President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Proclamation 2017

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims Thursday, November 23, 2017, as a National Day of Thanksgiving


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On Thanksgiving Day, as we have for nearly four centuries, Americans give thanks to Almighty God for our abundant blessings.  We gather with the people we love to show gratitude for our freedom, for our friends and families, and for the prosperous Nation we call home.

In July 1620, more than 100 Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower, fleeing religious persecution and seeking freedom and opportunity in a new and unfamiliar place.  These dauntless souls arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the freezing cold of December 1620.  They were greeted by sickness and severe weather, and quickly lost 46 of their fellow travelers.  Those who endured the incredible hardship of their first year in America, however, had many reasons for gratitude.  They had survived.  They were free.  And, with the help of the Wampanoag tribe, and a bountiful harvest, they were regaining their health and strength.  In thanks to God for these blessings, the new governor of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and gathered with the Wampanoag tribe for three days of celebration.

For the next two centuries, many individual colonies and states, primarily in the Northeast, carried on the tradition of fall Thanksgiving festivities.  But each state celebrated it on a different day, and sometime on an occasional basis.  It was not until 1863 that the holiday was celebrated on one day, nationwide.  In the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, of one of the bloodiest battles of our Nation’s Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the country would set aside one day to remember its many blessings.  “In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity,” President Lincoln proclaimed, we recall the “bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.”  As President Lincoln recognized: “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful and charitable spirit.  When we open our hearts and extend our hands to those in need, we show humility for the bountiful gifts we have received.  In the aftermath of a succession of tragedies that have stunned and shocked our Nation — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the wildfires that ravaged the West; and, the horrific acts of violence and terror in Las Vegas, New York City, and Sutherland Springs — we have witnessed the generous nature of the American people.  In the midst of heartache and turmoil, we are grateful for the swift action of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, military and medical professionals, volunteers, and everyday heroes who embodied our infinite capacity to extend compassion and humanity to our fellow man.  As we mourn these painful events, we are ever confident that the perseverance and optimism of the American people will prevail.

We can see, in the courageous Pilgrims who stood on Plymouth Rock in new land, the intrepidness that lies at the core of our American spirit.  Just as the Pilgrims did, today Americans stand strong, willing to fight for their families and their futures, to uphold our values, and to confront any challenge.

This Thanksgiving, in addition to rejoicing in precious time spent with loved ones, let us find ways to serve and encourage each other in both word and deed.  We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful.  As one people, we seek God’s protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2017, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.



20 Million People in the World are Dying Unnecessarily

Above: South Sudanese refugee stands with her child in Pagarinya 2 refugee camp in the Adjumani district in northern Uganda.

Special Report: 20 Million People in the World Are Dying of Starvation Unnecessarily

How can we feed them? How can we help them feed themselves?

The origin of this posting is Thanksgiving Day 1960 when I was 13 years old. Following Thanksgiving dinner with my family in Borough Park Brooklyn, my grandmother cleared away dinner, folded up the gate-legged  wooden table, and opened the maple wood doors at the cabinet where she hid the television set. She’s turned on the set and we watched Edward R, Murrow’s Harvest of Shame.


"This is CBS Reports Harvest of Shame," announced Edward R. Murrow. "It has to do with the men, women, and children who harvest the crops in this country of ours, the best-fed nation on earth.
Norman Rockwell family Thanksgiving
"These are the forgotten people, the under-protected, the under-educated, the under-clothed, the under-fed. We present this report on Thanksgiving because were it not for the labor of the people you are going to meet, you might not starve, but your table would not be laden with  the luxuries that we have all come to regard as essentials. We should like you to meet some of your fellow citizens who harvest the food for the best-fed nation on earth."

++++ Edward R. Murrow based his broadcast from Belle Glade, Florida which in 1960 was a home to a domestic migrant stream. By 1974, that stream was drying up--replaced in large part by the globalization of agricultural workers willing to do work U.S. citizens regarded as beneath our dignity.
For me, Belle Glade, Florida remains an actual and metaphorical location where my understanding of how to feed the starving people of the world began.
The rich swampland of Belle Glade is the equivalent of agricultural gold. Anything planted in its rich soil will grow. By the 1970s, the soil was treated with astonishing disrespect. U.S. Sugar and other growers produced sugar cane there--a crop that has no rational economic reason for being grown in the United States. 

The economist David Ricardo (1772-1823), hero of mine, pointed to the irrationality of growing sugar in Florida when it is far less expensive to import it from countries in Central and South America, in Africa and elsewhere where foolish U.S. food policy imposes tariffs which keep in business U.S. sugar cane and beet producers who are less efficient and would be better off producing instead a valuable commodity on our precious soil.
Portrait of David Ricardo by Thomas Phillips
“In an economic model, agents have a comparative advantage over others in producing a particular good if they can produce that good at a lower relative opportunity cost or autarky price, i.e. at a lower relative marginal cost prior to trade.”
Ricardo wrote: Ricardo’s example reads, “To produce the wine in Portugal, might require only the labour of 80 men for one year, and to produce the cloth in the same country, might require the labour of 90 men for the same time. It would therefore be advantageous for her to export wine in exchange for cloth. This exchange might even take place, notwithstanding that the commodity imported by Portugal could be produced there with less labour than in England. Though she could make the cloth with the labour of 90 men, she would import it from a country where it required the labour of 100 men to produce it, because it would be advantageous to her rather to employ her capital in the production of wine, for which she would obtain more cloth from England, than she could produce by diverting a portion of her capital from the cultivation of vines to the manufacture of cloth.”
It is not often I agree with the American Enterprise Institute, but when it comes to sugar (an obsession of mine) the current protectionist policies of the U.S. government—enshrined in the 2018 farm biill—wastes at considerable cost to the US treasury 900,000 acres of land which would nest be used for other purple.

Consequently, sugar protectionism threatens our producers of rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans whose ability to pay their children's college tuition is dependent upon exports. 

The coup putting 93 year-old Robert Mugabe under house arrest [1] is one of three major international stories to break this week. For 37 years Zimbabwe’s corrupt regime has turned the “breadbasket” of southern Africa [2]into a net importer of food. 
See this exciting report from South Africa television:
BBC: "Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said. A letter from Mr Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power, the Reuters news agency reports. The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him. Lawmakers roared in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets. Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week's military takeover and days of protests. He has been in power since independence in 1980."
 BBC News: Published on Nov 21, 2017.

Editorial note: In Zimbabwe, a country with a literacy rate of over 80 percent, will the dictator’s fall mean that one of the richest countries in Africa will be able to feed southern Africa again?


Currently, a child starves to death every 10 minutes in Yemen.

Earlier this week the UN Security Council heard legitimate concern that in the wake of a Saudi Arabia boycott of critical humanitarian supplies, Yemen is at risk of becoming the most severe crisis in a world filled with severe crises. Yemen’s shortage of food is putting 17.8 million people at risk of dying from starvation. Currently, a child starves to death every 10 minutes in Yemen. Meanwhile, our too little too late Secretary of State is in Myanmar where a minority Moslem population is at risk of genocide from the country’s majority Buddhist population.

Refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh are filled to overflowing as the county’s leadership puts fleeing refugees back into leaking boats to return to the danger they fled. As millions of people are dying in the world, the Los Angeles Times in one of the few news outlets in the US to provide coverage. Almost certainly, Meet the Press and the other Sunday network news programs will ignore death and suffering on a massive scale.

Over 200 Children Killed in Yemen in 2017

Instead, the vast majority of US  reporters focus to the exclusion of everything else on Jeff Sessions testimony before a House of Representatives oversight committee. Can not reporters provide at least 10 percent of their efforts [tithe] on life and death issues instead of concentrating  in exhaustive detail the tawdry sexual behavior of the Republican nominee running in the Senate Alabama race?  Why cannot we be spared repetition until we all can memorize each of the  President’s irrational tweets?

Wordsworth wrote”the world is too much with us.” Not in the isolationist United States where our role as an example of world leadership—painfully acquired during World War II—diminishes daily..


Zimbabwe was once the “breadbasket” of Southern Africa

Los Angeles Times correspondent Robyn Dixon reported from Harare, Zimbabwe on November `5, 2017:

“As the country descended into economic ruin, Mugabe became an international outcast for his misrule. He blamed the problems on whites and political enemies.



“In the early 2000s, Mugabe sanctioned the invasion of hundreds of white-owned farms by black veterans of the liberation war and other government supporters, a land grab that resulted in the deaths of farmers and political opponents. Supporters praised him for standing up for the black majority against Western imperialists.

“But in recent years, Mugabe has been abandoned by even some of his most ardent supporters, including South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party, which wants South Africa to confiscate land from whites.

“’The EFF appreciates that some of the pain caused in Zimbabwe was due to imperialist actions, but a significant component of this was self-inflicted,” it tweeted Wednesday as it called on Zuma to offer Mugabe political asylum. ‘ President Mugabe cannot insist on remaining in power even when he is physically incapable of doing so.’”


Yemen: “It will be the largest famine the world has seen in many decades with millions of victims.”

From the about section of this EuroNews You Tube video:

Yemen is facing a devastating famine unless the current air, sea and land blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition is lifted. “It will be the largest famine the world hasn’t seen for many decades, with millions of victims,” *UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock* told reporters. He had briefed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the country. He had been asked to brief the UNSC which held a closed-door meeting … See :…


Genocide in Myanmar


Meanwhile, a sharply divided Congress fiddles while the world burns

Confirmation hearings of Attorney General Jeff Sessions whose “contribution” to the death taking place globally is to secure the borders and round up illegal aliens.

Attorney General Sessions Testimony at Oversight HearingAttorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Justice Department oversight issues and Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Attorney General Sessions told the committee he stands by his previous testimony that he never lied about his contacts with Russia. He added that he had no recollection of a campaign meeting with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page involving Russia until he saw news reports. In addition, Attorney General Sessions said he has “no reason to doubt the young women” who have accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.

Also, the attorney general discussed whether a special counsel is needed to investigate the Clinton Foundation. He said he has no prejudgments and would not take any sides but a decision by the Justice Department would be based on a detailed factual evaluation.


Meanwhile, back in the real world: Who is feeding the millions who are starving?

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a United Nations programme mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Its headquarters are in GenevaSwitzerland, and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group.[1]The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, once in 1954 and again in 1981.

Wikipedia, of course


The Philippines voted on November 18, 2017 PH votes against U.N. draft resolution on Rohingya in Myanmar
From the field: Emergency Response Coordinator in Bangladesh

I’ve met so many brave Rohingya families who have little more than the clothes on their back and the weight of their trauma and loss. And the painful memories of the violence that forced them to flee their homes.



UNHCR’s country representative, Ayman Gharaibeh, warns war is tearing the fabric of Yemen apart and creating a humanitarian catastrophe.

AMMAN, Jordan – Since war broke out in Yemen in March 2015, the fabric of the country has been disintegrating and the population of 27.4 million suffering untold hardship and misery. The situation there has been described as a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ and without help many more people, especially children, will die from violence, lack of food and water, illness or disease.

Yemen is on the brink of a horrible famine. Here’s how things got so bad.

AymanGharaibeh, UNHCR’s Representative to Yemen, is leading the UN Refugee Agency’s humanitarian operations and response across the country. The experienced humanitarian aid worker previously served in Yemen with UNHCR from 1992 to 1994. Gharaibeh spoke to Public Information Officer ShabiaMantoo about the desperate situation there.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees:

“Yemen is in the grips of one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world — two million have been forced to flee their homes because of increased violence in the country – more than 18 million innocent Yemenis are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance, many risk starvation.”



Amid increasing violence and deteriorating conditions, the situation in South Sudan has escalated into a full-blown humanitarian emergency.

Sudan, once the largest and one of the most geographically diverse states in Africa, split into two countries in July 2011 after the people of the south voted for independence.

“The total number of South Sudanese refugees has now passed two million, it is the largest refugee crisis in Africa, and the third largest in the world, after Syria and Afghanistan. Sadly, 63 percent of South Sudanese refugees are under the age of 18.” –UNHCR

Above: South Sudanese refugee stands with her child in Pagarinya 2 refugee camp in the Adjumani district in northern Uganda.

“The vast majority of South Sudanese refugees are finding refuge in neighboring Uganda. Currently, Uganda is hosting more than one million refugees – 82 percent are women and children.”

“The majority of those fleeing South Sudan are women and children. They are survivors of violent attacks, sexual assault and in many cases, children are traveling alone.

“Often, they arrive weak and malnourished. When the rainy season comes, their needs are compounded by flooding, food shortages and disease.”


Constitutional removal of President Trump is imperative if the U.S. is to regain its position following World War II as global leader responding in a timely manner to catastrophes to prevent even more widespread suffering and economic destruction


Budget would restructure a diminished commitment to international food aid

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump’s budget proposal sharply reduces the U.S. commitment to international food assistance. The United States provides most emergency and developmental food assistance under P.L. 480 Title II, also known as Food for Peace. This initiative was launched in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he signed into law what became known as the Food for Peace Act. The purpose was two-fold: to answer the urgent humanitarian call to feed the world’s hungry, which was deemed to be in accord with national security interests, while providing an outlet for the incredible bounty of U.S. agriculture.  

Congress appropriates funding each year to P.L. 480 Title II as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget. The program itself is administered by the Office of Food for Peace in the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

President Trump’s budget would eliminate all U.S.D.A. funding for P.L. 480 Title II. Instead, funding for fiscal year (F.Y.) 2018 emergency international food assistance, a proposed $1.1 billion, would be funneled through the International Disaster Account at USAID.  This compared with P.L. 480 Title II funding for F.Y. 2017 at an estimated $1,713 million and actual spending in F.Y. 2016 at $1,716 million. This would translate to a cut of more than $600 million in international food assistance from the estimate for the current year.

At the same time, the administration proposed to lower funding for the I.D.A. account itself in F.Y. 2018 by $900 million from F.Y. 2017, to $2.5 billion.

“The U.S. government will urge other donors, including non-traditional donors, to increase funding for humanitarian assistance and lessen the burden on the United States to respond,” the State Department’s budget request stated.



Required is for the U.S. to regain its position in the world as a champion of humanitarian assistance to the poorest of the poor who are dying.  Currently, President Trump aids the Saudis by providing military equipment and logistical support in killing children, women, and men in Yemen. It is imperative to remove the President from office non-violently and constitutionally.

Three resources are available. 1. Impeachment. 2. Removal under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. 3. Persuading President Trump to resign from office.


There was bad news for the United Nations last week, as President Donald Trump announced he is seeking a 28 percent budget cut for diplomacy and foreign aid, which includes an unspecified reduction in funding to the United Nations and its agencies. VOA's U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer reports that the potential cuts come as the U.N. is struggling to cope with an unprecedented number of conflicts, approaching famines and the effects of climate change. Originally published at -


Much nonsense has been emitted about the failure of the Democratic Party to have responsible leaders in this time of crisis. Senator Camilla Harris of California is currently my favorite to secure in the Democratic nomination in 2020. However, a number of Senate and House Democrats as well as state and local officials point to our party’s bench strength. A list is available upon request.

Not acceptable is Senator Diane Feinstein whose inability to see facts when presented before her of Trump’s illegal behavior including but not limited to obstruction of justice, makes her my candidate to defeat in the California primary next year. I am hopeful that Tom Steyer, whom I commend for this impeach President Trump commercial, decides to run against Senator Feinstein next year.



  1. South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) News is an excellent source of the latest news on the transition from Mugabe’s 37 years controlling power in Zimbabwe.
  2. “Because of its highly productive land and vast agricultural
    potentialities, Zimbabwe used to be not only selfsufficient
    but also produce surplus crops for exports.
    However, the situation has changed in the recent years to
    the extent that the country can no longer feed itself and
    has to depend on foreign aids. This problem is to a great
    extent caused by the so-called Structural Adjustment
    Program promoted by the World Bank; and partly by the
    political turmoil which resulted in the imposition of
    different types of sanctions on the country. Consequently,
    the Zimbabwean agricultural system becomes weak and
    weaker. It is however, expected that these negative
    phenomena could be successfully turnaround and
    changed for the better. But without selfless and focus
    leadership, this change will be mere a mirage.” —Zimbabwe’s agricultural industry by Ahmed Audu Maiyaki



Maiyaki, Ahmed Audu. Zimbabwe’s agricultural industry. African Journal of Business Management.Vol. 4(19), pp. 4159-4166, December Special Review, 2010


This posting copyright © 2017 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.


Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

MOSCOW — By Russian standards, the few lines that Melania Trump used from Michelle Obama for her speech at the Republican National Convention this week would barely tip the plagiarism scale.

— The New York Times, July 22, 2016

By Russian Standards, Melania Trump Would Be a Plagiarism Amateur

I had been hoping to awake in this state of mind. It is hours before 5 A.M. when I am scheduled to leave my bed, drink coffee, toast bread, smear the toast with butter and consider whether to add marmalade.

The truth is I found myself writing about Bashir Gemayel (given the odd situation the current Prime Minister of Lebanon is experiencing) and as a matter of course mentioned Evelyn Waugh. One thing led to another.  I found myself searching the Internet for a public domain copy of Scoop, a truly wonderful book–although “wonderful” is a word I do not like using because doing so requires unnecessary elaboration. Here it is. Wonderful enough





Even though Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy novel requires no introduction, I am introducing it anyway because doing so makes it possible to tell you about my romance with Pola Negri (clearly not her real name).

This is the wrong Pola Negri.
The right one (who would never have consented to her photograph) [much as I had wanted to] to call her MINE.
Regarding my living PN, I first met in her October of 1973 at one of the offices of the House of Representatives where she was a receptionist for Rep. Ella T. Grasso.















My story may have some truth in it. I am not the only one Scoop has influenced. Tina Brown was sufficiently influenced by the novel that she called her real news institution The Daily Beast based on the Scoop newspaper.


Chapter One

While still a young man, John Courteney Boot had, as
his publisher proclaimed, achieved an assured and enviable
position in contemporary letters.  His novels sold fifteen
thousand copies in their first year and were read by the
people whose opinion John Boot respected.

Between novels he kept his name sweet in intellectual circles with un-profitable but modish works on history and travel His
signed first editions sometimes changed hands at a shilling
or two above their original price.

He had published eight books – (beginning with a life of Rimbaud written when he was eighteen, and concluding, at the moment, with
Waste of Time , a studiously modest description of some
harrowing months among the Patagonian Indians) – of
which most people who lunched with Lady Metroland could
remember the names of three or four.

He had many charming friends of whom the most valued was the lovely Mrs Algernon Stitch.

Like all m her circle John Boot habitually brought his
difficulties to her for solution. It was with this purpose, on
a biting-cold mid-June morning, that he crossed the Park
and called at her house (a superb creation by Nicholas
Hawksmoor modestly concealed in a cul-de-sac near Saint
James’s Palace),

Algernon Stitch was standing in the hall, his bowler hat
was on his head; his right hand, grasping a crimson, royally
emblazoned despatch case, emerged from the left sleeve of
his overcoat; his other hand burrowed petulantly in his
breast pocket. An umbrella under his left arm further in-
convenienced him. He spoke indistinctly, for he was holding
a folded copy of the morning paper between his teeth.

‘Not in Wasters. On Arthur’s ceiling I put it in the Prime
Minister’s bedroom ’

‘Did he read it?’

‘Well I don’t think he reads much.’

‘Terracotta is too long, madam, and there is no r.’

‘Try hottentot It’s that kind of word. I can never do
anagrams unless I can see them. No Twisbury , you must
have heard of it.’

‘Flonbus Austrum,’ Josephine chanted, ‘perditus et
liquidis immisi fontibus apros; having been lost with flowers in the South and sent into the liquid fountains* apros is
wild boars but I couldn’t quite make sense of that bit.’

‘We’ll do it tomorrow. I’ve got to go out now. Iis “hotten-
tot” any use?’

‘No madam,’ said Brittling with ineffable gloom.

‘Oh, dear. I must look at it in my bath. I shall only be
ten minutes. Stay and talk to Josephine.’

She was out of bed and out of the room. Brittling followed.
Miss Holloway collected the cheques and papers. The
young man on the ladder dabbed away industriously.
Josephine rolled to the head of the bed and stared up at

‘It’s very banal, isn’t it, Boot?’

‘I like it very much.’

‘Do you? I think all Arthur’s work is banal. I read your
book Waste of Time

‘Ah.’ John did not invite criticism.

‘I thought it very banal.’

‘You seem to find everything banal.’

‘It is a new word whose correct use I have only lately
learnt,’ said Josephine with dignity. ‘I find it applies to
nearly everything* Virgil and Miss Brittling and my gym-

‘How is the gymnasium going?’

‘I am by far the best of my class although there are
several girls older than me and two middle-class boys.’

When Mrs Stitch said ten minutes, she meant ten min-
utes. Sharp on time she was back, dressed for the street ; her
lovely face, scraped clean of clay, was now alive with

‘Sweet Josephine, has Mr Boot been boring you?’

‘It was all right really. I did most of the talking.’

‘Show him your imitation of the Prime Minister.’


‘Sing him your Neapolitan song ’


‘Stand on your head. Just once for Mr Boot.’


‘Oh dear. Well we must go at once if we are to get to
Bethnal Green and back before luncheon. The traffic’s

Algernon Stitch went to his office m a sombre and rather
antiquated Daimler; Julia always drove herself, in the latest
model of mass-produced, baby car, brand-new twice a year,
painted an invariable brilliant black, tiny and glossy as a
midget’s funeral hearse. She mounted the kerb and bowled
rapidly along the pavement to the corner of St James’s,
where a policeman took her number and ordered her into
the road.

‘Third time this week,’ said Mrs Stitch. ‘I wish they
wouldn’t. It’s such a nuisance for Algy.’

Once embedded in the traffic block, she stopped the
engine and turned her attention to the crossword.

‘It’s “detonated”,’ she said, filling it m.

East wind swept the street, carrying with it the exhaust
gas of a hundred motors and coarse particles of Regency
stucco from a once decent Nash facade that was being
demolished across the way. John shivered and rubbed some grit further into his eye. Eight minutes close application was
enough to finish the puzzle. Mrs Stitch folded the paper and
tossed it over her shoulder into the back seat, looked about
her resentfully at the stationary traffic.

‘This is too much,’ she said, started the engine, turned
sharp again onto the kerb and proceeded to Piccadilly, driv-
ing before her at a brisk pace, until he took refuge on the
step of Brook’s, a portly, bald young man; when he reached
safety, he turned to remonstrate, recognized Mrs Stitch, and
bowed profoundly to the tiny, black back as it shot the corner
of Arlington Street. ‘One of the things I like about these
absurd cars, 5 she said, ‘is that you can do things with them
that you couldn’t do in a real one.’

From Hyde Park Corner to Piccadilly Circus the line of
traffic was continuous and motionless, still as a photograph,
unbroken and undisturbed save at a few strategic corners
where barricaded navvies, like desperate outposts of some
proletarian defence, were rending the road with mechanical
drills, mining for the wires and tubes that controlled the
life of the city.

‘I want to get away from London,’ said John Boot.

‘So it’s come to that? All on account of your American

‘Well, mostly.’

‘I warned you, before you began. Is she being fright-

‘My kps are sealed. But I’ve got to get far away or else
go crazy.’

‘To my certain knowledge she’s driven three men into
the bin. Where are you going?’

‘That’s just what I wanted to talk about.’

The line of cars jerked forwards for ten yards and again
came to rest. The lunch-time edition of the evening papers
was already on the streets; placards announcing


were fluttering in the east wind.

‘Ishmaelia seems to be the place. I was wondering if
Algy would send me there as a spy.’

‘Not a chance/


‘Foregonners. Algy’s been sacking ten spies a day for
weeks. It’s a grossly overcrowded profession. Why don’t
you go as a war correspondent?’

‘Could you fix it?’

‘I don’t see why not. After all you’ve been to Patagonia.
I should think they would jump at you. You’re sure you
really want to go?’

‘Quite sure.’

‘Well, I’ll see what I can do. I’m meeting Lord Copper
at lunch today at Margot’s. I’ll try and bring the subject up.’


When Lady Metroland said half-past one she meant ten
minutes to two. It was precisely at this time, simultaneously
with her hostess, that Mrs Stitch arrived (having been
obliged by press of traffic to leave her little car in a garage
half way to Bethnal Green, and return to Curzon Street by
means of the Underground railway). Lord Copper, however,
who normally lunched at one, was waiting with some im-
patience. Various men and women who appeared to know
one another intimately and did not know Lord Copper, had
been admitted from time to time and had disregarded him.
His subordinates at the Megalopolitan Newspaper Corpora-
tion would have been at difficulties to recognize the uneasy

figure which stood up each time the door was opened and
sat down again unnoticed. He was a stranger m these parts;
it was a thoughtless benefaction to one of Lady Metroland’s
chanties that had exposed him, in the middle of a busy
day, to this harrowing experience, he would readily, now,
have doubled the sum to purchase his release. Thus when
Mrs Stitch directed upon him some of her piercing shafts
of charm she found him first numb, then dazzled, then
extravagantly receptive.

From the moment of her entrance the luncheon party was
transformed for Lord Copper; he had gotten a new angle
on it. He knew of Mrs Stitch; from time to time he had
seen her m the distance, now for the first time he found
himself riddled through and through, mesmerized, in-
ebriated Those at the table, witnessing the familiar pro-
cess, began to conjecture m tones which Lord Copper was
too much entranced to overhear, what Julia could possibly
want of him ‘It’s her model madhouse , 5 said some, ‘she
wants the caricaturists to lay off Algy , 5 said others; ‘Been
losing money , 5 thought the second footman (at Lady
Metroland’s orders he was on diet and lunch time always
found him in a cynical mood); ‘a job for someone or other , 5
came nearest the truth, but no one thought of John
Courteney Boot until Mrs Stitch brought him into the
conversation. Then they all played up loyally.

‘You know , 5 she said, after coaxing Lord Copper into
an uncompromising denunciation of the Prime Minister’s
public and private honesty, ‘I expect he 5 s all you say, but
he’s a man of far more taste than you’d suppose. He always
sleeps with a Boot by his bed . 5

‘A boot ? 5 asked Lord Copper, trustful but a little be-

‘One of John Boot’s books.’

The luncheon party had got their cue.




4 Dear John Boot/ said Lady Metroland, ‘ so clever and
amusing. I wish I could get him to come and see me more

‘Such a divine style/ said Lady Cockpurse

The table buzzed with praise of John Boot. It was a new
name to Lord Copper. He resolved to question his literary
secretary on the subject. He had become Boot-conscious.

Mrs Stitch changed her ground and began to ask him in
the most flattering way about the chances of peace in
Ishmaeha. Lord Copper gave it as his opinion that civil
war was inevitable. Mrs Stitch remaiked how few of the
famous war correspondents still survived.

‘Isn’t there one called Sir Something Hitchcock?’ asked
Lady Cockpurse (This was a false step since the knight m
question had lately left Lord Copper’s service, after an
acrimonious dispute about the date of the battle of Hastings,
and had transferred to the Daily Brute camp )

‘Who will you be sending to Ishmaeha?’ asked Mrs Stitch.

‘I am in consultation with my editors on the subject.
We think it a very promising little war. A microcosm as
you might say of world drama. We propose to give it
fullest publicity. The workings of a great n jwspaper/ said
Lord Copper, feeling at last thoroughly Rotarian, ‘are of
a complexity which the public seldom appreciates. The
citizen little realizes the vast machinery put into motion for
him in exchange for his morning penny.’ (‘Oh God/ said
Lady Metroland, faintly but audibly.) ‘We shall have our
naval, military and air experts, our squad of photographers,
our colour reporters, covering the war from every angle and
on every front,’

‘Yes/ said Mrs Stitch. ‘Yes, yes. I suppose you will . . .
If I were you I should send someone like Boot. I don’t
suppose you could persuade him to go, but someone like






‘It has been my experience, dear Mrs Stitch, that the
Daily Beast can command the talent of the world. Only last
week the Poet Laureate wrote us an ode to the seasonal
fluctuation of our net sales. We splashed it on the middle
page. He admitted it was the most poetic and highly paid
work he had ever done.’

‘Well, of course, if you could get him, Boot is your man.
He’s a brilliant writer, he’s travelled everywhere and
knows the whole Ishmaelite situation inside out.’

‘Boot would be divine,’ said Lady Cockpurse loyally.

Half an hour later Mrs Stitch rang up to say ‘O.K.,
John. I think it’s fixed. Don’t take a penny less than fifty
pounds a week.’

‘God bless you, Julia. You’ve saved my life.’

‘It’s just the Stitch Service,’ said Mrs Stitch cheerfully.


That evening Mr Salter, foreign editor of the Bea$t 9 was
summoned to dinner at his chief’s country seat at East
Finchley. It was a highly unwelcome invitation 5 Mr Salter
normally worked at the office until nine o’clock. That even-
ing he had planned a holiday at the opera; he and his wife
had been looking forward to it with keen enjoyment for
some weeks. As he drove out to Lord Copper’s frightful
mansion he thought sadly of those carefree days when he
had edited the Woman’s Page, or, better still, when he had
chosen the jokes for one of Lord Copper’s comic weeklies. It
was the policy of the Megalopolitan to keep the staff alert
by constant changes of occupation. Mr Salter’s ultimate
ambition was to take charge of the Competitions. Mean-
while he was Foreign Editor and found it a dog’s life.

The two men dined alone. They ate parsley soup, whiting,
roast veal, cabinet pudding, they drank whisky and soda.





Lord Copper explained Nazism, Fascism and Communism;
later, in his ghastly library, he outlined the situation m the
Far East* ‘The Beast stands for strong mutually antagonistic
governments everywhere, ’ he said. ‘Self sufficiency at home,
self assertion abroad.’

Mr Salter’s side of the conversation was limited to expres-
sions of assent. When Lord Copper was right, he said,
‘Definitely, Lord Copper’; when he was wrong, ‘Up to a

‘Let me see, what’s the name of the place I mean?
Capital of Japan? Yokohama, isn’t it?’

‘Up to a point, Lord Copper.’

‘And Hong Kong belongs to us, doesn’t it?’

‘Definitely, Lord Copper.’

After a time* ‘Then there’s this civil war in Ishmaeha. I
propose to feature it. Who did you think of sending?’

‘Well, Lord Copper, the choice seems between sending
a staff reporter who will get the news but whose name the
public doesn’t know, or to get someone from outside with
a name as a military expert. You see since we lost Hitch-
cock . .

‘Yes, yes. He was our only man with a European repu-
tation. I know . Zinc will be sending him. I know . But he
was wrong about the battle of Hastings. It was 1066. 1 looked
it up. I won’t employ a man who isn’t big enough to admit
when he’s wrong.’

‘We might share one of the Americans?’

‘No, I tell you who I want; Boot.’


‘Yes, Boot. He’s a young man whose work I’m very much
interested in. He has the most remarkable style and he’s
been m Patagonia and the Prime Minister keeps his books
by his bed. Do you read him?’

‘Up to a point, Lord Copper.’

‘Well get onto him tomorrow. Have him up to see you.
Be cordial Take him out to dinner. Get him at any price.
Well, at any reasonable price/ he added for there had lately
been a painful occurrence when instructions of this kind,
given in an expansive mood, had been too literally observed
and a trick-cyclist who had momentarily attracted Lord
Copper’s attention, had been engaged to edit the Sports Page
on a five years’ contract at five thousand a year

Mr Salter went to work at mid-day. He found the Managing
Editor cast in gloom.

‘It’s a terrible paper this morning/ he said. ‘We paid
Professor Jellaby thirty guineas for the feature article and
there’s not a word in it one can understand. Beaten by
the Brute m every edition on the Zoo Mercy Slaying story.
And look at the Sports Page

Together, m shame, the two men read the tnck-cychst’s
Sports Page.

‘Who’s Boot?’ asked Mr Salter at last.

‘I know the name/ said the Managing Editor.

‘The chief wants to send him to Ishmaelia. He’s the
Prime Minister’s favourite writer.’

‘Not the chap I was thinking of/ said the Managing Editor.

‘Well, I’ve got to find him.’ He listlessly turned the
pages of the morning paper. ‘Boot/ he said. ‘Boot. Boot.
Boot. Why! Boot — here he is. Why didn’t the chief say he
was a staff man?’

At the back of the paper, ignomimously sandwiched
between Pip and Pop, the Bedtime Pets, and the recipe for
a dish named ‘Waffle Scramble,’ lay the twice-weekly half-
column devoted to Nature. LUSH PLACES edited by
Wilham Boot 9 Countryman 

‘ Do you suppose that’s the right one?’

‘Sure of it The Prime Minister is nuts on rural England.’

‘He’s supposed to have a particularly high-class style*
‘ Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing
vole ’ . . . would that be it?’

‘Yes/ said the Managing Editor. ‘That must be good
style. At least it doesn’t sound like anything else to me. I
know the name well now you mention it. Never seen the
chap I don’t think he’s ever been to London Sends his
stuff in by post. All written out in pen and ink.’

‘I’ve got to ask him to dinner.’

‘Give him cider.’

‘Is that what countrymen like?’

‘Yes, cider and tinned salmon is the staple diet of the
agiicultural classes.’

‘I’ll send him a telegram. Funny the chief wanting to
send him to Ishmaelia.’



Given the Impact P.–decades later P would have (still has on my internal life—what surprises israel the casual nearly routine nature of our first meeting



How I Celebrated My Seventieth Birthday in Segregated State College, PA

 This is what a “wheel chair accessible” restaurant looks like in segregated State College PA.

 Video by Emily Hartsay

Cafe Verve received an operating license from Walt Schneider, head of code for the PA Centre County Council of Governments. To receive the license, the restaurant was required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specific enforcement of ADA in this instance was defined by Commonwealth building code which establishes public access requirements. As a restaurant seating 50 or fewer people, Cafe Verve was required to spend $4,000 to meet the disability-friendly requirements in the building code. The restaurant decided to spend twice that sum making the bathroom in the restaurant wheel chair accessible and paying for a sign saying so. However, the restaurant was not required to make the entrance wheel chair accessible.

After crawling into the restaurant, I required a wheel chair to get to the bathroom.

In February, I called Walt Schneider to ask for an explanation. On May first, I met him at a meeting of the Bellefonte Borough Council. There, Walt promised to get back to me in two weeks to explain why the Cafe received an operating license.

On August 17th, Walt finally got back to me with the answer. The answer is that the restaurant was required to meet Commonwealth and Borough of State College regulations on accessibility for public accommodation. However [repetition is good for the soul], while Cafe Verve was required to make accommodations, the restaurant was not required to make the entrance accessible. Exclamation point.

At that occasion, there was a still-ongoing Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission formal complaint against the seven “liberal” members of the Borough Council of State College [see Phil Ochs] for disability discrimination in public accommodations and housing, Walt promised to get back to me “soon” so I could institute a voluntary discussion with the owners to resolve the issue. I had hoped to negotiate with Freddie Irani, one of the proprietors (and with the others whose names he agreed to provide) so I could celebrate on October 12th my seventieth birthday as a mensch. Walt pulled a Waldo again.

Because the restaurant provided a wheel-chair accessible bathroom, the Borough of State College authorized Walt Schneider to issue an operating license. Had the seven members of the Borough Council been doing their job and had Walt Schneider done his, they would have requested the proprietor voluntarily put the horse before the cart and make the entrance accessible. Failing that, they would have requested the Commonwealth legislature to revise the statute to allow reason to prevail. I have requested Rep. Scott Conklin to correct this oversight.

 My plan was to celebrate my birthday with my two vegetarian daughters and my one-year old granddaughter in the new vegetarian restaurant that had just opened across the street from my apartment. Instead of driving my Amigo mobility device into the front door, the government of State College required me to crawl. Consequently, I adapted Lesley Gore’s classic and sang, “It’s My Party and I’ll Crawl if I Want To.”

–Joel Solkoff, Disability Advocate

Classic “Farmers of of Forty Centuries” Published in 1911

For more than 40,000 years, Asian farmers worked the same fields repeatedly without sapping the land’s fertility and without applying artificial fertilizer! How they accomplished this miraculous feat is described by author Franklin Hiram King, a former official of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. King traveled to Asia in the early 1900s to learn how farmers in China, Korea, and Japan were able to achieve successful harvests century after century without exhausting the soil — one of their most valuable natural resources. This book is the result of his extraordinary mission.
A fascinating study of waste-free methods of cultivation, this work reveals the secrets of ancient farming methods and, at the same time, chronicles the travels and observations of a remarkable man. A well-trained observer who studied the actual conditions of life among agricultural peoples, King provides intriguing glimpses of Japan, China, Manchuria, and Korea; customs of the common people; the utilization of waste; methods of irrigation, reforestation, and land reclamation; the cultivation of rice, silk, and tea; and related topics.
Enhanced with more than 240 illustrations (most of them photographs), this book represents an invaluable resource for organic gardeners, farmer, and conservationists. It remains “one of the richest sources of information about peasant agriculture [and] one of the pioneer books on organic farming.” — The LastWhole Earth Catalog.























“Three of [Franklin Hiram King] seven books were written during that period, the best known of which is Farmers of Forty Centuries, or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan, which recounted his investigations into what would now be called organic farming or sustainable agriculture during a nine-month tour of Asia in 1909. The last chapter was completed after his death by his wife, Carrie Baker King. The book was published in 1911 and was described by Lord Northbourne – the founder of organic agriculture – as a “classic” which “no student of farming or social science can afford to ignore”.



“We have not yet gathered up the experience of mankind in the tilling of the earth; yet the tilling of the earth is the bottom condition of civilization. If we are to assemble all the forces and agencies that make for the final conquest of the planet, we must assuredly know how it is that all the peoples in all the places have met the problem of producing their sustenance out of the soil.”