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Monday, April 08, 2002 ISSUE #225

ST. MARYS, Ohio: After pondering on it for a week, I uncovered an idea that Colin Powell may want to consider for settlin' the Middle East argument. But first I've got to tell you where I am.

This is Auglaize County, in the western part of Ohio, home of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong. He was one of those Rocket Boys, but he was born in farm country instead of a coal mine so nobody made a movie about him, at least not yet.

Here at St. Marys Memorial High School they have an FFA organization as modern as space ships, but with an ancient and successful history almost as old as the school building itself. At one time FFA stood for Future Farmers of America, but now they just use the initials, kinda like 3M and FMC. And rightly so because these students are prepared to go into about any line of work in their future, including farming. One told me he wants to be a Mechanical Engineer. Another one, the boy who introduced me tonight at their banquet, says he don't know what he'll do, but I would say he is laying the groundwork for being a Comedian. He's just ornery enough to make a go of it.

I promised you a plan for the Middle East, and here it is. Now, I told this to the FFA students tonight and their parents, and they figured it stood as good a chance as any other plan we might impose, at least one we can afford.

This plan ain't mine, in fact it goes back to something the Indians learned and practiced for hundreds of years, way before the white man arrived on these shores and civilized 'em.

See, what you do is have Mr. Arafat and Mr. Sharon trade places for a week.

To explain this plan in a way those men will understand it, I suggest Secretary Powell invite an Indian to fly over there to join him pronto. I would recommend the Chief of the Cherokee Nation out in Oklahoma. If she is tied up and can't go, I'll round up someone else for him.

(Read the Historic Quotes below for explanation.)

Historic Quotes from Will Rogers:

"(Indians say) you must never disagree with a man while you are facing him. Go around behind him and look the same way they do when you are facing him. Look over his shoulder and get his viewpoint, then go back and face him and you will have a different idea.

"An Indian (said) the reason a white man always got lost, and an Indian dident, was because an Indian always looked back after he passed anything so he got a view of it from both sides. You see the white man just figures that all sides of a thing are the same. That's like a dumb guy with an argument, he don't think there can be any other side, only his. That's what you call politicians." WA #514, October 30, 1932

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