A rancher who always carried his Bible in his saddlebag noticed one day that it was missing. He searched everywhere for it, without success. That Bible had been in his family for generations, and he hated to lose it, but it seemed unlikely that he would ever see it again.
Several days later, one of his cows walked up to him holding his Bible in her mouth. The rancher was flabbergasted. He took the book out of the cow’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward, and said, “It’s a miracle!”
“Not really,” said the cow. “Your name was written inside the cover.”
Feudalism: You have two cows. The lord of the manor takes some of the milk and all of the cream.
Socialism: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. The government takes one of your cows and gives it to your neighbor. You’re both forced to join a cooperative where you have to teach your neighbor how to take care of his cow.
Anarchy: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price, or your neighbors will kill you and take your cows.
Communism: You have two cows. The government seizes both and promises you a share of the milk. You wait for your share, but the line is so long that the milk is spoiled by the time you get it.
Military Dictatorship: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.
Pure Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
Representative Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors choose someone to decide who gets the milk.
Democracy, Democrat-style: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being so wealthy. You vote for politicians who tax your cows, and you are forced to sell one to pay the tax. The politicians use the money to buy a cow for your neighbor. You feel virtuous.
Democracy, Republican-style: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none and resents you for being better off than he is. You take your cows and move to a better neighborhood.
Bureaucracy: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. They are cared for by former chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. Government bureaucrats give you as much milk and as many eggs as they think you need.
Indian Democracy: You have two cows. You worship them.
British Democracy: You have two cows. You feed them sheep brains and they go mad and have to be destroyed. The government gives you compensation for your dead cows and your lost income, and pays you not to use your fields for anything else.
Singaporean Democracy: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.
Environmentalism: You have two cows. You are forbidden by law either to milk them or to eat them.
Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
Foreign Policy, American-Style: You have two cows. The government taxes them and uses the money to buy a cow for a poor farmer in a third world country ruled by a tinpot dictator. The farmer has no hay to feed the cow. The cow starves to death. The farmer starves to death. The dictator confiscates the dead man’s farm and sells it, using the money to purchase weapons from the United States. The president declares the program a success.
Domestic Policy, American-Style: You have two cows, but you have to sell one because the government will give you a license for only one of them. The license requires you to sell all the milk to the government, which makes it into cheese. The government spends millions in borrowed money to store the cheese in refrigerated warehouses. When the cheese gets moldy, the government distributes it to the poor. The poor get sick from eating it and go to the emergency room, where they are treated for free. The president declares the program a success.
American Corporation: You have two cows. You sell one to a subsidiary and lease it back to yourself so you can declare it as a tax loss. Your bosses give you a huge bonus. You inject the cows with drugs so they will produce four times the normal amount of milk. Your bosses give you a huge bonus. When the drugs cause one of the cows to drop dead, you announce to the press that you have downsized, reducing expenses by 50 percent. The company stock goes up and your bosses give you a huge bonus. You lay off all your workers and move your production facilities to Mexico. You get a huge bonus. You contribute some of your profit to the president’s re-election campaign. The president proposes tax cuts for corporations in order to stimulate the economy.
Japanese Corporation: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are half the size of an ordinary cow and produce five times as much milk. You teach the cows to travel on crowded trains. Your cows get higher test scores than cows in the U.S. or Europe, but they drink a lot of sake.
German Corporation: You have two cows. You engineer them so they drink lots of beer, give excellent milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately, they also demand twelve weeks of vacation per year and are very expensive to repair.
Russian Corporation: You have two cows. You also have some vodka. You count your cows and discover you really have five cows! You have more vodka. You count them again and discover you have ten cows! You have more vodka. The Russian Mafia arrives and takes all your cows. You have more vodka.
Italian Corporation: You have two cows but you can’t find them. While searching for them you meet a beautiful woman, take her out to lunch, and then make love to her. Life is good.
French Corporation: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want another cow, more vacation time, and a shorter work week. The French government says that it will never agree to your demands. You go to lunch and enjoy some fabulous food and wine. While you are at lunch, the airline pilots and flight controllers go on strike, shutting down all air traffic. The truckers block all the roads and the dock workers block all the ports. By dinner time the French government agrees to all your demands. Life is good.
Taliban Corporation: You have two cows. Both are killed when one of your homemade IEDs explodes at the wrong time. You blame the American infidels and the Jews.
Counterculturalism: Wow, dude, there’s like these two cows, man. You have got to have some of this milk.
Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. —Yogi Berra
Dance like no one is watching. Because they’re not. They’re checking their phones.
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