Big things first…and little things last

Wild hogs…there’s a price to pay for freebies

An actual 8th grade exam…(duh, 18th grade maybe?)

Monkeys in a cage…maybe why we are like we are

Height measure with a barometer…student 6, teacher 1

Davey Crockett sez…"don't give away the farm"

Not raising hogs for fun and profit

Throughout history, man has passed on much of his most profound knowledge via stories, parables, jokes, and other entertaining ways to make a point.

The best public speakers know this and carefully collect their litany of compelling stories to buttress the often dreary sides of their lectures. For instance, many people credit Jesus with a mastery of parable telling that has allowed his message to be quite clear some 2000 years later.

What follows is a short collection of amusing (to some) or sarcastic (to some) stories that just might make a point. Anyone who holds a valid copyright to one of the stories and wishes the parable removed should email us.



A lecturer once reached behind the podium and produced a jar. He then filled the jar with big rocks and asked the class. "Is it full?" Unanimously, the class replied, "Yes!"

The lecturer then took a bucket of gravel and poured it into the jar. The small rocks settled into the spaces between the big rocks.

He asked the class, "Is it full?" This time there were a few in the audience holding back, but most answered, "Yes!"

The lecturer next produced a can of sand and preceded to pour it into the jar. The sand filled up the spaces between the gravel. For the third time, he asked. "Is it full?" Now most of the audience were wary of answering, but again, many said, "Yes!"

Then he brought out a pitcher of water and poured it into the jar. The water saturated the sand.

At this point he asked his audience, "What is the point of this demonstration?" One bright person raised their hand and responded, "No matter how full one’s schedule is in life, he can always squeeze in more things!"

"No," replied the teacher, "The point is that unless you first place the big rocks into the jar, you are never going to get them in. The big rocks are the important things in your life---your family, your friends, and your personal growth.

If you fill your life with small things, as demonstrated by the gravel, the sand, and the water; you will never have time for the important things.




(a parable about the wild and free hogs of the Okefenokee swamp)

Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions— especially his traps—and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

It was a Saturday morning—a lazy day—when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town’s local citizens.

The traveler spoke. "Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?"

Some of the oldtimers looked at him like he was crazy. "You must be a stranger in these parts," they said.

"I am. I’m from North Dakota," said the stranger. "In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs." one old man explained. "A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!" He lifted up his leg. "I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp."

Another old fellow said, "Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!

Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They’re wild and they’re dangerous. You can’t trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself." Every man nodded his head in agreement.

The old trapper said, "Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?" They said, "Well, yeah, it’s due south— straight down the road." But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he’d meet a terrible fate.

He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon." And they did. Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they’d never see him again. Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.

Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn. This went on for a month. And then two months, and three. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.

The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn. He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.

"Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they’re all hungry. I’ve got to get them to market right away."

"You’ve WHAT in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously. "I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven’t eaten for two or three days, and they’ll starve if I don’t get back there to feed and take care of them."

One of the oldtimers said, "You mean you’ve captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?"

"That’s right."

"How did you do that? What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly.

One of them exclaimed, "But I lost my arm!"

"I lost my brother!" cried another.

"I lost my leg to those wild boars!" chimed a third.

The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn’t come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I’d spread a sack of corn. The old pigs would have nothing to do with it."

"But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn. After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time."

"The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing. At first they wouldn’t come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them."

"But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day."

"And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them."

"The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn’t get suspicious or upset. After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out."

"This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts."

"The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail. After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time."

"Now I decided that I wouldn’t feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn’t feed them the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them. But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts."

"Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They now needed me. They needed my corn every other day.

So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence. But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will."

"Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I need you to help me take these pigs to market."

The allegory of the wild pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about Washington politicians using tax money to bait, trap, and enslave a once free and independent people.

The welfare state, from "free" school lunches to old age "pensions" (SS), has reduced more than individuals to a state of dependency. State and local governments are also on the fast track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal "revenue sharing" programs. Please copy this story and send it to all your state and local elected leaders (and other concerned citizens). Tell them: "Just say NO to "free" federal corn---we can’t afford it."





So you think your child is getting a good, free, and complete education in the public schools? If so, give your 8th grader this actual exam.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895 (reprinted by the Salina Journal). Original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS

Grammar (Time: one hour)

Arithmetic (Time: 1.25 hours)

U.S. History (Time: 45 minutes)

Orthography (Time: one hour)

Geography (Time: one hour)


My thoughts…

This is a shocking document because it is all but impossible for the average Y2K college graduate to handle. It’s probable that most Y2K high school graduates would flunk this exam if they had to take it in a library and could use any and all printed or Internet references they wished.

We are not teaching our children to think. Please explore the superior nature of home schooling as a start toward regaining our ability to compete in the world.




Monkey see, monkey do

1.Start with a cage containing five monkeys. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

2.As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response -- all of the monkeys get sprayed each time with cold water. Keep this up for several days.

3.Turn off the cold water---actually, you can put away the hose. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

4.Now, let’s have some fun: remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and goes to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

5.Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer soon goes to the stairs and is attacked. Interestingly, the previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

6.Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

7.After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

(and you wonder why people quit trying to achieve)




Writing Clear Exam Questions  

(or the many ways to skin a cat)

Barometers and Analog Design by Alexander Calandra

Some time ago I received a call from a colleague, who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected. I went to my colleague's office and read the examination question:

"Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer."

The student had answered: "Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building." (first skinned cat)

I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit since he had really answered the question completely and correctly. On the other hand, if full credit were given, it could well contribute to a high grade in his physics course. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question. I was not surprised that my colleague agreed, but I was surprised when the student did. I gave the student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said no. He had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute, he dashed off his answer which read:

"Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop the barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then, using the formula d = 0.5at2 calculate the height of the building." (2 skinned cats)

At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and gave the student almost full credit. In leaving my colleague's office, I recalled that the student had said that he had other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were. "Oh, yes," said the student. "There are many ways of getting the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer, the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building, and by the use of simple proportion, determine the height of the building." (3 skinned cats)

"Fine," I said, "and others?"

"Yes," said the student. "There is a very basic measurement method you will like. In this method, you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units. (4 skinned cats)

"A very direct method."

"Of course, if you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of g at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference between the two values of g, the height of the building, in principle, can be calculated." (5 skinned cats)

"Finally," he concluded, "there are many other ways of solving the problem. Probably the best," he said, "is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent's door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: 'Mr. Superintendent, here is a fine barometer. If you will tell me the height of the building, I will give you this barometer.'" (6 skinned cats)

At this point, I asked the student if he really did not know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, but said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think, to use the "scientific method," and to explore the deep inner logic of the subject in a pedantic way, as is often done in the new mathematics, rather than teaching him the structure of the subject. With this in mind, he decided to revive scholasticism as an academic lark to challenge the Sputnik-panicked classrooms of America.

(editor's note: I wonder why he didn't tell the professor that you can measure altitude by changes in barometric pressure? It would be simple to measure the pressure at ground level and then go up to the top for a second measure. The differential should help calculate the building height.  Wow!  There is more than one way to skin a cat.)





From the Life of Colonel David Crockett

Member of the U.S. Congress 1827-31 & 1832-35

Complied from The Life of Colonel David Crockett

by Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884)

One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker - I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living.

I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and, if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt it would but for that speech, it received but few votes and of course, was lost.

Later when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that I should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but as I thought, rather coldly.

I began, 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and…'

'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett, I have seen you once before and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering right now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

That remark was a sockdolager, so I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you.

I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it, is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'

'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional questions.'

'No, Colonel, there is no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings in Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?'

'Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant amount of $20,000 to relive its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'

'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of, it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be and the poorer he is, the more he pays in proportion to his means.

What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000.

If you had the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity.

Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought to appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.

The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports to be true, some of them spend not very credibly; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation and a violation of the Constitution.

So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger for the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned and you see that I cannot vote for you.'

'I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him and I said to him:

Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it and thought I had studied it fully. I have head many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law, I wish I may be shot.'

He haughtingly replied: 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'

'If I don't, I said, I wish I may be shot, and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbeque and I will pay for it.'

No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbeque and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days and we can afford a day for a barbeque. This is Thursday. I will see to getting up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday and we will go together and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'

'Well, I will be there. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name.'

'My name is Bunce.'

'Not Horatio Bunce?'


'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and have been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before. Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the world - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

But, to return to my story. The next morning I went to the barbeque and to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me. In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened by speech by saying:

Fellow-citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to see your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.

I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error. It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so. He came upon the stand and said:

'Fellow citizens, it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised to you today.'

He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before. I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. "

"There is one thing now to which I call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owned the deceased - a debt which could not be paid by money - and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity and just to obtain it."


Another hog story...

Was it Cicero who first said, "All democracies are doomed to fail once the electorate realizes they can vote themselves funds from the treasury"?  With that thought in mind, please enjoy this little spoof.

TO: Honorable Secretary of Agriculture 
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir;

My friend, Ed Peterson, over at Wells township in Iowa, claims he received a check for $1,000 from the government for not raising hogs. So, I want to go into the "not raising hogs" business next year.

What I want to know is, in your opinion what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs.  By the way, your county agent agreed to help, but I decided to appeal directly to you when he showed me the forms and other paperwork he needed to pay me for not raising hogs.

As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised. My friend Peterson is very joyful about the future of the business. 

He has been raising hogs for twenty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was $422 in 1968, until this year when he got your check for $1000 for not raising hogs.

If I get $1000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year. Then I can afford an airplane.

Now another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn (my estimate). I understand that you also pay farmers for not raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising  the corn to not feed the 4000 hogs I am not going to raise?

Also, I am considering the "not milking cows" business, so send me any information you have on that too.  Although I have no experience in not milking cows, I feel that by the time I have learned how to make out the proper forms for not raising hogs I can qualify to make out forms for not milking cows.

In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed and plan to file for unemployment and food stamps. Be assured you will have my vote in the coming election.

Patriotically Yours,


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