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Seduced by the Chamber of Commerce spin and the Dark Side of building code enforcement
From Danny Newton: The Chamber of Commerce and the City seem to be is such a symbiotic relationship it is hard to tell them apart. The City apparently bought them a lot and a house to operate the Chamber thirty years ago and now they have real fancy digs courtesy of the city and county. Allegedly, the Chamber is coming up with some of the money but it is not clear exactly who pays for the gas lights and water. It must be nice never to have to worry about getting those services shut off by your friends. Spin is rampant. Originally the building was only going to cost $1.4 Million. Now it is 1.7 Million, but no one is calling that a cost over run.

They also have done some quick shuffle to prevent including the cost of the land ,the architects fee and cost of demolition in the total cost. I am trying to find out if they pulled a permit on this project. I doubt it. I stopped in today and looked at the construction. I was really looking for code violations. There were no serious ones. It is a nice building and it is a no frill application of the building arts.  The city expects the county to throw in it's half interest in the original Chamber of Commerce building before the old property is sold.

According to an inflation calculator, the worth of the county half of the old chamber building would be about $167,000 in 2001 dollars If the old property sells for $500,000, the county would make still make money on the deal. The way I look at it, if the county just throws in it's deed for the old property, it would be like giving the city a quarter of a million dollars. It's easy to make money in real estate if you use other people's money and don't have to pay capital gains and other taxes.

One other interesting thing I found out is that part of the motel tax,1%out of a total 5%, goes to the Chamber of Commerce for promotion of the city. They buy billboard space with it. It boggles the mind. I can't wait for that civic center. Come on down and we'll go to a mud wrestling match or a tractor pull.

I have had nearly thirty years of experience with contractors working in different cities in the south and I have rarely heard any good stories about how happy building code enforcement has made the general population of anywhere. The idea that people are protected is so popular and so pervasive, it is a waste of time to try and convince well-intentioned people of the potential Dark Side.

Already, the Dark Side of code enforcement has shown itself to me, the casual and so far unaffected observer. The first time was when someone was quoted in the Herald Citizen, and I will paraphrase, that there would be plenty of money generated in the start up of a codes program for the county. When making money is the primary purpose of a government activity, I cringe. Plenty of money could be made by tripling or quadrupling the cost of water or sewage disposal, and it would still be worth the price. More money could be made without hiring anyone. Let's put up a toll booth on Willow.

Most contractors complain about inconsistent inspections, late inspections, demands for ineffective hanges that the contractor is expected to bear, and mostly, the added paperwork burden of keeping records of changes. Owners generally say little until a hidden deficiency arises that generates unplanned additional expense.

Eventually people learn to tolerate these happenings but the one complaint that rarely sets well with any group is the one that centers around giving preferential treatment to favorites. Municipalities often exempt themselves from the rigors of their own inspections.

Misuse of code enforcement has been known to keep out "foreign" or out-of-county contractors. It has been known to prevent the introduction of new building technology like PVC pipe and Ground Fault Interrupt breakers.  Proper Code enforcement is known to be a factor in the collapse of the WTC on Sept 11. In my experience, it has caused some rather exciting lapses in air safety.  Some cities wisely avoid harassing critical facilities out of fear of being involved in law suits.

It may seem cruel to warn the inexperienced, and under-skeptical of the impending Dark Side. But, a second warning came in December when it was decreed that a $50 per day fine be levied for not finishing a job on time. To show invulnerability to the Dark Side and a loathing to play favorites, the city might consider fining itself for the late completion of Town Centre. Instead of writing a check to itself, it would be more logical to forego all codes enforcement income until the amount of the fine ( $7500 ) is taken off future permit applications.  This will be a long-awaited proof of pure intentions and an investment in public support for future city projects.

Danny L. Newton
1018 Rose Garden Lane
Cookeville, TN 38501

Pit inspires Grandma to study journalism

I've always felt there was something we could do about political problems, and here you are to guide us. I'm a 53-year-old grandmother of 12 and you've inspired me to start Tech this fall in a four-year journalism course. Maybe, by the time I'm finished, I'll still
have a few good years left to.... go get em.
Susan Brennan

What every local paper should be
The Putnam Pit . . .  is a rarity: A local paper that is of interest to people outside of its circulation area. There is a sense of outrage in every word, telling you that the writer knows the difference between right and wrong -- even if the subjects of the stories do not. You are, of course, free to disagree with Davidian, as many locals presumably do. Still, this point of view in news stories is refreshing. It requires you to work harder, and make up your own mind.

City:    SpartaCountry:USA
Date: 01:43:35, January 10

Subject: Good Work!
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 11:32:27 -0800
From:"Michael A. Quarles" <maq@thegrid.net>
Organization:California State University Fresno  To: <geoff@putnampit.com>

    This is MAQ in Visalia.  I am attending CSU Fresno studying towards a B.S.  I am a Crim. major and can't help but think that the C.J.system is failing. One of my professors last semester (Fall 99) who happens to be a Fresno Police Lt. made the statement that the system works because the prisons are filled to capacity and new ones are being built. (Not an exact quote)  I disagree!  Hitler's prison camps were also filled to capacity as well.  I was not his favorite pupil, especially after my
presentation concerning civilian review boards.  I think all law enforcement agencies should have one.  He did not like the idea at all.  I made "A's" in three classes and a "B" in another but received a "C" from him.  I felt I earned at least a "B"....but it was his decision.

I AGREE WITH YOU!  There needs to be more verification of powers used by
police agencies and government.
thank you for your work

   Date:  Thu, 27 Jan 2000 01:45:52 -0800 (PST)
   From: bcoomer@webtv.net (Brian Coomer)
     To: geoff@putnampit.com

It is important to provide the facts to the public, however your
information is usually unfounded.

j. brian coomer

Disabled vet says he was thrown in jail, doused with pepper spray and City Mismanager Jimbo Shipley didn't bail him out
From Buford C Grizzle
Dec. 6, 1999
Hi There:
My name is Buford C Grizzle and I live here in Cookeville TN. but its getting to be Avery hard thing to Deal with so any way I think you might be interested in an incident that took place on the 12 of Sept-99 me being a service connected disable veteran with broken down nerves and Parkinson---D---disorder Rheumatoid Arthritis and cancer eating my face away
I was took to the county justice center and put in a holding cell for 12 hours me on medication and telling them I could died with out it they came in and sprayed me with pepper spray and me with nothing on but a pair shorts of Crosse it went in my eyes my mouth and nose and cancer and told me to lye down and shut up for I was getting nothing well couldn't sleep for the pain of the pepper and had to go in front of the judge at 9 am with the pepper spray still on me then they force me to hare a bails bondsman to get to my medication witch was out off reason set the bail at $5,000 and it cost me $400.00 before they let me out while I own property with my wife and son owns property would not let them make my bail and would not let them or take my medication and give me and it all came down to me spending about 17 hours in there with out my medication which I need ever few hours and one is critical for my bad heart but did they care  hell no and all I was arrested for was domestic violence but really did nothing to anyone and my wife and family told them I had did nothing to be arrested for and they are all disable also and will not live long at al either but that is not the hafe of it had to have a attorney which cost $500,00 which may me sign forms that I would not sue him and then had to let him go for he tried to help the DA prove the case against me and then I ask for the arresting officer they would not present him then told them to listen to what my wife had to say then the DA wanted it put  off again for 14 days this made four times they had drug us threw the mud to court and us law-abiding citizens which sure help our name then they threw it out after they could not prove a thing on me for I would took a polygraph test if nessary but those folks over there are something and a friend of mine was done worse than me but not a soul has offer to help us ..
In another case with the same charge the man was a former city councilman they went to his home and got him and he got into a battle with them and like to broke ones jaw but did they spay him hell no they took him to the hospital for he clamed he was having a heart attack but then refuse treatment so he goes over to the jail where his wife and the city manger was waiting and they set his bail at $3,000 and then the wife and the city councilman signed his bond he didn't have to stay the mandatory 12 hours when he was drinking so thats 3 things they decremnated on me gainst compared to his case  and a public official is not suppost to sign anyone else's bond for he is under bond himself but they do anyway they want here and and the people don't seem to even care the shame is that we let it continue Thanks and now I see the lite keep up the good work
Buford C Grizzle   pH=  931-520-0534
4463 south creek road Cookeville TN38506
Believe it or not, this is something someone really wrote us!

Critics of government only cause locals to band together in opposition to the speaker even if the message is true.

             PUTNAM PITY
             Sun, 01 Aug 1999 15:34:18 -0700
             KZULLER <KZULLER@InfoAve.Net>
             Info Avenue Internet
             letters to the editor <putnampit@reporters.net>




Putnam Pit Editor Geoff Davidian could not understand why a reader sent us a letter saying really mean stuff about us and why the reader would tell people who are not here to go away if they don't like it here.  So he asked someone he can trust to answer honestly -- his wife.
Click here for the whole, ugly "Yankee carpetbagger" response.

Christine B. Davidian
Putnam Pit managing editor

Fed up being a patsy for the Power Punks
Construction costs, contractor coziness with officials raise ire of informed reader
From: carl w <cordell_hull@twinlakes.net>
To: putnampit@linkonline.net

The main thing wrong with your Cookeville items is that there isn't enough of them.  I live in Cookeville after living all over the country.  I must say this place is second to none in its political corruption per capita.

The account of one parent's run in with the juvenile truancy issue is all too typical.  My niece had a similar experience with the guy who runs that agency trying to seize her daughter from her.  The guy has mental problems and shouldn't be allowed in 10 miles of a child.  But not only is he around them, he has the right to seize them at will and does so.  The public is largely unaware of what's going on.

Why don't you report on the nexus of power and contracts between J & S Construction, the city council, the hospital board and the state legislators?

Are you aware that the Putnam County Jail cost three times as much as the second jail on the list in the Southeast when it was built on a per bed basis?  This was one of the most corrupt contracts let in a very corrupt city in years.  With the extensive road building we are about the undergo with no citizen input, the corruption of the jail is going to look like a piker compared to what the highway contractors are going to do to us.

Bible-belt hypocrisy
Subject: my on going battle with putnam juvenile court
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 23:21:36 -0500
From: RICHARD AMARAL <ramaral@usit.net>
To: how-i-do-it <putnampit@reporters.net>

Gee, nice to read that the city manager of Cookeville's house hosts parties where adults smoke pot with juveniles. I wonder why i am being charged with contributing to the deliquency of a minor because my daughter switched home schools. Must be that Bible-belt mentallity i guess. See, in Tennessee, if you dont attend a Christian school you are violating the law.

...hummmm..let me see;  smoke pot with kids acceptable no crime, change daughter's school and I'm a criminal. Well, Geoff, the court couldnt
come up with an indictment on me so it got postponded till next month i will keep you informed keep up the good work.

Our Story of home school busts


No one wants to hear the truth
No one wants to hear the truth
Date: Wed, 2 jun 1999 11:53:03 -0700
From: <faithfulreader@tnaccess.com>
To: <putnampit@reporters.net>

Thank you!!! Finally someone can tell the truth about what goes on in a City with small town politics! Most People here turn their heads. No one here seems to want to see or hear the truth. The power hungry politicians, the rich, and Cookeville's police department seem to be able to cover up anything. The people of Cookeville are too afraid to speak up. The cops will bust them, and the judicial system will drill them. Cookeville needs to weed out the good from the bad. But to much money seems to be involved. It is so sad that people can be manipulated by money. Especially when it involves other people's lives! Again, thank you! You do have a faithful reader.

When you go to the doctor do you want to be told how nice your hair looks when you really have a problem that needs immediate attention? If your spouse is critically ill, do you want your doctor to pretend there's nothing wrong because you love your spouse so much? Or do you want to start treatment immediately? Would you thank the doctor for finding the problem? Think about what you'd really want your doctor to tell you if you loved your spouse. Now, think about what you'd really want your newspaper to tell you, then click here.

Subject: great site
Date:  Wed, 03 Mar 1999 10:29:04 -0500
From:  Joe Surkiewicz <bkwriter@people-link.com>
Organization: freelance writer
 To: putnampit@linkonline.net

Are you the future of journalism? I'm banking on it. I'm sitting here in Baltimore, a town that may match the corruption of Putnam County, writing a media watchdog site, Sun Lies/Tracking Pro-Corporate Bias in The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore is one weird fucking city, but you'd never know from the white-bread reporting of The Only Paper in Town.

The Putnam Pit is showing the way for the internet to be something other than a new way to shop for books (or as a showcase for my heartfelt yet pathetic attempts to show how worthless most mainstream reporting is). I've already linked you to my web page and emailed Sonoma State U. about their summer institute for investigative reporting (I'm a reporter, but haven't done the kind of nuts-and-bolts digging it takes to put politicians, bureaucrats and corporate scum on the run--I'm wondering if the Sonoma program would help me). It's like I .F. Stone said: it's all there in writing.
You just gotta read. Thanks for the inspiration.--Joe Surkiewicz

        Your Investigative Reporting
        Wed, 10 Feb 1999 13:25:54 -0500
        Larry Smith <jlaw@bellsouth.net>

Hey, I like this.  We need one of these in Western North Carolina.

Fact is, most every community needs a brave alternative news source to
root out the corruption and ferret out the scoundrels in officialdom.

I went to law school in Knoxville at UT in the seventies and practiced
during the seventies and eighties in Asheville, NC.  The political
stench---making me wonder if there was really any law left---finally
drove me out of the courtroom and back into private life.

I remember reading several years ago in USA Today, a smarmy little
rag, about how arcadian and eminently livable the town of Cookeville
was.  I thought about relocating there once.  I'm glad I didn't.

I was in Knoxville recently and attended court in Knoxville's
municipal courtroom.  What I noticed was that the hearings, which by
the Constitution must be kept public, are held out of the earshot of
the courtroom spectators.  The judge and witnesses huddle, speak
quietly, and even the judgment pronouncements are inaudible.  I wrote
a letter to the Knoxville News-Sentinel complaining about it, but of
course they didn't publish it.  The trend is for insolent bureaucrats
to continue stealing rights and immunities away until they are gone.

Keep up the good work.

Larry Smith

  • My experience in Putnam County Jail

  • By DAVID Q.
  • Justice system needs to be scrutinized as the Looper case proceeds



    Former communications student dislikes
    cookie case ramifications

    Subject: Bold statement from an academic
    Date:  Thu, 18 Dec 1997 10:46:56 -0500
    From: "Jodi Lasky" <j0di@erols.com>
     To: <putnampit@linkonline.net>

    [Subject: Re: Bold statement from an academic
     Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 07:51:51 -0800
     From: Geoffrey Davidian <putnampit@linkonline.net>
     Organization: The Putnam Pit

    Australian wonders about land fraud in Tennessee

    Dumpster-diving reader finds rubbish in O'Mara's cookie position
    Subject: Cookie lawsuit
    Date: Tue., 16 Dec 1997 21:46:39 -0800
    From: "Michael Cary" <mscary@multipro.com>
    Dear Mr. Davidian,

    I usually only read the Herald-Citizen about 2 or 3 times a week.  If I'm lucky I might find a copy every day while I'm 'dumpster diving' for tin cans and other recyclables.  But, when I came across a copy of the H-C dated 11-16-97, I was surprised to find an article about the 'Cookie' lawsuit filed by yourself and the Putnam Pit. Needless to say, I was shocked that the H-C would report on such a controversial issue.

    While Mike O'Mara says, in this article, that cookie files are 'dumped' at the end of each day, I would have to question this practice. Most users don't even know what a cookie file is and in most cases would never even have to deal with a cookie file unless Internet use is extraordinarily excessive.  He also states that "We don't believe they are public records because they are not anything made in the official course of business".  So when are they made, if not in the official course of business?  Cookie files are so small that they probably
    would never have to be 'dumped' to make room for other files anyway.

    Whatever the outcome of this lawsuit is, I feel that you have already been successful in that you have brought this issue to light.  Mr. O'Mara's statements have made him look like a computer non genius.

    Michael Cary

    [Editor's note: Mr. Cary: You don't understand. Mr. O'Mara makes $125 an hour coming up with brilliant positions he can later charge the city to defend. This is about sucking tax money as fast as possible, not cookies. Clearly, if the city doesn't even have cookies, why are they spending thousands of dollars to argue that they shouldn't have to make them public? This is just like the way the city moved the case from Cookeville to federal court in Nashville, so O'Mara could drive all the way there -- at $125 an hour -- to ask that it be sent back to Cookeville. Why won't O'Mara make public proof that the costs he bills the city for are legitimate? Because he doesn't care what anyone thinks so long as he keeps sucking the money out of the treasury. Remember, he made more than $10,000 prosecuting a single speeding ticket. Feel the wind up your leg? That's O'Mara sucking the change out of your pocket. Hold City Manager Jim Shipley and the city council responsible, if this offends you.]

    Government computers should be programmed to not delete browser and Internet files

    Subject: Cookie files
    Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 23:00:40 EST
    From: LowellS460 <LowellS460@aol.com>
    Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)
    To: putnampit@linkonline.net


    Subject:          Great Site
        Date:          Sun, 30 Nov 1997 15:19:21 -0500
       From:          "Billy Wright" <wrightb1@mindspring.com>
         To:          <putnampit@linkonline.net>



    Subject: Whatta site!
    Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 06:48:22 -0600
    From: PAT McJURY <pmcjury@nctc.com>
     Organization:  THE OFFICE CO.
    To: putnampit@linkonline.net


    Subject: Web Site Etc.
    Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 14:33:24 -0800
    From: "Bruce Boyers" <prophet_nestor@email.msn.com>
    To: <putnampit@linkonline.net>

    Dear Putnam Pit,

    Like many others, I heard about you through the CNET report, and then paid
    a lengthy visit to your Web site.

    It takes guts to do what you folks are doing!

    I have an odd similarity to Mr. Norman, which I will briefly go over.

    I grew up in Southern California, mostly in Los Angeles.  When I was 17, my
    mother decided I was incorrigable (truth: I was) and sent me to live with my
    Dad in Goldsboro, North Carolina.  I had never lived outside California,
    and moving to this steamy southern tobacco-farming community was much like
    moving to a different planet.

    This was in 1973.  The schools had only been desegrigated for a year, and
    times were bad.  Tensions were high.  The racial dividing line was still very clear.

    I ended up living in Goldsboro for 3 years before I managed to work my way
    back to Los Angeles.  Lots happened, enough that I've started my own novel on that period of time, much like Mr. Norman.  I work on this novel periodically (I have another that's currently being shopped to publishers that has nothing to do with any of this).

    Having seen this Web site, I sort of wish I'd had the presence of mind to
    do something similar to The Putnam Pit when I lived in Goldsboro.  I certainly
    saw enough.  But then again, I was barely 20 when I left and seriously
    going against the grain in that place could get you killed.

    So, I'm glad somebody's doing it somewhere in the South, at least!  The
    mentality down there can be so unbelievably thick that I never thought such
    an undertaking would be worthwhile.  But it appears you're garnering support for your efforts, and that's grand!

    Regarding your Cookie efforts, I think the law would have to fall on your
    side.  While I've seen some letters to you citing "privacy" issues, these
    computers are public property and paid for by taxpayers.  It's not the same
    as requesting the same records out of somebody's home - we're talking about
    government employees on the clock and what they're doing while they're
    there.  It's the same as requesting other public records, on-computer or
    off.  I doubt, however, you'll get much out of this - as others have
    pointed out, Cookies are very easy to delete.

    Of course, you could hire a skilled hacker who could break in via network when nobody's looking, and perchance swipe these records before anyone can delete them.  But then you wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, I don't guess.

    Anyhow, good job!  I'll be regularly visiting your site to keep up with the


    Bruce Boyers
    Los Angeles, California

          Re: Tennessee cookie suit
               Wed, 5 Nov 1997 14:11:42 -0500
               John Kelly <jkelly@SHELBYNEWS.COM>

    [see cookie suit]

    This is a great idea. I think it's fabulous you're going after this. I for one am watching to see what happens here because of the implications. I am skeptical that you will find anything simply because of the ease of deleting such files. I agree, there is
    little we can do about that. But certainly an empty history folder, cookie folder, internet cache folder, etc. would obviously indicate something was amiss and might be worth reporting. I do agree with you that these are NO DOUBT public records.
    It it is important that we have the ability to track what employees are doing with their time on our (the citizens, residents, taxpayers, et al) dime. What if a government worker, or mayor, or governor, or other public official is surfing porn sites? Is it not a public issue if we paid for the computers, the Internet account, the official's salary, and
    on and on and on? It is.

    I agree that going overboard and conducting witch hunts is not fair, nor feasible. It's not a good use of our time as journalists. But that Mr. Davidian is taking the lead to go after this type of information is positive and praise-worthy. We can make minimizing comments that make his request sound silly now. But what happens when something contained in those files is a key to a major story that serves the public interest. An example escapes me now, but I guarantee that when it happens, we'll be glad to know that someone has set a precedent for us on this.

    When in doubt - ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS - err on the side that something is
    a public record. Surrender nothing on this issue. The burden is on public officials to prove that anything done on public time, with public equipment, with public money and while representing the public OUGHT TO BE PUBLIC.

    Sometimes I wonder if some of us aren't our own worst enemies on public
    records issues.

    John Kelly
    The Shelbyville News

             Sat, 01 Nov 1997 14:17:14 -0500
             Sean McCune <seanm@usa.net>

    I recently learned of your paper and web-site (which I just visited)
    from a news.com web article
    (http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,15871,00.html?dtn.head) about your
    attempt to obtain the cookie files from your local government's PCs
    under the auspices of the state's open records law.  After reading your
    online articles, and some of your editorials, all I can say
    is...bravo...and attaboy!  People should not be obstructed from finding
    out what they're government is doing.  Nor should they be wary of
    speaking their mind ("In the end your silence will not help you.") for
    fear of what their government might do in retaliation.  People should
    *not* fear their government, but rather, to the contrary, government
    should fear the people.  Government officials and workers are supposed
    to be our servants, answerable to us.  Government and the people have a
    contract that stipulates that government must operate within the limits
    defined by the constitution  and other laws, and in return the public
    will respect that government as lawful, and respect and obey its laws.
    But if they step outside their lawful, constitutionally defined bounds,
    then they have broken the contract, and the public then has the right,
    and duty, to ignore that illegal government, form a new one, and
    overthrow the old one, if necessary.  Those are strong, extreme words,
    but the contract we live by, outlined in the Constitution of the United
    States, and the Declaration of Independence, is meant to cover all
    situations, from the vaguely annoying ones like refusing to turn over
    cookie files, to the most extreme ones requiring a complete change of
    government (note that it does not say a change in the form of
    government).  The contract recognizes that power corrupts, and a
    government has power that will quickly corrupt it from the degree of
    being vaguely annoying to the degree requiring its removal.  Its
    unfortunate, but government, be it federal, state, or local, in many
    places across this country today has become nothing but organized crime
    with a flag on the wall, and answerable to no one but itself.

    In response to some critics of you and your paper that have said that
    you don't share "Confederate values", I say the following :  States do
    have rights that limit the power of the federal government, and those
    rights must be safeguarded and the power of the federal government must
    be limited.  But the people have the ultimate rights that limit the
    power of both federal and state and local governments.  Those are the
    rights that must ultimately be defended, and the power of all levels of
    government limited to ensure continued liberty and freedom.  If the
    rights of the people are ignored and infringed upon by government, then
    there is no help or hope for the rights of states.

    Finally, I am from Pittsburgh, so I am a "northerner".  However, I have
    traveled extensively in the south and love it and have always been made
    welcome, especially in Tennessee.  Likewise, I have been host to and/or
    worked with many from the south, and have done my best to make them
    welcome, and show them a great time here in western Pennsylvania.
    Patriots come from everywhere.  I just hope they keep coming.

    P.S.  Pittsburgh has a radio version of your paper that is broadcast
    over the internet as well.  You (and your net readers) might want to
    take a look at the web site of Jim Quinn's morning show at
    http://www.warroom.com.    Each day's show is archived so you can listen
    to it at any time, and on weekdays from 6 AM - 10 AM, Pittsburgh time,
    you can listen to his show live.  The show always starts off with 2
    minutes of news and sports (at the top of every hour), so you have to
    wait a couple of minutes to get to the good stuff.  Quinn has had
    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Pittsburgh several times over the past two
    years to give talks.  I mention this because I noticed you have
    Ambrose's "warning to Americans" letter on your web site.  Keep up the
    good fight.  And remember, patriots come from everywhere, including
    England.  Just hope they keep coming.

    Sean McCune

             TO THE EDITOR http://www.putnampit.com
             Fri, 31 Oct 97 15:06:08 EST
             wesdrawdy@viperlink.com (Drawdy, John W.)
             putnampit@linkonline.net, "Wes Drawdy" <wesd1@juno.com>

    Visited your site (newspaper) today after seeing the story on CNET.  I was
    amused to see you placing the 14th ammendment alongside the first 10 (Bill
    of Rights).  In the South, where people could read, the 14th ammendment was
    enacted at gunpoint after the South lost the Second War for American
    Independence.  (In the GREAT LIE of American History it has been made out
    to be a slavery thing you know.)

    Well, we lost that war the first time but I would offer that if we can
    educate young AGGRESSIVE skulls like yours maybe we will not lose the next
    time and Americans can once more address their problems (many of which you
    enumerate in your last link: A Warning....) with a truly representative
    government.  (One that is local and accountable)

    Anyway, since you are in the South now and seem to want to do good why
    don't you start by getting your history straight, analyzing the meaning of
    the first three sentences of that greatest of documents  - The Declaration
    of Independence - and then educate the masses.  If you would like, let me
    know and I will send you a small educational packet of materials.  Whatever
    you do, don't place those immortal ten alongside the one that enslaved us

    If you deign to lead, you must know.  To paraphrase Hendrix are you
    experienced?  Give it some thought O Enlightened One.

    --Wes Drawdy, South Carolinian

             About cookies
             Thu, 30 Oct 1997 19:32:05 -0500
             Pat Gunn <pgunn01@ibm.net>

    Hello. This message is regarding your recent intentions to
    request the cookies file from government employees' computers.
    According to www.news.com's article about your demand, your
    intention is to use the cookies file as a way to ensure that
    government workers are not visiting non work-related sites. This
    blind trust in the cookies file is probably not wise -- the
    cookies can:
    1) Easily be altered by the users after they visit any
            questionable sites, by opening up the
            cookiefile(s) with a text editor
    2) Be blocked with an intelligent web proxy, such as Internet
            Junkbuster (available at www.junkbusters.com)
    3) Be disabled on most recent versions of Netscape

    I think that now that your request is known, any evidence that
    you might be looking for is likely to be deleted by their network
    administrator, and their network administrator is likely to advise
    the workers to disable cookies and/or is setting up an intelligent
    web proxy (perhaps even a transparent one) that will block all or
    some cookies.

                            Just thought you might want to know.

             Sun, 28 Sep 1997 22:53:16 -0500
             Redbird <Redbird@BLomand.Net>

    Sept. 28,1997

    Dear Editors:

    As a Journalism student at TTU, let me say "You guys RULE!"

    I've just been turned on to your August issue that is available at the Tech
    library and have just visited your website for the first time.  Why haven't
    I heard of this great paper before??  It should be in news stands along
    with the Tennessean, Nashville Banner and Herald-Citizen.

    I wish you continued success in your efforts to reveal the truth to the


    Kevin Brown
    TTU Student

    From - Wed Nov 05 01:01:45 1997 Return-Path: Received: from crusader.narrowline.com ([]) by tango.linkonline.net (Netscape Mail Server v2.0) with ESMTP id AAA14705 for ; Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:25:26 -0700 Received: from ([]) by crusader.narrowline.com (8.8.3/8.8.3) with SMTP id LAA22384 for ; Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:25:06 -0800 (PST) Message-ID: <345A308F.48F3@hotmail.com> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:25:03 -0800 From: Chris Smith X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Macintosh; I; PPC) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: putnampit@linkonline.net Subject: Do you have any idea what you're doing? Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Mozilla-Status: 8003 By subpoenaing the cookie files of government officially, yes, you are examining "the actions of public employees." Good for you. You are also attempting to establish a dangerous judicial precedent, one that would allow cookie files to be used as legal evidence and introduced into courtrooms. This is the functional equivalents of allowing people to be judged or tried on the basis of every book or magazine they ever read, or every movie they ever saw. You have exposed the dark implications of Internet technlogy, the ability to track internet users online behavior, and introduced it as evidence. The only positive thing that might come out of this nusiance lawsuit is that this legal action might force the government and the industry to examine the cookie issue and make a far-reaching decision to protect internet users from any technology that keeps track of their online behavior. Oh, and you might find out that the city manager of a Tennesse town was looking at pornos during work hours - great victory for democracy and the freedom of the press there, you should be proud of yourselves.

             Great Idea
             Wed, 29 Oct 1997 20:28:48 -0800 (PST)
             Dave Wickham <wickhamd@televar.com>

    Suing for access to cookie files as public documents is great.  Why not
    include browser history and cache files?
    I have been working on controlling internet use at the state level and
    be very interested in hearing how you do with this suit.
    If possible please keep me up to date.



    State employee's internet abuse page   http://www.adsnet.net/states.htm

    Dave Wickham
    Cle Elum Wa

             Saw article about you on CNet
             Thu, 30 Oct 1997 23:55:01 -0600
             Jack Fields <sunbeam@hilconet.com>

    I was looking over your site after seeing an article about you on CNet.
    Your 8/9/97 article didn't contain a lot of details but left me
    wondering exactly what happened.  The 4th amendment says, "The right of
    the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
    against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
    the question is visiting a web site an unreasonable search?  If the
    intent of a web site is to attract visitors, where is an expectation of
    privacy?  Was the URL with the warning the 1st part of your site visited
    and did they go past it?

                  Keep up the good work!!
                  Mon, 03 Nov 1997 16:16:46 +0000
                  John Havard <jhavard@zebra.net>

    Got your page from a link on newshub about the lawsuit on "cookies".
    Please keep in mind that these "magic cookies" can be deleted very
    easily - they reside in the cache folder inside the preferences folder
    on a Mac and can be deleted by dragging to Trash. I assume a Windows
    machine handles them in a similar manner so don't be surprised if there
    are no files there when they make the computers available.

    I wish we had a watchdog paper like yours here in Mobile.

    John Havard

                  Re: [Fwd: webpage]
                  Thu, 23 Oct 1997 21:17:35 +1000
                  Timothy &Sandy McDow <shadow@netpci.com>
                  SHADOWMASTER CORP.
                  Geoffrey Davidian <putnampit@linkonline.net>

    I was selecting newspapers to bookmark on my
    web provider.  I am a international distribution analyst speciallizing
    in intrenational maritime trade.  As a fellow "Volunteer", I was looking
    for papers from Tennesse as a home reference (a look at "No where
    America") to contrast with the bussel of everyday chaos.

    One article captured my attention and aroused my political prowness.
    The Guerrilla Law column is really a look at America "gone astray".  Be
    forewarned that Law has inflicted upon the citizens a brotherhood of
    power mogerals who are cruel and deviously self-serving.  Many countries
    in the world have taken the very essence of what the U.S. has stood for
    the past 200 years and restricted any deviations from those principles.
    Australia is now considered to be a better place to live compared to the
    U.S.  How did this happen?  Just look at our justice system and our
    legislature; Who controls and administers these powers of government?
    Police? Lawyers? Politicians? or lobbyists?

    This is due to "Professionalism" in the public service community and not
    mere professional service to the community.  Who said that a Judge must
    be a Lawyer???  It is time we consider the direction we are headed and
    look for more simplistic paths.  The control of government no longer
    resides in the hands of the people.

    U.S. Territory Guam

                  Re: Subscription
                  Mon, 29 Sep 1997 15:53:34 -0700
                  Geoffrey Davidian <putnampit@linkonline.net>
                  The Putnam Pit
                  Jerry Samon <zeke@multipro.com>

    Jerry Samon wrote:
    > Hello,
    > I have been reading your publication, and I find it very interesting.
    > I
    > was wondering if you have a subscription policy.  If so, how do I
    > subscribe
    > and how much?  Thank you
    > Cindy

    Thanks for you interest.
    We are having a rough time because the city is making it hard to get
    public records and we don't know how many more issues there will be. We
    try to be monthly.
    A subscription is $30 for 12 issues.

    send $30 to
    The Putnam Pit
    c/o Chris Grant
    4101 N. Prospect
    Milwaukee, WI 53211

    geoff davidian

                  Re: Your paper
                  Thu, 31 Jul 1997 08:37:04 -0700
                  Geoffrey Davidian <putnampit@linkonline.net>
                  The Putnam Pit
                  Jeanne Schmitzer <jcs4800@tntech.edu>

    Jeanne Schmitzer wrote:
    > Do you print a paper version of your paper, or is it only available via
    > the web? If you print paper versions, where can they be obtained?
    > Thank you
    > Jeanne Schmitzer

    Yes, we print a paper version. You can find a copy of every past Pit at
    the Cookeville Public Library. I think they keep two copies of each in
    the collections office.

    We put them in the post office every so often, but people were stealing
    them and tossing them in the trash.

    If you check the web site from time to time, I post where they are
    available when I publish. I'm working on the July issue now, and I guess
    I'll have to change it to the August issue because I can't keep up with
    all the scandals.

    Geoff Davidian

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