Contrary to the July 2 Readers' Forum letter “Mother's country decides citizens,” a mother's country does not decide the citizenship of newborn babies.
The only persons born in the United States who are not citizens of the United States — because they are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction — are babies born to foreign diplomats and foreign occupying armed forces.
The 14th Amendment's reference to the acquisition of citizenship by birth in the United States was placed in the amendment because of the 1856 Dred Scott decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not U.S. citizens.
The acquisition of citizenship by birth in a country is common — it's called citizenship by soil. Some countries do define citizenship by relationship; this is called citizenship by blood.
The United States has both, because some children born outside the United States can acquire U.S. citizenship based on one or both of their parents being U.S. citizens. Citizenship by birth operates as a uniting factor.
Many of the problems in Western European countries in recent years between citizens and immigrants stem from members of the immigrant community remaining outsiders and “others” because persons born in a European country aren't citizens.
This is true for generations of people because they never achieve citizenship, even though they've often never been to their parents' home country.
The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed all of these understandings in rulings since the 14th Amendment's enactment.
Migrant Farmworker and Immigration Program
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc.
To demonstrate how our country is in free fall, we only have to look at the tragedy of the recent tornadoes.
We had politicians in long faces promising to pray to the Federal Emergency Management Agency gods to make things better.
Then, to our outrage, FEMA denied assistance (“FEMA denies funding for June twisters that killed 6,” June 25).
The proper response should be to bring the National Guard back from protecting tyrannous world dictators, so that Gov. Ted Strickland could launch a larger immediate response.
Next, abolish FEMA and every other unconstitutional alphabet soup agency, and allow people who have time and experience building homes to pitch in.
Then, if you really want to see what used to be the America spirit, look at Crystal Bowersox, who offered to do a concert on behalf of the victims.
When we rely on each other rather than government, the fix will be better and faster, and we can stop the free fall into more government dependency.
Hats off to Lake Township and surrounding communities for their post-tornado work. Without state or federal help, community resources were identified and organized in a manner that is an example of extraordinary leadership.
Security and control were also handled by the townships, towns, and county, with no need for the Ohio National Guard. This is an excellent example of local action.
The United States has had offers to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with price tags attached (“22 nations offer oil spill cleanup aid to U.S. — for a price,” June 15).
There's the problem of separating the oil from the water. The water to be returned to the gulf wouldn't be entirely clean, though it would be cleaner than before oil is extracted. But the Environmental Protection Agency has to give permission for the water to be returned. Is this a joke?
Meanwhile, the destruction caused by storms in our region was cleaned up by volunteers. No one waited for government. Had they waited, nothing would have gotten done. What does this tell you?
Grand Rapids, Ohio
Government, residents, and news media must realize that everyone needs BP to stop the horrific gushing of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
President Obama wants to punish BP by levying heavy fines, but it seems he is doing this to get the heat off him. Residents who are directly affected want BP punished severely for the loss of jobs, for destroying their wonderful coastline, and for harming animals and wetlands for years to come. The media slice the same news 100 ways and incite public opinion against BP.
If BP is forced into bankruptcy, will the U.S. government or another oil company end the oil leak? Not likely. So as much as we all may despise BP right now, we need BP.
I understand the city's desire to save money and not plant flowers. But I can't justify the city's failure to remove weeds from flower beds.
Has anyone driven down the Anthony Wayne Trail lately? It is a disgrace. What a great image for anyone visiting our city.
Are we striving for new national recognition as “Weed City USA”?
The writer of the July 3 letter “Nothing to celebrate” complained that President Obama is trying to turn the United States into a militarily weak, European-style socialist/Marxist state. If so, then the President is failing miserably.
If he wanted to make the United States militarily weak, he could have immediately withdrawn our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, as many of his supporters hoped he would, instead of increasing our troop commitments in Afghanistan and ramping up the controversial use of tactics such as drone strikes.
He could have chosen not to use his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to defend America's right to use military force in terms that would have made Republican war hawks proud, if they hadn't already decided they were going to disagree with everything he said.
If Mr. Obama wanted to create a European-style socialist/Marxist economy, he could have nationalized huge chunks of the economy when it started to collapse, rather than temporarily assist a few firms to avoid a meltdown.
He could have staunchly supported a public option or single-payer system during health-care reform debates, instead of allowing Congress to craft a reform that is nearly identical to Republican proposals of years past.
What the writer sees as a push toward a militarily weak, European-style socialist/Marxist state is an attempt to steer the country toward the middle of the ideological spectrum after years of thoughtless hawkishness on foreign policy, which has accomplished little, and senseless economic deregulation, which led to a near-collapse of the system.
The pendulum had swung so far to the right that a necessary return to the middle was bound to seem drastic and radical.
When I had surgery in Toledo, the bills came from the University of Toledo Medical Center.
I should have taken a cue from The Blade and refused to pay them because they didn't specify “formerly the Medical College of Ohio.”
I'll know better if there is a next time.