Then and Now.

Okay, who really cares about the speech that Oliver Cromwell gave on April 20, 1653? Most Americans do not know nor do they care who he was. However, after you read this article about him, you will know who he was and care about what he stood.

Oliver Cromwell...number 10

Oliver Cromwell...number 10

The BBC took a poll regarding whom the Brits considered the 100 Greatest British people. Cromwell came #10 just behind Lord Nelson. Now, while the British voted for Cromwell, it is critical that we know why they thought so highly of him. Then we need to understand why I think that we should listen to him.

First, most need a short history lesson on Cromwell closing the Long Parliament. The Long Parliament opened in 1640 and ran until 1648. Then on December 6, 1648, the British had the Rump Parliament until April 20, 1653.

Cromwell dissolved the Long Parliament.

Cromwell dissolved the Long Parliament.

Cromwell wanted to get rid of the monarchy and removed both the king and parliament. This is his speech to the Long Parliament.

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

So what? Why must we learn this history lesson? George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Tragically, we are repeating our ignorance of history around the world.

Ted Cruz wants to change the way America functions as a democracy by suggesting to the House of Representatives to stop the government due to his and others disagreement with the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare). Both the House and Senate passed the Affordable Care Act, signed by the president, and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. Then Obama won re-election with his healthcare reform a major issue during the campaign.

Now, I am not suggesting that Obama should say to the Tea Party and birthers, "In the name of God, go!" However, I am saying to Cruz and company, "In the name of God, think!" In the long view of politics, Cruz, the Tea Party, and the birthers will go by the way like the Dixiecrats, the John Birch Society, McCarthy-ism, Nixon, and Cheney. However, in the meantime, they are ruining our economy again just as Obama's predecessor had.

While some Americans are wallowing in non-sense, we are not alone. Scotland is in the midst of discussing leaving the UK. I have lived in Scotland for a year back in the late 60s and returned recently for a month looking into and interviewing people about the independence movement. Some Scots fear standing alone as an independent nation. In fact, much of Scottish history has been precisely that of standing alone.

Scotland finally got a parliament that runs Scotland after 300-years of Westminster running Scotland. That is absurd. The British Empire has dwindled down to six-counties in Northern Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, and a handful of small islands scattered around the world. The English once saw Great Britain as "the Empire on which the sun never sets."

The British Empire in 1922

The British Empire in 1922

It appears to me that the sun is going down on their empire.

Methinks that the Scots on September 18, 2014 need to say to the English, "In the name of God, go!"

Aung San Aung San
In a month, I will be in Burma/Myanmar. Interestingly, Burma was once a part of the British Empire. Aung San told the British to leave Burma, which they agreed to do. However, a Burmese political rival killed Aung San and 6-Burmese cabinet members. Aung San Suu Kyi was just a 2-year old toddler at the time of his assassination. Nonetheless, much of her adult life is a continuation of her father's work for a free and open Burmese government. I have taught various history classes over the past two decades. I cannot name a greater example of courage and compassion than Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San, his wife, and family in 1947. The little girl in the front of the picture is Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi and her father

Aung San Suu Kyi and her father

I am looking forward to spending nearly a month in Burma and see what once was a British colony just like so many other parts of the world.


Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.

Scottish independence: Yes campaign

Scottish independence flag

Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.

Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.