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Opinion

For those who think there aren’t solutions to our economic problems, one can ponder the new proposal in Florida to reverse a 1989 ban on “dwarf tossing.” The bill was introduced by Republican state Representative Ritch Workman. His name alone should be considered a good omen. The bill would allow bars and taverns to resume the practice of sending dwarfs airborne (with ample padding) for the amusement of patrons. Workman stated, “In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?” I imagine, along with dwarfs, people in the medical, insurance and legal fields would be able to pick up extra work as well.

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President Obama said Thursday that the widespread and growing protests against Wall Street are an expression of the frustration people feel about the way the country’s financial system works.

That’s part of it, but it is much, much bigger than that.

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Anyone who relies exclusively on television/cable news hosts and political commentators for actual knowledge of the world today is making a serious mistake. Unfortunately, as Americans have devolved into non-readers with woefully short attention spans, newspapers providing even semianalytical content have found themselves struggling to stay afloat while television, which delivers little more than news sound bites sandwiched between superficial chitchat and entertainment buzz, has become the prime source of so-called “news.”

There can be little hope for objective reporting in an environment where propaganda and advertisements are delivered in the guise of entertainment and news. Yet short of tuning out altogether, there is no way to completely ignore the mass media, but the following truths may help to refocus one’s media lens in order to better view the news through the eyes of an informed citizen.

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Let me begin with a caveat: I agree with Bev Perdue.

The country probably would be better off if U.S. House members — and state legislators, for that matter —were elected to four-year terms instead of two-year terms. In such a world, congressmen and legislators might spend at least a couple of years of their elected term not thinking about every issue in the context of raising money and the next election.

Perdue didn’t express the idea in the same way.

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