Bobbing Around Volume 18 Number 4

The engines on a single jumbo jet would power a small African city had they generators attached. Remember that next time you fly… Air transport is simply far too cheap for the damage it causes and the resources it consumes.
Craig Murray


Dear politicians, get your heads out of the coal pit and into the real world
Peter Holding, farmer.

Bobbing Around

Volume Eighteen, Number Four,
October, 2018

Bob Rich’s rave

email

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

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
Booklife assessment of Guardian Angel
George agrees with me
September interviews
Letter to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
New Book Review Site

*Responses to past issues
Janet Rose
Jarvis Rich

*Politics
What have facts to do with energy policy?

*Environment
How to reduce climate change
Warm water under Arctic ice
Spiders are good people
He died to stop climate change

*Good news
Avaaz wins
Keystone XL slowed
Where you can change the world
Why independent courts are essential

*Inspiring people
Two leaders lead, for survival
Thank you, Michelle Bachelet
Healing a wildlife reserve, and a community

*Deeper issues
“Stone age” is a put-down
Lessons from a real historian
Science knowledge belongs to everyone
Interesting explanation of society’s great divide
Living the good life on little money
On loving the same sex

*Psychology
Another insightful set of results at Queendom Blog
The power of music, by Will Tottle
I’m a kid with a toxic life
21 yr old daughter with borderline personality and bipolar
I’ve tortured cats to avoid killing people
My parents’ fighting is driving me crazy

*Health
Stinking air kills neurons
And babies are most at risk
Organic vegie growing 101
The tropics is out to get you
A possible cause for the diabetes blowout

*Look over a writer’s shoulder
Writing group lists
Mary Tod’s annual survey of reading preferences
Encouraging youngsters to read
Freedom of the press starts with each word, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

*What my friends want you to know
Oppose corporate power
A message from Bernie Sanders
Prosecute this international criminal
Brogan by Kevin Richardson
Bainstorming
Energime University
Edmund Rice Centre to host former President of Kiribati in October
Forest magic with Claire Dunn
Malala in Australia

*Reviews
Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by Stephanie Black
Brogan, by Kevin Richardson
Hit and Run, reviewed by Patricia Walker
Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kevin Richardson
Prosilience, by Linda Hoopes
Hit and Run, reviewed by Dorothy Day

*Poetry
How to Paint a Lady by Emmanuel Ogundipe


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.


I want to create a world I wish I was born into. I want to be the role model that wasn’t around for me when I was growing up.
Jason Ball, openly gay Australian footballer and Greens candidate.


Antarctica is changing. Parts of the frozen continent are among the fastest-warming regions on Earth.
Morrison et al., 2018

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

Booklife assessment of Guardian Angel
George agrees with me
September interviews
Letter to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
New Book Review Site

 

Booklife assessment of Guardian Angel

I entered Guardian Angel in a contest.

This is the assessment they sent me:

Plot: The angelic Maraglindi’s life is short but she’s a conduit of sublime love — even in the face of barbaric cruelty — and her peaceful, hopeful messages are universal in this captivating novel. Although the abuses described are tortuous, the fantasy element of this book is charming.

Prose: The voice is appropriately youthful for Maraglindi during her childhood, with smooth transitions to different POVs. The author is proficient and the simple language is powerful.

Originality: The concept of a magical child who spends time on Earth has been explored before but not with these elements. The result is a wonderfully original story.

Character Development: The character of Maraglindi is sweetly open, loving, and (of course) angelic. The addition of her intelligence and musical gifts gives depth to her personality. The villains are easy to loathe, and the character growth is excellent.


George agrees with me

That’s George Monbiot, and I am delighted. Please read my brief post about it.


September interviews

Rita Chapman’s guest author posts are only there for a week. Here is our conversation, reproduced at Bobbing Around for your amusement (guaranteed).

Here is what Nancy Wood and I had to say to each other. She chose to focus on Hit and Run, but our discussion was wide-ranging, and again, I managed a few unique responses.

Writers write reproduced one of my Rhobin’s Rounds posts: A magic trick for writing.

After all these interviews, can I say anything new? Well, I have, with Lisa Haselton. Even if you have read all my interviews over the past few months, I reckon you’ll find this one entertaining and amusing. And if you haven’t, then even more so.

Please take the trouble to visit Lisa, and leave a comment.

And one in October

In fact, it’s due to come out today, 1st October 2018, 8 a.m., US EST.

TA Sullivan and I have become friends, and she is also my teacher on deep philosophical matters. Our interview is completely different. While my books are mentioned, they are almost incidental to the issues we discuss. Be amused and challenged, and please leave a comment. (After all, it’s no good, taking it with you. Isn’t English a wonderful language?)


Letter to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Dear Ms Capp,

I draw your attention to yesterday’s opinion piece in the Guardian by the mayors of New York and London.

They are divesting their cities from fossil carbon, and are calling on the leadership of all cities around the world to join them. They need to do this because their national governments are blind to the dangers of climate change.

The same is true for us in Australia, and yet our land is already suffering the effects, with a terrible drought in NSW, regular “100 year” floods in Queensland, the dying of the Great Barrier Reef, severe damage to the kelp forests of southern Australia including our shores, on and on.

Victoria is one of the most vulnerable areas of the world to wildfire. Climate change has already greatly increased our suffering. The 2009 fires were so far more extreme than previous occasions that the entire system of fire classification had to be revised.

Humanity should have acted on climate change in the 1970s. We are now suffering because the evidence was ignored then. It cannot be ignored any more.

I ask you to have Melbourne follow New York and London, and divest from carbon.

Melbourne has the potential to become a truly green city. Let us make it so.

Sincerely,

Bob Rich, PhD


New Book Review Site

This is one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s services to readers and writers. She has reproduced my latest review despite being at the far ends on the planet, where internet is somewhat mangy.

It’s a good place to check for reviews of good books.


Responses to past issues

Janet Rose
Jarvis Rich

 

Janet Rose

Thanks so much for participating in the Five Ws event. I love getting to know you better through hosting you. We’ve stirred up a lot of views and I hope created some buzz for your featured books.

So I posted all the authors and their books on a Pinterest board for the 5 W’s. Hope this will continue to connect your posts with viewers on Pinterest.

Have a fabulous weekend!!
J. Q. Rose
NEW Paranormal mystery, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard


Jarvis Rich

Hey Grandbob,

I was thinking about how to make your content a bit more engaging easier to digest, and a few things came to me. If instead of creating 1 whole page of information, you could post the information in bite size chunks with the same thought provoking content to create a discussion on and allow for periodic weekly even daily posts which you find to be interesting and then at monthly stages you could post the same information again on the whole document for your current audience who enjoy to sit and read it all.

Just something I’ve realised when people are going about their day they generally have a few minutes of interest (in my generation anyway) before they like to move on to new content. So by creating smaller prices of information you could allow for your work to reach a larger audience. Something that could interest you is Instagram or Facebook because let’s be real, a lot of people spend up to 4-6 hours a day on these social media sites, whereas emails have become a place of non-necessity and non interest. That’s what I’ve noticed anyway.

This could be done in any way you like with emails or in your website or social media for a new target audience.

I’ll also be creating my own clothing business of eco friendly T-shirts with short and concise phrases on them: a very simple word of two with great depth and meaning of today’s issues of overconsumption and population, and the issues that we are facing like ocean dead zones and deforestation.

My target audience ideally is those who are vegan or vegetarian or simply care about the earth, environment and their health who want to support a good cause of consciousness about giving back to the earth and community. I want these messages to be thought-provoking and non-offensive, to allow for seeds to be planted to anyone who sees my content and is able to view it without feeling attacked or threatened of their current habits and belief systems.

Please send any great ideas in that area. I understand it’s very broad, but any advice is welcome, always!

Jarvis is my delightful grandson in Queensland.

I’ve sent him suggestions for his T shirt idea. Any others — many others — are welcome.

People who “follow” Bobbing Around will have noticed that I’ve taken his advice. I’ve posted short blogs when the occasion has arisen, and then including a link to the post below.


Politics

I am sure you’ve all been bombarded with all the political crap, so I won’t add to it here. There is just one item:

What have facts to do with energy policy?

In my country, Australia, the Dinosaur Party got rid of its leader, leading to the 6th prime minister in 10 years, the excuse being an argument over electricity prices.

They are all in a tizz about lowering high prices, and of course it’s all because of the introduction of renewable energy, right?

Wrong.

Renewable energy is making wholesale electricity prices plummet. The high prices are due to market manipulation by big business, and the closure of way-past-use-by-date coal fired power stations.


Environment

How to reduce climate change
Warm water under Arctic ice
Spiders are good people
He died to stop climate change

 

How to reduce climate change

Almost invariably, the stuff I post under “Environment” is depressing: evidence of how humanity is destroying its life support system. For a change, here is a positive post: measures to reduce the problem.

I have come across every one of them before, some of them 40 years ago, but they may be new to you.


Warm water under Arctic ice

In recent times, ice on the Chukchi Sea has broken up. I remember news items about the hardship this is causing Alaskan fishermen. The exposed water picks up radiant heat from the sun, and currents take it north. Now, this warmer water is forming a layer under the ice, and only a thin layer of fresh water is holding it there. But heat rises…

So what?

The climate, the variations of weather, in the entire Northern Hemisphere is controlled by the Arctic. Unprecedented weather events of all kinds are so bad because of the changes up north. You people in America, Europe and Asia can be buried in snow, cooked in heatwaves, and blasted by hurricanes in never-before-seen ways because of what happens in the Arctic Circle.


Spiders are good people

…unless you happen to be a cockroach, flea, fly or mosquito.

Read all about them.


He died to stop climate change

For years, I have approved of Germany’s push toward renewable energy, but that country is also home to a horrendously dirty brown coal mine. The pit is now half the area of Washington, DC, and the company wants to expand it. They intend to bulldoze two historical villages — and the last remnant of an old growth forest.

People have had enough, and more than enough. As in my country, Australia, it is a battle of humanity vs. Big Money, with police required to use violence against the protectors of humanity.

This young man died in the protest. I hope that’s sufficient shock to the authorities to put a stop to insanity.


Good news

Avaaz wins
Keystone XL slowed
Where you can change the world
Why independent courts are essential

 

Avaaz wins

Avaaz has been fighting a demand from Monsanto to hand over all its records, meaning private details of a huge number of supporters.

As a supporter, I got an email from this wonderful group, celebrating that the judge threw out Monstersanto’s case in its entirety.


Keystone XL slowed

Judges are using their reason. A court has ruled that an environmental assessment Trump’s EPA had rushed through was insufficient. The pipeline’s progress through Nebraska is on hold, at least until those financing suicide appeal to a higher court.


Where you can change the world

The Guardian has produced a list of volunteering opportunities in faraway places. In each, you can help make our planet a better place.

I wish I were young enough…

If you’ll read my interview with Skye Taylor, you’ll see the personal benefits. Her life was improved in many ways because of her volunteering stint in Tonga.


Why independent courts are essential

The High Court of New Zealand stopped a crime against a bunch of dolphins, that’s why. As I say in my blog post, humans mining in the dolphins’ world is like what happens in one of my short stories, Cooked: a poor lost soul from the centre of the galaxy needs to destroy Earth in order to be able to return home…

Do take the couple of minutes to read my little rave.


People who inspire

Two leaders lead, for survival
Thank you, Michelle Bachelet
Healing a wildlife reserve, and a community

 

Two leaders lead, for survival

They are the mayor of New York, and the mayor of London.

“It’s clear that what we think of now as freak weather in our cities is likely to become the new normal.”

They are right, but I’d put it more strongly. It has become the new normal.

It is refreshing to see people in prominent positions base their opinions and actions on science.

They are calling for positive action, inspiring the leaders of other cities globally to divest from fossil carbon.


Thank you, Michelle Bachelet

This lady’s father was tortured to death during the rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. She managed to escape to Australia, but returned, eventually to become President of Chile.

Now she has become chief of the UN Human Rights Council.

Without fear, she berated several member countries of the Council for their human rights violations. Rightly, her strongest attack was against Australia, which spent up big in order to get onto the Council, while torturing innocent men, women and children in its concentration camps on Nauru, Manus Island, and although it’s not often in the news, Christmas Island. Even refugees who have gained admission to the country are being financially abused, because, basically it’s accept charity or starve to death.


Healing a wildlife reserve, and a community

This Guardian article made me feel good about being a human — not the usual reaction when reading what happens around our planet.

War in Mozambique practically destroyed a wildlife reserve. American philanthropist Greg Carr did something about it.

The program also addresses the issue of marriage by underage girls, and the lack of employment in the area.

There are so many good things that you just need to read it for yourself.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA


Deeper Issues

“Stone age” is a put-down
Lessons from a real historian
Science knowledge belongs to everyone
Interesting explanation of society’s great divide
Living the good life on little money
On loving the same sex

 

“Stone age” is a put-down

Cultures relying on using stone tools were/are not inferior to those involving other technologies. This well argued, interesting essay explains why.

Does it matter? Hell, yes. Technological rating is one of the bases of racial discrimination. Pre-agricultural societies lived in dynamic harmony with their environment. It took us “civilised” people to wreck everything. Now, the only route to survival is to learn how to apply these older cultural practices to our world.


Lessons from a real historian

Stanislaw Aronson can tell you how it really was, because he lived it.

This inspiring man is now 93. He can see the events that launched World War 2 repeating: the merchants of hate taking over.

Please read his beautiful essay in the Guardian.


Science knowledge belongs to everyone

George Monbiot says so, and I agree.

Scientific research is funded by universities and research institutions, which depend on government funding, with some private stuff thrown in. That is, the public at large pays for it, and so it should be.

Often I want to check up on a research paper, to face a paywall. I can read the abstract, but to go any further might require $50.

The law is on the journal publishers’ side, but morality isn’t. Some people have done something about it. I normally respect copyright, but from now on, when I want to read research, I’ll first check out Sci Hub, constructed to make research findings freely available.


Interesting explanation of society’s great divide


Michele Gelfand is professor of psychology at the University of Maryland Here is a plain-language summary of her research, which I found fascinating.

Briefly, she has found a strong association between perceived threat by a cultural group feeling threatened, and their need for tight vs. relaxed rules. This explains the rise of right-wing, populist governments, and explains why the tools of demagogues work.


Living the good life on little money

Please read my blog post about this.


On loving the same sex

I welcome comments on my brief blog post about homosexuality.


Psychology

Another insightful set of results at Queendom Blog
The power of music, by Will Tottle
I’m a kid with a toxic life
21 yr old daughter with borderline personality and bipolar
I’ve tortured cats to avoid killing people
My parents’ fighting is driving me crazy

 

Another insightful set of results at Queendom Blog

5000 people gave responses to a list of questions. The results are coming one issue at a time. The current one is about trust.

Respondents are divided into three groups:

  • Those who are distrustful of everyone
  • Those who trust people conditionally
  • Those who are willing to trust people

You will find the result illuminating, and while there, chase down the previous reports.


The power of music, by Will Tottle

Will has written a comprehensive, research based essay about the benefits of music therapy. The language is clear, and he examines the benefits of music for a wide variety of mental health issues.

I have a pretty good knowledge of the subject, but learned a few new things. For example, Will says that percussion instruments like in the pic are the most suitable for non-musicians.


I’m a kid with a toxic life

Ever since I was small I was surrounded by abusive and toxic people; when I was 4, my dad met his girlfriend and I thought she was nice and all, but she was abusive, manipulated my dad and it got to the point where one day she hit me and him, I was 9.

My dad decided to sue her, but then he annulled the complaint and stuff.

They kept living together but I was terrified of her, the fights went on everyday and it wouldn’t stop, I was scared that she would hurt me. She was jealous of me and even called my dad a pedophile to make me scared of him.

My dad also never helped, It’s been more than 9 years since they’ve been together and I keep telling him she’s harming him, but he won’t listen. My dad also used to accuse my grandfather of being a pedophile and that made me develop some kind of fear around adults, even my teachers.

At school I was always the violent kid, I was always sad and angry and everyone that messed with me would get hit, including my friends. After middle school I changed schools and met new friends, I became possessive and way too annoying, and if they were against that I’d get really mad. I began to feel sad everyday and never really trusted anyone.

It got worst last year, when I met my boyfriend and he left me for someone else. I felt betrayed and I even threatened to kill him. I am not scared of harming or killing, as dumb as that may sound.

Now we’re dating again and my best friend and my ex friend don’t approve of that because they say it’s a “toxic relationship”. My psychologist told me they’re just jealous, but it started getting annoying. And I know that ex friend of mine has a crush on him and I’m really scared.

I talked to a doctor and she told me to see a psychiatrist because my psychologist it’s not helping anymore and I agree with her. My dad agreed to take me but my mom doesn’t like the idea of me getting medicated. But I know I need it. I am sad all the time I can’t take this anymore. I don’t want to harm myself but I do, I have suicidal thoughts everyday and even murderous thoughts.

I feel trapped, I feel like the only way out it’s suicide. I’m losing my friends because I’m isolating myself. Please someone tell me how to convince my mother to get me help. Please someone help me.

So, how can I get proper help? How do I convince my mother to accept the fact that I need to be medicated?

Dear Lissa,

My first reaction to your cry for help is that I can see, you are determined to move on, and to improve your life. This is the MAJOR requirement for doing so.

There is hope. You can live a good life — unless in your desperation you hurt yourself or commit a crime. So, please don’t.

You need to learn two tricks, and let go of a few old habits. Doing these things is difficult, and challenging, but well worth the effort.

The first trick is to decide to own your emotions and reactions. What other people do is an INVITATION, not a COMMAND. This is true even when someone else has power over you. Then, it may be unavoidable to do as the other person requires, but how you react inside yourself is always in your control. Once you’ve cured yourself of how you have reacted in the past (the habits), you will have enormous power, because you’ll have an umbrella to keep off all the crap people rain on you. So, for example, if your stepmother is threatening or abusive, or even violent, you can do whatever is needed to ensure your physical safety (pretend to give in), but inside you can feel sorry for her for acting like a 2-year-old, and tell yourself not to bother to get angry. Same with friends. Someone says something meant to be annoying? You can choose to stay calm. So what if she makes mouth noises?

The second trick is the most powerful tool in the world: acceptance. Read a wonderful book: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. This man was Jewish, and caught by the Nazis during the Second World War. They killed his wife, but made him into a slave worker. He survived, because he set a project for himself: to study who gave up and died, and who kept going regardless, and why. So, he had something to live for. His book has not one word of hate, resentment or self-pity in it. “This happened. I survived it.”

This simple acceptance of anything allows you to sail through problems that destroy other people. It helps to cope with any pain, physical or emotional.

Some of your habits you need to be replaced with better ones. The main one is violence.

When you are angry, you didn’t ask for that emotion. It is OK to feel angry. But you are responsible for what you do when it happens. You know what other habits of yours annoy you. Replace each one with something better, one at a time.

You are seeing a psychologist. Ask that person to coach you on these three things:

To remember to choose how you react;

To practise acceptance of anything that bothers you, and keep going anyway;

To identify a habit you want to change, design something else in its place, then practise until the new habit is “second nature.”

By the way, you are about 14, right? As far as relationships with boys go, what you are doing is learning and practising what will become serious stuff after you’ve left school. Don’t look at your current boyfriend as a mate for life, or as your possession, or an achievement, but as a fellow student in learning about the game of life. If you continue with this fellow student, fine. If you go separate ways, fine. You’ll get another “dancing partner” soon enough.

As I said at the start, you can change your life, and if you like, I will continue to help you if you email me.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


21 yr old daughter with borderline personality and bipolar

My daughter is a 21 year old with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. For years she has lashed out yelling screaming and cussing threatening different things when she gets angry or upset or hurt.

Now she does not live with us and the cycle continues. she makes it very difficult to enjoy a relationship with her. She has always been jealous of her younger brother who has epilepsy and autism, but now that she does not live in our home she holds that over our heads. We have bent over backwards to help support her but she will not keep a job and she jumps from bad relationship to bad relationship usually found in the worst guys for her.

She gets herself in situations and then expects everyone else to jump through hoops to get her out of it. We recently have stop enabling her and told her that there will be no more financial support. We have asked her to come home alone, without her boyfriend, but yet she refuses and would rather live on the streets than to live without him.

How do I help her? she refuses to seek therapy treatment and take medicines and is uninsured. there is no trauma in her background she was not abused in any way. She’s always been like this since she was about 4 or 5 years old. We prefer to not spend physical time with her because she seems to thrive on drama always wanting to find fault in anything and everything and everyone around her. Several people have open their homes for her and she always leave saying that they mistreated her or were mean to her or refuse to let her eat or something to that effect as much as I love her I am at my wit’s end.

Dear Norma,

This is indeed a nasty situation. I hear that despite everything, you love her, and want the best for her, but she won’t let you.

Labels like “bipolar” and “borderline personality disorder” are not particularly useful. Has she been professionally diagnosed, or is this your opinion? Either way, it’s best to avoid thinking of her like this. She is unhappy, and has a list of problem behaviors you described.

If the behaviors started at 4 or 5 years old, it is quite possible that she suffered a trauma at that time that you are not aware of. Two possible examples are sexual molestation by someone you trusted to look after her (and this has not been revealed), or a situation she as a little child considered to be life-threatening (whether in fact it was or not). If she were ever to go to therapy, such things could be explored, and their effects eliminated, but this is not something you can do.

How to handle your current situation? There are two ways.

One is to look after the parents’ welfare by cutting off contact with their child. I know parents who have done that, with two outcomes: the young person improved, because there was no one to fall back on so it was necessary; or continued along a disastrous path.

The point of this option is that the parent has tried for many years, with no effect. Therefore, any further love, money, argument, support is also more than likely to be useless. So, the parents considered the child to be dead to them, and grieved exactly as if that was the case, while making it clear that the child could always return — on the parents’ terms.

The second way is to simply accept the situation. “This is the way it is. I won’t send her away, but continue to allow contact, and be here as a support insofar as she lets me. That’s going to continue to be painful, but I shall continue to be a loving parent anyway.”

It is up to you and your husband to decide which of these is the more appropriate to your situation.

Good luck,
Bob


I’ve tortured cats to avoid killing people

I’m a guy with some issues (probably) and I wonder what I should do.

The most urgent problem I have is that I am angry all the time, or furious rather. I literally want to kill someone in the most brutal way possible, I don’t care who it is, I want to abduct them, torture them and then finally kill them. I have felt this way for a long time but I’m at my breaking point as of now. Before you say that I should seek therapy or something I have to say that I’ve been there and done that. I’ve met several psychologists and therapists, been locked up at a mental ward for almost an entire year and tried everything. It’s also worth mentioning that I have been suicidal for some years and I’ve tried to kill myself on multiple occasions. The ONLY reason why I’m currently alive is because of alcohol AND because I feel such an immense rush a thrill when I think about killing/torturing someone.

Besides this urgent problem I’ve also been diagnosed with depression, I suffer from very severe social anxiety, I am an alcoholic, I’ve been involved in plenty of criminal acts and I may also have a major problem with drugs. On top of that I have several other diagnoses (adhd, anxiety etc.).

A few years ago when I reached a similar breaking point I resorted to torturing and killing cats and that helped a little. I’ve also been on some pretty heavy meds (mostly anti depressives) but I refuse to take them anymore.

So how do I stop myself from actually doing something irreversible? Should I get a few cats and do some stuff to them (which may or may not weaken my desire to kill)? OR, should I just embrace this part of me and do it?

Sven my young friend,

I have come across a great many people, mostly young, who feel like you do. Rather than repeat things over and over, I have made up a web page where you can look at my explanation for why this can happen, and my recommendations on how to deal with it.

Giving in and hurting people is not the answer. Also, cats have feelings and emotions, and are intelligent creatures. Hurting them is also wrong, even as a way of avoiding hurting people. There is another way.

Until now, you have reacted to your fury by resisting, by effort of will. As you know, that is very difficult. People can rarely if ever get rid of a habit of thought or emotion by resisting it.

Despite your history, you have shown yourself to be a moral person by resisting these terrible compulsions for years. So, accept that you are a good person who has a terrible habit of emotion.

How old were you when your rage gave you the idea that you wanted to torture and kill people? Imagine that, at that time, a monster moved into your mind. This monster eats anger and cruelty, so it tricks you into doing anything that will feed it. It is very good at imitating the sound/feel of your thoughts, so until now you’ve accepted its whispered suggestions as being yours.

They are not. They are a foreign, evil intrusion.

Start recording the thoughts in your mind. You’ll soon find that there are two kinds: “my thoughts” and “monster thoughts.” When you identify a monster thought, laugh at it. That monster is trying to destroy you, but it hates being laughed at.

When you consistently do this for long enough, the monster will starve to death.

Just one more note, about alcohol. It may drown the monster’s voice. It may slow down your anger. In the meantime, though, it is killing you. Also, alcohol is a depressant. It makes depression worse.

I suggest you handle one problem at a time. Deal with the monster, meanwhile doing your best to limit or reduce drunkenness, but don’t worry about it too much. Once the monster is beaten, then seriously address alcohol and any other addiction problems.

Have a good life (you can),
Bob


My parents’ fighting is driving me crazy

I was mostly normal. I played games, watched T.V., and read. But when I hit 15 my parents started fighting. This went on for about 3-4 years. They are still fighting.

So, can you help me get through this tough time in life? I just feel like giving up, leaving without questions.

Dear Dora,

Your last sentence can mean one of two things: leaving home, or leaving life.

You are now a young adult. If it is practically and financially possible, leaving home is an excellent solution. There is no need why you should allow their conflict to poison your life.

Killing yourself is a very bad idea indeed. What have you done to deserve the death sentence?

Even a multiple murderer will not be executed in your state. And you haven’t broken any laws, have you? Instead, decide to make your future a good one. You can react to this poisonous situation between your parents by choosing a career where you can be of benefit to people in your situation, or in theirs: psychologist, social worker, marriage guidance counsellor, child protection worker, teacher, policewoman… Then you can turn bad into good.

The other thing is, now you are a young adult. Your opinion matters. Talk to each of your parents privately, and put this to them:

They have been fighting for several years. This just has to be a source of misery to both of them. Why on earth do they stay together? They could split, and both of them could build a good new life. Or, they could get couple counseling, and possibly sort out their differences. The one thing they should not do is to continue to abuse and torture each other.

You can do this whether you choose to leave home or stay.

You’re welcome to email me back, and adopt me as your grandfather.
Bob


Health

Stinking air kills neurons
And babies are most at risk
Organic vegie growing 101
The tropics is out to get you
A possible cause for the diabetes blowout

 

Stinking air kills neurons

A very large scale study in China has shown that breathing air loaded with nitrous and sulphuric oxides — typical urban air pollution — “can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration of humans,” Derrick Ho, a Hong Kong scientist not associated with the study, said.

Despite the cautious scientific language, this is strong evidence.


And babies are most at risk

Two articles at EcoWatch report very recent research.

Maybe babies in strollers need air masks? That child is very close to the height of car exhausts, and a study shows they breathe in 60% more of the muck than the adult pushing the pram.

And another study has found black carbon particles in placentas from London women who’d had uncomplicated deliveries of healthy babies.

We can and should take precautions. But more important is to change the system killing us.


Organic vegie growing 101

This is essential for the inhabitants of Poison Planet. Please read my brief blog post that points to instruction.


The tropics is out to get you

Please read my very brief post on how to deal with the increasing risk of tropical diseases anywhere on the planet. This has become a problem in Europe during the 2018 heatwaves.


A possible cause for the diabetes blowout


You can read my very brief post on this subject.

Spoiler: it’s BPA leached out of the plastic your food is all-so-conveniently enclosed in.


Look over a writer’s shoulder

Writing group lists
Mary Tod’s annual survey of reading preferences
Encouraging youngsters to read
Freedom of the press starts with each word, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

 

Writing group lists

I don’t know how to do things only 100%. Having decided to offer a free edit contest, I had to publicise it. I’ve been going around all the English-speaking countries of the world, searched for writing groups and guilds and centres and the like, then individually contacted them.

The longest list is of course for North America, but it was also the easiest, thanks to a wonderful resource. If you want to find a writers’ group anywhere in the USA or Canada, go to Writers Relief.

The name is somewhat puzzling, but I want to thank them by publicising their existence.

Britain also has a list of writing groups, Writers Online, but I found that at least a third of the email addresses bounced, and quite a number of websites couldn’t be reached. So, I am less than impressed.

Australia also has a helpful list.

By the way, deadline for my free book edit contest is 15th October, so hurry if you want to enter. Also, I’m grateful for any publicity.


Mary Tod’s annual survey of reading preferences


Whether you are a reader or a writer, you will find Mary Tod’s 2018 survey to be interesting.

It taught me a few things.

Recently, I had the honour of being interviewed on Mary’s site, so, Naturally, I am happy to spread the word about her work. But even apart from such a connection, this is excellent stuff.


Encouraging youngsters to read

This is the September topic for Rhobin’s Rounds, and my post got lots of comments.

Yours is also welcome.


Freedom of the press starts with each word
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

You may be wondering why The Frugal Book Promoter (that’s me!) would stray from topics like editing and book marketing to something like freedom of the press and the importance of words. Well, because without the former, a huge percentage of us would be out of work and others would be severely limited in the topics we could write about. And when our government starts limiting the words we may use in official documents, that is the beginning of censorship we writers should take very seriously.

And that is just what is happening.

A couple of months ago, the White House (US) issued a list of words the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shouldn’t use. It bothered me then and it bothers me even more now that we just experienced a near epidemic of flu in this country! (My husband and I are both part of that epidemic. Neither of us has had the flu or a cold for over 40 years and this one has been a doozy!)

The LA Times (Tuesday, Jan 16, page B2) used this as a lead for the story:

“‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words, George Orwell writes
in the fifth chapter of his dystopian novel, 1984.”

I love this novel, but I have always been too optimistic to give its dystopian theme much credence. Now, here we are with four public health experts from Emory University in Atlanta saying that if the CDC actually obeys the recent White House order to avoid certain words and phrases, it would “squander [the agency’s] limited resources.” Other agencies were also “forbidden” to use words like “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science based.” In some cases, the administration’s budget office suggested alternative terms that wouldn’t contribute much to the loss of clarity. And only yesterday I read that the word “abortion” is next. Can you imagine how many words might be needed for that if that one is banned? Can you imagine how much more disinformation might swirl around the topic because we (or our government) can’t use it?

Then in a recent Sierra Club magazine (sources do count for us writers!), I learn that the US climate office was told not to use the terms “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” or “Paris agreement.” Seems someone is trying to control what we write about. Or just make it hard for us to do our jobs.

We should be as concerned about limiting the words we can use as we are about the books we can read or about copyright issues.

These commandments from the Trump administration sound like a violation of both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Times also reported that gagging like this also violates The Plain Writing Act of 2010 that requires all federal agencies “improve the effectiveness and accountability to the public by promoting clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.”

We writers should be thankful for that “plain writing” encouragement! Still, too few in the government are paying attention to it. Luckily, the CDC seems to be ignoring these new guidelines limiting the words our agencies can use for now. But as writers, we should all be on the lookout for anything that limits our use of words.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically is the newest book in her HowToDoItFrugally Series.


What my friends want you to know

Oppose corporate power
A message from Bernie Sanders
Prosecute this international criminal
Brogan by Kevin Richardson
Bainstorming
Energime University
Edmund Rice Centre to host former President of Kiribati in October
Forest magic with Claire Dunn
Malala in Australia

 

Oppose corporate power

This is a Toolkit for Transformation. Learn how to protect our world for destruction by Big Tobacco, Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Food, Big Parma…

This brilliant map is the work of Steve Lovelace.


A message from Bernie Sanders

The email had no link in it, so I sent it off as a blog post.

I agree with this great man. Please read.


Prosecute this international criminal

From Avaaz:

Dear friends,

US investigators are closing in on Trump’s trail of corruption — indicting his personal lawyer, his campaign chief, and many more.

But Trump says he’s above the law, and he’s considering drastic steps to shut down the investigation. He’s even claimed he can pardon himself and all his cronies!

He could get away with it all. That’s where we come in.

All evidence suggests Trump’s led a life of corruption. His business empire and crimes — including money laundering, mafia and more — are thoroughly global, and may have violated the laws of many of our countries. So why aren’t OUR authorities investigating him??

Chip in now and let’s hire investigators to present key officials with the evidence, get lawyers to file formal complaints, and power a campaign to up the pressure on our authorities to show that no one — not Trump, not any president — is above the law.

Contribute a small amount to have Trump investigated.

In Scotland, Trump paid for a $63 million golf course IN CASH!! A classic money laundering technique.
In the Netherlands, Trump was involved in setting up shell companies that funneled dirty money to Trump’s real estate.
In Canada, Trump Tower Toronto was partially financed by a corrupt Ukrainian steel mill deal involving a $100 million bribe to the Kremlin!

The list goes on and on — in Spain, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Panama and many more countries — Trump and co are the poster boys for global corporate corruption. But so far no prosecutor has been willing to go head to head against a sitting US President.

If we allow Trump to show that power matters more than justice, then an army of Trumps everywhere are waiting to follow his lead. But if we get to work paying investigators to gather evidence, hiring lawyers to initiate formal legal processes, and running campaigns to encourage authorities to do their jobs without fear or favour, we can generate a global arc of investigation that can bring the truth to light, and criminals to justice.

If Avaaz doesn’t do this, it’s not clear who will. Together we can mobilise public pressure overnight in almost any country needed to make this happen. Trump says he’s above the law — let’s show him how wrong he is.

The world of democracy, rule of law and human rights that our parents and grandparents have built is truly precious, and truly fragile. That’s why it’s so important we stand on the line, and call on our institutions to defend truth and justice. If we do, we’ll teach the world that even the most powerful man in the world is not above the law.

With hope and determination,

Allison, Danny, Meetali, Ricken, Rosa, Martyna and the rest of the Avaaz team

Sources:

Trump: ‘I have the absolute right to pardon myself’ (CNN)

The President Is Getting Away With Blatant Crimes. That’s Normal. (The Daily Intelligencer)

What’s next for Mueller’s investigation after Manafort’s conviction? (Vox)

6 Takeaways From Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea (The New York Times)

Here’s everyone who has been charged and convicted in Mueller’s Russia probe so far (Business Insider)


Brogan by Kevin Richardson

Review:
5+ Stars! ‘Brogan the boy’, was born into a loveless relationship to the man who sired him. He was looked after by whomever his father found to care for him, as though he were an unwanted pup. If it hadn’t been for Da’oud, the old Arab, he might never have lived to become a man.

Some people are born with a higher sense of self-survival than others, and Brogan learned through his hard knocks just how to meet adventure head on. This a very sensitive look of an unwanted boy’s growing up and surviving to become ‘Brogan the Man’.

When Amr Brogan first put his hands on a flying machine, he knew who he wanted to be when he became a man. He vowed, nothing and no one would ever stand in the way of his dream. He would do whatever it took to fly a plane. This is the beginning of the Brogan series, and how he became the adventuress man in all the exciting books that follow. This book is definitely a keeper.

JoEllen, Conger Book Reviews USA


Bainstorming

My old mate Darrell Bain has severe health issues, but is still at it. Old writers don’t die. They just close a chapter to start another one.

The new Bainstorming, May to August this year, is now live at www.darrellbain.com.

One click from there.

Darrell Bain
Multiple Dream Realm winner
Multiple Epic Award winner
Fictionwise Author of the Year


Energime University

Energime University is a 501-(C) (3) registered non-profit organization which is partnering with UN Academic Impact.

Our mission is to provide quality educational resources that give people the knowledge and methods to protect our fragile environment.

We are asking the public to support and help us continue making a difference. Every voice and every contribution counts, big or small.

If you care about the environment, empower Energime University to fight for your cause.

Please visit our support page to learn more.

Thank you in advance for your support

Sincerely,

Bill Sosinsky
Founder and Director of Energime University


Edmund Rice Centre to host former President of Kiribati in October


The Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnership initiative is excited to announce we are hosting former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, on his visit to Australia in October.

Mr Tong is a strong voice for the Pacific and has been campaigning for climate justice for his people and those of the Pacific for many years. His upcoming visit to Australia is especially important in light of the continued lack of action by the Government on climate change policy.

We are planning a number of events open to the public — stay tuned for more details. We can already confirm that on Wednesday 24 October 2018, the Pacific Calling Partnership will join with the University of Sydney Environment Institute to host a forum led by Mr Tong, to discuss climate change advocacy, the role of wealthy industrialised nations such as Australia in climate action and the need for global recognition of the threat that climate change presents for Kiribati and other vulnerable Pacific Island nations.


Forest magic with Claire Dunn

Last weekend I spent a morning wandering through the high mountain forest of Toolangi in Victoria’s Central Highlands. It took me a while to realise that the drooping bracken and shrubbery was care of last week’s snowfall. Once I had warmed up my icy fingers, the wander became a magical exploration; hiding under tree ferns, watching lyrebirds scratch in the rainforest leaf-litter, lulled to sleep on top of a fallen log by the clear running stream. I left feeling renewed and refreshed. What was interesting to me though was for the next few days I needed less sleep and had more energy. It was as if I had been plugged into nature’s powerpoint and literally recharged.

Sometimes even a day in wild nature is enough to recalibrate and refill the wellspring of inspiration.

Join me for this single day immersion into wild earth skills and a spot of ‘forest bathing’.

December 8: Wild Awake in the Forest of Giants, Toolangi State Park


Malala in Australia


Plan International Australia is delighted to partner with The Growth Faculty to bring you the world’s youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, equal rights and education activist, Malala Yousafzai, to Sydney and Melbourne, each for one night only.

At age 11, Malala began her campaign for the rights of girls to receive an education, blogging about life under the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Her story continued after surviving a targeted attack by the Taliban at just 15 years old.

Malala will take audiences inside her remarkable story. “I had a choice: I could live a quiet life or I could make the most of this new life I had been given.”

Now a student at Oxford University, Malala continues to fight for the education of all children, all over the world.

Join us and hear Malala’s inspiring first-hand account of life as an activist, student and the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

An illuminating and mobilising event, don’t miss an evening with Malala.

BOOK SYDNEY – 10TH DECEMBER

BOOK MELBOURNE – 11TH DECEMBER

I hope to see you there.

Kind Regards,
Susanne Legena
CEO, Plan International Australia


Reviews

Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by Stephanie Black
Brogan, by Kevin Richardson
Hit and Run, reviewed by Patricia Walker
Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kevin Richardson
Prosilience, by Linda Hoopes
Hit and Run, reviewed by Dorothy Day

 

Sleeper, Awake reviewed by Stephanie Black

The best thing about Sleeper, Awake is undeniably the characters. They’re so human: flawed, yet lovable, genuinely good people. I felt that, through reading them, that I befriended them. Dr. Bob Rich handles the multiple points of view as skilfully as George R.R. Martin handles his epic cast in Game of Thrones, but where Martin is brutal, Dr. Rich is compassionate. I enjoyed this approach with much relief: let me tell you, books like this are gold for a sensitive reader. It was wonderful to read an eyes-wide-open, character-driven story that presents truths about our humanity and mortality in a gentle, yet involving way. I also liked seeing multiple views of the story through such diverse, interrelated characters. All the complexities of love, kinship, need and desire were sensitively yet succinctly explored, making the story gripping. These are characters I really felt for!

Characterization’s not the only thing I loved about this book, though! The setting is some 1500 years in the future, with a unique, vivid and believable culture nothing like our own, though sprung from it. This makes it wonderful and disturbing in turns. To guide you through it there’s sweet Flora who was put into cryogenic sleep in our time, and is completely bamboozled to find herself awakened over a thousand years later than she expected. It’s thrilling to discover it all alongside her. Imagine our world if the health of the population improved with every generation. Imagine a future with so much abundance that money is long forgotten and everyone has everything they need and want. Imagine a society where unconditional assistance and healthcare can be provided with a thought. It’s a vividly imagined reality where the environment is perfectly restored and delightfully pristine, where people like you and I are equipped with comfortable travel that doesn’t pollute, and there’s adventures for anyone brave enough to take them, not just for the rich. Combine that with characters so diverse and personable I wish I had them in my life, and I was totally there!

But… Would it disturb you to discover this future utopia is enabled by the neural connection every person has to a global computer, an artificial intelligence? It bothered me at first. What about that Jesus has been replaced by a disabled genius scientist whose inventions improved human welfare far beyond what any man (or god!) had done before him? It certainly bothered me to discover that competition for the right to reproduce had replaced competition for resources… until I watched my new friends’ lives unfold and saw how this system brought out genius and caring in prospective parents. It was an answer to getting people to willingly cherish their children, apply themselves to work they loved, and contribute to society. My suspicion that these unexpected, if believable caveats would devolve into dark themes ended up only revealing my distrust for other people and our popular storytellers. Sleeper, Awake gave me a pleasant surprise, remaining intelligent without ever taking the well-trod, paranoia-inducing path of technological evil. Dr. Bob’s take on benevolent technology was refreshing without being naive, a genre bend I’d love to see more of.

After a roller-coaster ride with my new friends in a new world, undergoing everyday (and often dangerous) adventures, I left the final pages of Sleeper, Awake feeling hope. If Dr. Rich can imagine a positive future, then surely we could create it. Here’s a humanity that not only survived catastrophes and climate change, but who enjoy a bright and thriving time without any sign of ending. Dr. Rich doesn’t write away human problems — his characters have unique weakness and strengths, after all — but he does write us as a species in balance, focusing less on struggle and more on simply living. I know I’d live that way if I could!

My biggest criticism? I wished it was longer. I wished it kept on going! Not that Sleeper, Awake is particularly short. I just liked it that much.

Sleeper, Awake is an intelligent, fascinating adventure containing a reassuring vision, which elegantly explores the kind of future we secretly wish for. It’ll make you fall in love and make your heart race without ever relying on war, righteousness or evil as plot excuses. Anyone who loves the world and dreams of making society a better place for whole humans will find plenty to like in these pages. And anyone who wants a gripping sci-fi adventure that stays positive and enlightened the whole way through will be delighted!

Stephanie Black is a Unicorn Wizard, author, artist, horsewoman, gardener, birdwatcher, healer, lover and mother. She believes life is miraculous and the future’s as bright as you believe.

She says being intelligent, opinionated and sensitive makes for a dangerous emotional life. And she really does see unicorns.


Brogan, by Kevin Richardson


I offered to review Kevin’s latest book. Instead, he sent me one of his oldest.

It is an excellent story on so many levels that I was disappointed when it ended. Cleverly, it did so with an obvious lead-on into a sequel.

It took me time and effort to get into the story, because the language is authentic Outback Australian of the early 20th Century. Had Kevin written in modern, culture-neutral English, the story would have lacked its impact, so this difficulty is well worth enduring.

Not only is Brogan a realistic exploration of a now-dead culture, a veridical and compelling description of the harsh Australian semidesert landscape (complete with flies), but also, it is an exploration of the best in human nature.

Young Brogan’s life has a bleak start, as the unwanted son of a drunkard drover, but he finds many fine teachers, particularly an old Arab camel driver who… no, I am not going to give away the story.

Through crisis after crisis, the boy becomes a man to admire.

I am busy at the moment, with other books waiting for review, and books to be judged for an award, and promoting my free book edit contest, but I might just seek out the sequel.

Retired from business, Kevin Richardson spent eight years travelling the world writing airline magazine articles, also six novels on Australia’s convict history. Six action-based novels followed. Tales of WW2 accounted for six more and from other life experiences, a further eight.

All 26 earned 5-Stars by international review houses, some winning awards.


Hit and Run, reviewed by Patricia Walker

This is an absolutely phenomenal read which, unusually for me, I read in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. It is the type of read that you start and think oh boy this is going to be good right from page one.

Dr. Rich writes with knowledge about psychology and how people react in situations and it gives his characters a truly realistic feel without bogging the ‘fiction’ down with ‘tech talk’. Each of the characters seem to actually walk off the page and be bringing the story to life in a hugely visual way for the reader and this immerses you in a read that cannot help but raise questions about how we each react in a situation or how would we react.

Throughout this compelling, easy read set around a harrowing subject matter the story never wavers nor does it ever appear unrealistic.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough — it is one of the best books I have ever read.

I won an e-copy of this book.

Pat did win this book, for her comment on one of my many recent interviews. It’s a lovely way to make friends.


Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kevin Richardson

5 Stars !

It’s real! It touches one’s every sense, every nerve!

Is Maraglindi real?

It is known by all who grew up in Australia with memories of earlier days that many an Aborigine developed canny senses among his instincts. Didn’t the army in New Guinea during the Japanese invasions take an Aboriginal elder into HQ offices, aware that he could ‘sense’ messages from brethren observing movements in Japanese camps several miles away?

Guardian Angel is cleverly built around such a phenomenon, although back in the 1860s. Dr. Bob Rich delicately introduces such Aboriginal senses into this lesson on humanity.

The absolute truths of the white man’s approach to treatment of Aborigines as ‘white’ Australia was founded are well documented. His characters are so well drawn in the telling this true part of a sad history, that we are drawn into the very hearts of each…to sympathise with each.

Surprises abound in their colourful and realistic abundance. A most enjoyable and instructive read.

…Kev Richardson, a most difficult reader to please!


Prosilience, by Linda Hoopes

My only criticism of this excellent book is that having a neologism in the title may lead to people missing it. Before reading the book, few people are likely to use “prosilience” as a search term.
This is an exceptionally well organised self-help instructional. I was writing my coming book “From Depression to Contentment” when I read it, and decided to copy Linda’s way of referencing, setting tasks, and the order of presenting material.
Her definition sets out the program: “Resilience is the ability to deal with high levels of challenge while maintaining or regaining high levels of effectiveness and well-being… Prosilience involves systematically understanding, evaluating, and strengthening your own responses to adversity so you are better prepared for many different kinds of challenge.”
I found many similarities between her approach and Meichenbaum’s Stress Inoculation Training, although she doesn’t refer to this form of therapy. Therefore, the large body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of SIT is relevant for Prosilience.
Here we have a highly readable book, a program that can be self-applied by any intelligent person, and an excellent probability of benefits — what else could you want in a self-help book?


Hit and Run, reviewed by Dorothy Day

An interesting concept if one suspends a little reality. An elderly woman and a young man have an unusual connection that ends up changing lives and improving life for many others. I enjoyed the lively, though with mobility slowed, protagonist who was unafraid to tackle issues that needed intervention. She made things happen and reminded me of one of my 84-year-old friends. I highly recommend this somewhat paranormal book, and I don’t usually read paranormal stories.


Poetry

How to Paint a Lady by Emmanuel Ogundipe

            With him you come to learn
            that when a man is called to paint a girl
            he paints all of himself.

            His tiny songs are the floss in her hair
            the tulips on her blouse are the stories his sisters told him
            under half-nights long ago in the lost country of music.

            With their half-furls and follicles
            and buds and brown twigs
            that speak more of withering things.

            The tiny sigh, the one you almost didn’t see,
            the silence in her eyes, is the night his mother
            Died while he fought rebels in the Nigerian army.


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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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