Friday, February 22, 2008

Extra, extra! Some questions to the reader returns!

This week saw the quiet passing of a dubious anniversary in American history. On February 19, 1942, FDR passed an Executive Order directing the military to compel American citizens of Japanese descent into inland camps. This has returned my thoughts again to the question, “Who has rights?”
With this problem in mind I resurrect Some questions to the reader, a device that charged-up regulars and passersby on The Influence Machine. The questions posed below (and their sequents) are an invitation to the reader (and to the contributors of this blog) to build discourse, agree, disagree, get mad, ask related questions, and understand a spectrum of opinions.
Comments on Blue Island Almanack can be long and cerebral (I’m as guilty as anyone on this front), but please feel welcome to respond to any of these questions, to all of them, or to questions you can connect to them- I want to hear what you think.
So, you tell me:

Who has rights? Do any rights extend to those who are not citizens of a particular country (or state, or county, or city)? Are there rights that are not codified by any government? Do governments grant any rights that they shouldn’t? Can a just government suspend people’s rights? Who should decide these things?

Image source: National Archives and Records Administration (ARC Identifier: 539149)

2 comments:

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

I chuckle at these questions because the answers are Yes & No. These questions drive to the deepest of ethical issues. One thought is that all rights reside with power. No rights are inherent. Then we must ask, where does ultimate power reside? For those of us who believe in God, He is the answer to that question. From that starting point any rights granted are universal to those to whom He grants them -- either to all people, or to only those who acknowlege Him as God. Then we open the questions to religion. Are all religions the same? Are all religions pointing to the same God? Does any religion have a lock on the "path" to God?

He who has the power has the rights.

My chuckle is for the way in which you, ERD, open this "can of worms!"

E. R. Dunhill said...

PHP,
Trivia: It was this device on The Influence Machine that prompted me to start gathering authors for a collaborative blog. It's amazing the kind of response one gets by simply saying "You're the expert on what you beleive. What do you think?"
I also considered for a time keeping a blog that was nothing but (similarly provocative) questions to the reader, to be called "Can of Worms".