We are a couple of days into spring,
but you can still get up in the morning
and see the sun rise at almost exactly due east.
And, you can still see the sun set almost exactly due west.
If you are siting a passive solar house,
the equinox is an important time.
On the equinox, everything is equal.
Everybody gets a 12 hour day.
We are just a few days away from a full moon.
You will know for sure when the moon comes up
as the sun goes down.
And of course, the sun is not going down
and the moon is not coming up.
Only Tom Delay believes otherwise.
I know of no better way to stay grounded
than to watch the moon and to know where it is.
For far too many people,
it is a mystery.
If you watch the sky each night at the same time,
you can get a snap shot of where everything is.
Watching the heavens is good for the soul.
It gives you perspective.
It gives you a sense of our place.
It gives you a sense of our home.
We live on a wonderful marble of water
with an atmosphere that most aliens would probably kill for.
Heck, who knows, maybe they will some day.
Speaking of Aliens, around this day, President Harry Truman's executive decree establishing sweeping loyalty investigations of federal employees went to effect in 1947.
Congress had already launched investigations of communist influence in Hollywood, and laws banning communists from teaching positions were being instituted in several states.
Truman indicated that he expected all federal workers to demonstrate "complete and unswerving loyalty" to the United States. Anything less, he declared, "constitutes a threat to our democratic processes."
The basic elements of Truman's order established the framework for a wide-ranging and powerful government apparatus to perform loyalty checks.
Loyalty boards were to be set up in every department and agency of the federal government. Using lists of "totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive" organizations provided by the attorney general, and relying on investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these boards were to review every employee.
If there existed "reasonable grounds" to doubt an employee's loyalty, he or she would be dismissed. A Loyalty Review Board was set up under the Civil Service Commission to deal with employees' appeals.
Truman's loyalty program resulted in the discovery of only a few employees whose loyalty could be "reasonably" doubted.
In the next few years, the Soviets developed an atomic bomb, China fell to the communists, and Senator Joseph McCarthy made the famous speech in which he declared that there were over 200 "known communists" in the Department of State.
Thus, we got the new pejorative word, McCarthyism.
McCarthy crashed and burned.
A few years after his loyalty squads, President Truman said this:
"The real dangers confronting us today have their origins in outmoded habits of thought, in the inertia of human nature, and in preoccupation of supposed national interests to the detriment of the common good." (New York City, October 24, 1949)
Things have been weird before.
And the sky cleared up nicely.
Lets hope another president gets wise.
For the Earthfamily.