Thai Dinner Party Ideas to Wow Your Guests

Thailand Inspired Dinner Party

Think Thailand and you imagine the ancient temples in Chiang Mai, the Chao Praya River reflecting the glow of the Wat Arum temple during warm evenings, white sandy beaches and blazing sunsets, Bangkok’s chaotic traffic, graceful bamboos, and the history rich sacred city of Ayuthaya. The food is glorious too! Hot and sour soup with shrimp, sumptuous fried rice with crab, Thai summer rolls, and the heavenly mango ice-cream. You can bring Thailand to your home in your next dinner party.

Recreate the Culture

Dinner party ideas can be successfully executed if carefully planned; and if you have been giving dinner parties with the same food and party theme, it is about time to try something exciting to delight your guest or better yet, surprise them with a Thai dinner party.

An element essential to a captivating Thai themed dinner party is the setting. Do not plunk the food on serving dishes and convince your guest you are having a Thai dinner party this way. Your guests will surely go home unimpressed.

The Table

Dinner party ideas always bring focus to table preparation. For your Thai dinner party, use an embroidered (if available) green or red silk runner to give the table the exotic Asian look that echoes the mystic of the East. Bamboo placemats in their natural color will enhance the vibrant silk runner.

As a centerpiece, orchids floating in low celadon or jade green vases and scented candles arranged beautifully will perfectly perk up your table. You can also arrange shiny pebbles on or around the vases. For table napkins, use raffia tied with ribbon matching the color of your table runner. For music, find Thai traditional instrumental music to enhance the ambiance of the setting.

Lighting

The dining area should not be brightly lit but illuminated with soft lighting to dramatize the scent of incense and heighten the Thai inspired dinner. Setting and lighting makes the dining experience a delightful one.

Food and Drinks

Thai party dinner ideas for the festive fare is not complete without rice and Thailand’s famous spices – curry, cayenne pepper, saffron, cilantro, and chili powder. Some Thai recipes can be easily prepared in advanced or brought in stores. You have several choices, pork, poultry, noodles, fish, and greens.

The flavors range from hot, sour, sweet, bitter or salty and the food is prepared with the freshest ingredients. When choosing the menu select ingredients available in Thai food specialty shops or order the more tricky recipes from Thai restaurants.

For the drinks, you can introduce Thai Iced Tea to the women, a sweet concoction of black tea, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, and tons of crushed ice. For the gentlemen, give them the full bodied Singha Beer and they’ll get a kick out of it.

Use a Thai theme for your next dinner party and enjoy the compliments that are guaranteed to flow your way. It is easier than you think.

Benefits of Candle Lighting

Candle lighting is the best choice of lighting for these. Of course fire has been around since the birth of man and offers a gentle and relaxing atmosphere when used as lighting. Candles are also probably the most economical decorative items out there,you can use sconces to house your candles and they look great to dress up your walls.The soothing effect it offers is highly recommended for spiritual activities and meditation. Lighting a candle is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and take a hiatus from our hectic schedules.

Decorative candles come in various shapes and sizes,many styles can create a vintage look to your house and they are the best to display paintings and art pieces. Aromatic or scented candles are a paradise for your senses,your living rooms can be lit with these aromatic candles as they are are beautiful decorative items. There are specific scents that you would like to choose for specific occasions. For activities like meditation where focus and concentration are needed, an appropriate scent would be citrus whereas lavender would be a better choice for candle light dinner as they have a calming effect. Lighting of candles has been a practice for ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and purposes of healing. Candles bring a new hope to life as their flame symbolizes the human spirit.

Are you in suffering from anxiety? Is your stress at work taking a toll of your life? Light a candle and focus on it,you are sure to feel a difference and the candle light will help you relieve from your stress. This is one the simplest yet most effective ways. Candles are lit to drive a sense of optimism. They symbolize peace in these troubles times. Light a candle to honor the memory of your loved ones.

Candle lighting ceremonies can be performed in a very simple way or as elaborate as you wish. You can do this with your loved ones around to benefit all. You can do it in person to bring about mental peace. Start the habit of candle lighting at least once a week. An hour that you would spend over the weekend will keep you charged up throughout the week. Get rid of stress and bring about cheer in your life. Improve your art of living and bring about harmony by lighting a candle today. Shower yourself in the healing touch of a candle. The most inexpensive way to pamper yourself.

Breaking And Overcoming The Limitation And Storms Of Life

Human beings are bound to face times of difficulties in life and this is what makes life what it is. As far as one lives, limitations to goal achievement will always surface to stop you from getting to the target you have set for yourself. Whatsoever thing may come our way in life, we are to face such with courage and break every limitation.

Break means to separate something into two or more pieces. It also means to escape from someone or somewhere by using/applying force. The word ‘overcome’ means to control a feeling or problem that prevents you from achieving something. It could as well mean to fight and win against someone or something. It could be better still be put as having such a strong effect on someone that he/she becomes weak, unconscious or unable to control their feelings.

Limitation is the act of limiting something or the limit on how good someone or something can be or what they are able. Storm, connotatively, means unpleasant occurrence, life full of ups and downs, limitations, barriers and/or hindrances. The limitations and storms of life are what we are expected to break in order to move on with life.

There are number of reasons for the occurrence of limitations and storms and they include:

o There will always be storms because there is an expected good end

o Storms always want to stop you from getting to the end/achieve result

o Storms come to make you turn back

o Storms know how strong, focus and determine you are and want to discourage you

o Storms are life lessons or experiences and you must learn from them

In times of storms and limitations of life, there are number of things you must know and feed your spirit with to enable you overcome:

o They are for a short time

o They are time wasters

o They are simple to overcome and break, but you need a key

o They are at times purposely created

o They are meant to create fear and discouragement

o Storms are part of life and inevitable

o They are test for experience

o They are to strengthen us when we eventually overcome and get them broken

It is quite good here to talk about those things that can serve as limitations or storms in life so that when you see them, you can better appreciate them (see them as mere challenge) and not to see them as unsolvable problems. These include:

o You can be a limitation to yourself

o Your relatives and family members

o Your experience and past as a result of sufferings and pains

o Your mentality, thinking and philosophies of life

o Your perceptions and act of human calculations, rudiments of this world or traditions

o Your cravings and unwholesome heart desires

o The environment (threats and forces)

o Your habits, attitudes and behaviours

o Your confessions, speeches and beliefs

o Your set standards and choices in life

o Your enemies and life circumstances

o Your life goals, purposes and objectives

o Your spirit of complacency i.e. settling for the good or better instead of best

Let me point out to four major ways or tactics of overcome storms and limitations of life that I have learnt as a Christian over the years. They are biblical standards of overcoming storms and they are:

o By speaking to the storms or limitations as Jesus did in the boat i.e. positive confessions

o By encouraging yourself and be courageous enough to face the storm as David did when his people were taken captive. The bible says ‘he encouraged himself in the Lord’

o By consulting your creation, God as Moses did in Exo 14:10

o By having faith in God, learning his guidelines to every storms of life as he has given us. Understand his power and what he wants you to do at this time

The major setbacks to breaking limitations and calming storms of life are innumerable but some of them are:

o Lack of faith in God and to speak to the storms

o Complaints and negative comments or confessions (Ex 14:10b)

o Fear (Ex 10:10b)

o Lack of courage or boldness

o Lack of focus

Six Benefits of Living in a Stone House

There is something that is both rustic and charming about a stone house. The stone has an elegant appeal that simply says “luxurious”. Aside from the aesthetic appeal of the way that this material looks as it sits gracefully by a pool, it can also provide a wealth of other benefits that may make homeowners reconsider what material they would like to make their new home out of.

Cheap

While there are a variety of cheap materials available to build a new home, this one has the potential to be free. Material to build one of these houses can be picked up for free as most laws do not prohibit getting bolders from construction sites, and most construction workers will simply let individuals have them and be happy that they are out of the way.

DIY

Individuals that are interested in building their own home may be turned off at the simple thought of first but, contrary to popular belief, it is actually quite easy to build a home out of stone. There are several online tutorials available at no cost, and books can be purchased at affordable prices.

Environmentally Friendly

A stone house is one of the most environmentally friendly structures there is. Instead of ripping down rain forests to get the perfect wood or somehow harming the environment, this material is simply relocated to the structure. It does not cause a disruption in the surrounding wildlife, and does not cause additional harm to the eco-system.

Easy Temperature Control

This material may have a reputation for being colder, but that is simply not true. Buildings made out of this material are known for keeping cool in addition to keeping the heat inside. Whatever temperature the residents would like for it to be can easily be maintained due to the wonderful properties of this material. The sealed cracked in between the large rocks help prevent air from escaping, keeping the hot air inside and the cold air outside during cooler months.

Because a stone house helps to save on energy costs, it is environmentally friendly in more ways than just the material that is used to build it.

Aesthetically Appealing

Buildings made out of this have a certain appeal to them that other buildings simply do not. The way that the rocks fit together reminds many individuals of older castles and structures, giving it a rustic appeal, yet this same look can complement a modern theme perfectly. This versatile style remains timeless yet classic at the same time.

Durability

These structures are some of the most durable that there are. Before the use of modern materials, ancient civilizations used this material to build all of their structures, some of which are still standing. For example, take a look at the Egyptian pyramids, which are made of this. These structures can stand tall and strong against harsh winds that will make other buildings bend. It can remain standing during storms, and is fire proof. When buildings nearby are ablaze, homeowners will not have to concern themselves about their building catching on fire.

These houses are now beginning to come back into style as more homeowners realize all of the benefits that come with them. Newer homeowners are taking the plunge and building their own homes due to how cost effective these types of structures are, and how easy they are to build. Once the home is completed, homeowners will continue to save money on heating and cooling costs, in addition to the potential damages that can be caused by a fire.

These aesthetically appealing homes are the most durable that there are, making this timeless look pop up again all over the world.

Beyond the Dryer: The Truth About Bounce

Visiting my favorite computer support website, I didn’t expect to find information about a common household product like Bounce brand dryer sheets. However, as with many successful internet communities, the function sometimes exceeds its original ambitions. There was a post from September 12th that caught my eye, “Bounce this around” filed in “The Doctor’s Lounge,” (usually reserved for birthday announcements or other off-topic remarks). I was surprised to find the post was written like ad copy for Bounce brand dryer sheets:

The US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow jackets [sic] away.

Use them all the time when playing baseball and soccer. It really works. The yellow jackets just veer around you.

1. All this time you’ve just been putting Bounce in the dryer! It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice.

2. Spread sheets around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle.

3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don’t get opened too often.

4. It repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

The post went on to claim a total of 21 ‘alternative’ uses for the product. I was astounded. Money couldn’t buy advertising like this! My first thought was “What’s in these dryer sheets anyway?” Surely if they repelled insects they must be toxic. So I turned to the chief resource abut the dangers of any household consumable, the Material Safety Data Sheet. Hoping to find something carcinogenic (or at least environmentally unfriendly); I was disappointed when the most serious health warning read: “ingestion of used or unused sheet by a young child or household pet may lead to impaction of the gastrointestinal tract. A physician or veterinarian should be contacted.” So they could potentially cause constipation but obviously the manufacturers weren’t worried about what might happen if you actually digested it.

“Biodegradable fabric softening agents”, whatever those are, are the active chemicals on the sheets. According to the MSDS sheet, if you feed enough of it to rats (more than 1% of their body weight) it will kill them. That sounded like damning evidence to me, until I realized that if I ate 1% of my body weight of just about anything I’d probably be pretty sick myself.

By now I was thinking the 21 claims were a bit more dubious. Surely there must be official claims at BounceEverywhere.com, the website for this product. While Procter and Gamble, the owner of the Bounce brand, makes no claim of extraordinary insect fighting ability, some of the posters on the Bounce message boards have. “When in an outdoor area where wasps are a problem, just rub a fresh bounce sheet on your hair, clothing and exposed skin. It seems to repel[sic] the pests and keeps you smelling fresh to boot,” claims Margie M. from Salyersville, KY. Well it’s obvious that Bounce is not trying to deny that it may repel insects, even if they are not directly promoting it for that cause. As I dug further into the posts I found a trend. They allegedly repel mosquitoes, wasps, yellowjackets, moths, ticks, chiggers, ants, rats, mice, chipmunks, and even birds! Dissolve a sheet in water and use it to remove tough burned-on grease in pans, or even wallpaper from the walls! Yes, that’s right, someone posting on BounceEverywhere.com claims to have used bounce to remove wallpaper. Bounce’s official stance on the postings is “We do not edit your comments and therefore are not responsible for the content, or its accuracy.” Having read enough of these outlandish claims, my research took a cynical turn. Surely there must be an unbiased resource for analyzing these claims. So I checked my favorite authority for confirming and debunking modern myths, snopes.com.

Snopes’ article, titled “Bounce Back”, addressed sixteen claims made about Bounce in a highly circulated email first documented in 2003. The article gave two of the sixteen claims a clear win for Bounce (both relating to its odor-fighting properties) and four claims a definitely not, while the balance fell into a category where it was not particularly effective, ineffective, or measurable.

At this point I was lost. How could I possibly refute every claim I’d found so far? I turned my research back to the original post that started my dilemma. I saw my comments had prompted a few more responses. “It’s also an elephant repellant. See any elephants?” posted SpywareDr. My research had only managed to ask more questions than it answered, when another poster claimed:

*Cram one down the filler neck in your car’s fuel tank and increase gas mileage by 430%.

*Tape ten sheets across both of your car’s bumpers to prevent accidents–it repels other vehicles.

*Put a sheet in your dishwasher and your plates will be wrinkle-free.

*A sheet or two in the bottom of your computer case will prevent BSODs [windows errors] and corrupted files.

I haven’t seen a difference in gas mileage yet, but I haven’t had an accident since 1985, none of my dishes have wrinkles and my computer works perfectly.

The internet is the most ubiquitous tool of the information age, yet it seems to flourish on misinformation and disinformation. Realizing that after all this internet research I had yet to hold one of these mystical sheets in my hand, I went to the grocery store to purchase a box for my own experiments. Staring down the aisles I worked my way to the place on the shelf where the original scent Bounce dryer sheets should have been. “Outdoor Fresh Scent,” “Fresh Linen,” and “Spring Awakening,” the boxes proclaimed. I resigned myself to smelling like a “Summer Orchard” and put one inside my jacket pocket. Two days later, I visited a friend with a small pet lovebird. As the bird hopped across the couch and into my lap I remembered the dryer sheet was still in my jacket, mere inches away from this adorable bird.

While my research revealed that Bounce may not be bird-repellent, I haven’t seen any mosquitoes, wasps, yellow jackets, moths, ticks, chiggers, ants, rats, mice, or chipmunks. Or elephants, for that matter. But the box containing the rest of my Bounce dryer sheets will be staying right where it belongs: in my laundry room, on the shelf above my dryer.

Pet Rat Care – Bumblefoot

What is Bumblefoot?

Bumblefoot is a sore or callus that forms on the bottom or underside of the rat’s foot. These sores, if not treated immediately, can rapidly turn to ulcers that are often raw and prone to bleeding. The medical term is ulcerative pododermatitis and it is a complex condition that can be difficult to treat. It has yet to be determined whether or not the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, often found in these ulcers, comes after the sore has begun or is part of the instigation of the problem.

Cause of Bumblefoot.

The jury is still not in as to exactly why our pet rat may develop these ulcers. A few possible causes are as listed below.

Genetic Predisposition is commonly accepted as playing a large part and can explain how one rat may develop this condition yet his rat mates, fed, housed and cared for in exactly the same manner, do not.

Aging rats, particularly overweight pets, tend to be more prone as a result of walking more flat footed and placing more weight on the pad of the foot.

Soiled bedding or dirty flooring can cause infection to develop in wounds. Where solid flooring is used in your pet rat cage, puddles of urine could cause the risk of bacterial infection to occur.

Wired floor cages should be avoided. The uneven surface of wire can cause stress and wounding on a rats foot which again can lead to problems.

Rough bedding such as wood chips are believed to cause foot problems. Look into a softer bedding material, but one that is not too dusty.

Obesity is thought to be a contributing factor and although may not be a direct cause, is certainly must be kept in mind when caring for our rats.

Treatment.

Prevention is better than cure! A few simple steps may help in the prevention of Bumblefoot, however, if your pet rat does develop these sores rapid treatment will help to slow down and hopefully reverse the condition.

If you do own a wire cage, try to use wood or towels that can be tossed away when dirty over the wire.

If you own a cage with solid flooring, regular cleaning is essential. Always ensure bedding is clean and dry and all surfaces are clean and dry too.

Make sure your pet has a good diet. Watch carefully what you feed your rat and not too many treats, they do not need to be overweight to be happy.

If your pet still develops symptoms of Bumblefoot, then I strongly suggest you try a few of the following treatments. As a rule of thumb, I tend to try one for about 7 to 10 days and if no improvement is obvious, then I move onto something else.

Simple soap and water to clean the rats foot, followed by complete drying and a change in bedding, cage flooring and cleaning frequency can often stop the infection in its tracts in the early stages.

Betadine can be tried. Apply several times a day.

I have used True Blu 11 which has been quite effective in some cases. I use this on my horses as it is actually designed for larger animals, but be warned, it is messy.

Diluted grapefruit seed extract can be apply to the lumps a few times a day.

If you can, take your pet to the vet and obtain a cause of antibiotics.

Surgery may be necessary but only as a last resource. Please consider all your options before putting your beloved pet through this procedure.

How Many Fish Can Your Garden Pond Take?

The maximum number of fish you can have in a pond depends on the volume of the water, the quality of the water, the size of the fish, the species of the fish, the climate of the area and the food available.

If the pond has no pump, filter or other equipment, in a warm climate, you shouldn’t keep more than two 15 centimetre fish per cubic metre (two 6 inch fish per cubic yard). You can keep fish at much higher densities than this, but the chances of them remaining healthy are not good.

The better the water quality, the more fish you can keep. With the right technology, fish farms keep up to 200 kilograms of fish in a cubic metre of water (about six pounds of fish per cubic foot). However, as a rough guide, in a garden pond half a metre (one and a half feet) deep, constantly in the shade, with well-buffered water being pumped continuously through an ultra-violet clarifier (to prevent algae blooms) and a biological filter, you could keep up to nine goldfish of 15 centimetres (six inches) length per square metre of pond (i.e.135 centimetres of fish per square metre, or about 45 inches of fish per square yard). To be safe, keep less than half this number so that you have plenty of leeway in the event of the pump or UV failing. In a warm climate, if the pond is in the sun much of the day, reduce the number by half again – i.e. about 35 centimetres per square metre (14 inches per square yard).

Obviously, the larger the fish, the more it pollutes the water so the less the number you can have in the pond. Fish growth tends to be restricted by the size of the water body they live in. For example, goldfish can grow to more than 30 centimetres (12 inches) long, but in most average-sized ponds, they usually won’t grow to more than 20 centimetres (8 inches).

Some species need more space than others and some species pollute the water more than others. For example, koi are twice as polluting as goldfish, probably because they stir up the pond bottom sediments more. Also, some species of fish are more tolerant of poor water quality than others. For example, koi can live in water that isn’t pure enough for trout.

Climate affects fish activity because they are cold-blooded. Their metabolism doubles with every 10 degrees centigrade rise in temperature which means they eat twice as much and pollute the water twice as much. As a general rule, you can keep double the number of fish in water at 13 degrees centigrade as you can in water at 26 degrees centigrade.

Ideally, you should keep only as many fish in a pond as the food chain in the pond can support. The amount of natural food available will vary from pond to pond. Up to 30 centimetres per square metre (12 inches per square yard) of fish survive well in some ponds without being fed. So, keeping the fish numbers down means you don’t have to spend the money or time to feed them. More importantly, by not feeding the fish you aren’t adding nutrients to the pond which feed algae.

The Medifast 5 + 1 Or The 4 + 2: How Do You Decide Which Plan Is For You?

I sometimes hear from people who are confused as to which Medifast plan to choose. I get a good deal of questions from people trying to determine the differences between the 4 + 1 or the 5 +1. I often hear comments like "I am trying to decide between the Medifast 4 +1 or the 5 + 1. What's the real difference? Which are most people on? I like the idea of ​​having two larger meals, but I'm not sure if the calories are low enough for me to lose decent amounts of weight on that plan. " I'll try to offer some clarification in the following article.

The 5 +1 Is The Most Popular Medifast Plan: With the 5 +1, you are eating five prepackaged meals per day plus one main "lean and green meal." You have the option of making this yourself or going with a carefully chosen frozen meal from the grocery store. (You can even use a restaurant meal if you're careful.) Many like the idea of ​​eating something fresh each day.

I have to admit that this is by far the most popular package. I think that there are a couple of reasons for this. First, many people like the idea of ​​only having one meal to cover or prepare on their own. Secondly, this option takes in around 1200 calories per day which can offer both quick and dramatic results. So many consider this to be both an effective and convenient plan. With that said, some do end up choosing the 4 +1, especially in their later phase of the diet.

Many People Use The 4 + 2 To Transition Off Of Medifast: For the most part, I find that the people on this plan are transitioning off the diet. Usually, they have met their weight loss goals and they have worked their way back up to 2 lean and green meals. So, they're only using 4 of the prepackaged diet meals. The idea is that eventually, they will work their way back up to regular and sensible eating. Eventually, they make have a Medifast snack or two that they've come to like, but this is more out of habit than necessity. I've found that people who do not enjoy cooking would prefer to be responsible for only one meal on their own. However, there are folks that truly do not mind preparing their own food, especially those who have been on the diet for a while.

So, Which Is It ?: If you 're just starting the diet and not transitioning, keep in mind that you will take in more calories on the 4 + 2 because you're eating two larger meals rather than only one. Since most people try to keep their lean and green at about 500 calories, you're looking at around 1600 – 1700 calories per day on this plan. However, when you consider that many people take in anywhere from 2000 – 3000 calories each day, you're probably still taking in far fewer calories than normal no matter which option you chose.

I hope that I've shown you the difference between these two plans. Both can help you lose weight and, if you really enjoy cooking your own meals and worry about being hungry, the 4 + 2 plan can be a nice way to cut your calories while not making very drastic changes. Keep in mind though that as far as support goes, most people just go with the popular 5 + 1 until they transition off the plan. But I think that both plans are more than workable, depending on your goals. Some people do not have a lot of weight to lose and 1600 calories per day are still going to be very effective for them. On the flip side, some want to have weight loss as soon as possible and they'd prefer to be more aggressive with one less lean and green meal.

Ab Circle Pro Reviews – Tips to Prevent Back Pain on the Ab Circle

The Ab Circle Pro is a fitness machine used mainly to work the stomach muscles (it can also be used to work the thighs and buns). I won’t go into whether this machine is effective or not but I do want to give you some tips on how to best prevent back pains when using the Ab Circle.

Workout Position

The reason why using the AbCirclePro without paying close attention to your form may damage your back is the workout position you need to take in order to exercise with it: you place both knees wide apart on separate knee pads, hold two handle bars with both hands, similar to being on all fours, only with your knees apart. This means that your back is parallel to the floor.

This is the first place you need to watch out for things. It is easy to arch your back at this point and this can cause it harm. Make sure to keep your back straight by holding it in place with your ab muscles. This will actually work those abs even more.

Also, make sure to keep your neck straight. The easiest way to do this is to keep your eyes firmly on the floor. Pick a spot that’s straight in front of you on the floor and always keep it in focus.

The movement

The Ab Circle Pro workout requires you to rotate your legs from side to side so that you crunch your waist. You need to make sure you’re keeping perfect form here to stop you from harming your back. Make sure to not tilt your back when you’re working out.

In addition, you don’t have to go so fast as they do in the infomercial. The slower you go the more control you have. You need to be sure you’ve got the movement down perfect and you’ll be able to slowly increase your speed.

In conclusion

The main thing in any workout is to make sure you don’t do any wrong movement which will harm your back or other body part. If you do get the Ab Circle Pro, make sure to follow the tips I’ve outlined. Good luck.

How to Fix Problems With Storm Doors: Problem 1 – It’s Not Latching

Annual maintenance of storm doors is a necessity. Because of hot and cold weather, the forces of nature, and the forces of kids and pets, sometimes they get out of balance and don’t work properly. Fortunately, most of the time the fix is quite simple. Let’s discuss the first primary, easy to fix problem with them: The door is not closing and latching properly.

This problem is usually cause by 1 of 2 things. First, the door has gotten out of square. This can be cause by wind damage, someone running into it, or just simply gravity. One of the warning signs that it is out of square is that you have to pull up on the door handle in order to get it to close. Another sign when you stand inside the house with the storm door closed, and you look at the top, can you see daylight shining through on one side but not the other? Yet another warning sign is standing outside looking at the top of it. If you look at the space between the top of the storm door and the top of the frame (called the “reveal”), does the space look uniform across the top? Or does it look like it’s a bigger gap on one side than another? If the gap is not uniform, then you’ll have to resquare the door.

To resquare, just remove all but the top screws on the the hinge frame of the storm door. The top screws are left in to act as a pivot point and to make sure the door doesn’t fall on you. Then, move the door and frame over until the reveal at the top of the door is uniform, redrill holes for the screws, and screw the door back down. Voila! It’s resquared!

If it’s not out of square, then the second option is that the strike plate is off center with the latch and deadbolt. To test this, open the storm door and lock the deadbolt, close the door and take a pencil and mark where the top and bottom of the latch and deadbolt touch the frame. Then, trace those lines horizontally around the frame to the strike plate(s). If the lines don’t match to the holes in the strike plate, adjust the strike plate up or down as needed.

If these 2 things don’t work, then adjust the door closers to close faster. If that doesn’t work, then if you have no screen in the door, the reason is a buildup of air pressure between your front door and storm door. At that point it’s physics; the storm door won’t close on it’s own if the entry door is closed completely. You’ll just have to push it shut yourself.

Control – Do We Have Any, Really?

By mid- morning on Friday, I realized I did not want to write, at least not on my new book. I had shoveled out the walk and the area in front of the garage so that we could get the cars out on pavement rather than ice. Then I spent too much time fooling around on Facebook, Twitter and reviewing the updated pages on my website for like the twentieth time. Finally, I realized that I would not get my planned daily minimum of one thousand words written today.

Deciding not to write has been a hard one lesson for me. Writing is now my work and work is essential to me well- being. There are numerous reasons for this but none of them matters a whole lot, the fact is that I have difficulty with leisure, that is, hours and hours of it. Close friends through the years have quoted the trope about ‘no one on his death bed ever wished he had worked harder.’

I wonder.

Certainly, that would be true of someone who hated what she did for work. And there is no shortage of people who fit in that category. But for those of us who love what they do, I suspect there may well be people who wish they had worked more as they become aware that this life is ending.

All of which leads me to control: Is it an illusion or do we control our lives?

Back when I was living and working in Houston and working on my textbook, a good friend observed that I had a “high locus of control.” Beth had asked me a few questions, none of which I remember now but I do recall her observation, declared with the certainty of a diagnosis. Most likely, one of my replies to a question had something to do with whether I thought happiness was internal or external. Does happiness depend on others or is it driven by internal factors? No question: Internal.

While looking through articles on the subject of happiness, of which there are hundreds, I discovered an article in Barking Up the Wrong Tree about the Stoics. As I read, and agreed heartily with four of the maxims Stoics taught themselves, I thought of that long ago conversation about locus of control and understood a bit more clearly what my friend was saying.

When it looks as if something bad is about to happen, I visualize it and try to take it to worst case scenario. Like “what if I die”? Or “what if he leaves me”? And ponder what that would be like. The stoics called it ‘negative visualization,’ I’ve called it screwing my brain around for as long as I can remember.

I learned many years ago, that happiness is a matter of acting. In some ways it is like faith. Act as if you are happy, act as if you believe in God-like Pascal’s wager. And soon, the feeling of happiness or the belief, shows up.

Is it faking?

Yes.

Does it work?

Absolutely. Now I know it has a philosophy backing it up.

One last point. The Stoics were expert about making the ordinary extraordinary. I do that too: Most days I don’t eat until noon or two in the afternoon which means that I’m hungry much of the day. I like the feeling. When I do decide to eat, it feels like a treat, even if it’s just beef stew.

Deciding not to work today feels like a gift… a treat for those with a high locus of control. Or maybe it is merely fakery.

Four Essential Tattoo Techniques

When it comes to being a great artist in the field, you can’t say enough about the importance of acquiring the fundamental tattooing techniques.

Whether you are trying to create and transfer the perfect stencil or you want to master the ability to make designs appear to glow, it’s all about finding the right tattooing techniques and then practicing them until they’re perfect.

Here are four basic techniques that will give you a start on the path to becoming a truly skilled tattoo artist.

#1. Transferring a Design

Each artist has his or her own preferred tattooing techniques, and each one can tell you why you should do something a certain way. Of course, another artist will tell you just as adamantly why you should use a completely different technique to do the same exact thing!

It’s hard to find total agreement on any one topic in the industry.

This rule holds true, even for the seemingly simple act of transferring a design from paper to the skin through the means of a stencil. There are several tattooing techniques that can be used, but probably the most popular involves the use of an unexpected agent: deodorant. To be more specific, many artists recommend the use of Speed Stick deodorant to help the lines of a stencil stick to the client’s skin.

Here is how to do it…

To do this properly, make sure you have drawn a mirror image of the design onto your tracing paper. Next, apply a light coating of Speed Stick to the skin. To avoid potential contamination, it is best to do this with a tongue depressor rather than by placing the product directly to the skin. Now, press the tracing paper, image side down, against the skin. It will stick slightly due to the deodorant. Rub the entire surface of the paper firmly, and when you gently pull it from the skin, you will see that the design is left behind and is facing the right direction.

#2. Creating a Bridge

Some tattooing techniques are all about the fundamentals, and that is definitely true when it comes to creating “the bridge.” This term refers to the way in which a tattoo artist holds his or her hand when pressing the needles to the client’s skin.

While holding the needle tube of the tattoo machine in the same way you would hold a pencil, you will find that the rest of the hand-held mechanism is over your hand. The device is top-heavy because of its design, and it takes skill and practice to master holding it for long periods of time while maintaining enough control to create an attractive design.

In order to add as much stability to the process as possible, you want to create a bridge with your hand. That means to place the heel of your hand on the client’s skin while still holding the needle tube like a pencil. This bridge helps to stabilize your hand and also serves as a pivot point while you work. It allows you to create much smoother lines, as well as to tattoo for longer periods of time.

#3. Working in Order

One of the biggest time wasters that a new tattoo artist can face is having to redo a stencil. This can happen because the original placement wasn’t correct, because it didn’t transfer fully, or-perhaps most frustratingly-because the artist himself has smeared or rubbed the transfer off of the skin. There are a few tattooing techniques that can remedy these situations.

In the case of smearing and rubbing, a common approach is to start outlining at one corner and work your way up and across to the other.

Generally speaking, it works best to start in the lower right-hand corner. Picture in your mind how your hand will be resting on the client’s skin, and you can see how working from top to bottom and right to left will keep that hand from dragging over parts of the design that haven’t yet been lined. Of course, if you are left-handed, it would make more sense to start at the bottom left corner of the design.

It’s impossible to always avoid smearing or rubbing a transferred design, but using this particular tattooing technique can definitely lessen the problem. Staying aware of what you’re doing will also help; if you’re thinking ahead, you’ll be able to avoid some complications. Remember that you’ll likely have to go back in and fill in the occasional line, and there’s no shame in that.

#4. Creating Smooth, Solid Lines

A major pitfall for the newbie tattoo artist is the inability to avoid knots, blowouts, and other signs that too much ink was quickly put into one spot. When this happens, the ink has nowhere to go and ends up spreading out under the skin, making a permanent mark that can ruin the overall design.

There are a few tattoo techniques you can employ in order to minimize or avoid creating these unsightly mistakes. First of all, make sure that your ink reservoir is full before you put the needle to the skin. This will allow you to run a line longer, without having to stop partway through and then pick back up, increasing your chance for a blowout or knot.

If you do need to stop partway through a line and then start again, try lightly lifting your needle toward the end of the first pass and then putting it back down lightly when tracing back over the spot and starting again. This gives the opportunity for the line to be as dark as the others but without the worry of putting down too much ink in one pass.

Another safeguarding tattooing technique is to make sure that the needle is already running before you press it to the skin, and to already have your hand starting the forward motion, too. This can help keep the needles from snagging or hanging up, which is another reason for knots and blowouts.

There is no shortage of hints, tattoo tips, and tattoo techniques that tattoo artists use to perfect their skills and hone their craft. Each professional you come across will likely have his or her own suggestions for how to make the process better, whether they’re offering advice on how to get sharper corners or thoughts on the best way to make your own needles.

Keshavnanda Barti Case: A Critique

Shankari Prasad Case:-

In Shankari Prasad v Union of India, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the First amendment and held that the Fundamental Rights can be amended. The Court did not agree with the arguments of the petitioner and restricted the scope of Article and held that there is difference between the Constituent power and the ordinary legislative power of the Parliament. Article 13 is applicable to the laws made by the Parliament in its ordinary exercise of power, not on the Constitutional amendment passed in exercise of the Constituent power of the Parliament. The court also held that the Article 368 and Article 13 are in conflict with each other and thus the principle of harmonious construction needs to be applied. The court thus disagreed with the view that the Fundamental Rights are inviolable and cannot be amended. By applying the procedure as laid down in Article 368 of the Indian Constitution, the Fundamental Rights can also be amended.

Sajjan Singh Case:-

In 1964, the Constitutional validity of the Seventeenth amendment of the Indian Constitution was challenged in the famous case of Sajjan Singh v State of Rajasthan on the ground that it adversely affected the right to property.The court reiterated the view given in Shakari Prasad case. It held that the power of amendment can be applied on each and every provision of the Constitution. It again drew the distinction between the ordinary law and the Constitutional amendments and held that Article 13 is not applicable on Constitutional amendments. The Minority judgment was delivered by Justice Hidyatullah and Justice Mudholkar in separate judgments.

Justice Hidyatullah was of the view that there appears to be no reason to believe that fundamental rights are not really fundamental and all the assurances given in Part III are play things for a simple majority and can be amended like other parts of the Constitution. Justice Mudholkar was of the view that the every Constitution has certain features which are basic in nature and those features cannot be changed.

Golaknath Case:-

Sajjan Singh case also led to varied opinions in the legal arena and the view of the two judges giving the minority judgment also led to debates. Thus again the same issue was again raised before the apex court in the fomous case of I.C. Golaknath v. State of Punjab. Seventeenth Amendment Act has again been challenged in a determined manner. Eleven judges participated in the decision and they divided into 6:5. The majority now overruled the earlier two cases and held that the Fundamental Rights were non-amendable through the Constitutional amending process under Article 368. The minority though remained stick to the earlier two decisions.

Twenty Fourth Amendment:-

The following changes were brought by 24th Amendment:-

1. Article 368 was amended and the marginal note was changed from “Procedure for amendment of the Constitution” to “Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and the procedure therefor.” This amendment was brought to clarify that Article 368 provided not only the procedure for amendment but also the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution.

2. Article 13(4) of the Indian Constitution was added to the Indian Constitution, which made it clear that Article 13 will not be applicable to Constitutional amendments.

3. Article 368(3) was added to the Indian Constitution, which stated that Articke shall not be applicable on Constitutional Amendment.

4. Article 368(1) was added, which stated that the Parliament may by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution.

5. The provision was made that the President shall be bound to give its assent to the Constitutional Amendment.

Twenty Fifth Amendment:-

Twenty Fifth brought the following changes:-

1. Article 19(1) (f) was delinked from Article 31 (2).

2. Article 31C was added to the Constitution.

3. The word ‘amount’ was substituted for the word ‘compensation’ in Article 31(2).

4. A new provision Article 31C was added.

Twenty Ninth Amendment:-

By twenty ninth amendment, several acts including Kerala land Reforms Act were put in the Ninth Schedule to protect them from judicial review.

Kesavananda Bharati: Issues before the Bench

Kesavanand Bharati, a mutt chief of Kerala, challenged the validity of Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963. During the pendency of the case, this Act was placed in the Ninth Schedule by 29th Amendment Act. He challenged the validity of the 29th Amendment and he was permitted to challenge the validity of the 24th and 25th Amendment also.

The 13 judges bench was constituted in this famous case of Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala, headed by Chief Justice Sikri as the decision of 11 judges bench of Golaknath was under review. Other judges were Justice A.N. Grover, A.N. Ray, D.G. Palekar, H.R. Khanna, J.M. Shelat, K.K. Mathew, K.S. Hegde M.H. Beg, P. Jaganmohan Reddy, S.N. Dwivedi and Y.V. Chandrachud.

The major issues before the bench were

1. Whether the twenty-fourth amendment was unconstitutional or not.

2. Whether Article 13(2) is applicable on Constituional amendment as well, i.e. whether the term law in Article 13 includes Constitutional amendment or not.

3. Whether Fundamental Rights can be amended or not.

4. Whether Article 368 as it originally was conferred power on the Parliament to amend the Constituion.

5. Whether twentyfifth amendment was constitutional or not.

6. Whether substitution of the term ‘amount’ with the term ‘compensation’ in Article 31 was correct or not.

7. Whether Artilce 31C was valid or not.

8. Whether Directive principles will now be given predence over the Fundamental Rights.

9. Whether twenty ninth amendment was constitutional or not.

Judgment and Principle laid down by the court

The 13 judges bench after listening to the argument for sixty long days, the court passed its judgment which crossed six hundred pages. The Court unanimously decided that the 24th amendment was valid. On the question whether the Fundamental Rights can at all be amended, the bench was divided into 7:6. The minority was of the view that the Parliament has all power to amend the Constitution including the basic structure. The majority decided that the Parliament can amend any provision of the Constitution but the basic structure should not be destroyed, damaged or abrogated. The court affirmed that the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution is not unlimited and the judicial review can be applied on it. The majority overruled Golaknath judgment as in the opinion of the bench, apart from fundamental rights, there are several other features and provisions in the Constitution, which are more important and which should not be allowed to be violated. Golaknath made the Fundamental rights non-amendable and this was quite harsh and will put an end to the flexibility of the Constitution. Thus the fundamental rights were allowed to be amended provided it does not abrogate the basic structure of the Constitution and it was held that all fundamental rights are not included in the basic structure, specially right to property is not as such. It was held that the twenty fourth amendment made that explicit what was implicit in Article 368 earlier.

The court also partly upheld the twenty fifth amendment of the Indian Constitution. The court upheld the substitution of the term “amount” for the term “compensation” but the courts also held that the amount must not be arbitrary. The non- applicability of Article 19(1) (f) to Article 31(2) was held to be constitutionally valid. The first part of Article 31 C was held valid so that the government can make legislations to give effect to the socio-economic reforms. The latter part of Article 31 C was held to be unconstitutional as it made the laws challenge proof.

Thus a new doctrine called the doctrine of basic structure was laid down in this case by the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Sikri himself expalined the term basic strucure and cited certain instances of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. This Doctrine of Basic structure was furhter widened by the Supreme Court in a number of cases like Indira Gandhi case and Minerva Mills case.

Doctrine of Basic Structure: Widening Horizons

The doctrine of basic structure was laid down in Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala. But the major question which arises is what the basic structure of our Constitution is. The majority judges tried to explain this term and gave several instances for the same.

Chief Justice Sikri indicated that Basic structure consists of the following features:

1. The supremacy of Constitution

2. The republican and democratic forms of government

3. The secular character of Constitution

4. Maintenance of separation of power

5. The federal character of the Constitution

But he also held that these features are not exhaustive and includes other features also which the court may from time to time lay down.

Justices Shelat and Grover added another three features as basic structure:

1. The mandate to build a welfare state contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy

2. Maintenance of the unity and integrity of India

3. The sovereignty of the country

Justices Hegde and Mukherjee listed the following features as being the basic structure:

1. The Sovereignty of India

2. The unity of the country

3. The democratic character of the polity

4. Essential features of individual freedoms

5. The mandate to build a welfare state

Justice Jaganmohan Reddy referred the features contained in the Preamble only as the basic structure, i.e. the following features:

1. A sovereign democratic republic

2. The provision of social, economic and political justice

3. Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

4. Equality of status and opportunity

Indira Nehru Gandhi v Raj Narayan

In Indira Nehru Gandhi v Raj Narayan, an appeal was filed relating to the validity of the election of Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister, which was set aside by Allahahbad High Court. Pending the appeal, the Parliament passed the 39th Constitutional Amendment, which introduced a new Article 329A to the Indian Constitution. This Article 329A stated that the election of the Prime Minister and Speaker cannot be challenged in any court. It can be rather challenged before a committee constituted by the Parliament itself. The Supreme Court though validated the election of Indira Gandhi but declared 39th Amendment to be unconstitutional as it violated the basic structure of the Constitution. Justice H.R. Khanna held that the democracy is the basic structure of the Constitution and it includes free and fair election and thus cannot be violated. Justice Y.V. Chandrachud listed four basic features which he considered non- amendable:

1. Sovereign democratic republic status

2. Equality of status and opportunity of an individual

3. Secularism and freedom of conscience and religion

4. ‘Government of laws and not of men’ i.e. the rule of law

Minerva Mills v Union of India

In Minerva Mills v Union of India, the Constitutional validity of certain parts of 42nd amendment was challenged. Two more clauses were added to Article 368 of the Indian Constitution. Article 368(4) stated that no Constitutional amendment can be challenged in any court of law. Article 368(5) stated that the Parliament shall have unlimited power to amend the Constitution of India. Both these provisions were held to be unconstitutional as they violated the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. The court again expanded the horizon of the term basic strucutre and held that the following are the basic structure of the Indian Constitution:-

1. Judicial Review

2. Limited power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution.

In several other cases also, the doctrine of basic structure has been widened. Thus we can see the widening horizons of the basic structure.

Major Criticisms of Kesavananda Bharati Case:-

The majority decision in the famous case of Kesavananda Bharati has been criticized on various grounds. Prof. Upendra Baxi criticized the judgment of this case which runs for 670 pages that it will lead to an illiterate bar and he is also of the opinion that the exercise of analysing the judgment of this case is as delicate and difficult as that directed to the unravelling of the significance of the smile of Mona Lisa.

Apart from Upendra Baxi, various jurists have criticized the judgment of this case on various grounds.

The major criticisms of the majority decisions are as follows:-

The decision- against the intention of the members of the Constituent Assembly:-

According to Mr. N.A. Palkhivala, the counsel from the side of the petitioner, there are enough evidence from the Constituent Assembly debates that the members of the Constituent Assembly were against the view that the Fundamental Rights can be amended. Thus the Supreme Court erred in deciding that Fundamental Rights can be amended.

On April 29, 1947, an interim report on Fundamental Rights was placed before the Constituent Assembly and there was a debate on that interim report. On April 29, 1947, Shri K. Santhanam moved an amendment in Clause 2 which corresponded to the present Article 13 as follows:

“Shri K. Santhanam: Sir, I gave notice of an amendment but I will move it in a somewhat modified form in terms of a suggestion made by Sardar Patel. I move that in Clause 2 for the words ‘nor shall the Union or any unit make any law taking away or abridging any such right’, the following be substituted:

‘Nor shall any such right be taken away or abridged except by an amendment of the Constitution.’

The only reason is that if the clause stands as it is then even by an amendment of the Constitution we shall not be able to change any of these rights if found unsatisfactory or inconvenient. In some Constitutions they have provided that some parts of the Constitution may be changed by future constitutional amendments and other parts may not be changed. In order to avoid any such doubts I have moved this amendment and I hope it will be accepted.

The Hon’ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Sir, I accept the amendment”. In the draft prepared by the Constitutional Advisor in October 1947, Clause 9(2) corresponding to the present Article 13(2) was so worded as to exclude constitutional amendments from being rendered void under that article:

“(2) Nothing in this Constitution shall be taken to empower the State to make any law which curtails or takes away or which has the effect of curtailing or taking away any of the rights conferred by Chapter II of this Part except by way of amendment of this Constitution under Section 232 and any law made in contravention of this sub-section shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.

But the Drafting Committee omitted the words excluding constitutional amendments, and in the draft Constitution as settled by the Drafting Committee, constitutional amendments were not excluded from the bar of Clause 8(2) corresponding to the present Article 13(2):

“(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void;”

This shows that the members of the Constituent Assembly did not agree with the view that the fundamental right can be amended or abridged by the way of the Constitutional Amendment.

Jawahar Lal Nehru wanted to make the Fundamental Rights as the permanent feature of the Indian Constitution and B.R. Ambedkar wanted to make it beyond the reach of Article 368.

According to N.A. Palkhivala, the majority of the members of the Constituent Assembly, who were alive in 1973 were against the view that the fundamental rights can be amended.

This reaffirms our view and thus we can conclude by saying that the Supreme Court erred by declaring that the Fundamental Rights can be amended.

Permitted the violation of inalienable natural rights, fundamental freedoms and basic human rights of the people

According to Natural Law Jurists, human beings while entering into the contract with the rulers, transferred the right to rule them but kept certain rights with themselves. Those rights are natural rights which the state, king or the government has no power to violate. These inalienable natural rights were permitted to be violated by the court. The court permitted the Parliament to take away the fundamental freedoms which the people have themselves reserved for themselves by the way of Constitutional amendments. The Supreme court has been made the custodian of these rights, then also erred in its decision by holding that the Fundamental Rights can be violated.

Chief Justice Subba Rao in the famous case of I.C. Golaknath v State of Punjab, equated the Fundamental Rights with natural rights and rightly held that when Parliament can’t abrogate the fundamental rights by Constituional amendment as well. But the same view was not taken in Kesavananda case. The Court perhaps did not realize that it allowed the violation of several basic human rights guaranteed under Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 to which India was a signatory. Thus the Court can be said to have allowed grave injustice to be done at the hands of the Parliament in the form of Constitutional amendments.

The view that the term “law” under Article 13 does not include Constitutional Amendment – not correct:-

If we see the whole of the Constitutional Jurisprudence, we will find that the Constitution has also been recognised to be a law. In India also, the Constitution is considered to be the highest law of the land and thus the term law as used in Article 13 (2) must include the Constitutional Amendment as well. There is not much difference between the procedure by which an ordinary law is passed and the procedure by which a Constitutional amendment is passed. Thus, the Constitution which does not allow the law violating the fundamental rights to be passed by the Parliament even if they unanimously agree to it, cannot allow the Parliament to abrogate, violated and even repeal them by two third majority by way of Constitutional amendment. This can never be the intention of the Constitution makers. The argument given by the judges in this case that if the Constitution makers would have intended the same, then they must have made an expression provision declaring the Fundamental Rights to be an exception to Article 368. This view of the judges cannot be taken and believed. In Article 13 as well there existed no exception before 24th amendment that it won’t be applicable to Constitutional amendment. The intention of the framers of the Constitution cannot be presumed. In this regard, the evidence from the Constituent Assembly Debates holds good.

The term ‘amend’ wrongly defined in 24th Amendment- upheld:-

The court also erred in upholding 24th amendment as it contained Article 368 which had an explanation of the word amend by using the terms like addition, variation or repeal. The other words may sound alright but the term repeal creates utter confusion. Does it mean that a particular provision may be repealed or does it mean that the whole Constitution may be repealed. Some judges defined the term amend in its own way, i.e. amend means that the original should remain intact and only minor changes can be added but it did not declare this term unconstitutional and void and thus let the confusion remain. The term ‘repeal’ in this article may be used to justify the repeal of the whole Constitution in future. Thus, it is humbly submitted that the court erred in wrongly upholding the validity of this provision.

A creature of Constitution – permitted to increase its Constituent power:-

In India, it is not the Parliament, which is supreme rather it is the Constitution which is supreme. But if we have a look at 24th amendment, we will find that it seems through the changes brought by this amendment, the Parliamentary supremacy is sought to be achieved and the court by upholding the Constitutional validity of this amendment has allowed the creature of the Constitution to increases its constituent power. The term ‘state’ as defined in Article 12 and as used in Article 13 of the Constitution, includes the Parliament. The Parliament is the body from which the protection of fundamental rights is sought and the duty to protect the fundamental rights of the people from being violated by the state including the Parliament lies on the Supreme Court. The custodian of the fundamental rights allowed the Parliament to increase its constitutional powers and also allowed to immunize itself from its responsibility towards the people. It is an attempt by the majority to change the fundamental law in violation of self imposed restrictions. Thus, it must have been declared unconstitutional, by not doing so the court has committed an error.

Parliament cannot do indirectly what was enjoined by the Constitution not to do directly:-

Parliament is prohibited from making the laws which violated fundamental rights and thus neither by simple majority nor unanimously the Parliament can pass legislations, which abrogate the Fundamental Rights of the citizen. This was the main motive of the framers of the Constitution as is clear from the plain reading of Article 13. It is difficult to believe that Constitution makers did not have any problem if the same violation was done in the name of Constitutional amendments by two- thirds majority. The thing which the Parliament cannot do directly, it can’t also do indirectly. The Parliament cannot be allowed to first make necessary changes in the Constitution and then pass legislations for that effect. This will make the mockery of the intention of our Constitution makers, their dreams and philosophy. The court committed a blunder in upholding the validity of the 24th amendment to the Indian Constitution.

All fundamental rights form the basic structure and thus cannot be amended

In the words of the Chief Justice Subba Rao, it is difficult to believe that the fundamental rights which are given so much importance and protection under the Indian Constitution are not the basic structure of the Indian Constitution and can be amended. The whole aim of the Constitution makers seems to come to an end when we permit the Parliament to amend the fundamental rights.

The term fundamental itself means ‘basic’ and the fundamental rights are defined as the basic rights which are quite essential for the enjoyment of every human being. It is so basic that it is available to all human beings and one can go to apex court if these rights are violated. The judgment in Kesavananda Bharati case differentiates between fundamental rights. According to this judgment, some fundamental rights form the basic structure while others don’t. It is humbly submitted that the reasoning given by the court does not hold good because if the Constitution framers would have considered some fundamental rights to be not that important to be basic structure of the Indian Constitution, then those rights would not have been declared to be fundamental rights. All the rights which are enshrined in Part III of the Indian Constitution as fundamental rights form the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. It can never be accepted that some of those rights lie outside the basic structure of the Constitution. Justice Mukerjee and Justice Hegde were of the opinion that every Constitution consists of two parts- basic part and circumstantial part. Can it be believed that several fundamental rights are just circumstantial? If this would have been the situation, then those rights would not have been declared to be fundamental right. They would have merely been legal rights. Thus, it is humbly submitted that all fundamental rights form the basic structure of the Constitution and thus cannot be amended.

Right to property has been the worst affected fundamental right (at present this is not a fundamental but merely a legal right). Some of the judges expressly mentioned that the right to property is not included in the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. It is humbly submitted that such a view is not correct. The right to property has been an inalienable natural right recognised by all natural law jurists. Also under Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognise it as basic human rights. Thus, the view that it does not form the basic structure and can be amended was not correct.

Doctrine of Basic Structure- A Vague Concept:-

Above all this case is remembered for the ‘Doctrine of Basic Structure’. But this doctrine has been criticised by various jurists and most of them have held that it is quite vague and is an undefined concept. What forms the basic structure and what does not form the basic structure is a very important question and the answer to it has not been given by the courts. The court has neither defined the basic structure nor has it given any test to determine the basic structure; it has just given certain instances of the basic structure and has always provided that the list is not exhaustive. It has remained on the whims and fancies of the court to determine what basic structure is and what is not. On the ground of the basic structure, every amendment is to be challenged in the court of law. The amending power of the Parliament has been subjected to this arbitrary and vague doctrine. It will be interesting to note that the basic structure is not the only term which was used. Different judges used different terms for it..A whole of array of terms were used like “essential elements”,”basic features”, basic foundation and structure”, “fundamental features”, “essential features” and “identity” of the Constitution; and “basic elements of the Constitutional structure”, “essential elements of the basic structure”, and, “essential elements in the basic structure” without taking into consideration the changes which they will bring in the meaning of this concept.

It is submitted that it won’t be correct to criticize this doctrine on the ground of being vague, if something cannot be precisely defined and there can’t be a cut and dried formula for everything. Something has not been precisely defined is not ground to declare that it is vague. In the legal world, there are various concepts which cannot be defined but that does not mean that it does not exist and is vague. Ex- several people criticize the idea of natural justice as vague as it cannot be precisely defined but is it really vague. The same holds true for the basic structure of the Constitution also.

Doctrine of Basic Structure- A landmark in the Constitutional Jurisprudence:-

Howsoever criticised by different people, the doctrine of basic structure in itself is a landmark in the Constitutional jurisprudence of India and is capable to enough to save our nation from any major catastrophe. At several instances, it has been successful in saving our Constitution and the rule of law.

Though by this judgment, all the fundamental rights could not be made immune from amendment but certainly the basic structure was given a protective shield and it was held that Parliament’s amending power is not absolute, the amending power is subject to inherent and implied limitations which do not permit Parliament to destroy any of the essential features of the Constitution and thereby damage the basic structure of the Constitution. The judgment has been a salutary check on Parliament’s tendency to ride roughshod over fundamental rights and its insatiable appetite to encroach upon fundamental right.

This doctrine has protected the country from the arbitrary 39th amendment and 42nd amendment in Indira Gandhi case and Minerva Mills case and will always be able to protect our country from even a slight chance of dictatorship and fundamentalism. It will be interesting to note that the Bangladesh Supreme Court has followed the Indian Supreme Court judgment in Kesavananda Bharati and struck down a constitutional amendment. In Pakistan also, the Lahore High Court and the Baluchistan High Court but not the Supreme Court took the same view. In the newly framed Constitution of Nepal, there are provisions as to the non-amend ability of certain parts of the Constitution and in some way or the other the doctrine of basic structure has been accepted.

So, we can understand the importance of the doctrine of basic structure, which has protected the rule of law not only in our country but in other countries as well. In the present scenario, this doctrine must be appreciated.

Conclusion

The doctrine of basic structure laid down in Kesavananda Bharat case is one of the finest examples of judicial creativity of the Indian judiciary. This doctrine is unique to our country only. No other country before ours adopted this doctrine though after this case, in some of our neighbouring countries, this doctrine has been adopted. The credit for the same must be given to the Indian judiciary, specially the thirteen judges bench which laid down this principle and most important of all the great lawyer Mr. N.A. Palkhivala, who can be credited for the formulation of this doctrine.

As we have seen that this doctrine has tried to find the midway between the positivist and naturalist school of law, it has been criticised by the jurists of both these schools but that does not mean that this doctrine needs to be criticised on so many grounds. Al those who were happy with the judgment of Golaknath case could not appreciate this judgment but CJ Subba Rao in his article ‘Golaknath & Kesavananda- Two judgments’ appreciated this decision and gave the view that for the protection of the Constitutional values, it is necessary that judicial control in some form must be exercised.

Lawn Tractor Transmission Types

The fives types are gear, friction disk, automatic, CVT, and hydrostatic.  I’ll spend a few minutes going through each type so you have a better idea of the best type for you. I am not going into the details of how each one works.  Just Google the transmission type and you can read to your heart’s content.

Gear

Five years ago the gear drive transmission was the most popular but today hydrostatic and automatic transmissions have replaced them in popularity. Often called Manual transmissions this type uses a series of gears to change the ground speed of your tractor.  The biggest downfall of this type of transmission is you have to stop the tractor to shift to a different speed (range).  This makes them harder to use when you have a lot of garden beds and landscape features to go around.

To drive the tractor you must push in on the clutch, shift the transmission to the gear you want to use, release the clutch, and hang on.  This is a dependable  transmission that will give you years of service.

Friction Disk

This is actually the transmission of choice for snow blowers but there are a few mowers like the Snapper Rear Engine Rider that use this trans.  It is a good, dependable transmission when used properly.  It uses a friction wheel and disk to change the forward speed of your rider.  Don’t use this transmission to pull heavy loads…you will tear up the friction wheel.

You can shift-on-the-go with some models but to get the longest life most brands suggest you push down on the clutch/brake pedal and then shift to the speed you want.

Automatic

This is essentially a belt and variable pulley system similar to the drive system in a snowmobile.  John Deere originally used this in conjunction with a manual transmission on the Model 110.  Now days, MTD is using this on most of it’s cheapest lawn tractors. Like the friction disk this trans is designed to the mower application and they are not designed to pull heavy loads.  Some of the Brands have confused the issue by calling their inexpensive hydrostatic trans an “automatic” so if you are unsure ask.

To drive the tractor you typically have two levers.  One for forward or reverse and the other for the speed. Move the F/R lever to the direction you want to go and then simply move a fender mounted lever to change the speed. This is a dependable  transmission that will give you years of service for flat lawns and pulling very light loads.

CVT/IVT (Continuously/Infinitely Variable Transmission)

The automatic mentioned above and the hydrostatic below are essentially CVT’s  but now days this means a variable disk or ball/disk system.  This is the transmission of the future because it uses fewer moving parts than a gear trans and less oil than a hydrostatic, but at this point in time they are not yet cost effective for lawn tractor applications.  MTD tried using the dual IVT Infinitrak in the Cub Cadet and Craftsman Revolution but consumers were not ready to spend the extra money to own this type of transmission. New Holland is using these effectively in their 50 hp and larger tractors.

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.

Hydrostatic

The most common transmission for lawn tractors today is a form of Continuously variable transmission called the hydrostatic transmission. These transmissions take several forms, from pumps driving separate motors, which may incorporate a gear reduction, to fully integrated (enclosed) units containing a pump, motor and gear reduction.  Hydrostatic transmissions are more expensive than mechanical transmissions but they are easier to use and can transmit greater torque to the wheels as compared to a typical mechanical transmission.

Hydrostatic – Enclosed Single

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.  The enclosed hydrostatic transmission is a single unit that houses the variable pump, motor, differential and drive axle.  Most of lawn tractors, yard tractors, garden tractors and estate tractors today have an aluminum housing to give off the heat the moving oil creates.  These transmissions are sized to the mower application.  The garden tractor and estate tractor transmissions are built to handle heavy loads and ground engaging attachments.

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.  The pedal on the left side of the tractor is the parking brake.  You do not need to depress that pedal to shift the tractor.   The forward and reverse is controlled by either a lever on the right fender or two pedals on the right side floorboard.  To go forward push the fender lever forward or press on the large pedal on the floor board.  To stop the tractor pull the lever back to the middle position or lift your foot off the pedal.  To back the tractor up pull the fender lever to the rear or press the small pedal on the floorboard.

On the fender mounted control you HAVE to move the lever to the middle to stop your tractor.  It will not go to neutral by itself like the foot controls.

Hydrostatic – Enclosed Dual

Two hydrostatic transmissions are mounted side-by-side in the residential zero turns.  Each trans controls a separate rear wheel.  That is the primary reason why zero-turn mowers cost more than the lawn tractors. Again these trans are designed for the application and most are not designed to pull loads, just mow and bag.

Most of these transmissions are controlled by individual levers that sit in front of you.  With a little practice these are very easy to use.  A large lever on each side of the seat controls that side transmission.  To go forward push on BOTH levers.  To stop, pull them back.  (The easiest way to explain how to drive a two-lever zero turn mower is to  use a shopping cart as an example.  With the mower turned off sit on the seat and put your hands on the two large levers in front of you.  Close you eyes and pretend you are gripping a shopping cart.   What do you do to move a shopping cart forward? Right, you push on the handle.   To back up? Right, you pull back on the handle.  To go left?  To go right?  Correct, you PUSH the handle in the direction you want to turn the cart.  Two lever zero turns work the same way.  Instead of one bar like a shopping  cart, the bar is split in two and you move each side to make it move.)  This type of transmission takes practice to keep the tires from digging into your lawn.

Hydrostatic -Pump & Motor

The more expensive commercial zero-turn mowers, stand-ons, and some golf course mowers use a separate variable pump near the motor connected to the wheel motors with hydraulic hose or metal lines.  These are usually cast iron for long life and durability. A few of the high-end commercial mowers are now using enclosed cast iron hydros.

Psychological Power

Psychological Power is the ability people have to disguise what they really want from you when they are attempting to persuade or influence you. Psychological Power is based on the ability to alter an individual’s perception of reality. This power (like most power) can obviously be used dishonestly. However, it is important to understand the various psychological tactics so that you will have a greater ability to detect people who are being dishonest or devious with you. You will be able to tell the difference between the Psychological Power of the salesman and the Legitimate Power of the Master Persuader.

Time-pressure

People are typically slow at making decisions because they’re afraid of making mistakes. The longer someone waits, however, the more likely it becomes that they won’t follow through. The faster you can persuade and influence a person to make their decision, the more likely you will achieve your goals. This is where we get promotions like “one-day sale,” and “This offer won’t last long” (The Law of Scarcity). On the flip side, be sure your aren’t ever pressured into an impulse decision that you’ll regret. I remember once negotiating a contract for the marketing department of a big corporation. I knew the Laws of Persuasion and I knew what I wanted. I had a million other things to get done, and I felt rushed to hammer out the details of the contract that morning. The person I was negotiating with, on the other hand, was in no hurry and had nowhere to go. We bantered back and forth for six hours and still had not reached a resolution on a contract we were both happy with. My urgency to leave affected the terms I was finally able to get.

When we’re in a hurry, we’ll usually pay more to get what we need. When we need something right now, and someone has it, we will pay or do anything to get it. Think of all the convenience services that cost more. The all-night convenience store charges twice as much for a gallon of milk as the grocery store down the street. The 24-hour copy mart charges more than the traditional print service. Think about how much you paid for that book or magazine at the airport before you rushed to catch your plane. Being in a hurry definitely costs money.

Boldness

Acting with boldness will not only give the perception of confidence, but it will actually help you feel more confident. What’s more, you’ll come across as brave and bold, and people will rally behind you. Their lack of esteem or confidence will naturally attract them to someone like you, who is bold and assertive. Boldness can lead to the accomplishment of unimaginable things. Assertive and bold behavior creates confidence and hides our deficiencies. When you assert yourself, people automatically assume you know what you are doing. Boldness and assertiveness create authority and often fear. This sends a clear message on how people should treat us. Assertiveness creates power and the ability to persuade. Shy, timid, weak people cannot persuade others or change their minds.

A great example of being bold and assertive happened in 1925 in Paris, France. The French scrap metal owners were summoned and taken to the nicest hotel in Paris. They were wined and dined and told an incredible story about the Eiffel Tower. They found out the tower was considered an eyesore and that the cost to maintain it was astounding. The tower was only supposed to be a temporary fixture and the City or Paris now wanted it removed. For the next three days, city council would be taking bids for the scrap metal. A bold and assertive salesman flashed a badge at security and took metal owners for a tour. He was so bold and convincing that one company paid over one million U.S. dollars for the tower. Obviously, it was a scam and the sorry bid winner resold the tower to someone else six months later.

Unpredictability

Be unpredictable. Nothing confuses a target more than unpredictability. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes are probably the most frightening events to live through because of their sheer unpredictability. These phenomena don’t fit comfortably in our routines and so they are unnerving to us. Humans are creatures of habit; we love the familiar and predictable. We love a routine and a predictable outcome. When you are predictable, people feel a sense of control over you. Unpredictable and inconsistent behavior keeps people guessing and off balance. We have all had a boss or parent who was unpredictable. You did not know if they were going to yell, reward, or thank you for what you were doing. They spent calculated time trying to understand your next move. This type of power is very intimidating and uncontrollable.

Surprise/Distraction

People who are taken off guard or who are surprised by a request become unsure and will often comply with it. This insecurity and imbalance makes them more persuadable. A study by Milgram and Sabini demonstrated that people riding the New York subway were twice as likely to give up their seats to people who surprised them with the request, “May I have your seat?” as they were when they were told ahead of time of the person’s intention to ask for their seat. Fifty-six percent of surprised passengers gave up their seats compared to 28% of those who had been warned in advance.

Distraction also is a form of Psychological Power. Your prospects minds are elsewhere, so you give them something to think about. This is an unethical form of power you need to be aware of. Sometimes this tactic could end up putting you on the defensive, sidetracking you, or getting you angry. The distraction could be dropping something, screaming, throwing insults to get you off track, or distracting you from their real purpose.

Pity

Every year, Jerry Lewis hosts the muscular dystrophy telethon. Critics hate how he uses pity to raise funds, calling it demeaning and stigmatizing. Others argue, however, that the results outweigh anything that could possibly be bad about it: Reaching more than 100 million viewers through 200 different channels, the telethon raises over one hundred million dollars each year.

There is a crosswalk in my town where no one likes to stop for pedestrians. I’m always intrigued by what makes people stop at a crosswalk. I’ve noticed at this particular crosswalk that people normally just drive right through, without even noticing the pedestrians waiting to cross. One day, I suddenly noticed all of the cars stopping. I wondered what was happening until I saw an attractive college student with crutches waiting to cross the street. The power of pity pulled at the heartstrings of usually stoic drivers and influenced them to act in her favor.

Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal. Get your free report 10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands and explode your income today.