Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 2

Bobbing Around

Volume Fourteen, Number Two
July, 2014

Bob Rich’s rave

email other issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
A problem
New stories published
Letter to an asylum seeker on Manus Island
Ascending Spiral on USA Book News

*Responses to past issues
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with a writing tip
Congrats on 14 years

The way to stop corporate lawbreaking is to prosecute the people who break the law, says Robert Reich
Stop future whale murder
Who will pay for all that coal? Not China!
Australian budget takes from ordinary citizens to fund…
A Republican for a carbon tax
Remind me, why did Bush invade Iraq?
Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia, from David Morawetz

Sea level rise problems — NOW
How to Avoid Population Overshoot and Collapse, by Dr Michael Mills
Climate change deniers: video by George Marshall
New web site for Climate Reality Project
AVAAZ: We can reverse global idiocy in 100 days
Peak water is here, by VL Baker

*Good news
Oxford University under pressure to divest
Solar on the rise
US mayors a major force for the good
Solar India
Let’s follow Finland
Brazil has slowed deforestation in the Amazon
International Cities of Peace

We should all be like this 11 year old boy
Love Makes a Way

Wind turbine technology flies
Electric vehicle charging made easy
Some solar panels are cleaner than others

*Deeper issues
Downsizing the Economy by Chris Mardon (a must-read)
A bit of wisdom, from Janis Silverman
Dr Glen Barry: I too have a dream
Who is a primitive savage?
Best friends
Torn Between Russia and the West — Is There a Third Way for Ukraine? by Martin Winiecki
Extremes of Inequality and limits to wealth, by Dr Peter Cock

Recognizing Each Child’s Particular Genius, by Laura Grace Weldon
On “mental illness,” from Alfredo
How to have a good relationship
I’m so ashamed of my mistake!
How can I live with having committed sexual abuse?

Roundup doubles your risk of lymphoma

*For writers
Half the job done…

*What my friends want you to know
Jan Sikes: new book with a music CD
Carolyn shares with writers * 2
Creative Collectives: Upcoming Workshops
Summer of Peace summit, June 13 to September 21, 2014
Clean Drinking Water to Tibetan Refugees
Sea Shepherd movie online
The Branches of Time, by Luca Rossi

Recover: Healing And Renewal, by Janis Silverman
Healing Scripts CD, reviewed by Janis Silverman
Cancer: A personal challenge, reviewed by Janis Silverman
The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, by Robert David Steele, reviewed by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Shirley Martin
Calm Ground, by Megan Williams
The Convict and the Rose, by Jan Sikes
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, by Michael Thal

*A bit of fun
Francis and Tony
A new version of the Serenity Prayer
Advice to politicians

I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.

Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.

Everybody is born a genius. Society de-geniuses them.

Buckminster Fuller


From me to you

A problem
New stories published
Letter to an asylum seeker on Manus Island
Ascending Spiral on USA Book News

A problem

I have a terrible problem: every now and then I find myself in 100% contentment. This moment is just right, I don’t want to change anything. Do you think I should go on medication to stop it?

New stories published

If you have a smartphone, you can download an app, and read free and cheap short stories on it, published by Ether Books.

They have just notified me of the acceptance of my fourth story with them: The lost puppy. It already has one 5 star review.

Ether have also organised a flash fiction contest in association with Raging Aardvark Publications. They have accepted my story New. Part of the contest is to send the story as flash fiction to Ether, and the contest is judged in part by the number of downloads.

Both these stories are available FREE.

The more people download New, the better chance this story has of winning. Once you’ve grabbed the app, you can access the story.

Letter to an asylum seeker on Manus Island

One of the people I admire the most is Julian Burnside, an Australian lawyer who is passionate, and effective, in fighting human rights abuses. He has organised a letter writing campaign to the unfortunate people who fled torture and persecution, and then fall into the clutches of the Australian government, which imposes torture and persecution on them.

Here is my letter to some unknown asylum seeker, caught in hell.

Dear Friend,

I want you to know that I am like many other Australians. I want to invite you into this country. I do not like what the Australian government is doing to people like you.

I know you took terrible risks to get away from a country where you lived in fear. While it is reasonable for Australia to try to stop criminals and people who are not really refugees, this could be done in a decent manner, the way it is done by many other countries.

I am ashamed of what my country’s government is doing. I am active in working for a better life for people like you, and just want to know that you are not alone.

Maybe we can meet one day, and I hope you will write back.

Yours in friendship,

Dr Bob Rich

My publisher, Victor Volkman, has been notified that Ascending Spiral will be listed on USA Book News.

I just thought I’d tell you. 🙂

Responses to past issues

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with a writing tip
Congrats on 14 years


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Bob, your article on prologues made me think this tip might work for your readers:

An article in your last newsletter confirmed to me once again that many people don’t read prologues, even though a prologue can bring a greater understanding to the story at hand. I sometimes advise my editing clients not to title their prologues ‘Prologue.’ Call it something more provocative, something like “The Day Before the First of May,” depending on its content, of course.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning The Frugal Editor.

Congrats on 14 years

57 separate people were kind enough to congratulate me on having achieved the 14th year of Bobbing Around. Thank you. You’ll find the archives to be a mine of useful and interesting articles from a very wide range of sources, including me.


The way to stop corporate lawbreaking is to prosecute the people who break the law says Robert Reich
Stop future whale murder
Who will pay for all that coal? Not China!
Australian budget takes from ordinary citizens to fund…
A Republican for a carbon tax
Remind me, why did Bush invade Iraq?
Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia from David Morawetz


The way to stop corporate lawbreaking is to prosecute the people who break the law
says Robert Reich

Under the law, crazily, corporations are considered people. This has all sorts of benefits — to those who make the decisions that lead to criminal actions against corporations.

In the Australian Capital Territory, a person (human being) can go to jail if someone dies on the job, and this is proven to be due to negligence by the employer.

Robert Reich probably doesn’t know about this wise law. However, he would like to apply it to all corporate crime. More power to him.

Read the report.

Reich’s proposal is needed, as discussed here.

PS I like this bloke because I was also Robert Reich until I changed my name at 17 years of age.

Stop future whale murder

IFAW has organised a campaign, asking people to write in 100 words or less why Japan should be forbidden from whaling in Antarctic waters, regardless of what new “scientific” bullshit plan they come up with. Unfortunately, deadline for submissions is 30th June. I hope you’ve heard about it in time.

Here is my submission:

Research shows that cetaceans are as intelligent as humans. They use language, grieve losses, are able to act altruistically, and have been demonstrated to have many other abilities humans arrogantly assume only they are able to do. Therefore killing cetaceans of any size is murder. Eating them is cannibalism.

A second reason is that Japan has huge quantities of unsold whale meat. There is no economic justification for more killing.


Who will pay for all that coal? Not China!

Carbon Tracker is an organisation of economists whose aim is to move the global economy onto a sustainable basis. Their latest report should be an eye-opener to decision-makers in countries that hope to make big money from carbon still in the ground. The three most vulnerable countries are, in order of likely damage, Australia, Indonesia and China.

Currently, about half the thermal coal burnt globally fuels electricity in China. Results include the terrible air pollution problems that country is now famous for, and environmental damage from coal mining. There is sufficient civil dissatisfaction that the rulers of China have taken notice. Given the facility of a totalitarian country, they have changed direction, and from now on, coal consumption will rapidly decrease. It does help that cheap alternatives are now available.

The Australian and Queensland governments have been riding roughshod over the desires of the majority of the population, pushing through what is planned to be the largest coal mine ever (including areas of environmental significance), and destroying the Great Barrier Reef in creating a huge expansion of coal ports.

Of course, they won’t pay any attention to a bunch of hippy green economists. However, those who consider investing in these projects should read the report.

You can protect yourself by taking your money out of any bank, superannuation fund or other investment company that has money in these suicide ventures. Before you do so, let them know why.

Australian budget takes from ordinary citizens to fund…

Torture of asylum seekers.

$125,856 per hour.
This is what it costs the Abbott Government to detain 2,450 refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.

A Republican for a carbon tax

George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., has made a public statement acknowledging the seriousness of climate change, and called for sensible action as a matter of urgency. Read a report.

Remind me, why did Bush invade Iraq?

Read this article in the Ecologist and all will be clear.

“Prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, US and other western oil companies were all but completely shut out of Iraq’s oil market. But thanks to the invasion and occupation, the companies are now back inside Iraq and producing oil there for the first time since being forced out of the country in 1973.”


Dear Faithful America member,

This is how Christianity gets a bad name:

A pastor running for Congress in Georgia is making national headlines for stating that Islam isn’t a religion and isn’t protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom.

Jody Hice has based his political career on his Christian faith — fighting to display the Ten Commandments at a local courthouse, and organizing fellow pastors to endorse Republican political candidates from the pulpit.

But the truth is that Hice’s fear-mongering about Muslims has nothing to do with Christianity, and everything to do with political extremism.

We need to show he doesn’t speak for Christians right now, while his words are still in the news.

Tell GOP pastor: Apologize for attacking Muslims and giving Christianity a bad name.


— Michael Sherrard

Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia
from David Morawetz

I am a co-author of the report, which was published by Australia21 in collaboration with The Australia Institute.

BELOW are some brief summarising remarks I made before John Hewson launched the report in Parliament House Canberra on 11th June, 2014.

You can download a free copy of the report, or purchase a hard copy.

If you would like to help contribute to a national conversation on our growing inequality and what to do about it, please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested, add the link to Facebook or Twitter, etc.

Thanks and best wishes,


Dr David Morawetz
Counselling Psychologist
Formerly Associate Professor of Economics at Boston University
Founder and Director, Social Justice Fund
(a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation)

Brief summarising remarks before John Hewson launched the new report

What kind of Australia do we want for our children and grandchildren? Do we want a country in which children who happen to be born into poor families have the same life chances as children who are born into rich families — a fair go for all?

Australia has a long and proud tradition of egalitarianism. But in the last decade, the richest 10 per cent of Australians enjoyed almost 50 per cent of the growth in incomes, and the richest 1 per cent received 22 per cent of the gains. At the same time, after 23 years of uninterrupted economic growth, one child in six in Australia lives below the poverty line. The poverty line in 2010 for a couple with two children was $752 a week, or $27 per person per day.

The current level of inequality and its rate of growth are bad for all Australians, poor and rich. Furthermore:

Growing inequality is bad for efficiency, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Who says so? Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the OECD, and even the traditionally conservative and free-market International Monetary Fund and The Economist. The Governor of the Bank of England said it as well a couple of weeks ago.

Australia’s increase in inequality has come about in part as a consequence of changes in public policy. For example, in the tax cuts of the past seven years, the top 10% have received more benefit than the bottom 80% combined. Therefore inequality can be reduced through changes in public policy as well.

We have many policy levers available to reduce inequality — we know what needs to be done. This report suggests ten ways to Advance Australia in a Fairer manner — they are summarised on the back cover of the report.

Global concern about inequality is great. Yet in Australia, serious public discussion about it has barely begun. Politicians will not act as long as the community accepts growing inequality passively.

Using remedial levers like our 10 proposed ways to Advance Australia Fair is never straightforward. There is likely to be opposition from those whose income, power and influence will be diminished under a fairer distribution of income and wealth.

What we need now as the next step to significant and lasting reduction of inequality is to develop a national conversation about how inequality is impacting on our lives, our culture, our economy and our society. It is hoped that the release of this report might be used as an opportunity to engage the media and groups from civil society in this conversation – churches, schools, Indigenous communities, young people, older people, social policy organisations, and many more.

In the 21st century, do we want to re-establish Australia as a country where everyone has a fair go? If so, let’s start a national conversation about it — and let’s make it happen. Can such a national conversation bring about real change? The recent success of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is encouraging in this regard.


Sea level rise problems — NOW
How to Avoid Population Overshoot and Collapse by Dr Michael Mills
Climate change deniers: video by George Marshall
New web site for Climate Reality Project
AVAAZ: We can reverse global idiocy in 100 days
Peak water is here by VL Baker


Sea level rise problems — NOW

The effects of climate change on sea levels are usually phrased as if they were a problem for the future: “by 2100…”

Due to a combination of circumstances, there is an American city that suffers from this problem right now.

Read the report.

sealevel Cartoon by Nick Kim

How to Avoid Population Overshoot and Collapse
by Dr Michael Mills

This article is an excellent primer on population dynamics. It is a must-read support for decisions about having children.

Climate change deniers: video by George Marshall

I offer a Skype-based interactive workshop on how to move the opinions of climate change deniers. Instead, or as well as, you will get major benefit from watching an excellent video presentation on the topic by British expert George Marshall.

New web site for Climate Reality Project

Hey Bob,

We have an exciting announcement today: we’ve just launched our brand new website!

We designed the website to be a tool for action for people like you — and we hope you’ll use it monthly, weekly, even daily. Your actions, whether large or small, will add up with those of thousands of fellow supporters and build real momentum for climate solutions.

Check out the new website today and help power the revolution for climate action.

AVAAZ: We can reverse global idiocy in 100 days

The last ice age happened in 6 months. 6 months for the planet to unleash an army of apartment-building-size ice blocks across Europe and the United States. It was a climate tipping point where the balance is knocked completely out of control and threatens the survival of everything — and three more tipping points exactly like it are on the verge of happening.

It’s our “holy shit” climate moment according to a leading NASA scientist, and only a holy shit massive coordinated day of action response, right now, can change the future we’re facing.

One agreement with common sense steps to end dirty energy can save us. That’s why the UN has called an urgent climate meeting in just over 100 days with all major world leaders — if we greet them on September 20th with the largest ever global climate mobilisation in history we can break through the walls of mega coal, oil, and businesses that prevent even the best politicians from doing what is right.

There’s no way to get around how big a task this is. But together, each small action will add up into a millions-strong movement that literally drowns out the opposition and gives our leaders the best reason to break free and build a hopeful, clean and green future.

Click here to join in.

“Tipping points” are feedback loops, where climate change feeds back on itself and causes rapidly accelerating, catastrophic consequences. Right now, methane gas, which is 25 times worse for global warming than CO2, is frozen in our ice. But as the ice melts, the gas leaks, causing more melting and each melt loses us another layer of reflective ice shield that we rely on keep the planet cool, more methane and less ice means more warming still, and everything starts to spin out of control. And that’s just one example… it’s why scientists are yelling form the rooftops that we have to act now.

We actually have the tools and the plan we need to make sure we don’t cross into a world where tipping points destroy us. And while it will take global cooperation on a bigger scale than ever before, our 36 million-strong movement already has the people power necessary to move leaders from every country to take the first steps. Just days ago, the United States and China announced serious new plans to curb their pollution — momentum is building ahead of next year’s critical Paris climate summit where a deal could be inked, and in just over 100 days we can take it up a notch further.

Taking to the streets in a record setting show of power and coordination is one of the most effective ways to create change — from the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa to civil rights in the US, it’s sometimes been the only way. This is our chance to bring that power to the most important issue of our time: survival and a thriving future for our families, and their families and the generations of people to come.

We know we can do this, and do it big. When our community was just 3 million people we held 3,000 actions on the same day to protect our planet. We’re now 36 million strong, ten times the size! Imagine what we can achieve together now.


Global warming: it’s a point of no return in West Antarctica. What happens next? (The Guardian)

Report: Prepare for climate tipping points Politico)

A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change (Rolling Stone)

Mini ice age took hold of Europe in months (New Scientist)

Peak water is here by VL Baker

Today some 18 countries, containing half the world’s people, are overpumping their aquifers. Among these are the big three grain producers—China, India, and the United States—and several other populous countries, including Iran, Pakistan and Mexico.

Due to climate change the world has quietly transitioned into a situation where water, not land, has emerged as the principal constraint on expanding food supplies. As water tables fall and as wells go dry, world food prices are rising creating conflict. Is our species up to the challenge of preserving our future? To quote climate scientist Michael E. Mann “It is only through a massive, collective effort that we will turn this ship around, but we’ll need all hands on deck”.

Read the full report.

Good news

Oxford University under pressure to divest
Solar on the rise
US mayors a major force for the good
Solar India
Let’s follow Finland
Brazil has slowed deforestation in the Amazon
International Cities of Peace


Oxford University under pressure to divest

In the United States, it’s typically students who have the vision and courage to protest against carbon investments by their universities. To their credit, at famous Oxford University, the charge is led by senior academics.

Read the report in The Ecologist.
Photo by Zoe Broughton

Solar on the rise

New electricity generating capacity is being installed all the time. A report from ThinkProgress states that during the first quarter of 2014, 74% of new residential installations in the US were solar.


US mayors a major force for the good

A conference of the mayors of American cities has taken note of climate change. Avoiding party politics, they have chosen a positive path.

Solar India

India’s recently elected prime minister announced his government’s commitment to bring solar power to every home in India over the next five years. It is mostly through the growth of huge solar plants in several states. This goal is certainly achievable. Read one of several recent reports.
Charanka Solar Park Gujarat, India Credit: Gujarat Energy Development Agency

Let’s follow Finland

Despite its cold climate, Finland has legislated to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Even though their target year is 2050, they have committed themselves to urgent action, now. One of the reasons is the increased employment opportunities sustainable energy offers.

Brazil has slowed deforestation in the Amazon

A research report in the journal Science has demonstrated this. Until recently, soy and beef production have been at the expense of the rainforest, the rivers, the indigenous people. These two agricultural activities are still vibrant, but a collection of measures have slowed the destruction.

International Cities of Peace

I have previously reported a burgeoning movement of Compassionate Cities. A related, wonderful development is the start of International Cities of Peace. To date, there are about 100 of them, and growing.

Maybe you can help them grow? How about your location?

My thanks to Stephen Dinan, who drew my attention to this in his newsletter “The Shift Catalyst.” You can subscribe at The Shift Network.


We should all be like this 11 year old boy
Love Makes a Way


We should all be like this 11 year old boy


On September 4, 2010, Om Prakash was going to school along with other students in a Maruti van. But all of a sudden, the van caught fire because of a short circuit in the gas kit.

The driver immediately opened his door and fled. But not Om Prakash.

He broke open the van door and pulled out several of his friends alive out of a burning van, caring little about his own safety.

He saved eight children.

He received burn injuries on his face, back and arms, hasn’t received proper medical treatment and lost one year of school.
 But ask him would he put his life in danger once again if caught in a similar situation? ‘Every time,’ Om Prakash says.

For his bravery, he has won the Sanjay Chopra Award.

“You are the Inspiration for the All around the globe. We salute you for your acts of bravery.”

Source: Indian newspaper India AM2PM.

Love Makes a Way

Australia’s government, and the Labor opposition, both think the way to deal with asylum seekers is to treat them so badly they’ll go elsewhere. Not all Australians agree.

There is a movement of “cranky Christians” who are engaging in nonviolent protest on the issue. Please “like” them on Facebook.


Wind turbine technology flies
Electric vehicle charging made easy
Some solar panels are cleaner than others


Wind turbine technology flies

Treehugger has reported on several new developments, some already available, others in advanced testing stage. There is a silent one you can use to supplement a household solar system, a phone charging one weighing 4 pounds you can carry in your backpack, and one that’s a helium balloon that generates lots of electricity.

Electric vehicle charging made easy

Envision Solar, an American solar technology company, is ready to market a near-portable solar-powered charging station for electric cars. They don’t need grid connection, can be erected and dismantled very quickly and easily, and will charge up the typical electric car over about a day, or provide partial charge to a series of cars.

Some solar panels are cleaner than others

Science Direct reports on a study carried out at Northwestern University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, which indicates that solar panels made in China have a much higher energy cost of manufacture than those made in Europe. This is partly because of the sources of electricity in the two locations.

So, if you want to be environmental, sale price may not be the only thing you should look at.

Naturally, this applies to everything, not only solar panels.

Deeper Issues

DOWNSIZING THE ECONOMY by Chris Mardon (a must-read)
A bit of wisdom from Janis Silverman
Dr Glen Barry: I too have a dream
Who is a primitive savage?
Best friends
Torn Between Russia and the West — Is There a Third Way for Ukraine? by Martin Winiecki
Extremes of Inequality and limits to wealth by Dr Peter Cock


by Chris Mardon

Very rarely, I read an essay I agree with, 100%. This is one of them. Chris outlines the necessity for reversing economic growth, and discusses a number of practical steps that can be taken, now.

My only addition is that this proposed program will only work through culture change. I know, I know, Bob, you’re repeating yourself.

Please go and read the report.

A bit of wisdom from Janis Silverman

When you feel overwhelmed, love yourself more.

When you are lonely, reach out to someone in need.

If you feel depleted of energy, show kindness to others.

Are you angry? Bummed out about your situation? Write some loving words to yourself in your journal.

When it feels like there is nothing left to give, you can fill your heart and help to heal the world.

This is a quote from Janis’s book Recover, reviewed below.



Dr Glen Barry: I too have a dream

This new essay by Glen is important. If you care for justice, equity, the very survival of (human and nonhuman) life on this planet, then you need to read it.

I don’t agree with everything Glen says — no two people could possibly agree on everything — but he is calling for the kinds of changes we need.

Who is a primitive savage?


Best friends

A gentleman I only know as Brainwrap considers this as the best photo he has ever taken.

“My 8-year old son and his best friend, just walking down the sidewalk together. Some moments are just too perfect.”

Torn Between Russia and the West — Is There a Third Way for Ukraine?
by Martin Winiecki

There is a third way: of cooperation, defying the three forces of Russian exploitation, western exploitation and Nazi resurgence. What’s more, it will work anywhere in the world, not only in Ukraine. Read Martin’s inspiring paper.

Extremes of Inequality and limits to wealth
by Dr Peter Cock

After centuries of successful struggle for freedom from oppressive dictatorships, we are now faced with the threats to the life of our planet and therefore having to choose wise limits to individual freedom. What limits are needed for us for the planet? Saying no is the hardest decision, especially within the politics of a democracy. How do we face up to the hard but vital policy demands of defining limits to growth to population and their demands to consume?

Our Government celebrates the Asian market because there are now over 400 million middle class Asians wanting what we have, by demanding their share of the diminishing resources and sweeping aside biodiversity to share in the good life of materialism. There are billions more who would like the same, since we have done such a great job in globally marketing our avarice.

This is an old, hard issue of the increasing extreme between the rich and the poor within Australia and across the globe. These extremes separate citizens from being able to understand, and together share, in responding as one to the challenges we all face.

We have plenty of feel good advocacy to end poverty, which by itself merely adds more people, wanting more. Why add to their suffering by raising expectations that collectively can’t be delivered? For the poor to have a just share of what they need, we need to end wealth excesses before seeking to end poverty. We need to create a sustainable population and then we can end poverty. In short, as a green I don’t see how we can advocate for ending poverty when we are already consuming more than one planet.

We know from research that being wealthy doesn’t bring happiness. But is it realistic to have a policy for limits to wealth? For example, should there be limits to extremes of consumption such as luxury yachts, mansions, planes etc.? Should people be allowed to live alone in a 50 square house? Maybe 5-6 star resorts should be banned? Should there be a quota on how many flights a person can go on in a lifetime? Maybe we need a lifetime per capita consumption credit card as the badge of our citizenship? This is where we really need the nanny state. Banning things, however, doesn’t have a good track record and therefore needs to be carefully considered. If we dare not prohibit, we can at least price more destructive, unfair habits as we have smoking. Are such choices needed, given most people’s aspirations for wealth?

Before we can tackle poverty, we need to look at extremes of wealth from a green perspective. History suggests that inequality is always with us and that its extremes eventually provoke revolt at its injustice. Revolutions to eliminate it have always failed, while policies have been and can be effective in limiting the scope to within a ‘reasonable’ range. The difficult question is, are we capable using ecological criteria to decide when enough is enough? Our own increasingly obese population on an overcrowded, unstable planet suggests we are not.

Peter lectured in Sociology, Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University for over 30 years. As well as two books, he has contributed to numerous books and journals and multi-media presentations.

Peter is Vice President of the Sustainable Living Foundation, and a member of the Academic Board of the Oases Graduate School. There he facilitates the units, Entering the Ecological Domain, Deepening Ecological Citizenship and Co-evolutionary Spirituality for life. In addition he sponsors and facilitates retreats for sustainable Eco-warriorship.

He has a long standing commitment to the creation of alternative realities, reflected in being a co-founder of Moora Moora Ecovillage where he built a solar home in the 1970s.


Recognizing Each Child’s Particular Genius by Laura Grace Weldon
On “mental illness,” from Alfredo
How to have a good relationship
I’m so ashamed of my mistake!
How can I live with having committed sexual abuse?


Recognizing Each Child’s Particular Genius
by Laura Grace Weldon

A child’s gifts can be difficult to recognize, perhaps because they tend to unfold in mysterious ways. What we might consider idiosyncrasies or problems may very well indicate a child’s strengths.

This idea is illustrated with several convincing examples and cogent argument. If you are in a position of being able to influence children, you’ll want to read this essay.

On “mental illness”

My friend Alfredo has has written a blog that’s worth reading by anyone with interest in mental health. I agree with his statement, and am looking forward to the coming publication of his book, An Artist’s Creative Life with Bipolar Disorder.

How to have a good relationship

I was approached by a journalist for a bullet-point list on this topic. Here is my answer:

I recently retired as a counseling psychologist, after 22 years of practice.

My relationships page sets out the ways in which two people can have a good relationship, and how they can make each other suffer. The recommendations there are a plain language summary of a very large amount of research by thousands of social scientists over many years.

To summarize:

  • All relationships involve good and bad interactions. In a stable, loving relationship, positive interactions are at least 5 times more frequent than negative ones. The higher this ratio is, the better. So, “put love in the bank” by doing things to make the other person feel better, every time that’s possible. However, this only works if BOTH partners do it.
  • Everyone deserves respect and decency. This includes you, whatever you have done to upset me, and it includes me, whatever I have done to upset you.
  • No person has the right to abuse another, in any circumstances. Abuse includes physical harm, words that belittle the other person, enforcing an unequal power relationship (e.g., control over money, or who the other person may have contact with), and perhaps surprisingly, universalizing statements like “You always…” or “You never…”
  • When you make a complaint, I listen, and even more important, make you feel you’ve been heard. If I have a defense, I offer it AFTER I make sure you know that I’ve heard you and am taking your complaint seriously, even if I consider it to be misguided.
  • A disagreement is always dealt with in its own right, instead of being mixed up with other sources of conflict. If you make a complaint, making an unrelated counter-complaint is always damaging.
  • Complaints are healthy if treated right, because they improve the relationship. A criticism is damaging. The difference is: a complaint is about an action (or omission). A criticism attacks the person.
  • No one is always right. So, it is necessary for both to accept advice from the other, and be influenced by the partner’s opinion.
  • Communication between any two people often includes misunderstandings. I send one message, you receive a different one. This is a major source of conflict, hurt and argument. People in good relationships have the habit of asking clarifying questions: “Did you mean…”
  • If you’ve upset me, I can respond in one of three ways: Bulldozer (“Get off my foot or I’ll punch your face!”); Doormat (“Please trample on me. Sorry for being in your way.”) and Assertive (“You’re standing on my foot and it hurts. Please get off.”) A harmonious relationship is built through both parties being assertive rather than either aggressive or submissive.
  • When I make a mistake, I need to:
      1. Forgive myself.
      2. Sincerely apologize to you.
      3. If appropriate, offer restitution.
      4. Learn from it.
  • When you make a mistake, I may initially be upset, but show that I love you anyway. If you apologize, I accept it with grace. I am available as a consultant if you do your best to learn from the mistake. At any future repetition, I no longer react to it, but instead say something like “Remember, you’ve decided not to do that any more?”
  • There are various “argument styles.” The most stable relationships involve people whose argument style is the same, but people can learn compromises that make room for differences in argument style. Three major argument styles are “Volatile” (lots of shouting and emotion, followed by passionate reconciliation); “Rational” (needing the equivalent of a formal meeting about the issue, discussing it with an aim to resolution) and “Avoidant” (choosing to live with the difference rather than risk conflict). None of these is better than another.
  • The best relationships are when both partners have “secure attachment style.” This is an intuitive belief, based on good childhood experiences, that “I am all right” and “Other people can be trusted.” People with other attachment styles can improve them through emotional growth, probably but not necessarily through therapy.
  • The best relationships are between people whose motivation is to be of service to the other. “I am here for you, whatever happens.” This does not work if only one of the partners has the giving attitude.

I’m so ashamed of my mistake!

Last year, I did something I feel so ashamed of that I won’t even say what it was. It haunts me all the time. I did something to hurt my boyfriend, and although we are still together, he occasionally mentions it so I know I really hurt him.

Please help me!

The past is history. The future is a mystery. I give you a PRESENT. You can’t change the past, but you can change how you react to the memory: this moment.

I made a terrible mistake then. If I faced the same situation now, I would react differently. That shows I have learned from that mistake, and I am now a wiser, better person for it. There is a silver lining around the cloud: the lessons it taught me.

So, because I have learned and improved, I can forgive myself, as long as I ensure that I behave in the better way I’ve now realised I can do.

I’ve hurt another person. I need to apologise. I need to ensure this person knows that I have changed what I do, and I will not repeat.

I need to make restitution: fix damage, offer something to make this person’s present and future better.

There is no need for shame or guilt, because life is here to give us opportunities for learning. This was such an opportunity, and I’ve learned from it.

Modify this statement to uniquely suit you, then print out two copies with a beautiful appearance. One is for you, the other for him.


How can I live with having committed sexual abuse?

Hello sir, my name is Dennis. I saw a comment that you made on a website regarding a woman who has molested children in her past but has indeed grown out of it.

I don’t know where to start because I have nobody to turn to. The stigma of molestation is a tainting permanent black stain on somebody and they are rightfully viewed as the sickest and most vile members of society. I emailed you because for years I have been dealing with a heinous act that I initiated when I was either a preteen or a teenager (I have blocked out a portion of my memory). This has affected me deeply and I do not wish to continue my life anymore because of this. It was an act that I committed once and never again, I never had the urge and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I never will. It was something that I did in a moment of losing all self control and succumbing to the overwhelmingly unfamiliar hormone drive. I have lived my entire adolescent years as a socially awkward introverted hermit who was a social outcast. I recently lost my virginity at 19 and find that having sexual intercourse is something that is uncomfortable to me. I cannot appreciate a beautiful part of life because of what I did. I am so sorry beyond words, I let myself lose control and committed an act that I despise myself for. I don’t know where else to turn. Your post and the way you consoled that woman without bias makes me feel that you understand. You are the first person I have ever told.

Dennis, here is a card I often give to my clients:


There is no such thing as a mistake, fault of defect.
There are only learning opportunities.
When you make a mistake:
1. Apologize to yourself within your heart and forgive yourself.
2. If possible and appropriate, apologize to other people affected.
3. If possible and appropriate, make restitution.
4. Work out how you can do it better next time.

If you find that a past act was a mistake, that’s proof that you’ve gained in wisdom.
The worst thing you can do is to beat yourself up with shame and guilt. You are responsible for having made the mistake, and the above addresses that.

You are suffering because you hate yourself for that mistake. Do your best to work toward self-forgiveness.

It is not appropriate to apologize to the person you had molested, presumably a younger girl? Even if you can track that person down, it is entirely possible that she was not traumatized, and now being told of the event could harm her. If she was hurt, it’s no good reopening that wound for her.

You can make restitution. The woman whose cry for help I answered ended up as a volunteer visitor in a women’s jail, giving compassion to women who were where she considered she’d be, “but for the grace of God.”

You are 19. Choose a life path that will be of benefit to people suffering sexual abuse, or people who had committed such acts and now want to reform, or work toward changing society to reduce the incidence of such events. Work for the betterment of humankind.

You have already done the fourth requirement. You will always, all your life, make sure that you do no harm to others.

In my preliminary answer, remember, I said that whatever is torturing you could very well be a Life Lesson? My intuition was right. Not only that, but you have already learned this Lesson, and have benefited from it.

You feel like the scum of the earth, so bad you’d like to die. In fact, my dear young friend, you are at a far HIGHER level than a great many people on this planet, perhaps the majority. Most people blithely go through life causing damage to others. You are now aware that your actions have consequences, and are determined never to hurt again. Right?

You made a terrible mistake THEN, 5 to 10 years ago. BECAUSE you have made that mistake, you have grown spiritually, and now have the potential to grow further.

You were given a choice, then. You went the wrong way, and should not have. But because you made that mistake, you are now the person you are now: someone who lives by “Above all, do no harm.”


Can you see why you don’t need to bash yourself up any more?

You have committed a crime, and have punished yourself for 5 to 10 years. The exact number of years doesn’t matter. The fact is, you can now stop punishing yourself.

Instead, celebrate the silver lining, and dedicate your life to doing good for others, paying restitution.

I have a great many grandchildren, all over the planet. Consider yourself added to that number, and do feel free to write back to me.

In the way that my answer to that woman helped you, I’d like your permission to reproduce this question and answer, with identifying details removed, in my newsletter Bobbing Around. Then it may help others.

Thank you for contacting me,

As it is obvious from the above, this is my answer to the second email from “Dennis.” There have been further exchanges, and I am delighted to let you know that he is doing very well, and has shed a great load.


Roundup doubles your risk of lymphoma


Roundup doubles your risk of lymphoma

Thank you, Monsanto. Read the report.


Half the job done…


Half the job done…

So you’ve written a book. It’s as good as you can make it, and even people willing to give an honest critique tell you it’s good. You submit it to a publisher, and wonderful, it’s accepted!

After it goes through many trials like cover design, and final editing, and composition of the promotional blurbs and things, and if you’re American, the endless wait for registration at the Library of Congress, it’s available for sale.

Tell you what this book is like, now. I plant a potato in a clearing in the forest. In due course, a plant comes up, and a beautiful little flower appears.

It is sterile: a potato reproduces from the tuber. All the same, it is beautiful. Autumn comes, and the plant wilts. During that time no one saw the flower, not even a bird. It was still part of the web of nature, and beautiful, and had a right to existence. But… but it really wasn’t much use to anyone else.

Do you want YOUR book, the fruit of a lot of labor, imagination, perhaps research, probably joy and anxiety, to be just a sterile flower no one ever sees?

Or did you have dreams of taking the world by storm, or having lots of people read your words and benefit from them?

There are many millions of other books out there. Yours is not a needle in a haystack, but a noodle in a spaghetti factory. All those people who’d love to read your book need to find out about it.

This takes labor, imagination, research, joy and anxiety, invested in marketing and publicity.

If you want your book to be read, YOU must do this. Your publisher is doing it too, but even a small publishing company will have dozens, perhaps hundreds of titles to push. Yours is one. Your publisher has far less emotional and financial investment in your book than you do. You are the person who knows the most about it, who can talk about it with passion and understanding.

Even if you have the money to hire a publicist, for that person your book is just a job. For you, it’s got to be more than that. It is a child of your spirit. You need to encourage it to grow and succeed.

Otherwise, why bother to have it published?

What my friends want you to know

Jan Sikes: new book with a music CD
Carolyn shares with writers * 2
Creative Collectives: Upcoming Workshops
Summer of Peace summit June 13 to September 21, 2014
Clean Drinking Water to Tibetan Refugees
Sea Shepherd movie online
The Branches of Time, by Luca Rossi



Shelf Unbound book review magazine announces the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book, sponsored by Bowker. Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $40 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine.

“Independently Published” books include self-published books and e-books (such as those published through CreateSpace,, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books and e-books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. Books entered in last year’s competition are eligible for re-submission in this year’s competition. There is no limit to the number of books an individual can enter; each book is a separate entry. The competition is open to authors worldwide; books must be in English. Any length book is eligible. This year the competition will also introduce the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books, in honor of Pete Delohery, author of the novel Lamb to the Slaughter.

The official rules for the competition can be found at here. Entries are not divided into genre categories at the time of submission.

To submit an entry, email a PDF or Word Doc of your entire book, including the cover, to, subject line Contest Entry (or mail a physical copy of your book to: Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321), and send a check for $40 made out to Shelf Media Group to Margaret Brown, Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321, or pay via PayPal (click on this link and select “Competition Entry Fee”). All entries received (and entry fee paid) will be considered. Please include your email and book title with your entry if sending by mail.

The top five books, as determined by the editors of Shelf Unbound, will receive editorial coverage in the December/January 2015 issue of Shelf Unbound. The author of the book named as the Best Independently Published book will receive editorial coverage as well as a year’s worth of full-page ads in Shelf Unbound (rate card value $6,000). More than 100 books deemed by the editors as “notable” entries in the competition will also be featured in the December/January 2015 issue of Shelf Unbound.

The deadline for entry is midnight on October 1, 2014. The winners will be notified by November 2, 2014. Additional information and rules can be found on our contest rules page at

Jan Sikes: new book with a music CD

jancdI am thrilled to announce the release of The Convict and the Rose along with the music CD, Forty Foot High

This book is the sequel to Flowers and Stone. At the end of that story, we found that Luke Stone was sentenced to many years in prison for a crime he had not committed.

In The Convict and the Rose, the book opens with Luke arriving at Leavenworth Penitentiary. Both Luke and Darlina were forced to learn and grow through their many struggles to survive the twist of fate life hurled them into.

The music CD that accompanies this story is a small piece of music history preserved. Out of the twelve songs on this CD, eleven were recorded inside the walls of Leavenworth Prison.

You can order an autographed copy on Jan’s web site, or buy the book at Amazon and the the CD separately.

I have reviewed Jan’s first book previously, and The Convict and the Rose below.

Carolyn shares with writers * 2

Sharing with Writers

Published for the betterment of your writing career since 2003.

To read the newest issue in pdf go to

Carolyn has published two useful and informative issues since the last Bobbing Around. Each is packed with helpful content.

Creative Collectives: Upcoming Workshops

Now touring to Australian Farms from Vic to Qld

Great news! We’ve recently teamed up with a bunch of great self-sufficient farmers and land owners around Australia who want to help us host workshops on a larger scale. The School of Self-Sufficiency idea is becoming ever more popular and the call-out for workshops in different areas has been overwhelming, but we’re responding to the demand and picking up the pace. We’ve got workshop coming up in Lara, VIC, Mt Macedon, VIC and then the Sunshine Coast, QLD and more to come after that. 

See details of next workshops below…

  • Lara Farm (VIC) Special Event: David Holmgren half-day workshop. A special event to help empower permaculture activists.holmgren.jpg
  • Mt Macedon (VIC) Workshop Weekend: 7 great workshops, 3 day communal camp-out at Hollyburton Farm. Tickets selling fast.
  • Sunshine Coast Workshop Weekend: 22nd – 24th August. Full line-up and tickets released soon.sunshinecoast

    Summer of Peace summit, June 13 to September 21, 2014

    For all of us who long for more peace and harmony in our lives and our world, the daily challenges we face can feel daunting.

    It can be difficult to know where to turn to find the inspiration and guidance we need to heal the conflicts in our own hearts, in our relationships and in our larger world.

    That’s why I want to invite you to our special, no-cost summit — The Summer of Peace — taking place June 13 – September 21, 2014.

    During this LIVE online series, more than 70 of the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, indigenous elders and spiritual mentors, including people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Eckhart Tolle, Amy Goodman and Barbara Marx Hubbard, will help you transform conflicts in your heart, your relationships and the world.

    It is a call to action, providing not only inspiration, but also specific actions we can take to create both inner peace in our own lives and outer peace in our families, communities and across the globe.

    In spirit,
    Stephen Dinan

    Clean Drinking Water to Tibetan Refugees

    Genocide in Tibet has been going on for two generations now, largely ignored by almost everyone. We all admire the Dalai Lama, but allow the destruction of his culture.

    India has an ever-increasing number of refugees, doing their best to survive, and to maintain their ancient culture. They need our support.

    The Tibet Fund in collaboration with Lha Charitable Trust, a non-profit based in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is raising funds to provide clean drinking water to Tibetan refugees.

    While Dharamsala receives the second highest rainfall in India, the community of Tibetans living in the area still suffers from acute water shortages and the effects of polluted drinking water due to inadequate water storage facilitates and outdated septic systems that are overwhelmed by heavy monsoon rains.

    The large number of refugees living in poverty means that the community is forced to rely upon India’s inadequate public water system. According to a 2009 survey carried out by Lha staff, 94 percent of Tibetan refugees drink tap water because few can afford to regularly purchase filtered water. Illnesses caused by contaminated drinking water include chronic gastro-intestinal problems, typhoid and cholera.

    Sea Shepherd movie online

    Some 960 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Archipelago is famed throughout the world for its unique plant and animal species.

    Sea Shepherd has always considered the Galapagos one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses. But even in this remote part of the world, human encroachment is taking a heavy toll on this fragile eco-system.

    Since 2000, Sea Shepherd has maintained a strong and positive presence in the Galapagos Islands and are honoured to do so. These ‘Enchanted Isles’ are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that all humanity has a responsibility to help protect them from illegal exploitation. Over the years Sea Shepherd has, among other things, supplied radio equipment to the park rangers and police and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) to monitor movements of fishing vessels. All in a bid to assist in stamping out the illegal poaching of sharks. Sea Shepherd has also provided education to school children about the importance of protecting sharks. Also, we initiated the K9 unit which is a partnership with the Galapagos police in an attempt to stop the illegal smuggling of wildlife.

    Sea Shepherd considers Galapagos an ongoing campaign, one that gives us great pride, and possibly one of the most important in our history and in that of the human race.

    In a short film, produced in 2011, we present to you our work to assist in the protection of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the life within it.

    This is the first time this film is being released online and we hope all our supporters can enjoy and appreciate the amazing work Sea Shepherd is able to achieve thanks to your generous and ongoing support.

    Any ongoing donations would be appreciated to continue the vital work of Sea Shepherd in the Galapagos.

    The Branches of Time, by Luca Rossi

    My new fantasy novel, The Branches of Time, was released on 19th June.

    I’m thrilled at the opportunity to share my new work with my English readers.

    So far, I’ve received an overwhelming response to my new book. My blog page has been shared 12500 times across all social networks. I can hardly believe that there are so many readers eager to catch it.

    The Branches of Time will be released exclusively on Amazon Kindle. My experience with this ebook store has been terrific in the last eleven months. My first book, Galactic Energies, had an amazing response, with thousands of sales and more than 140 reviews.

    On, the Italian version, I Rami del Tempo has quickly become a bestseller, topping the charts in both the fantasy and sci-fi categories.

    The Branches of Time is the first volume of a series. It will be an exquisite journey in a very unusual fantasy world. As with Galactic Energies, there will again be an amalgamation of fantasy and sci-fi, with the introduction of typical sci-fi themes, like time travel.

    And, of course, my readers will find sizzling details about the erotic desires and adventures of all my heroes and heroines. With some slightly crazy beautiful young women and a sweet lesbian love story, eroticism has a primary place in my work again.


    Recover: Healing And Renewal, by Janis Silverman
    Healing Scripts CD reviewed by Janis Silverman
    Cancer: A personal challenge reviewed by Janis Silverman
    The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, by Robert David Steele, reviewed by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
    Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Shirley Martin
    Calm Ground, by Megan Williams
    The Convict and the Rose, by Jan Sikes
    The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, by Michael Thal


    Recover: Healing And Renewal, by Janis Silverman

    Janis Silverman is a breast cancer survivor, and has experienced many other health problems. These could have dragged her down, and perhaps they do from time to time, but she has chosen to use them as springboards to wisdom and inner strength. She shares some of the tools she has developed for herself in this little collection of guided imagery scripts.

    Before the scripts, she discusses a brief summary of a great deal of research evidence supporting the benefits of meditation, including guided imagery. Naturally, her literature review focuses on breast cancer, but she has included studies addressing other serious health problems as well. This introductory chapter is very convincing, and should motivate the reader to have confidence in Janis’s recommendations.

    In her meditative scripts, Janis’s use of words is beautiful. Even her prose is poetry.

    Her approach to presenting guided imagery is different from mine. My approach has been a literal transcript of what I might say when I lead others in meditation, with the full knowledge that each person will use my words differently. Instead, Janis gives a general guide in a few words, encouraging her reader to fill in the gaps. I think the two approaches are equally valid, although perhaps some of Janis’s questions are too general for some people who attempt to implement them without guidance.

    I am fortunate in that, so far, I have not suffered cancer, but all the same, when I tried out some of her ideas, they worked beautifully for me. They will work for you.

    Janis Silverman is a retired elementary, middle school, junior college and specialist teacher of gifted and talented children. Janis is the author of educational and counseling books for children, as well as a series of four books, Relax, Reflect, Restore and Recover: Guided Imagery meditations for Women with Breast Cancer.

    To learn more, please visit Janis’ Amazon author page and
    her Facebook author page.

    Healing Scripts CD
    reviewed by Janis Silverman

    Take a breath, close your eyes, listen, imagine, visualize. This CD by Dr. Bob Rich, Australian psychologist and author, is an absolute pleasure. Whether you are new to guided imagery meditation, or you are an experienced meditator, you will find these meditation scripts refreshing, relaxing, invigorating, and regenerative.
    Before beginning imagery work, find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your technology, sit quietly and breathe softly, slowly, deeply.
    Dr. Rich’s CD is divided into four sections of his favorite guided imagery scripts.

    1. Inductions

    Dr. Rich introduces two guided imagery stories to achieve relaxation. I enjoyed listening to Dr. Rich’s voice and lovely Australian accent. He helps the listener create vivid pictures in his mind as he travels with him through each story. “Australian mountain top” introduces a total body scan and a walk down from an Australian mountain top, to a special peaceful place. “Descending lift” begins in an elevator to another exquisite and special place. I like Dr. Rich’s use of nature in his imagery. The sights, sounds, smells the listener envisions create a deep peace.
    As one uses a healing script, he should listen carefully and stop the recording as needed to complete or extend a meditation.

    2. Feel Good

    Dr. Rich introduces four guided imagery meditations. Again he employs nature to help listeners achieve vivid imagery. These meditation scripts encourage the meditator to visualize, then become part of the scene, and best of all, to leave worry and pain behind. If you are not from Australia, you may need to stretch a bit, as the wildlife and botany may be new to you. This should not hinder the listener, as Dr. Rich’s colorful description provides clear pictures.

    2. Healing

    I love these three healing scripts, finding them creative, with amazing potential to “Stimulate the immune system.” The listener will learn a powerful technique to clear infection, colds, sore throats, etc. The “Healing light” script is easily imagined. This is one that can readily be recalled and use anytime, anywhere. A third script has intention to “Heal the planet.”

    4. Pain Reduction

    I especially appreciate the last three pain lessening meditation scripts. Again, Dr. Rich paints images the listener can use immediately to visualize and release pain. This can be used for an infrequent backache or for chronic pain. I had to listen and stop the CD to have more time to immerse myself in Dr. Rich’s images. “Modify pain” and “Melt Stabbing pain” may take some practice. It is well worth a bit of time, as a listener will reap the benefits of diminishing pain levels. I am suggesting that the listener may wish to stop the CD and spend more time with these rich images, particularly if she has pain in several areas of her body.
    Guided imagery has been researched. Medical benefits include lower blood pressure, reduced stress and pain levels. As a long time meditator, I know that imagery creates calm, better focus and a sense of well-being. Psychologists and social workers may use these techniques with patients. Imagery scripts can be used by an individual in the comfort of his home. Dr. Bob Rich has recorded these extraordinary imagery meditations. A meditator will find favorites and practice them until she no longer needs to use the CD. That is the beauty of imagery meditation. A listener can take these mindful adventures with them anywhere. Once mastered, these scripts are carried in your mind.

    A Note from the reviewer:

    I have used guided imagery meditation for decades. I have authored five books of guided imagery meditations for children and adults. I am currently writing more of this genre. I am confident that listeners of Dr. Rich’s Healing Scripts CD will find relaxation, wellness, well-being, healing strategies and pain reduction. I have tried out Dr. Bob Rich’s scripts for several weeks. I recommend them to anyone in search of healing of the body, mind and spirit.

    Janis L. Silverman is the author of educational and counseling books

    Cancer: A personal challenge
    reviewed by Janis Silverman

    Cancer: A Personal Challenge is a collection of professional articles, personal narratives about living with cancer, and articles about mind-body techniques to help cancer patients.

    The book is divided into four sections:

    • Part One: There is Hope
    • Part Two: The Facts
    • Part Three: Living with It
    • Part Four: Tools for Fighting Back

    As a breast cancer survivor, I found the personal narratives in part one heart-felt and very touching. Several anecdotes depict suffering with advanced stage cancers, yet these individuals all concluded in a positive manner. They affirmed that life is worth living, and that they also needed to be there as long as possible for their family members. Hope was the operative word.

    Several articles in part two were provocative and compelling. Dr. Bob Rich addressed the role of stress in the development of cancer and how we all need to learn techniques for reducing stress in our lives in order to prevent and to treat cancer. Other professional articles discussed current standard treatments, their effects and some alternative treatments.

    Part three really allows the reader into the lives of cancer patients. I found these articles revealing, brutally honest and open.

    Finally, Part Four offers comfort and healing to cancer patients. This set of articles is valuable, as they speak about various forms of meditation for cancer patients. Carl Stonier makes the case for guided imagery meditation and its many benefits, such as powering up the immune system and giving cancer patients hope. He emphasizes the value of a patient creating his own imagery to fight his cancer. Stonier recommends psychotherapy as a valuable adjunct therapy for cancer patients.

    In Part four Dr. Bob Rich discusses pain management through meditation and hypnosis. His step by step description and vivid examples explain the relaxation process and show how a patient can introduce a new idea, a different reaction to his pain. Dr. Rich also tackles the idea that cancer patients and pain patients can focus away from their pain. Patients can transfer their intentions and thoughts to something purposeful in their lives instead of focusing on their pain. Dr .Rich not only explains the value of trance. He gives the reader concrete suggestions to try while in a deeply relaxed state.

    The complete instructions for muscular relaxation are included in article 15’s appendix. These steps to total body relaxation can be recorded for a patient to use. This tool is a true gift to anyone going through mental or physical stress. As a patient tenses and relaxes a muscle group, she says, “Let go.” When coordinated with the breath, this is a powerful technique.

    Paul Bedson’s article teaches the reader how to use meditation for healing. He teaches several excellent techniques to overcome what he labels as over-thinking. These meditation exercises may be recorded for easy use.

    Finally, Dr. Bob Rich concludes this wonderful resource book in his essay titled, “Why?” Dr. Rich discusses the many possible causes of the increasing number of cancers. He implores the reader to care for himself, avoid as many carcinogens as possible, to find and live fully in his purpose, and to work for a cleaner, healthier planet. It is in Dr. Rich’s final essay that he reveals his motivation for editing and contributing to this excellent collection of information and personal insight.

    Cancer: A Personal Challenge is not for the faint of heart. Some of it is a rough ride; however, it offers insight and information to patients, their families and friends. Health care practitioners would benefit from absorbing the information and narratives. It may offer them the opportunity to walk a mile in patients’ shoes. Patients reading some of the personal accounts by others fighting cancer will realize they are not walking their path alone.

    The medical information and the articles about meditation are invaluable. I recommend Cancer: A Personal Challenge to inquiring minds, those who wish to really “know” what it is like to live bravely with cancer.

    The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, by Robert David Steele
    reviewed by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

    This review is too long to reproduce here, but one click will take you to it.

    Both the book reviewed and the book the reviewer wrote are important, and worth reading.

    Ascending Spiral
    reviewed by Shirley Martin

    What goes around comes around might be a good motto for this very well-written novel. Robert Rich cleverly weaves different lives into this story and shows their interconnectedness. Dr. Pip is the connecting thread and learns that each life he’s lived had lessons from which to learn and ways in which to grow. The story begins with Padraig in Ireland at the time of the Vikings and continues with Dermot and Amelia, on through other lives. As a conservative, I disagree almost entirely with the author’s philosophy, but that fact doesn’t detract from my admiration for this thought-provoking novel. Five stars, well deserved.

    shirleymWith a vivid imagination and a love of storytelling, Shirley Martin has always enjoyed writing. From historical romance, she blossomed out to other romance genres. With several fantasy novels and novellas, her writing should appeal to just about every reader of romance.
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    Calm Ground, by Megan Williams

    Modern society is designed to make us dissatisfied, worried, unhappy. Contented people don’t need to buy things. So, we all need tools apart from retail therapy to relieve distress.

    Nearly one-third of people will qualify for a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder at one time or another, and people in the “normal” range also suffer stress and anxiety far more than is good for them. So, Calm Ground by Megan Williams is an invaluable tool for most people.

    This little book is a plain-language primer on anxiety disorders, and evidence-based techniques for dealing with them, but it’s more than that. It is also a collection of magnificent photos of Australian landscapes including peaceful forests, beaches and mountain streams. Understanding is also aided by helpful diagrams. The pictures are tools for self-soothing.

    Although relevant psychological theory is explained, the words and concepts are simple enough for a high school student to follow.

    There are useful exercises that anyone can do. They will help at times of anxiety and worry, and more generally will lead to inner peace.

    So, do yourself a favour and study this mini-manual, and follow its suggestions.

    Megan Williams M.Psych is a Psychologist in private practice She has worked for over 10 years with clients experiencing anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many common causes of stress.

    The Convict and the Rose, by Jan Sikes

    This book, the sequel to Flowers and Stone, is the intertwined story of two people, harshly separated from each other. Both of them grow through suffering, and learn from unwise choices.

    In the previous book, Luke was convicted of a bank robbery he didn’t commit, but his code of honor prevented him from pointing the finger at the real robbers. He now faces up to 50 years in jail. During the first part of the book, he is defiant, aggressive, violent — and as a result, has a hard time of it. Jan Sikes describes a gradual transformation that leads to wisdom, self-restraint, generosity, and personal salvation through a variety of creative arts.

    Darlina had already grown considerably in the first volume, but she is only 19. She goes through her own trials, particularly an involvement in the drug culture, and again, we trace her development into a wise, strong, loving woman.

    The Convict and the Rose is about these two people, but through them, it looks at a number of universal problems we all face, and is an inspiring guide to making a better life, regardless of our circumstances.

    Jan has also announced the release of a music CD to accompany the book. You can buy an autographed copy of both at her’s web site.

    The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, by Michael Thal

    The Abduction of Joshua Bloom is a fun SF story for young adults. I can’t think of any teenager, male or female, who wouldn’t enjoy it. Sixteen year old boy is taken by aliens with amazingly superior technology. Surprisingly, they are humans with only minor differences from us, but this is satisfactorily explained by the lovely Anita.

    Through the device of an alien culture, Michael presents the moral code humanity needs in order to survive. It is fully believable and workable, and hopefully will influence some youngsters to look at society with different eyes: compassion, decency and cooperation instead of greed and aggressiveness.

    Here is a wonderful quote from near the end: “the world will be at peace only when the people of our planet love their children more than they hate their neighbors.”

    I won’t give away even a bit of the plot, but will say that the book is an excellent combination of exciting action and thought-provoking ideas. Despite the philosophy, there is not a shred of preaching or lecturing. It is an exciting science fiction story, and as I’ve said, it’ll be enjoyed by any young person able to read. And, like all good stories for youngsters, it will also entertain an adult.

    Michael Thal is a freelance writer and author in Los Angeles, CA. He began his career in public education. Due to a severe hearing loss, he stopped teaching. Since 2001 he has written over 80 articles for magazines like Highlights For Children, Fun for Kidz, Writer’s Digest, and San Diego Family Magazine. He also has an active column about parenting and education in the Internet newspaper, the Los Angeles Examiner. His novels include Goodbye Tchaikovsky (the story of a deaf violinist), The Legend of Koolura (a tale about a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, hunted by a mad man), Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback (Koolura is back in a new adventure at a sleep-away camp where she loses her powers and needs to uncover a prankster), and The Abduction of Joshua Bloom (The story of a teen abducted by aliens). All his books are available on Amazon.

    A bit of fun

    Francis and Tony
    A new version of the Serenity Prayer
    Advice to politicians


    Francis and Tony

    A petition was started, and signed by 3 million Australians. It requested the Pope to have a good word to Tony Abbott about his terrible policies.

    Francis decided to do something about it, and picked up the phone. When he got through, he said, “My son, the way you’re going, you won’t go to Heaven!”

    Tony had to reply, “Sorry Father, I’m being paid by a different master.”

    A new version of the Serenity Prayer




    Advice to politicians

    Australia’s Prime Monster has justified his “kick the poor, pay the billionaires” budget by saying, “The age of entitlement is over.” One response has been the wide circulation of the following, which, I am sure, applies to other countries as well:

    Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over

    1. Scrap political pensions.

    Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.

    2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.

    A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when out of office.

    Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.

    Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.

    3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.

    This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.

    4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of either the CPI or 3%.

    5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.

    i.e., Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.

    6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Politicians are void effective 31/12/14.

    The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.

    Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.

    Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.

    The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?

    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!

    If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

    About Bobbing Around

    If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

    You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

    If you are not a subscriber but want to be, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

    Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

    • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
    • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
    • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
    • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

    Submission Guidelines

    It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

    Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

    Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

    Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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4 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 2

  1. Pingback: Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 3 | Bobbing Around

  2. Dear Bob

    Congrats on another great edition of your newsletter and recognition for Ascending Spiral which I have just finished reading. What a ride! Thanks for including a review of my book Calm Ground which first appeared on Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s great book review website. The generosity of you both toward a first time self publishing novice like me is heartwarming.

    All the best



  3. Celebrating 4th of July by offering free copies of our Veterans Memoirs Guidebook


  4. Keep up the good work, Bob.


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