President in Mongolia, Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock

# 387, November 22, 2005

COLUMBUS: President Bush may still be in Asia. He had to give up his idea of buying the Great Wall from China. Carl Rove reminded him that we are trillions of dollars in debt, mostly to China, and he would have to ask China for a loan to pay for it. Not likely China would want to pay for their own Wall.

Mr. Bush was going to fly directly from China to his Texas ranch for Thanksgiving. But he heard Cindy Sheehan would be there to greet him so he went to Mongolia instead.

Did you read where Mrs. Sheehan sent a letter to Barbara Bush, complaining about how she is raising her son? Now, how embarrassing is it when you’re a middle-aged man, President of the United States, and this lady sends a note to your mother? She wrote: “Little Georgie won’t go along with the other boys and girls. They want him he to take back the things he said 3 years ago and he absolutely refuses to give in to them. Mrs. Bush, I don’t know what you have been teaching him at home, but it’s got to stop!”

The Bush family will find a way to get together for the holiday turkey, but they may have to ride in on horseback from the back side of the ranch to do it.

The big oil companies made billions in profits. General Motors and Ford lost billions. Exxon may not want to share the wealth with the American taxpayer, but if these automobile companies stop building cars, who is going to buy their gas? Farmers want everybody to make their fuel from corn and soybeans, so where does that leave our oil men.

If the Pilgrims had known how this country would turn out do you think they would have stayed in England? Not a chance.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Thanksgiving)

The following two pieces are from Will Rogers’ Sunday night radio broadcasts on April 7 and April 14, 1935.

“Now that brings us down to taxes. The big yell comes nowadays from the taxpayers, the big taxpayers. I bet you when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and they had the whole of the American continent for themselves, and all they had to do to get an extra hundred and sixty acres was shoot another Indian… Well, I bet you anything they kicked on the price of ammunition. I bet they said, “What’s this country coming to!” You know, what I mean… like we’re doing now. “What’s this country coming to! We have to spend a nickel for powder.”

Of course, they got the lead back after they dissected the Indian, but…”

(April 14, 1935)

“Well now, anyhow, another little announcement. On last Sabbath evening, I referred to the Pilgrims, our Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock. Well, boy, you ought to wait ’til I heard from New England. I split New England just wide open. It seems there’s a town up there called Provincetown, and they have adopted a slogan which says, “Don’t be misled by history or any other unreliable source. Here’s the place where the Pilgrims landed.” This is by unanimous vote of the Chamber of Commerce of Provincetown. Provincetown has been made the official landing place of the Pilgrim. Any Pilgrim landing in any other place was not official.

If he landed on Plymouth Rock, well, it just served him right, that’s all. It served him right. Nothing but a chicken should be named after ’em…, Plymouth Rock. That’s for the town people. You country people got that gag. That’s for the town folks. Plymouth Rock, not a White Leghorn. Country folks is smarter than city folks anyhow. You never have to explain a joke to country folks. Who but a chicken, or a seal, or a Pilgrim would land on a rock anyhow?

Now in the first place, I don’t think that this argument I have created up there is so terribly important. The argument that New England has got to settle in order to pacify the rest of America is, “Why were they allowed to land anywhere?” That’s what we want to know. As a race there has never been any comparison between the Pilgrim and an Indian. Now I hope my Cherokee blood is not making me prejudiced. I want to be broad minded, but I am sure that it was only the extreme generosity of the Indians that allowed the Pilgrims to land. Suppose we reversed the case. Do you reckon the Pilgrims would have ever let the Indians land? Yeah, what a chance! What a chance! The Pilgrims wouldn’t even allow the Indians to live, after the Indians went to the trouble of letting ’em land.

Well anyhow, the Provincetown officials sent me a lot of official data, that when the Pilgrims landed they found some corn that the Indians had stored and that the Pilgrims were about starved and that they eat the Indians’ corn. And they claim that the corn was stored at Provincetown. You see, the minute the Pilgrims landed they got full of the corn and then they shot the Indians; perhaps because they hadn’t stored more corn.”

But they’d always pray. That’s one thing about a Pilgrim, he would pray. Mostly for more Indian corn. You’ve never in your life seen a picture, I bet any one of you have never seen a picture of one of the old Pilgrims praying when he didn’t have a gun right by the side of him. That was to see that he got what he was praying for.

President goes shopping in China

# 386, November 18, 2005

COLUMBUS: President Bush’s approval ratings took another nose dive. He’s below 40 percent, and that’s just in Congress. It has gotten so precarious, he’s gonna have to follow Mr. Coolidge’s plan; the Senate was agin him so much that he stopped telling them where he stood, and after that they accidently voted his way about half the time.

Mr. Bush proposed spending $7 Billion on bird flu vaccine. Congress said, “No, we’ll hold off till it lands here and knocks off a few thousand. Then we’ll appropriate $100 Billion for the cure.”

The President is in Asia this week. He’s been in Korea, and is on his way to China. I figure while he’s there he’ll make an offer for the Great Wall. He wants to buy it and have it moved to our border with Mexico.

You might wonder, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just build a new wall? Well, yes, but only if we hired Mexico to construct it. And knowing Mexico, they would build it solid and secure. Except for the secret passages.

Kansas has changed the definition of science. They say it wasn’t evolution, but intelligent design that put us all here. Maybe so, but some of you might question the intelligence of any “designer” that would ever give us termites. And gophers and ground hogs. And, at least for this week, Wolverines. [Note: that little jab was aimed at the Michigan Wolverines. In the football game Nov. 19 they put up a valiant fight, but secumbed to a superior team from Ohio State.]

But Kansas may be on to something. Have you noticed we have been struck by an extraordinary number of tornados this month, and not a one of them hit Kansas. No hurricanes either.

Historical quotes from Will Rogers:

“These Chinese got humor, don’t kid yourself. I been looking at Walls and old Palaces today till I am groggy. The Forbidden City, that’s the way to attract attention to anything; call it Forbidden, and you couldent keep an American out of there with a meat Ax.” Saturday Evening Post, March 19, 1932

“I am now speeding across Kansas, that state that is sometimes noted for its broad and narrow ideas.” WA #76, May 25, 1924.

“(William Jennings Bryan) tries to prove that we did not descend from the monkey, but he unfortunately picked a time when the actions of our people prove that we did.” WA #40, Sept. 16, 1923

All roads lead to Claremore for birthday celebration

# 385, November 6, 2005

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma: Back in the home town for a birthday celebration, and I never saw it looking so prosperous. With six highways converging, including old Route 66, and four railroads crisscrossing, it’s no surprise Claremore is a growing metropolis.

With all those roads funneling folks to the center of town, while they’re sitting there in stuck traffic they just naturally look around while waiting for the tracks to clear or the light to turn green, often for the third or fourth time. Pretty soon they see something they like about the town and they never leave, even if the light is green.

The birthday festivity started Nov. 4 at the ranch at Oologah with the local 4th graders singing beautifully and doing a fine western dance. Then some good old boys, and gals, from the Wild West Arts Club showed everybody how rope tricks are supposed to be done, followed by everybody eating birthday cake. They didn’t light any candles; it’s so hot and dry here126 candles would’ve been a major fire hazard.

After noon the whole party moved to Claremore where the ladies of the Pocahontas Club put on a magnificent memorial tribute, just like they have done for nigh on to 70 years.

[ For photos on the official Will Rogers Museum web site, click on: ]

Saturday they put on a big parade in Claremore and Roy Clark came over from Tulsa to be the Parade Marshal. Did I mention, the Rotary Club on Friday night gave him the Will Rogers Communicator Award. Even Garth Brooks was there to help honor the co-star of Hee Haw.

Before I forget, I got to tell you the fall colors at the ranch and all around Lake Oologah are glorious. You folks in New England don’t have anything on Oklahoma this year when it comes to foliage. And the weather. It’s been sunny and 80 degrees all week, regular Chamber of Commerce weather. If it stays like this till Christmas the snow birds heading south will stop here for the winter and forget about South Padre Island and Corpus Christi.

I flew into Tulsa Thursday on Southwest and rented a car from National. Now Tulsa is one town that has figured out how to live in luxury without taxing their own populace. They only charge taxes on those that visit, not the ones that live there. See, when you fly into town naturally you have to rent a car to go anywhere, and they sock an extra 40 percent tax on the car. This idea of taxing the out-of-towners, to make ’em feel welcome I guess, is not unique to Tulsa.

But when you’re up in that 40 or 50 or 60 percent range, you’re setting a standard that’s hard for any ordinary metropolis to match. Who knows, by next year they may set up toll gates at every entrance to the city, ask how much you’re carrying, and relieve you of 40% before you have the privilege of spending it.

Just north of here, Kansas decided that since their state is flat the rest of the world must be flat too. It sure can’t be round because no reasonably intelligent designer would create a world where if you walk to the opposite side you would fall off. So, from now on, Kansas kids can learn to read and write, but state law says to study science they have to cross the state line. Well, I bet it takes more than a Board of Education to stop those youngsters from picking up some common sense.

Historical quotes from Will Rogers:

“I was born on Nov. 4, which is [or was] election day… My birthday has made more men and sent more back to honest work than any other day in the year.” DT #296, July 4, 1927

“Back to the old home state… The State never looked better and politics never looked worse, which is as it should be.” DT #982, Sept. 18, 1929