The Real News of the Month

December 2004
Volume 11, Number 12

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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  -> Thou Shalt Not Vote
  -> Notes on the Aftermath
  -> Humor in Chesterton
  -> Lincoln's Latest Defender
Nuggets (plus electronic Exclusives)
List of Columns Reprinted in This Issue


Thou Shalt Not Vote
(page 1)

     Now that the dust has settled, the meaning of the 
2004 election is clear: I won. Late in the campaign, I 
canceled my write-in campaign and asked my supporters not 
to vote at all. I announced I would claim every 
abstention as a virtual vote for me.

     The result wasn't everything I'd hoped for, but it 
was decisive enough. Naturally I aspired to win a 
majority, but a slightly higher than usual number of 
eligible voters cast their ballots: around 60 per cent, 
about evenly divided between George W. Bush and John 
Kerry. That left me with a roughly 40 per cent plurality. 
I'll take it.

     In all humility, I can't take it personally. Some of 
those who abstained from voting had never even heard of 
me. That's all right. The important thing is that they 
didn't vote. They have no faith in government or in the 
false claims and promises of democracy. I don't seek 
power for myself; I seek its widest possible dispersion 
through the dismantling of the state.

     Of course Bush has been declared the winner, since 
the democracy doesn't recognize abstention as an 
expression of the will of the people, even when the great 
majority decline to vote. It interprets all votes as 
votes for the state, but doesn't count abstentions as 
rejections of the state.

     The allegedly impartial news media regularly show 
their real partiality -- partiality to the state -- by 
lamenting low voter turnout as a collective sin of 
"apathy," and many nonvoters are furtive and sheepish 
about their alleged "failure" to show up at the polls. 
But the choice to abstain is an honorable one: It 
signifies a refusal to participate in the crass and 
corrupt business of power.

     Those of us who refuse to vote should be positive, 
not shy, about it. The refusal to participate in politics 
is not a dereliction of civic duty, but an acceptance of 
it. When enough nonvoters affirm this, openly and 
defiantly, the politicians will begin to get the message, 
the state will lose its authority, and liberty will be 
the victor.

     It's a remarkable fact that "politician" and 
"politics" have become disreputable words in democracies. 
So why are those who elect politicians supposed to be 
acting virtuously? Shouldn't voting be seen, on the 
contrary, as a shameful act?

     Everyone understands that elections don't give us 
selfless public servants; they give us self-serving, 
often cynical and venal rulers, whose interest, as 
Hans-Herman Hoppe points out, is to loot the public 
treasury in the time allotted to them. The system 
encourages voters to play the same game, what Frederic 
Bastiat called "organized plunder," in which "everyone 
tries to live at the expense of everyone else." It's 
taken for granted that old voters, for example, will vote 
for candidates who promise them benefits paid for by 
younger, and even unborn, taxpayers.

     This ignoble game corrupts all the players, and the 
longer it goes on the worse it gets. The honorable and 
rational thing to do is to refuse to play, until those 
who do are embarrassed to admit it.

Notes on the Aftermath
(page 2)

     Dealing with the Democrats' debacle, Senator Barbara 
Boxer explained that America isn't yet "ready" for 
sodomatrimony. A world of meaning in that "ready": The 
idea isn't wrong, immoral, unnatural, or crazy -- just, 
you know, a bit premature. The Dems mean to keep pushing 
it until the country wearies of resisting it and the 
courts do their stuff.

*          *          *

     At the same time, the Democrats insist that they too 
have "moral values." After all, they say, peace and 
fighting hunger are matters of morality, aren't they? 
Well, of course they are -- but that's not quite what 
we're talking about here. For a generation now, the 
Democrats have been on the side of =discarding= Christian 
sexual morality, while treating its supporters as mere 
bigots. They pretend to compensate for this by advocating 
a "social gospel," summed up in the great progressive 
commandment "Give all that thy neighbor hath to the 

*          *          *

     One uncovered story of the 2004 campaign was John 
Kerry's claim to be a faithful Catholic. Apart from his 
public position on abortion, it came down to whether his 
first marriage had been properly annulled and his second 
solemnized by the Church. Well, now we have the answer: 
According to the archbishop of Boston, Sean O'Malley, who 
would surely know, neither is the case. Bear in mind that 
an annulment isn't supposed to be like a quickie Reno 
divorce, frivolously dissolving a marriage; it's supposed 
to be a careful finding that the marriage was never 
validly contracted in the first place. Such findings, in 
order to be warranted, must be rare. These days, they 
notoriously aren't. Yet Kerry didn't even bother trying 
to get one. We've been spared our first bogus Catholic 

*          *          *

     Garry Wills sees the election as "Bryan's revenge" 
for the 1925 Scopes trial, in which William Jennings 
Bryan's fundamentalism took it on the chin. Writing in 
the NEW YORK TIMES, Wills laments that "many more 
Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin's 
theory of evolution," hence Bush's regrettable victory. 
Come again? Can this be the same Garry Wills whose recent 
book WHY I AM A CATHOLIC, while rejecting many papal 
claims and teachings, reaffirmed the Apostles' Creed 
(including "born of the Virgin Mary")? Good old Garry. 
Why doesn't he just repudiate the whole Creed, and get it 
over with?

*          *          *

     This has been a bad year for the neocons. Even 
fifth-graders now know the Iraq war was their pet cause. 
It's amusing, and encouraging, that their bete noire 
Patrick Buchanan has written a bestseller, HOW THE RIGHT 
WENT WRONG, about their calamitous takeover of the Bush 
administration and the conservative movement (reviewed in 
our October issue). The neocon press won't even review 
it; it's simply unanswerable. Even in attacking it they'd 
have to quote it, which would mean quoting their own 
embarrassing words.

*          *          *

     This fall we were spared a season of unrelieved 
politics when the Boston Red Sox made the most astounding 
comeback in baseball history, roaring back from a 3-to-0 
deficit against the mighty New York Yankees with four 
straight victories, then immediately beating the even 
mightier St. Louis Cardinals in four straight. After 86 
years of frustration, history owed the Sox a miracle. 
Even their own fielding blunders couldn't stop them.

Humor in Chesterton
(pages 3-4)

     We're always being told that laughter is good for us 
-- good for our mental and even physical health, as if 
humor were a drug to be prescribed, like Prozac. Comedy 
has actually become a sort of separate industry, with its 
own cable television network. Apparently humor has become 
a thing so distinct from the rest of American life that 
it has to be bottled, so that we can make time for it in 
our schedules.

     To my mind, humor has always seemed inseparable from 
sanity itself, something built into our sense of reality 
rather than superadded to it. God made things funny. He 
made us to laugh as well as to reason. That is part of 
what it means to be made in God's image. Only creatures 
with lungs and immortal souls can laugh.

     My favorite controversialist, G.K. Chesterton 
(1874-1936), is known as a great humorist (as well as a 
man of letters and Catholic apologist). But unlike most 
humorists, he never seems, to me at least, to be trying 
to be merely funny; he is trying to tell the truth as 
robustly and vividly as possible. In a way, his 
seriousness of purpose is what gives his humor its power. 
His jests (why, by the way, has this fine old word fallen 
into disuse?) demand thought; they also reward it richly. 
He brings a joyous spirit of sport to religious debate.

     His most serious writing on the most sacred subjects 
can be, without warning, explosively funny. In ORTHODOXY, 
his great defense of Christianity, he suddenly says of a 
well-meaning socialist, "Mr. Blatchford is not only an 
early Christian. He is the only early Christian who ought 
really to be eaten by lions."

     Even Mr. Blatchford must have roared at that. This 
is one trait of Chesterton's humor: his lack of malice. 
He rarely attacks; you almost feel that his jokes are 
chiefly intended to amuse his targets, to share with them 
his own amusement, not to isolate them from his other 
readers. His humor even seems a form of charity. One of 
his favorite targets was Bernard Shaw; it's typical of 
both of them that they were always warm friends.

     Chesterton's orthodoxy has worn better than Shaw's 
"progressive" views, which have become banal. Their 
friendly rivalry was portentous; by now Shaw's supposedly 
advanced opinions, on everything from eugenics to free 
love to socialism, have been tried, with baneful or 
disastrous results; whereas Chesterton's Catholic views, 
though vindicated by time, remain unfashionable. He 
genially defended most of the ancient things Shaw 
satirized. (He once quipped that birth control involves 
neither birth nor control; and even Shaw might have 
qualms about schools handing out condoms to children.)

     Chesterton isn't above a joke for its own sake, of 
course; some readers find his wordplay tedious. I must 
say that there are times when he loses me; he can be not 
only tedious but, I'm afraid, quite obscure, and I don't 
know whether he's writing mysticism beyond my 
comprehension or mere nonsense. I prefer to think I 
haven't yet reached his depths.

     But for the most part, his wit is aimed at making us 
recognize truth in a way that logical argument alone 
can't do. He is a greater master of the English epigram 
than Oscar Wilde himself, because his witticisms are so 
much more profound and prophetic than Wilde's. Not all of 
them are funny; some of them sum up deep reflection: "The 
old tyrants invoked the past; the new tyrants will invoke 
the future." He said that more than a century ago, and it 
will serve as a remarkably accurate prediction of 
twentieth-century history.

     The recent eruption of jingoism in this country 
recalls Chesterton's great observation, "The real 
American is all right. It is the ideal American who is 
all wrong." He abounds, almost dizzyingly, in such 
remarks: "In one point I do certainly think that 
Victorian Bowdlerism did pure harm. This is the simple 
point that, nine times out of ten, the coarse word is the 
word that condemns an evil and the refined word the word 
that excuses it." Again: "The morality of a great writer 
is not the morality he teaches, but the morality he takes 
for granted." Long ago he noticed that "toleration ... 
actually results in timidity. Religious liberty might be 
supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss 
religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is 
allowed to mention it."

     Probably no English writer since Shakespeare has 
surpassed Chesterton's gift for condensed expression. As 
with Shakespeare, it's tempting to quote him incessantly, 
since nothing you say about him can rival his own 
eloquence: "For under the smooth legal surface of our 
society there are already moving very lawless things. We 
are always near the breaking-point when we care only for 
what is legal and nothing for what is lawful. Unless we 
have a moral principle about such delicate matters as 
marriage and murder, the whole world will become a welter 
of exceptions with no rules. There will be so many hard 
cases that everything will go soft." Only Chesterton 
could have topped "a welter of exceptions with no rules" 
with a brilliant pun.

     Chesterton's incredibly fertile humor is as 
inseparable from his style as his syntax. It's essential 
to his total tone. He is always alive to the latent 
comedy of a situation, the incongruity of his opponents' 
positions, the self-contradictions of false philosophies. 
For him, error is not only wrong, it's uproarious. If you 
press it hard enough, its absurdity will inevitably be 

     Truth itself begets humor. Chesterton himself 
explains why, in his roundabout preface to THE PICKWICK 
PAPERS: To the vulgar Bible-debunker, he says, it seems 
preposterous to say that God created light before the 
sun, that "the sun should be created before the 
sunlight.... To many modern people it would sound like 
saying that foliage existed before the first leaf; it 
would sound like saying that childhood existed before a 
baby was born."

     To this Chesterton retorts with a "Platonic" reason: 
"The idea existed before any of the machinery that made 
manifest the idea. Justice existed when there was no need 
of judges, and mercy existed before any man was 

     He then brilliantly attacks the "low priggish maxim" 
that "a man should not laugh at his own jokes. But the 
great artist not only laughs at his own jokes; he laughs 
at his own jokes before he has made them. In the case of 
a man really humorous we can see humor in his eye before 
he has thought of any amusing words at all. So the 
creative writer laughs at his comedy before he creates 
it, and he has tears for his tragedy before he knows what 
it is.... The last page comes before the first; before 
his romance has begun, he knows that it has ended well. 
He sees the wedding before the wooing; he sees the death 
before the duel. But most of all he sees the color and 
character of the whole story prior to any possible events 
in it."

     Such is Chesterton's defense of his beloved Dickens. 
It also describes the way he himself brings a sense of 
the ludicrous to every error he refutes. If it's wrong, 
it must also be funny. Humor, like light, is inherent in 
the nature of things.

     He likewise defends Dickens against the charge of 
having no taste: "[He] really had, in the strict and 
serious sense, good taste. All real good taste is gusto 
-- the power of appreciating the presence -- or the 
absence -- of a particular and positive pleasure." 
Chesterton has good taste to a superlative degree; an 
almost universal gusto and gift for expressing his many 
appreciations, with wit, imagery, lightning logic, 
metaphor, analogy, puns, alliteration, inspired phrasing, 
fresh twists on old sayings, and a good bit of sheer 
whimsy. Writers are a notoriously jealous lot, but 
probably no author has praised so many other authors as 
generously as Chesterton has.

     And who else would have had the subtlety to praise 
Shaw this way: "With a fine strategic audacity he 
attacked the Censor quite as much for what he permitted 
as for what he prevented"? Every time I try to track down 
a saying of Chesterton's I especially treasure, I find 
myself distracted by dozens of others, equally fine. 
"Most men now are not so much rushing to extremes as 
sliding to extremes; and even reaching the most violent 
extremes by being almost entirely passive." "If there 
were no God, there would be no atheists." "The Catholic 
Church is the only thing which saves a man from the 
degraded slavery of being a child of his age."

     Above all, Chesterton refused to be "a child of his 
age." His humor was a mode of his detachment from the 
modern world and its fashions. It's said that a mark of 
the saints is their hilaritas, and in Chesterton's 
inexhaustible hilarity we find something akin to 
sanctity. He saw that error naturally leads to comic as 
well as tragic extremes; he also saw where truth leads -- 
to health and holiness.

     I close with two of Chesterton's most profound 
remarks, which are stunning rather than amusing. One, 
from ORTHODOXY, states the doctrine of the Incarnation 
better than I've ever seen it stated outside Scripture: 
"Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt 
that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone 
has felt that God, in order to be wholly God, must have 
been a rebel as well as a king. Alone of all creeds, 
Christianity has added courage to the virtues of the 

     The other, from THE EVERLASTING MAN, makes short 
work of the notion that Christ's words are outdated: 
"Whatever else is true, it is emphatically not true that 
the ideas of Jesus of Nazareth were suitable to his time, 
but are no longer suitable to our time. Exactly how 
suitable they were to his time is perhaps suggested in 
the end of his story."

     These are heart-stopping words. Only the greatest of 
humorists could say things so witty, yet so far beyond 
mere laughter. For Chesterton, humor points to something 
that transcends mirth: the divine mystery itself.

Lincoln's Latest Defender
(pages 5-6)

     Like the Confederacy, the Union cause still has its 
die-hards. The issues at stake in the War Between the 
States come up even today in the U.S. Supreme Court, with 
Justice Clarence Thomas, of all people, reviving 
arguments once made by Jefferson Davis.

     Of the neo-Unionists I've read, the best by far is 
Professor Daniel Farber, who teaches law at Berkeley and 
the University of Minnesota. His recent book, LINCOLN'S 
CONSTITUTION (Chicago), makes a strong but ultimately 
flawed case against the right of states to withdraw from 
the Union, as well as a weaker case that Lincoln acted 
constitutionally in suppressing the South.

     Secession and its suppression are separate issues, 
and it's typical of Farber that he carefully keeps such 
questions distinct in this learned, informative, valuable 
book. He reminds us, for example, that President James 
Buchanan, Lincoln's predecessor, thought both that 
secession was unconstitutional and yet that the Union had 
no constitutional authority to prevent it. The U.S. 
Constitution is silent on the subject.

     Lincoln tried to solve this problem by equating 
secession with "insurrection," which Congress, in 
Article I, Section 8, is authorized to "suppress." But 
it's surely odd, as Farber sees, to say a state can 
commit insurrection against a confederation by peacefully 
withdrawing from it. Fort Sumter conveniently gave 
Lincoln a pretext for claiming that the Southern 
secessions amounted to violent rebellion (though most of 
the secessions occurred long before Sumter was fired 

     May the Union invade the states? The Constitution 
doesn't provide for it, and doesn't even contemplate it. 
To the contrary, Article IV, Section 4 seems to imply 

     "The United States shall guarantee to every State in 
this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall 
protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application 
of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the 
Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic 

     These words hardly suggest that the Union itself may 
commit invasion; and, as Farber notes, the Southern 
legislatures weren't about to invite Union troops in! In 
his first inaugural address, Lincoln repeated his party 
platform's condemnation of "the lawless invasion by armed 
force of the soil of any state or territory, no matter 
under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes." 
Strong words -- but note the fatal word "lawless." Slick 
Willie had nothing on Honest Abe.

     Everything depends on whether the states were still 
"sovereign," as the Articles of Confederation said 
flatly, though the word was absent from the Constitution; 
and if not, on whether the Union was authorized to use 
force against them if they tried to withdraw. And 
finally, there was the practical question of human cost: 
was the prevention of secession worth the enormous 
violence of the war?

     Ignoring the Articles and other documents, Lincoln 
insisted that the states had "never" been sovereign. 
Hence, he had the right to "save the Union" by force, 
though it meant making war on the Southern states. For 
Lincoln, invading them wasn't "lawless" invasion, and he 
didn't need an invitation. Nor did the bloodshed deter 
him; he was willing to starve civilians in order to win, 
if that was what it took.

     Farber is much fairer than Lincoln was to the 
arguments for secession. Delving deeply into sources with 
which Lincoln was barely acquainted, he carefully weighs 
the words of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James 
Madison, John Marshall, and others on both sides, showing 
that the question of secession had divided even the 
Founders of the American Republic. Many of those who 
composed and favored the Constitution thought, or hoped, 
it would mean the end of the state sovereignty proclaimed 
in the Articles, but they rarely if ever said so 
publicly. If they had, it's a cinch that ratification 
would have failed. The pro-Constitution Federalists 
tried, to the point of disingenuousness, to soothe 
misgivings about the status of the states.

     And so, as Farber says, "the precise nature of 
sovereignty under the Constitution was never quite 
specified." He examines the "complex and ambiguous" 
question with subtlety and discrimination. But it's 
surely significant that the anti-Federalists spoke 
openly, even fiercely, about the topic, while the 
Federalists kept a cagey silence about it.

     "In the end," Farber writes, "one fact [about the 
war] is crucial. It was the Confederacy that fired the 
first shot." Here, for once, Farber is a bit obtuse. That 
shot precipitated the war, but it didn't affect the 
principles involved, except to confuse them in the minds 
of passionate men. If the states had the right to secede, 
they had the right to drive Union troops out of their 
territories; but if not, not.

     When all is said, the states were =states,= not 
provinces. The very word implies sovereignty, just as a 
confederation implies voluntary association. As Jefferson 
Davis would argue, sovereignty couldn't be surrendered by 
mere implication. So profound a change in the status of 
the states -- essentially, the abolition of their very 
statehood -- would have had to be spelled out, and it 
wasn't. Farber makes a plausible case against the "exit 
option," as he calls it, but he fails to surmount the 
historical facts.

     Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution had 
argued vehemently that its adoption could lead only to 
"consolidated" government and the destruction of the 
states' independence. Though this is just what finally 
happened, they didn't contend that the Constitution 
itself destroyed state sovereignty; only that this would 
be its natural consequence. State sovereignty might 
formally survive for a while, but not for long. So even 
the Constitution's most fervent opponents didn't accuse 
the document itself of =abrogating= state sovereignty, 
even if that would be its result. "If given their full 
scope, the anti-Federalists realized, these [new Federal] 
powers might well eclipse any real sovereignty on the 
part of the states," as Farber puts it.

     Farber recognizes that Lincoln took liberties with 
the Constitution -- assuming the authority not only to 
invade states, but to defy court orders, to suspend 
habeas corpus, to raise an army, to close newspapers, and 
more, all without consulting Congress -- but he finds 
most of these steps justified by circumstances; and 
besides, as he points out, Congress finally ratified most 
of them. This won't do. The fact remains that Lincoln 
violated the Constitution he was sworn to uphold (his 
oath of office says nothing about "saving the Union") and 
usurped powers of Congress. The fact that Congress 
(which, after the Democrats left, was a Republican 
Congress) later went along with him is no excuse for what 
he did.

     Granting that Lincoln faced an unprecedented crisis, 
if so many unconstitutional measures were necessary to 
"save" the Constitution, that fact is itself strong 
evidence that Lincoln was wrong. It seems unlikely on its 
face that he could have been right as often as Farber 
(let alone his more rabid defenders) says he was. Lincoln 
was a brilliant courtroom lawyer and a rhetorician of 
genius, but his knowledge of constitutional law and 
history was thin; he apparently never even read THE 
FEDERALIST PAPERS! It's not necessarily wrong to claim 
implied powers from those specifically granted in the 
Constitution; but most of those Lincoln asserted were 
derived from a power =not= granted -- the power to "save" 
the Union from secession. When supposedly "implied" 
powers collide with the text, it's time to retrace one's 
steps; which Lincoln didn't do. And Farber never 
challenges Lincoln's repeated assertion that secession 
would "destroy" (rather than merely diminish) the Union.

     Farber admits that Lincoln's assaults on free speech 
and the press are hard to defend (though he thinks they 
did little real harm) but he fails to mention some of 
Lincoln's most flagrantly illegal acts. Imposing military 
governments on defeated Southern states is impossible to 
square with "guarantee[ing] to every State ... a 
Republican Form of Government." Moreover, Lincoln ordered 
the arrests of dozens of elected officials in Maryland, 
including the mayor of Baltimore and dozens of 
legislators, then used Union troops to prevent suspected 
secessionists from voting in the next election! This in a 
war to ensure "a new birth of freedom" and to make sure 
self-government wouldn't "perish from the earth."

     What about the total horror of the war? Positing 
Lincoln's duty to save the Union by crushing secession, 
Farber excuses him on grounds that he had no way of 
knowing how bloody the war would get. But by the end of 
1861 it was clear that both sides had been wrong to 
expect a short, easy war. It was going to be a long, 
bitter one, and it was going to be fought almost entirely 
in the South. Lincoln absurdly said that the South was 
trying to "conquer" the North, a physical impossibility. 
True, the South fired the first shot; but it fired it, 
after all, in South Carolina.

     Finally, the simplest prima facie evidence that 
Lincoln was wrong is the Union today. A Federal 
Government that spends, and runs up debt, in the 
trillions of dollars would have made even Hamilton 
swallow hard. (We may doubt whether any of the Founders 
ever had occasion to use the word "trillion," or even 
"billion," in his entire life.) The unlimited, 
uncontrolled, centralized, and consolidated state the 
anti-Federalists feared has come to pass. It grabs new 
powers at whim, rarely bothering to ask whether these 
have constitutional warrant.

     LINCOLN'S CONSTITUTION is a better book than Lincoln 
deserves. Farber generously gives his half-educated views 
too much credit. Apart from the moral and material harm 
of his war, Lincoln's fancied "implied" powers have 
proven a terrible precedent for asserting countless legal 
powers where, in fact, none exist. Lincoln's 
constitutional heresies have become a national way of 
life. When a handful of enumerated powers wind up 
generating an infinite number of "implied" powers, the 
text becomes a dead letter.


THE OTHER WAR ON TERROR: The death of Yassir Arafat 
leaves Ariel Sharon without a scapegoat for the violent 
resistance his ruthless oppression of Palestinians has 
provoked. Come to think of it, Arafat was for Sharon what 
Saddam Hussein was for Bush, and Sharon too can be 
expected to carry on his war without his original 
villain. He'll just have to find someone else to blame. 
(page 7)

WINDOWS FOR DUMMIES: Saying that society can't exist 
without government is like saying that society depends on 
robbery. This is Bastiat's famous broken-window fallacy 
writ large: the notion that breaking windows "stimulates" 
the glass trade, and that destruction therefore produces 
wealth. We may as well ask, If it weren't for government, 
who would break the windows? (page 9)

TOUGH LUCK: Scott Peterson is now the first American in a 
generation to be convicted for killing an unborn chlld. 
(page 11)

Exclusive to electronic media:

EXIT: Conservatives are rejoicing at Dan Rather's 
retirement as CBS NEWS's anchor man, especially since it 
comes on the heels of his phony expose of President 
Bush's evasion of National Guard service. Personally, 
I've never thought of Rather as much of a journalist. 
When has he ever broken a major story we'd otherwise have 
missed? His first "scoop" was the JFK assassination, 
which we might have heard about without him. Ironically, 
the fatal Bush story only underlines his incompetence as 
a reporter. Sad that his long career should end this way.

AT YOUR SERVICE: Why do people talk as if governments 
originate in the need for public services, and only 
impose taxes as an afterthought? Taking their subjects' 
money is the =only= thing =all= governments of every form 
do, and have always done. Taking wealth by force -- 
taxes, duties, levies, tributes, tariffs, excises, et 
cetera -- is the defining act of the state and its 
raison d'etre. If it didn't tax, it couldn't exist.

WE THE PARADIGM: American security, we are told, requires 
the adoption of American-style democracy, not only in 
Iraq, but in Ukraine -- and, apparently, just about 
everywhere else too. We're never told just why, or what 
the limits are. Even Woodrow Wilson might rub his eyes at 
this notion. 

(pages 7-12)

* "You Can't Mean It!" (October 28, 2004)

* The Party of Abnormality (November 4, 2004)

* Are You "Ready"? (November 9, 2004)

* Tolerance and Progress (November 16, 2004)

* Journalism and Patriotism (November 18, 2004)

* Let the Blue States Go! (November 23, 2004)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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