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Europe vs. 13 Experiments in Liberty *

England now makes a distinction between the British Isles and that land over there, historically called "Europe." The root of the name "Europe" is a matter of speculation, but most likely the name comes from the Greek goddess, Europa. As the myth goes, she often took the form of a cow so Zeus took the form of a bull. Wow, was Europa ever surprised! The label "Europe" has been in use for centuries to refer to the culture and character of the people but it did not refer to the general land mass until the late Middle Ages. Now, in English, it refers to all of that. Europe is that region of Eurasia bounded by the Ural and Caucasus mountains and going north and west to the Atlantic. That would include the western part of Russia, but NOT the British Isles... at least, not any more. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day, there has been an attempt to bring Europe together as a unified political and economic entity called the European Union or E.U.. In some ways it resembles the early government of the United States of America... a confederation of states. A Virginian citizen thought of himself as different from a Massachusetts citizen as if he lived in a different country. About the only place I've seen anything similar in the modern day is Texas. In Texas, we teach our kids to be Texans. When you cross the border into Texas you are practically issued a hat, boots and a English-to-Texan dictionary. Even our trucks are Texan. It's fun being a Texan and I'm so glad I made it here. In some ways I wish all the states had a separate identity, because the USA was formed to be 13 separate experiments in liberty.... not a single point of failure called Washington, DC.

Connecticut's 1st Constitution and the Principle of Dual Sovereignty

'It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed...' the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut are accepted by a group of magistrates selected from the local towns. Roger Ludlow is the only lawyer in the Connecticut Colony so he heads the group. A little over two years ago, Hartford, Connecticut was founded by 100 colonists from the Massachusetts Colony. Connecticut is in the midst of an ugly war with the Pequot Indian tribe and with the King so far, far away they need a system set up to make their own legal decisions right here, right now. Establishing courts of law are paramount. Magistrates are elected and all Freemen in the jurisdiction may vote. They need not be a member of a congregation. (THAT is an innovation.) The courts may set fines and levies on the towns but only upon approval of the town representatives. The power of the purse remains at the local level. [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Connecticut constitution's fundamental importance to us today is that it establishes the idea of dual sovereignty. That is, a state can make its decisions without first checking with the federal government, yet the federal government retains its right as a separate and sovereign ruling body to make its own decisions. Thus... a state can rule that marijuana is legal but the federal government can maintain that it is not legal and send out federal marshals to enforce their will... or not. That also means that a Grand Jury can absolve a police officer in Furguson, Missouri, but his fate will still hang in the balance as the Department of Justice (DOJ) reviews the case. (Officer Wilson was cleared!) It's not exactly double jeopardy but as the state and federal systems become more and more entangled, it begins to look that way. [6] [7] [8]

The Massacre at 'Magic Mountain'

The Spaniards have a serious problem with the Chinese merchants in Manila. They can't seem to solve it using trade restrictions, tariffs or even expulsion. The money to be made is just too good. The Spanish trading ships want cheap goods and have lots of silver. The Chinese want silver desperately and have lots of cheap goods. The Spaniards don't trust the Chinese merchants due to a mutiny a few years earlier but every time they kick the Chinese out of Manila, the Spaniards invite them back for their cheap goods and labor. During one such episode, Chinese officials arrive to check out a rumor of a magic mountain of gold in Manila. The Spaniards think this is total BS. (It is.) This is a typical boondoggle the Chinese bureaucracy cooked up but the Spaniards think it is a prelude to invasion. Then the Chinese bureaucrats suddenly leave. That does it. The Spaniards decide that the Chinese merchants are a 5th column so they round them up and start shooting. When word gets out, the Chinese head for the hills. A few years later they return at the urging of the Spaniards because they need cheap goods and labor and the Chinese need silver desperately. The cycle repeats itself again and again and again. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This is sort of like a case of spousal abuse. One can blame the first time on unusual circumstances, but when it happens again and again, there are no excuses for either side. There is a systemic problem. Like illegal aliens coming across the border from Mexico, if we wanted to solve the problem, we would solve it, but the money is just too good for both sides. Even if every single illegal alien voluntarily went back home without complaint, you can bet that within a few years other illegal aliens would be back and there would be enough American businesses (primarily) that would welcome them.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1639, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “Similar concerns apply to 'European.' The idea of Europe as a geographic entity has existed for a long time. The idea that this entity was populated by people with commonalities enough to be described as a group has not. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first English use of the word to mean 'a resident of Europe' occurred only in 1639.” 
  2. Word to search for: Europe. WorldNet Glossary (2015). Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “Europe (the 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use 'Europe' to refer to all of the continent except the British Isles)”
  3. (1940) "εὐρύς", A Greek-English Lexicon, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Sir Henry Stuart Jones (augmented), Roderick McKenzie (assisted)., Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “1. broad; 2. far-reaching, far-spread;” 
  4. Europa (mythology) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “The etymology of her Greek name (εὐρυ- 'wide' or 'broad' and ὤψ 'eye(s)' or 'face') suggests that Europa as a goddess represented the cow (with a wide face) Hathor, at least on some symbolic level.”
  5. Peters, Ellen Ash (September 1999). "The Role of State Constitutions in Our Federal System". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 143 (3): 418-427. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3181954. 
  6. Double jeopardy - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction.”
  7. Holder: Despite Grand Jury Decision Not Indict, DOJ Investigation Into Ferguson Case Still Ongoing. Townhall.com (OPINION) (2015). Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “Holder reminded the public that despite the Grand Jury decision, a separate Department of Justice investigation is ongoing.”
  8. Ferguson Report: Former Officer Won't Face Civil Rights Charges. KUSD (National Public Radio) (2015). Retrieved on 3 September 2015. “Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown last August, will not face federal civil rights charges over the killing.”
  9. Boondoggle - definition of boondoggle (2015). Retrieved on 4 September 2015. “a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation.”
  10. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “Because the situation had reverted to its pre-massacre state, the Spaniards in Manila were as few, dependent, and scared as ever they had been. Eventually they again tightened restrictions on the Chinese. Rebellions flowered in the Parián, followed by expulsions and massacres. The cycle repeated itself in 1639, 1662, 1686, 1709, 1755, 1763, and 1820, each time with an awful death toll.” 

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