Will questions healthy living with pot, booze and broccoli

#430, October 30, 2006

COLUMBUS: Last week I kinda fell into some old habits, what with misspelled words and giving you the wrong date for the election. I know it’s Nov. 7, and not Nov. 8, although for years I thought elections were held on Nov. 4. See, I was born on election day, Nov. 4, and I just naturally figured elections were always on Nov. 4. I may not have had the right date, but at least I had the right week.

There’s been a rash of news lately about medical research on what makes our brains work better. One bunch of folks discovered that marijuana delays or prevents the Alzheimer disease. Then, not to be outdone, another bunch announced their research showing that a strong drink or two every day is good for the brain. Then I read in the Sunday paper that eating three helpings of vegetables helps the brain function better.

None of those researchers seemed to know about the other two, so I propose they get together and test all three remedies on the same set of people. I got my doubts if it’ll work because once they’re high on the marijuana they’ll lose count of the drinks, and completely forget to eat their carrots and broccoli. So I’ll just stay with my old favorites of barbeque beef, black coffee and beans, with cherry pie on the side. It’s worked so far; Saturday makes 127 years.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished off the Tigers in 5 games. Decided they didn’t want to take the risk of having to win two in Detroit like in 1934, so they won at home. Maybe this is all news to you; I heard that practically nobody outside of St. Louis and Detroit bothered to watch.

When ballroom dancing with a bunch of amateurs draws more attention on television than the best professional ballplayers in the World Series, well, it just shows you how cockeyed things are today. Of course you can’t blame the dancers. If baseball wants to climb back to the top they would play those games in the afternoon and insist that every school child in America be allowed to listen to ’em on the radio.

Around Columbus, college football has knocked everything else off the tv, radio, newspapers and blogs. Ohio State Buckeyes are Number One, that’s all you hear. All these candidates in tight races can’t get anyone to listen to ’em unless they grab a microphone and shout “O-H” and wait for the “I-O” response. Today, they had to bring in Michael J. Fox to draw some attention to politics. Nov. 7 may be when the election is decided, but here they’re waiting for the championship to be decided on Nov. 18. To the rest of you it’s just the Michigan-Ohio State football game. But here it’s the World Series, Super Bowl, and Olympic gold medal all in one. The Game will determine whether Ohio is dancing with the stars, or Detroit (a month late) celebrates a winner.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on politics, and the 1934 World Series)

“We cuss ’em and we joke about ’em, but they are all good fellows at heart; and if they wasn’t in (Congress), why, they would be doing something else against us that might be worse.” Saturday Evening Post, July 24, 1926

“Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with nowadays.” DT #1538, June 28, 1931

“DETROIT, Mich. It was a great game, good to win and tough to lose. Detroit has been watching “Dizzy” when it should have been “Daffy.” “Daffy” has walked in unobserved and packed off two arms full of bacon. “Highschoolboy” Rowe was mighty good, but old McGuffey’s Third Reader Paul Dean was a little better. It just shows you got to leave school earlier and take up your profession. Mickey Cochrane was a real hero. He got crippled, but went right on and blocked ’em off that plate when they come with spikes blazing in his face.

Now about tomorrow. That’s going to be a real game.” DT #2550, Oct. 8, 1934

“We had a ball game… And we had “Dizzy” Dean. Anywhere “Dizzy” is, there is something happening, either for or against.

The Tigers put up a fine fight and, darn it, I did feel sorry for ’em in their dressing room. Nobody slapping ’em on the back, in fact nobody in there but them. Game Mickey Cochrane sitting there just removing bandage after bandage from almost all over himself. Real he men, in a he man’s game, with almost tears in their eyes but not squawking. They just said “Old ‘Diz’ had everything.” I can applaud a winner as loud as anybody, but somehow a loser appeals to me.

Over in the St. Louis dressing room it was a madhouse. “Dizzy” had a stuffed rubber tiger by the tail. He says, “Will, the championship remains in Oklahoma.” “Pepper” Martin and all the others were just plain “nutty.” It’s been a great series. I used to know all the old-time players and it was like a reunion for me. “Dizzy” ain’t dizzy, and “Daffy” ain’t daffy. They’re plenty smart and fine boys.” DT #2551, Oct. 9, 1934

Note: The Cardinals won Game 6 behind the pitching of Paul “Daffy” Dean”. Then “Dizzy” Dean pitched an 11-0 shutout to wrap up the championship.

Baseball gets Will’s attention, like in 1934

#429, October 23, 2006

COLUMBUS: The World Series started up in Detroit, and the Tigers and Cardinals split the first two. That old fellow named Rogers sure showed those young ones how to pitch.

You baseball fans know Detroit and St. Louis played in 1968, but they had another memorable World Series in 1934. “I” was in Detroit for the first two that year, and returned for games 6 and 7. The Cardinals were led by two “well-mannered people from Oklahoma, Jerome and Paul Dean. Why they are the most likeable boys you ever saw. Jealousy and not facts nicknamed them ‘Dizzy’ and ‘Daffy’. Been out with Mr. Henry Ford today. He give $100,000 for the broadcasting privilege so he is dizzier than the Deans spending money like that.”

Today a hundred thousand wouldn’t buy but ten seconds on Fox. But Henry Ford made money despite the Depression, and young William Ford is losing Billions during a boom time. Wall Street jumped above 12,000 but nobody is cashing in any stocks to buy a Ford car.

Even if you don’t care for baseball it can take your mind off political ads for a couple of hours. Too bad the Democrats and Republicans can’t choose up sides, go at it for seven games, and the winner gets to run the country for two years. Of course the loser goes to Disneyland, and by March we’ll wonder if he didn’t really come out ahead.

There’s a way to eliminate the so-called negative ads. If the candidate would just go on television and say, “If you intend to vote for me, by all means go to the polls on November 7,” that’s all he needs to do. Any bonafide candidate that was a hundred percent successful in persuading all his supporters to vote would win in a walk. See, on average only one out of three cares enough to vote, so you got the other fellow outnumbered.

Over in Iraq things are not going well for us. Even Andy Rooney says we need a change. It was already bad enough, then Ramadan came along and the Shiites and Sunnis decided guns and bombs were better than prayer rugs. “They are pretty bad, these big wars over commerce. They kill more people. But one over religion is really the most bitter.” (WA #350, September 8, 1929)

Next week I’ll tell you how the Dean boys came out against Mickey Cochrane and Schoolboy Rowe in ’34.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“My idea of the height of conceit would be a political speaker that would go on the air when that World Series is on.” DT #683, October 3, 1928

“There is something about a Republican that you can only stand for him just so long. And, on the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can’t stand for him quite that long.” DT #1955, Nov. 9, 1932

“People don’t change under Governments. Governments change, but the people remain the same.” Saturday Evening Post, Dec. 4, 1926

October 18, 1931

Special Edition:  today is the 75th Anniversary of the most famous speech Will Rogers ever made. Appearing on a national radio broadcast with President Hoover, Will started off with a couple of minutes of light humor, then got into the meat of the issue. The official name is below, but it became known as the “Bacon and beans and limosines” speech, even though Will never used any of those three words in the talk.  News reel cameras recorded the entire speech,  and it is available today on video and DVD.

President’s Organization on Unemployment Relief Broadcast

Will Rogers

Now don’t get scared and start turning off your radios. I’m not advertising or trying to sell you anything. If the mouthwash you are using is not the right kind and it tastes sort of like sheep dip why you’ll just have to go right on using it. I can’t advise any other kind at all. And if the cigarettes that you are using, why if they don’t lower your Adam’s apple, why I don’t know of any that will. You will just have to cut out apples, I guess. That’s the only thing I know.

Now, Mr. Owen Young asked me to annoy on this program this evening. You all know Mr. Owen D. Young. You know, he’s the only sole surviving wealthy Democrat, so naturally when a wealthy Democrat asks me to do anything I have to do it, see? Well, Mr. Young, he’s head of the Young Plan. He’s the originator of the Young Financial European Plan. He’s head of the Young Men’s Temperance Union, and originator of Young’s Markets, and Young Kippur. And was the first Democratic child born of white parents in Youngstown, Ohio.

He started the Young Plan in Europe. That was that every nation pay just according to what they could afford to pay, see? And, well, somebody else come along with an older plan than Young’s plan, and it was that nobody don’t pay anybody anything, and course that’s the oldest plan there is. And that’s the one they are working under now. That’s why we ain’t getting anything from Europe.

So when Mr. Young asked me to appear why I said, “Well, I’m kind of particular. Who is going to be the other speaker? Who else is on the bill with me?” And he said, “Well, how would Mr. Hoover do?”

Well, I slightly heard of him, you know, and I said, “Well, I’ll think it over.” So I looked into Mr. Hoover’s record and inquired of everybody, and after I had kind of thrown out about two-thirds of what the Democrats said about him why I figured that I wouldn’t have much to lose by appearing with Mr. Hoover, so I’m here this evening appearing on the bill with Mr. Hoover. So now I expect you won’t hear any more of “Amos and Andy”; it will just be Hoover and Rogers from now on.

Now we read in the papers every day, and they get us all excited over one or a dozen different problems that’s supposed to be before this country. There’s not really but one problem before the whole country at this time. It’s not the balancing of Mr. Mellon’s budget [Secretary of the Treasury]. That’s his worry. That ain’t ours. And it’s not the League of Nations that we read so much about. It’s not the silver question. The only problem that confronts this country today is at least 7,000,000 people are out of work. That’s our only problem. There is no other one before us at all. It’s to see that every man that wants to is able to work, is allowed to find a place to go to work, and also to arrange some way of getting more equal distribution of the wealth in the country.

Now it’s Prohibition, we hear a lot about that. Well, that’s nothing to compare to your neighbor’s children that are hungry. It’s food, it ain’t drink that we are worried about today. Here a few years ago we were so afraid that the poor people was liable to take a drink that now we’ve fixed so that they can’t even get something to eat.

So here we are, in a country with more wheat, and more corn, and more money in the bank, more cotton, more everything in the world; there’s not a product that you can name that we haven’t got more of than any other country ever had on the face of the earth, and yet we’ve got people starving. We’ll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile. The potter’s fields are lined with granaries full of grain. Now if there ain’t something cockeyed in an arrangement like that then this microphone here in front of me is, well, it’s a cuspidor, that’s all.

Now I think that perhaps they will arrange it, I think some of our big men will perhaps get some way of fixing a different distribution of things. If they don’t they are certainly not big men and won’t be with us long. Now I say, and have always claimed, that things would pick up in ’32. Thirty-two, 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, 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? Now if they was running this year why they would be all right. But they are one year late. Everything will pick up next year and be fine.

These people that you are asked to aid, why they are not asking for charity, they are naturally asking for a job, but if you can’t give them a job why the next best thing you can do is see that they have food and the necessities of life. You know, there’s not a one of us has anything that these people that are without it now haven’t contributed to what we’ve got. I don’t suppose there is the most unemployed or the hungriest man in America that hasn’t contributed in some way to the wealth of every millionaire in America. It was the big boys themselves who thought that this financial drunk we were going through was going to last forever. They over-merged, and over-capitalized, and over-everything else. That’s the fix that we’re in now.

Now I think that every town and every city will raise this money. In fact, they can’t afford not to. They’ve got the money because there’s as much money in the country as there ever was. Only fewer people have it, but it’s there. And I think the towns will all raise it because I’ve been on a good many charity affairs all over the country and I have yet to see a town or a city ever fail to raise the money when they knew the need was there and they saw the necessity. Every one of them will come through.

Europe don’t like us and they think we’re arrogant, and bad manners, and have a million faults, but every one of them, well, they give us credit for being liberal [meaning generous].

Doggone it, people are liberal. Americans, I don’t know about America being fundamentally sound and all that after-dinner hooey, but I do know that America is fundamentally liberal.

Now I want to thank Mr. Gifford, the head of this unemployment, thank Mr. Young, and I certainly want to thank Mr. Hoover for the privilege of being allowed to appear on the same program with him because I know that this subject is very dear to Mr. Hoover’s heart and know that he would rather see the problem of unemployment solved than he would to see all the other problems he has before him combined. And if every town and every city will get out and raise their quota, what they need for this winter, why it will make him a very happy man, and happiness hasn’t been a steady diet with our President. He’s had a very tough, uphill fight, and this will make him feel very good. He’s a very human man. I thank you. Good night.

Will revisits Missouri

#428, October 16, 2006

COLUMBUS: Back in Ohio after spending a week wandering around Missouri. Stopped at Boonville, home of Kemper Military Academy. That historic school shut down five years ago, and they’re still searching for a good use for those old brick buildings and hallowed ground.

Kansas City is one town that knows how to preserve and celebrate their history. If you’ve never been in one of those old train stations, you have to see this one to believe it. It is massive, and they use it for about everything. If need be, the Chiefs could play their football games in it. And yes, the trains still rumble through; it’s the depot for Amtrak. You can step off the train, walk out the front door of the station and look up the hill to see the famous World War I memorial. Nothing can equal that massive stone edifice for sheer size and imposing presence over a city.

Speaking of memorials, I saw on television some of the dedication of that new Air Force Memorial in Washington. “My” old friend, General Billy Mitchell, kinda laid the foundation for it back in the 1920s when the Army and Navy, and most of Congress, couldn’t foresee any reason to ever fight a war in the air.

Kansas City is getting geared up for the American Royal Livestock Show later this week. They’ve been bringing the best of the breeds here for over a hundred years.

Drove down to Branson to see some shows. This is a town that’s making history. It just shows what you can do with a small town and rocky hillsides if you build a whole slew of theaters, motels and country restaurants and leave room to park all the tour buses. Saw Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, the Platters and a country music show, but missed out on the Gatlin Brothers.

You may think I drove all the way to Missouri to escape the politics back East. Even if it had been the purpose, it didn’t work. They got a Senate campaign here that’s just as down and dirty as the ones in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. This is a year when we should just load up all the candidates in railroad box cars, ship them to Miami and tell them to duke it out like those football players did on Saturday. Then after the Brawl has ended, you bandage up the losers, curse the winners, and suspend them all from politics for two to six years.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Missouri is a state where they breed mules and politicians, the best in the world of both.” WA #554, August 6, 1933

“Old Missouri? Some mighty poor farms but mighty good schools. You can learn something, but you can’t raise much. Boonville, one of the finest Military schools anywhere (Kemper Military Academy). I was two years there, one year in the guard house, and the other in the fourth reader. One was about as bad as the other.

Lots of politics in Missouri. Wherever you find poor soil you will always find politics. When you see you ain’t going to raise anything, you just sit down at the end of the row and cuss the party in power. There is a lot of fertile ground in that historical old state too, but the limestone ridges is where the long winded old congressmen come from.” WA #523, January 1, 1933

“Why last week when I was (in Kansas City), there was 17 hundred young boys and girls brought there by that great paper, the Kansas City Star, from over 30 states. They were taking vocational training and had led their various districts back home in the studying of farming, and stock raising, and had been brought to see the American Royal Livestock Show.” WA #207, November 28, 1926

“Twenty thousand people in Missouri gathered to see twelve farmers in the world’s championship corn husking. No wonder the farmer has nothing. If he had been smart enough to put these on under the guise of college athletics, hired a coach and a stadium, why then the farmer would be sitting as pretty as Notre Dame.” DT #1032, November 15, 1929

Will sees benefits of Amish life

#427, October 8, 2006

COLUMBUS: All those little Amish girls died last week because a man never learned the suitable way to commit suicide. Used to be a man that was determined to die would take a gun and go off by himself and pull the trigger. But now it seems he ain’t satisfied unless he takes out a vast number of innocent lives first. It’s not just the radical Islamic terrorists, but ordinary men (and women), some who appear to be good, God-fearing Christians before turning into mass murderers.

Did you notice that these plain Amish folks are the most forgiving people in the world. They prayed for the killer’s family and mourned at his funeral. Who else would’ve done that?

Before you start hollering how dangerous our schools are, if these children were out on their own all day no telling how many wouldn’t be home for supper.

Congress adjourned, the stock market set a new record, and Republicans can’t figure out why nobody is shouting Hallelujah. Well, this “new high” just means it took six years to climb back to where it was before. And if you’re drawing the same wage as you were then, and look at what gas is costing today, why there’s not much to get excited about.

Congressman Foley resigned, and the Democrats say they want Dennis Hastert to follow him out the door, like he was supposed to know all about the shenanigans of this peculiar man. Now just imagine, there’s 435 members in your family and you’re the head of it. If one or two of them decide to sneak out to the woods or behind the barn do you suppose you could catch ’em?

For those of you who, a couple of weeks ago, couldn’t imagine how the negative ads could get any dirtier, well, thanks to Foley they have. Your only hope for peace in the next month is to turn off the television and radio. Just read the newspaper and skip over any offensive political ads. Come to think of it, that’s about how the Amish do it. And look how contented they are.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“To show that we get along better without ’em, since Congress adjourned last Monday, business has jumped up like it’s been shot. Honest, the whole thing, it just went up like that. (Stock) market, everything; everything went up. Everybody’s feeling better. If they had adjourned before they’d a met, I expect we’d have been the most prosperous nation in the world.” Radio broadcast, June 24, 1934

“We all joke about Congress, but we can’t improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?” Notes (undated)


Will offers tips for campaign listening

#426, October 2, 2006

COLUMBUS: Congress adjourned Saturday. They drew a full year’s salary with practically nothing to show for it. But from now to the election all we’ll hear from them is what a wonderful job they did looking out for our interests, and why it would be foolish to saddle a different horse for the next two years.

As a public service for when you are listening to these birds, I will offer suggestions on how to sort the wheat from the chaff of political claims and denials. For those who say the mudslinging could never be any worse than today, I’ll include some historic notes that show it ain’t exactly a new tactic.

When a candidate is asked, “Where do you stand on (this issue)?” and he starts out with, “My opponent’s position on (this issue) proves he is out of touch with the majority of voters in this state,” why just turn him off. That shows you the candidate doesn’t know where he stands, has no idea where the majority stands, and will admit nothing till he finds out where you stand.

You give the banker his six percent and the businessman a good bottom line, they will be with you. Give the worker a good wage and an expectation he’ll keep receiving it, he’ll go to the polls smiling. You let a farmer have rain when he wants it and sunshine for harvest season, you can’t pry his vote away. Candidates pretend they know what the voter wants (just like columnists), but nobody knows for sure till November 7.

Democrats got a head start on this election. Two Republicans left office by their own admission. First it was Congressman Bob Ney for taking bribes. Then Congressman Foley was accused of crimes that are kinda unmentionable. He resigned, claimed he was drunk and immediately entered an alcoholics rehabilitation center. What I want to know is, when will we see a Congressman who’s accused of being drunk immediately volunteer to enter a rehab center for child molesters?

Democrats have figured it out: if two Republicans a week drop out before the election then we’ve got a chance.

Filled up today with $2.00 gas and I was mighty pleased. Then I read where last October it was $1.95, and I didn’t feel quite so giddy. But we have a short memory and if it’s below $1.90 on election day, the Democrats will be the ones requiring rehabilitation.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“It’s been what they call a clean campaign. A clean campaign is one where each side cleans the other of every possible vestige of respectability.” WA #515, Nov. 6, 1932

“Denouncing is not only an art with the Democrats but it’s a profession. You see they are out of the office so much that they get all the practice. But for what little practice the Republicans have had, why they are not doing bad at all. They, for amateur denouncers, are doing fine and may soon be as good as the Democratic denouncers.” WA #657, July 28, 1935

“… it’s awful hard to get a Democrat to resign. It’s pretty near as hard to get one to resign as it is to get him elected.” Life magazine, June 21, 1928

“Well the Campaign is degenerating into just what I thought it would. It started out to be honorable, but honor in politics is just as much lost as John W. Davis’s platform of “honesty” was in 1924… So it finally dawned on us that it was Scandal.

We dident know it was scandal, for in politics practically everything you hear is scandal, so a thing has got to be mighty scandalous to be worth repeating. Well the funny thing about it was the things they had been whispering was not as bad as the things they had been saying out loud.” Life magazine, Oct 12, 1928