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Tonight eyes turn skyward to see that marvel of natural phenomenon: a total lunar eclipse.  I did a little poking around the tubes today and came across this passage regarding Lunar eclipses in history:

A more modern turn of history hinged on a lunar eclipse that auspiciously occurred not only in the leap year of 1504, but on February 29th of that year.

That February found the famous explorer Christopher Columbus on the small island of Jamaica, where he had been marooned for several months. Though the island natives had originally brought food and provisions to Columbus while he awaited rescue, the arrogant and overbearing Columbus had alienated the natives to the point that they ceased to provide food to Columbus and his crew.

Facing starvation, the resourceful Columbus came up with a desperate ploy: Consulting a shipboard almanac and finding that a lunar eclipse was due, he called together the native chiefs and announced to them that God would punish them if they did not supply his crew with food. And as an omen of Gods intent to punish them, there would be a sign in the sky: God would darken the Moon.

Right on cue, the Moon started being eclipsed. Columbus dramatically disappeared into his cabin, ignoring the loud pleas from the natives to restore the Moon. After an interlude of more than an hour, Columbus emerged from his cabin and announced that God was prepared to withdraw his punishment if they agreed to continue supplying him and his crew with everything they needed. The native chiefs immediately agreed, and within minutes the Moon started emerging from shadow, leaving the natives in awe of Columbus power.

Manipulation of 16th century superstition and fear gave Columbus power over the Jamaican natives.

Sound familiar?

:: ::

Fear.  A small word; a devastating weapon.  

We've seen the results of its successful deployment against our nation and the world: eroding personal liberties, the destruction of habeus corpus, the silencing of dissent.  

We see its hidden power to distract from the stories out of Walter Reed hospital, New Orleans, Guantánamo, Rwanda.

We see its ability to divide a populace, friends, families.

The Bush Administration's long history of using fear as a weapon is a crime against the very country it's supposed to serve.  We are constantly manipulated to distract from the neocon's larger purpose, serving neither nation nor populace but instead a shadowy group interested only in profit.

How long do we live in fear?  How long will we be distracted?  How long before we throw off the shackles and begin to live with purpose?

:: ::

An alternate definition of eclipse: a loss of significance, power, or prominence in relation to another person or thing.  

The eclipse of the Republican Party's death grip on America, as seen via her realization of failing policies, as shown in Bush's ever-decreasing polling numbers, as revealed in administration failures coming to light, has given us hope that we will find our way out of the darkness and be able to lead America back to her promised greatness.

Don't mistake this eclipse for victory.  We're not there yet, and the nation can't afford complacency.  Barring action from Congress to end the national nightmare, we have two more years of this fool and his criminal policies; two more years of self-destructive lashing out from a senile teenager appointed to the highest office in the land, now denied his rubber stamp Congress.  

We have so much to fight for, and so much to restore.

Let's stop living in fear.

:: ::

On to Top Comments!

First, a few from the topcomments at gmail dot com inbox:

From bronte17:

A keeper comment from a delicious Bob Johnson diary. Of course, Bob doesn't need to be giving bush any ideas, but Bob's a good guy like that. LOL.  Comment of the day from slackjawedlackey

From litho:

Olds88 in Shane Hensiger's snarky Lichtenstein diary.  It's actually this comment and the subsequent thread involving Olds88 and TruthofAngels -- funniest damn stuff I think I've seen at dkos.

From OrangeClouds115:

This one from Carnacki is awesome! And so true!

From wiscmass

From my diary, Hypocrisy, Consistency, and Bigotry, where there were lots of good comments:

First, my tip jar, strictly for top mojo purposes -- the search still seems to miss some diaries, and I can't imagine this wouldn't make the cutoff.

peace voter, for being enough of an adult to admit a past mistake, and wise enough to join the fight against that mistake -- there are actually two different comments there.

possum starts an interesting thread on fighting hate speech.

TrueBlueMajority, on using the latest Coultergasm to end Mitt Romney's presidential ambition.

eugene hits the nail on the head.

LauraD illustrates the self-righteousness of the hypocrisy very poignantly.

renaissance grrrl talks about how the bigotry hurts everyone, not just some of us.

From dadanation:

This is from a diary last night/this morning and the exchange is between grannus, dadanation (myself) and the diarist jhop7 in jhop7's diary going down with the ship of state

here is the link. It's all about the the ferocious crab nipple squadron, grannus' voracious appetite and my lack of remembering lessons learned in kindergarten...

and the night owl brigade of dKos

And from me:

elmo describes the conservative viewpoint on wounded soldiers

rimjob gives us an interesting math problem

Dcoronata and Turkana have an interesting discussion on bird migration patterns vis a vis global warming

mmacDde on mandatory waiting periods for bill passage

RebeccaDT talks about standardized tests

dweb8231 details the hypocrisy of IAP Worldwide Services.

inclusiveheart on privatization

joynow gives us some facts on the administration's "two armies" scheme

glattonfolly provides an inside view on competitive sourcing, as does Curlew in a later comment

sharman on how conservatives win arguments by misrepresenting the left's position

eugene on practicing what we preach

rserven has an important point about the freedom of speech

N0MAN1968 doesn't need the government

mrmango found this unusually placed ad

:: ::

Today's Top Comments by mojo:

Without obvious tip jars or first comments:

1  Thank you, wismass. by rserven - 87
2  Emptying the jails of marijuana touchers by xxdr zombiexx - 84
3  Impeach his sorry ass by mcjoan - 79
4  Just so you know, in all your wisdom, by Glorfindel - 65
5  My great-grandmother was a regular user ... by va dare - 62
6  Responding to subpoenas isn't optional, Gonzo by Dump Terry McAuliffe - 60
7  The depravity of the Bush administration by DWG - 58
8  Yes, we've hit the three generation mark by ShadowSD - 57
9  Your best talking point yet: by Private Keepout - 55
10  Anyone who discount you for that... by wiscmass - 55
11  Let's see what Congress does by NewDealer - 53
12  Great diary by madhaus - 51
13  Should talk about industrial hemp ... by A Siegel - 50
14  You know who would be better than Lieberman? by madhaus - 49
15  unfortunately by cookiebear - 49
16  I think marijuana should be legal by HarveyMilk - 47
17  Here are links to by standingup - 46
18  I'd be happy to do it by Dallasdoc - 46
19  My FP's by ChiGirl88 - 45
20  Sorry, but I disagree. by slksfca - 44
21  Would someone please turn off the wind machine?? by althea in il - 43
22  We've got two armies. by Ghost of Frank Zappa - 43
23  war on drugs actually a war on sane policy by JohnB47 - 43
24  You had me at ... by Bearpaw - 43
25  Brings new meaning to the word "Contempt" by Gator - 43
26  Thanks by NCDem Amy - 42
27  Gonzales should never have been confirmed by Kimberley - 42
28  Wanna bet? n/t by Rep Brad Miller - 42
29  Marijuana is NOT like porn. by xxdr zombiexx - 41
30  Agreed by wiscmass - 39

With everything:

1  Tip Jar by Jesselyn Radack - 269
2  Tips and Recs for Reform..again by xxdr zombiexx - 241
3  I'm drawing the line here by wiscmass - 179
4  Tips to fight bigotry by NCDem Amy - 140
5  Recommended by bink - 109
6  courage! by Turkana - 89
7  Tips / Mojo: 3 March 2007 by A Siegel - 88
8  Thank you, wismass. by rserven - 87
9  Emptying the jails of marijuana touchers by xxdr zombiexx - 84
10  Impeach his sorry ass by mcjoan - 79
11  Tips by OrangeClouds115 - 66
12  Just so you know, in all your wisdom, by Glorfindel - 65
13  My great-grandmother was a regular user ... by va dare - 62
14  Responding to subpoenas isn't optional, Gonzo by Dump Terry McAuliffe - 60
15  The depravity of the Bush administration by DWG - 58
16  Yes, we've hit the three generation mark by ShadowSD - 57
17  Anyone who discount you for that... by wiscmass - 55
18  Your best talking point yet: by Private Keepout - 55
19  I promise you this by Major Danby - 55
20  MFP by edwardssl - 54
21  Let's see what Congress does by NewDealer - 53
22  Should talk about industrial hemp ... by A Siegel - 50
23  unfortunately by cookiebear - 49
24  Tip jar by occams hatchet - 47
25  I think marijuana should be legal by HarveyMilk - 47
26  orbiting tip jar by Keith Moon - 47
27  Here are links to by standingup - 46
28  My FP's by ChiGirl88 - 45
29  Tips and stuff n/t by ChurchofBruce - 45
30  I was a Hillary shill by Big Tent Democrat - 44

:: ::

Submit great comments you find during the day to topcomments at gmail dot com so we can include them in the evening's diary!  And remember to include your screen name so we can properly credit you!

Originally posted to gloriana on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 07:00 PM PST.

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