Thursday, April 9, 2015

History: The Year is 1554

I've uploaded year 1554 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Thought Police: The Treason of the Mind -- England makes praying and thinking bad thoughts about the King and Queen of England a crime of treason. I talk a little bit about George Orwell and the problem of giving absolute power to the government.

The First John Lok and My Liberal Confession -- The great great great grandfather of liberal philosopher John Locke does well for himself. I also talk about why I am no longer a Democrat and why I'm not a very good member of any other political group.

Sir Walter Raleigh is Born but not in a Can -- Sir Walter Raleigh really existed as a person and as a brand name for tobacco. He is also the namesake of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thought Police: The Treason of the Mind

We all breathe a heavy sigh of relief... OR NOT depending on if that "sigh" means that we are praying or even imagining that the Queen of England would just drop dead... or have a summer cold. Queen Mary the 1st of England has just married Phillip the 2nd, the King of Naples and Sicily and soon to be the King of Spain and Lord of the Netherlands. This is a controversial marriage so the English Parliament has thought up a number of different ways for a subject to commit treason against the crown including saying that Queen Mary's new husband is not really the King of England, or that he is a lout, or any number of things that could very well be true. Imagine that! [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I was gravely disappointed when my son told me that George Orwell's "1984" was not required reading at his high school. Orwell knew so much about how governments act when holding unlimited power. One might think that raw power could turn utterly medieval, but in many ways the Thought Police is a product of the Renaissance. Middle Ages government was concerned with what a person did. Renaissance government was concerned with what a person thought. Within limits, this is a definite improvement. But it is one thing for the clergy to remind us to do the right thing for the right reasons because a Higher Power knows our thoughts and it is another thing when government tells us that they are a higher power and the NSA is reading our email. People are usually OK with a forgiving Divine Presence that knows our imperfections and forgives us. People are less OK with a government that suspects our imperfections and can put us in jail. [3] [4]

The First John Lok and My Liberal Confession

This may not seem like much. A man leads a voyage to Guinea and returns with a cargo of gold and casks of pepper. John Lok is the great, great, great grandfather of the philosopher John Locke, the Father of Classical Liberalism. He believed that people were reasonable and tolerant but tended toward selfishness. He will also write a very good treatise on the Divine Right of Kings. He proved through logic that it was a crock. So whenever you heard the words "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," you can thank John Locke for those words and the work of those who came before, in pursuit of their own happiness. [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I once told my son that I am a Classic Liberal. His eyebrow went up and glanced at me as if waiting for the punchline. It's true. I am liberal in the sense that the word once meant "a believer in individual freedom". I am not fully a libertarian, but I'm not fully a conservative either. I am somewhere in between. I used to be a Democrat but I refused to call myself that ever since the Ford Administration when the Democrats voted to let all those people die. All we had promised to do after the Vietnam War was to sell those guys bullets and we couldn't even do that. They died horribly. I'd rather die than call myself a Democrat ever again. For more information about this stain on American honor (one of several), I suggest reading "An American Amnesia: How the US Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia" by Bruce Herschensohn. Bruce was the last chance California had to save itself from the Democrat pit of despair. He was the man who ran against Barbara Boxer for the Senate. She won. California lost and I left for Texas. [6] [7]

Sir Walter Raleigh is Born but not in a Can

He is born in what used to be known as Devonshire which is southwest England. He will be best known for promoting smoking in England and for sponsoring "The Lost Colony" also known as the Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island. It will not go well, but Raleigh, North Carolina will be named after him. [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is also a story of Sir Walter Raleigh laying down his cape across a mud puddle for the Queen. This is a myth, but a popular one that shows up in movies from time to time. There is the smoking angle: the Beatles curse him as they reach for a cigarette in their song, "I'm So Tired," and of course there is that old joke... calling up a local store and asking, "Do you have Sir Walter Raleigh in the can?" meaning loose tobacco. When the storekeeper says "Yes," you reply, "Shouldn't you let him out then?" This is the equivalent of asking if their refrigerator is running and shouldn't they catch it? It's a really, really old joke. [9] [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1554, Wikipedia.

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