No slick lawyers, or income tax experts can get you out of a national sales tax. It’s so much on the dollar on every luxury you buy. Then, if you live in luxury, the poor fellow knows you are paying for it and he will even encourage you to buy more so it will help out the government. — Will Rogers November 2, 1924
Archives For Will’s Quotes
Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.
This is one of my favorite quotes from my hero Will Rogers. He just had a way of finding humor at almost all situations. I try to emulate him in that regard. I often mention that much of what I say has a certain level of jest in it. I just love pulling people’s chains because some just take life too serious.
Some of my readers and especially one who was once a frequent commentor seemed to often forget that. She took almost everything I post here with the utmost seriousness and her comments reflected that mood. It seemed when I was trying to smile she put a frown on my face. I guess I hurt her feelings with a recent reply and she has vowed to never come back. I don’t like to offend people in any serious manner, after all I like my hero have never met a person I really dislike. But if everything to you is serious then maybe this is not the blog for you. I kind of like to poke fun at almost everything! Some call that disrespectful; I call it not taking life too serious…
Maybe I should end every post with the quote above? Will Rogers lived in some of the most serious times for our country. He made jokes about living during the Great Depression. Since he was one of the most famous during his time I think he got it right for most people. I hope I am taken the same way. Yeah, some of my comments might seem disrespectful to some but just don’t take life too serious and you can see my underlying message.
Do the best you can, and don’t take life to serious.
“The time to worry about debt is before you get it, not after you got four-fifths of it.” – Will Rogers, 21 December 1932
These words of wisdom were just as ignored in Will’s day as they are today by almost all of us and especially by our government.
“I don’t suppose there ever was a time when everybody knew as little about what they were talking about as they do today.” – Will Rogers, 19 September 1933
I often wonder what Will would say about the current crop of politicians that we now have in DC?
We are so used to the things that the Red Cross does, that we sometimes just forget to praise them. But this time, in this flood, they outdid themselves feeding and housing and caring for as many as six hundred thousand.
Lord, what a blessing an organization like that is. I would rather have originated the Red Cross than have written the Constitution of the United States.
Will Rogers June 19,1927
Sometimes it is hard to remember that the Red Cross has been around since before Will’s day. If this quote moves you a little bit please consider giving a little something to your local chapter.
“We’ll show the world we are prosperous if we have to go broke to do it.” – Will Rogers, 18 November 1927
This phenomenon seems to be so prevalent in our world today. Everyone wants to live a higher lifestyle even if they can’t really afford it.
“A fool that knows he is a fool is one that knows he don’t know all about anything, but the fool that don’t know he is a fool is the one that thinks he knows all about anything. Then he is a dam fool.” – Will Rogers, 7 August 1927
This is one of Will’s more philosophical quotes. Those who think they know everything are just damn fools. I have certainly run across my share of these folks. Many have even passed through this blog on occasion but thankfully they don’t stay long.
“If we can just let other people alone and let them do their own fighting. When you get into trouble 5,000 miles away from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it” – Will Rogers, 9 February 1932
The world is a much smaller place now than it was in 1932 when Will spoke these words. The first multiple channel trans-Atlantic cable would not be laid for almost 25 years and communications satellites where also decades away. 1932 was just the beginning of our addiction to the automobile so it would be again decades before we became dependent on middle-Eastern oil. The world is a much smaller place now…
But I still kind of believe that Will got it right even for today. We seem to go out of our way to find some use for our massive military complex. I see the recent budget agreement tacked another $60 billion for Afghanistan on top of the other $600 billion already approved. Those yahoos just can’t spend enough money on our fighting capabilities or too little on our peace making efforts. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…
“Went down last night to a world’s championship wrestling match. Us movie actors are advised to go there by our producers so we can learn how to act. It was a fine show, everybody enjoyed it, but wrestling managements are overlooking an extra big revenue, for folks would pay even more to see them rehearse with each other before the match.” – Will Rogers, 25 July 1935
This quote brought back a very distant memory for me. I can recall with I was about ten years old watching my grandmother yelling at the very small TV screen in their living room. She was very much into the Wednesday night wrestling matches. She had her favorites who she rooted for and all the villains got their share of her angry shouts. Grandpa would tell her that all that stuff was just made up and practiced before hand but she adamantly refused to believe that.
All my grandparents died before I became a teenager so it was nice to have this quick memory of one of them. Thanks Will.
The one thing these old boys with a big navy are scared of, and that’s submarines. They are always claiming they are inhuman and not a civilized mode of warfare. It would be rather interesting to see published the names of weapons that are considered a pleasure to be shot by. - Will Rogers, 30 April 1935
Of course submarines have been replaced by drones as being not civilized mode of warfare today. At least that is what those who have been shot by drones say. Will was just not much of a fan of our war machine. I mimic him in that regard. Even in his day we spent too much on it but what we spent back then was utterly minuscule compared to today. Huge amounts of money now go to developing a more efficient killing machine. I see where the military now has an experimental laser that is drone mountable and when fired up can kill from up to two miles away.
Maybe the answer to all this kind of stuff is for each country to have their own versions of drones and the country that managed to kill more enemy drones would be the winner in that particular conflict. That sure would save a lot of our young people who wouldn’t be given marching order into the latest conflict. And with all of us trying to take out enemy drones it would mean a perpetual demand for new and even more advanced drones. That should satisfy our capitalist requirements and keep our DOD budgets ridiculously high.
But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….
“I don’t care who you are, you just can’t reach middle life without having done and said a whole lot of foolish things.” – Will Rogers, 28 December 1934
I think cleansing my soul might be a good way to start off this new year and what better way to do it than around a quote from Will Rogers. I will personally attest to what Will said in the above quote. I did some pretty foolish things in my years. At the tender age of 17 I became addicted to nicotine. That addiction would last for over thirty years before I finally broke it. Looking back I can see where I missed so many opportunities because of my smoking. One of the girls I was thoroughly infatuated with in college quickly let me know that she was not interested. I’m sure now a big part of it was because of my smoking and resulting foul smell.
One of the things I learned later in life is that the teenage brain is just not fully developed in many areas. This resulted in many foolish ideas during those years. I was so in love with my first car that I was convinced that I would rather die in a crash rather than lose my car. I also drank too much in my high school and college years. That made me do even more stupid/foolish things.
Another foolish thing I did in my youth was to consistently vote Republican but since I have now sworn off political stuff I will say no more about that….
We all do foolish things in our lives but seem to conveniently forget about most of them when we are dealing with today’s youth or with those who might have had to more seriously deal with the consequences of their foolish things. I think Will is trying to tell us to give them some slack. As the old saying goes “there but for the grace of God go I”.
Ah, I feel a little better now so bring on this new year.
Oh, by the way the picture above is of Will sitting in a chair swinging his ever present lasso while writing a blog post. They called them newspaper columns in his day. Let’s all strive to do a little better this year than last and to try to think a little less about ourselves and more for others; especially those down on their luck.. Isn’t that the least we can do???
As Wall Street\’s best year in more than 15 draws to a close, few are expecting a repeat performance in 2014, though traders have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic.
I have a fair share of stocks in my retirement portfolio and have seen them go up quite a bit this year. It almost reminds me of the year 1998 when I started thinking about retiring. It is good news to see stocks going up especially since the Feds have bond interest rates stuck at 0% for so long.
But then I look at this year from a political view and things couldn’t have been worse. Total gridlock and the total “do-nothingness” congress. How can these two things occur in the same year? Of course my hero Will Rogers had already told me but I failed to listen I guess.
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for. – Will Rogers
In fact he told me even more bluntly and I am paraphrasing because I can’t find the quote right now
The best thing congress can do for the country is take a two-week vacation.
Those yahoos spend more time at home than they did in Washington this year. Maybe that in financial terms is a good thing. But I do kind of wish they would have stayed around long enough to do a little something for the guy out of work and struggling to feed his family.
“There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” – Will Rogers, 1 November 1929
Notice this quote was only a couple of days after the giant stock market crash starting the Great Depression. That day wiped out a lot of “paper” fortunes and a lot of real jobs. It would be more than a decade before we began to really recover. And that even took a world war to accomplish. While we have faced many more calamities in the years since nothing compares to the Great Depression.
Will Rogers was one of those rich guys and I’m sure he lost thousands of dollars on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 but you never heard much from him lamenting his personal loss. His main concern was for the common guy to lost his often 80-hour a week below minimum wage, even though there was not such a thing, job and could no longer support his family. He, unlike many in the upper percentages of wealth, was more concerned about the common good than personal gain or loss. That, with the exception of a few, seems to be a rare commodity in today’s world. And that is why he inspired me and is a hero of mine…..
“No man can be condemned for owning a dog. In fact you admire him, ’cause as long he’s got a dog he’s got a friend, and the poorer he gets the better friend he has.” – Will Rogers, 8 May 1927
Wouldn’t it be nice if, in some ways, we were more like our canine friends. They don’t judge us on how much money we make or how many friends we have on FaceBook. They simply love us for who we are. It doesn’t matter that we might be physically or mentally impaired in one way or another, or even if we were homeless. They love us anyway. I believe that every person can learn something from any other person if only we take the time to do that. Maybe I should add dogs to that list. They seem to be better than us at learning some life lessons than we are.
I love my wife of twenty-eight years but still get annoyed when she tries to change me in one way or another. But that is just her nature; she seems to have it as a primary task in life to make me a “better” person. Now I am not saying that I couldn’t use some improvements but I kind of like myself just as I am, weirdness and all.
All my life I have had dogs around and I can’t remember a single one who didn’t love me just for who I am.
Now which is the narrowest, religious intolerance or political intolerance? – Will Rogers, 20 April 1927
That is a tough one Will. Even tougher is which does the most damage? Many have blamed, and rightly so in some regards, religious intolerance for most of humanities wars. But political intolerance has caused so much damage to society as to rival that.
Which is the narrowest? I don’t know….
“I think the same fellow who started that self-made man gag started that other asinine expression, ’100 per cent American.’” – Will Rogers, 28 October 1923
Will was just not one to parse his words. He spoke what he thought. I like to think I am like him in that regard. I also like to think that I also, like him, do it in a respectable manner without rants and personal attacks. At least I try to do that.
Will was turned off by certain phrases and these two above were on that list. To him there is no such thing as self-made. We all owe a debt to the society that sustains us. We all depend on others for what we have in life. Our mentors, our heroes, and yes even our advisories shape who we are. No one is ever self-made.
Likewise there is no such thing as 100% American. We are a very diverse country with many different opinions and beliefs. What makes us great is our willingness to accept others views even when they differ from our own. At least that is what has made us great in the past. In today’s USA I’m not sure that idea has legs anymore.
So when I hear all those out there saying that they are somehow 100% American I, like Will, immediately am cautious of what words may follow.
“A nation is just like an individual. If a man’s neighbors all hate him and he is continually in trouble, and all his fights and troubles are always over in the other fellow’s yard, he must be wrong.” – Will Rogers, 30 March 1927
Why we continue to always be fighting in the other fellow’s yard is beyond me. I am very thankful that for the most part our fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. We will likely on leave a couple hundred thousand of our soldiers there but that is considered a withdrawal by modern standards. .
I am very thankful to our president for not getting us into more fights in Syria and Iran. But I am kind of waiting for the next shoe to drop. One of my biggest disappointments with President Obama is he is listening to all the generals way too much. That and his killer robot drone program totally disappoints me…
“There is such little eating being done in the homes now that a dining room is almost a lost art.” - Will Rogers, 1 April 1923
Note the date of 1923. And you thought this was a recent phenomenon…..
Of course ten years later it was because of the Great Depression and fewer people had food.
It will be that again soon since congress is in the process of slashing Food Stamps to the bone so they can buy a few more robot drones to do our killing for us…..
“And that’s what makes us a great nation. We take the little things serious, and the big ones as a joke.” – Will Rogers, 15 September 1933
I must admit that getting away from the politics of our nation the above quote rings pretty true of these times. But, in these times everything is a joke in politics. I bet when Will originally penned these words in 1933 many people weren’t taking the serious things to do with the Great Depression as a joke! But that was just Will Rogers for you; he tried to put some jovial spin on everything to lighten the mood. I wish I were as good at that as he was…