Around The Corner

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

You will be pleased to learn that we’ve finally turned a corner. I’ve read any number of articles that confirm it this week, some citing Obama’s progressive march to the sea despite the Republican win in November, others declaring that income inequality, racial tension and climate change are decided, no longer useful as a political football with no goalpost in sight. With Republicans hell bent on obstruction of any remediations, getting the ball up and over will be a monumental task but one that will continue to illuminate the entrenched illogic and corporate loyalty of the party on the right. With one last Uranus/Pluto aspect coming up fast, we’re heading into the final moments of a genuine game change.


The talking heads are all but sure that gay marriage and marijuana legalization are inevitable in this nation. Challenges working through the judiciary could delay but not dissuade the public that the time is now. The war of words from Establishment politicos attempting to equate Warren Democrats with Tea Party extremists is falling flat as public opinion swings back toward populism. And internationally, within just a matter of weeks the shifting sands of the Mideast have revealed much of that political arena to be not just troubled, but also increasingly fragile. With Yemen’s leadership overthrown and the death of Saudi King Abdullah, replaced by his (reportedly demented) brother, coinciding with the downturn in petro profit, continuing fracture seems not just possible but probable.

A left turn from the political and cultural mayhem of the last fifteen years would be a relief, certainly, if we could just push through and take a deep breath without feeling as though someone was behind us, plotting to drag us back into a previous century. And while those of us who chart change might agree that things are turning rapidly now, I think of it more like a long curving on-ramp that reflects our growing political awareness — combined with an almost nostalgic longing for a positive, ethical human footprint — than a sharp left turn. But turn we have, and if you haven’t felt it yet, you will. What used to be an obstructive solid red light on common sense proposals, indicating a brake-squealing stop, has become a flashing yellow and occasionally, green light go.

If you didn’t see it, you missed an interesting State of the Union this year. From a theatrical standpoint, it was a winner, with Pubs mostly minding their manners and the President almost jovial in his presentation. I say mostly because there was one moment in which the right expressed their disdain for the Prez, and he followed their scorn with a quip that put them all in their place (that was the point at which I whooped and hollered). One politico, post-speech, said that moment was an indication that Obama was the most competitive politician in Washington DC — trash talking like he was on the basketball court — and all I could think was that if it had been George W. taking that shot at his naysayers, he would have been congratulated for his quick wit and leadership qualities.

The absence of SCOTUS Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas helped keep things cool when Obama, once again, criticized the Citizens United decision, calling it a “mistake.” In 2010, his milder condemnation that the ruling would open the floodgates of special interests had Justice Samuel Alito mouthing the words, “Not true.” If he’d shown up, Obama could have mouthed “True!” and been forgiven by most, if not all, of the seated justices, but probably not Roberts, who feels obligated to represent the court on these occasions even if they’re “political posturing.” And Kennedy? Undecided (pun intended). You will want to open this link if you’re a Ruth Bader Ginsberg admirer. Unlike Alito, who has said attendance at the SOTU is like being “a potted plant,” RBG seemed to have enjoyed herself. The same cannot be said for John Boehner, who sat behind the Prez with a face as pouty as ‘grumpy cat.’

This is the year that Obama decided he could not only fly the flag of his many successes, but also speak out for liberal policy, promising to veto a number of expected Republican bills. Those of us who have watched six other speeches with our wings crossed, waiting to hear the words he uttered last Tuesday, may be wondering what the hell took so long. There are a myriad of reasons and rationales for his slow assent into liberal ownership, including his academic reserve, his high-wire act as our first (patently ham-strung) African-American president, combined with that Neptunian quality that created him as the imaginary wishing well we all threw our change into, but let me add that his moniker “No Drama Obama” is both wise and welcome to thinking people, but NOT to those whose lives are best defined by drama and their embrace of it. I don’t have to tell you which of those I’m pointing toward, do I? Compared to the hysteria of the Bush years, the relative calm that this administration has insisted upon will be looked upon favorably by historians.

I did hear one analysis that made complete sense, however, skirting the personal traits Obama brings to the table. Now that the fiscal numbers no longer reflect emergency, and with that painful healing curve occurring on Obama’s watch and under his policies, he no longer has to focus on finance or apologize for flagging numbers. Tuesday’s speech was more the Obama we would have expected to see had he inherited a solvent nation. This was the agenda of the community organizer who had asked us to hope.

Too late to the table, we’d be better advised to organize ourselves, to work for the changes we’d imagined could happen from the top down, but we might also remember that where there was only black and white for the prior two presidential terms, the majority has learned from the experience. Now we are able to embrace nuanced thought and considered response in order to spot imaginary dragons launched to frighten us, and question the motives of ‘party lines’ that don’t seem to serve the public good.

Although the allegations are still flying, it’s become more difficult to rely on a failed economy to assault the left, which signals more culture war in the coming months, since the conservatives have little else to build on. They will no doubt continue to pour salt in the wounds of those who consider themselves victims of a lunatic left and repressive government, keeping them in the fold. Representing ‘values voters,’ Boehner’s party has been busy attacking on that flank since coming back to Washington earlier this month.

Besides going after Social Security and Affordable Care, the House was unable to pass a vote to restrict abortion when a handful of moderate Pubs refused to go along with as strict a bill as the one suggested, requiring a rape victim to report her violation to the police in order to receive treatment. The dissenters, 22 Republican women, said they did not want to rush a vote, the details of which would offend millennials who would most likely be the demographic affected. Branding them traitors, the party quickly moved along to another bill waiting in the wings, limiting ACA funding for abortion, which passed handily. To their credit, this same group of moderates refused to vote for an earlier bill in the House revoking legal protection for Dreamers. They may be the only pragmatists in a party determined to drive away the very voters they will need in 2016.

North Carolina’s Senator Richard Burr, replacing Dianne Feinstein as Senate Intelligence Committee chair, has decided that the torture report needs to go back into the black ops files of the CIA. As if to put the genie back in the bottle, Burr sent a letter to the Executive demanding that full copies of the 6,900-page report received by a number of agencies including the FBI, be returned immediately. The grisly details of America’s foray into torture are at risk, it appears, as the executive branch is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, while the Senate is not. Feinstein, Udall and others must be apoplectic watching years of effort disappear in front of their eyes, but the rough outlines of American shame are still out in the open, which would never have happened without their service to the nation.

Obama’s affirmation that we’ve turned a corner is based on leaving behind two wars, while stabilizing the economy. His refusal to mobilize the whole of the military or further the War on Terror rhetoric gripes the neocons, even though there are plenty of covert American military-ops around the world that should keep them happy. The continuing tussle between the administration and the hawks over Iran will no doubt increase as election season heats up.

Wee Lindsey Graham is looking for support as the next Commander-in-Chief (both unlikely and unwise) because in the conservative view, U.S. militarism is not well served under a Democrat, although we could easily argue that the drone strikes never cease, couldn’t we? And that the military budget is still humongous, bloated and obscene? Establishment politics will continue to be about militarism and corporatism unless We, the People, decide that we no longer support those things as necessary to our lifestyle. Today, they are still deemed necessary. We will have to remain hopeful about tomorrow.

We might speculate about whether or not Mr. Boehner had a bit too much Merlot when he decided to invite Bebe Netanyahu to address Congress “on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life,” without getting approval from the Executive. This comes at a time when the right is pushing hard for pre-emptive sanctions should negotiations with Iran fall by the wayside. The left rightly identifies that as a way to kill off any chance for on-going diplomacy regarding nuclear capability.

While Boehner’s loyalty to Netanyahu is well documented, frankly I’m surprised at this unprecedented action, which borders on illegal. Boehner seldom initiates much more than a verbal strike or a rounding up of the usual suspects to encourage a vote. Actually jamming a stick in the gears is very aggressive behavior. Very un-Boehner-like, indeed.

An unnamed official in Israel’s intelligence/special ops, Mossad, was quoted by John Kerry as suggesting that new sanctions would “throw a grenade” into the current negotiations, and to be candid, there are still many Israelis who would be happy to do so. But not so many as in bygone days when everything was black and white, nor are Americans so utterly devoted to the Israeli cause, now that they’ve gotten a good look at what is happening in Palestine.

No longer asleep, we have questions about who the evil empires really are and what they really want, the ideological right AND left no longer trusting appearances, or those who foster them. It seems that the larger coalitions, both political and cultural, are showing signs of stress and fracture. The systems — governmental, cultural, and even religious — representing Capricorn authority must surely morph by necessity before this is all over.

Uranus explodes and Pluto transforms; together they’re like the genie in the bottle. Once out, there’s no going back. The last time Uranus and Pluto danced like this, it marked the end of the Old Guard. Look at grainy black and white television footage from the early ’60s, showing humorless men in suit coats and hats along with women who appear to have been uniformly stamped out of dough with cookie cutters. Then watch a movie from the early ’70s, with garish colors and paisley patterns, long hair and bell bottoms, a seeming ease with sex and drugs, and question what happened to the fedoras and white gloves that were required only a few years earlier.

Let’s remember how quickly things changed after the genie of rebellion kicked over the blockage to glaring truths about Vietnam and culture war and a burgeoning Military Industrial Complex. Ricky and Lucy couldn’t sleep in the same bed in the 1950s, but by the ’70s, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all could, and did.

The ’50s gave us the Cleaver family, including the Beave’s iconic mother, June, she of the pearls and heels, day in, day out, who convinced a generation that they were missing out on adequate mothering. By the ’70s, “One Day At A Time” assured us that a divorced mother could raise two girls alone with the help of an apartment ‘super’ (an aging lothario with the instincts of a stalker). Times change while we’re busy with other things. Times change when we’re not looking.

So let’s look, shall we? They’re changing as we speak. Nothing’s black and white any more. We’ve discovered nuance, we’re asking questions. The gray of indecision has many of us unsure what to do next, but at least we aren’t marching off where we’re pointed, battling mindlessly, parroting patriotic catch-phrases. We’re a work in progress. The tornado that picked Dorothy up and set her down in Oz had Uranus written all over it, but in the end, she got back home, where the Pluto changes she discovered weren’t in the personalities around her, but in her attitude toward them, and toward her expectations of reality.

That ‘hopey changey stuff’ Sarah Palin found so silly actually happened: the changey stuff, anyway — the hopey stuff wasn’t quite realistic enough to pin itself into form. Changes happened when we weren’t looking; they’re happening right now. Those who impede progress may continue to do so, but progress won’t be stopped. Everything is a process of realization, a progression of events that lead us to examine what’s in front of us for another choice, and another and another.

Say what you will about the calm, collected president we elected a few years ago, he has given us permission not to blow a gasket or have a tizzy or lose our heads over the challenges of the day, and because of that, we can now identify what is hysterical, what’s over the top, what’s designed to manipulate us and what doesn’t ring true. Think of that as everything on TV, most of what you hear around the water cooler and much of the chatter in your brain.

And even though we do love the drama, and daydream of a mystical moment that might change everything for the better, there is strength and reassurance in knowing that the reality of our lives consists in appreciation of one another, in cooperation and shared expectations, in solutions discovered and embraced together. We are the creators of our reality, we are the ones who shape the future. We’re rounding the corner and where we go from here is — always has been — up to us: one thought, word, deed at a time.

13 thoughts on “Around The Corner

  1. Len Wallick

    Jude: Once again, you started strong and got stronger. You are living proof that the Devine Feminine is afoot. From the key perception (in your words “…if we could just…take a deep breath without feeling as though somebody was behind us, plotting to drags us back into a previous century.”), to the key reality (as you put it: “…we are the ones who shape the future.”), you nailed it. At least what part of turning the corner consists of turning away from those who do yet not realize they are over. Like the confederate representatives who met with The President in the motion picture “Lincoln”, somebody has to tell them. You did us an inspiration with your Lincoln-like steadfast vision and clear observations of fact in this piece today, Jude. You have shown us how the way to emancipation begins.

  2. Jere

    ..I’m not ready to comment on the state of internal american affairs, other than the SOTU was absolutely fantastic! Obama’s a brilliant orator, and yeah, his back-handed quip had me rollin’ on the ground! Dude’s FINALLY actin’ like he’s got nothin’ to lose.. GOOD!

    On a sour note, what do you make of Barack asking for a declaration of war on terrorism? Kinda sketches me out… ?!?

    I do feel a bit better, generally speaking. Something feels different, but that could ‘just be me’.

    (That was actually a fairly painless article Jude! Thanks.)


  3. Gary Burris

    Thanks Judith,

    A brilliant breath of fresh air after a long contentious slog. Maybe that is indeed what is around the corner. That changey doesn’t take a break. And thanks for that look back at the changey from the conjunction as that brought back many great memories! I guess those cycles of powerful planets really do work. Hard to see the positive progression when we are in the thick of it. What fun lies ahead! Let’s indeed create it!

    Oh, and as to that clown car- wee Lindsay as well as Parah Salin. SNL could have never dreamed up these characters on their best days. Maybe it will be fun to watch.

    Thanks for the uplift. I feel a fresh breath of Spring air (low 80’s in SoCal) blowing even if the last pass of UR/PL is brewing.


  4. Mandy

    I’m tickled that you mentioned The Wizard of Oz, Judith – I’ve been thinking of it all week. I watched it faithfully every year as a child and was always disappointed with the ending because Dorothy didn’t say “Let’s ALL go to Oz together. Come with me – I know the way!” It just didn’t seem right that she was content to stay in black and white land instead of the world where trees really do talk.
    I’ve since been waiting patiently for someone to make part two, where this happens for all those that she loved, where we all live in full colour. Joke’s on me – it looks like humankind is making it out loud, we’re living it! We’re realizing that we have within ourselves what was longed for all along. Living in the world but not of it, as we create our wildest dreams – with the innocence of a child, higher mind, loving heart and courage. All the world’s a stage.
    I’m thinking Stephen Harper and Mr. Boehner have been drinking out of the same bottle.

  5. Bette

    Mandy, speaking of Stephen Harper, there seems to be no birth time available (April 30, 1959), but I do recall from checking my ephemeris that he has just about every planet in a different sign. As an astrologer, I find that difficult to get a handle on. It’s doubly difficult to try to figure how the astrology this October (if the election is not sprung early) will affect his prospects.

  6. Mandy

    Bette – I recall way back when the Three Amigos (Canada, Us and Mexico) were first gathering on Parliament Hill. Approximately 100 people gathered to protest the ‘behind closed doors’ policy surrounding it. When Harper was asked his opinion on the protest he replied “I think it’s pathetic.”
    A man calling his employers, the people who give him his paycheck and who he serves, pathetic for exercising their rights. All I could think of in that moment was “What have we done?”
    I hear he has just slated $1.5 billion for warships to ‘patrol’ the Arctic (uh huh, what’s under all that melting stuff up there?) while still turning a blind eye to calls for investment into the fact that our Aboriginal Native American Goddesses are still disappearing and being murdered at an alarming rate.

  7. Jere

    I sit corrected Jude, but isn’t it ‘ISIL’ as far as Barack’s concerned? “..congress authorizing the use of force against ISIL..” (I do respect his deliberation on terms). I threw out a more general ‘concept terminology’ just because that’s about as far as my mind could wrap around the shear magnitude of all the crap I can’t wrap my brain around.

    Still, it has a rogue feel about it.. somehow, it asks for permission to kick some ass… I’m really not sure on all of that…. (Quite honestly it’s the only reason I’m afraid of a Hillary Clinton.)

    ..And some of the ‘war planners’ have still got their heads up 20th century ass…

    Call me insane but, I’m holdin’ out ’til I get better than half a clue. (I haven’t quite figured out how to take over ‘local’ gov’t yet!?)

    With all Loves, (as much as I’d like to kick the livin’ shit out of pieces of crap [Boko Haram and ilk], I still have to Love them… It’s a pain in the head, but one I embrace.), thanks man, for sharing your view.

    And yeah, may ‘Dog’ provide!!! Peace.


  8. Barbara Koehler

    Me too Jude – I whooped and hollered when he, with the merest long blink (while turning away from the Pub applause) saying “I know, I won them both” (or words to that effect.) Talk about drama! I’ve been gone too long to spend much time on the astrology, but. . . .
    January 20th was the same day as the New Moon at 0+ Aquarius that was conjunct Pres. Obama’s Jupiter.

    When Mercury and Jupiter last met the Sun was quincunx Pluto; remember it means “adjustments”. When planets make a conjunction as Mercury and Jupiter did on 8/2/14, it starts a new cycle with squares, trines and all the other aspects planets make as they move forward toward their next conjunction. Last Tuesday’s new Moon shows Mercury within 3 degrees of an opposition to Jupiter and, like a Full Moon opposition does, this one is revealing of how far or in what way the energies of these principles (Mercury and Jupiter) have evolved since the onset of their latest cycle.

    They symbolize travel – short and long, communications and the dissemination of info, education and other mental pursuits. When Jupiter and Mercury made their conjunction it was in Leo, the sign of the exhibitionist (like the Pubs inappropriate applause) among other things. Jupiter conjunct Mercury squared Mars in Scorpio, the sign ruled by Pluto which symbolizes deep feeling and repression, among other things. The Sun which rules Leo was quincunx Pluto (adjustment) in that chart for the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction and on Tuesday evening, Obama, who had waited several years for the chance to reveal his feelings, did so at that moment.

    Another aspect within the Jupiter Mercury chart was the Moon conjunct Ceres conjunct Vesta conjunct Mars (who squared Jupiter-Mercury) and the Moon was also trine Juno. Nobody questions Mars as a symbol of pure masculine energy. By squaring Jupiter, also masculine (or yang) in nature, and Mercury, a symbol more open to feminine (or yin) energy, although classified as masculine, might this be a window of opportunity for human advancement (that turning of a corner in your title) in evolution by balancing yin with yang? Mars under the influence of all that feminine power square Jupiter and Mercury (who is not so tightly defined by gender) could be applied to situations like Obama’s meeting with the new leader of Saudi Arabia and a softer gentler approach would be helping the Sun quincunx Pluto (in the Jupiter-Mercury chart) make adjustments.

    Another aspect pattern in that chart stirs the imagination; a sextile between Saturn and Askalaphus that form a yod with Uranus who is in the apex point of the yod. Asky was known for exposing Persephone’s consumption of pomegranate seeds (a no-no per Pluto) which led to her not being totally released from Hades. That power of Askalaphus’ (knowledge) combined with Saturn’s strict adherence to the rules could cause the adjustment Sun and Pluto must make in the Jupiter-conjunct-Mercury (big picture and details) chart, where the Sun was only 6 degrees from an exact trine with Uranus (at apex of yod with Asky and Saturn) ; no stretch for the Sun.

    Perhaps not beating up the new King with a demand to change his country’s human rights issues (pomegranate seeds) at their first meeting would provide future talks (Jupiter-Mercury) more traction.

    As for remembering how quickly thing change, I recently watched another take on a teacher put on trial for teaching Darwin’s Theory, an old film called Inherit the Wind with Spencer Tracy, which I’d never seen before. The behavior of many the townspeople (total ignorance) reminded me a lot of what we see in the Pubs today; they were being forced to change with the times, despite their (mis)understanding of the Bible’s teachings.

    Again, loved your thoughts here and so sorry to be so late.

  9. DivaCarla Sanders

    What a great memory: Inherit the Wind. I was always mortified that it took place in Tennessee, my home as a child. Maybe why I left for the North and never went back. One reason. As you say, the Spirit of Dayton, TN lives on. Not just a reminder of the current religious right, but their grandparents. All the same thing.

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