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More Sorrow in Palestine/Israel

I have tears running down my face as I type this. My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved in and affected by the conflict in Palestine/Israel.

I’m so sad that more children have died on both sides. More families are broken hearted, and the warmongers predictably clattering swords ominously without any respect at all for the real human beings suffering from their idiotic knee jerk responses.

I believe Rabbi Lerner is correct that peace will only come from everyone reaching out to one another in their common suffering, recognizing one another’s humanity and acting from love, forgiveness and hope for a better future.

We cannot change the past but we can change now.

Please join me in praying for this terrible situation to be transformed into an opportunity to create peace instead of an excuse for more endless violence and suffering.
ohnwentsya

We at Tikkun are in mourning for the three teens murdered in the West Bank. We find this act painful and outrageous. There can be no excuse for this kind of act.

AND we know that the revenge/retaliation acts of Israel will only bring about more acts of violence. The cycle will continue until Israel ends the Occupation and accepts a peace arrangement generous enough both in its particulars and in the spirit in which it is offered as to undermine the support for Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza and to empower the voices of Palestinian peace-makers.

Those terms are presented in my book “Embracing Israel/Palestine” (www.tikkun.org/EIP) ; and in the Winter 2014 issue of Tikkun magazine, and they require a deep change in approach from both Israel and Palestine (there are no pure victims or pure oppressors–but there are many people locked into fear and anger and hatred and until that is healed and the cycle of violence actively opposed by people in both communities, the leaders and the haters will shape the realities people on all sides will continue to face).

We plead with the leadership of Israel to take the first steps because Israel is the more powerful force, not because we believe that Israel deserves all the blame for the current mess. Those first steps would be to embrace the strategy of generosity and caring for the other explicitly called for in the Torah over and over again.

Until that happens, we urge all Israelis and people from around the world to not endanger their children by bringing, sending or funding them to be in the West Bank, which is defacto a war zone. We fear that the hatred generated by Israel’s acts of retaliation will eventually blow back onto Israelis and world Jewry.

The choice is simple: endless war, violence and suffering, or a new spirit of generosity, caring, empathy for “the Other,” and with that an explicit willingness to admit and atone for the sins that each side has committed against the other. Both sides need to stop all their self-righteousness, break the cycle of violence, and reach out to the other side with unequivocal acts of atonement.

Below, we present two responses, one from a regular Tikkun columnist Ury Avnery, chair of the Israeli peace movement Gush Sholom, the other from a Palestinian human rights activist whose perspective differs radically from ours but must also be considered because there will be no peace till both sides have their stories told. Meanwhile, we remain in deep grief for the loss of lives on all sides, for the children and teens (and yes, their parents and grandparents and families and communities) on both sides who have been murdered, victims of terror, imprisoned unjustly, or otherwise fallen victim to this conflict which could have been ended many years ago. All the violence, all the hatred, so terribly and tragically unnecessary! As a rabbi and a Jew, I call for fellow Jews to reject the one-sided focus, to mourn all the victims on all sides, because although of course we feel a special pain for the loss of these teens who are our own, part of the family of the Jewish people, and so understandably we care especially about them, nevertheless we must model a different way of being in which we show our caring also for the suffering of those in the Palestinian world who have seen their children beaten, tortured, imprisoned, shot or killed. So we stand with all those in pain, all those in need of healing, not only among our own people but among those whom we have unintentionally hurt. It is only with this open-hearted compassion and empathy for all that we can hope to break the cycle of violence before it escalates to a level that will never ever stop. And this way of being “unrealistic” is precisely what the Torah commands when it tells us “do not take revenge” and instead proclaims an ethos of “love the Other” (not just tolerate, but LOVE). May it soon be the case that we will hear from the hills of Juday, and in the outskirts of Jerusalem a voice of joy and gladness, kol sason ve kol simcha, a voice of peace and reconciliation.

–Rabbi Michael Lerner RabbiLerner.tikkun

*A Response from Israel: Uri Avnery from Gush Shalom: *
“The kidnapping and murder of three boys is a crime deserving all condemnation”, says former Knesset Member Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom. “No political cause can justify such an act, and among other things the perpetrators caused grave damage to the Palestinian people. The three boys now join the very long and terrible list of victims, members of both peoples, who were killed in the cause of a bloody conflict which has already lasted for more than a century. Also and especially on this harsh and tragic moment, it must be said: *only the achievement of peace between enemies can end conflicts and put a stop to bloodshed.* It is a stormy moment, when inflammatory cries are made for revenge and the landing of a blow on the other side. It would be a grave mistake for the State of Israel to take such a route, which would lead only to bloodshed and more bloodshed, revenge and counter-revenge and counter-counter-revenge. Only peace between Israelis and Palestinians, between the exisiting state of Israel and the state of Palestine which will arise at its side, bears the hope that these three boys will be the last victims.”

*A Response From Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Human Rights Activist from Bethlehem*

*When will this Insanity End? *

A sadly familiar scene over the past two weeks here in occupied Palestine: 10 Palestinians (including a 7 and 15 year old) and three Israeli settlers (16 – 19 year old) were killed. Dozens of Palestinian homes were demolished in the past two weeks. Over 570 more Palestinians were kidnapped in these two weeks making more than 6000 abductees languishing in Israeli gulags/prisons. 1500 Palestinian homes invaded without due process. 12 million native Palestinians still await their freedom from colonial occupation and displacement. And Israeli leaders are promising to “do more” (genocidal mayhem?). But the question remains when will this insanity end? Can it end by negotiations between occupied and occupier; negotiations that have been going on for 22 years while Israel gets $12 billion profit every year from its occupation? (that is not counting the billions from US taxpayers).

When will Israel be led by people like the previous speaker of the Israeli Knesset Avraham Berg instead of racists like Netanyahu. Listen to the wise words of Berg:

“Here are Israel’s shallow prime minister and the bumbling police, the masses who cling to futile prayers and not to a moment of human peace. Here are the country’s hypocritical chief rabbis, who just a month ago demanded promises from the pope regarding the future of the Jewish people, but in their daily lives remain silent about the fate of the people who are our neighbors, trampled beneath the pressure of occupation and racism under the leadership of rabbis who receive exorbitant salaries and benefits….Despite the enormous and inspiring success of Breaking the Silence (an NGO that collects testimony from soldiers who’ve served in the West Bank), our own total silence is still the loudest thing around us. We are willing to go out of our minds over one odd and troublesome Pollard, a lone kidnap victim or three kidnap victims, but we are incapable of understanding the suffering of a whole society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us. This, too, needs to be said and heard during this moment of clarity – and as loudly as possible.”
“The Palestinians: A kidnapped society: We are incapable of understanding the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us” By Avraham Berghttp://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.599318 [ http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.599318]

And how about the inspiring and wise words of Catholic Patriarch Michel Sabbah writing from Jerusalem congratulating Muslims on the start of Ramadan:
“We all are sectarian, Christians or Muslims. We all need to continuously purify the faith in us to overcome the sectarian. The believer is one who remembers God and sees all as his creation, So he worships God and respects all his creation no matter any religion they are. ..He sees any other as a brother or sister. The sectarian has strife in him and is distant from God. He sees only himself or his family or his clan. … I hope that we all become believers, and our faith overcomes all sectarian tendency.”

I am reminded of the good spirited picture someone shared on Facebook, a family where the father carries a sign that said “I am Sunni”, the mother a sign that said “I am Shia”, and the little girl carries a sign “I am Sushi”. In another video I noted fraternizing between members of the Syrian army and the opposing “Free Syrian army” that reminded me of 1914 when opposing German and British soldiers disobeyed orders of their commanders in WWI and decided to get together in Christmas and become friends. (see http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/trenches.htm [http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/trenches.htm ]). The war mongers do not stop unless the people stop them. But at this moment is when we see candles of light in this darkness being lit everywhere. Palestinians and Israelis working together to achieve peace (e.g. Israeli and Palestinian association of bereaved families). A small group of activists including Jewish Voice for Peace and Palestinian Americans recently managed to outmaneuver the well-funded movement that hijacked US policy. These good people managed to get the Presbyterians to divest holding in three companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. The whole world is getting tired of this apartheid and is starting to shake-off the intimidation.

Netanyahu can only kill more people, can only create more false flag operations. He has decided to speed-up the Judaizing of Jerusalem and removal of its native people. He can work for what he calls “Kurdish independence”. The US and Israeli governments can continue to try and fund sectarianism and create divisions. They pursue the silly and dangerous notion that creating other sectarian states will finally give legitimacy to the “Jewish state” and its systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine. They produce few “successes” like strengthening the Mujahideen to remove the soviets from Afghanistan or strengthening the “Sunni” Mujahideen to fight the Iran/Shia Boogie man. But beware of the monsters you create and instead try to create the peace that will be only based on justice. And beware of the sophistication and power of people who are increasingly not buying all your propaganda.

Peace in Jerusalem = peace on earth.

Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim Brothers and Sisters

And to all: Stay human!

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine

Editor’s Endnote: I find some of the language in Mazin Qumsiyeh’s message offensive, particularly when he describes the 3 murdered Israeli teens as “settlers” which they assuredly were not! While Israel has created an apartheid reality on the West Bank, it is not intrinsically “an apartheid” state (ask the Israeli Palestinians who have equal rights with Israeli Jews) nor is its policy one of “systematic ehtnic cleansing” (again, ask Israeli Palestinians how much they’ve faced such ethnic cleansing). There is little point in inflammatory rhetoric when what is needed is a spirit of reconciliation. But then again, the Netanyahu government has had the opposite of a rhetoric of reconciliation–and some of the elements in his ruling coalition are even more extreme. So, I present his views not because they represent the voice of those who are seeking reconciliation, but because he articulates a perspective that is widespread among Palestinians who want to end the struggle and who reject Hamas’ direction but whose anger at the evils of the Occupation make it hard for Israelis to feel safe in any path but continuing to tighten their hold on the necks of the Palestinian people. Oy, what a terrible mess! Perhaps this is a moment when we should be calling on the mothers of Israel and Palestine to come together for the sake of all the children and demand that their leaders end the violence.

–Rabbi Michael Lerner


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Truthout Daily Digest Sunday, 29 June 2014

With Teacher Tenure Threatened, Trouble in Every Direction for Public Education

Bill Ayers, Truthout: The case against California’s teacher tenure laws was cast as a group of poor kids suing to get rid of bad teachers. In reality, Vergara v. California is more about education privatization and weakening teachers unions, than education equality and reform.

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What They Died For

Peter Van Buren, Truthout: Of the 4,486 American military deaths in Iraq, 911 were considered “non-combat related,” that is, non-accidents, suicides. In some years, more soldiers died by their own hand than in combat. They died of the war, but not in the war. What for?

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Imperial Sports: An Interview With Dave Zirin

Charlotte Silver, Truthout: Political sports writer Dave Zirin discusses his latest book, exploring the unfolding of the World Cup and the Olympics in Brazil and what we can expect and hope for in the future.

Read the Interview

FCC Internet Proposal: The Contemporary Pillage of the Commons

Rivera Sun, Truthout: Tiered pay-to-play internet proposals repeat the cycle of historical thefts of the Commons by the rich and powerful, echoing deep roots of injustice.

Read the Article

How Vermont Got a Single-Payer Health Care Bill: A Non-Electoral History

Michael Arria, Truthout: This is a crucial year in Vermont’s fight to enact its single-payer health care law, with design and financing in the works, and while progressives are credited, that narrative obscures how citizens of all stripes forced their elected officials to act.

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Truthout Interviews Mike Ludwig on TISA and Julian Assange

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: Truthout reporter Mike Ludwig talks about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex documents that were recently published by WikiLeaks and the current status of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

Watch the Interview

Five Countries Where Child Soldiers Still Exist

Lizabeth Paulat, Care2: Child soldiers and child combatants may seem like a far away problem, but you might be surprised at how common they still are. If these children survive combat, they often grow up with a unique set of psychosocial issues that are rarely addressed in their home countries.

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Andrew Bacevich: Chaos in Iraq

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: While armchair warriors in Washington cry “back to Iraq,” former combat veteran and military historian Andrew Bacevich says no way. “Our foreign policy establishment does not take war seriously,” he said. “It assumes that the creation of precision guided weapons makes war manageable.”

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

How Stressed-Out People Impact Election Results

Kevin Mathews, Care2: Why aren’t more people showing up to vote in elections? Perhaps they’re too stressed out. New research has found that citizens who are most prone to anxiety are more likely to skip the polls.

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The Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador’s Water Supply

Julia Paley, Foreign Policy in Focus: Gold-digging multinationals are fueling political violence and environmental devastation in El Salvador, but communities are fighting back.

Read the Article and Watch the Video

The Best Reporting on Children With Post-Traumatic Stress

Lois Beckett, ProPublica: When people think of post-traumatic stress disorder, they often focus on military veterans, but there’s growing evidence that PTSD is also a serious problem for American civilians, especially those exposed to violence in their own neighborhoods.

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This week in Speakout:

Dr. Philip Caper says Medicare should be expanded to all veterans to alleviate VA wait times; Thorsten J. Pattberg decries the hypocrisy of Tony Blair; Reprieve announces a motion to question in court a Guantánamo prison chief who allegedly took the wheelchair of a disabled hunger striking prisoner; Mitch Trachtenberg bemoans the failure of democracy in the United States to solve the looming climate change disaster; Evaggelos Vallianatos discusses legislation that will further enable industry to pollute the planet with harmful chemicals; David Krieger’s poem laments the decades of war set off by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation reports that mayors of large cities across the country called on leaders to act on nuclear disarmament; and more.

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BuzzFlash

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

The NSA Collected Data on Millions of Americans Just to Investigate 248 People

Read the Article at The Guardian

Why Have 28 Years Passed Since the EPA’s Last Chemical Risk Review?

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

Obama to Seek $2 Billion to Curb Influx of Child Immigrants

Read the Article at Voice of America

In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny

Read the Article at The New York Times

Watch Out, the Supreme Court’s Conservatives Are Using the First Amendment as a Weapon

Read the Article at Slate

Conspiracy of the Plutocrats: Secrets of the Wealth-Inequality Explosion Revealed

Read the Article at Salon

Proposed Federal Legislation Could Weaken Secret Legal Settlements; Future Fracking Cases Could Be Affected

Read the Article at Earth Island Journal


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Give us Shelters

Thank you for posting this! I don’t believe most people realize the depth of this problem. We need shelters but we also need society to stop giving tacit approval to the subjugation, abuse and murder of women and children.
In Florida you can legally shoot children and get away with it. Trayvon Martin and the other young man in Jacksonville are proof of this absurdity. But if a woman fires av warning shot, harming no one, in self defense against her long term abuser, she gets a long jail term. Down hierarchy violence is acceptable in America. It is only when the oppressed return fire that punishment ensues.

idealisticrebel

(Reprinted from MS Magazine,  Summer 2014.  Author Lindsey O’Brien)

A unanimous Supreme Court decision in late March reaffirmed a federal law making it a crime for domestic-violence offenders to possess a gun.  James Castleman had claimed that his state conviction for assaulting his child’s mother had not required proof that he had used violence.  But as Justice Sonia Sotamayor pointed out in her opinion on United States v. Castleman, domestic violence includes “seemingly minor acts” such as pushing, grabbing, shoving, pulling hair and “a squeeze of the arm that causes a bruise.”

This was a major victory in fighting violence against women, and will undoubtedly saves lives.  But at the same time, there is a disturbing trend that has gone little notices:  the reduction in the number and staffing of domestic-violence shelters.

Last year, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDBV), cuts to domestic-violence funding caused the…

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Ramadan: A centuries-old American tradition – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

Thank you for posting this. I did not know that a percentage of the people kidnapped from Africa into the vile slave trade were Muslim.
This puts an even more disturbing light on the recent neocon use of Muslims as bogeymen and scapegoats for endless resource wars.

Modern AfroIndio Times

Islam in America is rapidly expanding. It is the fastest-growing religion in the nation, and the second most practiced faith in twenty states. These demographic shifts prompted a prominent Los Angeles-based imam to comment, “Ramadan is a new American tradition.” The cleric’s forward-looking pronouncement marks Islam’s recent arrival in the US. However, this statement reveals a pathology afflicting a lot of Muslim Americans today – an inability to look back and embrace the opening chapters of Muslim American history written by enslaved African Muslims. Social scientists estimate that 15 to 30 percent, or, “[a]s many as 600,000 to 1.2 million slaves” in antebellum America were Muslims. 46 percent of the slaves in the antebellum South were kidnapped from Africa’s western regions, which boasted “significant numbers of Muslims”. These enslaved Muslims strove to meet the demands of their faith, most notably the Ramadan fast, prayers, and community meals, in the face…

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Activists Organize Water Week To Respond To Detroit, HP Water Crises

Thank you for sharing this. Privatizing natural resources that belong to everyone is insane. Water, necessary for life, is an inherent right of all living beings.

Critical Moment

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Detroit’s decision to cut off water to thousands of residents this month has provoked an international outcry. Yet, while it’s encouraging to hear U.N. experts say the shut off policy “constitutes a violation of the human right to water,” their remarks certainly don’t take the pressure of local residents to hold the Emergency Manager-backed water department accountable.

Fortunately, Detroiters aren’t backing down. In fact, a local group called the Detroit Water Brigade is sponsoring a Water Week in Detroit and Highland Park, which started June 29, to organize community members around the issue of water cuts.

Backed by the People’s Water Board Coalition, which includes local community groups like the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, EMEAC and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, Water Week aims to educate residents facing shut offs about their rights and is pushing for a water affordability plan so all Detroiters have access to water. DBC…

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A Plague on Our House

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Thank you for writing this. I hope everyone will click through and read this powerful piece of prose about what it means to ve an American. Even though the creation and history of our nation are steeped in horrors (genocide and slavery) and with the state of endless war now, it appears that horrors and suffering are intrinsic to our national character; it doesn’t have to be this way.
We defied our history and current racism and oligarchy to elect Barack Obama twice-we know we have the power to direct our government if we get up and use it.
Now is the best time to begin taking back our government from the oligarchs and their pawns. There is now a proposed amendment to our Constitution banning corporations from participation in politics. Another removing the influence of money on elections is needed.
Yes-we really can!

QBG_Tilted Tiara

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe sit on the precipice and are damned by the actions of those who would make profit with the blood of our sons and daughters, damned by our unwillingness to stand up and say not one more of them will die for the oil under the sands of foreign lands. We are damned by the greed of those who will not look the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands and children in the eyes when their loved ones are returned maimed, broken or in a flag draped box. We are damned by false patriots who wear flags on lapels of suits costing more than a month’s pay of the soldier they have condemned to a foreign battlefield for their vision of Nation Building.

Since our inception as a nation we have been of two mindsets, one followed the ideal established centuries before of Manifest Destiny, the idea that we, that…

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Truthout Daily Digest Saturday, 28 June 2014

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“People Make Up Our City”: Why Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Is a Sign of Things to Come

Amy B. Dean, Truthout: Seattle’s recently-passed minimum wage of $15 an hour – the highest in the nation – is the latest in a string of grassroots efforts to establish living wages at the local and regional levels.

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Education Undressed: An Interview With Author Ruth Fowler

Daniel Falcone, Truthout: Author, critic and screenwriter Ruth Fowler advocates free education for all, a reimagined, less white feminism and the dethronement of creative writing MFA programs.

Read the Article

What We Can Learn From Lawrence of Arabia

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company: In the 1920, T.E. Lawrence wrote an unsettling and prophetic article about Iraq. He decried the money spent, the number of troops and loss of life, and warned that his countrymen had been led “into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor… We are today not far from a disaster.”

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Hamster-Wheel Economics 101

Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins, OtherWords: Joblessness is down because new jobs are being created, but lots of new jobs don’t pay enough to support a small family. Given this bleak outlook, there’s momentum for raising the minimum wage to livable levels.

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Locking Out Financial Regulation

Jayati Ghosh, TripleCrisis: The world of international trade negotiators is an increasingly secret one. A current example is a secretive, pending “trade” deal called the Trade in Services Agreement being negotiated among 50 countries.

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Nicaragua’s Mayagna People and Their Rainforest Could Vanish

José Adán Silva, Inter Press Service: More than 30,000 members of the Mayagna indigenous community are in danger of disappearing, along with the rainforest which is their home in Nicaragua, if the state fails to take immediate action.

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Marking 50 Years of G77

Martin Khor, Triple Crisis: Political leaders of developing countries gathered in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz last week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Group of 77 and discuss the environment, human rights and other topics.

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The World Bank’s Dam Dilemma in Tajikistan

Francesca Corbacho, Foreign Policy In Focus: The Tajik government says it desperately needs Rogun, which will be one of the world’s tallest dams, to meet its electricity needs. But its reservoir will displace over 42,000 people from small mountain villages upstream from the dam site.

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Will Anyone Stop Charter School Corruption?

Jeff Bryant, Campaign For America’s Future: Real evidence of “the good charters” remains mostly anecdotal, as financial corruption and poor education results from “bad ones” continue to mount with every passing month.

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Pro-Marijuana Canvassers Strike Over Unpaid Wages

Shane Burley, Labor Notes: Workers at the Oregon Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp had been refused paychecks they were owed, so they walked off the job and aim to form a union.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Confronting the Central American Refugee Crisis

Read the Article at Center for International Policy Americas Program

Seven States Running Out of Water

Read the Article at USA Today

Aaron Swartz’s Father: He’d Be Alive Today if He Was Never Arrested

Read the Article at CNN

Deportation Separated Thousands of US-Born Children From Parents In 2013

Read the Article at the Huffington Post

GOP Runoff Shows New Angle to Minority Voting

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Iraq: The War Card

Read the Article at Moyers & Company

Investors Who Bought Foreclosed Homes in Bulk Look to Sell

Read the Article at The New York Times


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal June 30 to July 6, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: “A Very Young Moon” on June 28, 2014, as seen from Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, Gauteng Province, South Africa (photo by Allen Versfeld, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

LAST CHANCE to purchase the recording of my recent teleclass on the last six months of 2014! Just send me an email with “Teleclass Replay” in the subject line, and I’ll reply with details. (pam)

TRUE TO FORM, last week’s Uranus-Mars opposition has corresponded with significant breakthroughs and breakdowns — and perhaps a combination of both woven through our experience.

If we look closely, we may see that something about our current experience links back to previous dates in our cycle of change — at least back to the grand cross in April of this year, but perhaps linked to all of the times of strongest effect for our ongoing Pluto-Uranus square.

The transformational influence of that planetary combination began in late 2011, and has had strongest effect around the times when the aspect was exact — in June and September of 2012 and in May and October/November of 2013.

AND YET, we’re not quite done. More of the story is yet to be woven into our tapestry. We have two more passes of the Pluto-Uranus square, on December 15 of this year, and on March 17 of 2015. By that time, we will see even more clearly the purposes and potentials that have been a part of the breakthroughs and breakdowns.

All we know for sure right now is that the intentions of the planets are for empowerment (Pluto) through tearing down of the old structures that have become too confining (Capricorn), and for liberation (Uranus) through breaking free from fears that have limited our expansion (Mars).

What’s interesting is the different levels that these energies reach into. We may see tangible events in our physical lives, but we are also working with old mental constructs and misperceptions, and old emotional patterns and dependencies. We’re ready for a new life experience, and through the breakthroughs and breakdowns, we’re clearing away the dross — on many levels — that has kept us unempowered and limited.

MERCURY goes direct on the first day of July (Tuesday, at 5:49p PDT). The ending of Mercury’s retrograde phase should be a relief to those who have postponed decisions or implementation of plans, waiting to have Mercury’s forward motion supporting them.

And yet, hopefully, all of us have gained some insights during this 24-day time of review that is now completing. Mercury goes retrograde every four months, and always makes sure we pause to take a breath and look at life in new ways — often because we have run into a glitch that compels our attention and interrupts our usual procedures. But if we can acknowledge the glitch as a reminder to get out of our mental ruts, we will have accepted the gift of Mercury’s retrograde phase.

THE MOST IMPORTANT planetary influence this week comes in the form of a Pluto-Sun opposition on Friday. Oppositions are about awareness, as we see polarities, have choices, and are provided with opportunities to find new balance.

Pluto, of course, is a primary participant in our course of change, so important developments may occur toward the end of this week. With the Sun in Cancer, we may be tempted to hide from the change, to defend against it, or to feel overwhelmed by it.

But, we can also choose to embrace the change that Pluto represents. What will be vital to remember is that to maintain our balance, we must also acknowledge, support and nurture the small child within each of us that is fearful of the changes that are before us.

Simply ignoring the inner child, getting impatient with it, or telling it to sit in the back seat is not the solution! This aspect of us needs our soothing. Once it feels sure that it is supported, it will be much happier to sit in the back seat and trust the driver, and everyone will have a much calmer ride.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!