Weekly Comments: Will congratulates “Lord” of the Oscars

# 311, February 29, 2004

COLUMBUS: This is Leap Day, not only leap day, but also the fifth Sunday in February, a rare occasion. A fifth Sunday in February comes so seldom, why, we send Marines to Haiti more often. (See Historic quotes below)

We sent our Marines in there again today. If we turn those boys loose, that little revolution down there will be over quick. If fact it could be shorter than the Academy Awards show going on tonight. But we won’t turn them loose, so the Marines will be there a while. And when they come home it’ll be for a short rest, till we send them back again.

Of course the Academy Awards didn’t have to run so long. They could have been over by 10:30 if Billy Crystal had just invited everyone connected in any way with “Lord of the Rings” up on stage at the start and handed ’em one.

If you want to win an Oscar, forget Hollywood, go to New Zealand.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“We get into more things for less reasons than any nation in the world… Just the other day a little island down here, Haiti, they wanted to have a little shootin’ and use each other as targets. Well, the day the shootin’ was to come off, before they could fire the opening overture we was there, we was right there, there to get in it. We not only sent the Marines down, we said, “What’s the big idea of having a war?” and we went in… The Haitians don’t mind Marines because they have been around these countries and fought with them so much they like the Marines, they are likable chaps, you know… I don’t know how we know that all these things are goin’ on. We must have scouts out somewhere. It takes a big Navy for us and England just to locate somebody else’s business.” Radio Broadcast, April 6, 1930

“See where they don’t allow an American Senator to land in Haiti. Who would ever have thought that Haiti would be the first ideal country?” DT #197, March 14, 1927

“A Nation is built on Character the same as a person is, and no matter what their difficulties are, that old Character shows up.” WA #456, Sept. 20, 1931


Weekly Comments: It’s Kerry vs. Edwards, and San Francisco vs. Massachusetts.

# 310, February 22, 2004

COLUMBUS: Ohio is braced for the onslaught. Senator Kerry was in Dayton Wednesday, and Senator Edwards was here today. They both talk about jobs, but mainly it’s one job they’re after. Ralph Nader jumped in today but nobody knows if he’ll make a splash or a mere ripple.

Thursday I was talking to the Mutual Insurance Companies convention here, and I was kidding them about John Edwards. I said, you probably won’t vote for him because he’s a trial lawyer who got millions and millions from suing businesses and their insurance companies. But, I said, you might want to think it over. See, if he loses he’s out of work. And if he’s out of work, he’ll go back to lawyering, and you’ll have to raise your rates.

Mr. Edwards seems like a nice fellow. He’s a smooth talker and has some good-sounding ideas. As I listen to him though I keep thinking of how he made his millions, by persuading twelve people at a time to contribute huge sums of somebody else’s money to his client, so he could grab a third. As he lays out his plans for hope and optimism, and you calculate your share of the bill, be sure to add a third. He did say we need to educate more scientists and engineers, and I agree on that one. He was also wise enough not to mention any plan for growing more lawyers, because he knows they are a self-perpetuating lot.

All I know is what I read in the paper, and a headline said, “Dean quits race, vows to reform Democratic Party”. He’s taking on a Herculean task. It’s easier to get nominated than to get Democrats to reform. They nominate somebody every four years, kinda out of habit, but nobody’s old enough to remember when they ever reformed. But if you think it’s hard for a Democrat to reform, just try it on a Republican.

Governor Dean had a 2-year head start and $50,000,000, but when the voting started he went 0 for 17. Good luck to him on reform. He’s a doctor, so he may knock ’em out with ether, surgically remove the objectionable organs, call in a plastic surgeon for a face lift and in a few weeks introduce the “New Reformed Democrat”. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.

Have you noticed that Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on how many jobs will be formed in 2004. They can’t even agree on how many jobs HAVE been created. Republicans say there’s 138 million of us working, which is one million more than we had four years ago, and Democrats say we have lost 2.3 million jobs in four years. I guess that means there’s about 3.3 million of us that whenever a Republican is spying on us, we’re working, but if it’s a Democratic inspector looking our way, we just lean on our shovel.

After they agree on the number of jobs we’ve got, maybe we’ll listen to their prognostications on the number we’ll get.

These Democrats had better be careful how they yell at the President over jobs. He’s got a few hundred million stashed away for campaigning. Instead of spending it on television ads, which nobody watches if they can avoid ’em, Mr. Bush may just hire a million or so folks and put them to work.

Their job, if they accept it, will be to call their neighbors and brag about all the new jobs he has created. If he did try to hire a million, I bet he couldn’t find ’em because this thing will turn around and business will hire ’em out from under him, pay ’em more, and they won’t feel so obliged to vote Republican.

You know, Reno, Nevada has always claimed to be the divorce capital of the country. This month, just a few miles to the west, San Francisco staked a claim as the marriage capital. Of course, Massachusetts jumped in sooner, but San Fran says they’ve got a natural advantage, and deserve the crown. Most folks see this debate over marriage as a religious argument, but it’s mostly over money.

Chicago’s mayor don’t want his city left out and is putting in a claim of his own. Chicago prospered in the past when Prohibition referred to liquor, and not the prohibition of certain types of marriages, so they say they don’t want to be left out of prosperity in the future. Kinda like Prohibition, no matter which side you’re on it’ll end up costing you.

Oklahoma lost a favorite daughter this week, Charlotte Circle. She had lived in Ohio so long, Oklahoma may have forgotten her, but she sure never forgot Oklahoma.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“I maintain that it should cost as much to get married as it does to get divorced. Make it look like marriage is worth as much as divorce, even if it ain’t. That would also make the preachers financially independent like it has the lawyers.” DT #562, May 15, 1928

“…I knew cows better than I did lawyers. There is a way of studying a cow and learning all about her, but a lawyer? There has never been any course at college devised where you can take in “What Makes A Lawyer Like He Is?” WA #482, March 20, 1932

Weekly Comments: Clark is out; M&M’s are in

# 309, February 12, 2004

COLUMBUS: The President appointed a Commission to investigate why we went to war in Iraq. It’s peculiar. He knows why he went to war, but he’s going to keep it from them till after the election. Now, if they can dig up a good reason on their own sooner, he’ll let ’em report it in October.

There’s nothing wrong with appointing a Commission (see Historic quotes). But if we have to have one, most people would prefer they find out why Saudi Arabia keeps raising the price of our oil.

Senator Kerry won two more primaries. He’s building a lead that could take all the fun out of the primaries, if it wasn’t for Al Sharpton.

General Clark gave up the fight. This was a week after Oklahoma went out on a limb for him, and now he’s quit. Oklahoma gets left at the altar again. I may have to go out there and see if I can grab off a few “favorite son” delegates.

The candidates, what’s left of ’em, have moved on to Wisconsin. In 1928 “I”wrote, “Wisconsin is never doubtful. You can always depend on it doing just exactly what the other forty_seven don’t.” (DT #577, June 1, 1928) So there is hope yet for Governor Dean.

In the Dairy State, everything is Real. And everybody’s got a Wisconsin slogan. Dean says he is the “Real Choice”. Kerry is the “Real Deal”. Dennis Kucinich’s platform is “Really, one percent of the American people can’t be wrong.”

Between now and Tuesday they’ll all be looking for a mic. They can’t pass a microphone without spouting into it. They all have something important to say, but if you have a chance, there’s another fellow in Wisconsin you’ll enjoy listening to. He’s Mike McKinley, a professional speaker from Eau Claire.

He’s a friend of mine and I invited him to Ohio to speak in November. So, he stopped off on his way to give a big speech in New Jersey. Gave a wonderful talk, and a few days later I got a gift in the mail from him, just the same as if we had paid him. It was a container of M&M’s, with peanuts. (See, his initials are M. M., and he’s kinda nutty.) Mike knows I’m on that Adkin’s diet plan, and he figured I could eat one M&M a day without overdosing on carbs. At one a day I calculated the supply would last me till about Groundhog Day.

Sure enough, I was running low so I sent him a note, “Mike, should I buy some replacement M&M’s, or book you for another free speech?” Well, yesterday a package arrived, Priority Mail no less. Inside was a big 14 oz. package of M&M’s and a note. “Here’s more M&M’s. Now remember, one at a time is sublime.” That package will probably last me till Labor Day, if I can keep the granddaughters out of ’em.

Now, I’ve got to think of something to send him. He’s a wonderful fellow, and a terrific speaker, even if you have to pay him. His slogan is “Real Motivation, Real Change, Real Fun”. You might guess his web site. It’s: http//:www.RealMikeMcKinley.com

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Commissions have contributed more to humor than they have to achievement in American life.” Saturday Evening Post, Feb. 27, 1932

“I see by the papers [President] Hoover’s got a new commission. This is one of the most unique ones of all. He has appointed it to find out ‘if he storied about the Navy or if he didn’t.'” DT #1648, Nov. 3, 1931

“Commissions are fine, but they turn in a lot of data about something that ain’t so good. I mean, it’s bad data. They’re always investigating things that are bad, and the data is bad. Well, what’s the use of having a lot of statistics and data on something that you can’t use. It’s kind like garbage: what’s the use of collecting it if you don’t know what to do with it.

Appointing a commission is not any crime. It’s been considered a very fine way of handling anything, but it seems like a presidential commission don’t get nothin’ done. They don’t really earn the breakfast that they give ’em at the White House the day they appoint ’em.” Radio broadcast, April 30, 1933

Weekly Comments: Will offers opinion on football, halftime, and Senators

# 308, February 4, 2004

COLUMBUS: I’ve been getting all kind of calls this week, asking “what would Will say about the Super Bowl?” Well, based on what everybody has been talking about since Sunday, as a public service let me first tell you that it turned out to be a great game, probably one of the best Super Bowls ever played.

New England won 32 to 29 over Carolina, on a field goal with four seconds left. You football fans already knew that, but I put the score in just for the benefit of the ones that only tuned in for the commercials and half time show.

I didn’t see the MTV half time show myself. Like most older guys, I took a break till they got back to football. But I heard about it next morning.

But you asked me what I think about it, so I’ll tell you. Many folks were offended, and if you had children watching, downright mad. And I sure don’t want to contribute to your outrage. But I figure a lot of older guys, the lifetime football fans, are probably thinking, kinda like Johnny Carson you know, if it had to happen… not that we wanted it to, mind you, but if it was gonna come off…, why couldn’t it have been a few years ago, when the halftime singer was Dolly Parton.

But really, I liked it better when the entertainment was marching bands, and maybe a college drill team.

Despite all this distraction, they held elections in seven states Tuesday, and Senator Kerry took five including Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona. But General Clark took Oklahoma, and that bumped the senator off the Route 66 “road to the White House”. He might still get there, but it’ll be without Oklahoma.

You may have missed the news, but Senator Lieberman dropped out. Nobody seemed to know he was running, and now, hardly anybody knows he quit. It could have been a whole lot better for him if he had just made a bigger splash, got more attention to his stand on things. Seeing all the publicity and notoriety those two halftime singers are getting, he may be wondering today, “why didn’t I think of pulling a stunt like that during an Iowa debate, before Carol Moseley Braun dropped out”.

Senator Kerry is attracting all the Democrats attention now. They say he’s a tool of the special interests, taking money from lobbyists. He explained that, yes, he took their money, but he never let that influence his vote. Earlier, Governor Dean drilled him for not getting any bills through Congress, and Mr. Kerry told him that wasn’t exactly true. He explained to us how Congress really works, that whenever a Senator sees that his own bill won’t pass, he just tacks it onto a good one that’s guaranteed to get the votes.

So this week on television, we got lessons on democracy, and anatomy. One was just as foolish as the other. But they’re nice folks at heart and mean well.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“Putting a lobbyist out of business is like a hired man trying to fire his boss.” DT #2704, April 5, 1935