Welcome to the July 18, 2008 GlobalNews edition of the Satya Center newsletter.
Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang.
Jane (Satya Center co-founder) says this newsletter is written the way I used to do when I was a writer at The Village Voice, or when I worked at WORTH magazine, or when I researched the Federal Reserve and electronic money for The Financial Markets Center, a public policy research organization in Washington, D.C.
I don’t know about that, but I feel this week is the time to try to communicate to our readers the gravity of the present world situation in some detail, since the big picture and the telling detail are both missing in action on television news talk shows, on editorial pages of major newspapers, and in the now shrunken news wells of upscale slick national magazines now more devoted to fashion, Hollywood and popular culture than to deep investigative reports probing the hidden causes behind today’s headlines, the unsavory activities of the upper classes, or the everyday venality at work in the nation’s capital.
This newsletter is devoted to news of recent world developments that are of great concern to us all. Be sure to read through the entire article if you can, because there is a message of hope at the end!
There is a global financial and environmental crisis as we approach the end of the Era of Cheap Oil and thus, the end of modern industrial civilization. The nations of the world are engaged in a dangerous game of brinksmanship and a quiet but deadly military arms race as the world realizes that under the current system, there will not be enough food, oil, water, or electricity to go around.
“Last year, the owners of the world invested $134 billion in the industry of death -- arms manufacturing -- a 45% increase from just ten years ago, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI,” reports Frei Betto in an article entitled “Food: A Luxury Item”, published online by AlterNet news service. If you scroll down to our section on news from the Web, entitled Top New Stories at SatyaCenter.com, you’ll find a link to the full story.
Recently a car bomb killed dozens in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the President of that country says that Pakistan’s secret service is behind the atrocity. A high-level Indian government official was killed in that terrorist attack. In response, an Indian minister says that India will not be intimidated from flooding Afghanistan with humanitarian workers, and thus in competing directly in the political arena with the Taliban, who are seizing control of large chunks of Afghanistan, especially near the Pakistani border, closer to their allies in the Pakistani Secret Service. Some in India now are openly calling for Indian troops to join the Americans in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, with hundreds of nuclear weapons, is undergoing a shortage of food, electricity and fuel, and a political melt-down that could result in either civil war or a larger conflagration. The Muslim fundamentalists and Al-Qaeda cells have seized control of Baluchistan, an oil rich province near Afghanistan.
Here’s a little history of Pakistan, supposedly George Bush Jr.’s biggest ally in the War on Terror. The Pakistani Secret Service nurtured Al Qaeda and numerous other major Muslim fundamentalist organizations and political parties in the region, using money from American spooks. The Americans were using the Pakistanis as their regional surrogates to build up the mujahadeen in the American sponsored Afghani war against the Russians. That same Pakistani Secret Service has been unable to find Osama Bin Laden, their old friend, who is said to be hiding in their country. And the Pakistan military machine is confronting India in Afghanistan in a kind of soft warfare that does not yet involve Indian troops, but has the potential to escalate hostilities between the two countries.
Meanwhile American troops are massing on the Afgahani side of the Pakistani border and the Afghan President calls Pakistan the true enemy in the War on Terror. Both US Presidential candidates would undoubtedly like to send more troops to Afghanistan, but Obama is more vocal about the notion by far. Obama feels that the Afghani-Pakistan border region, where Osama bin Laden is said to be hiding, is the true frontline in the War on Terror and that Iraq has been a huge tactical error in that war, a huge waste of blood and treasure.
In a nuclear war, both India and Pakistan would definitely lose major cities. A nuclear missile launched by either side can hit the enemy’s major cities in about fifteen minutes. Yet India is using Russian equipment to build a nuclear submarine based strike force for use in the event of a war with Pakistan. This insures that even if Pakistan indulges in a first strike, Pakistan will be destroyed by missiles launched from land and sea. However India already possesses the capability to launch a second strike that would destroy all major cities in Pakistan.
American Presidential candidates are debating which war they should fight, or which wars, I should say. Iraq or Afghanistan? Is Pakistan next? What about Iran? Real men go to Iran. “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”, Senator McCain sang, to the tune of the ancient Beach Boys tune “Barbara Ann”.
Israeli Hawks are openly bragging of preparations for a “first-strike” against Iran in the event that America passes on staging a war with its old Middle East Nemesis.
Over 1,000,000 Iraqis have died in the current war waged by America. This is all just business as usual in a world that is about to be utterly transformed in ways that are ultimately quite beyond the control of any world power, nation-state, political figure, or economic class. We are in a truly global crisis, and every one of us will be impacted. Every one of us has a part to play in helping to resolve the crisis. War is not the answer.
The world outside the Middle East is also full of bellicose behavior by dubious political strongmen with dreams of glory.
Gypsies are being arrested and deported from Italy. The Fascist salute is presented by throngs of Roman citizens to their new Mayor, a good ally of President Berlusconi.
Zimbabwe is having a bloody civil war, and it’s a humanitarian disaster. Sudan’s President is being charged with war crimes.
Millions upon millions die, and occasionally a political leader from a small Third World country is accused of war crimes, but war is very popular on planet Earth.
War is the default mode we have collectively chosen as human beings to resolve our conflicts, especially conflicts concerning resources, land, wealth, and power.
Let us recall that our modern civilization is a civilization based upon a war of all against all for control of inexpensive hydrocarbon resources, which are absolutely essential for both military conquest and economic development. The last hundred years has seen nearly every advanced nation in the world embark upon a futile attempt to create a global Empire that would yield very inexpensive commodities, new markets, and cheap labor.
England, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Japan, China, America, and Germany have all created international Empires during the Industrial Age. Many of these Empires long ago disappeared into the dustbin of history.All these countries have recently engaged in wars that were designed to enable the expansion of their influence, their wealth, their culture, their power and their ideology around the world.
For those of us in America, the dominant economic and military power for much of the last century, permanent war has been institutionalized in an increasingly repressive national security state. Over the last hundred years, America has fought World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Yugoslavian War, The First Iraq War, The Second Iraq War, and The Afghanistan War, and America is involved now in what its political elites from both political parties describe as a “never-ending” Global War on Terror, with not one or two but an infinite number of fronts, located in every country of the world, and in every city in America itself.
The American Empire reached a position of seemingly unchallengeable hegemony in the Nineties, and the entire world copied American financial markets, American politics, and American economic policies. This was called “globalization”.
America spends $1 trillion a year to arm, feed, equip, fuel and house its military machine and its far-flung network of hundreds of military bases in dozens of countries around the world. America spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined.
America’s military goal in the early Twenty-First Century is even more grandiose than ever before. America’s military intends to achieve unchallengeable global dominance on land, in the air, on the sea, and in outer space. Uncle Sam as “global policeman”. For the world’s own good. Kind of like John Wayne playing a rugged slow-talking, quick-trigger Sheriff in a shoot-em-up Sunday matinee.
For the American Empire, that implies the ability to fight several major wars at the same time in different parts of the world, all the while maintaining low-intensity conflicts and covert operations designed to shape governments in dozens of other countries simultaneously.
Part of the job of the global “policeman”, as Uncle Sam sees it, is to control the world’s oil supplies and markets. Every President from Carter to Bush II has explicitly stated that what happens in the global oilpatch constitutes a vital strategic interest of the United States, which America will protect with the full weight of its military forces.
The price of oil has long been set in American financial markets. People pay for oil with American dollars. American bases and aircraft carriers dot the landscape in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea Region, the two most vital oil and gas producing areas of the world. American spooks and their well-paid local proxies fund local political parties, politicians and religious leaders, then sell guns in the same area to American surrogates. Americans pay roughly $5 per gallon of gas they buy in federal taxes to pay for the American military presence in those key regions of the world.
The fact that the American dollar is the currency of choice in oil markets rests upon American control of global oil resources as much as upon the world’s perception of the American dollar as a desirable medium of exchange and a desirable form in which to store their wealth.The American dollar has become the global currency par excellence because the world perceived dollars as a monetary “safe haven”, guaranteed by the strongest and most trustworthy government in the world.
In addition, America provided the necessary institutional framework to make the dollar a desirable global currency. American-designed international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund provide safety and soundness oversight and regulation for governments around the world, shaping government policies of debtor nations who need emergency liquidity from the IMF and World Bank.
In every case, the IMF and World Bank recommend that debtor nations adopt industrial agriculture, neo-liberal economic policy, privatization of nationally owned utilities, companies and resources, shredding of the social safety net, and deregulation – especially financial deregulation. This set of prescriptions became known as “The Washington Consensus”, and is the conventional wisdom that has prevailed in Washington since Ronald Reagan, with only brief deviations from the true faith.
In addition to providing the world with a “global policeman”, a dollar based financial system, and a political and economic model based upon the principles of Reaganomics, America also agrees to open its borders to the rest of the world’s goods and services, to act as a kind of “buyer of last resort”. America in fact borrows money from manufacturing countries to pay for their products. This allows other countries to ramp up exports and rack up more export driven profits to recycle into dollar denominated Treasury bonds.
The rest of the world has agreed since the 1970s to lend America money in exchange for the privilege of using the dollar based global economic system.
Countries with huge cash reserves exceeding their debts are large global savers, like the Chinese and Japanese central banks. These foreign bankers and governments have for decades bought American treasury notes and hold dollars in their accounts, and this provides the liquidity America needs to keep its perpetual motion global financial casino, centered in Wall Street, churning out profits by lending out money at extremely low rates to both credit-worthy and high-risk borrowers alike, creating giant stock market, credit, and real estate bubbles one after another, bubbles made possible because the entire country is floating in a sea of cheap borrowed money. So people no longer save money to buy things, instead they borrow money against the value of assets inflating during the upside of the financial roller coaster ride we call the business cycle.
The system depends upon American military success, the value of the dollar and the current currency regime and continuing economic expansion in America to support the debt payments that constitute the base of the vast pyramid of dozens of trillions of dollars worth of paper and digital transactions that exist in cyberspace, tracked in financial markets around the world 24/7, 365 days a year.
Now all the foundations of American hegemony are being weakened and undermined by global tsunamis of change, and a global environmental crisis is simultaneously arising.
The Prime Minister of Iraq has asked the Americans to set a firm timetable for withdrawal of American forces. America is losing the war in Afghanistan, by its own admission, and both Presidential contenders want to send more troops into that troubled area. Meanwhile, the Indian government ponders its options. Will it send some troops too?Will combined India-US forces then find themselves launching strikes into Pakistan?
The entire Bretton Woods II currency regime that began under Richard Nixon in the 1970s, which we described above as the “Washington Consensus” is coming unraveled. The American and European Central Banks are following completely opposed policies instead of co-ordinating their activities. Financial markets have collapsed in several countries, including Vietnam and India, where shortages of food and energy are rampant. The dollar’s decline shows no signs of reversing course, and the Fed cannot raise interest rates to stop that decline without causing a stock market crash. Here at Satya Center, where we sell crystals, gems and mineral specimens, we have been told by Brazilian and Indian suppliers that we must now pay in Euros because they don’t want our deflated dollars.
Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the current financial markets meltdown nearly two years ago, and whom we here at Satya Center have followed for longer than that, has a new prediction. Roubini now predicts that over $2 trillion will be required to clean up the mess in the mortgage markets.
Roubini also predicts that hundreds of banks will fail, that all major Wall Street securities firms will fail or be merged into banks, since the Federal Reserve, which insures banks, is already being forced to offer Wall Street firms huge bailouts, and if they have to do more deals like the Bear Stearns $50 billion bailout, they will want to put the Wall Street firms inside their own regulatory framework, where they can best oversee the restructuring of the financial industry.
Millions of American homes are in foreclosure, the unemployment numbers are awful, and the entire global financial system is collapsing in slow motion. None of America’s political leaders will discuss the severity of the problem, because this is an election year, and both parties are implicated in this awful bi-partisan mess.
Bush’s policies over eight years have produced the most anemic economy since Herbert Hoover, but it was Bill Clinton who deregulated America’s banks and encouraged the creation of the mortgage backed securities industry.
America’s economic expansion is in the tank, and there is no sign of the next financial bubble on the horizon in this country. Sure commodities, grains, and oil and gas are rising rapidly in value, and there are signs of a speculative bubble emerging in this sector. But consumers have no money to spend. Hundreds of municipalities and maybe even entire states, like California and Florida, may go bankrupt and have to entirely rearrange their menu of public services, tax codes, hiring policies, and so forth.
There go those pension plans that baby boomers worked so hard to earn.
Look at the traders on Wall Street, and in Mumbai, and in London, and in Saigon, and in Hong Kong, and at terminals and iPhones all over the world, transacting 24/7. They have created the largest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, and thanks to its timing, perhaps the most scary and potentially disastrous crisis in the last several hundred years. Because it is a global crisis, and it is a crisis of all existing financial markets and institutions. Thus it is an ideological crisis and a crisis of public confidence. Only a new ideology and a new economic and political model can resolve the crisis.
So maybe deregulation wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe Reagonomics didn’t deliver heaven on earth. We’ve tried these ideas now for twenty-eight years and they have not worked.
Smart, rich people around the world know they have not worked. People in Latin America are creating their own international bank and lender of last resort. They have had enough of the IMF and World Bank.
Europe, China, India and America are all experiencing financial market meltdowns and economic slowdowns simultaneously after following neo-liberal Washington Consensus policies for years.
The European Central Bank is raising interest rates, sending the euro soaring while the Fed is keeping interest rates extremely low to help their friends on Wall Street and in the big banks. This keeps the dollar in a tailspin.
And this means that the euro is increasingly looking like a safer and sounder currency alternative to the dollar. All smart investors are diversified far beyond American stocks in American companies, and holdings in American treasury bonds and liquid dollars.
So someone needs to come up with an entirely new financial system, and convince everybody to back the dollar, because if the dollar loses out to the euro, then America goes bankrupt, essentially. The dollar becomes a peso currency and we owe the world our children for the next ten generations or so.
And the foundation for the new financial world order will be a bailout that makes all other bailouts look puny. A financial bailout that will help only the wealthy and no one else. A financial bailout that will cost more than the entire Iraq war, before it’s all over.
And it’s an emergency. And that money is spent. That dog has left the house.
So we are talking several trillion dollars of American taxpayers’ dollars to restore the global financial system to health in what will become the Mother of all financial bailouts!
[For more details see the article by Nouriel Roubini in our news roundup of links to cool stories called Top New Stories at SatyaCenter.com. Just scroll down until you find the link.]
View from the White House, 2009
So, looking forward into the next President’s early days in the White House in winter 2009, we can imagine that individual sitting at a table pondering the legacy of George Bush, Jr., surrounded by his advisors -- men and women who all employ large armies of bright thinkers hunched over blue screens filled with spreadsheets, which, when read in sequence, all terminate in a rather grim end result best captured in the color red, as in red ink, blood red, red as in STOP.
We are talking $1 trillion a year for current military expenditures. Both Presidential candidates are now zeroing in on Afghanistan and by extension, the Muslim fundamentalists in Pakistan. The Brookings Institution, a bi-partisan Washington think-tank estimates that it would take an army of 1,000,000 men to successfully invade and “pacify” Pakistan. That’s assuming these extremely hard-nosed belligerently nationalistic Pakistani generals, who control their country’s economy and political system completely, just sit on their hands and totally fail to use their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons during the proposed American war of pacification to restore “democracy” in Pakistan.
An expanded war in Afghanistan – and Pakistan – would cost much more in terms of money and troops than the Iraq war. Several times more money and several times more troops. America has neither blood nor treasure to spare.
So we need maybe a couple trillion extra there.
We need two trillion to bail out the financial giants who created the mortgage mess.
We need a couple trillion to repair our degraded infrastructure and restore the wetlands in Florida, California, and the Gulf Coast to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.
We need a trillion or so to deal with the fallout from the financial dominoes that fell since mid-2008. Now we know that hundreds of banks, all the big Wall Street firms, many S&Ls, many monoline bond insurance companies, and other little known behemoths of the financial services industry are all lined up for bail-outs and that unforgiving financial markets have discovered that without government assistance they will collapse.
Oh, yeah, there’s the trillion or so to rescue Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the losses on the real estate they are holding – some $50 trillion or so of paper on burst bubble real estate.
Where are we now? George Bush’s legacy. People want to buy and sell oil, crystals, gems, jewelry and other commodities in euros – not in dollars. And the dollar is still in free fall, so prices of anything imported and all prime commodities like oil, gas, grains, metals, are rising rapidly.
So unemployment is up and the recession is on.
And how many trillion extra did we need to pay George’s big war tab and fix the global economy?
I dunno, 5-8 trillion. It depends on if you invade Pakistan, and if you really want to any of that rebuilding stuff or saving birds stuff, right?
So, is the US broke yet? Is the dollar still the world’s preferred currency? Because if not, economists say we would be on the road to Argentina type economic collapse.
Oh, yeah, and those in the White House need to create the architecture for the new world monetary and financial system. And convince the world that it’s in everybody’s interest to pursue policies that will strengthen the dollar, even if those policies happen to hurt everybody outside America.
Didn’t Fed Governor Bernanke talk about how if he needed to he’d drop bales of dollar bills out of black helicopters until the cows come home? I’m paraphrasing and it was before he was appointed to his current post, but I recall that was the tenor of the statement. Perhaps he was a prescient man, and understood his future role in world history all too well.
So much for the United States.
The Environmental Crisis Ripens
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has reached a firm consensus that we are in a planetary, civilization-wide environmental emergency, but George Bush, Jr. presents the major obstacle to a truly global win-win approach to achieving the Post-Hydrocarbon Economy of the 21st century that will stabilize greenhouse gases, achieve significant energy conservation on a mass scale, and offer incentives for the creators of new energy-efficient designs for virtually everything in our lives, and incentives for those who develop new sources of clean, renewable alternative energy and the technologies that we need to harness these new types of energy.
For instance, we need to enable existing windmills and solar collectors across the country to plug into the grid, to increase our ability to generate renewable energy. Many windmills are far off the grid in remote areas, and many off-the-grid solar collectors are also under-utilized community resources.
This means pinpointing a renewable energy and energy conservation based environmental policy on every scale of governance: local, state, national, regional and global. This means clarifying the problems with such technologies as “heavy oil” extraction, nuclear power, and “clean coal”.
In her new article, “Clean Coal? Carbon Capture and Storage Is A False Solution” (http://www.satyacenter.com/carbon-capture-storage-false-sol) Satya Center’s Science and Society editor Dr. Mae-Wan Ho says that there is no such thing as “clean coal”.
“CCS is considered so risky on a large scale that industry is unwilling to fully invest in it without a framework that protects it from long-term liability,” explains Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.
The environment doesn’t really figure in the Presidential race in the United States very much, although Obama says he’ll put $50 billion into jumpstarting and nurturing the “green energy” sector, which could be anything from BP and nuclear power to coal fired electrical plants with untested and unreliable carbon sequestration technologies, to the renewables, and probably some of each, knowing Obama as little as I do.
McCain would be more like Bush, but he would “make Bush look like Gandhi” according to one Washington insider I spoke with recently. “And you probably thought Bush had a secret mean streak,” they said, laughing, but not in a ha-ha funny way.
So, no tree-hugging for McCain, no Kyoto protocol nonsense. Just more of the same. Denial. A Frank Sinatra environmental policy. Just roll the dice every day and see where the next mega-storm hits, the next tsunami, which rivers and aquifers run dry, which big cities will bethe next environmental victims sacrificed to the global hydrocarbon economy and free-market capitalism, or Reaganomics as it’s called. How many hundred thousand more will have to be evacuated into trailer camps, or seek refuge in their second homes elsewhere? Very macho. America may like that.
And no big push from McCain to conserve energy, create new renewable sources of energy, and so forth. New Green entrepreneurs could generate an estimated $20 trillion in new industries, new jobs, new wealth, over the next twenty years, according to a Silicon Valley venture capitalist Eric Janszen who wrote “The Next Bubble” in Harper’s Magazine. Just scroll down the page and you’ll find a link to the article in Top New Stories at SatyaCenter.com.
But without an activist President pushing the green technology, post-oil civilization paradigm that $20 trillion will go to companies in other countries. Good-bye American scientific dominance. Good-bye American cultural cool. Good-bye American dollar system. Good-bye American soldiers, they’re closing the bases, and you’re going home. To a Third World country with a big wall around it and you know it’s really hard to get out, and if you do, people in other countries don’t want you around.
Yeah, we need a President who is big on that “vision thing” that Bush Sr. thought to be so holier-than-thou over-intellectual pointy-head liberal and so forth.
We need a million visions for a totally different future. We need visions for paths that will get us there without suffering on a scale that may dwarf the horrors of the Twentieth Century.
We are in a global emergency. We in America are in a peculiarly American emergency as well. It seems as though the karma from America’s casual, brutal dominance by European settlers and America’s Imperial foreign policy may have brought about a perfect storm due to hit the ship of state about when the new President takes office.
And we are all in this together. It’s time to realize that the next President won’t save us. Neither party has a clue. But the world is ready for the greening of high tech design, energy medicine, organic agriculture, flower essences, political art, dance music, edible gardens, direct personal experience of mystical states of oneness, green architecture, personal responsibility, body work, new forms of community building & collective action and for the healing of ancient wounds that separate people into warring factions, nations, religions, and classes.
The sense of stomach-churning anxiety we feel is the taste in our mouths of the Earth repositioning itself on its own axis.
Festival of the Full Moon in Capricorn
Today is the Full Moon at 26.04’ Capricorn, which occurred at exactly 3:59 am EDT. We round up when doing Sabian symbols, so this Moon corresponds to the symbol for 27’ Capricorn, which is “Pilgrims climbing the steep steps leading to a mountain shrine.”
Like pilgrims we are on a journey of reverent discovery this full moon weekend.
We are at the end of an Age. We are on a pilgrimage to discover the New Age. And there is no map or road.
We live in the Old World, like Moses, and we are faced with a journey into a wilderness in search of a New World. Like the Grail Knights of the Round Table, we must go on a personal and collective quest for healing.
Like Lord Ram, we must perform our dharma, our worldly duties, to family and to society, even if that involves a great deal of sacrifice, self-denial, selfless service to others, and great personal danger. In so doing, we must remain always in touch with the Divine, for we must also fulfill our Higher Purpose, for that is our dharma too.
This is a capsule description of the Heroic Quest.
Our next decade will see a Global Vision Quest being enacted on this next stage of human history, and each of us will become enlightened to the extent that we maintain our integrity, our purity, our equilibrium and our connection to Spirit.
This next decade humans will partake of the qualities of heroes and of demons. Their best and worst qualities will be exaggerated by the quality of energy emanating from Shamballah. Our Guides and Teachers stand at the summit of human evolution and we are mountain climbers being challenged by nature to exceed our own limits in pursuit of our spiritual goals.
This is the good news! This full moon is a full moon of blessings bestowed upon humanity by the countless generations of enlightened Beings who have trod the planet Earth, and who have helped quicken the evolutionary spark within sluggish human hearts, illuminate the self-limiting rational mind, and strengthen the wayward human will forces.
In response to this outpouring of grace from the temple on the Summit, the sub-lunary sphere and its inhabitants, especially struggling humanity, are rising upward, ascending the steep and narrow pathway to the summits of human consciousness, where one finds the Source of all inspiration, the oracle who answers all queries, the bridge over troubled waters.
This is a time of adventure, a time of testing, a time when we are challenged to be resilient, resourceful and in tune with Divine Principles, especially the Ascension Virtues of love, gratitude and surrender. This weekend, the more we exercise the Ascension Virtues, the higher we will travel toward the summit where lies the timeless temple of those who have known the Golden Dawn of Unity consciousness.
This is the Full Moon known in India as “Guru Purnima”. This High Holy Day is dedicated first to Ved Vyas, Guru of the Hindu Dharma, classifier of the Vedas, who wrote eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharata.
The Sanskrit root "Gu" means darkness or ignorance. "Ru" denotes light, and hence represents the remover of darkness. Therefore one who removes the darkness of our ignorance is a Guru. One who opens our eyes, and makes the blind to see, as Christ did, is our Guru. One who enlightens us and brings us to the doorway of Unity consciousness, is our Guru. Only that Guide or Teacher who removes our ultimate darkness, known as Maya, and who inspires and guides us on to the path of God-realization is the true Guru.
Let us all unite tonight and over the weekend in our prayers and meditations, and let us thank our Guides and Teachers for all their help and guidance and protection over the years.
Let us make offerings to our Guru if we have one. Let us make offerings to our Ascended Master Guides and Teachers and to the Guru within.
Let us be joyous and strong and above all let us join together in asking Guru, Guides and Teachers to grant us the grace and guidance we need to navigate troubled waters, the strength to climb our personal and collective mountains of karma, the wisdom to find a path to the light, for the greatest and highest good of all concerned, and a loving open heart that shares with everyone and denies no one the waters of life, a sip of the Grail cup, a sprinkling of the holy ashes, a sight of the Guru’s feet.
May all this and more be yours, and may you each receive the grace and guidance you require to fulfill your loftiest spiritual ambitions. Much love and light this Full Moon weekend. May you have visions of new paths, new energy, health, abundance, and peace of mind.
Top New Stories at SatyaCenter.com
Investigative journalist, poet, professor and author Peter Dale Scott has been a contributor to Satya Center for a long time. His latest article, entitled “9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics” (http://www.satyacenter.com/9-11-unanswered-questions), raises some disturbing questions about the Fall of the Twin Towers.
“The unthinkable — that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians — has become not only thinkable but commonplace in the last century,” Professor Scott argues. “Is the American ‘deep state’ somehow implicated with al-Qaeda in the atrocity of 9/11?”
“A seminal example was in French Algeria, where dissident elements of the French armed forces, resisting General de Gaulle's plans for Algerian independence, organized as the Secret Army Organization and bombed civilians indiscriminately, with targets including hospitals and schools,” Scott explains. “[Russian] Critics like Alexander Litvinenko, who was subsequently murdered in London in November 2006, have charged that the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings around Moscow, attributed to Chechen separatists, were in fact the work of the Russian secret service (FSB).”
“We must see that 9/11, as an unexplained or deep event nudging us away from constitutional normalcy and into an unnecessary permanent state of war, is not unprecedented,” Scott continues. “It is one of a series of similar unexplained events, all of which have had similar results, reaching back to the second Tonkin Gulf incident, the Kennedy assassination, even the misremembered outset of the Korean War.”
Professor Scott takes a historical view of world politics, and has a tremendous insight into the workings of the underworld of spooks, gun-runners, drug smugglers and politicians who do the dirty work of the national security state, from buying and selling weapons on the black market to selling drugs to pay for illegal guerrilla operations in foreign countries.
You’ll find this article totally eye-opening.
“In short,” concludes Professor Scott, “we are living in an on-going state of emergency whose exact limits are unknown, on the basis of a controversial deep event — 9/11 — that is still largely a mystery. Without endorsing the notion that a coup d'état has occurred, I would categorically assert that a radically hegemonic mindset, located primarily in Vice-President Cheney's office, is currently using 9/11, the war on terror, and secret COG rules to assert prerogative limitations on the checks and balances of the U.S. constitution, without any significant challenge from a compliant Congress and media.”
“This raises the question whether the public, about to vote in the 2008 election, can exercise the constitutional restraints that Congress and the media have failed to supply,” says Scott. “The answer, I submit, lies in what I would call Internet Politics, the mobilization of nationwide pressures on candidates in the next election through internet coordination.”
“There is I believe a latent majority of Americans who could agree to ask all candidates to:
a) review and revise the Military Commissions Act of 2006, to unequivocally restore habeas corpus, within the limitations of the U.S. Constitution, Article One, Section 9;
b) unequivocally outlaw torture;
c) review and restrict the provisions for warrantless electronic surveillance in the Protect America Act of 2007.
d) vote for The American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 (H.R. 3835), which addresses these and other issues. This bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul on October 15, 2007, and is supported by both the Republican American Freedom Agenda, and the Democratic American Freedom Campaign.”
“Those in the 9/11truth movement could ask candidates to take two further steps:
e) insist on the right of the Homeland Security Committees in Congress to review the COG appendices to National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD)-51;
f) support a law to force all government agencies to collaborate with the National Archives, in fulfillment of the 9/11 Commission's commitment to release its supporting records to the public in 2009.
“But social thought is socially fashioned. For it to be effective it must be mobilized, and become more than a chorus of bloggers croaking from our backwater lilypads in the blogomarsh,” Scott continues. “Clearly it would take a strenuous concerted effort to create or persuade a movement, such as MoveOn, to take on all these issues.”
“Is it possible that some organization can be persuaded to accept this challenge, and take the first steps in mobilizing such a force?”
Satya Center contributor Dr. Mae-Wan Ho is an internationally recognized environmental activist, biologist, and author who is in the forefront of the movement to stop the proliferation of genetically modified foods.
In her new article, “Clean Coal? Carbon Capture and Storage is a False Solution” (http://www.satyacenter.com/carbon-capture-storage-false-sol), Dr. Ho demolishes the myth of clean coal with a strong dose of basic science.
“CCS is considered so risky on a large scale that industry is unwilling to fully invest in it without a framework that protects it from long-term liability,” Dr. Ho explains.
“There are grave doubts over the efficacy, economic viability, and safety of CCS, especially over its ability to meet the world’s energy needs while mitigating climate change,” Dr. Ho says. “As Greenpeace International’s report, ‘False Hope, Why carbon capture and storage won’t save the climate’ charges, the technology is largely unproven and will not be ready in time to save the climate.”
Satya Center contributer Palagummi Sainath is the rural affairs editor of “The Hindu” newspaper, one of India’s most influential publications, and the recipient of several international awards for his work publicizing the plight of farmers in India who are committing suicide in their fields by the thousands, and of the systematic discrimination against “dalits” or untouchables.
In his new article, “The Corporate Grip on Food Tightens” (http://www.satyacenter.com/corporate-control-global-food ), Sainath explains how the current global food shortage, the continued rise of genetically modified foods, the diversion of grains to the production of ethanol, the institutionalization of industrial agricultural practices, and the pressure by governments to accommodate the Monsantos of the world are combining to deliver greater and greater profits to the international corporate giants who are responsible for creating our current dysfunctional, oil-guzzling, unsustainable global food system, which wants every farmer in the world to produce export crops to be sent at vast expense, using environmentally lethal hydrocarbon technologies such as planes and trucks, to the far corners of the earth.
In India, where there are food shortages, power outages and now, recently, a financial markets collapse, Sainath explains that “We have dismantled vital parts of our agriculture and with it, the livelihoods of millions. At a time when debates in India highlight the un-viability of corporate agriculture, giant corporations are betting the opposite. For them, at least, the current food crisis holds the promise of an undying source of super profit.”
It’s almost blueberry season here in the Hudson Valley. And it’s time to harvest herbs from our huge terraced hillside herb garden! Our resident herbal wise woman, Satya Center Editor Jane Sherry has been filling the kitchen with jars of oil stuffed with herbal simples – infusions that will be alchemically transformed over time into the basic ingredients of the Hudson Valley pharmacopeia. Jane’s essay entitled “Plant Medicine” (http://www.satyacenter.com/plant-medicine) is good summer reading especially during this “Hay Moon”.
“Flowers and seeds, stems and leaves, roots and fruits feed us and clothe us, house and protect us, soothe our fevers and our fears and form the basis of our rituals and celebrations,” Jane reminds us. “Plant medicine has helped women and men to conceive life, to nurture life, and to die with grace and dignity.”
Jane’s article includes links to resources on plant medicine, sustainable agriculture, farms and gardens and global visionaries with good news to share.
This month Jane also offers our readers a cool “Beet Soup Recipe” (http://www.satyacenter.com/beet-soup) and a zesty “Roasted Beet and Pecan Salad” (http://www.satyacenter.com/roast-beet-and-pecan-salad) which are both perfect for hot summer days.
In addition, Satya Center contributor, author and wise woman herbalist Susun Weed’s new multi-page article, “Herbal Pharmacy” (http://www.satyacenter.com/herbal-pharmacy) is like a beginner’s seminar in the ancient lore of herbal apothecary from one of the great foragers of the American Northeast.
“Even one day's work in field, forest, and kitchen can provide you with many years' worth of medicines,” Susun says. “When you make your own, you know for sure what's in it, where it came from, when and how it was harvested, and how fresh and potent it is.”
In this comprehensive article, Susun gives advice on buying herbs, gathering herbs in the wild, picking and drying herbs, making infusions and tinctures, and on making medicine by the spoonful.
Read the latest news about Satya Center contributor Margaret Trost, and her What If? Foundation (http://www.satyacenter.com/what-if-foundation-summer-2008) Margaret and her co-workers are feeding hungry children and keeping hope alive in famine-stricken Haiti.
“Since my last newsletter, there has been no change in the near-famine conditions in Haiti,” Margaret tells us. “Food prices remain at an all time high, so most Haitians struggle to eat every day. Thankfully, the What If? Foundation funded food program at St. Clare's Church in Port-au-Prince is running smoothly, offering an ‘islet in the middle of the ocean’ for 1,000 children every Monday - Friday.”
To donate to the What If? Foundation, make checks out to the What If? Foundation and mail them to:1563 Solano Ave., #192, Berkeley, CA94707. Or go to the What If? website (http://www.whatiffoundation.org/) to make a donation there.
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[Ed. Note: These are excerpts from lengthy news stories that provide the analytical context, the intellectual framework, the historical analysis, that is so completely missing from most so-called news in the mainstream media. If you are interested in the topic, click on the link provided to read more. . .]
Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor
Bloomberg TV Interview: Worst Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression and Worst U.S. Recession in Decades
Nouriel Roubini | Jul 15, 2008
I was on Bloomberg TV this morning being interviewed about financial markets, the economy and the upcoming testimony by Bernanke. As I put it in the interview: ``This is a systemic financial crisis, there is no end to it,'' Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics and international business at New York University, told Bloomberg Television. ``It's a vicious circle between a contracting economy and greater credit and financial losses feeding on the economy.''
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my views. But here is a summary and significant extended update of my views that this will turn out to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the worst US recession in decades…
* This is by far the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression
* Hundreds of small banks with massive exposure to real estate (the average small bank has 67% of its assets in real estate) will go bust
* Dozens of large regional/national banks (a’ la IndyMac) are also bankrupt given their extreme exposure to real estate and will also go bust
* Some major money center banks are also semi-insolvent and while they are deemed too big to fail their rescue with FDIC money will be extremely costly.
* In a few years time there will be no major independent broker dealers as their business model (securitization, slice & dice and transfer of toxic credit risk and piling fees upon fees rather than earning income from holding credit risk) is bust and the risk of a bank-like run on their very short term liquid liabilities is a fundamental flaw in their structure (i.e. the four remaining U.S. big brokers dealers will either go bust or will have to be merged with traditional commercial banks). Firms that borrow liquid and short, highly leverage themselves and lend in longer term and illiquid ways (i.e. most of the shadow banking system) cannot survive without formal deposit insurance and formal permanent lender of last resort support from the central bank..
The Death of Reaganomics
Thursday 10 July 2008
by: E.J. Dionne, Truthdig.com
The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.
Since the Reagan years, free-market cliches have passed for sophisticated economic analysis. But in the current crisis, these ideas are falling, one by one, as even conservatives recognize that capitalism is ailing.
You know the talking points: Regulation is the problem and deregulation is the solution. The distribution of income and wealth doesn't matter. Providing incentives for the investors of capital to "grow the pie" is the only policy that counts. Free trade produces well-distributed economic growth, and any dissent from this orthodoxy is "protectionism."
The old script is in rewrite. "We are in a worldwide crisis now because of excessive deregulation," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview.
He notes that in 1999 when Congress replaced the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act with a looser set of banking rules, "we let investment banks get into a much wider range of activities without regulation." This helped create the subprime mortgage mess and the cascading calamity in banking.
While Frank is a liberal, the same cannot be said of Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Yet in a speech on Tuesday, Bernanke sounded like a born-again New Dealer in calling for "a more robust framework for the prudential supervision of investment banks and other large securities dealers."
Bernanke said the Fed needed more authority to get inside "the structure and workings of financial markets" because "recent experience has clearly illustrated the importance, for the purpose of promoting financial stability, of having detailed information about money markets and the activities of borrowers and lenders in those markets." Sure sounds like Big Government to me.
. . . "Free trade has increased wealth, but it's been monopolized by a very small number of people," Frank said. The coming debate will focus not on shutting globalization down but rather on managing its effects with an eye toward the interests of "the most vulnerable people in the country."
In the presidential campaign so far, John McCain has been clinging to the old economic orthodoxy while Barack Obama has proposed a modestly more active role for government. But the economic assumptions are changing faster than the rhetoric of the campaign. "Reality has broken in," says Frank.
And none too soon.
The Next Bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow’s big crash: The Green Technology Industry Explosion
2/08 By Eric Janszen
A financial bubble is a market aberration manufactured by government, finance, and industry, a shared speculative hallucination and then a crash, followed by depression. Bubbles were once very rare—one every hundred years or so was enough to motivate politicians, bearing the post-bubble ire of their newly destitute citizenry, to enact legislation that would prevent subsequent occurrences. After the dust settled from the 1720 crash of the South Sea Bubble, for instance, British Parliament passed the Bubble Act to forbid “raising or pretending to raise a transferable stock.” For a century this law did much to prevent the formation of new speculative swellings. Nowadays we barely pause between such bouts of insanity. The dot-com crash of the early 2000s should have been followed by decades of soul-searching; instead, even before the old bubble had fully deflated, a new mania began to take hold on the foundation of our ong-standing American faith that the wide expansion of home ownership can produce social harmony and national economic well-being. Spurred by the actions of the Federal Reserve, financed by exotic credit derivatives and debt securitiztion, an already massive real estate sales-and-marketing program expanded to include the desperate issuance of mortgages to the poor and feckless, compounding their troubles and ours.
. . . Our economy is in serious trouble. Both the production-consumption sector and the FIRE sector know that a debt-deflation Armageddon is nigh, and both are praying for a timely miracle, a new bubble to keep the economy from slipping into a depression. We have learned that the industry in any given bubble must support hundreds or thousands of separate firms financed by not billions but trillions of dollars in new securities that Wall Street will create and sell. Like housing in the late 1990s, this sector of the economy must already be formed and growing even as the previous bubble deflates. For those investing in that sector, legislation guaranteeing favorable tax treatment, along with other protections and advantages for investors, should already be in place or under review. Finally, the industry must be popular, its name on the lips of government policymakers and journalists. It should be familiar to those who watch television news or read newspapers.
. . . There is one industry that fits the bill: alternative energy, the development of more energy-efficient products, along with viable alternatives to oil, including wind, solar, and geothermal power, along with the use of nuclear energy to produce sustainable oil substitutes, such as liquefied hydrogen from water. Indeed, the next bubble is already being branded. Wired magazine, returning to its roots in boosterism, put ethanol on the cover of its October 2007 issue, advising its readers to forget oil; NBC had a “Green Week” in November 2007, with themed shows beating away at an ecological message and Al Gore making a guest appearance on the sitcom 30 Rock. Improbably, Gore threatens to become the poster boy for the new new new economy: he has joined the legendary venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which assisted at the births of Amazon.com and Google, to oversee the “climate change solutions group,” thus providing a massive dose of Nobel Prize–winning credibility that will be most useful when its first alternative-energy investments are taken public before a credulous mob. Other ventures—Lazard Capital Markets, Generation Investment Management, Nth Power, EnerTech Capital, and Battery Ventures—are funding an array of startups working on improvements to solar cells, to biofuels production, to batteries, to “energy management” software, and so on.
A generational challenge to repower America
Created Jul 17 2008 - 20:43 Jul 17 2008 By Al Gore
Ladies and gentlemen: There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more - if more should be required - the future of human civilization is at stake.
I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly.The climate crisis, in particular, is getting a lot worse - much more quickly than predicted.
Published on Thursday, July 17, 2008 by TruthDig.com
Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid
by Amy Goodman
While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power.
Sen. John McCain has called for 100 new nuclear power plants. Sen. Barack Obama, in a July 2007 Democratic candidate debate, answered a pro-nuclear power audience member, “I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix.” Among Obama’s top contributors are executives of Exelon Corp., a leading nuclear power operator in the nation. Just this week, Exelon released a new plan, called “Exelon 2020: A Low-Carbon Roadmap.” The nuclear power industry sees global warming as a golden opportunity to sell its insanely expensive and dangerous power plants.
But nuclear power is not a solution to climate change — rather, it causes problems. Amory Lovins is the co-founder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. He makes simple, powerful points against nuclear: “The nuclear revival that we often hear about is not actually happening. It is a very carefully fabricated illusion … there are no buyers. Wall Street is not putting a penny of private capital into the industry, despite 100-plus percent subsidies.” He adds: “Basically, we can have as many nuclear plants as Congress can force the taxpayers to pay for. But you won’t get any in a market economy.”
Oil Trading's Powerful "Dark Markets"
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2008(CBS) As gas prices skyrocket, attention has turned to public "pits," where brokers trade "oil futures" - the right to buy or sell crude oil at a specific price, on a future date.
But far away from the hue and cry, hundreds of millions of barrels of oil futures contracts are traded electronically every day, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.
More than 30 percent, experts say, exchanged in so-called "dark markets," the exact size and scope unknown to U.S. regulators."If you can trade out of the sight of U.S. regulators, you can manipulate these markets," said Michael Greenberger, a former top staffer at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, which regulates the trading of commodities like oil in this country.He recently told Congress that speculation is placing a huge premium on the price of oil.
"How much per barrel?" Keteyian asked. "Well, there have been various estimates - anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent," Greenberger said. "People can actually corner the market and drive up the price," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. "When there is no policeman on the beat, you know that crime can go up."
July 12 / 13, 2008
Going to the RootsFixing a Broken Agriculture
By STAN COX
The ecological destruction in progress all around us grows out of the human economy’s unvarying tendency to overproduce what is profitable while at the same time underproducing what is needed.
There is no better example of that than American agriculture.
Efforts to bring agriculture into line with ecological reality fall into two classes. Some efforts can be started today and will help get humanity through mid-century. Others (which also must be accelerated, and soon) will take longer to complete but will be necessary to sustain agriculture to the end of the century and beyond.
Researchers in organic and sustainable agriculture research have, out of necessity, attempted to mitigate the impact of agriculture by improving the “software”: the application of experience, knowledge, techniques, and natural materials to existing annual crops.
But those annual plant species require not only annual sowing of seed but also large inputs of energy and nutrients to be provided by the humans who nurse them through each season.
They represent a kind of dysfunctional “hardware” that limits what can be achieved with even the best agricultural “software.” If humans are to have any good prospects well beyond this century, more than 90 percent of the planet's landscapes must be returned to diverse, perennial vegetation, and that entails the replacement of annual grain monocultures with polycultures of perennial grains and oilseeds. With deep, permanent root structures, those new constellations of plants, like natural plant communities, would foster vast, diverse communities of soil organisms that can micromanage ecological processes – processes we currently attempts to macro-manage with big, blunt instruments like machinery, chemicals, or truckloads of manure and mulch.
By developing perennial grain crops, plant breeders could help dramatically enlarge that portion of the agricultural landscape that is kept intact by perennial roots. With a few very small-scale exceptions, no perennial cereal, pulse, or oilseed crops currently exist.
Through a well-coordinated, long-term plant breeding effort, that hole in humanity’s crop inventory can be filled.
Perennial grain crops are being developed through plant breeding by research groups in the United States, Australia, and China. My colleague Lee DeHaan has shown how plant breeding in a wide range of seed-producing species and inter-species hybrids can increase seed yield while maintaining perenniality. Genetic selection in the field (no biotechnology required) has the potential to generate perennial grain crops with acceptable yields, if it is applied to agronomic traits and perennial growth habit simultaneously. This is suggested by four characteristics of perennial plants that differentiate them from annuals and provide them with extra resources that can be re-allocated to grain production:
* Better access to resources and a longer growing season,
* More conservative use of nutrients,
* Generally higher biomass production both above- and below-ground, and
* Sustainable production on marginal lands
Meditation Moment: The nature of pollution
"Scientists are joining forces worldwide to alert public opinion
to the risks run by humanity as a result of their pollution of
the air, the water and the earth.
But does anyone stop to consider that asphyxiating fumes, gas escapes and toxic products spread in the psychic world too?
Many present-day illnesses are due not only to the pollution of air, water and food but to psychic pollution.
If the psychic atmosphere we are immersed in were not so polluted, it would be easy to neutralize all external poisons.
The ill is first and foremost inside. When you feel strong inside and in harmony with yourself and others, it’s as if currents of energy were running through you, throwing off impurities – even on the physical plane – and your organism succeeds in defending itself better. "
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov