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Brave to Say It

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Would This Happen at BYU’s Daily Universe? According to a March 3 Reuters report, the student newspaper at Baylor University, which carries a Baptist affiliation, recently had the audacity to state in an editorial that banning gay marriage wasn’t consistent with the hallowed principle of “equal protection under the law.” Even the editorial board at The Baylor Lariat, which voted 5-2 in favor of publishing the opinion, had a hard time arriving at that rather obvious conclusion. University President Robert Sloan blasted the newspaper’s decision as “advocacy” of groups that run contrary to biblical teachings. Although the five brave enough to vote in favor of the opinion violated the school’s Student Handbook policy, they apparently won’t be disciplined.


& ull; Would This Ever Happen in Utah? France wants its population to drink more often. Alarmed at the recent recession affecting wine sales in the country of “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite,” French officials led by Farm Minister Herve Gaymard recently said it’s about time the country blow the dust off a 1991 law banning the advertisement of wine at sporting events and on television. “Our message is one of moderation, not prohibition,” Merve recently told Reuters. “... after 13 years it [the law] needs to be looked at again.” Recall that it took a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Denver two years ago to declare Utah law regarding the advertisement of liquor unconstitutional.


& ull; Taxing Propositions: Early this week, The Washington Post published a seismic essay by writer Jonathan Weisman titled “Link between taxation, unemployment absent.” In it, Weisman pointed out that numbers don’t support President Bush’s assertion that his $1.7 trillion in tax cuts have helped the economy. Since those cuts, the employment picture has, in fact, worsened from an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent to 5.8 percent. Contrast that to the Clinton years, when his 1993 economic plan—which conservatives everywhere proclaimed as the beginning of the end—actually raised taxes to see the unemployment rate drop .8 percent. Yep, if anything the market loved the fact that Clinton had the courage to tackle the reality of this country’s deficit spending by raising taxes. As a result, foreign investors had more faith in buying up U.S. Treasury bills, which put the United States on firmer economic ground as a place where investors everywhere wanted to be. Look at the picture now: The U.S. dollar is at an all-time low, government spending and deficits have skyrocketed, and the words “jobless recovery” stick to our national conscience like a foul-smelling glue. Republicans talk of making Bush’s tax cuts “permanent.” Are we masochists, or what?


& ull; Cleveland’s “Hall of Frame”: Nothing, but nothing, is more subjective than taste in music. Still, any record music freak knows that Cleveland’s “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” is a load of dung piled so high that not even music industry bigwigs intent on destroying file-sharing technology can see the top. So what if the Museum only now got around to inducting Prince for its 19th annual round of inductions. They somehow saw fit to give safe-as-milk inductees Billy Joel and James Taylor the nod four years in advance of Minneapolis’ most eccentric and talented performer. How likely are Cleveland sons Pere Ubu to ever get an invitation? If they did, Lifetime Achievement Award winner and inductee Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, might have to admit he’d never heard of them, proving he truly belongs in the company of inductees like Aerosmith and Jackson Browne.

Ben Fulton

bfulton@slweekly.com

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