Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It seems not much has changed but the calendar

Mark Twain had to quit school at a young age after his father died to help raise money for his family.  He never let schooling (or lack thereof) get in his way of an education.  Here are some of his thoughts on Congress and schools.

On Congress...

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.
What Is Man?

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain, a Biography

All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.
Mark Twain's Autobiography; also inMark Twain in Eruption

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

...I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.
- "Foster's Case," New York Tribune, 10 March 1873 

On Schools...

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
Following the Equator; Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar 

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.
Mark Twain

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.
- Speech 11/23/1900

On Life...

" If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

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