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Sapphires and Duty

Yesterday was the sixty-fifth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. By all reports, she spent it quietly at Sandringham, in Norfolk, where her father, the King died 65 years ago. She is now the longest reigning monarch in British History. And the only one to have parachuted into the Olympics! Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith […]

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Remembrance Sunday

I wrote this morning on All along the Watchtower, this is part of that article. In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, […]

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56 Movie Mistakes: The Longest Day

Then there is this attempt to denigrate the movie The Longest Day recounting the Overlord operation to liberate Europe. The Longest Day, which was made in black and white, features a large ensemble cast including John Wayne, Kenneth More,Richard Todd, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert, Jeffrey […]

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Hullo, Mummy. Welcome to the Revolution!

Over here, we’ve long viewed the United Kindom as the mother country. After all, we based our freedom on English practice, as we did our law, our trade practices, and even our treatment of each other. In fact, that was so strong that our founders referred to the Revolution, not the rebellion. That is because […]

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The Immortal Memory

The British Empire got its start as a Tudor Enterprise as Henry VIII established the Royal Navy and as men increasingly saw how England could challenge Spain on the sea. Britain was well placed for this as an island off the coast of Europe. And so St Vincent made the now famous remark: “I do not […]

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The Immortal Memory

The British Empire got its start as a Tudor Enterprise as Henry VIII established the Royal Navy and as men increasingly saw how England could challenge Spain on the sea. Britain was well placed for this as an island off the coast of Europe. And so St Vincent made the now famous remark: “I do not […]

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American and European Federalism: A Critique of Rick Perry’s Fed Up!

In his book, Fed Up! Governor Rick Perry of Texas provides a basis for viewing the states of the U.S. as equivalent to the E.U.’s member-states. All of these states are semi-sovereign, as they have all transferred some governmental sovereignty to federal institutions. This implies that the E.U. and U.S. are commensurate. I contend that both are instances of empire-level and scale federal systems in which the federal level is both international and national in nature. This distinguishes both unions from international organizations on the one hand, and the state governments on the other.


The full essay is at “American and European Federalism.”

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British Colonies Forge an American Empire: A Basis for Equitable Trans-Atlantic Relations

By the end of twenty-first century, Americans typically took it for granted that the United States constitute a nation equivalent to France or Spain.  That the Union could have been referred to as the New Empire in its early days would seem nonsensical or flatly erroneous.  Claims that the constitutional convention delegates could have differed on whether they were designing a national or international government would likely get blank stares.  Well into the 2010s, the American and European political and media elites were lock-step agreement: the E.U. was not to be portrayed as equivalent to the U.S.; rather the E.U. was a “supranational organization.” Hence, The New York Times consistently referred to the European Commission as the E.U.’s executive arm rather than branch. Meanwhile, European politicians and journalists were falling over themselves to stress that France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, and other states are member-states, lest anyone confuse an E.U. state with a U.S. state. Referring to an American state as a member-state simply was not done. That in being represented in the U.S. Senate made the American states members of the U.S. was not enough to get them “member state” status. That the U.S. Senate is founded in international principles, wherein each polity gets the same number of votes, whereas the European Council adjusts how many votes a state gets according to population (roughly) was simply ignored or even unknown. The axis of proper comparison was etched in stone, or it appeared to the general public.


That the default reflexively used for trans-Atlantic comparisons might itself be a category mistake—for instance, in treating one Union as commensurate with a State in another Union—would not have been questioned strikes me as bizarre, given the founding and early history of the United States as an international alliance, confederation, and only then was a federal government (and of limited governmental sovereignty) added. 


Access the book here.

In this book, I go back to the colonial period to argue that the United Colonies and subsequent United States were (and are) properly regarded as constituting an empire—using this term both as a political type and a territorial scale distinct from those of (member) states.

Accordingly, I argue that the American colonies and the subsequent individual generically-termed States were commensurate with European kingdoms of the time (and thus with European countries in the twentieth century). In other words, the British colonies in North America were colonies in the Greek rather than Roman sense; the Greek city-states colonized to replicate themselves whereas Roman colonies were designed to be a part of a Roman city rather than eventually cities in their own right. My argument turns on the following point: a Greek city-state would create a colony to become a city-state rather than a part of the founding city-state, and the British created colonies in North America with this model (rather than that of the ancient Romans) in mind. 

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Optimism in America? 2

[I’m just going tp pit this post up and let the air clear again. I was working on other things and didn’t get today’s done. But Jessica reminds us of some eternal verities here. America was built on optimism, and we’d be remiss if we see only the gloom these days. So enjoy. Neo] One […]

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Monday Links

Its time to clean up some semi-random stuff that has accumulated. What an insult to The Few: MoD abandons iconic memorial dedicated to Battle of Britain aces… to save a paltry £50,000 MoD chiefs plan to close down St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill, Kent The former RAF station was used during the Battle of […]

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Gandhi’s Philosophy of Nonviolent Defiance: A Way to Freedom

Film is indeed an art form, but the medium can also function as a teacher in how it conveys values and wisdom. Both of these features of film are salient in Gandhi (1982), whose director, Richard Attenborough, says in his audio commentary that the film has done much keep Gandhi’s philosophy alive in the world. In using the film’s star protagonist to explain what is behind his approach, viewers become, in effect, students. The strength of film here lies in its use of both audio and visual means to engrave the lessons in memories. In Gandhi, the main concept to be explained and illustrated is nonviolent active non-cooperation or defiance of unjust laws or regimes.


The full essay is at “Gandhi

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VIDEO: Dr. Alveda King On Building Community, ISIS And Bringing The Nation Back To God

Originally posted on Rat Nation:
So much for the United States no longer being a Christian nation “You cannot build a beloved community by putting young men in front of a camera and cutting their heads off.” – Dr. Alveda King, September 2, 2014 You know it’s bad when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece…

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Should Britain Have Entered the Great War?

To be honest, I’ve been waiting for this video to become available, because I knew the debate was taking place. Here we have some serious big guns of the British history world taking dead aim at each other on the case of whether Britain should have gone to war in 1914. It is of course, the […]

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Should Britain Have Entered the Great War?

To be honest, I’ve been waiting for this video to become available, because I knew the debate was taking place. Here we have some serious big guns of the British history world taking dead aim at each other on the case of whether Britain should have gone to war in 1914. It is of course, the […]

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Optimism in America?

One thing which has always struck me about America, and it is one of the reasons that FDR and President Reagan stand so pre-eminent, is that it is built on optimism. When you think of the situation of the Founding Fathers, goodness, what a leap of faith! They literally laid their lives on the line […]

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Way Points of Freedom

Like many of us, I worry about my (and our children’s) freedom. That’s as it should be, it’s something we always need to be on guard about. But if we’re honest, we’ve done an amazing thing, especially those of us who speak English. It has almost entirely been a quirk of the English speaking people […] . . . → Read More: Way Points of Freedom . . . → Read More: Way Points of Freedom

Experts and Experience

‘As to our foreign policy – I hardly dare open the subject with you. If I took your gloomy view, I should commence immediate enquiries as to the most painless form of suicide. But I think you listen too much to the soldiers. No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of […] . . . → Read More: Experts and Experience . . . → Read More: Experts and Experience

White Ensign and Navy Jack

I notice in the British news that tensions with Spain over Gibraltar are high again, and that soon a task group of the Royal Navy will make a port call. It’s been planned for quite a while but even so will satisfy the British call to send a gunboat. The American equivalent, of course is […] . . . → Read More: White Ensign and Navy Jack . . . → Read More: White Ensign and Navy Jack

Soldier of the Empire

You know we talk a certain amount here about the Empire (mostly the British one, I’ll bet there’s a blog about the Galactic one, as well, though) but we don’t often think all that much about the men who built it, and sustained it. Sure we have heard the bad parts, like how Lord Hastings […] . . . → Read More: Soldier of the Empire . . . → Read More: Soldier of the Empire

Amazing Grace.

Slavery is recognised by most people as an evil thing. Yet it still exists in the world, and it always has. There is not a nation in modern Europe which did not have it. I cannot recall the last time anyone got fired up about what those dreadful Normans did to my ancestors – not […] . . . → Read More: Amazing Grace. . . . → Read More: Amazing Grace.