For Posterity’s Sake

Posted by Fe Bongolan


If you told me seven years ago I would be enjoying my morning tea with gay marriage sanctioned nationally, a George W. Bush-appointed Supreme Court Justice preserving affordable health care, an American President singing in a black church, and a multi-ethnic group of local citizens taking down the Confederate flag in Charleston, South Carolina, I would have told you to take a hike. But this is not a typical Monday in America. After last week, it looks like anything is possible.

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If you told me seven years ago I would be enjoying my morning tea with gay marriage sanctioned nationally, a George W. Bush-appointed Supreme Court Justice preserving affordable health care, an American President singing in a black church, and a multi-ethnic group of local citizens taking down the Confederate flag in The Capitol in South Carolina, I would have told you to take a hike.

But this is not a typical Monday in America. After last week, it looks like anything is possible.

On Thursday, even with more than 50 congressional votes to repeal it, the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) — aka Obamacare — is still alive and well in the US. Last week, it survived its toughest test, the Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell which, had it been successful, would have denied state subsidies. This would have hobbled and ultimately ended the ACA in 34 states.

Instead, the court broadly interpreted the ACA as it was intended — to provide health care coverage in every state with subsidies, insuring availability of ACA coverage to eight million Americans impacted by this case.

On Friday, June 26, the court ruled same-sex couples can marry across the country. By ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Obergefell, et al., v. Hodges (naming Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky for their failure to recognize or perform same-sex marriages), the Supreme Court obviated the need for gay marriage to be approved on a state-by-state basis in one fell swoop. That long road is done.

Later that Friday, June 26, we watched President Barack Obama give his eulogy for state senator Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Drawing upon the hymn “Amazing Grace” — written by an English sea captain upon abandoning his career of transporting Africans into slavery in America — the President defined the sending of a Dylann Roof to the church as the grace of God, laying the groundwork for incredible acts of forgiveness by the families of Roof’s nine victims.

It was grace, Obama said, moving the groundswell of support for reconsidering flying the Confederate flag throughout the South, and grace for the solidarity of Charleston’s black and white communities banding together in the face of the terrible tragedy at Emanuel Church. It was in this eulogy that the President addressed the citizens of Charleston and the country on the racially-based social and economic inequities in America; the victims of gun violence at Sandy Hook and in Aurora, Colorado; and the brutality of police treatment of African Americans in cities across the country.

As an aftershock the next day, after refusing to wait for the state legislature to “discuss” the matter of taking down the Confederate flag as promised by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a multi-racial group of community members led by Brittany “Bree” Newsome went to the Capitol and took it down themselves.

It’s not a bad day to be witnessing history in America. Especially when you remember that forty years ago being gay was a shameful secret, that the Confederate flag was hoisted on the South Carolina state Capitol building in 1965, and access to quality health care without going bankrupt was impossible, especially if you had a pre-existing condition.

I would imagine that, in the space of just 48 hours — with such a confluence of energetic and progressive change upon the country — the President and the Chief Justice might feel something more than the summer breeze lifting them to awareness of their moment and place in time last week. Something had to move, and events set in motion years before moved current history forward again.

President Obama prevailed over one of the toughest challenges to his signature legislation. He was also on the right side of history in ending ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, and refused to further defend the Defense of Marriage Act. This laid the groundwork for Obergefell, et al., v. Hodges to succeed in court.

Chief Justice Roberts upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2012 in the Court’s case of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. That verdict tenuously enshrined Obamacare into law and history under a slew of court challenges. It appeared last Thursday that in the King v. Burwell ruling he weighed his place in history as well, at the risk of eight million American lives denied healthcare. Friday, he bowed to the majority when the momentum showed the country was clearly in support of gay marriage.

Both men heard the call to be remembered for what they did when the moment presented itself.

Now, no one is perfect, especially leaders. President Obama’s legacy will still need to be weighed in light of the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement as well as his foreign policy, which is mired in endless engagement in the Middle East. John Roberts has his work cut out for him, especially with his corporatist leanings after ruling in favor of the Citizen’s United case.

Both men have much work to do. But so do we in response to them. We still need to carry on the fight for economic and social equity in this country. Women’s dominion over their own bodies remains a question mark when it should be a given. The dithering over climate change in Congress is essentially playing Nero’s violin while Rome burns. The militarization of police needs to be stopped, and all gun violence must cease.

For posterity’s sake, we all still have responsibility to do our part, shaking the ground beneath the men who have the gavels and the bully pulpit of the Presidency. Because that is what it takes to move mountains. For all of us, each and every moment, every act, every decision lays down a marker in the stream of time. For posterity’s sake, we need to get off our own posteriors and get back to work, because the real work of history continues to be with us.

Stay with Planet Waves as we move through these historical events in this fascinating moment in time. Here, we keep our fingers on the pulse of current events and keep digging deeper for ways to absorb and understand what’s happening in our world. It’s one of the core ways we practice the Art of Service. We work to inspire all our readers to actively creative a positive effect on their individual and collective worlds.

I hope with this and all our great writing here that you not only stay tuned, but stay connected — actively participating — through one of our simple and affordable Core Community Pass memberships.

Joining us will give you access to more information and better tools to not only cope but play in the key of life. It’s worth it! — Fe

Posted in Fe-911, Welcome on | 10 comments
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

10 thoughts on “For Posterity’s Sake

  1. DeborahDeborah

    Well spoke, Fe! PW continues to keep us informed and enlightened through the active evolution of our small blue marble. Thank you for your service as I would have been overwhelmed long ago without the insightful celestial roadmap PW offers to help make sense of it all. Love to you all.

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author

      Thanks, Deborah. There will be many more shoes dropping from the other foot, and we shall see the momentum run its course. Astrologically signs are good. The ACA is withstanding scrutiny. Eric has covered the Obergefell ruling in his weekly.

  2. Barbara Koehler

    Yeah, it was a very good week Fe, and thank you for replaying it again. It will probably have to last us for some time into the future. That’s the trouble with getting such a high. . . you have to come back down to reality. But, as you say, “we need to get off our posteriors and get back to work”.

    Where the future of the U.S. can be revealed to a certain extent is in the cycles of the outer planets. Among them is the present Neptune-Uranus cycle that began with the conjunction of these two outer plants in 1993. This cycle is applicable to all countries but there is an emphasis on the late Aquarius planets in the 3rd of 3 conjunctions between Neptune and Uranus that seems to surround the U.S. natal Aquarius Moon and Pallas conjunction like a hug.

    This Aquarian grouping in the Neptune-Uranus chart forms a novile (a minor aspect similar to a trine but more subtle) to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn. This grouping also forms a square to this chart’s Pluto-Mercury conjunction in Scorpio, and a trine with the same chart’s Jupiter in Libra, and a sextile with its Ceres in Aries. The grouping itself is made up of Saturn and Moon, along with Pallas and Vesta. To me it suggests that during this outer planet cycle a powerful source of energy will surround the citizenry of the U.S. , symbolized by the
    Aquarian Moon in the U.S birth chart.

    Saturn and the Moon are symbols of the polarized signs Cancer and Capricorn, and they in turn symbolize the family unit (Cancer-Moon) opposite the society as a whole (Capricorn-Saturn), and in this chart they are united, or starting a cycle of their own. Each of the aspects they make, this Moon – Saturn conjunction, represents a threshold reached; a level of growth achieved.

    I believe that the Uranus-Neptune conjunction chart’s Jupiter (understanding) at 26+ Libra which trines the Aquarian grouping (which conjuncts the U.S. Moon) could symbolize a threshold the U.S. people reached this past week. The New Moon conjunct Mars on June 16th at 25+ Gemini was trine the Jupiter at 26+ Libra, and the next day came the massacre in Charleston. Yet there was no protest rally, but rather, a united show of forgiveness, a Neptune thing, which was shocking to the rest of us (we the people), a Uranus thing.

    In February, 2017, less than 2 weeks after the new U.S. president is sworn in, transiting Pluto will reach 18 degrees of Capricorn, where the Uranus-Neptune cycle began in 1993. This could mark another threshold for the American people because when Pluto conjuncts the outer planets position in their own chart, he will also activate the minor aspect novile to the Aquarian grouping in that chart. The grouping (Moon-Saturn et al) that conjuncts the U.S Moon. Transiting Pluto will be exactly novile the Uranus-Neptune chart’s Vesta (who is part of the Saturn-Moon-Pallas group). Vesta is dedication and focus to a specific goal. Vesta also symbolizes investment or investing-in something.

    By activating Vesta-novile-Neptune/Uranus in their own chart, transiting Pluto releases all that energy (a subtle harmonizing influence) to the U.S. Moon which could mean less polarization than in the last few decades between the people and their new government. Maybe it will be a time – like this past week – where we can actually see the progress we have made.

  3. LizzyLizzy

    Thank you so much for this exceptional, moving and informative piece, Fe. Don’t have time to take it all in now – so will read it again with care this evening. Really appreciate the updates on ACA. And was fascinated to read about the background of Amazing Grace (one of my favourite songs), which I didn’t know about. I’ve always loves Meryl Streep’s ersion of it at the end of Silkwood (before anyone knew she could sing):

  4. Geoff Marsh

    Terrific stuff, Fe. And, like Lizzy, I had no idea of the origins of Amazing Grace. Truly amazing.

    In Britain, following a radical Islamist attack on tourists in Tunisia over the weekend, David Cameron’s Conservative (in name only, now, surely) Party is pushing for homophobia to be a signature of extremism in schools and, hopefully, on social media.
    That journey would have been a lot easier to accomplish if one of his party’s previous leaders, Margaret Thatcher, hadn’t made it all but impossible for teachers to discuss the subject in schools for fear of “promoting” it. Nowadays, of course, they run the risk of being accused of being a paedophile as well. There’s nothing easier for a disgruntled anti-gay student to do to stop this form of education dead in its tracks.

    And if, as you say, after last week, anything looks possible, might I suggest that the best most impossible thing to happen would be for Barack Obama to be offered the chance of a third term. His eulogy for Clementa Pinckney moved me to tears again and again in its appraisal of what one man’s life can be worth. If anything is going to make Obama remembered for something other than being the first black president, this was it. As Eric, I think, said, he’s one of the greatest presidents since Lincoln.

    Marriage. Medicare. Black dignity in Charleston on an epic scale. It wasn’t sex, but I think I felt the earth move.

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author


      Here is the story of John Newton, and Amazing Grace:

      I think Eric said Obama was the best Republican president since Lincoln — which is indeed true. If he ran and succeeded in the early 1990s, he would have been considered a moderate Republican. But so much has polarized since the days of Bill Clinton. The Republican Party of Lincoln Chaffee, Arlen Spector, John Heinz and John Rockefeller is over. These senators would be considered RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) by the Children of Sarah Palin: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Rick Perry — caricatures of the old Republican Party — also known as The Tea Party which has taken over the Republican Party we have today.

      Funny you mentioning third term. After watching the eulogy my family said the same thing. Only maybe have Biden run as Pres and Obama take the VP. Or Obama VP to Hillary’s Pres. But optics are optics. And dynasties are frowned upon. My take is that Hillary will win the ticket, and it doesn’t have to be advertised that Bill will be FHOTUS (First Husband of the US), a role that could well suit mama boy Bill.

      Maybe Obama as Ambassador to the UN? But I think he wants to continue the community work he was born to do — perhaps on a larger scale. Just let him remain safe for all his term and thereafter. He was born to do more work.

      Time will tell.

  5. KathiKathi

    It is refreshing to just bask in the positive events, huh? One of the things I love about Planet Waves is that we CAN relish these moments and avoid the mainstream media approach of moving on to the next thing to fear. Thanks, Fe, for reminding us, like Jude did, to stop and enjoy. I cried when I watched President Obama sing Amazing Grace, for I felt he was being his authentic self, a black man singing his own soulful version of the gospel hymn that had so much meaning for the event. I have this feeling he is going to show us more of his true self as his administration draws closer to the end; like the ‘You’re in my house” comment to a disruptor when he was talking the other day. He didn’t even need Luther the anger translator (from Key and Peele) for that one!

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author


      Indeed. Take pleasure in victory as a vitamin for the next battle. It works to build confidence and morale.

      I love Luther. Obama should pay him to follow him around.

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