P> There's No Such Thing as a Little Censorship
I have, in the past, always had a high opinion of Washington Technology and its editorial content. I must, regrettably, undergo a major change of opinion since I believe you are dead wrong, and Rep. [Anna] Eshoo is dead right (WT, Jan. 11).
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a little bit of censorship nor a distinction between important and unimportant free speech issues. Restricting speech a little is akin to being a little bit pregnant. The Chinese and German governments, in restricting their citizens access to the Internet, are only reinforcing their views of what they want the communities' prevailing standards to be. If they were indeed that, there would be no need for regulation, since no German or Chinese citizen would read these groups.
If you would tax these groups, how about taxing groups favoring women's choice or pro-life, depending on who you think should be squelched. The whole point of free speech is to give even a minor splinter group the right to be heard, no matter how obnoxious the rest of society deems them to be.
Let's give the founding fathers a little more credit for knowing what they were doing. Isn't that what true conservatism is all about? Alternatively, how about stating publicly that your editorial opinions are designed to bolster the far right's political agenda; then we can all know where you stand.
Digital Economy Predictions abound
This column sounds like fun. The first prediction (WT, Jan. 11) is that education will go on the Internet and will be much cheaper in the future. Why listen in a class of 500 to some graduate student who may or may not be able to speak English when you can stay home and listen to the best instructor in the country over the Internet? You can talk to the teacher or other students over the Internet. If you want to record the lecture to go on a trip, you read it on your laptop -- great. The Wall Street Journal has talked about a high school that allows the top 20 percent of its students to take courses on the Internet. The results are great, and the students like it. The only down factor is that the pressure to get in the top 20 percent is now very high. The students still come to school to see people and attend events. This is the way of the future, but the public schools will never buy it [because] they are controlled by teacher's unions. The solution is private schools. Arizona got 40 new ones in 1995.
The second prediction is the decline of the auto industry. Cars are becoming more expensive, the country is dividing into an upper class and a lower class. The middle class is disappearing very quickly. The lower class won't be able to afford cars, and they won't have jobs to go to anyway. The upper class will buy cars, but travel to work is already dropping. More people will work at home. The auto industry is one of the biggest in the USA. Are they making any plans for this? Of course not. They think the present "low in the cycle" will go away by magic. I have a lot more predictions if anyone is interested.
Stuart A. Hoenig