Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mars & Murderdelphia

Mars & Murderdelphia

8:34 AM 1/29/06 Sun

Well, the numbers are all in: over the past year, 2005, here in the City of Brotherly Love, there was a grand total of 385 murders, 1600 wounded, the most in a decade. With homicide rates that high, the city fathers are wringing their hands and at a feverish pace, hosting all manner of blue ribbon panels and seminars, and making the rounds of radio and TV outlets, vowing to bring the murder rate down. I don't find this as any accident, as Mars concludes its rocky transit of Taurus.

Philly is a Scorpionic town, and many of the city's highest body counts occured when Mars, in its Rx transit, opposed the Philly Sun and squared the Philly Asc, Moon-Neptune, and Jupiter-Saturn placements. Because of Mars' eventual transition into Gemini, coming soon next month, I don't think this year's murder rate will be as high. Still, what we've learned from last years numbers, puts the current Mars in Taurus transit in deadly context.

Here's the breakdown from the 2005 Philadelphia Homicide & Shooting Count:

- 80% of those shot and/or killed where Black men aged 18 to 35, by Black men of the same age

- at least half were drug related, i.e., a drug deal gone wrong

- at least half were domestically related, i.e, an argument brokeout among friends and was settled using blue steel

- virtually all those killed in the past year was due to gun violence

- African Americans make up about half of Philly's population, yet makeup the vast majority of the shootings, nearly 25% of them ending in fatalities.

As mentioned above, the city officials have been on a media offensive locally, trying to address the problem. Last week, I heard a very beleagured Police Commisioner, Sylvester Johnson explain to a panel that he cannot "arrest his way" out of the problem; that he nor his force of cops stop murders that happen in the home; or the many things that lead to crime, etc. in the first place. He almost sounded like he was pleading like a dying man for help from other quarters of the city apparatus - churches, social workers, the business sector - to aid in addressing the problem.

To a large extent, the man's gotta point - these are indeed problems that extend beyond the purview of the police - and afterall, even when you lock many of these guys up, sooner or later many of them will come out - and then what? We know that in most major inner cities, unemployment among Black males has been and remains in the high double digits for several decades (in one study done up in New York City, for example, the figure was somewhere around 50%), that singleparent (unwed mother) rates are very high as well, and hence all the problems that come with crime, and ultimately, homicide.

But instead of dealing with the problem head on - like the gaping maw of fatherless homes in the Black community in the first place - the city fathers and mothers are instead looking to penalize the gun manufacturers; there is a group called "Mothers in Charge" who have parterned up with other outfits and city officials, intent on bringing the gun lobby and makers to their knees. On the face of it, the very name "Mothers in Charge" is at best misleading, if not a cruel joke - if they were indeed "in charge" there would not have been an almost 400 murder rate in the previous year, to say nothing of the over 1500 wounded by gunfire.

But of course, the 500lb gorilla in the middle of the room - the profound lack of fathers in the home - will be ignored, and groups like MIC will get center stage instead.

The past year's events in my hometown give vivid testimony to the feminist theorist's views on the family, mainly, that women, and by extension, kids, don't need dads in their lives. Philly is but one of a myriad of examples accross the nation, of what happens when you take the men and dads out of a community. Chaos, mayhem, crime and death are what replaces them.

An idle mind is the Devil's workshop, my dearly departed Mom used to say - and I don't think the saying was dreamt up with little girls in mind. Say what the theorists will about "patriarchy" and sex roles being socially prescribed, the facts of the matter are, that those 385 folks killed weren't by Rhonda, they were "murked" by Rashid. The bottomline here is that Dads in the home, fulltime, greatly reduces any Society's Knucklehead Factor. Doesn't eliminate it outright, but it does reduce it.

Mars not only represents boys and young men but also represents the police, and the recent Rx transit of Mars showed the police being swamped, in over their heads in trying to contain the gun violence. Right now, Mars is transitting the Capricorn decanate of Taurus; and, Philly's undergoing its Saturn Return as of this writing, so perhaps there's hope that the utmost importance of placing maximum priority back on men and especially dads will happen before long. Sure, cops and jobs and the like are important, but dads are and will always be, the first line of defense against wayward and dangerous young men.

"When Mars first went Retrograde - at 23 Taurus - it almost exactly opposed the French National Martian position of 25 Scorpio, placed in the 9th House of Immigration, Foreign Relations and Culture, and Religion (and square the exact Uranus-Pluto opposition running along the 1-7 House axis: France, Sep 21 1792 3.30PM LMT, Paris, Placidus 25 Cap 33). It is through the 9th House, that we also see Racism, and clearly, this was a factor in the mix, as was all of the aforementioned; clearly, no one can deny the influence of Radical Islam, or of Gangsta Rap for that matter; no one can deny what amounted to Segregation of France's largest racial, ethnic and religous minority, and now France, in many ways the center of Western Europe, now has to take a good, long, hard look at itself in the mirror with regard to how it has handled its cultural identity.

But what so many pundits and commentators and writers and observers - yes, even my astrological colleagues - didn't mention was so very obvious - WHERE are the fathers? ANY time I hear of boys/young men acting out, that's the first question I ask. By now, we all know the answer to that one, don't we? All too often, he is out of the picture, for a variety of reasons, far too many of them that make it far too easy for him not to be there.

We all know that the Family is the bedrock of any Society; and that it's Dads of any country who are literally the first line of defense in keeping and maintaining the Social Order. The various social programs and the like that have been instituted in France and elsewhere throughout the Western World, are all to greater or lesser degrees, "stand-ins" for this vital institution in civilized society - Fatherhood.

As noted, France's riots only highlighted a problem that, like those occuring in America, have taken root first among its weakest citizens, but soon to get ahold of its more stable and affluent majority; all of the cultural indices of a civilized society has been on the wane in France for many years - church attendance is at record low figures; marital & reproductive rates among native born French folks (that is, White) is at record lows; unemployment remains in the high single-digit figures for those same citizens for decades; and the "Noblese Oblige" that France has offered, through its massive welfare state system, has shown itself to be ineffective in spurring innovation, creating a sense of cohesion and belonging, and providing a system whereby people can move up through the social pecking order by means of their individual merit and effort. With France finally able to get a handle on the rioting and putting much of the country on curfew until Feb (the month when Mars finally leaves Tropical Taurus), it is my hope that the leaders of French Society look beyond easy, superficial scapegoats - the young, wilding, Gangsta Rap listening Muslim male youth - and instead take a look at its social structure overall. If they can get a handle on what I call their "Daddy problem" they'll be both on the way to healing their long ill land, as well as serving as an example to the rest of Europe, what the reclaiming of bedrock values looks like."

- Mars Rx 2005 Wrap-Up Commentary 6:22 AM 12/14/05 Wed



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