-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> Plum Street Chili

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Halloween Maybe Goblins Yes - Real Philadelphia

Human mess gathering again on Tangerine & Orthodox. Not quite sure what or who is being bought and sold yet. I walk by the Street Pharmacy every time I go to the bodega or the bus. Always an adventure. I see half consumed twinkies and cokes left behind on the brownstone steps on the sunny side. Titties and minis and heels. Couple of men, one big and one small, all in black. So I am thinking it is women and drugs this time.

The Victorian store front and apartment combination is now and has been a single room occupancy building for as long as I have lived here. I cannot figure out yet if the guy in the wheelchair is an occupant or a Street Pharmacy lookout. If I were the real Tarantino, he would have an automatic gun under his blanket. It is the building Baby Dee died in.

The city is rebuilding the water system and fixing curbs and drains. Gentrification creeps ever more near. I put my trust in new sewers. New sewers and angels. So this is the bit where I ask a profound question: Sewers are for shit, are they not?

I will set my pumpkins of hope out on Halloween night. Sewers are civilization and government at its best. I am going to beat Los Dolores over the head with my cane if she bothers Norma in the bodega again. Because she is shit and I am going to tell you why. The why is shit. Really.

Back later...

Back. Sometimes I fuck around and it is really just terrible. Occasionally there are nuggets of goodness.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Loves Me Some Nasty Women. Been there and done that.

Always Unsuitable

She wore little teeth of pearls around her neck.
They were grinning politely and evenly at me.
Unsuitable they smirked. It is true

I look a stuffed turkey in a suit. Breasts
too big for the silhouette. She knew
at once that we had sex, lots of it

as if I had strolled into her diningroom
in a dirty negligee smelling gamy
smelling fishy and sporting a strawberry

on my neck. I could never charm
the mothers, although the fathers ogled
me. I was exactly what mothers had warned

their sons against. I was quicksand
I was trouble in the afternoon. I was
the alley cat you don't bring home.

I was the dirty book you don't leave out
for your mother to see. I was the center-
fold you masturbate with then discard.

Where I came from, the nights I had wandered
and survived, scared them, and where
I would go they never imagined.

Ah, what you wanted for your sons
were little ladies hatched from the eggs
of pearls like pink and silver lizards

cool, well behaved and impervious
to desire and weather alike. Mostly
that's who they married and left.

Oh, mamas, I would have been your friend.
I would have cooked for you and held you.
I might have rattled the windows

of your sorry marriages, but I would
have loved you better than you know
how to love yourselves, bitter sisters.

Copyright 1999 Early Grrrl: the Early Poems of Marge Piercy Leapfrog Press

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MOLON LABE YOU PUSSY GRABBERS - Sign of the Month October 2016

Monsters by Andrea Dietrich

Monsters live in houses, like you and I. 
They eat and sleep and go to work each day. 
They laugh and they feel pain.
Perhaps they cry!

They have different games they like to play.
They need to have control.
Therefore, most seek a victim
who is young or not so strong.

They think they are almighty,
but their mind is weak. 
Depraved, they pay no heed to right or wrong. 
They may seem crude, but some of them are slick. The ones with brains play too well at their game.

All monsters love what normal folks find sick. 
They brutalize and rape, and feel no shame. Beware! One could be living on your street or be that charming guy you’ve chanced to meet!

Monday, October 10, 2016

::: pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy :::

Take this as an invitation to show us your precious pussy. Meow. A picture of your cat will do. Heh. Or find us another pussy song and post it in the comments.

Photograph is a flower Hydnora africana.

Hydnora africana is an plant native to southern Africa that is parasitic on the roots of members of the Euphorbiaceae family. The plant grows underground, except for a fleshy flower that emerges above ground and emits an odor of feces to attract its natural pollinators, dung beetles, and carrion beetles. The flowers act as traps for a brief period retaining the beetles that enter, then releasing them when the flower is fully opened.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Crooked Hillary

I am voting for Crooked Hillary. Crooked Trump gets caught. I like people who do not get caught.

Now that mess is dealt with, this is why we must persevere and wear the name Social Justice Warrior with pride. The children are watching us and weeping.
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Jeremiah 31:15

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Duckling Effect with Pumpkins

I see a parade go by my window at 7:30 a.m. every school day. Miss Norma leading and all the children following in duckling not in size order.

I just woke up. I bleared into the kitchen and made so good coffee. I sat down to contemplate my empty page. No one home. Luscious left me some Loud. I was getting all mellow and squinty when out of the corner of my eye I saw the duckling children passing all in a row. I quick open the door.

"You going to school?"

"It is Sunday, Miss Mary."

"You are going to church."

I looked to the left. No Norma? Ducklings were speeding onward. Excelsior! I looked to the right and there was Robert BlackBear making shoo shoo motions.

Robert is an over the road truck driver. Every thing seems to work better when Robert is home. Norma leads and Daddy Robert shoos and it is all so very good. Robert the Black, square and solid, is not home often enough.

This morning Miss Norma sleeping in. Everything goes better when Daddy Bear is home. Miss Norma does not get up for church.

Luscious went on a field trip to a 'Harvest Market.' She may bring home pumpkins and cider. Life is good.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham (19 September 1867 – 6 September 1939) who was an English book illustrator.

Arthur Rackham's works have become very popular since his death, both in North America and Britain. His images have been widely used by the greeting card industry and many of his books are still in print or have been recently available in both paperback and hardback editions. His original drawings and paintings are keenly sought at the major international art auction houses.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Van Gogh Paintings Recovered

2 Stolen Van Gogh Recovered By Anti-Mafia Police In Italy
September 30, 2016
Anti-mafia police in Naples, Italy, have recovered two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen from a museum in Amsterdam more than a decade ago.
The Van Gogh Museum announced Friday that a curator inspected the two works, at the request of Italian authorities, and 'drew a firm conclusion: They are the real paintings!' 
The director of the Van Gogh Museum, Axel Rüger, said the museum owed a debt of gratitude to Dutch and Italian authorities. 'The paintings have been found!' he said in a statement. 'That I would be able to ever pronounce these words is something I had no longer dared to hope for.' Read more...
I traveled to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Van Gogh exhibit. I had to stand in a long line of art lovers cheek by jowl. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Java Sweet and Hot

Coffee is good and good for you. Hallelujah! I am celebrating with a cup of Poor Richard's blend coffee from Reading Terminal Market. Life is good.

I was so happy to read this article today. How much do we love coffee? We love coffee so much that we write songs about coffee. Coffee songs below.

Good to know that our love for that first cup in the morning is not in vain. And that drinking another two or three cups may have health benefits.

The illustration is a vintage tin sign. You can find more signs of this type HERE.

Why Coffee Is Good for You
Kris Gunnars, Authority Nutrition

It is more than just dark-colored liquid with caffeine. Coffee actually contains hundreds of different compounds, some of which have important health benefits.

Several massive studies have now shown that the people who drink the most coffee live longer and have a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Read more ...

Shimmy Song for Hillary

From Jonathan “Song a Day Man” Mann. He writes a song every day. Good Mann.

Hillz is the Dancing Queen. No dance more American than the Shimmy. See below:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I Got a Flu Shot and What is Truth?

It tired me out that shot. I can I do nothing but have flan for breakfast. I like it when my day starts with a laugh and the joke has historical precedent.

Did your Mom fall for "Not my fault. It was Jimmy who made me do it. Honest, Mom, I did not want to."?
"No matter what is said up there (in Newark), I had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments," Christie said. "I had no role in authorizing it. I had no knowledge of it. And there has been no evidence ever put forward that I did." - Chris Christie
and an oldie but a goody.
In the presence of English Barons, Henry II—who is now utterly vexed by Becket's actions—cries out: Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? Believing the King meant for Becket to be murdered, four knights ride to Canterbury Cathedral and kill Becket on December 29, 1170.
Murder of Thomas Becket - Awesome Stories
and a nothing with a tautology
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. - John G. Roberts Jr.  
See what happened when the Roberts court did that and what I predicted here and what happened here. 
What is truth?...I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see ye to it. - Pontius Pilate
Evidently this is tradition. It is somebodys other than the real perpetrator who should take care of the mess. We take good care of and give money to the mass poisoner and ignore the poisoned with our taxes. The Big Mahoff never goes to jail. It is no longer a sane strategy to be law abiding in the USA.

Many times my smart commenters make remarks that are more informed and erudite than mine. Always worth reading the comments here below.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Never trust anyone who says they do not see color. this means to them, you are invisible.” ― Nayyirah Waheed

In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. - Matthew 2:18

"Turning Point", which at first seems to be a child's song about making a new friend, later turns into a song questioning the origins of racism. Lyrics written by Martha Holmes. Recorded 1968.

"Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Written by teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. ]Meeropol set it to music and, with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York City venues in the late 1930s, including Madison Square Garden.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" — often referred to as the "Black American National Anthem"— is a song written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson(1871–1938) in 1899 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954) in 1900. It is one of the authorized hymns in the Episcopal hymnal.

Any man can lose his hat in a fairy-wind. - Irish Proverb - UPDATE

John Michael Gray of The Hat Sisters has gone to glory. Rest in Peace and Feathers. A GoFundMe site has been set up to help Gray’s husband and Hat Sisters partner defray medical expenses. From the page:
In time of great social turbulence, profound illness, isolation and heartbreak in the gay community, John Michael Gray and Tim O’Connor created an extrodinary and heroic presence, by creating flamboyant works of fascinator haberdashery. The Hat Sisters joyously and generously entertained people from all walks of life with their unique and artisic fashion statement. They did not walk away from controversy. They walked towards acceptance, breaking down barriers of prejudice wherever they went. Just as they walked for us then, we will walk for them now.
I need to get out more. I just found The Hat Sisters. They have been making hats for fun, charity and each other for 30 years. I love hats. The Hat Sisters can be seen in their natural habitat at Carnival in Provincetown in July.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Filth and Dirt

Disqus is an internet comment system I use on this blog.

Dear doG, I hate internet censorship with all my heart and soul. Disqus channels' robot censor suspends Charles Bukowski. A channel for poetry, He is unacceptable. I wonder if he will ever get out of PENDING. 

I tell you the truth, I cannot live in a world where Bukowski is unacceptable and I cannot use the word SLUT in a bit of doggerel. I wonder if I will ever get out of PENDING.

Here is what Bukowski is not allowed to say. And he is such a cute old guy. I think he was old when he was young. And he got younger when he got older.

Ultimately, when I think about it, I have been pretty unacceptable at times. When you are bipolar, you tend unacceptable. So take the grain of salt with the whining.

Back To The Machine Gun - Poem by Charles Bukowski

I awaken about noon and go out to get the mail
in my old torn bathrobe.
I'm hung over
hair down in my eyes
gingerly walking on the small sharp rocks
in my path
still afraid of pain behind my four-day beard.

the young housewife next door shakes a rug
out of her window and sees me:
"hello, Hank!"

god damn! it's almost like being shot in the ass
with a .22

"hello," I say
gathering up my Visa card bill, my Pennysaver coupons,
a Dept. of Water and Power past-due notice,
a letter from the mortgage people
plus a demand from the Weed Abatement Department
giving me 30 days to clean up my act.

I mince back again over the small sharp rocks
thinking, maybe I'd better write something tonight,
they all seem
to be closing in.

there's only one way to handle those motherfuckers.

the night harness races will have to wait.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Teenager Cold Cocks a Pervert and Gets Arrested - UPDATE

The Tuscon News reports:

A controversial street preacher known as Brother Dean has been accused of assaulting a University of Arizona student, authorities said. Rene Hernandez, a spokesperson for the University of Arizona Police Department, said Dean Frederick Saxton was arrested around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20. Saxton has been accused of kicking a woman in the chest and has been banned from the UA campus for one year. Sgt. Filbert Barrera, spokesman for the UAPD, said Saxon was given an one-year exclusionary order and has 10 days to contest it. Saxton was booked into the Pima County Jail on an assault charge. Bond was set at $641 and he is expected to appear in court tonight,

Teenager Cold Cocks a Pervert

I love this. I would do the same to any sexpig Preacher. 

For those who have no patience with a half hour of perverted speechifying, I provide a short and a full video of the event for your edification below.

There is a difference between Law and Justice. The Pervert Preacher got justice; Tabitha Brubaker got law.

You go, Tabitha Brubaker. Such a satisfying sound that bat makes. I wonder if the pervert came when she connected?

This Pervert Preacher denounces homosexuality and holds signs telling young women they deserve rape for not being true Christians.

Brother Dean posted YouTube video of his demonstration at Apollo High School. In the video, Dean admits he is often confronted and yelled at. He uses a megaphone to tell students they're going to hell.

It is too bad they do not teach Machiavelli in high school. 
People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance. ― Niccolò Machiavelli
Her big mistake was that she rendered her act without thinking things through. She didn't plan accordingly to deliver her brand of "street justice" without getting caught. Perhaps she should have toked a bit more and thought it through.
All she had to do was a little homework, casing, observation, and planning.
Wait outside his place of employ/home/worship, etc after dusk donning dark clothing, leather gloves, a ski mask and a tire iron. Simply wait for him to exit into the outdoors. Ski mask over face, walk over, deliver karma across kneecaps, and cleanly escape into the night via a pre-planned getaway scheme. Lay low for a couple of days, say nothing to no one, no posts on FB, no tweets about it... discard any forensic evidence ala Dexter style... boom... done. Maybe she learned a few things for next time. :P

LONG VERSION: So you can hear and see all the shyte this pervert said to children.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Roasted Pumpkin Guts

I am seeing gorgeous pumpkins of all sizes in the market. So I am doing this again. Note: you can roast the seeds of any hard winter squash.

When I was a child, you could buy a box of roasted salty Indian Brand Pumpkin Seeds at the corner candy store. The box the seeds were packed in had a beautiful illustration of an American Indian in full Chief's headdress. The brand is still around but the illustration is gone from the packaging.

When you get done carving that pumpkin for Halloween or just to make a pie, you can roast your own pumpkin seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds are so good.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 and 1/2 cups raw whole Pumpkin Seeds
2 teaspoons Butter, melted
Pinch Salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

This recipe comes from allrecipes.com - for my money the best recipe site on the net. Cooks share their variations on the recipe and their opinions of the recipe's quality. Think Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Or Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Cooks also share practical tips for recipe execution like this tip below. There are a lot of creative cooks in the world. This tip is from Valerie's Kitchen.

"If you've never roasted pumpkin seeds before here are my tips. When you carve your pumpkins scoop the seeds into a colander and the guts onto newspaper. Inevitably some of the guts will be mixed in with the seeds but when you run water over them it's separated out pretty easily. After you drain the rinsed seeds, pour them onto a large, dry cookie sheet and let them sit for 24 hours or so to dry out. Now you can pick out the remaining pieces of pumpkin stuff that didn't get pulled out earlier and they will roast better if they are not wet when they go in the oven. My family prefers them seasoned with garlic salt in place of regular salt but you can use whatever suits your taste. So good!"

I cannot figure out how to reopen this article to comments. Disqus auto closed it and I can find no way to reopen it. A good friend suggests soaking pumpkin seeds in a water/vinegar bath before tossing in oil/butter to roast. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Paradise for Book Lover's

This illustration comes from a wonderful book entitled Apples of New York. It can be found, along with other books for your reading pleasure, at the E-Book Lending Library. And you can read all their titles for FREE. I found The Varieties of Religious Experience by Wm. James in a 1917 edition. I love old time typography. Enjoy. 

Jokes from God

I write Comedy and Plays among other things like this Blog. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Example: this conversation about

"Did Bill Clinton bump uglies with Liz Gurley while Hillary was in the room next door?"

on a right wing blog. Authoritarians worry about these things. This conversation is verbatim.
Our Bill, he's a slut and I love him.
he's also probably had to deal with his share of STD's and I would be surprised if his 'tool' has shriveled up and fell off by now. What a disgusting pig of a man. God help us though because Oblamer is worse than him. Barry is a man slut. (sic)
You have a rich full fantasy life.
And you have your cranium up your distal alimentary canal.
Google "scat" and you will get what you so obviously want and need.
I don't buy this crap. Bubba is a sex fiend but I don't think every woman in the world is susceptible to his serpent-tongued "sweet talking". I'm sure there are quite a few women who would vomit at the prospect.
One can only hope this is true but I think it is becoming more of a rarity. Even my ex-wife was "sweet talked" by some low life from the internet she met playing scrabble. Doesn't say much for her and the woman she has become. I'm with a woman now who I can confidently say would fall into that category of those "who would vomit at the prospect." She's a real lady, all woman and a total class act, so to speak.
I would do Bill Clinton in a New York minute. Let me at him. Sexiest man in the world. One of the smartest men in the world too. I envy Hillary bigtime.
You like perverts? He also has a few rapes under his belt. Wear a condom, don't want those nasty STD's!
Depends on the pervert. I do not like you.
I am writing a play (trying to write a play) about the politics and sociology of abortion/contraception in the USA. "What is funny about that?" you might ask. Good question. I was asking myself the same question. And coming up with nada.

People do not come to your plays if you bore them silly. All I have to do is plug this conversation among characters into the script with a bit of editing. Cracks me up. Scrabble? This is the wages of hanging out on message boards. Laughing my ass off.

Monday, September 12, 2016

It is a Kurt Vonnegut world. So it goes. - UPDATE - Monument go Boom!

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist, 
And a British queen--
All fit together 
In the same machine. 
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice--
So many different people
In the same device.
― Kurt VonnegutCat's Cradle
The Satanic Temple plans to erect a monument to Satan in Oklahoma. It may include an interactive display for children. This is the statue. Satanic Temple has proposed to erect it on the Capitol Building lawn near the Ten Commandments Monument recently erected at the State Capitol.

The ACLU is suing to take down the Ten Commandments Monument. And the Satanists say they do not have a problem with the Ten Commandments Monument as long as Satan gets equal time. The Atheists are suing the State because the Constitution ... well you know.

Lord Hanuman moves the Mountain
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement that if the Oklahoma State Capitol was open to different monuments, "We would love to have a statue of Lord Hanuman, who was greatly revered and worshiped and known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian."

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has also expressed interest in erecting their own monument and have been denied. Get out the popcorn. This is going to be a hoot.

Touched by His Noodly Appendage


Quote: Reed allegedly told agents with the Secret Service that Satan made him crash his car into the statue. He also told agents that the devil told him to urinate on the monument. 


Quote: “The Satanic Temple was appalled to learn of the act of destructive vandalism laid upon the 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma today. As many are aware, we are seeking to have a Satanic monument erected alongside the 10 Commandments — and only alongside the 10 Commandments. We do not want our monument to stand alone. If our monument stands at the state Capitol, we want it to compliment and contrast the 10 Commandments, with both standing unmolested as a testament to American religious freedom and tolerance. We hope that by respecting religious liberty in allowing our monument to be displayed, Oklahoma will help ameliorate any animosity between differing perspectives, not cultivate them.”

“To be clear, The Satanic Temple will not seek to erect its monument unless the 10 Commandments is restored.” Oklahoma City has the option to wait until the ACLU’s case regarding the legal status of the 10 Commandments is resolved before it permits its replacement. However, if the 10 Commandments is immediately reconstructed, our monument will be ready for unveiling quite soon.”

Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Give us this day our daily Pasta. And deliver us from spaghetti-Os. For thine is the semolina, the boiling water, and the sauce. 

Yea, though I walk through the Valley of McDonalds, I will fear no McRib, for thou art al dente. Thy sauce and thy cheese they comfort me. Thou sitteth on the table before me in the presence of chianti. My wine glass runneth over.

Surely goodness and linguine shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell with and praise The Flying Spaghetti Monster forever. RAmen.

Penne for your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thinking About Halloween Again

Halloween is my favorite holiday. How could it not be so? The air is crisp, the harvest is home and dressing up your hearth or porch.. Here are some pictures and websites to help you plan your decorations and help you celebrate. 

The Zombie Brain Pumpkin comes from skulladay.com. 

Pumpkins can be carved and they can be painted, etc.

Oil base glossy house paint works the best, especially if you want to put your pumpkins outside on the porch. Oil based paint is durable, glossy and adheres well to pumpkin rind. A decorated pumpkin will last without rotting from Halloween through Thanksgiving. I have even had a painted one last until Christmas without rotting.

Glossy acrylic paint is a good choice if you are working with children. It washes off.  Do not buy small containers of hobbyist paints unless you are only going to paint one or two pumpkins. Go to an art supply store for premixed acrylic paints in a wide variety of exotic colors in a generous size.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Lincoln speaking on Labor and Agriculture is worth reading on Labor Day

Young Lincoln by Charles Keck
I know. Reading is hard. And 19th century English prose is elegant and oh so dense. So I am providing pictures.

If you just want to get the money quote, scroll down to the enlarged text.

Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
September 30, 1859

When Abraham Lincoln gave this speech at the Wisconsin fair, Americans knew him as the rising Republican politician who debated Stephen Douglas during a U.S. Senate race. One year later he would be elected president, and two years after that he signed the bill establishing the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Compared to his political speeches, this effort suffers from tedium, but it contains interesting passages on free labor and education. He exhorted his audience to "prefer free labor, with its natural companion, education." He saw agriculture as an opportunity for "cultivated thought," saying, "Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure."

Members of the Agricultural Society and Citizens of Wisconsin:

Agricultural Fairs are becoming an institution of the country; they are useful in more ways than one; they bring us together, and thereby make us better acquainted, and better friends than we otherwise would be. From the first appearance of man upon the earth, down to very recent times, the words "stranger"and "enemy" were quite or almost, synonymous. Long after civilized nations had defined robbery and murder as high crimes, and had affixed severe punishments to them, when practiced among and upon their own people respectively, it was deemed no offence, but even meritorious, to rob, and murder, and enslave strangers, whether as nations or as individuals. Even yet, this has not totally disappeared. The man of the highest moral cultivation, in spite of all which abstract principle can do, likes him whom he does know, much better than him whom he does not know. To correct the evils, great and small, which spring from want of sympathy, and from positive enmity, among strangers, as nations, or as individuals, is one of the highest functions of civilization. To this end our Agricultural Fairs contribute in no small degree. They make more pleasant, and more strong, and more durable, the bond of social and political union among us. Again, if as Pope declares, "happiness is our being's end and aim," our Fairs contribute much to that end and aim, as occasions of recreation -- as holidays. Constituted as man is, he has positive need of occasional recreation; and whatever can give him this, associated with virtue and advantage, and free from vice and disadvantage, is a positive good. Such recreation our Fairs afford. They are a present pleasure, to be followed by no pain, as a consequence; they are a present pleasure, making the future more pleasant.

But the chief use of agricultural fairs is to aid in improving the great calling of agriculture, in all it's departments, and minute divisions -- to make mutual exchange of agricultural discovery, information, and knowledge; so that, at the end, all may know every thing, which may have been known to but one, or to but a few, at the beginning -- to bring together especially all which is supposed to not be generally known, because of recent discovery, or invention.

And not only to bring together, and to impart all which has been accidentally discovered or invented upon ordinary motive; but, by exciting emulation, for premiums, and for the pride and honor of success -- of triumph, in some sort -- to stimulate that discovery and invention into extraordinary activity. In this, these Fairs are kindred to the patent clause in the Constitution of the United States; and to the department, and practical system, based upon that clause.

One feature, I believe, of every fair, is a regular address. The Agricultural Society of the young, prosperous, and soon to be, great State of Wisconsin, has done me the high honor of selecting me to make that address upon this occasion -- an honor for which I make my profound, and grateful acknowledgement.

I presume I am not expected to employ the time assigned me, in the mere flattery of the farmers, as a class. My opinion of them is that, in proportion to numbers, they are neither better nor worse than any other class; and I believe there really are more attempts at flattering them than any other; the reason of which I cannot perceive, unless it be that they can cast more votes than any other. On reflection, I am not quite sure that there is not cause of suspicion against you, in selecting me, in some sort a politician, and in no sort a farmer, to address you.

But farmers, being the most numerous class, it follows that their interest is the largest interest. It also follows that that interest is most worthy of all to be cherished and cultivated -- that if there be inevitable conflict between that interest and any other, that other should yield.

Again, I suppose it is not expected of me to impart to you much specific information on Agriculture. You have no reason to believe, and do not believe, that I possess it -- if that were what you seek in this address, any one of your own number, or class, would be more able to furnish it.

You, perhaps, do expect me to give some general interest to the occasion; and to make some general suggestions, on practical matters. I shall attempt nothing more. And in such suggestions by me, quite likely very little will be new to you, and a large part of the rest possibly already known to be erroneous.

Lincoln 1857
My first suggestion is an inquiry as to the effect of greater thoroughness in all the departments of Agriculture than now prevails in the North-West -- perhaps I might say in America. To speak entirely within bounds, it is known that fifty bushels of wheat, or one hundred bushels of Indian corn can be produced from an acre. Less than a year ago I saw it stated that a man, by extraordinary care and labor, had produced of wheat, what was equal to two hundred bushels from an acre. But take fifty of wheat, and one hundred of corn, to be the possibility, and compare with it the actual crops of the country. Many years ago I saw it stated in a Patent Office Report that eighteen bushels was the average crop throughout the wheat growing region of the United States; and this year an intelligent farmer of Illinois, assured me that he did not believe the land harvested in that State this season, had yielded more than an average of eight bushels to the acre. The brag crop I heard of in our vicinity was two thousand bushels from ninety acres. Many crops were thrashed, producing no more than three bushels to the acre; much was cut, and then abandoned as not worth threshing; and much was abandoned as not worth cutting. As to Indian corn, and indeed, most other crops, the case has not been much better. For the last four years I do not believe the ground planted with corn in Illinois, has produced an average of twenty bushels to the acre. It is true, that heretofore we have had better crops, with no better cultivators; but I believe it is also true that the soil has never been pushed up to one-half of its capacity.

What would be the effect upon the farming interest, to push the soil up to something near its full capacity? Unquestionably it will take more labor to produce fifty bushels from an acre, than it will to produce ten bushes from the same acre. But will it take more labor to produce fifty bushes from one acre, than from five? Unquestionably, thorough cultivation will require more labor to the acre; but will it require more to the bushel? If it should require just as much to the bushel, there are some probable, and several certain, advantages in favor of the thorough practice. It is probable it would develope those unknown causes, or develope unknown cures for those causes, which of late years have cut down our crops below their former average. It is almost certain, I think, that in the deeper plowing, analysis of soils, experiments with manures, and varieties of seeds, observance of seasons, and the like, these cases [causes?] would be found. It is certain that thorough cultivation would spare half or more than half, the cost of land, simply because the same product would be got from half, or from less than half the quantity of land. This proposition is self-evident, and can be made no plainer by repetitions or illustrations. The cost of land is a great item, even in new countries; and constantly grows greater and greater, in comparison with other items, as the country grows older.

It also would spare a large proportion of the making and maintaining of inclosures -- the same, whether these inclosures should be hedges, ditches, or fences. This again, is a heavy item -- heavy at first, and heavy in its continual demand for repairs. I remember once being greatly astonished by an apparently authentic exhibition of the proportion the cost of inclosures bears to all the other expenses of the farmer; though I can not remember exactly what that proportion was. Any farmer, if he will, can ascertain it in his own case, for himself.

Again, a great amount of "locomotion" is spared by thorough cultivation. Take fifty bushes of wheat, ready for the harvest, standing upon a single acre, and it can be harvested in any of the known ways, with less than half the labor which would be required if it were spread over five acres. This would be true, if cut by the old hand sickle; true, to a greater extent if by the scythe and cradle; and to a still greater extend, if by the machines now in use. These machines are chiefly valuable, as a means of substituting animal power for the power of men in this branch of farm work. In the highest degree of perfection yet reached in applying the horse power to harvesting, fully nine-tenths of the power is expended by the animal in carrying himself and dragging the machine over the field, leaving certainly not more than one-tenth to be applied directly to the only end of the whole operation -- the gathering in the grain, and clipping of the straw. When grain is very thin on the ground, it is always more or less intermingled with weeds, chess and the like, and a large part of the power is expended in cutting these. It is plain that when the crop is very thick upon the ground, the larger proportion of the power is directly applied to gathering in and cutting it; and the smaller, to that which is totally useless as an end. And what I have said of harvesting is true, in a greater or less degree of mowing, plowing, gathering in of crops generally, and, indeed, of almost all farm work.


The effect of thorough cultivation upon the farmer's own mind, and, in reaction through his mind, back upon his business, is perhaps quite equal to any other of its effects. Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing.

The man who produces a good full crop will scarcely ever let any part of it go to waste. He will keep up the enclosure about it, and allow neither man nor beast to trespass upon it. He will gather it in due season and store it in perfect security. Thus he labors with satisfaction, and saves himself the whole fruit of his labor. The other, starting with no purpose for a full crop, labors less, and with less satisfaction; allows his fences to fall, and cattle to trespass; gathers not in due season, or not at all. Thus the labor he has performed, is wasted away, little by little, till in the end, he derives scarcely anything from it.

The ambition for broad acres leads to poor farming, even with men of energy. I scarcely ever knew a mammoth farm to sustain itself; much less to return a profit upon the outlay. I have more than once known a man to spend a respectable fortune upon one; fail and leave it; and then some man of more modest aims, get a small fraction of the ground, and make a good living upon it. Mammoth farms are like tools or weapons, which are too heavy to be handled. Ere long they are thrown aside, at a great loss.

The successful application of steam power, to farm work is a desideratum -- especially a Steam Plow. It is not enough, that a machine operated by steam, will really plow. To be successful, it must, all things considered, plow better than can be done with animal power. It must do all the work as well, and cheaper; or more rapidly, so as to get through more perfectly in season; or in some way afford an advantage over plowing with animals, else it is no success. I have never seen a machine intended for a Steam Plow. Much praise, and admiration, are bestowed upon some of them; and they may be, for aught I know, already successful; but I have not perceived the demonstration of it. I have thought a good deal, in an abstract way, about a Steam Plow. That one which shall be so contrived as to apply the larger proportion of its power to the cutting and turning the soil, and the smallest, to the moving itself over the field, will be the best one. A very small stationary engine would draw a large gang of plows through the ground from a short distance to itself; but when it is not stationary, but has to move along like a horse, dragging the plows after it, it must have additional power to carry itself; and the difficulty grows by what is intended to overcome it; for what adds power also adds size, and weight to the machine, thus increasing again, the demand for power. Suppose you should construct the machine so as to cut a succession of short furrows, say a rod in length, transversely to the course the machine is locomoting, something like the shuttle in weaving. In such case the whole machine would move North only the width of a furrow, while in length, the furrow would be a rod from East to West. In such case, a very large proportion of the power, would be applied to the actual plowing. But in this, too, there would be a difficulty, which would be the getting of the plow into,and out of, the ground, at the ends of all these short furrows.

I believe, however, ingenious men will, if they have not already, overcome the difficulty I have suggested. But there is still another, about which I am less sanguine. It is the supply of fuel, and especially of water, to make steam. Such supply is clearly practicable, but can the expense of it be borne? Steamboats live upon the water, and find their fuel at stated places. Steam mills, and other stationary steam machinery, have their stationary supplies of fuel and water. Railroad locomotives have their regular wood and water station. But the steam plow is less fortunate. It does not live upon the water; and if it be once at a water station, it will work away from it, and when it gets away can not return, without leaving its work, at a great expense of its time and strength. It will occur that a wagon and horse team might be employed to supply it with fuel and water; but this, too, is expensive; and the question recurs, "can the expense be borne?" When this is added to all other expenses, will not the plowing cost more than in the old way?

It is to be hoped that the steam plow will be finally successful, and if it shall be, "thorough cultivation" -- putting the soil to the top of its capacity -- producing the largest crop possible from a given quantity of ground -- will be most favorable to it. Doing a large amount of work upon a small quantity of ground, it will be, as nearly as possible, stationary while working, and as free as possible from locomotion; thus expending its strength as much as possible upon its work, and as little as possible in travelling. Our thanks, and something more substantial than thanks, are due to every man engaged in the effort to produce a successful steam plow. Even the unsuccessful will bring something to light, which, in the hands of others, will contribute to the final success. I have not pointed out difficulties, in order to discourage, but in order that being seen, they may be the more readily overcome.

The world is agreed that labor is the source from which human wants are mainly supplied. There is no dispute upon this point. From this point, however, men immediately diverge. Much disputation is maintained as to the best way of applying and controlling the labor element. By some it is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital -- that nobody labors, unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow, by the use of that capital, induces him to do it. Having assumed this, they proceed to consider whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent; or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far they naturally conclude that all laborers are necessarily either hired laborers, or slaves. They further assume that whoever is once a hired laborer, is fatally fixed in that condition for life; and thence again that his condition is as bad as, or worse than that of a slave. This is the "mud-sill" theory.

But another class of reasoners hold the opinion that there is no such relation between capital and labor, as assumed; and that there is no such thing as a freeman being fatally fixed for life, in the condition of a hired laborer, that both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them groundless. They hold that labor is prior to, and independent of, capital; that, in fact, capital is the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed -- that labor can exist without capital, but that capital could never have existed without labor. Hence they hold that labor is the superior -- greatly the superior -- of capital.

They do not deny that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital. The error, as they hold, is in assuming that the whole labor of the world exists within that relation. A few men own capital; and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital, hire, or buy, another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class -- neither work for others, nor have others working for them. Even in all our slave States, except South Carolina, a majority of the whole people of all colors, are neither slaves nor masters. In these Free States, a large majority are neither hirers or hired. Men, with their families -- wives, sons and daughters -- work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hirelings or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital; that is, labor with their own hands, and also buy slaves or hire freemen to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class. Again, as has already been said, the opponents of the "mud-sill" theory insist that there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. There is demonstration for saying this. Many independent men, in this assembly, doubtless a few years ago were hired laborers. And their case is almost if not quite the general rule.

The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This, say its advocates, is free labor -- the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all -- gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. If any continue through life in the condition of the hired laborer, it is not the fault of the system, but because of either a dependent nature which prefers it, or improvidence, folly, or singular misfortune. I have said this much about the elements of labor generally, as introductory to the consideration of a new phase which that element is in process of assuming. The old general rule was that educated people did not perform manual labor. They managed to eat their bread, leaving the toil of producing it to the uneducated. This was not an insupportable evil to the working bees, so long as the class of drones remained very small. But now, especially in these free States, nearly all are educated -- quite too nearly all, to leave the labor of the uneducated, in any wise adequate to the support of the whole. It follows from this that henceforth educated people must labor. Otherwise, education itself would become a positive and intolerable evil. No country can sustain, in idleness, more than a small per centage of its numbers. The great majority must labor at something productive. From these premises the problem springs, "How can labor and education be the most satisfactory combined?"

By the "mud-sill" theory it is assumed that labor and education are incompatible; and any practical combination of them impossible. According to that theory, a blind horse upon a tread-mill, is a perfect illustration of what a laborer should be -- all the better for being blind, that he could not tread out of place, or kick understandingly. According to that theory, the education of laborers, is not only useless, but pernicious, and dangerous. In fact, it is, in some sort, deemed a misfortune that laborers should have heads at all. Those same heads are regarded as explosive materials, only to be safely kept in damp places, as far as possible from that peculiar sort of fire which ignites them. A Yankee who could invent strong handed man without a head would receive the everlasting gratitude of the "mud-sill" advocates.

But Free Labor says "no!" Free Labor argues that, as the Author of man makes every individual with one head and one pair of hands, it was probably intended that heads and hands should cooperate as friends; and that that particular head, should direct and control that particular pair of hands. As each man has one mouth to be fed, and one pair of hands to furnish food, it was probably intended that that particular pair of hands should feed that particular mouth -- that each head is the natural guardian, director, and protector of the hands and mouth inseparably connected with it; and that being so, every head should be cultivated, and improved, by whatever will add to its capacity for performing its charge. In one word Free Labor insists on universal education.

I have so far stated the opposite theories of "Mud-Sill" and "Free Labor" without declaring any preference of my own between them. On an occasion like this I ought not to declare any. I suppose, however, I shall not be mistaken, in assuming as a fact, that the people of Wisconsin prefer free labor, with its natural companion, education.

This leads to the further reflection, that no other human occupation opens so wide a field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture. I know of nothing so pleasant to the mind, as the discovery of anything which is at once new and valuable -- nothing which so lightens and sweetens toil, as the hopeful pursuit of such discovery. And how vast, and how varied a field is agriculture, for such discovery. The mind, already trained to thought, in the country school, or higher school, cannot fail to find there an exhaustless source of profitable enjoyment. Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure. And not grass alone; but soils, seeds, and seasons -- hedges, ditches, and fences, draining, droughts, and irrigation -- plowing, hoeing, and harrowing -- reaping, mowing, and threshing -- saving crops, pests of crops, diseases of crops, and what will prevent or cure them -- implements, utensils, and machines, their relative merits, and [how] to improve them -- hogs, horses, and cattle -- sheep, goats, and poultry -- trees, shrubs, fruits, plants, and flowers -- the thousand things of which these are specimens -- each a world of study within itself.

In all this, book-learning is available. A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the [yet] unsolved ones. The rudiments of science, are available, and highly valuable. Some knowledge of Botany assists in dealing with the vegetable world -- with all growing crops. Chemistry assists in the analysis of soils, selection, and application of manures, and in numerous other ways. The mechanical branches of Natural Philosophy, are ready help in almost everything; but especially in reference to implements and machinery.

"The Rail Candidate"—Lincoln's 1860 candidacy is depicted as held up by the slavery issue—a slave on the left and party organization on the right.
The thought recurs that education -- cultivated thought -- can best be combined with agricultural labor, or any labor, on the principle of thorough work -- that careless, half performed, slovenly work, makes no place for such combination. And thorough work, again, renders sufficient, the smallest quantity of ground to each man. And this again, conforms to what must occur in a world less inclined to wars, and more devoted to the arts of peace, than heretofore. Population must increase rapidly -- more rapidly than in former times -- and ere long the most valuable of all arts, will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil. No community whose every member possesses this art, can ever be the victim of oppression of any of its forms. Such community will be alike independent of crowned-kings, money-kings, and land-kings.

But, according to your programme, the awarding of premiums awaits the closing of this address. Considering the deep interest necessarily pertaining to that performance, it would be no wonder if I am already heard with some impatience. I will detain you but a moment longer. Some of you will be successful, and such will need but little philosophy to take them home in cheerful spirits; others will be disappointed, and will be in a less happy mood. To such, let it be said, "Lay it not too much to heart." Let them adopt the maxim, "Better luck next time;" and then, by renewed exertion, make that better luck for themselves.

And by the successful, and the unsuccessful, let it be remembered, that while occasions like the present, bring their sober and durable benefits, the exultations and mortifictions of them, are but temporary; that the victor shall soon be the vanquished, if he relax in his exertion; and that the vanquished this year, may be victor the next, in spite of all competition.

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! -- how consoling in the depths of affliction! "And this, too, shall pass away." And yet let us hope it is not quite true. Let us hope, rather, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.

Union Made - Dedicated to My Mother - Polka Queen and Member and Officer of the IBEW

Wow, Putin does NOT like protesters, does he? Oh wait, that's McDonald's in Oak Brook, Illinois. pic.twitter.com/db21jUvQhu

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Abraham Lincoln
My Mother is Rosie the Riveter. She worked in an aircraft factory during WWII. She would be marching with the Fast Food Workers if she were not 93 and blind in one eye. She was the boss cook of the Sun Ray lunch counter in Trenton NJ for a time. We might have to tie her down to keep her from trying to march. For my Mom, every day is and was Labor Day.

"Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and fallen and bruised itself, and risen again; been seized by the throat and choked and clubbed into insensibility; enjoined by courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, shot down by regulars, traduced by the press, frowned upon by public opinion, deceived by politicians, threatened by priests, repudiated by renegades, preyed upon by grafters, infested by spies, deserted by cowards, betrayed by traitors, bled by leeches, and sold out by leaders, but notwithstanding all this, and all these, it is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission of emancipating the workers of the world from the thraldom of the ages is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun."  - Eugene Victor Debs, Socialist Party Candidate for POTUS, "An Ideal Labor Press," The Metal Worker (May 1904)