February 05, 1995

      There has just GOT to be a way to get the words of women columnists distributed throughout woman-land. As it is now, Molly Ivins, Ellen Goodman, and a few lesser feminist/columnists, are not being distributed enough for ALL women to hear their sensible reflections on our imperfect world that is getting more imperfect.
      By some crack in the universe, in this little Arkansas city/town I moved to, Molly Ivins' column is presented. Maybe because the editor is a woman, cum feminist.
      Anyway, what Molly had to write this week MUST be distributed wide and far. We MUST write our Congressional Representatives to demand an investigation of the business dealings between House Speaker Newt Gingrich and communications multi-millionaire Rupert Murdoch.
      In essence, Molly pointed out that the plans to privatize Public Television - as written about by _Newsday_ columnist Lars-Erik Nelson - would provide Rupert Murdoch with between $4 BILLION and $6 BILLION.
      (So what's $4 million with those kind of profits - remember Newtie's meeting with Murdoch and some of his people?)
      And if the Republicans under the Gingrich-bribed-by-Murdoch-plan goes forward, many smaller PBS stations will go bankrupts and their broadcasting licenses could be picked up for a song by Murdoch and Company who have the cash and the clout.
      Gingrich calls PBS "this little sandbox for the rich."
      Molly writes:
      "Strange, PBS has 101 million viewers each week, and their demographic profiles reflect the country at large with great precision. Fifty-six percent of the households who watch PBS make less than $40,000 a year, and (here's an item) 63 percent of those who watch opera on PBS have less than a college degrees.
      "One could go on at great length \... and God knows the programming is certainly not liberal. PBS presents William F. Buckley Jr., John McLaughlin, Tony Brown and Louis Rukeyseyer, who is, let's face it, distinctly elitist."
      "Danged if I can understand why people who consider themselves "pro-family" would want to wipe out the bet children's programming on the air. With all the kvetching about violence on television, why do the Republicans want to cut off almost the only quality programming available? ONE IS LEFT WITH THE UNHAPPY SUSPICION THAT THE ANSWER IS MONEY - NOT THE PIDLY SUM THAT THE FEDS PUT UP FOR CPB BUT THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT PRIVATE INVESTORS STAND TO MAKE IF PBS IS DISMEMBERED... (emphasis mine.)
      Can anyone now believe that Murdoch was going to give Gingrich $4 MILLION dollars for a book about his pitiful draft-dodging, pot-smoking, deadbeat dad, adultering, wife-deserting life?

      Young children in the U.S. spend more time at home than anywhere else except third world countries. Most countries think that preschool is essential for good development of a child. In Italy, 85% of young children go to preschools, Germany 75%, Finland 71%, even Spain 79% and in Belgium 95%.
            -- According to a study by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

      Robert Reed's Christian Coalition is throwing its full weight behind Gingrich and the Republicans who want to pass CERTAIN tax and spending cuts. Topping the RR hit list: PBS, eliminate funder for Legal Aid (which many women who have no separate income use to get divorces), emasculate or abolish the Education department so that vouchers for use in religious private schools will replace public education, eliminate federal welfare standards and put poor women in the hands of religious groups and charities, volunteer prayer in school, and eliminate taxes for any family of FOUR (gotta breed or you don't get a cut in taxes) with an income less than $30,000.

      America (3), the all-woman ship was bested by 3:32 in the latest run in preparation for the America's Cup, but the women have been sailing the redesigned IACC yacht that won the America's Cup in 1992 while almost everyone else is using brand-new specifically built sailing ships that reflect the newest technology.
      However, America(3) will get their new boat this month...
      Skipper Dawn Riley in her defender series racing debut was able to pick up more than nine minutes on the final leg when she got a favorable side.
      We don't know if they can win, but from everything shown so far, America(3)'s crew is well trained and very capable. They ARE competitive.

      Eileen Collins PERSONALLY invited the women who were turned down for NASA's Mercury program (back in the days of John Glenn) to watch her blast-off last Thursday. NASA did not. It's a chapter of HIStory they'd like to have permanently excised from the record. They tried hard enough to keep it from being told. I'll have the rundown on the runaround NASA gave women who outclassed and out-performed most of the Mercury men in a Women of Achievement and Herstory installment this week. I wrote it and promptly lost it among the 5,718 files on my hard drive... I HAVE to do something about this mess...

      Donations in memory of Leeann Nichols and Shannon Lowney may be sent to either of two funds set up to support the safety of patients and staff at Preterm and Planned Parenthood in Brookline:

Preterm Fund for Safe Passage
Lowney Fund
Preterm Health Services
1842 Beacon Street Brookline, MA 02146
PPLM Shannon
Shawmut Bank
P.O. Box 2176
Boston, MA 02211


The National Archives is sponsoring a major conference, "A Woman's War Too: U.S. Women in the Military in World War II," to be held on March 3 and 4, 1995, in the auditorium of the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. In this national forum, participants from academia, the active military, veterans' groups, archival and library communities, and the public at large will explore the vital contributions made by more than 350,000 women who volunteered to serve in the armed forces of the United States (during WWII).
      The crucial role played by U.S. women in the Allied war effort is not well known. In this two-day conference, leading figures in women's and military studies, eminent social and military historians, and veterans of the global conflict will discuss topics that, up to now, have not received adequate historical scrutiny. Sheila A. Widnall, Secretary of the Air Force and the first female service secretary, will be the keynote speaker.

The conference is part of the National Archives' ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United States' participation in the war. It is open to the public. The registration fee is $100; $25 for students. A special fee of $40 has been set for women veterans of World War II in recognition of their service.
      For information on registration, please send your phone number and "snailmail" address to: or call (202) 501-5525.

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