I was wondering what to write about in my next blog, since this addiction thing is quite interesting when introspecting. I AM still addicted. I AM hungrier and am eating about 1700 calories/day as opposed to my satiety with less than 1200 calories when carb-free. And you know that when I say "100% carb-free" that I am referring to the high glycemic index carbs, like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flour, white rice, potatoes, corn, and products containing them. So, now that I have reintroduced some of this contraband back into my diet, I am finding that I crave it. And even when I don't crave it, I find myself justifying a nibble here, a bite there, a sample here, and so on. Essentially, it has an elevated appeal to me. But, I was going to wait a bit longer until I understood things better, before writing about it. And then, I stumbled upon the following article:
Wow– I have been a CSPI supporter for 30 years and am finding that they have their own agenda as well. Sad! Corruption at every level! Am I that naive to think otherwise? Perhaps. But, I really didn't give it much thought that they would be anything but honest. And maybe that's why honest people are the ones so often cheated– because they cannot fathom the depth of others' deceitfulness. This, indeed, is an important topic to write about.
I now have to appropriately filter everything that CSPI says, as it is clear that they sensationalize at every opportunity, to further their own organization's self interest. And, in their defense, imagine yourself being, say, a spotted-owl protector and forming an organization around this theme. You eventually quit your job, hire a few dozen people, and grow your organization, soliciting donations, affecting public policy, etc. You and your spouse take reasonable salaries and live comfortably. Maybe you just depleted your savings buy buying a new house or new car. THEN, a report comes out that the latest data on spotted owls is MUCH more optimistic and that the original study that listed them as endangered, was flawed. What now? Your organization's very focus is undermined. Your cause is no longer a cause. Your donors lose interest and your choices are to close your organization and let 50 people go, and at age 50+ to find another job for yourself and your spouse. OR, you can put a spin on the new study, question it, sensationalize stuff in your favor, play down that against your cause, and continue life as usual. Which would YOU do? I think I would do the right thing, but the pressure and conflict– especially considering the other 50 people's welfare– would be dramatic and intense. What do you think your friends, in a similar situation, might do?
Could this be true of many/most "watchdog" organizations? When I dig deeply, I find that many are. Sad. Could this be why marijuana is illegal? Special interest groups that advocate its illegality do so in their own job-preserving interests? I can forgive CSPI for what may amount to erring on the conservative side– no one died from avoiding trans fat. But, what if the American Cancer Society intentionally suppressed natural anti-cancer treatments or breakthroughs in the cure? In their case, if the battle over cancer is won, THOUSANDS of people would be out of work, their funding dried up, etc. Would they shut themselves down or would they do everything they could to perpetuate the fears that keep them funded? Worse, what about the MILLIONS of people who would die of cancer by the suppression of this information. Similarly, what about the thousands, if not millions, in prison for marijuana "offenses", that result from the deliberate lies spread by those that stand to lose jobs? You know– people pulled over for a tail light that stopped working only to find marijuana in the car and ruin an individual's life by putting him in prison over it, with spins on how the amount was enough that they surely were dealers, and other sensationalistic nonsense. Maybe the guy just scored a big deal for himself, or it was a group buy. But that makes worse news than "DOPE DEALER ARRESTED WITH $10,000 DOLLARS WORTH OF MARIJUANA". Maybe the unfortunate fool bought a few months' supply for himself for $1000– the cops and the media would divide the confiscated amount down to the smallest unit people might buy (a joint's worth?), choose the most inflated price they can imagine, then extrapolate it to imply a huge amount. We, the readers, imagine some grubby law breaker with a trunk load of marijuana to sell to school children when it was only a paper sack full for himself. One spin makes news; the objective truth bores people.
I have a teacher friend who tells me scare stories about the school administration, where teachers are paid $30K and administrators are paid $300K. Competency is not rewarded but viewed as a threat to the rest. Teachers get rewards for ratting out others, for not making waves, not for improving kids' love for knowledge or test scores. And so on. I had an experience in my corporate life where a money-saving idea was put forth but the manager intentionally swept it aside to choose the most INefficient process so he could justify hiring more staff, thereby elevating his clout and salary within the organization– doing what's best for himself at the expense of all others. What organization is free from corruption? Ah, the silence is deafening! I think the bigger the organization, the greater the impetus for corruption. There are more faceless bodies to obscure the finger-pointing, much more money at stake, and many more resources with which to obscure the truth.
Our largest organization is our federal government, and it is the umbrella organization for many smaller organizations. How much of what they tell us is truth and how much of it is twisted, spinned, or outright lies to protect the status quo or to justify more funding for their pet projects? How do we know if the FDA is banning our ability to get cheaper pharmaceuticals from Canada because "they may not be manufactured to our standards and thereby may not be safe", or is it because the pharmaceutical lobby tells the FDA management that this would undercut their profits and force them to lay off thousands of people….. in an election year?
EVERY, and I mean EVERY time I had intimate knowledge of topic and read about it in the newspaper, the article was wrong. EVERY time!?!?!?!?! I was once interviewed for an article on Eminent Domain. I read the article in the newspaper a few days later, to find that my name was misspelled, they had my residence listed as a different town, AND the article misquoted me!!!! How many times were there similar inaccuracies that I did NOT catch, because I was not intimately familiar with the topic? And, this problem is even worse today, with the Internet, because EVERYTHING has to be checked for validity on debunking sites before it is to be believed. Besides intentional corruption for monetary gains, there are those that do it for a lark, on the Internet, to see if they can make their lies go viral, like cellphones popping popcorn or cold fusion.
I think the bottom line here is that ANY organization and ANY individual is subject to corruption when their own lives are concerned. Even basically honest people would be tempted to lie when so much is at stake for them and especially if few would be hurt by their MISinformation, such as CSPI's case. Frankly, I think there is more corruption, at every level, than meets the eye. It is sad/tragic when entire organizations are based on such corruption and lies. It is even more sad that we are too lazy to verify these factoids and accept them as written. This is especially easy to do when the article in question resonates with our own beliefs. I think we would all do well to question the validity of ANY popular press article, especially if money is involved, whether by donation or for products of questionable quality. We have all been duped at one time or another by misleading advertisements, but we should NOT be duped by misleading "news" articles because we are too lazy to verify the facts.
We live in the Information Age, but no one says it's all accurate and truthful information. In a perfect world, we could believe all that we read, see, and hear but sadly, there are too many people trying to get an edge up and will lie for that gain. Beware!