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Sport of Distraction

Sports Still No Ticket Out Of The Ghetto
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet Posted January 2, 2003.

Despite the recent acquisition of a pro basketball team by an African
American, the world of sports is no shining example of the end of racism.

Also in Top Stories
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Evan Derkacz, AlterNet
Bush's Final Jeopardy
Elizabeth de la Vega, Tomdispatch.com
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Zack Pelta-Heller, AlterNet
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Stan Cox, AlterNet
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Sheerly Avni, Truthdig

More stories by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The sports world buzzed with the recent news that Black Entertainment Television
founder Bob Johnson became the first African-American to purchase a majority
ownership in a professional basketball team (the Hornets). But a few days later,
with little fanfare, the NCAA issued a report on the academic performance of
black athletes. While Johnson's acquisition was widely hailed as proof that
blacks had finally cracked the clubby, and many say bigoted, world of white
billionaire pro sports owners, for most black college basketball players the
hope of joining his team remains a cruel pipe dream.

Only a microscopic fraction of the thousands of black male college basketball
and football players will ever don a professional uniform. Even more
embarrassing, the majority of them won't graduate. The NCAA report found that
though 60 percent of athletes at Division 1 schools graduate in six years, only
slightly more than 40 percent of black male athletes graduate. For basketball
players, the figure is a dismal 35 percent. And even more embarrassing, many of
these athletes will skip through three or four years at colleges and still
emerge as educational cripples.

The low graduation rate for black male athletes comes at a time when the
enrollment for black males at many colleges has sharply declined due to the gut
of affirmative action, special education, diversity outreach programs, and
budget cutbacks. At the University of Southern California, for instance, many
black males on campus repeatedly complain that they are constantly asked whether
they are athletes. The question is not necessarily racist since nearly a seventh
of black male students on the campus are football or basketball players on an
athlete scholarship. This compares to two percent or less of the white, Asian,
and Latino males on campus.

The aspiring Michael Jordans in basketball and Emmit Smiths in football spend
countless hours mastering their dribbling or ball carrying skills with little
thought to their future after their sports days are finished. They live for the
day when they will sign megabuck pro contracts. Few ever will.

In 1994, the Washington Post did a ten-year follow-up on thirty-six basketball
players who played for Georgetown and the Universities of Maryland and Virginia
in the 1980's. Most told sad tales of failed careers, part-time jobs,
unsuccessful tryouts with NBA teams, and barnstorming tours with semi-pro or
European teams. Twenty-eight eventually got their degrees and settled into
careers as salesmen, teachers or counselors. Even though the story is repeated
by thousands of other ex-athletes, illusions diehard today. A group of black
high school athletes were told that the odds against them making a pro team were
nearly impossible. Fifty-one percent still believed that they could beat them.
The late Tennis great Arthur Ashe was deeply troubled by the slavish adulation
of athletes by many young blacks. During visits to black high schools, he was
thunderstruck by "the obsession" with sports that borders on pathology. The
sports obsession that Ashe spoke of tells much about the otherworldly
intoxication of sports. For many it blurs the line between reality and fantasy.
Coaches know this better than anyone. They wheel and deal to ram as many blacks
as they can into their school's uniforms. The name of the game is not study,
baby, study; but win, baby, win.

Major colleges have a huge vested interest in keeping their well-oiled athletic
assembly lines moving smoothly. It means hard dollars. Major NCAA universities
bag millions in revenue from their athletic programs. In the two major
revenue-generating sports, basketball and football, blacks make up respectively
fifty and seventy percent of the college players.

The message in this shameful sports saga is that black parents whose sons are
involved in athletic programs and harbor delusions of pro sport fame and fortune
must hold coaches, teachers and school administrators accountable for their
children's courses, grades and campus activities. They must make it clear that
if their sons or daughters don't perform in the classroom, they don't get to
perform on the field or the court.

Black professionals and educators must create academic self-help programs to
recycle young blacks from sports junkies to serious students. They can provide
educational scholarships for academically sound athletes and establish career
counseling, job and skills training programs.

The ultimate responsibility, though, is on the colleges that reap fortunes off
of black athletes. They must do much more to insure that their "student
athletes" graduate, or at least better prepare themselves for a business or
professional career. This means providing them counseling, tutoring and
financial assistance to encourage them to complete their studies when their
eligibility ends.

Sports can be a rewarding, even profitable experience for many black athletes.
But if NCAA Division 1 schools don't stop solely exploiting black athletes as
athletes and start educating as students, sports will never be their ticket out
of the ghetto.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and columnist. Visit his news and opinion
website: www.thehutchinsonreport.com. He is the author of The Crisis in Black
and Black (Middle Passage Press).

dumpster diving or trashpicking

Dan's Trashy Page


Tips

Here are my general suggestions for those considering dumpster diving or trashpicking. Some of them are probably common sense, some of them may not be.

Check your state and local laws first.
While dumpster diving and trashpicking are probably legal most places, you probably don't want to find out the hard way that they're not in your town. Your library or town hall probably has state laws and local ordinances. Some states have their laws on the web as well.
Don't rule out free non-trash things.
Many people will "set out" whatever's left at the end of their yard sale, in the hope that someone will see it and find a use for it. If you see it, and have a use for it, you can make their wish come true - and this stuff is generally in better shape than what you'd find in a dumpster.
Scout your locations ahead of time.
Dumpster diving and trashpicking are harmless, usually legal and generally have a positive effect on society and the world as a whole. Of course, not everyone understands this. It helps to become familiar with a dumpster's surroundings and visit it at times when you are least likely to offend the sensibilities of the less sensible.
Try not to look like a criminal.
The proper image is that of a harmless, if slightly eccentric, frugal-nature-lover sort. I'll second someone else's suggestion that your "digging stick" be a cane or walking staff of some sort. Avoid dark colors at night, and dress "down." Don't take papers - the last thing you want is to be found with a credit-card receipt or something marked "confidential" hanging out of your pocket.
Bikes and bags are your friends.
Wheels get you places a lot faster, and bags make it a lot easier to carry loot, without people staring at you funny as you stagger down the street under the weight of a dozen mainframe disk packs or whatever. A backpack or shoulder bag should do just fine. If you don't want to limit yourself to what you can carry on a bike, a car will hold more - but cars are far more likely to attract suspicion.
If something doesn't look like trash, ask!
If you're diving a consumer-electronics store and find a whole carton of brand-new Walkmen, march them right inside, flag down a security guard and let them know you found them "out by the dumpster." Some employees try to steal things by putting them in with the trash and coming back for them later, and you don't want to receive any stolen material. And who knows, maybe they'll say "oh, we meant to throw them out" and let you keep them.
Be careful
Remember, you're dealing with unknown material here. Some of it may be harmful. Sturdy shoes and clothes are the way to go. Gloves, if you have them. If the dumpster's an old one with a metal lid that doesn't swing all the way open, make sure it's propped very securely, so it doesn't go shut on your head. All the usual warnings about tainted food apply. Places that sell fresh food are probably better than ones that sell "prepared" food.
Use your common sense
If you can't find a use for something, leave it. Maybe someone else will come along who can use it. If not, it might as well go to the dump. If something was inside the dumpster when you arrived, it should (unless you take it) be there when you leave. We're not dogs or raccoons, and we don't accomplish anything by strewing garbage around.
Learn to "shop" trash
Become familiar with what you can expect to find where. If the neighbors around the corner throw away one or two old suitcases a week - ours did - you know where to look for luggage. Produce is more likely to be in the supermarket dumpster than the bookstore dumpster. And so on. But don't be surprised if someone's dumped something inappropriate in an unexpected dumpster - my first dived computer came from one behind a pizza parlor.
Avoid compactors
Anything that's in there is squished already. You could be, too. And don't try to dive a dumpster that's about to be picked up.
Obey security
If they say leave, leave. And don't go back.
Don't be a nuisance
Don't be loud, obnoxious, or do anything that would consitute disturbing the peace. People will call the cops on you for that.

The Manifesto

My Trashy Past

Legalities

Finds

Diving Tips

Other Dumpsters

Books To Dive

Dan's Trashy Page, 1998-2001, Dan Birchall
Connectivity provided by Verizon Online DSL and Lava.Net.

country in distress

Portrait of a

by the Council of Canadians

Ontario -- Remember the great free trade debate? Remember the assurances that the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was going to bring us jobs -- not just any jobs, but good, high-paying jobs?

In the seven years since Canada entered into free trade with the US (including two years of partnership with Mexico under North American Free Trade Agreement), unemployment has averaged 10 percent and 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

The new jobs that have been created since 1989 are almost all low-wage and part-time positions. Flipping hamburgers or working as a clerk in a convenience store is a far cry from the new high-tech economy that was supposed to emerge under free trade.

NAFTA's big-business boosters promised the economic windfall from free trade would allow us to preserve and strengthen our social safety net. Yet over the last seven years, the same corporations that lobbied for free trade have pressured governments to slash unemployment insurance, post-secondary education, social services and pensions. Even Canada's Medicare faces risks from giant US health corporations looking north for new markets.

Remember when our politicians said that the FTA's side agreements made it the "greenest" trade agreement in the world? But within two years, the rollback of regulations protecting our environment was all the rage, and environmental conditions have worsened.

Free trade also was supposed to give us better access to the US market, but NAFTA failed to protect Canadian interests in the steel and softwood lumber battles. As the head of Canada's largest steel company, Stelco, said: "Anybody exporting to the US who believes free trade gives them some kind of protection or special status is putting their company at risk."

Canadians were promised that our cultural institutions would be protected, but today, Canadian films have access to only 3 percent of screen time. Only 17 percent of books and magazines sold are Canadian, and 90 percent of English language school textbooks are imported from the US.

You won't read the real story of free trade in the mainstream press or see it on TV. Big business, right-wing economists and the politicians don't want to tell you the truth about how free trade devastates our economy, undermines our cultural and political sovereignty, erodes our social programs and harms the environment.

Jobs... Going, Going, Gone!

Free trade was going to deliver more jobs and better jobs. Seven years later, more than half a million Canadians are still waiting in vain for the payoff.

The 1990-93 "free trade recession" was the longest since the Great Depression. Unemployment rose from a "low" of 7.5 percent in 1989 to double digits from 1991 to 1994. It remains barely below 10 percent today. Despite the "recovery," average family incomes are lower than in 1989, and poverty rates -- particularly among children and single women -- have risen sharply.

Meanwhile, most of the new jobs today are low-paying, low-skill and part-time. Not the kind of work you can plan a future around -- let alone feed a family.

Since 1988, almost all of the firms belonging to the Canadian Business Council on National Issues (BCNI, the corporate lobby group pushing free trade) laid off more than 200,000 workers while boosting their revenues by $32.1 billion (US $23.4 billion).

The business media regularly hails Canada's "record" exports to the US as evidence that free trade is working. Exports are up (largely due to a low dollar), but the so-called "boom" hasn't resulted in many jobs because the big growth in exports has been in machinery and equipment -- highly automated industries that employ few workers. In other sectors, free trade has meant plant closures and major job losses.

In the US, layoffs have sped up since NAFTA. Rural communities and working women have been hit especially hard. In Mexico (which was supposed to be the big free-trade winner), a quarter of a million jobs have vanished. The number of unemployed has jumped by nearly 1.5 million. Since NAFTA, the minimum wage in Mexico has fallen by 16 percent.

Free trade has given corporations more power to drive down wages and to practice "whipsaw bargaining" -- threatening to move factories to lower wage areas unless workers take concessions. The US multinational Xerox used this form of blackmail in the first year of NAFTA to bargain down the wages of employees. Meanwhile, the company posted a $794 million profit.

The US telecommunications giant AT&T lobbied hard for quick passage of NAFTA. Just one month after NAFTA's passage, AT&T announced that it was laying off 15,000 employees. The company's CEO, Robert Allen, then rewarded himself with a 40 percent pay increase -- hiking his salary to $3.4 million a year. On January 2, 1996, the company laid off 40,000 more workers, saying it needed to be more "competitive." Within two days, AT&T's stock gained $6 billion.

Massive layoffs, huge stock price gains for rich investors and bloated CEO salaries are all just part of doing business the free trade way. Free trade has been great for corporations and wealthy investors, but the working people of Canada, the US and Mexico are paying the price.

A Shredded Social Safety Net

The most heated moments of the 1988 free-trade debate came when critics warned that the FTA threatened Canadian social programs like Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. Pro-free traders accused critics of fear-mongering and outright lying, but Canadians remained worried. If free trade threatened our cherished social programs, most of us wanted no part of it.

These concerns prompted the corporate lobby to buy ads in newspapers and magazines claiming that the FTA posed no threat to social programs. Free trade, they said, would never force us to lower our social standards to that of our trading partners, nor would it give corporations the excuse to demand spending cuts.

Only a month after the election, the corporate power brokers changed their tune and began campaigning for deep cuts in social programs. As the chairperson of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association (CMA) said at the time: "If a policy is anti-competitive, dump it."

"Dumping" is precisely what's happened. Social programs have been gutted. Family allowance was eliminated. Public pensions have been cut back and are no longer universal. Welfare has been slashed. Health care and post-secondary education are being robbed of federal dollars.

UI Cut to US Levels

The clearest example of the shredding of the social safety net is what's happening to Canada's Unemployment Insurance system. In 1989, the year the FTA took effect, 87 percent of unemployed Canadians qualified for UI. In contrast, only 52 percent of US workers could collect unemployment benefits. But after changes introduced by first the Mulroney government and now Jean Chretien's Liberals, less than 40 percent of jobless Canadians will be eligible for UI. All this in just seven short years.

These cuts mean more unemployed Canadians have to rely on welfare. But governments are busy shrinking these benefits, too. Some provinces are even introducing punitive workfare programs to force the most needy into degrading "make work" projects at slave wages.

The same assault on social programs is taking place in the US and Mexico. The US Congress cut Medicaid, education grants, social security and welfare. In Mexico, the arrival of NAFTA was greeted with the privatization of many health services. Mexico's public pension funds were turned over to the private sector to fatten the profits of financial corporations. (Canada is considering such a move, and some US politicians have made similar suggestions.)

At the same time as a record number of small businesses and individuals went bankrupt, the six biggest Canadian banks earned their highest profits ever -- $5.18 billion (US $3.8 billion).

Cutting social programs is a big part of the low-wage economic strategy of free trade. The cuts are meant to weaken support for people so much that they will accept any job no matter how low the pay or how poor the working conditions. The corporations call it becoming "competitive," but more and more Canadians are seeing it for what it really is -- an all-out attack on our quality of life.

The "Greenest" Deal On Earth?

Supporters described NAFTA as the "greenest" trade deal anywhere. But two years into the deal, with a 20 percent jump in industrial activity in the "maquila-dora" factories lining the southern side of the US-Mexico border, therehas been an alarming increase in water and air pollution, and the incidence of birth defects and respiratory disease in the area is rising.

NAFTA has given corporations an excuse to push for the rollback of environmental standards, and the US Congress is bowing to corporate interests by drastically weakening environmental protections.

Here in Canada, big business successfully campaigned against attempts to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The BCNI also defeated new regulations to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming. Only intense lobbying by environmental groups headed off the passage of the Regulatory Efficiency Act. The REA, a bill designed by the CMA (now amalgamated into the Alliance of Manuafacturers and Exporters of Canada), would have allowed corporations to sidestep existing regulations by dealing directly with government ministers and proposing their own standards. If industry subsequently violated its own standards, the REA stipulated that the taxpayers -- not the industry -- would be liable for damages. [Update: As this issue went to press, a new version of the REA was being introduced to the Canadian Parliament.]

"It's Not About Culture..."

When was the last time the average Canadian saw a Canadian movie or play? Read a book by a Canadian author? Leafed through a Canadian magazine or listened to a local recording artist? Chances are it's been a while. That's because, with few exceptions, our TV and film screens are filled with US products and our magazine racks are choked with foreign titles.

US multinationals enjoy a stranglehold on Canada's cultural market. Canadian books often are hidden away in corners of bookstores marked "Canadiana." Many video stores now routinely stock Canadian releases in the "foreign film" section.

Because many Canadians feared that our cultural industries would be overwhelmed by US multinationals, the Mulroney government was compelled to negotiate a "cultural exemption" in the FTA and NAFTA. But these "safeguards" give US corporations the right to seek "compensation" for any measure Canada takes to promote local culture. That's why, whenever we try to do something to help our cultural community, the US threatens to retaliate.

Take the ongoing dispute over the "split-run" edition of Sports Illustrated. ("Split-runs" are Canadian issues of foreign magazines that have virtually the same content as the parent magazine. Because the content is almost identical, there are little or no extra editorial costs. Consequently, split-runs can offer advertisers far cheaper rates than Canadian magazines and drive them out of business.)

Under public pressure, the Liberal government used the cultural exemption to impose a hefty tax on these magazines. But Time-Warner, the publisher of Sports Illustrated, responded by taking legal action against Canada, and Washington is filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization, the body that rules on international trade disputes. Even if Canada wins the case, the US has threatened to retaliate. Why? The editor of Sports Illustrated put it bluntly when he said: "This has nothing to do with culture. It's about money."

Standing Up to Corporate Power

More and more, Canadians are questioning politicians and business leaders who use free trade to say there are no choices. "We must cut spending to remain competitive," they claim. But we look around and see programs for the needy being cut while politicians promise tax breaks for the wealthy, and we wonder if there really is "no choice."

Labor and community groups from across Canada have produced two alternative federal budgets detailing how to reduce the deficit without cutting programs and services -- by focusing on job creation, lowering interest rates, building fairness into the tax system and investing in social programs and public services.

In 1993, citizens' groups from all three NAFTA countries met to develop real alternatives to free trade. They rejected the "race to the bottom" model and called for a new trading relationship based on fairness, cooperation and mutual benefit.

Trade, they agreed, should not be used to drive down wages, weaken workers' rights or exploit the environment. A just and sustainable trade agreement would include codes of conduct for corporations and would set out strict, enforceable environmental standards and global labor rights. "Side agreements" are not enough.

If we are going to stop this headlong race to the bottom, we cannot let our governments be held captive by big corporations. If enough of us speak out and work together -- community groups, labor, farmers, women and environmentalists -- we can build a movement across the hemisphere and around the globe -- a citizens' movement that cannot be ignored.

Adapted from "Challenging Free Trade," a special issue of Canadian Perspectives published by the nonpartisan Council of Canadians. For copies of the full report, contact the Council of Canadians, 904-251 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J6, Canada, (800) 387-7177, coc@web.apc.org, www.web.apc.org/~coc.

http://www.earthisland.org/abouteii/abouteii.html

Waking up from the American Dream

Updated: 17 January, 2002
http://www.ecofuture.org/pk/pkar9506.html


(earth logo) From EcoFuture ™


"Technology is of no use to us if it is used without respect for the Earth and its processes."
-Aldo Leopold

All-Consuming Passion:

Created by the New Road Map Foundation

North Americans are, by many measures, the most successful people the world has ever known. Our enormously productive economy affords us luxuries beyond the wildest dreams of previous generations.

Yet amidst this affluence is evidence of a different story. Our rising standard of living has not always resulted in a higher quality of life. Indeed, in many ways there has been an erosion in our sense of well-being -- both for us as individuals and for us as a people. Our wealth has come with unforeseen costs: personal, social and environmental.

The following statistics, compiled by the New Road Map Foundation, tell the story of how our patterns of consumption affect our personal lives, the lives of other human beings and the environment. They also show the hopeful beginnings of a new frugality movement: a cultural trend toward "low-consumption, high-fulfillment" lifestyles.

The New Road Map Foundation (NRM) is dedicated to lowering consumption in North America. Their primary tool for teaching people how to painlessly consume less while increasing their quality of life is the book, Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, founders of NRM. The Foundation is staffed entirely by volunteers and donates all proceeds from educational programs to projects promoting a sustainable future for our world.



References & Footnotes

Go to: Solutions, End, or EcoFuture Home


Is this the American Dream?

Despite the astounding economic growth between 1958 and 1980, Americans reported feeling significantly less well-off in 1980 than they had 22 years before. [1]

Americans reporting that they were "very happy" were no more numerous in 1991 than in 1957. [2]


Percentage of 18 to 29 year-olds who think they have
a very good chance of achieving "the good life":
1978: 41%
1993: 21 % [3]


Rise in per capita consumption in the U.S. in the last 20 years: 45% [4]

Decrease in quality of life in the U.S. since 1970, as measured by the index of Social Health: 51% [5]


material consumption going up, quality of life going down


Percentage of Americans who feel the American Dream is very much alive:
1986: 32%
1990: 23% [6]


More - is it really better?

In 1992 people were, on average, four-and-a-half times richer
than their great-grandparents at the turn of the century [7]


Compared to their parents in 1950, people in the U.S. in 1991
owned twice as many cars and drove 2.5 times as far. [8]


Amount of time the average working American spent behind the wheel in 1991: 9 hours per week [9]


Increase in average daily TV viewing since 1960: 39% [10]


American parents spent 40% less time with their children in 1991 than they did in 1965. [11]


Employed Americans spent 163 hours more per year on the job in 1991 than they did in 1969. [12]


Percentage of college freshmen who reported thinking it is essential to be well off financially:
1967: 44%
1987: 76%

Percentage of college freshmen who reported thinking it is essential to develop a philosophy of life:
1967: 83%
1987: 39% [13]


Median size of a new house built in the U.S.:
1949: 1,100 sq ft [14]
1970: 1,385 sq ft [15]
1993: 2,060 sq ft [16]


Residential space per American:
1950: 312 sq ft
1993: 742 sq ft [17]


Number of Americans with two or more homes in 1991: 10 million

Number of homeless Americans in 1991:
a minimum of 300,000 [16]


Go to: Top, References, Solutions, End, or EcoFuture Home

Shopping fever

Number of advertisements American teenagers are typically exposed to by the time they graduate from high school: 360,000 [19]

Amount of time the average American will spend
watching TV commercials: one entire year of his or her life [20]

TV advertising encourages us to use resources we don't need


Percentage of American teenage girls who report
store-hopping as favorite activity: 93% [21]


Year in which the number of shopping centers in the U.S. (32,563)
surpassed the number of high schools: 1987 [22]


Average time spent shopping per week: 6 hours
Time spent playing with children per week: 40 minutes [23]


About 53% of grocery and 47% of hardware store purchases are spur of the moment. [24]


Percentage of shoppers surveyed across the country who were
shopping for a specific item: only 25% [25]


Americans can choose from:
over 25,000 supermarket items
200 kinds of cereal
11,092 magazines
[26]


How much we waste

The waste generated each year in the U.S.
would fill a convoy of 10-ton garbage trucks 145,000 miles long --
over halfway to the moon. [27]

imagine how far that really is...


By the time a baby born the United States reaches age 75, he or she will have
produced 52 tons of garbage,
consumed 43 million gallons of water
and used 3,375 barrels of oil. [28]

BURP!


Proportion of houseware bought to replace worn-out items:
1981: 2/3 to 3/4
1987: less than 1/2 [29]


For packaging (cans, bottles, cartons, etc.) alone, the U.S. uses approximately:
50% of its paper
75% of its glass
40% of its aluminum and
30% of its plastics
. [30]


Amount of motor oil sent to landfills or poured down drains in the U.S. each year:
180 million gallons -- the equivalent of 16 Exxon Valdez spills. [31]


Go to: Top, References, Solutions, End, or EcoFuture Home

Questioning the dream

Percentage of Americans who say they have achieved the American Dream:
those earning less than $15,000 a year: 5%
those earning more than $50,000 a year: 6% [32]


Highest income group in U.S.: doctors [33]

Professions with highest proportion of unhappy people: doctors and lawyers [34]


Percentage of American workers who report feeling "used up" by the end of the workday: 42% [35]


Percentage of women who said "enough money" would persuade them to stop working permanently:
1987: 35%
1990: 56% [36]

(Presumably both men and women are also interested in putting in less time and taking less money, as semi-retired people choose to do)


Percentage of Americans who would like to "slow down and live a more relaxed life": 69%

Percentage of Americans who would like a "more exciting, faster-paced life": 19% [37]


Is our dream a nightmare for others?

Percentage of the word's population comprised of Americans: 5%
Percentage of the world's resources consumed by Americans: 30% [38]

The amount of energy used by one American is equivalent to that used by:
3 Japanese
6 Mexicans
14 Chinese
38 Indians
168 Bengalis
531 Ethiopians [39]


A person in the U.S. causes 100 times more damage to the global environment
than a person in a poor country. [40]


Percentage of fossil fuel used annually that is consumed by the U.S.: 25% [41]


Percentage of all humans who own a car: 8% [42]

Percentage of American households who own one or more cars: 89% [43]

 % of Americans who DON'T own cars = % of all people who do!


Average annual income of the 3.3 billion people in the global "middle class": $700 - $7,500

Average annual income of the 1.1 billion people in the global "consumer class": over $7,500

The consumer class takes home 64% of the world's income. [44]


The average amount of pocket money for American children
-- $230 a year --
is more than the total annual income of the world's half-billion poorest people. [45]


Is our dream a nightmare for the earth?

Since 1940 Americans alone have used up as large a share of the earth's mineral resources as all previous generations put together [47]

In the last 200 years the United States has lost:
50% of its wetlands
90% of its northwestern old-growth forests
99% of its tall grass prairie
and
up to 490 species of native plants and animals
with another 9,000 now at risk [48]

this is a huge portion of USA resources!


Minerals due to run out in 50 years: copper, lead, mercury, nickel, tin and zinc [49]


Portion of U.S. water pumped annually from the groundwater supply that is not renewable: one-fifth [50]


Amount of rural land in the United States turned over to development every day: 9 square miles [51]


Number of acres we blacktop each year:
1.3 million acres (equal to the state of Delaware) [52]

we destroy forests, and create blacktop


Number of acres of cropland we lose to erosion each year: 1 million [53]


Per capita American consumption of soft drinks in 1989: 186 quarts

Per capita American consumption of tap water in 1989: 149 quarts [54]


Total energy consumed in producing a 12-ounce can of diet soda: 2,200 Calories

Total food energy in a 12-ounce can of diet soda: 1 Calorie [55]


Within the lifetime of a child born today, virtually all of Earth's petroleum will be burned,
and Earth' s fuel tank will be empty. [56]


Go to: Top, References, Solutions, End, or EcoFuture Home

Is our dream a nightmare for us?

Value of assets savings that today's average 50 year-old has set aside for Retirement: $2,300 [57]

Percentage of disposable personal income in U.S. allotted to savings:
1973: 8.6% [58]
1993: 4.2% [59]


Percentage of disposable income spent on personal debt payments:
1983: 8.6%
1990: 83% [60]


An American baby born in 1992 inherited a portion of the U.S. government debt equal to: $14,813. That portion continues to grow each year. [61]

...not much of a birthday present, is it?


Average increase in consumer spending when credit cards are used instead of cash: 23% [62]


Increase in consumer debt in the 1980s: 140% [63]


The typical American household carries $8,570 of non-mortgage personal debt. [64]


Number of individuals filing for bankruptcy in 1992:
900,000 -- triple that of 1981 [65]


New values, old habits

From a nationwide 1991 survey: [66]

8 out of 10 Americans regarded themselves as "environmentalists" and
half of those said they were "strong" ones.

o

8 out of 10 voters said protecting the environment is generally
more important than keeping prices down.

o

53% said it will take fundamental changes in lifestyle, rather than scientific advances,
to bring about dramatic changes in the environment.

o

BUT ... Only 46% surveyed said they had actually bought any items based on the environmental reputation of a product or manufacturer within the last 6 months.

o

AND ... By 51% to 34%, voters thought the need to protect jobs in the U.S. Northwest
was more important than the need
to protect the endangered spotted owl, an indicator species linked to healthy forests.


FURTHER ... In 1990 American households had between 50 and 100 pounds of hazardous material that should be disposed of only through recycling or professional waste collection. In 1989, 628 communities across the U.S. had programs to collect hazardous waste.

In 1990, only 1% to 5% of the residents used these programs. [67]


Percentage of Americans in 1990 who believed that a
"major national effort" was needed to improve the environment: 78%

Percentage who were actively working toward solutions: 22% [68]


Go to: Top, References, Solutions, End, or EcoFuture Home

How much does a good life cost?

In the state of Kerala in India, historical and cultural forces have produced a quality of life nearly equal to ours -- on a fraction of the income.

First World, Kerala, &
Third World Data
Kerala India 3rd World
Population in Millions 387 29 897
Total Fertility Rate 2.0 2.0 3.9
Quality of Life Indicators:
Infant Mortality Rate 8 17 91
Life expectancy, Male 72 70 58
Life Expectancy, Female 79 74 59
Literacy, Male 99% 94% 64%
Literacy, Female 99% 86% 39%
Resource Consumption Indicator:
GNP per capita [69] $22,430 $365 $330


In the U.S., we use 250 gallons of oil equivalent per person, per year. Europeans use half this amount. [70]


Most Europeans produce less than half the waste per person as the average American. [71]


Possibility that all the world's people could live as Americans do: zero [46]


Number of people that the planet could support living as the Europeans do, with modest but comfortable homes, refrigeration for food, and ready access to public transit, augmented by limited auto use: everyone [72]

soaring toward a better way...

Dreaming a new dream

Percentage of Americans earning over $30,000 a year who said they would give up a day's pay each week for a day of free time: 70%

Percentage of Americans earning less than $20,000 a year who said they would make the same pay-for-free-time trade: 48% [73]


Percentage of workers willing to forego raises and promotions to devote more time to their families: 34% [74]


In a 1991 survey of college freshmen: [75]

Percentage saying it is "very important" or "essential" to influence social values: 43%

Percentage saying they took part in demonstrations during their last year in high school: 39%


In a Harris Poll of 1,255 adults in November 1990:
47% were spending less time shopping than five years before the poll. [76]

time and priority can move back to your loved ones


One of the top ten trends of 1994, according to the Trends Research Institute: voluntary simplicity [77]


Percentage of American workers ages 25 -- 49 who believe that keeping up with the Joneses does anything for the keepers-up: 2% [78]


Percentage of American workers ages 25 -- 49 who would like to see a return to a simpler society with less emphasis on material wealth: 75% [79]


Go to: Top, References, End, or EcoFuture Home

we can all soar toward these solutions

Solutions

The single most important contribution any of us can make to the planet is a return to frugality.
-- Robert Muller, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations

As we've seen, unlimited consumption, once the hallmark of the American Dream, is becoming a nightmare for us, for others and for the earth. It is eroding our environmental, social and personal well-being. We are rich in things, but poor in happiness.

Our overconsumption has also weakened our economy. Leading economic observers like Peter Thurow of M.I.T., Charles Schultze of the Brookings Institute and Alfred E. Kahn of Cornell University all assert that our economic health depends on consuming less and saving more.

Every time we spend money we consume resources, so saving money links directly to saving forests, other species, mineral resources, water and ultimately the earth. For ourselves, and for all life, we must return to financial sanity.

The good news is there is a growing trend towards "fiscal fitness." Tired of debt stress and clutter, people now want more time for family, friends, fun and community service. They are discovering that a high quality of life does not depend on an ever higher material standard of living. Consuming less is becoming a path to personal freedom and social revitalization.

The folks at New Road Map Foundation have developed resources to assist people in shifting to personally, socially and environmentally sustainable lifestyles. They invite you to join them in their commitment to consume less for the sake of all life.


Go to: Top, References, End, or EcoFuture Home

Second Edition, Copyright (c) 1993 New Road Map Foundation. May be reproduced freely with credit.
Disclaimer: EcoFuture is in no way related to the New Roadmap Foundation (NRM). We receive no monies from NRM and do not profit from sales of these off-line resources. NRM is staffed entirely by volunteers and donates all proceeds from their educational programs to projects promoting a sustainable future for our world.

Related ResourcesA hardcopy version of All-Consuming Passion is available.


A book, Your Money or Your Life (New York: Viking Penguin, 1992), by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin offers a tested path out of excess and back to balance. The book describes a nine-step program that has helped many individuals shift to "low-consumption, high-fulfillment" lifestyles. Also see New Road Map Foundation.

Final facts:
- 90% of the total electricity used by a standard incandescent lightbulb is wasted as heat.
- Replacing one incandescent lightbulb with a compact flourescent bulb results in a reduction of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from power plants, over the bulb's lifetime.

Go to: Top, References, Solutions, or EcoFuture Home

The original New Road Map Foundation text was transcribed and adapted to Web hypertext on 30 April 95 by Wayne L. Pendley. Wayne also scanned and adapted these images from the illustrations in the hardcopy pamphlet from the New Road Map Foundation.

EcoFuture comments

Open Directory

EcoFuture Home

Research corporate boards influence and potential corruption

Research corporate boards influence and potential corruptionCORPORATE POWER, INFLUENCE, MONEY AND INTERLOCKING BOARDS OF DIRECTORS PAGE



This page looks at the people within and behind corporations in the context of their interconnectedness. This is an important and often unmentioned part of the power that corporations manifest. This page also provides you with the means to research "tell-all" public documents that corporations are required to file with the Federal Government. Finally it shows how corporations directly control some aspects of environmental policy-making and parts of the environmental movement.

striped_bar

The often asked question, "why doesn't the media talk about corporate power?" and the frequent answer "because the corporations own the media...", really is a simplification of a wide-ranging process of power-sharing and wealth-retention that goes more to the kinds of people behind the corporations than the actual corporations themself.

If progressives are to have any chance of limiting corporate rapaciousness and the spread of corporate influence, they must know the strengths and the weaknesses of their enemy and not merely rely on cliches and mantras like "the corporations own the media". The knowledge of how money and power and corporations interlock is vital in the fight to preserve the environment and build a sustainable society. Like all things that haven't been understood, it seems complex and mysterious and unknowable to the uninitiated. It is a process that anyone of reasonable intelligence can understand.

At this point you can go on and learn about corporations and how to research them below the red bar about one page down.

OR you can read about the largest bankruptcy in U. S. history, the ties of this company to the Bush administration and possible connection to our current difficulties. --->

Warning: this is dense and confusing reading. It requires some knowledge of how corporations work and is a good illustration of why it is important to learn about these things.

The scandal of Enron.


Here it is in simple declarative English:

Letter to Dick Cheney from the

United States House of Representitives-Committe on Government Reform

that asks the hard questions about the secret deals. Slow PDF file-worth the wait.

striped_ bar

Learn about corporations:

Corporations ranging from General Motors to some small supermarket are legally created fictitious individuals that do business. The legal process of incorporation gives all the rights of a person to the corporation. It also shields the owners from liability.

Corporations have boards of directors, officers and other legally prescribed functionaries that are a part of their publicly granted state license to do business. These individuals overall duty and legal obligation is to make money for the corporation's stockholders.

Excellent History of Corporations and Four Masks of Corporate Power

Forget the little old lady that owns a few shares of stock. Most shares are owned by tremendously wealthy and thus politically influential individuals and most importantly by other corporations, many of which are investment banks.

Corporations often facilitate local environmental, social and economic suicide, taking the people of the surrounding area along with them following their mandate which is to make more and more money by continuous growth. Many of the people running corporations are charming, well educated and pleasant individuals who serve on the boards of charities and other social-veneering activities. These people are not setting out to deliberately do the bad things for which they are damned. These ill effects are a byproduct of their myopic quest to raise the value of the stock. Much of these corporate executives' pay is in stock options, which is the right to take possession of a certain number of shares now or at a future date, for nothing or for a fixed price that may allow them to turn around and sell the shares for a large profit now or in the future.

Once one has their first 100 Million Dollars, how much better can one sleep or eat or travel or dress? The thing to be attained is power. The power to influence and to actualize what you believe in or have been programmed to believe in by your education and social contacts.

Such individuals work their way up through the ranks of a company learning skills the details of the business of the corporation and work their way to the top. These are the people that really do the useful work of managing the corporation and allow it to create or do whatever it does. What about people that run corporations without having ever worked their way up through the ranks-or for that matter, even know anything real about the company? What about a corporation that buys other corporations and or lends money to other corporations. What skills do the people that run these corporations need?

Where do they get these skills? Once they have invested most of their life building and refining these skills and working themself into places where they can exercise them, will they ever repudiate or abandon them? These are questions that we hope to answer by illustration and example.

THE REVOLVING DOOR is especially odious when government officials that are in charge of regulating corporations later become corporate employees or know that they can so become if they are obedient and do a good job of defending the corporate interests while in the employ of the government. This is the "revolving door" well described in books such as Toxic Deception by Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle, which catalogues the entry of government regulators into corporate chemical company employ after failing to enforce existing laws and working to weaken them by oversight, inaction and sabotage.
An excerpt from the book

Here's the latest list of people in "our" government and where they used to-or will soon-work after they complete their assignments: Monsanto and G.W. Bush Administration: Who Will Own the Store?

Here's another Monsanto connection: Donald Rumsfield.

Rumsfeld Lobbied FDA Approval of Toxic Aspartame (continued)

by RM NEWS

A hard-right Republican who served four terms in Congress (1962-69),Rumsfeld voted against food stamps, Medicare and anti-poverty funds. Rumsfeld'spolitical ideology encompasses the stockpiling of chemical weapons,downsizing the Federal government, and eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

And this:

"James Turner, the anti-aspartame advocate alleges that Searle hired Rumsfeld to handle the aspartame approval difficulties as a "legal problem rather than a scientific problem."

And this:

"On September 30, 1980, the PBOI voted unanimously to reject the use of aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) until additional studies on aspartame's potential to cause brain tumors could be done. On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President of the United States, Searle

Pharmaceuticals reapplied to the FDA for aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) approval.

A former G.D. Searle salesperson, Patty Wood-Allott, revealed that Donald Rumsfeld, president of Searle, told his sales force that, if necessary, "he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year." (mgold, Gordon, US Senate Record)

From the Amylin Pharmaceuticals webpage: Donald Rumsfeld Bio

Mr. Rumsfeld is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gilead

Sciences, Inc. He also serves as a member of the boards of directors

of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Ltd., Tribune Company and RAND

Corporation. He is currently Chairman of the Salomon Smith Barney

International Advisory Board. He recently completed service as

Chairman of the U.S. Government Commission to Assess the Ballistic

Missile Threat to the United States. From 1991 to 1996, Mr.

Rumsfeld served as a member of the board of directors of Amylin

Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Rumsfeld was Chairman and Chief Executive

Officer of General Instrument Corporation from October 1990 to

August 1993 and served as a senior advisor to William Blair & Co.,

an investment banking firm, from 1985 to 1990. He was Chief

Executive Officer of G.D. Searle & Co. from 1977 to 1985. Mr.

Rumsfeld formerly served as U.S. Secretary of Defense, White

House Chief of Staff, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and U.S.

Congressman. He has also served as the President's special envoy to

the Middle East. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of

Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.

Top corporate criminials of the 1990s.

Here's an incredible catalog of how corporations are robbing the American People. This is a long transcript, it's an education and should answer all questions on just what is the problem with big business. Testimony of Ralph Nader Before the House Committee on the Budget, June 30, 1999

Is it in the corporate interest for our country to be at war?

Here's a list of the top 100 government contractors:

Look at number 16. It's the Carlyle Group. Check out its People page. When you're there do an Edit-find for "Bush" you will see lots of connections to the administration of George the First.

He's on the Board of Directors as well.

GETTING INSIGHT INTO CORPORATE POWER STRUCTURES

This information is, at least for now, available to the public. Would you like to see an inside look at how the Disney Corporation really works? Not the Public Relations story or the advertisements or the ubiquitous cartoon characters; the real story: Here's Walt Disney's Quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing (583K)

Go ahead, have a look around inside their financial house. You can learn a lot from reading the various documents filed with the U.S. Government Securities and Exchange Commission.(SEC).
What the SEC does.
Oops!, that link is now dead. Guess what the new title is? The investor's advocate"
You're not picturing some little old lady researching her stocks are you? Picture investment banking houses.


To see the yearly and quarterly documents that all corporations must file, and thus all the information within them, search for the corporation by name at EDGAR, the server at the SEC.

Or you can go to
Hoover's Searchable information and CURRENT SEC filings

for more than 10,000 public and private companies worldwide.

Most of what you will see in the SEC filing is financial gobbledygook, standardized formulaic boiler-plate language and boring details. Where you can really learn interesting things is in the sections dealing with the legal actions against the corporation and the Board of Directors.

When the financial statements of a corporation are audited as they must be to protect the interests of the stockholders, all legal actions against them have to be revealed to the auditors and these become part of the Quarterly, (10-Q) and Yearly,(10-K) reports filed with the SEC. Go to the index of Pacific Gas and Electric's Quarterly filing. Use your "back" button to return here. Notice the sections dealing with "legal actions".

Check out PG&E's Nuclear Liability. They are saddling the ratepayers with the cost of their nuclear mistakes and not only are the owners of PG&E removed from immunity because it's a corporation, but even the corporation itself has limited liability, if for example, San Luis Obispo gets irradiated by the Diablo Canyon reactor. It's all there.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

These are people who have specific duties of governance of the corporation. Often they are major stockholders. Often they become or have been government officials.These people make up the group that is truly controlling America. We're not talking about small businesses that are incorporated for tax reasons or the isolation of their owners from potential liability, we're talking about the
Fortune 500 corporations.

Also from Fortune Magazine; (owned by Time Warner)
Top Lobbying Groups

You cannot look to corporations to do the right thing for people, the economy or the environment--it goes against their interests. This is one reason why we wrote the Overcoming Consumerism web site; to provide a few tools to help people abandon as much support of corporate business and remove as much corporate influence from their lives as is possible if we are to ever attain a sustainable society.

A hypothetical example:

"Someone invents a simple device to generate a certain amount of useful electricity or heat with no pollution and low cost. Corporate executives see device as threat to the energy reserves of fossil fuels and large centralized infrastructures that they control to finance, process, and market energy. Useful energy generation device languishes and is ignored, ridiculed or downplayed by corporate owned and controlled media. Corporate influenced, (controlled), Government officials don't do anything meaningful to promote this device or make it economically feasable through tax codes or regulations. Fabulously rich countries that control enormous wealth because they sell oil don't like device and the corporations that they own or control do everything to downplay or ignore it. Other countries that receive Billions to act as threat and leash on oil countries don't like device because it would make them redundant. Defense companies that make Billions and get Billions of taxpayer dollars to sell arms to both oil producers and other countries don't like device because it would destroy their markets. Mid-level technocrats that hope for corporate employment don't like device because it threatens their importance and future employability.

The point is that this influence is almost always exercised by corporate executives and their interlocking boards of directors using the tool called money to control "elected" officials.

By the way, the simple device already exists.
...It's called a Solar Panel.

A fun exercise. Go to the list of the Names, occupations (and needs) of the top 400 donors to the Democratic Party. Look at the names of the donors and [their] corporations listed there. Then go to the SEC Edgar site and look up their corporations. Note the names of the Board of Directors.

Look at some other boards of directors. Chrysler's [LINK'S DEAD as of 2/11/03] is a nicely illustrated with photos and biographies. Notice the last person on the list. "Mr.Wilson is also a director of Chrysler Canada Ltd., Bell Canada International Inc., BCE Mobile Communications Inc., Bell Canada, Bell-Northern Research Inc., Northern Telecom Limited, Stelco Inc., Tate & Lyle PLC, Teleglobe Inc. and the C.D. Howe Institute. He also serves as a Governor of the Olympic Trust of Canada, and of McGill University and is a member of the International Council, J.P. Morgan and the Trilateral Commission.

You are reading about someone with a tremendous amount of influence in the world and one who can effect more change in a community where one of the enterprises he is associated with are located than can many an elected local official.

Also on Chrysler's Board of Directors:
[LINK'S DEAD as of 2/11/03]
Is Mr. Kent Kresa: "Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Northrop Grumman Corporation. Mr. Kresa earned degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from 1959 to 1968 was associated with various scientific and defense oriented research organizations and government agencies. He joined Northrop Grumman Corporation, a diversified aerospace manufacturer, in 1975 and after several positions with increased responsibility in the company, Mr. Kresa was elected Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of that company in 1990. Mr. Kresa is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visiting Committee for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association, and is a director of the John Tracy Clinic for the hearing-impaired and the Atlantic Richfield Company. He serves on the CEO Board of Advisors of the University of Southern California's School of Business Administration, the Board of Trustees for the California Institute of Technology, the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, and the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Music Center."

Look at the bios of the Board of Directors of Arco Oil. [dead link]{now swallowed up in a bigger company}

There's Mr. Kresa again. He is obviously a competent and talented individual and well respected in his community of fellow CEO's etc.--we don't care about his personal qualities. What we do care about is what he represents and the influence that his loyalties exercise on industry and thus on society.

Let's hypothesize; If Chrysler could make and market a car that got 100 MPG, how would Mr. Kresa favor that as he also works for Arco? Is this a conflict of interest? How would such a conflict be resolved in favor of the Earth? The consumer? or status-quo Corporate Profits?

What this conglomeration of titles show is that it is in, and that it becomes Chrysler's interests to block solar power, electric cars and to support certain ideologies with whom it shares certain interests. Even if that means expensive oil. i.e. The world car market is saturated. The Directors and executives like Mr. Kresa, in our opinion, would rather see things continue the way they are, rather than see oil go to $1 a barrel, even if it meant selling a few million more cars and benefited the vast majority of Americans, (while speeding up the destruction of the environment.) Fewer Grumman components would be sold, Arco would suffer catastrophic losses, MIT's and the University of Southern California School of Business's defense establishment bound students would have fewer employment opportunities...etc.

"General Dynamics, which sold $7.4 billion worth of weapons to the Pentagon in 1991, has other means of persuasion at its disposal. The corporation contributed almost $307,000 to influential members of Congress in a recent 15-month period. The General Dynamics board of directors includes a former secretary of defense, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the former Supreme Commander, Europe and a former secretary of state."
From "AMERICA'S DEFENSE MONITOR" (Center for Defense Information).
Radio program title THE SEAWOLF & THE CITIES. Full transcript here

Are some of these connections becoming clearer to you?

Read about every progressive's favorite chemical company: Monsanto's 1998 Annual Report
(See page 10 thru 13)
Be sure to read "PART III, ITEM 10. DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT." Here are some of the preceeding jobs of the Monsanto directors:

Steven L. Engelberg, 54, Senior Vice President, Partner, Keck, Mahin & Cate, 1986; Partner-in-Charge,-Monsanto Company eck, Mahin & Cate Washington, D.C. office, 1986; Chief of Staff of Office of the United States Trade Representative (on leave from Keck, Mahin & Cate until May 1993), 1993; Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs--Monsanto Company, 1994; and present position, 1996.

R. William Ide III, 56, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary--Monsanto Company; Partner, Kutak Rock, 1989; President, American Bar Association, 1993-1994; Partner, Long, Aldridge & Norman, 1993; and present position, 1996.

Note that William D.Ruckelshaus is a Director of Monsanto.

Mr. Ruckelshaus is Chairman of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc. He was twice the EPA Administrator and served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States. In addition, he held the positions of Majority Leader of the Indiana House of Representatives, Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Senior Vice President of Weyerhaeuser Company. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He is also Chairman of the Board, Browning-Ferris Industries.

It's obvious that Monsanto is well connected in Washington. How does this insider power get used? Here's a nice example from Times Beach, Missouri:
WHY IS EPA IGNORING MONSANTO?

In our humble opinion, Mr. Ruckelshaus', (director of Monsanto-ex EPA director) Enterprise For The Environment looks suspiciously like a greenwashing front for corporate interests. i.e.

Read a few excerpts from an Interview with William Ruckelshaus by Timothy K. Judge and Bruce W. Piasecki Published in Corporate Environmental Strategies, the Journal of Environmental Leadership

JUDGE: The effort you are leading at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Enterprise for the Environment has been underway for about a year now. How is Enterprise for the Environment changing the debate and ultimately the publics view on environmental issues?

RUCKELSHAUS: "Well, it's not changing any debate yet because we haven't agreed on anything. We may change the debate of the people going through the process, but as of yet we have had no impact on the public simply because what we've been doing has largely been screened from public view. But, if we are able to arrive at a consensus, given the broad based nature of the people trying to arrive at a consensus, it could have a significant impact on the way the public perceives the environment. It's just too early to tell exactly what we are going to come up with and how significant it will be. But, if we arrive at a consensus on a whole number of issues that we are dealing with, it could have a significant affect on environmental policy going forward into the next century...."

Subtle? Full Text of interview

SOME WAYS THAT CORPORATIONS CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

Industry Deploys New Anti-Environmental Strategy From Environmental Working Group with links to corporate deception sites.

Today the environmental movement receives about $40 million a year from three oil companies which operate through front groups politely described as "private foundations".

Full info. from WHO OWNS THE SUN? People, Politics, and the Struggle for a Solar Economy.
Daniel M. Berman and John T. O'Connor, This extensive quote from this wonderful book says it all.

Investigative Journalism--free press--Alternative Media anybody?

PBS' board of directors. On it you will find directors from the following industries along with the corporations rating in size from the Fortune 500: AT&T #5, Rockefeller Brothers (Chase Manhattan Bank) #25, Phelp's-Stokes (Phelps-Dodge Mining) #362, FMC ("Farm Machinery Corporation"-builder of tanks etc.) #278, Mobil # 8, Chubb (Insurance)#222 and sure enough, Monsanto, #159


For a good example of corporate influence-peddling and issue clouding see the employers and corporate affiliations of the directors and Board of Policy Advisors of the Heartland Institute. (As of 7/10/00 the link is dead.) Suffices to say most of the big donors were oil companies, industry groups etc. You can still like to their main site and read such pearls as: "Despite the valiant efforts of grassroots property rights organizations, the House of representitives passed the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). etc.".

INFORMATION on CORPORATIONS

Ending Corporate Governance An enormous series of eclectic links.

(scroll UP once you get to this page)
Bush administration to downplay environmental degradation.
A great study of the different types of corporate sponsored disinformation and corporate interests groups working to continue obtaining profits through environmental degradation.

Of the world's 100 largest economies, 51 are now global corporations.

  • The richest 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of all U.S. assets.
  • The combined assets of 358 billionaires equal the combined assets of almost half the world's population.
  • The courts have given corporations the basic Constitutional rights of persons, but workers lose those rights on entering the workplace.
  • The corporate share of taxes paid has fallen from 33 percent in the 1940's to 15 percent in the 1990's. Individuals' share of taxes has risen from 44 to 73 percent.
  • The new World Trade Organization effectively gives corporations veto power over our U.S. environmental and labor laws, weakening your right to protect ourselves and our land by our legislation.

************************************************ Here's a lovely historical quote having to do with the "Free Press" in America.

John Swinton (considered "the Dean of his Profession" by his peers), Chief of Staff New York Times, when asked to give a toast at the New York Press Club in 1953 had this to say:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Item

G.E. to cut 75,000 jobs? 2/1/01


Mobil Oil, on April 24, 1995 announced quarterly profits of $636 million, 19% above the previous year's level and sufficient to put Mobil on a pace to break all previous records for profitability in 1995. . . . Mobil announced one week later a 9% boost in its dividend payout citing a strong balance sheet, continuing cost initiatives and optimism about future growth opportunities. The following day, on May 2, Mobil announced it would layoff 4,700 workers or 9.2% of its workforce. . . . Mobil oil gained $3.88 or 4.1% in market value in the trading session following its announcement.



end CORPORATE POWER, INFLUENCE, MONEY AND INTERLOCKING BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
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Sabtu, 06 Oktober 2007

CLEAN HANDS SAVE LIVES

CLEANING ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS!

Hand hygiene has been an important practice for centuries. And, since its establishment in 1926, The Soap and Detergent Association has been a leader in educating the public about hand hygiene and its impact on preventing illness. According to
the World Health Organization, “Hand hygiene is the primary measure to reduce infections …”

Just imagine what life would be like if we didn’t clean our hands …
As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunity for germs to sneak up on us when we least expect them. But, frequent and proper hand hygiene can stop germs and illness in their tracks. Read on to find out how hand cleaning products can help!

S A F E T Y F I R S T
S A F E T Y F I R S T

• Always read and follow instructions on all products before using.
• Avoid contact with eyes. In case of eye contact, flush with water.
• Hand hygiene products are intended for external use only. If swallowed, get medical help or call the number on the product label or the U.S. Poison Control Center’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-1222. To locate a provincial Poison Control Center in Canada, visit www.healthycleaning101.org/english/safety.html

CLEAN HANDS SAVE LIVES
Hand Hygiene Products
Products formulated to clean hands and/or
kill germs on hands at home and on-the-go.
Remember to Read the Label! Product labels may contain information about ingredients, proper use and other useful
information, such as how to contact the product manufacturer with questions.

It’s Monday morning …
You catch the early train to work. Taking public
transportation is a great way to meet a lot of new, interesting
people, but opening a door or holding that handrail can also
put you “in touch” with many of their germs!
You arrive at your office …
To your pleasant surprise, the company tech person is
installing your new email program! The only thing is, she
has a cold. After a couple of sniffl es, coughs, and keystrokes,
she “hands” you your keyboard and says, “login, please.”
Instead of “you've got mail,” you've got germs!
Later on, your boss treats you to lunch
to celebrate your big promotion …
He sneezes just before shaking your hand – Ka-ching
turns into Ka-chew!
After work, you remember you have to pick
up the chicken for dinner …
You stop at the local market, and grab the handle of the
first shopping cart in sight. Then, squish! Your hands
are covered in baby drool, a surprise left over from the
previous “little” customer.
Having second thoughts about that chicken dinner?

I N G R E D I E N T S
Ingredients may be listed on product packaging.
The following are common ingredients used in many
hand hygiene products. Not all products contain all
ingredients.

• Cleaning Agents/Surfactants: Lift
dirt and soil dirt and soil and help remove germs from hands.
• Moisturizers: Leave hands feeling soft and smooth.
• Fragrances: Give consumers a choice of pleasing
scents.
• Antibacterial/Germ-killing Agents: Help kill germs that
may cause odors or illness. Some of the more frequently used
ingredients are:
- Triclocarban – used in bar soaps
- Triclosan – used in bar and liquid soaps
- Alcohol – used in hand sanitizers and hand wipes
- Benzalkonium chloride – used in hand sanitizers and hand wipes

P R O D U C T S
Hand hygiene products come in many forms – each having its own benefits. Look for easy, convenient, portable, and
refillable packaging options. Select the form that best suits your needs.

• Bar Soaps: Designed to clean the skin by removing
dirt and oils.
• Hand Sanitizers: Designed to kill germs on hands that are not
visibly dirty, without the need for water or towels.
• Liquid or Foaming Hand Soaps: Designed to
dispense a single “dose” for cleaning hands.
• Wipes: Designed to wipe away dirt from hands.

Remember to Read the Label! Product labels may contain information about ingredients, proper use and other useful information, such as how to contact the product manufacturer with questions.

D I R E C T I O N S F O R U S E
Cleaning your hands when soap and running water
are available:
• Wet hands with warm, running water – prior to reaching for
soap (bar or liquid form). This applies to most products; however,
some foaming hand washes should be applied to dry hands.
• Move hands away from the water, and make a lather by rubbing
hands together.
• Be sure to wash the front and back of hands, between fingers,
around and under nails for 15 seconds or more.
• Rinse hands well under warm, running water.
• Dry hands thoroughly with a clean paper or cloth towel or
air dryer.

D I R E C T I O N S F O R U S E FA Q
Q: Are hand soaps, sanitizers, and wipes safe for children?
A: When used as directed, hand hygiene products are safe
for children. Keep in mind, when using personal care
products, young children should be supervised.
In addition, supervising adults should be sure to read and
follow instructions on all products before use.

Q: Why is handwashing important and where can I learn more?
A: Handwashing is one of the most important steps to A: Handwashing is one of the most important steps to A:
stop the spread of infection. A recent study2 shows that
simple handwashing with soap can reduce the number of
pneumonia-related infections in children under the age of
five by more than 50 percent.
For education materials, use the Healthy Schools,
Healthy People – It’s a SNAP program at
www.itsasnap.org and The 15 Second Challenge at
www.healthycleaning101.org/english/hands.html

SMA R T C L E A N I N G : F R E Q U E N T LY A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S

Q: When should I use antibacterial vs. non-antibacterial
products?
A: Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers are designed to A: Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers are designed to A:
offer the extra protection of killing germs, so it’s best
to use them in situations when you are most concerned
about germs, such as preparing food, when you or others
are ill, or when touching or cleaning after pets.

Q: Do hand sanitizers really help kill germs? When should
I use them?
A: Hand sanitizers are an easy, portable way to help kill A: Hand sanitizers are an easy, portable way to help kill A:
germs on hands, but they are not designed to remove dirt
or grime. Hand sanitizers are a good alternative to use
when soap and water aren’t available.
The convenience and ease-of-use of instant hand sanitizers
can enable everyone to get rid of germs on hands more
frequently throughout the day. Several studies1 show that
the use of hand sanitizers reduces absenteeism in schools
due to illnesses, as well as decreases the incidences of
hospital-associated infections.
WEB SITE: www.cleaning101.com
This Product Fact Sheet was developed by the Consumer Education Committee of The Soap and Detergent Association. It is intended for educational purposes, and
is offered without guarantees or warranties of any kind. It may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission, but with credit given to SDA.
© 2006 The Soap and Detergent Association

D I S P O S A L
• Use all of the product.
• Some hand hygiene products, such as liquid soaps,
are packaged in refi llable containers.
• In general, liquids can be poured down the drain.
• Dispose of bar soaps and wipes in the trash, do not
fl ush down the toilet.
• When disposing of empty containers, check the recycling
symbols on your container and your local recycling regulations.
1 B. Hammond et al., “Effect of hand sanitizer use on elementary school absenteeism,” American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 28, Issue 5, October 2000, pgs 340 – 346.
J. Hilburn et al., “Use of alcohol hand sanitizer as an infection control strategy in an acute care facility,” American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 31, Issue 2, April 2003, pgs 109 – 116.
DL Dyer et al., “Alcohol-free Instant Hand Sanitizer Reduces Elementary School Illness Absenteeism,” Family Medicine, Vol. 32, No. 9, October 2000, pgs 633 – 638.
2 Didier Pittet, “Clean hands reduce the burden of disease,” The Lancet, www.thelancet.com, Vol. 366, July 16 2005, pgs 185 – 187.
References

Cleaning your hands when soap and running water
aren't convenient:
Hand Sanitizers:
• Use one or two squirts or pumps of the product.
• Rub hands together briskly, including the front and
back, between fi ngers, around and under nails until
hands are dry.
Wipes:
• Wipe all areas of hands until they are visibly clean.
• Use one or more wipes and dispose in an appropriate
trash container.
• Let hands air dry.
Here are some critical times to clean your hands:
• Before and after meals and snacks • Before caring for young children • After touching a public surface
• Before and after preparing food, • After using the restroom • When hands are dirty
especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood • After touching animals • When you or someone around you is ill

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