Planet Waves

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The Ancestor

Dear Friend and Reader:

On the first night that the Sun was in Scorpio, I fell asleep a bit early on the bed in my photo studio and awoke a few hours later from a lucid dream -- a dream in which I knew that I was dreaming.

Planet Waves
Caroline Kennedy and her father John, at Hyannisport, Mass., aboard the "Honey Fitz" on August 25, 1963. Photo by Cecil Stoughton.
I was in an attic room. John Kennedy was expressing his rage, ever so politely but rage no less, that the American public fell for the cover-up of his murder. He was incredulous that such an obvious fraud could hold up to any scrutiny at all. What I recall most vividly was his conveying the feeling of, "How could this be possible, how could anyone fall for this?"

He explained that the FBI had killed 150 people in the process of 'investigating' his murder.

He was healthy and in good condition, wearing a suit, leaning up on his elbows on a small bed. Kennedy went on for a while, explaining certain particulars of the case.

There was one other person there. I don't know who; I never saw his/her face. I don't believe we were direct collaborators but rather that we had a similar mission. I understood that Kennedy was speaking to me in a gesture of trust: that I would understand that it was real, and that I would not be silent.

There was a stairway going down from the attic, which I knew was my route out of the dreamtime and into the physical world. I woke up at about 1 am, described the dream to a friend in a short email, recorded the time and cast the chart.

My rational mind started to piece together what had happened. I understood it was a visitation from someone on the other side.

I have had several of these in my life and they have a feeling distinct from an ordinary dream -- in particular, a sense of cohesion of the circumstances, and my full presence and awareness within the dream space.

Planet Waves
Oswald was originally taken into custody for the shooting of a cop, not the president. Conveniently, he was already in custody when he was named Kennedy's assassin.
On awakening I felt alert and clear, relieved to have seen him and aware how much I love him. I knew I was being given a gift of trust as well as voluntarily accepting a responsibility.

Even as a child of about seven, from the first time I heard the story of the events of the assassination -- that JFK had been shot, that Lee Harvey Oswald, his purported assassin, had been killed two days later, and that the guy who killed Oswald was dead just three years after that -- the whole scenario seemed ridiculous.

I didn't know the word 'cover-up' but I intuitively grasped that both Oswald being killed and Ruby mysteriously dying were designed to prevent the truth from getting out. I remember being angry. I remember wanting the truth and being amazed that anyone could content themselves with anything less.

In the month since my experience of meeting JFK, I've gradually figured out that my response to his assassination helped shape me into the person I am. Part of that response includes not being fooled or intimidated by lies, no matter how grand the scale. And another aspect involves wanting to do something about it.

Not the Same Question Today

The message I have today, on the 50th anniversary of his death, is that the question of who killed Pres. Kennedy is a different one than it was in 1963, or even 10 or 20 years later. If you listen to pundits and broadcast 'news' reporters today, they ask the question the same way it's always been asked. With half a century between then and now, we have a lot of context. That context makes it clear what happened next, that being half a century of nonstop war.

Planet Waves
Johnson wasted no time taking over the Vietnam situation once he was president. The discussion began on his first full day in office.
Lyndon Johnson wasted no time plotting the expansion of the Vietnam War. Meetings and top-level memoranda written on Nov. 23, 1963, a Saturday, with the dead president's body still on the autopsy table, reveal what was on Johnson's mind.

Within nine months, Congress would grant Johnson a blank check and total power to do whatever he wanted in Vietnam. Troop levels would immediately rise steadily, peaking at 543,482 on April 30, 1969. Nixon would expand the war to Laos and Cambodia.

War means the expenditure of countless billions of dollars, nearly all of which go to military contractors, enriching the banks along the way. The national wealth is pumped out of the people, and given to corporations that kill people all over the world.

There is no balance of power here. Every branch of government goes for it; all the companies that profit, from Microsoft providing operating systems for aircraft carriers to beef suppliers selling hamburgers to Halliburton, love it. War means millions of people killed, injured, orphaned and displaced, for the profit of private individuals. It's always sold to us as a patriotic act of defending the motherland, not as a private (but government funded) investment scheme.

I have no doubt that Kennedy saw the folly of Vietnam and would have brought the troops home after his re-election. He was not an interventionist and he knew from what happened at the Bay of Pigs, a disastrous attempt to invade Cuba, that his top military brass were a bunch of idiots.

To think, however, that Kennedy's killing was merely about his plans to pull the so-called advisors home from Vietnam after he was re-elected does not take the logic the full distance. We can debate the point of what he might have done, but there is no debate about what happened next, by which I mean the next 50 years.

When I say that Kennedy's murder was a violent coup by what Pres. Eisenhower, JFK's predecessor, called the military-industrial complex, I am not theorizing. I am describing what happened in the following 10 years of the Vietnam War; then numerous coups and wars in South and Central America; the United States messing with the war between Iran and Iraq beginning in 1981; the first Bush war in Iraq in 1990-91, which lasted clear through till the second Bush war in Afghanistan; and Iraq from 2001-present.

Planet Waves
The perpetual jungle war became the perpetual desert war. This is Operation Desert Shield, an action against Iraq, 1990. In all we have been bombing Iraq since 1981. Dept. of Defense photo.
Think about it. We have, directly or indirectly, been bombing Iraq for 32 years. The War on Terror has gone on for 12 years, with actions in countless countries; the War on Drugs has raged on, domestically and internationally.  

The Vietnam War never ended. Even as those particular troops came home and everyone muttered 'never again', the United States waged war after war in remote parts of the world, under a succession of excuses, and continues to do on this very day. From Wednesday's New York Times:
Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that the United States and Afghanistan had finalized the wording of a bilateral security agreement that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024 and set the stage for billions of dollars of international assistance to keep flowing to the government in Kabul.
I have probably read 50 times that "Afghanistan is not the new Vietnam." That is correct. It is the new, improved Vietnam. Astonishingly expensive, impervious to protest and being fought for no reason anyone understands except to move cash through banks, conglomerates and military contractors, it has the added benefit of lasting forever.

As for international assistance? That must mean coming directly out of our paychecks.

What We Lost in JFK

Kennedy was a man with the independence, the guts and the integrity to stand up for what he believed was right, and to challenge what he believed was wrong. That alone was enough to create many enemies, and along with that, considerable confusion over who might have killed him.

It was the Mafia because he was against the Mafia. It was somebody's husband because he fucked the guy's wife. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, um, why exactly? Because Kennedy hated Cuba, which Kennedy had repeatedly refused to invade?

Planet Waves
Pres. John F. Kennedy speaking before Congress. He is our modern archetype of 'the president' though none have lived up to his style since. Photographer unknown.
These theories are ridiculously short-sighted. In an article called Storm Warnings, published at this time last year, I described how Jack Kennedy and his brother Bobby went up against the perpetual war machine, which decided they had to be moved out of the way. 

His death was a resounding message that no future president should be foolish enough to ever do that again.

We often wonder why presidents always seem so lame, never able to get anything done or to stand up for any real principles. When Obama took office, one of my readers wrote to me and said that she thought it possible that moments after a new president was inaugurated, he was taken into a side-room by a couple of CIA officers, shown the film of the Kennedy murder and asked if he had any questions. Every president since Kennedy has certainly acted as if that's exactly what happens.

So in a sense we lost not just the president but the presidency, in its expression as the president being the autonomous chief executive and commander-in-chief of the military. Today we accept that the president has little actual power, and that he's heavily influenced by outside corporate forces and the shadow government. He owes little to the people who elected him.

The power structure that we live within -- the actual full manifestation of the military-industrial complex -- is so out of control that we all now assume that everything we type on the Internet or speak into our phones is recorded in a searchable database.

By whom? By an agency whose current function is to wage covert war, not just against some foreign enemy but also against the people of the country they are supposed to be protecting.

There's a spiritual issue, though, that comes closer to explaining the core psychology of losing Pres. Kennedy. Many have noted that he was a father figure, one who was never replaced. Though there are other factors, one product of this has been the anarchy we live with today.

A Mass Psychology Experiment

Perhaps the most frightening thing about the Kennedy murder was the mass psychology experiment that it was. Something shocking was done, a lame or even totally absurd cover story was floated, and the endless war was begun.

The JFK assassination was not the invention of the Shock Doctrine, but it was its first full manifestation as a domestic event in the United States used against the domestic population. One momentous use of this device was in Germany in 1933 -- the Reichstag fire. (I've been wanting to do a review of that chart for years, and the anniversary is coming up.)

Planet Waves
Like the Kennedy assassination, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 were a mass psychology experiment and an opportunity to embark on perpetual war. Photo by Eric J. Tilford.
As long as people are scared enough, the perpetrator can blame anyone and do anything. Though this technique has been used many times, there's only one event in American history that stands up to the JFK assassination -- the events of Sept. 11. The three days of speechless shock, followed by weeks in a stupor of disbelief, followed by a rearrangement of everything, make these events seem like matching bookends.

Sept. 11 was a military coup, which we know because as with the events of Nov. 22, 1963, the military took over. The MOs of both events are identical: the most shocking thing ever happens, someone who had nothing to do with it is blamed in 90 minutes, and the war rages on.

Then the true story is refuted, and either hardly anyone cares that much or hardly anyone believes it. Those who do are called conspiracy nuts.

I don't have the answer for what to do about this, but I know that to find it, we must be a lot smarter, and shrewder, and more perceptive than we are. We need to personally take up the qualities we admired the most in our ancestor JFK -- his guts, his independence, and his willingness to fully embody his role.

Most of all, though, we need to cultivate the hunger for truth and the refusal to believe lies. You might say that the lies make all of these turns of events possible, but they would be worthless if nobody believed them.


Note, I have covered the astrology of the JFK assassination recently in two places -- in my article Storm Warnings from one year ago, and in this week's edition of Planet Waves FM.

Writing and Editing Credits: News items below are written and edited by a team consisting of Anne Craig, Eric Francis, Amanda Painter, Susan Scheck and Carol van Strum. Chad Woodward and David Rosen contributed this week as well, with research assistance by the Planet Waves staff. Page assembled and coded by Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, which goes over each edition on Thursday night -- and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions. Our editions are also proofread and fact-checked by Jessica Keet.

Planet Waves
Galactic Journey: Sun Enters Sagittarius

Just before 11 pm EST Thursday, the Sun entered the sign Sagittarius. While on one level all the signs are equal, Sagittarius is an unusual energy from the standpoint of the world of work-a-day, entertainment and gossip. Sagittarius is the direction of the core of our galaxy, which influences everything about this sign.

Planet Waves
The Milky Way appears as a streak across the summer sky. Photo by Mila Zinkova, Wikimedia Commons.
The Milky Way, our home in space, is a spiral arrangement of some 300 billion stars, a miniature universe of its own. Even with our culture's relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy, the galaxy is an elusive concept to most people. It's still a stretch for many to grasp the spatial relationship involved in how the Earth goes around the Sun -- even though we can see both. The galaxy is nearly invisible, appearing in the Northern Hemisphere only in summer, and as a misty, slightly glowing cloud.

Yet at its core is a supermassive black hole, which binds together our island in space. So while on the one hand awareness of our galaxy eludes perception by the senses, it also contains the heaviest, strangest thing anywhere in proximity to our solar system. I would say the largest, but black holes don't seem to take up much physical three-dimensional space. They seem more like a door into another dimension -- a door that is gradually becoming something real.

With these ideas, we've gone beyond what ordinary astrology was designed to handle, and we've also gone beyond what most people can actually feel. Though these concepts have been percolating in science fiction for a while, they seem to have little influence on our lives.

The thing is, they do have plenty of influence, especially for those who have made any commitment to a spiritual or metaphysical path, or whose religious journey verges into actual experience. For those exploring these aspects of life, the sense of experiencing something, a calling, a desire, a need, but not being able to describe it clearly, can be a fairly common experience.

Planet Waves
The Sun ingressed Sagittarius on Thursday with the Moon in an exact conjunction to Jupiter -- the ruler of Sagittarius. Glyph key is here. There is lots of other coverage of the Sun's sign change by Len Wallick and Amanda Painter on the Planet Waves blog.
It's quite the opposite of the emotional, hormonal pull of Scorpio, the previous sign, which seems to know exactly, precisely what it wants. And it could not be more different from the salty, ruddy energy of Capricorn that aspires in tangible ways toward goals that can be expressed.

Sagittarius is different. I would rate it as the most different sign, the feeling of which is often associated with the kind of longing that we think of as spiritual or mystical. It contains a homing signal drawing our consciousness toward a level that goes beyond what we consider normal.

The elusiveness of Sagittarius can influence those born with the Sun, Moon or ascendant here -- they often resist being defined or understood, or involving themselves in a commitment, particularly an emotional one.

There's a legitimate spiritual basis for this -- the kinds of attachments that our world proffers the most often are also the same things that can be the biggest stumbling blocks to spiritual growth.

At the same time there's a good reason that to one side of Sagittarius we have Scorpio, among the most sexual and emotional signs. To the other side is Capricorn, the sign of worldly aspiration, achievement and leadership. Think of Sagittarius not as a destination in itself but as an excursion you can take. Those born under this sign or with it prominent in their charts are living, in part, to understand what is beyond this world -- not for entertainment, but to build a tangible relationship.

With the Sun transiting Sagittarius for the next 30 days and nights, those who are paying attention will all get a taste of that journey. I'll be chronicling some of its features over the next few weeks.

Planet Waves
Senate Finally Ends Filibuster Rule, at Least for Certain Federal Judges

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate ended its absurd policy of requiring 60 votes on at least one matter that, according to the Constitution, only requires a simple majority -- the approval of certain federal judgeships. Known as the filibuster rule or cloture, the procedure (also called Senate Rule 22) allows the minority party to demand that a matter be approved not by 51 votes but rather by 60 votes -- also called a supermajority.

Planet Waves
The Senate has a lot of rules as old as this photo of the chambers in 1873. Rule 22 is not that old, however. It dates back about 30 years. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
While many would argue that the less Congress does, the better, Rule 22 has contributed not just to gridlock but to the minority party -- in this case the Republicans -- making sure that nothing gets done. Many have noted that they are trying to nullify Obama's presidency -- that is, making sure that it's totally ineffective. Rule 22 is only supposed to be invoked occasionally, when it really matters. Lately it's become an everyday thing.

The Senate has the constitutional duty to approve all federal judges named by the president. Usually this is a simple matter requiring only 51 votes, a 'simple majority' of the 100 senators. However, the Republicans have been blocking all of Obama's federal judicial nominations, trying to hold them open until Obama is out of office so they can approve only judges who are against women's reproductive rights. Federal judges are all appointed for the rest of their lives.

After a group of Obama's judicial nominees to the appellate court for the D.C. circuit were blocked by filibuster yet again this week, Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate, moved to suspend Rule 22 for all nominees to the federal judiciary except for Supreme Court justices.

The D.C. circuit of the federal appeals courts is one of the more important bodies because it hears many cases involving the government, and is a breeding pond for many who will later sit on the Supreme Court. So the Republicans have a special interest in keeping Obama's nominees off of that particular bench. 

Planet Waves
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Utah), the majority leader, made a point of order, and the filibuster rule was suspended for certain federal judgeships. Photo by Carol Caster.
There are more than 90 federal judgeships currently vacant, contributing to a massive backlog in the federal courts. Obama has had more of his nominees blocked than the past seven presidents combined. 

Without obsessing over the Senate's inside baseball, it's fair to ask how a vote of 52-48 could suspend a rule that requires 60 votes. Wouldn't it take 60 votes to suspend the rule? That's a good demonstration of what a charade the clolture rule or filibuster is.

The way Harry Reid suspended it was to make what is called a point of order. In parliamentary procedure, that's a motion questioning the rules. Such a motion only needs a simple majority of 51 votes to approve it. So all this time, every time the Democrats were blocked because they could not get 60 votes, they could have just suspended the rule with a 51-vote majority.

The issue really centers around the delicate balance of power in the Senate, which grants a lot of power to the minority party, including to individual senators, who can block senate actions as anonymous individuals. It's all pretty stupid but at least these judgeships will now be filled.

You can read Fe Bongolan's comments on this story here.

Planet Waves
Just When We Thought It Was Over: Perpetual War in Afghanistan

As if to punctuate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination with another round of endless war, NBC News on Wednesday said it had obtained a draft of an unsigned U.S.-Afghan security document stating that the U.S. may commit troops to that country for at least 11 years and use billions of your taxpayer dollars to support Afghan security forces.

Planet Waves
U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division set up a supportive position during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province in February. Photo: Andrew Burton/Reuters.
The 25-page "Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" seems to signal an open-ended military campaign to fight al-Qaeda.

Afghanistan would allow Washington to operate military bases to train Afghan forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda after the current mission ends in 2014.

The U.S. would agree to sustain and equip Afghanistan's large security force, which the government in Kabul currently cannot afford, according to an NBC article.

The deal would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and "shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond." It could be terminated by either Washington or Kabul with two years advance written notice, the article said.

Planet Waves
Ads Need to Get Mad and Merciless to Get Monsanto

GMO labeling advocates have used the education-based "consumer's right to know" campaign strategy twice, in 2012 and 2013. They failed both times, in California and Washington State, with similar splits: 52% to 48% and 51% to 49%, respectively. If enacted, the rule would have mandated labeling of GMO products. Does this mean that people don't want to know what's in their food?

Planet Waves
Yes on 522 logos on Dr. Bronner's soap bottles: "Totally unprecedented in the world of product labeling." But the company is named after an Aquarius. Photo by Dave Gilson/Mother Jones.
For most of these voters (and most Americans) the answer is yes. They don't want to know -- they trust the food makers, who turn out processed, craving-causing fake food, filled with salt and sugar.

(The Grocery Manufacturers Association, along with Monsanto, were major funders of the Washington anti-labeling campaign.) Maybe many consumers believe they're getting enough "nutrition" information on existing labels and another one need not be added.

Have we irrevocably turned ourselves into "pigs at the trough," as this satirical video from The Onion suggests? Is it too late?

The Washington advocacy group Yes on I-522 blames the latest defeat, in its state, on the lowest turnout ever, which also consisted of mostly older, conservative voters in an off election year. 2016, a presidential election year, will be different, they say, with a bigger turnout and younger, more engaged voters casting ballots. Really? Or is it a fundamental flaw in their advertising that's not getting them the few percentage points they need to win?

Planet Waves reader Ann Kreilkamp last week sent us a link to a recent blog by John Rappoport, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter and author, in which he rails against those funding the pro-labeling side --  Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Organic), Grant Lundberg (Lundberg Family Farms), David Bronner (Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps), and Joe Mercola (, and others. He admonishes them to get mad as hell, tell people that Monsanto's practices are deadly and evil, and stop being so civil in their ads.

"Are they afraid to go after Monsanto directly because they believe their own businesses would suffer the consequences?" Rappoport asks. "If so, tell us. Open up. We can help. A large group of vocal and outraged supporters could help forestall those consequences. That would be a hell of a fight and the public would see, up close and personal, corporate and government criminals trying to silence good men."

Planet Waves
He continues:

"There are some in the pro-labeling movement who are so relentlessly New Age and childishly 'positive,' they're terrified of 'going negative.' They think The Universe will punish them for it. They'll tell you that 'negative' ads would turn off voters.

"But the history of politics doesn't say that. Negative ads work if they're done right.

"The truth is, there's a sound barrier out there, and it has to be broken if Monsanto is going to be stopped from taking over 95% of U.S. farm land with its heinous GMOs forever."

So is Rappoport right? Would an angry, evidence-based, negative ad campaign work in which people heard the plain truth about Monsanto and GMOs? Most Americans have never heard any of it before, and way more than two or three percent might be shocked enough to cast a Yes vote and pass a mandatory labeling law with teeth.

Then, if they were really infuriated, they might go out and do the true heavy lifting -- confronting the USDA, the FDA, and Congress for their complicity in Monsanto's poisonous practices. It's worth a try.

Planet Waves
High-Risk Fuel Removal Begins at Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) successfully removed this week the first 22 unused fuel-rod assemblies from the cooling pool in Unit 4 of the badly damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The first fuel-rod assembly was moved from its 5th-floor underwater rack to a portable cask (a fuel transport container) just before 4:00 pm Monday local time.
By Thursday, TEPCO had released footage showing the steel cask, containing the first 22 rods, being lowered by crane from the 5th floor of the reactor building onto the bed of a trailer. It was transported slowly to a building 100 meters away according to NHK World, Japan's public broadcasting network, where it was lowered into a cooling pool; another source, via Truthout, reports the common fuel pool, only 50 meters away, as the destination.
Planet Waves
Video still of the steel cask containing 22 unused fuel-rod assemblies as it is transported by trailer to the holding pool Thursday. Video: NHK World.
Officials at TEPCO say the building housing the separate pool can withstand an earthquake as strong as the one on March 11, 2011.

Given TEPCO's track record so far, hopefully that claim will never be tested, but the region is known for frequent seismic activity. In fact, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off Japan's east coast Saturday; no damage was reported.
TEPCO is planning to begin removing the unused fuel assemblies from the cask and lowering them into storage racks in the pool today. It then will review the procedure before starting a second round of transfers.
The unused fuel rods, of which there are 202, are being moved first because they are more stable, meaning they do not release as much heat and radiation. Of concern during the removal process is the presence of debris in the Unit 4 cooling pool, and that three fuel assemblies there are damaged. TEPCO admitted on Nov. 15 that 80 spent fuel assemblies housed among all four reactors' spent fuel pools were damaged prior to the March 2011 earthquake, making the potential of starting a chain reaction ("criticality") while handling them a very real danger.
The crane being used to remove the fuel-rod assemblies from the Unit 4 pool is designed to stop pulling automatically if it encounters a certain level of resistance, to avoid damaging any of the rods. An underwater vacuum sucks up debris while an underwater camera monitors progress.
The removal of all 1,533 used and unused fuel-rod assemblies from Unit 4 alone will likely take through the end of next year; it could take up to 40 years to decommission the entire Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

It Must be Some Kind of Coincidence -- Seven Volcanoes in Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within Hours Of Each Other

A new island has appeared in the Pacific. A submarine eruption just off Nishino-Shima Island Japan has erupted for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Navy noticed the explosions as boiling lava met sea water giving rise to plumes of steam and ash.

Planet Waves
Mt. Etna in Sicily erupted earlier this week, along with six other volcanoes in a diversity of countries. Photo via CNN video.
Almost 7,000 miles away in Mexico, the Colima volcano blew its top after a period of relative calm. A steam and ash cloud rose two miles into the sky and the grumbling of the mountain could be heard in towns a few miles away.

In Guatemala ‘Fire Mountain’ belched out lava and sent up a moderate ash cloud causing an ash fall over nearby towns. The explosions and shock waves occurring in the volcano can be felt by residents over six miles away. Doors and windows are reported to be rattling, but there has been no damage so far.

In Vanuatu the Yasur volcano is giving some cause for concern. Although the explosions are quite weak the continuous ash that is coming from the mountain is starting to build up on farming land.

Over to Sicily, Mount Etna is putting on quite a display. The current eruption started a few days ago and has been getting stronger as time moves on. A massive eruption lit up the sky and disturbed residents yesterday. The ash cloud was high enough to see flights canceled. The lava flow was the biggest in years, and the town of Zafferana which lay in its path saw some damage. Lava diverters were put into place, and most of the town escaped unscathed.

Chris Carrington - Activist Post

Fukushima Food Safety Questions Persist

Questions about the safety of food from Japan and the Pacific still loom, despite reassurances from scientists and government officials. While the U.S. is one of 44 countries and regions with bans placed on certain food imports from Japan, the acceptable limit of radiation in food is a controversial subject.

Concerns include radiation in exported fish and rice, as well as migratory fish exposed to radiation that might then swim thousands of miles before being caught off of California and served in Boston.

Planet Waves
A worker checks for possible radioactive contamination using a Geiger counter at Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Ahn Young-Joon.
Currently the U.S. radiation limit is 12 times higher (less stringent) than Japan's; but officials claim that any food exceeding Japan’s much lower limit will not be exported or even sold domestically.

Only a small percentage of Japanese rice tested has exceeded this limit. The Japanese government claims that homegrown rice is safe to eat. But distrust of government and fear have created a demand for rice imports from China and other countries among many Japanese people.

Japan is the only country actively testing fish and reporting the results to the public; 170 species are tested and 42 species are considered off-limits due to radiation fears.

For the U.S., the FDA announced just one month after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck that it would not be testing fish off the West Coast. Many scientists claim that dilution from the vastness of the Pacific mitigates any cause for concern.

Yet a study conducted by Stanford University, published in February 2012, revealed that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna caught off the coast of San Diego contained traces of cesium, a radionuclide that was directly linked to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The migratory tuna travel between Japan and the West Coast of the U.S., and tested 10 times higher than previous years. Following this study, researchers at Oregon State University found detectable levels of cesium in Albacore tuna caught off the Pacific Northwest coast -- these too were linked to Fukushima.

Planet Waves
Radiation contamination spreading from the Fukushima site has sparked worries about the safety of West Coast seafood. The site still dumps 300 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean every day. Photo: Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority / EPA.
However, the researchers from both studies concluded that the amount detected was too low to pose any significant health risk. According to scientists, the radioactive fish are safe to eat, despite the cesium.

In fact, according to many scientists, the amount of radiation found in the contaminated fish is no more than that contained in a banana (bananas naturally contain radioactive potassium-40 and have been used to illustrate the concept of equivalent doses, but the illustration is problematic).

Other scientists, including Dr. Helen Caldicott and Harvey Wesserman, say that any amount of ingested radionuclides is dangerous because each dose adds to what is already in the body, known as bioaccumulation. That increases the risk of genetic mutations, cancer and other issues associated with radiation. According to Caldicott, once ingested, the particles continuously emit radiation for years because of their long half-lives and can lodge themselves in muscle tissue or even bones, irradiating and damaging cells.

Aside from the limited tests and studies conducted so far, the full extent of food contamination in Japan and the Pacific is relatively unknown. As Caldicott claims, the health consequences can take years, even decades, to fully manifest.

With 300 tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific each day, leading to the bioaccumulation of radionuclides into the ecosystem, the risks for humans at the top of the food chain have indefinitely increased.

Planet Waves
Hostility Between Women: Science Catches Up with Cattiness

Thirty years ago, aggression and competition between women was viewed as largely "anecdotal, intuitively sensed, but not confirmed by science." So wrote anthropologist Sarah B. Hrdy after reviewing scientific literature on the topic. Now, thanks to better research techniques and more women working in the sciences, Dr. Hrdy and others conclude that not only is competition among women fierce, it's actually the primary factor in the pressure young women feel to meet standards of sexual conduct and physical appearance.
Planet Waves
When this woman walked into a study on female aggression in jeans and T-shirt, female students barely noticed; wearing a miniskirt and tight blouse, the "mean girl" claws came out. Photo: Tracy Vaillancourt.
In one particular study, researchers Tracy Vaillancourt and Aanchal Sharma confirmed an insight Planet Waves has remarked on before: that women often suppress the sexuality of other women. Both men and women engage to some degree in slut-shaming sexually open women; but it's other women who have the power to throw someone out of 'the tribe'. Men have something to gain when women are 'promiscuous'; women, however, stand to lose their 'bargaining power' if sex is offered freely by their peers.
"Women are indeed very capable of aggressing against others, especially women they perceive as rivals," said Dr. Vaillancourt, now a psychologist at the University of Ottawa. "The research also shows that suppression of female sexuality is by women, not necessarily by men."
It's a twisted situation -- and one women seem to engage in only semi-consciously, as the experiment conducted by Vaillancourt and Sharma and described in a New York Times article shows.
Biology may be working against young women on this one; female aggression appears to subside as women age and 'pair off', thereby no longer competing for a mate. That doesn't mean we can't practice more mindfulness -- and focus on our own sexual pleasure instead of tearing down those who do. Earlier waves of feminism missed the boat on this, but we don't have to.     

Planet Waves
Planet Waves
At three hours and 30 minutes into the trip, the artist said, "I didn't draw the eyes. Do you want me to draw the eyes? I don't feel like drawing the eyes."
Who Do You See When You Look Inside?
What happens when an artistically talented young woman with excellent self-esteem draws a series of self-portraits while tripping on LSD? Apparently you get a very Neptune-in-Pisces series of drawings that seem to tap into the cosmic fire of the Sun in Sagittarius.
While Planet Waves does not suggest that LSD is for everyone, one staffer did remark, "The effect is not always so visual. With the best acid, you cannot really feel it...things are just different...and then in little bursts, it gets visual...and inwardly dimensional, like you can feel parts of yourself you had no idea existed.
"For nearly everyone there are always dark moments, of untangling shadowy emotions and letting go of patterns you don't can do a lot in a relatively short time."

Planet Waves

What happened to John F. Kennedy?

Link to program.

In this week's edition of Planet Waves FM, I consider the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and how his murder led to the state of affairs that we now must contend with in the United States. My musical guest is the string rock quartet Darlingside. The first half of the program omits any discussion of astrology and covers the basic facts of the case. Here is the lead article from our member edition from this time last year, looking closely at some of the issues that I raise in this edition of Planet Waves FM. For additional resources and the chart, please see the full post.

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We are happy to offer once again one of our most popular products: the Planet Waves All-Access Pass for 2014. The All-Access Pass is for members who want access to everything we offer in a calendar year. In recent years our product line has grown considerably, and the response from our All-Access subscribers has been overwhelmingly positive. You can read about everything that's included with an All-Access pass here. For those who can't get enough Planet Waves astrology, it's an unbeatable value. Plus, if you order now, we'll include the rest of the readings that come out in 2013, and you'll save $100.

Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes -- and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The extended monthly horoscope for November  was published Friday, Oct. 25. Inner Space for November was published Friday, Nov. 1. Moonshine for the Scorpio New Moon  was published Tuesday, Oct. 29. We published Moonshine for the Taurus Full Moon Tuesday, Nov. 12. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space usually publishes the following Tuesday.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 #976 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- The Sun's recent ingress into Sagittarius will help you get your mind off of joint financial issues, emotional matters and power struggles and remind you that there is a world outside of all of that. This is likely to feel like moving to a higher elevation and seeing the whole landscape rather than the little cave you were hanging out in. Yet the landscape you will be looking at will give you a perspective that extends forward in time, so that you can see potential expressions of yourself in the future. The catch is that doing this very thing may make you long for the familiarity of your present time, location and emotional state. You must remind yourself that progress implies change, and change implies unfamiliarity. Plenty more would get done in the world if our greatest visions didn't get mired in our unresolved insecurities. You can get mired, or you can have an adventure.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- Try not to be frustrated by what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. Your chart suggests that speaking honestly, listening with an open mind and moreover feeling where people you care about are coming from will melt those blocks or loft you over them. I don't want to make this sound easier than it is, but I also know that just about everyone turns what could be easily resolved into some sour shade of impossible by refusing to speak, listen and feel. Many elements of human nature get in the way, the main one being a stubborn lack of flexibility that no longer serves you or your relationships. What you are really doing as you patiently move to a new place of sincere, actual communication with the people closest to you is to open up another realm of sharing with them. There is potential that you may have only considered and deemed impossible or too scary; in truth it is neither.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- You know you've reached a limit on certain tendencies you have, especially needlessly clashing with authority. You can think of this as a distorted way of asserting your independence, when really all it does is compromise you and keep you boxed into the same set of feelings, ideas and practical limits that stunted your growth before. There's a close relationship between this and any health-related issues you've been facing, which are likely to have a stress-related emotional component. All in all, I suspect you have the sensation that you're reaching the end of a certain way of life, though I would remind you that this must be done in more than words and wishes. You need to act, and to sustain that action, which also means understanding your relationship to the past. In short, you must replace the parent-child relationship with adult-adult relationships. That will take time, but it's not impossible, and you can start now.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- You may be looking right at who you want to connect with the most, yet not recognize them for who they are. People who have a more conservative appearance can be more adventurous, rebellious or even radical than you think, so this is an opportunity to pay attention and go beneath the surface. I suggest you pause on any temptation to 'tell all in the name of honesty' with someone you don't know well. Who you are comes through to others more than you may imagine, even if you think you're being inscrutable. If any contact with a new friend or erotic prospect goes in the direction of intellect -- that is, talking and ideas -- rather than in the direction of animal magnetism, I would count that as a good thing. The situation is not lacking for sexual energy, though what it does have going for it is a tendency to gravitate in the direction of meaning.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- It will come as a great relief for you to have the Sun in Sagittarius. It may feel like you have extra rooms added onto your house, ideas that have wings and an overall brighter outlook. The emotional bog that came along with the recent run of the Sun in Scorpio will begin to dry up and feel like something more workable, feeding your energy rather than draining it. You may still feel like there's an aspect of yourself that is inside a glass box, and can only see the sky rather than actually fly up there. Here's my reading of that factor (retrograde Jupiter in the 12th house): Rather than expanding outward, this is an invitation to expand inward. Think of it as a safe container rather than as something that is holding you in. If you encounter a limit, consider it a resource rather than something you have to resist. The first time this maneuver bears some excellent fruit, you will trust it more the next time.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- Hot, fiery Mars is continuing to make its way across your sign, though you seem to be getting a handle on how to work with this quality of energy. In a word, with precision. You've seen some of what happens when you lose your grip on your power tools. The first thing to do is remember that they are just that, and require that you handle them with skill, care and respect. This is particularly crucial between now and when Mars leaves your sign on Dec. 7, because it's in a position where it has little or no external structure to contain it. Translated into human terms, for the next couple of weeks, you must be unusually self-regulated while not suppressing, or being afraid of, your own power. Work with a plan and a backup plan, follow basic safety and security protocols, and as Paul McCartney said, when you've got a job to do, you've got to do it well.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- In order for your worst fears not to run away with you, you must question them every time you feel them. Consider how little of what you think will go horribly wrong actually does. Very few houses burn down; cats rarely get caught in the garage; kids tend not to fall down the stairs and break their heads. Since you don't deal cocaine, the government probably doesn't care about you. Given all of this, most people respond by being reckless. So while you're busy not believing that the worst will always happen, it's essential that you not react in the other direction and assume that nothing could ever possibly go wrong. The wide, pragmatic middle ground is to focus your senses, use your awareness and use what you know. If you have a concern, use logic to assess its validity. If you have a problem, use logic to solve it. Remember that you do exist and that people care about you. Invite people you love into your home and you will feel that more.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- The Sun has just left your sign, which will help you draw your energy inward, and keep it concentrated, where you need it to be. Your solar chart describes you working out a deep issue associated with maturity. It is not enough to act mature, or to convince others that you are. Rather, what is essential is that you make contact with the place in yourself where you have an authentic inner dialog. You are susceptible right now to being influenced by what others think, or what you fear their opinions might be, and this could easily go out of control, manifesting as a storm of self-criticism. Other factors suggest that you may be feeling insecure, which is why I am suggesting you remain vigilant and thoughtful and don't associate with negative people. Keep your communications meaningful, and over the next few days try to spend time only with people who are intelligent and emotionally grounded.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- Be not deceived by the unreal. Embrace what is true. It may take you a few days to figure out one from the other, so slow down and observe, listen and consider what you learn. Over the next week, the influences in your chart shift from idealism and denial to awakening. If you make the effort to be objective now, your awakening will be one of resplendent clarity rather than a shock. Therefore, make an effort to consider several sides of every equation, and most significantly, to stick to your most important goals rather than allowing yourself to be distracted by entertainment or diversion. You may have to remind yourself from day to day or even hour to hour, and consciously maintain a balance between the larger scenario and the important details. If you're getting mired in trivia, set it aside and go back to your top priorities. Keep at this for a while and you will be unstoppable.  
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- There seem to be two relationship situations or intimate encounters developing simultaneously. One has the sensation of you seeking someone who you admire but who is, at the moment, aloof and inaccessible. At the same time, someone is making an approach to you, though you may not feel like they're up to your level. The whole aloof thing is getting old, is it not? Relationships need to be about more than dreams and wishes. But you do have your standards -- which I suggest you set aside until you really get to know whoever may be taking an active interest in you. You have that opportunity, though it looks as if you may not even be noticing that someone is interested. One other take on your charts right now is to make sure you set a high priority on taking care of children and teenagers in your environment. Take a gentle approach, listen carefully and help when you can.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- There is a bit of information you need that will help you with your abundant responsibilities, and it's coming straight to you. The problem is, you might decide it's not important enough to act on or even to acknowledge. You may also believe you can get better news from someone else, and set out to shop for something you prefer. The news you want is what is accurate, so that you can address whatever circumstance you're dealing with. I suggest you not allow yourself to be biased by fear or any form of negative expectation. Be bold and devote yourself to getting all of the facts; don't stop until you're satisfied that you actually understand the full scenario. Once you do that, you will discover another dimension to the situation that provides you with a whole set of alternatives you would not have found otherwise. Pay attention to the specifics. The details matter, a lot.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Push yourself, but do so gently. You've reached that time in the year when you feel the imperative to get things done, and the only thing that makes this year different is that you're starting to grasp that you actually can achieve what you set out to do. You've been facing challenges the past few weeks that have only increased your desire to rise to the occasion, and have given you both determination and courage. Yet I suggest you disengage any emotions that may be driving you, and rather than push yourself, merely guide yourself in the direction you want to go, using your existing momentum and only adding minimal new energy. You may believe you would be setting aside your ambition and thus your dedication to your goals, though your astrology suggests that the opposite is true. You're heading in the right direction, and have taken many of the right steps. What you will avoid is blowing yourself off course, or wasting energy sailing against the tide.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).

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