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Missive #245

Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War published in 1883. It is also a travel book, recounting his trips on the Mississippi River, from St. Louis to New Orleans and then from New Orleans to Saint Paul, many years after the war. — Wikipedia

I have been reading Mark Twain’s travel books and thought I had only one remaing but found this one. It is not a book in the usual sense of the word being only 36 pages in length. Neither it or Life On The Mississippi have as much of Twain’s sarcastic wit as his other travel books that I have read but both were enjoyable reads.

“Serialized in part in The Atlantic in 1877, Twain wrote-mused-about his journey to Bermuda from New York City for the purpose of “putting distance between ourselves and the mails and telegraphs.” In Bermuda, he and his companion explored the island, marveling at the corral white buildings, the meandering roads, the friendliness of the small community. He describes walking around the island, “…and through stretches of forest that lie in a deep hush sometimes, and sometimes are alive with the music of birds;” walking aimlessly and without purpose, “…in maiden meditation, fancy free, by field and farm…”” — Customer review @ goodreads.com

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. – Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Machiavelli’s quote is supported by looking at the Biden Cabinet and his advisors. All of them are not men of course some of them are women and some of them are men trying to be women.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods. — H. L. Mencken

This ‘could’ be a true story.

A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function where Nancy Pelosi happened to appear. Ms Pelosi took the opportunity to schmooze the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease.

“Would you mind telling me, Doctor,” she asked, “how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?”

“Nothing is easier,” he replied. “You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track.”

“What sort of question?” asked Pelosi.

“Well, you might ask, ‘Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?'”

Pelosi thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, “You wouldn’t happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don’t know much about history.”

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