JimWes Thinks

July 6, 2015

THE FALTERING EAGLE: A speech made March 10, 1970

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 6:37 pm

THE FALTERING EAGLE

 WHY FOREIGNERS OPPOSE AMERICA AND AMERICANS

SPEECH BY

Former Georgia State Senator 

JAMES  P.  WESBERRY,  JR. 

DECATUR, GEORGIA,  LIONS  CLUB 

MARCH 10, 1970

    (Senator Wesberry resigned from the State Senate to go to Peru with the Alliance for Progress in May, 1967. He returned to Atlanta in June 1969 for one year, then returned to work in Peru. This speech was made during his time back in Atlanta)

The question I have been asked the most since returning from Peru is “WHY DON’T THOSE PEOPLE DOWN THERE LIKE US – AFTER ALL WE’VE DONE FOR THEM?” Why do they hate America – demonstrate against visiting politicians – write “Yankee go home”  on  the  walls – confiscate U.S. owned businesses and property?

First I would like to draw a distinction between the words “LIKE” and ‘RESPECT”.  Many Americans are liked by foreigners as individuals.  Almost all Americans who live abroad make friends among local people.  Many limit themselves too much to the”INTERNATIONAL SET “but on the whole there are no barriers to individual friendship.  On the national level the word “LIKE” is not really appropriate.  It would be better to rephrase the opening question to “WHY DON’T FOREIGNERS RESPECT THE U.S.?”  The  situation we  are  in with  respect to  the  rest  of the world  is  roughly that of the richest man in  a  small  town.  He may be  the  town’s  leading  citizen, donating much of his wealth to  local  charities,  leading in government  and business – but he will have  few, if any real  friends  in town.  His wealth bars close friendship. The wealth of the United States today is so great in comparison to that of other nations that real friendship is impossible.

 It  should be  obvious  to  anyone  that friendship cannot be bought –  either by the wealthy man’s  donations  to  charity – or by  a  government’s  foreign aid program.  On the other hand respect can be achieved by the wealthy man who is a good citizen and likewise by the wealthy nation.

 The United States for a number of years subsequent to World War             II enjoyed worldwide respect among nations.  In recent years that respect has been declining rapidly.  It is declining very rapidly in South America  and throughout the world.

 Here are what I believe to be the reasons for the growing lack of respect for our country:

The average foreigner has concluded that:

  1. The U.S. has abandoned its role of world leadership.
  2. The U.S. is on the verge of a complete collapse of
    its moral and religious values.
  3. The system of government in the U.S. is failing.
  4. The educational system of the U.S. is nearing
    destruction.

 As we discuss these points I would like to ask you to think about whether the  foreigners who have reached these conclusions  might be right.  Is the United States of America – having achieved the greatest successes in the history of mankind in the shortest period of time – about to collapse?

 Will our country survive this new decade? Will democracy survive? Will civilization survive? Will the United States • in 1980, if it exists  as  a nation,  resemble the U.S. of 1970?

 For if the foreigners are right, these questions will soon be answered.

 After World War II the U.S. assumed the mantle of leadership of the Western World from a rapidly declining Britain. While many people may not have agreed with all its policies, our nation was widely respected for this role.

 The  unsuccessful  conclusion of the Korean War  and the  adoption of the  concept of limited warfare  led  inevitably to  the present situation  in South Viet Nam where  the U.S. is now backing down and backing out.

 Few foreigners support our presence in South Viet Nam and few nations have supported our actions there.  However, the obvious lack of support of our commitment to South Viet Nam by the U.S.  tells  the world one-thing  in unmistakeable  terms –  the word  of  the  United States  of America  is worthless. 

 We pledged to support South Viet Nam against Communism.  There were no conditions  to  that pledge which were not  fulfilled – yet we are not  supporting South Viet Nam,  we  are  abandoning  it.Even though the rest of the world does not support South Viet Nam either, it is clear that no  country can expect the United States  to  commit men or weapons  to defend  it against Communism. In the present political atmosphere any U.S. President who sent troops  to  aid any of our  “Allies” would commend himself to political oblivion.

This is the way foreigners now see it.  This is the reason there is a new Russian Embassy in Lima, Peru – why numerous trade pacts with Eastern Nations are being signed throughout South America.

 Regardless  of their  own opposition to  our  involvement  in South Viet Nam  I  am convinced that  foreigners  consider  the backing down of the U.S.  there a real  sign of weakness  and  inability to continue  our  role of world  leadership.

Perhaps they are wrong.  Perhaps we  can  continue  to be  the major western  leader,  but this  is  one reason  for  a growing lack of respect  for  our country throughout  the world.  It is especially aided when U.S.  Senators and other prominent Americans not only oppose  their  country’s  policy,  but make  statements  and condone acts which would be treasonous  if war were  actually declared. Foreigners do not understand it when a public official attacks his own country.  They see this as a sign of decay.

 In my opinion, the only way the U.S. could possibly restore itself to the position of respect it once held among nations would be to unconditionally win the war in South Viet Nam as soon as possible.  This certainly does not appear likely.

 A few years ago the foreigner’s image of an America was  that of a man on  a horse wearing a white hat and two guns –  the  cowboy.  Today the foreigner views the average American as a sex maniac, a sex deviate or both.  The image is conveyed by Hollywood.  The closest contact a foreigner has with the U.S. is our movies.  First run U.S.  movies  are  shown  in Lima,  Peru, as  soon  as  they are  shown  in Atlanta.

 In my opinion the movie industry is doing almost as much to destroy respect for our country abroad as the Communist Party.  The rotten, filthy, disgusting, degrading products of our film industry are a real source of embarrassment to Americans abroad.  It is bad enough that the movie industry is corrupting our country.  Many foreigners deeply resent it when American pornography also corrupts their country.  The “God is dead” philosophy has horrified and amazed many foreigners.  They would have expected this from Russia, not the U.S.

 The flood of American pornography flowing into other countries, the well publicized drug problems among U.S.  youth and the general  abandonment of  religion by many Americans – magnified out  of proportion by  the passion of our press  for  publicizing these  trends  as  progressive  and  inevitable – has  convinced many  foreigners that  the United States  is  on the verge of a complete moral  and  spiritual  collapse.

 

It is no wonder they don’t respect us.

 Our country has  spent untold billions  of dollars  attempting to  sell  other  nations  on our  system of government         –  Democracy – as  the best  system.  We  continually  insist that our  “friends” hold  “free  elections” (even to  the point of the  election  in
South Viet Nam  in the midst of the war  and  the utterly ridiculous  suggestions  that there  should be  another one).

 Yet many foreigners feel they see signs that Democracy is collapsing in the U.S. 

 The currently popular protests against any and everything one doesn’t like are contrary to everything Democracy stands for.  The philosophy that some laws may be ignored because they are unjust or wrong or outmoded betrays and destroys Democracy.

The  tendency toward  idealistic but  impractical or impossible legislation which has  long  characterized South American Parliamentary Bodies  is  now prevailing  in our Congress  and our  State  Legislatures.

The violence surrounding recent U.S. political campaigns and conventions which was highly publicized throughout the world acts to destroy foreigners hopes that Democracy might work.

 In short the U.S.  political scene more and more resembles the political scene of our Latin neighbors.  Instead of selling foreigners  our  form of government we  are more  and more adopting theirs –  and getting  further  and  further  away  from real Democracy.

 In October, 1968,  as  I walked the  streets  of Lima,  Peru,  amidst the  tanks  and soldiers  armed with sub-machine guns who had just taken over there  sending the  President  into exile  and abolishing the  Congress, I wondered if such a thing could happen in my own country. Then I told myself no, it couldn’t.  Now, after being back in the U.S. for six months I am not so sure that an authoritarian Government may not be inevitable here.  The people will demand it to preserve order – if there is no  other way.

 Many foreigners  see  the hope  for  Democracy we have  tried to  exemplify vastly  dimmed by our present  failure  to  control protest  and violence within  the  Democratic  framework of the  citizen’s  right  to vote  as  he  sees  fit.  If our  citizens are  not  patient  enough to  accept  the  slow change  of Democracy
no  other  country’s  citizens  can be  expected to  accept our form  of government.

 Perhaps the timeliest topic of all is education.  Many South Americans see the U.S. system of higher education passing through a period which their universities passed through twenty or thirty years  ago.  Students and professors demanded and got from most South American Governments a policy of “Autonomy of the University”. Students were given a major voice in control, curricula and other matters.  The result was the complete destruction of the system of higher education in South America.  I talked to many heartbroken U.S.  students who had come to Lima on scholarships only to find that regular classes were rarely held,  professors were irresponsible  and  learning was practically non-existent.

 The present trend in U.S. coleges indicates that we will soon catch up to South America by destroying our system of higher education the same way they did.  It is  interesting to note  that  having  learned  their  lesson  the hard way,  most  Latin Governments  now  are  steering  as  far away  from University Autonomy  as  possible.

 Recent developments indicate that we will soon catch up with other countries in elementary and secondary education as well.

 In South America in general only the poorest of the poor families send their children to the public schools.  All wealthy and middle class people send their children to privately operated schools.  Many poor people make fantastic sacrifices to get their children out of the public schools.  The reason for this is that the public school system is no more than a political patronage vehicle. All good teachers teach in private schools where they are better paid and can better practice their profession.

 It would appear that the  same type  system may be  imminent in our  country where we have apparently become so infatuated with the objective of  integration that we have apparently lost  sight of the more  important objective of education in the public  schools.

 To  summarize the  average  foreigner’s view of the United States,  I would say that he  sees  this  once strong nation as  a nation growing weaker and weaker every day —  a nation which will  soon be too weak to be a world leader.

 Even in this  age  of advanced technology and supposedly advanced  civilization,  it  is  strength that  counts  in  foreign affairs —    as well  as  in domestic  affairs.

 Our country needs a strong foreign policy — a firm unyielding position which will be backed up by our Government. We must also be firm at home proving that our democracy does work and stamping out those who would destroy it from within.

 If we can do this, then foreigners will respect our nation and we can resume our rightful role of world leadership.

 In order to be strong a nation must produce strong leaders. No strong leader has come forth in American Government since Franklin Roosevelt.  Our leaders have been weak, flexible and compromising in recent years.  No wonder foreigners lose respect for us.

Charles DeGaulle, a strong man leading a weak nation, won more world respect than any leader the United States produced while he ruled France.

 We need a strong leader now in the United States more urgently than ever before.

 It is  too  early to  say  for  certain,  but one  strong  leader appears  to be  emerging.  As a Democrat I am sad to say that he is in the other party.

 ……….(reference to 1970 politics omitted)

 As  a  Democrat  I hang my head in shame that  the Democratic Party is  letting  itself be taken over by extremists,  anarchists  and traitors –  and not one –  no not  one  single voice  is being raised by prominent national Democrats  to object.

 The Democratic Party needs a  strong man – a  leader who will not  compromise with those who threaten the basic values of our nation.  Surely  some  prominent northern or western Democrat must be  so disgusted with violence,  with confrontation,  with conflagration, with the  sickening weakness  of his party  in  failing to stand up against those who tried to destroy Democracy at the Chicago convention.  Surely someone in the Democratic Party will have the courage to speak out for his  country.

 ………. (reference to 1970 politics omitted)

 Surely unless the responsible people in the Democratic Party regain control there will ultimately be a mass exodus of Democrats.  Many will become independents, perhaps many will even become Republicans.  The Democratic Party will be left in the hands  of radicals,  anarchists  and traitors  and  it will dwindle  and disappear.  For given an ultimate choice between responsibility and anarchy, this nation will choose responsibility.

 Many people have  asked why I  am now saying the  things  I am saying tonight;  the  fact  is  that my experience  in South America  opened my eyes  so that  I could see America and what  is happening to it and to realize that many Americans  are not yet aware of the serious  danger this  country  faces.

 Today the future is clouded,  but  it  is not too  late.

 The Eagle is faltering, but it is not beyond hope.  We can reverse the tide which is not only destroying respect for our country among foreigners, but is destroying our own self respect.

  WHAT  CAN WE  DO  ?

 *** We can win the war in South Viet Nam.

*** We can eradicate pornography, even if it takes an amendment                                to the U.S. Constitution.

*** We can stamp out drugs and their glorification.

*** We can end once and for all protests, demonstrations and harassments. A ten year moratorium on all forms of physical protest including strikes would be a start.

*** We can stop glorifying the “Right to Dissent”.

 *** We can save our educational system – by making education, not integration, its objective, and by solidly administering schools.

 *** We  can  stop putting the  rights  of suspected  criminals  ahead of      the  right  of all  citizens  to be  free  from violence  and the  fear            of  it;  and we  can  stop releasing convicted  criminals  on technicalities  unrelated to  their  crimes.

 *** We can give strong support to those public officials who speak out for decency, for loyalty, for honor, for law, for order.

 *** And, if we really get desperate, we might even consider turning to God and observing His Laws.

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May 25, 2015

CONFUCIUS: Public Sector Ethics

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 2:55 pm

Confucius was the first and perhaps the greatest philosopher on the importance of ethics in the public sector and the importance of projecting an image of integrity and honesty by the highest officials.

Unlike many of the other philosophers one, Confucius, had a very special interest in ethics in the public sector. He often spoke of the “governor” or “ruler” posts that today we call the “chief executive or CEO.” His teachings survived over more than two millennia. Great interest in his teachings is currently resurging in China, after having been nearly abandoned under the Mao regime. He often directed questions to his disciples, but sometimes also gave his own response.

“What is the essence of good governance? Not resolving issues in haste and not seeking advantage. “

 “If one cannot govern himself, how will he know how to govern others?”

 “If proper in their own conduct, what difficulty would they have in governing? But if not able to be proper in their own conduct, how can they demand such conduct from others?”

“To govern is to correct. If you set an example be being correct, who would dare to remain incorrect?”

The most interesting thing about the teachings of the great philosopher is that his main criterion regarding public officials 25 centuries ago is still important and widely accepted up to now. He believed in the power of benevolence, arguing that rule by example rather than by fear would inspire people to follow an equally virtuous life. The same principle, in his opinion, should govern personal relationships.

 “If guided by virtue and regulated by the rules, the common people will have a sense of shame and abide by what is required of them.”

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place when all the stars are rotating about it.

Confucius argued that the virtuous man is not just someone who is at the top of the social hierarchy, but one who understands his place in this hierarchy and embraces it fully. To define the different means of virtuous actions one must return to traditional Chinese values: loyalty; filial piety; ritual propriety; and reciprocity. ​​Confucius called the person who carefully observes these values a “gentleman,” “superior man” or “nobleman” meaning a man of virtue, education and good manners.

 “A superior man may be described as one who first puts his ideas into practice, and then preaches to others what he already does.”

 “The nobleman retains throughout his life the ingenuity and innocence of childhood.”

 “If the ruler is just, no one will be unjust; if the ruler is kind, no one will be cruel.”

 “When the ruler himself acts rightly, he will exercise influence over the people without giving orders, and when the ruler himself does not act rightly, all his orders will be useless.”

 Confucius emphasized trust – trusting your boss, your employee, your neighbor, your friend in the hope that this confidence will be returned. He believed that refraining from offending and building a decent reputation would encourage good teamwork, business success, and community spirit.

 Over the past 2500 years China has implemented the teachings of Confucius and each time it has worked over long periods. The times when it failed were when a corrupt emperor stepped in and used the laws to oppress the people.

 In summary, Confucius was an eternal optimist. He believed in people. He believed that if the ruler was a noble man, the people will not only follow him, but will imitate him. Confucius pointed to the “north” in the compass of governance and many of his teachings are still very applicable to governments, their officers and their employees.

(For more on this subject see: CHINESE ETHICS: http://flip.it/1OsLS )

February 28, 2015

How to reply to a “Nigeria Scam” Message (Part 3 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 5:05 pm

Nigeria has become associated with a particular form of scam that’s very visible and known to everyone who receives “Dear Friend” emails originating from that country. Also known as “419 scams” or “advanced fee scams” they are among the most notorious scams in the world.  The victim is typically asked to pay in advance a sum in order to receive very attractive benefits. Reputed to be the most successful type scam in the world, estimated losses from such schemes totaled $12.7bn (£8.2bn) in 2013. And the number of scams is growing by 5% each year according to the BBC.

These schemes dubbed “Creative Diabolic Ways That Scammers Scam the Innocent”…“prey on people who are lonely, panicked, desperate, greedy, ignorant or look for rewards with little work input or who panic at situations without reading between the lines and double checking the email address before clicking to the phishing sites.”  Over the years they have evolved into quite well written and brilliantly conceived missives that subtly attract the potential victim. Some are now so eloquent that soon the Pulitzer folks may be compelled to add a new prize category.

The Dutch financial intelligence organization Ultrascan AGI categorizes victims in three groups according to losses experienced: small, medium and high loss.

Small loss victims are those who “have fallen for one of the many quick scams, examples are: lottery fraud, the job- study place -offer, inheritance scam or the relief fund scam. The total losses per victim vary between 200 and 30000 dollar over a period of a couple of months to half a year.”

Medium loss victimshave fallen for the request for help to move and/or invest millions…The total losses per victim vary from 15000 to 210000 dollar over a period of a year to one and a half year.

High loss victims are those that fall for a “fraudulent proposal based on a REAL business of multinational proportions (oil, gold, diamonds, medical equipment, vaccines, chemicals, investments, building and/or service contracts…The total losses per case, vary from 300 thousand to 12 million dollars over a period of one and a half to 8 years or longer…”

According to Ultrascan highest country losses are suffered in the US followed by UK, China and many others including  Japan, Spain, Korea, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and most others countries. Educated folks like doctors, architects, engineers and other white collar professionals are apparently the easiest to successfully scam. Those who have suffered a recent bereavement are also more susceptible victims.

Here are some basic guidelines for answering a Nigeria Scam request:Upon receiving a “Nigeria Scam” e-mail or Skype message most reasonably intelligent persons will logically immediately delete it and block the sender from send more. But there is another interesting alternative: answer it with a competing request. Normally there is no concrete request for money in the first scam message. This comes inevitably in the second. Therefore one can get the jump on the scammer by asking him first for money before being asked. The trick is to use the scammer’s technique before he gets a chance to hit you up for money.

  1. Profusely thank the sender for their generosity and kindness in selecting you as a beneficiary of such a wonderful and remunerative opportunity.
  2. Emphasize your complete trust and reliance upon the sender as a person of honesty and integrity based upon the background information they have furnished and your admiration for such a well planned and presented opportunity.
  3. Give every indication that you will be absolutely receptive to the forthcoming proposal that will outline the next step toward the benefits intimated.
  4. Where possible cleverly and very cautiously include a veiled intimation that you may even have a source of riches even greater than that implied in the original message.
  5. Finally, conclude with a small request for funding that will permit you to be able to respond positively to the anticipated second message providing more details on the operation (and asking you for an advance payment of money).

Needless to say devising an appropriate reply may seem somewhat of a useless task for those who are very busy, but for those who have the time and the inclination, it can be great fun!

To illustrate here is copy (including typos and grammatical errors) of a real scam request received via Skype very recently together with my own (perhaps somewhat exaggerated) reply:

MESSAGE: [2/12/2015 1:30:22 PM] *** Aisha Gaddafi would like to add you on Skype

Dear Friend, I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown to you. My name is Aisha Muammar Al-Gaddafi the formal Libyan Goodwill Ambassador of the U.N. and the daughter of late Muammar Al-Gaddafi the former president of Libya. I am currently residing in Muscat the capital city of Oman, unfortunately as a Political refugee. At the meantime, my family is at risk and pains. 95% of our investments and bank accounts in several countries are freeze.

I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart asking for your help at this time, I got your contact via internet searching for a trustworthy person who will understand my present conditions and come to my rescue here in Oman .

I have passed through pains and sorrowful moment since the death of my father Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Husband and brothers, all our Foreign and local accounts have been blocked by the western countries and we are not allowed to make transfer or receive money from any country or source. I have been commissioned to contact an interested foreign investor/partner who will be able to take absolute control of part of the vast cash available to private account for a possible investment in your country.

If this transaction interests you, you don’t have to disclose it to anybody because of what is going with my entire family, if the western nation happens to know this account, they will Freezing it as they freeze others so keep this transaction for yourself only until we finalize this transaction that will be when the fund is transferred into your account.

I want to transfer this money into your account immediately for onward investment in your country. I received an urgent email from the bank abroad that both their government and new Libya government are tracing hidden deposit and assets deposited by my family, I don’t want them to be aware of this particular fund deposited by Me. If you can be of any assistant to me kindly get back to me so that i can furnish you with the deposit details for verification and confirmation. I am willing to reward you bountiful 10% of the total sum. Therefore if you are capable of running an establishment and can maintain the high level of Secrecy required in this project, kindly respond with the following information for details of the project.
1. Your full names and address:
2. Your private telephone and fax numbers:
3. Your private email addresses:
4. Age and profession:
you can write me on AISHAMUAMMERALGADDAFII@YAHOO.COM note that, my discussion with you is strictly private no one else must know about this because if it get to the ear of the western nation the account will be freez immidiately as they have done to others, this is the only possible means i have to contact you because all calls here are been monitored my the Omanic government and the UN, Asylum banned was placed on me, which stop me from traveling and making of phone telecommunication for the now. ***

REPLY:  My very dearest Aisha (please excuse my familiarity, the reason for which will become immediately apparent):

I give thanks to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) for the miracle that has brought your request to me. I who was your beloved departed father’s very closest friend and confidant salute you with sincere sympathy, love and compassion, placing myself fully and completely at your service. How anxious am I to dry those tears and loose the sorrow from your heart. How well I remember bouncing you on my knee when you were a mere child as I counseled with your father regarding his financial affairs. How well I remember your beauty as you grew from a child into a beautiful young girl in the tent of your father and how I missed you when you were sent away to school. How jealous I was when I learned that you had become married to your late and lamented husband. Please accept my profound condolences upon the loss of my dearly beloved friend, your father Muhammad, your husband and all of your close relatives. Ah! Had he only listened to me, he and all of you would have escaped on a timely basis with me to a new life beyond the reach of his enemies.

You would most certainly remember me more clearly if I could give you my name or you could see my photograph, but alas I have had cause to change not only my name and physical appearance but to isolate myself in a new country the name of which I cannot mention where through the power of wealth and the grace of Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) I am now Prime Minister and Supreme Governing Authority. I was able to leave Libya before it fell using a submarine to remove and transport 7,000 gold ingots representing the greater part of your father’s fortune. While we suffered great anguish getting the heavy gold laden submarine to resurface the fortune has been wisely protected and part of it invested to produce great profits. It is now clearly yours as the last living survivor of my dear friend and mentor, the great leader Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi.

You may now safely disregard the pittance of your father’s fortune that you state is frozen since it is no longer needed and is indeed insignificant compared to the fortune that will now be yours that now through wise investment consists of 84.7 % of the world’s gold, similar amounts of other precious metals and the absolute control of the central banking systems of 68 of the world’s leading countries and all but six of the presently existing multinational enterprises. You may wonder how I have been able to accomplish this. It was very simple; I learned that in those so called “democracies” throughout the world politicians can easily be bought by contributing vast sums to the political campaigns of all parties and candidates. Thus, no matter who wins, the elected individual is profoundly indebted to me and my organization and thus under my control. Modestly speaking you will now become the wealthiest, most beautiful and most powerful woman in the world!

My beloved dove of summer, may I take this opportunity to request your hand in marriage as your family’s closest friend and confidant, notwithstanding the great difference in our ages. I am 80. However, through the genius of my personally endowed Body Transplant and Life Extension Institute in Italy, I am happy to advise you that praise be to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed),  I now have the body of a 19 year old athlete and (modestly speaking) the most handsome face on earth. If needed or desired these facilities will also be available to you upon the consummation of our matrimony. Although it will be a few more years before I can promise you eternal life, my brilliant Italian medical innovators assure me that even now we can be assured of at least a 2.000 year life span together.

I am anxious for you to join me as soon as possible but one small problem has arisen. Just as I was ordering my yacht (modestly speaking the largest in the world) to pick you up I learned that it has been captured by pirates in Somalia who are requesting a relatively modest amount of ransom not knowing to whom it belongs. Because my affairs are so massively involved in the intricate markets of the world, the amount requested of $100,000 is so infinitely minuscule and you are at present located in close proximity to Somalia, I am sure it would be a very simple matter for you to transfer by Western Union to Mr. S. U. Borno in Mogadishu that amount thus freeing my yacht to pick you up immediately and bring you into my waiting arms.

I must caution you that everything I have written and all our plans must be extremely confidential as our mutual enemies would take advantage of any information regarding us to thwart our plans. I know that I can count upon you for prompt action and we will soon be together for centuries to come.

Nigeria Scam Hijacked by Ghanaian Auditor (part 2 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 4:54 pm

The Nigeria or ‘419” scam spread across Africa before it became fully globalized a few years ago. Still, the majority of the scam solicitations come from the appropriately named “Dark Continent.” Millions of scam e-mails are sent out from Africa across the spectrum of the Internet but Nigeria still is champion.  Advance fee romance scams,” fleecing lonely folks seeking love, are one of the top moneymakers for the Nigerian scam artists, but great ingenuity is displayed by a wide variety of nefarious solicitations preying upon the avarice of weak human victims.

According to an article published last year quoting from the 2011 Internet Crime Report : “In 2011, the FBI received close to 30,000 reports of advance fee ploys, called “419 scams” after the section of the Nigerian criminal code that outlaws fraud. The agency received over 4,000 complaints of advance fee romance scams in 2012, with victim losses totaling over $55 million.”  This is a truly growth industry. In 2013 the FBI received over 6000 complaints .Targeted victims are usually people aged 40 years and older, divorced, widowed, disabled, and often elderly.

Of the hundreds of disgusting (though often interesting due to their originality) Nigeria scam requests I have received via e-mail and Skype over the past few years, one finally pushed my button causing an eruption of ire. It was the first and only scam request I have ever received from an AUDITOR.

Now I happen to be a CPA and auditor having practiced, taught and written about my proud profession over the past 60 years and having been very active over the years in professional organizations like the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Interamerican Accounting Association. Thus the following e-mail from an allegedly traitorous auditor lit my fuse. (I know, of course, that the person and post mentioned are fictitious and the author is not an auditor but a crook, but it is the principle of the thing — the insult to my profession).

Here is the Skype message received followed by my reply:

“Charles Cofie. would like to add you on Skype

ATTN:

I am Charles Cofie director in charge of auditing and accounting section in Barclays bank Ghana, West Africa. With due respect and regard I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on November 1997 in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development.

Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was US$12.5M (Twelve million five united states dollars).

As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through my good friends who works with chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Accra Ghana. It is him who recommended your person to me to be viable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.

Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bona fide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity.

In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant, we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank here the whole money will be remitted from to your own designated bank account.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free.

On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me and my partners.

Please, you have been advised to keep top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.

I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

My personal email address: charlescofie633@gmail.com

Yours faithfully, Mr Charles Cofie”

—-

REPLY: Dear Mr. Cofie:

Words cannot express my intense feelings upon the receipt of your Skyped message yesterday. The degree of respect and regard for me that you declared are abundantly clear as well as the respective potential financial effect upon both of us as a result of the successful conclusion of the transaction you propose. I am certainly surprised and pleased that I am known to the chamber of commerce on foreign business relations in Accra since I have never traveled to, or worked in, Africa.

I regret that I cannot immediately assist you and your partners in carrying out the brilliant and intricately designed financial transaction you suggest. The fact is that I have recently been arrested by the prosecutorial authorities here having been accused, unjustly of course, of a similar activity. Thus at present I do not have the full freedom to act that you presuppose. Notwithstanding, the good news is that my bail is a mere $10,000; therefore upon paying it I shall be able to flee the country and join your illustrious and industrious group in Ghana.

What is needed, of course is that you forward to me immediately, at the address you already have, a cashier’s check in the amount of $15,000 to cover my bail and airfare. Based upon your profession of faith in my character and business acuity, I am sure that I shall receive the needed funds within the next few days.

I remain truly and sincerely your humble servant.

Ripe Pickens, CPA, CIA, CFE

February 22, 2015

The Nigeria or “419” scam has become globalized

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 9:28 pm

“…a fool is born every minute.” –  If P.T. Barnum actually said that time has now proven him wrong! Or maybe it was profound back in 1890 even if, as some allege, he didn’t say it. Perhaps it’s due to the population explosion, but now it’s pretty clear that a fool is born at least every second…maybe even more often.

The proof of this is clear from the vast number of Ponzi Schemes, Nigeria Letters, cases of health insurance fraud, telemarketing and senior scams and innumerable similar innovations now being successfully applied by fraudsters across the planet often successfully separating gullible fools from their money.

Nigeria, from where the original non-digital “Nigeria letters” originated, unfortunately gets the credit for inventing or at least proliferating the type scam that has now become an embarrassment to that great country.  Wikipedia describes the Nigeria (or “419” scam[1]) as follows: “The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, which the fraudster requires a small up-front payment to obtain. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim, or simply disappears.”

Scamwatch, an Australian website, provides some warning signs:

  • “You receive an offer out of the blue to ‘help’ someone from another country transfer their money out of their country (e.g. Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Iraq).
  • The offer sets out a long and often sad story about why the money cannot be transferred by the scammer. This usually involves an inheritance or profits from natural resources that the scammer might say they are trying to protect from taxes or a corrupt government.
  • You are offered a percentage of the total amount transferred in return for your assistance.
  • The amount of money to be transferred, and the payment that the scammer promises to you if you help, is usually very large.
  • The email or letter is in very polite, but broken English.”

I am apparently (and hopefully not deservedly) on the master list of the most ignorant fools in the world as I receive e-mail and Skype scam messages almost daily. I have received pleas for help from widows, divorcees, orphans, lawyers, executors of estates, bankers, current and former public officials, real estate investors, diplomats, senators, generals in the US Army, soldiers on duty in Afghanistan, the FBI Director, the US Ambassador in Kenya and most recently the exiled daughter of the late Muammar Al-Gaddafi the former president of Libya.  As a professional CPA and auditor, the one that finally became the last straw inciting my current ire was from the “director in charge of auditing and accounting section in Barclays bank Ghana.”

No one I know receives as many of these as I. At first I simply ignored them, deleting the e-mails and blocking the Skype messengers. But as they continue to proliferate in my inboxes I can stand it no longer. I am beginning to answer them. I can’t resist. Here’s one of the most recent with my reply below:

E-Mail Subject: “Re: Please Re-Confirm if you are alive or death: 16th Feb, 2015

Attn: Beneficiary,
Confirm This Information
It is totally against the ethics and civil service code of conduct in accordance with oath of secrecy for me to do this but I wish to do this on personal capacity believing you will not betray me but will surely come back to reward me for my sincerity, honesty and for my great effort made to secure a successful conclusion of this transaction in your favor.
Please confirm if truly the bank has communicated you regarding payment of your over due fund.
However, i wish to inform you that a woman submitted her name claiming that you were death and to be your next of kin, her details and banking particular was among the list certified for payments, see below and confirm for the account she submitted for transfer of your fund Valued at $5,400,000. 00 Million United States Dollars.
Beneficiary: Ms.Ronnette James
Bank Name: The Commerce Bank
Bank Address: 1072, Richmond av.
Staten Island, New York
Account Number: 4121097896,
Routing No:003-051-200,
Swift Code: CBNAUS33
I have inquired deeper to come to the conclusion that she and few powerful individuals are behind this dastardly act without due notices to you, As it stands now, you will certainly encounter enormous problems to convince the International Remittance Department that you have not been served with required number of direct notices.
You are therefore advised to submit your approval, as the bank will certainly not be held responsible for paying into a wrong account, It will serve you well if you would quickly get back to me so that i can issue instruction for re-verification on your payment file towards Online Transfer of your fund($5,400,000. 00) to you..
Please reply to my private email address : peterand147@yahoo.co.uk or call: +22891050877.
Yours faithfully,
Mr Peter Anderson.
Corporate and Commercial Banking.
(BSIC BANK OF TOGO).”

_________

Reply: “Dear Mr. Anderson:

Thank you so much for your most kind inquiry regarding the status of my health. I deeply appreciate the great trouble you have gone to in order to make contact with me regarding such an important financial matter involving my state of being as well as your admitted  sincerity, honesty and ethical conduct.  The woman you mention is NOT my next of kin and you are to be congratulated for bringing this matter to my attention.

However, it is my very sad duty to have to convey to you the news of my passage through the great door of eternity at 8:43 PM on the 29th day of February, 2014 in Quivilla, Peru where I unfortunately was drowned in the raging waters of the Marañon River. My body has never been found. May I rest in Peace.

Please be further advised that Ms. Ronnette James of Staten Island New York should rightfully receive the $5,400,000. 00 Million United States Dollars as per her claim. I will deeply appreciate your great kindness in collaborating with her to assure that she receives the aforementioned sum. While she is not exactly my next of kin, she was for 42 years my secret principal mistress through sickness and health, in good times and in bad, and I certainly desire that she receive the money as I have no other worthy heirs. As I am sure you have divined, the sum you refer to constitutes the proceeds of the insurance claim for my untimely death.

As inferred by you, I certainly wish to reward me for your sincerity in this matter. Therefore I have communicated to Ms. Ronnette James that she is to provide to you or the person you designate 20% of the $5,400,000. 00. In order to assure that this transfer takes place promptly please forward a cashier’s check in the amount of $10,000.00 to Ms. James at the address you indicated so that she may be able to expedite the transaction. Thereafter she will be in touch with you.

I do ask of you one additional great favor. Please keep this matter completely confidential as I naturally would not wish it to become known by my other mistresses, lovers, illegitimate children and ex-wives who might question it.

Please do feel free to contact me here below if I may be of any service to you in the nether regions. Thank you very kindly.

Ben. E. Ficiary, R.I.P.”

[1] The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud.

December 31, 2014

The New Year 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 10:00 pm

I never dreamed that I would live halfway into the second decade of the 21st Century. When I started out on this planet life expectancy was much shorter. I never knew my grandfathers and at the age of 13 when my maternal grandmother passed away six years following my mothers death, I was left the only living descendant on the maternal side of my family.

Now I am entering a new year for the 81st time in my life, an unexpected and unplanned privilege. I hope I have gained a bit of maturity and wisdom along the way but I’m not too sure. I have always been rather independent and non-conformist and still am. One of my favorite quotations is from Mark Twain, who said: “Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” I usually change sides when I do that.

My life has been long, interesting and challenging and I coincide with Confucius who said:

“At fifteen, I aspired to learning.
At thirty, I established my stand
At forty, I had no delusions.
 At fifty, I knew my destiny.
 At sixty, I knew truth in all I heard.
 At seventy, I could follow the wishes of my heart…without doing wrong.
To the above, since I have lived longer than Confucius, I can add:
At eighty, I can be outspoken from my heart and mind openly and sincerely
giving no mind to whether someone becomes offended.
Every new year opens a new challenge and opportunity to think and speak the truth.

November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — jimwes @ 12:58 pm

Following the example of my Peruvian friend Luis A. Sanchez   I posted daily on Facebook my gratitude to God from November 1 until Thanksgiving Day Nov. 27, 2014 as follows:

I thank God for:

LEA, the angel he sent from Peru to be my companion for the past 39 ½ years.

His son, Jesus Christ, living guarantee that I will “…not perish but have eternal life.” (The Bible,John 3:16)

My Father Rev. James Pickett Wesberry, who showed me, his only son, the depth of God’s love for me and all persons.

The  privilege of  being a citizen of the United States of America, that despite its human failings and weaknesses, has been, and is still the country that offers more hope, opportunity and freedom than any other in the history of civilization.
The privilege of being a retired immigrant, permanent resident of the Republic of Ecuador, most beautiful, comfortable and amiable country in the world.

My  SEVEN children, THIRTEEN grandchildren, ONE  great granddaughter and their EIGHT spouses.

My THREE mothers (my father outlived two wives): Ruby Lee Perry Wesberry, who passed away when I was seven, Mary Sue Latimer Wesberry, who raised me through school and Margaret Spratlin Wesberry, who shared my father’s last ten years

My grandmothers: Leila Abigail Perry, who cared for me after my mother’s death and Lillian Galloway Wesberry, who read to me as a child.

Being able to be with our children in the USA for the birth of three new grandbabies this year.

Our home in Cumbaya, Ecuador, among the beauty of God’s works in the heights of the Andes.

My one and only (so far) great granddaughter, Anna Torres, daughter of my granddaughter, Hannah Wesberry Torres.

Guiding me many years ago (and to my surprise) into the Public Accountancy profession where I have had wonderful professional experiences.

The overwhelming splendor of the great volcanoes in “volcano alley” where we live.

The  opportunity of spending a beautiful Saturday in Otavalo and Imbabura, Ecuador with a Mexican friend, Francisco Rullan, my colleague, Edison Estrella, and our wives.

The two churches of my childhood and youth where my father was pastor: First Baptist Church of Bamberg, South Carolina and Morningside Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia.

Over 60 mentors, older than I who inspired, guided and encouraged me throughout my professional career.

The Davoll family, Jeff, Deanne, Amanda, and Lukas, now leaving Quito after pastoring the Connection to Hope Baptist Church in Cumbayá for the past four years.

The opportunity given me since 1967 to work in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Philippines and the USA over several years as well as short activities in almost all Western Hemisphere countries.

Our eight Chihuahuas whose love and loyalty bind us to them.

Our two excellent helpers en our house and garden, Gladys and Manual, who work with enthusiasm, loyalty and vigor to support our home.

The technological achievements that over the past three centuries have permitted us to advance from an illiterate, selfishly governed, disordered and uncommunicative world to this day when we can gain education, choose our future, try to improve our government and reach each other across the planet via electronic communications.

The guidance and inspiration of his Word in the Bible.

Protecting me from the six great scourges of human life: hunger, sickness, poverty, riches, fame and power..

Restoring my soul; leading me in the paths of righteousness; being with me in the face of evil, comforting me in the dark valleys of life; saving me from temptation; pardoning my failures and sins; overflowing my being with goodness and mercy; and offering me eternal life.

The opportunity to reflect upon his blessings and express my gratitude along with millions of others on this Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014.

Día de Acción de Gracias 2014

Siguendo el ejemplo de mi amigo peruano, Luis A. Sánchez  yo presentaba diariamente mi gratitud a Dios desde el 1 de noviembre hasta el Día de Acción de Gracia de los EEUU el 27 de noviembre, 2014:

Doy gracias a Dios por:

LEA, angel que El envió a ser mi compañera sobre los últimos 39 ½ anos.
Su hijo, Jesús Cristo, garantía viviente que yo no me “…pierda, sino que tenga vida eterna.” (La Biblia, Juan 3:15).

Mi padre, Reverendo James Pickett Wesberry  quien demostró a mí, su único hijo, la profundidad del amor de Dios para mí y todo el mundo.

El privilegio de ser ciudadano de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, que a pesar de sus fallas y debilidades humanas ha sido, y todavia es el país que ofrece más esperanza, oportunidad y libertad que cualquier otro en la historia de la civilización.

Doy gracias a Dios que tengo el privilegio de ser inmigrante jubilado, permanente residente de la República del Ecuador, país más lindo, confortable y amable del mundo.

Doy gracias a Dios por mis SIETE hijos, TRECE nietos, UNA biznieta y sus OCHO esposas/os.

Doy gracias a Dios por mis TRES madres (mi padre sobrevivió dos esposas): Ruby Lee Perry Wesberry, quien falleció cuando yo tenía siete  años, Mary Sue Latimer Wesberry, quien me crio durante los años escolares y Margaret Spratlin Wesberry, quien acompaño a mi padre durante sus últimos tres años.

Mis abuelas: Leila Abigail Perry, quien me cuidó después de la muerte de mi madre, y Lillian Galloway Wesberry, quien me leyó libros cuando niño.

Por nuestro hogar en Cumbaya, Ecuador entre la belleza de la labor de Dios en los altos de los Andes.

Mi única (hasta ahora) biznieta, Anna Torres, hija de mi nieta, Hannah Wesberry Torres.

La belleza y majestad del amanecer sobre las grandes montañas Andinas donde vivimos.
Guiarme hace muchos años (y a mi sorpresa) hacia la profesión del Contador Publica en la cual he tenido maravillosas experiencias profesionales.

El esplendor asómbrate de los grandes volcanes en el “callejón de los volcanes” donde vivimos.

Haber podido pasar un lindo día sábado en Otavalo e Imbabura, Ecuador con un amigo mexicano, Francisco Rullan, mi colega, Edison Estrella y nuestras esposas.

Las dos iglesias de mi niñez y juventud con mi padre de pastor: Primera Iglesia Bautista de Bamberg, Carolina del Sur y Iglesia Bautista Morningside de Atlanta, Georgia.

Más de 60 mentores, mayores que me motivaron, guiaron y alentaron a lo largo de mi carrera profesional

La familia Davoll, Jeff, Deanne, Amanda, and Lukas, ya saliendo de Quito después de ser pastor de la Iglesia Bautista la Conexión a La Esperanza en Cumbayá  durante los últimos cuatro años.

La oportunidad dado a mí desde 1067 a trabajar en Perú, Ecuador, Bolivia, las Filipinas y los EEUU sobre algunos años tanto como actividades de corto plazo en casi todos los países de las Américas.

Por nuestros ocho chihuahuas cuyo amor y lealtad nos atan a ellos.

Nuestros dos excelentes ayudantes en nuestra casa y jardín, Gladys y Manuel, que trabajan con entusiasmo, lealtad y vigor en apoyo de nuestro hogar.

Los logros en la tecnología que en los últimos tres siglos nos han permitido avanzar de un mundo analfabeto, egoístamente gobernado, desordenado y sin comunicaciones a este día en que podamos ganar una educación, elegir nuestro futuro, tratar de mejorar nuestro gobierno y conversar entre nosotros sobre todo el planeta a través de las comunicaciones electrónicas.

La guía e inspiración de su Palabra en la Biblia.

La belleza y Gloria de Su creación.

Protegerme de los seis grandes azotes de la vida humana: hambre, enfermedad, pobreza, riqueza, fama y poder.

Infundirme con nuevas fuerzas; guiarme por sendas de justicia; acompañarme frente a la maldad; reconfortarme en las valles tenebrosos de la vida; salvarme de las tentaciones; perdonar mis errores y pecados;  llenar a rebozar mi ser con bondad y misericordia; y ofrecerme vida eterna.

La oportunidad de reflexionar sobre sus bendiciones y expresar mi gratitud junto con millones de otros en este Día de Acción  de Gracia 27 de noviembre de 2014.

September 22, 2014

FOUR SCORE and counting…

Filed under: Wisdom — jimwes @ 2:36 am

Today I have reached my fortieth birthday…

                                 …for the second time

                                                                   — a time for some serious thinking.

Benjamin Franklin’s words upon the conclusion of the successful US Constitutional Convention in 1789 are appropriate for me as well twenty-two decades later:

“…having lived so long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”

It is easy for me to be excited about the the ongoing macro-changes in technology, but I am likewise vulnerable to discouragement from present and coming macro-changes in our culture. I do hope that the judgement of others will prove superior to mine.

Rarely do I read a book twice. But I’ve just finished reading for the second time Billy Graham’s book Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well written as he nears the end of his great ministry. It contains the much of the wisdom he has accumulated over the years.. He reiterates that “Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.”

When I had lived in Peru and Ecuador for over ten years and my father was almost despairing that I would ever return, he wrote me reminding me that Moses did not actually begin his life’s work until he was 80:

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. 

 Moses was eighty years old and

Aaron was eighty-three when they spoke to the king. (Exodus 7:6)

So I’m still counting on whatever the Lord holds for my next 40.

Here’s a great positive outlook:

“LIFE BEGINS AT 80”

by Frank Laubach

I have good news for you.
The first 80 years are the hardest.
The second 80 are a succession
Of birthday parties.

Once you reach 80,
Everyone wants to carry your baggage
And help you up the steps.
If you forget your name,
Or anybody else’s name,
Or an appointment,
Or your own telephone number,
Or promise to be three places
At the same time,
Or can’t remember how many
Grandchildren you have,
You need only explain that you are 80.

Being 80 is a lot better than being 70.
At 70 people are mad at you for everything.
At 80 you have a perfect excuse,
No matter what you do.
If you act foolishly,
It’s your second childhood.
Everybody is looking for symptoms
Of softening of the brain.

Being 70 is no fun at all.
At 70 they expect you to retire
To a house in Florida
And complain about your arthritis.
And you ask everybody to stop mumbling
Because you can’t understand them.
(Actually your hearing is about 50% gone.)

If you survive until you are 80,
Everybody is surprised that you are still alive.
They treat you with respect
Just for having lived so long.
Actually they seem surprised
That you can walk and talk sensibly.

So, please, folks, try to make it to 80.
It’s the best time of your life.
People forgive you for anything.
If you ask me, life begins at 80.

I hope it’s so.

The Book of Job tells us:

‘Older people should speak, and

those who have lived many years 

should teach wisdom.’ (Job 32:7)

I intend to continue to speak and write always praying for wisdom that I may be able to share.

My own opinion is that all a man needs after eight decades is:

  1. A loving spouse or other relative for care
  2. A dog for continual companionship
  3. A home and meals
  4. A rocking chair for exercise, not loafing
  5. Contacts with family and old friends
  6. Good books to read
  7. A job or task to do daily to feel productive

…and number 7. may be the most important of all.

Abraham was the great example:

Abraham was almost a hundred years old,

much past the age for having children, and

Sarah could not have children.

Abraham thought about all this, but

his faith in God did not become weak.  

He never doubted that God would keep his promise, and

he never stopped believing.

He grew stronger in his faith and gave praise to God.

                                          (Romans 4:19-20 NCV)

 

January 1, 2013

Thinking about the new year 2013: Opportunities Increase in the TOP Quartile of Life

If your Creator gives you His highest honor of rising into the TOP Quartile of Life (between 75 and 100 years of age) and of retaining reasonable health,

…you are blessed with opportunities like never before:

  • The opportunity to stop thinking and worrying about things you cannot control.
  • The opportunity to think and comment positively and optimistically on any subject that others speak negatively about.
  • The opportunity to stop counting…minutes, hours, days, years, calories, money, exercise motions, pool laps, etc.
  • The opportunity to forget the unpleasant and remember what brings you joy.
  • The opportunity to sit quietly and watch a flower bloom.
  •  The opportunity to enjoy the company of your closest loved ones and friends.
  • The opportunity to caress your favorite pet and enjoy its love.
  • The opportunity to rock in your rocking chair or recline in your recliner.
  • The opportunity to listen to your favorite music.
  • The opportunity to read you favorite literature.
  • The opportunity to enjoy nature.
  • The opportunity to be free from those temptations that ensnared you in the three lower profiles.
  • The opportunity to think, unpressured by distractions.
  • The opportunity to be a blessing to others, whether through service or inspiration.
  • The opportunity to contemplate life and communicate with your Creator.

…And all of the above without feeling you are constrained by lack of time or by what others may think or say.

As in the first three Quartiles of Life, your life is what you make it.  But in the TOP Quartile of Life you are free to redefine yourself and your heritage by being a positive influence for your own happiness and that of others or by being a negative source of criticism and complaint.  If you truly deserve this highest honor you will choose to be positive and optimistic as you look down from the summit of your life’s long journey. The beginning of a new year is a good time to resolve to be optimistic and positive in all you do and say.

February 14, 2011

Needed: Internal Self Control

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 5:25 pm

The basic concept of internal control as a tool of the accountancy profession was developed after many business failures during the great depression and finally set out formally in accountancy literature around 1948. Its entire theory rests upon the premise that one out of every two persons is honest and will not fall into temptation. Thus the basic rule of internal control (among many other lesser ones) is that no one person should be in complete charge of a single transaction from its beginning to its end.

Ideally one person initiates or authorizes a transaction and another executes it. More than two persons may be involved in more complex transactions but at a certain point involving too many individuals in the process of approval results in the dilution of control until it becomes a false control and no one is accountable.

Therefore there normally should be no less than two persons, nor more than 3 or 4 involved in transaction processing and approval.

Where am I going with this long lesson in Internal Control 101?

The bottom line is that sound internal control depends upon the innate honesty of at least 51% of the persons…in the case of a government, 51% of its employees…in the case of a nation, 51% of its citizens.

If the culture of a business, a government or a nation is such that at least 51% of the persons in it are not honest, then the entire concept of internal control collapses.

When the theory internal control was developed at the midpoint of the 20th Century this was a fairly safe assumption in many of the “developed” countries of the world. That appears to no longer be the case in any country.

Internal control is really only possible where at least the majority of the persons exercising it are capable of, and in practice exert self control (i.e. are virtuous). Without personal self control, there can be no internal control within an organization.This also was a fairly safe assumption at mid-point of the 20th Century in many of the more developed countries. Likewise, it appears to no longer apply.

Notwithstanding, we still try to implant internal controls in financial management systems and in many other activities. But we hit a stone wall when we assume that 51% of the persons involved are capable of, and practice self control, and thus are honest enough to “blow the whistle” or disapprove the transaction of a person who possesses no such control.

The sad fact is that collusion overrides internal controls every time. Therefore the following conclusions may be drawn:

* Where self control is limited of nonexistent among persons, internal control cannot function.
* Where collusion prevails among a group, internal control fails.

As a result, the weaker the internal/self control, the greater the need for unpleasant, but necessary, external controls in the form of laws, regulations, auditors, investigators, police, justice systems and punishment. The greater the circle of collusion, the greater the need for forceful, even militaristic, external controls.

There is at present a worldwide weakening of internal/self controls…almost a contempt for virtuous living. Therefore we are seeing a weakening of the concepts of popular democracy and an upsurge in authoritarianism…fertilized and fortified by a quite natural eruption of corruption.

Christ taught self control by living a completely self controlled life. His followers, especially St. Paul, taught self control as a fundamental tenet of Christianity. What happened to it?

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