PROTECTING BIG TOBACCO: EBOLA, TOBACCO, AND THE PENTAGON…November 5, 2014
...and while we're at it, we might as well talk about the ebola-tobacco connection, this time courtesy of this website's web developer, who shared the following article:
Now, the heart of this rather astonishing connection is here:
"The second of those two Americans, Nancy Writebol, arrived Tuesday at Emory University Hospital following an airlift. She and Dr. Kent Brantly each contracted Ebola while treating patients at a missionary clinic in Liberia. Brantly was admitted earlier to the same Atlanta hospital."Both are said to be improving since receiving the experimental anti-Ebola drug ZMapp, developed through a unique alliance between the U.S. military, private scientists, and Reynolds American Inc., which is working to remodel the image of Big Tobacco.
"ZMapp is composed of three “humanized” mouse monoclonal antibodies — one of which was developed at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) — and manufactured in tobacco plants.
"The infected plants were grown by Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP) — a subsidiary of Reynolds American. The tobacco giant acquired KBP in January, said Reynolds spokesman David Howard. Never tested on humans, the drug was shown in a recent study to be effective when given to Ebola-infected primates.
"Though the two missionaries remain in treatment and in isolation, the possible early success of ZMapp could mark a step forward in Reynolds American’s goal of “transforming the tobacco industry” — both in terms of remolding its image and meeting emerging market demands, Howard said.
“Really, the big picture is tobacco consumption in one form, and then you have other utilizations of the tobacco plant — certainly, looking at it from a scientific perspective,” Howard said."
Now, as a smoker (and a heavy one at that), I find all of this rather amusing from any number of points of view. I am old enough to remember the silly cigarette commercials of the early 1960s, with "doctor endorsed" cigarette brands, and wild claims that it was even "good for you." And I am old enough to remember how the ever-so-trustworthy tobacco industry doctored studies, numbers, and even blatantly concocted the numbers, to claim that there was no correlation between smoking and lung cancer and other health issues. So needless to say, I look on these claims with rather a jaundiced eye.
But on the other hand, I also have seen the anti-smoking fascism in the USA reach unprecedented heights of goofiness and hysteria, with federal and state governments simultaneously subsidizing the industry while using smoking as a wedge to leverage ever more governmental intrusion into private life, private property and liberty. Indeed, it's reached such a pitch that I have to wonder why our perpetually corrupt and lying governments are on such an anti-smoking binge? I have actually privately wondered "What good about tobacco and smoking are they trying to cover-up?" The question isn't rhetorical. I mean it. Consider the track record of government lying about everything from JFK to Ruby Ridge, and you get the importance of the question. (I mean... : Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco I want a government campaign! "Fight Alzheimers! Smoke a Cuban! [cigar folks, in today's dumbed down culture, you'd have to specify that])
And then along came ebola and voila, my question appeared to be answered, and to put it "country simple": Why bother about an expensive vaccine when a good bag of your favorite blend might be just as effective and much more enjoyable and pleasant? I think of the campaign against marijuana: a good bag of weed is far cheaper than the massively expensive pharmaceutical derivative, Marinol, but no one can make a profit from the latter so long as the similarly effective (and much more pleasant) plant is so cheaply available. What to do? Criminalize the plant, make its active drug prescribable by a physician only, and charge an arm and a leg for the pharmaceutical equivalent. Why bother about cigarettes, cigars, and pipes tobacco, when Reynolds could make so much more money by criminalizing normal tobacco use, and using it in "vaccines"?
Maybe it's time for the anti-smoker and smoker to make common cause, allow bar owners and restauranteurs to allow smoking in their establishments if they want to (and out of health concerns and public safety), and to start asking some difficult questions of big pharma, big tobacco, and big government. We could even have a motto: "Fight Ebola! Support smoking in your favorite bar or restaurant." If that sounds ridiculous, consider only the fact that that is how ridiculous modern American government, with its tapestry of mercantilism and special privilege for a few rich, and corporations, and none for the liberty of the people, has become.
See you on the flip side...