Clean Up Our Global Home

Scientists were stunned recently when it was revealed that air bubbles trapped in fossilized amber had been analyzed and found to contain oxygen levels of 38%. Yet today it is well known that the average content of the air is only 19% to 21%. It appears that since the early history of our earth there has been a stunning decrease of 50% in the average oxygen content of the air we breathe.

Worse yet, analysis of the air in various parts of the world today reveals the frightening fact that the oxygen content continues to decline. In fact in some of the larger and therefore more polluted cities the oxygen levels have been measured at a disturbing level of 12 to 15%. Scientists claim that anything under 7% oxygen content in the air is too low to support human life, even for short periods.

There are many factors contributing to the depletion of the oxygen in the air we breathe. Combustion of the fuel in the cars and trucks we drive is one problem. Another is the decrease in the size of the earth's oxygen-producing forests. The oxygen-producing forests of the planet have now shrunk to the smallest size in recorded history. I am sure you can identify many more.

We are all aware of the amazing achievements the medical community has accomplished in prolonging our lives and successfully treating a host of diseases that just a few years past would have been life threatening. It seems with all of their amazing accomplishments, diseases continue to flourish and new diseases appear. Two-time Nobel Laureate, winner of the Nobel peace prize for cancer research, Dr. Otto Warburg was convinced that cancer cells can only proliferate in the human body when the cells become oxygen deficient. Dr. Stephen Levine, a renowned molecular biologist and geneticist, has concluded from recent research that lack of oxygen in human cells and tissues is indeed the underlying root cause of not just cancer but, quite possibly, of all chronic degenerative disease

We as citizens on this global home should be concerned and begin to take responsibility for our actions that contribute to pollution of our global home. In fact, our government to its credit began to take some steps to correct this problem when they met with other nations in Kyoto, Japan, recently. The outcome of these meetings was the Kyoto agreement. The problem with this agreement, like almost all the other agreements our government engages in: It is unfair to American workers and consumers.

It will result in a massive loss of jobs, lower wages and higher prices. Why? Because of the multinational corporations that have and will move our jobs and manufacturing base overseas. They desire to operate in nations with cheap labor, slave labor and child labor and no environmental laws. It is apparent they insisted their right to exploit not be infringed on. Our negotiators caved in. Therefore, this treaty will solve nothing. Developing nations such as China, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia and others will not have to abide by this treaty, as I understand it.

Imagine if you will that our planet is like a large house with many rooms. ... It will do little good to insist the occupants of some of the rooms clean up their atmosphere if the open doors to other rooms will let the pollutants flow from the other rooms and spill back into the rooms the occupants have committed to clean up.

This member of the "Reform Party" and other members agree we must do something now about our global environment. We also agree that any treaty must address the complete global problem fairly. It should not be a tool to further the agenda of greed for the New World Order gang.

C.W. Miller

Fort Madison. Iowa

Powell Counseled the Right

The headline of the New York Times' lengthy obituary of Lewis Powell (August 26) labeled Powell a "Crucial Centrist Justice." But Justice Powell did not represent the "center" when the issue was human and environmental rights in conflict with the market economy, or people in conflict with corporate privilege having proper access to the civil justice system.

The obituary, by Linda Greenhouse, closed with President Clinton's unexamined comment that Powell "approached each case without an ideological agenda ..." But when the United States Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the nation's giant corporations, sought Powell's advice in 1971, Powell recommended the creation of non-profit law corporations "to attack the Naders and others who openly seek destruction of the system." As justification, he railed about environmentalists, consumer activists and others who "propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it." It is time, wrote Powell in his memo entitled Attacks On the American Free Enterprise System, "for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshaled against those who would destroy it." Advising corporate counterattack at university campuses and in the press, he urged corporate leaders to devote special attention and resources to the courts: "Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change." Powell's advice led to the creation of the Pacific Legal Foundation in 1973 (with seed money from anti-environmental, anti-human rights corporate mogul J. Simon Flour), and similar non-profit corporations specializing in advantaging corporate property interests over human rights. (A 1993 report by the Alliance for Justice, "Justice For Sale: Shortchanging the Public Interest For Private Gain," described Powell's memo and the Chamber's strategy in detail.)

Where on the political spectrum did Mr. Justice Powell sit? Readers of the Times could have decided this for themselves if Linda Greenhouse had examined Powell as corporate ideologue, and had explored his role in helping the United States Supreme Court expand the privileges of business corporations while diluting the constitutional rights of people.



Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy

211.5 Bradford St

Provincetown, MA 02657

A Practical Single Payer Medical Plan

Is there anyone who would not like to have a medical card that would allow her or him to go to any doctor or medical facility anywhere in the United States, and be accepted as a patient without question? Wouldn't it be a good thing to have a medical card that was not tied to a particular job? What if you want to go off on vacation, wouldn't it be nice to know your medical card would go on vacation with you? Isn't this something that every person would like? Wouldn't doctors and hospitals like to know that they no longer would have to give free medical care to the indigent? Wouldn't it be nice for Medicare and Medicaid to be obsolete? If we had a single payer medical plan, all these things could happen. The problem is how to make the system good for everyone.

First of all, to finance such a plan there could be a 7.5% tax of adjusted gross income which is the amount IRS says you should expect to pay for health care. It is only amounts greater than this that are deductible for income tax. The plan would provide that doctors who felt their services merited more than the amount which the card would pay could have what are familiar to all of us who are in HMO's i.e.. co-payments. The insurance companies could insure for co-payments i.e.. card plus 5%, 10% etc. Employers would like it, as they would no longer be looked to for medical coverage as part of the job. Also the tax could be collected along with income tax thus relieving the boss from collecting it. The hospitals and medical people at all levels would no longer be expected to do pro-bono work, and Congress could forget about Medicaid and Medicare.

It seems to me this kind of a plan should be acceptable to nearly everyone. I say nearly, because there always seem to be someone that no one and nothing can please. But almost all of us would like such a plan, so let's go for it.

Resolved: AARP is committed to a single payer medical plan.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Morality's Many Sins

Immorality? President Clinton has been bombarded in the Starr wars battle that, in my opinion, is an immoral campaign in itself. It seems the Republicans are pursuing this issue to sidetrack peoples' thinking about the REAL immoral conditions of the homeless, jobless, lack of health care and social security, etc.

A very immoral thing is the existence of the World Trade Organization that is controlled by transnational corporations and supersedes our laws. We seem to be destined for one great president per century. Thomas Jefferson and his, Abraham Lincoln and his and Franklin Roosevelt and his. I hope the next century can start with a great one: Paul Wellstone, a proven supporter of grass-roots peoples' welfare.


Davenport, Iowa

Take Back Government

The stock markets are tottering, the Russian ruble is tumbling, and the scandalmongers are tittering over a stained dress. A stained romance brings down the Clinton presidency? Who cares!

It didn't take a massive military build up to take down the Soviet Union. Not a shot was fired, but billions were wasted in military hardware, especially during the Reagan years.

A massive dose of capitalist greed, a corrupt Russian bureaucracy, and IMF funding did the job. The losers are, in addition to the Russian people, the rest of us who saw social programs like universal health care go up in hot air.

The Democratic Party of FDR has been mortally wounded by a coalition of Clinton Democrats and a Republican Congress. It's time to rally an angry and effective coalition to take back the Government for the people.


Tallahassee, Florida

Worried About Deindustrialization

Recently a retired V.P. of Avon Corp. told me Avon pays the Mexican workers 65 cents an hour. Obviously the workers cannot exactly provide the necessities of life on such meager wages. I hear no one in the Congress, [or the] White House show concern over the deindustrialization of America. We've had the U.S. Playing Cards Company now printing playing cards over in China. Two Fisher Body plants close, maybe 14,000 union industrialized jobs. Mosher Safes, Diebold Safe closed forever.

Is it because the elite control the Congress, White House? On down the road won't we "Americans" lose our sovereignty?

The next step will be G.A.T.T. [the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] as soon after Nov. 3rd, 1998. That's a given. The only political leader is Pat Buchanan that is addressing these so important trade deals. Was this all worked out by David Rockefeller and the Trilateral Commission?

Perhaps you people could write an editorial addressing this issue. I'm a "F.D.R" Truman Democrat. If Ross Perot is serious, why doesn't he back Pat Buchanan for President? I'm a WWII vet now 73 years old but I'm concerned for the future of America. Thank you very much.


Mason, Ohio

Editor's Note:
By GATT, perhaps you mean the move to require Congress to consider future trade deals on a "fast track," limiting the debate. Also, the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investments, a proposed "bill of rights" for international investors, which is being drafted in Paris would sharply limit the authority of local, state and national governments to restrict the operations of multinational corporations.

Let's Vote on Lewinskygate

No matter where we live in America, the question is, "what can we do about the Presidential sex scandal?" With the media's intense, inside the Beltway focus on Lewinskygate, few other issues of importance are getting attention. Here's an idea. Why not leave the question of Clinton's fate directly to the American people? As voters, we can exercise our democratic rights in the upcoming November congressional elections to settle this dispute. Those voters who want to see Clinton removed from office should vote Republican. If the GOP keeps control of Congress, then the investigation continues through 1999 at a cost of millions of dollars and the President will be impeached or forced to resign. Those voters who prefer to see the investigation come to a close should vote for Democrat candidates. If the Democrats win control of the House, the investigation ends, Lewinskygate disappears off the airwaves, and the President gets back to running the nation's business. By making this ongoing drama a referendum on Clinton and which party controls Congress, the American people can best decide what should happen. I am telling my friends to register to vote if they have not already. Then it's a simple choice: vote Republican to remove Clinton or vote Democrat to keep Clinton. We can send our message loud and clear to Washington and the media. At the least, it's a solution. And most importantly, democracy wins.


Boston, Massachusetts

email: chittick@post.harvard.edu

Social Security is Not a Retirement Program

Victor Massara of Omaha, Nebraska (Letters, 7/98 Progressive Populist) makes the same old specious argument against Social Security that its enemies always do. He wants a retirement program. I believe he could go out and buy one if he really does.

Social Security, however, is not a retirement program. It's insurance against job loss through disability, age, or death of the family's prime provider. If he can go out and find an insurance company that is willing to sell him the equivalent, he should let us know.


Coos Bay, Oregon

Sounds like Grandfather

I received a "sample copy" of The Progressive Populist today. Wow, I am so impressed. How many people did you give this opportunity? I hope a lot. It was so honest, it read like a letter from my Grandfather. I think Benjamin Franklin is up in heaven, smiling all over, pointing at you (with a whole lot of pride) and saying, "Let freedom reign."

Count me in. I have enclosed a check for a one-year subscription. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to subscribe.

San Clemente, California.

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