From: crispen@NETSQUIRREL.COM
Reply-To: TOURBUS-Request@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
To: TOURBUS@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
Subject: TOURBUS -- 19 NOVEMBER 1998 -- FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE VOTING BOOTH AND THE GROCERY STORE

This post contains inline ASCII graphics that look best in a monospace
font like Courier. Text-to-speech readers should turn off punctuation
now.
    _________ ____________ ________ __________ _____________ ___ _
   /         |            /        |          |             /   | \
  |        JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY PANEL           /    |  \
  |__________|__________/__________|__________|___________/     |   \
 /                                                       /______|----\
|      Answer Questions on Interesting Topics and        |//////|    |
|    Win $$$ Prizes. Email: Info@AdvisoryPanel.com       |//////|    |
| Or  Click!|//////|    |
\________________________________________________________|______|____|
    /   \  /   \                                             /   \
    \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/

     TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S):
        FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE VOTING BOOTH AND THE GROCERY STORE
     TODAY'S TOURBUS ADDRESS(ES):
        http://snopes.simplenet.com/spoons/faxlore/tampon.htm
        http://www.bodytalk.com/
        http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocd/tampons.html
        http://www.toxic-shock.com/index.html

Howdy, y'all!  I want to thank the folks at "Advisory Panel,"
Talkway," and "Affordable Computer Supply Marketplace" for bringing
today's journey of our little bus of Internet happiness to you.
Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for
keeping TOURBUS on the road!

-----[TALK YOUR WAY INTO OUTER SPACE]---------------------------------
    Talkway -- Usenet turned Supercommunity(SM) -- is sending one of
   you to Outer Space! Just go to the Talkway site, click on "What's
     New" and then on "Outer Space." At the Talkway Supercommunity
   (SM), there is no limit as to what you'll find. Not even the sky.
--------------------  ------------------------

---------------[SAVE! 2 FOR 1 ON MOST INKJET CARTRIDGES]--------------
          EPSON S020089: 2 FOR $25 / CANON BCI-21: 2 FOR $17
        EPSON S020093: 2 for $13.50 / CANON BJI-201: 2 for $8
  ONE HP51645A $19.99 / Ideas needed for "WHY CARTRIDGES MAKE GREAT
   STOCKING STUFFERS." Visit OUR SECURE SITE FOR FANTASTIC PRICES.
----------[http://www.acsmsupplies.com or Call 888-429-9373]----------

On with the show ...

Okay.  I'll admit it.  We talk about urban legends a LOT in these
Thursday posts.  In fact, I recently vowed to myself that I was going
to keep TOURBUS free of urban legends until the new year.

And then I received the following two urban legends.  The first one
targets the entire African-American community of the United States of
America, and the second targets every single female on the planet.
Vow or no vow, there is no way in HECK I could pass up the opportunity
to debunk these!  :P

-------
THE VRA
-------

Our first urban legend warns that the right of all African-Americans
to vote will expire in the year 2007.  The message states that

     The Voters Rights Act signed in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson was
     just an ACT.  It was not made a law.  In 1982 Ronald Reagan
     amended the Voters Rights Act for only another 25 years. Which
     means that in the year 2007 [African-Americans] could lose the
     right to vote!  Does anyone realize that Blacks/African
     Americans are the only group of people who require PERMISSION
     under the United States Constitution to vote?!  In the year 2007
     Congress will once again convene to decide whether or not
     Blacks should retain the right to vote (crazy, but true).  In
     order for this to be passed, 38 states will have to approve an
     extension.

Like most urban legends, this message urges you, in all capital
letters, to "PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN!!!!"
The message also urges you to contact your "Congress persons [sic],
Senators, Alderpersons, etc., to put a stop to this."

What the message fails to tell you is that it is a COMPLETE AND UTTER
HOAX!  According to a fax I received this morning from the Washington
bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (the NAACP),

     African-American voting rights were granted by the Fifteenth
     Amendment, which was passed immediately after the Civil War.
     Expiration of the Voting Rights Act will not terminate the
     rights granted under the Fifteenth Amendment.

If you remember your U.S. history, for almost a century after the end
of the Civil War several Southern states in effect blocked African-
Americans from voting by requiring them to take literacy tests or pay
exorbitant poll taxes.  For example, in Selma, Alabama, African-
Americans were handed a Chinese newspaper; if they couldn't read it,
they couldn't vote.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made acts like
these illegal, prohibiting any federal, state, or local government
from doing ANYTHING that might hamper someone's constitutional right
to vote.

So, should everyone be panicking about the imminent expiration of
the Voting Rights Act in 2007?  HECK NO!  According to the NAACP,

     If the [Voting Rights Act] is still needed in 2007, it can be
     extended again by a simple majority vote in Congress, along with
     the President's signature.

What about the warning that "38 states will have to approve an
extension" of the Voting Rights Act?  Well, that's a lie too, and a
pretty empty-headed one at that.  You need the votes of 38 states to
AMEND THE CONSTITUTION of the United States, folks, not to simply
renew an act or piece of congressional legislation.

Finally, I think the best comment on this hoax comes to us straight
from the NAACP:

     The scary part about this misinformation is the number of people
     in our community who seem to have accepted it without
     investigation.  We must be better prepared if we expect to be
     able to effectively exercise the rights we have!

------------------------------------------------
FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY AILSE
------------------------------------------------

Our next urban legend targets every single female on the planet.
Recognizing that TOURBUS is read in over 100 countries, and
recognizing that some countries have norms that are vastly different
than the ones we have here in the United States, I must warn you that
some cultures may find the topic of this next urban legend offensive.
If you are offended by the public discussion of feminine hygiene
products, please accept my deepest apologies and stop reading now.
[And, let me add, you have NO IDEA how long it took me to write this
paragraph.]

The next urban legend warns that

     many tampon makers include asbestos in the tampon.  Why?  Because
     asbestos makes you bleed more ... if you bleed more, you're going
     to need to use more.  Why wasn't this against the law since
     asbestos is so dangerous?  Because the powers that be, in all
     their wisdom (or not), did not consider tampons as being
     ingested, and therefore wasn't illegal or considered dangerous

The message goes on to warn that tampons also

     contain two things that are potentially harmful: Rayon (for
     absorbency) and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the
     products).  The tampon industry is convinced that we, as women,
     need bleached white products - they seem to think that we view
     the product as pure and clean.  The problem here is that the
     dioxin produced in this bleaching process can lead to very
     harmful problems for a woman. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic
     (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive
     systems.

The message concludes that women should "use tampons that are made
from 100% [unbleached] cotton," and one version of the message is even
kind enough to give you the toll-free telephone numbers of two
companies who will be happy to sell you "all-natural" tampons.

Let's cut to the chase.  This entire urban legend is a sick hoax
designed by supporters of natural tampons to scare you into purchasing
their products.  As with most urban legends, this one is chock full of
inaccuracies and exaggerations.  In fact, you can find a complete,
point-by-point debunking of this hoax at


http://snopes.simplenet.com/spoons/faxlore/tampon.htm .

If you read this report, you will know EVERYTHING you could ever want
to know about the tampon warning hoax.  The folks at Tampax have also
created their own Web site to debunk the tampon warning hoax, and you
can find their site at


http://www.bodytalk.com/ .

For the record, tampons have NEVER contained asbestos.  Ever.  Most
tampons are made from a combination of rayon AND cotton fibers.  These
fibers are "bleached," not to make them white but rather to cleanse
and purify them.

Do "bleached" tampons contain dioxin?  Maybe.  If chlorine is used in
the bleaching process, some dioxin may be produced as a by-product.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, however,
"caustic washing with sodium hydroxide, followed by additional
processing and rinsing, removes virtually all of the residual dioxin.
Therefore, the potential for the final rayon product to contain dioxin
is very low."

How low?  According to the FDA, low enough "not to pose a risk
of cancer for consumers."  In fact, in 1995 the FDA tested the dioxin
levels in the cotton and rayon used by the four major American tampon
manufacturers.  The FDA found that "[t]he data from all four
manufacturers showed dioxin levels in rayon and cotton to range from
non-detectable to 1 part in 3 trillion.  A part per trillion is about
the same as one teaspoon in a lake fifteen feet deep and a mile
square."  You can read the FDA's 1997 report on tampons and dioxin at


http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocd/tampons.html 

Is a dioxin level of 1 part in 3 trillion significant?  I honestly
don't know.  The FDA doesn't think it is, but some people argue that
*any* level of dioxins is too much.

Are "natural," all-cotton, unbleached tampons "safer?"  Not
necessarily.  As the report at
http://snopes.simplenet.com/spoons/faxlore/tampon.htm points out,

     [t]hough moving to all-cotton unbleached tampons will eliminate
     any possibility of contact with dioxins from that source, there's
     danger from another direction: conventionally-grown cotton is one
     of the most pesticide-intensive crops in commercial agriculture.
     About 10% of the world's pesticides and 22.5% of all insecticides
     are used on cotton. According to the Sustainable Cotton Project
     in California, nearly one-third of a pound of chemicals is used
     to make just one cotton T-shirt. Don't even try to imagine how
     much of it ends up on a tampon.

Now for the *real* warning.  It must be noted, and most women already
know, that many physicians believe that there is a link between tampon
use and toxic shock syndrome (TSS).  Information about TSS is
contained in each tampon manufacturers^ instruction leaflets.  This
information is often updated, so remember to read the leaflet
regularly.  You can also find information about TSS at the Toxic Shock
Syndrome Information Service at


http://www.toxic-shock.com/index.html 

The American tampon manufacturers fund this site.  I tried to find an
independent medical site that discussed this issue, but surprisingly a
search for "toxic shock syndrome" at both the Johns Hopkins Medicine
site (http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu/) and the Mayo Clinic site
(http://www.mayo.edu/) was unsuccessful.  :(

That's it for this week.  I hope I have given you enough ammunition to
debunk two of the worst urban legends I have seen in a long time.
Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll talk again next week.

     TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S):
        FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE VOTING BOOTH AND THE GROCERY STORE
     TODAY'S TOURBUS ADDRESS(ES):
        http://snopes.simplenet.com/spoons/faxlore/tampon.htm
        http://www.bodytalk.com/
        http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocd/tampons.html
        http://www.toxic-shock.com/index.html

------------------------------
TODAY'S YANKEE WORD OF THE DAY
------------------------------

Since I was in Yankee territory all last week, I decided to include a
Yankee word of the day in today's post (to tell the truth, I also
included this word in my last TOURBUS Plus post).  :)

BWOUGHB (Noun).  Robert.
Usage: "Hi, Bwoughb!"

[Special thanks to my brother Robert for today's wurd]

You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at

http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html 


=====================[ TOURBUS Rider Information ]===================
   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
      Copyright 1995-98, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
            Archives on the Web at http://www.TOURBUS.com

Do You Like Tourbus? Recommend It and You Could Win a Palm Pilot!
 CLICK 

Join: Send SUBSCRIBE TOURBUS Your Name to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
Leave: Send SIGNOFF TOURBUS to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM

    Send this copy to 3 friends and tell them to hop on the Bus!
=====================================================================

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
 /o o  \/     .~
{o_,    \    {              crispen@netsquirrel.com
  / ,  , )    \           http://www.netsquirrel.com/
  `~  '-' \    } ))
 _(    (   )_.'               Warning: squirrels.
'---..{____}

TOURBUS
HOME PAGE
LINUX
TUTORIAL
TOURBUS
ARCHIVES
, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
TOURBUS Site Search