Harry: if only we could have cloned him

Neighbor Grover sez 99 percent of the lawyers give the rest a bad name.

There's a big ethical debate over cloning. But let's face it, somet imes it ma kes sense.

F'instance, President Harry Truman. What if we'd cloned him and his clones had continued to lead this country?

Harry was a different kind of President, as I'm reminded by an item relayed to me this week by a reader.

Harry probably made as many, or more, important decisions impacting our nation's history than any of the other 32 Presidents who preceded him.

He didn't shy from tough decision, either. He found out about the atomic bomb in April and used it in August, bringing World War II to a rapid end and saving thousands of lives, had the Allies had to invade Japan.

He said he never lost an hour's sleep over that decision.

However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and, other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and later a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harr y and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president, he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in at the public trough. Many in Congress also have found ways to great wealth supporting legislation. That political offices are now for sale is well established.

Harry Truman played the piano to relax. "The Missouri Waltz" was heard often in the White House.

One humorous quote attributed to him: "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician."

One is tempted to say this day and time that there's hardly any difference.


Debate over health-care reform rages on. Well, what do our health specialists think about it? Here's what, according to a lady at the library (maybe you've seen this too).

The allergists want to scratch it, but dermatologists advise not to make any rash moves.

Gastroenterologists have a gut feeling about it. Neurologists, haven't had the nerve to speak out.

Obstetricians feel we're all laboring with misinformation. Ophthalmologists think the idea is shortsighted.

Pathologists say it'll pass over their dead bodies. Pediatricians say Congress needs to grow up.

Psychiatrists think the idea is madness, radiologists see right through it, and surgeons have washed their hands of it.

Internists think it's a bitter pill and plastic surgeons say it puts a whole new face on the matter.

Podiatrists see it as a step forward but the urologists are ticked off at the whole idea.

Anesthesiologists think the idea is a gas and cardiologists don't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the proctologists may have to decide to leave the decision up to the apex posteriors in Washington.

Okay, I edited the urologists and proctologists a bit. But you get the drift.

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2009-09-03 digital edition

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