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March 3, 2001

Flawed filters
A test of Internet filtering software shows how ineffective they can be, underscoring constitutional questions about requiring them in libraries and schools.

A shifting of power in Tampa
Dennis Alvarez's retirement as chief judge in Hillsborough County amounts to a crash course in Tampa history. His departure, announced Thursday, reflects not only a shift in the city's old power base, but the movement within the legal community to make the judiciary more accountable. In electing a successor, the 48 judges in Hillsborough's circuit should look to build on the positive reforms that have taken place at the courthouse the past year.

A victory good for all of us
This week's U.S. Supreme Court decision on legal services was an important victory not only for the poor but also for the constitutional freedoms that protect us all.

It feels good to have a president we can believe
While watching President Bush's tax-cut address to the nation the other evening, I observed an astonishing thing that suddenly caused my mouth to drop open. It wasn't that a politician was offering us serfs and scullery-drudges a tax cut. I've heard that many times from many people . . . even from the likes of Bill Clinton at times. It wasn't that the president was offering to reform Medicare and save Social Security. Those are the obligatory, pandering phrases that all politicians who hope to be re-elected someday must mouth. It wasn't even the promises of more spending on certain popular, focus-grouped programs and entitlements. Such things go with politics and empty promises the way milk goes with corn flakes and orange juice.  

Taking jobs, alienating customers
For weeks Americans have been told that the outsourcing of high-tech jobs is good for our economy. So said Greg Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in a recent report signed by President Bush. So, too, writes Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in articles praising the rise of call centers in India used for everything from making airline reservations and reading medical X-ray films to providing tech support for American computer firms.

Philip Gailey: Democrats fall off campaign finance reform wagon
Well, what do you know. Soft money is back, and it's making hypocrites of all those Democrats who fervently championed the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law, not to mention those Republicans who objected to the law's restrictions on issue advocacy.

Bill Maxwell: Who is for the farm worker?
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is touting legislation to improve the lives of Florida's 300,000-plus farm workers, who endure institutional and systemic injustices each day in our fields and groves and their personal lives.

Robyn E. Blumner: For some defendants, an American gulag
In Bernard Malamud's masterpiece The Fixer, inmate Yakov Bok was subjected to psychological torture in a Soviet gulag through the humiliations of constant shackling and repeated strip searches.

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