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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Loneliness

For those of us that are fortunate enough not to be lonely it is perhaps timely for us to remember those that are. These people live in Oughterard and throughout Connemara, and don’t stop there, they are everywhere and in every corner of this beautiful planet. They have no significant other in their lives because of feckless children, bereavement, depression, or were on a path where they never got around to having a partner in their lives because of shyness or believing that someone was going to get a share in their land. In the end the lonely persons were to be the only ones on that patch of green, a single person living a life now of regret.

There are a myriad of other reasons why this is so as well and scribes have spoken about it for centuries and will continue to do so as I do now. To be truly lonely can be comparable to the loneliness of a polar bear adrift in a vast soulless ocean where it is only him or her alone and always will be.  


It can be destroying in any countryside even more so for any person who is without the benefit or the distraction of a busy city life, and where the beautiful scenery is just not enough anymore; it can also lead to early illness and an earlier death. You may have noticed these almost forgotten people from time to time where ‘All the lonely people where do they all come from’ was so poignantly observed in the Beatle’s song Eleanor Rigby. They are all hidden in plain sight.

Sometimes you might notice them in the check out line of a supermarket, complaining enough just to make conversation. It is often the curmudgeon at the bar giving harsh voice about the young or how it was better in their day. What they are really hoping for, awkwardly so, is the wish that they are interesting enough to you that you will hang around long enough to at least listen a while and see beyond the fact that they talk just a little too much.

It is sometimes supposed that they seem to drink too much when is in fact the only company or friend that they have, as long as they can afford it. What can anyone, other that observe that loneliness is more than a state of mind, do about it? A lot.

If we just take one and preferably two hours a week to visit a person on their own, it will not make a whole lot of difference to our week but mean everything to who you choose to visit. It is as simple as that. You won’t have to try too hard to find out where they are. Even just a few phone calls every week to a person that feels they don't even exist anymore takes a lot less effort and time. For the person on their own to be relevant is to breathe itself and encourages the wish to continue to do so.

If you don't have a lonely person in your life perhaps it is time to find at least one. The local community centre is a good place too start, or the local retirement home, or ask a friend do they know somebody that needs somebody.  Someone always does.

Barry Clifford

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ancient Viking Laws For Living


Be not a braggart for if any work done be praise-worthy, others will sing your praises for you

The unwise man is awake all night worries over and again. When morning rises he is restless still, his burden as before.

Go you must. No guest shall stay in one place forever. Love will be lost if you sit too long at a friend’s fire.

Be your friend’s true friend. Return gift for gift. Repay laughter with laughter again, but repay betrayal with treachery

Moderately wise a man should be, not too crafty or clever. A learned man’s heart whose learning is too deep seldom sings with joy 

A farm of your own is better, even if small for everyone’s someone at home. Though he has two goats and a coarsely roofed house it is still better than begging.

A lying tongue had bereft him of living and life, and all without reason or right

Deceit sleeps with greed

Even three words of quarreling you shouldn’t have with an inferior

The coward thinks he will live forever if he keeps away from fighting; but old age won’t grant him a truce even if the spears do. 

Tell never an evil man if misfortunes thee befall

Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf, no battle won in bed.

Monday, August 14, 2017

John Waters said


                                                                   John Waters (left)

On social welfare recipients:
“There should be no question, in a free and fair society, of the forced redistribution of earned income to assist those who are, for whatever reason, negative contributors to society.
Imagine how you would feel if, instead of having to subsidise your work- free neighbour, you had to accept direct responsibility by talking him into your home and catering to all his needs. How long would you tolerate him hanging around your sitting room, eating your corn-flakes, and flicking around your Sky package?”

On Paedophlilia:
“They (the media) don’t regard paedophilia as a serious matter at all. If clerical abuse did not exist in the church, I greatly suspect that we would by now have a campaign to legalise paedophillia from these quarters (the media).
Was it the case that the thrust for acceptance of paedophilia was stymied only by the emergence of the clerical abuse scandals in the Church, which the left saw as an opportunity to destroy the authority of the Church?”

On closing the Irish embassy in the Vatican because of their cover up of the sexual abuse of children:
“An opportunistic act of neurotic bigotry by militant atheists seeking to impose their myopic beliefs on the rest of us. The closure of the Irish Embassy in the Vatican is further evidence that we are now governed by the most bigoted, anti- religious administration in the history of the State.”

On secular education:
“ A ‘secular’ education sets out to produce citizens, consumers and functionaries rather than human beings animated with affection and curiosity. No longer will our children be told that they are Christ’s chosen ones, but instead the accidental offspring of the pointless oozing of primordial slime, units of meat and bone, existing for random junctures by bread and rules in a pointless, meaningless, and indifferent universe.”
They call this ‘rationalisism,’ but have no idea where it will lead. Like chimpanzees with hammers poised over the engine of a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, they gibber their stunted nonsense and set enthusiastically to work.”

Can anyone take this man serious bar himself; he even calls himself a journalist. Finally the Irish Times realised that he was not a journalist either and got rid of the self professed bard. Phew! Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last. 

By Barry Clifford

Life's looking glass




“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him/her, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. “

“ If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“ Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”

“ In interactions with others, instead of trying to be right, why don’t we try to be kind?”

 “Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.”

“ It is impossible to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.”

The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives the better.”


W W Dyer

Saturday, August 12, 2017

In matters of war




"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on"
Ulysses S Grant. American civil war general

"During war, laws are silent"
Cicero. Roman philosopher and statesman
  
"Let us be frank: provoking military-political instability and other regional conflicts is also a convenient way of deflecting people’s attention from mounting social and economic problems. Regrettably, further attempts of this kind cannot be ruled out."
Vladimir Putin. leader of Russia

"When the swords flash let no idea of love, piety, or even the face of your fathers move you."
Gallus Julius Caesar. Roman military leader

"I have made all the calculations; fate will do the rest"
Napoleon Bonaparte. French general

"We made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers."
Robert E Lee. American civil war general

"It is certain that the two World Wars in which I have participated would not have occurred had we been prepared. It is my belief that adequate preparation on our part would have prevented or materially shortened all our other wars beginning with that of 1812. Yet, after each of our wars, there has always been a great hue and cry to the effect that there will be no more wars, that disarmament is the sure road to health, happiness, and peace; and that by removing the fire department, we will remove fires. These ideas spring from wishful thinking and from the erroneous belief that wars result from logical processes. There is no logic in wars. They are produced by madmen. No man can say when future madmen will reappear. I do not say that there will be no more wars; I devoutly hope that there will not, but I do say that the chances of avoiding future wars will be greatly enhanced if we are ready."
George S Patton. American World War 11 general

"One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are a statistic"
Joseph Stalin. Russian World War 11 leader

"My Patience is at an end."

Adolf Hitler. Leader of Germany 1939
Sourced

On matters of hate



“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
James Baldwin

“Animals don't hate, and we're supposed to be better than them.” 
Elvis Presley

“In time we hate that which we often fear.”
William Shakespeare

“I hate you, God. I hate you as though you actually exist.”
Graham Greene


“People hate as they love, unreasonably.”
William Makepeace Thackery










“Those who hate rain hate life.”
Dejan Stojanovic

“September 11… I will never forget feeling scared and vulnerable… I will never forget feeling the deep sad loss of so many lives… I will never forget the smell of the smoke that reached across the water and delivered a deep feeling of doom into my gut… I will never forget feeling the boosted sense of unity and pride… I will never forget seeing the courageous actions of so many men and women… I will never forget seeing people of all backgrounds working together in community… I will never forget seeing what hate can destroy… I will never forget seeing what love can heal…”
Steve Maraboli


“See what's inside a drop of water. The whole seed of the universe. Come, come. See what's inside a drop of blood. The composition of life. It's all there. Hate as well. We approach the mystery of life, but it's impossible to understand the mystery of hate. The kind of hate that causes people not only to kill, but to want to erase you from the census of births. I have to concentrate on that mystery. Read everything there is. It has to be in a drop of blood. It has to have its chemistry.” 

Manual Rivas


“This is what you know about someone you have to hate: he charges you with his crime and castigates himself through you.”
Philip Roth



“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love.”
David Mitchell
Sourced

It seemed a good idea at the time





As I’ve wandered through the business landscape over the past 4 decades, I’ve often observed people making business decisions that I was pretty sure were going to end up somewhere between bad and appallingly, astronomically bad.  And I’ve certainly been guilty of making a few of those kinds of decisions myself.
Almost without exception, my bad decisions and those I’ve seen others make resulted from one of three things. The decision-maker: 1) didn’t bother to get all the relevant facts; 2) made invalid assumptions based on ego, wishful thinking, or fear; and/or 3) didn’t trust the input of their own advisors. As you read through the following, feel free to be entertained and feel superior – but I’d suggest you also take them as cautionary tales; great examples of what not to do:

1) How many zeros? In 1977, the senior execs at 20th Century Fox made an astonishingly short-sighted decision. They signed over all product merchandising rights for any and all Star Wars films to George Lucas – in exchange for a mere $20,000 cut in Lucas’ studio paycheck. The combined revenue from merchandising is estimated to have exceeded three billion dollars, and continues to grow annually, making it the most lucrative deal ever struck between an individual and a corporate studio in entertainment history. (This one is courtesy of my wonderful reader Dr. Ilona Jerabek, from an article on her website.)
2) And your hair’s weird, too.  In 1962, the Beatles auditioned at the London office of Decca Records.  The executive in charge of talent rejected them: he thought they sounded too much like a currently popular group called The Shadows (who?), and he told Brian Epstein, their manager, “We don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out; four-piece groups with guitars particularly are finished.” Well over 2 billion Beatles albums have since sold worldwide.
3) We’re a serious business, thank you very much.  In 1876, William Orten was President of Western Union WU +0.72%, which had a monopoly on the most advanced communications technology available, the telegraph. Orten was offered the patent on a new invention, the telephone, for $100,000 (worth about $2M in current dollars). He considered the whole idea ridiculous, and wrote directly to Alexander Graham Bell, saying, ”After careful consideration of your invention, while it is a very interesting novelty, we have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities… What use could this company make of an electrical toy?” Two years later, after the telephone began to take off, Orten realized the magnitude of his mistake, and spent years (unsuccessfully) challenging Bell’s patents.
4) Say cheese! The Eastman Kodak company developed the first digital camera in 1975, then proceeded to sit on it (and the core technology for the cell phone, as well).  They decided not to develop it because they were afraid it would cannibalize  their film business (at one point they had a 90% share of the US film market.)
5) Say cheese, part II. In the early ’80s, Fuji entered the US film marketplace with lower-priced film and supplies, but Kodak management believed that US consumers would never abandon their homegrown brand. In 1984, Kodak passed on the chance to be the official film of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Fuji won the rights, which gave them the strong foothold they needed to catalyze their growth in the US marketplace.
Kodak never fully recovered from these and other poor decisions; in 2012 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
6) Did anybody phone home? In 1981 Amblin Productions called the Mars Company and offered a simple cross-promotional opportunity: How about if we use M&Ms in our new film, giving you free publicity, and in return, you can promote our film in your packaging? The advertising and marketing folks at Mars said “No.”  The film was ET the Extra-Terrestrial, and the rest is history.  Reeses Pieces, the not-nearly-as-well-known M&M competitor, saw sales jump 65%  in the months after the film was released featuring their product.
7) Hot under the collar.  In 2000, Gerald Levin, the chairman of Time Warner, was so confident in the deal he had made to merge with America Online, that he decided to forego placing a collar on the transaction. A collar enables the seller—in this case Time Warner—to revisit the terms of the transaction if the buyer’s stock falls below a certain price. Almost as soon as the merger was announced, and before it was completed, the Internet bubble burst and AOL shares plunged 50%. Without a collar, Time Warner wouldn’t be able to renegotiate the deal. Time Warner execs urged Levin to re-think the deal, but he didn’t.  The rest is history, and Time Warner shareholders are still paying for his stubbornness.

Of course, it’s easy to see the folly of these decisions in retrospect; hindsight is 20/20, and no one can make the right decision all the time.  But I suspect if each of these unfortunate executives had approached these decisions with a little more curiosity, a little more open-mindedness, and a little less certainty about the rightness of their position….we might all be using Western Union Kodak smartphones.
By Erika Anderson