Friday, October 23, 2015

Magna Carta, Dick Cheney, and "The Foulness of Hell"

Listening to Public Radio a couple of days ago, I heard a great piece on the Diane Rehm show with author Dan Jones on his new book, Magna Carta. Here is the Amazon link (note that I have no financial interest).

The blurb from the Amazon site to set the stage:

On a summer's day in 1215 a beleaguered English monarch met a group of disgruntled barons in a meadow by the river Thames named Runnymede. Beset by foreign crisis and domestic rebellion, King John was fast running out of options. On June 15 he reluctantly agreed to fix his regal seal to a document that would change the world. A milestone in the development of constitutional politics and the rule of law, the "Great Charter" established an Englishman's right to Habeas Corpus and set limits to the exercise of royal power. For the first time a group of subjects had forced an English king to agree to a document that limited his powers by law and protected their rights. 

But what I really want to highlight is this great contemporary quote, either from the Amazon site or on the radio show (or both) about the very unpopular King John:

“When the chronicler Matthew Paris reflected on the fate of John’s soul twenty years after his death, he famously declared that “England reeks with John’s filthy deeds; the foulness of Hell is defiled by John.”

I couldn't help but see a parallel between this description of King John in the 1200s and my feelings about one Dick Cheney, once he leaves this earth and makes his inevitable way to Hades.

The foulness of Hell is defiled by Dick.  Kinda has a ring to it, no?

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