# 317, April 15, 2004
COLUMBUS: You might remember, just a month ago I told you I sent a book to John Ashcroft (Weekly Comments, March 11). Well, I got a letter back from him, a lovely note, and it shocked me. I figured by the time they investigated the fellow that sent it, and the parcel cleared through x-rays and all kinds of detectors for weapons of mass destruction, it would be late summer. But their screening process has apparently improved since 2001, at least in speed.
He probably got thousands of little gifts and get-well cards, and I appreciate the time he took to reply personally. Now, I figure it was mainly his secretary…, I sure hope he didn’t pull an agent off a terrorist investigation to lick envelopes.
Mr. Ashcroft won’t mind if I show you what he wrote me in the opening paragraph: “Thank you for the most kind expression of concern regarding the serious health challenges which have occupied me during the last several weeks. The best wishes, prayers, and good intentions of friends across America have inspired me beyond words. Your thoughtfulness in sending a copy of Ether and Me or “Just Relax” is appreciated.” He added some more kind words of thanks, and signed it “John”.
He seems to have recovered from the surgery. You saw him testify to the 9/11 Commission a day or so ago, and any pained expression was caused by the line of questions and not by the scar.
This is income tax day. I finished my return yesterday, and it looks like I’ll get a small refund. With gas at $1.90, it’ll cover about five fill ups.
If you want to see several authentic quotes on Taxes click on “Quotes”, then “Taxes”.
Here’s one quote: “The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” WA #17, April 8, 1923
President Bush made a speech on the war, and then answered questions from news reporters. From the tone of their questions, I couldn’t tell if they listened to the speech. It’s been tough this month in Iraq. Our men and women over there are fighting to protect us, even if we don’t realize it.
We can all thank and congratulate Phil Mickelson. By winning the Masters golf tournament he tossed a monkey off his back, and we all got a new, and deserving, champion to cheer. He loves to play at Augusta; maybe he’ll make it fifty years the way Arnold Palmer did.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“They are pretty bad, these big wars over Commerce. They kill more people. But one over religion is really the most bitter.” WA # 350, Sept. 8, 1929
(If you switch the two parties, and substitute bin Laden for John Dillinger, this is a great quote, exactly 70 years later.) “The Republicans coming out pretty strong now against the administration. Looks like if the Democrats don’t get Dillinger, they may lose this Fall’s election.” DT #2412, April 26, 1934
“The minute one side makes a speech, the humorously called ‘strategists’ on the other side go into a huddle to pick it apart, which all don’t mean a thing. There is not a voter in America that twenty-four hours after any speech was made could remember two sentences in it. Politicians amuse more people than they interest.” DT 1887, Aug. 22, 1932