Sobran's -- 
The Real News of the Month

October 2000
Volume 7, No. 10

Editor: Joe Sobran
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(pages 1-2)

     Attorney General Janet Reno's announcement that she 
wouldn't refer Al Gore's fundraising practices to a 
special prosecutor was universally greeted as good news 
for Gore. Does everyone suspect that a special prosecutor 
would have reached different conclusions from Miss 
Reno's? Isn't it possible that an investigation would 
*exonerate* him?

*          *          *

     As I write, Gore is even with George W. in the 
polls. He has succeeded in dissociating himself from one 
of the greatest presidents in our history by picking Joe 
Lieberman as his running mate and publicly smooching 
Tipper. (The kiss was "completely spontaneous," he 
explained later; the romantic impulse just happened to 
seize him in front of a national TV audience.) All his 
efforts to reinvent himself are finally paying off; 
millions of voters are swayed by such contrived 
impressions. The triviality and superficiality of 
presidential politics is impossible to exaggerate. And 
H.L. Mencken thought it was bad in *his* day.

*          *          *

     Even if Gore wins the presidency, the Democrats will 
also have to win control of both houses of Congress in 
order to enact his socialist dreams. That, happily, seems 
unlikely. A Republican Congress might even prove an 
obstacle to George W.'s unconstitutional desire to give 
the federal government a bigger role in state education. 
Not all Republicans are Compassionate Conservatives.

*          *          *

     Southern Protestant football fans are rebelling 
against the U.S. Supreme Court's latest constrictions on 
public prayer by praying publicly at football games. The 
NEW YORK TIMES and various Jewish groups are alarmed, as 
usual, seeing any free exercise of religion as a threat 
to religious freedom. Voluntary prayer may be technically 
legal, but it's "insensitive" and "divisive." Ideally, 
the separation of church and state would be preserved by 
eliminating churches, and freedom of religion by the 
atrophy of religion. According to liberal opinion, the 
only effect of public prayer is to annoy those who aren't 
praying; perish the thought that prayers are ever 

*          *          *

     Gloria Steinem, who has spent most of her life 
disparaging marriage as bad for women (one of her bons 
mots: "A woman without a man is like a fish without a 
bicycle"), has married. At age 66, she has apparently 
decided she can finally afford to admit she's not a 
lesbian. The American Indian ceremony was performed at 
the home of feminist and Indian activist Wilma Mankiller, 
which ought to have given the groom fair warning.

*          *          *

     Anthropologists now believe that some American 
Indians in the Southwest practiced cannibalism. Human 
bones and blood in cooking pots have been found at a site 
in Colorado, dating from about AD 1150. A specimen of 
human feces was found to contain myoglobin, a human 
protein, proving that human flesh had been eaten. Dozens 
of similar sites have also been discovered with further 
evidence that bones had been hollowed out for their 
edible grease. The Noble Savage, innocent of Christianity 
and uncorrupted by it, continues to be an elusive and 
mythical figure.

*          *          *

     A group of Jewish scholars has issued a statement 
repudiating the idea that Christianity is the source of 
Nazism. "Nazism was not a Christian phenomenon," the 
statement says, and goes on to stress common ground 
between Christians and Jews, who worship the God of 
Abraham and Moses and accept the authority of the Old 
Testament. The statement doesn't entirely exculpate 
Christians for their hostility toward Jews and widespread 
passivity toward Nazism; but we shouldn't expect miracles 
(and Christians haven't always acted like Christians, 
anyway). We should be grateful for such candor and fair-
mindedness, in contrast to so many recent bitter anti-
Christian polemics from Jewish quarters -- most of which 
show no interest in Abraham, Moses, the Old Testament, or 

*          *          *

     George W. caused a stir by calling reporter Adam 
Clymer of the NEW YORK TIMES a vulgar name when he 
wrongly thought the microphone wouldn't pick it up. 
Republicans, including Rush Limbaugh, defended Bush and 
blamed Clymer's naked liberal bias for provoking him. If 
you ask me, Republicans bring unfavorable coverage on 
themselves by accepting liberal premises without 
conviction and then trying to "save" liberal programs -- 
Medicare, for example -- from insolvency with budget 
gimmicks. It's the usual inspiring GOP message: the whole 
welter of open-ended socialist programs can work if 
administered by cost-conscious Republicans. If this is 
Bush's theme, he deserves to lose to Gore, and he 
probably will.

*          *          *

     As mentioned above, Bush wants to enlarge the 
federal role in education. Wasn't it his father who 
wanted to be remembered as "the education president"? 
Neither father nor son seems particularly well acquainted 
with the life of the mind; their fuzzy conception of 
"education" doesn't seem to go beyond test scores and job 
training. George W. doesn't see, and isn't disturbed by, 
the secularization of education under state control, 
which means that most children are denied the most 
essential part of education: knowledge of their relation 
to God. When the state runs the schools, the "separation 
of church and state" entails the separation of 
schoolchildren from their Creator.

*          *          *

     Poor J.D. Salinger. First an ex-girlfriend, Joyce 
Maynard, and now his own daughter, Margaret Salinger, 
have written unflattering memoirs showing the reclusive 
author (who hasn't published anything since 1965) as an 
eccentric household tyrant with sexual peculiarities. His 
daughter recalls that he was devoted to various health 
and spiritualistic fads; his prescriptions included 
drinking urine. To top it off, the half-Jewish writer's 
first wife was a Nazi he met during the American 
occupation of Germany; apparently they soon proved 
(surprise!) incompatible. Today Salinger is 81 and 
profoundly deaf and is not on speaking terms with his 
grown children. Well, too bad. I still think THE CATCHER 
IN THE RYE and his short stories (such as the sublimely 
hilarious "The Laughing Man") are some of the most 
charming fictions of the twentieth century. Nobody 
matched him for dialogue, urbane wit, sharp observation, 
and unforgettable child characters. But it sounds as if 
Holden Caulfield would be unwelcome at his door.

*          *          *

     "We must get rid of our arrogant assumption that it 
is the masses who can be led by the nose," wrote C.S. 
Lewis. "As far as I can make out, the shoe is on the 
other foot. The only people who are really the dupes of 
their favorite newspapers are the intelligentsia." I hope 
that's still true. I'm afraid that state-controlled 
education and the media have given us something new and 
terrible: an apish mass intelligentsia.

*          *          *

     My slogan for the 2000 presidential campaign: 
"Impeach the winner!" 

[Material cut from the original text for reasons of space 
is enclosed in curly brackets ({ thus }).
(pages 3-4)

[Breaker quote: Conspiracy theories flatter our rulers' 

[Breaker quote: "A corrupt society has many laws."]

     My big news this month is that I cleaned up my 
house. It had reached -- long surpassed, some might say 
-- the crisis point. Years' accumulation of unsorted 
books, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, loose papers, 
videotapes, audio cassettes, floppy discs, pamphlets, 
leaflets, medicine bottles, paper cups, cotton swabs, 
prayer cards, cigar boxes, et cetera, with "et cetera" 
signifying a mad miscellany of { unique and } 
unclassifiable items, had made { nearly every room 
impassable. The habit of hoarding had risen to a 
degree that might be called pathological. (Do the 
shrinks have a name for this disorder?) } The 
shocking mess would have appalled Beethoven.

     Finally there was nothing for it but to throw things 
out. I filled countless trash bags with items I thought 
I'd never discard. { For me, throwing away a book is 
nearly sacrilege. But with my daughter's wise 
guidance, I steeled myself to recognize the 
difference between (a) books I really and truly 
need and (b) books it would be nice to get around 
to when I'm 80. After a few days, spreading 
expanses of floor reappeared, and I'm determined 
never to go back to my wicked old ways, though I 
don't yet trust my good resolutions: I've had so 
many of them before. } But the experience wasn't lost 
on me. Most people have no difficulty doing what is 
nearly impossible for me: keeping an orderly house. Yet 
they don't bother keeping orderly minds, and a muddled 
mind is as horrifying to me as my house would be to them.

     The objective equivalent of my house, it occurs to 
me, is the federal government. There too is a chaotic 
accumulation, the result of many years' neglect and 
carelessness. Those who see cunning conspiracy in that 
government are missing the point. They flatter our 
rulers. Dishonest as those rulers may be, none of them 
ever intended the sheer sloppiness of the present system, 
with its mad miscellany of { powers, } programs, and 
functions beyond { enumeration or } cataloguing. Think 
of it: pre-school education, farm subsidies, space 
programs, food and drug regulations, pensions, medical 
care, labor laws, art subsidies, health and safety 
regulations, { tax "services." } As for "defense," our 
military bureaucracies are almost an economy unto 
themselves, with forces spread around the world far 
beyond any rational defensive need.

     An Aristotelian might begin by asking: What is the 
purpose of government? We might retort: What *isn't* the 
purpose of government? There is no wish to which our 
politicians don't cater. Never having bothered to define 
the proper aims, scope, and limits of government and law, 
they are (as C.S. Lewis puts it) "incessantly engaged in 
legislation." They no longer have any notion of the 
specifically federal, as delineated in the U.S. 
Constitution. Anything that may be done, the government 
should do, and preferably at the federal level.

     "A corrupt society has many laws," a Roman author 
observed. By that standard the United States is supremely 
corrupt. Everyone tries to live at the expense of 
everyone else in a system of what Frederic Bastiat called 
"organized plunder."

     The best possible reform would be re-form: 
simplification. Oh, but the world is so complex now, so 
"interdependent"! We can't turn back the clock, can we? 
The idea of living under the Constitution our rulers are 
sworn to uphold is regarded as pure nostalgia, not to be 
taken seriously.

     And as a practical matter, government is no longer 
concerned with rights, in the sense of just claims that 
are prior to the very existence of government; its 
concern is "entitlements," the claims of some people to 
the wealth of other people through the medium of the 
state (and the Internal Revenue "Service"). This enormous 
economy of parasitical dependency is what Hilaire Belloc 
foresaw when he spoke of the Servile State.

     Franklin Roosevelt once boasted that "no damn 
politician" would ever be able to repeal "my Social 
Security system." He was so right. The entitlement 
programs that bribe millions of voters are the most 
insidious feature of the modern state; they make those 
voters shareholders in tyranny, counting on the state to 
extort money from their neighbors. No tyrant rules by 
terror alone; in order to succeed, he must have plenty of 
popular support. Even today, many Russians yearn for 
Stalin. Most tyrants, like most slaveowners, aren't 
especially cruel; we have been so hypnotized and misled 
by the extreme cases of recent times that we no longer 
recognize "normal" tyranny.

     By today's standards, as I often repeat, George III 
was a very mild ruler, claiming only a modest amount of 
his subjects' wealth and infringing their freedoms only 
sporadically. And in fact most Americans in 1776 had few 
complaints about him. Maybe Jefferson and his peers were 
right to accuse him of tyranny, but in hindsight it seems 
tragic that they thought that by throwing off British 
rule they were paving the way for something better. Over 
the long run, the American Revolution was a case of out 
of the frying pan, into the fire.

     The formidable obstacle to reform -- to reducing the 
federal government to constitutional simplicity -- is the 
entitlement program. Millions of Americans now live off 
the state, which is to say, off the money the state 
extorts from their neighbors. They feel, quite literally, 
"entitled" to this money, as the state assures them they 
are; their consciences are quite undisturbed by their 
parasitical way of life.

     Even more remarkably, most of the taxpayers who pay 
punishing rates to support this situation feel little 
resentment, even though the income tax makes criminal 
suspects not of the parasites, but of the producers. We 
are forced to make an annual report of our financial 
affairs to the state, whose aggressive curiosity makes 
the Spanish Inquisition seem retiring by comparison. And 
most people are resigned to it; they don't question the 
legitimacy or the basic justice of the system.

     It's a telling turn of phrase that we sometimes 
speak of "tax revolts." In theory, the state is our 
servant; but you don't "revolt" against a servant; you 
*fire* him. The phrase tells us who we think the real 
master is. { And are we wrong to think so? } In 
theory, we can change our rulers through the democratic 
process; yet the more "democratic" we get, the harder our 
real rulers are to dislodge. The government officials we 
actually deal with face to face are rarely elected, and 
they have nothing to fear from elections. As Milton 
Friedman has put it, when you are summoned for a tax 
audit, do you feel you are dealing with your *servant?*

     { As I say, } nobody knows exactly how the present 
system emerged, but it was not through any conscious and 
cunning design. It grew up like an unweeded garden, with 
government gathering powers almost casually and the 
citizenry, hypnotized by the slogans of democracy, 
submitting at every step. This submissiveness is the most 
{ amazing and } appalling part of the whole thing. The 
average American has totally forgotten his heritage of 
liberty and its counterpart, strictly defined and limited 

     With the cheapest verbal legerdemain, the federal 
government has inverted the Constitution. What was 
supposed to control that government has been magically 
converted into a device for *enlarging* the government 
and removing all restraints upon it. In theory, again, We 
the People tell the government, through our Constitution, 
what it may and may not do; but in practice, the 
government now tells us what the Constitution means. And 
what surprising meanings it turns out to contain! At 
every step, it turns out to mean that the government is 
entitled to more power over us than we had ever 
suspected. Such consistency can hardly be the accidental 
result of disinterested interpretation. Yet most people 
simply can't see the simple pattern, or realize that 
anything is amiss.

     The Constitution offers not a speck of authority for 
entitlement programs; and they would remain immoral and 
morbid even if it did authorize them. But the Framers 
regarded the protection of property as one of the chief 
duties of government, and would have condemned any 
proposal to establish a welfare state. They never thought 
in terms of "programs," especially such programs as 
impose permanent, election-proof burdens on successive 
generations. When they spoke of "the general welfare," 
they meant measures that benefit *all* citizens, not 
merely certain favored constituencies. They recognized 
government debt as irresponsible, a tyrannical burden on 
posterity; they likewise recognized inflation as general 

     The federal income tax, introduced by Abraham 
Lincoln, made every citizen directly answerable to the 
federal government; struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court 
several times (ah, those were the days!), it was finally 
established by the nefarious Sixteenth Amendment in 1913. 
At first the tax schedule was modest, but thanks to two 
world wars it eventually soared to totalitarian levels, 
enforced by totalitarian means. And, as usual, the 
populace got used to it.

     The frustrating idiocy of this year's presidential 
campaign is largely due to the fact that the American 
people have long since forgotten what they have lost. 
They assume that this country was always pretty much like 
this. The two major candidates are "debating" only what 
minor variations to make on the welfare-warfare state; 
how to "save" Social Security and Medicare, for example. 
No basic principles are to be discussed; that would be 
"ideology," or even "extremism," a sin against 

     When memory goes, imagination departs with it. The 
study of our past teaches us not only what was, but what 
might be again. But we live in an amnesiac present that 
has no standard against which to measure itself. We don't 
know where we were before, or how we got here; so we are 
collectively incapable of criticizing the features of the 
federal government as we know it. We accept the whole 
chaotic welter as a given, a natural outgrowth of the 
Founding Fathers' labors (of which we have only the 
foggiest notions). It is not for us to judge it. We 
merely do as we are told, without asking, let alone 
wondering, by what authority our rulers command us.

     The crowning achievement of the modern state, I 
suppose, is the mass-production of the kind of citizens 
it needs in order to sustain itself. It needs, first of 
all, a mass of sheep, preferably educated in its own 
schools. It also needs "liberals" who will spearhead 
"change," meaning the expansion of the state and the 
annihilation of tradition and memory, as well as 
"conservatives" who will consolidate its gains. From its 
point of view, an election in which the alternatives are 
Al Gore and George W. Bush is just about perfect. 

Oxford and His "Lovely Boy"
(pages 5-6)

[Breaker quote: The author of HAMLET thought he was a 

[Breaker quote: C.S. Lewis found in the Sonnets a model 
of selfless love.]

     Though I've argued at length that "Shakespeare" was 
really Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, I've generally 
kept it rather objective, as a good argument usually 
ought to be. Now I'd like to add something more personal.

     The man who wrote HAMLET -- which posterity would 
rate one of the supreme works of Western literature -- 
thought of himself as a miserable failure. It's important 
to understand this. Otherwise we may imagine him as a 
smug aristocrat, feeling superior to his surroundings; 
and nothing could be further from the truth.

     In his Sonnets, our only direct access to Oxford's 
intimate feelings, he shows himself obsessed with his 
"disgrace," "shame," "guilt," "stains," "blots," and 
"scandal." He thinks his ruin is final and irreversible; 
it is too late to cure it; his life is in decline and his 
reputation permanently soiled. He might say, with Hamlet 
himself: "What a wounded name shall live behind me!" As 
it is, he hopes that after his death "my name [will] be 
buried where my body is" and "forgotten."

     Rather late in his life, in his forties, Oxford fell 
in love with a beautiful young man, Henry Wriothesley, 
the teenaged Earl of Southampton (1573-1624). For a while 
he felt that this love, which we would now call 
homosexual (it was that, but it was also much more than 
sexual), redeemed his existence. And even when 
Southampton finally rejected him, he refused to cease 
loving, even at the brink of death.

     Oxford was a troubled but large-hearted man. His 
life had begun in great promise: he was titled, rich, and 
immensely talented. He was also lovable, but proud, 
impulsive, and sometimes quarrelsome. By his thirties he 
had not only suffered misfortune, but brought most of his 
woes on himself; he suffered from scandal and 
humiliation. His wild temper nearly ruined his marriage; 
in time he came to realize his faults, and his hard-won 
wisdom bore fruit in the plays and poems the world still 

     This story is reflected, somewhat obscurely, in the 
Sonnets. It's essentially a simple and, I think, very 
moving story; but scholarship, being scholarship, has 
missed it.

     In 1571, at the age of 21, Oxford had married Ann 
Cecil, the 15-year-old daughter of the great Lord 
Burghley, the most powerful man in Elizabethan England. 
Burghley had become Oxford's guardian when his father, 
the 16th Earl of Oxford, died in 1562. In 1590 Burghley 
decided that Elizabeth de Vere, his granddaughter and 
Oxford's eldest daughter, should marry the handsome young 
Earl of Southampton (1573-1624). Southampton, for unknown 
reasons, didn't want to marry Elizabeth. Since he and 
Elizabeth were still in their teens, he may simply have 
felt unready for matrimony.

     Oxford was immediately smitten with the boy. He 
joined Burghley's campaign to promote the marriage by 
writing sonnets -- the first 17 Sonnets -- urging 
Southampton to marry and beget a son, on the curious 
grounds that a lad so beautiful had a duty to "the world" 
to propagate his beauty. When Southampton still refused 
to marry, Oxford continued to write sonnets, in which we 
may get glimpses of how a love affair commenced between 
the two men, despite the wide gap between their ages.

     In this affair Southampton, being young, desirable, 
and popular, always had the upper hand. The Sonnets 
(published in 1609, five years after Oxford's death) make 
this clear. Oxford's poetic voice is adoring and often 
pleading, generous but insecure, often on the verge of 

        Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing,
        And like enough thou know'st thy estimate.

     Sometimes Oxford exultantly idealizes the boy. 
Sometimes, in the boy's absence, he is lovesick, full of 
worry, jealousy, and despair. Sometimes he scolds him, in 
a rather paternal way. Several times he warns him to be 
discreet about their association, for the boy's own sake.

     These are the poems of a self-consciously aging man; 
one of their dominant notes, missed by virtually all the 
commentators (though it is so obvious I marvel that any 
reader can miss it), is regret. Oxford feels that his 
time has passed, and it is too late to repair the wreck 
he has made of his life. The first 126 Sonnets have the 
tone of a middle-aged man deeply, desperately in love 
with someone a generation younger than he is. (Their tone 
alone is enough to rule out William of Stratford as the 
author; he was still in his twenties when the first poems 
to Southampton were written, too young to be looking back 
in despair on a wasted life.)

     In the end Southampton went his own way, leaving 
Oxford to insist that he would always love him 
regardless. Oxford expressed his undying love with 
exquisite eloquence: "Love is not love / Which alters 
when it alteration finds"; "No, Time, thou shalt not 
boast that I do change."

     Oxford's determination to keep loving even after 
crushing rejection is one of the most touching things 
poetry has ever recorded. His love was certainly strange 
and unconventional; but Oxford was a strange and 
unconventional man, willing to bear disgrace rather than 
compromise himself. Sonnet 121 ("'Tis better to be vile 
than vile esteemed") shows his defiance of public 
opinion, "others' seeing" and "vulgar scandal." No matter 
how others might judge him, he would judge himself by his 
own lights. He loved Southampton -- "my lovely boy" -- to 
the bitter end, no matter what the world might think of 
him, no matter even what Southampton himself might think. 
It was a love that could "redeem all sorrows / That ever 
I have felt," even when it broke his heart.

     The traditional identification of William of 
Stratford as the Bard has entirely misapprehended the 
story the Sonnets tell. These poems -- the first 126, 
anyway -- were written for Southampton alone: Oxford 
never meant for most of them to be published.

     According to the traditional view, the Sonnets tell 
us "universal truths." Many scholars regard them as 
"fictional." This view is utterly wrong. The first 126 
Sonnets are the record of a very real and unique love, 
without precedent in literature and not even "literary" 
in the usual sense. The poet used certain literary 
conventions of the Petrarchan sonnet to say things no 
poet had ever dreamed of saying before. All his genius 
was concentrated on one young man who apparently failed 
to understand the immense compliment he was receiving. 
Far from being "universal," his love was sui generis.

     C.S. Lewis, who doesn't question the authorship of 
William of Stratford, nevertheless has some acutely 
appreciative remarks about the Sonnets [in ENGLISH 
ed.]. Their story is "so odd a story that we find a 
difficulty in regarding it as fiction." He thinks their 
language "too lover-like for that of ordinary male 
friendship.... I have found no real parallel to such 
language between friends in sixteenth-century literature. 
Yet, on the other hand, this does not seem to be the 
poetry of full-blown pederasty."

     Above all, Lewis finds the Sonnets wonderful 
expressions of selfless love:

       The self-abnegation, the "naughting," in the 
     SONNETS never rings false. This patience, this 
     anxiety (more like a parent's than a lover's) 
     to find excuses for the beloved, this clear-
     sighted and wholly unembittered resignation, 
     this transference of the whole self into 
     another self  without the demand for a return, 
     have hardly a precedent in profane literature. 
     In certain senses of the word "love," Shake-
     speare is not so much our best as our only 
     love poet.

     This story has nothing to do with the legendary 
"Shakespeare of Stratford." The Sonnets have baffled 
scholarship because the scholars have assumed the wrong 
man as the author. It's a natural mistake, but, being a 
mistake, has borne no fruit. The Sonnets have always 
seemed unrelated to William of Stratford for the simple 
reason that he didn't write them.

     This interpretation of the Sonnets, unless I'm badly 
mistaken, covers the facts and explains nearly everything 
that has been inexplicable to conventional scholarship, 
which has been confused by its initial assumption about 
William of Stratford. Once we realize that Oxford wrote 
the Sonnets, and that they were addressed (as many of the 
scholars, to their credit, have grasped) to Southampton, 
we can put the hitherto baffling facts and loose ends 
together in a way that finally makes sense.

     I don't mean to excuse or extenuate the 
homosexuality of the relations between Oxford and 
Southampton. But to leave it at that, as if sensuality 
exhausted the relationship, is to miss something vital 
and, to my mind, deeply endearing. Oxford was, I repeat, 
in *love* with Southampton, in much the way a man may be 
in love with a woman; such utter devotion may be somewhat 
adulterated by carnality, without being totally corrupted 
by it. Oxford's love for his mistress, recorded in 
Sonnets 127-52, is much more carnal, at times almost 
contemptuous: he never exalts her as he does his "better 

     What sort of "possessing" Oxford ultimately hoped 
for, I don't know; but he continued to love Southampton 
when possessing him was no longer possible. In some ways 
his love seems paternal. His final sonnet to Southampton 
(126) sounds like a father's tender parting advice to his 
son; its opening words -- "O thou my lovely boy" -- make 
my heart melt. (They had the same effect on my friend 
Peter Brimelow, who used them in a book dedicated to his 
little boy.)

     Even if I'm right, all this still leaves an element 
of mystery. In the Sonnets we read one of the world's 
amazing love stories as in a glass, darkly. 


UNSPEAKABLE THOUGHTS: Tennis great John McEnroe, still 
spry at 41, has irked feminists by saying that he, or 
indeed any first-rate male college tennis player, could 
beat even the best women players in the world. The 
feminists don't exactly deny it; being feminists, they're 
just annoyed that anyone would say the obvious so 
bluntly. When it comes to sports, they don't insist on 
equal pay for equal work. The free market sure can be 
gallant sometimes, can't it? (page 8)

CHECK THE FIGURES: Many of us pay more in taxes than 
we pay for housing, food, medicine, and utilities. 
Nowadays the real wolf at the door is the government. 
(page 8)

soft money, Medicare tinkering, the Middle-East peace 
process, education reform, same-sex marriage, AIDS, rogue 
nations, oil prices, Chinese espionage, negative 
campaigning, the war on drugs, professional wrestling, 
Dennis Miller, Eminem, and Jennifer Lopez. Like, who 
*cares?* (page 10)

eagerness to take credit for prosperity is a reminder of 
how rulers boast of the success of whatever they don't 
manage to destroy. The plain truth is that the market 
takes care of itself without government assistance. If 
you doubt that, consider how black markets thrive, not 
only without the state's help, but *in spite of the 
state's most determined efforts to crush them.* (page 

[Exclusive to the electronic version]

STATISTICAL SCRUPLES: Janet Reno is "troubled" by a 
new Justice Department finding that nearly 80 per cent of 
the thugs on death row in federal prisons are nonwhite. 
Does she know of any of them who was wrongly convicted or 
excessively sentenced? Or does she know of whites who 
received lesser sentences for equivalent crimes? She 
could help erase the racial disparity by being less 
lenient on white malefactors like Clinton and Gore.

THE BEST MAN: After hearing my old running mate Howard 
Phillips interviewed the other day, I thought admiringly: 
"If Junior Bush could talk like that, he'd walk away with 
the election." So principled, direct, forceful. 
Unfortunately, Bush is trying so hard to prove he's not 
too conservative that he's let Gore convince the public 
that he's not too liberal. 

Reprinted Columns (pages 7-12)

* Joe Lieberman's Dual Orthodoxies (August 10, 2000)
* The Man from Nowhere (August 17, 2000)
* Getting Personal (August 22, 2000)
* Abortion and the English Language (August 24, 2000)
* The Sin of Joe Lieberman (August 29, 2000)
* Scouting and Sodomy (August 31, 2000)

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