S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 4
by Alex Miller-Mignone
"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
George W. Bush, December 18, 2000
"Fool me once, shame onshame on you.
Fool meyou can't get fooled again."
George W. Bush, Nashville, Tennessee, Sept. 17, 2002
"I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to come and witness my hanging."
George W. Bush at the dedication of his official portrait as governor, Austin, Texas; 4 Jan 2002
Black Hole Mars can be many things. It manifests as world-class athletes such as six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and record-setting Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz; military leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower, architect of victory in World War II, and William Westmoreland, architect of defeat in Vietnam; sexpots such as Marilyn Monroe and Madonna; bestial killers such as cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer and mass murderer Adolf Hitler, responsible for millions of deaths.
And then theres George.
As in so much, George W. Bush took an incredible natal potential and did with it ... well, pretty much nothing. Until now. This isnt to say Dubya betrays none of the symptoms of Black Hole Mars; he does, in spades. But rather that what could have been greatness, or at least consummate evil, has dwindled to an almost plebeian meanness, a smirking, chip on the shoulder, borderline bristling stance. There is to Bush a sort of rudimentary sadism, but it manifests primarily as a sardonic, low-key nastiness that is remarkable only for its presence in an individual who has attained the most powerful office in the world.
But for that unhappy circumstance, Dubyas nasty streak and will to power wouldnt have made much of a ripple; having been installed in the White House, however, they are beginning to show global consequences.
Born 6 July 1946, George W. Bush sports a 9 Virgo Mars, exactly conjunct the singularity of Black Hole Apsu, and in semisextile to a conjunction of Mercury, Pluto and Black Hole Cernunnos at 9-10 Leo. Mars is also binovile (80 degrees) to Bushs natal Uranus at 19 Gemini, and novile (40 degrees) to his natal Jupiter at 18 Libra, as well as square Black Hole Anubis at 10 Sagittarius.
Mars combined with a Black Hole, particularly one in the inescapable thrall of conjunction with the singularity, manifests in ways that are unique, unexpected, unorthodox, even bizarre. Some of these are highly prized, as athletic prowess or physical strength; others less so, as quarrelsomeness or enmity. There is a lot of energy to the conjunction, an intensity unmatched by any other celestial save Pluto, and the avenues which Mars energy can splinter into, in the human field of experience, are not among the most beloved. Anger, aggression, pride, intolerance and violence are all in Mars bailiwick, but these impulses can be channeled in positive directions or utilized in ways which increase the sum total of negativity on the planet.
The trend Bushs Black Hole Mars allied with both Uranus and Pluto began to show itself early. As a boy in west Texas, Dubya was part of a group of kids who got their kicks by putting firecrackers into frogs, throwing them in the air, and watching them explode. Boyhood friend Terry Throckmorton has described the frequent incidents, which also involved BB guns, by saying, "We were terrible to animals." The image of completely annihilating frogs by exploding them is certainly evocative of Pluto and Uranus in tandem with Mars. This is also the underpinning energy of the mass destruction caused by unleashing incendiary devices on civilian populations. Imagine what a thrill the adult Bush got out of Shock & Awe in Baghdad.
The young Bushs firsthand initiation into Mars realm of human death came at an early age. When he was seven, his younger sister Robin, aged three, died of leukemia. George Sr. and Barbara had an unusual reaction to the death, and one which reflected George Jr.s Black Hole Mars perfectlythey virtually ignored it. Robins non-death was not commemorated by a funeral service; the day after her passing the bereaved parents played golf. One can only speculate upon the effect on a seven-year-olds psyche of this glossing over of the grief and heartache normal in such circumstances. The death of a fellow creature was an act of pleasure and excitement for Dubya; the death of a fellow sibling was not judged worthy of note. Was it in such an atmosphere that Bush first felt the stirrings of "compassionate conservatism?"
By the time college rolled around, Dubya had moved on to utilize his Black Hole Mars connections with Black Hole Mercury. Even as the more overt manifestations of Mars/Pluto took a back seat to verbal assaults, biting sarcasm (Dubya was known as "Lip" in his Yale fraternity for his habit of mouthing off) and humiliation, there remained a background motif of physical cruelty.
Fellow Yale student Gary Trudeau, of "Doonesbury" fame, remembers Dubya as "just another sarcastic preppy who gave people nicknames and arranged for keg deliveries." But he noted the young Bushs ability to "make you feel extremely uncomfortable.... He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation."
Ironically, and as mute testimony to the power of Black Hole Mars to enact even anothers potential with which it comes in direct contact, Trudeau penned his first-ever political cartoon in 1967 for the Yale Daily News in response to a hazing scandal in which Dubya was deeply embroiled. Pledges to Bushs Delta Epsilon Kappa fraternity were being kicked and paddled for hours during initiation, followed by two to five hours of being forced to sit with heads between legs, motionless, as recounted by now Boston lawyer Franklin Levy. If they moved, spoke or as much as coughed, they were beaten. According to then pledge Bill Katz, the finale was a branding ceremony, where the pledge was touched "just above the buttocks, in the small of the back," with "a wire coat hanger twisted into a triangle and heated up" in the fireplace.
The New York Times picked up the story and interviewed Bush, who according to now Professor Bradford Lee was "very active in all the fraternity activities then" (he was Rush chairman one year) and was seen as a spokesman for the group. Trudeau recalls that Bushs defense was to call the incident a harmless prank, that "it was just a coat hanger," which "didnt hurt any more than a cigarette burn" and left "no scarring mark physically or mentally." He then chastised Yale for being too "haughty" to "allow this type of pledging to go on."
Humiliation, stress positions, beatings, and torture. Can we say Abu Ghraib?
Once out of Yale and with his student deferment expiring, Dubya sought another way out of active service in Vietnam and got himself bumped up to the top of the list for the Texas Air National Guard. Bush was very forthcoming about his motivation for this decision, when in an interview for the Houston Chronicle during his first gubernatorial campaign in 1994 he stated: "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun(1) in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes." Black Hole Mars was there every step of the way, giving him an unearned military promotion as if from nowhere. Dubya was made a second lieutenant right out of basic training, without the bother of officer candidate school. Trained for flying fighter jets (Mars linked with Uranus again), Bush performed adequately for the first three years of his commitment. And then he just disappeared. Very Black Hole.
In May of 1972 Bush applied for a transfer to a unit near Montgomery, Alabama, where he was working for the Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a friend of his then-Congressman father. The request was refused, but Bush went anyway. From May 1, 1972 through April 30, 1973, there is no record of him serving or appearing for duty, either in Alabama or his original post in Texas. No witnesses (in fact, negative statements by commanding officers who do not recall seeing him there), no corroborating evidence of any kind to back up Bushs assertion that he fulfilled his obligations to the Guard. (One fellow Guardsman from Alabama has come forward with corroboration, but as he claims to have seen Dubya on dates that not even the White House says he was there, his evidence must be considered dubious at best.
In January of 2004 the issue became a hot topic again when controversial filmmaker Michael Moore introduced Democratic Presidential contender Wesley Clark at a New Hampshire rally and referred to Bush as a "deserter." ABC News anchor Peter Jennings unwittingly expanded the controversy when he questioned Clark as to why he didnt dispute Moores allegation, and within a week the White House was browbeaten into releasing Bushs military records.
Unfortunately for them, the records were blank for the period in question. As proof of his completed service, the White House was left with the rather pathetic defense of pointing to Bushs honorable discharge, which is not a great deal of evidence considering his special treatment in entering the Guard in the first place, his instant officer promotion, and being allowed into flight training despite scoring the lowest possible passing grade.
At this point, Bushs Black Hole Mercury steps in, in weird and wonderful ways. On July 10, 2004 (with transit Mercury returned to the Black Hole at its birth degree) the Pentagon, petitioned for the originals of the Bush military transcript, averred that some Guardsmens transcripts had been "inadvertently destroyed" during an attempt to preserve the microfilm records from decay. Oddly, the records destroyed coincided precisely with the dates under scrutiny. There were no back-up paper copies available.
A media firestorm ensued, until in another Black Hole twist, less than two weeks later, on July 23 (with Mercury at 27 Leo now opposing a Black Hole and filling in the empty arm of a Galactic T-Square), the Pentagon announced that it had found the records after all. Unfortunately for the White House, attendance records are still missing, and the pay records found do not shed any light on Dubyas whereabouts for the year in question. So much for Black Hole Mars and military service.
Another area where Black Hole Mars is often in evidence is sports. There is not a lot of sports activity in the Dubya mythos, although he was head cheerleader for his prep school in Andover, MA (where he also organized informal stickball leagues) and captain of the varsity baseball team at Yale. And his part ownership of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise would prove to be the only successful business venture of Dubyas star-crossed life.
In the fall of 1988, Bush fell in with a group of investors who were fielding inquiries from Texas Rangers owner Eddie Chiles about selling the franchise. To come up with his $500,000 contribution to the deal, which netted him a mere 1.8% of the operation, Bush borrowed from a Midland, Texas bank where he had once been director. The deal went through in April of 1989, and in recognition of the high name profile that went with being the son of the sitting US president, Bushs partners conferred on him another 10% interest.
At the time of the purchase, the Rangers were stuck in an old minor-league stadium in Arlington, Texas. Wanting to attract a better, and more profitable, clientele with such things as sky boxes and top-notch players, but not wanting to invest any more of their own money, the owners devised a plan to improve their franchise at the taxpayers expense.
Threatening to move the team, and with the implementation of a slick PR campaign, Bush and the other owners prompted Arlington voters to approve a $135 million contribution to the cost of a new, state-of-the-art stadium, funded by a hike in the local sales tax. The owners offered to add $50 million of their own money, but in reality this was recouped by adding a $1 surcharge on tickets. The new stadium was technically city property, but the owners also negotiated a favorable lease arrangement, whereby their yearly cap of rent and maintenance costs at $5 million is applied to their outright purchase of the ballpark. With a $60 million total price tag, the owners will have bought back the stadium from the people of Arlington in 12 years, at a cost of less than half its construction.
Not content with the stadium itself, the owners wanted as much of the surrounding property as possible to increase its value, for parking and future development. Using an arm of the Arlington City government, the owners were essentially able to buy up the adjoining tracts of land at lower than market value prices; if their initial low-ball offers were refused by the landowners, they simply had the city seize the properties using eminent domain rights, and the courts determined a "fair" price for these enforced purchases.
Bushs increased public profile as part owner of a major baseball franchise served him well in his successful bid for governor of Texas against incumbent Democrat Ann Richards in 1994. After his election, Bushs assets were placed in a blind trust; all, that is, except for his Texas Rangers ownership. In 1998 Thomas Hicks bought the franchise for $250 million, three times what the partnership had paid almost a decade earlier, the additional sum justified by the new stadium and the surrounding land they had acquired. Bushs 11.8% share came to almost $15 million, more than 25 times his initial investment. That windfall profit from a sports venture is possibly the most obvious manifestation in Bushs resume of the linkage from Black Hole Mars to his Jupiter/Pluto financial axis.
And speaking of the Texas governorship, Bushs Black Hole Mars has made its mark on his tenure there as well. In just six years, Bush signed off on 152 executions, an average of nearly one every two weeks, more than any other governor in the states history. The only stay he granted, based on questionable DNA evidence, was just months before the 2000 presidential election, an obvious bid for the support of moderates (in the following year the execution proceeded on orders from his successor). Texas public defender offices are notoriously lax, understaffed, and incompetent, yet Bush generally took less than 15 minutes to consider final appeals, often opting for summaries of briefs from aides. On one occasion he is reported as taking just 4 minutes to decide to put a man to death. This is Mars-Mercury with a vengeance.
Bush doesnt seem to have much sympathy for the condemned. In an August 1999 interview with Talk Magazine, Bush mocked convicted murderer Karla Faye Tuckers plea for clemency during her Larry King Live interview. Tucker, who had become a born-again Christian during the period of her incarceration, and thus might have expected some sympathy from the self-avowed fundamentalist governor, had begged him for her life. Bush told the reporter that he had seen the interview, and King had "asked her real difficult questions, like, What would you say to Governor Bush?"
According to the Talk reporter, none other than rabid conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, Bush mimicked Tuckers plea: "Please, Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, dont kill me." Dubya was unmoved.
All of which brings us to the present, and the War on Terror.
Despite his protestations of having gone to war in Iraq only as a last resort, its obvious Dubya relished his decision to invade and occupy paper tiger Saddam Husseins oil-rich country. A Knight Ridder reporter was watching an internal television feed at the White House on the night Bush spoke to the nation to state, somberly and soberly, that he had ordered the initial air strikes on Baghdad, thus beginning the war. But just minutes before, those monitors had shown Dubya "pumping his fist," and exclaiming, "feels good!"
Even had the reasons for war been justified, if Hussein had possessed the vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and the 45-minute delivery system for them, or the nuclear weapons program, or the close collaborative relationship with al Qaeda, Bushs decision to go to war would have placed him in the ranks of the bloodier US presidents. Certainly he has shed more blood than anyone since Nixon, with more than 900 US soldiers killed and estimates of somewhere between 11,000 and 15,000 Iraqi deaths, mostly civilians.
The outrages committed at Abu Ghraib prison, in Afghanistan, and at the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay are in some ways eerily reminiscent of Dubyas days as a fraternity Rush chairman at Yale. And in fact conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, one of Bushs staunchest supporters, has characterized them as "fraternity pranks." The nakedness, sexual humiliation and the more sexually perverse aspects of the treatment doled out by US military personnel at Abu Ghraib highlight another very common Black Hole Mars issue, one for which Bush seemingly betrays no personal attraction, that of sexual obsession and deviance.
The Administrations request to Justice Department lawyers for a narrowing of legal definitions of torture, and their assertion of presidential war powers to authorize this treatment and insulate its practitioners from prosecution, speak to a lust for power and a contempt for international laws and conventions worthy of Stalin himself. Chalk it all up to Black Hole Mars, which has the potential of reveling in and feeding off of others suffering and delighting in their degradation and abuse.
Additionally, in the Iraq War we can see the complex web of energies from Bushs Black Hole Mars to Jupiter, Pluto, and Black Hole Mercury in several ways: the false intelligence or outright lies which sent us to war over nonextant weapons of mass destruction; the deception over how the reconstruction would be paid for; and the astronomical costs, topping $200 billion, with possibly decades of future US troop involvement.
Dubyas Black Hole Mars may not yet be glutted, however; new information about Iranian culpability in the 9/11 attacks and their recalcitrance to UN nuclear weapons inspections has caused the bloodshot eye of the Administration to swivel in the direction of this second member of Bushs "Axis of Evil." Although Bush is now appearing on the campaign trail as a would-be pacifist, attempting to simultaneously shore up and shed his self-imposed moniker of the "War President" by stating that given another four years, hed like to be known as the "Peace President," the leopard doesnt change its spots, nor the baboon its anal colorations. With two land wars and the never-ending "War on Terror" to his credit, there is little doubt of Bushs true agenda.
There is one final aspect to be considered in regards to Black Hole Mars and political leaders: namely, assassination.
Each of the slain US Presidents, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy, had Black Hole Mars, as did Reagan, who was shot but survived. Other Black Hole Mars assassination victims include Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose shooting prompted World War I, Indias Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, US Senator Robert Kennedy, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Ytzak Rabin.
(1) An intriguing and unwitting reference to Bushs Mars ("shoot out" and "shotgun")-Mercury ("eardrum"), double Black Hole aspects.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.