New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 2, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
4 ii Herald-Zeitung Cl Friday, February 2,1996
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QUOTABLE“We have no judicial system left in this country. What we have in its place is thepress.
— Adrienne A. Simidian Carmel, N.Y, 1994
Legislation requiring program blocker in new televisions a victory for parents
Buried within the sweeping new telecommunications legislation passed Thursday by Congress is a law requiring so-called V-chip technology to be installed in all new television sets.
The V-chip allows parents to control their children’s access to sexual, violent or other unwanted programming by blocking those channels and not allowing their signal to come through.
The legislation, which also ends regulatory barriers between companies and opens the telecommunications market to more businesses, is expected to be signed into law by President Clinton.
Those opposed to the V-chip measure are concerned about government intervention in the television industry — both the manufacturing industry and the entertainment business.
In a non-scientific survey conducted by the on-line service America On Line (AOL), one opponent of the measure said, “We already have a V-chip. It is called the on and off switch. Learn to use it in regard to your children. The industry should not be responsible for the raising of our children.” \
However, that opinion was in the minority in the survey. Many proponents of the bill lamented the increasing sexual and violent nature of programming on today’s television and cable stations and supported any hove to give parents a chance to screen programs without actually sitting in front of the TV set with their kids.
One survey participant said, “As a mother of four small children, trying to raise them with a strong sense of personal responsibility in an age of demorialization, I whole-heartedly support the idea of the mandatory V-chip. It is difficult enough to train children in this era — and I’m afraid many of today’s TV programs make it even more difficult...”
Many stores refuse to carry explicit magazines and other pornography on their shelves for fear that children might leaf through the pages when unattended. Some convenience stores that do ofter adult reading materials place the magazines in plastic bags that hide the publication’s cover.
Today, however, television programs that are just as explicit are being sent out over the airwaves, but parents don’t have any tools to block their airing if they are unwanted in their home.
We support the V-chip technology as a support for parents trying to bring some control back to their families and their households.
(Today’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.)
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Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens
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Kadafi and Farrakhan: two of a kind
Some of Louis Farrakhan’s defenders had to swallow hard in the face of his condemnation of Jews, whites and the American system of government and way of life. Now that Farrakhan has gone the extra mile and visited with the Libyan dictator and innkeeper to terrorists and murderers, Moammar Kadafi, maybe they’ll choke.
The Justice Department wants to know if the Nation of Islam leader has become an agent of Kadafi in the U.S. If so, Farrakhan may have to register as a foreign agent. I suggest he register as the agent anthrax, because he is a disease, not only to blacks but to all of us.
Libya’s official news agency, JANA, reports that Farrakhan and Kadafi have discussed ways to increase the influence of America minorities in this fall’s elec-. tions. JANA said the two agreed to “mobilize the oppressed minorities,” especially blacks, Arabs, Muslims and American Indians, “to play a significant role in American political life.” An indication of how much influence Kadafi would like to have in undermining our political life may be seen in his statement following the meeting: “Our confrontation with America used to be like confronting a fortress from outside. Today, we have found a loophole to enter the fortress and to confront it from within.”
What Kadafi has said comes very close to foment
ing sedition, which is defined as “incitement of resistance to, or insurrection against, lawful authority.” And Farrakhan is his co-conspirator.
Farrakhan was quoted by JANA as praising Kadafi for working for the liberation of oppressed people, including black Americans in the U.S. Most observers will find it curious that Farrakhan has inducted Kadafi as an honorary member of the civil rights movement. How can one who oppresses and hates others (Jews, in particular) be considered a liberator of anyone? But, then, the mutual hatred of Jews by Farrakhan and Kadafi make them soul brothers. Unfortunately for them, their kind of soul kindles fires of hatred. What a terrible way to begin the observance of Black History Month.
“I have met my brother, Col. Moammar Kadafi,” said Farrakhan in a statement. He said the purpose of their meeting was to unify Arabs, Muslims, blacks and “oppressed communities in America to play a strong, significant role, not only in the American elections, but in American foreign policy.”
This wasn’t the first meeting between the two. In 1985, Kadafi “loaned” Farrakhan $5 million for various business projects associated with the Nation of Islam. The same year, Kadafi told Nation of Islam followers by satellite that he wanted to help American blacks overthrow oppression through armed struggle. At that time, FaiTakhan “politely” rejected the offer of arms.
Sixty years ago, when defenders of Adolf Hitler praised him, they were roundly condemned in American intellectual circles. Will there be similar condemnation, even ostracism, of Farrakhan now that he is seeking a liaison with a contemporary dictator? Whatever good Farrakhan may have done at his Mil lion Man March last year could be quickly wiped out by his palling around with Kadafi. It could also break the final link in an already weakened chain between American blacks and Jews. •
The Justice Department should do more than} require Farrakhan to register as a foreign agent. It] should monitor his activities with Kadafi or anyone; else who is the enemy of the U.S. government and our! way of life. If Farrakhan thinks American blacks* are so oppressed that they need the help of a man like; Kadafi, he should take those who feel as he does and; see if “liberated” Libya is more to their liking.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)
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States rethinking restrictive rules on jurors
By LAURIE ASSEO
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge’s warning to jurors is a standard part of courtroom dramas, both real and fictional: Do not discuss the case with anyone while evidence is being presented.
But not in Arizona.
Juror; in civil cases there are being told just the opposite: Go ahead and talk about the evidence among yourselves.
It’s one of many changes enacted in an effort to improve Arizona’s jury-trial system.
Arizona jurors are allowed to submit questions. Judges give legal instructions in plain English. If jurors become deadlocked, the judge can allow lawyers to offer additional arguments or even present more evidence.
“I put a lot of importance in getting as much information to the jury its possible,” said Judge B. Michael Dunn, of the Maricopa County Superior Court, who helped work out the changes. “Judges and lawyers should take the lead to improve the jury trial for everyone’s benefit.”
The American justice system may not be broken — despite complaints of people unhappy with O.J.Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, February 2, the 33rd day of 19%. There are 333 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 2, 1943, tile remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
On this date:
In 1536, the Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
In 1653, New Amsterdam — now New York City — was incorporated.
In 1848, the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed.
In 1870, the "Cardiff Giant,” supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered on a farm in Cardiff, N.Y., was revealed lo be nothing more than carved gypsum.
In 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York.Analysis
Simpson’s murder acquittal — but Dann and others think at least some room exists for improvement.
“The task of a juror is awesome, but somehow they manage to get through it,” trial lawyer Fred R. Joseph of Greenbelt, Md., said at a recent panel discussion sponsored by the Annenberg Washington Program and the Courtroom Television Network. "The Simpson case is an aberration.”
Picking an impartial jury is difficult. Many courts use questionnaires to learn jurors’ views on a variety of topics, but Valerie P. Hans, director of the University of Delaware’s legal studies program, said some of the questions are useless.
“The best predictors (of impartiality) are very specific questions about the case, not general attitudes,” she said.
Several legal experts were skeptical of proposals to reduce the use of peremptory challenges, in which lawyers can eliminate prospective jurors without having to explain why.
"The peremptory challenge offers protection to African-American defendants,’’ said Paul D. Butler, associate law professor at George Washington Uni-
In 1945, during World War II, President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
In 1961, the 600 passengers of a hijacked Portuguese ocean liner, the Santa Maria, were allowed to disembark in Brazil.
In 1971, Idi Amin assumed power in Uganda, following a coup that ousted President Milton Obote.
In 1980, reports surfaced that the FBI had conducted a sting operation targeting members of Congress using phony Arab businessmen in what became known as “Abscam,” a code name protested by Arab-Americans.
In 1987, the White House announced the resignation of CIA director William Casey, who was hospitalized and had undergone brain surgery.
In 1990, in a dramatic concession to South Africa’s black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
Ten yean ago: The seven crew members of the
versity. "Racism is still very real in this country.”
And only rarely should jurors be sequestered, panelists said.
Kelli L. Sager, a Los Angeles lawyer who repreJ sents news media, questioned “the idea that you have to keep the jurors ignorant of every thing that is going on. Jurors in communities in historical times knew everything about a case.”
Courts in states besides Arizona have tried innovations. Some states, including California, Delaware and New Hampshire, have named committees to study possible changes in their jury systems.
Arizona’s changes, approved by the slate Supreme Court, are the most comprehensive. The idea is to make jurors more knowledgeable and active, instead of nodding off in their chairs.
In civil cases, Arizona jurors are allowed to talk about the evidence among themselves during the trial, before deliberations begin.
Some lawyers fear this may lead jurors to make premature judgments before they hear all the eviT dence.
Discussion of evidence by jurors in criminal cases is not allowed before deliberations because of constitutional concerns about depriving a defendant of an impartial jury.
space shuttle Challenger were remembered at Sunday services across the country.
Five years ago: In the Gulf War, Iraq fired Scud “ missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia; no serious dam- * age was reported. Sports commentator Pele Axthelm died in Pittsburgh at age 47.
One year ago: President Clinton nominated Henry Foster Junior to succeed fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders — however, Foster’s nomination was later defeated in the Senate. The leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians held an unprecedented summit in Cairo to try to revive the Mideast peace process.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer Burton Lane is 84. Actor Robert Mandan is 64. Comedian Tom Smothers is 59. Singer-guitanst Graham Nash is 54. Actor Bo Hopkins is 54. Farrah Fawcett is 49.
Thought for Today: ‘Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now — always.” — Albert * Schweitzer, German-bom missionary and Nobel laureate (1875-1965).