Charter Of The Forest

I have not been writing so much these days about history and some of the misconceptions that are taught….I will rectify my absence.

The Constitution is in the news almost daily….it is used for every aspect of the news….so we should go back to the beginning.

Some Americans believe that the rights outlined in the Constitution were original thoughts by the Founders.

How many of you were taught in your history classes that the Constitution had its beginnings with the Magna Carta?

That teaching is not as accurate as you might think…..the Magna Carta was to quell the rebel barons had very little to do with the ‘common man’.

The Magna Carta, the Great Charter, or the Big Letter, signed by King John on June 15, 1215, at Runnymede, a meadow by the River Thames, to make peace with rebel barons, is perhaps the most well-known document that argues the existence and vigor of individual legal rights. Specifically, at the time of its signing, the immediate goal was protecting the private property of wealthy elite feudal lords who didn’t like their King.

Habeas Corpus—”show me the body”—as a defense against unlawful imprisonment, also traces a legal genealogy to the Magna Carta. However, the origins are in the Assize of Clarendon of 1166. I point out this distinction as noteworthy as there is more to the history of the Great Charter and its legacies.

For example, the Charter of the Forest, issued on November 6, 1217, two years after the Magna Carta, is the less-known of the agreements between these warring parties.

 “Unlike the Magna Carta, which dealt with the rights of barons, the Charter of the Forest addressed the rights of the common man. It restricted the amount of land that the king could claim for private use and restored the right of common access to natural resources.”

The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberty and Commons for All by Peter Linebaugh examine the fascinating history from below of this document and the implications for the legal claims of private property.

English commoners’ rights come from The Charter of the Forest, not the Magna Carta

Since I am not as expert on English history I would like to hear from my English friends that will have more information than me.

There is so much that we Americans are not taught and I try to correct that oversight as best I can.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


State Of The Union–2023

It was that time again….the annual manure spreading exercise known as the State of the Union…

As promised a quick and painless review of last night’s speech..

President Biden is stressing unity and the economy in his 2023 State of the Union address. Some key early points on those fronts from his prime-time speech on Tuesday:

  • “You know, my Republican friends, we could work together the last Congress. There’s no reason we can’t work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well,” said Biden, per the Washington Post. “Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere.” In fact, before the president began his speech, he publicly congratulated the new House speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy. “Speaker, I don’t want to run your reputation, but I look forward to working with you.”
  • “We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it,” the president said. “Today, COVID no longer controls our lives. And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War. Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken.”
  • The economy is a big theme, per the New York Times. “As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs—more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years,” says the president. (The boast is accurate, but CNN notes that the pandemic skewed things.) “My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. … This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives.”
  • Buying American: Biden announced that all construction material for federal projects must be made in America. “Lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cable. And on my watch, American roads, bridges, and American highways are going to be made with American products as well.”

During the speech the idiots acted out and did what they do….political theater….

Things got a little testy in the House as President Biden made his pitch for Congress to lift the debt ceiling to avoid default. Biden said Republicans lifted the ceiling three times for former President Trump “without preconditions or crisis,” per the New York Times. “Tonight, I’m asking this Congress to follow suit.” Jeers rang out from Republicans as Biden said of Trump: “No president added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor,” notes the Washington Post.

And boos and shouts of “liar” and bulls—” could be heard as Biden accused Republicans of going after Social Security and Medicare, per the Times. “Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security sunset.” As the boos rang out, Biden added that he “wasn’t saying it’s a majority” of Republicans. He ad-libbed: “Let me tell you, I enjoy conversation.” The Hill notes that GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene yelled, “Liar!” and gave a thumbs-down to Biden’s comments.

Later, as Biden was asking Congress to pass his immigration plan, some Republicans, including Greene, chanted “Secure our border!” per the Washington Post. Biden paused briefly amid the chants, and the New York Times reports that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “shushed” the GOP chanters.

Then there is the inevitable ‘rebuttal’ this time it was a Trumpian idiot, the governor of Arkansas Huckabee… of yet the GOP has never found an intelligent response to the SOTU….and this year was no different.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, and she did not hold back: The Arkansas governor declared Biden “unfit to serve as commander in chief” and said he’s putting both the US and the entire world at risk with his “weakness.” She also took a shot at his age: “At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country, and at 80, he’s the oldest president in American history,” she said. A few more of her biggest jabs at Biden and the Democrats, as reported by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and Politico:

  • “Normal” and “crazy” made a couple appearances: “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy,” she said. At another point, decrying what she called the “false idols” of Democrats, she said, “That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”
  • So did “woke”: Drawing another contrast between herself and Biden, Sanders said, “I’m the first woman to lead my state and he’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.” She also specifically called out Biden’s SOTU address as being tethered to “woke fantasies.”
  • Her former boss was also mentioned: Recalling her time as Donald Trump’s press secretary, she talked about a trip to Iraq on Christmas in 2018, saying that when the troops saw Trump, “the room erupted. Men and women from every race, religion, and region, every political party, every demographic you can imagine started chanting in perfect unison over and over and over again, ‘USA, USA, USA.’ It was an absolutely perfect picture of what makes our country great.”
  • In contrast to that, “Biden and the Democrats have failed you,” she said, pointing to inflation, crime, border policy, education, and US-China relations, among other things. She said she didn’t believe “much of anything” Biden said in his address, accusing him of “doubling down on crazy.”
  • And a line from Trump: In his own brief response to the SOTU, Trump said in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity issues that Biden is “trying to indoctrinate and mutilate our children.” As for Sanders, she said “most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight.”

All in all the speech was great political theater that proves just how petty the GOP has become.

All in all the speech was a yawn….but if you would like more opinions from others…..

One big theme in coverage of President Biden’s Tuesday night State of the Union address? The POTUS was scrappy and seemed to relish it. As Politico’s headline briefly put it, “Biden pokes the elephant.” Some quick takes and reactions:

  • CNN offers a few takeaways from the SOTU here. Kevin Liptak notes the president “powered through” despite the clear and open hostility aimed his way from the other side of the aisle. “The spectacle of Biden smiling and offering a pointed riposte through multiple rounds of heckling from some House Republicans was, in many ways, an apt illustration of his presidency and a useful preview of his likely 2024 candidacy,” Liptak writes. Another takeaway? Despite his age, he showed “vigor” and energy, per Liptak.
  • At Fox News, however, David N. Bossie illustrates how Republicans saw the speech: He says Biden “was in full spin mode from the get-go, behaving more like a desperate candidate on the campaign trail.” Bossie also says Biden’s speech failed to reflect on the “obvious takeaway,” which, according to Bossie, is that Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the midterms “because the American people voted against the president’s left-wing agenda
  • At NBC News, Jonathan Allen delves into the moment Marjorie Taylor Greene called Biden a liar, when the president was accusing Republicans of going after Medicare and social security. He “went off-script” to accept Greene’s comment “as on-the-spot agreement from the GOP to keep the programs intact,” proving he was “nimble enough … to box them in on Social Security and Medicare.”
  • Vox runs down 5 winners and 2 losers from the SOTU here. Among the winners: “The ad-libbing old-school Joe Biden.”
  • If you’re looking for economic takeaways, CNBC has those here. Among the topics: billionaire tax, junk fees, and the insulin price cap.
  • If it’s fact-checking you’re interested in, outlets including CNN, the Hill, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and PolitiFact did that.
  • The Post also looks at 39 “key proposals, pledges, or priorities” from last year’s SOTU and runs down which ones flopped and which ones succeeded in the year since.

But for those that want to draw their own conclusion….Politico has a full transcript of Tuesday’s speech here.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”