September Full Moon Eclipse in Pisces

By Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry on Aug 31, 2006

Working Together During The Great Transition

Welcome to the August 31,2006 edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.

September is the month of the Barley Moon, also known as the Corn Moon. Here in the HudsonValley, the corn stands taller than my head in the field next to our house, and as I drive around the area, my car is often overtopped by the surrounding corn tassels, especially when I dip into the “hollers” between the hills.

On the upcoming Full Moon, Thursday, September 7, 2006, at 2:52 EDT, we will experience a partial lunar eclipse, occurring at 15 degrees, 1 minute of Pisces.

Each month, when the moon lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, the Sun fully illuminates the lunar disk, which then appears round and “full” to observers on Earth.

Most months, the moon’s orbit passes to the north or south of the Earth’s shadow during the “full moon” phase, because of the tilt of the moon’s orbit around the Earth relative to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

When a lunar eclipse occurs, the earth is passing directly between the Sun and the Moon. During an eclipse the alignment is more or less perfect and the moon is covered for an hour or more by the shadow of the earth.

Here on Earth, the Full Moon disappears, either partially or completely, during an eclipse, and to clairvoyant Earthly observers this is perceived as a withholding of the cosmic energy associated with the moon.

Our word “eclipse” comes from the classic Greek word “Ekleipsis”, which means failure. “Ekleipsis” is a derivative of“ekleipen” meaning“to no longer appear or be present”.

To the Greek astronomers and astrologers, the moon was deified as the Virgin hunting goddess Artemis. In Ephesus she was called “Dea Anna”, "many-breasted", and was the patroness of nurturing, fertility, and birth.

To Greek astrologers, a lunar eclipse represented an evil omen -- the disappearance of the energy of the nurturing Mother Goddess and a harbinger of her potential punishment.

At the time of a lunar eclipse in 413 B.C., Athenian generals foresaw disaster and delayed their planned retreat from the Sicilian city of Syracuse, where they had fought for two years in the Peloponnesian War.

The Syracusans seized this opportunity to break the siege, contributing — some believe — to the fall of Greek civilization.

To the Ancient Vedic seers and to modern Hindu astrologers, the Sun is the controller of the cosmic tides, but the moon acts as the controller of life on Earth, and thus the lunar eclipse represents a two-fold danger: a time of chaos and a time when the normal flow of Universal Life Force energy from the cosmos into Earthly life is disrupted.Thus a lunar eclipse is a most inauspicious time, and efforts are taken to avoid travel, important tasks, even going outside at that time.

The Sabian symbol for this September Full Moon Eclipse at 15˚ Pisces is “An officer instructing his men before a simulated assault under a barrage of live shells”.

The officer symbolizes the Higher Self and his men symbolize the lower mind, the personality, the egoistic will, the emotions, and the physical vehicle of the individual aspirant.

On an individual basis, this Full Moon Eclipse emphasizes the need for each of us to turn within, to subordinate our egoistic will to the Higher Purpose we each have incarnated to fulfill, and to the Divine Guidance available to us through our connection to Higher Mind.

Self-sacrifice, discipline, endurance, courage and fortitude are the requisite virtues associated with this moment of testing and learning.

On the level of the collective consciousness, this symbol points directly to current issues of war and peace and climate change, and the need for collective co-operation in the face of tremendous danger and difficulties threatening the very existence of our civilization.

A modern observer could easily be forgiven for following in the footsteps of the ancient Athenians, viewing this September lunar eclipse as a foreboding omen during a time of rising global tensions.

After all, this last month has seen tremendous political, military and climactic upheavals escalating around the world.

An uneasy and fragile truce has temporarily halted the war in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon, but Israeli offensives in the Gaza Strip continue, and Israeli politicians and military leaders are now threatening to widen the war to include Syria, and Iran.

Iran and the United States continue their escalating war of words and the United Nations appears relatively ineffective as a peacemaker in a region where a widening war could escalate into a true war of civilizations while simultaneously disrupting global oil supplies and plunging the global economy into chaos.

Mexico is on the brink of civil war. Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the left wing PRD, contends that the election was stolen from him by right wing candidate Felipe Calderon, and millions of people have taken to the streets throughout the country. In Oaxaca, the subsequent gubernatorial election has resulted in a mass strike and street protest by the teacher’s unions and other progressive groups who contend that another stolen election resulted in the ascendancy of the right wing candidate.

Although Mexico’s top electoral courts reject Obrador’s claims, Obrador says that on September 16, the day of the presidential inauguration, Mexico will have “two presidents”.

In Pakistan, against the orders of the country’s President, Perez Musharraf, the army has assassinated the head of one of the country’s foremost Islamist leaders, whose Balochistan home base is both the site of Pakistan’s primary oilfields and a well-known refuge for international Islamic terrorist groups. Islamic groups have taken to the streets throughout the country and there is renewed talk of civil insurrection.

A civil war in Pakistan would almost assuredly lead to the ascendancy of hard-line Islamic groups, no matter who became the titular President of the country, and would create extreme tensions between India and Pakistan, who stand toe to toe in a prolonged cold war, armed with nuclear weapons.

In China, prolonged drought has left millions without water and compromised the year’s rice harvest. In India, because of monsoon flooding, “tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Barmer, a sprawling district that borders Pakistan and is known for its sand dunes and widely spread villages,” according to Reuters Environmental News Service.“Dozens of people are missing.”

"The desert looks like a sea. There is no place where one can walk," Captain Saurabh Modi, an army officer who is involved in relief operations in Barmer, told Reuters by telephone.

We must all consider the current multiple global crises as a “simulated assault”, a “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming “long emergency” triggered by peak oil, global warming, economic upheaval, social conflicts pitting the haves against the have-nots, and potential world resource wars.

Lightworkers, meditators, and spiritual seekers are called upon to join together with their community at this time of global testing in group efforts to raise humanity’s consciousness toward the light.

Lightworkers are called upon to become active in their communities. Get to know your neighbors & find out what their concerns are for the future & perhaps share your ideas about what positive steps can be taken to ease the transition in this time of great transformation.

We can all help to implement and support local food production and distribution. We can help with the creation of community based plans to curb runaway development and emissions pollution. We can get to know our neighbors, car pool, reduce our energy footprint, and encourage others to do the same.

Lightworkers are called upon to volunteer in local medical facilities to provide much-needed alternative and complementary medicine programs. Let your elderly or ill neighbors know that you are available if they have an emergency or simply need company.

The good news is that the long-awaited transition to a New Age civilization has finally arrived. This Full Moon Eclipse is only one of several astrological signatures spelling global transformation, written across the late summer night skies for all with eyes to see to understand.

One example is the Saturn-Neptune opposition on August 31, the end of a 16 year cycle that began in 1989, pitting the universalizing forces of the watery giant Neptune against the compartmentalizing structures of the ringed planet Saturn. This opposition will continue to operate throughout this year and the entirety of 2007.

On an individual level, Lightworkers are finding that the structures that have underpinned their security, their relationships, and their day to day routines are being subtly – and not so subtly – undermined by a slow tidal wave of irresistible change.

The walls we have erected between ourselves and our family members, neighbors, business associates, and communities are being weakened and dissolved through the action of Neptune, which is the stronger of the two planets.

This is an alchemical moment in world history. “Solve et coagula”, say the alchemists. Dissolve and solidify. Disassemble, transform and recreate. This alchemical technique is a quintessential description of the action of the Neptune/Saturn opposition.

Saturn represents the individual’s personality structures, rooted in karma and group consciousness, which divide us one from another, while Neptune represents the universal solvent, unity consciousness, which brings us together in the great family of humanity, at one with the web of life on planet Earth and the cosmic forces sustaining our world.

On a social, or collective level, Saturn represents the political and economic leaders of the world, whose actions, rooted in self-interest and power politics, are creatingdeadly conflict, environmental destruction and economic exploitation everywhere on Earth.

Saturnian forces of dominance and control are being undermined around the world by sea changes in the social, economic, political and environmental arenas in which global elites exercise their power.

Here in America, this was expressed most visibly one year ago during Hurricane Katrina, when we learned that the American government was unable to protect the citizens and infrastructure of the most important port city in the country, and had no desire to do so.

We learned that rampant racism and idiotic free market ideology impelled all levels of government to simply abandon hundreds of thousands of people to their own devices during this devastating event, and then simply scatter the most vulnerable New Orleanians across the country with nothing more than a bus ticket and a few bucks as their recompense for an entire community and way of life lost forever.

Saturnian structures designed to control the flow of the Mississippi River and the impact of tropical storms upon the Crescent City were totally undermined by the Neptunian storm surge of Katrina. Saturnian political and economic structures designed to bring maximum advantage to the upper classes and to control the lower classes, keeping them out of sight and out of mind, failed entirely.

The whole world watched as American myths were washed away by the flood tide. The myth of American technological invincibility was eroded by a growing awareness that the levees around New Orleans were a pathetic shadow of the engineering marvels used in The Netherlands to protect that country from an encroaching sea. The myth of American social justice and American racial equality was left in tatters by the aftermath of the storm. The myth that the American political system exists to serve the people was destroyed.

Yet, unfortunately, America’s elites have failed completely to learn the Neptunian lessons of Katrina. It is worthwhile to remember these lessons one year later. Now we know that the levees surrounding New Orleans should have been built several feet higher, and that their construction was shoddy and sub-par. And now the government is rebuilding those same levees to the same deficient specifications, putting the lives of all those remaining in the Crescent City in danger.

Now more than ever, it’s worth reading the feature story I wrote at the time of the great storm, which discusses the history and importance of New Orleans, and details the multiple failures of government officials in Washington, Baton Rouge and in New Orleans itself. Read “The New New Deal: Learning the Lessons of Katrina to find out what really caused the debacle and what America should have learned from this disaster – but didn’t.

America’s leaders should have learned the importance of unity, and community. We should have learned that the wealthy and the privileged in our society cannot enjoy happiness and a good quality of life unless the entire society is protected and empowered to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We should have learned that in the face of global warming and environmental disaster no one lives in a bubble of privilege.

We should have learned that technological fixes to environmental problems which are designed to minimize social costs, and thus taxes, and to maximize private profits, are doomed to abject failure.

We should have learned that racism is ugly, immoral and totally unacceptable. We should have learned that our other great American coastal cities are endangered by the “American way of life” that involves massive over-consumption of fossil fuels, massive over-building of coastal shores, and massive destruction of coastal wetlands.

Katrina should have been a wake-up call, triggering a nationwide movement to demand environmental, social, economic and political reform.Unfortunately, the result has been simply a return to business as usual.

But Katrina, the war in the Middle East, global warming, stolen elections and other global dramas currently in the news, are symptoms of a long slow tidal wave of global change undermining the institutions of wealth and power in this country and others around the world.

Business as usual cannot continue – and will not continue – as these multiple crises intensify over the coming weeks, months, and years.

Astrologers, environmentalists, social activists and Lightworkers are all in agreement. We are now on the cusp of fundamental transformations in every area of our lives.

The good news is that all these over-arching crises are simply the birth pangs of a new civilization. We are asked to remain calm and centered, and to be prepared to act as the midwives of the new global culture that will rise from the remains of our present mosaic of social systems.

We are in the time of the “simulated assault” with “live ammunition”, and we must unite and prepare for the coming battle. We are all in this together. In our unity we will find the strength to transform this threatening transition into a time of opportunity and spiritual evolution.

For me, this means that it’s time to reach out lovingly to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and clients to build stronger bonds of mutual assistance. It’s time for me to forgive superficial slights and misunderstandings, and restore positive relations with all those important connections.

It’s time for us all to strengthen one another, help one another, heal one another, love one another, inspire one another, and protect one another’s best interests during this time of upheaval.

The time of the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse opens a very special doorway into spiritual worlds, while presenting significant challenges to conducting business as usual. It is vitally important for Lightworkers to take this golden opportunity to perform their spiritual practices, meditation and prayer, during this Eclipse period. The power of the practices will be greatly enhanced during the Eclipse period when two or more Lightworkers gather together in Unity with the Divine to perform their practices. So gather with those walking the path of Light with you and celebrate the Great Transformation taking place around the world.

Jane and I offer this special prayer for all our readers: May this month find you renewing your loving connection to family, friends, neighbors and community in a spirit of mutual interdependence and creativity. May you find your heart opening, your courage renewed and your determination to be a focus of Eternal Light amplified beyond what you have yet experienced in this lifetime. And may you receive the grace and guidance necessary to achieve your loftiest spiritual goals.

Top Satya Center Stories of the Week

Peacemaker, author and spiritual activist Palden Jenkins reports from Glastonbury, England on “The New Middle East, after his recent visit to the war-torn region.

“The talk is of a new Middle East,” says Palden. “But what new Middle East? And whose new Middle East? A Middle East designed in Washington DC or, for that matter, Teheran, built to suit the needs of foreigners? Or a Middle East evolved by the locals, built to suit their needs?”


“Much of the thinking on the Middle East is predicated on the past, or on issues with more past than future, such as the oil and arms trades, the Holocaust, the holy books, foreign interests, who was here first or who has the right to return. But this is no new Middle East - it is a continuation of the old, ridden with problems we all know so well, or new complexities leading out of them.”


“If we're looking for a genuinely new Middle East, two things help. We need to look at what is nascent and new there. And we need to look realistically at the further future - 2050 or 2080 - and what the region and the world might look like at that time. We need to anchor our judgements to a future reference-point, counting back from there to see a way forward from here. Today's children will see it take shape in their lifetimes.”


“Peace and cooperation in the Middle East is inevitable. The big question is, how long will it take and what is involved?”

Read Palden’s story for an insightful approach to the big question.

Historian, social scientist and renowned author Andrew Bard Smookler explores the spiritual dimensions of America’s current political crisis in his courageous new article “The Concept of Evil: Why It’s Intellectually Valid and Politically and Spiritually Important.

“Something important is now visible in our politics, but the heart of it is not at the political level—not, that is, at that level where liberals and conservatives divide,” Smookler explains. “What’s alarming about the political forces that have taken over is not the conservative nature of their stated political positions, nor the traditional nature of their stated moral values. America would do fine, I believe, with leaders who were in reality the moral and political conservatives these people claim to be.”

“The problem with the forces now ruling America is, rather, at that deeper, moral and spiritual level—the level from which spring values like fairness and honesty and compassion that are shared by decent Americans of all political stripes.”

“It is at this level, as I see it, that these ruling forces have been unusually adept at obscuring their true nature: under the sheep’s clothing of a false righteousness, these forces are giving free rein to the wolf of their unbridled lust for self-aggrandizement.”

Smookler explores the deep spiritual insights of the Western religious traditions to uncover the meaning of the age-old struggle of good versus evil as it applies to today’s post-modern world, and to deliver us a message about the importance of that struggle for each of us in our daily lives.

Read about how Marin County is poised to become the nation’s first majority organic county, thanks to the tireless work of activists, farmers and educators working together, in Sheila Foster’s new story, “Through the Eyes of Abundance, reprinted from Satya Center publishing partner Lilipoh Magazine.

“An all-organic county means that most producers are organic – not as a requirement but by choice,” Marin Organic executive director Helge Hellberg says. “It also means that organic food is served in the schools, hospitals and prisons, restaurants and retail stores. It means a county where producers and eaters recognize their connectedness and mutual interdependence.”

In his new story, “Dream Journey to the Andes, Neo-Archaic Shaman Jade Wah’oo Grigori shares the highlights of a recent vision quest to Peru. The landscapes look magical, mind-altering and sublime. Jade regularly leads groups of spiritual seekers on global vision quests to sacred sites from South America to Europe and beyond.

“Gleaming lakes of lustrous pearls lay upon the mesas, surrounded by glittering diamonds - glacial capped peaks of the Andes Mountains, between which sits the jewel of the Andes, Cusco,” Jade reports. “As it has always been, llamas browse through the stubbled fields of already harvested corn that grow amidst adobe built houses, roofs tiled and red.”

“The first breath that comes with the first step off the tarmac, and into the ancient city that sits two and a half miles above the sea, is drawn tentatively, thinking that it is the elevation in its rarity that might cause a taking of the breath. It is not. It is not the rarity of air, it is the first breath of air in a world that does not abide the Known from which we have flown.”

Poet Jed Myers shares his heart-felt awareness of the power of reckless rhetoric to kill, main, divide, and conquer in his new poem, “Words for Children, dedicated to the youngest victims of the Middle East War.

Satya Center Co-Founder Jane Sherry offers a late summer recipe that makes slow food a snap. “Fast Food Veggies” helps a time-starved chef create a culinary delight in record time.

Enjoy Jane’s recipe for Grated Potato Fry and Hot Arrowhead Cabbage Salad with Corn during the month of the Corn Moon, and celebrate the abundance of life!


New Additions to the Satya Center Crystal Gallery

Jane and I have acquired an amazing array of new, rare and potent crystals for healing and meditation over the last month, thanks to some new connections with folks who export crystals directly from Brazil and India.

Some of these new beauties have found their way onto our site.

We’ve added a new section for Indigo Quartz, a very rare form of crystal containing blue tourmaline or actinolite, highly prized for its healing properties. This Indigo Quartz comes from Bahia, Brazil, in a very limited quantities. There is no mine. These crystals came from the fields of a Bahian farmer who discovered them while plowing, and offered them to a distributor for sale on the global market. The supply is very limited, and there is no way to know if more will be forthcoming. Jane and I have used these crystals in Reiki sessions and for meditation, and the results amazed us. You can read about these unique crystals’ mineralogical and metaphysical properties online.

We also have a new section for Prehnite, said to enhance the etheric body and our connection with our intuitive, psychic deepest nature. Said also to intensify deep meditation work, ease of access to Higher Worlds prophecy, prehnite is a good stone for dreamwork, manifestation work and connecting with the Divine both within and without. Jane and I have been sleeping with Prehnite lately, and having very rich, detailed dreams with good recall.

In our Gem section, we have Sapphire on sale, and beautiful tourmaline and aquamarine available.

We also have some new, beautiful, museum-quality specimens of Moldavite available. We recently met with the geologist from Czechoslovakia who discovered moldavite and obtained some pieces from his private collection. Some are expensive, but they are of a quality far superior to the moldavite you will find from the usual sources on the Internet.

Stay tuned! The fall season begins soon! Much more is on the way!

Top Spiritual Stories From Around the Web

Published on Saturday, August 5, 2006 by
A Global Pursuit of Eden Begins in Our Own Backyard
by Tom Turnipseed

Escaping the hammering yammering of television’s incessant talking heads, who hype out-of-control war and weather, and blather on about Armageddon, I find refuge on our backyard deck where the mating songs of birds and cicadas and the flickering of fireflies soothe my soul on sultry summer evenings. Last evening at twilight, I gazed upon my vegetable garden adorned with reddening tomatoes, butternut squash turning from green to orange, and bright yellow okra blossoms becoming green okra pods. Suddenly, a bold little hummingbird darted up to within three feet of my face, hung still in midair and looked directly at me before deftly inserting its long, slender beak into several nectar laden flowers in a pot on our deck, then flitted away into the woods beyond our yard. Those woods appear just as they have for hundreds of years—long before European colonials first came. About twenty feet away, our rustic bird feeders hang from a large oak tree attracting a variety of colorful birds to watch. An appreciative cardinal flew up within 5 or 6 feet of me. A small squirrel scampered up on the deck, as if to say hello to me, before being chased away by our cat, Muck.

I know the birds and squirrels sense that I’m an ecologically kindred spirit who wants to share our common habitat. It sounds simple in our hectic high-tech culture but connecting with the natural world could be our last best hope to avert an eco-catastrophe caused by our pernicious propensity for greed and violence. The bane of our very existence is the more-you-have-the-better-you-are credo along with the worship of a God who says we should kick-ass to get it and dominate nature.
Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on July 17, 1998 in Plum Village, France.
Mindful Consumption

Happiness is something collective. Happiness cannot be individual. That is something I have learned in Buddhism. In a relationship, for example in the relationship between father and son, or mother and daughter, we will see that if the son is not happy, then it will be impossible for the father to be happy. The same is true of a mother and son, or mother and daughter. If the child is not happy, the mother will not be really happy. Therefore, for the other to be happy, it is necessary that you yourself are happy. And for you to be happy, you need to make the other happy. If father suffers very much, it is impossible for the child to enjoy life, to be happy. Therefore we have to do everything we can to help father suffer less. That will make you happy—it’s for your own well being.

In Buddhism there is a kind of wisdom called the "mind of non-discrimination,". It is described as the "wisdom of non-discrimination, " and if we can cultivate this wisdom in ourselves, we can bring a great deal of happiness to ourselves and to the other person, the person whom we love, and even the person whom we do not love.


Breaking News Headlines 24/7 at Satya Center

Read breaking news stories updated 24/7 from Pacific News Service. Tune in to Satya Center’s 24/7 environmental news headlines and listen to environmental news radio from Environmental News Network at ENN EarthNews.


Top News Stories From Around the Web

Yahoo! News
Israel not looking for Syria fight, but still getting ready
by Mehdi Lebouachera, Sat Jul 29,
2:55 PM ET

Israel insists it is not looking for a fight with Syria, but is still taking precautions in case it becomes embroiled in a war with the neighbor it accuses of sponsoring Hezbollah.

"We have said on numerous occasions that we have no intention of an offensive toward Syria," Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Friday, after Israel mobilized more reservists for its onslaught against Hezbollah.

"We are doing all so that the situation on the front with Syria remains unchanged, and we are sending the message with the hope that it will be heard," he said.

"We hope that Hezbollah does not drag Damascus into the conflict."

These declarations came as the Israeli military warned that Syria's army had been placed on a state of high alert.

But Israel is also sending another message to Syria that says "if pushed we will hit you hard."


Global Research
The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil
By Michel Chossudovsky
July 26, 2006

Is there a relationship between the bombing of Lebanon and the inauguration of the World's largest strategic pipeline, which will channel more than a million barrels of oil a day to Western markets?

Virtually unnoticed, the inauguration of the Ceyhan-Tblisi-Baku (BTC) oil pipeline, which links the Caspian sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, took place on the 13th of July, at the very outset of the Israeli sponsored bombings of Lebanon.

One day before the Israeli air strikes, the main partners and shareholders of the BTC pipeline project, including several heads of State and oil company executives were in attendance at the port of Ceyhan. They were then rushed off for an inauguration reception in Istanbul, hosted by Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in the plush surroundings of the ÇýraðanPalace.

Also in attendance was British Petroleum's (BP) CEO, Lord Browne together with senior government officials from Britain, the US and Israel. BP leads the BTC pipeline consortium. Other major Western shareholders include Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, France's Total and Italy's ENI. (see Annex)

Israel's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was present at the venue together with a delegation of top Israeli oil officials.

The BTC pipeline totally bypasses the territory of the Russian Federation. It transits through the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Georgia, both of which have become US "protectorates", firmly integrated into a military alliance with the US and NATO. Moreover, both Azerbaijan and Georgia have longstanding military cooperation agreements with Israel.


Aug 9, 2006
Pakistan's port in troubled waters
By Elizabeth Mills

The port at Gwadar is without doubt currently Pakistan's flagship infrastructure project. A source of great pride for the Pakistani government, its much anticipated inauguration as the country's energy hub has been twice delayed and it is envisaged to become operational by year's end.

Built with Chinese assistance - just how much is debatable, though US$200 million for the first phase is an accepted figure plus loans - this multibillion-dollar scheme is regarded as not only an important economic asset but also a strategic one.

. . .Consider for one minute, however, the possibility that despite the hype, fears, euphoria and general interest, Gwadar might just be a big, lumbering white elephant. Consider also the possibility that the security situation is now so poor in the area surrounding the port - and more widely in the surrounding province of Balochistan - that even the port's authorities are reportedly questioning whether the facility can become operational in the near term.

Autonomy-seeking rebels are fighting for greater political rights and a bigger share of profits from gas-rich Balochistan's natural resources. According to official data, there were 187 bomb blasts, 275 rocket attacks, eight attacks on gas pipelines, 36 attacks on electricity-transmission lines and 19 explosions on railway lines in Balochistan in 2005. At least 182 civilians and 26 security-force personnel died in the province during last year.
The Battle of Oaxaca in the Context of Mexico's Post-Electoral Crisis
“I Never Wanted to be a War Correspondent When I Grew Up”
By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
August 26, 2006

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced the forthcoming Mexican revolution, on the front page of La Jornada of August 24, 2006. He said that as of September 12 there will be two presidents of Mexico. On TV local channel 11 last night, he amended that to September 16. A small detail. It’s on…

…Unless the Election Committee unexpectedly decides to somehow avert the chaos sure to result if Felipe Calderón is crowned. How about if the court annuls 4,000 precincts and declares AMLO the winner?

I never wanted to be a war correspondent when I grew up.

Here in Oaxaca, dirty war already cruises the streets, and it is due only to the non-violent posture of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials) that the death toll remains relatively low. But the list of dead, wounded, abducted and disappeared grows daily, aided with a website called Oaxaca en paz (“Oaxaca in Peace,” operated with government support, according to claims by the APPO) advising free-lance killers who to shoot and where to locate them – a hit list.


The Guardian
Gone with the wind
Saturday July 29, 2006

Since hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans almost a year ago, the population has halved. Amid the debris and regret, Gary Younge finds a city losing its soul.


Habitat For Humanity
Wynton Marsalis Creates Musicians’ Village in New Orleans

Harry Connick, Jr., Branford and Ellis Marsalis Partner with Habitat to Build a Musicians' Village in New Orleans' Upper 9th Ward

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many musicians to flee New Orleans.Jazz, blues,and other genres that are the city's musical score, cannot return until the musicians return, and many have lost their homes.Habitat for Humanity International and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, working with Harry Connick Jr., and Branford Marsalis, honorary chairs of Operation Home Delivery, seek to change this.Plans were announced Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 for a "Musicians' Village."Operation Home Delivery is Habitat for Humanity International's hurricane rebuilding program and this Musicians' Village is one of the many projects along the Gulf Coast.

The Musicians' Village, conceived by Connick and Marsalis, will consist of 81 Habitat-constructed homes for displaced New Orleans musicians. Its centerpiece will be the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, dedicated to the education and development of homeowners and others who will live nearby. On January 9, 2006 we acquired eight acres of land in the Upper 9th Ward where the Musicians' Village will be located.In addition to the homes in the tract, plans call for building at least 150 other homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Construction may begin as early as March, marking the first large scale rebuilding plans in New Orleans.
The Coming Housing Crash
Dean Baker
July 31, 2006

All the economists who missed the stock bubble—this is almost all economists—are just about to be embarrassed again. Several reports released this week provide the strongest evidence yet that the housing bubble may finally be deflating.


Recession will be nasty and deep, economist says
Housing is in free fall, pulling the economy down with it, Roubini argues
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last Update: 4:59 PM ET Aug 23, 2006

The United States is headed for a recession that will be "much nastier, deeper and more protracted" than the 2001 recession, says Nouriel Roubini, president of Roubini Global Economics.

Writing on his blog Wednesday, Roubini repeated his call that the U.S. would be in recession in 2007, arguing that the collapse of housing would bring down the rest of the economy.


Chicago Tribune
A Tank of Gas, A World of Trouble, Chapter 1: The pay zone
By Paul Salopek
Tribune correspondent
Published July 29, 2006

. . .By now, most Americans realize that something is profoundly awry in the global oil patch.

For the majority of motorists, like the "swipe and go" customers at the South Elgin Marathon, the evidence is painfully obvious: record-high fuel costs that have surpassed last year's infamous price spikes following Hurricane Katrina.

Yet to truly grasp the scope of the crisis looming before them, Americans must retrace their seemingly ordinary tankful of gasoline back to its shadowy sources. This is, in effect, a journey into the heart of America's vast and troubled oil dependency. And what it exposes is a globe-spanning energy network that today is so fragile, so beholden to hostile powers and so clearly unsustainable, that our car-centered lifestyle seems more at risk than ever.


Energy Bulletin
Published on 1 Aug 2006 by Resource Insights. Archived on 1 Aug 2006.
The coming "war" with Canada
by Kurt Cobb

As I returned recently from a vacation in Canada, I took a detour along the Canadian side of the St. Clair River which divides Ontario from Michigan as it flows from Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair. The sunny, placid scene of sailboats, swimmers and the occasional motorboat or barge bore no witness to the fact that this was a border between two countries. As I passed two vast oil refineries I was reminded that I was indeed in Canada, a country so rich in oil and natural gas that that the docks next to these refineries were likely used to ship refined products to the United States which is now in perpetual need of them.

From such a vantage point it is hard to imagine that this apparently benign unconcern for where the United States ends and Canada begins might suddenly be transformed into a pitched battle of words and deeds. And yet, that is almost certainly where these two old friends are headed.

Behind this looming turnabout is one very troubling development: Natural gas production in North America has leveled off. Only warm winter weather has so far delivered the continent from a severe crisis.


Published on 3 Aug 2006 by Peak Oil Medicine. Archived on 3 Aug 2006.
The challenges of healthcare relocalisation
by Dr Jim Barson

The relocalisation of healthcare is going to be a huge challenge. In the early 1900s local hospitals were dotted all over the map, each at the centre of a circle the radius of which was the length of a hurried trip by horse drawn transport.

When mobility is restricted and if regional/rural areas see their populations start to increase again, the role of the rural doctor is going to have to change greatly. How to plan to relocalise healthcare is just one of many questions that arise from the impact of peak oil on healthcare.

What level of complexity will we be able to sustain 2, 5, 10, 20 or more years into the period of energy descent that will follow on from Peak Oil?


UPDATE - Millions of Tonnes of Grain Lost in China Drought

BEIJING - A drought in southwest China, the worst in 50 years, has led to the loss of five million tonnes of grain and damaged more than two million hectares (7,700 sq miles) of farmland, state media said on Thursday.


E Magazine
July/August 2006
Points of Light
The World Wakes Up to Climate Change

There are 60,000 square feet of solar panels on San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, enough to power 675 houses, and all new municipal buildings in the city by the bay must comply with U.S. Green Building Council standards. In Portland, Oregon, transportation activists and the “Green Team” (made up of city employee volunteers) sponsor Car Free and Care Free (CFCF) weeks that encourage employees to get out of their cars by telecommuting or by using alternative transportation. In 2005, 1,900 commuters took part, avoiding: 37,630 auto trips, 317,000 vehicle miles traveled and the emission of 317,974 pounds of the major global warming gas, carbon dioxide (CO2). And in Buffalo, New York, General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine Plant has drastically reduced emissions and gone “landfill free,” a feat it achieved by reducing waste generation, recycling and converting waste to energy.

Welcome to a new world, where the debate over the science of global warming is over, but the hard work of combating it—with only a very limited window of opportunity—is only just beginning. We have to act quickly.


Published on Tuesday, August 1, 2006 by the Seattle Times
Tapping Into Tidal Power
by Neal Peirce

How shall we ever slake our ever-growing demand for electricity? Even as concerns about global warming escalate, are we doomed to create more of the same old polluting, coal- and oil-dependent power plants? Or can common sense — and some radically new technologies — serve us better?

There's much talk of wind and solar power. But how about the oceans and their massive tidal and current patterns? Driven by the gravitational force of the sun and the moon, tides and currents represent a source that's as infinite and everlasting as any force on Earth.


Meditation Moment: Overcoming Obstacles

" The obstacles you encounter in the realization of your high ideal are not there to discourage you, but to stimulate you so that you will provide your fellow human beings with works or
examples of inestimable value.

If others do not recognize your efforts at the time, you must not be concerned. Everything you strive to create by means of love and light will remain immortal, and this is all that matters.

Continue to advance, and you will sense that your difficulties act beneficially on you by strengthening your character. The more others try to oppress and constrain you, the more you must strive to become strong, full of hope and unshakeable in your faith. Sooner or later, not only will those who put obstacles in your path recognize you as an exceptional being, but by inspiring thousands of people to follow in your footsteps, you will be a force for good everywhere."

-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov