Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Larry Elder's Anti-Tax Fallacy

Today, Larry Elder was disparaging a California assemblayman's plan to raise txes on those making over $143,000 to bolster funding on education. Elder asked why money should be taken from him to pay for childrens' schooling. Why can't parents figure out how to pay for their own children's schooling? Earlier, Elder had done some rough math and said that California spends $10,000 per pupil. Even if we half that amount, there aren't too many parents who can afford $5,000 a year school tuition per child.

Larry Elder is taxed - as are the parents of school age children - so that there is a collective fund sufficient to support a system where every child is schooled. Laryy Elder is also taxed to maintain roads and a public infrastructure that he may only use a part of. No one has figured out a way for people to be taxed precisely for only those services they use and no others. So we have the current system. Typical of Elder's ahistorical perspective is the conversation he had with a caller. The caller said that an educated citizenry reduces crime. Elder replied that before the public school system, where was all the crime? We had a much more agrarian economy before the public school system. Adults could be illiterate and still find work. Not so today. Laryy Elder doesn't think he benefits from an educated public. He lives in a libertarian fantasy. It is incumbent on Larry Elder and others who agree with him to work out in detail an alternative system that meets their demands and present it for examination. Otherwise, all he's doing is tired rabblerousing.

Mark Felt, Deep Throat and Ace Hannah's Three Rules

I just watched a great interview on Hardball with Ralph DeToledano, who ghostwrote Mark "Deep Throat" Felt's memoirs a few years ago. DeToledano said that Felt's own manuscript left his publisher unhappy, so DeToledano was brought in. DeToledano had to drag things out of Felt, who wanted to portray himself as a great man and who denied in the book that he was Deep Throat. DeToledano said that recently Felt said he wanted to republish his book, to which DeToledano owned 50%. After 18 months and several letters, DeToledano extracted a check for $5,000 for his half of the rights. This was before Felt's revelation in the current Vanity Fair that he was DT. Now Felt's memoir is worth millions. Which begs the question: when is Felt telling the truth? Then or now?

DeToledano was an editor at Newsweek who covered Nixon for years, often quite favorably. He says Nixon had no loyalty to anyone and had no principles.

In the film Vera Cruz, Burt Lancaster recites Ace Hannah's Three Rules:

1. Don't do any favors you don't have to.

2. Don't trust anyone longer than you have to.

3. Don't take any chances you don't have to.

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