Monday, June 15, 2009


The writing is long faded and the language is not our own, but this is the "Magna Carta" Perhaps the most important first document about "freedom". Upon this document was based every other law and procedure of law including our own Constitution. On this day, in 1215 it was signed by dear old King John of England. The Magna Carta required King John of England to proclaim certain rights (pertaining to nobles and barons), respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — and implicitly supported what became the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.
Magna Carta was arguably the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today in the English speaking world. Many clauses were renewed throughout the Middle Ages and continued to be renewed as late as the 18th century. By the second half of the 19th century, however, most clauses in their original form had been repealed from English law.
Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. And on this day of great law is also the day of great humor from those who ether represented the law in government or manipulated the law to their advantage. Yes, indeed on this day in 1995, O.J. Simpson tried on the gloves that the prosecution mandated had to be the gloves of the killer-- of course they didn't fit. Johnny Cochran said "If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit" and that jury did. Boy, do we know better know. Today is also that fateful day in 1992 when dear old Dan Quayle corrected student William Figueroa in New Jersey for misspelling the word "potato" . Quayle said it was "potatoe" And even if you buy that he was given the wrong cue card how about when he said "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history" (our nation's?) or this lovely item "I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future". The late Johnny Carson used to say "Dan Quayle is a gift from Almighty God to every comedian on earth-- especially me!"Funny thing, I hadn't planned this blog ( I never do) and my friend Tim Doran and I were just discussing the old boy last night on the phone. On this date in 1996 we lost "Lady Ella" -- Ella Fitzgerald, "The first lady of song". Ella was a magnificent singer with a three octave range, a purity of tone with the ability of phrasing and intonation not heard from many singers before or since. Her amazing collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Joe Pass are absolute stuff of legends. I had a great day yesterday and went back to church-- it was an amazing home coming. I am submitting to playhouses all over the country and giving my very best efforts to market the many musicals that John Nugent and I have written together. I need to find just the right approach. Tooting the horn of one show only doesn't work. So I'm working on a multi-title approach this time. We're still aiming for the Pasadena Jazz Institute. I have called the owner of the club twice now. The last time he said "I'll get back to you, just as soon as i get over my last hangover!" --Well, that's honest, but scary as hell. We shall see where this leads

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