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We often hear that facts are stubborn things, that they speak for themselves. When liberal columnist Ellen Goodman recently asserted that "facts do not speak for themselves," and suggested that us common folk should avoid ingesting them in the absence of an elite intellectual to "frame the message" for us, I was immediately determined to interpret one of those facts myself.

Studies quoted in the New York Times showed that conservatives gave over 30 percent more of their income to charity than did liberals. My interpretation: Historically, when the cheapest among us have proposed to take from the most charitable it has been referred to as "theft" rather than "redistribution" or "reform." This study exposes the idea that liberals care more for the poor as a shameless lie, and how liberals take from the poor with their "wealth redistribution." The amount of charity lost as a result of the transfer of wealth from previously employed, more charitable conservatives to the rapidly growing number of less charitable (liberal) government employees is incalculable. The disparity in charity could be a result of many liberals seeing themselves as victims.

Citing facts for liberals is probably as ineffective as trying to shame them with satire, considering their frequent dismissal of the facts and their waning sense of shame. And nothing we do could advance the cause of conservatism like the bizarre bumblings of President Barack Obama. But facts inform satire, laughter lowers blood pressure, and derisive laughter can sway young minds.

Some say that attrition through derision and hypertension will take generations. I don't care. Ever cognizant of both our health and the plight of the poor, I urge you to yuk it up when Obama lectures us on our values and fiscal responsibility, for example. Remember, 30 percent more per conversion is nothing to laugh at.

John German, Missoula

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