Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Monday, June 25, 2007
ISSUE #461
Lessons learned from Bob Evans and Bill Clinton

#461, June 25, 2007

COLUMBUS: Now you folks know I ain’t one to lecture on arithmetic. But the folks in Washington could use a refresher or two from an old Ray’s Arithmetic book. When 80 percent of the American voters disapprove of the Immigration Bill, why is it hard for them to comprehend that only 20 percent approve of the President and the same 20 percent approve of Congress. I don’t know if that’s a good example of the 80-20 Rule, but it’s awful close.

I spent last week in Minneapolis at a convention of agricultural and biological engineers. They were celebrating 100 years of the organization, and even Bill Clinton stopped in for the gala affair. Now, you already know our former President is recognized as a great speaker, and I’ll give you an inkling on how he does it. He talked for 15 minutes, and the entire time he was focused on that audience. He talked with passion about hunger in Africa, touched on global warming, and how stretching our freshwater resources is crucial. And on every point he told those engineers that THEY are the profession being called on to deal with these issues over the next century. Now those engineers know they aren’t the only ones working on those problems, but he left them inspired to want to go out and lead the way to solutions. He never mentioned politics, and it got me wondering if the same idea might work for our current herd of candidates for 2008, if one of them has the nerve (and ability) to try it.

Also last week we lost an American marvel. Some of you might think that “Bob Evans” was just a made up name for a restaurant and brand of sausage. But no, Bob Evans was a farmer who started a small restaurant in Gallipolis, Ohio, where he also made sausage for wholesale distribution. You may wonder how a man can get famous making sausage. Well, he lived by a simple rule, “Don’t put anything in the sausage you wouldn’t want to eat yourself.”

That’s a good rule to live by no matter what you’re “making”: whether building a car, teaching arithmetic, giving a speech. Put only your best into it. And Bob Evans loved horses. He helped save the Spanish Barb Mustang Breed from extinction, and raised hundreds of Quarter Horses, giving away 40 colts a year to deserving 4-H youth. He was devoted to improving the poverty-stricken area of Appalachia, kinda like Mr. Clinton is helping in Africa, except Appalachia was home to Bob Evans.

In other so-called news, Wednesday night on CNN, Larry King intends to interview a prisoner just released after serving a sentence for a whole bunch of violations with a motor vehicle, including driving drunk at night with no lights and no license. I don’t know why he picked just one to interrogate. He should gather four or five released this week for similar convictions and give them all a fair chance to explain themselves. Now wouldn’t that be more fascinating than a Presidential debate for suspense, surprises, and intrigue?

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“MINNEAPOLIS, Minn: The Senate just sits and waits till they find out what the President wants so they know how to vote against him.
Be a good joke on ’em if he didn’t let ’em know.
That’s the way Mr. Coolidge used to do. He would keep ’em guessing so long that they voted his way accidentally part of the time.” 
DT #1225, June 29, 1930

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when the baby gets hold of a hammer. It’s just a question of how much damage he can do with it before you can take it away from him. Well, in eighteen months these babies have left a record of devastation.” DT #1230, July, 1930


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