Monday, June 28, 2010

Burning Turtles and Oily Rain!

Are we being honestly kept informed of events regarding the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? While BP is compensating for lost wages, who is compensating nature for the hundreds of thousands of lost wildlife? Did you know that when you hear stories about burning off the oil slick that sea turtles are being burned alive with no effort to save them?

If this concerns you, please join the Facebook group, PETITION FOR OIL COMPANIES TO COMPENSATE NATURE FOR ITS DESTRUCTION. You can see what's up at,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Dear Philip,

Two days on the Louisiana Gulf Coast last week changed me in profound and gut wrenching ways.

My throat burned and my head foggy and dizzy from the Gulf's toxic fumes, I returned home and shared my pictures and my flip-camera video with my wife, Fran, and 13-year-old daughter, Nicole.

With the horrific images of gooey peanut-butter colored oil, blackened wetlands, oil-soaked dolphins and brown pelicans flashing on the screen, Nicole played the music from the season finale of the popular TV series Glee. And I heard for the first time the show's final song of the year, a slow, soulful, ukulele and guitar-driven version of the classic "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The beautiful song and the heartbreaking images blended in tragic irony. I choked up.

Thanks to some quick video editing by our EDF team and to Fox for granting us rights to use the Glee version of "Somewhere," we now have a video I hope will inspire you to keep up constant pressure on our Senators to move a strong clean energy and climate bill this year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,582 in Books
ATTMPress new release starts strong on Amazon.

When high school English teacher Sean Cullinan comes across a specialty publisher looking for fresh African-American voices, he decides to submit his latest manuscript. One problem: Cully is white. Enter Janine Russell, black lieutenant in the San Francisco fire department and long-time friend of Cullinan. Together, they create a literary hoax that eventually fuels a national race debate. In Shadow Lessons new author Tim Reardon delves deep into the heart of the volatile American race conversation in a work that overflows with humor, honesty, and courage. "Don't let Reardon's breezy style fool you. Underneath the humor and crackling dialogue is a well-crafted novel. It also just happens to be an off-beat examination of race in America. Don't let that fool you either."

About the Author
Tim Reardon graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1990. For the past twenty years, he has taught creative writing at Saint Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife, Gina, and their three daughters: Kate, Claire, and Lizzy. Shadow Lessons is his first novel.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The Sorcerer’s Dream: An Initiation into the Sorcerer’s World

This is the autobiographical story of a young woman bumping into the enigmatic sorcerer Running Deer and her initiation into the sorcerer’s world and mastering conscious dreaming. It takes the reader throughout the magic realms of the unknown and gives a new approach to the traditional training of women sorcerers.

The riveting autobiographical account The Sorcerer’s Dream written by Dreamshield takes the reader throughout the magic realms of the unknown and mastering conscious dreaming. This book, following the traditions of Carlos Castaneda and others, gives a new approach to the traditional training of women sorcerers.
The author describes her initiation into the surrealistic world of dreaming and magic, following the teachings of ‘Man of Knowledge’ Running Deer. In the heart of Amsterdam, a thrilling stride unfolds in obtaining the knowledge of the Second Reality on the way to the ultimate goal: finding the Totality of the Self!
The combination of unusual instructions and experiences within the sorcerer’s world and the level-headedness of a very Dutch woman offers the reader excitement and contemplation on the way to the source of this reality, finding the ultimate self through the experiences and understanding of Dreamshield herself. Up until the last page the reader remains intrigued whether Dreamshield will reach her goal.

Right by the author’s side or facing her stands the character of Running Deer. Sometimes mysterious, then challenging, strict as a guru, or vulnerable as a visitor in a foreign country. However, the precise description of these distinctive steps on the road to her initiation stand like milestones in the landscape of this unique history.

About Alysa Baceau, Dreamshield
Dreamshield (Alysa Braceau) studied social work and is a freelance journalist who writes for newspapers and magazines. She has a Healing Practice and gives workshops about the Art of Mastering Conscious Dreaming and Dream Healing.

Facing spiritual, physical and emotional blocks and stopping your dreams

The Sorcerer’s Dream is about my initiation into the sorcerer’s world and mastering conscious dreaming. Among other things, I describe the steps you can take to master your dreaming. It takes you on the road to the totality of the Self. To reach this point you have to face your spiritual, physical and emotional blocks and work to release them. Stopping your dreams is one of the first steps you take in this procedure of facing your blocks. The following excerpt is a conversation with my dreaming teacher Vidar and my dreaming experiences, which gives an impression of this procedure. (The next step which I describe further on in my book is a ritual to heal your inner child).

“Unpleasant dreams disappear when you look right through them. First you ask yourself what is happening, what is going on? When you stare at it, all that remains is beauty, wisdom and strength and the fear of certain situations will vanish permanently.” Vidar summarizes, “On the way to the totality you may encounter many shocking images, but you must not let it distract you. Tell yourself: I will reach the totality. Nothing can keep me from reaching my goal.”

I fly along with the eagle and from the air I see the red path down below bending like a thin trail through the rocky west and I dive downwards after the eagle. Like the first time we land at the start of the trail and after a short walk we fly over the green palm tops in the direction of the ocean. Further to the left there are several bays interrupted by rocks and stones. I circle exploring over the west’s shelter. It is the first bay seen from the rocks, because towards the right the jungle starts narrowing into a point. I descend at sea, make myself comfortable and take in the light orange horizon from left to right and back. The tiger walks towards me, purrs and pushes his head against my shoulder. I stroke his head softly, get up and then we walk to the wooden villa together.

On closer inspection, the house which is accessible via a broad half-rotten staircase, could use some renovating. Except for a few stair-steps the window frames are also rotten and the paint is peeling in some places. Suddenly my attention is diverted by the sound of broken glass. The tiger walks around in circles in the sand behind me. Curiously I walk up the stairs and carefully open the front door, which is ajar, and which gives direct access to the living-room where I stand before my father who has an empty bottle of booze in his hand. He is furious. The floor around him is scattered with pieces of glass. His appearance is just as vibrating as in the last dream. I don’t like to be reminded of this part of my youth and would like to turn around, prefer to erase the dream and if it were written on paper I would ripple it and throw it in the garbage can, but my thoughts are interrupted by the tiger who jumps up from behind me and starts to attack my father.

I am indifferent to the scene in front of me. When the seriousness finally dawns on me, I order the tiger to stop dutifully. But he only listens after I have urged him persistently, stamping my foot. But it is too late.

The living room floor starts to collapse and I try to put a stop to it, but I fail and we all end up in the sand. I get up frustrated, wipe the sand off of me and crawl to the light among the rotten floor boards. I reflect upon the scene for which I was certainly not prepared. The eagle is immediately on the spot and suggests throwing my father in the sea. After careful consideration I turn down the offer: I cannot bear to think that his body or whatever is left of it would wash up on the beach in a few days time. I prefer a conventional funeral.

The tiger does not doubt for one second and starts digging a hole in the ground. The eagle collects the torn body, picks it up with his strong claws, flies up to the sky with a powerful beat of his wings and then lowers my father into the hole. We cover him with sand, everyone of us in our own way. We become more and more fanatical as the sand slips away or dissolves, leaving my father visible. I drop down in the sand disappointed, grab some of the loose sand and look up as I let it slide through my half-opened fist, like an hour glass. From the green oasis we are being spied on by an Indian holding a spear in his raised hand, ready to throw. He watches us attentively, as if he is turned to stone, petrified, except for his deep brown irises shooting from left to right. I am too busy to pay attention to it as I am trying to figure out how I could have prevented the situation, or how to turn this into something positive and then, unsatisfied, I return to reality together with the eagle.

Before I fall asleep that night I return to the west in hope of a miracle, or rather that I wish not to be faced with my father still lying in the way. I call upon the eagle. Looking down from the sky I realize nothing has changed, except that the tiger is walking circles in the sand where my father lies. I sleep on it and than it seems that time has left its marks, but I am certainly not happy about it.

Looking on from the rocks I see my father – dead, but physically unharmed – lying crossways like a hand of a clock in the eastern part of the circle, with his head pointing outside. Overcome by grief I kneel by his side and start crying pitiful. Anyhow, he is more alive than you would expect from a dead man.

He pulls himself up mechanically like a stick, faces me and – with his green eyes and expressionless face – he says exactly what I need to hear: “I’m sorry I was such a bad father.” I wait for the rest of the words patiently, which he searches in the handful of shells in the sand. “But I had no choice,” he continues as he looks me in the eye. I weigh the words, I had no choice. The tiger stretches out like a sphinx, upright and with pricked up ears.

My father begs me: “I won’t have peace before you forgive me.” I am deeply touched and impressed and quickly tell him “I forgive you”. We hug each other and I wonder whether I mean it or said it to make him happy. I wipe the tears from my cheeks, right across the dream reality. The eagle comforts me by putting his wing around my shoulder and takes me to his nest where I wake up.

Vidar points out to me that I witnessed a very troublesome event. “Fixate it, and then it will transform itself into beauty.” I feel stupid. That is precisely what I did not do. It hadn’t entered my mind for one single second to fixate the attack. “If you look fixated, the totems help you to erase unpleasant events from your history. Only then you will be able to reach the totality.”

He says that it is important to stay in close contact with the totems and to share feelings of worth, love, warmth and trust. “Consider them devoted friends. Just think back the way the tiger took your part and the eagle put a wing around you.””

We invite you to join s on the virtual tour for The Sorcerer’s Dream by Alysa Braceau (Dreamshield). The full schedule can be seen at You can learn much more about Dreamshield and her work on her website – The book can be ordered on Amazon – SPECIAL OFFER - Every time you post a comment on any tour post - you will be entered into a drawing for a $35 Amazon gift card -- so, share your thoughts with us.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This is not about race; it’s about oil and lessons not learned, warnings not heeded, opportunities lost and a future that is black. Have you noticed that the news is filled with accusations, promises of investigations, commissions being formed, warnings of prosecutions and basic finger pointing? What is the subject of all of this attention? Obviously, it is the Deepwater Horizon on-going disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

There should be no need to recount the events or to even bring you up-to-date on the planet’s worst environmental disaster since the Biblical flood. Just turn on the news and get all of the latest. My concern is not the loss of entire ecosystems, how many millions of gallons of crude are destroying the entire way of life of the Gulf, how the spill will get to the East Coast and perhaps Europe, the senseless loss of wildlife along with their homes, habitats and breeding grounds, or the economic destruction of the Gulf. Rather, my concern is whether or not the finger is pointing in the right direction.

It is certainly easy to point toward BP. And, there is no question that at some point, they will pay the piper. There are also those who made faulty equipment and who failed to ensure that all such equipment would work at such depths. Of course, we do not want to forget those who issued permits when all facts were not known and compliances not guaranteed. Without doubt, heads will roll, jobs will be lost, and fines paid. One must remember, however, that those with financial power, at least historically, never really lose power of money.

America, and most of the world, is at the crossroad of a major crisis. But is the crisis oil spills or something more fundamental? Here is the crux of the matter; we have developed a universal culture of blaming others for our woes. As a result, we have a companion mindset that says problems like oil spills, climate change, refugees, peace, pollution and other pressing world problems cannot be solved by the common person because it is beyond the scope of their ability and power to do so. As long as we point the finger at another, we think we are free from guilt and not responsible for the solution of problems. But let’s be clear, our insatiable appetite for oil, power, and throwaway consumer goods has allowed the rampart rape and pillage of the very home on which we live. As long as our cars run, the lights come on, the food is on the shelves and we can get the latest disposable gadget, the purveyors of black gold can do as they will. Certainly someone is watching them and, if a problem occurs, ‘someone’ will deal with it.

Critics of such concepts as the Law of Attraction like to point to such disasters as genocide, disease, oil spills, rape, and a wide range of other seemingly disasters and argue that “certainly people do not attract these things to themselvesthey are much too horrible.” Ah, the pointing figure syndrome strikes again. Clearly, people do not let dictators rise to power. Clearly, we do not let nations commit genocide. Clearly, we do not so over consume so there is food for all. Clearly, we do not consume the majority of the world’s energy resources. Clearly, we treat all with respect and dignity and help all in need so there is no need for crime. Clearly, oil companies are greedy and they get away with all sorts of machinations, but that’s not our problem. Clearly, someone else is always responsible for the troubles in the world and there is nothing we can do about it.

In way, all of the above are what are called “memes.” If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend reading “The Virus of the Mind, by Richard Brodie. A ‘meme’ is a unit of information in a mind that influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds. A virus of the mind is something that infects people with memes which, in turn, influence the infected people’s behavior in such a way that the virus spreads. Dictators are experts in the use of memes to alter public behavior, as are corporate advertisers. After all, look at all of the new diseases that exist and look at all of the stupid things people buy because they are convinced they must have those things. This is how those who ‘know’ use the Law of Attraction to get rich. This all brings us back to the oil spill in the Gulf. The reason that the oil rig is there in the first place is because we have been convinced we must have oil; that we must get it at all costs so the Arabs can’t control us or turn off their supplies, and that even if there is a disaster, it happens and there is nothing you can do about it because you really need the oil.

When we point the finger, we must discover that we are pointing in a mirror. We let ourselves be controlled and manipulated by the masters of memes. We bring into our lives that which someone else says we must have. As a result, the Law of Attraction is fulfilled and we attract what we deserve, what we think, what we fear. There is a growing sense of futility, an emerging blackness in the American psyche. It is a mind virus that is spreading everywhere. Biologists tell us that one of the leading causes of evolution is environmental stress. There are those who also say that humanity is on the verge of a spontaneous evolution. While change does not require negative stress, it does seem that humanity only rises to the occasion when we are faced with disaster. Such disasters are now happening in the environment, the economy, in religion, education, politics, and in nearly every aspect of human life. Many forces are flowing together in what appears to be an interesting 2012 scenario. Perhaps we will wake and discover that we do not have to “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Perhaps we will discover that if we can create such gross injustices to ourselves and the place that we live, then we also have the ability and the power to create a world that makes sense.

The following is a list of major oil spills and disasters. Perhaps if we recall that the Gulf is not the only place that we have allowed such destruction, we will wake up and end the madness.

Oil Spills and Disasters

The following list includes major oil spills since 1967. The circumstances surrounding the spill, amount of oil spilled, and the attendant environmental damage is also given.

1967-March 18, Cornwall, Eng.: Torrey Canyon ran aground, spilling 38 million gallons of crude oil off the Scilly Islands.
1976-Dec. 15, Buzzards Bay, Mass.: Argo Merchant ran aground and broke apart southeast of Nantucket Island, spilling its entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of fuel oil.

1977-April, North Sea: blowout of well in Ekofisk oil field leaked 81 million gallons.

1978-March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.

1979-June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.
July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2.

1980-March 30, Stavanger, Norway: floating hotel in North Sea collapsed, killing 123 oil workers.

1983-Feb. 4, Persian Gulf, Iran: Nowruz Field platform spilled 80 million gallons of oil.
Aug. 6, Cape Town, South Africa: the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire, spilling 78 million gallons of oil off the coast.

1988-July 6, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world's worst offshore oil disaster.
Nov. 10, Saint John's, Newfoundland: Odyssey spilled 43 million gallons of oil.

1989-March 24, Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and spilled 10 million–plus gallons of oil into the water, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Dec. 19, off Las Palmas, the Canary Islands: explosion in Iranian supertanker, the Kharg-5, caused 19 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi north of Las Palmas, forming a 100-square-mile oil slick.

1990-June 8, off Galveston, Tex.: Mega Borg released 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire in the pump room.

1991-Jan. 23–27, southern Kuwait: during the Persian Gulf War, Iraq deliberately released 240–460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers 10 mi off Kuwait. Spill had little military significance. On Jan. 27, U.S. warplanes bombed pipe systems to stop the flow of oil.
April 11, Genoa, Italy: Haven spilled 42 million gallons of oil in Genoa port.
May 28, Angola: ABT Summer exploded and leaked 15–78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Angola. It's not clear how much sank or burned.

1992-March 2, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well.

1993-Aug. 10, Tampa Bay, Fla.: three ships collided, the barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.

1994-Sept. 8, Russia: dam built to contain oil burst and spilled oil into Kolva River tributary. U.S. Energy Department estimated spill at 2 million barrels. Russian state-owned oil company claimed spill was only 102,000 barrels.

1996-Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick.

1999-Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea.

2000-Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.
Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.

2002-Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.

2003-July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.

2004-Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.

2005-Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.

2006-June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.
July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.
August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country's fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort.

2007-December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea's west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.

2008-July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.

2009-March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area's beaches.

2010-Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 25,000 barrels (1,050,000 gallons) of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a "spill of national significance." As many as 1,000 people and dozens of ships and aircraft were enlisted to help in the cleanup. BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, and there was widespread consensus that the spill would dwarf the Exxon Valdez in terms of environmental damage.