Archive for August, 2007

In my very recent move from OC to Houston, my family “self-moved,” and as we trucked down the I8 and (just past Phoenix) the I10, I was struck by the sad fact that these highways have now basically become a second border with Mexico, and I was driven to reflect on what this means in terms of America’s cultural decline.

During the last school year, as I was getting to the end of European history (which I taught to elementary grade children across the country) I explained some of the important differences between the Western and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.  Among these, I highlighted the fact that within Western European countries, citizens had freedom of movement, whereas in Eastern Europe, not only was there an “iron curtain” keeping you in, but you also had to justify your movement within your own country to the government.

This has started happening in the US as a result of the failure of our culture to answer the rightful demand for immigration. If you want to travel on the interstates near the Mexican border, you must now be prepared to justify yourself to government agents.

At this point, I would rate the border patrol’s presence on these roads as relatively innocuous (kind of like the first income tax), but the fact that they are there at all is the problem.

Apart from the laughable notion that the “fix” for the apparent problem of having a porous border is to create a second far more porous one, what really worries me is that the people of America are allowing the erection of a larger and larger government apparatus (including new state and federal initiatives to crack down on employers) to deal with a perceived threat that is no threat at all.  

Ironically, by denying these rights to others, Americans are allowing their own freedoms to be eroded.

It’s time every American stood up for el sueno Americano.  It is everyone’s right, and it hurts everyone not to recognize it.

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This post is no longer available.  Thank you, Scott Powell.

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I’m happy to welcome Scott Robinson, one of my students in “A First History for Adults,” as a contributor to the blog.  Scott has diligently followed up on book recommendations I make as a part of the course, and has done a great job of finding free on-line versions, as well as other copies.  So I’ve dubbed him the “bookmeister,” and dragged him into the “blogosphere.” Welcome aboard Scott! –Scott Powell. 

The theme of lecture 1 was “the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” If you’re interested, here are links to some online versions of the Recommended Readings for this topic area:

Creasy — The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: Gutenberg.Org

Myers — History of Rome: Historion.Net (Actually from a larger general history text)

If you want to spend money on it, you can find it at: AbeBooks.Com.

Markus — Christianity in the Roman World: Couldn’t find a free one, but here’s the link to it on Amazon.

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