Category Archives: Uncategorized

Would It Be Inappropriate for Prince Philip to Bitch Slap Trump?


I know the Queen is far too well behaved to do something like that but the
crusty and (unlike Trump) über manly Duke of Edinburgh may be a different
matter.

No one would mind, sir. Your people would stand up and cheer after the
coarse, vulgar, crude behavior to which our a-hole president has subjected
your country, Prime Minister, and people. (Face it, Trump’s the type who’d
fart at the dinner table, then pick his nose–a total pig.)

Right now there are probably many people in the USA who would stand up and cheer too should the unfiltered Prince Consort/Duke of Edinburgh feel compelled to smack President (AKA “Fat Donnie”) Trump with a good hard shot to the chops for the way he has behaved toward England, its allies, NATO and common decency–of which Trump knows not.

But, please Prince Philip–don’t leave any marks. Trump wants to look his
best for his prom date with Vladimir Putin. We’re all agog/aghast waiting for the
photos of Putin sitting in front of the fireplace, with pipe and slippers and
his poodle Donald Trump curled up on the floor at his feet. Ya just know
he’ll be crawling on his belly and wagging his fat tail hoping for a pat on
the head and maybe even a treat. (Sit. Stay. Staaaay. Shake hands. Sit up
and beg. Good boy. Gooood boy.)

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Free Range Kids? Hell, We Were Feral Children!


So, I came across an article in the Federalist Papers written by a gentleman named Steven Straub
(https://thefederalistpapers.org/us/21-things-kids-used-to-do-that-liberals-ha
ve-ruined)   It’s about what weenies kids today have become and lists stuff
that they’re not allowed to do anymore.  I was shocked at the innocuous stuff that is considered “dangerous” today.

I hate to tell Mr. Straub, but this proud native Floridian can say the things he
listed would have been considered uber weenie stuff in my (mostly liberal)
family.

For background, my Grampa and Dad were bootleggers back in the day.
Dad had been an all-state end playing football in high school. Grampa
designed and raced speedboats and he and Dad smuggled liquor from
Canada. (Presumably that was why Grampa designed and raced
speedboats.) So they knew not of weenie-ism.

After prohibition they got into rum running but Dad (an atheist) fell in love
with Mom (a strict Catholic, sweet as pie, who had never been exposed to
such a wild guy in her life).  Dad was tough as nails.  Jeez he was tall, a
great jock, and had hands as big as catcher’s mitts.  Mom was a tiny little
thing who never raised her voice and was kind to everyone.

So, anyway, if Mr. Straub doesn’t mind (I hope he does not, I fully attribute
his work herein) here’s what it was like being a native Floridian back in the
day, compared to what he thinks is not being a weenie.

BTW, this wasn’t mentioned as one of his items, but, we had this indoor
game for after we had to come inside for the night.  It was called Rocky
Socky Football.  My little brother and I were the footballs and my older
brother was the football team.  We had this 40 ft long living room. We
would start in the middle and my older brother would try to knock us across
the room (not in one hit, mercifully) into the east wall.  No, he didn’t pick
us up and carry us, he would get down in a football stance, and charge low
and fast and hit us–like a lineman’s hit–knocking us backward if he could.  (We little kids didn’t know it wasn’t normal to be used as the football.)  My little brother (aged two – four) and I (aged six – eight) would doubleteam him and try to overrun him and get to the west end of the room.He was seven years older than I and 11 years older than our little brother, so it was a mismatch.

Before he went away to university we moved to a new house, which ended the game forever,  because the new house didn’t have a 40 ft living room.  But it was fun while it lasted.

My parents would  sit quietly after dinner, having a cocktail and cigarette, and watch the mayhem as we got knocked around, shrieking and screaming because the game was so fun. My mother was alarmed but Dad didn’t see anything odd about such rough horseplay.

Back to Mr. Straub’s list; here are his items, and how they compare to our
experiences.

“Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids”
Yeah, we used to do that. We rode in the back of Grampa’s pickup
truck. He’d been a bootlegger and drove like one. When he was in his late seventies he hit a tree, going 85 mph on his way to court for a hearing after he’d been arrested for being drunk and running red lights in Palm Beach.  So, riding in
the back of Grampa’s pickup was fun.

“Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the
streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t
get in trouble”
Yeah, we did that too. In the summer we hopped on our bikes after
breakfast and roamed from the inlet in Palm Beach to the Burnt Bridge on
Singer Island and everywhere in between.

“Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria”
Sorry, I was a purist. Jelly just detracted from the peanut butter. I
scraped it off.

“Drinking water from the hose in the yard”
Yeah, and we didn’t hold it to the side and just drink from the stream
of water, either. We’d put the filthy end of the hose right in our mouths and
redirect the water back out, spitting it at each other.

“Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call
*cough* “wild swimming“)”
Oh, come on! Of course we did. When I was in fourth grade Mom
would let my sister and I go alone to the Singer Island causeway (which had
no lifeguard) to swim.  And we took the bus, alone, to get to Singer Island to go
to the ocean because the beach there was a lot better than the pitiful Palm
Beach Mid-town beach. There was no roped off section to protect us from
boats either.

“Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the
playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)”
Are you kidding me? We just about lived in trees.  One of our favorite games was “see who can jump from the highest branch to the ground”. And “see who can jump the farthest out from the highest branch” was another. My older brother nailed some pieces of 1” x 8” board, each about a foot long, to a big slash pine so we could climb up it without getting sap all over us. Of course with all the
kids scrambling up and down this makeshift “ladder” the nails would pull
out at unpredictable moments so you always had to be ready to make a four
point landing to distribute the impact when you’d hit the ground. We never
got hurt.

“Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you
shouldn’t)”
Uh, what’s a snowball fight? I’m a Floridian who also lived in the
Caribbean.  But we’d make little projectiles out of rotting kumquats, stick a stripped palm frond center in one end and sling them. My big brother made a blowgun out of metal pipe and used to blow real darts (which we were supposed to dodge) at us.  It worked so well that the darts would embed in the concrete wall of the living room. We only played this game inside. There were a lot of little pinholes (okay, a bit bigger) in the wall, which our parents repainted again and again.

“Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the
NFL”
Uh, what’s sledding? We knew not of such things. We did play
tackle football without pads or helmets though. And touch football in the
street was a favorite too.  The “touches” were hard enough to knock us little
ones down.  We thought that was how football was supposed to be played.
Rough.

“Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with
sharp things on school property)”
Man, I got into the habit of carrying a knife at all times when I was
still in elementary school. Mom knew I had knives but she didn’t realize I
always had one with me.

“Camping”
My parents refused to take us camping. They liked hot water, beds and a
roof overhead.

“Throwing rocks at snakes in the river”
There was no river, only salt water (Lake Worth and the Ocean) and snakes
don’t go there. Why would ya throw rocks at a snake anyway?

“Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians”
There was no such thing as “political correctness” then. We played cowboys and Indians all the time.  My sister and I were “Big Indian” and “Little Indian”.
When we played cowboys I was either Gene Autrey or Roy Rogers.

“Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns”
I had a great collection of toy guns (cap guns–pistols, with holsters that had real bullet holders). Sadly I must say that Mom would not let us have real guns.

“Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns”
Why would we do that? We had real fake guns. We were gunslingers when
we weren’t being Indians. Of course we pretended to shoot each other.
What the hell do ya s’pose the guns were for?   My older brother had a toy
bazooka which shot relatively hard balls and we used to shoot those at each
other too.  You were supposed to dodge them.

“Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can
on a log, accompanied by our parents”
When I was in fourth grade I bought a real hunting bow and real
arrows and my little brother and I used to shoot them all the time. We
didn’t shoot them at a can on a log. No, we would shoot at various stuff
while on the run, “like an Indian”.  Sometimes we tried doing it on our bikes
but the bow was too cumbersome. We didn’t shoot at each other though.
And we were never accompanied by our parents when we did this.

“Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there is actually a
freakin’CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
I hate to tell ya but saying “gun” or “bang” would be sissy stuff.  We were all
about heavy firepower–pow, pow, pow, pow, pow–yelled very quickly and
loudly.  For the bazooka rounds we would make the sound of an explosion.

“Working for your pocket money well before your teen years”
Are you kidding? Mom had my sister and I doing dishes and household
chores before we even got to kindergarten, to earn our allowance. My big
brother had to mow the lawn for his money–with one of the old-fashioned
push mowers.  In a large family everyone was expected pull their weight.

“Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were
exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode.”
Please. That wasn’t even on our radar screen. We never felt we had to
prove anything except on the field of combat, i.e. when we were playing.
We played war all the time. One time our parents went out and we took all
the living room furniture and made two forts, one at each end of the long room,
and had a big war with our home-made zip guns. They only shot rubber
bands though, not projectiles.

“Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on
paper.”
Well, duuuh. Yeah. We went to Catholic school. Everybody got
punished for something, and deportment was never my highest grade.

“Playing ‘dangerous’ games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball,
and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about
the ‘significant risk of injury’ from these games)”
Oh, brother! Danger was the whole point of playing!  Of course we
played those games but we didn’t consider them dangerous. We did far, far
more dangerous things than any of those.  Jeez, even swings were dangerous
the way we played with them. We’d get going as high as we could and leap
out. The point was to see who could leap from the highest point and/or who
could leap the furthest out. There was one park that had very long swing
chains and a high bar, and you could really generate some power with a
good, strong pusher.  You could get, like, ten feet in the air and then bail out.
And just one person swinging wasn’t enough for us. Whoever was in the
swing would pump as hard as they could, and someone would be behind and
push as hard as they could. I can still remember how it felt to push one of
those swings because it would be generating so much torque that it would
lift me off my feet.  Just as I’d hit the ground I’d put my full weight, plus the
strength of my arms and legs into the push. Man we’d be flying higher than
the crossbar and would just sail out. (My big brother was into aeronautics
and dynamics, so propulsion was a big part of many games in our family.)

“Walking to school alone”
Starting in first grade. Mom even made me walk to school when I
was having bad asthma attacks. (That’s when I learned to hitch-hike.)  No
sissies were allowed in our family. Well, not until the last child anyway.
She was coddled and never played sports or any rough games. She just
watched.

My parents would probably be arrested for child neglect today, for letting us
roam around unsupervised and engage in such dangerous pursuits. I’m glad
they did let us run wild. As a result I’ve had an adventurous life. Jeez, the
first time I went to Europe it wasn’t to go look at artwork and fall in love in
Paris or anything like that. Nope, I went to go and drive in the fast lane on
the Autobahn. Sooooo fun!  I’ve never thought twice about just flying into
some country and taking off driving–alone–just to roam around for a month
or two, with no itinerary and no reservations, just to see what was out there.

Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us kids be feral children–just as wild as
our inclinations led us to be. We grew up to be fearless adults. And most of
us are at least quasi-liberals. So much for your generalization about liberals Mr. Straub.

Not Collusion–Maybe Putin Hired (Or Coerced) Trump to Run for President


My sainted Catholic Mom (to borrow a phrase from Gen. John Kelly) used to say that if there’s an obvious answer it’s probably the answer.

Putin was head of the KGB.  The head spook for one of the most repressive regimes of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Donald Trump is a careless person.  No telling what he was up to in Russia.  Money laundering seems to fit the data, among other things.  And he appears to be depraved.  For God’s sake the man bragged about sexually assaulting women on a regular basis.  We have his own word for it.  On tape.  Uh huh.  Bragging about sexual assault.   Who does that?

What else might he have been up to in a far away place where the pesky American law enforcement community is also far away?

And how hard would it have been for Putin to recognize the potential benefits of having a supposed American billionaire on the payroll.  Blackmail and extortion would surely be in Putin’s bag of dirty tricks.

Maybe Putin decided to throw the dice and put up his own candidate for the U.S. presidency.   Someone recently observed that Putin manages Trump as if he’s a KGB “asset”.   Maybe that’s because Trump is a KGB asset.

The data sure seems to fit the hypothesis.  The hypothesis?   Trump is a bought and paid for, or coerced, Russian “asset”.

That’s gotta be the spook coup of the century.

 

Chainsaw Phil


Once upon a time I lived on islands. Not always the same one, but always
islands. The first time I moved to one it was in the Caribbean and it was
supposed to be for a couple of months. I didn’t come back to the continent
for 12 years. And even then I lived on barrier islands. For awhile I lived on
two islands at once–one in the Caribbean the other a Florida barrier
island–and commuted.  On Fridays I’d walk to the dock, take a ferry to St.
Thomas, a surrey-bus to the seaplane terminal, then the Goose*–a
seaplane–to St. Croix, then a surrey bus to Christiansted or Frederiksted, do
my work and return home the same way.

I met a lot of interesting people.

One of them was Chainsaw Phil–or, as people called him more or less
affectionately, Chainsaw–the most consistently pessimistic, skeptical, cranky person I ever met.

BTW, on this particular island there were three things one was never supposed to ask.  “Where are you from, what’s your last name, what do you do for a living?”

Chainsaw just kind of appeared on the Caribbean island at some point,
having migrated from the Pacific Northwest where he’d been a lumberjack.

He was, and probably still is, the second most profane human being I have
ever met. Because of his profession, and the fact that much of the bush to
be cleared was cassia, which is full of thorns, Chainsaw was always
scratched, cut, bleeding, and with a patchwork of other occupational wounds in
various states of healing/scabbing. His T-shirts suffered the same fate and were invariably torn in several places.

Chainsaw, however had hidden depths. Brilliant, literate, and with a
massive database of general liberal arts information, Chainsaw was quite a
conversationalist. He could riff on various obscure philosophers, contemporary fiction, history, you name it. We had a number of fascinating chats over the years.

I only ever saw him happy once. After a huge hurricane had pretty much
squashed the island, all the locals had to pitch in to clear the roads and get
the power back on. None of the airports were open so each island was pretty much on its own.

I came around a corner and there was Chainsaw, dangling above the debris strewn roadway from one of the few trees still standing, by one arm, the other swinging along with the chainsaw like a damn bullwhip, cutting the hanging branches dangling from also-dangling wires and trees, just a-whoopin’ and hollerin’ like a cowboy gettin’ some little dogies along on the dusty trail.  He sounded like Slim Pickens in the final scene of “Dr. Strangelove” (one of the greatest films ever made).

Chainsaw had this huge grin on his face.  I’d never seen him smile–normally even when he laughed he frowned.  I wasn’t even aware he could smile

*BTW for Goose flights they would have to take passenger weights to determine if the lumbering aircraft could safely get airborne and land.  Seems as though I recall that here’s an old VI Daily News photo somewhere of the Lt. Gov. or Gov. or head of the legislature, something political…wading in the shallows having been forced to abandon a Goose plane for reasons I can’t recall.  The seaplanes had a reputation for being rickety but there were a limited number of ways to get to St. Croix from St. Thomas, and the Goose was the quickest one.

Ummm, Excuse Me CNN, Puerto Ricans Are NOT Permitted to Vote for US President!


I hope I misunderstood CNN’s Poppy Harlow this afternoon.  She was discussing the presidential election with someone–I wasn’t paying much attention, just flicking through channels, and didn’t notice who it was–when Ms. Harlow seemed to make an incredibly uninformed remark.  She was asking about the “growing Puerto Rican vote”.

Uhhh, Puerto Ricans, (and voters in the other U.S. Territories) are NOT, repeat NOT permitted to vote in U.S. presidential elections. They can vote in primaries but not the general election.  Ya’d think a political reporter/anchor should know that very basic fact.

I sure hope that I’m the one who’s wrong here and that I did misunderstand Harlow because, if not, then she is far too ignorant to be permitted to open her mouth on international television at least about the presidential election.

It was also evident today how individual TV “News” networks are trying to influence the vote.  Within five minutes I cycled through CNN, MSNBC and Fox News channels and they each had a different cherry-picked presidential poll that they were reporting.  Fox News said polls show Clinton five or six points ahead, CNN said she was ahead by 12 and MSNBC said she was 20 points ahead.

Of course, I rarely even look at the news anymore because of the incessant yammering about the election and the dearth of any real facts being reported while the respective “news” networks are spewing opinions day and night.  God only knows what might be going on in the rest of the world because we’re sure not gonna hear about it on the “news”.   Presumably this is not reporters’ fault, my guess would be they are all getting their marching orders from corporate HQs.

All together now–can you say “media whores”?

 

All In the Family


During this election season when the histrionics of the media about whether we can expect armed revolt should the Donald lose are growing ever more frenetic, here’s a true tale about transfer of power (and family dysfunction)  in the old days.  I came across the information while doing a genealogy project for an old friend.  When she was elderly and could no longer see, she had to abandon her attempts  to discover her ancestry prior to her death.  Since she always helped everyone else, when she was on her deathbed I promised to try and complete this project for her.

At Hospice an index card had fallen out of her prayer book and it had the birth, death and marriage information about a pair of her great grandparents, which is what prompted the promise.  I thought it would be a simple matter to trace a few generations, at most, before coming to the end of the trail.

Things turned out differently because, as it happened, she–unknowingly–came from two very well-documented colonial families.   It seems her people arrived in what is now the USA back in the early 1600’s.  Her ancestry is a glittering one and goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.  History books are full of her family’s deeds and exploits.

After finding all these names in genealogies on the LDS FamilySearch website, I started looking up some of those folks.  That led to a whole host of ancient manuscripts and documents, which were translated into English in the 18th and 19th centuries. Gildas, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Wace, William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon,, Nennius, William of Jumieges, William of Poitiers, Orderic Vitalis, etc. all had plenty to say about my friend’s ancestors.

Turns out that, among other things, her many-greats grandparents were heavily involved in ending Saxon rule in England, changing our history forever.

One of those Grampas was Gryffyd ap Llewelyn, King of Wales who had an ally, Aelfgar III, Earl of Mercia, who had been exiled by Edward the Confessor, King of England, for treason in 1055.  Alefgar had a beautiful young daughter, Ealdgyth, who married Gryffydd, probably having no say in the matter.

In 1063, Gryffydd was murdered by his own men in Snowdonia, Wales.  (Hey, it
happens.) His men took Gryffydd’s head and the figurehead of his ship, as proof of Gryffydd’s demise, to Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinsson.  Harold then took the head to  Edward the Confessor, presumably because Edward would be grateful for the removal of the troublesome Gryffydd.  Edward the Confessor had also previously exiled Harold, his brothers and his father Godwin, but by the time 1066 came around Harold had become a close ally of Edward.  It doesn’t seem likely that Harold was just being a nice guy and dropping off the head because he was going to be passing by the neighborhood, he was expecting to get something out of it.  Regardless, a grateful king can presumably be a handy person to know.

Since Lllewelyn’s widow, Ealdgyth was very pretty, as well as well-connected, Harold married her.  No word on how she felt about screwing the guy who’d carried her husband’s head around like a damn basketball or something, although, he was reputedly a total hottie.

Then on October 14, 1066, a few months after Harold Godwinsson had acceded to the throne of England, despite having sworn not to do so to another of my friend’s many-greats grandfathers, William the Conqueror, all hell broke loose.  William  invaded England and the Battle of Hastings ensued.  The outcome is well known–Harold did not survive it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.   Harold Godwinsson had only just finished successfully leading his men three weeks earlier on September 25, 1066  at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, against his brother Tostig, Earl of Northumbria.  Why?  Because Tostig had convinced Harold Hardraade, King of Norway to invade England and try to overthrow  Harold Godwinsson, King of England.  Harold Hardraade thought he should be king of England (there seems to have been a lot of that going around) because Edward the Confessor had seized the English throne from Norwegian king Hardacnut back in 1042.  Hardraade claimed that Hardacnut had promised the English throne to King Magnus of Norway, and, since he was Magnus’ successor, then he–Hardraade–should have the English throne by default.

And, just to complicate matters further, Tostig’s brother-in-law was Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, who was also William the Conqueror’s father-in-law and another many-greats grandfather of my friend.

Soooo, one of my friend’s many-greats grandmothers loses her husband, and then turns around and marries the guy who was running around Wales and England with the husband’s head.  And then, another of my friend’s many-greats grandfathers later kills the SOB who’d been running around with her other grandfather’s head.  And then that ancestor was crowned in the brand new Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066.  (Westminster Abbey was consecrated in January , 1066.)

Now that’s really keeping it all in the family!

And that’s how power was transferred back in the day.  Busy, busy, busy, as the Bokononists used to say.

So my friend’s family history brings new (or old depending upon how you look at it) meaning to the term “transfer of political power” .  Puts it in context, so to speak.

I am so sorry my friend did not survive to learn of her glittering and gaudy ancestors and their frisky ways. Their doings make soap operas pale in comparison.  You think you’ve got a dysfunctional family?   And I haven’t even gotten into Eochaid IV “the Venomous” King of Scotland (what does one have to do to earn such an adjective) or Boleslav “the Cruel” Duke of Bohemia!

How William II Duke of Normandy Became William I King of England and England Became French Because of Two Vikings


Back in the day, well, in 1051 or thereabouts, Edward “the Confessor” King of England named William II, Duke of Normandy to inherit his title, for reasons that are not entirely clear.  (Edward wasn’t married at the time and had no kids.)

At the same time there was a powerful family of Earls of Danish extraction,  Godwin pater et fils.  Harold Godwinsson’s dad was the Earl of Wessex and when he died in 1053 after choking to death at the King’s table, Harold inherited the title.  To avoid getting bogged down in family pedigrees, let’s skip to the point which is that Earl Harold Godwinsson was a powerful warrior with great connections.

Now at this time in Europe warriors made war.  All the time.  They just couldn’t help themselves and besides, if you didn’t make war against someone, someone would make war against you.  It’s what they did.  I think they just didn’t like hanging around the house, or castle/palace, because their wives got on their nerves.  They needed an excuse to get out and about soooo…war it was.

In 1063 Earl Harold Godwinsson had been busy murdering every Welsh male who crossed his path, including Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Wales.  Harold, in fact, carried Gruffydd’s head to Edward the Confessor, kind of a gruesome present but…hey, it’s what they did, back in the day.  Gruffydd’s widow Ealdgyth, who was supposedly very pretty, then married Edward the Confessor (apparently she wasn’t the sensitive type).  But they had no children either.

Then in 1064 Earl Harold was shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy and captured by Guy of Ponthieu.  William II Duke of Normandy ordered Guy to release Harold and in no time William and Harold were best buds.  They used to go hunting together.  Harold had agreed to support William’s claim to the throne of England.  But Edward (the Confessor) in 1066, on his deathbed, decided to name Earl Harold his successor instead of William.  Harold had been busy at the time, routing his brother Tostig’s army and killing off the bro.  (Now that’s sibling rivalry!)  Harold, pitching William overboard (metaphorically speaking) in a heartbeat, seized the English throne for himself.  He’s there, it ‘s empty, whatta ya gonna do?

When he heard about this Duke William, whose four greats grandfather  BTW, was Rollo the Viking–so he and Harold were actually both of Viking extraction–was hunting in the park of Quevily, near Rouen.  William stormed off, totally pissed off!  He was sulking and pouting, huffing and puffing in his great hall.  “He spoke to no man, and no man ventured to speak to him.  Crossing the Seine in a boat, he entered his palace and sat down moodily on a bench in the hall, covering his face with his cloak and leaning his head against a column.” (J.R. Planche, The Conqueror and His Companions, Vol. 1.)

Just then the Duke’s Dapifer/Steward/Seneschal, bold William FitzOsbern, enters the hall “humming a tune” and advises the Duke that he should just invade England and take that damn crown.   (Not only had it had been promised by Harold Godwinson, he and William had sworn oaths on it, on holy relics, which was a big deal back then.)  Then FitzOsbern the Dapifer goes around to each of Duke William’s most influential supporters & best warriors schmoozing them to support William in invading England.

They were all against it and asked FitzOsbern to speak to the Duke on behalf of the whole group and point out that they were not bound to support him anywhere except in Normandy and that they really didn’t want any part of such an enterprise. So then, having gotten himself appointed spokesman, FitzOsbern “with the greatest effrontery” goes to the Duke and assures him that he has the unanimous support of all, “That to advance him they would go through fire and water. They would not only cross the sea, but double their service.”.

When the chieftains found out how he’d misrepresented their position they were all furious and there was a near-riot among them. “The barons were as indignant as astounded at this unwarrantable declaration.  Many openly disavowed him; all was tumult and confusion.  No one could hear another speak; no one could either listen to reason or render it for himself” (from Wace’s Roman de Rou).  Now that’s some onions!

The rest is history.  Duke William et. al. invaded England 10/14/1066 and it became Norman,  not Saxon via the two warring Viking descendants.  (BTW, the Saxons were by no means originally locals, they’d invaded Britain back in the fifth century, but nobody seemed to remember that and spoke of Saxons as if they were natives since, well, forever.)

Ya just gotta love FitzOsbern for being so bold.  And duplicitous! And changing our history.