Sunday Funnies; Land of Hope and Glory

Yes, a bit of cultural appropriation from the cousins, but I think if they read through to the end, they will happily forgive me.

By the way, from Second City Cop, this is an actual photo of the block where the mayor of Chicago, pictured above (I’m sorry) lives.

Not a photoshop

These might be, but I wouldn’t bet much.

Notice that, unlike California, RMS Titanic had electric lights

Doesn’t everyone do it this way

Do not set the flux capacitor to 2020

This sucks

Now for our cousins who, like us, lament that XiNN East has decided to remove the lyrics from the best part of “Last Night of the Proms”. Enjoy with us

By the way, this gentleman is 90 this week.

Our friend Alys sent this to us the other day, so I think she likes this version. I certainly do.

I’m going to toss an extra in here since it was originally written to tweak the noses of the powers that be

What a glorious version of “My Country is of Thee!”  🙂

 

And, of course

The UK Report

In the Salisbury Review, Peter Mullen has some comments about the UK education establishment, they’re worth our time on either side of the pond.

For far too long our wonderful young people have been the victims of scandalous prejudice on the part of the educational establishment which inexplicably favours students who are intelligent, knowledgeable and industrious. This reactionary policy constantly discriminates against those of our wonderful young people who are ignorant, idle and thick. I have been gathering first-hand testimonies from some of these casualties: those vulnerable oiks and morons who, through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to spend three years hanging around getting innocently pissed and stoned as a prelude to their achieving a pretty piece of parchment and years of debt. […]

But the rot starts even before our wonderful young people even leave school where they are obliged to do maths. Orion was hopping mad because he had been awarded a D. “So I mean like absolutely I said 7+ 5 = 41. An’ d’you know what they sed? They sed it’s 12. Well, it’s like it might be 12 for some people but uvvers cum from a community wot ‘as a different culture like and they ‘as their own like ideas dunt they?”

Orion’s teacher shared his disappointment: “The rigid system is class-based, sexist and racist. Underprivileged and vulnerable wonderful young people are being denied self-expression and their human right to say that 7 + 5 = whatever they say it is in their community and ethnic group. Cultural relativism. Know what I mean?” […]

Clotho was sitting next to her friend Vyella straight out of the RE [Religous Education, admin] exam: “It was horrible and my sister Ammonia was like well I’m gone, Clotho. I mean Ammonia’s a neo-vegan Zoroastrian with only slight cannibalistic tendencies. Then we got all this about God saying there’s stuff we shouldn’t do, commandments and that. Why is God so judgemental? And so up Himself with this like no other gods but me. Has He never like heard of diversity? He’s probably a She anyway. So Sexist. Incredible

STOP PRESS The Education Secretary has been put in detention.

Do read it all. If he hasn’t he certainly should have been. I was chatting recently with a friend who is the CEO of an English Educational Trust. She tells me that Boris’s girlfriend needs to get a grip on him. She says the phrase she and her colleagues are using “Omnishambles”. Not a very good look for a first world country. Meanwhile, the Universities are trying to make some sense of it all, and not have to lay people off. Omnishambles, indeed!

But then thanks to our teacher’s unions, we are not doing all that much better.

This is more of a coming attraction than an actual report, but Spiked Online UK has done an interview with Joseph Bottum the author of An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. It too speaks of both our countries and is fascinating. But it will take an article of its own, perhaps more than one to clarify what he seems to be saying to me. A hint is in his use of the word ‘Elect’ instead of ‘Elite’. I think he makes a fair amount of sense.

Assandun

dsc00985

How about something completely different. A battle for control of England from almost the end of the Viking Age – no, not Hastings but 50 years earlier when Cnut defeated Edmund Ironside. It’s an interesting story from 2016. Neo

Another battle that we should take notice of, this one before the Battle of Hastings that made the phrase “1066 and all that” so famous. This one was exactly 1000 years ago today. Amazing thing is that for the participants it was likely just as important as Hastings.

This is the battle where Cnut, King of Denmark, about whom an old Norse poem says this:

Skjöldungr, vannt und skildi
skœru verk, inn sterki,
(fekk blóðtrani bráðir
brúnar) Assatúnum.

Strong Skjöldungr, you performed a feat of battle under the shield; the blood-crane [raven/eagle] received dark morsels at Ashingdon.

There are some wonderful takeaways here, Skjöldungr refers to Cnut’s heritage, his ancestors were the legendary Skjöldung dynasty – the Scyldings of Beowulf. And the blood-crane here might refer to the legendary Raven banner of Denmark, which is mentioned in the Encomium Emmae Reginae, which says this.

Now they had a banner of wonderfully strange nature, which though I believe that it may be incredible to the reader, yet since it is true, I will introduce the matter into my true history. For while it was woven of the plainest and whitest silk, and the representation of no figure was inserted into it, in time of war a raven was always seen as if embroidered on it, in the hour of its owners’ victory opening its beak, flapping its wings, and restive on its feet, but very subdued and drooping with its whole body when they were defeated.

Now that’s a banner fit for a warrior race! It must be said though that the Encomium is quite unreliable. And besides, I think the author might protest a bit too much.

On the other side was Edmund Ironside, son of Æthelred the Unready (actually, I think Unraed, which means “without counsel”) but both seem to be true, he had died in April 1016, and Edmund his son succeeded him, finally uniting (most) of the English.

via A Clerk of Oxford: The Battle of Assandun: Three Sources

And so these were the sides that met at Assandun, the Danes (and likely some of the English as well) against the English under the leadership of another legendary captain Edmund Ironside.

And so, as The Clerk of Oxford tells us, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

[The [Danish] raiding-army turned back up into Essex, and went towards Mercia, and destroyed all that they overtook. Then when the king [Edmund] heard that the army was inland, he gathered all the English nation for the fifth time and travelled behind them, and overtook them in Essex at the hill which is called Assandun, and there they fought a hard battle together. Then Eadric the ealdorman did as he had so often done before, and first began the flight with the Magonsæte, and so betrayed his king and lord and all the English nation. There Cnut had the victory, and won for himself the whole nation of the English. There Bishop Eadnoth was killed, and Abbot Wulfsige, and Ealdorman Ælfric, and Ealdorman Godwine, and Ulfkytel of East Anglia, and Æthelweard, the son of Ealdorman Ælfwine, and all the best of the English nation.]

England had a new king, a Dane, in whose train was a young Dane by the name of Godwine, who would go far, and whose son Harold Godwineson would become the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, killed at Hastings.

But before that would come to pass, Edmund, who had retained Wessex in the settlement after Assundun, died a few months later, and Cnut became King of all England. In a few years, he would dedicate a minster at Assundun in Essex, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us:

[In this year the king and Earl Thorkell went to Assandun, with Archbishop Wulfstan and other bishops, and also abbots and many monks, and consecrated the church at Assandun.]

And the Clerk explains:

The people named in this entry indicate the importance of this church to the new Danish regime. Wulfstan is the great archbishop of York, whom we last encountered in 1014 railing against the disloyalty of English people who collaborated with the Danes; he had by this time had quite a change of heart, and become one of Cnut’s chief advisers and law-makers. (A lot can happen in six years!) Wulfstan presided at the consecration of the church at Assandun, and one of his surviving sermons, ‘On the Dedication of a Church’, may well have been preached on this occasion. The other person named by the Chronicle is Earl Thorkell, who was remembered as the hero of Assandun, and whom Cnut had recently made Earl of East Anglia. Any event which could bring these two men together must have been pretty extraordinary. We can also populate the Chronicle‘s crowd with various people likely to have been there, standing beside Cnut, Thorkell and Wulfstan: Cnut’s new wife Emma, Earl Godwine (and his new Danish wife, Gytha?), Æthelnoth (soon to be made Archbishop of Canterbury), the Norwegian earl Eiríkr, newly appointed earl of Northumbria, and more. The church was entrusted to Stigand, a priest probably of Anglo-Danish origin, who though very much a winner after the Danish Conquest was very much a loser after the Norman Conquest. With hindsight, there are many tantalising connections and ironies to be drawn out from this disparate collection of people – English, Danish, Norwegian and Norman – who were between them to shape England’s fate throughout the eleventh century: the following year Thorkell would be outlawed, three years later Wulfstan would be dead, and fifty years later the young priest Stigand would be Archbishop of Canterbury, crowning the upstart Godwine’s son King of England.

There are (at least) two choices for this church, this is one of them:

hadstock-church

Again quoting from The Clerk of Oxford

All that said, let me show you what I saw at Ashdon. If Ashdon is Assandun, Cnut’s minster would be this church, St Botolph’s, which is actually in the nearby village of Hadstock. Why not Ashdon itself? I’ll quote the guidebook: “While it is just possible that evidence for an Anglo-Saxon building is encapsulated in Ashdon church, there is nothing to suggest a structure of minster-proportions; hence historians have turned to Hadstock where a large and imposing Anglo-Saxon church cannot fail to command attention. There is no doubt that it was a minster, and of the period in question; it stands on the same ‘Hill of the Ash Trees’ as Ashdon.”

The core of the present church is late Anglo-Saxon, and thus plausibly of the date of Cnut’s minster. It’s worth noting that St Botolph, the dedicatee of the church, was one of the saints in whom Cnut took an interest; Cnut was responsible for the translation of Botolph’s relics to Bury St Edmunds, where he founded a church on the anniversary of the Battle of Assandun in the 1030s. There’s some suggestion there was a shrine to Botolph here, not just a dedication – the archaeologists talk about traces of an empty Saxon grave in the fabric of the south side of the church.

All in all, quite an important anniversary, which would likely be more important still if St. Edward the Confessor hadn’t died childless only 50 years later. Such are the ways of history.

[More, and more pictures, today from The Clerk of Oxford. Yay!

A Reminisce with a Point

This will seem a strange post, and in some ways, it is. Back in the fall of 2013, Nicholas, who comments here, corraled Jessica, myself, and Geoffrey Sales, the Yorkshire headmaster I’ve spoken of before (all AATW contributors) to write some fiction. Over that winter we managed about 40 chapters. I can’t speak for the others but for me, writing fiction was a much more difficult task than blogging. You can find it at this link. I happened to reread it yesterday, and it is rather quite good. Not surprisingly, it turned into sort of a synopsis of that great epic, English history, some of you will recognize the characters from that, although from rather different epochs, kind of like those fantasy dinners where you invite the six most interesting people from history to dinner.

This post is one of my contributions, Chapter 35, and it’s here again because it’s something many of our people British and American seem to have forgotten about why our countries worked so well for so long. I hope you Like it.

Pembrook instantly called loudly, “Guard!” within seconds, one appeared, and Pembrook told him to have the wise woman summoned instantly, and then he looked down and added, “and then bring the Lady some watered wine, and do it all quickly.” The soldier looked at him and said simply, “Yes, my Lord,” and clomped off on his mission. In a few moments, a maid came in with the wine for Isolde. And soon she looked comfortable, shaken but comfortable.

Pembrook looked over at her and said, simply, “Milady, since we are mostly waiting for the wise woman, I think I will tell you a story.” And so he did,

“When I was young, milady, as you know, I was the second son of a poor knight, so I had few prospects. My father did get me taken into Alain de Casterlie’s household as a page, but there was nothing else he could do for me. So I worked hard and became a squire and in good time, I was able to be knighted by the earl. But that also made me supernumerary, and so I packed up my belongings and went over to the Empire and entered the tournaments. I won often, lost occasionally but, as you’ve no doubt heard, I became quite rich from the armor that I won. That’s all very well, and it wasn’t a bad life for a young man. But even then it seemed, that I was a bit more honest than normal, and sometimes it cost me a championship, which I found easy to bear.

“Anyway, one day I and my squire were riding out from a city, and I happened to notice a statue, at a scrap dealer’s where I was selling some stray armor. It was bronze and looked quite old, and I quite liked it, so I asked the dealer. He thought it to have little value, so I traded some poor armor for it. Something about that statue just spoke to something deep within me. I couldn’t explain it then and have difficulty now.

“Are you quite comfortable now, My Lady?””

Isolde looked at him and said, “Yes, my Lord Marshal, please continue.”

“Very well, Milady. Anyway, I stored it away, till such time as I had a home, which of course, was after your grandfather let me marry my love, and we were setting up housekeeping at Pembrook. In truth, I had half-forgotten the statue until I saw it again, then I had it placed in the hall where I held civil court as a reminder.

You see the statue is of a not young woman, dressed in the classical style. In her right hand, she holds aloft the two-edged sword of a Christian knight. In her left, she holds a common scale, such as is used in commerce, except that the bearing point on the scale is a brilliant red garnet. And most extraordinarily, she is blindfolded. I came to see that none of this was accidental.

I have always thought that a knight’s sword, which is also a simile of the cross, has two edges for a reason, one is to smite the enemies of God and His people but, the other is to remind us to keep faith with Him, that He doesn’t turn our own sword on us. The scale was harder to figure out though, finally, I came to the conclusion that it meant we are to deal fairly with everyone we come in contact with, whatever their station in life, and do justice to them. Mercy they can claim from God, but as a responsible member of society, my responsibility is justice, although, on occasion, it should be tempered with mercy, if there is reason.

But you know, Milady, I had great difficulty in teasing out the meaning of the blindfold. I spent many hours staring at that statue, trying to figure it out. And then one day, like a bolt of lightning, I understood. I was to treat people fairly without fear or favor, no matter who or what they were, even as if I couldn’t know who they were, and ever since, I have tried to live up to that. It has not been easy, but it has brought me what I have, and it has allowed me to sleep at night.

Isolde looked at the marshal, for a few moments and said, “Marshal, I believe you have found all the elements involved in that statue, except perhaps, one. Why do you think that the scale has that singular garnet for a bearing?”

The Marshal looked at Izzy affectionately, and said, “Milady, as I expected you have gone straight to the heart of the matter. I believe that garnet, represents a person’s honor, for, without that, the rest is scrap metal.”

At that point, the guard entered the hall accompanied by Meg, and the Marshal smiled and said, “Milady I will withdraw now, and the guards will be without, if I can be of assistance, do send for me.” and then looking directly at Meg  he said, “Mistress, your reputation is that you are the wisest woman in the realm, welcome to court, do take good care of her, she is very important to her Realm, even more than she thinks, if you need anything, do let me know.” And with a smile at them both, he withdrew.

So let’s have us a bit of a game. The statue is real, in both Britain and America. What statue is it?

Education: A Developing Consensus

From Mick Hume at The Spectator:

Over a year ago, Brendan O’Neill introduced Spectator readers to this new breed of super-squeamish, censorious student. The Stepford students, as Brendan called them, might ‘look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform.’

Since Brendan’s piece came out, things have got worse. Some Cambridge undergraduates set up a website ironically called the Stepford Student, intending to show that they didn’t fit the stereotype. Before too long they surrendered and closed it down — because of protests from real Stepford students outraged by tongue-in-cheek articles such as ‘Am I only a feminist to get laid?’ which showed a ‘flippant and harmful attitude towards feminism’. Feminism is never a laughing matter and flippancy equals heresy.

Sloan Rachmuth and Katie Jensen in The Federalist:

New York City is one of many school systems in the United States set to roll out Black Lives Matter (BLM)-themed lesson plans this fall. According to the NYC Department of Education, teachers will delve into “systemic racism,” police brutality, and white privilege in their classrooms.

North Carolina’s largest school system in Wake County launched a website this summer that provides BLM lessons for teachers to use in classrooms and for parents to use at home. The website, created by the school system’s Office of Equity Affairs, encourages teachers to “address the injustices that exist beyond education by the conversations we have with others, by speaking up when we see hate, by supporting efforts that oppose racism and oppression, and by directly engaging in advocacy work.”

Encouraging people to identify and condemn racism is an undeniably laudable undertaking by these school administrators. That’s not what’s really happening, however. By bringing BLM into the classroom, activist educators are allowing the most radically divisive movement in modern American history to warp children’s worldviews.

And many more in my files, reaching back to when this blog started in 2011. So why now? Because we have an opportunity.

Back in 2013 Goeffrey Sales, formerly reputed to be one of the best Headmasters in Britain, now retired, and a friend of mine wrote on AATW (and reposted here):

I taught in boys’ schools for 40 years, some of them boarding schools where we had our problems with what we used to call ‘the usual’. Young men are a lusty lot, and if you don’t civilise the little so and sos, and even if you do, their hormones will run riot, and if they don’t have a lass near by, they’ll find a substitute. There were those who counselled turning a Nelsonian eye; I dissented. Not only was it illegal (as it still is under 18), it ran the risk of letting them think that we approved of it.

Was some poor lad hard done by? No more than some lad at a mixed sex school was was told he couldn’t misbehave with the lasses. Whatever the nut-doctors say, children like simple rules; the more complex they are, the easier it is for them if you keep it simple.

Of course, in all adolescents, hormones run wild; if you don’t stop the little darlings, so will they. Make it clear that infractions of the rules will be punished, and most of them get the message. It makes it easier to deal with those who can’t or won’t, because most children will. The single worst thing which happened over my time in teaching was the decline in confidence amongst the adults. I’m a peaceable man, but would be prepared to take a gun to educationalists who tell us that the children need understanding. To the devil with that, they need boundaries, and they need to understand they are not the centre of the universe. Once that is established, you will get somewhere.

So, telling adolescents that it is fine to do what you like as long as you ‘love; someone, is precisely the wrong message.  We used to hear a lot about repression. We could do with more repression and less license.

That would be a damned good start, and remember, that was in 2013. So what now? How about this from my buddy Mike at makeaneffort:

Keep the Public Schools Closed.

Forever.

One of the best things we can for this Amazing, Glorious, Miracle of Self Government is to keep the Schools Closed permanently. When you hear Leftists lament that we cannot afford to have our children out of their control for one minute longer, it should be a cause for pause.

I would offer the best thing you can do for your children, and the rest of us, is to keep them at home and away from our Institutes of Indoctrination. I’m willing to concede that some of you may not be proficient at certain subjects, but what you do know is more than your kids get at school. If you’re not aware, there are actually classes for ADULTS called “Adulting”. These classes teach your ADULT children how to do things like buy groceries, change a tire, tie a tie, cook and egg, balance a check book, wash the dishes, do laundry, mow the lawn, bathe… etc, etc. It’s an indictment of all of us. Keeping them home would, at a minimum, teach them how a home is run. It would also save us from having to deprogram them before they turn into (oddly obese or oddly still skateboarding) Bomb Throwers for Marxists. It’s a Win-Win!

I think he’s probably right, and so do others. like Scott Shepard at The Federalist:

If we’re going to defund major American institutions, the place to start is not the police but higher education. America’s colleges and universities have largely abandoned their genuine mission in favor of polemics and proselytization, while slamming the door to viewpoint diversity and open debate. All this they provide at tremendous expense to taxpayers as well as ideological and financial ruin to the nation’s young people.

Higher education must be significantly reconstructed. We must eliminate systems of viewpoint discrimination, stop the erasure of legitimate taxpayer interests, and end the economic disenfranchisement of America’s youth brought about by saddling them with mountainous debt to maintain administrative and tenured-professorial privilege.

Higher education should teach both subject matter and ways of thinking. It should challenge students’ preconceptions while allowing them vigorously to debate difficult issues. Students should graduate ready to earn their livings and to participate thoughtfully in our citizen government.

Modern universities — especially in the humanities, social sciences, and law — provide few such benefits. Rather, they have become factories of coddling, cajoling, and oppressing.

Yup, they have. Philip Carl Salzman chimes in at PJ Media with this:

Our universities have nurtured and foisted on America and Canada an extreme radicalism that vilifies American and Canadian history, society, and culture. This radicalism stems in the first instance from identity grievance studies programs, such as feminist and gender studies, gay and queer studies, black studies, Hispanic and Chicano studies, indigenous studies, and ethnic studies, which have adopted marxist theories popular in sociology and political science.

This far left ideology has diffused throughout the soft subjects of the social sciences, humanities, education, social work, and law. Far left radicalism has been adopted with enthusiasm by administrators and imposed on any laggard or dissenting students and professors by the many “diversity and inclusion” commissars whose salaries could have funded many scholarships and professorships in STEM fields.

But nobody makes it clearer than The Colonel at Townhall:

Never let a good crisis go to waste, which in the current crisis means we must use the fact that our universities have shown themselves to be petri dishes swimming with anti-American ideologies, combined with pre-existing trends, to lance this particular cultural boil.

Let’s be clear: Academia today is a pack of rabid reds, and we need to put it down like Old Yeller. And academia itself has loaded up the 12 gauge.

They will say that we oppose academia because we are stupid Neanderthals, just like Trump is (That’s Lie #2 in my new book!). No. We would be stupid to let this undead institution on. This entire wokeness idiocy is the result of hack academics peddling half-baked theories that justify the consolidation of elite power at the expense of those of us who don’t live on the diploma dole. The bizarre language – “We must struggle to decolonialize the cisnormative paradigm to purge the structural racism caused by the male gaze and amplify whiny, entitled voices” – and the performance art aspects of the media-friendly insurrection – notice how they only get frisky in jurisdictions where they can count on the pinko mayor to hold back the constables and on the local DA to merely slap their wrists? – is all a direct result of indoctrination in the colleges that we normal people support.

Why should we do that? We have no moral obligation to subsidize a generation of brats.

What have we got to lose, other than the chains they want to fix on us. It’s probably the best opportunity we are ever going to have. Read the links, and this was only a smattering of what I have seen even in the last month.

The time for talk about this problem ended at least a decade ago. It’s time to shut it down.

 

A Most Conservative Revolution

pic_giant_070314_AToday we celebrate for the 244th time, something the Founders did not want. Independence. What they wanted was the restoration of their rights as freeborn Englishmen. Our revolution was in direct line of succession from Magna Charta, The English Civil War, and The Glorious Revolution (and its Bill of Rights upon which our own was mostly based).

Washington’s Army was very nearly the Roundhead army of Parliament reincarnate. And it was stood up for the very same reason. The “long train of abuses and usurpations” by the King which Jefferson documented, could have been written by the leaders of the Civil War. Let’s look at that document, shall we?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Often we read Jefferson’s prose in the beginning and end of the Declaration and skip the “Bill of Particulars”. We shouldn’t. There written in plain English is the quest of the English Speaking Peoples, for a stable, free, and representative law. It is a quest that hearkens all the way back to Saxon times and continues today.

We must note that this view was one that was very current in the England of 1776 as well. Edmund Burke said this:

We also reason and feel as you do on the invasion of your charters. Because the charters comprehend the essential forms by which you enjoy your liberties, we regard them as most sacred, and by no means to be taken away or altered without process, without examination, and without hearing, as they have lately been.

Charles James Fox said, in a famous speech,

“I say, that the people of England have a right to control the executive power, by the interference of their representatives in this House of parliament.”

And he even took to wearing the Buff and Blue colors of Washington’s army on the floor of Parliament itself.

William Pitt the Elder unsuccessfully attempted to have Parliament offer the Colonies what would be later called Commonwealth status.

So we see that we today celebrate a reluctant Independence but one that the Founders found necessary to maintain their rights, and they have passed on to us the responsibility to maintain them. It is no small responsibility but it is one we must take seriously to be able to hand our freedom down to our posterity.

I’m one of those curmudgeons who don’t think the National Anthem should be messed with but, I happily admit to loving this version. Consistency is overrated!

And finally, I would remind you that of all the anthems of all the nations in the world, only one ends with a question.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

How that question is answered is up to us.

One thing that pleases me greatly, is that of NEO’s contributors past and present, two of us are Americans and four are British. A few weeks ago, Britain marked the fourth anniversary of its own Declaration of Independence, in the vote to leave the European Union. Like us, holding out for English rights from an overpowerful German.

In a sort of very pertinent aside, the very fact of the conservativeness of our Revolution is why, I think so many conservative Britons have, in the last four years given our founders a good share of the credit for Brexit. I agree with them, it is the American founders, and the traditions flowing from them, and their basis in British law and tradition, that made Brexit possible, along with the quiet stubbornness of the British where freedom is concerned.

And so,

The_Great_Rapprochement

I would remind both our British friends and we Americans though of that last sentence, which has been the reason it has worked, nothing less is demanded of us.

And for the support of this Declaration,

with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Continue the mission

God Bless America, and God Save the Queen

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