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Thursday, March 11, 2004 ISSUE #313

Weekly Comments: Ashcroft gall bladder is out; in Ohio, creationism is in

# 313, March 11, 2004

COLUMBUS: Attorney General John Ashcroft lost his gall bladder. Some folks say he had too much gall, so losing it will bring him back to about normal. You can joke about it if you want, but if you're ever unfortunate enough to have gall stones settle in and plug the old drain pipe, you'll quit laughing.

Tonight I mailed Mr. Ashcroft a copy of "my" little book, Ether and Me. It's the autobiographical story of a 1927 operation on a wayfaring humorist, in an attempt to "relieve me of surplus gall". In a note to him I apologized in case anything in the book caused him to laugh before the stitches come out, because when you've got a fresh scar across your mid-section the last thing you want is a belly laugh.

But I shouldn't be concerned about John suffering from an early laugh. By the time my package gets through all the government mail screeners, x-ray machines, chemical detectors, de-radiation devices, and is run past various sniffer dogs and taste panels, it'll be August.

Last weekend Governor Schwarzenegger was here for a Body Builders convention. Hundreds of men and women, all with bulging biceps, muscular chests, huge thighs. Nobody appeared quite normal. The Ohio Board of Education took one look at them and voted to change their Science books. They said no one could evolve to look like that, those bodies had to be created.

So in Ohio the argument is evolution versus creationism. Governor Taft says tax revenues are down, so they can't afford to teach both sides. They could bring back Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan to fight it out, but Ohio can't afford those old lawyers, or even new ones.

Maybe they can divide science into two parts. Teach both, but split it to eliminate the argument. See, if your body looks like it was chiseled from New Hampshire granite, then you were created. But if you're overweight and appear to have a Body by McDonalds, then it's evolution. And don't even mention intelligent design, because there's nothing particularly intelligent about either of them, including the education board.

Have you seen "The Passion of Christ"? There seems to be some disagreement on the outcome of the film. Some are for it, some against it. But I have found if you only listen to ones who have seen it, that removes about three-fourths of the disagreement right there. And if they had read the Book first, why you get close to unanimous accord.

So you might want to read the book, even if you don't go to the movie.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

After surgery to remove gall stones, Will received hundreds of telegrams and cards, including from President Coolidge, senators, congressmen, ambassadors and other friends. He wrote, "Everybody that I make a living kidding about seemed to be watching for some turn in my illness. People couldn't have been any nicer to me if I had died." DT #285, June 21, 1927

P.S: You can order a copy of "Ether and Me" (32 pages) from the Will Rogers Museum gift shop for about $6.00. (www.willrogers.com)

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