08 Oct 2018

Columbus Day

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Christopher Columbus (detail), from Alejo Fernández, La Virgen de los Navegantes, circa 1505 to 1536, Alcázares Reales de Sevilla.

In his magisterial biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942, Samuel Elliot Morrison observes:

[Christopher Columbus did] more to direct the course of history than any individual since Augustus Caesar. …

The voyage that took him to “The Indies” and home was no blind chance, but the creation of his own brain and soul, long studied, carefully planned, repeatedly urged on indifferent princes, and carried through by virtue of his courage, sea-knowledge and indomitable will. No later voyage could ever have such spectacular results, and Columbus’s fame would have been secure had he retired from the sea in 1493. Yet a lofty ambition to explore further, to organize the territories won for Castile, and to complete the circuit of the globe, sent him thrice more to America. These voyages, even more than the first, proved him to be the greatest navigator of his age, and enabled him to train the captains and pilots who were to display the banners of Spain off every American cape and island between Fifty North and Fifty South. The ease with which he dissipated the unknown terrors of the Ocean, the skill with which he found his way out and home, again and again, led thousands of men from every Western European nation into maritime adventure and exploration.

The whole history of the Americas stem from the Four Voyages of Columbus; and as the Greek city-states looked back to the deathless gods as their founders, so today a score of independent nations and dominions unite in homage to Christopher the stout-hearted son of Genoa, who carried Christian civilization across the Ocean Sea.

An annual post.

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pigpen51

I saw a post on that wonderful book of feces, from a woman I went to school with. She has some American Indian blood in her background. Yet I was shocked when she posted that she was not, by God, going to celebrate a holiday for a murderer and a thief.
That is the first time that I have ever seen anyone come out and say how horrible Columbus was. But I am not really as shocked as I let on, I guess. I have liberal friends and relatives, who are always complaining about our mistreatment of the sacred lands of the wonderful true Americans.
I wanted to tell some of them the truth about just how savage and cruel many of the Indian tribes were, but the last time I tried to discuss anything with her, it was about the Dakota pipeline, and she became downright vicious. She and another friend of ours from school actually went there and joined the protest for a few days. I merely pointed out that no matter who was elected president, the pipeline was going through.
When a huge corporation spends billions of dollars for an oil pipeline, you can damn well bet that no politician is going to dare stop them in the end. No matter what Obama said, it went without saying that his made for television moment of shutting it down, was all for show. If any president ever cost a corporation literally billions of dollars over a move like that, his party would never again need bother to run a candidate for any national office, since that corporation would spend what ever it took to keep them completely away from ever having a chance to screw them over again.
I actually tried to explain that to my friend, but she only had various and sundry spiteful comments to offer to me. When I pointed out the huge mess that the protesters were making of the land, at their camp, and asked who was going to clean it up, I think she blocked me for awhile, because I didn’t hear from her for a long time.



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