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Taking Liberties and Taxing the Dead

For the last few years the English Commons has been asserting its independence. It has insisted on proper elections, rather than letting the sheriffs manipulate the votes in favor of the wealthy. The Commons has the final say over who may be seated. If a Member of Parliament (MP) is traveling to or from Westminster in the performance of his duties he may not be arrested. An MP can speak freely in Parliament and not be called to account or be arrested even when he criticizes the royalty. To counter this parliamentary independence, King Edward the 4th has called Parliament into session as little as possible. This policy will continue until 1485 when the first Tudor King will assert direct rule retroactively by declaring himself king BEFORE he took the throne... thus making treason against the king retroactive before he was the king. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Two legislative oddities spring to mind immediately. The first is the arrest of Congressman Patrick Kennedy in 2006 when he drove his car into a barricade while drunk. Initially he claimed he was headed to Congress for a vote. That might have been a good defense since Congressmen cannot be held by the police on their way to vote, but it was 2:45 in the morning. He went to rehab and paid a $350 fine. The second legislative oddity is the retroactive taxation that President Bill Clinton signed into law. The Congress backdated the law so that it applied BEFORE Clinton became President. That trapped people before they could avoid the additional tax. For example, any person who had died did not have the option of rewriting his will to avoid taxation. In essence, the government was taxing the dead. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Villon Escapes a Hanging

François Villon is a French poet and a bit of a scoundrel. In 1455 he fatally struck a priest in a bar fight. Luckily, the priest forgave Villon before he died and the king pardoned him. He then traveled to Paris and while in the midst of writing his Le Petit Testament he steals 500 gold crowns from the college. We know this because he says so... in his "testament." Later he is arrested and writes his most famous work, Le Testament. Finally, this year, he is arrested for brawling and is sentenced to hang from the gallows. He appeals to Parliament which commutes his sentence to ten years banishment from Paris. What becomes of him from this point on is unknown but his character will enjoy a lovely career in films and a guest appearance in the Syfy television series Warehouse 13 as an ink well. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm not sure what makes Villion so popular but he has been mentioned through the centuries by other writers. His poetry seem reasonable in translation if somewhat sappy at times. Maybe it sounds better in French. I suspect that his disappearance left the rest of his life open to speculation and that is probably why he continues to be imagined into the plots of other stories. He was a rough and wild character.

Bosnia Falls to the Ottomans

At this time the area known as Bosnia and Hezegovina is somewhat smaller than the modern day version but big or small, the Ottoman Turks will absorb a large part of Bosnia this year as they continue to threaten Europe. Hezegovina will have to wait for a while. Resistance against the Ottomans will continue for many years in this area. [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I mention this event only because of the turmoil in these areas in modern days. A look at a topographical map shows how difficult it would be for any invading army such as the Ottoman Turks to take this mountainous area. The highest peak is over 7,000 feet and there are a lot of places to hide.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1463, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Cantor, Norman F. (1997). Imagining the Law: Common Law and the Foundations of the American Legal System. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 292-294. ISBN 0060171944.. “"The Commons, manipulated by the Lancastrians and other royal and aristocratic factions, had done what it was told, but in the 1450s and 1460s it alarmingly began to assert “the liberties and privileges of the House of Commons,” which went beyond the convenience of any royal or aristocratic group that had massaged them."” 
  2. Edward IV of England - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  3. Kerry Kennedy acquitted of drugged driving in NY - Daily Mail Online. dailymail.co.uk (2014 [last update]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014. “Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy - Kerry's cousin- Crashed his car into a Capitol Hill barricade at 2.45am in May 2006. The then-Congressman from Rhode Island, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, initially claimed that he was disoriented due to Ambien- the same drug that was in Kerry's system at the time of her crash - but he also had reportedly been drinking. He went to rehab and made a deal with prosecutors that by pleading guilty to driving under the influence, he would be let off with one year's probation and a $350 fine.”
  4. Ex post facto law: United States - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  5. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  6. Roberts, Paul Craig (2014 [last update]). Clinton's Retroactive Tax on 'the Rich' - Baltimore Sun. articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved on 9 November 2014. “"In the case of estate taxes (transfer taxes), there is no precedent for retroactivity. Clinton's increase taxes the dead, who do not have the option of remaking their wills retroactively."”
  7. Troy, Daniel E. (2014 [last update]). Retroactive Tax Increases and The Constitution. heritage.org. Retrieved on 9 November 2014. “Congress has been adopting retroactive tax increases for a very long time, essentially since the 1930s. The 1913 Revenue Act was the first one with an effective date before the date of the actual enactment. Generally, the increased tax rate is applied retroactively to the year in which it is enacted. But in 1918 and 1926, each of the Revenue Acts was applied to the entire calendar year that had preceded enactment.”
  8. François Villon - Academy of American Poets. poets.org (2014 [last update]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014. “While awaiting his death sentence, Villon composed 'Ballad of Hanged Men' and 'I Am Francois, They Have Caught Me.' A last minute appeal to Parliament reduced his sentence to ten years banishment from Paris on January 5, 1463. At the time, Villon was only 34 years old.”
  9. François Villon - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  10. François Villon : The Poetry Foundation. poetryfoundation.org (2014 [last update]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  11. Bosnia and Herzegovina - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.
  12. Ottoman conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Wikipedia (2014 [last modified]). Retrieved on 9 November 2014.

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