#605 May 30, 2010

Will won’t trade column for a federal job

COLUMBUS: Before I get started, I want to get one thing straight. The Obama administration has not promised me a job to get me to stop writing this column. Not even a position on an advisory commission. Now, if they had offered a job on a commission (which they didn’t) the weekly pay would be exactly the same as I get from these Comments. Although they never offered a job to get me to quit, there may be a few times they wanted to shoot me.
The oil keeps on flowing from that BP well, at around 15,000 barrels a day. Wouldn’t you like to receive the one-eighth royalties on a well like that? I know we’re not supposed to see anything but the negatives from this disaster, but consider how many square feet of solar panels it would take to equal the oil from a well like this in a year? Or wind machines?
Petroleum engineers say this oil gusher would be fairly easy to manage if it was on land or in shallow water. I believe them, but I’m not sure they ever had one spewing out this much oil. Everybody hopes, when drilling, they don’t hit a dry hole. But when you hit one with ten times or a hundred times the oil that was planned for, it can be a big a problem.
The government sure doesn’t know how to plug a well. (Stuffing it full of dollar bills won’t work.) But they could perhaps handle the clean up. The President should name a General or Admiral to head it, and bring in men and machines and boats, to collect the oil and keep it off the shores. Work with the Louisiana Governor, oil companies and others that have the materials and the knowhow to get it done. Don’t forget about the idea of using hay to soak up oil.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“(Presidential advisory) commissions are fine, but they turn in a lot of data about something that ain’t so good. Now, Mr. Hoover (is a) conscientious, fine, hard-working man, and appointing a commission is not any crime.  But it seems like a presidential commission don’t get nothin’ done.  They don’t really earn the breakfast that they give ’em at the White House the day they appoint ’em.” Radio, April 30, 1933

“(President Warren G. Harding) spoke on Decoration Day at Arlington Cemetery… Mr.  Harding said that, in case of another war that capital would be drafted the same as men. He put over a thought that, if carried out, would do more to stop Wars than all the International Courts and Leagues of Nations in the world. Of the three things to prevent wars, League of Nations, International Court, and this Drafting of Capital, this last one is so far ahead of the others there is no comparison.  When that Wall Street Millionaire knows that… you come in to get his dough, say, boy, there wouldn’t be any war.” WA #29, July 1, 1923

 “A sure certainty about our  Memorial Days is as fast as the ranks from one war thin out, the ranks from another take their place. Prominent men run out of Decoration Day speeches, but the world never runs out of wars. People talk  peace, but men give their life’s work to war. It won’t stop till there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war.” DT #888, May 31, 1929

#604 May 23, 2010

One prominent leader is still encouraging travel to Arizona

COLUMBUS: The President of Mexico visited Washington last week and he was invited to address Congress. That’s quite an honor.
Now, in his speech I would not have blamed him if he wanted to get a laugh by poking fun at one of our states. I’ve sure told my share of jokes on Texas. But instead of joking, the Mexican President sharply criticized a state and I expected him to get booed and hissed. But he got applause. A standing ovation from more than half our Senators and Congressmen. The reaction in Congress left me scratching my head. Then I remembered something that explains the love for him regardless of what he says. President Calderon has a degree from Harvard.
You may have heard that our Columbus mayor has taken a stand on the Arizona law. He’s against it, and therefore is forbidding any city employee to travel to Arizona. So Columbus has joined the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Chicago School Board in the Arizona boycott. Seems the only one encouraging travel to Arizona is Calderon.
Personally, I think if our mayor is looking for a place to boycott he should prohibit travel to Washington, DC. That’s the source of the majority of cuckoo ideas infiltrating the country today. If our mayor is so interested in the laws of other states, I bet he could find at least one law in every one of them that he disagrees with. Why, I bet Oklahoma has at least fifty laws on their books that he could take offense to. Yes, Mr. Mayor, prohibit city employees from traveling to any state, even Cleveland.
If word of this boycott by Columbus gets out, I’m afraid of the consequences. See, there’s thousands and thousands of good ole country folks that travel to Columbus from all over for the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, State Fair, and quite a few conventions. They may decide to stay home, or find a more law-abiding place to spend their time and money.
Los Angeles might have to reconsider their Arizona boycott. They get a quarter of their electricity from Arizona. They even need electricity to pump their water. Why, Hollywood may have to watch their movies in the dark, sitting beside an empty pool. Sipping on (dry) martinis.
Did you hear about the TV network commentator who got all excited watching the live interview Saturday with three mothers? They had just returned from visiting their adult children who had been jailed as illegal immigrants. His exuberance was deflated when he realized the immigrants were not jailed in Arizona, but Iran.
In other news, gas is down to $2.50. It was expected to top $3.00 but Greece and half of Europe are broke so they parked their cars. The bankers and Wall Street are being reformed in accordance with the financial wizards in Congress, led by Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank. We better fill up and hit the road while we still have some loose change in our pockets.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“The (Hoover) dam is entirely between Nevada and Arizona. All California gets out of it is the water.”
 DT #1900, Sept. 6, 1932

“(Wall Street) was a great game while it lasted… But all that has changed, and I think it will be good for everything else. After all, everybody can’t just live on gambling.  Somebody has to do some work.” WA #361, Nov. 24, 1929

#603 May 16, 2010

Farmers say hay is solution to oil spill
#603   May 16, 2010

COLUMBUS: I heard today that the majority of people in Greece support the government’s attempts to rein in spending and keep from going bankrupt. You would never guess it from the pictures of all the rioters on television. Seems the only ones who get attention are the freeloaders who want something for nothing. They are not too keen on a 20 percent pay cut, and having to work past 53 before retiring on full salary.

Ireland, Spain and Portugal are next in line to cut spending. In Britain the Conservatives welcomed the Liberal Democrats into the fold to work on a financial solution. So far they have agreed on one thing; they don’t want Gordon Brown as Prime Minister.

Elena Kagan appears to be on a clear path to the Supreme Court. She was born in New York City, graduated from Harvard Law, and is either a Catholic or Jew. So right there she meets 95 percent of the qualifications. She’s smart, and will please President Obama by siding with his liberal views. At the same time, it’s hard to believe no one born, raised and educated west of the Hudson River is qualified to be nominated for Supreme Court justice. For the next opening, let’s all get behind someone from, say, Texas, Oklahoma or Montana. It’s time for some Western wisdom on the bench.

In other news, tonight in the Miss USA contest Miss Oklahoma was asked her opinion on Arizona’s new immigration law. She supports the law. “I’m a huge believer in states’ rights. So I think it’s perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law.” She came in second.

BP had a bit of success sticking a one-mile long drinking straw into the leaking well. Really, it’s bigger than a straw and may help get most of the oil pumped into a ship. There’s still over a million barrels of oil floating around the Gulf.

Here’s an idea I heard from a couple of farmers: soak up the oil with hay. Take hay bales left over from last winter, shred the bales and drop the hay from an airplane over the oil slicks. The hay would absorb the oil, leaving the water clear. It would float, and any oil-soaked hay that washes up on shore can be raked and baled and then burned in an electric power plant. (I bet you would never hear a down to earth idea like that from a New York City-born Harvard lawyer.)

Environmentalist have important concerns about off-shore drilling. But consider the amazing output from this single well. If there’s oil under the entire Gulf of Mexico like this gusher, maybe we should drain the Gulf and turn the whole area into a gigantic oil field.  Build a dam from Florida to Cancun and pump out the water.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Flew right over that new Texas oil field that has made oil so cheap that it’s cheaper to strike a dry hole.” DT #1487, April 29, 1931

#602 May 9, 2010

Weekly Comments: Greece, oil and immigrants affect US economy

COLUMBUS: Just when we get Wall Street and the stock market in a mood to grow, Greece goes bankrupt and knocks our finances in a tailspin. Spain and Ireland are teetering on the edge of a financial cliff. In France, a thousand farmers drove their tractors into Paris to protest the low price for crops and higher taxes. England held an election and nobody won, so the Queen might have to step in and earn her salary. I think Europe was better off when they were covered by the volcano ash cloud.

The problem in Greece is the government overspent and overpromised. Greeks are guaranteed a high retirement income and they live a long, long time after they retire. The government has been living on borrowed money, and the younger folks are not thrilled at the prospect of paying off the debt and getting none of the benefits. So they decided to let Germany and the US bail them out. Seems the least we should get out of the deal is a few islands.

If you think Greece is an exception, look in a mirror. Nobody these days is overspending and overpromising more than the folks in Washington. Read what happens to Greece, and in about ten years you can read the same news story with Greece replaced by USA.

That oil gusher under the Gulf of Mexico is confounding the best efforts to control it. Still, I’ll put my faith in BP and the oil industry before I would trust the government to plug it.

Arizona continues to get hammered for wanting to enforce the federal immigration law. According to polls, two-thirds of the country agrees with Arizona, including young people, old folks, Democrats, and legal immigrants. In fact the only group that seems to be against it is television news folks. Oh, and one other: the NBA basketball team that plays in Phoenix. On May 5 they wore uniforms with the logo in Spanish, and announced to the country they would rather represent Mexico than Arizona. Maybe they should move south of the border. See if they can equal their multi-million dollar salaries as the Mexico City Suns.

This immigration issue won’t go away till we require foreign workers to have an ID, provide them seasonal work permits, and make the employers pay a fair wage. We need more legal immigrants, but not ones who break the law to get here. They should not expect to become citizens automatically. That has to be earned.

Immigration is a complicated matter, and not everyone will be happy with the result. I’ll remind you of a previous battle over illegal immigration, where Oklahoma is now located. The legal citizens at the time were Indians, and the illegal immigrants who sneaked across the border were white folks from Missouri and Kansas. The government in Washington sided with the illegals.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Greece is frying in her own fat.” DT #2683, March 12, 1935

#601 May 2, 2010

For a Kentucky Derby win, ride a thin horse

COLUMBUS: The BP oil well in the Gulf is causing havoc. It’s not the first time an oil gusher got out of control, but they say trying to cap this one is like trying to plug a volcano. It’s a shame we lost those 11 men, just like the 29 miners killed in West Virginia. We need some new safety procedures enforced to reduce the hazzards. But oil, coal and natural gas are incredible fuels and keep the country moving. For now, nobody but a hermit can live without them.

A lot of folks are saying we ought to stop off shore drilling; there’s too much risk. But, for a moment put aside the damage to the Gulf region. This well is producing 200,000 barrels a day! Most farmers and ranchers would be thrilled to have a well producing 2 or 3 barrels a day. It make no sense to ignore the potential of these offshore sites.

In the Kentucky Derby, Calvin Borel won again by staying on the rail. This year he rode Super Saver. Thanks to Calvin they need to add another statistic on the Racing Form: width of the horse. I think his secret is that he only rides extremely thin horses. Then he can squeeze through a sliver of space against the rail that no other jockey would even consider.

The Arizona illegal immigration law got a lot of people riled up. All this hollering seems to be about a person having to show ID once in a while. But we all show ID to board a plane, cash a check, vote, enter the Capitol, and even to donate blood at Red Cross.

This new law is the same as a Federal law that’s been around since Roosevelt signed it in1940. Only difference is that Arizona intends to enforce theirs.

Just suppose you bought tickets to the Kentucky Derby, or a baseball game in San Francisco, or a Broadway play in New York. You arrive to find someone sitting in your seats and they refuse to budge. Naturally this would upset you and you would find an officer, show your tickets, and insist the freeloaders be removed. The officer walks with you to your seats, and says to you, “Sorry, I’m not allowed to ask these folks to show a ticket, or any ID. In fact when we opened today, half the seats were occupied because no one guarded the entrances last night. You and the other ticket holders are out of luck.”  So think awhile before you jump on Arizona and start a boycott.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“No business in the United States is as cockeyed as the oil business. If ever a business needed a dictator it is them.”
 DT #2115, May 15, 1933

“If you think this ain’t going to be the worst winter for unemployment we ever had, just count the number in these college graduation classes. Immigration is not our biggest problem, it’s surplus diplomas.” DT #1526, June 14, 1933

“I am here in Iowa looking over the future Californians. We are just picking the best. We are not letting them all come like they used to; it’s restricted immigration now.” DT #491, Feb. 22, 1928