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Common Dreams Highlights | Monday, 30 March 2015

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community


Taking Aim at Clinton, Former Maryland Governor Says Presidency ‘Not a Crown’
by Lauren McCauley
Testing the waters for potential nomination bid, Martin O’Malley calls for a president willing to take on ‘wealthy, special interests.’


TPP Opponents Mobilize as Powerful Forces Seek to Ram Through ‘Fast Track’ Trade Authority
by Deirdre Fulton
Lawmakers in favor of the pro-corporate trade deals hope to vote on Fast Track legislation in mid-April.
Syria’s President Assad: US Airstrikes a Recruiting Bonanza for ISIS
by Jon Queally
Americans would like to ‘sugar coat’ the situation, says Bashar al-Assad, but the situation in his country is only being made worse by airstrikes.
‘Heart Over Hard’: Thousands Protest Austerity in Brussels
by Deirdre Fulton
Demonstrators call for Belgian government to tackle fraud and enact higher taxes on the rich.
GMO Seed Theft Equals National Security Threat, Argues Government
by Lauren McCauley
Defense attorneys say spying on alleged Chinese seed plotters in trade dispute signifies ‘breathtaking’ overreach.
After Talking to Washington Post About Low Wages, Hotel Worker Fired
by Common Dreams staff
In original profile, journalist wrote that Shanna Tippen’s experience ‘reflects a more realistic picture’ of life on minimum wage.
As Chaos in Yemen Continues, Air Strike Kills Dozens at Refugee Camp
by Deirdre Fulton
Roughly 500 new families arrived in the camp over the last two days, escaping bombings in other parts of the country.
more news…


There’s a Reason the Big Banks Aren’t Mad with Hillary
by John Atcheson
And Why Those Emails Matter
Why the NCAA Should Move the Final Four Out of Indiana
by Dave Zirin
“Here is a time to say that despite the branding, the swooshes and the ads everywhere, money is really not the most important part of college athletics.”
Report: Big Education Firms Spend Millions Lobbying for Pro-Testing Policies
by Valerie Strauss
Four top testing companies collectively spent more than $20 million lobbying in states and on Capitol Hill from 2009 to 2014.
Balancing the Tensions of Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani
by Ralph Nader
“Above all, President Ghani wants to neutralize anybody or anything that undermines or distracts from his focus on building trust in government.”
You Owe Us, Corporations: Four Reasons Why, and One Way to Pay
by Paul Buchheit
Corporate profits are at their highest level in 85 years, growing by 171 percent in the first half of the Obama presidency.
Black America’s State of Surveillance
by Malkia Cyril
“Black people and other people of color have lived for centuries with surveillance practices aimed at maintaining a racial hierarchy.”
more views…


more newswire…


1 Comment

Lanky Libidinous Lizards~

Thank you Cindy! Here we have the itsy bitsy anoles (of which our native green species is rarely seen in recent years, but the brown Cuban anoles are usually abundant when the criminal lizard-knappers of the pet trade aren’t around!) And the great big real alligator lizards (alligators). Crocodiles also make minimal appearance but so far to the south I’ve never seen one. I have heard of all sorts of interesting lizards and skinks in more rural areas in Florida but only the anoles and gators are common in my urban neighborhood. The little ones eat mosquitoes but despite much interest, no attempts to encourage the big ones to add annoying snowbirds to their diet have been successful (outside of Carl Hiassen’s hilarious novels);-)

The Holler always has drop in visitors. This is a quite large Southern Alligator Lizard species, scientific name, Elgaria multicarinata, who popped by to say hi!
The Holler has room for all sorts of critters, including LOADS of lizards.
This guy is around 20 inches in length.
My husband thinks he is bigger, and he may be right, because The Holler, as I may have mentioned to you before, is a very strange place. Do you notice him giving me the stink eye?
These aptly named “alligator” lizards will stand their ground and bite and latch on if threatened. I know this because they did it to me when I was a little kid. They have a hook in their upper palate that enables them to hold fast once they have bitten, errrr……something.
I have made it a practice, since I grew up, not to threaten lizards named after alligators…

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NorthPoint ASTROLOGY JOURNAL | March 30 to April 5, 2015 | Pam Younghans

Posted Sunday, March 29, 2015
Your Guide to Planetary Energies for
March 30 to April 5, 2015
By Pam Younghans
Photo: The Solar Eclipse on March 20, 2015, as seen from Adventdalen, near the capital of Svalbard (credit: Ivar Marthinusen, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

THE PAST meets the future this week, urging us to make intentional choices in how we go forward from here. The energies of the Choice Point are centered in the powerful Total Lunar Eclipse on Saturday.

In the chart for this lunation, the Sun in Aries is aligned with Uranus, Mercury, and the South Node; the Moon in Libra is aligned with the North Node; and Pluto in Capricorn is squaring all of the above. This creates a cardinal “T-square” in the chart, with Pluto at the “apex” of the formation.

IN HIS BOOK Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, astrologer Bil Tierney writes that a cardinal T-square provides:
“… growth-accelerating lessons concerning personal energy expenditure applied toward major here-and-now objectives… We will need to develop greater self-discipline, inner timing, outer patience, and a general sense of thoroughness and organization to succeed… We must consciously analyze the practical facets of our own impulses to see if they will actually help us move ahead toward the realistic attainment of our goals. The more self-aware we allow ourselves to become, the more purposeful our live changes become.”

With Pluto at the apex of the cardinal T-square, its influence becomes even more powerful. As Mr. Tierney explains:
“With apex Pluto, life forces us to undergo explosive endings of one phase of our personal development in order to make fresh new starts in another phase.”

CHANGE seems to be the strongest theme here — but Mr. Tierney cautions us that successful change must be well thought-out and implemented, not arrived at haphazardly.

This may be harder than it sounds. Not only is Pluto at the apex of the T-square, but this Lunar Eclipse fully engages the vibrational field created by the Pluto-Uranus square. We can expect that the unstable energies we’ve been feeling recently will increase this week. But, through situations that unfold, we should gain even more clarity about what systems are no longer sustainable and where change is imperative if we are to make forward progress.

THE NORTH AND SOUTH NODES always play an important role an eclipse chart, since it is the proximity of the Sun and Moon to the nodes that is a characteristic of an eclipse. This means that every eclipse, especially a Lunar Eclipse, propels us into the future, and challenges us to let go of our attachment to what has been. Adding the Pluto-Uranus energies to this mix amplifies these themes even further.

This particular eclipse has not only the Sun, but also Mercury and Uranus aligned with the South Node. To move forward now, we will need to become especially aware of how our thought patterns (Mercury) have been taking us down roads of conflict (Aries) instead of ways of harmony. We will also want to watch for the knee-jerk “my way or the highway” reaction (Uranus in Aries) to see if it is really benefiting us in the long run.

The North Node, always pointing us toward the best route, is in Libra, and aligned with the Moon for the eclipse. We are directed to make our emotional balance a priority now, with the awareness that finding peace internally is a necessary first step to creating harmony in our relationships and in the world.

THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the Moon’s location at the time of the eclipse reads:
“Circular paths: Coming to terms with the inevitability of establishing steady rhythms of social activity.”

The image of “circular paths” at first sounds very different from the way we’ve been describing the transformational energies of this Lunar Eclipse. In comparison, a circle sounds calming and perhaps even boring in its repetitiveness.

And yet, because eclipses activate the North and South Nodes, they often require that we revisit the past before we catapult into the future. As we circle back through old patterns of behavior, we will want to a maintain a heightened awareness of who we have become and where we want to go to from here. This self-awareness will help us create those “purposeful life changes” that this T-square Lunar Eclipse requires.

In peace,

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read occasional posts and add your comments, please visithttp://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. See you there!

To Subscribe to the NorthPoint Journal: If you have been forwarded this issue of the NorthPoint Astrology Journal and would like to receive it directly every week, please click hereto access the “Journal” page of Pam’s website. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the webpage, fill out the subscription form, and click on Submit.

Highlighted Aspects This Week
MON: Pluto trine Venus, Sun conjunct South Node, Mercury enters Aries; TUE: Mars enters Taurus; WED: Chiron sextile Venus; THU: Saturn trine Mercury, Jupiter trine Sun; FRI: Ceres enters Aquarius; SAT: Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon 5:05am PDT, Mercury conjunct South Node; SUN: Pluto square Sun
About the Journal

Astrologer Pam Younghans writes this NorthPoint Astrology Journal based on planetary influences and guidance received. Her hope is to offer perspectives and insights that will assist you in utilizing current energies to enhance your life experience and accelerate your spiritual and personal growth.

Astrology Readings
To schedule your personal astrology reading with Pam,
please e-mail pam.

Or, see the “Readings” page atwww.northpointastrology.com
to learn more about personal astrology readings.

Please feel free to share
this NorthPoint Journal with people you think may enjoy it. When doing so, please forward it in its entirety, including all contact and copyright information.

Copyright NorthPoint Astrology 2015.
All Rights Reserved.

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Truthout Daily Digest | Saturday, 28 March 2015

Beyond Homan Square: US History Is Steeped in Torture

Adam Hudson, Truthout: When reports of torture in CIA black sites or Chicago’s Homan Square come out, it’s tempting to view them as historical anomalies, but they are not. Rather, state torture is the norm, a product of the slavery and imperialism on which the United States was built.

Read the Article

Louisiana Residents Convince EPA That Burning Explosive Waste Outside Is a Bad Idea

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: More than 18 million pounds of hazardous explosives are still sitting in bunkers at Camp Minden in Louisiana, after an explosion happened there more than two years ago. Officials haven’t agreed on how to clean up the wartime leftovers, but they have decided not to burn them in the open air.

Read the Article

Shaker Aamer: Hostage to the Special Relationship

Aisha Maniar, Truthout: Prisoner Shaker Aamer is not being held at Guantánamo Bay for anything he has done; he is a pawn in the power games of others.

Read the Article

A Window Into Congressional Intelligence Oversight

Jude Widmann, Truthout: The positions advocated in a recent essay in Foreign Affairs by Jane Harman, former ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, reflect how weak, incomplete and outdated US intelligence oversight is.

Read the Article

The Divisive Euro: National Struggles and International Solidarity

Lorenzo Del Savio and Matteo Mameli, Truthout: While nationalist rhetoric has often been exclusionary and utilized by racist, right-wing factions, national struggles can also be an inclusionary means to stimulate solidarity among the oppressed, in Greece and other disadvantaged European nations, against the political and economic elites of the European Union.

Read the Article

Endless War: As US Strikes Tikrit and Delays Afghan Pullout, “War on Terror” Toll Tops 1.3 Million

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: As the United States begins bombing the Iraqi city of Tikrit and again delays a withdrawal from Afghanistan, a new report has found that the Iraq War has killed about 1 million people. The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War examined the toll from the so-called war on terror.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The Fight of Their Lives: Can Adjuncts Finally Win a Living Wage?

Rebecca Burns, AlterNet: Seattle may have become one of the first cities to pass a $15 minimum wage last year, but the city’s adjunct instructors say that the dictum for fair pay has yet to penetrate the Ivory Tower. The next big fight for decent labor protections is heating up in academia.

Read the Article

Howard Zinn, “Finishing School for Pickets,” and Paula Giddings, “Learning Insubordination”

Howard Zinn and Paula J. Giddings, TomDispatch: In an excerpt from 1960, Howard Zinn observes the young women of Spelman College turning into protesters, while historian Paula J. Giddings vividly looks back on Zinn and the Spelman experience 55 years later.

Read the Excerpt and the Essay

Talk Climate to Me

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: While Florida Gov. Rick Scott openly questions whether climate change is occurring, he denies he’s muzzling his staff. But stories of Florida state workers and contractors getting the brunt of this censorship make his denial ring hollow.

Read the Article

Paul Krugman | Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal: Few Benefits, Many Questions

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: Why do some parties want this treaty so much? Because, as with many “trade” deals in recent years, the intellectual property aspects are more important than the trade aspects. We should never forget that protecting intellectual property means creating a monopoly.

Read the Article

Household Debt Is a National Crisis

LeeAnn Hall, OtherWords: The Obama administration should investigate all forms of predatory lending, including student loans, payday loans, medical loans, mortgages and credit cards. Our children, our neighbors, our parents, the sick and the struggling aren’t cash cows for bankers and lenders to milk.

Read the Article

Deep Dive: The White House’s New Memo on Drones and Privacy

Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Brennan Center for Justice: Last month, President Obama released a presidential memorandum on the domestic use of drones by federal agencies. The memorandum addresses the implications for privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. The memorandum takes some steps in the right direction, but leaves many questions unanswered.

Read the Article


Those Who Want Peace Have the High Moral Ground; Those Who Want Conflict Have the Power

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The bottom line is that war needs to occur in order to justify the US military empire.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Ted Cruz Is All About Repressing the Religious Rights of Non-Christians

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Co-Pilot Appears to Have Crashed Germanwings Plane on Purpose, Prosecutor Says

Read the Article at Reuters

Wealth vs. Money

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

“False Witnesses” Publish Deeply Flawed Study on Abortion Mortality in Mexico

Read the Article at RH Reality Check

WikiLeaks Leaks TPP Draft!

Read the Article at Daily Kos

Bring Snowden Home? European Panel Says It’s Time

Read the Article at WhoWhatWhy

Saudi Arabia Launches Yemen Air Strikes as Alliance Builds Against Houthi Rebels

Read the Article at The Guardian

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The Sacred Feminine: A Teaching by Aleutian Elder Ilarion Merculieff

Thank you Jamie!

Sophia's Children

In this short video talk, Aleutian Elder, Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff speaks about the vital re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine, the long-ago prophecies and the ultimate effects of the cycle of “masculine imbalance,” and the roles of women and men in this re-emergence of the Feminine.

Note: the audio on this talk isn’t ideal, particularly at first, so listen closely; it’s an inspiring message, so worthwhile.

You’ll also see another, longer talk from Mr. Merculieff on “Going to the Heart of Sustainability.” I appreciated the inspiration shared in that one, too.

You can stir and strengthen your medial Feminine and Sacred Feminine gifts and mojo, too, with the audio programs in the Feminine Mojo Mystery School. Have a look (and a listen).

Big Love,


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BREAKING: WikiLeaks Releases Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Working Document

Thank you Anita! I hope everyone will share this everywhere. The more people see what is being done behind closed doors to erase our rights, the faster it will be stopped. When governments work for corporations-that’s called Fascism. The same political set up as Hitler and Mussolini promoted and used. I don’t think most Americans are okay with that.

Challenging the Rhetoric

IMAGE SOURCE: popularresistance.org IMAGE SOURCE: popularresistance.org

By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media

WikiLeaks site released the working document for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) late yesterday. As usual, corporate media is saying little to nothing on this release at the time of this writing.

You can access the post from the WikiLeaks website or by clicking HERE.

The official Press Release is HERE.

The PDF document available for download is HERE or click the screenshot below.


From the WikiLeaks website:

The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said,

The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court…

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What’s Shocking?

Thank you Grace!

Weaver Grace

When I was a kid
We shocked adults
By talking about the weather
Saying, “It’s colder than a witch’s tit.”

Now, as adults
We can’t shock our kids
By talking about the weather
Even when we say, “The glaciers are melting.”

Media Credit:
This video shows a time series of five-year global temperature averages, mapped from 1884 to 2014, as estimated by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
Published on Jan 16, 2015 by NASA Goddard.
The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA scientists.
This video is public domain.

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