By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
This week felt a lot like the changing of the guard, what with Jon Stewart waving a tearful goodbye, the GOP candidates providing a first taste of their brackish 2016 Kool Aid, and Obama announcing his most ambitious environmental regulations yet with an enhanced Clean Power Plan. That signature of change — arriving just as Jupiter, Mars and Mercury enter new territory — has global implications, and parsing them provides a hint of where we’re headed.
For instance, in the good news department it appears we have a proven vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus in rhesus monkeys, needle-free to boot. Next on the agenda is development of something more effective after the fact. With our climate challenges bringing new pathogens, this is a wondrous breakthrough.
In Nepal, administrators of a religious festival responsible for the sacrificial slaughter of half a million animals has announced that it will no longer allow critters to die in this traditional petition for prosperity and blessing. They have urged followers of the Hindu Goddess of Power, Gadhimai, to substitute fruits and coconuts as a worthy offering. Makes my heart happy!
Making lemonade, the death of Cecil the lion at the hands of an American poacher has brought scrutiny to a black hole of unexamined ills, including hunting of endangered species, illegal poaching, and transporting of trophies, as well as the politics of Zimbabwe. The sacrifice of this majestic beastie has brought awareness to issues that had long been buried in obscurity.
These are examples of heart-opening projects, the kind that are born of fledgling compassion and a growing respect for life. That’s where we’re going, if haltingly. Believe it.
In news today, Senator Chuck Schumer, heir-apparent to Harry Reid as Democratic leader, has come out against Obama’s Iran deal, and I’m not surprised. I’ve never been impressed with Chuck, whose Zionism defines him. Say what you will about Harry Reid, his Mormonism never got in the way of his politics. To their credit, the left is not taking this well.
MoveOn.org spoke plainly about the Senator’s position against nonproliferation with Iran: “Our country doesn’t need another Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and it certainly doesn’t need him as a Democratic leader.” The group finds Schumer’s stance — which will give cover to other Dems who want to back away — so offensive that it has pledged to withhold contributions from any Democrat until his name is taken out of the running to replace Reid in 2016.
This level of hardball is an echo from an earlier era of activism, and it pleases me because it’s highly effective. You can find more information on supporting the Iran proposal at http:///www.60DaysToStopAWar.com.
Schumer’s position plays into the hands of the Neocon war hawks — all of the GOP along with those beholden to the military-industrial complex — who want no easing of the stringent policies now in place unless it is to completely cut the nation off from allies, while bombing to the strains of something by John Philip Sousa. This hawkish rhetoric is, of course, old hat to those who remember painful Bush militarism — the smoke ‘n mirror campaigns that lured citizens by appealing to blatant nationalism — which is much of the American public, weary with war.
Threading the needle between Iranian threat, both real and imagined, and a de-escalation of nuclear capability seems important enough, at this juncture, to bring an open mind to the table, and that’s what Obama is pitching, calling out the Pubs for their jingoism:
“… superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe.
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.
The American Jewish community finds itself in the spotlight as both Obama and Netanyahu make appeals for their support. Once a given, younger Jews no longer line up with the Zionist policies furthered by Netanyahu’s radical Lukid party. The brutality of a Palestinian baby burned to death in a settler attack has forced the government into an apologetic posture this week, and done little to garner sympathy for their cause.
Now, as Netanyahu beats his chest and rails against the Iran deal, a number of his ex-generals and security chiefs, as well as the current Israeli president, have urged him to accept the agreement as a deterrent to nuclear capability. Change happens with or without our cooperation, which Mr. Netanyahu seems destined to discover, and timing is everything, as Senator Schumer may reflect upon very soon.
An elephant in the room of the first GOP debate, looming and ignored was climate change. It was never mentioned, which seems something of a stumble since McConnell, who (rightly) considers Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) a “war” on the carbon-dense coal industry, has pledged to defeat it. Let’s not forget that the Kochs want the Environmental Protection Agency dismantled, and let’s not pretend that the Kochs don’t own much of the GOP. As the Donald pointed out last evening, when one makes a sizable donation one expects something back. Candor has its virtues, does it not?
Let’s hope that those watching the election hijinks are also scanning the news with a critical eye, as the Koch brothers have dropped any pretense of funding their campaigns from behind the curtain. Now they’re in our face. They’re waving their Citizens United flag, loud and proud, pledging over 800 million bucks for this campaign. They’re now engaged in a PR push to make themselves both visible and acceptable, just patriots attempting to restore America to all she used to be (think Gilded Age and weep). Remember: all she used to be was unregulated.
Flying in the face of the Pope and his unwelcome encyclical on the climate — denying empirical evidence in reports from the United Nations and the World Health Organization — Koch representatives are pushing the concept that attempting to regulate energy would produce more poverty and victimize developing countries. Outed by activism, ALEC, the legislative arm of the Koch billions, no longer bothers to hide in the shadows, although its satellite agencies still do.
Beware anything you read from the (Exxon-funded) Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which asserts that “climate-related restrictions harm poor families far more than climate change will.” Expect Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ Libertarian group, to question the Pope’s ‘radical’ religious values, accusing him of deliberately causing harm to the world’s poor, intent on increasing their numbers and sending them deeper into poverty, especially in America where Obama, climate scientists, and the Pope are all in cahoots.
So you can imagine the Kochs’ response to the President as he announced national standards to eliminate carbon emissions from power plants. His speech spoke to his awareness of environmental issues, and where he wants to go. The opening of the Arctic for drilling and the still-undecided Keystone pipeline project give us pause, but it’s evident that Obama knows the seriousness of the problem. His decisions seem more a matter of ship-of-state policy than personal desire. We can only hope that as he picks up speed in the next months, anxious to get things done, more of that authentic Obama comes to the table — and pounds it.
Sensing the moment, bless the Progressive caucus for stepping up to the plate this week to propose a resolution supporting Pope Francis’s views on climate change, putting congressional believers on the spot. Along with Senators Leahy (D-VT), Sanders (I-VT), Udall (D-NM), Merkley (D-OR), and Baldwin (D-WI.), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the resolution, which included the following:
“The Senate stands with Pope Francis and the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change; present climate trends are unsustainable; and immediate action must be taken to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the deleterious effects of human-induced climate change.”
August is always a month when the Leo energy spurs our passions and raises the decibels, and that will be magnified by Mars’ entry into the sign of the Lion this evening. We’re deep into the prelude to an anti-establishment election — long time coming and so very welcome, in my opinion — that has no more patience with the buggered system or the moderate ‘triangulation’ made famous by the Clinton administration. Populism rules the day and the Kochs’ attempt to sell themselves as moderate-right populists is pure baloney. The appeal of the outliers (and front-runners, Donald and Bernie) is in their independence from big-money and backers who would force them to do their bidding, which allows them an unaccustomed level of candor that Mrs. Clinton is simply in no position to embrace.
Regarding the smackdown between the narrow view of the evangelical GOP and the progressive vision of Rome’s current Vicar of Christ, remember that the Pope is due to visit in September. He will address this Congress and, hopefully, challenge them to take an ethical stand on climate and capitalism and poverty. Of all the shows we’re privy to, here in well-wired and plugged-in America, that’s one I don’t want to miss.
In the long hot summer of 2015, it may look like we’re going nowhere fast, but — trust me — the universe always knows what it’s doing. Lean back and enjoy it as you can, and don’t fail to appreciate the beauty and progress you see around you. We were warned that we were the change that we had expected, and (although we pretended that would be painless) now we know it’s true. And we’re stronger now, seasoned by our challenges and wiser for them. What each of us brings to the table will define our nation’s future, so keep a good heart and a vision for a healed and loving world. As Marianne Williamson told us, this is no time to play small.
Excellent (and encouraging) article, Judith. Another excellent group that continues influence and respect in DC for its well-informed, constructive peace building activism (and getting an Iranian nuke deal was the focus of its annual Lobbying Day in DC last November) is the Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL.org). You don’t have to be Quaker to join. (I’m one of a growing number of non-Quaker, non-religious supporters, and the FCNL people have welcomed all of us with open arms.) Again, Judith — kudos for a very well written and articulate article!
A beautifully confident and inspiring read, Judith. Well done. There’s one good thing about the bloody Trump – despite appearances, he has no hair-apparent.
Very funny Geoff!
Time to believe the wheel is leaving inertia and starting to move, no matter what they may make us try to believe!!
Isn’t it delicious? I mean, front runners that shun the big donor $$, yet still appeal to the populace? Oh, we really ARE in the land of the free and the home of the brave, aren’t we?
I don’t want to miss seeing the Pope speak to Congress either Jude. . . something so grand about foreign power coming to the U.S. government to plead their cases, first Israel and now Rome. It’s the People they aim for as much as the government! What an exciting time to be alive, and we have a ring-side seat as well as a role to play.
It’s almost as if the EPA spilled that toxic mine water on purpose, you know? The Animus river for Pete’s sake? Animosity turns us orange? Can they pick this up from satellite?
Right now, up above, transiting Sedna, symbol of disregard for women and water, is at 25+ Taurus. When Pluto and Saturn met in 1982 at 27+ Libra they were sextile Neptune at 25+ Sagittarius and the Galactic Center at 26+ Sagittarius. This puts transiting Sedna in a position that requires her to adjust to the situations. She is now at the apex of a yod with 1982 energy brought on by Pluto (transform or die) and Saturn (if you can see it, it is real). If this doesn’t prove that Time (Saturn) is only a tool for 3rd dimension dwellers who are not yet ready to comprehend a no-time-existence, what will it take?
There’s more to come too Jude. . . the charts are full of goddesses defending the Earth’s well-being. Even Goddess Diana transiting at 11+ Leo made a symbolic opposition to the degree all 3 outer planets have in common. When they ingressed into their present signs; Uranus had the love goddess Venus at 11+ Aquarius, Neptune had the messenger god Mercury at 11+ Aquarius, and Pluto had the “path forward” north node + plus centaur Nessus, symbol of power abuse, at 11+ Aquarius. It has required Leo/Cecil the Lion and the solar god of drama, as well as a 2nd (as of yesterday) conjunction in a row between Mercury and Jupiter – in LEO – to feel the love of all living things and the pain of their loss.
Where the just-ended cycle between Mercury and Jupiter featured the pair of them square Mars in Scorpio, this new cycle pattern features Venus conjunct Mercury – Jupiter and they all trine Ceres or Mother Earth as we like to call her. Mother Earth at 29+ Capricorn in this chart is opposite Mars at 28+ Cancer who is trine Saturn in Scorpio at 28 Scorpio who sextiles both the Venus-Jupiter-Mercury group and Ceres. Once again, Saturn tells us if you can see it, it is real, and now I believe he’s also saying if it is orange/yellow, and you can see it, it is real.
So let the Donald rant on about women, he too is a symbol (trans. Sedna – abuse of women – squares his Mars) and we on Earth still require seeing it to believe it’s real. Jon Stewart is going to be healing the planet’s animals, which in turn will help heal his wounds, as his natal Saturn conjuncts the U.S. South Node (that which is ready to be retired) in Aquarius. That’s a lot of garbage he has had to make visible (Saturn). He’ll return to his adoring public, in a new form, when the Time (Saturn) is right.
Let’s look forward to the new Mercury-Jupiter cycle, with a grand fire trine between the Leo Sun and goddess Pallas in Sagittarius and goddess Vesta in Aries adding more drama to this packed chart. Oh, and the Taurus Moon squares the Sun just to get the ball rolling. Her Sabian Symbol (I know you love them) is of A WOMAN AIRING AN OLD BAG THROUGH THE OPEN WINDOW OF HER ROOM, The cleansing of the ego-consciousness. Keyword is PURIFICATION
I always look forward to your essays Jude, and I’ve never been disappointed. Thank you for the service you provide; it heals us through knowing how all of it (including us) fits together, and through your generous humor which releases the tension of knowing how it all fits together. God bless.
I’m going to miss Jon Stewart…
Because we Americans love a sideshow — the more freakish the better — it’s all Trump, all the time today. I will say, however, that the ‘feeling of change is showing up on Sunday Pundit TV too — comments from the roundtables can surprise you these days. Not today, though. Today we’re deep in psychosis, visiting Donald who is, no doubt, pleased as punch to have all eyes on him and his highly-improbable hair.
I surely appreciate your posting the Quaker information, arizcarol. The Friends have been a potent voice for peace for, literally, centuries and dear to the heart of some of us here at Planet Waves. Another Friends group that I’ve subscribed to for years is the American Friends Service Committee [AFSC.org] Their ethics are impecable. Glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for contributing this week.
Hi Geoff, glad to see you here. Loud Snicker to your comment on the hair-brained one, whose vanity proceeds him, as does his campaign to beat all the ‘losers’ by posing as Mean Girl of the Decade. He’s our favorite sociopath of moment, with scads of followers who think bullying, name-calling and never backing down is the end-all in leadership technique and the true test of manhood.
Now, his rowdy pack of carnivores have gone even more rabid, snarling and howling at Megyn Kelly, who is wise not to engage them. To get the Full Monte on how Trump treats women — as well as a snapshot of why this man must NEVER be elected to anything — we can find the crib notes on the rape story from Ivana’s divorce deposition here:
Yeah, Fe — the cogs are (reluctantly) moving — I can hear their screams, metal on metal, from here. Thanks for stopping by.
And you’re spot on, be, if it’s orange and yellow, it’s real. From my days in education, I’m aware that some people are ‘visual learners.’ They’ve got to see it with their own eyes — the better way to ‘get it’ is to have the actual experience, but the things we have to learn these days make experience particularly perilous. It seems clear enough, though, that more people than ever understand what they see — as opposed to turning their heads rather than looking, or just staring dumbly. Things have gotten too dramatic to ignore. What we decide to do with that information will tell the tale.
Love the Sabian — thanks for always including them — and wonder what ‘purification’ will bring; although anything that speaks to ego cleansing will impact the Donald and his admirers first, I’d think. Wouldn’t it be a miracle of he got a GLIMPSE of what an ass he is? Of course reasonable people would shut up for a moment and take an internal inventory, when faced with such a reflection; I’m not sure Trump is capable. Some are too fragile, seems like — my family used to say (about my paternal grandmother, who was a real pistol) that looking into that mirror would be a Medusa move! Perhaps the Donald would turn to stone as well.
And gosh, kiddo! Thanks for the kind words re: my column. I think I’ve missed maybe three weeks out of the last five or so years — and frankly, sometimes I disappoint myself — so that makes you an extremely generous reader and a natural born flatter’er (bless you for making my day!)
Hi Amy, agreed — we’ll all miss Jon. I think more than we actually realize — and we need to give those who come next our encouragement. They’ve got big shoes to fill. Jon perfected the template, developed by those who went ahead like Mort Sahl and George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. I’ll have to find something else to do at 10pm, I guess. Bummer!
Hey Jude, first I want to apologize for my blooper re: the relationship between the Jupiter-Mercury-Venus conjunction in Leo to Ceres in Capricorn, which obviously can’t be a trine. Nor can they be sextile Saturn in Scorpio. There are so many squiggly lines and colors on that chart I got tangled up trying to follow them. So anyone who got confused by my remarks, please know that Jupiter and Mercury were quincunx Ceres and square Saturn with their new cycle started.
Also, re: the Donald’s hair. . I had heard (and later observed) that some folks who have fun-loving Leo on the ascendant might also be blessed with a Lion’s mane head of hair, and some of those folks devote a lot of attention (and $$) to its upkeep. Obviously Mr. Trump is one of those who went overboard and some surgery went afoul of its intention. Did I understand that correctly? Is that swirl of hair on the forehead to cover a scar perhaps? Growing old gracefully is an art.
Beautifully covered, Judith–thank you!