Jun 23 2012

Remembering Michael: Making space for innocence

Category: Angels,Children,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes,VideosSeven @ 2:20 pm

Michael

Remembering Michael on the three-year anniversary of his departure from this realm, I begin with a poem:

To The Tender
by Kristen Tracy

Midsummer, and along came a hapless jay —

blue and wobbling — flight feathers nothing more

than pins of white. It arrived at the nest’s edge

unready, which was only half the problem.

Crows perched in the oak across the street, alert,

aware of all the world’s worst secrets. Naturally

I rooted for the jay. Oh, but this was life.

After the blue jay fell from the Scotch pine’s terrible height,

it righted itself in the grass and, like a skin-kneed child

after her first bad spill on a bike, cried out for help.

I set down my rake and shepherded the bird

toward my spindle tree. Hopping from

low branches, it pressed toward the center, tucking itself

into my tree’s sturdy heart. For two days

the parents swooped down to feed it.

Thankfully the crows never came, though

I kept my eye on them. I knew their game.

Pirates. Gangsters. Extortionists. Thieves.

But even if the world is half bad, it remains

half good. While some of us sleep, our hearts

lie open,turned to the tender, dreaming up ways

to thwart the crows. Yes, a hapless jay stumbles

into our lives believing it can fly, and we — knowing

what we know — do what we can to make it so.

— From The Sun magazine’s April 2011 issue.

Something that has settled atop the heap of thoughts in my mind lately is the fact that after Michael’s acquittal in 2005, his fans gave him roses. I read somewhere that a couple of the fans stayed up all night removing the thorns from the roses for him. I thought: “this was similar to how the woman made space for the innocent little blue jay, removing the threats or at least somehow protecting the little jay from them so that he could continue making his way in life unharmed.

Michael’s fans, each in their own way, have always made space for his innocence — an innocence we all knew he possessed. It wasn’t just because of the utter lack of evidence against him that so many were certain of his innocence. Much of that certainty came from Michael’s personality itself, long before the extortionists ever targeted him. One read of his book ‘Dancing the Dream‘, written long before any of the worst nastiness began, reveals a unique combination of innocence and wisdom that only Michael possessed. That’s the innocence so many millions made space for – in his life, in their lives, and in their hearts. He found, and his fans found in him, a ‘Ally in Innocence‘ so-to-speak.

But this innocence isn’t a naive one. It’s not a gullible one. It’s a wise one. It’s the one that knows a table littered with animosity, grudges, mistrust, suspicion, bitterness, and conscienceless greed cannot be a platform for a sumptuous meal, or the creation of beautiful poetry or breathtaking music or an astounding dance performance — things that connect the physical world with the divinity in all life.

We must free ourselves to be filled by God. Even god cannot fill what is full.

-Mother Teresa

It’s that innocence that sees the whole world with wonder and that knows there is real magic in dreams and that even though the most beautiful choirs and passionate churches sing of it, true Divinity is only found in the silence of the stars nestled in the velvet black and purple sky and the quiet of a flower blooming – those things we hardly notice amidst the jarring jangle of our everyday lives. Some colors exist in dreams that do not exist in the waking world. I have seen these colors in my own dreams and I know they are there.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.

-Mother Teresa

Michael’s daughter Paris tweeted something about girls in her class wearing revealing clothes. I tweeted back that if they were trying to attract guys, this is not how a girl gets respect. She ‘favorited‘ that tweet. The girl is her father’s daughter. She knows. Someone else interjected that some young girls wear revealing clothing to somehow persuade the male teacher to give them better grades. But such a lack of self-respect and ill-gotten rewards for unearned accomplishment are costly and short-lived. One cannot build a sturdy future upon them. I’m sure those girls in the revealing clothing might think girls that don’t dress that way are somehow not ‘cool‘, or are inferior. But who wants to be ‘sexy‘ if it means you get less or no respect as a person and that your accomplishments in life really aren’t accomplishments at all, but rather reward gained through manipulation or self-devaluation? This innocence, which to someone in the process of making unwise but temporarily convenient choices in life might seem useless, is the one Michael lived and taught his children.

I believe Michael knew this:

Lack of understanding of the true nature of happiness, it seems to me, is the principal reason why people inflict sufferings on others. They think either that the other’s pain may somehow be a cause of happiness for themselves or that their own happiness is more important, regardless of what pain it may cause. But this is shortsighted. No one truly benefits from causing harm to another sentient being. . . . In the long run causing others misery and infringing their rights to peace and happiness result in anxiety, fear, and suspicion within oneself.

-The Dalai Lama

And, I believe that many of today’s problems in the world are the result of this lack of understanding. Most people in the business or political world might see an unwillingness to do others harm in order to profit or succeed as naive or pollyanna-ish. But it’s not. Such reluctance to harm others (or one’s self) in order to succeed or profit may appear as childish innocence or naïveté to others, but it is actually a deeper wisdom than most people understand – or care about – because they are too driven to profit at any cost, particularly to others. We saw the ugliness of that in Michael’s own life and we see it every day all around ourselves.

Michael understood that a certain innocence is necessary for creativity, as well. It makes sense that as children grow up, they become less creative. And most adults discourage it as we get older – telling their children to be a lawyer or accountant, or computer programmer rather than pursuing any type of artistic or creative endeavor, thus instilling in them a disbelief in their own artistic ability and a distrust in their own ability to become a success by being creative. Yet the refusal to be creative – in whatever way a person has an aptitude for -could be counter to what God(dess) intended. If, as Michael and many others including myself believe – God communicates spiritually with the physical world via art and creativity –  and we refuse this, we are refusing to be a conduit for him/her to speak to the physical world through us. Many people believe too, that this can be the source of addiction ie: that the person has an emptiness within themselves, in their soul or psyche, that they are trying to fulfill or numb the pain of. I call it ‘The God Hole‘ and so does at least one other person who has written about this. Michael certainly understood the value of a childlike mind as a necessity for creativity – one that does not perceive any limit to what is possible.

Some people and entities seeking to advance themselves monetarily and otherwise portrayed Michael’s penchant for innocence as “strange“, and “bizarre” and portrayed him as a “pedophile” because he preferred the company of children than scheming, backstabbing adults who always wanted something from him for themselves – seeking to profit by hurting him or others. It seems to be a requirement that anytime a media outlet mentions him, the word “bizarre” must be inserted in the piece somewhere, just to keep the meme going. And, it seems that anytime a pedophilia case makes the news, such as the recent Sandusky case, comparisons must be made to Michael who was the polar opposite of a child molester – and who was acquitted because even after decades of efforts to frame him, was found innocent due to sheer lack of evidence.

Who is really “bizarre“? Someone who refused to hurt other people in order to succeed in this world – and in fact worked at his craft all his life primarily so that he could help others — or those who daily make a living by hurting others, including Michael, in order to profit and build careers via manipulation and dishonesty? I’d say the latter are the ones who are not only bizarre, but deeply immoral.

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.

-Angela Monet

He tried to keep empty so that he could give us beauty. What do I mean by that? Though it was impossible with all persecution he endured, it was clear to me that Michael would rather write positive, inspirational and hopeful songs than hurting ones — though his hurting angry ones were always what I call ‘teaching‘ songs, such as ‘Why You Wanna Trip On Me‘, which decried all the ignorant greedy obsession the media pundits and government had with Michael’s appearance and with the ridiculous allegations against him, rather than with solving the real problems in the world, such child neglect, war, poverty and lack of education. And it’s a very good question that no one has yet answered. But he did try to keep his psyche clear so that beauty could enter and he could share it in a creative sense without his mind or heart being cluttered with embitterment or anger. And this too, is a certain type of innocence.

What one wishes is to be touched by truth and to be able to interpret that truth so that one may use what one is feeling and experiencing, be it despair or joy, in a way that will add meaning to one’s life and will hopefully touch others as well. This is art in its highest form. Those moments of enlightenment are what I continue to live for.

–Michael Jackson

The most beautiful paintings and sculptures, the greatest poetry, have not always been born from torment or bitterness. Often they have sprung from contemplation, from joy, from an instinct or wonder toward all things. To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion . . . With time and sincerity, you will discover a way to work and write that does not harm you spiritually, that does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality. You will find a voice that is not your voice only but the voice of Reality itself. . . If you can be empty enough, that voice can speak through you. If you can be humble enough, that voice can inhabit you and use you.

-Thuksey Rinpoche

I think that in this way, Michael did embody the voice of Divinity, Beauty, Reality, Truth. So today I remember Michael this way: in the wise innocence that permeated every aspect of his life and with which he obviously raised his children and worked at his craft; an innocence which those who understood him tried to make space for in his life and in their own – by removing the thorns from the roses so they could be held without harm – the same way those who love Michael will always hold him within their hearts.

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

-Clarence Budington Kelland

©2012 Seven Bowie

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Aug 31 2011

The media’s apparent refusal to speak to experts regarding the Conrad Murray trial

Category: Justice,QuotesSeven @ 1:30 am

Media bias?

Media bias?

During the past week or two, there has been an effort on behalf of a few people to have Dr. Patrick Treacy and Dr. Barry L. Friedberg on the Dr. Drew show. We have contacted Dr. Drew’s PR people, who referred us to booking personnel at CNN/Turner. I acquired the contact info for those responsible for booking guests on the Dr. Drew show and sent them a respectful email asking that they invite these two doctors onto the show, and explaining in detail why I think they’d be excellent guests at this time. I received a pleasant, positive response from Ms. Cameron Baird simply thanking me and stating that she would contact these doctors.

Why the Dr. Drew show? Simply because that show was one of the first out the gate recently with many guests on to speak about the Murray trial. Those guests though, with all due respect, are not those who were around Michael for significant amounts of time in very recent years prior to his death. They were not experts in the field of anesthesia (propofol is an anesthetic and that is what killed Michael), and/or not doctors who treated Michael directly and who have first-hand experience in doing so. Drs. Treacy and Friedberg both have some or all of these qualifications. Yet thus far they have not been invited on to the show.

We are also aware that recently, ‘In Session‘/HLN had scheduled Joe Vogel to be on their show but then rather suddenly pulled him and instead chose to have Diane Dimond on. Vogel is the author of a soon-to-be-released book and an expert on Michael Jackson’s creative legacy.

Dr. Drew, and in some cases his guests, seem very interested in presenting one particular angle or point of view regarding the Murray trial and Michael Jackson. That seems to be the angle that Michael was a drug addict, eccentric, demanding, and that he had no nose and bleached his skin. I’m not sure what the latter two items have to do with the Conrad Murray trial but Dr. Drew discussed these on his program.

Dr. Patrick Treacy treated Michael himself for vitiligo and he has affirmed that Michael did indeed have this disease, as does the autopsy. Karen Faye, Michael’s make-up artist for most of his life, has said unequivocally that Michael had a normal nose, not a “prosthetic” one. These are tabloid rumors that have long-since been debunked, so it is disappointing to hear them repeated by a doctor on television who almost certainly knows better, but that is a separate issue.

What is mainly of concern here is that there are other perspectives or points of view regarding the Murray trial – from those who are experts and who have first-hand knowledge of having treated Michael medically in recent years before his death. For instance Dr. Patrick Treacy’s experience with Michael was that he was no addict at all and never asked for, nor was he prescribed any drugs while Dr. Treacy treated him for the 6-8 months Michael lived in Ireland in 2006-2007. Also, Dr. Treacy has stated that no drugs were seen in Michael’s home while there and that Michael refused any anesthesia for any procedures without a qualified anesthetist present. Further, Michael never asked for anesthesia or any drugs outside of legitimate medical procedures.

Dr. Barry L. Friedberg is a board-certified anesthesiologist. He contends that Conrad Murray was very reckless in his treatment of Michael and claimed that “The only thing more reckless Murray could have done was taking Jackson up in an airplane and pushing him out without a parachute.“. Dr. Friedberg has also said that since Conrad Murray has publicly admitted giving Michael propofol and then abandoning his patient, that he is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Both of these doctors have very different opinions and perspectives about the Murray trial than Dr. Drew or his other guests thus far. In order to provide the public with  balanced knowledge and varied perspectives on the case, it is puzzling that these doctors have not also been invited onto the show, though. Are guests with certain perspectives deliberately being shut out and avoided by the media and in particular, Dr. Drew/HLN?

Below is the letter (email) I sent to Ms. Cameron Baird on August 23rd regarding inviting Dr. Treacy and/or Dr. Friedberg onto the show:

Hi Cameron,

My name is Seven. I was given your name by Maria Ebrahmji at CNN.

Myself and my fellow writers have been watching the publicity surrounding the Conrad Murray case with great interest and admittedly a great deal of consternation. The reason for this is that one of my fellow writers, Deborah Kunesh, as well as myself, have had the opportunity to interview Dr. Patrick Treacy, who personally treated Michael Jackson in Ireland in 2006-2007, as well as many other people who were around Jackson during his life, and in the period before his death. Dr. Treacy is a highly-respected cosmetic surgeon and humanitarian from Ireland.

I would like to suggest that you invite Dr. Treacy on the Dr. Drew show as I feel he has some very important information to share about Mr. Jackson that the public needs to know, especially with the upcoming trial of Dr. Conrad Murray next month. With Dr. Drew having covered addiction issues so thoroughly in his shows, this might be of much interest to viewers at this time, and a good forum to help get another perspective out there. I hope you will consider it.

Dr. Treacy was interviewed on a radio show where he shared how Michael Jackson had never asked him for any kinds of drugs or medications during the course of their doctor/patient relationship. He never saw any drugs in Jackson’s Ireland home and to his knowledge, he was the only physician treating Mr. Jackson during his stay in Ireland.

Dr. Treacy also has emphatically stated that during the time he treated Mr. Jackson, that Mr. Jackson refused to be put under for any type of procedure with any drug (propofol, for instance, which Dr. Treacy mentions that he used on Mr. Jackson during a procedure) without a qualified anesthetist present. This is very important information that the public should hear because the opposite impression is being given by much of the media, and it would be coming from a doctor who treated Jackson personally.

Here are links to some interviews that Dr. Treacy did recently in regards to this matter:

The below is an interview Dr. Treacy did along with Ms. Deborah Kunesh:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ReflectionsWebsite?feature=mhum#p/f/137/iPEXT8qEc-g

And, the following is a very important (but heretofore censored) interview that was done with New York Times award-winning journalist Aphrodite Jones where Dr. Treacy speaks on this issue:
http://investigation.discovery.com/videos/michael-jacksons-death-questioning-michaels-drug-use.html

I would also suggest that you may want to consider having Dr. Barry L. Friedberg, author of “Getting Over Going Under” on your show. Dr. Friedberg is a board-certified anesthesiologist for 30 years. Since propofol is an anesthetic, he has had some very interesting comments about Jackson’s death. In his book, Dr. Friedberg very clearly states that he feels that Dr. Murray was very irresponsible and that Michael’s death was a predictable, avoidable tragedy. He thoroughly explains the use of propofol and also explains how the different benzodiazapines given to Jackson prior to the propofol enhanced the respiratory depressing effect of the propofol, almost assuring that Jackson would stop breathing and, since no resuscitation was available – that he would die. He explains how Murray’s claim of trying to “wean” Mr. Jackson off of his propofol “addiction” was a statement based in fallacy since propofol is not physically addictive. You can view the pages of that particular chapter of Dr. Friedberg’s book below:

http://www.mj-777.com/?p=7534

We have also been in touch with Dr. Drew’s PR person, Valerie Allen, in regards to inviting Drs. Treacy and Friedberg on Dr. Drew’s HLN show. They indicated that they would speak with the CNN producers about the matter.

Should you choose to invite these two fine doctors onto Dr. Drew’s show, you can contact them via the following:

You can reach Dr. Treacy in Ireland at +0000000000 (NOTE: I’ve omitted Dr. Treacy’s phone here for privacy)

You can reach Dr. Barry Friedberg at one of his California offices:

3535 E Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 380-0828

Another of his offices:

City Tower
101 The City Dr S Ste 2150
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 456-5501

Here is Dr. Friedberg’s website:
http://drbarryfriedberg.com/

I realize that this is a lot of information, and so I thank you very much for your time and consideration. If there is someone else we should contact regarding this matter, please advise.

Best Regards,

Seven

This letter was sent one week ago and thus far, Dr. Treacy has not heard from Ms. Baird, nor has Dr. Friedberg. During this past week though, they did cancel Joe Vogel‘s appearance on ‘In Session‘/HLN and replace him with Diane Dimond.

What does it tell us when certain very qualified and knowledgeable guests such as Dr. Treacy and Dr. Friedberg are apparently excluded from being invited onto Dr. Drew/HLN, while others with lesser expertise and lesser (or no) first-hand experience regarding this case are welcomed? It seems to tell us that coverage of more than one particular perspective on the Murray trial – at least by the Dr. Drew show – is intentionally being avoided. And because millions obtain their information from shows such as this on many issues, that should concern us all, no matter which perspective we agree with, because we’re not getting the whole story and therefore we’re also not getting the truth.

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Apr 22 2011

Earth Day. Earth Song. Planet Earth: What YOU can do. . .

This photo of the Austfonna Ice Cap melting was taken by marine photographer Micahel Nolan, the sad, sad face of mother nature is shown sobbing as the ice slowly melts away. This photo appeared on the internet the day Michael was interred at Forest Lawn, September 3, 2009

This photo of the Austfonna ice cap melting was taken by marine photographer Micahel Nolan. The sad face of mother nature is shown sobbing as the ice slowly melts away. This photo appeared on the internet the day Michael was interred at Forest Lawn, September 3, 2009. Austfonna is Norway's largest ice cap.

He was a prophet in a way you know, in his music; a modern day prophet. Like I said, he was sent by God to enlighten, much like the prophets of old times. A lot of people don’t recognize it because he’s different in that he’s an entertainer, and he was sent in that form of being an entertainer, so a lot of people overlooked the prophecy he was teaching. His teachings of love and concern; you can hear about his concern with “Earth Song,” and other songs he preached concern for the planet and people, for humanity, for one another. I think he’s a wonderful human being. I think he’s a lesson for everybody to learn and model after in that light; the light of concern and caring for one another. Sure would be a better world if everybody did.

-Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett (drummer from ‘This Is It’)

The earth we all share is…a living, nurturing being. She cares for us; she deserves our care in return.

I wanted to change the world, so I got up one morning and looked in the mirror. That one looking back said, “There is not much time left. The earth is wracked with pain, Children are starving. Nations remain divided by mistrust and hatred. Everywhere the air and water have been fouled almost beyond help. Do something!”

We’ve been treating Mother Earth the way some people treat a rental apartment. Just trash it and move on. But there’s no place to move on to now. We have brought our garbage and our wars and our racism to every part of the world. We must begin to clean her up, and that means cleaning up our own hearts and minds first, because they led us to poison our dear planet.

-Michael Jackson

Increasingly, the world around us looks as if we hate it.

-Alan Watts

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”

-John Muir

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge, for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.

-Marya Mannes

We call that species most successful that has made its own kind its worst enemy.”

-Garrett Hardin

The ice cap carrying an image of Mother Nature ‘crying’ has been continually shrinking by as much as 160 feet every year for several decades. Jon Ove Hagen, a member of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and professor in geosciences at Oslo University, Norway, has been studying the Austfonna ice shelf since 1988. He says: “The geometry of the ice cap is changing. The fronts are retreating, the lower parts are getting thinner, with a thinning rate of about three feet-per-year while the interior of the ice cap is thickening with about 1.6 feet-per-year. The ice cap is losing about 1.6 cubic miles of ice every year.

So what can we do?

The Facebook group ‘A Million Trees for Michael‘ was created in answer to Michael’s plea for everyone to do their part to help the planet. The group has shared some things we can all do to help our Earth. The group today shared the following from ‘The Daily Green‘:

1: Avoid Waste by Recycling

The Daily Green calculated that for every trash can of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 trash cans of waste are used in order to create that trash. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can.

2. Give Up Paper and Plastic Bags

Twelve million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of paper and plastic bags consumed in the United States last year according to The Daily Green. The Daily Green says the best option is reusable shopping bags made of cotton, nylon or durable, mesh-like plastic. Keep the reusable shopping bags handy so you have them on your next shopping trip.

3. Stop Buying Bottled Water

The Daily Green suggests using reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum that are not likely to degrade over time. If you choose a plastic water bottle, check the number on the bottom first: Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 could pose a health threat to you, so look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5.

4. Stop Receiving Unwanted Catalogs

According to The Daily Green every year billions of catalogs are mailed to consumers. Save the millions of trees and billions of gallons of water by putting a stop to unwanted mail. Go online to CatalogChoice.org for help.

5. Give Up Conventional Detergents

The Daily Green advises that many natural detergents today are made to clean clothes just as effectively in cooler water temperatures. Choose detergents and other laundry products that are plant-based, concentrated and biodegradable.

6. Give Up Hot Water in the Washer

The Daily Green says that almost 90 percent of the energy is used to heat the water, and most clothes will come clean in cold water. So switch your washing machine’s temperature setting.

7. Give Up the Clothes Dryer

The second biggest household energy user, after the refrigerator, is the clothes dryer. Overdrying your clothes can end up costing you money as well. The Daily Green says when using the dryer, clear the lint filter after each load and dry only full loads of clothes. Dry heavy fabrics separately from lighter ones, and don’t add wet clothing in the middle of the drying cycle. And remember that hanging clothing outside in the sun and air to dry is the most energy-efficient method — or use a folding indoor rack all year long.

8. Check for Leaks in Your Toilet

According to The Daily Green a leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30 and 500 gallons of water every day, so any leak should be repaired. To see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, the toilet has a leak. Leaking is usually caused by an old or poorly fitting flapper valve, which can be replaced by any amateur DIY-er!

9. Give Up Conventional Toilet Paper

If every household in the United States bought just one four-pack of 260-sheet recycled bath tissue, instead of the typical tissue made from virgin fiber, it would eliminate 60,600 pounds of chlorine pollution, preserve 356 million gallons (1.35 billion liters) of fresh water and save nearly 1 million trees The Daily Green. The best news is that a four-pack of recycled toilet paper costs about the same as a four-pack of conventional toilet paper.

10. Give Up Paper Towels

Paper towels create a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead of loading up on them The Daily Green suggests buying some reusable microfiber towels, which grip dirt and dust like a magnet, even when they get wet. When you are finished with them, toss the towels in the wash and reuse them again.

11. Run a fully loaded dishwasher

If you have dishwasher, use it. Running a fully loaded dishwasher — without prerinsing the dishes — can use a third less water than washing the dishes by hand, saving up to 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Simply scrape
large pieces of food off your dishes and let the dishwasher handle the rest. And by using the air-dry setting (instead of heat-dry), you will consume half the amount of electricity without spending a dime.

12. Lower the temp in your fridge

As one of the biggest appliances in your kitchen, the refrigerator is also one of the most power hungry, accounting for 10 to 15 percent of the average home energy bill each month. Get your fridge running in tip-top shape. First, set the refrigerator thermostat to maintain a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees (F). This temperature will protect your food from spoiling while saving electricity. Twice a year, clean the condenser coil at the back of your fridge. Condenser coils tend to get dusty, making them less efficient.

13. Give up two degrees

Electric power plants are the country’s largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause global warming. By snuggling under a blanket on the couch on a snowy winter night instead of turning up the heat, or enjoying the breeze from a fan in the height of summer instead of turning up the air conditioning, you can save pounds of pollution, as well as some money off your utility bills. Set your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees F (20° C) or less during the daytime and 55 degrees F (13° C) before going to sleep or when you are away for the day. And during the summer, set thermostats to 78 degrees F (26° C) or more.

14. Give up dry cleaning

Until recently, almost all dry cleaners used a cancer-causing chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as Perc or TCE. Traces of this toxic chemical remain on your clothes after dry cleaning and will evaporate into the air in your car or home. If you have to use a traditional dry cleaner, take your dry cleaning out of the plastic and air it outside or near a window before hanging it in your closet. To avoid the need for dry cleaning at all, make customer care a part of your clothing purchase decisions and choose fabrics that don’t require dry cleaning at all.

15. Stop wasting gas

Increase your gas mileage by checking your tire pressure. More than a quarter of all cars and nearly one-third of all SUVs, vans and pickups have underinflated tires, according to a survey by the Department of Transportation. If every American kept his or her tires properly inflated, we could save 2.8 billion gallons (10.6 billion liters) of gasoline a year — and help curb global warming pollution — so inflate the tires on your car or truck and continue to do so once a month or as necessary.

I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That’s what makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening in our world. That every second I hear the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. I mean, that kind of stuff really bothers me. That’s why I write these kinds of songs. You know, to give some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love the planet. I love trees. I have this thing for trees. And the colours and the changing of leaves. I love it! And I respect those kinds of things.

I really feel that nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the planet. The planet is sick. Like a fever. If we don’t fix it now, it’s at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have. Or it’s like a runaway train. And the time has come; this is it.

People are always saying, “Oh,” they think, “They’ll take care of it.” “The government’ll do…” “They’ll…” They who??  It starts with us. It’s US! Or else it’ll never be done.

-Michael Jackson, 2009

"It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live." Dalai Lama | The photo was taken in New York on August 15, 1999. Ten years later the Dalai Lama granted an interview to German jounalists while in Germany. Asked about Michael he said: "I met Michael Jackson 2 or 3 times and I liked and admired him because he really knew how to entertain people."

"It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live." -HH Dalai Lama •|• The photo was taken in New York on August 15, 1999. Ten years later the Dalai Lama granted an interview to German journalists while in Germany. Asked about Michael he said: "I met Michael Jackson 2 or 3 times and I liked and admired him because he really knew how to entertain people."

The group “Major Love Prayer” asks that we all take time out of our day today to say a loving prayer to Planet Earth. It has been shown that positive thoughts can actually change water. They no doubt can change more than just water. Take time today to say a prayer for our Earth.

Finally, what would Earth Day be without the voice of one of her biggest protectors, for whom she cried when he was laid to rest. Following are Michael’s poem ‘Planet Earth‘, and his ‘Earth Song‘ for you to revisit and enjoy as a reminder of how important caring for our planet was to Michael – and how important it is for all of us.

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Jan 15 2011

“You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.”

Category: Humanitarian,Justice,Photos,QuotesSeven @ 1:29 am

Michael stands beneath MLK

Michael stands beneath MLK

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Jan 11 2011

Life Was No Song for These Composers (including Michael)

Category: Justice,MJ Quotes,Photos,Prose/Essays,QuotesSeven @ 7:32 pm

Written by ‘Justice4MJJ
Edited by Seven

Michael at his 'Thriller Killer' party

Michael at his 'Thriller Killer' party

In Michael Jackson’s 2002 Thriller Killer Party plea to his fans & other members of the public that might be listening–he extolled to us how many extremely talented persons, end up destitute, dying in a miserable situation:

I really don’t like to talk that much, I really don’t. I prefer to perform than talk but.. You know, um, let me just say this, the tradition of great performers, from–and I really want you to hear what I have to say– from Sammy Davis Jr., to James Brown, to Jackie Wilson, to Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly–the story is usually the same though–these guys work really hard at their craft–but the story ends the same. They end up broken, torn, it’s really sad, because the companies take advantage of them, they really do.

–Michael Jackson

Of course we know of the incredibly hard and unfair James Brown’s career and life was—many of us only learning about it in detail after his death. The poor man was forced to continue working up until he died—never getting to rest or enjoy the benefits of his extensive career and talents.

And Jackie Wilson, whose style of singing and dancing was “influencing” (more like being copied) by many white singers—most notably Elvis Presley. Jackie died (in January 1984) unacknowledged for his great talents, forgotten by the public very quickly, after having been in a coma (in 1975 during a benefit concert) for nearly a decade. He only regained popularity and worldwide sentiment, after Michael Jackson dedicated his Thriller album to him & acknowledged him at the 1984 AMAs.

Yet another genius who was underrated, underappreciated and faced enormous adversity unjustly—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now most of you no doubt know of the jealousy and deviousness which he faced—mostly by a character Antonio Salieri—we’ve seen the movie too.

However, I feel in Michael Jackson’s trying time during 2001-2002, he neglected to mention many other geniuses who suffered through life wrongly and died penniless. After coming across a newspaper article from January 1941, by Louis Sobal of the New York Journal American, I could not let Mr. Sobal’s words go by me without dispersion everywhere. I have transcribed the part of his article which deals specifically with unreasonably destroyed composers:

Life Was No Song For These Composers

A composer’s life was never too happy a one in other years. When Claude Debussy died on March 25th, 1918, for instance, he left no estate except his author’s rights, his manuscripts and his fame. To supplement his income, he had edited Chopin’s works, revised Bach’s violin sonatas and offered to write a method for teaching piano.

Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy

Then take Robert Schumann, a gay, light-hearted fellow as ever you’d want to meet, but after he married Clara Weick & they had several children, he discovered he couldn’t support his family on the musical pieces he was turning out. So he went insane.

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Franz Shubert died at the age of 31, leaving a few articles of clothing, a mattress, bed coverings and some old music. During his lifetime, he had received approximately $6.00 in payment for his Trout—quintet, $4.40 for the beautiful Trio in E flat and about 20 cents apiece for the Winterriese cycle of songs.

Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert

Mozart died at 36 and was buried in a pauper’s grave. His friends would not even defray the expenses of his funeral and when his wife appealed to them frantically, she received advice as to the cheapest way to bury him! At one time, Hector Berlioz, famous French composer of The Damnation of Faust, lived on raisins, bread and salt, in order to meet the debts incurred when he paid to have one of his own Masses performed. Bocherini (1743-1805), composer of the famous Minuets, was constantly in want and was reduced to making guitar arrangements for wealthy dilettantes.

Mozart

Mozart

Ludwig van Beethoven lived on handouts most of his life. From 1800 on, Prince Lichnowsky contributed to his support and in 1808 three Viennese noblemen guaranteed him 4,000 florins a year if he would stay in Vienna instead of going to Cassel. But sooner or later they dropped the payments and Beethoven was faced to sue them all in order to collect a small part of what he had been promised.

Beethoven

Beethoven

Frederic Chopin, ill and poverty stricken, made his last public appearance at a ball in the London Guildhall (which was destroyed by bombs last week) for the benefit of Polish refugees. No one listened to him—no one seemed to care even that he was there, although some mourned when a few weeks later he was dead—of tuberculosis, aggravated by undernourishment.

Frederic Chopin

Frederic Chopin

Johannes Brahms was never very affluent but in later years when he earned some money, he still lived alone in a furnished room and got up every morning at 5 o’clock to make his own coffee, so uncertain was he that this ‘affluence’ would last.

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

George Friedrich Handel died in London on April 14th, 1759. According to Samuel Butler in his notebooks: people say the generous British public supported Handel. It did nothing of the kind. On the contrary for some 30 years it did its best to ruin him, twice drove him to bankruptcy, badgered him till in 1737 he had a paralytic seizure, which was near as might be the death of him and if he died then we should have had of him his greatest oratorios. What kept Handel was not the public, but the court. It was the pension given him by George the First and George the Second that enabled him to carry on at all.’ In this battle between radio and ASCAP, the air people are crowding the waves with Stephen Foster masterpieces because they are in the public domain. Foster, unfortunately, was not a member of ASCAP and so today his song is a no. 1 melody. But the announcers forget to introduce the song by revealing that Stephen Foster was forced to sell most of his beautiful tunes for petty cash—and that he died penniless.

George Friedric Handel

George Friedric Handel

Now Mr. Sobal wrote this astounding article for the purpose of influencing the radio to change its stance regarding ASCAP; an important issue facing America in 1941. Nevertheless, its significance regarding the abandoned pauper geniuses of the world, will be forever present. Maybe like me, when reading that article, you felt the un-silencing urge to shout to the world, “Michael Jackson was abused, used & died in financial bondage, with no control or help from others too!” After his death, nearly everyone who could speak, placed the blame of Michael’s death, squarely on his own shoulders. Many claimed to have been trying to save him and have foreseen his untimely death. The praises of his genius came tumbling forth as well—when only the days preceding his death—he was reduced to a commonly repeated set of cheap jokes, dog food by the media, and largely forgotten and uncared for by the public.

Michael Joseph Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson

To come to my point, the description of Michael Jackson’s life, as well as these other great geniuses, should never neglect to tell how they’re lives were destroyed by greed, selfishness, hate, jealousy, carelessness & deviousness by others. We tend to forget when listening to our “classic” composers, that these men’s lives were so full of tragedy and hurt—that even their burials were not fit for the work they did. An exception is Michael Jackson—who’s burial was turned into a parade—yet it was far too soon in occurring for one so young & hounded. Michael was being plotted against at least since 1991, moreso as soon as he took possession of the ATV catalog. He bought it “fair and square” in 1985, but that did not deter any of his (unknown to MJ) enemies. They tried to force MJ to sell all the momentously profitable things he had—when he never backed down to sell—they resorted to crimes and deviousness to get what they wanted.

Criminal & devious plans were used on those geniuses of past years too—recall Stephen Foster selling most of his works for paltry amounts. Michael was killed instead of selling—but after his death—he couldn’t stop the theft of his work and legacy! I have no doubt that Michael was well aware of these facts in those great composers’ lives. He was a voracious reader all his life as you know—and a great lover of quality music from all ages. Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” being one of his favorites. Besides the Bible verses that were invaluable to him during those gutting months, he looked to the people before him who suffered unjustly many times—no doubt during his 2005 set up trial—when he needed to calm himself by recalling their unfair abuse, and how they kept on fighting.

Michael never stole the money or rights of any hard working musician like himself. He gave Little Richard his catalog back, after legally buying it himself. He understood what artists, specifically composers, go through because he was close friends with many of them. Don’t forget how he was sued, non-stop through his entire career—even up till his death! As his bodyguards told us—he always settled after 2005—just to have a life & keep more of his hard-earned revenue from going down the drain. Michael has been murdered, and all those great geniuses before him died from injustice as well. Very much helped into the grave by evil and selfish individuals’ actions—but the difference with their cases and Michael Jackson’s—is that his murder occurred more recently and we are here to pick up the fight for him (where he left off).

We can’t let them get away with what they’re trying to do. I’m a free agent now.—Michael Jackson (2001)

I end this with some discerning words from W.C. Handy, a prolific American composer, musician, & major supporter of ASCAP:

Why should such talent die in want? Simply because a great artist will pour out his heart and hard-hearted people will take it, unless that artist is protected…..[] But in America, it was inconceivable that a composer who wrote a song to gladden the hearts of millions, who inspired men to march to the defense of their country, who supplied the words with which a mother croons her baby to sleep, was destined to fill other than a pauper’s grave….[] Even justice seems to adjust the balances in favor of the man with the most money.

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