Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Visit to the Lord's Clinic

      This was sent to me in an Email in March, 2011. It had been forwarded several times; I do not know who originally created it. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


     The following passage, taken from The Source , by James A. Michener (Random House, 1965), is reflective of what I believe on the subject of immigration.  This is presented also as a review of a great novel that should be on every one's reading list.



     Dr. Eliav solved the work problem one morning by announcing that he had made contact with the Jewish Agency and they had agreed to allocate from the next immigrant ship twenty-four Moroccans to Kibbutz Makor for work at the dig.  "They'll be pretty rough diamonds," Eliav warned.  "No English.  No Education."
     "If they speak Arabic I can handle them," Tabari assured the leaders, and two nights later the team went to great the large ship that plied monotonously back and forth across the Mediterranean hauling Jewish immigrants to Israel.
     "Before we go aboard," Eliav summarized, "I've got to warn you again that these aren't the handsome young immigrants that you accept in America, Cullinane.  These are the dregs of the world, but in two years we'll make first class citizens of them."  Cullinane said he knew, but if he had realized how intellectually unprepared he was for the cargo of this ship, he would have stayed at the tell and allowed Tabiri to choose the new hands.
     For the ship that came to Israel that night brought with it not the kind of people that a nation would consciously select, not the clean nor the healthy nor the educated.  From Tunisia came a pitiful family of four, stricken with glaucoma and the effects of malnutrition.  From Bulgaria came three old women so broken they were no longer of use to anyone; the communists had allowed them to escape, for they had no money to buy bread nor skills to earn it nor teeth to eat it with.  From France came not high school graduates with productive years ahead of them, but two tragic couples, old and abandoned by their children, with only the empty days to look forward to, not hope.  And from the shores of Morocco, outcast by towns in which they had lived for countless generations, came frightened, dirty, pathetic Jews, illiterate, often crippled with diseases and vacant-eyed.
     "Jesus Christ!" Cullinane whispered.  "Are these the newcomers?"  He was decent enough not to worry about himself first--although he was appalled at the prospect of trying to dig with such assistance--but he did worry about



Israel.  How can a nation build itself strong with such material? he asked himself.  It was a shocking experience, one that cut to the heart of his sensibilities: My great-grandfather must have looked like this when he came half-starved from Ireland.  he thought of the scrawny Italians that had come to New York and the Chinese to San Francisco, and he began to develop that sense of companionship with Israel that comes very slowly to a Gentile: It was building itself of the same human material that America was developed upon; and suddenly he felt a little weak.  Why were these people seeking a new home coming to Israel and not to America?  Where had the American dream faltered?  And he saw that Israel was right; it was taking people--any people--as America had once done; so that in fifty years the bright new ideas of the world would come probably from Israel and no longer from a tired America.

     [Here follows a paragraph about a family from Morocco, here omitted.]

     The other twelve newcomers were from various nations, and when they were all in the special bus that would carry them to Makor, the man from the Jewish Agency passed among them, handing them parcels of food, Israeli citizenship papers, unemployment insurance for a year, rent money, health insurance, and cellophane bags of candy for the children.  In Arabic he shouted, "You are now citizens of Israel, and you are free to vote and criticize the government."  At the door he bowed and left.
     Cullinane sat up late that night.  Eliav said, "We'll accept



any Jew from any part of the world in whatever condition he finds himself."
     "We did it," Cullinane said, "and we built a great nation."
     "Critics complain that the old people, like Yusuf and his first wife, or the three Bulgarian women . . . They say they'll never be productive.  But I've always maintained . . . "
     "Eliav was instrumental in helping form the policy," Vered explained proudly.
     "I look at productivity from an entirely different point of view," Eliav said slowly, polishing his pipe with his palms.  "I say that it takes four thousand people to make a town.  You've got to have four thousand human beings to fill the places, as it were.  They don't all have to be in their middle working years.  It's easy to see that some have to be children to keep the town going in the future.  But some should also be old people to fill the places where wisdom is needed, or to act as baby-sitters, or just to sit around as human beings."  He looked intently at Cullinane and said, "How much better the world would be tonight if that boat had been landing at New York.  Symphonies and cathedrals are not built by the children of upper-middle-class families.  They're built by the units we saw tonight.  You need these people very much, Cullinane, but we cant spare them and you're too frightened to take them."


     This passage should give us all something to think about.  While I am certainly for secure borders to prevent the entry of terrorists and criminals, I am definitely not in favor of closed borders.  Maybe an amnesty program is worth thinking about. -- C. S.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Comment to Senator Murray

I want to encourage you that the deficit, although a serious problem, is really nothing new and no cause for panic.  This nation began with a proportionately greater deficit from our revolution; remember the old phrase, "not worth a continental" came from that.  And let us not forget the deficit from the Civil War, the World Wars, and many other causes.  There is no cause for alarm that we should be cutting existing programs that many people are depending on, or not extending such programs, such as unemployment, which will expire, I believe unfairly, for many if not extended.   In June of 1947 a Republican Senator from Nebraska, Kenneth S. Wherry, in reference to funding existing projects, that  the interior department subcommittee of the Senate appropriations committee had increased funds for all major reclamation projects to allow work to go forward next year at the same rate as this year.  I see no difference in principle between that and funding such things as unemployment.

Response from Senator Murray‏


Thank you for contacting me regarding the recently created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, of which I am a co-chair.  I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for this process.
As you may know, on August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law after its bipartisan passage through Congress. Following an initial down payment of almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction through cuts to discretionary spending, this legislation created a Joint Select Committee tasked with identifying further deficit reduction of approximately $1.5 trillion.  In the event the Committee is unable to produce a plan to meet that amount, immediate across-the-board cuts will be enacted that will come from both defense and non-defense spending. In accordance with the legislation, Committee members were to be appointed by Majority and Minority Leaders in each chamber of Congress.
On August 10, 2011, I was asked by Senate Majority Leader Reid to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit ReductionI agreed to accept this role because I take the goals of this Committee seriously and because I believe that it is time for members of both parties to work together to improve our nation's financial future.  Currently, am working with my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to address our national debt and deficit in a balanced and bipartisan manner.  I know we need to make the tough choices that put our country on a more sustainable fiscal track but I also know that we must protect the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable who are struggling mightily in today's economy. I do not want to pass an unsustainable debt along to my own grandchildren and will be working tirelessly toward a bipartisan plan that reduces our deficit without neglecting the need for investment in areas that help to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote our country's long-term competitiveness.
I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for the Joint Select Committee and I will certainly keep the suggestions of Washingtonians in mind as I work with my colleagues to address our fiscal situationPlease continue to pass on your thoughts, as they will help me and my fellow Committee members as we take on this challenge.  You can also visit for further information about the work of the Joint Select Committee, and if you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at

Patty Murray
United States Senator