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“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.

12. US/MEXICAN PLANTS TURNING BORDER ITNO A TOXIC WASTELAND

In 1987, a United States/Mexican presidential agreement was reached which required U.S.-owned plants along the Mexican border to return waste products to the U.S. for disposal. Following a four-month investigation, journalist Jane Juffer, an associate editor for the Pacific. News Service, reported that few are doing so.

The agreement is routinely violated by the majority of the maquiladora (twin plant program) plants. Instead of returning waste products to the U.S. for disposal, the plants have poured chemical wastes down the drains, dumped them in irrigation ditches, left them in the desert, burned them in city dumps, and turned them over to Mexican recycling plants that are not qualified to handle toxic wastes.

Maquiladoras are booming; there are now 1300 along the 2,000-mile border and experts say the number is growing at a 25% annual rate. The boom began with the 1982 peso devaluation which drove the average wages of a maquiladora worker below 50 cents an hour — about one-­third of what U.S. companies pay in Singapore and Hong Kong. Under provision of the maquiladora program, the factories import nearly all their raw materials and components into Mexico duty-free, assemble their goods, and export the near-finished products to the U.S., paying duty only on the value added during the assembly.

One of the many examples cited by Juffer is the discovery of hundreds of barrels of hazardous paint sludge dumped in the desert 60 miles northwest of Monterrey. The sludge was traced back to a General Motors subsidiary. GM blamed the contractor that was hired to dispose of the waste.

Health inspectors found no less than 100 types of toxic chemicals in the New River, a 75-mile waterway that originates in Baja California. It enters the U.S. at Calexico, California, and empties into the Salton Sea, a popular fishing and swimming site near Palm Springs. The wastes were directly traced to Mexicali, a border city with more than 100 maquiladoras.

Careless disposal procedures also endanger local residents. Chemical drums which were used to store highly toxic materials are frequently reclaimed by local citizens to be used as family water storage barrels. Many of the drums still have residues of chlorinated solvents so toxic that even small amounts can cause harm.

In yet another case, hydrofluoric acid fumes emitted by a plant partially owned by DuPont is said to have reduced crop yields in local farms and caused severe health problems for local residents, including blindness. For years after the plant opened in 1971, it had compensated farmers for cuts in crop yield but that came to a halt in 1984. The plant produces 100 million pounds of hydrofluoric acid and exports 95% of its products to the U.S. — almost all of it to a DuPont subsidiary.

The U.S. companies failure to return waste products to the U.S. for disposal presents a difficult problem for Mexico. Maquiladoras now represent Mexico’s second largest source of foreign currency and their economic clout is a powerful palliative for a toxic wasteland.

SOURCE:

THE PROGRESSIVE, October 1988, “Dump at the Border: U.S. firms make a Mexican wasteland,” by Jane Juffer, pp 24-29.

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