Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 5: Favorite Quote

Today I shall give two longer and the other shorter...I shall start with the short quote...

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." -Plato

That was the quote the helped me to realize me duty to be informed and vote. This is not easy for me, because I tend to want to let everyone else make all the decisions. :-P

This next one, in a way, applies to the Illegal Immigration difficulties we deal with today. 

from Exporting of Felons to the Colonies
                                       Benjamin Franklin
"To the Printers of the Gazette
  By a Passage in one of your late Papers, I understand that the government at home will not suffer our mistaken Assemblies to make any Law for preventing or discouraging the Importation of Convicts from Great Britain, for this kind reason, 'That such Laws are against the Public Utility, as they tend to prevent the IMPROVEMENT and WELL PEOPLING of the colonies.'
  Such a tender parental concern in our Mother Country for the Welfare of her children, calls aloud for the highest returns of gratitude and duty. This every one must be sensible of. But 'tis said, that in our present circumstances it is absolutely impossible for us to make such as are adequate to the favour. I own it; but nevertheless let us do our endeavour. 'Tis something to show a grateful disposition. 
  In some of the uninhabited parts of these provinces, there are numbers of venomous reptiles we call RATTLE-SNAKES, felons-convict from the beginning of the world. These, whenever we meet them, we put to death, by virtue of an old law, "Thou shalt bruise his head"(Genesis 3:15). But as this is a sanguinary(bloodthirsty) law, and may seem too cruel; and as however mischievous those Creature are with us, they may possibly change their natures if they were to change the climate; I would humbly propose, that this general sentence of death be changed for Transportation.
  In the spring on this year, when they first creep our of their holes, they are feeble, heavy, slow, and easily taken; and if a small bounty were allowed per head, some thousands might be collected annually and transported to Britain. There I would propose to have them carefully distributed in St. James Park, in the Spring-Gardens and other places of pleasure about London; in the Gardens of all the nobility and gentry throughout the nation; but particularly in the Gardens of the Prime Ministers, the Lords of Trade and Members of Parliament; for to them we are most particularly obliged.....
  I would only add, that this exporting of Felons to the Colonies may be considered as a Trade, as well as in the Light of a Favour, now [that] all Commerce implies Returns. Justice requires them. There can be no Trade without them. And Rattle-Snakes seem the most suitable returns for the Human Serpents sent us by our Mother Country. In this, however, she will have the Advantage of us. She will reap equal Benefits without equal risk of the Inconveniences and Dangers. For the Rattle-Snake gives warning before he attempts his mischief, which the Convict does not. I am
          Yours, &c.
Americanus [Franklin's pen name]" 

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