|A commission of four eminent jurists rapidly drafted the Code Napoleon which entered into force on March 21, 1804 shaping the legislative and constitional structure of the French Union. Even though the Napoleonic code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system - it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis (Bavaria, 1756), the Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia, 1792) and the West Galician Code, (Galicia, then part of Austria, 1797) - it is considered the first successful codification. The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in establishing the rule of law in today's Common European Home. Historians have called it 'one of the few documents which have influenced the whole world.'|
|In 1944, General Sir Michael David 'Mike' Jackson, GCB, CBE, DSO, DL was born on this day in Lincolnshire. He was formerly commander of KFor in Kosovo as well as UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia and Herzegovina before rising to Chief of the General Staff. Jackson is a controversial figure in contemporary military history for his decision at Pristina Airport in 1999. |
In 1997 Jackson was appointed Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. He served in the NATO chain of command as a deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark. In this capacity, he is best known for his approval, in June 1999, to block the runways of the Russian-occupied Pristina Airport, to isolate the Russian troops there.
|By complying with General Clark's order, there was a chance the British troops under his command could have come into armed conflict with the Russians, though the point became irrelevant when the American government prevailed upon the Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians to prevent the Russians from using their airspace to fly reinforcements in. As a result, he was dubbed 'Macho Jacko' by the British tabloid press. Among his own troops and the British press, however, Jackson had a reputation for being severe, and prone to anger, earning him the nicknames 'Darth Vader' and 'Prince of Darkness'.|
|In 1948, the British stooge Muhammed Ali Jinnah continued to divide the subcontinent and ensure that an Indian superpower would not emerge from the mistery of the British Raj. Having created a 'Fort of Islam', he then provoked the Bengali people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the earliest opportunity. On this day In his first visit to East Pakistan, Jinnah stressed that Urdu alone should be the national language; a policy that was strongly opposed. Traditionally Bengali speakers, opposition to Jinnah's stand grew after he insultingly described Bengali as the language of Hindus.|
|As his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, wrote: Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with destroying a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.'|
|Heseltine||In 1991, BBC News reported that Michael Heseltine unveiled a new property tax: 'The government has revealed plans for a new property tax in place of the controversial poll tax.' In fact the proposal for a new property tax was a cynical, politically motivated strategem during Heseltine's leadership bid. 'Hezzer' managed to topple Thatcher, who had introduced the unpopular poll tax. Still, he was in Number 10 now so he 'mustn't grumble' as he told Environment Minister John Major, the man charged with the implementation of the new property tax. Major himself wanted to grumble. It was ludicruous for the party to fight over the Poll Tax, when a dispute over the single currency would have played more into his hands as the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, even if he didn't have the charisma of a 'Big Beast' like 'Tarzan'.|
|Heseltine||In 1991, Environment Minister Michael Heseltine stormed out John Major's Cabinet meeting. Only five years before, he had similiarly stormed out of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet over Westland and was known to be a 'hot head'. He would rather resign than unveiled the new property tax. Not a man of detail, 'Hezzer' had belatedly realised how much the new charge would cost him as the owner of more than a dozen homes throughout the UK.|
|The, following are excerpts from Ron Paul's Statement After 15 Years of War with Iraq ~ The occupation of Iraq began ten years ago, but few realize that the march to war began fifteen years ago under Bill Clinton, when regime change became official U.S. policy. In 1998, I took to the House floor in protest of the Iraqi Liberation Act to warn that - I see this legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign Nation. My warnings were largely dismissed at the time, but five years later, we were bombing Iraq.|
|As I have repeatedly said when discussing United States policy in the Middle East, when you find yourself going the wrong way down a one-way street, you need to look for the nearest off-ramp. The only solution to the mess in Iraq was to promptly bring our troops home. Instead Bush and his successor hit the gas by invading Iran. Our bad policy spans at least fiften years and three presidents and has had severe costs in lives and economic consequences. Continuing down the same road will solve nothing and compound our already substantial problems.|
|In 1925, Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signs into law the Butler Act, brainchild of state legislator and ardent fundamentalist Christian John Washington Butler. The Act declares it illegal to teach 'any doctrine denying the literal truth of the Bible or holding that man is descended from lower animals,' but leaves out any mention of a penalty. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately moves to oppose the law. Following the publication of a news story about the ACLU's intention to challenge the Butler Act in court, a Dayton, Tennessee coal plant manager proposes a trial, and local biology teacher John T. Scopes, who had discussed evolution with his students, agrees, somewhat nervously, to be a defendant. He is quickly arrested.|
|The subsequent trial is a circus, pitting anti-evolution crusader and three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan against famed lawyer Clarence Darrow. Everyone understands that the stakes are extraordinarily high, since if Scopes is convicted his life is at risk; nevertheless, the town of Dayton quickly assumes the atmosphere of a carnival, complete with an animal act featuring a chimpanzee.|
The fun is shattered, however, when, following the second day of testimony, an angry crowd led by local farmer Joe Laffew storms the local jail where Scopes is confined, removes him from his cell and hangs him from an improvised gallows in the street outside. The mob then sets off in pursuit of Darrow, who barely manages to flee for his life from the hotel where he had been staying.
Word of the incident travels quickly by telephone and radio, and Gov. Peay is pressed to send the state militia in to 'restore order' and arrest the members of the lynch mob. Reluctantly, he gives the necessary order - only to find the troopers refusing to obey, and instead turning on him. Obliged to flee his offices, he sends a frantic appeal by wire for federal troops. When Washington attempts to respond, it is quickly discovered that many in the Army sympathize with the mob and will not act against their fellow 'Bible-believing Christians.'
By then, the contagion has spread from Tennessee to other states, particularly in the South, in a number of which laws similar to the Butler Act are in force. Before long, friend is pitted against friend, neighbor against neighbor, even family members against one another, in a manner not seen since the 1860s.
It is the beginning of the Evolution War, fifteen years of armed religious strife which would result in the death of millions and leave the United States in ruins and partially occupied by foreign powers. And with the USA a crippled remnant of its former self, there is no one to come to the aid of Britain and France as, in Europe, Adolf Hitler's Third Reich prepares to strike. . . .