Culture War, Class War, Chapter 27:
The Matrix Versus Truth-Love
All things considered, we need come to several conclusions:
- Government is broken.
- Government gives free reign to corporations engaging in massive mind control via media manipulation using unlimited amounts of money and having all the privileges and rights of personhood.
- Corporations engage in a misinformation campaign.
- This misinformation campaign makes us forget who we are and our own interests, suffering, and feelings.
- This misinformation campaign makes us forget what we know and who’s responsible for what.
- This misinformation campaign works against Democrats and to the advantage of Republicans.
- Mystified and deluded, US citizens become apathetic about voting to further their interests, by voting for Democrats, and become enraged into voting against their own well-being, by voting for Republicans.Repeat –
- Government is broken…
Government Is Broken. Corporations Engage in a Misinformation Campaign Making Us Forget What We Knew And Who’s Responsible For What – Works Against Democrats and to the Advantage of Republicans
At this point, with the strange and formidable dominance of Fox (Faux) News, I believe the media coverage in the United States is almost one-hundred percent broken…the one exception is some of the programming at MSNBC. This brokenness has caused the masses to believe that all of government is broken and to vote angrily, in irrational yet orchestrated ways, in ways that insure further and continued brokenness of government.
As I pointed out in a previous part, actually the government has been in dictatorship for the eight years of Bush–check the videos posted and the books written on this, some of which I reposted earlier or referred to. So, government is currently in a broken state that is mightily trying to be fixed by the Democrats…with no help from the almost one-hundred percent broken media, the virtually one-hundred percent dishonest corporations that fund the media, and now even the minds of the masses who are assaulted with a near infinite supply of corporate misinformation that makes them equate the Democrats with the Republicans who have destroyed this country, that makes them blame the Democrats for the mess that the Republicans left them and which the Democrats are heroically trying to tackle…with little help from internet pundits who regurgitate the right-wing line they see all around them.
It is to the corporations’ and the Republicans’ advantage to say there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans and to equate an occasional corrupt Democrat or two with an entire party of corruption–acting only in the interests of the wealthy at the expense of everyone less than filthy rich–the Republicans.
We knew this when we threw out the Republicans and brought the Democrats into power in the election of 2008. It’s truly amazing how a hugely funded misinformation campaign by corporations and their lackey media can mesmerize so much of the American people so quickly and easily and make them forget what they once knew. And it’s been done over and over again. A glaring example: The success of the Clinton economy, leaving a surplus, was so easily forgotten by the media and the electorate when those same media folks said not a word as Bush dismantled and reversed the Clinton economy with the expected results, which were “oh so shocking and surprising” to Republicans later, though it had happened exactly that way the first time Reaganomics was tried.
When I asked the how they could say that, they said the Kennedys.
So isn’t it about time we educated ourselves about the real causes of things rather than remained dummied down and going after each other (listen up, Tea Party).
So, I’m pointing fingers and placing blame. Anybody who tells you that is an inappropriate or crude thing to do is doing the work of these criminals to cover up and get away with their abominable deeds. [Footnote 2]
With media broken, surely you will hear endlessly from the media that it is not.
Media Ownership Not Affect Democracy?
We saw an example of this when, several years ago, Rupert Murdoch sought to buy the Wall Street Journal. What you heard…from various quarters of the media…was that it would not matter who owned this giant opinion-maker because the editorial division would be quite independent from ownership. You even heard Rupert Murdoch himself spouting publicly that his ownership of the Wall Street Journal would not in any way affect editorial policy. But how can anyone buy that obvious bullshit? Of course he would say that!
I’ll never believe it. As anyone who has read the earliest chapters of this book will know, I was long ago a first-hand witness to the beginnings of the pervasive media mind control program that was initiated by the Filthy Rich, when they were first frightened out of their wits that they might lose control of the American population in the Sixties. Not only was media control by ownership used, but TV anchorman Howard K. Smith was fired over it, history’s records were changed because of it, and it led to a massive restructuring of our higher education, our publishing industry, and our educational institutions at all levels down to kindergarten.
It was the first major offensive in the Culture War from the side of the Filthies. It was the first step toward Communist-style brainwashing; and the first step in the erosion of our free press, free speech, and our liberties. This control of the media by wealthy ownership, this media mind control of the masses brought about the downfall of democracy in the U.S. that has already led to two stolen presidential elections and massive voter machine election fraud. Its intent, dire for ordinary folks, is manifest in media refusal to replay the Twin Towers coverage of 911 for fear that the lie about who was responsible for that day will be all too easily exposed as the cover-up it is. Its horrific nature is revealed in death threats against those who would still speak the truth into the media along with actual “elimination” of those on the front lines of uncovering the truth—whether it be of the BP oil spill consequences, Murdoch/News Corp’s hacking of terrorist victims’ phone calls, or similar happenings.
Light Vs. Darkness, Sathya Sai Vs. Matrix
As can easily be seen, there are many ways that if we fail to raise truth and live by love …. IMMEDIATELY, and ON A GLOBAL SCALE, the dire result which we hear spouted by Republicans, that of victimizing future generations, will become reality.
Ironically it will occur if we go along with the Republicans, and the way to prevent it is to resist gop measures.
I say if we do not have the sufficient amount of influence and enlighten enough people to see through such heinous lies, Republicans and people like them will contribute, without question, in one way or another, sooner or later, not just to the financial stranglehold on generations to be coming. That prospect will seem a blessing compared to what we will actually bequeath them.
It’s the forces of Light versus the forces of Darkness…. Is that interesting enough times for ya?
No. Those with brave eyes and recklessly truthful yearnings have been establishing in intricate detail, as scientists and learned people, that we are in the most dangerous time our species has ever seen. The idea of financially strapped grandchildren would be funny if it were not for the fact that—some would say unless there is divine intervention even—those right-wing scare words, along with so much else that contributes to drowning out that truth I was speaking of, will be moot, to use a euphemism.
To say it straight: There will simply be no more generations coming after us. There will be no grandchildren.
The storms of greed
There were powerful storms of greed unleashed in the Eighties, set off especially by the example of an unsympathetic and mean-spirited president, Ronald Reagan. This specter of a jealousy and a drive to control, in a manner so extreme and on such a widespread scale as to have never before been recorded, brought to life then has whipped up powerful environmental, biological—micro and macro—and political-cultural forces of such scope and power as to appear omnipotent and inevitable.
And with every day that passes these Furies approach with speed, increasing speed. Most sad of all this insane greed has brought to Frankensteinian life forces that we, with all our vaunted technology and supposed “rational” scientism, have only the slightest ideas of how even the most potent of our remedies can sway, slow down, mitigate…let alone reverse.
Got your attention?
So, you don’t think you’re living in interesting times? Is the idea that you could be dead at any time now, and in a grand way along with vast numbers of the rest of the planet, OF ALL SPECIES…is that fucking interesting enough for ya?
Most will think this prospect crazy. But they also thought it wrong-headed when my compadres and I were sounding alarms before the global economic collapse. We also warned of irreversible climatological consequences before anyone had ever heard the term “global warming.” We voiced concern before anyone had even conceived of the possibility that our mighty superheroes of American Medicine—with their “miracle drugs,” notably antibiotics—might be simultaneously inventing the very kryptonite to humble them.
Yet the scientists with the most integrity are now troubled in their sleep having realized that these many decades of “miracle drugs” have, to their horror, not strengthened humans against the multitudes of microbes that comprise our atmospheric “soup.” This invisible—and thereby more deadly—airy surround in which we swim, this atmospheric soup had, prior to even just the last sixty years, been a Creator’s obviously perfect fit to sustain us in health. Not now though. We hear instead that we had just as well prepare for the “BIG ONE” in global pandemics, virulent beyond anything ever known because of our weakened systems, the Black Death by comparison seeming to be a bout of the flu.
And were this to be hatched it would be coming forth without question at the peak of human population of this planet—a number unsustainable and ever-polluting its own nest.
Mad Max will be our lucky future.
Still worse, such dense and omnipresent human population would, again compared to the Black Death, make for even more rapid a spread—one virtually lacking any escape, again measuring it against The Plague. Thus, it would likely manifest the fastest, most devastating slaughter of humans ever—not just breaking all previous records, but indeed raising the specter, for the first time, of being reduced to the levels at which we could hardly any longer even maintain, let alone advance, our science and technology. Thus we could not help but return, sooner or later, to a primitivism of sorts.
But swimming in toxicity it would be such a one as primal peoples would themselves consider too horrible to want to live through. Indeed, that is, if it is not complete annihilation of the our species that is at hand.
One hopeful thought for the purpose, if nothing else, then to keep the bean counters who’ve already got my manila folder labeled and set aside confused–which is one of the better pleasures I’ve found in life: If you’ve got a theological bent like myself, or at least are in amazement and awe at the world we discover here for us, constantly surprising us, well consider:
Building a “skyscraper” to heaven…the “ladder-path”
I only mean this as myth, metaphor, or analogy, of course. But the fact that such mythical statements emanating from the haze of the so long ago are endlessly retold because of their resonance throughout thousands of years and among billions of humans says something about their having some kind of important meaning for humans. The one I want to shine a light on: The Tower of Babel.
The Tower of Babel is a story that begins with humans who once lived together in harmony. But in trying to overachieve and mistaking the true nature of God as being physical, material, the story goes how misunderstandings and arguments and fights, and eventually killings occurred, all around the construction of this tower–a tower they were building to reach “heaven.” People began speaking ever more strangely and not understanding of each other.
So extreme this mistake—this mistake of conceiving of a spiritual, an all-pervasive God of consciousness and unity as instead being a separate—much reduced in stature, to say the least—physical entity, one more akin to our pathetic selves, even.
So extreme the mistake of placing this spiritual idea outside of oneself and literally, up high in the sky where one could actually build to reach him, as if he were just another “strong man” to suck up to.
So extreme this mistake that forever after, it is said, people would live apart, in disunity, spread throughout the globe for fear of each other, not hearing or understanding each other, and with increasing language differences reinforcing the misunderstandings.
Well, that story, containing much of psychological truth in fact, is often seen, as often as the killing of Abel by Cain, as the foundations of our bloody, horrid, past, and now even present. So, ok, where’s the hope?
Revolution is not a tea party…more like a tweet party.
Well, and this can perhaps be said only right now, given the comparatively quite recent technological advances on this planet. For are we not seeing the most rapid reversals of those barriers to misunderstanding that, proclaiming, often form the outlines of the most evil that man is capable of?
Look around. Yes, we’ve had the internet. We now have even computers that will in a twinkling translate the script of one language into another. We have ordinary high school kids and even cabdrivers and health professionals taking a break to play some kind of card-, board-game, or whatever, with anyone in the globe who will show up. More importantly people around the world are connecting with Twitter and Facebook and are becoming electronically enlisted in campaigns to write wrongs and bring down injustices and tyrants anywhere on the globe, as we have been seeing in the Middle East. Provincial? Well this we cannot call it.
Was Obama “taken out to the woodshed”?
We may yet even have hope through our president. Certainly it seems President Obama has been “taken out to the woodshed” since his election, as Jesse Ventura phrased it to Piers Morgan not long ago. [Footnote 1]
Obama has caved on so much and the opposition has gained much ground and much more wealth and power under him. But he holds a whole world’s worth more hope for us than the previous president–who actively sped us to the cliff–of possibly reversing this locomotive of doom. We have not only his words and his past actions to reveal to us his intentions, but we have his background and life experience to indicate a different direction than what we have seen of late.
The circumstances themselves seem to have carried to the center of all these strong competing forces at play right now a man who not only is half one race and half another, in his very blood, but who has grown up with diversity. With this there is hope that he understands even those who oppose and ridicule him.
Mister Obama, the Republicans, they’re just not into you.
Certainly Obama has much in his early life experiences which handicap him as well, as does everyone. Growing up without his father, he appears to want to appease such figures, as if that will please daddy and bring him back. So also he seems unable to see through the ruses of the “daddy” Republicans he has to deal with. He wants to have “mommy” and “daddy” get along and live together in harmony…red and blue states.
With this blindness comes a naïve belief in an “audacity of hope” that he has found to be untenable in real life. He certainly has not been made wise and true in the struggles and confrontations that tempered the activists of my generation. He grew up with the benefits already in hand of the civil rights activists of the Sixties..
So Obama is hardly a savior. Yet he is the most uninterested politician I’ve ever seen in a fight. Some of that hurts us all as he avoids confrontation. He may be Ghandi-like in not being belligerent, but he has no grit to confront and stand unmoving in the face of injustice like a Ghandi or Martin Luther King did. Obama is averse to stand in the face of real evil and stare it down.
Still to the extent he can he is the most powerful person there is right now who is truly interested in solving the problems that only government can, and without which people’s lives are much more difficult.
The music died; Reagan let loose the wolves.
And The Matrix, as I’m sure you realize, is determined not to even see this function of government. Without a person with Obama’s inclinations, people can never receive such help as only communities can give to each other, no person being an island after all. For people die. They die in alleyways, in hospitals, and even in lonely boarded up little houses that keep out the light and prying eyes. Without community, without government, these unfortunates can only lose all will to live, all hope for anything better. The Republicans would have it be their lot to wallow in mighty despair, only, at the wolves that were let loose on this globe shortly after John Lennon was assassinated and Ronald Reagan was crowned.
The Matrix – “Electronic Curtain”
“Mister Obama, tear down this electronic curtain!”
But take care, Mister Obama, as to not get assassinated in the process. For the corporate-republican-media-matrix—America’s electronic curtain—is showing incredible desperation as it loses its hold on the minds of Americans. True or not, it sees you as on the side of the craving that Americans are having to know the truth and not the lies told them for fifty years to cover up the ever increasing, ever more blatant, robbing of the poor and middle class to fatten the wealthy to its most extreme ever.
So though this corporate-republican-media-matrix has been showing cracks because of Bush’s unbelievable ineptitude in virtually every area of government; while Bush did manage to make his wealthy benefactors the strongest they have ever been in terms of the power that can be wielded simply by the fact of being “filthy rich.” For even the mainstream media, which used this term–filthy rich–to describe them in a documentary, cannot hide the fact that these people who have controlled the truth and have therefore determined what we believed to be true-false, right-wrong, something worth fighting for, something worth fighting against, and therefore created the American mindset, are now richer than they ever were.
Fearful, vulnerable filthy rich = Desperate, dangers measures
But extreme wealth combined with the desperation of feeling that you might get found out, that there now exist media arenas that you cannot control and therefore, for the first time, don’t have that totalitarian like power over what people will think and believe and for the first time might be vulnerable….well, that lends itself to desperate and dangerous actions.
We have seen this slide into the insanity of the right with more and more shootings by the unleashed unhinged, more and more dangerous rhetoric by the reckless TP politicians and the right-wing TV pundits, and more and more attacks on basic liberties that Americans are supposed to have to organize, speak, not be harassed or spied on, and to simply be free…autonomous…and capable of surviving financially.
Well, hello, Mister Anderson.
Mister Obama, please face and rend this matrix curtain. Do be careful as you approach dealing with this issue of massive mind control of a people for so long, a mind control so pervasive and refined that Americans have even been brainwashed into thinking they have been free-, independent-thinkers of these last fifty years. For we have lost so many of those who had the integrity and authenticity that required they take the red pill. They became Mister-Anderson dangerous as they found out more and more the degree to which that which is thought to be true is a fabrication that benefits this wealthy elite and also protects them as it covers up the many heinous crimes they have committed to further their ends as well as deludes the American people, often in the formation of false enemies, “straw men”–who they cleverly concoct and use ritualistically to tap into Americans’ intuitive sense that all is not right and that everything is not being said.
Keep in mind to inspire you, Mister Obama, those we lost. They were—probably correctly—seen by this elite as threats to their maintaining the grand illusion of the Matrix. And these controllers at any cost wanted it intact in order hide and block out virtually all truth and therefore conceal them. They overlook that this conceals virtually all real solutions and undermines every effort to change. Because solutions are bound to fail founded on totally made up events, interpretations of them, and the falsely labeled perpetrators of these crimes. These supposed guilty are just the “fall guys,” but the overseers deem them extremely important to be sold as the real sources of evil to deflect any attention that might swing in their direction.
So please see through your naiveté, Mister Obama. For remember, since you would have a true majority of Americans on your side, you have the best chance of anyone to allow change that would in time bring back freedom of thought, a free press, and hence the foundations for a truly democratic nation.
For people without the facts cannot make good decisions in any arena. Just see how blatantly that was taught to so many new people through the way the Iraq War was “sold.” And, God forbid, should you let people in on the facts surrounding 911—where all credible evidence…and there are massive piles of videos and eye witness accounts and experts who know…points to one thing for sure: that those buildings did not come down because of a few planes. But rather they came down because of precision demolition charges that were placed a little time before the actual planned event. Really, how do you explain the third tower collapsing, being separate from the others and not hit!? [Footnote 3]
Mister Obama, we lost those other people I mentioned…we all know who they were—JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Bobbie Kennedy, John Lennon…. In time, with the people on your side, I believe you have the best chance ever to allow freedom to live in America again and again to provide hope to the oppressed of the world.
Matrix, Part Two – The Question
So, The Matrix in the age of Obama: Will the fifty-year web of media mesmerism and comprehensive, hi-tech mind control of the masses maintain its sleepy veil as the anonymous powers steal in plain view and push the world into environmental looney tunes?
Who will prevail in the current global struggle of light versus darkness, which for the first time in the entire multi-billion year history of this planet has the most dire consequences possible, or even imagined?
Who will prevail in the struggle of Ego versus God?
Or, who will win out in the struggle of The Matrix versus the power of what many people believe to have been the most recent incarnation of God on Earth (Sathya Sai) who specifically told us He had come at this crucial time to return humankind to the path of dharma—i.e, right acting, truthful speaking, goodness, doing the right thing—when things have come to such a pass as to threaten the very existence of dharma—Truth, Goodness—and that it is impossible for Him to fail in this task and that dharma would triumph in due time?
So, will it be The Matrix—Republicans, media flunkies, huge corporations, the filthy rich, and the Shadow Government—who will win out and bring us into a 1984-ish “brave new world” which will only end because of it having self-destructed in environmental or other catastrophic collapse? Or will it be Truth and Right Action…and Courage…that will arise and block out the face of Evil?
Will the power of Sathya Sai (Truth, Love) manifest in an increasing and sufficient numbers of lives? Will the force of Truth-Love be strong enough to bring about the massive consciousness change necessary. For this change would have to essentially be more along the lines of a restructuring, even, of what we have come to believe is human nature and therefore unchangeable.
So could these divine forces (Truth, Love) incarnate in humans on such a sufficiently grand human scale as that several billions of human lives, at least, are so radically transformed that our species miraculously lives on? Along with the other species here? And indeed the planet itself?
We are engaged witnesses of the penultimate battle: The Matrix Versus Sathya Sai (Truth, Love); it is The Matrix versus the power of Sathya Sai.
In subsequent chapters, we look more deeply into this, the defining and preeminent struggle of our age, our globe, and our individual selves. We look at its features, reveal its structure, and highlight the power sources that drive it and the mechanisms that steer it. Thereby we see disclosed a vision wonderful and the path of its attainment.
Continue on this site with
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty-Eight
Last year a list was leaked of attendees of an important rightwing planning conference organized by Koch Industries. This is an annual meeting at which the servants of plutocracy plot its further entrenchment. Eleven members of this year’s Forbes 400 were on the list. These are the hardcore plutocrats. These are the people who personally take the time to destroy our political system for their own short-term gain — and that of their families if their aristocracy of wealth is allowed to continue. These 11 people pay a fraction of the rate you pay on your income into Social Security and Medicare. They have no need for Social Security or Medicare. And they participate in a political movement that is trying to dismantle those programs. Meet your masters, fellow Americans.
Philip Anschutz, Denver, Col.
Anschutz has $7.5 billion and got his start in oil and gas. He remains a board member of the American Petroleum Institute (API) which President George W. Bush’s Energy Secretary credited for Bush’s decision to kill the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. API’s president and leading members met in secret with Vice President Dick Cheney as an Energy Task Force planning the energy future of the United States and how to get their hands on the oil of Iraq. API has more recently organized astroturf activism against any efforts to limit climate change.
In spring 2009, Anschutz bought the rightwing Weekly Standard from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and the rightwing Washington Examiner, despite reports that these have “little hope of making any money.”
Anschutz has funded Colorado’s 1992 Amendment 2, an anti-gay-marriage ballot initiative, and the Discovery Institute which promotes creationism, among other similar causes. In 2004, the Washington Post reported that he, his companies, and members of his family had given over a half a million dollars to Republican candidates and committees. In 1987, Anschutz’s family foundation gave Focus on the Family founder James Dobson an award for his “contributions to the American Family.”
Anschutz is not always so generous. In 2002, Anschutz gave $4.4 million to law schools and charities only when forced to as part of a deal in which New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer dropped a case charging Anschutz with making $1.5 billion in “unjust revenue.”
Anschutz also sold $1 billion in Qwest shares before they tanked, but avoided the charges that stuck to Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. In recent months, however, Anschutz lost a case charging him with selling $375 million in oil company shares as part of a tax dodge. The IRS wants $144 million. Every little bit helps, right? But Anschutz is appealing.
Balance the budget on his back!
Stephen Bechtel Jr., San Francisco, Calif.
Bechtel has $2.9 billion, and got rich by inheriting his money from his father. Our top concern should clearly be encouraging that sort of initiative!
The Bechtel Corporation, now run by Stephen Jr.’s son, is one of the top recipients of funds from Washington and from state governments. Bechtel has contracts at most U.S. nuclear weapons facilities.
Bechtel Corp. is also a leading violator of laws and regulations, including violations of nuclear safety regulations, water quality laws, radioactive waste policies, and asbestos emissions laws, not to mention having dug the Big Dig tunnel in Boston with such criminal incompetence that it collapsed.
Bechtel Corp. spends hundreds of thousands each year on lobbyists and hundreds of thousands more on funding political candidates’ campaigns. George Schultz, former Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State, and former Bechtel president and director, lobbied as a Bechtel board member in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
By sheer coincidence, Bechtel got the very first Iraq “reconstruction” contract for $680 million. Bechtel’s performance was so scandalously bad that it had contracts in Iraq canceled and was early to pull out of Iraq entirely.
Yet Stephen Bechtel, Jr., is still rolling around in mountains of your hard-earned dollars.
Balance the budget on his back!
Joseph Craft, Tulsa, Okla.
Craft has $1.9 billion and made it by helping a coal corporation, MAPCO, later renamed Alliance Resource Partners (ARP), pay lower taxes. As CEO of this coal company, Craft advocates for coal as the solution to our energy needs. ARP claims that coal is cheap, but of course that’s because the cost of the environmental and health and climate damage gets passed on to us.
ARP also believes that coal is in our best interests whether we like it or not. When townships in Pennsylvania have banned mining, ARP has taken the towns to court.
Following hundreds of citations for safety violations in 2010, the company’s Dotiki Mine in Kentucky collapsed, killing two miners.
According to Source Watch, Alliance Coal employees were among the biggest campaign donors in Kentucky’s recent state primary election.
Is this man making the world a better place? Can we afford to have him sitting on $1.9 billion?
Balance the budget on his back!
Richard De Vos, Ada, Mich.
DeVos has $4.2 billion, which he made from Amway, a company that later became part of Alticor, and which is now run by his son. Another of his sons was a Republican candidate for governor of Michigan in 2006.
Amway may be a legitimate way to make obscene amounts of money, but last year Amway agreed to pay $56 million to settle a class action suit alleging fraud, racketeering, and operating a pyramid scheme.
DeVos and Amway have been big funders of Republican campaigns for decades. Amway and its sales force chipped in half the money that elected Amway distributor Sue Myrick of North Carolina to Congress in 1994.
In 1996, Amway tried to give $1.3 million to the funding of Republican infomercials but was forced to refrain by public uproar over campaign financing.
In 1997, a Republican Congress slipped a last-minute provision into a bill to give Amway a $19 million tax break.
During the 2004 elections, DeVos gave $2 million and Amway a total of $4 million to the Project for America Voter Fund, which spent almost $29 million supporting George W. Bush’s “reelection,” having found a way around campaign finance restrictions.
Balance the budget on his back!
Ken Griffin, Chicago, Ill.
Griffin has $2.3 billion and gets a special tax break for being a hedge fund manager, also known as a bankster. He doesn’t produce anything other than money.
Before the collapse, Griffin praised shady practices that helped cause it:
“The market for credit derivatives has effectively created a huge new pool of risk-taking capital for our debt markets. By unbundling and trading credit risk without having to transfer the underlying asset, this market has introduced an entirely new and vital way of spreading risk. Credit derivatives, to use one example, let banks transfer risk from their portfolios, allowing them to create new loans.” — from a 2005 presentation to Goldman Sachs.
Griffin spreads what to you and I would seem like a lot of money around our electoral system, funding Republicans and Democrats alike, including Barack Obama – the current world record holder in money received from Wall Street.
Balance the budget on his back!
Diane Hendricks, Afton, Wis.
Hendricks is hoarding $2.2 billion. She is the only woman on our list of 11 leading plutocrats.
Hendricks and her husband were business partners from 1982 until his death in 2007. She then took over ABC Supply, which is the nation’s largest roofing, window, and siding wholesaler.
Last year, ABC Supply acquired its top competitor, Bradco Supply Co., a move that’s sure to help competition and benefit consumers.
Hendricks told Forbes in 2010: “We need Washington to stop putting new burdens on businesses. That’s the best way to encourage job creation.”
Balance the budget on her back!
Stanley Hubbard, St. Paul, Minn.
Hubbard has $1.9 billion. He inherited his wealth, just like you would have done if you’d been a better capitalist.
Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., owns television and radio stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and New Mexico.
As restrictions on media ownership are stripped away, corporations like Hubbard’s monopolize more outlets. As this happens, a handful of Stanley Hubbards acquire the means to rewrite more laws, creating a vicious cycle.
Hubbard gave Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future (a Gingrich phrase before an Obama one) $100,000.
He funds lots of candidates, most of them Republican, including Michelle Bachmann.
Balance the budget on his back!
Charles Koch, Wichita, Kan.
Charles Koch has $22 billion, and his brother David another $22 billion, giving them fifth and sixth places in the list of grotesquely wealthy U.S. citizens. Together they probably do more damage than the four people above them or the 394 people below them on the list. All eleven billionaires in this collection have attended their annual rightwing retreats.
The Kochs’ father invented a way to turn heavy oil into gasoline. The Kochs inherited a fortune, as all truly responsible people do.
Koch industries is invested in gas and oil pipelines and refineries, fertilizer, fibers and polymers, and chemicals. In 2010, Koch Industries was named one of the United States’ top 10 air polluters by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute.
Charles cofounded the Cato Institute. He is a board member and funder of the Mercatus Center. He funds the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity. Koch Industries funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Charles Koch has said he’s been pleased by the Tea Party’s accomplishments. The Kochs have given more than $100 million to rightwing groups since the 1980s. Their political action committee gives more to federal candidates than any other oil-and-gas PAC.
The Kochs also pressure their 50,000 employees to vote the “right” way, sending them letters warning of harm to their families, jobs, and country, if they don’t vote as the Kochs advise.
Balance the budget on his back!
David Koch, New York, NY
Like Charles Koch (see his entry) David Koch has $22 billion and got rich by inheriting a fortune.
If anything, David does more damage than Charles. He founded and chairs the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, is a director of the Cato Institute, and serves as a trustee of the Reason Foundation. Americans for Prosperity has spent $45 million on rightwing candidates.
David Koch himself was the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980, running on promises to end Social Security, welfare, minimum wage standards, campaign spending limits, corporate taxation, the EPA, the SEC, and OSHA, among other things.
Here’s a blogger pretending to be David Koch gaining all kinds of access to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:audio.
Here’s an interview with the real David Koch: video.
Balance the budget on his back!
Kenneth Langone, Sands Point, NY
Langone has $1.3 billion. He doesn’t work for a living, so taxing his income is not a real priority. He makes money from investments.
Langone co-founded the ChoicePoint data-mining company whose subsidiary DBT Online, under a no-bid contract from Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, gave Florida a list of felons to remove from election rolls in 2000, including 8,000 mostly African-American and Latino names of people who were not actually felons.
Langone also co-founded top Bush contributor Home Depot, which picked up a $48 million tax break in a Bush-Cheney energy bill, and which saw one of its stores used as the setting for a Bush speech on the economy — which may have helped the speech, but certainly not the economy.
Langone chaired the New York Stock Exchange’s compensation committee and was forced to testify when Eliot Spitzer prosecuted Richard Grasso, the former chief of the Stock Exchange who had been given $187 million. Langone also attempted to purchase the New York Stock Exchange, a move that might have given him freer reign.
Balance the budget on his back!
Stephen Schwartzman, New York, NY
Schwartzman has $5.9 billion, every cent of it earned by others. He doesn’t work; he invests. Schwartzman served as Managing Director of Lehman Brothers. Then he cofounded and became the CEO of the Blackstone Group.
The Blackstone Group is partially owned by the American International Group (AIG) and by Kissinger Associates. The Blackstone Group was Enron’s principle financial advisor for its restructuring.
Schwartzman raised $100,000 for Bush, his former Yale classmate, in 2004. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the JP Morgan Chase National Advisory Board.
Schwartzman gave $100 million to New York Public Library which has now named its main building after him. Frank Rich commented:
“At the centennial gala, you couldn’t escape the paw print of Stephen Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group billionaire whose library gift had entitled him to blast his name on any stray expanse of marble on the 42nd Street building. Schwarzman is nothing if not a representative 21st-century titan. His principal monument has been to himself, namely a notorious over-the-top 60th-birthday party, exquisite in both its bad timing and bad taste, that he threw the year before the crash. (If you’re shelling out a million bucks for an entertainer, is Rod Stewart the best you can do?) He is perhaps most renowned of late for comparing Obama to Hitler because the administration dared propose taxing private-equity firms’ share of client profits at a rate higher than 15 percent. (He later apologized.)”
Balance the budget on his back!
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