Thursday, August 31, 2017

The American Eclipse

We were on the road a lot in August.

We started in Canada in Toronto, then flew to Mexico ( San Luis), and then made our way to Idaho.

There we saw the great American Eclipse... the first to traverse from coast to coast in 100 years.  That was World War I.  And it was then that the American Empire began to eclipse the British Empire.

With the parade of presidential behavior during this month alone, it's hard to see how this administration can stand. From Virginia to Phoenix to Texas, from his failure to condemn the KKK and white supremist, his attacks on immigrants and dreamers, his pardoning of those who violate their civil rights, his gratuitous tweets on transgenders in the armed forces, his threats of fire and fury against North Korea, and his general inability to be empathetic, our POTUS has himself become pathetic.

We watch dumbfounded on a nightly basis as e-mails from his associates document  his efforts to ingratiate himself to his money supply so he can build a great tower in Moscow with money from banks that have been sanctioned for their proximity to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

We learn that his former campaign chairman is treated to an early dawn raid from the FBI like a common criminal... That the special prosecutor is working with  the State of New York, so to derail the obstruction of justice strategy that the POTUS would employ through his power of the pardon.

We watch his generals and cabinet members begin to openly resist his orders and instead do what is less wrong.

We begin to hear more and about his fitness to serve.  Even USA Today runs the story above the fold.

We read opinions about how strong our institutions are and how like Rome, we can survive this Nero like Caligula.

So as the POTUS melts down, we have this once in a lifetime complete transit of a total eclipse from left coast to right.  Some religious types see the end of the world. But some see an eclipse of this breath to be a dark oman.  Both King John and Louis XIV (sun king) died shortly after eclipses.

The rational among us see it as a breathtaking natural event.

But this is a fairly recent thing in human history.  This from the BBC

“The majority of people didn’t really understand what eclipses or shooting stars were until at least the 17th Century,” says Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in California. The ancient Greeks weren’t alone, either.

While a handful of astronomical scholars, from the 8th Century BC onwards, successfully understood the celestial mechanisms behind an eclipse, for another 2,000 years most of the world’s population clung steadfastly to the ancient belief that astronomical events, and particularly solar and lunar eclipses, were the work of the gods."

Of the few who understood what was actually happening, some deliberately chose to precipitate the myths as a way of manipulating political power to their own advantage.

In 1504, with his crew close to starvation after becoming shipwrecked off the coast of Jamaica, Christopher Columbus ended a mutiny by using a lunar eclipse to convince the local Arawak Indians that he controlled the sky, forcing them to provide food.

Three hundred years later, when establishing the Zulu kingdom, the warlord Shaka Senzangakhona solidified his rule by using astronomical events to convince his people that he controlled the Sun."

But in the fullness of things, it seems that perhaps we got the sign that some asked for.  For it does seem we are witnessing a Great American Eclipse of our very own sun king.

Here is what it actually looked like in Idaho on the Payette River.













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