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 71 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 10:32 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Linda

Ruler of your South Node is Venus in Aries which is conjunct the South Node of Chiron (wound).

Ruler of your Pluto in Virgo is Mercury in Aries which is conjunct Chiron (wound).

What is the Chirotic wound all about?  Chiron in Aries;  South Node of Chiron in Aries;  North Node of Chiron in Scorpio (conjunct Part of Fortune!).

All of your Aries planets are ruled by Mars in Sagittarius:  beliefs.  What beliefs did you have about yourself?  What kinds of realities did your beliefs create?  

In what ways were your inner messages limiting and thus creating your reality (Jupiter in Virgo conjunct Pluto conjunct South Node Libra)?


Hi Linda,

Yes my companion Chiron, conjunct my North Node and Mercury (and Sun). I also have a Sun Eris conjunction. Ari talked about Chiron being inherently lonely, no doubt, between Chiron and Eris it feels the case. This is really complex for me to answer (and the current Mercury retro isn't helping). I had a lot wounding in just being "me". There were times when i felt afraid of my own power, afraid of my full potential, like it would be threatening for others, too much. It's weird because there were as many times (if not more) where i felt utterly blocked from getting anywhere near the potential i felt inherently capable of, the two extremes. Inner messages? I'm trying to think back, there have been several "me's" in this lifetime! Mercury keeps coming to mind. When i was a teenager i had great difficulties expressing myself. Written expression was ok but talking and being able to express my feelings actually was a challenge. Throat trauma again, the words getting stuck in my throat. I don't know if i have answered you question Linda?

Blessings

Lila



Hi Lila,


You have answered the questions perfectly.  



Chiron conjunct North Node, Mercury and Sun - all in Aries


Lila's quote: "When I was a teenager I had great difficulties expressing myself. Written expression was ok but talking and being able to express my feelings actually was a challenge. Throat trauma again, the words getting stuck in my throat."

Mercury is opposite Jupiter and Uranus and these can be considered intellectual planets too.  Jupiter in Virgo is mental/philosophical energy expressed through earth such as practicality and an eye for detail for truth, while Uranus in air sign Libra is the individuated unconscious mind.  There is enormous pressure in these oppositions to be treated as an equal.  The Mercury/Uranus opposition is gibbous, while the Mercury/Jupiter opposition is full phase.  All these planets are within a 1 deg orb of each other.  Sitting right in the middle of this pair of oppositions is your Lunar Nodes!  The past life habitual patterns of South Node Libra, and the unknown future of the North Node Aries which is operating simultaneously with the Pluto polarity point in Pisces.



Pallas Athena skipped steps


Then there is Pallas Athena squaring the Nodes from Capricorn and forming skipped steps.  For many life times, the suppression of your wisdom nature caused you to flip-flop between the Nodes.  You are learning how to express the strong, authoritative and self-determined Capricorn feminine while in the outer patriarchal world.  Resolution to this dilemma is found by focusing upon the South Node in Libra ruled by Venus in Aries:  seeking equality, listening, comparison, learning balance.  Pallas also squares Saturn which only re-emphasizes this karmic necessity.

“If you are a women and you want to be strong and powerful
in men’s territory, they won’t consider you to be a real woman,
and will deny you the validation of protection and relationship.”

“Pallas Athena is a very poignant image for the emergence
of the feminine consciousness and power that is occurring
in the last few decades.”

–  Demetra George


PALLAS ATHENA - Asteroid Goddesses - the undistorted Natural/Divine Feminine
http://schoolofevolutionaryastrology.com/forum/index.php?topic=309.msg5535#msg5535



Chiron ruled by Mars in Sagittarius


Lila's quote:  "I had a lot wounding in just being 'me'. There were times when i felt afraid of my own power, afraid of my full potential, like it would be threatening for others, too much. It's weird because there were as many times (if not more) where I felt utterly blocked from getting anywhere near the potential I felt inherently capable of, the two extremes."

Perhaps you carried unnatural guilt at being a strong woman in a man's world (Pallas in Capricorn).  Saturn in Aries - suppression leading to distortion - could have resulted in feeling utterly blocked from living out your potential.  I'm sure things are now changing for you.  Cheesy

All of your Aries planets are ruled by Mars in Sagittarius:  beliefs. What beliefs did you have about yourself?  What kinds of realities did your beliefs create?

These questions to ponder on, not necessarily to answer.   Grin

It's important to bear in mind that your Aries stelliums made up of North Node-Mercury-Chiron-Sun-Venus and Saturn - are t-square (by sign) the Planetary Nodes of Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto in Cancer/Capricorn for everyone on the planet!  The Soul has chosen this conglomeration of Aries planets (including North Node in Aries), and the question is Why?  A core function of the Aries archetype is to begin a new evolutionary cycle in which the Soul will instinctively feel a sense of distinctive calling to fulfill.  The Soul needs free will and lack of restrictions to initiate and fulfill compulsive desires and attractions to the new.  These new directions open up a sense of self-discovery in every moment.


Thanks so much,

Linda


 72 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 09:13 PM 
Started by Rad - Last post by ari moshe
Thanks so much for sharing this Rad.

 73 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 08:26 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Linda

The South Node of Mars in Pisces opposite Pluto in Virgo re-emphasizes the requirement to share yourself and to be of service to others in the social sphere.  It also conjures up violence and victimization in past lives due to resistance that necessitated the development of Virgoan mental power and discernment, and Taurean self-reliance (North Node of Mars Taurus 1st).

In terms of (2), you have Neptune and Part of Fortune in Scorpio, and your Pluto is in Virgo.  What is the resource or capacity that you are sharing?  This resource will have a fortunate quality for self and others.


Hi Linda,

I have been reflecting on many of the interesting points you have raised and questions you have asked and to be honest i don't feel like i have made much progress! There are so many details.

The South Node of Mars is at 23° Sag exactly squaring my Pluto right? I actually Lucifer opposite my Pluto!

What is the resource or capacity i am sharing? Good question. This doesn't really answer the question but one resource is my house. I believe the land and property is destined to become a healing centre. In-between jobs i hosted workshops and classes in my living room for many different healing modalities and everybody who came loved the space. My whole life has been a healing journey and its feels natural by extension for my property to become a healing space for others. I have a big project in the pipeline and i wait and see if it is part of my Divine plan.

Blessings



Hello Lila,


SOUTH NODE OF MARS SQUARE NATAL PLUTO


It is actually the South Node of Mercury that is opposite your Pluto the meaning of which is to transform your Mercurial communication skills by sharing and comparing (work and spirituality) with others, and by cooperating with others in the social sphere, which you are already doing.  

Interestingly, Asteroid Lilith conjunct the South Node of Mercury and also opposite Pluto expresses the "authentic" you, your spiritual wisdom of the natural world, your natural expression and relationship to the Divine:  these also are what you are sharing with others.

(It was hard to distinguish between S Mar and S Mer on the chart ... the symbols are a little blurry.)

The South Node of Mars is 28 Sagittarius 23 Rx squaring natal Pluto Virgo Rx.  This correlates to severe evolutionary stress associated with the old desires of past lives, how they have been brought into the current life Mars 13 deg Sagittarius, and how they are evolving through the North Node of Mars 4 deg Taurus.  Some potential interpretations:

-  man-made guilt versus natural guilt

-  guilt about Natural Law

-  feeling imperfect, flawed, sinful, impure

-  manifestation of crisis resulting from beliefs

-  sadomasochism dynamic reaching crisis point

-  imposing false beliefs upon Natural Law

Lower octave of Pluto, Mars, instinctively acts out the imperatives of Pluto, the underlying Natural Law of evolution for all things.

Thus, the Mars archetype is evolving via the North Node of Mars in Taurus, fixed earth, bringing you back to Earth, stabilizing and grounding the Soul.  Patriarchal distortions and false beliefs of the Soul are being healed by the truth of Natural Laws thus giving your life value, meaning and purpose.  This applies also to sexual values - moving away from the Garden of Eden myth that the body is sinful - and evolving toward a natural wholesome sexuality through Taurus.


Nodes of Mars

The South Node of Mars would indicate where the desires emanating from the Soul were left off relative to its desires to evolve, and would symbolize the Soul’s intention in this life to confront and evolve beyond those existing limitations: of where those desires were left off. The current life Mars will then, for the entire life, correlate to where and how this will be done, and the North Node of Mars will correlate to the new desires emanating from the Soul to how and where the desires symbolized by the natal Mars will evolve themselves which are relative to the Pluto’s natal polarity point. (Rad)



In terms of Pluto conjunct the South Node, you have shared that the natural resource or capacity is hostessing classes and workshops in your home which you believe is becoming a healing centre.  This describes very well the karmic/evolutionary possibilities of your Pluto conjunct the South Node which is likely to be a combination of (1) and (2) below:

(1) the Soul is in a condition of totally re-living prior life dynamics in this life because of an absolute resistance, prior choices, to acting upon the evolutionary intentions and necessities prior to the current life,

(2) is a situation wherein the Soul has totally actualized those prior intentions in such a way as to develop unique abilities and capacities that are being brought forwards into the current life in order to benefit others because of those abilities and capacities, and

(3) is a common condition in which elements of both the first two conditions exist.


Thanks so much for sharing.

Linda


 74 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 06:24 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Linda



Lila's Chart



 75 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 04:44 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Lila

In terms of transiting Neptune square your Mars, the path chosen could soon be challenged bringing a crisis in action to actually make real what began at the conjunction.  Is that path real, too idealistic, or a dream?  According to JWG, some dreams come true while others do not.  Illusions falling away along your path can bring disillusionment, one of the most painful of psychological experiences.  Yet these experiences are necessary in order to bring clarity.


Quote
I'm so glad Cat pointed out my Neptune square South Node, I'd never really looked at it but now that i see it i think it explains a lot. I mean to have taken as many drugs as i have you would have to have a strong or debilitated Neptune right? My whole life, even today, i feel often tied and disillusioned, the Why God? feeling. There is only so much you can do and for the rest you need the Universe to conspire with you.



Your Neptune is actually sextile South Node (not square). This correlates to past life habitual emotional patterns and past choices which tend to be repeated over and over. Your Neptune is at a culminating degree (28 Scorpio 27) which means you are close to exhausting the desire to escape through drugs:


Any planet at a culminating degree

In any chart, composite or otherwise, when any planet is within a degree or two of the proceeding cusp this correlates, in evolutionary terms, to an evolutionary culmination of the whole archetype of the house of the actual planet, and relative to that culmination a new cycle of development is beginning ... the proceeding house. (JWG)



Your Neptune in Scorpio is Retrograde:


Neptune Retrograde

When Neptune is retrograde it points to Pluto itself: our Soul. When Neptune is retrograde there is an accelerated evolutionary desire, need, to throw off all things that are of a delusive nature: that which is not actually ‘real’ yet what we have considered real before the delusion or illusion was finally understood. Thus, it emphasizes the process of disillusionment leading to that which is actually real from an ultimate point of view. Relative to uniting our consciousness, Soul, with that which has created us in the first place, the Neptune retrograde will necessarily do so in its own way. When Neptune is retrograde it does point to Pluto in that this symbolizes a Soul who intends to pierce the bubble of its own illusions, delusions, and all that has been given false meaning, an ultimate meaning in many ways, that has confused the Soul as to what the Ultimate Reality is really about: God/ess. (Rad)



Thanks Linda for the clarification and insights into my Neptune aspects. This year transiting Neptune will be opposing my moon. And then following that it will be squaring my Mars like you said. Oh dear. I must have a limited view on Neptune becuase i think confusion and disillusionment (and that makes me very nervous). I think i need to refresh my understanding on the Neptune archetype!

Lila

 76 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 04:17 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Lila

Ruler of your South Node is Venus in Aries which is conjunct the South Node of Chiron (wound).

Ruler of your Pluto in Virgo is Mercury in Aries which is conjunct Chiron (wound).

What is the Chirotic wound all about?  Chiron in Aries;  South Node of Chiron in Aries;  North Node of Chiron in Scorpio (conjunct Part of Fortune!).

All of your Aries planets are ruled by Mars in Sagittarius:  beliefs.  What beliefs did you have about yourself?  What kinds of realities did your beliefs create?  

In what ways were your inner messages limiting and thus creating your reality (Jupiter in Virgo conjunct Pluto conjunct South Node Libra)?


Hi Linda,

Yes my companion Chiron, conjunct my North Node and Mercury (and Sun). I also have a Sun Eris conjunction. Ari talked about Chrion being inherently lonely, no doubt, between Chiron and Eris it feels the case. This is really complex for me to answer (and the current Mercury retro isn't helping). I had a lot wounding in just being "me". There were times when i felt afraid of my own power, afraid of my full potential, like it would be threatening for others, too much. It's wierd because there were as many times (if not more) where i felt utterly blocked from getting anywhere near the potential i felt inherently capable of, the two extremes. Inner messages? I'm trying to think back, there have been several "me's" in this lifetime! Mercury keeps coming to mind. When i was a teenager i had great difficulties expressing myself. Written expression was ok but talking and being able to express my feelings actually was a challenge. Throat trauma again, the words getting stuck in my throat. I don't know if i have answered you question Linda?

Blessings

Lila


 77 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 03:48 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Lila

The South Node of Mars in Pisces opposite Pluto in Virgo re-emphasizes the requirement to share yourself and to be of service to others in the social sphere.  It also conjures up violence and victimization in past lives due to resistance that necessitated the development of Virgoan mental power and discernment, and Taurean self-reliance (North Node of Mars Taurus 1st).

In terms of (2), you have Neptune and Part of Fortune in Scorpio, and your Pluto is in Virgo.  What is the resource or capacity that you are sharing?  This resource will have a fortunate quality for self and others.


Hi Linda,

I have been reflecting on many of the intresting points you have raised and questions you have asked and to be honest i don't feel like i have made much progess! There are so many details.

The South Node of Mars is at 23° Sag exactly squaring my Pluto right? I actually Lucifer opposite my Pluto!

What is the resource or capacity i am sharing? Good question. This doesn't really answer the question but one resource is my house. I believe the land and property is destined to become a healing centre. In-between jobs i hosted workshops and classes in my living room for many different healing modalities and everybody who came loved the space. My whole life has been a healing journey and its feels natural by extension for my property to become a healing space for others. I have a big project in the pipeline and i wait and see if it is part of my Divine plan.

Blessings

 78 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 01:30 PM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Russian Authorities Raid Crimean Tatar TV Channel

by Naharnet Newsdesk 26 January 2015, 17:31

Masked Russian riot police on Monday raided the office of a television channel for Crimean Tatars, a pro-Ukrainian minority group that opposed Moscow's seizure of the peninsula.

Dozens of armed masked men searched the headquarters of the ATR channel in the regional center Simferopol, seizing servers and other equipment, the broadcaster said.

"This is the first such raid," deputy general director of the channel, Lilya Budzhurova, told AFP. "They are practically in every room now."

Budzhurova is also a stringer for Agence France-Presse.

The region's Investigative Committee said the raid was to probe the deaths of two Russian nationalist activists who were beaten at a pro-Ukraine rally in February last year outside the local legislative assembly.

That rally came a day before armed men seized the assembly and raised the Russian flag during Moscow's takeover of Crimea.

The Crimean Tatars are a Muslim people native to the Black Sea peninsula. Up to half the population was wiped out when they were deported en masse by Stalin in 1944, and they were only able to return in the 1990s after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Most of the 300,000-strong group oppose Russian rule and boycotted a disputed referendum last March in which voters, most of them from the Russian-speaking majority, chose to split from Ukraine.

The new Russian authorities have detained Tatar activists, evicted them from their assembly and accused ATR, which broadcasts in Russian, Tatar and Ukrainian, of extremism.

The leader of the Crimean Tatar minority's assembly, the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, claimed the rally was merely being used as an excuse to muzzle the channel.

"Occupation authorities cannot put up with the fact that journalists for whom honor and dignity trump fear are still working on the peninsula," he said on Facebook.

The raid came just days after a former separatist commander in eastern Ukraine said Crimea's local authorities were loyal to Kiev during Moscow's seizure of the peninsula and lawmakers had to be "corralled" into parliament for a vote.

The claims from former separatist defense minister Igor Strelkov contradict an official Kremlin narrative that Russia did not put any pressure on Crimean authorities and that they sided with Moscow of their own free will.

Source: Agence France Presse

 79 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 09:00 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
USA

Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up

By DIONNE SEARCEY and ROBERT GEBELOFF
JAN. 25, 2015
NYT

The middle class that President Obama identified in his State of the Union speech last week as the foundation of the American economy has been shrinking for almost half a century.

In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning, in today’s dollars, $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because the shift was primarily caused by more Americans climbing the economic ladder into upper-income brackets.

But since 2000, the middle-class share of households has continued to narrow, the main reason being that more people have fallen to the bottom. At the same time, fewer of those in this group fit the traditional image of a married couple with children at home, a gap increasingly filled by the elderly.

This social upheaval helps explain why the president focused on reviving the middle class, offering a raft of proposals squarely aimed at concerns like paying for a college education, taking parental leave, affording child care and buying a home.

“Middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change,” Mr. Obama told Congress and the public on Tuesday.

Still, regardless of their income, most Americans identify as middle class. The term itself is so amorphous that politicians often cite the group in introducing proposals to engender wide appeal.

The definition here starts at $35,000 — which is about 50 percent higher than the official poverty level for a family of four — and ends at the six-figure mark. Although many Americans in households making more than $100,000 consider themselves middle class, particularly those living in expensive regions like the Northeast and Pacific Coast, they have substantially more money than most people.

However the lines are drawn, it is clear that millions are struggling to hang on to accouterments that most experts consider essential to a middle-class life.

“I would consider middle class to be people who can live comfortably on what they earn, can pay their bills, can set aside something to save for retirement and for kids in college and can have vacations and entertainment,” said Christine L. Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, a left-leaning research and advocacy group.

Lisa Land, 49, is one of those who have dropped through the hatch. She gets by on her father’s $1,300 monthly Social Security checks and by having her adult daughter pitch in for groceries.

Her circumstances are a stark change from just a few years ago, when she considered herself firmly in the middle class. Despite a relatively modest salary, her pay and other resources went a long way in tiny Eden, N.C., where she worked for 13 years in customer service at a textile factory.

In 2008, however, Ms. Land was laid off. Faced with ailing parents and a recession that tore up the region’s economy, she moved in with her father to offer full-time care.

The middle class has shrunk consistently over the past half-century. Until 2000, the reason was primarily because more Americans moved up the income ladder. But since then, the reason has shifted: There is a greater share of households on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

“We wouldn’t have a lot of money, but we had everything that we needed,” she said. “Now, there’s really no extra for anything. No vacation. No dining out. No stuff like that.”

Even as the American middle class has shrunk, it has gone through a transformation. The 53 million households that remain in the middle class — about 43 percent of all households — look considerably different from their middle-class predecessors of a previous generation, according to a New York Times analysis of census data.

In recent years, the fastest-growing component of the new middle class has been households headed by people 65 and older. Today’s seniors have better retirement benefits than previous generations. Also, older Americans are increasingly working past traditional retirement age. More than eight million, or 19 percent, were in the labor force in 2013, nearly twice as many as in 2000.

As a result, while median household income, on average, has fallen 9 percent since the turn of the century, it has jumped 14 percent among households headed by older adults.

The growing prominence of older people in the middle class reflects, in part, the way Social Security and Medicare — originally set up as safety nets to protect seniors from falling into poverty after retirement — have provided a substantial cushion for them against hard times.

Married couples with children — who make up a category that is shrinking over all — are diminishing even faster as a share of the middle class. In the late 1960s, about 45 percent of all households included married adults and their offspring. But among middle-class households, more than 60 percent had that traditional family arrangement.

Today, married couples with children at home make up just a quarter of households. But even as they diminished as a share of the population, these families surged up the economic ladder as more married women went to work in the paid labor force. By 2000, 42 percent earned more than $100,000 in today’s dollars.

The most recent recession put a halt to the advances of even that generally successful group. Its share in the middle class has fallen by three percentage points and the share earning less than $35,000 has increased.

Households headed by adults 65 and older are not shown in the family status charts.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Minnesota Population Center/IPUMS

“In the Great Recession, we lost a lot of middle-income jobs and we gained a lot of low-paying jobs,” said Michael R. Strain, resident scholar at the right-of-center American Enterprise Institute. “That’s a slower-burning thing, but it increased in ferocity during the recession, and people are feeling it.”

For more than two decades, John D’Amanda, 54, earned about $30,000 a year running a window-washing service in Oakland, Calif. He had a car and an apartment. Then, in 2009, the calls stopped coming in. His customers no longer had the luxury of paying for someone to wash their windows.

Mr. D’Amanda got a job at a McDonald’s, where he has worked ever since, now earning 25 cents above the state’s new minimum wage of $9. He pays $350 a month in rent to share a small bedroom with a roommate.

“I’m barely able to afford that,” he said.

These days, most middle-class adults reached their status through higher education. As recently as 1992, half of all middle-class households were headed by someone with a high school education or less, according to the Times analysis. Today, only 37 percent of the middle class has not been to college.

Geography also matters. The biggest declines in middle-class households during the previous half-century occurred in the Northeast — states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey — where industrial economies gave way to mass suburbanization and increased affluence.

According to a New York Times poll in December, 60 percent of people who call themselves middle class think that if they work hard they will get rich. But the evidence suggests that goal is increasingly out of reach. When middle class people look up, they see the rich getting richer while they spin their wheels.

“The middle has basically stayed the same; it hasn’t improved,” said Lawrence F. Katz, an economist at Harvard University. “You’ve got an iPhone now and a better TV, but your median income hasn’t changed. What’s really changed is the penthouse has become supernice.”

Still, there are some recent signs of hope for the middle class. The economy is improving and more jobs are being created, many of them in better-paying categories like professional services, health care and even a reviving manufacturing sector.

Jason Pappas’s prospects, for example, are looking up. Mr. Pappas, 32, from Muncie, Ind., was earning about $42 an hour as an iron worker in the mid-2000s, but building projects dried up during the recession, pushing him onto the unemployment rolls for a year and a half.

He eventually found a job as a truck driver. Today, he earns just over half the hourly wage he made as an iron worker, but he is happy to have a steady job.

“It pays the bills,” he said, “and I have medical insurance.”

Moreover, Mr. Pappas just learned that he was being promoted to supervisor. Soon, with overtime, he’ll be earning $80,000 a year.

He is feeling a lot better about his future. “Hard work pays off,” Mr. Pappas said.

*************

Obama Hits The Koch Congress Where It Hurts By Proposing More Drilling Restrictions On ANWR

By: Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA
Sunday, January, 25th, 2015, 6:06 pm   

President Obama stayed five steps ahead of the Republican controlled Congress by announcing his administration’s plan to protect more of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge from drilling.

The president said:

    Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place. Pristine, undisturbed, it supports caribou and polar bears, all matter of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it’s supported many Alaska native communities, but it’s very fragile. That’s why that my Department of Interior has put forth a comprehensive plan to make sure that we’re protecting the refuge and that we’re designating new areas, including coastal plains for preservation. And I’m going to be calling on Congress to make sure that they take it one step further. Designating it as a wilderness, so that we can make sure that this amazing wonder is preserved for future generations.

The Department of Interior is proposing a plan that would reccomend that, “12.28 million acres – including the Coastal Plain – for designation as wilderness. The Service also recommends four rivers – the Atigun, Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning – for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Currently, over 7 million acres of the refuge are managed as wilderness, consistent with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. However, more than 60 percent of the refuge – including the Coastal Plain – does not carry that designation. Designation as wilderness would protect and preserve the refuge, ensuring the land and water would remain unimpaired for use and enjoyment by future generations. Only Congress has the authority to designate Wilderness areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers.”

The Republican chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska vowed to fight the new plan, “What’s coming is a stunning attack on our sovereignty and our ability to develop a strong economy that allows us, our children and our grandchildren to thrive. It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory. The promises made to us at statehood, and since then, mean absolutely nothing to them. I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska. But we will not be run over like this. We will fight back with every resource at our disposal.”

As the Koch Republican run Congress is trying to pass Keystone XL, President Obama took another pro-environment step against the GOP agenda. Republicans have been trying to open up ANWR to more drilling since 1977. Before the latest flare-up of the issue, former President George W. Bush tried to get Congress to reverse the ban on offshore drilling.

While the president continues trying to move the country forward towards a sensible and self-sustaining energy policy, Republicans continue to do Big Oil’s bidding. The Alaska economy is dependent on drilling, so their opposition to the president’s conservation plan is understandable, but Obama was sending a message to the American people. The president is laying out an agenda for the Democratic Party that paints a clear contrast with what the Republicans are offering.

While Republicans are bogged down on Keystone XL, President Obama has already moved five steps ahead.

***********

Boehner and McConnell Bomb On 60 Minutes When Asked For GOP Alternative to Obamacare

By: Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA
Sunday, January, 25th, 2015, 8:14 pm      

Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a disastrous appearance on 60 Minutes, the lowlight of which was their complete inability to discuss the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

Speaker Boehner went on a dodge and weave filibuster when asked what the Republican alternative to Obamacare was, “Providing more access we could have done without taking control of the entire healthcare system. When you look at Obamacare, it’s a perfect example of what Washington does. It’s a one size fits all approach for the whole country all driven by Washington bureaucrats. I’ll bet they’ve hired tens of thousands of people between the IRS and over at Health and Human Services just to run this. All of the decisions, all of the rules decided by Washington. We have a wide, diverse country, and I just think it’s time for us to look at this differently. For those who don’t have access to affordable health insurance. Helping those at the bottom I think we’re all for it, but we don’t need Washington to ruin the greatest health delivery system that the world has ever known.”

CBS’s Scott Pelley asked again, “So how do you do it? What’s the Republican plan?” Boehner answered with a weak, “We’re, We’re working on this. Having discussions amongst our members, got a lot of divergent views about how best to go back to a doctor/patient relationship that’s revered.”

Pelley kept hammering away and said that this is one of the biggest criticisms of the Republican Party is that they know what they are against, but can’t tell people what they are for. McConnell said that Pelley was mischaracterizing the success of Obamacare and claimed that the ACA will fail. McConnell said that the chances, of getting rid of Obamacare with Obama in the White House, were slim, but that Republicans were going to make the effort.

Pelley replied, “You don’t have an alternative.”

At this point, Boehner jumped back in and pushed the same old Republican ideas of letting people buy insurance across state lines and medical malpractice insurance reform. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell went on the most watched television news program in the country and promptly fell on their faces. The truth is that Republicans have no replacement plan for the ACA.

Boehner and McConnell both talked about getting rid of the ACA, but what they didn’t mention is that a bill that they each voted for funded Obamacare for another year. Republicans have created a new disaster for themselves on a weekly basis since they have taken over Congress. The new Republican majority was supposed to get things done, but instead has been consumed by ineptitude and infighting while being constantly outmaneuvered by President Obama.

Republicans have had almost six years to come up with an ACA alternative. They have had even longer to come up with a plan to reform health care. The Republican plan is to return the country to a system where tens of millions of Americans lack access to health care, and those with insurance are one medical crisis away from bankruptcy.

The Republican Party has no alternative. Even worse, they treat the American people like they don’t have a clue.

***********

Alan Grayson Was Right! They Want You To 'Die Quickly'

CrookAndLiars
1/26/15 12:20am

At least they're finally being honest about it. Remember when Republicans and their conservative media counterparts went into paroxysms of outrage over Alan Grayson's floor speech calling out conservatives for acting as de facto death panels?

Behold, Sunday's AEI op-ed piece in the Washington Post, aptly titled "End Obamacare and people could die. That's okay."

Written by Republican KochHead Michael R. Strain, the crux of his argument is this:

    In a world of scarce resources, a slightly higher mortality rate is an acceptable price to pay for certain goals — including more cash for other programs, such as those that help the poor; less government coercion and more individual liberty; more health-care choice for consumers, allowing them to find plans that better fit their needs; more money for taxpayers to spend themselves; and less federal health-care spending. This opinion is not immoral. Such choices are inevitable. They are made all the time.

Scarce resources? That's rich, coming from a guy whoring working for oligarchs who want for nothing but more liberty to strip a few extra resources from poor people. And please spare me the faux concern about the poor, which is a straw man intended to make readers believe they give a damn.

This, from the same group of people who insist there can be no exceptions -- ZERO -- to abortion choices. Women may not choose even if their pregnancy threatens their lives, or happened as a result of rape or incest. No choices. Because liberty.

This, from the same group of people who argue that the poor just need a bootstrap but no cash, and certainly no assistance in the form of living expenses or food to survive. Because you know, those programs simply drain resources and drive up the debt. Because liberty.

This, from the same group of people who argue that the way to help the elderly with their health care is to hand it off to private insurance companies and shift the burden over to those least able to afford it. Because liberty.

Strain continues his argument with this:  

    Consider this question: Should society have as its goal that the government prevents all deaths from any health-related ailment other than natural causes associated with ripe old age? The notion is absurd — to both conservatives and liberals. There are limits to the proper amount of scarce resources, funded by taxpayers, that Washington should redirect toward health care.

Neither should society have as its goal leaving its citizens -- young and old alike -- as slaves to corporate health care providers who profit on the backs of the sick and dying. Because general welfare.

For a think tank who proclaims at every turn that the U.S. Constitution is their sole guide, how do they interpret the general welfare clause, which appears in two places; the preamble and the taxation and spending section?

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The United States' general welfare is not served by leaving health care decisions in the hands of the rich and privileged, Mr. Strain. The strength of this country rests on its people. If those people are dying of preventable disease or living with untreated chronic disease it hurts the work force, it hurts the economy, and it hurts the oligarchs.

As a bone, Mr. Strain does concede that some form of universal healthcare should be available, but not for those everyday sorts of things. Just catastrophes. Clearly Mr. Strain has not studied health care delivery carefully enough if he thinks it's such a burden to cover someone's annual sinus infection.

That sinus infection could be a sign of something else -- an autoimmune condition signaling other, deeper more concerning factors. That chronic bronchitis could be the first sign of COPD, which can respond to less expensive treatments and more rapid intervention to prevent the onset of a more expensive lung condition such as emphysema. Even the acne your kids have can be a warning sign.

It wasn't all that long ago that people didn't go to dentists to have their teeth cleaned. They waited until they had an abscess or toothache and ended up paying a fortune in dental bills to take care of the problem. Either that or their teeth just fell out, leaving them with a host of other health problems to deal with. Insurance companies discovered that the cost of covering two teeth cleanings per year mitigated costs because problems were caught and treated sooner.

The idea of universal coverage limited to catastrophe is also meant to foreclose people with chronic conditions from having access to health insurance. By offering the bare minimum as a form of "universal health care", those with chronic conditions will be shut out of the market because adverse selection will force them to be.

So no. Universal coverage of catastrophic illness is not enough, nor does it serve the general welfare of the United States. The ACA (Obamacare) is imperfect, but it is actually turning the tide on health care issues in this country. For the first time, medical bankruptcies are slowing down. For the first time, people who already had health issues are getting them treated before they turn into catastrophes. These are of great benefit to those people and the nation as a whole.

Finally, the "replacement plan" Mr. Strain proposes is exactly the plan outlined on The Project 2017 site I wrote about last year.

    The Burr-Coburn-Hatch plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate to purchase insurance, and leave the current system of employer-sponsored coverage largely in place. It would cap the tax preference for employer-provided coverage (though only for extremely generous plans) and use the revenue to provide a tax credit for people who don’t get their health insurance through their jobs. Their plan would provide “continuous coverage” protection, so that people who remain enrolled in insurance can’t be financially penalized for getting sick; offer new federal funding for high-risk pools; and allow Medicaid participants to receive the tax credits and enroll in individual-market plans. A paramount goal of this proposal is to ensure that no one who is or becomes gravely ill goes without adequate medical care.

I bold-faced the first sentence of Strain's description there to put an exclamation point on what it means to repeal the Affordable Care Act altogether. Here are your bullets:

    Exclusions for pre-existing conditions
    Annual and lifetime caps on treatment
    Excessive costs for those with pre-existing conditions by shoveling them into state-based high-risk pools
    No coverage for preventative care
    Children over age 22 will be forced to buy their own health insurance, whether or not employed

Shoot these bullets at conservatives like any good Second Amendment believer would.

Because liberty.

*********

John McCain Humiliates Himself On CBS By Claiming Obama’s Lost Touch With Reality

By: Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA
Sunday, January, 25th, 2015, 4:34 pm   

While claiming that President Obama is delusional, Sen. John McCain humiliated himself and revealed why he doesn’t belong in the United States Senate.

Transcript:

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I’m afraid that he and the president have lost touch with reality.

Iran is on the march throughout. In Yemen, it’s not AQAP that has taken over the government. It’s the Houthis, who, guess what, are backed and supported by the Iranians. The Iranians are now either dominant or extremely influential in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen.

They’re on the move in Bahrain. And they are winning. And there is no — I did not hear Mr. McDonough articulate a strategy, except that we will fight against these people, which is nice to know.

But when you look at the map, the Iranians are on the march. AQAP and the ISIS in both Iraq and Syria are doing quite well. There is no strategy to defeat them. For example, in Kobani, we have been bombing Kobani for months with the U.S. airpower and they are still there. ISIS continues to consolidate their position and attract thousands of young people from all over the world.

And, believe me, I agree with the director of British intelligence, MI5, who gave a speech last week saying that these young people mainly from other countries that are now in Iraq and Syria will — are a direct threat to the United States of America and Great Britain.

So there is no strategy. It is delusional for them to think that what they’re doing is succeeding. And we need more boots on the ground. I know that is a tough thing to say and a tough thing for Americans to swallow, but it doesn’t mean the 82nd Airborne. It means forward air controllers. It means special forces. It means intelligence and it means other capabilities.

In other words, McCain is arguing that the country has gone to hell in a handbasket since voters decided not to elect him president in 2008. Sen. McCain has become a national embarrassment. His solution is always to send in more American troops. McCain has no policy. He constantly repeats the same call for more boots on the ground, even though the American people are adamantly opposed to sending American troops anywhere.

President Obama’s strategy is working. The problem is that the Obama strategy doesn’t involve starting another war. Sen. McCain’s constant defiance of the will of the people that he is supposed to be serving represents a danger to every American. McCain is the one who is out of touch with reality. It isn’t 2002 anymore. Republicans can’t scream terrorist and expect the American people to mobilize behind their cries for war.

Sen. McCain’s (R-AZ) criticisms of the president are rooted in sour grapes. Obama won. McCain lost, and nearly seven years later the Republican senator is still trying to undermine the current administration. McCain’s act has grown stale and tired. It is time for the Sunday shows to stop giving this broken record of a senator airtime.

***************

Presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz suck up to billionaire Kochs at secretive event

Reuters
26 Jan 2015 at 06:48 ET                  

Three potential Republican presidential candidates appeared before a gathering of wealthy donors organized by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers in California on Sunday night.

The summit, held at a luxury resort near Palm Springs sealed off to outsiders, drew Republican Senators Marco Rubio from Florida, Rand Paul from Kentucky and Ted Cruz from Texas.

It was organized by brothers Charles and David Koch, successful industrialists who bankroll conservative causes across America. Access to their network of money and influence is alluring to some potential Republican presidential hopefuls.

The Kochs have a private network that spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent elections and a donor list that is wealthy, diverse and hungry for a Republican candidate that can win the White House in 2016.

The Koch event capped a busy two days where the long road to the Republican nomination appeared to have begun in earnest.

Eight potential Republican candidates made speeches at a separate gathering in Iowa on Saturday.

At least a dozen Republicans are showing interest in 2016. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are among those seriously looking at White House bids.

Chris Christie, the Republican New Jersey governor, has formed a political action committee, a major step to a presidential run, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

On Sunday night, Republican senators Rubio, Paul and Cruz discussed domestic and foreign policy. They were being hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit organization backed by the Koch brothers.

“STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM”

Freedom Partners and other Koch political fundraising entities are structured under the U.S. tax code so that their donors, and how much money they give, do not have to be disclosed.

The political advocacy network run by the Koch brothers aimed to spend $290 million on advertisements and messaging ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections.

The Koch brothers are frequently criticized by Democrats as being secretive bankrollers of Republican causes and campaigns.

The press was not allowed access for the California gathering. Freedom Partners released excerpts of a speech by Charles Koch to attendees on Saturday night, in which he said “the struggle for freedom never ends”.

An internet feed of the three senators’ discussion was also provided. Lifting people out of poverty, and whether a federal minimum wage was a potential solution, particularly animated them.

“I think the minimum wage constantly hurts the most vulnerable,” Cruz said.

 80 
 on: Jan 26, 2015, 08:42 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Scientists slow the speed of light

January 24, 2015
Abbey Hull for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

After discovering two years ago that the speed of light may not be fixed after all, physicists at the University of Glasgow have now discovered a way that the speed of light can be slowed by running it through a special mask, which changes its shape.

Published in the journal Science, the physicists challenged the standard that the speed of light in a vacuum remains constant by introducing a way to change the shape of the speed of light in order to slow it down.

Building a dual course “racetrack” to fire two groups of photons simultaneously towards a detector a meter away, researchers compared unaltered photons in their original state against photons that were fired through the filter, altering the shape into a Gaussian or Bessel beam.

The results for each photon group were compared, proving that the altered photons were 0.001 percent slower in arriving at the detector than the normal photons. Thus, not only did the light not return to its normal speed after passing through the filter, but also the light emitted officially moved slower than the speed of light. Who knew?

While the results will not cause upheaval (yet) in the modern realm of special relativity, nor will they toss Einstein in his grave, this new discovery will lead to exploration by future researchers to ensure the validity of the test and to offer further possibilities concerning the speed of light.

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