M A Y A ' S M O O N R E P O R T , M A R C H 2 0 0 3
by Maya del Mar
The Aquarius New Moon which began this cycle occurred February 1. I called it "outgoing, extroverted, catalytic." Indeed, the entire month was very dynamic, as reflected in the news. The crash of the shuttle Columbia, with the first Israeli astronaut aboard, ushered in the months action. From then on, despite much bravado and heavy hardware on the part of the U.S., things went downhill for the Bush Administration.
An Oakland Federal Court trial provides a local example of the Bush modus operandi, and its blowback.
A trial in Federal Court in Oakland, California is a small example, a microcosm within the macrocosm. The voters of California overwhelmingly passed a medical marijuana initiative a few years ago, and doctor-prescribed marijuana is legal here. Growers of medical marijuana are licensed, and can sell marijuana to those people who have prescriptions. It is used to alleviate pain, and is especially helpful in certain chronic conditions.
One of those growers is Ed Rosenthal, licensed and overseen by the City of Oakland to grow and sell marijuana for medical use. He writes and speaks about the benefits of medical marijuana, and the Federal government does not like him. Nor do they like that California has its own law which runs contrary to Federal drug law. Their control is threatened.
So in Federal court in Oakland, the U.S. Department of Justice brought federal charges against Ed Rosenthal. The federal lawyers built their case on Eds growing and selling marijuana, against federal law. The judge allowed nothing of the California circumstance, and Eds local role to be brought into the case, i.e., no defense. Ed was found guilty by a panel of jurors and sentenced to prison. Victory for the federal government? No.
The moment the jurors were released, and found out that they were not even allowed to hear the really relevant evidence, they felt betrayed by the judge, and went public with statements of anger and remorse for their verdict. Although jury verdicts are nearly always final, it is certain that this verdict will be overturned. In the meantime, much publicity about medical marijuana has been generated and is continuing, public awareness has increased, and the level of distrust of the Federal government has risen in northern California.
Just as the level of distrust of the Bush Administration has increased around the world during February.
U.S. hypocrisy and arm-twisting at the UN is an example of the Administrations sowing of distrust.
Case in point: Colin Powells presentation at the UN of a case against Iraq was a shameful exhibit of plagiarism, misinformation, and lies. The press around the world, including the British press, has documented 44 instances where Powell contradicted the evidence. But the U.S. does not get that information. After Powells speech, each member of the Security Council answered him, and made various statements to the effect that they were not convinced. As far as I know, Pacifica, a radio network completely financed by listeners, was the only media network to air those rebuttal statements, live, just as it aired Powells presentation live. (Our Berkeley station, KPFA, also broadcasts on the Internetand gets listener response from far-away places.)
"News" in the U.S. is very limited.
As I contact more and more communication from "overseas," I have become very conscious of the "iron curtain" around the media in the U.S. We are ignorant of the rest of the world. For example, the Mexican people whom I visit on my frequent visits are much more up on current events and issues than are we. I have heard this from other foreign visitors as well, including visitors to China. And I can certainly read it in the foreign press, which we can access via Internet.
(In fact, a friend starts his day on the web reading CNN for news, and then reading the British Guardian to see the contrast, and to get a more accurate picture, including better coverage of U.S. news.)
A quick and easy way to get a broader perspective on the world is to read the magazine, World Press Review, carried by most libraries and many newstands.
The anti-war movement continues to build.
Protestors against U.S. policy include the people of the U.S. Peace marches and protest activities built up throughout the month in hundreds of communities. Many cities and towns, including Los Angeles, have passed anti-war resolutions. Many others have passed anti-Patriot Act resolutions. Impeachment papers against Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have been drawn up by one-time U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clarke, and people are signing an impeachment petition by the thousands.
People are marching and creating protests throughout the rest of the world as well. For starters, we have three (of five) permanent members of the Security Council refusing to join Bushs "war" (massacre, really) driveFrance, China, and Russia. Germany, too, will vote "no". The African Union met to agree on a declaration that they would not support any action that did not go through the UN processes.
U.S. military ships are sitting around in many ports, unable to move their personnel and equipment as they anticipated, due to non-cooperation by workers. Greeks have prevented NATO ships from entering their ports, stopping ships and trains which carry war materiel. The British are preventing war cargo from moving on trains. Germany and Ireland have both denied use of their airports. The Labor Around the World group has put together an anti-war resolution, unanimously signed by unions representing 150,000,000 workers.
The Turkish parliament has just denied use of their country for an invasion of Iraq, surprising the Administration, whose loaded ships were ready to land. (However, the issue will be put before them again, and under intense U.S. pressure, they are apt to change their vote.)
Britains The Independent reported that one in five British reservists being called up for duty in the Middle East were either requesting a deferral, or actually ignoring their orders. All over the world, many military personnel are refusing to take the smallpox and anthrax vaccinations which they are ordered to take. (Widespread illnesses amongst vacinnees are being reported at Ft. Hood, Texas, where two divisions were vaccinated.)
U.S. steps up war talk, military buildups, and weapons-making and testing.
In the meantime, U.S. military escalation increases, with troops going not only to the Middle East, but to Colombia, the Philippines, and South Korea. 10,000 U.S. troops were just sent to the Dominican Republic. (Is Venezuela, our largest oil supplier, next?)
The U.S. and British tripled their bombing of the "no fly" zones over Iraq during February. And Bush announced that Gen. Tommy Franks would rule Iraq for two years after the conquest.
Bush also announced a shift in U.S. nuclear policy, from non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to actively designing and testing new ones. The Republicans say that the era of nuclear restriction is over, and Congress is already passing laws to create the "new look" which, they say will exponentially increase the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. It includes enhanced radiation weapons.
Rumsfeld also announced a new weapon which will zap electronic circuits. Theyre not sure yet what kind of collateral damage it will carry, but plan to test it out on the Iraqis. They will also drop many thousands of potent bombs with the purpose of smashing Baghdad.
The Bush Administration continues to hack away at civil liberties, the financial system, and the environment.
U.S. Patriot Act II, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, was divulged. Critics say its five to ten times worse than Patriot Act I in its taking away of civil rights.
Some other Administration actions during this exceedingly active month include Bushs submission of a record budget of $2.2 trillion, with a $1.1. trillion shortfall. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan took the unprecedented step of criticizing the budget, especially the huge tax cut for the rich, before the Senate.
Bush also supported "pre-emptive" drug laws in Florida, governed by his brother Jeb.
Congress did pass a 3000-page spending bill. It included a surprise rider which essentially lets the meat and poultry industries ride over the Organic Foods Act. They can label their products "Organic," and yet use non-organic feed if they feel organic feed is too expensive. In February, Bush also urged the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco to maintain a roadblock on the California Clean Air Rules.
Thus continues the Bush onslaught against our environment. Other noticeable examples this month include Congress proposal to allow the timber companies to care for forests.
The General Accounting Office withdrew its suit against Dick Cheney for withholding information in regard to energy policy, reportedly under pressure of drastic cuts to its funding.
There is much unrest around the world.
Further from home, we have Pres. Hugo Chavez declaring a win for the government, and re-opening businesses in Venezuela.
There is much turbulence in Bolivia. I gather that it is stimulated in large part by IMF, World Bank, and WTO policies, which bring greater poverty to the nation.
In Israel, Ariel Sharon presented his new government, a coalition of the most far right-wing parties. Israel has stepped up its killing and destruction of people and homes in the Occupied Territories. Israel also closed off the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, creating further hardship for the already starving Palestinians. The U.S. and Israelis carried out joint military exercises in Israel.
Both India and Pakistan are resuming missile testing.
And then theres North Korea. Almost every day the U.S. and North Korea are taking verbal potshots at one another. North Korea reactivated their nuclear reactor, test-fired a missile, and plan to build four more nuclear reactors. They say they will use pre-emptive strikes against the U.S. if necessary. Pres. Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea warns of "calamity," and Japan is very worried.
Disintegration of world systems is happening, particularly catalyzed by the rebellious Aquarian energy of February.
Now, we are in the Piscean cycle, which follows Aquarius. Pisces is the last sign, the sign of dissolution. I think of the alchemical process, where elements are separated, and then dissolved. The next stage will be precipitation of new elements, perhaps in the Aries cycle.