Drought and fires reign in Texas & Okla.

# 392, December 30, 2005

COLUMBUS: All these states that’s getting rained on this week, and there’s about forty, well, you ought to take up collection and donate it to Oklahoma and Texas. I don’t mean money; just collect buckets of rainwater and ship it out.

It was already dry when I was in Claremore two months ago, and it ain’t hardly rained since. Fires are still burning, and they are telling everybody to celebrate tomorrow night without firecrackers. Don’t even fire a rifle into the air; instead use a water pistol, even if you don’t have anything to fill it with but Coca Cola.

The college football season is wrapping up. Nebraska, Utah, Missouri, Oklahoma and some others won their big bowl games, and there’s plenty more coming. Tonight the Louisiana State boys from Baton Rouge tromped Miami. They said that after Katrina, manhandling this Hurricane was a snap.

Happy New Year to you. I hope your team wins. Unless of course it’s playing against mine.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“They say all nations are sore at us, but unfortunately for us they didn’t get sore at us quick enough. If they had, we would have saved money. We are the ones that should be sore at them for not getting sore at us quicker.” DT #125, Dec. 29, 1926

“I have read New Year predictions till I am blue in the face about the great future…, but I have yet to see one word on what 1930 holds in store for the Democrats. And that’s the very thing that makes me believe us Democrats may get a break in the coming year. I base my faith on the fact that 98 per cent of all predictions are wrong, and on the fact that it’s an off year in politics and all off years are Democratic years.” DT #1071, Dec. 31, 1929

“Everybody comes to California. They see a lot of great wide rocky sandy creek and river beds with not a hot water bottle full of water in ’em, and they are a big joke. They wonder what they are for.

Well, yesterday they showed what they were there for. Us old settlers that have been here five or ten years never saw anything like it. We are so tickled to see rain out here that we put on a big parade in honor of it.” DT #2313, Jan. 1, 1934 [and it may rain on the Rose Bowl parade again in 2006]

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

# 391, December 21, 2005

COLUMBUS: Mr. President, in case you are listening in, anything I say that might sound positive about those terrorists is purely accidental and unintentional. Yes, I admit I have readers in that Middle East region. But the ones I know about are more pro-American than a lot of Americans I could name off hand.

To my readers in and around New York City, you are getting an early holiday thanks to your transit workers. It seems they not only want to retire before 55, they want to retire a week before Christmas. When you make folks either stay home or walk 20 blocks to work, they’re going to be figuring out how the trains and buses can be run entirely by computers and robots. Then where will those guys jobs be?

Here in Columbus it’s been cold and snowy all of December. Most folks would not object if it warmed up and we could see a patch of green here and there peeking through the snow on Christmas morning. Only ones that might complain about not having a White Christmas are folks who want to ride their one-horse open sleigh to Grandma’s for dinner, and there aren’t many of those in Ohio unless you count the Amish. Santa in a bathing suit would be a nice change.

Merry Christmas to all, from both of us (Randall and Will).

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Christmas)

“This was a very happy Christmas for me, in fact the best I have enjoyed in years. The shirts my wife gave me were the right size for the first time since wedlock. Of course, they were the wrong color, but one, if married, must not be too particular. For awhile it looked like I would spend a perfect Christmas. Then about noon a necktie arrived. I just looked out at the audience from the stage Christmas night and I laughed more at the funny ties than they did at my act. Men always wear ’em one night out of courtesy but the second night was back to normalcy….

Lots of people had kinder lost their faith in the real being of Santa Claus, but a thing happened in Washington that made me absolutely certain there is a Santa Claus. Didn’t CONGRESS ADJOURN? Now let any skeptic deny that that wasn’t the greatest gift to a nation from an all wise Santa Claus. Be a good joke on Congress if Mr. Coolidge didn’t call them back.” WA #108, Jan. 4, 1925

“Of course the whole thing started in a fine spirit. It was to give happiness to the young, and another holiday to the old, so it was relished by practically everybody. It was a great day, the presents were inexpensive and received with much joy and gratification, and it was a pleasure to see the innocent little souls as they rushed down to the big room with the fireplace on Christmas morning in their bare feet, and generally the back end of their little sleepers unbuttoned and a dragging. They remembered right where they had hung their stocking, and they dived into it with great glee and anticipation. No matter what they dug out, it was great. It was just what they wanted him to bring for they had confidence in him. The merest little toy was a boon to their young lives, and what a kick it was to the parents to have them rush back up to the bedroom and show you ‘what Santa brought.'” WA # 367, Jan. 5, 1930

Hot News from Montreal, Iraq and Claremore

# 390, December 15, 2005

COLUMBUS: I see where the ratings for President Bush are up. Not by much, but still better than rock bottom. I don’t doubt he’s doing better, but some of his new support may have come from confused football fans. When they answered the question, “do you approve of the job Bush is doing?”, they thought they were voting for Reggie Bush for the Heisman Trophy.

Last week I said it was cold here in Ohio. Well it’s gotten colder and the ground is still white. The big conference on Global Warming wrapped up in Montreal. Whether you’re for it or against it, you’ve got to admit that Canada in December was not a good choice for this meeting. President Clinton told the delegates that if we keep living the way we have been, the ice will melt and oceans will rise and their next meeting will have to be “held on a raft.” Now, mind you, at the time, the St. Lawrence River in front of the hotel was covered with ice, and not a raft in sight. Even the protesters had a rough time. Half of them went to the hospital suffering from frost bite.

Today was election day in Iraq. Tremendous turnout. The only ones that didn’t vote were the terrorists. They say it’ll take two weeks to count the ballots, which is a month quicker than Florida. You just watch, once that Parliament gets seated it won’t take long for the arguing and shouting and yelling to pick up, like in England’s Parliament. And the shooting will drop off for lack of interest.

In the social news from Claremore, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood got married. They’ll sing each other to sleep every night out on the ranch, so you know this marriage will last.

If they had been one of these big Hollywood couples, the wedding would have been in the news for six months before and six months after. But for Claremore, the wedding was just an ordinary day. Only one article in the Claremore Progress, and the next day they moved on to important news like the “Share the Spirit” campaign to give folks in need a Christmas dinner basket.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“Claremore, Okla., best medium-priced town in America.” DT #661, Sept. 7, 1928

“This is Claremore, Okla., a town in physique but a city at heart.” DT 3272, Jan. 5, 1927

Ohio Lawyers are out in the Cold

# 389, December 7, 2005

COLUMBUS: Headline in the newspaper this week: “Ohio Supreme Court suspends 2500 lawyers en masse”. That’s a lot of lawyers for the criminal element in one state to support, but really, it’s only about 5 percent of the total.

When the other 95 percent heard about the suspensions, their reaction en masse was, “Whew”. (That little joke may not read funny, but you’ll get the laugh if you drag your hand across your forehead in relief as you say it.)

These 2500 attorneys can get back in the good graces of the Supreme Court by paying $500. That’s all it takes.

Ohio collects almost $9,000,000 a year from their lawyers with annual registration fees, and a reporter asked what all this money goes for. They said half of it is to “discipline unethical lawyers” and most of the other half is used to “reimburse clients defrauded by their lawyers”.

Does that seem like a peculiar way to discipline a lawyer? A judge says to him, “You are hereby found guilty of ethics violations. Here’s a check for your share of the $9 million.”

There’s got to be a better way to spend it. If Ohio eliminated the unethical lawyers in the first place, that would save half. Just never let ’em in. And then you would naturally save the other half because there wouldn’t be any defrauded clients that need reimbursing.

Moving on to another subject, Global Warming. Have you noticed how cold it’s been this month. It was 10 above zero here this morning, and it’s cold all across our northern states. I got my own theory on this matter, but I haven’t run it by anyone yet. See, with this argument over replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” or some such innocuous phrase, maybe the Lord decided to skip December and go straight to January.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“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

“3500 lawyers of the American Bar Association are here (in Los Angeles), they say, ‘to save the Constitution, to preserve State rights.’ What they ought to be here for, that would make this convention immortal, is to kick the crooks out of their profession. They should recommend a law that every case that went on trial, the lawyer defending should be tried first, then if he come clear, he was eligible to defend. As it is now they are trying the wrong man.” DT # 2789, July 14, 1935

Congress in battle over graft

# 388, December 1, 2005

COLUMBUS: Another Republican Congressman stepped down. Duke Cunningham admitted he took $2.5 million from defense contractors over the past few years, and he’ll turn over to the government almost $2 million he has left.

Now that shows you the difference. A Republican Congressman comes into a windfall, and he just naturally invests and saves a chunk of it. But for a Democrat, in a month it’s all spent, and nobody can find a trace of where it went or if it did any good.

This former Top Gun is left with nothing but spent shells. And he could get 10 years in federal prison, in addition to paying the fine.

For the government to collect $2 million from him may seem like a lot. But if they also stop payment on his Congressional pension, then you’re talking real money. Maybe they should forgo the prison sentence and make him live off Social Security. That would be punishment enough.

Counting Tom DeLay, the Republicans are 2 for 2. Poor Democrats are starting to grumble, “Hey, when can we get in on the graft?”

What these Congressmen are learning is if you want to get in on the really big time graft, Republican or Democrat don’t matter. What you want to be is a Lobbyist. That fellow Abramhoff took in over $100 million, and that was just from the Indians. Congress was shocked. They didn’t know the Indians even had hundred million.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“The Democrats are having a lot of fun exposing the Republican campaign corruptions, but they would have a lot more fun if they knew where they could lay their hands on some of it themselves for next November. The difference in corruption in the two parties was 7,000,000 votes last election, so the Democrats have got to investigate and find out how to improve their corruption.” DT #510, March 15, 1928.