WAVERLY, Ohio: Anthrax is scaring folks in New York and Washington and Florida. Ten or so have got sick. One died, but the others are fine. Thousands across the country are afraid to get on an airplane. Automobile accidents have claimed a thousand, but nobody has parked their car. Anthrax got the House of Representatives so worried they are all went home till Tuesday. It’s been said that this sets a bad example, but it’s mainly the lobbyists doing the complaining. When you get 435 Congressmen all scattered in 435 different places around the country, it’s hard to twist arms of more than two or three a day. Not only does it knock the lobbyist out power, if Congress ain’t meeting, they can’t add on any new taxes.
Speaking of taxes, Ohio’s governor says they’re not collecting enough, so Ohio has got to cut back. To save money he says he will close three prisons. It was a difficult decision, whether to close three prisons or three universities.
See, if you shut down a university, you got to deal with alumni and football boosters, not to mention parents who don’t want their son or daughter released before their four years is served to completion. Then in the next election, they all vote against you.When you close a prison, you know the inmates will be in favor of it. The guards can walk out of the prison and right into higher paying airport security posts. The taxpayers like it because a prisoner costs more than a college student. If this idea works, he may close another three next year.
Down here in Waverly, they don’t have a prison or a university, or even a junior college. But they’ve got trees and timber and saw mills. And they have a factory called Mill’s Pride. It’s so big it uses half the white oak in three states to make kitchen cabinets and put-it-together-yourself furniture. That’s a good name for it, Mill’s Pride, because the workers take Pride in their products. Next time you’re in a Home Depot, you may not see their name, but you can’t miss their products.
The President said it’s our civic duty to shop and spend, to keep the economy growing. Alan Greenspan says he doesn’t think it will work, but there’s a hundred million women willing to make the sacrifice and prove him wrong. (And a few men, too.) Columbus has opened two new malls to
accommodate their patriotism. After you half empty your bank account at Saks and Sears and Marshall Fields (even though your closets are full), on the way home you can buy one of those oak storage cabinets.
Historical quotes from Will Rogers:
“The Ohio convicts are serving pretty tough sentences. First they burn ’em up, now they shoot ’em while they sleep. About the only calamity left to ’em outside of somebody poisoning their well, will be the Ohio Legislature will investigate them.” DT #1182, May 9, 1930
(In Holland) “Forests are the most beautiful forests, all out in rows. Every time they cut down a tree it looks like they planted two in its place. Every time we cut one down, the fellow that cuts it down sets down to have a smoke and celebrate. He throws his cigarette away and burns up the rest of the forest.” (From Will’s book, “There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia”)