"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crucifixion and rich beaches, 2 more countries

Readers in two more countries clicked on this blog this week, bringing to 117 the number of countries where readers have for various reasons, scanned these posts.
One country, Paraguay, is in the news because some fired bus drivers staged self-crucifixions with real nails in protest. Crucifixions
Now that's  a level of passion and freedom  rarely known in the western world. Paraguay, home of native peoples 1,000 years before the Spanish "conquest" in the 1500s, suffered under military dictatorships and poverty until 1989, when the government became more democratic. 
Since then its 6.6 million people have seen the economy boom. They take democracy seriously too, having impeached a president a few years ago. The South American country is just a little smaller than California.
Its flag is unique in that it has a different symbol on opposite sides--one is the coat of arms, the other is a map and name of the country in a circle.
The second new country is the Bahamas, the site of Colombus' first landfall in 1492, but the Spanish didn't settle it. The British made  the 700  islands a crown colony in 1718 to combat privacy. At the close of the American revolution, many American loyalists moved there with their slaves. When the Brits banned international slave trade in the early 1800s, the islands became a have for liberated slaves, and those who escaped from America.
The country gained independence in 1973 but retained Queen Elizabeth II as monarch. The country has almost no taxes, living off tourism, and is among the top five richest per capita in the world. Its flag symbolizes the aspirations of black people.

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