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Podcasting, the Heresy Act and the 9th Worst Briton in History

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, has died at most unfortunate time. He has been blocking a move by Parliament to expand his law... a religious law he passed years ago meant to frighten the clergy away from the Lollards and John Wycliffe's radical ideas. Heresy is a religious crime that carries the death penalty but the penalty is not often carried out. Nevertheless, heresy has moved to the top of the agenda in Parliament. It will become a crime judged by courts of justice with very little mercy. That is a formula for death. Archbishop Thomas has died and now accusations of heresy will be used by some future government when a convenient death is needed. In a poll conducted by BBC History Magazine, Archbishop Thomas will be voted the 9th worst Briton in history. My God, Archbishop Thomas. With the best of intentions we often do our worst. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The law is a blunt instrument. The same law can be used to maintain reasonable behavior or it can be used to do violence to one's enemies. When the government is benign, there is little danger of abuse, but the government is not always benign. They pass so many laws that we are bound to be guilty of something. All that is required is to select a violation to put us away. The patent laws do not require intent to violate a patent. Podcasting could be such a violation. To date (August 2014) many of the lawsuits against podcasters have been dropped but the issue is not resolved.[5] [6] [7]

Great Schism: The Council of Constance

The Council of Pisa has spun out of control and elected a THIRD POPE so a new Council has been constituted... the Council of Constance. It is charged with resolving the split in the Church and bringing the Pope-count down to ONE. It will claim a super-energized authority, but not in the wild manner that the Council of Pisa did. They are also charged with reviewing the work of John Wycliffe and the Lollards. The Lollard Jan Hus will be given free passage to the Council to make his case and a guarantee that he will not be harmed. Unfortunately, the guarantee won't be worth the parchment it is written on. Next year Jan Hus is going to burn. [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Council of Constance is a mixed bag. On the one hand it will solve the Great Schism and unify the Church once again. On the other hand they are heresy hounds, seeking apostates behind every bush. The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, King of Hungry is pushing for this reunification and he guaranteed the safety of Jan Hus, but someone didn't get the memo... or the Council thought that God overrules the Holy Roman Emperor. [9] [10] [11]

John Falstaff and John Oldcastle

John Falstaff is a fictional character from a future Shakespeare play but Shakespeare will draw from historical events and people of the past. One of those people will be the current Sir John Oldcastle. Oldcastle is a Lollard, a follower of John Wycliffe, and a bit of a rebel. He's been stirring things up and will even lead a rebellion but right now he is on the run. He has escaped from the Tower of London after being proven a heretic... heretic being defined as following the beliefs of a Lollard and admitting to them under interrogation. He was a friend of King Henry the 5th of England but the King is at his limit. There is no way he can save John now. John will hide out with some Lollard friends but he will be captured in 1417, hanged on the gallows and then set aflame... gallows and all. [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The connection between Shakespeare's Falstaff and Oldcastle is real enough. Oldcastle's name appears in an original printing of one of the plays, but John Oldcastle will still have powerful relatives in Shakespeare's time that will force a change of the name to Falstaff. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..." but that line will be in Romeo and Juliet. The Falstaff character is best remembered in "The Merry Wives of Windsor."[14] [15]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1414, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Thomas Arundel - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. BBC History Magazine. (ONLINE)
  3. Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Medley, Dudley Julius. A Student's Manual of English Constitutional History. Oxford: B. H. Blackwell. 1894. p. 519. (BOOK) quote: "Finally, by an Act of 1414, passed by the influence of Bishop Beaufort and in opposition to Archbishop Arundel, heresy was made an offence against the Common Law : for not only were secular officers to swear that they would assist the ecclesiastical officers in the suppression of heresy, but Justices of Assize were both to have the power of inquiry, to issue an order for arrest, and to hand over the person to the ecclesiastical courts for trial."
  5. EFF asks for help defeating podcast patent troll - PCWorld. 2014 [last update] quote: "A Texas company, Personal Audio, holds a 2012 patent for a system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence and a related 1996 patent for an audio program player including a dynamic program selection controller."
  6. Mullin, Joe. Podcasting patent troll: We tried to drop lawsuit against Adam Carolla - Ars Technica. Jul 29, 2014. quote="Personal Audio has already dropped its lawsuits against two other podcasting defendants from the case (Togi Net and How Stuff Works) apparently without getting paid anything. The cases were dropped without prejudice, which means they could be re-filed."
  7. The Legend of Golem - Prague.net. 1969 [last update]
  8. Shahan, Thomas. Council of Constance. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 25 Aug. 2014.
  9. Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Wilhelm, Joseph. Jan Hus. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 26 Aug. 2014.
  11. Urquhart, Francis. John Wyclif. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 26 Aug 2014.
  12. Falstaff - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. John Oldcastle - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  14. John Fastolf - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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