Digressions & Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson, Editor

Second Anniversary Issue!

Well, Port Of Call made it through another year! As is traditional, I've included another of my short stories for your entertainment. (In this age of rapid change we have to seize on "traditions" whenever possible - and this is the 2nd anniversary issue...)

Over the winter I've been polishing 2 of my fiction novels and am currently seeking an agent and/or publisher. Those of you wishing I'd spend less time writing diatribes and railing against the pervasive injustice in the world, might want to consider our possible confluence of interests. If a significant financial justification for writing fiction instead of diatribes were to develop, I would likely be significantly encouraged to bend my creative efforts toward the output that offered the greatest rewards. So if you know someone who knows someone...

Most of you have enjoyed and appreciated the newsletter. Best of all, some of you submitted letters and articles that enhanced and expanded the scope of the newsletter and its value to its readership. The balance of the newsletter has especially benefited from those submissions that refuted previously printed articles and letters by offering well thought out alternative perspectives.

All submissions to POC were printed except 2 that consisted of legally libelous attacks on your editor. Submissions that offered or attacked ideas were all printed verbatim without editorial comment. Submissions that attacked individuals - especially the editor - were treated with the same lack of respect as they demonstrated.

A few of you felt so threatened by the "dangerous" politically incorrect ideas explored in POC that you attempted to manipulate the system to impose controls and restrictions. A couple of former readers were so terrified of any information that contradicted their fragile self delusions that they demanded to be removed from POC's mailing list. Those seeking a bland existence devoid of any intellectual stimulation can request to receive one of the other regional newsletters instead of POC.

On the other hand, POC's website has attracted over 3 times as many visitors as the distribution of the printed version. And while not all of the recipients of the printed POC read their newsletter, all of the visits to the website have been by definition voluntary. There have also been a number of inquiries about Intertel membership generated by POC's website.

Part of the reason for putting POC on the World Wide Web is to encourage more submissions. Some of you may have been reluctant to "waste" your time writing submissions for POC's small distribution - especially since so few have been reprinted by Integra and the other regional newsletters. But with a potential audience of over 30 million on the web, I'm hoping more of you will send in interesting articles and letters. And the better the newsletter, the more people will be attracted to visit and read your materials - creating even greater justification for even better submissions.

Port Of Call has been proud to support and participate in several web based pro-democracy projects. I submitted 2 essays ("The Internet & Child Care, and "Potentials of the Web") to the "24 Hours of Democracy" project and both were included in the by-invitation-only family tour version of outstanding and child-safe essays. You can find print copies of my essays in this and the February/March 1996 issue of POC. I've reprinted the essay contributed by Bill Gates to the 24 Hours project in this issue of POC.

I've added an "Other Freedom & Democracy Resources" page to POC's website. The page was assembled by Steve Moyer and includes links to organizations like the ACLU, Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, etc. There are also links to direct democracy pages offering email & fax functions to send messages to congressmen, major congressional committees, the Whitehouse, news media, talk-show personalities, etc.

Port Of Call is also participating in the SafeSurf rating service. POC's SafeSurf rating is embedded in the header of POC's homepage. SafeSurf is intended to allow parents to control the types of websites their children can access - a far better approach to the problem than trying to censor and "child-safe" the entire Internet.

And so we head into Port Of Call's third year of publication...

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