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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.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. (1763) From the Magna Charta, to the End of the Eleventh Parliament of Great Britain, Anno 1761 [continued to 1806]. J. Bentham, 53-55. Retrieved on 9 April 2015. 
  2. Treason Act 1554 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “It became an offence to 'compass or imagine to deprive the King's Majesty from the having with the Queen the style, honour and kingly name, or to destroy the King, or to levy war within this realm against the King or Queen,' or to say that the King ought not to have his title.”
  3. Nineteen Eighty-Four - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “The Party 'seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.'”
  4. "NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally", The Washington Post, Washington Post Company, October 14, 2013. Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.” 
  5. John Lok - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “In 1554 he was captain of a trading voyage to Guinea. An account of his voyage was published in 1572 by Richard Eden.”
  6. Bruce Herschensohn. An American amnesia. Beaufort Books. 
  7. liberal - definition of liberal. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “relating to or having policies or views advocating individual freedom”
  8. Walter Raleigh - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “The state capital of North Carolina, its second-largest city, was named Raleigh in 1792 after Sir Walter, sponsor of the Roanoke Colony. In the city, a bronze statue, which has been moved around different locations within the city, was cast in honor of the city's namesake.”
  9. I'm So Tired Lyrics by The Beatles. lyricsdepot.com (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015. “Although I'm so tired, I'll have another cigarette and curse Sir Walter Raleigh”
  10. Sir Walter Raleigh Smoking Tobacco Tin from colemanscollectibles. Ruby Lane (2015). Retrieved on 9 April 2015.

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