Russia, Ukraine, a Supreme Court Nominee, Counterfeit Licenses, and Super Bowl Opponents

Will he, or won’t he? That is the big question this weekend? Will Putin invade? No, no, no. The big question is: Will Tom Brady retire?

Russia has half the world worried. Putin has moved every soldier in the whole country to the border with Ukraine. He even sent a few thousand into Belarus to practically surround Ukraine. Is he scared of being invaded by Ukraine? I heard Putin moved in portable hospitals and a supply of blood, I guess to patch up his soldiers that the Ukrainians shoot.

You may laugh, but it would be smart for Ukraine to take over a chunk of Russia. See, Ukraine has about a quarter of the very best farmland in the world and an equal amount is right across the border in Russia. I saw a report that the world faces a severe shortage of food. If Ukraine controlled almost half of the most productive soil in the whole world, why, they could produce thousands of train loads of grain and other food products, perhaps equal to our Midwest farmers.

I don’t understand why Germany and France are afraid Vladimir Putin will cut off the natural gas lines serving Europe. Didn’t those European countries brag about the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, to get rid of fossil fuels? They complained and yelled at President Trump for four years because he insisted on drilling for more gas and oil. We became energy-independent while most of Europe became more energy-dependent. Then they chose to buy their natural gas from Russia instead of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from us. (See quotes below)

Where is the United Nations? That’s a logical question because a country invading another country is against international law. Why doesn’t the UN take a forceful stand against a potential Russian invasion? And what about protecting Taiwan from China?

Democrats don’t agree on much, but they did get together and persuade Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to resign because he’s 83. Speaker Pelosi (age 81) and other old Democrats feel anyone 80 or 81 or 82 is in their prime. But at 83, “you’re over the hill.”

So, President Biden will nominate a Black woman. You may recall that he made that political promise during the campaign and it helped get him elected. It is not a surprise for the President to follow through on that promise.

In Indianapolis, U.S. Customs officials intercepted a package from Hong Kong with 1200 counterfeit state driver’s licenses. Many were for college students wanting to appear older to buy liquor. Most counterfeit licenses are ordered by illegal immigrants, who are willing to pay at least ten times as much as the students. It makes you wonder how many “packages” sneak past Customs in the other 49 states, especially states where the Biden Administration is flying the illegal border crossers? A fake driver’s license let’s ‘em drive, and VOTE.

Tom Brady won’t be in the Super Bowl. But an exciting young quarterback, Joe Burrow, and his Cincinnati Bengals will be after upsetting Kansas City, 27-24. And the Los Angeles Rams beat San Francisco, 20-17.

Presentation Piece: For presentations in Oklahoma, I always include this bit, based mostly on Will Rogers’ syndicated newspaper column, on Feb. 5, 1928. “Well, this used to be Indian Territory. They sent the Indians to Oklahoma in the 1830s. They had a treaty that said, ‘You shall have this land as long as grass grows and water flows.’ It looked like a good treaty. And it was till they struck oil. Then the Government took it away from us again. They said ‘The treaty only refers to Water and Grass; it don’t say anything about oil.’ So, the Government moved the Indians again and they settled the whole thing by putting them on land where the grass won’t grow and the water won’t flow. There was some speculation recently in the papers about giving Oklahoma back to the Indians. Now I’m Cherokee and very proud of it, but I doubt if you can get them to accept it– not in its present state.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Russia don’t do as much harm to the rest of the world as they just worry ’em. She just loves to put a thumb in the soup and let the guests see it’s in there. The whole world’s nerves are ‘jumpy,’ anyhow, right now.” DT #1504, May 19, 1931

“If I wanted to start an insane asylum that would be 100 percent cuckoo, I would just admit applicants that thought they knew something about Russia.” DT #1291, Sept. 12, 1930

Has President Biden Outperformed Expectations?

At his press conference last week, President Biden announced plans to go “out performing” around the country. His speaking tour will highlight all the major accomplishments where he “outperformed” expectations of 70 million Americans who elected him in November 2020.

So, where has he outperformed in his first year in office? Well, in several areas. Take energy for example. By simply blocking pipelines and eliminating drilling on some oil-rich lands, he raised the price of crude to $85 a barrel. That caused folks to drive less and, for those who can afford it, order a new Electric Vehicle (EV).

Somewhat related, President Biden supports authentic union jobs. To him, any job that’s not union, is not authentic. So EVs built with union workers are subsidized but others, like a Tesla, are not. Public school teachers who belong to a union are listened to and are able to set federal policy. That’s going way above and beyond expectations.

The President outperformed on our Mexican border. He wanted more immigrants and those numbers have skyrocketed. Oddly, while he supports Ukraine’s border against Russian’s crossing it, thousands of immigrants from Russia and a hundred other countries are crossing the Rio Grande every week. And if they get caught, they can use the arrest warrant as a photo ID to board a plane. What a country!

With help from California Governor Newsom, the President has resurrected the Old West custom of robbing a train. He had already slowed down imports from China, and now, once the goods are unloaded from a container ship to a train, criminal gangs are emptying almost a hundred containers a day before the locomotives get enough speed to escape Los Angeles city limits.

If Pinkerton agents happen to catch the thieves, city officials cooperate with the President by turning them loose so they can empty more containers. This is genius; a truly unique way to discourage Amazon and Walmart shoppers and instead promote goods produced in America with a union label.

He has outperformed in other areas, including: raising starting wages and Social Security checks to almost equal the rise in inflation; providing a $250/month salary to teenagers so they don’t have to work at McDonald’s or shovel snow; withdrawing from Afghanistan; increasing the value of farmland; and, oddly, increased production of coal for export. The Dow Jones average has gone up about 25% since his election (far above expectations), but the President doesn’t even mention that outperformance.

Of course, my ramblings are political satire. Did I outperform and exceed your expectations? Can you name even one other political satirist who has a better record in the past year? lol

A Presentation Piece (from one of my speeches): “I feel every speaker should leave at least one worthwhile tip with his audience, so here it is. It’s an economic plan, a plan to end all plans. It’ll work for you no matter who’s in the White House. ‘Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.’

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The Democrats give us three bad years and one good one. But the good one always comes on the year that the voting is.” Radio, Oct. 18, 1931

“I don’t write [political] jokes.  I just watch the government and report the facts. I don’t even have to exaggerate.”  Notes, undated

Weekly Comments:  Winter Olympics Controversy. Voting Rights. Professional Speakers and Bankers. MLK Day

The Winter Olympics in Beijing, China will begin February 4. Our athletes who don’t drop out because of Covid will compete. None of our government officials will attend because President Biden declared a “diplomatic” boycott. Most of our US sponsors are refusing to criticize China because they don’t want the Communist leaders to cut ‘em off from 1.7 Billion potential customers.

A few sponsors are trying to get their money back from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC could go broke because they chose to hold the Olympics in China despite all the Communist Chinese actions against their own citizens (especially the Uyghurs), Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I suggest we all boycott China by not watching. Crash the NBC Nielsen ratings. (See first quote below)

President Biden is determined to force a national takeover of elections. Only problem is he has a 48-52 minority in the Senate on this issue when he needs 60 votes. Democrats in Congress say American citizens have the right to vote, either in-person or by mail. Republicans say those votes should not be canceled by votes cast illegally. Does your state, or any state, have laws against these ideals?

Yesterday I met with my professional speaker friends at the Ohio Chapter of the National Speakers Association. These NSA professionals speak “after dinner” and any other time, day or night. Continuing a new feature in Weekly Comments, here is a short bit from one of my speeches. It is based on a Will Rogers’ comment in March 1923 when he took a friendly jab at the bankers.

“I was raised on a cattle ranch and I never saw or heard of a rancher going broke, except the ones who had borrowed money.  You can’t break a man that don’t borrow. He may not have anything, but he can look the World in the face and say, ‘I don’t owe you Birds a nickel.’ You might ask, if the farmers and ranchers and the rest of you, quit borrowing money, what will all the Bankers do? Well, I don’t care what they do. Let ‘em go to work, if there is any job they could earn a living at. Banking and After Dinner Speaking are two of the most non-essential industries we have in this country.  I’m ready to reform if they are.”

Tomorrow we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King. Will Rogers was part Cherokee and would definitely agree with Dr. King’s encouragement to judge a person by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“(In the Olympics) Our high diving (skill) is inherited from our politicians. Our public men do nothing but high dive. They climb up the ladder on promises, just before election, then dive off after they are elected.” DT #1921, Sept. 30, 1932

“If I was running for office, I would rather have two friends in the counting room than a Republican Slush fund behind me. More candidates have been defeated after 6 o’clock in the evening than were ever defeated during election day.” WA #100, Nov. 9, 1924

Questions about January 6. Farming Without Plowing

This week we have an “elephant in the room” that cannot be ignored. Actually, it’s more like “donkeys in the House.” The “elephants” were there last year, storming the Capitol on January 6.

Although we won’t all agree on this first anniversary of January 6, I trust we will treat each other with mutual respect. Do you know anyone, personally, who doesn’t agree that the incursion of the Capitol Building was an embarrassment for the country? Probably not. At least 99% wish it had never happened.

Perhaps half the people you know would say last January 6 was a deadly Insurrection by hundreds of well-armed radical domestic terrorists directed by President Trump, comparable to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Islamic attacks on 9-11.

The other half likely claim it was mainly a peaceful protest by people frustrated at how President Trump and his family were treated for four years. And a few dozen QAnon and Proud Boys radicals organized a brutal attack on the Capitol to coincide with the Trump rally.

There are several questions that need explanations during the House committee hearing. Explain why, of the 700 arrested, not one has been charged with insurrection. Explain why the attackers were armed with flag poles, bear spray and bike racks instead of rifles and machine guns. Explain how no Police, Senators and Congressmen were shot. Explain how Trump could ever believe he could force VP Pence and Congress to nullify the election results. After the FBI intercepted information about the impending Insurrection, why wasn’t secure fencing installed and a thousand extra armed guards brought in? Was this really an attack on democracy?

You probably have other questions. Do you think we’ll get answers?

This past week I attended the annual National No-Till Conference in Louisville. This was the 30th year of this conference that educates farmers across the country on a farming practice that started 60 years ago. You may be unfamiliar with this “no tillage” method of growing crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. “No tillage” means no plowing or any other tillage operation before planting a crop. Weeds are usually killed with a few ounces of herbicide per acre. No-till farmers often plant a cover crop after the main crop is harvested. This protects the soil from erosion over the winter, improves the health of the soil, and means the soil can absorb and hold more rainwater which reduces flooding.

Did you know this farming system also takes carbon out of the air and stores it in the ground? Would you believe, if ALL cropland around the world were farmed with these no-till, conservation agriculture methods, so much carbon dioxide would be sequestered in soil that global warming would be eliminated? Yes, that’s a huge challenge. But it’s no more of a challenge than trying to live without fossil fuels.

Since I attended the no-till conference, here is a short piece from one of my typical presentations, based on Will Rogers’ comments on his weekly radio broadcast April 14, 1935. “You know, we’re always talking about pioneers and what great folks the old pioneers were. Well, I think the pioneer wasn’t a thing in the world but a guy that wanted something for nothing. He wanted to cut a tree down that didn’t cost him anything, but he never did plant one. He wanted to plow up the land that should have been left to grass. We’re just now learning that we can rob from nature the same way as we can rob from an individual. All he had was an ax, and a plow, and a gun, and he just went out and lived off nature. Well, he thought it was nature he was living off of, but really, what he was living off of was future generations.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers: (during the Dust Bowl)

          “Flew through these dust storms with the pilot flying entirely by instruments… It’s a terrible thing, and it’s going to bring up some queer cases in law. If Colorado blows over and lights on top of Kansas, it looks kinder like Kansas ought to pay for the extra top soil, but Kansas can sue ’em for covering up their crops…In the Middle West now you got to put a brand on your soil, then in the Spring go on a roundup looking for it.” DT #2697, March 28, 1935

Absolutely No 2022 Predictions. Please, No Pi. Remembering Betty White.

No predictions for 2022. I blew it a year ago when I wrote this: “Here’s a safe prediction for the new year: 2021 will end better than it started. Maybe not in all areas of your life, but COVID should be under control.”

I failed to understand that COVID-19 could outsmart any political promises by Joe Biden (as a candidate in 2020) and a variety of ever-changing recommendations by Dr. Fauci, the CDC, and the WHO.

Will Rogers had it right in January 1930, “Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.”

I doubt you’ll read many optimistic predictions for 2022. A year ago, we were optimistic. We had vaccines for Covid and were assured if we got the shots, we were protected. And if 70 percent of us got vaccinated, herd immunity would wipe it out. Get vaccinated and stop wearing a mask!

We knew Covid came from a Lab in Communist China and were shocked when a variant was discovered in India. Knowing that many people didn’t appreciate the name ‘China virus,’ and to avoid upsetting people from India, someone who remembered symbols from advanced mathematics decided the Greek alphabet could fit and wouldn’t make anyone mad.

So, India became Delta and just when we thought we had Delta defeated another version broke out in southern Africa. Because of 12 other less severe variants, they had used all the Greek letters up to Xi. But to avoid upsetting the Chinese Dictator who released the original Covid on the world, they jumped over Xi to name it Omicron.

Let’s hope we don’t get to the next letter, which is Pi. You’ll remember that Pi starts as 3.1416 but keeps going FOREVER.

We lost a great one this week. Betty White was a few days short of 100, and for 70 of those years she was one of the best humorists on television. She promoted racial equality and loved animals. She was married to Allen Ludden who passed away in 1981. She said recently, “All my life, even as a kid, I have preferred men older than I am. Unfortunately, today I don’t think there is anyone older than I am.”

A new feature for 2022. In Weekly Comments, I plan to include a short (non-political) piece from one of my typical presentations as “Will Rogers.” Currently, thousands of cattlemen from across North America are in Oklahoma City with 10,000 prize animals in 20 breeds for Cattlemen’s Congress. I know they will enjoy this one. “In 1932 I learned the secret of success in the cattle business. And I’m going to share it with you. I was on the W. T. Wagoner Ranch, down in Vernon, Texas… Six hundred thousand acres with twenty-five thousand head of cattle. Now Mr. Waggoner was one cowman that was smart enough to solve the low prices of cattle and make ranches pay…and here’s the way he did it…  Every cow had her own oil well.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There’s not a single person that knows any more about what [this year] has in store for us than a Billy goat.” DT #2000, Jan 1, 1933

“Do you think the world leaders can get us out of this? They might; ignorance got us in.” DT #2002, Jan. 3, 1933

“There is not a better day in the world to be spent than with a lot of wise old cowmen around barbecued beef, black coffee and good ‘free holy’ [refried] beans.” DT #2430, May 17, 1934