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Tuesday, 03 July 2018


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Be safe and have fun, Mike!

Vivat Rex Donald!
It’s funny you’ve ended up with a king, the very thing your founders were keen to avoid. I think it all went wrong when you pardoned King Nixon instead of following our example and cutting off his head.
I look forward to seeing how you handle the succession to King Donald the Second, or will it be Queen Ivanka? The US already has dynastic tendencies with the Kennedys, Clintons and Bushs ;-(

I am not sure about that possibility of not burning down Buckingham Palace...noting what we did to places that didn't even belong to us in the first place...but those are unpleasant thoughts on an auspicious day.

I have to admit, your idea that we'd have been better off, maybe, to have stayed a colony of the UK has occurred to me, too. I'll bet we're not the only ones.

But recall that when we were kids (you and I are almost exactly the same age), liberty, both as a concept and as a way of being, was still very much alive and still meant something. It meant being free to speak your mind and to move about, free of surveillance and of interference from a secret police. It meant not having to show your papers on demand, or getting into trouble for having an opinion. In meant taking part in a civil, functioning democracy (at least for some people). Back then, at least in some parts of the country (especially the east coast) there was still active hostility towards King George, who even then was regarded as a tyrant. We were proud of living in a country whose people had forcefully rejected tyranny in favor of self-governance.

When the idea of our having stayed a part of the UK looks like it might have been the better option, you know times have changed. Or maybe we were just naive. Or some combination of the two.

Happy fourth.

When my 95 year old mum died in the outer Orkneys last year I inherited an old box .... on it in brass was the name of an old relative Captain Robert Clayton 17 th Infantry.
I was trying to work out who he was .... in fact my Great Great Great Great Great Uncle. By total fluke he was used to describe issues about how the 17th Infantry fought in the American War of Independence. If you are interested your guys out there dug up a load of fascinating history


They used a random officer in the account and Inwas pleased to send them a copy of a line drawing I have of him. I am eternally grateful to them. He was one of nearly 400 middle ranking officers fighting in Virginia and elsewhere. By luck they chose him and thus taught me much about the AWOI and Robert Clayton.

Oh by the way our football fans are better behaved now ... even the team done good ... but we are insanely leaving our union. This British push for independence unlike yours truly is a mistske!

Staying in the British Empire is an interesting thought.
I've always thought the northern border with Canada was arbitrary and illogical.
The border should've been drawn north->south from Yukon, down the spine of the Rockies to Mexico creating a western country and an eastern country. Made more sense as far as transportation [before railroads], economies and ultimately cultures [the west is different].
Not that anyone would have asked me if I were alive back then.

Hope you get to observe some fantastic fireworks displays while TOP is on vacation.

In this part of the country, the drought and wildfire danger is extreme so most cities have, once again, cancelled their fireworks displays.

Maybe the southwest should do fireworks displays on New Years Day instead.

I’m a foreigner here, from a country that actually gave the US most of its enduring values (hint: the Netherlands). I do think the US is better off independent from the UK, though it’s sad to see both the UK and the US are losing the core values that made them great. Sad thing is that over time, they’ll both lose. When ignorance takes hold, rational thought doesn’t matter. The guilty are those who use the ignorant for their own purposes. They often have too much blond, wild hair, for some reason.

The Brits burned the White House (1814) in retaliation for you Yanks burning York (later Toronto) in 1812. So stop feeling sorry for yourselves, you deserved it.

And most Canadians are eternally greatful for your revolution. Otherwise there'd probably be just one big country north of the Rio Grande.

Happy 4th July from Canada even though your country views us as a National Security threat. I will continue to use your links to buy stuff.

Here it is the morning of July 5th in Tokyo. Another work day. Yesterday it was July 4th. Another work day in which I worked until 9pm. I can’t complain though since the Abe administration just passed a new law intended to reduce death from overwork by capping overtime at 100 hours per month. (That would actually be 100 hours of official overtime. Many would avoid the limit by not recording it.)

I know Mike is now enjoying his American Independence Day and left us a comment about the US being better off had it never left Great Britain. Well, that oughta get some action in the comments, I figure he may have thought to himself with an evil grin.

I am always amazed at how Americans imagine how much better other countries/systems of government/politicians are than the US. Why many assume that Americans are stupid---except for themselves---just like many non-Americans do. I have always wondered why, if Americans are so stupid, how they came to so dominate the planet. What does that say about the intelligence of the rest of the world?

Anyway, after more than 2 decades of living overseas and working in non-US companies with folks of all nationalities who seem to spend a lot of time complaining about problems in their own country along with America’s, I don’t really see that there is any paradise on earth. No nationality seems to be blessed with superior wisdom, purity nor anything like that. Racism, sexism, anti-immigrant prejudices, nationalism, jingoism, unfairness, ruthlessness, and evil are present in every group and certainly more so in some nations that others. Part of being human.

Well to cut a long story short, I had more to write, but it’s already too long and rambling. So I will just leave a link to an article written by British fellow about the US and his American Dream:


Should the USA be still part of Britain, you probably could not post this. There is no First Amendment in the UK! Long live Freedom! Long live the USA!

[Not only *could* I post this, I *do*. About 15% of my readers are in the British Isles. --Mike]

To counter the artificial CGI-rendered flag illustrating your post here is a proper American Flag proudly flying on the 4th of July!

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Tom Bell said:

'If you are interested your guys out there dug up a load of fascinating history https://www.17thregiment.com/captain-robert-clayton-officers-of-the-17th-part-1/"

The history of the officers of the British military during the American Revolution in the linked blog is really fascinating, and a revelation for me. I had no idea that promotions and regiments could be purchased. Sounds like a recipe for incompetence, a kind of Peter Principle based upon wealth. Makes me wonder how much that had to do with the British defeat?

Well, well. Until recently I thought that Great Britain was the one who made the colossal mistake. It's significant I think that when one drills down and gets real, there's taxes at the root of it. If we'd been given parliamentary representation, there would have been little traction for the liberty talk. Certainly people of African descent might have had a better shot at being co-equal today, and it's possible the indigenous peoples might have been better off---partly because the push to move west might have been delayed a while ( and for some other reasons as well---too long to go into here/now).

Lately, though, I like you wonder if we wouldn't have been better off, especially with a parliamentary system that included Canada and the U.K.....

I'd admit that I'm one of those weirdos who think we in the USA have been better off if we'd just stuck it out as part of Great Britain... or Spain.

I suggest "The March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman. The basic premise is that the the colonies could have been kept except for wooden-headedness - mainly from the British side.

I'm late to this party, but, for what it's worth, I hope you and all had a happy, safe 4th.

It is a holiday that is never a big deal to me (yes I said that out loud). It occurs in what is always the hottest, most miserable part of the year to be outside where I reside.

I vote we combine New Year's Eve and the nation's birthday, given both seem to be celebrated with fireworks. That way it will appear that the whole world is celebrating the birth of the US.


Well, Mike, I guess you might have liked the comment Katty Kay recently made. At a talk by Ms. Kay that I attended she got great laughs from the American audience when saying that Trump's campaign meme should have been "Make America Great Britain Again." Katty is wonderful and, of course, her laugh line was tongue-in-cheek, but really?

Yes, there is a dark side of an America that started with the creed All Men are Created Equal, and then hypocritically went on to explicitly ingrain the acceptance of slavery in the Constitution. I am awestruck by so much that is British and value the country's relationship with the U.S. among all other countries. It, though, has it's own sordid colonial history that is at least as bad, if not worse, than our own. And, frankly, with apologies to your British readers, I really can't stomach the adoration by Americans of England's royalty. People who didn't earn their place in the world and are vestiges of a cruel feudal system that tried to trick people into believing that they were emissaries from God are vaunted today for their charm and good looks? Please. Our forefathers spilled their blood to be apart from the tyranny of the English monarchy and to hear you say that may have been a mistake is anathema to me. Today the monarchy is nothing but window dressing, but we sought our independence when it was controlling the empire and our way of life. As antithetical to this country's values as our current president may be (and every country has political periods contrary to its core values) this too shall pass - just not quickly enough, of course. Our country is greater than one uber narcissistic wanna be dictator - causing great damage, no doubt - but because of the foresight of our founders, we will eventually escape this idiocy.

It would never have worked out, Mike. And the experience of the other white colonies - Australia, New Zealand and of course Canada - was that independence emerged anyway, over a number of years and through a slow process, to the point that by 1919 they were definitely completely independent nations - they signed the Treaty of Versailles separately from the U.K. Something similar would have happened for the 13 colonies, and certainly sooner. In fact one tantalising possibility is that had a settlement been reached in 1774 or 1775 - by 1776 it was too late - the eventual independence of British North America might have been a into single nation comprising the Canadas as well as the 13 colonies.

But could Britain have won the war? Well, maybe. Many years ago I contributed occasionally to, and read avidly, an old Usenet forum - alt.history - which dealt with counter-factuals, and the possibility of Britain defeating the patriots was a frequent topic. All the British forces needed to do was bring Washington and the Continental Army to battle and defeat them. And I have a cunning plan....

Thought experiments are fun but can be frightening. I wonder what the world would be like if the allies had lost the second world war. Without the USA it would have been lost for sure. So whatever we think about the current situation, us Brits will never forget what you former colonists did for the world. Long may you remain the defenders of democracy. I am sure that King Trump is just a blip in the glorious history of your nation.


An american museum if you guys are away from home. Near Bath at Claverton. It id rumoured by my nother that George Washingtons brother stayed here in the late 1700 s

Here is the Leica M3 of clothes washers.
Or maybe the Leica IIIc. The M3 does have flash synch and a self-timer after all.

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