Words, Women, and High-Priced Energy

I’ve never pretended to be a wordsmith. I leave that to Webster or Funk & Wagnalls.

This week our top folks in Washington have had difficulty with a few words. One was ‘deter.’ Everyone claimed that deter meant to stop Putin from invading Ukraine, but then we heard from our President it don’t mean that at all.

Then President Biden said yesterday that Putin cannot ‘remain in power.’ Within minutes, some underling corrected the President, “No, no, he didn’t mean to stop him from being the dictator of Russia.” Earlier Biden had called Putin a ‘war criminal’ and a ‘butcher.’ So, I guess if the people in Russia want to be ruled by a butchering war criminal, it’s their choice.

In the Senate hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, she seemed to be puzzled by the word ‘woman’ when asked to define it by another woman. Oddly, the basis for her being nominated is because Mrs. Jackson is a woman. I learned in 1935 to leave that whole argument to women to decide, “Money, horse racing and women: three things the boys just can’t figure out.”

I am concerned to read that a lot of female professors at top universities can’t define ‘woman’ either. These women ought to know because they are professors of Gender Studies. I wouldn’t dare ask them to define ‘man.’

I would never pretend to be an economist either. However, over time, you tend to pick up a few basic rules, especially as it relates to the government. For example, if you want more of a certain product, the government can subsidize it. Generally, the volume will increase and often the price to the buyer will go down.

On the other hand, if you want less of a product, the government can over-regulate it, place restrictions on production, tax it, and simply say bad things about it. As a result, the amount produced will decrease. And if the need for it is still high, the price will go up.

Today, Americans are suffering through high prices for fuel and everything transported by fuel because President Biden signed orders that canceled new oil and gas wells, pipelines, and fuel processing. Instead of continuing a bright future as a net exporter of energy, we are forced to import it. Faced with a short supply and higher prices, instead of changing policies to produce more, the government proposes to print more money and give it to us so we can afford high priced gas. In California, instead of drilling for its own oil and gas, or encouraging more drilling in nearby Alaska, the Governor wants to give people a $400 gas card.

Now, with Europe in a bind, Biden promised to provide them LNG (liquified natural gas) to replace gas from Russia. Do you suppose President Biden will encourage more drilling in the gas-rich region of Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia? Will he order construction of new pipelines to the East Coast for processing to LNG for export to Germany and other European countries? (Two such pipelines were stopped and canceled because of excessive regulations.)

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“The difference between good times and bad times is gasoline, and what goes with it.” WA #636, March 3, 1935

Printing-Press Money, Inflation, Biden Lied, Media Malfeasance, and Ukraine

Americans have added $2.3 Trillion to their savings during the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. How can that be?

Think back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. Even with a lot of new government programs to support the unemployed, which peaked at 25%, do you think an average American had more in savings in 1939 than 1929?

Two years ago, the Feds started printing a few Trillion dollars and sent it out to individuals and states whether they needed it or not. Yes, at Food Pantries there were long lines of cars (including many late model vehicles) with families who ran out of food and money. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but too many SPEND paycheck to paycheck. There were also a lot of fraudulent payments.

Many states have a surplus despite two years of Covid expenses. How? Again, the federal government passed out too much “printing-press money.” More than the states needed. One result is 7% inflation. That’s what happens when the government prints money and gives it to people who aren’t producing. With more money and fewer products to buy, the price goes up.

I have friends who have insisted since mid-November 2020 that the election was rigged against Trump. I have consistently resisted because recounts and other in-depth analysis in swing states verified the original count.

But no longer.

It is clear that if the incriminating details discovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop computer a few weeks before the election had been widely reported, Joe Biden would have lost to President Trump. The New York Post published the full news article immediately. This week, 17 months after the news broke, the New York Times admitted the computer has details about Joe Biden’s financial gains from China and other countries. Almost all of our major news sources (TV Networks, newspapers, NPR, Twitter, Facebook, Google…) ignored this news story. Not only ignored it, they vigorously downplayed it and blocked any comments about it. Called it a Russian hoax.

Even worse, fifty top former leaders of our Intelligence Agencies (CIA, FBI, etc.) signed a letter confirming that all the damning evidence on Hunter Biden’s laptop computer was secretly put there by Russian supporters of Trump. Not one of those prominent broadcasters or Intel officials has apologized.

In the Presidential Debate on October 22, 2020, President Trump challenged Joe Biden with information from the laptop, “You made $3.5 million (from China), and your son gave 10% to the big man. You’re the big man.” Biden replied, “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.” Evidence on Hunter’s computer, which would have been easy for a journalist to verify, was never checked out and reported by a major news source, except Fox News.

I’m glad to see so much support for President Zelensky for the Nobel Peace Prize. No one else should even be nominated. And if they are, they should ask to have their name withdrawn.

Zelensky says he will not give up any land to Russia. Putin ordered that he give up Mariupol, a city the size of Miami. Zelensky essentially said, “Nuts!” (Remember General McAuliffe’s reply in WWII.)

I can understand the reluctance of NATO and specifically the US, to challenge a ruthless, war criminal who threatens to use his supply of nuclear weapons. Three weeks after Putin invaded Ukraine, the aid going to Ukraine seems aimed at delaying the loss rather than defeating Putin. Instead, the leaders of the Free World should be aggressive, “Ukraine wins, Putin loses.”

The atrocities by Putin are unforgivable: killing women and children, forcing millions to leave the country, randomly destroying property, and ruining farmland.

Remember this Will Rogers quote, “Governments change, but the people remain the same.” Ukraine will still be there long after Putin is deposed. And Xi Jinping, the Communist dictator in China, had better remember that quote before he invades Taiwan. In 1949 the reason Chiang Kai-shek moved his government, the Army, and a lot of people to Formosa (now Taiwan) was they did not want to live under Mao Zedong’s Communist rule. They hated Communism. Those Chinese Nationalists thrived! And they still hate Communism.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“I would like to state to the readers of THE NEW YORK TIMES that I am in no way responsible for the editorial or political policy of this paper. I allow them free reign as to their opinion, so long as it is within the bounds of good subscription gathering. But I want it distinctly understood that their policy may be in direct contrast to mine.” DT #1979, Dec. 7, 1932

Two Years of COVID-19; Two Weeks of Putin’s War; State of the Union; and Ireland

It’s been two looonnngg years since March 12, 2020. Here are a few highlights from the “Weekly Comments” I wrote that day.

“In the last couple of weeks, the Dow Jones has dropped from 27,000 to 21,000 because of the China virus and our reactions to it. Everything is being cancelled or postponed. Businesses and college classes are online instead of face-to-face. People who are sick or have the virus are supposed to self-quarantine. NBA games are cancelled. The NHL, baseball spring training, and all NCAA basketball tournaments and all other sports being CANCELLED.

“Yes, these actions, including shutting down schools for a few weeks, make sense to slow down and tamp down the illnesses and deaths from the China virus. Let us not forget this started in China and became a pandemic because the Communist government avoided actions that could have contained the virus instead of letting it spread out of control.

“In January when the ‘medical professionals’ in the Trump administration became aware of the virus and started planning, where were the Democrats in Congress? They were concentrating on Impeachment. When Trump cut off all incoming travel from China, did they agree? No, they complained that Trump was being xenophobic against Chinese people.

“Let’s avoid crowds as much as possible. Wash our hands for 20 seconds. Use sanitizer. Don’t contaminate your older relatives. In case you have not noticed, farmers will continue to take care of their livestock, milk the cows twice a day, and prepare for spring planting.”

Ok, back to 2022. Last week we had 300 farmers and agricultural professionals at our annual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio. Many of the 70 presenters and panelists focused on practices to improve soil health, water quality and assist with climate change issues. The most interest this year was on speakers who helped answer the question, “How can I reduce the cost of raising a crop? Thanks to inflation, supply chain issues, and Putin’s war on Ukraine, our farmers are dealing with high prices for diesel fuel, plant protection chemicals, and animal feed. Fertilizer is two to three times higher. We had better pray they don’t cut back on these expensive inputs because we’ll need every bushel, pound, and gallon they can produce. The world will suffer shortages of the vast amounts of grain that farmers in Ukraine and Russia normally grow and export.

Do you realize our corn growers could help replace the banned crude oil from Russia? We’re all used to filling our gas tanks with fuel that is 10% ethanol. If President Biden would allow that to raise to 15% ethanol, we can grow enough corn for ethanol to replace the Russian oil. However, Biden is determined to create shortages and raise the price of gasoline and diesel so high we’ll all want to trade for an expensive Electric Vehicle. The joke’s on him because 60% of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels he wants to eliminate: coal and natural gas.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, President Zelensky, the former comedian turned statesman, is setting a defiant standard unseen since Churchill during World War II. While the rest of the world leaders are quivering at Putin’s threat to unleash nuclear weapons on Europe and the US, he is leading his over-matched citizens in standing tall against Putin’s evil invaders. When the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are opened, there should be only one. We hope and pray Zelensky lives long enough to accept it.

Here’s Will Rogers, 90 years ago, “People are taking their comedians [Zelensky?] seriously and politicians [Biden?] as a joke, when it used to be vice versa.” (Nov. 22, 1932)

The State of the Union speech last week fell flat. Instead of the President trying to tell 330 million Americans what shape we’re in, they should have reversed the process. They should have selected a dozen ordinary citizens from across the country and had them each speak for 5 minutes on the “State of the Union” as they see it. And President Biden, V-P Harris, the Cabinet, Congress, and top staff people would have to sit there, listen, and take notes.

St. Patrick’s Day is this week, a day celebrated by many Americans, even if they aren’t Irish. You probably know that Will Rogers was proud to be one-quarter Cherokee. He was also proud of his Irish heritage. In 1800, his great-grandfather, Robert Rogers, immigrated from Ireland to what is now West Virginia. In 1815, he married Lucy Cordery, who was one-half Cherokee. Interestingly, a small community in the middle of West Virginia, named Ireland, will celebrate all week, culminating with the arrival of Spring next Sunday at 11:33 a.m. EDT.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Ireland’s got ’em all beat for beauty, romance, humor and hospitality, and the best horses in the world.” DT #1450, March 17, 1931

“Ireland treats you more like a friend than a tourist.” DT #36, Sept. 8, 1926