Stop Cancer Where It Starts

Every three minutes a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Five women will die of breast cancer every hour. More women have died of breast cancer over the past 20 years than all the Americans killed in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.

October is known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) reminding women to "get your mammogram!" Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer - they detect it. Early detection and treatment are important to save lives, but long-term remission is not a "cure." Pills touted to "prevent" breast cancer may lower the risk of developing the disease, but they often increase the risk of other serious health problems.

It is not a woman's fault if she has breast cancer. Since 1940, the risk of getting breast cancer has doubled. October could also be called "Cancer Industry Month." Cancer is big business. Polluting industries, public relations firms, and agencies that fail to protect our health and divert our attention away from prevention are all reaping enormous profits from "Awareness Month." Astra Zeneca, a giant multinational corporation, is the primary sponsor of NBCAM. Until 2000, they had a complete profit circle: They made agrochemicals, including the cancer causing herbicide acetoclor; they still have their own string of cancer care centers including doctors, pharmacies, and testing labs; they currently make the top selling breast cancer drug, tamoxifen. DuPont also produces pesticides and cancer drugs. General Electric makes nuclear reactors and mammography equipment.

An estimated 75,000 synthetic chemicals are in commercial use and continue to be produced. We are told, "there is lack of evidence of harm," but most are not even tested for cancer-causing ability. The chemicals linger in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. We are largely exposed to these chemicals through high-fat animal-based foods. A class of synthetic chemicals, the organochlorines, exist in some 11,000 commercial products - pesticides, fuels, plastics and detergents. Many act like hormones and are present in human blood at levels 40 to 250 times the levels of natural hormones. There is strong evidence linking these chemicals to breast cancer.

The International Joint Commission of the Great Lakes has called for a complete phasing out of production and use of organochlorines. There are safer, non-polluting products available, yet our government has ignored these warnings. Why? Industry has tremendous influence with their big campaign contributions and well-funded lobbyists.

What can we do? We can get informed and get active. Breast Cancer Action and other organizations are joining together to work for real prevention. We can clean up our own environment, use toxic-free products and eat certified organic foods. We can question the cancer establishment and its priorities. We can lobby for strong environmental laws, corporate reforms and Clean Elections. Let's make October - and every month - "Stop Cancer Where it Starts Month" and reverse this epidemic.

Stefanie Miller
Indiana Alliance for Democracy
PO Box 34133
Indianapolis, IN 46234
E-mail: jackandstef@earthlink.net

Only One Issue

As I read through the variety of articles and issues addressed in every Progressive Populist, along with all the other magazines, newsletters, alerts, donation requests, etc. that I, like most active progressives, receive every day from various interest groups, be they environmental, social, political, humanitarian, whatever, I have finally realized that there is one issue that must be dealt with first, before all others - - complete public funding of elections.

If you go through all of the issues, in all of these magazines, from all of these diverse groups, there is hardly any single problem facing this nation (or to a large extent the entire world), that does not ultimately come down to the legalized bribery that we, in this country, call politics. ...

From the Snail Darter in the Grand Canyon to the danger inherent in the world's climate change, from the working poor in the USA to the starving children in Bangladesh, from Big Pharma, Big Agra and the Oil Barons that appear to own our government, to the decline of both working wages and the small farmer, there is, at heart, primarily this one issue.

Corporate crime, CEO greed, air and water pollution, energy policy, universal health care, Social Security, income disparity, tax fairness and justice, the corporate media, public transportation, the war on drugs, preemptive war on anyone, the fight against (and the cause of) terrorism, free speech, civil rights, gay rights, native-American Rights, Arab-American Rights, reproductive rights, religious rights, your rights, my rights, it all comes down to this one issue.

So I say that Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, the ACLU, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition, the Cato Institute, the ASPCA, the AFL-CIO, whatever, all interest groups of almost any stripe need to refocus a major part of their efforts toward true campaign finance reform. Anything else, no, everything else, is just putting out small fires while the forest, or the world, burns to the ground.

As a first step, we all need to start with an intense push for instant runoff voting and proportional voting legislation whenever and wherever possible, and with that toe in the door we all need to push for complete public campaign financing at all levels of government. There is really no other way to take back our country and our birthright.

Steve Larkin
Big Water, Utah
E-mail solarway@thedam.com

Corporate Responsibilities

I've been chafing from a statement made by an economist on TV a few weeks back. This professor of economics ... said corporations have only two responsibilities, to their stockholders and to their customers. I've heard this idea before and I'm certain it is widespread in the corporate world.

But American corporations exist in a political setting and take advantage of the services their governments perform, e.g. mails, roads, police protection, military protection and many more. A corporation is a legal person and as such has the same responsibilities as any other person. It must obey the laws of the land, it must contribute its fair share of wealth to support the functions of governments. It's instructive to note that people who disdain their government's goals and purposes and do not obey their laws are considered outlaws. I fear many corporations have fallen into this class.

To be explicit, I present the goals and purposes of our country as set out in the Preamble to our Constitution by the great wisdom of our founding fathers:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I see nothing about profits here.

... Surely investors have a right to returns on their investments, but employees, those who have done the actual work of the corporation, have a right to expect that their contributions be respected and that they be considered an integral part of the ongoing endeavor. Corporations have a responsibility to strike a balance between the expectations of the employee and the expectation of the investor. If it fails to do so, the corporation is a harmful neighbor against whom the rest of society must take steps to protect themselves.

Art Hambach
Aurora, IL 60506
Email bigart@ameritech.net

Don't Let Evil Triumph

Having grown up in Nazi Germany, I would like to add a few items to Ted Rall's powerful article, "Maybe Bush studied history after all" [11/1/01 TPP].

John Ashcroft's TIPS program comes right out of the Nazi handbook: If anyone criticized Hitler or the Nazis and was reported, the reporter received a nice bonus from the government and the reportee received a "nice" visit from the SS in the middle of the night, was taken away and never seen again. Therefore, people were afraid to even talk to their neighbors or at home in case the children overheard the conversation and inadvertently repeated it at school or elsewhere. The predominant emotion during the Nazi era was FEAR.

Lesson 1: If you can get the population to spy on each other, you have won control over them, because it will create such an atmosphere of fear and mistrusts that they no longer can organize against the government.

Thank God the TIPS program did not succeed!

Helen Thomas of the White House Press Corps said she has served under nine presidents and has never seen such a loss of civil liberties as we have now, not even during WWII when the whole world was in flames. She ended her talk (on C-SPAN) with this quote:

"The only way for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."

Bush made an offhand remark during the beginning of his tenure, that everything would be much easier if we had a dictatorship. and he laughed. No one in this country paid any attention to this comment, least of all the US Press Corps, but Europeans were shocked. They heard it loud and clear.

Ted Rall and anyone else who is concerned about our future should read the 60-page report about [the Bush family]'s Nazi ties at www.john-loftus.com/Thyssen.htm and George Bush, the Unauthorized Biography by Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin.

Erma Stark
Sidney, Neb.

On Tarpley and Chaitkin ...

In response to my letter [in the 9/1/02 TPP] about conspiracists, [a letter in the 9/15/02 TPP] suggested that I should have researched the authors of a book I mentioned (George Bush, An Unauthorized Biography), the implication being that had I done my research I certainly would not have read, or believed what I read in that book. My critic is correct; I did not research the background of Tarpley and/or Chaitkin. I did discover in reading the book that they seemed to have some connection to or involvement with Lyndon LaRouche. I do know who Lyndon LaRouche is.

It is not my habit to research the authors of all the books I read, nor do I discount or disbelieve them because of their associations (guilt by association) or because of their political beliefs. I believe that my critic is indulging in an "ad hominem" argument here; i.e. the thesis/information/statement is wrong because of its author.

I found a great deal of interest, well documented and footnoted, in the referenced book about George H.W. Bush and his background. I do not agree with everything the authors indicated, and I realize their "agenda" may be suspect, but I believe the information was worthwhile and my reading of that book led to further interest and investigation. Not a bad thing, I hope.

Grace Cooper
Sacramento Calif.

Way Past AWOL

I am encouraged at seeing references to the Chicken Hawks everywhere. It even shows up every now an then coming out of the mouths of Republicans on TV.

The one thing that bothers me, however, is that even the most ardent, left-wing, populist, Democratic, liberal et. al. web sites and columnists continue to pull their punch when it comes to Junior.

They'll say "... he stopped showing up ..." "... he skipped out ..." or, at worst: "... he went AWOL ..."

Listen, the term AWOL makes it acceptable behavior. John Wayne went AWOL more than a few times in his movies. He always had a good reason. In the real world, through the ages, even some of the very best servicemen have been AWOL a time or two in the careers.

That does not apply to Junior. According to military law, if a serviceman is absent without leave for more than 30 days, he is then considered to be a deserter.

Junior didn't show up for his final TWO YEARS!

The military code of justice has no statute of limitations for this crime. Junior could be arrested and tried for his crime right now.

After about 18 months on the lam, he was sentenced to disciplinary service in Colorado. He didn't show up for that either. (note to news hounds: Would someone please ask Ari to show us junior's discharge papers?)

The man is a deserter. So, you guys in the media please use the correct term. It is important that people realize the kind of person that our idiot Congress has given unparalleled warmaking powers to.

Steve Warren
San Marcos, Texas
Email steve@gomusic1.com

Connect the Dots

Lets connect the dots. Dot One: The Chinese have started started to build the enormous Three Gorges Dam in rural China which will displace not only enough water to create a 385-mile-long lake but also a few million people. Dot 2: COSCO, one of the giant shipping companies that are trying to break the longshore workers' union (ILWU) and create low-wage non-union jobs, is owned by the Chinese government. Dot 3: Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other large retailers whose products are made by Chinese labor are backing the Bush administration as it does the dirty work of the shippers. [Recently the president has mused in public about sending in troops: a classic government-industry conspiracy.]

Connecting the dots - oh, I think the readers of The Progressive Populist can connect the dots, themselves.

Dr. Mort Malkin
Milanville, Pa.

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