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Republicans blather on about same-sex marriage and flag burning, but Democrats have no ammo of their own

 Activists with the Human Rights Campaign protest a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment that would have formally established marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The measure got one more vote in the Senate than it had during a previous try, but ultimately failed.
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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 6/18/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

continued

The red-state/blue-state mentality has not only made politics more divisive and belligerent, it has also bred an unwillingness to express bold new ideas.

Is this any way to run a political system? Two parties: One is too mired in its own mistakes to present an agenda of any value; the other so uncertain of its direction that it would rather let nature take its course.

Is it any wonder that so many voters are disillusioned with politics and politicians? I'm really looking forward to 2008, but I'm not sure why.

***

I love feedback, both positive and negative, because it indicates people are reading and thinking and expressing or shaping their opinions. I also appreciate hearing from people who just want to say, "Thanks for the heads-up."

Last August I wrote about mail my mom was receiving from sweepstakes companies, based mostly in Las Vegas, saying she'd won big money. All she had to do was send in a $20 fee and the millions would be on their way.

Like many other Americans, especially older ones, she took the bait and initiated a flood of such letters. They all offered big bucks in exchange for a fee.

Week after week they came, sometimes more than one a day, most coming from the same outfits asking for just one more payment to free up the winnings.

I urged people to trash those mailings because they are, at best, expensive lotteries, or, at worst, pure scams. If someone is going to give you $3 million, why should that cost you $20?

Thanks to that column's being on the Internet, I still get e-mails from people across the country saying thanks.

What I especially like about that is that people decided to do some research before they got themselves involved with those things. They were wary, because they realize that anything that seems too good to be true probably is. And the fewer people who participate, the less the incentive for these companies to do business.

RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor for the Free Lance-Star.


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