Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center

“Every corner of the public psyche is canvassed by some of the most talented citizens to see if the desire for some merchandisable product can be cultivated.”John Kenneth Galbraith

- Beware, Bloggers!

There is some stinky stuff going on with these folks:

The Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center

- Several days ago, a comment appeared on one of my posts on this Blog.   The commenter asked me to contact him about my Blog.   I wrote him an E-mail back asking “What’s upand got the following reply:

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I represent the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center, an asbestos health resource site dedicated to spreading knowledge about mesothelioma and the hazards of asbestos exposure. We have recently begun reaching out to environmental advocacy groups in the interest of spreading awareness of our important topic.

The processing of fossil fuels and our reliance on outdated energy sources is harming our environment and harming the workers of our country. In recent months we have seen a surge of asbestos health complications among those who worked in oil refineries and other energy processing centers, mainly due to the amount of asbestos used in these industries.

Few people realize that our environmental attitudes and behaviors are harming not only the earth for our children but also the workers who toil in these hazardous environments. To this end, I was wondering if you would consider posting an informative article or mesothelioma resource link on your site. It is our hope that through building awareness of the harmful effects (both now and in the future) of our current attitudes towards energy we can save both our planet and lives.

I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kindly,

Dave

- I wrote him back saying:

I’d consider posting an informative article.   No promises.   If you send me the article or a link to it on-line, I’ll have a look.

- And he replied:

Hi Dennis,

Take a look at an article and interview of ours that is posted here:

http://www.globalwarmingisreal.com/blog/2008/09/04/reliance-on-fossil-fuel-%E2%80%93-an-environmental-and-health-issue/

Let me know what you think.  Give me suggestions of particular questions you’d like answered in an article for your site.

Thanks!

-Dave

- On the surface, this all looked reasonable.  Good people working for a good cause, right?   Why shouldn’t I chip in and help them spread the message?

- But, something didn’t feel right about all of this.   I’ve gotten E-mails in the past from Spammers trying to drum up business for ambulance chasers of one type and another.  Just the other day, I’d gotten one entitled, “Do you or a loved one suffer from Asbestos poisoning?

-So I started digging.   I didn’t have to dig far.  At the bottom of the  Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center website is text that asserts, “Thank you for visiting this website which is sponsored by the Law Firm of EARLY, LUDWICK, SWEENEY & STRAUSS, LLC.

- EARLY, LUDWICK, SWEENEY & STRAUSS, LLC, is a law firm that describes itself on its web site as follows:

“Since April 1980, Early, Ludwick, Sweeney & Strauss has been a leading asbestos law firm in the United States representing plaintiffs in lawsuits against the asbestos industry.

This was a disappointment.  David hadn’t mentioned that he was associated with a Law firm.

- So, was he really trying to do a public service and increase public awareness of  issues surrounding Mesothelioma & Asbestos – or was he trying to find a cheap way to drive web traffic to the law firm’s web site and hoping to use naive and idealistic Bloggers like myself to help implement an advertising campaign for him on the cheap?

- I decided to dig further by Googling “EARLY, LUDWICK, SWEENEY & STRAUSS, LLC”.   Pages and pages of uninteresting stuff passed until I came across the following:

Law Firm Caught with Hand in Asbestos Cookie Jar :arrow:

- It makes for interesting reading.

- To my idealistic Blogger friends and readers:

- The moral of this story is that there are folks out there who may think us naive.  And they may be snaky enough to try to use our naivety to get free advertising for themselves.  The Internet is a snake pit – so what’s new?  

- These folks may pretend to be idealistically motivated just like us – but it’ll be a ruse to get us to promote their interests – which are focused primarily on putting money in their own pocket by driving web traffic to their sites by using us as cheap advertisers for them.

- Don’t let them sucker you!

19 September 08 – Follow up: 

- I’m frequently annoyed by automated Blogs whose creators setup software to search the web for any content related to a specific subject and then create auto-posts on their own ‘pretend’ Blogs linking to that original content and generate automatically posted comments on the original post referring to their own site. 

-These mind-less automated sites are just attempts to drive traffic by ads so their creators can make a few bucks and they don’t care a whit that they’re clogging the Internet up with their shit and causing folks like me extra work to clear their trash comments off my Blog daily. 

- But I simply had to laugh today when two different auto Blogger websites focused on Mesothelioma and Asbestos picked up links to this article and automatically generated posts and made auto comments on my site referring to their posts.   As if my original post was in support of what they are doing – rather than trashing it.

- I deleted the auto generated comments on my site as I do daily but somewhere out there are two bogus Mesothelioma and Asbestos Blogs with pointers to my article.  And I think that’s hoot!

02 November 2008 Follow up:

- I’ve had some more adventures with regard to this page which you might want to read about here: :arrow:  

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14 Responses to “Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center”

  1. Tom says:

    Well, I have to admit, I’m the one that didn’t do the digging I should have before agreeing to deal with David Latimer. I’m the editor and publisher of GlobalWarmingisReal and I appreciate the work you did here.

    I guess I should have known better than to trust without verifying, but I’ve learned my lesson. I let them sucker me.

    I am taking down the post.

    Good work on this and good blog.

    Best,
    Tom

  2. Dennis says:

    Thanks, Tom. I’m glad you are not part of their little plot. I hope you’ll consider writing a little ‘expose’ on their games, if you haven’t already.

    The more times folks find exposes on these guys when they Google for information on Mesothelioma & Asbestos, the better. These folks have to be pretty cynical to try to use sites like ours to spread their message.

    I’ve set my RSS reader so I can follow your Blog from now on.

    Cheers!

    Dennis – samadhisoft.com

  3. Tom says:

    Dennis,

    Yes, pretty cynical indeed. There’s enough to wade through when publishing a climate change blog without people blatantly taking advantage of our hard work – not to mention the actual cause they are exploiting.

    I have not yet written an expose, but I certainly will.

    Best,
    Tom

  4. David approached me in exactly the same way, and I came to the same conclusions about their site’s intentions. Perhaps I should have highlighted my reservations, but you have now done that. Thanks.

  5. Susan says:

    Ditto…thanks for the heads up. I also didn’t check into it and should have. The red flag for me came after I posted my blog entry, when David emailed to thank me and then noted that OTHER sites affiliated with mesotheliomia may try to contact me and ask to post on a similar topic, and not to believe them. Hmmm…that was a puzzler then, but not so much now.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks again!
    Susan

  6. Dennis says:

    As an interesting follow up on this piece, I’ve noted in my Internet logs that someone in Israel at 84.109.*.* (part of http://www.bezeqint.net) keeps visiting this article – over and over again. Their IP address changes with each visit but it always begins with 84.109 and it always traces back to the bezeqint.net ISP in Israel.

    I find this all quite curious. With each visit, they stay a minute or two and perhaps they reload the page once or twice and then they depart.

    For example, going backwards in time, we have the following visits recorded just today and yesterday:

    081102 – 12:23:07 – 01m09s – 2 reloads
    081102 – 10:13:52 – 00m50s – 2 reloads
    081102 – 09:09:26 – 00m31s – 2 reloads
    081102 – 08:50:40 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
    081102 – 08:42:55 – 00m??s – 0 reloads (*)
    081102 – 08:07:49 – 00m19s – 1 reload
    081102 – 08:07:30 – 01m11s – 1 reload
    081102 – 07:21:11 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
    081101 – 15:59:50 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
    081101 – 15:33:59 – 00m48s – 1 reload
    081101 – 15:33:19 – 00m52s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 15:32:51 – 00m27s – 1 reload
    081101 – 15:31:44 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
    081101 – 13:49:21 – 00m54s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 13:28:56 – 00m26s – 1 reload
    081101 – 12:10:32 – 00m51s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 09:58:08 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
    081101 – 09:14:21 – 00m57s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 08:46:52 – 00m47s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 08:33:04 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 08:04:06 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 08:02:37 – 00m35s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 07:54:22 – 00m34s – 2 reloads
    081101 – 07:03:39 – 00m??s – 0 reloads

    - At least one of these visits (*) came through a proxy server based in Saudi Arabia. though its original IP address was still shown as 84.109.*.*.

    - I’m not sure what these folks are up to. But I’m suspicious enough to post this here and to send a copy of these notes to the folks at abuse@bezeqint.net.

    - These folks have visited this piece so many times since Oct 27th (that’s how far back my logs go) that they’ve made this the second most visited page on the Blog with 132 visits. The most visited page is, of course, the root page where most everyone lands.

    - This piece is the only time I’ve ever gone after a specific business since I’ve been blogging and it seems like a very large coincidence that ‘someone’ out there seems to be probing back – as if looking for a way to take this article down.

    - Stay tuned to this space.

  7. AJ Bannon says:

    The reason they contacted you was to get a link on your site to their which you have given them anyway.

    Here;

    “I was wondering if you would consider posting an informative article or mesothelioma resource link on your site.”

    And here;

    “I didn’t have to dig far. At the bottom of the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center website”

    You also gave one to the law firm too here;

    “EARLY, LUDWICK, SWEENEY & STRAUSS, LLC, is a law firm that describes itself on its web site as follows”

    You can either rel=”nofollow’ the links inside the ahref tag by inserting that before the closing > OR you can just remove the links all toghether because at this point have more than given them what they wanted.

  8. Dennis says:

    Thanks, AJ. I am amazed that I wasn’t aware that those links were buried in my text. You are absolutely right – the links were playing into their hands even as I was trying to put the bad mojo on them. I’ve pulled the links and just left the text.

  9. Dennis says:

    Update of 2009 Jan 01

    These folks are still out there pushing articles onto idealistic but unwary bloggers. Articles that exist, I suspect, because they will drive traffic back to websites run by lawyers specializing in asbestos lawsuits.

    Thanks to an E-mail written to me by David L., I looked at a number of new sites with such articles today. Google for any of the following phrases to see how wide their reach is:

    “Jesse Herman Asbestos”
    “Samantha Catalano Asbestos”
    “David Latimer Asbestos”
    “James O’Shea Asbestos”

    Beware….

  10. usxp says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Shame on me for not looking more into it myself before linking and posting their information. I will delete it.

  11. Dennis says:

    usxp,

    You are welcome. That sort of idealism and trust is just what these folks seem to rely on to get their message out. It’s a shame that we all have to be reduced to the same common denominator of suspicion and distrust of other’s motives in order to not get misused.

  12. Theodore S. says:

    Dennis,

    You may be interested in this blog:
    sleazeothelioma.blogspot.com

    Feel free to send me any “guest posts”

  13. Dennis says:

    Excellent. I had a look at your site and I think you are taking up a good cause. Go for it. You would be most welcome to do a search on my site for ‘asbestos’ and you have my permission reprint any of the stuff I posted on that topic on your site if you’d like.

    Cheers!