Will has a beef with Japan and bin Ladin

# 303, December 30, 2003

COLUMBUS: Television news is saying today that beef from that old milk cow in Washington state, which couldn’t amount to more than about 800 pounds of hamburger, has been spread over 8 western states. Never in history has anyone distributed such a small amount of meat among so many people, except for our Lord Savior himself, and he only did it with fish. Closest anybody has ever come to it with hamburger is McDonalds.

You know, if 3M were to drop an ounce of arsenic in the Mississippi River at St. Paul (not that they would ever do that) our news folks would advise us to stop drinking the water all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Now everyone is for safe food, and it’s hard for anyone to argue ours isn’t safe, as much as we eat of it. We eat more than we should and live longer, so it can’t all be poison to us.

But the whole American beef industry is about to be downed by one old milk cow of Canadian heritage. Can you believe it, on account of one sick Holstein, Japan stopped shipment on millions of pounds of Angus T-bone steaks and Hereford prime rib. There’s boatloads of beef heading across the Pacific that may be dumped overboard.

Just imagine if you can, if Japan discovered that one new Toyota Camry (or even an old one) was infected with some terrible disease, like Injector Influenza. (This disease has been known to cause wheezing and coughing, and can even lead to an engine dying.) Do you suppose we would immediately halt the import of Camrys? And not only Camrys but all Toyota models, plus Nissans and Hondas? Well, if we did we would be just as foolish as they are in refusing our rump roasts.

The terror threat is up for the holidays and we’re spending Billions on extra police and security. I wouldn’t be surprised that since bin Ladin and his al Quada followers seem to hate capitalism, he is happy just to see us spending so much of our “excess” profits on our own protection. But I wonder if old Osama has been watching us and how we react to all this mad cow news. He’s liable to come up with a new plan. He’ll have his men hijack a cargo plane at London’s airport, load it with British cows that all have that disease, fly ’em over here and scatter the meat across our eastern states.

Happy New Year. 2004 should be a good one. Enjoy the football games, and eat more beef.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Now I say, and have always claimed, that things would pick up in ’32. Why ’32? Well, because ’32 is an election year, see, and the Republicans always see that everything looks good on election year, see? They give us three good years and one bad one…. no, three bad ones and one good one. I like to got it wrong. That’s the Democrats does the other. They give us three bad years and one good one, but the good one always comes on the year that the voting is, see? Everything will pick up next year and be fine.” Radio broadcast, Oct. 18, 1931

“Well, the old year will be passing out in a few hours, and I don’t know personally of a thing that I can do about it. I guess there will be a lot of people will take it up with the government, as they look to them to do everything else.” DT #2622, Dec. 31, 1934

Weekly Comments: Will sends Christmas cheer

# 302, December 23, 2003

COLUMBUS: It is snowing tonight, just the way Ohio likes it for Christmas. Enough to cover the ground, but leave the roads clear.

Did you see that Monday Night Football game last night? Brett Favre’s dad died Sunday, and yet he went out and played his best game ever, threw 4 touchdown passes and over 300 yards, and that was just in the first half.

Even the Oakland Raiders sensed they were outnumbered. There was a twelfth man out there for Green Bay. He wasn’t on the field, he was up above it.

News came out today that an old dairy cow out in Washington had the mad cow disease. Now you’re going to hear all kinds of scary stories over the next few weeks, and nobody will convince you it wasn’t consequential, at least for that particular cow.

But don’t be alarmed. The chances of you winning one of those big lotteries this week is a million times greater than of your family getting a bite of meat from that cow. There’s liable to be more people killed in their automobiles returning beef to their grocer in the next week than will ever die here of that mad cow affliction.

So enjoy your Christmas dinner. No matter what you are serving, whether it’s turkey or ham, or fish or T-bone steak, just make sure you cook it right. That’s what counts, as far as food is concerned.

Merry Christmas.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Well, there is lots more good cheer this Christmas than last (or the last three) and it’s not all out of bottles either. It’s in the heart, in the confidence and in the renewed hope of everybody.” DT #2306, December 24, 1933

“Mr. Henry Ford told me he would make me a present of the first new Ford car [the Model A], and sure enough, when I got here today, here she is. It’s the first one delivered for actual use, and believe me I sure am using it. Nobody is looking at these Rolls_Royces here in Beverly Hills.” DT #439, December 22, 1927

Weekly Comments: Saddam is captured; Wright Brothers are celebrated

# 301, December 18, 2003

COLUMBUS: The newspaper headline, no matter what paper you read on Monday, was “We Got Him”. Even Saddam Hussein knows it’s time to give up when you’re in a rat hole surrounded by six hundred soldiers.

Iraq (and President Bush) wants Europe to forgive the debts racked up by Saddam. During his reign Saddam put Iraq billions and billions of dollars into debt, and he ain’t even a Republican. But here’s what I can’t figure out: why would a country like France or Germany or Russia send guns and tanks and planes and missiles to Saddam without making him pay cash? Or at least pay with oil.

You know France sells their gasoline for about $5 a gallon, so if they had said, “Saddam, we’ll supply you all the ammunition you can sneak in there, and in return you pay us in crude oil at $5 a barrel.” Why, France would have been rolling in dough. That’s a deal even Haliburton would have envied.

But Europe wasn’t that smart. They traded him war supplies for an IOU, and let him keep his oil and his money. And it ain’t just Europe. A lot of us got taken. And that money is not only paying for the Iraqi terrorists shooting at our soldiers, but here’s a real kicker, it’ll pay for his defense lawyers.

His daughter announced she would hire the best lawyers to defend him, I suppose with one of Hussein’s billion dollar Swiss bank accounts. That sure got the attention of our top trial attorneys… Johnny Cochran, Mark Gerogos, Gloria Allred. Even John Edwards might drop his bid for President to go back to his old profession. Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson and Kobe may be left to defend themselves.

Ole Strom Thurmond jumped back in the news this week. It seems he became a father long before anybody let on. I’m not gonna get into the morals of the situation, but this news kinda puts him up there with Thomas Jefferson and Grover Cleveland, and probably others we never learned about even after they were dead. His “new” daughter seems to be a fine lady, a retired school teacher. She is 78 years old and with those genes she’ll probably live to 110.

Yesterday they held a big celebration. And I don’t mean for that new Lord of the Rings movie. No, this one was for the Wright Brothers from Dayton and their first flight a hundred years ago. Orville and Wilbur may have passed themselves off as a pair of bicycle mechanics, but those boys were natural born engineers. They worked out the science and physics of flying and developed aviation technology still used today.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on debt forgiveness, Wright Bros., and War)

“They got a new gag in Europe now to help along their argument that America should cancel the debts [from World War I]. They are appealing to our egotism (and they figure we are not short on it). The new gag is “America won the war and she should pay. We admit that it was America coming in when she did that determined the destiny of the War. Therefore, she is answerable for present European conditions, and should put them right.”

Now, ain’t that a hot one? No matter what you do, you are wrong. If you help ’em lose it you are wrong, if you help ’em win it you are wrong.

There just ain’t any such animal as international “good_will.” It just lasts till the loan runs out.” DT #1687, Dec. 20, 1931

“Well, yesterday [Dec. 17] was the 20th Anniversary [actually 21st] of the first Flying machine flight by the Wright Brothers. People wouldn’t believe that a man could fly, AND CONGRESS DON’T BELIEVE IT YET.

The anniversary of the Wrights’ flight was celebrated all over the World yesterday…

Our Air Service is waiting for congress to make an appropriation to have the valves ground and carbon removed from the engines.” WA #107, Dec28, 1924

“Just read the Smithsonian Institution’s explanation about the Wright flying machine. They say the trustees decided [Samuel] Langley’s machine could have flown first but didn’t. I could have flown to France ahead of Lindbergh but I just neglected doing it. I had a lot of other things on my mind at the time.” DT #501, March 5, 1928 [note: the Smithsonian, finally, in 1948 reconsidered and allowed the Wright plane to be displayed]

“About the banquet at Mr. Ford’s, it was great [honoring Thomas Edison]. Every time I would waste some coffee out of my saucer it would be on a millionaire. I started to kick on my seat for the guys on either side looked like a couple of Ford dealers. So before I would sit down I made ’em tell. One said he was Orville Wright. I told the other one I suppose you are Lindbergh. He says no, I am only Mr. Mayo. Well, between a forced landing and an operation I was home.” DT # 1011, Oct. 22, 1929

“Monday is aviation day. Thirty_one years ago Monday the Wrights made their famous flight at Kitty Hawk. It was a box kite put together with barrel staves and putty. He sat on a stool out in front of the thing, hoping that it wouldn’t get excited and run over him. He didn’t get very high, but he started something that will change many a map in this world.

Aviation is sorter like the old .45 pistols, which made little men as dangerous as big men. It’s a sort of equalizer. You could give little Switzerland enough airplanes and she would worry the old Ned out of the big ones. There is no end to how many we ought to have. Buy about fifty thousand. And take the profits out of war, and you won’t have any war.” DT #2608, Dec. 14, 1934

Europe should blame the little red hen, not Bush

# 300, December 11, 2003

COLUMBUS: This argument France, Germany and Russia are having with us over our $18 Billion to rebuild Iraq reminds me of a story from years ago called “The Little Red Hen and the Wheat”. Some of you remember it, and I bet Barbara Bush used to read it to little George W. and his baby brothers.

See, this red hen lived in a barnyard with her chicks, along with a cat, a goose and a fat little pig. One day the hen found some wheat seeds and wanted help planting them. But the cat and the goose and the pig were lazy and said, “No, we won’t help”, so the hen sowed the grain herself. Soon the wheat needed to be watered, and again the three made excuses to get out of helping the red hen. The same thing happened when it was time to hoe, and then to reap, to haul it to the mill, and finally to make the flour into bread and bake it. The cat, goose and pig all said, “No, we can’t help.”

When the loaf was ready to take from the oven the hen asked, “Who is going to help eat this bread?” Now all three said, “Yes, we’re here for you.” But the little red hen said, “No, the chicks and I will eat it.” Then the last line of the story says, “the little red hen sang as she cut the thick slices for her chicks, and not a crumb was left for the French, German and Russian companies.”

I changed that last line, …but that’s the way George remembers it.

Europe says we are violating international law if we don’t let their companies bid. But President Bush reminded them it was our $18 Billion they wanted to bid on. If Europe puts up a few Billion, he’ll let ’em bid on that.

I ain’t sure how we’ll make out. The way things are going, Haliburton will win all the bids, and it’ll end up costing us at least $30 Billion instead of 18. Then they’re liable to turn around and subcontract all the work to Europe for 10.

If we want to save money maybe we should immediately turn Iraq over to Wal-Mart. They’ll cut the price of gas for our troops from $2.75 down to $1.25, they’ll make friends with the majority of Iraqis with their “Low Prices, Always”, and they’ll even win over the opposition by hiring them at night to clean the stores.

Earlier this week our President took the tariff off imported steel. He put it on two years ago, and now he takes it off. That satisfied the Europeans and confused the Democrats. Howard Dean was for tariffs, and Al Gore was against them, but Al endorsed him anyway. Dean wasn’t sure if the endorsement would help him or hurt him. But it should guarantee him a tie in Florida.

Be sure to get your flu shot. Of course, there’s a shortage of the vaccine, so you may have to go to Canada to get it, or maybe Europe. Folks are complaining about the drug companies charging more here than anywhere. But don’t expect them to lower our prices. They’re more likely to raise ’em everywhere else. If you thought Europe didn’t like us now, wait till they start paying the same for drugs as we do.

Of course, we could just tell these drug companies to lower their prices everywhere. Tell ’em to cancel their research on new drugs, and we’ll take our chances on what they already have developed.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“The tariff is an instrument invented for the benefit of those who make to be used against those who buy. As there is more buys than there is makes, it is a document of the minority. But what a minority.” DT #912, June 28, 1929

“Arguing tariff is sorter like arguing religion. There just ain’t any answer. If a business thrives under a protective tariff, that don’t mean that it has been a good thing. It may have thrived because it made the people of America pay more for the object than they should have, so a few have got rich at the cost of the many. There is never any way of estimating the damage done by a tariff, that is how much other countries retaliate in different ways.” WA 388, June 1, 1930

Columbus shooter in the news; Will takes pot shot at Paris Hilton

# 299, December 4, 2003

COLUMBUS: You folks have been reading in the newspapers about all the shootings on the south side of Columbus. Someone has been firing at some big targets, mainly on I-270. One person was killed, many others scared half to death.

The Columbus Dispatch called him a sniper. But he sure ain’t a marksman. So far he has hit four cars, five trucks, an empty school building and a horse trailer. Nobody knows how many he has missed. Deer season started here Monday, and the deer are wishing everyone with a gun would follow this guy’s example. A white-tail don’t have much to fear from a person who can’t always hit the side of an 18-wheeler.

Have you seen this “reality” show on Fox with Paris Hilton and the daughter of Lionel Richie? They took these two girls, who never worked an hour in their life, and put them on a farm in Arkansas. I think it’s called “The Simple Life”, but with the ignorant things Miss Hilton says and does, it could be “The Simpletons”.

I tell you, if the future of this country ever falls into the hands of the uneducated offspring of our wealthy class we had better all move to Mexico. Any of you who were concerned this show might embarrass our good country folk can relax. It’s Hollywood that has the red face. Old Conrad Hilton may roll over and figure out a way to change his will, retroactively, and give her share of his billions to the Salvation Army.

Down in Cincinnati a policeman was attacked by a 350-pound man. It took six police to finally subdue and arrest him. The man died and his friends blame the police. It’s a shame the man died, but it makes you wonder, if the policeman had died, who would stand up for him?

The famous swimmer, Gertrude Ederle died, at 97. (See second quote below) Back in June I wrote that Shirley Temple was the only prominent person still living that Will Rogers had written about. Well, Miss Ederle proved me wrong, just like she proved a lot of men wrong who underestimated her abilities.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“You take a Southern Californian and put him [or her] anywhere he can’t see a filling station or a cafeteria, and he is ready to write out his will.” DT #2026, Jan. 31, 1933

“By the time you see this in print, Gertrude Ederle, the wonderful swimming girl, will either have crossed the English channel or made one of the most heroic attempts ever made to do it. Personally, I think she will make it. That means anywhere from 15 to 30 hours in a cold treacherous ocean. She has to spend the night swimming and battling with one of the strongest elements of nature – a rush of water. Nobody is paying her anything; nobody is guaranteeing her anything; she is going in there to accomplish what only five men have been able to accomplish. Now, that is what I call a sport; a sport worthy of the admiration of the entire world.” WA #141, August 23, 1925 (It took her another year, but on Aug. 6, 1926, she swam the Channel in 14 hours, 31 minutes, nearly 2 hours faster than any of the five men. Will referred to her a few more times in his newspaper columns.)