Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The Bush Administration can best be described as opportunities lost. With the jackals nipping at his heels in these final months of his presidency, George Bush had the opportunity to raise the bar in the upcoming election, but failed to do so. As both Democratic and Republican candidates search for the magic button that will whisk them into the White House next fall, the President had a major opportunity to set the agenda for national debate. Like the fickle weather of month of March, he came into his presidency like a lion, but is going out like a lamb.

The President’s last State of the Union Address could have set the tone for national dialogue and might have even saved some semblance of a positive legacy. Instead, we simply got more of the same rhetoric that has fallen on deaf American ears. Lame duck office holders frequently have major opportunities to strike a tone that would move election debates into more positive territories. Instead, they usually end up with an attitude reminiscent of managers who throw in the towel as their fighters appear on the verge of defeat.

The President focused his speech on war, terrorism and recession. On all three fronts, the U.S has been fighting losing battles. A war that could have brought positive change to the Middle East has been disastrous due to lack of vision and gross mismanagement. If the President had just listened to the voices of our brave troops and of the people in Iraq, we might have been on the verge of peace, rather than catastrophe. If the President had listened to the cries of the people rather than the demands of mega corporations, terrorism might have been a mere footnote in the history books. If the President had listened to the opinions of more advanced thinking economists and environmentalists rather than the dinosaurs of corporate thinkers, perhaps we would now be buying alternative energy products and boosting our lagging economy. Perhaps that will be President Bush’s greatest legacy; he failed to listen to new voices.

President Bush represents all that is wrong about corporate economies that are more concerned with profit than creating a sustainable market system based upon sound economic, social and environmental principles. Bush represents the end of an era, perhaps even the end of an age. Think what would have happened if the President placed a real challenge before those seeking to stroll the rose garden.

Is it possible that the President could have actually molded the presidential race in his own image? Having failed in so many areas, he could have actually shaped both domestic and foreign policy for the next decade. Rather than try to merely justify what he has done, he could have proposed a set of sweeping policy and legislative proposals that would have to be addressed by political candidates. He could have proposed sweeping changes in environmental policy; challenged the scientific and technological communities to develop solutions to global warming; proposed sweeping health care reform; put forth a major revamp of our failing educational system; postulated real dialogue about immigration concerns; overhaul our foreign policy; taken a major stand on issues like Darfur, the Middle East, and China. So many opportunities were possible, but so many opportunities were lost.

In retrospect, President Bush did do the nation a great service. He showed us what was wrong with America. He showed us that when the people sleep, the government awakens. He showed us all that was wrong when you abandon your friends and allies in order to pursue a self-serving agenda. He showed us, once again, how our apathy leads to humanitarian tragedy. He showed us that the pursuit of wealth with disregard for the environment that provides that wealth is global suicide. He showed us that if we do not pay attention and become “comfortably numb,” we lose our freedoms and possibly the very planet that sustains and nourishes us. He showed us that corporate greed begets economic disaster and even threatens our very lives when we put profit over safety. He showed us that walls not only keep others out, they also keep us in.

Even though he garnered my vote in his first term, I will not miss President Bush. He has brought us to the brink of economic, environmental, social and foreign policy disaster. Perhaps it is a positive thing that he will leave as a lamb. But one thing is certain, the U.S. needs the return of a lion next fall; one that will see all that was done wrong, and take immediate steps to correct the errors of the past eight years.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


NOW AVAILABLE FROM AVATAR PUBLICATION-Messages in a bottle are sent for one of three reasons: you are in need of help, you are responding to a request for help, or you just want to connect with new people. In a way, this series of “messages” meets all three of those criteria. We live in a time and a world of uncertainty. Our entire reality is shifting as environmental, spiritual, political, social and economic institutions are breaking apart and transforming. People are searching for new answers since the old answers no longer seem valid.
In this first of a series “messages” we hear from noted authors, healers and mystics as they offer their words of advice and wisdom on topics that will help us enter the “era of transformation.” In this “bottle” listen to the words of:

MESSAGES II continues to bring humanity rays of light and hope. Author Ed Rychkun addresses financial and complete body, mind and spirit connections. Linda Walker shows the spiritual side of weight reduction and how your mind set creates your appearance. Ken MacLean talks about the “Big Picture,” the vibrational Universe and “life solutions. Linda Saper-Bloom takes you down the path of alternative healing. ZoĆ« Routh discusses how she won her battle with cancer using spiritual laws. These ‘messengers’ also discuss the law of attraction and the use of basic spiritual principles to create your own reality


NOW AVAILABLE FORM AVATAR PUBLICATION-Messages in a bottle are sent for one of three reasons: you are in need of help, you are responding to a request for help, or you just want to connect with new people. In a way, this series of “messages” meets all three of those criteria. We live in a time and a world of uncertainty. Our entire reality is shifting as environmental, spiritual, political, social and economic institutions are breaking apart and transforming. People are searching for new answers since the old answers no longer seem valid.
In this first of a series “messages” we hear from noted authors, healers and mystics as they offer their words of advice and wisdom on topics that will help us enter the “era of transformation.” In this “bottle” listen to the words of:

SANDI KIMMEL, Songwriter and singer
DR. MICHAEL SHARP, mystic and author
DAN STONE, Channeler

Friday, January 18, 2008


While there are many successful users of the Law of Attraction there are still many who have yet to find the secret to the “Secret.” The publishing world is ripe with books on how to effectively use the Law of Attraction, including my book, “Jesus Taught It, Too: The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction” but still, many have yet to master its use. One major roadblock to would be masters of their own reality is what I call, “The Just In Case Syndrome.”

In addition to the notion that “like attracts,” the Law of Attraction contains within it basic corollaries such as form follows thought, where consciousness goes reality flows, what you think about the most you attract, fear attracts more fear, reality is thought made manifest and your world is a mirror of your predominant conscious and unconscious thoughts. Basically, what you hold in thought becomes your world.

Here is the problem: while many want to try to use the Law of Attraction, they suffer from the “just in case syndrome.” Here are some examples. You want or need a new car and you go through the steps of forming your intention, visualizing your new vehicle and even begin to show gratitude for what you expect to come. So far, so good. But, “but just in case” you fail, you decide to put a lot of repair money into your existing car. Another scenario: you want to free yourself of some illness or dis-ease and do all of the visioning for a whole and healthy body. But, “just in case,” you take any and every medication to try to cure you ailment. Or how about finding that perfect job? You begin to see yourself in your perfect occupation but, “just in case,” do all that you can to ensure that you do not lose your existing job.
The “just in case syndrome” applies to many such situations. Reducing weight, finding that perfect relationship, building a business, achieving a life goal, reaching a state of enlightenment, moving, finding a new home and all of those things one may desire are subject to this syndrome. Your thought process goes something like this; I desire “X” but “just in case” I am not successful, I will plan for “Y.” Now “Y” is often your current situation or something near to it. It exists because it has been your predominant thought(s) in your life. It is what you see in your life’s mirror that you do not like and want to change. The problem is that what you are really doing is trying to alter the image already in the mirror rather than changing what you are projecting on to the mirror.

Your personal mirror, despite all of its failings, is a comfort zone. You have become used to the image and even if it is ugly, it is familiar and has some odd sense of safety. It is what you have known to be true for your life and even though you want to change it, you provide for its continuance, “just in case.” Does this type of thinking send a clear message to the Universe about what you really desire? Are you not really telling the Universe, “I want this, but…?” Is this a powerful intention and a clear image of what you are aiming to manifest? This is not to say that you should delete all medications or not keep your car in functioning order. However, you have to closely examine your intentions and thought patterns and determine if they are more in the direction of what you want, or more in the direction of “just in case.”

Think about this syndrome on a national and international basis. We desire peace, but ‘just in case’ we also want the latest and most sophisticated weapons technology. We want better education and health care, but “just in case,” here is my compromise plan. The economy may be doing okay, but “just in case” here is our economic stimulus package. We want people to get a long and share ideas but “just in case,” lets build this wall or fence. It should be clear that intentions are mixed at best and contradictory at worst. When you say one thing and act in an opposite manner, the Universe sees your actions as your predominant thought and the world is as it is accordingly.

Some may say that the “just in case” syndrome is another term for lack of faith or belief. But of those words, to me, are suspect and by definition, imply uncertainty. There is “knowing” and there is belief, but “just in case” it might get confusing, that will be a topic for another day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Americans lack consensus. A society is whole when its people share values, ideals and purpose. It is obvious from the political campaigning that such a consensus is lacking in the U.S. And, while the job of a good politician is to build consensus, all of the candidates are facing one hell of a job.

Once upon a time there was a nation that was formed because its people shared a common vision. They wanted to build a country based upon freedom, liberty and justice for all. At least that was the common wisdom even though the reality greatly lagged behind the dream. That nation, with its people sharing a common goal, became one of the greatest and most powerful nations on earth. It has had its moments. When values were in conflict, the nation experienced internal conflict. It suffered a civil war, fought in the streets for true freedom, equality and justice. But it managed to stay together. It battled throughout the world to help others gain or keep their freedoms. Because of its resolve, it almost always prevailed.

This nation welcomed diversity. It opened it arms and its heart to those of foreign lands to come and share in its vision. People helped people and the mix of cultures and the freedom of expression enabled this nation to grow, prosper and to lead. One of its great leaders said that a “nation divided cannot stand” and over time itself held together and stood proud in the gathering of nations. Its people demanded excellence of its leaders and if the leaders did not represent their will. They “threw the rascals out.”

To an extent, this nation has been somewhat of a myth. It was not perfect, newcomers were not always welcomed, freedoms were not really for all and its motives in dealing with others were certainly suspect. However, regardless of its imperfections, everyone still believed in its basic founding principles.

What has changed? Do we still believe in basic freedoms? Have we not allowed massive government intrusion into our lives? Do we still welcome the weak, the poor and the hungry? Do we still accept new cultures and seek out their strengths to add to our own. Instead of helping others do we now look to government to solve all of our problems? Are we one voice on the economy, health care, the environment, justice, foreign policy, education and basic rights and liberties for all?

We have come to believe that “others” will solve our problems and we have given others the responsibility to do so. In that process, we have lost freedoms and our basic values. In the upcoming elections we look to the candidates to see who have the best “programs” to alleviate our suffering. We look for the quick fix while failing to see that only we can fix ourselves. Obama, Clinton, McCain and others cannot solve our problems. Every time we look to others to do so, we end up disappointed. If we really wanted universal health care; if we really wanted to lead the world in saving the environment; if we really wanted our children to be able to read, write and think; if we really wanted to feed and house the poor, there is no force on this planet that would stop us. Our politicians have debated and promised resolve on these issues for decades and yet they still persist.

It is our lack of consensus and unity of thought and purpose that prevents the resolution of the issues that concern us. One merely has to look at recent events to see that simply changing politicians and political party domination does not result in the solution and resolution of the issues that confront this country. While the inner chambers of our system bicker and while we, as the people, lack a shared dream, the world is moving past us. Regardless of what you read, it is not President Bush that is getting us into all kinds of trouble. And, regardless of what they say, it will not be Clinton, Obama, McCain or Romney that will change our standing in the world. It is we, the people, who must make those tough decisions to once again lead the world into a new era. It is we, the people who must find a common dream and present that dream to the world. While is may be convenient to blame our politicians for all that ails us, it is really each of us who must take the responsibility for the ways we interact with each other and the rest of the world.
Regardless of who wins in 2008, do not expect miracles unless we all decide the kinds of miracles we would like to see manifest.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


We are taught in school that in the U.S. we have three branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial. Our “founding fathers” felt that this separation of powers would result in a system of “check and balances’ that would prevent either branch from gaining too much power. For many years this system worked fairly well, until the development of huge government bureaucracies. While, technically speaking, the bureaucracy is under the control of the executive branch, it has become a fourth level of government. Armed with its rule-making authority and protected by civil service laws, the bureaucracy is a decision making body that functions without the controls once envisioned by our founders. A bureaucrat sees presidents and congress-people come and go but they remain.

Rules and regulations are meant to protect and not abuse. However, bureaucratic abuse was and is still is rampant with respect to handling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A recent AP article (12/19/07) reported that a “FEMA official’s idea to speed up Katrina disaster aid was overruled.” That article notes that a FEMA official in charge of streamlining the flow of disaster relief funds and who issued a directive to cut through red tape was overruled by higher ups. According to Gil Jameison, head of Gulf Coast recovery, one of the reasons why the directive was overturned was to allow more review time for review of recovery projects. Apparently, according to the AP, none of the projects that went through the longer review process were denied. What was denied was help to Americans whose lives were shattered.

In my book, “RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT” I show that even years after the deadly landfall of Katrina, this type of bureaucratic abuse still persists. Based upon my friend’s true account as a clean-up truck driver in Louisiana and current news reports, we see the bureaucracy still rearing its ugly head despite efforts by legislators and executives to make improvements. Having kept a diary of his experiences from November 2005 until January 2007, my friend Steve offers an account of bureaucracy gone wild. Among the abuses cited in the book are the millions wasted on trailers that have never been occupied and that pose a health risk. We see land confiscated by eminent domain because homeowners could not start rebuilding in 30 days-a wonderful rule! Water hook-ups were forbidden unless you were on the list and God forbid they would let you do it yourself when all that was required was to connect a hose. People were condemned for not taking jobs even though all of their clothes were destroyed and there were no daycare for their children. Without public transportation those who could work lost all of their pay taking taxis to get to work. Crews were not allowed to help even the frail or elderly clean-up their yards since the rules said all debris had to be curbside. Steve saw hundreds of instances of the elderly struggling to get trees, destroyed appliances and the shattered remains of their homes by the side of the road as crews just went by dumping the remnants of lives into mountainous landfills. These and more abuses are documented in “RAPING LOUISIANA.”

One reviewer of the book, Shannon Evans, says “Ignored, Forgotten and abandoned the Gulf Coast is still a hotbed of contention and corruption.” A July 2007 New York Times article, written only five months ago by Shaila Dewan, documents the continued abuse. She cited that as of may 2007 some 30,000 families were still displaced; 18,000 were marooned in trailers and that hardly any of the 77,000 apartment units destroyed in the hurricane had been rebuilt. With lost ID’s many were and are unable to get work. We have also seen recent reports of soaring drug use and suicides and murders resulting from the emotion of despair. Another reviewer, Katrina Stiles, says that the book discovers “a state raped by nature and a people deceived by their government.” Author Marjorie Doughty writes, “The separate political representatives that butted heads over power and lack of apparent caring on the part of FEMA and others is truly soul-shattering.”

As our climate runs amok and new natural disasters are reported almost daily it is frightening to know that an unresponsive and uncontrollable level of government, the bureaucracy, has our lives in their hands. Nancy Ward, who issued the overruled reduce red tape directive was actually promoted to head FEMA’s West Coast Division. While she may be one shining light, it seems the rest of the bulbs are burnt out. My suggestion, in case of emergency is, be prepared to care for yourself.