Pat Sajak — not just a conservative, but a wit

Pat Sajak posts periodically at Ricochet.  I always look for his posts there because they’re not just right, they’re often very witty.  For example, check out his post regarding the fact that LA County managed to use $111 million stimulus dollars to save or create 55 jobs.  Even when he’s not just plain funny, Sajak’s worth reading, because he’s logical, clear and succinct, as with his post about the problems inherent in federal tax withholding.

I’m also impressed with the Ricochet financial model.  The site charges people, not to read the content, but to comment on the content.  I don’t know how well it works out, but it makes sense to me.  I suspect there are a lot of people out there who think their own words are more valuable than the original author’s.  That is, they might not see that it’s worth paying the author a red cent to say something, but they might feel that what they have to contribute is valuable enough that they will put money on the table to be heard.

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  • Charles

    Thanks for the link Book.  I had been reading Pat at his old website,, for a long time, and then a few months ago he stopped with his commentary.  I wondered where he went. Now I know, and there are so many more fine writers on Ricochet to boot!  Thanks!

    His “Withholding Power” article reminds me of a conversation I had with some European friends several years ago.  They were amazed that here in the US the actual amount paid at the register was more than the amount listed on the item.  I explained that it was “sales tax.”  They explained to me that in Europe the “sales tax” was already included in the price.  I explained that, while that might be simpler, I preferred to see exactly how much the government was taking each time I purchased something.  They didn’t “get it.” 

    Even if it is about a different type of tax, the concept is the same and I’m glad to see, several years later, someone who has charm, wit, and intellligence explain it much better than I did.  Only I wish I could have shown my European friends this article a long time ago!

    P.S. I also loved the “Truckers, Cowboys, and Patriotism” article by Dave Carter with a really great line – “For those of us in the industry, America is our office. The fiery rising sun, the jutting mountains, the cities that sparkle like jewels in the night, …it never grows old.


    Sajak always had a droll sense of humor. My mother was a faithful viewer and often sat with her as she played along. I always got such a giggle from his comments and often wondered if they went over the heads of his audience.
    The concept at $3.47/month is fascinating. I am of the mind that those who comment on the inane or attack the writer or another poster should be paying proportionately more per month – consider it a surtax on stupidity.
    Sadie side story:
    I was a ‘wheel watcher’ when my children were little – I used the show as a tool for teaching the concept of vowels and consonants with a quarter reward to the winner (yes, it was a long time ago) but it made for an interactive half hour and allowance. Fast forward 30 years, my younger son was visiting me in Tel Aviv and lo’ and behold, the wheel was  in Hebrew. Much to my surprise and pride, he guessed one of the puzzles and yes, he still got a quarter for old times sake.

  • suek

    We used to watch as well…and Jeopardy too.  I think they’re good for kids…especially if they have a competitive streak.  Wheel is funny – there are two goals – one is to solve the puzzle, of course, but then you also have to win more than the others but not hit the losing slots on the wheel.  It’s always been funny trying to decide if the person was just “that” dumb, or if they knew exactly what the word was, but was trying to maximize winnings.  And of course, seeing whether they “pushed” the wheel, or really spun it.  A really hard spin leaves no control, but an easy push can mean the difference between one of the loser slots and a really biggie win.  I came to the conclusion that the hard spinners didn’t know the word, but the easy spinners did.  I also wondered how they chose who got to be on the actual show…I sort of decided that it was the ones who made the most noise when they got it right…!
    It’s also funny to see that letter patterns get stuck in your mind, blinding yourself to a solution that’s outside the pattern your mind is trying to fit in.
    Sadie…I like the quarter idea – wish I’d thought of it!


    It’s also funny to see that letter patterns get stuck in your mind, blinding yourself to a solution that’s outside the pattern your mind is trying to fit in.
    Very observant suek and applicable on and off the airwaves, too.  I mean, getting locked into a thinking patterns that precludes other solutions.
    I am sure the level of enthusiasm of contestants was a factor. When we watched as a family, we got so fed up with the screamers and jumpers, we kind of hoped they wouldn’t be the big winner. On the other half hour, Jeopardy, you really never saw anyone get excited – quite the opposite, even when they had the show wired for school aged children. I guess jumping and screaming was a no-no.
    Save the quarter idea for your grandchildren or nieces and nephews – there’s a GSN (Game Show Network) that has reruns. Oops, you may have to up the ante in the 21st century.

  • Charles Martel

    One thing I’ve noticed about “Wheel” is that many of the contestants are not readers. It’s not that they can’t read, it’s that they’re people who don’t read much, let alone read for pleasure.

    I think that explains why you see so many people who don’t see the clues in front of their faces. They can’t leap to solutions the way experienced readers do by making educated guesses about how to fill in gaps. Such guesses are based on a familiarity with spelling conventions and tens of thousands of encounters over the years with everyday colloquialisms and turns of phrase.

    So I don’t think “Wheel” contestants who struggle to arrive at a solution are stupid. They just aren’t good at taking the mental leaps more experienced readers are used to making.

  • jog267

    I have never seen a well written and factual explanation of the constitutionality of federal tax withholding.  The constitution gives Congress the power to tax – not to take; especially to take based on an assumption of annual earnings, an unknowable figure for those in the private sector.  This is especially true of individuals and businesses required to make quarterly tax payments.  If they get it wrong, the IRS may come calling.  Also, what is the constitutional justification for making employers pay the taxes of their employees?
    I was shocked when I got out into the adult working world and found widespread indifference about federal tax withholding.   The prevailing attitude was so what as long as I get what I’m expecting.  I still don’t get it.


    I was shocked when I got out into the adult working world and found widespread indifference about federal tax withholding.
    Had you been sitting nearby me, you would have called for an ambulance when I opened my first paycheck.