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July 31, 1996


By Mac McKinnon

MTV loses connection,

gains all-music channel

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Tomorrow will be MTV's 15th anniversary - or actually tonight at 12:01
That's the station that has encountered a lot of criticism. I've looked
at the station briefly over the years but have never watched anything
extensive so I'm not qualified to praise or condemn it.
I do know that many teenagers and young adults like it. I'm not one to
sit around watching music videos, but that is something other people do
like to do, especially I suppose when young people get together.
I've been told that many parents have an intense dislike for MTV
because it has what I've been told is very suggestive language and
attire on music videos and some of the programming is supposed to be a
bad influence.
One thing they have done, from what I read, is try to get young people
to register to vote. That is commendable, and they have also had
programs during election years on politics, especially about
presidential candidates.
Young people do need to know as much as possible about our government,
how it works and who makes it work.
MTV is going to be taken off our local cable system sometime in August,
we've been told. That has stirred some mixed reviews, both good and bad.
When it was started in 1981, U.S. News & World Reports says it had 2.1
million subscribers in the U.S. Now it has 63 million in the U.S. and
266 million worldwide, with an average U.S. audience of 295,000
It ranks 14th out of the top 20 cable networks with 80 per cent of its
programming music oriented, again according to the news magazine.
The magazine also reports that 22,000 voters have been registered this
year through the MTV political awareness campaign "Choose or Lose."
Now, MTV is scheduled to launch an all new all-music channel tomorrow
called M2: Music Television. I don't suppose it will be carried on the
local cable, at least as far as I know.
One interesting fact is that MTV's top animated duo, Beavis and
Butt-head, has created merchandise sales of $100 million plus and
December of this year is the scheduled date for release of their first
movie, Beavis and Butt-head Do America.
U.S. News writes that MTV "lifted the recording industry and created
legions of `screenagers'. It also stirred 15 years of controversy.
Critics blame the Viacom subsidiary for myraid teen woes, from short
attention spans to date rape."
I'm not sure all that can be blamed on a television channel, but it
sure has an influence as does all television programming. I just wish
more people, especially young people, would watch the educational stuff
such as on the Discovery Channel.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos
Enterprise. His column appears on Wednesday and Friday.


Pipe bomb assaults

spirit of Olympics

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The explosion of a deadly pipe bomb in Atlanta early Saturday was an
assault on the American people and on the international Olympic spirit.
By setting off a device that killed one individual outright, wounded 110
others and brought on the fatal heart attack of still another person,
the perpetrator or perpetrators did indeed commit an evil and cowardly
act, to use President Clinton's words.

When confronted by such evil, a moral society has no viable option but
to stand up to it. Terrorists thrive on nothing so much as the spread of
chaos, fear and intimidation.

The good news is that the jackal or jackals who sneaked a bomb-laden
knapsack into Centennial Olympic Park must have been crestfallen at the
sight of crowds flocking to the scheduled sporting events just hours
after the incident. The public's decision to keep the Olympic spirit
alive reflected a courage and resolve worthy of gold medalists. ...

The next step now for President Clinton and Congress should be to
revisit the anti terrorism bill signed in April. Although the
legislation does much to counter terrorism from international sources,
it still lacks some of the weapons needed to fight battles on the
domestic front.

During his speech to the 75th annual Disabled American Veterans
convention Sunday, Mr. Clinton made a worthy call for all countries to
put tracing chemicals in ingredients commonly used to build bombs.

But strong lobbying by the national Rifle Association convinced
Congress not to require that chemical ``taggants'' be placed in black or
smokeless powder, key ingredients in many explosives. That mistake
should be rectified immediately. Authors of the anti-terrorism bill were
wise to resist undue expansion of current U.S. wiretapping provisions.
Civil liberties should never be forgotten, even in times of crisis.

But the ability to trace materials that can be used to commit terrorist
acts hardly violates civil liberties. That's why members of Congress
have required taggants in plastic explosives. And that is why they
should require it for other materials, too. ...

Prudent measures by security coordinators and government authorities
should be accompanied by common-sense precautions by individuals. But
one response in particular would be so counterproductive as to encourage
more incidents like Saturday's bombing. That would be for Americans to
be intimidated from pursuing the normal course of their lives.
The Dallas Morning News on the Olympics bombing and terrorism laws:
-The Dallas Morning News


Grief counsel book

aids TWA survivors

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Families whose loved ones died in the TWA crash last week could benefit
from a book published by the Hospice Foundation of America: Living with
Grief After Sudden Loss.

Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D. wrote the book to introduce a teleconference on
death education and counseling held last April, but designed its
contents to stand on its own.

Jack D. Gordon, president of HFA, said in the foreword that hospices
have an obligation to serve families of their patients - counseling a
family even ahead of a death, listening to the anguish of a depressed
survivor or a recent loss, arranging a bereavement visit from a hospice
social worker or clergyperson.

"They do all of that and more, naturally and routinely. But they don't
stop there," he said.

The first chapter tells the journey of a young widoe after the bombing
of PanAm 103 on Dec. 21, 1988. Other chapters deal with loss from
suicide, homicide, accident, heart attack or stroke.

Available from Taylor & Francis, 1900 Frost Road, Ste. 101, Bristol PA
19007-1598, 1-800-821-8312, $16.95. ISBN 1-56032-578-X.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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