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PostCalifornia Assemblywoman Calls for Renaming of Robert E. Lee Elementary (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 06/27/15 8:07 am)
In any conflict, going after the vanquished and reneging on the terms of surrender or peace treaty would set a terrible precedent. No wonder the Japanese fought to the bitter end in WWII.
In California, already there are those who seek to rename an elementary school named after Robert E. Lee.
See: "Assemblywoman calls for school to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary"
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D, San Diego) said the community "deserves a school named after someone we can all admire. Robert E. Lee is not that person."
In a democracy, the majority rules. This recent controversy about the Confederate flag in South Carolina, names associated with the Civil War and the recent SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage are indisputable proofs that America is no longer a democracy.
Politicians are so eager to perform before the camera for the media industry and summarily execute the Confederate flag. While they were the judge, jury and executioner of the Stars and Bars, why not include Dylann Roof in the summary execution?
Now you know how the Philippines and its people was abandoned in 1946 when the US Senate ratified the 1946 Treaty of Manila granting independence to Manuel A. Roxas and the oligarchs, without consulting the Filipino people if we wanted to secede from the US.
In the same way the Filipino people were not consulted in 1991 if we wanted to remove the US military bases from our ancestral islands.
There's a bit of problem identifying the Confederate flag with racism, because the last Confederate general to surrender was a Native American Stand Watie, a Cherokee born in what is now Calhoun, Georgia. The US Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and forced Watie and his family to move to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
Fiercely loyal to the South, Stand Watie was among the first Cherokee to volunteer and fight for the Confederacy when the Civil War broke out. He rose to the rank of brigadier general.
After the war, he led a group of Cherokee seeking recognition of tribal subdivisions. The federal government would only entertain petitions of Native American leaders who sided with the Union.
It's such an uncanny coincidence that the sesquicentennial anniversary of Stand Watie's June 23, 1865 surrender, came at time when the Confederate flag he fought for is being identified with racism and hate because some murdering psychopath happened to display the flag. Honestly it is an insult to identify any flag with that sick coward.
I am reminded of my own great grandfather Nicolas Aldana who along with three others, was hanged for murder of a newspaper boy. Motive was said to be robbery. He and his accomplices were not given a defense counsel. What would a husband of a landowner of Las Pinas, then under American military control, take from a newspaper boy? Why would it take four suspected rebels to rob and kill a newspaper boy?
Please remember Nicolas Aldana's grandsons, notably Cenon Aldana-Cosme and Bernardo Q. Aldana, served the Philippine territorial government and later the Philippine Commonwealth. Cenon A. Cosme died as an American agent during WWII but this did not stop the oligarch-traitors from taking our land.
Today, they are still trying to collect taxes to pay those who took our land and currently squatting on our ancestral land. I've had enough of this nonsense.
It's about control and projection of power to show how the will of the majority could be bent to that of a probably very small minority through the media. What's next?
How about religious freedom? Jesus Christ, Buddha, Muhammad, Zoroaster and even Joseph Smith never uttered a word against slavery. They all tolerated and never opposed slavery during their respective times on earth. America will formally become atheist.
JE comments: It's tempting to decry the "failure of democracy" when things happen we don't agree with. My beef has to do with the Citizens United decision of a few years back.
I am not sure if Bienvenido Macario has told his great-grandfather's story on WAIS, but if not, we'd love to hear it.
Confederate Flag and Robert E. Lee; from Ric Mauricio
(John Eipper, USA
06/28/15 7:54 AM)
Ric Mauricio sends this response to Bienvenido Macario (27 June):
Regarding the recent controversy over the Confederate flag in South Carolina, since this is the flag of the Confederate States and the Confederate States widely practiced slavery in its economy, it is therefore a symbol of slavery aka racism against Africans, not Native Americans (although, it is technically is a symbol of the fight for states' rights; a complex debate to be sure). It was mentioned that Robert E. Lee was a religious man. Well, one can make an argument that slavery is a religious issue. Based on Genesis, it would seem that God condoned or even established slavery when the curse of Ham was uttered (to this day, I have no idea why, but perhaps there are those in the WAIS world who can enlighten us on this subject).
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
I would not be quick to judge General Lee as a traitor; I am more apt to place him between a rock and a hard place when he had to make a decision as to whether to lead the Confederate Army or uphold the unity of the United States. As to whether to remove his name from schools, are we not practicing purity for purity's sake? Of course the General lost the war. Of course, the General made the wrong decision. But like the discussion on whether Andrew Jackson should be on our currency, are we so pure ourselves that we can make these judgments? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Granted, there are some clear-cut decisions that I will make from my personal perspective. For example, when I went to the People's Republic of China, my wife asked me if I planned to buy anything with Mao's visage on it. Ha, I said, knowing how he murdered so many of his own people, the only thing with his face on it that I would bring home would be some renminbi. When I visited Mao's mausoleum, it was not out of homage, and I did not buy a yellow flower to place in his mausoleum. My friend in Beijing intimated to me that it is indeed a wax figure, not the real body of Mao. Ah, like Madame Taussand's.
Bienvenido stated that the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is indisputable proofs that America is no longer a democracy. But how can expanding equal rights to all people be an example of the "failure of democracy"? Isn't equal rights what democracy all about?
Regarding oligarchs, I have news for Bienvenido. The world is ruled by oligarchs. Whether it be in the Philippines, the US, Europe, or Asia, the oligarchs rule. The golden rule is "he who has the gold, makes the rules." From the beginning of time and in every nation, from Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Caesar, the Emperor Constantine, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, to today's Central Banks and Goldman Sachs and the Chinese Communist Party, they are all oligarchs. As the Apostle Paul taught, "do not rebel against these rulers, for they are chosen by God." (By the way, I do not agree with the Apostle Paul on this.) But the truth is, the game of life is being controlled by the oligarchs, and you can rant and rave all you want, they are still going to be in control. So what does one do? You learn to play the game. And you play it quietly ... stealthily.
Personally, I love playing the tax game. For myself, my family, and my clients. As an Enrolled Agent, I love figuring out how to use the tax code to our advantage. This is my way of dealing with the oligarchs. But one must know where to draw the line ... you cross a line, you may end up being accused of robbing a newspaper boy. Stealthily, my friend. Shhhh.
JE comments: I often share the story of Noah and sons with my students. It's one of the most bizarre tales of the Old Testament, which is chock-full of the bizarre. Yes, the story was cited as a Biblical justification of slavery. But what blame did Ham have in all this? He was merely a witness to his dad's drunkenness.
How about some personal responsibility, Noah?
Noah and Sons; Curse of Canaan
(John Heelan, UK
06/29/15 7:02 AM)
Ric Mauricio commented on 28 June: "Based on Genesis, it would seem that God condoned or even established slavery when the curse of Ham was uttered."
Some modern scholars view the curse of Canaan in Genesis 9:20-27 as an early Hebrew rationalisation for Israel's conquest of Canaan. (And today the West Bank and Gaza?)
It seems that not a lot has changed in 3000 years in the use of sacred texts to justify contemporary political and military objectives.
JE comments: I'm scheduled to dine tonight with Genesis scholar and WAISer extraordinaire Edward Jajko. I'll be sure to ask him about the Curse of Canaan.
Curse of Canaan
(Edward Jajko, USA
07/04/15 8:49 AM)
Here, as best as I can remember and in summary, is my discussion with John E on Monday (June 29th) about the Curse of Canaan.
I begin with a lengthy Biblical quotation, of the entirety of Genesis 10, the Table of Nations founded by the sons of Noah as they repopulated the earth after the great flood:
Genesis 10 King James Version (KJV):
10 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim), and Caphtorim.
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,
16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.
25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.
26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,
28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
EJ: Someday, if I have nothing better to do, I would love to debate these lines with someone who believes in the inerrantcy of Scripture. The line I would zero in on is 10:6, which names the sons of Cham (Ham): Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan.
Cush is Meroe, Ethiopia, or Arabia.
Mizraim is Egypt.
Phut is Libya or North Africa or possibly the Punt of the ancient Egyptians: Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia.
And Canaan is, well, Canaan.
The problem is that this assignment of sonship does not work linguistically, and linguistics is everything.
Making Canaan a son of Ham strengthens, in my opinion, the arguments of those who view at least this portion of Genesis 10, if not the whole chapter, as a political argument to justify the Israelite conquest or takeover of Canaanite lands.
The problem is that the Table of Nations parcels out the peoples of the world known to the ancient Israelites among the three sons of Noah, as separate and distinct peoples. Shem is father to the peoples we know as Semitic, all of whom spoke or speak related languages.
While languages of Cush, Mizraim, and Phut--variously Egyptian and Berber--are related, their relationship to Canaanite is distant, while in fact, Hebrew is a dialect of Canaanite.
The Israelites and the Canaanites were the same people, as were also the Samaritans. They were separated by the gods they worshipped, various religious traditions, and some vocabulary.
The ancient Israelites knew that they shared a bond with the Canaanites and that their languages were similar. As I mentioned to JE, this is shown in the shibboleth story in Judges 12, in which the Israelite captain says that he and his men cannot tell the difference between their own side and the enemy. The response is given, show them this and ask them to say what it is. Those who called the stalk of wheat a "Shibboleth," the Hebrew pronunciation, lived. Those who instinctively said "Sibboleth," died. Pity the poor guy who lisped or had a speech defect. But this was a recognition that the languages were, for all intents and purposes, the same.
The Table of Nations fails again if by Cush and/or Phut is meant Ethiopia or Arabia. Ethiopic and its offshoots Amharic, etc., are among the Southwest Semitic languages, as are also classical and present-day Arabic and the dead language of ancient times, Ancient South Arabic.
Linguistics is everything. It is inescapable, even for Divine Writ.
Now there is one possibility that I raised with JE that could provide a different explanation for the presence of Canaan as a son of Ham in the Table of Nations (although we did not discuss the nations mentioned just above).
Assume that the Table of Nations was part of a late compilation or edition of the Biblical text of Genesis, after the spread of Phoenician/Punic colonization of North Africa and after Punic traders were sailing into the Levantine littoral with their bounty and trade goods. Where did these sailors and their ships come from, the locals may have asked. The response would have been the ancient, pre-Roman equivalent of "Africa." Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. These Punic Canaanites came from the lands of Ham, hence were clearly sons of Ham. Despite their linguistic and other identity with the Israelites.
This is just conjecture, of course.
JE comments: And this is how I remember our dinner conversation. Thank you for writing it up, Ed! Now all WAISdom can see why I feel smarter after every Jajko encounter.
- Curse of Canaan (Edward Jajko, USA 07/04/15 8:49 AM)
- Noah and Sons; Curse of Canaan (John Heelan, UK 06/29/15 7:02 AM)