Will diagnoses oil situation, Afghans and B&W movies

Did you know we produce 10 Million barrels of oil a day in this country? Only problem is we use 20 Million. I heard a former governor today say that even if we doubled production, the price of gasoline would go down only 3 cents a gallon. I guess by the same logic if we plugged all our oil wells, it would go up 3 cents.

Sen. Schumer gave up on the President allowing more oil production, and asked Saudi Arabia to ship more to us. That’s the best solution to our oil shortage I ever heard from a politician.

The more Washington complains about gasoline prices, the higher they go. Instead of complaining, maybe the President could ask the oil companies a question: “What would you like me to do to help lower your cost of producing gasoline and diesel from crude oil?” Now, some of their answers would be downright hilarious, but they might offer a valuable nugget or two.

Speaking of gasoline, Ford and the other car companies are selling at a rapid pace. In fact General Motors sold so many vehicles their profit last year was $9 Billion.  Considering GM still owes us $80 Billion, that money would be a nice boost to deficit reduction. But no, GM is instead doling out bonuses to their workers.  Remember back when the “old” GM went into bankruptcy, the UAW folks kept their wages, but the stockholders (including millions of small investors, mutual funds and retirement funds) got zero. Maybe those folks deserve a piece of the profit, too.

In Afghanistan, after ten years, Billions of dollars and many lives lost, the situation continues to go haywire. What are we doing in a region where the punishment for accidently  burning a Koran is death? If the radical Islamists would spend their time reading the Koran instead of shooting Americans and other Afghan people, maybe we could get out peacefully.  But really the blame belongs to the Muslim leaders who are riling up their ignorant masses.

The Russians tried to control ‘em for ten years and gave up. We’ve been there ten more years and we only learned one thing: you cannot re-habilitate men that never were habilitated in the first place.

The Artist won Academy Awards for best movie, best actor, best director and a bunch of others. Looks like the old silent B&W’s are making a comeback.  Forget about talkies. You can drag an of old movie camera out of an MGM storage closet, round up Tom Mix and Clara Bow and a few Model T Fords, and make a top ranked movie for less than half a million.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Did you read young John D. Rockefeller’s plea to the oil men? He implored them to tell the truth, or tell something, whether it was the truth or not, but to please not just sit there, as that made the whole industry not only look dumb, but guilty.” DT #481, Feb. 9, 1928

 “No business in the United States is as cockeyed as the oil business.” DT #2115, May 15, 1933

 “They drill an oil well down straight for quite a little ways, then they got a gadget that turns it off to one side and they head it out towards where they know some oil is.” DT #2220, Sept. 14, 1933

Will solves the oil pipeline dilemma

COLUMBUS: Our government sure is good at making tough decisions. Congress voted to let everyone keep another 2% of their paycheck for the rest of the year. In the process they shortchanged Social Security so it will run out of money sooner. Will it help the economy bounce back? Not likely. Everybody will spend it on higher gasoline prices.

In the last few years we drilled more gas wells, brought more gas on the market and the wholesale price dropped from around $6 per unit to less than $3. Do you suppose the folks in Washington can ever figure out we might do the same with oil? Even if it comes from Canada.

President Obama says the Keystone pipeline can’t cross the border unless he says so.  Well, exactly how “thick” is the borderline between us and Canada? Is it an inch? Or, maybe less than a millimeter? You may be wondering, Why does it matter? Well, the President can’t stop a pipeline from being built in the United States; he can only stop one from crossing the border into the U. S.  So if we build a pipeline right up to the border on our side, and Canada builds a matching pipeline to the border on their side, the two ends could be a so close together you could barely slide a piece of paper between ‘em. When Canada starts pumping oil down the pipeline naturally some would leak out at the border causing an awful mess. The environmentalists would rise up and demand the President plug the leak. He would call a welder in to weld the ends together, environmentalists would cheer and vote for him again, and we would get the oil.

Have you heard about this new movie, “The Artist?” It’s more of an old movie because it’s silent, and black & white. It received ten Academy Award nominations, which gives you an idea how hard up they are for actors who can talk. I think it was nominated for best picture, actor, actress, sound effects, video editing, and cinematography. Is there an award for funniest captions? Well, I hope it wins a bunch of awards. If everybody starts watching the old time silent movies, I’ve got about 50 of ‘em I can blow the dust off and revive. “Ropin’ Fool” is 90 years old and it has drama, romance, comedy and a surprise ending that would rank it with any movie today.

Speaking of old timers, fifty years ago John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. He sounds like he would be eager to go again if we had a way to get him up there.

Whitney Houston was buried today in New Jersey. She had a tremendous singing voice and it’s a shame she cut her life short with drugs. She will always be loved.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Everybody says, ‘Where’s the money is coming from we’re spending?’ Well, I don’t now, but just offhand, I’d say it’s coming from those that got it.”
 Radio, April 7, 1935

 “(The movie) business is undergoing a great change. In four or five years you will look back and laugh at yourself for ever having sat for hours and just looked at Pictures with no voice or no sound.” WA #286, June 17, 1928

Free beer for Baptists and other nonsense

COLUMBUS: Do you think Abraham Lincoln would have ever created such a mess? President Obama got into hot water with the Catholic church and associated organizations when he declared their health insurance policies must provide free birth control pills to employees even though it is against their faith. After an uproar, he compromised: the free pills would not be provided by the employer, but rather by the insurance company.

Suppose the government declared that all employers must provide free beer to employees. A university or hospital operated by the Mormons or Baptists might object because that goes against the beliefs of the church. Well, then the President would declare that those employees must still receive free beer if they want it, and here’s his solution: the beer will be provided at no cost by Coors and Busch and the other beer companies. Huh? Did anyone in the White House ever run a business? I bet they never even had a newspaper route or sold Girl Scout cookies.

Well, Greece is going through a budget crisis brought on by wild spending and a spoiled population of free-loaders. The Parliament voted to cut spending by $4 Billion in return for $170 Billion bailout from the U.S. and European banks. Sounds reasonable, but the free-loaders are burning Athens. So next summer, travelers to Greece will have even more ruins to look at.

Let’s hope nothing like that happens to us. Can you imagine this story in the New York Times in February 2022: As a result of demands by China and India, Congress met in emergency session (with the President and Supreme Court Justices sitting in the front row) to solve the financial catastrophe brought on by a national debt of $35 Trillion, and interest payments eating up 60% of all revenue. In an agreement that salvages a sliver of American dignity, our international creditors forgave $10 Trillion of the debt in return for Congress immediately cutting $2 Trillion in annual spending. The package of drastic cuts includes: All government salaries will be cut immediately by 25%, and within 6 months 20% of federal employees will be let go. The minimum wage will be cut from the current level of $16/hr to $5 to help boost employment opportunities, especially for youth and liberal arts college grads.  Aid to states will be eliminated. To help state governments deal with the loss in revenue, union contracts of public employees at all levels are null and void, and these unions are banned. (Unions for private employees are not affected.) Social Security checks, federal retirement checks, and Medicare reimbursements will be cut immediately by 20%. All farm subsidies are eliminated, meaning food will cost you what it’s worth. All foreign aid is eliminated, and military bases in other countries will be closed. From now on, you fellows in other countries will have to look out for yourselves. To increase income tax revenue slightly, all deductions are wiped out. Everyone making up to $50,000 will pay 5%; from $50,000 to $100,000 will pay 15%, and everyone above $100,000 will pay 25%.

The good news is, if Congress acts in 2012 instead of 2022, the cuts won’t be so drastic. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia appears to be serious about the deficit. So is Sen. Coburn of Oklahoma. But whether they can round up a majority who agree on the cuts required to balance the budget I got my doubts.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“The South is dry and will vote dry. That is, everybody that is sober enough to stagger to the polls will.”
 DT #66, Oct. 28, 1926

“I get paid for getting laughs and I found out that the majority of the people would laugh more if I kidded the drys.  But lots of people laugh one way and vote the other. Look at Congress; it voted dry and drinks wet.”  The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition.

#217 February 12, 2002

HAMLER, Ohio: With so many small town banks disappearing, it is pure pleasure when you get invited to spend an evening with the stockholders of one that is prospering. These farm communities may not be as well off as some of our elite suburbs, but they sure don’t lag behind in spirit and contentment.

They hold this annual shindig in the cafeteria of the Patrick Henry High School. (Where did you think it would be, in a country club?) The school calls themselves the Patriots, and their colors are red, white and blue. That seems safe, but when I walked in…remember, here I am a quarter-blood Cherokee… I see signs and posters all over the walls saying, “Patriots, beat the Indians”. That gave me quite a jolt. I thought, didn’t they already do that 300 years ago?

But it turns out the students were getting revved up for a big game this weekend, and it had nothing to do with the Bank, or the speaker. This year, any team named the Patriots is destined to win a championship, even if they have to beat a few Indians to do it.

I reminded them of a line from a few years ago, “The banker, the lawyer, and the politician are still our best bets for a laugh.” (August 11, 1935)

But here lately, the banker has been falling behind the lawyers and politicians when it comes to humor. I told ’em, if you’re going to catch up with those two, you bankers need to team up with the accountants. And you’ll get the comedy prize for sure if you can latch on to all those jokers from Arthur Andersen.

Speaking of prizes, the Winter Olympics have started in Utah. At the opening ceremony we learned the answer to the old question, How many hockey players from the 1980 gold medal team does it take to light an Olympic caldron? Answer: All of them.

And another question, How many Americans does it take to carry a torn and tattered flag salvaged from the World Trade Towers? Answer: about 270 million.

The United States won all three medals in a sport I had never heard of. Nobody from any other country had heard of it either till a week ago.

Two Canadian skaters beat the Russians on the ice, but lost in the judges chambers.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The old Farmer has had pretty tough sledding in the last few years, and he hears about all the Americans going to Europe every summer and to Florida every winter, and here he is. He can’t leave for fear his home Bank will be watching him. He believes in his heart that a few Bills passed by Congress would assist him in helping to pay some Interest on the second or third Mortgages.” WA #220, Feb. 27, 1927

“Papers today say, ‘What would Lincoln do today?’

Well, in the first place, he wouldn’t chop any wood. He would trade his axe in on a Ford.

Being a Republican he would vote the Democratic ticket.

Being in sympathy for the underdog he would be classed as a radical progressive.

Having a sense of humor he would be called eccentric.” DT #2349, Feb. 12, 1934

“Rail splitting produced an immortal President in Abraham Lincoln; but Golf, with 20 thousand courses, hasent produced even a good “A number 1″ Congressman. There hasent been a Patrick Henry showed up since business men quit eating lunch with their families, joined a club and have indigestion from amateur Oratory.” Saturday Evening Post, June 2, 1928

We get wind, Cuba gets oil

COLUMBUS: New York upset New England in the Super Bowl, 21-17, by playing great defense in the second half. The Giants have won 4 Super Bowls and the Patriots have lost 4. Do you suppose next year we might have a team in there that hasn’t made it before, say, the Cleveland Browns?

Meanwhile in politics, a fellow from New England got endorsed by a New Yorker. Yes, Donald Trump promised to sway his millions of followers to vote for Mitt Romney. Trump has billions of dollars, which makes Gov. Romney feel downright poor by comparison.

Romney won the Nevada caucus vote and Gingrich came in second. I think Romney could wrap up the nomination by announcing that, if elected, he would name Ron Paul the Director of the Budget. However, I heard a Republican voter in Florida say she wants Newt for the debates against Obama, and Romney to be the President.  I bet some Democrats would like Obama to give the speeches and let Hillary and Bill run the country.

Last fall a lot of prominent folks came out in support of Occupy Wall Street. If the mayor of New York (and other cities it spread to) had immediately shut down the rat and trash infested camps and sent everybody home it would have saved millions of dollars and let over-worked police get back to their real job of protecting the community. Instead it dragged on, and in Oakland and Washington, DC, young hoodlums now  “occupy” the Occupy movement.

Iran is kinda like those Occupiers. President Obama (and Bush before him) tried to talk nice to them about their plans for building a nuclear bomb, but talking has not worked because Russia and China are siding with Iran. Like a sore between your toes, if you don’t take care of it early, gangrene can kill you.

Our Columbus Dispatch newspaper today ran two stories side by side. In one, the Obama administration is close to allowing 400 wind turbines to be installed in the Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to Virginia. In the other, Cuba is drilling oil wells 60 miles offshore from Florida which are expected to provide “billions of barrels of oil.”  Now I wonder, how many decades will the wind have to blow for those turbines to produce energy equal to that much oil?

Good news for our economy. We added 240,000 jobs last month. If this keeps up we won’t have to go back to horses just to put more people to work. Replacing cars with horses would create 20 million new jobs, including a million just cleaning up streets behind ‘em.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Conditions win elections, not speeches… If things are bad by next summer and fall [the President] will get the blame without the Republicans making a single speech.”
 Radio, June 9, 1935

 “If everybody (traded his car for a horse) they would be out of debt in a couple of years. Just think, no gas, no tires, no roads to pay for.” DT #2043, Feb. 20, 1933