The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on April 29, 1986 · Page 4
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April 29, 1986

The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 4

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Baytown, Texas
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Tuesday, April 29, 1986
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-4-A' THE BAYTOWN SUN Tuesday, April 39, M (EDITORIAL Gun law loses some strength Although an overwhelming vote by the House considerably weakened the federal gun control law enacted after Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated, a ban on interstate handgun sales was retained, making enforcement easier. Reaction to the final bill by law enforcement officials was mixed. Final passage could hamper some parts of criminal investigations, but the law would not create a windfall of illegal weapons among criminals, they emphasized. The crucial vote came as uniformed police officers and lobbyists pursued their aims. It was 286-136 on an amendment. .The House then followed with a 292-130 count that sent the measure to the Senate, which passed a bill in 1985 to permit interstate handgun sales and relax other controls. Senators have the option of accepting the House bill or calling for a House-Senate con- 'ference to fashion a compromise. The House voted 233-184 on a separate amendment that kept the ban on buying handguns across state lines, U.S. Rep, Mickey Leland of Houston voted for the ban on interstate-sales of handguns. He opposed the total handgun bill backed by the National Rifle Association and attacked by law enforcement agency lobbyists. , Another notable provision of the bill prohibits future sale of machine guns. This action stabilized the current number of legally-owned and registered machine guns in the nation at 114,000. Also, the bill would reduce some federal recordkeeping requirements dealers must now comply with. Although some police agencies strongly opposed changes in the gun control law, the Houston Police Patrolmen's Union does not feel the changes will "endanger or inhibit police efforts." Maybe next time, OK? We were expecting a Stradivarius and got a ukulele. Instead of a three-ring circus, we got a calliope that went flat. We were looking for a Rembrandt and got a pawnshop painting. The anticipated cannon roar of the 1812 Overture misfired. Halley's comet — that once-in-a-lifetime event, that flashy visitor from space that comes our way every 76 years — fizzled! The space spectacular that created mass hysteria when it streaked by in 1910 — its last visit — created mass disappointment in 1986. Oh, for astronomers, it was a success. But for those common folk who bought binoculars or telescopes and traveled to special viewing points to see the space traveler, it was like: "Hey, I want my money back." , What happened is that the comet faded and lost most of its tail. The brightness was gone. Don't feel too bad if you missed it. There was the lady Vwho traveled to the heights of the Inca ruins near Cuzco, is eru — considered a prime vantage point. When the mo- 'ient came, she wailed: "That's it? That's all there is? I 4,000 miles to see this crummy little fuzzball?" rom Sun files !956: W.C. Swain elected •o Baytown City Council om the Baytown Sun files, s the way it was: 50 YEARS AGO st night of the Texas Cenal Music Festival at Elms draws a crowd of 7,000. An- eilly portrays the Statue of ty. ney Jewell Palmer, 7-year: son of Mr. and Mrs. J.S. jPimer, presents a piano recital |jB|Houston. He studies at the IfHoaston Conservatory of Music. Macey Casey is hostess to a Klheta Eta Zeta sorority meeting aU the Baytown Community H«se. She serves refreshments to^oe Ann Hopper, Nancy Kroll, Loiise Van Melde'rt, Mary Mar- garefCox and Frances Fry mire. f 30 YEARS AGO W.C. Swain wins the District 4 sea ten the Baytown City Council after-beating H.E. McKee in a runoff election. Swain received 1,249 votes and McKee, 950. Mrs. J.A. Pridmore presents her piano students in a recital at the Baytown Community House. 20 YEARS AGO Jim Cauley becomes president of the Baytown Lions Club. Henry Armstrong will be first vice president; Vernon Myers, second vice president; Bill Strickler, third vice president; George L. Bennett, secretary; E.W. Froehner, treasurer. Bible verse O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp; I myself will awake early. I will praise Thee, 0 Lord, among the nations. Psalms 108:1-3 Jock Anderson Birthday plans strange WASHINGTON - In nearly two years of bureaucratic wheel- spinning, the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution has yet to accomplish anything more substantial than creating an occasional controversy. First the commission angered the press and other interested parties by closing its meetings to the public. Then, as we reported recently, historians were outraged at a commission staff proposal to erect a S150 million monument to the Constitution on the already overbuilt Mail in Washington — even though the precious document's existing repository, the National Archives, is badly in need of repairs. Now the commission is beset by rumors of another strange plan: sending an actual page of the Constitution aloft in the space shuttle. ("To see if it would fly," cracked one bemused rumormonger.) A commission spokesman told our associate Donald Goldberg had no knowledge of such a proposal, but added, "That doesn't mean it didn't happen." National Archives officials acknowledged having heard the bizarre rumor, but no memo or formal proposal was ever received from the commission or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But an internal Archives .memo indicates the idea was taken seriously, if only for a short time. "This is not to say that NASA was not interested in the idea," the memo states in reference to a Dec. 10 interagency meeting sponsored by the commission. "At that meeting a woman representing NASA suggested that her agency might like to borrow a page of the Constitution to send up in the space shuttle. . . . There was no discussion of her offhand remark." According to the Archives memo and interviews with a number of officials, the commission prepared a fall-back position for a spaced-out Constitution : sending posters of the document up in the shuttle if Archives declined to make the real thing available. The proposal almost got off the ground. Commission staffers contacted Archives production officials about the possibility of obtaining 100 copies of the Constitution poster that tourists have been buying for years. The posters would be sent up in the shuttle, then autographed by the astronauts and ''other dignitaries" on the shuttle's return. The signed posters would be distributed to state governors for display in their capitol buildings; commission members would also get copies for their recreation room or office wall. Colortone Press, a Washington printer, was contacted about providing the posters and agreed to do it for free. Unfortunately, the posters are printed on heavy stock, and would have taken up too much room. Officials could not say whether consideration was given to an obvious alternative: printing smaller, lighter posters. Archives officials say that's the last they heard about the aborted project. "To the best of our knowledge," the memo writers stated with evident relief, "that is the extent of (Archives') involvement in the 'Constitution in Space' fiasco." MINI-EDITORIAL: Will wonders never cease? A high Justice Department official has actually admitted that it was a mistake to pay a consultant to read sexually explicit magazines and report on their treatment of children in articles and cartoons. A $734,371 mistake, it was. When we broke the story last year, Justice officials stoutly denied that it was a waste of the taxpayers' money to pay people to read Playboy, Hustler and Penthouse looking for kiddie porn. We're gratified that the bureaucrats have finally come around to our view, but frankly, we'd rather they'd had their second thoughts before spending the money in the first place. Joseph Spear co-authored today's story with United Feature Syndicate columnist Jack Anderson. If, t*°° fr 0 *" 1 Editor and Publisher Fj Fred Homberger Assistant to Publisher ;/ Fred Hartmon Editor and Publisher 1950-1974 A EMTORIAl DEPARTMENT Managing Editor .toon McAnall ' News Editor ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT Bill Comwell Advertising Director atcuunoN Gor V Dob °s Circulation Manager The Boytown Son (USPS 046-180) is entered ot second clou man* 01 the Boytown. Texas Post Office 77522 under the Act o< Congress of March 3. 1879. Published ofterrwom, Monday through Friday and Sundays al 1301 Memorial Drive in Boytown. Twos 77520. Suggested Subscription Rofesi By carrier, $5.25 per montti, 163 00 per y*or; tingle cop* price. 23 cent! Doily, 50 centt Sunday. Moil ratet on request Represented nottorvXry by Coastal F. POSTMASTER: Send address changes so THE BAYTOVW SON, P.O. Ban 90, Boytown, T«. 77522 ii emitted exclusively to Itte UM for republtcotion to any newt dispatches credited to it or ** PO»W a™* loeo< "*•" <* tpontoneous origin published herein. Rights of republicotion "**** n»™tn on otto ret»rv«d. The Bayiown Sun rrtoim nationally known syndicates whose writers' uMd throughout tfie n»w«poper. Them or* times when these ankles do not reflect The Sun's MAKE WM8W tO BOXES 7004X7 5ECRPT FORMULA? HALF S06AR, HALF SAWDUST AND A HALF &1LLIOM BUCKS IN TV TIME' Today in history By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS On April 29, 1945, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Germany, where tens of thousands of people had perished. In 1429, Joaa of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans to lead a victory over the English. In 1861, Maryland's House of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union. In 1862. New Orleans fell to Union forces during the Civil War. In 1894. several hundred unemployed men known as Coxey's Army swarmed into Washington to ask Congress for help. In 1913, Swedish-born engineer Gideon Sundback of Hoboken, N.J., patented the zipper. Ten years ago: Officials of the Mormon Church said a handwritten will purportedly made six years earlier by the late billionaire Howard Hughes had been found. William Rusher Stalin induced 1932-33 famine NEW YORK — As the 20th century draws to a close, it become apparent that it is going to have the unenviable distinction of being one of the bloodiest on record. Technology'is partly to blame: Killing people in really large numbers is simply easier today than it used to be. But the real villain is politics, which has raised up in our time a series of monsters — Hitler, Stalin and Mao, just for starters — for whom the deaths of millions of human beings were simply an inevitable by-product of their policies. Precisely which of these men was the champion mass murderer of the century (and quite possibly of ail time) depends on how you count. Does one include only deaths deliberately induced, or shall we also count those that occurred without a specific intention to induce them but nevertheless as a traceable and predictable consequence of certain actions? Finally, do we compare only raw numbers of deaths or is pre- emirience accorded on the basis of the proportion of a total national population destroyed? (In which case the palm may go to Pol Pot, the Cambodian communist, who slaughtered at least a million, and more probably 2 or 3 million, of his approximately 8 million fellow countrymen in and after 1975.) Taken all in all, however, the winner of this gruesome derby is probably Mao Tse-tung, who was responsible, over his long and busy life, for the deaths of somewhere between 20 and 50 million people — depending, as aforesaid, on how you count. But let us narrow the focus to include only deaths deliberately induced. Who was the biggest first-degree murderer of them ail? Hitler's claim on the title is an impressive one, resting of course upon his "final solution" of the "Jewish problem"; the Holocaust, in which an estimated 6 million European Jews perished in concentra- tion camps of starvation, disease and/or deliberate gassing But evidence only gradually coming to light suggests that Stalin may have edged Hitler out. According to an article by Peter Paluch in the Aprill 11 issue of National Review, the famine deliberately induced by Stalin in the Ukraine in 1932-33 (because the peasants were stubbornly resisting his collectivization policy) resulted in "the systematized murder of 7 million human beings in less than a year, 3 million of them children under the age of 7. That is the conservative figure." This, mind you, does not include the Ukranian kulaks whose resistance had earlier led to their "liquidation as a class" by deportation to Siberia, in the course of which "some millions" (to quote the Encyclopedia Britannica) died. The induced famine of 1932-33 came later, and was aimed at peasant families of a poorer class Interestingly, the very occurrence of the Ukranian famine was flatly denied at the time by sycophantic Westerners like Walter Duranty, The New York Times correspondent in Moscow and also coolly disregarded by the U.S. government, which was preparing to recognize the U.S.S.R. diplomatically. Thereafter it fell into the ruck of history, where (needless to say) the Soviet Union is at great pains to see that it stays. Fortunately a 55-minute Canadian film about the famine called "Harvest of Despair," won not only the gold medal for TV documentaries but the Grand Award Trophy Bowl for best film of all at the 28th International Films & TV Festival of New York last Nov. 15. Despite this, no American network has yet seen fit to air this devastating documentary of the world's greatest act of genocide- a crime, as Malcolm Muggeridge wrote at the time, "so terrible that people in the future will scarcely be able to believe it ever haDnen- ed." ^ William Rushes' writes for the Newspaper Enterprise Association. .Nomet will be withheld upon reouett (or good and sufficient right to excerpt letters Berry's World I'D ®1«MbyNEA. toe "AH in favor of keeping our hip, happy image, say 'aye.'" Readers 7 views To The Sun: On behalf of the intermediate math teachers at Harlem Elementary, I would like to thank the community for helping to make our Math-a-thon a success. Our students raised over $2,300 for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. They solicited pledges for each math problem that they worked in a funbook. Special thanks go to the following students who raised over $100 each: Kim Bryant, Cleve Ford, Yuciana Lavigne, Damon Ott, Heather Urban and Holly Webb. We appreciate the generosity 1 of the Skate Machine for donating passes to the top money-raisers and giving discounts to all participants. Thanks also to Incredible Edibles for contributing towards refreshments for the skaters. We wish to thank parents for supporting their children in such a fine project. Most importantly, thanks to the students who participated in Math-a-thon this year. We hope your contributions will make life better for others. Joan Linares Malh-a-thon Coordinator Harlem Elementary

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