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Sunday, January 27, 2002 ISSUE #215


COLUMBUS: Did you read in the paper about the man who had a knife on an airplane? This Ohio fellow named Hedrick, he called a radio station to report a security breach, that he had a knife hidden in a belt buckle... he had forgotten it was there... and he got past security at the Greensboro airport.

The FBI got wind of it, and boy they jumped right in. What do you suppose they did? Did they arrest the person that allowed the man to go through security without inspecting his buckle? Did they interrogate the security manager at the airport to see why he hired such a careless person? Did they thank Mr. Hedrick for exposing this dangerous hole in our homeland security?

No, they arrested him. He was held on bail of $500,000, and charged with a crime that could land him in jail for 10 years.

Well, what about the security staff at Greensboro? I think they were transferred temporarily to New Orleans.... to keep terrorists out of the Super Bowl.

The moral to the story is, if you discover some incompetent working at an airport, don't report 'em to the FBI unless you're wearing suspenders.

Europe is complaining about how we are treating the Taliban prisoners. But those cells must not be as bad as Europe makes them out to be. Pictures of the prisoners got back to Afghanistan, and Taliban fighters are surrendering by the hundreds in hopes they will get taken there.

Those fellows get a free trip to the Caribbean, and John Walker Lindh, a bonafide American citizen until proven otherwise, he gets sent to Washington, confined at an undisclosed secret location. Probably across the hall from Dick Cheney. He says, 'If you won't send me to Guantanamo, can I perhaps serve my time in Puerto Rico?'

Congress is investigating Enron. I think I have figured out a solution. If the Congressmen who got contributions from Enron would give it all back, and if all politicians in every state and country would do the same, and if the company officials and stockholders who sold early at a good profit donated theirs, and Wall Streeters who hawked the stock, and Enron's lawyers, and Arthur Anderson accountants... if all these scoundrels and their accomplices would come clean, there would be enough dough to at least have some semblance of a company. Not number 7 in size, but maybe 1007. Maybe even enough to give the employees a small settlement for their years of labor.

I have intentionally limited the amount of humor in this message. On Tuesday the President will deliver the State of the Union address, and I don't want you to risk exceeding your weekly quota of laughs, chuckles and guffaws. Mr. Bush, and the Democratic response, could put you over the top.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

"Frank Phillips, of oil fame was out the other day, said he was going to Washington. The oil men were going to draw up a code of ethics. Everybody present had to laugh. If he had said the gangsters of America were drawing up a code of ethics, it wouldn't have sounded near as impossible." DT #2164, July 11, 1933

"The California Bar Association is to rid its ranks of any attorney found to have connection with the underworld. The first thing they do now if they are taking up crime as a profession (even before they buy the gun) is to engage their lawyer. He works on a percentage. Bar associations invented the word 'ethics', then forgot about it." DT #2621, Dec. 30, 1934

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