Bits and Pieces: Corporate Child Care, Land Regulation, and Thai Canal

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ILLUSTRATION: FOTOLIA/VISUALTEKTUR/MALCHEV
A proposal to dig the Thai canal across the Kra Isthmus using nuclear explosions wasn't warmly received by local residents.

CORPORATE CHILD CARE, a 48-page
report on how capital profits from day care, is available
from the American Friends Service Committee. The booklet
describes how big business makes money from both the
high-priced sale of low-quality service and the use of
cheap female labor. There also is a chapter on alternatives
which includes a list of resources on parent and
teacher-controlled community centers, and materials for use
in non-racist, non-sexist preschools. 

THE NEWSPAPER YOU READ TODAY MAY BE YOUR FOOD
TOMORROW
, according to a Denver University
microbiologist. Dr. Brooks D. Church says that fungi can
turn discarded paper into a protein-rich food supplement
… and the mold produced contains as much as 50 percent
protein. Currently it’s used in animal feed, and–if
approved by federal health agencies–could supplement human
food, Dr. Church says. Fungus has been grown successfully
on the leftovers from paper factories, grain mills and
breweries . . . and even on feed lot cattle wastes and manure.
The Green Giant Company’s Minnesota corn and pea cannery
and an Iowa milling firm are now testing the idea in pilot
plants.

GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF LAND, the United
States’ most basic resource, is gathering momentum from
Washington officials. Congress, backed by the Nixon
administration, is trying to establish land regulation measures that could
affect millions of people… what they can do with their
property, where to build or buy new homes, and even where
you can spend your vacation.

There is still an estimated 10 acres for everyone in the
country, but the postwar “baby boom” is causing the
formation of 27,000 new households each week and, in the
next two decades, power plants and transmission lines alone
will take up over 5,000 square miles. Because of this
growth pattern, Hawaii has zoned every foot of its
territory, earmarking sections for urban, rural,
agricultural or conservation uses… California requires
special permits for coastal construction, while Maine,
Vermont, Florida, Washington, and Oregon are trying to pass
laws to control a stampede of land speculators.

The Land Use Policy Act (S. 268), introduced for a second
time by Sen. Henry Jackson, D.-Wash., passed the Senate 64
to 21, but awaits reconciliation with differing House
proposals. If approved, participating states would share
$100 million dollars to set up authorities to inventory land
and resources, regulate sales and developments, control
environmentally sensitive areas, influence locations of new
communities, and keep building in line with pollution laws.

NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS may be used to blast
away sections of the Kra Isthmus to construct the Thai Canal . . . a
proposed shortcut across Thailand for 500,000-ton tankers carrying oil from
the Middle East to Japan. An estimated 34,000 million cubic
yards of earth will have to be moved during the
construction (compared with 327 million for the Panama
waterway). The use of atomic power is expected to shorten
excavation time from 12 to eight years and reduce costs by
$2 billion dollars. Plans involve using clusters of five
or six devices detonated in salvos for a total of 139
explosions amounting to 41 megatons.

Local residents will have to be evacuated, according to New
Scientist, a London publication, because fallout will
travel more than 350 miles and secondary radiation could
spread as far as 1,600 miles to the west. And what do the
folks who live there think? Chow Chowkwanyum, a key figure
in contract negotiations, complains, “Our problem is
education. People have a particular fear of this type of
device.” Little wonder, Chow, little wonder.