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Friday, February 20, 2004


As a law prof, I write a couple of "scholarly" articles a year about technical aspects of the tax system. It's always gratifying when someone else cites my work in a later article on the same subject. Kind of like the vain kick I get from blog referrals, only there's no Site Meter (and if there were, the low numbers would be horribly depressing).

Anyway, the other day, while leafing through a national tax journal, I spied an article on a topic that I've had staked out for more than 15 years. I was licking my chops as I turned the pages looking for my name.

And it's there, all right -- but the author criticizes me! Says I engaged in "circular reasoning"!

Now, dear readers, I don't know what constitutes fighting words where you work, but in academe, "circular reasoning" is like getting smacked in the face with some Frenchman's leather gloves. You have to rise and defend your honor!

So here I sit, trying to translate my response into polite, scholarly prose: This criticism is not new, but it is mistaken. My thinking, though perhaps not "outside the box," is definitely outside the circle.

Nice-y nice-y. Here's the translation: You little punk. I've been thinking about this cr*p since before you were a twinkle in your father's eye. You don't know what you're talking about. You ought to stop and think for a minute before you shoot your mouth off. Hey, Watson, come here, I need you, did you ever hear of the phone? If you would have just called me, I could have explained it to your petty little mind. Now, I'm calling you out, son. And I'm going to stick your little criticism right between a couple of half circles where the sun don't shine. You're messing with the wrong guy!

It's sort of like the tax nerd version of road rage.

Ah, well, as the politicians say, Every knock is a boost, so long as they spell the name right. And I'm only kidding about the other author. He's got some great insights in his article...

...for me to poop on!

Comments (6)

If you guys want to sort this out like gentlemen, I could probably arrange for a patch of open space in Weehawken on those nice bluffs overlooking the Hudson River.

I volunteer to be your second, or to hold your coat, should you decide to forego the pistols.

Judging by his picture, I'd say you can take him -- easy. But watch out for those tricky Texans...

It could have been worse...he could have called you meathead !

You aren't talking about your defense of Peracchi, are you?


You want a piece of me, too, punk??? Go ahead, make my day.

My mother taught me well when to keep my mouth shut...:)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Challenged:

» When Tax Lawyers Disagree. from Parkway Rest Stop
It seems that Cousin Jack and another tax lawyer disagree about a tax law issue that Jack has spent a good deal of time thinking about and writing about. This other fellow opined that Jack's reasoning was circular. Jack's... [Read More]

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