Credit: Peter Morrison/AP
Total Lunar Eclipse: Prophetic Warning For U.S. ElitesPlus,
A Decade Of Economic Deleveraging Ahead?
Deaf To History's Rhyme? What's Next For President Obama?
"We will fire at anyone or anything that tries to censor WikiLeaks, including multi-billion dollar companies such as PayPal... The major shitstorm has begun..." ~ Operation Payback.
The hacker group calling themselves "Anonymous," collectively known as "operation payback." AP reports that the group has already succeeded in taking down both MasterCard and Visa's worldwide servers following both corporation's pressure from the U.S. government to freeze the credit card transactions of WikiLeaks.
The group says the establishment has unleashed the world's first "cyberwar" in the wake of censorship attacks on freedom of expression.
Peace to All Humanity and Goodwill.
This special edition of Global Astrology is a long read but important for those who may want to seek a bit of mundane clarity on global events as we approach the coming year of 2011, and the start of a new decade.
Use this edition as an understanding of the present times, as well as glimpses into the coming future.
Try to see what is happening in the world as the evolution of human consciousness, if you would. I offer some of my own experiences to explain some context into the historic times we've entered.
My views are not offered as opinions, but my comments are always derived from what I see in world transits, both of the present and of the possible futures.
Readers of Global Astrology will not be surprised by what they find on these pages if they are aware of my approach to mundane astrology and how it colors my global perspective of the world.
As much as I am a scientific person, I am also a very spiritual person. I am also an avid student of history, as any astrologer must be in order to understand what they are given to come to know by serious study of the revolutions of the stars and planets.
I know there is fear and worry in the world, and for good reasons. However, I would say to anyone who takes life seriously, who cares enough for people to make a difference, that there is hope, and there is courage.
You are that hope, you are that courage, and yes, you are also that change.
Never forget the power of people committed to truth, liberty and justice and love. Love can also kick much ass when needs be. (Being a Philadelphian, I had to let that one slip out.)
In my astrological work, if I could choose a song that reflects some of what the experience of stargazing is like, the things I see and hear, the passages of transits, of time, as in a mirror brightly-lit and also darkly....
I read astrological transits and quiet my mind with knowledge of the past, the present and what comes to me of the potentials of the future is true under the stars and planets because I only seek to know that which is simply there.
It is like the light of a burning candle which is true in and of itself, and under favorable transits, shows in which direction the mundane future trends.
If I could explain the ways of the things I see over the passages of transits and what I know about the future -> it would feel and sound something like this.
It has long been my belief that the year 2010 would be an historic year and the events of this year, according to the positions of the outer planets have clearly show this to be true.
If one looks around the world, one can easily see that your average person is really pissed off, and why not?
From the questions of what started the global economic crisis, to coming austerity to populations already under the heavy weight of double-digit unemployment, to revelations that a generational establishment practices diplomacy with criminal gangs running governments.
And we wonder why people are angry because the world is in such a mess?
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being an American and a native Philadelphian, I am one of those people who really loves his country. How could you not?
Most Americans are like this. Being born in the city that started it all (along with Boston) is about the best thing there is about being American as apple Pie.
We are not a perfect nation by far, but we are always working hard to perfect ourselves. That is what makes America great. I really believe that and I surely still do.
110% God and country.
But, the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson, would not be too pleased as to the bozos out there who appear to treat democracy with contempt while preaching to others how to be democratic.
Nearly every day I walk past the exact spot in Philadelphia where Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence. I always say a prayer and smile when I pass by this place for it reminds me of what we Americans are all about.
I feel the same way when I pass by Benjamin Franklin's grave, or by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
As America's first Secretary of State in 1792 Jefferson supervised a diplomatic corps of ambassadors in 16 countries. One of their prime duties, Jefferson wrote as instruction to them, was to collect and report “such political and commercial intelligence as you may think interesting to the United States.”
It is never been a wonder to mundane astrologers why this is so. There are those who currently sit in highest seats of government power, their agents and diplomats may become recently conscious of just why the monarchs of history employed royal astrologers.
There is a very good reason for this. Monarchs knew that to hear unpopular truths in order to form healthy strategies that support their nations and partners can only come from those who read the language of the stars, the same stars on the American flag representing our great states.
The prophecies of the ancients continue to speak to us. They continue to say that nothing is hidden under the concavity of the heavens.
For those who would fear the Immortal God, listen and hear to these prophecies which I believe are quite important to our present and our future times.
The recent months of this first series of the Cardinal Crisis years, we have come to a point close enough to the year 2011 when it is essential to see the bigger picture so as to make adjustments individually for the potentials of the near and long-term future.
World transits show the global period between December 2010 through May 2011 to be significant as we observe present times.
While Saturn transits Libra, we have all of the planets in our solar system in the southern hemisphere of the zodiac with the exception of Jupiter and Uranus, - both will cross over the eastern point of Aries between January and March 2011.
The last Cardinal T-Square took place in the early 1930s, so we take a look into the past and see how things have fared since the life and times of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt while we ask what is next for President Barack Obama?
We look at Ireland, a nation under economic siege in the European Union and we examine Dr. A. Gary Shilling's contention that a decade of debt deleveraging is just ahead for the 2010s.
First, we look to the near present and the month of December as the signs of the heavens give us hope and warnings about the choices we make just ahead of the start of a new decade.
The Great Sphinx and Great Pyramid.
photo: Bill Ellzey
By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S
The New Moon of December 5, 2010 arrives at 13-14 degrees of tropical Sagittarius. For the United States, this cycle of time highlights foreign diplomacy (obviously) in light of the WikiLeaks Revelations in Cablegate.
The picture just prior to the new moon, under the balsamic last quarter Moon indicates a lot of rushing about, and failing attempts to contain the effects of the cardinal crisis.
Sagittarius highlights the Mundane Ninth House of publishing, international affairs, philosophy and matters associated with the affairs of state. There's way too much politics about, and you know, Christmas is around the corner.
The cluster of planets of the December 5, 2010 New Moon, which arrives at 12:33 p.m., EST, has Minerva at midheaven at 23-Sagittarius, followed by Mars at 28-Sagittarius, the Dragon's Head at 2- Capricorn, with Mercury and Pluto conjoined at 4-Capricorn, followed by Ceres at 19-Capricorn.
It is decision time from here on out to mid-March 2011.
The choices made during the month of December through to March 2011 will reflect the ability, or lack thereof, of policy-makers and leaders to adjust to the changing times.
As much as Sagittarius is high-minded, it can also be impulsive, leading to particular problems when Mars enters and transits Capricorn towards its conjunction with the North Lunar Node and Pluto in Capricorn.
Mars has been in square aspect to both Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces. The square to Uranus is still within orb of Uranus which indicates that a general sense of impulsiveness inclines those who are reactionary.
There are outbursts of temper and frustrating desires to do whatever one wants - impulsively, at whatever cost. This is clearly in error.
The inclinations of Mars in Sagittarius in square to Uranus at December's new moon shows egotistical and very self-centered views harboring to attack the "other," despite calls for cooler heads.
Good advice comes only from those with patience enough who include in their views the long-term and bigger picture from those simply exercising their ego in feeble attempts at power plays.
Under these influences, there are attempts to alienate others, quarrels among and within groups, along with financial pressures tied to elitist ideologies - all sources of fighting and conflict.
Large-scale forces beyond an individual's control may attempt to disrupt the affairs of life. The unexpected under Uranus' influence clashes with Mars' desire for impulsive actions which are malefic.
Avoiding power-plays is well advised, while seeking to radically adjust one's out-dated viewpoints, and philosophies to new ideas that can be bottled in the vessels of sage knowledge. That is the cure.
However, the impulsive inclinations of the New Sagittarius Moon shows those who are influenced by current trends who regress back into old habits, reactionary as they are, that are out-of-date in today's world.
Astrologers will note that all of the planets are in the southern hemisphere of the zodiac - between Libra through Aries. Two planets, Jupiter and Uranus, will cross over the 0-Aries point between January and March 2011 to begin transit in the northern hemisphere of the zodiac.
This will be followed by Jupiter's opposition to Saturn (first one since 1990-91) on the Aries-Libra axis.
These transits reflect the ongoing frustrations, anger, stresses and tensions which have continued since Saturn opposed Uranus starting in 2008.
The Bank Crisis, spurred by illegal and corrupt practices, have led to severe economic crisis featuring a decade of debt deleveraging and austerity among nations.
This surely will cause more geopolitical disruptions worldwide in light of the Baby Boomer generation's seemingly dysfunctional inability to get anything done right as ruling establishment.
December's lunar phases show mutable action through to December 28. There is the first quarter Moon at 21-Pisces on Dec. 13, 2010. This is followed Dec. 20-21, 2010 by a full moon - eclipsed by earth's shadow.
Total Lunar Eclipse
Prophetic Warning to U.S. Baby Boomer Elites
La loy de Sol, & Venus contendans,
Appropriant l'esprit de prophetie :
Ne l'vn ne l'autre ne seront entendans,
Par Sol tiendra la loy du grand Messie.
~ Michel Nostradamus, century V, quatrain 53
A Full Moon and total lunar eclipse at 29-Gemini will be seen over North America in the chilly early morning skies December 21, starting just after 1:30 a.m. EST, and continuing through to 5:01 a.m., EST.
Observers in western regions of North America and Hawaii will see the eclipse begin on the late evening of December 20th.
click to enlarge
The December 20-21st total lunar eclipse belongs to Saros Cycle #125 - a series of 72 eclipses in the following sequence: 17 penumbral, 13 partial, 26 total, 9 partial, and 7 penumbral lunar eclipses.
This lunar eclipse, at the anaretic degree of 29-Gemini, is visible from North America and western South America. Look to the south-by-southwestern skies. The totality of lunar darkness phase will last about 72 minutes.
*Lunar Eclipse Times - Dec. 20-21, 2010, Universal Time (UT)*
Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 05:29:17 UT Partial Eclipse Begins: 06:32:37 UT Total Eclipse Begins: 07:40:47 UT Greatest Eclipse: 08:16:57 UT Total Eclipse Ends: 08:53:08 UT Partial Eclipse Ends: 10:01:20 UT Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 11:04:31 UT
Observers along South America's east coast will miss the late stages of the eclipse because they occur after the moon sets. Most of Europe and Africa experience moon-set with eclipse in progress.
Only those living in northern Scandinavia will be able to see the entire lunar eclipse from Europe. People in parts of eastern Asia will see the Moon rise in eclipse. The Dec. 21., 2010 lunar eclipse will not be visible from south and east Africa, the Middle East or in South Asia.
At the instant of greatest eclipse (08:17 UT) the Moon will be near zenith for observers in southern California and Baja Mexico. At that time, umbral magnitude peaks at 1.2561 as the Moon's southern limb passes 2.8 arc-minutes north of the shadow's central axis.
The Moon's northern limb will be 8.1 arc-minutes from the northern edge of the umbra and 34.6 arc-minutes from shadow center. This means the southern half of the Moon will appear darker than the northern half because the Moon is deeper in the umbra.
This eclipsed Moon opposes the Sun, Mercury, Minerva, Mars, the North Lunar Node, and Pluto. The signs point to power plays amongst groups through the winter season and into spring 2011.
That means a winter of major discontent. Caution is urged and so is prudence.
Mutable moons seek action, so during the lead up to the holidays, there is distress among populations and society in general along with a deep sense of being let down by politicians and elites in government. The disconnect is a major failure to translate what is true to the public without lying or obfuscation.
The impulsiveness shown by sign of the December 5, 2010 New Moon gives way to the lunar eclipse of Dec. 20-21st in that it shows very poor decisions amongst Boomer elites who fight to hold onto what they consider as "their right to power."
Threats which have emerged from Boomer elites such as the hundreds of threats to openly assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, his lawyers and even his children - is a sure sign these elites are under the influence of unfavorable transits.
Those elites making death threats have much bigger problems than Julian Assange, they do not yet believe this; however, world transits show some will come to this determination - after the fact. Those slightly brighter will do so just before.
The establishment has seriously upset just about every computer hacker in the world. Are you crazy? When you are sleeping they are always working. Do you realize what this means when the freedom of expression is attacked?
"We will fire at anyone or anything that tries to censor WikiLeaks, including multi-billion dollar companies such as PayPal. The major shitstorm has begun..." - Operation Payback response to the establishment in the wake of Cablegate.
Do you know that for every one Julian Assange, that there are millions of hackers out there willing to replace him?
Is the establishment outside of their own minds?
Never underestimate the power of non-conformity.
As a mundane astrologer, I've warned previously against impulse and rash acts during the Cardinal Crisis of 2010, as there would be serious consequences not intended which will impact futures.
Sepharial notes about the degrees of 29-Gemini and 30-Gemini:
29-Gemini: "A gloomy sky filled with scudding clouds. A flight of blackbirds are struggling against the wind."
It denotes a person (or people) of pessimistic nature; one who will abandon many projects for want of hope and perseverance. The mind is filled with an endless succession of thoughts and schemes, but always in the black mantle of doubt and misgivings.
The nature is weak and easily thrown off the track; prolix, versatile, but lacking, as such natures mostly are, in continuity. It is a degree of Doubt and Change.
30-Gemini: "A wolf following a sheep along a secluded pathway."
It signifies a crafty nature, capable of intrigue and deception; one who will form associations with a design of ultimate conquest. A seductive nature, living at the risk of others' happiness. A man or men of considerable powers of persuasion but who are not to be trusted. It is a degree of Deception.
So basically, what we have here is a month of December and beyond into the winter of 2011 where people need to be careful with whom they associate with - particularly elites who are in perdition, but either do not know it, or do not believe they are.
No matter, the world transits associated with this lunar eclipse are quite clear that the following months to spring 2011 will be dangerous from persons or people who cannot be trusted.
The configurations show these individuals and groups are associated with government power, but again, are in perdition themselves, mainly through corruption, greed, power-thirst and ignorance.
Mercury will be retrograde in early Capricorn and the latter degrees of Sagittarius from December 10 through to December 30th. This further signifies a doubtful, confusing and deceptive time in the world.
The influences of the December 2010 total lunar eclipse also comes on the day of the Sun's entry into Capricorn, and the winter solstice of the northern hemisphere.
The length and power of this lunar eclipse over the regions where it can be observed will extend into 2011 and is a clear warning for patience, prudence and practicality.
The impulsive inclinations of the signs of the Dec. 5, 2010 new moon confirm this, as do the positions of the outer planets. These next months from December 2010 through to April 2010 call on us to be cautious about the times.
I would ask those who say that they are shocked by the release and revelations of world diplomatic cables by Wikileaks to also consider this very carefully:
Nothing is hidden in our world. Pick up your Bible, your Qur’an, your Pistis Sophia and read the astrological works of the mundane astrologer Nostradamus.
Look up at the skies, by day and by night - are they not fully open to you? Does the Sun not shine, nor cast its light on the Moon?
Do not the planets form their mathematical configurations and regulate our climate and weather?
Do not the planets revolve above our heads and record all the things that we say, that we do? Do they not incline and do they show who is inclined to do this, and who is inclined to do that?
Listen to the sounds I hear when reading transits, contemplating and forecasting by astrological means. Mundane astrologers call it the 'music of the spheres'. This one -> is of the planet Jupiter.
How can those who say they are "appalled" at what Wikileaks has released, when the so-called "secrets" of the past, present and future times can be easily accessed by your own eyes and ears for free?
Is there anything in the holy scriptures or in the mundane charts of astrologers that does not show all that has, is, and may be done under the heavens?
One cannot said to be shocked enough to understand that in order to change the future and the world into a better - not a worse - place, that human beings must enlighten themselves to realize that they are that change.
What would I propose world leaders and their agents do in light of the revelations?
Look in a mirror and ask yourself - 'Is it worth the eternal future of my own soul?'
We all make mistakes. Some are better than others and some are worse than others.
Some mistakes can be undone by repenting and not doing again. We can become civil and just in our words, meanings and in our acts. We can shape the world towards that of goodness, graciousness, fear of God, honesty and proper relations among ourselves and nations.
In effect, smile a genuine smile, be civil and be just, say a true word and a true friend will agree and walk hand-in-hand with you.
Christ once said, "Be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
Some mistakes cannot be reversed and for those, individuals and groups of common interests - they have no hope other than to ask the forgiveness of the Immortal God from whom all Light comes from and returns.
For all souls and spirits are in danger of losing themselves to dark forces they cannot comprehend, but which are wholly real. In order to not fall into them, one must use free will to change one's ways for the years are shorter, according to the celestial transits.
All people, all Individuals must make a choice: will it be the world of light you will inhabit?
Or that of the outer darkness, where there is howling and the grinding of teeth?
The truth wants to be open and free. Transparent. So do human souls.
I say this: nothing Wikileaks has released has surprised this mundane astrologer. I could tell you things which would curl all the hairs on your body if you really wanted to know the extent of the corruption now present in this world and the horrid future consequences of such evil.
However, the end for those who participate are very much in dire perdition, because their own souls, spirits, memories and personalities will be thrown into such dark and evil places as to truly frighten the bravest of all powerful angels.
Do only good in the world if you want to survive what is to come.
If you haven't done so yet, I tell you this truth:
The celestial signs clearly show that these years are shorter in our times and that every single soul is in true danger from the Immortal God and his agents if we fail to come correct and to do what is just, good and right.
Forewarned is foretold.
The Cardinal Crisis
Is Truth Now Called Treason?
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." ~ Luke 8:17
By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S
The French mundane astrologer Michel Nostradamus once wrote that "all things are naked and open."
When I think of the generation coming into its own today, and of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, I have to think of this song from my youth, which I think depicts Assange, and the supporters of WikiLeaks quite well -> Hear it here.
As a mundane astrologer, my view of the world is quite different than those of conventional views. It has long been the belief of mundane astrologers that there are no secrets. That there are only true spiritual mysteries.
For everything any human being has ever done, or is doing, is fully open to the sight and ears of the Immortal God and the invisibles - they surround all of us, whether we want to believe it or not.
As the world enters the second decade of the 2010s, it is amazing to witness how any government, or their agents, would pretend that their own words and acts are somehow exempt from the laws and rules which govern all humanity?
I would remind those who are in ignorance and/or doubt that they are being watched by forces which are invisible, but nonetheless are very real and with you at all times.
They write down and record all the things you say and do, and have ever done under the inclinations of the planets, the Sun and the Moon.
You cannot see them, but they are there and can see and hear your words and see your acts, whether you believe this is so or not.
The Sun does not require your belief for it to rise, nor does the Moon need your permission to set. These are astrological and physical truths which pertain directly to matters of the spirit, the mind and the soul.
Since we are entering the holiday season, it is a good time in the world for us to truly think what this time of year is all about.
For those who would procrastinate in coming to accept and realizing truths, consider these words of Jesus Christ on the matter:
For at the completion of the time of the number of the perfect souls, before I have set fire to the world, in order that it may purify the æons and the veils and the firmaments and the whole earth and also all the matters which are on it, mankind will be still existing.
'I know you not, who you are, you who are doers of iniquity and of evil even unto now. Wherefore go into the outer darkness.'
Under attack, WikiLeaks seeks shelter in Cold War bunkerBy Michael Calderone
WikiLeaks has been fighting a multi-front battle to keep its explosive cache of leaked State Department cables available online.
Since the material came online November 28, 2010, hackers have been trying to take down the WikiLeaks site, while U.S. political leaders have applied pressure on companies to remove the data clearinghouse's files from their servers.
The New York Times reports that EveryDNS.net, a U.S.-based domain name provider, has now cut off its service to WikiLeaks.
With Wikileaks.org currently down, the organization registered Wikileaks.ch in Switzerland. It was registered, the Times reports, by "the Swiss branch of the Swedish Pirate Party, a political organization that has "previously worked with" WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange. For now, that address is working.
WikiLeaks continues to keep files on the servers of Swedish company Bahnhof. Last night, CNN looked at Bahnhof's Cold War-era bunker, which the company's chief executive said was inspired by "science fiction and James Bond movies." But will Bahnhof also fold under similar pressure?
Hackers are continuing their distributed denial of service attacks, and the official pressure from political leaders to evict the WikiLeaks files from other servers isn't letting up, either.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee, led by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn), successfully pushed Amazon.com to kick WikiLeaks off its servers on Wednesday.
Some commentators were quick to criticize Lieberman's involvement as stepping over the line of his authority in an effort to squash free speech. Salon's Glenn Greenwald likened the senator to a "Chinese dictator."
Amazon Web Services, which doesn't pre-screen customers who use their servers, claimed that the company wasn't bowing to political pressure. WikiLeaks, the company said, was removed because it violated terms of service by posting documents that it "doesn't own or otherwise control all the rights to."
But WikiLeaks isn't buying the explanation and offered its own thoughts over Twitter: "Amazon's press release does not accord with the facts on public record.
It is one thing to be cowardly. Another to lie about it."
Of course, the New York Times and other news organizations, have posted some of the documents obtained by WikiLeaks on their sites and haven't faced the same government pressure. WikiLeaks, in possession of 250,000 cables, has actually only published a small percentage of them so far.
See -> The Guardian Newspaper Interactive Guide on Cablegate
See -> Cablegate: Censorship and Freedom in Unlikely Places
By Richard Stengel
[Editor's Note: The open source protection media organization Wikileaks surprised the world in November 2010 with the release of 251,287 diplomatic cables that cover a time span from December 1966 to February 2010 originating from 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions worldwide.]
TIME: Hi, Mr. Assange, it's Rick Stengel. I'm the editor of TIME magazine, and thank you for joining us this evening.
JULIAN ASSANGE: "You're welcome."
TIME: "So sorry about the technical difficulties, but I'm sure it's something you're used to. So here we go."
Assange: "Thousands of them."
TIME: "What is the effect thus far of the latest round of leaks and what effect do you hope to have from those leaks?"
Assange: "I can see that the media scrutiny and the reaction from government are so tremendous that it actually eclipses our ability to understand it.
And I think there is a new story appearing, a new, original story appearing about once every two minutes somewhere around the world. Google News has managed to index.
At this stage, we can only have a feeling for what the effect is based upon just looking at what the tips of the wave are doing, moving currents under the surface. There is simply too much volume for us to even be able to see.
But looking at what we can, I can see that there is a tremendous rearrangement of viewings about many different countries. And so that will result in some new kind of harmonization [variant: harm minimization].
And we can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can.
He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran.
I just noticed today Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. Maybe that's coincidence or maybe it's coming out of this process, but it's certainly not being canceled by this process."
TIME: "One of the unintended consequences is the opposite effect, which is what we've seen with the Department of Defense, and even the State Department, here in the U.S., of trying to make secrets more impenetrable rather than less and trying to take precautions against what has happened from happening again in the future. How do you regard that?"
Assange: "Well, I think that's very positive. Since 2006, we have been working along this philosophy that organizations which are abusive and need to be [in] the public eye.
If their behavior is revealed to the public, they have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public.
Or the other is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were.
To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient."
TIME: "Are there any instances [in] diplomacy or global affairs in which you see secrecy as necessary and as an asset?"
Assange: "Yes, of course. We keep secret the identity of our sources, as an example, [and] take great pains to do it.
So secrecy is important for many things but shouldn't be used to cover up abuses, which leads us to the question of who decides and who is responsible.
It shouldn't really be that people are thinking about, Should something be secret? I would rather it be thought, Who has a responsibility to keep certain things secret?
And, Who has a responsibility to bring matters to the public? And those responsibilities fall on different players. And it is our responsibility to bring matters to the public."
TIME: "You mention the public. Do you believe the American public in this particular instance was either dissatisfied or unhappy with the way the U.S. government was conducting diplomacy, so that you felt compelled to expose it to them? Because it seems to me that the public is reacting negatively to a lot of this exposure of diplomatic secrets that they presumably feel were actually in their interest."
Assange: "Well, I think the response by the American public has been very favorable to our endeavor.
In fact, I think the State Department is going to have a hard time of it trying to spin this.
It's one thing to tap into [audio lost]. It's one thing to talk about the need to protect this image of the innocent young soldier; it's another thing to talk about how diplomats are hard done by when they find their very privileged position in life undermined by having their lies revealed.
And it doesn't seem to me that there is grass-roots, broad support for the behavior of diplomats, say, stealing [inaudible] DNA. That's just something that doesn't resonate well with the average person."
TIME: "And I know you've e-mailed about this, but what is your reaction to Secretary [Hillary] Clinton's declaration that you've put lives in jeopardy and now the apparent attempts by the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute you? What is your reaction to that? And have you committed any crimes that they should be prosecuting you for?"
Assange: "Well, this sort of nonsense about lives being put in jeopardy is trotted out every time a big military or intelligence organization is exposed by the press. It's nothing new, and it's not an exclusively American phenomenon by an means.
It goes back at least 50 years, and in extremely different forms hundreds of years before that, so that sort of reactionary sentiment is equally expected. We get that on nearly every post that we do.
However, this organization in its fourth year of publishing history - we don't need to speculate, it has a history - has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on.
That is a record compared to the organizations that we are trying to expose who have literally been involved in the deaths of hundreds or thousands or, potentially over the course of many years, millions."
TIME: "How would you characterize your actions, both in this latest set of leaks as well as in the past? Would you say you're practicing civil disobedience against breaking the law in order to expose greater law-breaking? Is that the moral calculus that you use to justify the leaks?"
A regular guy. Gotta Love Them Aussies: Julian Assange
Assange: "No, not at all. This organization practices civil obedience, that is, we are an organization that tries to make the world more civil and act against abusive organizations that are pushing it in the opposite direction.
As for the law, we have now in our four-year history had over 100 legal attacks of various kinds and have been victorious in all of those matters.
So if you want to talk about the law, it's very important to remember the law is not what, not simply what, powerful people would want others to believe it is.
The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hilliary Clinton says it is. The law is not what a bank says it is.
The law, rather, is what the Supreme Court in [the] land in the end says it is, and the Supreme Court in the case of the United States has an enviable Constitution on which to base its decisions.
And that Constitution comes out of a revolutionary movement and has a Bill of Rights appraised by James Madison and others that includes a nuanced understanding for the balancing of power of [the] states in relation to the government.
Now, where the Supreme Court makeup now is such that it keeps to its traditions or proposes a radical reassessment of the power of the First Amendment and the U.S. Constitution remains to be seen.
However, the U.S. Espionage Act is widely viewed to be over-broad, and that is perhaps one of the reasons it has never been properly tested in the Supreme Court. I think it was maybe found to be unconstitutional and struck out.
Now we understand that there are attempts by [Attorney General Eric] Holder and others in the U.S. Administration to shoehorn the Espionage Act, Section G in particular, onto legitimate press functions.
Those efforts are dangerous in the sense that they may give rise to a Supreme court challenge which throws out the Espionage Act, or at least that section, in its entirety.
If that succeeds, that will of course only be good business for WikiLeaks, because the rest of the U.S. press will be further constrained and people will simply come to us."
TIME: "And obviously there are competing equities, even constitutionally, between the Espionage Act, which was, as you know, 1917, and the expansion of the First Amendment rights that have happened subsequent to that, but as you say, the law ultimately becomes what the Supreme Court says it is, and they could narrow some of those First Amendment rights and use some of that in the Espionage Act.
Which leads me to my next question: One of the issues that's discussed a lot in American politics these days, in part because of criticism of President Obama, is this idea of American exceptionalism.
You seem to also believe in American exceptionalism in a negative sense, that America is exceptional only in the harm and damage it does to the world. Would you describe that as a fair characterization of your view of the U.S.?"
Assange: "Well, I think both of those views lack the necessary subtlety. The United States has some immutable traditions, which, to be fair, are based on the French Revolution and the European Enlightenment.
The United States' Founding Fathers took those further, and the federalism of the United States also, of relatively powerful states trying to constrain federal government from becoming too centralized.
Also added some important democratic controls and understandings.
So there is a lot of good that has historically come from the United States.
But after World War II, during World War II, the federal government of the United States started sucking the resources to the center, and the power of states started to diminish.
Assange: "Interestingly, the First Amendment started overriding states' laws around that time, which I see as a function of increasing central power in the United States.
I think the problems with the United States as a foreign power stem from, simply, its economic success, whereby it's, historically at least, a very rich country with a number of people and the desire left over as a result of ...
Let me explain this a bit better. The U.S. saw the French Revolution and it also saw the behavior of the U.K. and the other kings and dictatorships, so it intentionally produced a very weak President.
Illustration of U.S. President George Washington. Wikipedia notes that, "The Electoral College elected Washington unanimously as the first president in 1789, and again in the 1792 election; he remains the only president to have received 100 percent of the electoral votes. At his inauguration, John Adams was elected vice-president. Washington took the oath of office as the first American President under the Constitution for the United States of America on April 30, 1789. The 1st United States Congress voted to pay Washington a salary of $25,000 a year, a large sum in 1789. Washington, already wealthy, declined the salary, since he valued his image as a selfless public servant. At the urging of Congress, however, he ultimately accepted the payment, to avoid setting a precedent whereby the presidency would be perceived as limited only to independently wealthy individuals who could serve without any salary. The president, aware that everything he did set a precedent, attended carefully to the pomp and ceremony of office, making sure that the titles and trappings were suitably republican and never emulated European royal courts. To that end, he preferred the title "Mr. President" to the more majestic names suggested. Washington proved an able administrator: An excellent delegator and judge of talent and character, he talked regularly with department heads and listened to their advice before making a final decision. In handling routine tasks, he was "systematic, orderly, energetic, solicitous of the opinion of others but decisive, intent upon general goals and the consistency of particular actions with them." Washington reluctantly served a second term as president. He refused to run for a third, establishing the customary policy of a maximum of two terms for a president.
Assange: "The President was, however, given a lot of power for external relations, so as time has gone by, the presidency has managed to exercise its power through its foreign affairs function.
If we look at what happened with Obama and health care reform, we see this extraordinary situation where Obama [indecipherable] can order strikes against U.S. citizens overseas but is not able to pass, at least not easily and not in the form that he wanted, a health reform bill domestically.
And that seems to be ... the very good idea, which was to try and keep the country free from dictatorship by keeping the presidency [domestically] weak.
In this photograph, Italy's Benito Mussolini and Germany's Adolf Hitler solidify their axis agreement in 1940. One year later, on December 11, 1941, both their nations would declare war on the United States after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Americans, British, Canadians, Russians, Australians and other free countries formed an Alliance to battle fascism. The Allies beat the Axis in what was to be known as the Second World War.
"But as the United States has grown economically, that has led to a situation where the foreign affairs power is latched on to by central government to increase the power of the government, as opposed to state government.
Assange: The U.S. is, I don't think by world standards, an exception, rather it is a very interesting case both for its abuses and for some of its founding principles."
TIME: "Rather than get in a conversation of Executive power, let me ask you about some other nations and your views of their role on the world stage. Certainly the rise of China, the power of Russia in the marketplace.
They are two nations that compete with the U.S. in terms of wealth and influence. Would you put them in the same category as countries that you would indeed like to expose some of their secret dealings the way you have done with American documents?"
Assange: "Yes, indeed. In fact, we believe it is the most closed societies that have the most reform potential. The Chinese case is quite interesting.
A plainclothes Chinese policeman, right, rushes to stop Lee and his mother after the 13-year-old American boy unfurled his peace banner in the center of Tiananmen Square on November 22, 2010 in Beijing, China.
Assange: "Aspects of the Chinese government, Chinese Public Security Service, appear to be terrified of free speech, and while one might say, that means something awful is happening in the country.
I actually think that is a very optimistic sign, because it means that speech can still cause reform and that the power structure is still inherently political, as opposed to fiscal.
So journalism and writing are capable of achieving change, and that is why Chinese authorities are so scared of it.
Assange: Whereas in the United States to a large degree, and in other Western countries, the basic elements of society have been so heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations that political change doesn't seem to result in economic change, which in other words means that political change doesn't result in change."
TIME: "We talked a little bit about this earlier, your desired outcome from the leaking of this information is presumably, as you said, that world leaders and officials would say the same things in public that they say in private.
Um, lots and lots of people would regard that as naive, in part because they in their own lives don't say the same things in public that they say in private. Is that the outcome that you would like, and how do you respond to the charge that that's the naive view of the way the world works?"
Assange: "Well, I was quoting Netanyahu, who [is] certainly not a naive man. The, of course..."
TIME: "But the effect, by the way, Mr. Assange, for Netanyahu, is that what he's been saying publicly - i.e., Arab leaders have privately been saying that Iran is the greatest threat, and they want Israel and the U.S. to do something - the revelations have been in his interest."
Assange: "Of course. We're talking about a sophisticated politician who is of that sentiment he's on the side of, in this issue.
But I suggest it is generally - of course, there are exceptions - but generally true, across every issue. We are negotiating ... We need to be able to negotiate with a clear understanding of what the ground is and what our [inaudible] positions are.
Of course, one side has a disproportionate amount of knowledge compared to the other side.
There cannot be negotiations or proper understanding of the playing field in which these events are to happen.
Now, we would like to see all organizations that are key to their authority ... opened up as much as possible. Not entirely, but as much as possible, in order to level out that asymmetric information playing field.
Now for the United States, its government actually has more information available to it than any other government. And so it is already in a symmetric position.
I think this disclosure of diplomatic information, which is often third-hand, will allow people to understand more clearly these sort of broad activities of the U.S. State Department, which acts not, of course, in the interest of the U.S. people but in the interest of the State Department.
It will allow people of other countries to see that. But it will also meet more reasonable negotiations and reveal a lot about the Arab states, and Central Asian republics, to the rest of the world and to their peoples."
TIME: "But you do clearly have a hierarchy of societies that are more closed than open, and you mentioned China and Russia as two of them. I mean, in that hierarchy, the U.S. is probably the most open society on the planet."
Assange: "It's becoming more closed. But you know, the U.S. [as] a superpower. Let's just imagine that Russia had the same resources, the same temperate climate and the same number of people as the United States: would it be a better-behaved or worse-behaved superpower?
The answer is, it would be, based upon its current [inaudible] it would be a much worse-behaved superpower.
And what has kept the United States in check, to the degree that it has been kept in check from abusing its powers, is this federalism, this strength of the states. And a relative degree of openness, which probably peaked in about 1978, and has been on the way down, unfortunately, since."
TIME: "I want to ask you a broader question, about the role of technology and the burgeoning world of social media. How does that affect the goal you're trying to achieve of more transparent and more open societies? I assume that enables what you're trying to do."
Assange: "Let me just talk about transparency for a moment. It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it's our goal to achieve a more just society.
And most of the times, transparency and openness tends to lead in that direction, because abusive plans or behavior get opposed, and so those organizations which tend to commit them are opposed before the plan's implemented, or it's an exposure or something previously done, the organization tends to lose a [inaudible], which is then transferred to another, and then we [inaudible] organization.
For the rise of social media, it's quite interesting. When we first started, we thought we would have the analytical work done by bloggers and people who wrote Wikipedia articles and so on.
And we thought that was a natural, given that we had lots of quality, important content.
Surely it's more interesting to write an article about top-secret Chinese [inaudible] or an internal document from Somalia or secret documents revealing what happened in [inaudible], all of which we published, than it is to simply write a blog about what's on the front page of the New York Times, or about your cat or something.
But actually it turns out that that is not at all true. The bulk of the heavy lifting - heavy analytical lifting - that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists.
It is not done by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, once a story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and provides more perspective. So the social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing. And also a supply of sources for us.
So when I saw this problem early on in our first year, that the analytical effort which we thought would be supplied by Internet citizens around the world was not, I saw that, well, actually, in terms of articles, form tends to follow the funding.
You can't expect to get news-style articles out of people that are not funded after a career structure in the same way that news organizations are.
You will get a different sort of form, and that form may be commentary, which sometimes is very good and sometimes there are very senior people providing commentary that is within their media experience, or we get sources who hand over material, because once again, within their media experience, it is an important issue to them.
But what we don't get from the [inaudible] community is people writing articles about an issue that they didn't have an intimate involvement with in the first place. And of course, if you think about it, that's natural - why would they be? The incentive's not there.
When people write political commentary on blogs or other social media, it is my experience that it is not - with some exceptions - their goal to expose the truth.
Rather, it is their goal to position themselves among their peers on whatever the issue of the day is. The most effective, the most economical way to do that is simply to take the story that's going around - it has already created a marketable audience for itself - and say whether they're in favor of that interpretation or not."
TIME: "That's interesting. And I want to go now from the macro back to the micro, um, and ask you a specific question about, uh, PFC [Bradley] Manning, um ... Was he the sole source of the latest dump?"
Assange: "Can you hear me?"
TIME: "Yes, I'm sorry, I don't know ... let me ask the question again. I wanted to ask a question about Bradley Manning, PFC Manning. Was he the sole source of all the documents in the latest WikiLeaks dump?"
Assange: "Well, we're a source-protection organization, so the last thing we would do is discuss possible sources.
However, we do know that the FBI has been ... the FBI, State Department and U.S. Army CID [Criminal Investigation Command] has been going around Boston visiting number of people there... people who have been detained coming back into the United States.
The FBI visited, or raided, depending on how you want to describe it, Bradley Manning's mother's home in Wales, in the U.K.
There's a lot more action and people ... U.S. government authorities are certainly looking to try and grill other individuals ... apart from [inaudible], in the wake of a variety of materials that we have published."
TIME: "There's been, again, just very close to the ground, a speculation in the media that Secretary Clinton would be the fall guy for the embarrassment that you've caused the U.S. and the State Department. Would her resignation or firing be an outcome that you would want out of this?"
Assange: "I believe ... I don't think it would make much of a difference either way. But she should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that."
TIME: "Let me ask you what the future has in store for you and WikiLeaks. You've been quoted recently as saying your next target is Big Business and/or Wall Street. What's next coming down the pipe?"
Assange: "We don't have targets, other than organizations that use secrecy to conceal unjust behavior ... that's created a general target. Otherwise we're completely source-dependent.
We are a source-protection organization and a publishing-protection organization.
Quite a bit of our effort, historically, has been taking articles from journalists who were censored or a book that was censored and republishing them as a way of disarming the censorship [inaudible].
But yes, we have a lot of source material that ... collection that remains unpublished. And that is actually something not to be proud of, but rather a great distress to us. We don't have the resources that are required to get through this very valuable material and sources that are given to us, those past sources are given to us ...
We're working on various mechanisms to speed that up and to acquire those resources.
So yes, the banks are in there, many different multinational organizations are in the upcoming weeks, but that is a continuation of what we have been doing for the past four years.
However, there are greater volumes of material, that is true. The upcoming bank material is 10,000 documents, as opposed to hundreds, which we have gotten in the other cases."
TIME: "And are there any, Mr. Assange, any more documents from this latest dump that will be coming out in the next days or weeks?"
Assange: "Yes, we're doing about 80 a day, presently, and that will gradually step up as the other media partners kick in."
TIME: "And as you were saying, do you review every document before you release it?"
Assange: "All the Cablegate documents, every document is the backing document to a story appearing on a news website or in a newspaper or on a TV program or that we ourselves have released as an analysis. So yes, they're all reviewed and they're all redacted, either by us or by the newspapers concerned."
TIME: "And how - and I know we're running out of time, but - and the standards by which you do the redaction, how would you define that?"
Assange: "Carefully. Also, what we have asked the State Department, we have formally asked the State Department for assistance with that. That request was formally rejected, and they also refused to engage in any harmonization [variant: harm minimization] negotiation.
So that tends to lead us to the view, given what we think about it, that they've being working on the material for some four months now, and we have intelligence of many organizations and individuals [inaudible] have been contacted by the State Department.
They do not believe that there are many people that would be vulnerable, but we are still conducting with [inaudible], and the New York Times, the State Department already mentioned eight broad areas of concern.
And some of those were people trying to cover up some embarrassing activities, which the New York Times also rightfully rejected."
TIME: "Mr. Assange, I think we've run out of time. I appreciate your having taken the time to talk to us. I hope you will do so again."
Assange: "Absolutely, thank you."
TIME: "Thank you."
Mundane Solutions For Proper Human Relations In New Astrological Times
By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S
More than anything, the world transits clearly show that all of this is leading into the next decade where future transits confirm the disconnect from an aging generation out of touch with the 21st century against that of a younger generation which has had enough.
What the Wikileaks media event shows is the budding Uranus-Pluto Square years just ahead - especially the years from 2011-2015 - which is all about the Boomer generation acting as if it will be become the oligarchy and demanding to "share" power with Generation X, the new establishment.
How this will occur is the stuff made of fiction since the world transits reveal that this will not be possible. I've highlighted my world forecast on Global Astrology before. Opinion, ideology, and political considerations do not change the laws of physics.
It cannot change the orbits and mathematical inclinations of the planets. This is impossible.
The reasons are self-evident, as it has already become quite clear that the generational establishment of Baby Boomers, among them leaders calling for the open murder of people - have clearly lost touch.
Why the Boomer generation faces the world with angst, fear and paranoia of everything is for that generation to answer.
But it should be crystal clear to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, that this generation is facing a very unfavorable future as senior citizens in light of the damage it has done to just about everything they've managed for nearly 19 years.
Nor has the Baby Boomer generation learned much from history, and it should have.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, I remember all the adults talking about something called the Pentagon Papers.
Since I was also a big city paperboy and read the newspaper I delivered, I discovered that the New York Times was under assault by the then Nixon Administration for publishing the secret and classified Pentagon Papers.
I also remember being at a boyhood friend's house one day and hearing his mother reading aloud parts of the Pentagon Papers published in the NY Times to her husband, a proud Republican, whose face turned bright beet red as he listened. I could see he was angry with what he was hearing.
It was a real media event, much like that of Wikileaks release to the world media over 251,000 diplomatic cables known as "Cablegate."
The papers caused outrage among Americans losing their sons and daughters to the Vietnam War, and effectively served as the last straw in bringing the war to its end by 1975.
It was fascinating because right after the Pentagon Papers another major government scandal emerged, known as the first 'gate," or - Watergate - broke in 1972-73 and history would never be the same in the United States after it led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.
What a time that was to be growing up, seeing the U.S. Constitution and American democracy at work as a child.
What does history tell us about all this?
Well, it says that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. The Pentagon Papers and Watergate proved that this is surely true.
The generation that supported Daniel Ellsburg's crisis of conscious about the truth of the Vietnam War back in 1971-72 is now the same generation, as establishment, facing the revelations of Cablegate in these times.
Woodward and Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters whose journalistic excellence exposed corruption at the highest levels of U.S. government in Watergate would have been killed if not for the truth showing for itself that what they exposed was - in fact, true.
What to do about Wikileaks?
Some have freaked out and attempt to cut off communication of what obviously is a Humpty-Dumpty event.
There is no putting Humpty back together again. There is no putting the toothpaste back into the tube.
Others, amazingly, have publicly called for the "assassination" of Julian Assange, which is not only against the law (calling for the murder of others) but very strange coming from a generation traumatized by the 1960s assassinations of their times, i.e., JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King.
How is it possible then, for a generation of adults who would arrest children on the suspicion of making online threats, to then go on major news networks, write articles, and push online and on live TV for the murder of another human being?
See -> Baby Boomer Canadian professor and government adviser tells Obama to assassinate Julian Assange?
Washington Times writer Jefferey T. Kuhner, who once wrote that President Barack Obama is running a 'police state,' now proposes to also "assassinate" Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in his most recent incitement to openly commit murder.
Read here -> "KUHNER Says: Assassinate Assange."
Here's a guy whose last several articles were titled:
- KUHNER: Obama's police statePublished November 26 2010
- KUHNER: Will Ukraine survive?Published November 18 2010
- KUHNER: Psycho PelosiPublished November 11 2010
- KUHNER: The one-term presidentPublished November 4 2010
- KUHNER: The Soros empirePublished October 28 2010
- KUHNER: Middle America revoltsPublished October 21 2010
- KUHNER: Demolishing the DemocratsPublished October 14 2010
- KUHNER: Savage conservatismPublished October 7 2010
- KUHNER: A modern mafia statePublished September 30 2010
Think this guy Kuhner might be a prospect for a relaxing holiday vacation? Look at the title of his article over the Thanksgiving Weekend for heaven's sake.
Chill out dude.
Talk about pushing a hostile, negative agenda and being way too uptight. Christmas is in December and perhaps a little more "peace to the world," rather than "demolishing the Democrats" or "Middle America Revolts" may bring more joy to the happy season?
Christian evangelist, former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate, Republican Mike Huckabee called for the execution of Bradley Manning, a 23-year-old US army intelligence analyst who is in custody at a military base in Virginia, facing trial for downloading files showing the murder of innocent people and journalists in Iraq.
If anyone else proposed to "kill" another human being online, by article, or on live television, imagine the outrage from a generation that demands: "do as I say, not as I do?"
There is a definite disconnect here. What is good for the goose is now not also good for the gander?
The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom reports that U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and chairman of the Senate's committee on homeland security, called on "any other company or organization that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them."
Liberman is one of the many politicians weighing in on the Cablegate documents and it’s whistle blowing founder, Assange. Liberman said wants “Assange hunted down for publishing sensitive documents on the web,” according to WHNH Channel 8 Connecticut News.
Liberman also said that “he believes that Assange has violated the Espionage Act.” Yesterday, the WikiLeaks website went offline for the third time this week.
Salon.com reports, "Note that Lieberman here is desperate to prevent American citizens -- not The Terrorists -- from reading the WikiLeaks documents which shed light on what the U.S. Government is doing. His concern is domestic consumption.
"By his own account, he did this to "send a message to other companies that might host WikiLeaks" not to do so. No matter what you think of WikiLeaks, they have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime; Lieberman literally wants to dictate -- unilaterally -- what you can and cannot read on the Internet, to prevent Americans from accessing documents that much of the rest of the world is freely reading."
For more, see -> Sen. Joe Lieberman emulates Chinese dictators?
And, we Americans cannot dismiss how the rest of the world is now viewing America, something I am very concerned about because the generational establishment which has been running the show for nearly two decades is getting reviews like this, outside of the U.S. -
The Guardian Newspaper UK
December 4, 2010
Tom Flanagan, a former aide to the Canadian prime minister, called for his assassination, and then regretted his glib remark.
Mike Huckabee said that those found guilty of leaking the cables should be executed for putting national security at risk. You would expect a future Republican presidential candidate to say that.
But a Democrat administration is close behind. A team from the justice department and the Pentagon are exploring whether to charge Mr Assange under the Espionage Act. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has said this is not saber-rattling. Are they all about to turn into minions of which Richard Nixon would have been proud?
More insidious than that was the complacent yawn emanating from from sections of the liberal commentariat for which freedom of information is a given.
So what's new about the Gulf Arab Sunnis wanting America or Israel to bomb Iran, or Colonel Gaddafi's taste for blonde Ukrainian nurses, or Nicolas Sarkozy being described as mercurial and authoritarian, they sneer.
Maybe for them, nothing is new. Would that we all could be so wise. But for large areas of the world which do not have the luxury of being able to criticize their governments, the revelations about the private thoughts of their own leaders are important.
The yawners from Primrose Hill or inside the Beltway forget that when WikiLeaks exposed high-level corruption in Kenya, toxic waste in Africa and all manner of nefarious deeds in the former Soviet bloc, they applauded it.
They hailed the whistleblowers as brave democrats. But when the alleged leaker comes from within their own ranks – in this case a 23-year-old US military intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, who now faces 52 years in prison – then it is a different matter: it is treason, a threat to national security.
Close WikiLeaks down, run it off the internet, the cry goes up. All it takes is one call from Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate committee on homeland security, and internet hosting providers buckle at the knees.
Yesterday the French joined in. Viewed from China, which has been lectured for censoring the internet, this reaction must seem … very Chinese. Let's face it. In these cold December days, there is nothing more warming than a witch-hunt.
The cables are more than just embarrassing. They reveal the gap that has opened in some parts of the world, like Yemen, between Hillary Clinton's stated aims to fight terrorism and spread democracy around the world, and the means her country uses to do this.
In Yemen's case, US air strikes against al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula in December 2009 killed dozens of civilians along with wanted jihadis.
The means to the end involves dealing with Yemen's "bizarre and petulant" president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who told General David Petraeus, then head of US Central Command, that he and his ministers would continue to lie to their country that American bombs were theirs.
If anything will turn Yemen into a facsimile of the tribal belt in Pakistan, this will. Saleh has warned that his country is on the brink of becoming Somalia.
There are no easy ways of combating an organization which recruited Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to blow up a Dutch passenger plane over Detroit. But each time Tomahawks are used to swat a fly, they stir up a hornet's nest. Each time the US goes to the aid of a weak state, it somehow manages to weaken it further.
And each time it listens to the likes of President Saleh, it gets it wrong. If US diplomats come out of the WikiLeaks saga in good shape, some of the policies they help form do not. And no one should be yawning about that."
The problem clearly seen regarding Cablegate is the distinction between "public" and "private" diplomacy.
It seems that the generation running government since 1993 have blurred the lines to such an extent that one cannot tell which one reflects the truth and which one the lies. They also seem to require much needed lessons from the U.S. Constitution and history.
In the natal practice of astrology, for instance, there is a thing known as "projection." This is when a person experiencing a personal transit, would rather project their problem onto another rather than to face the crisis within themselves. A spoiled child in effect.
Once this is corrected, the person can effectively quit projecting their problems onto others and clearly navigate their own personal issues, knowing that in order to live civilly, justly and peaceably with others, one has to peaceably live calmly within oneself. Then, the projections onto others ceases and the problem is gone.
It's called "owning" your own problem.
As a mundane astrologer, I offer some tips for all governments considering the planetary transits of present, and those of the future.
My first mundane tip: Be truthful, be civil and be just with one another and to other nations.
As complicated as any diplomatic mission can be, it is just as wise to be as open in public as in private. If anything, the WikiLeaks revelations show the world's public that this is not what is being done in their interest - which is what diplomacy and trade is supposed to be among nations.
And for heaven's sake, let's lighten up a lot and show a sense of humor as well? International relations sure could use some humor. So, let's not forget the power of human folly showing us that perhaps we ought to back up, and learn a thing or two about how we try to do the best that we can.
Rather than trying to keep everyone out, how about letting them in for a change? You may see a healthy change in magnetic quality under the world transits, which have shifted their resonance, that is being witnessed in human consciousness in 2010.
That will do much good to bring about success after success in foreign policy matters among nations.
It surprises me that there are those who would call this 'naive,' as if those who propose such things believe that the only way to conduct diplomacy is to behave like a Machiavellian in all matters in wanting to get a piece of Turkey?
The origins of proper human relations are based on honesty, civility and justice. When applied from one culture to another, or from one nation to another, it is called true diplomacy.
Try it, you may like it.
The reasons for this are simple: it is the right thing to do; especially under world transits.
No government, no matter how powerful, can alter the transits of the planets, the Sun, nor the Moon, nor can they change the passages of time and their inclinations.
But what individual leaders, their staffs and governments can do is to change and adapt their ways to reflect honesty, straight-forward talk and practicality in their dealings.
Should they not - then the world transits incline unfavorably, with future consequences - both transpersonal, and personal to those who fail to use honest means in conducting proper human and diplomatic relations, both at home and abroad.
It may sound too simple, but frankly, it works.
I would suggest that those considering this remember the words of the mundane astrologer Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States, and America's first diplomat.
When Franklin went to France in the early part of the American Revolution as the official diplomat and ambassador of thirteen U.S. colonies, he came as a man of honesty, civility, maturity, brilliance, ability and world statesman.
On his arrival in Paris, there was no other statesman or philosopher who could equal Franklin in his ability and accomplishments. His presence in Paris annoyed the British ministers and their staffs but Franklin enjoyed the situation.
The years he remained in Paris were unusually fruitful ones for America and helping to work out the future destiny of the United States of America.
In the early 1950's the United States published ten volumes of the United States Foreign Affairs during the Revolution, and the major part of the ten volumes covers the work of Franklin.
He was my boyhood icon and remains so in my life. I love America, always have and always will. If the U.S. State Department would go back to the basics of diplomacy laid down by Benjamin Franklin we would see a renaissance in solving many of the problems in the world.
My mundane forecasts for the years 2010-2015 remains the same for those who read Global Astrology. There are six (6) major world transits over this period, which pertain to international affairs and diplomacy among nations.
The current Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in tropical Pisces, along with their coming entry into tropical Aries in 2011 is also opposed by Saturn's transit in Libra. And, the Uranus-Pluto Square Years are just ahead.
This is a new time opening and so some of the old ways of determining what is secret and what is not is going to undergo a severe transformation in light of these planetary transits and the evolution of human consciousness.
For instance, the effect of social media and the rise of communications in a new age has spawned anger of three generations immediately behind the Baby Boomers' hegemony:
Evading Attacks, WikiLeaks Gains More Supporters
By FOREIGN POLICY.COM
By late afternoon Eastern time, more than 200 had answered the call, setting up "mirror" sites, many of them with the name "wikileaks" appended to their Web addresses.
They organized themselves organically using the Twitter hashtag #imwikileaks, in a virtual show of solidarity reminiscent of the movie V is for Vendetta.
In that 2005 film, a Guy-Fawkes masked vigilantee inspires thousands of Londoners to march on the Parliament similarly disguised -- while it blows up in front of their eyes.
Presumably, many of these people believe they are facing the same sort of tyranny that V, the film's protagonist, fought against.
Critics of WikiLeaks have called on the Obama administration to shut down the site, but now it's clear that doing so would be a difficult task indeed. The New Yorker's recent profile of Julian Assange, the organization's mysterious founder and front man, said that "a government or company that wanted to remove content from WikiLeaks would have to practically dismantle the Internet itself."
WikiLeaks has also posted a massive, heavily encrypted "insurance" file on The Pirate Bay, a sympathetic website, which presumably contains also 250,000-plus cables and would be released into the wild if anything happens to Assange.
As my FP colleague Evgeny Morozov warns, aggressive action like arresting or killing Assange could spawn the rise of a vast, permanent network of radicalized hackers "systematically challenging those in power – governments and companies alike – just for the sake of undermining 'the system'."
That could prove an extremely dangerous threat to the global economy and diplomatic sphere.
Evgeny offers the sensible suggestion that governments try to steer WikiLeaks into a more productive direction. "It is a choice between WikiLeaks becoming a new Red Brigades, or a new Transparency International," he writes, arguing that a responsible version of the organization could pose more of a challenge to closed regimes than to the West.
"Handled correctly, the state that will benefit most from a nerdy network of 21st-century Che Guevaras is America itself."
Times are changing, and for the Baby Boomer generation as the outgoing establishment, it is essential to remember that there are clear generational differences between the old and younger generations about to come into power as the new establishment.
The positions of Saturn, now in the southern hemisphere of the zodiac for the next 15 years, along with the historic conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus at the end of tropical Pisces show there is no going back.
The two major world transits for 2011-12 are the Jupiter-Saturn opposition along with the start of the Uranus-Pluto cardinal square with seven exact square aspects in just three years.
This is powerful stuff and cannot be avoided by sticking one's head in the sand by refusing to accept that the times have changed.
For instance, the crisis of diplomacy revealed by the publication of Cablegate documents from the U.S. State Department can be clearly seen here by aging Boomers in their reactionary response to the Wikileaks' revelations:
The email below is from the Office of Career Services, sent to students at Columbia University in New York.
It was obviously written by a Baby Boomer and shows just how stupid it is to try to constrain free-thinking people in a democracy not to think for themselves?
From: "Office of Career Services"To
Date: November 30, 2010 15:26:53 EST.
We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.
The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter.
Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.
Office of Career Services."
The student response could have easily been foreseen before this was sent out. See how some of the students responded in their comments below:
One student commented: "I wonder if the same thing is taking place at Georgetown, Harvard, Tufts and other major recruitment centers for government service."
Another student said:
"What an ass-backwards way to approach this. As a 24-year-old foreign policy junkie, I'd much rather work for WikiLeaks than the State Department, putting my Georgetown philosophy and government degree to some actual good use in the world.
"Don't try to compete with WikiLeaks when it comes to the grassroots, State Department. You'll end up recruiting a bunch of young, conservative secrecy hawks who will, in the long term, only open you up to yet more WikiLeaks.
"As a part of our government that desperately needs manpower in order to fulfill it's expanded mission set in Afghanistan and elsewhere, State should be co-opting the popularity WikiLeaks has immediately brought to the foreign policy field in order to make their jobs look more desirable, not rejecting the most exciting development in foreign policy since the fall of the Berlin Wall."
And another student commented:
"What a crock! State Department employees are being encouraged by none other than Secretary Clinton to spy on their foreign buddies, obtain their credit card numbers, iris scans, sperm counts, or whatever.
If this is the "ability to deal with confidential information" that the State Department requires, reading Wikileaks cables is not going to seriously impair these recruits."
"Just what a government needs, more 'yes' men."
"Are students allowed to read the relevant pages on the New York Times website?
Can the content be discussed at Starbucks?
"Reading the NYT website is acceptable as that is essentially a USG PR agency already.
Starbucks is a little bit of a gray area as it is pricey enough that many lower-level State Department employees can't afford a regular cup of joe there often enough to consider it a government operation, even if the higher level employees do consider it a second office.
Also, being based in Seattle makes it suspicious. However, TGI Fridays or Chili's do qualify as safe premises in which to discuss the matter so long as your batteries have been removed from your cell phones."
What else is there to -> say on the student matter: "you better not Twitter or Facebook Wikileaks or it's the ...?
The Cardinal Crisis
Deaf To History's Rhyme?
What's Next For President Obama?
Deaf to history’s rhyme: Why President Obama is failingBy Thomas I. Palley
Schwartz Economic Growth Fellow
New America Foundation
The great American novelist Mark Twain observed “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”
Today the rhyme is with the 1930s, and if you don’t hear it, read FDR’s great Madison Square Garden speech of October 1936:
“For 12 years this nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing government. The nation looked to government but the government looked away.
Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years with the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines!
Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that government is best which is most indifferent.”
Despite this clarity, the Obama administration insists on hearing a rhyme with the 1990s.
That tone deafness has its roots in political choices made at the administration’s outset and explains why the administration has stumbled badly in its first years. If continued, the economic and social consequences will be grave.
In 2008 President Obama captured the nation with a message of change, yet in office he has chosen to deliver change of style rather than change of substance.
At the headline level this choice was reflected in his call for bi-partisanship that looked to split the difference with Republicans.
In economic policy, it was reflected in the wholesale reappointment of the Clinton administration team led by Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, a case of continuity not change.
Now, the administration is sinking under the failure of its economic policy. That failure is due to its attempt to revive a 1990s paradigm that never worked as advertised and can only deliver stagnation.
Painful though it is for Democrats to acknowledge, the reality is the economic policies of President Clinton were largely the same as those of President Bush.
On this the record is clear for those willing to see.
The Clinton administration pushed financial deregulation; twice reappointed Alan Greenspan; promoted corporate globalization through NAFTA and China PNTR; initiated the strong dollar policy; spoke of the “end of the era of big government”; contemplated privatization of social security; and struck down a core element of the New Deal by ending the right to welfare.
The main difference between the Clinton and Bush administrations was the former’s willingness to offer some helping-hand policies to cushion the harsh effects of the invisible hand.
Differences in outcomes were not policy driven but reflect the fact the Clinton administration enjoyed the good fortune of the internet investment bubble. It also benefited from the beginning of the housing bubble when American families had plenty of untapped home equity and credit.
President Obama’s fateful decision to go with Clintonomics meant the recession was interpreted as an extremely deep downturn rather than a crisis signaling the bankruptcy of the neo-liberal paradigm that has ruled both Republicans and Democrats for 30 years.
That implied the recession could be fully addressed with stimulus, which was the same response as the Bush administration to the recession of 2001.
The current recession is the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, inviting comparisons with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
FDR had the advantage of taking office three years into the Depression when the unemployment rate was near 25 per cent. The verdict was in: the system needed change.
President Obama took office as the crisis was deepening. Those who had designed the system could still argue it could be revived and as establishment insiders they had the upper hand.
But that argument is done and today the prospect is of long stagnation.
The New Deal was a break with both the politics and economic policies of the past. Its economic policy innovations, such as social security, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Wagner Act, granting the right to organize, are still celebrated.
However, it was FDR’s new politics of solidarity and compassion that created the necessary political space: solidarity that recognized the country was in the Depression together and compassion that recognized many were suffering through no fault of their own.
That is the political rhyme President Obama must hear, while the New Deal is the policy rhyme.
The president’s failure to deliver on the country’s desire for change of substance has left a vacuum that is being filled by dangerous unstable forces. This is the tale of the Tea Party, which is a tale that has resonance for Europe.
The economic risk, already more advanced in Europe, is a doubling-down of disastrously failed hardcore neo-liberal economic policies. The political risk is a rise of intolerance and xenophobia.
These are not normal times.
If the administration persists with its deafness to history it will surely hit the rocks and an historical opportunity for progressive change will be squandered.
Worse yet, its deafness will leave the field open to the extreme right whose “blame-the-victim” social message and “liquidationist-austerity” economic policies clearly confirm that today’s rhyme is with the history of the 1930s.
The Cardinal Crisis
FDR's Campaign Address, Oct. 31, 1936, at Madison Square Garden, New York City, titled:
"We Have Only Just Begun to Fight."
"Senator Wagner, Governor Lehman, ladies and gentlemen: ON THE eve of a national election, it is well for us to stop for a moment and analyze calmly and without prejudice the effect on our Nation of a victory by either of the major political parties.
The problem of the electorate is far deeper, far more than the continuance in the Presidency of any individual. For the greater issue goes beyond units of humanity - it goes to humanity itself.
In 1932 the issue was the restoration of American democracy; and the American people were in a mood to win. They did win. In 1936 the issue is the preservation of their victory.
Again they are in a mood to win. Again they will win.
More than four years ago in accepting the Democratic nomination in Chicago, I said: "Give me your help not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people."
The banners of that crusade still fly in the van of a Nation that is on the march.
It is needless to repeat the details of the program which this Administration has been hammering out on the anvils of experience.
No amount of misrepresentation or statistical contortion can conceal or blur or smear that record. Neither the attacks of unscrupulous enemies nor the exaggerations of over-zealous friends will serve to mislead the American people.
What was our hope in 1932? Above all other things the American people wanted peace.
They wanted peace of mind instead of gnawing fear.
First, they sought escape from the personal terror which had stalked them for three years. They wanted the peace that comes from security in their homes: safety for their savings, permanence in their jobs, a fair profit from their enterprise.
Next, they wanted peace in the community, the peace that springs from the ability to meet the needs of community life: schools, playgrounds, parks, sanitation, highways - those things which are expected of solvent local government. They sought escape from disintegration and bankruptcy in local and state affairs.
They also sought peace within the Nation: protection of their currency, fairer wages, the ending of long hours of toil, the abolition of child labor, the elimination of wild-cat speculation, the safety of their children from kidnappers.
And, finally, they sought peace with other Nations, peace in a world of unrest. The Nation knows that I hate war, and I know that the Nation hates war.
I submit to you a record of peace; and on that record a well-founded expectation for future peace - peace for the individual, peace for the community, peace for the Nation, and peace with the world.
Tonight I call the roll - the roll of honor of those who stood with us in 1932 and still stand with us today.
Written on it are the names of millions who never had a chance - men at starvation wages, women in sweatshops, children at looms.
Written on it are the names of those who despaired, young men and young women for whom opportunity had become a will-o'-the-wisp.
Written on it are the names of farmers whose acres yielded only bitterness, business men whose books were portents of disaster, home owners who were faced with eviction, frugal citizens whose savings were insecure.
Written there in large letters are the names of countless other
Americans of all parties and all faiths, Americans who had eyes to see and hearts to understand, whose consciences were burdened because too many of their fellows were burdened, who looked on these things four years ago and said:
'This can be changed. We will change it.'
We still lead that army in 1936. They stood with us then because in 1932 they believed. They stand with us today because in 1936 they know. And with them stand millions of new recruits who have come to know.
Their hopes have become our record.
We have not come this far without a struggle and I assure you we cannot go further without a struggle.
For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government.
The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge!
Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair!
Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs.
We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.
I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.
The American people know from a four-year record that today there is only one entrance to the White House - by the front door.
Since March 4, 1933, there has been only one pass-key to the White House. I have carried that key in my pocket. It is there tonight. So long as I am President, it will remain in my pocket.
Those who used to have pass-keys are not happy. Some of them are desperate. Only desperate men with their backs to the wall would descend so far below the level of decent citizenship as to foster the current pay-envelope campaign against America's working people.
Only reckless men, heedless of consequences, would risk the disruption of the hope for a new peace between worker and employer by returning to the tactics of the labor spy.
Here is an amazing paradox! The very employers and politicians and publishers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country.
It is the 1936 version of the old threat to close down the factory or the office if a particular candidate does not win. It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them.
Every message in a pay envelope, even if it is the truth, is a command to vote according to the will of the employer. But this propaganda is worse - it is deceit.
They tell the worker his wage will be reduced by a contribution to some vague form of old-age insurance. They carefully conceal from him the fact that for every dollar of premium he pays for that insurance, the employer pays another dollar. That omission is deceit.
They carefully conceal from him the fact that under the federal law, he receives another insurance policy to help him if he loses his job, and that the premium of that policy is paid 100 percent by the employer and not one cent by the worker.
They do not tell him that the insurance policy that is bought for him is far more favorable to him than any policy that any private insurance company could afford to issue. That omission is deceit.
They imply to him that he pays all the cost of both forms of insurance. They carefully conceal from him the fact that for every dollar put up by him his employer puts up three dollars - three for one. And that omission is deceit.
But they are guilty of more than deceit. When they imply that the reserves thus created against both these policies will be stolen by some future Congress, diverted to some wholly foreign purpose, they attack the integrity and honor of American Government itself.
Those who suggest that, are already aliens to the spirit of American democracy. Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag in which they have more confidence.
The fraudulent nature of this attempt is well shown by the record of votes on the passage of the Social Security Act. In addition to an overwhelming majority of Democrats in both Houses, seventy-seven Republican Representatives voted for it and only eighteen against it and fifteen Republican Senators voted for it and only five against it.
Where does this last-minute drive of the Republican leadership leave these Republican Representatives and Senators who helped enact this law?
I am sure the vast majority of law-abiding businessmen who are not parties to this propaganda fully appreciate the extent of the threat to honest business contained in this coercion.
I have expressed indignation at this form of campaigning and I am confident that the overwhelming majority of employers, workers and the general public share that indignation and will show it at the polls on Tuesday next.
Aside from this phase of it, I prefer to remember this campaign not as bitter but only as hard-fought.
There should be no bitterness or hate where the sole thought is the welfare of the United States of America.
No man can occupy the office of President without realizing that he is President of all the people.
It is because I have sought to think in terms of the whole Nation that I am confident that today, just as four years ago, the people want more than promises.
Our vision for the future contains more than promises.
This is our answer to those who, silent about their own plans, ask us to state our objectives.
Of course we will continue to seek to improve working conditions for the workers of America - to reduce hours over-long, to increase wages that spell starvation, to end the labor of children, to wipe out sweatshops.
Of course we will continue every effort to end monopoly in business, to support collective bargaining, to stop unfair competition, to abolish dishonorable trade practices. For all these we have only just begun to fight.
WTO: Battle in Seattle, 1999
Of course we will continue to work for cheaper electricity in the homes and on the farms of America, for better and cheaper transportation, for low interest rates, for sounder home financing, for better banking, for the regulation of security issues, for reciprocal trade among nations, for the wiping out of slums.
Detroit, Michigan, circa 2008-2010
For all these we have only just begun to fight.
Of course we will continue our efforts in behalf of the farmers of America. With their continued cooperation we will do all in our power to end the piling up of huge surpluses which spelled ruinous prices for their crops.
We will persist in successful action for better land use, for reforestation, for the conservation of water all the way from its source to the sea, for drought and flood control, for better marketing facilities for farm commodities, for a definite reduction of farm tenancy, for encouragement of farmer cooperatives, for crop insurance and a stable food supply.
For all these we have only just begun to fight.
Of course we will provide useful work for the needy unemployed; we prefer useful work to the pauperism of a dole.
Here and now I want to make myself clear about those who disparage their fellow citizens on the relief rolls. They say that those on relief are not merely jobless - that they are worthless.
Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief - to purge the rolls by starvation. To use the language of the stock broker, our needy unemployed would be cared for when, as, and if some fairy godmother should happen on the scene.
You and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side.
Again - what of our objectives?
Of course we will continue our efforts for young men and women so that they may obtain an education and an opportunity to put it to use.
Of course we will continue our help for the crippled, for the blind, for the mothers, our insurance for the unemployed, our security for the aged.
Of course we will continue to protect the consumer against unnecessary price spreads, against the costs that are added by monopoly and speculation. We will continue our successful efforts to increase his purchasing power and to keep it constant.
For these things, too, and for a multitude of others like them, we have only just begun to fight.
All this - all these objectives - spell peace at home. All our actions, all our ideals, spell also peace with other nations.
Today there is war and rumor of war. We want none of it. But while we guard our shores against threats of war, we will continue to remove the causes of unrest and antagonism at home which might make our people easier victims to those for whom foreign war is profitable. You know well that those who stand to profit by war are not on our side in this campaign.
"Peace on earth, good will toward men" - democracy must cling to that message.
For it is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live without that true religion which gives a nation a sense of justice and of moral purpose.
Above our political forums, above our market places stand the altars of our faith - altars on which burn the fires of devotion that maintain all that is best in us and all that is best in our Nation.
We have need of that devotion today. It is that which makes it possible for government to persuade those who are mentally prepared to fight each other to go on instead, to work for and to sacrifice for each other.
That is why we need to say with the Prophet: "What doth the LORD require of thee - but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."
That is why the recovery we seek, the recovery we are winning, is more than economic. In it are included justice and love and humility, not for ourselves as individuals alone, but for our Nation.
That is the road to peace. Thank you."
Now, we look to Ireland.
A nation in crisis is about to enter a 10-year period that brings to an end the Saturn-Pluto cycle of 1982.
This is a crisis which was brought about by incredible acts of corruption, greed and mismanagement and has thrown yet another European nation into austerity.
The Cardinal Crisis
Credit: Peter Morrison/AP
By Jill Treanor, Nicholas Watt & Henry McDonald
November 22, 2010 -- Dublin, Ireland -- Financial markets were thrown into turmoil today amid fears that an imminent collapse of Ireland's beleaguered government would have a knock-on effect across the Eurozone.
The announcement of the potential €90bn international bailout for debt-laden Ireland – of which the UK could contribute up to £10bn – offered only a temporary respite to nervous markets.
By tonight, concerns that Portugal and even Spain might also need their own rescue packages were rising and sent the euro and shares falling while the risk of holding the debt of potentially vulnerable countries rose alarmingly.
After a tumultuous day in Dublin, where protesters tried to storm the parliament building, the prime minister, Brian Cowen, defied calls for his resignation but conceded he would call an election in the new year.
The move was forced upon him after the Green party pulled out of his fragile coalition government, unnerving markets on a day which was supposed to restore confidence in Europe's decade-old single currency.
Instead there was a sense of growing unease in the markets amid evidence that investors felt Portugal would not survive without aid.
Dealers said sentiment in the markets was reminiscent of the days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
Britain may be forced to join an EU bailout of Spain and Portugal after the government admitted today that it was powerless to veto an important element of the union's overall €750bn bailout package.
Under intense pressure from Euro skeptics, who are angry that Britain is having to rescue Ireland, the chancellor, George Osborne, admitted that a special €60bn European Stabilization Mechanism could be activated against British wishes until 2013 if other eurozone countries run into trouble.
The European Central Bank president, Jean-Claude Trichet, said: "Global finance and the global economy is extremely fragile. This is not a European crisis – it is a repercussion on Europe."
Markets were not reassured by the denials of the Portuguese prime minster, José Sócrates, that his country was in trouble and the cost of insuring its debt against default increased – the opposite to what the EU authorities had hoped would happen following the bailout for Ireland.
Cowen had called for unity on Sunday as he made his dramatic admission that the International Monetary Fund and the European Union had agreed to bail out Ireland and its crippled banks.
His plea went unheeded and within 24 hours the Green leader, John Gormley, was demanding an election, saying Irish people felt misled and betrayed.
"We have now reached a point where the Irish people need political certainty to take them beyond the coming two months," Gormley said.
But Cowen insisted tonight that Gormley was prepared to hold the government together long enough to pass the 7 December budget.
The defiant Taoiseach told reporters assembled on the steps on Ireland's parliament building that "we have got to get this budget passed."
Ireland's embattled Prime Minister Brian Cowen (center) looks dejected as markets are thrown into turmoil amid fears of a collapse of Ireland’s coalition government after the EU & IMF bailout is announced.
photo: Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters
The plan to cut €15 billion euros over four years is a crucial part of the negotiations with the IMF and EU bailout team.
Ireland's political and economic upheaval reverberated in London where Osborne admitted he had been in close contact with his Irish counterpart, Brian Lenihan, for weeks.
The chancellor told MPs that "intensive private discussions" had been taking place with the G7, IMF and EU on plans for a bailout before the request from Dublin was officially made on Sunday, after a week of denials by the Irish authorities.
Osborne reiterated that it was overwhelmingly in Britain's national interest to help its "friend in need" and described the situation as one of "great difficulty" for Ireland.
He told parliament the UK would participate in three ways to any bailout: through the IMF (likely to be about £1.5bn), the EU and also by providing a direct loan.
Estimates for the cost to the UK were rising from £7bn to £10bn tonight. "Of course this is a loan, and we can expect to be repaid," Osborne said.
Analysts said the support was needed to prop up the UK's banks, which have extended £140bn of loans to Ireland.
Osborne's willingness to support Ireland came as he prepared to backtrack on plans to demand the numbers of millionaires that banks employ each month.
Barely six months after the €110bn bailout of Greece, the Irish rescue deal did not stem concerns about the Eurozone.
Andrew Lim, head of financials research at Matrix, said: "Just as the rescue of Greece proved ineffectual in stopping contagion, we believe the confirmed aid package for Ireland will not prevent further deterioration of the sovereign debt crisis."
The negative price action is particularly worrying, as it implies that the market has immediately wised up to the fact that the Irish rescue package will be ineffective for Europe as a whole.
"This is all about contagion to other parts of Europe. The markets are moving faster than the European politicians can keep up with," Lim added.
Stock markets across Europe tumbled. Spain's Ibex index was off 2.7%, Italy was down 1.2% and Ireland closed 1.4% while the FTSE was down 52 – about 1% – at 5680.
Nick Parsons, head of strategy at National Australia Bank, said: "It's a day of buy the mystery, sell the history."
Analysts use the cost that the markets charge to insure against a country defaulting on its debt as an indicator of distress.
The cost of buying insurance on Portuguese debt rose and while Ireland initially enjoyed a reduction in its insurance costs, these had increased again by the end of the day.
Ratings agency Moody added to the gloom by saying that it might cut the country's credit rating by more than it previously.
More market volatility is expected while the Irish package is still being negotiated and not expected to be finalized before the end of the month.
The EU tried to shore up confidence in the Eurozone.
Olli Rehn, EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said: "Any talk of deconstruction of the European project is irresponsible.
All member states would have been in a much more difficult situation without the European Union and its political shield.
The euro is, and continues to be, the cornerstone of the European Union. It is not only a technical monetary arrangement, but it is indeed the core political project of the European Union."
See -> Ireland Citizens: "They've Sold Everybody Out!"
Who Caused Ireland's Crisis?
With Ireland's economic crisis center stage, we look at the characters involved in bringing Irish banking to its knees
By Jill Treanor
November 18, 2010 -- David Drumm was 3,000 miles from Dublin today, appearing in a courtroom in Boston to ask a US judge to back his application for voluntary bankruptcy.
The former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank – the most "toxic" of all the troubled Irish Banks – Drumm owes his former employers €8.5m (£7.2m.)
Anglo Irish also wants Drumm to explain how he used €13m of earnings between 2004 and 2009, as well as the loans he took out from the bank, which was nationalized by the Irish government in January 2009.
Drumm left a month earlier as the scale of the bank's loans to directors and property developers unraveled.
Among his assets are a $3m (£1.9m) property in Cape Cod and a six-bedroom, five-bathroom house in Malahide, north Dublin, which he tried to transfer to his wife's name to prevent it being seized by the bank last year.
When asked to describe what went wrong at Anglo, Drumm's successor, the Australian Mike Aynsley, said: "Hubris played a very, very big part."
Sean FitzPatrick is a public hate figure in Ireland.
Sean Fitzpatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, jots out of Bray Garda Police station in March 2010 after his arrest and questioning by Irish investigators. The smooth-talking deal-maker, known as "Seanie," was property developers' favorite banker and toast of Dublin's social circuit. He was the man with the Midas touch who oversaw an incredible, but ultimately unsustainable growth at Anglo Irish Bank which saw profits rise 60,000% in just 20 years – from under €42m in 1987 to €1.2bn in 2007.
credit: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Only this week, 30 protesters gathered outside the seaside home of the former Anglo Irish Bank chairman in County Wicklow, demanding that the one-time hero of Irish banking be thrown in jail.
Known as "Seanie" and once the life and soul of the Dublin business and cocktail party scene, FitzPatrick quit as chairman of Anglo Irish Bank in December 2008 before being arrested in a dawn raid in March 2010 as part of an investigation into financial irregularities at the nationalized bank.
In July he was declared bankrupt and the smooth-talking businessman, who enjoyed a lavish life style, now insists he lives on €188 a month while he is chased for €70m of loans he hid from the bank in the run-up to its collapse.
He has already repaid €20m to the bank where he worked for 33 years.
Richard Burrows apologized in May 2009 when Bank of Ireland slumped to a £6.2bn loss.
"On my own behalf, and on behalf of my fellow directors, I apologize to our stockholders for the loss in value of their stock and for the cancellation of dividends," Borrows said, before finally walking away in July last year.
The apology paid him dividends personally; just a month later the rugby-mad Dubliner was named chairman of the blue-chip British American Tobacco group.
A chartered accountant, he had a sparkling background as chief executive of Irish Distillers from 1978 to 2000 and co-chief executive of French spirits group Pernod Ricard from 2000 to 2005, before his troublesome four year stint as governor (chairman) of Bank of Ireland.
An Olympic standard yachtsman, Burrows is still at the helm of BAT while Bank of Ireland admitted last week its profits were running aground; they will fall 40% this year, partly as result of paying for a government scheme to shelter its bad loans.
Brian Goggin had almost completed a largely unblemished 40-year career at Bank of Ireland when he announced his decision to retire in June 2009, a year ahead of schedule.
He had spent five years as chief executive at a bank he joined in 1969 after graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with an MSc in Management.
Once a key figure in the banking scene, he had played a lead role in convincing the Irish government to step in and support the banking system in 2008.
He conceded making mistakes, blaming "lending decisions in the past that are now coming home to roost".
But he was less willing to offer an apology to the taxpayers who ended up bailing out the Irish banks, saying: "Well, I'm not so sure that it actually comes to an apology as such. I mean I do regret some of our decisions. I have to balance that with lots and lots of very good decisions that we've made."
Not long after Goggin admitted he was stepping aside at Bank of Ireland, it was the turn of Eugene Sheehy to resign from the helm of Allied Irish Banks on 1 May 2009.
Unfortunately for him, Sheehy still had to attend the bank's annual meeting a few weeks later when an angry shareholder tried to pelt him with eggs.
The protester missed although the then-chairman Dermot Gleeson was not so lucky; he chaired the rowdy meeting with egg on his jacket, although at least not on his face.
With Goggin in charge, AIB's loans to builders more than doubled between 2005 and 2008, and accounted for more than a third of the Irish loan book in 2008.
When the banking crisis was at its most febrile in October 2008, Sheehy proclaimed "we would rather die than raise equity."
The bank is now facing Ireland's largest ever cash call on investors of more than €5 billion but in reality all the new shares will be bought by the government, giving the Irish taxpayer a stake of more than 90% in the bank that was once the country's biggest public company.
Following are comments about Ireland’s 85 billion-euro ($113 billion) emergency-aid package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The three-year package, aimed at propping up the country’s battered banking industry and to help service its sovereign debts, will require Ireland to repay the money at an average interest rate of 5.8 percent.
The “government has negotiated a terrible deal. The decision to protect bondholders is disgraceful. The costs of this deal to ordinary people will result in hugely damaging cuts.” says Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, an opposition part.
“The interest rate of 5.8 percent is far too high and verges on the unaffordable. The government was cleaned out in the negotiations.” said Michael Noonan, finance spokesman for Fine Gael, the largest opposition part.
“The EU-imposed aid package is not in fact aid, but a whipping of Ireland at the stocks, The European Union has saddled Ireland with an unsustainable amount of annual interest payments that cannot, in any way, be met. This is a terrible deal for the people of Ireland. The path is to fiscal ruin,” said Mark Grant, managing director at Southwest Securities Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“The senior bank holders are to be protected while the lowest paid and those most vulnerable people dependent on public provisions are to be crucified. The plan should have been announced in Lourdes because, short of a miracle, it is doomed to failure,” says Jack O’Connor, head of SIPTU, Ireland’s biggest union.
The Irish Times editors wrote that, “The program for assistance announced late last evening probably is, as the Taoiseach conceded ‘the best available deal for Ireland.’ It represents nonetheless a defeat for this state which has turned us, in the blink of an eye, from European success story to a people at the mercy of the benevolence of others. It was notable that the announcement was made in Brussels and only after that was the government able to hold its press conference in Dublin.”
An Irish Independent editorial stated, “We will face years of hardship. But it is well to know the worst, and now we have reason to believe that we know it. Armed at last with some certainty, and calling on our reserves of courage and resilience, we can win through.”
“Ireland’s bailout -- around 20 percent of which is actually a raid on Ireland on its own pension fund -- also has some good news, but less than before. The hope is investors won’t turn on other countries, but the likelihood is that they will.
Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin said, “The lending terms aren’t ideal for Ireland: the bailout looks both expensive, and lacking in transparency, because of the many different lenders. Still, the 5.8 percent interest rate is roughly in line with what was asked of Greece, after adjusting for the longer maturity.”
“The clarity presented by the announcements should help to defuse somewhat the tensions that had been intensifying during the course of last week," said Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays Capital in London.
"In particular, markets are likely to breathe a sigh of relief that the senior debt of Irish banks has not been subject to haircuts as part of the financial-sector bailout, while markets are also likely to welcome the decisions agreed to safeguard the financing of the Irish government, as well as to recapitalize and restructure the banking sector.”
Oscar Bernal, an economist at ING Groep NV in Brussels said, “Even if the adjustments will be painful, the Irish deal seems rather favorable. Overall, the plan should allow Ireland to meet the repayment schedule and we are confident that now that European leaders announced a formal crisis resolution mechanism, the Irish bailout will eventually contribute to calm market fears regarding a possible contagion to other euro-zone countries. This might be the last chance to bring stability back to the European’s financial system.”
Ciaran O'Hagan, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in Paris says,“We see the Irish deal this weekend as possibly buying some time. The accord on some aspects of sovereign restructuring mechanisms represents the beginnings of a solution. What the ECB says on Thursday is key, particularly given that to date the bailout has not stopped contagion spreading.
David Owen, chief European economist at Jefferies International Ltd. in London said, “It now seems very likely that Irish government debt will be above 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2014. Moreover, the fact of the matter is that the heavy lifting in terms of deeply unpopular fiscal cuts have yet to really begin. The fact that senior bondholders will be left intact should help risk assets and prove near-term support for the periphery and especially Spain.
“There are some local concerns that a new government may seek to renegotiate the terms of the deal, but overall we expect a broadly positive near-term reaction," says Harvinder Sian, a senior fixed-income strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. "This is, however, unlikely to be enough to prevent Portugal’s access to the EFSF.”
“With this rescue program, Ireland has bought itself time to restructure the banking system. The credit is enough to keep Ireland above water up to 2015.
Christoph Weil and Rainer Guntermann, economists at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt both said that, “The risk of Ireland ultimately having to restructure its public debt is not yet overcome. We expect risk premiums for Irish government bonds to remain at a high level.
In the long term, Ireland will only be able to manage its exploding public debt if the country’s economy returns to a course of strong growth. We have doubts whether this can be achieved.”
The Cardinal Crisis
"Don't Touch My Junk!"
"People are showing up and they're stressed, they're paying more for their seats," said travel writer Joe Brancatelli. "I could see where this really gets ugly." Ed Hummel, for instance, fumed all the way from Philadelphia to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in November. The Philadelphia resident, who travels 40 weeks a year as a baking instructor, had been patted down by TSA officials like never before, in a procedure he called "very intrusive" and "humiliating." "They were up and down my leg, my groin, my crotch," he said after landing in Chicago. "In front of everyone. No closed doors. I'm very angry," said Hummel, 59, who planned to file a complaint against the TSA. "I thought we lived in the United States. It's a police state now."
Americans Say Enough is Enough to Homeland Security And TSA
Airport Body Scanners
Groping Travelers With Body Pat Downs Treats All Like Criminals
By Ron Hart
Orange County Register
Government, which grows not out of necessity but by insisting upon itself, needs to slow down.
We need to revisit the balance among freedom, cost and security and not continue to double down on bad policies.
The latest is the TSA's (stands for "Thousands Standing Around") directive to be more intrusive in its new "enhanced pat-down" policy.
Maybe the TSA seeks to expand its self-serving role, or maybe the unionized agents of the behemoth TSA were just getting bored. Either way, it is unnecessary.
This is the part that will scare Juan Williams: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has told the government – and Muslims – that this procedure violates their religious rights.
Now it looks like our government will back off from frisking and even body-scanning Muslim women.
Since the TSA won't be able to aggressively pat down Muslims, they will now have more time to pat down Irene Smith, the 62-year-old retired school teacher from Canton, Ohio.
Irene, this is your lucky day!
If you are subjected to 10 "random" pat downs in a row, the 11th one is free!
In a feeble attempt to justify her decision, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said "Women can opt for a same-gender pat-down."
So ladies, your choice of who gets to feel you up is either a creepy male who has not even bought you a cocktail yet, or a woman in comfortable shoes.
The new body scans are no less troubling. It was recently reported that the U.S. Marshals Service admitted to storing images from courthouse body scans.
The TSA is suspected of doing the same, so when the Obama administration started its big push against obesity, it was because they wanted to look at better bodies.
In lieu of full body scans or pat-downs, and to accommodate Muslims, Nancy Pelosi will have her personal California feng shui guy look passengers in the eye and read their Karma.
As we know, liberals are OK with their policies being a disaster as long as their stated intentions are good.
To recap the new TSA intrusion, Muslims will be subjected to less security, we average Americans will get more and, as an added bonus, even longer lines at airports.
The TSA seems accountable to no one.
Increasingly big brother-ish airports have been running a scary message over their PA systems which begins ominously,
"Effective immediately: By order of the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, liquids or gels weighing more than three ounces cannot be carried on planes."
Why have they run that for over four years now? This from the same TSA that does not provide shoe horns, and that brought us the confusing color-coded threat levels.
If I have it straight, we are supposed to worry when we hit the "lavender" level, but that could be wrong.
If authorities want to assist the flying public, they should taser anyone behind you who is a seat-kicker.
Flying is hard enough. I don't like being around kids on airplanes. With all the whining, drooling, fidgeting and childishness, I just feel I am setting a bad example for them.
Why we are so afraid to try to change the TSA? The high-handed, Obama/Pelosi/Reid-like, "it's for your own good" attitude they display somehow discourages inquiry into what the heck they are really doing.
Such is the nature of a government bureaucracy or a corrupt church: avow your moral justification and superiority and let no one question what you do.
Sadly our government, founded on liberty and tasked with "providing for the common defense," is slowly being taken down by deluded notions of political correctness while bestowing equal rights on our enemies.
Common sense – and our safety – are being sacrificed.
Hear -> Recording of Part One - TSA threatening American passenger.
Part II ->TSA threatening American
Part III -> TSA threatening American
If there is a simpler, less intrusive and more efficient way to do something, we should try it.
Our country was founded by a bunch of folks who thought there was a better way.
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Then there’s a possible hard landing in China that exceeds the 2008 weakness (Chart 6) as the government’s measures to cool the red hot property market and economy in general take hold.
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A slow-motion train wreck in Japan will probably occur sooner or later as her all-important exports fall along with weakening U.S. consumer willingness to buy them, and as her already subdued domestic sector suffers from her rapidly aging population.
Nine Causes of Global Slow Growth
In The Age of Deleveraging, Gary notes that with deleveraging comes slow economic growth, and he details nine reasons why real GDP will rise only about 2% annually in the years ahead - far below the 3.3% growth it takes just to keep the unemployment rate stable.
Those nine (9) reasons include:
1.) U.S. consumers will shift from a 25-year borrowing-and-spending binge to a saving spree. This will spread abroad as American consumers curtail the imports of the goods and services many foreign nations depend on for economic growth.
2.) Financial deleveraging will reverse the trend that financed much global growth in recent years.
3.) Increased government regulation and involvement in major economies will stifle innovation and reduce efficiency.
4.) Low commodity prices will limit spending by commodity-producing lands.
5.) Developed countries are moving toward fiscal restraint.
6.) Rising protectionism will slow, even eliminate global growth.
7.) The housing market will be weak due to excess inventories and loss of investment appeal.
8. Deflation will curtail spending as buyers anticipate lower prices.
9. State and local governments will contract.
2.0% Growth May Be Too High?
Please note that these nine (9) economic growth-slowing forces make 2.0% annual advances in real GDP in coming years reasonable, maybe even optimistic.
The switch from a quarter-century-long consumer borrowing-and-spending binge to a saving spree will cut 1.5 percentage points off the 3.7% GDP growth rate of the lush 1982–2000 years. (With 10-years to go to 2020 from the 38-year Saturn-Pluto cycle that started in Libra in 1982.)
That alone brings growth down to 2.2%, and the eight other forces can easily reduce growth by another 0.2 percentage points.
And the deflationary environment Dr. Shilling foresees will feature both good deflation of excess supply resulting from rising globalization and the increasing economic dominance of productivity-soaked new technologies as well as the weak economic growth-inspired bad deflation of deficient demand.
Good deflation will amount to about 1% to 2% while the bad deflation will run about 1%, making for annual deflation rates of 2%-3% per year.
Deflation is self-feeding and a key, but by no means the only, self-perpetuating mechanism is the anticipation of lower prices.
But how much deflation does it take for consumers and businesses to wait for lower prices before buying?
There is no simple answer, but it depends on at least four factors:
1. The breadth of deflation: Declining prices have to spread across a wide spectrum of goods and services to be convincing. The declines in energy prices in 2009 were too narrow to be convincing.
2. The chronic nature of deflation: The consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) dropped year over year in 2009, but only for a few months due to declining energy prices. Furthermore, against the background of nonstop inflation since World War II, that experience was not long-standing enough to convince people that it would persist.
3. Decelerating prices: at least in the short run. Few Americans expect deflation, and most regard a return to significant inflation as inevitable.
This probably means that it will take a pattern of smaller and smaller rates of inflation turning into bigger and bigger rates of deflation to be convincing.
Inflation rates have fallen from double digits to essentially zero in the past 25 years. If deflation sets in, but at a steady rate of, say, 1% per year, it will probably take a number of years before people believe in its permanence.
More immediately convincing would be 1% deflation followed by a 2% decline in general prices the next year and 3% the following year.
4. The amount of deflation: Of course, the deeper the deflation, the more convincing it becomes.
Deep deflation would be a big persuader as it promotes big drops in interest rates and tangible asset and commodity prices, and unbelievable consumer bargains, but also job losses in firms that don’t cut their costs and prices.
Those living on fixed incomes would feel like kings as their purchasing power grows while highly-leveraged individuals and corporations would fail.
Furthermore, deflation must be significant enough to spur action. Even if you are convinced that a decline in shoe prices is in the offing, it may not be big enough to make you wait to buy.
Waiting could entail another trip to the shoe store to check prices, and besides, if you buy a pair now, you get the use of them in the meanwhile.
In addition, the cost and discretionary nature of a good or service influences the sensitivity to deflation.
An expected 5% decline in car prices next year may make you wait. If you’re spending $30,000, that’s a cool $1,500 in your pocket, and you can probably nurse your old bus along for another year anyway.
Recall how rebate programs have pushed vehicle sales up and down like ping-pong balls. But a guaranteed 10% drop in toothpaste prices next month may not make you get out the pliers so you can, by vigorous squeezing, make the old tube last until the lower price is in effect - or to brush your teeth with Ajax while waiting for that price drop.
Trigger Point For Deflationary Expectations?
Taking these four factors into account, what would it take to trigger deflationary expectations?
Probably not as big a decline in prices as the 3% inflation rate level that seemed to touch off inflationary expectations in the 1970s.
Even before that decade, folks had gained familiarity with rising prices throughout the postwar era and were relatively insensitive to the inflationary beast.
Been there, done that.
Deflation, however, is a different animal, not seen since the 1930s, and few of us today have had first-hand experience with it.
Widespread and chronic falling prices would be such a shock to most that it would probably take less deflation today than it took inflation earlier to get people’s attention.
Our judgment is that declines in the prices of most goods and a fair number of services, averaging 1% to 2% and lasting for several years, would do the job.
Then, anticipation of lower prices by buyers and all of the other self-feeding aspects of deflation would kick in.
As noted earlier, Dr. Shilling believes that annual declines in general price indexes of 2% to 3% are likely.
If he’s right, the world will be quite different than with the 2% to 3% annual inflation rates that most investors currently expect.
My Investment Themes
Dr. Shilling discusses 12 investment areas to sell or avoid in the long run.
Included are expensive consumer discretionary purchases like motor vehicles, appliances, airline trips and ocean cruises. These will be hurt by consumers’ zeal to save and by the self-feeding downward spiral of deflationary expectations.
The latter has locked automakers into profit-killing rebates.
Similarly, credit card and other consumer lenders will suffer from the household shift from borrowing to debt retirement.
Conventional home builders and their suppliers will be pressured as more than 2 million excess house inventories drive prices down another 20%.
The 10 investment sectors he favors include Treasury bonds.
Back in the early 1980s, when the 30-year Treasury yielded 15.25%, he said we were entering “the bond rally of a lifetime.”
He believes that rally is still intact as 30-year yields head for 3% and 10-year yields for 2% amidst slow economic growth, deflation and Treasury's global appeal as safe havens.
Dr. Shilling also likes securities with high, reliable and growing cash returns such as stocks that pay significant dividends.
As households increasingly separate their abodes from their investments, they’ll favor small single-family houses, especially the cost-effective homes built in factories.
Rental apartments will also be attractive as younger couples stay in them until their children are old enough to need single-family houses, and emptynesters will prefer rentals to condos when (and if) they sell their suburban money pits.
Our nation has decided to reduce its dependence on unreliable foreign energy sources, so he likes conventional North American energy suppliers such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, oil sands and related industries, but no government subsidy-dependent renewal energy such as ethanol, wind, solar and geothermal.
The Age of Deleveraging
Dr. Shilling believes the deleveraging process has years to go and that economic and financial markets have not returned to business as usual - at least not to the world of rapid growth supported by over-sized and growing debt.
During the last fascinating decade, he played three roles.
First, as an eyewitness to history, watching speculation survive the Internet bubble collapse in the early 2000s due to massive monetary and fiscal stimuli, and then spreading to commodities, foreign currencies, emerging market stocks and bonds, hedge funds and private equity, and especially housing.
Dr. Shilling saw the housing and financial bubbles expand and then explode. He watched the fears of financial meltdown spur gigantic monetary and fiscal bailouts.
He experienced the witch hunts that followed, the inevitable result of widespread losses and high unemployment.
Second, he’s been a participant in this drama, not only chronicling it in his monthly Insight Newsletter, but also continually warning of the impending collapses in the housing and financial bubbles.
And he was involved through a very profitable year in 2008 for the portfolios his firm manages when all 13 of his investment strategies worked - most gratifying in contrast to those who never acknowledged that those bubbles existed, much less could burst.
Third, he participated as a forecaster in successfully foreseeing the expansion and then collapse of the housing and financial bubbles.
More recently, his forecasts have focused on the continuing deleveraging that the bursting of those two bubbles commenced, and the resulting investment strategies for the next decade.
The Age of Deleveraging describes all three of these roles, and I hope you find it enlightening, provocative, instructive, and at times amusing.
By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S
It goes without saying that most of the world news since the decade of the 2000s has been, well, negative to say the least
Manufacturing base fleeced
Dot.com industry fleeced
Bank & Financial Meltdown
Real Estate Collapse
Decade of Debt Deleveraging
Hopefully, things can only get better I'm asked?
Well, I hope so, I answer.
I read the world's future transits and I sigh, "oh when will these people ever learn from history?"
Surely we are in an age where one generation needs to retire. Enough already, the world is moving past the debacles of the 20th century and is in a new century that really is just getting started when you think of it.
Where there are problems, there are also solutions. I learned this in my study of mundane astrology, world history, and from regular good people. Other than that, I learned from real life.
When your friends hear you've said bad things about them - even at the state and diplomatic level - do not lie to their face, but apologize.
And the next time you have something snippy to say, then say it to them face to face.
I used to solve fights when my mother would constantly order me to stop the bullies from beating up kids in the neighborhood. I always asked nicely for him to quit hurting others.
When the bully tried to bully me, I defended myself and punched him straight on the chin and knocked him out. Most Philadelphians learn to box at a very young age, think "Rocky." That's how I kinda grew up.
Anyway, when the bully was whisked to the hospital to recover, my mother would take me to visit him. She'd make me pay for the flowers, and the card, and bring them to his hospital room where he was recovering from my right hook to his chin.
Secrecy works only when two of the three people who know it are dead. This is the problem with secrets and is a good reason why the holy scriptures say not to spy, it just pisses people off. Better to ask them straight-away for the truth.
Problems are an excellent means towards reaching a solution depending on the astrological transits. What is right to someone when the Moon is in Scorpio may not be so when it is in Aquarius say, in combination with the other world transits.
Anyhow, solutions to problems can be many. Some solutions are favorable, some are unfavorable, but the thing is this - what you choose to do based on your decisions also means that your ass will be on the line for the things you either do, or do not do.
Remember, the Immortal God sees, hears and knows all things. The watchers are also being watched.
Ideas and the means of resolving problems come down always to five questions:
- Is it good?
- Is it civil?
- Is it right?
- Is it just?
- Will it get me thrown eternally straight into the mouths of Hell itself?
Yes, Hell is that bad.
So, while we are in this time, and going into the new era just ahead, we can all make choices that are good, that are civil, that is right and not wrong, and that are just.
There is no prescription for the importance of being earnest and perhaps the foreign policy of all governments, nations, and their peoples may require going back to the basics of simply treating one another with love, justice and respect.
In the end, it comes down to this, doesn't it?
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
~ Matthew 25:33-45
So enough with all the bad talk of assassinating people who wikileak and treating one another with bad words, death threats and promises of harm. Let's back way, way up, and come to our senses shall we? That common sense was once that could be a misnomer in these strange, bad and narcissistic times.
~ Isaiah 55:7
Geez, what a freaking year 2010 was!
From all the bad news of the first year of the Cardinal Crisis:
All the negativity, the narcissism, the lack of respect for one another along with the recent Wikileaks revelations of the goings on in the world, it seems as if 2010 was, for regular people, the poor, the Middle class, homeowners, the wealthy, the working class, healthcare, economists, politicians, golf players, football players, military soldiers, the unemployed, women, men, students, sports people, leaders, Wikileaks - has left just about everyone, including the U.S. global diplomatic corp feeling... well -> a little like this, some would say.
Can we all do much, much better next year?
A Merry, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays To All!
(And that means Everyone.)
See -> this message for Christmas, and my own message about the things I've experienced in my life. What I've given for astrology, and what mundane astrology has given me. The things I know about the future and why I forecast to the best of my ability.
I give this to all those who wrap themselves fully up in compassion, in truth, justice, in civility, in light, and above all else - in Love - for one another.
See you on the other side of 2011.
Do not kill. Do not do evil. Be good, and behave as a passer-by when words, and plans, and evil threats are used within groups - elite or otherwise.
Know This To Be True: The Immortal God Watches All, Hears All, and Sees All. Back slowly out of any room where evil is being discussed and save your own soul from perdition. HE always watches and knows what is in your heart and mind. HE sees all that you do and all that you do not do.
For where there are seven in a room discussing plans to do evil, know that the Immortal LORD is surely the eighth - though you see HIM not.
Peace be with you all.
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S