From home of the brave to humanity’s free hospital

“Keep ancient lands, your healthy men!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your weak, your sickly,
Your huddled HIV patients yearning to live for free,
The TB cases of your teeming shore.
Send these, the scrofulous, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

“The New Colossus” (revised for our times by LA)

A reader writes:

I recently saw a woman THREE DAYS OFF THE PLANE from Nepal, whence she came as a sponsored refugee. There are about 200 Nepali refugees in this small New England city, which to them must seem like the far side of the moon.

She came to a doctor’s office because of a cough, producing copious sputum. Her chest X-ray was classical for active tuberculosis. She was admitted to a hospital, placed in an isolation room, and has had about $15,000 worth of diagnostic testing and will soon be treated—all courtesy of the taxpayer.

Now you are not supposed to be on the plane to the U.S. without a negative TB test and a negative X-ray. This is required by U.S. law, and used to be a more or less rigid rule.

When I inquired how she got on the plane to begin with, the answer was, “The system is overwhelmed, the social services agency has a quota, nobody can do everything.”

The resettlement of 85-year-old persons who have never seen a fork and who believe in magic is becoming routine. And their families come, too.

The criminals are the tip of the iceberg. What on earth can be the rationale of scouring the globe for sick, infected wretches and dropping them in the middle of small-town America? To fill a social services agency quota?

It’s a much bigger problem than most realize. By focusing on criminals and grifters, we completely fail to see the larger phenomenon.

- end of initial entry -

James R. writes:

I know a lot of words, but scrofulous was new to me; I had to look that one up.

That word has an evocative definition, I’ll have to remember this one. Thanks.

LA replies:

In fact, prior to this, the word “scrofulous” was not a part of my vocabulary. I had never used the word before. I only thought of it because reader Jim C. used it in the recent discussion about what to call treasonous liberal whites such as Cyrus Vance, Jr. and Michael Nifong. And my understanding of what it meant was incorrect. Just from the sound of it, I thought it meant having some disgusting type of sore. In fact, as I found out by looking up the word in a dictionary after I had thought of it and typed it in the draft of this entry, it means having scrofula, which is “a form of tuberculosis characterized by swellings of the lymphatic glands.” So, even though the word “scrofulous” had nothing to do with TB when it came into my mind, it turned out to mean TB, which just happened to be the original poster’s subject AND the subject of the line immediately preceding the line where I used “scrofulous.”

When connections like that occur, they are, to my mind, evidence of a level of cause and effect operating in a mental plane of reality of which we have no direct experience, though we do have repeated experience of its workings, which tells us that it does exist.

James R. replies:

I’ve experienced similar serendipity in the past, which is one reason I could never be an atheist, and concluded that Aquinas and Aristotle were right.

LA writes:

From April 2009, here is an earlier re-writing by me of Emma Lazarus’s famous poem. It was inspired by a horrifying article about immigrant murderers and mass murderers, particularly Jiverly Wong who had recently killed a bunch of his fellow immigrants in a community center in Binghamton, New York:

“Keep ancient lands, your cultured ways!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your head-cases, your screwy,
Your huddled mass murderers yearning to shoot free,
The angry misfits of your teeming shore.
Send these, the unassimilable, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
July 6

Lydia McGrew writes:

My hyper-informative nature leads me to pass on, apropos of your comment that scrofula turned out to have a different meaning from what you had imagined, that tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, if not properly treated, can indeed result in wounds or sores on the neck. Moreover, in the times when scrofula was known as the King’s Evil (because the monarchs of England were believed to be able to cure it by touching the sufferer), other ailments causing sores on the neck were included under the label. See this Wikpedia article:

This accords with what I had previously read about scrofula.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 05, 2011 03:06 PM | Send

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