Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Eat Your Peas

February 22, 2012

Eat Your Peas

Abilene Morning News (Abilene, Texas) Jun 11, 1935

HELPFUL HINTS

Eat your peas with honey,
I have done it all my life;
They do taste kind of funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

Daily News (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) Aug 19, 1948

Eat Your Peas

Daily Review (Hayward, California) Aug 30, 1955

Eat Your Peas

Oneota Star (Oneota, New York) Sep 20, 1963

Eat Your Peas

Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jul 18, 1967

*****

Eat Your Peas

Danville Register (Danville, Virginia) Feb 20, 1969

*****

Eat Your Peas

Anderson Herald (Anderson, Indiana) Dec 20, 1969

*****

 

The Hayakawa column
Law, economics and sin
By S.I. Hayakawa

Aldous Huxley once wrote: “The consistency of human behavior … is due to the fact that men have formulated their desires, and subsequently rationalized them, in terms of words … If it were not for the descriptive and justificatory words with which we bind our days together, we should live like the animals in a series of discreet and separate spurts of impulse.”

Thus, indeed, do we bind our days together. Whether you describe yourself as “machinist,” “policeman,” or “teacher,” you don’t always feel like being a machinist or policeman or teacher. There are days when you would far rather be doing something else. But we continue with our jobs, held there by the words which define our role in life.

Law is the mighty collective effort made by human beings to organize that degree of orderly and uniform behavior that makes society possible.

Law and science are very different from each other. What science predicts (“ice will melt at temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit”) comes true independent of our wishes. What law predicts (“Persons convicted of murder will be hanged.”) comes true only if we are determined to do what we said we would do. At the basis of law is our determination to observe conjunction.

Language of the law is of necessity, therefore, in part a kind of sermonizing. In addition to prescribing certain forms of behavior, it must create in us the will and the desire to follow the prescription. This fact makes the judge, to a large degree, a preacher. The trial is a kind of morality play.

The art of preaching has its own pitfalls. Sermons are almost always faded at a higher level of generalization and with a greater dogmatism than the immediate situation calls for. The reasons for this are largely rhetorical: to get attention and to impress the sermon firmly in the hearer’s mind.

To reduce this matter to a simple example, let us suppose that the purpose of a given directive is to get Junior to eat his peas. If the simple demand, “Junior, eat your peas,” does not work, one proceeds immediately to a sermon on the subject: “Vegetables are good for you,” and “All growing boys should eat plenty of vegetables.”

In other words, the demand that Junior eat his peas is asserted to be not merely a passing whim, but the particularization of a general nutritive principle.

If Junior still leaves his peas untouched, one appeals to history: “You grandfather was a vegetarian and he lived to the age of 99,” and, “Sailors in the old sailing ships used to die of scurvy because they didn’t get enough fresh vegetables.” From here on it is but a short jump to say that God intended that peas be eaten and father be obeyed.

But the great principles we enunciate on one day prove to be extremely inconvenient on another day, as inevitably they must, since they state it so much more than was necessary to begin with.

So, as Father himself leaves untouched his carrots — and raisin salad a few days later, he can say, if challenged: “what I was arguing for all along is not vegetables as such, but a balanced diet — as it is possible to achieve balance without this particular salad. A man can’t keep going on rabbit food. Do you know that millions in Asia are suffering from protein deficiency because they get nothing but vegetables to eat?”

Thus do fathers keep all bases covered and maintain fiction with infallible wisdom. And if the layman regards the law with a mixture of exaggerated respect and exaggerated distrust, is it not because lawyers and judges perform on a large scale as the rest of us do daily?

I write these words as President Ford’s economic summit conference draws to a close. One gets the impression, hearing the summaries of the proceedings, that economics, like law, is not so much a science as it is a branch of homiletic, or the art of preaching.

One speech after another tells us how to save ourselves from inflation, which has come upon us as punishment for our economic sins.

Salvation lies, we are told, in rigid controls over prices and wages — or no controls at all; in relaxing the federal regulation of business; in giving the consumer greater protection; in lower taxes for the poor; in high taxes for everybody; in a balanced budget; in a more abundant flow of money; in eliminating (or increasing) depletion allowances and subsidies.

There are as many economic doctrines as there are Protestant sects, which goes to show that  while economics as a science is not doing well, economics as a religion is doing just fine.

Idaho Free Press (Nampa, Idaho) Oct 5, 1974

Having kids means having to say all the things you swore you’d never say
[excerpt]

I also know why parents don’t make great conversationalists. They only know a few familiar words and phrases: Don’t slam the door. Turn off the lights. Don’t interrupt. Quit running around the house. Close the refrigerator door. Pick up your room. Did you flush the toilet? Eat your peas. Think of the starving people in …

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Apr 20, 1987

Eat Your Peas

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) May 31, 1989

Offer Choices.
[excerpt]

Children need lots of experience in making their own decisions, and living with the consequences. “Would you like to eat your peas now?” does not encourage a “yes.” A much better technique is, “Would you rather have peas first or carrots first?” Early on, before babies can talk, find ways to offer good choices. As children grow, increase the number and complexity of their options. when toddlers (or grown-ups) feel they have some control over what happens to them, they are much more likely to be kind and friendly.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 5, 1996

Image from ARRA News Service

Let’s Move!

Now,  Eat Your Peas!

Glad News!

May 2, 2011

Image from 7AM KICKOFF

GLAD NEWS

Living will be cheaper now!
Sound the hewgag, beat the drum!
Haven’t we said all along
The millennium would come?
Pessimists have gloomily
Prophesied it wouldn’t, but
Now you see how wrong they were —
Pullman prices have been cut!

But, hooray! that isn’t all;
We have other cause for joy —
Living pretty soon will be
Purest bliss without alloy.
We are all so happy now,
From the baby up to pa,
Since the papers told us that
Meats are cheap in Panama!

Now, perhaps, we all can save
And put money in the bank.
Up to now we couldn’t for
The cost of living has been rank.
Isn’t it a wondrous change!
Joyous news for every one!
Spread the tidings near and far —
Salt’s dropped thirty cents a ton!

— Somerville Journal.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 3, 1911

And in today’s news, from Niall Ferguson at The Daily Beast:

NEW YORK – Sticker Shock The Fed may deny it, but Americans know that prices are rising. In this week’s Newsweek, Niall Ferguson takes a look at the Great Inflation of the 2010s.

“I can’t eat an iPad.” This could go down in history as the line that launched the great inflation of the 2010s.

Back in March, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, William Dudley, was trying to explain to the citizens of Queens, N.Y., why they had no cause to worry about inflation. Dudley, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs, put it this way: “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful. You have to look at the prices of all things.” Quick as a flash came a voice from the audience: “I can’t eat an iPad.”

Dudley’s boss, Ben Bernanke, was more tactful in his first-ever press conference on Wednesday of last week. But he didn’t succeed in narrowing the gap between the Fed’s view of inflation and the public’s.

I respect Bernanke. As an expert on the financial history of the 1930s, he was one of the very few people in power back in 2008 who grasped how close we were to another Great Depression. But if we’ve avoided rerunning the 1930s only to end up with a repeat of the 1970s, the public will judge him to have failed….

Heh!

…maybe inflation expectations started shifting when the guy from Goldman—a Marie Antoinette for our times—seemed to say: let them eat iPads!