In the Jan. 8, 1993 Brady Standard, I wrote an article under the title of ‘I’ll just quit reading’ which was in reference to a 30-or-more-year-old article in Readers Digest on the danger of smoking cigarettes. My article stood for the proposition to quit reading rather than quit smoking, for, in so doing, one would then not learn of the fallacies of life that are revealed to us through reading. Had I followed my own counsel, I would have quit reading and thus never have learned of all of the crooks I had help vote into high government offices; I would never have learned that most of our politicians are liars and that the time had come when one is taking a chance when he believes anything his government tells him. So, through the years that followed, I continued to read and continued to be disappointed in the things I learned. Then’ I read an article in Readers Digest (America’s shocking disability scam) which has made me consider, once again, the advantages of giving up reading. This article convinced me of a fact that I had long suspicioned but long hoped was untrue’and that fact is that we are electing stupid people into our congress. It also leads one to believe that these congress people, who pass these bad bills, seldom realize the stupidity of their act and do little or nothing to rectify their misdeed, thereby leaving the taxpayer, as usual, to pay for their act of foolishness. Sadly, however, when they do try to correct their mistakes, they generally mess up again. Now all’of the above happened 14 years ago mind you, and it is sad to relate that things have not improved, for we are still electing stupid people into our congress. (For instance, they recently tried to pass a bill giving amnesty to 12 million illegal’s). Had you read the referenced’article, it would have convinced you that we do have idiots in congress (idiot in this instance being taking from Webster’s definition as ‘one without professional knowledge’ very stupid or foolish’). You would have learned that, while on one hand the government might be trying to reduce the number of drunks, junkies, child abusers and other misfits, on the other hand it is doling out $25 billion a year to urge these misfits to continue on this government entitlement program for life. How did people learn of this giveaway program’ Through ‘public service’ ads on TV and word of mouth. It would appear that the government is even’encouraging parents to coach their children to act crazy in order that they can receive ‘crazy money.’ Their message is also ‘show us you are a hard-core drug addict and, as long as you continue to shoot up or drink up, the money is going to keep coming.’ In searching for words to express my feelings toward fools and stupid people, I decided that I had not learned enough to qualify for the high demands of such an endeavor. So, feeling that the words I was seeking might be provided by wiser people, I turned to my book of quotations, and here is some of what I found: ‘Generosity is a part of my character, and I therefore hasten to assure this Government that I will never make an allegation of dishonesty against it whenever a simple explanation of stupidity will suffice.’ ‘Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.’ ‘Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid.’ ‘When a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.’ ‘It has been said that there is no fool like an old fool, except a young fool. But the young fool has first to grow up to be an old fool to realize what a damn fool he was as a young fool.’ While these words were not exactly what I was seeking, I found another quotation which induced me to cease my faultfinding for it read as follows: ‘Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain’and most fools do.’ Touche’and out! FOOTNOTE: The following story proves that we had bootleggers back in the prohibition days that were perhaps smarter than some of the people we are electing to congress nowadays: It seems that back in the late 1920s and early 1930s, we had a rather elusive bootlegger here in Brady who was quite adept in escaping the law. One day a couple of federal agents came into town for the express purpose of trapping ‘Ole Charlie’ in a fabricated bootlegging scam. Locating his house, which was down near the creek east of town, they went there and asked to see Charlie. They were told that he was down on the creek bank fishing. After a long search along the creek, they finally located a man who was fishing with a long cane pole. After a short conversation, they discovered that the man was Charlie, and they told him they wanted to buy a bottle of whiskey. ‘I don’t have any,’ said Charlie, ‘but if you will give me $2, I will get you a bottle.’ ‘That’s a deal,’ said the agents and handed Charlie two one dollar bills. ‘Okay,’ said Charlie as he handed one of the agents his fishing pole. ‘You hold on to this pole and I will get you a bottle of whiskey.’ Charlie took the money and disappeared up the creek bank. After an hour of waiting for Charlie to return, the agents finally figured out that they had been taken for a ride and decided to leave. ‘He just took our money and never intended to get us our whiskey,’ said the agent as he pulled the line out of the water. But he was mistaken’for there, on the end of the line, was their $2 bottle of whiskey. History records the fact that, while Charlie escaped many such scams, he was eventually caught and did serve several sentences in the penitentiary. However, true to his profession, he would serve his time and come right back and set up in the same old stand. He apparently believed in that old saying ‘don’t quit a horse when you are riding.’ Hellskafuzzy, there’s no telling how many $2 bottles of whiskey were fished out of Brady Creek in those days. ‘ ‘Bill Bodenhamer is a weekly columnist for the Brady Standard-Herald. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.