Some people prefer to leave the past alone for different reasons. Some prefer to concentrate on problems and issues of the present and those that we shall face in the future; and such people don’t see how the past is relevant to current issues. But some prefer to ignore the past because they prefer to cover up the past insofar as events of the past do not present humans and human society in a good light. But generally those who prefer to ignore past history are those for who do not apply the lessons of history; and history surely has lessons to teach us.
All this nonsense about Obama’s citizenship set me thinking other things about US citizenship, the different ways in which people come to be citizens of this great country, and other facts about our country’s handling of issues regarding citizenship and naturalization, and the extent to which racial and ethnic discrimination has affected the process. .
My point relates to the morality and legality of our military ‘evolution.’ The moral and legal problems that arose with use of technology as a deadly weapon were recognized internationally around the time of World War I when gas warfare was outlawed. Strangely enough the use of deadly machine guns and early tank attacks were considered fair play in the game of war. Even more strangely, as we progressed to the war technology of World War II, the massive bombing of civilian centers (cities) was considered a morally acceptable way of doing war.
What gives in Arizona? First they reject the celebration of Martin Luther King Day; then the Arizona legislators submit a tough law targeting all who appear to be illegal immigrants; and now Governor Jan Brewer has signed a bill prohibiting the Tucson school district from offering certain types of ethnic studies in the high schools.
Much of Robert Wright’s thesis in his latest book, The Evolution of God, invites comparison to a famous case of stretching to make a weak case seem credible. This is the famous “Rose Mary Woods Stretch.”
But the problem of mass migration of people, with or without proper documentation, is an historical problem and a worldwide problem. Surely it is not one special to the United States. Consider the immigration problems that Western European countries also face. As long as certain regions are poverty-stricken and offer few prospects for a decent standard of life and other regions offer better opportunities for desperate people, there will be migrations of peoples.
I recall that during his first term, GW Bush reportedly said that God had called him to the presidency. He said this in a conversation with one of his favorite tele-evangelists, maybe Billy Graham. My reaction was NO WAY, BUSH! God had nothing to do with it.