Trivia 119


The EPA is slowly becoming irrelevant due to the Right's newly passed obstacle to discovering the source or danger of Corporate America's biggest polluters. Known as "privilege and immunity laws", this legislation requires a corporation only to do a "self audit" of the pollution that they produce and the dangers it presents to the nation. Under these laws, already passed in 24 states, corporations are not legally required to publish their findings nor are they required to give the information gathered to the public, the courts or the press. Nor can any individual employed in the accumulation of this data be forced to testify and grants the corporations vast immunity from criminal and civil penalties as long as the corporation makes "reasonable steps" to comply with regulations. These "right to know nothing laws" as they are dubbed by their many critics, encourage corporations to ignore environmental laws and to simply dump as much pollution into our air and water and soil as they please while making less than halfhearted attempts to control the damage and illnesses and deaths that they know they are causing. Again, if you want to commit suicide, you don't need a gun or a rope, just vote Republican. They'll happily pass laws that will do the job for you and, sadly, all of your more reality focused neighbors, too.

The magazine The Nation recently uncovered the true source of those "scientific" papers disputing the problems of the growing Greenhouse Effect. I suppose it will seem redundant to those who still have ownership of their own mind but I'll tell you anyway. Known as the "Tobacco Institute Strategy", the research has been completely funded directly by US energy corporations as well as oil and coal producers and their Republican representatives and funnelled through conservative "think" tanks, conservative publications and public relations companies. In other words, if the facts that honest, independent scientists produce don't meet your corporation's requirements, then just pay less ethical scientists to produce exactly the findings that you desire. Makes it very hard to rebut, as well, since the honest scientists don't have the easy access to the conservative media that the bought and paid for scientists have.

As just a few of you know, the Department of Energy is going to be shipping truckloads of nuclear waste across the country to New Mexico for storage. What they haven't told you is that they are planning a total of 37,000 shipments this year, alone. Extrapolating their best guess scenario to the year 2030, they predict a minimum of 50 major highway accidents in which the nuclear waste may be discharged. The worst part of all of this is that the waste is only going to be temporarily stored in New Mexico and will again find itself being shipped elsewhere, someday. Oh, yeah, another piece of information that might be just slightly related to this garbage is that one out of four drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel for even just a second in the past year. Makes you just glow warm all over, now doesn't it?!?

I don't remember if I mentioned this before but, even if I did, it is far too important to ignore. While the Right tries to trick Americans into believing that the stock market is owned by all Americans and that whatever Republicans do for their Wall Street masters eventually helps the "little guy", the reality is far different. The fact is that 90% of all stocks and bonds traded on Wall Street are owned by about ten percent of the population. Even more revealing is that half of all stocks and bonds are owned by the wealthiest one percent of the population. You can see, therefore, that Treasury policies meant to prop up the stock market actually benefits the vast majority of Americans very little. However, that top one percent owns ninety-nine percent of Congress so guess whose interests will always be served every couple of years when Congress comes up for sale, again.

Finally, a little chuckle to act as desert for this piece. The religious group Concerned Women for America (CWA) has an altogether new and novel reason for all good little sheep to boycott Disneyland. They claim that the Disney company does not promote their narrow "family values" agenda and, here is where I had to read the article twice, they say it is because Disney promotes "divination" and "witchcraft" and even entices your poor, helpless children to practice these dark arts. Once the shock of such news finally passed I continued to read in hopes of discovering where Disney is holding these Satanic rituals and maybe even where they were probably , well maybe, I'm not sure but, they could have even been sacrificing some animal or maybe the ten thousandth visitor to Disneyland or whatever. What I was told, though, was that Escape From Witch Mountain and Peter Pan and Fantasia were the proof the CWA was offering. Sadly, some will take this tripe seriously but, thankfully, they won't be among the nation's top 99% of intellectually challenged sheep. They are too busy burning books and berating gays and liberals and other animals.

Okay, finally (I think I mean it this time), here is just a bit more of the verbal pollution from Bob Dornan, that Republican Nazi who sees a homosexual behind every school house door and a liberal in every conservative loss, who had this to say about the Orange County Weekly, "That paper is Satan's instrument. That is an evil paper spreading infected bodily fluids all over this county and costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars in AIDS care from young men dying in the prime of life". Whew! Pretty heady stuff from such a narrow minded bigot and homophobe and hater of the poor and the children and everything else not considered kosher by the Religious Right. In any event, I guess that Bobby figures that any paper which stands up for the rights of gays and others who are constantly attacked by the Nazi Right must be put in their place and silenced as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can tell his supporters fairly easily. Just look around you and, if someone has a blank stare, hairy knuckles and drool hanging from the corner of their mouth, that's a Dornan supporter.

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Copyright 10/2/98