#247 Oct 30, 2002

COLUMBUS: By golly, the Angels beat the Giants after all. It took ’em 7 games and the score of the last game was 4 to1. Why am I telling you this old news? Well, hardly anybody east of Fresno bothered to watch, and if someone ever asks you, “who won the 2002 World Series?”, you can’t credit your ignorance to me if you miss it.

The players all got a trip to Disneyland. Yeah, right. I think it’s across the street from their baseball field. They should’ve taken ’em to Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch. At least they would get a bus ride.

Wasn’t that a tragedy up in Minnesota, losing Paul Wellstone and other fine people with him. Everybody knew where he stood, but they always asked him anyway because it was so enjoyable and enlightening to hear him explain it. He could always be counted on to vote one way, kinda like Senator Hatch of Utah, except the opposite. They canceled each other out 99% of the time. Everybody knows you could remove about two-thirds of the Senate and the country would run just as good, maybe better.

They had a funeral for Sen. Wellstone, and it turned into a 3-hour Revival Meeting for the Democratic denomination. Of course the Democrats need to be revived, or even resurrected, but Republican Senators are demanding equal time. The television networks said, “We’ll give it to you, under one condition.” But, so far, none of them has volunteered for the role of the corpse.

Looks like we may get Walter Mondale back in there, and Frank Lautenburg from New Jersey. Ohio and Kansas are thinking about bringing back John Glenn and Bob Dole.

With prospects of these wise old birds returning to the Senate, Strom Thurmond is feeling kinda sorry about yielding his South Carolina seat.

Why, I wouldn’t be surprised at the opening roll call to see Louisiana represented by Huey Long.

Here in Ohio, no matter who wins governor’s race, he will likely raise taxes. Of course they are denying it till after the election. Gov. Taft finally admitted yesterday he is against any new income tax or sales tax, but to fund the schools he might be obliged to put on an “education tax”.

Now there is a sly one, naming a tax for where the money’s going instead of where it’s coming from. See, this new tax will be on income or sales or property, but it’s going for schools.

Really, I think this is a good idea, in fact it ought to be that way for anybody who wants a share of our money. We already know where the money’s coming from, it’s coming from those that have got it. From now on, when we give it, we would know where it’s headed.

For instance, if you want support for the farmer, you put on a “farmer tax”, and I think the majority would maybe vote in favor of such a tax. Probably the same for a “teacher tax”.

But if you want a “beach tax” to haul sand and pile it in front of millionaires’ oceanfront houses, well, the odds are about the same as a “Governor’s and Legislator’s tax” to raise their salaries.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Come pretty near having two holidays of equal importance in the same week, Halloween and Election, and of the two, Election provides us the most fun. On Halloween they put pumpkins on their heads, and on Election they don’t have to. Candidates have been telling you that if elected they would “pull you from this bog hole of financial misery.” Now is a good chance to get even with ’em, by electing ’em, just to prove what a liar they are.  Personally I think this is the right year for a good man to be defeated in.” DT #1334, Nov. 2, 1930

“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” DT #1764, March 20, 1932

#246 Oct 24, 2002

COLUMBUS: That blast of air felt in the region around Washington, D.C. today was from a collective sigh of relief. They caught the snipers asleep, along I-70 headed west.

One was an Army veteran, John Williams (now John Mohammad), the other a 17-year old, John Malvo, who is in this country illegally.

It was this younger fellow that finally got them caught. Like many teenagers, he simply could not stay off the telephone.

These guys got around. They lived in Tacoma, then went to Alabama and killed a clerk, then to Camden, New Jersey, apparently to get a good deal on a 1990 Chevy Caprice.

Camden is the most curious stop for these two. Local police are checking their records for recent murders. See, in Camden ten murders in a month is kinda routine. Mohammad and Malvo probably figured out, “We can’t scare anyone around here with killings, let’s try Maryland.” So they left, but before they left they mailed in their absentee votes, for Senator Toricelli.

Do you remember my suggestion from October 7? Well, I almost forgot it myself, but here it is. I said, “Putting on a war just to take out one man seems kind of excessive. Maybe they should just find the guy shooting those people in Maryland, and ship him to Baghdad.”

I think we’ve got what negotiators like to call a win-win situation. Our Air Force can drop those two murderers (alleged) into Iraq. If they can knock out Saddam, we pardon them, but leave them there. If Saddam catches them… well, it saves the millions we would otherwise have to spend on their trials.

This idea will offend some of you, and I don’t blame you for being upset. But for the last month there’s been millions of men, women and children around our nation’s capital who have had their whole lives upset, so they would probably vote in favor of the plan.

Johnny Cochran is trying to get in touch with the suspects. I’m not quite sure whether he wants to defend them, or to ask ’em if they are the murderers O. J. has been searching for the last few years.

Well, finally, radio and television broadcasters can get off these snipers and back to what Americans want to hear about. Politics.

Speaking of broadcasters, the past two days I got to meet and listen to two of the best, Walter Cronkite and Sam Donaldson. Mr. Cronkite started off the annual convention of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, and Sam ended it. They had some other speakers in between that you might not have heard of, but they held their own. Keith Harrell, Chris Lytle, Frank Pacetta and Jones Loflin did a marvelous job of teaching and training and motivating.

You might be interested in some of what Mr. Cronkite told those folks. He said he is disappointed with network news today. They spend too much time on fluff, not enough on the important news. Instead of using scandal and entertainment to attract an audience, what they need is better writing and more thought on the important stories. That’s what will make it more interesting and draw an audience. He said we can’t afford to have an ignorant nation.

He has known and talked with every man who has served as President from Hoover to George W. He said they are all smart, but the smartest of them all is Jimmy Carter.

He was born in Missouri, and had his first broadcasting job in Oklahoma City. He has worked in journalism more than 60 years and will celebrate his 86th birthday on November 4. If that date seems familiar to you, perhaps it is because another great man who did some broadcasting will be honored on the same day for birthday number 123, Will Rogers.

Tonight I was invited to speak to the Hilliard Kiwanis Club which meets just down the road. They’re a fine bunch of men and women, and do some great things for the local community and around the world. This Saturday they are scheduled to paint a giant map of the United States on the asphalt playground at an elementary school. They were picking out colors. I suggested Ohio ought to be red, in reflection of the state budget problems. But about 40 states have the same problem and they can’t all be painted the same color. Our kids need all the help they can get with geography.

Gene Autry’s Angels are still alive in the World Series, and headed home to Anaheim for two games.

Historical quotes from Will Rogers: (from a speech to Kiwanis International convention, 1933)

“I am here tonight as kind of a peace offering. I have told a lot of jokes about these eating outfits, service clubs, or whatever you want to call them. …I have told a lot of jokes about these service clubs, or eating outfits, because I could not see much sense in them. But they were beneficial to the hotels, because they got rid of a lot of bad food.

All of that was back in the old days. It looks like you have really got a mission to fulfill now; you are doing something. You have reformed and you are going along all right. I know from personal experience that you are getting along fine and doing something worth while.”


#245 Oct 7, 2002

COLUMBUS: Our President came back to Ohio again, this time to Cincinnati to give a speech to the nation. Actually it was mainly a speech to the Democrats. And Saddam Hussein.

You may wonder , why Cincinnati? Well, can you think of a better place to announce a War? Look at the Bengals. Anybody who comes to Cincinnati always wins.*

Putting on a war just to take out one man seems kind of excessive. Maybe they should just find the guy shooting those people in Maryland, and ship him to Baghdad.

But Mr. Bush does not really expect to have a War. He figures once he gets the Army and Air Force and everybody lined up behind him, in unanimous support, it’ll end before it starts. So far, all he’s got behind him is England. And the Republicans. That leaves about 250 assorted countries, and the Democrats. So at the rate he is attracting folks to his side of the argument, it will be unanimous by around Christmas. Of 2010.

He is already looking ahead. He says when Saddam is ousted, America is willing to send Twenty Billion dollars a year to Iraq. Yes sir, 20 Billion. And at ten dollars a barrel, that’ll get us a lot of oil.

In other news this week New Jersey Senator Toricelli dropped out, and the Supreme Court says it is ok for him to be replaced on the ballot by a retired Senator, Frank Lautenberg.

Ohio Democrats are keeping an eye on that New Jersey situation. See, we’ve got a candidate for Governor here, and he ain’t doing so hot. There’s talk that he might resign from the campaign, and be replaced on the ballot by John Glenn.

The baseball playoffs are underway. Already the teams everybody figured would win the World Series have been knocked out. The Angels beat the Yankees. That’ll make Gene Autry pull out his guitar and strum a happy tune for St. Peter. The St. Louis Cardinals have a new Gashouse Gang ready to take on Barry Bonds. And that team up in Minneapolis that some folks wanted to get rid of a year ago, they’re still in the hunt.

A judge in North Carolina announced he is taking the crown away from both of their Miss America candidates, at least temporarily. When this controversy started a month or so ago I heard from a former Miss North Carolina who says she is ready and willing to step in. In fact, she has been ready for about 40 years. Jeanne Robertson still has her tiara, and a closet full of evening gowns and nice clothes, and she still fits in her old bathing suit.

She does have a new talent… she just stands up there and talks and the judges and the whole audience are rolling in the aisles, laughing.

She says that’s the same reaction she would get wearing the old one piece.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“There has been war since the beginning of time, and we are no smarter than the people that have gone before us, so there is awful apt to be some more war.” WA #368, January 12, 1930

*Note: for those of you not into American football, the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League are 0-5.