Sunday, July 22, 2007
We are in Belize, in the tropical rainforest and it's really hot here. There is a lot of poverty in the surrounding villages. We visited Altun Ha, the name given ruins of an ancient Maya city 30 miles north of Belize City and about 6 miles west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea.
We climbed to the top of the largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the "Temple of the Masonry Altars." A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin".
Our guide was an amazing scholar, a young guy who stood six foot four and could have been descended from Mayan kings. He told us that the Mayan peasants revolted against the corrupt kings, which helped end the Mayan empire.
There were no beasts of burden here. The peasants were forced into slavery, and forced to carry heavy stones on their backs. They were short in stature due to lack of nutrients (the best food was always saved for royalty.) The kings were very tall, as they always had the best crops, the best of everything. The kings forced the peasants to live in fear of never earning a place in the afterlife, a few levels above hell. They forced them to constantly build large temples. In Mayan culture everyone went to hell, but you could earn points toward heaven. So the slaves lived with this fear that if they did not obey the lords, they would spend eternity in hell.
Finally the peasants revolted. Without slaves, the elite could not survive, for they never did any hard labor and could not live without the workers.
Doesn't this sound familiar? What's going on now with Steve Schwarzmann and the Blackstone Group, Haliburton, and the 400 other multi-billionarire elitists who run our world, is a travesty. These private equity billionaires pay no taxes (only 15%) and even Buffet admitted he pays less tax than his housekeeper (respectively.)
Sorry this is rushed but the internet is sporadic on the island.
We are in Xanadu! Our kids went night diving and saw a huge octopus changing colors, as well as a giant rainbow parrot fish and a green eel with a monster head.
The Scmooze Award recap
We have gained many new regular commenters here. Two new friends with wonderful blogs of their own, have separately bestowed the popular Schmooze Award of which Larry named 5 more to pass the award onto.
Thank you Tomcat of the widly popular Politics Plus and also to the popular Betmo of Life's Journey for the award, and for your comments here.
The people that this award will be passed to have become regulars here on Lydia's blog and elsewhere, and they each have excellent blogs of their own. It's hard to choose five people, with so many making a presence on various blogs.
Mirth of Liberally Mirth has a popular blog which can be attributed to Mirth's daily visits on various blogs, that bring many to want to visit hers.
Chuck and Karen of Divided States of Bushmerika2 make their way around dozens of blogs, and really do have the art of schmoozing down pat.
Tom Harper of Who Hijacked Our Country has been appearing on many blogs including this one, leaving his thoughts on the issues of the day. Check out his blog, it's a good one.
Jim of An Average American Patriot makes his way to various blogs commenting on the way our country is headed. Check out his blog.
The very popular Lynn of Zelleblog writes some great articles. Check her blog out.