Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanks to the "Senator from Tel Aviv"

Normally, I would be disgusted at Mr. Lieberman selling out to the right wing on yet another crucial issue. However, the emerging health care "reform" legislation has become such cave-in to greedy corporate interests, that it deserves to die on the vine. The average citizen will be much better served by having congress reboot and try again from scratch next year.

Thank you Mr. Lieberman for your opposition to the pending health care legislation, however misplaced your reasoning might be! Now if you would just rethink your warmongering policies just a bit...


Friday, December 11, 2009

Health Care Reform Turning into Debacle

Back when Mr. O introduced his health care reform proposals, a commonly-heard tidbit went something like "anything that passes will be better than doing nothing". Indeed, that rationale boosted support among many in congress.

However, the gist of current versions being debated in the senate increases the appeal of doing nothing. Big Pharma and Big Insurance have spent millions to craft legislation they are happy with, and their happiness is a worrisome sign. The system that results could be more costly and complex than ever.

The fundamental problem is simple enough, and should lend itself to simple solutions. Since everyone potentially needs health care, a universal system of spreading costs makes sense. The current distortions in health care funding, along with the numbers of uninsured are the driving force behind reform efforts. Still, it's hard to see how the present legislation will bring about any improvement. We may end up with insurance companies barred from excluding pre-existing conditions or charging more for them, but at a cost that threatens to push even further out of reach of the average citizen.

Obama has pushed hard for "cost containment", but which players are going to line up for the haircut? Not big Pharma. Not Big Blue and the other insurers - they have lined the pockets of enough senators and congressmen to see to that. So the soft targets for cuts are Medicare and Medicaid, and just how will that be accomplished? Doctors and hospitals get the haircut, just as they are struggling with increasing amounts of uninsured care. Not much sense in that; "cost containment" is just a PR slogan to sell the delusion that expanded care can be achieved at no extra cost.

Republicans have helped stir passionate opposition to "socialized medicine" by invoking rhetoric such as "rationing", "government takeover" and "death panels" to "pull the plug on Grandma". For those currently well-covered, this may have its appeal, but who would really stand to lose if the present insurance system were replaced by a single-payer entity? If you guessed "insurance companies", then you understand why they spent so much to manipulate the ongoing debate.

Why do we keep hearing that polls show support for a "public option", yet the chances of it passing dwindle with each passing day? The answer is obvious; big money talks much louder than individual voters.

Then we hear of nonsense such as annual and lifetime benefit caps reappearing in amendments with titles like "ending benefit caps". This is exactly the type of legislation that would be worse than doing nothing - a thousand page monstrosity that passes without anyone knowing for sure what the contents are (except for the lobbyists that crafted the details). If it ends up mandating expensive coverage that few can afford, the system will be further destabilized.

The simple solution? Why not simply expand the present Medicare/Medicaid system and fund it with the existing payroll tax. The tax rate could slide progressively according to income, with middle class workers and their employers paying no more than the amount now spent on insurance. This solution would require no increase in bureaucracy and still maintain the potential for "cost containment". With near-universal participation, costs would be spread among the largest possible base. Unfortunately, it would mean the end of the line for insurance companies, and that's why you won't see anything like this proposed.

And why is "rationing" such a bad idea? There is a cost-effectiveness curve that means most improvement in public health comes from the bottom 50% of expenditures, with further improvements diminishing as expenditures increase. With an open-ended approach to new therapies and technologies, costs can ultimately approach infinity. Some therapies provide questionable benefit or even prolong suffering. Should we bankrupt ourselves to extend the average life a few extra months? With the proper balance, we could be healthier and spend less.

This discussion inevitably leads to the choice between allopathic and integrative medicine. If alternative therapies could compete on cost-effectiveness with the accepted mainstream on a level playing field, everyone would win (except for those invested in the present high-cost system). Don't look for reform legislation to favor integrative medicine, since the big money will be lined up against it.

Perhaps our best hope is to wait for the present system to collapse completely, while adopting healthier lifestyles and learning what we can do to enhance our own health.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Official - Obama is a Warmonger

It's really no surprise - he made his intentions clear during the campaign. Many of his supporters focused on the "withdraw from Iraq" promises and tuned out the "get tough" rhetoric on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus, when Obama announced a major escalation of troop levels in Afghanistan, it caused some surprise and dismay among his supporters.

Sure, this isn't Bush's war. Despite Al-Qaeda’s acknowledged presence in Afghanistan, Bush chose to wage war against Saddam and the people of Iraq. However, war is war, and American bombs are inflicting hell on Afghan people just as surely they did under Bush in Iraq. After suffering so long with Bush fatigue, many of us thought we were voting for change.

So why the warmongering stance from the guy we expected to reverse Bush's policies? Why indeed. What geopolitical strategy or national security interest could possibly be served by chasing Taliban fighters through the mountains and valleys of this country? Obama has been hard-pressed to deliver a cogent answer. His fig leaf invokes "regional stability" and carrying on the so-called "war on terror". So what are the real reasons our soldiers are being sent- besides protecting the opium trade from undue disruption?

In search of clues, let's review a little recent history in that part of the world.

We must recall that the Taliban were considered US allies and intelligence assets during the Soviet Union's ill-fated intervention. Bin Laden was a CIA asset with handlers assigned to him.

During the Clinton administration, a major push was undertaken by a consortium of oil interests to negotiate approval for a gas pipeline across Afghanistan and surrounding territories. In one infamous photo-op, Bin Laden sat with a delegation of Taliban in the presence of Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney was involved in negotiations as chief of Haliburton.

The Taliban ultimately turned thumbs down the deal, which is the primary reason they became candidates for "regime change". Added to this was the fact that they eradicated the poppy trade and put a crimp in the flow of narcotics from the region - don't forget that the "war on drugs" is a phony ruse to maintain control of the drug trade by criminal elements within the PTB. All that was needed was the "new Pearl Harbor" that Cheney wrote hopefully about in 2000 to provide a pretext to take out the Taliban and replace them with trusted CIA asset Harmid Karzai. The pipeline still gets blown up regularly, but the poppy crop is doing rather well now.

OK, so Obama's not stupid, so he must be aware of the real policy objectives in Afghanistan. So why doesn't he just take a stand against that nonsense, as his liberal supporters hoped and expected? Bottom line: The sad fact is that American presidents are not granted much autonomy for decision making. Oh sure, they are allowed enough latitude around the margins of policy decisions to make it look like they are in charge. The press reported that Obama mulled and chewed on the Afghan escalation for weeks, but the only question at stake was how much escalation and for how long. General McChrystal defined terms of the debate by proposing an 80,000 troop increase, so the president could appear to take the "moderate" course of only increasing by 30,000. You can be sure that immediate withdrawal was not on his list of options.

To be sure, the Afghan war is becoming unpopular, and people are beginning to ask and wonder why they voted against warmongering and still got more warmongering anyway. Obama may eventually pay the political price for this, but he must understand that this is how the system works. JFK will forever serve as the example of what happens to presidents that have delusions of actually being in charge of anything beyond choosing drapes for the oval office.

It's vital that Americans wake out of their delusion that they choose our leaders and influence policy. The Right-Left, Liberal-Conservative polemic must be exposed as a fraud. Blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly may claim to defend our constitutional liberties, but never tackle issues of substance, such as the myriad unconstitutional actions taken under Bush. Instead, they acted as shills for the Republican National Committee and now attack anything Obama. Only true conservatives such as Ron Paul take principled stands of any kind, and of course he is marginalized as a result.

The Left is in sorry shape as well, and now their integrity is tested as Obama ramps up his warmongering, forgets about abolishing the Guantanamo Bay, and generally defends the sanctity of Bush’s dirty secrets. Will they meekly parrot the party line the way Republicans do?

One bright spot is talk show host Thom Hartman. It’s no coincidence that he co-authored a recent book on JFK assassination research. One you understand the fact that powerful forces exist within our governmental corptocracy that can take down a president at will, your view of the system will never be the same.

Let’s face it: The intervention in Afghanistan is just as illegal and based on lies as the Iraq campaign. There is no legitimate reason to send troops into harm’s way and have them return with missing limbs or worse. The so-called terrorist threat is trumped up and fabricated, and 911 was a false-flag operation perpetrated by the PTB to manipulate public opinion. The use of depleted uranium ordinance is contaminating vast areas of Afghanistan and Iraq and sentencing millions (including our troops) to premature deaths from cancer. The mainstream media (MSM) will not report on the DU issue for obvious reasons.

Hopefully, the truth is beginning to emerge.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

To Tell the Truth

Van Jones, White House "Green" advisor, was forced out following allegations that he had signed several petitions circulated by the 9/11 "truth movement".

Jones quickly became the target of ridicule from both ends of the political spectrum. Pundits gasped in mock bewilderment and outrage.

Charles Krauthammer summed up the pundit reaction with "...this is no trivial matter. It's beyond radicalism, beyond partisanship. It takes us into the realm of political psychosis, a malignant paranoia that, unlike the Marxist posturing, is not amusing. It's dangerous. In America, movements and parties are required to police their extremes. Bill Buckley did that with Birchers. Liberals need to do that with “truthers”."

This is really getting interesting. You would think we was referring to the Unabomber or something. Up until recently, the MSM scarcely even acknowledged the existence of the 9/11 Truth Movement, or that a sizeable percentage of citizens told pollsters that they doubted the official version of 9/11 events. The fact that a number of respected academics had banded together to form “Scholars for 9/11 Truth” certainly was not covered.

Now that the truth movement has broken through the news blackout, tactics are switching to ridicule and open attack. Van Jones was, by all accounts, a great guy and was much sought after for the position, but now he's viewed as an embarrassing pariah. Could the PTB possibly be getting nervous?

My take on this is simple: We need an independent, credible investigation. We simply don’t know who was responsible, but the official account of 9/11 events reads like a whackjob conspiracy theory that the Internet is infamous for circulating. The only thing going for it is the “official” label.

The leading members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth generally don’t speculate as to what happened. Rather, they focus on the flaws and lapses of reason found in the official account and in the Keane commission report. They cite credible technical analysis that steel beams cannot be melted like putty by burning jet fuel. There are many other points well covered by their books and articles. Authors like David Ray Griffin provide a great starting point for those who are curious.

Whoever pulled off 9/11 had high level access to the national air defense system, and was able to influence key supervisors in the FBI to quash investigation into activities by the alleged terrorists. Large passenger jets were piloted through intricate maneuvers that experienced pilots have said would have greatly challenged their own abilities. The people behind this most assuredly were not bearded Muslim extremists huddling in a cave in Afghanistan, and those who piloted the planes into buildings were not among the 19 dim-witted Saudis that crashed their flight simulators.

So who did it? Theories abound, but the primary point is that we need a credible investigation, which we have not had. Recall that Bush was loathe to consider any investigation, and then reluctantly went along with the idea and mentioned Henry Kissinger as potential chairman! This is the same disgraced former Secretary of State who cannot even set foot in several countries due to pending criminal indictments against him! Tom Keane got the job done, however, and thus the official coverup is in place.

The unassailable fact is that the government has taken numerous actions to thwart meaningful investigation, to destroy evidence, to intimidate those who might be able to challenge official claims, and we’re supposed to believe they have nothing to conceal?

Another regrettable fact is that the MSM operates under unspoken rules that blacklists certain topics from receiving balanced coverage; 9/11 is clearly one of those topics, and the extreme words penned against Jones by Krauthammer and others is no accident. This is comparable to the ridicule that JFK assassination investigators have long been subjected to, and the fact that the Warren Commission “magic bullet theory” is held as an article of faith by virtually all MSM journalists. Polls indicate that the vast majority view “magic bullet” as ridiculous, but the MSM operates in a different world.

The official 9/11 coverup could be poised for trouble. The linguistics analysis by Cliff High at has picked up persistent memes floating about of “secrets revealed” that eventually lead to a breakdown of governmental authority. The town hall protests and “tea party” demonstrations could be early signals of what could evolve. If nasty secrets truly start to get revealed in convincing manner, the conditions could be ripe for serious trouble. With unemployment and homelessness approaching depression levels, the populace will be in no mood for swallowing the government line any further.

The only (faint) hope is that Obama could perceive the threat and risk martyrdom by getting ahead of the “secrets revealed” curve. If the government suddenly began to tell the truth on a number of hideous topics we have been lied to about, and did it in a responsible manner, then perhaps the worst outcome could be avoided.

Faint hope, that.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The buzzards are circling

Things are getting really rancorous in the halls of government, with conservative pundits attempting to demonize Obama after barely 6 months in office. Health care reform is one flash point, but morons like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are employing thinly-veiled references to race in an attempt to stir up passions among the minions that still harbor prejudice. The “birther” issue, while not actually embraced by mainstream pundits, is allowed enough coverage to do damage at little political cost to same pundits.

As predicted, reminiscent of Hilary’s reform effort 15 years ago, the Big Money is pouring into the fray in staggering proportions. Soulless operatives like Dick Morris are spearheading media campaigns to frighten seniors with claims that Obama will want to cut off their life support systems when they are in intensive care. Would anyone care to guess at who is bankrolling him?

Obama now says he is willing to stake everything on health care reform, even if it means being a single-term president. This is rather curious, considering that the major issue everyone should be dealing with is the nation’s continued slippage into a major economic depression. The “green shoots” of recovery are about to wither big time.

Could this be but a diversionary tactic? Guess it’s better than starting a war, but even that may be on the agenda before long.

In case you missed it, retail sales dropped in July, despite the “cash for clunkers” spending. The expectation has been for a decent gain, so the markets retreated and gloom is on the rise again. More bad news is likely to follow in coming weeks, in employment, foreclosures, and bank failures. All the health care reform in the world will do no good if no one can afford insurance and government can’t afford to fund the program.

At some point, people will realize what is really going down and start to get quite angry. The town meeting protests thus far may have been instigated by right-wing groups, but eventually people won’t need any encouragement to stir their passions. What we see now could be just a beginning.

The predictive linguistics work at foresees a revolutionary meme taking hold before long, with tragic violence a possibility. This coincides with a “secrets revealed” meme wherein the PTB could be caught with their proverbial pants down. Once the truth is openly exposed concerning how badly ordinary citizens have been screwed by the Elite PTB, it will probably be too late for rational discourse. This is why I have been promoting the concept of understanding and embracing the already-started Paradigm Shift. Civilizations are notoriously difficult to restart once they collapse - it would sure be nice if we could have a soft landing and try to preserve the better aspects of the present system. It’s much preferable to have an informed, positive outlook rather than be drawn into mass insanity fueled by fear, anger, and a lack of information.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

The scam of the century

As the bankster crisis broke last fall, I recall commenting in this blog about how Hank Paulson should be investigated for conflict of interest at least, if not outright criminal activity for his relationship with Goldman Sachs. Now, suddenly, this idea is
gaining traction in the MSM. Even the NY Times has run an investigative piece, focusing on the ethics (or lack thereof) exhibited by Paulson during the bailouts.

In a somewhat humorous twist, the Times reports that Paulson requested and received an “ethics waiver” so he and Goldman CEO Blankfein could spend more quality time together. WTF – since when do government officials need prior approval for “ethical waiver”? Apparently the topic of discussion was having the Treasury funnel billions of bailout funds to Goldman, and helping to off a couple of major competitors (Bear Stearns and Lehman). As we know, mission was accomplished on all counts.

Well, the bailouts did their job, and today Goldman is solidly in the black. Actually, they are so successful that it raises some interesting questions about just how they are generating such impressive profits while the rest of the financial industry struggles.

A recent
news item surfaced, concerning a former Goldman Sachs programmer that was arrested for stealing proprietary stock trading software. Goldman made a nearly hysterical plea for authorities to hold him without bail, implying the software theft represented a threat to the entire financial system, though he was later released on $750,000 bail. Didn’t the judge think of asking what the nature of the threat could be?

Just what does this stolen software do? According to reports, it allows traders at Goldman Sachs to monitor stock trades in real time. Since most trades are now funneled through the computer network that Goldman controls, the program can analyze transactions during a split-second window while still pending but not finalized. And, it can execute programmed buy or sell orders based on the pending transactions, and conceivably profit from market trends that are about to happen. Thus, the stolen software is the ultimate insider trading tool. So now we know why Goldman’s stock brokerage operation has become so profitable, and why they are so desperate to keep the stolen copy out of play.

For some reason, this story has not gained much traction in the MSM. Wouldn't you think people ought to be asking questions about this software? Such as, just what legitimate use could there be for it? Perhaps the recent uptick of scrutiny on Paulson is a signal that the spotlight will be placed on Goldman, so this story could become really huge.

Of course, if the “green shoots” of recovery were real, folks might be more apt to forgive and forget the criminal activity surrounding the bankster crisis of ’08. Alack and alas, such fortune was not meant to be. Recall that nothing has changed regarding the vast derivative bubble that precipitated the crisis – the 700 billion TARP certainly was inadequate in the face of trillions in toxic debt.

The outlook that I foresee includes another major banking crisis by the end of the year, as the toxic derivative monster makes its presence unmistakably felt. This and other factors will converge for the perfect economic storm.

The federal annual deficit reached a trillion with 3 months left in the fiscal year. Tax revenues are diving, while spending is escalating. Keynesian economic theory normally would call for this scenario, except that this might finally be our day of reckoning. The rest of the world will likely cut off the flow of credit now. When the Treasury attempts to auction hundreds of billions in bonds, as they must do several times per year now, and nobody bids – then what?

No matter how you slice it, the model we have been pursuing is just not sustainable. It would have crashed sooner, except for the bubbles that were inflated to forestall the inevitable. Even in good years, the nation ran many billions of monthly deficit in balance of payments. With most productive jobs moved offshore, this means that we relied on borrowing from the rest of the world to keep our consumer lifestyle humming. Most jobs in recent years were created in the services sector, which meant that we simply pretended we were creating more wealth. The tangible goods we need have been produced by virtual slave labor in China, and we just added the bill to our growing tab. Now what happens if our credit gets cut off?

The home foreclosure situation is worse than reported, because banks have been reluctant to move troubled mortgages off their balance sheet. This will catch up at some point and the news will not sound upbeat any longer.

The unemployment statistics are distorted because those who ran out of unemployment benefits are not longer counted – keep that in mind when the pundits engage in happy talk over this. The stories circulating of skilled workers competing with thousands of others for each open position tells the tale. When widespread hiring actually resumes, rather than just the rate of reported lob loss declining, then I will be willing to believe in "green shoots of recovery".

A year from now we will definitely be looking at greatly changed scenery. Inflation may kick up to accelerated levels, especially on imported goods. The feds will either fund the deficit by printing vast amounts of money (and abandoning the pretense of "borrowing"), or else government operations will begin to fail. People may begin to measure wealth in terms of food and tangible goods rather than money.
Therefore, it behooves everyone to understand the nature of Paradigm Shift, for this is what we are witnesssing. Understand what it is and where it is leading us, for all is not necessarily doom and gloom.


Friday, August 7, 2009

$$ The best legislation money can buy $$

Obama’s push to reform health care is causing the various competing factions to pour enormous resources into lobbying and marketing campaigns. One of the money trails leads to congressional “Blue Dog” Democrats. While their “take” from Big Pharma is still less than republicans, it is substantially higher than among other democratic legislators. Could this possibly be influencing their votes? Ya think?

Obama had earlier vowed to impose cost controls across the board, and clip the wings of drug manufacturers in the process. Nothing doing; the
Big Money has spoken.

With the medical insurance industry fighting hard to eliminate the “public option” coverage proposals, and Big Pharma protecting their “constitutional right” to charge the highest list prices possible, whatever legislation gets passed could scarcely be labeled “reform” and will probably cost trillions more. Where is
Ira Magaziner when we need him?

One fundamental flaw in the current system is that fact that the concept of insurance just doesn’t fit well in the health care model. Insurance is a means of spreading risk among a large enough pool so that individuals can afford protection. When you step into your car and take to the road, you incur a risk of serious accident, with costly damages resulting. Enough trips end sucessfully without damage so that rates can be kept reasonable. If you have a dozen speeding tickets or DWI convictions, it’s only fair for the insurance company to rate your risk factor accordingly, or even deny coverage.

With health care, sure, there is some element of apparent randomness to catastrophic illness, but the odds are that most people are going to need serious medical attention at some point. If insurance companies rate risk the way they do for auto insurance, then the folks who need coverage the most are rejected or charged an unaffordable rate. Many of these uninsurables show up at the ER, and are responsible for some of the cost squeeze and distortions in the system.

Another distortion is caused by federal and state agencies trying to cut Medicare & Medicaid costs by squeezing payments to providers. Those with private insurance make up the difference, and those paying out of pocket pay even higher, because they lack the benefit of a large insurance company negotiating the charges.

A single payer system with universal coverage makes the most sense, because the pool is maximized. Hospitals generally don’t turn away uninsured patients, so everyone has a stake in the system and should be included. Conservatives attack this concept as “socialized medicine” but the costs are there and rising no matter what is done – the only question is finding a more equitable means of funding it.

If Obama had the kahunas to overcome the well-financed lobbying of Big Pharma and Big Insurance, a reasonable reform bill might result. However, the battle is
going poorly, and his political capital is being quickly depleted. I predict that whatever fig leaf finally passes will only make matters worse for the average citizen.

Alternative health care models should be on the table, such as one put forth by the
WAAAM. Emphasis should be placed on individuals taking responsibility for their own health through lifestyle modification. Of course, the present allopathic medical system is predicated on people becoming ill. A tremendous amount of money is at stake on people becoming and remaining chronically ill. If a cost-effective treament were developed that cured or prevented a major disease, the profit model would be imperiled.

This has actually happened numerous times, and each time the medical industrial complex applied enourmous pressure to kill, delay or restrict the therapy and associated medical researchers from practicing, through their lackeys at the FDA and FTC.

One example is the overwhelming evidence that
folic acid supplement during pregnancy prevents fetuses from developing spina bifida. This was known for years, yet the medical industry refused to validate the data untl recently. There is no major profit in selling folic acid supplements, so how many babies had to be born with this defect while the big money prevailed?

There are a tremendous number of alternative therapies and practices that show promise at least equal to costly patented prescription drugs, but the medical industry places a stranglehold on trials that could prove effectiveness. If congress could somehow develop the political will to reign in the medical monopoly and level the playing field, medical costs could conceivably be sharply reduced. However, this is akin to the “when pigs can fly…” cliché – not gonna happen.

One hopeful trend that could happen is the ongoing paradigm shift causing the PTB to slowly lose their grip. Alternative medicine is the wave of the future, and the present medical system is slowly sinking under its own weight.

Meanwhile, people can start to take responsibility for their own health by educating themselves and challenging conventional assumtions when appropriate. There is a wealth of knowledge available for this.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Momentous Time Begins

We are in the midst of a wrenching period of change in our world, the most profound of any in recent human history. Life as we have known it is being transformed into something radically different. The fundamental paradigms that govern our understanding of civilization are shifting; for simplicity I refer to this as The Paradigm Shift.

The most noticeable aspect of the shift at present is the ongoing global economic collapse. The shift encompasses everything from planetary physics to social systems, culture and religion. The turbulent waves of change are currently moving like a wrecking ball throughout the economic structures of the world, so this tends to be the focus of attention right now.

There is understandably a great deal of fear regarding the present changes, as many are losing jobs, homes, and retirement savings. Coupled with fear is denial, as mainstream economists attempt to explain the meltdown in the context of their traditional paradigm. The business cycle is expected to have ups and downs, so any downturn, however severe, must be followed by recovery. If finding the bottom proves elusive, then the outlook is simply adjusted for a deeper and longer downturn; a “severe recession”. Although more economists are beginning to broach the “D” word (for depression), few are ready to toss their paradigm completely aside and consider the signs of a complete social and economic transformation having begun.
What is actually occurring is that we are leaving one major age of human civilization and entering another. The transformation currently underway will affect far more than the economy; the complete collapse of the current economic system is simply a prerequisite for the transition into the next age.

Civilizations have risen and fallen, and the planet has endured cyclic ages since the beginning of time. Making this particular transition unique is the apparent prospect of a planet-wide shift into a higher physical dimension.

Of course, we have scant knowledge of what has transpired throughout Earth’s ancient history. Some have suggested that humanity has devolved from a much higher level of development. Perhaps we are only returning to where we once had been.

The Ages of Humanity
Mystical tradition holds that there is a recurring cycle of four major ages of humanity, known as Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. Hindu teaching names the present Age of Iron as Kali Yuga and the forthcoming Golden Age as Satya Yuga. While Hindu tradition tends to peg the length of a Yuga as 100,000 years, the esoteric mysticism under consideration here is concerned with the 25,800 year astronomical cycle of the Zodiac.

Many religions teach that a golden age will eventually arrive, following an end-time period of turmoil. Christianity portrays a horific period in the book of Revelations, after which a millennium of peace and prosperity ensues. This common theme indicates that various mystical sources of wisdom have anticipated the imminent transition into a new age.

Signposts in Time
We are just past the 7 year anniversary of 9/11. Regardless of who was responsible (Turban-wearing Saudis crouched in a cave in Afghanistan are not high on my list of suspects), this event marked a watershed moment in history. Although many events are determined by the variables inherent in human freewill, a few events such as this appear to have been "etched in stone" in the timeline. It was a marker, of sorts, altering the landscape and helping to unfold events to where we are now.

Of particular interest to me is the sense that ancient mystics were aware of a timeframe that marks the end of the present age and beginning of the next. The 12 signs of the Zodiac act as a celestial clock, each sign marking the passage of 2150 years, as the earth wobbles through its cycle of orbital precession. The transition of Pisces into Aquarius appears to have been linked to coincide with the “end of this age”.

How could the ancients have known? Even to become aware of precession would require observations of star movements over thousands of years. Were the creators of the Mayan calendar privy to the same source of knowledge? We shall examine these questions in detail, and consider the various schools of opinion regarding the Mayan end-date.

From what we know, it appears likely that the Mayan end-date, and astrological transition into Aquarius, merely serve as markers in time for events that are otherwise coincidental. Others believe that catastrophic earth changes and widespread destruction are due to occur. This latter approach would imply there is something significant astronomically regarding this point in the precession cycle. Some suggest that periodic alignments with the galactic center are involved, and there is support to be found for this in ancient lore.

In my investigation, I have tried to separate science from pseudo-science. Although I greatly value mystical sources of wisdom and insight, it should be recognized that science and mysticism are still separate disciplines. I respect and consider contributions of mystical insight, but less so those who claim their mystical insight to be scientifically verified, when it is not. Unfortunately, the topic of galactic alignment in 2012 is rife with annoying pseudo-scientific assertions. Claims of a pending extraordinary galactic alignment need to be carefully investigated.

Are astronomical alignments the cause of periodic destruction cycles on Earth? Or are they simply arbitrary markers in time? Certainly cataclysm has swept across our planet on numerous occasions, and the cause could be cyclical. The open question is whether the astronomical alignment on December 21, 2012 marks one of those cycles of destruction.

Next: Ancient Sources of Knowledge regarding 2012

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Letting Bush off the hook

Leon Panetta says Bush/Cheney & Co can be excused for crimes of constitutional usurpation of power and torture, due to “the reality of 9/11”. Seems like calls for a congressional inquiry into the past administration’s war crimes are hitting a sensitive nerve with the PowersThatBe (PTB). My first guess would be that they would dearly have us continue to cling to the “unreality of 9/11”.

Of course, the official line is still the implausible theory that 19 ill-trained Saudis somehow took over the controls of large passenger jets and caused buildings to collapse, and Bin Laden was supposedly the mastermind of the operation. Oops! Panetta may have not caught the just-released news item where Sibel Edmonds spills some classified information on how Bin Laden was a CIA asset until 9/11. Not that it would matter – all public officials are required to toe the official line on these things. Even congressmen Collin Peterson of MN had to take his obligatory shots at “conspiracy theorists”, while admitting that a quarter of his constituents questioned the official account of 9/11. Some national polls have pegged this higher than 50%, but oh well. Must be a lot of ignorant people around to placate.

The “birther movement” is providing another excuse to pile it on anything that smacks of “conspiracy theory”, with some TV pundits even implying that anyone in that camp is “psychologically disturbed”. Of course, such opportunities are generally taken to paint all “conspiracy theorists” with the same broad brush, implying that distinguished scholars such as James Fetzer and Steven Jones are in the same camp with crazed militia groups in rural Idaho or the nutjobs that kill abortion doctors. As I’ve pointed out before, there are several laws on the books that target illegal conspiracies of various sorts, and the FBI and federal courts take them very seriously. The only difference between these conspiracies and the ones scorned by the media is magnitude of scale, and the fact that crimes committed by the upper echelon in power are generally covered up and not brought to justice. Part of the cover-up is to ridicule anyone who actually looks too closely at evidence.

I never expected Obama to pursue justice against Bush/Cheney, because the PTB do not wish to risk exposing too much to the light of day. However, Eric Holder is quoted to be seriously considering appointing a special prosecutor. If he goes ahead with that against Obama’s wishes, it should provide for an interesting confrontation. Don’t get your hopes up; The likely outcome would be a cover-up along the lines of the 9/11 commission, and the earlier Warren commission that investigated the JFK assignation. Recall Gerald Ford’s comments shortly before his death that tacitly admitted the JFK cover-up as being necessary for the “good of the nation”. I’m so glad these folks in power are looking out for my interests. :(


Friday, July 24, 2009

Midsummer Malaise

Cynical Republicans have really been piling the criticism on Obama. I am dismayed by several twists in policy, but am certainly not in the camp with Republicans, who truly have no clue as to credible alternatives.

As I’ve mentioned before, Obama is faced with the insurmountable task of resurrecting the dying, predator- capitalist economy. The lofty expectations he was elected with will surely cement his undoing, especially as the economy slides further off the cliff this fall and winter. Of course, he did nothing to dampen those expectations, so he is either brave or naïve.

Here are several trouble spots to touch on:

Health Care Reform

This Obama initiative is doomed to failure. The strongest argument in favor of reform is that the existing system is already breaking down. However, the reform measures discussed thus far amount to a re-shuffling of existing flawed elements. Everyone agrees that costs must be contained, but no one has any concrete ideas on how to accomplish that. Insurance companies, medical providers, Big Pharma, and consumers all represent competing interests, which will resist shouldering their share of cost containment.

Hillary’s attempt at health care reform during the Clinton regime unraveled for the same reasons: no one had the kahunas to iron out the competing interests and build a popular consensus. With Big Pharma wielding vast lobbying resources, and health providers contending with consumer interests over “rationing”, the average voter became disillusioned amid the crossfire of propaganda and attacks. There is scant reason to expect a different outcome this time, despite Obama’s strident leadership efforts.

In the midst of the health care debate, some may have noticed that we are on our way to settling into a major economic depression. Thus, any financial number crunching regarding costs and revenues is meaningless. With businesses slashing costs and jobs to stay afloat, the concept of higher taxes or fees on anyone is a tough sell.

Universal health care is a great concept, but to make it work the competing special interests must somehow be reined in. Money is power, and we’re talking many hundred$ of billion$ in this case.

One major problem with the health care system is the domination by a narrow cabal consisting of the AMA and Big Pharma. The emphasis on allopathic medicine leads to ever-increasing investment in expensive drugs and technologies; with vast amounts of money on the line, there is no incentive to explore simpler and cheaper treatments. This also leads to a tremendous bias against holistic and naturopathic medicine, and in fact often results in legal enforcement against innovative treatment methods.

The only health care “reform” that would work would be one that breaks the monopoly held by the allopathic-oriented powers-that-be. If the playing field were leveled, and holistic medicine could compete fairly in demonstration of effective treatment methodologies, then cost savings could truly become reality. If Big Pharma could no longer dominate the flow of information to doctors, and drug trials were truly honest and transparent, then consumers would have more choice.

Universal basic health care, devoid of expensive drugs and technology, would be affordable for this nation. If the best of holistic and allopathic medicine were combined, patients could learn to take responsibility for their own health. Some medical procedures are quite cost-effective, but patients should be able to opt out of the portion that spends 80% of the dollars over the last few months of life. If people want to spend whatever it takes to purchase insurance to cover $500,000 for cancer treatment to live an extra six months, then that should be an available choice. If they would rather take their chances on holistic medical guidance & lifestyle and forego the expensive drugs that are promoted for every conceivable malady, then that should also be a choice.


Obama ran on a platform promising a wind-down of military operations in Iraq. While this does appear to be occurring (the “surge” worked by taking sides in the civil war and buying out one of the factions), the conflict in Afghanistan is escalating. Obama made no secret during the campaign of his enthusiasm for ramping up the war in Afghanistan and increasing intervention in Pakistan. His choice of Rahm Emmanuel as chief of staff clearly signaled his warmonger tendencies.

Thus far, Afghanistan has mostly been under the public’s radar, but that is likely to change. As casualties mount, Obama will become pressed to explain the rationale behind this military adventure. What is the objective - Maintaining the poppy trade? And what hope is there of better luck than the Soviets encountered, having retreated in humiliating defeat?

Then there is the horrible specter of Israel’s planned attack on Iran. Obama says there is no green light for the Israelis, but Joe “loose lips” Biden said there is. And who is making these decisions? Probably neither one of them, anyway.

There is the prospect of another tremendous banking crisis occurring in the fall, perhaps triggered in part by California’s financial default. There seems to be a tendency for war to erupt as economies sink. It probably doesn’t matter which party is in power; major events appear to be dictated by forces that we can’t directly observe. Obama may be a good man, but he is in for a serious challenge over the next year or two.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Look of Change

It's still too early to tell whether Obama will manage to effect meaningful change during his presidency. He has retrenched from earlier talk of quickly closing Gitmo and exposing the illegal use of torture by his predecessor. It's difficult for observers like myself to not revert to the cynical position that things are generally run by Powers That Be (PTB), which trancends political parties and the electoral process.

Hopefully Obama's first pick for the supreme court represents change in the right direction. Judging by the howls from the extreme Right, she must embody some good qualities.

My concern is that free speech is under attack in this nation, and though a liberal justice on the court would be a welcome change from the likes of Roberts and Alito, I'm aware that tyranny can come from the Left as well as the Right. Seeing that congress will likely pass a version of the so-called "hate crime" bill this year, I'm concerned about how Sotomayor will weigh in on cases where free speech is under attack. It happens to be part of the liberal agenda to pass a law that criminalizes certain forms of speech in the name of "protecting" certain minorities. I have written on this before, and think it's a bad idea.

I recall that an unlikely hero emerged in 1989 in defense of free speech - Justice Antonio Scalia. Although he has since earned a great deal of notoriety in my book, I was more than pleased to watch him draw the wrath of conservatives when he sided with a 5-4 decision that struck down prohibitions on flag burning. His reasoning? Flag burning represents a form of political speech, protected by the constitution. One could only hope that a future "hate crimes" law would be subjected to the same analysis by the high court, but something tells me that Sotomayor would not likely be defending constitutionally protected free speech in that instance.

I could be wrong, and justices have been known to shed ideological rigidity when elevated to that lofty level. However, they could have checked Bush's unconstitutional excesses over the past 8 years, and did not - Scalia included. In many critical cases, constitutional principle did not overtake partisan loyalty. Hopefully, this will begin to change for the better, although Justice Souter (who she will replace) was not generally part of the problem. It will probably take many years for turnover on the court to make a meaningful change. Hopefully the republic can stay intact for that long.