Posts from April 2001

Cops more likely to arrest women on public disturbance infractions

Teen crime down, but more girls are going to jail [Salon], often for no clear reason other than overt gender bias. As it turns out, young women are much more likely to be arrested than young men if they are committing public disturbance or other behavior that cops can attribute to boys being boys. The message: Shut up, girls, and be good! Go on out there and have some fun, boys.

The Possible Uses of a Ronald Reagan Monument

Sometimes reality is so damn surreal that it simply defies satire. Such is the case with the Republicans’ continuing cult of personality for Ronald Reagan.

In the end though, I do hope that they build a Reagan Monument on the Washington Mall. Why? Because left-wing protestors are often down around the Mall, and we need a place we can vandalize! I mean, sure, Thomas Jefferson could be a real jerk, but if you mess up his monument most people won’t understand and will think you’re just a bunch of good-for-nothings. But defiling the Reagan Memorial would be appropriate, understandable, and relevant to the current political climate! It’d be great!

"Project Censored" needs a makeover

Meanwhile, I should point out that I agree with Brooke Shelby Biggs on The Unbearable Lameness of Project Censored [MOJOwire], that Project Censored has become predictable, boring, and is not actually exposing anything we hadn’t already heard about, since its own success has produced a bounty of left-wing and alternative press publications which break the stories well before the Project Censored kids get their hands on them. While Shelby Biggs seems to think that Project Censored should simply be discontinued, I do think that releasing a survey or newsletter of the top 25 left-wing Stories of Record is a good thing for helping get attention and clarify our priorities. But Project Censored needs to drop the name and the moralistic rhetoric, because when all of its stories are coming directly from reports in pre-existing publications — whether mainstream or alterna-stream — it simply is not breaking any silences anymore.

Westinghouse-controlled Ex-Im creates corporate welfare boondoggle for Westinghouse; Westinghouse-controlled media buries story

The Number 5 Censored news story for 2000 is an particularly pernicious form of corporate welfare through the United States Export-Import Bank, which has funded numerous nuclear energy building projects in the developing world. Ex-Im is a government program which extends artificially sweet loans — guaranteed by U.S. taxpayer money — to the governments of developing countries in order to allow big U.S. contractors to build there. In a typical boondoggle,

Westinghouse built the Bataan nuclear power facility in the Philippines in 1985 at a cost of $1.2 billion, 150 percent above their projections. However, the Bataan plant was never brought on line due to the fact it was near an active volcano. Despite the fact that the plant never generated a single kilowatt of energy, the Philippines still pays about $300,000 a day in interest on the Ex-Im loan that funded the project. Should the Philippines default, U.S. taxpayers will pick up the tab.

Similar projects have netted Westinghouse alone literally billions of dollars in plants that never even operate, scamming both the people of the developing world and U.S. taxpayers. Why is this allowed to go on? Well, it just so happens that the head of President Clinton’s Export council was the CEO of Westinghouse. And since Westinghouse also owns CBS and fellow Ex-Im beneficiary and nuclear contractor General Electric owns NBC, the debacle has not received coverage on network news. Meanwhile you and I and the taxpayers of the Philippines and many other countries continue to pay billions of dollars for nuclear power plants which never even produced electricity. People often think that conspiracy theorists are a bunch of paranoid loonies, and often they are. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how the interlocking systems of economic and political power continue to allow elites to victimize you and I with the silent complicity of an elite newsmedia. Just goes to show you that what’s good for MNCs is not necessarily good for America.

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective goes online at www.ourbodiesourselves.org

Today I was delighted to find the www.ourbodiesourselves.org, the online home of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, women’s liberation pioneers and the force behind the classic Our Bodies, Ourselves (including multiple new editions since the original publication in 1970).