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Sunday, June 22, 2008 ISSUE #505
 

Will offers a flood relief plan

#505   June 22, 2008

COLUMBUS: There's fires in northern California and 115 degree heat in the Southwest, but that's mild compared to the flood waters rolling downstream from Iowa to the Mississippi River. The flood of 1993 left most folks prepared for this one, but no one expected hundred year storms to come every fifteen years.

Several levees were topped. You can't blame the levee if it was built for a 20-foot flood and the river hits 21 feet. I heard a television reporter wondering if levees are a good idea; maybe we would all be better off if the river is allowed to spread out where ever it wants to. Then he went on to say that downstream from St. Louis the Mississippi River poses no flooding problem. Well, folks, the reason there is no danger of flooding is because of the levees built or raised after the disastrous flood of 1927. (See Historical Quotes below)

A levee that keeps farmland from flooding 9 years out of 10 can be worthwhile. If you prefer that your house don't flood that often, then build it on high ground, or on stilts.

The Red Cross is broke but they're still helping the victims of these floods, fires and other disasters. They need our donations. John Deere gave a million dollars, and they'll probably lose at least ten million in business as a result of the floods.

Our presidential candidates appear to have excess millions available. I suggest that each one donate $10 million from their campaign accounts. That keeps it even and sure beats having to watch more of their TV ads. But some Washington official would say that "putting campaign funds to such a good use is illegal."

So here's a better plan. Each candidate would instruct prospective campaign donors for the next month to send the money directly to the Red Cross. There would be a post office box for Obama supporters and a different one for McCain. Make it a contest. Whoever raises the most for the Red Cross, as long as it's at least ten million, would get five extra electoral college votes. You may wonder, Where would these electoral votes come from? Well, each state, like Iowa and Missouri, that's receiving major help from the Red Cross would kick in one vote.

Saudi Arabia called a meeting this weekend to announce what they would contribute in the way of extra oil production. Even though the announcement was in English, we're not quite sure what they promised. Here's a hint: if oil drops to $120 a barrel next week, you'll know they want to help; if it jumps to $140, they're just pulling our leg. My guess is they promised to deliver all the oil we need as long they get at least $130 a barrel for it. Who can blame them. They could say, Why should we give you our oil, just so you can sit on the oil you have at home.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on the Mississippi River flood of 1927; these are from various Daily Telegrams, April 25 to June 9)

"I don't believe our people that have never been around a flood area realize the tremendous need of these sufferers down on the Mississippi. It's by far the worst thing that has happened in this country in years. We have helped every nationality in the world. Now we have a chance to help the poorest people we have in America, and that is the renter farmer.

There's hundreds of thousands of people being driven from their homes, homes that won't be there when they come back. These poor people have never harmed a soul or broke a law. Yet Mrs. Snyder's picture [from a celebrity murder trial] has occupied more space in some of the papers than the whole State of Mississippi fighting for its life. There are ten reporters and photographers at the trial to one at the flood.

Every edition tells of more levees breaking and more people in danger. This Sunday is Mother's Day. Now what could please your Mother more, either living or dead, than to mail one dollar to your nearest Red Cross for the flood sufferers? Even if you have given, give again.

Another levee broke today; another hundred thousand standing on the banks. Don't forget that when you eat your big dinner and sleep in a nice dry bed tonight.

I hate to keep digging on it, but we still have 600,000 of our own whose homes are now floating toward Nicaragua. We can't seem to get the Government interested in them financially. I wish you would send some checks to the Red Cross. If 600,000 people had lost their all and were being fed by charity in the East they would raise fifty million in a day.

Flew over hundreds of miles yesterday and saw the advance guard of 700,000 people returning home. Home to what? To a great, big, flat mud-hole. No houses, no barns, no fences, no plows, no seed, no work, no stock, no stoves. What a homecoming!

Water is going down in the Mississippi Valley and the politicians are coming up now.

There are two types of men in the world that I feel sincerely sorry for. One is the fellow that thinks he 'knows women,' and the other is the one that is always saying 'I know the Mississippi River.'"


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