("Quid coniuratio est?")
"PROJECT CENSORED" TOP 10 STORIES OF 1996
10.) Facing Food Scarcity: Projected 90 million more people per year on planet. Problem: the world's stock of rice, wheat, corn and other grains has fallen to the lowest level in two decades. "Solution?" Poor countries will have to feed their own people, without help from wealthier nations. Will Bill Clinton "feel their pain?"
9.) U.S. Troops Exposed To Depleted Uranium During Gulf War: Highly toxic depleted uranium was used by Gulf War forces as both armor-piercing bullets and as tank armor. U.S. Army is said to have an as-yet unreleased report.
8.) Big Brother Goes High-Tech: New technologies are gaining on civil liberties on an increasing scale. Hundreds of huge databases are linking up and sharing "cyber-gossip."
7.) Cashing In On Poverty: Pawnshops, check-cashing outlets, rent-to-own stores, finance companies and high-interest mortgage lenders prey on the disadvantaged. These predators are often bankrolled by such as Ford, Citibank, NationsBank and American Express. In turn, stocks go up and yuppie puppies are pleased.
6.) New Mega-Merged Banking Behemoths = Big Risk: In U.S., top 1 percent of households controls almost one-third of the nation's net worth. 71.5 percent of U.S. banking assets are now controlled by the 100 largest banking organizations. Fewer banks controlling more and more wealth means smaller, community banks get squeezed out -- making it harder and harder for small borrowers to get loans.
5.) Corporate Crime: Whitewash At The Justice Department: In 1987 alone, 50,000 to 70,000 workers died prematurely from on-the-job exposure to toxins. Yet while such corporate/white collar crime costs America 10 to 50 times more than street crime, the Justice Department shows little interest in the problem. Of more than 51,000 federal criminal indictments in 1994, only 250 involved criminal violations of the nation's environmental, occupational health and safety, and consumer product safety laws.
4.) The PR Industry's Secret War On Activists: The Public Relations (PR) industry, by dipping into the deep pockets of their giant corporate clients, vastly directs and controls thought and policy. Watch out for "astroturf" campaigns -- strange "citizen groups" (really a false front) lending support to corporate and elite causes. True dissenting voices tend to get muffled in the process.
3.) Big Perks For Wealthy Hidden In Minimum Wage Bill: Among provisions hidden in the bill, weakening of retirement and pension protection. "Welfare reform" expands the supply of low-wage applicants without expanding the supply of jobs. Wages are essentially held down.
2.) Shell's Oil, Africa's Blood: Despite Royal Dutch/Shell Group's intimate links to the Nigerian government, Shell seems to have ignored worldwide pleas that it use its influence to stem judicial violence in that African nation. In fact, Shell likely helped instigate the violence. Shell's drilling in Nigeria destroyed farmlands. When Ken Saro-Wiwa and the 300,000-member Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People targeted Shell with mass protests, there was a crackdown. Internal documents show that Shell was more than a passive player in the affair.
1.) Nuclear Proliferation In Space: In October (apparently 1997), NASA plans to launch a space vehicle to Saturn. The Cassini probe will carry 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238. Enroute, the probe will whip around Earth at 42,300 mph, 312 miles above the planet's surface. What if there is an accident (certainly not unlikely)? Five billion people could receive dangerous levels of radiation exposure. Solar power technology would eliminate risk, yet NASA and corporate/government friends ignore that solution. NBC (General Electric) and CBS (Westinghouse) are "strangely" silent about it all on their nightly "news" shows.
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** Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Is Meaningless Economic Measuring
** rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone In Milk) -- Milking The Public. ** Teen "Drug Crisis" Is A Myth.
** Derivatives: Risky Business
** Corporate America Spends Big Bucks On Pro-China Public Relations.
** Refrigerator Revolution and Repairing the Ozone. ** Tuna, Free Trade and Cocaine.
(The "Project Censored" book is published yearly. CENSORED: The News That Didn't Make The News: The 1997 Project Censored Yearbook. Published by Seven Stories Press. Available through your local bookstore or phone 1-800-596-7437.)
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