Congress Loves Baseball

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Number 311, March 20, 2005

"This is your government, people.""

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the 'toon

Scott Bieser's cover for the complete
edition of Tom Paine Maru
To be electro-published Real Soon Now


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This issue's Motto comes from "Congress Loves Baseball", by Jonathan David Morris, our resident humorist. Well, not resident, but regularly-appearing.

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Letters to the Editor
Letters from E.J. Totty, Jay P Hailey, and Rex Curry

Uncommon Sense
by Lady Liberty
You've doubtless heard the old saying that resolves extremes by finding the "happy medium." And we all know about "shades of grey" as opposed to issues or problems of a purely "black and white" nature. But if we understand and acknowledge these things—and we typically do—how is it that so much of what's happening in today's society represents the extreme instead? It seems to me much the result of yet another old saying, or more accurately, the absence of it. You see, common sense apparently isn't.

What National Debt?
by Abe Clark
Politicians love budget deficits. They can spend as much as they want, avoid unpopular spending cuts, reward their supporters, and claim credit for holding the line on taxes. The number of voters who might hold them accountable for deficit spending is insignificant, and the politician in the other major party has similar plans anyway. The downside to deficit spending is, of course, the large and growing national debt.

Stephen King is a Felon
by Francis A Ney, Jr.
I wonder what would happen if Stephen King decided to have a book-signing in Lexington, Kentucky this weekend? If the events of two weeks ago are any indication, he would be arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted and thrown in jail, charged with felonious possession of terrorist material. That's what happened to 18 year old William Poole, a high-school junior. Apparently, the Kentucky legislature has made it a crime to write or possess any material involving "violence directed at a public institution" which makes the works of Stephen King, Tom Clancy (among others) and even the Bible, illegal.

Congress Loves Baseball
by Jonathan David Morris
Apparently our national pastime is now a matter of national security. Last week, the House Committee on Government Reform called on several players to testify about the use of steroids in Major League Baseball. If you ask me, this scandal is getting to be about as stale as the gum in a pack of baseball cards. (If nothing else, it's at least as stale as those old stale gum jokes. Hey, I like that gum, though.) But if steroids are all the rage on Capitol Hill these days, then what the hell—I'll talk about 'em, too. Let's start by taking a quick look at ten problems Congress won't be solving the day Jose Canseco comes to town:

by Ron Beatty
A judge in US District court recently ruled against citizens in a lawsuit arising from the celebration of Mardi Gras in Pioneer Square in Seattle four years ago. One person died, and several others were severely beaten. Eleven of the victims filed a lawsuit, alleging that the police chief's decision to pull officers out of the turmoil of the square placed innocent citizens in danger. Citing case law, the judge ruled against the citizens, stating that "a state's failure to protect an individual from private violence, even in the face of grave danger," doesn't violate constitutional rights."

I'm The Government And I'm Here To Steal Your Property
by Charles Stone, Jr.
The folks at Wal-Mart are at it again. In Alabaster, Alabama; North Bergen, New Jersey; Denver Colorado and Ogden Utah, America's Store is using the power of government to do its dirty work when it comes to acquiring property upon which to build new stores.

Muslim Woman's Courage Sets Example
by Wendy McElroy
Last week, Pakistan's Federal Shariat Court—the nation's highest Islamic court—vacated an appeals court decision that had outraged the world. In essence, the appeals court had acquitted five of the six men convicted in the 2002 "honor rape" of Mukhtar Mai. Her ongoing story may well foreshadow the future of Muslim women who suffer under tribal law and other oppressive traditions. Hers is a savage tale of brutalization and courage, with confusing twists and a resolution that is uncertain. But it is a story of hope, which provides reason for optimism.

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2005 Issues
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