The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on October 13, 1993 · Page 36
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 36

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Wednesday, October 13, 1993
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Opinion WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 13, 1993 THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS 5-C Proposition 2 unique in protecting jobs, the environment Jobs and the environment are issues that affect everyone. Millions of Texans work in large and small businesses that discharge pollutants into the environment. More that 8 million of us live in areas that do not meet federal clean air standards. We all want economic opportunity for ourselves and our children, but not at the expense of clean air and water. Our governments must balance the needs of a strong and growing economy with those of a dean and healthy environment. That balance is difficult to strike. However, this November Texas voters can help us achieve job protection without sacrificing environmental protection. With broad, bipartisan support and the endorsements of organized labor, business, environmental groups and a wide variety of state and local officials, the Texas Legis- lature has submitted a constitutional amendment aimed at making it cheaper for businesses to install government-mandated pollution control equipment. Without this equipment, some businesses may be forced to close down or lay off workers. Putting people in unemployment lines is not the best way to clean up the environment. Proposition 2 can help us avoid that. For example, a typical auto body and paint shop will have to spend about Guest Column Mike Martin $120,000 to comply with new federal dean air laws. This expenditure will not allow the business to repair more cars or make more money, so coming up with the money needed to buy pollution control equipment is extremely difficult. For more than 380 auto body shops in the Houston-Galveston area, the choice is between finding the money or going out of business. The same is true for dry cleaners, bakeries, hospitals, printers and thousands of other small businesses. This is where Proposition 2 comes in. P^position 2 authorizes a limited exemption from local property taxes for pollution control equipment that is required by federal law. In the case of the typical body shop, Proposition 2 means that part of the cost of pollution control equipment won't be taxed in the future, easing the burden of environmental compliance on businesses, -'SoAMSAlPTO FIRST TO lose A WAR I " AH SMJ>. *» KNOWS ^ ,„„,- IT WAS as well as their employees and customers. By giving business even a small incentive to install pollution control equipment, we are preserving jobs and strengthening environmental protection. Proposition 2 does not diminish the current tax base. It would exempt only that pollution control equipment installed on or after Jan. 1,1994. No property that is currently being taxed will be removed from the tax rolls. By keeping people in business and property value on the tax rolls, Proposition 2 actually protects local tax bases in the years to come. Imagine the economic devastation that the loss of a single refinery could cause to our area. Proposition 2 will help protect those jobs. Thirty-three other states already have adopted similar tax exemption provisions. Since we compete with those states for new businesses, Proposition 2 is essential to help Texas stay on a level playing field with other states. Jobs are critical, but are not the only issue. Proposition 2 is the one and only constitutional amendment on the ballot that promotes cleaner air and water. We live in an area that has severe air pollution problems. In fact, Harris and Galveston counties are under strict mandates from the federal government to reduce air pollution. If we don't move quickly to reduce air emissions, future economic growth in this area will be stunted. Measures like Proposition 2 are absolutely vital to keep our dynamic economy growing. Proposition 2 is good for the economy and for the environment. It deserves your vote on November 2. Mike Martin is a. state representative from Galveston. It's not easy being the world's cop By WALTER R. MEARS Associated Press WASHINGTON — By now, the warning has become a cliche: The United States must not ,and will not become the world's policeman. But saying it doesn't make it so. Successive presidents, their diplomats and leaders in Congress have repeated the denial almost word for word while accepting, unavoidably, a world role that doesn't quite fit the dis- daimers. There is no easy way out because, as retired U.N. Ambassador Vernon Walters observes, while the United States shouldn't be the world's policeman, he would not want to live in a world with no police at all. Still, police officers don't get to pick the alarms they answer. U.S. policy-makers can, and President Clinton has told the United Nations that it must know when to say no if Americans are to say yes to worthy peacekeeping missions. On his terms, that must indude answering a dear threat to peace, with set and well-defined objectives, a firm timetable and end point, and financing that doesn't leave all the bills for Washington. With that list of conditions, plus the need for congressional support, the administration will always have grounds to refuse a role in a U.N. mission. But outright refusal is increasingly difficult for the only superpower in the post- Cold War world. "The United States cannot be the world's policeman, but also cannot turn a blind eye to the world's problems," Clinton said earlier in the Somali operation. In presidential farewell, George Bush renounced the policeman's role, saying it is supported neither at home nor Analysis abroad — but adding that the United States must promote democratic peace because there is no one else to do so. The admonition and the assignment are not easily put together. When U.S. troops are committed abroad, so too is the prestige of the United States, its full faith and credit, in the words of former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. The commitment doesn't hinge on the numbers; recall President John F. Kennedy's description of the outnumbered U.S. garrison in West Berlin during a 1961 Cold War crisis as hostage to America's intent to defend the city. The latest U.S. mission, to Haiti, stirred political misgivings and congressional criticism even before Monday when the landing of about 170 Americans was put off because another vessel took their pier while a gang of toughs disrupted arrival arrangements on shore. That apparently was sanctioned by the military regime that is supposed to be yielding power next month. About 700 Americans are due to be part of that UN. operation, most of them training and engineering specialists. Some members of Congress warn that the mission could put lightly aimed Americans in a very dangerous situation, might embroil them in another police action. Sen. Bob Dole, the Republican leader, complained that the operation did not follow the four conditions Clinton had just set at the United Nations, and said it ought to be dropped. The administration said the Haiti mission involves important U.S. interests, induding the risk of another flood of boat people seeking American asylum unless a stable, democratic government takes charge. It is a training and reconstruction assignment. But the lines are fine ones. Secretary of State Warren Christopher demanded the Haitian army help, not hinder, the UN. "mission for peace." But the same statement carefully noted that Americans were not being sent to "perform a peacekeeping mission." And, as critics point out, the original Somalia mission was famine relief, not peacemaking or pacification. The administration had offered to send American troops to Bosnia to join an international effort to enforce a cease-fire, if the civil warring sides agree upon one. Dole said the Somalia crisis probably precludes that unless Clinton makes a compelling case he hasn't heard yet. The U.S. forces in Somalia are part of a 30- nation U.N. force, but Clinton pointed out the linchpin role the United States takes when it becomes part of such operation. "Make no mistake aboutit, if we were to leave Somalia tomorrow, other nations would leave too," Clinton said. "Chaos would resume, the relief effort would stop and starvation soon would return. "Our own credibility in world affairs would be undermined at the very tame when people are looking to America to help promote peace and freedom in the post-Cold War world," he said. That points to the difficulty of defining the U.S. role while denying that it is to police the world. Walter R. Mears, vice president and columnist for The Associated Press, has reported on Washington and national politics for more than 30 years. Today in History TV has been made a scapegoat for violence "Assassination," wrote George Bernard Shaw, "is the extreme form of censorship." Congressional hearings and bills dealing with violence on television are far more palatable forms of censorship, but their intent and end results are the same: the suppression of freedom of speech. Censorship by intimidation eventually achieves the same goals as censorship by assassination. The former just takes a little longer. As a father — and a rather conservative one at that—I fully support efforts to prescribe social conduct. As a journalist, I oppose any effort to constrain the fullest expression of free speech, even when it deeply offends and pains me. Yet, one law of history is immutable: Every social ill has demanded a scapegoat, from the witches in Salem to teen-agers. For todays rampaging violence, television has been designated as the scapegoat. "And yet when men ceased to believe in witches, they ceased to be," wrote Theodore Schroeder. Today's witch is television violence, according to many right- wing conservatives. Joined by violent witch-seeking members of Congress, right- wing voices are sabotaging the First Amendment with McCarthyian ferocity. One of the more surprising finger-pointers is Sen. Paul Simon, D-I11., author of the Television Violence Act of 1990. Before his election to the Senate, Simon had built a distinguished career as a journalist, author and staunch advocate of the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. _ But carrying Simon's legislation initiative to its logical con- dusion would birth a Movie Violence Act, a Newspaper Violence Act, a Magazine Violence Act, a School Textbook Violence Act, a Teen-Age Violence Act, a Rap Lyrics Violence Act and a Police Brutality Violence Act. To single out television programs as the sole culprit for today's spate of violence is tantamount to blaming the full moon for accelerated sexual activity. Ironically, television has been both scapegoated and idolized. Since the late 1940s, 3,000 con- Chuck Stone tradictory reports on television's effect on viewers found that TV led to hyperactivity among children, passivity among children, viewers' isolation, comfort for the lonely, family disintegration and family togetherness. Unfortunately, we must accept the fact that violence is omnipresent in our society, and that it stems from many sources. The violence-prone can find therapeutic fulfillment in Miami's television station, WSVN. The station saturates its violence-loving viewers with what a Wall Street Journal headline described as "corpses, blood and sex." In the gore-splattered headlines of supermarket tabloids, violent impulses get a cathartic airing. Even two pages of my favorite newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily News, featured two facing pages of carnage-ridden headlines: "6th Suspect Held in Killing of Friend," "His Killers Poured Salt in His Wounds," "Life for Killer," "Parent-Killing Brothers' Trial Opens." Gone to the movies lately? "Hard Target," "The Fugitive," "Final Friday," "A Bronx Tale" and "Warlock" are among the current offerings. We've got so many cinematic terminators out there that they almost bump into each other in their respective plots. Now, factor in the rhetorical violence of rap lyrics, the officially sanctioned, unlawful violence of cops in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York and Miami. And don't forget that all of you patronizers of artistic violence and apologists for official violence play your part. Television cannot be absolved of blame for America's violence. But neither is it solely responsible for the violent disintegration of America's civility. Chuck Stone is a syndicated columnist. Letters to the Editor Thought for Today: 1 do not prize the word cheap. It is not a badge of honor... it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods- cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country!" — President William McKinley (1843-1901). constitution. In 1943, during World War II, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner. In 1960, Richard Nixon and John Kennedy participated in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign, with Nixon in Hollywood, Kennedy in New York. In 1962, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," by Edward Albee, opened on Broadway. In 1977, Vice Admiral James Stockdale, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, became president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Today's Birthdays: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is 68. Singer-musician Paul Simon is 52. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 44. 1 Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Oct. 13, the 286th day of 1993. There are 79 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Oct. 13th, 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia. On this date: In A.D. 54, Roman emperor Claudius I died, after being poisoned by his wife, Agrippina. In 1775, the United States Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet. In 1843, the Jewish organization B'nai B'rith was founded in New York City. In 1845, Texas ratified a state Islander had role in historic raid Chas. G. Dlbrell Jr. Galvsston I was saddened to read in your Sept. 29 edition of the death of Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, the World War II hero who led the courageous bombing raid on Tokyo, Japan, on April 18,1942. I was especially proud to learn upon my return home after the war that my good friend and fellow Galvestonian, Billy Fitzhugh, was the co-pilot of the first plane to follow Gen. Doolittle off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on that historic raid. Fortunately, after dropping their bombs on Tokyo, Bill Fitzhugh and his pilot crash landed their plane in a rice paddy in an unoccupied area of China and returned home uninjured. An exact replica of the B-25 bombers used on that historic raid is on exhibit at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Scholes Field here in Galveston. I recommend that you go have a look. Clinton asking for more than he gave John and AnneTrevathan Galvsston This morning's (Oct. 5) headlines read "U.S. Deaths Mounting in Somalia, More troops to go." Have we lost our collective minds, or at least lost our memories? Better the headlines should read "60's revisited, here we go again." It is little consolation to the tens of thousands of dead and maimed soldiers and the millions who still grieve, but at least the entry into Vietnam was presided over by a chief of state, Kennedy, who had served his country when asked. Now our finest youth are being sent to a filthy desolate desert to be slaughtered and their bodies drug through the streets. They are being captured and tortured and treated like animals. And who is sending them? A chief of state who would not do the same when asked by his country. Don't be quick to buy a bridge W.D. Brooks L&Marqua Remember when the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation was wrestling with the notion of spending millions of dollars to build a bridge from Galveston to Port Bolivar and thus eliminate the ferries? I, for one, well remember the time, because a bridge is all they were hell bent on building, until this question appeared in The Galveston Daily News. The upgrading of the ferry service was accelerated without hesitation, and the bridge idea was thrown out the window. Write us ... The Galves'on Daily News welcomes tetters o! up to 150 words on any public fesua. Wa pubEsh only original mai addressed to The Galvsston Daily Ne\vs bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Those who write letters are asked to imft their entries to one a month. All tetters and guest columns are subject to editing. The Daily Naws reserves Ihe right to refuse to pubFsh any letter. Mail fetters to: Letters to the Editor The Gatvsston Daily News P.O. Box 628, Gatveston, Texas 77553 Fax: 744-6268 CompuServe: 76440,3467

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