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Truthout Daily Digest Thursday, 30 October 2014

Top 10 Epic Reasons Why Americans Should Give a Sh*t About Voting

Victoria Collier and Ben-Zion Ptashnik, Truthout: Voting – or not voting – in some way impacts almost every aspect of our lives, including whom we can love, our bodies, our food, our air and water. Voting is important in spite of our fundamentally corrupt political system.

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Tom Engelhardt: The National Security State Has Filled Us With Fear but Has Not Improved Our Well-Being

Mark Karlin, Truthout: Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch discusses his new book, Shadow Government, about whether the surveillance state actually makes the United States more secure and how Washington exists in a post-legal world.

Read the Interview

Smoke and Mirrors: Essential Questions About “Prison Reform”

Kay Whitlock and Nancy A. Heitzeg, Critical Mass Progress: We’re hearing that we’ve entered a new era of “bipartisan prison reform.” Don’t celebrate just yet, though. There is a “reform” agenda, to be sure, but what are the elements of that reform?

Read the Article

‘Tis the Season to Be Frightened

Brian Moench, Truthout: Ebola, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, valley fever, Lyme disease, hantavirus: Republican ideology created some of these threats in the first place, or managed to make others worse. The climate crisis, which Republicans dismiss en masse, is a key ingredient in all of them.

Read the Article

The 0.01 Percent’s “I Reap All” Accounts

Bob Lord, OtherWords: Multimillionaires and billionaires are shielding vast fortunes from taxation with monstrously huge IRAs. While the government sets limits on IRA contributions to curb this abuse, there are still more loopholes than restrictions.

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What Would Republicans Do With a Senate Majority?

Robert Naiman, Truthout: Election fatigue can often foster election cynicism. Perhaps it would be useful for progressives to eavesdrop a bit on what Republicans are saying to other Republicans about what they should do with a majority in the Senate.

Read the Article

Green World Rising: A Call to Save the Earth From Climate Change

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: The threat of climate change is very real, but we have the solutions, knowledge and ingenuity needed to save our planet; a new video talks about how we can put those solutions and that knowledge into action right now.

Watch the Video

Arming the Warrior Cop: From Guns to Drones, Inside the Booming Business of Police Militarization

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer goes inside the corporations and government departments involved in enabling police departments to acquire anything from bayonets to semiautomatic rifles and drones.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

US Sends Planes Armed With Depleted Uranium to Middle East

David Swanson, War Is A Crime: Depleted Uranium (DU) is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. Yet the US Air Force says it is not halting its use of DU weapons, it has recently sent them to the Middle East and it is prepared to use them.

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Voters Turned Away Because of Texas Photo ID Law

Staff, Brennan Center for Justice: Actual voters tell of the difficulties they’ve encountered at the polls. Texas failed these voters twice – first, by requiring identification they did not have, and second, by not training election officials to help them navigate the rules.

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US Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions: Post Carbon Institute Report

Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog: A new report from the Post Carbon Institute shatters the government’s estimate of the potential productivity of shale regions in the United States. Four out of seven of the top shale regions have peaked and are now in a decline.

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The Missing Women of Afghanistan: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law, Prevails

Ann Jones, TomDispatch: The disconnect between Washington’s much-advertised support for women’s rights and its actual disdain for women was not lost on canny Afghans. From early on, they recognized that the Americans were hypocrites at heart.

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Dean Baker | Defense Spending and Net Exports Spur Higher Than Expected Third-Quarter Growth

Dean Baker, Center for Economic Policy and Research: GDP grew at a higher than expected: 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter. Although there was a 16 percent increase in defense spending, health spending continues its slower path.

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Christ Gets Kidnapped by Prosperity Theology

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: In an age when 95 percent of the nation’s economic gains since 2008 have gone to the top 1%, what could be more appropriate than a revisionist view of Christ as a promoter of greed?

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

The Act of Voting vs. the Controlling Interests of the US Empire

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

How Police Brutality Changed Me: “He Crushed His Knee Into My Neck. I Could Hardly Breathe”

Read the Article at Salon

50,000 Missing Georgia Voter-Registration Applications? Nothing to See Here

Read the Article at The Daily Beast

Lindsey Graham: White Men Will “Do Great” Under My Presidency

Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

These Maps of California’s Water Shortage Are Terrifying

Read the Article at Mother Jones

When Did Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo Go to Medical School?

Read the Article at The Nation

Charles P. Pierce | The Democrats’ Hillary Clinton Problem

Read the Article at Esquire

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The Oracle Report | Friday, October 31, 2014



The Oracle Report – Friday, October 31, 2014

“To Boldly Go…” Scorpio Lunar Cycle Overview – October 22, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

First Quarter Moon Phase: step out

Moon in Aquarius

Ruling Mahavidya: Kamala (Goddess of the Lotus)

Skill: honor great change and then open to the future

Negative Imprint: frozen in the past, attempts to dramatically display (false) happiness and success, chest pounding or grandstanding, too much information, scattered, disappointed

Positive Imprint: fellowship, renewal, connecting with others, stability, giving and receiving, uplifting others, fixing things, courage, big breakthroughs in seeing through illusions

Sometimes it is important to step back and take in the scope of things. Today is one of those days.

When we step back, the magnitude of the times in which we are living is revealed. We understand that we are in the midst of a living process of great change. This is an honor.

2014 is all about change. Are you resisting it? Are you accepting it? Are youembracing it?

There are pools of energy that tempt us into wallowing in disappointment, disillusionment, and emptiness (particularly about a perceived loss or failure) today. These things are part of the past, and as such, are not part of embracing the future.

Embracing the future is the second element to today’s “mission.” First we step back and try to really integrate the full-blown changes in consciousness that are happening, and then we open up to the effects this will produce. Real change is happening and the future is bright.

This may be hard to see today because the Moon will be moving toward opposition first with Jupiter (8:30 pm ET/00:30 am UT) and then opposition with the Black Moon (Saturday at 7:38 am ET/11:38 am UT). We want to work the positive imprint as best we can by welcoming change. If you find yourself struggling under these aspects, the best medicine is always to go outside. Reconnect with the natural world. Ask for guidance.

The ancient imprint for today’s energy involves fellowship, joy, and celebration of life itself. This has been horrendously twisted, but we retain the spark of it. Let’s spin these things back into the web of reality today, wise owls.

Here’s my kind of Halloween visual for the day: From our view on the shore, we take in the spectacle of the monstrosity of the matrix collapsing into the ocean, tentacles flailing. Lightning is flashing in stormy skies. The horror is sinking away. We are shocked and awed. To the side, something else flashes. It’s the Sun, breaking through the clouds. We turn to it and follow.

Thank you for supporting the Oracle Report. Blessings to all!

Copyright Oracle Report 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to repost is granted provided credit is given towww.oraclereport.com.



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The embodiment of the New World

Apologies for sharing this a few days late. I have been too ill to keep up with email but reading this now on the midst of the three days “out of time” after the old year ends and before the new begins is so perfect for me.  The sense of the release and renewal that are the deepest energies associated with Samhain is so strong in this post. And,  it seems to me this time between the worlds of Samhain right now is a message or a reflection of a larger reality. 

Just as Samhain represents the liminal state between the years, so too our current experience post December 21,2012 and before the obvious beginning or manifestation of the new world this Shift is bringing about.

Liminal states are both difficult and powerful.  Adolescence is the example most often given to explain the word liminal.  

A time pregnant with potential but devoid of all certainty. 

I am so grateful for Aisha’s ability to take each step so positively in shaping the direction of the Shift while being so connected with us all making the collective awareness and experience a natural part of her moment to moment reality. 

Thank you Aisha, and everyone who is sharing this great journey.  What an amazing time to be alive! 

aisha north

Dear brothers and sisters of the light!

During that amazing week in Crete, I was fortunate enough to see some of you literally stepping into your divine powers in front of my very eyes, and it was such a wonderful thing to be allowed to witness. Over these last few days, you have been joined by so many others here at the Pond, and to those of you who have been waiting – seemingly forever – for us to catch up with you: thank you for blazing a trail and holding the space so the journey could be a little bit easier for us all.

I just wanted to share a little bit more about the ceremony we did at the sacred spring close to the Church of the Five Virgins last Thursday, for there, we met a man who made such a huge impression on us all. The…

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Common Dreams Highlights Thursday, 30 October 2014

I love the good news in this edition of Common Dreams! When people band together to oppose abuses, and wrongs-we DO make a difference and these things can and do change. Nice seeing palpable reminders of this on this final day of the old year (by Old European standards since today is Samhain, the three days out of time that end one year and begin the new).

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
Our survival has always been dependent on our readers. And right now we need a big push from the Common Dreams community to make it through the next couple of months. It is absolutely critical that we meet our Fall fundraising goal and we still need to raise $39,000. Can we count on your help today?

Click here to make a safe online contribution now. Or send a check: Common Dreams, PO Box 443, Portland, Maine 04112.

News & Views | 10.30.14


On Proposed Mega-Pipeline, Tar Sands Opponents Vow: ‘It’s Not Going to Happen’


Nobel Laureate Malala Donates $50,000 to Gaza

Progressive Caucus to Obama: End Veil of Secrecy over Guantanamo Abuses

Targeted by Global Boycott, SodaStream to Close Factory in Occupied West Bank

Amid Fiery Protests, Burkina Faso Halts Bill to Extend Presidency

France Investigating Mysterious Drones Over Its Nuclear Plants

and more…



Ann Jones: The Missing Women of Afghanistan: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law

Ronnie Cummins: All Out for November 4th: Frankenfoods Fight at the Crossroads

Winnie Byanyima: Inequality Is Not Inevitable: It’s Time to Even It Up!

Robert C. Koehler: Democracy’s Most Cherished Act

Mohammed Mesbahi: Rise Up America, Rise Up!



Huu-ay-aht First Nations: Leading the Way by Adopting Living Wage Policy

Oceana: Study Reveals Misrepresentation of America’s Favorite Seafood

Senator Bernie Sanders: U.S. Headed Toward Becoming Third World Country

and more…

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Truthout Daily Digest Wednesday, 29 October 2014


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Mandatory Rehab Is Just the Newest Front in the War on Drugs

Maya Schenwar, The Guardian: If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn’t ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory treatment centers an acceptable alternative?

Read the Article

Can Chevron Buy Richmond?

Peter Dreier, Truthout: The current Battle of Richmond pits Big Oil and Wall Street against the citizens of the working-class city of Richmond, California. The weapons are corporate cash against the votes of ordinary citizens. What’s at stake is the future of our democracy.

Read the Article

Citizenfour Directly Confronts the Intelligence Apparatus’ Subversion of Democracy

Geoff Gilbert, Truthout: Laura Poitras’ new documentaryCitizenfour identifies mass, suspicionless surveillance as it is defined by internal NSA documents, while telling the story of how we, the people, are lucky to have even learned the limited information we have to date.

Read the Review

Dear White People (and Black and Brown People, Too), Please Go See This Film

Eisa Nefertari Ulen, Truthout: Justin Simien’s just-released movie, Dear White People, explores a multiplicity of identities and the afro-surreal experience of being black and submerged in whiteness.

Read the Review

We Demand Radical Bail Reform!

Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, Truthout: The presumption of innocence should be respected for all citizens, not just the rich. Setting bail out of the financial reach of ordinary citizens assures that jails are full of people not convicted of any crime.

Read the Article

After Horror, Change? Taking Stock of Conditions in Bangladesh’s Garment Factories

John Miller, Dollars & Sense: While the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh was in one sense an accident, the policies that led to it surely were not. Since the tragedy that took 1,138 lives, an international effort has taken on deadly conditions at the plant.

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Dark Money in Coal Country

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a “nonprofit” group, has spent at least $14 million since the beginning of 2013, just one example of a dark money group pouring funds into elections. The group keeps a lot of secrets, including donors, but their goal is to help re-elect Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Read the Article

Unbelievable GOP Statements on Voter Suppression

Karin Kamp, Moyers & Company: You would think that making it easier for citizens to vote would be something for everyone in a democracy to celebrate. Not the GOP, and you’ll be shocked by Republican candidates’ remarks.

Read the Article

Stop Telling Women to Smile

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Visual Therapy: A Brooklyn-based artist created a series of posters pasted in public places, with the aim of stopping street harassment. The posters imply that harassers are not entitled to women’s smiles or any other part of them.

View the Photos

It’s 2014, Why Do We Still Need Laws Banning Coerced Sterilization?

Victoria Law, Waging Nonviolence: Reproductive justice advocates and prisoner rights organizers won an important victory when California Gov. Jerry Brown outlawed forced sterilization in women’s prisons. It’s preposterous that any state needs a law making that illegal.

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Drilling Deeper: New Report Casts Doubt on Fracking Production Numbers

Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog: A new report that calculates fracking production numbers on a well-by-well basis for shale gas and tight oil fields throughout the United States concludes that the future of fracking is not nearly as bright as industry cheerleaders suggest.

Read the Article

Medea Benjamin: Bold and Loud Moves

Dan Falcone, Truthout: Activist and author Medea Benjamin talks about Ferguson, the militarization of police, US education, Obama versus the neocons and more.

Read the Interview


A National Disgrace: Number of Homeless Students Reaches Record Levels

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: There are now more than 1.25 million students in the United States who meet the definition of being homeless.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Developing Countries Invest in Renewables at Twice the Pace of Industrialized Nations

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Money Koch Brothers Stole From Tribes Could Swing Midterm Elections

Read the Article at Indian Country Today

Shell Wants Five More Years to Carry Out Arctic Plunder

Read the Article at Common Dreams

Five Things That Are Still Broken Two Years After Superstorm Sandy

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Could Bhopal Happen Here? The Shortcomings of Chemical Safety in the US

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

Report: 90 Percent of Journalists’ Murderers Across the World Get Away With It

Read the Article at The Guardian

Edward Snowden Taught Me to Smuggle Secrets Past Incredible Danger, Now I Teach You

Read the Article at The Intercept

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Earthbag Dome Workshop in Chiang Dao

Wonderful pictorial post on an earthbag building workshop. There are so many natural technologies that solve real world problems inexpensively and sustainably;the information just needs to spread to more people so we can take collective advantage of these things to literally build a better world.


One of our recent workshops was on making an Earthbag Dome.  This was taught by Paulina Wojciechowska of Earth Hands & Houses (EarthHandsAndHouses.org).  Paulina was one of the first people to bring the techniques of earthbag building to Europe, and in fact she wrote the first book on the topic: Building with Earth (Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2001).

I met Paulina in 2011 when I attended one of her Earthbag Dome workshops in a wood in southern England.  I was so impressed and inspired by Paulina and the art and science of earthbag building!  I used many of the skills and ideas from that workshop to create the design of my own rice-husk-bag buildings.

Paulina and I corresponded and met a few times over the next few years, and coming to Thailand to run a workshop was high on our agenda.  Finally, in 2014, everything came together and the workshop…

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