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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


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

After eight years of Bush, how could things possibly get worse?

By Seth Bracken

November 10, 2008 | As a liberal in Utah, I have a unique position and ability to help out those less fortunate than me, the conservatives. There are plenty to go around here in Utah, many more than you could ever shake a stick at, and I hold them in such a special place in my heart.

With the newly elected liberal, African-American president, many Utahns are afraid. I understand that it must be terrifying for them after such a very long eight years of Bush. It must be difficult for them to remember the good times. Many of them have questions, and that is why I am here. I have heard the cries for help and I am answering the call. I will address a few of the questions and fears that the Republicans in Utah are now voicing.

Question: Will Obama appoint known terrorists and people that hate America in his Cabinet?

Answer: No. Obama is not a terrorist. He is not a Muslim. He will appoint members to his cabinet that support his ideas and that will push for his agenda, but that is not an anti-American agenda.

Question: Will God be taken out of America? Will they ban churches and any sort of form of worship? Will they make Christmas illegal?

Answer: No. being liberal does not mean that you are an atheist that sings, "God is dead," to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Obama himself is a Christian that attends church regularly. There are in fact many liberals who believe in a compassionate God that cares for all his children, not just the upper class.

Question: Should I be afraid? Obama is just so dangerous.

Answer: No! I have heard so many people say that they are afraid now that Obama will be president. This is not the first time that there has been a liberal president and when other liberals took office, the country was doing great! The 1990s with Bill Clinton at the helm held some of the most prosperous times with an actual budget surplus. Also, after four years of Bush, how could it possibly get worse?

Our allies are convinced that we are warmongering elitists that are too good to work together to tackle global issues such as terrorism and global warming. The economy is in shambles. The national debt is climbing steadily as the dollar drops in value. The polls suggest that less than 10 percent of Americans are happy about the way the country is going. The war in Afghanistan is producing little results and the war in Iraq is costing billions a day. And you say that you are afraid? How could he possibly be worse than Bush? What are you afraid of?

Question: Will abortions and gay marriage be required for all?

Answer: Again, no. There will be little change. Gay marriage is considered a state option. Abortion has been legal in this country since the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade. Neither the president nor Congress can change that.

Ultimately, all I can say to you Republicans out there is, don't worry, there's nothing to fear. When you hit rock bottom, there's only one way to go, and that's up. So next time you start to stress out about Obama and whether he will end life as we know it, I want you to stop, relax, remember that it will all be OK, and the next four years will be much better than the last.


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