An Olympic Challenge: Falling off the map of hopelessness into the void of hope

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9781461172963: An Olympic Challenge: Falling off the map of hopelessness into the void of hope

To escape the relentless tedium of his insurance job, his marriage and his do-nothing life, Arthur Bayly retreats into his imaginary world of James Bond, KGB agents and exotic scenes of eternal sunshine.
Mary Collins left the grinding poverty of Scotland with high hopes of wealth and romance. That hope quietly, slowly died as she climbed the ladder of success in the insurance industry. She returns home to realise she doesn't belong there either.

A case he is working on grows savage before his eyes and, with Mary, he discovers it is linked to the dubious activities of a wealthy politician, Lord Atkinson, who is to be investigated by England's Financial Services Authority and, perhaps, MI5. Their safe and boring lives become unsafe and unpredictable.

An international cast of unsuspecting characters is brought together as the intrigue and corruption unfolds, involving senior members of England's police force, parliament and government agencies. The face of the Olympics is changed forever and so is the viability of many developing nations.
As the "little people" are confronted by the immense power and scale of greed, they find they have nowhere to turn ... until they stop and listen to the still, quiet voice inside. What starts out as a race of confusion and fear then turns into a struggle to quell the inner demons we all must face. Some listen to that voice and some don't, with quite divergent results.

Based around actual events in New Zealand and England, the story weaves in the author's experiences as an international banker and publisher.

Inspired by A Course in Miracles, Arthur, Mary and some unlikely friends discover the futility of trying to be someone else (e.g. James Bond, Andrew Carnegie) and the importance of being themselves and, in one case, the importance of being Arthur.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

My wife (Anna) and I have been students of A Course in Miracles since 2005 and it has transformed our lives and our relationship.
 
Anna and I came to Britain in 2008, ten days after we were married (a long honeymoon, really) and, among other jobs, I was a corporate trainer for Crown Agents Bank Ltd., training senior government officials from developing countries. My daily trek - by foot, train and tube - from our house at Tunstall Road, Croydon to London, each day, inspired the start of this story. Coming from the beautiful expanses of New Zealand to the drab, daily monotony of England's commuters was a shock I will never forget. Most of them, I suspect, feel they have no choice but to put up with such an existence.
 
I have a degree in accounting and economics and studied E F Schumacher and his ideas on intermediate technology.
 
As a publisher in New Zealand, I had the pleasure to meet with Bruce Cathie at his Auckland home. He eventually decided to continue self-publishing his books, rather than have my company do it. He did, however, introduce me to his colleague, Robert Adams, in Whakatane, NZ. Because of Robert's experiences (related here in this book) he was naturally suspicious and I would not have seen him without Bruce's introduction. He eventually dropped his guard, showed me his free-energy machine (it produced 37% more energy that it consumed) and asked that I publish the manuscript he had nearly finished writing. After several months I had not heard from Robert, as he'd promised. After inquiries I discovered that he'd died and the whereabouts of his manuscript remains a mystery to this day.
 
Bruce Cathie first saw flying saucers over the Manukau harbour, NZ, in 1952. He has has published several books, the first being Harmonic 33, which was published in New Zealand in 1968. Quentin Fogarty, an Australian TV reporter (and his cameraman, David Crockett) filmed flying saucers over New Zealand on 30th December 1978 and that was aired on Australia's Channel 10 network. New Zealand authorities refused to allow that programme to be shown in New Zealand.
 
Robert Adams was former Chairman of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc., U.S.A., (N.Z. Section). The article about his Adams Switched Reluctance Pulsed DC Permanent Magnet Motor Generator was actually published in Nexus magazine in January 1993. He died in 2006.
 
Since the federal government bailed out Bear Stearns in March 2008, the six largest U.S. banks and their main trade associations have paid roughly $600 million for lobbying activities, according to a report released by labour union SEIU and progressive political groups in May 2010. The financial industry spent an average of $1.4 million per day during the reform fight.
 
But the key to effective lobbying is getting into the upper room. Fortunately, it has a revolving door. In all, 243 lobbyists working for six big banks and their trade associations are former federal government employees, according to the report. Of these, 202 worked in Congress, mostly as aides to lawmakers, while the rest were in the White House, U.S. Treasury or another government agency.
 
Goldman Sachs has the biggest team of "revolving door" lobbyists. Then it is Citigroup with 37 in-house lobbyists and "outside consultants", followed by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and B of A.
 
Here, as summarized in the report, are some of the big banks' top lobbying guns:
Bank of America - B of A's in-house lobbyist team is headed by John Collingwood, formerly the FBI's congressional liaison and a top official under three different FBI directors. After retiring, he became a top lobbyist for credit card company MBNA and played a major role in passing the 2005 bankruptcy reform bill. When B of A bought MBNA, he became the bank's top lobbyist and brought other credit card lobbyists with him.
 
Citigroup - Head lobbyist Nick Calio was formerly a top congressional liaison for both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. As the Republican arm of lobbying firm O'Brien-Calio during the Clinton administration, he was hired by big business to lead the lobbying fight over the North American Free-Trade Agreement, fast-track trade authority and expanded trade with China.
 
Goldman Sachs - Head lobbyist Faryar Shirzad joined the bank after serving as a top national security and international economics adviser to President Bush. He coordinated trade policy for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team in 2000 and was previously a top international trade adviser to the Senate Finance Committee.
 
JPMorgan Chase - The bank's top government relations executive and in-house lobbyist is William Daley, former Clinton official, brother of Chicago mayor Richard Daley and co-chair of President Obama's inauguration. The bank's top registered lobbyist, Democratic insider Peter Scher, reports to Daley. Scher was a top Democratic staffer during the Clinton years, serving as chief of staff to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., then to Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor.

About the Author:

I want to donate 10% of my book sales income to a microcredit cause/organisation to help alleviate poverty and empower people. Please tell me if you have any ideas for the best avenue for my funds.
Professional stuff
I've had 14 books published. I've written my first novel and have started on the second. My ambition is to be a published novelist before I slip into Father Time's withered hand ... like, soon!
I am a recovering accountant and lecturer with the desire to write. I have been a columnist for magazines in NZ, Aust., Sth Africa and Czech Republic, as well as an editor and publisher. I'm currently a commissioning editor for Business Books (an imprint of O-Books) and a freelance writer and editor for clients in Australia, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia, Germany, Romania, Arabia, Britain, Canada and America.

Personal stuff
I was born really early in my life and, in New Zealand, I experienced life as an accountant, credit manager and company director, shepherd, scrub-cutter, tree pruner, freezing worker, plastics factory worker, saxophonist, army driver, tour bus driver, stage and television actor and singer, builder, lecturer, facilitator for men's groups, reporter, columnist, magazine editor, publisher, writer ...
In South Africa as an AIDS workshop co-facilitator ...
In the Australian bush as a barman, horse and camel trekker and stock-whip teacher ...
In England as a contract accountant, corporate trainer, estate manager, university lecturer, commissioning editor, website editor/writer and freelance writer ...

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Philip Bradbury
Published by CreateSpace (2011)
ISBN 10: 1461172969 ISBN 13: 9781461172963
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Book Description CreateSpace, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 288 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.65 inches. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # zk1461172969

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