Progress Is a Relative Term

I recently watched a brief speech given by Elon Musk on a social media platform where he was speaking about climate change in regards to carbon emissions and our need for sustained energy. But healthy sustained energy. Everyone knows by now that big oil and coal are the enemies of a healthy planetary environment. At least that’s the meme subscribed to by the majority of the human population. Solar power, hydro, nuclear and wind are the most popular solutions being offered. Musk has the most to profit if solar becomes the energy provider du jour. But I personally wouldn’t permit my mind to believe that this plays too much of a role in his business ventures nor in the ideals he proposes. He’s made his money.

In his speech he speaks of all the doom and gloom we can look forward to if we stay on our present course of burning fossil fuels and producing such high levels of carbon emissions. How at least 5% of the world’s coastal cities will soon be swallowed up and wiped away by the oceans.

There’s a moment where it becomes quite moving…. As moving as a speech by Musk can be at least. What will we say when our children and grandchildren ask us “if we knew what we were doing? We will have to tell them that yes we knew what we were doing…”

I’ll share something here that I’ve hinted at before, touched on… It’s taken a while to really get it under my skin in a way where I could speak cogently about it.

As most people know, I spent the better part of the first 40 years of my life on the outer OUTER fringes of society… Never watched TV or played sports or went camping or any of the other things that most Americans spend their time doing. All my free time was spent deeply immersed in a world of music, art, learning and spirituality. Consciousness exploration. Searching for God and truth. Learning studying praying meditating traveling marching protesting & activisting mainly. I was hopeful. Idealistic. Rise and shine.

A few years ago when I hit this age and income bracket that compels some of us to become active investors it was a real wake up call to me. Still is almost on a daily basis… Many of these men and women are my friends now. Powerhouse names in the investing community, but names that most everyday people have never heard of.

And the truth of it is that you just wouldn’t believe how utterly entirely uninterested and uncaring the majority of the people in this particular world are in these matters that people like me spent their entire lives battling. The causes and issues we march and fight and petition and protest for. Big oil is to be prized. We’re talking 7% dividends on some of these bad boys! Drill baby drill! They think the whole global warming issue is a foolish hoax.

Big Pharma may be the people’s enemy. But it’s the investor’s best friend. We need to get government out of our way and raise those drug prices even higher to get that share price moving. Monsanto may be public enemy #1… But forget all that silly talk about them being “bad or evil”; they’re just ONE of the many in that sector and frankly they’re a damn good profit making machine who also pay a great dividend. They’re not going anywhere.

See… “progress” is a relative term. What one group sees as progress, i.e. generating bigger profits and creating more wealth, another group may see as absolutely devastating. To the public good or to the environment for example. And in turn, what this group may consider “progress”, i.e. more regulations, labor laws, higher wage obligations, another group may see as absolutely devastating. To the financial bottom line in this case.

Of course I’m used to this now. This strange dichotomy between these different groups of people…. both of whom I sincerely like and respect. But the much larger group in influence — in terms of access control resources friends in the mainstream political and media influence — is this investor class; and they literally have absolutely no clue about any of the things that this other activist group fight for on a daily basis. It’s mind boggling how clueless they are about the harm or dangers inflicted on the earth or its people by major industries.

In order to save you a lot of time and energy of your own, I will reveal some of the revelations I had while exploring this world and explain the reason why we haven’t and won’t make any progress in these “big arenas” of our lives until it’s way too late –something I myself wondered for years as an idealistic activist.

It is actually very simple to understand if you do what I did and jump full bodied into the business/trading/investing world to soak it all in and learn. THAT little world, though small, literally controls the entire world. It’s the “great wheel” that moves every other little wheel of every industry and aspect of human life on earth. (And in space).

From currencies to commodities (stop now and look up wherever you are…everything you are seeing is a commodity), from every business and industry to every government and political leader or civil servant…they are all controlled and governed by, hell it would be better put to say they are all literally created and put in place BY, this small group — the investor/business class….

People still think that “they’re in the way of our progress as enlightened citizens and activists…..” What they don’t realize is that THEY are literally the car we’re all driving in. They’re not just driving the car. As some might interject. They create the car, decide on whether the car should continue to exist or not, decide on what color it should be –capitalist or communist…the entire system we live and breathe in is created and sustained by this small group.

Headed up and controlled from the top down by Central Banks at the very top, investment banks and the wealthiest individuals who own and control them just below that, and on down….the “people” are way way way down at the bottom of this pyramidic structure. I’m sure you’ve seen this pictorial before.

Money….because of the (perhaps sad and) simple fact that we human beings have created it as THE MOST ESSENTIAL IMPORTANT & NECESSARY OBJECT TO HUMAN SURVIVAL… is the prime mechanism that drives this industry, and this industry in turn controls all that money, which translates to them literally controlling every action and reaction we’ve ever heard of or read about, every invention or intervention, every government and politician, every monarch product service law rule political party idea you name it…the gate of whether “it” is allowed to exist or not AND how “it” is perceived lies squarely in the center of this tiny little world. Controlled by such a small percentage of the human population.

It’s actually quite fascinating. Objectively. If you can find a way to leave your emotions at the door for a while. Really gets the cerebral blood flowing and the heart pounding. Because we are speaking about nothing less than how an entire race of people, an entire species of beings, is governed. What they think, how they think, what they do and how they do it. All of it.

Because “long term survival of others” is not an idea that pops up on anybody’s radar in this group, the ideas and actions that are motivated by that idea are completely ignored. Ignored is the wrong word. They’d have to be thought of or heard to be ignored. And they’re not even thought of, so they’re not even considered. Because it’s simply not a motivating idea in that world.

Short term and even long term profit IS. But survival of “all of us as a group” is not. In case you reach that point in your contemplation of “well what do they plan on doing once 5% of the earth is swallowed up by the ocean?” The answer is they know THEY won’t be THERE being swallowed up by the ocean is what they’re planning. It’s really that simple.

“But what about their children and grandchildren?” you ask… “Don’t they care about them?” Yes, of course they do. But they will be completely shielded and protected from any of the tragic fallout from present day actions just as these people are today. Because they too will have the same money and hence access resources power control and connections that their parents and grandparents have today.

I too am bothered by leaving you here…in such a sullen place… surely there’s more to it, more that can be done… Yes I believe that too. In fact I believe that the more of us from this “other group” who deliberately jump into the world of investing and business the better. Our “strange ideas” of health wealth liberty happiness and prosperity for all will slowly rub off and catch on. For there is great joy–and benefit– in groups. In being part of a group. And in helping others. We just need to keep sharing and vibrating that.

As always, more later.

– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone

Creating and Wearing Identities Deliberately and Publicly

Dear Ed,
It’s interesting to me that both of these — being gay AND being Christian — are identities. And then I wonder – What is the value (or the agenda, perhaps?) in a public *display* of an identity? I’m thinking of the Avatar Masters’ Integrity Course materials….

Hey there,
Yeas, totally. Why bother spreading identities all over the place when it would be better for the enlightenment of the world to let loose with a whole lot of them so we can all become more idendentityless pure awareness so as to achieve less strife, drama and pain and instead increase peace and civility in the world… I’m with you. I get what you’re saying. Other than one being pure Source or staying in “Observe Mode”, it’s ALL identities.

For me, well thought-out (and/or FELT-out…), deliberate identities are how we navigate the day to day world as creative beings. (I’d personally LOVE to just float around in Observe all the time. Probably wouldn’t get much done (see LD book). But it would be fun. So we strap some on that we believe might help us shift the world in an aligned helpful direction… there… that feels good. And off we go to do our best to make the world, and ourselves and our friends and families lives better…The best that we can do.

Specifically about a few identities, I don’t believe that being gay (or most likely a few or all of the LGBTQ labels) is an identity as much as a genetic thing. In a broad sense, sure. I was born “male” and have exhibited a lot of male identity traits through the years (as well as a ton of female identity traits, much to the confusion of my family and friends through the years). And yes, when they’re not deliberate they can be impeding. But overall, I’ve got “maleness” down. And I’m comfortable with how I express that identity. I am after all “male”. So presenting various different aspects of “maleness” (identities) is pretty natural. (Again, especially when examined lovingly and objectively and worn deliberately.).

I feel the same way about people who are born “gay or straight”. If we look at being born “straight” for a second, PLENTY of people are born that way but have a TOUGH time dealing with all the identities that come with it. You know, sexuality and gender identification in general… It’s hard for all of us at first as we breathe forth from young adulthood into becoming full fledged lifers. So it’s not like “gay” people are THAT different really… We all struggle with these things. Identities. I guess more in which identities we choose to wear or which ones just seem to wear US, and how we present that to the world…..BUT…there does seem to be an exception for people who are currently and have been waving the PRIDE flag high. (I too gave this a lot of thought through the years — especially every time I attend a Pride parade…) Because they were being labeled so maliciously and with such prejudice, I believe that turning the potential “shame” that can come from those experiences into PRIDE, being proud to be gay, not shying away from it privately or publicly, gave them a newly born sense of, well, pride, happiness, self respect, dignity. And voila it HAS worked! Gay is not so “bad” as it once was 20 to 30 years ago, or hell, even 10 years ago. They just let that flag fly and they changed consciousness. And in that respect, those public displays helped. The agenda was clean, the mission clear, And they’re damn close to accomplishing it. Everyone who has participated should feel proud.

What about the “being a christian” identity? Lord I know… for me personally that’s a tough one. Because I’m more the type who keeps that kind of thing on the DL. BUT every now and then I deliberately pull it out with a clean clear mission, an agenda if you will. Sometimes it’s to show a different side to the identity of “being Christian”. Hell, if I can’t show people that “all Christians aren’t the same, don’t think the same way”, then no one can. So as a gift to my community AND the larger community of all religious people, AND to the world at large (because let’s face it, a lot of pain and struggle stems from religion in our world still….) I put on the brave face and wear my religion/spirituality publicly and deliberately just as a way of showing that sometimes it can be a really groovy and beautiful scene being religious and being a part of that community. It’s a service.

 
And you know, while you have me thinking about it, I feel the same way about being an Avatar/Master/Wizard. Talk about self-consciousness! Going public with that identity at this stage of the game? Yikes. I’ve found it a challenge at times. And I’ve been one for more than 20 years. Since i was a kid. But I wear it proudly and talk about it freely whenever asked. And yeah sure one does bump up against the occasional lump of coal who wants to poo poo all things “self exploration” or “consciousness exploration or expansion”… they think it’s dumb or that it’s not possible to explore or expand consciousness, etc etc etc. Whatever. They’re old school though. Almost gone. Dinosaurs. We’re moving on. We already know what we’re doing and why. And it’s working.
 
I guess what I end up with is that a properly aligned well thought out, in feel, deliberately worn identity or two (or ten) can be of real service when one has a helpful mission or agenda in mind. (I know yesterday really brought up my self consciousness…had to stretch a lot to be so open like that…and yet I just felt that at this point in American consciousness it’s imperative that as many of us that can muster the courage who call ourselves practicing christians (and Avatars…) need to stand up to show the world that “hey some Christians are not only perfectly okay with the whole LGBT thing, but we support them and their mission to achieve equal rights just as any other citizen does. In the end that helps both groups.
 
Hope some of this makes sense….
-E

Conspiracy Theory

I believe I’ve said it before but based on the post below, it bears/bares(?) repeating. Conspiracy theories are often confused in modern society. Certainly there are plenty floating about that deserve the label. Elvis Presley is alive and has been hiding. So too has Jim Morrison. Paul McCartney died in a tragic accident and was replaced by an equally talented look alike. Everyone who works in the government is a Satan worshiper. These are just a few of the more well known ones that people love to bandy about in conversation. There are many. And that creates a problem, for it can sometimes diminish the credibility of other theories that are not theories at all, but downright fact.

What is a conspiracy theory in the first place? Interestingly the dictionary defines a conspiracy as: “an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.”

Now that we know what the formal definition of a conspiracy is, we have stronger footing on which to analyze what they actually are in modern society and how they affect us. Certainly the term conspiracy theory has become popular in today’s culture. It’s beyond trendy. More than a hot topic. Along with pornography it’s the grease that oils the wheels of the internet. People absolutely love conspiracy theories. The more outlandish the better. But that’s one of the main problems with the paradigm, and why we need to begin shifting the viewpoint regarding conspiracies in mass consciousness. The outlandish ones tend to discredit the ones that are so indisputably true that they they are no longer conspiracies.

Somewhere down the road, the mechanism of government in the United States transitioned from “relatively corrupt like all governments past and present” to “downright dishonest, deceptive, despicable, malevolent and evil”. Which is what prompted me to assert a few years back that “there’s no such thing as a conspiracy theory in today’s world. Number one, the word “theory” implies that it isn’t 100% true, that it’s only a theory, that there may be some doubt about its veracity. But there is nothing doubtful about the veracity of plenty of evil actions the United States government has taken over the last fifty to one-hundred years. Labeling them a theory undermines the credibility of what the world already knows about these historical events.

Furthermore, conspiracies by definition demand that the “evil, unlawful and treacherous plans”  be secret. But nothing about the evil machinations of the United States government is secret. Not anymore. From average Joes right here at home to people living half way across the world in other countries, everyone knows full well just how powerfully sinister the United States is as a global super power. That is precisely WHY they ARE the world’s greatest super power. Because everyone on earth with any sense is scared shitless of them. And for good reason. The United States has killed more people around the world than any other country in modern history. From small time hits to major genocides, the U.S. leads that parade proudly and gallantly. Nothing secretive about it. Why are there so many so-called terrorist groups constantly popping up all over the world whose primary target is the U.S.? And why do they say they are after us? Much to the chagrin of American politicians, no terrorist group has ever announced “We hate the United States because they are free.” That’s just the usual bs rhetoric that American politicians say to keep up appearances. The truth is that they hate us usually because we’ve done something awful in their home country and they’re after us in retaliation. The only person the U.S. government is fooling when they claim that the United States is a noble country that is always on the side of right, freedom, truth and goodness is itself.”

This is why we need a new label for these so-called conspiracy theories. For the simple fact that they just aren’t that secret anymore. “Evil, unlawful, treacherous”? Yes. But no longer “secretive” or “surreptitious”. Even self-starting beginners and amateurs know about the criminality and corruption of the (not even a little bit “federal”) Federal Reserve. Dig?

Perhaps many of these most atrocious acts carried out by the U.S. government started out as conspiracies… In other words, they were corrupt, evil and unlawful plans that were MEANT TO BE secret and surreptitious by their very nature, but in this day and age it is very difficult to keep anything a secret for very long. Even the fact that the United States government hires black opps hit-men on a regular basis to carry out assassinations all over the world is a commonly known fact now. What we may be dealing with in this paradigm is a government that believes itself to be and prides itself on being involved in carrying out incessant conspiracies, but because of how accessible information is in today’s world — nobody seems to be able to resist the fame and attention that accompanies becoming the next big thing in whistle-blowers, they just aren’t capable of carrying out any real life conspiracies. Again, don’t misunderstand: plenty of unlawful and evil treachery is committed; it’s just not very secret. And therefore people need to stop yelling “conspiracy theory” every time they hear of some new scandal the American government has gotten caught being involved in.

 

A conspiracy theory in today’s world is “how things actually work and what’s actually happening but most mainstream people don’t know about because mainstream media doesn’t talk about or report on it.” Take the killing of JFK as a great example.  Or the killing of MLK. Both were officially defined as going one way for years, until the truth came out. That eventual truth resembled exactly what was once labeled as nothing but a conspiracy theory.  Consider the coup d’état of Iran’s president by the CIA in ’53. This was common knowledge the world over since day one. But the common person was completely unaware of it. It wasn’t until 2013 that the CIA finally admitted officially what it had done. The United States’ secret involvement in the Vietnam War throughout the 40s 50s and 60s is another example. Conspiracy theories galore were discussed at dinner tables across America for decades about this deadly atrocious time of darkness in our history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested and fought in the streets of the country’s cities because of these so-called conspiracy theories. The government continued to lie to the mainstream people. The mainstream media continued to report the lies. And those in the know continued to protest and shout out about the conspiracies that were taking place. Lo and behold here we are a few decades later and what was once considered truth is now called lies and what was once called conspiracy theory is now officially known as the truth.

At one point or another all of the above examples were considered “truths”… but were eventually changed once the mainstream media could no longer deny the facts. But what were these truths changed to? To exactly what the “conspiracy theories” were in each case.

Presently we are witnessing the same thing transpire regarding 9/11 and the Iraq War right before our eyes. The original story, the official “truth”, is now being questioned by even the most patriotic and mainstream in civil society. Because the actual facts point to an obvious but simultaneously terrifying conclusion, i.e. that the original official story cannot possibly be true in its original form. So slowly as “the people” begin to uncover the truth, or at least the implausibility of the original story, they are beginning to demand that the mainstream media re-report on it so some kind of accepted truth that everyone can agree on is reached that can actually seem “true”. [The term “Mainstream Media” is being used here to stress the fact that there are plenty of Alternative Media or what used to be called Indie Media outlets available in the West AND to differentiate them from each other; the majority of people, mainstreamers, only choose to believe what is reported by this very small group of conglomerates accepted as “mainstream” — all of whom are owned by one of only four different multi-national companies.]

As time passes the official story will slowly evolve, through both the mainstream media and in popular culture and mass consciousness, into an almost exact replica of what was once considered “conspiracy theory”. And yet these same “conspiracy theories” have been around for over a decade. Right from the start really. (For example I first began to learn about the inconsistencies of the 9/11 official story in early ’02. Many on the ground, early responders, government officials, military personnel, airline employees, anyone working at the time of the tragedy, began discussing it right from day one). But the mainstream media was told to not report on any of these questions but instead to ONLY report on the official story of the incident coming out of Washington. Before we knew it, even in light of a ton of inconsistancies and contradictions and in some cases some downright impossibilities (Building 7 disintegrated from “heat”), an official story was crafted that sounded ridiculously preposterous and then drilled into the minds of citizens around the world. The utter shock and despair of the incident was easily manipulated to the point where even today one can find common everyday Americans who, regardless of how outlandish the story is, will still repeat it word for word as if it really happened.

Of course there are plenty of people who don’t believe a word of it. And that’s where we get to this strange dichotomy that has developed in America where there are two distinct worlds comprised of two distinct groups of people growing up having completely different viewpoints about their government and its role in the world. There are those who know — their history and the events of the present, and those who think they know but in reality only know what they’ve been told officially from the mainstream media and the government. Never before has the chasm been as wide between these two groups as it is today. It used to be just freaks and hippies and renegades who dared claim the United States government was up to no good. Now it’s common knowledge. The only difference is in how far some are willing believe the government goes in its treachery. Mainstreamers don’t seem to have a problem NOW believing that the government lied to them about Lee Harvey Oswald being some crazy lone gunman who killed JFK — because the event has been sanitized for them by having it turned into entertainment, AND because it appears at least that “everyone else” also sort of gets that. But don’t go talking to them about 9/11 yet. This is still something very touchy for most mainstreamers. They may not believe the official story. But they certainly aren’t willing to believe their own government had anything to do with it.

It just seems to take mainstreamers 1. a long time to catch up, 2. someone they perceive as being in power or in the know to tell them what to believe irrespective of the truth or the facts. THESE things, truth and the facts, are not half as important to mainstreamers as being told what to believe by those they consider in power or in the know — but why? Because that form of beingness assures them that what they believe is also believed by “everyone else”. In that is comfort. It fulfills two Basic Human Needs: a sense of belonging, and a sense of security or safety. Believing as others do feels safe.

This is the primary difference between “those who know” and those who we label mainstreamers (for lack of a more appropriate label–they could just as easily be labeled the people, the majority, the proletariat, the masses, etc.). Some people are able to research and study data on their own and draw conclusions based on said research. Some in fact actually enjoy it. As if operating from a primordial need to KNOW the truth, as close as one can come to truth at least. Others seem to posses an inherently dire need to be assured that what they believe is believed by “everyone else”, i.e. what is being reported on and accepted as the truth by mainstream media. To them the issue is not so much “what really happened” as much as “what is everybody else saying happened? And how do they/we feel about it?”

As mentioned above, lately –in the last ten years especially — due to many different factors, such as the advent of technology becoming affordable to everyone AND the ability to create and distribute one’s own media globally, there is a growing trend of there being two completely different Americas, defined by “those who know the history of the country and understand what’s happening in the world around us” and those who still live by the mighty word of the old guard. The powers that be depend on the second group, who are still presently in the majority, to continue to be able to get away with their business as usual. This is how, if one had to, they could explain the phenomenon of how the governments of the world are able to get away with so much hypocrisy, so many lies, deceptions, blatant contradictions between claims and facts, between laws and actions that break those laws. The simple answer: the people let them and pretend it’s not happening. There is more safety in that than in accepting the truth or reality.

When viewed this way, the idea that there are still conspiracies being committed by the governments of the world could be said to be true. Because although their actions are not being kept AS secret as they once were, to a certain group of people — this second group mentioned above, the mainstream majority — the cat is still in the bag. They WANT the cat in the bag. They want there to be secrets. They would prefer if anything they heard that was the least bit unlawful or corrupt was indeed a conspiracy theory and in no way close to reality. This perpetuates their feeling of safety, yes. Unfortunately it also continues to undermine the viability of their actual safety. One day when they wake up in a world that resembles Orwell’s 1984 or the film Brazil or something even worse, they will ask amongst themselves “how on earth did this happen?”  Hopefully those of us who live in the other group of “those who know” will have figured out a way to detach ourselves from them and create a more enlightened world for ourselves where no such tragedy can befall us, and maybe, if we’re lucky, we can even create a way to save this other group as well. But that’s a big if. For it’s doubtful that we will be able to create such a world, one of truth, real freedom, justice, fairness and enlightenment without having the majority come along with us.

For this reason it is imperative that those who KNOW never give up on those who are still falling for the ridiculous stories of the mainstream media and governments of the world. It may FEEL difficult to do, challenging, frightening even, to stand out so much, to not fit in as well as most, but it would seem that our very lives could depend on it. And this just might be the most noble form of activism there is at the moment. Simply waking people up.

 

– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom

You’ve Been Warned –The Coming New American Revolution

It is illegal for TV networks to raise the volume of commercials higher than the shows they air. For obvious reasons. (It wouldn’t be fair to the TV shows, giving the commercials a higher priority would lift the disguise that television networks exist to entertain rather than generate profits for shareholders.) So what they do instead is flip on a compressor during commercials, for an extra fee to the sponsor — guaranteeing a louder commercial. Theoretically the network is not “turning up the volume”, but the effect is a much louder fuller more annoying volume for said commercial. Which anyone who watches television even infrequently has surely noticed. It’s a technicality. It bypasses the law while pretending to still be abiding by the law. This is a common practice at every network and is common knowledge in the industry. But no one gets in any trouble for it.
 
 This should come as no surprise. Americans are used to these kinds of practices by the powers that be. There is a boldly glaring double standard and hypocrisy that Americans live with everyday and accept as “just the way it is”. Anyone and everyone with wealth or in power breaks the rules or breaks the law however and whenever they can and somehow always manage to get away with it. Rather than jail time or a reminder of the rules laws or regulations they’ve broken, and certainly rather than any kind of substantive punishment, they find a technicality or at worst a small fine at the end of their rainbow of a trial, IF they even get that far. Usually these rules and laws that the common people are forced to be bound by are easily able to be skipped entirely by the elite; corporations and government officials included.
 
 It is THIS kind of blatant disregard for the law, much less the desires of The People, that has now become the norm in all arenas of American life. Banks hospitals insurance companies drug makers stores police departments cable and internet providers giant tech companies like Apple and especially government. It is capitalism run amok rampant and extreme, arrogant and crass –creating the highest profits for those who can pay and causing the most harm and suffering for those who cannot.
 
 In the United States we have reached the peak phase of the capitalist cycle, just before The People revolt and demand fairness justice and balance. This is usually a sloppy messy bloody affair, a no mercy and no quarter for those in power scenario gets created. Many perish. In a very short period of time regular everyday working people will be shooting at and arresting not only the hundreds of thousands of crooked police officers of the country, but any and all who work in government or in large greedy corporations who’ve raped one too many trusting unsuspecting consumers. In these revolutions the people rise up against the powers that be not just because they are angry — for it is safe to say that Americans are far beyond anger at this point, but because they feel it is their duty to take back a country that all of us once dearly loved respected and cherished. But only the most simple and foolish among us now feel any sense of love or respect for what America has turned into over the last fifty plus years. Not through any fault of our own and not without desperately trying to turn things around. No one can say that the people didn’t try. But clearly our hands have been tied, in red tape, bureaucracy and bullshit for decades.
 
 The government of the U.S., already seeing where we are historically in the capitalist cycle, has prepared for this inevitable cultural shift. Hence the gradual but rapid change into the police state we now live in. It is all of our wishes that the state local and federal governments of our beloved country realize and accept that although we will rise up en masse to bring this system down in order to create a more just fair enlightened and equitable society REGARDLESS of their opinion or any actions they may decide to take, we do NOT wish to hurt or kill anyone, nor do we desire to do away with our free enterprise system. No one is crying out for communism or any other extreme social reforms. Only truth. We only wish to stop the blatant lies, deceptions and manipulations of the law that we have all come to begrudgingly accept and take for granted as being an inherent aspect of the world we live in.
 
 We understand full well, just as the government does, that it does NOT have to be this way. After all, our government officials and the mainstream media who do their bidding act and speak as if they live in a completely different world than the rest of us; they speak of “American Exceptionalism”, a land of the free and home of the brave; they never out the president of the United States for his incessant lying and bending of the truth; they never mention the heartbreaking irony that the U.S. is by far the most powerful terrorist force and the most feared and notorious killing machine on planet earth when they report on “terrorism” on the nightly news; they don’t speak of the fact that the alleged elected government spends billions of dollars a year giving it away in bribes or blackmail schemes to hundreds of other countries around the globe but turn around and claim that they can’t afford to feed the hungry or starving right here at home, nor afford to educate them; they don’t mention that the United States Congress exists now almost solely to provide cushy jobs for power hungry, egomaniacal greed-hounds whose job it is to provide favors, loopholes and profit opportunities for the large multi-national corporations who now completely run and control the country. If one listened to the media they might believe for a minute at least that the members of congress were being elected by the people to work for the will of the people — until reality snuck back into the conversation and everyone landed back on earth acknowledging the ridiculousness of that erroneous idea. It’s been a long time since any congress has been able to list serving the people as a line item on their resume.
 
 So there is no excuse for how unbearably inexcusably bad things have gotten in America. The dichotomy between how the government and media speak about the United States and how it actually is in reality is as wide as the Grand Canyon. So it’s no wonder that people are beyond mad. Everyday the harsh reality of the wickedness that surrounds us, all the while with the arrogance and audacity to dare call itself good, is thrown in our face. At the same time not a man woman or child in America is unaware of how dangerous or life threatening it would be to dare break a law themselves. The peoples’ job is to obey the laws, pay the taxes and say nothing while watching those in control break the laws, profligately spend the peoples’ taxes and say and do whatever the hell they want to regardless of how illegal criminal or immoral it may be.
 
 This is no secret. Unlike in times long past this is the topic du jour in almost every home, office, school and community from coast to coast. The disapproval, the disgust and the outrage spans all age groups, all income brackets except the very rich perhaps, all races, all genders and everyone else in between. The powers that be are just as aware of this reality as the people are. Both sides pretending not to notice the other’s disdain for the system that both have created. One through sheer force of will selfishness and greed, the other, the people, through fear and resistance to accepting the cold hard truth that the kingdom is not royal nor noble, but rotten and wicked. Even the worst offenders are now having a tough time keeping a straight face. Somewhere along the line America lost itself. Forgot it’s mission. And it’s been spinning blindly madly out of control ever since.
 
 Which is why in the long run it is inevitable not only that we the people WILL rise up soon but that WE will win. It would be in every one’s best interest if this idea were accepted sooner rather than later by the various branches of government throughout the nation. If they act in time, with sincerity and effectiveness, a full scale revolution of the magnitude described above might be able to be avoided. But it needs to happen fast. The confusion and frustration of even the common working person has now turned into cynical bitterness, anger and rage. In a country of 350 million people all fueled by these shared emotions, no sitting government, no matter how powerful they think they are, stands a chance of survival. Our revolution will make the Civil War seem like child’s play.
 
 It is important that every man woman and child who lives in and loves the United States of America shares this message with their elected leaders. We may not owe it to them. Lord knows they’ve done nothing to deserve our humanity, having done nothing for us in decades and would certainly not extend to us the same courtesy. But it is more in line with the kinder, more just, fair-minded and enlightened society that WE wish to create.
 
 The deadline for serious change is fast approaching. Consider yourselves warned. The people are beyond angry. They are incensed and inflamed. And the myriad distractions once so effective no longer distract. Instead they only add more fuel to the fire. The people, feeling helpless to effect change through democratic means and thus backed into a corner with nothing left to lose are not only ready for war. They are preparing for it. You have been warned.
 
 
 – Posted by The Ambassador

For Groups Like ISIS No Mercy No Quarter No Patience

There is at least one area where I wholeheartedly agree with the global super powers and this isn’t something that happens very often — because in reality it’s not very often that a group that the United States (or any other global super power) labels “terrorists” is actually anything close to being terrorists. Most of the time they’re anything but. More often they’re noble freedom fighters akin to the early American settlers during the American Revolutionary War (people who by all accounts were surely being labeled “terrorists” at the time, but who are now looked at as “heroes”); or they’re the last of the brave holdouts attempting to defend the truth versus the corporate bs propaganda that is so regularly being fed to the masses.
 
 This is a sad and frustrating phenomenon that has made it nearly impossible for the average person to discern who is the hero versus who is the villain in the world of today. The majority of the people choose, whether they do so deliberately or not is up for debate, to just believe (or at least claim to) that whoever is in control, i.e. their government of the moment, is the hero, and whoever THEY brand a terrorist is the villain. Even though we have thousands of years of history that clearly disproves this.
 
 Examples that come to mind are the Chechens, the Iraqi freedom fighters, the Ukrainians of today caught in the middle of a tense battle for control over their land between the United States and Russia, the Sandinistas of Nicaragua, the Iranians throughout the 20th century, Palestinians over the last 100 or so years, anti-Pinochet Chileans, etc etc. All labeled “terrorists” by the powers that be when in reality they were simply “those most brave and committed to truth among the throngs of masses who were willing to do whatever they were told by those with the biggest guns”.
 
 But in the case of ISIS… they are not defending any truth, nor fighting for anyone’s freedom. Instead they are a plain and ordinary band of unscrupulous thugs and gangsters using religion as an excuse to murder and terrorize. And in these cases i personally believe it is very important that we bring the hammer down fast and furiously upon them, lest anyone forget how committed we are to the progress we’ve made as a species thus far and how adamant we are to never going back to a world that resembles anything remotely like an Islamic Caliphate or any other dictatorship. Islam is a religion. But it is not a valid excuse to terrorize.
 
 There are very few cases I can feasibly imagine where I would condone the killing of another human being. And if the allied forces of the West, along with the Kurds of Iraq and free Syrian people, can round up and arrest every last one of these so called ISIS members, then so be it. But if that proves to be impossible due to the nature of the conflict then by all means we will be better off in the short term and the long run doing whatever is necessary to rid the world of these madmen as quickly as possible.
 
 The same operating principle should apply to any groups of mindless murderous thugs who happen to spring up out of the vacuum of chaos and pandemonium created by the so-called Arab Spring, or anywhere else on plate earth at this time. This does not imply that the powers that be in the West, nor America, nor democracies or Christians even, are somehow the new world arbiters of what’s “good” “right” “just” or noble. Surely they’ve proved again and again that they are anything but. In fact it is this idea — the so called “Exceptionalism of America” — that is responsible for much of the trouble and heartache all over the world today. But at the very least they attempt to represent and defend the basic ideals that the majority of people around the world today deem the most preferable, freedom of the individual and not the state, personal liberty, a fair and just justice system, separation of religion and state and a relatively capitalist free enterprise system.
 
 These ideas may be still more ideals than common practice in many parts of the world — including America at times, but they are certainly more preferable than anything put forth by the more radical Islamic groups that have sprung up over the last ten to twenty years in resistance to the admittedly imperialistic forces of the United States. Just because the United States and their overtly bullying and imperialist methods seem nefarious and repugnant to us does not necessarily imply that the forces who have cropped up to resist them are any better. In fact most of the time, if anything, they are worse.
 
 Therefore if we have a mission in these various battles or even a say, it is to continue to attempt to improve on this most delicate democratic republic we have created in the United States and in many other countries around the world, rather than try to bring them down or radically change them in any major way. This is our noble goal.
 

It Is Past Time To End Racism in America


In other news, we’ve just learned that the devilishly seductive Lauren Bacall passed away today, which I must admit is, though not surprising — for she was well ahead in years, still a strange coincidence in the wake of Robin Williams passing just yesterday. I was never a big Bacall fan. But I must say that she’s always enjoyed a special place in my heart due to the commonly known fact that she pledged an undying love so deep for Humphrey Bogart that she stated she would never and did never get over him and refused to ever marry again. I really admire that. That’s true love. Something I believe we should all be lucky enough to experience at least once in our lives. And it also shows a devotion that seems strangely absent from our modern world. God bless her soul.
 
 In case you’ve missed it — and lord knows it would be easy, for there is too much news right now in our midst for our own good frankly, so much of it so hauntingly bad and tragic, I do want to point out something very disturbing unearthed in our collective underbelly. Yet another case of the police, those honorable men and women sworn to protect and serve us all equally, killing yet another black man, this time a youth, merely 18 years old and a week away from college. His name was Michael Brown. It happened in a town outside of St. Louis, Missouri called Ferguson. Here’s the link to read more: http://time.com/3104128/michael-brown-ferguson-cop-shooting-protests/
 
 Obviously there is rioting going on. Where would there NOT be riots if an 18 year old was shot down in cold blood by a cop? No matter what color he or she was? Imagine if it would have been an 18 year old teenage girl? There’d be a lot more than rioting going on. So in a way, this has nothing to do with color and everything to do with shock and rage. But because this WAS yet another black male killed in cold blood, this is another in a long line of injustices for a community who has already suffered far too much shock and rage in their history in America, especially as of late.
 
 To make matters worse, today it was reported that the FAA has announced a no fly zone over the entire community — meaning ALL MEDIA are not allowed to fly over the town to cover the story. Yeah. Seriously. This is real American corporate cover up bullshit at the federal level. Google it.
 
 These blatant murders & the attempted cover ups of both #MichaelBrown & #ErikGardner by police officers are showing us clear evidence of an overt racism, especially towards black men, that still exists in the United States. The cavalier & carefree attitude that the police departments AND the local and federal government has regarding these deaths shows a heartless disregard for human life IF that life happens to be African American. This is our wake up call moment. In case anyone still wants to proclaim that America has freed itself of racism now that we’ve elected an African American as president. No longer can we claim that “Trayvon Martin was an isolated case or an exception”. Rather he was another in a long line of unfortunate victims of this deep seated bigotry that exists still in some people in the United States, one that we as a nation still refuse to accept or deal with.
 
 Had Martin or Gardner or Brown been a cute little white girl…shot in cold blood on a city street… What then? It would be FRONT PAGE news. Her pretty little face plastered everywhere. The murderer a national villain overnight. Instead we don’t even know the name of the officer who killed Brown yet. Missouri police won’t release it. It’s complete hypocrisy. Perhaps they’re just trying to protect the man’s security. Knowing full well that his life would most likely be in jeopardy. But let us hope that the African American community can keep their Shiite together and make this one a case for the courts. Because that’s what needs to happen. The same for the murder of Erik Gardner. We have that one on tape for Gods sake. They strangled the poor guy to death. The bastards. And then claim it was self defense. I’ve watched it. There was no self defense happening there. Just a couple of racists assholes man handling a black guy. Those officers need to be tried in court, found guilty and serve life sentences.
 
 If this does NOT happen — if the powers that be in this country yet again find a way to weasel out of justice being served for the blatant murder of one of our citizens — then we will know for sure that the racism that exists in our country climbs all the way up the ladder to the very top and beyond. And IF that does happen yet again, ANYTHING but life sentences for these officers, then it is my sincere belief that re American people have every right to do WHATEVER THEY DEEM NECESSARY to seek the justice that w all deserve. Mass protests and riots would only be the beginning of what would be entirely justifiable to seek the justice more than deserved and long overdue for African American men in this country.
 
 We need a clean sweep of this system. From top to bottom. And to start we need a national dialogue about why black men are so despised and reviled still in this country. The ones they can’t lock up they kill. Frankly I believe it is fear. They’re different (at least from white men…) so they’re scary. And what frightens us we say we hate. In reality they don’t really hate them. They don’t even know them. They’re just frightened of them. So they shoot on sight. Without even thinking for a moment about the fact that they’re another living breathing human being. It’s a very sad state that we are in still with this issue.
 
 Thank God we are talking about it again. But lord curse us for it having to come down to this to start the conversation. Two more men shot down in cold blood.
 
 And though I totally get that president Obama saying anything “extra” about this would smell of a kind of reverse racism due to his being half-black, I get that, but at this point ANY American president would and should speak out, for this seems larger than just “taking care of our own”; it seems like a well hidden but deep seated national epidemic of a problem that needs to be addressed. It needs national representation and leadership. And frankly who better than a sitting US president who just happens to be half black? Especially right now as we celebrate the 50 year anniversary of Freedom Summer and the civil rights act et al.?

The Need for Peaceful Reconciliation

It’s getting bad now. All over the world. Protests and marches in the streets of New York, London, Paris, South Africa, Berlin, Sydney and many more cities across the globe — all protesting against the incredibly shocking loss of innocent lives at the hands of Hamas and Israel. As I posted yesterday, it’s not just our Palestinian friends we should be concerned with but our Israeli brothers and sisters too. For this has gone too far now and for too long. The radical rightwing government of Israel is endangering the lives and safety and welfare of its citizens through this military offensive in Gaza (they’re fooling no one by attempting to call it defense.) They’re also endangering their economic welfare. The people of the world are now firmly against Israel for what it’s been witnessing; the people of Israel will be the ones to suffer because of it even though it’s the government who is doing it.
 
 It’s also getting bad in the States and online as well. Social media is not just abuzz, it’s aflame. Inflamed with hate speech and vicious arguments and attacks from both sides of the wall. Friends are turning on friends. Celebrities are speaking out, some compassionate, some hateful. (Joan Rivers exemplified true racist inhumanity in comments she made publicly yesterday). There seems to be no truth to this issue other than a lot of innocent people are dying. And unfortunately no one can do anything to stop it from continuing so far. But everybody wants to chime in. This makes sense. It really does. We are being moved so much emotionally that it is affecting us physically. It is affecting our actions. We HAVE TO act. We have to DO something. It feels irresponsible to sit here idly doing nothing while witnessing such inhumanity taking place. And yet there isn’t a lot people are doing except blaming each other or spreading hateful viewpoints and anger. Not helpful.
 
 This morning I awoke to an onslaught of notifications that my Facebook feed was going nuts still, leftover from yesterday. Zeke asked me to step in and delete all the threads, which would be nearly impossible for it’s almost all we’ve done for four weeks, discuss this issue… But his point was well taken: no one is doing anything except making other people angry. It’s sad and completely unhelpful. It was the last thing I wanted to wake up to today. But he was right. A few bad apples spoiling the whole cart.
 
 Hey man. Just woke up. I soooooo did not want to do this today… (Imagine how THEY feel — that’s a luxury they can’t afford over there…on either side…) Still groggy. Having espresso. Saw your name in a post on my phone and immediately logged on here. My apologies dog.
 
 Lord knows I have TRIED to encourage people to NOT be rude or insult others or resort to name calling or hate speech or state obviously erroneous factoids, or even refrain from patronizing remarks like “sorry chief” or “you need to go back to school”. NONE of that is part of diplomacy. It gets us nowhere. I’ve begged for it over and over. Last week I repeatedly deleted someone from posting over and over again all day (he was a persistent fucker) because his words were so vile. And over the last week i have had to unfriend several normally very cool people for going apeshit crazy on my threads over this issue. I really just don’t get why people cannot be rational and civil.
 
 I want so badly for us to be able to discuss things, debate things even, just as we are able to do on Forum or Quora, and just as — even as a small microcosmic representation of, our counterparts are having to do right this very minute in Cairo and Tel Aviv and DC and The West Bank. How are they supposed to broker peace and reconcilliation if we — just regular people with no real bones to pick with each other on social media — can’t even act civilly towards each other? Why does “blame” always enter the picture? Or “hate”? Or racist remarks? Or rudeness?
 
 Arlan was right in that NO one can solve this issue except the two parties involved, ultimately those two people are the ones who are going to have to make peace and forgive and reconcile. But I also believe that it’s going to take many different groups and factions to help; offering support and guidance, and different viewpoints. Just as it took in all our previous battles wars and skirmishes. This is a world problem, as I’ve posted before. This is for better or worse our generation’s South Africa — (Remember: Mandela was imprisoned for “terrorist acts” — he DID resort to terrorism in his 20s due to the ignorance of his youth and desperation. He actually tried to blow a place up. So even the best of us get messed up…) — so I see this as the world’s cause for BOTH sides. Because BOTH sides have genuine concerns and valid points.
 
 We ALL need to step up and step in to end this sad state of affairs. But only if we’re being constructive and blatantly helpful. I am referring both to US here now in the smaller microcosm AND to us THERE in the bigger picture.
 
 For example, I’m going to say it again as I did yesterday: HAMAS IS NOT HELPING. They are hurting. Their cause may have been noble but they chose the wrong method. Period. Violence BEGETS violence. Sure we’ve won in the past before using violence (the American revolution, the Russian and Iranian ones etc…) But Hamas isn’t going to win. And if they did then all our Israeli brothers and sisters would be toast. So THEY need to go. In other words, THEY should NOT even be allowed at the bargaining table. It’s a sham that we are forced to be bargaining with overt terrorists. It’s a joke.
 
 Here’s another one: Iran needs to stop with the anti-Israel platform and speech. Yes we get it. The viewpoint that Judaism is accepted and respected as it is in Iran (VERY respected) BUT that Israel was illegal and not done properly. But that’s the PAST. We’re never going to reverse it. So as long as they take that stance THEY too are NOT being helpful. And so they just don’t belong in the conversation. Anyone who takes a “we refuse to reconcile” or “we refuse to accept reality” stance is not helping. Along with anyone who overtly seems to disrespect life. Or insults. Or is rude. Or misquotes facts. Not helping.
 
 But facts…they help. Opinions and ideas and viewpoints that are new AND compassionate CAN help. IF we’re all willing to give a little, and grow a little, and accept that we can be wrong sometimes, and compromise, then we can fix this. I have learned through the years as a diplomat that one has to be fluid, like a liquid, able and willing to encompass both and all sides to a disagreement; AND willing to honor truth and human life above all things. Everything else gets in the way.
 
 What this means friends on both sides is: those who come on here and ONLY defend Israel and never even bother to acknowledge the incredibly sad and shameful loss of innocent life, ala Joan Rivers yesterday, is NOT helping. You’re scary. And the same goes for those who just keep hammering Israel without acknowledging that Gazans VOTED for a terrorist group to run their little swath of land — they KNEW this might happen. Hell, it was almost a given. And martyrdom — DYING while fighting — is encouraged by some in the Muslim community, i.e. THEY are bringing it on themselves some of them AND it doesn’t help to have a platform that says you want to do away with the other side. Duh!?! How is Israel supposed to feel safe under those conditions? I wouldn’t. BOTH sides have valid points. Both sides are being stubborn aholes and dragging us all through a lot of unnecessary pain. Our job is shine a light on what peaceful reconciliation looks like. Which basically means stop trying to prove the other guy wrong.
 
 My sincerest apologies to those of you who have been decent as we’ve discussed this issue. Blessed ARE the peacemakers. Let’s end this now and move on.

 

 – Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom

Questioning the Morality of Self Defense In Israel

I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting for me to speak out openly and honestly about what we have been witnessing in Gaza, that you’ve been hoping I would for a moment lay down the gauntlet of Libran fairness and Ambassador-driven diplomacy and just speak my mind about the horrors we have been witness to in Gaza. The truth is I have tried very very hard to be fair over the last three weeks. I have been careful and cautious with my every word and deed, respectful of all parties involved. And I promise you that in every waking hour of this conflict I have done nothing but study the issues at hand and the history behind them so that when I do speak I am doing so from an educated place. Tonight I want to honor that commitment I have made to you here in the Diaries countless times, to be always radically honest over politically correct and above all to speak from both my mind and my heart.

Almost three weeks in now and still the siege and annihilation of the people of Gaza rages on by the government of Israel. Over 1,100 Palestinian people have been killed at least in less than three weeks. Shot to death. Or their bodies blown to bits. Almost all of them civilians and nearly half of them women and children. Yet it is surprisingly calm and quiet in the United States regarding the grotesque bloodshed and blatant disregard for human life that we’ve been hearing about and witnessing.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated publicly that he is appalled by Israel’s actions and calls their “right to defend themselves” in how it has been practiced “an abomination.” This is a bold move for any high ranking member of the UN, for if there’s one thing that everyone knows once they reach a certain level in world governance, it is don’t mess with Israel. Yet this brave compassionate man felt he simply had no choice. He spoke the words that hundreds of millions of people all over the world are silently thinking to themselves and are often times afraid to say.

No less than ten different human rights organizations in Israel alone have sent letters to the Netenyahu government urging him to stop the slaughter of innocent men women and children — if not out of basic human compassion then for the sake of the country itself, for they are quite sure now that Israel has committed numerous war crimes. The United Nations itself held a vote last week regarding the same topic and the resulting majority concluded that Israel was indeed suspect of breaking innumerable Laws of the Geneva Convention and suspected of committing numerous war crimes. So they’ve sent a UN investigative team to Gaza to see for themselves.

Of course regardless of what their final determination will be–even if Israel is found guilty of breaking international laws of the Geneva Convention and committing the most atrocious war crimes, absolutely nothing substantial will happen to Israel for it. This is the harsh reality of life in the year 2014 in this day and age on planet earth. Israel is above the law. It is not justice or freedom or democracy that governs the world we live in today, any more than one to two to three hundred years ago; but as it has always been it is money and power. And Israel, this tiny little speck of a country, who’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Illuminati is iron clad but whose origin is controversial and questionable, is synonymous with the United States. And if there is one thing that all earthlings know at this time in our history, the rules and laws of the land, no matter how finely tuned or ingrained in the minds of the people, do not apply to the United States. Nor it’s allies. And Israel is ally número uno.

People all over the world, from nearly every country on earth, have called for protests in the streets — and everyday we see a new one pop up somewhere; and as well they are demanding a world government of any kind to step in and demand that Israel stop it’s murderous invasion of this impoverished little chunk of land. But not in America. For whatever reasons the American government has the majority of its sheople convinced that Israel has the right to kill men women and children in cold blood if they even “suspect” a Hamas militant is in the vicinity or general area. And if it turns out that there was no such militant, que sera sera. Last week Israeli soldiers killed an entire family of twenty-five people as they were sitting down to dinner to break their fast of the holiest Muslim holiday of the year, Ramadan. There were elderly people at that table eating their dinner, along with 13 children and three pregnant women. All of them innocent. All of them now dead.

Yes (I know what you’re thinking) these ARE horrors that are beyond the scope of even our imaginations here in the United States because we have it so good and for so long that we simply cannot even imagine it. Not even when we hear about it. Not even when we see images of it on the news or online. It’s as if we are glimpsing into another world, far far removed from our own. As if it’s nothing more than a movie. And yet these are people just like us. These are our little children whose bodies are being blown to bits all over the streets, where caring men from the community slowly hobble along sobbing and picking up the pieces of the tiny bodies bit by bit to place them in plastic bags. These are our mothers being shot and killed. These are our pregnant wives being blown up by mortar shells, wiping out two generations in one blow. And as well these are our fathers and sons and brothers who are dying.

How do we know this? How can we say such a thing if we aren’t Palestinian ourselves? There are so many different ways to answer those questions. First and foremost we have a decent sized Palestinian population right here in the United States. And these innocent civilians we see getting killed everyday are quite literally their brothers and sisters or mothers and fathers. I can only imagine how saddened they are in this moment, and how angry, watching as the country that they love and call home, the United States, does nothing to help their families. And on top of it their wounds made all the worse as they are forced to hear everyday how strongly supportive the president or Secretary of State is of “Israel’s right to defend itself”. Because even the slowest person in the room recognizes that haphazardly bombing and killing hundreds of innocent civilians on a daily basis is not defending one’s self.

If we ever had a chance of showing our Islamic fellow citizens the virtues of Christianity, we have surely blown it through this travesty of America valuing politics over human life.

How else do we know that these gunned down innocents in Gaza are our brothers and sisters? Because when it happened to us, on 9/11, we not only expected the world to empathize and grieve with us, we felt comforted and loved when they did. Why are we as Americans not repaying that debt in kind to these poor downtrodden victims of a cruel and merciless war? Why are we not showing the other the same empathy and compassion that was shown to us when we were attacked? Why do we not have troops on the ground as we have in so many areas of the world helping to evacuate civilians, bringing food, aid and medicine to the injured sick or dying? What is happening to the brave compassionate American heart that we all know and admire? Why isn’t it in Gaza right now helping lead refugees to safety as Israel bombs the hell out of this little sliver of an area — the people are literally blockaded in on all sides by walls and armed Israeli militants. For years it’s been called a modern day concentration camp by even the most conservative accounts. Yet the United States does nothing to help. But why?

Because the official stance of the United States government is that “we support Israel”. Of course the truth is that 90% or more everyday average Americans don’t have any idea WHY they are supposed to support Israel. They just hear it through the news media day in and day out and have been hearing it for fifty straight years. It’s a rallying cry for every prospective or serving American politician, right up there with “I believe in American Exceptionalism”. And in the constant beating of this strange illogical unexplained drum, Americans get a message perhaps subliminally that it isn’t safe to grieve or empathize or care about Palestinian people because it implies not supporting Israel.

Most of this is due to a great propaganda machine running a constant meme throughout the Americas that states in essence that to speak against Israel in any way is somehow an immoral, nearly criminal offense. Just try it. You’ll quickly see. America is a “free” country, except when it comes to speaking out against Israel in anyway. This is why you see politicians and wannabe politicians leap at the chance to wave their support flag for Israel whenever they’re on TV or giving an interview. Half of them don’t even know why they do it; they’re just trained to. Many more don’t have a clue about the history of the country nor the conflict with the Arabs, nor do they understand what all the fuss is about. They’ve just been warned plenty of times as we all have that to even dare speak out against Israel in any way is somehow a “very bad” thing.

This is propaganda and indoctrination at its finest. It is Madison Avenue advertising means taken to sociopolitical ends for the purposes of brainwashing an entire populace to be very afraid of being labeled an “anti-Semite” or a so called “holocaust denier”. Yes even if you’re intention is simply to question why Israel needs to indiscriminately kill so many innocent civilians, invariably someone will be soon calling you out as a holocaust denier.

Social media in the United States has been on fire for the last three weeks over this issue, pitting both newly made and lifelong friends against each other in hateful ways. As soon as one person voices empathy for the Palestinian people who have been mercilessly killed OR opposition to how Israel is doing it, one or two hapless goons will jump into the thread raving mad and screaming insults the likes of which we haven’t heard since we crushed neo-Nazis and white power skinheads a few years back. They are mean ruthless ignorant barbaric animals with wicked tongues of deceit and vitriol. And they will stop at nothing until they’ve quieted the thread down or scared everyone away.

Believe it or not these are often American Jews, who for whatever reason are more extremist in their radical pro-Israel rightwing views than most Israelis are. In my research over the last few weeks this is one of the many lessons I have been shocked to  learn. There is a larger percentage of Israelis who empathize with the Palestinian cause and are against the rampant murder that’s been going on in Gaza over the last three weeks than there are American Jews here in the States. For more on this strange anomaly, look for the Israeli film DEFAMATION on Netflix or Youtube and watch it. It is shocking and eye opening.

While you’re at it, take the time to look for my Youtube Channel, TranscendentTV and find a playlist I created called Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I have saved a variety of movies and documentaries to this playlist that go over the history of Zionism and the formation of Israel that will help explain what caused this conflict in the first place.

But be forewarned. Once you watch these, it is hard to forget them; once you learn these facts, it is impossible to unlearn them. Your eyes will be opened in a way that you may not enjoy. There is great injustice in the world. And it is we, the well meaning American tax payer, who have often paid for these atrocious acts of unfairness. Especially when it comes to the formation of Israel and what happened to the people who lived there before that time. Take a look at any World Atlas pre-1947 — go to the library or to your grandparents house if you have to — and look for Israel. You won’t find it. Instead, in it’s place you’ll see an area called Palestine. Which is what it was called for over a thousand years until they changed its name to Israel in 1948. And the people who lived there before? in Palestine? Yes… These are the millions of Palestinian refugees who now occupy the areas called the West Bank and Gaza who are now once again being slaughtered.

If you’re like me, and if you’re reading this I trust you might be, your heart breaks at the thought of any living thing being hurt or injured, let alone being killed or losing a child. Perhaps like me you are a Buddhist Taoist Christian, or maybe an Avatar, or maybe just an enlightened and compassionate fellow traveler and humanist. Regardless of what we call ourselves or what labels we ascribe to ourselves for comfort or peace of mind, we can all agree that murdering innocent people is wrong. It is an immoral act of the highest caliber. As Americans we consider it such a heinous crime against civilized society that it is the only crime where we deem there to be no suitable punishment for except execution. And though I do not support capital punishment for I believe that we cannot train a society that something is wrong if we turn around and do the same exact thing ourselves, I believe this illustrates just how firmly resolute we are in our shared conviction that murder is wrong and not to be tolerated in a civilized society.

And yet this is precisely what the current American White House administration wants us as citizens to support. Four young boys playing ball on the beach, killed. A United Nations shelter filled with families seeking shelter from the war, blown up. Schools filled with children, destroyed. Hospitals even, where both the sick and dying and the living breathing personnel have been blown up by air strikes, missiles or tanks. None of this is American. It is not how we were raised. It is the exact opposite of how we were raised and what we were taught about right and wrong. We are a lot of things here in America, some of them gaudy and some of them glorious. But indiscriminate killers we are not. So why are we being asked to support this slaughter of innocent people?

And as Christians… Does one even need go there? Does it even need to be mentioned how utterly inhumane and unChristian these acts are to the Christian heart? Can we even imagine how the heart of Jesus is breaking over what He is witnessing being carried out in His name? Yes as human beings we are appalled. And yes as compassionate Avatars who love precious humanity and are working to create an enlightened planet we are appalled. But as Christians… Are there any words for what we are feeling? In the so called Holy Land no less it is truly, as Ban Ki-Moon reminds us, an abomination.

We are told that we worship the same God as the Jewish people. And we trust that. It is important that there are pious Jews living all over the world who are NOT taking part in this killing of Palestinian people and claim to not support it. In fact the more religious a Jewish person is the more against this killing of Palestinians they are I have recently learned. Secular Jews claim that this is due to “a conspiracy on their part because they are waiting for the Messiah to come and He can only come to earth if Jerusalem is being shared by both Jews and Muslims living in peace and the old temple is rebuilt”. This may be true — we know there are many Christians who believe the same thing; but at least it lends a basic humanity to these people.

I urge everyone to not make this a religious issue. I am sure there are just as many religious Jews who are as appalled by this as there are Christians or Muslims. And speaking of Muslims let us not forget that Hamas is continuously firing rockets into Israel STILL, even after over one thousand of the people they were elected to serve and protect have been killed. That is NOT the peaceful Muslim way of the Holy Koran.

No, this is not a matter of religion. And it never was. Don’t let anyone fool you. This war is about land and power and resources. These are a special breed of people — godless and wild, heartless, wrathful and vengeful — who are capable of things that most of us are not. They need our prayers more than we do — clearly religion isn’t going to help them one way or another. But more than that they need our voices. If we do not speak up to voice our dissent and our disagreement with what they are doing then are we not just as guilty as they are? Have we not seen enough innocent blood shed? Have we not heard enough excuses and soundbites why neither side will agree to a ceasefire?

Every talking head of note from the United States government came on prime news shows last Sunday and this past Sunday to defend Israel’s “right to defend itself”, while at the same time expressing “grave concern for the human rights crisis that we are witnessing in Gaza”. It’s hard to have it both ways, to both be concerned about AND support the cause of the crisis. By now Americans understand that there is more money and influence tied up in supporting Israel than anywhere on earth. This is why the United States allows this carnage to continue in the name of Israel’s self defense and even goes so far as publicly defending it and financially supporting it; and yet they did nothing for the people of Rwanda or Darfur, and will do nothing for the people of Syria today. Hell, we can’t even muster more than 300 “advisor troops” for Iraq while they’re having a bloody civil war and we basically bought that country. With our own money AND our own soldiers. Clearly there is something very special and unique about Israel. [If you’re curious about what it is, buy the book They Dare To Speak Out, which explains that AIPAC, the Americans for Israel Political Action lobby in DC is THE largest lobby in the US of A. Larger than big oil or big Pharma, larger than DuPont or Monsanto, later than GE or Apple or Google or Microsoft and yes larger than the Pentagon or our precious self-defense spending. In other words, more money greases the palms of elected American officials regarding “protecting Israel” than any other single subject or corporate interest in Washington DC. And in return those elected officials promise their public displays of affection and support AND hand Israel 3 billion dollars a year of American tax payer money. It’s a brilliant system. One that overtly should be illegal and criminalized, granted. But for now this is how the system works. If you ever wondered why the United States government pretends to care about “some people” and doesn’t seem to care at all about others, now you have a better understanding….]

This also helps explain why most of our friends over the last three weeks have been too busy posting photos of their Miami vacations or their allegedly cute kids on summer break to care about the crisis in Israel and Gaza: they just don’t believe there is anything that can be done about it. Most Americans know how the system works. They know that when it comes to Israel “anything goes” and that nothing they do as Americans is going to change that.

American Jews don’t have to dig too deep to understand why people all over the world repeat slogans like “the Jews run and control the world” when for all intents and purposes it appears just like they do once one sees and understands just how this American and Israeli exchange of money and weapons for political power works. What else are people supposed to believe?

How on earth are the American people supposed to be even remotely concerned with the plight of the people of Ukraine, as the US government is desperately trying to sell, if at the same time they are being told not to give a rats ass about women and children being slaughtered in Palestine? It just doesn’t add up. So instead they shut off that part of their brain, the caring part, the compassionate humane part. We aren’t designed inside to care only about “some” people. It’s just not how we work. After eleven years of bloodshed in the Middle East with over one million people killed by our money and soldiers, combined with Israel’s killing a thousand Gazans every few years with our money and weapons, how else are the American people supposed to feel?

Frankly I’m surprised we FEEL anything at all. But surprisingly some of us still do. But not many. And that is no surprise. We have become  immune to feeling for other people. That’s why despite their best efforts, the White House and their media puppets cannot get the American people to care about Ukraine. There is obviously a lot of oil and natural gas on the line in that little country for our large hungry American appetite; and there may even be reasonably sound and practical strategic reasons for the United States to be there right now — or truly…why else would they be? But the American public just does not care. And who can blame them when their government is constantly picking and choosing which humans to care about and which ones to cast aside like rag dolls? The heart becomes confused. The heart becomes calloused.

And then there’s the fear. I can recite the names of at least twenty people I’ve spoken to this week who have expressed concern for what’s happening in Gaza; from the simplest down-home middle American folk to the highest paid most notable names in society. They use words like horrible, shocking, horrific, tragedy, disgusting, haunted…and yet there are only two who have said anything publicly about it. Only two have stood up to voice their disagreement with how Israel is handling their “self defense”. One of them is a pastor at a prominent church. Not only does he have a moral obligation to do so, but he has always been willing to play the black sheep when leading a charge for human rights. But the rest are afraid to say anything. Afraid isn’t the word. Scared to death is more like it.

Since when did speaking up for human rights or for the value of human life become a crime? Since when did these noble qualities equate to being racist or anti-Jewish? Since the formation of the American based Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Again, if you’re curious about how this system of indoctrination works and why it has been so easy to systematically shut up an entire country about the sanctity of human life unless they’re Jewish, see the film Defamation noted above. Only in America can one be made to feel like an evil racist in five minutes just for speaking out against violence or murder. Countries all over the world have been having marches and protests for weeks now to try to stop Israel from bombing the people of Gaza. But in America we are simply too jaded or too frightened to do so.

But I encourage all of us to lay down our self concern for a moment and embrace our humanity. Just as we did during World War II when we fought to save a people half way around the world from potential genocide, or during the civil rights movement right here at home twenty years later, we are being called upon once again to stand up and speak out on behalf of a desperate and displaced people, a people more economically poor than we can imagine and just as beaten down and trodden upon than those we helped save during World War II. These are a people who are literally being blown to bits like puppets right in front of our eyes every minute of the day, body parts flying around on live TV like an outtake of The Walking Dead — with absolutely no concern for their safety or welfare, nor a care for their futures or how they’ll survive once the killing stops.

People may lash out at you for speaking up. They may call you names. They may accuse you  of being a racist or anti-Jewish. They may insult you and scream at you. They may accuse you of not understanding the issues or not caring about the welfare of the Israeli people. But just as before, do not be afraid. Do not be intimidated. Remind yourself and others that we are not speaking out against Israel. And we are not speaking out against Jewish people — for there are just as many Jewish people around the world speaking out about this cause as any other ethnicity and religion. What we ARE speaking out against is killing innocent people and the destruction of homes and whole villages in the name of “self defense”. Surely there has got to be a better way to defend oneself than to kill thousands of innocent people. Surely there is a morality at play in the hearts of all human beings that lifts us above the animal kingdom, even when it comes to self defense. What is there left to defend if we have given away all of our humanity in the process?

Lest we forget we the American people give the country of Israel over three billion dollars ($3,000,000,000) a year of our hard earned income, in the form of OUR taxes. This is money that is NOT going to the poor people of Detroit or Louisiana or to safeguard our borders. This is money that is not going to feed our hungry or shelter our homeless. Instead it is going to Israel. Free of charge. Not a loan, but free money. And it’s been like this for decades now. Forget asking why for the time being. (For that is certainly a reasonable question when the time is right.) For now the question should be do we all really feel comfortable sponsoring such extreme and inhumane acts of killing innocent people? If the answer is resoundingly no then we have a platform to voice it and change this. Each of us needs to pick up that phone tomorrow and call the White House, our Senators and our elected members of congress and tell them to STOP THE KILLING IN GAZA OR WE WILL STOP PAYING FOR IT. I promise each of you that I will do this tomorrow. And I hope that each of you does the same.

Beyond that let us send love and appreciation to all parties involved with the hope that they feel it even for a moment in their hearts and that it somehow helps them to remember their own humanity and morality, guides them to lay down their arms and stop this madness.

Yours,
The Ambassador

 

Thoughts On the Latest Battle Between Israel & Gaza

The last time this happened, in 2008, Princess Little Tree and I staged a BedPeace event to help bring awareness to the violence and bloodshed. We were never under the delusion that we actually accomplished anything. But we learned a hell of a lot from all the phone calls we made and research we did, and in the end believe we may have also inspired a few others to do the same. The learning is the key to ending this madness once and for all. [That footage is easily viewable on YouTube: Search for “Ed Hale and Bed Peace” etc.]
 
 You’re right of course. It’s NOT fair, this latest skirmish between the Palestinians in Gaza and the government of Israel. Israel, being one of the world’s major super-powers and tiny little Gaza being not much more than a primitive but polished up refugee camp. Having seen both myself, the overt differences between the two are mind boggling. Big cities in Israel look and feel like Mediterranean versions of just about any other metropolitan city of the modern world; and the trash laden Gaza Strip looks like not much more than a glorified refugee camp circa the 1800s or even the Bible era in certain areas.
 
 Israel thankfully has an extremely advanced missile defense system — nicknamed The Iron Dome — that shoots incoming missiles out of the sky before they land, essentially rendering air attacks of puny rockets futile; Gaza has none of the above, so citizens just hide in a corner somewhere hoping and praying that the newest missile that hits doesn’t hit them.
 
 Of course that’s a completely useless and arbitrary tactic. Each and every Israeli missile fired IS going to hit and kill SOMEBODY, usually someBODIES as the case has been over the last few weeks. Today it was three young children ages 8 to 10 all from the same family up on the roof feeding the pigeons. Yesterday it was a group of four young boys playing on the beach, hence all the attention yesterday’s death toll received. The day before, it was some random moms, dads, uncles, aunts, children, etc. That’s just how it is in the Gaza Strip when you’re being bombed by Israel. This explains the shockingly out of balance numbers we hear about every day in this “war” –Israel deaths – 1, Palestinian deaths – 230.
 
 Israel claims the reason for such skewed results — not much of a “battle” as much as a spanking by Israel — is because “Hamas fighters hide among the Palestinian civilians”. In other words, Israel can’t help but kill civilians every day because as they’re attempting to target these fighters who are firing these rockets into Israel, they’re having to fire upon innocent civilians. It’s the nature of these kinds of battles claims the Israeli government.
 
 We as objective and compassionate observers have no reason to doubt what the Israeli government and military claims. We also have no reason to believe that Israel is deliberately targeting civilians or deliberately trying to kill them. Not only is it an abhorrently unethical act not apparent or inherent in their nature — who better to understand the plight of a displaced and oppressed people than Jewish people? — but it also works against their greater goal of creating an eventual peace between themselves and the Palestinian people they will always be forced to live with by necessity, simply because of where they decided to plant this “new home for the Jewish people”.
 
 Nope. It truly does not seem likely that Israel itself, as a government or a nation, is intentionally killing innocent men women and children. But regardless of intention, it is a very real side effect of their military campaign. Every day more and more innocent civilians die. Israelis on the other hand go about business as usual. Javelin is there now. Presently in Jerusalem. “You wouldn’t believe how normal peaceful calm and quiet it is is here,” he wrote us yesterday. “The Israeli people have a remarkable gift at dealing with these things as if nothing abnormal is going on at all.”
 
 “Well of course they do,” a friend of ours replied. (This was a group chat, all of us actively involved in the Peace movement in one way or another) “THEY don’t have anything to worry about. Their houses aren’t being demolished. Their children aren’t being blown to bits everyday.” And that’s very true. They’re not. For the average Israeli, they’ve become so accustomed to hearing that “Gaza is throwing some rockets over our way today, so stay in your home if you can” that they’ve developed a subconscious protective shield about the whole issue. Besides the fact that they KNOW that no actual bombs or rockets are going to hit the ground or go off anywhere near them due to the Israeli government’s advanced defense system. This would definitely make it easier to sleep at night. Banks are still open. Schools are still open. Marketplaces still open. In Gaza on the other hand, today during a brief five hour “humanitarian ceasefire” was the first time in two weeks that any banks were open.
 
 So there’s a real difference in how both sides of the conflict are able to deal with it AND what kind of feelings they will be left with once it’s over. Israelis will understandably feel annoyed, like one who gets back from a day at the park when there is one too many pesky gnats or mosquitos flying around. Palestinians on the other hand will feel devastated. Their lives destroyed. Their homes destroyed. Everything they own destroyed. Their children and parents and siblings unfairly taken from them far too soon, their lives snuffed out in an instant, randomly and arbitrarily. And so the wheels of the conflict will continue to spin, even after the trading of rocket fire ends. Because vengeance will burn in the blood and hearts of everyone who lost someone. And it will only be a matter of time before little ones grow up to be big ones who have only one goal in mind: to seek revenge for the death of their brother or sister, or mother or father, or aunt or uncle, or husband or wife.
 
 This is a war that has raged on for far too long. We all know how it plays out. Even those of us thousands of miles away with no skin in the game know the drill. A few weeks of trading rockets and missiles back and forth. Eventually it will just peter out. A limp peace will be brokered. Both sides tired — Gaza tired of so many dead and Israel tired of so much international rage thrown at them from all over the world. Israel will suffer one or two dead at the most with little to no damage to its towns and infrastructure. Gaza will report hundreds or thousands dead, it’s towns and infrastructure demolished and once again go back to looking like even more of a war zone than it already does.
 
 There are a TON of questions that can be asked about this latest skirmish between these two warring tribes. It’s a battle that’s been raging for millenia. No matter what country you’re from on planet earth, and no matter how far removed from the area geographically, you’re all too familiar with at least one story — if not many — about the Israelites fighting with the Philistines or the Jews fighting with the Palestinians. Everyone has their opinions. Some more educated than others. Most not very educated. Truth be told, unless you’ve been there, and unless you’ve spent countless hours studying the history of the conflict and the history of the peoples involved in the conflict, it would be very hard to understand it, or have an educated opinion about it.
 
 Both sides have been wronged. And both sides have been wrong. Both sides have tried to reach out in peace and both sides have instead decided to attack out of anger hate rage greed or ego. It’s a ghastly affair and to a large degree it’s not either side’s fault. Great Britain and the United States have had just as much to do with the unfairness and deception attached to the whole mess as either the Jews or the Arabs. And therein lies one of the biggest problems. From the very beginning, it started out as a noble cause but in practice quickly became a very bad idea. The history of Zionism and the eventual formation of creating an Israeli state smack dab on top of a place where a whole other people already lived for hundreds of years was just a very bad idea. Only money, and lots of it, can create such historically horrible scenarios. And usually there always two sides to these scenarios… the people with the “lots of money” and the people without the “lots of money”. Think European settlers in the Americas supplanting a whole continent filled with millions upon millions of native peoples. Israel isn’t the first time we’ve seen this movie play out.
 
 But what’s done is done. One thing we learn here on earth when and if our goal is to get to the very bottom of a story and not get hung up along the way by side-picking is that once a people with loads of money decide on something, history quickly plays to their side of the story; and the people without loads of money either die off, get killed off, quietly go away or a combination thereof. Kudos to the native Palestinian people who are still living in what we now call Israel for still being there. It hasn’t been easy. We must remember that it took over 400 years for the European settlers who established The United States and all the other countries in South America to kill off the majority of the native Americans who populated that region for over 10,000 years before they knew such a place as Europe even existed. Fought hard they did. But in the end they just had no chance. The Europeans were the minority for many years, but they were way better capitalized. Just as Israel is today.
 
 One often hears American Jews being the harshest about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. The other day some uneducated douchebag who lives in Florida said on Facebook, “Israel should kill every single one of those dirty Arab bastards and their “moony god””. What exactly he meant by “moony god” only he and his simple brain knows. But this wasn’t the first time I heard this kind of heartless evil language from an American Jewish person. Israeli Jews are much more sympathetic and understanding of the Palestinian people. They’re their neighbors. They live side by side with them. Work side by side with them. Often live next door to each other in the same neighborhood. They can’t afford such misguided ideas. They understand that these people, as tenacious and pesky as they might be at times, are still people. And honestly, when you go there and you’re walking about shopping or just doing your business, you can’t tell the difference between a Jewish Israeli or a Palestinian one. I made the mistake countless times, speaking Hebrew to Arabs or attempting to speak (the five words of) Arabic to a group of Jews. Both groups have been living in the area for thousands of years. (though this point will be strongly debated and argued by both sides of the issue if you dare utter it aloud… So be forewarned.)
 
 One point that does seem valid though is this: Just what ARE the Jewish people supposed to do if Hamas or some other small band of thugs in Gaza or the West Bank decides to fire a bunch of rockets into Israel proper? Are they supposed to sit back and let them fire their rockets? The United States wouldn’t. Hell, I couldn’t even guarantee the safety of a man who broke into my own home and pulled out a weapon, let alone fired it. So this dog eat dog, attack and attack back mentality that’s haunted humankind since the beginning of recorded history is not unheard of. Nor is it that incomprehensible. Hamas did fire first. And unfortunately they just happened to do so from the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians live.
 
 The real question we should be asking ourselves is why won’t the people of Gaza rise up and boot Hamas — and every other terrorist-prone organization — out of their towns and villages? Why let them stay? Why elect them to government? Why even tolerate them at all? If this is their method… fire some rockets into Israel KNOWING that they’re going to get shot down and thus not actually do anything, and then in return the whole of Gaza is going to get the shit bombed out of them…. why allow Hamas to stay in your town? “That’s the best you have? That’s your best idea? Fire some worthless rockets and then run and hide among the people, putting all of our lives in danger? Screw that! We have a better idea: get the hell out of here and don’t come back. Please. Thank you.”
 
 See, I know what you’re thinking, many of you. (Even Jewish people like Jon Stewart are now publicly criticizing Israel for how ridiculously unfair this whole thing seems.) It IS unfair. And It IS freaking sad. And It IS freaking heartbreaking. I’m with you. I hear you. I read your comments and your essays and your Tweets and your status updates. I get it. I was THERE. I saw it with my own eyes. It’s a fucking human rights disaster, Palestine is. Israel a paradise; Palestine a garbage dump with no running water. And yes it’s even more disheartening to hear about 300 innocent people dying in less than two weeks — especially considering how they’re dying — getting blown up by rocket fire and missiles blasting their houses to smithereens. It sucks. Truely. But who’s fault is it? Who started it? How did it start?
 
 Israel didn’t just arbitrarily decide to start bombing the people in the Gaza Strip for the hell of it. They, like us, have their own lives to live. They, like us, would much prefer peace to war. They, like us, hate the idea of the whole world thinking they’re evil murderers and pointing the finger at them. But they, like us, also have the right to live in peace without having to constantly worry about some missile flying over the wall and landing in a crowded marketplace in the middle of a sunny day and killing fifty or more people. They, like us, have the right to protect and defend themselves. And that usually means war. Like it or not, for better or worse, protecting and defending ourselves usually implies killing some people.
 
 Let’s go faster now… Let’s streamline it for a bit with no concern for grammar, rhetoric or composition. Just to vent and brainstorm and get some ideas out on the table.
 
 Okay so one idea would be the above mentioned “Gaza needs to tell Hamas to get the fuck out of here and never return”. That would certainly be a start. Of course Hamas does a lot more than just attack Jews. That’s how they got into power in the first place. They raise money from all over the Middle East and they use it for humanitarian purposes. They build schools, promote education (one can only imagine how one-sided and indoctrinated those educations are… but still, SOME kind of education is better than NO education), they help feed and clothe and house people. So Hamas is not all bad. BUT… a few good deeds does NOT justify even ONE bad deed. And firing rockets into your neighbors yard with the hopes of killing them is certainly a BAD deed.
 
 So the Palestinian people — in both Gaza AND the West Bank — need to get Hamas out of the mix. Whatever it takes. And we all know how difficult that’s going to be. It’s akin to asking your mother in law to leave your house after she’s all moved in. Hamas moves in, brings a wad of cash and other necessities of life with them AND promises to “rid our land once and for all of these evil Jewish occupiers who have been abusing and oppressing us for decades”. Sounds great! Yay! But let’s get real for a second. Yes life has been hard since the formation of Israel in ’48. Yes a shitload of homes were bulldozed even though you and your whole family lived there. Yes thousands of acres of olive fields were destroyed and you were forced from your land. Yes you had to run and hide for fear of your life. Yes you’ve lost loved ones and friends and your heart burns with anger and thoughts of revenge. Yes it seems totally unfair and colonial and bought and paid for by the wealthy elite of planet earth. Maybe it’s all true. Maybe it’s not.
 
 BUT THERE’S NOTHING THAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT NOW. Number one. And number two: there are always three sides to every story. As we all know. At least those of us who know anything. That “third side” of the story is the subtle mysterious truth sitting somewhere in between one side and the other. Reconciliation is all about forgetting and forgiving. At least forgiving. Even if we can’t ever forget. And hell, in certain cases it’s best NOT to forget. One can rest assured the Jews are never going to forget the holocaust of World War II. And maybe there are tens of thousands of Palestinians who are never going to forget what it was like when they were first asked to leave their homes, or pushed out of the door of their own orchard at gunpoint, or hearing that their best friend “died in a strange accident” at the hands of a bunch of Jewish kids down the block or one of the many infamous Israeli military groups that have come and gone through the years.
 
 While it’s true that the United Nations has issued over 230 resolutions with respect to Israel just since 2003 in regards to potential human rights violations — far more than any other country on earth, and six times that of the second placed country, Sudan, it’s also true that no one can recall how many suicide bombs have gone off in some square in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem (because there have been so many…) or how many missiles have been shot over the wall from the Palestinian side into Israel in an attempt to kill or frighten them (again because there have been so many). Both sides have been wicked and cruel and played unfairly. And most of the time these skirmishes — and that’s putting it lightly –(these are out and out wars with horrifying consequences, at least for the Palestinian people) — are caused by someone on the Palestinian side firing rockets into Israel. Israel rarely attacks first. Rarely. Not “never”. Yes we all remember the Six Day War. Point being that If one is Palestinian or just a supporter of Palestinian people THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE LEARNED HERE from these statistics. Eventually they’re going to have to learn. Or eventually there aren’t going to be any Palestinian people left. That’s the cold hard truth of it.
 
 Life isn’t fair. There. Now you know. Good people don’t get special treatment. They’re not immune to bad things happening to them. The universe doesn’t reward us for being good. The universe seems to be as cold and ruthless handling human beings as it is to the rest of the animal kingdom. Israel — a special country for Jewish people (whatever that means… it’s difficult to understand at times for a variety of reasons, for it isn’t a nationality, nor is it a religion for many who claim to be “not religious”…) exists now. It’s strong. It’s powerful. It has access to loads of money. In addition to the fact that it still receives even more money from the United States and American tax payers every year. There is no beating Israel. Praying isn’t going to defeat them. Good deeds aren’t going to defeat them. Denying their right to exist isn’t going to defeat them.
 
 Can they make some improvements? Yes, certainly. Lots of them. And eventually they just might if they ever start to feel safe. In the meantime, even IF one believes that their policies are inhumane and unfair with respect to the Palestinian people, attacking them militarily is not only barbaric and unethical, it’s also futile. It’s only going to cause another world war. And at this stage in the game, with the sides so lopsided in Israel’s favor, fighting a war against them would be downright stupid. (Yes it’s reminiscent of Chechnya and plenty of other heartbreaking examples of poor people oppressed by wealthier people…) At some point Palestinians need to grow up and decide if they want to evolve and progress in the modern world, or if they want to slowly die off from poverty, despair and the occasional airstrike.
 
 If they have a grievance with the present government that controls them and their lands — they do, plenty of them, and justifiably so, then they need to address those grievances democratically and non-violently. It is the ONLY way they will ever make progress. The United Nations has already voted to approve Palestine’s desire to become a country unto itself. Something that should have happened decades ago. But that’s water under the bridge. This is a HUGE deal. A big win. Something that can only be fantastic and do wonders for the Palestinian people. Of course Israel and the United States vetoed the UN’s vote because they’re evil imperialists who control the entire world due to having the most money and the most weapons currently; but eventually world opinion is going to trump even the United States’ UN vetoes. That we can all be sure of.
 
 The Palestinian people can help speed this process along by showing the world that it is indeed ready to become a real country and not a primitive band of terrorists tossing bombs over walls into their neigbors’ yards. (Yep, even if you dispute the wall in the first place… Protest, demonstrate, march, sit in, occupy, write letters, hell light yourself on fire if you have to ala Tunisia or Vietnam-era Buddhists, but whatever you do, stop making war. There’s no way in hell anyone is going to take you seriously as a viable country if you keep on doing the same thing you’ve been doing all these years. Voice your opposition to Israel’s occupation of the so-called Occupied Territories; but do so peacably, elegantly, with grace AND strength. Study history and note how other countries of oppressed peoples have eventually won independence in the modern era. The simple truth of it is: if you aint got mo money, then you need to have more grace style charm and class than your opponent. Human beings will occasionally forgive being poor. But being poor AND being murderous, not likely.
 
 Even the most compassionate among us will never fully support a people who commit violence as their primary tactic to secure their rights and independence. So what Palestinians need to do is step into the 21st century and start playing 21st century ball.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

On Munich: War and Peace in Israel and Palestine

A brilliant day. Princess Little Tree spent most of the day together just enjoying each other’s company; doing things together that we haven’t in too long of a while. I shared some of my current research with her. The A440 versus 432 conspiracy. And a lot of the sacred geometry and ancient knowledge stuff I’ve been studying over the last two weeks. It’s been an intense learning period over the last 14 or so days. We made love. We lounged. Listening to special 580 hertz tones for meditation. Ate a leisurely lunch. Eventually made our way to the gym, where I worked out for the first time in years. It felt very good.
 
 The early part of the day was spent in intense debate on social media regarding this latest skirmish between Israel and Palestine. If i am not feeling too lazy i will post a link in here that gives a full objective accounting of what actually transpired in case you don’t yet know that led to this latest round of bombing between these two forever warring peoples. its a very sad affair. For all involved.
 
 A beautiful soul at Global Exchange, a new organization for me though they’ve been around quite a long time — I’ll be making another peace mission to Iran with them in October — sent me an excellent book entitled COUNTER RHETORIC whose basic mission is to help guide civilian diplomats like myself and activists (or for that matter anyone interested in helping further the cause of peace in Israel and the Palestinian Territories) to have a better understanding how to respond to the most common objections people have to helping the Palestinian people. For every assertion they make — there is no such thing as Palestine and there never was. — they have devised an intelligent and logical and humane response.
 
 The irony? The book was written by a group of Jews in Israel who are completely against the occupation of the palestinian’s land there. Today I really got the chance to use what I have learned in the book. Because the highly emotional hate speech was flying today. As soon as you speak up pro-palestinian in the US, you’re acussed of being “anti’semetic”. Of course I pointed out that Palestinians are also considered “semetic peoples” as well as tens of other races and nations. So that puts an end to that argument. But what they’re really accusing a person of is being “anti-jew”. Perhaps they’re afraid to say it… anti-Jew. They believe “anti-semetic” sounds more scientific or accusatory… Not sure really. Whatever their reasoning, they should just say what they mean, “if you’re pro-palestinian then you’re anti-Jew”. Just because we want equal rights for palestinians. Truth is that most of us who are pro-Palestinian are super compassionate loving people who just want equal rights for all people and we aren’t actually “anti” anyone. As one person commented today in our heated debate, “If the tables were turned and the Israelis were the poor and impoverished Ed would probably be on that side”. To which I answered, “that sounds about right”. At our worst what some of us might be is anti-Zionism as it is being practiced in today’s world. And I believe we are justified in holding that opinion. We certainly have a right to it, at least here in democratic United States. But more importantly, Zionism has been a terrible failure. It’s taken the near genocide of one people to save another people from near genocide. It just hasn’t worked. Not yet at least.
 
 It’s quite a small box they’ve painted themselves into. Stolen land. Tens of thousands (some say more) murdered. And millions now living in refugee camps that look more like concentration camps. No running water, hardly electricity. It’s shameful how these people live. With lush lavish posh hotels ten blocks away in the Israeli parts of the country. If Americans ever saw it, knowing how much money — in the billions every year — we give them of our hard earned income, they would at first be in shock and then be raging mad. It’s also odd when one thinks about it that the US doesn’t give any aid money to Palestine when they’re the ones who actually really need it. They’re the ones living in abject poverty, shit for hospitals, children running through filthy garbage filled streets with no shoes on their feet. And yet billions of our income tax dollars pour into Israel every year. Not because we Americans voted for that… But just because of some back room deals made decades ago that we just can’t seem to get out of. The whole mess is crazy and corrupt.
 
 All we want to do of course is change that. By starting with simple things: access to clean water, remove this wall with armed guards that surrounds them every day of their lives, give them a new home if they can’t give them their old homes back, etc etc. Simple things. But alas I am aware like everyone else that these things won’t happen overnight and they certainly wont happen from a few dozen people arguing about it on Facebook. But the hope I always have is that perhaps even one person’s mind or heart can be shifted in the way of being more peaceful or more compassionate through these debates… and at times i do feel as though i am accomplishing that. At one point in the debate today a girl from Israel compared me to Steven Spielberg in that she does not believe me to be “anti-semetic”, but perhaps just “misinformed” due to Speilbergs making the movie Munich. Since I had never seen the film I figured i better watch it to see what kind of company I am being thrown in with.
 
 Well… Wow. What a great film that is. Highly recommended. But besides that it also brings up many finer subtler questions about morality. In essence it is the story of how the Israeli army and secret intelligence branch Mossad sent a bunch of assassins into europe and the Middle East to kill a bunch of Palestinian men after the kidnapping and killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. Before our time. The whole film is about these five Israeli men hunting down these Palestinian men — many of which had nothing to do directly with the actual killings at Munich. They are ruthless heartless bloodthirsty men. Just do their job. It’s not that they don’t think about what they’re doing. they do. But they approve of what they are doing and they seem to enjoy it. They believe they are serving their country.
 
 It reminds one of any other country on earth presently. Certainly the United States. the rule of the human animal kingdom is “if one of your tribe is killed then you seek vengeanceThere and go kill one or more of their tribe.” that is what is happening in Israel as I type this. Israel is bombing the holy fuck out of tiny Gaza. Randomly killing men women and children, in retaliation for Hamas who is based in Gaza firing 70 rockets into Israel towns and cities this week. Which was in retaliation to a carful of Israelis who kidnapped a young Palestinian boy last week and forced him to drink gasoline and then doused him in more of it and then, yes, lit him on fire. Which was in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens who people believe to have been murdered by Hammas. Though they vehemently deny having any involvement in it.
 
 So… therein lay the first big mistake. Instead of burning a poor boy alive — can you even imagine the sheer horror and pain that poor boy experienced in the last hour of his blessed life? — the Israelis should have waited for a formal investigation, found the culprits of the kidnapping crime and put them on trial; showing the world that they in fact do want to be seen as peaceful civilized people. Many probably did their best. But not this one car load of men… So Hamas struck back. And there’s mistake number two. Hamas should have demanded that these men be turned in and be put on trial. Not fire rockets into random cities in Israel that could just kill anyone. But they didn’t. And that’s a shame. Because now there are over 100 Palestinian people dead. And because of who? One could just as easily fault Hamas and those in Gaza who permitted these attacks as they could fault the Israelis who fired back.
 
 Violence always begets violence. Peace is never won through war or battles or violence. There is a point in the movie MUNICH where the mother of the lead assassin tells her son that she doesn’t want to hear what he did while “away on his mission”. Her words, “All we wanted was a home for Jews to live, among other Jews, in safety. Whatever you did. Whatever has to be done. It’s worth it. Because now we have this land where we can feel safe.” He had just been on a killing spree, killing around ten people, some guilty of something — even just thought crimes or plans for crimes, and some entirely innocent bystanders. It really makes one think “is this justification for murder for revenge or safety that countries use so casually a true and valid one? Or is it just more bullshit perpetrated by primitive unenlightened minds?
 
 If everyone just continues to kill when they are killed, or even afraid of being killed or hurt, will it ever lead to the end of killing? Or will it just perpetuate the cycle of incessant killing? The answer is clear to those of us who frequent these pages obviously. But how do we get our fellow humans to understand this fact? How do we get them to rise above this tit for tat kill or be killed mentality? A friend of mine today on Facebook, I am not kidding, has this to say about the Palestinians: “I wish they would just kill them all and send them all to their moon god and let’s be done with it”. Yep. He’s literally advocating genocide of the entire Palestinian race. Just so the so-called Israelis of present time (post 1948) can live in peace and without fear. Sure we understand his motivation for having such an extreme view. The Israelis have not necessarily been welcomed with open arms since they first came back to this homeland of theirs. But why? Because by the time they got back, after almost 2000 years, other people had moved in and had been living on the land all that time. And to them, that land had been home. And that home was then taken from them. For the sake of saving the Jews. I’ve said it before and Ill say it again. It would have made a lot more sense to put all the Jewish people in Germany — as punishment for what they did — we must remember that it wasn’t just Jews who died in WW II, over 20 million Russians died in that war, and plenty of French and English and Americans as well. Surely the Germans deserved to be displaced from their homes more than the poor palestinians. For they weren’t even involved in that war. And voila surprise surprise! BAM their homes gone. Their land taken. And a new people placed on it.
 
 If we study our history well, we can clearly see from using the United States as an example, that the jews who live in what they presently call Israel, which used to be called Palestine, will never feel completely safe until they exterminate the majority of the palestinian people, just as the European settlers did to the native Americans here in the States. There are barely a million of them left here now. When Columbus arrived there were some 100 million of them living in North and South America. But they just wouldn’t let us live in peace, which we felt we had a right to. Why? Who the fuck knows. Because we wore clothes and they didn’t I suppose. But the real answer is because we had larger weapons than they did. And so not only did we get to take the land but we also got to write the history. I am afraid to say it, but that’s the future of the Palestinians if the Jews ever start thinking seriously about wanting to live in peace and sleep safely at night. They’re going to have to wipe them all out like so many of my American Jewish friends want them to. It’s sad to contemplate and discuss. But it’s reality.
 
 Does that make it right? Hell no. It’s entirely wrong. That’s why we fight this noble battle for these people. That’s why they fight. Is there hope for a two state solution where Jews and Palestinians can live side by side in unity or at least in a peaceful separation? Yes, of course there is. And that’s what so many of us are working towards. How will it play out in our own lifetimes? Of this I am not 100% sure yet. Peacefully I hope and pray. But it’s going to take a lot more work and attention and sharing with those who don’t yet understand what’s going on over there.
 
 Must sleep. As always, more later.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s Time to Find Another Social Network — Facebook is Dying

Facebook is Painting It’s Users Into a Very Small Box…of greatly limited people and information. Out of a potential 1500 posts that the average user may see in any given hour, that same user may only see 300 posts. Why? Because unlike four to six years ago when everyone first started using Facebook, the Newsfeed is no longer just an ordered list of every status update that every friend of yours has posted today or in the last hour or two.
 
 Instead it’s a tightly controlled and manipulated feed of only a very small sample of what only a small fraction of a user’s friends have posted, because those brainy but inexperienced and naive engineers at Facebook with too much time on their hands and not enough day to day experience in the real world have created numerous algorithms that control what used to be a very simple thing: the so-called newsfeed, rendering it nearly useless as a tool to see what everyone you know is thinking or saying at any given time during the day or night — the PRECISE REASON why people use a social network like Facebook in the first place.
 
 First came the idea: instead of the usual newsfeed that simply shows the user a feed of everything that everyone they are friends with is posting, let’s try to create an algorithm that sorts this data for then based on what they Like and what they Comment on and other criteria so they don’t get bombarded by too many status updates. Why? Because they assumed that people might become overwhelmed if they saw EVERYTHING that people were posting. So in 2011 they launched EdgeRank, a newsfeed algorithm to secretly sort through users’ Friends’ status updates, and didn’t tell anybody.
 
 You probably noticed that you suddenly stopped seeing updates from a ton of friends. Or not. Many people never even noticed. Which is part of the problem. Aunt Sally just had hip replacement surgery but you didn’t hear about it for a week?!?! How is this possible?!?! Because Facebook decided FOR YOU that you didn’t need to know about it. So they deleted it from your newsfeed.
 
 Since then, year after year, they have continued to hone this algorithm, creating ever increasingly invasive technologies into it to control more and more of what users see and read — in effect creating an environment where the user sees and reads less and less.
 
 This week it was discovered that Facebook was secretly conducting an experiment on over 700,000 users across the globe — deliberately manipulating their newsfeed without their knowledge in an attempt to CONTROL THE USER’S EMOTIONS. Yes you read that right. Google that and look for the article in The Guardian magazine that came out June 14th. This is why the average user may only see 10 to 30 percent of the status updates that their friends are actually posting.
 
 I posted a rant about this yesterday on FB, Tumblr and Twitter. Many had no idea this was happening. Some did and were outraged. All agree they just want to see everything that their Friends are posting — without interruption and without any filtering.
 
 There IS a way around this. But it’s tricky. You can go to MORE. Then look for a link called Most Recent. Click on that and allegedly you will be taken to the old fashioned newsfeed. But in reality you are still seeing a greatly limited and manipulated feed that is still being controlled by this algorithm. But it’s better than what they are currently calling the Newsfeed, which is anything BUT a real newsfeed.
 
 One friend commented that we can change this by selecting to receive Notifications from the Friends we choose — which means that every time they post something we are then forced to receive a notification on our phone about it. Obviously this will not work for those of us who have a lot of Friends or Pages we like. But at least it does assure we will be notified if Uncle Charlie passes away IF we subscribe to Notifications from Uncle Charlie.
 
 This subscribe to notifications is great for getting notifications from a few folks, but we have to be careful with it for sure or we’ll be bombarded w too many of them. I’m referring specifically to the general newsfeed, which should, by definition, just be a collection of status updates in a feed by every single “friend” we have in the order they were posted to FB.
 
 Unfortunately as with many companies that grow large and continue on longer than they originally anticipated FB found itself having a lot of time on its hands and decided to start screwing around with this simple obvious elegant & useful system; so much so that they’ve now created a variety of algorithms that control each person’s newsfeed based on a variety of seemingly random criteria that it’s challenging for the average user to just see the old fashioned simple ordered newsfeed that we were first reared on and assume is still operating.
 
 Problem is, it’s not.
 I knew this… but didn’t pay much attention to it. Till yesterday when I became curious about not seeing enough posts from DIFFERENT people about the World Cup and other things. I kept seeing posts by the Same 10 to 20 people. Even though Princess Little Tree will be sitting right next to me and say “oh look what so and so just said on Facebook…” . But I would NOT see it. But hold on… Aren’t we looking at the same newsfeed of the same people?!?!
 
 Frankly I was pissed and shocked when I deliberately went to More/Recent Posts and the whole newsfeed changed. BAM!!! There are all the hundreds and thousands of status updates of everyone I’m friends with, in order of their posting! Imagine that! Names I hadn’t seen in weeks and even months. I was like “wow! Yeah what ever happened to so and so?!?” Actually YOU for example. Whoever you are, reading this… I Haven’t seen a post from YOU in ages! Maybe a year! Not kidding.
 
 Basically FB for some unknown (seemingly random until this new information leaked that they were conducting MIND CONTROL EXPERIMENTS on users) reason has all of us crammed into these tiny little boxes of very limited people and data — compared to what our real FB experience SHOULD be like. What it used to be like. What twitter for example is like — we see EVERY post by EVERYone we follow. Simple elegant useful. It may be a pain to scroll through all those thousands of Tweets… BUT it’s OUR pain and WE can control it. FB thinks it’s “helping its users have a better experience” by limiting what how and when we see. But what they’re really doing is taking control of our social network and thus our lives.
 
 In today’s age most people do nearly everything online. If my prediction from 2007 continues to manifest — that in the near future Facebook will become ever increasingly embedded into our day to day life, eventually making it’s way into our desktop and controlling our mobile devices and our social calendar etc. — then we cannot allow Facebook to believe that THEY can control anything about our profile or our newsfeed. All aspects of these need to be in the control of the user and the user only. No algorithm. No mind control experiments. No sorting based on what THEY consider “relevant data”.
 
 It’s bad enough that they have this completely bulls*^t policy to NOT allow 90% of Page updates to appear in newsfeeds unless the page PAYS them. That can be justified because many Pages are for profit businesses and updates “can be” viewed as advertising… Got it. So the average user can NOT and does not have a way to see status updates from FB pages. Unless they GO to every single page they Like every day etc. An experienced relatively intelligent well rounded person may Like a couple hundred Pages after a year or so on FB, so that makes that impossible. Meaning? Facebook Pages are essentially useless to both the Page owner AND the Facebook user. They’re like old fashioned entries in the old fashioned Yellow Pages now. Placeholders for a brand. But not day to day relevant in the here now. Because nobody sees what they post. Totally ass backwards and worthless.
 
 And now they want to do that with people too. Then what’s the real USE of Facebook?!?! Think about it… If we cannot even guarantee that we will see what one of our best friends just posted on Facebook two minutes ago because Facebook has decided that it’s “not important” for us to see, then what good IS Facebook?
 
 THIS is what happens when companies become too large and have too much time on their hands. They take something simple and useful and kill it by fiddling with it too much. It happens time and time again throughout human history. It’s a shame. But a harsh reality. And certainly no fault of the users or consumers. The only thing that the well informed and self determined user can do is FIND ANOTHER PRODUCT that suits our needs and desires better. Which is exactly what happened to MySpace and before that Friendster — for let us never forget: Facebook wasn’t a cool unique new or innovative idea. It was just a copy of a copy of a copy that happened to take off with the general public. Just as Tumblr was a copy of Facebook. Why on earth someone thought it was a valuable endeavor to take the time and energy to create a copy of Facebook (and then someone else thought it was valuable to then BUY Tumblr…) god only knows. But that’s another story.
 
 The point is that Facebook has now emerged as the official enemy of the very users that it originally set out to try to entertain and serve. It’s one thing to be so bored that you start fiddling with your widget to the point that you render it useless or too confusing to the average user, i.e. these ridiculous newsfeed algorithms. It’s another thing entirely to knowingly conduct mind control experiments on your customers and be so bold and confident to then admit it, assuming that propel so love your product that there won’t be a backlash.
 
 Surely there will be a backlash. What needs to happen is that every single person who uses Facebook on earth needs to choose a FACEBOOK BLACKOUT DAY to demand that Facebook commit in writing to never conduct mind control experiments on it’s users again. And while they’re at it they should abandon the Edgerank and any other algorithms they use to control users’ newsfeeds. These should be OPTIONAL. Not default.
 
 – Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom

Pretending Seems Easier Than Standing Up – But Is It?

The biggest challenges we face when it comes to correcting the wicked & wayward direction the U.S. government has been headed over the last 50+ years:
1. Those who don’t yet know the facts, friends family colleagues who are still ignorant to what’s going on and quickly label it “conspiracy theory”. It’s hard to feel excluded or “not part of the whole”. It feels easier to just “pretend”. We all want to fit in. Yep. True. Perhaps the biggest challenge of them all. But are you really going to watch it all come crumbling down just because you’re afraid of what a few friends say?
1.1 We feel a responsibility to teach and inform others who don’t yet know. Sure you’re passionate. AND you want everyone you know what you do. But the key to this one is: share the resources. Not the information. Once. If they don’t get it, they don’t get it. And don’t engage in arguments about the particulars. You don’t have the time. And there’s too much data to cover. If they eventually want to learn they will. If not, you did what you could. Keep going.
2. Most in the military seem to have no idea what they’re actually doing or why. They seem like good people. We want to give them the respect we believe they deserve. We tell ourselves, “surely they would know about this…?” It’s challenging to even fathom that a solider would be knowingly or unknowingly involved in such nefarious activity. In reality, #1, many of them realize it somewhere along the road. There’s a reason why at least one American soldier a day commits suicide. The realities hit them hard. #2. It doesn’t take informing a whole battalion of the “real mission” in order to accomplish it. The hierarchy that is set up deliberately negates this need. They voluntarily sign up to serve under a “need to know” basis. Respect, yes, honor, yes. But remember, if they’re told one day that you or one of your family members “is a terrorist” they won’t bat an eye or give it a second thought as they invade your home, arrest you, kidnap you, or assassinate you. That’s their job. Regardless of “who” it is. This applies to all countries.
3. It’s hard to believe that “everyone” in the government knows about it, or is “doing it” or is “really that bad”. Some of the things they are doing are “horrible” by any accounts. How are we to believe that “everyone” knows about it? Or is complicit in participating? The truth is that not all of them are, most aren’t — only a few actually know what’s really going on. Again the pyramidic structure of the hierarchy makes this easy to do. (Think G.W. Bush. Did he know what he was participating in with the 9/11 opp? Or was he even aware that he was selected by The Project for a New American Century as a puppet, or did he actually believe he was elected by the American people. Did he ever suspect that things were not as they seem? Or was he full on aware of what they were doing?) This is an important one: don’t believe the “everyone has to be in on it in order for this to be true” fallacy.
4. Fear of the potentially dangerous or life-threatening repercussions to oneself and one’s family for speaking out openly about what’s really happening. It’s obviously safer to pretend you don’t know. What does one actually gain for openly admitting they know what’s going on? Isn’t it safer AND easier to just pretend like everyone else? Yes. Most definitely. But can you sleep at night if you do? That’s the question that we’ve been asking ourselves since the dawn of human history. Only you can answer that question for you.
5. Okay, so what, it’s all true! But there’s nothing we can do about it anyway! Yes, this is definitely a hurdle on the way to being part of the solution. It does seem improbable that we will ever experience true freedom justice honesty truth liberty or democracy in the United States, or anything other than the current thinly disguised police state. But take an objective check of the last twenty years… Did you ever expect we’d make it this far? Think THRIVE or ZEITGEIST or DIRTY WARS or LOOSE CHANGE I -III. Did you ever expect to see films like this hit the mainstream? Truth is, we ARE making progress. And that progress will continue with or without you. But it will exponentially increase WITH you. That’s the burden of knowing.
6. “There’s nothing I can do”. Bulls*^t. If everyone said that, nothing would ever get done. There’s something for EVERY one. There’s a reason why each of us know what we know and know WHO we know. No matter what you do, it’s better than “nothing”.

An American Arab Spring — The New American Revolution

Yes… we can go on and on posting what’s wrong with America in the 21st century on various social media as we do till we’re blue in the face. But who are we reaching? Others just like us. And since we already know all this and we can’t help but constantly remind each other of these same issues day after day, what good is it actually doing? Nada. Sharing what this corrupt senator or that corrupt White House did yesterday or last month or what they plan to do in the future is old hat. It’s boring. And more importantly it’s not getting us anywhere. It’s a tired charade because we’re frightened of what we really need to do. The real post that we should be sharing by now is WHAT the SOLUTION is. And what is the PLAN? How are we going to stop it all? From the inside it appears that we have generally four options:

1. We can say “fuck it”… since we already know how it works just join the system and profit from it and then use that money to bring the bastards down or at least cause major some pain. (Incorporate yourself. It’s cheap and easy. Pay no taxes just as corporations are want to do. Then invest in the same “assets” that we’re supposedly so upset about being sold off to “the others”. Become the “others”. Then use that money to fuck with them through lobbying and campaign financing away their criminal systems. (As an example I made a 400% I shit you not profit last week alone from investing in Nat Gas, which I intend to use a small portion of to donate to Josh Fox so he can keep making his excellent Anti-fracking films.)) This is but one example. Stop complaining about the rich. It’s annoying for one. And you wouldn’t be so eager to if you were one of them. Become one and fight the aspects of the system that you don’t like from the inside. It’s much more enjoyable than staying poor and complaining. Money is the only tool or weapon that has any authority left on planet earth; at least when speaking of government — especially American government.

2. Fight for the truth to get out and slowly re-indoctrinate / wake up the masses who are allowing these hideous manipulations to persist — wake them up in order to slowly change things in the methodical legal democratic manner that is still (at present at least) our right. And our obligation. But… how long will that take? Let’s face it, the majority of the country is still completely in the dark. They believe that 9/11 was carried out by Osama Bib Laden and a rogue band of AL Quaeda “terrorists”. And that’s if we’re lucky. Some of them still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for it. Many of us have friends who actually went to Iraq to kill people because of it. Our friends in the military. It wasn’t their fault that they didn’t know what was really going on. The country was panicked at the time. They were impassioned. And they naeively believed their president and his henchman in the government. They considered themselves patriots. They knew no better. Many of them have reconsidered that mistake. But not all of them.

If we use the timeline of the past as our gauge and add the element of exponential growth that seems inherent in the evolution of human thought to their rate of awakening…how long will this transformation take? Yes it seems lost at this point. BUT the people are slowly winning in certain arenas… Which should definitely give us hope. Legal cannabis and same sex marriage and the recent raising of the minimum wage in several major cities are all good examples; so too are Vermont and New York’s ban on fracking good recent examples.But let’s face facts: this option is the LONG road. At the rate we’re going now, we will NEVER see true justice, truth or honesty, integrity or freedom in our lifetimes in the United States. It only gets worse from here. Regardless of the small strides we appear to be making here and there, they are making much more progress in the opposite direction.

[We must also remember that we’ve got a long road ahead of us in terms of just correcting the sins of our past. They are too numerous to mention in any one article. But just as a “for instance”, the American government, or the parties currently in power posing as such, better put, have spent over one trillion dollars on the so-called war on drugs, and have imprisoned thirty seven million American citizens for non-violent drug related “crimes”. Most of them black or Latino, all of them poor. And all facilitated by a for-profit government and industry that makes money from arresting the least among us and keeping them in these prisons for as long as they can. Contrast this with the fact that none of the individuals responsible for the Great Recession of 2008 served any time in jail or prison. This is a shocking statistic. And not something we can miraculously erase from our tainted history. Nope. The best we can do is stop the madness and perhaps idealistically even start freeing all those imprisoned for non-violent drug related crimes and if necessary create more programs to rehabilitate them. Rather than keeping them locked up in a cage like animals or criminals. And this is just one of thousands of treacherous treasons that have been committed in our name in broad daylight right before our eyes.]

3. Say fuck it again but in an entirely different manner and just ditch out of the system. Leave the grid as they say. Attempt to get out of the system completely — if that’s even possible at this point. Become as bad as we perceive “they” are. Not in joining them as in #1. But in fighting against them. In other words just go total anarchistic on their asses. Hack their networks. Bring down their machines. Whole companies. Especially government ones. Vandalize and blow up their buildings, and hell while we’re at it go vigilante on the worst of them–the truly wicked, the obviously wretched, the liars the crooks the killers– take them out of the picture entirely. For every drone strike on an innocent civilian village we take out one or more of them. But all covertly. Anonymous meets Anarchist Cookbook meets Fight Club meets Weather Underground. This option may have moral implications that may seem objectionable to some. Break glass only the case of an emergency. (Though at the time of this writing many who understand what we are facing have already begun this option… Some may choose to join them.)

 

4. We mobilize as many as there are who are truly ready on a national level and we start a new Continental Congress and Army for a full on no-holds barred revolt to take the country back. Then we totally reboot the system. From scratch. Let’s face it. For as noble as the so-called founding father’s ideals were, the system failed. Somewhere down the line, it got sold out to the almighty dollar and succumbed to the power that absolutely corrupts. So we erase it all and start over. One day the world awakens to an Arab Styled Spring in the United States of America. We make a formal announcement to the current government-select that they are to immediately resign or be arrested for treason and we march forward and try to do it peaceably; if that doesn’t work then we use force, just as we did in the first Revolutionary War. It’s not like we don’t know HOW. It’s been happening all over the world around us for a few years now. The trick is that with all our talk, we’re all well too aware of that little secret that gnaws away at us in the dark of night: an Arab Spring may have worked in Tunisia or Egypt or Libya. But there’s no way in hell it would ever work in the United States. THIS is why we the people who know just how bad things have gotten continue to share the corruption and treachory with one another on social media or in small random occasional demonstrations and marches, but don’t take any real actions. FEAR. And for good reason.

The American government is too powerful militarily we tell ourselves, and too wealthy (a strange irony considering it’s broke and in debt for trillions of dollars. (See that’s the thing… If WE don’t do this, it’s only a matter of time before another more powerful country who has it more put together than the United States and who is owed trillions of dollars does it TO us. And in that case WE the People will have NO say in what happens to us.)) What’s more, we assume, the American government is just too far gone, too wicked and too corrupt to respect the demands of it’s people. They’d kill us all. And they’d arrest whoever was left. The only way a President Barack Obama or any future president or any other government official for that matter is ever going to step down is if they are forced out by the people. Forcibly. In their minds, regardless of what they do, bad or horrible, wicked or illegal, they’re not going anywhere. No matter what The People want.

Another obstacle that truly stands in our way is that to some who consider themselves patriotic this kind of talk seems treasonous. They believe in America still. They believe in the two-party system and the three branches of the government system. They understand that in the first American Revolution we were fighting for our freedom from a foreign nation, Great Britain, but in this case we would be fighting our own government. A government we have been indoctrinated to believe and believe in since the day we were born. What they don’t seem to realize is that that America is long gone. Those branches of government are long gone. The United States that we live in today is completely controlled by powerful big money, multi-national corporations that hold no allegiance to the United States of America. The so-called government officials who supposedly work for us haven’t worked for us for decades. They are slaves to these large nearly invisible corporations that answer to no one. To revolt against them is not only the right thing to do, to take the country back, but it’s our moral responsibility as patriotic Americans.

With this option we the people will obviously lose. As we saw during the Boston Bombing charade this current crop of impostors has no problem instituting marshal law and firing upon anyone who gets in their way, including it’s own citizens. We will all die and be branded “traitors and terrorists” in the short term history books. BUT…  this first revolt will inspire a whole new wave of The People — a much larger one — to rise up to do it again. And THEY just might win. If they don’t. another one will rise up yet again, and they will be an even larger group. Eventually The People will become so large — just as they did in countries all over the Middle East during the Arab Spring — that our winning will become inevitable.

These are our choices. Which one are we currently choosing…? NONE OF THE ABOVE. Right now, most people tell themselves that we’re working on option #2… But are we really? And if we are, how’s that working out for us? How long until we resort to 3 and then 4…? What will it take? In fact that’s an interesting question to ponder: What did it take for Chechnya, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Crimea, etc to revolt? What HAD to happen?

And secondly, what is the primary key or factor that determines whether The People WIN or LOSE? It’s certainly not “more fire power”. These nations who effectively rid themselves of corrupt ruling governments just as we now need to do had very little fire power for the most part. It appears to be “a united majority” — of citizens who refuse to shut up or go home regardless of what the government does to them or tells them to do.  So there’s some good fodder for middle of the night contemplation as we begin to plan. Solution. That’s what we need now. Not more sharing of what’s wrong. See you on the battlefield.

– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom

 

 

Bouncing Back When Flat — Ed Hale Opens Up in New Book and Interview

Ed Hale Star Guitar promo photo. Photo by Fiona Pepe, Styling by Jenascia Chakos 2013.

Ed Hale star guitar promo photo by Fiona Pepe, styling by Jenascia Chakos copyright 2013.Earlier this year Ed Hale gave an in-depth interview with the website FlyFreeAvatar.com, where he opens up more about his music, business, spiritual and personal life than ever before. The interview also makes mention of the potential release of a new book entitled Bouncing Back When Flat. The interview is being reprinted here for Transcendence Diaries readers in its entirety with permission from the owners. Original interview published on February 1st, 2014 here: Bouncing Back When Flat — An Interview with Recording Artist Ed Hale

FlyFreeAvatar.com recently had the opportunity to get recording artist Ed Hale to sit down for an in-depth interview. This is a project we have spoken about doing for several years, and the New Year seemed like the perfect time to finally complete it. Hale has been in the public eye for most of his life, having released his first album at the age of 17. He is best known as a singer-songwriter and recording artist — as the lead singer of the musical group Ed Hale and the Transcendence, scoring numerous Top 40 hits over the last fifteen years — including classics like “Superhero Girl”, “Scene in San Francisco” and “New Orleans Dreams”. He is also well-known as a successful entrepreneur and businessman, a prolific writer, and an outspoken social and political activist and human rights advocate. He has a reputation for being open and outspoken about his personal life, especially in his popular long-running blog The Transcendence Diaries, which is celebrating its twelfth year online this year. He is refreshingly candid about sharing his spiritual views as well – a rare quality in the entertainment world. Being actively involved in community building and Civilian Diplomacy work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Hale has traveled the world extensively for diplomatic, peace and work trips and speaks six languages. Most applicable to this site, Hale has taken all of the Avatar Courses numerous times over the last 15 years and continues to do so on a regular basis.

I

FlyFreeAvatar (FFA): When I first thought about talking to you for this interview, there were two questions that came to mind immediately. The first was about how your music has been affected by taking the Avatar courses. And the second was about all the success you’ve had over the years and how much of a role you think Avatar has played in it.

Ed Hale (EH): Yep. I can see that. Those are the two questions I get asked the most when it comes to Avatar. But that’s TWO questions you know. [laughs]

FFA: Okay so let’s start with your career success. With the band’s last album’s success and the hit singles you had from your solo album, “Scene in San Francisco” and “New Orleans Dreams” climbing the Billboard Top40 Charts, why don’t we start there? With your career success. How much of a role do you think Avatar has played in that?

EH: Well I had achieved success in music at an early age. Long before I took the Avatar Course for the first time. So I don’t want to mislead anyone on that count. But it was short lived. I mean, I was signed, released an album, had a few hits and was touring before I finished high school. And then it was all over before I graduated college! [laughs] But this latest success? I think we could safely say that I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for everything I learned in Avatar; let alone be in Billboard magazine.

FFA: Your early career, that was when you were known as Eddie Darling…

EH: Yes. That’s the embarrassing truth. But you know, when we’re young… we don’t know. We think we know… but we don’t. At the time I guess I thought that was a cool sounding name. But that was such a crazy experience to go through at such a young age. None of it was on my terms. It was all up to other people. Just a very large greedy money-making machine. If they like what you’re doing, you’re in. If they don’t like what you’re doing, you’re out. No compassion, no sense of artistic integrity or guidance. It was really disheartening for me as a young artist. I thought that was going to be the start of this amazing career, but it didn’t last very long. A few years in the big leagues and it was over and I was back in the local club scene.

FFA: But you obviously didn’t give up on music, which has been a hallmark of your career, this persistence. What led you to keep going?

EH: Well I did give up for a while there. I went back to college and got really into that. But it didn’t last long. I just couldn’t stay away from making music. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable NOT making music. It’s just the one thing in life I enjoy doing more than anything else. Except being married of course! [laughs] The difference was, when I went back into music then, that it was going to be on MY terms. I didn’t feel like I had any control in it my first run-through. So that was one of the many reasons why I took the Avatar Course. I wanted to harness more deliberateness in my life. Not sure if that’s a word… But I really liked the idea of “living deliberately”. [Living Deliberately is the name of the first book by Harry Palmer. Palmer is the author and creator of the Avatar Course and has published many books on the subject.]

FFA: You were young when you took Avatar for the first time.

EH: Yes, I was 21 or 22 years old. Back then that was considered “young”. Now there are kids eight and nine years old taking the courses. It’s incredible. I used to feel like “the kid” around those courses. Now I feel old compared to these kids. [laughs]

FFA: Yes. It’s amazing. But still, 22 is still pretty young to take Avatar. Especially back then when the course was fairly new and unknown. What prompted you to take it?

EH: Well it’s like what I was saying, about the last album, and really all of them over the last ten years… I took Avatar initially because I wanted to feel more in control of my life. I wanted to feel like I was creating my experiences. I could FEEL that what it was about totally vibrated with what I believed personally. I mean, the whole “we create our experiences based on our beliefs” premise… I believed that already. Or at least wanted to. But how do we control our beliefs? That’s what puzzled me and interested me the most. And I learned how to do that on that first Avatar Course; and in the future ones that I took like Masters and Wizards. It gave me the ability to create my beliefs deliberately. So instead of feeling caught up in a large out of control system like the music business, I created feeling in control and confident. And every album since has done better than the last. It’s really been a very positive force in my career. For sure. There’s no arguing about that.

FFA: So do you use the tools regularly?

EH: Yes. Absolutely. I try to live through them… By using them all the time… Like in every moment. After a while, it transcends “using the tools” and just becomes… a way of life, a habit, how you live.

FFA: Have you used the tools specifically about your career? In other words is there a direct correlation between the success you’ve had and using the Avatar tools?

EH: Yes. Absolutely. In terms of using them specifically around my career, I learned from some of the more experienced Avatars out there – and I’m not sure if this is “a thing” or not… But I learned that they might go to a course and dedicate that whole course to just one aspect of their lives, like say their career, or money. Other things come up of course, because it’s all connected, all the different aspects of our lives… but I went to a Pro Course [The Avatar Professional Masters Course] and decided to dedicate the whole course to my career. And it was a truly amazing experience. Doing it that way.

FFA: In what way?

EH: Just the discipline you have to have in order to do that, to stay focused on one thing; controlling your will to be able to do it. And then the variety of tools available to you to explore that one aspect of your life. They offer you so many different perspectives you’ve never thought of before. And the course keeps you on track to really get to the bottom of things. In whatever you’re focusing on. In that case, tackling your beliefs about one specific subject, like your career, from the variety of different angles that are provided to you by using all those different tools. We released the Rise and Shine album a few months later and that album took off bigger and faster than we ever expected. It opened the door for us. Before that, we were a new and relatively unknown band. After that album, we became a national act. The songs were charting in cities all over the country. That was when I first started learning about where all these cities were that we hear about all the time around the country. From the radio station play charts. [laughs] I can’t help believe that part of what helped all that to happen was because I had dedicated that course a few months earlier to focusing just on my career. It was so effortless.

FFA: Have you done that with other areas of your life? Is it something you always do?

EH: No it is not something I always do. But I have done it with other things. But not usually. I did it regarding relationships one year and that was also very successful. I found my soul-mate because of doing that I believe. I cleaned up all the beliefs I had about love and romance and relationships… But usually I just take the courses and allow whatever comes up to come up. And you know, what I notice is that if your attention is on your career, then that’s what’s going to come up for you anyway. So it’s not really necessary. It all tends to work out perfectly if you don’t fight it and you just let it flow. Ultimately it’s your consciousness, no one else’s. You just have to decide if you want to be a victim of it or the master and leader of it.

FFA: That’s well put. So how do the courses affect your music? As an artist?

EH: Well I get that question a lot. And the answer is I honestly don’t know. I know that the answer is supposed to be really incredible and mystical or magical in some way… There’s this expectation there it seems… But honestly, in terms of music, I’ve been writing and playing music since I was a kid, since before I could walk. So if I were to be totally honest, I don’t know what affect it’s had. Freedom maybe?

FFA: That’s fair. Freedom in what way?

EH: Well… I can tell you this. When I first took the Avatar Course and then the Masters Courses, I felt OUT OF THIS WORLD. I had never felt so good in my life. Just like… I don’t know, flying is how I would put it. High as a kite, but without drugs. High on life. [Hale is very animated as he speaks. His eyes are wide and he uses a lot of hand gestures.] I felt SO confident and SO fresh and new and GOOD inside. I KNOW that came through in the music I was writing back then. It gave me a feeling of invincibility and that definitely translated to me having a new-found confidence as a musician and as a writer… to write whatever I wanted to and forget about any of the so-called “rules of the business”. You know? So in that sense, the courses did affect my music tremendously.

FFA: Some of your songs are very spiritual. You tend to write more specifically about spiritual matters than other mainstream rock or pop singers…

EH: So now I’m mainstream? That’s a first!

FFA: You know what I mean, singers in the public eye… most of them don’t write about spirituality as much as you do. Even the ideas of Avatar and Abraham Hicks are referenced. I also couldn’t help notice that you credit Harry Palmer on some of the songs.

EH: Well yeah, [laughs] you get so excited after you first learn all that knowledge. It’s a big WOW moment. Like discovering chocolate or sex for the first time or something. [laughs] But bigger. Just the knowledge is mind-blowing, right? So it’s a given that you’re going to want to share that with people. Just not go overboard with it… hopefully. But if you use the tools on a regular basis, if you practice BEING an Avatar… then you feel like you’re walking on clouds most of the time. Those ideals and principles are embedded in you. Simple things. But profound. So they tend to come out in the lyrics. If I write a lyric that sounds really close to something I’ve read then yeah I’ll give credit to wherever I think credit is due. When I was younger I was writing a lot of songs about spirituality and transcendence and stuff like that and it really did feel like I was channeling the ideas of Avatar through music at times. So I would credit whoever was the inspiration. That doesn’t make our publisher very happy [laughs] because it creates a lot more paper work. But it’s the right thing to do. Harry Palmer’s ideas have been a huge influence on me and how I think… ever since I was a kid.

FFA: Does he know that he’s written songs with you?

EH: I don’t know. [laughs] That’s a weird way to put it. But I’ve never kept it a secret. We’ve never talked about it. I always wonder if he gets these checks in the mail and then wonders where they’re coming from. [laughs]

II

FFA: You’ve also had tremendous success in business, as an entrepreneur.

EH: I’ve tried. [laughs]

FFA: Well you have. That’s an aspect of your career that isn’t talked about as much. You were a successful entrepreneur before you were 30, irrespective of your career in music. And that seems to be a running thread throughout your life, starting businesses and being in business, since you were very young. [Hale started his first company at the age of 20 when he opened up a rehearsal and recording studio. Since then he’s owned health food stores, juice bars, a vitamin manufacturing company, a business consulting company, a record label and a real estate investment company.]

EH: Yeah, for sure. That’s another one of those things that I just absolutely LOVE. Business. Being in business. LOVE it.

FFA: You say that about a lot of things!

EH: Maybe I do… [laughs] I don’t know. I guess I just love a lot of stuff. Hey that’s the Ambassador!

FFA: So what is it about business that you love?

EH: Well I was raised in that kind of an environment, number one. I grew up with my parents owning businesses. So I think that was instrumental in it. And I have just always enjoyed being in business for myself more than working for other people. Though I don’t necessarily believe that it’s easier. I actually think working for other people – especially for a large company – is the easier path to take, for sure. But for someone like me… I just could never imagine doing that full time and long term. Plus, there’s also a real rush you get out of the risky and adventurous aspect of being in business for yourself. Unlimited reward but unlimited risk as well. I get off on that.

FFA: But how do you keep up with it? And how does Avatar affect it?

EH: You know that’s two questions, right? [laughs] I’ve always been fascinated by being in business for yourself. Since I was a kid I always admired those kind of people. Tony Robbins has been as big an influence on me as say, someone like John Lennon. Almost equal. And I also found that I was good at it, or at least lucky in it. So I keep up with it as best as I can. Probably not as well as I could honestly. The Avatar thing, that’s a different story. It helps obviously. I know that. That’s the thing… Avatar helps you with everything. It’s not just one aspect of your life. It’s your whole life that is affected.

FFA: You’ve talked about Harry Palmer and Tony Robbins a lot throughout your career in interviews. They seem to come up quite a bit.

EH: [laughs] Yeah I guess I do. But hey if you’re going to have mentors, they might as well be great ones. And for my money those are two of the brightest minds in the world today when it comes to personal achievement. Even though they’re very different. Stephen Bauman too. He’s more of a spiritual intellectual who keeps your integrity on its toes. But really all of them do that. [Stephen Bauman is an author, speaker and Methodist Pastor in New York City]

FFA: I know your love for Tony Robbins and Stephen Bauman. But in relation to this website and its readers, how does Avatar help with your success in business?

EH: Well to me I think the answer to that question is obvious, but for someone who’s never taken any of the Avatar Courses before…. okay, we can go there… Say you’re experiencing the same challenge over and over again in your business. Everything seems to be going well except this one thing… Or perhaps LOTS of things… You can keep banging your head against the wall over it… Hire new people, recruit consultants, read more books, take more classes, etc. etc. OR you can take a look at the beliefs underneath this problem and once you discover them, you can then DIScreate them. That’s a term that Harry Palmer came up with in the Avatar Course. It’s brilliant. And voila! They’re gone. That challenge will no longer be there. THAT’S how it can help. It’s miraculous. If people have ever seen that movie The Secret… it’s like that. But it’s real.

FFA: You make it sound so easy.

EH: Well in a way, it is. Not all the time. But it isn’t rocket science. It’s a very natural thing. It’s an organic process, just like breathing oxygen. We just have to re-remember it… Discreating limiting beliefs helps us remove obstacles in our life that up to that point seem insurmountable to us. I can honestly say I would not have experienced the level of business success I have had in my life, especially as young as I was, without having that knowledge and those tools. To me it’s a no-brainer. The same with religious faith. Both help.

FFA: Speaking of obstacles, you’ve had your share and always seem to bounce back, which has been an inspiration to many people. What’s the secret? Or does that give away the plot to your new book? [Hale has a new business/inspirational book coming out this year entitled Bouncing Back When Flat]

EH: Besides what I just said? [laughs] I mean that kind of sums it up, right?

FAA: I was hoping we could go a little deeper.

EH: Okay well which ones? There’ve been a lot of them. [laughs] It hasn’t been as easy as people seem to think it has. It never is. Not for any of us.

FFA: A few years ago you experienced a major business setback that left you broke and even homeless for a while, which is what your new book is about. I’ve read some of the interviews about that experience and it’s shocking. But you turned it around. What I’m trying to come to is how you did it? [In 2006 Hale discovered that his business partner, Naomi Whittel (nee Balcombe) (now at Reserveage Organics), had sold one of the companies he had founded, Ageless Foundation Laboratories, without his knowledge to a publicly traded company. Hale found out through the SEC filing. Naturade Inc., the company who purchased Hale’s company, didn’t even know Hale was an owner of the company when they made the purchase, finding out months later. The story has been written about extensively, but Hale has been relatively quiet about it.]

EH: Yeah, that… [This is the first time in the interview Hale becomes quiet, anything but animated.] That’s still a tough thing for me to talk about. But I understand that it’s important and why you think it’s relevant. I’m still coming to terms with it all.

FFA: Well that’s why you wrote this book, right?

EH: Yes. Absolutely. It’s an important story. I know that.

FFA: Not many people can imagine living through that kind of a setback, let alone bouncing back from it. But you did. Rather quickly some would say. And you have had tremendous success since then.

EH: Yes, I know. And I’m very grateful for that. Hence the book. If I can do that, then anyone can do anything. That’s how I look at it.

FFA: I read an interview you gave last year where you did talk about it and it was inspiring. I only ask because the story does have a happy ending. You didn’t let it take you down, but instead you found a way to work your way back to the top. That’s an incredible achievement.

EH: Yes, it did take me down. I mean, how could it not have? One day I was going about my business and living my life, not a worry in the world, and then in one fell swoop everything I had in the world was gone. Bank accounts, credit cards, my company, retirement savings. Everything. Gone. It was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever lived through. For sure. But you’re right, I didn’t let it keep me down forever. I started from scratch and rebuilt. And slowly I was able to rise back up.

FFA: Without giving too much of the book away, how were you able to do that?

EH: Well for one thing, my faith is very strong. We’ve talked about that. I’ve never hidden that. I try not to be preachy, but I also think it’s bullshit, pardon my French, when entertainers keep their faith in the closet because they’re worried about how it’s going to affect their career.

FFA: You’ve certainly never done that.

EH: No, I haven’t. I talk about it when it’s appropriate. It’s important to me and I believe it’s important to a lot of my friends and fans.

FFA: You write a lot about religion and faith in your blog and sometimes sound almost anti-religious, almost like an atheist, which I know you’re not. And yet at the same time you write a lot about being a Christian and how challenging it is. Can you explain that a little?

EH: Well I’m definitely not one of those “100% sold” kind of people. I think anyone who’s really honest about their religious faith is going to be confused about it… and struggle occasionally. Because there are just so many contradictions in religion and spirituality… The difference with me I guess is that I haven’t necessarily chosen a side yet… I’m still open to all of them…. dissecting it all. And I explore all that a lot publicly in the Diaries. [Hale is referring to his long-running blog The Transcendence Diaries].

FFA: I know a lot of people find that inspiring. But you also anger certain groups of people with this “openness”.

EH: I know. And I don’t mean to. What I’m really doing is what I believe we should all be doing if we’re serious about spirituality and faith… questioning, studying, exploring. I’m not trying to make anybody mad or even question what they believe. To me it’s fun. It’s academic. But it also meaning beyond that.

FFA: I think most people recognize that. So your faith is one of the things that brought you through that business challenge?

EH: Without a doubt. A lot of reflection and prayer. And a lot of counseling with mentors. Seeking advice from older people that I looked up to. Also I had a really strong community around me. Family and friends who were there for me. That’s a tremendous asset. Something that you can’t buy. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know if I’d be here today. Because when that kind of thing happens to you, you really start questioning your life. All your effort and hard work and even your beliefs, things that you’ve taken for granted your whole life all of a sudden… you start questioning.

FFA: Like what?

EH: Well like… just everything. For example, you assume that if you work hard and you’re a good person that you’re going to succeed. That’s what I’d ALWAYS believed. My whole life. And I experienced that. Over and over again throughout my life that’s what I experienced. And then when this happened, it was so shocking, that it was hard to put those pieces back together, of that belief. It didn’t ring true to me anymore. Being a good person did NOT equal being successful. I started wondering if maybe that was just bs and perhaps we were supposed to be bad people and that was how to succeed. That was my first gut reaction of course. It took me some time to overcome that idea…. because bad people seem to succeed just as much as good people.

FFA: It’s easy to see how you could come to that.

EH: Right? But here’s the thing. I was wrong. We’re not “good” people because we want to succeed. We’re good people because we believe that’s the best way to live life. You know? My friends and family would call me every day, I mean every day, just to see how I was doing and check in on me. That was a big help. And we would talk about it and little by little they got through to me. I remember this one time I was driving around Manhattan with a friend, Big Mac, I LOVE this guy. He’s super funny, a southern guy. And he had just finished seminary at Princeton… So he is a spiritual guy too…

FFA: You write about him in your Diaries. I know the name.

EH: Yep. I write about EVERYBODY in the Diaries. Much to their displeasure! [laughs]

FFA: I definitely want to talk about that later, because I have a lot of questions about your blog and the reaction you’ve gotten through the years, but I don’t want to interrupt your train of thought. So go on with the story.

EH: Okay… So I was telling Big Mac how I was trying to make sense of God’s plan for my life with making this horrible thing happen to me. With Naomi and the business. That perhaps God was trying to show me a different path to take, rather than all this success and being a business tycoon that maybe God wanted me to be more focused on making the world a better place. And Big Mac, he just looked over at me and said “Bro I could never believe in a God like that.” I’ll never forget it. That was just one of those moments in life you never forget. I was like “What do you mean?” And he said “Ed, God doesn’t make bad things happen to people. God is grace. And love. Who did this to you? This Naomi chick did this to you.” The way he enunciated her name in his southern drawl… I can still remember it… He said “People did this to you man. God didn’t. God is the one helping you. Not hurting you.” I turned around in my seat and I began to cry. Right there in his truck. Because that was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. I had been so puzzled by it. I couldn’t figure out WHY it happened… I was still trying to make sense of it. But he made me realize in that moment that it didn’t have anything to do with God or God’s plan… it was people. If anything, God is there to help us, not hurt us. At least in his view.

FFA: And is that your viewpoint now?

EH: Yes. Absolutely. That really resonated with me. When he said it. And looking back, still, it totally changed my whole point of view. That’s what I mean by my beliefs were being challenged. I was actually so fooled for a while there that I thought maybe that “God” wanted me to suffer in that way… It’s crazy. But luckily, if anything it made me stronger. And more importantly it offered me a reference point for how to view life when bad things happen to us. That it’s not about blaming God, every time something good or bad happens to us. People were the cause of it. And more importantly so was I.

FFA: How so? How were you the cause of it?

EH: Well that’s the part where I think I got the most out of the experience. Where if there is anything positive to take away from it, I got it. The first thing I did, because I had taken Avatar, was I started looking at my own past actions to see what was there, what had I done, in my life… I started reflecting on my own responsibility in the whole thing, instead of blaming anyone – and trust me it was easy to blame people… it was a horrible thing they did, they broke the law in a hundred different ways, and worse… broke my heart by taking advantage of our friendship… I HATE stuff like that… people like that. But I knew I needed to look for where and how I was responsible… So on the one hand, I saw how we have to be real when it comes to people doing harmful things to us; it happens. We can’t live in a bubble and pretend that there aren’t bad people out there. Because there are. But I also saw that I had some responsibility in it too.

FFA: That’s admirable, but in what ways were you responsible?

EH: Well I can’t act like I did anything overtly wrong to cause it… Sometimes people can make the mistake of over-owning things I think. It’s not like I was acting unethically or broke the law or something… I was a good guy. Same as I am now. But I had been warned that that kind of thing might happen before it did… at least a hundred times before to be honest. It wasn’t like it came out of the blue. I had been in business with Naomi for years. And that was the main thing we argued about, was her always wanting to break the law and me always saying that we most certainly should NOT. And our employees would always be stuck in the middle, between our two viewpoints. She constantly accused me of being “self-righteous” and I just wanted us to play it straight. So I had definitely been warned already. But what had I done about it? Nothing. Sure we had stacks of legal agreements between us that prohibited us from doing those kinds of things… But based on what I’d already experienced with her in the past, I should have known better. I should have taken more action BEFORE all that happened. And I didn’t. Why? Because I was being lazy, yes… or because I was resisting conflict. For sure. I didn’t like conflict of any kind. I love people and I love harmony and I’m all about love and peace, you know? So I just pretended like everything was fine when I knew it really wasn’t. I could feel it…

FFA: You were in denial… of your intuition?

EH: Yes, absolutely. Living in denial. Pretending. I helped to create the whole thing through knowing about the potential for something like that to happen and NOT doing anything about it. NOT acting when you know you should can be just as bad as TAKING an action that’s harmful.

FFA: So you took responsibility for the experience? Did that make it easier to deal with?

EH: Yes, absolutely. It gave me a sense of relief. It enabled me to feel the remorse for my non-actions that might have contributed to it, and other things, and then to move on. What it does is help you feel responsible for it rather than like a victim of it.

FFA: That’s a great example of using what you learn in Avatar in the real world.

EH: Yes. Totally. I think so. That one experience compelled me to fill three whole notebooks with actions from my past that I felt weren’t necessarily aligned with being a good person and to make amends for them. In order to get a fresh start. It led to a lot of self-reflection and taking responsibility for my past. I became a better person through doing all that.

FFA: When you’ve written about the experience that’s what you mean by it also being a positive experience…

EH: Yes. Let’s face it. No one wants to go through something like that. To have everything you own taken from you by other people. That’s a bad thing. The betrayal aspect of it alone is enough to make you feel so discouraged and ungrounded… so unsure of yourself and the world. When someone lies to you so overtly and is doing it from a place of friendship, it can really screw with your mind. But you have to find a way to turn it around and see the positive side of it. And for me the best way to do that was to start looking at me instead of at the others. And to start planning how I could improve who I was as a person… Once again I saw firsthand how our actions in the world can affect others, either in a positive or in a negative way. That’s the least we can do. Take stock of our actions and make sure we are having a positive impact. So that’s what I did.

FFA: That is inspiring. And within a few years you had overcome it and were back on top again with three hit albums, songs on the Billboard charts, and your now infamous trip to Iran… Do you think there’s any correlation between what you went through and the success you’ve had?

EH: No. I don’t. Maybe, I don’t know. I know it inspired me. But only through necessity. Before that happened I was really enjoying life. Taking advantage of how hard I had worked and how successful I had become. After that, I was forced to go back to square one and start over again and rebuild my entire life and career from scratch. It really inspired me to become successful again. I was determined to. So in that respect yes there was a correlation. But I’ll tell you this: no one should ever believe for a minute that they need to endure some kind of tragedy or suffering in order to succeed. That would be a very impeding and unnecessary belief to cultivate.

FFA: That’s a good point to make.

EH: Well if you go and read a lot of the articles that were written when our first album after that experience came out and became successful there is a lot of attention paid to the whole rags to riches aspect of it, “from homeless to Billboard!” became a headline. As if there was a romantic aspect to it. And I can promise you that there is nothing romantic about going through something like that. If you can avoid it, do so.

FFA: Well the story is an appealing and inspiring one, from an entertainment or person of interest point of view. You can see that…

EH: Yeah, I can. Totally. Which is one of the reasons why I wrote a book about it. I mean, I get it. How often does something like that happen to a person? Not very often. It’s more like a movie than real life.

III

FFA: There is another aspect about that experience that I wanted to have you talk about if you don’t mind, because I think it’s important. Ultimately you decided to settle the whole thing with your partner out of court. Yet the case still remains unresolved years later. Why did you decide to do that? And do you regret it now? [Naomi Whittel signed a settlement agreement to pay Hale for the sale of the company in order to render it a legal transaction months after the sale and prevent the case from going to court, but the agreement has never been fulfilled.]

EH: Well that’s more than just one question….

FFA: Okay. Why did you agree to settle out of court? Why didn’t you just go about it in a more traditional business manner?

EH: You mean by taking legal action?

FFA: Yes. Laws were clearly broken. Contracts were breached. It seems like an open and shut case.

EH: Right, I know. And it was. I get this question a lot, especially from other business people. There was a ton of criminal activity revealed. Fraud, forgery, tax fraud, embezzlement, a lot of lying and stealing… You know. Crazy stuff. It was something right out of a movie. Totally unreal and way outside anything I’d ever dealt with before. It’s insane when you think about it. This was a situation where yes, I probably could have played tougher… But for one thing, there’s a good chance that Naomi would have gone to jail if I would have gone public with it by taking it to court. And I was still operating under the misconception that Naomi and I were friends. We had been engaged to be married after all for years. So I still cared about her as a person. Secondly, she literally called me every day for years from the moment I found out what she had done…. Begging me to settle. Even though it may seem in retrospect like such an open and shut case now, at the time, I was still receiving these calls from her every day begging me to settle and not go to court. I felt very pulled. Between my loyalty to her as a person, and to her family… And to doing the right thing perhaps…

FFA: So now you think that taking it to court would have been the right thing?

EH: Well it would have been the more normal action to take under those circumstances…. But also I felt that there had already been enough legal action in our lives. I mean, she had created such a huge mess of legal actions for us already. It was all lawyers and law firms galore… for years. No one was winning except the law firms as they say. But because I had made peace within myself about it, and she was pushing hard for an out of court settlement, I looked at both outcomes… Part of me really wanted to “get justice”. Because in business that’s what you do. If someone commits a criminal act, they deserve to get what they get, right? Justice, to the full extent of the law. I got that. But at what cost to me and my own sanity? And at what cost to my family and friends? They’d already been through the ringer because of what happened. I reflected on it and prayed about it a lot… And it just seemed like settling it was the right thing to do. To put it behind us as quickly and smoothly as possible.

FFA: Plus you assumed that once you settled that it would really be over and behind you as you say.

EH: Yes, I did. Totally. I thought that would be the end of it. The end of “the Naomi saga” once and for all. It happened. It was bad. But the ball was in my court. I could sue and drag it out in court for years, or I could forgive and settle and move on with my life.

FFA: But it didn’t end there. After all that, the settlement agreement remains unfulfilled. Which is what led to the major setback you experienced. So do you regret that decision now?

EH: Yes and no. Yes, because I wish it were over. I regret what I had to go through. And I am sublimely shocked that we’re still talking about it years later. I don’t honestly know how she can deal with it still being out there open and unresolved. But no, because in that moment I feel like I made the most responsible and mature decision that could have been made at that time. Trust me, forgiveness in those kinds of situations is difficult… but it’s the HIGH road. Being vindictive or seeking vengeance, that may be the more common road, but it’s not the high road.

FFA: Yes, as an Avatar I completely understand you choosing forgiveness over revenge. Even though in the end it was a costly decision…

EH: Yes, it was. So far at least. But I’m still giving her the benefit of the doubt. That’s the part that a lot of people don’t understand. At first she swore up and down that she had nothing to do with it, that she was “forced into it by her husband and this pack of evil attorneys” they had hired. I didn’t necessarily believe her… But you know, when you’re close to someone like that… It’s hard to cut the line completely that connects you. There is still love there. And compassion. You want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

FFA: But it sounds like a very one-sided kind of compassion.

EH: Maybe it is… That’s something I wonder about sometimes. Long story short, she swore up and down that she had every intention of fulfilling the agreement, and more than anything she was just afraid. At the time I felt like I was doing the right thing, by being compassionate and forgiving, because that’s what WE do, right? And protecting her…

FFA: Yes, I agree. That’s what we do. But this brings up the question of when is it better to look out for yourself by taking a more Guardian Heart approach? [Guardian Heart is a concept explored in the book Resurfacing by Harry Palmer.]

EH: I know… There’s a fine line between being a nice person or a good person and letting someone take advantage of you… They are two different things. And sometimes we confuse them. Maybe I’ve crossed that line now… I hope not. But I can tell you now, after going through all of that, I understand the importance of the Guardian Heart a lot more now, of not confusing being a nice person with being someone who allows others to take advantage of them. That IS something that we tend to get confused sometimes as humans. I also see the importance of standing up for what we believe in or just being committed to protecting ourselves and our loved ones. I know what you’re getting at. And I am in no way attempting to promote forgiveness as being equal to letting people take advantage of us.

FFA: There is a certain responsibility we have to ourselves and to others in defending integrity and justice for the good of everyone…

EH: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one of the reasons why I decided to write the book about what happened. It’s not just about the inspiration factor. But more about the responsibility to others. Not just to inspire other people who might be going through a similar challenge, but also to warn people that this kind of thing can happen to the best of us. No matter how nice we are or how good of people we are. No one is immune to it. You have to look out for yourself, no matter how nice of a person you are. But it is how we deal with it that is the true measure of a person.

I remember Tony Robbins telling a story once about how he went through a similar experience in his business life. His CFO was also his best friend and he discovered that this guy had been embezzling a ton of money from their company and it just shattered him; challenged his optimistic outlook for a while. When he told that story, I couldn’t relate to it at all. I was too young. I had never gone through anything like that. But when almost the same exact thing happened to ME… THEN I could relate to it. And knowing ahead of time that he lived through it really helped me. His story and his struggle with that inspired me. And I’m sure there are a lot of people who would be surprised that something like this even happened to me, because I’ve never really talked about it openly before. But I get it now. That responsibility to share it so other people can learn from it. That’s important.

FFA: I believe it is too. Not to spoil the finale of your book, but can you share at least a little about how you were able to rebuild from something like that? Tangible things, actions that you took.

EH: Yes, absolutely. If you can imagine waking up one day and being absolutely flat broke after years of working and having made a ton of money… Going from wealthy to broke overnight. That money still exists, but you just can’t get to it. Someone else now has control of it. You can’t even afford your next meal because your bank accounts have been taken over. Horrible right?

FFA: I find it hard to imagine. I think most people would.

EH: Well me too… Until it happened. After it happened, I wasn’t just broke; I was also extremely disheartened. It was hard to believe in humanity at all. But I didn’t want to become a jaded person. Or cynical. Or believe the worst in people. So I used the Avatar tools to let all those potentially negative beliefs go. I discreated them. And I deliberately created being who I really believed I was: a generally positive and optimistic person who believed in myself and others. I took every guitar I had and walked each one to a different friend’s house and left it there and said “I’ve been hit in a bad way. You know this. I need money for an attorney and money to eat. Here’s a guitar. This is what it’s worth. If you’re willing to help, I’ll leave it here till I can pay you back.” And you know, every friend I had was more than willing to help me out. It makes me emotional still. Because it really showed me how powerful friendships are. I had guitars all over the city in different people’s homes as collateral. And honestly half of my friends didn’t even care about collateral. That was just for me. To make me feel more comfortable in receiving help…

FFA: That’s exactly the kind of thing I was hoping you would share. These tangible actions that you took. I think people will find them very inspiring and informative.

EH: Well yeah, obviously in that kind of situation you have to find a way to get on your feet. Just to be able to eat. The part that hurt the worst is that Naomi and I were connected at the hip for ten years before that. We were engaged to be married for God’s sake. AND business partners for years after that. So she knew that once she did that that I would literally not have a cent to my name, nor even a way to eat. It was astounding to me that someone could do that. But once it happens you have to move on and find a way out of it. So that’s the first thing I did. Then I hired an attorney to help me sort out just what the hell happened. And then I started doing consulting work to bring in money. Business and health consulting. And of course liquidating assets. Physical things… And then I started hardcore trading again.

FFA: You mean trading in the stock market?

EH: Yes. Something I already had a lot of experience with. But besides real estate there’s no faster way to make money fast when your funds are limited. Of course it works in the reverse as well. So you really have to have a strong stomach and nerves of steel. But it was all about taking very real and tangible actions to move forward and start to rebuild. All of this AND still trying to finish recording the new albums with the band at that time and play shows in different cities.

FFA: I remember that. I bet a lot of people wondered why you changed so many things in your life at the time.

EH: Yes I’m sure they did. Because I also leased out my apartment in Manhattan for a while to make money. Whatever it took. Living with family and friends. It was a freaking nightmare honestly. But it was also a tremendous challenge and so kind of fun… When people asked me what was up, I didn’t hide the truth. But I also didn’t advertise it. I just kept moving forward. It was an insane position to be in. But you start from where you are. You start with the basics. You create being happy to be you, and simple things like “I can do this”. “I can make it happen”. “I believe in me”. Things like that. Using the Avatar tools to create those realities. Or whatever “tools” you have available to you. In spite of how challenging things may appear. You do it anyway. And at the same time you announce it to the world. Tell everyone what you’re doing. For me that meant telling everyone “The Ambassador is down but he’s not out! I’m rebuilding the empire!” Perceive it as a challenge, a doable challenge. And set about every day to being real with where you are… but also striving toward bigger things. I truly believed that I had learned a valuable lesson, but that I was not meant to stay down for long. That was not my destiny. I didn’t take all these courses and read all these books to let one major setback ruin my life forever. I was totally committed to rebuilding in spite of that setback.

FFA: When the first song from your new solo album made it onto the Billboard Charts, after going through all that, did it feel like your hard work had finally paid off?

EH: Are you kidding? Yeah. It was amazing! We laughed, we cried. And then laughed some more. A lot of jumping up and down screaming. One of the greatest days of my life. Friends calling from all over the country because they just heard the song on the radio or in their car… Things like that. I think because of the immense disadvantage I had been placed in – and everyone knowing about it…. That’s what made it so much more enjoyable for everyone. To be down like that and to rebuild it all from scratch and then top it off by hitting the Top 40 a few times. That was an amazing moment for sure.

FFA: You really did “bounce back when flat” as you say.

EH: Yeah, it’s hard to believe. But we did it!

IV

FFA: And it didn’t end there. Around the same time, you were invited to be one of only a handful of Americans to visit Iran post-revolution on a peace mission. How did that come about? [Hale visited Iran in 2009 on a well-publicized Civilian Diplomacy mission along with eleven other Americans in leadership positions from a wide cross section of different industries. He represented the arts. He just returned from a similar trip to Israel-Palestine recently. In between he’s also visited countries in Africa, Europe and Central and South America to build homes and community centers.]

EH: I’m glad you asked. Because it’s actually a really magical story in a way. I was at this silent retreat at a convent of nuns…

FFA: You always say these things that sound so outrageous… Like you’re narrating a movie.

EH: Hah! Well I’m telling you, this is what happened. It sounds crazy. But that’s how it went down. I was at a silent retreat at a convent of all these sisters in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. Episcopalian I think. And you couldn’t talk for like a week. So I used that time to just unwind and decompress. But they had this policy where during meals you could do some light talking… something like that. I met this one sister who was really cool, very hip. And we shared this passion for global human rights activism. We couldn’t really talk that much. But we got to know each other. And at the very end of the retreat she told me about this historic upcoming delegation of Americans who were headed to the country of Iran for a two week peace mission. She said that the application process had expired, but that if I got mine in really quickly that she’d put in a good word for me with the international organization that was putting the thing together. I had been trying to get into Iran for five years. I must have applied ten times and was denied every time. I had already been studying the language, Farsi, so I could speak the language a little bit… That helped. And you know, there’s more, but basically it all came down to me being at this silent retreat in the middle of nowhere that got me into Iran. Sort of. I suppose it was more than that. But that was the original impetus.

FFA: Being in the right place at the right time. It’s fascinating how these little miracles happen in our lives when we’ve put our attention and intention on them.

EH: Exactly! First our attention, then our intention, get rid of beliefs or ideas that are in the way and BAM! Things manifest!

FFA: Can you talk a little bit about your activism?

EH: Well it is something that I am passionate about. I think it’s an easy way to feel good. Because you’re giving back. It’s not all about you. It’s nice to step outside of it being all about us sometimes. A lot of times actually. [laughs. Hale has become reanimated. His eyes have that light back in them.] Every one of those trips will stay with me forever. I hope this is only the beginning.

FFA: And again you started a business around it. But this one was a non-profit. What is the goal of your PeaceWithIran.com organization?

EH: Just that. Peace with Iran. Exactly what it says. I honestly see it as a reality. I see it happening. Maybe not this year. But soon. The alternatives are far worse than the simple act of a peaceful reconciliation between the two countries.

FFA: From your mouth to God’s ears. What was the most important thing you learned from your trip to Iran?

EH: Great question. I’ve written a lot about this already, but I’d say that the first thing that struck me was how genuinely nice they are there and how much they love Americans. That was very much a surprise for me, for all of us on that trip. We never hear about what nice people the Iranians are here in the States. And we also don’t hear about how much they love and admire us here. That’s an important thing to share I think.

FFA: What other areas of activism are you interested in moving forward?

EH: Well now a lot of my focus lately has been on Israel and Palestine… That’s the real hotbed I believe… Even in regards to Iran, it seems to all come down to Israel and Palestine at the foundation.

V

FFA: Before we go too far off into world politics, can you talk a little bit about your new albums? What keeps you motivated to keep making music at such a rapid pace?

EH: Well I tend to write a lot of songs. AND at the same time I tend to have a lot of ambition when it comes to always wanting to out-do what we did last time, artistically. Every time we get an opportunity to make a new album it feels like such a privilege. So at first we just head into the studio to record our quote-unquote next album. It always starts out as a simple process and then it just starts to slowly get more and more complicated. So it’s just me wanting to challenge myself, see how far I can take it I guess. And the fans, their reaction to it…

FFA: So are the album titles official now? The ones that were just released to the public?

EH: Almost positively yes. Welcome to the Rest of the World for one, and Another Day in the Apocalypse for the other. They’re starting to sound really different from each other now. And the songs have been chosen for each. So we can see the finish line… finally.

FFA: So when can people expect to hear the first single or finished product?

EH: We’re not 100% sure, but my guess would be sometime this spring or summer…

FFA: Well I know a lot of people are excited to hear the albums. The last thing I want to ask you is if there was one thing that you could share with people about any of the Avatar Courses, what would it be? As someone who has taken all the courses and continues to do so.

EH: Well that’s easy. And hard, because there’s so much you could say about it. I mean, it’s a HUGE thing, right? I write about it a lot actually. On the one hand, it’s a way of life. It’s a way of being… You learn a whole new way of being, through becoming more adept at feeling and using your intuition… You become more honest and real. More in line with the truth. But on the other hand, it’s also just a series of courses. You know, it is what it is, whatever each person makes it out to be. I guess that’s what I would say about it. That in essence, the Avatar Course is essentially just a series of courses that contain all this confidential knowledge that you sort of already know, way down deep inside, like it resonates strongly when you read it, as if you’ve known it all your life, right? [Hale is once again excited and animated] And yet now it’s been broken down into very easy to understand and doable steps. That’s amazing! No one had ever done that before. I could go on and on… but put it like this: Take all the cool stuff that we’ve read about in metaphysical and new age books, AND all those documentaries about quantum physics and the so-called paranormal, and then turn all that into a nine day course filled with exercises and processes that teach you how to actually do THOSE things. Tools to help you gain more control over your life and the world around you… more personal power. Now do that with hundreds of thousands of other people from all over the world speaking seventy-something different languages! THAT’S what Avatar has turned into now after almost 30 years. A giant collection of the most enlightened or maybe better put the most enlightenment-seeking people on planet earth. It’s the coolest thing happening in the world right now hands down. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world working on being the best they can be AND trying to make the world a better place! Incredible stuff. People always ask me, “Is it worth the money?” And I’m like “Oh my God, no… it’s worth ten times as much.” Talk about a paradigm shift. If someone is looking for a real paradigm shift –something really transformative in their lives – I can’t think of anything else as powerful or noteworthy. At least not yet anyway. Out of everything out there. And I’ve tried it all and then some.

 

To find out more about an upcoming Avatar Course, visit www.Avatarepc.com

To find out more about Ed Hale, visit iTunes or www.edhale.com

 

America Plays Hero and Villain by Way of Iran

French president Francois Hollande visited the United States this week. Some claim that U.S. president Barack Obama is more actively courting Hollande at present simply because he “can” — implying that his approval ratings are so low abroad that France is the best that he can get; citing allegations that relations with Germany are strained and have swung to all time lows due to recent revelations about the NSA’s wiretapping of German communications. This is politics as usual in our current state of the Union. Speaking of which, for whatever reason, president Obama didn’t get the usual “bump” in approval that most U.S. presidents get in the weeks following a State of the Union Address. But then again, we are in year two of the wounded warrior’s second term.

Historically, U.S. presidents never seem to do fare well in second terms. It will take a few years post-presidency for the general malaise and blame-gaming to stop for Obama, just as it does for all U.S. presidents, and soon the mainstream media will be touting his “countless achievements and unyielding perseverance over numerous adversities” as they prop him up heroically upon the mantle of “the Great Ones” just as they do for every FORMER U.S. president. It’s a taken for granted tradition, a predictable practice — the media seem to believe that the American public NEEDS its former presidents to be heroes.(Though one might make note that such blustery hyperbolic accolades have yet to transpire for former presidents G.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, both of whom remain semi-respected in their own parties, but rather ignored by the country’s general populace and mainstream media). Only time will tell if president Obama will go the way of Bush the younger or Clinton the mythic demi-god who can do no wrong even when he’s doing wrong. Regardless, it is a fascinating spectacle, watching the American public slowly turn on the man that at one time in the not too distant past seemed so beloved that he graced the cover of every magazine on the newsstand — even Gold Digest and various different pet magazines. America hadn’t seen this kind of hero worship since the final days of the Ronald Reagan presidency. But those days are long gone now as more and more grey hairs take over this young president’s once youthful head of hair.

One of the reasons that the White House cited for the French president’s visit to the U.S. was for the two countries to cement their agreement that the country of Iran needed to assure the world that its nuclear program was purely for the purposes of energy and that it would not attempt to create any nuclear weapons. Iran, under the leadership of newly elected president Hassan Rouhani, has for all intents and purposes appeared to cave lately to these demands by the planet’s so-called “super powers” in exchange for their incessant bullying and torment to end. Iran and its people have been under an enormous amount of pressure for over a decade now by a very small select group of albeit very powerful nations, mainly the United States, Great Britain, France and Israel.

They call themselves “the United Nations Security Council” (along with China and Russia — though these countries are much more friendly with Iran). To be clear and fair, the United Nations Security Council is a complete farce. A legal crime syndicate that bosses around and bullies the rest of the countries on earth. If you remember that group of wealthy, good looking bitches in high school who walked around with their noses in the air making fun of everyone else and had a little name for themselves ala the movies Mean Girls or Clueless, that’s essentially what the UN Security Council is. They weren’t elected by anyone. They simply decided that they would form themselves into a little group outside of the confines of the United Nations proper so they could hold the power to veto anything the rest of the countries on earth came to agreement on. And that’s precisely what they do.

How the tiny and entirely new country of “Israel” became a part of this cabal, the most powerful political and military group in the world today, should say more to any intelligent mind about the true nature of Israel than any words can. The fact speaks for itself and does so quite loudly. Over the last ten years, under intense pressure from Israel and the United States, the so-called Security Council has made Iran and its people to suffer enormously. Most people have heard of “the sanctions”, though most don’t actually know what they are or what it implies. The proper term for it in political science speak is “economic terrorism”. A large and powerful country blackmails and bribes as many countries on earth as it can into not doing any business with another country that it is trying to force into doing something. In this case, Israel and the United States have been trying to get Iran to stop their nuclear program (and to be fair, to stop back-door funding terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

The problem that any rational mind would have with this second bit is that the United States and Israel commit much more blatant and atrocious terrorist acts, killing and injuring many more people, on a regular basis than Hezbolla of Hamas ever have or ever will. The difference is that when the U.S. or Israel (or France, Germany, China, or Great Britain for that matter) commit said terrorist acts, they do so openly and overtly and claim that it’s a “justified military act of war in order to defend freedom and liberty”. Small groups like Hezbollah and Hamas claim the same things, but the world isn’t run by people friendly to the populations that these groups serve and protect. So the story gets twisted and manipulated by the powers that be in government and media and voila! “terrorism” turns into “any act of violence committed against the powers that are currently in control of the world at present”.

For the last sixty years, “the power that’s in control at present” has been the United States of America. So it is they who get to write the rules, spin the story, and revise the history that we all pretend to live by. [It would be important to note somewhere, so it might as well be here, that this is the way it’s always been on planet earth as far as we can tell since we can remember. There has always been a dominating power or ruling empire that has controlled the plot and created the rules that the rest of the world pretends to live by. Going all the way back to the early days of recorded human history, one could plot it out: from Sumer to Egypt to Babylon to Persia to Greece to Rome to the Goths and Mongols and Turks and Ottomans, eventually Great Britain, Spain, France… all have had their time in the sun for brief periods as the ruling empire of the day. And eventually they have all failed, faltered and fallen. It’s difficult to imagine for instance Egypt or Rome or the UK or especially France as “the ruling empire of the world”. But at one point they were. The fact that one day the United States will fall and lose its power as the current empire of the day is an inevitability. It is only a matter of time.]

But at present, the United States IS that country. Countries like Iran don’t stand a chance at self governance as long as countries like the U.S. remain in control; UNLESS they find a way to gain access to nuclear weapons. The ONLY determining factor in how much a country on earth can be controlled and bullied by the Unites States is IF they have nuclear weapons and how many they have. It may seem a ridiculously inane and irrational notion — since an all-out nuclear war between two nations would devastate the entire planet and render it inhabitable by just about anything except cockroaches — but the powers that be have this contingency under control, or so they believe they do.

The United States, and supposedly Switzerland and a few other major nation-states as well, have built a very large and elaborate underground bunker-style living quarters, deep underground, that can house and feed up to one-hundred thousand of the country’s “most important citizens” should a nuclear war ever transpire. They would have access to everything from electricity and the internet to plumbing and plenty of food. So the threat of a nuclear attack by the United States if you should piss them off, as horrible and deplorable as it may seem, is a real one. After all, as the former president of Iran, Khatami, once reminded me when I was there last, “the United States does itself a great disservice being the only country in the world who has bombed another country with nuclear weapons. So it’s ironic that they should be the one telling others that they shouldn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons out of fear that they might use them.”

Unfortunately that’s where we are in our current state of evolution. Control and power — even when it comes to self governance of your own land, your own laws, and your own people — is dictated by the country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and the largest fiercest military to use them. That is the ONLY thing that determines who is in control at present. That and money. Which explains how and why countries like Great Britain, France, Germany and Israel are able to ride along side the United States beating their chests and brandishing their own nuclear weapons. Without nuclear weapons, any country on earth is literally helpless to the whims and dictates of the more powerful countries that DO possess them. This is how the United States has been able to commit so many terrorist activities around the world and not be held accountable for them by the global community. This is also how they’ve been able to use economic terrorism (sanctions) to achieve their goals — no matter how unfair, unjust or inhumane — against a variety of countries such as Colombia, Guatemala, Bolivia, Iraq (where this act killed nearly one-million people, half of them being children), and lately in Iran. They slowly strangle the entire population of the country to death economically till the leaders of that country cry “mercy!” and crawl to the negotiating table to ask what the United States wants from them.

I am often asked by people what exactly “economic sanctions” are and how they work. It seems that just saying “economic terrorism” doesn’t suffice to explain it adequately enough. So I am going to give you an example here of what it looks like, just so this post makes more sense. First you announce it to the world. For instance, this small group of bullies that call themselves the “UN Security Council” will decide to enact “stronger sanctions” against the country of Iran. Not all of the countries who are members of the Security Council will necessarily agree to it — in this instance both China and Russia do not agree with sanctions against Iran, both being friends and partners in trade with Iran, so they will vote no. But that doesn’t stop it from happening. Again the United States writes nearly all the rules for the rest of the world, nuclear weapons being the only thing that protects other countries such as China or Russia, from full on control by the United States.

The United States will then order every bank, financial institution, credit card company, commodity manufacturer (the very basic stuff that keep a people alive, think grains, cereals, milk, soy, cotton, corn, wheat, sugar, oil, natural gas, etc.) and any other company that exists to “not do business with the country of Iran or we will not do business with you and we will convince our allies all over the world to also not do business with you.” Think of very large organizations like the World Bank or the World Trade Organization or Monsanto or Dow Chemical or Kellogg or Conoco Philips or BP (that one especially ironic for those in the know…) or Visa, MasterCard, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, etc. Pretty soon you have just about every company in the entire world refusing to supply you with goods, refusing to trade with you, refusing to sell you things, no matter how much you or your people need it. Food, oil, water purification supplies, sanitation needs, banking, credit card processing, financing for new ventures or even basic needs materials, even things like oil and gas, car companies, airlines, transportation needs such as the trains and trucks to get food and medicine into and around your country… All off limits to you and your people.

What you have then is a people entirely cut off from the world and from the very basics that sustain life. Grocery store shelves go bare. Hospitals begin losing access to medicine and supplies. Banks close because lending stops. ATMS stop working. Credit cards don’t work and don’t exist anymore. When I was in Iran they were not yet quite at the peak of the U.S. sanctions against them, but they were already a few years into them. Store shelves are half full. People are forced to carry around large suitcases of cash in order to pay for everything and anything because they can’t get any credit card companies to work with them. In order to pay an additional fee for one of my flights while I was there, I was not allowed to use my credit cards to do so. Nor was I able to find any ATM machines to get cash. Because of the sanctions. There I was in the airport unable to get on the plane to fly home because I could not come up with the suitcase of cash needed to pay this additional fee being requested. I looked around me and all over the airport were men carrying large suitcases filled with hundreds of thousands of Tumans (their currency). They lift them up onto the counter and begin counting them out. Thousands of them. Just to pay for a flight. And so it is with everything in their country. I was able to pay for my flight eventually because I borrowed the cash from a fellow traveler that I was with who knew better than I how bad things were going to be, so he brought a TON of cash with him. IF it weren’t for him, I would have been stranded there.

So, you might be asking by now, surely the rest of the world wouldn’t do this, not ALL of the companies in the world would take part in such a brutal atrocity?! Well, you’re right. Some don’t. China and Russia and many Middle Eastern countries don’t. But these countries don’t have access to “everything”. Only to limited supplies of a limited amount of things needed to sustain life. Many companies don’t WANT to participate in this economic strangling of an entire people. But if they don’t participate then they are blackmailed by the United States: “if we catch you doing business with Iran, we can assure you that we will get every other major country in the world to immediately refrain from buying your goods or using your services”. This could easily bankrupt a company in a few short weeks. So even companies that do not wish to participate in these Draconian tactics are forced to — simply because of the power that the United States currently wields in the world.

To understand the power and the full implications of these economic sanctions, when the United States did this same thing to Iraq during the Clinton years, it is estimated that over one-million Iraqi civilians died, half of them being children, mostly from starvation or thirst or preventable disease. The rest of the world stood on the sidelines and watched this take place. Some spoke up and tried to stop it; but most are just as afraid of the United States and its power and influence as Iraq was. After all, they could be next. THIS is how the United States is able to control the actions of a country without necessarily attacking it militarily. The only thing that prevents the United States from doing this to larger countries like China or Russia, again, is the fact that THEY have nuclear weapons and a strong army. So the U.S. is smart in who it targets with this kind of terrorism. It knows who to fuck with and who to stay away from. (Besides the fact that China is currently propping up the American economy more than any other country on earth. (In case you were wondering why the U.S. claims to stand for freedom democracy and liberty but at the same time supports the overtly corrupt communist China regime…))

Hopefully this helps explain exactly what “economic sanctions” are. Let us return to our story shall we?

Seeing that Iran does not yet have any nuclear weapons, so it’s prone to just about any bullying by the U.S. that the U.S. cares to dish out, it could only hold out during the U.S. led sanctions against it for so long. The economy in Iran was thoroughly ravaged. And why? Because countries like the U.S. and France and Great Britain and especially Israel do not want Iran to have access to nuclear weapons. Plain and simple. But Iran has moved forward steadfastly with its nuclear energy program. It claims that it will be out of oil by the year 2020 and it needs to create a viable nuclear energy program. It also claims that it has no intention of ever using a nuclear weapon against another country, that it violates it’s basic core values as a nation and of its religion. Of this we cannot be sure. EVERY country on earth “claims” to be good nice and well-meaning. And nearly all of them commit horribly selfish acts of violence against others when it suits their needs. Just as the United States does and has, to be fair, Iran has too. At least according to reports we receive from mainstream media.

One thing is at least certain about Iran. They do not have the greatest justice system in the world when it comes to human rights. They’ll put to death some six-hundred people in a year and imprison thousands more for various different “capital offenses” such as speaking out against the government or being gay or peacefully protesting. So as defenders of civil liberties and human rights and equality, we can’t turn a blind eye to these harsh realities about Iran no matter how much we want the United States to be more fair-minded and even handed with them. It’s not an issue of black or white. It’s all very grey and shady.

But with that said, it still does not justify the treatment the country of Iran has received from the United States and other major nations around the world. The only way that Iran is ever going to rise up to a state of equality in the world is to eventually acquire its own nuclear weapons arsenal. This is just a fact of the current state of the world we live in. Might truly makes right. And everything else too. Right now Iran has no choice but to play the apologetic but proud and noble victim to the brutal dictatorship of the United States and its smaller cronies. Unlike the insane Saddam Hussein regime of Iraq, Iran cares about its people and their welfare. It had to eventually cave in to the demands of the United States led UN Security Council, which in this case means allowing inspectors into its country to verify whether or not it’s building nuclear weapons and also lower the level of plutonium it’s enriching to levels not high enough to build nuclear weapons. It’s a very tricky business. On the one hand, possessing nuclear weapons is the only way Iran (and any other country in the world) will ever reach a state of equality with other countries in the world and be treated with the same level of respect that it deserves. On the other hand, it needs for the time being to reduce the amount of sanctions being levied against it for the health and welfare of its people.

There should be no question and no debate about the state of this quandary that we are in regarding Iran and the issues outlines above. The United States is no more a “friendly country with good intentions that stands for freedom liberty and democracy” than Russia, China or any other major world super power. It commits violent acts of terror all over the world on a regular basis and justifies it’s doing so simply because it’s the most powerful country in the world. We cannot claim on the one hand to be intelligent rational adults and continue to pretend that the United States are “the good guys” and everyone they decide to go to war or fight with are “the bad guys” simply because they say so or because we happen to live here. Just as we cannot pretend to believe that Iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons because “they are evil compared to the rest of the world”. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander as they say. If the United States is so adamant about world peace and protecting the world and its people from the threat of nuclear war, then it should give up its own nuclear weapons.

But it won’t. Because then it would have to operate fairly in the world, on equal grounds on a level playing field. So the games and charade continues. But that doesn’t mean that any of us has to play along. One of the greatest gifts the United States ever gave to the world is freedom of thought and freedom of speech. It is one of our most sacred freedoms and probably one that we take for granted a little bit too much since we’re so accustomed to it. Despite what many of our conspiracy theorist friends claim, that freedom is still very much alive and well in America. Especially compared to other countries like China, Russia, Cuba, aforementioned Iran or pick one in the Middle East. As long as that freedom still exists, so too does our ability to speak up about issues like this one regarding Iran and other countries like it.

In fact, I would contend that it’s more than just an ability that we possess, but an obligation that we have. There are people who don’t understand why some of us come off so “anti-American”. They scream and shout and yell at us to “leave if you don’t like it here!” What they don’t realize is that, number one, we are doing nothing but speaking the truth, just not a very common or oft-heard truth, and two, we aren’t “anti-American” at all. On the contrary. We love the United States of America more than most and would like to one day see it rise up to being equal in practice with what it preaches and claims about itself. THAT would give cause for real celebration. I’d love to see it one day in my life before I pass on from here. For that to happen it will take a good majority of us to cry foul when we see one. In regards to our current dealings with Iran, there are plenty of fouls being committed in plain sight. We need to continue to remind each other of this fact and speak up about it. For if we don’t, who will?

To be clear, I’m not saying I desire Iran to have nuclear weapons. If it were up to me, NO country on earth would posses them. We’ve seen what they can do. We know why every country on earth has them and wants them. No good can come from it. What I am saying is that the current state of affairs between the nations of the world and rules by which they all play is dishonest, unjust and unfair. I don’t believe that it’s fair for the one country who possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world to demand that another country not have any, and furthermore especially not if they’re going to do so attempting to act noble and valiant. There is nothing noble or valiant about being the world’s bully and dictator, which is exactly what the United States has turned into. This most recent ruckus with Iran is yet another glaring example of this.

If you’re going to go full-on, all-out deceptive, manipulative and evil, do so proudly ala Nazi Germany or Stalin-era Russia. Don’t hide behind pretense and bullshit like “American exceptionalism” and a bunch of empty clichés like “freedom liberty and democracy”. Don’t lie  in everyone’s face, pretending to be the hero when you’re overtly playing the villain. Just boldly pronounce that you want to rule the world for selfish gain and you don’t care how you do it. I and many others would have a lot more respect for the powers that be in Washington if they did that compared to what they’re doing now. At least they’d be an honest villain, one that we could respect. There’s nothing more loathsome and disreputable than a dishonest villain attempting to fool the world into believing they’re the hero when everyone can plainly see they’re not but is just too afraid to say anything. There’s no respect in that. It reeks of the inevitable coming downfall of an empire. And no one wants to be around when an empire crumbles. Only when it’s rising.

So are we going to support the United States in it’s ascent towards true greatness? Or continue to enable it to play the hated fool on the world stage? That’s a question that as citizens we are all obligated to ask ourselves, and once answered, have further an obligation to act. President Obama has come a long way in acting more evolved towards his treatment of Iran than any U.S. president in a long time. And he should be commended for that. But we’ve got a long way to go if we are truly going to deserve the glorifying accolades that we so readily bestow upon ourselves on a constant basis.