Weekly Comments: Prizes for the President, but the wrong ones
#572 Oct. 11, 2009
COLUMBUS: Sometimes a man can’t win. You lose the Olympics that you wanted to win; then win a Nobel Peace Prize you wanted to lose.
President Obama said he was “humbled,” and announced he would donate the $1.5 million Nobel prize money to charity. I suggest he give it to the Red Cross, or to whoever finished second. But any good, deserving charity is fine, but not PETA, ACORN or HSUS.
Last year those Nobel folks in Norway picked a man who worked on peacemaking for more than 30 years. But nobody ever heard of him so this time they selected one that’s famous, even if he had only been in the White House a week. My friend from Oklahoma, George Campbell, joked it was the Nobel Prize for Unpacking. The Nobel committee even admitted it was a prize for promise. They liked his potential and attitude. (Kinda like most 2008 voters.)
Now in the last hundred years they have selected many deserving winners of the Peace Prize. Norman Borlaug was a great one because his agricultural research helped feed an extra billion people. Mother Teresa in Calcutta and Desmond Tutu. The Red Cross got it three times.
But when it comes to wars, they gave more Peace Prizes to men that ended a war by surrendering than to ones that won. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill “won” World War II and saved Europe, but never got a Peace Prize. President Reagan won the Cold War over Russia, and never got a Peace Prize. But Gorbachev did.
Don’t be surprised if President Obama is also named the Time magazine Man of the Year. And there’s a chance he’ll be the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. But whether he makes the cover of the Swimsuit issue, I’ve got my doubts.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“We are a good-natured bunch of saps in this country. When the President is wrong we charge it to inexperience...When Congress is wrong we charge it to habit.... When a bank fails we let the guy go start another one....Everything is cockeyed, so what's the use kidding ourselves.” DT #1226, June 30, 1930
“I would like to stay in Europe long enough to find some country that don't blame America for everything in the world that's happened to 'em in the last fifteen years– debts, depression, disarmament, disease, fog, famine or frostbite.” DT #1718, Jan 26, 1932
“This Kellogg peace treaty, a lot of folks don't seem to be enthusiastic about it, but it's based on a great idea (to outlaw war), and if he does get away with it he deserves a lot of credit... I have a scheme for stopping war. It's this: no nation is allowed to enter a new war till they have paid for the last one.” DT #653, August 29, 1928 (Secretary of State Frank C. Kellogg received the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize)