Illiterate Howard Jarvis

Howard Jarvis

This came in the mail today. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association is a vile organization started by a really vile and ignorant man—a man who has done more to hurt my home state than anyone other than maybe Ronald Reagan. And usually, these mailings that come every couple of weeks offend me because of their content. Here is a sample:

For the first time since the passage of Proposition 13, tax-and-spenders have a supermajority in Sacramento—all the votes they need to weaken Proposition 13 and raise property taxes on you and every homeowner!

Oh my! First note that they aren’t talking about repealing Proposition 13, because they can’t do that. They are talking about trivial changes that mean nothing. But also, if this is the first time that there is any threat to Proposition 13, then why does the HJTA send me a letter every two weeks begging for money? Even if you are a fan of Proposition 13, you must understand that the purpose of the HJTA is only to continue its own existence. Jarvis himself has been dead for over 25 years!

But the reason I’m talking about it now is that alert, “PETITION ENCLOSED Response Requested By: 48 hours!” If you can’t get your titles right, you are hopeless. “48 hours” is not an event. It is a time period. You may request a response in 48 hours, but you simply cannot request a response by 48 hours.

I know this is pedantic. But this isn’t some small church or something. The HJTA is a big organization. Its president, Jon Coupal, is paid more than a quarter million dollars per year. And not a dollar for copy editors? Of course not! And they are probably right. The people they prey upon probably don’t even notice. But they do notice killer sentences like, “Please sign that Petition right now, Mr. Francis P. Moraes, and return it with a donation of at least $20.” They don’t even need to add, “And it won’t be wasted on any writers or editors!”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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