Weekly Comments: Christmas Prayers. Will Rogers on Christmas Gifts.

On Christmas Eve, I’m sharing two prayers. The first is by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), the famous author from Scotland.

“Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

Second, is a Cherokee Prayer Blessing.

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Reeder family (photo). I’ll be back with you January 7.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers (Christmas)

“I am too busy replacing presents to write today. I bought some mechanical and electric things for the kids and wore ’em out playing with ’em myself.”  DT #120, Dec. 23, 1926

“Merry Christmas, my constant readers, both of you…. Men, act surprised this morning as if you didn’t know the tie was coming.”  DT #121, Dec. 24, 1926

“Well, tomorrow is “wish” day. Everybody is “wishing” somebody something, and I guess it’s just as well everybody don’t know what they are being “wished.” But, generally speaking, we do have good cheer in our hearts on Christmas. ‘Course, we can’t hardly wait till the day is over and to get back to our devilment again.” DT # 1379, Dec. 24, 1930

Weekly Comments: A 51st State with 20 Million People. Harvard Sticks with President Gay.  Hold Your Breath.

You probably agree with me that illegal immigration is a problem for the country. It may surprise you that, according to a recent poll, only five percent of Democrats see it as a problem. I guess that means the other 95% support President Biden’s immigration policy.

I heard Senator Kennedy of Louisiana report that 8.4 million people have arrived here illegally since Biden was elected President in 2020. Do 95% of Democrats realize that if illegal immigration continues for another Biden term, the total would be around 20 million? You may say, ‘Well, our population is over 330 million; what’s another 20 million? After all, the US Chamber of Commerce says we need more of them to fill open jobs.’

Think of 20 million in a different way. Suppose all 20 million settled in one area and formed the 51st state. Whoa. Not even liberal states want to give away enough space for 20 million. But imagine that it happened.

This new 51st state would be our 3rd largest, tied with New York. That would add two more Senators, likely Democrats, and about 25 new Representatives. Can you imagine 25 more members of Congress like Omar, Tlaib, Bowman, Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez?

We are learning more about some of our top private universities thanks to three of their presidents who did not know that “genocide” means mass-murder. One resigned, but Harvard president Claudine Gay still has her job thanks to unanimous support from the Board of Trustees and 700 professors. I guess they agree with her that whether genocide is bad depends on the context.

Who funds private universities? You might be surprised to learn that we do. Of course, we know that state-supported “public” colleges, just like public schools, receive federal and state tax dollars. But Harvard and most other private colleges depend heavily on our federal taxes. Students depend on federal grants and federal-guaranteed loans. Professors apply for federal grants for research. Income earned from investing their endowments is not taxed. Harvard has $50 Billion invested. Maybe they should pay a 10% tax on capital gains. (You and I pay 15 or 20%.)

Here’s more on the Harvard President. Dr. Gay, a professor in African-American Studies, was elevated to her prestigious position 6 months ago despite writing only 11 refereed journal articles. And five were partly plagiarized. I checked out one of the eleven articles, 48 pages long. Her research, likely with a million-dollar, 3-year federal grant, concluded that legislators generally vote in agreement with their voters regardless of the racial makeup of their district. Wow, who would have guessed that!

If Dr. Gay was not president of Harvard, with an annual budget of $6 Billion, is there any other university, business, non-profit, or other entity that would hire her as their CEO?  I have a friend who was president of a small public college who is better qualified to run Harvard than she is. You might say that Harvard was determined to hire a black woman as President. Did they recruit Condoleezza Rice? Was no one better qualified than Dr. Gay available?

Since President Gay and 700 professors who agree with her are still there, I suggest that Harvard students who want to escape the chaos and bigotry apply to High Point University in North Carolina. If they are lucky enough to get accepted, they can rest assured no one will be praising genocide.

To wrap up tonight, I heard of research by British scientists that is just as obvious as Dr. Gay’s that I cited above. These esteemed scientists say that global warming can be solved by reducing the CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the air. And here’s the way to do it: we have to stop breathing.

Their “research” kinda verifies what most of us learned in grade school. In simple terms, we breathe in air, remove oxygen, and exhale CO2. Remarkably, plants do the opposite. They absorb CO2 from the air, remove the C (which is stored in the plants and their roots), and “exhale” oxygen. Lucky for us.

Many scientists have been saying we need to plant more trees to solve the problem. These Brits take the opposite approach. Global Warming would be stopped cold if we could convince about three billion people to stop breathing. Any volunteers?

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“A college president’s work nowadays consists of thinking up new things for the students to play with that looks like studying.” DT #798, Feb. 15, 1929

Farmers. Global Warming. University Presidents on the Hot Seat

For my family and most folks, December is a time to wind down and celebrate Christmas.

For farmers and ranchers, this month is the beginning of the “meeting season.” I participated in two of them this week: the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and the Ohio No-till Conference.

Will Rogers joked about farm meetings in December 1925, “(President Coolidge) spoke before the (American) Farm Bureau. Farmers have more Associations, and Bureaus, and Clubs, than they have pitchforks… Farmers spend more time at Conventions than they do plowing.”

Personally, I’m in favor of them spending more time at meetings than they do plowing. At our Ohio No-till Conference, and others like it, we are helping farmers give up plowing. I wouldn’t say that farmers are hooked on plowing. But many have been plowing ever since a blacksmith in Illinois named John Deere attached a thin sheet of steel over a cast iron moldboard plow in 1837.

In the almost two hundred years since then, we have developed ways to plant seeds, and control weeds and other pests without plowing. In 1989, the company John Deere founded started selling drills to plant without plowing the ground. About the same time, Monsanto was developing Roundup to kill weeds, and then they genetically improved corn and soybeans so they would not be killed by the herbicide. Critics are trying to eliminate Roundup (glyphosate) and other chemicals over isolated health issues that modern farming depends on.

Other developments and practices have reduced soil erosion and allowed soil to store carbon that plants remove from the air. When that soil is plowed, the carbon oxidizes and returns to the air. Continuous no-till reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Therefore, the elimination of plowing and other tillage reduces global warming.

And that brings us to the annual Climate Change Convention in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It is sponsored by the United Nations. Ironically, almost 100,000 official delegates flew to the UAE, an oil producing country, to complain about fossil fuels. John Kerry, our Energy Czar, flew on a private plane. He made a speech where he said we have to stop burning coal to generate electricity because it’s killing people. Since coal is the source of 40% of the electricity in the world, Kerry’s plan would result in millions of people freezing to death. In the dark!

A panel of experts at the conference concluded that climate change is causing malnutrition and starvation. Well, these “experts” must know that the climate has been changing for thousands of years. And I bet a higher percentage of the world’s population was starving or undernourished years ago than today. And if they are referring to “global warming” as a death threat, they need to realize that “global cooling” is ten times worse for food production. It’s hard to grow crops if you get killing frosts during summer.

Speaking of heat, the presidents of three of our most elite universities, Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, got in hot water when Congress grilled them about pro-Hamas demonstrations on their campuses. When Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York asked if students shouting support for genocide of Jews violates their policy for student behavior, they said, “it depends on context.” Perhaps the Congresswoman should have asked a follow up, “What if they called for genocide of all Black people?” Or if they demonstrated for genocide of all university presidents?

One of those presidents has resigned, and the other two should follow her lead. Other university presidents should consider how Jewish and other minority students are viewed and treated on campus.

A main source of this hatred of Jews are a few liberal-leaning faculty. It seems that several universities have policies that are liberal (generous) toward everyone except Jews and conservatives. If university departments dominated by left-leaning faculty who seem to worship DEI want to support Diversity, then no liberal professors should be hired until half of the faculty are moderate or conservative. And it wouldn’t hurt if a few of the new faculty grew up in rural areas or at least understand that farmers and ranchers around the world are growing crops and livestock more efficiently and economically than ever before. A key to increasing food production through mechanization and technology is the use of abundant, affordable fuel. Including coal.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“You know it’s been said that when you graduate from Harvard or Yale it takes the next 10 years to live it down, and the next 40 to try to forget it.” WA #160, Jan. 3, 1926

Costly Immigrants, Perplexing Protesters, and Losing Our Heroes.

Congress reported last week that the cost to taxpayers is $451,000,000,000 per year to provide housing, food, and health services for illegal immigrants. No wonder the mayors of New York, Chicago and other cities are complaining about having to layoff police, teachers, and other providers of essential services to balance their budgets.

Think about that number for a while: $451 Billion. Do you remember when Congress refused to provide President Trump $25 Billion to “build a wall?” He somehow scrounged $15 Billion and built about 450 miles of a 30-foot wall.

Today, based on the cost of the completed portion, the total cost to finish the 1954 miles along the border with Mexico, where feasible, would be at least $100 Billion. If taxpayers were allowed to vote on this issue, they would surely favor finishing a secure border wall over spending almost half a Trillion a year to deal with illegal immigrants.

The stupidity of the rabid pro-Palestine protesters is baffling. And perplexing. Are they demanding that Hamas release the remaining 150 hostages? Are they demanding that Hamas terrorists surrender so the citizens of Gaza can live in peace with their neighbors? No. In fact, they never mention the hostages. Instead, they demand the elimination of Israel as they shout, “From the river to the sea.” (That means Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.)

How did young people in America get through school without learning about Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews? Don’t they know that the United Nations, in 1948, carved out a small slice of the Middle East to restore the ancient homeland of the Jews? The Land of Israel has been their home for 4000 years.

We keep losing our American heroes. Henry Kissinger died at 100. He was the Secretary of State for President Nixon and advised every president since. I bet the protestors don’t know that he was born in Germany, and came to the United States in 1938 as a Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi persecution.

The first woman on the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, died this week at 93. She was a real cowgirl, growing up on an isolated ranch in Arizona. When she graduated from Stanford University with a Law degree in 1952, no law firm would hire her because she was a woman. Twenty-nine years later, she was a Supreme Court Justice.

Another prominent person who died last week was Charlie Munger, at 99. He was Warren Buffett’s partner in Berkshire Hathaway as they built the company to one of the largest in the world. Did he and Warren make brilliant investment decisions? Suppose you had bought one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1973 for $80. Fifty years later, your one share is worth $540,000.

To show how smart I was, about that time I bought stock in Sears.