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Dobson’s Relevance

Huckabee will have to wait. Plus: Horror shows. Soft Hillary. American roots. Fearless prognosticators. Plus much more.

11.12.07

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RADIO SHOW
Re: The Prowler's Huckabee's Salvation:

So the "Prowler" thinks Dr. Dobson is "irrelevant" to the 2008 presidential race?

I daresay Dr. Dobson is far more relevant by any important measure than The American Spectator; his influence is probably an order of magnitude greater than the Spectator's.
-- Brett Blatchley
Jacksonville, North Carolina

I think that the pundits overestimate the effect that religious leaders like James Dobson and Pat Robertson have on conservative religious voters. There seems to be this consensus that religious right voters will only vote for anti-abortion and anti gay marriage candidates.

Being one of those voters, a so-called religious right voter, I prefer politicians that are anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage, but that does not mean that these two social issues are the determinant factor in who I would actually vote for. I talk with friends that hold the same religious and political beliefs as I do. They too, are not voting lock step with the James Dobsons. The most important issues for the vast majority of so-called religious right voters are the war on terror, the security of our borders and up holding the immigration laws already on our books, government spending and taxing less, and less intrusive government. Candidates that can stand strong and deliver on these issues will get the major portion of the so-called religious right vote. The most important thing in the 2008 election is that republicans win in the congress and the presidency. If the Democrats take over the presidency and the Congress this country is doomed.
-- Lee Schafer
New Caney Texas

I am a faithful listener to the Focus On The Family radio broadcast. I found out about this misleading article when listening this morning. I was glad to have the story clarified. I noticed that you posted an update from the Focus people but this could have been avoided if you had contacted them before the story was printed. Please contact the people at Focus before writing such an article in the future.

Thank you,
-- Craig Donham
Rowlett, Texas

I have to admit that after reading this piece I am confused. According to the Prowler, James Dobson has "largely been made irrelevant to the 2008 Republican presidential race." But shortly after making this pronouncement, the author frets that Dobson could "create a domino effect" amongst "his many supporters" thereby presumably exerting significant pressure on other social conservatives to endorse his personal choice for the upcoming Republican primary. Several unnamed sources were cited to bolster this argument. So, which is it? If he is truly irrelevant, then why does anyone care what Dr. Dobson thinks? Conversely, if he wields enough power to coerce other social conservatives to favor the candidate of his choosing, how can his alleged endorsement be insignificant?

Also, until The Prowler produces a credible named source that can back up this claim, I will treat it as I would any other piece of tabloid journalism. While James Dobson is not shy about speaking out on social issues that affect the family and the culture, he rarely endorses political candidates. On the one occasion I know of that he did (George Bush in 2004), he did so by making it clear he was speaking as a private citizen, not as the official spokesman for Focus on the Family or any other conservative group. The fact that he responded so quickly to renounce this report as untrue makes me think that someone jumped the gun here. Why didn't someone from the TAS contact James Dobson directly about this instead of trusting anonymous sources? If he then refused to discuss the matter with your publication, you could honestly report that he had declined your invitation to clarify the situation and we could make up our own minds about the veracity of this story. This kind of news reporting is what one might expect from the New York Times, not your usually trustworthy magazine.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

I heard about "The Prowler's" post on the "Focus on the Family" broadcast today. I am concerned that a publication such as yours would publish what appears to be unsubstantiated rumors such as this.

Dr. Dobson has NEVER endorsed a candidate during the primary season and has actually only rarely endorsed candidates. He is generally VERY careful not to mention voting for a particular candidate by NAME, because the rules about non-profit organizations do not allow that. In fact, the IRS recently completed an investigation of Focus on the Family and found that they had never broken the law regarding this. Having an announced candidate appear on the radio program would violate such rules. The Prowler should KNOW that. (As a concerned citizen, I know that.)

I suspect that "the Prowler's" source was not in a position to know all of the details and perhaps confused with endorsement by another prominent leader -- such as Dr. Wildmon -- with endorsement by Dr. Dobson.

Please be careful in the future about reporting items such as this. This is an important time in our country and it is important that we elect a conservative leader to the Presidency. Inaccurate reporting -- such as this -- makes the conservative cause appear foolish.

Thanks for taking the time to read my comments,
-- Brant Lippincott

Just wanted to write in and thank the Prowler for some welcome comic relief in the "Huckabee's Salvation" article. I didn't know the Prowler could be so funny! Dobson being "irrelevant" to the 2008 Presidential campaign, then his endorsement being worth millions!! LOL!! The thought of Dobson wrecking his non-profit status by using Focus on the Family for a campaign!! Wow! What a punch line!! Then the "It'll help us [Huckabee] get to the Thompson-McCain level if not higher"! THANK YOU for the comic relief!!!!!

The 2008 Presidential campaign has been long and hard for conservatives, but it is nice to know that The American Spectator is injecting some needed humor into the exhausting election.

I've never seen such satire before in The American Spectator, and I hope to see some more. Thanks again for the humor, IT WAS NEEDED!!!
-- Jeremy Martin

Have you checked your facts lately? They have made your magazine article about James Dobson's endorsement of Mike Huckabee "irrelevant." I think you need to do some research as to where Dr. Dobson stands on his political commitments. Please listen to his radio program of November 12, 2007, and you will find that the story you wrote has very little truth to it. I hope you will retract the misinformation that you wrote in your article, "Huckabee's Salvation," so that the American public will not be mislead by facts that were obviously "made up."
-- Marilynn Link

Howdy,

Not sure what the author's intentions were with releasing the article on 9 Nov saying James Dobson was going to endorse Mike Huckabee.

I understand there is pressure to be first in today's instant news environment, but doesn't the media also have a responsibility to the truth and being accurate.

I am a Gov. Huckabee supporter and would love to have Dr. Dobson offer his endorsement, but how about waiting until HE actually says he's endorsing someone?

Enjoy the week.
-- Chris@Alamo City Cards

Please get your facts straight about Dr. James Dobson. Check out the truth by asking him first, then write your story. Thank you,
-- Vince Nevala

Sounds to me like the Prowler is anti-religious. Or just anti-true religious people in the public square. Dobson is relevant and a good honest man. Leave him alone. You have your opinions on candidates. Let him have his. Or are you afraid that he has more influence than you do?
-- Joseph D'Ambrosia
P.S. Why are you hiding behind the name Prowler. Why don't you, like others, put your name out for all to see.

What kind of idiots do you have writing for The Spectator? This anonymous "Prowler" is a complete imbecile. Dobson is interested in values, not candidates. If he eventually decides to endorse anyone for president, it will have to be as an individual citizen and not in association with Focus on the Family, lest he sacrifice the tax-exempt status of Focus. The scenario that Prowler sets out could easily jeopardize Focus on the Family, and Dobson would never do such a thing.

Columnists who hide behind pseudonyms like your "Washington Prowler" need to come out and face the world like a man. It's very easy to say anything that enters one's addled brain if you don't have to answer for it personally.
-- Kenneth Ryland

TWO WHO SEE SAW
Re: Shawn Macomber's Tortured Cinema:

I just read this column about movies I try to ignore. Tortured Cinema is a good name for this genre. I have always referred to it as the Methamphetamine (sic? I looked it up. That's the way it's spelled in Google and my spell checker doesn't like it) Theatre. It just sort of answers the question if persons who did serious drugs made movies what would result, not that this has any intrinsic value. Pulp Fiction makes perfect sense when you realize John Travolta shoots up with some sort heroin and goes into a chemically induced gauze. I've seen Devil's Rejects (Families having fun together) and the first Saw.

Ain't in cool.
-- Mark Murphy

Your piece on the Saw movies at Spectator.org was outstanding (you're one of my can't miss essayists there), but I wish you'd contrasted the approach taken by Saw's protagonist to that of G.K. Chesterton's Innocent Smith, the protagonist of his novel Manalive.

Smith, like the Jigsaw killer, is dismayed that people take life and health for granted, but his solution is far different than the Jigsaw killer's lunatic tinkertoy constructions. In classic Chestertonian paradox, Smith commits "crimes" that are not actually criminal to waken slumbering humanity to the joys all around it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manalive, but read the book if you have the opportunity. (Wikipedia has links to e-texts and print versions).
-- Mark Soper

HILLARY'S SOFT SPOT
Re: Liz Mair's Big Girls Don't Cry:

This "piling-on" episode has to do with something bigger than just the Oct. 30 debate. Someone, somewhere hit a nerve, or found a soft spot in her armor.

All the talking heads have been focusing too narrowly on the outcome of that debate. In fact, they have been focusing entirely on the wrong event. The debate was just a catalyst, nothing more and nothing less. She would not have sent Bill out to screech "Swift Boat" if it was truly just about the debate. Something is going on here and no one with an audience is pointing it out.

An inflection point has just occurred. Who caused it to materialize? I believe it might be Sen. Obama. I believe he may have hit a soft spot prior to the debate. He seems to be the source of fresh ideas for the Democrats. She seems to be the old war horse, aka Ted Kennedy. Then, in the post-debate "give and take" championed by the media, and as clearly pointed out by Obama, she finally (finally!) realized that she is a perpetual child of the 60s, and that, more importantly, the electorate has moved on without her.

She is fighting yesterday's battles.
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Yorktown, Virginia

"Team Hillary and her defenders in the media seem to want the old, chivalric rule from an inequality-riven age to apply. You can't hit a girl -- even though politics is a contact sport."

Team Hillary has never believed politics was a "contact sport" for them. Since at least the "Pretty in Pink" cattle futures press conference, "Hillary's Rules" have been (1) softball questions only; (2) she can say anything she wants & it won't be challenged; and (3) anyone who violates rules #1 or #2 is decried as a sexist who's "hitting the girl."

We shouldn't believe things have permanently changed for a number of reasons.

First: IMO, the genesis of the dust up was uniquely personal, to wit: it doesn't happen unless Tim Russert's moderating that debate. Team Hillary believed Russert was sufficiently in the bag for them that he wouldn't press her if she shoveled a steaming pile of bovine excrement. He surprised them. Does anyone believe Chris Matthews would have done the same?

Second: Hillary's defenders will continue peddling the "sexism" defense without yielding. The only way it doesn't eventually prevail is if a significant portion of the MSM refuses to go along. Given their rooting interests, I wouldn't bet the farm on that happening.

IMO, the "planted questions" thing might have more potential for causing lasting damage to Team Hillary than the debate whining.
-- Brad Bettin
Melbourne, Florida

Hillary has been angry for over 40 years. It's not my job to make up for her poor marital choices by electing her President. Instead of owing her my vote because she's female, I owe the rest of my gender a vote against her because she sets a terrible example for all.
-- Mary McLemore
Pike Road, Alabama

Perhaps what we all saw on display in the debate is what many of us already knew. We saw a vacuum filled empty suit! Face it folks, were it not for hubby Bill, this feminist gal would be in the minus numbers in the polls!

For someone who supposedly is the smartest woman in the entire world, no, solar system, no, galaxy, no wait, universe, her brain seems to be operating on about twelve ounces to the pound or less! She and Bill both are media makeovers. For so long, all I've heard is how smart Bill and Hill are and how Bill can lie with brilliance. Well folks, that's only because the mainstream media Clinton koolaiders cover for him and will never challenge either of them. But they will destroy anyone who does.

Question: Since when is asking for a position on a critical subject piling on or Swift Boating? Are we suppose to just vote for Hillary out of religious blind faith? Is she entitled to just be coroneted as the first queen of The United States of America? If you can't take the heat, then get the heck out of the kitchen!
-- Jim L
Sandwich, Massachusetts

Hillary is anything but tough or she would not have stayed with the scum of a husband she has. That just shows weakness in that she would not even have had a chance running for President if Bill was not in the picture. So this strong woman is only up to the job because of who her husband is and she is just as sleazy.

I am not for any woman that can not make up her mind about ANYTHING. I want someone to tell me the truth even if it hurts, not like Kerry, I was for it before I was against it.

Hillary is going to get very sore straddling that fence so long.
-- Elaine Kyle

BREAKING AWAY
Re: Lawrence Henry's Being Someone Else:

I found Lawrence Henry's challenge to TAS readers thought-provoking. I think many of us ordinary, responsible Americans have thought about chucking it all and moving to an island somewhere to escape the hassle of our lives. After all, wasn't our nation created just that way? Folks escaping Europe to look for freedom of religion. Folks escaping the cramped cities of the East coast for the wagon trains to the open spaces of the Wild West. I think that sense of adventure and the desire to find our own space is in Americans' DNA.

I recently discovered my Southern roots. I was born in Illinois, so I thought I was Midwestern. My Mother was born in Oklahoma. Her great grandfather left South Carolina for Texas after the Civil War to find a better life. My Mother's father moved his family all across the United States from Oklahoma to Texas to Florida and back again. My Mom tells stories about having to throw her toys away because they wouldn't fit in the car. My husband is an Air Force brat, so he's lived all over. And since we've been married, we've lived in six states.

My sisters and I live in far-flung states. Becky in Colorado, Linda in Illinois, Beth in North Carolina and me in Georgia. For years we would get together with our families (I also have five brothers) and spend so much time being wives, mothers and daughters that we had no time left to be sisters. So we made a pact -- once a year for a week (once the kids were old enough to be left) we would leave our families so we could spend time being sisters. We have done that every year without fail for 18 years. I believe that week of being our old selves has kept our wanderlust down and made us appreciate our lives. We also appreciate our husbands who have been so generous with their trust and concern.

We do a lot of laughing, crying, complaining and just general catching up on each other's lives that week. Last year we went horseback riding in Colorado -- a bunch of 50-ish women on horseback is rather comical. We hadn't ridden since childhood, but the beauty of the mountain scenery, the sound of the plodding horses and the laughter of my sisters (all wearing cowboy hats!) is a memory I'll treasure forever.

Sometimes you don't have to be someone else, you just need to find your old self.
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

LOOKING AHEAD
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III Out on a Limb:

Sad to say, but, candidly, I think those Beltway Prognosticators nailed it, totally!

Glad they didn't omit the possibilities of Bloomberg and Dobson's puppet. Excellent objective observations, a rarity in those Beltway circles -- though they sure don't agree with my preferences.
-- Frost

I disagree with Mr. Mehan's statement that the recent loss for Republicans in Northern Virginia may be indicative of the nation at large going Red.

I live in Prince William County, not far from the very, very liberal Arlington county of Mr. Mehan. What makes the shifting of Virginia from Republican to Democrat is demographic changes and not a change in mind of voters. The voters choices haven't changed, the voters have changed.

A close analysis of the voting data shows that Republicans are strong in Prince William county (60% voting for Republicans), a county that has grown quickly from a few thousand to ten thousand over the last five years. Most of these folks have left every more liberal counties such as Fairfax. However, even in this strong Republican county there is a strong block of Democrats too. This block resides where a large number of affluent African Americans have moved in the last five years.

Other counties around DC have slowly become Democrat as larger number of immigrants, who were not living in northern Virginia ten years ago, have taken residence. One recent Red county is now Democrat not because of national issues, but because of local "urban spawl" issues. This is Loudoun County -- a wealthy, high tech business class of folks who want to maintain slow growth. The Republican "strong growth" types lost. This Red county will not support gay rights or illegal immigration or go soft on national defense or support higher taxes. They just want to keep their neighborhoods from becoming jammed with town houses and apartments. This is not a national issue or concern.
-- Paul Moody
Gainesville, Virginia

BAD IN ISLAMABAD
Re: George H. Wittman's Pakistan Polka:

Who are we kidding?

It's gonna be another Vietnam.

The jihadis will soon be strong enough to start fighting pitched battles with the Pakistani Army, which will begin by losing and end by running away and defecting to the other side. The Pakistani government is going to demand huge increases in aid, which they will get. For all the good it will do we may as well send it directly to Zurich -- they sure will.

Al Qaeda, with lots of help from Al-Qongress, is going to take over and start chopping heads off left and right ( the only positive result).

Let's be ready this time, shall we?

1. On the social front: Set aside housing for the stream of refugees when Pakistan goes under and is replaced by a Caliphate. U.S. poverty lawyers should prepare briefs to defend nifty cultural practices like vendetta, honor killing and animal sacrifice. Teacher's unions must have the proper lawsuits ready to " mainstream" students who already speak better English than they do. Civil rights "leaders" need to look ahead ten of fifteen years, and be prepared to allege that this time, Pakistanis founding businesses and banks is one more proof that racism is keeping the inner city down. On the bright side, the ACLU won't dare interfere with displays for Muslim religious holidays, and since Islam holds Jesus to be a major prophet we might be able to put up Nativity scenes again.

2. In Academia: create vacancies at various think thanks for ex-Pakistani scholars and jurists. Be sure to leave room for their poignant exposes of what coulda/woulda/shoulda been done, in the dense little journals that nobody reads. Investigate the possibilities of an Iran- Caliphate war.

3. And finally our government must continue its tradition of learning absolutely nothing, at vast expense. So that next time, we can once more face the threats of the twenty-first century with policies prepared for the First World War and arms magnificently adopted to win the Battle of the Bulge.

4. Move to Canada.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

This seems like a remarkably progressive culture: how do we get our "dark-suited lawyers" to take to the streets and be clubbed?
-- Ralph Alter
Carmel, Indiana

YACHT-CLUBBED
Re: Jeffrey Lord's A History of Liberal Disasters:

I am a conservative Republican who is concerned with factual reporting from our side as well as the left-wing media.

In Jeffrey Lord's article, "A History Of Liberal Disasters," Mr. Lord stated, with regard to the Luxury Tax, "The luxury tax was finally repealed, but not soon enough to undue the damage to hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs or businesses." From where did Mr. Lord gather his remarkably different job loss and business closure information?

According to The National Center For Policy Analysis,

The 1990 budget agreement included federal excise taxes on boats, aircraft and jewelry. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) projected that the luxury taxes on those three classes of goods would raise $31 million in fiscal 1991. In fact, the actual revenue for 1991 was just over half that amount ($16.6 million). But the taxes did have other effects.

They cost 7,600 jobs in the boating industry, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 330 in jewelry manufacturing.

These figures do not include job losses that could be attributed to any other factor such as the recession.

The lost jobs cost $24.2 million in unemployment benefits plus income tax revenue the government didn't get, so taking into account the $16.6 million collected, the net effect of the taxes was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991.


(Source: Paul Taylor, Douglas Koopman and Teresa Sewell, "The Cost of Tax-Related Job Loss versus Projected Revenue Gain from Luxury Taxes in Fiscal 1991," July 1991, and update February 12, 1992, both prepared for Representative Olympia Snowe and Senator Connie Mack, Joint Economic Committee Republican Staff, Room 805, Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, (202) 224-7943.)

With regard to the Alternative Minimum Tax, the author is flat out wrong when he uses a $50,000 AMT trigger-point. If he took the time to read IRS FORM 6251, he would see that the AMT only kicks in when the Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $150,000 (Married, Joint Return). If this is too onerous for us Republicans, we had ample opportunity in the last 6 years to change the trigger point to some number that reflects the impact of inflation.

We demand accuracy from liberal journalists. We should strive to do the same.
-- Wesley J. Smith
Waterford, Michigan

Jeffrey Lord replies:
With respect to Mr. Smith's recitation, what he does not take into account are the ripple effects that occur when, for example, jobs are lost in the boating industry. The luxury tax-induced loss of jobs specifically in one slice of the industry -- boat building -- have been estimated by the Marine Retailers Association of America to be 19,000, with other estimates from other sources placing the loss as high as 25,000. Yet these losses are only to those who actually build the boats. The ripple effect from this tax on luxury boats also affected, among others, those in the boat storage business, maintenance business, slip rental business, the sailing school business and yes, the boating magazine business.

For example, Motoryacht International, a magazine which once published six issues a year, dropped to being an annual, with the requisite effect on the magazine's employees. Ditto with Motorboat magazine, which ceased publication entirely after skipping two issues. Ad space for boats plummeted, thus the work for those who put the ads together, the printers etc. And so on. Anyone who has worked at a marina as I once did in college days knows that all manner of other small businesses depend on the trade from the boat traffic at the marina -- restaurants and bars, to name two. The larger point here, and as a conservative Republican reader Wesley Smith would know this, is that a free market economy is not an isolated affair. Neither boat builders nor any other economic entity are islands unto themselves. While I appreciate the statistics he provides, they are limited, as government figures often are, in providing a real world understanding of the effects of government action, in this case the imposition of a luxury tax.

As to his point about the AMT, it is the Congressional Budget Office that estimated that in 2006 34.6% of taxpayers in the $50,000 to $100,000 Adjusted Gross Income range could owe the AMT if a so-called "patch" law is not applied. His complaint should perhaps go in their direction. The mere fact that someone as smart as Mr. Smith surely is has a disagreement over tax facts with the CBO and the CBO in turn with the IRS might suggest two words: flat tax.

LAUGH IN
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "No Laughing Matter") in Reader Mail's The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Pretty:

Why is it that liberals ignore reality? Mike Roush provides a lesson in how the left prefers talking points to facts.

1. There is substantial good news coming out of Afghanistan. Since the beginning of this year 3,500 terrorists have been killed and several top commanders captured in Afghanistan. The rift between Afghan born Taliban leaders (Mullah Omar, Mullah Ahmad Wakil Mutuwakkil, Mullah Muhammad Haqqani and Maulana Fazlur Rahman) and al Qaeda's mercenaries is growing. Pashtuns who make up the Taliban's base are, like the Sunnis in Iraq, turning against the terrorists. Even before Jimmy Carter abetted the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, created the theocracy in Iran and gave birth to modern Islamic extremism the poppy was the major cash crop of Afghanistan.

2. The surge has worked despite Democrat attempts to undermine US forces. This has been reluctantly acknowledged by Osama bin Laden, Democrat House leader Steny Hoyer, the NY Times and Washington Post. Al Qaeda has been driven from Baghdad and al Sadr's gangs are being restricted to a few neighborhoods and systematically reduced. Just this week a historic Sunni-Shia fatwa was produced in Iraq condemning violence and calling on national reconciliation while acknowledging it will take time to produce the new society the Iraqi people want. As progress is being made Democrats keep "moving the ball" in hopes of defeating the US in Iraq. If the Reid/Pelosi Congress were held to the same standard liberals are using to try and undercut the Iraqi government the left would acknowledge it is an utter and hopeless failure as are all Democrat Congresses.

3. Anyone educated on the issue would know the Kurds have been fighting the Turks long before the liberation of Iraq -- in 1984 the PKK turned to armed struggle in Turkey and during the Clinton administration (1992 & 1995) Turkey launched two large scale invasions of northern Iraq to fight the PKK (in 1995 35,000 troops were used). Fortunately, the Democrat initiative to drive a wedge between the US and Turkey and destabilize our alliance (benefiting Muslim fundamentalists) was thwarted by the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress.

4. The Middle East process is par for the course. One major improvement never seen before is that Saudi Arabia and other Arab states are showing real movement on recognizing Israel. Muslim Arab residents of Jerusalem are opting for Israeli citizenship showing they fear the creation of a Palestinian state is imminent.

5. U.S. energy independence is being undermined by the Democrat party that has blocked offshore oil drilling, drilling in ANWR, nuclear power and to make matters worse Bill Clinton undercut the US clean burning coal industry to benefit his Muslim and communist Chinese friends. The war in Iraq was never waged for oil. Mr. Greenspan acknowledges this in his recent book. The only U.S. politician who has declared they would go to war exclusively for oil was Hillary Clinton in a recent South Carolina visit when she declared she'd invade Iran for oil.

My portfolio is doing fine. Like the Reagan and Bush administrations goal of advancing freedom and democracy in the world I'm in the market for the long haul.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

A FAIR ALTERNATIVE
Re: J.T. Young's Raising Taxes by Alternative Means:

The Fair Tax. The one and only proposal in Washington (of which I am aware) that actually takes power from the Federal Government and gives it back to the people.

"Progressive" taxes have long sense stopped being a simple way for the government to raise funds. They've become more and more of a way for the Government to ‘encourage' or ‘discourage' people's behaviors. Taxes across the board are used in this fashion. Cigarette taxes are increased to discourage smoking, gas taxes to force people to conserve, etc., etc., etc.

Did they stop teaching in the schools that taxes were a major reason for the American Revolution?

We have an alternative to complicated and controlling taxes, it's called the Fair Tax. We always have an alternative to more government. We just have to be willing to remind the government that their just powers come from our consent. And there are rights we keep in reserve.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

DORELL VS. THOMAS
Re: Paul Dorell's letter (under "Toobin Cloned") in Reader Mail's The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Pretty:

Ah, Mr. Dorell, the Mensan gift that keeps on giving. What happened to that permanent leave of absence from TAS Reader Mail? I guess the work load holding up the Marxist bastions in academia isn't what it used to be.

Now, with regard to Justice Thomas. "...his position against affirmative action could be described, condescendingly or not, as profound ingratitude for all the benefits that he has reaped in his life. There is nothing wrong with having an attitude against elites, but the fact is that Thomas would have had virtually no chance of becoming a Supreme Court Justice without affirmative action."

Do you support the income tax, Mr. Dorell? Of course you do. What high-minded liberal committed to helping the poor through income redistribution doesn't support the income tax? You do want to help the poor, don't you, Mr. Dorell, such as the poor CPAs in the country who make three to four times an academician's income helping their corporate clients navigate the complexity of the income tax code?

I know a CPA who benefits mightily helping such clients, yet, he supports the FairTax, because he understands the harm done to the nation's economy by the income tax, much like Justice Thomas understands the harm done to minorities through Affirmative Action. A controversial position, to be sure, among his fellow income tax supporting CPAs. Profound ingratitude, indeed. Should the FairTax become law, he and all his fellow CPAs would suffer the loss of much, if not most, of their business. Of course, "there is nothing wrong with having an attitude against elites," even fellow elites in one of the most lofty professions in the United States, who, as mere corporate accountants, "would have had virtually no chance of becoming -- filthy rich -- without -- the income tax code."

But, I suppose it's all necessary to "help the poor."

So, as you say, Mr. Dorell, "In my opinion, this country would be better off with one less narrow-minded, self-righteous hypocrite on the Supreme Court."

Let us hope you are never even nominated.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

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