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Deepwater Horizon oil rig on fire

Burning oil rig

Recently I was asked to help put some perspective on what has been taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. From what I understand, this is (among other things) an opportunity for us to harness the frustration and anger being directed at the businesses involved. When harnessed properly, this energy can then be utilized in bringing about a change in the way that we as a people view our dependance upon fossil fuels and the risks that we will take to support our habit.

We are like drug addicts willing to sell their own mother for another fix. We are so fearful of becoming dependent upon foreign oil, that we are willing to risk damaging our own environment by taking to waters that are deeper and more difficult to work in, where our technology is outpaced by our desire for oil. If we had the technology in place to drill “safely” I suppose that’s one thing, but to drill when you cannot contain a blowout or similar problem is bordering on criminal.

The only way that I can see those responsible for this disaster truly making amends is if they honor their own clever marketing campaign by actually moving beyond petroleum, not later, now. As in, taking their vast revenues and ceasing all explorations for future oil reserves and depleting the wells they have already tapped and using all future profits from them in researching, developing, producing and marketing “clean” and renewable energy sources.

This could happen, if enough people push for it, including share holders, and others with a vested interest in these corporations. But, why would the company want to move away from oil when it is so profitable to continue drilling? The answer is to make it far more profitable to move away from the fossil fuels and too costly to continue drilling.

If the process by which to obtain a drilling permit was far more difficult and thorough, it is conceivable that our current crisis could have been averted. By the company’s own admission, they did not have the tools required to do the job when the rig collapsed and began spewing oil from under the sea.

It is much like having a fire in the kitchen and not having a fire extinguisher. You go to the store (with the kitchen on fire) and discover that they do not even have a fire extinguisher that will do the job. So, (with the kitchen nearly burned down) you start making stuff up on the spot and hope that something works before the kitchen is no longer standing.

The Gulf of Mexico will recover in time and so will those affected by this, at least those who live through it – a lot of marine life is being killed that we cannot see. The true impact that this incident has brought upon the earth is yet to be realized and while it will get “worse” before it gets better, it will eventually be behind us and hopefully we will be the wiser for it. With far greater penalties in place for incidents where there is spillage and strict safety regulations that are actually followed and not ignored.

While a healthy dose of anger being leveled at BP makes some sense, let us remember that if we were not content to continue using oil to fuel our vehicles etc., that they would be forced to move on to other fuels. We as a people, need to wean ourselves, by demanding alternative fuels, refusing to allow the continued exploitation of our “oil fields” located in environmentally sensitive places and by holding our politicians accountable.

Speaking of politicians, it truly is sad that the current president has benefited from campaign contributions from big oil. The corruption and cronyism that is/was rampant in the agency responsible for policing and regulating drilling by big oil is a complete travesty and needs to be completely overhauled. The judge that struck down the six month moratorium on deep water offshore oil drilling, had investments in big oil.

One of the most upsetting developments is the government acting as a private security force for BP. I watched a video of an individual who was filming across the street from BP’s Deepwater Horizon incident command center. While on private property (not BP’s) and across a busy street from BP’s building, an officer approached the gentleman and attempted to scare him off. He “strongly advised” that the individual stop filming. When questioned as to why, the officer replied that BP did not like being filmed.

Last week, Drew Wheelan, the conservation coordinator for the American Birding Association, was filming himself across the street from the BP building/Deepwater Horizon response command in Houma, Louisiana. As he explained to me, he was standing in a field that did not belong to the oil company when a police officer approached him and asked him for ID and “strongly suggest[ed]” that he get lost since “BP doesn’t want people filming”:

Here’s the key exchange:

Wheelan: “Am I violating any laws or anything like that?”

Officer: “Um…not particularly. BP doesn’t want people filming.”

Wheelan: “Well, I’m not on their property so BP doesn’t have anything to say about what I do right now.”

Officer: “Let me explain: BP doesn’t want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense.”

Not really! Shortly thereafter, Wheelan got in his car and drove away but was soon was pulled over.

It was the same cop, but this time he had company: Kenneth Thomas, whose badge, Wheelan told me, read “Chief BP Security.” The cop stood by as Thomas interrogated Wheelan for 20 minutes, asking him who he worked with, who he answered to, what he was doing, why he was down here in Louisiana. He phoned Wheelan’s information in to someone. Wheelan says Thomas confiscated his Audubon volunteer badge (he’d recently attended an official Audubon/BP bird-helper volunteer training) and then wouldn’t give it back, which sounds like something only a bully in a bad movie would do. Eventually, Thomas let Wheelan go.

“Then two unmarked security cars followed me,” Wheelan told me. “Maybe I’m paranoid, but I was specifically trying to figure out if they were following me, and every time I pulled over, they pulled over.” This went on for 20 miles. Which does little to mitigate my own developing paranoia about reporting from what can feel like a corporate-police state.

This folks, is almost scarier than the oil spill (gusher) itself. I believe that this little incident illustrates the entire problem. Our government is in bed with big business and when that happens it is safe to say our democratic society has been compromised and is under heavy attack by greed.

Here is the story:

http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=9387

PS

Sending out feelings of hatred to Tony Hayward, President Obama and others involved in this debacle will not help. Instead we should be sending our supportive and constructive thoughts and energy to those involved with this disaster.

Movie Poster for the Lovely Bones

Poster for th Lovely Bones

Four years ago I read “the Lovely Bones” and found that while the book had some serious issues regarding the actual way things are once you die, (from my experience) that overall it was a good read. So … it was with much anticipation that I waited to see the movie once I heard a film was going to be created based upon the book. Soon after the movie came out I tried to see it in the theater, but for one reason or another it never happened. Recently I finally got a chance to see the movie and no disrespect to the actors, but it was not that great.

First of all there is the issue with taking a book that deals with sensitive subject material regarding a juvenile who is abducted, raped and murdered. That alone does not translate well from book to screen, it’s easier to read about than to watch … like a fly on the wall. Granted the film skips over the sexual assault, but still it’s uncomfortable to watch the killer going about planning to abduct the girl and then following through on it.

The elements of the story which I enjoyed, the transparency of our lives to the dead … the fact that there is an afterlife, the fact that some here can see the dead and communicate with them is still there, however I feel too much time was spent on emphasizing something that I do not believe exists the way as portrayed in the movie. When someone is “in-between” worlds, it does not appear as a gazebo in the middle of the cornfield that you may have been murdered in or as an odd place with a lighthouse. Instead, the world appears as it is, except there is little ability to interact with it, at least in the fashion that one was accustomed to.

Some of the story was edited and integral parts of the tale were left out, making the story less compelling. The relationship that the girls mother has with the detective who is working her case is skipped over as are a few additional components of the story.

I hesitate to recommend this movie though I do suggest the book. I thought that while the characters in the film were played well by the actors involved, the subject material does not make a good transition to the screen. So in closing, skip the movie and enjoy the book and remember that it is a work of fiction with just enough genuine elements of the interactions between the departed and those present to make it interesting and compelling. Heaven is of course nothing like what is portrayed in either the book or the film.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

It may as well be said here that I have serious issues with “traditional religion” and am greatly opposed to much of their doctrine. When you have to control people through instilling a fear of hell and eternal damnation into them, there is something wrong with what you are doing.

Having grown up with neither a belief nor disbelief in a heaven and hell, I was free to come to my own realizations, through my own personal experiences – and not through something that had been written in fragments over a period of hundreds if not thousands of years. In my experience, the only hell that exists is the one that we construct for ourselves. When we refuse to move on from our issues and we continue to dwell upon past mistakes and errors we become our own worst enemy.

These demons that we create have power, the power to control us … should we allow them. As like attracts like, the more we obsess over past failures the more likely we are to repeat them.

As a psychic, I have the ability to instantly recall events from the lives of those who have passed on. When I do such, and the connection is not only a strong one, but one that is rich with information regarding traumatic events that occurred to them, it becomes a visceral experience for me. I will feel adrenaline coursing through me, elevated heart rate, fear and other emotions can become very intense. Whatever physical injuries that may occur will be felt by myself (though not quite as painful – usually) It’s like watching a movie, and becoming one with the action on the screen, quite the ride!

Imagine being able to tap into any point in your life and recalling it with such detail and emotion. We all have that ability once passed and we can become wrapped up in it, a self induced psychosis if you will.

When a person takes their own life, it is often a final desperate act – designed to stop the hurting. Sadly the hurting only truly begins once the person takes their own life … that is until they go through their “life review” in the process of crossing over. Taking one’s life frequently results in additional trauma for those left on earth in the physical world and does not end ones problems. Now that they are dead they have no choice but to witness the additional pain and suffering that their selfish act has resulted in bringing to the ones left behind and to those in spirit watching them. If unable to face the life review and crossing over to the other side, they may end up a “tortured soul” stuck between worlds.

Add to all the above drama, a fear of hell, a fear instilled in you by your society, community,  family and the “pillars” of your community – the “religious” leaders and you have a really big problem with the concept of crossing over – not being scary to someone who feels that they may have “sinned.”

Recently I was fortunate to help someone who was tortured in such a way. The names, locations, ages, and dates have been changed to protect the privacy of the family and those involved.

During a recent phone reading it became clear that the boy that was being asked about was both deceased and traveling around as a ghost. He refused to come through during the  reading and it was only at the end of the reading while I was doing a wrap up and discussing what the client should do with some of the material that came through, that he decided to make the crossing.

This young man of 20 had confessed to his girlfriend that he thought he might be gay and that he was not attracted to her. His girlfriend then threatened to tell everyone she knew about him and he freaked out. Being that this was in a conservative part of the mid-west, it was something that this gentleman was afraid was going to destroy him in the community.  He was so depressed and frightened that he hung himself.

The church that his family went to almost didn’t have a service for him. The pastor initially refused, as the guy had committed suicide, after some “soul searching” he relented and presided over the funeral proceedings. The reason for him taking his life was chalked up to drug abuse as he had an addictive personality and was abusing drugs prior to taking his life. Little did the majority of the community know that he had taken a secret to the grave with him, well almost. Not too long after his death, word of the real reason came to light after his ex-girlfriend began chatting about his conversation with him, prior to his passing.

This individual was so wrapped up in sorrow and anger combined with depression and a fear of going to hell that he was stuck as a ghost. He was continuing to hover around those connected to him and was hurting them with his intensely angry, addictive, depressed, lonely, fearful, and loathsome personality coming through. I was in the middle of chatting about him and how the woman who I had just finished a reading with, needed to take a step back from him. She had a picture of him and though she never really knew him, her husband and others were very close to him and she was being affected by his ghostly presence, as were others from his life. After telling her to let him go, I began the process of calling him to cross over.

I addressed him directly, even though I had not yet established a connection with him, I knew that he had to be listening. I told him that he had nothing to fear and that he should cross over and enter his life review. I implored him to do this not only for himself, but for those whom he cared about, as his presence at this time was detrimental to those whom he loved. I let him know that he could return to see his loved ones after crossing over and after taking the weight off his shoulders. I also informed him that the had loved ones in spirit waiting to meet him, (his grandmother showed up.) Very quickly he came through and confirmed his desire to cross over, I felt a shudder go through me and as he entered the room I was in, his presence brought with it an almost suffocating feeling. I felt the weight of his burdens and angst and watched as he met with his grandmother and stepped into the light to begin his life review. As he left there was a palatable shift in the rooms energy and I felt this sudden lifting sensation within the atmosphere. Suddenly it was lighter, as it was before his presence had appeared.

While all of this was taking place, the woman who I was doing the reading for, felt him come and go as well. She and I then ended the reading, with far more accomplished that we had expected to achieve. During the crossing I had wept spontaneously and though somewhat drained I also felt elated.

Due to the hate filled sermons and the intolerance that so many spew in the name of “god” these types of scenarios will continue to play out over and over. Not until we as a society move away from a fear based religion influenced society and on to an environment where we are tolerant and respectful of those who are not like us, will we find peace.

I am yet to encounter evidence that those who are homosexual, go to hell – I do however have plenty of evidence that our society can in essence assist in creating a hell, though not entirely in the biblical sense. One of my favorite quotes regarding the subject of homosexuality is a comment I heard from Harvey Milk. Once while his spirit was paying me a visit he said that “Anyone who masturbates, is at least part bisexual.” What I have witnessed is that love is love and hate is hate, your sexual orientation has nothing to do with it.

It is with great anticipation that I look forward to a world filled with love and devoid of all talk of eternal damnation, hell, demons and sin. I am not saying that there is no right and wrong, just that we should perhaps move out of the dark ages and leave the bigotry and hate behind.