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 Perspective: November 3, 2002
November 3, 2002

Today's coarse politics
While the nastiness in this year's political campaigns can distort Tuesday's decisionmaking, the challenge for voters is to avoid getting swept up in it and to try not to reward it.

We shouldn't take voting for granted
On Election Day the citizens of these United States take things for granted. Only half of us get out and vote. Many undeveloped and poor countries have far better voter turnouts; they put us to shame. Call it smugness, call it cynicism, call it what you will, we just don't bother to vote. And voting is the basic test of good citizenship.

Bill Maxwell
Former drug dealer has culinary success
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- I love few things more than a story about a young African-American man who rejects a life of crime to become a role model of individual success.

Philip Gailey
More politicians should have Sen. Wellstone's convictions
With the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, we may have seen the last of a rare Washington political animal -- a Democrat with the courage of his convictions. (Most of his colleagues have neither courage nor convictions.)

Martin Dyckman
Legislature is out of touch with the people it represents
TALLAHASSEE -- If polls are to be believed, Floridians are likely to vote Tuesday for an initiative that will require the state to spend significantly more money on the public schools. Simultaneously, they will elect a Legislature that just might refuse to do it.

Robyn E. Blumner
The competing philosophies over affirmative action
The divisive issue of affirmative action in higher education may finally be considered by the nation's high court. Two petitions ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of admissions policies for an undergraduate program at the University of Michigan and the university's law school. Both schools give a substantial advantage to applicants from racial and ethnic minority groups, except Asians. The court has not yet decided whether to accept the cases, but a clear split in the appeals courts has led many court-watchers to believe the justices can no longer duck the issue.


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