The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

COCKROACHES

Gracie and I are delighted that our three golden retriever friends have been visiting for almost two weeks now and with the heat hovering around the century level there is nothing that Mama Bear and Kali enjoy more than going in the pool and retrieving a tennis ball.  They are very clever beasties and have figured out a way to absorb about five percent of a 15000 gallon pool each time they make an exit from a fetch.  Naturally, this water has to go somewhere and it does – all over the cool deck that surrounds the pool.

Now in the backyard there is a strip that allows accumulated water, whether from the pool or our infrequent rain storms, to runoff into the rock bed that abuts the deck.  Because there are slits in the strip it serves as an excellent cover for a variety of insects to use it as a shield for their nests.  And there is an ant colony that does reside there.  As I learned the other day, apparently it is also suitable for cockroaches as well.

I was enjoying my morning coffee when Kali returned from a swim with both the tennis balls I had thrown in her mouth.  Without shaking on her exit from the pool, she came right over to me and sat there dripping, right on the strip in the deck.

Apparently enough water had entered the habitat below that it caused a very large cockroach to emerge from its home.  I was shocked that this insect could get through the very tiny slits because it was a large example of its species.  And it started to make its way quickly to the back door which I had left open.  Almost involuntarily, I stood up and stomped the creature out of existence with my left shoe.  And then I felt guilty about what I had just done.

Cockroaches have been around far longer than man and will probably survive our demise.  What right did I have to snuff out the life of this creature?  And honestly, if it hadn’t been headed into the house I would have left it alone.  I don’t believe in taking life in whatever form unnecessarily.  But I made a decision that my lifestyle and wanting the house to be cockroach free was more important than this insect – and I acted accordingly.

Josef Mengele was ironically nicknamed, “The Angel of Death”.  He was an SS doctor/anthropologist who was one of those who determined which Jewish prisoners who were brought to Auschwitz would be used for labor and which would be sent to the death chambers.  Three quarters of those who arrived at the camp, the elderly, almost all children, pregnant women and women with small children were all deemed unfit to live and were almost immediately sent to the gas chambers.

In addition to his job of sorting out those who would live and those who would die, Mengele performed hundreds of experiments on prisoners which were performed without concern either for the pain or safety of his victims.  He was particularly interested in identical twins, dwarves and those with physical anomalies.  Part of the motivation behind Mengele’s research was impelled by Hitler’s belief that the world’s Germinization was the ultimate goal and led him further into exploring the potential that eugenics might bring.

Eugenics – The study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by people having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits.

If Mengele’s view of the world and the importance of eugenics in “purifying” the race is frightening to you, the following quotes will certainly reinforce your beliefs.

“While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit. They are excellent means of meeting a certain phase of the situation, but I believe in regard to these, as in regard to other eugenic means, that they do not go to the bottom of the matter.”

“By all means, there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective.”

“The main objects of the Population Congress would be to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring; to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.”

Given Mengele’s dedication to the Third Reich and to eugenics, it is not surprising that he would make these sorts of statements.  But he didn’t.  Those quotes are from the mouth of Margaret Sanger, the American who founded Planned Parenthood.

Given Sanger’s extreme racist views it is not a surprise that Planned Parenthood has placed three quarters of its facilities either in or within walking distance of black and Hispanic neighborhoods.  From her writings Sanger makes it perfectly clear that she thinks of non-whites as inherently inferior.  It is frankly an incredible act of genius marketing that this organization portrays itself as an organization dedicated to the promotion of “women’s health” when in fact if it has a concern for women’s health at all it might better call itself a champion of some women’s health.

It is interesting that every one of the seventeen Republicans who is contesting the presidential nomination has called for defunding Planned Parenthood.  And each of those seeking the Democrat nomination affirms their support of this organization.  But they say a picture is worth a thousand words – and it is appropriate that I close this discussion with one featuring Margaret Sanger and another of her quotes:

 

PlannedParenthoodSangerPic1

SMOKE, FIRE, HILLARY

Many years ago a friend who was studying to be a rabbi put forth an interesting situation and asked my opinion.  This was the scenario he presented.

You’re driving home on your way from work.  As you pause at a stop light, you see smoke rise in the sky.  It appears to be coming from an area where your home is located.  Almost in an involuntary way you exclaim, “Oh my God.  I hope that isn’t my house that’s on fire.”

The question my friend posed was, is that a moral thing either to think or say?

Naturally, the basis for this conundrum is that you certainly don’t want your family, your home or your possessions to be in danger.  But the implication is that you are perfectly content to be spared that loss and let it fall at the feet of one of your neighbors.

My answer was that even though I might have made the statement it didn’t imply that I wanted someone else to suffer a loss.  I simply hoped that there was nothing more than a garbage can on fire and that neither my nor my neighbors’ houses were threatened.

Over the years there’s been more smoke surrounding Hillary Clinton than can be seen at all the restaurants in the country which specialize in barbecue.  And as the adage goes, “Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire”.  Unless you listen to Ms. Clinton and her camp.  I’m startled that wherever she goes the locals don’t declare that it’s Christmas for all the driven snow she brings with her.

Being a lawyer, Ms. Clinton naturally is drawn to a defense which is based on the law – and the fact that none of the allegations leveled against her have been “proven” – yet.  Part of the reason may be that among other allegations that have most recently surfaced about her method of doing business as Secretary of State she may have destroyed or attempted to destroy the evidence which might convict her if this matter actually goes to a court of law.

The latest flak is coming from the fact that in a small sample of emails which two IG’s randomly chose, ten percent were found to contain material that they determined contained “Classified” or “Top Secret” information.  And now the legalisms begin.  The Clinton camp is claiming that while those emails are “now” thus categorized, they weren’t at the time they were sent to then Secretary of State Clinton.  Of course, all of this would be moot if Ms. Clinton had followed protocol and conducted her correspondence on a government server.  But even that is beside the point.

Let’s think about the position she held for four years.  She was the second most important person in government who had responsibility for foreign affairs and ultimately safety at home as it might be imperiled by groups like ISIS.  One has to ask the question, was she so cavalier in maintaining an unsecured server because the only correspondence she anticipated receiving was the “Daily Sudoku Puzzle” or because she was exchanging cookie recipes?  If that is the case, it’s no wonder that our foreign policy during her watch has turned into such a shambles.

On the other hand, one would expect that a functioning Secretary of State would be privy to information, some of which would have been sensitive if not downright dangerous should it fall into the wrong hands.  Wouldn’t a rational person, entrusted with such a responsible position do everything in her power to make sure that information was secure?

So whether or not Ms. Clinton broke the law and might be prosecuted for dereliction of duty there is a far more fundamental question which anyone who is thoughtful should ask.  Is a person who exhibits such poor judgment as Secretary of State the kind of person we want in the Oval Office?

That’s not a matter of partisanship.  It’s a matter of common sense.

Michael Brown was a thug and a resident of Ferguson, MO.  On August 10, 2014 he became the late Mr. Brown after he robbed a convenience store, shoved around the owner of that establishment, wrestled with a policeman for his gun and refused to obey officer Darren Wilson’s order to stop – instead preferring to charge at him.  Officer Wilson shot him dead and saved the country a great deal of expense in trials and the cost of jail time and probably only sped up what was destined to be Mr. Brown’s nearly inevitable future.  RIP, Michael Brown.  And bask in the glory of God’s love – or whatever heat source may be present where you now reside.

In life Mr. Brown physically was a large man.  In death he has become even bigger and been elevated to the status of “martyr” as the poster child for a movement known as “Black Lives Matter”.  I have some experience with movements going back fifty years as both a participant and an observer.  These days, my involvement in them generally centers about my bathroom routine – which I am pleased to add is going nicely.

In 1968 the Democrats held a convention in Chicago.  There was a movement afoot then, an anti-Vietnam War movement, which resulted in violence.  None of the protesters was killed.  But nearly forty demonstrators who were present, agitating for “peace” were beaten by night sticks attached to the arms of Chicago’s police department.  Incidentally, all of the protesters who went to the hospital happened to be white.

Now if you’re thinking that this anecdote supports the present narrative that the police are evil, nasty people who have to take out their repressed need to exhibit violence on anyone who crosses their path, (according to #BLM primarily directed against black law abiding citizens) you should be aware that there is more to the context of this story which might affect your view.

Yes, it is true that the police beat up a bunch of demonstrators.  But was there provocation or did the police simply decide to bash some young upstarts?  Well, the truth is that the police acted in a restrained manner until the demonstrators began throwing bags of feces and urine at them.  At that point they had pretty much the same reaction that anyone in or out of uniform would have felt.  Anger.

To my knowledge, no one has ever died because human excrement was hurled at and hit them.  While being the recipient of that sort of abuse is clearly revolting, it is not life threatening.  And in Chicago, none of the protesters was killed as a result of their incredibly bad behavior.

On the other hand, Michael Brown was 6’ 5” tall and weighed 289 pounds.  I don’t care what color he was but if I saw someone of that size charging at me as Officer Wilson testified and the forensics supports, I would feel gravely threatened.  Wouldn’t you?

So what is the “point” that Black Lives Matter is trying to make?  That seems somewhat unclear other than to have their five minutes of fame as other evanescent groups such as Occupy Wall Street have attained.  As I understand it, which is perhaps imperfectly since their message is a bit opaque, they are angry about the number of blacks who are incarcerated in our prison system.  Well, I’m angry about that too.  If those jailed blacks were leading productive lives rather than committing crimes, we could save about $3 Billion a year.  I can think of a lot of much better ways to spend that amount of money.

According to the NAACP, of the 2.3 million Americans who are incarcerated, nearly forty percent, over one million, are blacks.  On the surface, considering that the black population of the United States is about thirteen percent, this seems disproportional.  The “thesis” that Black Lives Matter puts forth is that blacks are arrested for the same crimes for which whites get a pass.  Their claim is that most of those blacks are incarcerated for “petty drug crimes”.  Not that it will matter to #BLM, the statistics don’t support that argument.

The latest statistics which I could find come from 2012.  In that year, a total of only 309,100 inmates were in jail for drug crimes of any type.  That includes both Federal and state prisons and represents a decrease from the 338,076 people who were incarcerated in the year 2000 for similar offenses.  So if the NAACP’s statistics about black incarceration are correct, that leaves us with about 700,000 inmates who are in jail for other reasons.

In 2012, just under a million people were in Federal or state prisons for either “Violent” or “Property” crimes.  Violent crimes are categorized as ones which include, murder, manslaughter, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, other sexual assault, robbery, assault, and other violent crimes.  A total of 721,200 prisoners fit that definition.  Property crimes are categorized as ones which include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, fraud, and other property crimes.  There were 247,100 prisoners who fell into that classification.

Even if we accept #BLM’s narrative that blacks get incarcerated for drug crimes which whites skip on, why are the remaining 700,000 black Americans in jail?  Could it be that they have been convicted of either Violent or Property crimes?  And if they committed those crimes, is it not appropriate that a civilized society put them away in the interest of protecting the vast majority of society which obeys the law and do not engage in those activities?

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the recent re-enactment of the protests in Ferguson which took place at the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death was the fact that quite a few of the protestors chose to wear hoods, thus disguising who they were.  In 1968 the protestors at the Democratic convention did not wear hoods.  They were proud to let people know who they were because they believed in what they were doing.  But I can think of two other groups which regularly wear hoods.  The first of those is ISIS’ executioners.  The second is the KKK.

SCHUMER SHENANIGANS

Last Thursday, the seventeen announced candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination responded to a hard and probing set of questions posed by FOX News anchors.  By my account, most of those participating acquitted themselves well in the exchange.  Frankly, while there are several of these candidates whom I would prefer, I have not come to any decision yet as to whom I will support in the Nevada caucus that will take place early next year.

One of the most extraordinary statements to my way of thinking, came not from the debate itself but as a response to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D – NY) statement that he will not support the Obama/Kerry Iran “deal”.  The comment came from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who himself opposes this deal and praised Schumer’s abandoning the president’s camp calling the New York senator, “statesmanlike”.

Personally, I like Governor Huckabee.  He projects an image of honesty but I am a little put off by the enshrouding wrapper of religiosity.  Perhaps that’s a matter more of style than substance – but it’s one characteristic which places him in my lower tier of candidates based on the rampant “humanistic” world view held by a large number of American voters thus making me question his electability.’

Perhaps it’s because Governor Huckabee himself is an honest person that he made his statement of praise for Sen. Schumer, believing that the man who is likely to be the next leader for his caucus after Reid’s ‘retirement” was sincere in his heartfelt opposition to the Iran deal.  But that is, in my view, an expression of naiveté on the Governor’s part.  As partisan as present Minority Leader Reid is, Schumer is amply qualified to fill his shoes.  He is not a statesman but the consummate politician.

There is no doubt that Schumer was pressured into his position because of the amount of opposition from his Jewish constituency who clearly see Iran as a threat to the state of Israel.  And his decision has reliably evoked the outcry from the far left who would support Obama if he declared himself Emperor and who believe Schumer’s decision makes him unqualified to be the Democrat Senate Leader of the next Congress, a position to which he is likely to ascend.

Before Schumer made his statement, I have no doubt that was preceded by extensive conversations with members of his caucus to be certain that there were enough sheep-like Democrat senators who would hold together and refuse to override a veto from Obama if the Congress turns down the deal, which seems likely.  So Schumer momentarily accepts the abuse of the far left as part of the drama which is the Washington Waltz.  He appears “statesmanlike” while knowing that his vote is irrelevant.

If Schumer is truly a “leader” he will exert all his influence to convince members of his caucus that his, not the president’s position, on the Iran deal is correct.  That the deal is a danger not only to Israel but to the United States and the civilized world.  That’s a very big if – one that I sincerely doubt will happen.

And as to Governor Huckabee – I have to question a person’s ability to lead what’s left of the Free World if he is so easily scammed by one of Washington’s most adept, adroit and duplicitous politicians.

The other day I was thinking about our law-making process and for some reason Moses popped into my head.  I’m sure that the prophet had no idea how grateful he should have been that God knew what he wanted to convey to mankind and was able to do so quite succinctly.  What would Moses have had to endure had the Creator crafted his commandments to the children of Israel in the same way as our modern legislators promulgate new laws?

There’s Moses, curious to find the source of the bright light on the top of Mount Sinai.  He experiences his encounter with the Lord and obeys God’s order to bring his commandments to his people.  So Moses takes the tablets, “written with the finger of God” and goes down the mountain to deliver them to the Israelites.  And he goes back to retrieve more … and more … and more.

After the forty-third trip his brother Aaron says, “Is that it?”

Moses, wearied from all the trudging and schlepping he’s done, wipes his brow and says, “Well, actually, there are nine more.”

Perhaps the reason that those who pass voluminous laws that no one really understands, themselves included, can be attributed to the way we were taught to do things in High School.  Maybe, like me, you had an English or history teacher who handed out an assignment which included the requirement that the essay we were to compose had to be at least two thousand words long.  What made that number of words sacrosanct was never clear to me.  How in the world did laconic President Calvin Coolidge ever earn a diploma?

But let’s get back to the Ten Commandments.   Take Number Seven, as an example.  That’s that hairy one that says, “Thou shall not commit adultery.”  Notice how simple, straightforward and brief it is.  I had memorized this long before I knew what adultery actually was – but, of course, I asked – a little bit to the embarrassment of my Sunday School teacher.

Now those of us who believe that following that commandment is part of what I refer to as “normative” behavior, there is very little ambiguity – so it’s apparent that God knew precisely what he wanted people to do (or more exactly) to avoid doing.  But what if this commandment had been constructed by Congress?

The commandment comes out of the “Congressional Morality Committee,”  (wouldn’t it be remarkable if there were one – but then who would we be able to find who could with clear conscience become members?) and, like the original that the Divinity established, it’s a simple five word declarative sentence.

But then it moves forward in the process and has a hearing in the Economics Affairs Committee.  They recognize that this proposal could have serious implications and adverse impact on various business operations – specifically, those hotel/motel owners whose rooms rent out on an hourly basis.  And the members of that committee get lobbied by advocates for that industry.  So they amend the original commandment so that it reads, “Thou shall not commit adultery before six o’clock a.m. local time.”    (Since most of the commerce and congress at these hotels/motels occur in the afternoon, this effectively nullifies the original intent of the commandment).

But things don’t stop there.  Business is down at the hairstylists and beauty salons in America.  Because of the Obamacession, fewer customers have the money to spare to color their hair.  So the members of that profession press their association’s lobbyists to get something included in the law which will improve their business.  After considerable pressure, the law now reads, “Thou shall not commit adultery before six o’clock a.m. local time.  However, those whose hair has been dyed by a professional stylist are exempted from any and all provisions of this law.”

It might be well if it had ended there.  But, of course, it doesn’t.  The street prostitutes, straight, gay and transgendered can see that this might impact their business negatively.  An impassioned group of “sex workers” appear before Congress to make their case that this law is discriminatory – they being the recipients of that bias.  Of course, the Congressional committee which hears their testimony is quite respectful of this contingency since some members know those testifying on a first name, professional basis.

And then further testimony is given by several American mullahs who believe that their faith and their followers are “once again” being victimized and persecuted in what is supposed to be the ultimate land of freedom.  There can be no clearer evidence of that then that the law allows adultery to be engaged in on Fridays and during any day of Ramadan.  Furthermore, the law makes no mention of protections for virgins, quite a few of whom are required for those jihadists who die in the “holy war” against the infidel, particularly those in America.

Needless to say, “environmentalists” were outraged at this prospective law.  They commissioned a study that substantiated their belief that many of these adulterous trysts would be engaged in with one or both participants arriving at the site by using gasoline based automotive conveyances, thus contributing to the issue of “climate change”.  They demand that there be a stipulation in the law that only adulterous affairs in which both parties got to the rendezvous via public transportation will be “licit”.

Needless to say since the concept of adultery and its being wrong is based on religious moral concept, it was only reasonable to expect that members of the clergy weigh in on the subject, which they did.  A number of pastors who had fathered out of wedlock kids expressed their belief that we must view “ancient” rules in the context of the times; that times had changed and we must change with them.  Their testimony, offered in a brilliant Hip Hop style and recorded and released on MTV got more than four million hits within an hour of its release.

So in light of all this testimony, our legislators took the bill which had been introduced by Reps. Jack Mehoff and I. Fool Around and they reworked, rewrote and transformed it into The Swoosh Law with the subtitle, “Just Do It”.  This law confirmed that adultery was a highly overrated infraction of “morality” and that it was perfectly reasonable, in fact, healthy for people to engage in it in order to promote a strong, healthy marriage.

And a lot of public officials in America felt vindicated – and breathed a sigh of relief.  The bill, as it was finally presented to the full membership, got overwhelming bipartisan support.

A Modest Proposal

For Preventing the Children of Poor People
in Ireland, from Being a Burden on Their Parents
or Country, and for Making Them
Beneficial to the Public

By Jonathan Swift

(Edited to conform to modern American English spelling)


It is a melancholy Object to those, who walk through this great Town, or travel in the Country, when they see the Streets, the Roads, and Cabin-Doors, crowded with Beggars of the female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags, and importuning every Passenger for an Alms. These Mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in Strolling, to beg Sustenance for their helpless Infants, who, as they grow up either turn Thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native Country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados.

I think it is agreed by all Parties, that this prodigious number of Children, in the Arms, or on the Backs, or at the heels of their Mothers, and frequently of their Fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the Kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these Children sound and useful Members of the common-wealth would deserve so well of the public, as to have his Statue set up for a preserver of the Nation.

But my Intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the Children of professed beggars, it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of Infants at a certain Age, who are born of Parents in effect as little able to support them, as those who demand our Charity in the Streets.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many Years, upon this important Subject, and maturely weighed the several Schemes of other Projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation. It is true a Child, just dropped from it’s Dam, may be supported by her Milk, for a Solar year with little other Nourishment, at most not above the Value of two Shillings, which the Mother may certainly get, or the Value in Scraps, by her lawful Occupation of begging, and it is exactly at one year Old that I propose to provide for them, in such a manner, as, instead of being a Charge upon their Parents, or the Parish, or wanting Food and Raiment for the rest of their Lives, they shall, on the Contrary, contribute to the Feeding and partly to the Clothing of many Thousands.

There is likewise another great Advantage in my Scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary Abortions, and that horrid practice of Women murdering their Bastard Children, alas! too frequent among us, Sacrificing the poor innocent Babes, I doubt, more to avoid the Expense, than the Shame, which would move Tears and Pity in the most Savage and inhuman breast.

The number of Souls in this Kingdom being usually reckoned one Million and a half, Of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand Couple whose Wives are breeders, from which number I Subtract thirty Thousand Couples, who are able to maintain their own Children, although I apprehend there cannot be so many, under the present distresses of the Kingdom, but this being granted, there will remain an hundred and seventy thousand Breeders. I again Subtract fifty Thousand for those Women who miscarry, or whose Children die by accident, or disease within the Year. There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand Children of poor Parents annually born: The question therefore is, How this number shall be reared, and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present Situation of Affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed, for we can neither employ them in Handicraft, or Agriculture; we neither build Houses, (I mean in the Country) nor cultivate Land: they can very seldom pick up a Livelihood by Stealing until they arrive at six years Old, except where they are of towardly parts, although, I confess they learn the Rudiments much earlier; during which time they can however be properly looked upon only as Probationers, as I have been informed by a principal Gentleman in the County of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew above one or two Instances under the Age of six, even in a part of the Kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that Art.

I am assured by our Merchants, that a Boy or Girl, before twelve years Old, is no saleable Commodity, and even when they come to this Age, they will not yield above three Pounds, or three Pounds and half a Crown at most on the Exchange, which cannot turn to Account either to the Parents or the Kingdom, the Charge of Nutriments and Rags having been at least four times that Value.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least Objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy Child well Nursed is at a year Old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome Food, whether Stewed, Roasted, Baked, or Boiled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a Fricassee, or Ragouts.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration, that of the hundred and twenty thousand Children, already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for Breed, whereof only one fourth part to be Males, which is more than we allow to Sheep, black Cattle, or Swine, and my reason is, that these Children are seldom the Fruits of Marriage, a Circumstance not much regarded by our Savages, therefore, one Male will be sufficient to serve four Females. That the remaining hundred thousand may at a year Old be offered in Sale to the persons of Quality, and Fortune, through the Kingdom, always advising the Mother to let them Suck plentifully in the last Month, so as to render them Plump, and Fat for a good Table. A Child will make two Dishes at an Entertainment for Friends, and when the Family dines alone, the fore or hind Quarter will make a reasonable Dish, and seasoned with a little Pepper or Salt will be very good Boiled on the fourth Day, especially in Winter.

I have reckoned upon a Medium, that a Child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar Year if tolerably nursed increase to 28 Pounds.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children.

Infant’s flesh will be in Season throughout the Year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told by a grave Author an eminent French physician, that Fish being a prolific Diet, there are more Children born in Roman Catholic Countries about nine Months after Lent, than at any other Season, therefore reckoning a Year after Lent, the Markets will be more glutted than usual, because the Number of Popish Infants, is at least three to one in this Kingdom, and therefore it will have one other Collateral advantage by lessening the Number of Papists among us.

I have already computed the Charge of nursing a Beggars Child (in which list I reckon all Cottagers, Laborers, and four fifths of the Farmers) to be about two Shillings per Annum, Rags included; and I believe no Gentleman would repine to give Ten Shillings for the Carcass of a good fat Child, which, as I have said will make four Dishes of excellent Nutritive Meat, when he hath only some particular friend, or his own Family to Dine with him. Thus the Squire will learn to be a good Landlord, and grow popular among his Tenants, the Mother will have Eight Shillings neat profit, and be fit for Work till she produce another Child.

Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the Times require) may flay the Carcass; the Skin of which, Artificially dressed, will make admirable Gloves for Ladies, and Summer Boots for fine Gentlemen.

As to our City of Dublin, Shambles may be appointed for this purpose, in the most convenient parts of it, and Butchers we may be assured will not be wanting, although I rather recommend buying the Children alive, and dressing them hot from the Knife, as we do roasting Pigs.

A very worthy Person, a true Lover of his Country, and whose Virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on this matter, to offer a refinement upon my Scheme. He said, that many Gentlemen of this Kingdom, having of late destroyed their Deer, he conceived that the want of Venison might be well supplied by the Bodies of young Lads and Maidens, not exceeding fourteen Years of Age, nor under twelve; so great a Number of both Sexes in every County being now ready to Starve, for want of Work and Service: And these to be disposed of by their Parents if alive, or otherwise by their nearest Relations. But with due deference to so excellent a friend, and so deserving a Patriot, I cannot be altogether in his Sentiments, for as to the Males, my American acquaintance assured me from frequent Experience, that their flesh was generally Tough and Lean, like that of our School-boys, by continual exercise, and their Taste disagreeable, and to Fatten them would not answer the Charge. Then as to the Females, it would, I think, with humble Submission, be a loss to the Public, because they soon would become Breeders themselves: And besides it is not improbable that some scrupulous People might be apt to Censure such a Practice, (although indeed very unjustly) as a little bordering upon Cruelty, which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any Project, how well so ever intended.

But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this expedient was put into his head by the famous Sallmanaazor, a Native of the Island Formosa, who came from thence to London, above twenty Years ago, and in Conversation told my friend, that in his Country when any young Person happened to be put to Death, the Executioner sold the Carcass to Persons of Quality, as a prime Dainty, and that, in his Time, the Body of a plump Girl of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to Poison the Emperor, was sold to his Imperial Majesty’s prime Minister of State, and other great Mandarins of the Court, in Joints from the Gibbet, at four hundred Crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that if the same use were made of several plump young Girls in this Town, who, without one single Groat to their Fortunes, cannot stir abroad without a Chair, and appear at a Play-House, and Assemblies in Foreign fineries, which they never will Pay for; the Kingdom would not be the worse.

Some Persons of a desponding Spirit are in great concern about that vast Number of poor People, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what Course may be taken, to ease the Nation of so grievous an Encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known, that they are every Day dying, and rotting, by cold, and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the younger Laborers they are now in almost as hopeful a Condition. They cannot get Work, and consequently pine away from want of Nourishment, to a degree, that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common Labor, they have not strength to perform it, and thus the Country and themselves are happily delivered from the Evils to come.

I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the Proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.

For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the Number of Papists, with whom we are Yearly over-run, being the principal Breeders of the Nation, as well as our most dangerous Enemies, and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the Kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their Advantage by the absence of so many good Protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their Country, than stay at home, and pay Tithes against their Conscience, to an idolatrous Episcopal Curate.

Secondly, the poorer Tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by Law may be made liable to Distress, and help to pay their Landlord’s Rent, their Corn and Cattle being already seized, and Money a thing unknown.

Thirdly, Whereas the Maintenance of an hundred thousand Children, from two Years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at less than Ten Shillings a piece per Annum, the Nation’s Stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per Annum, besides the profit of a new Dish, introduced to the Tables of all Gentlemen of Fortune in the Kingdom, who have any refinement in Taste, and the Money will circulate among our selves, the Goods being entirely of our own Growth and Manufacture.

Fourthly, The constant Breeders, besides the gain of Eight Shillings Sterling per Annum, by the Sale of their Children, will be rid of the Charge of maintaining them after the first Year.

Fifthly, this food would likewise bring great Custom to Taverns, where the Vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their Houses frequented by all the fine Gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good Eating, and a skillful Cook, who understands how to oblige his Guests will contrive to make it as expensive as they please.

Sixthly, This would be a great Inducement to Marriage, which all wise Nations have either encouraged by Rewards, or enforced by Laws and Penalties. It would increase the care and tenderness of Mothers towards their Children, when they were sure of a Settlement for Life, to the poor Babes, provided in some sort by the Public to their Annual profit instead of Expense, we should soon see an honest Emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest Child to the Market, Men would become as fond of their Wives, during the Time of their Pregnancy, as they are now of their Mares in Foal, their Cows in Calf, or Sows when they are ready to Farrow, nor offer to Beat or Kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a Miscarriage.

Many other advantages might be enumerated: For Instance, the addition of some thousand Carcasses in our exportation of Barreled Beef. The Propagation of Swine’s Flesh, and Improvement in the Art of making good Bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of Pigs, too frequent at our Tables, which are no way comparable in Taste, or Magnificence to a well grown, fat Yearling Child, which Roasted whole will make a considerable Figure at a Lord Mayor’s Feast, or any other Public Entertainment. But this, and many others I omit being studious of Brevity.

Supposing that one thousand Families in this City, would be constant Customers for Infants’ Flesh, besides others who might have it at Merry-meetings, particularly at Weddings and Christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off Annually about twenty thousand Carcasses, and the rest of the Kingdom (where probably they will be Sold somewhat Cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.

I can think of no one Objection, that will possibly be raised against this Proposal, unless it should be urged, that the Number of People will be thereby much lessened in the Kingdom. This I freely own, and it was indeed one Principal design in offering it to the World. I desire the Reader will observe, that I Calculate my Remedy for this one individual Kingdom of IRELAND, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our Absentees at five Shillings a pound: Of using neither Clothes, nor household Furniture, except what is of our own Growth and Manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the Materials and Instruments that promote Foreign Luxury: Of curing the Expensiveness of Pride, Vanity, Idleness, and Gaming in our Women: Of introducing a Vein of Parsimony, Prudence and Temperance: Of learning to Love our Country, wherein we differ even from LAPLANDERS, and the Inhabitants of TOPINAMBOO: Of quitting our Animosities, and Factions, nor Act any longer like the Jews, who were Murdering one another at the very moment their City was taken: Of being a little Cautious not to Sell our Country and Consciences for nothing: Of teaching Landlords to have at least one degree of Mercy towards their Tenants. Lastly of putting a Spirit of Honesty, Industry and Skill into our Shop-keepers, who, if a Resolution could now be taken to Buy only our Native Goods, would immediately unite to Cheat and Exact upon us in the Price, the Measure, and the Goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair Proposal of just dealing, though often and earnestly invited to it.

Therefore I repeat, let no Man talk to me of these and the like Expedients, till he hath at least a Glimpse of Hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into Practice.

But as to my self, having been wearied out for many Years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of Success, I fortunately fell upon this Proposal, which as it is wholly new, so it hath something Solid and Real, of no Expense and little Trouble, full in our own Power, and whereby we can incur no Danger in disobliging England. For this kind of Commodity will not bear Exportation, the Flesh being of too tender a Consistence, to admit a long continuance in Salt, although perhaps I could name a Country, which would be glad to Eat up our whole Nation without it.

After all I am not so violently bent upon my own Opinion, as to reject any Offer, proposed by wise Men, which shall be found equally Innocent, Cheap, Easy and Effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in Contradiction to my Scheme, and offering a better, I desire the Author, or Authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, As things now stand, how they will be able to find Food and Raiment for a hundred thousand useless Mouths and Backs. And Secondly, there being a round Million of Creatures in humane Figure, throughout this Kingdom, whose whole Subsistence put into a common Stock, would leave them in Debt two Millions of Pounds Sterling adding those, who are Beggars by Profession, to the Bulk of Farmers, Cottagers and Laborers with their Wives and Children, who are Beggars in Effect; I desire those Politicians, who dislike my Overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an Answer, that they will first ask the Parents of these Mortals, whether they would not at this Day think it a great Happiness to have been sold for Food at a year Old, in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual Scene of Misfortunes, as they have since gone through, by the oppression of Landlords, the Impossibility of paying Rent without Money or Trade, the want of common Sustenance, with neither House nor Clothes to cover them from Inclemencies of Weather, and the most inevitable Prospect of entailing the like, or greater Miseries upon their Breed for ever.

I Profess in the sincerity of my Heart that I have not the least personal Interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary Work having no other Motive than the public Good of my Country, by advancing our Trade, providing for Infants, relieving the Poor, and giving some Pleasure to the Rich. I have no Children, by which I can propose to get a single Penny; the youngest being nine Years old, and my Wife past Child-bearing.


SCRUPLES

There I was in the bulk food section of the supermarket I shop most frequently.  I was in the market to buy some dried cranberries but thought that the $9.99 per pound price was a bit high.  I’ve seen them on sale for half of that.  But as I lingered near the small bins of dried fruit, I happened to notice that the store also carried dried blueberries.  I seldom see them on the market, even at Whole Foods which has a far larger bulk section.  I understood why when I checked the price.  They were $17.99 per pound.  (By contrast I had just seen fresh blueberries on sale for less than $2.00 per pound).

As I pondered, a young woman whom I took to be a part of the Millenial Generation based not only on her apparent age but the fact that her left arm was completely obscured by a swath of tattoos and she had several noticeable facial piercings including a large stud that protruded from inside her mouth into both her cheeks, walked over to the dried blueberry bin and began scooping its contents out and into the plastic bag she had opened to hold them.

I couldn’t help make the comment, “Well, you must be the winner of the latest Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.  Those berries are really pricey.”

Without hesitating she said, “Oh, well I have a system.  See I just mark them with the code for the raisins which are $3.29 per pound and then I use the self-checkout so that none of the store employees even looks at them.”

I was stunned at this response.  Not because she admitted to me that she was stealing, but in the fact that she showed neither conscience or regret at what she was about to do – and apparently had done in the past.

Momentarily, I thought about engaging her in a conversation about her theft.  But as I thought about it, I doubted that no matter how brilliant a sermon I delivered in less than thirty seconds I would have an impact on a woman who was in her mid to late twenties and who already should know what I would say.  But I did feel that I had to say something, so I told her, “Well, if I were you I don’t think I would put up any reference to your ‘system’ on your Facebook page.  You know that’s out there forever and one day might come back to haunt you.”

She responded, “Oh, you’re soooo right.  That’s really good advice.  Thanks.”

And with that she went off to complete her theft.

I remember taking a five cent candy store from the corner store when I was a kid.  I intended to pay for it – in fact I had the money – but Max who was one of the owners was in the back of the store, there were a lot of customers in the place and I was afraid to leave my nickel on the counter where anyone could have picked it up.  So I left the store without paying.  (I was in a hurry to get to my piano lesson).

Not only did I leave with the Baby Ruth – I left with a guilty conscience, feeling that I had stolen something even though I had the full intention of paying for it.  I wasn’t concerned that I would be caught on video since that technology had not yet been invented.  So I got to my lesson which went poorly because I couldn’t concentrate on either Chopin or Debussy.  All I could think about was the candy bar which had made its way out of the wrapper and into my stomach on my walk to my lesson.

My lesson ran from six to seven and the corner store closed at seven.  But I practically ran the half mile to see if they might have stayed open a little later than usual.  But when I got there they were closed.

I remember having a terrible night.  I was unable to concentrate on my homework and I barely remember what we had for dinner.  My sleep was disturbed by my guilty conscience.  I know I woke up several times in the course of the night which was very unusual for me as I could generally sleep through the loudest noises.  But not that night.

The next morning, tired from what was a very poor night’s rest, I got ready for school extra early.  Breakfast was at the usual time but I needed a few minutes extra because I had to stop at the corner store, pay for my candy bar and get the horrible monkey of theft off my back.

I remember bolting my breakfast down to my mother’s consternation.  I told her I had to get to school a little early.  And as soon as I had devoured the last crumb of toast I grabbed my school books, my poorly prepared homework and left the apartment.

When I got to the corner store, Max’s partner Fred was working.  There were a couple of customers in the store waiting to check out with their items who were ahead of me and I didn’t have a lot of time or I would be late for school.  Naturally, one of the customers had a question about a pen that he was considering purchasing and I remember feeling frustrated that this man was going to make me late for first period.  For a moment I thought about leaving and coming back after school was over.  But I knew that if I didn’t clear this up before school I wouldn’t be able to concentrate all day long – and we had a history test that day.

Finally, it was my turn.  I explained that I had taken the candy bar the day before and that Max was in the back looking for something for a customer, that I was afraid to leave the nickel on the counter with other people in the store and that I was running late for my lesson.  So I paid him the five cents and the thing I most remember was the smile he gave me.  Fred thanked me for my honesty and said not to worry about it.

I always liked both Max and Fred and would never do anything to hurt them.  And I think that they knew that.  It was hard not to like Max because he was the spitting image of Kukla on “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”.  And Fred was about six feet four and looked a lot like Fred Gwynne.

A few days later I went into the corner store to buy another candy bar.  Max was manning the fort.  As soon as I walked up to the counter with my purchase he said, “Well, here’s the little person who tried to bankrupt us.”  I was mortified – until I realized that he was joking.  And then he said, “Fred told me what happened.  Just so you know, if I’m ever in the back and Fred’s not working, just take what you want and come back to pay for it later.  We both trust you.”  That statement has stayed with me over all these years – and may well be the finest compliment I have received in my entire life.

It’s hard to explain why people do the things they do.  I can certainly attribute my sense that I need to be honest as something that my family drilled into me both in words and through their own example.  I like to think that I’m fortunate that somehow it sunk in.  My folks were both scrupulously honest and it was with a sense of trepidation that I mentioned this incident to them.  It was a few days later at dinner and I was waiting for an appropriate lull in the conversation to bring it up.

They listened to my account and my father who stopped in the store almost every day said, “Yes, I heard about it from both Max and Fred last week.  And I hope that you learned from this.  You should always allow yourself some extra time in the event something comes up which might make you late for an appointment.”

Mom’s take was different.  She said, “You know you shouldn’t be eating candy bars late in the afternoon.  They will spoil your dinner.”  Apparently my father had already told her about his conversation with the two store owners.  And that was the end of that traumatic episode in my life.  .

In the absence of good parental guidance, I guess it’s not surprising that far too many of our younger members of society don’t see things in quite the same way as many in my generation.  Perhaps science, the new god that we believe will solve all our ills can come to our rescue and develop a pill that instills scruples in the person who swallows it.

I guess the only question is, would there be any demand for the product?

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