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….

Russian Heiress hopes for Monarchy

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, considered by many to be Head of the Romanov Imperial Family and heiress to the Russian Throne, gave an interview the other day that was not at all the Western stereotype / propaganda of “Tsarism”!

By all means, I believe in the future of monarchy in Russia, or rather, I want to believe that the values of this system will be understood and valued by Russians again…. {Today} people still feel the weight of the hundred year’s long antimonarchist propaganda. It takes time for the people to understand that the monarchy is a progressive and up-to-date system which combines the best experience of a centuries-long history of Russia and modern reality…. And we do not intend to get involved in any political struggle, we only would like to be helpful to this country…. It is too bad that they pay no attention to efficient democratic monarchy systems in Europe. If their republican views concern Russia only, that means they consider Russia as a second rate country.

Wikipedia profiles Her Imperial Highness, and here’s her official website.  HIH’s remarks remind me of the attitude of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, and even the renewed public service of deposed King Symeon II of Bulgaria, recently Prime Minister of his country and still serving in the government.

Elitists II

I’ve got news for ya.  America’s been in the hands of “elitists” since they wrested it out of the hands of King George III!  OTOH, is the Queen an elitist?!

Nashville monarchists

The former website of their “Royalist Party of America” is of interest.  IIRC so was the site of their Joseph Crisp was too, but the Wayback Machine seems currently down.

This looks like a GREAT monarchy blog

A New Mother England Taking Over

As in “John Cleese Letter to U.S. Citizens.”  Yes, apparently it’s fake, but I just had to read through this whole thing so now you do too!  Actually the longest, the version I only first saw today here,* is the funniest and most enjoyable (apparently some Yanks – or fake Yanks? – haven’t done enough traffic circles to appreciate Brit humour!); fortunately it’s near the top of the Snopes column, so you can dispense with the rest if you like.

(*–A good Philadelphia Lawyer AND a monarchist; now that’s irony for ya!)

Using Government for Partisan Purposes?

It’s being alleged in Canada that theocon minority pseudo-Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff leaked the information about the conversation between a Barack Obama aide and a Canadian diplomat in Chicago implying Obama’s tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement – wanting to amend it to help U.S. workers, or pull out(!) – was just talk.

‘There was another leak on Wednesday. CTV News — which tends to get leaks from the Tories as CBC tends to get leaks from the Liberals — reported that Barack Obama representatives had quietly told Canadian diplomats that the anti-NAFTA rhetoric being spun out in the Ohio Democratic primary is just rhetoric. When CTV broke the story, it was embarrassing to Mr. Obama, who faces voters in the make-or-break primary today.

According to ABC News, the story was leaked to CTV by Ian Brodie, Mr. Harper’s chief of staff. This angered the Democrats, who accused Canada’s Tories of interfering in their election to the benefit of Republican John McCain, although Hillary Clinton actually looks more likely to profit from this story.

Mr. Harper’s spokeswoman issued a denial, saying Mr. Brodie “doesn’t recall” leaking the story, which seems odd, since you’d think he could remember whether he leaked secret diplomatic talks just last week.

So, did Harper’s people hope to embarrass Mr. Obama by revealing his double-talk on NAFTA?’  {Emphasis added.}

If true, this behavior by the Harpies would cross the line that should exist between Her Majesty’s Canadian diplomatic corps and the partisan political process – not to mention once again  meddling in U.S. politics.  It dishonours The Crown, imperils diplomacy, endangers Canada(!), is filthy filthy dirty, and tries to glorify the party in “power” like the American republic does in the White House.  Canada’s Monarchy separates politics from the honourable duties of the Crown such as diplomacy; unlike the U.S., it’s said to be rare in Canada that diplomatic postings are doled out to big campaign donors or turfed incumbents of the “ruling” party.  If Canadian diplomats routinely sound-out U.S. candidates, it’s not to interfere – God knows U.S. anti-Canadianism would bite them in the rear – but to keep their masters informed of potential changes down here.  For Harper to politicize that diplomatic factfinding would be disgraceful and unbefitting the office of HM Canadian Prime Minister.

Another reason for Monarchy

Even if we leave politicians with the initiative, wouldn’t it be nice to know they have someone like Queen Elizabeth they have to run things by, rather than no one at all?

Nepal going down American road

The facts contained within this account sound extremely familiar to readers of this blog and critics of U.S. history and the “American Revolution”!  From decompensating government, regions, and society, to the dubious claims of democracy of the politicians and ‘revolutionaries,’ it’s 1776 all over again, tragically.

Is it too late for the Nepalese people to rescue their nation from false ideology, and reach perhaps a better settlement with the otherwise soon-to-be-deposed King?  Hopefully they will not make the mistake of the American Loyalists and wait for His Majesty to make all the moves: King Gyanendra’s hands are tied unless he knows he has the people behind him, even to take action – perhaps “People Power” style? – to save the day. 

There’s an “election” scheduled, supposedly to manage the transition to a Republic – a decision already made ‘for’ the people and nation by the power-hungry elites, some of whom, the “Maoists,” have been waging actual war for years.  But if this “election” only includes “allowed” parties and candidates, how different will it be from the coups d’etat that usurped the Crown and Sovereignty of the American Colonies a couple centuries ago.

Could a State join Canada?

The article from the last post is about people in Maine interested in having that State secede to Canada.  The author lightly opines, “we would need to change our system of government to Canadian standards and start calling ourselves a province.”

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT.

A State is a sovereign, like “the State of Israel;” a province is a subdivision of a sovereign, like the provinces of the Roman Empire, or of many countries today.  When the UK colonies of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia (as we now call them, more or less) decided to get together in 1867, after watching the Union of sovereign States to the south go through a bloodbath of a  Civil War, they decided they wanted ‘a more perfect union,’ and so remained provinces (as all Britain’s North American colonies were sometimes called), legally giving more power to the central “Confederation” they were creating, Canada.  (Up there this word denotes the exact opposite of what it does for Americans, reflecting on the traditional propaganda about America’s previous “weak Articles of Confederation.”)

It’s true that after over a century of legal adjustments, court rulings (especially by the Brits aiming to protect the constitutive Provinces from Federal encroachment), and political compromises, Canada today seems among the world’s loosest federations, and it’s common to say the Provinces are “co-sovereign” with the Confederation (or Dominion), in almost American terms.  And while, in theologian Stanely Hauerwas’ perfect phrase, “there may be no denying the descriptive power of this statement,” and the Provinces of Canada may have evolved nearly into sovereign States, it still remains a bit of an exaggeration, constitutionally speaking.

Let me elucidate.  As described in their unilateral Declaration of Independence, 13 of the colonies / provinces to the south considered themselves “free and independent States” on or about July 4, 1776 – and they meant States, not State.  Over the next 11 years several wars among them almost broke out, one-on-one affairs IIRC, including New York vs. New Hampshire over the territory claimed by yet another one, the independent Republic of Vermont which everyone forgets, which wasn’t cooperating much with the other 13 at all, sought to exchange ambassadors with the Mother Country, and even to reunite with it!  So in 1787, when a mostly-secret “convention” proposed their “more perfect union,” one thing these “free and independent States” didn’t give up was sovereignty.  The new (written) Constitution merely delegated some of these States’ sovereign attributes or powers or rights to the Union, retaining all those not explicitly delegated.  In this arrangement, similar in species to the “pooled sovereignty” often referred to in connection with the European Union, these States and their Union were definitely co-sovereign (though the term isn’t used in the U.S., being of more-recent Canadian coinage), the Union in the areas delegated to it, and the States in every other way.  American law takes this very seriously, even though the States delegated to the Union powers the world usually considers primary reflections of sovereignty, such as international relations, defense, and currency … and even though there’s been some growth of Federal power due to Constitutional Amendments and court rulings down through the years.  Perhaps the best illustration of this is the fact that not just any case can be appealed to Federal courts; it has to be “a Federal matter,” otherwise the State courts have the last word.

(This came up after the 2000 Presidential Election.  As you may have heard, we don’t actually elect the President of [the Executive Branch of] the United States, Presidential Electors do.  And these Electors are State officers, not Federal.  Each State legislature is completely free to prescribe how to choose its Presidential Electors.  In the first place, as the mischievous Florida Legislative Republicans reminded us, Electors don’t have to be popularly elected; it’s up to each State.  [Though it's debatable whether they would've gotten away with changing the rules after the fact. Would the U.S. Supreme Court have been that brazen?]  More importantly, how each State elects its officers is entirely its own business, and not normally “a Federal matter.”  Therefore, most of us considered that the Federal courts had no business hearing GW Bush’s appeal from the Florida Supreme Court regarding interpretation of Florida’s election laws and administration, by its own State courts.  To get around this, Bush had to concoct a laughable argument that his civil rights – a Federal matter – would be violated if every vote were counted in the counties in which Republican shenanigans were alleged by the Al Gore campaign and many others.  This was an argument of the proverbial “legal mind: the ability to think about something intimately related to something else, without thinking about that to which it is related”: Civil Rights, intended to protect Blacks from re-enslavement after the Civil War, used to deny many Florida Blacks and others the electoral franchise accorded them in this contest under Florida law!  [This is exactly the same area of law that supposedly bestowed human rights on corporations in the U.S., and of course the irony is identical. It's also the kind of reasoning made famous by the medieval {Western, Catholic} Scholastic philosophers and theologians, now employed by a son of the Protestant Reformation, a Methodist: rationalizing about how many teeth a horse was allowed to have based on made-up prior principles ... instead of opening his mouth and counting them!!!  Instead of rationalizing, Florida law provided that the winner of the election would be determined by counting the votes cast.  WHAT A F*CKING CONCEPT!!!]  In a tragic example of expansion of Federal power by court ruling, the Federal courts allowed Bush, and ultimately so did a partisan Supreme Court – although they sure didn’t want their ruling used against  Republicans, when they said, in flagrant violation of every legal principle and tradition this country – and all Common Law countries – supposedly stand on, that their ruling shouldn’t be used as a precedent in any future case.  So much for independent judiciary and rule of law … and the last 7 years of American and world history!  Yes, Canada, courts aren’t always legally correct.)

This is the opposite of what happened in Canada in 1867: the Fathers of Confederation delegated to the Provinces some powers, rights, and privileges, delineated others as shared by the Confederation and Provinces, with the rest remaining with the Confederation.  Arguably, legally, the Provinces are creatures of the Confederation – and hence Provinces – even though they antedated it!

For comparison purposes, in 1901 the drafters of the Australian Commonwealth constitution, fearful of a Canadian-style (theoretically) stronger center, went more with the American model again, on behalf of the federating colonies there.  And so Australia’s constitutive parts, like America’s, are sovereign States, not Provinces – and BTW, their State viceregal officers Governors instead of Lieutenant-Governors.  (Which brings up another illustration: Canadian Provinces have LGs because historically they are lieutenants to the Governor General, even Federal employees, appointed on Federal Advice, not Provincial employees, clearly subordinating the Provinces to the Federal Crown, in spite of the fact that they can have “Her Majesty In Right of” a Province … even suing “Her Majesty In Right of Canada”!)

This is not to say that a State can’t create additional sovereign States; in fact it’s alleged to have happened in a number of newer “federal” countries, essentially constituting their subdivisions Sovereigns in certain areas.  The Holy Roman Emperors even bestowed actual sovereignty on some of their subject principalities (while they remained subject).  I fully expect this century that some Canadian court will find Canada’s Provinces are, have always been, or have become, Sovereign States.  Whether this would require formally reopening the constitution, or could take effect by itself in the British tradition of uncodified constitutional evolution, I don’t know.  Or else Provinces will insist on (greater) involvement in nominating their LGs, and then, on the exclusive right.  Quasi-American Alberta might even be the first to declare itself a (Canadian[?]) State!

Nevertheless, the question before us for now is whether, as the words of the columnist quoted atop this post suggest, an American State would have to give up Statehood to join Canada.  (I doubt she had this question in mind, so I must take full blame myself!)

Before answering it, just for the record, let’s establish whether Maine and other things like it in the U.S. really are States.  After all, only 13 States formed the Union … Vermont joined having formerly been independent just as they … so did Texas, maybe California … that’s it.  The rest were carved out of Federally-controlled/occupied “Territories” (including Indian Lands), settled by Whites and others from elsewhere, then elevated to Statehood and “admitted to the Union.”  But if we accept that sovereigns can create other sovereigns, that’s OK.

So.  Could the Canadian Confederation include both Provinces and States?  Well apparently there’s such a thing as “asymmetrical federalism,” best illustrated by the Russian Federation at this time, the Holy Roman Empire previously (sort of).  But theoretically two ‘levels’ both claiming all but delegated powers would seem to cancel each other out!  Furthermore, Maine residents would be used to the theory of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, saving an undetermined reservoir of rights to them even against the government of Maine … as well as the whole three centuries of experience with The Common Law of Maine (including Massachusetts before Maine’s separation from it).  Section 26 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms brings the 9th Amendment into Canada so to speak, but only insofar as it relates to “any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada”: here’s one place where the competing “residual powers” doctrines collide head-on, because Mainers might not want to give up U.S. or Maine Unenumerated Rights, especially if they don’t know the extent of what they’d be giving up – kind of like the reluctance to codify the Royal Prerogative for fear of leaving out something that’ll become important in the future.  Then again, not knowing might make it easier for the Mainers!  Aside from this perhaps academic conundrum, in terms of legal systems it might go OK, since each Province does have its own version of the Common Law already, we’d just be adding Maine’s to the mix.  Maybe even the Residual conflict could be finessed with words saving as much of what each side is used to already as practicable.

What’s Admission look like?  Several of the relevantly-named documents here convey an idea, although they all cover admission of British territories … without a lapse of 250 years! ;)

Does Maine remain a State in all this?  I don’t see why not.  The physics of the balance of powers between State and Federal might be shuffled slightly in the move from the USA to Canada, and some shared powers would probably be introduced that America isn’t used to constitutionally … but then again, in reality America has evolved some degree of sharing via Federal mandates and/or funding, it’s just that the method and tone are very different, less ‘interactive’ you might say!

Then there’s the matter of the 3 Indian Reservations and associated Trust Lands in Maine (our example).  I don’t believe Canada holds lands in trust for First Nations groups or individuals like the U.S. Federal government does.  Quite a bit of the U.S. is actually Indian Trust Lands!  The U.S. exploits the land, pursuant to Treaties, and is supposed to collect the revenues and forward them to the Tribes or individual Indians who own them.  (They’ve been screwing this up for years though – so bad they even had to take down their website? – and Indians suing the government allege they’re out 12 Billion dollars all tolled!  Maybe they’d have better luck going to the Chinese!)  Especially Out West, Trust Lands have farms or ranches on them, or mineral extraction, or even towns, counties, railroads, highways, etc.  I don’t know how much land we’re talking about in Maine, but they originally claimed more than 2/3 of the State on the basis of unratified Treaties before a settlement agreement in 1980.  There’s also the matter of the Reserves themselves.  I’m not too familiar with Indian Law in Canada, and it’s pretty rough down here, but there’s the potential to consider that Reserves and Tribes are in fact subject sovereign States themselves (the 1800s Supreme Court’s “domestic dependent nations,” as bad as that sounds!), and my impression is that Tribal self-governance and Sovereignty are farther along here than in Canada.  For that matter, there are also a fair number of French-speakers in Maine … and the theory that most of them are Métis, facing potential recognition under the Canadian constitution as Aboriginal North Americans, and whatever that may entail – adjudication of Aboriginal Rights, Land Title, Sovereignty, hunting and trapping rights….

Does Canada accept a State though?  Well, talks with Maine might “call the question” of the Statehood of the other Provinces anyway.  OTOH, constitutional sticklers might consider it too great a risk to the union; as I’ve said, courts aren’t always legally correct.

As for the columnist’s other comment, “we would need to change our system of government to Canadian standards,” the British North America Act 1867 presumes the kind of government the Provinces have now, ie, the Lieutenant-Governor appointed by the Governor General (on advice of the Prime Minister) in The Queen’s name, governing with the advice of a Ministry retaining the confidence of (in Maine’s case I guess the lower house of) the legislature; and a legislature consisting of the LG and its one or two houses.  ISTM any deviation from this would require a Constitutional Amendment.

Another way might be a Treaty of Union between all Canada and Maine, or USA and Canada with respect to Maine, which Canada could simply receive into its law as constitutional legislation.

“Club Paradise” and Monarchy

OK, I know this is a little weird….

Club Paradise was a diverting 1986 light comedy featuring Robin Williams, Peter O’Toole, a Twiggy wondrously evoking Olivia Newton-John, and a cast of thousands.  Williams goes in on a dive Caribbean would-be resort with Jimmy Cliff, who’s a “revolutionary” reggae singer on the side (a stretch, I know), trying to fight-off foreclosure by a crooked island Prime Minister who wants to turn it over to international developers who would build it all up and destroy “paradise.”

Here’s where Tiernan comes in.  When the PM thinks he’s gonna lose the deal, he declares martial law, mobilizes the island’s army, and there’s almost (mini) civil war – provoked by him.  Just as the PM and his forces are about to attack Williams and Cliff and Co. on a beach, here comes a few hundred (that’s all it takes apparently there) of the island’s common people to confront the out-of-control PM, and at their head is the island’s “representative of Her Britannic Majesty,” O’Toole, who rallied them.  O’Toole rides up on horseback in full viceregal regalia, ostrich plume(?!) and all, like something out of Gilbert and Sullivan, hops down, almost literally reads the PM the Riot Act, draws his own pistol, and threatens to blast the corrupt politician right between the eyes.  The PM backs down, especially when Williams draws his attention to his foreign developer-sponsors in their massive yacht sailing off to easier pickings – but O’Toole and the people were the linchpin of the whole scene: the delay they caused allowed the yacht to sail into view on its way … away … taking the wind out of the PM’s sails with it.

Now for housecleaning.  I missed the beginning of the movie when I saw it in rerun a few weeks ago, but this fictitious island of St. Nicholas seems to be an independent nation: the PM refers to “army” or “defence forces” or words to that effect, and they’re Black, not White Brits as one might expect in a movie if it were still being considered an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom (although certainly there are many non-Whites in the UK armed forces today).  So the “Governor” should’ve been titled “Governor-General,” as some U.S. reviews at the time corrected, and certainly all the Canadians involved in its production should’ve known well.*  Also, as a Caribbean Commonwealth Realm even in the 1980s, it probably would’ve had a Black GG, not a White Englishman whom Robin Williams repeatedly addressed as “Your Grace” – a Duke? a Bishop?! although maybe Williams’ character wasn’t expected to know that, as an American, and just made up the honorific.  Also, in a finer technicality, “Her Britannic Majesty” has nothing to do with her non-Britannic Realms; she is sometimes (rarely) referred to as “Her Canadian Majesty,” but in this case, “Her Nicolite Majesty” or something like that wouldn’t have meant anything to anybody, since it’s a fake place whose name was probably even forgotten by the original viewers by this point in the film (I only know about it because of the WWW!), nevermind its obscure adjectival form.  Finally, of course, none of HM’s viceregals is authorized to execute her errant Ministers without trial, nevermind personally!

Nevertheless, one Canuck analyst has called the Crown – and by extension, its viceregal representatives – “a constitutional fire-extinguisher,” meant to exercise authority personally in the event of some breakdown in governmental order.  (They could use one in Kenya about now.  As they once had.  Arguably, we could’ve used one before, during, and after the 2000 election, and since then.)  Now, St. Nicholas is also described in the movie as a Third-World country, and many of them have “martial law” provisions, so the Prime Minister might not have been technically breaking the law.  But in movies, for dramatic (or even tragicomic) effect, you can have GGs intervene even when the politician just has a seriously bad idea, like embroiling the nation in a civil war over a corrupt land deal, and when when the GG can rally most of the population in favor of calm and reason also.  Other constitutional alternatives would’ve been the island’s Parliament, or firing the PM, or even (presumably) refusing to sign the Order for Martial Law itself, and dealing with the fallout later.

But none of these would’ve been as much fun to watch!

Anyway, what was visibly dramatized for us was the ability of “symbols” and “figureheads” like The Queen and a Governor-General and a uniform on horseback and a system of tradition, to rally a nation in time of crisis, like chickenhawk W. couldn’t even do on 9/11 quite like “al Qaeda” itself did – even the ability of these things/persons to bring rogue politicians to their senses.

(*–Maybe the Canadians in the movie thought we ignorant Yanks would be confused by a “Governor-General” title, taking the “general” as a military role, undermining the sense of danger and drama from the martial law regime under just the PM.  Although the GG would probably be constituted Commander-in-Chief of the island’s Army in The Queen’s Name anyway – another finer point, one that I find some Canadians who should know better – nevermind actors and comedians – aren’t fully cognizant of.)

FREE CANADA!, or, What else American Red Tory means

Many Canadians feel economically dominated by the United States, the 800-pound gorilla to the South.  Though what should be done about that should probably be guided by Canadians who have that country’s best interests at heart.  For instance, letting them tear-up NAFTA and US-Canada Free Trade as well as other agreements prejudicial to Canada – or reopening them for fairer negotiations – and impose domestic corporate ownership quotas.

Some Canadians also feel culturally dominated by us.  Certainly they get all the American TV shows, books, movies, and music – though somehow they don’t seem to affect them like they do us, ie, making us kill each other and others different from us!  Also, Canadian influence on U.S. TV, movies, music, etc., is strong, or at least, the influence of Canadian-born persons (Pamela Anderson, Michael J. Fox, Lorne Michaels, Neil Young, Peter Jennings, etc.).  Interesting question for further examination.

But worst of all is U.S. influence on Canadian politics.  Not merely keeping an eye on the 49th Parallel since we are the local 800-lb. gorilla, but putting up with us exporting American republicanism, Republicanism, Classical Liberalism / irrational libertarianism, political Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, other ideologies, horse-race campaign news coverage and attitudes, greed and Rationalized Capitalism, giving orders to Canadian Forces behind the back of their own government, dictating policy to Ottawa, our government influencing their elections, Bay Street a carbon copy of Wall Street, the question of Fort Drum,* etc etc etc.  Now, ‘children must play,’ but must America muck around with such a loyal ally and generous neighboUr, when instead we should be learning from them?!!!  MAKE AMERICA IN CANADA’S IMAGE!!!

PS: Why don’t Canucks, with more guns per capita than us, kill each other like we do?  Why don’t our TV and movies have such a bad influence on them if any at all?  Why do they have health care, multiple parties, Responsible Government (read accountable executive),** hand-marked paper ballots, profounder education, more peaceful diversity, nicer cities, less-“concentrated” Indians, recognized Mixed-Blood Indigenous, true friends in all parts of the world, etc etc etc.  They’re not perfect.  But the answers must lie in their culture, their heritage, their history, even their legal tradition.  (Conversely, our late friend Marc Chaitlin firmly believed our violence today was rooted in our violent Revolution and replacement of legitimate government with “the Slavemaster Republic.”)  How do they differ from us?  Monarchy, peaceful evolution vs. violent revolution (They’re ‘the American Evolution’!), Classical Conservatism, gradual independence, British tutelage (vs. enmity) in statecraft and soldiery and diplomacy, “Peace, Order, and Good Government” more important than mere “Pursuit of Happiness” (sounds like a motto for Hedonism!), a sense and tradition of the Common Good as an active not passive thing, national solidarity even in peacetime, self-restraint, a check on politicians even in the appointive offices of Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors, greater High-Church influence (Roman Catholic and Anglican), an Empire-cum-Commonwealth of Nations, etc etc etc.

(*–Rudmin alludes to the “unprecedented” Congressional appropriation behind the initial construction of Ft. Drum, unprecedented because it was unconstitutional!  Being for three years, it violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which limits military appropriations to two years!  Somebody in Washington really wanted Ft. Drum, bad enough to risk public exposure and a court case, neither of which apparently came.)

(**–Think about how our elite structure their own corporations.  There isn’t a Board of Directors in the land that would give a CEO the carte blanche any U.S. President has for 4 or 8 whole years, unless he was already majority owner or the inventor of the product or something, of course.)

Wicked Counsellors

W. surrounded himself with Yes-Men, Vestal Virgins, and even the classical “Wicked Counsellors” (e.g., Rove, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, etc.), just like the worst English kings were traditionally said to have done.  This is part of why Parliament took charge of the King’s/Queen’s counsellors and administrators – so now “parliamentary democracies” are virtually or actually ruled by elective politicians and suckups, instead of royal court politicians and suckups.

Amid the latter, at least, usually you have one person who has some idea what s/he’s doing – the Monarch!

Actually, Parliament started out as “the Great Council of the Realm,” not a legislature per se: The King was expected to take into consideration the input of his bishops and abbots (ie, the educated, lawyers, diplomats, etc.: “Lords Spiritual”), generals (ie, the nobility: “Lords Temporal”), administrators, even elected representatives of the commoners who had some idea what they were about.  The U.S. President has no Council, nobody whose input he’s expected to take into account.  The Personal Rule of ‘George IV’ is in many ways similar to The Personal Rule of Charles I – whose head Parliament cut off.

The Federalist Papers parody the idea of an Executive Council as no more than a way for colonial governors to either be hamstrung, conspire, or hide the blame when they do something wrong or unpopular.  But in their time there was still the King’s own Privy Council, which then generally, practically still had less power over him than colonial Councils over their governors.  Gee, wonder why they left that out?!!!  (As you know, this isn’t the first time I’ve caught the Federalists “spinning” the truth in their favor and against the rest of us.)

A ‘council for the Counsellors’ might sound redundant, but be a way to improve the problem of Prime Ministerial Dictatorship, too.  But can’t it be depoliticized somewhat, maybe via a “blue ribbon panel” approach???  Because one would prefer advisors and administrators who know what they’re talking about.  Obviously there are often honest disagreements among “those who know what they’re talking about” … which is why a head of government really needs to put them together in a room working together to come up with the best idea, rather than going just with the ones of his/her class, party, religion, race, ethnicity, region, or worst of all, Yes-Men, Vestal Virgins, and Wicked Counsellors.  Experts may not be without political agenda also … but usually they can call each other on their sh*t too, which is why you really need a diversity of viewpoints on such a panel.

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3″ several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

The truth about Carolyn Parrish

She was the Canadian Member of Parliament who, we’re to believe, was a witchy, bitchy, shrill (you know: all the stereotypes) anti-American, went ballistic on a W. doll, and after Washington pressure was booted from the parliamentary Liberal Party just before they themselves (just barely, for all their troubles) fell from power.

Believe it or not – horrors! – it was all overblown.  This is just Wikipedia, but it looks pretty factual, not much commentary for or against there.  And if you peruse the famous(?) video from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, it looks to me like the business with the voodoo doll was set-up by the show, not her, and she’s actually back-pedaling from her harshest past comments (seen in the cue-cards).

Now, I know nothing about her politics apart from criticism of Bushie war-mongering, and invoking a Cuomo Doctrine in opposing same-sex marriage (‘personally supportive, but my constituents oppose it,’ like former New York Catholic Governor Mario Cuomo’s “personally opposed to abortion but don’t feel I can impose my religious views on others”).

So I’m just saying, she was railroaded, at White House bidding.  A better U.S. foreign policy would be to try to make peace with whomever is in foreign governments, rather than trying to change them, especially when they’re reasonably-democratically elected (or constitutionally succeeded, in the case of Monarchs) … and OURS AREN’T!!!  It used to be called diplomacy.

The Court of Star Chamber

Who do we hear from that the ‘infamous’ Court of Star Chamber was bad news?  According to Wikipedia, we might hear it from lower English courts, the powerful who could escape the judgment of lower courts (perhaps because they were on their own manor!), or who could get off on a technicality(!), libellors (sp?) and traitors and conspirators and rebels (ie, usually those who put themselves above the Common Good and loyalty and honor), the landed gentry, (big) landowners in Wales, of course its convicts and their partisans, Sectarian Protestants including Puritans (who of course later themselves tried “witches” and mutilated “blasphemers” and “adulterers/esses”!), early news media(!)….  Later on, Classical Liberals and modernists, American Revolutionaries and (small-R) republicans, Whig historians – ie, the dominant kind – on both sides of the Pond….

Of course, I don’t defend abuse of power, and the justice system has “come a long way, baby.”  But we tend to forget – or not know – four things:

  1. Constitutionally in Commonwealth Realms the Monarch is the Fount of Justice, a role they traditionally took very seriously and personally, especially regarding the depredations of their rivals for power, the nobility and the ‘politicians’ of the era, against us lower sorts and the Common Good.  In fact some say before Anglo-Saxon kings were rulers per se, they were supreme judges, and even early-on in the Middle Ages spent more time hearing cases than any other duty.  Now they delegate most of that responsibility to trained, (ideally) impartial judges, and juries when applicable.  But for a monarch to be that involved in justice – for good or for ill – was not unusual in that day and age.  (For that matter, Monarchs were still considered able to even make law by themselves, without running it through the Houses of Parliament!  Technically they still may, but normally wouldn’t risk it!!)
  2. The judges of Star Chamber were Privy Counsellors.  To this day the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council functions as a supreme court for the UK, and the supreme court for several other Commonwealth countries and territories, ie, The Queen in Council.  Not so weird there either.
  3. There was little if any sense of “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” before the Stuart Restoration and religious toleration (of Protestants) – late 1600s, post-Star Chamber.  Before that, active opposition to the Monarch in any way at all was considered disloyal, a sentiment sadly we’re not unfamiliar with in the States still today!  A king would’ve been seen as weak, and possibly taken further advantage of – even to the detriment of the Common Good and public order – if he didn’t prosecute those who undermined his policy.  Today Commonwealth democracy relies on Loyal Opposition to help it work right, so it’s easy to forget … and a lesson extreme partisans of the Chief Executive of the day in “presidential republics” would do well to learn.  (What does religion have to do with it?  After a century of tumult between “No bishop, no King,” and Puritan dictatorship, England was ready for the idea that people could disagree in good conscience without betraying the Realm.  Mostly-nonviolent, conscientious Quakers, a dissident sect who differed with, but got along with, both Cromwell and Charles II, had something to do with it.)
  4. A main purpose for Star Chamber was equity, justice when ‘the letter of the law’ failed to render justice.  Today most courts in England and America have been mandated to judge according to equity if necessary.

Just some things to think about….

National political parties fundamentally undermine Constitution

(Such as it is.)

The authors of the Federalist Papers claimed not to be able to envision “cabals” or “factions” seizing control of government in the new Union, because it was so big, even then just covering the East Coast.  (Even though they themselves were one… or two if you look at Federalists and Anti-Federalists!  [At that time Britain's politicians were more-loosely organized into what we would call today caucuses than the stronger political parties that would soon develop on both sides of the Atlantic... though of course Britain's current parties are far stronger than America's.])

But as we see so painfully today in America, the way the Republican Party controls the Federal Executive, Judicial, and Legislative (sic!) Branches, and so many of the States, there’s no check on abuse of power.  Political parties throw checks-and-balances in the trash!  (And no, theoretically it’s no better when it’s all Democrats – although as we also painfully see today, getting Democrats to march in goose-step is like trying to herd cats!… even though America usually does better under total Democratic control: Carter, Kennedy-Johnson, Roosevelt-Truman….)

Now, some parties sometimes are helpful, and it’s unrealistic to try to do without them anyway, at least at the Federal and State levels.  So if we’re gonna have some kind of “party government,” we really need an ultimate check on it, someone not beholden to either or any party, or to electoral politics, or campaign donors: THE QUEEN!  (Though I would’ve liked her to block more of the worst of Thatcher AND Blair….)

The Executive Council of New Hampshire

I think I’ve read that one of the Carolinas has a remnant of its colonial Executive Council, but the one in NH still seems pretty active and important… and follow the link to their website for lots more details.  What they don’t say, though, is that it’s inspired by the Commonwealth Monarch’s council, now and even in the 1700s heavily influenced by Parliament in the form of the Cabinet.

I wonder if something like this could rein-in our dictatorial Presidency a bit?

‘If you heart your freedom thank The Queen’*

The basic thrust of this short piece in a UK paper by an eminent UK professor.  (Accompanied by tons of robust criticism by anonymous posters, in the spirit of free speech/press Her Majesty has promised to defend to her last breath!)

For my tastes the author is a bit cavalier (no pun intended) about Northern Ireland, but after 830 years they did finally broker/reach a peace agreement and power sharing, one which holds on despite continuing bumps in the road.  Those American Indians who are left are still waiting for theirs….

(*–Or in Americans’ case, her ancestor George III!)

Indiana State “Honors” Demean, Exploit Native Americans

…for whom, after all, the State is named!

It all smacks of Boy Scout mascotry.  ‘We’ve conquered them, now we can pretend to be them.’

Yes, certain Commonwealth Royals also donned kilts before their most recent infusion of Scots blood, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.  The diagnosis in both cases is romanticist nostalgia for a culture nearly genocided by the now-nostalgic, or their ancestors, kinsmen, or those who now benefit from it.

The cure in both cases is to come and MEET us, do right by us, learn genuinely from those of us who are left.

“True patriot love”

O Canada, our home and native land,
True patriot love in all thy sons command

–Opening lines of the nation’s National Anthem


The next time you as a U.S.’er hear the Canadian national anthem [as opposed to its Royal Anthem, "God Save The Queen"] at a hockey game or Bluejays or Raptors game, be sure and hear the boldface or underlining under “True.”  The rebels who usurped the 80-pct.-Loyal*  13 Colonies called themselves Patriots, and everyone else traitors.  Now, a patriot is someone who loves his or her country.  One may argue over whether British North Americans’ “country” was the nascent British Empire which sponsored and defended them, or its provinces of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, or whatever.  But the so-called Patriots loved neither.  They fought for their own “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – nobody and nothing else … especially anyone who didn’t go along with them.  Maybe most Loyalists stayed, by choice or were unable to afford to leave.  But those who went North, did they set up a similar, narrow, partisan, anti-American state in Canada?  No.  Their only goal, as always, was eventually embodied in three other, older, wiser principles: “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”  This brief discussion of Canadian philosopher John Farthing – I swear that’s his real name – speaks to this too.  The Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, a vote for one’s ancestors, even health care paid for, for those who need it: Then again, maybe it WAS anti-American; “UNamerican,” anyway! ;)Before he died, Canadian-American newsman Peter Jennings – who could nevertheless only bring himself to adopt U.S. citizenship in his final couple years – once offered a poignant image of contrast between his natal and adopted countries, reflecting poorly on the former he thought: If one Mountie stood in front of a crowd surging out of a stadium in Canada, he could stop them in their tracks, whereas no U.S. cop would dream of trying such a feat!  Jennings favored the American ‘free’ spirit and rebelliousness and skepticism … even as he chronicled its sad, tragic results night after night for so many years on TV.  [And they gave him the Order of Canada?!!]  Now, anyone who knows Canadians knows they are far from sheep; in fact, many are more free-spirited and skeptical than many Yanks.  But as someone else pointed out, they don’t pit themselves against their country like the so-called Patriots did; like “true patriots,” they “love” their country, desire to improve it (like “true,” “honourable” Members of the Order of Canada do), don’t worship it ideologically and self-destructively.  If “O Canada … commands … true patriot love,” it’s only because it’s earned it from its people in the first place, not just since 1783 or 1867, but from time immemorial, since “British North America” as an entity, no less than Britain itself, was born on those rainy fields of Great Britain and Ireland millennia ago – a “traditional,” Monarchical system of protective Sovereign, noble persons, and Commons, with no pretense of, but the growing FACT, of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for everyone, even eventually the conquered French and Métis in North America with little claim to the sodden soil of those two Isles of the Northeast Atlantic, as well as their “non-conforming” Irish and Scottish co-religionist immigrants and refugees in Canada, and the unconquered, treatied First Nations there.

Critics of Michael Moore’s new HMO-critical documentary SiCKO call Universal Health Care as practiced (diversely) in Canada as well as the UK and France “communist,” but as he points out, its origins have nothing to do with Marx.  At least for Canada and the UK, ‘progressive conservative’ social democracy has more to do with preachers than with Marx.  There’s real “compassionate conservatism”!  In the end, it’s not ideology or “class warfare,” it’s just the Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, “peace, order, and good government,” “a better country” … even what one British columnist has called “the care ethic” to balance the tired, overworked, underpaid, sick, injured-on-the-job “work ethic”!

So please, think some more about what a “true patriot” is, then and now.

(*–That recent NY Times Magazine piece, and most of the propaganda passing for “American history,” make much of the alleged one-third “Neutral” Americans, “neither Patriot nor Loyalist.”  But by anyone’s definition, someone who doesn’t rebel is Loyal, whether they join a Loyalist Regiment, write pro-King [and Country!] pamphlets, or ‘just’ till their farm quietly hoping to stay out of the way.   Anyway, as I’ve said, I believe John Adams’ one-third estimate of “Patriots” was closer to 20 percent in reality, based on my own research … and that he cooked the books, a practice which of course continues in America today.)

Rupert Murdoch bought Readers Digest?

It sure looks like it.  At least one celebrity on every cover now,* especially actors and actresses in movies coming out that month (talk about product-placement!), or American Idols from his network; also increased “conservatism” (though occasionally conceding the existence of “liberalism”), “disease-of-the-month,” fearmongering, yada yada yada….  They should change the name to Fox News Digest!!!

(*–This month the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, God be good to her, is the “lead”: she’ll be young and hot forever among the rest of us now!  But it’s just to plug another newly-released product, a book by a gossip columnist.)

UPDATE 8/8/07: Apparently my previous headline, with buys instead of bought, caused some confusion!  While I appreciated all the hits, far be it from me to allege knowledge of something so horrendous… or give the man – and I use the term loosely – any ideas!!!

The truth about the “American Revolution”?

Try here.

Or here, about very (90 pct.!) Loyal Long Island, New York.  Or this July 4th-week ‘appreciation’ in the (“liberal”) NY Times Magazine.

It’s not that I’m against independence: Canada is independent, Australia is, New Zealand is, Jamaica is, Belize is, etc etc etc.  At the time it wasn’t a good idea, and we Yanks – or rather, our rulers – could yet learn much about statecraft, international affairs, law and jurisprudence, the Common Good, health care,* etc., from further English/British tutelage.  (Not everything, but alot. Even UK politics has become mostly Classical Liberal today under U.S. influence… and they never had a clue about Ireland!)

But all we can do now is read American Red Tory – AND ACT ON IT!  (Nonviolently.)

Was the American Revolution good for the world?  We were essentially offered “Dominion” status over a century before it was applied anywhere else.  Imagine the faster, better improvements in the British Empire and the world if it had happened that much earlier!

(*–See especially this eerily SiCKO-like “Health Care Olympics” docu-satire video from a 1994 TV Nation, featuring “reportage” and “commentary” from sportscasters Bob Costas and Ahmad Rashad!)

Where did all these “Founding Fathers” come from, anyway?

According to Wikipedia, which is sometimes right(!): 

In the late 17th and early 18th Centuries, many younger* sons of English aristocrats specifically chose to leave England for Virginia in the Colonies. Many of the early Virginians who were plantation owners were such younger sons who had left England fortuneless due to primogeniture laws. These Founding Fathers of the United States of America were nearly universally descended from the landed gentry of England, with many being descended from English Kings of the late 14th and early 15th Centuries, especially through the numerous offspring of Edward III of England.

(*–ie, non-inheriting)

Would I be a total Marxist if I didn’t fail to perceive lasting class-consciousness among most of these Founders… and their (so to speak) ‘heirs’???!  [Although they had royal and noble and knightly ancestors, they were not themselves - they 'fell out of the tree,' so to speak, at least under English law and custom.]

So what’s wrong with that?  I’m a Monarchist, after all, a Classical Conservative?  Only this: of the handful of mistakes King George III’s advisers/administrators (ie, ministers, politicians) made with regard to these Colonies, one of the biggest was in not supplying us more largely with men and women who were “honourable” or “noble.”  Occasional Crown officials of these Colonies had been knighted, sent here, and left when they completed their service.  As to the future Canada, Nova Scotia warranted a whole bunch of Baronets, a kind of hereditary knighthood, and some of them are still in existence.  And at least one Baronetcy was granted in the Province of New York, to a French-and-Indian War hero whose son moved to Canada as a Loyalist after the Revolution, and whose line of Baronets continues to this day.  But that seems to be all!  As I’ve recently said, if we are deprived of the honorable and the noble, we will be ruled by the dishonorable and the ignoble.  Sure, American textbooks of European history are filled with the misbehaviors of such men and women, but think about this: Out of the tens of thousands of knights and nobles in Europe, we only hear about a handful negatively.  Most were probably no more sinful than you or I.  But they could be prevailed upon, like the Monarch her/himself, with extra persuasion not applicable to you or me: They were “honored” and “noble,” so one could urge them, ‘Hey, live up to it!’  (Talk about “role models”!)  They had public duties and position, a family heritage, training and preparation, Christian/religous  social ethics to live by quite publicly.  They were rulers, regulated by a system and somebody definite, the Monarch; *we* have rulers who regulate themselves, which means not at all!  As I also recently said, at least in Orthodox Christianity, the Tsar of Russia all the way into the 20th century was exhorted by the Church to be moral, to do justice, to show mercy, to do the right thing, and despite Western propaganda to the contrary, usually did his best in a difficult job.  (Remember, Russia was the most diverse, largest landmass of its day – from Poland to Alaska!)

OTOH if our rulers here in America are just about a “contractual, commercial republic,” one whose design even pretends to rely on competing selfishness to limit abuse (like that’s ever worked, especially lately!), how can you morally urge anything on them?!  Instead, we hear just enough Horatio Alger-type stories to try to make us emulate them.  No thanks!  We can do better!  Lots of people do better!

“Canadians fought their wars of independence against the U.S.”

Think about it: 1776, 1812….

From Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor as quoted here: “Since Canadians fought their wars of independence against the United States, it is logical that we should feel a strong suspicion of the mercantilist Whiggery which won the American Revolution.”

That’s a different way of looking at it for us below the 49th Parallel!

(NB: The article and website to which the linked article links seems to reflect more the historical, elitist, Ontario Orangeist,* ‘bootstraps’ Red Toryism, which also had less respect for individual liberties than I propose as an American Red Tory.  The thing is, many internet discussions of Red Toryism cover this old-fashioned, elitist perspective, though it is far from dominant in RTism since, say, WW2.  But this is why it took me so long to find a good discussion of it, though brief… and the need to write my own!)

(*–Ironically, one of the RT philosophical stalwarts these days has been an Anglo-Catholic – even arguably Anglo-Orthodox – Ron Dart!)

Assorted Monarchy, etc., reflections

If everybody’s sovereign, nobody’s sovereign, and nobody’s subject, so those who can, will do whatever they wish, to whomever they wish.

For Christians, the Christian God is sovereign (hence the title “Lord”) over all Creation, and human sovereigns serve subject to Him, accountable to Him.

The Monarchy in England/Britain was always among the people, representing the Sovereignty of the people, the Nation.  They weren’t “angels in the form of men,” and they weren’t perfect, but they were part of a system.

In the American Constitution what we have is less a system where different branches, divided branches, and levels of government, check each other’s abuses, than a CABAL – ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine.’  (At least in Britain acts of government need the Sovereign’s assent, somebody who can say NO to the cabal.  If government acts needed “the sovereign’s” assent here, we’d all get to vote on every government measure – which of course would be inefficient.)  But this may be how the “Founding Fathers” and “Framers” intended it, wealthy White planters and traders – CABAL – that they were.  Certainly no President of the Executive Branch has ever been removed from office – have we really finally “found angels in the form of men to govern us”?!!! – and no State has ever stood in the way of Federal abuses.  (Though I’m not against the Federal government blocking State abuses, as happened not infrequently in the second half of the 20th century.)  Deals between the Houses of Congress and the Executive Branch go on all the time, and the politicization of the Supreme Court and the rest of the Federal Bench has become legendary.

“In a republic the people reign, they do not rule.”  Who rules?  Our cabalistas, the influential persons connected with our all-but-sovereign corporations, our ignoble rich, the pseudo-educated “neocons,” the big media barons, and the power-mad, hypocritical leaders of conservative Evangelical and Fundamentalist sects… as well as all who truly follow or emulate any of these.

If government excludes Nobles, then the ignoble will predominate!

“Law” used to be a combination of judicial precedent/”wisdom of the court,” legal and political custom, tradition, faith, morality, learned analysis, justice, solidarity, ‘what should be,’ the needs of society, as well as the interplay among Monarchy, Royal advisers and generals, governmental Administrators, Church Hierarchy (bishops and abbots), Lay Nobility, and elected Representatives of the Commons; etc.  Now it’s whatever a short-sighted, selfish, activist, falsely-influential minority from day to day says it is.  Such false democratism needs to be balanced by other things.

There is no “people of the United States” outside the non-legally-binding Preamble to the Constitution of 1787.  There are only the peoples of the Several States.

Maybe the Monarchy Party should change its name to the Crown-and-People Party!

Restoring the representation of State legislative houses in the U.S. Senate would restore the dignity of the U.S. House of Representatives and of the States, and provide more check on the Executive Branch.  But no statewide campaigning or “non-binding” elections should be allowed, so Senators truly represent the States as States again, as bodies politic, ie, their legislative chambers, and not campaign contributors/bribers.

Then we institute full public campaign financing for the House of Representatives, to remove their beholdenness to contributors/bribers also.

Either House of Congress should be able to Impeach, requiring the other House to try its Impeachments.  The present model is based on the UK Parliament, where the Commons impeaches, and the Lords, who traditionally include a judicial function, try impeachments; but the U.S. Senate has never had a judicial function otherwise.  (Of course now in the UK, where they look fixed to remove the Law Lords from Parliament into a new Supreme Court, this distinction between even the Houses of Parliament would cease to exist, giving even less reason for it in America.)

Responsible Government (ie, “parliamentary”) needs limitations on it to mitigate the occasional phenomenon of virtual “elective dictatorship.”

There are more guns per capita in Canada than in the U.S.  Why do more Americans than Canadians shoot each other, or die of accidental gunshot wounds?

It’s easier to prevail upon the morality, wisdom, etc., of one Monarch, than of 218 (or 290) out of 435 members of the House of Representatives, 51 (or 60, or 67) out of 100 Senators, one President, and five out of nine Supreme Court Justices.  On the other hand, it’s easier to suborn the latter than the former, especially if she is unbribeable and not subject to electoral politics.

The Founders and Framers were two-faced.  When it served their purposes, they treated the King of Great Britain as an absolute despot when even in the late 18th century he was limited by his Council and relations with Parliament; yet they treated many Colonial governors as limited by their Councils, when they were ultimately answerable only to London.  So why didn’t they give the President a Council?  They gave him more power than the Kings of England had since the Reformation!  They didn’t even limit him to two terms!!

Was Communist Albania history’s first “atheistic state”… or was (small-R) republican America?!

The ethnic nationalism that grips Orthodox Churches has to be overcome.  Maybe Victoria Clark has it right after all: ‘Phyletism vs. Hesychasm,’ ie, Tribalism vs. inclusive, pan-Orthodox repentance and humility and prayer and faithfulness and communion (koinonia).  OCs in the West aren’t supposed to be so distinguished by immigrant background, nor Orthodox countries in ‘the East’ by pseudo-religious flag-waving, nor their hierarchies by whining and prostrating to the West.  Of course, these phenomena are common in the West too – in fact they’ve been furthered by the West for two centuries – but that’s not my Church, mine by choice is Orthodoxy.

Presidential Endorsement

will have to wait.

Why do so few of the Democratic candidates have sufficient experience to be president of the executive branch?  Rodham Clinton?: four more years in the Senate (hopefully eight, of course!).  Obama?: eight more years in the Senate.

The only ones I think have sufficient experience are Biden and Dodd, but neither of them really embodies the party or America.  I want to back Kucinich, but he’s so loopy.  Plus, I love Elizabeth and all, but engaged after 6 weeks, and half his age?  Makes me wonder about other decisions he might make in office.

President Gore and President Kerry have ruled out ’08.  I wasn’t real thrilled about Kerry in ’04, but for justice, I’d back him.  Gore has gotten much better since the ’90s.  I think he had to get out from under the Clinton/DLC thumb, have the 2000 election stolen from him, see how life is for the other 99 pct., get out in front on Global Warming, experience “the assault on reason,” etc.  I wanna say he’s done more for the world than he would’ve/could’ve as President… but please, Iraq? “the assault on reason”? the fascism? the Constitution, “just a damned piece of paper”?

Of course, so much shouldn’t depend on one election or one (elective) office.  But that’s what we’re stuck with in this country.

For now….

Canada = The Great Contradiction to the USA

Profound when you think about it.  Right next-door!

(Unfortunately, you have to Select the whole page to read the text, because red-on-black doesn’t work so well.)

Canada = Loyal America

A wee article, a glimpse at the other side of the American Revolution… the side that lives on, to the north of us!

The Constitution of the Tsar

The Russian Empire is usually portrayed, even by Russian monarchists, as authoritarian.  But not according to this anonymous writer:

Western writers do not understand Orthodox monarchy. And because America rebelled against the King of England; Americans in particular have no sympathy for the idea of Monarchy. Indeed, it is almost a sacred tradition {in America} to applaud any nation that “comes to its senses” and overthrows its king! The Tsars of Russia are viewed in this same man-centered rather than God-centered light.

But; in Orthodox Russia there once existed a society composed not of “church and state” (such as existed in medieval Europe) but of “government and priesthood”-a holy commonwealth. The Tsar was never placed outside the Church or “above the law,” but always within the Church and subject to the law of Christ. He was very much the “servant of the Gospel”: he was required to live by it and rule by it in order to be worthy of the blessings of God upon himself, his family, and his nation. Such a righteous Father to his people was the last Tsar, Nicholas II.

Can’t we govern ourselves?

(Small-R) republicans stereotype Monarchists as believing common people ‘can’t govern themselves‘ – or as the rebel politician, slavemaster, and wealthy “planter” Thomas Jefferson put it, that kings are “angels in the form of men to govern us.”

In truth, some monarchists in the world are still elitist snobs.  But have the common people ever governed the United States?  Do we today?  Especially today, when they sometimes let some of us “vote,” and then program the voting machines, or the counting machines, any way they wish… and if that doesn’t work, threaten to cancel the election results and enthrone their own Electors… and when that doesn’t work, call in chips with their partisanly-appointed, falsely-titled Supreme Court “justices.”

I begin to think that there will always be “rulers,” and they will usually not be “we the people.”  So it’s more a matter of reining-in the inevitable abuses of this “ruling class,” ultimately by means of a non-partisan, apolitical, unelected, unbribeable, FREE representative of the people able to tell the rulers NO when necessary.  In truth, something perhaps Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t done enough of – though we may never know, since her meetings with her ministers are confidential.  Some see Her Majesty as the most pliant British Monarch in history, attributing it to her youth at accession, her deference to Churchill, and her femaleness.  (Remember she became Queen in 1952, having been born in 1926. To put it crassly, she’s a traditional old lady!)

In short, “the people’s” inability to govern ourselves has less to do with our shortcomings, more to do with the machinations of the real ruling/political class.

Historically, often the British Crown was appealed to by “the people” against the depredations of the King’s nobles, the people’s landlords and employers.  At least they could be appealed to in the name of Christian morality and charity and solidarity.  America’s  hereditary nobility (Do you doubt me? Look at their family trees!) is unregulated, and they laugh and say, “What does morality have to do with economics?”

“Class warfare”?  You bet.  But I didn’t start it; I just want to end it, or lessen its harm to “us the people.”

Democrat Surrender Monkeys indeed!

I guess the Congressional Democrats really are what the theocons (who hate America) like to call most of America, “surrender monkeys,” for caving-in to another Bush veto threat on a timetable for abandoning his Iraq/Oil/civil war/Empire quagmire.  Minimum wage?  I thought we did that months ago!

Until the Monarchy Party gets off the ground, there’s always these guys….  I was once more sympathetic to the Green movement than I am today obviously, but if we could just replace the Democratic affiliation of voters, votes, and (most, apparently) Democratic members of Congress, with Green(s), 100 pct., all at once, it’d be an improvement.  I actually voted for my Green U.S. Rep. candidate in November, but only because I’m in a very safe Dem district, and wanted to make a statement.  Call me a Green Monarchist Realist Anti-abortionist maybe!

George III rejected Imperial title

Yes, I can joke about Monarchy.

To wit, the very funny ‘Dennis the Marxist/Anarcho-Syndicalist Peasant‘ from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

(NB: The exclamation point isn’t technically part of the movie title, as in Freud!, Joey Trebbiani’s musical from Friends.  It’s just that it doesn’t always work out so well to try to run italic text into non-italic punctuation: Grail!  See?  Just in case it’s on someone’s Finals this week.)

New Pope reverses old Pope’s stance on Indians

Benedict XVI, visiting Brazil, said the Americas’ Indigenous Peoples had been “silently longing for Christianity” – “anonymous Catholics” no doubt! – when Catholic Spain brought it with the sword.  I guess he was already working in the Vatican when ‘Indian’ became ‘cool’ in his native Germany in the last ten-fifteen years!

(By contrast, Alaska Natives embraced Orthodoxy without force when it was offered them freely, first by Russian *lay* fur hunters, later by Russian priest- and monk-missionaries.  Furthermore, they retained it even after Russian [lay] fur-hunting companies basically enslaved their men and exploited many of their girls and women – retained it, in part, because the clergy, Church, and Tsar defended them and helped them.  Retained it so faithfully that, after American companies, Protestant-dominated, arrived to make them wage-slaves, the Yankees complained because the Natives needed off for so many Orthodox feast-days!  Retained it so faithfully that one little-educated Kodiak Islander named Peter laid down his life when the same Spanish in California – probably at the San Gabriel Mission near L.A. – tortured him to death for refusing to convert to Catholicism: died showing them his Orthodox baptismal cross.  He is now venerated as New-Martyr St. Peter the Aleut.  To this day a majority of Alaska Natives remain Orthodox Christians… it has been their “traditional religion” for up to 300 or so years – completely voluntarily.  And unlike most of the history of the Latin faith among Natives of the Americas, Alaskan Orthodox have made the faith their own, from early years adding their own hymns and chant-styles to the Orthodox Liturgy and traditional practice, when for years Catholic Indians were required to silently watch the Mass performed far in front of them, or sing Gregorian chant.)

GW New Report ROUNDUP

I can’t read the thing myself today – I’ve been up all night – but according to Reuters, GW can be kept to less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 50 years by means of current technology and no more than an average annual investment/effect of one-eighth of one percent of global GDP, maybe even a slight increase in GDP if we really get it right.  It includes what will be a controversial nod to nuclear power – inevitable IMHO, the lesser evil, climatologically, ‘big picture.’

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 85 pct., though?  I don’t think so.  This is the next chapter in that sexennial* series of reports from thousands of United Nations scientists, always tweaked by government reps, and final editing went overtime, so I have to think the governments have spun it excessively optimistically.  Of course I would love to be wrong, but with China and India powering *up,* and First World “conservatives” resistant, and oil and natural gas sooner to be replaced by old coal and worse things than by new nukes….  Maybe the actual report can convince me.  I’ll try to catch it in the next couple days.

The underreported angle is that to make that one-eighth-percent GDP investment will require heavier regional commitments from the First World: we currently have the money to spare (comparatively), we have the concentration of economic production as well as of the technology that can help make this happen, and justly, we’re the source of most of the effect we’re seeing right now (since we industrialized first, back to 1750).  Logically, OTOH, ISTM any gains will mostly be realized in China and India, where they’re not completely powered-up yet, but have alot of tech know-how even if the First World remains reluctant to share.  So we’ll have to take the hit, they’ll get the short-term economic benefit – but in the end the whole world reaps the reward.

Can short terms in office, dependent on wealthy and business campaign contributions and Republican-dominated electronic voting companies, with perhaps our wisest leaders – our hereditary constitutional monarchs – having to just take “advice,” produce or sustain the kind of long view and altruism needed to make this happen?  Again, I remain seriously doubtful.  The Bushies have already panned this report claiming it costs too much… the same (fake) reason they kicked Kyoto in the groin, even though we’re the biggest offender (for now).  And the Democrats can’t even impeach the Republicans or get us out of Iraq.

What if we just totally replaced the Dems with the Greens?  Not bit-by-bit to undermine ourselves (ala Nader 2000), but all at once!  I notice Canada’s Green Party is raising its profile (though they really still need some form of Proportional Representation)….

If it goes as I expect, maybe we can cut some deal with China and India: we share the tech with them, they do what they can to help us with the necessary “recession.”  I don’t know exactly: continued offshoring sure won’t help us, but cutting the cost to us of what’s already there would, even some givebacks.  And what if we linked the Asian and North American electric grids across the Bering Strait and shared output?  (IS there an Asian one yet? or even in Alaska? Both might need serious build-outthat’ll be good for the economy… if we can produce the juice that is… which I also have doubts about.)  And there’s always cutting the cost to us of the products they already sell us, and service for same….

(*–They might get more WWW hits if they used the word sexennial frequently!!!)

Jamestown 400

God Save The Queen!

But some object to Native American objections to unnuanced partying.  But clearly, Jamestown and British-American colonization of Turtle Island have been at best a mixed blessing for the 100 million or more human beings of civilized cultures who were here for thousands of years before they invaded, stole the land, stole the resources, trashed them, introduced violent war, incurable diseases, chattel slavery of Africans, post-Revolutionary elite rule, Western Christian heresies galore, etc etc etc.

(Chesapeake Bay, explored by John Smith [What a name!] 400 years ago, used to be full almost to its surface with plant and animal life.  Now it is almost dead.  Indians didn’t do that!)

Some even object to the fact that to stay alive, East Coast Native Americans who survived and weren’t ‘internally deported’ had to intermarry, sacrifice their cultures and languages, look White or Black, convert to Christianity, adopt White names, etc etc etc.

Some object to the word holocaust, or the word genocide.  Six million Jews, half the world’s Jews, were killed by Hitler.  Terrible indeed.  And 95 pct. of the world’s Native Americans have been wiped out, and we’re just supposed to keep volunteering for civil war cop duty in Iraq and shut up and be good members of the Underclass.

My primary lifelong ethnic identifications have been Irish and Native American, two of history’s most oppressed peoples, both by British peoples.  (Including on bad advice to British/American Monarchs by corrupt nobility and their lackeys in government.  The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which in part sparked the U.S. rebellion – both because it “reserved” the continent west of the Appalachians for its sovereign nations, and allowed Catholicism and French law to persist in Quebec – is a better example of how Monarchs would have treated Native Americans given more leeway by their “ministers.”  And in fact the Royal grant of U.S. independence was bad law, and so based on their own moral system, no law at all.)

But apparently only slavery, terrible indeed, and a major source of America’s modern “prosperity” [the other being Native land and resources - most of it in the Lower 48, Hawai'i, and arguably even Alaska, still legally ours], is subject to demands that Her Majesty “apologize” (on behalf of her predecessors’ governments) – not Native genocide.

I will not cite or link to the racists and uber-(pseudo-)patriots who object to “the whole truth” at this time of Jamestown 400, in favor of White supremacy, or conservative Protestant supremacy, or American (settler) supremacy.  They are people who feel threatened if anything other than their ideology or propaganda is present.

As well they should.

(I do not advocate the violent overthrow of the government.)

Monarchism

in American Charles Coulombe (though he’s too Blue for this Red Tory!), a couple brief, interesting articles:

  • The Monarchy in Australia,” written before the republic referendum, mostly regarding the ‘orthodox’ forms of religions, and monarchy.  I note especially (and with apology to Pacific Islanders), “For in the end, the greatest argument in the world on the issue at hand remains this: these United States are the most powerful nation in the world, and they are a republic. It matters not that, save ourselves {sic!} and Switzerland, the world’s republics sway giddily between chaos and despotism. In the face of all reason and logic, and even though it is generally understood rather than stated, here is the heart of the matter. Really though, it is a sort of Cargo Cult approach to politics. Instead of building an imitation airstrip so that phantom cargo planes bearing goods will come, the Keatingites would build an imitation republic, sure that ‘nationhood’ whatever that may be, will follow.”
  • and “In Defense of Monarchy,” a general USA-eye-view survey of the question.  Although given the abuses of some if not many U.S. Presidents – especially the (alleged) incumbent – I’m not so sure I want even a good king or queen regnant to have as much power as they!  What’s painfully clear from the last six years is that the mere “power of the purse,” even the power of impeachment and removal, are not sufficient checks on corruption and authoritarianism.  But he goes over some familiar territory – including all the great ironies – in unique ways!  I note especially, One of the major roles of the monarch is as ultimate guardian of the law….  It has rarely happened in this century, but on several occasions, where prime ministers have tried illegally to hold on to power, or to void their respective constitutions, such as in 1930s Italy, the sovereign or his representative has acted decisively to maintain the rule of law. In other cases, where the political classes have been unanimous in their support of or opposition to a measure against the interests of the people, such as in 1990s Thailand, the sovereign has raised his voice, when no one else could speak….  If anything, if the institution is ever to regain its effectiveness, kings must begin to act in regard to politicians not as if they were the chosen servants of the people of legend and tale, but what they are: the governing caste, whose interests frequently run counter to those of the folk from whose votes they claim to derive legitimacy.”  I also didn’t know Washington kept post-Communist, Orthodox Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia from restoring their monarchies.  Shameful internal interference in societies Americans don’t understand!

We could’ve been Canada!

King George III and Parliament sent the Carlisle Commission to the rebellious colonies less than two years after July 4, 1776, proposing

  • to agree to nearly all rebel demands and complaints,
  • to recognize their Continental Congress as a legal and permanent body of the [Protestant] “British states throughout North America” (no longer colonies or provinces, but “states,” suggesting each one’s “British” sovereignty!… in retrospect, a ‘Dominion’ more like early Australia with its States, than earlier Canada with its Provinces),
  • representation of the “states” by “agents” in Parliament, and of “Great Britain” in State “assemblies,” for their mutual interests,
  • “a perfect freedom of legislation and internal government” for each State,
  • and military alliance,

“so that the British states throughout North America, acting with us in peace and war, under our common sovereign, may have the irrevocable enjoyment of every privilege that is short of a total separation of interest, or consistent with that union of force, on which the safety of our common religion and liberty depends.”

But since the rebels had just concluded an alliance with France – “absolutist,” monarchist, Catholic France, the Ancien Regime – with whom they had been talking since before July 4, 1776, and for whose benefit they had even passed their joint Unilateral Declaration of Independence, their Congress insisted on nothing short of complete independence… and five more years of bloody, destructive war, political and ideological ‘cleansing’ – civil war, really – etc etc.

Interesting reading.  Tragic.

(Glad to note that WordPress has found a way to include bullets in bullet lists now!  :)  )

WE HAVE A QUEEN? Some American monarchists, I hea…

WE HAVE A QUEEN?

[Updated 10 April 2009, filling-out list of Rebel allies, adding Categories, Tags, and Summary.]

Some American monarchists, I hear, question the legality of the American Revolution. Other American monarchists, I hear, reply that U.S. independence (including the abolition of monarchy) became legal when the lawful Sovereign, King George III (or his representative on His Majesty’s behalf) signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783. [To this day Brits usually date American independence from that year, not 1776, the year it was jointly "declared" by 13 of the colonies.]

Let’s try a thought experiment.

Can the Monarchy be abolished? It’s a principle of Western moral and legal philosophy that “an unjust law is no law at all.” This is so old it’s attributed to Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Roman North Africa, 5th century A.D., considered a saint by the Western Church as well as some Orthodox.  Theologian Thomas Aquinas, also a Western saint, fleshed it out.  Now, republics throughout history are almost always, at best, oligarchic (in a bad way), and frequently, dictatorial…protestations of “democracy” notwithstanding. From ancient Athens to America to the USSR to Idi Amin’s Uganda, “republics” are usually lorded over by one or a few, who simply lack the noble or royal titles of monarchies – and their (more usual than not) respect for law, tradition, and ethics. Therefore, any law creating a republic is arguably unjust, and in the Western legal tradition, “no law at all.” Keep in mind that an important job of the British Monarch was to protect the people – his subjects – from the Barons’ – their local lords’, including landlords’ – exploitation. Yes, creating our oligarchic republic was a step backwards in terms of political development! Remember how much the “Founding Fathers” harked back to republican Athens and Rome – with good reason it turns out! Those of us outside the American oligarchy have been living with the results ever since. In fact, since 1980, they’ve been turning this country – and the whole planet – into even more of a plantation than ever before – remember most of the colonies were founded as plantations. But they forgot one thing: English (and Welsh and Irish) people take the Common Law anywhere they colonize. Now granted, there were a few problems with Britain’s colonial policies, and certain inconsistencies. What probably should’ve happened was the formation of the colonies, with their cooperation (as opposed to the imposed 1686-89 “Dominion of New England”), into an autonomous Dominion as would happen with Canada less than a century later (1867). Canada started negotiating on trade with the United States almost from Day One, was a distinct signatory of the Treaty of Versailles ending World War One, and became completely free of British government advice in the 1920s and ’30s; in 1982 Canada’s right to amend its own constitution without even the pro forma approval of the Parliament of Westminster was recognized; and Canada retains Her Majesty as Queen of Canada voluntarily, separate and distinct from her roles as Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and eleven other independent countries.

Of course, The Crown assented to the American independence and republic under the duress of eight years of armed rebellion (even of a tiny minority of colonists), aided by French, Spanish, some Native American, some German, and Polish forces. Another Western legal principle is that consent given under duress is not binding either. But both The Crown and most Americans, being loyal to it, nevertheless acquiesced to the de facto conquest of this country by its wealthiest landowners and their supporters, who had previously overthrown their provincial governments, harassed or killed or exiled their political opposition, conspired under the color of a joint “government,” and made war on their lawful Sovereign. And make no mistake, the Revolution was not launched with the consent of the American people – this was conquest! My research leads me to conclude that when John Adams said a third of Americans supported the Revolution, a third were Loyalists, and a third were “neutral,” he was being generous to his own side; more like twenty percent supported the Revolution, and the rest by any definition would be considered Loyalists, active or passive.

If the Revolutionaries were going to set up their own monarchy – and some briefly considered it – the King’s assent might have been warranted, provided his subjects’ wellbeing was to be taken care of at least as well as under his rule, if not better. But despite what you here from (small-R) republicans about flirtations with Continental princes or George Washington (formerly de Washington), it was never very serious. Having freed themselves from one Monarch, these oligarchs weren’t about to subject themselves to another!

I won’t begrudge certain African and Asian countries essentially conquered by Britain – or the Irish Republic for that matter – their abolitions of the Monarchy. It might not have been a good idea for them, either, to become republics, but generally they were more dominated than colonized by Britain. But the 13 American colonies (plus Vermont) were essentially new England (sic), English and Irish and Scottish subjects of His Majesty transplanted here, or others who willingly moved into His Majesty’s Realms (or African slaves who, at that point in British legal and social development, had no choice). Even the Indians were mostly pushed out and/or killed.

The fact that both The Crown and American republican propaganda have ignored the above facts for 223 years doesn’t make them go away. Any freedom and rights you have weren’t given to you by the “Founding Fathers,” but are recognized at all by dint of the English legal tradition, whose fount is The Crown. “If you heart your freedom, thank The Queen!”

If you want it back (nonviolently)….

(Quite a thought experiment, eh?)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.