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Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Earth’s Record 41 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters of 2013 | Weather Underground

Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog


Earth’s Record 41 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters of 2013

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:00 PM GMT on January 17, 2014 +45

Earth set a new record for billion-dollar weather disasters in 2013 with 41, said insurance broker Aon Benfield in their Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report issued this week. Despite the record number of billion-dollar disasters, weather-related natural disaster losses (excluding earthquakes) were only slightly above average in 2013, and well below what occurred in 2012. That’s because 2013 lacked a U.S. mega-disaster like Hurricane Sandy ($65 billion in damage) or the 2012 drought ($30 billion in damage.) The most expensive global disaster of 2013 was the June flood in Central Europe, which cost $22 billion. The deadliest disaster was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which killed about 8,000 people in the Philippines. Four countries set records for most expensive weather-related disaster in their history, as tabulated by EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, and adjusted for inflation:

Germany, June flooding, $16 billion. Tied with $16 billion in damage from the August 2002 Elbe River floods.
Philippines, Super Typhoon Haiyan, $13 billion. Previous record: $2.2 billion, August 2013 floods near Manila.
New Zealand, Jan – May Drought, $1.6 billion. Previous record: $0.3 billion, January 2001 heat wave.
Cambodia, Oct – Nov floods, $1 billion. Previous record: $0.5 billion, August 2011 flood.


U.S. sees nine billion-dollar weather disasters
In the U.S., there were nine billion-dollar weather disasters in 2013, which was one below the ten-year average of ten, according to Aon Benfield. NOAA’sNational Climatic Data Center gave a lower number of U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters in 2013: seven, compared to their average of six billion dollar weather disasters per year over the previous ten years. The seven billion-dollar weather disasters of 2013 marked the 5th highest total of these disasters since 1980. NCDC consistently rates fewer disasters than Aon Benfield as billion-dollar disasters. Billion-dollar events account for roughly 80% of the total U.S. losses for all weather-related disasters.


Forty-one billion dollar weather disasters is a huge number of these highly disruptive events to experience in one year. This is especially so given that 2013 was a neutral El Niño year, and the previous record of 40 billion-dollar weather disasters was set in 2010, when we had both a strong El Niño and a strong La Niña event in the same year. Strong El Niño or La Niña events tend to cause an increase in weather extremes capable of causing major disasters, so seeing 41 disasters in a neutral El Niño year gives me concern that climate change could have been responsible for a portion of this huge tally. However, looking at disaster losses to make an argument that climate change is affecting our weather is a difficult proposition. The increasing trend in weather disaster losses is thought to be primarily due to increases in wealth and population, and to people moving to more vulnerable areas–though the studies attempting to correct damage losses for these factors are highly uncertain. To find evidence of climate change, we are better off looking at how the atmosphere, oceans, and glaciers are changing–and there is plenty of evidence there. I discuss this topic in more detail in a 2012 post, Damage Losses and Climate Change.


Multi-month drought disasters of 2013
Drought Disaster 1. Drought in Central and Eastern China during the first eight months of 2013 caused an estimated $10 billion in damage, making it the 6th most costly weather-related disaster in Chinese history. Here, we see villagers digging deeper for water at a dried-up well at Dabu village on August 13, 2013 in Loudi, China. Drought dried up most rivers and reservoirs in Hunan province, leaving over 3 million people short of drinking water. Image credit: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Drought Disaster 2. Drought in Northeast Brazil during the first five months of 2013 caused an estimated $8 billion in damage, making it Brazil’s second most expensive natural disaster in history, behind the $8.2 billion inflation-adjusted cost of the 1978 drought. Here, we see farmers from the Brazilian northeast carrying out a demonstration, holding cattle skulls in front of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on December 4, 2012. The protesters demand the cancellation of their debts and help from the government to alleviate the effects of the drought. Image credit: Pedro Ladeira/AFP/Getty Images.

Drought Disaster 3. The record U.S. drought of 2012 continued into 2013, bringing record low water levels to the Mississippi River that restricted navigation. Although the drought was less severe than in 2012, it still caused $3.5 billion in damage. This Nov. 28, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows a WWII minesweeper on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. The minesweeper, once moored along the Mississippi River as a museum at St. Louis before it was torn away by floodwaters in 1993, is normally completely under water. However, it has become visible–rusted but intact–due to near-record low river levels on the Mississippi in early 2013. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Colby Buchanan.)

Drought Disaster 4. Drought in New Zealand during the first five months of 2013 cost $1.6 billion, and was that nation’s most expensive weather-related disaster in history. Image credit: Federated Farmers of New Zealand, via Daniel Corbett of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited.

Disaster 1. A woman talks on her mobile as she travels on a flooded road using an improvised raft in Jakarta on January 23, 2013. Widespread flooding hit Jakarta, Indonesia between January 20 – 27, killing 41 and causing $3.31 billion in damage. This was the 3rd costliest natural disaster in Indonesian history. Image credit: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images

Disaster 2. Widespread flooding, due, in part, to Tropical Cyclone Oswald, hit Queensland, Australia between January 21 – 30, killing six and causing $2.5 billion in damage. The city of Bundaberg had its worst flood disaster in history. Image credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images.

Disaster 1. Mourning doves endure blowing snow on February 24, 2013 during Winter Storm Rocky in Manhattan, Kansas. Rocky killed three and did $1 billion in damage. Image credit: wunderphotographer tomcat.

Disaster 1. Hail up to the size of tennis balls fell on McComb, Mississippi, as documented by wunderphotographer sirencall on March 18, 2013. The hailstorm was part of a severe weather outbreak that cost $2 billion and killed two people.

Disaster 2. Late-season winter weather affected much of Europe throughout the month of March, bringing an extended period of heavy snowfall, sub-freezing temperatures, high winds, ice and flooding. At least 30 fatalities were reported, and damage was estimated at $1.8 billion. Among the hardest-hit areas were northern France, Germany and Ukraine. In this photo taken by wunderphotographer tonylathes on March 24, 2013, we see one of March’s heavy snowstorms that affected Wardlow Village in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest March in the U.K. since 1910, exceeded only by March 1962.

Disaster 1. A large storm system brought hurricane-force wind gusts across parts of California and the rest of the West on April 7 – 8, and spawned heavy snowfall in the Rockies and the High Plains. The storm brought severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, and tornadoes across the Plains, Midwest and Southeast through April 11, with at least 23 tornado touchdowns, including an EF-3 twister with 145 mph (230 kph) winds in eastern Mississippi. Total damage was estimated at $1.75 billion, and three people were killed. In this image, we see damage from a tornado in Shuqualak, Mississippi, taken by wunderphotographerrichardlove310.

Disaster 2. Severe flooding in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April, 3, 2013 submerged half the city in waters up to 2 meters (6.6′) deep. The flooding killed 86 and did $1.3 billion in damage. The 400 millimeters (15.74 inches) of rain that fell in just two hours in the La Plata region was more than the city had ever recorded during an entire month of April. Image credit: focolare.org.

Disaster 1. Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the heavily damaged Moore Medical Center in Moore, Oklahoma, after an EF-5 tornado ripped through the area on May 20, 2013. A Midwest tornado outbreak on May 18 – May 22 killed 29 people and cost $3.75 billion, making it the most costly weather-related disaster in the U.S. during 2013. Image credit: Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Disaster 2. The Weather Channel’s Mike ‪Bettes‬ and crew caught this image of the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado–the largest tornado ever recorded, with a diameter of 2.6 miles–before the tornado caught them and rolled their vehicle on May 31, 2013. The tornado, rated an EF-5 based on mobile Doppler wind data, but an EF-3 based on the damage it caused, killed tornado scientists/storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. The May 26 – June 2 tornado outbreak that the El Reno tornado was a part of killed 27 and did $2.25 billion in damage.

Disaster 1. Aerial view of the flooded Danube River in Deggendorf, Germany on Friday, June 7, 2013. A historic $22 billion dollar flood disaster killed 25 people in Central Europe after flooding unprecedented since the Middle Ages hit major rivers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia in late May and early June. The Danube River in Passau, Germany hit the highest level since 1501, and the Saale River in Halle, Germany was the highest in its 400-year period of record. This was Earth’s most expensive weather disaster of 2013. AP Photo/Armin Wegel.

Disaster 2. The closed Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, along Cougar Creek on Friday June 21, 2013. Torrential rains between June 19 – 24 triggered flooding that cost $5.3 billion and killed four people in Alberta. It was the third most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history, behind the 1977 drought (inflation-adjusted $11.6 billion) and the January 1989 wildfires ($7.9 billion.) Image credit: The Canadian Press.

Disaster 3. Torrential monsoon rains triggered deadly flash floods and landslides in India’s Himalayan Uttarakhand region on June 17. The damage was $1.91 billion and 6748 people died, making the flood Earth’s second deadliest weather-related disaster of 2013, behind Super Typhoon Haiyan. In this image, we see the Kedarnath Temple (center, foreground) after a landslide ripped through on June 18. Image credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 4. A man looks at cars on a mud-covered street on June 20, 2013 in Bareges, southwestern France, two days after unseasonal storms caused havoc across huge swaths of the country. Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flash flooding across France and northern Spain on June 18 – 19, killing three and doing $1.25 billion in damage. Image credit: LAURENT DARD/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 1. Heavy flood waters sweep through Beichuan in southwest China’s Sichuan province on July 9, 2013. Rainfall amounts as high as 1,150 millimeters (45.3 inches) of rain fell in the Dujiangyan region, triggering Sichuan Province’s worst floods in at least 50 years. Flooding in China from July 7 – 17, 2013 cost at least $4.5 billion and killed 125 people. Image credit: AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 2. Two men remove the debris after a tree fell on a car on July 29, 2013 in Nice, French Riviera, following violent storms overnight in southern France. Severe thunderstorms affected northern Germany and France July 27 – 28, spawning up to tennis ball-sized hail and causing damages of $4.25 billion. Image credit: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 3. Cars stranded on the DVP, one of Toronto’s busiest highways, on Monday, July 8, 2013. Flooding in Toronto and vicinity from torrential rains on July 8 cost $1.65 billion. Photo posted to Twitter by Michelle Shephard@shephardm.

Disaster 4. Excessive rainfall brought renewed flooding across China between July 21 – 25, killing at least 36 people and causing $1.4 billion in damage. The rains were most significant in Shaanxi Province, from overflowing rivers and landslides. In this picture from July 23, 2013, people watch on the edge of the Xiaolangdi Reservoir in central China’s Henan Province Yellow River floodwaters are released. Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 5. Rescuers evacuate residents from flood-hit areas on July 2, 2013 in Chongqing, China. Multiple days of torrential rainfall swept across parts of southwestern, central, eastern, and northern China between June 29 and July 3, killing 55 people and causing $1.4 billion in damage. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), a combined 125,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and more than 150,000 hectares (370,650 acres) of cropland were submerged. Image credit: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Disaster 1. Northeast China saw record flooding in August which killed 118 people and cost $5 billion. In this photo, workers use an excavator to clean up mud after heavy rain hit on August 19, 2013 in Fushuan, in the Liaoning Province of China. The Nei River overflowed, killing 54 and leaving 97 missing in Fushuan. Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images.

Disaster 2. Typhoon Utor approaches the Philippines in this 375 meter-resolution IR image taken by the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi satellite at 04:34 UTC August 11, 2013. At the time, Utor was a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Utor killed 86 people in China and did $2.6 billion in damage, and also did $33 million in damage in the Philippines. Image credit: Dan Lindsey, NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Fort Collins.

Disaster 3. Torrential rains, due, in part, to moisture from Typhoon Trami, fell in the Philippines August 18 – 21, causing massive flooding on Luzon Island that cost $2.2 billion. Twenty-seven people were killed, and 60% of metro Manila was under water at the peak of the flood. According to EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this was the most expensive natural disaster in Philippine history (until exceeded by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November.) In this photo, pedicabs and makeshift rafts ferry office workers and pedestrians through flood waters that submerged parts of the financial district of Makati on August 20, 2013 in Makati City south of Manila, Philippines. Image credit: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

Disaster 4. In Pakistan, torrential monsoon rains caused significant flooding that affected 5,739 villages. At least 234 people were killed, 63,180 homes were damaged or destroyed, and 1.4 million acres (567,000 hectares) of crops were submerged. Damage was estimated at $2 billion, and was Pakistan’s 4th costliest weather-related disaster in history. Pakistan’s four most expensiveweather-related disasters in its history have been floods that occurred in the past four consecutive years. In this photo, Pakistani residents hold onto a rope as they evacuate a flooded area in Karachi on August 4, 2013. Image credit: Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 5. A severe weather outbreak in the U.S. Plains and Midwest August 5 – 7 brought baseball sized hail and thunderstorm wind gusts over 80 mph to Minnesota and Wisconsin. Two people were killed, and damage was estimated at $1.25 billion. In this photo, a severe thunderstorm closes in on Edgemont, South Dakota, on August 7. Image credit: wunderphotographer ninjalynn.

Disaster 6. Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects a flooded area from a helicopter flying over Russia’s Far Eastern Amur region, on August 29, 2013. Russia experienced its costliest flood disaster in history beginning on August 4, when the Amur and Zeya rivers along the Chinese border overflowed, flooding 1.7 million acres, damaging or destroying over 11,500 buildings. The $1 billion in damage made it the 4th most expensive natural disaster of any kind in Russian history. Image credit: ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 1. Hurricane Manuel made two landfalls along Mexico’s Pacific coast, generating flooding that caused $4.2 billion in damage and left 169 people dead or missing. According to EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this was the second most expensive weather-related disaster in Mexican history, behind the $6 billion in damage (2013 dollars) wrought by Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. In this aerial view, we see the landslide triggered by Hurricane Manuel’s rains that killed 43 people in La Pintada, México, on September 19, 2013. Image credit: http://www.novedadesacapulco.mx/.

Disaster 2. Super Typhoon Usagi made landfall near Shanwei, China on September 22, 2013 as a Category 2 typhoon with 110 mph winds, after skirting the Philippines and Tawian. The storm killed at least 47 people and did $3.8 billion in damage. Property damage was widespread in five Chinese provinces as Usagi damaged at least 101,200 homes. This radar image of Usagi shows that the typhoon had multiple concentric eyewalls as it approached landfall. Image credit: weather.com.cn.

Disaster 3. Record rainfall of 8 – 15″ triggered historic flash flooding across in Colorado September 11 – 12, 2013, killing at least nine people and doing $2 billion in damage. The most significant damage occurred in Boulder, Larimer and El Paso counties after several major rivers and creeks crested at all-time highs. The Office of Emergency Management reported that nearly 20,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in addition to thousands of businesses and other structures. One person was also killed by flooding in New Mexico. In this image, we see damage to Highway 34 along the Big Thompson River, on the road to Estes Park, Colorado. Image credit: Colorado National Guard.

Disaster 4. Category 1 Hurricane Ingrid weakened to a tropical storm with 65 mph winds before hitting Mexico about 200 miles south of the Texas border on September 16, 2013. Ingrid’s heavy rains triggered flooding that killed 23 and did $1.5 billion in damage, making the storm the 7th costliest tropical cyclone in Mexican history. In this image, we see Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid laying siege to Mexico on September 15, 2013. Tropical Storm Manuel came ashore on the Pacific coast near Manzanillo on the afternoon of September 15, and Ingrid followed suit from the Atlantic on September 16. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Disaster 5. A series of killing freezes during the second half of September led to extensive agricultural damage in central Chile. A state of emergency was declared after farmers reported that frigid air had destroyed 61% of stoned fruit crops, 57% of almonds, 48% of kiwi crops, and 20% of table grapes. Heavy damage to vineyards also affected wine productivity. Total damage was estimated at $1.15 billion, making it the costliest weather-related disaster in Chile’s history.

Disaster 1. Category 2 Typhoon Fitow hit the southern Japanese Islands on October 4, killing two people. Fitow weakened to a tropical storm and made landfall in China just north of Taiwan on October 7, dumping torrential rains that caused $10.4 billion in damage and killed six. In this MODIS image from 02:15 UTC October 5, 2013, Category 2 Typhoon Fitow is approaching China. Image credit: NASA.

Disaster 2. Winter Storm “Christian” hit the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia on October 28, killing 18 and causing at least $2 billion in damage. A new all-time wind speed record in Denmark of 192.6 kph (120 mph) was measured that day at Kegnæs on the Baltic Sea, close to the German border. In this image, large waves break against the dyke at the entrance of the port of Boulogne, northern France, on October 28, 2013. Image credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 3. Tropical Cyclone Phailin hit the northeast coast of India on October 12, 2013 as a weakening Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. Due to strong preparedness efforts by India, the storm killed only 46 people, in a location where 10,000 people had been killed by a similar-strength cyclone in 1999. Damage from Phailin was estimated at $1.1 billion, making it the 6th most expensive tropical cyclone in India’s history (adjusted for inflation.) In this image taken at approximately 4:30 UTC on October 11, 2013, Phailin fills the Bay of Bengal as a top-end Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Disaster 1. Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Central Philippines on November 8, 2013, as one of the strongest tropical cyclones in world history, with peak surface winds estimated at 195 mph by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Haiyan killed over 7,700 people and did at least $13 billion in damage, making it the costliest and deadliest disaster in Philippine history, and Earth’s deadliest natural disaster of 2013. In this image, we see an infrared VIIRS image of the eye of Haiyan taken at 16:19 UTC November 7, 2013. At the time, Haiyan was at peak strength with 195 mph sustained winds. Image credit: NOAA/CIRA.

Disaster 2. The most expensive November tornado outbreak on record hit the U.S. on November 17, killing ten and causing damage estimated at $1.6 billion. This image shows an aerial view of Washington, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, after an EF-4 tornado tore through the area, one of three EF-4 tornadoes from the outbreak. AP Photo/Alex Kareotes.

Disaster 3. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Mekong River in Cambodia to overflow its banks in October and November 2013, causing $1 billion in damage and killing 188. According to the International Disaster Database, EM-DAT, this would make the disaster Cambodia’s most expensive and 6th deadliest natural disaster in its history. In this photo, we see Cambodian children swimming in flood waters at a village in Kandal province on October 7, 2013. Photo credit: TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images.

Disaster 1. Winter Storm Xaver brought extreme winds and the second highest storm surge of the past 200 years to Northern Germany. The storm killed 15 and did $1.5 billion in damage. In this photo, we see a 14 meter (46′) high, 1000 kilogram (2200 lb) Tyrannosaurus replica that was standing in front of the German climate museum Klimahaus in Bremehaven, which had the bolts which connected its base plate to the ground sheared off by the force of Xaver’s winds. A peak wind gust of 78 mph (126 kph) was recorded in Bremerhaven during the storm. Image credit: Christine Sollmann and Michael Theusner of Klimahaus.

Disaster 2. Some of the worst flooding in 90 years affected parts of southeastern Brazil during the second half of December, killing at least 48 people and doing $1.4 billion in damage. Here, we see an aerial view of a flooded area in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo state, Brazil, on December 27, 2013. Image credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images.

Jeff Masters


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Truthout Daily Digest December 31,2013

Make New York City Ungovernable: Lessons From the Anti-Apartheid Struggle in the Age of Bill de Blasio

Arun Gupta, Truthout: If liberals drew the conclusion that real power lies in the markets, with the corporate-owned media and think tanks and universities endowed by the wealthy, then they would be calling for massive street protests to counter the full-court press Wall Street is placing on new Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Read the Article

Conscious Defiance: Catriona Rainsford’sUrban Circus

Peter Handel, Truthout: Author Catriona Rainsford ran away with the circus in Mexico, living and performing with an itinerant, fluid group of unicycle riding jugglers and fire “spinners.” We offer an excerpt from her memoir, Urban Circus, and an interview that provide fresh insight into Mexico.

Read the Excerpt and Interview

2013 in Review: Congress Bickers, People Take Action

Maureen O’Hagan, Equal Voice News: Government may come late to the party; sometimes, it fails to show up at all. But in communities around the country, work is getting done.

Read the Article

The Year of the “Leaker”

Robert Parry, Consortium News: Critics of “leakers” Manning and Snowden claim that unauthorized disclosures risk lives, but a stronger case can be made that many more lives have been lost due to government deceptions on issues of war or peace, lies that secrecy made possible.

Read the Article

Real Family Values: Flexible Work Arrangements and Work-Life Fit

Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress: Issues of workplace flexibility take different forms in different industries, but the roots of the problems are the same: Our modern labor standards make it unnecessarily difficult for workers to be both good workers and good family caregivers.

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Eugene Robinson | The Cruelest Cut of All

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group: Those 1.3 million unemployed whose benefits expired Saturday are precisely who will suffer most from a cutoff, since they have been scraping by on unemployment checks for so long that their financial situations are already precarious, if not dire.

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WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Calls on Computer Hackers to Unite Against NSA Surveillance

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on internet freedom and privacy.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

“Honey, I Shrunk Killed the Middle Class”

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism: Even as the stock market roars ahead, the legitimacy of the ruling classes erodes quickly when ordinary citizens recognize how badly the deck is stacked against them.

Read the Article

“Are You Serious?” Awards 2013

Conn Hallinan, Dispatches From the Edge: A look back at the news stories and newsmakers that fall under the category of “Are you serious?” in 2013.

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Winning and Losing the “Great Game” at the Same Time

Emily Schwartz Greco and William A Collins, OtherWords: China is content to let the United States spend itself into military-induced bankruptcy as the Soviets did.

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The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Bernie Sanders: Congress Is Dysfunctional and Putting the US at Risk

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Japan’s Homeless Recruited for Murky Fukushima Clean Up

Read the Article at Reuters

Former Drone Program Analyst Speaks Out on What the Public Should Know

Read the Article at The Guardian

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

Read the Article at the ACLU Blog

“Worst” of Climate Predictions Are the Most Likely: New Study

Read the Article at Common Dreams

FAA Picks Six States for Drone Testing Sites

Read the Article at The Hill

David Sirota | Retired Cops, Activist Pensioners and the Economic Blowback Over Snowden

Read the Article at PandoDaily

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The Oracle Report Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Balsamic Moon Phase: release, clear, compassion

Moon: Sagittarius/Capricorn

Diamond Sky Dakinis Rule This Lunar Month, Not The Mahavidyas

The true nature of today’s energy is light, luxurious, and effervescent. Hold this thought as we explore what else is being “pushed” into the day’s experience.

The Moon will conjunct the Galactic Center before it moves into Capricorn around 1:00 pm EDT/ 6:00 pm UTC, at which time it will activate unconscious issues related to support, appreciation, dependency, and recognition. Generalized fears, particularly fear of the unknown, and feelings of isolation or loneliness are being reinforced. (Cancers and Capricorns and those with the Black Moon in Cancer or Capricorn will feel this keenly. It’s exceptionally strong, so remember that it will pass.)

We have a whole gaggle of planets in Capricorn now, readying for tomorrow’s New Moon, and we also have a couple of planets joining the party from afar. Capricorn energy structures things. It takes responsibility. It is concerned with “time.” At its highest level, it does the right thing.

If the New Year’s New Moon with astrological aspects to Pluto, Mercury, Mars, and Uranus wasn’t enough, the Mahavidyas return and Kali enters the scene as ruling dakini of the month.

Add the not-so-little fact that there is potential X-flare activity on the Sun and we have a maelstrom of cosmic proportion. An X-flare during a conjunction of the Moon, Sun, Mercury, and Pluto could charge the electric universe to the degree of producing geophysical effects.

So, the question is how one could be light, luxurious, and effervescent knowing about this confluence of intense energies? How do we “hold” the line?

Well, it would take the ability to remember the Big Picture according to Big Mama. The big picture is that the old, Archontic power structure and all that is associated with it’s timeline is being dissolved. Big Mama is Kali herself doing the dissolving. When things dissolve, oftentimes an underlying treasure is revealed. This is the case for us. Remembering this in the midst of the maelstrom is the task for wise owls and warriors of the heart.

We remain mindful of the potential for flashy headlines and are fully aware of the fear-mongering that accompanies this energy. Yet, we aim toward light, luxury, and effervescence. We are focused on our love affair with nature and life itself. When we are pulled from that, we quickly shift our attention back to nature. Nature is what holds our psyches together.

With that, we come to the Sabian symbol for the New Moon and the new month: a student of nature lecturing, revealing little-known aspects of life. How perfect is that?

In keeping, as soon as possible, I will record an audio to fully cover what’s happening. Enjoy the day and be safe, everyone!


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Truthout Daily Digest December 29, 2013

Chris Williams | Capitalism, Ecology and the Official Invisibility of Women

Chris Williams, Truthout: When the costs to society of environmental degradation and women’s unpaid and under-compensated labor are factored in, capitalism provides no profits.

Read the Article

Nonviolence on Video: Interview with Filmmakers Arash and Arman Riahi

Yosef Brody, Truthout: The Riahi brothers’ inspired documentary, Everday Rebellion, lovingly examines contemporary nonviolent resistance movements in all their creativity and diversity. The brothers talk about the film, their upbringing and the technical activism platforms they are creating.

Read the Article

To Win Tomorrow, Undoing Border Imperialism Is the Book We Need Now

Chris Crass, Truthout: Walia gives cutting-edge analysis from one of the most radical and highly effective immigrant-rights movements in Canada, No One Is Illegal (NOII).

Read the Article

Talking Trash and Climate Crisis: A Conversation With Chicago’s Garbage Guru

Martha Bayne, Occupy.com: An expert on all things garbage, Zelechowski spoke about the need to rethink the waste stream, the economic and environmental impacts of creative reuse, and how making trash visible is key to making it manageable.

Read the Article

Disgraced Former Members of Bush Justice Department Challenge Order Denying ‘True the Vote’ Intervention in Texas Photo ID Case

Ernest A. Canning, The Brad Blog: “True the Vote,” the Orwellian-named Republican “voter fraud” front group with a long and sordid history of deception and fraud won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Read the Article

Antidotes to Avarice: A 2013 Top Ten

Sam Pizzigati, Campaign for America’s Future: Nurses, philosophers, and trade unions have over the past 12 months all shared some fascinating ideas on how we can make our societies more equal — and much better — places to live.

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Poison In Our Waters: A Brief Overview of the Proposed Militarization of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Leevin T. Camacho, The Asia-Pacific Journal: The Marine’s move to Guam is just one component of DOD’s vision for the Mariana Islands. In addition to the “rebalancing” of Marine Corps forces to Guam, DOD has announced two other proposals that impact Guam and the wider region.

Read the Article

Whistleblowers: Information Warriors for the Modern Age

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: In this “Truthout Interview,” Candice Bernd discusses the steps Congress is taking to protect whistleblowers in so-called “sensitive” Government jobs from legal action.

Watch the Video

Less Big Bang Theory, More Dana Scully: What It’s Going to Take to Lead More Girls Into Science

Christopher Zumski Finke, Yes! Magazine: Only 25 percent of STEM jobs are held by women. YouTube science sensation Emily Graslie describes how we can inspire them with better-quality pop-culture role models.

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Americans Are Paying for Health Care With More Than Money

Dr. Philip Caper, Bangor Daily News: Americans now spend close to $3 trillion a year for health care, around 18 percent of our GDP. That works out to almost $9,000 per person in Maine, almost twice as much per person as the average for other wealthy nations that provide health care for all their people.

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In America, Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not for Most People Who Are Stuck in Jail

April M. Short, AlterNet: Most people in jail in the U.S. have not been convicted of any crime. That is unless poverty can be considered an automatic-lockup offense.

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Loathsome Wall Street Deficit Hysterics: ‘Blame the Old and Sick, Not Us’ – Part 1

Michael Hoexter, New Economic Perspectives: Besides inspiring the reduced level of government funding in the US and elsewhere, deficit hysteria is threatening to undermine what remains of the social safety net that helped form and support the American middle class over the past 70 years.

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This week in Speakout:

William K. Black discusses the Kansas Regents’ effective elimination of the academic freedom once enjoyed by tenured faculty; Lawrence Davidson looks at the media’s portrayal of the Israel-Palestine relationship; Mary W. Maxwell questions the Australian High Court’s stance against gay marriage; Patrick T. Hiller challenges Catherine Ashton’s call to arms; Julie R. Butler details drug policy reform in Colombia and Uruguay; Richard L. Fricker explains why the death penalty may hinder justice rather than help it; Paul Thomas sheds a light on our faith-based society – and more.

Read the Articles


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

The NSA Paid to Steal Your Private Data

Read the Article at This Can’t Be Happening!

Five Pressing Health Priorities in 2014

Read the Article at the Washington Post

If Memory Swerves: The 1 Percent Laughs Last, as Wall Street Wins Again

Read the Article at Salon

ObamaCare Enrollment Tops 1 Million

Read the Article at The Hill

Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto: Final Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Crops from GMO Contamination

Read the Article at EcoWatch

The Urgency of a Middle Class Revolt

Read the Article at Daily Kos

NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

Read the Article at Consortium News

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Truthout Daily Digest December 28,2013

Joseph Boutilier | Undercover COP

Joseph Boutilier, Truthout: Ignored by mainstream media and in the midst of protests of inaction, our leaders meeting in Warsaw have ensured that – at a time of colossal urgency – it will be at least one more year before the world stands together at the UN Climate Change conference to possibly do something about the Earth’s greatest threat to date.

Read the Article

The Workplace Needs to Adapt to People’s Needs

Taliesin Nyala, Truthout: The conventional way we do business crushes workers’ lives and community vitality. The democratic workplace provides an alternative, argues Nyala.

Read the Article

Test Score Driven Education Ignores Students

Jeff Bryant, Campaign for America’s Future: As 2013 closed out, the education world was roiled by yet another controversy over the calculation and interpretation of statistical data used to govern teachers and school services.

Read the Article

Could Crowd-Sourced Organic Seed Banks Save Our Agricultural Future?

Paromita Pain, Occupy.com: Fifty-three-year-old farmer Jaswant Sainhara never thought he could be an activist. But in August he was among the thousands of farmers from across 20 Indian states who braved sweltering heat to demonstrate in New Delhi against the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill.

Read the Article

Youth Can Handle the Truth

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance: Instead of creating an environment for honest discussion of the past and present which would facilitate reconciliation, school text books and programs perpetuate the status quo. Despite this, students are questioning the injustice that they can’t help but see around them.

Read the Article

GOP Refuses to Extend Jobless Benefits

s.e. smith, Care2: After losing his job over the summer, Dale Sexton has become one of the more than four million faces of the new American economy: the long-term unemployed, people who have been seeking work for six months or more.

Read the Article

Climate Protection: The New Insurgency

Jeremy Brecher, Foreign Policy in Focus: Faced with the failure of conventional lobbying, the climate protection movement is now turning to mass civil disobedience—but we can take it further still.

Read the Article

Can Childhood Trauma Shorten Your Life?

Charlotte Silver, AlterNet: Ten percent of Americans die of coronary heart disease yet have none of the risk factors. Some of these people may, however, have something else in common: childhood trauma.

Read the Article

Sikh Community Fights to Stop Meat Plant Next to Its Temple

Kristina Chew, Care2: A Sikh community has appealed to the High Court in Bradford, West Yorkshire in the U.K. to stop the building of a meat processing plant next to the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, one of the oldest Sikh temples in England.

Read the Article


The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

The Year of the ‘Leaker’

Read the article at Consortium News

Seven Things the Do-Nothing Congress Did

Read the article at The Daily Beast

Jobless Aid Expires for 1.3 Million People

Read the article at The Hill

Americans to Wall Street ‘Scrooges’: Give Your Bonus to Homeless

Read the article at Mint Press News

No More Steubenvilles: How to Raise Boys to be Kind Men

Read the article at Yes! Magazine

Democrats Plan Big Push on Jobless Aid in New Year

Read the article at the Chicago Tribune

Long-term jobless benefits expire Saturday, weekly unemployment claims spike

Read the article at Vermontbiz

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The Oracle Report Saturday, December 28 – Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday: Third Quarter Moon Phase: realign, revise, take responsibility: Moon in Scorpio

Sunday: Balsamic Moon Phase: release, clear, compassion: Moon in Scorpio/Sagittarius

Diamond Sky Dakinis Rule This Lunar Month, Not The Mahavidyas

Fortune continues to shine on us this weekend through enhanced energy for messages, information, and guidance. This is highlighted both days.

Saturday’s energy is best navigated with the attitude of counting our blessings. The energy is slower and asks us to take time to see the good things that we have in our lives. What we view as blessings are directly parallel to what we truly value, and our values are under reconstruction while Venus is retrograde. When we are in the midst of great change, great transformation, what is truly most valuable to us serves us like a stalwart lighthouse. Lighthouses remain grounded under the harshest battering of the elements. In every case, fall back on what you know is of foundational value. Saturday is the last day of the Third Quarter Moon phase, so it is technically the last day of this lunar month. We determine what we do not want to carry with us into the next lunar month.

Sunday ushers in the Balsamic Moon phase, the phase when the veils between the worlds is thinnest. Like the mythical realm of the fairies, it exists outside of ordinary time. It isn’t exactly part of the passing lunar month, but it also does not quite belong with the upcoming lunar month. It’s the “between time.” Balsamic phases are “ruled” by the latter half of Aquarius and all of Pisces, thus it is highly suggestible, creative, and innovative energy. It is a time of high magic because whatever is inserted into or molded from the energy at Balsamic prepares the field (stacks the deck) for the future – specifically the next lunar month or even longer if someone is working with bigger cycles of time. During Balsamic, the mindsets we hold, the thoughts we think, the feelings we feel, the activities we perform, etc., infuse the future.

The astrological aspects that are already in place and building toward Wednesday’s New Moon in Capricorn provide an opportunity that forces aligned with power and control will find unable to resist. The success of their efforts remains to be seen. Certainly their ability to impact has weakened considerably since Shodashi’s Wave in October (see the Archives). There have been multiple windows of opportunity for them since Shodashi’s Wave, opportunities that they have historically acted upon. Anything they have tried has fizzled out before it could begin.

But the energetic aspects between the New Moon, Pluto, Mars, and Uranus make this opportunity a little different. This opportunity is not only based in Capricorn energy – Capricorn ruled by the Archon homebase Saturn – but it is also highly masculine energy. The negative form of hypermasculinity is embedded in the energy. It’s laden with aggression, dominance, surprise attack, and conflict.

The key here is the sacred masculine’s response. This is the first time we have massive masculine astrological aspects since the full return of the energy of the sacred masculine.

The sacred masculine responds by protecting all that is held by the sacred feminine. It defends but it also disables any incoming danger. It is wise in that it understands potential threat. Such a threat exists between now and Thursday, January 2, 2014.

All of the wise owls here are warriors of the heart. We uphold the freedom and beauty of the human mind and we aim towards the love of life. Follow along the course of your life this weekend, ever-vigilent and attuned to message and insight from divine sources, but do so in “ready warrior” stance. Be prepared to engage – to hold the values of love, freedom, and the sanctity of nature – if “negative” events unfold. We don’t wait for anything to happen or project it (because we are actively engaged in changing the imprint of the energy and we know that the Archons and their Illuminati magicians have been dealt a serious blow to their power by our mistress Gaia-Sophia and her emissaries) but we are not surprised if something does happen. It is wise to be aware.

Let’s find our blessings and find some beauty and if you are able to snap a picture of such a thing, please feel free to share it on the Oracle Report Facebook community or email it to me atlaura.


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SaLuSa December 27,2013

SaLuSa 27 December 2013

Here you are at the end of yet another year that has been momentous in many ways. Time has continued to speed up, and a clear division can be seen to be taking place between the old and new. The dark Ones are not progressing as they would have wished, after feeling that they were on the verge of taking control of the world. They reckoned without the increasing amount of Light that has been grounded upon Earth. So much so, that almost unnoticed it has become the most powerful force for good. No longer can its progress be delayed, and it is destined to be the means of removing the dark Ones.

This cycle has completed its course and the Light is now the dominant force upon Earth. The apparent turmoil is but a sign of it restricting the ability of the dark Ones, to continue their onward march to world control. It was always planned this way so that no matter how much they extended their power over the people, they would never achieve complete control. The cycle has run its course and a new one has commenced that will bring complete peace and happiness to all souls. There is no longer a place for the dark Ones to wield their power over the Human Race.

As you stand fast and are not affected by the outside occurrences, so you empower the Light that grows ever stronger. Live in the Light, and you can live your life in a way that helps lift others up with you. The coming New Year will herald many changes that will send out a strong signal that the Light is bringing the New Age into being. 2014 will be the crossroads that allows rapid progress to be made, and signal the true commencement of the Age of Light. Each of you have been selected to be here for such an occasion and for many of you life will suddenly offer you the changes that you have been seeking. As Lightworkers you each have something to offer that will be utilised at the right time. So do not worry or feel that your contribution is little compared to others, as all are important to the whole.

You have all come a long way with your experiences and are greater for them than you were when you first started your journey. No experience is without value and there is no need to make comparisons with others, as you all have a unique individual life plan. No One is any greater or lesser than another soul. You are part of a great family that looks up to the Father/Mother God from whence you came. When you come together as One, there will no one soul considered better than another, as all tread the same path and are simply at different stages upon it.

When you can see yourself in others you will know that you are inexplicably linked and in reality are One. Yet even as you progress to this understanding, you will still remain an individual Light amongst all others. When you are referred to as “Gods” it is a state of Oneness that you experience when you return to the Godhead. For the want of a better expression it is your Home from whence you came, and when God desires to experience some more, all souls will be sent out again for that reason.

At this time you have difficulty in imagining or remembering your higher states of being, but soon you will be on the path to full recognition. It will happen by stages and first you will gain full consciousness. Of necessity you have lived out many lives in the lower vibrations with a limited consciousness. Your challenge has been to find your way back to God through your own experience, which is why each soul travels at its own speed and are on different paths. Remember also that for specific incarnations you are connected to certain energies that will enhance your opportunities to succeed.

As you become more at One with the Light, so you will become more awakened to the truth of your real selves. You are not your body and it only serves your needs whilst on Earth. Yes, you also have an etheric body that is refined to allow existence in the higher vibrations, yet you have much further to go. Eventually you will become a true Being of Light, but you can still create a “body” for yourself when the necessity arises. It is worth noting that when you do so to allow movement through the lower dimensions, it will be limiting in other ways.

Dear Ones throw off any feelings of tiredness or doubt, as the vibrations are increasing and you are being rejuvenated. Lift up out of doubt or disbelief and look straight ahead and walk in the Light. Leave your worries behind you and be assured that everything is in perfect order. It may be hard to do, but you must start unloading your “baggage” as you cannot take it with you into the higher realms. Think big and positive as you have done the hard work to have reached this point in your evolution. Also bear in mind that you have many souls with you on your journey, doing all they can to guide you onto a safe and rewarding path.

I am SaLuSa come again to reassure you that all is well and we are with you all of the way. Our Love and Blessings go with you.

Thank you SaLuSa

Mike Quinsey

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Truthout Daily Digest December 26, 2013



New Revelation that AG Eric Holder Is Protecting JPMorgan Chase NYC From Criminal Investigation

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Eric Holder is holding true to his congressional testimony last year that prosecuting banks too big to fail could hurt the economy. The reality is that not holding them criminally responsible destroys financial integrity and ends up in taxpayer bailouts.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

The Best of Jon Stewart’s Battle Against Fox’s Imaginary “War on Christmas”

Read the Article at Truthdig

A Very Adult Social Security Tantrum

Read the Article at In These Times

From Fast Food Strikes to Walmart: 2013 and the Year in Labor

Read the Article at Salon

The Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Politics of the Knights of Columbus

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

For 1.3 Million Long-Term Jobless, Another Step Closer to the Edge

Read the Article at The Washington Post

The Battle Within the Democratic Party

Read the Article at The Atlantic

“Osama bin Laden Is Our President Obama”: The Year on the Fringe

Read the Article at Media Matters for America

Climate Change 2013: Where We Are Now – Not What You Think

Bruce Melton, Truthout: To prevent increasingly dangerous climate change, the public and our leaders must be convinced to act decisively and robustly. As the latest data show, changes are occurring more quickly than scientists have ever predicted, and simple emissions reductions are no longer the answer.

Read the Article

Year-End Legislation Could Close National Security Loophole, Protect Government Whistleblowers

Candice Bernd, Truthout: A Senate bill that restores due process rights of appeal for those fired federal employees whose jobs are deemed “sensitive” to national security is seen as the return of a longtime protection for potential whistleblowers.

Read the Article

Dirtiest Oil: Why In Situ Bitumen Extraction Is Dangerous for Canada, the World

Harrison Samphir, Truthout: The Primrose leak contamination of wetlands, forests and the traditional lands of the Beaver Lake Cree and Cold Lake First Nations demonstrates the dangers of in situ bitumen extraction, but also of Canada’s current abusive energy and First Nations policies.

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Pioneers of Media Diversity

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: Devorah Heitner’s new book, Black Power TV, describes the pioneering journalists who attempted to provide adequate media representation of African-Americans and made inroads in transforming television from a site of oppression and exclusion to a site for liberation.

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Edward Snowden, Person of the Year

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group: There are really just two possible choices for person of the year. The spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and a whistleblowing fugitive from American justice have just one thing in common: impact.

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Economic Update: There Are Alternatives

Richard D. Wolff, Economic Update/Truthout: Updates on dangers in anti-bacterial soap, South African union starting socialist party, Germans retiring abroad, billionaires’ whims shaping health care. Major discussions of Obamacare and alternatives to capitalist bank scandals. Responses to emails on worker coops in US and on “regulated capitalism.”

Listen to the Radio Segment

Joo-Hyun Kang: Ending the Stop-and-Frisk Regime

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: Joo-Hyun Kang, director of Communities United for Police Reform, says, “Safety doesn’t have to be at the cost of respect and dignity. Our job as activists is to make sure that (Bill de Blasio’s promise of change) doesn’t turn into just something for a campaign.”

Watch the Video and Read the Article

How Do You End Homelessness? If You’re This State, You Offer People Homes

Robin Marty, Care2: For years, Utah has addressed its homeless problem simply by offering apartments to those who lack a home, worrying about the details of the exchange later. The plan, called Housing First, was launched by then Gov. Jon Huntsman and started providing apartments to the homeless in 2005.

Read the Article

Why Charter Schools Are Foolish Investments for States Facing Economic Challenges

Paul Thomas, AlterNet: A new report calling for South Carolina to increase the state’s investment in charter schools comes as the state struggles to recover from the economic downturn and continues to invest heavily in education reform driven by new standards.

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California’s Top 10 Environmental Disasters, Featuring Erin Brockovich

Emerson Urry, EnviroNews: While speaking with Erin Brokovich, the topic of the worst environmental disasters in California history came up. The following list of the top 10 man-made environmental disasters that California has ever experienced contains some disturbing information.

Watch the Video and Read the Article

Realizations From Killing and Eating an Animal We Raised Ourselves

Aaron and Susan von Frank, Tyrant Farms Blog: “The way we used to source our meat had the same desensitizing effect that many people in our society have developed toward violence. Those aren’t ‘real’ animals we’re buying and eating; they’re cheap chunks of protein.”

Watch the Video and Read the Article

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The Oracle Report Thursday, December 26, 2013


Third Quarter Moon Phase: realign, revise, take responsibility

Moon in Libra

Diamond Sky Dakinis Rule This Lunar Month, Not The Mahavidyas

Today’s energy provides us with the raw form of whatever we need. It is up to us to take the raw form and use it wisely. In order to do this, we have to know what we need

For example, a tree provides the raw material – wood – for a variety of things: fuel for heat and light, structures, instruments, etc.

If you need emotional or mental reinforcement right now, you would use your “wood” to support yourself. In other words, you would do things today that are supportive of yourself, your ideas, and your hopes and dreams. In your mind’s eye you could erect supports or beams within your body or outside of your body propping you up.

You may be in need of fuel to keep going. This time of year can be exhausting if we have many commitments. Your wood could be used for a slow burn that keeps the fire going without burning itself out.

You may feel like you are surrounded by darkness. In many ways, this follows the natural order of life right now, at least in the northern hemisphere, where the nights are long. It’s the time when the inner world alights. Your wood could stoke your inner fire – the light that sees us through the darkness.

You may feel the need to build or construct. If so, there is ample material for this.

Over time, fear (particularly fear of the future) and helplessness have been deeply imprinted into today’s energy signature. The gift of raw energy today is to help us repair and rectify ourselves and our course. It’s there to help us transform. What will you do with it?


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Truthout Daily Digest December 25,2013



The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Budweiser Buys Naming Rights to Christmas as Drones Hover Over Creche

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

GOP Rep. Cites “Pluralism” to Push “Save Christmas” Bill That Excludes All Other Religions

Read the Article at The Raw Story

Santa Claus Acquired by Koch Brothers in Hostile Takeover, Sleigh Runs on Tar Sands Oil

Read the Poem at BuzzFlash

Home for the Holidays Is a DC Shelter

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Bell Ringers: The Salvation Army’s Lowest-Paid, Most-Needed Employees

Read the Article at In These Times

Seinfeld Writer Suggests Rand Paul’s Festivus Rant Made Holiday Uncool

Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Christmas in Community

Read the Article at Waging Nonviolence

William Rivers Pitt | Laney’s Christmas

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: Seven months ago, Laney Brown was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Recently, she told her family that her last Christmas wish was to hear carolers at her door. On Friday night, a few people arrived outside her door, and then a few thousand.

Read the Article

Holiday Greeting: No Peace Without Justice

L. Michael Hager, Truthout: At least five areas of blatant injustice warrant the urgent attention of people of good will: poverty wages, immigrant detention, harsh sentencing, Guantanamo and Palestinian oppression.

Read the Article

Ninety-Nine Years Ago: A Pause in the War on Christmas

David Swanson, War Is a Crime: Frank Richards remembers how officers of both sides of a war came to an unofficial truce during trench warfare on Christmas.

Read the Article and Watch the Videos

Food Security Can Come in Tiny, Wiggly Packages

Amy Fallon, Inter Press Service: It is known as the land of copper to the outside world, but there’s another c-word that does a roaring trade in Zambia, albeit locally – caterpillars.

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On the Front Lines of Class War: Why the Fight for a Livable Wage Is Everyone’s Fight

Colin Jenkins, The Hampton Institute: Recent developments stemming from ”solidarity unionism,” low-wage worker revolts, and a backlash against neoliberal policies have shown that American workers are beginning to ”rise like lions after slumber.”

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Last Chance for Peace in Syria: Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria peace talks?

Shamus Cooke, CounterPunch: The “Geneva II” Syrian peace talks have been discussed for months, but there always seems to be an endlessly complicated barrier. Contrary to what the media and politicians say, stopping the mass carnage is sadly easy.

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Imagine if Every Day Were 9/11. For One Community in the US, It Is

Camila Ibanez, Waging Nonviolence: Seven years ago on a crisp December morning, 1,300 undocumented people were arrested in the biggest immigration raid in the history of the US. On the day of the Swift raids, more than 300 US-born children came home to find at least one of their parents gone.

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In Post-Election Honduras, Challenges and Opportunities for the Resistance

Emily Achtenberg, North American Congress on Latin America: With a coordinated oppositional strategy both in the ”halls of power” and in the streets, the anti-coup resistance in Honduras may have an opportunity to curtail the most egregious abuses of economic and political power, and even to advance its own agenda.

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Former Prosecutor Gets Arrested to See the Other Side of US Criminal Justice System

Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network: The scales of justice guarantee equal protection under the law – at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. In May 2012, a former prosecutor and public defender set out to test that theory for himself, and what he experienced was very instructive.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji: “The History of Materiality Remounts the Time of the History of Matter”

Jérôme Skalski, l’Humanité: Some days before the official presentation of the Nobel Prize in Physics to François Englert and to Peter Higgs for the theory of the so-called Higgs boson, Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji, physicist and philosopher, explains what is involved in this discovery and in this human adventure.

Read the Interview

Beyond Plan Colombia: Covert CIA Program Reveals Critical US Role in Killings of Rebel Leaders

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: A new report has exposed a secret CIA program in Colombia that has helped kill at least two dozen rebel leaders. According to The Washington Post, the program relies on key help from the National Security Agency and is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript