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Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot …..

It’s too bad more people don’t remember for it seems the historical day becomes more applicable with each passing year.  5 November is called Guy Fawkes Day in the U.K. It commemorates a thwarted terrorist plot to blow up King and Parliament. With so many Americans making cold threats towards violence if their party’s candidate doesn’t win on Tuesday I think the tale worth worth telling. 

Guy Fawkes is one of history’s examples of religious/political zaniness  along the line of “What on earth were you thinking?”. Mr. Fawkes got it into his (Catholic) head to join up with others to rent a room under Parliament, fill it with gunpowder, and blow up King James I on opening day of Parliament. It is not clear what Fakes et. al. imagined would happen afterwards: Catholicism would become legal again?  That morning one of the cabal sent a letter to a Catholic Parliament member warning him not to go to work that day as they were planning on blow up the building.  The recipient sensibly turned over the note and the cellars were searched only to discover Mr. Fawkes standing there with thirty-six barrels of gunpowder. He claimed he was a John Johnson* who didn’t know nothing.  Mr. Fawkes nee Johnson was tortured and all of them executed.  Afterwards English Catholics were treated even worse than before. Thanks guys. 

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As much as I would like to I am not in favor of setting fire to public buildings. As Rocky said to Bullwinkle: ‘But that trick never works!” at sorting out political messes. Our modern day weapons against oppressive rulers are pretty tame compared to Guy’s.  We vote, we protest, and sometimes we resist. Rosa Parks didn’t have to shoot anyone to make a difference.  If Tuesday’s results upset us it is hoped we won’t go around blowing things up.** It is custom on Bonfire Night (as the day is sometimes called) to burn Guy Fawkes in effigy.  In my research I see the poor sod is often substituted with a contemporary politician with whom folks have issue.   

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*Worse alias ever. 

**At least the Democrats won’t. I am not certain of the Republicans.

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