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Satire or smear?
October 05, 2007

Satire is a difficult thing to pull off, especially in the pages of Numismatic News.

A letter that appeared in the Oct. 9 issue elicited an e-mail to me yesterday that angrily labeled it a smear.

I thought the letter complained of was funny. It arrived in response to another letter that appeared in the Sept. 4 issue saying President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a communist.

The Oct. 9 letter of response contains assertions that are so over the top that I thought surely everyone would get the joke - or will they? What do you think?

The text follows:

Reader Dave Reinkens, in his interesting and insightful Sept. 4 letter, states that FDR was a communist. Well, so was Ronald Reagan, but I don't hear many people getting upset about it. Both FDR and Reagan expanded and enlarged America's military so that from 1933 to 1990, the USSR never attempted to attack our country. Not even once. Coincidence? I think not.

The communist Ronald Reagan helped himself to socialized medicine at least 10 times at taxpayer expense, getting over $155,000 in free medical care, all of it paid for by people who do an activity known as "work." Since 2004, the communists Ashcroft, Cheney and Bush also used socialized medicine to get themselves over $100,000 worth of free gallbladder, cardiac and colon surgery, paid for by - you guessed it - the taxpayers. Apparently "socialized medicine" is fine and wonderful when used by elite millionaires, but horrible and immoral when used by working Americans. Why is this not surprising?

Jim Snyder
Medford, Ore.

That's the full text of the Oct. 9 letter. You know where to find me.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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