Bobbing Around

Volume Five, Number One
July, 2005

Bob Rich's rave  other issues

*About Bobbing Around
  guidelines for contributions
*Who shall inherit the earth? by Anwaar Hussain.
*Report on a war crime.
*The end of cheap oil Andrew McNamara, M.P.
*Four Key Words for Living by Peter Cohen.
*Genetically engineered plants and health by Robyn Williamson
*Reducing the load of public liability by Mark Snell
  Not getting enough sleep?
  Worried about being too fat? by A. R. Beissel.
*Bargains and resources
  Ann Durand announces a new resource for writers.
  'Tolerance and Poetry' from Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
  Two from Connie Gotsch: a radio show and a book.
  A short story contest for Australian writers.
  Life, Why? a popular philosophy book by Joel Bryant.
  A critique group is open to writers.
  Conference on brief strategic and systemic therapy.
*For writers:
  What it takes to be an editor.
  'TV and radio as stepping stones' by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
  'Two heads are better than one' by Arlene Uslander.
  'Free or not free' by Shaunna Privratsky
*Book reviews
  'Alternatives to Economic Globalization' reviewed by John Gorman.
  'America's Unpatriotic Acts' by Walter Brasch
  Lea Schizas reviews A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne by Georgia Richardson.
  'The Complete Being' by Tami Brady.
*Entertainment for you
  'The Face in the Window' by James Choron.
  'The Camino de Santiago' by Brandon Wilson.
*Always a free contest.

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

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

This book could save your life

   After two years of research, writing, and coordinating the contributions of 11 wonderful people, I have completed my 13th book, Cancer: A personal challenge. It is now offered for sale as an electronic book. The paper version is almost ready -- I am waiting for a few advance reviews to come in so I can include quotes from them.

   If you are a professional working in a relevant field, or if cancer has touched your life, I am willing to send you a review copy. Do note that I am in a hurry for the review. But the book is cheap, and if you buy it, you qualify for a FREE copy of any of my other electronic titles. I need sales now to pay for the cost of printing, so please spread the word.

   Actually, although the book focuses on cancer, the tools it gives you will help with other health issues too. For example, I routinely use them to fight off the 'flu and other infectious diseases.

Earth Garden Building Book

   The new fourth edition of my Earth Garden Building Book has attracted a lot of interest. I don't want to lose the momentum, so if you already have a copy, do mention it to others.

   This book is not only for those people who intend to build a house with their own hands. The skills it teaches are useful for anyone who lives in a house. I think of the book as an 'inspirational cookbook', so it may interest you even if you dream of building 'one day', but believe it to be impossible.

   'While changing your attitude does not guarantee a remission, neither does chemotherapy... the former has no physical side effects.'
Rubin Buttino

   'One is hurt not by people and events, but by the internal interpretations given to them.'
Diana Elton.

Who Shall Inherit the Earth?

by Awaar Hussain

   The present chaos in the world is painted by some as a struggle between dictatorships and democracy, yet others have termed it a war between Christianity and Islam, calling it a Crusade. There is neither any such struggle between democratic and dictatorial forces visible anywhere, nor are there are any Crusades going on. We are only witnessing a continuing saga of the Haves and the Have-nots.

   Regardless of cast, color, creed or national identities, the world is divided into two main opposing social classes, the tiny Haves and the massive Have-nots. The main driving force of modern history is simply the struggle between these two classes. Religious polarization is merely another tool in the hands of the Haves to keep the Have-nots busy, heads down, in their myriad struggles lest they pause long enough to behold their own emaciated selves and the folds of fat around the frames of the slave masters.

   The problem is further compounded by the fact that there are competing gangs even among the Haves because of the natural rivalry of their greed. Although secret organizations like the Bilderbergers exist to minimize this competition and help share the loot equitably, unquenchable avarice can be a dangerous thing. The real evil in this world is thus caused by the adversarial gangs of ruling class hoodlums who control all media outlets, and the ignorance of the Have-nots who support them. The purpose-built divisiveness of class, race, nationalism and religion by the ruling elites further strengthens their cause. It is thus that the world is brought to the brink of a blood-bath for possession of its precious assets.

   You can read the rest and comment.

Anwaar Hussain is a Pakistani journalist who, as you see, doesn't believe in the divisions that people use to hate each other. I am very pleased that his attitudes are so close to what I arrived at in my essay.

Report on a War Crime

by Jenniffer Lillig and Kenny Crosbie
forwarded by Bob Nichols

   Civilians and occupying troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have been contaminated with astounding levels of radioactivity as a result of post-9/11 United States' use of tons of uranium munitions.

   In 2003, scientists from the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) found that 100% of urine samples taken from Afghan civilians had levels of uranium 400% to 2000% higher than normal. The UMRC team studied six sites, two in Kabul and others in the Jalalabad area. The civilians were tested four months after the attacks in Afghanistan by the United States and its allies.

   Four million pounds of radioactive uranium was dropped on Iraq in 2003 alone. Uranium dust will be in the bodies of our returning armed forces. Nine soldiers from the 442nd Military Police serving in Iraq were tested for DU contamination in December 2003. Conducted at the request of The News, as the U.S. government considers the cost of $1,000 per affected soldier prohibitive, the test found that four of the nine men were contaminated with high levels of DU, likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. Several of the men had traces of another uranium isotope, U-236, which is produced only in a nuclear reaction process.

   Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, dumb bombs, bullets, tank shells, cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of radioactive uranium. Depleted or non-depleted, these types of weapons, on detonation, release a radioactive dust which, when inhaled, goes into the body and stays there. It has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Basically, it's a permanent contaminant distributed in the environment, where dust storms or any water nearby can disperse it. Once ingested, it releases subatomic particles that slice through DNA.

   UMRC's Field Team found several hundred Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

   At the Uranium Weapons Conference held October 2003 in Hamburg, Germany, independent scientists from around the world testified to a huge increase in birth deformities and cancers wherever uranium munitions have been used. Professor Katsuma Yagasaki, a scientist at the Ryukyus University, Okinawa, calculated that the 800 tons of DU used in Afghanistan is the radioactive equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The amount of DU used in Iraq is equivalent to 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.

   At the Uranium Weapons Conference, British-trained oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali showed photographs of the kinds of birth deformities and tumors he had observed at the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra just before the 2003 war. Cancer rates had increased dramatically over the previous fifteen years. In 1989 there were 11 abnormalities per 100,000 births; in 2001 there were 116 per 100,000--an increase of over 1000%. In 1989 34 people died of cancer; in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths. The 2003 war has increased these figures exponentially.

   At a meeting of the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan held December 2003 in Tokyo, the U.S. was indicted for multiple war crimes in Afghanistan, among them the use of DU. Leuren Moret, President of Scientists for Indigenous People and Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley, testified that because radioactive contaminants from uranium weapons travel through air, water, and food sources, the effects of U.S. deployment in Afghanistan will be felt in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China and India. Countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in Iraq include Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, and Iran.

Bob Nichols is well known to Bobbing Around readers. Jenniffer Lillig, Ph.D. and Kenny Crosbie are researchers at the Uranium Medical Research Center.

The End of Cheap Oil

Mr McNamara is a member of the Queensland Parliament. This is an extract of one of his speeches, reproduced with permission.

   The Howard government has many failings but in no area has its lack of attention to detail and planning for the future left Australia more exposed than in the vital national concern of energy policy. Last June the Howard government produced a white paper on energy that was not only a cop-out on confronting the energy supply needs of this nation but was also within 12 months rendered utterly irrelevant by a 30 per cent increase in the price of crude oil from $US35 to $US50 a barrel upon which the paper was based.

   All commentators now expect the price of crude oil to push towards $US70 a barrel during the coming Northern Hemisphere summer, again rendering the white paper increasingly out of touch. As Alan Fels and Fred Benchley pointed out in the Australian Financial Review last Thursday, Australia currently has sufficient oil reserves for just nine years and four months. Without imports and significant new discoveries, by 2014 the national transport sector will have ground to a halt. These figures should be cause for urgent action and even alarm by the federal government, because as dangerous as they are for national security and living standards the trend line is even worse.

   This nine-and-a-bit year figure for Australian oil reserves produced by Geoscience Australia compares most unfavourably with the previous estimate of 11.1 years worth of reserves. Australia's reserves of oil have peaked and everyone knows it except the Howard government and, in particular, resources minister Ian Macfarlane. On 29 April 2005 BHP reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that oil production out of Australia's oil production mainstay, the Bass Strait, dropped by 18 per cent in 2004. Let me repeat that: BHP has confirmed that, due to 'natural field depletion' or postpeak oil production rundown, production in Bass Strait has dropped by 18 per cent in a single year.

   In February 2005 the Oil and Gas Journal, which is the industry's bible, noted bluntly that oil production in non-OPEC countries, excluding the former Soviet Union, would peak in 2005-06. That includes Australia and that is now. I note in passing that Indonesia's continued membership of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is in severe doubt because, as was reported in the Australian Financial Review of 15 April, it is now an oil-importing country after its oil production dropped six per cent in 2004.

   The importance of Australia's production of oil now being in steep decline is that, according to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, on current trends in 10 years Australia will be producing only 280,000 barrels of oil per day while consuming around 1,030,000 barrels of oil per day. That will mean that we would be 78 per cent dependent on oil imports compared to only 30 per cent now. On the most optimistic assessments of the federal government of oil at $US30 a barrel, these extra imports will add $US24 million per day or $US76.4 billion over 10 years to our current account deficit. As Treasurer Peter Costello rises tomorrow in Canberra to deliver his 10th budget, he should consider that further inaction regarding support for exploration alternatives and renewables will consign Australia to intolerable foreign debt, inflation and rising interest rates, yet the white paper ignores this problem and federal policy is actually exacerbating it.

   The Howard government is encouraging the use of imported diesel by developing a fuel excise regime that makes off-road diesel excise-free while not supporting the use of locally produced LPG. The white paper actually states that pursuing alternative fuels like LPG as 'a large scale replacement for oil derived petrol and diesel would weaken Australia's competitiveness and its energy security position'. This is an unbelievable position for the federal government to adopt--to suggest that developing alternative fuels would be a threat to our energy security when our domestic oil production is in fact dropping like a stone. It suggests that the federal cabinet has been sniffing petrol rather than looking for ways to preserve it or find it.

   The Queensland government is doing much to encourage investment in biofuels research, in hydrogen energy and exploration for carbon fuels, but we need a national commitment to deal with our looming energy shortfall. We need urgent national action and leadership to avoid an energy-led economic disaster. Even if the peak of international oil production does not happen, as the Oil and Gas Journal suggests, until 2015, the fact is that Australian oil production is now in free fall and the Howard government's approach is to say, 'Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.' Failure to confront this issue by encouraging both increased energy supply and oil demand restraint will be a betrayal of this nation's future. The time for action is now. The International Energy Agency has noted that biofuels such as biodiesel and ethanol need time and government encouragement to develop.

Four Key Word for Living

by Peter Cohen



  • to love myself for all that I have been, am now and will be
  • to love all whom I meet, interact with
  • to love each member of my family for them as individuals and as a group/unit
  • to look for love where there appears to be none
  • to give love where there is none
  • to embrace love that is given in return


  • to achieve a consistent balance within myself -- spiritually, creatively, happiness
  • to balance my diet
  • to balance my work and personal commitments
  • to balance learning and teaching(to know when to be the student and the teacher)
  • to balance thinking with doing
  • to balance love for an individual and myself and family


  • to exercise my mind
  • to exercise my body
  • to exercise tolerance
  • to exercise love
  • to exercise giving
  • to exercise receiving
  • to exercise my heart
  • to exercise my soul
  • to exercise my energy
  • to exercise my spirit


  • to succeed in my personal goals -- management
  • to succeed in my personal dreams -- leadership
  • to succeed in love
  • to succeed in balance
  • to succeed in exercise
  • to recognise when SUCCESS does not meet my expectations
  • to adjust LOVE, BALANCE and EXERCISE to continue to reach SUCCESS

       Peter is a tow truck driver, and as you can see, a philosopher.

    Genetically Engineered Plants and Health

    by Robyn Williamson

       As we now know, using toxic substances like pesticides on food crops makes people sick and leads to more pests by creating an environment that favours the pest. Insects have no trouble finding broadacre crops, you can see many of them from outer space. Irrigated broadacre chemical agriculture [read: pharming] attracts, feeds and provides habitat for a range of so-called pest organisms, in fact modern agriculture creates pests. It is truly a design for disaster. Since insects cannot make their own food and the plant crops that make everybody's food are often annual [eg. corn, rice, wheat, soya beans, cotton], the enormous food supply means pests eat well and multiply rapidly for as long as the food lasts. As well as aerobic pests, in irrigated fields like rice there are also aquatic pests. In the absence of natural predators or human control, populations of pests can explode and then slowly die as they eat themselves out of food.

       Biodiversity, including annual and perennial plants as crops, as well as in the home garden, eliminates up to 50% of these problems at the start.

       The first year of establishment is the most difficult in a permaculture garden, then the second, third years and even fourth years it starts to bloom prolifically and you begin to produce too much food. After that it gets harder for a while before it gets easier and you begin to adjust to a new lifestyle working in harmony with nature. The whole thing becomes easier to manage as mother nature slowly takes over and an acceptable balance [read: sustainability] is reached. This is what we call a pseudo eco system.

       If the forwarded message is true, I don't see how GM/GE foods can possibly feed the world without making people very sick at the same time, either through lack of nutrition, mental and physical diseases or the unacceptable status quo where antidotes and even "cures" can be owned by people and sold to other people in the form of legal and illegal drug trafficking scams. There's a lot of rich disease practitioners as well as poor over-worked doctors [and other health professionals like nurses] and the government is spending little on the health system. You could say the current system pays somebody. The question is who?

       Does this mean that seeds, which are at both the bottom and the top as well as the beginning and end in the average life cycle of an annual plant, since they are the first and the last link in the food chain, are seeds more toxic than the stems, leaves and roots of the plant? I think so. Everything needed for a new life cycle to begin is translocated to the seed, it's a plant's whole reason for being, it falls to the ground [read: earth, soil, dirt], just add water and bingo, the next generation begins. It's just like magic and never ceases to amaze me.

       With new GM trials now beginning in South Australia, it is time to write to Food Standards Australia New Zealand and demand that we have full labelling of foods containing GM ingredients, especially imported foods and above all Canola. The biggest worry for me, however, is something called "vegetable oil". In the meantime I am buying organic butter, shopping locally and growing my own in the community garden.

       Has anybody else noticed that Woolies' organic section has a lot of stuff that isn't organic but often has a brand name of something like "Only Eco" TM?

    Begin forwarded message:
    From: "GM WATCH " Date: Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:13:33 am Australia/Sydney
    Subject: GM WEEKLY WATCH 129
    from Claire Robinson, WEEKLY WATCH editor

    Dear all:

       This Friday, 24 June, Europe's ministers will vote on whether to allow the unelected European Commission to overturn national bans on certain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). This is an important vote; please see CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK to ask your country's minister to uphold the nations' right to decide.

       Ministers will also be voting on whether to approve Monsanto's MON863 maize, which has been found unfit even for rats. A German court has overruled Monsanto's appeal and has now forced the reluctant company to release the rat-feeding study it tried to suppress.

       This has allowed scientists to start to comment publicly on the study. Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini of the French State Commission du Genie Biomoleculaire (CGB), which is a French government agency responsible for risk assessments of GM plants, says, "I would conclude from these tests that the insecticide appears to have significant effects on health. I believe it is not an isolated case and that the pesticides contained within GMOs have the same kind of side effects as chemical pesticides."

       Another big story this week is the disastrous debut of Bt cotton in the Punjab -- a leading Indian agricultural state. Negative reports about the performance of this only-just-approved crop have been pouring in. This follows on from Monsanto being completely banned from the the state of Andhra Pradesh.

    Robyn Williamson is a permaculture consultant and active in seed saver networks.

    Reducing the load of public liability

    by Mark Snell

       Public liability insurance is a liability to society. Yet the assumption goes unquestioned that it is universally desirable and necessary.

       We have over 60 community groups on the Woy Woy Peninsula (Central Coast, NSW, Australia). If they all need public liability insurance, this represents $60,000 of donations and grants to local community activities that goes straight to the insurance companies and is lost to the community. A few years ago, this would have been less than $1000.

       It's money that could be much better spent within our community, and money that we don't have. This issue seriously affects community groups with substantial flow-on effects to individuals. For example, I was told recently I couldn't stay with some interstate friends because the non-profit owner of their premises had been unable to find public liability insurance.

       A number of myths are often unwittingly perpetuated by community group members such as ourselves. These include the extent of the coverage, its value as a professional practice, justification of the premiums, and its benefit to a community group and the community more generally.

       Public liability insurance, in fact, covers very little of the risk that any group could be exposed to. For example, it doesn't provide individual coverage for group members or property, and it seldom covers volunteers.

       But it has been seen as an easy, safe and, at one time, inexpensive way to show our "due diligence" and our professionalism in exercising a "duty of care" when running community groups.

       It has been portrayed as the responsible thing and has become embedded in legislation. Government funding at all levels is now frequently tied to insurance and incorporation. So, the old-style unincorporated uninsured community groups who worked in the true spirit of volunteering have become marginalised and unsupported.

       On the Central Coast, it has got to the stage where our leading Council-endorsed volunteer referral agency requires hosting groups to take out "volunteers' insurance" -- an extra $330.

       This is well beyond the capacity of the smaller groups where the volunteers would make the most difference. It also serves to build the community service establishment, to the detriment of other groups.

       If there is insurance, people are likely to take less personal responsibility. We should encourage people to take responsibility for their own actions and to take the risks necessary for ordinary social interaction.

       The existence of insurance, together with incorporation, creates a climate where there is money available for which an organisation can be sued.

       It has the advantage to people so minded that they are not seen to be suing for the community group's money, nor is it seen to have a direct effect on an individual.

       How many people would sue the Salvation Army or the Red Cross if a payout came directly from appeal funds -- and it could be starkly demonstrated that the effect of their action was to deprive the most needy in our community of food and warmth?

       We are told that premiums are rising because we, as a society, are becoming more litigious. This may in part be true. Where are the actuarial figures to substantiate this?

       The collapse of HIH, a string of natural disasters and the events of September 11 have all hit the insurance industry both financially and psychologically. None of these involve the operation of community groups and their public liability cover.

       While the example of the Canberra Hospital implosion has been cited, I think you would be hard-pressed to find examples using small community groups, which justify the increase in premiums affecting them.

       The fact is that the insurance industry has had a bad trot and insurance premiums are rising to cover this. The advantage to the companies of raising public liability premiums is that the policies are commonplace, and often compulsory.

    What can we do about this?

  • We need to change the law and regulations that effectively compel community groups to take out insurance. Good management is far better insurance than any financial policy, and this is where regulation and administration should be focussed.
  • We need to change the way we look at requirements for insurance in our day-to-day activities. Let's not require insurance out of habit.
  • We need to encourage a more co-operative attitude within our communities, so that people are less likely to sue. Where people take a collective approach, they take responsibility for their own role within the process.
  • We can also take action which reduces the perceived need for insurance. We can, for example, have membership as a pre-requisite for participation in any activity of a group. Entry tickets can state lack of insurance cover and be conditional upon those participating accepting the risk. People can be encouraged to make their own choice about their need for personal sickness and accident insurance.

       I would also be sympathetic to the suggestion of establishing a quarantined co-operative insurance scheme, similar to a credit co-operative and separate from the insurance industry, open only to community groups for their very limited purposes and governed by the policy holders themselves -- but wasn't this where it all started?

    Mark Snell is an old friend. He lived at Moora Moora community, my home, 25 years ago. Now, he lives at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast (Australia) and is forming a similar community there. Mark works as a software developer and is founder and honorary editor of his fortnightly local newspaper Peninsula News.


    Not getting enough sleep?
    Worried about being too fat? by A. R. Beissel

    Not getting enough sleep?

       Losing sleep?

       Any other problems become magnified. You feel tired, may make mistakes, everything is affected by having less rest than your body needs.

       There are three kinds of insomnia, and you can suffer from any or all of them:

  • Can't get to sleep when going to bed;
  • Wake up and can't return to sleep;
  • Wake too early, even if you went to bed late.

       You could be kept awake when you'd rather be sleeping for a variety of reasons. It is possible to deal with all of them.

    Fear of repeating nightmares

       Dreams do NOT forecast the future. They are shaped by thoughts and emotions you've had during the previous day. A nightmare or night terror (waking as if from a nightmare, but with no memory of dream content) is a direct result of something you experienced or remembered within a few hours before going to bed. If they are recurrent, you need to deal with the cause, which is almost certainly a past trauma in your life. The good news is that you can come to terms with this, although you'll need professional help.

    Solving problems

       You may be lying there in the dark and solving problems. This can actually be constructive. If you have read my book Anikó: The stranger who loved me, you'll know that my mother needed very little sleep. She used the hours of the night for the detailed plans that greatly contributed to her success. But if you are tired during the day as a result of not having slept enough, then night is the wrong time for thinking.

       The solution is to schedule planning time when it suits you. Schedule in your diary or on your wall calendar something like '1:30 to 3:00 p.m.: planning.' Any other time you find your mind getting into problem-solving mode, you have a choice: if it is convenient, allow yourself to do it. If not, say, 'Not now. Go away. I have a date with you at 1:30 tomorrow.'

       After a few repeat tries, the thoughts get the message.

    Worries and distressing emotions

       Many people are kept awake by recurring thoughts: worrying about various things. Or you may feel distressing emotions over a recent (or even not-so-recent) loss, suffer fear of coming events, re-live anger at some insult.

       The 'appointment' idea works here too. I have a recent client whose husband died of cancer. Her grief kept her awake, night after night, and her performance at work was suffering from intrusive thoughts of his death too. She decided to completely devote two hours of her day to his memory. After this, she could sleep, and concentrate on her daytime activities. When a thought of her husband came, she said within her mind, 'My love, I'll come to you this evening as usual.' And the grief went away.

       Another useful device is 'thought stopping', described in my book Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias. You choose a word or short phrase you would normally never say aloud. And then you train it to be a switch for stopping whatever is going on inside your head. You can use the switch at any time, including lying in bed at night.

    Worry about being awake

       One kind of worry thought is guaranteed to keep you awake. It is of the type 'I MUST get to sleep. I'll be no good tomorrow, lying here awake. Oh, when will I fall asleep? What's the time?' on and on.

       The fact is that lying there fully relaxed, with eyes closed, breathing gently, is as restful as being in deep sleep. The only caveat is that you need a total of perhaps two hours of dreaming ('rapid eye movement') sleep as well. So, you can replace the worry thoughts with the statement, 'Lying here relaxed like this is just as restful as if I were asleep. I don't care whether I am asleep or not, because this is just as good.' And since the worry thoughts about falling asleep aren't there to keep you awake, you gently slip into slumber.


       For whatever reason, you may have established a habit of being awake at certain times when you'd rather sleep. For example, I once had a client who used to have a colicky baby. He cried several times every night, and she got used to waking at the slightest noise. She came to see me twenty years later. The son had grown, and left home and all, but she still woke several times a night--then worried about being awake.

       You need to analyse the habit, and do something incompatible with it. This can be tricky to design, but there is always a solution. In this lady's case, we dealt with the worry thoughts first, so that when she woke she did get back to sleep. If she came to me now, I'd use hypnosis, and a post-hypnotic suggestion to help her to stay awake through little noises. In those days, I couldn't do that yet, but we set up something very similar. I got her to do a relaxation exercise when she got to bed. Then she lay there, gently breathing, and kept repeating to herself, 'He's grown... he's grown.' This worked for her.

       The other thing is to ensure that you go to bed when you are really tired. For a transition period of up to 6 weeks, you may go to bed a lot later than usual, and absolutely avoid daytime naps. Then, once you're in bed you'll crash, giving the old sleeping habits the time to go away. How do I know these measures work? They work for me. They have worked for many thousands of people, including hundreds of my clients. What makes you think YOU are all that different?

    There is another article on insomnia, with somewhat different content.

    Worried about being too fat?
    by A. R. Beissel

       Most dieting occurs because people are unhappy with their weight or their body shape. The only occasion when dieting is necessary is when it is initiated and supervised by your doctor.

       Dieting can send the body into starvation mode. Normally, the body will use the carbohydrates as its first source of energy. Protein will be used to build muscles, and organs. Admittedly, fats will go straight into fat but you need some of those as well. In starvation mode, which can be induced by dieting, the carbohydrates and the fat stores go first. If there still isn't more food consumed, the body will go and break down protein from muscles and organs so it can continue function. This damages them and that's how anorexics eventually die.

       Here are some thoughts on body image and where the messages about what is the right shape and weight come from.

       First, no one, not your spouse, not your mother, not your family has the right to comment on how your body looks. Keeping you healthy should be the main concern. Anyone who criticises should be told to go jump. It's not easy.

       Second, how clothes fit is not a good measure of how attractive you are, or if you're a good weight. I know clothes sizes are different from country to country and the facts I'm going to use here are Australian ones but I suspect many other countries aren't much better. The last study of weights and heights of women in Australia was in 1926. 5,250 women were involved, average height was 5'3" (161 cm) and average weight was a little over 9 stone (59 kg). Our ladies' clothes sizes are still based on this. However, a study from 2003 has shown while the average height hasn't changed much, the average weight is now 11 stone (74 kg). Clothes sizes are a lot of rubbish.

       Third, the images in the media seem to show an ideal of being skinny, tall and large busted. This is either unhealthy, or impossible, and probably both.

       I do two main things to stay healthy and deal with self body image. The first has to do with food. I never skip a meal if I can help it and I certainly don't skip breakfast. If you skip breakfast for the day, you slow down your metabolism; you will have less energy for the day and are more likely to gain fat. If I don't feel like eating, or I can't make up my mind on what to eat, I will ask someone to help ensure that I eat something. The second is to do with exercise. I haven't always done a lot of exercise. It was a matter of finding something of enough interest that I could stick to it. I now do both karate and swing dancing. The karate is a regular activity. The exercise has helped my own self image, as well as being good for me.

    A.R. Beissel has previously worked for a newspaper on a 3D chatsite, and has fiction published in Astounding Tales and ATOISE zines ( As a young woman she has watched her friends deal with body issues and has had to deal with them herself.

    Bargains and Resources

    Muse Marquee, New Ezine for Writers
    Tolerance and Poetry
    A radio show and a new book
    A short story contest for Australians
    Life, Why? by Joel Bryant
    Conference on Brief Strategic and Systemic Therapy
    A critique group is open to writers.

    Ann Durand

    Muse Marquee, a new ezine for writers, appoints Ann Durand as Romance Editor.

       A new ezine for writers, The Muse Marquee, sponsored by Star Publish, has appointed Ann Durand as Romance Editor for the column, Heart Beat. The Muse Marquee, devoted to producing twelve issues a year packed with articles about the craft of writing, launched its debut issue June 1, 2005. Ten editors, contributing columns ranging from the children's market to romance, will cover all aspects of writing.

       Heart Beat will feature articles about the business of writing romance, including: market trends; contests and events; interviews with agents, publishers, and romance editors; romance genres; plot development and writing strategies; query and synopsis writing; manuscript submission; dialogue and voice; pacing. Readers are invited to respond to the material, and may request topics of interest. The Muse Marquee is the brainchild of Lea Schizas, founder of the MuseitUp Club, an online critique community and a Writer's Digest 101 Best Writing Site of 2005. Find out more and subscribe at

    Ann Durand is the author of the romantic suspense, A Promise to Keep, available from Double Dragon Publishing. Visit for more information.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

       Carolyn Howard-Johnson's poetry has been chosen for two literary journals. MINDPRINTS, an Allan Hancock College publication edited by Paul Fahey, featured Howard-Johnson's "Bon Sai" and MARY MAGAZINE, a publication of Saint Mary's College of California edited by Michael Gardner, published her "St. Petersburg Sestina". Both are print journals but MARY MAGAZINE'S journal may also be found at

       "St. Petersburg Sestina" is an intricate poem inspired by the poet's visit to the site where the diary of a young girl is displayed at Peskaryovskoye Kladbishe, the graveyard of those who died in the siege of Leningrad. "Bon Sai" is an extended metaphor for humankind's need for individual independence.

       Learn more about the poet at Read "St. Petersburg Sestina". Learn more about MINDPRINTS at

    Connie Gotsch

       Radio talk show host, Connie Gotsch and public station KSJE-FM in Farmington, New Mexico announce the expansion of Gotsch's book show "Write On 4 Corners." As of Sunday, June 12, KSJE, Your Dryland Community Radio, will now air the program at 3 pm from its studios in Cortez, Colorado.

       In Farmington, Write On Four Corners will continue to air at 10:30 each Wednesday morning Mountain Time on KSJE, and can be heard live on the web with Media Player at or over the air for people within 50 miles of Farmington.

       Write On Four Corners is open to all authors from the Four Corners states: New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado. Guests have included Pulitzer Prize nominee and poet, Rebecca Seiferle, award-winning novelist, Kate Niles, Sterling Financial Group founder, Charles Patrick Garcia, and multicultural children's writer, Uma Krishnaswami. Less well-known writers have read, too, in all genres.

       But Gotsch isn't content just to discuss books. She has written two, making her well-qualified to host the show. Her latest novel, an electronic psychological thriller called Snap Me a Future, was released by DLSIJ in October, 2004. This April, it won second place for Full Length Fiction in the 2005 New Mexico Press Women's Communication Contest.

       Gotsch's first novel, A Mouth Full of Shell, also from DLSIJ Press, won first place for full-length fiction in the 2002 New Mexico Press Women's Communication Contest, and second place in the 2002 National Federation of Press Women's Communication Contest.

       Gotsch welcomes submissions from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona to Write On Four Corners, as long as they don't contain hate material, gratuitous sex, or ethnic slurs. Queries should be addressed to or or 505 566 3377.

    Australian Community Writers Inc.
    Short story competition

    Closing Date: September 1, 2005
    Entry Fee: $5 per entry.
    Open theme. Limit: 5000 words.
    Prizes to: Winner & Runner-up. (Prize money to be announced.)

       Conditions of Entry:

  • Entries must adhere to the Conditions of Entry to be considered.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished, unawarded and not be under consideration elsewhere.
  • Entries must be typed, double spaced, on one side of the paper only.
  • Hard copies only. Email entries will not be accepted.
  • Authors must be 18 years or over to enter.
  • Name and details to appear on Cover Sheet and Entry Form only, not on the manuscript.
  • All work presented must be the work of the author.
  • All copyright remains with the author.
  • Authors may enter as many times as they like, but all entries must be accompanied by an official entry form and fee.
  • Judging panel to be chosen from committee members of the ACW.
  • Judges' decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  • Judges reserve the right not to award prizes.
  • Competition is open to all Australian citizens.
  • Judges and their families are ineligible to enter.
  • Please keep a copy of your work as entries will be destroyed after the competition.
  • Winners will be announced at the ACW Conference Dinner, Saturday, October 8, 2005.

       Email Heather for an entry form. Send your entry to:
    171 Oxley Flats Road,
    Wangaratta, Vic. 3677

    Joel Bryant

       Author/philosopher Joel Bryant has just released the third book, Life, Why? Diary of a Dreamer, in his six book Diary of a Dreamer series. His two previous books, Work, Why and Marriage, Why take a Dilbertlike look at being corporate trainer, while trying to be a competent husband. Future titles include Church, Why, College, Why, and Death, Why. He can be reached at or Joel works in the Department of Philosophy, UNC Charlotte.

    Conference on Brief Strategic and Systemic Therapy

       After the 1st successful European Conference “LOOKING BACK IN THE PAST TO SEE THE FUTURE”, held in November 2003 that witnessed the arrival of more than 700 professionals from European countries and from all around the world, our effort is to offer the participants a second experience following the wake of such a great success. The organization of this event followed a “spot” presentation model, in order to expose the most variegated spectrum of brief strategic and systemic therapy practice.

       We invite all collegues to participate to our 2nd Conference, wich proposes to give a detailed and in-depth exposure of the best therapeutic techniques.

       With this intent, the Conference would consist of workshops and symposia that will comprise a detailed presentation of the most effective and efficient clinical, managerial and psycho-social intervention models, put together by great experts and creators in this field of study.

    For details of this exciting conference, go to
       Oh, do note that it is in Italy.

    Michael Thal

       Crits International is an international writer's group that gives you the opportunity to hone your craft and bounce your work off others before it gets to potential editors or agents. We are a peer critique group for all writers. Each member has his/her work read by other members, and each makes suggestions, comments or asks questions that might be helpful in rewriting or polishing your work so you can make it the best it can be.

       Since we have writers from all over the world, we can't meet at a library in some central location, so we use the Internet. If you are invited to join, it is the task of each member to read and critique at least three submissions for each one posted.

       We hope that our critique group becomes a valued part of your publishing team, as much as an agent, editor, publicist or potential reader.

       If you have an interest in joining, contact Michael Thal at

    For Writers

    What it takes to be an editor
    Book promotion tips from Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    'Two heads are better than one' by Arlene Uslander
    For free or not for free by Shaunna Privratsky

    What it takes to be an editor


       If we need to have a book edited by a good editor, which one? There are so many of those too.

       You said that you had published many books, how? How did you start out? Was it planning or good fortune? We all want to do what you've done. I would be glad to edit someone else's work. I may not know everything but I can spot errors and typos. How do we get involved with that. I would be willing to trade too. Let me know.



       Christie, you asked several questions. Let me sort them out.

    1. Which one?

       Look around by all means. Check at Preditors and Editors for those recommended, and those you're advised to avoid.

       A good professional of any ilk, including an editor, will have past clients willing to recommend the service.

       Not all editors are good writers -- somewhat different skills required -- but it sure helps my confidence if I admire this person's writing.

       Many freelance editors give you a free sample of their work. I do. If you query me, I edit the first 1000 words of your book for free, in the process of estimating the amount of time it will take me.

    2. How did I start?

       I tore a cartilage in my knee. :)

       This was when I'd just got started building my house. I'd devised a labor-saving way of making adobe bricks. So, while I lay in the hospital bed, I borrowed the office typewriter (that's how long ago it was), and wrote an article for a magazine. I've been writing for that magazine since, have a byline column. This grew into a book, published in 1987. The fourth edition has just been released on the 2nd of May, and I am happy to sell you an autographed copy. :)

       It developed and grew from there. One of my mottos is, 'If someone else can do it, I can learn it.' So, I learned to write fiction. Won my first prize in 1991.

    3. Editing as an activity.

       Editing is a LOT more than spotting typos and knowing grammar, spelling and punctuation. You might get a job as a proofreader for that.

       Examples of other aspects are:

  • aptness of the language for the content
  • difficulty of writing (simplicity/complexity of syntax, sentence length etc.)
  • Music of the language (all prose is poetry)
  • point of view: checking on the presentation of information through the perceptions of a character
  • vivdness of description
  • characterization; consistency and growth of characters through the story
  • balance of dialogue, action and description
  • plot and subplot development; any glitches

       There are other things too of course, but I'm shooting from the hip.

    All the best,

    TV and Radio as Stepping Stones
    by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    This article is an excerpt from Carolyn Howard-Johnson's THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T, which was named USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004." The author is an instructor for UCLA Extension's Writers' Program and has shared her expertise on publishing and writing at venues like San Diego State's world renowned Writers' Conference and Call to Arts! EXPO. She was recently awarded Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by the California Legislature. She loves to travel and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, UK: Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University in Prague.

       So, you’ve landed a radio interview or a spot on a TV show. It’s so exciting that you’re tempted to sit on your laurels. Nope. This coup is only a first step. You’re going to propel it into more.

       You used your first celebrity endorsement to garner more accolades. Now you use your first radio or TV experience as a recommendation for others. You are now experienced. Here’s how to do it:

       Add this appearance to the query letters you send out to garner more appearances. As the prestige of your resume grows, continue to upgrade the paragraph that outlines your qualifications.

       Ask the producer if she will record your appearance and send you a tape. Now you can mention that a tape is available in your query. If you should get a request for it, have it copied and send it by priority mail along with a copy of your book and another letter thanking those who requested the tape for their interest; use this note as a second opportunity to sell your ideas and your qualifications.

       When you do an interview, offer to donate some of your books that they might then use as gifts for their call-in guests if they would care to run the segment on you or your book at a later date.

       Tactfully remind your new contacts that you are an expert. Don’t assume because you write fiction that you are not.. My first novel is set in Utah and my situation there made me a unique observer of that culture. You can find an angle. Bobby Ruble spent a lifetime in law enforcement including a stint as Chief of Police in Kennesaw, GA. before he wrote his mystery, HAVE NO MERCY. A lifetime of related experience qualifies him as an expert and allows him to plug his book as he goes.

       Publisher Pam Schwagerl ( asks her authors to offer a link exchange—the author’s webpage to the TV station’s page and back again.

       Schwagerl’s authors also ask if the station will air their interviews on the station’s website. She says this is a win-win offer that usually results in a slam-dunk! By the way, Schwagerl’s proactive stance on promotion is proof that there are some publishers out there who actively support their authors. She even has a full time employee who helps authors with their promotions.

       Show that you understand the broadcast business by offering sound bites during the interview. Project what an interviewer might ask then come up with these small golden coins of wisdom; that’s easy for you to do because you’re a writer, right?

    Hint: Radio hosts appreciate your tying something you say to a local angle. even if you just mention their broadcast area when you thank your interviewer.

    Two Heads are Better than One
    by Arlene Uslander

       Brenda Warneka and I, both veteran authors, co-edited an anthology, The Simple Touch of Fate: Real People; Real Stories, published by iUniverse in December 2003. The anthology consists of over 50 true, inspirational stories, from people all over the world, about how being at the right place at the right time, or not being at the wrong place at the wrong time had a profound effect on their lives.

       Brenda lives in Phoenix, Arizona; I live in Chicago, Illinois. We met on a writers' website, eventually met in person, became good friends, and decided to become co-editors of the book. Working on this long distance was no easy matter!

       How did we do it? What follows are some of the questions we are frequently asked when we do book signings and reviews.

    Q: Was it difficult for the two of you to work on the book together since you live so far apart?

       A: Until about 10 years ago, it probably would have been impossible, but thanks to modern technology - specifically e-mailing and faxing -- we didn't find it difficult at all. Fortunately, we get along very well, and having someone to work with on the project, as well as to share the excitement of receiving a wonderful new story, or to commiserate with upon finding out that a story we both loved was fictional instead of factual, was a very interesting experience. And, it served as a kind of checks-and-balances process.

    Q: How did you decide who would do what in working on the anthology?

       A: I (Arlene) am a retired teacher and professional editor who now works at home, so I was able to spend more time during the day sending out announcements for submissions, communicating with the authors, and taking care of other things that had to be done on the computer. Brenda is a full-time attorney and more of a night owl than I am, so she did a lot of the initial editing, as well as the final editing to get the manuscript ready for publication. Perhaps most important of all, Brenda did extensive fact-checking, having been trained to do research as a lawyer, to make as reasonably sure as possible that the factual information in the stories was true. She also handled legal matters, such as contract and trademark issues. Brenda's research turned up information that caused us to eliminate two of our favorite stories -- certain facts in the stories could not be verified, and the authors finally admitted that one of the stories had been made up and the other was a "composite." We were unable to check some of the events that take place in the stories; e.g., what might be called mystical experiences, but as I said above, we did all that was "reasonably possible" to fact check.

       We both worked on other aspects of the project: deciding which stories to use out of the many that were submitted, final-editing the stories by fax, and proofreading each story over and over again, to make sure neither of us had missed any typos. We each wrote several stories for the book based on our own "fateful" experiences.
    Q: Since Brenda lives in Arizona, and you live in Illinois, how have you been able to promote the book together?

       A: Shortly after The Simple Touch of Fate was published, I spent time in Arizona, where we did a number of book signings and reviews. A few months later, Brenda traveled to Chicago, where we did the same. Brenda has also participated in events to promote the book in Coronado, California, where she and her husband own a condominium, and live part of the time, and I have done the same in Chicago. We have since participated in additional book events in Arizona and the Chicago area. In-between, we both have sent out press releases to the media, contacted book stores, notified online newsletters, and read everything we possibly could about book promotion.

    Q: Would you want to work on another book together?

       A: Definitely! We are already working on a sequel to The Simple Touch of Fate. For each of us, working together has been a growth experience, fun, and has blossomed into a wonderful friendship, because Fate brought us together on the Internet. We were both at the right place at the right time.

       Please visit our website: To purchase The Simple Touch of Fate, call the publisher's toll free number (800-288-4677) or order on

       Arlene Uslander is the author of 14 books, hundreds of articles/essays and is the recipient of a number of media awards for "excellence in journalism."

    For Free or Not for Free
    by Shaunna Privratsky

       I used to believe the answer was non-negotiable: always get paid for your writing. Now I am no longer so adamant. It is the age-old conundrum: you need experience to land writing assignments, but you need published credits to prove you have experience. What's a budding freelancer to do?

       Some writers are so desperate to get published they write for free. It is an exhilarating rush to see your name in print, but don't let euphoria blind you. As writers we are offering a service. Our writing fills a need and we should be paid for our talent, knowledge and hard work.

       So if you refuse to write for free, but you still need credits, here are some tips to get your foot in the door of the publishing business. First, hone your writing skills. The editor of Glamour Magazine isn't going to ask for an article unless you can produce quality.

       Once you've selected your market, follow the submission guidelines to the letter, then send in your work. Don't sit around waiting for replies. Write and submit more work. Sooner or later an editor will accept your manuscript and you'll land your first sale. Use that as a springboard for your next submission or query. For example:

       "Ms. Smart at High Society Magazine recently bought my article How to Land your First Sale for upcoming publication." Go on to propose your new article, then finish with simplicity and style. "May I send "Living Large and Lovin' It" for your consideration?" The editor can see at a glance what you've already sold and what you're offering.

       When pursuing those first few crucial credits, think local. Write for your city's newspaper and local magazines. The editors are typically more receptive to local talent and appreciate your unique knowledge of the area.

       Another excellent idea is to read Calls for Submission. Great newsletters like FUNDS4WRITERS, Absolute Write Premium Edition, Writing for Dollars and Write Success list markets that are actively seeking submissions. It's like an open invitation. Send in your best work and watch the credits accumulate.

       Research different markets for fresh opportunities. Go online and use your favorite search engine, like Google. Enter the category of writing you specialize in and sites will pop up, many with current calls for submission. You can check Writer's Digest and Writer's Market, both online and in print. A trip to your local library can yield dozens of writing opportunities.

       Study authors' biographies. Jot down some of the markets other writers list in their accomplishments. You may discover some lucrative links.

       Look for new newsletters. There are literally thousands of writing newsletters on the Internet and they all need quality content.

       Anthologies are a way to build credits, but be cautious. Many only promise payment for the "best" selection and charge you for copies of the finished product. Also don't sign away all rights, because you can't earn money with reprints.

       Be wary of markets that promise newbies "free promotion" as payment. If you have nothing to sell or promote, this is a worthless compensation for your hard work. However, once you are an established writer, writing for free can further your career. How? Publicity.

       If you want to spread the word about your new book, website or series of e-reports, offer a "free" article in exchange for a short ad or link. The increase in sales can make up for the lack of funds. Choose your "free" targets wisely: higher numbers of subscribers mean potentially higher profits.

       Ultimately it is up to each writer to decide to write for free or not. If your goal is to succeed as a writer, weigh your talents and time against your compensation. Always trust your instincts and you'll profit from publishing.

    Learn 1,000’s of more writing tips in Shaunna Privratsky’s book, Pump Up Your Prose. She has authored over 300 articles in The Writer, Writer’s Digest Online, Writer’s Weekly, and Absolute Write among others. FREE sign up to The Writer Within Newsletter at

    Book Reviews

    Alternatives to Economic Globalization by John Cavanaugh and Gerry Mander
    America's Unpatriotic Acts by Walter Brasch
    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne by Georgia Richardson
    The Complete Being by Tami Brady

    Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A better world is possible
    John Cavanaugh and Gerry Mander (editors)
    Reviewed by John Gorman

    Second edition
    Berrett-Kohler, 2004.

       The world, despite the rosy predictions and pronouncements of the true believers in globalization, is in dreadful shape and not getting any better. There are several important films and books, among them The Take and The Corporation, John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Jeremy Bresher and Tim Costello's Global Village or Global Pillage, to tell us how we got here, and what might be done. Alternatives, however, lives up to its name, not only by describing the harm done by bodies like the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary fund, but also by going into much greater detail than any of its forerunners regarding other ways of thinking and acting, and clearly refuting those who assume as a matter of faith that the only alternative to globalization is economic and political pandemonium.

       From a historical viewpoint, Alternatives starts off with a description of the Breton Woods agreement of 1944 intended to prevent the economic chaos and collapse that followed World War I from coming on the heels of the Second World War as well and perhaps laying the groundwork for the rise of yet another Hitler. How the organizations established then for such laudable goals morphed during the Eighties into the unholy trinity of the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary fund makes an interesting story in itself.

       The book's indictment of these villains is a strong one, demonstrating that globalization has failed to live up to even its own proclaimed objectives. The poor are not better off. The middle class is in danger of destruction, while the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows ever wider worldwide with troubling political implications. The environment is literally collapsing as a system that depends on externalizing what should be internal costs comes to dominate the globe, consuming ever more, and the commons of clean water, clean air, parks and public lands, once viewed as the property of all humanity are privatized, converted into waste dumps or amenities only available only to those who can pay for them. In short, globalization depends on a set of practices that are simply unsustainable in a finite world with limited resources.

       Like Perkins, Cavanaugh and Mander realize the conflict over globalization is not economic but ideological. To those who see endless economic growth as the greatest good, corporate rule seems an unmitigated benefit, with some shortcomings, of course, but nothing that time and more globalization won't take care of. Anyone who opposes this new Millennium is clearly a dreamer living in the past, if not a dangerous Luddite, determined to destroy the future. To those who fought the WTO in Seattle and Cancun and battled the Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement in Miami, globalization is a direct attack, not only on prosperity, but also on democracy itself, depriving citizens everywhere of control of their lives and livelihoods, substituting the deliberations of increasingly remote and secretive company boards for the public political processes which give people input into these decisions.

       As the editors point out in one of their most alarming chapters, this lack of input has significance far beyond working conditions, costs and prices. Increasing corporate efficiency requires, not just uniformity of production, but also uniformity of consumption and uniformity of consciousness. Everyone must be persuaded to want the same things delivered in the same way under the same conditions. Everyone's vision of "the good life" must be the same. Cultural diversity, while sometimes quaint and entertaining, is certainly not to be taken seriously, let alone encouraged. On the contrary, the world is to be homogenized by mass media, owned and controlled by as few corporate entities as possible. Disturbing reports are not to reach the public, and alternative media are to be discredited or starved into submission. The corporate world to come will be served by THE television station, THE radio station and THE newspaper, THE magazine and THE publishing house, perhaps with different titles but certainly with virtually identical ownership and content. Only the names, dates and places will change.

       The battle lines are drawn, and Cavanaugh and Mander have answered the challenge magnificently, not only in the area of media, but also across the board of the controversy, not only exposing corporations but also giving scores of working examples of the alternatives they prefer, ranging from Argentina through Africa to Indonesia. Even the American Yakima tribe's responsible handling of their timber resource is recognized. Those whose commitment to globalization is an article of faith are not likely to be moved. But those whose minds have not yet closed, and who seek detailed information on alternative institutions, and how they might work to restore economic prosperity and even sanity to our world, will come away well equipped for the debate which grows ever louder and more critical as the century unfolds.

       The last chapter of the book, Global to Local, is the shortest, perhaps an unconscious admission by the editors that there is not much the ordinary person can do. But the suggestions given are both concrete and feasible, and the potential power of socially and politically conscious unions is clearly understood. The authors' list of recommendations may not be complete, but no one can come away feeling there is nothing to be done.

       If the book has any drawback beyond annoying grammatical glitches, it is in its very length and detail. While libraries and academics interested in the subject will find it a valuable addition, the ordinary reader may grow weary of the 345-page narrative and find it hard to digest, even in small doses. On the other hand, the listings of Groups Working Toward Alternatives to Economic Globalization and Useful Tools and Indicators at the back of the book make Alternatives useful for anyone with a serious interest in the outcome of this struggle.

    John Gorman is a freelance journalist based in Miami, Florida. His incisive essays and reviews have often appeared in Bobbing Around.

    America's Unpatriotic Acts
    by Walter Brasch

       America’s Unpatriotic Acts; The Federal Government’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights
    Peter Lang Publishing
    ISBN: 0-8204-7608-0

       This book is a hugely well-documented indictment of either criminal idiocy in the highest places, or of a deliberate attempt to destroy democracy. Chapter after chapter details the way that all the rules of freedom and decency have been violated under the flimsy guise of fighting terrorism. The Geneva convention for dealing with prisoners of war? That's a quaint old thing that doesn't apply any more. Habeas corpus? Not when we are dealing with people accused of terrorism. And so on.

       The Preface alone is all the proof you need to label the Bush administration as liars. It starts by quoting claims by both the President and by senior figures that the government is determined to uphold the right of citizens. This is followed by many pages of documented examples proving the lie.

       The steamrolling of the PATRIOT Act through the Senate and Congress was in itself an act of depriving the American people of their rights:

       'Many of the changes incorporated into the PATRIOT Act had previously been rejected by Congress. "The government was seeking a lot of these powers before 911," said Steve Lilienthal of the conservative Free Congress Foundation, "but after the attacks, they seized upon terrorism as a way to get what they had always wanted."

       'There was little time to read or analyze the bill, and only one hour of debate on the floor of the House. "This was the least democratic process for debating questions fundamental to democracy I have ever seen," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who explained the bill was "drafted by a handful of people in secret, subject to no committee process, [and which came] before us immune from amendment." Most members admitted they read only a few paragraphs, if any at all, of the 150-section 342-page document.'

       Because this book sets out to be an exhaustive proof of its case, it is not an easy read. However, it is well worth the effort. If you want to stop the United States from sliding into becoming the Fourth Reich, then you must read it, and act on the information it gives you.

    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne
    by Georgia Richardson
    Reviewed by Lea Schizas

       Born to Laugh is one of several chapters Georgia Richardson has garnered for our reading pleasure. But more than that, it truly reflects the ambiance captured within A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne.

       A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne can almost relate as a nonfictional account of one mother/woman's recollections of past and present moments, each chapter holding a truly humorous recollection or event presented in the funniest and most uplifting tones I have come across in a long time.

       Georgia allows the reader the time to escape the everyday pressures with a quick and easy-to-follow read. Although the inner thoughts and anecdotes are related through Georgia's female character, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne can easily take on the reflection of a man's view as well.

       One particular chapter, Tech Support, How can I help you? about the annoying wait on the phone while a specialist tries to help you with your computer problem was not only dead on, she had me in stitches with her sarcastic undertone.

       Just by flipping through the contents, you will experience Georgia's humor right off:

  • And Mom said.Can You Hear Me Now?
  • "Go Ahead Shopper -- Make My Day!"
  • Who REALLY Owns the Remote?
  • IRS (I R Stupid)
  • Puffy, the Buffet Slayer.

       If you're looking for a book to bring fond memories of your own family life, the everyday impressions of people, and to open up airwaves of laughter, then I strongly recommend this book. There isn't one topic Georgia hasn't touched upon where we can't see ourselves in that situation and think "Wow, that's what I thought, too."

    Lea Schizas is Editor in Chief of Apollo's Lyre and Founder of The MuseItUp Club, Senior Editor of Coffee Cramp Magazine and Publicist for Star Publish.

    The Complete Being
    by Tami Brady

       The Complete Being is meant to aid you in the further exploration of your wants, needs, and desires as well as your hopes and dreams. I feel it will be useful to someone who hasn't yet given much thought to questions of identity, the sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It is a very suitable guide for those painful first steps toward self-knowledge.

       Language is lucid and clear, with easily discernible logic to the argument. This is no stuffy academic work, but a lady chatting to you in a way you can understand without being a genius.

       To use just one example, there is an excellent discussion of what it means to be 'normal'. The meaning of the word is 'like the average', 'like everyone else'. But, as Ms. Brady points out, everyone is unique and different. In modern society, we are no longer uniform in the way that communities used to be in the past, so it makes no sense to try conforming to someone else's norms. You need to develop your own instead of copying that of anyone else.

       This undoubted truth then leads to implications for tolerance of differences in others, as well as independence from those who would have you betray your own nature by conforming.

       I like the way that the author uses little stories, and analogies to everyday situations in order to explain her points. Some of these examples seemed to me to go on a little too long, well beyond where I got the message, but then others will probably enjoy her chatty style.

    Entertainment for you

    The face in the window by James Choron
    Camino de Santiago by Brandon Wilson

    The Face in the Window
    by James Choron

       Tatyana Andrevna is not a beautiful woman… in fact, it is safe to say, that on the crass one to ten scale, she'd rate about a one. A zero rating is impossible. Tatyans's looks are legendary in Mamontovka. As a child, she was burned horribly when a kerosene heater exploded and showered her with the burning liquid. Ever after, she was undeniably the most recognizable person in the village. Her scars didn't matter. Her late husband would simply smile when someone mentioned them, then he stated a simple truth. "Tatyana is beautiful; physical beauty is not everything. It is not Tatyana's face that makes her beautiful, it's her soul. You see, everyone in Mamontovka loves Tatyana Andrevna. She has a beautiful spirit."

       For years, she was the community "welcome wagon". She took it upon herself to greet every new person moving into the Mamontovka area, armed with the traditional Russian offering of bread and salt, and the warm smile of an angel. In rain, snow or summer heat, Tatyana was always there.

       Four generations of children played under her watchful eye as their parents went about their daily tasks. In times of sickness and times of mourning, Tatyana was there, with a word of comfort and some small offering--home baked bread, a bottle of home made wine, cakes… She was there, Tatyana with the beautiful soul.

       In time, age, and arthritis, the fragile bones that come with eighty-odd years took their toll, and Tatyana Andrevna could no longer carry out her self-appointed duties. Still, even now, when weather permits she sits in her wheelchair, on the balcony of her little third floor flat on Kuznetski Most Avenue, and watches the people pass, waving to each, and smiling brightly. When the weather is foul, as it often is in Russia in the fall and winter, she sits by her kitchen window and watches the street below. Everyone knows her. Everyone waves and smiles when they see her face in the window.

       But no one ever goes to her flat. No one ever goes to see Tatyana. For her, there are no gifts of "bread and salt," no cakes and wine. For her, there is only the balcony and the window, and the smiling faces below. She doesn't seem to mind. The smiles of passersby seem to be enough for her.

       The thing is, you see, the little flat is locked. If you look closely, when the light is just right, you will see that the wheelchair on the balcony is a rusting relic. Tatyana died almost ten years ago, in late August of 1995. The entire community mourned the passing of their "welcome wagon". It was one of the largest funerals in the history of the village. Everyone turned out. They even let out school in her honor. It is Tatyana Andrevna's beautiful soul, her spirit that greets people from the window… with the warm smile of an angel.

    *I knew this woman. I have personally witnessed this phenomenon as has everyone else in Mamontovka. (JLC)

    Camino de Santiago
    by Brandon Wilson

       Although they say that it's the journey that matters and not the destination, I, too, had my doubts. That was until I heard about Spain's Camino de Santiago. And what a difference that trip has made. If the idea of exploring Europe is met by a "been there, done that" response, think again. There's a unique option whose concept started long before the advent of those whirlwind package tours. You can walk all or part of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain for an intimate, at-your-own-pace exploration of a country steeped in magnificent beauty, art, history and faith.

       Traveling the Way of St. James had its origins over a thousand years ago when pilgrims or peregrinos from throughout Europe journeyed across Spain to Santiago de Compostela in search of miracles, as a penance, or to honor St. James the Apostle who is entombed in the Cathedral.

       In those days, early pilgrims, which included even royalty and popes, had to risk bandits, extreme illness, wolves, difficult river crossings and dangerous encounters with the Moors.

       Today those challenges no longer exist, allowing millions to make this trek with somewhat less hardship. But very early on, my trek turned out to be more humbling than expected.

       After earning four blisters per foot the first day out, I was hobbled in pain. Even with all the aerobic conditioning and weight lifting I'd done in advance, nothing except rest could help my bloodied feet. So, I was forced to slow down. And that, in retrospect, made all the difference.

       Many begin their journey in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the rugged Pyrenees just across the French border, or as I did in Roncesvalles on the Spanish side. In Roncesvalles you can register and obtain a Pilgrim's Credencial which identifies you as a peregrino and allows you to stay in refugios, small inns along this 500 mile path.

       Each day you set out either alone, in couples, or a group, depending on your inclination. This is no tour. Everyone sets their own pace shepherded by well-marked arrows, signposts, or guidebooks from home.

       This well-worn path wends its way through vineyards overflowing with grapes ready for harvest, among apple and pear orchards, across fields thickly scented with thyme, past a mosaic checkered with fresh vegetables, over the desolate, windswept meseta or plateau. Climbing thousands of feet to secluded mountain Brigadoons, such as El Cebreiro featuring traditional Celtic round stone houses, it descends to tree-lined Galician pastures with hórreos, elaborate brick grain storage bins on stilts with crosses on the roofs.

       Setting out alone at a snail-like pace guided by well-marked arrows, I trekked as far as I could with my small backpack, only ten miles at first, until reaching a refugio. These inns are located in unusual settings, from historic 16th century convents to hospitals run today by the Knights of Malta to modern prefab complexes...

    That's all we have space for, folks. You can read on by visiting Brandon, a regular contributor to Bobbing Around.

    Win books in a FREE contest

       As almost always, is running a contest, something to do with a sizzling summer. Sounds strange as I shiver over my wintry keyboard in Australia, but there you are. My book, Aniko´: The stranger who loved me is one of the prizes you can win.

       Actually, this is what the PROPER press release says:

       Books We Love announces their Sizzling Summer Sweepstakes. Win an eBook reader valued at over $100.00 and lots and lots of books in our weekly and bonus drawings. Visit the authors, sign their guest books and enter as often as you like - one entry for every ten signatures.

    About Bobbing Around

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

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

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

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

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

    Submission Guidelines

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

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

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

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