Welcome to Left Out, reality-based independent radio on WRCT 88.3FM, and on the worldwide web at leftout.info. Left Out discusses the news from a perspective left out of the mainstream media. Left Out is co-hosted by Bob Harper and Danny Sleator. Today's program is produced by John Koutrouba. Listeners are invited to call the program at (412) 268-WRCT (9728), to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to join the AOL chat room "Left Out" during the show.
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From the jacket of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's At Stake for American Power:
Mark Schapiro is editorial director of the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco. He has written extensively on foreign affairs and his work has appeared in Harper's The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and other publications, and he has reported stories for Frontline, NOW with Bill Moyers, and public radio's Marketplace. Schapiro lives in San Francisco, California.
Schapiro has done an in-depth study of the consumer products chemical industry -- its history, its regulation (or lack thereof) in the US, and new forces in Europe that are beginning to change the game. Here are some topics addressed in his book and recent articles that we can discuss:
The TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976). What it did, and what it did not do. (the loophole) (from the Harper's article)
The result of blood tests.
The issue of phthalates -- an ingredient to make plastics softer. Consequences to rats (and humans?).
Regulating chemicals in the US vs Europe. The criteria for safty.
Consumer products like computers and cars. How are they recycled? Differences between the US and Europe.
Regulatory philosophy. In the US the mantra is: regulation is bad -- it's useless, stifels innovation, costs jobs, makes products more expensive. Given the much stronger regulatory stance in the EU, we can examine this mantra. What is this regulation actually doing? Is it really doing all these horrible things?
Where does legal system fit in? Are lawsuits an appropriate alternative regulatory structure?
From Harper's October 2007: Toxic inaction: Why poisonous, unregulated chemicals end up in our blood.
Additional stories: The Economist, The San Francisco Chronicle (link link), The New York Times.
John Howard has been defeated for reelection in Australia. [link]
He joins a long list of distinguished politicians who have gone down to defeat after supporting Bush and his disasterous war in Iraq -- Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar, Silvio Berlusconi.
Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party in Australia will take over as Prime Minister. To those listeners (and Democrats) who don't know how an opposition party is supposed to behave, listen to this speech by Rudd.
From The Australian:
Mr Rudd said Mr Howard should be censured over his comment yesterday that terrorist network al-Qaeda would be hoping for a Democratic candidate to win next year's US presidential election. It also accuses Mr Howard of "gross insensitivity" for lecturing the United States on Iraq when the war has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 US servicemen and women.
Mr Rudd demanded that Mr Howard withdraw his comments unreservedly.
We just touched the surface of this story during the show. Joe Klein wrote a completely false story in Time magazine about the new FISA bill. He falsely claimed, among other things, that the court warrants would be required to wiretap foreign terrorists. When this was pointed out by Glenn Greenwald and others, Klein went through a series of blog posts lamely trying to cover his ass, and finally simply saying that he couldn't sort out the "controversy". But as Greenwald points out, there is no controversy about these points. Time magazine eventually printed a correction that just admitted that there were differences of opinion on the bill.
For more information, read these blog posts by Glenn Greenwald:
Joe Klein: Both factually false and stuck in the 1980s
Time magazine's FISA fiasco shows how Beltway reporters mislead the country
Time magazine lavishly rewards journalistic malpractice
Joe Klein digs Time's hole deeper still
Demand answers from Time magazine
Everything that is rancid and corrupt with modern journalism: The Nutshell