Saturday, November 30, 2019

Welcome to new visitors from! (and to returning friends)

Sincere thank-you to Freeman Fly for having me over for an engaging conversation on his podcast at FreemanTV. Welcome to any new visitors who heard about my work for the first time thanks to Freeman -- hope you will visit often and explore all the content on my primary website, "Star Myths of the World," at

This interview was recorded on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. You can go directly to the interview page here where you can listen to and download the episode of the podcast with our conversation.

We discussed a wide range of subjects during the first hour, followed by an extended conversation in the "Free Zone."

Previous posts which deal with subjects we touched upon during our conversation include:
I hope you enjoy this episode and will let Freeman know that you did. He was a very gracious host and I appreciate his invitation to join him on his long-running show for a most enjoyable exploration of the ancient myths, their connection to the stars, and their message for us today, in this very present moment!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Special pricing on video presentations from this year's Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge

If you are interested in watching my talk on "Stars, Myths and Recovering Your Self" which I presented earlier this year in October in Newport Beach, California during the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge, it is now available for purchase through the organizers of that event.

I just noticed today that the organizers of the conference have created a limited-time special offer to watch the video presentations of the talks (via streaming) for half price: $7.50 USD apiece rather than the regular price of $15.00 USD each.

In addition, during this limited-time offer, they are offering all eleven available lectures from this year's event for $75.00 USD, which includes my presentation as well as the presentations by Walter Cruttenden, Carmen Boulter, Robert Edward Grant, Alistair Coombs, Chris Dunn, Alan Green, Andrew Collins, Anyextee, Joseph Selbie, and Dr. Stephen Lin (whose leading of a chanted mantra, and his explanation of the connection between chanting and the vibration of the bones of the skull and the pineal gland, is not to be missed). 

As someone who was there I can attest to the fact that the speakers and presentations during this special weekend are well worth seeing (I am not directly connected to the conference itself and receive no compensation for sales of any video presentations -- I am posting this message for those interested who may not have noticed the special pricing offer).

You can purchase access to individual presentations on this page, and find the link to purchase the "bundle" of eleven presentations on the main CPAK 2019 page here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

New video: "Agamemnon, Chryses, and the Wrath of Apollo"

Here's a new video I just created entitled "Agamemnon, Chryses, and the Wrath of Apollo."

The video expands on the celestial connections noted in the previous post, "Agamemnon and the wrath of Apollo -- and what it means to us today."

While searching for ancient artwork to illustrate that recent post, I found this image showing detail of the artwork on a vase thought to date to around 360 BC, depicting the scene from Book One of the Iliad in which Chryses, father of Chryseis, approaches Agamemnon to beg for the release of his daughter:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I do not recall ever having seen this ancient depiction previously -- but if so, I had not previously been aware of the astonishing celestial parallels incorporated by the artist into this scene, which fairly leapt out at me when I encountered it (perhaps for the first time) just two days ago.

This particular piece of artwork, attributed to the "Athens 1714 Painter," contains some of the most undeniable and abundant celestial connections of any ancient artwork I've examined, and I realized that this ancient piece of art deserved a detailed video all its own.

The result is the latest video, which I hope you will find to be of value in your own understanding of the celestial correspondences in ancient myth and ancient artwork -- and the application of their ancient wisdom to your own life.

Please feel free to share with those who would also find this information to be beneficial.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Agamemnon and the wrath of Apollo -- and what it means to us today

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The very opening lines of the ancient epic of the Iliad invoke the Muse and ask her inspiration to sing of the rage of the matchless warrior Achilles, and asking her to go back to the very inception of the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon the king of Mycenae and (as head of the largest army among all the Achaeans) the acknowledged supreme commander of the Argives in their campaign against the city of Ilium (or Troy):
Rage -- Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles [ . . . ]
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.
Book One, lines 1 - 8, translation by Robert Fagles, page 77.
The very next line asks:
What god drove them to fight with such a fury?
Apollo the son of Zeus and Leto. Incensed at the king
he swept a fatal plague through the army -- men were dying
and all because Agamemnon spurned Apollo's priest.
Yes, Chryses approached the Achaeans' fast ships
to win his daughter back, bringing a priceless ransom
and bearing high in hand, wound on a golden staff,
the wreaths of the god, the distant deadly Archer.
Book One, lines 9 - 16, pages 77 - 78.
The ancient verses tell us that all the ranks of the Achaean warriors cried out their assent and urged the king to accept the ransom offered by the holy man for the release of his daughter, Chryseis, but that Agamemnon (himself quite insecure in many ways, as we see throughout the rest of the epic) rejects the father's plea and sends him away "with a brutal order ringing in his ears" --
"Never again, old man,
let me catch sight of you by the hollow ships!
Not loitering now, not slinking back tomorrow.
The staff and the wreaths of god will never save you then.
The girl -- I won't give up the girl. Long before that,
old age will overtake her in my house, in Argos,
far from her fatherland, slaving back and forth
at the loom, forced to share my bed! Now go,
don't tempt my wrath -- and you may depart alive!"
Book One, lines 29 - 37, page 78.
Terrified and heartbroken, the old man obeys the king and turns away, walking in silence along the shore where the waves are crashing against the beach. There, once safely away from the wrath of Agamemnon, Chryses utters a prayer to Apollo, god of music and of medicine, but also of the plague, and asks for his aid in punishing the king and returning Chryses' daughter from her cruel captor. The ancient poem tells us that Apollo is infuriated:
Down he strode from Olumpus' peaks, storming at heart
with his bow and hooded quiver slung across his shoulders.
The arrows clanged at his back as the god quaked with rage,
the god himself on the march and down he came like night.
Over against the ships he dropped to a knee, let fly a shaft
and a terrifying clash rang out from the great silver bow.
First he went for the mules and circling dogs but then,
launching a piercing shaft at the men themselves,
he cut them down in droves --
and the corpse-fires burned on, night and day, no end in sight.
Book One, lines 50 - 60, page 79.
This episode in the ancient myths clearly shows that the offenses against heaven which are perpetrated by the leaders of a nation can result in suffering and death even among those who oppose the injustices being committed by their leaders (the Iliad telling us specifically in Book One, lines 25 and 26 that "all ranks of Achaeans" cried out to Agamemnon to "Respect the priest, accept the shining ransom" and return Chryseis to her father).

For nine days the deadly arrows of Apollo bring plague and death to the Achaean warriors until on the tenth day Achilles calls all the ranks together, and addressing Agamemnon tells the king that the war is lost and they must sail home (perhaps not even escaping the plague even then) -- unless they can summon "a holy man, a prophet, even a man skilled with dreams" (noting in an aside that "dreams can come our way from Zeus") and ask the seer what has angered the god and brought such destruction (Book One, lines 71 - 78, page 79). 

If they can find out from the prophet what has angered Apollo, Achilles says, then perhaps they can address the issue, correct the offense, and appeal to the god to save them from the plague he has sent.

Then the poem tells us that the prophet Calchas steps forward -- "the clearest by far of all the seers who scan the flight of birds" (Book One, lines 80 - 81, page 79). He first addresses Achilles and requests that Achilles swear to protect him, since what he has to say will enrage a powerful man -- "a powerful man who lords it over all the Argives, one the Achaeans must obey" (meaning, of course, Agamemnon). Then, Calchas declares that the god Apollo is enraged because Agamemnon insulted Apollo's priest Chryses, refusing to release his daughter, and that the heavenly Archer will continue to inflict the ranks with inescapable plague until the girl is given back to her loving father, and a hundred bulls are given to Apollo.

As I first noted in this post from 2015 and subsequently on November 22 three years ago, author and scholar Peter Kingsley, who is himself a kind of a prophet, has pointed to this episode at the opening of the Iliad as illustrating the truth that:
Prophecy is not about the future. Prophets don't talk about the future. What they do is: they talk about the past -- which has been hidden. Things which have happened -- that have been covered over, and no longer clear. That is what the real prophets do: they speak about the past, but the past which has been forgotten. 
And you can see this if you look: you can see, say, with Empedocles -- this man I'm so connected with. As a prophet, he tries to point out to people what they have forgotten, what has gone wrong, what is missing -- why they don't function in the world anymore, why there is so much suffering, disease, disharmony, misery: because we've forgotten our divine source. He traces it all back.  
And you can see it also at the very beginning of Homer's Iliad, when there is a whole plague. The soldiers are devastated, by sickness and plague. They're suffering; they're dying. And what happens, in this case? They find a prophet, and they ask him what's going wrong. And he says: "Apollo -- these are the arrows of Apollo. He's shot these arrows of plague, into the troops, because you did something wrong, you offended Apollo." And then it all becomes very simple. Because you see, once you know what's wrong, then you can sort it out -- you can make amends. It's very, very precise. That is what prophecy is. [From a lecture by Peter Kingsley in the series entitled The Elders].
The ancient wisdom given to humanity shows us very clearly and tells us very explicitly that we must go back to the source in order to fix our problems, and to correct the suffering and dysfunction with which we are afflicted. In the very opening words of the Iliad itself, the poem invokes the goddess and asks her to begin at the very source of everything which then unfolds throughout the rest of the entire epic.

This truth applies at both the individual level and at the wider societal and cultural level, as the above-cited episode from the Iliad implies: the suffering of the Achaeans who die from the plague sent by Apollo does not come from their own offense against heaven but rather that of Agamemnon. And, as another modern prophet, the healer and best-selling author Dr. Gabor Mate, explains the two are connected: the dysfunction and trauma expressed at a societal level will inevitably lead to suffering and dysfunction on an individual level, and if we want to address our own self-damaging behaviors and addictions, we must go back to the source, just as the ancient traditions of the world show us in the ancient myths.

In another of his extremely worthwhile podcast interviews, this one a conversation with Sam Lawrence of the Grow Big Always podcast published on August 22, 2016, Dr. Mate explains (beginning at 0:33:30 in the interview):
If I'm right, and I don't doubt that I am, that the first question is not "why the addiction?" but "why the pain?" -- you cannot heal addiction by looking at it as a behavior problem or simply as a disease. You have to deal with the pain that's underlying it. And the essence of trauma -- just as with your self-acknowledged discomfort with your self -- is exactly that: a discomfort with the self, a disconnection from the self. And so just focusing on the disease aspects of it, or on the behavior aspects of it, without reconnecting with our true selves, is not sufficient.
A few minutes earlier in the same interview, beginning at about 0:24:26 in the audio clip, Dr. Mate explains the connection between the dysfunction in the wider society and the trauma which separates an individual from his or her essential self, leading to lifelong patterns of addiction and self-sabotaging behavior:
So that's on the individual level -- but then on the societal level, you have a society which (as we said earlier) isolates people, breaks down communities, destroys connection, and stresses people tremendously: stresses them by economic insecurity, by loss of control, by cultural dislocation. And so now you have highly-stressed parents raising kids. The more stressed the parents are, the less emotionally-available they are to their kids -- so what you've got is a multi-generational and cultural transmission of pain -- that's what's going on. And it's not a question of blaming individual parents: it's a question of seeing how this culture induces the stress on people, how that stress affects individual families, and then how, in those individual families, individual human beings then grow up with the sense of isolation and pain which then the addiction is there to soothe somehow. So you can't separate. One of the great teachings of traditional spiritual teaching, but also modern science, is: "You can't separate individuals from their environment." So they're all products in a sense of our societal and cultural environment. So, individual health if you will is not an individual issue: it's a societal and a cultural issue.
And as the quotation from Peter Kingsley cited above tells us, and as the episode from the Iliad recounted earlier shows us, and as Dr. Mate himself declares directly in the same interview, we cannot correct the dysfunction until we become aware of the origin or source of the problem -- but once we become aware of and acknowledge the actual source of the issue, then we have taken the most important first step and can begin to address it. 

At 0:41:42 towards the end of the conversation with Sam Lawrence, Dr. Mate says:
It has to begin with an awareness that this is going on, and, "Yes -- I've been affected by these patterns, and this is how they show up in my life, and this is how they show up in my relationship with my spouse, and my children, and my work, and how I deal with the internet" and all that, you know? In other words, there's got to be an awareness and an acceptance that this is how it is. And then, depending on where you are, who you are, what resources are available to you -- yes, you might see a counsellor. I highly recommend, perhaps self-servingly but not purely, that people read my books: a lot of people have found them helpful. But lots of other books, lots of other great teaching out there. Spiritual teachers, like Eckhard Tolle, I find very powerful guides; A. H. Almaas, very powerful guide, spiritually- and psychologically-speaking. Individual counseling, Yoga, meditation, mindful awareness practices, bodywork, EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique, somatic experiencing, Peter Levine's work on trauma, Bessel van der Kolk's work on trauma, Daniel Siegel's work on the development of the mind and mindful awareness, Jack Kornfield and his mindful awareness Buddhist work: there's just so much out there. And it begins with a recognition, and I suppose an unflinching dedication that when issues and problems arise, we don't see them as problems to be fixed, but we see them as growth opportunities: that each time a problem arises it's another opportunity for us to grow and to learn. And that takes constant dedication -- and I don't mean a grim, negative despair -- but I mean a dedication to awareness and a dedication to expansion, and expansion means letting go of restrictive ideas and self-judgments and patterns and behaviors.
These are extremely helpful perspectives for each of us dealing with issues on an individual level.

But as the quotations from the interview cited above clearly assert, and as the episode from the Iliad dramatically demonstrates, dysfunction at a societal level and (in the case of Agamemnon) a disdain for the will of the gods leads directly to trauma and suffering among the ranks of the individuals within that society. Thus, in addition to identifying and acknowledging and addressing our own deeper issues which resulted in our own personal disconnection from our self, we must as a society uncover those "the past which has been hidden: things which have happened that have been covered over, and no longer clear" (in the words of Peter Kingsley) and which are leading to "so much suffering, disease, disharmony, misery."

The verses of the ancient epic of the Iliad are not about persons far removed from us, fighting in some regional conflict that happened thousands of years in the past. Indeed, as I make very clear in the analysis presented in Star Myths of the World, Volume Two: Myths of Ancient Greece (2016), the characters and episodes described in that ancient poem can be shown to be based on celestial metaphor, and not on literal or historical events at all. 

Indeed, the scene shown at the top of this post is from a vase on display at the Louvre and attributed to the "Athens 1714 Painter," thought to have been made around 360 BC. The artwork depicts Chryses approaching Agamemnon on his knees and entreating the king to release his captive daughter. Longtime readers of my writing and those familiar with my arguments may perceive that the ancient artist has very clearly based this scene upon a very specific region of the night sky, with each of the figures depicted corresponding to constellations in the proper position relative to one another to indicate that this mythological scene from the Iliad is in fact a celestial scene. 

The diagram below shows the scene from the ancient vase juxtaposed with a star-chart with labels indicating which figure corresponds to which constellation in the heavens, specifically Virgo (for Agamemnon) and Scorpio (for Chryses, on his knees entreating Agamemnon to give back his daughter), with the goddess Athena directly above Chryses (Athena with her spear and helmet corresponding to Ophiuchus, as I explain in many of my books and other writings), and even figures corresponding to Aquarius (on the left as we face the artwork) and Bootes (on the right as we face the artwork) included for additional context.

Clearly, at least some men and women in the ancient world understood that these stories are metaphors -- and that they are not actually about distant events and other people but rather they are about us, in this very present moment.

I would argue that much of the trauma and dysfunction which is now built into "western society" has its origin in the disconnection from the ancient wisdom given to every society in the ancient myths of their ancestors, ancient wisdom later stamped out by literalist reinterpretation of the stories in the Bible, which themselves can be shown to be based on this very same ancient world-wide system.

But, as the discussion above makes clear, healing is possible when we uncover and acknowledge the past which has been hidden, the trauma which has been covered over -- and not until we do.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

A very bad day in world history

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

November 22 each year marks the anniversary of the day on which the elected president of the united states was murdered in broad daylight by perpetrators whose identity and indeed very existence has been carefully covered up and kept from the public ever since.

The fact that even to this day, now 56 years after the assassination, the official story told to the men and women of the world and assiduously maintained by all the major corporate media sources continues to be repeated in unison from all major news agencies, year-in and year-out without any serious examination or critical analysis, despite overwhelming evidence showing that the official story cannot possibly be true, demonstrates very clearly that the supposedly independent media is controlled, that the supposedly independent press in the united states lies to you on a regular basis, and suggests very strongly that the forces behind that assassination remain in control instead of the rightful government "of the people, for the people, and by the people."

The level to which the supposedly independent press has been taken over by the same forces responsible for the assassination of the elected president is starkly demonstrated by author and researcher James DeEugenio in his book Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case (Second Edition), first published in 1992 and updated in 2012 and available at his extensive and extremely informative website Kennedys and King.

Describing the pursuit of the truth by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (1921 - 1992), which in 1967 was beginning to gain traction and attract public attention to the evidence that the official story was almost certainly false, NBC aired a one-hour special filled with witnesses whose testimony made Garrison look like he was bribing and coercing witnesses to lie, effectively destroying Garrison's character to the public. Remember that at the time there were only three television news outlets and that such a televised special, aired during prime time hours and on a subject of such importance and national interest, would naturally attract a wide audience.

You can see that NBC special online here. The special saves its most damning character assassination of Garrison for the very end, when a former New Orleans resident named Fred Leemans testifies on camera that he was bribed by the District Attorney's office (begins at 0:49:50 in the above-linked online version of the show). Fred Leemans later, in January of 1969, wrote an affidavit admitting that he was actually pressured and threatened to say that he had been bribed and that the statements he had given to the District Attorney regarding the activities of Clay Shaw were actually influenced by members of the District Attorney's office.

Leemans admits that he lied on camera for the NBC special because he and his family were threatened repeatedly.

Jim DeEugenio publishes this affidavit in his book, on pages 240 and 241 of the second edition:
I would like to state the reasons for which I appeared on the NBC show and lied about my contacts with the District Attorney's office. First, I received numerous anonymous threateneing phone calls relative to the information I had given to Mr. Garrison. The gist of these calls was to the effect that if I did not change my statement and state that I had been bribed by Jim Garrison's office, I and my family would be in physical danger. In addition to the anonymous phone calls, I was visited by a man who exhibited a badge and stated that he was a government agent. This man informed me that the government was presently checking the bar owners in the Slidell area for possible income tax violations. This man then inquired whether I was the Mr. Leemans involved in the Clay Shaw case. When I informed him that I was, he said that it was not smart to be involved because a lot of people that had been    got hurt    and that people in powerful places would see to it that I was taken care of. One of the anonymous callers suggested that I change my statement and state that I had been bribed by Garrison's office to give him the information about Clay Shaw. He suggested that I contact Mr. Irvin Dymond, attorney for Clay L. Shaw, and tell him that I gave Mr. Garrison the statement about Shaw only after Mr. Lee [Garrison's assistant DA] offered me 2,500 dollars. After consulting with Mr. Dymond by telephone and in person, I was introduced to Walter Sheridan, investigative reporter for NBC, who was then in the process of preparing the NBC show. Mr. Dymond and Mr. Sheridan suggested that I appear on the show and state what I had originally told Mr. Dymond about the bribe offer by the District Attorney's office. I was informed by Mr. Dymond that should the District Attorney's office charge me with giving false information as a result of the statement I had originally given them, he would see to it that I had an attorney and that a bond would be posted for me. In this connection Mr. Dymond gave me his home and office telephone numbers and advised me that I could contact him at any time of day or night should I be charged by Garrison's office as a result of my appearing on the NBC show. My actual appearance on the show was taped in the office of Aaron Kohn, Managing Director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, in the presence of Walter Sheridan and Irvin Dymond.
As Jim DeEugenio explains in his book, NBC investigative reporter Walter Sheridan had previously worked for the NSA (page 229).

This testimony presents powerful evidence that the major news media outlets in the united states not only lie to the American people but that they are connected to powerful forces which can threaten witnesses with impunity as part of an effort to suppress the truth and protect a false narrative, and that they were already doing so in the 1960s.

The fact that they are still doing so today is testified by the fact that even today, fifty-six years later, they are still pushing the same false narrative regarding the assassination of President Kennedy.

Indeed, fully eighteen years after the criminal murder of thousands of citizens on September 11, 2001 the same major news media continue to push the official story about the events of that catastrophe, despite overwhelming evidence which shows that the official story cannot possibly be true. 

Important evidence was destroyed after the murder of John F. Kennedy, including the clothes the president was wearing when he was shot and the very car he was riding in. Important evidence was also destroyed following the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings (not only the North and South Towers but also Building 7) following September 11, 2001.

The importance of the assassination of the elected president on November 22, 1963 remains extremely relevant for every man, woman and child on our planet to this very day.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Friday, November 15, 2019

Blood lithium and the Bolivian coup

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Where do natural resources come from?

What is the source of the soil of the earth, the rushing rivers, the majestic forests, the sunshine that enables all life on our planet, the minerals in the earth which feed the soil and allow plants to grow, or even the very air we breathe?

These resources are described as natural resources because they are the gifts of nature. In the ancient myths and sacred traditions given to all the cultures around the globe, these resources are universally understood to be the gifts of the gods, given to men and women for their benefit.

Previous posts such as this one and this one have cited as an example the well-known myth surrounding the gifts of the god Poseidon and the goddess Athena to the people of the Attic Peninsula in Greece, and to the city of Athens in particular, as evidence that the ancient myths portray natural resources as gifts of the gods to the people of a land (this particular myth is even cited by Plato).

It should come as no great surprise, then, to note the strong parallels between the rise of literalist christianity, with its attendant destruction of original or indigenous sacred tradition beginning in the Mediterranean and in western Europe (and spreading elsewhere in subsequent centuries), and the rise of feudalism, with its seizure of land, forests, and other natural resources for the benefit of a small "aristocracy" (or oligopoly), and the denial of the benefits of the riches given by nature (or the gods) to the rest of the men and women of those lands.

As Professor Michael P. Hudson has explained in many books and essays, the rise of classical economics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sought to undo the egregious injustices of feudalism and the economic structures by which the gifts of nature, intended for the benefit of all the men and women of a nation, were fenced-off for the benefit of a few well-connected families at the expense of everyone else. 

The privatization of these gifts of nature deprives the people of the nation -- and, as Professor Hudson points out, these two words ("privatize" and "deprive") share the same root, along with the word "privilege" -- they all come from the Latin word privare which means "to restrict" or "to deny access" (see Hudson, J is for Junk Economics, 181).

What did the classical economists see as constituting the public domain, which should not be privatized or restricted or given as a benefit for just a few at the expense of all the men and women of a country? Michael Hudson explains:
Public assets (land, water, mineral rights, airwaves and other public infrastructure). As natural monopolies, they are best administered in the long-term interest via government or a community, not monopolized by rentiers as the ultimate takeover objective of finance capital. [J is for Junk Economics, 60]
Because these gifts of nature are extraordinary valuable, and enormously lucrative if captured by an individual, family, small group of families, or other subset of the overall population, the public domain is highly coveted by those who would rather that the benefits of these gifts of the gods (or gifts of nature, if you prefer) accrue only to themselves. As Michael Hudson explains elsewhere in the same volume:
Privatization is a program of stripping the public domain. Debt-strapped countries are obliged to rely on neoliberal planning by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. As a precondition for obtaining the credit needed to service their foreign debts and avoid currency destabilization, governments are obliged to sell the "crown jewels" of their public domain -- mineral rights, public land, forests and buildings, and enterprises long held in the public sector as natural monopolies such as communications, utilities and transportation. [Ibid, 34]
Some of the wealthiest individuals in the world made their fortunes by gaining access to the economic rents they were able to extract from the privatization of the categories of natural resources listed in the above paragraph. That is why those who wanted to engage in "rent-seeking" behavior sponsored a major backlash against the classical economists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (because the classical economists were first and foremost opposed to exactly that type of rent-seeking or rentier arrangements [pronounced ron-tee-ay, since it is a French word], because the classical economists recognized rent-seeking as the essence of the feudalism that the classical economists opposed).

In order to justify rent-seeking behavior, including especially the privatization of the natural resources given by nature (or the gods) to all the men and women of a country (see again the story of Athena and Poseidon, among countless other examples from ancient myth), proponents and beneficiaries of such rent-seeking pushed forward new schools of economics which taught that rent-seeking was actually beneficial instead of harmful. Modern neoliberal economics is a descendent of these rentier-friendly economic schools of thought -- and, indeed, a descendent therefore of the principles of feudalism which the classical economists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries opposed so vehemently.

Professor Hudson explains that, "Claiming to be more efficient than public management, rent seekers use spurious junk economics to depict government bureaucracy as always an evil to be eliminated, so as to justify privatizing the public domain" (Ibid, 60). These arguments are very familiar to us in the present day, because they have been repeated so assiduously by the proponents of neoliberal austerity and the privatization of the public domain. 

But, as Professor Hudson also explains, one of the most important reasons not to privatize the gifts of nature (or the gifts of the gods) is that privatization (especially in the era of modern finance) tends to emphasize short-term gains through "asset-stripping," with little or no consideration for the long-term interest of society (see for instance arguments on page 229 and elsewhere in the same volume).

The privatization of the gifts of nature given in the public domain is particularly harmful in developing nations, because those individuals or families who get private control of those resources generally sell them off to outside industries (foreign companies, from developed nations, which will then use them as raw material in their high-value finished products), instead of enabling the creation of domestic industry to add value to those natural resources and turn them into finished products. This chokes off the development of high-value production and industry in the country to which nature (or the gods) gave those gifts, leaving the majority of the population in poverty, in many cases.

This is a pattern repeated around the world with depressing consistency. Professor Hudson explains that the deceptive terminology of the proponents of what he calls "junk economics," which is parroted by the media, helps to brainwash the general public (particularly in developed nations, where they are benefiting from the injustices of this exploitive system) into accepting their economic theories. Speaking of the University of Chicago economic school, which during the twentieth century became one of the bastions of neoliberal economics opposed to the classical anti-rentier economics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Professor Hudson says:
The Chicago School's monetarism is the perspective of rentiers, financial speculators and traders, not nations seeking to develop their industry and agriculture. [Ibid, 276].
The non-stop repetition of neoliberal doctrine, backed up by the levers of economic coercion mentioned earlier (the World Bank and the IMF and the neoliberal austerity they force on nations that come to them for credit -- ie, for loans), is usually enough to accomplish the privatization of the public domain and natural resources which the outsiders covet from any nation. However, in some cases, even these formidable tools don't quite do the job -- and so the next step, Professor Hudson explains, is typically a coup d'etat

He writes:
And when economic theory fails to persuade governments to submit voluntarily to smash-and-grab privatization programs, the objective is achieved at gunpoint, as in Chile under General Pinochet or Ukraine under President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. [Ibid, 277].
This weekend, in Bolivia, the world witnessed yet another textbook example of the exact pattern which Professor Hudson describes in the quotations above, in his 2017 book J is for Junk Economics, and which he has been describing at least since the publication of his 1972 book Super-Imperialism.

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has consistently resisted demands for the privatization of the nation's tremendous natural resources, including oil and natural gas but most especially the enormous deposits of lithium, highly coveted in recent years for the manufacture of batteries for mobile electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets and laptops, but especially for the batteries which power hybrid and electronic automobiles (this 2018 article in Wired explains that the battery in a Tesla Model S contains about 12 kilograms of lithium).

This 2017 article in The Economist shows the region known as the "lithium triangle" which encompasses the junction of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina and contains what was then thought to be about 54% of the world's total supply of lithium. If you want to read that article and do not subscribe to The Economist, you can simply register in order to be able to read five articles a month for free (I personally would not recommend a paid subscription because The Economist is a mouthpiece for neoliberal economics -- as you can see in the article linked above, in which the author criticizes Bolivia for opposing the privatization of its lithium resources, while praising Argentina and Chile for privatizing their own reserves, to the benefit of just a few families in those countries and to the benefit of outside or foreign corporations, not to the benefit of the majority of the men and women in those countries).

Because Bolivia's lithium has thus far not been developed to any significant degree, the size of its reserves are not fully known, but may be the largest in the world. The government of Evo Morales recently (around November 4 or just prior to that date) canceled a joint lithium-mining project with a German multinational mining corporation, declaring that he wanted to foster Bolivian battery production (see article here). 

In other words, the elected government of the country chose not to privatize a natural resource given to the people of that country. One week later, Evo Morales was deposed in a coup -- although media in the developed nations that benefit from the extraction of resources such as lithium for their own smartphones and electric vehicles have carefully avoided calling it a coup at all. The removal of an elected leader at the "suggestion" of the military over the past weekend has already dropped out of the news cycle, with not a single story about Bolivia making it to the entire long landing page (digital "front page") of the New York Times today (Thursday the 14th), just four days later.

If you want to read some of the chilling details of this coup d'etat, you must go to "alternative" media sources, such as this article by Jeb Sprague in The Grayzone, published on November 13, and explaining that "at least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas" at Fort Benning, Georgia, indicating likely involvement by elements within the united states. Indeed, the president and secretary of state have already publicly endorsed self-declared successor Jeanine Anez as the new leader of Bolivia, despite the fact that under the constitution of Bolivia, there is a clear line of succession specified after the president, consisting of the leader of the upper house of the legislature, the leader of the lower house of the legislature, and then the deputy leader of the upper house of the legislature -- but this succession was ignored.

You may also want to read this article, also published in The Grayzone, for information about this shocking coup which you will not find discussed in the mainstream news sources in the united states, which have already largely dropped coverage, as well as this insightful article discussing the "four steps" of Hybrid War and how Venezuela has thus far resisted the fourth step in that pattern.

On the day following the coup, an article in the Wall Street Journal published the Reuters photo below, showing Jeanine Anez speaking with a military leader behind a prominently-displayed crucifix and open Bible. The article's author wrote: 
Mr. Morales, as Bolivia's first president of indigenous descent, retains wide support among the nation's Quechua and Aymara Indian groups. On Wednesday, thousands of supporters from El Alto, a working-class city with a large population of Aymara Indians, marched to the nearby capital of La Paz.  
[. . .]  
Differences between the former leader and the caretaker president were already apparent Tuesday night. A deeply religious Roman Catholic, Ms. Anez triumphantly lugged a huge Bible into the presidential palace. Mr. Morales had clashed with the church and used the building for traditional Aymara Indian ceremonies.

image: Reuters (WSJ article here).

There can be little doubt that this coup d'etat is about the struggle between two different visions of the use of the gifts of nature (or the gods) to a nation. Those who want to privatize those resources typically do not need to resort to an overt coup -- but if privatization is staunchly resisted, they clearly will resort to such extreme measures.

Those who are trying to paper-over this removal of an elected president by naked force and declare it to be a triumph of "democracy" show the world very clearly which side of that divide they are on. Those of us who purchase devices using lithium batteries -- or cars powered by lithium batteries -- should demand that companies which make products with lithium not source that lithium from nations that resort to coups d'etat to make that lithium available to foreign corporations, as well as express outrage at what has taken place, and outrage at media misrepresentation of the seriousness of the situation.

And those of us with an interest in understanding how we got to this point in history should take the time to look more deeply into the history of economic thought that Professor Michael Hudson has laid out in his numerous books and articles, as well as into the connection of these economic issues to the deeper question of the proper relationship to the gifts given by nature (or the gods) in the form of natural resources, including the air, the sunshine, the rivers, the forests, the oceans, the soil, and the mineral riches beneath the earth.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Artwork of the Maya demolishes the conventional historical paradigm!

Above is a brand-new video I've just posted entitled "Artwork of the Maya demolishes the conventional historical paradigm."

The video explores parallels between artwork in Maya stone sculptures thought to date to the period between AD 580 and AD 800 and ancient artwork from Egypt, Mesopotamia, ancient India and ancient Greece -- parallels which simply cannot be explained within the conventional paradigm taught in school and reinforced on television in a thousand different ways.

Join me as I reveal how these parallels actually point to the existence of an ancient world-wide language of celestial metaphor, which forms the foundation for virtually all of the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories.

Below is a photograph of a sculpted relief found on a lintel stone from the Maya site of Bonampak, in modern-day Chiapas, a state in southern Mexico bordering Guatemala, depicting a triumphant warrior standing over a defeated foe, whom he is menacing with a downward-pointing spear while simultaneously grasping the hair of his defeated opponent:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The way this scene is interpreted by conventional academics is as evidence that the Maya, once thought of as "the peaceful Maya," were actually quite violent. In other words, the scene is interpreted as if it depicts a literal, historical, and terrestrial episode.

Here is the caption at the Museum of Man in San Diego, California, accompanying a reproduction of this lintel scene (photograph by your hard-working author):

The caption reads:
Though once thought of as the "peaceful Maya," abundant evidence such as the captive-taking scene on this stone lintel from Bonampak indicates that warfare was an integral part of life for Maya city-states. The victor is represented in full battle regalia, including the image of a trophy skull on his chest. The captive is stripped of his finery and held firmly by the hair -- a Maya sign of defeat.
Whether or not "warfare was an integral part of life for Maya city-states," I am not in a position to say -- but I can say with a high degree of confidence that this lintel-scene should not be included in any supposedly "abundant evidence" to support such an assertion about the actual prevalence of warfare in the Maya period, because the scene in this artwork is entirely celestial in nature, as demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt by the discussion in my video.  Indeed, the scene itself has clear and undeniable parallels to scenes found in many other pieces of ancient artwork, including works from ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, and others. I would argue that this important lintel-piece from Bonampak almost single-handedly demolishes the conventional paradigm of history which continues to be advanced by academia, despite overwhelming evidence showing that the conventional paradigm is gravely flawed and in need of radical revision.This is not to detract from the Museum of Man in San Diego: I am actually very supportive of the museum's exhibition of incredible Maya artwork, including the awe-inspiring sculpted stelae and zoomorphic boulders on display. The museum, as with virtually all other museums, is simply repeating what they are told by scholars in the field, who thus far remain unaware of the undeniable evidence that scenes like this are celestial in nature -- as are virtually all of the world's ancient myths, where we find textual descriptions of episodes such as the slaying of Humbaba (or Huwawa) which can also be shown to be based on the same constellations as those which form the foundation for the Bonampak lintel-scene. Please feel free to share the above video with any academics you know (as well as with anyone else who might find this information to be beneficial).I would highly recommend visiting the incredible examples of Maya artwork on display in San Diego if at all possible. The pieces are actually high-quality replicas made from casts of the originals taken on-site at Quirigua, located in present-day Guatemala, in 1914. The nearly-exact, life-sized reproductions of the stelae and zoomorphs have been on display since 1915,  in the same building where they are located today. Despite the fact that they are not the originals, the power of the artwork and the scale of the monuments can still inspire awe.Stela E is fully 25 feet in height (your humble author is about 6' 3"):

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Olive Trees against Austerity

Here's a new video I just posted entitled "Olive Trees against Austerity."

In it, I explore some evidence from the world's ancient myths which shows us that the resources of a land are gifts from the gods to the people of that land -- we see this truth dramatized very clearly in the story of the contest between the god Poseidon and the goddess Athena to give gifts to the men and women of the Attic Peninsula (that contest is also discussed in a previous blog post entitled "Collaborators against the gods").

The most important resource given to any country, however, are the men and women whom the gods allow to be born into that land, and whose gifts (the myths clearly tell us) are given from the divine realm as well.

Thus, modern neoliberalism and its insistence upon fiscal "austerity" (seeking to remove the fiscal authority of elected governments to spend for the benefit of the people, and seeking to attack "budget deficits" by gutting spending, particularly on social programs, and raise taxes) disrespects and even squanders those gifts from the divine realm. Neoliberal austerity disrespects and squanders the gifts from the gods by creating unnecessary and completely preventable underemployment and outright unemployment -- which in effect throws the gifts of the gods in the gutter, tramples upon them, and spits on them.

With its insistence on fiscal austerity (which by definition demands higher taxes and lower spending, in order to reduce deficits), neoliberalism actually creates unemployment and underemployment. For a deeper discussion of how unemployment and underemployment are directly created by fiscal austerity (taxes too high and/or government fiscal spending too low), see the work of the pioneering economists of modern monetary theory ("MMT"), especially Warren Mosler (particularly the writings he makes available in the "mandatory readings" section of his website). 

Another way that proponents of fiscal austerity dishonor and actually seek to deny the gifts given by the gods to the men and women of a land is through the privatization of that which rightfully belongs to the public. Fiscal austerity (with its focus on denying the ability of elected governments to exercise fiscal policy and spend on public infrastructure and the protection of the public domain) leads directly  to the privatization of infrastructure and of the public domain, as Professor Michael P. Hudson has discussed in great depth in his many books and writings (see his website at

Previous posts which have discussed the disastrous impact of neoliberalism, austerity, and the fact that these policies are directly related to a disregard for the truths demonstrated in the world's ancient myths include (among others):
As always, please feel not only free but actively encouraged to share this video with those for whom it might be helpful.