Monthly Archives: August 2011

An open letter to every ambitious junior manager in the world from your mostdedicated supporter, me.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. In 1961 New York City went to work with a smile on its face and a can’t-help-but-like-it rhythm on the brain. It was Robert Morse and the ensemble of “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” by author Shepherd Mead and composer Frank Loesser.

It is a story of corporate ascension, told through the mischievous eyes of J. Pierrepont (Ponty) Finch…. and, if corporate elysium was your goal, you just couldn’t get enough of this “I’m destined for success” production.

One of the most clever tunes in this so-very-clever show was “I believe in you,” in which Ponty stands in front of a mirror and serenades his most enduring supporter — himself. Now, before you begin this article about your success, go to any search engine to find this number. Then get prepared to let the irrepressible Morse, with that killer grin, provide the musical incense to waft you on your way.

Dear Junior Manager….

Every successful person in the world (including Ponty) has had something which you too must get… and which is now available to you and not a moment too soon.

Woodrow Wilson had Colonel House. Franklin D. Roosevelt had Harry Hopkins. Queen Victoria had Prince Albert while Prince Albert had Baron Stockmar… In other words, part of the kit of every successful person everywhere is the disinterested, devoted-to-you, completely honest and fearlessly outspoken confidential advisor. And now you join the ranks of these with your brand new completely candid counselor, coach, and goad… me. Nice to meet you, partner!

Here’s your situation. You are now a junior manager, a member of your company’s management cadre. Your foot on the first rung of business success, just. Congratulations, the thousand mile journey starts with a single step. Now the game becomes moving up the corporate ladder as quickly and nimbly as possible, leaving your less agile and well advised competitors in the dust. Here’s your first installment of insider information.

!) Your attitude determines your altitude.

Did you ever notice how really successful people maintain an upbeat “can do” attitude, even when (maybe especially when) the going gets rough? As Henry Ford II famously said, “You think you can. You think you can’t. Either way you’re right.” Success seekers know that the right attitude is the essential attribute for facing each day of what can often be a most complicated, difficult, and daunting business, your life.

2) Know the players.

In every organization, there are people who matter… and people who don’t. Your job, whilst always being pleasant and amicable to all, is to identify the power players, the players who are where they are with the powers they have for one reason and one reason only — to abet you in your upward mobility. Successful people are discriminating people. They know time is fleeting and that each day is an opportunity to move up… movement that can be either assisted or blocked by those currently higher in the pecking order. It is your job to make a knowledgeable friend with the business, someone older, wiser, better placed than you are… someone like the CEO’s long-time secretary and executive assistant. She knows things which you need to know. Make it a point to introduce yourself…. start the relationship off by being bright, cheerful, friendly, and always respectful and grateful for their willingness to assist — you. Make it a point particularly to greet this important contact daily; insinuate by bringing a dough-nut, a flower from the garden… and always your best manners and winning smile, always necessary.

Important insights: never wait for an introduction to the people you want and need to meet. Presumption is the root of success… presume that these people want to meet someone who’s as dedicated to the success of the enterprise as you are. You can, of course, after you’ve begun to develop that crucial relationship with your important inside source, ask that individual to introduce you. Remember, timing is everything; you cannot ask for introductions too soon… and you should never wait too long to request them. Too, you must never ask for too many. You’ll find out from your confidential source who is essential for you to know for openers… keep your eye on meeting, and impressing, this person, a rung in your ladder.

3) With friendship towards all, with intimacy with few.

Have you ever watched the people of your business as they come to work, who they greet, josh and joke with — and ignore. Now hear this: EVERYONE in your company, from the obvious highest to the often forgotten lowest has a place in your upward mobility. Most people, not as well advised as you of course, close relationships which it is easy and useful to maintain. Sure the custodian may not be the sharpest tool in the shed; it costs you nothing to treat this person with friendliness and good manners; someday you’ll be glad for that relationship, because I can assure you he has information that you will need… and which you’ll be grateful he gives you. In short, never disdain anyone. That is what the unenlightened and feckless do… not you!

4) Listen to the grumblers; never become one.

In every company there exists a group of grumblers, who have long ago forgotten (if indeed they ever knew) that assisting the business grow and thrive must be their goal, not denigrating it at every turn. Such grumblers are often headed by an overweight diva named Trudy whose motor mouth and nasty hygiene offend everyone. You must learn how to handle such people, just so. Always listen respectfully to what they say; there may, after all, be something worth hearing mixed into the bile. Maintain friendly, professional relations. But never, never join or be perceived as a part of this noisome claque. Such people are poison to your certain ascension.

Your task with such people is to establish and maintain what diplomatists call “correct” relations, relations which are totally and completely professional, which keep the door open, but never demand you go through. Remember, information is power. Remember, too, ALL information is useful at a particular point. Thus gather what is useful, to be retained and used later as necessary and useful for — you.

5) Be conscious at all times.

People who succeed are people of discernment, perception, judgement. They do not, as those who fail do, ever stop being aware. Too many people, including many who work at your company (but never including you) have long ago slipped into the rut of merely going through the motions of what is required to do their job. They have lost consciousness of what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how what they are doing can be used for their advancement. Dropping into this state of oblivion is absolutely fatal and can never be allowed.

You must do things very differently.

If you want the kind of organizational advancement with all its perqs as you say you do, then you must stay alert, conscious, always scrutinizing, analyzing, aiming for complete and total awareness of your situation and what you must do every day to advance, advance, advance!

And so our session for today ends, the first I trust of many. For I intend to provide you, over a long duration, the kind of rare and insightful advice at once desirable, hard to find and yet so necessary. By all means, come visit my blog, a site entirely dedicated to your success and always awaiting you. For you see, as Robert Morse sang in his signature number, “I believe in you…”

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Jeffrey Lant is also a consultant, speaker, trainer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Google Cash Monster ->

‘To the shores of Tripoli’, let freedom ring as one of the world’s nastiest and most enduring tyrants dies by inches. The end of Moammar Khadafy.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. Like so many of my Scottish countrymen, my family left the Highlands in the mid-eighteenth century to pursue a better life in America. But though they left physically, a portion of their heart remained behind and their love continued strong and enduring. The current events taking place in Libya returned my attention to the cruel end of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland when 270 innocent passengers were shredded in mid-air to satisfy the blood lust and barbarism of one man, Moammar Khadafy. Today this most bestial, longest-serving dictator in the Arab world, is inches from the retribution he has long deserved and is hopefully as painful as his deeds demand. But first, take a moment to find the evocative, spectral song “Loch Lomond” in any search engine. Let it sooth the spirits of the airborne dead and remind them, we have never forgotten what Khadafy, his henchmen, and their hatred did to you… and to so many innocent others.

Today the remnants of Khadafy’s insolent regime are crumbing, block by block, desertion by desertion, as the everyday people of Tripoli, and throughout Libya, do what they have not been allowed to do for the nearly 42 year regime — think for themselves! Live for themselves! Be who they want… not merely whom they have been told to be.

Today is one of the rarest days for one of the world’s oldest civilizations… a day of possibilities, not restrictions. A day of high hopes, not of grinding despair. A day when the heart beats faster and when the world’s peoples extend the hand of friendship and fraternity… glad to share the joy of a people who have experienced so little of it.

This is 21 August, 2011 and their long dreaded, capricious lord comes closer, closer to his inevitable conclusion, squalid, bloody, wherein the reigning monster of their long terror is shown to be what he always was, a man of small mind, mendacious habits, and contempt for every human but himself. And so the great man is revealed and abased… humbled… and shown to be at the end so very little.

So now this man of hatred, contumely, and abuse is reaping what he had sown day by day….

Today is a day which looks resolutely forward, for today the people of Libya, who have and have always had under this regime, so very little, at least have the prospect of a future. But today must also be a day of full remembrance for the full litany of dislocations, murders, maimings, disappearances, and ceaseless terrors perpetrated by a regime with power but no vision, weapons but no soul, destructive prowess but without humanity and compassion. Let us pause to remember them now… and vow that these outrages, every one of these outrages, will never be forgotten and stand as a vital testament to the never-ending saga of what a man is capable of doing when the world stands by and pretends that this diabolic business as usual is acceptable.

So now tolls the bell, for each and every one of these outrages, each a manifestation of malice aforethought…

As one of his first deeds, Khadafy in 1970 expelled the Italian population of Libya. He detested all Westerners… and ordered the extirpation of all evidence of their culture… and their systematic dislocation and removal.

From the first days of his power, and reaching full speed and application by 1973, he became the living symbol of Orwell’s Big Brother. Dictators all have a compelling need to know what their peoples are doing at all times and places. Khadafy’s need to know was the very essence of dictatorial thoroughness. Surveillance took place at every level of the government, on all people in any position of power, no matter that he had put those people there himself. Surveillance was constant, intrusive, paralyzing in factories, in education, in the military, everywhere where two or more people might meet and converse.

In short order, human behavior, human contact, human interaction in Libya became just what “Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution” permitted, and absolutely nothing else, upon pain of unimaginable suffering and horror. Libya was not a nation; it was a prison, where everyone was in thrall to a man of unmatched skill in the business of refined and exquisite torments,

His capacity for inflicting sufferings developed apace…

He hung dissidents to his all-encompassing regime in public, the better to intimidate. He headed a band of zealots perfect in the art of mutilation; so happy in this severe art that he had its execution and best examples played on television, to a nation which never failed to grasp the glaring meaning: so could thy life end, in an instant, with such pain.

But this quintessence of evil had more pain and suffering to deliver…

He censored the press, of course, by the simple expedient not just of suppressing content but by killing its writers, brutally and publicly, so that the ones not executed today would not even think of thinking, much less writing and publishing the brutal truths they knew to be irrefutable.

He executed, too, after the full panoply of torture, all those who sought national redemption through means political. Their moment of dissent was their last. They went to prison where they experienced the full pain humans can inflict. Such outrages against humanity were constant, brutal, the stuff of everyday existence for every Libyan.

Of course, he had a special regard for the growing ranks of his critics worldwide… they were a menace, a problem, and as such he increased the ranks of his thorough executioners, the better to diminish, and painfully so, the ranks of the disaffected.

There is more, much more, every instance an outrage to every sentiment that makes us human. And at last, Libyans, who saw nothing more for their lives than the constant chaos and confusion of their existence, saw that revolt was their only hope against a regime without any limit to the abuses perpetrated against the long suffering Libyan people.

On 17 February, 2011 major political protests began, as Libyans looked carefully at the events that had toppled the Mubarak tyranny in Egypt and called forth the admiration of the world, in their attempt to become the men they were, the men Khadafy had tried so long and with such bitter means to control.

Khadafy, with more men at his command, more armaments, more mercenaries, more money yet failed to eradicate the often ramshackle forces against him. The reason could be deduced in a single word: FREEDOM. Khadafy sought to control, to regiment, to hurt and divide. His opponents, whose names are now the names of patriots, wanted only one thing: for the people of Libya to control their own destinies, free from the daily terrors and anxieties each knew so well under the current regime.

And so, bit by bit, they advanced… never without hardship, never without the immemorial difficulties of war, experiencing want, sacrifice, their own political difficulties and conflicts… but still, despite every drawback, they advanced… until today the end of the regime is nigh, perhaps just hours away. These are the valiant days in Tripoli… the days proud men of action will impart to their grandchildren. It is a great day not just for Libyans but for all of us who value freedom and know its unending cost. Today all us ride with you through streets of Tripoli, optimistic, hopeful, grateful for your courage and application in a cause we all must hold dear.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Jeffrey Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books.

Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Surveys Paid ->

Another reason why U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann is unfit tobe President of the United States.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

There is no question that Representative Michele Bachmann emerged as the big winner in the August 13, 2011 straw poll in Ames, Iowa. Her candidacy which was once rated nearly a joke now has a certain credibility. By that I mean, she is now being discussed as more than a candidate; rather as a potential president. As such, she will get enhanced and detailed scrutiny of everything she has said, endorsed, and embraced in the past. It’s all grist for the commentator mill. This includes the many bombastic statements she has made (many of which will be cited in this article) about homosexual American citizens.

It’s time she either confirm that these declarations of hate and ignorance are still her views… or make clear she has changed her mind (very much her prerogative) as she has matured as a politician and human being.

America must know, for a candidacy based at least partly on disdain, condescension, and repeated statements advocating discriminatory policies against gay and lesbian citizens is unacceptable in 2011 and must be protested and vigorously attacked. Whatever previous presidents may have thought, believed, and said about homosexual citizens, their civil rights, including their right to marry whomsoever they wish in the exact way anyone can do, we have now reached a new chapter in this struggle; where the rights of gay citizens should be viewed as a beneficial inevitability and that the hurtful, ignorant, bigoted views of any presidential candidate immediately mark that candidate as unacceptable, threatening to the fundamental beliefs of the nation, where the granting and maintenance of rights is what we are about… not blocking those rights, thereby creating a two-tier, fundamentally inequitable society, where some get rights and benefits withheld to others.

“It’s part of Satan I think to say that this is ‘gay’. It’s anything but gay.” Minnesota state senator Michele Bachmann speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004. Does Bachmann still believe this, or not?

Bachmann’s insistent bigotry against homosexuals began when she adopted evangelical Christianity. Such people, obsessed with sexuality, particularly homosexuality keep a constant focus on a topic they know nothing about. But knowing about the subject is not required. It is enough that they use it to “prove” their superiority, for without designated whipping boys they would have no one to lord it over. Hatred towards designated people, their livestyles and beliefs, is an essential element of being “born again”. God in their pinched view is a God of vengeance… and they are quite prepared to tell you that God has made it clear who should be scourged and berated… and who should be exalted and sanctified. Let me make this point abundantly clear; the evangelicals of the United States demand scapegoats; homosexuals are absolutely crucial to their well being.

Thus on the Sunday before the straw poll, Bachmann attended the Point of Grace Church, an evangelical megachurch with a 2,000 strong congregation in Waukee, Iowa. The program began when the lights were dimmed for a video testimonial from a “straight man who used to be gay.” The man is married now, his wife pregnant. Gays deserve to be in hell, he emphasized. He claimed to be living proof that the homosexual disease and affliction could be cured through liberal doses of prayer.

Bachmann listened to this standard bigoted attack and, through her smiling presence, indicated that she believed these sentiments, sentiments which she has advocated for years… and clearly still believes today.

“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” Further comments from the EdWatch National Education Conference, cited above. Does she still adhere to this opinion, or not?

“You have a teacher talking about his gayness. /The elementary school student/ goes home and says, ‘Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.’ The mother says, ‘Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.’ The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, ‘Hmmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.’ And you think, ‘Oh, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.’ Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.” Further comments from the EdWatch National Educational Conference, cited above. Does Bachmann still adhere to this opinion, or not?

Does Bachmann still believe homosexuals are “sexually dysfunctional”?

At the same EdWatch National Educational Conference cited above, Bachmann also said, “Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.”

The weight of opinion in this nation has been shifting steadily for years toward a complete, overall acceptance of homosexuals and rightly so. Bachmann’s view is wrong in every particular, and she is already being called upon to explain her current position on the matter.

However, Bachmann is playing the standard political game around these outspoken, prejudiced positions. On the one hand, she wants her right-wing adherents to know, and in no uncertain terms, that she has not changed her position one iota. However, she also wants these folks, who constitute her essential core constituency, to know that she cannot be as outspoken on these matters as previously… because her ultra conservative supporters are insufficient to hand her the nomination. She must expand her base, to folks who are far more moderate on the homosexual question, especially gay marriage, and would not only feel uncomfortable with Bachmann’s views on the subject but would oppose her outrageous language and unnecessary malevolence towards fellow law-abiding, tax- paying citizens of the United States.

Thus Bachmann, famous for her uncompromising views on any subject she takes up, is now doing some fancy footwork that will (wink, wink) reassure her most ideological followers that she is still the old Michele they love… while reaching out to moderates with a very different rendition.

And now the cherry on the cake..

On March 6, 2004, Bachmann was a guest on “Prophetic Views Behind the News” on KKMS 980-AM hosted by Jan Markell. She said, “It isn’t that some gay will get some rights. It’s that everyone else in our state will lose rights. For instance, parents will lose the right to protect and direct the upbringing of their children. Because our K-12 public school system, of which ninety percent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal, and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality.” Does Bachmann still adhere to this grab-bag of intolerance, misinformation, ignorance, and malignity? America demands and deserves a straight answer.

Last words

Michele Bachmann has served in her state’s senate and in the Congress of the United States. From this combined public service she can point to absolutely no legislation of her sponsorship that benefited anyone except her own political agenda. She has no foreign policy experience, she knows nothing of national defence, she has no immigration policy and has no economic, financial or job-creation experience. She is a poorly educated woman who would need home schooling in the White House. Her strong suit is religious mummery, a smug certainty that she knows God and understands His will, and how to create sound bites which get the attention of a slothful nation, wanting quick fixes to endemic problems.

But above all else, we cannot afford the luxury of a candidate, much less a president who carries the burden of such hostility, spite, rancor and aversion to so many of our best and most productive citizens, whose mere presence on this planet she finds unsettling and unacceptable. Challenged though we are, we have not yet sunk so low in America as that, to see in Michele Bachmann a president, a woman who would divide rather than unify us. In conclusion, I refer her to the greatest man her party has yet produced, a man who spoke of “malice towards none, with charity for all.” Thus Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address… the man who died bringing together the great nation this misguided woman would rend.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books.
Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Remembering London, as riots shake the greatest of cities… resurrecting theEdward R. Murrow style, August 10, 2011.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note: In the early days of World War II, and most importantly during the punishing air raids of 1940-41, one man, with gravel in his voice, brought that war, its devastation and its courage, home to America, in all its reality.

That man was Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965), and he worked for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).

Murrow was a journalist’s journalist… and thus every real journalist who aspires to honesty and integrity wants to be like Murrow…. and so, owing so much to this man, I now pen my own paean to him.

To hear some of his wartime broadcasts, go to any search engine. Listen carefully. These reports are each of them historic not just because of where they were made and when but because of the distinctive Murrow touch, deft, real, unforgettable.


Hello, this is London calling.

Today I broadcast to you not so much as a journalist but as a man intensely grieving for a great city he loves, the greatest city on earth, London. I am now in the charnel house of the eastern neighborhood of Hackney… and the scene is one of mayhem, violence, and anger.

I am in London, but I cannot believe this city of culture and history has been laid so low. But it has…

When we think of London, we think of its kings,queens and princes… for never forget this is a royal city where the greatest of sovereigns, and some of the worst, have trod the very stones we trod.

We think, too, of the greatest of authors, of the Globe Theatre and the Bard of Avon backstage, refinishing a line moments before the fretful player would have to utter it.

We think of ladies of high style and ladies who compromised… of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire with her profound ability to give love… and of such a royal mistress as Nell Gwynn whose knowledge of that subject was different but exhaustive and effective.

We think of politicians and statesmen like the great William Pitt, who helped forge an immense empire in North America… and the infamous Lord North, whose lack of judgement threw it away.

This is the London I love.

And now, this London, though I cannot quite believe it, is burning… right before my eyes.

London has burned before, of course…

There was the Great Fire of 1666 when King Charles II showed his people where his heart was, not by fleeing the great Metropolis, but by going into the fire, the flames, the billowing and choking smoke and passing water pails like the least of his subjects. Why did he do it? “Because I am a Londoner, too” and this pithy sentence procured him a lifetime of indulgence. For his Londoners loved him too.

London burned too in the Blitz of 1940, when the best the Nazis had turned their destructive genius to the pulverizing of a city determined it would not bend the knee, would not waver, and would never die… no matter how punishing each wave of airborn catastrophe might be.

For this is London… more lasting than the Eternal City itself. Determined to live and to flourish.

And now this great city burns… and at the hands of its own disgruntled citizens, as if they know that immemorial London, this hallowed place, can only quaver from within, at their own restless hands.

This is London… blackened, in rubble, humiliated… by those who care not for the English genius of politics and law… but only for immediate gratification of an anger they are determined to show a world aghast at what is happening.

What you see here, at this moment, will disturb you, distress you, revolt you…

Buildings of valuable commerce and utility, set afire, burnt, still smoldering.

Vehicles much needed by the good people who require them to get to work and deliver children and pick them up, now just smoking bits of dangerous metal.

Trash dumps… each required for the modern life we wish to live… now places of the utmost danger and peril, for here fires burn deep and may flash high and mighty at any time.

This cannot be the London I have known for a lifetime… it is not possible.

Yet it is…

Here there is riot!

Here there is wanton vandalism!

Here there is woe deliberately undertaken… with profound malice aforethought.

The perpetrators are young and thoughtless.

They who have every means of communication at their disposal select the most ancient means of communicating of all — with rocks, bricks, sticks, bottles, and any sharp instrument to hand. They do not want resolution…. they want chaos. And now they have it.

Like the malcontents of Ancient Rome, their weapons are the most primitive, but effective. They prize the old paving stones of Londinium and smash them into pieces small enough to throw… big enough to wound a man for life. Molotov cocktails cannot be far behind…

London is not defenceless, of course. She has thrown at these dark forces the men and material to put the insurrection down…. and she has arrested hundreds, who will soon understand English justice better.

How had it all started? Why did it grow so fast?

On August 6, 2011 there was a small antipolice demonstration in Tottenham over the fatal police shooting of a local man, Mark Duggan. This, as if by magic, spiraled into looting, violence, and madness.

There are a legion of “excuses” for what has happened. The economy is bad, the government is unpopular with its pinching austerity plans, jobs are hard to find. All this may be, probably is, true. But it does not account for the denizens of London, who have undergone so much more in times past, destroying their own shops, residences, offices, and neighborhoods… and with such incendiary menace.

16,000 police officers have been deployed. 111 of them have been wounded, many seriously. And riotous conditions have spread to other English cities, like Birmingham where three people are already dead.

All this, too, shall pass. But not until we faithful lovers of London, shocked and appalled, have scrutinized these events and grieved for them, for anything that hurts the London we love hurts us, and so we are hurting deeply now…. and for many days to come.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Jeffrey Lant is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Remembering the commencement of World War I, when the road to Tipperary proved to be very long and arduous indeed, 1914.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s Program Note. This day in August 97 years ago was a day of general European warfare. The great powers, the most civilized nations on earth, had, at last, done the unthinkable, allowing a regrettable incident to morph into mayhem.

For this story, I have selected one of the most famous songs of World War I, “It’s a long way to Tipperary” to be the musical accompaniment. Written by Jack Judge in 1912, it started life as a rousing music hall number, and you can almost hear the clinking of glasses as you listen. It’s got a catchy beat of course but the underlying message is sad, even tragic, for with each passing day, the way back to Tipperary got longer… and the list of those who would never go home again did, too. You’ll find this tune in any search engine. Try to get the version by celebrated tenor John McCormick (born 1884) It’s grand indeed. Once you’ve found it, play it a couple of times. And listen to the words… carefully… many men died with this song on their lips and in their hearts….

How had it happened…

Once a war begins, people cease to be very interested in how they got there… and focus instead on how to ensure that they go home again safe and sound. That is entirely understandable, but not what we want to know today. We want to know why, so that (we hope) we can avoid such travail and grief for ourselves.

The proximate cause of the war was the assassination of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. I have two autographed pictures of this man, known to history solely for his assassination and death, when, had he lived and reigned he would have been known for more.

The photographs I am looking at as I write show him first in 1890 (age 27 ) and then later in a glorious silver presentation frame with his archducal coronet blazing in gold at the top looking supercilious, complacent, a tad silly, and not just for his outsized handlebar mustache either.

He looked like a man you wouldn’t want to cross… and insiders within the empire knew he was adamant about reforming the ramshackle imperium, bringing her antiquated systems and infrastructure up-to-date. He gave every impression that he meant not just to be emperor… but master. “Yes, Gustave, he means what he says,” they whispered over their snitzel, then went on with the national obsession, living well. This was Austria in 1914… where things were significant, but not important.

Franz Ferdinand has gone down to history as stern and unyielding. The Hungarians certainly thought so… and Hungarians (whose royal status had been upgraded in 1867) had a huge (entirely negative) influence in the empire. Franz Ferdinand meant to change all that, with a system he called “tri-alism”, aimed to elevate the Slavs in his empire to equal status with the Germans who founded it and the Hungarians. The Hungarians, especially the nobility of this most aristocratic of nations, were opposed… and not just mildly, either. In fact, had one heard that Franz Ferdinand had been shot your first reaction would have been to assume the deed was done by an Hungarian. There was certainly (suppressed) joy around the noble tables of Budapest when the news of his death became known… joy and (very subtle but heartfelt) toasts (in the very best tokay, Aszu Escenzia).

A man of cultivated taste and sensibility and a gnawing sense of injustice.

Though Franz Ferdinand’s public persona was grave, censorious, insistent, he was very different at home… for there he was a man in love, whose deep affection was equaled only by the burning rage he felt because his wife could not be accorded his imperial honors. She was Sophie Chotek von Chotkovato, a mere countess, hence beneath the contemptuous notice of the sublime Hapsburgs.

Franz Ferdinand was forced to sign a declaration prior to his marriage saying that while he retained his position in the succession… his wife, of such lowly rank, could not share it, neither would any issue by her be allowed to reign. And so out of his great love for his lady came an abiding, gnawing sense of injustice, rage, and dishonor. Growing exquisite roses, collecting exquisite furniture, the tastes of an accomplished aesthete, did not begin to heal his anger and mortification. The humiliation was as calculated as 650 years of Hapsburg rule and unbending protocol could make it… she could never walk into any imperial function on his arm; she had to walk instead where her rank as lady-in-waiting placed her… each slight an insult like acid… to be endured but could never be amended. He fumed… and whilst fuming sought ways to show her and the world how he felt about the woman he so loved… such an opportunity came in July, 1914. He was going to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo in connection with his military duties. He brought Sophie along because she could share his rank there… and he was insistent that she should.

A young revolutionary, burning with youthful zeal and the righteousness of his cause, the cause of Slavic independence, gave Sophie equal treatment indeed, killing both her husband and herself at the same moment. Ironically he got his chance because the car carrying both made an erroneous stop just a few feet from Gavrilo Princip, one of the several terrorists placed in the crowd that fateful day. Even the novice that Princip was couldn’t miss… and didn’t. Another Balkan crisis, amidst an unending stream of Balkan crises,was underway. But “crisis” didn’t necessarily mean “war”. While this great question was being answered, Princip, in prison, probably tortured, became the third fatality. He was just 20 years old…

War did not have to come; a negotiated settlement was not only probable but virtually certain.

Patriotic Austrians were rightly outraged and aghast at the murder of their imperial heir. He might not be popular but the dynasty he represented was. Importantly those with political acuity saw an opening, to weaken the Slavs who wanted total independence from an empire not willing to concede the point. And so an ultimatum, reckoned to be the most severe one sovereign nation had ever sent to another, was drawn up in Vienna and sent to Serbia… an ultimatum which made it clear that each point was not negotiable and that any quibble, even the smallest, would result in an immediate invasion of Serbia and the most abject of terms, even worse than in the ultimatum.

Serbia, having no means ready to combat Austria-Hungary, capitulated… with one minor, even trivial exception. Here was the basis for peace and even the German Kaiser Wilhelm II knew it.

And yet war came. Why?

Because a militaristic coterie in Vienna (headed by Conrad von Hotzendorf, Chief of Staff) and one in Berlin (headed by the Kaiser and the court and army officials who kept this mercurial emperor on track), wanted this war, at this time, sure they could win it. They almost won their bet, too… only to be handed in due course ignominy and total defeat.

Along the way, the road to Tipperary became long and bloody indeed, inscribed as it was with the names of all who knew the poignant significance of its words. As for us, we must remember that we, too, have more than enough people amongst us with a penchant for war. Eternal vigilance is the price we pay to ensure we do not experience any more of the long roads than we already have.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Jeffrey Lant is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

The fish that ate Chicago. A true story of the invasive carp that won’t quit.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. This is a fish story… a big fish story… the story of two different Asian carp species who have already wiped out the competition down river from the Windy City and now mean to seize Chicago and swim north to capture the Great Lakes. It’s the story of what happens when man changes his environment without understanding the consequences (or, worse, knowing the consequences but going ahead anyway). And it is a story of our sneaking admiration for the… fish… who can outsmart us, the great poobahs of the planet.

For this story, then, I selected the song called “High Hopes”, recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1959. With music written by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn, it was introduced in the 1959 film “A Hole in the Head”. It was nominated for a Grammy and won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 32nd Academy Awards.

It’s a tune about tenacity, persistence, grit and unbeatability… all things the carp have got to spare…. but which we humans often lack, too often taking the easy path… dozing through the crises around us. You can find this number in any search engine. Go now, listen up and get in the “can do” mood. And if you find the version Sinatra recorded for John F. Kennedy’s campaign in 1960, give a listen. It’s a classic piece of Americana.

How the carp got here.

The first thing you need to know about this story is that we did it to ourselves. Yep. Imagine you are a friendly, law-abiding carp. You’re living somewhere in Asia and life is good. You’ve got all the plankton you want… and you’ve got the respect of all the other denizens in the water ways you have populated and control. You’re the boss.

Then one day in the 1980s you find yourself captured by some hoodlum who’s sold you and your captured buddies to a bunch of Southern U.S. municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Your job: to control algae growth in aquaculture. Disgusting. You’re forced to do this job, this really dirty job, and you do… biding your time until you can escape to freedom and cleaner water. Then one day when the humans who are supposed to keep you in captivity aren’t looking you… break out… and start swimming north! And along the way you reproduce like crazy. By the time the schleppers at the wastewater plant have figured out what you’re doing, you are already a significant river presence, a fact to be reckoned with… and you’re having the time of your life, reproducing faster than ever.

Facts about silver carp.

The silver carp is a species of freshwater cyprinid fish, a variety of Asian carp native to north and northeast Asia. It is cultivated in China. Pound for pound, more silver carp are produced worldwide in aquaculture than any other species. It has been introduced to, or spread into via connected waterways, at least 88 countries worldwide. The most common reason for importation was for use in aquaculture, but enhancement of wild fisheries and water quality control were also important reasons for importation.

These facts are important, of course, but what’s really important is this:

1) These carp are BIG, whoppers. Their average weight is 30-40 pounds, but it is not uncommon to find some weighing up to 110 pounds.

2) They can leap 10 feet in the air, thereby presenting substantial hazards for people fishing from boats. And you must never water ski in areas known to be inhabited by silver carp and bighead carp. That would be most foolhardy.

3) These carp are voracious eaters and in short order deprive native fishes of the nutrients they require while eating up to 20% of their body weight each day.

4) They are difficult to catch. Silver carp are filter feeders; this is what makes them difficult to catch on a typical hook and line gear. Special methods have been developed to catch these fish, the most important being the “suspension method” usually consisting of a large dough ball that disintegrates slowly, surrounded by a nest of tiny hooks that are embedded in the bait.

5) Silver carp feeding on certain species of blue-green algae, notably the often toxic Microcystis, can pass through the gut of silver carp unharmed, and pick up nutrients while in the gut. Thus, in some cases blue-green algae blooms have been exacerbated by silver carp… and the carp are therefore hazardous to eat.

Now this resourceful adversary, so far successful in all its endeavors, wants to seize Chicago and move into the greatest hunting area on earth, the Great Lakes, where, by the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.

Thus did America’s great Victorian poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855) write of Lake Superior, now a target for the silver carp and a prime reason why at this very moment in August 2011 deeply concerned humans are racing to raise defences which must hold, or the fish will triumph.

The carp must take the Chicago Waterway System to reach their goal… and we must make sure they cannot seize it.

The manmade Chicago Waterway System connects the Great Lakes to the Illinois River, which then connects to the Mississippi River. Both sides know the pivotal battle will be fought here. Each side controls a major part of the puzzle. The silver and bighead carp have overwhelmed the Mississippi River network; humans still own the Great Lakes.

The carp have numbers and time on their side. They also know that they can sacrifice as many of their species as necessary to win; they will produce as many as required. Above all, they know this: that their human adversaries must keep EVERY invasive carp out of the Great Lakes… while the carp have only to get ONE carp into the Great Lakes to seize the first lake, then all the lakes, and change the environment forever, turning it to their exclusive advantage and wrecking havoc on the ecology existing now. The stakes could hardly be higher.

That is why today, on a perfect summer’s day for fishing, crews will instead be straining muscle and mind to stop these brazen invaders, already too close for comfort. They will be using electric jolts to stun fish, sweeping the waterway with half-mile-long nets, and sampling and resampling Lake Calumet and the Calumet River.

What the folks at the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Council (which keeps a detailed daily blog on the subject) find so troubling is this: DNA from silver carp has already been found in 11 samples in the lake and river in July. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced July 22 that it had found additional samples containing DNA from silver carp. Experts cannot say from the sampling whether live fish are already in the lake or if genetic material came from dead fish or was carried into the lake from bilge water. The sampling, of course, continues… and chary professionals remind us no final verdict on the matter is yet possible.

But for me, my money’s on the fish. They have outsmarted us at every turn, with every current in the great river system they now control. They have destroyed an immemorial eco-system, snuffing out every native variety of fish, destroying, too, boating, fishing, and travel businesses along the way, replacing lucrative native fisheries with their own flesh, worth so much less on the open market.

They insist that nothing, absolutely nothing, will pause their onrushing vehemence. Against such a determined adversary, have we the grit and commitment necessary to win… or are we just going through the paces, already defeated? These dog days of August will determine all. Like I said, I’m betting on the fish. They’ve got the high hopes.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. at, providing a wide range of online services for
small and-home based businesses. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Truth About Abs ->

Master blog article writer tells you exactly how to write articles that get read and responded to.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to spend some time with you and provide the detailed step-by-step information you must have to get the attention of the people on your list and get them to respond — and rain well deserved compliments on you and your notable blog work.

Let’s dig right in; there’s lots of ground to cover.

1) The purpose of blog articles.

Know much about space travel? Here’s a crucial part that astronauts pay a lot of attention to: the heat shields that protect a space capsule returning to earth. Without these shields the capsule and the passengers within would be fried. The same thing happens when you mail ad copy and nothing but ad copy to your lists. Recipients will get plenty angry plenty fast. They want more from you than just ads, and if they don’t get it, the unsubscribe link is near at hand.

Blog copy is essential because it keeps subscribers on your list by giving them a good reason for staying on your list. In short, like those heat shields, this copy protects the list and keeps it whole, growing, profitable.

2) Don’t publish random articles.

Give your articles increased weight and importance by creating them as part of an ongoing series. When you write good copy, copy of substance and value, people not only want to read it… but they want more, lots more, from you, a person whose articles and opinion they come to respect.

3) Number each article and announce that number along with each article.

As I write (August 6, 2011), this is my 312 article in the series. You want people to know that, not least because they will want to find and profit from the other articles in the series, all the other articles. Furthermore, as your list of articles grows, so will your reputation and perceived standing. In short, you will be an authority, a commentator of renown and repute.

4) Write your blog articles to a certain length, and stick to it.

My daily blog articles (which I produce free for blog owners worldwide) are all approximately 1500 words in length. That is three single-spaced pages. This length gives you ample space to develop an article on any given theme. It is also a convenient length for readers, not too long or demanding; crucial features in our time-pressed days. Once you have developed your format, you will soon start thinking in terms of your available space and will find it easier and easier the more you write to conceive and write articles of that length.

5) Always search for and brainstorm new article subjects.

I am on a dizzing blog article creation pace: one 1,500 word blog article per day. This is a challenging schedule for even the most experienced writers. That means I need 365 article subjects per year, challenging indeed. But even if you decide to write just one blog article per week, you’ll need 52 subjects to write about, nothing to take for granted.

When you write blog articles, you are always and forever in the business of finding hot new article subjects. To start, get the major metropolitan newspaper from your area; (for me that’s The Boston Globe)… and a pair of scissors. Now sit down and review this newspaper with a new eye; an eye that’s seeking interesting, timely, readers-will-love-this subjects.

Make time to cut these articles from the publication. Don’t fall behind with this crucial task. In my case, I review and cut out three times a week, more if at all possible.

Keep a good pair of sharp scissors at hand. Look at each article in each edition to see whether an article on that theme or subject would fit your blog. If so, cut at once and make sure to date everything you cut out. That’s a must.

Then deposit what you’ve found in a large drawer… this is the article subject compost heap and it is essential. In it you will find subjects you will surely want to write about… and subjects you’re watching, to write about at some future date. Cut liberally; you can be sure one day you will have no subject readily at hand. Having all these ideas will then pirove very useful indeed.

6) Select the next subject you’ll write about, gather the information you need to do so.

The creation of articles of substance, articles that draw continual kudos from your readers, is a direct result of knowing where to look for the information you need. The better you become at this necessary task, the better articles you will produce and the faster your reputation grows, too.

Start by doing a search at any search engine (I prefer Google) to see what information is available. Where you are writing an article about a breaking news item, don’t just check the available information, also pay close attention to the time the most recent material was posted (e.g. “7 hours ago”). This is essential for keeping what you write ahead of the news cycle. For timely articles, this skill is required.

Then visit the Wikipedia. The Wikipedia is one of the most ingenious and necessary tools ever invented. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use it, finding and printing the invaluable information I absolutely must have do my work… one aspect of which is studding my articles with the facts therein so amply provided. This source is crucial.

You will also need to visit the websites of article providers such as Associated Press, Reuter’s, Bloomberg, etc. They are a terrific source of article subjects and timely data.

7) Brainstorm articles.

You and your lifetime of education and experience are also valuable sources for articles. Keep a pad at the ready, or an Internet file, where ALL possible article subjects can be listed. Never, ever rely on forgetful memory for such subjects. Write them down at once.

8) Set a precise date for finishing all articles.

I write and blog my articles daily. I have a precise time of the day when the deadline for the next article MUST be met: 8 a.m. Eastern time. To do this I find all the data I’l need the day before and review it before bed time. Then I am awake and drafting, editing, then finalizing the day’s article by 3 a.m. Eastern time; that is not a misprint! I have found the silent hours of the (usually) uninterrupted night the very best time to write, not least because I am wide awake and full of beans at that time. You’ll find the schedule most suitable for you; set it, adhere to it religiously. You will find if you do that your brain and body will be willing to work at that time, and that is a great benefit.

9) Keep individual files for every article you write.

These files should contain all the printed information sources for this subject as well as all your notes and each draft. Everything pertaining to this article (including the compliments readers email you) must be kept, not least because you may very well decide to write follow-up and related articles for which current data will be most helpful.

Last words.

Blogging is the future of the Internet; that is absolutely clear. And for blogging to work, and your list to be protected, superior blog copy is a must. Now you know how to produce it.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->