Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Solstice!

solstice sunrise

It's the Solstice! Summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere - nearly Midsummer Day - and winter solstice in the southern, nearly Midwinter.

Longest day or longest night: may it find - and leave - you happy.

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Monday, June 19, 2017


The Hidden History of Juneteenth tells a story that this week shows us we still need to hear: Juneteenth and what it really was.

Not just that white, rebel Texans hid the news of Emancipation.But that
Ending slavery was not simply a matter of issuing pronouncements. It was a matter of forcing rebels to obey the law. To a very real extent, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment amounted to promissory notes of freedom. The real on-the-ground work of ending slavery and defending the rudiments of liberty was done by the freedpeople in collaboration with and often backed by the force of the US Army.

Granger’s proclamation may not have brought news of emancipation but it did carry this crucial promise of force. Within weeks, fifty thousand U.S. troops flooded into the state in a late-arriving occupation. These soldiers were needed because planters would not give up on slavery. In October 1865, months after the June orders, white Texans in some regions “still claim and control [slaves] as property, and in two or three instances recently bought and sold them,” according to one report. To sustain slavery, some planters systematically murdered rebellious African-Americans to try to frighten the rest into submission. A report by the Texas constitutional convention claimed that between 1865 and 1868, white Texans killed almost 400 black people; black Texans, the report claimed, killed 10 whites. Other planters hoped to hold onto slavery in one form or another until they could overturn the Emancipation Proclamation in court.

Against this resistance, the Army turned to force. In a largely forgotten or misunderstood occupation, the Army spread more than 40 outposts across Texas to teach rebels “the idea of law as an irresistible power to which all must bow.” Freedpeople, as Haywood’s quote reminds us, did not need the Army to teach them about freedom; they needed the Army to teach planters the futility of trying to sustain slavery.

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At 4:49 PM, June 21, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I don't do much hating, but I have a deep and abiding hatred for the men who brought such hell down on the people of this country. And I save a little of that hatred for the spiritual descendants of those slave owners who seem to long for those days.

At 5:59 PM, June 21, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...



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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Egypt 6: Temples on the Nile

Today we visited Edfu and Kom Ombo temples and the Crocodile Museum and sailed to Aswan.

You can't drive to the temple to Horus; you take carriages.

Leaving the waterfront

A little mosque with a new, modern minaret

Traffic jam! Notice - no bit!

Parking lot at the temple site

One second later, our horse (the gray) tried to kick the friendly chestnut in the head.

 Edfu is the site of the famous Horus statue.

The present temple was started during the reign of Ptolemy III, in August 237 BC, and completed in 57 BC under Ptolemy XII. It was built on the site of an earlier, smaller temple also dedicated to Horus, under the New Kingdom rulers Ramesses I, Seti I and Ramesses II. The temple is one of the best preserved shrines in Egypt. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.

A gift of water

Cartouche of one of the Ptolemys

In the main courtyard

Me and Horus

Symbols of life and power, the ankh and the was (a bird-headed scepter). 

Horus and the king

Some slightly damaged carvings

The entrance, with Horus facing the king

 The mirrored other side of the entrance, with a complex employee for scale

Offering to the gods

 Rows of gods receiving offerings

The inner courtyard

The king being bathed by Horus and Sekhmet

Osiris and Horus presenting the Key of Life to the king

A tiny Horus

Another shot of the entrance

After rejoining the boat, we had lunch while sailing to Kom Ombo.

Kom Ombo, our guide said, most likely means "pile of gold" - Nubian gold.

The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple,  constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180–47 BC. The building is unique because it was built to honor two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world, along with Hathor and Khonsu. The northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).

Walking up to the temple


The cobras are a symbol of kingship

Kleopatra (not the famous one, of course; there were seven in all - more if you don't restrict your count to ruling queens)


Somebody else, I forgot to not who!


This well was used to measure the flooding in order to assess taxes.

Horus and Tasenetnofret watching as the king is ritually bathed

Sobek and Hathor watch as the king is crowned by Upper and Lower Egypt

Sobek's crocodiles were especially venerated here, and hundreds of mummified crocodiles have been found here, many of which are displayed in the Crocodile Museum. Unfortunately (perhaps), the construction of the High Dam has banished the crocodiles from the lower Nile to Lake Nasser.
We returned to the boat and sailed on up the Nile, to Aswan.

A bridge being built across the Nile

We would leave at midnight(!) for Abu Simbil.

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At 8:25 PM, March 19, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I am loving this.


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