Wednesday, July 28, 2010


If this does not bother you, then all is lost. Have we become so accustomed to be watched that it is now okay to give all of our rights to privacy away? Have we so opened our lives in this social media world that we do not care if some can watch our every move and scan our homes to see what we have purchased?  BIG BROTHER is not the government, it is the Multi-National Corporation. This is the stuff of sci-fi coming true. This is the stuff that so many have warned about coming true. What is to prevent the scanners from recording information on your bank cards? What is to prevent your trash from being scanned? 

Congress needs to pass a law to stop this. Someone needs to invent a personal jamming device to prevent these scans. Or, someone needs to sell lots of magnets!!!

I truly hope the implications of this action doesn't not go unnoticed and that people will care enough to fight this type of intrusion into their lives. Really think about the implications.

"The retail giant Wal-Mart will place radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on underwear, jeans and other consumer items, according to several news reports, including one today from the Wall Street Journal. Companies have long used such "smart tags" to keep track of the inventory of goods going through the supply chain, but the move by Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, to put them on individual consumer items marks a (not unexpected) shift toward something that privacy advocates have long feared.

That's because RFID tags, which can be read at a distance and hence surreptiously, can provide a lot of personal information even if it does not carry it per se. Katherine Albrecht, a privacy and RFID expert who has been following the issue for years, described in a special privacy issue of Scientific American just how the tags pose new security risks to those who carry them, often unwittingly. Here's an excerpt:  
If the idea that corporations might want to use RFID tags to spy on individuals sounds far-fetched, it is worth considering an IBM patent filed in 2001 and granted in 2006. The patent describes exactly how the cards can be used for tracking and profiling even if access to official databases is unavailable or strictly limited. Entitled “Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items in Store Environ ments,” it chillingly details RFID’s potential for surveillance in a world where networked RFID readers called “person tracking units” would be incorporated virtually everywhere people go—in “shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, [and] museums”—to closely monitor people’s movements.
According to the patent, here is how it would work in a retail environment: an “RFID tag scanner located [in the desired tracking loca tion]... scans the RFID tags on [a] person.... As that person moves around the store, different RFID tag scanners located throughout the store can pick up radio signals from the RFID tags carried on that person and the movement of that person is tracked based on these detections.... The person tracking unit may keep records of dif­ferent locations where the person has visited, as well as the visitation times.”
The fact that no personal data are stored in the RFID tag does not present a problem, IBM explains, because “the personal information will be obtained when the person uses his or her credit card, bank card, shopper card or the like.” The link between the unique RFID num ber of the tag and a person’s identity needs to be made only once for the card to serve as a proxy for the person thereafter.…"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Louisiana: Raped Again and Left For Dead

The following is a review of my book, RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT. While it is about the aftermath of Katrina, its words of warning are appropriate still. With the nation's worst environmental disaster looming heavy over the Gulf Coast, one cannot help but wonder what will become of this oil ravaged region. Already, BP is being slow to pay local governments and fishermen, businesses are on the verge of collapse, the people disheartened. This disaster has environmental/economic implications that have yet to even surface. How will the government respond? Can the government respond? Is there money to continue to pay for all of those things that are needed in light of what seems to be priorities elsewhere? When disasters strike foreign lands, we are quick to send aid. Why is it that when disaster strikes at home, we sit on our asses? Why is it that no foreign government offers to send us help? Maybe it is time to re-think this one way street. Maybe its time we stopped leaving our for dead and actually live our own creed-no one left behind!

Hurricane Katrina, a disaster of Biblical proportions, is no longer in the news but the devastation of the land and the victimization of the residents of the Gulf Coast continue. Philip Harris's Raping Louisiana - A Diary of Deceit addresses the aftermath of the storm through the eyes of Steve Burgoyne, a middle aged truck driver from upstate New York. The bluntly honest depiction of his yearlong odyssey working in the Katrina cleanup efforts reveals the corruption, the despair, and the government waste in detailed diary entries.

Burgoyne's descriptions, presented with the minutia of a daily journal, illustrate the three types of people who came to the Gulf in the aftermath of the storm: crooks, victims trying to survive, and the people who came because they genuinely care. Burgoyne met plenty of all, the faceless contractors came down to make a quick fortune off the government and the unfortunate; the victims as they wandered the streets of the Dead Zone in the lower ninth ward; and the men moving debris and clearing the streets of rubble.

Steve and his crew worked and lived in conditions little better than those of a third world country. They initially slept in travel trailers parked in horse pastures with no potable water or sewage facilities. But even in those conditions, the men stayed on working to make the land clear so the previous inhabitants of the Gulf Coast could return to their land. Every truck load carried away from previously populated area impacted the men who worked there. "It was're picking up pieces of somebody's life." Throughout, it is evident that Burgoyne's family was his support network while he toiled in the land of the hopeless.

On the Gulf, with no affordable places to live, there is no working class to run the shops and businesses in the service industries. FEMA has made a feeble attempt to provide housing for those living in shelters surrounded by hopelessness. Those that stayed and now make their homes there are the disabled, the elderly, and the unskilled labor. They now sit in their FEMA provided formaldehyde-laced cages destitute and deeply depressed. The rebuilding of the city has completely ignored this disenfranchised population, government supplemented affordable housing is not a priority in the re-building boom.

New Orleans is currently the murder capital of the world. Depression, suicide, and anxiety are rampant. The devastation of the storm still takes victims in its path through drugs and alcohol abuse. The imported workers and those refugees who remained self-medicate as they live side by side in a ravaged land.

Ignored, forgotten, and abandoned the Gulf Coast is still a hotbed of contention and corruption. Raping Louisiana is a good read for raising America's social consciousness. We can provide millions of dollars to tsunami stricken countries, we can fund a war to fight terrorism, and we can forgive billions of dollars of foreign debt but we have written off our own citizens. Raping Louisiana should be a wakeup call to those who have forgotten Katrina and her victims. Is anybody listening?

Shannon Evans is recognized in the Puget Sound as an expert in how to make your business have a web presence rather than just a web page. Her conversational marketing techniques and practices outlined by Practical Local Search, LLC you will see your small business presence on the web increase: She is a consultant for social marketing campaigns that allow you to organize your marketing and sales efforts in an inexpensive delivery platform that is easy to set up and manage. The ability to send, deliver, and track any installed resource gives you the power to create a marketing program quickly and easily in a scalable format that can grow with your business.

Shannon is also a co-author of Get Found Now! Local Search Secrets Exposed: Learn How to Achieve High Rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing and multiple business ebooks. Her books teach entrepreneurs how to leverage the internet to attract new clients.

Shannon has a wide and varied background in both the practical and the pragmatic aspects of the business world. Shannon loves nothing better than teaching local businesses how to think globally and to be searched locally.

Article Source:

Monday, July 12, 2010


How long can we wait? Unless something is done NOW-and it may even be too late-this generation will not pass without experiencing more environmental nightmares!

Friday, July 9, 2010



It's been less than four months since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act -- and, because of reform, about 1 million uninsured Americans are expected to receive coverage by next year. And that's just the start.

A new bill of rights for patients is starting to take effect, and the worst abuses of the insurance industry are coming to an end. As the President recently announced, the Patient's Bill of Rights will ban rescission of coverage, stop discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, and place restrictions on annual limits.

This is an incredibly important first step for reform, and we need your help. We've put together an information sheet that breaks down exactly what the Patient's Bill of Rights does. To start spreading the word in your own community, print it out and pass it along to your friends, post in your local coffee shop and grocery store, or bring it along with you when going door-to-door.

Download the Patient's Bill of Rights

There are those who still aren't sure about health reform, but as the law takes effect, we have a new opportunity to convince the skeptics. OFA supporters are the very best communicators and organizers in communities all across the county -- you can bring the debate out of D.C. and into your town, and this information sheet is a great tool we believe will help.

The Affordable Care Act works to put consumers back in charge of their health coverage and care. And because of the Patient's Bill of Rights, Americans can know that their insurance will be there when they need it most.

The more information sheets we put in visible places, the stronger the message we'll send about our support for health reform and President Obama. Share it with your friends. Mail it to your family members. If you're a medical professional, post it in your office or waiting room. Be creative -- anything you do will be a huge help in making sure Americans understand what the new law does for them.

Will you help us make the case for change? Download your information sheet and share the Patient's Bill of Rights with five friends today:

“Starting in September, some of the worst abuses will be banned forever. No more discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions. No more retroactively dropping somebody’s policy when they get sick if they made an unintentional mistake on an application. No more lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits on coverage. Those days are over.” – PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

President Obama announced a Patient’s Bill of Rights made possible under health reform—a basic set of consumer protections that end some of the health insurance companies’ worst abuses.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights:
•    1. Prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick. Right now, insurance companies can retroactively cancel your policy when you become sick if you or your employer made an unintentional mistake on your paperwork.
•    2. Stops insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Beginning in September, discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions will be banned—a protection that will be extended to all Americans in 2014.
•    3. Prohibits setting lifetime limits on insurance policies issued or renewed after Sept. 23, 2010. No longer will insurance companies be able to take away coverage at the very moment when patients need it most. More than 100 million Americans have health coverage that imposes lifetime limits on care.
•    4. Phases out annual dollar limits on coverage over the next three years. Even more aggressive than lifetime limits are annual dollar limits on what an insurance company will pay for your health care. For the people with medical costs that hit these limits, the consequences can be devastating.
•    5. Allows you to designate any available participating primary care doctor as your provider. You’ll be able to keep the primary care doctor or pediatrician you choose, and see an OB-GYN without referral.
•    6. Removes insurance company barriers to receiving emergency care and prevents them from charging you more because you’re out of network. You’ll be able to get emergency care at a hospital outside of your plan’s network without facing higher co-pays or deductibles or having to fight to get approval first.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights starts to take effect this fall—but the benefits for individuals and families under health care reform don’t stop there. Over the course of the next several years, the historic health reform law will make care more affordable, hold insurers accountable, and finally give all Americans the coverage they deserve.

To learn more about what’s in the health care reform bill, please visit:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The following piece is something all should read. I believe that we create our own reality. Thus far, we have created a fear based reality that may well mean the demise of humanity. This does not have to be the case. The use of knowledge is power. If we can understand the messages like the one that follows, perhaps from a place of knowledge we can alter what is surely leading up to self-fulfilling prophecies for 2012. All such prophecies indicated that humanity had two paths to choose from: transformation or destruction. We are at that tipping point where we must choose wisely, or let the choice be made for us. As you will see, it is not a pretty picture. Nostradamus spoke of the collapse of a paradigm. Not necessarily the collapse of humanity. However, while he saw a path to transformation, it is a pate we must surely choose to take. Certainly, we see that collapse all around us. Religion, social systems, morals and ethics, trust in government, the ecology, climate and more are crumbling daily. Do we have eyes to see? Are there enough awakened individuals to steer us to the proper path before the ethos of fear drags us all down? Time to wake up, people. Time to make clear choices!
The Wizards, Warriors, and Initiates that the World Needs So Desperately Now
(continued from PART 1)

by Daniel Pinchbeck

If such a devastating scenario does not take place, there is still the continuing spill, and the high likelihood that our current known and available technologies will be unable to address it. In this case, we may soon see the Gulf of Mexico area and the Southern coastline rendered uninhabitable. As the Christian Science Monitor has reported in its article,“Raining Oil in Louisiana? Video suggests Gulf oil spill causing crude rain,” there is some evidence that oil is beginning to rain down on inland areas of Louisiana. “Crude oil doesn’t evaporate, but some are speculating that oil mixed with Corexit 9500, the dispersant that BP is using on the ever-growing slick, could take to the air.” As Kerry Kennedy, from the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, stated in an interview on CNN, the average life expectancy of cleanup workers on the Exxon Valdez oil spill was 51 years old. “Almost all those people who did work on the Exxon Valdez are now dead,” she stated. “And BP still here, once again, is big oil not giving the information to the doctors and health care officials.” According to Kennedy, cleanup workers in the Gulf “had been told by BP that they didn’t need respirators. Apparently, they’re concerned about poor media images of people wearing respirators and rubber gloves and starting, quote, ‘hysteria.’” 

As widely reported, hurricane season is now upon us. Hurricanes could potentially carry the extremely toxic crude oil mingled with the even more poisonous Corexit hundreds of miles inland, creating either a slow-motion mass murder of the local populations or forcing the government to execute a total evacuation from the area. As the oil travels up the coastline over the next years, coastal cities facing the Atlantic and Pacific may also become uninhabitable “Haz Mat” sites. Caribbean islands such as Cuba and Jamaica will be devastated, as will be the coastline of Mexico. 

As I explored in previous works, I am convinced that we are reaching the hinge point of a shift in human consciousness and the earth that will either lead to a rapid transformation of our way of life, our “civilization” and its basic paradigm, or the termination of our species in a series of intensifying cataclysms. One clear reason for this is that our technological powers continue to advance rapidly, while those who are currently in control of these galvanic forces reveal a dangerously reduced consciousness, a lack of forethought based on their self-centered greed, combined with a complete absence of ethical and moral development. As Rolling Stone recently exposed in a great piece of investigative journalism, the bungled handling of the oil spill was preceded by the gutting of the regulatory system that monitored such operations, revealing once again the government’s capitulation to corporate interests. It seems increasingly obvious that, if we wish to survive as a species, the current ruling corporate, political, and financial elite – working seamlessly together to bring about our collective suicide – must be deposed, replaced by a new orchestration of civil society, an openly democratic and truly transparent system, where nothing is hidden, where profit is not the only motivation, and all have a voice. 

As the Deepwater Horizon cataclysm spreads gigantic dead zones in the Gulf, exterminating vast ecosystems of marine life, threatening millions of human beings with illness, dislocation, and death, potentially blossoming into an extinction-level event, British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward continues to display the profound lack of remorse and the blithe disinterest we recall from the tenure of the last Bush to occupy the White House. Recently, he attended a yacht race off the as-of-yet-unsullied English coast, while his public statements include the infamous “I’d like my life back” and the equally extraordinary, “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean.” Despite extensive scientific documentation of the extreme toxicity of crude oil, Hayward has suggested that “growing health problems among clean-up workers may be related to food poisoning, rather than their exposure to crude oil and dispersants.” Our corporate and financial culture instills a mindset of sociopathic disregard, and the system permits certain psychological profiles to thrive within it: those capable of disassociating their actions from any moral consequences. What should be an extreme liability in a complex and interconnected world shared by a multitude of living beings has become an asset for our corporate, financial, and political masters – the current ruling elite who congregate at events like the annual Bilderberg gathering, who see massive loss of life as “collateral damage” along the way to their next golf game or yachting match. By now, it seems fairly obvious that Barack Obama is one of this breed, indistinct from the rest. 

“These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy,” writes Chris Hedges in his essay, ‘BP and the Little Eichmanns.’ “They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. ... The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die... And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse.” Like the bail out of Wall Street, the BP oil spill disaster makes evident – if more evidence was needed – that, in the United States, the corporations and the government have merged into a single power, a destructive force founded on the mindset of Empire, seeking domination of nature through technology, and control of consciousness through incessant indoctrination via the corporate-controlle d media. There is zero possibility that our atrophied electoral system will interrupt or impede this juggernaut. 

I try to maintain faith that the human spirit will awaken in time to liberate itself from the prison that has been built around it. While my doubts grow, I continue to work for that result – to hope and to pray for it. What seems more likely is that the great churning multitude of humanity will choose to remain distracted, disconnected, pursuing narcissistic aims, vain and virtual pleasures, as the natural world, the generative earth, crumbles around them. On what the Russian mystic G I Gurdjieff called our “ill-fated planet,” most people apparently prefer to die rather than awaken to the situation, think for themselves, and join together in a collective movement to restore the earth and build a sustainable and equitible global society. Many of us can see the awakening happening, but it seems to be coming far too slowly, in hesitant fits and starts, while the destructive force also grows in strength, pumping up the volume on mind control technologies, predatory drones able to assassinate from a distance, data-mining intelligence operations, and all the rest of the sterile evils that our technocrat sociopaths can envision and unleash. 

These are aspects of my current view of the world: the faltering of my faith, that horrible presentiment that the forces of disillusion and destruction have already triumphed, that creepy familiar feeling (as if I already experienced this, long ago, on some other lost world, many forgotten splinters of incarnated lifetimes ago) of failure and futility. On another level, I feel an equally uncanny presentiment that all of this is still going perfectly according to plan, that the script of our collective world movie/space oddysey has to unscroll or unfurl in just this stomach-clenching way, toward its still mysterious denouement. Observing my own life, I see that it often takes a drastic crisis to spur me into action – perhaps that is the only way change ever takes place, on the individual or species level. 

The environmental and economic meltdown could clear away all the obstacles and obstructions that keep us from attaining clarity, from putting into practice what we know intuitively to be true. Is it possible that the Jungian archetypal Self – the increasingly humanized god-image that seeks to incarnate in our human world – must bring about the complete breakdown of what is known and familiar, to open the space for what can only be revealed, in the fullness – and emptiness – of time? Perhaps we can only reach the depth dimensions of our higher being through an unfolding mega-crash that exposes all levels of delusion and self-deception, that forces those of us who desire illumination to break all the bonds, the “mind-forg’d manacles,” that keep us from attaining liberation. Or perhaps I am only making a hopeful story out of the toxic rubble and radioactive fragments that will soon be all that remains of our ruined world, if the corporate sociopaths and Little Eichmanns have their way. 

I consider the geyser in the Gulf to be analagous to the rupturing of the amniotic sac that occurs at the end of pregnancy. This event presages the birth of the new being, who must be forced by a terrifying and life-threatening crisis to use the organs he or she has developed over the previous months – developed without knowing what purpose they serve or how they function. Like the fetus at the end of the pregnancy, the human race has devoured the stored resources within our mother’s secure womb, the fossil fuels buried deep underground, and now we must learn to survive on new forms of energy, taking the initiative on our own. 

Over the course of history, humanity has developed delicate and sensitive organs of consciousness and perception, without truly knowing their eventual meaning or purpose. Unlike other species, we have a tremendous excess of communicative capacity, leading us to make art, write novels, dance, compose symphonies, imagine elaborate inner worlds. How do we know that these seemingly marginal aspects – aspects that seem to have little to do with our survival as a species – are not, in fact, essential to our unfolding evolutionary trajectory? Aboriginals in Australia believe the sacred task of humanity is to “sing the world into being,” communicating with the ancestors in the Dreamtime. Perhaps, through an awakening of our imaginative and psychic faculties, we can restore this primordial communion, and reopen doorways that modern society slammed shut long ago. 

Our creative capacities are one legacy of our species’ recent history, a new extension or organ of consciousness that has developed along with our increasing technical and technological capabilities. Another aspect of our evolution can be found in the world’s esoteric knowledge systems. These systems give us tools for evolving consciousness, for perceiving and interacting with other dimensions of reality. We learn from the traditions of mystery schools that humans are capable of performing marvelous and magical feats that overturn the apparent physical “laws” proposed by science. Up until now, such manifestations have appeared rarely, usually linked to a particular person – books like In Search of the Miraculous or The Autobiography of a Yogi describe many psychic feats of certain masters. In our modern desacralized world, there are also many well-reported accounts of “miracles” – inexplicable psychic phenomena – such as mothers suddenly able to lift 3,000 pound vehicles off of their children after an accident, and so on – acounts of powers that exist in one moment, but afterwards seem to fade into nonexistence. 

In the same way that electricity was once inaccessible to us until engineers learned to channel it in the early 19th Century, is it conceivable that these psychic or psycho-physical capacities could become steadily available to people through a disciplined training, once the mechanisms behind them are better understood? I believe that we are currently in transition from the physical to the psychic phase of our evolution as a species. In order to manifest this, we would need to develop a shared realization that such a shift is possible. This requires an open dialogue on the legitimacy of psychic phenomena and synchronicity, building a foundation for general acceptance of the powers and potencies contained within the psyche. I am compelled by Rupert Sheldrake’s theories around “morphic resonance” and the “morphogenetic field” that forms when sudden inspirations and breakthroughs become habits and patterns, creating what scientists mistakenly call “laws.” Those who have broken through to a new level of understanding need to create the template, strengthen the morphogenetic field, before the larger population can comprehend what is happening, and make a transition. 

It is now agonizingly obvious that humans do not change their ways until they are far outside of their comfort zone. It is only at the point of death that transmutation becomes possible. Perhaps the rampant desecration of the physical world is going to force the more conscious subset of humanity to purify their intentions, clearing cobwebs from the shadowy corners of the psyche, to access extrasensory capacities on a regular basis. Many of us have experiences of this energy, this potential, but the manifestations tend to occur at uncontrollable junctures and in mysterious ways. In my own life, I have found that psychically charged events occur at certain highly charged junctures, which seem to reveal the working of a synchronic order, as if some form of superconsciousness, when magnetized by the energy of intention, can ripple through the underpinnings of our 3-D reality, causing changes that seem beyond the parameters of what we generally accept as possible. Can we learn to access these capacities on a regular basis, like the dependable current we get from electricity? If we can come into alignment with this superconscious shaping force, we may be able to begin to heal the wounds of Gaia, to stop tormenting the generative earth that shelters us and gives us life. I think it is quite possible that even the course of seemingly unstoppable biospheric and geophysical events, like climate change or the oil spill, could be altered through collective psychic effort, much as indigenous groups like the Hopi used initiatory ritual and trance dances to bring rain down from the sky. 

I pray this is the universe’s wager for us: that we will go beyond our current ruts and limitations, that we will manifest a future of imaginative joy by stepping into our potential, becoming the wizards, warriors, and initiates that the world needs so desperately now. As Nietzsche pointed out accurately, “man”, in his current form, can only be a transitional creature. Either we are rapidly approaching the terminus point for our species or we can collectively choose to transmute, creating an evolutionary implosion, from the physical to the psychic realm. As the oil gushes forth and the earth’s resources disappear, it may be that we can learn to thrive on subtler and far more powerful forms of energy. Working together, we can guide the world toward its next phase of being – a plateau of intensified consciousness and synchronic coherence, in which conscious evolution becomes both sacred game and participatory art form. 

DANIEL PINCHBECK was a founder of the 1990s literary magazine Open City with fellow writers Thomas Beller and Robert Bingham. He has written for many publications, including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. In 1994, he was chosen by The New York Times Magazine as one of “Thirty Under Thirty” destined to change our culture.

His 2003 book, Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, seems to have really given him a higher profile among those interested in alternative religion and spirituality.

In his recent book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Daniel deals with planet-wide transformation of consciousness, crop circles, ancient prophecies and the end of the world.

Pinchbeck lives in New York’s East Village, where he is editorial director of the online magazine Reality Sandwich. He writes a column, Prophet Motive, for Conscious Enlightenment publishing (www.cemagazines. com), which appears in Conscious Choice (Chicago), Conscious Choice (Seattle), Whole Life Times (LA), and Common Ground (SF).
www.realitysandwich .com

Friday, July 2, 2010


The BP oil disaster continues to ravage fragile coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico.
Now we are hearing of an additional, grave threat. Sea turtles and other protected species may be victims of sea-surface oil burning, skimming, or other efforts to control the spill.
In addition, many animals exposed to oil at sea will die by drowning or poisoning without ever being counted.
We can find no official public record of the numbers of animals being caught up in the oil slick or injured during response efforts. Current wildlife casualty reports only include the captured and collected animals, not those animals exposed to oil and left to die in the wild.
We need your help. Please take action today. Urge the Unified Command and federal agencies to:
  • Place qualified third party wildlife observers on "Vessels of Opportunity" responding to the BP oil disaster;
  • Publicly report all wildlife observations in the oil impact areas;
  • Postpone burns when protected species are present to allow for appropriate intervention and immediately implement measures to eliminate avoidable harm to all protected species; and
  • Coordinate wildlife rescue interventions when necessary.
We also ask that the agencies charged with safeguarding wildlife and protected marine species systematically collect and publicly report field data on oiled wildlife, not just those animals captured and collected, so that the public can see the real toll of this disaster for wild animals large enough to be effectively counted.
More Background
In an effort to contain the oil, BP and the Unified Command have responded by applying chemical dispersants, skimming oil from the sea surface, and conducting a series of surface oil burns.
Local responders and conservationists are complaining that these activities may be burning, drowning, or in other ways harming or killing wildlife, including endangered sea turtles.
Mike Ellis, a Louisiana boat captain reportedly involved in rescuing sea turtles, has been quoted in news accounts complaining that:
"They drag a boom between two shrimp boats and whatever gets caught between the two boats, they circle it up and catch it on fire. Once the turtles are in there, they can't get out."
We urge a more accurate, public accounting of the wildlife death toll from this disaster and more aggressive and appropriate intervention anywhere that oil response activities are taking place.
Please take action today: Urge the Unified Command to place third party observers on the response vessels and on the ground, publicly report wildlife observations in the oil response area, and call for intervention when necessary.
Thank you for your activism and support,
Stacy Small, Ph.D.
EDF Conservation Scientist

Thursday, July 1, 2010


It is ironic that Sam Harris, who blasts religious dogma, would then use similar dogma to try to create an “objective morality” based upon science. As I have said in the past, I agree with his assessment of the past, present and future danger of religion. My views are fairly clear in the WAKING GOD trilogy of which was said, “It makes The DaVinci Code” read like a church hymn. But somewhere, Sam Harris has gone astray in an attempt to find a working morality in science.

The very notion of a morality is not even an objective idea. To even say there is, or there should be morality does not logically flow from science, but rather from a subjective notion that humanity should live by some form of underlying, or overriding, set of rules. Let’s face it; if we look at traditional science, the only morality you might find is the “survival of the fittest.” Where in the sciences of chemistry, medicine, physics or biology does one find a basis for morality? I guess all atoms are created equal and that they should be able to combine freely with other atoms might work. But even the idea of equal and free are not scientific terms unless you talk of balancing an equation or free radicals.

Further, objectivity in morality would certainly open the proverbial Pandora’s Box. If, for example, we look at nature, we find no rationale for caring for the elderly, sick, or genetically deviant. Nature culls such creatures for the benefit of the whole and to prevent defects from spreading in the population as a whole. Is this objective morality? Sam Harris also points out that enslavement, mutilating female genitalia, public whippings or stonings are morally and empirically wrong. According to our way of thinking, this statement makes sense. But, it is opinion, and opinion is subjective. In an article called “Toward A Science of Morality” in the Huffington Post, Sam Harris says he agrees with physicist Sean Carroll when he says, “I want to start with a hopefully non-controversial statement about what science is. Namely: science deals with empirical reality -- with what happens in the world, (I.e. what "is.").”

At this point, the entire argument must totally shift. What Sam Harris fails to realize is that discussing issues like the definition of ‘well-being’ is not at the heart of the debate. He seems to think that there is a scientific definition that can lead us out of the valley of death of religious dogma into and into the garden of scientific objectivity. This garden would be free of cultural and religious differences and would create an empirical definition that would be beyond reproach. Sam Harris, unfortunately, has fallen prey to his own outdated paradigm. There is no such thing as objectivity. If this is true, then the notion of an objective morality must be tossed out the window, both the bathwater and the baby.

Look at the following excerpt from a piece written by Robert Lanza. It is but one of many articles that clearly indicate that science is leading us away from any notion of objectivity within the universe. It is becoming increasingly clear that the observed and the observer are one. This being the case, we must discover a new paradigm outside of religion and science that can lead us to a moral high ground.

“But a series of new experiments suggest this may be all wrong, and that part of us exists outside of the physical world. The implications of these experiments have been downplayed because, until recently, quantum behavior was limited to the microscopic world. However, this 'two-world' view (that is, one set of physical laws for small objects, and another set of laws for the rest of the universe, including us) has no basis in reason, and more importantly, is being challenged in labs around the world.

We're trapped in an outdated paradigm. A few more equations, we're told, and we'll know it all -- any day now. There's no adventure left, no lost gardens in far away lands. But we all intuitively know there's more to existence than our science books grant. It's the same nostalgic yearning that gives religion its persistent power over humanity.

We assume there's a universe "out there" separate from what we are, and that we play no role in its appearance. Yet since the 1920s, experiments have shown just the opposite; results do depend on whether anyone is observing. This is most vividly illustrated by the famous two-hole experiment. When you watch a particle go through the holes, it behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave and can pass through both holes at the same time.

This and other experiments tell us that unobserved particles exist only as "waves of probability" as Max Born demonstrated in 1926. They're statistical predictions -- nothing but a likely outcome. Until observed, they have no real existence; only when the mind sets the scaffolding in place can they be thought of as having duration or a position in space. Experiments make it increasingly clear that even mere knowledge in the experimenter's mind is sufficient to convert possibility to reality.

Importantly, this behavior isn't limited to the microscopic world. New experiments carried out with huge molecules called "Buckyballs" show that quantum reality extends into the macroscopic world we live in. In 2005, KHC0₃ crystals exhibited entanglement ridges one-half inch high, quantum behavior nudging into everyday levels of discernment.

Biocentrism tells us that reality is a process that involves our consciousness, and that space and time aren't the hard objects we think. Recent experiments show that separate particles can influence each other instantaneously over great distances, as if they're endowed with ESP. They're intimately linked in a manner suggesting there's no space or time influencing their behavior. In 1997 Nicolas Gisin sent pairs of particles zooming along optical fibers until they were seven miles apart. But whatever action one took, its twin performed the complementary action instantaneously. Since then, other researchers have duplicated Gisin's work.

All of these experiments make perfect sense from a biocentric perspective. Everything we perceive is a whirl of information in our head. Time can be defined as the summation of spatial states occurring inside the mind. But that doesn't mean there's an invisible matrix in which changes occur. We watch our loved ones age and die and assume that an external entity called time is responsible for the crime. There's a peculiar intangibility to space, as well. Like time, it's just a tool of our understanding.

But the solution to this mystery lies within our grasp, a solution hinted at by the frequency with which the old paradigm breaks down. This is the underlying problem: we've ignored a critical component of the universe, shunted it out of the way because we didn't know what to do with it. This component is consciousness -- us, the great observer.”

Robert Lanza, M.D., Scientist, Theoretician,

If we cannot rely upon biased religion or science to create a universal morality, what is left? Are we to be subject to the whims of moral fads or is there something that can guide humanity to a more logical way of living? To this topic, we shall return while keeping in mind that ‘what happens’ in this world is truly up to us.