2014-03-22 / Viewpoints



We Americans are fascinated by the flamboyant gangsters of years gone by. Hollywood probably has a lot to do with that.

The other day I was at the grocery store checkout line and there was a magazine called ‘Gangsters” for sale. The cover had two pictures: Al Capone and John Gotti.

These two giants in the underworld were separated by several decades but their tactics were very similar – reward your friends and punish your enemies.

Al “Scarface” Capone had a good run until the feds got him in their crosshairs. Eliot Ness, the pride of Coudersport, was one of the G-men who went after his bootlegging racket but it was tax evasion that brought him down.

John “The Teflon Don” Gotti got too greedy and too big for his britches, so one of his lieutenants turned into a snitch and the feds got the goods on him.

These two guys were bad and they got what they had coming.

My imagination got to roaming and I wondered who is going to be on next week’s cover. I could offer the editor some pretty good candidates from the cast of characters we have running our dysfunctional federal government.

A good, self-respecting bank robber wouldn’t stand a chance against that bunch when it came to the list of coverstory finalists. Robin Hood was known for stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor. These guys are doing just the opposite.

Now that the U.S. is churning out all of this natural gas we might be able to gain some more respect around the world. Gasoline prices are up, the stock market is getting unstable and the drought in California is sending food prices up, so we need some ray of hope.

Maybe we can build an underwater pipeline to ship our natural gas to our friends in Europe and cut off the Russians’ big source of income. Does anyone remember the history of the Trans-Atlantic telephone cable?

They say there is a better way to ship the gas by turning it into a liquid and sending it on ships so maybe we will see that in future years.

Right now the Russians are getting the upper hand by flexing their muscle in the Ukraine situation and laughing at us as we pull out of Afghanistan after more than 12 years of trying to do the impossible. Russia tried to make something out of that sorry nation and failed, so they are probably saying, “I told you so.”

Colorado’s numbskulls are crowing about making millions of dollars by legalizing marijuana and taxing its sales. Anyone who thinks that state is going to be better off with more whacked-out potheads running around does not know much about drugs.

One reason they legalized pot was that their cops couldn’t catch a cold. Remember the Jon Benet Ramsey murder? All these years and they still don’t have a clue. The gumshoes must have had too much gum on their shoes. They tramped all around the crime scene and ruined all the evidence. It was Christmas time and the cops must have wanted to get to the department Christmas party.

I have been reading about all of the Defense Department cuts that Congress is considering. Well, we’ll still have the Boy Scouts to help fend off our enemies. We are getting ready to wreck our military and our enemies are making theirs stronger.

This all comes at the same time Luke Air Force Base out here is holding an open house that will include the Thunderbirds and a viewing of the F-35, which is the fighter of the future. There are supposed to draw about 250,000 people to that. I will be AWOL.

This man was going to the horse auction and took his eight-year-old son with him. One horse caught his eye so he was giving it a good going over.

The little boy asked his father why he was feeling the horse’s legs and the father replied, “Son, when I am going to buy a horse, I want him to be sound.”

The boy suddenly became very concerned and said, “We better hurry home, Dad. The mailman is going to buy Mom!”

I guess we picked a good time to move to Arizona. It has been a rough winter in the Land of the Endless Mountains. I figured there was enough hot air around the table of the Liars Club to keep things warm.

I hope things warm up back in the Keystone State. If you do have to say inside, be sure to clean your musket and keep your powder dry.

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