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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

For a change, check out all political parties

By Bethany Crane

November 7, 2008 | Maybe you liked one candidate a little more than the other. A lesser of two evils presented itself, or if you don't like either maybe you thought of not voting at all. But what if by some happy chance you had another choice?

Several options available other than a Democrat or a Republican. You had in fact six major candidates running for president:

-- Charles (Chuck) Baldwin: Constitution Party
-- John McCain: Republican Party
-- Ralph Nader: Natural Law Party
-- Robert (Bob) Barr: Libertarian
-- Barack Obama: Democrat Party
-- Cynthia Ann McKinney: Green Party

The problem is that they rarely receive media attention and aren't heard in national debates. If you didn't know another woman was running for president this is a perfect example of how little attention the other parties receive.

Is this a force of habit, or is there really a reason behind it? Can the American voters actually make a third party strong enough to win a national election? The electoral college will always determine the outcome, but there have only been four instances where the electoral vote differed from the popular vote, and only one was in the last century. If you don't like your options, seriously consider your alternatives. I believe that a two-party system is effective at present. Until seats are occupied in the Senate and Congress by parties other than Democrat and Republican that will be the case. By choosing other parties on a more local level we very well could change the face of things with votes we do have an impact on.

Things change slowly in our society. The civil rights movement, women's rights, and other changes took effective effort and a lengthy period of time to make a serious change in policy. In order to make a real difference on the face of today's politics, it will take time, and a conscious effort of people voting at a local level; voting for who they really agree with, instead of who they least disagree with.

NW
MS

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