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A Motto With a Purpose

I am a new reader to The Christian Science Monitor. I am curious about the quotation printed at the head of the editorial pages, ``First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.'' I am not familiar with the origin of the quotation, or its meaning.

Could you print a brief explanation? I think this might be interesting to other readers as well. Meredith M. Dalebout, Culpeper, Va.

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Editor's note: The quote comes from the Bible, Mark 4:28 (American Standard Version).

Archibald McLellan, the Monitor's first editor, once said of the motto, ``It expresses the high ideal set before the staff of the Monitor by its Founder, - a lofty purpose, for whose accomplishment they are to strive; patiently and persistently tilling the soil of human thought day by day, until by and by the field shall be crowned with ripened grain, and they shall hear the `Well done, good and faithful servant.' ''

Put an end to the embargo

I am distressed that The Christian Science Monitor printed the opinion-page article ``US policy Toward Villains,'' Sept. 14.

It unfairly lumps together the oil-rich Muslim despots of Iran, Iraq, and Libya with the poor island of Haiti and the imprisoned economy of Cuba.

In Haiti, a democratically-elected liberation theologian Jean-Bertrand Aristide became President and tried to bring human rights to his people.

It's ironic that the Central Intelligence Agency labeled this man an unstable villain because he encouraged Haitians to ask for more than the slave wage of 10 cents an hour - to make baseballs for our striking millionaire professional athletes?

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Last year Dr. Benjamin Spock identified the real villain when, after delivering medical supplies to Cuba, he said:

``I think it's not only illegal and a betrayal of our promise to live in peace with our neighbors ... but it's also criminal for one country to strangle another.

``The embargo hurts children. I urge Americans to use their power to persuade Congress and President Clinton to end the embargo on Cuba.'' Paul Brailsford, Ipswich, Mass. President, Samantha Smith Chapter, Veterans for Peace

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