Weekly Comments:  Putin’s War on Ukraine: Plenty of Irony

Yes, it is Putin’s War. Events on the ground in Ukraine are changing by the minute so a few of the points below may be outdated by the time you read it.

There are several ironies about the Putin war on Ukraine.

For almost a year, Putin built up his military presence on Ukraine’s border. Meanwhile, our military leaders were “booting out soldiers without Covid vaccinations,” planning for “demographically diverse leadership”, allowing woke “gender pronouns in email signatures” and designing uniforms for “non-binary service members” and “pregnant airmen.”

The actor/comedian who is President of Ukraine stated boldly, “I’m staying and fighting,” while our President, a self-proclaimed experienced master of dealing with Putin, said, “I’m going to my Delaware beach house for the weekend.”

Ukraine fights to hold back Putin’s invasion a day at a time. President Biden replied about the effect of sanctions on Putin, “I’ll check back in a month.”

Biden said his Administration will use “every tool at its disposal to protect Americans from rising prices at the gas pump.” It’s ironic he didn’t mention the best tools: encourage drilling more wells, installing more pipelines and maximizing production of our oil and natural gas to also supply Europe.

A young mother in Ukraine, holding her baby, reports tearfully on television about the war around her. Here in the US, television host Joy Behar of The View complains, “I’ve been wanting to go to Italy for four years, and now this.”

European countries, especially Germany and France, pressured us in 2015 to join the Paris Climate Change Agreement to reduce fossil fuel production, which we did (with a 4-yr interruption under Trump). The irony is, until yesterday Germany was balking at aggressive actions against Putin because they depend on Putin for heat, transportation and electricity from… FOSSIL FUELS.

Putin is the cause of this ongoing disaster but is the main beneficiary because he’ll make Billions more from higher priced oil and gas exports, including oil he is selling to us.

John Kerry is really mad at Putin for invading Ukraine with tanks, aircraft, missiles, and warships because they aren’t powered with renewable energy, thereby setting a terrible example for the rest of the world. “The northern two-thirds of Russia is frozen tundra. Thawing puts the people of Russia at risk.” Putin might respond, “If it thaws, we can grow more wheat. That’s less risk of starvation.” See, ironically, Russia might benefit from global warming.

It is NOT ironic that German leaders changed their minds about helping Ukraine. The people of Germany rose up, recalling how Hitler’s Nazis ransacked and stole from Ukraine during WWII. They probably mentioned that Ukraine President Zelensky is Jewish.

It is NOT ironic that Ukraine’s military and civilians are fighting fiercely for their country. There are many examples of bravery and sacrifice reminiscent of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Or General McAuliffe’s reply to the German demand to surrender, “Nuts!”

As I’m finishing this, it’s about daybreak Monday in Ukraine. Let’s pray for a peaceful solution.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

(Dateline: ODESA) “Who hasn’t pictured Odesa on the Black Sea? Russia and Turkey have been fighting over this for a thousand years.” DT #2520, Sept. 2, 1934

“People don’t change under Governments; the Governments change, but the people remain the same.” There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, 1926


Competing for Second Place; Ukraine; Presidents Day

Fifty years ago, a new law known as Title IX gave female college and university students who wanted to compete in sports equality with male students. If I remember correctly, excluding football, schools had to provide roughly the same number of scholarships and equal treatment for women’s teams as for the men.

For 50 years, girls and young women have had the same opportunities as boys and young men to compete for First Place.

Lately, a change occurred. You probably heard of records being broken in swimming, track and other sports. And not just broken by a few seconds, but smashed! Without exception these new records have been set, not by extraordinarily athletic women, but by biological men transitioning to be female. Top male athletes are better than top female athletes in head-to-head competition. If a biological male is in the race, the females are competing for Second Place.

This is not against transgender females. Create a category for them to compete against each other. Not a perfect solution, but it would let them enjoy sports and compete fairly for First Place.

A family member is a high school Freshman on the swim team. As she improves over the next few years, I hope she won’t have to swim for Second Place, like the women in the Ivy League and NCAA championships.

The Russian Communist dictator, Vladimir Putin, is determined to take control of Ukraine. Why does he want Ukraine? Ukraine is a big European country, almost as big as Texas. Ukraine has tremendous natural resources, including iron ore, uranium, and natural gas. And I’ve already told you about the productive farm land, which potentially could feed 600 million people. (Do you realize the economy of Texas is much greater than the entire Russian economy?)

If Putin succeeds, it only adds about 3 percent to the size of Russia. He may envy the economic growth possibilities. But he grew up and served in the old USSR. He wants his legacy to be a return to the glory days of the Iron Curtain, when Russia ruled over Eastern Europe including a fourth of Germany. Putin never settles for second place.

A Presentation Piece from my talks as Will Rogers: “If any of you saw me roping back in the 1920’s… well, I’m not as good as I used to be. In fact, in 1934 I went out to a fine ranch at Hollister, California and was helping with calf branding. The next day in my newspaper column I wrote: ‘I didn’t mind all the men beating me at roping, but when a girl did it… (sigh) Well, it looks like it’s time to take up golf.’”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers (for Presidents’ Day):

“There wasn’t any Republicans in Washington’s day.  No Republicans, no Boll Weevil, no income tax, no cover charge, no disarmament conferences, no luncheon clubs, no stop lights, no static (radio), no head winds, no golf pants or Scotch jokes…My Lord, living in those times, who wouldn’t be great?” DT #803, Feb. 21, 1929

“Lincoln was great.  He freed the slaves and put the Southern whites in bondage for the duration of their natural lives.  He furnished General Grant with cigars to smoke and poor Lee had no gas mask so he had to surrender.   Lincoln tried his best to prevent that war between the Democrats and the Republicans. Since then, they have been settling their difficulties at the polls, with about the same results.” Radio, June 1, 1930

Will was introduced to President Warren G. Harding in the Oval Office and said, “Do you want me to tell you the latest political jokes?” Harding replied, “No, Will, I appointed most of them.”

On Calvin Coolidge: “As President, he did nothing and retired a hero, not only because he done nothing, but he did it better than anyone.” WA #326, March 24, 1929

On Herbert Hoover: “I always did want to see him elected.  I wanted to see how far a competent man could go in politics.  It has never been tried before.” Radio, Apr. 20, 1930

Introducing candidate Franklin Roosevelt in Sept. 1932: “This introduction tonight is not flowery or ostentatious… because I am wasting no oratory on just a prospect… Now after you’re elected, I’ll do right by you.”

Trucks, Trains, Planes, Buses, and Stolen Steaks. Biden vs. Putin. Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

Truckers in Canada have blocked traffic in Ottawa and on the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit. Prime Minister Trudeau needs to do something drastic and radical: Eliminate vaccine and mask mandates! He’ll do that eventually; why not now?

Stealing anything under $999 is not considered stealing by several highly compensated lawyers pretending to be prosecutors. I heard a great suggestion from a sports talk show in Lubbock, Texas. Stores can put $1000.00 price tags on every item in the store. Anything stolen results in burglary charges. For an honest customer, the store gives an immediate discount back down to the real price.

We’ve all seen the video of a man stealing a dozen packages of steak from a grocery. Walked right out and down the street. I doubt we’ll ever see a video of anyone stealing plant-based (fake) meat. Even petty thieves have pride.

Do you remember the California high-speed railroad that began as a $10 Billion project to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco? Construction has hardly begun and it’s now estimated to cost over $100 Billion. With the current inflation rate, a more accurate guess would be $200 Billion. To pay off this investment, a one-way ticket would cost at least $1500 for a 1.5-hour trip.

Gosh, could there be a less expensive way to make that 400-mile trip in a hurry? Here’s an idea for the geniuses in Sacramento: Build airports in LA and SF and hire some airplanes. What? Somebody already did that? Well, it must be really expensive to get there in only an hour. Only $300? And some deals for $49?

What if I don’t want to fly? How about building a limited access highway where I can drive 75 miles an hour? What? They already built I-5?

Ok, let’s get serious. California can build a 2-lane road for high speed streamlined buses only. They already own the right-of-way. Put it on concrete piers above the berm on I-5. Low cost because it would be only 20 feet wide, and no trucks. Only long articulated buses with 100 seats. Precise auto-steering with GPS. Go 150 mph. Do it for less than $20 Billion. California, you’re welcome. No charge. But if offered, I would accept a 1% gratuity.

President Biden called Putin of Russia on Saturday. He really laid down the law, “You invade Ukraine and there will be severe costs. We’ll cut you off from the rest of the world, except maybe China.” Then he whispered, “You’ll lose your stature on the world stage.” Putin yelled back, “World stature? You’re hysterical. The only stature that matters to me is in Russia. And my stature is far greater than yours in your country.” Ok, they probably didn’t say that. But it’s conceivable.

A New York Times investigative reporter wrote that President Trump flushed top secret, classified documents down the toilet. Here’s my question. What member of the President’s staff handed a plunger and a drain snake to an unfortunate employee in the White House and ordered him into the President’s private bathroom to, ahem, “dig up dirt” on him? And where are those flushed documents now? At the National Archives? Will we ever get to the bottom of this?

          The Cincinnati Bengals had the Super Bowl won with a few minutes to go. But Cooper Kupp made several key plays for the Los Angeles Rams to go ahead 23-20. Aaron Donald sealed it with a sack. Joe Burrow will have other opportunities.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I’ll celebrate tomorrow with my wife for the 54th time.

Interestingly, Will Rogers never wrote about Valentine’s Day in his newspaper columns. After 8 years of an off-and-on romance, he and Betty Blake were married on November 25, 1908, in her hometown, Rogers, Arkansas. They had a loving marriage. Will had his own way of publicly expressing his love for her, “She has been for twenty-two years trying to raise to maturity four children, three by birth and one by marriage. You know, there ought to be some kind of a star given to any woman that can live with a comedian.” (Radio, May 11, 1930)

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“If your time is worth anything, travel by air. If not, you might just as well walk.” DT #389, Oct. 20, 1927

Ranting About Covid, Corruption, NGOs and Big City Prosecutors  

Is the Covid 19 Pandemic over? Instead of persisting with divisive mandates to “get vaccinated or get fired” and wear masks in elementary school, President Biden should simply announce “It’s over. We’ll deal with other variants and the consequences.”

Then the President should devote his energy to force China to own up to the Wuhan Lab leak and start compensating us and all other countries for the Trillions of dollars in damage caused by Covid.

I rather doubt he will do any of this. Kind of the opposite: The President ordered 1,000,000,000 Covid test kits to mail to anyone who requests a few. Guess who manufactured and sold us the Covid test kits. Yes, China. And if they froze while crossing the Pacific or in your mailbox, the results can’t be trusted.

We’re just now learning, thanks to an investigative journalist, that many high officials (medical experts) told Dr. Fauci in January 2020 the new virus likely came from a Lab rather than occurred in nature. Within a week those same medical researchers had changed their opinion, agreeing with Dr. Fauci that Covid must have come from a bat cave to a meat market to a human. Why? In that brief interval our National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded those naysayers additional research funding of several million dollars each. Wow, what a country!

You probably remember in 2019 when Speaker Pelosi and the House impeached our President over a phone call with the Ukraine President. And one of the key witnesses against the President was our Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. But did the House impeach the wrong person?

For 2 years, 2014-2016, Vice-President Joe Biden was preventing our government from investigating corruption involving the president of Burisma, an energy company in Ukraine. So why was our VP acting against American interests in rooting out corruption? Maybe it was because his son, Hunter Biden, with no expertise in energy, was making $50,000 a month as a Board member of Burisma. Ambassador Yovanovitch hid the evidence of Biden’s interference with the investigation.

Two years ago this week, the Senate acquitted President Trump of charges he was pressuring the Ukraine president to investigate Burisma. If Marie Yovanovitch had been honest 7 years ago, VP Biden might have been forced to resign for preventing the Ukraine president from investigating Burisma.

Now, I’m not claiming that Trump deserved to be re-elected in 2020. He lost the election by several million votes and his January 6th rally was a blunder. However, would life be different today if there had been no accusation of colluding with Russia in 2016, no impeachment demands by Congressman Adam Schiff, no blaming Trump for racism against the Chinese and refusal to wear a mask, and honesty by Dr. Fauci (and White House Covid Coordinator Dr. Birx) during daily press briefings?

Here’s another shocker. On the Mexican border, taxpayers (that’s us) are paying Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to encourage illegal immigrants to cross the border. Not only encourage, but pay ‘em! And the same taxpayers (that’s us) are paying the Border Patrol to try to keep them out. And once they sneak past the Border Patrol, or are released on political orders from the White House, other NGOs use our tax dollars to transport and house them here.

There’s a somewhat similar situation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, and New York where their so-called Prosecuting Attorney is acting as a Defense attorney in coordination with actual Defense Attorneys. So, the criminals get legal support from both sides of the table and no one is representing the victims and law-abiding citizens. The same cities, and others like them, demand a reduction in the police force. May as well; no need to arrest a guy who’ll be turned loose immediately. And they wonder why violent crime has increased.

Ok, my rant is over. If I had more space I would comment on Bette Midler and the West Virginia Governor’s bulldog. Will Rogers wrote in 1933, “I love a dog; he does nothing for political reasons.

A short Presentation Piece from my Will Rogers talks: “You’ve heard me say many times, ‘All I know is what I read in the newspaper.’ But really, ‘We learn by two things: one is reading, the other is associatin’ with smarter people.’  Actually, ‘we’re all ignorant, we’re just ignorant on different subjects.’ ‘There’s nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the subject he was educated in.’ And in all the years I’ve been saying that, I’ve never yet had a woman ever disagree.”