Sunday, June 27, 2004

I Read to Learn the Truth

In the last few days, I have written about our freedoms. I mentioned Ronnie Eades book, "Fight for Rights". I told you about the problems users find with logged on to the internet at the Nashville Public Library. Today's notes just document what I read in the NY Times about the presidential elections in November which wasn't fair and balanced.

Why should I read the New York Times?

Consider this article by Glen Justice entitled "Kerry's Campaign Has Soared From Poorhouse to Penthouse" in the June 26, 2004 edition. Mr. Justice starts off writing:

"...he and his entourage travel like kings. A month ago, his campaign began chartering a gleaming 757, packed with first-class seats, fine food, sleeping accommodations - even a stand-up bar. They hardly shy away from fancy hotels, like the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and the St. Regis in Los Angeles."

Then in the 3rd paragraph he writes "...he spent more than the president in both April and May."

At this point we know that Mr. Kerry has $100 million, spending more than Bush in April and May. He is increasing his staff. Buying all sorts of campaign goodies such as hats, tee shirts.

I am going wow, Mr. Justice's implies Kerry has enough money to beat President Bush but in a terse sentence preceded by statements of Mr. Kerry's success such as:

"...sharply increase its television advertising."

"...success has significant implications..." and

"...no longer worry so much about having the money to compete..."

But in the fifth paragraph, the "infallible" New York Times finally lets us know that Kerry has less than half of the money President Bush has.

Now that things are in "perspective", the article continues emphasizing the candidate's success raising money and getting past so many struggles. Consider this quote: "It's a proxy for enthusiasm."

The article is a advertisement for Kerry because it attempts to portray Kerry successfully managing his campaign and creating the image he is on the winning track. Never mind the fact that Kerry has half the money to spend, seems to not have control on spending. The article buries examples of problems with donors and fund-raisers earlier in the year, then contrasts the problems with the successful fund-raising with example after example.

When I read slanted stories in the Times, I wonder why I bother to read it at all.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Another Chink Chipped From Our Bill of Rights & Freedom of Speech

Right the next day after posting what Ronnie Eades from Kentucky said about Alexander Hamilton setting the precedent for our right to read the truth, I was blocked from reading a news article headlined at Drudge.

I went, oh, well and logged off. I talked to the floor librarian as to why I was blocked. She gave the usual reason of protecting the children from kiddie porn, but if I wanted to search the web she could give me access. Sure, here is my library card.

Librarian: I need a photo id.

Me: Here's my Tennessee Driver's License

L: This must be an old picture.

Me: Huh?

L: Is this you? Is this address correct?

Me: Sure, why do you need to know?

L: Your eyebrows aren't as dark as they used to be.

Me: Just give me the access.

L: Which machine were you logged on?

Me: What? I want access every time I want to read the truth.

L: I can only give that to you one machine at a time and you have to be logged on.

Me: Do what?

L: What were you trying to read?

Me: An Associated Press report.

L: What was in it?

Me: How should I know? You ever hear of the first admendment and the bill of rights?

L: I'm just doing my job. Don't blame me. Congress passed the law.

Me: WHAT!

L: Our association of libraries tried to keep the law from being passed.

ME: What about our constitution?

L: If you would let me explain, I can remove the filter when you show your ID and library card. The ID has to have your picture.

ME: I don't want to talk about it.

Our swell Nashville Public library has installed a web filter. Their policy is explained here and doesn't reflect my personal experience detailed above. The librarians can not tell what the filter blocks. If you are willing to show identity and proof of age, even seniors have to show ID and proof of age, they will unblock the filter, but only for your current logon session and only for the machine you registered on.

The librarian offered this explanation for the web filter: "They are complying with Congress's Kiddie Porn law."

And they say, "It can't happen here."

Suzie, Suzie Creamcheese? Where are you, cuz it now happens here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Ronald Eades

I bought and read Ron's book:

Fights for Rights

Paperback: 58 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.28 x 8.57 x 5.53
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; (September 1, 2000)
ISBN: 0813109124

I was amazed how he accomplished explaining the "Bill of Rights" and other parts of the U.S. Constitution in a concise and dramatic way. I think his approach appeals to young readers and he kept the examples politically neutral.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

D Day Comments by IKE

Eisenhower's original message to the troops opened with: "Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.

"The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you."