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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 ISSUE #229
 

COLUMBUS: Our former President, Jimmy Carter, is in Cuba. Mr. Castro let him go on television, he talked on for an hour and it was all in Spanish. It was a short speech by Cuban standards, and the people liked what they heard.

Mr. Carter told 'em they should have an election to select a president democratically, by popular vote. They all knew about Florida, you know, from their cousins in Miami, so that got a big laugh. Jimmy then explained, "Not the way we did it in 2000, but rather the way our founding fathers intended."

Did you read where the Republicans are selling a picture of President Bush for $150? It was taken on September 11, and Democrats are upset. Now I'm all for the Democrats, God love 'em, but what's the complaint? It's a picture that anyone can get free on the internet, or cut out of a magazine, so why worry about what a rich Republican will pay for it.

What they're mainly upset about is nobody will pay $150 for a picture of President Clinton. Actually there's images of him that Republicans would pay Thousands for, but no one was there to snap the picture.

Farmers are having a tough time, especially the cattlemen. First, McDonald's says they plan to buy their beef in Australia because it's leaner. Well, we've got plenty of beef on the hoof right here and the way farmers are getting squeezed, their old cows will soon be just as hungry as the Aussies. If McDonald's wants to serve meat from Down Under, they ought to sell lambburgers. Even our ranchers would eat those.

Next, the NCAA announced that colleges will stop using basketballs made of cowhide in their tournaments. That ain't so bad, but they thanked PETA for giving 'em the idea. When you think about all these agricultural universities across the country that teach animal husbandry, and now they will have to dribble a ball made of plastic...

I suppose PETA will tell these schools they have to give up their animal names, too. Will colleges want to give up names like Wolverines, Badgers, Wildcats, Buffalos, Bears, Gators and Leathernecks, and trade 'em for vegetables? I doubt you'll ever see the Texas Longhorns become the Texas Turnipgreens.

Farmers got a farm bill through Congress. Lots of people seem to think we're giving our farmers too much. One thing they forget is the farmer will collect so much a bushel for what he grows. The big farmer and the small one get the same, so many cents a bushel or pound, depending on the commodity. So the more he grows, the more he gets. And the more he grows, the better we eat.

If he grows nothing, he gets nothing. This spring in Ohio, and in a bunch of other states, it's rained almost every day and not much has been planted. One farmer told me his fields are so wet he may call a crop duster in Louisiana to fly up here and sow rice. We had two days of sunshine, to give the farmers hope, but it's supposed to rain the rest of the week. But they're optimistic, their tractors are fueled, and when the weather breaks they could have the corn and soybeans all planted in a couple of weeks.

On this Farm Bill, the Northerners wanted a low maximum limit per farm, Southerners wanted no limit, and Congress arranged it so both got what they wanted. The limits are just like a plank in a political platform... just for the orator to point to.

No matter whether it's corn, cotton or peanuts, most of the money will go to pay the rent on the land, and maybe buy some machinery. One improvement, if Mr. Carter and President Bush could persuade the voters in south Florida to go along, would be for us to buy all our sugar from Cuba, and for them to buy everything else from us.

And if we could carry that idea to every corner of the globe... you grow what you grow best, and we'll do likewise, and we'll trade with each other... maybe our farmers wouldn't need any government subsidy. The taxpayers would be happy and the farmers would be thrilled.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"Did you see in the paper this afternoon where Cuba is liable to have another change of government? ... It's their country. It's their sugar. Take the sugar out of Cuba and we would no more be interested in their troubles than we would a revolution among the Zulus." DT #2218, Sept. 12, 1933

"There is one thing about a Latin American country. No matter who is running it, they are always run the same." DT #2213, Sept. 6, 1933


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