Biblical Judges: Chiefs?

So say some Jewish scholarsOne per “Tribe” of the traditional 12 Tribes of Ancient Israel?  Maybe even a permanent office in each Tribe, versus the occasional charismatic commander we’re told about?  Some of whom were more noteworthy than most?  (How many Presidents, Monarchs, or Prime Ministers of any one country can you name?!)

I know enough Hebrew to know Professor Sarfatti isn’t out on a limb here (no pun intended!).  Conflating shevet and shofet?  Consider that every Sunday School class — or Hebrew School — has been asked, “Why are they called judges?”  We see them as military commanders, prophets, philosophers, power-lifters, lovers….  The answer is, They might not have been called “judges” as the word has been most commonly understood in the centuries since then!

Maybe King James should’ve sent the Old Testament by his translators one more time!  Then again, a Biblical book of “Chiefs” or “Chieftains” around that time, the early 1600s, might’ve made Irish or American Indians look too favorable for His Majesty’s comfort … or rather, that of his wicked counsellors….

It’s a minor semantic point.  The roles and deeds of the particular Israelite Chiefs upheld in Judges are clear enough for Scriptures’ purposes.  But since the English words chief, chieftain, chiefdom, etc., are today so identified with Indigenous Peoples, Scottish Clans, Irish Septs, and other oppressed people, “Speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

What do we see, then, in pre-Monarchy Israel?  Twelve or so loosely-affiliated “Tribes,” or rather, Chiefs, each with his “staff” or “scepter,” literally and figuratively — the Tribe.  “Tribal Sovereignty,” even!  With him, various officials, aides, counselors.  And within each Tribe, Clans, Houses, and so forth.  And a God Who opposed a permanent royal federation under an earthly king: The Israelites’ problem in Judges isn’t that they keep getting harried by their neighbors, but that they keep slacking-off in their devotion to Him Who Is, so He lets them have their way, and they get the stuffing beat out of them — rightly, we are to believe, since who knows better than God how to do anything?!  Their problem isn’t geopolitics, it’s Theology.  (Even these gentlemen agree today.)  Doesn’t God say so often throughout Scripture?  Early Israel’s throne was atop the Ark of the Covenant, not in “a cedar palace.”

And so should we who are “Judeo-Christians” today continue to adjudge the ups and downs of our favorite “nations”: My sins, not anybody else’s, not any other nations either.

(I know: “Joshua Chiefs Ruth” doesn’t have the ring of “Joshua Judges Ruth”….)

Is Prince Charles crazy, or Maclean’s?

A ‘newsmagazine’ I hardly recognized, on the eve of the ‘critically panned’ Fall Homecoming of the Heir to the Throne (including of Canada), published an opinion that he’d taken leave of his senses.  Is it possible that His Royal Highness is just a Classic, ie Progressive, Conservative, such as I’ve tried to be*, rather than the U.S. regressive Republican (GOP) kind?

Is it also possible HRH is “becoming Orthodox“??  Certainly he has opportunity to reflect on the world he sits almost at the top of in terms of wealth, fame, and access to power.  And/Or just chat with our First Among Equals, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (yes, that’s Istanbul in Turkish), “The Green Patriarch.”

But children must play … instead of providing reportage and analysis that knows what on earth it’s talking about.  Looks like I got out of journalism just in time – ‘My skills, it seems, are no longer required!’

(*–He said humbly!! ;) )

Irish Jacobitism/Legitimism?

A fascinating discussion here!  I’m not sure I buy it all, whether as an Irishman, an Indigenous person (whether of North America or of Ireland/Europe), or a half-baked Red Tory … even an Orthodox Christian … but intriguing reading and thinking.  I may have to re-read it.

Biggest defeat of U.S. forces ever

…was at the hands of an American Indian confederation in the Midwest, the (original) Battle of the Wabash (River), near present Ft. Wayne, Indiana(!).  Seems the Revolutionary War didn’t end there with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which amounted to little more than a ‘separate peace’ between His Majesty King George III on the one hand, and the United States of America on the other.  Hostilities continued between Old Northwest Natives and their Native allies on the one hand, former allies of The Crown, and illegally encroaching U.S. settlers on the other, unrestrained by the U.S. government (as usual).  What the Wikipedia article leaves out is that British forces took a few years to evacuate the Midwest, leading the Indians to believe they might rejoin the struggle – and to feel betrayed and abandoned by their Britannic ally when they didn’t.  In addition, the Lenape of this war were the first Native Nation the new U.S. had signed a Treaty with (ceding it most of central Pennsylvania), and had been promised a seat in the Continental Congress as well as a Lenape-led Indian state in what became instead the Settler state of Ohio.  (Cf. Delaware County, Ohio.)

Long story short, although the Paris Treaty transferred Britain’s claims over the Old Northwest to the U.S., the US still had to “treat with” the Native Nation-occupants before exploiting any part of the territory itself or on behalf of its Settler-people.  This the US failed to do.  In fact, President George Washington, other “Founding Fathers,” and many other settlers had long improperly speculated on land in the Ohio Country, back to the French and Indian War as a result of which its claims transferred from France to Britain … and Washington’s home-colony of Virginia (then including West Virginia) even long claimed Ohio as part of its territory.  King George had tried to put a stop to all this illegality with his Proclamation of 1763,* setting colonial boundaries at the top of the Appalachian Mountains and restricting settlement to the West, but was unable to police it in such a remote area against his own settlers.  Many Native Nations were acquainted with Britain’s Sovereigns and their ostensible rule over their settlers and colonies, and again, felt betrayed when the settlers got other ideas, with impunity.  Thus the colonists, especially their Planter elites (the future Founding Fathers), sowed the seeds of continuing conflict with Sovereign Indian Nations west of the Eastern Seaboard – just as many of their encroachments on the coast were also at first illegal, only justified by Treaty after the fact.  Is it any wonder that they were (are!) said to “speak with a forked tongue”?

(*–I can’t find a comprehensive online treatment of the Proc. of 1763, ie, that isn’t narrowly-focused on U.S. or Canadian interests.  However, there were and are many more Indian Reserves in eastern and central Canada — Ontario and eastward — than in the U.S. east of the Mississippi, in part because the British Crown continued to ‘honour’ this Proclamation somewhat, whereas the U.S. assimilated, denied, or “removed” west the overwhelming majority of its eastern Indians.  OTOH, Founder speculation and Settler western ambitions, along with Crown resistance to them and attempts to protect the legal rights and territories of the Natives sort-of under his protection, were a significant cause of the U.S. Revolution in the first place — a cause little-emphasized in standard U.S. histories and school systems.)

America’s real Independence Day

Canada ends constitutional links to Britain

Yes, it’s true.  Way back in 1982 Canada ended the pro forma necessity for the Parliament at Westminster (UK) to ratify amendments to its constitutional law.  In Canada this is commonly referred to as the patriation of the constitution, ‘bringing it home’ so to speak.  This includes the Monarchy, because it is part of Canada’s constitutional system.  Therefore, Canada is most clearly no longer ruled by the Sovereign of the UK, but by the Sovereign of Canada.  Canada agreed in a way extemely difficult to change, to continue sharing its Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors, with other interested countries, such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, etc.  In fact, Canada freely and democratically adopted the strongest pro-Monarchy constitution in the Commonwealth, stronger even than the UK itself.  The fact that Canada’s Monarch is shared, and resides in the UK, diminishes this not one iota, since Her Majesty is represented in Canada federally by the Governor General of Canada, and separately in each province by that province’s Lieutenant-Governor, all appointed on the advice of the democratically-elected federal Ministry, ie, the prime minister.  Furthermore, for the last half-century, all Canada’s GGs have been Canadians, not Britons or Australians or anything else.

My headline is a poke at Canada’s few thousand (small-R) republicans, who tend to get disproportionate MSM coverage there (while the Monarchy, the GG, the LGs, and monarchists get very little, usually negative or stereotyped, such as relatively unimportant “gaffes,” or “tea and crumpets” Anglophilia), and who claim to desire to “end constitutional links to Britain” by abolishing Canada’s Monarchy.  They clearly either don’t understand Canada’s constitution, or deliberately obfuscate the issue for ulterior motives: Many want to make Canada a clone of the United States (though others claim not to).  The fact is that Monarchy vs. Republic is not an issue as far as the general Canadian public cares; they’re content with the status quo.  If some MSM “journalist” or pollster asks a leading question like a bad prosecutor, then sure, they think about it, because they’re caring, intelligent people, less likely than Yanks to tell them to do something unpleasant to themselves.  But for the Canadian democracy — as opposed to the Canadian (U.S.-influenced) punditocracy — constitutional change of this magnitude is a non-starter.  They remember how a whole generation from the mid-1970s to the mid-90s was consumed with constitutional questions, and they just want to get on with normal life.

Do some Canadian politicians want to dump the Queen of Canada and become President?  Canadians are wiser to the ways of politicians than most Americans I think, perhaps because they have an option to deny them absolute power: the Monarchy.  Even the most powerful politician in Canada is nothing more than Her Majesty’s Canadian chief servant or advisor; “The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen” (Constitution Act 1867, paragraph 9 [formerly known as the original British North America Act that created the Canadian confederation out of 4 UK colonies]).

So it’s true, Canada has ended constitutional links to Britain … as of 1982.  In fact, HM came to Ottawa and signed it herself!

PS: I wonder if at least some who oppose Prince Charles succeeding his mother perceive her as having been weaker than some of her recent male predecessors, whereas His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is well-known for having definite opinions that call into question the accumulation of power — to society’s detriment — by politicians, businesspeople, ideologues, gratuitous anti-traditionalists, even ‘regressive’ pseudo-traditionalists, and such.  I certainly don’t agree with everything HRH has said or done publicly or personally, but he does strike me as sometimes a real ‘progressive conservative,’ or Red Tory in Canadian terms!

So much for Fixed Election Dates!

So, Stephen “Fixed Election Date” Harper decides going on like he has with his heavily-indulged theocon minority government in Canada is no longer to his liking?  Hypocrite — typical theocon.  Trash constitutional law tradition until it suits them to fall back on it.  Not that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition should’ve let him go on this long either….

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