Sunday, May 29, 2005

DADDY WARBUCKS QUITS

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I suppose everyone has heard about the death of the Olin Foundation? Missed the keening and wailing on the right? Actually, they did a victory dance with painted faces but behind the scenes was this: "Oh my god. How am I going to pay the bills now? Maybe I can get a job in the government!" These vampires and whores working for the very rich man, Mr. Olin, are now without a patron.

The NYT does their usual clueless analysis:
In the budget offices of the right, the loss of Olin, though long anticipated, is bringing a stab of anxiety, as total annual giving of up to $20 million disappears from policy organizations, journals and academic aeries. Yet it is a measure of the foundation's success that the anxiety has not been greater. While a generation ago just three or four major foundations operated on the right, today's conservatism has no shortage of institutions, donors or brio.

At a recent farewell dinner in New York that drew a crowd of prominent thinkers and doers, James Piereson, the longtime director of Olin, recounted the 1970's threats that the foundation set out to address: economic decline, urban disorder and Soviet expansionism. By contrast, Mr. Piereson said, critics now say "the United States is too powerful" and its people "too proud."
No shortage of donors indeed. All the ruling rich have been pouring money into the maw of the professional whores flacking for the interests of the rich. This is why America is going bankrupt. This tidalwave of money has subsumed absolutely everything. The key goals of the rich: to pay no taxes and to enforce lifetime debts on the poor, have been won. Now they want all of this fake democracy stuff to just go away which is why they are pouring money into the maws that really matter: the military.

This is why the rulers of America are happily increasing the Pentagon's budget while driving us collectively into bankruptcy. Why do they do this? Well, who owns America's debts? I own part of it (public bonds). I owe no one anything. So technically, I am part of the ruling class (ahem--black sheep, though).

About the "critics say 'the United States is too powerful...and proud'": we are actually not powerful at all. This is what really alarms me, personally. When the very rich took over thanks to people like Olin, they opened the door for others to enter: our possible enemies. When Ronnie Reagan negotiated with the Japanese over their currency and trade inversions, he said all sorts of public things where can be called "lies" designed to look as if he were representing America's interests but then it turned out he was a Japanese agent when he flew off to that country to openly collect his pay.
Feeling outmatched in the war of ideas, liberal groups have spent years studying conservative foundations the way Pepsi studies Coke, searching for trade secrets. They say that Olin and its allies have pushed an agenda that spread wealth at the top and insecurity below, and that left market excesses unchecked - and that they have done so with estimable skill.

"The right has done a marvelous job," said Rob Stein, a former official in the Clinton administration who has formed an organization, the Democracy Alliance, to develop rival machinery on the left. "They are strategic, coordinated, disciplined and well financed. And they're well within their rights in a democracy to have done what they've done."
Trade secret of the right: their goals are the goals of the owners of the media. Thus the hand in glove effect. To attract viewers and readers the media had to pretend to be at least slightly liberal. But they hated this. So they removed any interesting liberals (I am holding up my hand here) and promoted either really inept or uninteresting "liberals" who were woefully unable to debate anyone on anything, being scared of firing if they were too effective, or they hired rank right wingers as "a mix" to "balance" things.
John M. Olin knew the value of ammunition. In 1892, the year he was born, his father started a mining explosives company in East Alton, Ill., that soon began making bullets. Together, they built a manufacturing behemoth that sold 15 billion rounds during World War II and went on to make cellophane, metals, rocket fuel, paper, pharmaceuticals and sporting goods. An avid sportsman, Mr. Olin bred horses, hunted and fished; according to a biography to be published by Encounter this fall, "A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America" by John J. Miller, he sent boxes of salmon to a favorite politician, Richard M. Nixon.
Here it is. Olin is our Krupp. The military/industrial complex used money gotten from wars to fund right wing organizations that flacked for more wars making Daddy Warbucks very happy indeed. The NYT provides the raw data in the article but doesn't talk about this particular Orobouros eating its own tail. Nor how the NYT itself enables and participates in this enclosed system that liberals cannot replicate under the present capitalist system. Namely, so long as America thinks we can bully boy our way to world domination using our nuclear powers and bombs and war crimes, we will see vast power on the right since they are the ones who benefit from this disastrous system.
In 1969 when armed students took over a building at his alma mater, Cornell University, Mr. Olin was shaken. Four years later, past his 80th birthday, he began pouring time and money into the small foundation he created 20 years earlier, saying he wanted to preserve the free enterprise system that had made his own wealth possible.
Indeed.

The "free enterprise" here is 100% taxpayer money and it is no wonder this very rich Daddy Warbucks wants to keep this particular gravy train running.
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