“I, The Jury” – The Prologue [Part 0] [An Original Online Series]

Underworld Awakening Publicity Still

“Whoever we are … Wherever we reside … We exist on the whim of murderers …”— Miles Davis, “The Rock”

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An original online series based on characters and situations from the Vampire trilogy “The Endless Night” by H. P. Lovelace; dedicated to Mickey Spillane, his Mike Hammer, and the original, his “I, The Jury”. So, if you’re looking for Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Nero Wolf, et al, you’d best look elsewhere. Mickey Spillane … dead … but not forgotten … never …

***

Series starts January 08, 2011

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The Endless Night, The First 16 Pages – [an excerpt from IUP, Book 01]

Poisen Elves
Be careful what you wish for … sometimes you get it

Click on the image of Jenny Miller, Mondo’s BFF, to read the pages … Enjoy … :)

 

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — The One Thing that Separates the Winners from the Losers

“Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.”
Mitt Romney, past governor of Massachusetts

What makes a winnerWithout a doubt, people who achieve excellence share a common set of characteristics. And it doesn’t matter if they are in business, education, government, health care or even in parenting and homemaking. People of excellence have certain psychological mechanisms going on inside them.

Strangely enough, I learned that from a group of inmates when I worked in the Michigan prison system, inmates who were the very opposite of excellent. They consisted of about 100 young men between the ages of 15 and 21, who had committed crimes that ranged from petty theft and mugging to pimping and drug dealing.

From observing and interacting with them on a daily basis for a couple of years, I began to realize what produces excellence, mediocrity and failure, and I began to realize the difference between winners and losers.

For starters…

1. Losers blame others for their problems.

Before I would meet with an inmate for our first interview, I would read his file. I wanted to learn about his family, his education, his history, culture, and crime stats. Then I would bring in a young man and say something like, “Byron, you look like a nice fellow. What’s a guy like you doing in here?”

Invariably, Byron would jump into his story as to why he didn’t belong there. He would say it was that darn judge that had it in for him. He never had a chance. Or he had a no-good lazy lawyer who told him to cop a plea, that he would get off with a warning, but now he was locked up for five years.

All the inmates had their stories that blamed somebody else for their problems.

In fact, the stories were sometimes so similar that it was “almost” funny. Several of them said, “I was out on parole, sitting in a bar, drinking a beer, minding my own business, and these fellas came over to talk to me. They told me they had some booze in the car and urged to come along and party with them. So I did.”

“We were driving along when all of a sudden one of the guys said there was this convenience store down the street. No one was there but an old man, and they all said he’s probably got $500 just sitting there in the cash drawer. We could run in there, pick up the dough, and be out in 30 seconds.”

“Of course, I said, ‘No way. Take me home. I’m trying to go clean. I don’t want nothin’ to do with this.’ They called me ‘chicken’ and just kept driving. Before I knew it, they ran in the store, knocked the old man over the head, came back out, threw the money in the car, and ran off in the woods, taking the car keys with them. Before I knew it the cops drove up, and here I am sitting with the money. It was all over.”

Sounds like a pretty bad patch of bad luck, doesn’t it? Possibly so, in some cases.

It would be easy to feel sorry for those guys, until you realize that EVERY ONE of them had a story like that. And NONE of them belonged there. It was always somebody else’s fault. It was that infamous “other guy” that got them into all that trouble.

We used to joke, “If we could only catch those ‘other guys,’ we could bring an end to crime in Michigan.”

I’m sure one or two or a few of the stories were true, but they certainly weren’t true for all 100 inmates. So what was going on there?

In simple terms, losers blame others for their problems. Indeed, I address this issue in my new upcoming book, “The Payoff Principle: Discover The 3 Secrets To Getting What You Want Out Of Life And Work.”

Click here to read a short excerpt from the book.

Or to put it another way,

2. Losers do not accept responsibility.

In psychology, it’s called “locus of control.” Some people are “externals.” Instead of taking responsibility for what is going on in their lives, they place the responsibility outside of themselves or “externally.”

That’s what those inmates were doing when they repeatedly told me it was the “other guy” who was at fault. It was the “devil who made them do it.” Someone else was responsible for what was going on their lives.

What makes it so difficult to live and work with people like this is the fact they’re not lying … in the technical sense. They honestly believe their stories. They really believe they’re not responsible for the mess they’re in.

Of course, not all losers are in prison. You find them everywhere, in your workplace and in your families.

As a consultant to a certain healthcare organization that had some major problems in keeping accurate records, I could never find the people that were responsible for the problem. When I spoke to the hospital administrator and asked about the problem, he said it was “those” doctors who thought they were “above” the new electronic record keeping system. When I spoke to the doctors, they said it was the insurance companies who forced them to see too many patients in a single day. When I talked to the department managers, they said it was those darn unions that protected incompetent employees in medical records.

In essence, according to the people in this dysfunctional organization, no one was responsible for the problem. Indeed, they had created an entire corporate culture where no one was responsible. No wonder they were losing … money, morale, employees, and even patients.

Simply put, it is a characteristic of losers to be highly external, constantly blaming others, and refusing to take responsibility. And that attitude will never produce excellence or greatness.

Continuing on with today’s Tip, by contrast to losers,

3. Winners invariably take responsibility.

They are internally focused. Good or bad, highly successful people take responsibility FOR the events in their lives, and as a result, they take action TO control their lives.

For example, one of my coaching clients, a high level senior manager at IBM is an excellent manager. When I asked him how things were going, he started talking about the problem he was having with one of his supervisors that he had put in charge of a certain project. He said things weren’t working out, and he couldn’t understand it. In fact, he said this was the second time he had assigned someone to that project, and neither one of the supervisors worked out.

My client went on to say, “What am I doing wrong? How is it that I picked the wrong person for the job two times in a row? I should have been able to see they wouldn’t work out.”

To the casual observer, it may sound like he’s not a very good manager. But he’s actually an EXCELLENT manager, because he accepts responsibility for his decisions. And because he accepts responsibility for his decisions, he will take the time to think, to do his homework, to figure out what’s happening, change his behavior, and make a better choice the next time.

By contrast, a loser would blame somebody else for the problem. A loser might say, “The training department doesn’t know how to turn people into effective supervisors … or … The HR department doesn’t send me good candidates … or … All the really good supervisors have been scooped by our competitors.” Blame, blame, blame.

The research clearly tells us that losers are blamers but excellence and winning starts with responsibility. Make sure you choose the latter.

Are you quick to blame others when things don’t work out the way you’d like? Or are you quick to figure out a way of making things better?

Share with your friends and colleagues!

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The Perfect Soldier [Adam Rose] vs. The Super Soldier [Becky Better]?, aka The True Blueprint to Defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. Part 2

“If you look up at me you will see a friend. If you look down at me you will see an enemy. But … If you look me square in the eye, you will see God. Follow the buzzards. – Citizen Bray Wyatt, leader of the MLA [Mars Liberation Army]

A man who was once described as an “invisible general” who holds master’s degrees in both education and business management  is in charge of the military operations against the jihadist group Islamic State and the Al Qaeda franchise Khorasan in Syria and Iraq.

A Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider in an email Tuesday that General Lloyd J. Austin III  was the “combatant commander” of the operations in both countries through his role as the Commander of US Central Command .

As CENTCOM commander, Austin oversees the US military presence in 20 countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. His role means Austin is leading the military operations in Syria and Iraq and heads the strategic planning for the efforts to fight ISIS and Khorasan in both countries.

Previously, General Austin had been the primary military liaison for “The Project”.

 

Redacted address from the quarterly readiness review for The Project … Presented as an analogy by General Austin to the then President of the United States of America, Gladys M. Gaye-Knight, a week before her formally leaving office after the cessation of Martial law post Conflict vis-à-vis The Martian Race War.

The Perfect Soldier [Adam Rose] vs. The Super Soldier [Becky Better]?

Adam Rose, the so-called “The Adam Rose Experience” a prototype superhuman and his Exotic Express entourage versus Becky Better “human” Vampiric aka aliased Nosferatu and The First Batch of her kind. The exemplar of the roses vs. a prime example of the “first” batchers.

Madam President … In the vein of our previous discussion … Let’s again use a boxing analogy to illustrate the difference between these two, very desirable outcomes.

In my opinion Floyd Mayweather has been so successful all these years because he has mastered the art of exploiting one of the boxing flaws which is “repetition”. If you have taken any boxing class you will find that there is a proper way to throw punches a proper way to guard a proper way to block a proper way to use lateral movement so on and so forth which means “repetitive” movements.

I believe Floyd Mayweather is the MASTER and he fully understands the art and science of boxing to the point where he knows what an opponent is going to throw even before they do and how to “react” to whatever punch they throw which in-turn means counter punching. It is said that Mayweather takes the first three rounds of each fight to study his opponent and I believe what he is studying is the opponent’s repetitive movement and repetitive punches in other words what the opponent is doing over and over again (Their game plan).

If my theory is correct than an opponent who is able to throw awkward punches and punches from different angles at different times is what will dismantle a person who is studying repetitions because their punches are not normal and they are not thrown in a normal manner so how can you prepare to defend that? YOU CAN”T what you have to do is dig deep and use whatever you have in your arsenal to avoid those shots coming from every place under the sun because there is NO clear repetition.

Now there are two fighters today who I believe can execute punches with speed and power in both hands and they have the ability to throw awkward angled punches at a high volume, and once again this of course is my opinion but I believe these two fighters are Manny Pacquiao and Keith “One Time” Thurman.

Although Manny is good in his own right and he has the ability to execute these techniques I think in the end he will fail because Manny does not know how to make adjustments. Manny Pacquiao is the type of fighter that is like a “Perfect Soldier” he is strong fearless and will follow orders without any back-talk 100% of the time BUT I believe that is also his down fall because he is the type of fighter that needs to be told what to do when to do it and how.

With all due respect Pacquiao has strong beliefs and a high level of respect for people like Roach, Arum, and Koncz but he is always “led “to his decisions even in the ring. On the other hand Keith “One Time” Thurman is a different animal he is more of a “super soldier” he has all the strength and ability of the “perfect soldier” but has the added ability to “think” and make decisions on his own. Keith Thurman has a different “hunger” in the ring than Manny Pacquiao because he knows he has something to prove and the tension is building because he is constantly being pushed down and ignored. In my opinion Manny will not win against Mayweather it will definitely be close but he has problems with guys that move i.e. Mayweather and problems with guys that can fight going backwards i.e. Mayweather.

Keith Thurman doesn’t have those problems and he can succeed at punching at different angles and when he lands there is power behind both hands and if Maidana can land punches against Mayweather than Thurman will have no problems what so ever doing the same. In conclusion just because a “blueprint” to defeat Floyd Mayweather hasn’t been found does not mean one doesn’t exist. I would like to see Mayweather vs. Thurman in 2015.

Original Sources: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/meet-the-invisible-general-leading-the-war-on-isis-2014-9 and http://www.boxingnews24.com/2014/09/the-true-blueprint-to-defeat-mayweather-part-2/#VLQ1vd2zuglmEkjO.99

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Vintage JUNE WILKINSON Original B&W PIN-UP MODEL 120 Film Negative (NUDES)

Vintage JUNE WILKINSON Original B&W PIN-UP MODEL 120 Film Negative (NUDES) #137JUNE WILKINSON Original PIN-UP MODEL 120 Film Negative 1950’s

This is a beautiful quality original 2.5″ by 2.5″ negatives of English pin-up model and actress JUNE WILKINSON at the Hollywood Publicists Association’s Ballyhoo Ball. This is a negative not a print. It is the original “out of the camera” neg and can be used to make a print or scanned and printed from a digital file.

Please note that there is a slight motion blur to her face.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Wilkinson

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China and Mongolia: What’s The Difference?!

China and Mongolia, What’s The DifferenceChina and Mongolia: What’s The Difference?!

After living in China and teaching English for a little over a year, we learned a lot about the Chinese customs and ways of life.
We loved living there and since then have also enjoyed a month spent travelling through Mongolia.

Even though these two fabulous countries are neighbours, they are light-years away from each other.

We’ve made some observations about Mongolia and have discovered many differences between the Chinese and Mongolian cultures, people and customs.

Here’s a list of a few differences that stood out for us:

1. Mongolians are bigger. A major contrast between the two countries is the appearance of the people. Chinese people tend to be quite small framed, slight and short’ish. The Mongolians are a hearty breed of people, the men are muscular and stocky, while the women are voluptuous and curvy. Also, the Mongolians have darker skin and aren’t as concerned with being white and fair-skinned, as Chinese people are.

mongolian people

2. Chinese food is much better. We’re all about eating the local cuisine of a country we’re in and even though there are some seriously strange street-foods in China, that cuisine is one of our favourites! Mongolian food is basically just meat and dairy. It seems that Mongolians (in the countryside anyways) eat out of necessity rather than for enjoyment.

chinese hot pot

3. There’s no smoking in Mongolia. In China, it seems like every man smokes. Whether it’s in restaurants, in shops or on buses, they all light up. In Mongolia, there are “no smoking” signs everywhere and the rules are obeyed.

4. English is more widely spoken in Mongolia. Apart from being in the major cities like Beijing or Shanghai, English wasn’t readily spoken in China. Even though it makes travelling to China more for the intrepid traveller and it was great to try to learn Chinese and fit in with the local people, it’s sometimes nice to have people understand what you want and need!

chinese train station

5. Chinese people have their own fashion style. The people in Ulan Bator (the only major city in Mongolia) dress quite trendy and have a very western sense of style. Out in the countryside, they don their traditional, and beautiful, clothing. The men and women of China have a very distinct, funky and fashionable style of dress, which makes them different from what we’re used to seeing in the west.

shoes in china

6. The air quality is better in Mongolia. This goes without saying. There are about 1.5 billion people in China compared to only 3 million people in Mongolia. Travelling through Mongolia has definitely been a breath of fresh air.

china air quality

7. China has many cities. Mongolia only has one true city, Ulan Bator. The rest are considered small villages. Compare that with the zillion (or something like that!) cities in China and it makes for a more peaceful, less chaotic and less polluted country.

shanghai skyline

8. Mongolians are nomadic. Ok, so they aren’t many true nomadic people in the world, but this is especially true for Chinese people who predominantly live in populated cities. Mongolian people in the countryside live in gers and pack up their homes to move to greener pastures 2-4 times per year.

mongolian ger

9. Chinese people love to eat fish, pork and chicken. Mongolians do not. While the Chinese enjoy lighter proteins like fish, pork and chicken, Mongolian people love their red meats! They typically eat sheep, goat, yak and horse. Hearty meats for hearty people, a must for keeping warm in the freezing cold winters.

mongolian food

10. Chinese people are fascinated by westerners. I can’t count the amount of times we were the main attraction at a particular touristy site in China. We had our photos taken numerous times while living and travelling there and almost caused a few car accidents because of people staring at us, rather than the road! In Mongolia, they give a quick glance at us and carry on about their business – no staring and definitely no photos. Call us narcissists, but we kind of miss the attention.

chinese people

Even though there are many, many differences between these two neighbouring, Asian countries, there are a few similarities that stand out as well:

1. Both languages are extremely hard to pronounce and learn.
2. Buddhism is a prominent religion.
3. Mongolia and China have very family oriented cultures.
4. Chinese and Mongolians are both extremely hospitable and friendly people.

chinese people

We miss living in China so much! The experiences we had there were life changing and unforgettable. Even though it was hard to say goodbye, making the choice to travel to Mongolia after completing our contract in China was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

We had a blast travelling through Mongolia for 30 days. The off the beaten path moments we had and the nomadic families and ways of life we encountered are some of our fondest memories, ever.

For more information on travelling to these two intriguing countries, check out our Backpacking Guide to China and our Guide to Backpacking Mongolia.

Have you ever been to China or Mongolia, or both?! What do you think of the culture and the people? Tell us below!

Original Source: http://www.goatsontheroad.com/china-and-mongolia-not-much-in-common-except-a-border/

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Wizard Wars, April Hunter, Los Angeles, and The Herald-Examiner building’s much older twin in Las Vegas

Herold-Examiner, LosAngeles, Filming Location

Herald-Examiner, Los Angeles Filming Location

A couple of things that you’ve seen for the last two years on Syfy’s “Wizard Wars” every Tuesday that you don’t see in Las Vegas:

A) New illusions created in a competitive setting, not just the same old stuffing of women into cabinets and stabbing them with swords.

B) The larger illusion that young, attractive people actually sit and watch young, attractive people perform magic in cool nightclubs.

“We did kind of build this ideal magic venue,” Rick Lax says of the latter, created in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner building that’s seen new life for film and TV production.

In Las Vegas, he agrees, “most magic shows are not set up that way. They’re not that intimate and the audience isn’t that attractive and young.”

But maybe A can help make B come true.

***

Wizard Wars is a reality competition show in which teams of magicians create and perform original magic routines before a live studio audience.

Their acts are judged on originality, creativity, and showmanship. Vegas headliners Penn & Teller head up the judging panel, alongside magic critic Christen Gerhart and World Champion of Magic Jason Latimer. Wizard Wars also features four “home team” magicians—the “Wizards”—who return every week to take on new teams of “challengers”. Wizards include street magician Justin Flom, stage illusionist David Shimshi, mentalist Angela Funovitz, and con man Gregory Wilson.

The series premiered two years ago, and has been so successful that it’s spawned a second edition, headed by real-life wizard, Elven seductress, and pro-wrestler April Hunter, which is filmed in Las Vegas at the older twin of Los Angeles’ Herald-Examiner building.

 

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Wizard Wars was created by Vegas-based magic consultant Rick Lax, street magician Justin Flom, and Ms. Hunter who is an accomplished stage illusionist in her own right. Flom filmed the original Wizard Wars pilot in Lax’s apartment, on a $15 budget. The competing magicians created routines with placemats, beach balls, colored erasers, and fake oranges. Flom’s YouTube video, featured on Wired.com and BoingBoing.com, caught the eye of production company A. Smith & Co., who worked with Lax and Flom to sell the show to the Syfy network. Flom now stars in the show as a “Wizard”, Lax works behind the scene as a producer and magic consultant, and Ms. Hunter now hosts the show’s new, edgier Las Vegas edition.

Notable magicians appearing on Wizard Wars include Las Vegas headliners Murray SawChuck, Tommy Wind, and Nathan Burton.

Over a million people watched the Wizard Wars series premier, two years ago. The episode highlighted Canadian illusionists Chris Funk and Ekaterina, who ended up losing the “Wizard War” to “Wizards” Gregory Wilson and Justin Flom.

The show’s expectedly hipper Vegas edition, premiered to an audience of over one billion people—a testament to the world-wide popularity of the Wizard Wars franchise and Ms. Hunter’s iconoclastic celebrity status! Like its LA sibling, the Vegas-based edition of the Wizard Wars show is filmed at an older building in Vegas that has been turned into a high-tech magic arena.

Speaking on behalf of Flom and himself, Lax said this of the Internet-to-series premier journey: “The most unlikely part of the YouTube-video-to-Syfy-show transition was that the original Wizard Wars vision stayed in shape … Everyone told me, ‘Hollywood is going to tear your idea apart’, but that didn’t happen. Only thing that happened was the magic got bigger and better.”

***

April Hunter’s been around for FOREVER [literally and figuratively]. Being an avid rassling fan, I’ve always liked her. She’s got a pretty unique look for her kind–she’s very tall, and quite fit/muscular but still attractive and feminine–i.e. that “Elf with a dab of Goon mixed in for good measure” look. Ms. Hunter is mainly based in the indies but worked for WCW briefly in 99/00 and also worked in the original TNA [then it was known as NWA-TNA] in 02-03 … She was the ‘Miss TNA’ [they didn't have a women’s championship or division back then, the few women that were in the company competed for a 'Miss TNA' crown and sash] and feuded with a male wrestler [I think it may have been Lodi off the top of my head] who wanted to be Miss TNA and wrestled in a dress.

She’s a pretty good worker but she’s an Elf with known Goonish proclivities, so I would say that is what truly held her back from a TNA return.

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Is the Chinese military only a paper dragon?

Corruption, bad neighbors, inflation, and a demographic time bomb — these are just a few of Beijing’s woes

By Kyle Mizokami, War is Boring | The Week

It looks imposing, but…
It looks imposing, but… (China Photos/Getty Images)

In appearance it is very powerful, but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of — it is a paper tiger. — Mao Zedong on the United States, 1956

China’s rise over the past 30 years has been nothing short of spectacular.

After decades of double-digit growth, today China is the world’s second largest economy — and possesses an increasingly sophisticated military that’s among the planet’s most powerful. Despite China bordering a number of unstable countries, its borders are secure.

That wasn’t always the case. In 2,000 years, China has suffered invasions, revolutions, and humiliations from the outside world — plus its own internal rebellions. It has been brutalized, conquered, and colonized.

No longer. China’s defense spending has increased tenfold in 25 years. Beijing is building a powerful blue-water navy, developing stealth fighters, and carefully experimenting with peacekeeping and expeditionary operations.

China’s military buildup, along with an aggressive foreign policy, has inspired a fair amount of alarm in the West. Some American policymakers consider Beijing to be Washington’s only “near-peer competitor” — in other words, the only country with the military might to actually beat the U.S. military in certain circumstances.

But they’re wrong. Even after decades of expensive rearmament, China is a paper dragon — a version of what Mao Zedong wrongly claimed the United States was … in 1956.

China’s military budget has grown by double-digits year after year, but inflation has eaten away at the increases. China’s army, navy, air force, and missile command are wracked by corruption — and their weapons are, by and large, still greatly inferior to Western equivalents.

Yes, the People’s Liberation Army is slowly becoming more technologically advanced. But that doesn’t mean Beijing can mobilize its armed forces for global missions. Unlike the world’s main expeditionary powers — the United States and the U.K., to name two — China is surrounded by potential enemies.

Russia, Japan, and India are all neighbors … and historic adversaries. China’s aggressive foreign policy targeting smaller states isn’t encouraging submission but resistance, as countries such as The Philippines and Vietnam ally with the United States, Japan, and India.

China’s other neighbors are weak or failed states, such as Pakistan and North Korea. Their instability — or their outright collapse — could have serious security repercussions for China, and help explain why Beijing lavishes funds on its armed forces.

Order of battle

(Andy Wong – Pool/Getty Images)

China has the world’s largest military, with no fewer than 2.3 million men and women in uniform. Another 800,000 people serve in China’s reserves and militias.

The PLA ground forces number 1.25 million men and women divided into 18 group armies, each similar to an American corps. Each army consists of three to five infantry and mechanized divisions — China has only one tank division.

These ground troops are mostly for homeland defense. For power projection outside its borders, China has three airborne divisions, two marine divisions, and three marine brigades. Major equipment includes more than 7,000 tanks and 8,000 artillery pieces.

China’s navy commands 255,000 sailors and 10,000 marines. The People’s Liberation Army Navy is divided into the North, East, and South Seas Fleets, together possessing one aircraft carrier, 23 destroyers, 52 frigates, 49 diesel attack submarines, and five nuclear attack subs. China has at least three Jin-class ballistic missile submarines, representing Beijing’s nuclear deterrent at sea.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has 330,000 active personnel spread out over 150 air and naval aviation bases. The PLAAF and naval air arm of the PLAN together possess 1,321 fighter and attack aircraft — including hundreds of J-7s, pictured — plus 134 heavy bombers and tankers and 20 airborne early warning planes. China also operates more than 700 combat helicopters.

Unique to the PLA is the Second Artillery Corps, a separate branch of the military in charge of land-based conventional and nuclear missiles. The Second Artillery includes between 90,000 and 120,000 personnel divided into six missiles brigades.

The Second Artillery fields more than 1,100 conventional short-range ballistic missiles with ranges of 1,000 kilometers or less, another 300 or so conventional medium-range ballistic missiles, and an estimated 120 long-range nuclear ballistic missiles.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated China’s 2013 defense budget at $188 billion dollars. That’s about nine percent of global military spending and just under half of all spending in Asia. The same year, the United States spent $640 billion on defense, Russia $88 billion, India $47 billion, and Japan $48 billion.

Yes, China’s spending seems like a lot. But it’s not, really — especially considering how dangerous China’s corner of the world can be.

Unenviable position

(Feng Li/Getty Images)

It’s probably difficult to walk through Beijing’s most prosperous neighborhoods or Shanghai’s glittering streets and grasp that you are in a country that borders three of the most unstable places in the world — Pakistan, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

After thousands of years of incursions and invasions, China has finally built up strong borders. Beijing is doing a good job of maintaining peace and relative prosperity in a rough, impoverished neighborhood.

“China’s land borders have never been more secure than they are today,” M. Taylor Fravel, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told War is Boring.

“Although disputes with Bhutan and India remain, China no longer faces the prospect of a significant threat on land,” Fravel continued. “Clashes could occur on the border with India, but they would be contained by geography and unlikely to escalate into a wider war.”

This hasn’t always been the case. Invaded by the Mongols, the Russians, Western colonialists, and most recently Japan, China suffered greatly at the hands of outsiders for millennia. Given this history, it makes sense that Beijing would want strong defenses.

Vietnam fought China in 1979 and killed 9,000 People’s Liberation Army troops in a single month. Japan’s occupation of China in the 1930s and ’40s killed millions of Chinese. India fought China as recently as 1962. China and Russia waged a short, undeclared war in 1969.

China borders 14 countries, tying Russia for the most neighbors. But while many of Russia’s neighbors are peaceful — Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Latvia come to mind — China borders Afghanistan, North Korea, Myanmar, and Pakistan. Two of these states have nuclear weapons.

North Korea is particularly dangerous. Not only does it practice diplomacy through spontaneous violence, it has nukes. Nobody knows when — or if — the North Korean government will collapse, but the idea of 24 million starving people suddenly finding themselves without a government is a frightening one for Beijing.

Last year we found out China has contingency plans to deal with a post-collapse North Korea. That would likely involve the PLA moving into North Korea to set up a buffer zone. Perhaps in reaction to this disclosure, Pyongyang described Beijing as a “turncoat and an enemy.”

China is experiencing a prolonged period of peace and prosperity unprecedented in its modern history. At the same time, its neighborhood headaches are as numerous as ever. That’s one good reason China’s military budget is $188 billion a year and rising.

All alone

(China Photos/Getty Images)

At the same time, China is remarkably lacking in real, dependable allies. In the Pacific alone, the United States can count Japan, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and The Philippines as close allies — and maintains cordial relations with others including Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

China’s list of allies in the Pacific, on the other hand, is a short one. Russia. Globally, China’s allies include Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. All are despotic or near-despotic states, many are unstable and many have long records of human rights abuses.

Beijing embraces its worst neighbors in part to keep them in check. This worked with Pakistan, but failed with North Korea. In Myanmar, China cozied up with the oppressive military regime only for it to suddenly open up and seek ties with the West and Japan. China’s net gain was years of condemnation for supporting the junta — which is to say, a net loss.

Where China has really failed, however, is in simply getting along with nearby countries. Before the recent confrontation with The Philippines over the Ayungin Shoal, relations between Manila and Beijing had never been better. The same went for much of Southeast Asia before China declared sovereignty over 90 percent of the South China Sea.

Even relations with Japan, China’s historical enemy, were cordial if staid.

Sometime around 2010, Beijing decided to stop playing nice. China began pushing long-dormant territorial claims — and tried its hardest to split the alliance between Japan and the U.S. China’s relations with pretty much every country in East and Southeast Asia have chilled.

It’s hard to say what China really hoped to gain. Some argue that China is attempting to “Finlandize” smaller Asian states — that is, intimidate them into expressing neutrality in order to deny them to the Americans. Others argue that China wanted those disputed territories but also fundamentally has a problem with treating other countries as equals.

Whatever the case, China’s recent actions have left it largely friendless. Today its most important relationships with other countries are strictly economic in nature.

This has obvious implications for China’s military posture. While the U.S. Navy can sail across the Pacific and call on practically dozens of ports, China’s warships can sail just outside its territorial waters and, other than the Russian port of Vladivostok, have nowhere to go.

This places China at an enormous strategic disadvantage. Beijing has no allies to provide bases, share burdens, pool intelligence, or lend moral support.

Race with inflation

(ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

Since 1990, China’s defense spending has swelled by at least 10 percent annually, resulting in a tenfold overall budget increase in just 24 years. Some observers point to China’s seemingly huge military outlays as evidence of sinister intent.

But the budget boosts aren’t nearly as big as they seem.

China’s economic growth over the past two and a half decades has been meteoric, and has allowed the country to spend more on a modern military. But as a proportion of its economy, China’s defense budget is in line with international norms.

And if you take into account inflation, China’s real increase in defense spending is actually in the single digits annually — hardly the massive influx of cash that alarmists decry.

It’s important to view China’s arms spending in historical context. A quarter-century ago, Beijing’s military was big and low-tech. In 1989, the PLA had 3.9 million people on its payroll — many of them leg infantry lacking vehicles and sophisticated weaponry. The army’s main tank was a version of the Soviet T-55, a design dating to the early 1950s.

The air force and navy were capable only of coastal defense. China had a single nuclear missile submarine, which was rumored to have caught fire and sunk in port.

China was a poor country. Its GDP was $451 billion. By comparison, the USA’s GDP in 1989 was $8.84 trillion. That year, Beijing spent $18.33 billion on defense. By comparison, the same year Japan spent $46.5 billion and tiny New Zealand, $1.8 billion.

China’s 1989 defense budget amounted to spending $4,615 per soldier. At the same time, the United States appropriated $246,000 per individual service member.

In the late ’80s, China’s military doctrine still emphasized “People’s War,” a defensive strategy for drawing an enemy deep into the Chinese interior and then destroying him with conventional and guerrilla warfare. It was based on China’s wartime experiences … and was totally inadequate.

In 1991, Beijing watched in shock and horror as a U.S.-led coalition easily smashed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army and ejected it from Kuwait. An air campaign lasting several weeks and a ground offensive just 100 hours in duration destroyed a numerically superior Iraqi force.

Suddenly, China’s large, impoverished military looked like a liability.

Beijing had a lot of work to do reforming its armed forces. That required money. The good news for China was that, thanks to a booming economy, it actually didn’t have to devote a larger share of national output to defense in order to invest more in competent troops and modern weaponry.

One way to look at defense spending is as a percentage of GDP. China’s major neighbors, with the exception of Japan, allocate more to their militaries as a percentage of their respective GDPs. India allocates 2.5 percent, South Korea 2.8 percent, and Russia 4.1 percent. The United States, with the best-equipped military on the planet, spends 3.8 percent of its GDP on defense.

The paradox of China’s military budget is that spending has risen even as defense’s share of the economy has dropped. As a percentage of the economy, China’s arms spending has actually fallen by a little more than 20 percent. Beijing spent 2.6 percent of GDP on defense in 1989. Between 2002 and 2010, it appropriated an average of 2.1 percent. In 2013, China’s military budget accounted for just two percent of GDP.

The PLA’s slice of the economic pie has gotten smaller. It’s just that the pie itself is much, much bigger than it was 25 years ago.

Public security

(China Photos/Getty Images)

By some calculations, in 2013 China spent more on “public security” — Internet censorship, law enforcement, and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police — than it did on external defense. China’s internal security budget for 2014 is a secret, leading to speculation that once again, the Chinese Communist Party is spending more to defend itself from its own people than from other countries.

The Party knows what it’s doing. Many Chinese are unhappy living under a totalitarian regime. Environmental damage, labor abuses, corruption and, land grabs can — and do — quickly escalate into riots.

On top of that, China must contend with low-level unrest in the far western province of Xinjiang — where ethnic Uighurs resent colonization by the rest of China — and in Tibet.

Under the status quo, China has no choice but to spend so heavily on public security. While that’s bad for the Chinese people, it’s actually a good thing for the region. Much of the military might that Beijing buys every year gets directed inward and never projects externally.

Matching U.S. military spending as a percentage of GDP would require China to spend 5.8 percent on internal and external defense. That’s just not a realistic prospect. Only three countries devote that much of their economy to their armies — Saudi Arabia, Oman, and South Sudan.

Moreover, the dollars China does spend on external military force don’t stretch as far as most observers assume. “Throughout much of the post-1978 reform era, the real-world effects of China’s nominal defense spending have been mitigated heavily by rampant inflation,” wrote Andrew Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

In 2008, China’s spent 14.9 percent more on defense than it did in 2007. But that 14.9-percent increase coincided with 7.8-percent inflation, resulting in a net military-budget boost of only 7.1 percent. In 2010, defense spending rose 7.8 percent and was devoured by a 6.7-percent inflation rate, for a net gain of just 1.1 percent.

Adjusted for inflation, between 2004 and 2014, China’s defense spending increased by an average of 8.3 percent in real terms. That’s still a lot of money, particularly as defense spending has been falling in most of the West. But the PLA’s budget isn’t really growing by double digits, as many alarmists claim.

PLA, Inc. and the ‘rank factory’

(Guang Niu/Getty Images)

Corruption is a huge and largely invisible problem for the PLA. Officials sell government property for their own profit. Contractors charge inflated fees for substandard work. Cronyism results in promotions for unqualified personnel.

For years, the PLA generated extra income — and food staples — by farming and raising its own livestock. As China’s economy took off, these survival efforts evolved into businesses. To farming and ranching, the PLA added hotels, theaters, and bars — the profits from which as often as not ended up in top officers’ pockets.

In 1998, the Chinese Communist Party ordered the PLA to cut ties with commercial enterprises in order to improve military readiness. An infantry unit didn’t need to raise its own pork anymore — the defense budget could accommodate soldiers’ food needs. Units could get on with the business of soldiering.

But instead of ending them, corrupt military leaders simply obscured their profit ventures.

The business of illegally selling military license plates to wealthy civilians has been a particularly lucrative one. Plate bearers — who are often civilians with only tangential connections to the PLA — mount red lights and sirens on their cars to push through regular street traffic. Holders are often entitled to free gasoline.

The situation got so bad that in 2013, the PLA banned expensive imports — from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Bentley — from having military license plates.

Beijing has occasionally cracked down on corrupt officers. In 2007, a judge handed down a suspended death sentence to Vice Adm. Wang Shouye for embezzling $25 million in PLA funds.

As deputy director of the PLA’s General Logistics Department between 1997 and 2001, Wang was in a position to approve new military housing. The government accused Wang of receiving kickbacks from contractors.

Police arrested Wang in 2006 after the admiral refused blackmail demands from one of his many mistresses. Investigators found more than $8 million dollars stashed in microwave ovens and refrigerators in Wang’s homes in Beijing and Nanjing and another $2.5 million in a washing machine. There was evidence of an additional $8 million in pilfered funds in Wang’s bank accounts.

In March, police detained Xu Caihou, a retired general and former member of the powerful Central Military Commission, on allegations he made millions of dollars selling military ranks. Xu was in charge of high-level army promotions from 2004 to 2013.

We don’t know exactly how much money Xu made. However, the general’s subordinate Gu Junshan — who is also in custody and under investigation — gave Xu’s daughter a debit card worth $3.2 million as a wedding gift.

Gu reportedly sold “hundreds” of military ranks. “If a senior colonel [not in line for promotion] wanted to become a major general, he had to pay up to $4.8 million,” a source told Reuters.

That’s a lot of money. In most professional militaries, such bribes wouldn’t be worth it. But in the PLA, a payoff like that is an investment. The higher an officer’s rank, the greater the opportunities for self-enrichment.

Daniel Hartnett, a China analyst at CNA Corporation, told War Is Boring that corruption could damage the PLA’s military capabilities, not the least by “hinder[ing] the PLA’s ability to develop its officer corps.”

“If officers are purchasing promotions, as recent allegations have claimed, it could mean that those who should be promoted due to merit might not be. And those that arebeing promoted, shouldn’t necessarily be,” Hartnett said.

Graft could hurt the PLA in other ways, Hartnett explained. “Although PLA procurement processes are often a black box, it’d be a plausible conclusion that some — maybe even many — procurement decisions are not necessarily made with the PLA’s best interests in mind. Purchase this item, and receive a kickback, even if that item is sub-quality or not necessarily need.”

Corruption could also open a rift between the Chinese people and the PLA. “If the military is seen as a corrupt institution, as it was during the early 1980s in China, overall support for the PLA could be undermined,” Hartnett said. “This would go heavily against the military’s narrative that it is the keeper of [Chinese] honor and integrity that it has worked so hard to develop over the past two-plus decades.”

Morale in the PLA officer corps has tanked in the wake of the Gu Junshan scandal, According to Reuters. “Many fear punishment. Those who are able but passed over for promotion are disgruntled.”

Since assuming office in 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping has made the news several times urging the PLA to “prepare for combat.” That might sound bellicose, but in light of the PLA’s corruption problem, Xi could be telling officers to stop making money and just do their jobs.

“No country can defeat China,” a leading PLA commissar wasquoted as saying in Foreign Policy. “Only our own corruption can destroy us and cause our armed forces to be defeated without fighting.”

Museum pieces

(China Photos/Getty Images)

Despite a growing defense budget, China’s arsenals still overflow with outdated equipment. The PLA possesses 7,580 main battle tanks — more than the U.S. Army. But only 450 of those tanks — the Type 98As and Type 99s — are anywhere near modern, with 125-millimeter guns, composite armor, modern suspension, and advanced fire control systems.

All of America’s roughly 5,000 M-1 tanks are modern.

The other 7,130 Chinese tanks — some of which are pictured here — are the same descendants of Soviet T-55s that comprised Beijing’s armored force in the late 1980s … and were obsolete even then.

China also has a lot of fighter planes. Between the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the air arm of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, China boasts no fewer than 1,321 fighter aircraft, an aerial armada only slightly smaller than America’s.

But China’s air forces likewise maintain mostly obsolete jets. Of 1,321 fighters, only 502 are modern — 296 variants of the Russian Su-27 and 206 J-10s of an indigenous design. The remaining 819 fighters — mostly J-7s, J-8s and Q-5s — are 1960s designs built in the 1970s. They wouldn’t last long in a shooting war.

The navy is in the best shape, but that’s not saying much. The PLAN’s destroyers and frigates are fairly new, but its first aircraft carrier Liaoning is a rebuilt Soviet ship from the 1980s. After a nine-year refit, Liaoning started sea trials in 2011.

Liaoning is half the size of an American Nimitz-class supercarrier and carries half as many planes. As Liaoning lacks a catapult, China’s J-15 naval fighters must use a ski ramp to take off — and that limits their payload and range. Liaoning lacks the radar and refueling planes that give American flattops their long-range striking power.

Submarines are another problem area for the PLAN. Just over half of China’s 54 submarines are modern — that is, built within the last 20 years. Beijing’s modern undersea fleet includes the Shang, Han, Yuan, and Song classes. All four classes are Chinese-built. All are markedly inferior to Western designs.

The rest of China’s submarines, especially its 1980s-vintage Mings, are totally obsolete.

The PLAN halted production of the nuclear-powered Shang class after only building just three boats — an ominous sign. Moreover, Beijing has placed an order with Russia for up to four Kalina-class subs, signalling a lack of faith in local designs.

Unknown unknowns

(Guang Niu/Getty Images)

One of the most visible signs of China’s military rise is all the new, locally-designed and -produced hardware. Beijing is building new ships, aircraft, drones and tanks that, on the outside, appear to be matches for Western weapons. But we know very little about China’s homemade weaponry. Specifically, we don’t know if any of it really works.

In an early effort to modernize the PLA, in the 1980s China strengthened ties with Western defense contractors. Beijing bought helicopters, aircraft, engines, naval electronics, and munitions. Then, in 1989, the Chinese government massacred pro-democracy students near Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. The U.S. and Europe promptly imposed an arms embargo.

China turned to Russia, but Russia would rather sell finished products to China than help its neighbor develop its own industry. Beijing realized it would have to develop weaponry all on its own.

That’s not easy. In all the world, only the United States still has the technology, expertise, and industrial capacity to develop all of its own military hardware. It’s very, very expensive.

Many of China’s “new” weapons are actually foreign designs that Beijing’s state companies have licensed, stolen, or painstakingly reverse-engineered. The Changhe Z-8 helicopter was originally the French Super Frelon. The Harbin Z-9 scout helicopter started life as the Eurocopter Dauphin. The Type 99 tank is an updated Soviet T-72.

To be sure, not all of the PLA’s new hardware is a knock-off. But “homemade” does not necessarily equal “good.” In many cases, we can only guess at the weapon’s quality. After all, China has no free press.

The J-20 stealth fighter prototype, for example, has flown scores of test flights since first appearing in late 2010. The large, angular plane appears to boast long range and a large payload, but its stealthiness is hard to gauge. Its avionics, aerodynamic controls, weapons, and sensors — and especially its engines — are equally questionable.

The J-20’s designers appear to be waiting on new, Chinese-developed engines to replace the prototype’s Russian-made AL-31Ns. China has been working on those engines, without visible success, since the early 1990s.

It’s important to remember that America’s latest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter first flew in 2006 and won’t be ready for combat until 2016. The United States has experience developing stealth fighters; China does not. If we allow China 10 years from first flight to combat readiness, the J-20 won’t be a front-line fighter until 2021. At the earliest.

The specifications of the PLAN’s Type 052C/D air-defense destroyers make them seem very similar to Western warships, such as the U.K.’s Darings or the American Arleigh Burkes. But we don’t know how difficult the ships were to build, how well their air-defense system works with the associated phased-array radar or how accurate and reliable the ships’ missiles are.

When it comes to developing arms, China is starting out far behind Russia and the West and is struggling to catch up. And we must not forget that the very government developing all this hardware is also the only source of information about the new gear. For now, it’s wise to be skeptical of Chinese weaponry.

Neighborhood watch

(Guang Niu/Pool/Getty Images)

China’s aggressive behavior, in the East and South China Seas has prompted many of its neighbors to band together or seek the support of larger, more powerful allies. Japan is the hub for many of these of these cooperative agreements.

Politically and constitutionally limited in what kind of direct action it can take to counter China, Japan is building relationships with China’s other disgruntled neighbors and with Western powers. Tokyo is currently in talks with Australia, the U.K., India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Canada, and the U.S.

Logistics cooperation, co-development of military equipment, intelligence sharing, joint exercises, and security-related aid are all on the table.

Vietnam, a historical enemy of China, has begun building a military specifically tailored to counter the PLA. It has procured Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighters and four Gepard frigates. Vietnam has even bought its first submarines — six Improved Kilo diesel-electrics from Russia that are more advanced than the Chinese navy’s own Kilos.

Hanoi is strengthening foreign ties. India will train Vietnam’s submariners. Vietnam has also hinted at letting foreign fleets use the harbor at Cam Ranh Bay, but is likely holding back as that would be a serious provocation to China.

The Philippines, locked in a standoff with China over the Ayungin Shoal, has begun rebuilding its navy and air force, purchasing retired U.S. Coast Guard cutters for its navy and a dozen South Korean TA-50 light fighters for the air force. Manila has agreed to host American facilities — and American troops — on its military bases.

Asia probably won’t assemble a new NATO-like alliance in the near future. China’s opponents aren’t willing to accept such close military integration. Most are unwilling to fight for someone else. Many of these countries, despite being wary of Chinese aggression, still have strong economic ties to Beijing.

Still, the level of cooperation would complicate any military moves by China. Not that Beijing necessarily intends to invade … anyone. Ever. Military, diplomatic and economic power are intertwined forces that enable a government to shape its environment — peacefully and against a rival’s will.

The big question is, when does China catch up to America militarily?

Never.

China will grow old before it gets rich” is, by now, a cliche among China-watchers. But it’s true. The same demographic wave that has gifted China with an abundance of labor will soon also transform the country into the world’s biggest retirement home.

Beijing’s “one-child” policy has sharpened the trend. Today China has 16 retirees per 100 workers. Projections see that increasing to 64 retirees per 100 workers by 2050, resulting a much grayer population than in America.

This has indirect — but serious — implications for China’s defense. Most Chinese do not have retirement benefits and in their old age must rely on personal savings or family … a difficult proposition when there is only one child to take care of two parents.

If Beijing wants to preserve household savings and productivity, it will have to build some kind of social welfare system. And that means making some difficult choices.

China’s borders are secure. The U.S., Japan, and India cannot bring down the Chinese government. But tens of millions of desperate Chinese families could do so — and just might, if Beijing can’t find some way to care for them as they age.

China has nuclear weapons. It’s ruled by a deeply nationalistic, authoritarian regime with a history of brutality towards its own citizens. It has territorial claims that clash with those of other countries — and a defense budget rising by 8 percent annually. It’s wise to keep a watchful eye on China.

Yet China is a hobbled giant with many deep, systemic problems. Some of these problems — particularly the technological ones — are solvable. The demographic issue is not. And it’s the biggest reason the paper dragon does not pose a major threat to the rest of the world over the long term.

From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics, War is Boring explores how and why we fight above, on, and below an angry world. Sign up for its daily email update here or subscribe to its RSS Feed here.

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Original Source: http://theweek.com/article/index/264774/why-the-chinese-military-is-only-a-paper-dragon

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — Get Your Gratitude Out in the Open

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher

Show your gratitudeWhen people called the office of attorney Robert Kaner to express their condolences for his passing away, they had good intentions. But the Minnesota attorney, Robert M. Kaner had to explain that he was still alive. It was Robert L. Kaner who had died.

Nonetheless, Robert M. ran an ad in the local paper expressing his gratitude for all those who reached out to him. And his ad went on to offer condolences to the family of Robert L.

The good news in all of that is that a lot of people understood the importance of gratitude and actually did something about it. And that’s great. As a so-called “motivational speaker,” I know that gratitude is one of the most motivating factors in the world. It’s good for employee engagement, good for stronger relationships with your customers and good for building the bonds in your family.

But there’s one catch. It’s not good enough to be thankful or feel grateful. You’ve got to EXPRESS it to the other person. You can’t expect them to read your mind. The days of bosses thinking … “If I don’t say anything, you can assume everything’s okay” … are over.

This is what I suggest.

1. Speak out your gratitude in a private setting on a face-to-face basis.

Of course, some of you will say, “I don’t know what to say. I’m more of hands-on techie kind of guy. I’m not that good with words.”

Well, you don’t have to be eloquent, but you have to say something when you see something you like at work or at home.

To make it easy, one of my colleagues, Chip Lutz put together a list of 60 ways to say “thank you.” Use some of his words, if you like, and if it makes it easier for you.

Among his list of 60, he includes:

  • Great job!
  • Way to go!
  • Wow! You’re the best!
  • I couldn’t have done it without you!
  • You’re fantastic! You rock!
  • You’re on top of things! I’m truly grateful!
  • You’re a joy to work with!
  • I’m impressed.
  • Sensational!
  • No one holds a candle to you! Bravo! Great work!
  • You are spectacular! Hip! Hip! Hooray!
  • You are incredible! Well done!
  • I’m proud of you!
  • You make me look good! High five!
  • The time you put in really shows!
  • I appreciate your work! I appreciate you!
  • Your contribution is important!
  • Outstanding! Congratulations!

You see, these are simple words, but they have a lasting impact. Use them.

You could also…

2. Speak out your gratitude in a public setting to a whole group at the same time.

As a professional speaker, I get to meet and work with hundreds of leaders every year. I get to speak at their meetings, learning as much from them as I teach to them.

One such leader that I hold in high regard is Jill Blashack-Strahan, Founder and CEO of Tastefully Simple. When she received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, she went on the Academy Awards-like stage to articulate her words of acceptance and thanks.

She said, “Any recognition we’ve received, truly does not belong to me. It belongs to all of the people who are ambassadors for Tastefully Simple every day. I didn’t build this company. An amazing team of dedicated, passionate and loyal people did. As Founder and CEO, I’m deeply honored to be the spokesperson for all of the people who have made Tastefully Simple the success it is.”

Jill went on to mention all of those other people. She said, “I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple at every home taste-testing party held by our consultants across the nation. I’m not the smiling face representing Tastefully Simple as our Ambassador of First Impressions in our headquarters’ lobby. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple through the excellent picking, packing and shipping of our products. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple in our contract negotiations or in the quality of our facility or mailings. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple in the prompt attention to our accounts payable or in the high-pressure inventory management function.”

Jill continued, “I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple in our Sales Team by addressing our consultants’ day-to-day issues and challenges. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple in Team Relations when they’re hiring or dealing with sensitive issues. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple during intense special projects or impromptu, immediate marketing and public relations needs. I’m not the one representing Tastefully Simple through superb training, graphic design and communication pieces and product development.”

Jill finished by saying, “We don’t do it alone.” And I dare say the same thing can be said about every good and effective leader. They are grateful for their team members and they express their gratitude in a variety of ways on a regular basis.

3. Write out your gratitude in a note you send.

For years I’ve spoken about the importance of recognition. People need to know that you’ve noticed their good work and people need to know that you appreciate their contributions.

So a while ago I took the opportunity to practice what I teach. I recalled a high school teacher of mine who believed in me, encouraged me, and coached me. She taught public speaking and she helped me make it to the finals in the state speech tournaments year after year. It was an experience that gave me skill and gave me confidence.

I wrote her a note of thanks and a few days later she wrote back. In very large handwriting on a very large piece of paper, she wrote, “I apologize for this note being difficult to read and misspelled words, but I have become legally blind.” That touched my heart. Despite her difficulties, she wrote back.

But what really touched my heart — and reinforced the importance of gratitude — was one sentence. She wrote, “What a surprise and joy to receive your kind note! Like a smile from the past it came into my life. Thanks so much for remembering experiences from so many years ago.”

And to all of you reading this “Tuesday Tip,” I’m grateful that I have the ability and forum to help so many people in their careers and lives. Thank you for being a reader!

Express gratitude to two different people this week. And write a note of thanks to another person.

Looking for more on this topic? Click here to get Dr. Zimmerman’s eBook “Up Your Attitude,” which will show you how to turbo-charge your attitude, so every day is a great, successful day.

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Becky is Better [Episode #036]

“It may not be who’s eating you, but who you’re eating.” – Anonymous Goon

Becky loiters on the sidewalk in front of the Mark Twain waiting for Thurman to emerge. More random thoughts take order as they careen about in her head. And then there are those prurient interests of hers to consider. As much as she instinctually loathes Dragons, hating them with a passion, she sure could dig being fucked by that Azn, Keith “The Beast” Thurman. The word is, his dick is gargantuan, liken to the “Great Road to China”—hung like a Chinese version of mortal porn stars Long Dong Silver, Long Dan Silver, Mr. MX Missile, Moby Dick (a.k.a. the Texas Longhorn), and, of course, John Curtis Holmes. Needless to say, John C. Holmes and those other mundane pipe-layers are hung like Goons—putting horses to shame. When someone so well-endowed lays some pipe in you, it’s gotta be Alaskan. He also has a well-deserved reputation for doing his lovers rough, akin to that of a Goon—i.e. bordering on rape. He’s a mean fuck and prefers girls who like it that way. Usually food is the way to a man’s heart, with him it’s a fist applied judiciously to your face.

When Thurman finally emerges from the Mark twain, he’s surprised to see Becky waiting for him. He expects a barrage of insults, what he doesn’t expect is to be propositioned.

“我要你他妈的给我你的大,长,厚,汁多家伙。”

“What did you just say to me?” Thurman asks, incredulously.

“Wǒ yào nǐ tā mā de gěi wǒ nǐ de dà, zhǎng, hòu, zhī duō jiāhuo.” Becky flicks out her too long highly-educated tongue and wets her lips. “In English: I want you to fuck me with your big, long, thick, juicy dick.”

“You whore! You dare ask me that, let alone in public!”

“I can also ask you in Dragon. Would that be better? I savvy Dragon, well.” He completely loses it and slaps her hard across the face, backhanding her for good measure. “Feeling better, now?” She adds while sporting a teasing smile.

“I lost face in there. I could beat you to death.”

“Then do it. Beat me to death and fuck me dead.”

“What?!”

“You know you want to do me. And I want you to do me—every which way but loose. Then I’ll really make you sky happy.”

“How so?”

“Maybe … I have a solution for your legend problem, which will get you your face back.”

“Where?”

“Somewhere cheap and dirty. A fleabag hotel on skid row, no questions asked.”

Yes, Becky is quite flexible, to the hardcore extreme. But, be that as it may, she is, always has been, and always will be, a girl who likes to fuck men—well hung men who like to fuck, know how to fuck, and know how to fulfill a randy girl’s oh so special need for alotta swang to satisfy her yin for bodacious yang. Most especially, Becky “likes” that Yellow River (Huang He) (黃河). Her preference for Chinese men, whether they are mundane or supernatural [i.e. Azn], is a longstanding one—she lost her virginity to a Chinese exchange student while in high school—Fred Dōng Hàn popped her cherry like the Yangtze River—she was sore afterwards for days, but it was a “good” sore, as they say. The Yangtze River (English pronunciation: /ˈjæŋtsi/ or /ˈjɑːŋtsi/), known in China as the Chang Jiang or Yangzi, is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. As is so typical of Asian [and Azn] men, a teenage Fred was so well-hung that he put porn legend John Holmes on notice. Even as a Vampire who loathes Dragons, she puts all that hating aside when it comes to Chinese wang.

Once more she openly employs the game changer, teleporting them to an alley behind the original F. W. Woolworth Company building on Tucker and Fifth. Having fallen on bad times, just like the company whose name it bears … Now it’s one of those “ask no questions” fleabags that the renovators haven’t gotten around to gentrifying yet.

“You lied!”

“I said, maybe I had a solution that was a face saver.”

“You’d better swallow, or else!”

“I always do, even on the first date. Swallow and let it paste my face.”

Becky slams Thurman up against a wall next to a dumpster overflowing with garbage. A couple of rats, disturbed by the commotion, abandon their dining and scurry away. He pushes her to her knees. She unzips his pant. Already hard and game … He grabs the back of her head, using a hunk of her hair for leverage, and shoves her face into his crotch. She yanks out his swang, unhinges her jaws, and swallows his considerable manhood whole—it snakes down her throat, past her stomach, and into her intestines when all is said and done—no gaging, whatsoever—circular breathing at its very finest—the late baritonist Harry Carney would be green with envy. Meanwhile … Her tongue slithers out of her “occupied” mouth and does a job on his cahonies. Testicals in play, on the back nine?! Linda Lovelace [of Deep Throat fame] has got nothing on this demonic baller.

Otherwise preoccupied, neither participant notices a blur of movement. They do notice the sudden flash/bang as all of a sudden, their world goes to splat—smack to black. Someone else has decided to openly employ an up till now, much rumored, game changer. Wolvesbayne!

Becky reanimates tied to a chair, naked, muzzled, legs spread, and hooded. She can still taste Thurman. Thurman is being tortured. His screams fill the room. He is being slowly and methodically castrated, and this is not the first time that their captor has inflicted this upon the Dragon—cut it [his manhood] off, let it [his cock and balls] regenerate, and then cut if off again—over and over again.

“Good, the bitch is awake,” announces their captor in an electronically distorted voice, having noticed that she’s finally resurrected. He [for want of a better word] yanks off her hood. His appearance is heavy distorted, but her best guess is that their captor, who is also naked, is male.

Thurman, seated across the room from her, is likewise naked and tied to a chair, legs spread. He’s been carved on and brutalized. Patches of his hair have been pulled out, leaving bloody patches in his scalp.

“My name is Jake, and I’m your host,” the captor taunts. He pauses from Thurman, grabs a nearby broom and rams its handle up Becky’s cunt. Becky just smiles, with her eyes. Mind over matter—if you don’t mind, it don’t matter. Flexible rulz!

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8×10 Wrestling Photo WWF/WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION JEFF JARRETT & DEBRA

8x10 Wrestling Photo WWF-WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION JEFF JARRETT & DEBRA

WWE WWF Raw Magazine March 1999 -- Debra, Chyna, Sable on the cover

WWE WWF Raw Magazine March 1999 — Debra, Chyna, Sable on the cover

No captions needed, one provided anyways – Debra, Debra, & even more Debra!!!

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Self-Defense Quote for the Day, Tuesday September 16, 2014

“If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, what he must be taught to fear is his victim.” — Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USKMA

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