Getting Sirius About UFO Evidence & Technology

Truth is stranger than fiction as this story will show – if it’s true. The hard part is in knowing where to begin.Humanoid

This is a story about UFOs and extra-terrestrials. I’ll start with the documentary film “Sirius” that debuted in Los Angeles Monday. It follows Dr. Steven Greer, an emergency-room physician turned UFO researcher, who I met last Saturday. In 1990 Greer established the Centre for the Study of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, set up to contact extra-terrestrial civilizations. In 1993 he then founded The Disclosure Project with a goal to disclose what governments have reported about UFOs, ET’s and advanced energy and propulsion systems.

The feature length film claims Earth has been visited by ETs many times over the past 60 years. There have been thousands of landings, much of this recorded in previously secret government reports worldwide. A highlight of the film is the revelation of an alien being allegedly discovered in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This deceased life form is all of 6 inches tall and estimated, at the time of death, to have been about 7 years old, who died perhaps 100 to 1,000 years ago. The film documents that its DNA and bone structure was examined by top-level researchers, including a professor from Stanford University, Garry Nolan, who I also met Saturday, at a networking breakfast group I attend, where Greer gave a presentation ahead of the film debut.GreerImage

Dr. Greer is tall, slim, engaging, smart, eloquent and friendly. To me he was a kindred spirit, in that the topic of UFOs and ETs has enthralled me for decades, as I wrote about here. Greer says he has presented presidential briefings for President’s Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, background briefings for members of Congress, along with reports for the Central Intelligence Agency and other high-level intelligence groups. He is widely regarded as a foremost authority on UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence.

The Sirius movie proclaims that alien life forms exist and can even be called forth, by you and friends, on a dark desert night, if managed in the right way. It’s what Greer wants you to do. Reach out to them; let them know we are ready to accept them, for a reason. They are friendly and want to help. But there’s one big problem. A group much more influential than us does not want that to happen. They want secrecy, as Greer explains.

Before I get into details of that let me tell you about my conversation with Greer, where I sat across the table with him over a buffet breakfast.

“Why don’t they just land on Washington DC and simply get over with this doubt as to whether they exist or not?” I asked.

The answer was that the ETs believe we can’t handle the truth, not just yet, concerned that their technology and presence might be used for evil purposes, which I’ll explain in a moment.

“How did they find Earth, given the enormity of this Universe?”  He thinks maybe they knew we were here from the start and suggested that maybe Earth has been an experimental planet by the ETs.SiriusPoster

Lest you think I am snickering, I find all of this plausible. If you do the math it is possible for these ETs to have been in development perhaps more than a million years before Earth fully formed. When you imagine the technology we will have a half million years from now, it’s not hard to believe these ETs are super advanced. Moreover, with our current technology, right now, we are peeking deep into the Universe and looking for planets that are like Earth, able to sustain life. Why wouldn’t they do the same?

“How do they get here, given the vast distance of space?” They use advanced propulsion systems that, rather than having to travel light-years from Point A to B, the distance is rather short, in real time. Greer also says we could do the same, if only given the chance. And it is here where the bad news begins.

Greer maintains that a cabal of military, industrial and financial interests has kept this knowledge of contact with ETs and their technology secret for over 60 years. If this were openly revealed to the world it would enable us to eliminate the need to use oil, gas, coal and nuclear power as our primary energy source. That’s a multi-trillion dollar business the cabal will not peacefully leave behind.

Part of the film describes how we have the knowledge to build these energy systems used by aliens, but it has been squelched, covered up or destroyed. Scientists like Nikola Tesla and T. Townsend Brown were onto to it in the early 1900s, but their technology or research was ultimately squashed. The movie says the banks that control the global monetary system, in cahoots with the major oil companies and other “misanthropic sociopaths” are keeping us from having access to such technology, as it would enable free energy, which could liberate the world from poverty, inequality, lack of potable water and so forth. It could also collapse the religious belief systems throughout the world by revealing that intelligent life is out there not of this world, long before God created the world in six days. In short, unveiling this technology would totally disrupt the world. Their world would fall asunder, and they won’t let that happen.

It should come as no surprise that he who controls the money also controls the power. This cabal of military, industrial and financial interests has taken all means necessary to keep you from knowing the truth, to include their involvement with media deception and manipulation, to convince you that belief in UFOs and aliens is lunacy. The branch that carries out these dirty deeds has been known as Majestic 12, which has been around for decades. As the story goes, they have killed people, squelched all progress on advanced energy systems, intimidated Presidents and also sewed fear, uncertainty and doubt into the minds of the public to have them believe this is a joke. No doubt some of you reading this have been laughing all along. It’s working.UFO1

You can find much of this material to support what’s in the Sirius movie at the Disclosure Project website, materials which Greer and a large team have obtained through Freedom of Information Act filings and so forth. It’s voluminous. The deeper you get the more surreal it seems. The challenge here is in accepting that it may all be real, or most of it. Greer is not the only one hot on the trail. As you follow the links and do searches on the Web you’ll discover many groups who have put a tremendous effort into finding the truth about what is truly out there.

I asked Dr. Greer what happened at Roswell, New Mexico, one of the most famous stories of a UFO crash. He thinks that the spaceships – yes, there were two of them – did not land but in fact were shot down by the U.S. military. As the story goes these saucers had been buzzing the area for years, and we knew it. We just didn’t know what to do, until high energy weapons were developed that enabled us to point, aim and fire, knocking one out which then crashed into the second vehicle. Moreover, he says, we have shot down many more. Asked why they don’t shoot back, it’s because their intentions are peaceful.

I am fascinated by UFO stories. I’ve read numerous media reports on them and I’ve viewed many UFO videos on YouTube.  I have also read through numerous official documents. In the past few years there have been massive data dumps of UFO files by governments that include the U.K., Australia, Germany, Russia and Canada, but not the U.S.

And if you think this is just stuff reported by loony’s who belong in a funny farm, you would be wrong. Many of these reports come from commercial airline pilots, Air Force Pilots, military personnel, high level government officials, astronauts and other highly credentialed professionals.

Here is what puzzles me. More people believe in God than UFOs, yet while there is no credible proof that God is real, there is an abundance of evidence to suggest ETs and UFOs are here. Do a YouTube search and watch the videos. Read some of the reports on Disclosure and elsewhere. Are they all a hoax?  There are thousands of reported sighting, videos, testimony and so forth. It is all there for those willing to look, with an open mind.

The good news, says Greer, is these ETs are friendly and want to help. The bad news is the cabal, including the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned of in his last day of office, doesn’t want you to know the truth. The truth is out there. All you need to do is look.

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Innovation And The Corporate Instinct That Kills It

“Everyone has a plan, until you get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson Tyson

This quote was presented in a talk I heard from Dave Ulmer, who has a long career of creating and launching new businesses and products in corporations and start-ups.

His new book, “The Innovator’s Extinction” describes the tough challenges innovators face in the corporate world and why so many attempts at change fail.

He presented his talk at the weekly Saturday breakfast networking group I attend called METal International, hosted by Ken Rutkowski, also the host of Business Rockstars on KFWB in Los Angeles.

Early in his talk Ulmer asked for a show of hands from the audience as to who felt they were here to innovate, to be disruptive. After the show of hands he said, “You are all endangered species.”

It’s not because business owners are bad, “it’s just their nature,” he said.

Corporations are like a living organism, a human body, and as such they often seek out and destroy anything foreign, just like white blood cells do.

“White blood cells don’t kill the virus, they cut off its ability to live,” said Ulmer. In the same way, businesses don’t kill innovation directly, they starve it by freezing the budget, reducing headcount, delaying it with approval layers and more, killing it through “thousands of paper cuts.”

As Ulmer explained on his website, ChangeyourDNA, “I suppose the greatest lesson I’ve learned through the course of multiple instances of corporate resistance to change is that antibodies aren’t really out to get you; they’re simply trying to protect their host.”

It’s not personal. IInnovation is killed off because it is a foreign body, with different DNA and blood type than the existing company.

Ulmer explained of the time he worked at a large Korean electronics firm and tried to get them to consider development of smart TVs. But the corporate rules were so mangled that it was nearly impossible to present the concept to company insiders. There was another time, while Ulmer was working for a large U.S. maker of communication products, that he and his team had developed a music service platform, what he called an Internet radio system in the early days.

When the idea was presented to management, “the anti-bodies came out and it got killed.” The corporate executives said there was no value to it and all 200 people in his group were laid off.DNA

Later on Internet radio would emerge as a major consumer hit and the company – once a highly successful publicly traded firm – was acquired, its dominance now a thing of the past.

The result of all this is that, nine times out of ten, new innovative products and businesses come from outside a company, from new market entrants and not the market leaders, he said.

Blockbuster barely exists today due to an innovative startup called Netflix. BlackBerry, once the dominant player in the smartphone market, got crushed by the Apple iPhone. Many retailers today are withering under the success of Amazon.

“Big companies reward people when they take the easy path,” said Ulmer, and in so doing they are sowing the seeds of their ultimate demise. “They will die off because they can’t compete.”

Unless someone chooses to leave the company behind and focus on a new startup, there are some tricks you can apply to help innovation thrive inside the corporate world.

The solution, said Ulmer, is to overwhelm them, drug them, or hide from them.

“If you are scuba diving and confront a shark, you can’t beat it face to face. Just try to not look like a seal,” he said. “Avoid the bloodshed and run your innovation operations in stealth mode and just stay out of their way.”

As to drugging them, this can include making the right contacts inside the organization needed to build support for your plan. Seek out those who control the purse strings or approval processes, preferably at the mid-management level, and friend them. In one example Ulmer explained how he gave bonuses to sales people that persuaded them to step aside and let others take control, so that he could get his product into the market.

“The global sales team would not listen to us so I drugged them with bonuses,” he said.

Dave Ulmer

Dave Ulmer

Interestingly, Ulmer said whatever you do, do not use the word innovation, as it leaves the impression that everything else the company is doing is not innovative and may leave a foul taste.

He also said it helps to “cross pollinate,” bringing people from other parts of the company into your planning and, “Do not abdicate authority. Set up road blocks so you do not get attacked.”

Ulmer made clear that corporations will remain the same, killing off innovation, intentionally or not. You need to think in innovative ways as to how to make your project a success, before the white blood cells have a chance to kill.

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The Emergence of Compassionate Consciousness

Your thoughts will make the world a better place. It grows when a dozen people think the same, and then a hundred more. It’s the power of compassionate thinking.Earth

This ideal filled my brain when hearing a presentation from Tom Shadyac, who made millions writing and directing comedies such as Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty and Patch Adams.

He had it all, and then gave it away to achieve a higher level of being happy and content, with new ideas to create a better world for all.

This passion for positive change was reinforced when I saw a video of a man from India who left his job so he could feed and help the poor. This man asked himself, as Shadyac did, what is the purpose of life when millions suffer pain and starvation?

As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, when we live in a world wracked by war and mental illness, when mass shootings become accepted as a routine part of society, something is wrong and needs fixing.

As I heard Shadyac speak here in Los Angeles and later watched the man from India video, it reinforced my belief that a global consciousness is emerging that seeks a better world. I think we are entering a new age of being, where love, compassion and giving replace fear, hate and destruction.

It’s happening on many levels. As a technology journalist I’ve seen a trend where entrepreneurs create things and give it away for others to improve on. Goods are offered for free, asking only for a donation. There’s a rise of what’s called the wisdom of crowds. Funding programs have emerged where people put their idea into the market and a crowd of enthusiasts then provide the money to achieve that dream, no strings attached. In my conversations with friends I ask about all of this and they agree. We are seeing a positive change in people’s attitude.

In thinking of this I am reminded of the Christmas truce during World War 1, when a series of widespread ceasefires took place along the Western Front in 1914. German and British soldiers put down their weapons and met, exchanged greetings and sang.  Outraged troop commanders put a stop to it by increasing the brutality of that war. But imagine if the soldiers ignored the orders and quit fighting.

The Christmas truce of 1914

The Christmas truce of 1914

Like John Lennon sang, Imagine, and Give Peace a Chance.

Do you ever imagine that we’re just pawns, trained to be consumers and believe the only way to accept we are successful and happy is by accumulating more stuff? When depression is cured by shopping, albeit briefly, something is wrong.

Tom Shadyac was once in the 1%. He owned a sprawling mansion in Pasadena, flew on private jets and received the red carpet treatment. It was, he said, today’s definition of cool.

One day Shadyac had a serious bike accident that resulted in a condition known as Post-Concussion Syndrome. It kept him in constant pain to the point that he felt death would be his only relief.

He recovered and returned to health as a different person, pushing him to create the documentary film “I Am” and write a book titled “Life’s Operating Manual.”

“I was raised in this culture of excess, seduced by its empty charms, and deluded into unconscious behaviors that I am now, hopefully, prayerfully, imperfectly undoing in an attempt to leave consumerism for compassion, and move from material wealth to true wealth,” he wrote in the book.

And consider this, he wrote. War, poverty, genocide and the environmental crises are not really the problem at all but symptoms of a deeper endemic problem. With the left hand we are trying to fix the problems we are creating with the right hand. We need to change.

It’s right about here that capitalist eyes are rolling as they mentally attack everything I’ve said. Capitalism has improved the quality of life for many. What is seen as poor today is nowhere near as bad as it was a century ago. That’s true. But when the vast majority of wealth is hoarded by the few, when the middle class is steadily shrinking as millions worldwide live difficult lives, when the world has been in stages of war far longer than in global peace, good is not good enough. We can do better.

“Capitalism is not bad,” said Shadyac.” I’m not saying let’s have a new system. I’m saying let’s reevaluate our values and widen our circle of compassion.” For Shadyac, less is really more.

Tom Shadyac

Tom Shadyac

The truth is, he said, that “rich people are not happier.” If you have $1 million having $2 million won’t make you twice as happy.

One of the great thinkers I know, Stephen Meade, said the conflict of capitalism is that having more money makes you more of what you already are.

“If you’re an ass, more money makes you a bigger ass,” he said. To which I say, people need to stop being asses.

The other part, says Meade, is that having wealth allows good people to be more generous and compassionate. The generosity of successful people drives the funding for a great portion of all philanthropy worldwide. Think of Bill Gates, for example.

Meade fully agrees there is a shift in consciousness under way.

“I just wish people would not attack the 1% as evil,” he said. To what extent is the 99% really chipping in? Do they give 10% of their income to charity, as Mitt Romney does?

In fact, the wealthy are doing more charitable work than many people know. Case in point is Mike Mann, a highly successful businessman I interviewed. Mann has made lots of money. He operates about 14 businesses, and several of those focus on philanthropy and helping people build better lives. He makes money, to fund his charitable and philanthropic work, he said.

Mann just wrote his second book. His first book, “Make Millions and Make Change!” aims to help the average person succeed in business “so we can better serve society.” His second book, “Applied Evolution,” focuses on how to build a better world.

“By addressing unacceptable human behaviors like fear, greed, and envy, Applied Evolution lays out the path to world peace and prosperity,” according to the book. Mann, like Shadyac, is focused on boosting global consciousness with the desire to lift people higher.

In Shadyac’s documentary film, he asks profound thinkers two questions: What’s wrong with our world and what can we do about it? He met and interviewed men and women from the fields of science, philosophy, academia, and faith. The idea is to help people wake up.

One interesting highlight of the film is a view that the heart, not the brain, may be man’s primary organ of intelligence, and that human consciousness and emotions can actually affect the physical world. It also reveals that, contrary to conventional thinking, cooperation and not competition may be nature’s most fundamental operating principle.

It’s the wisdom of the crowd, that the best decision is achieved when a group collectively decides what path to take.  Charles Darwin observed that humankind’s real power comes in their ability to perform complex tasks together, to sympathize and cooperate.WealthDistribution

And here is where it gets interesting. The solution begins with a deeper transformation in each of us. It’s not about what you can do but who you can be.

“A deeper transformation must occur in each of us,” Shadyac said. This includes expressing positive emotions, such as love, care, compassion and gratitude rather than anger, fear, anxiety and frustration.

Your positive thoughts send out electronic waves that influence everyone. Nothing is separate.  Everything is connected.

This reminds me of my friend Ed, a roommate of mine in my Army days. I met up with him 32 years later. That afternoon together set me on a new course, which I blogged about here.

At the end of our meeting he said to me, “Brian, you are perfect.” He wasn’t referring to just me but also to you. He explained how everything happens for a reason and how each experience is for us alone. It helped me realize that my place in this universe is unique, and that who I am and how I act influences everyone around me.

There really is a positive change happening in this world, a growing and collective compassion. It will continue to grow if we start by improving ourselves. It will grow stronger as more people see the change and believe. Love is more powerful than hate. It starts with us. Believe, and we can achieve.

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Terrorism, Cybercrime: The Evil In Good Technology

When 10 terrorists in inflatable speedboats came ashore at Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008 they executed one of the most technologically advanced attacks in history.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks  killed 166 and wounded 308

The 2008 Mumbai attacks killed 166 and wounded 308

Armed with AK-47s, grenades and other explosives, the assault continued for more than two days, ending on the morning of Nov. 29, with 166 people killed and 308 wounded. Nine terrorists were killed and one captured.

The attackers planned months in advance and used Google maps to determine targets, entry and exit routes, defensive positions and other tactics.

That was just one of many technologies used, explained Marc Goodman, an expert on global security issues and prevention. They used night-vision goggles, smartphones, GPS and satellite phones to coordinate with their terrorist command center in Pakistan. The command center was monitoring news broadcasts, Twitter messages and other forms of instant communications that provided real-time data used to provide a tactical advantage over police forces.

The Mumbai attack represents what Goodman calls the “dawn of an epic battle” against those who use technology first created to enhance life to instead destroy lives.

“Fire was the first technology,” said Goodman. “It could cook food but later was used to burn down villages.”

Goodman, founder of Future Crimes, presented at the Saturday morning networking group I attend, called METal and run by Ken Rutkowski, host of radio show Business Rockstars. Goodman has given this presentation before to a wide range of audiences, describing a world in which good technology is increasingly used for bad things and how technology makes us vulnerable.

“There has been a huge paradigm shift in crime,” he said. It used to be that criminals might use a knife or gun to rob one person. Now it’s possible, through online hacks of credit card information, to compromise millions of citizens in one swoop. And that’s just one aspect of the many ways criminals and terrorists are targeting the masses.

EyeSpyIn the early days of consumer technology Goodman recognized that drug dealers were among the first to use cell phones and pagers to communicate with buyers.

How times have changed. Today drug cartels in Mexico are building their own private cellular networks.

“Criminals adapt to technology very fast,” he said. “At the end of the day criminals are businessmen.” Except rather than invent they create havoc.

Goodman recently authored an article in the Harvard Business Review titled What Businesses Can Learn From Organized Crime.

For example, while corporations struggled to monetize their social media followers, criminals quickly figured out that tweets and Facebook updates were invaluable tools for planning home burglaries. The lesson for business is to use social media to get in front of developing trends. The lesson for consumers is be careful what you post. Technology is not always your friend.

About two years ago owners of Android smartphones began downloading mobile banking apps from Google’s Android Market. Apps that looked to be from Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others were available for download. The problem was none of those bank apps were legitimate. More on that and how to protect yourself from bank app fraud here. And here’s a PDF on the top 10 mobile app risks.

Marc Goodman

Marc Goodman

“During the 25 years I’ve spent in law enforcement – as a police officer, a counter-terrorism consultant, and, for the past decade, a cyber-risk and intelligence specialist – the most striking trend I’ve seen is the growing sophistication of global crime syndicates and terrorists,” Goodman wrote in the HBR article.

The more technology people carry or bring into their homes or business, the greater the risk. Baby monitors are being tapped and conference call systems are being hacked, as are those neat little camera devices on your portable computer, allowing people to peer inside your home.

Criminals are even creating and selling software to assist people who want to hack or steal your personal information, complete with service agreement and guarantees.

As to what you can do, Goodman says classify, protect and encrypt.

“Figure out what is most dear to you,” he said. Make a concerted effort to protect your most valuable assets first by using strong passwords, with upper and lower case and digits. Goodman also markets his intelligence through Intelligent Wealth Protection, a five-hour video program and more, for a fee.

But if you can’t pony up the bucks for all that just be smart. We’re in a brave new world of mass communication. Be careful what you share to the world on social networks and the technology you accumulate, as it can and will be used against you. It’s also a war you can win.

“I remain optimistic,” said Goodman. “We can build a better future but we need to work on this.”

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Global Warming Cons Put Public On Ice

How do you feel when I say global warming is real?

The first time we saw Earth, as photographed by Apollo 17 in 1972.

The first time we saw Earth, as photographed by Apollo 17 in 1972.

About 16% strongly agree but fumble over what to do next; 29% are concerned but less worried because it’s not in their back yard right now. And 25% think it may be real but the effects are overblown; 13% say it’s natural and not problem; 9% dismiss it. Just 8% believe it’s a complete hoax.

That’s according to research reported by Anthony Leiserowitz, a scientist and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

But the 8% who believe it’s a hoax are winning the debate.

If you finish reading this you may feel depressed, angry or confused, or will want to slap me through your computer. That’s OK. I will simply be tending to my garden, doing my best to live each day to the fullest which, by the way, is exactly what the fossil fuel companies and their lackeys want me to do – look the other way.

Here’s a disturbing fact: More than 97% of real climate scientists agree that Earth’s climate is warming and is mainly due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. Through 2011, nine of the last 10 years have been the warmest recorded since 1880, the beginning of modern record keeping, according to NASA. It’s the continuation of a disturbing trend.

In 2012, The Arctic region continued to break records, among them the loss of summer sea ice, spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its latest Arctic Report Card. Sea levels are rising faster than predicted.

The consensus is we are headed to a 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, with the potential of a 4 degree increase. At that point the scenarios get devastating. It would mean the inundation of coastal cities, increasing risks of food production, many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter, unprecedented heat waves and cyclones, water scarcity and irreversible loss of biodiversity, according to reports based on this massive study by the World Bank.

Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since the year 2000.

Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since the year 2000.

But if all of this is true, why is it that Americans remain skeptical.  According to a Pew study, just 38% say the problem is “very serious.” In the last 2012 election cycle global warming was either ignored or ridiculed. Politicians run like cowards from this issue.

You can thank a small but highly vocal group of “think tanks” and pundits who’ve done a magnificent job of sowing seeds of doubt into the American public. Essentially they borrowed a tactic used by the tobacco industry, which is to attack the science. They spin the issue to create confusion in the mind of the public as to whether the science community agrees on the issue or not.

The science community does indeed agree that global warming is real and will become a serious problem if not enough is done. The naysayers have done what they can to shoot this down, but the climate scientists fought back. The problem is it may be too late.

Efforts to convince you that global warming is not a problem have been very creative. Back in 2006 the Competitive Enterprise Institute produced a video to tell us that the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, CO 2, the main cause of global warming, is good for us. At the end it says, “Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.” Brilliant! Sit back and relax.

The Frontline TV series did an exceptional investigative report titled “Climate of Doubt: How the Skeptics Changed the Game on Climate Change,” which you can view here.  The link includes a timeline on The Politics of Climate Change. Another show worth watching is a PBS special by Bill Moyers called “Ending the Silence On Climate Change,” where he spends the hour interviewing Anthony Leiserowitz, who I mention at the start of this article.

If you do a thorough review of the climate change naysayers, their resume and funding sources, you will find much of their funding comes from fossil fuel companies and other groups who simply do not have the best interest of the American public in mind.

An example comes from the “Oregon Petition,” which has been used to say that its collection of 31,072 signatures refute the claim of “settled science” and “overwhelming consensus” in regard to global warming. But that report has been thoroughly debunked.

Arctic sea ice  in September 2012 set a new all-time record low, and included a nearly ice free Greenland melt in July.

Arctic sea ice in September 2012 set a new all-time record low, and included a nearly ice free Greenland melt in July.

To be honest, I have to be careful about attacking the naysayers because some of these groups are known for going after journalists and climate change scientists, as you will see here. But I have done enough research and reading on this topic that assures me my view is accurate. We are being duped by a small but effective group of people who are being paid to persuade you into thinking global warming is a hoax. Don’t believe it.

Good groups continue to do their best to advance the science of climate change. The Yale Project on Climate Change is working to improve climate change awareness, attitudes, risk perceptions, policy support, and behavior.

So then, what to do, what to do.

I said at the beginning I will tend to my garden. And though I don’t really want to encourage people to accept defeat, what I see is not encouraging.

I think global warming may already be past the point of no return. We might be able to slow things down, but it is already rearing an ugly head. The climate events worldwide, if you are paying close attention, attest to that. And I don’t see signs yet that politicians and governments have the guts to take on this beast. I maintain a big reason why people turn their head is based on fear. The thought of mass relocation of population, of starvation and disease that may result from global warming is extremely discomforting. I don’t want this to be true. I really want to believe we can fix this. The scientists have done all they can to debunk the climate change science, but they can’t find a silver bullet. I’m depressed simply writing this, but I figured it was my civic duty to speak out.

Having presented this point of view, those who know me well have heard me say that all I want is a tent and a squaw, some seeds, shovel, running water, a dog and chickens, and an Internet connection. I’ll take it from there.

Strength and honor,


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Richard Gibbs: Musician, Composer, Writer On The Storm

Richard Gibbs was told by his mom at age 5 to take piano lessons, with the desire to see him become a cultured member of society.

It didn’t quite work out that way. Gibbs was not that easily controlled.

He learned to surf, once got fired for using a lawnmower to write an obscenity, and rattled about in an unconventional “nuclear family” that exploded.

“All sorts of problems happened when I was little,” said Gibbs. “It was deeply screwed up stuff.”

But his mom’s insistence that he learn to play piano was a precious gift after all.

“Music was my escape. I loved how it made me feel good when I was feeling bad.”

Unlike his two brothers, Gibbs never stopped playing. Now age 57, Gibbs is all about music. He’s an exceptional musician and composer who plays piano, other keyboards and sometimes fiddles on the guitar or trombone.

“I will always be a piano player first,” he said. “I took up guitar as a passion, and with the trombone I torture my puppy.”

Recording at The Woodshed

Much of his time these days is spent composing music or helping others do the same at his custom built music studio at his Malibu home, with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Musicians that have played at his studio, Woodshed Recording, include Sting, Pink, Cher and Lenny Kravitz.

You most likely have heard Gibbs play, possibly as a member of the high energy rock band of the ‘80s, Oingo Boingo, led by Danny Elfman, where Gibbs was a member from 1980 through ‘84. Or maybe you heard the scores Gibbs has written for about 70 movies and TV shows, from The Muppets, The Simpsons and Battlestar Galactica to movies such as Dr. Dolittle, Say Anything, and Queen of the Damned. Or perhaps you heard him as a session player on more than 150 different albums with talents like Tom Waits, Robert Palmer, Aretha Franklin and Melissa Etheridge. The list of credits can be viewed at his website.

I caught up with Gibbs on a recent Saturday morning at a weekly collective of some of the brightest minds in Los Angeles, a professional networking group called METal. There is no missing the presence of Richard Gibbs. Even amongst a crowd more than 100 chattering bodies he stands out. Always mischievous looking, Gibbs exudes an electricity that, if it could write a message in the sky, might say “Let’s have fun.”

Gibbs is a dedicated member of METal, which meets most every Saturday for breakfast, camaraderie and speaker presentations. They meet for a few hours at a hall in the art district of Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. The group is led by Ken Rutkowski, host of Business Rockstars on radio station KFWB and one of the most connected men in Los Angeles. Each week the group is presented a wide range of topics in the fields of media, entertainment and technology, where the METal name is derived.

“Every time I go it’s a jolt,” said Gibbs. “It’s the mental stimulation, the energy that drives me forward in new ways.”

Man of the Year

On this day Gibbs was the main event, a double-header actually. That morning Rutkowksi presented Gibbs an award as “METal Man of the Year,” something of an honorary trophy that essentially knights Gibbs as the man among men.

But there was more. The main event that morning was Gibbs himself, who presented a lesson on how to score movies. He brought with him Miles Mosely, vocalist, bassist, pianist and composer from Hollywood. Mosely is a star-performing eclectic genius on an big, amplified upright bass – a testament to the kinds of talent Gibbs surrounds himself with. He wants to know something about every instrument and learn from the best.

“If you want to be a composer you have to be familiar with every family of instruments, at least to the point of carrying a melody, so you know what’s going on,” he said. “The violin, sax and clarinet, trumpet and percussion, you have to learn all these things to understand all the layers.”

Richard Gibbs: Batshit crazy about music.
(Photos of Richard by Keegan Gibbs)

The process of learning has never been an obstacle for Gibbs. As a kid he was a spelling champion and killer chess player. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Daytona Beach Community College while still enrolled as a senior in high school. He went on to receive a Bachelors’ Degree in classical composition from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, before moving to California and getting married to Linda, where they delivered two sons, Keegan and Riley, and a daughter, Katelin, all three now in their mid-20s.

When asked what he would be if he wasn’t a musician Gibbs did not hesitate to answer.

“I would have been trial lawyer because I love a debate, getting into the nitty-gritty of both sides of issues, seeing another point of view totally different than mine.”

He describes his political views as not left or right but forward. Among his affiliations he lists Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society. He loves playing ping pong and still surfs, but he loves creating music more than anything else.

“I’m fascinated how music attaches to your brain,” he said. “And when I finish a film score I am bereft of any molecule being able to move. It takes a lot out of you.”

That thought reminded Gibbs of a story, of a French composer, Georges Delerue, who had more than 350 scores for cinema and television. Delerue had just completed an orchestral score. When the last note was completed he slumped over onto the podium and died right then. He was 67. The curtains had closed.

“That’s how I want to go. Just not yet. Composing is something I’ll do till the day I die,” said Gibbs.

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Spray Painting Their Graffiti To Glory

Like many in Los Angeles I see graffiti as blight, or at least until today.

Two world-class graffiti artists, one named Saber and his mentor Casey Zoltan, put the blight in a different light at a METal presentation Saturday morning.

Taggers start out as rebellious youth, many who were skateboarders or break-dancers at places like Venice boardwalk. In time some evolve into artistic warriors and merge into a brotherhood that won’t be denied.

“I am a soldier of art and refused to be constrained by society,” said Saber at the METal event, hosted by Ken Rutkowski.

Mural Moratorium

Society hasn’t been nice to graffiti artists and Saber is pissed about that. He’s in a war with L.A. politicians who want to snuff their work. The city removed or painted over 36 million square feet of graffiti for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, up 8% from the prior year, costing $7 million. City workers paint over graffiti with Palomino beige, the color of “the New World Order,” he said. Other forms of removal include sandblasting and chemicals.

Saber wants the war against graffiti stopped badly enough that he paid to have five skywriters paint the noon sky above downtown Los Angeles last September. They wrote the names of several graffiti artists, along with  Saber’s Twitter address, and ended with this message: “End Mural Moratorium. Art Is Not A Crime.”

L.A. was once known as the “Mural Capitol of the World,” with 1,500 of them by some famous painters across city walls and freeway stretches, illustrating themes of the civil-rights movement, anti-Vietnam War activism and black-pride movements. But about 10 years ago it seems enough was enough for many citizens.  Mural artists were hit with a moratorium ordinance that deemed their outdoor art illegal by lumping it in with commercial signage. Los Angeles now has many laws to halt graffiti.

Saber says the moratorium is a clear violation of the first amendment right to free speech and that enforcement of the laws a waste of taxpayer funds.

“They’re trying to crush us,” Saber said. He claims that business owners have about 4,000 illegal billboards throughout the city yet laws against taggers mean some end up “doing hard-core time.”

Artwork by Saber

Saber began his graffiti career about age 13. He’s now 35 and has no plans to change despite the blowback and commonly held view that he’s a public nuisance.

“We are not angels,” he said. “But why am I doing this and why do I want to write on walls?”

Graffiti dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and places like Pompeii that had scads of political slogans and profanity. The roots of modern graffiti today emerged from depressed economic times of the 70s as a protest and declaration of identity and to claim neglected space.

It started with tagging then evolved to a more advanced form called a “throw up,” using bubble letters and wild styles. Artists then painted a “piece,” short for masterpiece. These are large, labor intensive works depicting elaborate scenes that might include collaboration with multiple artists.

Graffiti In Politics

It’s an outlaw culture that sometimes taps into the political realm. Saber submitted a video to a contest held for President Barack Obama on the topic of health care reform in 2009. The image of the America flag splattered with health care graffiti at the top of this article is a screen grab of what Saber presented. He was among the Top 20 finalists, out of nearly 1,000 submissions. Saber didn’t win and was sharply criticized in the media by some, especially pundits on Fox News.

Saber battled it out with Fox. “They hate us,” he said.

But not everyone does.

Last summer the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles held a graffiti exhibition called “Art in the Streets.” The exhibit traced the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s “to the global movement, concentrating on key cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Sao Paulo, where a unique visual language or attitude has evolved,” MOCA said. The exhibit had the highest attendance of any show in the museum’s history, according to reports.

Graffiti is now a business, with Zoltan being an avid force behind it. Zoltan, also known as Eklips, is a founder of The Seventh Letter, a clothing company and an art collective based on the works of graffiti artists. Zoltan also curates KnownGallery, in Los Angeles, which exhibits a wide range of graffiti inspired works from artists that include Saber, Revok, Augor, Rime, Push and Haze.

Artwork by Rime

Much of this work comes from an umbrella group of top graffiti artists called AWR and MSK, or Art Work Rebels and Mad Society Kings, which Zoltan also developed.

“We never thought it would become a business, or that people would be traveling the world doing this,” said Zoltan, whose introduction to graffiti began in 1984.

Despite the success in graffiti art having emerged as a recognized platform, it’s not easy street.

“The reality is it’s really hard,” said Zoltan. “People fall, people get shot, they get mistaken for burglars or gang members,” and some get arrested, he said. “A lot risk their lives.”

It’s worth noting that “tagging” often consists of gang signs and territory marking. There is little if any creative thought and to many it’s like a dog pissing on the carpet. Offensive to be sure.

When I got a chance to speak with Saber I had a simple query.

“The big beef most of us have is with taggers who script the walls of homes and alleys. Do you support that?” I asked.

“I support the kid but not the vandalism, even if he is considered a menace. When a kid scratches on your window, it’s not against you,” he said.”It’s my position to never turn my back on them and hope to guide them away from destroying the property.”

He also feels this form of expression enables youth to release “pressure valves” that keep them away from more nefarious adventures as they find pathways to express.Saber also said those days of running around are behind him.

The bottom line is graffiti is not going away, no matter how hard cities try and how enraged the populace gets. That’s not to say that every time I see graffiti I’ll smile and say boys will be boys. My home has been tagged before. But I’ll have a better understanding of why it’s there. I just hope they’ll leave my house alone.

Strength & honor,
Brian Deagon
Twitter & Facebook


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Nolan Bushnell Gaming To Educate Kids

Video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell has two ideas on how to make this world a better place.

One is for Nolan to procreate and the other to educate.

“I have eight children and it’s my responsibility to boost the genetic inventory. We need better DNA and I got some,” Bushnell cracked at a recent breakfast group gathering.

Nolan Bushnell at the Saturday METal meetup

Bushnell is best known as the co-inventor of Pong and founder of Atari in 1972, which launched the video game revolution. He has a long list of successful businesses as a life-long entrepreneur, including Chuck E Cheese’s.

But Nolan is not producing more children that I know of so it’s on to his other approach to improve the world, by creating better students.

“As a species we are at the top of the food chain because of our brain. Our inability to fix education threatens our position,” he said.

Bushnell’s method of making kids smarter is to get them to play more games. His startup would deploy edutainment, a game based education curriculum, into the classroom.

That may present some risk and reward. A new study says intense video gamers may develop more gray matter in the rewards center of their brains that might fuel addiction, as seen in gamblers. But if students become addicted to learning then its game on!

“I think we can teach 100% of high school curriculum, all four years, in six months,” said Bushnell.

He already claims success in the field with his Spanish-learning website that he says trains faster than Rosetta Stone.

“We’re teaching kids faster than ever before,” he said.

His current venture is Speed To Learn, a Web-based program still a work in progress about ten years after he conceived the idea. A lot has already been written on the program and Bushnell has hit the pavement expounding on his idea, as he did last Saturday to the METal networking group in Santa Monica, hosted by Ken Rutkowski.

“Everything you know about education is wrong,” he said.

He reels off statistics, such as a 2009 study that said 15-year old U.S. students trail behind their peers in a pack of higher performing nations. Interpretations of the study vary, with some saying it’s a shocking wake up call to one columnist who said “hysteria” about the report is sometimes hysterical.

I’m not sure what to think. My oldest son was a top student throughout high school in the advanced programs and is now studying electrical engineering at UCLA. And it seems his younger brother is doing even better.

Maybe I should do like Nolan and procreate some DNA. I dunno. My sons are great students, all through public education, so I don’t have a big beef with schools.

What I don’t like is that education has become a political football with all manner of meddling by the propeller heads in Washington. I’m also getting quite peeved about the rising cost of education. Getting a degree from UCLA now costs about $80,000, more or less. I want to release air from the tires of those UC Regents who keep raising tuition to maintain their cushy jobs and fat salaries, or so it seems to me. I’d give them and F for performance and a A for failure.

President Bush signs the "No Child Left Behind Act" in 2001

Still, my view is that education has more to do with parenting than teachers. This includes ensuring all their homework gets done, no excuses. I also believe success comes from instilling a good work ethic in kids and advising them to stay away from bad people – something I learned from experience.

When I came out of high school I was a C- student in English. I could barely write a decent paragraph yet I worked real hard over many years to become a successful journalist.

But maybe, as Nolan says, the education system in America is a train wreck. He said that in every field there are “work seekers” and “work avoiders,” and “our school system is populated by work avoiders that are driving out the work seekers.”

Nolan has been trashing the American educational system for a long time. He’s a strident western capitalist Republican. I mention that for this reason: Republicans love to trash our education system. They hate that teachers are unionized and doggone liberals who vote Democrat and therefore we must burn down the village in order to save it.

Oh, the angst.

Yet the last “success story” from Washington on education reform was the “No Child Left Behind Act,” which President George W. Bush proposed immediately after he took office and received bipartisan support. Many now think it does indeed leave our children behind and give it a failing grade.

But if Nolan can boost dumbbells into power lifters at a lower cost then I’m all for it.


But I asked him, if the way we teach kids in classrooms today is all wrong what about those foreign students and teachers who seem to outperform U.S. students by a long shot. What are they doing right?

Nolan said that while those offshore kids may get better grades, they do not think creatively and that’s a problem, too.

Nolan says his Speed To Learn teaching system will fuel an enthusiasm for learning and enhance creativity.

“Enthusiasm is a driver of success,” he said. “Boredom drives out enthusiasm.”

No kidding. Remember when you were in school and stared at the clock waiting for the bell to ring. Who knew  that one minute could take so long!

What isn’t clear is when Nolan is going to deliver this puppy. But if he takes too long I’ll have to give him a warning about falling behind, which can lead to a failing grade. Good luck, Nolan.

Strength & honor,


Twitter & Facebook


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The Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party Tango

If the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements have one thing in common, it’s that there are a lot of pissed off people out there.

Adbusters poster promoting the start date of the Occupy Wall Street movement

The Tea Party is protesting against taxes, government spending and debt issues. The Occupy Wall Street crowd protests against social inequality, injustice and corporate corruption. Together they represent an undercurrent of collective voices motivated by passionate and emotional grievances.

I’m not sure what would happen if the two groups were mixed together at a summer beach party, one side dressed like George Washington and the other as British bomber Guy Fawkes with Vendetta mask. They would both assert their right to free speech and peaceful assembly while accusing the others of being an unruly mob of either socialists or fascist thugs. They both claim to be leaderless and symbolize real democracy in action.

The Wall Street movement began in early July when a Canadian group of social activists called Adbusters sent a message for “20,000 people to flood lower Manhattan” and occupy Wall Street. They joined forces with the group “New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts” and on Sept. 17 about 1,000 attended the first day of protest. More than seven weeks later protests continue and have spread to hundreds of cities worldwide.

Their beef in the U.S. is that incomes of the top 1% have grown substantially more than the other 99%, hence the rally cry of “We are the 99%.” In short, the average Joe has been screwed and change is needed. The movement unofficially issued an official document on Sept. 29 that includes a list of grievances against corporations.

Part of it reads, “We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.”

That’s a key part. One of the early expressions of Adbusters that fueled the moment begins with one simple demand to launch “a presidential commission to separate money from politics.”

Occupy Wall Street assemby in Washington Square Park Oct. 8

The declaration rails against home foreclosures, bank bailouts and many other negative events blamed on corporate greed. All this has corrupted politicians and the media, ripped off workers and students, destroyed the environment, and thwarted green energy and access to affordable drugs, among other things, it says.

Let me share some views on this expressed by people in the professional networking group I belong to called METal in Los Angeles and run by Ken Rutkowski. Since I didn’t ask their permission I won’t name them but they’re intelligent businessmen from both sides of the political spectrum. The comments are from an e-mail thread on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The collapse of the housing bubble in 2007 that led to the financial crisis of 2008 and a global economic recession is where a lot of arguments ensue, and for good reason. It resulted in the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression of the 1930s, and inspired both the OWS and Tea Party movements.

“Here’s what we know,” one METal member wrote of the housing bubble. “We had cracks between regulatory agencies,” which made it possible for people to create sham investment vehicles that no one was regulating.

“There was lying to consumers, lying to lending agencies, false documents and value assessments. There was over-stated income and cooked credit applications and robot-signings of stacks of documents by people who had no idea what was inside those documents. There were people selling those investment instruments to pension funds as if they were gold, and telling insider buddies to go short on them.  Ratings companies were being paid to give stamps of approval to bad investment instruments.”

Indeed, one extensive Senate report, concluded “that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”

Tea Party protesters fill the National Mall on Sept. 12, 2009.

That’s the dark side of all this. Smart people essentially took money from the gullible. To which another member of METal, the stoutest capitalist I know, said this: “If people are buying financial instruments they don’t understand they should lose all their money. This is capitalism moving the money from the dumb to the smart so it can be better deployed. This goes for people at a slot machine, stock table or hedge fund. It’s a vital part of capitalism.”

Someone else said that Congress essentially created laws and mandates that opened the doors for banks to effectively rip people off.

“The bankers weren’t stupid,” he wrote. “If Uncle Sam was going to effectively pay them, or at the very least, give them carte blanche to dump billions in worthless loans onto the market, and in a way that also let the banks profit on the trading of them, well hell ya!”

As someone else said, “People will game the system.  That’s human nature.  Give me a year to create what I think are ‘iron clad consumer protection laws,’ and within an hour after they’re published, someone will have come up with a way to get around something.”

And maybe that’s what really wrong here, and which has fueled the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street anger. So many people are more focused on getting as big a piece of the pie as possible, everyone else be damned.

I have sometimes wondered what happened to human decency, compassion and honesty. So much of what seems to be wrong, and which has fueled protests here and worldwide, comes down to greed and selfishness. But perhaps it is as my friend said, that this is just true capitalism at work. The strong will finish the weak, and we’ll all be better off as a result.

It’s a harsh reality but a reminder that I have to tend to my own garden. I look at the world and sometimes think it’s insane. And the possibility is still out there of a global economic recession that could get very brutal. I’ve got to protect my world and help others when I can. The events are so big out there and I have no control over what’s going to happen, really. I can live each day in a healthy and wholesome manner and be content that at least my world is sane. I hope you can do the same.

Strength & honor,

Brian Deagon


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Taking Beauty To A Whole New Level

Miss USA Alyssa Campanella at Drai's Hollywood

When I received an invitation as a member of the press to attend the “Miss USA Homecoming for Alyssa Campanella” I quickly replied Yes!

I’m not a follower of beauty pageant stuff but it gets my attention sometimes.  I read news clips of pageant winners and the occasional scandals, like when Donald Trump had to decide whether to dethrone Miss USA Tara Conner.

Ms. Conner won the title in 2006 and took fourth runner up in Miss Universe that year – which for her was also a year of partying dangerously. She landed in a drug and alcohol rehab as Trump, who operates the Miss USA pageant, gave her a second chance to keep the title.

Then in 2007 Miss Teen South Carolina went viral in a terrible way. During a Q&A session Lauren Caitlin Upton responded to a question with a cringe inducing ramble. The video was viewed millions of times and tagged her as the quintessential dumb blonde. Never mind that she was an honor student in high school who played varsity soccer for four years.

I went to the homecoming event with an open but curious mind last Wednesday, held at the swank Hollywood hotspot Drai’s in the W Hotel. Floor 18, please, where I strolled past the rooftop restaurant to the pool area surrounded by intimate cabanas swathed in red lights.

Miss California Teen 2010 Emma Baker, Miss New Hampshire Teen Annie Read, Miss California Teen 2011 Alexis Swanstrom

Soon I was in the midst of a gaggle of teen beauties anxiously awaiting the arrival of Miss USA, who had recently returned from the Miss Universe pageant in Brazil. There was no doubt  Alyssa was the prettiest of them all, wearing a floor length white dress with black cardigan, her pulsing green eyes and long radiant red hair topped with a Cleopatra crown. She’s 5 foot-eight but with high heels she flowed to her platform like a goddess giant walking on air.

A line was soon formed by the 100-plus women in the crowd for a photo shoot with the beauty queen. Many were former pageant winners and others who hoped to become one. As the crowd swelled and people milled about I began the interviews. I wanted to know their story, about why they were here and what they aspired to become.

Rather than finding the stereotype of dreamy-eyed, ego inflated goo-goo dolls I discovered something much different. These were young women of character, goal oriented, ambitious, bold, daring, honest and open, humble, genuine, kind and friendly. They were hard working risk takers; youthful entrepreneurs with aspiration to not only improve their lives but that of the world around them.

Yes they really enjoy the glamor of pageants but it requires very hard work. They work out daily, stay up on current events, learn public speaking skills and how to perform with poise and grace under intense pressure.

Alexis Swanstrom

“You have to mentally and physically prepare, keep up with current events and build your confidence,” said Alexis Swanstrom, 17, the newly crowned Miss California Teen USA. “We are intelligent, smart women who want to change the world.”

“It’s a privilege to show off on stage,” she said. “It’s what I work so hard for.”

It took Swanstrom three years to win, starting at age 13. In her first try at Miss Teen she was second runner up, then first runner up, and this year the winner. Asked how she felt not winning first place in the previous tries she said, “I know I did my best. I stay humble.”

“The competition is fun and you gain a lot of confidence,” said Annie Read, 17, crowned Miss New Hampshire Teen USA last month. “It can open a lot of doors.”

Emma Baker, 18, Miss California Teen USA in 2010, chose to forgo a 4 year soccer scholarship at University of Nebraska-Lincoln to instead focus on pageantry. It paid off.

“It changed my life,” she said. In a July 2010 interview with Seventeen magazine she said, “It is very important to remain humble and grounded. I stay true to myself; true to my beliefs and my morals.”

Emma Baker

Of all the women I met that night the most memorable was my talk with Katherine Amanda Blair, currently Miss California USA and former Miss Teen USA 2006.

She invited me to sit down next to her as I introduced myself and asked for an interview.

“You have to know the full story,” Katie said. And what a story it was.

In 2006 she was the first woman from Montana to win a major pageant title, of Miss Teen USA. She spent the next year living in New York City at Trump Place with Miss USA Tara Conner, the one who ended up in rehab. It seems that Conner’s penchant for partying rubbed off on Blair. Things got bad. Conner and Blair were regulars at nightclubs, engaging in underage drinking. Conner would later admit to cocaine use as well. She and Katie got a bit too chummy, though, as tabloids frequently reported about the two cavorting about and engaging in sexually explicit nightclub dancing and kissing.

Blair, then age 19, was portrayed as immature, disrespectful, naïve and ignorant. And the drinking turned out to be a big problem in other ways. Blair was a spokeswoman for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

In December 2006 MADD issued a press release in which it said: “In the past MADD has teamed with Miss Teen USA to raise awareness about the serious and often deadly consequences of underage drinking. However, we do not feel, at this time, that Ms. Blair can be an effective spokesperson and will not ask her to represent MADD in future initiatives.”

“It was hell, a tumultuous year,” said Blair. “I wasn’t going to ever do a pageant again.”

Alyssa Campanella and Katie Blair

As time went on Blair came to see more clearly how she had let herself down and blown a tremendous opportunity. Tired of the emotional haunting of those memories she decided to make a comeback.

“I wanted to do it over,” she said. She wanted to prove she was a strong, honest, educated and independent woman. Rather than sit around feeling bitter, regretful and resentful, Blair came back to the stage. She began to work out aggressively, raised money to enter the California pageant and went up against 280 contestants.

She finished 1st runner-up at Miss California USA 2011, behind Alyssa Campanella. Soon after that Campanella won Miss USA and handed the Miss California title over to Blair.

Katie Blair

Blair, 24, is a graduate from the internationally recognized Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles with a degree in merchandise marketing. She plans to pursue an additional degree in Business Management at FIDM after she fulfills her pageant duties.

The second chance has made her humble and grateful.

“I write a lot of thank you notes,” she said.

~Strength & honor,


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