August is almost gone. Football season is underway. Political season
is heating up for November which makes me think about August almost
as much as football season does. August is a good month, but itís a
thief. Hence, the connection to politics. Here, let me explain.
You'll appreciate this. Or not!
Before August was August it was Sextilis, and it stole a
day from February to give it 31 days. In my opinion, August should
give back that day to February.
it isnít going to happen. The change was political. Itís like a tax.
Once the government gets one it doesnít give it back.
2,000 years ago, Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar. It had
gotten into a mess what with all the bad calculations the experts
were making. Months were wandering all over the place. January, for
example, had slipped down into the autumn.
top of that, the politicians might just make the year longer in
order to keep certain officials in office. On the other hand, if a
despised politician were in office the guardian of the calendar
might just whack off a few months to shorten his tenure.
Julius tried to put a stop to all that nonsense. He implemented the
Julian calendar and for his efforts the Roman Senate gave him a
month of his own. They renamed the month of Quintilis and
called it Julius (July). And then they stabbed him!
wouldnít you know it, Juliusís grandnephew, Augustus, comes along
and wants a month of his own. After all, he had put a good whipping
on Mark Anthony and that hussy, Cleopatra. Consummate politicians
always pandering to the power structure, the Senate took the month
of Sextilis and gave it to Auggie.
wait, thatís not all! Since Juliusís month had 31 days, it was only
right that Augustusís month at least equal it. Political correctness
demanded it don't you know. So the Senate stole a day from February
which at the time had 29 days (30 in a leap year), leaving poor
February with a mere 28 days. Moreover, they fiddled with the other
months to avoid having several 31-day months in succession.
you can say what you want, but stealing that day from February just
wasnít right! Besides, it didnít fix anything. Even though the
Julian calendar dominated for the next 1600 years, man still found
himself confused about whether he was coming or going. And the
months continued to slide out of synch with the seasons.
in 1582 Pope Gregory instituted further reforms and gave us the
Gregorian calendar. But the Pope didnít take any steps to return
that pilfered day to February. Itís no wonder. By this time church
and politics were inseparable, and keeping man confused about
whether he was coming or going was still a much-desired end, almost
as much so as it is today.
Nothing has changed. Politicians still pander to whatever group they
perceive to have the power to keep them in office and work overtime
to keep us all confused. None of this would have happened if they
hadnít taken that day from February. August should give it back!
But, again, they won't!
Moreover, folks are now predicting that the
President has an ďOctober surpriseĒ for us. You know what that is,
don't you? In American political jargon, an ďOctober surpriseĒ is a
news event with the potential to influence the outcome of an
Just goes to show you that politicians pay attention
to months and stuff and they don't want anybody messing with them.
But if ever it becomes clear that a 28-day February is not
advantageous for one of the political parties you can bet your last
fold of toilet paper that February might get its day back.