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Mary, Queen of Scots, Gets the Boot but not the Axe... Yet

This second marriage has not been a happy one for Mary, but she is a Catholic and that means marriage until death. Fortunately, for Mary, her husband's current residence blows up and kills her husband, King Henry, the Earl of Darnley. Henry is found dead in the garden... from strangling. Some suspect murder. To be fair, her husband was a bit of a hothead. He had her previous lover strangled to death in front of her while she carried her lover's child. In a previous meeting with the nobles of Scotland, Mary had discussed what to do with the King, and perhaps some means other than divorce should be used. KABOOM! Before the dust settles, Mary marries the guy suspected of the gunpowder plot. This is a little too much for the Scottish nobles. She is forced to abdicate and her 1-year-old son becomes King James the 6th. All of this in one year. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
King James is the same king who commissioned a translation of the popular Bible that is still in use today. Mary, Queen of Scots escaped to England since she was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth the 1st. Unfortunately, amongst the high aristocracy, having one too many queens around becomes a political problem often solved with an axe. Elizabeth had Mary arrested and moved from place to place for 19 years until Mary became a threat to the Crown. Mary, Queen of Scots, got the axe at the age of 44. Since this was a horrifying event in history, it was only natural that Monty Python would poke fun at her death. I watched the skit and I am shocked... at the realism. It's almost as if was there! [3]

Pirates One, Emperor Zero, Money Worthless *

The old Chinese Emperor is dead so all coins issued in his name are eventually invalidated as new coins are minted with the new Emperor's name. As one might imagine, there is a lag time, often lasting years, during which the country has two types of money. This works a bit like musical chairs. When the new Emperor finally invalidates the old money, the music stops and anyone holding too much of the old money is suddenly broke. Many merchants will follow the old Emperor into death when they lose everything. Combined with the restrictions on sea port commerce, pirate-smugglers are doing a brisk business. Realizing he cannot stop the smuggling, the new Emperor lifts the ban on commerce with pirates. Like every Emperor before him, eventually he will restore the ban and it will work as it always has... that is... it won't work at all. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Everyone is breaking the law. In the modern day one cannot go through the day without breaking at least one law. It happens so often that people are trained to break the law even when can obey it. Sensible religions and governments encourage individuals to police themselves because Inquisitions are messy and policemen are expensive. But when people are taught to ignore that feeling of "I'd better not do that," they are made vulnerable. The old Soviet Union used to arrest people and find something to charge them with later. There was always something. When almost everyone is breaking the law, the government can control the populace more cruelly than any religious threat of Hell. Hell is in the afterlife. Jail is right now. [6] [7]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1567, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Mary, Queen of Scots - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 April 2015. “James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, was generally believed to have orchestrated Darnley's death, but he was acquitted of the charge in April 1567, and the following month he married Mary. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. On 24 July 1567, she was forced to abdicate in favour of James, her one-year-old son by Darnley.”
  2. Mary Queen of Scots: Second Marriage: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. scotlandsmary.com (2015). Retrieved on 27 April 2015. “Mary soon became disenchanted with Henry, he had become overbearing, arrogant and carried away by his new title. He made enemies of some of the powerful nobles and, because of that enmity, there was a plot to kill him. Some thought that Mary had knowledge of the plot. Henry, along with his servant, was found strangled to death after the gunpowder blast intended to take his life failed.”
  3. (The Death of) Mary Queen of Scots. Monty Python (2015). Retrieved on 27 April 2015.
  4. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “The world's richest, most technologically advanced nation had utterly lost control of its borders. In 1567 a new Ming emperor threw in the towel and rescinded the ban on private foreign trade.” 
  5. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “Each emperor produced coins with his name stamped on the face. When he died, the succeeding ruler would quickly declare that his predecessor's coins were valueless; only new coins minted by the new emperor would be valid currency. Merchants suddenly saw 'their capital evaporate in a single day, often silently mourning their losses before committing suicide,' according to the Ming Shi, the official history of the dynasty.” 
  6. Mr Average breaks the law at least once a day from speeding to illegal downloading. Daily Mail Online (21 September 2008). Retrieved on 27 April 2015. “'But these so-called minor crimes are committed so regularly they have almost become legal, which seems to be the reason so many people aren't fazed when they do break the law.”
  7. Rough justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners. The Economist (July 22, 2010). Retrieved on 27 April 2015. “He pleaded innocent. But an undercover federal agent had ordered some orchids from him, a few of which arrived without the correct papers. For this, he was charged with making a false statement to a government official, a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Since he had communicated with his suppliers, he was charged with conspiracy, which also carries a potential five-year term”

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