Friday, May 31, 2013


Sun being in zodiac sign Gemini just now, named for twin brothers Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology, there'll likely be some twininess around - here's a bit more of it, from husband's Flickr collection of vintage photographs, and photographs from his own camera:


“They were young; time hadn't yet rubbed at them, polishing their differences and sharpening their opinions...”
― Kate Morton, The Distant Hours

Twins in a buggy

woman and twins
" I grow twins. What's your superpower?"

Church of the Holy Grain
Husband's caption: "Church of the Holy Grain".

York, Yorkshire, England and York, Nebraska USA.
Stand over there.



Grown together, friends forever


Two TWA connies

Twin TWA "Connies" (The Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958.)

The vintage photograph (shown after the video) reminded husband of Charlize Theron, so he tried a morphing process - yep! Twinny!

GIrl in a dress

And, lastly, twins in the news, not born with sun in Gemini - but word of them surfaced in Gemini-time:

(Reuters) - Rare twin giraffes were born this month at a nature preserve in Texas, marking only the second time that living twin giraffes have been born in the United States, the preserve said on Wednesday.

The babies were born on May 10 at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch outside of New Braunfels, but the announcement was delayed because twins often do not survive, said Tiffany Soechting, the ranch's marketing director.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Insouciance

Wonderful word, insouciance, I first became aware of it, long ago, among the writings of the inimitable Ogden Nash:

Introspective Reflection,
by Ogden Nash

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance

Illustration: Felix the Cat being insouciant.

Then again: (source lost, sorry):
Some prefer their musical idols to be insouciant, seeming not to care what their fans think or want. Others like them more eager to please, happy to take requests and engage. The two obvious examples are Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. Armstrong would smile and encourage the audience to participate, while Davis was the insouciant master who showed no concern for or interest in what his listeners might prefer: some people found his insouciant manner irresistible.

And more recently:
From: America, Land of the Lost by Paul Craig Roberts:
Insouciant Americans are undisturbed that alleged terrorists are tortured, held indefinitely in prison without due process, and executed on the whim of some executive branch official without due process of law.

Most Americans go along with unaccountable murder, torture, and detention without evidence, which proclaims their gullibility to the entire world. There has never in history been a population as unaware as americans. The world is amazed that an insouciant people became, if only for a short time, a superpower.

The world needs intelligence and leadership in order to avoid catastrophe, but America can provide neither intelligence nor leadership. America is a lost land where nuclear weapons are in the hands of those who are concerned only with their own power. Washington is the enemy of the entire world and encompasses the largest concentration of evil on the planet.

Where is the good to rise up against the evil?

Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.
― Julian Assange

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scott Thorson, Algolled by Liberace ?

At the weekend we watched HBO's presentation of their movie Behind the Candelabra - biopic of the relationship between Liberace and Scott Thorson, film adapted from Thorson's book of the same title.

The film kept me interested, was very well acted by Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Thorson, but left me with a rather sour taste. Things could have ended so much better for all concerned had there been more longterm loyalty from Liberace. Even though the relationship with Thorson had become stale, he could have finished it cleanly and fairly in the manner he had always promised.

Astrologers have interpreted Liberace's natal chart (several versions can be easily found via Google), the chart itself can be seen at Astrodatabank, HERE. I could find none who has taken a stab at Scott Thorson's chart. I found him the more interesting character of the pair. A young, attractive, rather naive teenage guy hoping to become a veterinarian was drawn, willingly, into the wildly extravagant lifestyle of an older, international entertainer, appeared to gradually develop deep feelings for him. The entertainer came over as egotistical in the extreme, self-serving, self indulgent, superficially "nice", with some dark underlying need to control everyone who came under his spell. To be fair, the book upon which the movie was based is written by Thorson, we can't know how Liberace would have described the same unfolding of events.

I didn't need to look far into Liberace's chart to see the potentially rotten core: Sun conjunct Algol. I said "potentially", because not everyone with Sun conjunct Algol is fated to be a nasty piece of work; other parts of the chart, individual experience, background and circumstance always strongly figure in the mix and could bring about a vastly different personalty from that of Liberace.

There's a very good article by Nick Kollerstrom at Skyscript: The Horror-Scope of Algol - in it he quotes another astrologer, Bernadette Brady:
Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage. If one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and from that passion return a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky. Whatever planet it affects in your chart will be charged with strong, intense sexual energy that has the potential to be wonderful, of if repressed, to lead to rage or violence.

Scott Thorson's date, or more accurately, year of birth has a question mark over it. Some sources give 1958, some 1959. I suspect (possibly wrongly, I have no proof) that the difference came about due to the fact that when Thorson and Liberace first met, in 1976, Thorson would have been only 17 if born in 1959, so word could have been put about that he was a year older, born 1958 to make him 18 - no longer the age of minority for statutory rape.

I've calculated Thorson's natal chart using 1959 then, and 12 noon as no time of birth is known. He was born on 23 January, in La Crosse, Wisconsin

If 1959 was indeed his year of birth, his natal Mars at 23 Taurus conjoins Liberace's Sun, and Algol - though is not as close to Algol by 2 degrees. His sensitive Cancer natal Moon (it would be in Cancer whatever his time of birth) in harmony with Liberace's Venus/Jupiter/Pluto in that sign. Thorson's Aquarius Sun and Venus in unconventional Aquarius reflect his ability to make the vast leap in lifestyle from ordinary guy who loved animals, wanted to be a vet, to become something of a "pet" himself - at least for a while.

There are some indications of trouble and challenge in his chart - three Grand Cross formations indicating ongoing tension throughout his life. Planets involved in these squares and oppositions: Uranus-Venus, Mars-Neptune; Mars-Jupiter; Pluto-Venus. So the tension hovers around Venus and Mars (love and aggression), excess (Jupiter), Uranus (eccentricity), Pluto (darkness/death).

I read that Thorson is currently in prison in Nevada, and suffering from cancer, so his challenges didn't end when Liberace died in 1987.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Written and performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

source: Lyrics on Demand

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I'd hoped to see Cloud Atlas last Fall, on the big screen, but our local cinema didn't schedule it. We rented the newly released DVD, watched it this week. I deliberately hadn't looked for explanations of the somewhat convoluted storylines beforehand, knew only that the theme rests on 6 interlinked stories spread over long spans of time, with embedded in them the idea that souls are travellers through time.

Cloud Atlas's 6 linked stories, for me proved to be one bridge too far, at least on a single viewing. I'd have felt more comfortably and accessibly into four tales, five at most, with such varied sets of characters to recognise. We spent quite a few moments throughout telling each other..."Look...that's.....whoever" "No it isn't!"...."Yes it is!"....."Oh yes....clever makeup!"

On reading various reviews and summaries after seeing the film I learned that 6 is a recurring number in the 6 stories. It comes up throughout the movie...for instance in the surname Sixsmith, in age 66, 6,000 pounds sterling needed to settle a debt, and so on. Don't know whether the number 6 has any esoteric meaning, there's the infamous "666", but that doesn't seem to be relevant here ....Anyone?

Without spoiling the film for those about to buy or rent the DVD, or read the book from which the movie was adapted, I'll mention a few themes which link the six stories. One I haven't noticed mentioned elsewhere is the highlighting of the key issues and patterns of whatever era each storyline is set. There's also a common theme of, to use a biblical expression, "kicking against the pricks": rebelling against the established culture and perceived wrongs of the time, even at danger to one's own life.

The stories begin in the 19th century. Slavery, abolition and freedom pop up prominently. In the 1930s the issue of antisemitism is mentioned, and homosexuality crops up. In the 1970s issues surrounding corruption and a nuclear power plant become important. In 2012 we descend into pure farce - well, if you can't laugh you'd cry, I guess the author was trying to lift the mood, a kind of light interlude - but for me this segment felt as if it were in the wrong film! From then on it's sci-fi time. In 2144, in what turns out to be Korea, "fabricants" presumably clones or genome-manipulated synthetic humans are used as labour while a powerful ruling class presides over a totalitarian state where the problem of ethnicity/race is replaced by prejudice over whether one came into the world via "tank or womb". The familiar pattern of prejudice continues, even then. Everything changes...but nothing changes. The sixth tale is set "106 years after The Fall" in 2321, then 2346. We are left to assume that "The Fall" was, at some point in the past, due to all-out nuclear war; a character mentioning overdose of "rad" being one clue. Three separate groups of humans have sprung up: valley folk, primitive, simple, using pidgin English which is hard to follow and best not to try, just pick up the odd word here and there. Another, rival, group is composed of cruel, grotesque face- and body-painted cannibalistic humans; the third group appear to have avoided all the devastation and have continued to progress, in true sci-fi fashion with highly advanced technology, to colonise the universe.

Multiple layers of different types of links are constantly presented for us to tease out : a letter, a book, a birthmark, piece of music might pop up, out of its own time or place. A viewer could perceive the stories as existing in linear time, with characters reincarnating, evolving upward or downward; or alternatively see the whole thing as a kind of onion or layered bubble where various lifetimes are existing in tandem, though never crossing through the layers or dimensions, with outside circumstances touching each layer in a different way.

We are assisted in following the links by inclusion of so many recognisable actors' faces, wearing different makeup as they take on a variety of characters. I've noticed several criticisms about the ethics of actors being made up as if from different ethnicities for their parts in this film. For instance, English actor Jim Sturgess, playing a young 19th century lawyer involved in the slave trade in the first story becomes an Asian in one of the futuristic sections; others switch genders and skin colours too - but it's all part of the concept that the same soul travels through time (or dimensions)in different bodies. Ethnicity problems are of our own making, souls do not have ethnicity - or so I suppose.

The film's title, taken from the novel's own, Cloud Atlas, is also the title of a piece of music composed by one of the story's characters: Cloud Atlas Sextet (there's that number 6 again!). The novel's author, David Mitchell explains the title thus:
"........the cloud refers to the ever changing manifestations of the Atlas, which is the fixed human nature which is always thus and ever shall be. So the book's theme is predacity, the way individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations, tribes on tribes. So I just take this theme and in a sense reincarnate that theme in another context. "
(See Wikipedia on the novel but beware detailed spoilers).

I enjoyed the movie, but felt it could have been "done" better, classier - I believe the novel's premise did deserve better. There was a bit too much heavy-handed caricaturing and stereotyping, not enough subtlety. I suspect, that because it's such a complex many-layered tale, to be told in limited, though longer than average, time the screenwriters and director decided certain points had to be hammered home quickly and securely for the audience, in order to provide some solid infrastructure.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Atheism Alive & Well in Oklahoma & Prayer or Mind Power

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewing Moore tornado survivor Rebecca Vitsmun, mother of a 19 month-old son :

"Well, you’re blessed. Brian, your husband, is blessed. Anders (your son) is blessed,” Blitzer said. “We’re happy you’re here. You guys did a great job. I guess you gotta thank the Lord, right? Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?"

"I-I-I’m," then she laughed, "I’m actually an atheist."

"Oh, you are? All right," Blitzer said with a chuckle. "But you made the right call."

"Yup – we are here," she said, laughing again. "And, you know, I don’t blame anybody for thanking the Lord."

"Of course not," Blitzer responded.

CNN's Video of the exchange can be found all over the net, I'll not include it yet again here.

I thank Blitzer for ham-fistedly and unintentionally providing a nice reminder, on national TV, that the people of Oklahoma aren't all bible-thumpers, and at least one isn't shy of saying so on camera, and retaining poise and grace in so doing.

Wolf Blitzer did show himself in a less flattering light. He must have held the perception that all Okies conform to stereotype. That's a perception I came across many times as I scanned threads of comment relating to the Moore tornado. I added my own comment in a couple of places, pointing out that we're not all the same, didn't all vote for the two horrendous Oklahoma senators, Inhofe and Coburn, are not all church-goers, or Republicans or even Democrats - writing these words is a socialist and atheist who happens to live in Oklahoma.

On a loosely related matter: while I'm not religious, I have often wondered what is at the heart of the concept of prayer. If the minds of huge masses of people were all to be focused upon a single "wish" or "direction", perhaps the combined power of mass minds could have some kind of effect on reality/events. It's something we do not yet know, something that hasn't ever been adequately tested or investigated, but I wouldn't totally discount the notion. So, if I were ever to find myself in a life-threatening position, along with many others, I might concentrate my mind very pointedly on thoughts and hopes of survival, my own and that of all others, while the religious would be doing what they call "praying". The only difference would be that my own faith would be in some unknown physical or mental power that might possibly reside within ourselves, while they would be calling on action by an overall deity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rebel? How?

Chris Hedges writes at least one essay a week, published at Truthdig and Common Dreams (maybe elsewhere too). His writings can be depressing, he is unafraid of telling the dark unvarnished truth (as he sees it) about our political situation in the USA and in the world; he's one of the few brave enough to do so regularly. This week his essay is titled
"Rise Up or Die". Links to both sources and accompanying comments:
Common Dreams

Key paragraphs from Rise Up or Die:

"Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power."

"More than 100 million Americans—one-third of the population—live in poverty or a category called “near poverty.” Yet the stories of the poor and the near poor, the hardships they endure, are rarely told by a media that is owned by a handful of corporations—Viacom, General Electric, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Clear Channel and Disney. The suffering of the underclass, like the crimes of the power elite, has been rendered invisible."

"A handful of corporate oligarchs around the globe have everything—wealth, power and privilege—and the rest of us struggle as part of a vast underclass, increasingly impoverished and ruthlessly repressed. There is one set of laws and regulations for us; there is another set of laws and regulations for a power elite that functions as a global mafia. "

"It is time to build radical mass movements that defy all formal centers of power and make concessions to none. It is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare. It is time to march to the beat of our own drum. The law historically has been a very imperfect tool for justice, as African-Americans know, but now it is exclusively the handmaiden of our corporate oppressors; now it is a mechanism of injustice. It was our corporate overlords who launched this war. Not us. Revolt will see us branded as criminals. Revolt will push us into the shadows. And yet, if we do not revolt we can no longer use the word “hope.” "

" ........We are sailing on a maniacal voyage of self-destruction, and no one in a position of authority, even if he or she sees what lies ahead, is willing or able to stop it. Those on the Pequod who had a conscience, including Starbuck, did not have the courage to defy Ahab. The ship and its crew were doomed by habit, cowardice and hubris. Melville’s warning must become ours. Rise up or die.
The question hangs over the engaged reader: Rise up? How? Especially for those of us marooned in red states, and probably most in need of a rising up....but how?

A few commenters raised similar questions. Here are one or two of the responses - I feel certain none would object to my using their words, with screen-name credit here:

The way to sabotage the corporate machine is to back a nationwide boycott –– for tactical reasons, one product or service at a time. Some business savvy committee of an able activist organization should consider (carefully) which corporation to target first. Then let the publicity about the boycott go forth on blogs and around water coolers. The more foul the corporation, the easier the sell to friends and family, with little physical risk or hardship to them.

Change one buying habit at a time. Much easier than changing people's politics or world view. Boycott! The only question is which corporation is to be tagged first and which organization is best equipped to decide the order of these rolling boycotts. Don't Occupy. Boycott!!!
(John Janitz)

Good question. Is anybody out there ready for some answers? All readers, all people, are you ready?? Because the answers will turn your "be good" mentality upside down. The solutions available will mess with our heads, but since it's our heads that are all "f'd" up, that's where we MUST start.

1. Get over your compliant and fearful and embarrassed attitudes. Forget what other people will say or think. What other people think of you is their problem. There will be NO change until you get that. Until you get THAT, the world is doomed.

2. Yes, it's about you! Not "us", not the stop looking for a leader. BE A LEADER. Good grief! We all need to get some guts! "Don't go where the path leads. Make a path for other's to follow."

3. Do the exact opposite of what the sheep do. Now this is going to tick some people out there off (and I rest my case about the "be good" programming we have all been inculcated with; to the benefit of the oppressors and the endless, bottomless system of deceit.) For example,

a. If you get ticketed because of a surveillance camera at an intersection, FIGHT IT. RAISE HELL. Make your case to the judge and don't back down. Be heard.

b. If your kid gets sent home from school for making a gun with his fingers or drinking herb tea or some other idiotic control madness, FIGHT IT. RAISE HELL. Make your case to the school board and don't back down. Be heard.

c. Humans are animals that have been overly domesticated in order to serve the system. Recognize when and how you are under attack and don't stand still for abuse. A lioness doesn't wonder what will happen to her when she protects her cubs. She just does it. A hummingbird will attack a person too close to the nest. Period. Nature is in you and nature is GOOD. Find it!

d. Understand your rights are not granted by government. Rights to freedom, the pursuit of happiness, life, health, home, equality, truth, and justice are given by Life itself, what some call God, or Divine Right. It's time to stop being owned. Get that in your head, first, and all else will follow.

e. Stop watching the damn television set!

f. Demand from grocers, growers, legislators and anybody that will listen that your food be labeled properly: GMO's anyone? Good God, it's gone mad...ARE YOU INFORMED????

g. Do you know what Fukishima is doing to this planet? GET INFORMED. Oppose nuclear power in all its forms. It's the death knell.

h. Don't donate to churches!! Give money to any one of the millions who are in dire need. You won't have to go far...your neighborhood is ripe with suffering.

i. Don't donate to money-sucking corporate jokes like the American Cancer Society or the United Way. Give money to someone you know who needs it.

j. Don't judge/exlude/condemn other people: stop persecuting smokers, (government wants you to do that as they are one of the many litmus tests for the cessation of personal liberty) stop railing against the poor as if they are the leeches of the world, and go out of your way to help old people. Kindness kills evil and evil is inciting people to cold indifference and separation. Honest to God, we've gone mad and the only cure for our insanity is love and decency of mutual respect.

k. Don't use credit cards routinely. Work with cash as much as you can. Buy used items. NEVER go into Walmart, or KFC, or any of the corporate monstrosities that have gotten more money than God and more power than Congress because we made them stinking rich. Shop local. Don't buy junk. Live lean.

l. Defend the defenseless. Speak up. Somebody been beaten by the cops? Somebody being mauled by the system? Step UP. Don't look the other way. You're next. Guaranteed.

This list could go on....there are thousands of ways to rebel.

It begins with attitude, folks. Get strong. Lead. Don't follow. (Sarah)

All revolution is local. The best way to rebel/revolt is first to know the painful truths of empire and not be afraid of them. Then we must communicate those truths directly through words or indirectly through action to friends, family, neighbors, at work, etc. on a daily basis. Then we also need to have faith that the revolution will necessarily have to spread gradually, slowly, and unpredictably over time until it reaches a tipping point (which may or may not be in our lifetimes). We must therefore not be afraid to feel sad and angry to some extent every day, because that is the right way to feel, and those feelings impel us to continue to resist on a daily basis, and over the course of our lives. (Feeling sad and angry daily does not mean we can't also feel love, joy, etc. as well, because we will be living a good life, fighting the good fight).

All other actions (e.g. Occupy) while beautiful and good, will be easily resisted by empire until the local work is done, and that may take many years. In order to be successful, we must take the long view, we must be patient, and we must have faith that acting locally, one person at a time, will spread.

There are but a few people I encounter who are aware of this state of affairs and even fewer willing to take any action -- most of them are deceived and deluded by their blind faith in the institutions they trust to ultimately "do the right thing" for the people. They are ensconced in a cocoon of daily ritual -- job, family, and entertainment -- unable to accept the vast dysfunction as anything but an aberration that those in charge will "fix" given enough time. "Obama is a nice guy who's trying to do the right thing against overwhelming opposition, and I support him", one fellow told me. The problem is not just the "lesser of two evils" illusion, it is the lack of imagination of how things could be different if they would consider alternatives. That applies not only to elections, but to every aspect of life. Individuals' minds already have been enslaved, and their critical faculties have been dulled by distractions and material comforts. The only way the dire predicament we are facing will be confronted is through the impact of disaster, which is destined repeatedly to befall us.(norecovery)

Most of us who are older here have all seen the same things. I can only tell you how I deal with sense of helplessness and inevitability when it threatens. I have 8 neighbors. Of those, 6 are as you describe. One is an ardent supporter of power. Another sympathetic to the people's cause. Forget about 7 of those 8. You live for that one. You are not trying to wake everyone up or persuade the world of anything. That would be futility at its grandest. The good news is that you don't need to. Historical conflicts are waged by minorities. We don't need everyone on board. We just need enough.(drone1)

This should be all about rebellion, not violent revolution: it means finding ways to stop "feeding the beast" as a first step, and doing what each of us can to raise awareness. It'll seem like a pretty pointless exercise for a while, but at some point, if enough of us participated, a powerful single movement would eventually form, embracing any seminal movements which are already out there, and a leader would emerge. I have faith in that old saying "cometh the hour, cometh the man" (nowadays it could well be a woman); or a slightly different version of the same idea: "when the student is ready a teacher will appear". "The hour" is perhaps not quite here yet, "the students" (us) not quite up to scratch. It's up to us, all of us who see the sense in Chris Hedges' words and in suggestions from those commenters, to make sure that when "the hour" does eventually "cometh" - we'll recognise, understand, and have done all we can to help things along.

There's a video of a brief interview with Chris Hedges on this topic at Common Dreams today:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


With sincere wishes for peace of mind, and a return to normality and comfort soon, to the people of Moore and Newcastle Oklahoma, around 70 miles to the north of us. They have suffered devastating fatalities, the count still rising, and huge losses from a powerful tornado which hit their towns yesterday afternoon. This was the second major tornado to hit Moore, the previous one, equally devastating hit in May 1999. There but for the grace of .....etc! All we had to "suffer" were around 6 hours without electricity due to what I guess was a much smaller tornado landing in open ground a few miles from town.
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are


Monday, May 20, 2013


In an archived post of mine from September 7 2011, "Each Man is 3 Men" ~ President Obama's 3 Men
I tried to identify the 3 Obamas with the help of astrology. Almost two years have passed, we're now several months into the President's second term. Have Obama's "3 Men" become any clearer to an observer? I guess it depends from which political vantage point one views the scene.
"Each man is three men:
What he thinks he is,
What others think he is,
What he really is."
I'll take another stab at it - this time sans astrology.

What he thinks he is ~ Only Barack Obama can know what he thinks he is - that's for sure. Even his closest companion, his wife, will not be 100% certain of how he honestly sees himself.

What others think he is ~ This one can have as many answers as there are people observing him. The main groups' opinions seem to fall along these broad lines:
Republicans of the far right like to think he's a socialist, Marxist ready to sell out the USA lock stock and ....whatever.

Moderate conservative and corporate Republicans tend to see him as weak and worth bullying to get their way.

Centre-left Democrats keep holding on to experience the kind of "Hope and Change" their hero promised he'd bring to them in 2008. They see him as a good guy hamstrung by wicked right-wing politics.

Progressive Democrats on the left of the party have begun to see through the Obama fog and are daring to criticise their leader (not before time in my opinion - and too little, too late!)

Those further to the left, whether Democrat or of other parties or of no registered party, have been critcising the President for years, seeing him as, at best a middle-of-the-road conservative, not far removed from the likes of Ronald Reagan, and even to the right of Richard Nixon.

What he really is ~ I wish we could be sure.

Was he groomed from early on in his career (or sooner), by the Real Powers that Be, as a likely candidate for the presidency during a time - possibly not then identified - when a black (half black) presidential candidate would inspire the disillusioned masses initially, then, after some had seen through the plan he'd continue to be pushed as "better than the alternative". He was certainly pushed hard and aided by the corporate-owned media in 2008 and 2012. In 2008 it had seemed far more likely that Hillary Clinton was headed for the White House. In 2012 there was no primary challenger from the Democrats and other parties were virtually locked out. Why would the Real Powers have preferred Obama to H. Clinton in 2008? His inexperience, meaning malleability, and perhaps a rather conservative and corporate-friendly under-pinning to his superficially Democratic nature?

Or...was he absolutely truthful and sincere in all his 2008 campaign speeches? Did he really believe he could bring the kind of hope and change of which he spoke, and only found out once ensconced in the White House that he was to be little more than a puppet? If that was so - why did he campaign so hard for a second term?

Or..if he wasn't deliberately groomed, did he understand exactly what would and would not be possible as president, and decided to go for it anyway, using as much insincerity and as many lies as he needed? He's seen by many as a narcissist, not into a lot of grinding hard work, loves to leave the daily drudgery to others. (I remember he once said as much in a 2008 debate when asked what was his least favourite part of being a politician, and it rang a warning bell for me). He'll be set up for life now. In 2016 he'll create his presidential library, go off on speaking tours, write books and never have to work again.

So...what is he really?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


We arrived home on Thursday evening, after enjoying some very refreshing changes of scene. We head west at this time of year, for our wedding anniversary treat trip, in an attempt to avoid tornado-type weather while on the road. The tornado season is often at its worst in May in tornado alley, roughly covering the central area and points east in the US. Tornado warnings are bad enough when ensconced at home, but on the road in the middle of nowhere they'd become way too scary - if we were, in fact, even aware of potential danger ahead. Diving into a ditch ain't my style - or his! Our caution paid off this time, we heard that ten tornadoes had hit an area of central north Texas on Wednesday night. We were in the north-west "panhandle" of the state at the time. The photograph? No idea. That's Texas for ya!

After a brief stay in the romantic-sounding city of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle, and a rummage around the antique stores of its "historic" 6th Street, we headed over into Mountain Time and New Mexico, a state known, and correctly so, as "Land of Enchantment". We've explored much of the state already - love it, love it! As well as its gorgeous scenery, so beloved by artist Georgia O'Keeffe, New Mexico has such a weird and wonderful connection to so many intriguing topics: Roswell and its UFO stories; the Carlsbad Caverns with their other-worldy scenarios; the unearthly beauty of White Sands, their amazing expanses and spine-chilling connection to atomic bomb experiments; the space port just now coming into being near peculiarly named Truth & Consequences; the Very Large Array (see blog header photo); the space museum in Alamogordo, just to name a few of the state's attractions.

Los Alamos and its surrounding region is an area we'd passed through before - during a snow storm, and always intended to return in better weather. (Photograph is from the National Laboratory website.)
Los Alamos, Spanish for "the aspens" or "the cottonwoods" depending on source is located in a high valley where aspen trees are common but cottonwood trees, which live at lower altitudes, are not. There used to be a spring in the valley where a grove of cottonwoods grew. The area got its name on maps from those trees to make for easy identification of the area (see Answers). The town sits among mesas of the Pajarito Plateau below the Jemez Mountains, and is famous for its connection to the top-secret (in the 1940s) Manhattan Project. In those days the area was remote, quite unreachable by the general public. The region housed a site originally purchased in 1917 by a Detroit entrepreneur, Ashley Pond. He had established The Los Alamos Ranch School there as a place where "privileged eastern boys might become robust learned men".
26 years later the infrastructure and roads to the area made it ideal to fill the United States government's need for a secure site for their Project Y. The ranch school closed in 1943, and immediately some of the world's greatest scientific minds arrived, their task was to unlock the secrets hidden within the atom. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist at the University of California, led the research which concluded with the world's first atomic bomb. The name of the town, during that time, was not allowed to be spoken or written, it had to be referred to by its postal code only - even among local people - so tight was security.

The rest is part of mankind's darkest dark history.
"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another."
(J. Robert Oppenheimer)
End of history lesson - more at Wikipedia.

We were keen to look around the Bradbury Science Museum sited in the centre of Los Alamos. As it was Monday the museum didn't open until 1pm, so a slow walk around town in the thin, high altitude air was in order, then a light lunch at The Dixie, a cavernous busy-busy, very noisy cafe. The menu offered some interesting options. I chose their "Hippie" sandwich - vegetarian burger with all manner of tasty additions piled on....high and deep. Anything at all "veggie" is a real treat for us. In Texas and Oklahoma uttering the word "vegetarian" is liable to get one frowned upon at best, run out of town at worst!

We arrived at the museum doors around opening time. All very interesting it was, though many of the exhibits and explanations were way over what my non-scientific brain could process efficiently. The two 20 minute films on offer in separate studios were excellent though, and, thank goodness, all in layman's language.

Below: scale models of two bombs Fat Man (top) the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States on August 9, 1945; and Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay.... Himself looks on.

Husband said the thingie above my head reminded him of "the cone of silence" often referenced, and used to comic effect, in an old TV comedy series called Get Smart. He said he might find a use for one....hmmm...likewise, I'm sure, sir!

You could, if you cared to scare yourself, add up your total exposure to radiation to date using this list as guide:

Most of the wartime buildings in Los Alamos are gone now, but the house where Oppenheimer lived, on the corner of Peach Street and Bathtub Row, still exists, and is still lived in by someone. It is quite unmarked by plaque or notice, just a modest house with a straggly garden. Bathtub Row was so-named because the old Ranch School masters' cottages had cast iron bathtubs, the only bathtubs around at the time; the old residences were considered suitable for leaders of the important new research project.

A modern town supporting the Los Alamos Scientific Research Laboratory has sprung up, and grown over past decades, now it is easily reached by good roads through some of the most glorious scenery in the state. The Bradbury Science Museum is the only part of the National Laboratory in Los Alamos open to the public. The National Laboratory itself is one of the premier scientific institutions in the world, it has a budget of over $2 billion, employs around 11,000 people. The core mission of the Laboratory is national security: "the reliability of the US nuclear deterrent; reducing global threats; and solving other emerging national security challenges."

I'm mainly a "ban the bomb" kind of person myself, but there's no denying that if the US/UK hadn't developed the horrendous weapon when they did, Russia would have done so first. I guess one has to look upon it as a necessary evil and a powerful deterrent - necessary at least until humans learn their lessons. We are, apparently, very slow learners.

Later it was back through the lovely landscape to Las Vegas where we were based - not THAT Las Vegas, there's one in Mew Mexico too, without the gambling and the glitz!

We stayed in Amarillo again on the return drive home, and took an extra day to explore a couple of sleepy towns in the Texas plains: Pampa (once called Glasgow), and Borger. Originally these were settled by farmers but gas and oil discoveries in the area in the early 20th century set the towns a-booming. With boom-times long over, both towns have settled back into a quietly dusty routine existence with little evidence of former glories.

Friday, May 10, 2013


We're off for a wander....back in a few.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

East-West, Left-Right, Lotus-Rose

Have you ever wondered why the world - or rather its peoples - seem more divided on an east/west basis than north/south? In philosophy, religion, right/left politics, left brain/right brain for instance. Sun rises in the east and sets in the west - the axis of our home planet, is that somehow involved? Our eyes, ears, limbs, internal organs are set in a left/right east/west arrangement too. I notice that today, 8th May, is White Lotus Day, a celebration day of the Theosophists. Symbolism of the lotus is interesting, one of several strands of Eastern philosophy and an example of the east/west cultural divide.

From Wikipedia:
White Lotus Day is a celebration that encourages meditation about the metaphor of the lotus. The lotus is born under the mud, growing through the water to achieve the surface, and therefore the air and the light of sun. This growth is identified with man's life, born in earth but desiring the elevation to the air; representing his middle stage between animals and the ultimate reality. The seeds of lotus contain (even before they germinate) perfectly formed leaves, a miniature shape of what they would become. This flower is often present in eastern religions.....

In Buddhism the lotus is seen as a sign of purity, it is associated with beauty in Hinduism, and with the Sun in Egyptology. (More HERE)

Lotus symbolism based in Eastern philosophy and religion was used by an American poet, Vachel Lindsay in The Wedding of the Lotus and the Rose written to mark the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. For poet Lindsay this promised the union of the best of western and eastern cultures and philosophies. (Click on poem to enlarge image)

Lindsay saw the western rose as symbolizing an active, dynamic spirit, while the eastern lotus symbolized a passive but contemplative spirit. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior in President Wilson's cabinet, distributed this poem to Congress on the opening day of the Panama Exposition. (See HERE and HERE).

An earlier, British, poet Rudyard Kipling recorded his thoughts on the east-west divide in The Ballad of East and West, first published in 1889:
Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!
Logically, I guess it'd be likely for world cultural divisions to follow a more east/west divide than north/south because the southern hemisphere didn't become as quickly settled from the north, or as industrialised and heavily populated at the same rate as in east/west development, which arose after humans (as far as we know) originated in either the East Africa region or in what we now call the Middle East. Both those regions could be seen as sitting on the cusp of east/west. Sigh....that's probably not as logical as I think it is, but it's all I can come up with!

Asian and other eastern societies were far more culturally and economically advanced than those in the west during the first millennium, but western nations moved ahead rapidly, and now it's the the east playing catch-up, likely soon to be on a winning streak. It's always east/west though, never north/south.....or so it seems. But Buddah said:
In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Clones & Drones & Major Steals......."Oblivion"

We saw Oblivion at the weekend. Our visit to the cinema didn't start out too seriously when husband asked the ticket clerk for "two seniors for Oblivion" which set us both giggling until we got into the foyer where a security guard was on duty searching bags. I had to open my handbag (purse in American lingo) for him. First time that's happened in our cinema - wonder if it's fall-out from the Boston affair? Husband's photo-chromatic lenses had darkened in the late afternoon sunshine so he was temporarily blinded in the darkened corridor and we accidentally entered the wrong studio, realised our mistake when the main feature began and beat a hasty retreat in enough time so's we didn't miss the start of Oblivion.

I hadn't seen the trailer or read any reviews, just a very brief synopsis beforehand. The movie turned out to be one of those you feel the need to see again, not because of its stunning beauty or entertainment value, but to fit in all the bits and pieces the audience discovers in the course of the film, and to straighten out multiple plot twists and try to explain away what seem like huge plot-holes - even after giving due deference to usual instructions to suspend disbelief, at least as far as it would comfortably suspend. Oblivion is a good looking movie though - super special effects, decent soundtrack.

I'll not go into the detailed storyline, there are more than enough websites out there doing exactly that, with spoilers and trailing threads of comments. Background in very few words then: the film is set in 2077, around 60 years after an invasion of the planet by aliens, we are told this in narrative at the film's opening, by Jack Harper. Earth is largely destroyed, the Moon was also partly destroyed causing devastating tsunamis and earthquakes, wiping out much, though not all, of humanity. Jack Harper and a female operative have both undergone a "memory wipe" to obliterate bad memories of the horrific invasion and are left on the surface of Earth while other survivors are said to be installed in the huge "Tet", in space, awaiting travel to a new habitat on Titan a Moon of Saturn. Jack's job is to service and repair a fleet of drone weapons programmed to destroy any remaining alien entities. He and his companion are given orders during communications with Director "Sally" based in the huge Tet (tetrahedron) thingie in space. Parts of Earth are still no-go zones due to radiation from the nuclear weapons used in defeating the alien invaders, whose aim was to drain Earth of its resources for their own use elsewhere. Those are the bare bones of the premise.

I came away with the feeling that, in spite of a few puzzling bits and the mish-mash of homages to earlier sci-fi films, there was something deeper and more worthwhile buried within this film. It took me a while, and quite a bit of thought before realising what it was. It's not easy to explain without a spoiling the movie for others. goes, as vaguely as I can:

Standing far back from the storyline of the movie, ignoring the brush-strokes, as it were, and squinting the mind's eye as though looking at one of those annoying optical mystery illusion images that were popular once upon a time - a pattern emerges. An image of a manipulated human, taking orders without prior critical thought - blind adherence - attacking people seemingly more primitive than himself; keeping a war, long ended, still alive while his "powers that be" go about stripping all remaining resources of his planet. (Ring any bells? Drones roaming the skies name it?) It was only when Jack Harper realised that his voice of authority, "Sally", was not as benign and worthy of trust as he had always assumed, that he could begin to look beyond the obvious, investigate and start out on a better road leading to real freedom.

In following a few Google leads I inadvertently stumbled on some Alex Jones-led theories about the "Illuminati" being in charge of the Tet thingie and the whole Earth invasion plot. If that's what floats yer boat, it's a rabbit-hole to investigate and a different angle on the movie's premise.

Something I picked up in reading around, and which might help clarify things for others, as it did for me, was that the story is an adaptation of an unpublished graphic novel by the film's director Joseph Kosinski. In that novel it is said that the highly developed alien civilisation, the invaders of Earth had set out many thousands (millions?) of years ago to strip other planets all around the universe of resources, for their own use. That civilisation had now itself become extinct - but its evil robotic elements still circle the universe, still stealing resources and killing off indigenous inhabitants.

With apologies to Joni Mitchell for my post heading - a parody, of course from "Both Sides Now"
Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way.....

Monday, May 06, 2013

Giving Harry the Runs

It was a real treat to see and hear Harry Connick Jr on American Idol last week. He was mentor to the four remaining contestants - all female - on Wednesday. On Thursday we got to hear him perform.

His mentoring was balm to the afflicted, the afflicted being we older viewers who have to try to adjust our expectation of melody and meaningful lyrics to what modern popular music accepts as being good stuff. On Wednesday the four gals (left to right in the photograph: Angie, Amber, Candice, Kree) each had to sing two songs on the theme Now & Then, which in Idol speak meant a song of 2013 and a standard - could be a Great American Songbook standard or any song that has stood the test of time.

I can't say anything nice about the 2013 songs chosen so I'll refrain from commenting. The standards are a different matter. I've lived with all of them for decades, know them note for note and variation by variation. Thank goodness the Idol powers that be had engaged an appropriate mentor to coach these young divas in the art of a) understanding what the heck they're singing about, and b) respecting the beautifully crafted melodies by refraining from embellishment with those dreadfully superfluous runs and riffs beloved of many modern vocalists.

I felt for Harry when, on asking Amber if she understood what My Funny Valentine is all about, she took a wild guess and was quite wrong. Like the artist he is, he patiently explained about a "figure less than Greek" and how the song's lyricist Lorenz Hart, had self confidence issues about his own appearance, possibly reflected in the song - and how a person can love someone who is nowhere near perfect. Amber sang the song well, but sadly fell into the all too common trap on American Idol of thinking every song is an anthem and every venue an arena. She has a good voice and range, but just because she can hit and hold a note for ever at the end of a song doesn't mean she should! Harry pointed this out later in the show - said that in this case that long last note just "didn't make sense".

The other three girls fared little better on the riffs and runs issue. They just don't seem able to kick the habit, and it really is frustrating - so much so that I (and himself) frequently jumped up or waved arms shouting!!! Aghhh!! Adding runs and riffs and shouty long notes all over the place is like pouring ketchup on a cordon bleu dish, or gravy on apple pie, or expressed in more classical mode, gilding the lily. The other three standards sung in the "Then" category were Gershwin's Someone to Watch Over Me; You've Changed, written by Bill Carey and Carl Fischer; and Stormy Weather by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. All four songs are intimate, wistful, filled with melancholy, or downright dark. They call for a sense of vulnerability, tenderness, warmth, quiet sensitivity, not oversung shouty vocal acrobatics.

Candice, as always, sang well, but even she couldn't resist a few runs and vocal acrobatics towards the end, but I think she came nearest to doing her song justice.

Perhaps the American Idol people are to blame for expecting late teens and twenty-somethings to appreciate music from what is to them ancient history - it's from their grandparents' day....or older.

Amber was eliminated on Thursday evening. Candice, Angie and Kree became the final three to continue fighting for the title. They can all sing - at this stage in the game that's a given, but to be honest, good as they are, none truly inspires me with enthusiasm; from Harry Connick's face in the audience on Wednesday evening, after the set of standards, and judges critiques of the performances and of his views, I think he felt the same.
(Photo credit: Michael Becker/Fox)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Oddball Giant of the Original Oilmen: H.L. Hunt

During a bit of curiosity-driven research into an individual I'd never heard of, one H.L. Hunt, I slid down one of those internet rabbit-holes which await the unwary seeker.

To start at the beginning.....after watching TCM's showing of the remastered classic 1950s movie Giant, I casually looked for old reviews, noticed one written in 1996 by a favourite writer of mine, Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove etc.) Men Swaggered, Women Warred, Oil Flowed. McMurtry is a Texan, so would definitely be on the Giant wavelength. His review is very good - from such a writer how could it be otherwise? These snips from several paragraphs set me searching further:
What was perhaps not recognized in 1956 was that "Giant" was an elegy not merely for the cattlemen but for the wildcatters too - for the wildcatters were but an exit or two behind the cattlemen on the road to disappearance.......... by the end of the 50's, the more prominent wildcatters - H. L. Hunt, Sid Richardson, Glenn McCarthy, Clint Murchison Jr., Michel T. Halbouty, John W. Mecom - were citizens of a world on the wane. They were still making millions, and in Hunt's case, even billions - but a different and a duller day was about to dawn in the oil patch: the Day of the Accountant...........THE GREAT STORY FROM the wildcatting era, a story yet to be touched by novelist or film maker, is the story of Hunt..... Hunt was from Smollett, Gogol, Dickens - a brilliant, untutored, full-fledged American crank, with three families, an exact replica of Mount Vernon to live in and a conviction that crawling was the best possible exercise. Yet before he was through, he probably made as much sheer spendable money as any American ever had. At least that's what his rival Getty thought.....When I think of the Hunts, or of the wildcatters in general, or of the big ranchers either, I'm reminded of the historian Richard Southern's wonderful book, "The Making of the Middle Ages", in which he writes, "from having too much to hold on to, they slowly lost what they had." Prof. Southern was speaking of the Germanic emperors of the 11th and 12th centuries, but he might have been speaking of the oilmen and cattlemen of our own.
Several sources indicate that H.L. Hunt and his family provided inspiration for the TV series Dallas. I decided that H.L. Hunt (in full: Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr.) could be an intriguing subject for a post, maybe with a touch of astrology thrown in - nobody else seems to have touched that, nearest I came to any mention of astrology was this from a piece by Peder Zane in the New York Times in 1994
"If people knew how many people, especially the very rich and powerful ones, went to psychics, their jaws would drop through the floor," said Rosanna Rogers, a psychic from Cleveland who claims to have 4,000 names in her Rolodex. "But we know Nancy Reagan, she had an astrologer, and John Lennon and H. L. Hunt and J. P. Morgan used psychics. Morgan, you know, he said, 'Millionaires don't use psychics, billionaires do.' "
The life story of H.L. Hunt follows a fairly recognisable trend - I've seen it before when scribbling posts about some of the USA's best-known business tycoons of past decades, men such as Erle Halliburton, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc. From humble beginnings many decades ago their enterprises have, by now, exploded into monsters: Halliburton, Walmart and McDonalds in the case of the before-named individuals. H.L. Hunt didn't come from an exactly poverty-stricken background, his father was a prosperous farmer, but in his wildest teen-dreams I doubt that H.L. ever envisioned becoming the richest man in America.

The story goes that he began his career running a cotton plantation in Arkansas. It failed after a flood. He was a gambler - bit of a card counter it seems - after his plantation failed he made a lot of money playing poker in New Orleans, allegedly turning $100 into $100,000. He went on from there to dabble in the oil lease business. He pulled off a veritable coup when a drunken companion signed away his interest in his Rusk County E.Texas oil field to HL for a reported $1,000,000, said to be worth billions. After that there was to be no stopping him. He founded Hunt Oil Company, eventually became the largest independent oil producer and gas supplier in the country. He expanded his boundaries, using innovative business ideas, invested in producing canned goods, health products, and cosmetics. He became one of the world's richest men. Below: Hunt's former house (now sold by his heirs) on a 10-acre Dallas estate. The house is an elaborate replica of George Washington’s plantation house, Mount Vernon.

His personal life was something of a jigsaw puzzle. He married Lyda Bunkerin Arkansas in 1914. They had six children. On Armistice Day 1925 a Franklin Hunt married Frania Tye in Florida. They had four children. On November 11, 1975, after H. L. Hunt had died, Mrs. Frania Tye Lee filed a civil complaint against Hunt in which she revealed the history of their relationship. They had married in 1925 and lived together in Shreveport until 1930, when they moved to Dallas. In May 1934 "Franny" had discovered Hunt's other marriage (to Lyda). Hunt apparently shipped her off to New York and in 1941 provided trusts for each of the four children. A friend of his, John Lee, married her and gave his name to the children. Lyda Bunker Hunt died in 1955. In November 1957 Hunt married Ruth Ray and adopted her four children, who had been born between 1943 and 1950. Ruth Hunt admitted in an interview that H. L. Hunt had, in fact, been their real father. H. L. and Ruth Hunt became Baptists. (See Texas State Historical Association site HERE)

None of the above had a particularly rabbit-hole flavour, but wait....Hunt's life circled around controversies, and secret dealings - and not only in his love life. Though not directly involved in politics, he provided wads of financial assistance to those he supported, and was an outspoken opponent of John F. Kennedy. In three of four places online, where H.L. Hunt was being discussed, I noticed mention of the JFK assassination. After all, it did happen in Dallas, so perhaps this wasn't surprising? Wandering deeper into the rabbit-hole I found discussion on the topic and some conspiracy-type theories holding that JFK's assassination involved, among others, a cabal of Texas oilmen including H.L.Hunt, intelligence operatives & anti-Castro Cuban exiles (in other words a cast of thousands!) I don't know how much truth there could be in the theory, and am sure it has been discussed practically non-stop since that November day in 1963, with no clear conclusion ever being reached.

H.L. Hunt's politics were hard right-wing, for sure. He was avidly anti-communist and pro-segregation. According to John Curington, Hunt's right-hand-man during the 1960s, Hunt had a direct line to J. Edgar Hoover's office. Hoover supplied information about Martin Luther King to Hunt who broadcast it in his nationally aired "Lifeline" radio programmes. He portrayed Dr. King as a communist. When the 1964 Civil Rights Act went into effect, it's said that Hunt opened up a "Whites Only" lemonade counter in his downtown building, just to defy the law.

A quick look at Hunt's natal chart, along with a few quotes about his personality - to see how far they match up.

"Hunt was an eccentric. He drove a 1956 Oldsmobile until he died in 1974. He took his lunch to work in a paper bag. He was heavy into right-wing politics."

Eccentricity, in astrology, is always connected to Aquarius and/or Uranus - here we have Sun and Mercury in Aquarius in harmonious trine to Uranus in Libra. That fits like a glove. The ordinariness of driving an old car and taking lunch to work in a paper bag would usually indicate a humble unpretentious nature, but in Hunt it conflicts strongly with the ostentation of his home - so perhaps here we see his rather strait-laced and careful Virgo Moon coming into play against his more eccentric opulent side.

Right-wing politics, anti-communism, pro-segregation reflect the Saturn side of Aquarius. Aquarius has two rulers, Saturn traditionally and Uranus in modern astrology. It's often the case that people with prominent Aquarius fall into two distinct camps politically - far left or far right, reflections of that dual rulership.

The New York Times described HL as an "unconventional renegade who possessed the money to pursue his whims", and the in-fighting of the Hunt family as "entertaining as any soap opera".

More reflection of his Aquarius/Uranus trine.

Hunt established the reputation of treating the people who worked for him well, keeping his word and being loyal to those who had befriended him. I guess we could add "as long as they were not black, not Democrats or socialists and didn't answer back"! Not sure where to pin that attribute astrologically - for I suspect strongly it would have had those provisos attached to it! But to give credit where it's due, Aquarius, and Leo where his Sun's co-ruler Saturn is found, are both Fixed signs. The Fixed signs are thought to be the most loyal of the zodiac (also the most stubborn!) Then again, in his love life Hunt was anything but loyal - he was actually a bigamist! That tends to go against both Aquarius Sun and Virgo Moon. He has no planets in Water signs and there's another close trine aspect between Saturn in Leo and Venus in Aries. Don't know! He's a puzzle, an enigma!

His Aquarius Sun and Mercury would have reflection in a naturally sharp intelligence - not necessarily academic but a kind of intelligence which seems to be built in to the bones. That would have alerted him to opportunities as they appeared - and given insight in how to grasp them. Oilfields were a new enterprise back then, Aquarius/Uranus love to be at the cutting edge of anything new, and seem to have vision enough to understand how to get to that edge.
I didn't go to high school, and I didn't go to grade school either. Education, I think, is for refinement and is probably a liability. (H.L.Hunt)
Sources include:


Education Forum - Nixon/Hunt

Phorum - H. L. Hunt

Friday, May 03, 2013

Arty Farty Friday ~ Squaring the......

Glancing through husband's Flickr pages I decided I could maybe wax a bit arty farty with a few of his photographs, taken on our trips over the years. Among the thousands of images circles began to jump out and demand my attention.
The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Everything the Power of the World does is in a circle. The Sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The Wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles. ... The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.
(John Neihardt)

"The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game

(Joni Mitchell).