#407, May 1, 2006
COLUMBUS: This is a new national holiday. The first one created by immigrants since Thanksgiving.
The presidents of Hormel, Tyson and the other big meat packers announced that May 1 will be “Meatless Monday”. They made the announcement in Spanish, and their message, loosely translated into English, means, “Let ’em eat Spam.” Our farmers and ranchers are raising 100 percent American beef, and these meat packers want you to believe if it wasn’t for Mexicans you would have to buy it on the hoof and butcher it yourself.
May 1, 2006, will go down in history as the red letter day for automation. Today, all over the country, engineers are working overtime to build robots and machines to do all the jobs these folks walked out on. Businessmen will pour in millions of dollars to rush the work. You just watch, in five years they will have a big plant where hogs and steers walk in one end and steaks and pork chops go out the other. The only thing inside will be machines with one man making $200 an hour operating ’em all by computer.
And hotels… each room will come equipped with it’s own robot to make up the bed, clean the sheets and towels and carpet, and even hand you the soap after you’re in the shower. It will wake you in the morning and hand you a chocolate mint at night. Unwrapped.
There won’t be a farm commodity you can name that won’t be planted, cared for, and harvested automatically. Grapes, strawberries, raspberries, almonds, tomatoes. Even the tractors won’t have drivers, just a person in a control tower somewhere running a dozen at a time.
President Bush came out against the Spanish version of our Star Spangled Banner. He said it should only be sung in English, and “anybody that wants to be an American citizen should know how to sing it.” He went a little overboard on that last comment. He’ll back off when he realizes at least two-thirds of us would be deported, led by Roseanne Barr.
I don’t understand why folks working here legally are marching in support of the illegal ones. Just suppose, for example, you had bought a ticket to a big game, say, the Rose Bowl football championship. You arrive early along with the other 100,000 ticket holders, only to find that someone had left a gate open and about 20,000 had already sneaked inside. And one of them is in your seat. I kinda doubt you would be thrilled, so you find a police officer. You explain that someone is illegally in your seat, and you want him evicted. The policeman says, “I understand your predicament, but so many sneaked in without tickets there’s no way we can clear ’em all out. Enjoy the game.”
You know, instead of a day, why don’t they take off a week, or the whole month. Don’t work, don’t buy anything, and while they’re at it, maybe they could stay out of hospitals and emergency rooms, and public schools. Well, I probably went overboard myself there at the end.
Give Mexico credit. Last week they announced a plan that will slow down movement across our border, and might cause a few million Americans to move south of the Rio Grande. They made it legal to use drugs.
Congress is threatening to break up Big Oil because they made $8 profit for every $100 they took in. One Senator said patriotic Americans should buy only from companies that make less than 8%, and refuse to use any product from a company making more. He backed off when someone explained he was encouraging people to stop using Tide, Pepsident and Google, but to go out a buy a big GMC pickup.
The government has taken on the oil companies before, and it didn’t work: “One time the Government split up Standard Oil into 31 parts, and in two years each one of the 31 was bigger than the original. So it looked like they just thrived on being split up.” (WA #378, March 23, 1930)
Yesterday gasoline cost around $2.75 to $2.90 most places in Ohio, but Wal-Mart was selling it for $2.63. Now that puts some people in a pickle. They want to boycott Exxon because it is so big, yet Wal-Mart can sell for less… because it is so big.
I told you last week I had a solution to traffic jams in Claremore caused by the railroads. There are two railroads and fifteen grade crossings, and the mayor would like the railroads to fix the problem. First, it is only fair to point out that the two railroads have been in Claremore more than a hundred years, no change. What has changed is the cars. A solution that will work in 2006 is the same one I proposed in 1924. “The only way to solve the traffic problem of this country is to pass a law that only paid-for cars are allowed to use the highways. That would make traffic so scarce that we could use our Boulevards for children’s play grounds.” (WA #56, January 6, 1924)
In other old business from Claremore, I wanted to tell you about more of the Wild West competition. The award for Trick Roper of the year went to Kenneth Durham, who also won the “horse catch”. The best young roper is Cody Lamb. Darrell Hawkins received the Montie Montana award for Showmanship. The gun spinning champion was Paula Saletnik, better known as Pistol Packing Paula. The best trick riders, men and women, were Shawn Brackett and Loretta Pemberton. There’s a lot more champions in more categories, and I don’t mean to slight any of them. Next year plan to go to Claremore in April and you can meet them yourself.
Historic quote from Will Rogers:
“United States Marines landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, to protect Standard Oil interests. Next week Standard Oil, in repayment for Marines’ courtesy, raised price of gas 3 cents.” WA #111, January 25, 1925