Sanctuary City Refuses to Provide Sanctuary. Inflation Causes Strikes. State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth.

Our problems caused by over 2,000,000 illegal immigrants in the last year have reached all the way to the border of Massachusetts. Up to now Texas, Arizona, and Florida bore the lion’s share of the problems. Suddenly, when 50 illegal immigrants landed in Martha’s Vineyard, a proud sanctuary city, the city leaders were shocked that no one told them ahead of time about their arrival. A Texas mayor responded, “Fifty? No one tells us when five THOUSAND are wading across the river.”

A couple of national networks were outraged at this News. Not about the 5000, but about the 50.

The liberal, immigrant-loving residents of Martha’s Vineyard decided that 10 hours was long enough for those 50 immigrants to tour their lovely island. Afterall, the hundreds of empty bedrooms in their summer mansions are unsuitable for an overnight stay by folks from Venezuela and Guatemala. They politely asked the Governor to activate 150 National Guard troops to ferry the 50 off to an alternative beautiful seaside spot, specifically the Joint Military Base at Cape Cod.

This swift action in Massachusetts begs the question: If it takes 3 troops to handle 1 illegal immigrant there, should we have had 6 million along our Mexican border to handle 2 million? And if there had been 6 million troops patrolling there (I know, that’s impossible.) would any of those 2 million have gotten across the border? Of course, President Biden won’t even let six officers (on horseback) stop ‘em, let alone six million.

Oddly, Vice-President Kamala Harris, the Border Czar, knows nothing about the crisis. She proclaimed on NBC’s Meet the Press that “The border is secure.” Chuck Todd should have followed up, “Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the immigration problem is caused by President Trump. Are you blaming Trump because he did not finish 1954 miles of border wall?”

Inflation continued to stay above 8% last month. If that isn’t painful enough, it is causing labor strikes and demands to organize unions. Most workers have been happy for years with modest wage and salary increases because inflation was around 2%. But with inflation above 8%, and no expectation of prices going down without a Recession, the labor market is in turmoil.

The railway workers strike was averted at the last minute. Apparently, locomotive engineers and other union members will receive an immediate 14% increase in wages. Since that’s well above the inflation rate, we can expect higher prices for anything shipped by rail. For example, coal (for electricity), windmill blades and towers (for electricity), automobiles, and crude oil (because many pipelines are waiting for approval).

Kroger workers are threatening a strike. Kroger is the largest grocery store chain and the threat is causing store shelves to empty. So, at the start of Covid, it wasn’t such a stupid decision to buy a 10-year supply of toilet paper.

If you are reading this soon after I post it, you can get a short nap before TV coverage of the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II begins at 4:00 a.m. ET. There will never be another leader like her.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The argument that New England has got to settle in order to pacify the rest of America is, ‘Why were they allowed to land anywhere?’ I am sure that it was only the extreme generosity of the Indians that allowed the Pilgrims to land.  Suppose we reversed the case.  Do you reckon the Pilgrims would have ever let the Indians land?  Yeah, what a chance!  What a chance!” Radio, April 14, 1935

“There is two things that a dumb guy knows as much about as a smart one, and that’s art and inflation.” DT #2114, May 14, 1933

Remembering 9/11/2001. Honoring Queen Elizabeth. Recalling the deaths of 3 Prominent People 25 Years ago. 

Today we remember the tragedy inflicted on us by Osama bin Laden. Our newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, summarized the news from Sept. 11, 2001, “Nearly 3000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida hijackers seized control of four jetliners, sending two of the planes into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania.”

I would add that the fourth plane was aiming for the Capitol Building but brave passengers organized and attacked the hijackers causing the plane to crash near Shanksville. Recall the words of Todd Beamer, ‘Let’s roll.’

Queen Elizabeth died last week, at 96. Her reign as Queen lasted 70 years, beginning when Harry Truman was our President.  No Queen (or King) will ever serve longer, or more honorably.

While we mourn the death (or more accurately, celebrate the life) of Queen Elizabeth, let me go back 25 years to my second, third, and fourth “Weekly Comments.” First, Princess Diana died in a car wreck: “Wasn’t it terrible what happened to that princess. Perhaps no person has been so loved by everyone around the world as Diana. Out of six billion, it seems the only person who did not love her was Charles.”

The next week Mother Teresa died: “We lost two of our favorite humanitarians in six days. Sister Teresa lived a long life, rich in every way except in dollars. Princess Diana had a rich life, ended tragically at a young age. I can offer no improvement in the way the Catholic church selects their sisters, but I do suggest that all future princesses be selected from the ranks of kindergarten teachers.”

Then in mid-September, Cavett Robert died. You may not recognize the name, but as I wrote in 1997, “Among professional speakers [Cavett’s death] is important because he founded the National Speakers Association. He was born in 1907 and was educated as a lawyer. He didn’t give his first paid speech until he was 61.”

In case you’re concerned that back then I only wrote about prominent people dying, I assure you that politics, sports and other interesting events soon dominated Weekly Comments.

The Will Rogers quotes I included 25 years ago apply today to Queen Elizabeth. Also, to the First Responders and other heroes who lost their lives 21 years ago today.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“It’s only the inspiration of those who die that makes those who live realize what constitutes a useful life.” DT# 2056, March 7, 1933

“Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you’re ahead.” WA #445, July 5, 1931

Mr. Biden Goes to Philly. Education Issues. California Unplugged. 

President Biden traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday to give a speech in front of Independence Hall. Most people who watched on television probably wanted to hear what he plans to do about high prices for food, gasoline, rent, college tuition and other necessities. Maybe touch on a solution to massive illegal immigration and the fentanyl crisis. Also, crime in our cities, including Philadelphia.

But he never got around to talking about those important issues. Instead, he launched into a fiery speech criticizing the 70 million “semi-fascists and extreme MAGAs” who voted for Trump in 2020. He seems opposed to the idea of making America great.

Now whether that’s a good strategy for Democrats in the November election, I’ve got my doubts. Do voters, even stanch Democrats, think inflation at 8% is better than 2%? Does $4.50 a gallon gasoline make your SUV run better than $2.50 gas? Do they want to keep parents from influencing their kids’ schools?

You may be surprised how many people like the idea of 2 million illegal immigrants a year wading across the Rio Grande. (For $5000 you would think the travel agent (Mexican Cartel) would at least provide a rowboat.) Even the Chamber of Commerce appreciates having more workers to fill the 11 million open jobs. Maybe it’s necessary since our life expectancy dropped by 3 years since 2019. After all, most of those illegal immigrants are strong young men. If we could only find a way to expel the drug dealers and gang members and keep those eager to work. On the other hand, there’s probably more people who want to shut down illegal immigration by completing a 30-ft wall.

The President criticized Republicans for wanting to take the country back to an earlier time. But I’m guessing that many of the 80 million who voted for Biden would prefer 2019 conditions over 2022.

The $10,000 gift President Biden announced for those who have not repaid their student loans is hotly debated. Senator Elizabeth Warren was on MSNBC praising the decision. You may remember she wanted $50,000 written off, not a piddlin’ $10,000. As she and the host discussed why this is such a great idea, she kept referring to the poor, hardworking baristas at Starbucks. That puzzled me. Why would anyone who borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to get a college education wind up in a job paying little more than minimum wage? Didn’t their college education prepare them for a career more substantial than one serving coffee? I think Sen. Warren should be encouraging those Starbucks baristas (and others with low-paying degrees) to sue their university for the $10,000 instead of begging the rest of us to pay for it.

In other education news, test scores dropped for third graders in math and reading. Many in Washington are bragging that this tidbit of bad news is offset by the fact that, compared to ten years ago, they are vastly more educated about pronouns, racial differences, and sex change options.

California provided us another example of why it’s called “the state of fruits and nuts.” (And I’m not referring to delicious oranges and almonds.) A state agency run by environmental bureaucrats announced that in 13 years, 100% of vehicles bought must be electric (currently only 12%). The next day, Governor Newsome asked the owners of EVs to avoid charging their vehicles because it’s hot. Since it’s highly doubtful by 2035 you can “fill up” an EV when it gets hot in Southern California (which only happens about 300 days a year) it would be wise to buy back-up transportation. Maybe a horse. Of course, a horse needs water, which could also be cut off.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “The Democrats are better denouncers than the Republicans, for there has been so much more of the time that they have had practice at it. Denouncing is not only an art with the Democrats but it’s a profession.” WA #657, July 28, 1935

“The only salvation I can see for the young is to increase the college term to an additional four years… You’ll say, ‘Well, what could they learn in another four years?’ Well, there must be some little something about making a living that they haven’t learned yet, and they could kind of work on that for the next four years.” Radio, June 2, 1935

25 Years of Weekly Comments.  Starting Year 26.

25 years ago, August 22, 1997, I wrote my first “Weekly Comments.” My goal has always been to write in the style and philosophy of Will Rogers. Of course, it’s impossible to duplicate Will.

Weekly Comments #1 was emailed to 6 people. In 25 years, I’ve only lost 3 of ‘em.  Here’s #1:

“That UPS strike was settled just in time. They got a rush order to haul 25 million pounds of raw hamburger back to Columbus, Nebraska. Seems odd that in a country with millions of people going to bed hungry they couldn’t find enough poor folks that would swear not to eat any of it raw, if we just allowed ‘em to take home enough for a few meals.

“If those trucks slow down as they pass through Lincoln, the Cornhusker football players may hijack a few million pounds just for a midnight snack.

“Now that UPS drivers are delivering new textbooks to schools on time, the teachers are reconsidering whether they want to work at current salaries. I understand they have a new goal — to make as much as the truckers. I asked my UPS delivery man about that today and he said he can understand their view. He said, ‘I sure felt teachers were underpaid before I quit teaching.’”

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

          “A person learns in two ways: one is reading, the other is associating with smarter people.” WA #147, Oct. 4, 1925

 Starting Year 26, Weekly Comments #1124…

Today, August 21, 2022, you have plenty of good, healthy hamburger to choose from. The only shortage may be finding enough cash to buy it with.

In the Southwest (mainly California, Nevada and Arizona), the “shortage” they’re concerned about isn’t cash and it isn’t hamburger.  They are running out of water. Yes, water. Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam) is so low the organized crime syndicates in Las Vegas are worried; every few days another skeleton appears on the dry lakebed. With DNA identification, the perpetrators could be tracked down. A hit man might say, “Boss, I swear I dumped him where the water was at least 150 feet deep.” Well, the lake is down about 170 feet. (Recent storms only added a foot or two.)

Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which is farther upstream on the Colorado River, are at about 25% of capacity. Together they provide water for 40 million people and electricity for 6 million. If the water level drops a few more feet, it will be below the inlets for the turbines. Meaning no electricity generated.

The new “Inflation Reduction Act” won’t provide any water, but it might help keep the lights on. Do you think a hundred Billion dollars’ worth of solar and wind generation can be constructed in a year? Only risk is, all the Electric Vehicles being sold with huge tax credits might use up the additional solar and wind energy, with none left over to replace the hydropower from the dried-up dams.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Water ain’t gold in the West, water is diamonds and platinum.” WA #562, Oct. 1, 1933

        “Don’t miss seeing the building of Boulder Dam. It’s the biggest thing that’s ever been done with water since Noah made the flood look foolish. You know how big the Grand Canyon is. Well, they just stop up one end of it and make the water come out through a drinking fountain… It’s called the ‘Hoover Dam’ now. The dam is entirely between Nevada and Arizona. All California gets out of it is the water.” DT #1900, Sept. 6, 1932

Weekly Comments (early edition): California vs. Florida

California Governor Newsom launched a TV ad a few weeks ago inviting people in Florida to move to California. So far, no one has accepted Newsom’s invitation, even with the free use of a U-Haul.

Naturally, Florida Governor DeSantis had to respond with his own TV ad showcasing the advantages of Florida over California.

You may wonder if such a little “tug of war” between these two states has ever occurred. Well, Will Rogers provided a mock debate 96 years ago, in an article, over 5000 words, for the Saturday Evening Post, May 29, 1926. Here is a small sample of that Florida vs. California “debate.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“A Debate Held Before the Prevaricators’ Club of America between: Florida in This Corner and California in This Corner. Both are Members of the Club.

FLA.: Florida passed a law whereby state income tax was free here.

CAL.: We in California make no appeal to tax dodgers. If a man is not patriotic enough to help maintain the state in which he resides, we don’t want him in California.

FLA.: Florida is the second largest state east of the Mississippi.

CAL.: Say, what do we care about east of the Mississippi? Why don’t you come out west of the Mississippi, where states are states and men marry governors?

FLA.: We have 3,000,000 acres of Everglades, and when they are drained they will support 3,000,000 people.

CAL.: California has 20,000,000 acres of mountains, and when they are leveled out they will support the whole of India, with the Chinese nation invited as weekend guests. I know you may ask, ‘Who is going to flatten the mountains?’ Why, the same fellow that drains the Everglades… They can’t drain their Everglades, as there is nowhere to put the water. If they drain them into the ocean, why, that will raise the ocean higher than the land.

FLA.: Lots of people think that Florida is low, but we have a point in Highlands County which is some 310 feet high.

CAL.: Why, Florida is so low it’s the only country in the world where you have to climb a ladder to get into the ocean.

FLA.: We have $15,000,000 worth of fish in the waters bordering on Florida.

CAL.: Of course, they don’t say they have SOLD these 15,000,000, but they have them there in case some buyer comes along and wants $15,000,000 worth of uncaught fish.

FLA.: We are known for our oranges.

CAL.: I will admit there is a bootleg variety of orange that thrives up to the size of a green plum on the banks of your swamps; but as for being called an orange, that is only done, of course, through a sense of humor. We take Florida oranges to California, dry them and use them for golf balls. As for taste, they resemble the green persimmon.

FLA.: Our oranges alone in 1924 brought us in $15,000,000.

CAL.: That would just about pay for the labels on the ones we shipped.”

Will Rogers closed the “debate” with an “interrupter” who insisted that neither Florida nor California were top states. The interrupter proceeded to explain that the top state was in fact… Oklahoma.

(I’m sending this early because this weekend I will be in… Oklahoma. The folks in Claremore and Oologah always have a special day of remembrance, honoring Will Rogers and (pilot) Wiley Post who died Aug. 15, 1935, when their plane lost engine power and crashed at Point Barrow, Alaska. The main event is a “Fly-In” on Saturday morning when about a hundred small planes will land on a grass strip at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch at Oologah. Because it will be really hot, my Wiley Post (Carl Potter) decided we should drive instead of fly, for safety.)

Correction in last weeks comments: The Feds plan to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, not 180,000. This still doubles the current number. Surprisingly, they will be armed. So, if Republicans take over, those 87,000 could be reassigned to Border Patrol.

China threatening Taiwan; Inflation Reduction; and the IRS

Thanks to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, we are learning more about the true intentions of the Communist Party in mainland China. They intend to take over Taiwan, as they did with Hong Kong. If they succeed, would Singapore be next? Or South Korea? Or even an old enemy, Japan?

Why do the Communists want Taiwan?  But 24 million people in Taiwan never want to be part of China. Before, during and after World War II, Communists slowly took control of mainland China, murdering millions in the process. The existing leaders, under Chiang Kai-shek, moved the government to Formosa (now Taiwan) in 1949. They escaped Communism. So why, 73 productive years later, would Taiwan citizens want to go under Communist rule? The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is $34,000 per person compared to only $12,000 for a person in China. (Singapore’s GDP is 6 times China’s; the GDP of South Korea and Japan is similar to Taiwan’s, and Hong Kong’s GDP, considered separately, is 4 times greater per person than the China average.)

Why does the future of Taiwan matter to us? One word: CHIPS. As in advanced semiconductor chip manufacturing. Of course, that’s not the only reason. But Taiwan accounts for more than 90% of the world’s most advanced chip manufacturing according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. The SIA report continues, “While potential loss of life is the biggest worry, it’s hard to overstate the importance of Taiwan to the U.S. and the global tech landscape. Most of the advanced chips required for military defense systems and corporate computing services are made in Taiwan.” We are already short of chips for ordinary items: automobiles, trucks, farm tractors, and kitchen appliances.

Somebody had better inform the President. No matter how many millions he and Hunter might lose of their Communist China investments, we need to support Taiwan 100%. And do it immediately. If China takes over Taiwan it will be a horrible disruption of global business. And similar to Ukraine, we hate to let a “free” friendly country be taken over by Communists.

Today, Democrat Senators passed the $700 Billion inflationary “Inflation Reduction Act,” thanks to a tie-breaking vote by VP Kamala Harris. The House Democrats will pass it in a few days and President Biden will immediately sign it. The Act has several items in it, so each Democrat can find one or two to brag about and every Republican can identify several to complain about. Unless I missed it, there is nothing in the bill to increase production of oil and gas (to reduce energy costs), or relax regulations that could allow twice as many trucks access to California ports (reducing supply chain problems) and allow pilots older than 65 (to help reduce cancelled flights). Or sourcing raw materials for EV batteries from here or friendly countries instead of China.

One item got my attention. The bill includes hiring 180,000 new IRS agents, doubling the current number. The IRS will receive a million applications, mostly from unemployed grads from expensive universities with student loans of at least $150,000. The main requirement for IRS agents is knowing how to add and subtract on a calculator. The IRS has limited office space available, so most applicants are hoping they will get a new computer and can work from their home (or more likely their parents’ home).

The President claims no one making under $400,000 will be affected. My rough calculation indicates that each IRS agent will have about 15 tax returns over $400,000 to audit. Even if the number is 20 or 25, how long will that take? My guess is that after finishing those audits in a couple of months, the agents will spend the rest of the year auditing those of us with lower incomes.

The jobs report for July was great: 520,000 new jobs filled. The government was expecting only 150,000. They were shocked that 370,000 people had to go back to work to buy food, gas and school supplies. I guess those 370,000 aren’t convinced the new “Inflation Reduction Act” will reduce inflation any time soon. And a call from one of those IRS agents could quickly inflate their tax bill.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If you know your Chinese, there is quite a big communistic hold in certain parts of China. The influence is growing rapidly.” WA #520, Dec. 11, 1932

“My old friend Arthur Brisbane accused me good-naturedly of being worried over this ‘inflation.’ I wasn’t worried. I was just ‘confused.’ There is quite a difference. When you are worried you know what you are worried about, but when you are ‘confused’ it’s when you don’t know enough about a thing to be worried.” DT #2096, April 23, 1933

Redefining Recession. Congress Adding Pork.

When is a Recession not a Recession? When President Biden says it is a “Transition.” I guess we have to wait for a third straight quarter of declining GDP (gross domestic product), which will be reported a week or two before the November election. I wonder how they would define a Depression.

Only in Congress can a bill that will increase inflation be called the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has been hammering two fellow Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, for more than a year over their refusal to increase spending and raise taxes.

Last week Manchin caved. He claims that forcing companies that make a Billion or more to pay at least 15% of it to the Federal Government is not a tax increase. The government expects to collect $300 Billion more in taxes, but it’s not a tax hike. Really? If Sinema also gives in to Schumer, you may be surprised how many companies over the Billion-dollar threshold will cut production, lay-off employees, or split assets to get corporate income below a Billion. Or move the whole company to Mexico… or China.

Maybe Manchin can justify his change of view by saying the original bill promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders was for 6 Trillion dollars, and he whittled it down to less than one Trillion. Manchin might even claim he saved $5 Trillion! But why vote to spend even one Trillion? As Will Rogers wrote on Nov. 22, 1929, Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.”

Do West Virginians and other Americans want deregulations and funding for energy? Yes! Increase the supply. And the Schumer-Manchin bill has more money for energy. However, instead of help to increase refining capacity, drill more wells and construct pipelines, the bill increases subsidies for buying expensive electric vehicles and invests billions in solar and wind. As Will Rogers wrote about US Senators on May 29, 1928, We pay for wisdom and we get wind.”

Another new bill, promoted to help manufacturers of semiconductor computer chips move their manufacturing back to the US, has $60 Billion for chips, and $220 Billion for other stuff. And that extra $220 Billion will not produce one more chip! The “Farm Bill” has only 20% that benefits farmers. (Most of the 80% is for food stamps, known today as SNAP.) A bill to provide health care to veterans who suffered from breathing toxic smoke around burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan is held up because Senators piled Billions of unrelated spending onto it.

Can you imagine shopping at your local grocery store and have this happen? You put some milk, bread, apples, potatoes, roast beef and bacon in your cart. Total cost: $40. But at checkout, you are informed that you must also buy a few additional items: oysters, White Stilton Gold cheese, a bottle of fine French wine, two romance novels, and a New Yorker magazine. New total cost: $155. Yes, that’s outrageous. So, be glad your local grocer is Kroger, Walmart or Piggly Wiggly, and not one run by Congress.

President Biden is back home, alone in his basement, because of a rebound back to Covid. Let’s hope he recovers completely. He is taking advantage of the seclusion to mentally prepare for a 2024 rerun of his 2020 campaign.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics” WA # 31, July 15, 1923

“This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.” DT #1948, Nov. 1, 1932

“You know I like to make little jokes and kid about the Senators. They are a kind of a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement. But the Rascals, when you meet ’em face to face and know ’em, they are mighty nice fellows.” WA #345, Aug. 4, 1929

Mayorkas Makes News. Congress Passes Urgent Bills.

Breaking News from the Mexican border: “There are smugglers that operate on the Mexican side of the border.” This breaking news was revealed by the Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas during a speech last Tuesday.

Wow! With over 2 million people from 160 countries crossing illegally in a year, who would have guessed smugglers are helping them? I wish a reporter had asked, “Mr. Secretary, do you suppose the smugglers are charging for their services? If so, can you speculate on how much they charge? Are Cartels doing the smuggling? Are the Cartels also smuggling Fentanyl?”

Mayorkas added another piece of great news, “The border is secure. We are working to make the border more secure.” That may surprise ranchers and residents in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona who have been dealing with “insecurity” ever since he took over. The Mayors of New York City and Washington are just now aware and complaining about immigrants. Actually, these illegal immigrants are being flown and bussed to many states, and being housed and cared for with our tax dollars.

Mayorkas also stated frustration with Republicans who object to giving citizenship to the 15 to 25 million people already here illegally. Although he didn’t say it exactly this way, he implied that if Congress would pass legislation giving citizenship to everyone here currently, that illegal immigration across the southern border would stop immediately. Is that absurd, or what? He complained, “I take issue with Congress holding the (border) solution hostage until the (citizenship) problem is resolved.”

You may be wondering, where along the Rio Grande River did he make these newsworthy revelations? Maybe Del Rio? Eagle Pass? El Paso? No, Mayorkas was not in any town along the river. He was in Aspen. Yes, high in the luxury of the Colorado Rockies. Where his only contact with an immigrant might be the one who refilled his coffee cup, or the housekeeper who cleaned his room.

Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi has Congress feverishly working on URGENT legislation. They passed an essential bill that says men can marry men and women can marry women. Interracial marriage is in there, too.

Since they are on a roll, what legislation will be next? Maybe on Tuesday they will consider a bill to make contraceptives legal in all 50 states. Then on Wednesday, a bill will guarantee that all students, regardless of race, can attend their local public schools. (However, there is no guarantee the students will learn how to read, write, and do math.)

On Thursday, they have a comprehensive bill that gives the right to vote to any citizen aged 18 or older, including Blacks, women, and Native Americans (Indians and Eskimos).

On Friday, well on Friday, they will be so exhausted from passing historic bills they can only utter brief praise for the January 6 Committee.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Didn’t we pass an immigration law to even keep people out of our country? Well, that was all right. It was a good law. It’s our country and we got a right to say who all come in.” WA #223, March 20, 1927

“Did you ever figure it out? (Congress) is the only people in the world that are paid to do one job and do every other one there is but that.” DT #519, March 26, 1928

Randall Reeder
(For the record, if this column seems unhinged, blame it on Covid. Mild case. Tested negative on Friday. I hope President Biden recovers as quickly, and with no brain damage.)

Lower Gas Prices, Higher Temps, More Wildlife, and Great Speakers. Bonus: The Oak Ridge Boys

President Biden is more persuasive that we thought. He implored your local gas station owners to lower the price. And they did. They cut their average 5-cents a gallon profit by 95 cents.

While most Americans are concerned about the economy, inflation at 9%, and high prices for food and fuel, President Biden’s main issue is climate change. Regardless of the effect on the lives of average Americans, he is determined to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 to half the level they were in 2005.

The President does not have a majority of votes in Congress to adopt dramatic changes, so Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island is demanding he use Executive actions to cut fuel use. Yes, he is from a state where you could bicycle from one side to the other, eat lunch, and get back home before dark. This winter, I guess he’ll shut off the fuel oil furnace and burn wood instead.

Texas and California have already experienced rolling blackouts when air-conditioners are running at full throttle. Manufacturers have to cut back production in favor of residential comfort. Wind and solar energy are weather dependent. On extremely hot days the wind does not blow as much. And it is still hot at sundown. The usual “backup” generators are not available. Operating a gas-powered power plant at less than half capacity is not economical so they go out of business.

I’ll keep repeating a key point until someone in charge recognizes it: the federal agency responsible for anticipating changes in energy use (the EIA), says that in 2050 we will use slightly more oil and gas than today. Solar and wind, while increasing rapidly, will only be the third most used energy source in 2050. So please stop demanding we shut down the amazingly efficient and productive energy sources that have kept this country at the top of the global economy and provide for our national security.

Do you have any endangered wildlife on your land? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided it’s necessary to protect the habitat not only where these rare animals are, but where they might want to move to in the future. They may have spent their entire existence in California, but they may decide Texas is more habitable. This places limits on farming and ranching and drilling. In western Oklahoma the lesser prairie-chicken (grouse) is endangered. Old-time ranchers who say they have never seen one on their fields are still regulated. Concerning oil drilling, when the Alaska Pipeline was planned the environmentalist were scared it would cut the population of caribou. But the caribou love standing under or next to the raised sections because they get warmth from the flowing crude oil.

Last week, Saturday to Monday, I was in Nashville for the annual conference of the National Speakers Association, called Influence. We had a lot of younger, lesser-known high-energy presenters on the main stage. Plus, a few “seasoned veterans” shared their wisdom about the speaking business (which, I’m reminded, is really the “meetings business”).  A huge highlight was a performance by The Oak Ridge Boys. (I got terrific photos, and a short video of “Elvira.”)

If you have followed me for a while, you know my favorite group of professional speakers is the “Tall Women.” I have been their “official photographer” since 1996. To be in this exclusive fun group, you have to be at least 6 feet tall. This year we missed the founder of the group. Jeanne Robertson, 6’2”, former Miss North Carolina, passed away last August, while preparing at home for another theater show (she had 55 booked). By the way, if you want to listen to great humor, look her up on YouTube. If you want to buy a CD or DVD, go to:  www.storejeannerobertson.com.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“I think we put too much emphasis and importance on our so-called High standard of living.  I think that ‘high’ is the only word in that phrase that is really correct.  We sure are a-living High. Our Children are delivered to the schools in Automobiles.  But whether that adds to their grades is doubtful….  It’s also a question what we can convert these 4 billion filling Stations into in years to come.  But it ain’t my business to do you folks’ worrying for you.” Saturday Evening Post, June 2, 1928 

“You always learn something. I know now why they call ’em ‘After Dinner Speeches.’ That’s because they can’t be made during a meal. I thought you could talk anytime, but you can’t. You got to get ’em full first. In fact, the best way to do it is to get ’em so full that they have to stay and listen. They can’t get out.” WA #224, March 27, 1927

From 246 Years of American Independence to Threats of a Liberal World Order

President Biden told us why we are paying record prices for gasoline and diesel. It’s because we support Ukraine. What? And he added another reason: individual gas station owners are overcharging.

Here’s the real reason: the Biden Administration is doing everything in its power to cut the supply. Eliminating most leases on public lands (and charging more for them), adding extreme regulations on proposed pipelines, and almost prohibiting drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. Yes, they are allowing an insignificant 11 well sites in the Atlantic. The drillers may have to work around the thousands of windmills being installed from North Carolina to Maine. Federal regulators are determined to keep big banks from lending money for drilling anywhere.

The President’s chief economic adviser, Brian Deese, stated bluntly that we’ll have to keep paying record high prices for gasoline and diesel to support the “future of the liberal world order.” Deese is an economist? I guessed he graduated from Peking University. (His Ph.D. is actually from Yale. So, I was pretty close.)

I’m guessing China’s President-for-Life, Xi Jinping, and the entire leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is happy with Deese’s admission. Xi is thinking, “With the USA taking a back seat, as soon as this liberal world order is established, we can order the world to do whatever we want.”

Back to Ukraine. Our financial support adds up to a lot of (borrowed) money. Our goal should not be to simply support Ukraine ‘as long as it takes.’ Our goal, supported by all NATO countries, should be to defeat Putin and return all Ukraine territory to Ukraine. Putin is targeting civilians in apartment buildings and shopping centers. We and European nations should give Ukraine enough firepower to overwhelm and destroy the Russian military. The invasion started 129 days ago!

Tomorrow is Independence Day. You might be interested to learn that on July 4th, 55 years ago, I lost my independence, kinda, with a marriage proposal. As a family, including 2 kids, we learned that true independence comes from being dependent on each other. And being dependable.

I just heard that supplies for your local Fireworks show cost 35% more this year. Don’t be surprised if the one in your town tomorrow night ends early. Or your “fireworks” may be a show put on with hundreds of drones flying in patriotic formations.

The big fireworks on our National Mall that’s on network television may also be shorter. But they interrupt it so much you may not notice any difference. For 20 to 30 minutes, I want to watch the beautiful traditional fireworks and hear the loud BOOMS. That’s all. TV producers have plenty of time before or after the fireworks for other entertainment.

Speaking of independence, it is worth recalling that as recent as 2 years ago we were energy independent. It took major creativity and innovation to get there and we should not allow that tremendous national advantage to wither away to satisfy a ‘liberal world order.’

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “The 4th of July just passed and 62 people passed with it, besides 262 wounded. A great many of the deaths were due to gunshots, but most were from [mishandling fireworks].” WA #32, July 22, 1923

“The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.” WA #63, Feb. 24, 1924