Reflections on My First Day in Israel

I travelled to Israel July 29 through August 1, 2014 to see for myself and report what was happening on the ground in Israel.

My desire was and is to bring another perspective to my readers, listeners, and fans that may very well be quite different from what they have seen in the news.

The morning of the second day, I shared my thoughts reflecting back to my first day on the ground.

Videographer: Joshua Fleisher

My Interview of Yishai Fleisher

My first night in Jerusalem, Israel I had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing father, talk radio host, columnist for Jerusalem Post Magazine, and IDF soldier, Yishai Fleisher of the Voice of Israel. We spoke in their brand spanking new studios, which they opened before their planned date due to the war.

Thanks to Chanan Elias with The Face of Israel for the video work and Binyamin Nakonechny our senior chief engineer working the board.

Day 4 in Israel: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

My final day in Israel, a 72 hour cease-fire announced, a chance for two hours of tourism in Jerusalem, and a final interview from Israel in Tel Aviv.

Chanan Elias from The Face of Israel met me first thing in the morning to head over to the Old City of Jerusalem and the older City of David. The place is the center of the universe for Judaism and Christianity, and the third most important city in Islam behind Mecca and Medina.

This is the location of so many major biblical events. Fascinatingly, over the past 150 years archaeologists have uncovered evidence supporting the events and continue making new finds to this day. I needed to see it first hand.

City of David Excavation, Jerusalem

City of David Excavation, Jerusalem

We began at the City of David, the much older and original Jerusalem, outside of the great walls that we see today. The sun was already beating down from a cloudless blue sky, slow-cooking the top of my head. It was truly magnificent to see the thousands of years of history uncovered in front of my eyes, the layers so carefully scraped back so we could see many different epochs ruled by the various dynasties.

The variety of ethnicities and religions represented by the tourists visiting was astounding. Represented were Africans in traditional wear, Arabs with hijabs, Germans in their sporting gear, Israelis with their small children, what appeared to be an American college-aged group, and more. There were far fewer numbers than normal due to the war.

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

After visiting the Western Wall (כותל), I wanted to visit the various quarters of the old city. We started by heading to the Arab Quarter and found ourselves denied entry by the police. Why? A “Day of Rage” protest was called by the Palestinian leadership. The police said no entry due to the danger as the previous week’s protest in another area had turned violent.

So much for peace or even a cease-fire. Within 15 minutes of the cease-fire time of 8:00 am, terrorists in Gaza continued lobbing rockets at Israeli civilians. Then approximately 90 minutes in to the cease-fire, the terrorists killed two IDF solders and a third is missing. IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, an officer in the Givati Brigade, is officially listed as missing in action. (UPDATE 8/2/14 18:48, Hadar Goldin has been declared deceased)

Jerusalem Police

Jerusalem Police

The police were everywhere. Absolutely professional, even-handed in their treatment toward all, and somehow not melting in the unforgiving late morning sun.

Next up was a trip to Tel Aviv. Chanan and Shay Attias co-ordinated an interview with Sendi Bar, a well-know Israeli actress for shows like the Unit and Prisoner of War, which is the original Israeli series that Homeland is based upon.

Interviewing Sendi Bar

Interviewing Sendi Bar

An actress wanting to speak out about the war with Hamas? I was intrigued. Our intrepid videographer, Joshua Fleisher, joined us to video the interview. Once the video is complete, I will share it with you.

In the meantime, let me just say that Ms. Bar is a kind, caring, compassionate, mother who is concerned for her country. She shared an analogy about instructing her son about schoolyard bullies and Hamas. She told her son that the first time a bully hits him, try to work it out with the bully. The second time a bully hits him, tell an authority figure. And the third time a bully hits him, punch him back hard. That is how she feels about Hamas at this point, enough is enough.

After the interview I went to visit Tel Aviv’s internationally famous beachfront. It was everything you have heard: cosmopolitan and beautiful, populated with tanned and toned bodies as if in Los Angeles. Except there were fewer people than a normal, late summer afternoon.

Beachfront Tel Aviv, Israel

Beachfront Tel Aviv, Israel

Finishing up my final hours in Israel, Sendi Bar invited me to a friend’s house for Shabbat dinner. Of course I said yes.

This was a traditional, yet modern, Shabbat dinner. Generations of family members gathered around the large table outside, friends, and stranger all joined together to light the candles, eat challah, drink wine, and eat well.

After the meal, I went to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport to head home. This was an exhausting trip, that opened my eyes to realities on the ground across Israel and the West Bank. There will be more to come soon.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, Andrew in Austin, TX, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Day 3 in Israel, West Bank, Pesagot, Ariel, Samaria

Day 3 was the day to cross the infamous wall that we have heard so much about. You know, the wall the Pope kissed, the wall that supposedly destroyed the chance of the Palestinians to do anything, the wall that essentially stopped the suicide bombing attacks that killed at least 600 Israeli civilians.

To my American eyes, the wall was a jolt. As we passed through the checkpoint in a breeze, I actually had to ask Chanan Elias, my gracious host from The Face of Israel, if that was the infamous wall. His reply was yes. I incredulously asked, “That is what the fuss is all about? We have bigger walls all over the United States.” It wasn’t very big. It doesn’t loom over anything. It’s part of the way down a hill and is utterly dwarfed by everything around it.

Interesting start to the day’s adventure.

All stops on today’s itinerary were in disputed territory in the West Bank. We passed through a couple small Palestinian villages and then arrived in Pesagot.

At Pesagot we visited the winery. I might as well have been back home visiting any winery in California: the oak barrels, the fermenting tanks, the display of wines for sale. The people at the winery explained that the vines were planted on previously unproductive land, cultivated, and now are producing award-winning wines. Wines that are kosher. Kosher wines that taste good, you ask? Yes, I tasted a 2011 Cabernet and it was as fine as any.

Pesagot Winery

Pesagot Winery Photo: Joshua Fleisher

I asked about displacement of Palestinians to create Pesagot, the response was that this was not a residential or agricultural spot and hadn’t been used for a very long time.

We left the winery and drove to Ariel, location of Ariel University with 15,000 students.

During the journey, I simply could not help but notice the Palestinian villages, noted by the black water tanks whereas the Israelis use white, were almost indistinguishable as Palestinian based on the endless stories in the media about the horrid conditions forced on the Palestinians. The squalor was missing! The tin shacks of a Brazilian favela were nowhere to be seen!

Typical view of Palestinian Village in West Bank

Typical view of Palestinian Village in West Bank Photo: Joshua Fleisher

These were nice homes clustered in villages that looked like any I would expect to see, except significantly nicer. In nearly every cluster of Palestinian homes there was a beautiful three to five story mansion either on top of the hill or just in with the other houses. Sometimes there were several. One town, right before Shilo, was a Palestinian gated community of approximately 50 of these massive, beautiful, new mansions. It might have well been a tony suburb of Dallas.

The other thing I inquired about were that some cars had yellow license plates and others had white. Yellow license plates are Israeli and white are Palestinian. But they are all driving on the same roads? Yes, and I also could not differentiate the cars other than the license plate color. The Israelis and Palestinians all were driving similar cars. I would have thought, based on the news coverage, that the Palestinians only drove 30 year old Syrian hand-me-downs.

Also along the way, off to our left as we drove along highway 60, were Ramallah and Rawabi. Ramallah was a surprisingly modern looking city, only observed from a distance I realize, with several modern high rises with a very clean looking surrounding cityscape. Rawabi is a massive new city, master planned by the Palestinian Authority, to provide this a nice community for 40,000 people.

We arrived at Ariel, a hilltop, university town, with a little guard post and a single guard who opened the basic lift-arm and waved us in. We drove around and up to the main administration building. I felt like I could have been in any little college town in the United States. We were greeted and brought in to meet the Chancellor, Yigal Cohen Orgad. We had a little lunch and talked about the University. It is highly focused on medicine and biotechnology, the aim is to help the lives of people.

At Ariel University

At Ariel University Photo: Joshua Fleisher

I inquired about Palestinian students, do they attend as well? Yes, there are hundreds, plus Arab-Israelis. Have there been incidents, are the Palestinian students safe, do they get harassed? No, they are treated exactly the same as everyone else and we haven’t had incidents.

Back on the road again, this time to Samaria, our final stop of the day. An iIsraeli industrial park surrounded by Palestinian villages. Makes sense, economic activity lifts everyone right?

I went in to Shamir Salads facility. We entered a meeting room and met the CEO, Amiram Guy, and Israeli. We tasted the variety of hummus, babaganoush, and other dips they make at the plant. All were delicious by the way, and I discovered that I prefer Druze style hummus, which is slight less ground beans.

How many employees do you have and how many are Palestinian? We have 140 total employees and between 90 and 100 are Palestinian. What kind of wages do you pay them? Average they make net US $2000 per month plus health and pension, which is four to five times the average teacher salary in Palestinian controlled areas, this is a high wage for this area. Do you provide them safe working conditions? Yes, we follow every Israeli law. Do you have any issues with violence? No, we have not had any problems.

I surprised everyone when I said I wanted to go and tour the factory, see it for myself. You see, I grew up in and around the food business. I know what a U.S. factory like this should look like, smell like, safety measures, equipment, and the like.

So we went out to the factory and put on the gear to protect the food from contamination from us.

In The Shamir Salads Plant

In The Shamir Salads Plant Photo: Joshua Fleisher

Indeed, nearly every worker was Palestinian, and this was a modern, food processing facility. It looked like it could have been anywhere in the United States, all equipment looked similar, basic processes were identical, standard safety procedures were in place, except there was mainly Arabic in the air and not English or Spanish. Amazing.

We made one additional stop to visit the Israeli local governing body. The mayor was a kindly man who took pains to explain to meet their desire to work with and help the Palestinians, regardless of the top diplomats. He explained how when they purchased new municipal water filtration equipment, they offered free water, no strings attached, to the surrounding Palestinian communities but the Palestinian authorities flatly rejected it.

Finally back to Jerusalem. We arrived back at the vaunted wall and highly publicized checkpoint. I made sure to really look around and observe the area. I spotted one Palestinian family camped out near the wall, it appeared they were just there temporarily for the day. Otherwise, this looked far less ominous or dominating than the U.S. border near Tijuana, Mexico. I almost laugh to compare the two, especially with the furor over this checkpoint expressed in the international media.

We drove up, there were multiple lanes for traffic, armed Israeli soldiers manning each lane, checking the papers of people passing through. We got the twice over because of me in the passenger seat not speaking to the guard in Hebrew. I observed a van of Palestinians, to my right, having their papers checked. And then we were waved through.

Has no journalist ever crossed the Mexico/U.S. border from Mexico? You have got to be kidding me. Crossing from the Palestinian side to the Israeli side was a simple compared to crossing from Mexico to the U.S. at a border checkpoint. Getting into the U.S. takes hours waiting in line, far more visible security cameras and device, a more menacing looking facility, and a near interrogation from U.S. officials.

I understand that I didn’t visit any refugee camps today that still exist in the West Bank. But clearly, what has been portrayed in the media is far away from the reality on the ground.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, Andrew in Austin, TX, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Day 2 in Israel, Ashkelon and Sderot

What I am calling Day 2 was really my first full day in Israel.

It started with a beautiful sunrise in Jerusalem. A real National Geographic moment looking out of my hotel room at the gentle pink and gray colors washing over the mostly tan colors of the buildings.

I joined Chanan Elias with The Face of Israel, our videographer Joshua, and our driver Alexey, for a winding drive through central Israel. A variety of agricultural passed by, improved by the Israeli created drip irrigation systems: grapefruit, corn, grapes, watermelons, sunflowers, and more.

We arrived at the outskirts of Ashkelon, 15 km from Gaza. We stopped to look at an Iron Dome defense battery. The soldier at the guard post firmly waved us back as we approached, giving instruction on what pictures were not allowed. So, we moved the approved distance back, stood in a recently tilled field, observed and discussed the Iron Dome system, the growth of the city, and listened to the distant sounds of war.

Iron Dome outside Ashkelon

Iron Dome outside Ashkelon Photo: Joshua Fleisher

Next, we drove in to Ashkelon proper to meet with Dr. Alan Marcus, Director Strategic Planning Branch and Chief Resilience Officer for the city of Ashkelon. He showed us the combination bomb shelter and brains of the city’s emergency response and monitoring facilities.

Ethan with Dr. Alan Marcus in Ashkelon

Ethan with Dr. Alan Marcus in Ashkelon Photo: Joshua Fleisher

It was a fascinating insight into what a government agency can achieve. Dr. Marcus brings an inventor or entrepreneurial approach to problem solving. How best to serve and protect citizenry when rockets are hitting your city with regularity? He leveraged his background in Geographic Information Systems (his PhD) and built an advanced system to layer resources such as the handicapped, elderly, and children, alongside where industrial chemical in the city are stored. Then, when a rocket strikes the emergency responders know exactly who and how to help, what are the dangers, and what kind of psychological response team might be necessary.

We next ventured over to Barzilai Hospital. This is the closest hospital, not a Level 1 Trauma Center, closest to Gaza. It is renowned not just for its proximity to the zone where fighting occurs, but the fact that Palestinians, and Hamas fighters in particular, are treated here. In Israel. In my short time near the emergency entrance, at least a half-dozen military vehicles delivered wounded patients. An equal number of ambulances and private vehicles brought in wounded and injured as well.

Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon, Israel

Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon, Israel

Time to get closer to the combat zone.

15 minutes down the road from Ashkelon is Sderot. The town center is one mile from Gaza. In Ashkelon you have 30 seconds to get to a bomb shelter when the Red Alert sounds, in Sderot it is 15 seconds.

Here is where the threat from rockets hung heavily over the town like a fog. No children outside. Little activity on the streets. A rougher look to the buildings with litter strewn about. There is a bombed out side of a house.

A man and his daughter took us to cheerful looking children’s playground. It was eerily deserted, quiet. She spoke little English and told Chanan she wanted to talk to me and share her story.

Legacy HeritageP ark of Good Wishes, Sderot, Israel

Legacy HeritageP ark of Good Wishes, Sderot, Israel Photo: Joshua Fleisher

The last 14 years of her 23 years on earth in her hometown of Sderot were filled with the constant fear of rockets. Since the second Intifada started by the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, rockets have been exploding in Sderot. I thought it was only since Hamas took over in 2006, but sadly, no.

She shared with me her psychological trauma of caring for 15-20 children, the Red Alert sounding, her own panic to find immediate shelter, but needing to stay calm and cheerful for the children as she ushered them to safety. The regular explosions of rockets landing. Her fear of having a family and raising children where they are never safe.

I asked about all of the times when there wasn’t a flare up in violence or war. Much to my surprise since we never hear this, the rockets rain down even during peacetimes and ceasefires.

The whole time I could hear the irregular thumping of explosions, be it artillery or otherwise. Time to go to the hill the overlooks Gaza. The hill made infamous by social media and CNN where the local population, traumatized by 14 years or rockets falling from the sky, go to see what is happening a half-mile away.

On The Hill in Sderot, Israel

On The Hill in Sderot, Israel Photo: Joshua Fleisher

While on the hill, I called in to the KSFO morning show. Sheri Yee answered the phone and put me on live with Brian Sussman and Katie Green. While sharing my experiences, a volley of artillery fired. It was so intense, my call was interrupted. After the call I turned to look toward Gaza.

It was here that I felt the stress, this deep emotion, the subconscious recognition of danger, as I observed smoke in the distance, military vehicles nearby, explosions of a terror tunnel being blown up, the earth shaking from howitzers.

I now understand some of the people of Sderot wanting to observe from the hill. It isn’t some sick, twisted, perverted hatred of the people in Gaza. They want to see their military stop the rockets falling. Stop the need for their children to play in underground bunkers. End their children screaming in the night to find shelter. They seek safety and security. It is distant enough to not see any more than I have described. It is a hope that their daily fears might be diminished.

As we left the hill, we stopped by the police station in Sderot where they collect the rockets for documenting and recording. Somehow, the national spokesperson for the police, Micky Rosenfeld, was there. He gave me a first-hand explanation of the different type of rocket husks they had piled around. Of particular concern, which can be seen in pictures not here, is the fact that the warheads are stuffed not just with explosives, but ball-bearings. Ball-bearings in a warhead serve no purpose other than to destroy people. Oh, and because they are superheated, they can start fires. Sick.

Israel Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld with Ethan

Israel Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld with Ethan Photo: Joshua Fleisher

Back to Jerusalem we went for another series of interviews in the studios of the Voice of Israel. Then I collapsed in an exhausted heap.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Arrival in Israel July 29, 2014

Signs all over for bomb shelters

Signs all over for bomb shelters

I safely arrived at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport today, July 29, 2014. The first thing I noticed upon departing the plane were the bomb shelter signs every 50 feet. Slightly ominous, but strangely no different than tornado shelter signs in the Midwest. Yes, yes, bombs are made by humans and tornadoes are natural.

Then my driver, Alexei, drove me to Jerusalem. Along the way we passed both Israeli and Palestinian towns. They all had walls, fences, and checkpoints. Otherwise the notable difference was that the Palestinians had black water tanks on their rooftops, while the Israelis had white or silver. And I liked how the road signs were in three languages:: Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Jerusalem road sign in 3 languages

Jerusalem road sign in 3 languages

Dropped my bags at the hotel and was warmly greeted by Chanan Elias with The Face of Israel. We walked across the street to the brand new, state-of-the-art, Voice of Israel studios to begin recording my interviews.

Ethan, Binyamin the senior engineer, and manager/host Yishai Fleisher

Ethan, Binyamin the senior engineer, and manager/host Yishai Fleisher

I interviewed eight people right away. Then, exhausted and hungry, I went to grab a beer and pita smothered yummy meat, carrots, and other veggies, with the entertaining Chanan.

Chanan Elias and Ethan Bearman

Chanan Elias and Ethan Bearman

My arrival could not have gone any smoother.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Help Support the Truth About Israel

501israel_map

As rockets continue to fly from Gaza, I leave for Israel on Monday, July 28th in the pursuit of knowledge to share with pictures, video, and audio for radio shows. This trip will entail interviews with government officials, military, civilians, and more.

I will be reporting back to numerous radio stations and shows live in the United States, sharing thoughts and photos on this blog, publishing videos on YouTube, and playing interviews on my radio shows upon my return.

A wonderful group called America’s Voices in Israel is helping to coordinate interviews, studio time, and visits around the country including the fence with Gaza.

But, all of this requires financial resources, and this is where I need your help!

Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Big Weekend of Independence Day Shows

shutterstock_116574853

The Independence Day weekend will start off with a bang! CBS Radio Philadelphia, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, has invited me to do a show from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the Fourth of July! What could be better than doing a show in the actual city where the Second Continental Congress met and ratified the Declaration of Independence?!? Click HERE to listen to WPHT online.

Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Pacific Time is the Ethan Bearman Program on Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco. Dr. Kevin R.C. Gutzman will join me on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.to discuss the historical implications of that risky move by our founding fathers. Sunday at 4:30 p.m. will be interviews with the latest victims of the Injection Drug User (IDU) needle epidemic in Santa Cruz. Click HERE to listen to KSFO online.

Then Monday and Tuesday from 5 to 9 a.m. Pacific Time, I’ll be guest hosting for Brian Sussman on the KSFO morning show with Katie Green and Sheri Yee.

Thank you all for your support and spread the word!

WPHT Coverage Area Map from Radio-Locator.com

Did You Know About The Shows?

Tune in all weekend for shows from Ethan!

Listen to Ethan’s local show, the Ethan Bearman Program, on Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco, 4 pm to 7 pm Pacific Time Saturday and Sunday, online at KSFO’s website, studio number is (415)808-5600 

Listen for interviews with Carson Bruno regarding California’s election, 2-time Iraq war vet with extensive combat experience Sergeant Mike Ergo, VP of the national border patrol counsel Shawn Moran regarding the influx of children, and Professor Corey Cook of the University of San Francisco regarding the Eric Cantor loss.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show with the latest in national and international current events, trends, and politics. Interviews with:

  • Dr. Lanhee Chen, research fellow at The Hoover Institution, faculty member public policy program at Stanford University,  Bloomberg View columnist, policy director for Mitt Romney 2012, regarding the Eric Cantor loss and what this means to Republicans regarding Immigration Reform
  • Tom Fairless, reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Brussels, Belgium, regarding the EU Commission investigation into Apple, Starbucks, etc. and abuse of the tax code
  • Frank J. Granett, R.ph., director of clinical pharmacy operations at Behavioral Center of Michigan Psychiatric Hospital, author of “The American Epidemic: Solutions for Over-medicating Our Youth”, founder of Coalition Against Over Medicating Our Youth (CAOOY)

On the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

Click HERE for a complete listing of affiliates and ways to listen to the shows 

Welcome the Ethan Bearman Show’s Newest Affiliate – KBYR

Please welcome KBYR AM 700 in Anchorage, Alaska, simulcasting on 88.5 FM Kuparuk, AK and 100.1 FM Arco Base Camp, AK! When visiting Alaska, please be sure to tune in to the syndicated Ethan Bearman Show on Sundays from 6 to 8 pm Alaska Time.

This is also the station that carries Tech Talk with Ethan Bearman every other Wednesday morning at 6:45 am during the Morning News and Comment with Glen Biegel.

How to Cut Carbon Emissions and Not the Economy

Photo Credit – Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri

President Obama has directed the EPA to issue new rules to the 600 coal burning power plants in the United States. This fiat move under the Clean Air Act is intended to reduce carbon emissions 30% and allow the U.S. to meet United Nations negotiated carbon emissions from 2009.

Needless to say, coal states have cried foul and the Chamber of Commerce says this will negatively impact our economy to the tune of $50 billion per year.

Keep in mind that the U.S. has already reduced carbon emissions from the 2005 benchmark of 6 billion metric tons of CO2 to 5.29 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2012 (source: USDOE), mostly through the switch to cheap natural gas.

I want clean air and clean water for me and my children as much as anyone.

Coal is a dirty fuel source. It creates pollution during mining, pollution during transport, pollution during the energy production, and pollution in the waste storage.

Coal is the number one source of toxic mercury pollution. Mercury is an acute neurotoxin that builds up in the environment and builds up in your body over time. Coal is also a major source of sulfur dioxide pollution.

But is this the right move? Are we focusing on the right issues? Is carbon a greater threat to my children’s health or is mercury and sulfur?

Toxic Pollution

I care more about the immediate effects of toxic pollution like mercury and sulfur, more than the debatable topic of carbon pollution.

Shockingly, nearly 30% of coal power plants have no controls for toxic air pollution which we can quickly fix in a way that is economically sound. The coal power plant pollution chain can readily be cleaned up.

For example, Constellation Energy has a very large, 1,300 megawatt coal power plant just outside Baltimore called the Brandon Shores plant. They quickly built a scrubber to meet new Maryland rules, breaking ground in June 2007 and completing the work in September, 2009. There were up to 1,385 construction workers building this upgrade, at a cost $875 million, and the power plant remains profitable.

The scrubber – a large chemical plant next to the plant – cuts 95 percent of the sulfur dioxide and 90 percent of the mercury. 

So why did the President leave out cleaning up toxic pollution? Why not talk about carbon capture and storage (CCS) or geothermal power?

Sadly, neither is likely to get the attention they deserve in this heated debate.

Carbon Capture and Storage

CCS is, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), “where carbon dioxide is captured at its source (e.g., power plants, industrial processes) and subsequently stored in non-atmospheric reservoirs (e.g., depleted oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams, deep saline formations, deep ocean).”

There are numerous CCS projects in the works, but it has been a secondary approach to carbon emissions. A properly functioning CCS power plant produces fewer carbon emissions than even a natural gas plant. Should this technology mature, retrofits to existing coal plants would become viable.

Geothermal Energy

The holy grail of reducing any energy production pollution that has been in use, and widely ignored, for over 50 years is geothermal energy.

Geothermal, simply put, uses the heat in the earth a couple of kilometers down (shallower than some oil wells) to heat water, which makes steam, which turns turbines, producing electricity. Take a look HERE for a video and description.

Any environmentalist who actually cares about what they claim, should be pushing geothermal far before wind or solar. Made in the USA, reliable (even more than a coal plant), doesn’t require any exotic materials or technology, and produces little to no pollution, geothermal is really the greatest answer to our energy needs.

Why isn’t the President talking about geothermal? Money. Too many of his donors have vested interests in the false promise of solar and wind technologies (which are perfectly fine for off-grid uses). There simply isn’t enough money to be made by his donors producing reliable, clean geothermal power.

If this administration or those in the environmental movement really want to reduce emissions of any pollutants, they need to look at how the economy will function in a manner that supports many aspects of our country and actually admit what is the truth in their goals.

Special Weekend of Shows

The Ethan Bearman Show

An exciting new weekend of shows is coming! Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco is trying me out for the 4 to 7 pm time on Saturdays and Sundays! I have a great guest Sunday at 4:30 pm, the Pitbull of Personal Development, Larry Winget! Please be sure to tune in on AM 560 in the San Francisco Bay Area

Broadcast coverage map of KSFO AM 560

Or listen online at http://www.ksfo.com . Please be sure to call in at 415-808-5600. Check the PODCAST page the day after the show to listen afterwards.

Then Monday morning at 6:45 am Alaska Time, listen to my Tech Talk segment with Glen Biegel on KBYR AM 700 in Anchorage, Alaska, 88.5 FM in Kuparuk and 100.1 FM in Prudhoe Bay.

 

Intentional or Ignorant

The Ethan Bearman Show

Tune in TODAY for two LIVE shows from Ethan! 

Listen to Ethan’s local show on KGO AM 810 in San Francisco, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific new-kgo-logoTime, online at KGO’s website, studio number is (415)808-0810 

At noon listen for a special segment regarding homeless and poor medical services offered this week in San Francisco and Oakland.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show with the latest in national and international current events, trends, and politics. Interviews with:

On the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online.

Also be sure to join the LIVE webcast of the show on the Google Hangout on Air

To follow all the ways to listen to the different shows check the How To Listen Page HERE

They Stick

The Ethan Bearman Show

Tune in TODAY for two live shows with Ethan!

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Listen to  Ethan’s local show on KGO AM 810 in San Francisco, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, online at iHeart Radio HERE, studio number is (415)808-0810 At 11 am there will be a segment regarding the dangerous, used needles infecting the beaches and parks of Santa Cruz, California.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show with the latest in national and international current events, trends, and politics. Plus a special interview with Robert Mazur, DEA undercover agent, author of The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel“, a real estate update with Candy Evans, and The Buzz with Tod Hardin. On the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online.

Also be sure to join the LIVE webcast of the show on the Google Hangout on Air

To follow all the ways to listen to the different shows check the How To Listen Page HERE

Heartbleed Bug Demonstrates Deep Vulnerabilities of the Web

shutterstock_68921602 Heartbleed Bug

If you haven’t yet heard, a massive vulnerability in a key piece of security software was announced this week. Researchers call it the Heartbleed bug.

Simply put, it is not your fault. Web servers at banks, airlines, and shopping sites use a type of encryption called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. Your browser will display a lock icon in the address bar and maybe even change colors to green demonstrating you have a secure connection. Many websites use a piece of Open Source software, meaning nobody owns it and everyone can see the code, called OpenSSL.

OpenSSL is where the vulnerability was found. The problem is that 2/3 of all internet sites using SSL to secure the communication between your browser and their server use OpenSSL.

Why is that a problem? This bug means hackers can intercept what is supposed to be encrypted information between your browser and the bank’s server. In other words, what is supposed to be unreadable is readily readable to criminals.

And it gets worse.

In the past 24 hours or so word has leaked out that the core equipment used for the internet itself and most corporate networks has this bug too.  According to Network World, Cisco and Juniper routers are affected.

This is where it gets really ugly.

Fixing the OpenSSL bug on a website is relatively easy and the majority of websites have already put in the patches. Tracking down every router, taking it offline, and installing patches from the vendors is a very time consuming and difficult process that might take months.

Initially I wasn’t too concerned about you and me. This latest round of news truly has me worried and you need to take action now.

I am now suggesting to you and everyone you know that you take the time to change your password on every bank, shopping, travel, etc. website where you transact business with username/password and/or credit card information.

And then do it again in a week and then again in a month.

Too difficult to remember all of your passwords? There are tools to help you besides sticky notes on the side of your monitor.

Protect your passwords using software like Password Safe1Password, or pwSafe. Those applications are a securely encrypted safe in which to store all of your passwords. Use the random password generator in the software for creating your passwords.

When you use software like those three, use an entire password phrase as the master password. Something you can remember like the old “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, but make sure to use spaces and capital letters, even use the quotation marks if you’d like.

Here are some basic rules:
•        Always use a password, never let a password be blank
•        Always change a password immediately after receiving one that was given to you
•        Use as many characters as possible when creating a password, don’t just use eight use 16 or 20 or more
•        Use different passwords everywhere, at least for sensitive information like banks or anywhere they might store your credit card information

UPDATE 4/12/14 11:30 PDT – McAfee has a handy tool for testing websites for the Heartbleed vulnerability. You can use it to test a site you might visit BEFORE you go to the website. Click HERE for McAfee’s tool

Why Go There?

The Ethan Bearman Show

Tune in TODAY for the two radio shows!

new-kgo-logoFirst is Ethan’s inaugural local show on KGO AM 810 in the San Francisco Bay Area, 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, online at iHeart Radio HERE – studio number is (415)808-0810.

And then the Ethan Bearman Show on the Genesis Communications Network nationwide 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

To follow all the ways to listen to the different shows check the How To Listen Page HERE

Applesauce Cinnamon Sour Cream Bread Recipe

ApplesauceCinnamonSourCreamBread

Those who follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter might have seen pictures of my baked goods. It is time for me to start sharing my recipes.

I love apples, applesauce, cinnamon, and bread. So this is a favorite when it is raining out (or sunshine). On all of my recipes I use organic ingredients when available and organic, free-range eggs when available.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

One 5″x9″ bread pan, I line with parchment paper but you could butter or spray

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softer than room temp (I usually stick in the oven for two minutes while it pre-heats)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 & 3/4 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon cinnamon (to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

In a bowl combine all dry ingredients

Using a standing mixer on low, combine the wet ingredients until well mixed. Then slowly (I do it in five parts) add in the dry ingredients until well mixed. Pour mixture into bread pan and bake for ~50 minutes. Remove from oven.

I love the parchment paper for easy removal from the bread pan and then cool until you can touch before cutting with a bread knife. Or just dig in with your hands and enjoy!