LETTER: Take time to question Obama

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 | 11:52 a.m. CDT; updated 10:32 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I want to appeal to the voters of Columbia and everyone else who may read this letter.

Are we about to elect a rock star or a president?  Do we think that being a polished performer is more important than consistent, unwavering service to our country?  Do we really know enough about this new phenomenon named Barack Obama to elect him to the highest post of our country?

Obama has raised more than $600 million in his campaign, $150 million during the month of September alone.  According to, many of these donations are in un-rounded amounts of dollars and cents, which implies the likely possibility of uneven currency exchange rates from foreign sources. Obama has not identified any of these sources.  By contrast, John McCain has identified all of his sources.  What is Obama trying to hide?

Obama wants to raise taxes on the small business job-providers of our society, if they have achieved an income of more than $250,000 per yearMcCain wants to give added incentives to these businesses to encourage greater success and job growth.

If elected, Obama will have willing accomplices in the Democratic Congress who will quickly pass any liberal legislation that is proposed, including the repeal of our present tax laws, the re-imposition of oil drilling bans and the confirmation of questionable Supreme Court justices.

In addition to the above, there are the dubious associations of Obama with ACORN, Bill Ayers and the Rev. Wright.  These should give us further pause.

Please stop and think on Nov. 4.

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Paul Gilzow October 22, 2008 | 12:39 p.m.

uh, you do realize that the cnn article you linked to ( states :

That's because the lion's share of taxable income comes from a small number of wealthy businesses. Out of 34.7 million filers with business income on Schedules C, E or F, 479,000 filers fall into the top two brackets, according to an analysis of projected 2009 filings by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The other 34.3 million - or 98.6% - would be unaffected by Obama's proposed rate hike.

which directly refutes your claim that Obama will raise taxes on small business owners who make $250K or more a year. Just thought you might like to know.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 12:54 p.m.

Huh? It's a fact that Obama will raise taxes on people -- small business owners or not -- who make $250K or more a year. He's said that hundreds of times. So if you make more than $250K, and if he's elected and if his initiatives become law, then your taxes will go up.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 22, 2008 | 1:09 p.m.

@Ayn Rand, did you read the cnn article? Regardless of which candidate you are supporting, Mr. Murray cited an article as support for his claim, but that in fact, disputes his claim.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 1:17 p.m.

I did not read Murray's letter or the CNN article. I was refuting your post by noting that Obama has said over and over that he will raise taxes on people -- small business owners or not -- who make $250K or more a year. That's a fact.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 22, 2008 | 1:20 p.m.

Also, Mr. Murray's supporting link for his claim of Obama's association with Ayer's states:

While it is known that Obama and Ayers live in the same Chicago neighborhood, served on a charity board together and had a fleeting political connection, there is no evidence that they ever palled around. And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts.

Please, if you are going to cite sources to support your claims, make sure that what you are citing actually does.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 22, 2008 | 1:46 p.m.

@Ayn Rand, if you didnt read the letter, or the aticles, then you are either flamebaiting ( or a post troll ( Both of which serve no purpose other than inciting arguments.

And you have nothing to refute from my posts. I simply pointed out that Mr. Murray had cited sources that refuted his claims.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 1:54 p.m.

You make no sense. Why would you bother to refute a claim that is a fact? Murray wrote: "Obama wants to raise taxes on the small business job-providers of our society, if they have achieved an income of more than $250,000 per year." This is a fact because, as I noted, Obama has reiterated this proposal over and over.

The source that Murray cites is incidental because it doesn't change the fact that Obama wants to raise taxes on incomes over $250K.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 2:03 p.m.

Obama says ( ) : "That does involve us spreading around opportunity and it means that for people like myself, making a lot more than $250,000 a year, paying a little bit more so that the waitress who is surviving on minimum wage can put a roof over her head."

What Obama & Co. refuse to acknowledge is that the waitress makes minimum wage because she lacks skills that warrant more money. Want to make more than the minimum wage? Acquire skills that many or most people do not possess.

Obama & Co. are fools to try to punish those who have skills and thus command higher salaries because if you take away our financial incentive to work, we will work less. That means less opportunity for Obama & Co. to spread around.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 2:57 p.m.

Obama said he will not raise taxes on those who make under $250k a year. If he said he will Ayn Rand show an exact quote with link to the information. says no other taxes have been proposed:

Fact does show that the GOP and all other political parties are misrepresenting Obama's Tax Plans.

(Report Comment)
Justin Hopkins October 22, 2008 | 10:09 p.m.

Gilzow FTW!

I'd like to throw in a link I'm fond of. A list of fallacies of logic that debaters are often guilty of when they lack sufficient evidence in support of their argument - this post contains almost every type:

I am curious - after reading the list of comments posted by Ayn Rand:

Is this username a reference to Objectivist Ayn Rand?

(Report Comment)
Justin Hopkins October 22, 2008 | 10:35 p.m.

Just had to pop back in. After posting I was talking to my wife, and I was suddenly reminded of another article that was bookmarked by a friend of mine. It was entitled "The End of Libertarianism". Don't miss the last paragraph!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 23, 2008 | 4:11 a.m.

Well it looks like Justin Hopkins is hitting 400 ERA on this one and great research work.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 23, 2008 | 4:15 a.m.

Oh Justin Hopkins I forgot to add to compliment your post another quote recently use by Joe Biden "Me thinks they protesteth too much".

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 23, 2008 | 11:01 a.m.

@Ayn Rand, the link you cited ( does not contain the quote you pasted. In addition, the article is centered around a rebuttal of the claims you have made. I am not claiming that the quote is incorrect; simply pointing out that your citation is incorrect.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 23, 2008 | 11:14 a.m.

Paul, AP often changes stories but keeps the same URL. So the link I posted yesterday now goes to a new story.

How does the new story rebut my claims?

Also, in the new story, Obama makes it clear that he wants to give "tax cuts" to people who have no tax liability. Of course, that's impossible because you can't cut taxes for someone who doesn't pay them. He can call that what ever he wants, but the bottom line is that he wants to take more money from those who pay most of the taxes and give some of it to people who schlep through life doing the bare minimum. Why should successful people be force to subsidize those who lack initiative?

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock October 23, 2008 | 12:02 p.m.

Hi folks,

Really enjoying the discussion this letter has generated. Just wanted to clear up one unintentional misconception ...

The J.F. Murray who wrote this article is a Mrs. Murray, not a Mr.

(Report Comment)
Justin Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 12:27 p.m.

@Ayn Oh, the hilarity will never cease. Why don't you go out and find a permalink to the article you did quote then?

You can really stop trying to make this out to be a refutation of anyone's claims.

Paul is merely pointing out that when citing sources you should read them first to make sure they are in support of your argument(and I would add to that use a permalink). Before you make another post asking how Paul's comment "refutes your claims" stop for a second, highlight all the text you had entered to that point, then press backspace - because that's not what he's doing.

The only lesson that should be had from reading the original letter, or any of these comments is really: READ THE WORDS ON THE PAGE.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 23, 2008 | 12:58 p.m.

Justin, again, the AP changed the story that the link points to. Tough luck for those who come late to this discussion.

Here's a tip for you and Paul: When you encounter an outdate link, simply copy part of the excerpt that was posted, put quotes around it, drop it in Google and you should find the whole article.


You're welcome.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 23, 2008 | 1:42 p.m.

Justin Hopkins better yet Ayn Rand needs to use their real name as is asked by everybody who posts here according to the site guidelines.

The real Ayn Rand is quite dead as that link posted before and that name firmly presents.

(Report Comment)
Laura Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 2:54 p.m.

@ Charles Dudley Jr
I agree, Ayn Rand should have the integrity to use *his* real name.
However, I can attest to the 100% validity of Justin Hopkins' name as he is my husband. :)
And yes, Laura Hopkins is my real name too. ;)
But I am wondering, why did you think "Justin Hopkins" wasn't his real name?
Just curious.

(Report Comment)
Laura Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 2:58 p.m.

@ "Ayn Rand"
First of all, sir, I'd appreciate if you'd use your real name.
Second of all, as per the norm it seems for your responses on this particular thread, you missed an important detail.
That would be Justins' first sentence which reads: "Why don't you go out and find a permalink to the article you did quote then?".
It's important you read and understand the comments you are responding to in order to make sense.
And by the way, "rebut" is actually spelled "rebutt".
You're welcome.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 23, 2008 | 3:04 p.m.

Laura Hopkins I do not believe I questioned your hubby's name but after seeing the facts about Ayn Rand's name it confirmed my suspicions as Ayn Rand is too close to "Any Rant".

In fact I think the coding needs to be changed where it also shows your street address,ip # and all important information to the Web Administrators only so they can ferret out posters using fake names.

If you cannot use your real name as is required by this site then really you have no reason to post anyway since it would be obvious you are only here to cause trouble.

I do believe in freedom of speech but that has a price in my book and that is your accountability and especially when it comes to issues concerning this city.

(Report Comment)
Laura Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 3:08 p.m.

I agree with you Mr. Dudley.
I was just curious because the way I read it, his name seemed to be included in the questioning.
As they say, some things get lost in translation. ;)
Thanks for clearing that up, and I appreciate hearing your opinion on the matter.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 23, 2008 | 3:09 p.m.

Laura, "rebut" is correct, according to

Also, I'm not going to waste time creating a permalink when it's easy enough -- as I explained -- for someone to find information after a link has expired.

You're a busybody.

(Report Comment)
Justin Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 3:25 p.m.

@Ayn Rand
I never suggested that the quote wasn't real or that an article to that effect didn't exist. It's a well-known part of the Obama rhetoric.

FYI, I did Google that quote (in quotes!) before I wrote my last comments. I wasn't looking to see if it *had* been said, but what was said about the quote.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 24, 2008 | 1:18 p.m.

@Jake Sherlock, thank you for the correction. My sincerest apologies to Mrs. Murray. I meant no disrespect.

@Ayn Rand, I do see now that your original link was not permanent. However, since it is you that used a quote and provided a link as a source, it is your responsibility to ensure that your source is valid. I can make any claim I want, but if I fail to provide a source in support of that claim, it invalidates the claim, or calls into question the validity of the quote.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 27, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

Again, Paul, when you encounter an outdated link, simply copy part of the excerpt that was posted, put quotes around it, drop it in Google and you should find the whole article. Nobody on here is going to hold your hand.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow October 30, 2008 | 11:56 a.m.

@Ayn Rand, I have never asked someone to hold my hand. But if you are going to quote someone, and/or claim statements as "fact", then it is YOUR responsibility to cite your sources, and to cite them correctly. You are a big boy/girl; no one on here should have to "...hold your hand." ;-)

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 30, 2008 | 12:12 p.m.

Paul, I'm not going to hold your hand. Figure out the Internet on your own.

(Report Comment)

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