Walls–Tangible and Legal

The current administration is making noise about reforming the immigration laws for our nation.   The old bug-a-boo of “comprehensive” reform is being bandied about again.  Of course that simply means all0wing law breakers a way to gain undeserved citizenship and indeed to award illegal behavoir.  I wonder how all those seeking entry and citizenship into our country who have followed all the rules will feel when they  see others who did not follow the rules elbow their way to the front of the line.

From the earliest recorded times all cities had walls.  You have all heard of the walls of Jericho if no others.   Virtiually every town of any size would have a wall around it.  This wall was for security of those residents inside and to protect them from dangers coming from afar.  The walls all had gates.  Those gates had guards.  They were there to regulate entry to the city.  Only those who complied with the requirements of the city were allowed entry.  Rome had extensive walls around it.  Likewise all the ancient cities of Europe.  Earliest London had a wall around the city from Roman times to centuries later.  They served a good purpose.    Only those who were believed to  comply with the laws and customs of the city were allowed to enter.  Regulating those wishing to gain access to an independent city-state was important for their survival and growth.   A linchpin of sovereignty for any nation is controlling its borders and preventing those it does not want to have access from entry.  Indeed when there are no borders that borderless territory throughout history has generally been considered hinterlands or barbaric areas.  Much like northwest Pakistan today.

Nations had borders that were “walls” by using the major geographic features of the area.  Rivers and moutains are the most obvious examples of this.  Rome used these formations and rivers to mark boundaries all the time.  European nations used the major rivers of that region to mark the boundaries between countries and do to this day.    Sometimes barriers were built such as the Great Wall of China.  That was a vast undertaking and designed to protect and define its borders and control the flow of peopole.  Using barriers to control the flow of people is as old as mankind and the current use of them is nothing new.  We are using a “wheel” that has already been invented eons ago. 

Nations have also used the law to regulate entry to their domains and for citizenship.  Rome controlled vast reaches of the known world.  Roman law applied except as Rome allowed local law to be enforced to maintain the peace.  A good  example of that is Israel.   All the ancient Israelis were subject to Roman law and the Judaic laws at the same time but not all were permitted to be citizens of Rome.  That was a prized status and Rome had restrictions on who could become a citizen.  The most famous of these was probably Paul.  He was a Jew but he also attained Roman citizenship.  You recall after his trial in Israel he pled his right as a citizen to appeal to Rome.  That is why he was shipped to Rome. 

It is right and proper that the US should have laws and walls to protect the American identity and provide security to its citizens.  Everyone today should be acutely aware of that need after 9/11.  To allow those who have violated our laws to get a preferred place in the line for citizenship is to erode respect and obedience to our laws generally.  Once that respect diminishes too far we face a perilous future.  It is our belief in laws and respect for their even handed enforcement that sets us apart from so much of the world.  Do you believe that Mexico has the same heritage and respect for the rule of law as we do here?  They certainly have no regard for our laws and I doubt they have mujch respect  for their own laws south of the border.  If they break our laws for entry what makes anyone think they will respect or obey our other laws.  

Just this weekend I heard a pundit on TV discussing the economic crisis and the fact of Government, Inc. removing presidents of companies and taking over banks without regard to the law or the Fifth Amendment, state that he didn’t care if such action was Constitutional or not because we are in an emergency!   At least he was straightforward about it.   I say that the wall of the law is our best and last refuge in turbulent times and also to protect  the fundamentals that are the basis of our democracy here.  When that respect is gone then truly what do we have to depend on?    We need walls now as much as ever.  We should finish the walls on our southern border and expand them.  We must enforce the existing laws of the land including those to arrest and expel illegal aliens.  If we don’t then who or what is in charge of deciding the other major issues of our time?   Are we to become a nation based upon the whims of the moment–the rule of the mob of the moment?   Who decides which laws will be enforced?  Don’t ignore our laws.  If there is ample support then repeal laws but maintain a respect and reverance for the rule of law.  When those walls come tumbling down you don’t know what will replace it.  It sure won’t be the paradise many predict.  It will lead to a balkanization of our country and a big step down on a spiral to anarchy.

A “dog robber’ was an assistant to a field grade officer in the armed forces.  Its use goes back at least to WWII.  His job was to provide goodies and perks for his boss.  He would use the black market or otherwise pillage to get better food, housing, etc. for his commander. Not all commanders used them, indeed the good ones did not.  This niche in the military was the foundation for the movie “The Americanization of Emily” a number of years ago with James Garner and Juile Andrews.


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Filed under Culture, geography, history, immigration

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