Illegal immigrants and another straw poll

Special note: 4 more Will Rogers movies are now available on DVDs. Call the Will Rogers Memorial Museum at 800-324-9455, and ask for Volume 2. Total cost about $60. The movies are: Ambassador Bill, David Harum, Mr. Skitch and Too Busy to Work.

#449, March 26, 2007

COLUMBUS: Results of another straw poll will be announced Sunday. Votes are due by March 31 and it costs you a dollar to vote. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that idea.

Yes, after the March 31 deadline candidates will report how much money they have collected. Without an election board, I don’t expect an honest count considering the results will be announced on April First.

It used to be a candidate was proud if he didn’t collect much of anything. That way he could claim his support came from hand-shaking, baby kissing and shoe leather and proved he wasn’t out to buy votes. Nowadays, if you can’t round up at least $20 Million by March, the year BEFORE election year, why you’re seen as a pauper and unfit for high office.

College basketball is down to a Final Four. They’re all deserving teams but I would get run out of town if I put my money on anyone other than Ohio State. If Greg Oden plays 35 minutes a game it’s a cinch.

All I know is what I read in the paper, and today the Associated Press announced we are losing the battle against illegal aliens. We have spent over $200 Million since 2003 to track ’em down and we’ve got more fugitives now than we did when we started. Kinda like Iraqi insurgents.

The Homeland Security Department explained we have 623,292 of these fugitive aliens and they blame it on “insufficient detention capacity and limitations of an immigration database”. I say it’s because we don’t have enough jail cells and they don’t give their right names.

We need more Border Patrol agents like those two in Texas that we put in prison because they chased a drug smuggler back to Mexico with buckshot. Right there is two jail cells to help relieve the shortage. Of course it would be easier for our agents to arrest these 600,000 fugitive illegal aliens if they didn’t have to sort through 12,000,000 other illegal aliens to find ’em.

Alberto Gonzales is facing a Congressional firing squad. Maybe he should be fired; what we need is an Attorney General who instead of sacking 8 prosecutors will hire 800 more and put ’em to work prosecuting these fugitive aliens; not just prosecuting them but driving ’em home. While you’re at it, take along the men that hired ’em and leave them there without their passports.

I don’t intend to appear cold-hearted. There ain’t any easy answer to this illegal immigration problem. But here’s a start. Make ’em all go home, and let back in the ones we want. Who gets in would be our decision, not Mexico’s. Course we need a few million immigrants to do the work. And since we can’t depend on Europeans to come over and do our chores (they’ve gotten just as lazy as we have lately), it’s pretty much up to the Mexicans.

One immigrant got confused and instead of crossing the Rio Grande he tried to swim the Niagara River. I guess he figured to head over the Falls on the Canadian side and hope to land at the bottom on the American side. Right there is my answer to the amnesty question: any immigrant who goes over Niagara Falls in winter and makes it to American soil, give him amnesty. Anybody else has to earn it.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“Personally, I am in favor of money being spent on elections. The more money the better. If they can get contributions from rich men and distribute them around among the poor and needy I think it’s a good thing… A voter nowadays has very little chance of getting anything from his Senator after election, and why shouldent he get what he can before? Besides, the fellow may not get elected, and in that case the vote they sold did no harm and dident break the fellow that made the contributions. So my slogan is: Bigger and higher-priced elections.” Letters of a Self-Made Diplomat to his President, May 20, 1926

Obama and Giuliani win 2008 straw poll

#448, March 18, 2007

Oklahoma City, Okla.: The “Will Rogers 2008 Straw Poll” votes are counted. Barack Obama grabbed an early lead over Hillary Clinton and Al Gore to win the Democratic nomination. Rudy Giuliani edged out John McCain and Newt Gingrich for the Republicans.

A Canadian asked if he could vote even though he’s not a U.S. citizen. I told him, Go ahead, there’s plenty of Mexicans voting in 2008 that aren’t citizens either. A North Carolina woman wrote in Fred Thompson, but said she’d give up that vote if she could subtract one from Hillary. Well, I couldn’t do that, not with all the attention on these federal prosecutors lately.

These states trying to jump to the head of the Primary line ain’t after the vote as much as the campaign loot. “Politics has got so expensive it takes lots of money to even get beat with nowadays” and they all want a bigger share of the ads.*

The Primary’s over anyway. Barack and Rudy can name their Vice-President and get an early start on the general election. Why fool with conventions. Denver has had enough deep snow catastrophes without being snowed under by Democrats. Minneapolis-St. Paul wouldn’t mind some more snow, but they won’t get it from Republican hot air.

Here’s another “election” that’s all over but the crowning. Headline in The Oklahoman says, “New Miss Oklahoma crowned.” Really, it should have read, “Oklahoma crowns 2008 Miss America.” See, that’s what happened the past two years, and Lindsey Miller can make it three in a row. Good luck to the other 49, but you’re competing for Runner-Up and Miss Congeniality.

I’m out here in Oklahoma City for a thing they called, (don’t laugh), the Will Rogers Writers’ Workshop. It ended last night (Saturday) and attracted every kind of writer you can imagine. They write humor columns, editorials, greeting cards, cowboy poems, obituaries, short stories, books (often made up of a pile of the previous six listed items) and, once in a while, the News.

A friend had asked me last month why I was going to Oklahoma, and when I told him, he asked, “Do you have to take your own horse?” “No, I said Writers’ workshop, not Riders’.” But if it had been rider training it might have done less harm to these folks careers, or even rears.

It’ll require a decade of Erma Bombeck Writers’ Schools to get ’em back to where they was a week earlier.

Historic quote from Will Rogers: (on good writin’)

“I got me a dictionary one time, but goodness it dident last long. I could write the article while I was trying to see what the word meant. That’s one good thing about language, there is always a short word for it. Course the Greeks have a word for it, and the dictionary has a word for it, but I believe in using your own for it.

The minute you put in a word that everybody don’t know, you have just muddled up that many readers. Running onto a word you can’t read or understand is just like a detour in the road. You cuss it, and about a half dozen of ’em and you will take a different road the next time. I love words but don’t like strange ones. You don’t understand them, and they don’t understand you.

Old words is like old friends, you know ’em the minute you see ’em… Nothing will make a reader yawn any quicker than good English.” WA # 566, October 29, 1933

*the quote in the third paragraph is from 1931, a year and a half before the ’32 election.

President Bush touring South America; 2008 straw poll still open

“Truly one of your best.”  George G. (a faithful reader of Weekly Comments)

#447, March 12, 2007

COLUMBUS: President Bush is in South America. He’s down there to spread good will among the natives and learn how to make ethanol from sugar cane. If he also learns how to live through a Revolution without getting shot, it will be a worthwhile trip for Republicans. South America is known for Revolutions, but the survival rate for their ex-Presidents is mighty low.

Mr. Chavez of Venezuela sent a few hundred of his unemployed to kinda greet our President at every stop. These protesters remind him of the Democrats in Congress except these birds throw rocks instead of just barbs.

Mr. Bush should know that making ethanol is not a problem. There’s old men in the hills of Tennessee and Virginia who can teach him all he needs to know. And making ethanol from sugar cane is not the problem. The problem facing the country today is how to grow sugar cane in Iowa. That’s the problem. What we need is a Luther Burbank or George Washington Carver to crossbreed cane with Indian corn so you can squeeze the stalks and get ethanol, and shuck the ears and get enough corn to satisfy the hogs, cattle and Kellogg’s.

In other news, arguments continue over Anna Nicole’s baby. Not over the baby actually, but over the inheritance. Take away the inheritance, and the shyster lawyers would drop off the news overnight. Meanwhile, Hollywood starlets are lining up to get implants in hopes of being picked to play Anna in the movie. At 127, I’m almost old enough to play her billionaire husband.

Last week’s Presidential straw poll is drawing interest beyond any expectations. Where these other polls question a dozen voters, then report that so-and-so is leading by a 7 to 5 margin, ours attracted way more than a dozen. You can still vote through next Sunday, and so as not to influence the outcome, I will not report any partial results except to tell you a few write-ins have out-polled proclaimed candidates.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“I am leaving for everything south of the equator. Revolutions are thicker down there than Roosevelt Republicans. Am flying down the west coast by Chili, then to Argentina for a week, and up the east coast by Brazil. I will see more in a week than a New York gossip artist can see in five years of keyholes. South America is our coming country, so it’s good to know where it’s at.” DT # 1929, Oct. 10, 1032

“Say, they got a little country down here named Uruguay. Saw their big football stadium. For five straight years they have had the champion football soccer team in the world, and they play any country. The referee stays inside a big wire net where the spectators can’t get at him. Down here the people vote on whether they will hold a football game or a revolution, both equal in casualties.” DT #1939, Oct. 21, 1932

“Horses raises what the farmer eats, and eat what the farmer raises. But you can’t plow the ground and get gasoline.” DT #1967, Nov. 23, 1932 [Of course today you can plow the ground and get ethanol. But really you don’t need to plow, just no-till plant your corn.]

Readers invited to vote in 2008 straw poll

(Note: results are revealed in #448 (March 18)

#446, March 5, 2007

COLUMBUS: Politics heated up this week. You know, it’s kind of embarrassing for a country to be goaded into deciding on a new President 22 months before the old one retires.

The old Conservatives met in Washington, D.C., and held a straw poll. Being good Republicans they worked it out so just about everybody drew a long straw. Governor Romney somehow drew one more vote than the man in second place, so he claimed to be the big winner.

In Selma, Alabama, Senators Clinton and Obama preached in separate churches and drew straws for the Baptist vote. Their main contest appeared to be over who could look and sound the most Southern. Meanwhile, John Edwards (who IS southern) stayed at home in South Carolina.

I’m sure that many readers of this humble column are wringing their hands, frustrated at being left out of the President-picking process. You deserve a chance to make your vote count, to have a say in the race, even ahead of New Hampshire or Iowa or Nevada or Mexico. Well, here’s your chance.

To vote is easy: send an email to  with the name of your choice in the Subject line. Polls close Sunday, March 18.

I’ll add all the votes, fairly and without malice. Who knows, we might be picked up by Associated Press. And if the vote tally is screwy enough it might even land on CNN or Fox.

_____ Hillary Clinton

_____ Barack Obama

_____ Bill Richardson

_____ John Edwards

_____ Dennis Kucinich

_____ Al Gore

_____ Mitt Romney

_____ Sam Brownback

_____ Rudy Giuliani

_____ John McCain

_____ Newt Gingrich

_____ Duncan Hunter

_____ None of the above! (Write-ins count, too.)

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“The Literary Digest loves to straw vote on subjects that everybody is arguing over at the time. Well, here is one that is creating more dust than the one they are voting on now, so I propose they start a straw vote at once on the following: “Will people vote on Prohibition at the polls (where they have to sign their names) the same as they do in a straw vote? Please vote either Yes or No.” You see the Literary Digest put in a middle vote (the modification plan). Now, both the wets and the drys are claiming that vote, so let’s get started straw voting on my plan, no confusing planks.” DT #1164, April 18, 1930