Citizenship, Economy, Free Society

We fought a war for these freedoms

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

In 1743, Sam Adams and James Otis, Jr, were admitted to the degree of Master of Arts with Honours by Harvard College. These two gentlemen were both allies and rivals over the next few years and the intellectual fathers of the American Revolution in Massachusetts Bay colony.

James Otis, Jr, was appointed advocate general of the vice admiralty court in Boston where he was an advocate enforcing the onerous Acts of Trade of 1751. As the residents of Massachusetts Bay sought extra-legal relief (Messrs John Hancock and Sam Adams being involved in such activity) Parliament came up with the use of “General Warrants” which allowed the Kings officers to search what they chose, when they chose and where they chose without specifics.

In 1761, partly because Gov Bernard appointed Thomas Hutchinson rather than James Otis, Sr, as Chief Justice, the younger Otis resigned his position as advocate general and took up the cause of the merchants of Massachusetts Bay. He did this pro bono or without fee.

His five hour argument in February of 1761, included the following:

A man’s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court may inquire.

Does this sound familiar? Does the justification of NSA surveillance by such “defenders of our freedom” as Rep Peter King (R-NY) ring familiar?

James Otis, Jr, had begun his argument with the following.

I was desired by one of the court to look into the (law) books, and consider the question now before them concerning Writs of Assistance. I have accordingly considered it, and now appear not only in obedience to your order, but likewise in behalf of the inhabitants of this town, who have presented another petition, and out of regard to the liberties of the subject. And I take this opportunity to declare that whether under a fee or not (for in such a cause as this I despise a fee) I will to my dying day oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other, as this Writ of Assistance is.

John Adams, Sam’s more conciliatory cousin who had doubts about independence characterized this as the first act of resistance. It was the first action in an intellectual war of small actions which culminated in the shots fired at Lexington Green on 19 April 1775.

The court, presided over by the corrupt Thomas Hutchinson, rejected the argument. But the speech was amplified and published over the years. In December of 1773 Hutchinson was to be the recipient of a shipment of tea that would be forfeit to his warehouse on 17 December of that year. James Otis, Jr’s classmate Sam organized a costume party (it took place on Beethoven’s third birthday) that result in the tea being tossed into the harbor so it could not be unloaded.

Through the assistance of the anti-federalist movement which in the newly free and independent Commonwealth of Massachusetts included Sam Adams and the sister of James Otis, Jr, Mercy Otis Warren, ten amendments restricting governmental powers were adopted and ratified. These included the Fourth Amendment which reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

After “9/11” supposedly changed “our democracy forever” the United States passed the USAPATRIOT Act which greatly expanded the powers of the US Department of Justice, the NSA (LBJ’s Secret Police) and government in general—we now have a Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security with seemingly unlimited powers. (I could posit that the events of 11 September 2001 did not substantially change the risk level for the United States but only the fear level.)

This legislation is not “the law of the land” in that it is passed, not pursuant to the powers granted in the body of the Constitution and contrary to the limits on federal power bluntly stated in the fourth article amending that Constitution. In other words, the argument is that an emergency grants extraordinary powers to ignore the basics of governing in a free society. In the 1688 Bill of Rights, the British Parliament objected to standing armies in time of peace—and since 1688 every monarch has assured military adventurism as a means to keeping standing armies. In 1798 John Adams wanted emergency powers because he had a gotten into a shooting conflict with France—his successor refused to enforce those powers. Since 1914 the United States has been in conflict with one or more foes—only twice, 1917 and 1941, have there been formal declarations of war although Bill Fulbright posited that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution might be so considered.

The advantage to the powers that be of “emergencies” is that the electorate, with a dire threat from the outside, is willing to forgo freedoms in the belief that such willingness will diminish the threat. Ergo, since Muslim extremists were capable of flying a couple planes into buildings we are under threat—although we currently have no enemies with industrial capabilities, having reached a rapprochement with Red China and having caused the downfall of the Soviet Union through a massive spending war. However, we have a “Global War on Terror” as a result of G.W. Bush acting like John Adams on steroids and Barack Obama not being Thomas Jefferson in any sense.

Going back to the Fourth Amendment, James Otis, Jr, began a revolution of thought. As the kernel of the idea grew, it was added to and built up pressure. By April of 1775, the American Revolution was over—what lay ahead was a War for Independence. Yes, for these ideas and freedoms we went to war, not to give power over to a government that took crises as a rationale for going back to a time before it all happened and back to a government that made Leviathan look like a gila monster.

 

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Citizenship, Preparedness

21 August 1863 – The cost of non-resistance

© 2013 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Today is August 21, 2013. 150 years ago, Major William “Bloody Bill” Anderson led his raiders into Lawrence, Kansas, and committed murder and mayhem on the civilian population although the killing was limited, for the most part, to males of military age—remembering that in 1863, young en as young as twelve were found in the military service of both the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

About 10 am, William Clark Quantrill, Anderson’s “commander,” arrived in town, ate breakfast, gave orders to spare a hotel where he had once resided, and left. This was an irregular band or conglomeration of bands of raiders and command structure was sometimes confusing, but Bill Anderson had loose command.

What had happened in Lawrence that I find disturbing is that armed resistance was rare and sporadic. A Colonel Bullene and two of his sons were on leave. When raiders rode up to the Bullene residence, they were greeted with gunfire and decided to go elsewhere. There was a farmer named Levi Gates who grabbed his muzzle loader and went hunting and got two or three raiders before being cut down.

Three weeks before the raid the New England contingent among the city fathers had decided that the militia weapons would be “safer” in a central armory than in homes—anyone who thinks this bit of information did not get back to Quantrill and company needs a reality check.

It is not that the city did not know about the possibility of a raid. On 21 May 1856, the Sheriff of Douglas County, Samuel Jones, sacked the city to destroy free state and abolitionist newspapers and the Free State Hotel. However, the lessons of vigilance fade in time.

A personal note: My family were of the New England Puritan culture. When I went to a candlelight vigil some years back, there was a reading of names which included a number of Palmers and Griswolds—not ancestors but probably related.

In September of 1863, the Confederate Congress amended the Partisan Ranger Act to apply only to those partisan units operating also as regular cavalry. Neither Quantrill nor Anderson survived the war but a remnant of Anderson’s men in Western Missouri reconstituted themselves as the James-Younger gang.

On February 13, 1866, a group of about a dozen former members of Anderson’s outfit—including Frank James and Coleman Younger—robbed the Clay County Savings Association. This was the first daytime bank robbery during peacetime and netted $60,000 according to the robberies page of angelfire.com. For the next ten years, the James-Younger gang was unstoppable in Missouri.

On September 7, 1876, the gang ventured into “Yankee” territory again. This time it was Northfield, Minnesota. This time, however, there was armed resistance. Townspeople grabbed weapons and the gunstore handed out new Winchesters. Frank and Jesse James managed to escape through the Dakota territory and got back to Missouri—the armed response and ensuing manhunt resulted in death or incarceration of most of their confederates. The total take was $26.70 because they took the word of the acting cashier that there was a time lock on the safe.

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Compleat Idler, Economy, Humor, Technology

Short commentary

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Susan Rice withdrew from consideration for Secretary of State. No, this will not end the Benghazi debate—it was not the messenger but the message. Obama wanted his narrative.

Obama to meet with Boehner. A headline something like Fighting Intense Near Verdun in 1915 and 16 and 17 and 18. Look for something that kicks the can down the road a year or two.

Michigan passes “right to work.” Do not be surprised by repeal in a couple years.

Obama supports “secular” opposition in Syrian. Of course they can fit in one phone booth. Jordan is next.

Kansas Governor merges adult and juvenile corrections. This is an extremely bad idea which has been around since the early eighties—at least.

Lindsay Lohan is down to one story in today’s Mail—apparently she is impoverished. You might think that playing Elizabeth Taylor might lead her to Paris’s brother Conrad.

There are petitions on the White House website for secession. The state legislators who actually pass secession resolutions are not about to give up their entitlements and funding for their projects by doing so.

Meanwhile there are also petitions to nationalize Twinkies and build a Death Star—the latter being touted as a “jobs engine” on the scale of NASA. I do not see private capital coming forward to finance even part of such a project.

There are some private capital bids for some Hostess trademarks and recipes (take sugar, add high fructose corn syrup, throw in artificial flavors and colors, pump air into the center, throw on some more sugar). Meanwhile, Little Debbie sits there luring customers with her innocent smile—plus sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, sugar frosting, powdered sugar.

There may be something to this petition site. It helps identify the clueless.

The MailOnline reports a decline in the Samurai Caste during the Edo period because of lead poisoning in the make-up they wore. My brother sent me the more nuanced report from MSNBC. As an historical note, in the 1860s the District of Columbia installed new lead water pipes to prevent sabotage of the system. Solutions cause problems.

 

 

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Compleat Idler, Education

Scottish-Americans meet reality – Jacobites

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

NOTE:  This is a rant, not a detailed piece of scholarly history.  Much is relayed through different family traditions and I am not a Jacobite.

The season of Scottish-American pride draws to a close. Soon it will be October with the weather getting cooler and snowfall upon us making outdoor festivals less than pleasant—I remember freezing my buns at McPherson in late September after ditching my windbreaker in Estes two weeks earlier. My broken hip has, for the last few seasons, limited my ability to get to these gatherings and tweak the pride—though a good argument is probably the most Scots of that goes on.

My definition of modern Scots is as follows: A people of varied Celto-Norse heritage living north of England who, without English interference, would have annihilated each other centuries ago. The languages spoken are English, Scots (an English dialect originally called Inglis), Cymru, Gaelic (also called Erse or Irish), Norwegian and Glaswe (the dialect of Glasgow which does not appear mutually intelligible with any known language). Cymru, Gaelic and possibly Glaswe are Celtic (Seltic) languages. English, Scots and Norwegian derive from Old Norse.

I will start with the Jacobites because they are the easiest to describe, being a group of English and Scots aristocrats and bishops who preferred the profligacy of James II (VII of Scotland) to the hard money austerity of William of Orange (both of whom were descendants of Henry VII). We are here talking about the throne of England, the throne of Scotland not having much in the way of power or finances. No, kiddies, Bonnie Prince Charlie had no interest whatsoever in an independent Scotland.

Do not worry. Over the next few weeks I can dispatch Duncan the Wicked, his son Malcolm the Fat Head, Malcolm’s English second wife Margaret, Robert the Brus, the Stuarts and anyone else I can skewer.

Charles I had been removed as King by Parliament. The power of Parliament to choose the monarch goes back to the days of Henry VIII and his concern about the Spanish Princess Mary inheriting from him and restoring the bishops to outside control. He had hopes that Edward VI would grow into a powerful monarch destined for greatness, but gave Parliament authority to name Edward’s successor. Instead of naming Henry’s nephew James V of Scotland, They named Henry’s hapless niece Jane Grey, setting her up to last about as long as Macbeth’s successor Lulach. What happened in terms of greatness of Henry’s successors was that the throne eventually devolved on his younger daughter Elizabeth. And while Elizabeth of England eliminated her whiny, manipulative cousin Mary Stuart, when she died the throne went to Mary’s son James VI of Scotland. This was not because his mother was the rightful monarch but because his great-great grandfather was Henry VII—the Stuarts were in the Royal line because they were Tudors.

In 1688, a group of seven nobles persuaded William of Orange, James II’s nephew/son-in-law and his wife Mary to come to England to oust James. Mary believed her new half-brother to be a switch for a stillborn and feared the coming Catholicism. William arrived with his troops, the military switched sides and James, on his second attempt, was able to take a permanent vacation in France. Parliament declared the Throne vacant, disqualified Prince James Edward by disqualifying any Catholic, and made William King. Note: I determining “rightful” monarchs I follow the practical solution of recognizing the prevailing monarch in the fight.

The first Jacobite uprising was led by John Graham of Claverhouse (AKA Bonnie Dundee—see Sir Walter Scott’s notes in Old Mortality). Claverhouse slaughtered a bunch of Presbyterians at Killiecrankie—he enjoyed slaughtering Presbyterians. However, Claverhouse was killed and the movement sputtered.

Jacobites derive that name from Jacobus (Iacobus) Rex—the Latin for King James. The fact is that Parliament prohibited the issue of James II by his second wife from inheriting which left his two daughters, Mary and Anne, and his nephew William of Orange. Following the deaths of William and Mary, Queen Anne assumed the throne. Following the death of Queen Anne’s last son, Parliament passed the 1701 Act of Settlement which provided the English crown, in default of issue from either William or Anne, was settled upon “the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover” and “the heirs of her body, being Protestant.” As it happened, when Queen Anne died without issue in 1714, the crown went to Georg Ludwig, great grandson of James I. So we have the line from the Hanovers to the Stuarts to the Tudors.

Now the throne of England has a history of being transferred by military power. The most famous was in 1066. When Edward the Confessor died there were four claimants. The “rightful monarch,” grandson of Edmund Ironside stayed in Hungary and expected to be called. Harald Hardradi of Denmark invaded from the North, picking up support from Caithness and Orkney. In a fluke he was killed by the troops of Harold Godwinson who then marched his troops south to Hastings where he ran across William of Normandy. William’s Normans had lived in Normandy since his ancestor Ganger Hrolf had made a deal with Charles the Simple for land in exchange for stopping the raiders from the North from viking in Paris. The were basically Norsemen who spoke abominable French. So when George ascended the throne James Francis Edward Stuart, having been recognized as King by Louis XIV in 1702 decided to restore his rights.

The problem is that when you attempt a military solution against a recognized monarch you need a competent army, competent commanders and a coherent plan. Remember that when the Brus went up against Edward II at Bannockburn, he had 300 Norman cavalry stashed in surprise mode and he had more or less popular support. Scotland was not universally Jacobite. The Duke of Argyll had no love for the profligate James II and VII. The Protestant branch of the family had stabilized the economic situation. A note: The Stuarts, like the Brus, were Normans—they tended to crop up in a lot of places as the civilizers of Europe.

Again in 1745-46, there was another major uprising led James Francis Edward’s generally besotted son Charles Edward William Stuart who was half-Polish and raised in Italy. The general reception he got in the west of Scotland was, “Go home.” According to Alex Beaton he replied, “I am-a home.” Alex went for the New York showbiz laugh. Bonnie Prince Charlie had never led an army in combat but that was not a problem because Scots are “natural fighters.” (Note how Robert Brus had heavy French Cavalry and the Scots did not fare that well against the English overall.)

So after getting within striking distance of London, Charlie retreated to Inverness. George called on his own surrogate, his son William, Duke of Cumberland, who had been in military combat for years and was battle hardened. With experienced English and Scots troops he marched north to the climax at Culloden. There was no secret Templar army waiting, only Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites. The aftermath of the battle—the slaughter of survivors—was carried out by Scots troops, the English not really having much taste for slaughter.

We all know the Skye Boat, the escape in drag courtesy of Flora McDonald in exchange for the Dram Buie recipe, and the later life which would indicate he was not as much into discipline as his Hanoverian cousins. But this little tidbit was in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9211247/DNA-reveals-the-truth-about-Bonnie-Prince-Charlie.html

Evidently there is a gene for profligacy in Cornwall as well.  (Addendum: Well he should have Welsh DNA.  He was a direct descendent of Owen Tudor.)

While the rout a Culloden ended the military threat to the Hanoverian line, there were some sphincters tightened in 1784 when Scottish Episcopal Bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury as Bishop for the Church of North America. Fearing the rise of a Jacobite Church the English Bishops swiftly obtained authorization to consecrate Bishops for the American Church without the oath to support the King.

There are still some “Stuart” claimants, but it is more likely that the monarchy will simply disappear altogether. As I have said, no one recognizes a loser—except maybe other losers.

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Compleat Idler, Surplus Stores, Tool user

Surplus stores — suspicious behavior

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

So one of the signs of suspicious behavior in a surplus store is discussion of means to convert items to uses for which they were not intended. Now this may go back to when I spotted the jet-fighter canopy and had the brilliant idea that, combined with a cot, it could provide the perfect bed for sleeping under the stars. It certainly was not Pete’s idea to use a three dollar pilot’s helmet for a football helmet.

But a few years later (and about 11 inches taller) I no longer had that fantasy and Pete was elsewhere. Who knows? He may have figured out how to build a communications system into a football helmet so the coach and the QB can talk to each other. But you have to realize that the tools of war may have other uses.

“ And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” [Isaiah 2:4] I read that when I was eight years old and still grappling with the insipid stuff in school—I now understand that early modern English is a different language and that the 1611 Authorized Version is EME. But this has always intrigued me.

The things I remember from surplus stores is looking at the bayonets and comparing the length of the blade to the cattail roots by the pond. I have been told that cattail roots are edible—the problem was how long they needed to cook. But we obtained machetes which can be used to top sugar beets and old first aid supplies. The WW2 canteens were better than Official BSA and you could hang two of them on a pistol belt for balance. The guys who built the slat pack frames used ammo packs for their main bag—a fishing trip was not the intended use for the bag, but it worked.

I would tend to worry more about people talking about using the bayonets to stick people—you say things like that in bars. I stay out of bars—it is intentional as I do not like fights.

Meanwhile, that bicycle generator intrigues me.

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Citizenship, Education

Antique Roman

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

 

Never believe it.
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.
Here’s yet some liquor left. – Horatio in Hamlet act V

It takes awhile to find that line though it rings true to me—it always has and yet it is not found in the memorable quotes because it is not “profound” to English lit professors. I admit to having not read the play itself since high school, following the admonition of my Shakespeare scholar father to watch rather than read.

Why I relate to the specific line is that I, too, am more antique (republican) Roman than 21st Century progressive American. The Roman republic was created when Lucius Junius Brutus defeated the tyrant Lucius Tarquinus Superbus (the Proud) and ended the monarchy in 509 BCE. From this republic which was defended by blood—Brutus watched the execution of his own sons for attempting to restore the monarchy. During the Republic 509-44 BCE the people of Rome began referring to themselves as Citizens and at Brutus’ insistence took an oath:

Omnium primum avidum novae libertatis populum, ne postmodum flecti precibus aut donis regiis posset, iure iurando adegit neminem Romae passuros regnare.
First of all, by swearing an oath that they would suffer no man to rule Rome, it forced the people, desirous of a new liberty, not to be thereafter swayed by the entreaties or bribes of kings.

We have never, since the beginning of the American Republic, been required to take such an oath although we insist on school children repeating a mindless pledge to a flag that was written by a socialist minister and used to enforce a belief in a unitary democracy.

At any rate, the antique Romans believed in defending the Republic but not giving power to a king or a dictator. Unfortunately, as time progressed the Senate allowed generals their way and was happy with conquest. While maintaining the trappings of republicanism, the actual form of government that began to develop was an empire. Cato the Elder, Rome’s Joe Lieberman, would end his senate speeches on any topic with ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam or “in my opinion we should destroy Carthage.” While Republicans would counter this, in 146 BCE Rome destroyed the Phoenician port of Carthage and the die was cast about a century before Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

At any rate, Caesar was content to keep the fiction of a Republic—the Senate made him dictator for life in 44 BCE. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a shorter term than expected as Marcus Junius Brutus, descendant of Lucius Junius Brutus, led the assassination that got him mention in Dante and Shakespeare. With Gaius out of the way, his nephew Octavian defeated Antonius and Brutus to become Caesar Augustus. Plutarch used the term “fall of the Republic” rather than “rise of the Empire.”

I am more of an Antique Roman than a 21st Centuty progressive. I am a citizen of the Republic.

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Education

An educational challenge – history

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Okay, we all know that Andrew Jackson sent Lord Packenham packing at New Orleans. And we have all been told it was irrelevant because the treaty had been signed.

But was it? A victory by Packenhams forces would have given King George control of one of the most important ports in North America.

I know that high school a students love challenges.  Here are issues to explore.

Several questions arise. Could Britain have formed an alliance with Texas and Mexico? Could this have split the United States at the Mississippi River? Would a British territory have impacted slavery in providing a quick and sure refuge? How long would it have been before the US mounted an attempt to retake the area?

And most important: Can you get a rise out of a high school history teacher with this speculation.

Certain rules need apply. You are limited to looking at it through the mindset of individuals of the time. In other words, you cannot create a fact situation that did not exist—such as the idea that the South was fighting to control the United States as in Kevin Willmott’s film, CSA, Confederate States of America. You need to explore Britain’s imperial policy, the ability of the United States having lost their National Army. Would Parliament support a new land based effort?

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