Hamas Protests Continue. FFA Students Excel. Horse Racing and Women

I’m sorry to have to write again about Hamas/Palestinian protesters on university campuses. They harassed Jewish students and professors, and interrupted classes and final exams.

After forcing the University of Southern California to cancel graduation, the protesters moved across town to UCLA. They built a “fort” of plywood and lived in tents. If you have bought any three-quarter inch plywood recently, you probably wonder where they stole a hundred sheets of it.

Several professors at colleges across the country support the radical minority of students who are making life miserable for the 98% who are studying for an education leading to a valuable career.

As the semester ends, protesters are focused on graduation ceremonies. At the University of Michigan yesterday, several graduating students stood up, yelled and waved Palestine flags. I’m guessing they waited until after they got their diplomas. Any job offers may be rescinded.

Over 2000 protesters have been arrested at 50 colleges. You might think the city jails are full of protesters. But no, they have all been released so they can return to campus and continue protesting. At the very least, protesters should be held for 24 hours and forced to watch over and over the videos recorded by the Hamas terrorists as they slaughtered, tortured, raped and captured innocent people in Israel on October 7, 2023.

It is curious why so many female students and professors are foolish enough to support the Hamas terrorists. Hamas forces its own Gaza citizens, mainly women and children, to suffer the brunt of the war (living in tents, starving) while the terrorists are safe, secure (and well fed) in tunnels under Rafah. Hamas continues to hold more than a hundred hostages, including Americans.

Meanwhile, in many states high school students who belong to FFA are attending state conventions this month. (Until a few years ago FFA was officially Future Farmers of America.) Students are being honored for their years of work in various business, science and engineering categories. New leaders are elected for next year. Their agriculture science teachers have prepared them well for a stable, successful future.

Many graduating seniors in FFA will enroll in a college in their state and study for an agriculture-related career. Others will go to a trade school or continue on the family farm. These FFA members, whether in high school, college or throughout their lives, will be serving their communities. They will serve as leaders and as servants. Instead of yelling insults at Jews or other minorities, their loudest debate may be whether red or green tractors are the best.

In the Kentucky Derby yesterday, Mystik Dan, an 18-1 longshot, won by a nose over two other horses. Fierceness was the favorite but finished far back in 15th place.

Historic quotes:

“Money, horse racing, and women: three things the boys can’t figure out.” DT #2679, March 7, 1935

“Of all the cockeyed things we got in this country at the present time, it’s some of our judges, and courts, and justices. We got more bandits out on bond than we got people for ’em to rob.” DT #1374, Dec. 18, 1930

“You can take a sob story and a stick of candy and lead America right off into the Dead Sea.” WA #51, Dec. 2, 1923

“A fool that knows he is a fool is one that knows he don’t know all about anything, but the fool that don’t know he is a fool is the one that thinks he knows all about anything. Then he is a dam fool.” DT #325, Aug. 7, 1927

“There was 1700 young Boys and girls brought there by that great Paper, the Kansas City Star, from over 30 states. They were taking vocational training [FFA] and had led their various districts back home in the studying of farming, and stock raising.” WA #207, Nov. 28, 1926

Hamas Protesters Disrupt Serious Students. Humor at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Weekly Comments:  Hamas Protesters Disrupt Serious Students. Humor at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

#1204 Apr. 28, 2024

Columbus: The president of Columbia University has turned leadership of the school over to Palestinian students and outside Hamas agitators. The 95% of students who are Christian or Jewish have no role in this newly designated ruling body.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes scheduled at Columbia, followed by three days allocated for unlimited protesting. Final exams begin on Friday. Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for May 15. No word yet on whether Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran has accepted an invitation to be the Commencement speaker.

Anti-Israel protests have sprung up across most of the country. At the University of Texas, the Palestinians were met by officers on horseback and quickly disbursed. UCLA has their police officers riding bicycles.

Right here at Ohio State University it’s already Finals Week.  Protesters were disrupting the serious students and 35 were arrested. Not surprisingly, 20 were outside troublemakers.

For parents of college students, you had better warn them to be careful who they follow. If they hear loud chants of “From the river to the sea,” they should know this doesn’t mean “From the Ural River to the Caspian Sea.”

The White House Correspondents’ dinner was last night. President Biden spoke, taking a few digs at Donald Trump, joking about his own age, and made serious comments about the essential role of journalists.

Since most of the 3000 attendees like President Biden, I think he missed a great opportunity to end his speech with the audience joining him in unison, “Four more years pause! Four more years pause!”

The President was followed by comedian Colin Jost of NBC who introduced himself as providing the “Republican Response.” He was pretty balanced in roasting both Biden and Trump.

Every humorist knows to pause after a punchline. I think Colin took that advice too far. Yes, he paused when the audience was roaring with laughter. But when a punchline got little or no reaction, he still paused for several seconds before reading the next joke.

Colin ended by telling how his grandfather who died recently had voted for Biden and added, as a Democrat he will likely continue to vote for him.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The real power (of small-town newspapers) is greater than all your metropolitan dailies combined. Any person that don’t read at least one well-written country newspaper is not truly informed.” DT #1865, July 27, 1932

“People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” DT #1761, March 16, 1931

“This is dispatched just before the President (Roosevelt) goes on the air tonight. I am anxious to hear the comments in the press. Even if it’s good there is plenty of ’em won’t like it. He can speak on the Lord’s supper and get editorials against it. Never in our history was we as willing to blame somebody else for our troubles.” DT #2723, Apr. 28, 1935

Pro-Hamas Protests on Campus. Having Fun with Biden.

The anti-Israel pro-Hamas protests by college students and outside troublemakers are getting worse. When a few hundred students can take over an Ivy League university, threatening their fellow students, it makes you question their intelligence. They may have a high IQ, but zero common sense.

Where are the parents of the Columbia protesters? Can you imagine being a dad and mom who have paid $90,000 a year, and now their precious son or daughter might get kicked out? And even if they graduate, who will hire ‘em?

I read that Columbia gives so much financial aid, the cost to most students is minimal. The administrators who awarded huge sums to ungrateful protesting students should be preparing to demand full repayment of their scholarships.

Secretary Mayorkas was impeached by Republicans in the House. The Republican leaders then solemnly walked the formal indictment past the Will Rogers statue, through the Capitol rotunda, and through the front door of the Senate chamber. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer accepted the 1000-page impeachment document, immediately ripped in two, placed it on the altar, and burned it like a sacrificial lamb. Case closed! Trial ended before it started.

Despite the defeat in the Senate, which everyone knew would happen, don’t be surprised if Republicans call back Secretary Mayorkas to testify in the House. I hope a House member will ask him this: “Of the 8 million immigrants seeking asylum that your Border Patrol has processed into the country, how many have appeared before a Judge and been granted asylum? And how many have been denied asylum and sent back to their home country?

While we’re in a mood to ask questions, I have one for Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She is determined to get rid of Speaker Mike Johnson so I hope a journalist will ask her this: “If you were Speaker, and you were in a meeting with Senator Schumer and President Biden, what legislation would you demand they pass and sign? And do you think you would be any more successful at persuading them than Speaker Johnson?”

The Biden campaign has a new ad promoting him as “sharp as a knife.” Please give me a little comedic freedom with this story based on fact. I have a prized knife that I will keep around as long as I can. It’s a Case knife that my dad received as a gift about 80 years ago. He passed it down to me. The blade is well worn, not nearly as strong as it used to be because it has had quite a life. Whittling, carving initials in oak trees, sharpening pencils, cutting strings off hay bales, removing screws, peeling apples, castrating bull calves. Not necessarily in that order. It has been sharpened on a grindstone several times, but not recently. It’s kinda dull. That’s ok because I have newer knives with multi-purpose blades that are ideal for the tasks listed above. (No cows, so no need to cut a calf.) I keep this precious 80-year-old Case knife tucked away on a velvet pad in a desk drawer where I can pull it out, admire it, then put it back. No one cares if it is sharp.

Here’s a puzzling announcement. As the Biden-Harris campaign gears up for the big push to November, all hiring will be based on DEI. This decision is a gift to Republicans who will hire based on merit, and could still lose. Considering the main issue for Democrats, I suggest you contact the Biden campaign immediately if you are a Black or Hispanic man who had an abortion after 20 or 30 weeks.

I’ll close on a high note. Happy Earth Day tomorrow. And happy birthday to my favorite daughter, Marcia, born on the first Earth Day.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“I generally give the party in power, whether Republican or Democrat, the more digs because they are generally doing the country more damage, and besides I don’t think it is fair to jump too much on the fellow who is down. He is not working, he is only living in hopes of getting back in on the graft in another four years, while the party in power is drawing a salary to be knocked.” WA #100, Nov. 9, 1924

“I don’t think I ever hurt any man’s feelings by my little gags. I know I never willfully did it. When I have to do that to make a living I will quit.” WA #36   August 19, 1923

Weekly Comments:  Your Taxes Pay Your Student Debt. Despite “Don’t”, Iran Attacked Israel

More than 150 million Americans will file an Income Tax Return by tomorrow. If you paid any income taxes for 2023, congratulations. A portion of your taxes paid your college student debt.

What? Even if you have no unpaid student loans, or did not even attend college, you just paid your share of $7,400,000,000 in student debt. This is in addition to your share of the $145,000,000,000 student loan debt you paid in 2021 and 2022.

Several former students with outstanding loans had illnesses or other mental or physical issues and they legitimately deserve our compassion and contributions. They deserved relief.

But too many signed a loan for a “new Cadillac Escalade education” and all they got after 4 or 5 years was a “1999 Chevy Vega career.”

Did Congress vote for this $152 BILLION transfer from you to the former students? No. Did you vote for it? Of course not. (But, in a way you did if you voted for Joe Biden in 2020.) The Supreme Court DID vote, and they voted NO!

But President Biden defied the Supreme Court and did it anyway. A Democrat Congresswoman applauded the President’s move, saying the debt relief for 4,000,000 former students could allow them to “get another degree.”  Believe it or not, Will Rogers made a similar point on his radio program, June 2, 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 something about making a living that they haven’t learned yet, and they could kind of work on that for the next four years.”

But what loan relief really does, and the President’s original purpose, is to get 4,000,000 more votes for Democrats. An even worse consequence is the effect it has on current and future students. They will sign for a college loan and assume that after getting a degree, they won’t have to pay any of it back.

Iran attacked Israel with about 300 drones and missiles Saturday night. Iran’s radical Islamic leaders really hate Israel. Iran is 75 times bigger than Israel and is separated from little Israel by two other big countries, Iraq and Jordan. Here’s Will Rogers in his newspaper column (DT #2189, August 9, 1933), “I don’t care how little your country is, you got a right to run it like you want to. When the big nations quit meddling then the world will have peace.” (This also applies to Ukraine and Taiwan.)

Has there ever been a more peculiar attack? Iran announced a week ago they would attack. They even waited on Saturday for President Biden to return from Delaware to the White House Situation Room so he could watch on TV as it was happening. Israel, with help from us and other allies, destroyed 99% of the drones and missiles.

I’m wondering if Iran had a slew of older, out-of-date drones and decided this would be a way to get rid of them and have Israel use up valuable resources to shoot them down. And half of the Iranian ballistic missiles misfired, never got off the ground. This could have been a strategic maneuver by Iran to learn how Israel might react to a real attack. Let’s hope our CIA has a few spies who know the truth.

The attack came after President Biden warned them using one of his favorite words, “Don’t.”  I think Webster should declare “don’t” as the Word of the Year. It has two definitions. 1. When a parent or teacher tells a child “Don’t” it means you better not do that! 2. When President Biden tells a country “Don’t”, well, it is meaningless.

Tomorrow Donald Trump goes on trial in New York City. It will be unique. Never in history has a misdemeanor trial lasted two months.

Weekly Comments: Eclipse, Basketball, Hamas, and Taxes

The Solar Eclipse and college basketball are dominating headlines this weekend. The South Carolina women’s team finished a perfect season by defeating Caitlyn Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes today, 87-75. The depth of the SC team is unbelievable as subs outscored Iowa subs 37-0.

The men’s championship will be tomorrow night, Purdue vs. UConn. Both were top teams this year. The winner will be a true champion.

Ohio is in the band of “Totality” for the solar Eclipse. It will reach from Texas to Maine tomorrow afternoon. I’m on the edge of the total darkness band and plan to watch from my back yard. I hope the clouds part for a few seconds at about 3:10 pm.

President Biden insists on telling Israel how to fight a war. So, Israel is pulling all their troops out of southern Gaza where the Hamas terrorists are hiding in their tunnels with over a hundred hostages, including Americans. Those hostages are not silver and gold to Hamas, they are PLATINUM.

I would like to tell our President to get on the phone with the Hamas leaders in Qatar and their backers in Iran and, in the same harsh terms he uses with Trump supporters, lay out the risk to their personal safety and their friends unless Hamas surrenders and returns all hostages. I would like to do that, but I won’t waste my time.  Unfortunately, our President is more interested in votes from pro-Hamas Palestinians in Michigan and Minnesota and misinformed college students across the country than he is in the future of Israel.

We’re into the final week to pay our income taxes. This is courtesy of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived…” This was passed in 1913 and the first taxes collected were at a rate of 1% to 7%. I wonder if the Amendment would have been approved by three-fourths of the states if it had included the phrase, “up to 75%.”

Here are a few quotes by Will Rogers to ponder as you finish your 1040 (or wait eagerly for your refund):

“You can’t legitimately kick on income tax, for it’s on what you have made. You have already made it. But, look at land, farms, homes, stores, vacant lots. You pay year after year on them whether you make it or not.” DT #1798, April 28, 1932

“The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” WA #17, April 8, 1923 (also WA #99, Nov. 2, 1924)

“There is some talk of lowering (the income tax), and they will have to. People are not making enough to pay it.” WA #17, April 8, 1923

“It costs ten times more to govern us than it used to, and we are not governed one-tenth as good.” DT #1770, March 27, 1932

“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” DT #1764, March 20, 1932

“If your Income Taxes go to help out the less fortunate, there could be no legitimate kick against it in the world.” WA #421, Jan. 18, 1931

Another Historic Quote by Will Rogers:

“I can’t see any advantage of having one of your own Party in as President. I would rather be able to criticize a man than to have to apologize for him.” WA #14, March 18, 1923

Easter Sunday. The Baltimore Bridge Disaster. What if… 

Weekly Comments:  Easter Sunday. The Baltimore Bridge Disaster. What if… 

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore killed 6 workers who were filling potholes in the overnight hours. The six were immigrants from Central America. They had lived and worked and raised their families in Baltimore for many years.

You might be surprised how much construction and repair work is done on highways overnight when lanes can be blocked without major traffic interruptions.

Other bridges have collapsed with more loss of life. A ship hit a pier of the Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay in 1980, killing 35. In 2002, a barge hit a pier on an I-40 bridge in Oklahoma, killing 14 motorists.

The Silver Bridge across the Ohio River at Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia collapsed a few days before Christmas in 1967, killing 46 people. (Caused by a single corroded eyebar.) Somewhat ironically, a few minutes after I heard the News about the Key Bridge disaster, I drove across the replacement bridge from Ohio into West Virginia.

Beyond the tragic loss of life in Baltimore (which could have been far worse during the day), the financial cost of a closed harbor and rebuilding the bridge will likely be over a billion dollars. This raises a “What if” question. Why didn’t anyone ask a risk management question, “What if a really big boat hits a pier?” And “What can be done to make sure those piers are protected?”

In Tampa Bay, the piers of the new bridge are fully protected. Why didn’t Maryland officials notice that their Key Bridge, opened in 1977, needed similar protection?

I hope engineers and political leaders are asking questions about hundreds of vulnerable bridges across the country. Protective structures can be designed and installed. Do it in memory of those 6 workers, and all others who perished in bridge collapses. We have Billions left in the trillion-dollar Infrastructure Act. Can you think of a better purpose, including construction of the new Key Bridge?

Happy Easter. Like Will Rogers, I was born and raised a Methodist. And I’ve stayed one my whole life so far. On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Faith in life after death improves our life on Earth.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The Lord put all these millions of people over the earth… They all agree on one thing, whether Christian, Heathen, or Mohammedan, and that is that the better lives you live, the better you will finish.” WA#136, July 19, 1925

“Us ignorant people laugh at spiritualists, but when they die they go mighty peaceful and happy, which after all is about all there is to living, is to go away satisfied.” DT #1232, July 7, 1930

“If you live right, death is a Joke to you as far as fear is concerned…Death knows no Denomination. Death draws no color line.” WA #128, My 24, 1925

Border Invasion in Texas. Confiscation in New York. End of Democracy. Less Labor.

What do a couple hundred young male illegal immigrants do when they tear down a border fence and come up against twenty US soldiers? Do they attack? Or do they retreat so they won’t get shot?

Last week they attacked. The soldiers (Texas National Guard) were unarmed and were overrun. The illegal immigrants rushed the border wall where the Border Patrol let them through, processed them, and turned them loose into the country to go anywhere they desire.

That’s our immigration policy today. Tear through razor wire, beat up soldiers, then plead asylum and get a free ride to the state of your choice. If it’s a sanctuary state or city, you are free to commit crimes and still not get deported.

Meanwhile in New York, the Attorney General Letitia James has a U-Haul packed and ready to move into the Penthouse at Trump Tower. And she has plans for her new winter home in Palm Beach, Florida, the $18 million Mar-a-Lago.

President Biden and VP Harris are campaigning across the country. Their main theme is a warning that if the Republican Donald Trump is elected president again it will be the “end of democracy.”

I guess the “end of democracy” would mean citizens may not get to vote for the candidate of their choice for President. That seems to be the reason Democrats in a few states are determined to remove Trump from the ballot and prevent Third Party candidates, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., from getting on the ballot. And they are cheering for prosecutors in Georgia, Florida and New York to convict their main opponent of multiple felonies so he will be in jail before the November election. Yes, that’s their plan to prevent Trump from ending democracy.

Does it seem odd that President Biden is determined that by 2032, we can only buy Electric Vehicles? By then he will be 89 and driving around Delaware in his ’67 Corvette. If he can afford the gas. By 2050, the U.S. would resemble Cuba in the 1990s where all the cars were 1950s models. Biden’s dream will become a nightmare where EVs are parked because there’s not enough electricity from solar and wind to charge the batteries. And the cars and trucks we want to drive will be parked because gasoline and diesel are either regulated out of business or are taxed so high no one can afford to drive anywhere. Did someone mention a Bloodbath in the auto industry?

Senator Bernie Sanders came up with a plan to raise wages and salaries by at least 25% with a 32-hour work week. Actually, it would not raise income at all, only the hourly rate. You would run out of money faster because you would have 3-day weekends to spend it shopping, vacationing, and going to ball games and Taylor Swift concerts. While Sen. Sanders is contemplating a 32-hour work week and a $20 minimum wage, perhaps he should consider this question:  How many hours per week will a robot work?

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“One of the evils of democracy is you have to put up with the man you elect whether you want him or not. That’s why we call it democracy.” DT#1953, Nov. 7, 1932

An Idea from Ireland to Improve our Election for President

Since it is St. Patrick’s weekend, I decided to go to Ireland.

You might say I have family connections. Robert Rogers, Will’s great granddad, left Ireland in 1800 and immigrated to America (legally). He wound up in the western part of Virginia, now West Virginia. He fell in love and married Lucy Cordery, a half-blood Cherokee.

Ok, that’s the Will Rogers family connection to Ireland. For myself, my mom, Hazel Lowther, grew up a few miles from Ireland.

I can see that you may be confused. The “Ireland” I visited this weekend is a wonderful little community in the middle of West Virginia. It is a few miles south of Weston and the popular Stonewall Jackson Lake Resort.

Every year Ireland hosts the “Irish Spring Festival” which typically starts on the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day and ends with the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of Spring. Dozens of activities for everyone from 8 to 80 (or more accurately from a few months to 105). Includes a costume contest, Irish Road Bowling, square dancing, a 5K race/walk, duck race, Bingo, and Gospel Sing.

Tonight, I want to highlight their election of a King and Queen because it gave me an idea how to add interest and value to our national election for President. I read a prediction that more than $3 Billion will be spent on the Biden vs. Trump election. And usually, the one who raises the most money is the one who wins. Not always, but if you don’t believe me, ask George Soros.

The Irish Spring Festival lines up 3 candidates for King and 3 for Queen and you vote by donating in the name of your favorite candidate(s). The man and woman with the most money are crowned King and Queen for a year. This year more than $7000 total was collected and all of that money, 100 percent, goes to the upkeep and improvements on the Ireland Community Building.

Now, that’s a pittance compared to $3 Billion, but after the 2024 election is over, I bet your community won’t get even a dollar of it. It will all go to advertisers and consultants.

So, my idea is that each candidate for President (Trump, Biden, and third-party candidates) would have an official bank account to collect all the “votes.” The “votes” could be cash, check or credit card, even Bitcoin. Anyone could freely contribute a dollar, or hundreds or thousands, kinda like we do now.

With no money for advertising, the candidates would have to earn their time on TV and radio news and talk shows by having common sense ideas for the betterment of the country. They could be interviewed for newspaper articles. We would have televised debates. Instead of only 2 or 3, they would be held every two weeks starting after Labor Day. Now, we don’t have all the details worked out, but you get the idea.

At midnight Election Day, November 5th, the one with the most votes (money contributed) would be declared President.

Here’s the best part, regardless of whether your favorite candidate won or lost. The (estimated) $3,000,000,000 will be divided up across the country. Communities and neighborhoods would write a proposal for a local need. For example, the Ireland community might request $50,000 for new and bigger kitchen equipment because they serve thousands of meals during the Festival and other events during the year. Cities would not be allowed to apply, but neighborhoods in a city could request money for local needs, such as a new roof for the elementary school. Folks would be expected to volunteer their labor, bringing the neighborhood closer together for a common cause.

Will Rogers came up with a plan for electing the President. His was based on a lottery. I feel about my plan the same way Will did about his after he shared it on his national radio show, May 5, 1935, “I’ve looked the whole plan over, and I can’t find a flaw in it myself because I haven’t showed it to anybody else. The poor would be for it and the rich would be for it and the candidates would be for it. The main thing is it would give a national election the thing they lack now, which is dignity and prestige.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

        “Well, today is the seventeenth of Ireland. Of all the nationalities that have helped to root the Indians out over here, the Irish are the only ones that have made enough impression on everybody till they celebrate their birthday.” DT#1450, March 17, 1931

The Real State of the Union

President Biden gave an emotional campaign speech Thursday night, marketed as the “State of the Union.” It was a strong speech, demonstrating that he still has stamina and a loud voice. His focus was to appeal to the many diverse components of the Democrat Party. His only reference to Republicans was to note how well off they are because of Bidenomics. He chided them and rich Democrats for not wanting to pay more income taxes, a “fair share,” except for the Biden family.

Senator Katie Britt of Alabama gave the rebuttal speech. She was also emotional. Her speech, like every “rebuttal” to a State of the Union speech, was prepared and rehearsed. Her main appeal was to young women and families. She defended sports for girls and women. Unlike some, she can define “woman.”

So, what is the real “state of the union?” What does the average American face each day, each week, each month?

As Will Rogers wrote in 1930, “the rest of the country know the condition of the country, for they live in it and are a part of it.”

Most Americans feel the effects of rapid inflation, up about 18% since January 2021. Wages have not kept up.

A trip to the grocery store for eggs, hamburger, bread, cereal, fruit, tomatoes and ice cream shows how the dollar has shrunk. You can’t blame the farmer or the food processor for “shrinkflation.” A pound of hamburger is still a pound. A dozen eggs is still 12.

Now, when it comes to ice cream, most of us can remember when the most common package was a half-gallon. About 20 years ago that package shrunk to 1.75 quarts, and then to 1.5. We can’t blame that on Biden.

Gasoline is about $3.50 a gallon. Mortgage rates are up almost 60% since 2019 making it harder for young families to buy a house. And rent is higher, making it harder to save for a down payment. No wonder more young adults are still living at home with their parents.

The huge surge in illegal immigration has increased crime and added billions to the cost of social programs, including education. We welcome about a million immigrants a year who arrive legally, mostly based on merit. Starting with his campaign for President in 2019, Biden has encouraged illegal immigration, totaling over 8 million since he took office. Biden got flak Thursday night from liberals, not for mispronouncing Laken Riley’s name, but for calling her apparent killer an “illegal.” They prefer “undocumented.” Or, even crazier, a “newcomer.” Based on evidence, the Venezuelan who had already committed other crimes, should have been called a “murderer.”

This week I’ll be helping with a big 2-day agriculture event, the annual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference, in Ada, Ohio. The emphasis will be on helping farmers increase crop yields while reducing costs of inputs and improving water quality and soil health. Farmers plant in the Spring without knowing how much their Fall harvest per acre will be worth. Ag economists expect this to be a rough year with lower prices expected for corn and soybeans. As one wise farmer said for 2024, “The most efficient Farmers are the ones who will lose the least.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“A liberal is a man who wants to use his own ideas on things in preference to generations who, he knows, know more than he does.” WA #8, Feb. 4, 1923

“A conservative [Republican] is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have some.” WA #326, March 26, 1933

Weekly Comments: Meat in New York. Murder by Immigrants. Biden’s State of the Union.

Americans have been fortunate to pay less for food than any other country. We are blessed with good soil, smart farmers, abundant energy, and an “agricultural system” that gets food from “farm to fork” efficiently.

The percentage of our income spent on food has been declining constantly for decades. Until now. Yes, we are now spending over 11% on food, the most in 30 years.

In New York, Attorney General Letitia James is determined that her state residents will pay even higher prices, especially for meat. As you know, she succeeded in attacking Donald Trump’s family business. Most New Yorkers didn’t care because they don’t like him. (That $400 million ruling might be overturned in Federal Court on appeal.)

Now Attorney General James has moved on to tackling JBS, the big meat supplier. Why? Is the quality of their meat substandard? Are they ripping off consumers? No, she attacked JBS because they are not reducing their “carbon footprint” fast enough to suit her. The fact is that American farmers are producing more pounds of meat per ‘unit of carbon’ (whatever that is) than ever before. She says JBS promised to have a carbon footprint of zero by 2040 and she doesn’t believe they can do it.

You probably know that animals on our farms and ranches eat grass, corn and other plants to produce meat. Plants “inhale” carbon dioxide from the air and “exhale” oxygen. Without plants, we would die from a lack of oxygen.

Leticia James is wrong if she thinks a person standing at the meat case selecting T-bone steaks for a big family celebration is going to suddenly change their mind because the climate might be warmer in 15 years. And they definitely will not buy a dozen boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes instead. Given a choice, most Americans, including New Yorkers, prefer to consume their corn after it has been processed into meat, not Flakes.

As you know, Laken Riley, a nursing student, was murdered in Athens, Georgia by an illegal immigrant. He had already committed other crimes and was still roaming freely around the country because of sanctuary cities. Instead of demanding an end to sanctuary status for criminal immigrants, most Democrat office holders say that one murder (Laken’s) is not a reason to change policies. I happen to have three granddaughters attending three different universities. How many more such murders by a criminal immigrant will it take for Democrats to change their minds?

As Will Rogers wrote, “There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again.” (WA #657, July 28, 1935). Let’s hope there are enough leaders with good ‘eyesight’ and common sense to eliminate sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

President Biden will deliver a State of the Union speech this Thursday. Here is Will Rogers on this speech in 1930, “One of the few stipulated duties of the President is that every once in a while, he delivers a message to Congress to tell them the ‘Condition of the Country.’ This message as I say is to Congress, the rest of the country know the condition of the country, for they live in it and are a part of it. But the Senators and Congressmen being in Washington all the time have no idea what is going on in America. So the President has to tell ’em.” (WA #371, Feb. 2, 1930)

President Biden has been advised to keep it short because he doesn’t have much to brag about. Don’t be surprised if he runs out of accomplishments in 10 minutes, but spends an hour bragging about what he intends to do when he’s re-elected.

Breaking News! Nikki Haley won her first GOP Primary election, in Washington, DC tonight. I’m guessing that five Republicans cast votes and she got three of ‘em.

And earlier today, the great basketball player for Iowa, Caitlin Clark set a new major college scoring record, passing Pete Maravich’s 3667 in 3 years at LSU.