Letters to the Editor

Junk Science

I wonder if some of your readers might like to help ABC with their investigative reporting? For those of you who saw the incredibly ill-researched "Junk Science" program on August 28th, I hope you will respond.

Living in Midland, Mich. (corporate headquarters for Dow Chemical) has suddenly become okay. After viewing ABC's "Junk Science" program I shall no longer fear dioxin. In fact I think it may become an essential nutrient. It has permeated the soils, plant life, fish and bodies of local residents. It's too late to remove it from all media so why not just detoxify it by declaring it safe? It's much easier to accept -- and cheaper too!

I'm sure the increase in soft-tissue sarcoma and cleft palate was just a fluke. Am I wrong or is the U.S. government paying Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange compensation if they contract soft-tissue sarcoma or if their children were born with cleft palate? Midland has the highest levels of dioxin in the state of Michigan and in most parts of the country. Must be just a coincidence that soft tissue sarcoma and cleft palates showed up here in excess.

I hate to keep picking on poor multi-national corporations, but I didn't hear about this particular example of "Junk Science" on the ABC special.

It is my understanding that there is a criminal investigation of the Monsanto corporation for "cover up of dioxin contamination in products and falsification of dioxin health studies."

It seems that the fraud may have affected the regulatory process at EPA when Monsanto reportedly submitted falsified data and health studies. The information may have weakened regulations under RCRA and FIFRA. ... The Monsanto worker health study covered up neurological damage and other adverse health effects ... Haven't heard anything since January 1997. I called the EPA's Office of Criminal Investigations ... They told me they couldn't share this information. Maybe some of you could help. ...

Another oversight by ABC may be on Phisohex, a once widely used "germ killer" with hexochlorobenzene. Did I just imagine that Phisohex all of a sudden disappeared from hospitals? Did some babies die after a Phisohex bath? I worked in a city hospital in the late sixties and Phisohex scrubs were commonly used before surgery. Was this okay?

I'll leave this to the fine investigative journalists who produced the ABC special "Junk Science."

I would ask that any of you who may have some other examples of "Junk Science" contact ABC. I bet many of you out there could give some "real" information. The question is, does ABC want it, and will they run it? Let's find out.


809 Eastman Ave #1
Midland, MI 48640

A Strange Country

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights states our government should "promote the general welfare." Our present Congress has interpreted this to mean, we must give welfare to General Electric, General Motors, General Dynamics, etc.

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights states our government should "protect us from our enemies, both domestic and foreign." Our present Congress has interpreted this to mean, we must deregulate Charles Keating, thus allowing him to rip off naive investors. We must allow G.E. to trade investment tax credits to avoid taxation, thus passing the tab to the rest of us. We must allow certain types of military ships and aircraft to be built in my state, no matter these are not needed nor requested by the Pentagon. We must give special tax breaks (Goodwill) to encourage our corporations to merge and become monopolistic and lay off workers, which benefits Wall Street commissions as stock prices rise (no matter that the rest of us must also pick up this tab). We must also virtually insure corporations against any losses, with NOL tax deductions and we must also pay to advertise their products in foreign countries (guess who picks up the tab?). We must give unlimited interest deductions so they may borrow money to provide millions of dollars in bonuses for the CEOs and millions in special dividends for major stockholders, golden parachutes, etc. All this keeps us so busy, we just don't have time to protect citizens against fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, etc., investment frauds on Internet and by mail, false advertisement, etc. Sorry, we just don't have time for all this as we must catch a Fed Ex airplane, besides, these scam artists are entrepreneurs and we need to assist them any way we can. Excuse us, we must hurry and vote ourselves a pay increase. We are so busy, we really deserve this pay increase (sorry, cost of living adjustment).

I could continue this forever, but space and time will not permit.

Conclusion: I believe Congress and the President are our real domestic enemies!

Greenwood, S.C.

Only Give to Union Telefundraisers

I keep whining about my last union job from which we (82 of us) were unceremoniously fired ("involuntarily laid off") on January 12, 1996, during contract talks. Our "liberal and progressive" fund raising company, Frontline Campaigns, was purchased by a Milwaukee company, Great Lakes Communications, a subsidiary of A.B. Data, said to be rampantly anti-union. One of the bidders for our firm was Michael Ansara, the head guy at Share Group, Inc., headquartered in Somerville, Mass. After we were all fired, he wrote a newsletter piece claiming to be terribly shocked at our heartless firing and offering us preference in hiring at his firm.

Since then, a Share office has opened in San Francisco and he has been treating employees engaged in union organizing there with the scorn and disdain that only a "liberal and progressive" manager can properly muster. Fred Pecker, the ILWU Local 6 B.A. who helped us negotiate the first Frontline Campaigns contract, is their chosen union guy. Cycles. Cycles are so nice.

I hear this AM on KPFA ... that Michael Ansara has pleaded guilty to various very nasty charges involved in funneling money from Clinton's re-election funds and other inappropriate union sources to Ron Carey's election campaign. Among other things, our boy Michael created a dummy company through which the iffy funds could be funneled. To save his own tender personage from jail time and $250,000 in fines, he is agreeing to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. This is probably the biggest campaign finance scandal in the century, muddying the national Democratic Party and a major U.S. union. The conservatives must be overjoyed.

For less than one year, Share Group, Inc. took over the cloak of the only ethical liberal and progressive unionized, fundraising company in the country. Oh well. Didn't even make it to January '97. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

So the next time you get a telefundraising call, and you will get them, boys and girls, as the holidays approach, ask if the caller is a union member and, if not, say "Sorry. I only give to unionized telefundraisers."

AIKYA PARAM, Publisher
Women and Money
P.O. Box 4193
Berkeley, CA 94704-0193

Reward Voters

If we could get out 90 percent of the voters on election day, we'd have the kind of progressive politics written about in The Progressive Populist. I'd suggest that if we pay each voter $100 we'd have 98 percent voting! If we don't get out the voters we'll NEVER see progressive politics and conditions will only get worse. I suggest that this idea should become a MOVEMENT. All progressive media should spread the word. Let's see which politicians like the idea and which don't. And if they don't, what's their excuse?

No address given

Criticize Everything

"I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing. Ruthless in two senses: the criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions, nor of conflict with the powers that be. I am therefore not in favor of setting up any dogmatic flag. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatics to clarify to themselves the meaning of their own positions." From Letter to Ruge, 1844, by Karl Marx.

1401 E 3rd Ave #305
Durango, CO 81301

Editor's Note:
Our philosophy is closer to that of the late journalist George Seldes: "Tell the truth and run."

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