Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, January 28, 2024
ISSUE #1191
Weekly Comments: End of a Nation, Then… and Now?

Illegal immigration is the top issue in Washington, for both Republicans and Democrats. Rumors from Senate leaders indicate an agreement is pending that would allow up to 5000 per day to walk or swim across our border LEGALLY. That would be 1.8 million in 2024, added to the more than 8 million already here since Joe Biden was elected President.

Is this any way to run a civilized country? Perhaps a look back at history would provide a clue. Let me tell you a true story. It is the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth. After you read it, do you think history might repeat itself?

Once upon a time, a nation prospered in peace and affluence for many years. But trouble lay just across the border. The neighboring land was over populated and the people eyed the vast inviting lands with envy. For a few years small numbers of “intruders” would sneak across the boundary, and the government would catch them and kick them out. But many avoided detection, sort of blending in, and many more intruders followed.

Before long the intruders were pouring into the nation. Some were there legitimately as employees, but others sneaked in and each claimed a piece of the foreign land as their own. They didn’t pay for it, just squatted on it. Many of the intruders were armed criminals who crossed the border to avoid going to prison.

Finally, a prominent local citizen got so annoyed he wrote a letter to his national leader. ‘Are we powerless to enforce our own laws? Are we to submit to such great wrongs by these men who are not citizens? Our laws are not enforced. How in the world can we hold up as a nation when our officers don’t respect the law and the oath they have taken to uphold the law.’

About two years later a small portion of the nation relented and sold, for a pittance, a substantial section of land that got turned over to the intruders. Do you think that satisfied the intruder population? Not on your life. It just created more pressure on the nation to open its borders.

The biggest business in the nation lobbied relentlessly to allow even more intruders. They claimed an expanding intruder population was essential to economic growth in the nation.

Well, folks, any idea yet where this ‘nation’ is? Here’s a hint. Seeing the looming conflict in this particular nation, the U. S. Congress jumped into the fray, led by a Senator from Massachusetts. After much debate Congress made a decision: they came down firmly on the side of …. the Intruders.

How could this be? Even the Senator from Massachusetts admitted the nation was prosperous, ‘Although a tiny number of individuals control about one-seventh of the nation’s wealth there is not a family in the entire nation without a home. There is not a pauper in the nation, and it does not owe a single dollar.’

Now who could ask for more than that? But this prosperity was not good enough to satisfy the U.S. Congress and keep this nation intact and protected from Intruders. Congress created a Commission to negotiate with a delegation of representatives from the nation. One of those representatives was the ‘prominent local citizen’ quoted above. He soon became peeved at the delegation’s inability to agree on what their position should be.

Five years after the U.S. government got involved, and all the negotiating was over with, Congress passed a bill abolishing the laws of this nation and mandating that all land be divided up equally among its citizens, but only ones who agreed to become U.S. citizens. Much of the land was seized by the U.S.

The end of a nation as we knew it occurred in 1898. The Senator from Massachusetts was Henry Dawes, head of the Dawes Commission. The bill passed by Congress was the Curtis Act. The Intruders were mainly from Kansas and Arkansas. The big business encouraging the Intruders was the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which built a line through the nation in 1889.

Have you guessed it yet?

The ‘nation’ was the Cherokee Nation. It was part of Indian Territory which in 1907 became the state of Oklahoma.

The ‘prominent local citizen’ (who also helped write the state constitution for Oklahoma), was Clem Rogers, father of…. Will Rogers.

(I wrote this story in 2006 based mainly on information in “Will Rogers: A Biography” by Ben Yagoda, published in 1993.)

In football, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions 34-31. The Chiefs and 49ers will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, thrilling fans of Taylor Swift.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

 “They sent the Indians to Oklahoma. They had a treaty that said, ‘You shall have this land as long as grass grows and water flows.’ It looked like a good treaty, and it was till they struck oil. Then the Government took it away from us again. They said the treaty only refers to ‘Water and Grass; it don’t say anything about oil.’” WA #267, Feb. 5, 1928


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