FCC Chairman Michael Powell has been a very busy man lately. Janet Jackson‘s breast was clearly more than he could handle. He immediately launched an FCC investigation to discover how a breast found itself bouncing around his airwaves, which are usually reserved for gratuitous acts of violence, and the corporate reconstruction of our reality. How many millions of our tax dollars is Mr. Powell going to squander on his hunt for the cause behind the outing of one of Janet‘s top agents? Maybe he could hire Kenneth Starr to sniff around Janet‘s drawers for oh, lets say $50 million or so...
Does Powell really imagine that Americans are depraved enough to see the glimpse of a mammary gland as more dangerous to the welfare of the United States than Powell‘s own recent efforts to dismantle our First Amendment rights? The damage done to the people by his weakening of the already insufficient limits on media monopolies is far more pernicious than Janet‘s televised anatomy lesson could ever be. How strange that a human breast can turn Powell into such a raging moralistic tiger, and yet the selling of our airwaves into the hands of a few monster corporations leaves him purring like an overstuffed pussycat.
Mr Powell, we don‘t want our only windows on the world controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Clear Channel. You and your FCC have blatantly betrayed America‘s trust in appointing Fox as guardian of the henhouse of America‘s information. Yes, Janet showed her baby bottle. But it is you who has disgracefully exposed himself by shamelessly unzipping your corporate fly and relieving yourself all over our First Amendment. Mr Powell, you are the one who should be investigated - for corruption in using your FCC post to help foster mega-media monopolies, and helping destroy the laws ensuring the people‘s right to an unabridged free press and free airwaves.
David Singelyn Harbor Springs
Thanks to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for introducing the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) on the 31st anniversary of the monumental 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
This landmark piece of legislation is designed to protect women‘s civil liberties and prohibit the government from interfering in the exercise of reproductive rights.
The bill would prevent the government from discriminating against a woman on the basis of her reproductive decisions -- about using birth control, having a child, or terminating a pregnancy. FOCA would also forbid government interference in a woman‘s right to make her own family planning and reproductive health decisions. The legislation would invalidate current restrictions on access to abortion and family planning health care services such as mandated delays and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations.
I applaud these lawmakers for introducing federal legislation that would guarantee and protect a woman‘s basic human right to make her own childbearing decisions. A woman‘s right to make her own childbearing and reproductive health choices has been systematically eroded by anti-choice hardliners and this bill is designed to restore and protect this fundamental human right.
l urge Michigan‘s Senators Levin and Stabenow and Representative Camp to co-sponsor this important bill.
In Northern Michigan, activists are planning many events building up to the March for Women‘s Lives in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2004, when women from all over the country and the world will raise their voices in support of reproductive rights for women everywhere.
Further information on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is available at www.plannedparenthood.org. For more information about the March for Women‘s Lives, go to www.miplannedparenthood.org/march.
Nancy W. Doughty TC
Who controls the agenda?
Over many decades I chaired a number of committees, each with various goals and philosophies. Early on I found that if I also assumed the duties of physically compiling the committee agenda, I could control the meeting with little challenge or deviation. If the topic wasn‘t on the agenda, it didn‘t get discussed. Period. That was the trick I used to steer the committees in the direction I wanted them to go, regardless of sponsors‘ intentions or those of other members on the committee.
After witnessing the mainstream press ridicule and ignore Dean, Kucinich, Sharpton, Lieberman and Braun in Iowa and New Hampshire and their previous belittling treatment, I realized that my prior experience on committees had a direct correlation to what is going on in Corporate America today.
The power elite control the American public‘s agenda through their subsidiary, the Corporate Media - which consists of most of our major newspapers, magazines, cable and network TV and radio stations. Over 90% of the media in this country is controlled by just a half dozen individuals behind the conglomerates -- who control Americas agenda. And if the topic isn‘t on the agenda, it doesn‘t get discussed in their media.
What we hear or read is chosen for us along with its spin. When one considers that the decisions we make are based exclusively on the knowledge we have of a subject, then it‘s no wonder we act and vote the way they want us to. The topics on our daily agenda -- and their political spin -- are chosen by Corporate America, not us.
More and more liberal observers are recognizing that the mainstream media in the current era is the enemy, and must be treated that way. While we stand and aim our progressive arrows at the Corporate Huns out in the field, their first line assassins in the media who are directly in front of us are cutting open our bellies.
William F. Brabenec Attica, MI
last week‘s article on the nursing strike in Petoskey contained an error in spelling which may have altered perception of the story. A patient was treated for a staph infection at Northern Michigan Hospital, rather than a staff infection as stated in the article.