#235 Jun 27, 2002

AUBURN, Alabama: You’ll have to pardon me for a minute, while I stand and salute:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all.”

See, I can’t let Congress get too far ahead of me on such a vital issue. Nobody knew Congress could act so fast. Inside of an hour after those judges in San Francisco threw out the Pledge of Allegiance, the entire House of Representatives was on the front steps of the Capitol, practicing it.

They could have stayed inside the House chambers… they have a flag in there. But not the cameras.

The Senate passed a resolution, 99 to 0, in disfavor with that Circuit Court ruling. Well, that’s one thing those California judges did for history. They brought the U.S. Senate to a unanimous decision.

The father that started the lawsuit says his daughter should not have to say anything about “one nation under God” in school, and she shouldn’t even have to hear it. Well, if it upsets him that 250 million of us like the Pledge the way it is, perhaps he should find a country that is not under God, and has no connection to any God. He’ll get plenty of offers of a ticket to go there. One way. If he tries to take his little girl with him, he may have a battle.

Well, let’s get on to the other news this week. I just read one of the top newspapers in this part of Alabama, the Montgomery Advertiser. This is the most forthright paper in the country. They tell you right up front in the name what their main purpose is. Folks here must appreciate their honesty because they have been reading the Advertiser since 1829. Their motto: All the advertisements that’s fit to print. And all the news that’ll fit in the space that’s left.

Alabama held an election Tuesday. Senator Sessions has a new opponent this November, Susan Parker. She says, “Mr. Sessions is Goliath and I am David with a slingshot.” Well, Mr. Sessions is not a small man, but this is probably the first time he has been favorably compared to a man of that stature. And I think she sells herself short saying all she has going for her is a forked stick and a few small stones. Well, it should be a lively campaign, and it’ll give folks something to argue over in case all the football teams are doing poorly.

Mr. Arafat says he will run again, regardless. His determination, persistence and bullheadedness about running again is an annoyance for President Bush and others who want him out of there. Kinda like Mr. Gore is for the Democrat leaders.

Have you noticed, War has held off so far this month? Yes, credit goes to the World Cup. The only people in the world, besides us, not watching soccer is the suicide bombers, and there was only a couple of them. Even America watched it till we got shut out.

Brazil and Germany fight it out on the field this Sunday. I can’t predict the winner, but I know the score will likely be 1-0.

We got more of these big companies in trouble for cheating their shareholders and tricking the auditors. Enron, Global Crossing, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom… Hardly a day goes by without more scandals and layoffs.

Did you see where Playboy this month is showing those former Enron women? Who will be next? The way things are going on Wall Street, they may have to publish weekly to keep up. Just stop before they get to Martha Stewart.

Well, I am down here at Auburn University, the home of War Eagles and Tigers. Chicago had cows on her streets, the Midwest has concrete geese on front lawns, but Auburn has Tigers anywhere you want one. Any style or color combination, they will paint one for you. This is a good school with a lot more going on than painting and football.

I am here for a Southern Tillage Conference where they are working on ways to raise cotton, peanuts and all sorts of other crops for less money, and with no erosion. When I say “Southern”, I am not limiting it to where you might guess. For this meeting the South reaches almost to the Antarctic. We got folks here from Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Even Southern California.

You know, when cotton is 35 cents a pound and soybeans are $4.50 a bushel, farmers have got to cut their nonessential costs. They may eliminate the old moldboard plow in the South as an unnecessary and costly recreational activity, but they’ll always keep politics around for entertainment purposes.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“(I just) read the new census. Talk about putting a quota on immigration. Why, the Yankees are swarming into the South like locusts.

Get some of these gains: Houston, Texas showed a gain of 110 per cent. Atlanta, 73 per cent gain, will be Houston’s nearest rival in twenty years. Miami, 273 per cent. Oklahoma City, 100 per cent. Birmingham 44, Memphis 55, San Antonio 57, and the Carolinas just packed ’em in. Only one drawback… the rascals bring their Republican politics with ’em. They ought to be met at the line and deloused.” DT #1201, June 1, 1930

#234 Jun 20, 2002

COLUMBUS: Southwest Airlines announced a plan to make passengers pay for all the space they occupy, in case they lap over into the adjoining seat. When I first heard it, I thought “My Lord, they are going back to 1927.”

You see, in those days the only scheduled planes were the ones carrying the U. S. mail. Since “I” was always in a hurry to get somewhere, the government let me fly on those planes if I paid by the pound, the same as the mail.

Now, I don’t blame Southwest for adopting this old policy. In fact they have always followed another rule from the mail planes: if you want a meal on the flight, pack a lunch.

Then I read the paper again, and they don’t say anything about weight, only size. That’s a big difference. Just like your carry-on bag has to fit in a certain size box at the ticket counter, you will have to fit in a frame the same size as a seat. If you can’t squeeze in, you pay double.

Since weight don’t matter, only breadth, I see a big gain for the corset manufacturers. Can you imagine the millions to be made by controlling the corset concession at every airport? It’s enough to make John Gotti roll over.

When a fleshy passenger is asked to pay double, why he won’t kick on forking over $99 for a corset, if it’ll keep him within the confines of his assigned seat and save hundreds of dollars.

You can make a good profit because brand name won’t mean a thing. A few ladies may insist on a Maidenform, but by and large, any brand will do, even a Sears Industrial Strength.

Contact your Congressman. Be first in line for the Corset Corner franchise at your local airport. It’s a sure fire winner.

Only two things could knock it down… if Mr. Bush is successful at getting everybody to exercise a half hour a day (fat chance), and if McDonalds doubles the price of Super Sizes.

Speaking of our President… last week I told you he would be back in Ohio soon. Well, no sooner had Air Force One left Ohio air space than Laura Bush was on the ground in Cincinnati. And today V-P Dick Cheney was in Dayton. Next week will be a great disappointment if Ohio don’t at least get Mr. Rumsfeld or Colin Powell.

Historical quote from Will Rogers: (this is a classic on Corsets)

“(Corset manufacturing is) an essential industry. Just imagine, if you can, if the flesh of this country were allowed to wander around promiscuously! Why, there ain’t no telling where it would wind up. There has got to be a gathering or a get_together place for everything in this world, so, when our human bodies get beyond our control, why we have to call on some mechanical force to help assemble them and bring back what might be called the semblance of a human frame.

These corset builders have got what you would call a Herculean Task, as they really have to improve on nature. The same problem confronts them that does the people that run the subways in New York City. They both have to get so many pounds of human flesh into a given radius. The subway does it by having strong men to push and shove until they can just close the door with only the last man’s foot out. But the corset carpenters arrive at the same thing by a series of strings.

They have what is known as the back lace. This is known as a one man corset.

Now the front lace can be operated without a confederate. Judiciously holding your breath, with a conservative intake on the diaphram, you arrange yourself inside this. Then you tie the strings to the door knob, and slowly back away. When your speedometer says you have arrive at exactly 36, why haul in your lines and tie off.

We have also the side lace. That is made in case you are very fleshy and need two accomplices to help you congregate yourself. You stand in the middle and they pull from both sides. This acts something in the nature of a vise. This style has been known to operate so successful that the victim’s buttons have popped off their shoes.

Now, of course, not as many women wear corsets as used to, but what they have lost in women they have made up with men.” WA #12, March 4, 1923

233 Jun 16, 2002

COLUMBUS: This is Fathers Day. Personally, it has been a great day, and I have no complaints. But, if you think about it, almost every Sunday is good for a dad. If you really want to pay him the respect he deserves, I think we need a Monday holiday for dads.

You may say, the country already takes a lot of Mondays off work. Of course none of those holidays come in June, so I figure we can make a good case for it. If there’s too much of a yell, I suppose we can compromise… we’ll make it a national holiday, but only for dads. Everybody else will have to work.

President Bush was in town Friday. He dropped in to speak to the graduating class at Ohio State University. He mainly reminded them about his suggestion that everyone volunteer two years of service for the public good over their lifetime. Some of the students said it sounded like a good idea provided they can live off mom and dad while they do it. Especially if they can sleep till noon.

Most students felt honored to have the President here to wrap up their four years in college, or five or six. Now, having Mr. Bush come to Ohio is an honor, but it’s no novelty. He stops in every month or two to remind folks to vote Republican. Don’t be surprised if he is back for the State Fair in August.

The President is encouraging Israel to recognize the Palestinians, to let ’em have a piece of land to call their own. Israel says, “We will do it, but not till we finish building this fence around ’em. We will recognize the Palestinians, but only if they stay on the other side of the barb wire.”

The fence will have an electric charge added to it. Mr. Sharon wanted to add a moat, but they would have to truck the water too far. Mr. Arafat probably would not object to the fence if, while it was keeping his Palestinians on one side, it kept the Israelis on the other.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Father had a day, but you can’t find anybody who remembers when it was. It’s been so confused with April the first.” Radio broadcast, May 12, 1935

“I propose a Father’s Day. No flowers, no fuss, just let him use the car himself and go where he wants to. But we will never live to see such a contented day.” DT #1183, May 11, 1930

#232 Jun 8, 2002

COLUMBUS: After giving us eleven days of rain, the Lord finally saw fit to tempt us with a little sunshine yesterday. The only three dry locations in Columbus were on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Corn farmers are undecided whether their planter needs wider tires, Caterpillar tracks, or pontoons. The Pilgrims reported that Indians put a fish beside every corn plant. Well, we got whole fields of fish, but no corn planted.

I know it don’t seem fair to all these other regions doing without rain. Iowa got eight inches one day, and Montana ain’t had that much in a year. Why, it’s got so bad along the Rio Grande, Texas is trying to buy water from Mexico.

The Masai Tribe in Africa gave 14 old milk cows to our ambassador, in remembrance of the World Trade Center victims. It was a wonderful gesture and sacrifice of the highest order. He accepted the cows even though he didn’t even own a milk bucket. Just like any dairy farmer today, his first thought was to sell them. Then he would put the money into a fund for the victims.

But some television reporters got wind of the plan and said the cows should be trucked to America, where they could be put on display in various zoos and circuses. Then some other reporter said, no, they can’t be penned up, they need room to roam. So they compromised on a plan to send seven to New York to be turned loose in Central Park, and the other seven to Rock Creek Park in Washington. How many of these reporters do you think will show up twice a day to lasso and milk ’em?

We got ranchers in the West where it is so dry they would give 14 Thousand cows to our government, as long as they get fed and returned in good shape. These are beef cows, and most come with a calf that handles the milking chores. All they really need is a park where the grass needs mowed. The park can even keep the fertilizer.

The President announced plans for a new cabinet agency, the Department of Homeland Security. The idea is to bring under one person every government employee needed to keep us safe at home. Congress seems to like the idea of it being under one Secretary, but they can’t agree on which 78 Congressional committees should be responsible for keeping an eye on him. It won’t be as tough to get the FBI, Coast Guard and Immigration to compromise and cooperate as it will the various sub-committee chairmen.

Did you hear about the woman with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Florida, Johnelle Bryant? She turned down those terrorists when they asked for a loan. Mohamed Atta wanted $650,000 to buy a plane for crop dusting and charter service, in the spring of 2000. Three others came in later to ask her for money.

Now, all across this country we had people that seemed to give those men anything they wanted… visas, flying lessons, airline tickets to fly anywhere…, and this one woman with the Farm Services Agency is the only one who said, “No”.

Just a few days ago I talked to a bunch of those USDA-FSA folks, from all over the country, and if I had only realized their wisdom and good judgement at the time, I would have just asked questions and let them provide the lecture.

When Mr. Bush is organizing that new department I think two people he should put in charge, along with Secretary Ridge, is Mrs. Bryant, and that FBI lawyer in Minneapolis, Coleen Rowley.

A friend told me recently not to worry about any wars in India, Pakistan or most anywhere else in the world for the next three weeks. The soldiers are all watching the World Cup, no matter who is playing. Any war begun this month will be started by diplomats. Or Americans.

Another old murder has been solved with the Skakel conviction. Connecticut took only 27 years to find him guilty. Now they can honestly claim to be 12 years ahead of Alabama, but only in that one category.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“I got a wire (from) my ranch, or what I thought was a cattle ranch (saying it) was now a fish hatchery.” WA #231, May 15, 1927