Sunday, July 29, 2007

Who's Winning and Who's Losing?????


Ex-Contractor: Foreign Workers Abused at US Embassy

More allegations have emerged of physical abuse and poor conditions of workers building the massive U.S. embassy in Baghdad. On Thursday, two American civilian contractors told the House Oversight committee foreign workers were tricked into coming to Iraq and then barred from leaving after contractors took their passports. The Kuwaiti firm First Kuwaiti is overseeing the six-hundred million dollar project. It’s slated to the be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world. American contractor John Owens said he found the working and living conditions for the workers “deplorable.” Owens says the workers lived in tightly-packed trailers and were denied basics including shoes and gloves. They worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week, for as little as two-hundred forty dollars a month. Owens says workers were verbally and physically abused and docked pay for minor infractions.


Parents of Dead Soldier Sue U.S. for Negligence

The parents of a U.S. soldier who killed himself after returning home from military duty in Iraq have sued the U.S. government for negligence. Joyce and Kevin Lucey say their son Jeffrey hanged himself after the U.S. military ignored his depression. In late May 2004, Jeffrey was involuntarily committed to a military veteran’s hospital after he ignored his family’s pleas to seek help. The hospital discharged him after a few days. He killed himself three weeks later. His father came home to find his son had hung himself with a hose in the cellar of their house. The dog tags of two Iraqi prisoners he said he was forced to shoot unarmed, lay on his bed. The Lucey suit follows another case in which two veterans’ rights groups say the Department of Veterans Affairs delayed and denied veterans help for disabilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder.


Report: U.S. Backs Off Saudi Bank Linked to Militant Funding

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the U.S. has opted to take a hands-off approach to a Saudi bank U.S. intelligence has linked to the financing of militant Islamic extremists. The Al Rajhi bank is among vast holdings belonging to the Saudi billionaire Sulaiman Al Rajhi. The banks activities’ reportedly set off an intense debate within the Bush administration on how to take action. But confidential reports show the administration has ultimately chosen to quietly lobby Saudi monarchs rather than take punitive steps. U.S. intelligence says Al Rahji Bank has held accounts and accepted donations for charities formally designated as fronts for al Qaeda or other militant groups. The CIA concluded the Al Rahji family was knowingly involved. Al Rajhi Bank and the Al Rajhi family have denied any link to financing militants.


Terror Trial Begins for Largest Muslim-U.S. Charity

The disclosure comes as the Bush administration is facing criticism for prosecuting the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. In a trial that began this week, prosecutors accuse the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development of providing millions of dollars in funding to militant activities by Hamas. The charity says the money has gone to Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks and closures in the Occupied Territories. The case is the largest of its kind in U.S. history. Prosecutors have faced scrutiny for heavily relying on secret evidence supplied by the Israeli government. Khalil Meek of the Muslim Legal Fund of America said: “The Bush administration is arguing that providing medical and nutritional assistance to sick and starving Palestinian children amounts to supporting terrorism.”


Halliburton profits up 19%

International markets, better-than-expected revenue pushes profit of No. 2 oil services maker to 63 cents a share from 47 cents a year ago, trouncing estimates.


July 23 2007: 7:38 AM EDT


HOUSTON (Reuters) -- Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services company, said Monday that second-quarter profit from continuing operations rose 19 percent, topping Wall Street views, helped by new international contracts.

Earnings from continuing operations climbed to $595 million, or 63 cents a diluted share, up from $498 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.

Also included in second-quarter 2007 operating income was an after-tax gain of 3 cents a diluted share from the sale of an investment, Halliburton said.

Excluding one-time items, analysts on average had expected the company, which was once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, to report a profit of 56 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Halliburton Chief Executive Dave Lesar also offered investors reassuring words about North America, the company's largest market, where there has been worry about over capacity in the well stimulation and fracturing business. Energy companies use those services to increase production of natural gas from hard-to-reach pockets in substances like shale.

Lesar noted in a news release: "We have seen a strong recovery in the United States well stimulation market from the slowdown we experienced last winter."

However, he said that the company's Canadian operations, like those of other service companies, suffered from a significant decline in drilling activity.

The increase in 2007 second-quarter operating income was primarily generated by increased customer activity and new international contracts, the company said.

Net income for the second quarter was $1.5 billion, or $1.62 per diluted share, including a gain of $933 million from the separation of engineering and construction firm KBR Inc. This compares with $591 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

KBR which is the U.S. Army's largest private contractor in Iraq and has drawn scrutiny by the government for billing claims, was split off from Halliburton earlier this year.

Revenue for the company which has headquarters in Houston and Dubai, rose 20 percent to $3.7 billion. Analysts had expected about $3.5 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Halliburton competes with Schlumberger.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Manufacturing Mental Illness By The Pill.......


The following is from a very valuable, leading grass-roots newsletter on alternative mental health. I have been reading this for several years and you can access it at http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/

Editor's note

In this month's issue we find two articles that exemplify the "schizophrenic" condition of modern society. We see the Wall Street Journal covering the fact that, from a strictly financial standpoint, alternative mental health treatment has become big business. On the flip side, we find that antidepressants are now the most prescribed drug in America. How can both of these be true?

It's simple if you understand the Western world.

On the one hand we have the alternative mental health movement, a purely grassroots effort popping up all over the world, growing by consumer demand. There is no big corporate budget pushing this market growth—it's strictly based on public need. The public is becoming aware that drugs are not only not the ultimate answer, but can even add to the mental or emotional ailment you already have.

Oddly enough, the alternative mental health market has also been driven by pharmaceutical marketing. Drug company advertising has lowered the bar on "mental illness." They have given us to believe that no one should ever be depressed, anxious, or hyperactive, and, if we are, there is a pill for that. In their wake they have left a massive number of people who, sold on the idea of a feel-good pill, tried their drugs, didn't like them, and are now seeking alternative ways to well-being.

What has driven the antidepressant drug boom is simple: massive marketing fueled by obscene sums of money. The actual scientific studies have shown that antidepressants work about the same as a placebo. The drug companies, of course, know this but they still sell their wares.

The sages of centuries past tell us that, eventually, truth wins out. One can expect that, eventually, the public and even the medical field will take the path that leads to actual results and not hype.


SSRIs Reduce Bone Density in Elderly

Antidepressant medications known as "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors" (SSRIs) may be associated with an increased rate of bone loss in older men and women, according to two articles in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

SSRIs are commonly prescribed for the elderly and account for 62% of the antidepressant prescriptions in the United States. One of the effects of SSRIs is the inhibition of the protein that transports the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects mood, sleep, and other functions. This protein has recently been discovered in bone as well, raising the possibility that SSRIs may affect bone density and the risk of fracture.

Researchers, led by Susan J. Diem, M.D., M.P.H. of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, looked at 2,722 older women (average age 78.5 years) over a two-year period. Some were on antidepressants but most were not. At that time and again an average of nearly five years later, the study measured the total bone density of the women's hip region and two subregions.

A total of 198 (7.3%) of the women used SSRIs; another 118 (4.3%) took tricyclic antidepressants; while 2,406 (88.4%) took neither. Those who took both were not included in the analysis. After the researchers adjusted for other factors affecting bone density and antidepressant use, including depression severity and calcium supplement use, bone mineral density at the hip decreased 0.82 percent in SSRI users. This compared with a decrease of 0.47 percent among those who used tricyclic antidepressants and also in those who did not take any antidepressants.

Higher rates of bone loss were also observed at the two hip subregions among SSRI users. "One potential explanation for our findings is that SSRI use may have a direct deleterious effect on bone," the authors write. "This theory is supported by findings of in vitro and in vivo laboratory investigations."

"Our findings suggest that, in this cohort, use of SSRIs is associated with increased rates of hip bone loss," the authors conclude.

In another article in the same journal, Elizabeth M. Haney, M.D., of Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, and colleagues conducted a similar study with 5,995 men age 65 and older (average age 73.7). Bone density at the hip, including subregions, and at the base of the spine were measured over a two-year period.

A total of 160 men (2.7%) reported using SSRIs, 99 (1.7%) reported using tricyclic antidepressants and 52 (0.9 percent) reported using trazodone, a third type of antidepressant. Total hip bone mineral density was 3.9 percent lower among SSRI users than among men who didn't use any antidepressants. Similarly, spine bone mineral density was 5.9 percent lower among SSRI users than among non-users. There was no significant difference in either hip or spine density between men who took tricyclic antidepressants or trazodone and those who did not take antidepressants.

"These associations are biologically plausible and clinically important," the authors conclude. "Because SSRI use is prevalent in the general population, our findings have a potentially important public health impact. If confirmed, people using SSRIs might be targeted for osteoporosis screening and preventive intervention."


Wall Street Journal Looks at Alternative Mental Health

On July 13, the Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy (2,000-word) article entitled "The Unmedicated Mind--Backlash Against Antidepressants is Fueling New Interest in Alternative Treatments." Writer Nancy Keates, who interviewed Safe Harbor's Dan Stradford in June for the article, did an excellent job of showing why the public is reaching more for non-drug solutions in mental health these days.

"Now, spurred by the growing disenchantment with antidepressants," she wrote, "an increasing number of people are seeking treatment for depression, anxiety and eating disorders from naturopaths, acupuncturists and even chiropractors. At the same time, more traditional psychiatrists are incorporating massage and meditation in their practices."

Covering a wide variety of alternative practices and citing many stories of people who have recovered without drugs, Keates gave a balanced look at the pros and cons of the issues.

One paragraph captures the subject in a nutshell: "To address the growing interest from professionals, Harvard Medical School's Department of Continuing Education will have three classes on complementary and alternative medicine in psychiatry over the next year, up from one a year since the class was introduced in 2003. David Mischoulon, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard, says doctors who have attended the class report that more patients are asking for alternative treatments—due to the side effects of antidepressants, as well as a lack of response to the medication. Only about half of patients who take antidepressants respond, he says. 'It is time to broaden the horizons,' he says."


Antidepressants Become the Most Highly-Prescribed Drug in America

In the book Beyond Valium, written in 1981 by Seymor Rosenblatt, M.D., we are told the tale of the drug's rise to power, and how Valium, driven by marketing and widespread prescribing practices by psychiatrists and family doctors alike, became the number one drug prescribed in the nation. Of course, what eventually followed was the public release of information showing Valium's dangerous addictive nature, followed by its fall from grace as a common prescription.

It is a story one would not expect to see repeated. Prior to the 1960s psychotropic medication was rarely used by the general population, being reserved for those with serious mental disorders. Then, with the rise of illegal drug use in the '60s came the concept of "the happy pill," a drug for the "worried well" that would chase the blues away.

Fast-forward to 1987 when SSRIs arrive on the market in the form of Prozac. Again, the pill is marketed not only for the severely disturbed but for those seeking "mood brighteners." The book Listening to Prozac by Peter Kraemer, MD, becomes a best-seller. Even today, barnesandnoble.com refers to it as "The landmark book about antidepressants and the remaking of the self."

We should not be surprised, then, by a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that, as of 2005, antidepressants are the most highly prescribed drug in the United States. Of the 2.4 billion drug prescriptions written in 2005, 118 million were for antidepressants. Coming in second were 113 million prescriptions for high blood pressure pills.

This increase took place throughout the 1990s and continues to grow. The numbers of adult antidepressant prescriptions tripled between 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2000.

In an interview with www.allheadlinenews.com, Dr. Dworkin, a Maryland anesthesiologist and senior fellow at Washington's Hudson Institute, said doctors are essentially prescribing pills to "cure" unhappiness. "Doctors are now medicating unhappiness. Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives."

Friday, July 27, 2007

All You Need is Love.......

Photographic art by Li Wei http://www.liweiart.com/


Tricycle's Daily Dharma: July 28, 2007

Love, but only if...

The near-enemy of love is attachment. Attachment masquerades as love. It says, "I will love you if you will love me back." It is a kind of "businessman's" love. So we think, "I will love this person as long as he doesn't change. I will love that thing if it will be the way I want it." But this isn't love at all--it is attachment. There is a big difference between love, which allows and honors and appreciates, and attachment, which grasps and demands and aims to possess. When attachment becomes confused with love, it actually separates us from another person. We feel we need this other person in order to be happy. This quality of attachment also leads us to offer love only toward certain people, excluding others.

--Joseph Goldstein

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Eleven Laws of Spiritual Freedom

Collage by Alicia Pellon



Published in The Global Intelligencer (http://www.theglobalintelligencer.com/)

by Guy Finley

The only thing that holds us down is what we don't yet know about ourselves. This insight explains why our ability to learn the truth about ourselves, to increase our level of self-understanding, is the same as being empowered to raise our own life level. If we want to grow inwardly, we must find new ways to learn the truth about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. If it helps, look upon this important part of your inner education as a way to better understand what's been keeping you from learning.

Think of each of the following eleven laws of spiritual prosperity as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind. Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to the next higher and happier life level.

The First Law

Nothing can stop you from starting over.

The greatest power you possess for succeeding in life is your understanding that life gives you a fresh start any moment you choose to start fresh. Nothing that stood in your way even a heartbeat before stands there now in the same way. It's all new, even if you can't as yet see it that way. You've only to test the truth of this fact about the newness of life to discover the incredible freedom that waits for you just behind it. And then nothing can stop you. You'll know the real secret and the perfect power of starting over.

The Second Law

Don't be afraid to see when something doesn't work.

Learn to be sensitive and to listen to the inner signals that try and tell you when something isn't working. You know what they are. Frustration and resentment to name just a few. The presence of these emotional troubles aren't trying to tell you that you can't succeed, only that the road you've insisted upon taking so far doesn't lead where you want. Learning to admit when something isn't working is the same as teaching yourself what will.

The Third Law

If it doesn't flow, there's more to know.

Learn to recognize all forms of strain -- whether at work, in your creative efforts, or in your relationships -- as being unnecessary. The friction you feel mounting when busy at some labor is never caused by the task at hand, but by what you don't yet know about it. This means the only real reason for your strain is that you've got hold of a wrong idea you don't yet see as wrong. This new insight allows you to release yourself by showing you what you need to know. Flowing follows your new knowing.

The Fourth Law

Don't take the easy way.

There's no getting away from what you don't know, which is why any time you feel compelled to go around a problem by taking the easy way, that problem always comes round again. And isn't that what makes life seem so hard? Learn to see the "easy way" as a lying thought that keeps you tied up and doing hard time. Getting something over with is not the same as having it completed. And as this insight grows, so will your understanding that the whole idea of the "hard way" has always been just a lying thought as well. Now you know: the complete way is the easy way. So volunteer to make the "hard way" your way and learn the real easy way.

The Fifth Law

On the other side of the resistance is the flow.

There are often times when it feels as though you can't go any farther in your work or studies. But you can learn to go beyond any blockage. Make the following clear to yourself. Those moments -- when it feels as though you're least able to get beyond yourself -- are not telling you that you've gone as far as you can go, but only reveal that you've reached as far as you know -- for now. This higher self-knowledge about your true inner position allows you to see the resistance you're feeling for what it really is: a threshold, and not a closed door. Walk through it. Nothing can stop you. On the other side of the resistance is the flow. Learning to go beyond you is the same as entering into the new.

The Sixth Law

Watch for the opportunity to learn something new.

Everything is changing all the time. That means life is an endless occasion for learning something new. But this means more than meets the eye. Just as you're a part of everything, everything is a part of you. The whole of life is connected. And your ability to learn is part of the wonder of this complete, but ever-changing, whole. Learning serves as a window, not only into the complex world you see around you, but through it you may also look into the you that's busy looking into the world. And when you've learned there's no end to what you can see about the amazing worlds spinning both around and within you, you'll also know there's no end to you. So stay awake. Learn something new every day. You'll love how that makes you feel about yourself.

The Seventh Law

Learn to see conclusions as limitations.

If you approach the possibilities of learning about your life as being limitless, which they are, then it follows that any conclusion you reach about yourself has to be an unseen limitation. Why? Because there's always more to see. For instance, let yourself see that all conclusions are illusions when it comes to the security they promise. There may be security in a prison, but there are also no choices behind its confining walls. Learn to see all conclusions about yourself as invisible jail cells. For that's what they are. The seeming security these conclusions offer are a poor substitute for the real security of knowing that who you really are is always free to be something higher.

The Eighth Law

Have no fear of being afraid.

Fear can't learn, which is why you must learn about fear if you ever wish to be a fearless learner. So, the first thing you must learn is how to get past your fear of being afraid. Here's how. The next time a fear of some kind tries to fill one of your moments, try to see the difference between the fact of your situation and your feelings about it. This is the right use of your mind. For instance, it's a fact that interest rates change. It's not a fact you have to get scared when they do. That fear is not a fact of life, but only becomes one for you as long as you insist that life perform according to what you think are your best interests. As you learn to see that these fearful feelings don't belong to you, but only to your wrong thinking, you cease to be afraid, even of your own fears.

The Ninth Law

Never accept defeat.

As long as it's possible to learn, you need never feel tied down by any past defeat in your life. Here's the real fact: nothing can prevent the inwardly self-educating man or woman from succeeding in life. And here's why: wisdom always triumphs over adversity. But to win real wisdom calls you to join in a special kind of struggle. And if this battle had a banner under which to rally, here's what would be written upon that higher call to arms: "But I can find out!" Yes, you can learn the facts. You may not know the real reasons why you feel so lonely or worried at times, but you can find out. And you may not understand how you could have been so blind to that evil person's real intentions, but you can find out. Take these four words that are freedom's battle cry. Use them to defeat what's defeating you.

The Tenth Law

Learn to let go of painful pretense.

Most people approach their troubles with one of these two non-solutions: they either pretend their problem isn't a problem, or they pretend they've solved their troubles with temporary cover-ups. But their pain remains. It doesn't have to be this way for you. You can learn to let go of painful pretense. Here's how. When facing an old problem, what you don't want is another "new way" to deal with it. What you really want is to learn something new about the true nature of what has a hold on you. To go far, start near. When faced with any pain, let go of what you think you know. Act towards your trouble as if you don't know anything about it. This new solution is the only true one because the truth is you don't know what the real problem is. Otherwise you wouldn't still have it. Letting go of what you think you know puts you in the right place for learning what you need to know.

The Eleventh Law

Persistence always prevails.

If you'll persist with your sincere wish for higher learning, you can't help but succeed. Persistence always prevails because part of its power is to hold you in place until either the world lines up with your wish or you see that your wish is out of line. But, for whichever way it turns in that moment, you've won something that only persistence can pay. See the following: if you get what you think you have to have to be happy and you're still not satisfied, then you've learned what you don't want. Now you can go on to higher things. And should you learn you've been wearing yourself out with useless wishes, then this discovery allows you to turn your energies in a new direction: self-liberation.


Guy Finley is the author of more than 30 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, including several international best sellers. Among many others, his popular titles include: Secret Of Letting Go [1], Design Your Destiny [2], The lost secrets of prayer [3], Apprentice of the Heart [4], and Let Go and Live in the Now [5].

To learn more about Guy Finley and his non-profit Life of Learning Foundation, visit http://www.guyfinley.org/


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Source URL:
http://www.theglobalintelligencer.com/jul2007/soc-health/eleven-laws
Links:
[1] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0875422233?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwtheglobali-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0875422233
[2] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1567182828?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwtheglobali-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1567182828
[3] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006RZ0QG?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwtheglobali-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0006RZ0QG
[4] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1883991587?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwtheglobali-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1883991587
[5] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590030702?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwtheglobali-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1590030702

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Promise, Promises......


John Edwards Vows To End All Bad Things By 2011
July 16, 2007 The Onion Issue 43•29

AMES, IA—In an effort to jump-start a presidential campaign that still has not broken into the top Democratic tier, former Sen. John Edwards made his most ambitious policy announcement yet at a campaign event in Iowa Monday: a promise to eliminate all unpleasant, disagreeable, or otherwise bad things from all aspects of American life by the end of his second year in office.

"Many bad things are not just bad—they're terrible," said a beaming Edwards, whose "Only the Good Things" proposal builds upon previous efforts to end poverty, outlaw startlingly loud noises, and offer tax breaks to those who smile frequently. "Other candidates have plans that would reduce some of the bad things, but I want all of them gone completely."

According to Edwards, his plan is composed of three steps. Everyday bad things, such as curse words and splinters, would be eradicated during his first six months in office. Next, very bad things, including child abduction, soil erosion, and resurgent diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, would be ended by the the end of 2009. Finally, extremely bad things—plights such as genocide, species extinction, and virtually every form of cancer—would take a full two years to wipe out.

"Racism will soon be a thing of the past," Edwards said. "Same goes for being picked last for playground athletics, AIDS, robbery, not having enough spending money, and murder. Because these things are bad and not good, I promise they will be eliminated."

Other bad things the 2004 vice-presidential nominee vowed to end include the housing crisis, skinned knees, frowns, steep staircases, jailbreaks, water that is too cold to swim in, pain, traffic, being tired in the morning, sprained ankles, hunger, not having enough energy at night, teen pregnancy, cases of the blahs, thunder, the high cost of admission to events, type 2 diabetes, games of tic-tac-toe with no clear winner, the lack of parking in urban areas, forgetting birthdays, child prostitution, and confusion.

"Imagine a world free of procrastination, class disparity, and itchiness," Edwards said. "It will only be possible if we try."

Edwards told the gathered audience that the second half of his presidential term would be devoted to a $125 billion effort to supplant the abolished bad things with good things, such as flowers, the laughter of children, butterflies, sunny days, financial stability, Skittles, and medicine.

Though some Democrats are applauding the positivity of Edwards' pro-good agenda, critics say that the wealthy former trial lawyer is, at best, paying lip service to the issue.

"This is certainly a step in the right direction, but it's not enough," Daily Kos contributor BitchingPoints wrote hours after Edwards' announcement. "Where in Mr. Edwards' list of bad things does it mention poisonous snakes, nasty red wine stains on rugs, trolls, and noisy neighbors? Edwards has left the door wide open for a rival candidate to outflank him on his own issue by introducing a comprehensive plan that fills these gaping holes."

Republican front-runner Rudolph Giuliani attacked Edwards Tuesday for labeling things as bad when they may actually turn out to be good in the long run.

"Is 'shooting' always a bad thing?" Giuliani said. "I think such a position would undercut not only our soldiers in Iraq, but also law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day, not to mention our basic Second Amendment rights."

Added Giuliani: "On a personal note, I rather like cloudy days, and I don't want to live in a world where they don't exist."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Time to Reconnect Our Love......


A message from the other side on how we can further the healing of the planet and all life forms. I will be participating with others Tuesday July 17 at 11:11 GMT, 7:11 AM EDT and 4:11 PDT see world clock schedule at ( http://www.firethegrid.com/eng/home-fr-eng.htm ). Please join us. Following is the story that led to this event. Get the complete story at http://www.firethegrid.com/.

Peace,

Alan





The Story

We are now in a time when natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tidal waves are dramatically affecting our planet, and our lives on it. We now have the power to destroy this beautiful Earth quickly, with atomic power, or more slowly, with pollution and devastation of our resources, and overpopulation. I have been guided to tell you that we also have the very real power to save this planet, and to make it a loving and healthy place for ourselves and for future generations. Please take a few minutes to read my story. It will hopefully save our Earth.

I have a story to tell you that I know will be hard to believe in parts, but it has happened to me, and I cannot erase or deny any of it (though at times I wish I could). I am a "normal" woman who grew up in simple yet chaotic times. I am much like you in most every way. I always thought I would be the last one to have a miracle occur in her life, much less two miracles, and all that has happened since. Therefore the tale I tell could be of your life, and not mine. But seeing it is mine I guess I was meant to tell it.

What I want to establish first, is the fact that miracles do happen and they happen to people like you and me. What we need to make these miracles happen is to open ourselves to the communication that is all around us every day. Communication not from this world but from the world of our creator, the cosmos and the universe. The message comes from a distance, but you find it by going inside and believing. We can all create miracles within our lives, and that is one of the main points in writing this for you. I have no special tricks. Simply open yourself to the possibility that what I tell you is possible and that it is available to every person.

I will refer to God in many ways throughout this story. This is strange for me to refer to God in any sense, as I believed he had abandoned me a very long time ago. But I will refer to a prime creator of the cosmos and the universe, along with this earth that we live on every day. I call God the Prime Creator, because I want all those to understand that this story is completely unbiased and unprejudiced to any affiliation with any religion, and the God of my understanding is not only an earthly God, but a universal God. I will also refer to God as mother earth, Gaia, which I came to learn through this journey is the female piece of God. As in everything that is in our universe, you must balance darkness with light, peace with war, and recognize the two faces of God, the female and the male. We are all pieces of this Prime Creator. We are a part of God.

Two miracles happened in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. My son and I drowned in a flooded marsh and not only lived to tell the tale, but we are better than ever. I was "dead" for fifteen minutes. I was told by beings of light how to save myself, and my small son. And I was given a message on how to heal the Earth.

As you are reading this I ask you with all my heart to open yourself to the possibility of what I say. I feel it is imperative that we unite this world as one planet with one common goal - to establish peace and prosperity for all, not just the select few who were blessed to be in the right place at the right time. We are entering a new phase of humanity and what I will tell you in this website will help us as a race to assimilate the changes that the future will bring.

I have not had God in my life for forty years. I did however, as a child, chase the possibility of God. I felt that those people who had undying faith were the lucky ones, and the fact that I believed in nothing made me the loser. As a child I often spoke to God, but never felt heard or connected. It took life throwing me into a flooded marsh and drowning me, to open my eyes to the reality of how much we are all connected to the Divine power. It is showing up now more than ever. You can go on the internet and find thousands of hits about the next phase of humanity, the era of enlightenment and the time of change. These stories are in our religions and in the stories of the ancient cultures such as the Mayans, the Egyptians and the Native Americans. We have all been waiting for the moment when things would be different, for surely God will do something to save us from ourselves. Well there is something in the works, but God is merely directing it through people like me, and it will take the faith of people like you to create the reality. Once again I am getting ahead of myself but in the messages I am receiving, I am being given a way for us all to participate in a healing of mother earth, and a launching of the human race into a time of health, peace and positive change. But for this to happen, you will need to sit in meditation for just one hour of your life.

I once heard in the star trek series "resistance is futile." I did not want to be a messenger for God, but when God wishes our awakening, it will happen. So now I will tell you the truth of what happened to me, after a car accident that occurred in Nov. 2002.

My son and I were travelling to a friend’s house for an afternoon of play, when disaster hit. My car was swept into a flooded marsh after hydroplaning. The car landed upside down in this boggy marsh, and sank to the bottom. I tried to open the car's windows, but the power windows failed and we were trapped inside. I spoke with my tiny son who was four at the time, and assured him that mommy would get him out. The car was filling up quickly with the cold murky water and I held my son's coat tightly in my hand, while I waited to be fully submerged. I hoped that I could open the door after the car equalized with water and we would swim out. My final words to my little boy as the water came over his head was "hold your breath honey; mommy will have us out soon". I watched him take a large gulp of the remaining air, and the water took him. When I felt the last air pocket escape the car I tried the door. It wouldn’t budge! The other door was equally stuck. I struggled with the doors several times, to no avail. We were trapped and going to die.

At this point I took Evan’s little body and pushed it over the seat, hoping beyond hope that he would find air. As I struggled to free us from this coffin on wheels, I realized I had to breathe. As I drank the deep breath of water into my lungs, the fiery feeling added panic to the moment. I wanted my baby back and I swung my arms feverously about in an effort to find his body. I couldn’t, and I needed to breathe again. That is when I heard a voice, a calm majestic voice, directing me to relax. This voice cooed in my ear, reassuring me that all would be well. I was infused with the knowledge that if I fought the water, my rescuers would not be able to revive me when they arrived. The voice said that if I fought the water I would drown…no shit I thought, I get a wise ass ghost on my deathbed. The voice continued to give me instructions about what was to happen, and that all would be well if I just followed the instructions. I relinquished myself to this voice from beyond, and passed quietly into the other side.

While on the other side I saw beings of light, who once again assured me that my son and I would not only get out of this car, but we would both be fine. They were definite in explaining that I must follow instructions implicitly and not lose faith in their words. I was told to have faith that I would be divinely directed, and I was.

It took my rescuers fifteen minutes to pull my lifeless body from that car, and another seven minutes of CPR to revive me. As my body bolted upright, I blurted "get my baby out of the car". Twenty two minutes had passed, the rescuers jumped back into the freezing bog to retrieve my son, knowing against hope, that he was dead. It took rescuers another five minutes or so to get my boy free from that car. His limp body was transported to the IWK Children’s Hospital, where he was immediately hooked to every machine known to mankind.

The team of emergency doctors and neurologists were waiting for me. They assured me that my sweet little boy was indeed brain dead, and in addition to this, his internal organs were full of blood. He was haemorrhaging throughout his body and his organs were non- viable. Things were the most bleak I have ever known. That is when the voice came to me again. "Have faith child." The doctors advised me to unplug my baby and let him pass peacefully, for even if a miracle happened and he did live, he would be a vegetable. "No quality of life", is all I remember thinking. Once again I heard the voice, "have faith". For that moment the doctors agreed to keep Evan on life support, but advised me not to hold out any hope. He had less than one percent chance of living and then he would continue to be hooked to all these machines for the rest of his life. Remember, I had no God, so I could not even call for guidance. It was in the quiet of my first moment alone, that I was given the instructions. "Follow the instructions implicitly", memories of the visions and the voice in the lake flooded back to me. There was someone there with me, I was sure of it, and I decided to listen carefully. I was instructed to rebuild my son’s aura by infusing his little body with the auras of others. Twenty minutes at a time was one of the first rules; for if it was longer, you would drain the aura of the giver. They instructed me to parade loving people through Evan's room, each depositing their own energy field into his lifeless body. They were to do this by connecting their flesh to his flesh and allowing their energy to run through his body, and then to give Evan their “gift." If they sang, they were to sing. If they were story tellers, tell a story, and so on. Infuse him with positive energy and your love and your talents, and this will revive him.

I proceeded against hospital protocol to send loving humans into my son’s room every half hour. They then followed the instructions and gave their gift of love. This procession lasted twenty four hours a day, for three days. Dozens and dozens of people came. They "camped out" everyday and every night; loving trusting souls infusing his lifeless body with fresh energy. The fact that I was able to convince the hospital to allow this unorthodox behaviour to happen was a miracle in itself, but on the third day, after 72 hours of constant vigil, my boy opened his little eyes and recognized me. He was back!!!

The doctors were baffled. They continued to tell me that he would never walk or talk or be a normal child again. However their words this time had no effect on me. The guidance and direction from my spiritual light beings had proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would be fine; after all, my "friend" in the lake had told me so.

Within the first week Evan had recovered all his body functions, and by the end of the second week, he was running down the halls to the hospital playroom. This was indeed an incredible miracle. What had I done to deserve such reprieve by our Almighty Creator? I didn’t know nor did I care. I wanted to take my son home and be done with the whole nightmare. This is when I realized that I might be done with my light friends, but they were not done with me.

I continued to hear the voices and be directed with both visions and seeing auras. Needless to say, I was more than a little freaked out. As time passed I would ask "What do you want of me?" They would speak of the love for the universe and how things have gone terribly wrong. Humanity has spiralled out of control, and has lost its true connection to God and to this Earth. They want desperately for me to give the humans of this world a message from "beyond," that we have inside of us the power to unite this planet as one race with peace and prosperity for all. This power lies inside us all, and when combined with the loving energy of other humans, we can do for this planet what we did for my son. We can revive this Earth and catapult it into healing. With this healing will come a new phase of humanity. We will have a time of peace and harmony. All it will take is our intention, as a united group, and one hour of our time.

So as the voices and visions unravelled I was given the guidance of how to make this all happen. However it will take many of us on this planet to see to the success of the project. As they told me to rotate the humans through my son’s room, they have told me to unite humanity from every corner of the globe. Not every human, just representatives from every corner. We can do this. We need to unite enough people to fire the divine energy system of this planet and jump start it like we did with my boy.

This global project of loving intention is completely possible. Your intention to make it happen can change the outcome of this planet. I will discuss the details of the plan in phase three of this website. I will give you the directions to follow, and you will see how little it will take for you to become an ambassador of light to our home, planet Earth. I beseech you to join me when we fire the Earth grid on July 17, 2007 at 11:11 Greenwich Mean Time. — 07:11 (7:11 AM ) Eastern Daylight Time — and add your energy to this project. I promise you, just one hour of your time and you can help heal this planet, and help create peace among all people. My son and I are examples of the power of positive energy, and what humans are truly capable of when they unite with the intention of love. Love is the universal language of our world, and the world beyond.

Light and love be with you and welcome to the next phase of humanity; be part of the excitement and please join us.



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Please find links to other near death survivors who have had visions and prophecy for the future:

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research32.html (Near death experiences and prophecy)

http://www.near-death.com/dougherty.html (another near death experience with prophecy)

http://www.nderf.org/Books_and_Reviews.htm (books about near death experience)

http://www.qsl.net/w5www/brinkley.html (Dannion Brinkley)

http://www.self-full-life.com/ (Peg Abernathy}




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All contents ©2005-2006 Shelley Yates. All rights reserved. Site created by Sight & Touch

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Be Sure and Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair.....



THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE






2007 Proclamation

There are moments in time when a word or thought has such power that it changes history; a generation so involved in the moment that it becomes unstoppable; and a spiritual awaking so profound that its very conception shatters perceptions, halts the world and makes people from all nations take notice.

It started with a simple four letter word – LOVE! In the 1960’s this word became synonymous with a generation and a city called San Francisco. It was a concept, a belief deep in the hearts of all who were there (and those who wished they were). It began with the writers and artists such as Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the “Beat Generation”.

The epicenter of this movement was in certain neighborhoods of San Francisco such as North Beach and Haight Ashbury and in cities like Palo Alto, Berkeley, Los Angeles and New York. These pockets of anti-social, anti-establishment individuals questioned authority and their surroundings while searching for the real meanings of life and the deeper truths. These small communities of like-minded individuals and “families” of communal creativity focused on poetry, art, folk music, jazz, and rock’n roll, demanding to be free of societal restrictions, restraints and hang up’s.

And then one summer it happened! “We Were Everywhere”. The pureness of thought exploded exponentially and there were now millions of us. This event, this historical moment which included most of 1967, became known as the “SUMMER OF LOVE”.

During this period the Peace Movement was born with the “Human Be-Ins” in San Francisco and the “Love-Ins” in New York. Anti-war demonstrations occurred everywhere and college campuses erupted with thousands of people refusing the draft. The American Indians took Alcatraz and fought for their rights at Wounded Knee. This startled the government; presidents were impeached, wars were stopped, an entire generation stood up and said “Hell No”.

Social change was occurring and continued on multiple levels. Out of this orderly chaos came the “movements”: The Free Speech Movement, Free Love Movement, the Farm Workers Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Gay Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Ecology Movement, the Animal Rights Movement, the Sexual Revolution, the Spiritual Movement, the Student Movements, the Black Movement and the Anti-War Movement.

The message was clear and the world was uniting behind one principle and one thought – LOVE! and its affirmation of PEACE, COMPASSION, and UNDERSTANDING. The word was brought fourth by musicians such as Donovan, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane and then carried on by many of the English musicians like Eric Clapton, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.

Because of this free thinking environment a renaissance of gifted genius’ occurred with the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jim Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. Concepts and inventions were coming a mile a minute touching every segment of society and even the engineering world participated by inventing the computer, the calculator and the transistor.

The internet, too had it’s inceptions in the 1960’s as a whole new creative sector of the economy developed within, took hold and became Silicon Valley (later home to Apple Computers). The international community was also in awe of this explosion of creativity as Olympic athletes showed their solidarity by uniting with the winds of change. All this started with a simple word, a simple thought – LOVE! and a generation willing to stand up and be counted and their willingness to be different.

This period of change is commemorated by celebrating the “SUMMER OF LOVE”

It stands for:

Truth and individual freedom. Freedom of expression.

Freedom for an individual to make a choice - sexually, spiritually and socially.

Our rights to be different and still belong. Honor in refusing to fight yet honoring those who do.

Creativity, love and respect for all things. Our right to make a difference.

Our right to think independently. Our willingness to share with others.



In 2007 the 40th Anniversary of the SUMMER OF LOVE will be celebrated with a FREE concert in Golden Gate Park, Speedway Meadows, San Francisco, on September 2nd from 10 am to 6pm. All are welcome.

For information 415-861-1520, summeroflove40th@yahoo.com. www.2b1records.com/summeroflove40th

Friday, July 13, 2007

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

No Sex Please, We're Organizing

illustration by: Marc Rosenthal


A nation of pack rats tries to get it together.

Elizabeth Gettelman (from Mother Jones Magazine )


Last year, Americans spent $7 billion on organizational products for their homes, closets, and garages.

80% of Americans believe they would be more satisfied if they were neater.

2 in 3 Americans who make $35,000 a year or less call themselves "neat freaks." Only 1 in 10 of those earning $75,000 or more claim the same.

48% of office managers admit to a messy desk but claim to know where everything is. 12% have a neat desk but no idea where to find anything.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "bucket" is the new "in" business metaphor because it's "more macho" than "basket."

Container Store staff are trained to develop an "emotional connection" with customers. Says a salesperson, "When someone comes in to organize belts or shoes, there is usually a bigger problem."

Miles of Piles: Self-storage units cover 72 square miles, the area of Manhattan and San Francisco combined.

For her 1,000 pairs of shoes, Mariah Carey installed a revolving, climate-controlled, glass display case. "Closets are a big part of my life," she told Hello! magazine.

Ashlee Simpson told People a 1,300-square-foot closet was the selling point of her house. LeBron James has a two-story closet. And Bob Costas paid $100,000 for a closet in the Time Warner Center.

American women would rather organize their closets than lose weight, according to a 2005 Rubbermaid survey.

1 in 3 ikea customers say they get more satisfaction from cleaning out their closets than from having sex.

Men who don't organize their sock drawer have sex 3 times more a month than men who do.

Men who own Palm Pilots are 4 times more likely to forget their wives' birthdays than men who don't.

The National Association of Professional Organizers claims that Americans spend 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but can't find.

4 in 5 new homes have multicar garages. Most two-car garages have one or no car in them.

75% of L.A. garages are used in ways that preclude any parking.

For $200,000 the GarageTown chain sells "condominium" storage units complete with fridge, cable TV, and members-only clubhouse.

Many upscale homes now feature a "transition room" or, as one woman told the New York Times, "the room where we will channel all our crap.''

After a Massachusetts family moved into a smaller home in 2005, the mother was "very depressed," until they converted their den into a "Costco annex."

According to Mental Health America, more than 2 million Americans are hoarders.

In 2003, a Bronx man spent two days trapped under his magazines—ranging from Vibe to the Harvard Business Review—before firefighters rescued him.

Many people have a bit of "pack rat" in them, says Harvard psychiatrist Michael Miller. "The impulse to gather and store has had evolutionary advantages."

Last June 1,000 caged rats were found in a one-bedroom house in Petaluma, California. An animal control officer said their owner was "an intelligent man to talk to, but he smells like rat urine."

60% of cited animal hoarders are repeat offenders.

In 2005, a 12-year-old Long Island girl was accused of strangling her mother after being told to clean her room. Her attorney claimed self-defense.

90% of parents say that their kids' rooms are causing "mess distress."

Last year, more than 6,000 people went to the E.R. with backpack-related injuries.

A recent study found that college conservatives' rooms are more neat and organized than liberals'.

The U.S. produces 40% of the world's new stored information.

Each American produces 800 megabytes of digital data a year, the equivalent of 30 feet of books.

The CIA burns up to 10 tons of documents per day.

The director of the National Association for Information Destruction says paper shredders are becoming "a household requirement as much as a washer and dryer."

The initial version of this year's U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act bill set aside $74 million for peanut storage.

A Kansas salt mine is home to the world's largest film collection, and, until recently, 400 versions of the Good Book owned by the American Bible Society.

The Mormon Church advises its members to keep a year's worth of rations because "It may someday be as important to store food as it was for Noah and his family to board the ark."

The average American fridge is twice as big as its European counterpart.

More than 70% of Americans are routinely unable to find matching lids for their 15-plus food-storage containers.

Sealed for Freshness, an off-Broadway play that opened in February, is about a Tupperware party "gone awry" and "lost youth, missed opportunities, and deviled egg containers."

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, state troopers rescued 1,400 frozen embryos from a flooded New Orleans fertility clinic. The first set of twins was delivered in December.

The San Diego Zoo's "Frozen Zoo" has semen, embryos, and dna samples from 675 species, half of them endangered.

For $110 a year, Clone usa will store your pet's semen—provided you collect it yourself.

Exhibit Sources
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This article has been made possible by the Foundation for National Progress, the Investigative Fund of Mother Jones, and gifts from generous readers like you.

© 2007 The Foundation for National Progress




Monday, July 09, 2007

What the........................


I am at Clown School at Green Mountain College in Vermont. For some reason I haven't been able to get into my blog posting from my computer on the network here. Bear with me and I'll be back once I can figure it out or when I get home in a couple weeks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bduh...Bduh....Bduh...That's All Folks



Tricycle's Daily Dharma: July 4, 2007

You Are Completely Crazy

Somewhere in this process, you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. You also are no crazier than anybody else around you. The real difference is that you have confronted the situation; they have not. So they still feel relatively comfortable. This does not mean that they are better off. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not lead to Liberation. So don't let this realization unsettle you. It is a milestone actually, a sign of real progress. The very fact that you have looked at the problem straight in the eye means that you are on your way up and out of it.
--Henepola Guanaratana

Monday, July 02, 2007

How Can We Stop Crime When The Criminals Are In Office??????



Bush commutes Libby prison sentence

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
2 minutes ago



President Bush commuted the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term that Bush said was excessive.

Bush's move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case. That meant Libby was likely to have to report to prison soon and put new pressure on the president, who had been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, and Bush said his action still "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby."

Libby was convicted in March of lying to authorities and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative's identity. He was the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.

Bush said of Cheney's former aide: "The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting."




Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Celebrating Interdependence Day with One of My Favorite Comics and Philosophers...



Swami Beyondananda on the Essential Shifts
(transcript from Shift In Action)


Shift in Action: So I want to welcome everybody to the show today. We're very fortunate to have Swami Beyondananda, or Steve Bhaerman, depending on which sub-personality is in the foreground at any particular time. Steve Bhaerman is an internationally known author, humorist and workshop leader and for 18 years he's also had the dual identity of Swami Beyondananda, who's known as the Cosmic Comic. And it's really a great treat to have you on the show, and I always love your humor, so thanks for joining us.

Steve Bhaerman: Well, it's great to be here. I'm really happy to be a part of this program and I thing you're doing a tremendous job with networking and creating what we're calling the American and worldwide evolution.

SIA: Right. A lot of folks who are tuning in won't necessarily be aware but you've done a lot of work on bringing together spiritual movement and science with social change and politics and you've really branched out far beyond your original basis in comedy.

SB: Well, comedy's always been a disguise. My original ground was in political science, which of course is an oxymoron, and then I taught history and became interested and involved in spiritual paths and so on. And it's been a very interesting journey with the Swami, and just a few years ago, looking at our political situation, it occurred to me that what we call politics is really much bigger than politics, and speaking to the current global situation that we see, a great yogi once said, I think it was Yogi Berra, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it". And right now we, as a species, are at a fork in the road, because we have to choose between the love-based or fear-based models. 'We're all this in together' versus 'It's every man for himself'. The swami has called this abumdance, where we all get up off our assets and move our bums and dance together versus scarecity where we give in to fear, particularly fear of not having enough; and we've been really goaded into that kind of fear, particularly since 9/11, when, as the Swami would say, "Feargnomes, little gnomes of gnawing fear, were injected into the mainstream, which has made us susceptible to mad cowboy disease". And of course we're suffering from that right now, but fortunately people are waking up, and this is what the Swami has called the Upwising. People are wising up and we do need an upwising right now. But if we look at the choices that we have, Alan Lock's talked about … he's said it's time for us, instead of worshipping the finger, to begin to look where the finger is pointing. You know we've had these barking dogmas and dueling dualities and so on - each one saying my dogma's better than your dogma - and now it's time for us to quiet down and just actually look at what so many of these spiritual teachers from Jesus to Buddha to all the great avatars have been suggesting. And basically they've been suggesting some form of the golden rule, in contrast to what we have now which is the rule of gold. And so this is time for us to grow up and evolve, and the vision I'm holding is a bloodless evolution, where the only things that are fired are a few bigshots; where we, the people, overgrow the current system and where the unarmed forces win. Now I know this sounds very idealistic but if we are talking about evolution we are talking about a radical change and upleveling of what we expect from ourselves, and so that's why this is so very important. Because the current situation, I think we have to face it very, very clearly, that the powers that be in power, the only way that they can stay in power is through increasing totalitarianism. Now you and I know that they can't really control everything but that's not going to stop them from trying. And if we take a look clearly at everything that's happening right now, whether you want to call it the Iraq war or the pending war with Iran, or the primacy of the drug companies or the primacy of Halliburton or any of the outrages, that we go "My God, how is this happening, they're all related to the same thing". They're related to an abusive view of power where might makes right. And I think it's time for we human beings to notice that our spiritual teachers didn't tell us that might makes right is the appropriate operating system for this planet and this world, and it's time for us to have faith in faith, and start to show up.

SIA: One of the things I love about what you do is that this consolidation of power that really is coming out of fear which is totalitarianism in its early form, is it's very easy to defuse it with a good dose of humor because humor unravels that whole tightness and the fear that starts to armor people up and convince them that they need to have more military and more power and more dominance over others in order to feel safe, so that there's this really wonderful way when you speak truth to these things with such lightness of humor in it as well you're also defusing the tension underneath it.

SB: Yeah, that's really true and I'm also working on a project with Dr Bruce Lipton, the author of Biology of Belief, and we're calling our book The American Evolution, and essentially using science. The first chapter is called 'What if everything you know is wrong?' because we're still acting as if we're in a Newtonian universe of equal and opposite forces, and in a certain sense an eye for an eye is very Newtonian. You know responding to a warlike act with another warlike act is very Newtonian and yet for the last 100 years since Einstein offered an alternative view, we've been discovering, physicists have been discovering, that everything is related. And you know we are now in the throes of living in a world where only matter matters, and everything is about the material world, and yet when you get down to the atomic level there's nothing there, there's just energy, there's just pulsations and it's the pulsations that give forth to matter. So without getting too technical and metaphysical the new story really has to do with what if we lived out of this relatedness, I mean really, and so one of the things Bruce says in The Biology of Belief is that a cell or an organism cannot be in protection and growth at the same time, so when you're forced into this fear, into this adrenalized state, essentially you're out of your prefrontal cortex and you're into your hind brain, and you know where your head is at that point, right? So what happens is that when people are put into fear they're actually made less intelligent, and that certainly serves the powers that be in power but when we laugh it dislodges that fear and creates encouragement. It creates openness to new ideas and that's really the hope that we have. It's coming out of those new ideas, it's coming out of the life that wants to spring forth and that's why we're doing what we're doing.

SIA: So simply if enough people saw your performances we might actually raise the IQ a notch or two, if we take that to its logical conclusion.

SB: We need to raise our EQ, the emotional intelligence as well, but I think that what I've noticed in traveling across the country and doing what other people would call political humor but really which I think is bigger than politics, when people find themselves laughing at these jokes and laughing at these sad jokes and when Swami says the so-called Patriot Act has made our lives simpler – 'They've taken the bill of rights and boiled it down to just one – you have the right to remain silent'. When people hear this, and by the way I'm finding that this goes across the political spectrum, it's not just democrats, that there's libertarians, republicans and just conservatives who are waking up to go, "I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto", so because of all of this I think there is this moving forward of people realizing that we've been divided and conquered by being encouraged to be in either the red camp or the blue camp, and the process of fighting each other about things such as gay marriage and abortion and other cultural issues, the common wealth has been stolen, or it's being stolen, and part of waking up is realizing that there's certain values that 97% of humanity have in common and if we began to change the focus to expanding those values and letting the other things temporarily fall aside, we could create huge breakthrough.

SIA: So we're putting our attention on the resonance where we're already out of alignment rather than where we're separate.

SB: Yes and that's where the change is going to come from, from what I call the deep center. It's not the muddly center where you're trying to compromise and just say what you think someone else will agree with, but really it's from the depth of what we know in our heart of hearts is true. And the only way to face the heart of darkness is to be present with the heart of light. And we have to face the heart of darkness, don't you think.

SIA: I'm completely with you on that. So I know you've also been doing some strategizing about how to build something like a movement for this deep center to have a positive uplifting effect on the collective, it sort of ties into our second question. You covered our first question in the global situation, and the second question has to do with what are the most essential shifts required for us to evolve to the next level as a society.

SB: Well you know, 'Shift happens', let's face it. People say 'Why is this shift happening to me?' But I think first of all that having the most important shift and the most important focus, I'm coming to feel, is having… of course the shifts are spiritual, personal, political and economic, but first and foremost is having faith in faith. If you really believe in a loving universe now is the time to actually live as if that's true. What does it mean if there is a loving universe - what am I afraid of? And why can I get manipulated into thinking I'm only in it for myself here or is there a bigger and more expanding story? And it also means bringing on a personal level your actions in alignment with spiritual truth and releasing the old programming that keeps us from living the wisdom that we know. How many people are saying, 'Well I read all the books so why does my life still suck?' And I think it's partly because the dominant field has imbued us with a lot of obsolete notions about what it means to be human. And one of the great tools that my wife Trudy and I have discovered over the past year through our association with Bruce Lipton is a tool called Psych-K, which was developed by psychologist Rob Williams, and it's a technique for essentially identifying some of this old programming and changing it in the subconscious, so there are other tools for doing that I know, there's many tools out there right now, but something that actually makes a change in your behavior so that you're in alignment with you what you proclaim that you believe. On a political level I think it means coming to think comprehensively and not being stuck reacting to every perpetration du jour. You know if you're on these mailing lists you'll go, "Wow, save the whale; save the environment; save social security," and all of these things. There are so many of these assaults that are coming on a daily basis, and so the wisest thing we can do strategically is to begin to understand how all of these are related to the same abuse of power. What we have is a regime that believes in might makes right, even though they proclaim to worship Jesus, but as you know Jesus never said, "Doodoo onto others before they can doodoo onto you." So we have to understand, it's not so much the people that we're up against, it's simply a mindset that we perpetuate with our acquiescence to it, so one of the things that we have to do is to begin to tell the truth and speak the truth forward, because as the swamis says, 'The truth shall upset you free'. And that's true. They want us to be afraid, but we have to not be afraid of the truth. People go – you know when you start hearing about some of these darker aspects of what the government has been doing – people say 'I don't want to go there.' Well look, there is already here. So now is the time to do something about it, because, as the Swami would say, 'Because it's too late to do it sooner, that's why'. So anyway that's really what we need to do, and of course, economically it just means understanding the difference between making wealth in a way that simply extracts wealth or something which also creates value and we need to look at our local economies and see how they could be more sustainable and then put our own spending personally in line with supporting those things that are value-adding rather than wealth-extracting. And one more thing on shifts – there's a really excellent book that just came out, you probably have a copy of it. It's The Left Hand of God, by Rabbi Michael Lerner. And Michael Lerner is presenting at the second annual spiritual activist conference in DC, and one of the things that he identifies as something which needs to be changed is the dominant belief in cynical realism. We've had fifty years of deconstructing culture, and with everything deconstructed it essentially leaves the field open for people to say, 'You know, we don't really know what the truth is. There is no truth'. And people simply hang back because they don't want to be fooled, they don't want to be stupid, so 'I'm not going to allow myself to have faith. I'm not going to be a fool for love.' But when you choose to not be a fool for love you end up being a fool for the devil, in the sense that all of these people who say, 'I'm not going to be fooled into being idealistic, I'm just going to work for whatever company and take what I can.' Well that's who you're working for, that's what you're feeding.

SIA: Very interesting. So I guess we could move into the third question here and just go into a little more about the current work that you're doing with Bruce Lipton and elsewhere and your current passions and how do you see these fitting in with the larger shifts we're talking about.

SB: Interestingly I see this happening with a lot of people right now, that all of a sudden all of the very diverse things they've done in their lives that don't seem to relate, all of a sudden they're coming together in some kind of a package and 'My God, all these things somehow relate.' And so my own background in political science, the spiritual path that I've been involved with over the years, the curiosity about psychology and of course the humor, they're all coming together and right now there's three major projects that I'm really passionate about. The first related to humor of course is another Swami book. Swami has decided that what the world needs is a new non-religion, called fundamentalism (accent on the fun), and the slogan is all for fun and fun for all. And if you think about it, in a world where the operating system is all for fun and fun for all you can actually increase the happiness in the world. And Swami talks about supply side spirituality, and this is essentially how to overcome the law of supply and demand, 'Be more supplying and less demanding.' Very simple. And so I'm very excited about working on that project and I have a publisher for that book. The other thing that I'm very, very excited about is the book with Bruce Lipton on the American evolution, because again, who was it who said, 'No story, no world', our world is based on an obsolete story and the obsolete story is the dominator story. And the Swami would say, 'Let's go for the highest common denominator rather than the lowest common dominator,' and that's where we've been and so the excitement about working with Bruce is that his passion is making sure that everything that we say is grounded in empirical science, and springing forth from what we've discovered about how cells interact and how the quantum physics essentially is saying that everything is related and some of these distinctions that we've created about this versus that, Einstein insisting that a problem cannot be solved at the level of the problem, you have to go to the next level. So we're looking at going to the level past dueling dualities to the overriding truths that are beyond that, which is that everything is related, we're all one with the same one. The other thing which I'm doing, which is going back to something you asked earlier, which is about the strategizing about what we can do right now, we're about to launch a website called 'Stand Up Americans' and we're actually encouraging – this is taking the political conversation and making it a more comprehensive conversation. We are for government of the people by the people for the people where the government does our bidding, not the bidding of the highest bidder and we're acknowledging that our government and our country has been lowjacked by gold-collared criminals. Those are the criminals that have managed to collar the gold without getting collared themselves. And they don't pay taxes because they figured why do that when you can pay the legislators directly.

SIA: Much better results.

SB: Yes, it's much more efficient. And they have used their energy, what the Chinese call chi, to gain unfair advantage – this is called chi-ting. So we're acknowledging…you know, everybody seems to be beating around the bush, and really looking at this is that our government has been taken away from us. We don't really have our hands on the controls any more. The checks have been cross-checked and the balances have been unbalanced and we have to begin to tell the truth about all this, otherwise we can't get anywhere. Rather than pretending that it's politics as usual, and somehow if we elect democrats in the fall, which is highly unlikely because the democrats are not standing for anything and there's still some very, very deep questions about the viability of electronic voting and so on. So we have to understand that we the people are the leaders we've been waiting for. And to take that very, very seriously, if you look around, where are the leaders of this new movement? They're not on the radar. So what we have to do is we have to create fields so that those people who are in the government in higher up positions will have the courage to come out, and these leaders can stand on our shoulders, but if we at the grassroots take this lying down then we will not encourage any courage. So if we start moving, and if we begin to call for impeachment – in fact one of the playful things that we'll be doing on this website is encouraging people for July 4th to bake impeach cobbler – 'It's as American as apple pie' – and simply begin to stand up and they'll have buttons saying 'Ask me why I'm standing.' You know, marching is ok, but there's something about standing, that you're standing up to power, you're standing up, I think…our intention is standing up for the heart and soul of America, to restore that. And some cynics would say, 'Well you know, from the very beginning, we had slavery, we had the genocide against native peoples, blabitty blabitty blah, but the truth is, along with that, what the founding fathers came up with was truly inspired and truly evolutionary and now we have to pick up the thread of that evolution where the founding fathers left off. This is the call to our generation. You know, if you look at what we're asking our armed forces to do in Iraq, the young people who are dying, killing, being maimed and maiming other people and damaging the entire rest of their lives possibly, we're asking them to make these sacrifices for us, and the nature of the evolution that I think we're called upon to make right now is that we, every one of us, has to begin to step outside the matrix of what we consider ordinary politics and stop pretending that the show game is really the game. And I think more and more people are willing to do this and I'm very encouraged. I just came back from meetings up in Oregon, and two things happened. I met with Tom Atlee who has been involved with bringing groups of diverse people, diverse opinions together in commonality for many, many years and he's described some very exciting processes for doing just that – bringing together left and right. And then I met with Jeff Golden who wrote a book called As if We Were Grown-Ups, and that's about, 'What if politicians talked to us as if we were grown-ups. How would that be?' And just recently in Ashland, Oregon, there is a new movie which is interestingly coming from the right. It's by a producer called Aaron Russo, and it's called From Freedom to Fascism. Are you aware of this, maybe?

SIA: No, I've heard of it but I haven't seen it.

SB: Well, it really is about the illegitimacy of the Federal Reserve and the IRF, but it also is against the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. And so there we were a group of about 500 people who saw this movie in Ashland and Medford, and I'm thinking that this is happening all over the country as well. And Jeff Golden, my friend, has a radio show on public radio in Ashland, and there is another radio guy who is a Rush Limbaugh clone who has a radio show up there as well, and the two of them got together and decided to show this movie. So they got about 500 people to see the movie, and roughly half were from the progressive camp, half were from the conservative or right wing camp. At the end of the movie the entire 500 people are up cheering. So this is bigger than politics as usual and I think that these people on the right understand that this regime is illegitimate, that they've used their power illegitimately, and the only way that things are going to change, I believe, is not because the Democrats can squeak by a victory and muddle about for another bunch of years, but if people let go of left and right and come from the center to face the real situation, which is that our country has essentially been turned into a corporatocracy and that the major issues of our time, such as global warming and peak oil, etc., etc., are being ignored and we cannot afford to ignore those any more and we have to come front and center to face the music and dance together.

SIA: I've written a bit about how it's really a new operating system that we needed. To use the computer metaphor, it's not that we just need to play the tug-of-war on the same level of operating system, but really to leverage up to a whole new operating system

SB: Absolutely.

SIA: Great, so I really love your analysis of where things are at, I think it's very spot on and very timely, so I think the last piece that we like to give everybody is bring them down to the most personal level and get something from you about what you think are the personal things that we can each do to have the highest impact on creating this new larger shift that we're talking about.

SB: Well again, this is all about consciousness, this entire conversation. The politics, as usual, has to do with trying to make changes outside yourself and this really is about consciousness, so it's about our own impeccability, because if we are peccable they're going to peck us. So we have to also ask ourselves every day, 'Are my actions congruent with my faith? Do I have faith in love? Do I have faith? As Einstein said, 'Is the universe a friendly place?' And as Bullwinkle said, 'Should be, just listen.' So I challenge myself and I challenge everybody else to be steadfast in what we stand for and that's a magnet for other people. It's a magnet for people who are looking for authenticity. And secondly, I think we have to fearlessly and cheerfully speak even the most unpleasant truths forward – our suspicions about the 9/11 story, voting fraud, of all of the abuses of power which are too dark and dangerous for us to want to take a close look at. But last year, one of the things I discovered in the summer, I was very disheartened and I did my meditation and prayer and yelling at the sky and all of that stuff, and what came back, because I said, 'What do I do, what do I do?' and sometimes the thing to do is to not do but to simply build the field, and what I noticed after a year of people building the field and speaking the truth forward, all of a sudden these things happened – that Cindy Sheehan came on the radar where she hadn't been on the radar before, and we got to see the true colors of the current regime as we watched them deal with Katrina and various indictments and so on. So I think it is hugely important, if you want to look at what's happening today, imagine that there is a wall of lies and imagine the kind of energy it takes to keep the wall of lies in place and there is a building surge of truth and there's going to be leaks here and leaks there and pretty soon the wall of lies will just come down in this flood of truth. In order for that to happen we have to quietly and persistently keep building the truth forward, so that when we're in conversations with other people we ask them – I always ask people, 'What do you think about the official 9/11 story?' And I always start by asking questions and finding out what people really, really think and what you find is that most people are suspicious of the most basic things that this administration is doing and yet, because they get no agreement from the media, they think that maybe they're crazy or isolated or misled. So if you can't get it on television, tell a person is the next best thing, so it's important to speak these truths forward. One of the things I launched was called the empty envelopes campaign where, being solicited for funds by the Democratic Party, we decided empty envelopes for empty promises was appropriate.

SIA: Did a lot of people respond to that?

SB: Yes and I think people are really looking for ways to express themselves, so just recently I read that Arlen Specter, the Republican senator for Pennsylvania, who is wanting to investigate the National Security Agency spying scandal and all of that stuff, he's asking for people to show up; he's asking, 'Well, what do you think?' So I'm recommending that people send letters. Now emails are great, phone calls are great, but there's something physical about a hand-written note, it doesn't have to be long, it doesn't have to be elaborate, but it's heartfelt, hand-written and personal from an individual. Imagine Senator Specter's office getting 50,000 of these hand-written notes saying 'Investigate the administration'. It's going to have an impact, and even if it doesn't have an impact, it has an impact on the morphic field. There is a field, and the more truth that's told, the more the ordinary people on the ground are saying, 'You know, we don't believe this administration any more, they've become kind of like one of these burnt-out stars that's light years away that doesn't know it's burnt out yet'. So that's what we can do, and have courage and, of course, have humor, speak with humor. One final story here. In his book, Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl talks about being in a Nazi death camp during World War II, and he and a fellow inmate made a pact with each other that every day, in some way, they would laugh, because if you're laughing, if you're able to laugh at your situation, there is a part of you that can't be put in prison. And to give you an idea of the power of this, one of the jokes that actually circulated among the inmates in the camps involved these two Jewish guys who decide they're going to assassinate Hitler, and they know that Hitler's motorcade passes a particular intersection every day at 11:00 in the morning, and they're waiting for him. 11:00 in the morning, Hitler doesn't show up. 11:15 he's not there, 11:30. When he's not there by 11:45 one of the assassins turns to the other and says, 'Gee, I hope nothing's happened to him!' So that's the power of humor to get leverage over your situation and I think you noticed, there is just this piece, where nobody, I think Jay Leno and Jon Stewart both turned down the opportunity to go to the White House and do a spoof of the President, and this other guy, Colbert, went.

SIA: Stephen Colbert? Apparently that was not very well received.

SB: Oh, it was very well received, but not by the president and his wife. It was very well received by millions and millions of people, and so all of these things make a difference. And you know, it's not about abusing this one guy, George Bush. I think that George Bush – you know we ought to write him a big thank you note for helping to focalize the shadow in such a way that we, as a people, come to deal with it. And I appreciate, Stephen, the communiqu├ęs and the understanding that you have about the importance of facing the collective shadow and the psychological and psycho-spiritual aspects of this whole thing that we call politics, because that's what has to happen. We have to uncover these stories so we can heal, and we need to have enough love and understanding and wisdom to metabolize these topics.

SIA: And I just get over and over again how important the humor of peace is in that. It's like the healing bomb that comes in when people start to look into the shadow, they tend to compress out of fear, it's like, 'Oh, I can't even look at this,' but then, with a bit of humor, the truth of that situation can then be healing and redemptive rather than oppressive.

SB: Right and that's the courage that we have to keep and keep moving that forward, and people everywhere will … this will eventually … I'm optimistic about our prospects, even though it really involves doing stuff that we humans have never done before.

SIA: Great, all right, well I think that about wraps it up for today. Really terrific insights and very funny as well. I so appreciate you sharing all that with us.

SB: Well thank you. I appreciate what you're doing and I look forward to listening to these and circulating them around.

SIA: Great. And just if people want to contact you, http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/ is the best way and you have a tour schedule and that sort of thing. And I recommend that folks get on your email list because you send out some terrific stuff. Trenchant criticism of the system mixed with a lot of humor and a lot of fun.

SB: Thank you.