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Kay Commentary 2012-01-28

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The following is a KSCO commentary.  Here is Kay Zwerling:

This bewilders me that I have lived so long, but never heard of the Paradoxical Commandments until recently when my friend Marcia told me about them. 

Here’s the story – evidently the Paradoxical Commandments were written by an 18-year-old named Kent Keith, a freshman at Harvard in 1968.   He is probably 60 years old now.  The Commandments were later found posted on Mother Teresa’s wall in India.  

One wonders how an 18-year-old could have the wisdom and depth of understanding of human nature to be so right-on and so humanly generous as Kent Keith was to come up with those mature thoughts.  It is like finding meaning in a crazy world, and how many of us humans achieve such wisdom?   I wonder, also, how can an 18-year-old have become so disenchanted so early in his life?   That is a paradox, too.  And, maybe there was a little bit of paranoia in him, also.  Here are the Paradoxical Commandments:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered – Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives – Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies – Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow – Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable – Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds – Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs – Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight – Build anyway.
People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them – Help people anyway.

And finally –

Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth – Give the world the best you have anyway.

          So much for the Paradoxical Commandments.  

          And now it is chuckle time –

A Rabbi & a Priest in the same town were friends.  They met once a week to go bicycling together.  One day while the Priest was waiting in the usual place, the Rabbi came but without his bicycle.  He told his friend the Priest that it was not where he usually put it so it was probably stolen. 

The Priest paused a moment & then said to the Rabbi “I have an idea.  This coming Friday night when you deliver your sermon, why don’t you make your subject the Ten Commandments, and when you get to the part where it says ‘Thou shalt not steal’, perhaps the thief will be listening and be remorseful and return your bike.”  So the following week when it was time for the buddies to meet, the Rabbi arrived with his bike.  Elated, the Priest said “See, I told you that when you would read the Ten Commandments that say ‘Thou shalt not steal’ it would work and you would get your bicycle back, and you did.”  The Rabbi replied “Well, it was not exactly that way.  I did give my sermon, but when I came to the part that says ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’, I remembered where I left my bike.”
For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling.

© copyright 2012

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Kay Commentary 2012-01-21

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The following is a KSCO commentary.  Here is Kay Zwerling:

          More about China –

          In 1979, my husband and I were fortunate enough to be in China exactly when our two governments agreed to trade with each other.  The Chinese people were dancing in the streets.  I wondered how all this would play out.  The agrarian country was now becoming a world trader.  Let’s fast forward to 2011.

          In our eagerness to trade with China, it became – and still is – lopsided.   It is called free trade where only one side benefits.  

Along the way, somehow we seduced ourselves into giving up our own industries which had kept us independent.  We thought perhaps that being a service-oriented society would be alright.

          The U.S. has really been living in a fools’ paradise on a phony economy.   Now we are world dependent.  We have helped China to become so wealthy that she owns us, because most of her profits are in billions and are invested in our nation.

          A long time ago I read in Barron’s, the financial periodical, something that is very compelling.  Listen… We have not been through anything like what we are going through now – probably for more than 20 years – we have been able to convince the world lately to lend us and to provide us with goods that we do not produce anymore and that we cannot afford to pay for.   And now the problem is big, especially since the real estate bubble.

          We borrowed so much money from abroad that our trade deficits are now enormous, and our industrial base has been allowed to decay for so long that we can only survive in this economy thanks to the charity of the rest of the world. 

          Perhaps we must resurrect what worked for us before – that is, our own industries and reject our debt dependency on other nations.   That is the path our Forefathers vigorously admonished us to take when our nation was created.  We must, however, factor in that the world has changed.  Once the world had workers in the millions.  Now, with China and India in the world market, the global workforce is in the billions (with a B), so the inflation of workers creates resentment and competition.   The stage is set for the inevitable confrontation of China and India vs. the U.S. and Europe, and how that situation will play out remains to be seen.  

For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling.

© copyright 2012

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Kay Commentary 2012-01-14

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The following is a KSCO commentary.  Here is Kay Zwerling:

          I wrote this in June 2008, and it is timely. 

          As we think about China and how she has so rapidly become a world presence, we may remember Napoleon’s famous description “Let China sleep for when she awakens she will shake the world.”  

          Today, China is not only awake, but because of her enormous population, she is – or will become – arguably the greatest force in the world.   So, despite what our sophisticated Wall Street types have to say, China is getting richer and stronger, and we are becoming weaker.  Ironically, China’s funds are so invested in America that if she removes those possible billions and trades them into Euros our economy may collapse.  But, the Pandora’s box is now open and it will never close.  

          Why did we allow this inequity to happen?   Wouldn’t fair trade have been better than free trade? 

          Fair trade means that I give you 50% and you give me back 50%.  

          Recently I read a most intriguing article with regard to China, who is much more aggressive and aware than we are about acquiring the world’s dwindling raw materials.   China is now engaged in Africa, specifically the sub-Saharan countries like Mozambique, which supplies lumber, and Zambia, which supplies copper, and  the Condo has a wide range of minerals, and equatorial Guinea has oil.   China, at a frantic pace, is swooping up the copper, timber, natural gas, zinc, cobalt, and you name it.  

          Because China can see that in the foreseeable future – factoring in the recent luxury needs of China and India, plus all of Europe, Asia, and the United States – there will be a shortage of these raw materials.   The awakening giant is now buying up everything that the poor sub-Saharan countries will willingly sell her. 

          Evidently we are either too timid, not looking ahead, asleep at the wheel, or maybe too obsessed with corrupt American politics – well, in fact, our Country is involved in the sub-Saharan countries, but not in the aggressive way that China is. 

          We should wisely remember the forgotten word of Thomas Malthus who said some two centuries ago “The power of population is infinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for all mankind.”    In other words, eventually there may not be enough of the raw materials to serve all mankind.   Like China, shouldn’t we be more aggressive about obtaining the raw materials while they are still available? 

For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling.

© copyright 2012

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