Weekly Comments: End of a Nation, Then… and Now?

Illegal immigration is the top issue in Washington, for both Republicans and Democrats. Rumors from Senate leaders indicate an agreement is pending that would allow up to 5000 per day to walk or swim across our border LEGALLY. That would be 1.8 million in 2024, added to the more than 8 million already here since Joe Biden was elected President.

Is this any way to run a civilized country? Perhaps a look back at history would provide a clue. Let me tell you a true story. It is the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth. After you read it, do you think history might repeat itself?

Once upon a time, a nation prospered in peace and affluence for many years. But trouble lay just across the border. The neighboring land was over populated and the people eyed the vast inviting lands with envy. For a few years small numbers of “intruders” would sneak across the boundary, and the government would catch them and kick them out. But many avoided detection, sort of blending in, and many more intruders followed.

Before long the intruders were pouring into the nation. Some were there legitimately as employees, but others sneaked in and each claimed a piece of the foreign land as their own. They didn’t pay for it, just squatted on it. Many of the intruders were armed criminals who crossed the border to avoid going to prison.

Finally, a prominent local citizen got so annoyed he wrote a letter to his national leader. ‘Are we powerless to enforce our own laws? Are we to submit to such great wrongs by these men who are not citizens? Our laws are not enforced. How in the world can we hold up as a nation when our officers don’t respect the law and the oath they have taken to uphold the law.’

About two years later a small portion of the nation relented and sold, for a pittance, a substantial section of land that got turned over to the intruders. Do you think that satisfied the intruder population? Not on your life. It just created more pressure on the nation to open its borders.

The biggest business in the nation lobbied relentlessly to allow even more intruders. They claimed an expanding intruder population was essential to economic growth in the nation.

Well, folks, any idea yet where this ‘nation’ is? Here’s a hint. Seeing the looming conflict in this particular nation, the U. S. Congress jumped into the fray, led by a Senator from Massachusetts. After much debate Congress made a decision: they came down firmly on the side of …. the Intruders.

How could this be? Even the Senator from Massachusetts admitted the nation was prosperous, ‘Although a tiny number of individuals control about one-seventh of the nation’s wealth there is not a family in the entire nation without a home. There is not a pauper in the nation, and it does not owe a single dollar.’

Now who could ask for more than that? But this prosperity was not good enough to satisfy the U.S. Congress and keep this nation intact and protected from Intruders. Congress created a Commission to negotiate with a delegation of representatives from the nation. One of those representatives was the ‘prominent local citizen’ quoted above. He soon became peeved at the delegation’s inability to agree on what their position should be.

Five years after the U.S. government got involved, and all the negotiating was over with, Congress passed a bill abolishing the laws of this nation and mandating that all land be divided up equally among its citizens, but only ones who agreed to become U.S. citizens. Much of the land was seized by the U.S.

The end of a nation as we knew it occurred in 1898. The Senator from Massachusetts was Henry Dawes, head of the Dawes Commission. The bill passed by Congress was the Curtis Act. The Intruders were mainly from Kansas and Arkansas. The big business encouraging the Intruders was the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which built a line through the nation in 1889.

Have you guessed it yet?

The ‘nation’ was the Cherokee Nation. It was part of Indian Territory which in 1907 became the state of Oklahoma.

The ‘prominent local citizen’ (who also helped write the state constitution for Oklahoma), was Clem Rogers, father of…. Will Rogers.

(I wrote this story in 2006 based mainly on information in “Will Rogers: A Biography” by Ben Yagoda, published in 1993.)

In football, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions 34-31. The Chiefs and 49ers will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, thrilling fans of Taylor Swift.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

 “They sent the Indians to Oklahoma. They had a treaty that said, ‘You shall have this land as long as grass grows and water flows.’ It looked like a good treaty, and it was till they struck oil. Then the Government took it away from us again. They said the treaty only refers to ‘Water and Grass; it don’t say anything about oil.’” WA #267, Feb. 5, 1928

Weekly Comments: Don’t Laugh While Driving. Is President Biden Scared?

Federal government agencies have no sense of humor. We already knew the IRS, TSA, and FBI don’t like jokes. Now the Federal Highway Administration has joined in.

The Highway Administration is planning to ban any humorous messages on the electronic information signs you often see over 4-lane roads. They only want bad news posted, such as “Crash ahead 4 miles. Expect 90-minute delay.”  If there’s no bad news, the signs will probably be blank. Anything funny won’t be allowed, such as “Visiting in-laws? Slow down, get there late.”

Do you remember the Burma-Shave signs? They added humor to otherwise boring road trips, printed on five consecutive signs. Here are two: “SAID FARMER BROWN. WHO’S BALD ON TOP. WISH I COULD. ROTATE THE CROP. Burma-Shave.” “SPRING HAS SPRUNG. THE GRASS HAS RIZ. WHERE LAST YEAR’S. CARELESS DRIVER IS. Burma-Shave.”

This federal ban on funny lines will be described in a 1000-page manual. It will have one page of acceptable messages and 999 pages listing banned messages.

The government is giving us two more years to enjoy the humor. It’ll take that long for officials to read the whole book. And it gives the joke writers time to practice for a new career entertaining in comedy clubs.

This is no laughing matter. Why is President Biden scared of Iran? Iran has attacked our soldiers in Iraq and Syria over a hundred times. Iran surrogates are firing rockets at ships in the Red Sea. Iran-backed terrorists in Lebanon continue to threaten northern Israel. Of course, Iran funded and trained the Hamas terrorists for the October 7 attack on Israel. Why is President Biden reluctant to take any meaningful action against Iran or any of the terrorists doing their dirty work? Is he blind to the hatred that Iran’s leaders hold for the U.S., Israel, and other allies? Not only is Biden refusing to take any meaningful action, he is insisting that Israel stop fighting Hamas and give them a recognized nation of Palestine to rule over.

Appeasing Iran by giving their radical leaders billions of dollars and allowing them to sell oil to get even more money makes no sense. And now Iran is completing their goal of having a nuclear weapon.

Iran leaders (as separate from the average Iranian) are like rattlesnakes. A friend sent me a story about a West Texas rancher who described his treatment of rattlesnakes, “I do not try to reason with a rattlesnake or have a ‘meaningful dialogue’ with it.  I just kill it.  I do not try to get to know the rattlesnake better so I can find a way to live with the rattlesnakes and convince them not to bite me.  I just kill them.”

To most Americans, Iran is a rattlesnake. To President Biden, Iran is a garter snake. And that’s no joke.

The National Football League has narrowed the playoff teams down to four. Next Sunday, Kansas City plays at Baltimore, and Detroit plays at San Francisco. These teams showed they can win in January weather (except Detroit, which has a dome). The winners will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 11.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“[Men in government] can do more funny things naturally than I can think of to do purposely.” WA #57, Jan. 13, 1924

I appreciate replies to my Weekly Comments. Last week I received several compliments about Howard Buffett. Also, a comment about President Biden, “General George Washington crossed the Delaware and won our independence from Britain. And Delaware gave us a Senator Biden who quashed our independence and sold himself and us to China.

Weekly Comments: The Smart Way to Farm. China’s Bet on Biden.

This week I attended the annual National No-Tillage Conference for the thirty-second time, in Indianapolis. About 800 to 1000 attend every year. We listen and learn from successful farmers, university professors, and industry experts. I was privileged to be the moderator for two panels with outstanding no-till farmers and researchers.

Let me tell you about one of the successful no-till farmers who spoke. Howard started farming almost 40 years ago in Nebraska. (He later moved to Illinois.) He learned about the newly introduced John Deere 750 no-till drill that meant he could plant soybeans without plowing in the fall and disking once or twice in the spring before planting. Howard decided that planting a field with one trip would save money compared to making 3 or 4 trips. He has been no-tilling ever since.

Howard is like a lot of farmers who want to minimize the cost of buying and operating tractors and equipment when they start farming. They need to pinch pennies because there’s not much profit growing soybeans and corn.

Howard continues to farm without plowing or disking although he could easily afford the extra expenses. See, he is Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

He, like other no-till farmers, knows this is the smart way to grow crops. Our federal government, through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, has a program called “Climate Smart.” The goal is to reduce global warming and make farmland more resilient to weather extremes. It’s no secret that no-till farming with cover crops (to protect the soil and provide live roots most of the year to enrich the soil) is the #1 way to achieve that goal. What’s #2? For cropland, there is no #2.

Back to Howard Buffett. When you meet him, he looks and talks like any other farmer at the conference. You may know that he spends millions on farm machinery. He is a wonderful philanthropist, aiding farmers in Africa especially. He has made three trips to Ukraine recently, buying at least 50 combines, plus tractors, for farmers in the war zone. He funded a method to safely explode landmines planted all across Ukraine farmland by the Russian Army.

Meanwhile in Washington, we’ve been hearing for a couple of years about the Biden family receiving millions of dollars from Communist China. Hunter Biden and President Biden’s brother, James, received the money with no apparent service or products provided in return. And 10% was for the “Big Guy.”

This week we received a hint of why China was happy to bet on the Bidens. President Biden announced yesterday that as long as he is president, the United States will not support the independence of Taiwan. Could this be true?

At the rate Biden is allowing (encouraging?) millions of immigrants to come here illegally, including hundreds being sent by Communist China, I’m not sure he even supports our own independence.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“It’s great to be great, but its greater to be human.” DT #1122, Feb. 28, 1930

Weekly Comments: January 6, 2021 Compared to a Reimagined Fort Sumter Attack. President Biden at Valley Forge.

Since yesterday was January 6, there has been a lot of attention on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the crime of “insurrection or rebellion.” This amendment was ratified in 1868, 3 years after the end of the Civil War in 1865.

The section of the Amendment about “insurrection” was written to prevent officers and others who fought for the South from being eligible to run for Federal office. (A few exceptions were approved individually by Congress and those men were elected and served honorably.)

Now, I know that about half the country will applaud what I have written below. And half will condemn it. That’s pretty much how the country is divided as we ramp up the 2024 election season.

On January 6, 2021, protesters supporting President Trump stormed the Capitol, starting about 12:45. The protest turned into a riot, and ended 4 hours later when 155 National Guard members arrived to clear the Capitol. During those 4 hours, one protester was shot and killed by a Capitol policeman. No other deaths occurred that day although one Capitol policeman died the next day. Four Capitol police died by suicide in the next seven months.  About 175 police were injured defending the Capitol. No Congress members or Senators or their staff were harmed. Everybody condemns this protest-turned-riot that caused $1.5 million damage to the Capitol. Was it an insurrection?

Back to the source of the 14th Amendment. The Civil War began when Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861. The war lasted 4 years and the country suffered 360,222 Union deaths and 258,000 Confederate deaths. Now I would say the Civil War definitely qualifies as an “insurrection and rebellion.”

Let’s imagine for a moment that the attack on Fort Sumter had been repelled in a few hours by Union soldiers in the fort with help from reinforcements. One attacker was killed but the others accepted defeat and went home. About a thousand of the attackers who managed to enter the fort were later arrested, tried, and many were sent to prison. The rebellion would have ended and there would have been no “War between the States.”

However, slavery would have continued as a top issue, argued over for 3 more years. And in the 1864 Presidential election, incumbent President Abraham Lincoln would have been opposed by a pro-slavery Democrat from Mississippi, Jefferson Davis. A fair election is how you solve a threat to Democracy.

Let’s return to the present… President Biden delivered a 30-minute speech near Valley Forge on Friday, evoking the heroics of George Washington. He lambasted former President Trump, naming him 44 times in the speech. I think he would have been better off if he had spoken at Gettysburg and emulated Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spoke for less than 3 minutes, used 268 words, and not one of them referred to Jefferson Davis.

With so much attention on Jan. 6, 2021, I decided to look back a year earlier, Jan. 6, 2020 (two months before COVID shut down the country). Gasoline averaged $2.57/gal. The rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.7%. Today it’s 7.5%. The inflation rate that month was 2.5%, and the total inflation for 4 years had raised prices 8.7%. Unemployment was 3.7% (same as today). Annual real wages had increased by about $6000 under Trump. Under President Biden, because of total accumulated inflation of about 17%, real wages have decreased.

Are you excited to see what the country will be like in a year? Or worried?

A personal note: my mom, Hazel Lowther Reeder, was born on Jan. 7, 1919. And one of her nieces is celebrating a birthday. Happy birthday to my cousin Sandra.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“On account of us being a Democracy, and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.” DT #1116, Feb. 21, 1930

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.

Freeing Kidnapped Hostages. Protests for Hamas. Millennials Want How Much??

Weekly Comments: Freeing Kidnapped Hostages. Protests for Hamas. Millennials Want How Much??

#1183, Nov. 26, 2023

President Biden is happy that the Hamas terrorists are releasing 50 hostages, traded for 150 Palestinian prisoners who attempted to murder Israelis. One American, 4-year-old Abigail Idan, was released today and the President was pleased she could be reunited with her family. It’s sad that he didn’t remember Hamas murdered her Mom and Dad on October 7.

Does Thailand have more clout than the United States? While we seem to be negotiating through Qatar, a key ally and financial supporter of Hamas, the Thai government went directly to Iran and demanded all of their citizens be released. Why doesn’t President Biden demand that Iran order Hamas to immediately deliver ALL kidnapped hostages? We have enough military within easy striking distance of Iran; just let the Ayatollah ponder his future.

Is the Hamas terrorist organization winning the propaganda war? Ignorant protesters continue to rally support for Hamas and hatred for Israel and Jews everywhere. Protesters may think they are generating good will for Palestinians. But they won’t sway anyone with common sense. The young American women protesting have no idea how they would be treated in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Who is paying all these young protesters and their leaders? Paying their transportation and providing their disgusting signs? George Soros has given these groups millions of dollars. Does Iran also contribute millions? I’m sure the protesters are not donating their time.

We just finished a week in America of wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. For a lot of young folks, it’s going to take a lot more than “wishing” to make them happy. According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, our Millennials (age 27-42) claim they need a $525,000 salary to be happy. Yes, a half a million a year. Do they realize how hard most people in that salary range work? Definitely not 9 to 5, for 4 days a week, with 2 months’ vacation. Most millennials say they are glad to spend $7 for a cup of coffee every morning ‘because of the joy it brings.’

In the same Harris Poll, old folks said $124,000 a year is plenty. Perhaps because we know how to brew our own coffee from a can of Maxwell House.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“In the days of [our] founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all they expected. But now neither government or nature can give enough but what we think it’s too little. Those old boys in the Fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood. But if we can’t gather in a new Buick, a new radio, a tuxedo and some government relief, why we feel like the world is agin’ us.” DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934

Weekly Comments: Thanks!

Let’s spend this week, or at least one day, concentrating on gratitude; being thankful.

The first Thanksgiving was a celebration by the Puritans and the Wampanoag. The surviving Puritans (Pilgrims) had grown enough corn and other crops, with advice and help from the native “Indians,” to get them through another year in Massachusetts. The main course for their celebration was deer meat (venison), not turkey.

So, Thanksgiving is based in agriculture. Thanksgiving is a time for us to celebrate a bountiful harvest. We are so efficient in this country that 2 percent of us on farms and ranches produce enough food for the other 98 percent.

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for our blessings, and look ahead to a brighter future.

Be thankful that we have a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that has allowed this country to endure more than 200 years. We’re thankful, most of us, for the Ten Commandments, even if we don’t follow all of them all the time.

We’re thankful that President Biden will celebrate his 81st birthday tomorrow. As Neil Cavuto, Fox Business News, joked, “81 is the new 80.”

We’re thankful for President Jimmy Carter who is grieving tonight. Rosalyn Carter, his wife of 77 years, passed away today at age 96. They were an amazing couple, almost their entire lives, starting and ending in Plains, Georgia. “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished.” From a man who is acknowledged as the best former president this country ever had, that is high praise.

I’m thankful for my faithful readers and a country where I can write opinions with no concern of being thrown in jail. Will Rogers wrote syndicated newspaper columns from 1922 to 1935, and I’ve written my Weekly Comments since 1997. I’m thankful to have good health and energy to continue speaking and writing, playing a small role in keeping alive the legend of Will Rogers.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The more turkey you eat at dinner the less hash you will be bothered with the rest of the month.” DT #92, Nov. 24, 1926

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. [President] Coolidge asked us to thank the Lord, but to kinder hint to Him also that we are aware that a Republican Administration had assisted Him in providing this plentiful bounty.” DT #729, Nov. 27, 1928

“If I run for something, this would be my platform: No part of any turkey served later than Sunday night after Thanksgiving.” DT #1972, Nov. 29, 1932