Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending July 14, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer G2, 7 or 8).

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Critics charge GOP prescription bill will not help Medicare recipients most in need
Interview by Scott Harris.

Last week the House of Representatives approved a Republican bill that offers subsidies to insurance companies, which they say will assist Medicare recipients in purchasing increasingly expensive prescription drugs.

But consumer, senior citizen groups and the Democrats -- whose own bill went down to defeat -- have attacked the measure as a sham that will exclude the nation's poorest citizens and create a multi-tiered system primarily benefitting the insurance industry.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dan Schulder, legislative director with the National Council of Senior Citizens in Silver Spring, Md., who assesses the GOP's Medicare prescription drug legislation and some long term solutions to the growing crisis in the U.S. health care system.

Contact the National Council of Senior Citizens by calling (301) 578-8800 or visit their Web site at

Human genome science open to profiteering and privacy abuses
Interview by Scott Harris.

With great fanfare last week, two groups of scientists announced the effective completion of decades-long research to decipher the human genetic code. With this knowledge comes the possibility of dramatic new treatments for serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

While the benefits of this research will no doubt contribute greatly to improving the quality of life for many, the potential for abuse is also part of the picture. Biotech corporations are already attempting to privatize for profit essential elements of the human genome. And the possibility exists that new forms of genetic discrimination may result from the knowledge of an individual's predisposition for disease, intellectual potential and physical attributes.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with James Love, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Project on Technology, who examines human genetic research and the prospect that this knowledge could be misused by those interested only in material gain.

Contact the Consumer Project on Technology by calling (202) 387-8030 or visit their Web site at

Alternative 'Shadow Conventions' will raise issues GOP, Democrats largely ignore
Interview by Scott Harris.

During both the Republican and Democratic national nominating conventions this summer, different forms of protest against the established order will be vying for the attention of the American people and the media.

The coalition of activist groups that took over the streets during meetings of the World Trade Organization in Seattle and World Bank in Washington D.C. plan legal protests and civil disobedience actions at the conventions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Another group is organizing "Shadow Conventions" to coincide with both party gatherings, which will focus on major issues they say are not seriously addressed by either the Democrats or Republicans. There the likes of Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, John McCain and Warren Beatty will spotlight the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S., the failed Drug War and the desperate need for campaign finance reform.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jim Wallis, author and convener of Call to Renewal, who discusses why he is helping to organize Shadow Conventions this summer.

Contact the groups organizing the Shadow Conventions by calling 1-(800) 714-7474 or visit their Web site at

Related link: "New Global Justice Social Movement Organizing for Summer Political Conventions and Beyond" June 30, 2000 Interview with Kevin Danaher, organizer of Global Exchange and author of "Globalize This! The Battle Against The World Trade Organization"

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Rich Fraser and Bob Nixon

  • The time may be right for universal pre-kindergarten schooling. (Nation: July 3, 2000)
  • Maine's clean money election law opening opportunities for progressive candidates. (Nation: May 29, 2000)
  • African American reparations movement working to get mainstream public opinion to recognize long-term damage of slavery. (In These Times: May 15, 2000)

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