History Lessons


The current (as of the writing of this post) Drudge headline and accompanying picture shows a young Prince Harry dressed as German WWII desert troop with swastika emblazoned on his arm. Yes, the story goes, he was at a costume party and it should be considered nothing more than an extreme case of poor taste.
It is troubling however, when one of the (potential) future leaders of the western world embraces, even in jest, what could be considered the greatest evil of the twentieth century.
This brought up a couple of concerns. And this salty old scribe will address one of them here, and the other in a future post.
Is the current generation (and to some extent their parents) forgetting the lessons history has taught? Or has there been a trend in our schools to ignore that kind of teaching, replacing it with that which is “more relevant” (at least in the eyes of the teaching staff)?
Just yesterday, the middle ape at large, here at the harbor, brought home a paper which discussed the “Justinian Code”. The wielder of “The Fry-Pan of Doom” ™ was curious why no (or little) mention was made of the fact Justinian was Christian. And that, had to have flavored his laws.
Indeed, recognition of the emperors faith and its flavoring of the law can be found here.
I countered with, at the age group this is being introduced (middle school, what we used to call jr. high) the mentioning of Justinian Codes (and one hopes Hammurabi’s Codes…and possibly Mosaic Law as well) without going into too much depth would be reason enough to celebrate. Highschool history classes would be a better place to go more in depth. Or perhaps parental discussion with the student (gasp, we have to inter-act with our kids???) about the days studies would help broaden their base.
What does this situation have to do with *history* or even current events? Well, not too long ago, there was an Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice removed from his position because of a sculpture of the Ten Commandments he had allowed to stay, in place, in the rotunda of that State’s Supreme Court building. The argument being, the display of same was in direct violation of separation of church and state. If the powers that be in Alabama, had a true understanding of the origins of Western Civilization law(s), they would have sided with the Chief Justice. If the population at large had a better grasp of the above, they, one would hope, would have raised a hue and cry to the same powers that be, and prevented his removal.
As important as it is to learn about Justinian Codes, without the addition of all major influences to our current system of laws, we do our kids a disservice. If the other parts are not included, will they be given cause to believe it was roman law, by itself, which was the basis for our current system? If that be the case, then my better half is quite correct in assuming the school system is, once again, taking an activist agenda (albeit a somewhat subtle one this time) and feeding it to our kids.
That we, as a nation, seem to be allowing our (national) history to be re-written, glossed over, or ignored, as supposed difference to “separation of church and state” (as an example), then we may come to a time when the moral and religious vacuum produced is filled by a society devoid of any sense of “right and wrong”. Or a case of the pendulum swinging too far the other way, a theocracy, which restricts all to one belief system at the exclusion of all others. Perhaps the very one we are, even now, fighting against.
Want another example of history being ignored? How about the ongoing siege against the Second Amendment.
There are those who seek to usurp the real intent and meaning of the Second Amendment as well. Again, ignoring what the founding fathers clearly felt was the keystone in our ability to continue to exist as a society of freemen.
Not only with the multitude of gun/firearms laws on the books, but more importantly, with the outright unconstitutional actions of fools folks, like the Mayor of Chicago, who has an outright ban on handguns within the city limits of Chicago. Yet we as caretakers of the Constitution, and supposed students of history, let lessons learned in the blood of our forefathers and their forefathers, be forgotten. Or worse yet, we seek to ransom our inalienable rights, for the greater “well being” of all.
History is a strict headmistress, she will not be forgiving of fools and dreamers.
These are but two examples, there are many more. And that brings us back to the beginning of this rant. Drudge presents us with yet another example of history being ignored. This time by a public figure from across the sea. Yet one who’s country shares with us, a common bond of laws and morals. And, one of sharing in the fight against the great evil of the 20th century.
Imagine the (an alleged) discussion about the prince’s poor choice in costumes.
Prince Harry: “What is the big deal? That was a war fought a long time ago, it will never happen again. And they did have some cool looking uniforms. It’s not like I was burning a swastika in the yard of some Jew or something.”
Prince Charles: “What you fail to understand is this country was all but lost to those who wore that uniform, and your grandparents and great-grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and those of the countrymen you may very well come to rule over, if only figuratively, lived each day as if they would quite possibly never see another. Or gave their lives fighting for this nations freedom from same.”
“Your choice of costume has brought shame to the royal family.” “You would do well to study your history, that of the peoples you may someday lead.”
“And that you were scheduled to visit the place where some of the greatest of evils men perpetrated upon their fellows, was allowed to happen, by the very same group which followed the swastika,makes me wonder if you *do* fully grasp what took place back then.”
As a parent, I would like to believe a conversation of that sort took place. As one who had Uncles, and Great Uncles who fought against the madmen who brought their evil to bear against the freemen of the world, I would hope that conversation took place. As one who has roots (as yet unsubstantiated by documentation, but believe in the verbal family history) in middle German Jewish (Yiddish) background, I would hope the prince was admonished for his actions.
He has said he is sorry for what he did. It would be far better if he could demonstrate his appreciation of that eras evil, by joining the vanguard against the current evil which assails us.
Perhaps upon graduating from university, he could be found among the ranks of those actively fighting same. Not only would it show (the world) actions speaking louder than any words could, it may also bring favor to the royals, in showing what leaders do…they lead in causes they feel are right and proper. And surly the fight against world wide terror and those who have corrupted one of the worlds major religions, would qualify as a “right and proper” cause.
Prince Andrew in his fashion, fought for what he considered was right and proper, during the Falklands crisis. Perhaps Harry could emulate his Uncle and do the same.

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