Time and Time again

The editors of Time magazine’s letters page have come in for a fair amount of criticism on this site over the last month, as a result of their failure to note within their pages that the Thomas Stokes letter they ran was actually GOP astroturf. But I wanted to at least tip my hat to whatever sly editor composed a headline which runs over these two letters:

In his Commentary “Blessed Are The Poor — They Don’t Get Tax Cuts,” Joe Klein wrote, “Families with incomes between $10,500 and $26,625 … pay little or no income taxes” [IN THE ARENA, June 9]. This being the case, why should these families receive the proposed tax credit which could amount to $400? Why must we keep giving to the poor, the way the Democrats want to? If we do, the poor will come to expect it, which is one of the primary problems with today’s welfare program: there’s no incentive to better one’s way of life.
St. Peters, Mo.

Klein’s complaint about low-income families’ not receiving the child tax credit from Bush’s tax cut reflected unsound thinking. Overpopulation demands that no rational government provide economic incentives for further procreation. Six billion humans is way too many. Even if more people were needed to provide a larger labor force, we certainly should not be giving incentives to those individuals who seem to be least able to care for their children. The omission of the child tax credit from the tax-cut bill was arguably the best part of the legislation. MIKE WHITE Baltimore, Md.

The headline Time composed for these two examples of compassionate conservatism at its most Darwinian? “A Modest Proposal.”

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Speaking of this week’s Time, a disturbing bit jumped out at me in this article about Christian fundamentalists spreading the gospel in Muslim countries:

She projected a statement by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on a screen: “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.” After his comment was publicized in late 2001, Ashcroft said it referred to terrorists and not to mainstream Muslims, but the point seemed lost on her. “Islam is the terrorist,” Barbara asserted. “Muslims are the victim.” The class ended in prayer. “We mourn the loss of life” in Iraq, someone said. Added Barbara: “We pray that the weapon of mass destruction, Islam, be torn down. Lord, we declare that your blood is enough to forgive every single Muslim. It is enough.”

Emphasis added. You see, we have found the weapon of mass destruction — it is Islam itself…