Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How the Wealth of the World is distributed

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poor_and_rich_in_Thailand.JPG

We know from history that in the past, much of the world’s wealth was held by a few rich and powerful kings and emperors. Has that changed now? Have you wondered how the world’s wealth is distributed in the new modern democratic age where we have rule of the people, by the people for the people. It seems that the emperors may not have gone away. They have perhaps just changed their style and address. Nevertheless as human civilisation advanced inequalities on the whole reduced or moved up and down over the centuries, then something dramatic happened around thirty years ago in 1985, inequalities began to rise again at ever faster rates. See here for precise scholarly data on this and simple ways to fix it. According to a report in the guardian, 
The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called 'global elite' is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population. The rich 85 are spread across the rich and poor countries of the world and even includes a few Indians, where infant mortality rate and farmer suicides due to financial distress are some of the highest in the world, while many are forced on to the homeless street even in the richest country of the world- America.

These rich of our planet are in numbers a tenth of the one percent of the one percent of the one percent. Considering this fact, it is not surprising that much of whatever wealth that is left after the rich 85, is owned by far less than one percent of the population of the world, leaving the vast majority of around seven billion humans to struggle with the bills and in many cases with even the means to pay for their daily bread. In the new modern economy it does appear that nothing is going to trickle down, because it seems that it is not a trickle down economy anymore, except for the scraps a billionaire may throw around to advertise boldly in the media that he is in fact a philanthropist. You would never hear of the deeds of a real philanthropist because even their left hand may not know what the right is doing.

It is a trickle up economy now. If it was not so, this kind of wealth inequality is a logical impossibility. A few pennies and dollars must be extracted from the hands and mouths of billions to build up such wealth, every hungry child and every desperate mother in the world, every clenched fist soaked with tears of desperation, even from the pockets of the infant sobbing besides his unconscious mother .
as those in Syria that bring profits for the gun manufacturers, yah, the same ones who make the military style assault weapons for the guy who shot the kids at school, the same one who funds rifle associations that fund policy that make all this possible, otherwise the Syrian crisis is fixed easily as described here

"Gee Whiz!," said the tycoon rubbing his hands in glee, "we sure have been able to sell  a lot of guns this year."
Guns are Fun?

The wealth accumulation is built up by pulling out morsels from  millions and billions of  hungry mouths, from every pocket and every hand even from naked tribes struggling to cover their shame and from the pockets of those with tear drenched eyes struggling to find the daily bread for a crying infant, from every family kicked out on homeless street during the last extraction by a gambler on wall street or the last shooting spree in Syria or Sudan.  

Gee whiz, guns are fun, how can they be banned, you silly un? Do you know they even have cute pink ones for the kids to train at the association. They are the real thing, mind you. One kid killed his dad during training the other day. Mind you we have an expense account for the politicians so they - wink wink - talk of the second amendment to make stupid fools of people - LOL- the amendment has a right to be armed with nuclear missiles next, military style assault weapons are a toy in comparison - HaHa LOLOLOLOLOL

Wealth pours in through multiple streams with the guns being just one, through various indirect means, some described in older posts of this blog (through methods such as inflation that amounts to stealing from the poor for the rich here)

If conflicts are stopped how will guns be sold? Should  businesses be made to hurt?

Is this surprising in a world where your elected representatives chosen by you, allow corporate honchos and bankers to walk away with millions in bonuses with a sweet rates of taxation and permit them to become too big to fail so that they can be bailed out with your money; or let old festering wars between nations and within nations continue through provocative measures and UN vetoes for decades rather than impose peace; how else can those lovely mansions by the waterside be procured?  You, I and the thousands of sweet little children of the world that die daily of hunger or war are not important in this heady game. The few have acquired their powers and wealth through wars from the beginning of human civilisation and continue to do so even now in the so called democratic age. The only ray of hope is the open communication that has become available on the internet but its effect will take generations - old habits die hard. We deserve to be taken for a ride seeing that we are going to vote the same lot in again,  and just in case a bank is fined millions for wrong doing as the RBS was in UK, it will be when it does not matter much to bankers who have already left with their handsome severance packages for their mansions in the Bahamas and other exotic locations. You shall help pay the fine because the bank shall be owned by the public because of the bailout as those in UK discovered..

For Heavens sake, if these other folks cannot find bread why do they not have cake instead?

A banker might chip in to add, a robber is such a fool to rob a bank with a gun when it is so easy and so very neat and legal to do it with a bonus. It is only the stupid who break a law, the clever make it. Do you think it is a just law, dear reader, if it has allowed a handful of humans perhaps charged with insane greed or something far more sinister to control most of the world's wealth, over the tears, hunger and misery of billions of others?

“I don't think there is such a thing as an intelligent mega-rich person. For who with a fine mind can look out upon this world and hoard what can nourish a thousand souls.”  ― Kabir 

Yet there are a few among these wealthy rich who acquired their wealth not through lies and perpetuating suffering among fellow humans but because the Lord wished it so.  They serve the Lord rather than the devil. They wait for the time when the Lord ordained that good may prevail on Earth once again and evil assigned to the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Until then they help whoever comes within their sight without making a noise about it.

Reference: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

 The Mechanics of Creating Inequalities

On the mechanics of inequality can be read in this small compact book - A Brief Introduction to the Economics of Greed and Exploitation: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1495448193

 Simple Solutions to reduce poverty and fix inequality

For simple solution to reducing inequalities see

Update October 2014

Credit Suisse’s annual Global Wealth Report,  reveals that wealth inequality continues to grow; the top 1 percent now own 48.2 percent of global wealth, up from 46 percent last year. Meanwhile the bottom half of humanity own just 1 percent of wealth.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Food without Violence – Lovegan Food

The Almond Tree
Food for life comes from life, one form of life deriving its food from another life form and in some cases even their own kind. Humans acquire food from plants and animals, two different kinds of complimentary life forms. In acquiring this food, violence is often perpetuated. While it seems natural for most animals to acquire their food any way they can, humans, who are capable of reasoned thinking, may wish to deliberate if violence is an essential part of acquiring food or if food may be acquired without any violence. Perhaps as humans evolve further away from their animal past, they shall learn of non-violent ways to meet all their basic needs that include food.
The central question is, if it is possible to get fully nutritious and healthy food for mankind without the need to perpetuate any violence at all.
Whenever humans eat meat as food, an animal has to be killed. Civilized humans attempt to kill an animal in the least painful manner but violence is inherent in the act of killing. There are also some amongst humans, the vegans and vegetarians, who do not eat meat. Vegans avoid all food of animal origin but vegetarians will consume food of animal origin provided it can be acquired without causing violence.

For example milk from a domestic cow can be acquired if the cow is well fed and produces surplus milk.. Some modern vegetarians also consume eggs by an extension of the same logic. However, while vegetarians and vegans avoid violence to animals, they do perpetuate violence on plants frequently.

There is now a sufficient body of evidence (not quoted here for simplicity) to suggest that plants, even though they do not have a brain like animals, have a distributed consciousness that helps them meet their needs and feel pain as well. That is not surprising since plants are life forms too, with genes and chromosomes like animals and humans, with even many common genes i.e it is from the same gene pool as all other life on the planet.

Nevertheless, the important point to note is that much food from plants comes without causing any violence or any significant pain to plants. Consider the most common human food - bread. It is made from wheat that is taken from wheat grass when its life cycle is over and it has dried out. Therefore it is not necessary to destroy the wheat plant to get wheat. In fact if we cut the plant off when it is still green and alive we would not be able to get wheat grains from this plant. Many fruits and vegetables are also things that a plant produces to shed and therefore if these are plucked off a plant, no violence of note is caused. It is the same with leaves, that in any case keep drying off and if one takes these from a plant selectively the plant does not die and can go on to complete its life. Thus if we look through all of the plant foods that humans consume, most do not involve violence, However some do, for example to get lettuce or cabbage from a plant we have to chop it off.

A diet that primarily consists of foods acquired without any violence to both plants and animals involves a consciousness that goes beyond vegetarian or vegan food. It has been termed as lovegan foods in an earlier post in this blog because it is an expression of love for all life. As regards its impact on human health, it is indeed healthier than vegetarian and vegan food, first because most plant foods are included and there is an immense variety of that on the planet comprising fruits, nuts, vegetables, food grains, vegetable and fruit oils, foliage etc. as well as some root crops like potatoes and peanuts that a plant leaves in the soil after its life cycle is complete. Secondly, because lovegan food eaters are not averse to animal fats and proteins provided they can be acquired without perpetuating violence such as eggs and milk products, they may choose from a broad spectrum of nutrients that enable optimum human health.

A word of caution is necessary though, whenever a diet is changed, there are likely to be difficulties in the transition period while the body adjusts and learns to cope. Even something as simple as giving up regular tea can give a headache for a few days and giving up on meat by regular eaters may cause weakness for months or even years unless proper replacements are added.  An egg or two a day, some cheese and yoghurt, coconuts and almonds help to overcome the weakness. There is an older article in this blog, if you search for it on Edgar Cayce who had described that almonds help to overcome weakness of not eating meat. But please do not exceed two eggs a day or ten almonds a day. It could lead to other health issues. However, once one adjusts, some of the longest lived, healthiest and strongest persons in the world are from amongst the vegetarians or those who eat meat rarely, as you would find described in other articles in this blog (Here and Here). One way to give up on meat could be to cut down on meat gradually bringing it down to just once a weak over a one, two or three year period and then give it up completely if one so decided. Going cold turkey may be a good idea with tobacco and alcohol but not so with food.

Some believe that violence begets violent diseases and love begets love. As we sow, so shall we reap. However, since Loveganism is a new concept, present day food production and distribution methods make it difficult for most humans at the present time to become strictly lovegan, even if they wished to be so, except perhaps farmers who have their own land to produce food and keep some domestic diary animals and poultry birds primarily for their own needs. Therefore, it is sufficient for most humans to try and be aware of what they consume and do it in a way so that violence to all life is minimized if not completely eliminated.

It is not suggested in this note that all violence can or should be avoided in all situations. It has a role in defense of self and defense of loved ones from attack. A home must be defended against an attack of rats or termites and a farmer's field or flower garden from weeds and infestation. Rather, what is suggested here is that if we can find reasonable ways to avoid violence in any activity and do that, it is a praiseworthy pursuit and if it can be done in something as basic as acquiring food it is even more so.
While Buddha the compassionate spoke of compassion to animals as appropriate for his times , Einstein, who may be regarded as the architect of Loveganism, in keeping with recent times of scientific evolution went further. To quote from him:
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Despite what has been written here, it is not a good idea to become a fanatic about any food ideology. That is what the Buddha said when he introduced vegetarianism to mankind. It is also a duty of any life form including humans to maintain good health and then to use that good health to improve their own lives as well as contribute towards improving the lives of others in whichever way they can. Even more important than the kind of food one consumes is the nature of one's deeds. If a human being is extremely humane in food habits but otherwise exploits the world for utterly selfish needs through unethical means, he perpetuates another kind of violence that is far worse. The key word here is ‘unethical’ and not illegal because we have many countries where the greediest of humans have got together in a one percent club so as to make their greedy acts such as obscenely huge and totally illogical corporate compensations, banker bonuses and banker gambling with other peoples money legal. It seems that a banker remarked that a robber was such a fool to try and rob a bank with a gun when it was so much easier to do it with a bonus, but let us leave questions of wealth and how it is acquired for the next post of this blog.

Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ametllesjuliol.jpg  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;  Modified before use here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Dress Color for Hillary Clinton

CAANS Systen Dress Color for Hillary Clinton

On the lighter side, this blog has a couple of posts on dress color (here and here). Seeing that it was so much fun to find these dress colors out for some famous persons and seeing that it seems to have benefited them in their public pursuits (except President Obama in a private pursuit perhaps :) the thought occurred that it would be nice to discover the CAANS system dress color for Hillary Clinton in case she chose to run for President. If she did that and used this dress color for her public profile images or an appearance and won, perhaps she would then send me a thank you note. Many years ago her husband had sent me a thank you note from the White House while I lived in Canada when he was sent a copy of the Novella – Mystic and the Blossoms – that talks of development of third world villages and much else. These could then be framed, both notes together, for a wall piece, perhaps as an intensely narcissistic conversation piece that is full of myself  :) LOL

It does seem that Hillary would be a far better choice than a republican in this age when capitalistic greed has gone out of control leading to rising inequalities it seems that a liberal in USA stands a far better chance of controlling it  rather than a conservative, must record though that I am not an American but merely an international observer of our world. However what happens in America does influence everyone else on the globe seeing the size of the American economy and influence, and therefore it is natural for any objective world observer to take interest in it. If at times I also take interest in some godforsaken primitive part of the world  that is only because of the nudies over there :) 

The first step was to look up Hillary’s birthday on the net. Next was to look up the tables in the book of CAANS system with respect to her birthday and name and voila we had the RGB values in a hurry as 100, 230, 175. The color is illustrated in the upper image. Now the task remains to locate Hillary on twitter or some place to communicate to her a link of this post although she might find it on her own by a Google search about  herself. I looked at the Google image collection of  Hillary and there was a lot of black, at times blue and some very dark shades of green or red on an odd occasion but nothing like the color shown here. Hope to see her in that soon. The same with John. His collection of Google images show him mainly in a dark or black jacket with ties of every hue. However one picture did show him in a tie of the color here and it was impressive, more impressive than his other tie colors. Hope to see him soon more often in this shade with a change of jacket color and more ties of this color. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth showed up in a CAANS shade suggested in this blog soon after it appeared in this blog. She looked quite dashing in Royal Elizabeth Pink (The color has since been named), but it may have been from the book directly or coincidental.

NOTE: A second shade, a shade of blue for Hillary Clinton as found by the same system is illustrated in another post here:

Please do note that as regards women, the indicated colors are the color of a full dress or in very least the upper part of the dress whereas for men the indicated color is that of a jacket or tie with a white shirt with a full shirt in that color reserved for less formal attire. Any reader of this blog who is interested in finding a similar dress color of their own personality type may do so from the given reference or by letting me know their date of birth and official first name as a comment to this post, since I already have a copy of the book (How to choose dress colors for success by Jim Andersen) on the CAANS System and it does not take much time to look it up.

NOTE: This post is from last year , in a more recent one Jeb Bush has been included:

The links have now been communicated to both Hillary and John on twitter. If you visit this blog, Hillary and John, All the Best. May the best lady or man win, and may the Lord be with you both.

Note: Colors alter slightly in transmission and depend on monitor. The given RGB values assist in reproducing precise shade. 

Note 2; The book suggests that white and black are neutral colors and may be combined in the dress to make it more suitable for an occasion just as long as the suggested color is visible near neck, heart and face. Hillary appears to like black and might like to try this out with a black jacket. 

UPDATE APRIL 2015:  Looks like Hillary has read this blog if you see her dress in this picture:
 Best wishes to her, Looks like she is a sure win.

UPDATE: October 2015: Just a second picture in the top shade:

Image: https://twitter.com/latimes/status/656570714737278976/photo/1

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The best dressed and most beautiful men and women in the world today - and the impoverished

Shri Narendra Modi in shades of  NAMO  Blue
Some things that used to take months or years of research a few decades ago can now be done amazingly in a few minutes with the help of new technologies and services.  Just as an example, if we wished to search for the best dressed persons in the world today who are also regarded as some of the most beautiful humans on the planet, one can do that in seconds provided the right key words for that are used in a google search, and voila within seconds, with a high degree of accuracy you would have all the persons with their images neatly compiled on one page as this blogger discovered by using the search terms. What is even more significant is that it is a living list that is updated on a continuous basis. There are other famous agencies and organizations in the world that put out similar lists from time to time. However this list has the advantage that it is discovered on the basis of the best available computer intelligence today and therefore no vested interest, human bias - racial or political can enter the selection as may happen in selections made by humans. Age is not a barrier for getting on this list.  The results are at this Google link. The results display the dress colors chosen by the most beautiful and successful persons in the world today.
Although the given link shows many celebrities in expensive clothes, the consistent view of this blogger is that beauty and simplicity are closely connected. Therefore enhancing human beauty neither requires expensive clothes nor fancy styles. The simplest of clothes in simplest of colors and styles are the most beautiful. Utmost cleanliness of both body, clothing and surroundings is however a requirement, and indeed that is something the most beautiful of humans on the planet, poor or rich, adhere to.
India elected a new Prime Minister recently - Shri Narendra Modi - to become a leader of more than one seventh of the world's population.  In his own words in a TV interview he remarked, 

"My clothes are not expensive but I like them to be very clean."

Narendra Modi has spent some years wandering in the Himalayas too walking upto 23000 feet height without oxygen and undoubtedly draws his spiritual strength from the goddess as mountain too and every year during the nine days of the goddesses he fasts for nine days living only on water. One of the first missions he announced on the banks of the mighty river Ganges in his constituency of Varanasi yesterday was one of cleanliness of the Ganges and the country by 2019. The river Ganges is recognized as the spiritual mother by many Indians amongst rivers just the twin Himalayan peaks of Nanda and Sunanda are regarded as the spiritual mothers amongst the mountains.  But while humans have not been able to reach the mountain peaks to pollute them, they have been at it as regards Ma Ganga. 

The message of cleanliness appears lost in recent times.  While the British rulers it seems lived by a strict ethical code (albeit in interest of their motherland first) and an efficient governance, the latter rulers sponsored originally by them, who seemed to be neither here nor there, appeared to lack in these. The level of governance deficit was such that most any ordinary court cases take more than twenty years to decide and few homes in India, even those connected to supply lines, have an uninterrupted daily water and electricity supply ever since the British left more than sixty years ago. The rulers it seems have not even bothered to review the criminal and legal code set up by the British a century ago and which appears to be totally out of synch with the times.  However, all this is does not appear to affect the previliged rulers who live in Lutyens Delhi and throw something like scraps at the poor in the hope of votes and support, perhaps an art learned from foreign rulers or a false sense of superiority. But this time, the poor empowered by rising education levels and electronic communications gave a sound rebuff to those who throw scraps for votes, instead of doing what they are supposed to - govern- during national elections.

Others of the ruling dispensation complained that their works had not been well communicated to the people but how does much communication help when every time hundreds of millions of Indians visited the food market for basics and were hit by inflation, for years. Much communication is meaningless to hungry stomachs and a food security bill that provides a few kilograms of food grain perhaps not even enough to last a week futile. People cannot remain hungry for three out of four weeks in a month and they cannot just survive on bread and salt alone. What is even more shameless is that the same rulers spent more than hundred dollars a plate for dinner at one of their gatherings while some from amongst them, a planning commission chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed that about half a dollar a day is enough for an Indian not to be considered as a poor person.
In this scenario of all around and highly improper give and take, it is not surprising that rules and regulations soon became long, cumbersome and tedious, it seems not so as to make them more effective but in the hope that they are violated so that a bribe may then be extorted for overlooking the violation. Government budgets for different projects routinely went unspent perhaps not because it is difficult to spend money but because it is difficult to spend it and collect a commission without being caught at it. It is not surprising then that little attention was left for real works and little appetite left to strengthen the judicial system that might put a spanner in the merry making. In the meanwhile, somewhere in a dark hut, maybe a mother, one of many millions in a similar plight, and her little babes  cried because all they all had to satisfy their hunger  was just dry plain bread with salt and water,  and cajoled themselves to sleep with a drink of tears rather than nourishing milk. The milk producers on the other hand increased the milk prices by another two rupees for the nth time, every few months now for several years. The ruling party cried at the election results and said it was because they had not been able to communicate all this properly, perhaps to tell that woman and her babes how much good they (or HUMNE as they say often) had done for her, that they had created MANREGA for employment, that actually implies that all from her family would hence forth remained unemployed for 265 days a year.
It is true that widespread poverty of such a huge population cannot be overcome in a hurry. However there is no need to rub salt on the wound by declaring that half a dollar a day is sufficient to live or to splurge at public expense. Further when poor sweet children, the sweetest of all things in creation, routinely die of hunger across the country, the rotting of millions of tons of food grain in public storage, as happens routinely in India, due to neglect and defects in policy could not be more inhumane or shameful.
Is this blogger missing something? Is it it possible that the poor and that is the majority in India belong to a different species of life and that a different kind of blood flows through their veins and that of their sweet children so that they can be made to survive on a pittance as compared to those who rule and decide all these things? and if that is not the case, are the latter suffering from some kind of a vile delusional psychosis? Whatever be the case India may now draw comfort from the fact that it now has a leader who is one from amongst them. However the rot that has set over decades cannot be removed overnight but it is the hope of all well meaning Indians that the new leader can alleviate the distress
For the first time since 1947 a political party, BJP,  a political party fully rooted in India, has arrived in full majority with a leader that has risen from amongst the toiling masses and one of the first messages by it to the people who elected their leader is of cleanliness. Indeed cleanliness was the message of the Yoga Father Patanjali (as the first of the five niyams), Buddha the Compassionate and of Mahatma Gandhi too. Shri Modi himself is immaculate in his dress and clothing while displaying simplicity in choice of color and style. This blogger wishes him great and divine success in his mission. However, in recent decades and centuries the message of cleanliness has been largely lost from the country and it is with an advent of cleanliness in soul, body, clothing and surroundings that the country has a hope of returning to beauty and  prosperity as described in an earlier post here . Cleanliness in all three external areas is required because dirt and disease from one rubs of on another and without a cleansing of the soul through values of love, truth and simplicity there can be no real or charismatic beauty that appeals to the soul.

Note: An earlier post describes the CAANS system of dress colors for selecting dress colors is here.  A suggested effective dress color for Shri Narendra Modi by this system (Born Sept 17, 1950) named as Namo Blue was ascertained on the basis of simple astrological and numerological principles as described in the only book on the subject - How to Choose Dress Colors by Jim Andersen (pen name) -  at this  Amazon.com link.

Shri Narendra Modi in a NAMO Blue Jacket

Namo Blue - CAANS System Dress Color of  Shri Narendra Modi

NOTE: Colors are distorted in processing and transmission to computer screens. Their most accurate representation may be recovered by creating a figure on a high quality monitor such as a rectangle filled with a color of given RGB values.

Friday, May 16, 2014

How to become miserable or happy quickly

When we look around us we find a million things to get miserable about because of the people we deal with, in our own shortcomings, that aching back, those pending tasks etc. Perhaps a tap is dripping or the roof is leaking and those drapes have needed a wash for years. As if that was not enough, when we set about comparing ourselves with so and so, we get even more miserable. The first causality of this misery is that we have no mind left to enjoy a million other things we could be happy about, including the beautiful song of birds that sing at the window every morning or the lovely red flowers that came up in the garden yesterday.

If it will console the reader, be pleased to note that you are not alone in this. Everyone has just as many things to worry about as you including that famous Hollywood billionaire you thought was so lucky. That is what life is all about. In fact, the first thing to restoring our happiness is to stop comparing ourselves with those who are better off or conversely feeling happy by gloating over those worse off. The fact is that there are trillions upon trillions of life forms in the universe, some you would consider better off and others miserable. You are exactly in the center of this misery and joy, as is everyone else. Furthermore, since you cannot exactly peer into the hearts of others, you have really no way of telling who is more miserable or happy. The best thing to do is to return a focus back to your self and get on with the things at hand.

Now as regard those million things that are pending and need fixing, the next thing to realize is that you are not alone in this, everyone else is precisely in the same situation. The difference with happy persons is that they do not fret over it. They just take things one at a time considering that a million of things cannot all be handled simultaneously or fixed in one go. They do it a pace that is reasonable, leaving aside time to enjoy the song of birds. Their persistence pays off and over a period of time they get a lot done even while enjoying the dance and the song.

What do you have to say to that - “Lucky b----s, I just have so much on my hands, I cannot afford to take things one at a time, even though I know I am incapable of doing a million things simultaneously. On top of it all, they even believe in some silly philosophy that adding happiness in the lives of others returns happiness. For heavens sake! Where is the science to all that and who has time to be a do gooder anyway? Just leave me to my blues and misery please, sob---“

LOL : -) 

Lake image from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Image_Lake.jpg  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Beauty brings Prosperity - Mystic and the Blossoms

Mystic and  the Blossoms

Some consider beauty to be just a fad, luxury or indulgence but there is an intrinsic connection between beauty and prosperity as also happiness. Rather than write a blog post about it, may I refer you to a novella (something longer than a short story but briefer than a novel)  on this subject. There is an older post in this blog that talks a little more of this (here). The Novella is available in both print and electronic editions at many online retailers including Amazon web sites. The Kindle edition of the book is a free download for five days starting now at:


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Why Raising and Fixing Minimum Wage is such a poor Idea

Rule of 10, 12 or 20
Often we hear talk of raising the minimum wage in different economies of the world. The people who ask for this are those who have got trapped  into an exploitative economy where a few control most of the wealth and raise the minimum wage of the poor from time to time as feudal lords used to raise the salary of their servants and slaves from time to time. What needs to be addressed instead are income inequalities but those can be done by controlling the maximum wage not just the minimum one. Raising minimum wages could cause maximum wages to rise faster increasing inequalities further and inflation could erode the value of minimum wage even if increased as has happened in many countries. One might say that raising minimum wage could reduce inequality. but  that is a poor way to go about it. There is a far better way that has something to do with a ratio as explained next. It is not an advanced concept. Elementary school children learn about it in arithmetic nowadays. Whenever minimum wages are raised but no caps of any form are put on the maximum wages it is mere appeasement and a travesty. It permits senior executives to take away a huge chunk of profits as salary, bonuses and various other benefits, profits that would have been shared with the shareholders and all employees or used to expand and strengthen the business. When the business fails the public may  pay again for the bail out perhaps. The UK public paid a third time for one of the bailed banks when it was fined millions for wrong doings. It was the bank that paid the fine but the bank was with the public by now so it was the public paying the fines. Those who had committed the wrongs were relaxing in their mansions with the help of millions in severances packages they took when they left.

Fixing a minimum wage is most detrimental to a new small business or even a large struggling one. It can lead to collapse of the business as it does from time to time and everyone ends up losing then. Better have a low wage then end up on the street without a job. If the economy or a business organization improves all would be helped and the minimum wage would automatically go up provided one understands how to use something called a ratio. When ratios are fixed senior executives have to raise the minimum salaries in an organization if they want their own salaries increased.

It is not suggested that incomes of all should be equal as some communists did. That kills incentive to work and even the trees in a forest are not all of equal size. Some inequality is natural but it is not natural to have a million feet high tree in the forest either.
Rather what is suggested is that there must be some reasonable ratio of the maximum and minimum wages within each organization say ten, twenty or thirty times at the most. This will permit small businesses to grow starting with a low wage for everyone from cleaner to CEO and also permit struggling industries to survive through lean periods by cutting benefits of all across the board. It would also prevent greedy bankers from running away with the profits or gambling too much with other people’s money in the hope of a bonus. Such a proposal under the name of rule of ten was proposed by this blogger a few years ago and has been enthusiastically examined by many Europeans.

The reason why some forms of communism failed is because it was sought to impose an unnatural equality on the masses. The reason why many forms  of capitalism are struggling and reeling under debt, stress and homelessness is because an unnatural inequality has been permitted to flourish. The solution is the middle road. If they can walk it in Sweden while merrily singing the song of prosperity so can the others because Sweden is not a planet in a galaxy far far way.

You can read more details of the rule of ratios here

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Magic of Medicinal Herbs - Ashwagandha

The botanical name of this plant is Withania somnifera. This plant grows wild in several parts of India including around my home here. The photo is one of a branch of this plant I snapped a few minutes ago. This  is one of the most important herbal medicinal plant in India for more than 3000 years. Modern medical studies have confirmed its benefits. Multiple studies have shown positive effects in reducing physiological and psychological stress as well as restoring and increasing energy levels. More than one study had findings showing a significant improvement in both cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. According to Kieran Cooley et al, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729375/

Clinical trials and animal research support the use of Withania somnifera for anxiety, inflammation, Parkinson's disease, cognitive and neurological disorders and as a useful adjunct for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Withania somnifera is also used therapeutically as an adaptogen for patients with nervous exhaustion, insomnia, debility due to stress, and as an immune stimulant in patients with low white blood cell counts.

The plant's long, brown, tuberous roots are used for medicinal purposes although other parts of the plant have benefits too. The roots have a strong horsy smell and a strong woody taste. Since this herb is plentiful around my home, I have collected the roots and tried to drink decoctions of it but the taste was not pleasant. More recently I have found powdered form of the dry roots in stores and find that a level tea spoon of that mixed in half or full glass of drinking water and a tea spoon of sugar has a pleasant taste and is wonderful before or after dinner in the evening. Once you get used to the taste you would find it is a lovely drink with some ice cubes and perhaps a sprig of mint to garnish or a dash of natural Kewra or rose essence for more flavor. It does not dissolve in the water but just makes a suspension. It is a strong woody flavor but one begins to like it after a few days. It gives a wonderful deep sleep and one wakes up delighted and refreshed aside from its other benefits. Truly Mother Nature is wonderful. I am unsure of the best dosage but have just played it by ear and one level tea spoon a day in water work fines for me.

Those with a tendency for constipation must watch if this method of consuming the herb does not aggravate that and it seems that excess can have some undesirable hypnotic effect therefore do go easy if you try it out after consulting a certified Ayurvedic doctor familiar with it. I did not consult because I love to take risks :)  Persons with constipation can try mixing in a tea spoon of another herbal powder called Triphala in the drink. It is also a natural health powder. Both of these are common herbal medicines manufactured by several reputed industries and should be widely available in Ayurveda stores across the world.

UPDATE October 14, 2014:  Some days ago a honeycomb at home yielded honey and I have begun to add a tea spoon of honey along with a tea spoon of dried Ashwagandha powder to half a glass of water. After stirring it become a wonderful sweet drink with an almond sort of flavor. The Ashwagandha powder should be added to water not water to powder or  it will not mix very well but just clump up at the bottom of the glass similar to corn flour. It is wonderful before bedtime.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When all the animals lost their Souls

Love of a mother
In spiritual philosophy there exists the concept of a soul. It is described as an imperishable part of humans that does not die even though the physical body does. The soul is the reservoir of our personality and the source of our emotions. What happens to it after a human dies? Well it can acquire another body and dwell in heaven or hell or float about as Casper the little ghost did. The details of what all can happen to a soul after death vary in different spiritual traditions of the world. Nevertheless, all of the major traditions admit to the existence of an imperishable soul.

It seems that some time in the past, some Christian philosophers got together and concluded that while humans have a soul other animals do not. This is in contradiction to eastern schools of thought such as Buddhism which asserts that all life has a soul even the lowest of animals, nay, even insects and bacteria, and that a soul evolves gradually from the lowest levels to a human level much as physical life too has evolved over millions and billions of years. The Hindus have even a put a number on it i.e. it takes 84, 00,000 lives before a soul evolves to a human level, but then the Hindus loved to put a number on everything ever since they invented the zero; likely it is merely a metaphorical assertion. Though one may easily dispute the numbers and that is hardly the topic of the present note, the question why animals were denied a soul deserves reflection.

Those who have kept pets and developed a close relationship with an animal will assert that animals too feel pain and pleasure and various emotions just as humans do. One may have found birds or a monkey screaming frantically when its newly born is hurt or killed or the love with which a bird feeds it’s young. Therefore the question arises as to why the early Christian philosophers had to deny all animals, aside from humans, a soul. The least they could have done is remain silent about it.. After all even the genes are similar. A chimp is more than 99 percent human.

The answer to this question is not very far if one delves into spiritual philosophy further. There was one more thing the early Christian philosophers denied – more than a single reincarnation – and having done that it became imperative to deny a soul to animals in order to eliminate a logical inconsistency.

As regards human souls it was asserted that they can reincarnate only once and thereafter they shall dwell forever and forever in hell or heaven depending upon their deeds while they lived. Now if animals too were granted a soul then the holy angels would have to deliberate on the deeds of an animal or bacteria too before deciding eternal hell for it and that did not make sense. The sensible approach was to just deny the poor animal a soul.  The other alternative was to let the animal soul float around as a ghost but that too was impractical since with time there would just be too many insect and bacteria ghosts around. Hello, Casper E coli! :)  Although bacteria do not need sex to reproduce, they love sex anyway and can mate with fellow bacteria numerous times a day. Read about their sex lives in this other blog here:

One more impracticability arose when a reincarnation was denied more than once. A person who had sinned for a bit during a brief life was roasted in hell fire eternally to the laughter of little devils with two horns and a spiked tail. The Buddhists and Hindus on the other hand could assign limited stays in hell or heaven depending upon the extent of the sin much like the prison sentences our judges hand out, and this was easily possible since multiple reincarnations is the norm with them. However it seems the original Christians did not mind that because all the merrier to scare the shits out of non-believers and those who did not pay for the priests. A side benefit was that one did not have to become compassionate to animals and could merrily roast them for a feast without feelings of guilt.

Once cross migration and multiple migrations across species is admitted there is no difficulty about where the animal souls shall go. They just become other animals, hopefully more evolved ones so that that they can eventually after some hundreds of thousands of lives  become human. It may also explain why a friend has a faint resemblance to a lion and another to a pig.  Perhaps indicates the route through which they came into human lives  :) This also takes care of overcrowding both hell or heaven which would have been inevitable had reincarnations been limited to a single one. It seems that the process is not a one way process and that a return to animal existence is also possible in a few cases as is the migration from females to males and vice versa. This might also explain the different sexual orientations that exist as well as those few souls who did not make the transition completely and were left in between in a limbo. Jokes aside, multiple cross species reincarnations explain everything that a single reincarnation cannot.

One wonders what happens to those who having been denied lusting within a married life began to fiddle with the kids? Surely the molesters do not believe that children too do not have a soul. Do the molesting priests roast in hell forever or are they forgiven by the Pope before the angels can get at them? Well personally I would go with the Hindus and Buddhists on this, though not in everything, and perhaps even the original Christians who admitted to numerous reincarnations, not just one. It is reasons like this which has made me an independent spiritualist believing that there is something good to derive from any religion and science too, and something to reject as well. This author would rather give the clergy that fiddles with kids another chance to reform and realize that children are little angels close to god to be loved not molested, after a limited stay in hell where the same is done to them by little devils with horns to realize their folly, rather than roast them in hell, forever and forever.

:) LOL

Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berberaapje.jpg  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. It was modified slightly before use here.