Frame of Reference - Index

Duodevicesimus Stele

Laws - Justice

1) Any society worthy of distinction must have laws for the safe and orderly conduct of commerce and family life. Failing this, a group of people are but savages lacking order and lacking concern for the welfare of people beyond their immediate clan. When we accept the restraint of society we elevate ourselves beyond savage to humane, and the level of our humanity is determined by both how well we behave and by how well we contribute to the betterment of others in society. Laws are an elaboration of the best way (we can hope) of dealing with the conflicting needs and wants of members of society (and more recently we have added our physical environment as a participant in formulation of laws) to achieve justice.

"Phenomenological sociology and the recently developed school of ethnomethodology are also congruent with symbolic interaction processes that generate shared subjective definitions of social reality. Symbolic interactionism, however, is the major and most general contemporary perspective that analyzes the interdependence between subjective consciousness and interaction patterns at the micro level." It's definitions like this that remind me why I studied economics instead of sociology (as my high school teacher suggested). Paraphrased: Interactions between thinking individuals and groups are currently the focus of research?

2)

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (The Constitution of the United States of America, 1791)

From this has grown a whole body of law relating to the role of government and the right to practice religion, particularly in schools, such as the restrictions placed on prayer in public school.

3) Ethnomethodology is concerned with the 'implicit' understandings that underlie interpersonal transactions. Most people nurtured as children in the 'Judeo-Christian' ethic will have a more-or-less similar background in what is right and wrong, although much of the time spent in kindergarten and elementary school deals with reinforcing these basic concepts of social and inter-personal justice. This becomes an ethnic development and creates implicit understanding.

Symbolic interactionism concentrates on the obvious, overt or 'explicit' negotiation of shared definitions of situations, shared meanings, and the by-laws of the community whether codified or enforced by taboo. The purpose of ethnomethodology is to understand how people arrive at these 'implicit' understandings, often without explicit negotiation. The fact that many societies have the same rules, suggests that human behavior involves some consistency based on instincts. The differences between societies, however, suggest there is a lot of human behavior that is negotiable and can be left to the discretion of each group. "Symbolic interactionism theory can also be extended to deal with the macro level. The socially contrived character of large-scale social institutions..." (Doyle Paul Johnson, Sociological Theory, 1981) The anthropology of each developed society makes entertaining reading, much more so than social theory.

4) Athenian democracy from 508-322 BC, is the best early example of a direct democracy. They believed that democracy was inseparably connected to the ideals of liberty and equality. The concept was even deified and in the 4th century BC offerings were made to the goddess Demokratia (the rule of the people). They acknowledged that the concept of equality was purely political and did not spread to the social and economic sphere of society. Even at its best, Greek democracy was restricted to adult male Athenians (after age 20, there were about 30,000). Women, foreigners and slaves were excluded. For a public-spirited individual attendance at assembly, courts, and legislature, and service as magistrate could take a huge amount of time away from other mundane affairs, and only the independently wealthy, or someone with numerous wives and slaves could manage to participate actively (which becomes a justification for having such accouterments). Is plutocracy always the result of failed attempts at democracy?

5)

Amendment XIII

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (The Constitution of the United States of America, 1865)

One hundred years later President L. B. Johnson signed a more comprehensive Civil Rights Bill into law, statying: “Their cause is our cause, too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.”

6) The Eskimo male from time to time engaged in conflict, often violent ones, and frequently the cause was adultery in what was apparently a sexually lax society. Adultery existed when a woman had intercourse without her husband's approval or prior arrangement. When the offending man was challenged, he must respond or live out the rest of his years in shame. Homicide was frequently the outcome of such a challenge to status. When the Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen visited a community of fifteen Eskimo families in the early 1920's he found that every adult male had committed homicide at least once, and in every case the apparent motive had been a quarrel about a woman. (Survival of the fittest?)

The Eskimo realized that feuds were dangerous to their existence, and families were quick to prevent a quarrel from leading to murder if possible. As soon as a quarrel became public knowledge, other people in the group would seek a kinsman common to both parties to adjudicate. In drastic cases an executioner might be appointed and would obtain in advance the community's approval -- including that of the family of the murderer. No revenge would be taken when the executioner acted in the name of all the people.

Other less lethal methods of ending disputes included "buffeting, butting, wrestling, and song duels." In buffeting the opponents strike each other in turn until one is felled. In butting the forehead is used repeatedly against the opponent until one is upset and derided by the onlookers. Wrestling could have a deadly outcome; bouts were announced in advance and took place before the whole group. Regardless of the justice, the winner was the stronger or most cunning, and the victor (and in some cases survivor) also won social esteem. In Alaska and in Greenland all disputes (aside from murder) were settled by a song duel. This consisted of singing insults, obscenities and curses to the delight of the audience. As the versification progressed the audience begins to take sides and the winner is the one singer who eventually gets all the applause, the other feels a burden of shame.

7) "As we begin to understand our judicial practices, [Soviet Russia] we realize not that the public trials were only the surface indications... The waves flowed underground through the pipes; they provided sewage disposal for the life flowering on the surface."

"It was precisely at this moment that an important step was taken toward universal participation in sewage disposal, universal distribution of responsibility for it. Those who had not yet been swept bodily down the sewer hatches, who had not yet been carried through the pipes to the Archipelago, [prison system] had to march up above, carrying banners praising the trials, and rejoicing at the judicial reprisals. (And this was very farsighted! Decades would pass, and history would have its eyes opened, but the interrogators, judges, and prosecutors would turn out to be no more guilty than you and I, fellow citizens! The reason we possess our worthy gray heads is that in our time we worthily voted 'for.') (Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1973) In an unjust system, each of us is responsible for working for justice, not being complicit with the unjust system.

8)

Amendment XV

Section 1. The right of citizens of the Unites States to vote shall not be denies or abridged by the Unites States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (The Constitution of the United States of America, 1870)

Yet it took another 50 years for women as "citizens" to be guaranteed this same right by the Federal Government…
Amendment XIX

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or by any State on account of sex. [should be gender] Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (The Constitution of the United States of America, 1920)

And then another 50 years for young adults to be infranchised.
Amendment XXVI

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or any stat on account of age. Section 2. The congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (The Constitution of the United States of America, 1971)

9) "...Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one, he [it] must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear... Read the bible then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus... But those facts in the bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces... If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise [the laws of nature], and the love of others which it will procure you... you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject any thing because any other person, or description of persons have rejected or believed it. Your reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision..." (Thomas Jefferson, "Letter to Peter Carr," 1787) This advice given to a young scholar, should be the same given to anyone entering a seat at legislature. Avoid the influence of glittering generalities and prestigious speakers. Decide the usefulness and morality of laws based on natural principles of reason and justice.

10)

(Sixty-Nine)

...There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy.
By underestimating the enemy, I almost lose what I value.
Therefore when the battle is joined,
The underdog will win.

(Fifty-Seven)

...The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers...

(Lao Tzu)

11) In 1884 the Canadian government passed a law forbidding the natives from practicing the Potlatch. Later, the law was revised and strengthened and following a large potlatch held at Village Island in December 1921, 45 people were charged under Section 149 of the Indian Act. Forty-five people were convicted of making speeches and dancing, and twenty men and women were sent to Oakalla Prison to serve sentences of two months for first offenders and three months for second offenders. The ceremonial gear, including coppers (chunks of pure metal), masks, rattles and whistles were gathered by William Halliday the agent in Alert Bay, and sent to Ottawa and to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

For many years the potlatch went "underground" to evade further prosecution under the law. In Fort Rupert, for example, people favored stormy weather for the potlatch, knowing that the police would not travel in such weather. This law was in effect until 1951 when it was deleted rather than being repealed. At the time of the confiscation the Department of Indian Affairs paid token compensation of $1,495 for the entire collection of religious and personal artifacts.

12) Where there is no compassion, crime increases. (Jewish Quotation)

"I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. [Utilitarianism] It means in its nakedness that in order to achieve the supposed good of 51 percent [tyranny of the majority] the interest of 49 percent may be, or rather, should be sacrificed. It is a heartless doctrine and has done harm to humanity. The only real, dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good of all, and this can only be achieved by uttermost self-sacrifice." (M. K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, 1960) Ironically this is self-denial of "good." You might be better off joining the majority.

13)

“In every stagge of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. (Modern Iraq?)

“Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. –

“…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence [blind luck?], we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776)

14) Censorship and prohibition: "That is the way of spiritualizing the civic activities of human society. Men have inclinations for studying history and many other mundane literatures -- stories, fiction, dramas, magazines, newspapers, etc. -- so let them be dovetailed with the transcendental service of the Lord, and all of them will turn to the topics relished by all devotees. The propaganda that the Lord is impersonal, that He has no activity and that He is dumb stone without any name and form has encouraged people to become godless, faithless demons, [Atheists] and the more they deviate from the transcendental activities of the Lord, the more they become accustomed to mundane activities that only clear their path to hell instead of return them home, back to Godhead ...Pure devotees of the Lord are all paramahamsas, and they are like the swans, who know the art of sucking milk out of a mixture of milk and water."

"Even fifty years ago, the social structure of all Indians was arranged that they would not read any literature that was not connected with the activities of the Lord. They would not play any drama not connected with the Lord. They would not organize a fair or ceremony not connected with the Lord. Nor would they visit a place that was not holy and sanctified by the pastimes of the Lord. Therefore even the common man in the village would talk about Ramayana and Mahbharata, Gita and Bhagavatam, even from his very childhood. But by the influence of the age of Kali, they have been dragged to the civilization of the dogs and hogs, laboring for bread without any sense of transcendental knowledge." (A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 2, Ch. 3, Text 14) Censorship and mind control, as with alcohol prohibition, don't work.

15) "...But I never found a double meaning in connexion with truth and even atheists had not demurred to the necessity or power of truth. But in their passion for discovering truth, atheists have not hesitated to deny the very existence of God -- from their own point of view rightly. It was because of this reasoning that I saw that rather than say that God is Truth, I should say that Truth is God. Add to this the great difficulty, that millions have taken the name of God and in His name committed nameless atrocities. [Crusades, Jihad, Inquisition, Slavery, and Settlement of Americas... the list goes on] Not that the scientists [and politicians] very often do not commit atrocities in the name of Truth. Then there is another thing in Hindu philosophy, namely, God alone is and nothing else exists, and the same truth you see emphasized and exemplified in the kalma of Islam... In fact, the Sanskrit word for truth is a word which literally means that which exists, sat...and since I believe that ultimately the means and ends are convertible terms, I should not hesitate to say that God is Love." (M. K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, 1960)

When religious fanatics write laws it is difficult to include a reasonable level of tolerance but that is the key to peace. "Truth is God" if god is synonymous with 'Telos' or 'cause for action' then the truth dictates the justice in the courts and in the legislatures. Who could deny such a god if society could create this enlightenment.

16) In 1972 The United Nations held the first conference on the environment in Stockholm. There are 240 international treaties and agreements hoping to regulate the impact of trade, industry and over-population on Earth’s environment. Still, the Secretariats that are given the task to enforce these regimes rely on the compliance of individual countries and the transparency of information. Many countries do not cooperate with this reporting requirement. (The travesties of this injustice continue.)

17) There is poetic justice in nature, and often there are anomalies that defy explanation. That is how we learn to create laws and justice that accommodates vast differences and difficulties found in society. A good analogy is offered by the most recent discovery of a huge planet, 17 times more massive than Jupiter (by far our largest planet). Geoffrey Marcy, leader of the planet-searching team at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed this largest of all known planets. This planet is associated with a second smaller planet, orbiting a star, HD168443, and is big enough to be called a brown dwarf, an object that could become (or was) a sun. Once an object acquires a mass of greater than 13 times that of Jupiter, it is supposed to have sufficient gravity to collapse into itself and form a star alive with nuclear fusion. Astronomers have identified some 50 planets associated with various stars, but this latest is truly an anomaly.

Life is full of these surprises, opportunities and tragedies. Is Man capable of hoping, loving, caring and solving His tremendous social justice problems? If not poverty, at least starvation or the international HIV-AID's epidemic. We are faced with many challenges, the fight against bigotry, racism, 'white-supremacy' and child abuse; to name just a few injustices that defy explanation and cry-out for solutions -- everyday.

18) "Let us try to list some of the simplest methods which break the will and the character of the prisoner without leaving marks on his body." Solzhenitsyn proceeds to detail 31 different techniques that are used to torture political prisoners into confessing to crimes against the state. "Brother mine! Do not condemn those who, finding themselves in such a situation, turned out to be weak and confessed to more than they should have... Do not be the first to cast a stone at them."

"Article 139: 'The accused has the right to set forth his testimony in his own hand, and to demand the right to make corrections in the deposition written by the interrogator' ...Oh, if we had only known that in time!" (Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1973) What use is an inspirational law if the police and political system is corrupt in the interpretation and execution of the law? There is at times a justification for violence against the state.

19) "To me, being Jewish means and has always meant being proud to be part of a people that has maintained its distinct identity for more than 2,000 years, with all the pain and torment that have been inflicted upon it... As for me my life has been greatly blessed. Not only have I lived to see the State of Israel born, but I have also seen it take in and successfully absorb masses of Jews from all parts of the world. [Zionism] When I came to this country in 1921, its Jewish population amounted to 80,000, and the entry of each Jew depended on permission granted by the mandatory government. We are now a population of over 3,000,000 of whom more than 1,000,000 are Jews who have arrived since the establishment of the state under Israel's Law of Return, a law that guarantees the right of every Jew to settle here. I am also grateful that I live in a country whose people have learned how to go on living in a sea of hatred without hating those who want to destroy them and without abandoning their own vision of peace. To have learned this is a great art, the prescription for which is not written down anywhere. It is part of our way of life in Israel." (Golda Meir, My Life) (1891-1978) A voice of reason that will never be lost to us, hopefully!

20) "I think it is appropriate that we pay tribute to this great constitutional principle which is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution: the principle of religious independence, of religious liberty, of religious freedom. But I think it is also important that we pay tribute and acknowledge another great principle, and that is the principle of religious conviction." (John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963) If you were alive in 1963 you probably remember where you were when you heard the announcement of his assassination. I was in High School; we were called to the auditorium, then dismissed.

21) "The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice."

"Non-violence is 'not a resignation from all real fighting against wickedness'. On the contrary, the non-violence of my conception is a more active and real fight against wickedness than retaliation whose very nature is to increase wickedness. I contemplate a mental and therefore a moral opposition to immoralities. I seek entirely to blunt the edge of the tyrant's sword, not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical resistance. The resistance of the soul that I should offer would elude him. It would at first dazzle him and at last compel recognition from him, which recognition would not humiliate but would uplift him. It may be urged that this is an ideal state. And so it is." (M. K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, 1960)

22) 12 "Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God commanded thee.

13 "Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

14 "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant [slavery had not yet been abolished], nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. [The wife is implicit in "thou?"] (Moses and Aaron, The Old Testament, Deuteronomy 5, 12-14)

For 3000 years of Western culture this has been a boon to society, although now the 5 day work-week is more the standard, and the separation of church and state allows vendors to keep their establishments open for business on the "sabbath."

23) There has been no travesty of justice so cruel or so pernicious as the degradation of women over the course of history. Of course many injustices persist around the world and in the USA.

"If I were born a woman, I would rise in rebellion against any pretension on the part of man that woman is born to be his plaything. [or anything but equal] ...so I restored to her all her rights by dispossessing myself of all my so-called rights as her husband. Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity -- to me, the female sex, not the weaker sex. It is the nobler of the two, for it is even today the embodiment of sacrifice, silent suffering, humility, faith and knowledge." (M. K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, 1960) The 'feminist' movement and the support for the Equal Rights Amendment are nothing more nor less than human rights movements. The hyperbole about "better half...nobler" is the same patronizing attitude that perpetuated this problem, however. Can't we take this last step and create peer relationships between men and women, at home and in law?

24) In a court of law, witnesses are most often required to take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Telling the whole truth may require a witness to volunteer information that is not precisely requested. Is the 'half-truth' good enough? In most family situations, members are expected to be more forthcoming because a 'half-truth' can be more deceptive than an out-right fib. Thus it is important to get a second opinion, and avoid one-sided arguments for the most critical decisions.

25) "Language does indeed create a gulf between Homo sapiens and the rest of the natural world. The human ability to generate discrete sounds, or phonemes is only modestly enhanced compared with this ability in apes: we have fifty phonemes; the ape has about a dozen. Nevertheless, our use of those sounds is virtually endless. They can be arranged and rearranged to endow the average human with a vocabulary of a hundred thousand words [attorneys often have even larger vocabularies], and those words can be combined in an infinity of sentences. As a consequence, the capacity of Homo sapiens for rapid, detailed communication and richness of thought is unmatched in the world of nature... The brain is more likely to have increased in size as a result of the evolution of language, not the other way around... Language as we know it today emerged as the product of the exigencies of hunting and gathering [and uniting for security]... then language evolved to integrate a larger number of individuals into their social groups... vocal grooming... the circuits that were altered the most in the course of human brain evolution reflect the unusual computational demands of spoken language... A rudimentary capacity for spoken language surely began with the origin of Homo... Those who wish to maintain humans as special will welcome evidence that points to a recent and abrupt origin of language. Those who are comfortable with human connection to the rest of nature will not be distressed by an early, slow development of this quintessentially human capacity. I conjecture that if, by some freak of nature, populations of Homo habilis and Homo erectus still existed, we would see in them gradations of referential language. The gap between us and the rest of nature would therefore be closed, by our own ancestors." (Richard Leakey, The Origin of Humankind, 1994) With the growth of language came the development of laws, if not justice.

26) Nothing illustrates the confusion between religion and justice more obviously than the "Scopes Trial" of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. A country schoolmaster, John Scopes, will be immortal because he had the audacity to teach about Darwin and evolution of species in Rhea County High School. He was prosecuted on a charge of teaching the theory of evolution in defiance of a state law. Many 'evolutionists' rationalize that accepting Darwin's theory offers no challenge to religion or belief in a creator, but most Fundamentalists disagree. With the power of the pulpit being essentially political power, even 75 years later the believers (in religion) had their way in Kansas, where the teaching of evolution is not required, and faculty decisions are made based, no doubt, on strict orthodoxy.

John Scopes was convicted but later released on a technicality. Today only four states mandate that human evolution be taught, while 45 states require that biological evolution be taught in a broader context. So when people who are liberal ask, why do you bother with Frame of Reference, let them be reminded of the contemporary struggles between justice, religion and the people -- in Kansas and elsewhere.

27) “I heartily accept the motto, --‘That government is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, -- ‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ …Government is at best but an expedient; but most government are usually, and all government are sometimes, inexpedient… This American government, --what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? …yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way …I ask for, not at once no government, but a once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it …but a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. [should not exist] Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?…

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels? (Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1846)

28) What can we say about social justice? Everyone has his or her favorite cause, like objecting to capital punishment, elimination of child labor or affirmative action for minorities. In 1974 the First World Food Summit Conference in Rome, Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, sad: “By 1984, no man, woman, or child would go to bed hungry.” Those leaders who were inspired then have failed to find a way to distribute the abundance of the world’s over-capacity to the people of under-developed nations. Periodic starvation caused by weather or war is an all too frequent event.

Kissinger’s pronouncement gave the impression that there was a plan to accomplish this objective, but there is still no plan. We hear in the news the occasional air-lift of food to starving areas, with food rotting on the tarmac waiting for transportation into the hinterland where people are dying piteously. In 1996 the World Food Summit met again in Rome, with delegates from 186 countries agreeing on a new goal to reduce the number who are hungry by half by 2015. but again, they have not stated a plan to accomplish this. The USA has a purchase loan program, PL 480 to assist politically correct under-developed countries buy grain, to aid US farmers. These sales are cloaked in a political agenda that begs the question. If we spent more money on food relief and less on military weapons would we enhance the prospects of peace? Probably not. Most of the problem comes from the high fertility rates and continuing increase in population in these impoverished countries. So the solution has to focus on other social issues including economic development and education. These solutions are well known, but even less well-funded than food relief.

On to Undevicesimus Stele - Meaning in Life