Home Page -> Commentary -> 6 May 1998

Comment of the Fortnight
6 May 1998
James Earl Ray

James Earl Ray, convicted of the assassinatin of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, died at age 70 recently. Any personal information he may have had concerning details of the assassination has gone with him, bringing to mind the following joke:

Two American sailors are in a seedy dockside pub in England. One of them spies an old drunk at a nearby table. "That's the Archbishop of Canterbury over at that table," he says.

"Oh, come on," says his shipmate. "What would the Archbishop of Canterbury be doing in a crummy place like this?"

"I tell you, it's the Archbishop of Canterbury; I've seen his picture in the papers before. Let's go over and ask him."

The sailors approach the man, and the second sailor says, "Pardon me, sir..."

The drunk lifts his head and growls, "Go to hell and mind your own damn business."

As the sailors walk away the first sailor says, "Isn't it a pity. Now we'll never know."

Santa Clara Libraries Stand for Freedom

The Santa Clara County Library Board rejected a proposal to restrict Internet access on some of the terminals in adult sections of its ten libraries.

At the meeting on 23 April in defense of free access, one gentleman who spoke before I did suggested that filters be put on all terminals in the adult section, as even short exposure to pornography could cause irreparable harm. (Other speakers trotted out Ted Bundy's tearful confession to Dr. James Dobson that pornography started him on his career as a serial killer.)

When I spoke, I thanked the gentleman for his concern, but I didn't feel any great need to have him protect me from myself. I also asked the board who would provide the list of sites to be filtered? "The godless communists from the ACLU or the ultra-right-wing zealots from the Christian Coalition?"

Just for your information: filtering software will be put on all terminals in the children's sections of the libraries.

The main effort of the filtering software is to keep pornography out of the hands of children. Once the software is installed I'm going to test to see if it blocks out hate group sites. Stay tuned.

Microsoft®©™ (Yet Again)

All the right-wing radio stations are jumping to the defense of Microsoft®©™ and whupping the Justice Department upside the head for trying to stifle creativity and destroy the U.S. lead in software.

I don't think Bill Gates has too much money. If he wants to be richer than God, that's fine with me. I'm only asking that he use fair business practices to acquire his wealth. The simple fact is that Microsoft®©™ has the power to singlehandedly put computer manufacturers out of business, and that's not good.

I saw a Microsoft®©™ feel-good ad a few days ago that implied they were eager, nay, they were craving beyond belief, to enrich software developers and assist them to (also) become richer than God.

<sarcasm mode=on>
Hey, folks in Redmond: I want to write an integrated office software suite which has a web browser in it. How 'bout some support for that? No, I won't hold my breath waiting for a reply.

Back to top of page