In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed

Musings by Ed Bagley

 

On Tolerance:
The English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) once remarked that tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything; consequently, the have no standards by which to judge, which means they can be endlessly “ tolerant”. Within any given society or culture, the majority can, in fact, be wrong. Ergo, “Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong.” An act’s rightness or wrongness does not depend upon the number of its supporters. Acts that are popular or even laws passed by a legislature are not necessarily moral or ethical, not to mention fair.

On Your Potential:
It is possible that you are squandering your ability to develop your potential by spending too much time mooning over what is not right with your life rather than using that same energy to take action to achieve what you want to happen. To do so you must first decide who you are, what it is you want, and why you are here. Once you answer those questions for yourself, you will naturally gravitate toward becoming the person you are, you want to be, and what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Along the way, you will be feeding your passion rather than trying to discover your passion on an ever ending journey to despair.

On Personal Growth:
There is a huge difference between “professional growth” and “personal growth”. Do you know the difference? Virtually all successful people have professional growth. Professional growth is getting more education (a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree), or successfully completing a training course in some specific skill (an apprentice carpenter becoming a journyman carpenter). Personal growth is totally different because personal growth requires you to change your thought process and belief system. Of every 100 people who could benefit from personal growth, only 10 at most would even attempt to develop personal growth, and, of those 10, only 1 will achieve personal growth because it is so difficult to achieve on your own without professional help of some kind. The one percent of people who achieve personal growth could be called “1 percenters”.
The 1 percenters may be 99% ahead of those who do nothing to change their thought process and belief system.

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – 4 Stars (Excellent)

What a relief! Like many of my fellow reviewers, I held my breath after “Dead Man’s Chest” hoping installment three “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” would not be left in the chest with Davy Jones’ disgusting, slimy beating heart.

Three could have gone in the dumper with the average performance of Priates two, but thankfully “At World’s End” gets an excellent rating like the first Pirates’ presentation “The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

Dead Man’s Chest got mixed reviews nationally as many reviewers could not tolerate a plot that was too convoluted to follow. Trust me when I say that At World’s End was no better in that regard, but was far and away better as important story lines returned. Here are some:

 1) The romance between Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) resumed. Just looking at Keira Knightly in her finest can take your mind off of the troublesome story line. The relationship between the two was all but destroyed in “Dead Man’s Chest”.

2) Jack is back! The Curse of the Black Pearl had Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) front and center with all action revolving around him. Dead Man’s Chest dimmed the spotlight on Captain Jack and eventually had him “killed” off at the end. At World’s End brings Captain Jack Sparrow back front and center, where he should be as the focal point of this saga.

Pirates of the Caribbean begins and ends with Jack Sparrow, and if he is given a lesser role the story suffers.

3) The over-the-top sight gags in Dead Man’s Chest (the sword fight in the giant wheel which went on far too long and the hanging baskets between the cliffs) put too much focus on production gimmicks rather than the characters. People make the story of Pirates, not gimmicks.

At World’s End has swordfights aboard ship and cannons blowing ships apart, right on, this is a pirate story for cripes sake, not some ballet production on a ferris wheel.

Give someone credit for letting writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio tell the story without marching orders. I believe these two writers were pushed into throwing anything together to satisfy the immediate demand for a sequel that would dovetail into another sequel. Gore Verbinski directed all three movies.

Given how convoluted the story line is, here is the best synopsis of At World’s End by J. Curcio (it certainly helps if you have seen the first two Pirate films):

“After Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the land of the dead (Davy Jones’ locker), they must face their foes, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). Beckett, with control of Jones’ heart, forms a dark alliance with Davy Jones in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates.

“Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Delma and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe to a gathering to figure out how to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones’ former lover, so she can come to their aid. Once Calypso is free, all of the Pirate Lords will stand together in their fight for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.

“During the battle, Will proposes to Elizabeth who insists that Barbossa marry them immediately. When Davy Jones mortally wounds Will aboard the Dutchman, Jack places the sabre in Will’s hand and helps him stab Davy Jones’ heart in the Dead Man’s Chest, thus killing Jones and making Will the Flying Dutchman’s captain.

The crew cuts out Will’s heart and places it in the Dead Man’s Chest. Jack and Elizabeth escape before the ship is pulled into the whirlpool, but it quickly resurfaces with Will at the helm. Will captains the Flying Dutchman and Jack Sparrow captains the Black Pearl as they destroy Lord Cutler Beckett’s ship, killing Beckett and causing his armada to retreat.

Although Will has been saved and the Dutchman crew has regained its humanity, Will must spend the next 10 years at sea ferrying souls to the next world. Will and Elizabeth spend one day together on an island to consummate their marriage, and Will entrusts Elizabeth with the Dead Man’s Chest containing his heart.

The rest is simply too good to give away here. Do not make the mistake of leaving when the credits begin to roll as there is a bonus scene at the end of the credits that is critical to understanding where the movie is headed next.

There are too many secret alliances, turncoats, double-crosses and self-centered activities going on to detail them in this review. Suffice to saw that the action happens so quickly that the plot does become convoluted.

There was in fact an actual council of pirates at one time in history. The 9 Pirate Lords portrayed in the film are:

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea.
Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa: Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.
Chow Yun-Fat as Captain Sao Feng: Pirate Lord of the South China Sea.
Takayo Fischer as Mistress Ching: Pirate Lady of the Pacific Ocean.
Hakim-Kae Kazim as Gentleman Jocard: Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean.
Marcel Iures as Capitaine Chevalle: Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea.
Ghassan Massoud as Ammand the Corsair: Pirate Lord of the Black Sea.
Marshall Manesh as Sri Sumbhajee: Pirate Lord of the Indian Ocean.
Sergio Calderon as Captain Villanueva: Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea.

The scenery is really outstanding in At World’s End; some of the scenes were filmed during the filming of Dead Man’s Chest so locations would not have to be revisited.

Keith Richards, who had been courted to appear in earlier Pirate films, agreed to appear as Jack Sparrow’s father and keeper of the Pirate Code in At World’s End.

When the Pirate’s Code is brought out to settle a dispute, Barbossa refers to the code created by “Morgan and Bartholomew”.

This is a reference to famous pirates Henry Morgan and Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. Morgan was famous for sacking several impenetrable treasure towns, including Portobello, the Fort Knox of its day.

Black Bart was simply brutal without any conscience whatsoever, he killed and pillaged at will and was one of the pirates to develop a code of honor which his crew followed upon pain of death.

These are my favorite lines in the movie:

Will Turner: No cause is lost if but one fool is left to fight for it.

Barbossa: Dying is the day worth living for.

Barbossa: All men are drawn to the sea perilous though it may be.

Will Turner (when he gives Elizabeth the Dead Man’s Chest with his beating heart in it): It was always yours . . . Will you keep it safe? (How is that for a romantic line, ladies?)

Cabin Boy: Yo ho, haul together, hoist the colors high. Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die!

Among the locations in At World’s End were the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the dunes in Guadalupe (CA), Niagara Falls in New York, ocean battle scenes were located near Palmdale (CA) and sea sequences in Rancho Palos Verdes (CA).

At World’s End runs 2 hours 47 minutes, 15 minutes longer than Dead Man’s Chest and 30 minutes longer than Spider Man 3.

Despite its length, At World’s End had the best Memorial Day Weekend opening ever, hauling in $142 million, and was second only to Spider Man 3’s best opening weekend ever at $151 million. When you add in the international numbers, At World’s End hauled in $332 million for the weekend.

At World’s End rang up the most valuable haul among any pirate booty ever.

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The Legality of
Roe v. Wade Screams
for Reconsideration

 

Copyright © 2021
by Ed Bagley

There are at least 61 million incidents of why the legitimacy of the landmark United States Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade in 1973 should be struck down and reversed.

The screams of the 61 million fetuses already killed were never heard as they were deliberately executed in the womb of the mother and, if surviving to actual birth, they were killed in the operating room before being blessed with the gift of life.

Think for a moment about what is happening in this process and the carnage it is creating in our society, and the eventual impact it is having on our hearts, minds and souls.

The victim in this process is not only the unborn child, but also the mother who permitted it to happen, the father who helped create the child, his or her brothers and sisters, their potential grandparents, all living relatives, and all future generations of children who will have lost a companion and what the unborn child might have meant to the advancement of mankind, peace and harmony among our fellow living inhabitants who currently benefit from the gift of life.

Please do not be confused about thinking that life is not a gift. Life is a perfect gift that we cannot create on our own. Science has given us a better understanding and appreciation for the world we live in, but science cannot give us a living, breathing child. It is not only foolish but ignorant to think that we can plant a seed in the ground and a child will eventually arise from the soil.

Scientists cannot create sperm and an egg from nothing and produce a child. Without sperm and an egg, scientists are dead in the water before they ever start on the process involved.

While it is a generally accepted idea in civilized societies that killing someone is unacceptable if we are to coexist together; the chilling practice of Roe v. Wade allows a mother to kill her child rather than carry the child to term, let the child live, and raise the child as a mother. Citizens who murder another person after birth, who get caught and are tried in court and convicted, serve time in jail for their punishment. Roe v. Wade makes the deliberate killing of a child by abortion legal.

Roe v. Wade became a landmark decision when
7 of the 9 Justices at the United States Supreme Court created a majority decision to enact Roe v. Wade into law.

It is important to note that the governmental system of the United States of America is not a pure democracy—that is, rule by majority vote of its citizens who are registered to vote and vote during legal elections—but rather a constitutional system governed by the rule of law. The Constitution of the United States is the glue that holds the fabric of our system together with the help of the Bill of Rights, providing freedom and equality to its citizens who adhere to the laws of the land. Our judicial system provides the mechanism to make it work. At the top of our system of justice is the United States Supreme Court.

In the case of Roe v. Wade, 7 of the 9 Justices ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution provided a “right to privacy” that protected a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and therein lies the rub.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and slaves who had been emancipated after the American Civil War, and included three major provisions: The Citizenship Clause, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States”, the Due Process Clause declaring that states may not deny any person “life, liberty or property” without Due Process of Law.

The 7 Justices that went along with this idea included Chief Justice Warren Burger, and Associate Justices Harry Blackmun, William Douglas, William Brennan Jr., Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall and Lewis Powell. The 2 dissenting Justices included William Rehnquist and Byron White.

The result of what the 7 concurring Justices were saying implied that women have more rights than an unborn child, more rights than men, husbands, parents, grandparents, and all living relatives. And, that women not only have more rights, but also have more special rights than anyone else on the face of the Earth. And, of course, that an unborn child in the mother’s womb has no rights whatsoever; that the unborn child can be killed at will by a decision of the mother without any other consideration whatsoever for the welfare of the child.

Therefore, what the father, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents or any other living relative might think merits no consideration whatsoever.

No one, of course, is even asking what God might think. If you have no spiritual development whatsoever, you could care less. You may even think there is no such thing as a God, and that we humans are in a long line of evolution descending from apes, who some scientists have determined have 96 percent of the same genes as humans.

And, and what? These are the same scientists who, if asked to create a tree from scratch, with no seed already in existence to plant, could not create a tree from scratch on their best day as a scientist, or if their life depended upon it.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta was probably not the first person to point out that  “every perfect gift comes from God”. God, in the Christian faith, and more especially the Catholic faith, includes the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life.

Science and human nature aside, what does God have to say about killing? One of the Ten Commandments says: “Thou shall not kill”.  The commandment cannot be said simpler with the same meaning.

This Commandment of God does not hedge. It does not say, “Thou shall not kill, except for unborn babies”.  The gift of life is a perfect gift from God. In life, we can be faced with an enemy trying to kill us, and we kill so we, or our family, will not be killed. To be certain, killing is never a positive activity. Only sorrow comes from killing; the victim will likely leave behind a spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or a partner on the battlefield.

Why a majority of Supreme Court Justices would think that killing an unborn, defenseless fetus in the womb who will, without hindering, become a live, breathing human being at birth, is beyond common sense, not to mention an offense against humanity and the sanctity of life. It could be noted that, at the time of the Roe v. Wade decision, all the Supreme Court Justices were men.

Do mothers, who decide to kill their baby, realize and appreciate the fact that they would not be alive to reproduce if their mother decided to abort them?

No one in a polite, educated society wants to hear about killing babies. People who believe abortion is a personal right of a woman lay away nights trying to describe the process in more acceptable terms, such as: reproductive freedom, a woman’s right to control her own body, terminating a pregnancy, freedom of choice, a woman’s own private medical decision, a procedure, access to health care, family planning, and choice; anything but the raw truth: killing, which does not make it any less permanent for the unborn child and victim.

Those who would deny or doubt the existence of God are in a long of people who are “pro choice” rather than “pro life’. It would almost be impossible to calculate the arrogance and self-righteousness of women and organizations that promote abortion. Only God has an accurate take on that.

Without spiritual development and belief in God, it is hard to appreciate and understand God’s three greatest gifts for us; 1) The gift of life, 2) The gift of free will to do as we please, and 3) The gift of faith.

We could be reminded that God is not pleased about killing unborn babies, primarily because He is the creator of the life we enjoy.

For women who decide that abortion is an answer to whatever issues they feel will complicate their life, there is forgiveness when they experience remorse over their action. God is a forgiving God, and a woman who is remorseful over her decision to abort her child will be forgiven by God if she recognizes her wrongdoing and asks God for forgiveness.

God is a merciful God and understands that no human in His creation is without sin. All humans are sinners because we are not God. The good news is that we can be forgiven when we experience remorse, and ask God for forgiveness.

It is interesting to note that only 1 in 50 babies born worldwide are born in a free country that is the United States of America. There is no other county with another system of government—like socialism, democratic socialism, communism, fascism or any other ism or dictatorship—more free and offering more opportunity to succeed than the United States of America.

It is a shame that we can kill 61+ million unborn babies and claim to think we are as humane as we think we are. We are not that humane, but neither is any other country on the face of the Earth. We could do better, and we could start by reversing Roe v. Wade.

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

 

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)