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Sunday, April 19, 2009 ISSUE #547

Weekly Comments: Oklahoma spurs ideas for tea parties and Earth Day.

COLUMBUS: I just returned from two days in Oklahoma City. The Land Title Association invited me to their annual powwow at the Skirvin Hotel. After all the titleing work was done, they held a Roaring Twenties dinner, and everybody dressed up in costumes. It's the biggest business Oklahoma Halloween costume shops have ever done in April.

Al Capone was there, and several keystone cops to chase (but never catch) him. I saw one forlorn farmer who had lost his wheat crop, but that may have been for real. Most popular though was the flapper girls. Why, there was enough of 'em we could have put on a Ziegfeld Follies show just like the old days.

These folks have done their part to keep land sales honest in Oklahoma. You don't hear about foreclosures there the way you do in Florida and California.

In Washington (or was it South America) President Obama announced a new plan for CIA agents. From now on they'll get the same training for dealing with prisoners as our teachers do with ornery students. "We're ending torture. There'll be no raising the voice, no searching their belongings, and absolutely no paddling." Saudi Arabia replied, "We're pleased the U.S. ended torturous water boarding, hair pulling and eye gouging." They went on, "In the Muslim world, we would never do any of those things, except in a humane way." Uh, humane way? "Yes, before we do anything to a man's head, first we chop it off."

But these CIA birds are shrewd, probably some are former Navy SEALS, so they'll figure another way to get information from captured terrorists.

Everybody got their tax forms finished last week, then some of 'em went to a Tea Party. Maybe a million all together, and another million or two that would have liked to go. Taxes was the prime topic, mainly on how they're spent.

I wish a reporter had asked a few tea partiers two questions: What spending should be cut? And what services would you personally be willing to give up? On the first one, ear mark pork barrel projects and bailout money paying million dollar bonuses would have been mentioned often. On the second, a hundred people would have given a hundred different answers, except the ones who admitted they really didn't want to give up anything that directly benefits them. There's the rub. We want the government to spend less, but it's the other fellow we want 'em to spend less on.

Earth Day is April 22, as it has been since 1970. Most of the fine folks you'll hear speaking on Earth Day will have good ideas for preserving and protecting the planet, or their favorite parts of it, mostly by fencing it off just to look at. Our farmers and ranchers consider themselves environmentalists, too, and they do a mighty fine job protecting the land in this country. The big difference is, while they are protecting it they're also producing from it. So remember these agricultural environmentalists because they are trying to provide a steady supply of some essentials for you, like corn, meat, potatoes, cotton and 2x4s.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it's in the way that it's spent." DT #1764, March 20, 1932

"It costs ten times more to govern us than it used to, and we are not governed one-tenth as good." DT #1770, March 27, 1932

#547 April 19, 2009

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