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Jan. 8, 1996



By Peggy McCracken

Guru unable to find

on-ramp to Internet

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I had to laugh when I read Mac's Friday column in which he calls me a
computer guru. Ha. Even if I fully understood the five computers in my
domain and could make them do all the wonderful things they are capable
of, (which I can't) I'd still be way behind. Technology advances at such
a blinding rate of speed, today is already history.

As I write, our computer that has a connection to the outside world is
downloading a web browser from CompuServe that will allow me access to
the Internet and World Wide Web. So far, I haven't been able to find the
on-ramp to that wide information highway.

I have done a little preparation of copy for the Web with askSam's
hypertext markup capabilities. If you are as uninitiated as I was a few
weeks ago, let me explain hypertext. It is a computer language that
allows you to set a bookmark at a specific place in a file, then set a
prompt in another location that will cause the cursor to jump to the
bookmark when you click on it.

With a Web browser, you can click on a hypertext link in a file in
Florida and jump to another one in Maine. Or, keeping it local, we can
set a bookmark in a story, then create a hypertext link in another file
that will allow you to jump from one file to the other. Or within the
same file. In other words, a hypertext link moves you to wherever the
bookmark is set.

That's fascinating to me. If you've ever hunted through a year's worth
of newspapers for a particular story or picture, you know how much
trouble it can be. But if all those newspapers were archived on a
computer, with hypertext links to particular stories, you could jump to
them with one click of a mouse.

Once I get us online - which I hope will be before my 61st birthday the
last day of this month - I plan to save those daily "pages" for future
reference. Maybe this time next year we can find any 1996 topic
instantly with the click of a mouse. Wouldn't that be nice?

We had hoped to have a home page on the World Wide Web by this time,
but Dick Alligood is having some problems getting a local access number
set up. We know you can't afford long-distance charges to access the
Internet, so while we are waiting, we will put our daily paper on a
bulletin board. By dialing a local number, you can access it here at the
office without paying long-distance charges.

Don't let anyone tell you that computers make us into anti-social
"nerds." I have found that computers are so complicated I have to have
someone help me understand them. My survey group has been invaluable.
Without their feedback and advice, I would not be able to do any of this.

"I am the most ignorant of men; I do not have a man's understanding..."
Proverbs 30:2, NIV.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and editor whose
column appears each Tuesday.


Clinton should stand

on his budget position

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Dear Editor:
This letter is in response to your editorial dated Jan. 5, 1996 on "Our
View" in which you blame President Clinton and the "old time Democrats
and some Republicans" for the government shutdown.

You also state, "The Republicans are right to hold their ground in
demanding that a budget be passed to cut expenditures and set a time
limit for balancing the budget."

The fact of the matter is, it is the Republicans in Congress under the
leadership of "Cry Baby Gingrich" who have refused to work with Mr.
Clinton in finding a fair and equitable solution to a balanced budget.

The Republicans want a balanced budget that would in effect cut
services and payments to the most vulnerable and needy citizens of this
country. The Republicans propose to balance the budget in seven years by
eliminating or drastically reducing benefits and assistance which go to
feeding the poor and needy children, benefits to veterans, the disabled
and the elderly citizens of this country by reducing such programs as
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security payments, school lunch programs, aid
to families with dependent children, student loans, education and many
other programs that benefit the poor.

At the same time the Republicans insist on cutting expenditures they
want to cut taxes by $245 billion, which would mostly benefit the most
wealthy citizens of this country. In other words, do a "Robin Hood in
reverse, take it from the poor and give it to the rich."

On the other hand, President Clinton has also insisted on a balanced
budget in seven years, but not at the expense of the poor and needy so
that the very wealthy can enjoy the windfall.

We do need for President Clinton and Congress to work together in
cutting expenditures and bring our huge deficit down so that we can live
within a balanced budget. But they need to do it in a way that would be
fair and where everybody would have to sacrifice and not just the poor
and less fortunate like the Republicans propose.

Isn't it ironic that the Republicans are now trying to bring our
nation's deficit down by balancing the budget in seven years, the very
same deficit spending budget that was created under 12 years of
Republican presidents?

President Reagan and President Bush could have vetoed many of the
expenditures passed by Congress during those 12 years. Had they done
that, we would not be in the financial mess this country is in today.

President Clinton inherited 12 years of deficit spending which
Republican Reagan and Republican Bush played a big part in creating
during their Republican administrations.

The President is right to hold «MDUL»his«MDBO»«MDNM» ground in
insisting that a budget be passed to cut expenditures and set a time
limit for balancing the budget, but not in a way that would hurt the
elderly, children, veterans and others less fortunate.

Frank "Pancho Pistolas" Perea


Gun-free schools see a revival

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A funny thing happened to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. George Miller and
Education Secretary Richard Riley on their way to a photo opportunity
the other day. The media event, at a Washington, D.C., public high
school and designed to highlight the effectiveness of the year-old
Gun-Free Schools Act, was derailed by a bunch of students who had other,
more substantial, things in mind. The teen-agers were supposed to be a
nodding, compliant backdrop to the event and were expected to give
testimonials that outlined the need for the new law. But, according to
an account in The Los Angeles Times, the students instead challenged the
law by asking some thoughtful questions and expressing their misgivings.
The Gun-Free Schools Act, which Feinstein touted heavily in her 1994
re-election campaign, requires states to adopt laws that order school
districts to expel for one year any student who possesses a gun on
school property, and withholds federal education aid from states that do
not. But at a round-table discussion with students, while the TV cameras
rolled, the students had a different view. To Riley's questions - "What
would you think of a law that said that anybody who brings a gun to
school can't come back for a year? Do you think that would be a good
law?" - students answered, "No." They wanted to know what would happen
to those who were ousted. "I think they need counseling," said one. "You
need to find out why they had a gun at school." Others asked why the
expelled students didn't deserve an education, too, and said some people
who bring guns to school do so because they are afraid of others. They
relayed some of their real-life experiences, and those of their siblings
and friends, to illustrate why a high school student might feel such
fear, and why such a person might need more institutional attention -
not the flat-out severance stipulated by the act, which makes no
provisions for alternative education. Some of the 45 states now
complying with the act have made such provisions on their own, others
have not. However inconvenient for Riley, Feinstein and Miller, the
teens' frank concerns have to be considered. Preferably, they would have
been sought before the act became law. Guns can't be tolerated in
school, and the political instinct to get tough on gun-toting students
is understandable. But in practice, as the students in the capital have
pointed out, a zero-tolerance policy may turn its back on a volatile
class of youths who need more in the way of help than a closed door.
- - The Sacramento, Calif. Bee
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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