Trivia 114


Oh, my. Even the once esteemed New England Journal of Medicine is falling into the trap of allowing corporate spokespeople to review scientific reports without identifying them as such.

Take the 11/20/97 issue in which Jerry Berke reviewed the report titled "Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment". Berke tries to refute the report's main point by implying that all environmentalists use scare tactics to promote their cause and then cites a colleague who agrees with his argument. What neither Berke nor the New England Journal of Medicine disclose, though, is that Berke, described as an M.D. with a Master of Public Health degree, is the director of medicine and toxicology for W.R. Grace & Co., a "major chemical manufacturer notorious for its release of cancer-causing chemicals into the environment" (EXTRA! Update Feb. 1998). What you have here is a once well respected medical journal allowing an employee of one of America's worst polluters to debase the works of a scientist who is only publicizing the extent of the ecological destruction companies like his are responsible for. Instances such as this makes it all the more difficult to know where to turn to for news that isn't as pro-business as money can buy.

Time magazine indicated just where it stands on the injustices of sweatshop labor when the author of a piece called "Taking a Look Inside Nike's Factories", in answer to the question by an anti-sweatshop activist, "Can't they (Nike, Inc.) find more money to pay workers?" stated, "The short answer is no. Corporations pay the going rate for labor wherever they are". In other words, the piece actually defended the fact that Nike pays their Vietnamese labor force $.57 for every shoe it sells for $90. Folks, here is an easy moral issue for those Americans still concerned with fairness...Don't Buy Any Nike Products!

How many of you know this little troubling fact. Newsday, on 2/1/98, reported that President Clinton signed a secret military directive authorizing the targeting of Iraq with nuclear weapons. I guess it isn't enough that the Gulf War was fought for fraudulent reasons (Bush lying about the State Department's discussion with Iraq in regards to its planned invasion of Kuwait, the lying about Saddam's intentions to invade Saudi Arabia [he had no such intention and Bush, et al, knew it], the lies about Iraqii troops killing infants in hospitals and on and on) and that the sanctions we imposed have only affected the very poorest citizens of that nation, now Clinton wants to murder even more innocents with weapons of mass destruction. Wasn't the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians enough for these blood thirsty nuts?

Okay, folks, the proof is now complete. Richard Scaife, the millionaire who has been the financial driving force behind every paranoid attack from the right against Clinton, is basically nuts. He is now warning his Nazi followers that Clinton is planning to declare martial law in the year 2000 in order to remain in office indefinitely. While it is well known that Nixon wanted to declare martial law in 1970 over the issue of the "rebellion" of anti-Viet Nam War demonstrators, the idea that Clinton would do so is paranoia at its worst. This man should be put in a very padded room and then completely forgotten about.

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Copyright 9/5/98