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Monday, March 25, 2002 ISSUE #223
 

 

COLUMBUS: The Academy Awards was last night. Well, they started last night, but nothing much happened till just before breakfast this morning. If Hollywood movies developed that slow, nobody would be there to watch 'em but the ushers.

Whoopi Goldberg was MC, but she didn't just walk out on the stage like an MC usually does. No, she dropped out of the sky, over the audience, on kind of a swing. All the other ladies were wearing fancy gowns, trying to look their best. But she wore an outfit that made her look more like a plucked chicken. Except she still had her tail feathers. Can you imagine Bob Hope or Billy Crystal with tail feathers?

ABC broadcast the show. If it had been on NBC, they would have done it like the Olympics and shown it on tape delay. Giving us less suspense, but more sleep. And Whoopi would have swooped in as a peacock.

There was so much talk about the Oscars all over television, radio, and newspapers, most of us have spent more time hearing about the movies than we spent watching them.

The awards show is mainly for the women anyway. The men are all watching basketball. The NCAA narrowed the field down to four teams: Oklahoma, Maryland, Kansas and Indiana. So pick your favorite state. I've got Oklahoma.

We'll find out next Monday night who wins. CBS says it'll be over by midnight because they don't stop a game for acceptance speeches. They only stop for commercials.

These past few weeks I've been ignoring Washington, and look what happened. They put high tariffs on everything, from steel to wood to sugar. I had read where steel studs were ready to take on the old reliable pine 2x4. But tariffs have raised the price of both so high the old home builder can't afford either one.

Candy manufacturers are closing down and moving to Mexico where sugar is half price. Sugar is so high here... can you believe it?... you can afford to make it out of corn. If Congress doubled the tariff again, you could probably make it out of sawdust.

So, timber cutters, write your Congressman, and stop worrying about Canadian studs. Bet on Oak Sweetener, that's where your future lies.

Congress passed their Election Reform bill. My reform idea from last week didn't get very far. I was too late. If I had been a week or two earlier, it could have picked up a few votes.

If you don't understand where the benefits lie in this Reform package, just wait, the lawyers and accountants will figure it out and let you know where to send your campaign contributions.

You just watch, there'll be more money spent in the next Presidential election than ever before. According to the bill, they can spend just as much, but they have to spend it sooner. And, as usual, the ones with the most dough will win 90% of the time.

I read today where the Indian tribes will be big contributors because the government can't limit the amount they give. That news will thrill the poor old Indian, till he realizes he don't have any money to give.

Speaking of Indians, West Virginia is going to stop teaching Indian history at 4-H camps the way they've been doing for 80 years. Think of the number of young people who learned about the heritage of the tribes that inhabited West Virginia years ago: the Senecas, Mingos, Delawares, and of course, Cherokees. I think West Virginia got it backwards. Instead of them stopping, the other 49 ought to start.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on tariffs)

"(Congress is) still doing a little light work on the tariff, each member according to the needs of his own State. Being 48 States that makes 48 versions of the tariff. In fact, 49, as the North and South of California both raise different stuff. The tariff is an instrument invented for the benefit of those who make, to be used against those who buy. As there is more buys than there is makes, it is a document of the minority. But what a minority." DT #912, June 28, 1929

"Mr. (Henry) Ford issued a statement last week that this new tariff bill if passed will be the worse thing in the world for all of us. You see a lot of manufacturing establishments try to cover up their own business ability by having the Government protect them against somebody that handles their business better than they do. They can always holler 'Cheap labor!' But the cost of transportation to this country more than makes up for that. So every little Industry that can't make a big profit hollers for protection. We won't see the real effects of this till we have all these other Countries passing restrictive tariffs against us. You can't stop the other fellow from shipping his goods to us without him doing something to get even.
Some of the smartest and most conscientious men in our National life have been divided on the tariff question. It's not all Politics, a lot of it is a matter of real opinion, based on a long study.
Arguing tariff is sorter like arguing religion. There just ain't any answer. If a business thrives under a protective tariff, that don't mean that it has been a good thing. It may have thrived because it made the people of America pay more for the object than they should have, so a few have got rich at the cost of the many. There is never any way of estimating the damage done by a tariff."
WA #388, June 1, 1930

"Senator Reed Smoot interrupted President Hoover's vacation with a plea to please help the sugar industry. There is 120,000,000 of us eat it, and exactly 1,231 that raise it. But Reed has dedicated his entire political career to make sugar not only sweet but dear to the 120,000,000." DT #943, Aug. 4, 1929

"My old friends (in Congress) Pat Harrison and Bob La Follette was investigating sugar. We have more arguments over sugar than we do over all the things combined that sugar goes on, or in. Pat was kinder protecting Mississippi. They got a kind of kaffir corn that renders out a thing they think is sorter sweet." DT #2359, Feb. 23, 1934


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