M A Y A ' S M O O N R E P O R T , J U L Y 2 0 0 2
by Maya del Mar
Capricorn Full Moon of June 24 and Aries Last Quarter, July 2. (Check out the Daily Success Guide for June 24 and July 2.) We are reporting on the last half of the Gemini Moon cycle. This month-long cycle began with Solar Eclipse New Moon in at 20 Gemini on June 10. Communication and linking, with a business-like Saturnian character, was the energy emphasized during this last month. Many conjunctions meant that seeds were sown for many new cycles, some of them long ones.
Eclipse Full Moon in Capricorn on June 24 added to the Saturnine emphasis on business and institutions of all kinds, and brought in security issues. The Cancer-Capricorn polarity is the major polarity in the U.S. chart (5 of 10 major planets), with the Gemini-Sagittarius second. With eclipses involved we know that major changes in the U.S. are brewing with this Moon cycle.
Aries Fourth Quarter adds immediate goals, and (perhaps blind) initiative to attain those goals.
In regard to terrorism, Al Jazeera, the TV Station in Qatar, announced that Osama bin Laden was alive, and played a tape in which he said he will attack again. This is not surprising in the light of U.S. policy, which continues to inflame the Middle East, and is hostile to much of the rest of the world besides.
The rule of law is emphasized now. (Saturn is itself "the Law.")
A major, major example of U.S. isolation occurred at Full Moon, when the International Criminal Court began operation under aegis of the UN. Every nation in the world, except the U.S. and Israel, support the Court, which is designed to bring justice in the most heinous war crimes, and only when the committing nation does not use its own courts to try the accused. Essentially, the U.S. and Israel are saying they want the impunity to commit any war crime, any place, with no repercussions. Even if they never committed any war crimes, this attitude is extremely demoralizing to the world community.
In addition, the U.S. at the last minute tried to strong-arm its allies into undermining the Court. This was not successful, and the U.S. is trying at this moment to find other means of blackmail. It currently stands that all UN Peacekeeping Missions may be shut down. The U.S. could simply peacefully opt out of the Court, but that apparently isnt sufficient.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN is John Negroponte, who has been instrumental in dirty dealings with Latin America during the Reagan Administration, including the Iran-Contra scandal.
Courts in the U.S. came down with important decisions. For instance, the U.S. Supreme Court gave juries more power in deciding death penalties, which is apt to reduce death sentences. The Supreme Court also blocked open hearings for those hundreds of immigrants being detained in secrecy and without charges.
The Supreme Court made two important education decisions. They said that vouchers were legal, and they broadened drug testing a great deal in schools.
In New York, a Court said that an eighth grade education was sufficient, that compulsory education should not extend into high school.
A California Superior Court said that employers do not have to give equal benefits to older employees.
In a controversial decision, the Ninth District Court in San Francisco said that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of alliance violated the separation of church and state. I remember when that phrase was added in 1954, during the McCarthy era with its trashing of democratic rights. I have never said it, because I personally believed it was unconstitutional.
The Religious Right protestors might be surprised to know that the original pledge (without "under God") was written by a Socialist Minister, Francis Bellamy, in 1892. The country was in the throes of the post-Civil War racist struggle, and he wrote the pledge to reflect his ideals of a united country with liberty and justice for all. He also wrote "I pledge allegiance to my flag" rather than "to the flag of the United States of America," and he objected to the change instituted by the DAR and the American Legion.
With the Full Moon, secret Senate hearings in regard to the proposed Homeland Security Department began.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Judicial Committee, charged that "The Bush Administration is trying to make its proposed new Homeland Security Dept. above the law and outside the checks and balances these laws are put there to ensure."
He went on, "I am concerned that the Administrations proposal would exempt the new department from many legal requirements that apply to other agencies, including the Freedom of Information Act, conflict of interest and accountability rules, and whistle-blower protection."
The White House wants to have everything in the new department (which includes a dozen government agencies, from the Coast Guard to the INS to Customs to the FBI) secret from the public. This includes its advisory committees to be exempt from citizen input, which is normally required for such committees. It also wants to allow corporate officers to be advisors to the new department without going through the regular conflict-of-interest screening. Shades of the KGB.
Timothy Edgar, an ACLU Counsel, said, "If you like the idea of a government agency that is 100 percent secret and 0 percent accountable, youll love the new Homeland Security Department."
Along these lines, it was announced that FBI agents in plainclothes would be marching in many July Fourth parades.
Corporate irresponsibility is being exposed.
Every day there are new exposures regarding the greed and lies of the corporate hierarchies which are costing shareholders, pensioners, workers, and taxpayers billions of dollars. Enron, WorldCom, PacBell, GM, and Merck are only a few examples.
Although some legal remedies are being discussed, it is pointed out that the problem runs deeper than law. Most of the infractions are, indeed, immoral but not illegal. This is because ever since the huge push to privatization with Pres. Reagan, the personnel in corporations and in government have become more and more interchangeable, and now industry for the most part makes and enforces its own laws.
In the days of WWII, we used to call such a system of corporate government fascism.
This situation is difficult to correct, for as we speak it is growing exponentially through the WTO, the completely undemocratic "trade" organization which is taking on world rulership. If they dont like the laws in one country, corporations can relocate their headquarters to another country, as Fruit of the Loom, that good old American company, has done in moving to the Cayman Islands.
Right now, Congress is debating Fast Track, which is a huge corporate power grab. We had Fast Track for NAFTA, which has resulted in increased profits for corporations, along with dislocations, loss of jobs, lower wages, poorer safety conditions, and degradation of dignity for workers in North America.
Fast Track refers to Congress passing legislation without any debate. It means shutting out democratic discussion. Currently it refers to passage of FTAA, the Free Trade Association of the Americas, a much grander and more extensive NAFTA which includes the entire Western Hemisphere. This huge, thousand-page, super-inclusive bill, under Fast Track would be voted on without any discussion.
Many people, including Congress, dont know what this commitment means.
It meansand this is already happeningthat the WTO becomes the world government, operating towards one endmaximizing profits for corporations. If it is determined that any national or state laws, or individuals, are blocking present or future profits, they suffer big penalties. Who decides? A 3-person WTO tribunal, chosen by the corporations, decides the case behind closed doors.
One of the current examples of this is the Canadian parent company of MTBE, a gasoline additive which turns out to be very toxic in groundwater, is suing the state of California for planning to phase out this toxic additive which is ruining groundwater in California. A huge judgment has been rendered against the State of California by the WTO "Court" for ruining future profits of the company, Methanex.
Another current example is hundreds of suits by Monsanto against farmers. This is because there are farmers who do not want to use Monsantos genetically engineered Terminator seeds. One such instance is organic farmers, who are trying their best to stay away from pollen contamination by these plants. However, pollen travels, and many of these organic farmers have found themselves with the unwanted GE plants growing in their fields. Monsanto is suing them for having the plants but not paying for Monsantos patented seeds. The WTO Court has levied "break-their-backs" fines against many of them.
The corporate movement, exemplified by the WTO, is destroying democracy, as well as planning corporate takeover and commercialization of every aspect of our lives. We are getting a look now at corporate ethics. Do we really want this?
An example of government-corporate secrecy is the meeting of the G-8 in Canada during the week of the Full Moon. The meeting of the heads of the eight industrial nations was held at a remote site in the Rockies, with no press or public allowed beyond Calgary, 30 miles away. In addition, Canada jammed cell phones across the nation during the meeting.
I am accustomed to hearing worldwide on-the-spot reporting from Free Speech Radio News via cell phones. No chance here.
Global warming shows up in many ways.
In Alaska, a small beetle is destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of white spruce forest, by far the most massive forest destruction on record. An Alaska forest biologist, who has been studying global warming, says he has records that show that global warming is the cause of the beetles spread.
Poisonous jellyfish are inundating U.S. coastal waters. They get caught in fishermens nets, and are destroying coastal fishing in the south. All ocean waters are warming, including those waters, and other species are also being displaced northward and disrupting ecosystems.
A "snakefish" has turned up in Marylands ponds. It is a big ravenous fish that eats everything in sight, and then "walks" to its next feast, in another pond. It can stay out of water for four days as it moves over the land. It is native to China.
And California passed the stiffest air pollution laws in the nation, despite the tooth-and-nail fight by the auto industry. (Will we get sued by an auto manufacturer?)
Irresponsibility concerning toxins is also showing this month.
The Bush Administration has cut EPA funds for cleaning up 33 superfund toxic sites. The EPA is designed to protect the environment, and Bush had already greatly cut EPA funding.
The very bad news is that Congress has voted for using Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a nuclear waste site. This is contrary to the wishes of the Nevada legislature, the Nevada governor, the Nevada people, and the Congressional delegation from Nevada. The Nevada Governor plans to fight this decision in the courts, and certainly he will be supported by many scientific and environmental groups.
There are many dangers with this proposal. Most serious is that Yucca Mountain is a very poor repository from the geologic standpoint. There are frequent earthquakes in the area, and the mountain is riddled with cracks. In addition groundwater from under the mountain flows southward to Las Vegas and to Los Angeles.
(In campaigning for President, GW promised the people of Nevada that he would fight the Yucca Mt. legislation. On that basis he received the 4 Nevada electoral votes, which it could be said won him the election.)
(As I write there is a poison gas alert for the oil refinery city of Crockett, California.)
Transportation is also on the agenda this month.
Transit fares are going up all over, while the very popular AMTRAK passenger railroad is having its funds cut. The Administration says it is placing armed soldiers in airports, and the House is voting to arm pilots.
This is just the top of the news. My acquaintance with it is cursory, but we can see that important things are happening in the U.S.
There is also important worldwide news.
For instance, in Durban, South Africa, 53 nations met to inaugurate the new African Union, to deal with wars, currency, and border disputes. This is the vision of President Khadaffi of Libya.
In Zimbabwe, embattled white farmers were ordered to give up their land.
In Geneva, at a Conference on Disarmament, Russia and China unveiled their plan to ban space weapons.
In Pakistan, Pres. Musharraf unveiled his plan to increase his power.
In Afghanistan, a member of the government was assassinated, and Afghanis say that warlords are again running the country. The U.S. was criticized for bombing a big wedding party in an Afghan village, and killing and wounding many.
Israeli pressure on Palestine increased. GW proposed an interim solution, but neither side was pleased by it. The Palestine Solidarity Committee is working out a program to propose to Palestinians.
I have personal information that a big revolution began in Iran, but hear nothing on the news.
GW is talking more about invading Iraq. "Well get Iraq to change leaders," he says.
Miscellaneous: The Army web site offers a 3D Army game which can be downloaded for free. The player is inducted as a raw recruit, and proceeds to train to fight terrorists. Reports are that its a very appealing game. The Military State marches on.