Tournament Challenge Flop… (My Poor Bracket :( )


Holy smokes! This NCAA tournament has been fantastic! Unfortunately my Bracket is TOAST! First Pitt lost to butler, I couldn’t believe it! I had them all the way to the final four (and so did pretty much EVERYBODY else!!) The game was ridiculous, especially the end. A foul on a REBOUND to give the other team the victory??? Then Duke lost to Arizona, and I mean LOST. They got their butts kicked in the last half, and it wasn’t that Duke wasn’t playing well, Arizona was UNREAL!! I thought it was bad enough at that point, two of my final four choices were eliminated, but I still had a chance to get half of them! And then, last night Kentucky’s freshman guard Brandon Knight hit a 15 footer with five seconds to go to win a 2 point lead against the Buccaneers, and with 5 seconds to go, Ohio went for the 3!!! They had enough time to get in for a two but they took the risk… and lost! So here I am, three of my final four picks didn’t even make it to the elite 8! I guess that is what I get for picking number 1 picks. The only thing keeping me afloat is that I picked Kansas to win the whole thing, but with the way things are going they could fall prey to VCU!! What did I learn this year, I can’t predict the future… thats for sure!

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

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 cabbin-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 stroling 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 Barbadoes.
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 publick, 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 our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in
their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its 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 cloathing
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 expence 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 couple, 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 till 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 a 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 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 fricasie, or a ragoust.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick 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, encreaseth
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 prolifick dyet, there are more children born in Roman
Catholick countries about nine months 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 beggar’s child
(in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, 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 produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require)
may flea 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
supply’d 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 country 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 publick, 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 soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this
expedient was put into his head by the famous Salmanaazor, 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 incumbrance.
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 young labourers, 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 labour,
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 episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of
their own, which by law may be made liable to a distress, and
help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being
already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintainance 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 encreased 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 skilful 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 encrease 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 publick, to their annual profit instead of expence. 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 sow 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
barrel’d 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
yearly child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure
at a Lord Mayor’s feast, or any other publick 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 ’twas 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
cloaths, nor houshold 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 acting 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 some glympse 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 expence 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, and 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 million of pounds sterling, adding
those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers,
cottagers and labourers, 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 cloaths to cover them
from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable
prospect of intailing 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 endeavouring to promote this necessary
work, having no other motive than the publick 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.
The EndA 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 publick.

by Dr. Jonathan Swift. 1729
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 cabbin-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 stroling 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 Barbadoes.
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 publick, 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 our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in
their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its 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 cloathing
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 expence 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 couple, 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 till 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 a 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 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 fricasie, or a ragoust.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick 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, encreaseth
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 prolifick dyet, there are more children born in Roman
Catholick countries about nine months 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 beggar’s child
(in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, 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 produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require)
may flea 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
supply’d 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 country 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 publick, 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 soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this
expedient was put into his head by the famous Salmanaazor, 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 incumbrance.
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 young labourers, 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 labour,
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 episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of
their own, which by law may be made liable to a distress, and
help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being
already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintainance 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 encreased 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 skilful 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 encrease 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 publick, to their annual profit instead of expence. 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 sow 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
barrel’d 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
yearly child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure
at a Lord Mayor’s feast, or any other publick 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 ’twas 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
cloaths, nor houshold 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 acting 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 some glympse 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 expence 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, and 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 million of pounds sterling, adding
those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers,
cottagers and labourers, 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 cloaths to cover them
from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable
prospect of intailing 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 endeavouring to promote this necessary
work, having no other motive than the publick 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.
The End

Letter From Birmingham Jail: Martin Luther King jr.

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail {King, Jr.}”

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants–for example, to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham’s mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: “Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro’s frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible “devil.”

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as “rabble rousers” and “outside agitators” those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies–a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle–have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty nigger-lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?”

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather “nonviolently” in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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King, Martin Luther Jr.

Why engineers should rule the world.

Engineering is the art of solving problems by making the best assumptions and simplifications. One who masters this technique can do anything, and this is why I believe that Engineers should rule the world. Society acts as a machine, and like any machine no one can completely understand every change in the system, one can only understand a simplified calculation, a calculation which has been determined to work but requires many assumptions. thermodynamics is a perfect example, there is no way to predict where every particle of a substance is but we can observe the change in the particle’s state (by measuring differences in temperature, pressure, volume, etc.) After measuring these differences we can use an equation to calculate the change in something else. Digging into specifics isn’t all too helpful, it is concentrating on the correct assumptions that can give us an accurate prediction for the performance of an heat engine, refrigerator, and so on. I think that the same can go for the economy, and maybe even further to the general welfare of a people. We can measure things such as the number of crimes, legal prosecutions, speeding tickets, loans taken out, defaulted payments, etc. And after determining the correct assumptions make very accurate predictions based on the Observation of the change in these measurements.

In this regard, engineers should rule the world.

What an Obama supporter said to a McCain supporter

Richard who has decided to root for McCain said this on his blog http://richardsramblings.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/why-im-voting-for-john-mccain/

Why I’m Voting for McCain

One of these days, if and when third party candidates are a viable option and if the greater of the two evils can’t do any damage while in office, I might take a leap of faith and vote third party in the presidential elections.

For now, I will refrain from doing that and vote for John McCain on November 4.

There are issues with which I agree with McCain strongly and those that I don’t. Then there is Barack Obama, a man whose style triumphs over his substance and who is wrong on virtually every issue while bringing to the table a woeful lack of experience or assertiveness. I find Obama’s talk of “change” to be nothing more than recycled demagoguery.

As an independent conservative, I believe McCain is right on three key issues: cutting spending while keeping taxes low, protecting America’s sovereignty and security against terrorists and the issue of life. Whereas Obama feels that the question of when life begins is “above [his] pay grade”, McCain emphatically believes that life begins at conception.

I listened to the first two debates between McCain and Obama. McCain seemed rough early in the first debate but picked up steam as the debate went on. Granted, he’s not a great speaker, but I observed many more attempts by McCain to offer specifics to his plans than what Obama did. In the second debate, a town-hall format, Obama frequently looked lost. (I guess not having a teleprompter will do that). Here in Michigan where car/deer accidents happen daily, that’s a look you don’t want to see in a president.

Especially if there’s a 3 a.m. call and a crisis to deal with.

Then there’s the tax issue. I find Obama’s plan one that’s vague and seems to change whenever new focus group data comes in. I cringe to think of those who might be considered “rich” under Obama. Perhaps two of my brothers-in-law–one who’s a small business owner and the other who’s about to open his own small trucking business. Perhaps freelance clients of mine. Of course, it’s hard to tell since nailing down specifics on Obama’s tax plan is like trying to drink tea using chopsticks.

Yes, there’s a deficit, and yes, the war on terror has been costly. But when I consider a candidate like Obama who wants to increase taxes and government spending while we already have a deficit and national debt, I have to ask this: considering how many billions of dollars annually our government already wastes irresponsibly, why should it be given even more money to spend? Obama said we need a scalpel instead of an axe when cutting the budget. I disagree. Do we really need a National Endowment for the Arts? Do we really need faith-based initiatives? Whether a Republican or Democrat gets elected, do we really need multi-million-dollar inaugural galas?

When it comes to the war on terror, Obama especially worries me. I don’t think he really understands the evil we’re up against, especially since he has reported ties to the Nation of Islam and considering that he wants to have dialogues with regimes like Iran (which doesn’t recognize Israel and whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denies the Holocaust took place). Obama runs the same old, tired approach that America is responsible for the world’s being angry with us and that it’s up to liberals to go out there and repair the international damage Bush has done. Yes, the same liberals who were offended by President Ronald Reagan referring to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and who view foreign policy as a glorified popularity contest.

When it comes to protecting this country and growing its economy, I’d rather put my trust in a senator who feels that tax cuts should be accompanied by spending cuts, one who believes the government should be thrifty instead of spendthrifty, and one who knows, first-hand, what it’s like to serve one’s country and suffer for it. I don’t see those qualities in Obama; instead, I see a man who talks the talk but is too dreadfully inexperienced and unwise to walk the walk. For these reasons, I will be voting for John McCain for president.”

Why This McCain Supporter Should Actually vote for OBAMA

I have to disagree when you say that Obama is wrong on every issue, if fact I think that he is right on the majority of them.

The first issue Obama is right on has to be the need for the federal government to make crucial investments. The government needs to invest in four things: education, infrastructure, technology, and military. The United States has fallen behind in 3 out of four of these things, and is threatened to fall behind in all of them. The US education system for primary education is terrible, in fact we fall behind south africa in this category. Our infrastructure is starting to get old, and obsolete, if you have evey been to tokyo, or korea, or china you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. We are WAY behind in green technology, to understand the implications of this imagine if we were behind in computer tech when that was imerging, imagine if apple and microsoft were chinese companies, and we had to obey their incredible power and work in sweat shops to make hardware to run these software applications! Military is the last, and China and Russia would love to just take the number one spot from us, and we just can’t afford that to happen. Therefore we need to invest as heavily as we can in these four areas.

The second is health care. As diagnostic technology becomes more and more advanced, private companies will be more and more informed and therefore will be less and less likely to provide health care to those who need it. already we are seeing health care prices going up, and with over 25% of the country uninsure, there is a huge problem. Tax payers pay for the uninsured, and the legal fees assosiated with that, (health care is the number one reason for bankruptcy.) We as a nation should tackle this problem, rather than ignore it.

The third (and finale for now) is international politics. Just admit it people around the world love Obama, and there is a reason. He is the type of guy built for foreign relations. When he went to Germany over 200,000 people showed up to his speach, and he is just a running mate! Mr. Obama has the ability to improve America’s standing in the world both because of his personality as well as his policies. Mr. Obama brings a more friendly America to the table, one who listens, and colaborates with its allies, and attempts to negotiate with its enemies. Obviously ignoring our allies and enemies is a failed policy, and Obama will change that.

So as far as that goes, I am voting for Obama, and the notion that he is wrong on everythin is just false, in fact he is more in tuned than Mr. McCain, or any other politician in office.
https://utahchemicalengineering.wordpress.com/

 

What do you think?

Senator John McCain’s plans projected to increase national debt more than OBAMA’s

There has been a lot of controversy over both of the presidential candidate’s proposed budgets. This is mainly because we are already running at a deficit of 455 billion (roughly 3.2% of our total economic output).

There have been many concerns over Obama’s budget plans, but I have to tell you that McCain’s budget will increase the deficit and national debt substantially more than Obama’s will.

“Mr. McCain’s proposed tax cuts would mean about $1.5 trillion in lower revenue over his term, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Extending the Bush income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 beyond their scheduled 2010 expiration would account for more than a third of that total. He also would change the alternative minimum tax to hit fewer middle-income taxpayers, reduce corporate income taxes and accelerate business write-offs for equipment. The 10-year cost of Mr. McCain’s tax plan would be as much as $4.2 trillion, the center says.” -Jacki Calmes NYTimes

McCain is also planning to give a 5000 dollar tax credit for health insurance, a cost which he has determined will be paid for by taxing employer health care benifits.

Mr. Obama will extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than 250,000 dollars per year, and immediatly lift the tax cuts for those who make above this amount. “Like Mr. McCain, he would change the alternative minimum tax to apply only to the rich, as intended, and close corporate loopholes, most of them unspecified.”(NYTimes) The revenue from these taxes will be used to fund Mr. Obama’s health care plan.

 While McCain’s Budget will most likely cost substantially more than Mr. Obama’s he is making very few investments in comparison. Mr. Obama has planned investments in education, energy, infrastructure, research foreign aid, while McCain has only planned to expand the military (still budgeted less than what Obama plans for military investment.) Most of McCain’s spending comes form corporate tax relief, tax credits to companies for first year machinery, and his health care tax credit system.

I think that Mr. McCain is making the wrong type of investments, we need to invest in edcuation, infrastructure and new technology, otherwise we will be left in the dust by Asia and Europe. I think that it is important to understand that Obama’s budget creates less deficit spending and more crucial investment.

Conclusion: Obama’s plan is less expensive than McCain’s even though it includes more investment in education, technology development, infrastructure, and military.

WHO WON THE FINAL DEBATE?

Who do you think won the Final Debate? Barack Obama, or John McCain. Vote now! Many Polls have suggested that Barack Obama won the Final Debate, what do you have to say. Vote Now!! 

Leave your response as to why you believe who you believe won the debate (if you want 🙂 )