News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 9/14/98

From: Arlen.P.Walker@jci.com (Walker, Arlen P);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 09:23:06 -0500;
Re:Adult Talk

Just an amusing sidenote: I rescued your message from the trash can, as its subject got caught by the filter I set up to automatically remove the porno web site announcements from my email.

Go Sammy go! I prefer my hero to be from the Dominican Republic, a black man with crossed eyes, who hits home runs for a team with a chance of winning. This year I'm rooting for the Cubs and for Sammy Sosa.

In a way, I am too, because Sammy seems to be the underdog in all this. Still, it seems unfair to Mark McGwire; after all, it's not *his* fault the media picked on him to be the Leading Man in this drama.

Sidebar: I heard on the radio this morning that Sammy's #62 was stolen right after the game. There are three people who claim they caught it and had it stolen, all telling roughly the same story. Also, since MLB as well as the media is following McGwire, not Sosa, the ball isn't specially encoded, like the balls thrown to McGwire have been, so there will now be no way at all to legitimately determine which ball was Sammy's #62.

Do you blame TV for telling the truth or do you blame the adults for acting like children?

If it's an either-or choice, I have to go with #2. I can't blame TV for telling the truth; as far as I can tell, most TV newspeople wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit them.

What gets me is this outpouring of outrage over Clinton's behavior. Like you said, we knew his morals were suspect long before he ever even *ran* for president, but we elected him anyway. Now, suddenly, we're outraged because he's acted immorally? Give me a break!

I guess that's why I'm inclined to cut him more slack than a lot of others. If you place a fox as guard over a henhouse, it's hardly the fox's fault if the egg count drops, now, is it? If you're looking for someone to blame for all this, don't look any farther than the mirror. We're *all* to blame; we set the fox to guard the henhouse, we've no excuse to blame the fox for acting like a fox. (It's rather like the curious case of term limits, which I think of as the insanity defense for the American voter -- "Stop me before I re-elect again!" If we *really* want term limits, we can impose them, at will, without the need to pass any laws. It's called Voting For The Other Guy. Culturally, we're very focused on blaming others for our own shortcomings. We should have the maturity to accept the responsibility for our own actions.)

The bright side of all this is that we can hope that perhaps we as a nation have learned our lesson and won't repeat the mistakes we've made this time. But I doubt it. I think it was Harry Truman who said, "We learn from history that we do not learn from history."

From: jeff_pittelkau@macworld.com (Jeff Pittelkau);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 09:49:27 -0700;
Re:Adult Talk

I've been thinking about this issue a lot. And, with thought always comes a new perspective. I wanted to share something with you, then make a few comments.

I'm paraphrasing a story from a book called "A Path with Heart." The original story is about why someone would get a Nobel prize. But, I think it applies equally well to the presidency and Bill Clinton in particular. Paraphrased, it goes something like this: What causes infidelity? What causes someone to want to be president?

The reason Clinton became president, and, frankly the reason many people get into public office, is that they seek the mass public approval that comes from being elected. They're not in it to serve, they're in it for the votes.

I think this is so clear when you look at his history. He tried gays in the military because he thought it was a reasonable compromise. If gays wanted equal rights, then they should pay for it with the "right" to die for their country. But when the Republican congress and military leaders mounted a pushback, he caved in, even though the American people wanted him to do it.

Clinton should have met with the joint chiefs of staff, said he wanted to do this, and given them a chance to resign gracefully if they refused. Sure, that might have sparked a fight in Congress, but think of the message it would have sent: Clinton meant business.

Clinton, sadly, doesn't mean business. Never did. Oh, how I wish we had a *real* democrat for president...

Ditto on healthcare. When he set up a task force to address the very issue he ran on -- creating a National healthcare system -- the Republican party mounted an offensive against his wife. All the sudden, this became an argument about whether it was appropriate for the president's wife to be leading this counsel and whether the American people were included in the discussion.

He backed down again. He had Hillary stop using a hyphenated last name, and had her change her hairstyle to play better in the trailer parks of America. Women took a huge step backwards when Hillary Rodham Clinton became Mrs. Clinton with big hair...

Now, he's being wishy-washy on whether he lied and whether or not he really needed to apologize. Once again, he's trying to play the polls, to be loved, when he should be our president, the person we elected to be the *strongest* person in our nation.

Could this Kenneth Starr business be Clinton's one last chance to have a spine? Is he blowing it again? I believe so. This is why I'm beginning to feel he should resign. He should resign because he's ineffective domestically because he's such a populist.

Clinton clearly had two choices: Fight Starr like hell and apologize for nothing. Or resign.

Sadly, once again, he's doing his usual trick: play the middle. He's not really apologizing and he won't resign, either.

What a mess...

From: Bill Gladstone ;
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 13:19:28 -0400;
Adult Talk

The issue is integrity and standards. Clinton has failed and the only decent action is to resign. let's get on with the business of America, not the business of Bill Clinton.

From: bhughes@choicemicro.com (Bruce Hughes);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:38:55 -0500;
Re:Adult Talk

I read your piece, and thought about it, just like I have thought about a lot of stuff concerning this issue. I have to disagree with your recommendation of making a deal to not prosecute Clinton for perjury if he resigns.

The reason I disagree is that I believe what I heard Howard Baker, who was on the Watergate Select Committee (remember, "...what did the President know, and when did he know it?") say in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft last Sunday. He said (paraphrased): "There is a process laid out in the Constitution for dealing with this situation, and we should follow it. If Clinton resigns, we will have had two Presidents this century resign under threat of impeachment, and that would move our country much closer to a parliamentary form of government, where the President serves at popular whim. I don't think that would be good, and I don't think it would be consistent with the character of the American people."

I am a lifelong Democrat, and I hate what Clinton has done to embarrass and humiliate the progressive political forces in this country. I have flirted with the thought that it might be better for the Democrats (and, in my view, the country) if Clinton were to resign and give Gore a chance to show what he can do. But I don't think so. We looked Clinton in the eyes, and voted him into office anyway. Now that choice has consequences for the American people, and we need to face them and live through them. Otherwise, we will forego the opportunity of learning from our mistake.

Let the Congress do its job, and tell your representatives what you think, but let each of them vote his or her conscience. Let Clinton fight for what he undoubtedly considers his survival. Let's do it in public, air out all the dirty laundry, open the wounds, wash the pus out, and, after it is all over, try to get ourselves clean.

From: jon.gillispie@autodesk.com;
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 09:18:03 -0700;
Other Views on Clinton Resignation

I'm a bit disgusted by this hypocritical hysteria over a President's lies about his private life. Past presidents have blatantly lied about public issues that ended with people getting killed - Chile, Bay of Pigs, Vietnam War, Cambodia, Iran-Contra. The country for whatever reason accepted these, some less easily than others. But lies about Sex, which America's Puritanical streak still seems unable to abide, throws us into an Impeachment frenzy. I guess, like on TV, graphic violence is OK, kill and maim as you like, just don't cross the line to graphic sex.

Public values shift over time. It could be that we collectively elected Clinton so we could vocalize our opinions about integrity and truthfulness. Or it could be that the electorate becoming more adult, and less likely overlook such blatant dishonesty and abuse of power. I don't think you can come to any conclusions, the subjects you are analyzing are a moving target.

About sex on TV, I'm with you. Showing two people making love is a much more positive (and interesting!) image than people blowing each other up. I'd like to see more honest loving sexuality on TV and less violence. DW.

From: dgillmor@sjmercury.com (Dan Gillmor);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 22:39:40 -0700;
Objective truth

One of your letter writers today believes "objective" journalism is destined for history's scrap heap. He writes: "The only 'truth' in journalism I've seen is COPS: stream of reality, pretty much unedited, just bleep out the bad words. I guess they should've been following Bill instead of the police on duty."

He may be correct that the prevailing standards in today's top-level journalism can't be sustained. I wouldn't dream of defending the excesses of my business, but I hope he's wrong in at least one respect. I know that the better people in the business (and I believe I work with some of them) try hard not so much to be objective as fair. Pure objectivity is obviously impossible, but in an era when big media keep getting bigger it's the right thing to try and air opposing views in news columns, to stab at some overall picture of an event or issue that will illuminate it more fully than a partisan view. I have the luxury of a column, where my opinion is part of the equation, but I believe in fairness there, too. Maybe the new media will fragment the old to the extent that we return the the old days, when reporters overtly slanted the news to fit their publishers' whims. I hope not. Either way, it's essential for consumers of news to get their information from a variety of sources if they want to have a prayer of being informed.

I believe your correspondent was wrong, however, when he equated COPS with "truth" -- badly wrong. Unedited? The editing process starts when you decide what to tape, and ends when you decide what to broadcast, even if you roll the tape nonstop in between. When is the last time you saw the cops on that show stopping a black man in a white neighborhood for the well-known offense of "driving while black"? Or break, much less stretch, the law in pursuit of a bad guy? Never. What they put on that program is a slice of the truth -- the positive characteristics of the police as they do their best to help keep order in a society where the people in charge of governments and corporations routinely flout the law. The cops have a nearly impossible job and mostly deserve our support. But calling this show the truth? Unedited film is like stenography. Both can be elements of journalism; neither *is* journalism -- never mind truth -- by itself.

On a happier note, I'm also rooting for Sammy Sosa.

From: Whoisylvia@aol.com;
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:52:21 EDT;
Re:Adult Talk

Read the Constitution, he works for us, he isn't us

He may work for us, but he also represents us. Bill Clinton is Everyman. He is us. That's why people are willing to forgive him. Presidents aren't necessarily priests; they are fallible human beings with whom everyone can identify.

And the only person i feel sorry for in this affair is Chelsea. I think she's the one who needs the ministers now, not Bill.

From: brett@lariat.org (Brett Glass);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 09:22:21 -0600;
Just read your Adult Talk article

Unfortunately, I don't think it addresses the real root of the problem.

The reason we have a man like Clinton in the White House is that, 6 years ago, our political system didn't give us a decent choice.

Bush was a bumbler, picked by the slow and aging Reagan as a running mate who wouldn't upstage him. (Remember how, during the 1992 campaign, Reagan had to keep saying, "George was there?" -- because no one could possibly have told that he was otherwise?)

Clinton was "Slick Willie." Perot wasn't of this planet at all. Choice? Thanks to the party machinery that gave us those two potentially electable candidates (Perot served only as a protest vote), we didn't have a choice.

If we want to get back control of our destiny, it's not sufficient to "throw the bums out;" we must throw the PARTIES out.

From: bernesbyj@hotmail.com (james bernesby);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 08:22:06 PDT;
Adult talk

I live in NYC on Bleecker Street (which is where NYU is located) , The President is town for a day or two. The street looks like Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin (before the wall came down).

The Secret Service has rented a few trailer offices that parked in the street across from Washington Square Park. The President Motorade came up and there are fifty plus cars. We had been stopped for walking down the street.

How does the point,( The President works for us?), get across when the people are stopped for the president motorade?

From: Jacob.Levy@Eng.Sun.COM (Jacob Levy);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 07:49:58 -0700 (PDT);
Where's the VEEP (or the roar of deafening silence)?

Read your piece about Adult Talk. Pretty much agreed. One point you didn't bring up: if you don't act now, you're damned forever. This is one of those times where you have to act or shut up. Our techie VP misses the point. He doesn't have to be VP to win in 2000. In fact, he'd be better off right now not being the VP to Clinton.

Sorry, Gore, if I was a democrat, by being so silent you're assuring that you're not going to get my vote.

From: luke@tymowski.org (Luke Tymowski);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:29:09 -0400;
URL for Scalia's dissenting opinion

Forgot to include the URL:


From: andyjw@raggedcastle.com (Andy J. Williams);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:27:59 -0400;
Re:Adult Talk

Thanks so much for your writings on this matter. My opinions wander the full range from anger to helplessness to hope that Clinton really is the target of some mean-spirited movement to oust him regardless the cost.

But you give a different perspective, not a legal or technical one. You speak from the heart. You speak from the perspective of the larger picture. I respect that and it alters how I view the situation.

More than anything else, I feel sorry for Clinton. He has a problem and he can't admit it. He lies about it and he tries to convince us he's OK just the same way an alcoholic tells us that he's fine and please hand him the keys to the car now.

I've worried about the fate of our current economic status should he resign. Presidents don't do a lot to make the economy a good one, I believe, but they do go a long ways towards NOT making it a bad one (what I mean is that while he may not be the cause for our current prosperity, another president could easily undo all that and make things bad).

The core problem, more core than any other problem, that I see is that people in this country continually forget that we are the employers. We are the human resources department. We are the ones who hire, fire, reprimand, and and praise. And we don't use this power we have. We hire bad employees. Since we can't trust ourselves to fire them, we pass laws forcing us to do so (I think term limits is a tragedy. Why do you need them if people participate in the democratic process?) And we throw up our hands and talk about how bad Government is and how apathetic we are because we can't do anything about it. What a true shame.

From: luke@tymowski.org (Luke Tymowski);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 09:55:52 -0400;
Clinton and Starr

Some comments on what has happened lately.

First, let me show my colours: I'm a Canadian; if I were an American I'd be a Republican; and I'm disappointed that Clinton long ago seemed to lose the zeal with which he started his first term. I don't have an axe to grind.

It would be a mistake for Clinton to resign. Yes, he's shown by his Lewinsky behavior that he's a boy-man, not a man. But it would be a sad precedent for the presidency. The office of Special Prosecutor is a huge mistake.

The Framers designed the Constitution to give the President executive powers. They acknowledged those powers might be abused. But it was worth the risk because there was definitely someone in charge, and his employers, the American people, could remove him from office if he disappointed them badly enough.

The Special Prosecutor answers to no one. He has unlimited power. He does not have to be non-partisan. He can pick someone at leisure and start digging for dirt. Starr obviously dislikes Clinton, and he has dug through Clinton's past and through the law books looking for something with which to charge Clinton. We all of us break rules and laws every day. Are any of us so squeaky clean that we can escape censure or prosecution? Whether it be for jay-walking or something more serious?

Clinton has the potential for support from the people. His advisors have no such support. If they live under the fear that the Special Prosecutor may go after them for any reason whatsoever, can they do their jobs properly? Can the President attract people to work for him if they know they have to live with the fear that the Special Prosecutor may wake up one morning and decide to examine them under a legal microscope? Whether or not they've done something wrong? Simply because the Special Prosecutor decides he doesn't like them? Doesn't like the President?

Some years ago in a dissenting opinion on Morrison v. Olson, Justice Scalia delivering a scathing attack on the power and fantastic potential for abuse by the Special Prosecutor. Everything he predicted has come to pass with Starr and Clinton. I highly recommend you read it.

I do not approve of the way Clinton has behaved. But Clinton doesn't deserve to be impeached. He has hardly committed an offence or offences on the scale of Nixon. All these things considered, the real lesson to be learned here is that the Special Prosecutor has the potential to seriously affect the quality of government the American people can or will receive. That isn't right. It's not at all what the Framers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

It would be a slap in the face of the Framers, not a complete rejection of everything the Constitution has stood for these past 200-odd years, for Clinton to be intimidated into resigning.

From: cbarrett@borders.com (Cameron Barrett (Borders Online));
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 08:49:58 -0400;
Clinton, the Iceberg That Sunk the Ship, America

My brother wrote a great piece about this issue, and portrays a different point of view, often overlooked by most Americans.


From: thatguy@blitherakt.com (Tim Adamec);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 01:21:37 -0700;
Re:Adult Talk

Very eloquent and thought-provoking as always, Dave. But since the Clinton/Lewinsky thing has been beaten into the ground, I thought I'd comment on baseball for a change.

I'm happy for both men; Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. After watching McGwire's #62 and seeing the absolute happiness in Sammy's face, the good-spirited congratulations and the mutual acknowledgment of each other's achievements, I was almost tempted to start watching Pro Baseball again. I haven't been able to since the likes of Daryl Strawberry and the Los Angeles Dodgers (most of the team if I remember correctly) shortly after the last "I'm not making enough money, so I'll go home" whine-fest they called a strike.

But it was your last piece that made me realize the similarities between baseball and the current political situation (so I lied about not bringing it up). You see, most of the reason I don't watch the "Pros" any more is because of exactly what you pointed out: the "me-me-me," "more-more-more" attitude of the most visible players; much the same way you described Clinton. I can't stand to see Clinton on the TV any more than I can watch Daryl Strawberry run around the outfield after getting off with a wrist slap.

I think if more people -- President's and pitchers alike -- showed the kind of integrity, humanity and class that Sosa and McGuire did that night, we'd have to find something else to complain about.

From: jrusso@computerlaw.com (Jack Russo);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 12:16:16 -0700;
Re:Adult Talk

Here is one idea for an "appropriate" outcome:

Congress pass this resolution: "Mr. President, you have three choices:

  1. Forfeit Your Salary for the Next Two Years as Part of Your Censure: This voluntary forefeiture with the money to pay back the U.S. part of the $4M+ cost (really pays less than 10%) of the investigation on just the Lewinsky matter; or,

  2. Risk the Adoption of Articles of Impeachment: in effect, ask the President to voluntarily accept the sanction of a $400K fine imposed for sexual misconduct in the workplace (which made somewhat dysfunctional the lives of other federal workers including his staff who lied for him, his secretary who covered for him, and lots of others who could not fully get his attention in 1995, 1996, 1997 and especially 1998 based on this misconduct.)

  3. Resign.

Those are the best approaches. A censure without a salary hit is really toothless; a fine is not constitutionally authorized but a voluntary election by the President to forego $400K+ of salary would make a statement.

That's my recommendation. Can we get someone in Congress to see the intelligence and teeth in this approach. I think Al Gore would have to know then that doing anything like what his buddy Bill did could cost him either the job or the salary from the job. It has some real teeth; it has some real meaning. It would be memorable.

What do you think?

From: bsleeper@netresponse.com (Brent Sleeper);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 22:44:43 -0700;
Re:"DaveNet: Adult Talk"

An adult looking at this situation would say it has gone far enough. If Clinton won't put his personal interests behind those of the country, we must do it for him, no matter how much pain we feel doing it. Make a deal that allows us to go forward. After Clinton resigns, no prosecution. He gets his life and we get back the presidency and hopefully we have learned to demand plain straight talk from our elected leaders. This used to be an American value, a good one. Let's bring it back.

I've been sharing an amusing snip from Slate Magazine's Today's Papers for 9/14/1998:

Wackiest stat: 3 percent of the [Los Angeles Times poll] sample say that after the Starr revelations, they now view Clinton more favorably.

To which I say: you go, girl! I mean, really -- I am sick and tired of this crocodile outrage (and Democrats up for reelection are the worst) about a childish (your word of the day, and a good one) case of sexu-ego gratification.

In all seriousness, though, thanks for a thoughtful essay "Adult Talk." It's nice to read a commentary that is strongly critical but which doesn't include hypocritical comments about how "disgusting" the President's sexual behavior was -- it may be pathetic and immature behavior, but I wish those in the public eye wouldn't conflagrate their clucking prudishness with the President's abuse of a power relationship and his hopeless attempts to hide that.

However -- and this is a big however -- no matter how dishonorable, childish, or even "disgusting" Clinton's behavior may be, we do not live in a parliamentary democracy wherein the Prime Minister serves only at the pleasure of his or her majority and is subject to votes of confidence. Our federal system assigns very clear constitutional roles to the President and to the Congress -- for better or worse, confidence, respect, or honor have nothing to do with it.

There have only been two cases in history where talk (or action) have proceeded this far:

  1. Andrew Johnson: was impeached (i.e., indicted) by the House, but not convicted by the Senate (and therefore not removed from office) over a serious constitutional question (admittedly mixed in with some questionable personal politics): what are the President's powers to sack his Cabinet against the stated wishes of the Congress?

  2. Richard Nixon: resigned before he could be impeached over serious evidence of ordering and then covering up the blatantly illegal sabotage of the opposing party's political operations. The magnitude of this wrongdoing is precisely because it was in the political sphere, not simply a moral space. That's an important distinction between Watergate and Clinton's case. (If Starr had found credible evidence of the Craig Livingstone abuse of Bush White House Republicans' FBI files, that *would* be on par with Watergate and probably deserving of impeachment.)

    A third case comes close:

  3. Ronald Reagan: maybe ordered a direct violation of several congressional acts that prohibited much of the Iran-Contra arms deals. As a clear violation of constitutional authority, if this were proven (and Lawrence Welch did not do so, convincingly, to the public), it probably would have warranted impeachment, if not conviction by the Senate. As it was, only a few partisan Democrats talked about it publicly. (*)

No matter how degrading (or fill in your feelings here) the Clinton-Lewinsky case may be, it simply does not have constitutional ramifications, unlike the above examples. It therefore does not warrant impeachment or resignation. This is what precedent has given us. (I feel like I'm talking about the Talmud... ;-) Any looser interpretation of when removal from office (whether voluntary or not) is warranted fundamentally changes the balance of powers that the Constitution, as interpreted and applied over 209 years, defines. (No matter what Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork may argue, the intent of our founders -- and their perhaps noble ideas about the honor and stature of the Presidency -- matter little here. Only the balance of power and the ultimate effect on constitutional authority is relevant.)

If this were the UK or any other country with a similar parliamentary governance structure, Clinton would most likely be momentarily dumped and replaced with someone (hopefully) less childish. But to suggest that a President resign -- or even worse, be impeached -- for his base and petty behavior is simply contrary to our county's constitutional precedent. Changes in the presidential office in America should only happen every four years except in extraordinary circumstances. The Clinton case is not extraordinary at all -- indeed, it is its banality that is most striking, and banal immorality is simply no cause for fundamentally altering the balance of power in American constitutional politics.

(*) An aside: A fourth maybe should have happened, but didn't because of a slew of social questions facing our society in the 1960s:

(4) More than one president (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon): tolerated J. Edgar Hoover's violation of Americans' constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights. Impeachable lack of oversight? Who knows? The salient issue is that Congress did not publicly address the issue, and it's therefore not part of the precedent.

From: steve@woz.org (Steve Wozniak);
Sent at 14 Sep 98 21:20:21 -0700;
Re:Adult Talk

Dave, thanks very much for your comments on Clinton and Sammy. I agree very much with what you say so well.

So many feel that the specific sexual references of Starr's reports were not called for, that they were a smear attempt. I would agree also, but anyone of any stature opens themselves to this by lying under oath and outright denying such things. It's like reading part of a document in court, you have to produce the whole thing.

High level reporters, politicians and executives develop techniques to prolong issues, mislead others, cover the truth, shift the blame (pass the buck). Many smaller people get hurt by this sort of power. It's good to see one occasionally brought down.

I think that the president is mostly a figurehead and is just lucky to be in office while the economy is doing well, largely due to the strength of the American computer markets and companies. Even if the economic strength is totally due to Clinton, which is a joke, he should still pay as much as every common person for his mistakes and crimes.

Remember the 'perjury' in the O.J. case, that had so much effect on reaching such a correct result? And wasn't there some conviction and penalties for having said the word 'nigger' 9 years before while creating a cop character, but swearing that he hadn't said it for 10 years. It's a very serious thing, at least for some of us.

People that know who they are have a consistent point of view, consistent principles that they apply equally and fairly. When people know that something is wrong, but they do it or justify it anyway, such can be seen in their own hypocrisy. Remember how much an uproar there was over justice Clarence Thomas once having possibly invited a staffer to his place? Where are these voices of principle now?

From: d_george@email.msn.com (David George);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 23:06:07 -0500;
Re:Adult Talk

I guess I'm just too tired. It's gone on so long, it's worn me out. I honestly don't care. I'm not outraged, because I reached the same conclusion you did a long time ago. It's not Bill who makes the economy hum and makes this a good time to live. It is us. It has always been us. So it doesn't matter to me. If they want to turn Washington into a two year mud wrassle pit, well, at least they're too busy screwing with each other to screw with us.

BTW I'm rooting for Sammy, too. Nothing against Mark, I like them both, but I think Sammy has a lot of class.

About role models: Hillary v. Monica. Dave, I think part of growing up is learning how to admire the admirable aspects of people, to study them and learn from them. Learn from their bad parts too--Bill's mess is an object lesson for way too many of us alleged adults who think we can be slick. Let them with eyes see it. But you have to realize that people are people. They will disappoint you. We will disappoint them back. I don't see much in Monica to admire. She seems to have been duped and I don't know if she learned from it.

But too often someone is admirable and then they screw up somehow and we ask what kind of "role model" they are. They got lives to live and decisions to make and live with. Hillary made her decisions and she has her reasons. Our lives can be our own punishment or reward to ourselves. Usually it's both. Point I'm dancing around is: Hillary is Hillary. Not St. Hillary. Not Hillary the Good Example. She's not doing it for our benefit. It's her life.

As for TV telling the truth, I think TV sells soap. "Objective" journalism will hopefully soon be a blip in our literary history, an aberration of this century, a standard no one ever met. The only "truth" in journalism I've seen is COPS: stream of reality, pretty much unedited, just bleep out the bad words. I guess they should've been following Bill instead of the police on duty.

Cynical, I suppose, but I'm mostly at peace with it. Peace to you too,

From: jesper@pobox.com (Jesper Anderson);
Sent at Tue, 15 Sep 1998 06:05:48 +0200;
Adult Talk

It never fails.

Just when I think an issue has been beat to a pulp, nothing of value remains to be said and only bickering over the remains is what's left, DaveNet comes along and jolts me into truly thinking different. This time in a well executed one-two combination blow.

The two latest DaveNet pieces were among the best stuff I've ever read - period.

Keep'em coming.

From: kmcenery@rpimail.mdacc.tmc.edu (KWM);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 23:04:02 -0500;
The Internet's role in this...coming of age...election reform???

Isn't it interesting the role the Internet played in the distribution of the report. No media reporter filter. No spin. Just my computer screen and the report. My own conclusions.

Media seems to be focused on polls. Clinton's job rating holds steady therefore must not be a problem. This country was not established nor is it great because of polls.Not to sound hokey but if polls were our guide would women have the right to vote, would civil rights legislation have been enacted, would Kennedy have decided establish an effort to go to the moon.the list goes on and on.

While there are other issues which could be discussed regarding this process the Internet has come of age. It is now reasonable to look to it as the re-engineering of our democracy and the means we select our leaders.

Campaign reform proposal. In presidential elections ban all advertisements on television and radio as media expense is a prime reason for raising money -- less money needed less incentive for skirting laws --no need to consider whether donation is soft money or hard money. Federal election commission establishes distributed, mirrored web sites throughout the country. Presidential candidates will place campaign materials on these servers. Campaigns need to focus upon substantive issues/content because web sites will not scale to just 30 second slick commercials. With the money saved election commission could establish terminals in every grocery store, library, etc. in the country to ensure every person will have access to legislative information.

From: dwlarson@sd.znet.com (Donald W. Larson);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 20:50:52 -0700;
Adult Talk

I just read your article, Adult Talk. It's on the mark, in my opinion.

I would like to make a comment about Hillary. Earlier in the year Tammy Wynette passed away. You recall she once made a song about "Stand By Your Man". It was a song about a woman supporting her husband in times of trials, human trials.

When she passed away I saw a historical clip on CNN with Hillary Clinton previously expressing ridicule the song. She essentially said, "I'm not a stand by your man woman". I took this to mean she was belittling the meaning of Tammy's song in some women's lib kind of way.

Well, what is Hillary doing now? Her husband has sex with other women and then lies to her and she forgives him just like the meaning of the song. Hell, maybe it's the theme song in the White House these days.

So when the President acts, remember, it's a duo these days in the White House.

From: beloy@stanford.edu (Ben Eloy);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 22:49:35 -0500;
Re:Adult Talk

Do you blame TV for telling the truth or do you blame the adults for acting like children? Any adult would know the answer to that question.

Thanks for writing such a powerful piece--I too have been horrified by American's apathy and denial of Clinton's moral emptiness. I have the feeling that many people may be embarassed to have voted for the man twice and now feel the need to defend/support him in order to make their vote seem sensible.

I wish everyone would just put the past away and realize that for America (and the world) to go forward, Bill Clinton must go away. Either he must resign or he must throw himself on the mercy of the Congress and the American people.

He also needs to be letting his lawyers go. I appreciate your candor and your rebuke against the sorry view that unfortunately prevails across our country. Let's keep looking for the truth!


From: michb@msn.com (Michele Bourdon);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 20:45:25 -0700;
Re:Adult Talk

Thank you Dave. This is the first time I've heard my thoughts and feelings articulated all in one place.

From: josh@stonecottage.com (Joshua Lucas);
Sent at Mon, 14 Sep 1998 23:38:45 +0000;
Go Sammy Go!!!

As a lifelong Cub fan... my dad put a ball signed by the Cubs in my crib when my parents brought be home from the hospital, I have to agree with you about rooting for Sammy Sosa. The weird thing is that I have a connection to McGwire as well. His dad was my dentist when I lived in Southern California. My parents still live in Claremont where the McGwires live and I played football with their youngest son, JJ.

It was too bad that Sosa's accomplishment has been seemingly ignored. This was a 37 year old record that now 2 people have broken after no one has come close. Oh well, at least the Hall of Fame took some of Sosa's gear to put on display.

My hope is that the Cubs can pull off the greatest miracle and win the World Series. With Harry Carray and Jack Brickhouse looking down from heaven, hopefully they will be able to pull some strings and give the die-hard fans a chance to die happy.

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