M A R C H 2 0 0 4
by Alex Miller-Mignone
"I want to see that debatethe General versus the Deserter."
Wesley Clark rally
1/17/04, Laconia NH
With those eleven words Michael Moore, noted satirist and documentary filmmaker, unleashed a firestorm on the national psyche. And it's not the first time he's done it. Moore's acceptance speech for his Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" on March 23, 2003, referred to George W. Bush, the "deserter" in the above quote, as a "fictitious president" who gained office by "fictitious election results," a statement which garnered at least as much media attention, albeit with regrettably less consequence for the administration. At least so far.
Following media digging provoked by the "deserter" comment, the White House embarked on a two-week spin campaign, desperately trying to claw their way out of the yawning pit where Bush's National Guard service records ought to be. And Moore's earlier charge, that of election fraud in 2000, may yet come back to haunt the administration before November.
Just who is Michael Moore, and how does he tap into the national psyche so effectively with a simple offhand comment? A close look at his galactic contacts, and connections to the charts of George W. Bush and the United States, may provide some answers.
Born 23 April 1954 in Davison, a suburb of Flint, Michigan, Moore began his career of public service and political activism early on, when he won election to the Flint school board at age 18, before his high school graduation, becoming one of the youngest public office holders in the US. His journalistic career began at the Flint Voice, an alternative newspaper, which he eventually edited. Brief stints at Mother Jones and in Ralph Nader's office ensued, until in 1989 Moore made his mark with his first documentary film, "Roger and Me," detailing the impact of job losses on his home town's economy due to downsizing by General Motors. The Roger in "Roger and Me" is GM chairman Roger Smith, whom Moore humorously and unsuccessfully attempts to interview about the factory closings.
"Roger and Me" was followed by feature film, "Canadian Bacon," a comedy with a decided political, satirical bent. In 1994 Moore returned to his love of aggressive political activism and sacred-cow-debunking with his NBC network show "TV Nation." NBC was uncomfortable with the level of satire, and dropped the show after one season, but Fox picked it up the next year for another go.
Meanwhile in 1996, Moore's first book, Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American, became a surprise best seller. In 1999 Moore was back on TV with a new political satire series, "The Awful Truth," for Bravo. Another two-year TV stint ensued with critical acclaim, and by the spring of 2002 Moore was back on the bookshelves with Stupid White Men, which quickly became an international best-seller and the number one nonfiction book of 2002, with over 3 million copies sold.
Moore's follow-up documentary "Bowling for Columbine," detailing America's obsession with guns, released in the fall of 2002, soon became the most financially successful documentary of all time, with a rare showing at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar nod. Moore's political satire machine rolls on with his latest book, Dude, Where's My Country?, another national bestseller.
Moore's nativity clearly shows his love for shaking things up and drawing others out of their complacency, with a powerful galactic T-square involving Mercury at 17 Aries as the fulcrum to an exact opposition from natal Uranus at 19 Cancer to Black Hole Hel at 19 Capricorn. Mercury/Uranus likes to shock and erode the barriers that prevent us from truly seeing the world around us; its status as an awakener of public opinion and dialogue is unrivaled, and with the connection to a Black Hole in Capricorn, politics, big business and the establishment are the venue of choice for Moore's witty and good-natured ranting.
The latter is aptly shown by the exact trine from Mars at 3 Capricorn, also conjunct a Black Hole, to the Sun, conjunct a success and accomplishment-promoting Quasar at 3 Taurus. Sun/Quasar natives shine brightly; they become the focus whether they want to or not. The Sun also opposes Saturn, itself exactly conjoined a Black Hole at 6 Scorpio, and the source of the withering acerbity with which Moore skewers his targets, principally the Commander-in-Thief.
Jupiter's sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) from 23 Gemini to that Saturn says volumes about the wit and wisdom which permeates Moore's chosen lifework. Jupiter is itself exactly conjunct an informational Pulsar and opposed the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, enabling him to marshal his facts with clarity and ease and facilitating popular acceptance of his message, especially via the published word. Jupiter also trines Neptune at 24 Libra, itself exactly opposed a Black Hole, bringing cinema within the scope of his talents and ensuring a wide audience for his films.
The square from Venus at 23 Taurus, also conjunct a Black Hole, to Pluto at 22 Leo, indicates one whose values are deeply felt, who has a strong sense of justice and equality, and who is willing to venture much to share these values with others (at one point Moore sold his home and held bingo games to finance the production of "Roger and Me"). It is also the signature of the muckraker par excellence; Moore loves what he does and it is in the nature of his creative endeavors to expose secrets or help others empower themselves through the knowledge he disseminates. The Moon in Capricorn indicates a feeling of responsibility toward the public.
Chiron at 28 Capricorn exactly opposes a Black Hole, is sandwiched between two Pulsars and lies at the most critical degree of Deep Space. No less than seven anomalies reside at this degree in various signs, making it one of the strongest galactic placements of the chart. Moore's maverick style, his perspective as an outsider and his ability to show us all our woundedness combine to reflect the deeply entrenched archetype of the Wounded Healer he embodies.
The first chapter of Moore's book Stupid White Men details the electoral shenanigans that went on in 2000 in pre- and post-election Florida, and it's not a pretty picture. Assuming Moore's version of the facts to be accurate (and the work is extensively researched and footnoted), we may be in for a truly dirty campaign this fall, and an election which, if Bush narrowly wins, cannot be accepted without suspicion.
Essentially Moore alleges massive voter tampering and fraud in Florida in 2000, a state run by George W. Bush's brother Jeb, and which was known early on in the campaign to be an important swing state. Republican operatives rigged the state for a conservative victory, beginning with a successful attempt to eliminate "undesirables" from the voter rolls in the year before the election. Florida election law prohibits even former felons who have served their time from voting, but the state's chief election commissioner, Katherine Harris, not coincidentally also the Bush Campaign Co-Chair for Florida, decided to go that policy one better by also excluding suspected felons.
Not only that, but the conservative database company that was hired to collect the records was told to look for "close" matches to add to the list; people with the same or similar names; people with similar social security numbers; people with the same birth date. There was one other state in the union which helped Florida in this game of chance, sending lists of their own suspected felons who "might" have moved to the Sunshine State. That helpful state would be Texas, with incumbent governor George W. Bush. All told, some 173,000 registered voters were sent letters informing them that their rights had been suspended. Included in that list was Linda Howell, the elections supervisor for Madison County, Florida.
Of course, things being what they are America, the vast majority of these suspected felons were black voters, and the vast majority of blacks vote Democratic. But just to even the score a little more, having disenfranchised one segment of the electorate, Harris then ordered election officials to allow all absentee ballots, whether or not they conformed to Florida's regulations regarding these. Ballots were accepted with missing or illegible postal cancels, as were duplicate ballots, ballots from individuals who were not registered voters or who had never requested an absentee ballot, and ballots canceled after the date of the election. Of course, things being what they are in Florida, the vast majority of absentee ballots come from servicemen overseas, the vast majority of whom vote Republican.
And remember that infamous "Butterfly Ballot" in progressive, liberal, Jewish West Palm Beach, where ultra-conservative Pat Buchanan garnered over 3000 votes, his best showing by far in Florida? The layout of that ballot caused many people to vote improperly, either punching two holes, for President and Vice President, thus invalidating the ballot, or punching the hole directly across from Gore's name, which was Buchanan's punch hole. But hey, the ballot was designed by a Democrat, and approved by a Democrat, so that's just bad luck, isn't it?
Not exactly. Theresa LaPore, the ballot's designer, was a registered Republican until two years before the 2000 election; the year after, she switched her party affiliation again to Independent.
And finally, we come to the power of the Press, and Appearance. On election night, Florida was way too close to call; the AP refused to sign off on it, as did all the major networks. Except Fox. John Ellis, head of Fox's election coverage, decided the state was a Bush victory, and insisted his anchor desk call it that way, while his own people on the ground would still not confirm this. The other networks, not wanting to be left out in the cold on so momentous an occasion, quickly followed suit. That, of course, gave Bush the unofficial status of "winner," and set up Al Gore as "sore loser" when the results came to be called into question, as they inevitably were by Florida's election laws regulating close contests.
And just who is this John Ellis, to make such a snap decision, you ask? Why, he's a first cousin of George W. and Jeb Bush, of course.
Obviously, something was rotten in the state of Florida. But the "liberal" American press ignored these stories and their implications. It took a foreign press, the BBC, and months of investigative reporting to bring the facts to light. By then Dubya was installed in the White House, and the New York Times and Washington Post gave the story little attention.
But this may yet change.
Over 3 million people have read Moore's book, and therefore have the facts. And, whether through that medium or via forthcoming utterances by America's leading political satirist, Moore has the capacity to unsettle the Bush administration and energize the country, to say the very least.
It all goes back to that galactic T-square of Moore's. The missing Libran leg of the configuration, opposite Moore's 17 Aries Mercury, falls dead on Bush's Chiron/Moon/Jupiter conjunction at 15,16 and 18 Libra, and well within orb of the USA Saturn at 14 Libra, atop Black Hole Nemesis at 13. Those shocking revelations (Uranus) Moore writes about so entertainingly (Mercury), and the disturbing (Uranus) utterances (Mercury) he makes, are all inevitably focused on Bush. The Uranus/Black Hole opposition is like a great cosmic bow, with Moore's Mercury the arrow, aimed directly at Bush's public image and reputation (Moon/Jupiter), and his presidency (the USA Saturn).
Add to that the coincidence of Moore's Uranus within orb of conjunction to both Bush's Sun at 13 Cancer and his Saturn at 26 Cancer, as well as the USA Sun, also at 13 Cancer, and USA Mercury at 24 Cancer. This guy is hot-wired to the American psyche, able to mold public opinion (USA Mercury) regarding Bush's character (his Sun) and suitability for public office (his Saturn). Moore's natal Mercury also conjoins the USA Chiron, again bringing awareness of our collective woundedness, and his own natal Chiron at 28 Capricorn closely conjoins the USA Pluto at 27 Capricorn, the better to dig up those scandals, and bring them to the light of day.
Whatever the outcome of the November elections, Moore's muckraking is likely to continue. A supporter of Ralph Nader in 2000, Moore is firmly of the opinion that neither of the major parties is truly liberal or forward-thinking, and that, for career politicians, to be Democrat or Republican is largely a distinction without a difference. Americans deserve something better, Moore believes. Perhaps if enough of them follow his lead, someday they'll get it.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at alex_M@apfelbauminc.com (temporary email, March 2004).