Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don Williams New Column


Breathe deep the big lies



Inhale two announcements made this week - one happy, one tragic. Both of stellar significance, they spin through the open mind interlocked like a yin-yang wheel, connected in ways that should be more scandalous than they've become.

Both have relevance to heartland states such as Tennessee, where much of the nation's dirty work gets done despite high moral utterances, here where the Bible Belt latches onto the tobacco and energy industries. First, the happy news. The American Cancer Society said that the nation's cancer rates, including lung cancer, declined for the second year in row, proving it wasn't a fluke when it happened last year.

Now the alarming news. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its symbolic Doomsday Clock from seven minutes of midnight to five minutes of midnight, to show how much more dangerous the world has grown since 2002.

These two announcements, so different in tone and substance, are linked in an eye-popping way. Our nation even now is coping with a campaign of lies regarding dangers of global warming - a campaign that grew out of a similar conspiracy regarding tobacco.

According to "Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning," by George Monbiot - a book corroborated by a wide variety of sources - the tobacco industry deliberately lied and misled the American public about the dangers of tobacco, including the connection between cigarettes and cancer.

It took millions of deaths, years of research, lawsuits and those famous congressional hearings before our country woke up to the truth about tobacco abuse and began reversing the trend - though still half a million Americans will die of cancer this year.

Worse yet, our nation has become confused yet again by a campaign of lies regarding dangers of global warming that grew out of the lies regarding tobacco.

But here's the killer: Energy industries used some of the same public relations firms, bogus science organizations, news outlets and tactics to cast a smokescreen about global warming, especially its connection to greenhouse gases.

That's why so many people say glibly, "It's cyclical," when dismissing dangers posed by global warming, as if that phrase settles everything.

In "Heat," Monbiot chronicles how Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco firm, perfected its lying strategies and then passed them along to ExxonMobil, the world's largest energy firm. It's a long, sordid story, but in a nutshell, here's what happened:

In 1992 the Environmental Protection Agency cited secondhand smoke as a serious health issue. By 1993, Philip Morris was fighting that allegation and others along a broad front. Monbiot quotes internal Philip Morris memos and letters proving the company created a disinformation network, giving millions of dollars to dozens of organizations that would lend the appearance of a grassroots yet science-based movement to cast doubt on the ill effects of tobacco.

Moreover, it camouflaged the campaign by grouping the dangers of tobacco with so-called myths, such as the alleged evils of cellophane, pesticides, nuclear waste and biotechnology, notions promoted by people it denigrated as extremists.

ExxonMobil enthusiastically signed on, then seized on the approach for its own purposes. It funded or helped fund more than 124 organizations, writes Monbiot, and most of them used some portion of it to promote the big lie that doubt still exists among serious scientists regarding global warming.

Pseudo-science organizations funded by ExxonMobil and others often present elaborate articles, replete with charts and graphs, to lend the appearance of authority, but these are not peer-reviewed articles, and while they bear resemblance to a sort of half truth, they're largely elaborate lies which have set the world back many years in its quest to save itself.

More later.


Don Williams is the founding editor of New Millennium Writings. You may write to him at P.O. Box 2463, Knoxville, TN 37901, e-mail him at donwilliams7@charter.net or phone him at 865-428-0389.

24 comments:

Alan said...

You seen, didn't you, where bush tried to take credit for the lowered cancer death rate? Where he said how he's increased grant funds, etc... a blatant lie. The increase was from Clinton's initiatives and that bush cut funding last year and cut another $40 million this year.

Alan said...

dreamboys

Alan said...

Ok, be careful that you don't choke on your cheetos...

It's True: Bush Proclaims Sunday "National Sanctity of Human Life Day"

"America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth," reads the stirring proclamation. "National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being."

Gerald said...

Here is Bush's sanctity for human life

Gerald said...

This war will produce the first generation of veterans in bionic arms and legs, a legacy that may seem most pronounced for upper extremity amputees. It is relatively rare to see Americans missing hands or arms; they represent only 5% of civilian amputees in the U.S. But nearly a quarter of those who lost limbs in Iraq have come home in that condition.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: January 20

Gerald said...

Why can't Bush use at least one brain?

War with Iran is now etched in stone!!!

One Person, Two Brains

There’s little doubt that it is the brain that enables humans to think and learn. But did you know you actually have a brain within your brain?

Inside the brain is an emotional brain, built differently from the rest of the neo-cortex, which is the center of language and thought.

The emotional brain controls everything that governs physical well-being, as well as much of the body’s physiology: for example, the heart, blood pressure and immune system.

It should come as no surprise, then, that research is revealing the amazing capacity of our emotional brain to heal our body.

Experts say that the emotional brain contains natural mechanisms for self-healing. Also, human beings constantly strive for a harmonious balance between their two brains.

Balance, harmony and self-healing are principles that should guide every area of our lives. How can you incorporate these into your daily life?

He said…“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

Father, remind us of the importance of balance and moderation in life.

Dear God, why do our Nazi American rulers complicate their lives and our lives with stupid wars???

Hitler Bush does not reveal balance, harmony, and self-healing in his policies, programs, and decisions.

Gerald said...

We must all join the anti-war movement

Gerald said...

For many millions of Americans, impeachment of this corrupt and criminal president and vice president should be on the agenda, not off the table. In a full-page advertisement in the Jan. 12 edition of The New York Times, an organization called Vote to Impeach outlined its case. "The illegal war of aggression Bush launched against Iraq has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and killed or wounded tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers," says the ad headlined "Impeach Now!"

Gerald said...

Silence is Betrayal

Gerald said...

No one can stop the U.S. from nuking Iran

Gerald said...

THE NUKING OF IRAN IS ETCHED IN STONE!!!!! I CONCEDE HITLER BUSH IS A TOTAL NUTCASE!!!!!

The November elections and current moves in Congress show that there is no appetite for even an escalation in Iraq. But will there be the stomach to take on a rampant commander-in-chief who seems convinced that a successful strike on Iran will restore at least some of the lost glory (and ratings) he enjoyed in the post 9/11 period?

HITLER BUSH BELIEVES THAT HIS NUKING OF IRAN WILL RETURN HIM TO BE THE MOST POPULAR PRESIDENT IN UNITED STATES HISTORY.

Gerald said...

The Nazis can control Americans through despair

Gerald said...

There has been, along with the creation of an American oligarchy, a steady Weimarization of the American working class. The top one percent of American households have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. This figure alone should terrify all who care about our democracy. As Plutarch reminded us "an imbalance between the rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."

Gerald said...

I believe that it was Kissinger who said that the American soldier is nothing more than cannon fodder.

90% of Americans will die to protect the interests of the rich and the powerful.

90% of Americans are only mushrooms!!!

Gerald said...

Nazi Americans cling to Bush for their salvation.

DEN said...

Alan, great clip! ya they're dreaming alright and were getting the shaft.

Gerald, just think of all the new jobs for nazi americans building protheses for returning troops, no bid contracts of course.

Carey said...

Alan,

Yes, Jon Stewart emphasized in a report of Bush's grandiloquent announcement of the dropped cancer rates, that W. has a tendency to swipe other people's good deeds and pretend their his own, when, in fact, he's doing just the opposite.

Here's a little ditty:

George W. Bush Explains His Signing Statements, Among Other Things

Calvin Trillin


They sent me a law against torture.
I signed it, although it was quaint.
I said, though, that I'm the decider
Of if something's torture or ain't.

I'll do what I want when I want to,
Though Congress's will may be foiled.
I've always done just what I want to.
You see, I'm a little bit spoiled.

The Congress wants mail left unopened,
Except through a court. They were blunt.
I signed that, but said in a statement
We'll open whatever we want.

I'll do what I want when I want to,
That's deep down in my DNA.
I've always done just what I want to.
And Nanny Dick says it's OK.

The citizens spoke in November.
They said that my war is a flop.
So what? I will order more troops there.
I'm boss, and I'm not going to stop.

I'll do what I want when I want to,
It's what I've done all my life long.
I've always done just what I want to.
It's lucky I've never been wrong.

David B. Benson said...

carey --- The Trillen ditty reminded me of a line from an old song:

"I want what I want when I want it."

Sung by a baratone, of course...

Alan said...

Carey, good ditty/poem. haha

Here's that clip from ABC World News' medical editor explaining the truth about the cancer funds.

FACT CHECK: Bush Has Cut Funding For Cancer Research

The total budget for the National Cancer Institute has increased $1.2 billion since 2001. But as ABC News’s Medical Editor pointed out last night, “most of that occurred in those early years under a Clinton initiative. The budget was actually cut last year and the projected budget for this year is to be cut even further.”

Gerald said...

The Word of God

Dear Posters:

At the Liturgy of the Eucharist the priest gave an interesting homily. He talked about Vatican II and from this conference there came an increase focus on the Word of God. The Eucharist has always been important and the Eucharist will always be important. The conference wanted the Word of God to have more emphasis.

As the priest gave his homily, I thought about the Nazis who do not emphasize Jesus’ life and Words. To stress Jesus’ Words they would have to recall such Words as “Love one another as I have loved you;” “When you do it for the least of my brethren, you do it for me,” “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

These are important and powerful words. Failure to emphasize these words says to me that the neocons, the Christian right, the evangelicals, and the fundamentalists are hypocrites in what they preach to their slaves.

Sincerely,

Gerald

Gerald said...

Since I Love You, I Dedicate These Lyrics and Music for You

Gerald said...

DEN, I read an article that improved employment will come in two areas, such as military service and becoming a cleric.

Gerald said...

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)