In October of 2017, I published what I intended as a more detailed examination of all three of the main clauses of the First Amendment: the "establishment" clause, the "free exercise" clause, and the "abridgement" clause (encompassing freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. Life got in the way, however, and only the first part of the column, on the "establishment" clause, ever appeared. Since then, however, and largely as a result of the continuing assault of the Trump Administration and other parts of the American fascist community on First Amendment liberties, I have returned to the subject of the First Amendment, and have written the other two parts -- "free exercise" and "abridgement" -- that I neglected back in October of last year. In the interest of continuity, I am re-publ
The “Vergangenheit” episode of season 2 of Netflix’ critically acclaimed series The Crown dwelt at length on the treachery of the ex-King Edward VIII’s and his wife Wallis Simpson’s collaboration with Hitler to restore Edward to the Throne following the supposedly imminent and, at the time, the all-too-possible fall of England and the establishment of a Nazi regime in the United Kingdom. (Incidentally and not unexpectedly, the Prime Minister of a fascist UK would allegedly have been Oswald Mosley, head of the British Union of Fascists.) The true extent of the treason came to light with the publication, in the United States, of what Americans called the “Marburg files,” after the castle in the German state of Hesse, where the documents were discovered – which the English more appropriat
Well, it looks like I missed the Party! I knew about the Party, all right. But notwithstanding, I missed the Party, anyway. I missed the Party because – quite candidly, and despite being aware of the Party – I honestly didn’t know, still don’t know, what we were supposed to celebrate, rather like being expected to celebrate when your doctor tells you that you need four consecutive colonoscopies on four consecutive days. How happy duzzat make ya?!
OK … not to be obtuse ... the Party I missed was the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. For convenience, many church historians – with quite good reason -- date the Protestant Reformation as having “officially” begun on 31 October, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, nailed his legendary “95