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38438Re: [existlist] The boycott and the law

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  • Exist List Moderator
    May 1, 2006
      We must ask about the law, the borders, and what it means to live in a
      "nation" on this planet. As stated before, I think most of us pick and
      choose our laws, even if we think of ourselves as "legalists" in some
      way. I know I do what I can to follow *most* laws while breaking some I
      think of as minor. Yet, those distinctions are my own.

      If a nation is a group of people sharing a geographical, political, and
      cultural designation, then we need to ask how these elements interact.
      Some nations are formed by natural borders -- no one can claim
      Australia is an artificial construct. For the most part, the United
      States has three geographical (south, east, and west) borders, created
      by water (Rio Grande and two oceans) and inhospitable
      mountains/ranges). The US/Canadian border is a mix of geography and
      politics, especially west of the Great Lakes.

      Now, trapped on this mass of land, we established a culture over time
      -- it evolved for a variety of reasons. This culture is unique in some
      ways, while still tied loosely to the greater West. It is not the same
      culture as found to the South, and does differ from the more
      Continental ideals of Canada. Welcome to the United States.

      With the geographical and political lines drawn, what does it mean to
      be "American" versus "American" (the entire hemisphere)? What are the
      differences? What are the risks and implications of changes to borders?
      Why are our borders different than those of the EU? And once we answer
      these questions, solutions must be proposed.

      I am "American" and yet I can't fully explain it. I know I am not
      European -- I dismiss most of their democratic socialism as fragile for
      a variety of economic and political reasons. I am not Canadian, though
      I can't explain that distinction since most of the Canadians I do know
      are "conservative" by their standards.

      What am I? I have no clue. Californian? I know I'll be "Californian"
      when I live in Minnesota. I still don't know how I can tell the
      difference, but I can.

      All these mental meanderings to ask, what makes nationality and why
      does it matter? Mutual defense? If so, we must close the border
      immediately because the risks are real. Economic distribution? Then we
      should reconsider some "free trade" policies and close the ports to
      some unfair nations while balancing better with others. What is it I
      want to protect and what is its value?

      Wish I knew. I do know my liberal friends are upset because they fear
      immigration and NAFTA are taking jobs from the working class.
      Conservatives aren't sure if they support an open border or a fence
      with razor wire. (Libertarianism versus the fear of an attack through
      the borders or ports.)

      No easy answers... only questions. I would probably go with the fence
      and some sort of ID card shared among the US, Canada, and Mexico.
      Wouldn't that scare the radical libertarians? But, the libertarian in
      me supports free movement while understanding we need to protect

      Whatever I am, whatever it is I am protecting,
      - CSW
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