Sick as a Dog

The healthcare reform brouhaha that now engulfs the USA is a cosmic in-joke. It is pointing our attention to the fact that the country itself is deathly ill.

In Soul-Sick Nation I make the case that the USA is one sick puppy. If we’re seeking an understanding of why the national discourse is so surreally off-track right now, I propose that we will find it more useful to see the nation as a living entity struggling to heal, rather than to condemn it and cast moral judgments upon it.

In our darkest hour, during the Bush years, it was tempting to characterize men like Cheney and Rove as Darth Vader figures; certainly they were typecast for the role. But such evaluations belonged to Pluto in Sagittarius (Right vs. Wrong, Good vs. Evil); and that transit is over. Ethical pronouncements, no matter how justified, are no longer the point.

We are in the Pluto-in-Capricorn years now. It’s all about systems collapsing in order to be rebuilt.

In asking What should be done about mass illness? (Saturn in Virgo), the transits overhead are making things nice and obvious. Americans are being invited to admit that their country is sick as a dog, and that a new social infrastructure (Capricorn) is needed to correct the problem.

To heal, one needs a candid diagnosis. But right now the diagnosis is getting lost amidst a virulent wave of obstructionism. Fueling the backlash to health care reform is anger and fear, stoking itself into a froth of denial. The hysteria we are witnessing in certain sectors of the populace, whipped up by corporate interests through bought-and-sold fake-news pundits, is so intense that the ruckus threatens to drown out the real problem: the illness at the country’s core. At the moment, like a stubborn old geezer refusing to admit he’s growing deaf, Uncle Sam is flailing away at those who would give him a hearing aid.

We knew 2009 would be a year of David-and-Goliath battles. Pluto and Mars were conjunct in the sky on New Year’s Day. Now, during these last few days of August, the two are opposed.

Pluto governs the giant in the Bible story, as well as the mafia, and all other agencies based on absolute control maintained through fear. The giant in the current scenario is a web of cartels with the insurance industry at the center: a complex behemoth whose financial and political resources give it preternatural power over people at their most vulnerable; i.e. when physically incapacitated. Big Insurance, joined at the hip to Big Pharma, is now pulling out all the stops to crush the campaign that seeks to address the most primal and obvious national goal imaginable: that of a civilized country taking care of its infirm citizens.

Astrological symbolism can help us understand the power of this giant. Pluto is associated with extortion. The American insurance industry is a multi-billion-dollar example of a legalized protection racket: a white-collar, mass-market shakedown. As Michael Moore’s Sickomade clear (this movie should be required viewing for anyone signing up to speak at a town hall meeting), Big Insurance has so far neutralized all threats to itself by pumping millions of dollars into the coffers of congresspersons who might otherwise have pushed for reform.

The last time I saw the figures, Hillary Clinton was at the very top of this shameful list. This is the woman, remember, whose sweeping reform proposals were strangled in the crib by the insurance lobby during her husband’s first administration. A few years later, she went over to the dark side. To get herself into the Senate she accepted more hush money than anyone else in Congress.

Consider how the national mood (Neptune conjunction to the US Moon) has changed over the past few months. Just after the election, Americans were sighing with relief at the prospect, better late than never, of this critically necessary feature of Obama’s agenda. Since then the reform bill’s supporters have been incrementally watering down its key tenets, losing nerve by the month like a lone dog cornered by the pack. A few weeks back, Obama shifted his main focus from insuring the uninsured to protecting the coverage of those who already have it. At this writing Congress is touting a fix that would leave 1/6 of the population out in the cold.

The dysfunction of American healthcare inspires incredulity all over the globe. At this point, one can only imagine how baffled international observers must be, watching the victims themselves – rank-and-file Americans — arguing against changing the system.

What is going through the minds of these distressed citizens who stand up at public meetings expressing their fear that, if the government steps in, private insurers will lose out? I am trying to grasp the logic here. Are we to understand that these regular folks are worried about the safety of Blue Cross’s obscene quarterly earnings? Why are these Davids shilling for Goliath?

At first I wondered whether these champions of the status quo were lost in some Marcus Welby fantasy. Maybe, I thought, they’re imagining that dear old country doctors are at risk of being put out to pasture by the forces of federal power. But no. These protestors seem well aware that for-profit cartels are the new face of healthcare. Their crusade really does seem intended to safeguard the right of insurance companies to get as rich as they can.

Here we have Neptunian deception at its foggiest, and Plutonian brainwashing at its most insidious. Unless these “ordinary citizens” are fronts for the insurance industry (on which point the jury is still out), their defense of the plutocrats who are bleeding us all dry can only be read as one more symptom of our over-arching national disease: ignorance. A stupefying ignorance of the forces at work in the USA is showing up, in this instance, as the unfounded, unstated equation of patriotism with capitalism. From all appearances, the town-hall disrupters see “free enterprise” as the very cornerstone of democracy: a noble ideal to be championed at all costs, despite the fact that it enriches a tiny elite at the expense of the commonwealth.

Meanwhile, gleefully cheering on these loathsome proceedings is Fox News, whose coverage of the “town hall meetings” last week was sponsored by – wait for it — an insurance company. It amazed me that nobody in Fox’s PR department deemed it imprudent to display the sponsor’s logo right there on the screen, revealing for all to see that Goliath was behind the broadcast.

The stink of an uncovered wound offers clues to its healing. We are watching the exposition of a process that has been allowed to fester for decades. Though it is a natural human response to want to turn away in disgust, the big picture provided by astrology reminds us that repulsion (Pluto) is a great galvanizer (Uranus). As these planets move into their T-square with Saturn, the truth is coming out and the populace is being energized.

Sometimes people get confused and angry when roused from sleep. Waking up is a complicated process.

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28 comments
analysa
analysa

In your second comment anonymous you make two remarks. First that the private sector creates higher costs and second, that profit is something evil. First of all, Profit is nothing Evil, however, Life is All about Profit. When you have an astro consultation you want to profit from the advice you receive; when you flush your toilet you want to profit by the contents going down and away; when you buy boots for the winter, you want to profit by keeping warm and dry; when you eat your meals you want to profit by being nourished; when you read a book you want to profit by learning something useful or at least have a stimulating, pleasant, entertaining time reading it. If you take Nature as your model and investigate various systems, you will see that there is an endless exchange going on that is supportive to all its participants, who at the same time make the necessary adjustments, as needed, and if they don´t, they perish. That is simply Natural Law. But, Life and Evolution are all about Profit achieved through effort, creativity and play or deprivation, failure and extermination. And there is nothing evil about that, unless you choose to think so. The HUUUGE PROFIT that you refer to has more to do with THIEVERY through CORRUPTION, and the end result of that is that nobody profits. America has become the largest debtor in history by consuming three times what it produces. If that is not corrupt, I wonder what is? The banking elite and the politicians are just doing the masses the “favor” of forcing them to wake up. I just wonder sometimes how much more corrupt it has to become before people lose all their liberties.Corruption is the result of running a system inefficiently, against Natural Law and the evidence shows, if you care to do the indepth study, in this case, is a result of government intervention and central banks printing fiat money. We never have had a Free Market economy. With all the meddling of the FED and the Government, it is impossible to have a Free Market Economy, just look at how success is being taxed to subsidize failure. This phony economy is the direct result of all the government and FED intervention. A true Free Market is the only solution and is similar to running along Natural Law, but would have to be implemented slowly over time, given all the dependencies that have been created already. The Free Market has built within it a true safety system that will prevent this level of corruption, because nobody gets bailed out and all businesses and banks are accountable for their actions at all times and their livelihood depends on their competent, affordable services to customers. If government would take away their dumb subsidies, prices would fall and health insurance would be affordable by all. The fear of failure would prevent businesses from taking lunatic risks, because nobody would stand behind them to pick them up with tax payers money. In a free market, supply and demand aren´t artificially stimulated by government but by natural market forces. If you happen to have a copy of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu, one of the most spiritual revered books, you will see that it also advocates a free market economy. And Capitalism is not Evil, but is the Law of Life, Michael Moore has it wrong. Just go into a jungle or a dessert for 6 month with just a knife and one set of clothing. You will learn about capitalism real fast. As I understand it, the time of religious or political saviors is over.The solution: going back to the Constitution, shrinking government, getting rid of the FED, re-establishing sound money, moving towards a Free Market, getting rid of professional politicians and educating people about healthy eating and living.On youtubeFood Lobby goes to Schoolwatch?v=tVfAWbitBTsWhat is wrong with what we eatwatch?v=5YkNkscBEp0

analysa
analysa

From what I am learning it looks more like everything the government runs ends up being bankrupt, not just the Post Office. And it is not really just the financial bankruptcy, but the legal and moral corruption behind it, which is much more dangerous. Amtrak is broke. Medicaid is broke. Medicare is broke. Social Security is a bigger fraud and ponzi scheme than anything Bernie Madoff could have ever dreamed of. Did you know that the Federal Government ended up suing individual states so that they would be blocked from enforcing time-tested real estate lending laws, which resulted in the creation of countless billions of $ in real estate loans in a split second? Then the impressive efforts of government sponsored titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create, in abundance, secondary markets for foul mortgage-related IOUs. All of course, supported by the Fed who expanded credit rapidly and held interest rates at absurdly low levels for years. Both the FED and the government together created the necessary conditions for the financial bubble that burst last September. There NEVER was a lack of regulation, on the contrary, a massive regulatory corrupt government held the reins, and they celebrated their success, behind locked doors, with their Wall St. best friends, and it is of course these reckless bankers who are being bailed out. Government subsidizes and supports failure, that totally goes against Natural Law or Order, just take a basic course in biology. Then look at the Department of Defense, which by law is required to have an annual financial audit, but each year a functionary testifies before Congress explaining that the accounts are in such a mess that it is impossible to audit them. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan, maintaining more than 1000 military installations in 135 countries. The 3 Trillions, I think it was, that disappeared one day before 9/11 and to this day no one knows where they went. Never mind the unconstitutional Patriot Act, Bush authorizing torture, suspending Habeas Corpus, the danger of now loosing freedom of speech, the www maybe coming under government control, Obama planing to give unlimited power to the Federal Reserve, which would turn it into the only private unregulated super secret entity on the planet!!! The list of unconstitutional policies just goes on and on and on.The sad thing is that American´s keep falling, once more, into the blame trap of Republican vs. Democrats, when for decades career politicians on both sides, have been taking away personal liberties, debasing the dollar and ruining the economy. From what I am seeing, there are still a few delusional bubbles that need to burst, one being the idea that “government is there to serve us and can solve our problems vs. businesses are evil and corrupt”. There are good and honest willing people both in government and in business. And corruption, greed and envy is common to man and moves across all social systems and class.Warren Buffet would have used his financial creativity and turned the Post Office into a success, that is what entrepreneurs usually do.On you tube:The Duty of the Peoplewatch?v=9b3Q89FZoY0 or if you preferwatch?v=wcZK2CF3mZ8

Anonymous
Anonymous

It's interesting that people criticize the government for running huuuge deficits when providing a service such as the postal service or health care, but they don't seem to get the fact that when private industry runs it, you still pay for what it costs to provide the service AND THE HUUUGE PROFIT the company makes as well. I don't think people's health should be subject to profit--only what it costs to provide the service.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree, the Postal Service isn't a success story. It's more a story of a service that has undergone immense pressures with the advent of email and the internet. It wouldn't matter if it was run by Warren Buffet, it's just not going to thrive in this environment and the only thing Warren would do differently is figure out how to give it a more timely end. Having worked in civil service for three decades, I can vouch that there is plenty the government can screw up, but it does an awful lot very well too. The day-in, day-out service that government quietly provides citizens doesn't make the news, but if it comes to trusting someone with doing the right thing, I'll take a civil servant any day of the week over a CEO.

analysa
analysa

All of it from someone who has not been to a doctor for over 23 years and who has taken responsibility for her health and does not expect the government to do that, which it can´t anyways.

analysa
analysa

“The greatest assault on social justice is what we eat - voluntarily”.Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is RESPONSIBLE for his or her own health.Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.- John Mackey co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods

analysa
analysa

....Pluto's intention within the collective Soul is TO DESTROY EXCESSIVE DEPENDENCY on any external situation for security reasons. The evolutionary enforcement of learning self-reliance and self-sufficiency is at hand. This is why so many relationships have simply been blown to pieces, relationships that were once so close, so loving: and, yet, to co-dependent. New relationship models are in the process of evolving. Evolution is always preceded, in varying degrees of intensity, by involution. Involution means to undo or destroy something that is currently existing. Evolution then follows this involutionary change. One of these new models will be, in a common sense, THE SELF-SUFFICIENT typing that we have been discussing. At this point it may be useful to remember that all of us, at a Soul level, simply create the conditions necessary to facilitate our evolutionary progression, and to work out the difficult aspects of our karma, personally and with other people, in the ways that we do. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS. From the largest point of view, an ultimate point of view, there are no victims.Jeffrey Green astrologer

analysa
analysa

......before we can take care of others, we have an OBLIGATION to take care of ourselves- we must ALWAYS come first. ........ ... But in each case, WE MUST ALSO LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE TRULY SELFISH - a concept that currently has a very negative connotation. Being truly selfish simply means BEING RESPONSIBLE for making sure that our individual fundamental needs are being met before we devote any of our resources to helping others meet their needs. Until we can help ourselves, we cannot be expected to help others. Once we are able to help ourselves, however, then we do have an obligation to assist others not simply by meeting their needs for them, but by helping them discover how THEY CAN TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their lives, and begin to meet their needs on their own. “The Complete Node Book” by Kevin Burk

m.p.k.
m.p.k.

I'm acutely aware that feds are wasting my money claiming "defense" and other pretexts that are merely handouts to a greedy and unaccountable corporate interests. I pay about 40K in taxes per year and for the life of me I can't see what they do with it all and still don't have enough money to run things. It's offensive to me that my money funded Iraq, funded Blackwater, etc and I had no say in it whatsoever. That idiots and fear mongering zealots claiming to be patriots willfully and arrogantly ran the country into the ground and even now deny and obfuscate the truth of their actions. That the future of safety nets that I and others pay thousands into every year are in jeopardy while the safety of these priveleged tax dollar fueled corporations is sacrosanct.

m.p.k.
m.p.k.

idea of the systemically corrupt-to-the-bone US Federal Government running my healthcare does not set well with meThis is a joke. You've been hoodwinked if you believe this viewpoint. The "systematically corrupt government" does just fine running the postal service, maintaining our roads etc. In fact, it probably does a much better job than any private industry ever could at these overararching tasks. This is the kind of thing the government is good at and should do. Wake up.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think Pluto in Capricorn also has something to say about limits. There is so much discussion about pro- or con- in the healthcare reform debate. I'm all for making healthcare a non-profit activity. However, even if we strip all the insurance profits, I believe we still have to deal with the fact that medical technology has proceeded at a pace much faster than our philosophical understanding about death. I hear most conversations talking about this or that plan being workable. And I agree there are differences, but none of this is going to forestall healthcare rationing. It is a given - our national conversation about medical technology and what that means in terms of hard choices is far overdue.

gsabino
gsabino

The bank bailout is just the latest. How many billions and billions were sunk into the Iraq war without even a question being asked. Is it just me, or is there always enough money for "defense" and when it comes to helping ourselves live decent lives, there is never enough? Why do we spend gazillions on war without blinking an eye, but 1 billion for health care is an unheard of amount of money?As for the Pluto return, I don't think it is going to be pretty.

Jessica Murray
Jessica Murray

WiseMan,I too was just thinking about the hundreds of billions in bailout money that was handed over, no strings attached, to the very bankers who tanked the global economy. After a brief surge of popular anger, news of that outrage disappeared from the headlines; to be replaced by coverage of citizen anger at health care reform. Is this what the shrinks call displacement? /Perhaps entitlement is also playing a part: insured middle-class Americans know that what they have is bad, but fear (with ample help from the fear-mongers) giving it up for what might be worse. But when I hear them decrying the prospect of substandard impersonal care I can only conclude they don't realize what their uninsured countrymen experience right now -- at understaffed public hospitals and charity-run free clinics -- because universal health care is not considered a human right. /It's odd that more attention isn't being paid to the excellent public health programs of England or the Continent. Not that our ability to emulate those systems would be possible without first cleaning out the rot in the US govt, thoroughly compromised as it is by corporate power. Will the USA Pluto Return do that job? Jessica

Wiseman
Wiseman

So spending money to bail out banks whose corporate executives proceed to spend the money on their own six, seven and even eight figure bonuses and lavish retreats is OK. But spending money, however, to ensure that every American man, woman and child has their basic human needs tended to is horrible and wrong? That's certainly what it sounds like coming from the people who argue against health care reform. Neptune at its' foggiest, indeed!Fear the government, the public health care nay-sayers say. Well, who do you think is truly responsible for the government? What does it say in the Constitution? WE THE PEOPLE! We the people ARE the government! When Americans finally wake up and remember this, that WE THE PEOPLE are and are responsible for our own government, no possible amount of money, lies and propaganda will save the corporations and media from the great and long overdue revolution that will finally knock them all down and put them into their place. It seems that time is drawing nearer by the day.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great article as always. I learn so much from your skill, and am just so glad you are posting Jessica. You are one of the good ones!

Jessica Murray
Jessica Murray

Pro-ers and Con-ers:I'm stumped as to what the "rosy glasses" refer to. The fact that I see a chance of humanity waking up? (For the record: I'm of the The-Earth-plane-is-just-a-temporary-gig school of thought.) Or that I'm an Obama supporter, as opposed to a townhall-protester supporter? I don't think it could be the latter, given how I'm always calling out the US two-party system as a divide-and-conquer sham, manipulated by the media to keep the citizenry distracted. Could the "rosy glasses" refer to an idea that I support the health care bill? If so, for the record: I believe that anything short of single-payer universal health care is just another part of the scam, designed to keep the American plutocracy as-is.Jessica

analysa
analysa

I too see many rosy glasses,..... I find this the very interesting part though. And it doesn´t stop me from reading here or where ever I see them, on the contrary.

analysa
analysa

"The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." - Sigmund Freud

Jessica Murray
Jessica Murray

Anon, KV and MS, It is great to see these comments. Thank you for writing in.JM

Morgana Silverseale
Morgana Silverseale

The only difference between a government bureaucrat and an insurance company bureaucrat is that the government 'crat, ostensibly, is charged with working for the people. The insurance company 'crat is bound by no such scruples.Sorry, anonymous 8:07am and Kathy Vinson - there is no defending the ignorance, vitriol, and flat-out hatred displayed by protesters at these so-called "town hall meetings." Rallied, as they are, by the conservative radio shock jocks who laugh as they roll their wheelbarrows full of corporate cash to the banks. They are like spoiled children who thrown themselves down in the supermarket, kicking and screaming at top volume, when Mom refuses to buy Sugar Smacks. Methinks they, and perhaps you two as well, would benefit from a thorough spanking!

Kathy Vinson
Kathy Vinson

I must agree the town hall protesters have valid points. I am not a radical conservative "wing-nut", but the idea of the systemically corrupt-to-the-bone US Federal Government running my healthcare does not set well with me. Frankly, I think neither the private insurers nor the Feds are going to solve this because they both have covert and/or overt greed motives. Makes no difference if it's for profit vs not-for-profit, in this system, everyone's gaming. Pluto is giving us a hard lesson in driving out the rot, so no favorites here. From the looks of it, we might need to burn it to the ground before we can actually conceive of a truly equitable healthcare system. We're not there now and in the meantime, there's a lot of yelling that apparently needs to happen as people express profound rage at being conned by those that purport to help and IMO, it's part of the healing. Leave 'em alone.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The reason why people are protesting is due to the fact that what's in this bill is pretty shocking. Have you read the bill. Have you researched who the health care advisors are or what kind of material they have written in the past on eugenics and their view on what little worth senior and infant have as humans?I am pretty shocked. Most time you've managed to stay unbiased but here I see rosy glasses I never saw before. Please read the bill, please investigate who these people are before making judgements on why the protesters are so angry.This will the last time I read your blog as I am very disapointed as the state of sleep you are in.

Jessica Murray
Jessica Murray

Mpk,"The crazier they get... the freer I get". What power there is in this mantrum.Thank you.Jessica

m.p.k
m.p.k

The realization that's come to me is that even though the country may continue to choose incorrectly, I can still mostly choose whatever I want. I can still choose not to participate in the insanity. We are enslaved mostly by our own devices, even now. The crazier they get, the more I wake up and jettison them, the freer I get. Thanks for a brilliant article.

Jessica Murray
Jessica Murray

Gsabino,I agree: consciousness begins at home. The relationship between our own awakeness and that of the country (see my September column in DayKeeperJournal.com) is one of mirroring. Our prayers and intentions change the world.Thank you for your thoughts.Jessica

gsabino
gsabino

Great post as always. I see this as a time of revealing. For those who care to see, the manipulation of the people by corporate interests has never been so obvious. This is not the first time that the moneyed interests have worked flatly against the common good (see:cigarettes,alcohol) but it may be the most despicable yet. As you have stated so well, our nation is critically ill. Health reform is essential now, and "they" have convinced the populace that it is against their interest. For me, it becomes clearer every day that the best we can do is pray and work on ourselves. I think it is the only way forward for us.