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TAXES, TRUTH, AND CBS

How do you think the sanctimonious people at TV's "60 Minutes" would portray a company charged by the FCC with "serious indecency violations," that made expensive settlements with employees and others because of injuries related to asbestos and other hazardous material exposures, underfunded its employee pension, is legally accused of securities violations, employs those who widely distributed forged documents in an effort to destroy political opponents, failed to dismiss or discipline employees who violated the company code of conduct, owned offshore enterprises that paid little or no U.S. corporate tax, and operated in and/or dealt with countries harboring terrorists? The company that engaged in all of these practices is Viacom, parent company of CBS, which produces "60 Minutes." The folks at "60 Minutes" remind me of the preacher who damns the sinners every Sunday, but then is caught in the brothel.

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HE IS SO MUCH MORE

Bruce Vincent is the Executive Director of Provider Pals, a nation-wide urban/rural youth exchange program based in Montana. He was the recipient of a Preserve America Presidential Award, presented to him by the president in the White House. This is his account of an extraordinary moment between him and President Bush that occurred at the end of the presentation. I invite you to send this on to friends who may benefit from knowing the kind of man America is blessed with to have as her president. -JW Stepping into the Oval Office, each of us [the awardees] was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook hands, received our awards with photo op and participated in informal conversation. He and the First Lady were asked about the impact of the Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was blessed with a strong one. He noted that it would be a mistake to come to the Oval Office and entertain a mission to “find yourself.” He said that with all of the pressures and responsibilities that go with the job, you'd best know who you are when you put your nameplate on the desk in the Oval Office. He said he knows who he is and now America has had four years to learn about who he is. When we departed the I said to him, "Mr. President, I know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to ask you." As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, "Just name it."

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THE 180 BOMBSHELL

Comfortable? Have a bucket of buttered popcorn and a cold beer at the ready? (If you were my friend Otto, you’d have instead a Grey Goose martini.) All set for the greatest political fireworks show of your life? Showtime is about to begin.Those SwiftVet ads, you see, have been just the pre-lims to warm the audience up. The main acts will be much more entertaining. They’ll begin with signs appearing at Kerry campaign rallies saying:Ho, ho, ho - Kerry must sign the One-Eight-OhWhat does that mean, you ask? It is the demand that Kerry sign a DoD (Defense Dept.) Form 180, which authorizes the release to the public of all military records the Pentagon possesses on him.

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MOSLEMS DENOUNCE MOSLEM TERROR

A useful update to TTP’s “Gresham and the Currency of Islam” last week. Let’s see if the Voices of Peace claimed by this essay in Singapore’s main newspaper gain strength or will soon be muffled. -JWMoslems around the world are increasingly speaking out against the Islamist militants behind the recent terrorist attacks in Russia and Indonesia. In the wake of these recent attacks, there has been a chorus of condemnation of extremism.From Jakarta to London, Cairo to Paris, Moslems have been calling radio talk shows, writing newspaper columns and firing off letters to the media condemning terrorist acts in the name of Islam. These voices are crying out against the hatred and intolerance towards the West that remains widespread in Moslem communities. The violence of those who claim to be defenders of the faith, they argue, only tarnishes Islam's reputation.

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DUMB AND DUMBER

Ask anybody who knows how to street fight, and they’ll tell you the most important thing is not to get mad. Lose your temper, act out of rage, and you lose your emotional intelligence, your capacity to think calmly and react quickly - so you get the crap beat out of you. This is why Hollywood casting directors are proposing that actors Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels be replaced in the coming sequel to the 1994 movie Dumb & Dumber with… John Kerry and Dan Rather.Oh, excuse the typo. It’s Dan Rather.No kidding, folks - the characters of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in Dumb & Dumber are Einsteins compared to Hanoi John and Frequency Dan. Let’s take Danny first.

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THE FBI’S ANTI-SEMITIC WITCH HUNT

For weeks now, the FBI has carried out in the press a prosecution of individuals and organizations it has so far been unable or unwilling to pursue in court. Using innuendo and a steady stream of (often recycled) press leaks, the names and reputations of a number of people "including several who are senior officials in the United States government at the moment" have been sullied. There is no need to repeat their names here. Virtually all are people I have known and greatly admired for decades. It is bad enough their years of public service have been in any way diminished by those leaping to unfounded conclusions. Even more troubling is the transparent character of this witch hunt: With apparently one exception, all those named in one way or another in connection with this inquiry (for example, they have been briefed on the matter, they run large Pentagon bureaucracies in which an individual suspected of misconduct -- or, perhaps, espionage -- works, etc.) have something in common: They are Jews.

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REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD

All across America, Viet Nam vets are smiling. At last, perhaps they can bury their demons. These angry vets are demanding that this man who sentenced them to being shunned as criminals, tell the world that he was wrong and that he is sorry for what he did to them. Kerry must admit that he lied about them. For many, it would still not be enough. Satisfaction and hopefully peace will come when Viet Nam Vets see and hear John F. Kerry give his concession speech the night of November 2, 2004 with the knowledge that it was their votes that helped defeat him.

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THE MEANING OF LIFE

One of the great benefits of membership in To The Point is the exclusive columns of technology genius Dennis "The Wizard" Turner, psychologist Joel Wade, investment guru Leslie Chase, and Nasdaq mastermind Dagny D'Anconia. Many To The Pointers consider any of them alone to be easily worth TTP membership. They are exclusive to To The Point -- you can read them no where else. Dennis Turner’s “Dennis The Wizard” column focuses on how to live better and much more safely with your computer. This week we offer this bonus column (in addition to Dennis' regular colum) in full to the TTP Free List as a clear demonstration of the value of being a member of To The Point. ---JW Snappy title, right? Fortunately, discovering the meaning of Life is simple - if you know where to look. Life is a “characteristic state or mode of living.” And a “mode” is a “manner of performance.” And a “manner” is a “way of acting or living.” Or maybe Life is “the course of existence of an individual”. And a “course”…. I could go on all day like this - if fact, I actually did go on for several hours recently, with one of the best free programs I have ever come across. A friend sent me the reference. I took one look at the web site, downloaded and installed it. I’m taking a break from Bluetooth and security this week because this program is just too good to pass up. It’s called StarDict, the most amazing dictionary you will ever use, online, download, print or otherwise.

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GRESHAM AND THE CURRENCY OF ISLAM

Sir Thomas Gresham, who lived from 1519 to 1579, was Queen Elizabeth’s financial advisor. He was so good at it that he paid off all of England’s European debts by playing the Antwerp stock market in Belgium and made himself the richest man in Britain. But his greatest contribution was reviving the debased English shilling by convincing Elizabeth of the truth of what history calls Gresham’s Law: that bad money, if allowed to exist, will wipe out the value of good money.

The ghastly series of events in the past weeks -- two commercial airliners blown out of the sky in Russia on August 24, two buses blown up by suicide bombers in Israel on August 31, the threat to behead two French hostages unless France rescinds its school ban on Moslem head scarves, the threat to behead two Italian women unless Italy retreats from Iraq, the genocide in Sudan, the hideous butchery of hundreds of Russian children in Beslan last week, the car bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta today - make it quite clear that Gresham’s Law now needs to be applied to Islam.

If Sir Thomas were alive today, he would explain that his law pertains to the validity not just of monetary institutions, but political, social, cultural, and economic institutions as well. All issue their own “currencies” - the measure of their moral worth and practical value. The moral worth and practical value of the currency of Islam has become so debased that it may be unredeemable.

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THE WOLF IN THE HENHOUSE

Last month TTP gave you a heads up that Hillary, in order to run in 2008, will gut Kerry with an October Surprise. Last week all of Hillary’s players were put in place. She immediately leaked Slick’s advice to Kerry delivered by phone from his hospital so the Clinton-as-guru/Kerry-as-neophyte story dominated the news. She then conned Kerry into inserting a raft of Clintonistas deep into his campaign. Guys like Paul Begala, James Carville, and Joe Lockhart will just make a lot of noise, however. The real player is Hillary’s former chief of staff, Howard Wolfson. You see stories now about Kerry’s campaign divided into two camps, the Massachusetts crowd who used to run the campaign, led by Mary Beth Cahill (Ted Kennedy’s chief of staff) and the recent addition of John Sasso (Michael Dukakis’s campaign manager in 1988), and the Clintonistas. Many of the media stories focus on the resultant chaos and confusion - not realizing that this is by Hillary’s design.

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