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Sunday, February 22, 2015 ISSUE #825
 

Winning wars and academy awards

Feb. 22, 2015

           This is George Washington’s Birthday.  As Will Rogers wrote in 1928, “George Washington was a farmer, Civil Engineer and a gentlemen.  He made enough at Civil Engineering to indulge in both the other luxuries.”

            Washington was the General of our Army that won the Revolutionary War, and he was elected our first President.  He wrote and said a lot of important things about winning a war, but I doubt he ever imagined he could have defeated the British by offering jobs to the Redcoats.

            The spokesperson for the Secretary of State announced this week that the way to defeat our current enemy, ISIS, is to offer them jobs.  That received a lot of commentary, especially by comedians and Republicans. 

           But Marie Harf also said you can’t win a war by killing the enemy.  And no one has commented on that bit of wisdom.  She graduated from the University of Virginia, that excellent school founded by Thomas Jefferson.  Is it possible she could have earned an advanced degree without reading anything on how to win a war by the likes of Washington, Stonewall Jackson and George Patton?

          When it comes to war, “General” Putin in Russia is demonstrating one way to win: simply say to the other side, “What war? I’m not at war.” I think he is following Hitler’s example in the 1930s, “Let me have Ukraine and I’ll leave the rest of you folks alone.” Well, once Putin takes the whole of Ukraine in a couple of years, he’ll move on to Poland. Maybe when he advances into East Germany, the rest of Europe will pay attention.

            The Academy Awards are being televised tonight.  The best movie is “American Sniper.”  As I write this, the best movie has not been announced. I don’t know if it will receive one of those little statues, but the American movie goers already voted: it is the Best Movie. 

          When Will Rogers was the M.C. of the 6th Academy Awards in March 1934 he described those “little statues” as “lovely things (that) were originally designed for prizes at a nudist’s colony bazaar, but they didn’t take ‘em. It must be terribly artistic, for nobody has any idea what it is.”

            Will Rogers admitted, “I have never seen any of these (nominated) pictures. They don’t look at mine, why should I go see theirs?  But he complimented everyone on their acting,There is great acting in this room tonight, greater than you will see on the screen. We all cheer when somebody gets a prize that everyone of us in the house knows should be ours. Yet we smile and take it. Boy that’s acting.”


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