Friday, January 06, 2012

New Hampshire's Magna Carta

This is the perfect unity of lunacy and history. Three Republican legislators in New Hampshire have submitted a bill requiring that all future bills passed in that state be justified with text from the Magna Carta.
Magna Carta (Latin: Great Charter) - A peace treaty forced on King John (see the movie Ironclad) by rebelling feudal barons in the year 1215 because of his unsuccessful wars, high taxes, and general dickish behavior towards the landed gentry. Civil War quickly broke out and King John died the following year.
The Magna Carta is not a bad document, the US Constitution is based on it, but it is seriously out of date. In the United Kingdom, all but three of the clauses have been repealed. Basing modern laws on the Magna Carta is as rational as basing science curricula on a 2,000 year-old book written by priests. Among the clauses of the Magna Carta are:
  • Women may be forced to marry but not to a "lower social standing." (6)
  • Interest need not always be paid on money borrowed from Jews. (10,11)
  • Taxes may only be levied for ransom, to reward a rich man's son or marry off his daughter. (15)
  • Only the wealthy may judge other wealthy accused of crimes. (21)
  • No one may be arrested solely on the word of a woman. (54)
  • All foreign-born soldiers and all mercenaries are to be expelled from the country. (51)
  • "Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment shall be taken only in their proper county court." (18) [I challenge any New Hampshire Republican to translate this sentence into modern English.]
Laws written with the Magna Carta in mind would be misogynous, anti-Semitic, and class-based.

The same legislature has voted to end effective public education. You can't build a viable feudal society without a large serf class.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You don't actually think these legislators have actually read the Magna Carta, or understand any of its history, do you? To get to that point, you would have to conclude that they could read in the first place, and that they could understand what they read when the words are longer than those in "Go Dog Go".

Katy Anders said...

Don't the Republicans get mad when judges look to foreign law to justify American court decisions?

I think that their definition of "foreign" for legal purposes is the same as Governor Perry's definition of "foreign oil" (which doesn't include Canadian oil):
Foreign = Dark

Anonymous said...

Of course, many Republicans also hate Europeans, which, although not nearly as bad as Muslims, apparently, are godless socialists and communists in their view. I guess the Magna Carta is exempt, because the last thing the lords in those days had anything to do with was general social welfare. Oh, wait, I am attributing thought to those legislators proposing this nonsense.