New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 15, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels Herald-Ze/Yivng Thursday, August 15,1985
v 3^ %te Williams
NAT IOM AL ALAR IVIE R
4. VR. OLD GIVES BIRTH TO SIAMESE TWINS WITH BOK GEORGE TATTOOS
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SAY WHERE ARE THE GIRLIE
WE KEEP THEM BEHIND THE COUNTER.'
BECAUSE THE COVERS ARE , DISTASTEFUL J
What's Your Beef?
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If you idea appears in “What’s Your Beef?”, we’ll give you credit in the cartoon.
Dave Kramer, Editot and Genii al A Itmuger Susan Haire, G.juiJg;’ V '
It figures that the feds want it all
Pornography is business and should be attacked as such
WASHINGTON - During this past term the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled one more time with the problem of defining pornography. The court lost. It was not its finest hour.
The case was Brocked v. Spokane Arcadez, decided June 19. The opinion provides fresh confirmation of a view I often have expressed — that the way to get at the evils of pornography is not through laws that punish pornography.
Every attempt to define and to punish “obscenity” results in a march into the murky swamps of the First Amendment. So it was in the case at hand.
In 1982 the state of Washington adopted a “moral nuisance” law.
The act undertakes to punish the sale or exhibition of “lewd matter.”
The statute says that lewd matter is synonymous with obscene matter, and it defines obscene matter as matter that, on the whole, appeals to
a “prurient” interest in sexual acts. Finally, the act defines prurient matter as “that which incites lasciviousness or lust.” Note the “or lust.”
Four days after the statute became effective, a group of dealers in x-rated stuff brought suit in a U.S. District Court to enjoin enforcement.
Case wound up in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the statute was found unconstitutionally overbroad. The court’s reasoning was that the word “lust” could have two meanings. There is the bad kind of lust, which arouses shameful or morbid desire. But there is also “good old-fashioned, healthy” lust. Material that merely arouses a “wholesome, human reaction” is protected by the First Amendment.
After all, the circuit court observed, if everything that aroused merely normal lust were declared illegal, the next step would be to prosecute dress designers, per
fumers and manufacturers of soft drinks, soap suds and automobiles.
Defining prurient in terms of lasciviousness “or lust.” the Washington legislature had fatally erred.
Consider the different approach now being tested in California. The legislature in 1982 enacted a law that mandates a three-year prison sentence for hiring people to perform sex atis.
Pornography is a big business, estimated by the Los Angeles Times to produce outlays of $550 million a year in Los Angeles alone.
There is no way that these films can be defended in the name of their literary or artistic merits, for they have none.
They tend to rot the social fabric, as Hie Supreme Court said some years ago, and society is not compelled by the Constitution to tolerate them.
In carrying an attack against the evil, California's approach beats Washington’s by a mile
The Herald Zeitung welcomes the opinions of its readers, and we’re flappy to publish letters to the editor.
All letters to the editor should be signed and authorship must be verifiable by telephone. Anonymous letters will not be published.
Send your letter to: Mailbag, New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 361, New Braunfels Texas, 78131. letters may also be hand delivered to tile newspaper offices at 186 S. Caste!!.
It’s been a long time since I last saw “The Treasure of Sierra Madre,” the classic Bogart film But the voice conies to mind w hen I read about the adventures of Mel Fisher, the dreamer who wouldn’t give up until he found the great Spanish treasure on the ocean fluor Not that Fisher ha mu< I u common with the personality I- red C Dobbs, the Bogart character, who went into the mountains of Mexico to hunt fora legendary lost gold mine Bogart was obsessed, as is Fisher But his obsession was based on a greed that finally drove him mad Fisher, by most accounts, is a genuinely nice guy who scents driven more In the joy and adv enture of the search as by the promise ut great wealth.
But there is one similarity to the stories of Fred C. Dobbs and Fisher Ifs found in vtllians who threatened to steal wliat they had found
In the case of Dobbs, the vilhans were the local banditos, who weren’t sure w hat Dobbs and his companion had. but they wanted it and were willing to use their guns to get it In Fisher's ease, the vilhans have been the governments of the state of Florida and the United States of America, whose weapons are lawbook*, lawsuits. wnLs, motions, appeals and other weapons tluit can be far nastier titan any pistol Florida came first Almost from the beginning of Fisher’* search, more than two decades ago, state lawyers made a decision that borders on the looney.
They decided that anything Fisher found belonged to the state of Florida because* it was til waters that they considered to be* under the state's jurisdiction.
Now, none of these lawyers liad ever sunk all of their savings into a boat, pleaded with investors for funds, put on a diving suit and gone to the bottom of the sea to look for lost Spanish gold None had risked their lives in storms, liad a boat capsize under them, seen a son and a daughter-in-law die* during the search.
Until Fisher came along, and
Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510
began making scattered finds, die lawyers probably shared the belief of most people that the search for the legendary Spanish treasure was a fool’s dream But as soon as Fisher showed there* was gold to Im* found, they jumped right in
Not in the water, though In the courtroom.
They were representing the state of Florida Which means the people, not the gators or chiggers, were their clients.
But if the lawyers had bothered to ask the first HH) people they met on the street one simple question, they would have known what their clients
Die question would have been There is this man who. on his own and with nt» help from die government. is going out into the ocean ami risking his life looking for hist treasure lf Ik* finds it. do you think that y ou are entitled to a share'’"
The answer would have surely been “ Are you crazy' Hell no. If he's got the moxie to look for it. why should we steal it from hun?"
But they didn t ask And armed with dieir yellow legal pads ami fountains pens, they did all they could to heist Fisher's funis Tile* Ihlhnger gang was never more determined h ultimately. there arc* a few judges with common sense, and they finally slapped down Florida * lawbook bandits and said Fisher could keep what he found Then along came die federal goverments lawyers They, too, decided that what a man finds, through his own courage, wit and self-sacrifice, doesn't belong to hun. It belongs to the government.
And not just the portion dial would be- collected in taxes anyway, which in itself is substantial.
They wanted almost all of it. because they said the ocean bottom is an extension of this continent.
Now, Hessians can roam around our waters and pluck fish for dieir own co n sumption.
But in the view of Ila* lawyers, an American citizen can’t keep lost treasure found in die same waters
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C.. 20510
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C., 20515
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P.O.Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep. Tom Loeffler
U.S. House of Representatives
1212 Longworth House Office Bldg
Washington, D C 20515
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