The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on October 15, 1993 · Page 6
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 6

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Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 15, 1993
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Page 6
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OPINION Friday, October 15,1993 Les Daughtry—_.„.„.. —..Editor and Publisher Emeritus Dolph Tillotson JEditor and Publisher Doug Toney~ . --.--Managing Editor r Editorials -— ——•—-—-—Poison Side favoring isle anti-lead rules has the stronger case L ead poisoning. It can cause irreversible brain damage. The havoc lead poisoning creates among affected children is frightening. In the past 18 months, 270 cases of lead poisoning were reported in Galveston County. All those diagnosed as having lead poisoning were under the age of 10. Even more startling is that 80 percent of the lead poisonings reported in Galveston County was in children under 5 years of age. What should be of paramount concern for all of us is that health officials believe the actual number of children suffering from lead poisoning is much higher. Most children haven't been tested for lead poisoning. Children with lead poisoning are six tunes more likely to have learning disabilities. These same children are seven times more likely to drop out of high school. Children and parents shouldn't have to worry about lead poisoning. The majority of lead that is poisoning our children according to the experts, is from paint manufactured before 19 / 8. In an older city such as Galveston, that makes the issue of lead poisoning and how to protect ourselves particularly crucial. The experts say at least 90 percent of the lead poisoning m Galveston is a result of lead-based paint. The paint, when it's sanded or scraped, contaminates the nearby soil vegetation and air. An amount of lead equivalent to three grains of table salt ingested every day is enough to cause brain damage. The Galveston City Council is considering an ordinance designed to protect children from lead poisoning. The proposed ordinance would regulate how lead-contaminated paint would be removed from structures. It would escalate the cost of painting a home. A line has been drawn in the sand over this proposed ordinance. The most vocal supporters of the ordinance are mothers of poisoned children. On the other side of the line is the Galveston Realtors Association, a group that represents real estate brokers and salespersons. The moms of these children plead for a responsible approach to protecting those who are least accountable for the world around them — our children. A spokesman for the local real estate industry says the ordinance would cause the cost of repainting a house to skyrocket, resulting in unkempt homes and deteriorating neighborhoods. The issue of the economic hardship created if the ordinance passes is a real one. The economic obligations of property owners seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. But the collective moral obligation to the future of our children, and their children, outweighs the immediate economic hardships. The immediate and long-term impact of the economic hardship on the real estate market and property owners will.pale when compared to the long-term costs associated with children who are impaired or.unable, because of learning disabilities, to live normal, productive lives. It's pay now or pay significantly more later. The City Council should pass the ordinance and send a message to our community, especially to our children that we take our responsibility to them seriously. It's a matter of stewardship and a matter of setting an example. ^^ How can we expect our children to feel a sense of obligation in taking care of their elders if we elders ignore our obligation to care for them. A strong ordinance to protect our children from further lead poisoning is necessary. The council should avoid any efforts to weaken the ordinance. It's the right thing to do. Water bonds Voters encouraged to back both issues on WCID ballot T wo issues are on the ballot Nov. 2 for taxpayers within Dickinson's Water Control and Improvement District No. 1. Both merit approval. The first item is a $9 million bond issue to replace utility Hues along FM 517 as part of a road-widening project being done by the state Department of Transportation. The project extends along FM 517 from Interstate 45 to Gum Bayou, Water and sewer lines would be repaired or replaced as needed. Water district officials say the sewer replacements would reduce dramatically the system's difficulties handling excessive rainfall. They also would bring ttie district into compliance with new, stricter federal mandates. The second proposition is a 5-cent maintenance tax for the water district's sanitary sewer system. Voters are encouraged to approve both items. Today's editorials were written by Doug Toney, managing editor, and Wanda Garner Cash, mainland editor of The Galvestoa Daily News. 20 million Rush fans must be right The Limbaugh Phenomenon roars on, and worried liberals are screwing up their courage to do something about it. Unfortunately the wretch refuses to give them any valid reason to attack him. He isn't any brand of bigot, and hasn't molested any children. Even his economic policies, far from being wacky or simplistic, are distressingly orthodox. All he does is beat liberals and liberalism over the head, hour by hour and day after day, with a quicksilver mixture of facts, fun and fury. But this man's three-hour radio talk show, broadcast five days a week, is heard in the course of a week by 20 million Americans. Indeed, at any given moment there are 4.5 million people listening to him. Add to that a 30-minute late-night TV talk show with 300,000 viewers and a hard-cover book that has sold over 2 million copies and is rounding out its first year on The New York Times best-seller list, and you begin to see the liberals' problem. _ It was thus almost predictable that congressional Democrats would try to make a run at Limbaugh under the banner of the Fairness Doctrine. And sure enough, bills have now been introduced in both the House and the Senate that would make the Fairness Doctrine the law of the land. The Fairness Doctrine has been around for over 40 years. Noting that the number of radio and TV channels were limited, and therefore William Rusher had to be parceled out by the federal government, the Federal Communications Commission decreed in 1949 that electronic media (unlike print media) must not only "devote a reasonable amount of time to the coverage of controversial issues of public importance" but "do so fairly by affording a reasonable opportunity for contrasting viewpoints to be voiced on these issues." The implicit threat was loss of a license to broadcast. At that time, and for decades thereafter, extreme leftists and ordinary conservatives — both largely ignored by the regnant liberal TV networks — found the Fairness Doctrine useful. Phyllis Schlafly, for one, acknowledged that she could never have won her long battle against the Equal Rights Amendment without the access to the airwaves that it afforded her. Opposition to the doctrine came from libertarians (opposed, as always, to any governmental restrictions) and the liberals (who thought the electronic media were doing just fine). In 1987 Congress passed a law codifying the Fairness Doctrine — only to have it vetoed by President Reagan, who sided with its libertarian critics. The recent proliferation of cable TV channels, he pointed out, had rendered any such law unnecessary — and besides it was probably unconstitutional. There the matter rested until Sen. Ernest Rollings, D-S.C., and Congressman John Dingell, D-Mich., recently introduced new bills to write the Fairness Doctrine into law. The legal effect of such a law would be to require radio stations that now carry Rush Limbaugh to make equal time available to liberals to counter him. Of course, such programs would exist already if there were enough willing listeners (and thus commercial sponsors) to support them. But, since there aren't, many stations would be forced to drop Limbaugh rather than run three hours a day of liberal bushwah that nobody wants to listen to or sponsor. Neat, eh? ^ All this, mind you, is justified in the name of "fairness," on the ludicrous theory that the American people are being denied a chance to hear the liberal point of view! Imagine — the vast barrage of liberal propaganda that blares out at us from our TV sets every morning and every night, from every network, is somehow not being heard by the American people, so Rush Limbaugh must be muscled off the air lest his counter-barrage prove too persuasive. Give me a break. William Rusher is a syndicated columnist. Looking Back 50 years ago Oct. 15, 1943 — Texas is one of the 38 states yet to be completely mapped, with charts of photographs of the shape and elevation of land surface, streams and drainage, the location and extent of cities and towns, roads, dams and forests. This was disclosed in a report of Dr. William Wrather, director of the geological survey, made public fay the Interior Department. 25 years ago Oct. 15, 1968 — The Supreme Court in effect held Monday that a Dallas high school principal was within his rights in barring three pupils unless they cut their Beatle- type locks. Justice William O. Douglas, who wears his hair on the long side, dissented and was alone in supporting the youths. Turning on the news helps make news By WALTER MEARS Associated Press WASHINGTON — In this television series, every episode is a crisis — and real. Calculated anti-American thuggery in Haiti, a slain soldier dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, shellfire in Moscow, the agony of Sarajevo; the shared images are instant, their imprint more lasting. It does have an impact on U.S. policy, said Mack McLarty, the White House chief of staff. Televised images of the starving in Somalia were a factor when the U.S. relief operation there was launched 10 months ago. That "daily, graphic and heart-rending television footage," said Sen. Sam Nunn, contributed significantly to President Bush's lame- duck decision. Then, after the Mogadishu street battle that killed 18 U.S. soldiers, the TV images of dead and captured Americans began "fueling calls for an abrupt and immediate pullout," he said. "So television is having a very powerful effect," the Georgia Democrat said, but its images cannot be allowed inadvertently to dictate when or where US. forces deploy or withdraw. "The latest video shots" can't become the basis for decisions, said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. Let that happen and the outcome could be U.S. missions that "simply follow the TV cameras wherever they may go," Nunn added. Still, the images are indelible. Those of Soma- Doonesbury Analysis Us celebrating U.S. casualties and dragging the body of a dead American stirred demands for withdrawal from a mission that began, also on television, as a humanitarian effort. Clinton said at the time that the scene "curdles the stomach... really makes me angry." His response was to send reinforcements for a mission he said would be completed and ended by March 31, a deadline that may be advanced to deal with pulloufc pressures in Congress. The resistance of Haiti's military-police powers to the U.N. effort to foster democracy there was dramatized, and televised, on Monday when armed gangs were allowed to prevent the landing of a U.S. training contingent. Clinton put off that mission. In these foreign crises, communications technology sends into the living room the kind of information that would have been beamed back only to the White House Situation Room in another era. Now Americans watch it along with the people who make policy. "We are following events moment by moment," Clinton said Oct. 3, as CNN broadcast live television of the Moscow attack on hard-line holdouts in the Russian parliament building. "As you know, we have access to television coverage there, so you are also pretty current on it." Anthony Lake, Clinton's national security adviser, said the TV pictures from Somalia "helped make us recognize that the military sit- AS YOU R£TURN 10 YOUKHOSPfTAVTY SUITED, YOU TAKZ WITH YOU THE REPUTATION OF TH5 WHOLE U5. NAVY, IHOF5 YOU'it- BEAK THAT IN MINP,,, uation in Mogadishu had deteriorated in a way that we had not frankly recognized." Lake also told USA Today it is frustrating that American foreign policy "seems to be denned by the crisis or even the photograph of the day" instead of fundamental goals. "This worldwide coverage, the CNN coverage all of the technology today I think has made an impact," chief of staff McLarty said Wednesday. T don't think it's controlling foreign policy but it certainly is an element." ^ C o^ TW ? S answerin g viewer questions on C-SPAN, the cable network that televises Congress And that, in turn, has an impact on policy at home. In a Senate speech earlier this month advocating an end to the U.S. presence in Somalia ben. Robert Byrd said he didn't want it "misunderstood by those viewers who are watching through those television cameras that anybody here is advocating cutting and running." At home, House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt said, the new media technology is testing deliberative democracy. Sound bites TV spots and fleeting visual images on multiplying cable TV channels can supplant reasoned debate, he said. "We must not let information overwhelm knowledge, and pictures and sound bites masquerade as wisdom," he said. "It is time, as perhaps never before, to report, to talk and to televise sense to the American people." Walter R. Mears is vice president and columnist for the Associated Press. •™"^^*^*"^™™*""»«»««^«»MW^WW^™* BY GARRY TRUDEAU NOT THAT I'M OFPO55OTO FUN! HBCK, I'M NO 5JIWAIG5K TOH16H JINKS. THBR^tV&^lOB OF $H5NAN/6AN$ PURIN& TH£ 6ULFWAR, BUT W& KN&U WHERB TO DRAW TH& LIN5 ' HOW MAW HERB UHUBR5TAHD THAT NAVAL AVIATORS ARB NffT 6OP5,

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