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Friday, November 5, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 54

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Ladies and gentlemen: Planet Alex

By R. Alex Whitloc

If I were calling the shots, prisoners would be forced to eat only health food. (It would be cruel, unusual and constitutional -- all at once!)

Students in school would have more rights than prisoners in prison. 

Prison guards convicted of unlawfully attacking prisoners would be put in the same cell block with the prisoner.

There would be more minorities who are Republicans.

There would be fewer white males who are Republicans.

A third party would rise to challenge the antithetical relationship between the Republicans and Democrats.

Elections would be held on Saturdays. 

Runoffs would be required until a candidate got 51 percent of the vote or a system of proportional representation would take form.

Voters could vote for "none of the above." (If that option won, the election would be re-held and all of the candidates in the race would not be eligible to run.)

Republicans would stop trying to paint Democrats as criminal-loving, immoral subversives.

Democrats would stop trying to paint the Republicans as heartless, clinic-bombing hatemongers.

Smokers and other addicts would stop blaming the suppliers for their own personal weaknesses.

Voluntary racial segregation will come to an end.

We would have world peace and all that stuff.

Homosexuals would be able to legally marry and enjoy all the legal and societal benefits straight couples do.

Microsoft would be forced to give out the blueprints of Windows to competitors, but would be able to keep the rest of its enterprises intact.

Liberals would be as open-minded as they pretend to be.

Conservatives would put their money where their mouth is when they call themselves "color blind."

Liberals would stop exploiting the deaths of children to get gun laws passed that never would have prevented shootings in the first place.

Conservatives would stop exploiting the deaths of children to censor movies and video games that never caused the deaths in the first place.

Any corporation acquiring federal subsidies would have to pay its employees a wage that would make a 40-hour work week above the poverty line.

Members of groups that believe the Southwest should be returned to Mexico would go into Mexico to see how its government works, and they would reconsider their stance.

Republicans would stop using the specter of immigration to promote divisive politics.

Democrats would cease using the racist label recklessly to promote divisive politics.

People would closely scrutinize all their beliefs and search for a consistency beyond Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative.

The Texas ballot would do away with the straight-ticket voting box.

Texas judges would be elected in nonpartisan elections.

The U.S. Attorney General would be an independently elected position or, at the very least, would not serve at the president's whim.

Someone I could get truly excited about would run for president (In 1996, he didn't. In 2000, he isn't.)

The United States would come up with a consistent foreign policy and stick with it.

The electric chair would be retired.

Capital punishment opponents would be honest about why they want to end the death penalty and stop using phony, intellectually dishonest reasons.

Politicians wouldn't react to every crisis by proposing to take away rights or by throwing money at it.
 

Whitlock, a junior information systems major,
can be reached at pariah@tmbg.org.
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