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dig beneath the “progressive achievement packaging” of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, it included at least ten provisions aimed at neither small business owners nor their employees, all of which may negate whatever good the bill may do. 4.The PR Industry’s Secret War on Activists \(“The Public Relations Industry’s Secret War on Activists,” CovertAction Quarterly, Winter 1995/1996, and “Public Relations, Private Interests,” Earth Island Journal, Winter 1995/1996, both by John Stauber and The public relations industryby dipping into the deep pockets of its multi-million dollar corporate clientshas vast power to direct and control thought and policy. Of late, many public relations firms have leveraged that influence against activists, or legislation that threatens big business. 5.Corporate Crime: Whitewash at the Justice Department \(“White-Collar Crime: Whitewash at the Justice Department,” by David Burnham, CovertAction Quarterly, Corporate, or white-collar, crime costs America ten to fifty times more than street crime, but the Justice Department shows little interest in tackling the problem. The federal government rarely brings charges against businesses. Of the more than 51,000 federal criminal indictments in 1994, only 250–less than one-half of one percentinvolved criminal violations of the nation’s environmental, occupational health and safety and consumer product safety laws. 6.New Mega -Merged Banking Behemoths = Big Risk \(“The Making of the Banking Behemoths,” by Jake Lewis, Multinational Monitor, Seventy-one and a half percent of U.S. banking assets are now controlled by the 100 largest banking organizations, representing less than 1 percent of the total banks in the nation. But little has been written about the impact of this trend on average Americansthat megabanks are closing out community access and making it harder and harder for small borrowers to obtain loans. 7.Cashing in on Poverty \(“Gashing in on Poverty,” by Michael Hudson, The Nation, 5/20/96 [Excerpted from Merchants of MisCan you imagine paying $1,000 for a $300 TV? How about paying 20 percent interest on a second mortgage? While two-thirds of Americans never face such atrocious exploitation, countless pawn shops, check-cashing outlets, rent-to-own stores, finance companies, and high-interest mortgage lenders are getting away with it, largely by preying on the disadvantaged. 8.Big Brother Goes High -Tech \(“Big Brother Goes High-Tech,” by David Banisar, CovertAction Quarterly, Spring 1996; “Access, Privacy and Power,” by Michael Rust and Susan Crabtree, Insight, 8/19/96; “New Surveillance Camera Cheers Police, Worries ACLU,” by Joyce Price, Insight, From bankbook to bedroom, new advanced technologies are gaining on civil liberties, threatening to render privacy vulnerable on a scale never seen before. At the same time, outdated laws and regulations are failing to check an expanding pattern of abuses. “It’s not that lawmakers, policy analysts, and journalists don’t recognize the reality of the information revolution,” wrote Michael Rust and Susan Crabtree in an article for Insight. “It’s just that like the vast majority of their countrymenthey don’t understand it very well.” 9.U.S. Troops Exposed to Depleted Uranium During Gulf War \(“Radioactive Battlefields of the 1990s: A Response to the Army’s Unreleased Report on Depleted Uranium Weaponry,” Military Toxics Project’s Depleted Uranium Citizens’ Network, 1/16/96; “Radioactive Ammo Lays Them to Waste,” by Gary Cohen, Multinational Monitor, January/FebruSince the Manhattan Project of World War II, government studies have indicated that depleted uranium weapons although highly effective when waging warare extremely toxic. And not only for the enemy. Nonetheless, five years ago, depleted piercing bullets and as tank armor by the U.S. Army in Operation Desert Storm. Five years later, the effects of depleted uranium exposure are just beginning to demand attention. 10.Facing Food Scarcity \(“Facing Food Scarcity,” World Watch, November/December 1995, and “Japanese Government Breaks With World Bank Food Forecast,” World Watch, May/June 1996, While you can pick up the paper each morning and read about the global economy, where is discussion of the world’s food economy? According to World Watch and the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the world’s stock of rice, wheat, corn and other grains have fallen to their lowest level in two decades, a daunting prospect considering that the trend is predicted to become even more acute. 01.1014.74:5L Pk s=v ,73-1z.. -14. t3:14.z. Ni Iiii.;1111q11;LICOri101-,a1077, rth’It’Vtc,dih \( h; Soci;if C1/21; GLOBAL PROFIT, LOCAL LOSSES .F-,/rcasg . “*. rpprgq3..?sigge, 1’s:A 8;:% AeCit%Wa Taa,e4 Reciv-173341,tice .aa.fld bit:41’a 42; tIak. swt%%Ito 11.471./* pfrg6 APRIL 11, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19