Ten Commandments equals 5 plus 5

# 369, June 30, 2005

COLUMBUS: This week the Supreme Court let everyone know where they stand on the Ten Commandments: If you have a government building with the Ten Commandments inside it, you have to carry them outside and set ’em on the lawn.

I think those old Justices got it backwards. You all know what the Commandments say… don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t cheat on your wife… It’s the ones inside the government that sometimes need reminding.

Inside a Courthouse is exactly where they need to be displayed. In fact I bet that when God was dictating the commandments to Moses, when he came up with “Thou shalt not lie” he was thinking primarily of lawyers.

Now the Supreme Court missed a good opportunity to settle this argument for all time, just by dividing those Commandments in two. You take 5 of them that tell us how to act in a legal way and put them in schools and courtrooms and legislative chambers. The other 5 that mainly tell us how to act toward God would go to the churches and temples.

Naturally these religions that follow the Bible would prefer to display all 10 in their buildings, and they have every right to do so. And they might agree that putting a stone tablet with Five Commandments in our public buildings is better than none at all.

Now I don’t expect unanimous support for my idea. But don’t be surprised if President Bush gets behind it. After all it’s a lot easier to explain than Social Security and the Iraq War.

Did you see Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes last Sabbath evening? He did a little commentary about attractive store fronts and mannequins. After he researched how mannequins are managed, rented, and sold he had a better understanding of the business. In fact I feel he developed some affection for his subject because he closed with some familiar words: “I never met a mannequin I didn’t like.”

Enjoy July 4. No matter where you are, America’s Independence Day is worthy of celebration. Even in England.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“(The Lord) didn’t leave any room for doubt when he told you how you should act. His example, and the Commandments are plain enough.” WA # 136, July 19, 1925

“Whoever wrote the Ten Commandments made ’em short. They may not always be kept, but they can be understood. They are the same for all men.” WA # 638, March 17, 1935

Missing people, missing coins and missed shots

# 368, June 23, 2005

COLUMBUS: The newspapers are full of missing people. That girl missing in Aruba, three boys in New Jersey, the Boy Scout in Utah (and they found him), and the Georgia bride missing for a week because she wanted to stay a Miss a while longer. No only is she still a Miss, she’s ahead by half a million dollars. There’s thousands of devoted brides that stayed put, said their “I do’s”, and what do they get? Just a husband and a new toaster.

Ohio came up missing about $12 million in rare coins. It seems that Tom Noe, who was holding ’em for the state, has been playing golf with the Governor in Toledo. If you happen to be playing golf at that famous Inverness course keep an eye peeled. See, sometimes a golfer uses a coin to mark the ball location, and maybe Mr. Noe accidently pulled one of those rare, million dollar coins out of his pants pocket, and then forgot to pick it up. Now, nobody is saying the Governor picked it up, but if he had, would he even know what he had? No one knows but Noe.

That ain’t the worst of it for Governor Taft. Ohio sent $220 million to an outfit in Pittsburgh to invest, and somehow they let it slide down to about $10 million. And they lost those millions without sending it to Wall Street, or Las Vegas, or even trying their hand at farming. Somebody ended up with that missing dough, but not Ohio.

Everybody’s telling us to “Buy American”. You know, go to Wal-Mart and Buy American. We’ve been buying all right, but it’s mostly from China. We’ve bought so much from China they’ve got most of our money, and now they’re coming over here to spend it. We buy their shirts and shoes and TV’s, and they turn around and buy our corporations. They’re starting with oil companies, which if we had been as smart as the Chinese, that’s what we would have bought instead of nick-nacks.

Basketball came to an end tonight, at least for a month or two. Everybody was missing shots, but it was the defense that done it. Detroit had the Spurs on the end of a rope, but Tim Duncan came through in the second half for San Antonio, and they won 81-74.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“We never will have any prosperity that is free from speculation till we pass a law that every time a broker or person sells something he has got to have it sitting there in a bucket, or a bag, or a jug, or a cage, or a rat trap, or something, depending on what it is he is selling. We are continually buying something that we never get from a man that never had it.” DT #1301, Sept. 24, 1930

Howard Dean and Paris Hilton bump Michael

# 367, June 9, 2005

COLUMBUS: It took Howard Dean and Paris Hilton to knock Michael Jackson off the front page. Can you imagine a more unlikely pair than those two? There’s plenty of folks that don’t care for what they say or do, but you’ve got to give ’em credit, they got people talking about Democrats, and washing cars.

Next time I’m in Oklahoma I’m going to the Carl’s Jr. in Claremore, order a thick burger, and offer to wash cars waiting at the drive thru. I’ll wear a bathing suit and a Stetson, and the line will stretch out into the street if Paris shows up to help. I’ll spray on the water, Paris can apply the soap suds, and the customer gets to wipe dry either his car, or Paris. There’s no charge, but I will accept donations, and all proceeds go direct to the Democratic Party.

The Michael Jackson jury is taking their time, still deliberating. You can’t blame them. They had to sit there and listen to lawyers arguing for months, so they are determined to delay a decision till Michael runs out of new suits and is down to his last pair of silk pajamas.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“I wonder if the jurors’ minds were made up early like all the rest of ours were. I have had a hunch somehow that it would be a hung jury. If it is, I wonder if they couldn’t just sneak off in a back room somewhere with a judge, a jury and a few witnesses, and then do it like the Supreme Court handles theirs, don’t let us know anything till the decision.” DT # 2659, Feb. 17, 1935

“As soon as the government lawyers had shown that Al Capone wore silk underwear, why they rested their case. They looked at the jury and figured that would be the most damaging evidence they could bring before ’em.” DT #1631, Oct. 14, 1931.

Deep Throat, Danica, and Diplomacy

# 366, June 2, 2005

COLUMBUS: I got a haircut last evening. Now, I don’t have the same barber as Neil Armstrong. But if mine would sign up for a seminar on how to market hair strands (slightly used), why I would be happy to split the bounty. My hair can’t claim to have ever been out of this world, but like the astronaut’s, it’s a “one owner” model. It has been regularly washed, combed and waxed, and protected from the elements by being parked under a small Stetson. I will admit when it comes to color, mine has faded appreciably, but anyone intent on paying $3000 for a small supply of high quality hair won’t be deterred by declining pigmentation.

France and Holland voted No on Europe’s Constitution. France says, “We will stand alone. And in case a War breaks out, we’ll fight and defend our borders valiantly. At least for an hour or two. Then after we’ve been overrun, we’ll allow the rest of you folks to come in and bail us out of a pickle.”

Mark Felt, the former Number 2 man at the FBI behind J. Edgar Hoover, finally came clean. He admitted he was the one that helped the Washington Post bring down Nixon. We’ve been waiting a long time to find out who this fellow was. It’s not every day you meet a man who can keep a secret for 30 years. Of course, some secrets he couldn’t even keep 24 hours without blabbing it to the Post. Folks ain’t quite sure whether he is a hero or a goat, but it’s hard to argue with a man just because he wanted the truth to come out.

John Bolton was nominated for Ambassador to the UN. Some senators are convinced he’s a goat, and not fit to be our chief diplomat. They give several reasons, but it mostly boils down to one thing: He ain’t diplomatic! Well, the President figures we’ve tried diplomacy for 50 years; Mr. Bolton couldn’t do any worse.

Danica Patrick came in fourth in the Indy 500, and nobody remembers who finished first, second or third. She pumped life back into that race, kinda like Bush hopes Bolton will do at the UN.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Diplomacy was invented by a man named Webster, to use up all the words in his Dictionary that dident mean anything. A Diplomat is a man that tells you what he don’t believe himself, and the man that he is telling it too don’t believe it any more than he does. He don’t believe you and you don’t believe him, so it always balances.” Saturday Evening Post, June 9, 1928

“A diplomat has a hundred ways of saying nothing, but no way of saying something, because he has never had anything to say. That’s why they call ’em diplomats.” DT #2159, July 5, 1933

“Diplomats are nothing but high-class lawyers —  and some of them ain’t even high class.” WA #5, January 14, 1923