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 Perspective: December 22, 2002
December 22, 2002

Editorial: Santa with a badge
There's another world out there, and it's made better by people like Vinny Millan. The Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy spent some time last week handing out Christmas presents to migrant children. These are kids whose parents may earn 80 bucks a week. They live in rundown trailers and wear second-hand clothes. New is not part of their vocabulary.

Editorial: Bolstering Bayfront
The hospital's long-standing commitment to care for indigent patients can't continue indefinitely without more generous government support.

Editorial: The huge cost of harsh sentences
Sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reasons. With state after state facing looming budget deficits, legislatures are starting to look anew at the harsh sentencing laws passed during the era when being "tough on crime" was a ticket to political office. Finally, counterproductive laws, such as mandatory minimums that put nonviolent, first-time drug offenders away for a decade or more, are being reviewed. It may be happening due to a new interest in the bottom line, but whatever the reason, the trend is positive.

Letters: Cross-buring: intimidation, not speech
Re: Remind Justice Thomas that cross-burning is protected speech, by Robyn E. Blumner, Dec. 15.

Robyn E. Blumner: If your name gets on the wrong list, you're in trouble
Americans love lists. Somehow, putting things down in enumerated fashion makes it appear that we have gotten to the nub of the problem, we are in control and getting somewhere.

Martin Dyckman: LeRoy Collins, Trent Lott: a study in contrasts
TALLAHASSEE -- Trent Lott professed that he meant only to flatter a very old man when he remarked that the nation would not have had "all these problems over all these years" if Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948. As the Dixiecrats' drum beat the single note of segregation, it is difficult to imagine what else might have inspired Lott's nostalgia. Moreover, it was not the first time he had said it.


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