Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, February 13, 2005
ISSUE #355
A special welcome this week to folks signing on by way of WHAWradio.com. You may be listening to WHAW over the internet from anywhere in the world, but it’s located right here where I am reporting from today.

Valentine’s Day brings change, cards and chocolate

# 355, February 13, 2005

WESTON, WV: Valentine’s Day is upon us, and it just shows you how things change. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s “I” wrote about two million words for the newspapers, and not a single mention of Valentines Day. In those days, February 14 came and went with nary a mention. Then along came the florists, the chocolate purveyors and card manufacturers, and they said, “Ain’t there something we can celebrate between Christmas and Mother’s Day?”

So you see, St. Valentine’s Day was there all along but it took Hallmark and Hershey to put it on the calendar.

This county here in the middle of West Virginia is having an election next Saturday, to vote on a school tax. They have passed the same tax every time since 1950, so folks are naturally optimistic. You know, when you educate ’em right over fifty odd years, why they tend to see some advantage of keeping a good thing going. Of course the schools ain’t perfect, nobody claims they are, but it sure beats doing without ’em. So go ahead and vote, even if nobody aims to shoot you.

In Iraq they say 58 percent voted. In a school district just outside of Columbus, Ohio, last week they held a levy election so the schools wouldn’t close; only 30 percent voted, and it failed. Now the schools won’t exactly close, but they will shut down every day about 3 o’clock because they have to cancel all the sports, bands, clubs, and other extra activities. You just watch, when the 70 percent that was too inconvenienced to vote comes face to face every afternoon with that hoard of teenagers and young children roaming through the neighborhood with nothing to do but get into devilment, they’ll be begging for a new election.

President Bush is still out roaming the country, selling his Social Security plan to the Republicans. Democrats don’t matter to the President because they like Social Security just the way things are going. If there’s nothing left in forty years it won’t matter to a Democrat because the way things are going, in forty years there won’t be any of us Democrats left either.

Senator Graham has proposed a compromise plan, and it’s got some mighty good points. But I want to take his plan and make it downright foolproof, and here’s the way we do it. Like Sen. Graham, we raise the salary they collect on… right now it’s about $90,000… but for every ten thousand dollars it goes up, we add a year to the retirement age. I ain’t thought it all through yet, but I think it can work.

And I haven’t forgot about the President. In my plan, young workers don’t pay into Social Security till they reach 25. Now it’s still collected, but it goes into one of those Bush private accounts, every penny. That way our young folks get a taste of saving and investing, and since they don’t make a great deal at that age, it won’t deprive the Social Security system of much more than pocket change.

Since these young folks are beginning to understand they may have to work till 75 or 80 before they retire, why, they might decide to stay in school and skip work entirely till they hit 25.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on February 13 or14)

“The world’s mind is on romance. It’s Annie [Morrow] and Lindy that our minds are on today. What do we care if Hoover catches a whale? Or Coolidge shoots a bear? It’s our boy and that fine girl we are thinking of tonight, a great girl from a fine, wholesome family. That boy Lindbergh was just born to use good judgment.” DT# 796, Feb. 13, 1929 [They had just announced their engagement on Feb. 12]

“So that Nicaragua can have a fair election next Fall, why, we have the Marines on horseback down there now watching the voters. It’s a great idea for Nicaragua, but we haven’t got enough Marines and enough horses to even patrol the Pennsylvania and Illinois precincts.” DT #485, Feb. 14, 1928


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