Lies, and the Crying Liars Who Tell Them

Veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield is co-anchor of the trial coverage program Banfield and Ford: Courtside (weekdays from 1-3 p.m. ET) on IN SESSION.

Posted February 16, 2008 | 02:48 PM (EST), The Huffington Post

Hand me a tissue, please .. I’m about to be sick. Criminal defendants who lie through their tears in an effort to engender our sympathy deserve an extra consecutive sentence tagged onto their punishment.

Take for instance Bobby Cutts Jr. an Ohio police officer who was found guilty on Friday of aggravated murder, a death penalty eligible crime. The verdict was reached just 4 days after he led us down a tearful garden path on the witness stand. A blubbering Mr. Cutts tried to persuade the world that he was so spooked after “accidentally” killing his girlfriend Jessie Davis, 9 months pregnant at the time and the mother of his 2 year old son, that he wrapped up her body, and dumped her in a national park, all the while abandoning his toddler son at the murder scene. The hungry child was found wandering about in a soiled diaper, near an open bottle of bleach (used to destroy forensic evidence, no less), more than 24 hours later. For nine days, Jessie and her fetus were left to rot, while 2,000 volunteers searched for her, and while Bobby Cutts pleaded with the country for her safe return.

It brings to mind Susan Smith, another peach of a criminal defendant who back in 1994 tried to convince everyone that she’d been the victim of a car-jacking in which a black man had abducted her two precious baby boys. The story was simply riveting. For nine days we listened to her repeated pleas for the safe return of those boys. Then police discovered that Smith, herself, had strapped those children into their car-seats, and rolled the vehicle into a lake, drowning them to appease her boyfriend. She’s serving 30 to life in South Carolina.

Next up, Scott Peterson, the murderous husband who killed his wife Laci (also 9 months pregnant) back in 2002. For four months, Laci’s body, and that of their unborn son Conner, decomposed under the waters of San Francisco Bay. All the while, Scott tearfully navigated his way through countless interviews, pleading for us to help find his beloved wife. But a jury convicted him of the crime, and he, himself, is now rotting on Death Row.

The unbridled insolence, the contemptuous gall, and the shameless audacity of these uncommon criminals all serve to highlight why we employ aggravating and mitigating penalty phases in American jurisprudence. Some people’s crimes are beyond the pale. And just when you think they can’t get any worse, they do. These liars cry like babies, and beg for our love and our sympathy. More often than not we oblige. But when their duplicitous deceit is exposed, we at least get retribution… sentences that equate to a life-long “time-out” or a deadly “lights-out.”


My post (Google: Worldchangeguy) in response to Asheigh’s article,

In the Stallone movie, Rambo, from the moment you see the Burmese General overseeing the killing of villagers in the Golden Triangle formed by the boarders of Laos, Burma and Thailand, you’re saying to yourself; “This guy needs to die!” If this is ALL we think about then, of course, we’ll want to see this guy (or girl) die. This movie, like many others involving crime and punishment, satisfies our lust for vengeance. But, what do we learn from it all? How do we grow from this experience?

While part of me was outraged by the actions of the General and his men, another, wiser, part of me was asking, why? What was behind these actions? Who was paying or encouraging the General and his men to do these awful things? What ideas made it OK for these people to justify such outrageous behavior?

Every thought is a suggestion. Until we learn to look at the reasons why we do things, we’ll be the victims of our reality, not the creators of it. Nor will we be able to help ourselves or others become better versions of ourselves if we continue to focus on the results of our actions and not their source. We need to expand our vision, not limit it.

How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which, in turn, forms our reality. To believe in separation and scarcity is to create a world dominated by fear, competition and violence. To believe in oneness and sharing is to create a world where love, partnership and peace prevail.

Which self, which world do we want to create?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Baby’s Defining Moment

The first actively conscious memory of my life occurred when I was nine months old. It was a highly charged experience, filled with insight, anger, pain and pleasure Continue reading

Victims of Our Own Thinking

How often do we stop to examine the ideas that motivate, or drive, us to see where they’re taking us as we create our reality from moment to moment? Judging from our concern about human overcrowding, disease, increased global warming from human activity, increasing interpersonal and international conflict, and general planetary degradation, it is safe to assume we don’t examine our motives, where they come from and where they are taking us, as well and as often as we should.

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Dreams of My Unborn Grandson

The following Saturday, October 6, 1990, Crystal and Mike stopped by for a visit and stayed for lunch. I shared my dream with them, including the fact that the baby in the dream was a boy. Crystal responded with, “That’s nice, dad, but Mike and I know it’s a girl.”
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A Christmas Eve Surprise

Just before leaving for work at 2 PM, I had a talk with my Inner Self (that magical “inner” part of us that literally transforms the energy of our thoughts and emotions into reality, the Genie in our bottle). I asked to have a great time at work (I’m a bus driver for Sonoma County Transit), since it was Christmas Eve and I had to work.  Continue reading

Saving Ourselves from Ourselves

“We have met the enemy and he is us!” – Pogo (an old comic strip character)

There are two types of fear. There is natural fear, which is life giving and unnatural fear, which is life destroying. Natural fear is how we react to an immediate threat, like removing our hand from a hot stove. Unnatural fear results when we fail to face up to fearful thoughts and emotions that have no basis in our immediate reality. One popular definition of unnatural “fear” is “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In the Middle East, fear is turning into anger and hate.

As we think, we create. We know this intuitively so when we imagine a frightening event growing out of something we’ve done or something we’re doing, we fear it might become real (what we give is what we get), especially when we feel guilt or shame as a result of our own actions or inactions.

For example, when we habitually eat more food than our bodies need, drink too much alcohol, take too many drugs, smoke, or refuse to exercise and develop skills that give us value to others, we know we’ll suffer somehow and at some point in our lives as a result of our own actions or inactions.

The same holds true when someone far away threatens to kill us and we don’t ask why. How can we resolve this situation peacefully by reacting to it with violence? Why would we choose to react this way unless we’re afraid to know why this person wants to kill us? Are we afraid to admit we’re doing something to piss this person off or that we’re too insensitive and uncaring to want to know what’s making him or her feel that way?

If we allow ourselves to live in a state of unnatural fear too long, we’ll become polarized and insane; oops, too late! We become dysfunctional. Eventually, dis-ease turns into disease and worse, as we can see.

The more we fear something, the more we give it power. To remove the source of unnatural fear from our lives and keep ourselves from stewing in our own juices, we need to face our unnatural fears, understand them, embrace them and move through them back to love and understanding. There are reasons why everything happens and we know that. Too often we don’t want to know what those reasons are because we may have to do something about them, like change how we think, what we do, and how we live.

There are two types of aggression in the world as well, “destructive” aggression and “constructive” aggression. What we see in our government today is destructive aggression. One of my old college physics instructors used to call this the “Brute Strength and Ignorance method” of solving problems. He discouraged us from using this method in solving physics problems. I suspect it was a shrewd way of telling us to find better ways to solve life’s problems as well.

The Bush administration falls into the Brute Strength and Ignorance category of solving problems and it scares us all because we know unpleasant consequences grow out of contempt and violent confrontation. When our own government tries to blind us with fear and invade our privacy, while shrouding their own in greater and greater secrecy; when it builds private armies to defend itself against us; when it uses our collective wealth and credit to build detention centers in our own country to disappear dissenters, we’re in grave trouble. We have become our own worst enemy and it’s time to save ourselves from ourselves.

As humans, we know we’re all going to die some day, some how. Why not focus on creating a pleasing reality so we can go out with dignity, knowing we’ve done the best job we can in creating it? Which self, which world do we want to create, and leave behind for our children?

Which Self

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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The Universe as Teacher

Nov. 9, 2007 

Dream Journal entry: Includes information from the movie, Running With Scissors, based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs; two dreams and the clear realization upon awakening: I love being in control of myself!

In the movie, Running With Scissors, the young teenage boy’s parents are in the process of breaking up.  The mother, an aspiring poet, indulges her son by keeping him out of school and with her at home.  After her husband leaves, she hands her son off to her psychiatrist, who adopts him.  Everyone around Augusten is repressed and dysfunctional, except the psychiatrist who’s just plain wacky.  At one point the boy bemoans the fact that he lacks anyone to set limits and controls for him.  After several years of desperation he decides to take responsibility (control) for himself.  He leaves for New York to make it on his own and ends up writing several books, including the memoir upon which the movie is based. 

In the first dream I wake up in what seems to be this reality when I sense threatening activity around me.  Something is being placed on my bed behind me.  I’m lying on my right side and when I open my eyes to look around, I see two black human shapes (shadow people?), one on either side of my bed.  The one behind me has put something on my bed. Without turning my head I can see him and the stack of magazines he’s placed in the crook of my legs.  The black shadow person in front of me is attempting to reach for something on my bedside stand but stays beyond my reach.  I try to yell and grab him but I have no control over my body; I can’t make it move.  Eventually, I force a weak yell out, and worry that my wife heard it in her bedroom.  At that point I’m able to move my body and the shadow people disappear.  (I look at the shadow people in this dream as a device to get my attention, not harm me.  In other dreams, cutting my hand or doing something else that’s ordinarily painful wakes me up to something I need to remember, perhaps the dream experience itself.)

My mind was fully alert in this experience but my body wouldn’t respond to my commands (intent) to move.  When I do regain control I get out of bed and go to the window, evidently still in the dream.  The window is opaque, like a bathroom window, and smaller than the window in my “real” bedroom.  When I open it, it’s daylight and men are working in my back yard, landscaping it.  I talk to them for a minute, then I’m off into another dream.  In this one, I meet a wealthy man and his family and get invited to their large farm in the foothills of a small city or town.  Once there I realize, while the family may be wealthy, it’s not any more functional than the families portrayed in the movie, Running With Scissors.  Everyone in the wealthy family seems to have their own problems and live in their own world.  As I wake up in this reality I’m greeted by the graphic affirmation: I love being in control of myself!   I can’t decide whether this message is a conclusion drawn by my own mind or if it’s the final element in this series of productions that have been so magically presented to me. 

Collective Spontaneity versus Central Command and Control

Since retiring in late 2006, I’ve had to make adjustments to old behavior patterns because I want to maintain both my physical and mental health.   I’ve done well in some areas but not so well in others.  For example I’ve continued my morning stretching routine although I’ve cut out some calisthenics, and my wife and I walk four miles about three times a week.  In spite of this and an affirmation about how I love to look and feel great, I’ve gained about sixteen pounds since retiring.  I love to eat and even though I repeat my affirmation and exercise almost every day, I haven’t taken full responsibility for controlling my diet.  I’m taking in more calories than my body needs and letting myself eat and drink things my body no longer likes.  My stomach has become sensitive to bread products.  They cause irritation and indigestion, and if I have more than one drink of alcohol, I get a headache.

When I look at my physical body, I see a colony of 50 to 100 trillion cells, each one conscious in its own right, yet separate and unique.  And most amazing, they all work together to give me this whole body experience I so often take for granted, no matter how or what I think of my body and how I treat it.   In one way this is my body and in another way it’s the collective expression of all the cells that comprise it.  It sounds like society doesn’t it?  Do I, as the “head” of this collective society, take full command and do as I alone see fit or do I listen to my body and work with it?  What’ going to work best for ALL of us?

The movie I saw last night and the dreams I had this morning argue in favor of Collective Spontaneity yet the conclusion drawn by these experiences lead me to conclude that I love being in control of myself!  Could it be that we need to strike a balance between the two, that we need to be open to both Collective Spontaneity and Central Command and Control?  I do need to exercise more control over what I eat and drink if I want to maintain my desired weight and level of health and vigor.  As the eyes and ears of this body who is in a better position to do that?  But, do I overstep my bounds and put us all in jeopardy when I, the outer self or ego, over inflate the value of my role while diminishing the role and value of others in this collective endeavor we call life?   Is it wise for me to stop listening to my body and the higher levels of consciousness that would give me wisdom and support through insight and understanding?  Is it wise for you to ignore the needs of your body and surrounding reality? And, is it wise for political leaders to ignore the needs of its citizens and surrounding countries?

Dis-ease leads to disease.  To prevent disease, we need to pay attention to the messages of dis-ease in our minds, bodies and surrounding environment.  If we refuse to do so it is at our own peril.  We’re all going to die or leave this field of experience some day, of that there’s no doubt, but we do have some measure of control over how and when it happens.  

How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which, in turn, forms our reality.  The purpose, or challenge, of life is to learn how to use thought in its various forms to shape energy into a pleasing reality.  The prize is a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of a job well done. And, like learning to walk or talk, it is a personal, subjective endeavor that requires creative aggression.  It is a great balancing act where one must accept falling down in the course of learning how to stand up. (From: We Create Our Own Reality)


Thoughts are “things” with a reality of their own and you an artist.  With thoughts in the forms of belief, attitude, value and expectation you paint the landscape of your life.  Create a great day!

Energetic Awareness/Infinite Form

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Finding the Creative Hand of God in the Strangest Place, a Sexual Experience of a Five Year Old Boy (Sexually Explicit)

After shutting the trap door behind us, “A” suggests we pull our pants down so we can examine each other’s butts.

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Afraid of Love

I often wonder if we’re afraid of love for fear of where it might take us. Fear  is like a rock in the middle of a swiftly moving river. To be safe we think we need to hang on or be swept away to God knows where to experience God knows what. “Better to be safe than sorry”, we tell ourselves!

What a limiting view of ourselves and reality! Yet this fearful, limiting view of ourselves and reality serves as the foundation for our Old Testament thinking, and laws against any kind of deviation from any but the simplest definitions of who we are and what reality is. “Men must act like men and women must act like women”, we say. We fear our thoughts and emotions, the very foundation of our being, for their power to transform and create anew.

Is this a bad thing if it enables us to stabilize our experience, to have an experience we can depend on day after day, as opposed to more dream-like experiences that come and go as easily as we breath, as swiftly as our thoughts and feelings change?  I think it does become a problem when our desire for stability and simplicity becomes a stranglehold on life, when maintaining a limited world view denies and destroys the lives and rights of others.

This fearful reaction to change, or difference, demonstrates a lack of confidence, a lack of belief in ourselves. We fear that if we open ourselves up to the power that is ours, chaos will ensue, creation will explode in all directions and we will lose our focus in this beloved illusion we call “physical” reality. (See: The Ball of Light, A Dream About the Nature of Consciousness and Being)

Oh ye, of little faith. How can this be when ours is the power and the glory of creation? Do not the Children of God (All That Is) have the same power as Him? To develop and learn to control these powers, is it not necessary to use them, to experiment and play with them? Shouldn’t we be more afraid of the destructive power of fear than the creative power of love?

We Create Our Own Reality

Evolution, Not Revolution

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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The Ball of Light, A Dream About the Nature of Consciousness and Being

As my awareness gathers into focus, I feel like a crew member on the Starship, Enterprise. Small pieces of me are rapidly reassembling as if I’m being projected here, particle by particle, through the Starship’s Transporter.

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Inside Ivy

Suddenly, a barrier let go and my consciousness began pouring out of my body and down into the plant like milk from a pitcher.

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The “Suckface” Incident

Suddenly, my mind and body are on full alert! An “inner” sense of knowing is seizing my attention and telling me to shift my eyes away from the driver. With calm intensity, I slowly turn my head and look up at a large Victorian house on the hill, slightly ahead and a half block beyond the driver’s position. As my eyes come to a rest on the Victorian, the motorcycle driver whips around and screams at me, “What are you looking at, Suckface?”
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A Healing Meditation Surprise

After moving my hands up and down Jane’s body several times, I could feel her cells and organs respond. Her body was becoming revitalized. It was waking up, coming back to life! Continue reading

Divorced from Reality

Yesterday afternoon, on the Ed Schultz radio talk show, a man who described himself as a Conservative started talking about the Jena Six trial. He narrowed the framework of discussion down to the point where the Jena Six (six black high school students) beat a white student unconscious under the school tree where three nooses had been hung as a cruel joke or sinister warning. The caller was deliberately eliminating all other elements associated with this event as if they were not in any way connected.

Like a lawyer trying to win a case, he narrowed the focus of the discussion down to this one event then asked Ed and the listening audience, “Did these six black students beat this kid into unconsciousness?” He was trying to get us to say “yes” because it was true, the six black students did beat the white student until he was unconscious, and even after that, I understand. What this guy, and many of us forget or conveniently ignore, is that all things are both one and separate. Beating this white boy up cannot be separated from other events that led up to this action because they modify it. Nor can this event be divorced from the social environment we all grow up in. We, as individuals, and society, through the establishment of its laws and institutions, play a role in shaping others and their behavior. Life does not happen in a vacuum! 

We need to ask ourselves where the behavior of narrowing the field of discussion down to a single event, as if it were totally separate from everything else to gain consensus and shift opinion, comes from? What underlying beliefs make it okay for us to lie, cheat, distort, deny and manipulate the truth of reality? The belief that we are all separate and in competition for survival is the only belief I can think of that’s strong or compelling enough to make us deliberately betray the beauty and complexity of life by attempting to reduce it to a series of singular events. This is a narrow, limiting, and divisive view of reality that threatens peace and long term survival for all of us.

An old friend, now deceased, emailed me a clever little argument like this once that was circulating amongst his Republican friends. I was so angry and disappointed with him! I knew him to be smarter and more honest than that. Fear, mixed with guilt, makes us do strange things.

Speaking my mind – Pete

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Ask Value Questions and Listen for Intuitive Answers

In desperate situations, many of us intuitively seek help from “God” or a source of consciousness higher than our own.

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The Brave One?

Last week Sandra, our granddaughter, Justina, and I went to see the movie The Brave One starring Jody Foster. It’s patterned after the Charles Bronson Death Wish, vigilante movies. In The Brave One, Jody’s character is severely beaten along with her fiance who dies from his beating. Overcoming her fear of leaving her apartment building, she buys a gun and starts putting “bad guys” away, including the three Mexican Americans who killed her fiance. Her behavior is even aided and sanctioned by the detective investigating the “Vigilante” murders.Like the post I wrote earlier, Divorce from Reality, this genre of films seems to treat events as if they’re disconnected too. We can easily see why Jody’s character feels wronged and why she and the detective think her violent behavior should be excused. What gets lost in this equation is the slowly evolving affect of social discrimination. Like cigarettes, overeating and alcohol can slowly subtract days and years from our lives, social discrimination can slowly eat away at our self-esteem and sense of hope. If we let hopelessness turn into enough frustration and anger, it can quickly turn into justification for retaliation.

Why are we so blind to the effects of discrimination? We’ve all felt the sting of discrimination at one time or another, in one way or another. In that state of mind, haven’t you ever felt like whacking someone when you’ve felt wronged? We can’t justify that kind of behavior but we can certainly understand it.

Ultimately, to have sanity in the world, we all need to see the oneness and separation of all things, stop competing with and discriminating against one another, and accept full responsibility for our actions. Until we see our dynamic interconnectedness and realize we create our reality from what we choose to believe, it will be too easy to think of ourselves as the victims of reality and not the creators of it.



We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts) 

Encounter with the Energy of Unconditional Love

It began with an experiment with telepathic communication.

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What I Learned in Catholic School

Wow, I couldn’t believe my ears, what an awful thing for a Nun to tell kids!

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Turning Hate into Love

Shocked by the strength and raw brutality of my reaction, I thought to myself, Wait a minute, am I the source of these thoughts or is he?

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Recurring Superman Nightmare

The first time it occurred, I woke up screaming in mortal fear!

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Do Affirmations Work?

The next morning, I shared the dream with Sandra as we sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast, and told her I wasn’t going to say anything to Evan because I wanted to see how long it would take for the insight he shared with us in my dream to surface in his waking consciousness. Continue reading

Inside Ivy 2 (Overview)

When my daughter, Crystal, read Inside Ivy twenty one years later, she asked me if I had been on drugs.

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Live Earth and Changing Ourselves for the Better

Wow, so many things to think about this morning! Last night Sandra (my wife) and I attended a Live Earth Party here in Santa Rosa, CA, at a large community room graciously provided by the Redwood Credit Union.

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The LifeSong Store Newsletter

I dreamed I was the leader of an elite American team of scientists and engineers racing to beat our Soviet counterparts in building the first Starship.

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