December 31, 2005

Happy 2006,
May there more peace on Earth, and let it begin with me
Good reading from 1935!

Today's Daily Word
Saturday, December 31, 2005
World Peace

I join with others in honoring the world community with prayers for peace.

As the year 2005 draws to a close, I look back with a grateful heart at what the world community has accomplished.

Strides have been made toward greater peace in the world, yet I know there is more to be done. So today and in the coming year, I am dedicating myself to blessing the world with
love and harmony and peace.

I give thanks for people who are honoring all humankind as the children of God we truly are.

The recognition of our oneness in Spirit and the acceptance of our individual uniqueness contribute to a world of peace.

I join with others in honoring the world community with prayers for peace throughout the new year.

"By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break
upon us ...
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
—Luke 1:78-79
Inspired by this message? Want to talk to friends about it?
Share your thoughts here.

Good news:

The Human Security Report, an independent study funded by five countries and published by Oxford University Press, draws on a wide range of little publicized scholarly data, plus specially commissioned research to present a portrait of global security that is sharply at odds with conventional wisdom. The report reveals that after five decades of inexorable increase, the number of armed conflicts started to fall worldwide in the early 1990s. The decline has continued.

I know many people say they have little to no faith in the UN, but reports as such demonstrate its relevance. The UN is the only governing world body which seeks to find a consensus in solving world problems. Is it perfect, of course not!\n Are humans perfect, of course not ... plus perfection is in the eyes of the beholder anyhow.

Is there room for improvement, of course.

Nevertheless its success rate speaks for itself.

"A major study by the Rand Corp. published this year found that U.N. peace-building operations had a two-thirds success rate. They were also surprisingly cost-effective.

In fact, the United Nations spends less running 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month. The UN is a dedicated institution working toward peaceful solutions, ending hunger, ending poverty and finding common ground in which all nations can work together.

"What the United Nations calls "peacemaking" -- using diplomacy to end wars -- has been even more successful.

About half of all the peace agreements negotiated between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War.

"As with any institution there are problems and conflicts, but none that are too enormous an obstacle to overcome. Without the UN we would have seen more wars and less diplomacy between world leaders. So this is encouraging for the UN, the world and Peace. And it reinforces the idea of global security that is sharply at odds with conventional wisdom.

The report reveals that after five decades of inexorable increase, the number of armed conflicts started to fall worldwide in the early 1990s. The decline has continued.

I know many people say they have little to no faith in the UN, but reports as such demonstrate its relevance. The UN is the only governing world body which seeks to find a consensus in solving world problems. Is it perfect, of course not!

Are humans perfect, of course not ... plus perfection is in the eyes of the beholder anyhow.

Is there room for improvement? Of course.

Nevertheless its success rate speaks for itself.

A major study by the Rand Corp. published this year found that U.N. peace-building operations had a two-thirds success rate. They were also surprisingly cost-effective.

In fact, the United Nations spends less running 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month.

The U.N. is a dedicated institution working toward peaceful solutions, ending hunger, ending poverty and finding common ground in which all nations can work together.

"What the United Nations calls "peacemaking" -- using diplomacy to end wars -- has been even more successful. About half of all the peace agreements negotiated between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War.

"As with any institution there are problems and conflicts, but none that are too enormous an obstacle to overcome. Without the UN we would have seen more wars and less diplomacy between world leaders. So this is encouraging for the UN, the world and Peace. And it reinforces the idea of peace thru diplomacy -- in other words diplomacy works.

That is not to say the UN needs to stay as is, but any changes that are made should strengthen it, not undermine it.

Love serena


Peace on Earth? Increasingly, Yes.

By Andrew Mack

Wednesday, December 28, 2005; Page A21

Seen through the eyes of the media, the world appears an evermore dangerous place. Iraq is sliding toward civil war, the slaughter in Darfur appears unending, violent insurgencies are brewing in Thailand and a dozen other countries, and terrorism strikes again in Bali. It is not surprising that most people believe global violence is increasing.

However, most people, including many leading policymakers and scholars, are wrong. The reality is that, since the end of the Cold War, armed conflict and nearly all other forms of political violence have decreased. The world is far more peaceful than it was.

Why has this change attracted so little attention? In part because the global media give far more coverage to wars that start than to those that quietly end, but also because no international agency collects global or regional data on any form of political violence.

The Human Security Report, an independent study funded by five countries and published by Oxford University Press, draws on a wide range of little publicized scholarly data, plus specially commissioned research to present a portrait of global security that is sharply at odds with conventional wisdom. The report reveals that after five decades of inexorable increase, the number of armed conflicts started to fall worldwide in the early 1990s. The decline has continued.

By 2003, there were 40 percent fewer conflicts than in 1992. The deadliest conflicts -- those with 1,000 or more battle-deaths -- fell by some 80 percent. The number of genocides and other mass slaughters of civilians also dropped by 80 percent, while core human rights abuses have declined in five out of six regions of the developing world since the mid-1990s. International terrorism is the only type of political violence that has increased. Although the death toll has jumped sharply over the past three years, terrorists kill only a fraction of the number who die in wars.

Other international agencies, donor governments and nongovernmental organizations also played a critical role, but it was the United Nations that took the lead, pushing a range of conflict-prevention and peace-building initiatives on a scale never before attempted. The number of U.N. peacekeeping operations and missions to prevent and stop wars have increased by more than 400 percent since the end of the Cold War. As this upsurge of international activism grew in scope and intensity through the 1990s, the number of crises, wars and genocides declined. There have been some horrific and much publicized failures, of course -- the failures to stop genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur being the most egregious. But the quiet successes -- in Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Eastern Slovenia, East Timor and elsewhere went largely unheralded, as did the fact that the United Nations's expertise in handling difficult missions has grown dramatically.

What accounts for the extraordinary and counterintuitive improvement in global security over the past dozen years? The end of the Cold War, which had driven at least a third of all conflicts since World War II, appears to have been the single most critical factor.

In the late 1980s, Washington and Moscow stopped fueling "proxy wars" in the developing world, and the United Nations was liberated to play the global security role its founders intended. Freed from the paralyzing stasis of Cold War geopolitics, the Security Council initiated an unprecedented, though sometimes inchoate, explosion of international activism designed to stop ongoing wars and prevent new ones.

There have been some horrific and much publicized failures, of course -- the failures to stop genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur being the most egregious. But the quiet successes -- in Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Eastern Slovenia, East Timor and elsewhere went largely unheralded, as did the fact that the United Nations' expertise in handling difficult missions has grown dramatically.

A major study by the Rand Corp. published this year found that U.N. peace-building operations had a two-thirds success rate. They were also surprisingly cost-effective. In fact, the United Nations spends less running 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month. What the United Nations calls "peacemaking" -- using diplomacy to end wars -- has been even more successful. About half of all the peace agreements negotiated between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War.
With the Security Council often reluctant to act -- the abject failure to stop the Rwandan genocide remains a key example -- and with too many missions having been denied adequate resources, appropriate mandates or properly trained personnel, these successes are all the more remarkable.

In the wake of last month's global summit at the United Nations, many critics wrote the United Nations off as an institution so deeply flawed that it was beyond salvation. The analysis and the carefully collated data in the Human Security Report reveal something very different: an organization that, despite its failures and creaking bureaucracy, has played a critical role in enhancing global security.

The writer directs the Human Security Center at the University of British Columbia. He was director of the Strategic Planning Unit in the executive office of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan between 1998 and 2001.\u003dhcmodule\

Swans Commentary
December 19, 2005

2005: A Look Back In Anger

by Charles Marowitz

The thing that most sticks in my craw from 2005 is the fact that one of the few instances in which Bush threatened to use his presidential veto was when members of both parties got behind the McCain legislation to abolish torture and reinstate the principles of the Geneva Convention.

Somehow the idea that military ball-busters and lip-smacking sadists would stop inflicting debasing punishment on Muslim prisoners who might be innocent of every crime but being a Muslim, stirred the president to consider the "nuclear option" of the veto. One is reminded that when he was governor of Texas, the number of electrocutions rose to ghoulish new heights and clemency was virtually never shown. All of this fits into the picture of a rancorous, vicious, insensitive, and inhumane reformed alcoholic who talks compassion, but hasn't a drop of it in his nature.

The other thing that makes the gorge rise from 2005 is the president continually voicing homilies about "honoring our dead" even as he issues edicts to prevent filming of the coffins in which they are returned to our shores. Hiding the bodies of dead soldiers, pretending they are not there and that the public should not be exposed to the sight is an insult to the dead -- not a mark of respect. But even if we can't see the tragic results of this administration's lethal policies, we can still tally up the losses -- even though those figures blithely ignore the non-combatant, innocent Iraqis who I suppose represent only "collateral damage." One feels that ideally the president would like to impose a total blackout on all the media and let his press secretary cherry-pick the facts about the war in carefully orchestrated press conferences with only the military present.

Another haunting memory from 2005 is Hurricane Katrina and there too, the facts lead back to our gormless leader. Had the president not previously decimated the budget for FEMA and had the agency not been swallowed up in the Department of Homeland Security, there would have been more resources available to save the survivors. Had our leader not appointed a disreputable Arabian horse-trainer with no knowledge of emergency logistics as head of FEMA, the response to the tragedy would have been faster and more effective. Had cronyism not been an integral part of Bush's leadership style, many lives would have been spared and more efficiency displayed in dealing with the wracked, the desperate, and the homeless.

The face of Republicanism -- a mixture of Bush's simian scowl and Cheney's swivel-eyed, smirk -- is a face which will be bitterly remembered when the Bush Era finally crumbles to a close. The images of finagling DeLays and thieving Abramoffs will arise like a cluster of supporting actors from a Warner Brother gangster film of the 1930s. We will peruse those faces and consider their brutalities and mendacities as we do now the mugs, torpedoes, hit-men and hoodlums that were thrown up by Prohibition and terrorized the streets of Chicago and New York. We will wonder wryly, how we could continually chant "Never Again" while the same kinds of atrocities, massacres, and genocides took place on our every side. It will lead us to some bitter conclusions: That American Democracy is fatally flawed and no two-party game of musical chairs will ever salvage it; that it takes the populace a grievously long time to realize its leadership is leading it up a blind alley mined with IEDs; that good, virtuous, sensible, and efficacious men and women seem to be permanently absent from the political arena; and that once a nation yields to widespread corruption, the evil spreads to the Corporate World, the Military, the Church, and the Media. And, as with Katrina, there may be high ground to escape to, but no means to get there and no help when you arrive.

All in all, a bitter and anguished year where the natural disasters were only the symbols of political calamities that show no sign of abating.

In these pages, I recently lamented the absence of any true and viable opposition party in America. That, for me, is still the most horrifying blot on the political landscape. What is clear is that one cannot build a virtuous opposition from the dregs of a virtue-less body politic. If democracy is really a potential tool in the hands of the entire population, it is those segments of the population who recognize the present dangers that must come together to create a viable new citizenry; made up, perhaps, of disenchanted conservatives, fed-up liberals and that vast conglomerate of habitual non-voters who must realize that their moment has finally come; that ignoring the political process or simply maligning its thieving Republicans and pusillanimous Democrats is no real course of action; that if the bitching-moaning-opting-out Silent Majority could ever find its voice, everyone in the nation would sit up and take notice and for once in American politics, there would be a genuine "upset" caused by "genuinely upset" people.
The truism was never truer: "Politics are just too important to be left to the politicians."
· · · · · ·

Internal Resources
Years in Review
Arts & Culture

About the Author
Charles Marowitz on Swans (with bio).

December 29, 2005

From: "michael_sharp_01"

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 16:14:30 -0000
Subject: [justchannelings]
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Michael Moynihan Speaks With José Argüelles

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to discern that ours is a chaotically dysfunctional world. To point the way toward a solution does, however, require someone with a sense of vision that transcends the present-day labyrinth of commercialised and egotistical dead ends. A visionary is simply someone who can see beyond these ordinary confines, and a prophet is someone who can read the “writing on the wall” that most people pass by without ever looking up to notice. Dr. José Argüelles, aka Valum Votan, is both a visionary and a prophet.

Argüelles began working as an art historian and artist in the late 1960s, and his creative sensibilities contributed greatly to an ability to peer through the veils of maya that opaquely shroud the modern realm. But alongside an artistic outlook, he also bears the mind of a scientist – just not the type of narrow-minded positivistic scientist that has come to exemplify the term in the West. Argüelles is a “whole-systems scientist,” and here again visionary skills come into play. In order to understand the complexity of life on Earth, and to recognise the deleterious factors that have put the entire biosphere in increasing jeopardy, the old reductionism and scientism of the West must be abandoned in favour of a more all-encompassing knowledge.

As the following interview demonstrates, José Argüelles has always welcomed new experiences. He and his wife Lloydine have travelled the globe to share their insights, always on the frontlines of the effort to expand consciousness and awareness. And among many other achievements, Argüelles is also the author of a series of seminal works, the most well-known of which is probably The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology (1987). It was here that he first revealed the understandings he gleaned from a deep study of Mayan time science.

His latest endeavour, Time and the Technosphere: The Law of Time in Human Affairs (2002), may be his most crucial. In it, Argüelles looks at recent human events and worldwide developments from his whole-systems vantage point. With the courage to face an apocalyptic diagnosis, he offers evidence that the Earth has come to be dominated by the “technosphere,” an envelope of inhuman mechanisation that practically has a mind of its own and has us careening toward a cataclysmic future.

But despite the bleak circumstances we now find ourselves in, Argüelles’s message is one of hope. The shattering “Inevitable Event” of September 11th, 2001 – seen almost simultaneously by a vast section of the world’s population via high-speed electronic media – represented a rupturing of the technospheric bubble, and therefore an opportunity for humans to establish a genuine alternative paradigm on a global scale. This is where the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement steps in, offering a vision and a model for a new time.

As Argüelles persuasively argues, it is largely dissynchronous timing standards that have kept human beings off-balance and alienated from the natural cycles of the Earth they inhabit. The worst culprit is the Gregorian calendar, and by extension the “12:60 frequency” that it fosters – together these have become, in essence, the inescapable time clock of globalist capitalism. But is there really no escape? Through the medium of his work, and through the example of a life artistically lived, Argüelles points the way to a new beginning. The choice is in our hands, and now it is truly a question of time.
– Michael Moynihan

Michael: The best description for you and your work might be that of a “visionary.” When and how did you first realise that your interpretation of larger events was something you felt compelled to communicate to others?

José: I always knew I was an “outsider,” to use Colin Wilson’s phrase. But it wasn’t until after I experimented with LSD that I realised I was a visionary. That was back in 1965 and 1966. I then felt compelled to express myself, first in painting. I did a series of paintings which came to be known as “The Doors of Perception” (Humphrey Osmond himself, who coined the word psychedelic, gave those paintings that name). But I saw that as fantastic as painting was, it was a limited medium in terms of audience. And besides, visionary artists – really visionary artists – don’t usually get much exposure in their time. Especially me – I made it a point of never signing my painting because I felt I was simply the channel, the cosmic ballpoint pen, drawing down the visionary flow from the cosmic realm of endless archetypal form. And I also wanted to get away from all this individualistic ego trip of modern art and artists. “Ownerless in the ownerless land of vision,” I used to say to characterise my attitude.

Because of this I also knew that I would have to tackle the medium of the written word to get out my message. My vision and message were always very simple. History is a fall from grace. We are at the end of time and the end of history. Therefore a renewal of vision, the Great Return, the creation of the Great Work of the Art of Harmony must be reestablished in order to save fallen humanity from the graceless state of merciless materialism and the fragmented exhaustion of the profane order of mechanised history. By the time I was 28 or so I felt very compelled to get out this message. I envisioned a monumental work dealing with this issue to be entitled Art at the Dawn of a New Magic. I also knew my trip was so far out that the only way I could establish credibility was to get a Ph.D. So I did. My thesis was turned into a book, my first book, Charles Henry and the Formation of a Psychophysical Aesthetic (1972). Sounds pretty academic, but look at the very first words in my very first book, and you’ll see the theme from which I have never veered: “Many are the attempts that are made and the words that are spoken with regard to the age-old ideal of harmony: the union of all faculties, of all senses, of all knowledge. The highest dreamers would proclaim that the true art and science are one…”

Michael: Could you tell us a bit about Charles Henry and what drew you to him and his ideas?

José: Charles Henry was a French psychomathematician born in 1859 and who died in 1926. During the 1880s his ideas of a “scientific aesthetic” were a great influence on what came to be known as the post-impressionist painters, especially the pointillist Georges Seurat. That is actually how I came to discover Charles Henry, when I was in Paris doing my Ph.D. research on neo-impressionism in 1965 and ’66. I discovered LSD at the same time, and as I read some of Charles Henry’s later works, I thought his theories on sense impressions, perceptions and consciousness confirmed my psychedelic experiences. After the LSD I found the art history neo-impressionist stuff a bit tedious, and so I decided I would forget it and paint instead. But something about Charles Henry intrigued me.

I decided to delve into him a bit further, and decided that I would get my Ph.D. after all, but my thesis would be on this enigmatic, little-known explorer of consciousness, Charles Henry. I had the feeling that he was a special type of incarnation, like a French reborn sufi-saint or some kind of bodhisattva who was carrying on the tradition of the invisible college and St. Germain, setting out a bunch of clues that only I could decipher and decode. His last works were on the nature of consciousness, specifically Post-mortem survival and the Nature of Consciousness, in which he wrote: Death is but a physiochemical change. It is only after death that I will truly begin to amuse myself. I also found it interesting that he was talking about synergy and synergetics well before Bucky Fuller, a fact I brought to Fuller's attention in some correspondence with him in 1969. That was a good thing because Bucky answered back and agreed that it must have been Charles Henry's post-mortem synergetic thought form that he received in 1927, when the idea of synergetics first came to him. That connection was very fruitful, because Bucky also suggested to me the idea of a psi bank around the Earth in which all of the ideas and thoughts of all the ages keep recirculating. I knew he was right. Anyway, that gives you some idea of Charles Henry and my process.

Michael: Given your non-materialistic outlook, was entering the academy to obtain your Ph.D. a bit like diving into the belly of the beast?

José: Well, kind of. But I knew that it was my survival. I got my B.A. degree from the University of Chicago as well, and found out that all I could do was get a job as an insurance salesman. That really didn’t cut it for me. I knew I was made for other things. That was back in 1961. I seesawed between being a full-blown beatnik on the road or going back to school. So I ended up going back to the University of Chicago for a degree in art history. I had to be on good behaviour because I had actually been thrown out of the undergraduate program in 1960 for being a full-blown beatnik, accused of being the ringleader of a pot-smoking set of thugs meant to undermine the freshman women. But in this life you have to experience everything and academia was part of that experience. As William Blake put it, “The road to the palace of wisdom is paved with excess.” I was as good an academic as I was a beatnik, in fact I really excelled. But I knew by my inner guidance, it was but a means to an end – discipline, for sure, to keep my many-levelled mind on track, and credibility for something I knew not yet what.

Michael: Getting back to the subject of your early paintings, some people will be familiar with them due to their appearance in your book Mandala. How would you characterise the relationship between your own artistic endeavours and these traditional forms? Did one inform directly the other?

José: Actually the mandala principle seemed to be a very natural and inevitable consequence of the psychedelic experience, affirmed for me by my studies of Charles Henry and my free-form exploration at that time of Tibetan mysticism. I never thought of the mandala form as particularly traditional, but instead rather timeless. I thought of using the Doors of Perception and other large mandala-style paintings to create an actual environment where someone could sit and experience this timelessness, get lifted from their ego and see the white light. In 1971, when I finally met a real Tibetan, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who ended up being my friend and teacher for the next sixteen years, he took a good look at my paintings, and with a sly grin looked at me and said, “I see you already know all about tantra.” I think tradition is good if it gets you to that place of timelessness and self-transcendence. That’s what Trungpa meant by his comment. There are many ways to get to the same place. But you should also know I stopped painting mandalas around 1973. I started to do one, and I said to myself, “What does the world need with another gimmick?” I didn’t paint like that again for almost another 20 years, though I have done a lot of other artistic things.

Michael: From a few of the comments you’ve been making, I get the feeling you don’t place any great emphasis on the modern obsession with “originality” and novelty, which fuels so much of the commercial art world.

José: No, I don’t. Modernist “originality” is a fall from the sacred into the profane, the exaltation of ego. There is a true originality, but that is what is usually called revelation. That is, revelation that is genuine and is meant to light a new path for a fallen humanity. I think the true artist is meant to be a creative channel and not an inventor of cheap tricks or clever mannerisms.

Michael: Chogyam Trunga is well known as one of the first people to bring Tibetan Buddhist teachings to a contemporary Western audience. In your mind, what are some of the most important aspects of his legacy?

Jose: Trungpa Rinpoche was a truly interesting human being. As much as he was a teacher of the way of “crazy wisdom,” he was also an artist at heart. His two greatest legacies were his emphasis of mindfulness training and his vision of dharma art – art as everyday life, but an everyday life in which the sacred is the normative experience. Here we can define the sacred as being the sense of awe that breaks your heart, that touches and moves you mysteriously and poignantly even though and maybe just because it is an ordinary experience of reality. But you cannot have dharma art without mindfulness training, meditation without an object. So art is how you organise your life moment-to-moment with an all-consuming awareness or sense of mindfulness. Take nothing for granted. Elegance and a simple sense of ceremony transform your everyday environment and place you in cosmic harmony – dharma art is the ceaseless expression of the universal norm of existence.

Michael: As part of living a creative existence outside the workaday world, you and Lloydine spent years travelling the globe and interacting with people to share your visions and ideas. Surely this was also part of your own fulfillment of “dharma art.” What lessons did you learn from the experience?

José: Yes, for over a decade beginning late in 1991, we have been galactic peace mercenaries bringing the message of the new time, a message of peace through time. We were “commanded” to take the tools and research of our investigation into the natural timing frequency as represented by the Mayan calendar to all the peoples of the world. We did this essentially without any visible means of support. And we did this always without asking for monetary recompense for delivering our message that the old time was over, and that a new time is already prepared. In this way when we said our message was the truth we were not compromising it by asking for money.

The truth cannot be bought or sold, and we stuck to this premise. It took us on a mighty trail of adventures, too. We had some patrons from time to time give us support. But we had to go places where we had never been. We had to go Berlin and Russia after the end of the Cold War, we had to travel throughout Latin America. We were in South Africa and Egypt, India, Hong Kong and Japan. Much of the time we spent living with the people who shared with us their lives, their food, their dwellings. Our dharma art and mindfulness training was our survival. It allowed us to blend in and participate fully in the various cultures as if we were natives. It was also really helpful not to ask for anything. It doesn’t do you any good to be a fussy vegetarian in a culture that survives harsh winters on mutton. Our task was to see if people from different cultures could not only understand our message, but act on it as well. In the presentation of our message, art was of supreme value.

I always play my flute, and together we do a prayer to the seven directions that is a simple ceremonial piece of art. We also always present the banner of peace to show that we are emissaries of peace through culture and that we are to demonstrate a new positively constructive approach to peace. We found that people generally respond very positively to this kind of approach. As a result we have been privileged to have many, many cultural experiences that even natives of some countries rarely have. For instance, we were taken deep inside the Ise shrine in Japan as special guests, and attended a special performance of bugaku (ancient court music and dance). I was even able to play my flute – a Japanese Shakuhachi – in the ceremonial grounds, which is usually not allowed even for Japanese. You see, when you practice living art as everyday life, it creates a path of genuineness and gentleness which people are often very willing to accommodate.

Michael: Somewhere along the way you encountered the work of Nicholas Roerich, the Russian painter, poet, and traveller into the Himalayas. When did you become aware of him?

José: Back in 1967 when I was teaching art history at Princeton, I was looking for signs of Tibetan art wherever I could find them in New York City. And I found that one of the places was the Roerich Museum on the upper West Side. I liked his paintings and read about him, becoming aware that he was an early explorer of Tibet. I realised what an interesting artist he was, having designed the stage sets for Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and then gone on his various pilgrimages.

Michael: Julius Evola once wrote that Roerich’s images convey a spirit capable of awakening a “primordial and powerful sensation that has been buried in the subconscious due to the restless and prisonlike life of the modern Western world.” What meanings did his paintings evoke for you?

José: Sacred awe and visionary splendour. A universalism of cultural or spiritual values as well. His writings on art show that he was seeking to restore the sense of the sacred to the modern world. I became aware of his work with the Banner of Peace sometime not too long after that. Roerich’s idea of peace through culture I found of enormous value and easy to integrate into my perceptions of the purpose of dharma art. Trungpa used to say, “The artist has tremendous power to change the world.” But how? The Banner of Peace seemed to provide a way of making a change by promoting a broad scale revolution of cultural values.

So it was that early 1980s, my wife Lloydine and I decided to resurrect the idea of peace through culture, especially the Banner of Peace. In 1983 we incorporated it into our creation of the Planet Art Network (PAN). The original idea of the PAN was to create a network of artists – creative thinkers of every kind – who would become a force for creative non-political change in the world, or who would show the world that change can be attained through creative means and that political change could be superseded by something far more inspiring. However, the principle notion of Planet Art is that the Earth itself is a work of art, and that the next evolutionary wave of art – beyond modernism – would be the realisation and fulfillment of the Earth as a work of art.

In the 1990s when we became totally involved in the Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement, we moved the Banner of Peace and the Peace through Cultural initiative into the forefront of our peace plan. The Banner of Peace is now one of the official emblems of this Movement. Intended to protect cultural monuments in times of war, we now view the Banner of Peace as the symbol meant to protect the biosphere, the cradle of culture currently very seriously threatened by the war of globalisation.

Michael: The difference between artists and politicians seems fundamental. Generally two artists can mutually respect one another and find common ground beyond whatever differences they may have. But people who are driven by or infused with materialistic political ideologies become like automatons, unable to acknowledge anything that doesn’t fit into their “correct” worldview. Not surprisingly, most artists want nothing to do with politicians – even less so since the latter are beholden to money values rather than creative values. How do you see a chance for creative values to take precedence in the world, given these circumstances?

José: First of all we must see a further breaking down of all values and institutional structures which will continue to diminish the credibility in the way we have been doing things as a species. This process is already occurring and manifests as the increasing social, political and military-terroristic chaos so rampant in the world today. When people talk about the end times, well these are the end times. But it is only the end of the corrupted world, the end of the world as we know it, and to paraphrase R.E.M., we feel fine. Why? Because this means that a new world is already being born, a world which will inevitably and of necessity see a radical pole shift in values. If the predominant value of the corrupt world is “time is money,” supported by ruthless military supported monetary politics, then the new value system will be characterised by “time is art.” It is the difference between a value system stressing quantity of material abundance and a value system emphasising spiritual and aesthetic quality as the standard of life. This change is already in the evolutionary program of the biosphere, the evolving system of life on earth.

We have reached a critical stage in which we are faced with planetary suicide – genocide – or planetary renewal. The system of life on Earth can only go in the direction of planetary renewal which means a total change in direction and way of life of humanity. This is already being prepared for and the first step will be a change in the timing frequency by which the human species governs itself. Currently the dominant order is governed by an anachronistic, irrational and irregular timing device, the Gregorian calendar, which has had and continues to have a debilitating effect on the mind and moral sensibility of the species. Combined with the mechanisation of time through the clock, and the worship of money as the be-all and end-all of existence, this has created an out-of-control species no longer in tune with nature or the natural order. Once this change of timing frequency is made and the species is returned to the harmonic order of natural time, artistic and cultural values will very soon supersede the witless determinism of monetary politics. Do not doubt it: the sentiment and comprehension for making this change, as well as the instrument for implementing this change – the 13 Moon/28-day calendar – are now a growing force throughout the world.

Michael: Recently you travelled to the Altai region, where Roerich had explored three-quarters of a century ago. What brought you there, and what significance does a remote place such as Altai have for an increasingly globalised world?

José: Actually we had received an official invitation from the government of Altai to be special guests and to share our message with the people. When The Mayan Factor was published in Russian, it reached the hands of some shamans in Altai – it is an autonomous republic, member of the Russian federation, with only 205,000 people on 92,000 square kilometres. Anyway, between the shamans and contacts that had already been made through official representatives of Altai government in one of our more recent trips to Russia, we were then ready to visit. We found it an interesting opportunity because our trip was timed precisely 75 years after the Roerichs had passed through Altai on their famous expedition Altai-Himalaya, 1926-28. In fact we visited the Roerich Museum, the house where Roerich had stayed, facing Mt. Belukha, the highest mountain in the Russian Federation, precisely on the day he had first arrived there 75 years earlier.

Set between Khazakstan, China, Mongolia and Russia, Altai is an amazing piece of territory. There really is only one city, if you can call it that, Gorno-Altaisk, and once you leave that place, you enter a country that you didn’t think existed anymore on this planet. Endless valleys with wild horses roaming freely as if it were still 30,000 years ago. We visited shaman elders and little villages that are literally off both the beaten and the unbeaten paths. People were always already waiting for us. They knew who we were. And they shared with us many interesting aspects or facets of their history, a history that traces back to the stars.

Some of the shamans felt the cosmology of The Mayan Factor confirmed or was even identical to their cosmology. But they were also feeling the pressures of the globalised world. A highway from China to Russia was in the works when we were there. We were in strong support of the government declaring the entire region a biospheric reserve. The thinking there is already advanced in this direction.

We proposed the establishment of an International Foundation for Peace through Culture that would help establish Altai as a biospheric reserve, preserving the land and the culture in its entirety, and providing a world model for other cultures or peoples who wished to learn from this model. We presented this idea to the national Parliament and we know that it is still being discussed. It is interesting that among some of the shamans and locals, Roerich is not greatly liked. They feel that he was exploiting the people and the culture. And we have experienced some of that too, though we are still in communication through our representative there with key elders. Even now, the people of Altai are in the struggle between preservation of traditional values and the encroaching technosphere.

But of all the places I have been, Altai is the most magical and incredible. It is truly another world, a doorway into timelessness. And I was very fortunate to have met so many of the holders of the ancient culture. One shaman, Anton Yudanov, gave me a topshure – a two-stringed fretless Siberian guitar – which I have treasured and learned how to play, singing spontaneously my own forms or versions of shaman rock and shaman blues. I truly pray that Altai will be preserved and stand as a model for the rest of the world as culture living in harmony with the biosphere.

Michael: You’ve spoken of spiritual convergences there that indicate a “sign of the coming of Shambhala.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?

José: Altai prides itself on the fact that Islam, Christianity and Buddhism all exist there side by side. One shaman we visited showed us a diagram in which the three religions are represented by signs from playing cards – Christianity, clubs; Islam, hearts, and Buddhism spades. Next to these three signs are two diamonds. These represent the old and the new shamanism of Altai. The new shamanism is called Ak Burkhan or the white faith and though it was introduced over two hundred and fifty years ago, it only became official in 1904. Through Ak Burkhan the prophecies of Shambhala or Belevodye, the White Land, are maintained. The spiritual convergence of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity is certainly one of the signs of the coming of Shambhala.

Trungpa Rinpoche, as you know, also taught much about Shambhala, which can also be said to represent a spiritual harmony of the different traditions of the world religions. In Altai, however, there is no question that the native religion, Ak Burkhan, is a great factor in creating a sense of harmony with the land, as well as a spiritual harmony. At different points in our visit to Altai witnessing the dancing and the throat singing to the accompaniment of the topshure, it felt like the living culture of Shambhala was still shining through.

Michael: Certainly the culture of Shambhala does not operate according to Gregorian time, or what you call the “12:60 frequency.” A major theme of your new book Time and the Technosphere concerns the discovery of the Law of Time. Can you briefly expound upon what this means?

José: The Law of Time is a fundamental law, like that of gravity. And just as no one knew about that law until Newton discovered it, so it is with the Law of Time. That also means that the Law of Time, like gravity, has always operated – it is fundamental to the universe. We just didn’t know about it until now. I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t delved so deeply into the mathematics behind the Mayan calendar. To test it out, Lloydine and I began to live the cycles of that calendar: 13-day cycles, 20-day cycles, 52-day cycles. That changes your life. We had begun doing that before the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, and continued doing that in the years just after. Then, as destiny would have it, we found ourselves in Geneva, Switzerland one cold and dreary Sunday – December 10, 1989, to be precise. To entertain ourselves we decided to take a busman’s holiday and visit the Museum of Time. After two or so hours looking at one archaic proto-clock after another, leading from the cuckoo up to the pendulum clock and then on down to digital quartz and cessium timepieces, we had a grand “Aha!” This place should be renamed the Museum of Mechanised Time! Because we had been living the Mayan cycles we had a contrast, both experientially and mathematically, by which to evaluate what we were experiencing in this Museum.

We knew immediately that there are two timing frequencies. The natural one codified by the Maya we understood to be the frequency 13:20; the artificial one canonised in this museum we knew to be the 12:60 – the irregular 12-month calendar and artificial, mechanised 60-minute hour. We understood that the combination of these two timing standards unconsciously accepted by the human species established an artificial timing frequency which regulates the human race today in virtually every aspect of its existence. Since time is fundamentally of the mind, this 12:60 frequency has produced a species whose system of operations is a mechanised irregularity. And since a calendar is the macroprogram that governs a people or a culture, this means that all of these mechanised irregularities are programmed into that calendar. No wonder there are so many problems and no solutions! Change the calendar and you’ll change the program.

The Mayan calendar cycles summarised by the mathematical ratio 13:20 we understood to represent the natural timing frequency which is the universal factor of synchronisation. Yes, the chief quality of natural time is synchronisation! That is why the ancient Maya operated with as many as seventeen different calendars. We are all fascinated by synchronicity, which is an anomaly only because we live a life of mechanised irregularities. But in the natural order of time, synchronicity is the norm. This also defines a whole order of reality, the synchronic order. This is fundamentally the fourth dimensional order of reality which regulates the third dimensional plane of existence. But we have a hard time dealing with this or knowing about it because our minds are so conditioned to artificial time which is linear and anything but synchronic. You can see what a dilemma this is. For this reason we immediately understood as well that to get the human race back on course, the first step would be to change the calendar, to replace it with a calendar of perfect harmony so the human race could straighten its mind out again. The means for doing that is the absolute perfection of the Thirteen Moon 28-day Calendar – 364 days 52 perfect weeks, plus a 365th Day Out of Time for forgiveness, and to give expression to “time is art.” Celebrated on old Gregorian July 25, this past year alone more than 500 Day Out of Time celebrations occurred planet-wide.

That gets us to the other aspect of the Law of Time, and that is its formulation: T(E) = Art, energy factored by time equals art. That is to say, because time is the universal factor of synchronization – the ratio constant 13:20 – everything participates in a natural elegance. There is no such thing as an ugly sunset. Spiders and scorpions have their aesthetic elegance. Beauty is the basic norm of the universe. That gets us back to that dharma art thing. Only modern man has lost this innate artistic sensibility and prefers three-legged pink poodles to the real thing. Artificial time deforms the mind; mechanisation dehumanises it. Art and beauty really will save the world, but only if humanity returns to living in the perfect harmony of the Thirteen Moon Calendar and thus becomes synchronised again with the whole of the universal order of the cosmos. Then art as everyday life will be natural and inevitable – how can harmony do anything but enhance itself and produce more harmony? This is the point of what we call the Great Calendar Change of 2004 – July 26, 2004, to be precise. People get ready, there’s a new time a-coming… it is humanity’s last best hope, the untried solution: get a new calendar.

Michael: There are apocalyptic warning signs all around us – a glance at a daily paper will confirm that. You don’t shy away from the reality of our precarious situation, yet you also offer a message of hope. How can people rise above the sort of nihilistic, numbed state that the powers-that-be seem to want everyone to remain in?

José: Well, most people have a hard time accepting that it really is the end times, that they are living in the middle of the apocalypse. That’s why they are numbed-out and that is what keeps them numbed-out. They don’t want to face it, and certainly the media isn’t going to tell them to face it. Instead the media thrives on fear and violence and so the whole syndrome is self-perpetuated. From the point of view of the Law of Time this is the inevitable conclusion to absolute entrainment in an erroneous timing frequency which only produces increasingly dissynchronous states of mind. People have to understand this fundamental point. Because when you do, you also realise there is a solution, a radical fundamental change. Yes, so radical that it will end history. But if we don’t end history, history will end us.

Ever since 1990 when we realised that the calendar change was the only solution, the first step toward getting out of an otherwise “geocidal” dead end, we have been promoting this change. At first it was very difficult. People would say, “How can a calendar have an effect on my mind?” or, “How could changing the calendar change anything?” or, “We tried that already.” Not really. The first calendar change movement that was promoted by the League of Nations did not succeed – it floundered on the Day Out of Time issue, which we have now proven to be a day of universal harmony – so that means we never really tried the calendar change as a solution. People have to understand that the Gregorian calendar is the world’s most insidious dogma, that this calendar is a tool of the Vatican, and that therefore, the Vatican maintains mind control over the human species with this calendar. And everybody knows that it is irregular and irrational as well – so why still follow it?

By 1993 we knew we had to get serious with promoting the Thirteen Moon Calendar, and so we gave birth to the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement. We saw the calendar change as the perfect opportunity to declare world peace, call for a universal cease fire, begin a disarmament process and also call for a work stoppage so as a species we could begin to shift priorities. My optimism comes from the fact that in less than a decade the use of the Thirteen Moon Calendar has spread to some 54 countries and the Day Out of Time has become very widespread as a Planetary Festival of Peace and Culture. The previous calendar change movement was a top-down thing. We knew that our efforts had to be a people's revolution. Bob Marley sings, "It takes a revolution to make a solution," and that's so true.

If enough people from many different countries and cultures are already following this calendar, then when we got to the point of notifying the world leadership it will be backed up by the people. Not that we haven't already presented this to the U.N., the Vatican, and many other top leaders. But that has been a matter of course. If we hadn't done that we wouldn't be doing our jobs. Of course the Vatican chose to conceal our information and ultimately ignore it. Kofi Annan, however, did give us a positive letter of support. But of course, no one wants to take personal responsibility. So we say, that's OK, show us a better, more comprehensive solution. We are ready anyway, and everyone who knows that this is real and true is getting ready to say goodbye to the Gregorian calendar and its self-fulfilling apocalypse in 2004 and walk right into a time of peace and harmony.

If the rest of the world wants to join, it is an open invitation. Leave the old time and enter the new time. It is the only sure way to rise above the numbed-out nihilism of the decade without a name. Besides, the Mayan prophecy says that 2012 is the end of the cycle, and if we want to get there in one piece, we have to shift gears now. Believe it or not, to paraphrase Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, I know we will get back to the garden.

By the way, all of this calendar change activity is also a Mayan prophecy. In that regard, I am nothing but a messenger, and as a messenger, my name is Valum Votan, Closer of the Cycle. I would be avoiding my responsibility if I didn’t mention that. Thanks for the opportunity. I hope you have found this to be an interesting interview.

Further information on the New Time and the work of Valum Votan can be obtained from:
Foundation for the Law of Time
PO Box 513
Brightwood, Oregon 97011
USATel: +1 503 622 1976
Fax: +1 503 622 0198a

Perhaps some of you remember that Canada illegally expatriated Leonard Pelletier ...

This is a petition to prevent extradition of a Canadian man to the US,for trial. Please consider signing it if it agrees with your values and help pass it on..

Mark Fiore

The new animation "Whoopsmas" has just been posted!


Heard the Word of Blog?

Subject: Ambitious Plans For New Homes

I am absolutely thrilled to see Habitat for Humanity stepping forward to do something positive and proactive about the housing crisis in the hurricane areas -- the types of action that FEMA was supPOSEd to do and never botheredto fully "engage" with the situation, much to the despair of all of those homeless people.

There are some VERY interesting comments in the 2nd half of the article.


Ambitious Plan For New Homes
28 December 2005

KILN, Miss. -- An ambitious plan to replace some of the thousands of homes lost to Hurricane Katrina is quickly taking shape on computer screens, drawing boards and back roads here in Hancock County.

Habitat for Humanity, the 30-year-old Christian-based nonprofit popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, plans to build “thousands and thousands”of homes via its self-help program during the next several years inhurricane-devastated communities across the South.

That’s the word from Larry Gluth, a Habitat executive from the group’s home office in Americus, Ga. “We’re looking at upwards of 1,000 homes between Beaumont, Texas, and Mobile over the next 18 months,” says Gluth, a vice president with Habitat’s "Operation Home Delivery," a unit created specifically to respond to needs in the hurricane zones.

The hunt for land is in the hands of Wendy McDonald, a diminutive, silver-haired, indefatigable Bay St. Louis native who seems to have her finger in every pie of Hancock County’s hurricane recovery efforts. Afterthe storm struck, McDonald, 53, put a career in Houston on hold to return to her hometown and help form Hancock County Citizens in Action, a grassroots volunteer group whose chief mission is to cut the red tape between government agencies and speed relief to all parts of the community.

But the housing mission seems especially dear to her heart -- Katrina exacted a shocking toll on the homes of her parents and other relatives --and her connections with local government officials are giving Habitat a legup in its search for a key ingredient in its recipe for the “decent, affordable shelter” it touts in its literature: land.

On a recent day, in a darkened room at the temporary county government complex of portable buildings here, chief Hancock County building officialMickey Lagasse scrolled through screen after screen of tax roll informationto help McDonald and Gluth identify potential lots and tracts for Habitat projects.

Looking for reasonably priced lots

“We’re kind of land poor in Bay St. Louis and Waveland,” McDonald explained.Many now-bare lots in those towns will be too expensive for Habitat’sprogram if they come on the market, or they’ll be in flood zones where theorganization does not intend to build. Instead, the group is eying rural areas where they hope to secure lots for $2,000 to $5,000 apiece.

“Everywhere I go I say, ‘Anybody got any land they want to sell to Habitat’” McDonald says with a laugh. “Everybody just kind of looks at you.”

After meeting with Lagasse, she and Gluth went out to inspect some property in person. Finding a “For Sale” sign amid a stretch of undeveloped lots inunincorporated Bayside Park, they spread topographic maps on the hood of a car to determine flood-zone data.

“It would be worth looking into,” McDonald said, running her finger along contour lines on the map.In addition to elevation, the group’s main criteria for selecting lots include residential zoning, paved roads, and availability of water and sewer.

Plugging those factors into his computer, the county’s Lagasse can helpMcDonald and Gluth streamline Habitat’s search. Of particular potential maybe existing but undeveloped subdivisions where “a lot of land speculators came in and bought lots in the ’70s and ’80s,” Lagasse says.

Opportunity for 'serious revitalization'

The county is happy to help Habitat because, even beyond filling the great housing void left by Katrina, it sees an opportunity for the program to provide “serious revitalization” in many areas, Lagasse explains.

Gluth says Habitat’s post-hurricane efforts across the South should become much more visible soon. After two months of organizing, planning and shopping for land, the hammering and sawing, actually overseen by local affiliates, is about to begin in earnest. “Right now, we have roughly 100lots that are secured” in Mississippi's storm-struck Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, he says.

In addition to seeking more land, the group is looking for development partners from the private and government sectors and making arrangements to house the multitudes of out-of-area construction volunteers that will be needed to help build the homes.

When she’s not running down lots, McDonald is marketing Habitat’s plans to potential participants everywhere from chance meetings on the street to Citizens in Action forums.

“It’s not a give-away program,” she said in a presentation at one recent town hall meeting here in Kiln. “It’s a mortgage.” Applicants must have a down payment and an income that enables them to pay a mortgage on an interest-free loan. They must be willing to invest about 350 hours of “sweat equity,” either working on their own home or another Habitat project. And they must agree to live in the home for a specified period of time before selling it.

The average Habitat home in the United States costs about $60,000. Gluth said he expects the typical mortgage for a home built in Habitat’s post-hurricane blitz to be about $50,000. Most of the homes will be about 1100 square feet with three bedrooms and one bathroom.

At the Kiln meeting, McDonald stressed that the home will be solid and attractive. “These are houses you wouldn’t mind having next door to you,”she said. “These are houses you would be happy to live in.”

Email this


How do you volunteer for the program? Does anyone have any information?
Stephen Czick, New York, NY (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:16:34 PM)

I think it's great, and I hope a lot of people will take part and help build a new future for themselves.
I'm somewhat dubious though, considering some of the reports from the area.
I've read on MSNBC that there is 20 percent unemployment, but help wanted signs everywhere.
How many people will just want someone (taxpayers) to buy them a new house and just move in? I understand the hardships that these victims have endured as I am housing 2 Katrina victims in my home. These are hard working people that took the first job they could get and are rebuilding their future.
I was brought up to believe that you will not appreciate something that is given to you as much as something you've worked go obtain.
Granted, Katrina took from these people what they had already earned, but working to get it back will make it that much more valuable.
I praise programs like Habitat for Humanity and hope that everyone that can will take advantage of this opportunity to rebuild into something they will cherish.
Bart Trahan, Memphis, TN (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:21:16 PM)

Can Habitat build on existing properties of homes that were lost during Katrina?
Peggie, Fernley, NV (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:25:32 PM)

After watching this evening's news I was digusted to learn that hundreds of FEMA housing units (trailers) were sitting idle because certain 'well-bred'people in the area did not want these 'people' or 'trailers' in theirneighborhood--
Most of America was willing to take in stray dogs and cats from this ravaged area, but we want these people to have housing, 'just not here'--
Remember the words on the Statue of Liberty?? I always thought Iwould be proud to be from the South--What the hell is wrong with this Country anyway??
A Once Proud Southern (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:28:57 PM)

It is great that Habitat is doing this, but we would expect no less of this great program. Considering the number of people who are in need of housing quickly though, there needs to be consideration of building large low level residential housing complexes to accommodate more families until enough houses can be built. With proper design and care the safety and relocation of families would be beneficial for all.
Betty Forbes, Shubuta MS. (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:41:47 PM)

Habitat should look at incorporating construction of steel beams with metalroofing/sides to make them more bullett proof from hurricanes. I'm sure that Hab. could get the materials at a group discount to make the house affordable over a stick built house. They are so careful not to be in flood prone area but not the "hurricane-free" area.
David Whitlock (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:42:09 PM)

I have one thing too say about this "Program".
INMOP it is a "sham", being disabled myself in Wilmington, NC, Single parentw/daughters, they said I wasn't quailified?????? Even though I'm provided enough income and self labor too complete a project, 2 or several...
Be careful about this "program", It's TOO GOOD TOO BE TRUE. And RaciallyBIASED, check the stats...
DWB Wilmington NC.Wilmington, North carolina (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:50:21 PM)

I am a freshman at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. For my spring break, I will be helping out with the rebuilding process with about 25 of my fellow students and 3 faculty. I am completely enthralled to be a part of the relief effort and to offer a hand and a heart to those people briskly and unfortunately pushed aside by our government. These homeless hurricane victims need the kind and selfless assistance of their fellow Americans.Help me and the many many other volunteers to show that the government's carelessness is not held in the hearts and minds of the American citizens.
Kelsey, Grayslake, IL (Sent Dec 28, 2005 8:57:13 PM)
A link to their official website.
Maria Cristina, Corpus Christi, Texas (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:05:02 PM)

no no no ...
Bart Habitat is not taxpayers dollars it is an independent orgianizian...
i have worked with Habitat before ...and would ...again...these folks have to pay for thier homes...but most labor is donated...and nointerest....see
andy,booneville ms. (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:11:03 PM)

This sounds great, but it will be almost impossible to find "cheap" land that meets HFH's standards. Land prices across the south have gone sky high, especially near the coast.
FC, Chiefland, FL (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:11:51 PM)

Will Habitat build a home on our lot that we own in Bayside park? We lost our home in New Orleans.
Pauline Lalla New Orleans, La (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:24:20 PM)

Truly angels among us...we have witnessed this over and over...the love and kindness of strangers from all over this wonderful country....
Jane,Pascagoula, MSJane McIlwain Pascagoula , Ms (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:32:57 PM)

Habitat homes are a win-win situation for everyone...the owners help build, not just homes but new lives and seeing a project through from siting the ground frame to finishing the kitchen is the most awesome experience. It is a group effort and I hope that Habitat builds 10,000 homes!Sherrie, Medford, OR (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:34:40 PM)

Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to rebuild homes becauseHabitat works together with the families in need. The house is not a gift, it is not a handout. It is a partnership.
James Favre (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:35:10 PM)

this is a great idea.
i think every body who cares about helping people should come on board with habitat for humanity.
there a great organisation would be glad to volunteer to help myself.
why couldnt george w. think of that
bobby mahan-franklin,tenn. (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:35:24 PM)

It is a great organization.
a.p. garcia (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:48:41 PM)

Habitat is always there to help people who want to help themselves. I assumethis project will be like the others with future owners donating sweet equity and will have a very low house payment. This way the people can take pride in ownership.
Barbara McGee, Lancaster, CA (Sent Dec 28, 2005 9:55:38 PM)

Sounds good! But, how & why are the loans interest "Free"?? It has to cost someone! There is no "Free" lunch.
/ Old fashion business man.Forrest Grove, Chandler, Ca. (Sent Dec 28, 2005 10:02:11 PM)

RITA was the one that Damaged Calcasieu /Cameron Parish and affected myFamily- we had Damage to our house and moved out of state because we could no longer live in my Rented house- my daughter moved to Laffayette La and has been told by FEMA that she will be moving into a FEMA trailer... Only she can't move into one because there are none set up there yet so 3 months later she's still waiting while her husband is in the ARMY in Iraq.
Roxanna ~Durham, North Carolina
@ Formerly of Cameron/Lake Charles LA (SentDec 28, 2005 10:03:45 PM)

"...Thats the thing about WASPS, they love animals, but hate people..."
Tito (Sent Dec 28, 2005 10:05:06 PM)

It is odd how we can send iraq 85 billion dollars & tsunami victims so much but when it comes to our neighbors we depend on non profits to help.
Tim Denton (Sent Dec 28, 2005 10:08:38 PM)

I read that the reason many neighborhoods are reluctant to have the temp trailers is because it is extremely difficult to get people moved out of them and back into housing. The people housed in them in the Southwest after flooding several years ago are still there, and it's become a very bad area. Having volunteered on Habitat projects in my area, I think it would be great to have people help build their own homes. You might be surprised that people will jump at the chance to feel empowered about their future.
E Bird, Anaheim Hills CA (Sent Dec 28, 2005 10:12:39 PM)

Perhaps a number of major corporations, philanthropic organizations and wealthy individuals would be willing to donate notable amounts of cash and/or materials required in housing construction. If Habitat For Humanity has or can rapidly develop the management structure to handle even moreprojects, the housing problem could be solved a little faster.
Gerald Thebeau, University City, MO (Sent Dec 28, 2005 10:23:03 PM)
Deborah Harmes, Ph.D.Psychologist and writer

Top Ten Myths about Iraq in 2005

And no the list was not compiled by David Letterman. Go read and learn....

Earth Changes Bulletin Update As Of December 28 2005

ALL HEADS UP: COSMIC QUADRUPLE WHAMMY PERIOD - This current period from now through to about January 20 is without doubt the most dangerous period for major tectonic reactions to the cosmic vectors during the past year, since the rupture of the Indo Trench off the Northern portion of Sumatra on Christmas 2004.

I Polar Motion Vortex

AS REPORTED YESTERDAY: A Significant Change In The Wobble Of The Spin Axis Is Definitely Under Way. A shift in the phase of Chandler's Wobble is most apparent, which will shorten the seven year Chandler's Wobble this time around. As well, a large acceleration in the shift of the average location of the SpinAxis is now "apparent".

Be advised that a solar wind will hit the Earth during the next 48 hours in the midst of rising solar activity, an increase of sunspots yesterday to 90, and the formation of a Quadruple Whammy - Perigee, Perihelion, New Moon, and the alignment of planets sufficient to cause major solar storms and sudden ionic impacts on the Earth through to about the middle of January.

Already we can see significant shape shifting activity in the Earth now this week increasing, focused currently most strongly from the MidAtlantic through the Western coasts of the Americas.


Major quakes could occur in any ofthe usual and historical zones - in fact they are more probable during the next week then at any time during the previous year.

Settle in somewhere cozy and warm, avoid travel, but be ready to flee from coastal zones or major earthquake destruction at the drop of a hat.

Solar VortexPlanets: Currently Venus is moving into alignment with Earth while Mercury aligns on the other side of the Sun with Pluto. This double-headed alignment will be near perfect on both legs about January 9, 2006. This will bring in a new surge of sunspot and solar activity about January 1-4, during the New Moon Syzygy in Perigee, even as the Earth approaches its Perihelion (closest approach to the Sun during the first week of January). Venus and Earth will as a pair move into alignment with Saturn about January 22 while Mercury is close to an alignment with Neptune (which it will perfect a couple of days later). This most likely will induce even greater solar activity, which will likely surge out from the Sun about mid-January.

Weather: From these alignments we will probably see two major storm waves peaked into extremes by the Sun, the first to hit during the first two weeks of January, the second to hit during the last two weeks of January. In the meantime, the recent Sunspot peak on December 26 at 90 is already impacting the atmosphere and is already driving the weather into record-breakers in many areas of the Northern Hemisphere.


Believe on the alignments, it is not worth trying to travel this January.During the past week the Sunspot Count has been on a very choppy ride skirting close to an overpowering one. The cosmic wheels are clearly grinding with greater import than the previous week, but still not with catastrophes upon the Earth this week, MERELY with 3 foot snowfalls in Maine and the like.

Next week…
Date Flux Sunspots Area

2005 12 21 87 45 260
2005 12 22 88 77 280
2005 12 23 93 47 290
2005 12 24 92 70 340
2005 12 25 92 77 300
2005 12 26 93 90 440
2005 12 27 92 78 350
2005 12 28 89 61 230

NASA does not know what to make of the fluctuations, other than to observe that it is a good time to view auroras.

Fluxgate at the U. of Alaska is choppy, not big magnetic waves at the moment, mind you, but definitely choppy.

Basically, the series of planetary alignments through to January 24 will keep us all guessing as major storm waves pound added extremes into this winter's worst weather periods.

Timing most especially seems up in the air. On December 23, Mercury Jupiter aligned. As I observed two weeks ago, never in the past three years has such an alignment failed to produced a rather spectacular increase in the Sunspot Count and in over all Solar Activity. I opined then that this IS now solar MIN phase and thus the activity is likely to be reduced. I concluded that it will be very interesting to observe this alignment during this phase.

As we can see, the alignment clearly produced a major spike in the Sunspot Count, some three days after the alignment. This timing is within the variations we have observed during the past four years, the Sunspot Peak comes up to four days late, as early as ten days in advance, demonstrating why long range weather forecasts are technically IMPOSSIBLE, as all weathermen have proven decisively during the past generation despite enormous use of money and computer power to make the weather predictable a month in advance. They cannot account for the variations in the solar flux, which ionically alters the behavior of the atmosphere enough to actually drive storm fronts into chaotic (unpredictable)conditions.

AS PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED: On January 8, Venus and Earth will align, this also has never failed to produce a spectacular result, but then I said the same thing about Earth Mars. So spin the roulette wheel and find your number that way. This is virtually on PERIHELION, in fact without looking at an ephemeris, I would say that this IS PERIHELION because the orbital synchronicity of the two planets on this swing MUST mark the Earth's closest approach to the Sun. I wonder how often this synchronicity repeats. Then on January 24, 2006, Earth and Saturn will align, with Venus close into the alignment, with Mercury nearly 180 opposite on the other side of the Sun. I will be very interested and eager to see what this configuration brings.

Remember, as we have seen the past few years, the peak sunspot periods should be about 3-10 days in advance of the alignment, sometimes up to 3-5 days afterwards. Storm fronts are energized in as little as 24 hours but generally the full result in broad storm fronts between continental air masses and marine air vapor flow does not seem to be felt until about 3-5 days later. These then take another 3-5 days to work across the continents.

All in all the Sun is likely to be highly unpredictable during the next 30 days, some additional major spikes in activity are likely to be seen. Thus, we will likely see more than two waves of extremes pour through the Sun and though the weather fronts through to the end of January.


We are nigh into the New Moon (Dec. 30)Syzygy and for the next five days. This should be a AN EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG seismic season. So far, quake activity is apparently about normal in both frequency and magnitude for a non-syzygy period. As of the moment, world quake activity appears fairly random for all quakes over 4.0.

A few shape-shifter quakes have struck during the past seven days and activity in the Carib Plate is muted while South America is elevated.

From the SWVC, volcano stats:8 restless – Yellowstone, Alaska, & Kamchatka – 5, Mauna Loa and White Island 25 active 62 on alert status

Popo gave out only a few exhalations (explosive puffs) of steam and ash today, but sent a huge spire of ash into the atmosphere a few days ago. Colima, one its sisters is also still actively puffing ash sporadically. Most active zones remain the Carib Plate, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Kamchatka. All these zones are collision points with the Pacific Ocean Bottom Plate.

Volcanic activity increased slightly this past seven days. New lava flows at Kilauea, Etna steamed, ash plumes increased around the Pacific Rim of Fire. Steam and quakes continue to predominate, while several of the Northern Pacific Arc continue to grow lava domes in parallel, ranging from Kamchatka to Alaska down to St. Helens. I suspect that when one of these erupts, many of them will also erupt in a spectacular world symphony. Their simultaneous eruption may awaken the world to the true cause of Global Warming, and 2006 may be the year. Expect new eruptions at nearly any time to commence a new season of acceleration in volcanic activity.

AS PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED: The biggest danger period coming up is the New Moon Perigee at Perihelion, from about December 30 through to about mid January. Solar Activity should be intense during this time for the Venus Earth alignment and this "touch" could add impetus to earthquakes as well. Solar flares and CME's can suddenly and briefly impact the Earth with a force which is up to 30 times the gravitational vector of the Moon. This jostle on one continental slab may produce quakes. All in all, then, the first week in January will be an exceptionally dangerous one on all fronts in the vortex. We have a full-fledged Four Whammy danger period

This period actually has one additional whammy built into it for the Northern Arc of the Pacific Rim of Fire. I cannot explain why, but during a X MIN year when the wobble is as small as it gets during its seven year cycle of expansion and contraction, seismic activity mag 3.0 plus in Japan and California go way up, even doubling overall for the year. This has been seen several times since 1962.Worldwide, overall quake activity above 3.0 decreases or at least seems to "pause" in its growth curve during the X MIN, but overall volcanic activity increases RADICALLY, which is followed in the next expansionary phase of Chandler's Wobble with an increase in the acceleration of Earthquake activity. This pattern has been seen repeatedly since 1973.

These patterns can be seen ever more clearly in the charts I have updated for the "Return of the Phoenix".

Based on these charts I can predict that 2006 will be the most dangerous earthquake period in California and Japan since 2000, with "big ones" much more probable than during the past several years. This zone of danger will persist all year and into 2007 through at least the Spring. Thereafter the danger will diminish through the next X Wave cycle of Chandler's Wobble.

Volcanic activity is already surging upwards and during 2006 will be more explosive and colorful than in the previous five years. St. Helens is likely to have the major eruption it has been building up towards this past year, along with Popo, Colima, and of course with major flare-ups in the steady erupters, including esp. Etna and Kilauea. If St. Helens erupts, expect it will have company in the Far East in Kamchatka, the Aleutians, the Kuriles, and possibly Japan and the Philippines.

Any volcanic pre-signaling during 2006 should be taken with GRAVE ATTENTION. Often times the flare up of pre-signals lead to nothing, but during the next 18 months they are more probable than at other times to actually lead to increased activity.When the revised books are in the can, I will make these charts visible to subscribers.

THE TRILOGY VORTEX: The revised version of Book One is available now at the website. Book Two needs a few more hours to work, Book Three will take a couple more weeks. After finishing it up during early January, I will put the entire trilogy into paperback and hardbound editions. New access codes will be sent just after the first to current subscribers. If you are a current or past subscriber, I will send you a paypal button which gives you the obtain to renew at the old rate. New subscribers are now being asked for $36 annual donation.

ECONOMIC VORTEX:Don't blink. Hold your course. Meltdown window: mid-Spring to mid-Fall. Almost all observers agree that the housing bubble is the driver of the current economy and that it is bound to break in 2006. We are pretty much at the beginning of 1929 with the same kind of psycho-dynamics and vastly over-inflated bubbles at work with easy credit far too easy to obtain to inflate the bubble even more. Welcome to the re-run of the Great Depression, you are right on time.

NOT SO PSYCHO-PATHETIC VORTEX:AS OBSERVED LAST WEEK: In Iraq, a new government, thankfully, will form, a national unity move will begin, and by March 2006, the U.S. will be asked to leave rather abruptly so that the Iraqi's can get on with fixing the basic utilities in the country with the help of Iran/Gulf States money. So will the U.S. be out of there in, say, six months? With the Iran play now unfolding it very difficult to predict much of anything....see the next item.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Dan Youra at Utoons TV reports that a cure for terror has been discovered. It takes just one click of one finger. Just turn off Cable News. (See the Earth Monitor:

VERY PATHETHIC PSYCHO VORTEX:With the U.S. government stalemated and sidelined from stark raving incompetence, it now appears that the Zionists will attempt to use Israel to strike Iran and destroy the last 20 years of its industrial development. Most likely Spring is the earliest possible Window for this strike. The Zionist maneovering, preparations, agitation and pressure can already be seen. Both Israel and the U.S. are now activity following policies of border incursions against Lebanon and Syria to undermine Arab confidence and credibility in their own territorial rights. Since these are the two weakest, most isolated Arab countries, it is easy to push them around. Continued violation of their sovereignty continues to teach the Arabindians that they are irrelevant to the march of “Western Civilization” over their lands.

THE THREAT OF A BROADER WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS A RESULT OF WESTERN IMPERIAL POLICIES IS EXTREMELY REAL AND EXCEPTIONALLY GRAVE. Neither Israel nor the U.S. can accomplish their goals with military force against Iran. Yet there really is a faction of well-intrenched Imperialists in the U.S. and Britain who are and who intend to continue to pursue policies of violent dominance against many Arab nations. The only result will be the gradual generation of World War IV and about 3 billion humans hostilely polarized for the remainder of Century 21 against everything American and Jewish. Not a very wise course of action. I am completely convinced that the fall of Israeli bombs in Iran will begin the rise of Nostradamus's fated figure, the so-called Anti-Christ, who will essentially be the "Mirror" in which the West will see its own terrible image. Already we can see in Iran the nascent President looking more and more like Bush's mirror. An Israeli strike, in Iran, or an American one, will be conducted by exactly the same arrogant, biggoted, stupid mentality which created "Custer's Last Stand". The result will be the same, except this: the West will not be able to eventually over-run these Eastern lands.


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December 28, 2005

Censuring Bush Requires Citizens' Help

By John Nichols
The Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin)
Tuesday 27 December 2005

As President Bush and his aides scramble to explain new revelationsregarding Bush's authorization of spying on the international telephone calls and e-mails of Americans, the ranking Democrat on the House JudiciaryCommittee has begun a process that could lead to the censure, and perhaps the impeachment, of the president and vice president.

US Rep. John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who was a critical player inthe Watergate and Iran-Contra investigations into presidential wrongdoing, has introduced a package of resolutions that would censure President Bushand Vice President Cheney and create a select committee to investigate theadministration's possible crimes and make recommendations regarding groundsfor impeachment.

The Conyers resolutions add a significant new twist to the debate abouthow to hold the administration to account. Members of Congress have become increasingly aggressive in the criticism of the White House, with US Sen.Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., saying last week, "Americans have been stunned at the recent news of the abuses of power by an overzealous president. It hasbecome apparent that this administration has engaged in a consistent andunrelenting pattern of abuse against our country's law-abiding citizens andagainst our Constitution."

Even Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Committee chair Arlen Specter, R-Pa., are talking for the first time about mounting potentially serious investigations into abuses of power by the president.

But Conyers is seeking to do much more than schedule a committee hearingor even launch a formal inquiry. He is proposing that Congress use all itspowers to hold the president and vice president to account up to and including the power to impeach the holders of the nation's most powerfulpositions and to remove them from office.

The first of the three resolutions introduced by Conyers, HouseResolution 635, asks that Congress establish a select committee to investigate whether members of the administration made moves to invade Iraq before receiving congressional authorization, manipulated pre-war intelligence, encouraged the use of torture in Iraq and elsewhere, and used their positions to retaliate against critics of the war.

The select committee would be asked to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

The second resolution, H.R. 636, asks that Congress censure thepresident "for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his administration misled Congress and theAmerican people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the warcountenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatementshe made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order12958." (Executive Order 12958, issued in 1995 by former President Bill Clinton, seeks to promote openness in government by prescribing a uniformsystem for classifying, safeguarding and declassifying national security information.)

A third resolution, H.R. 637, would censure Cheney for a similar set of complaints.

"The people of this country are waking up to the severity of the lies, crimes and abuses of power committed by this president and hisadministration," says Jon Bonifaz, a co-founder of the AfterDowningStreetorg coalition, an alliance of more than 100 grass-roots groups that have detailed Bush administration wrongdoing and encouraged a congressional response. Bonifaz, an attorney and the author of the book "Warrior King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush" (Nation Books), argues, "Now is the time t oreturn to the rule of law and to hold those who have defied the Constitutionaccountable for their actions."

Bonifaz is right. But it is unlikely that the effort to censure Bush andCheney, let alone impeach them, will get far without significant organizing around the country. After all, the House is controlled by allies of the president who have displayed no inclination to hold him to account. Indeed, only a few Democrats, such as Conyers, have taken seriously the constitutional issues raised by the administration's misdeeds.

Members of Congress in both parties will need to feel a lot of heat if these important measures are going to get much traction in this Congress.

The grass-roots group Progressive Democrats of America, which has had a good deal of success organizing activists who want the Democrats to take a more aggressive stance in challenging the administration, will play acritical role in the effort to mobilize support for the Conyers resolutions,as part of a new Censure Bush Coalition campaign. (The campaign's Web site can be found at

PDA director Tim Carpenter says his group plans to "mobilize and organize a broad-based coalition that will demand action from Congress toinvestigate the lies of the Bush administration and their conduct related tothe war in Iraq."

Getting this Congress to get serious about maintaining checks and balances on the Bush administration will be a daunting task. But the recentrevelations regarding domestic spying will make it easier. There are a lotof Americans who share the view of US Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that Bushand Cheney have exceeded their authority. As Feingold says of Bush, "He is the president, not a king."

It was the bitter experience of dealing with King George III that led the founders of this country to write a Constitution that empowers Congressto hold presidents and vice presidents accountable for their actions.

It is this power that John Conyers, the senior member of the House committee charged with maintaining the system of checks and balances established by those founders, is now asking Congress to employ in the service of the nation that Constitution still governs.

John Nichols is the associate editor of The Capital Times.