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Sunday, August 17, 2014 ISSUE #805

More women working, fewer men
     The recession is still hanging on, at least for many of us. A survey showed that only 20% of American parents think their children will be better off than they are. The others think the future is bleaker for their kids. Is it a coincidence that about 20% are currently on welfare or other government support? It’s probably the same 20%.

    I read a report that 400,000 more women are employed now than before the recession hit, but 600,000 fewer men have jobs. (There will be no jokes about the “weaker sex.”) The same report said consumer spending is down. That’s no surprise; with all the women working, they don’t have time to go to the mall.

    Golf is suffering a downturn. President Obama may appear lackadaisical and uninterested on foreign affairs, deficits and the Keystone pipeline, but he is using all available powers to support golf. If the man with the most important, most demanding job in the world can take time to play a couple of rounds a week, so can the rest of us.

    I heard that the biggest ranch in the country is for sale. The family of “my” old friend, W. T. Waggoner, wants to sell it for $725 million. (See quotes below.) I hope it does not get split up into tiny pieces. Maybe Donald Trump or some other Wall Street billionaire will decide it would be more fun to own a ranch than a football team.  

    It’s a shame what is happening in that little St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.  A young man, who looked like he could play tackle for the Rams, was shot by a policeman, apparently soon after stealing cigars from a convenience store. That’s a tragedy for the family and community. But what followed was almost as bad. Looters and troublemakers and agitators from outside Ferguson descended on the town. Looking back, there are plenty of “what if” questions. What if the policeman had been black? What if he had been on foot instead of in a police car? What if the store clerk had been armed?

    Meanwhile in Chicago, 25 young men were shot this week and nobody offered even a sympathy card for the grieving families. What does it say about us, that we take murders in Chicago for granted? Well, it is the home of Al Capone.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

    “I am on a ranch of 600,000 acres, belonging to W. T. Waggoner, with 25,000 cattle and some of the best horses in any state (at Vernon, Texas). He is one cowman that was smart enough to solve the low prices of cattle and make ranches pay: every cow has her own oil well.” DT #1846, July 6, 1932
    (2 years later)  “A fine old friend and one of the last great cowmen died in Fort Worth, Texas, W. T. Waggoner.  One of the biggest ranches in the United States. It had oil all over it, and it made him sore every time they found a new well, for it was always on the best grass land and just spoiled it for that many cattle. He would rather lose a dollar on a cow than make a thousand on an oil well.” DT #2606, Dec. 12, 1934

    “Buy a ranch somewhere in the West. All your life every man has wanted to be a cowboy. Why play Wall Street and die young when you can play cowboy and never die.” DT #1549, July 10, 1931

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