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Wednesday, February 14, 2001 A Publication of the Newspeak Association Volume No. 66, Issue 5

Front Page
-Entrepreneurship: Venture Forum involves all
-Doctor inadvertently invents orgasm machine
-Phi Kappa Theta Hosts Alumni Day
-Avocado products recalled due to bacteria contamination threat

-News Headlines
-Financial aid for the 2001-2002 academic year
-"Namesake Designs and Geometric Expressions" on display in Gordon Library
-Police Log

-Media violence isn't the problem after all
-Radicalism only hurts the environmental cause
-The Pit
-The Little Things
-Philler (external link)

Letters to the Editor
-Soft money, soft politicians

International House
-Indian Students Organization organizes earthquake relief fund raising drive

Arts & Entertainment
-"The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belisa in his Garden" is a magical experience
-The Goat Head... Where is it?
-Anime overly violent?
-An undying love…for videogames
-"Put your hands together": WPI Step Team
-Guerilla Improv: Five Questions with Chad Pytel Survey shows truth on WPI Dating
-Valentine's Day Traditions Continue Despite Mysterious Origins

-Club Corner
-Crimson Clipboard

-Women's basketball edges MIT in overtime on the road
-Wrestling team rolls with another upset
-Score Board
-Upcoming Contests

Soft money, soft politicians

by Matt LeClair
Class of 2002

Remember Bush's inauguration? Did you hear about the parties? Do you know how much money he raised and from whom? The total? A staggering $40 million.

Philip Morris, Chevron, General Motors, Dow Chemical, Exxon, and Enron each gave $100,000. I wonder why?

"There is virtually no regulation on contributions to inaugurals," explains Steve Weiss, communications director at The Center for Responsive Politics. Did you know that, of the 474 people Bush appointed to his transition teams, more than half made Republican contributions? Dick Farmer's company produces uniforms and gave $100,000 to the inaugural. He also happened to be appointed to the Veterans Advisory Team. Richard Egan of EMC gave $100,000 and was appointed to the Commerce Advisory Team. The head of the energy behemoth called Enron gave $100,000 and was appointed to the Energy Advisory Team.

Forty million dollars is unusually high. Four years ago, Clinton received $10 million less for his second inauguration. Did Clinton not know the right people? In all likelihood, Al Gore would have raised a large sum as well. Let it be said that in every case, soft money makes for soft politicians.

The evidence is already apparent. Since Bush has taken office, he has reinstated the global gag rule--stopping funding to international family planning groups that make mention of abortion as option. He has appointed John Ashcroft as Attorney General and Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior--the implications for minority rights, women's rights, and the state of the environment are too glaringly obvious to even mention.

G.W. has proposed for roughly $8 billion to be made available to "faith-based" institutions to further the theocracy that is America. Even religious groups have expressed opposition with his proposal for fear that they will compete with each other and be manipulated by politics.

Energy shortages in California brought on by haphazard deregulation of utilities has given Bush more ammo to push for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Already, there has been talk of tax incentives for oil exploration and matching funds for coal-fired plants. For a team of Texas oil-men whose campaign was paid for by Chevron, Enron, and Exxon-Mobil, how could we expect better?

Do Earth a favor and don't cooperate. Your silence is your consent.

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