Semper vigilantes

I have been having a great time watching the eagles web site.

http://www.alcoa.com/locations/usa_davenport/en/info_page/eaglecam.asp

The third egg finally hatched and Dad (I think) is standing watch this morning. Mom must be out looking for the morning meal since she has not been around for a while. The background sound is very interesting too. Apparently the area where the camera is located is in a geese migration area since every once in a while you hear their familiar call.

Mom just returned with food. All three eaglets are up and ready to eat. Angus and Rufus (my dogs) can hear all the commotion and keep coming over to the computer to see where the noise is coming from. Dad has returned to his part of the hunt while mom feeds the little guys.

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The eagle’s nest is pretty high in the air. This is a natural defense against any predators that might try and steal their future. The future is also their reason for existing. Eagles are at the top of their food chain and remain a symbol of power and strength. Their very existence has been celebrated by man since time began. Sculptures, statues, paintings, songs, and poetry have all been heaped on the eagle.

Every major power since time began has included an eagle in their national identification. The Romans were famous for it and of course all of the ruling powers of Europe employed it as a symbol of their greatness. As they fell in stature, the symbol evolved and in many cases disappeared altogether.

What I like most about watching the nest is the reminder of why America’s early spirit is best represented by that small eagle family. A mother and father mate for life, build a sturdy nest, have and raise children and do so with an ever vigilant eye on the world around them. The power of their wings makes them strong enough to provide for all their needs. Their strong talons can grasp what they need when they need it.

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The eagle does not need someone to tell them they are eagles. The eagle does not need another eagle to bring it food. Mother and Father provide for all the basics and eventually the children become independent and strong. Some may not survive. That is part of nature.

Imagine if we took all that away from the eagle. What if we provided the food, a comfy nest and removed all the predators from the eagle’s world. Oh, we would do it for all the right reasons of course and it would be for the “children’s sake”. Every morning we would bring a giant plate of only the best salmon and lay in in an easy to reach setting. Imagine the joy on the eaglets little faces when they were fed morsel after morsel of their favorite foods. Protected from predators, they would soon learn to play and be relaxed all the time.

How many generations would it be before the eagles forgot how to fly? Would the lack of predators and focus only on self joy create an overpopulated environment? Then one day, the program runs out of money and we set all the eagle free in the wild. No longer able to feed themselves, they flock to the nearest place they can find where easy pickings may exist. Unable to fly well, they are suddenly facing extinction. Man’s natural response then is to throw more money at the problem and make them even more dependent on a false form of sustainability.

What if we had just left things alone in the first place? All eagles in the wild face the same challenges. Limited resources means that they have to work harder to survive. Faster prey means they have to fly faster to survive. More turbulent weather means they have to have thicker feathers and be smarter than the environment.

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When you look in the eyes of the eagle, you see a purposeful determination. As she swivels her head around in response to natures warning signs, the look does not say “I hope someone comes to do my work for me”. She knows her work. She knows her purpose for existence.

Someone made the right decision years ago when they adopted the eagle as our national bird. She is the symbol for liberty and freedom, yet those two things come at a price: being ever vigilant.

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The Supreme Court is meeting next week to see if the “Eagles” can continue to live in freedom or will be forever doomed to slavery to people who think they know better than they actually do. One thing is certain:

Slavery will kill the America dream. Perhaps the new national symbol will have to be the sheep

.

Mister Mac

 

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