FEBRUARY 24, 1997

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Opinion

Comments on baggy clothes, Internet police

comments I read the well-written letter by Brandon Schnierer (Feb. 17) with fond memories of what I wore as a "wild" teenager. Our "thing" was low-slung Levis with belt loops cut off. They were banned for a time at our high school.
   My only fear, Brandon, is that if you keep up this kind of free thinking, a great portion of your life will be spent battling uphill against popular opinion. Go for it. Please don't ever become one of the great masses who think their way is the way for all and who believe the government should protect them from everything.
   [As for computer police...] I think Mr. Stankus (Feb. 17) can relax. The job of policing the Internet is already being done for him and the rest of us radicals who believe we should make our own decisions.
   I'm sure that he was as saddened as I after reading that our own outstanding Woodinville Library is one of only a few in the King County Library System to put a "filter" between their computers and the Internet. And this after reading that the library would respect the free flow of information that the Internet represents. I can't help but wonder what pressures were placed on the librarians to change their minds.
   As a user of the Internet since long before it "went graphical," and the holder of a library card since the age of 7, I also believe that some Internet content is not suitable for children. My wife and I do our "filtering" at home where we teach our child what we believe is right and wrong: not what we believe is right and wrong for you and yours. I wonder if they called it "filtering" when books were taken off shelves and destroyed. (It's hard for me to use the phrase "book burning.")
   Some of what I see on book stands and on the Internet dismays me, but I will always be against all who would deprive me of my right to see and read what I want.
   Don't say it can't happen here--it is happening here as long as our free access to information is restricted in any way.

J. R. Fetty, Woodinville