical ways to overcome these insidious influences.

To start with, never call what you’re doing a “diet”. Diets are about depriving yourself; think instead of buying your life back from the pawn shop. When you eat bad things you’re cutting time off your life; when you make the necessary changes, you buy yourself back.

5) Count to 10.

Before you drink that sugary concoction or take another bite of your favorite confection, count to 10. This gives your brain time to remind you that you probably can live without the indiscretion you are about to make. The sequence goes like this: want. stop. count to 10.

Now, if you do this and still eat the offending morsel, even two, don’t collapse with guilt and recrimination. Just resolve to do better next time… because you can be sure there WILL be a next time, and many such.

6) Eat all day.

Still eating big, set meals that leave you breathless and bloated? These constitute an assault on the body. Stop it now!

Instead eat frequently throughout the day, small portions that satisfy and which your previously overworked body can handle.

Start eating fresh fruit… nuts… small snacks of maximum protein and nutrition, minimum sugars, calories, carbohydrates. Make the portions small but make their ingestion frequent. Your body knows its work. Don’t overfeed… graze instead. All day long.

7) Make breakfast your most important meal.

You’ve got a lot to accomplish today. You’re going to need a lot of energy and stamina. Thus, you must make breakfast your most important meal. Don’t even dream of stinting here. Breakfast constitutes the launching pad for a successful day. Treat it accordingly. By comparison never, ever eat your biggest meal at the end of the day or evening. Your body can’t handle it and shouldn’t have to try.

Before bed, give yourself a snack, fruit (raisons are always a treat), popcorn. You get the idea. Go to bed satisfied, sleep satisfied, wake up in productive good humor.

You’ll start seeing — and feeling — results at once.

The great thing about managing your diabetes is that if you follow these sensible suggestions, you’ll start seeing results at once. For one thing (and very gratifying it is) your weight will start to drop… reverting to your body’s natural weight. And as you see and feel that occurring, you’ll be spurred to keep on truckin’, towards the Promised Land.

As you go, as you achieve results, reward yourself. You deserve it, not least because you are doing what every one of the 347 million afflicted should be doing… but aren’t. Now that you are on your way to success, print this article and share it with a friend. It’s one of the privileges of your improved situation and state of mind. Use it… and help someone you know and love. Someday they’ll throw their arms around you and tell you you saved their life. And it’ll be true…

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About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a syndicated writer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Details at worldprofit.com and JeffreyLantArticles.com

ROYAL ASCOT 2017 “EVERYONE WHO SHOULD BE HERE IS HERE.”

 

It all began when a handful of revolutionary students at the University of Andes closed the University, thereby trapping a delegation from the University of California; who were there on an overseas student program. The rebels closed the University of the Andes and the students who were already there from University of California didn’t get any academic credits for the year. Their parents were furious.

 

Pressure came to bear on the Chancellor of the University of California system, and he shut down the program in Bogotá. As a result I who was to go to Bogotá had to make a last minute switch to participate in the University of California’s program. I who was supposed to be going to Colombia went instead to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The year was1968 and that is where my story begins.

 

While I was at the University of St. Andrews I saw a vacancy notice for the representative to the Student Representative Council (SRC). The vacancy that was open was for Faculty of Arts which was fully three quarters of the University.

 

I had been in Scotland for just 3 weeks but nothing daunted. I decided that I would run for the seat that had my name written all over it. Nothing was going to stop me from coming to a strange country and in the flickering of an eye lash, run for office. It was audacious. It was bold. It was thrilling. And as I pointed it out to my dear friends who were part of the University of California delegation; if I lost; no big deal, no one would know who I was anyway, but if I won… I would be at the cover of Time magazine.

 

Well, as things worked out. I was elected, to the astonishment of absolutely everyone at the University. However they didn’t like having an American on the SRC, much less as a representative of the largest block at the University. But because they had to do something, they appointed me Chairman of the Rectoral Committee. Rectors are a unique United Kingdom phenomenon. They are the elected representative of students on the board of trustees.

 

They traditionally come to the University. Spend a few days and don’t intervene too much. I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Learie Constantine (1901-1971) who was at that time the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago. Sir Learie had been a famous cricketer in his youth and was now nearly at the end of his career which was capped by his selection as the first black peer of the realm.

 

As Chairman of the Rectoral Committee. I worked very closely with the new rector, Sir Learie Constantine and came to know him very well along with his charming wife, Lady Constantine.

 

The Rectoral celebrations at St. Andrews went off without a hitch giving us national publicity for the first time ever and so to speak put St. Andrews on the map. I spent many hours with Sir Learie planning things. Getting everything in order; arranging the speeches and so forth. It was in short a triumph.

 

Thereafter I looked around the University for other Triumph. And in my search I learned about the Royal Enclosure at the Ascot Races.

 

Now, I admit I am not a horseman. The quadruped doesn’t interest me very much. That degree of interest is reserved for my sister, Shelby Allison who is a horse collector and breeder. She would have been a better candidate for the Royal Enclosure. But I had my eyes open on what would increase my network of useful contact and experiences.

 

I wrote to Sir Learie and asked him if he could get me four sets of tickets. One for me and one each for my three friends from the University of California. Could he get me four tickets for the Royal Enclosure. He didn’t know the procedures but he willingly picked up the phone and called the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England to get us 4 sets of tickets.

 

His Grace was rather taken aback as he pointed out to Sir Learie, that foreigner like us, had to go to their respective embassies to apply for tickets. That was the correct way. But what do you do when a charming man like Sir Learie ask you for a favor for his buddies? The tickets were immediately forthcoming.

 

This created a furor amongst my friends, because of what we would wear? The wearing of the proper clothes is absolutely essential for Ascot. You better be impeccably dressed or else you will be tossed out of the Royal Enclosures.

 

So, we looked around and when the tickets came; they came with instructions. There were three men in the delegation (Mark, Morris, William Powers, Ingoldsby and me) and one lady, Lucy Shepard.

 

Now, in those days there was a company called Moss Brothers ( universally known as “MossBros”). It is here that the gentlemen were outfitted for the Royal Enclosure.

 

I can well remember when I came to MossBros in London. I had absolutely no experience wearing top hat and tails. Not to worry. There is no one in the world fussier about decorum than a gentleman’s gentlemen at the establishment. He knew and he dictated. Your job was to stand quietly while the necessary decisions were rendered.

 

In short order we were out fitted with our royal kit. And we looked absolutely fabulous. Indeed, when I looked in the mirror the day I returned from my final fitting it was “mirror mirror on the wall, need you ask who is the fairest of them all? You are man .You are dude.” And I was.

 

So prepared for our trip to Royal Ascot. But where would paragons like us stay? We had no money. However, these were the days when it was still possible, according to the famous book by Arthur Frommer, to see “Europe on $5 a day”.

 

To do so you had to stay in places which were not at all fashionable in anyway. We chose to stay within our meager budget, by checking in the youth hostel nearest to the racecourse which was in Berkshire, England.

 

Such places were officially called youth hostels, but we in our grandeur called them “hovels”, and no wonder.

 

Here is the invariable routine of such a place. Up with the larks, to share some humble but nutritious gruel. To cheerfully do the chore you were assigned upon arrival (making beds, sweeping the floor, cleaning latrines) and exit singing “I love to go a wandering”.

 

As you may imagine we didn’t fit in to the designated routine. Nonetheless we did everything required. Cleaning and dusting in our Cinderella finery in which we would soon present ourselves to Her Majesty.

 

Work completed, we sauntered across the street to pick up a regular red two tier bus. We garnered every eye in the county. Everyone looked at us from the time when we dressed in the youth hovel to the time we got on the bus to the time we got to Ascot. We were the cynosure of every eye and quite right too. I felt like either a celebrity or a refugee from the winter palace. In those days before the renovation of the Ascot course and buildings, we were exceptionally close to the sovereign. We were, in short, her guests.

 

Her Majesty arrived with her family and guests in a landau. Highly polished and in the perfect condition, the British are so well known for. It made a lovely sight. Everything in place, it was a thrill for sloppy Americans who moments before were sweeping the floors and cleaning the toilets. Once we settled down, we had ample opportunity to see Her Majesty and I dare say she took advantage of her opportunity to see us. It was no doubt part of the reason why this year she found Ascot so successful.

 

We became quite comfy and we did this for four days. For four days we watch the queen drive up in different outfits with trademark diamond brooch, always looking regal. Everything Comme il faux.

 

Ascot is a place for queen to have fun, and she does. She puts some flowers in her bonnet to get into the spirit of the hats competition. She appeared at all times affable. I believe the year I went (June 1968), the queen mother was with her. She was the most affable and jolly old soul imaginable. The whole environment was light and gay.

 

The queen loves her ponies and no doubt places an occasional flutter at the betting window as we did, losing some of California’s money and subsidizing the profits for the racecourse. We were happy to do so.

 

For the four days we did this we became quite a sight in the neighborhood, after all every day we left the Royal Enclosure we returned to our youth hovel to our so-called regular life. This had no glamor in it whatsoever.

 

Liquor, Lunch, and Looking.

 

Ascot started in 1711 by Queen Ann and has always been about looking. It did start as racing and racing continues to be the official reason for having this outing. The truth of the matter for most people is the chance to be seen and to have their hats on the telly. In this competition gentlemen lose out immediately. Our role is simply to look smart and I have to add, I was delighted to preen, looking like no boy from Illinois has ever looked. In other words terrific.

 

Things are different for the ladies. Sadly, we no longer have milliners. Ladies have to rely on the help of their own imagination or their friends or someone in the village who creates hats. As a result most of the hats created are grotesque, garish, and something no real lady would ever wish to be seen in.

 

That’s where Cecil Beaton and Audrey Hepburn come in. Cecil Beaton was a marvelous artist. He designed the Ascot scene for “My fair Lady “(1964) and he did it with exquisite precision laying down a standard that no group of people has ever beaten.

 

What I want to do now, is show you some of the things which are at display at Ascot this year. As usual some of them were extremely regrettable sort of like a paper plate turned on upside-down on their head with a bunch of cherries or butterflies. All their on ladies heads making ladies look ridiculous. But it is all in a good cause. The queen herself often wears flowers and greenery in her hats as she is driven up in the Royal Enclosure and mingles with hoy ploy like me. Now I say to you. Everyone who should be here is here. Every duke, earl and peer is here. It is Ascot opening day.

 

P.S. The costume that took the cape this year (2017) was a rather rotund gentleman; who popped out of the crowd in a suit no one from MossBros could duplicate. He promptly became involved in some fisticuffs. A moment later both ladies and gentlemen were involved in a melee. Look, how the mighty have indeed fallen.

 

And click here for Lerner and Loewe Ascot Gavotte.

On the richness, majesty, exuberance and lush beauty of Peony.

by  Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. In the bright glare of this overheated spring day, they looked faded, needing succor, getting none. Their color, the deepest imaginable red, looked tawdry and inappropriate for such a milieu… the hodge-podge in front of the local convenience store. I was enraged at such lese majeste’, an outrage that offended the princely opulence of the flower… and those who had loved them and loved them still.

Coincidence?

Just moments before I saw this dreadful sight, I had been thinking about these very flowers… about how I had always admired them, about how my grandmother had loved them… and ensured that I would love them, too. I was even remembering the riotous display of these flowers in an Illinois neighbor’s yard and how the fastidious and shrewd ants had commandeered them ostensibly for their nutrients, but who can doubt for their rich and textured colors which capture every eye, especially the ants who traverse this beauty at will, untrammeled, at the closest range?

Thus, when I saw the bucket of peony left in front of the store and their wilted dismay, I strode in and demanded that they be put in a better place, a place more in keeping with their renown and a beauty which made even emperors stop and appreciate, glad to be the ruler of a land where so much loveliness was his to behold… and share with the petted favorites of his court.

What the proprietor told me.

Faced with me in irate mode, this was his reason for such treason to a flower he promptly admitted was his personal favorite, enhancing the yard of his own home. Unless he sacrificed some of these sun-afflicted plants, thus creating a captivating (if ephemeral) display, no one would know he had such rampant blooms within, no one would buy them, and all would perish. Thus I knelt down to the very level of the flowers, every springtime of my life caught in their unmistakable perfume. “Their scent is their destiny,” I told Tommy.  “Let it fill the store and the people who love these flowers and every memory they conjure will sell them for you.” And so he did…. and so they did.

Paeonia.

Peony or pacony is the name for plants in the genus Paeonia. They are native first to Asia, thereafter Europe and western North America . Estimates of the number of species range from 25 to about 40. Peony are herbaceous perennial plants, but some resemble trees which can grow as high as ten feet. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves. Such are the facts about these still imperfectly understood plants. But all this pales into insignificance beside the undeniable impact of their stately flowers… and a scent more alluring than any found on the Rue de la Paix.

With such elements so apparent one knows at once that Peony are special, highly deserving of their place in our gardens and in our hearts. This place is further affirmed by the fact that each new type of Peony developed is more complex, more stunning, more desirable. And so single Peony with names like Athena, Dad,  Krinkled White, Scarlet O’Hara and Sea Shell have given way to Japanese, Anemone, Semi-Double, Double, and Bomb-Double (Red Charm, Raspberry Sundae, Mons Jules Elie).

Thus has this peerless flower concocted its own peerage of plants with flowers at once aristocratic and nonpareil. As such you can quite understand their fury at being placed so inappropriately at the convenience store, and left there to wilt, collapse, and die. It was, to say no more, unworthy of them and their high achievement. This achievement is substantial, enviable, and constantly enlarged as the plant and their signature flowers evolve and further dazzle the humans who are such an important part of the Peony and their history.

Not just a pretty face.

It is their flowers and cloying scent which first capture the attention of passers by. They are, by any reckoning, irresistible. But Peony are not just a pretty face or incomparable scent, not by a long shot. To date, over 262 compounds have been obtained from the highly bountiful plants of Paeoniaceae. These include monoterpenoid glucosides, flavonoids, tannins, stilbenoids, triterpenoids as well as, paeonols, phenols, and steroids. Steriods, you say? Indeed… and so the piquant and utterly unexpected picture emerges of sports heroes desiring (illegal of course) enhanced performance taking tablets redolent of the Peony, one of whose attributes as assigned by the Chinese was strength. Not just a pretty face, indeed.

Biological activities.

Peony are also bountiful givers of enhanced biological activities, including antioxidant, antitumor, antipathogenic, immune-system-modulation activities, cardiovascular-system- protective activities and central-nervous-system activities. In short, while their stunning flowers and unforgettable scent restore our sense of well being and the necessary harmony which is so important (if elusive) in our lives, the chemical and biological activities of Peony contribute to the health and body wellness we all must have to the maximum degree for the best lived life. It is perhaps the Chinese who have known such things the longest.. Is it any wonder then that they venerate Peony and use the sparse language of their poetry to effect the greatest meanings and incisive images of Peony?

Fan Wei (1760-1820), poet .

No one knows when the very first Chinese poem about the Peony was written. Such things are often lost, becoming part of our unknown legacy. Fortunately Fan Wei’s 18th century poem and Peony drawing were not amongst them. Thus, protected today in the collection of James Madison University they are a thing of beauty which has a good chance to be a joy forever.

“Ode to Peony

I used the brush to praise the blooming peony A cocoon-like bud bursting forth to beautiful flowers Who said the peony is like a maid Her scent and beauty makes the noble palace so inspiring, like a spring breeze.”

Such scent, such beauty summons legions of people worldwide who share these sentiments and crave these attributes. It turns even the least sentimental and sensitive into poets, for there is poetry in all of us…needing only the proper inspiration and opportunity to be released and improve a weary world.

Here is what D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), whose mastery of the erotic helped free a world from shame at what is only natural, wrote in “A Baby Running Barefoot” (1916):

“I long for the baby to wander hither to me Like a wind-shadow wandering over the water, So that she can stand on my knee With her little bare feet in my hands. Cool like syringa buds/Firm and silken like pink young peony flowers.”

And Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), the great poet of the great American heartland, so beloved of my mother. In “Mammy Hums” (1918) he wrote about “The petals of peony pink that fluttered in a shot of wind come and gone.”

And so, word by lyric word, poets of each generation have seen the grandeur and compelling splendor of the Peony, taking pen to paper in gratefulness at such great magnanimity…. and so must I:

“There! Do you see this great effusion o’er the land? It is the springtime of the year. Peony graces, our great link with generations gone. Its tenacious beauty what they saw what we see what they will see. Peony remembers. Its scent its unremitting gift.”

Now go to any search engine and look for the work of Chinese brush artist Virginia Lloyd-Davis.  In “Peony and Butterfly” she teamed up with pianist Josh Harvey. Together they created a place of beauty and peace, a place where Peony reigns supreme and blesses us. Go find it now. Serenity, harmony… and this imperial flower so gladdening to eye and spirit are waiting for you there.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today at http://homeprofitcoach.com/listbuilding

OTTO WARMBIER’S SHORT LIFE AND NEEDLESS DEATH

Picture

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Walk down the corridor at any dormitory at any university campus in the land. One of the things you are sure to see more often than not, are sign that says “Men working” or “No Parking” or “Deer crossing” and many others. These directions are found on signs carefully “liberated” by students out on treasure hunts. The signs are considered wampum, and most college students at some point or other have lifted one or more to decorate their dormitory room. The more rare the direction the more prized they sign.

Now, technically the students know this is theft. Technically, the universities know it too. But no one makes a big deal out of it. It is just something kids do during their college years. Steal things and then post them in their dormitory rooms. It is like wearing eagle feathers in their war bonnets.

Otto Warmbier came out of this tradition, and so when he went to North Korea as part of a special trip for Westerners, he probably didn’t think a great deal about lifting a sign that was in the corridor of the hotel where he was staying. The sign said “Let’s arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il’s patriotism!” He certainly never thought it would be much of an issue. After all, why do people go to North Korea in the first place? Because it is dangerous. Because they want to come back to his home in Ohio. They want to come back to their homes with tales a plenty, tales for life.

Close to the case

I feel very close to the Warmbier case. In 1968, I was 20 year old and en route to Poland, which was then under the control of the Communist regime of Wladyslaw Gomulka. Gomulka was a very nasty character and Poland was in deep distress at that time. The Communist Party still ruled, and any action against the regime could result in torture or even death.

I was living in London at the time; Like Otto, I wanted to see the world. So a friend and I signed up for a trip offered by the Young Pioneers of Poland. You may not know what a Pioneer is but in those days Pioneers were the young Communists. These were the equivalent of the Communist Boy Scouts. Only the behavior wasn’t very Scout like.

We paid a 150 Pounds to go from London to Zakopane in the south of Poland. The trip was strikingly successfully even although it was billed as a ski-trip. Uncoordinated as I am I didn’t see much time on the ski-slopes except looking up from the ground, head in a drift. However, at the end of the trip which was in January my friend and I decided that we wanted to go to Warsaw to take a good look around the capital. This was not included in the tour price. Nothing daunted we simply got on one of the state railways and rode illegally (First Class no less) from Zakopane to Warsaw. No one stopped us. This was quite an extensive trip involving as it did, traversing the entire country of Poland.

Well, we bluffed our way through to get to Warsaw. Ticket collectors would come to us. We’d pretend we didn’t understand them- which we didn’t because we didn’t speak a word of Polish. The point was that we did this deed of daring-do without having a penny for it or even considering it might be dangerous. We thought it was the greatest hoot of our lives. The danger only added to the spice. I tell you this because American college students then and now haven’t changed that much. They want to one-up their friends when they are travelling. To go to the Eiffel Tower is nothing but to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in a balloon is everything.

Now, I cannot get into the head of the deceased student Otto Warmbier. But I can tell you this, I can picture the scene in Pyongyang that evening when he arrived. He travelled with 10 members on this trip organized by the North Korean Pioneers.

Otto saw in the corridor a sign and I know that he immediately thought hmm, I want this to go on my bedroom in Ohio. It would have made indeed a wonderful addition. Needless to say North Koreans didn’t see it this way. What Otto did was this; he got to the hotel. He saw this sign with its provocative pro-regime message; a message one of-course never sees in Ohio outside of history books and documentaries. He then decided to take it down and keep it. Well, he got it off the wall; then discovered that he couldn’t fold it or easily carry it away. So he took it down to the staff floor in the hotel and left it.

This was all captured in film, because of course being a Communist regime there was tight control run by control freaks. The people who were watching the television screen saw what he did and immediately called in the authorities who promptly arrested him at the airport as he was ready to leave.

The tour guide, Danny Gratton, reported later that Otto didn’t resist and went away with the authorities with a half-smile on his lips, no visible fear, possibly even thinking what a great story it would be when he was back in Ohio telling this tale. And so it might have been had not the North Koreans lost their sense of proportion, something always in short supply.

At no time in the proceedings was Otto Warmbier guilty of anything other than bad judgment. He didn’t curse. He didn’t scream. He didn’t cry. He didn’t try to escape. He didn’t make a fuss. He simply cooperated after all he was bringing to the situation an American outlook. He was behaving in a polite Ohion way because he was sure that he would be out within hours possibly a day or two if the things went longer than expected. And then something went terribly wrong.

Many people know what this is. I am not one of them. You are not going to be one of them either because the people who know are not telling. But I can guess, Otto went uncomplainingly along with the guards and was locked up in a cell. At this point no charges had been brought against him and his mood would have been relatively light. However this all changed quickly.

In the event, he went before a judge, and this is where the bombshell occurred. The judge sentenced him in January 2016 to 15 years of hard labor for the “hostile act”, trying to steal a propaganda poster off the wall at his hotel.

Now think for a moment. Here is a Ohio boy, dressed in Ohio clothes, with a Ohio mentality; no doubt very polite as Ohio boys tend to be. In his eyes he had done nothing wrong, and he was no doubt flabbergasted by the position in which he now found himself.
Why did the regime decide to hit Otto Warmbier with a haymaker, especially at a time when it seemed both the US and North Korea were inching towards a thaw, no matter how slight? No one who is in a position to talk is talking and every day that goes by everyone wants this Otto matter to be silenced.

To err is human

Why? Because one mistake beget another. His captors in a short snippet of film show Otto’s North Korean guards dragging him across the court like a bag of potatoes. Otto looks like a complete and total vegetable, head down no evidence he knows where he is or what is happening. Clearly he did not expect this. No one expected it. But the judge delivered this brutal sentence which probably followed roughing up or worse. I suspect that is what happened. Was he manhandled by some prison guards? Who of course do not have Ohio manners and do not approach their task in a polite and courtly fashion.

They had this hot potato named Otto. He was there; they didn’t know what to do with him. So they probably victimized even tortured him. One thing led to another and all of a sudden there was brain damage, massive brain damage. I imagine this occurred fairly early before any outside authority could be called into the case.

The judge said 15 years. Who told him to say that? How much leeway did he have? Was he being briefed by someone? The regime had a nasty problem on its hands now. They had gone beyond any reasonable kind of punishment. If any punishment in this case; what would have been reasonable?

They had abused Otto. After all he was the prime witness. To cover up what they had done they needed to kill him. A dead Otto was preferable from Pyongyang’s point of view, because a live Otto would have told exactly what had happened, and they didn’t want to have that. So, they covered it up. They kept the brain dead body with all the brutal evidence on his body for what they had done to him. They needed time to prepare the body so there would be no evidence.

It would have been best from the North Koreans standpoint if he had died “naturally” and quickly but they could hold out for a while. Then some bright light in the North Korean government decided that they want the body out and wanted him to die outside North Korea. Anywhere but Pyongyang.

And so the case of Otto Warmbier continued to galvanize people’s attention in the government. What to do with Otto became the persistent question. And what was done with him of course was hours literally couple of days before he died. The body which was now not so much piece of evidence as something appalling which had to be removed from North Korea, everybody had to stay quiet. Nobody wanted to rock the boat.

The real problem of this case was first of all who ordered the beating of Otto? Because I am sure at the very beginning he was beaten in a prescribed North Korean fashion. Who ordered that?

Who ordered the judge to give the 15 year sentence? Because I imagine that sentence was not given by the judge spontaneously but was the result of the government intervention. What benefit would there have been?

Meanwhile Ottos’s body continued to be a silent witness. He was still technically alive but in no position to testify and as soon as the North Korean government decided that there were no telltale wounds on the body and that it was too late for an autopsy. No scabbing of past injuries. As soon as they were certain that the body offered no grounds for accusation against the regime, they got rid of the body.

Now, we have a problem in Washington. The United States government has been trying to build bridges with North Korea. President Trump even offered to go to North Korea to advance things. Now, Otto’s lifeless body was a menace to that. Something had to be done. Poor old Otto; the boy who started the whole thing off, simply by stealing a sign in a prescribed Ohio fraternity boy fashion. His body lay silent. An accusation to everyone involved in the case.

Why had the United States government moved so slowly? Why didn’t they know more about his medical condition? Why didn’t they insist on medical intervention earlier in the case and on and on… The questions are blurring.

It comes to a point where yesterdays’ front page news which is what the Otto story was becomes today’s eighth page news which is where today’s Otto story is today.

June 22nd 2017, today is his funeral where everyone involved just simply wants closure. No more questions. No more accusations. No more evidence. No more speculation. Simply silence. They want the case of Otto Warmbier to be truly buried.

I am here to offer a candle in Otto’s memory. The pictures of him show exactly what he should have been in age 22; bright, clever, a charmer, a bit of wicked wit and high jinx about the boy. The boy who will now never know the joy of marriage, the joy of children, the joy of getting old and cracking jokes on the veranda. All these were denied to him because he became involved in what is probably a human error compounded by other humans trying to cover up. It is a sad story and it is a story that happens every day around the world, the most often of all in North Korea a brutal, stupid, thoughtless, menacing regime.

It involves government officials coming together. They want closure. They want this case to be over and move on and forget Otto. Let’s not do that this time. Let’s remember him as the attractive young man that he was; who made what by any standard anywhere else besides North Korea, that labyrinth of menace was a small mistake that cost him his life. And I say this as we put this matter to rest and continue our talks with North Korea. Let’s never forget this young man. Let’s never forget what North Korea did to him and is capable of.

Let’s also never forget that human error above all is the greatest error that could be imagined and it was human error and stupidity as much as anything else which caused this boy to die. There are now 3 additional Americans in North Korean prisons and one Canadian. Let us not forget the Canadian. I urge President Trump to get on the phone and call Pyongyang and say it would be a kind gesture to let those people go and stay on the case. Otto is dead but there are four lives which could still be saved with prompt intervention. We want the North Koreans to know that what they did was unacceptable. If they wish to be part of the community of nations they must learn our ways. We know their ways; they are the ways of brutality, terror, and random pain. We don’t need to learn theirs, they need to learn ours. 

The Bad Credit Card That May Do Good.

Millions of people use credit cards all around the world. A huge chunk of those users made mistakes when dealing with their credit cards. The consequence of the errors is costly.

A lot end up in debt and most of the time these are the people who rant about the credit card being the devil. But fact of the matter is, this is not the case. When used properly, credit cards are very good financial tools.

Credit cards are not necessarily just for people who have large sums of money to use. There are some cards even for the financially challenged, and these are called the: ?Bad Credit Cards.?

A bad credit card is just precisely that: a card with a very bad or low credit limit.

There are two types of credit cards: there is the secured and the unsecured credit cards.

Unsecured credit cards are the accounts that are free from the limits of a bank account. The limit of credit is up to the bank?s discretion and not up to the size of the bank account. If the bank thinks that a person is deserving of a bigger credit, then it will be given.

This is the usual type of credit cards in the market and is fairly popular among the card shopping people. These are also the cards known to be more respected by other companies. These are also the cards known to send people to a very deep debt.

This is the type of credit card that should be avoided if the applicant is already in a financial mess.

The secured credit cards are the bad credit cards. These cards are grounded on the size of the account a person has. For example, if a person has a $1,000 balance, then that is all the credit a person is going to get. If there is a point where the balance reaches $0, then the person should go and ?re-fill? the account.

The bank limits the credit to the money already present to avoid overspending, thus preventing even deeper debt. This will monitor the expenses of the person and will help the development of a financial recovery for some.

These credit cards are also known as ?pre-paid credit cards? for there is only a fixed amount that can be used and the holder is the one who puts it there.

CPP_author

Swipe Age: What is a credit card machine?

Credit card machines nowadays come in various types and prices. The kind of business a merchant is venturing on determines the kind of credit card machine that he or she is going to use.

If a transaction should be typed in the machine for it to be validated, a machine without a printer would be needed. On the other hand, a retail business would require a credit card machine with a printer.

Machines without printers are usually used in enterprises that use mail or phone to purchase. In this type of business, a receipt at the time of purchase is not needed.

For mobile enterprise, a machine without a printer could also prove to be useful. In this system, the number of the credit card is phoned to a specific location. There, another person will type the number into the machine. Examples of these businesses are locksmiths, plumbing, landscaping, home delivery operations and other business. These are enterprises that do not have enough sales to spend for the high cost of wireless machines. A machine without a printer would still be effective while maintaining the capability to work on a transaction at the same location and time of sale.

Wireless machines for credit cards will be very useful for mobile enterprises. It would require though, high maintenance cost and cellular signal availability.

An enterprise that uses credit cards that need to be typed and swiped should have two accounts handled by the same machine. This is a cost-effective way of managing business if the numbers of typed and swiped card accounts are about the same in volume.

If an enterprise caters to different accounts, a machine compatible to multiple accounts would be very productive. Examples of these businesses are hair styling, massage and the like.

If a company would only accept Visa card and Master card, it can use a much cheaper machine for credit cards that can only accept these types of cards.

The best way to determine what credit card machine to use is to survey potential customers. The survey should yield the type of credit card they use for a specific product or service.

For example, if a person is planning to open a car rental business, the owner should survey the area for people who usually rent cars. Then, he or she should ask what type of credit card these potential customers use. If the usual card used needs to be swiped, then the owner should purchase a machine for those cards.

By adjusting to the consumer?s credit card use, a business could cater to a greater number of customers.

CPP_author

Here’s how much more expensive life is for you than it was for your parents

If everything feels more expensive than it did 10 years ago, it’s because everything really is more expensive than it was then. And not simply because of inflation.

It costs more than ever to buy a home. In 1940, the median home value in the U.S. was $2,938. In 1980, it was $47,200, and by 2000, it had risen to $119,600. Even adjusted for inflation, the median home price in 1940 would only have been $30,600 in 2000 dollars.

That’s partly why the typical homebuyer is now 44, whereas in 1981, the typical homebuyer was 25-34.

And it’s not much easier to rent. As of June 2016, the annual rise in rental prices was nearly four times the overall inflation rate.

Education is more expensive, too. In 1971, tuition at Harvard University cost students $2,600 annually. For the 2016-2017 school year, students had to fork over $43,280 for tuition, and more than $60,000 total including room, board and fees. That makes the cost today almost 17 times as much as in 1971 — a markup of more than 1,550 percent.

The rising cost of higher education has led Americans to owe a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. In 2012, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt, with students at public schools owing an average of $25,550 and those with degrees from private colleges owing an average of $32,300, Student Loan Hero reports.

And as the U.S. continues to recover from the Great Recession, the cost of consumer goods has steadily crept back up, as shown by price jumps in things like apparel and gasoline.

While some prices have risen more drastically than others — and some have even decreased — one thing is clear: The cost of everyday life in 2017 is drastically higher than it was in the 1970s or 1980s.

The little-known history of the 401(k)

How 401(k) retirement accounts changed everything

As Helaine Olen wrote in her book “Pound Foolish,” families in the 2000s put 75 percent of their discretionary income toward housing, health care and education, as compared to the 50 percent families used to put toward those big-ticket items in 1973.

Of course, wages have risen as well: For example, the Federal minimum wage in 1945 was $0.40 per hour. In 1980, it was $3.10. And in 2009, it rose to $7.25, though several states have since mandated higher minimums. But these increases haven’t been enough. These days, in no state does working 40 hours a week for minimum wage enable a person to rent a median two-bedroom apartment, let alone begin to build wealth for the future.

Don’t miss:

The most expensive ZIP code in every state

Here’s how much the average American family has saved for college

7 ways to eat healthy without going broke

History of the 40-hour workweek

History of the 40-hour workweek

Here’s how much money you should have in your emergency fund, according to financial expert Suze Orman

This CEO gifted his employees $500 to encourage them to invest

This boss gives each new employee $500 to invest

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GETTING A RUN FOR YOUR MONEY: HOW DO YOU CONSOLIDATE CREDIT CARD DEBT

Spending is such a hard habit to break, especially when people use their credit cards. Once they get addicted, they continuously endure the agony of spending in spite of imminent problems that tag behind.

And when things eventually get out of hand, most people will soon realize that they are already stuck with a mountain load of credit card debts. And mornings after mornings, they will wake up each day with worries in their head about how they can repay all of those instant splurges.

There?s one way to get out of credit card debts?consolidation. Here?s a list of ways how to do it:

1. Make a balance transfer.

One way of consolidating a credit card debt is through a balance transfer. In this way, the person who has a huge outstanding balance on his or her credit cards will get another credit card with a lower interest rate. Once approved, they should immediately get a cash advance and use it to pay off their standing balance on the other credit card. In that way, they consolidate all of their payables into one credit card. Plus, they get to have only one rate to worry.

2. Home equity loans can do the job.

This is a very workable strategy provided that it will be used properly.

Getting a home equity loan is probably one of the easiest things to do. Best of all, home equity loans can offer tax deductions for the interest rate of the loan.

However, there is a drawback. The debtor?s house will serve as the collateral. But nevertheless, it still one good way of consolidating credit card debts. The debtor should only keep in mind that the money from the loan should only be used in paying credit card debts. If used on other things, it will only worsen the problem.

3. Make use of retirement funds.

There are instances wherein debtors can make use of their retirement funds in order to consolidate credit card debts. But this should only be made if there are no other options available. This is because this type of consolidating credit card debts can be very tricky.

Loans on retirement funds are not actually tax deductibles. However, the problem sets in when the fails to pay back the loan within five years or when he or she will resign from work.

Indeed, there are no nippy fixes when consolidating credit card debts. The bottom line is that, it is better if the person will stay out of debt so as not to worry on consolidation matters.

CPP_author

Controls Interest Rate-Banking Structure Very Complex

The banking structure in this country is actually very complex and it will take most people a little time to digest everything. Having said that, though, I can provide you with some very basic information about who sets and controls interest rates.

The Federal Reserve, or the Fed, is an independent organization that doesn’t need the approval of the president or Congress to enact it’s policies.

I suspect most people didn’t know that… I sure didn’t. The Fed’s mandate is to create a stable economy with high employment, minimal inflation and low interest rates.

Basically to ensure that the economy keeps rolling along with as few bumps in the road as possible.

They have several tools to help them accomplish that goal. One of the most important of these tools is the ability that it controls interest rates.

Setting the interest rate is a very important in keeping the economy on a smooth course. The interest rates will directly influence how much money is put into circulation.

The general rule of thumb is that if you have too much currency in circulation it can lead to inflation but too little currency in circulation can lead to a sluggish economy.

The Fed has the responsibility to try to maintain the perfect balance at all times so the economy can grow but inflation doesn’t get out of control.

The Fed uses their economic analysis as the basis for determining what actions they need to take. This comes directly form their Washington D.C. headquarters as well as being compiled from district banks around the country.

These banks are located in large cities from coast to coast. Each of these banks will collect regional economic information and create a profile.

That regional information will be compiled into a comprehensive report that helps the Fed get a complete economic picture of the entire country.

Based on the report the Federal Open Market Committee, a twelve member board which is an arm of the Fed, will meet to determine what changes in policy need to be enacted.

They generally meet every 6 weeks. When the FOMC decides that either more or less currency needs to be in circulation, they will either issue a buy or sell order for U.S. treasuries.

When the FOMC issues a buy order it will result in an increase in the amount of currency in circulation. More currency in circulation means easier borrowing and lower interest rates.

If they issue a sell order, there will be less currency in circulation, and that will translate into higher interest rates – less borrowing and can help reduce inflation.

As I stated above, this is a complex issue and it may take you a little more time and information to fully digest it all.

It is important for you to have as deep of an understanding as possible of the way our economy works.

I know, we are all busy and this information can be confusing, but knowing how it works will allow you the best chance at making smart financial decisions for you and your family.

And now, at least, you have some basics on the inner workings of our economy and insight into who controls interest rates.