Plant Trees SF Events 2004 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
Project Censored Alerts 
http://www.projectcensored.org

Teflon | Corporations Granted Relief from Pollution Regulations | 
Computer Chips in your Drivers License | Women's situation much worse 
than before the fall of Hussein | Miami Profiteers Evicting Alameda 
CA Renters 

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 11:45:20 -0800 
From: Peter Phillips 
Subject: Project Censored Alerts 


Project Censored Alerts 
Edited by Tina Tambornini 


Teflon: Potential Health Risks 

Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is being found in the drinking water 
around the United States and it could potentially cause health risks. 
PFOA is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of Dupont's 
Teflon. Teflon is a type of plastic that is used to make fire 
resistant cables, the thin white tape used in plumbing, Gor-Tex and 
other waterproofing membranes, as well as non-stick coatings for pots 
and pans. 

The problem with this chemical is that it easily dissolves in water, 
allowing for easier consumption by the public. This chemical has been 
in use in industry for fifty some years, and Dupont-lead studies have 
found no PFOA in pots or pans. However, current research has shown 
that this "Teflon Chemical" is found in people's blood (in the parts 
per billion range), around the nation as well as around the globe. 
The risk is that the chemical is potentially dangerous, and the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now showing a greater 
concern with the chemical than before. Recent government studies have 
shown that PFOA can cause developmental effects in laboratory animals 
at low levels. Other research has shown that PFOA may be linked to 
cancer as well as pose risk for birth defects. Researchers suspect 
that most of the PFOA in our blood may come from the breakdown of 
telomers, which are produced when Teflon is dissolved in water. The 
Plastics industry is completely denying that PFOA causes cancer 
and/or birth defects, maintaining additionally that the manufacturing 
of this chemical does not account for the widespread human exposure 
to PFOA. 

Source: Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Journal 
"Teflon Chemical: It's in Your Pots and Pans and it's probably in you" 
by Cheryl Hogue Synopsis by Brent Kidder 


Corporations Granted Relief from Pollution Regulations 

The thirty companies that own most of the dirtiest power plants in 
the country have raised 6.6 million for President Bush and the 
Republican National Committee since 1999, and were given relief from 
pollution regulations that would have cost them billions of dollars. 
This is because these companies hired at least sixteen lobbying 
firms, which met with Dick Cheney's energy task force to help 
formulate the country's energy and pollution policies. In addition, 
some plant industry executives were given key positions at the 
Environmental Protection Agency, which has attempted to exempt many 
of these corporations from the pollution control requirements by 
relaxing the rules. Some of the emissions that these companies 
release include sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, which pose higher 
risks to Americans in terms of asthma attacks, lung ailments, and 
premature death. 

Source: Asheville Global Report No. 278, May 13-19, 2004 
By Finn Finneran Synopsis by Deanna Murrell 


Computer Chips in your Drivers License 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Oct. 6th urged Virginia not 
to become the first state in the nation to place radio frequency 
identification chips in its driver's licenses. RFID tags are computer 
chips attached to tiny antennae that are capable of broadcasting 
their data wirelessly to anyone with an RFID reader. They are 
currently used for "contactless" applications such as tollbooth speed 
passes. Almost everyone carries a driver's license, and RFID chops 
allow people to be tracked. This proposal would allow anyone to set 
up a reader and capture the identities and personal information of 
every person who comes within range. FBI agents, for example, could 
sweep up identities of everyone at a political meeting, protest 
march, gun show or Islamic prater service. 

Source: Asheville Global Report "ACLU against Chips in VA Driver's: Licenses" 
Credit ACLU October 14-20 No. 300 Synopsis by Allison Lewis 


Women's situation much worse than before the fall of Hussein. 

Since the fall of the Ba'ath regime women have been under siege. They 
now live in constant fear of abduction, assault and death. Abductions 
are now so common that daughters are being kept home from school and 
women cannot leave the house without the accompaniment of male 
relative. Women who have been abducted are often quietly killed by 
their families to clear the shame. There are also no statistics 
because reporting to the police would often times mean death. Those 
who are not released after abduction are often sold into the 
flourishing business of prostitution. The poverty that has been 
afflicted upon these women has left them no other options but 
prostitution, but those who are thought to be prostitutes are often 
beheaded. 

Women in Iraq once were much better off, and held an enviable status 
in the Middle East. The Iraq constitution declared the equality of 
women in 1979, and in the early 80's women were 40% of the work 
force. Equal pay and benefits were mandated, but in 1991 at the time 
of the invasion of Kuwait, women's rights began to erode. In 1990, a 
new penal code was enacted to allow honor killings of women. Article 
409 permitted men to kill female relatives who were raped to restore 
family reputations and any women who were suspected of adultery or 
engaging in premarital sex could be murdered. 

Since the fall of the Ba'ath regime, Islamic fundamentalist groups 
have emerged with the intent of imposing their views and taking 
control of Iraq. They are not allowing women to go to work, forcing 
them to wear veils, and making them second-class citizens. The U.S. 
government chose the members of the puppet government in Iraq, 
effectively placing the fundamentalists in power and imposing these 
sanctions on the women of Iraq. If the Iraqi people had been able to 
vote and choose their government these people never would have come 
to power, because few people would have voted for them. America has 
put Iraqi women in this position, and as long as profits are insured 
for western investors, change for them is unlikely. A government like 
the one that has been imposed is less threatening to western profits, 
with little regard for the women and other people it is ruining. 

Source: Covert Action Quarterly Spring 04 
"Assault on Iraqi Women" 
by Gregory Elich Synopsis by Amanda Pyle 


Miami Profiteers Evicting Alameda CA Renters 

Protests at Alameda City Hall are becoming a normal ritual lately 
because so many low-income families are being threatened with forced 
relocation due to a lack of fair housing laws. A Miami-based 
corporation is evicting at least 1,200 people from their homes in the 
Harbor Island Apart complex. 

Harbor Island is a group of 10 buildings that were bought by Mark and 
Ian Sanders of the Fifteen Group out of Miami, Florida, back in 1996. 
Waiting until the surrounding neighborhood had become gentrified; the 
brothers recently decided that the time was right to evict the 
community from their homes to maximize profits by renovating the 
complex and bringing in a whole new group of higher income renters. 

In their mid-30's, Mark and Ian Sanders, owners of Harbor Island and 
the Miami-based Fifteen Group, own or operate at least 14,700 rental 
housing units across the nation, have approximately 375 employees and 
pull in more than $100 million a year between them. Not shy of 
exposure and apparently proud of themselves, the Sanders brothers 
have left a trail of displaced renters in their wake as they continue 
to build their profiteering empire. 

Regina Tillman, originally from San Francisco, has lives at Harbor 
Island since 1978 when the rents were only $117 a month for a 
two-bedroom unit. The complex had two popular swimming pools then. 
"It's a modern-day lynching going on here," Tillman said, "a modern 
day lynching of the community. They're destroying the future of a 
community and all the families that have resided here for so many 
years." 

Protestors from Harbor Island and supporters have been showing up at 
recent City Council meetings to demand that the evictions be halted, 
but little more than lip service has been offered by city officials 
to denounce the evictions. In addition, no effort has been made 
through the years to enact a just cause anti-eviction ordinance to 
stop this kind of tragedy from occurring in Alameda. At this point, 
only 150 renters remain at Harbor Island. The renters who remain at 
Harbor Island are determined to stay in their homes somehow and 
figure out how to fight the Sanders Brothers as best as they can. 

Source: San Francisco Bay View August 25, 2004 
"Miami Profiteers evicting Alameda renters" 
by Lynda Carson Synopsis by: Travis Byrne 

-- 
Support Project Censored 
http://www.projectcensored.org/ 
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.