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Feb. 17, 1997



By Mari Maldonado

Here's my 2 cents

on Simpson trial

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Finally, the O.J. civil trial has ended.

Hardly an unpredictable outcome, the $8.5 million in actual damages and
$25 in punitive damages judgment was overwhelming.

I have to admit, I've always believed he was the responsible party for
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman's deaths, but can't conclude
whether he actually carried out the murders himself.

The thought occurred to me after an HBO comedy special featured a comic
who noted that Nicole was stabbed 37 times. He said, "I would have stuck
around for the first five (stabs) out of curiousity," but concluded he
would have been long gone thereafter.

Common sense would have urged Ron Goldman to get the heck out of Dodge
before getting himself killed as well.

This only leads one to believe that maybe more than one person murdered
the two comrades. The time line clearly pointed out by the defense team
during the criminal trial supports this notion.

As hard as I've tried to follow the trials, both times I tended to tune
them out after hearing enough to convince me that the former football
star had some liability in the murders.

It's evident he had motive. For a long time prior to June 1995 Simpson
held Nicole in contempt for her lascivious lifestyle following their
separation, and he evidently had a violent side to him.

As far as the police conspiracy goes, I feel that it was just sloppy
handling of evidence and the case itself. He played the finger-pointing
part too well.

I agree with the civil jury that O.J. didn't seem a credible witness
for his own defense. Although, the few I've seen interviewed following
the civil trial outcome seem rather pretentious about their decision.

I think they had their minds set way before they were selected to serve
and took as long as they did to deliberate because of the harsh
criticism faced by the criminal trial jury.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter and La Voz
de la Gente editor whose column appears each Monday.


Simpson verdict not the last word

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It seemed that the only event that possibly could eclipse a
presidential State of the Union speech would be ... a verdict in the
O.J. Simpson civil trial.

Eclipse the speech it did ... as a Santa Monica, Calif., jury found the
former football star liable for the death of Ronald Goldman, who was
murdered on June 12, 1994 along with Nicole Brown Simpson, the
defendant's former wife. The jury also found Simpson liable for his
former wife's battery and then it awarded Goldman's family $8.5 million
in compensatory damages. ...

Is the public through with a case that has riveted the attention of
millions of Americans since the night of the horrible double murder?
Don't bet on it. ...
-- Amarillo Globe-News


Putt through pages of duffer's guide

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What do karate and golf have in common? They would seem to be at
opposite poles on the athletic field. But David Iwanaga sees a great
correlation and describes it in his new book, A Duffer's Guide to
Better Golf."

Precise timing and relaxation are the key in both sports, Iwanaga says.
From the mental aspects of focus and concentration to the physical
aspects of speed and timing, golf is a form of martial arts.

"Karate techniques, which translates to "empty hands," are based on the
natural movements of animals: the power and grace of the tiger; the
balance and fluidity of the crane; the lightning strike and speed of the
cobra; the quickness and evasiveness of the mongoose," Awanaga says in
the first chapter.

Does that sound like the perfect golf swing?

I agree with the author that not every golfer swings the same way. When
I was taking golf in college, it never helped me to watch the instructor
swing. What I needed was for him to watch me swing and tell me how to
adjust to make the ball go straight and far.

Awanaga talks about fitness, equipment, the short game, how to
practice, using a mental approach to the swing, hitting the long ball
and techniques to avoid.

Illustrations throughout drive home the truths he seeks to impart in
the 284 pages of instruction. Priced at $15.95, the paperback is
available from selected bookstores, golf stores or Eagle Publishing, Box
14118, Pinedale CA 93650, phone 209-449-0257.
--Peggy McCracken


Fight still on for democracy

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Democracy has won an apparent victory in Serbia. The credit goes to the
courageous demonstrators in the streets of Belgrade. But the struggles
are far from over.

... Opposition candidates won municipal elections (last November) in
key cities. But President Slobodan Milosevic had the results set aside.
For two and a half months, opposition demonstrators have demanded that
the democratic wishes be honored.

Now Milosevic has finally conceded what the whole world knew. The
opposition won legitimate elections. And he has promised to have the
winners seated. It's a significant victory for decent men and women who
have bravely stood up to Milosevic in Belgrade and elsewhere.

As Milosevic has so clearly demonstrated during the showdown, democracy
in Serbia remains far from a reality. And the one-time Communist leader
in Yugoslavia has shown himself to be as committed to democracy as
Vladimir Lenin was. ...

The democrats' push for peaceful change is a difficult one. It will
demand resolution from them, and resolute support from the U.S. and
other democratic nations.
-- The Herald, Everett, Wash.


Balanced budget plan needs accounting

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State director, Concord Coalition
Competing plans for balancing the federal budget will be proposed soon
by President Clinton, members of Congress and assorted public policy
groups, including the Concord Coalition. Each plan reflects its
sponsor's notions of the proper role and size of government and the
relative emphasis given to various government functions. To sort out
strengths and weaknesses, the Concord Coalition prepared evaluation
criteria to judge each plan.

1. Deficit reduction should come at a relatively even rate. In 1996,
both President Clinton and Republicans agreed to a budget that would
increase the deficit in 1997 and 1998. This makes even more drastic
budget cuts necessary in the last few years, cuts later sessions of
Congress may be reluctant to make. A realistic plan does not have
short-term increases of the deficit, but steady and more realistic
deficit reductions over five years.

2. Realistic numbers. Estimates of deficits and savings should be
realistic. All projections for health care costs, economic growth and
interest rates, among others, should be based on the nonpartisan and
fairly accurate Congressional Budget Office.

3. Budget should not resort to one-time gimmicks. Tricks to make a
budget appear balanced must be avoided. Government assets should not be
sold off to meet one-time budget needs. Large budget items, such as the
transportation budget, should not be taken "off-budget" (not calculated
in the general revenues and expenditures) to mask the true size of
government spending.

4. Discretionary spending cuts must be plausible. Cuts in real spending
for domestic, international, or defense programs should be specified.
Because Congress rarely seems to freeze domestic discretionary
appropriations, discretionary spending cuts should be explicit.

5. Major tax cuts and spending increases should be postponed until the
budget is balanced. Large tax cuts or massive expansions of federal
benefits or programs increase the deficit. After a balanced budget plan
has been enacted and implemented, other policies, along with the means
to finance them, can be considered.

6. New or expanded entitlements, if included, are kept to a minimum and
their cost is fully offset. Currently promised entitlement benefits for
Social Security, Medicare, federal pensions and SSI far exceed our
ability to pay for them. New entitlements, for items such as
transportation, $500 per child tax credits, or expanded Medicare, should
therefore not be created if not fully financed.

7. The budget should remain in balance long after 2002. While a "quick
fix" on Medicare may allow for budget savings, Social Security and
Medicare entitlements threaten to consume more than 60% of spending in
2010 and 100 percent of spending in 2030. A credible budget plan must
lay the foundation for dealing with an aging America.

8. Short-term sacrifice should be shared fairly among Americans of all
ages and age groups. No economic group, except for the very needy,
should be exempt from contributing to eliminating the federal budget
deficit. No generation, including seniors, should be exempt from
contributing to solving this national problem. Exempting Social Security
and Medicare, which make up 45 percent of total outlays, would put a
greater burden on programs and benefits that go to children and others.

9. The plan must attract substantial bipartisan support. A starkly
partisan budget proposal may appeal to true believers, but it won't be
enacted. Partisanship must be put aside for this crucial federal

10. Generational Responsibility must be recognized. Elderly citizens
receive half the current federal resources. Investment in future
generations is held to a disproportionately small share. On the current
policy path, future generations face far higher tax burdens and lower
real benefits than enjoyed by todayÆs adults. Providing for the
well-being of the young is how every generation of Americans has
traditionally undertaken their stewardship.

Generational responsibility is a sacred trust. A balanced budget plan
should address this obligation by investing in the future, achieving
permanent budget balance, and asking all citizen, including those
elderly who have the means, to help solve this national problem not only
for themselves, but for generations to come.

The time for a realistic balanced budget proposal is now. With a strong
economy, low inflation, and strong public opinion in its favor, Congress
and the President should work together to find a solution. In doing so,
they should honor the precepts of honest accounting, by placing balance
before tax cuts and the future before the past.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Drew Scheberle is Texas state director for the Concord
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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