Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Thursday, August 11, 2022
ISSUE #1123
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.


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