SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re. An Immigrants View of America
By Ken Bylund


July 05, 2007
Thursday PM

Intriguing comments in our 4th of July SITNEWS columns that stick in my mind like that irritating melody we can't seem to shake without some catharsis, e.g. the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer, Reg Henry in his An Immigrants View of America, the condescending view on how Americans are good people but don't quite have it right... like the English? We just want to drive big cars and don't have the heart to invite all the millions [or would that be billions with a B?] who want to come to enjoy our rich land. And guns, those nasty gunfights we see all the time on our streets. Gee Reg, must be a tough neighborhood you live in. It is my observation, having been born in the USA [politically incorrect?] that 300 million Americans, most of them armed [with firearms], are pretty well behaved. Not seeing that in Beirut, Lebanon or Syria, etc. although Israel is doing it right; think you might get some focus on them that need your [tisk, tisk] advice?

As for your immigrants perspective, we broke away from Britain... get over it. And the well documented research you've done on the English fist fights being better than our American gunfights; World War I and II were on your turf. Us Ugly Americans were the ones [with guns] that came to pull that pesky "never to go to war with one another again" slogan out of your obese butt... twice. So you see it now from my primitive American perspective. You can say anything you want about Americans, but it is precisely their good sense in retaining the ability to protect themselves from invaders [Japanese-Germans-al Qaeda] or the occasional psycho-bricklayer [sorry to all those non-psycho-ironmen out there], but when Sally has her front door split down the center with an axe, we'd like her to have the opportunity to send Freddy to the coroners table and go on with her everyday activities.

And Dale McFeathers article, sorry if I take notice of your cherry-picking a simple "Lion lays down with the Lamb" paragraph in the Declaration of Independence, where you quote a sliver out of the DOI;

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

Created equal? Interesting concept; Douglas Hofstader writes a good deal about this arguably erroneous argument in I AM A STRANGE LOOP, a great read, but then we Americans think the "equal concept", is "being equal before the law", JUST LAWS. And we do have problems with ambitious lawyers and politicians wanting special treatment and parsing common sense, like your example of the disgraced judge as he sues those unfortunate [legal] Korean immigrants for $54 million over a lost pair of pants or the recent debate over rights of illegal aliens who sneak across the USA border and "stay illegal" long enough, well then, can they become a citizen, if they pay the government [lawyers and politicians] $5000 apiece? NO! But lets look at the whole of the basic DOI concept of the finest men of our millennia and their declaration to be rid of the ongoing poison from those persistent non-violent criminal minds;

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. " That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, " That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. " Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.";

And here is where they go on to list their complaints against the deranged leader of Great Britain, King George III; but the beauty and clarity of reason and thought of those signers of the DOI is inspiring. Reg, no offense meant, but those old white guys got it exactly right... exactly! Look for a really bad place in the world, like North Korea and go tell them, you don't have it quite right!

Ken Bylund,
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received July 05, 2007 - Published July 05, 2007

Related Columns:

Reg Henry: An immigrant's view of America - Lit up this week by the patriotic feelings that descend like sparks from an Independence Day skyrocket, I am moved to ask the traditional question: "Is this a great country - or what?" - More...
Wednesday - July 04, 2007

Dale McFeatters: The Fourth, the glorious Fourth - You have to love a country whose Founding Fathers wanted its citizens, and their descendants, to celebrate their national day by going out and having some serious fun. They even helped set the pattern.- More...
Wednesday - July 04, 2007

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