- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion

It's been difficult getting into NCAA Basketball's “March Madness” because “non-officiating” drives me crazy. What had been the relaxing of certain rules over the years is now a full-blown free pass for players to travel, double dribble and palm the ball at will. Apparently, the basketball rulebook is considered more of a set of general suggestions, not to be taken literally, so the flow of the game isn't interrupted.

In any sport, officiating is made in real time (if you don't include video replay) so there is an acceptance of human error and subjectivity. I'm fine with a mixture of mostly good calls with a smattering of bad calls in a game. What is hard to accept is – no calls. Like one of Pavlov's dogs, every time I see a flagrant rule violation, I begin to salivate – waiting for the whistle that never blows. Back in the last millennium, when traveling or “walking” was still an infraction in basketball, the call would often be disputed. Did he drag his pivot foot or not? Now, we can watch players have alternating pivot feet, do the moonwalk and then palm the ball while they resume their dribble.

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Time and again, throughout America’s history, individuals with a passion for truth and a commitment to justice have opted to defy the unjust laws and practices of the American government in order to speak up against slavery, segregation, discrimination, and war. Even when their personal safety and freedom were on the line, these individuals spoke up, knowing they would be chastised, ridiculed, arrested, branded traitors and even killed.

Indeed, while brave men and women such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman are lauded as American heroes today, they were once considered enemies of the state.

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It's like 2011 all over again. It was two years ago that, after Republicans claimed big gains in state legislatures across the South and country in the 2010 mid-terms, lawmakers made a national push for changes to voting laws, with one of the most controversial being restrictive bills requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Now, with the 2012 elections behind them, state GOP leaders have again pledged to make voter photo ID a priority this year. But has the debate - and public sentiment about voter restrictions - changed this time?

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Democrats can boast about winning the White House all day long, but they got their butts thoroughly whipped in North Carolina last November.

As expected in the aftermath with bruised egos, Democrats' hatred for Republicans was predictable but still troubling. After two months of Republican domination, Democrats, the minority party, appear to be in over their heads and in search of a real agenda.

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published: 10/18/2013
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