Friday, February 09, 2007


This coming Feb. 15 through 20, Mardi Gras is coming to Sandpoint, in Idaho, but I don’t see anything about drinking in the streets. What kind of Fat Tuesday can that be? My memory of my one Mardi Gras in New Orleans is how strange it felt to be walking down a sunlit morning street with a plastic glass of booze in my hand, human monkey-chattering and artificial joy on every hand, and seamlessly coming to in the dark of Wednesday morning, staggering hungover down the center of an unfamiliar street in ankle deep trash, hoping to find the ferry over to the West Bank where I’d parked my car. Mardi Gras was in between there somewhere, in dibs and dabs, the chick pinching my butt at Place II, the promises never fulfilled, the bare breasted flashes, the couple rolling in the gutter in a wild makeout session, but it sure was fun. . . wasn't it???


The tax that elitists call the “death tax” but observant citizens call the “estate tax” is a necessary tax if America is to escape that form of privilege and unmerited power which inherited titles (and wealth) conferred on royalty in the Old Country. America was founded by people trying to escape European feudal systems as much as religious intolerance, and Americans should consider inherited wealth a danger to our Republic and its way of life in what is supposed to be a classless society. Too much inherited wealth creates a privileged class of people who have gotten their positions of power by no more worth or effort than having been fortuitously born. Of course, a person ought to be able to pass on sufficient wealth to his or her heirs and to help them through good educations, excellent health care and other perks the rich always enjoy, but one of the greatest threats to our way of life is too much wealth accumulated in the hands of a few through birthright rather than through open and fair competition. A modest estate tax levels the playing field. Imagine what George Junior would not have amounted to without his family’s wealth?


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