Rout of the Rebel Angels, by William Blake

A Dog Starv'd

A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
      -- William Blake,
     "Auguries of Innocence"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day, Yes. But...

...also Magna Carta Day.

From today's issue of The Writer's Almanac:
On this day in 1215, King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta, one of the first historical documents to state that subjects have rights beyond the power of their rulers. The right to a trial by jury and the right of habeas corpus, which prevents one from being unlawfully imprisoned, have been extrapolated from the Magna Carta. King John was more or less coerced into agreeing to the document by a group of barons who were upset at his disastrous and costly foreign policy. Although actually a reactionary move by the barons to insure their feudal rights, the Magna Carta took on symbolic significance as one of the earliest instances of the law possessing greater authority than the king. "Magna Carta" means "great charter" in Latin.
Wow. We've come so far, haven't we?!? [IRONY OFF]



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