Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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See how they run... three blind mice chase Sen. Frist's seat
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   07/21/2006)

Harold Ford, Jr., got it wrong. Republicans running for Sen. Bill Frist's seat are not the Three Stooges, they're the Three Blind Mice.

Or maybe they just don't open their eyes to watch the news.

Or go to the movies.

Or look outside.

With record forest fires ravaging the country and scientists pointing to global warming as a culprit…

With New Orleans still sputtering on life-support following its near-drowning last year in Hurricane Katrina, and scientists pointing to global warming as a culprit….

With 2006 shaping up to follow 2005 and 2004 among all-time hottest years on record….

With Nobel scientists and prestigious politicians lining up around the world in support of Al Gore's film, “An Inconvenient Truth….”

With videos showing polar bears drowning due to melting ice floes, and photographs depicting bleached coral reefs, melting glaciers, shrinking Greenland ice fields, a shrinking North polar cap, a shrinking Antarctica, the melting Snows of Kilimanjaro….

With power companies setting consumption records trying to keep us cool….

Even with all that, NOT ONE of the three Republican candidates would answer Ford's repeated challenge last week to say whether global warming is real. In fact, all three dodged the question. Surreal. Maybe you missed the live, televised debate of July 13, in which genial talk radio host Hallerin Hill asked the toughest question of the night. First he quoted Ford calling Corker, Bryant and Hilleary, in effect, Moe, Larry and Curly, for squabbling over lesser issues while ignoring global warming. Ford has a commonsense take on the issue. He notes that science is reliable. Cell phones work, rockets work, the earth is round, men actually landed on the moon, and science tells us the earth's temperature is rising. When Hill reminded his would-be Republican challengers of Ford's stance, what do these Three Blind Mice have to say about global warming?

Nada. They all tee off on The Three Stooges remark, those knuckleheads. See how they run. A couple of them did mention fuel conservation, a related issue, but still a dodge.

Pardon my disgust, but not one of these blind mice deserves to serve in the U.S. Senate based on this sorry performance. No matter how well they come off on other issues, reasonable people shouldn't vote for man or mouse that's blind to one of the two biggest problems facing our world—the other being nuclear proliferation.

I'd ask these would-be senators to do themselves a favor and GO SEE THE MOVIE—you know the one, or better yet, fly to Greenland or Antarctica. Maybe then they'd have a clue what we're up against. I'd further ask them to stop trying to make reality conform to ideology. It won't. Ask any leftover Soviet five-year-planner.

According to Bloomberg News, Rep. Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican, says he “pooh-poohed” global warming until he visited the South Pole in January. "Now, I think we should be concerned,'' says Inglis, who chairs the U.S. House Science Research subcommittee. “There are more and more Republicans willing to stop laughing at climate change who are ready to get serious about reclaiming their heritage as conservationists.” Somewhere Teddy Roosevelt is smiling as other Republicans line up, and for good reason.

There is no debate, at least not among….

The National Academy of Sciences and the Union of Concerned Scientists who have issued statements testifying to the reality of global warming and industrial emissions as an important cause. The 928 peer-reviewed studies surveyed by Science Magazine. The six most recent Environmental Protection Agency directors--five of whom are Republicans. The leading presidential candidates, including John McCain, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The 100-plus nations that signed the Kyoto Accords. The 104 Nobel winning scientists who signed a petition of warning. Yes, others are still in denial or else honestly disbelieve the evidence of their own eyes. But not the smartest, most prestigious, most objective, most attuned scientists and politicians.

Reporters, opponents and voters alike should keep these candidates writhing at the point of a caving knife—or the point of Ford's challenge--until they give credible answers. After all, one of these three, whether mice or men, might cast the deciding vote one fine day on the fate of this good Earth.