Tag Archive | current affairs

When the war on terror is the excuse for terror

Can one really afford to have a heart nowadays? What is a conscience really? How does one live a morally upright and ethically correct life in today’s world? Is there any room left for empathy? One cannot help but ask these questions if one is self-reflective during this era of permanent war, abuse and atrocity on a global scale.

war on terror, the whistle blowerWell the good news is that there are still some that do have a heart, that is full of empathy for their fellow humanity, that choose to live a moral existence according to a set criteria of ethics based on the fundamental sanctity of life. And nowhere is this more perfectly portrayed than in “Star Wars – The Force Awakens”, where the male protagonist hero who was a Storm trooper for the evil empire, has a crisis of conscience and defects to support the other side.

Fantasy aside though, the hope for humanity and the right to life of our fellow earthlings lies in the Superpowers of the world today, like America and China. And our role models from there are none other than ex-CIA operative Edward Snowden, soldier Chelsea Manning and artist AI Weiwei. These heroes from the superpowers of today’s world are leading the way in human rights, the cause of humanity, and by their actions they set the example for the moral high ground. They are the one’s who have brought their respective countries up from the mud and blood of tyranny and blatant despotism and given the rest of the world hope for the future, hope in the human heart and its ability to find empathy where little existed before them. These troopers have come up from the bowels of their own country’s engine rooms of evil and shone a torchlight upon the criminal behaviour of these global super tyrants, becoming role models for the rest of us to follow, in the quest for empathy, conscience and a human heart. In this age of global tyranny, the whistleblower is the new icon.

When a decent person does nothing in the light of savagery and criminality around him, it is obvious that self-preservation is an overriding factor in his or her silence, and not necessarily a complicit agreement with the crimes. Sometimes it’s safer to say nothing when your government is openly committing crimes against humanity. Activist and artist Ai Weiei has been imprisoned numerous times by the Chinese government for his outspoken criticism of their abuses. Corporal Manning has sacrificed his life and is now in a lifetime jail sentence undergoing torture (solitary confinement) to reveal to the world the crimes of America’s military upon the rest. And Snowden had to choose a life of exile to avoid the same treatment. But the sacrifices made by these fine people for the sake of the rest of us stand as examples of how great men and women from America and China are leading the way by exposing crimes against humanity and protecting us from these superpowers and their greed for global domination.

For example, according to https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/manhunting-in-the-hindu-kush/ America has been at war in the Hindu Kush (Afghanistan) for over a decade, with a network of intel on the ground, some of the most expensive and highly trained soldiers in the world, with eyes in the sky allowing for unmatched tracking of individuals, and yet despite all this, their campaign is in many respects a failure. Fair enough you say, it’s tough terrain. But it’s not the failure of mission that is the real failure. The real failure is a moral one, because 90% of the locals killed in the Hindu Kush are innocents targeted by unmanned drones. America is not killing its intended targets, but instead making more anti-American enemies by missing the target, killing an innocent or a whole family of innocents, thereby invoking the ire and lifetime hatred of the American invader. This is the latest top class military drone warfare we’re talking about here, and they are missing the target nine times out of ten. The military is creating more enemies than it is subduing, literally. They are also not reporting their failure to the American people obviously, for it takes a whistle blower, the likes of Snowden to reveal this exact info as reported in the website mentioned above. So Americans in general are in ignorance, oblivious of the war crimes perpetrated by their military.

But we have to go back even further and ask “how did the most powerful military in history come to devote its elite forces and advanced technology to a remote corner of the planet, half a world away from American shores, almost 15 years after 9/11?” In a place where everyone looks like the enemy, and you are the invading force, then you end up shooting, and thus people do actually become the enemy. In other words in the name of a fabricated war on terror, the American military has gone to far lying countries and unleashed untold terror on innocents. Now that is irony. Even worse, that is a war crime, a crime against humanity. The strongest nation on the planet is not out there to protect its people, or any people. It is out there invading the world in its long term plot to steal it. This is global tyranny and evil at its best.

“By the end of 2013, the U.N. reported the number of civilian casualties from drone strikes in Afghanistan had tripled from 2012, with almost one-third of the civilian deaths from aerial operations.” Its enough to make a grown man puke. America is using drones to kill kids. One that did make it to the world news was the recent American air strike on a hospital run by Medicins Sans Frontieres, killing a dozen medical staff and 10 patients, including three kids. “A nurse recalled seeing six victims in intensive care ablaze in their beds.” How can we sleep when our beds are burning? Remember that sweet pop song? It is based on similar atrocities.

Let’s add this up to make a clear point here. Leaving aside the 1 million dead in Iraq for another discussion, America has killed 26 000 civilians in Afghanistan in the past decade or so. And it’s getting bloodier. The UN is reporting that civilian casualties in the Hindu Kush are projected to exceed record high numbers. You no longer need boots on the ground when you have drones. And drones are known to miss their target and kill innocents.

“The al Qaeda presence there now,” according to a report by the United States Institute for Peace, “is larger than when U.S. counter terrorism forces arrived in 2002.” And the same is going on in Iraq again and Syria or course today. And you can try to justify what’s going on by saying that perhaps you are helping the locals, but not even the troops on the ground think that this has anything to do with defending the homeland or the American people. That illusion evaporated a long time ago.

Source: https://julescape.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/when-the-war-on-terror-is-the-excuse-for-terror/

Kali Yuga and the Great Ages in India – a land of paradox

India is a beautiful and rich land full of ancient wisdom, culture and brilliance. It is perhaps one of the oldest cultures on the planet that still has well-preserved records and writings from its ancient past as well as a civilization that still practices this ancient culture.

AstrologySanskrit is older than even Latin, and can arguably be seen as the actual root of Latin and the entire Indo-European civilization that accompanies it. The Sanskrit texts talk of four great ages, starting with Satya Yuga- a golden age, followed by Treta Yuga – the silver age, then Dvapara Yuga, the bronze age, and finally Kali Yuga, our current Iron age of degradation which began around 5000 years ago. A living tradition as old and wise as India’s is hard to match anywhere in the world today. Yet along with this ancient preserve goes the modern interest in reform and technology, where much of the world’s IT or digital work is outsourced to India – the new Silicon Valley of the East. Just last year the relatively new Prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his government launched an initiative called “Digital India” aimed at boosting the use of technology in rural India in order to link the remaining 1 billion people still without internet access.

Opening up her trade and economic activity to the rest of the world’s capitalist system in recent decades has indeed brought prosperity to this humble third world country. It has inevitably also brought the difficulties of the western lifestyle along with it too. Rape and alcohol abuse are on the increase, greatly impacting on the once pure and pristine lifestyle of the Indian people. Just this week, in the very home state of the Prime Minster – Gujarat, members of the village council in little known Suraj in Mehsana , the home district of Modi himself, met to discuss ways to counter the growing influence of modern problems in their village of 2000 inhabitants. There they openly acknowledged the rise of alcohol abuse as a primary concern. But in a most ironic turn of events, they also decided that just as problematic was the use of mobile phones by young unmarried females. And so they decided to ban the use of mobiles for any and all young unmarried and school-going females in the village. The use of mobiles was seen to be – like the use of liquor – “a nuisance to society” because it distracted them from their studies and carrying out their household chores. If caught owning or speaking on a mobile, the girls could be fined $30. The council even offered rewards for tip offs from informers. If that‘s not ironic then I don’t know what is. This may also come across as sexist, but the village elders are soon to extend the ban of cell phone ownership to young boys too, so it’s not just the females that are being discriminated against. In other words here you have a classic example of the inevitable clash of cultures, where the Prime Minister launches a nationwide campaign to connect everyone via mobile technology, and yet in his own home district, village elders can simultaneously see that very same technological revolution as a nuisance to village life. And can we really find fault with these village elders? Not really.

Many a parent throughout the world has seen the need to restrict their children from mobile phone infatuation, despite the fact that is connects every one of us to the entire world’s information and knowledge. Even this article is researched, written and uploaded onto the WWW with the use of a mobile phone. And yet the zombie generation is indeed a global phenomenon – kids (and sometimes parents) of all ages zoned out of their immediate surroundings and company, and zoned in to their hand held device, whether walking, dining, socializing or anything else. Dwindling are the days when one would zone out of the present company or activity in order to go within and still the mind via meditation on the divine, on the meaning of life, the nature of the self, the absolute, and thereby find peace and become a better person. Now we zone out of talking or socializing with the people closest to us in order to zone into the web, wherein lie any and all imaginable attractions and distractions. And this is just the beginning of the digital era. In years to come built-in or built on devices will outgrow the use of a hand held device altogether, as we become a blend of cyber and organic transhumans or neo humans, with Google glasses or microchip implants to keep us permanently connected, directly jacked into the WWW from our neural networks to the global network in one seamless interface. How will we ever get our chores done then?

Of course this is not the only paradoxical expression of contrasting culture clashes in India. This week also sees the ongoing riots and arson in North India – actually not far from the capital New Delhi in the state of Harayana. The age old concept of caste consciousness has become so distorted with time that it has turned to racism at its worst. The Jat, a rural class or agriculturalists, are protesting to demand a fair share in the job opportunities in government (with all its perks) as well as the right to much coveted university access. Who would have thought that in this most civilized land of Bharat, or greater India, as it was once known in previous centuries, even before partition, that one native would so discriminate against another, when any and all born in the land of Bharat are to be considered worthy of respect. Even the ruling party run by Narendra Modi has had to get involved. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to concede and reserve by law some posts for this most discriminated against sector of society.

Unfortunately other castes now feel imposed upon, as if another’s gain is their loss. That it had to come to torching shops, burning down 10 train stations and multiple trains in order to get your voice heard and needs met, is testament to a civilization at odds with itself and disconnected from its “civilized” roots. This is of course the inevitable manifestation of Kali Yuga, the iron age of quarrel and hypocrisy. Kali Yuga is the last of the four great ages in the history of the world. Previous ages of gold and silver have come and gone, where civilization was pure and perfect. We, however, are at the tail end of a great history and so it is predicted and to be expected that humans will have short lives, be easily disturbed and manifest just such behavior, even in the glorious land of Bharat. It is but a sign of the times, so don’t lament the inevitable or curse the world or its creator, for you were warned, millennia ago.
Thousands of troops have been helicoptered in with “shoot to kill” orders, and already 10 are dead and 150 injured at the bullet of a soldier. Even the capital, New Delhi, has had its water lines saboutaged and is in a water crisis. Just picture an angry mob storming the streets brandishing swords and sickles, gutting police posts, schools and shops. What mayhem, all due to a misinterpretation of the caste system, a misinterpretation of the sacred texts and the definition of what it means to be a fellow human. What a distortion Kali Yuga has invoked. If we can’t get it right in the very land of the Vedas, then what hope is there for the rest of us in the land of the “mleccha” the savage outposts of the meat eater, who lives by the blood of other slaughtered victims? Here in South Africa we are very familiar with mob riots, looting and “shoot to kill” police orders, but TIA – this is Africa – as they say. It seems very foreign to see the same behavior in Bharat.

Still in old Bharat, though now called Pakistan, militants of the Taliban are busy blowing up more and more girls’ schools, to this day, in their abhorrence for equal education. Such gender discrimination clearly shows the tragedy of what is left of that once noble and divine culture. Hundreds of girls’ schools have already been destroyed in recent years due to the ideology of female discrimination and subjugation. Keep them dumb and they will be easier to control and exploit. That is the Taliban for you, a tribe that thinks it is using religious piety to maintain a distortion in their society. Anyone who can massacre 150 school children, as they did in Peshawar in 2014, is clearly deluded in their interpretation of life, the universe and everything, including their attempt at religion, piety or self-realization. Just last month they stormed a university and killed 21 people. Bharat, how we miss you and your golden years. Fortunately even this current “Iron Age” of Kali Yuga will also come to an end in a few millennia, and after the total annihilation of civilization on the planet a new golden age will start the cycle once again.

Mass retrograde in April ’16 – the times require a changing

Astrology ephemeris Before the days of computer software and phone apps, the most valuable tool for the astrologer was their ephemeris. It is a neatly printed out text book with tables full of columns listing the exact positions of all the planets in the zodiac. So much research and observation of the night skies via naked eye and telescopic lens or mirror, over thousands of years has gone into the ability to predict, like clockwork, where every body will be at any time in the future. By extrapolation that implies the past too. And all these positions of the bodies -at least the most important ones – are listed for every day of every year at midnight (sometimes for midday) for the next fifty years or 100 years, depending on the size of your ephemeris. So anyone can learn the astrological symbols and read the ephemeris to find out the planetary alignments on their birthday or any day for that matter. It’s always insightful to look at the alignments on your birthday every year to see what impression they give for the coming year ahead.

Traditionally in certain older cultures, astrologer priests could wield influence over their village by predicting eclipses for example, but those days are long gone. Doomsday prophets are not taken seriously nowadays. I would be interested though, to know what this year’s mass simultaneous retrograde lineup of five planets might imply. Another happens in July 2018, but then it’s less meaningful because it involves more outer planets and they go retrograde simultaneously quite often. And also their influence is more distant, symbolically more generational than personal in their effects on our horoscopes. But this April 2016, at the next Mercury retrograde on the 28th, we will also have Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all in retrograde as well. This continues until Jupiter goes direct again on the 9th of May, 12 days later. Pluto may be of lesser significance, and it’s true that all planets go retrograde often enough, but to have a more than usual amount of them synchronise like this may bring about something noteworthy. The only planet not retrograde then its Venus. All the other personal planets (as opposed to transpersonal) are not only in retrograde, but many are moving very slowly, much slower than usual, and all except Saturn experience a complete station or stop during the mid April to mid May period in question. And Saturn moves relatively slowly anyway. This slow and stationary lineup may signify a sluggishness in progress, a pause or impasse in ventures, and it may be wise to suspend or defer any major decisions during this phase.

Jupiter, of course, has been in retrograde since January already, and that’s nothing unusual, and Saturn will station in late March, but by the time Mars, Mercury and Pluto join them in the retro dance in April/May, I can presume that much or perhaps deeper rethinking will enter negotiations. With Pluto involved we can, for instance, except more strike action amongst the masses of labour in our mines. “Strike season” may be heated this year, or should I say protracted, particularly with the mines losing billions already as demand weakens while the global economy slumps. What fertile ground for regime change during an election year. Nothing like a disgruntled proletariat to unsettle the apple cart. When negotiations reach a deadlock then progress grinds to a halt. Mars is still very powerfully placed in Scorpio for some of this retrograde time. In fact in Scorpio, Mars is reputed to be at his most potent, volatile, provocative and persuasive in achieving his desires. The Mercury retrograde will be in the polar opposite sign of Taurus. The tension could be like that of two bulls meeting head on head, butting their way with opposing demands and value systems. The New South Africa is a Taurus sun sign, amongst numerous other nations, depending on their day of independence. The 1st of May, which falls in the middle of this retrograde period, is even called “Workers Day” here, a perfect opportunity to rustle up a revolution. Or maybe not. But whatever happens something has to change. We can’t simply keep playing the same tune as we watch one country or corporation after another fall into junk status.

We may all feel the influence of the multiple retrograde in different ways according to our horoscopes. The Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius for so many months this year can already be aligned to more potential nationwide university mass action, striking and general unrest, as with last year already. Nevertheless there is a flip side to this retrograde alignment, and that is that a concomitant mass direct or forward motion also has to occur at some point, where no planets are in retrogradation, and are all sailing forwards through the zodiac. And that time occurs just after the last Mercury retrograde of 2016 ends – on the 8th of January 2017, for an entire month, until Jupiter goes stationary retrograde once again. Of course this all may mean little of importance at the end of the day, but it does present an interesting pattern for those who like to look for signs in the sky, who keep a weather eye on the horizon for the shape of things to come.

New Moon and the Chinese New Year

New MoonThe new moon today marks the New Year in China, who for thousands of years have maintained a unique lunar calender of 12 years in length. Every year of the 12 years is designated a different animal in the cycle of 12. So today it’s good bye to the year of the sheep/goat and hello to the monkey. Added to that are the 5 various elements of wood, water, fire, earth and metal, so that there are 5 different variations of the 12 animal years, making a total of 60 different annual characters. A system that incorporates a 60 year cycle into their calender must be quite advanced, much like that of the Mayan civilization, with its multi-level calender that stretches over millennia. Curiously the 12-year cycle is just like that of Jupiter who takes 12 years to circle the Sun, although there is no direct correlation. A calender that combines both solar and lunar aspects into its timing and measurement, like that of the Vedic, Hebrew and Chinese to name a few, is far superior to that of our western exclusively solar calender.

Energetically, symbolically and gravitationally the solar/lunar calender is more exact and synchronous with the cosmos and its effects on us on earth. For example there is a distinct difference between the waxing moon and the waning moon and their direct gravitational effects on earth. All life and even the fluid ocean swells are influenced by the gravity of the moon. The fluid in our own bodies as well as that of all plant and animal life is affected. Therefore attuned farmers will plant according to the phases of the moon. Even in the Vedic system of astrology – Jyotish – being born on the day of a waxing moon is superior to being born during a waning moon, and the closer the birth to a full moon the better still. Being born close to a new moon minimises, overshadows or weakens the moon’s influence in a horoscope, just as any planet too close or conjunct the Sun in a natal horoscope will be debilitated somewhat in its expression, being overwhelmed by the power of the Sun so to speak.

The square aspect from Mars to the new moon today may add a degree of tension. Mars is the competitive, assertive, desire-driven archetype in the zodiac and the exact square alignment of 90 degrees to the Sun and Moon suggests a conflict of interests which may become a problem if not properly resolved. Now although the square from Mars may be a source of irritation or tension, that in itself acts as the catalyst to action, as a source of energy for us to take the necessary measures to rise above the difficulty we subjectively perceive. And in fact the square is the most appropriate angle in the zodiac to produce the actual drive to succeed. If there are no tension-building alignments like this, and only harmonious trine or 120 degree alignments, then the situation may simply be too easy-going and thus too passive to take action, tackle problems or stoke up the drive required to achieve the goal. So this lunar month may find us unable to rest until our current difficulty is transcended or solved. Personal selfish desires may clash with collective group requirements under the current circumstances. We all make certain compromises or sacrifices to maintain our jobs and social connections. Sometimes the sacrifice is worthwhile because we need the salary or the cause of the group is ideologically superior. But when the boss or big corporation appears to be exploiting their staff, squeezing more out of them than is morally fair, then the individual will simply revolt or invoke a negotiation which is more just and equitable to all concerned. In South Africa mine workers will and have gone on strike for up to six months when pushed too far by exploitative multi-nationals who treat them like cannon fodder. The workers may even have to sacrifice their meagre salaries during the strike, suffer still more for their fair share, but it is their only channel to be heard, and in so doing they also cripple the multi-national to the tune of millions per day. And eventually they get their way. That is why labour unions are practically banned in places like USA, where the greatest multi-national corporations exist today. They come in to smaller countries in the form of Walmart, for example, which is a giant wholesale supermarket chain, and undercut the small local trader to such a degree that he goes bankrupt. They do this by denying their staff the wages and benefits they deserve and would actually receive in any self-respecting country in the so-called civilized world. They even secretly take out a massive insurance policy on the worker, unbeknown to him or her, so that if and when they die, the corporation actually makes a killing in insurance payout on his demise. How criminal is that? Nobody likes a bully, an economic colonialist, who no longer rides into your country and takes it at the barrel of a gun – like the Europeans of yesteryear – but now uses trade agreements like TTIP, etc, or simply squashes the local industry due to being bigger and fatter. Read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by ex CIA operative John Perkins if you really want to know how the USA government has been ripping of countries like this for decades, sending in scalpers to corrupt or force the leaders to sell out, or if they don’t, sends in the jackals who use military means to take you out by force and install their own puppet leader.

Hopefully the sextile or 60 degree aspect from Uranus to the new moon will add a helpful, sudden or original way out of any impasse we may be required to confront this lunar month. Some will take a stand when their survival is at stake, while others will even take a stand just for the sake of justice and fairness, or for the collective cause in which they believe. Which one are you?