Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 4

Bobbing Around

Volume Fourteen, Number Four,
September, 2014

Bob Rich’s rave

email

bobswriting.com anxietyanddepression-help.com/ mudsmith.net/ other issues

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
Proud of my baby girl
A benefit of coughitis
My letter to AMP Bank
Letter to an idiot
Letter to Telstra
Ether Blog: I help to improve your writing

*Responses to past issues
Janis Silverman
David Norman: link to TV interview
Lance Collins: a little joke

*Politics
Be inspired: Janet Rice’s maiden speech
Good on you, Grannie
Defend America
J’Accuse
Australian immigration protesters march in silence for 300km

*Environment
Debunking energy myths
Logging kills
Good news for the Barrier Reef
Proof: climate change is NOW
Energy spill
Soot and climate change, by Patrick Doyle
Grow vegies and collect your water — if you want to survive, by David Spain

*Good news
Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest
Greenpeace ship sails
Tar sands mine suffers a blow
China’s coal consumption is actually falling
Reverse for Monsanto in Mexico

*Compassionate action
Are you ready to follow?
The only answer to war
A decent, compassionate cop
Christian and Jewish leaders campaign to support Muslim community
Streetbank
University boss’s shining example
Join the Compassionate Action Network

*Technology
Save money by going carbon neutral

*Deeper issues
How to stay positive in challenging times (5 Steps), By Pragito Dove
The ancient wisdom we need now
Creative genius and mental illness
Three choices
Dancing with systems by Donella Meadows
Captain Paul Watson on cetacean intelligence

*Psychology
Psychiatry coming in touch with reality?
What works for psychosis? by Alfredo Zotti
I keep crying in private
I want to die so I can be with my father
Was it rape?

*Health
Watch The Video That Coca-Cola And McDonald’s Hope You Never See
This man is a butterfly — big business is a mosquito
Childhood Leukemias Near Nuclear Power Stations, by Dr Ian Fairlie

*For writers
A criterion for writing decisions
Signs of the times, from Michael Larocca
Grammar help

*What my friends want you to know
One vote could save thousands of whales
Al Gore: 24 reasons we can solve the climate crisis, September 16-17
Fun Festival in Wesburn, 5th October
Help the environment win the Victorian election
350.org, 18 Oct
Essential reading on grief and dying
Bainstorming back
In Carolyn’s newsletter
New Internationalist calendar
Ten Yen, by Christina St Clair
Dr Bessel van der Kolk Trauma Workshops: The Body keeps the Score, March 2015
Bullying conference, June, 2015

*Reviews
The Gift of Dyslexia, by Ronald R. Davis
Dyslexia, by Brenda Baird
Let’s Talk About It, by Lea Rose
Arthur’s Legacy, by Tyler Tichelaar
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by:
Tyler Tychelaar
David Denham
“Robin”
“Scott”
Sleeeper, Awake, reviewed by “BK123”
It Never Rains, It Pours: A Tasmanian murder mystery by Rosamond Carter, reviewed by Alfredo Zotti

*A bit of fun
Editing issue
Sensible isolation


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.


From me to you

Proud of my baby girl
A benefit of coughitis
My letter to AMP Bank
Letter to an idiot
Letter to Telstra
Ether Blog: I help to improve your writing

 

Proud of my baby girl

Year before last, my daughter Anina had a freak accident and broke an ankle. To celebrate full rehabilitation, last Sunday she completed a rigorous 14.5 Km run, raising money for a very worthwhile charity: an asylum-seeker resource centre.
anina
And on the 12th of August, she was interviewed on Australia’s top radio interview spot. I believe they take the podcast down after awhile, but last I checked it was still here.

You see, Associate Professor Anina Rich is a world expert on synaesthesia, and there is a synaesthesia festival in Australia at the moment.


A benefit of coughitis

coughI never get the flu, thanks to regular meditation. The slightest early warning, and I use guided imagery: asking the white crocodile eggs in my bone marrow to hatch and do their work. (This script is on my CD.

My wife Jolanda came down with the dreaded disease, and this year’s virus is worse than usual, and I guess enough days of sharing the house with it was too much for the white crocodiles. I caught it too.

This has been a WONDERFUL opportunity for spiritual growth. It helped to moderate any arrogance (I am better than you and don’t catch the flu!), and in simple acceptance. It hasn’t been nice to cough, but almost all the time, I have been able to experience peace in my heart and contentment.

I’ve been coughing. So what. It probably won’t kill me, and if it does, that’s all right too.


My letter to AMP Bank

I want the money I have in AMP Bank to be safe. However, I have been made aware that you have investments in companies involved in coal-fired electricity, coal mining and similar activities. Given the current changes in the world economic climate, including advice from respectable bodies such as the IMF, coal is guaranteed to lose value, and may do so very rapidly.

It is therefore your fiduciary duty to remove investments from such companies. Please use my money for activities that have a future, and help us to move toward a sustainable culture.

Australia has the resources and potential to become the solar capital of the world. AMP should fund this change.


Letter to an idiot

Idiot is as idiot does.

Maurice Newman is a high profile public figure, and has headed many important organisations, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. However, he is known for his right wing, reactionary views, and there was an outcry when the Prime Monster, Tony Abbott, appointed him to head the Business Advisory Council, which supposedly represents business in advising the government.

I think he should have himself assessed for Alzheimer’s disease. He made a public pronouncement, from his expertise on meteorology (which is 0) that all those conspiring climate scientists will soon be shown up for their mistake of pretending there is global warning, because coming solar activity will now cause a global cooling.

Professor Tim Flannery does have experience relevant to speak on climate change. Under the previous government, he was the official advisor on climate matters. The Prime Monster’s first act was to dissolve the advisory body Tim chaired, so there is now a new Climate Advisory Council, crowd funded by people like me. Tim has asked people to write this idiot an email. Here is mine:

Dear Mr Maurice Newman AC,

You owe it to the people of Australia to resign your position. If you make public pronouncements in a field where you lack knowledge and competence, it is your duty to inform yourself first. Anyone in a position of responsibility who fails to do that is incompetent and negligent.

It is clear that your judgment cannot be trusted on any matter.

Professor Tim Flannery has requested that your Council be briefed by Australia’s top climate scientists. If you reject his offer, I challenge you to go public on your reasons.

Sincerely,

Bob Rich, Ph.D.


Letter to Telstra

My phone and internet provider has recently announced that its call centres will be moved offshore. This is what I wrote to them:

One of the nice things about Telstra has been that when I phone for help, I get a fully understandable Australian voice. This is unlike many other businesses and services, where I have to cope with thick Indian or Filipino accents, and often a poor understanding of English.

I would much rather see Telstra retain this business advantage.

How many of your staff have Telstra accounts?

How many of your offshore staff will?

The profit/loss account is a very poor measure of a business’s viability. Look at how the US economy has gone downhill, partly because it has exported its jobs like you propose to do.


Ether Blog: I help to improve your writing

Ether Blog have featured a 600 word extract from my current work in progress on how to write. It’s about saying what you mean, not something else.

Please leave a comment, and check out my stories with Ether.

Ether is an English business that provides cheap and free stories you can view on your smartphone.

Responses to past issues

Janis Silverman
David Norman
Lance Collins

 

Janis Silverman

Thanks for sending me your newsletter, Bob. I like the diverse topics and opinions.

Janis


David Norman

I really enjoyed reading the articles in the Contentment PDF you sent me a few weeks back. Some of the links took me down some very interesting rabbit warrens of information.

Also I can’t recall if I sent you the link to the Channel Seven interview they did with me this month. I thought they did a great job with the editing.

Cheers
David


Lance Collins

Hi Bob,

After all that serious stuff about relationships in Bobbing Around you might be amused by something I saw on a birthday card recently.

A drawing of an old couple.
She: My friend Doris says her husband makes love to her nearly every night, why don’t you do that?

He: But I hardly know the woman.

Cheers
Lance Collins


Politics

Be inspired: Janet Rice’s maiden speech
Good on you, Grannie
Defend America
J’Accuse
Australian immigration protesters march in silence for 300km

 

Be inspired: Janet Rice’s maiden speech

janetrice
Janet Rice is the new Senator for Victoria in Australian parliament. She chose to go to work on a bike, talking to hundreds of people on the way.

Read the transcript of her wonderful speech, or watch the video.


Good on you, Grannie

nosantos


Defend America

The United States is in the middle of a civil war. The outcome of this war will determine the fate of all humanity, so it is important to people everywhere.

On one side are a group of conspirators who started masterminding today’s world in the early 1980s. Their aim is total control of everything: an insane Monopoly game in which, unknown to themselves, if they win they will commit species suicide.

They now own the justice system, which is making insane decisions, such as identifying the right to free speech with the right of corporations to spend money on influencing government.

They own a highly armed, vicious army that is ever more visible in installing terror, killing unarmed, innocent people, then using their own actions as an excuse to eliminate civil liberties.

They continue to destroy the middle class in various ways, and are doing everything to move wealth from the poor to the already obscenely rich.

A midterm election is coming up. I can’t vote in it, but am urging all my American friends: do vote for sanity. Support President Obama’s team. They are not perfect, but by far the better option.

There is no longer “conservative” and “liberal.” There is only a march toward slavery and extinction, or resistance.


J’Accuse

A group of concerned organisations and individuals — including legal and health professionals, faith leaders and academics — have penned an open letter accusing the Australian Government of wilfully and deliberately pursuing a policy known to cause severe mental and physical health problems.

The open letter, convened by Professor Louise Newman, AM, is addressed to the Federal Government and the Opposition, calling on them to:

  • abandon the policy of mandatory detention,
  • cap detention at a maximum of 30 days, and
  • adopt alternative solutions that are consistent with the Refugee Convention.
      Will you add your name to the list of people calling for an end to indefinite mandatory detention?

      We, the undersigned, accuse the current Federal Government and both major political parties of wilfully and deliberately:

      Pursuing a policy of detention for asylum-seekers, both adults and children, in spite of clear evidence that it causes psychiatric disorders, self-harm and suicide (Silove et. al, 2007, Coffey et. al, 2010).

      1. Implementing an inhumane policy of deterrence which requires damaging some to deter others and uses the lives of vulnerable people, the vast majority of whom are found to be refugees, as a means to a political end;
      2. Contravening child protection policy and children’s rights, by continuing to detain children as a first resort when such detention should be a matter of last resort, for the shortest possible time, and subject to independent review; and by detaining children & unaccompanied minors offshore in isolated detention facilities, exposing them to violence, trauma and to poor medical and psycho-social care, with no access to independent monitoring.
      3. Acting against the spirit and intent of UN Conventions and Treaties to which Australia is signatory (UN Conventions on Civil and Political Rights; Convention on the Rights of the Child; Convention Against Torture; Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities).
      4. Engaging in forced deportations to situations of danger with confirmed fatal outcomes (Edmund Rice Centre, 2004, 2006, 2008).
      5. Persuading the public that cruelty to people who arrive by boat is justifiable on the false pretext that they are ‘illegal’, when in truth they have broken no law by coming to Australia and seeking asylum;
      6. Exploiting community ignorance about asylum-seekers’ needs and circumstances;
      7. Tolerating and/or encouraging racist media coverage (rather than educating and promoting public deliberation, as with closely related issues such as people with mental illness);
      8. Cynically negotiating with poor, weakly governed countries (Nauru/ PNG/Cambodia) to house refugees in circumstances that leave them unsafe;
      9. Wasting vast public funds on off shore incarceration which could be spent on humane and efficient processing of claims and crucial social services, while ignoring viable alternative models, potentially at much less cost;
      10. Pursuing an arbitrary and unjust refugee determination process which is engineered for failure at each step, aims to prevent protection claims, fails to place all asylum-seekers on an equal footing under Australian law, and pits humanitarian and asylum-seeker refugees against each other by reducing the former to accommodate the latter;
      11. Acting against Australia’s health, mental health and well-being policies and ignoring expert advice regarding the implementation of programs to identify and provide psychological support for those at greatest need;
      12. Ignoring the long-term harms of such policies to asylum-seekers, and the damage to the social fabric of Australia through promoting the acceptability of an insular, more selfish and less ethical society.

      We demand that the government

      • Abandon and dismantle its mandatory detention policy and ‘offshore solution’ for asylum-seekers,
      • Cap detention at a maximum of 30 days, unless a court orders a longer period of detention for good cause shown, and
      • Adopt alternative solutions consistent with obligations under the Refugee Convention.

      References

      Silove D, Austin P, Steel Z. No refuge from terror: the impact of detention on the mental health of trauma-affected refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Transcultural Psychiatry. 2007: 44(3): 359 -93

      Coffey GJ, Kaplan I, Sampson RC, Tucci MM. The meaning and mental health consequences of long-term immigration detention for people seeking asylum. Social Science and Medicine. 2010: 70(12): 2070-9.

      Phil Glendinning and the Edmund Rice Centre, ongoing research and personal communication; also Deported to Danger (Edmund Rice Centre, 2004), Deported to Danger II (Edmund Rice Centre, 2006), and A Well-Founded Fear (SBS TV, 19/11/08)


      Australian immigration protesters march in silence for 300km

      Thank heavens for The Guardian. Otherwise I wouldn’t have found out about a magnificent effort by a group who are walking from Sydney to Canberra, with a great many signatures to present to parliament. The Prime Monster and the Leader of the Nonexistent Opposition have declined to meet with them, but the Greens are.

      Please read the details.
      tide


      Environment

      Debunking energy myths
      Logging kills
      Good news for the Barrier Reef
      Proof: climate change is NOW
      Energy spill
      Soot and climate change, by Patrick Doyle
      Grow vegies and collect your water — if you want to survive, by David Spain

       

      Debunking energy myths

      Big Coal funds all sorts of nonsense about renewable energy. Read the refutation with sources and evidence. For example, did you know that coal is responsible for far more bird deaths than wind?
      savebird


      Logging kills

      A study has found logging in the decades prior to Black Saturday, 2009, made the deadly blaze much more extreme.

      THE heat and severity of Kinglake and Marysville fires that killed 159 people on Black Saturday was significantly increased by clear-fell logging of forests.

      In a landmark two-year study of the Kilmore East and Murrindindi Mill fires, which destroyed Marysville and severely damaged Kinglake, scientists from Melbourne University and the ANU examined satellite images of hundreds of thousands of trees burnt on Black Saturday.

      The study showed conclusively that logging in the decades prior to Black Saturday made the deadly blaze significantly hotter.

      After clearfelling, a coupe is burned, then reseeded. The study showed that it takes about 7 years for the new growth to become tall enough to be a significant danger if a bushfire comes along. After this, fire severity increases, peaking between 10 and 50 years. Coupes 15 years post-clearing contributed to the great heat of the 2009 fires. This is because at that age, there is a lot of forest litter, and undergrowth forms a “ladder” for flames to reach the high branches. Then, gradually, the trees grow taller, with lower branches falling off, so a crown fire is less likely for a more mature forest.

      The findings of the study will have implications for the bushfire risk to towns such as Warburton and Healesville, which are close to logging operations.

      Professor David Lindenmayer, Australia’s leading scientist of forest ecology, who headed the study, said it showed conclusively that clear fell logging increased the danger from bushfire.

      “Our findings show the severity of the fires on Black Saturday was significantly higher in the areas that had been logged,” he said.

      Professor Lindenmayer said preliminary estimates suggested the fire was 25 per cent more severe in forest that had been logged than in old-growth forest.

      “This added severity is sufficient to kill people and add significantly to property and forest damage,” he said.

      Prof Lindenmayer said the increased fire risk had strong implications for towns close to forestry operations such as Healesville, Powelltown, Warburton and Noojee as well as towns such as Woodend that were close to areas logged in earlier decades.

      “Industrial clearfelling of ash forests should not take place close to any human settlement,” he said.

      The scientists believe the increased fire risk in logged areas is due to several factors.

      Regrowth forests have more trees packed more closely together and contain large amounts of flash fuels allowing fire to build in severity.

      Old-growth forests usually have wet rainforest under­storey canopies, which do not burn as well as the drier understorey canopies of regrowth forests.

      In the past 50 years, more than 47,000 ha of wet forest have been logged with 17,600 ha to be logged in the next five years.

      The Kilmore East and Murrindindi fires, which later merged, were the most deadly on Black Saturday, collectively killing 159 people , destroying 1780 homes and burning 168,542 ha.


      Good news for the Barrier Reef

      A recent report needs to be read by those hoping to make their fortune from coal. It re-emphasises two things that have been announced before: the Chinese government is determined to phase out coal because of air pollution, and the Indian government is strongly committed to using solar power to provide electricity.

      Someone should rub such reports into the blind brains of the Queensland and Australian federal governments. There will soon be no market for coal.
      pollution


      Proof: climate change is NOW

      The World Meteorological Organisation [PDF] has released a report of extreme weather events between 1970 and 2012. Among other things, it shows that between 2000 and 2009, disastrous weather events were NEARLY FIVE TIMES as frequent as between 1970 and 1979.

      QED.


      Energy spill

      solarspill


      Soot and climate change, by Patrick Doyle

      dirtysnow

      An interesting piece from Mountain Online. Here in Australia, the 10 year drought in the south east brought noticeable levels of dust onto the snowfields. Dust events are known to impact on snowcover in the South West of the US and have been linked to desertification, overgrazing, etc. This article suggests that another way human activity has been impacting on snow melt is through burning coal.

      New research reveals humans halted the Little Ice Age. Is it too late to learn from our mistakes?

      In July 1998, Thomas Painter took a break from his doctoral studies on the reflective nature of snow to climb the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado. The snow was unusually filthy along his route. On a whim, he scraped the dirt off a small area with his ice axe and continued climbing. After summiting, Painter returned to the snowfield. The clean patch was now a small, extruded tower; the blackened snow rapidly melting around it. “It was sticking up about three inches — in a day,” says Painter.

      Around that time, climate scientists were grappling with a conundrum tied to the end of the Little Ice Age, a period of below-average temperatures in the 16th through 19th centuries. Researchers had pegged the ice age’s demise to 1860, when glaciers in the Alps began to retreat. But that theory didn’t quite compute. Regional temperatures continued to decline for another 60 years. If anything, the glaciers should have kept growing.

      Painter wondered if dirty snow could have been at play. In 1860, the Industrial Revolution’s coal-burning factories started spewing soot that covered European cities and — Painter guessed — the glaciers in the Alps. He hunted down ice cores from the Alps and found that layers of black carbon began appearing in the mid-19th century. Like the dirty snow melting on the Maroon Bells, the soot liquefied hundreds of meters of glacier in just 20 years. Painter, now an ice and snow scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, published his findings in September 2013. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” he says. “I was thinking of junk falling on snow.”

      The study doesn’t just rewrite the ending of the Earth’s most recent ice age; it underlines the fact that humans caused it. Painter’s work also suggests that black carbon settling on snow runs a close second to carbon dioxide as a driver of global warming. Which means the fall of King Coal in North America is good news for snow and glaciers. Nearly half of U.S. energy came from coal in 2007. By 2012 that number had dropped to 37 percent. Expect that trend to continue, driven by increased consumption of cleaner natural gas and the Obama administration’s tighter emissions regulations for future coal plants. And while China’s coal usage has skyrocketed in recent decades, the country’s coal imports finally began to drop this year due to a slowing economy and pollution levels so high they are poisoning the population.
      The switch to cleaner fuels can’t happen soon enough. But in India, a growing economy means increasing demand for coal. And more black carbon on Himalayan snow and glaciers. “What we’re seeing in the Himalaya in terms of glacier retreat is profound,” says Painter.

      How it works:

      Black carbon from coal-burning power plants blows into the atmosphere and settles on the mountains.

      Most of that soot lands on glaciers at lower elevations, which are already susceptible to melting from summer sun.

      The darkened snow melts at double the speed of clean snow, causing the glacier to retreat up the mountain.

      Smaller glaciers are less able to mitigate the effects of climate change, causing a spiral of increased temperatures and less stable weather.

      An even more recent essay by Tim Lydon has stated the effects of dust on American snow fields, and the widespread negative consequences. He is worried about the effects on skiing. I left this comment:

      “Thank you for the excellent article, but it’s even worse than you state. That accelerated melting of snow and ice due to dirt applies globally, including the polar ice, and is speeding us toward extinction. It is one of the reasons we have passed the tipping point of huge releases of Arctic methane.

      As an emergency measure, we MUST get off using coal, globally.”


      Grow vegies and collect your water — if you want to survive, by David Spain

      Bad times are coming. The global financial system is riddled with unpayable debt; when all the debts are called in, everyone (including the biggest supposed creditors) will be bankrupted and only those without dependence on fiat currency will potter on unscathed.

      National economic collapse, in the form of crippling depression perhaps preceded by hyperinflation, has happened before on a small scale national historically (collapse of Roman empire (410-476), French Revolution (1790), Weimar Germany (1923), Zimbabwe (2008). However, this time the scale is immense, unprecedented, global and will be far worse than the dysfunction, unemployment & poverty accompanying the 1933 depression.

      There will be a collapse of fiat currency & financial institutions and it will impact Australia. You can expect paper banknotes & bank savings to be worthless and welfare & insurance systems to evaporate. With extensive unemployment, prices will drop but acceptable money or barter items will be scarce.

      As China, stuffed with excessive infrastructure & stores inventory, slows in buying our rocks, as our mining industry declines, national unemployment will increase, the purchasing capacity of our highly-geared (indebted) population will dwindle, mortgage payments will default, asset prices (land & shares) will collapse, banks (themselves indebted overseas and gambling with derivatives) will lose their securities and go on the rocks amidst political calls for their bail-out which neither governments nor citizens can afford.

      The best true wealth will be vegetable gardens, orchards and water in a tank. So get it together while you can. We must be prepared to live a simpler, self-managed lifestyle.

      If you don’t believe me, try listening to this link on ABC Radio.

      David is a long term member of the Tuntable Falls cooperative in NSW; probably the only Australian intentional community that’s older than Moora Moora. We met last year at the Intentional Communities Conference.


      Good news

      Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest
      Greenpeace ship sails
      Tar sands mine suffers a blow
      China’s coal consumption is actually falling
      Reverse for Monsanto in Mexico

       

      Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest

      Seattle has long been leading in environmentally and humanely excellent ideas. The newest is cooperation and compassionate action in practice. “What started as a group project for a permaculture design course ended up as a textbook example of community outreach gone right.”
      foodforest


      Greenpeace ship sails

      After being held for nearly 10 months, the Arctic Sunrise has finally left Murmansk. From the helm, Captain Daniel Rizzotti says: “We sail home with the voices of 5 million Arctic Defenders in our ears. This is a new beginning.”
      The Arctic Sunrise is free but the Arctic is still under threat. Join over 5 million others in the call to protect the Arctic
      grsunrise


      Tar sands mine suffers a blow

      noxl From http://350.org


      China’s coal consumption is actually falling

      chinacoal From http://350.org


      Reverse for Monsanto in Mexico

      A Mexican judge has stated he is agreeing with the scientists and farmers. He has reversed a permit issued by government departments, to widely acclaimed approval in the country.
      The report is from Natural News.
      soybean


      Compassionate action

      Are you ready to follow?
      The only answer to war
      A decent, compassionate cop
      Christian and Jewish leaders campaign to support Muslim community
      Streetbank
      University boss’s shining example
      Join the Compassionate Action Network

       

      Are you ready to follow?

      srilankankids
      Several West Australian churches and organisations are offering to host Sri Lankan refugee children — if the Australian government should see fit to treat them as humans rather than vermin.

      At Moora Moora, my community, we are also talking about working with refugees to help them settle into Australia. The more offers like this, the more difficult it will be for the government to justify its inhuman policy.


      The only answer to war

      israelpeace
      This was Gandhi’s answer to the civil war in India in 1948.


      A decent, compassionate cop

      Read this little story about a cop in an ordinary American town.
      streetsboro


      Christian and Jewish leaders campaign to support Muslim community

      In the current world atmosphere, all Muslims are terrorists until proven otherwise. The Weekend Australian has boasted a headline: “We’ll fight Islam 100 years.”
      lovemuslim

      This is the answer of Welcome to Australia, a group that involves prominent Christian and Jewish religious figures, charitable organisations, and had an atheist as its patron.

      Please support them.


      Streetbank

      Streetbank is an organisation that encourages free sharing within a neighbourhood: exactly the culture change we need. Short-circuit the economic treadmill that powers wealth transfer from you to the 85 people who control the wealth of this planet. Sabotage the destruction of the ecosphere. And do so while having fun and feeling good.


      University boss’s shining example

      burseI am collecting examples of culture change: people who act with decency, compassion and generosity. Here is a man with a salary of $350,000 a year who gave himself a 25% pay cut in order to raise the wages of the poorest paid employed by his university.

      We could get rid of most of the problems on this planet if all those on high salaries followed his example. Oh, the effects of past actions would still be with us, but the same attitude would help us to deal with them.


      Join the Compassionate Action Network

      I am delighted to let you know about the Facebook page, Compassionate Network International.

      Check them out.


      Technology

      Save money by going carbon neutral

       

      Save money by going carbon neutral

      Well, you can if you live in Victoria, Australia.

      At the recommendation of GetUp and 350.org, I changed electricity providers from on of the three big coal fired power station owners to Powershop.

      I have just received an email from them:

      Powershop is going 100% carbon neutral, at no cost to customers. This means that every kWh you use with us will be 100% offset with United Nations approved carbon certificates. For more details about Powershop being Australia’s first carbon neutral retailer, check out our website. Only Powershop is 100% carbon neutral. Our emissions, and yours, are now completely offset.

      Powershop is introducing bigger discounts, and for you that means a further 3% off. On 1 September, 2014, Powershop will introduce these new “Carbonator” products that provide a further 3% discount, beyond what was previously offered, to make our prices even cheaper. This further discount is guaranteed until at least 31 December 2014, and we hope to permanently reduce our pricing after that. We always want to be offering the best deals in market.

      Changes in pricing can often be confusing. If you want to know how our price changes compare to other retailers, you can see our video here. Now more than ever, it is important to understand what you are really paying for.

      Have a Carbontastic Day,
      The Powershop Crew


      Deeper Issues

      How to stay positive in challenging times (5 Steps) by Pragito Dove
      The ancient wisdom we need now
      Creative genius and mental illness
      Three choices
      Dancing with systems by Donella Meadows
      Captain Paul Watson on cetacean intelligence

       

      How to stay positive in challenging times (5 steps)

      by Pragito Dove

      Are you having trouble staying in a positive state of mind when challenging circumstances present themselves? The Universal Laws state: so without, so within. Everything is a mirror. We cannot change the reflection, but we can change the original (ourselves), and then, automatically, the reflection changes.

      Here are my top 5 Steps that can help you cultivate not only a positive mindset, but also the feeling state necessary for the positive Law of Attraction. The more you focus on bringing awareness to accepting and loving yourself, the more your inner beauty and harmony is reflected in your outer circumstances.

      continued here.


      The ancient wisdom we need now

      sufisaying


      Creative genius and mental illness

      If you are interested in what makes some people unusually creative, set aside about an hour (depending on your reading speed) and read this essay by Nancy Andreasen.


      Three choices

      The pessimist complains abut the wind;
      the optimist hopes it will change;
      the realist adjusts the sails.

      William George Ward
      butterflyship


      Dancing with systems
      by Donella Meadows

      donella
      Donella is one of my heroes. When I was a young PhD student, I arrived at a set of conclusions about the future. They sounded like nonsense to everyone (although, sadly, all my predictions have actualised), until the reports of the Club of Rome were published. She was the lead author of the second one, The Limits to Growth: Mankind at the turning point. Using computer modelling, her international team drew the same conclusions from the evidence as I did. Only, she, they, already had status.

      Pity the world didn’t listen to the Club of Rome. 30 years later, their predictions have proved to be uncannily accurate.

      Although she died in 2001, Donella’s wonderful writing is still worth study. Here is an op ed about how to live with the real world of complex interacting, unpredictable systems.

      Her writing reminds me of what Michael Michalko has said about creativity.


      Captain Paul Watson on cetacean intelligence

      This article in the Ecologist is a must read.

      We all know Paul as the founder of Sea Shepherd, but in this essay he shows a deep level of scientific knowledge and authority that is worthy of respect. Long term readers of Bobbing Around know that I have said for years that whales and dolphins are as intelligent as humans. Paul says otherwise: they are SUPERIOR.

      Read the evidence he presents.
      whale-free


      Psychology

      Psychiatry coming in touch with reality?
      What works for psychosis? by Alfredo Zotti
      I keep crying in private
      I want to die so I can be with my father
      Was it rape?

       

      Psychiatry coming in touch with reality?

      “Researchers haven’t identified a characteristic pathology for the major mental disorders; no specific genes for the disorders have been found; and there isn’t evidence that neatly separates one disorder from the next. The ‘disease model,’ as a basis for making psychiatric diagnoses, has failed.”

      This is one of the many statements that made me cheer in an interview of Robert Whitaker.

      I have documented some of the evidence against the overuse of psychoactive drugs in three published articles I have reproduced with permission by Duncan et al., Whitfield and Reznik).

      At last, mainstream psychiatric thought is coming around, thanks to a large extent to Robert Whitaker’s work.

      A necessary part of this is rejecting the approach of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association,” the 5th edition of which has recently been adopted after years of controversy.

      The drawing shows what Alfredo and I think of this publication.

       

      dsm5-sf


      What works for psychosis?
      by Alfredo Zotti

      How should we treat psychosis today? While many Universities are focusing on neuroscience, which could help up in the future to improve the mental health of many sufferers with various mental disorders, the fact is that neuroscience alone is only a tiny part of what it takes to provide good mental health care for the community.

      There are external factors that are just as important, if not more so, such as the social and physical environment and the skills and psychology of a person in terms of how they help themselves. Adequate access to therapy and how the sufferer uses the therapy is one example.

      In addition, current paths to help sufferers with psychosis are misguided in that they fail to treat the PTSD which is almost always behind psychotic experiences. While recovery is not to be permanently and totally cured, it can mean the difference between living a reasonably good and fulfilling life or becoming more and more hopeless.

      While medication is good in the initial stages, as Dr. Bob Rich and I say, sooner or later the sufferer will need to do work to improve his or her condition. Medication alone will not help much unless sufferers also help themselves into some sort of recovery and that requires the will of the person and someone to help them along as in therapist/client.

      Alfredo’s blog focuses on removing the stigma attached to mental disorders.


      I keep crying in private

      It started at the beginning of this year. I’m 15. I got in a relationship with a girl I was into for about a year. About 4 months in she dumped me, she gave me no reason or anything. This then caused me to become fairly antisocial for about a month. I wouldn’t really talk to anyone or go out. I just sat in my room listening to depressing music, thinking about how worthless I am etc and crying. I soon got over her and started becoming back to normal as I’m a really spcil outgoing person. Every now and then I had nights where I just cried. They are becoming more frequent now near enough every night. I have started getting high and drinking with friends as it makes me feel happy and excepted, but still as soon as I get home I just become sad and all I think about is about how worthless I am and about how much I think everyone hates me. recently about the last 2 weeks all I want to do is break things. It’s got to the point where I punch walls and my knuckles are constantly bruised and bleeding. Please don’t say just talk to someone, I don’t feel like there’s anyone I can talk to who won’t judge or be live me as everyone only sees me when I’m being confident and fun, which is all just a front.

      I just want to know what’s wrong with me?

      Sam my friend,

      Actually, there is nothing wrong with you. What you ARE is fine; the problem is what you are DOING. That’s lucky, because you can choose to do things differently.

      You are doing two things. One is OK, the other not.

      The OK bit is that you have been grieving. You suffered a loss, and it’s fair enough to grieve for a while. Being with her had no doubt been a big part of your time and activities, and now that spot is empty.

      Here is something to help though. You are 15. Still going to school, right? You have a future to build for yourself. If she was willing, and you could legally do it, would you have married her? No doubt you say “Yes!” but that would have been an awful mistake. People who form a permanent relationship too young end up being very dissatisfied with life in their early to mid 30s. I know, that sounds too far in the distance to worry about, but what matters is to go in the right direction toward a good life, and marrying at 16 or 17 is a bad mistake.

      So, you can look at your experience with this girl in a different way. It was practice at relationships: a learning experience. Once you get over your grief and self-pity, I have no doubt you’ll find another girl. Make sure you have several over the years, before settling down.

      I know a couple who were school sweethearts. When they turned 18, she broke up with him, saying more or less what I just said: they both needed experience with other partners. When they were about 25, they got together again, and now they are happily married with two kids.

      So, yes, grieve for as long as you need to, which could be anything from one more minute to a few more weeks. Then move on. Ask, “What can I learn from this? In what way can I become a stronger, more compassionate, more decent person for having suffered?”

      Now, your second reaction.

      When that girl rejected you, you took it as a judgment of yourself. I imagine that, as a young teenager, you believed that having a girlfriend made you someone special. Instead of valuing yourself, your self-worth was “I am OK because I have a girlfriend.”

      So now that she is gone, your self-worth is “I am useless and hopeless because she left me.”

      Look at it calmly, from the outside. Suppose one of your friends, a guy you really respect and like, was going through the breakup, and he came to you for advice. Would you think that somehow he had become faulty, damaged, worthless and useless because his girl went off?

      So, just accept yourself as the same popular boy you were before. Stand in front of the mirror and say, “I am OK!” Then you’ll be sending out positive energy, and that’s what will come back to you.

      Two more things. You don’t need to pretend to anyone. When you’re with your friends, you can show your grief (if it still continues). You can be honest and say you still miss her. Why not? I predict that good friends will accept this and be there for you. If anyone doesn’t, he is not your friend and never was.

      Second, do not use alcohol and other drugs to battle a low mood. That’s a terrible slippery slope. The most precious thing about a human is the brain. Never poison it.

      Your new grandfather,
      Bob


      I want to die so I can be with my father

      When I was 3 my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia, on that same Thanksgiving he committed suicide 5 minutes before midnight. I am broken in so many ways.

      I feel like I’ll never be happy again. I almost stabbed myself in the stomach a few nights ago. I feel like killing myself because God hates me and I’ll go to Heaven and eventually my friends and family members will get over my death. I’ve been so depressed and I want my life to end.

      Everyone around me has dads and has blessed and happy lives, while I’m in the darkness trying to kill myself under everyone’s noses. My life is so horrible and it’s not ment for me to live. I want the pain to stop and I just want to be happy and be with my father.

      Does God hate me? Why did God leave me fatherless?

      Dear Jim,

      God does NOT hate you. God is unconditional love and acceptance. There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you.

      There is life after death. Some interesting suggestive evidence indicates what happens. You face a huge, glowing Person, Who loves you without judgment. This Person then guides you to re-experience the key events of your life. When you have done something that makes another person or animal feel good, you experience the positive feelings you caused, and this is very rewarding. When you do something that makes someone feel bad, you experience that negative emotion.

      So, your father can FEEL your current despair, and you can be sure he feels terrible about it. The best gift you can make to him is to overcome your self-hate. If you also kill yourself, you will absolutely devastate him. It will not be doing him a favor.

      OK, how do you change your current feelings? 12 years ago, you lost your father. As a little 3 year old child, you felt that somehow it was your fault. That’s how little kids think. But it is quite clear that his suicide had nothing to do with you. Having been diagnosed with schizophrenia, he felt faulty, damaged, beyond help. Actually, the tragedy is that he was wrong. People with schizophrenia often recover. And even if the condition stays, they can build perfectly good lives for themselves.

      Same is true for being an orphan. It’d be nice to have a dad, but there are millions of kids who don’t. Many of them do fine. It is not your situation that is giving you distress, but how you think about it.

      Also, many kids with dads have TERRIBLE lives. Not all fathers are loving and supportive. Some abuse their wife and children. Others are so absent that they might as well have died.

      You now have a situation. Ask questions like:

      “Which of my previous thoughts about my father’s death were little-kid opinions? Can I now get rid of them?”

      “How can I become a better person for having my father’s death in my life?”

      Can I spend my life working with suffering orphans, to make their life better?”

      These questions are only suggestions. Make up your own.

      From your new grandfather,

      Bob


      Was it rape?

      I suppose if I have any questions about it, that should answer my question… I think I need some validation.

      A number of years ago, I had trouble breaking off a relationship with an ex. We were ‘broken up’ but still sleeping over at each others’ places and arguing a lot. I had specifically told him that I would not sleep with him if he were seeing anyone else.

      I eventually discovered he was lying to me, and of course he was sleeping with another woman.

      I was angry. I was done.

      He came over to my place in the middle of the night and insisted we talk. (We had a baby already…) So I let him in to talk…intending to hash out scheduling and other practicalities.

      Well after arguing about the other woman, I told him he had to leave my place. He refused. I kept insisting. He refused. I recall my back being against the wall, him up in my face, physically blocking me from moving. He flat out refused to leave.

      Here is where the details get hazy. I have been told by my therapist that I disassociated from the trauma of the physical threat.

      At some point I gave up (I had to work the next day) because I was afraid of further escalation, and stopped insisting he leave. Basically he kept pushing until he got what he wanted.

      He then insisted on sex. I didn’t explicitly say or do anything to either agree or protest.

      Is this rape? And if so, why? I feel silly asking this, but I don’t understand *why* the sexual aspect is bothering me so much.

      Dear Annie,

      Yes, this is rape. Rape is not an issue of sex, but of power. It is when someone takes over your control of your body so you have no way of resisting. That is precisely why the sexual aspect bothers you so much, because the pressure on you was so great that you dissociated. That means, your body was there, but the situation was so intolerable that your mind left. It’s the rabbit in the headlights.

      If you came to me as a client, I would recommend “exposure therapy.” Look that up. There are at least a dozen versions, but all work. Because of the dissociation, I would do it via hypnosis. This means that you’d have a chance to permanently get rid of the negative effects of that event in maybe half an hour.

      You are welcome to write back to me,

      Bob


      Health

      Watch The Video That Coca-Cola And McDonald’s Hope You Never See
      This man is a butterfly — big business is a mosquito
      Childhood Leukemias Near Nuclear Power Stations by Dr Ian Fairlie

       

      Watch The Video That Coca-Cola And McDonald’s Hope You Never See

      It is a beautiful expose of the way television advertising aimed at children fuels the wrong diets. They spend billions of dollars a year on taking control of your child’s dietary choices.

      Of course, the same goes for other products too. Watch the video, and maybe it will motivate you to regain control over your family’s life.

      (My wife and I got rid of TV in 1975).
      eviltv Graphic by Blonde-fox.


      This man is a butterfly — big business is a mosquito

      arunachalam
      Arunachalam Muruganantham lost the wife he loved, was deserted by his mother, and ostracized by his village — because he was determined to help poor women deal with menstruation in an hygienic and affordable way.

      After a series of travails worthy of a novel, he won an Indian national award, and achieved his aim. However, instead of making millions from his invention, he chose to keep it cheap enough to help the people who need it most: women with little or no income.

      The BBC report on this remarkable man states, “He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. ‘A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it,’ he says.”


      Childhood Leukemias Near Nuclear Power Stations, by Dr Ian Fairlie

      nuclear
      The establishment did it with the link between smoking and cancer… the damage caused by asbestos… persistent pesticides for termites. It is doing it now with climate change, and with the effects of nuclear power.

      Dr Ian Fairlie has a recent publication demonstrating the effects of living close to nuclear power on childhood leukemias. In this plain-language account, he explains the evidence.

      Actually, it is possible to use a nuclear reactor that is perfectly safe and without dangers. I’ve written about this before, but for some reason I couldn’t make the link work quite right. Look for “Ergonomics: Can we have a safe nuclear reactor?”


      Writing

      A criterion for writing decisions
      Signs of the times from Michael Larocca
      Grammar help

       

      A criterion for writing decisions

      The book trade is like any other little world: people get passionate about differences of option that to an outsider seem like the great controversy Gulliver found in Lilliput: which end of a boiled egg should be opened? The sacred writings mandated “the convenient end.” So, there was a war between the Bigendians and the Littleendians about which end was convenient.

      Should there be a comma before the “and” preceding the last item in a list? Should we keep repeating “said” in dialogue, or use a variety of words? How many dots in an ellipsis? Should quoted thoughts be italicised? Or, that dreaded z: should I have written “italicized?” And should my question mark have been outside the quotes?

      These are a few examples of disagreements that can raise an editor’s blood pressure.

      The sacred texts of Lilliput were actually correct, literally. Open the end of the egg that is convenient for you, now. In other words, it doesn’t make a difference unless you make it a difference. All the same, the tiny people went to war over whose interpretation was correct. Of course, this is scathing social critique, particularly of wars in the name of religious, ethnic and cultural differences.

      I offer a simple criterion for making decisions about writing matters:

      Does one option reduce reading difficulty compared to other option(s)?

      If it does, choose that option. If there is no such option, follow whatever rule book takes your fancy.

      According to some traditions, an ellipsis is always …, never …. Others state that the 4th dot is needed if the material left out had included a period. I think this is a “who cares.” Either way is as easy to process.

      When things are optional like this, I always go for the simpler. Why waste a whole dot? So, my ellipses are always three periods. I advise my editing clients to follow, but am not fussed.

      In contrast, some rule books state that there should be spaces between the dots of an ellipsis: . . . like this. The inevitable, guaranteed result is that sometimes, the ellipsis will break on the end of a line:

      words follow each other until . .
      . an ellipsis comes just at the end of a line.

      Not only does that look ugly, but it pulls me up short. I need to work out what had happened. So, no spaces.

      A little comma raises more heat than any other issue. Look at this little nonsense rhyme: “A click, a clock, a lick and a lock.” It seems fine to me, but many in the book trade will tell me I’m wrong: there MUST be a comma before the “and.” This comma is a wise thing if otherwise the reader has to think about where the last item of the list starts, as in “A subtle little click, an inaccurate clock, flick your tongue in a lick, and we’ll open the lock.” So, the comma should be in if it helps, but why bother in places where it doesn’t?

      Some people consider the word “that” to be always deserving of deletion. It’s considered to be an empty word. Similarly, editors pounce on adverbs as if they were a mortal sin. I apply the test: if the “that” or the “-ly” provides a signpost and improves clarity, then it should be in. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

      We can apply this test to any matter in writing. Should quoted thoughts be italicised? Yes, because that gives a signpost to the reader, improving readability. Should italics be used for extended quotes, such as when reproducing an extended quote from document? No, because a longish tract in italics is harder to read.


      Signs of the times
      from Michael Larocca

      My friend and fellow editor Michael Larocca has collected a HILARIOUS set of signs and public messages. Do have a look and a chuckle.

      He says of himself: “Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.”
      martian-luther-king Here is just one of his many items.


      Grammar help

      Does grammar give you trouble? Grammar Camp has been recommended to me as a good source of instruction. It does cost money.


      What my friends want you to know

      One vote could save thousands of whales
      Al Gore: 24 reasons we can solve the climate crisis September 16-17
      Fun Festival in Wesburn 5th October
      Help the environment win the Victorian election
      350.org 18 Oct
      Essential reading on grief and dying
      Bainstorming back
      In Carolyn’s newsletter
      New Internationalist calendar
      Ten Yen, by Christina St Clair
      Dr Bessel van der Kolk Trauma Workshops: The Body keeps the Score March 2015
      Bullying conference June, 2015

       

      One vote could save thousands of whales

      The fate of South Atlantic whales hangs in the balance. Just one country’s vote could save these whales — or doom them.

      I’m heading to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings, where nations will vote on creating a whale and dolphin sanctuary of the entire South Atlantic Ocean from the Equator to Antarctica. The last time this plan was proposed, whales lost by one vote.

      In the past, Japan has put intense pressure on other nations to vote in their interest, even giving bribes. This year, we need to convince at least one of these countries that living whales are worth more than Japan’s gifts. That country is Tanzania.

      Greenpeace will soon be delivering Tanzania’s president a letter, outlining all the reasons that his country should support whales. But he also needs to hear from you.

      Just one country’s vote could protect South Atlantic whales from whalers. Join us in asking Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, to support whales.

      Why will Tanzania listen to us? This small country benefits greatly from tourists visiting the Serengeti and whale-watching in the Indian Ocean, which is already an IWC designated whale sanctuary.

      Tanzania has taken incredible steps to protect its own wildlife but two years ago, it voted against creating a sanctuary for whales in the South Atlantic Ocean. Tanzania’s vote was all about money. But together we can show them that voting with Japan is bad for their tourism industry.

      This hypocrisy could be the only thing standing in the way of the South Atlantic whale sanctuary. If the Tanzanian government chooses to side with Japan again it needs to know that it risks losing tourism dollars from the thousands of nature lovers who visit their wildlife preserves and go whale watching in Tanzania every year.

      The South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would protect whales from Antarctica to the Equator. Tell Tanzania to give them a chance.

      Together we’ve already won many victories for whales: the current global moratorium on commercial whaling, stopping dangerous seismic testing off the coast of California, exposing Japan’s vote-buying at the IWC and just recently having the International Justice Court rule against Japan’s “scientific” whaling program in the Southern Ocean.

      But as long as whales can be hunted in the South Atlantic, it leaves the door open for thousands to be killed in the future. Eventually it will be too late to save them.

      If we can pressure Tanzania to vote the right way, we have a chance to make history at this year’s IWC and save thousands of whales from a brutal fate.

      Are you with me?

      Ask Tanzania to make the right choice for whales and our oceans. Make sure your voice is heard. We can protect these whales, forever.

      For the whales,

      Phil Kline

      Greenpeace USA Senior Oceans Campaigner


      Al Gore: 24 reasons we can solve the climate crisis, September 16-17

      Every movement has its moment. This is ours.

      On September 16-17, I’ll be sharing 24 reasons why I’m hopeful that we can solve the climate crisis. I’m bringing together some of the most influential voices in the climate movement to showcase the exciting progress happening all around the world in a live global broadcast, 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope.

      This day-long event will highlight the growing momentum for solutions to global warming, and kick off 12 months of concerted climate action worldwide. I want you to be a part of it.

      The reality is this: our climate is changing, and it’s changing fast. But all around us, there is hope. Across the planet, millions are demanding an end to carbon pollution — and our leaders are finally listening. The shift to a low-carbon economy is on and is accelerating by the day.

      This isn’t some faraway future. The moment is here. Check out this short video, then mark your calendar for 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope on September 16-17.


      Fun Festival in Wesburn, 5th October

      ecoss
      My friend Chelsea McNab is coordinating a fun event worth attending if you are anywhere near Melbourne.
      ECOSS Spring fair.
      10am-5pm Sunday 5th October 2014.
      ECOSS 711 Old Warburton Rd, Wesburn.

      • Community Market
      • Performances, Artists
      • Organic Vegie seedling and Native Plant Sales
      • Farm tours
      • Environment Workshops and Information
      • Healthy food including wood fired pizzas and coffee.
      • Children’s activities


      Help the environment win the Victorian election

      envic
      I particularly like this billboard because it features my mate Glen Morris.

      For the last four years the state government has propped up and promoted the dirty brown coal industry, while rolling out a string of attacks on clean energy. They’ve made rooftop solar power less affordable, scrapped energy efficiency programs, abolished targets to reduce pollution and destroyed jobs and investment in wind and solar.

      As the climate stakes rise and time runs out, these actions threaten our climate and our future.

      Now is our chance to make an impact. Research shows that Victorians overwhelmingly want clean energy, not coal. And in the lead-up to the state election, when politicians are paying attention, this is our best opportunity to get action for our climate and demand that support for our clean energy industries is reinstated. So we’ve teamed up with GetUp to run a clean energy media and campaign blitz.

      We’ve got a powerful billboard ad to display at the start of the Nepean highway, the gateway to 4 seats that will determine the outcome of the state election. Will you chip in today and help us put the ad right where it counts? Donate here.

      With your support, it will be seen every day in September by 100,000 people who live in areas crucial for political influence.

      This billboard will put enormous pressure on the state government to clean up their energy act at a time when they want to look their best! It will also send a strong message to other parties that voting Victorians want to move beyond coal – now.

      This is a critical election for our environment and it’s our best chance to get a result while there’s still enough time to fend off the worst impacts of global warming.

      We’ve got just four months to secure a commitment from political parties vying to be Victoria’s next state government to take immediate action to save our climate and reinstate support and investment for our clean energy industry.

      I don’t want to see another four years of attacks on climate saving solutions like clean energy. And I bet you don’t either. Together we can change our future.

      If we can raise enough money, we’ll also run this ad in newspapers across the state, reaching hundreds of thousands of Victorians in the areas critical to the election outcome, and sending a clear message to politicians of all stripes that it’s time to clean up Victoria’s act and support renewable energy.

      We’ve tested this ad concept in focus groups, and we know it cuts through! But we can’t do it alone. GetUp is so excited about the campaign that they’ve come on board and we’ll be working closely with them. Now all we need is you.


      350.org, 18 Oct

      Dear friend,

      It’s back…

      Following the success of Australia’s first ever national day of divestment in May, we’ve teamed up with Market Forces to do it all over again. If you didn’t get a chance to join us last time, now’s your last chance to in 2014.

      On October 18, hundreds of Australians will hit the streets to tell Australia’s big banks that if they continue to choose fossil fuels then we’ll choose different banks.

      But October will be special for another reason too. As hundreds of us turn out across the country, we’ll be joined by a delegation of Pacific Island Climate Warriors, arriving on our shores to peacefully stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

      Can you imagine it? Thousands of us moving our money out of fossil fuels whilst our Pacific Island neighbours call for an end to fossil fuel expansion! This is not a day to be missed!

      Since 2008, Australia’s Big 4 banks have loaned $19 billion to new fossil fuel projects in Australia, from the Great Barrier Reef to Maules Creek, but now that’s coming back to bite them.

      Since October 2013, over $250 million has been shifted out of the Big 4 by customers who don’t want their money funding fossil fuels. Research shows that a further $236 billion is at risk of being shifted if the Banks don’t give fossil fuels the flick.

      And it isn’t only green-minded folk leading this movement. A recent poll found that 67% of Australians say they’d choose a bank or super fund that wasn’t financing fossil fuels and 75% are concerned about their bank or super fund financing coal and gas projects on the Great Barrier Reef.

      When our Governments fail us, it’s time to take matters into our own hands. Money speaks. So, on October 18, let’s all join together and move our money out of the financial institutions that are funding climate destruction.

      Say you’ll join us on October 18 by clicking here, then LIKE and SHARE the event on facebook.

      In the coming weeks, we’ll be in touch about how Divestment Day is part of our bigger welcome for the Pacific Climate Warriors to Australia. That welcome is going to be bold and powerful!

      We’re looking forward to joining with you in October!

      Warmest wishes,

      Charlie on behalf of the 350 Australia team.

      Ps Even if you’ve already divested or anticipate you won’t quite be ready by October, we’d love you to still join us. Divestment’s power comes from the visibility and volume of our movement. The more of us who show up, who talk to our banks, who start moving our money, the more likely we are to shift the Big Banks.


      Essential reading on grief and dying

      learose
      Let’s Talk About It! Finding peace with death and dying in everyday life
      Inspired by the rich stories of her clients and the need for education in society on death and dying, Lea Rose has written a book that has the power to change our lives. With openness and sensitivity, she shares her extensive experience and knowledge through intimate stories of her work looking after the dying and their families and creating a connected team of support and care for a quality end of life experience. Her writing portrays a rich and compassionate understanding of the challenges, sadness, grief, courage and acceptance that are, in diverse ways, relevant for us all.
      Rarely written about, Lea discusses the physical stages of dying and shares what commonly happens to the body as it begins the process of shutting down. Understanding what is happening as a person enters the dying phase of their life, provides the opportunity for the dying person and their loved ones to cope and find acceptance, connection and peace.

      We all have choices in our life, even when faced with death. Read how you can take control of your life to live fully and consciously until the very end of life. Be supported by those who are closest to you and choose to create a peaceful and conscious end of life experience.


      Bainstorming back

      My friend Darrell used to punctiliously put out a Bainstorming a month. He is not as young as he used to be, and both he and his wife have health problems. However, I am delighted to reproduce his latest notice:

      The latest edition of Bainstorming is now live at www.darrellbain.com. Subjects this issue: Newest book: Samantha’s Talent, My best books, Publishing Doldrums, Financial conservatism for us, My weird diseases and no diagnosis and no cure for one of them, and others.

      Darrell Bain — Newest book: Samantha’s Talent
      Multiple Epic and Dream Realm awards
      2005 Fictionwise Author of the year


      In Carolyn’s newsletter

      http://howtodoitfrugally.com/SharingwithWriters_July72014.pdf contains my little essay on how to organise the writing of an instructional book.


      New Internationalist calendar

      The new edition of our internationally famed One World Calendar has arrived. You can use it as an art photography calendar or open it up double-height to reveal space for writing appointments.

      It’s no surprise that this stunning calendar graces the walls of 180,000 homes and offices around the world each year. The calendar portrays positive and inspiring global images, and is the result of collaboration between a group of non-profit organisations, all working for a better world.

      Here’s what one supporter wrote in an online review: “New Internationalist One World Calendars are the best… The photography is excellent. The subject matter is fascinating. They inspire and comfort and challenge me all year round, and I’ve had one each year for over ten years.”

      Please do order your One World Calendar now so you don’t miss out.


      Ten Yen, by Christina St Clair

      tenyenHi,
      I’m trying to get the word out about my latest book. I am excited that it has just been published as an e-book, and it will also be available in print.

      It’s a love story. Perhaps the greatest desire of all people is for love. This is a love story between two people, turbulent and difficult — demonstrating how love overcomes barriers, and how love is a mystery that ultimately deepens people.

      At first, it is only the beloved we wish to please mainly for personal gratification, but this love must mature into a desire to share burdens, be a helpmeet, discern what is best even when it does not suit us. Ultimately, all love, the mystics tell us, is a search for God, which is Mystery, and a process of wholeness that embraces all people and all life.

      Perhaps it will interest you? I ask your help to get the word to others you think might be interested?

      Thanks for listening.
      Cheers!
      Christina


      Dr Bessel van der Kolk Trauma Workshops: The Body keeps the Score, March 2015

      Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, March 2015

      Dear Bob,

      Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is an internationally respected trauma researcher and clinician. He has written many influential books on the subject and is the founder and medical director of the renowned Trauma Centre, Boston, providing comprehensive services to traumatized children and adults.

      At these workshops Dr van der Kolk offers new insights into the adaption of trauma and will outline the very latest modalities proving to be effective in the treatment. He plans to increase the understanding of trauma and trauma-related issues, ultimately looking to improve the quality and effectiveness of your treatment practice.

      Details of these workshops.

      Please pass this on so others may benefit. Many thanks for your kind support,

      Best regards Gary Pike, Clinic Director, Byron Clinic.


      Bullying conference, June, 2015

      Dear Colleague,

      Save the date in your calendar for the 2015 No 2 Bullying Conference being
      held from the 29th – 30th June 2015, on the Gold Coast.

      The 2015 Conference will continue the journey on Bullying education through
      Social emotional learning. SEL is a process for learning life skills,
      including how to deal with oneself, others and relationships, and work in
      an effective manner. The conference will feature social emotional learning
      techniques for Kids, Parents, Teachers and Educators to effectively deal
      with bullying.

      Bullying Policy, Prevention and Management Strategies will also be
      addressed with bullying in schools, workplaces and cyberspace examined.

      Abstract submissions are now being accepted so this is your opportunity to
      present your anti-bullying techniques, strategies, programs, research and
      data with like minded professionals.

      For further information or to submit an abstract please visit the
      Conference website www.no2bullying.org.au

      Kind Regards
      Cindy

      Cindy Axisa, Conference Secretariat
      No 2 Bullying Conference
      29th – 30th June 2015, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
      Ph: 07 5502 2068 Email


      Reviews

      The Gift of Dyslexia, by Ronald R. Davis
      Dyslexia, by Brenda Baird
      Let’s Talk About It, by Lea Rose
      Arthur’s Legacy, by Tyler Tichelaar
      Ascending Spiral, reviewed by:
      Tyler Tychelaar
      David Denham
      “Robin”
      “Scott”
      Sleeeper, Awake, reviewed by “BK123”
      It Never Rains, It Pours: A Tasmanian murder mystery by Rosamond Carter reviewed by Alfredo Zotti

      I am now working on a book about writing. Since so many people (including would-be authors) have very poor literacy skills, I have started researching dyslexia. Here are reviews of two books I found useful.

       

      The Gift of Dyslexia, by Ronald R. Davis

      I am not a dyslexic. If Ron Davis’ explanation for the nature of dyslexia is correct, I could never have become one, because I think almost entirely in words, and have very poor visual imagery.
      So, reading this book was almost like learning about the inner reality of a different species. It has given me an understanding I wish I had during my many years as a psychologist, when I often worked with people scarred by the stigma and self-despair induced by difficulties with reading, writing and basic mathematics.
      Remembering what some of these clients told me, I accept Ron’s description of what goes on for a dyslectic. Therefore, although his methods make no personal sense to me, I can see that they should be effective.
      However, a quick internet search showed me that the educational orthodoxy completely ignores his approach, and instead relies on what I have known to be standard remedial education. This seems to be shortsighed to me: if something doesn’t work, do more of it?
      I am wondering whether any researcher has thought to do a formal comparative evaluation of the Davis techniques.
      If you experience dyslexia, or someone important in your life does, you owe it to yourself to read this book and see if it makes sense to you.


      Dyslexia, by Brenda Baird

      This is a remarkable book. The author was diagnosed with dyslexia at 7 years of age, but you would not know this from the writing. The language is clear, lucid and apt. I am an obsessive editor, and always note the technical errors in any book I read. In this one, I found perhaps a quarter as many as in the typical publication, written by people with no history of reading difficulties.

      A combination of personal passion and scholarly accuracy makes Dyslexia both inspiring and useful. Brenda starts with her personal story. If you are dyslexic, you’ll know without having to be told: if Brenda can write like this, you can learn to follow her.

      According to her, dyslexia is caused by the education system. People who develop dyslexia think almost entirely in visual terms. If they can’t associate a word with a visual image, it doesn’t make sense for them, perhaps doesn’t even exist.

      This is actually a strength, a tool for many tasks, but the inflexible sound-based systems used to teach kids turns it into a problem. As she writes on page 82, “Prior to entering school, a dyslexic has no disabilities. Dyslexics are disabled by the failure of the education system to change and meet their needs. The dyslexics’ emotional well-being is disabled or damaged by their experience within the current system.”

      She has spent many years working with dyslexics, and has published this book to give hope.

      The book is available at Brenda’s web site.


      Let’s Talk About It, by Lea Rose

      learose
      It takes a lot to bring tears to my eyes, but Lea has done it, in a good way. The first passage to do so was her account of her grandmother Bonnie. On her deathbed, she “asked for her handbag and, digging inside it, pulled out two pairs of lovingly knitted baby booties. Speaking softly, she said to me, ‘My greatest sadness is that I won’t meet your children, but I will be here.'” Lea has managed to stir my deep emotions like this in many of her chapters.

      As a writer, I get joy from reading good writing, regardless of the content. I could recommend this book even if I didn’t think it to be essential reading for most people. And it is. During my many years of practice, I’ve read a great many books about grief, and recommended some to my clients. However, Let’s Talk About It fills a gap I didn’t even know existed until I read it. This is the need to educate people about dying, in advance, so they can grieve in a more productive way when the need arises — and can die better when the inevitable time comes.

      The first part of the book uses the time-honoured device of little stories about people who had died while in Lea’s care. They are all personal, caring and touching, and each presents a lesson. Until I read the last one, I didn’t realise that they form a carefully constructed series in logical order, defining Lea’s personal journey. These stories are worth reading in their own right as beautifully written vignettes of life. And once you’ve started, you’ll want to read on.

      The second part of the book is more didactic. Lea is keeping her promise of educating the reader about death and dying. Death is not negative, not something to be avoided, but an aspect of life that deserves to be dealt with in a good way. She has cared for dying people and those who love them for 20 years, and has seen a need to help others to learn her skills and attitudes. That’s what she is doing here.

      The most valuable of these lessons she is passing on is advice to a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. “Being driven to get well can become very stressful when the focus is only on the outcome, and when death is seen as failure” (p 193), and “If you are currently facing your own death, I hope that by reading this book you will gain the knowledge to understand what is happening to you, physically and psychologically, and it will help reduce your fear, anxiety and even physical pain” (p 11). She describes people who lived a good, active and contented life while progressing toward death. Well, all of us are progressing toward death, but these people knew they had a short time to live, and chose to spend the rest of their days well.

      Finally, Lea is probably not aware that she is doing something additional: fostering culture change. Our global culture encourages greed and aggressiveness, and therefore it is now seriously threatening our very survival as a species. To have a chance of a future, we urgently need to change to a culture of compassion and cooperation. Let’s Talk About It! is a tool for achieving this important change, and a demonstration of the need for it. It shows the rewards of being a giver rather than a taker, and shows how decency is a natural part of the human condition.


      Arthur’s Legacy, by Tyler Tichelaar

      arthurI’ve known the Arthurian legend since my teenage years, and have read several books on the theme. However, time and again, Tyler Tichelaar’s version surprised me. On each occasion, I checked on the web, and found his writing to be correct, or as plausible as the commonly accepted versions. Also, his notes at the end of the book are illuminating.

      However, this is a novel, not a historical treatise. A novel is about people, put into greatly challenging situations, so that we as readers can identify with their emotions. Tyler has done this superbly well.

      The story starts with an ancient double murder, then switches to the late 20th Century, where, after a while I realized, essential elements of the Arthurian myth were repeated. Then a major character went to sleep, and had a dream, which provides the device for transitioning to the bulk of the story: what actually happened at Camelot.

      Tyler has clothed the stereotyped characters of myth with real, three-dimensional personalities, and has given strengths and faults to each. This is what makes the story so engrossing. Although it is a long book, I found it difficult to stop reading, and even when doing other things, found my thoughts returning to Arthur’s world… well, Tyler’s world about Arthur. It was hard to remember that this is fiction, despite the magical and mystical elements.
      Every good book is more than entertainment. The message beneath the story is, “…but whether God or Goddess, everyone in this life is servant to Him-Her for we are ourselves all part of the great Supreme Being that governs this universe. We are all servants in our duties to one another. Each human has a specific life task to fulfill, but sadly, most people are too selfish to accept the work given to them, and when their work goes undone, much trouble is left for those who come after. Such people are like children who never learn to clean up their messes.” (p 189).

      I was delighted to find out at the end of the book that four sequels are waiting.

      Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., is the author of numerous novels, including Narrow Lives, The Only Thing That Lasts, Spirit of the North, The Best Place, and Arthur’s Legacy. He has also authored the non-fiction titles The Gothic Wanderer, and King Arthur’s Children. Visit him at www.ChildrenofArthur.com and www.MarquetteFiction.com.


      New reviews of Ascending Spiral:

      ascending

       

      by Tyler Tychelaar

      New Novel Blends Reincarnation with Call for Change

      tylerI have long been interested in reincarnation and have referred to it in some of my own novels, so I was really excited to read Australian author Bob Rich’s novel Ascending Spiral. While most novels only focus on a main character remembering one past life, Rich’s main character, Dr. Pip Lipkin, experiences multiple lives and multiple life forms, which make for fascinating reading, keep the storyline moving forward, and result in some interesting connections between Pip’s various incarnations over his 12,000 years of existence.

      The impetus behind Pip’s multiple lives is the concept of karma. Early in his existence, Pip makes a grievous error that requires him to work out his karmic debt — a debt, however, that is not so much a punishment as an opportunity to learn, grow, and use his experiences as a means to teach others how to heal their own pain and suffering.

      I won’t give away the plot or discuss all the lives Pip experiences, but some of the more significant ones include being an Irishman in the late eighteenth century who fights against the British; being the wife of an Australian landowner in the nineteenth century, and being an intelligent walking plant on another planet. Each time Pip dies, he has a guide who assists him in reviewing his life and discussing what he has learned, both in that life and in relation to other past lives. Pip then chooses what he wants in the next life, not specifically saying he wants to be a female or a plant, but rather making statements such as that he wants to live a life where there is no hate, gender, or causes of division such as religion or race. Each time, his choices result in new and often unexpected learning experiences that make for entertaining and meaningful reading.

      Being an American reader who has never been to Australia, I also enjoyed Ascending Spiral‘s depiction of Australia and its history. Pip’s life as Amelia in the nineteenth century on a farm with Aborigine workers that reminded me a lot of slavery on plantations in the American South during the same period. I also thoroughly enjoyed Rich’s depiction of Pip’s life as a walking plant on another planet, which offered a very imaginative new perspective few of us can conceive of experiencing.

      Finally, I have to mention the reason for Ascending Spiral‘s subtitle, “Humanity’s Last Chance.” Reincarnation has a purpose, and for Pip, it is so he can eventually reach a point of warning people to change before it is too late for them and the earth. I won’t go into details about the book’s message, but a couple of statements that really struck me were “Economic growth is a cancer. We need to cure our addiction to it” and the need for us to change our mindset from “I want happiness now” to “I want a decent life for me, you and everyone else in harmony.”

      A lot of nonfiction books exist about reincarnation, but Ascending Spiral shows that fiction can create a more poignant experience for the reader than just reading about a topic. The novel takes the theory of reincarnation and applies it so we journey with Pip over the millennia and come to a better understanding of our own souls and purposes. It is an understanding and experience more of us need to have.

      Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of Spirit of the North and Narrow Lives. Visit his review site.


      by David Denham

      Dr. Rich’s Ascending Spiral began as an examination on how the author handled mixing several genres into something unique. An exercise in philosophy and the traditional argument over essence, the fictional story takes on a spirit of its own as it lures the reader through several ages in both Earth’s past and future history. Reminiscent of Cloud Atlas, Ascending Spiral goes beyond the conflicts that the protagonists encounter. It really isn’t about the story but about the experience. And without giving away the mysteries of Pip’s journey, this reviewer challenges those reading this review to fall into the snare Dr. Rich has constructed. If it doesn’t kill you, the end of the journey will do what few mixed genre fictions achieve — causing you to rethink everything you’ve ever thought to be truth.

      A unique twist on the time-travel tradition! A mix of genres amalgamated into something unforgettable. This is a read to be experienced with your brain’s switch flipped on.

      Review originally written for SFBook.com (post pending)


      by “Robin”

      In writing Ascending Spiral: Humanity’s Last Chance, Bob Rich did an amazing thing, he wrote an interesting and engaging story which prompts its readers to think about the struggles that we have as human beings.

      In this novel we get many mini stories but they are beautifully interwoven through Dr. Pip. Dr. Pip is more than just the amazing psychologist that he is shown to be early on in the book, he is a man who has lived a collective 12,000 years throughout his many past lives and it is these same past lives that give him the wisdom and caring to be able to help so many people in his chosen field.

      We have all heard of the Buddhist belief that people are reincarnated until they have learned all of the lessons that they need to learn. In Ascending Spiral we get to look into the past lives of Dr. Pip to see the lessons that he needed to learn and why he needed to learn them.

      Bob Rich did a beautiful job connecting the very different lives in a way that made so much sense that it was clear that it couldn’t have been any other way.


      by “Scott”

      Ascending Spiral: Humanity’s Last Chance by Bob Rich is a thought provoking novel that takes you through time, space, and on an intellectual journey. In Ascending Spiral we are shown the past lives of Dr. Pip, a psychologist known for his ability to help just about anyone in a tough situation. Dr. Pip has 12,000 years worth of experience behind him due to the life lessons that he has learned in each of his past lives.

      I enjoyed each of the mini stories in the novel in and of themselves and they were made even better by the way Rich was able to seamlessly tie them together. Dr. Pip was a soldier in the Irish army when the British took over, he was the wife of an abusive man in Australia, he lived lives on other planets. Each life that he chose was specifically designed to teach him a specific lesson that would get him to the point where he could better others.

      A truly intriguing and beautiful novel.


      Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by “BK123”

      I loved this book when I read it the first time years ago. The concept of how the earth was devastated by an environmental catastrophe is intriguing, and how the future society operates with the use of an omniscient benevolent computer is actually uplifting. I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone, not just scifi geeks.


      It Never Rains, It Pours: A Tasmanian murder mystery by Rosamond Carter
      reviewed by Alfredo Zotti

      I have never been to Tasmania but the author, Rosamond Carter, makes me feel as if I know the area, as if I have been there. The author has a gift in that she is able to bring many different characters alive while keeping the intricate plot together all the way to the end. It is an interesting plot with many elements: drugs, deception, murder, and the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

      In this suspenseful thriller, one that keeps you wanting to read till the end, a young woman finds the bodies of a young couple while she goes for a walk early in the morning. But as the story goes on and the mystery thickens, nothing is as it seems.

      While I was reading, I felt the trauma of the character who narrates the story in the book, a young woman, but the end has a silver lining and it is always good when a story ends well. Such is life that sometimes good comes out of trauma, from evil, and from suffering. For life must go on and all we can do is learn from our suffering and from our experiences.

      This is not only a thriller and a mystery but also a story about life and it is clear that there is a lot of the Author in the book: a sensitive, caring and loving person who has experienced the best and worst that life has to offer. I would recommend this book to anyone and what I can say is that I very rarely make it to the last pages of a novel or a mystery books but this one had my attention all the way. The book is wonderfully written and with a story that is masterfully put together.


      A bit of fun

      Editing issue
      Sensible isolation

       

      Editing issue

      In my writing section in this issue, I’ve pointed you toward a list of hilarious signs, compiled by Michael Larocca.

      Here is an addition I hope he’ll copy for his collection. It shows the power of the space.
      pen-is


      Sensible isolation

      smartet
      I don’t know who made this up, but am in full agreement. Read my anthology, Bizarre Bipeds.


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      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.

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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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