S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Teaching us about borders

We are going into the 2007 holiday season this week. Thanksgiving is not a holiday that necessarily cuts across borders, yet our blog friends will still wish us a Happy Thanksgiving.
Today I was struck by how little wisdom and understanding we Americans have about borders. The illegal immigration question threatens to throw the country back to terrible "Us and Them" times again. No one can figure out what the ultimate borders should look like in Iraq. We have absolutely no clue.
One thing we do know is that the earth is smaller and smaller. Devastating storms know no borders: when such a bad one happens the international community is learning to mobilize in increasingly effective ways. It is often our military that has the capacity to offer effective help in a hurry.
Bangladesh -- a terrible storm: At least 2300 people have died in a low-lying country about which we know very little. MyWay News published a story about the huge relief effort that will be needed as a result of this very deadly cyclone. To quote:
The death toll from Bangladesh's most devastating storm in a decade climbed to at least 2,300 on Sunday and relief officials warned the figure could jump sharply as rescuers reach more isolated areas.
Teams from international aid organizations worked with army troops in a massive rescue effort that drew help from around the world. Rescue workers cleared roads of fallen trees and twisted roofs to reach remote villages, but tents, rice, water and other relief items were slow to arrive. Hungry survivors, thousands of whom were left homeless, scrambled for food.
Ireland -- a case of borders broken down. The problem of the war in Northern Ireland seemed insoluble for decades. But in the 1990's the psychological borders began to soften between Catholics and Protestants. Next month the living proof of how much they have softened will appear at the White House. President Bush will welcome formerly warring Irish leaders to the White House on December 7. To quote from this amazing story in MyWay News:
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, who put aside years of bitterness and Northern Ireland bloodshed to form a historic power-sharing administration, will be welcomed to the White House on Dec. 7 by President Bush.
Paisley leads the Democratic Unionist Party, which represents the British Protestant majority in Northern Ireland, while McGuinness is deputy leader of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army-linked party that represents most of the province's Irish Catholics. After being at odds for years, they have been running Northern Ireland's cabinet together since May, with Paisley as first minister and McGuinness as his administration's deputy leader.
The visit will be their first to the United States together since taking office.
Dr. Jane Goodall -- a world citizen: China Daily announced that the "Mother of Chimpanzees," Jane Goodall will be spending a week in China. While retailers scramble to find non Chinese children's toys to sell during the Christmas shopping season, Dr. Goodall will be inside Chinese borders converting kids to practice environmental and chimpanzee support. To quote from the story:
Members of Roots and Shoots groups from different parts of China demonstrated their achievements to Dr Goodall at Beijing City International School.
During her week-long visit, Dr Goodall will give lectures to Chinese students and raise money for her China-based non-profit programs and activities, in particular for the Roots & Shoots environmental protection program.
If we were to just stand and observe the world on a regular basis we might find ways to better integrate ourselves into it. We still have a way to go because in recent years we have forgotten in many ways that we are part of a larger world order. Through learning from others' examples to be far less conscious of artificial borders, we can become better citizens of the world.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Making Good Mondays is about my scattered blogging activities.
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The Future Was Yesterday said...

Here I am again. Mr. Sour Milk.:)

"because in recent years we have forgotten in many ways that we are part of a larger world order. "
I have to respectfully disagree. We are only part of a new world order to the degree of financial rape of other countries and their peoples, no different than what China or anybody else does. That is not a new world order; that is a crime committed outside our borders.

Borders represent so much more than a physical line in the sand. Borders are also a state of mind; a statement of who we are.

"When you cross this line, you agree to live and act like Americans, and if you take anything from America's coffers, you agree by crossing this line, to contribute back to her coffers."

Other countries demand we march to their drummer, protect their nationality, and their assets. Only America passes out money like a drunk sailor; like it grows in the front lawn, without a like contribution back. Money earned by an illegal Mexican, flowing back to Mexico not only takes away fuel needed to keep our economic engine running, it also drains money from our very system of Government that makes this country such a sought after place to live, in the first place. We are assisting business in the rape of ourselves, by allowing them to hire illegals.

We don't need fences. We need IRS agents to assign a temporary tax number to every person crossing that border, so that the first cent they earn is taxed, like the rest of us.

We pay a horrid amount of taxes, yet we say illegals who pay no taxes, but drains our economy, needs better treatment?

WE need better treatment, then perhaps we can look at their problems. We after all, did build this country with our taxes.

Carol Gee said...

Future, I am never put off by your heartfelt comments. I may procrastinate with a reply as I think about what you have said, but it stretches my thinking in a good way.
Some thoughts: When I use the collective term "we" I am always hearkening back to better times. You might call it magical thinking. When I understate things, it is the kind of built-in diplomatic way I characterize issues. You probably state the problems more accurately. And I understand and like it that you occasionally exaggerate for emphasis. I tend to overcompensate in the other direction.
The other thing about me is that I don't have a very strong sense of territory. Maybe it is a gender thing, coming out the wide open spaces of my Wyoming upbringing.
I liked, specifically, what you said about borders: "Borders represent so much more than a physical line in the sand. Borders are also a state of mind; a statement of who we are."
I also appreciated, "Only America passes out money like a drunk sailor; like it grows in the front lawn, without a like contribution back."
Thanks for your comments, anytime!