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Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:36 pm

We are closing in on indepenance day, so I thought it important to direct attention towards the work of some patriots who did the work of bringing attention to a couple of guys who have worked extensively to limit freedom and liberty for you and I, under the guise of freedom and liberty.
http://m.investigativereportingworkshop ... onprofits/
Now, I know these guys are not the only fewtocrats involved in subterfuge. But they have left a good amount of discoverable intel regarding tactics.
The only trouble I have with the link above is the notion that these dudes are all about the writings of Ayn Rand.
My trouble is that I have made reading Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" part of my summer reading. I have been taught about this work, and I thought I had read it, I had not. Sure it is striking in the gross 'meaty' ways I was taught, but I have this sick feeling that this is an important read by these fewtocrats, a how to book in the most cynical way.
Too bad that these jokers do not walk their talk.
But as I have been taught - there is no free lunch, and these lunch munchers want want it all.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:49 pm

I wonder if we will will be asking ourselves in five to ten years If this was good move for the average Jo?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/ ... IW20130909
I don't really know, but these guys think this is a good area to extract.
Is this a sign of their anticipation of decline elsewhere?
Or a master, 'pinky and the brain', swipe to 'take over the world'?
I also wonder what the younger, less transparent, crop of plutocrats have up their sleeves.
Just wandering,
MH
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:36 am

Well...
http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/14/5209 ... n-dynamics

I would have linked out to our national paper of 'record', but pay wall & all.
I think we can see where the 'younger crop' is headed,
Same as the last.

This recursive loop.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:14 am

Mad Howler wrote:I wonder if we will will be asking ourselves in five to ten years If this was good move for the average Jo?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/ ... IW20130909
I don't really know, but these guys think this is a good area to extract.
Is this a sign of their anticipation of decline elsewhere?
Or a master, 'pinky and the brain', swipe to 'take over the world'?
I also wonder what the younger, less transparent, crop of plutocrats have up their sleeves.
Just wandering,
MH


Well perhaps these 'freedom' loving boys might restore the grandeur of the Shack?
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 18510.html

This might seem a nice gesture given their purported concern about this United States and our freedom of choice to get things done.
Again, I suspect that I fail by expecting goodness.
DigiKey is nice, but you will pay a premium at brick and mortar outlets in the heat of creation.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:05 am

I have found this player equally fascinating and annoying.
Absolute power indeed,
But fancying oneself as a "farmer" in all of the historic context around ones actions?
Come one!
Still, on many levels I find this to be an interesting read -
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exch ... 59853.html
Interesting message,
Dubious messenger.

Can we ask for better?
Can we ask for better?
Can we ask for better?
Can we ask for...
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby wack wack » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:53 am

Is this the world you live in, MH? Do you regularly spend time with people like this, personally or through business?
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:50 pm

wack wack wrote:Is this the world you live in, MH? Do you regularly spend time with people like this, personally or through business?

Huck likes to point out the virtue of capital markets and business having a seat at the table in governance. I do not necessarily disagree with this notion. Although, I think it lazy and/or intellectually dishonest not to recognize the structures put in place by corporate interests over the last 41 years that have given them near dominance over our democracy. So, yeah, our democracy is imperfect because at this moment it has been substantially corrupted by the interests of the few. Last summer President Carter was quoted by Der Speigel saying that he believes the US no longer has a functional democracy . When I heard this I thought - wow FOX is going to be all over that with ridicule. That did not happen nor did any broad media one might expect to be sympathetic seriously pick it up that . Why is that? It seems to me a pretty significant statement from a former president of the US.
I guess I/we spend time with the actions of these few everyday. This is not new nor always bad. What is bad is the end run around peoples consent - I find that lazy yet understandable. Fast tracking of things like the transpacific partnership is a good example of this.
Therefore, I thought recent and significant actions of the few might be worth contemplating.
Perhaps I was naive in thinking others here would find this relevant.
MH
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby johnfajardohenry » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:17 am

Mad Howler wrote:My trouble is that I have made reading Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" part of my summer reading. I have been taught about this work, and I thought I had read it, I had not.


Great book and I would second your recommendation. I originally read it in HS in the 60's and also read it again about 10-15 years ago.

One of the things to keep in mind when reading it is that it is a work of fiction. Not only in the sense that it is a novel, but also in the sense that Sinclair just made up a lot of stuff in the book. It was written as a propaganda piece for the union.

You can get a pretty good overview of the backstory here:

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/of-meat-and-myth

Just by pure coincidence I was listening to a Richard Epstein podcast Tuesday. He mentioned The Jungle and had an interesting take on it that I'd not heard before.

In the era of The Jungle refrigerated railroad cars had become practical. Prior to this, most beef and pork had been shipped live and slaughtered and butchered at local slaughterhouses. These required more highly skilled workers and the meatcutters union had had some success in organizing these.

The advent of refrigerated shipping meant that large, central, processing plants were feasible. These were able to rely more heavily on unskilled, easily replaceable, workers and were also better able to resist organization.

One of the purposes of the book was to steer people away from centrally processed meat.

He said that it was another example of a disruptive technology and the people being disrupted were fighting back, trying to use governments to help them keep their rents.

Sort of like the battle between Uber and the taxi companies going on today in a number of cities.

Anyway, read the book but also read the backstory to fill in the details.

John Henry
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby johnfajardohenry » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:33 am



Good article. I was impressed that they identified the Kochs as libertarians, not as conservatives. I think that they have been unfairly branded as conservative in most of the media so this is a welcome step.

I don't understand the hoorah. They give away a lot of their money. They support a number of colleges and universities. (250 or so?) They also give public radio and many other organizations a lot of money.

Much was made of GMU and its Mercatus center getting a lot of money. Makes sense to me. George Mason University, particularly its econ dept, is an explicitly liberal (as in libertarian) university. They have been for at least 30 years that I know of, probably before that as well. If the Kochs are liberal, it would make sense to support one of the few liberal universities in the US. Again, I don't know what the big deal is.

It does have a world class econ dept with several Nobelists to its credit.

The article seems to make this out to be a bad thing and I do not understand why. Shouldn't billionaires be encouraged to give generously?

From the article:

The Charles G. Koch Foundation offered to give the university $1.5 million to hire two assistant professors and fund fellowships and undergraduate curriculum on free-enterprise topics. The foundation appointed an advisory board that would award money to faculty and make sure that the work they completed fit with the foundation’s mission. Miller and Bellamy wrote, “In exchange for his ‘gift,’ the donor got to assign specific readings, select speakers brought to campus and instruct them with regard to the focus of their lectures, shape the curriculum with new courses and specify the number of students in the courses, name the program’s director, and initiate a student club.”


Isn't this kind of thing pretty standard when people give large donations to universities? They get buildings named after them, they get to endow professorships and programs to teach specific subjects in specific ways. Why is it wrong when the Kochs do it?

Anytime a university accepts money from anyone, including the government, there is a potential conflict of interest. Seems to me that the real cure, no money from anyone, is impractical. The second best solution is to know where the money is coming from so people can see what conflicts there might be.

Again, thanks for an interesting read.

John Henry
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby johnfajardohenry » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:45 am

Why are the Kochs at the center of so much attention? They give away a lot of money but not all that much in the grand scheme of things. There are 58 other people and organizations that give more.

https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

A lot of these are progressive organizations to some degree so they get an automatic pass, but why not pick
on some of the others? Why the Kochs?

Thinking on this recently it occurred to me that the Kochs are the only ones on the list that are liberal (as in libertarian).

They are neither left nor right and this gets the established political parties and their muppets upset. Conservatives and progressives for the most part have "Not a dime's worth of difference between them" as (Democrat) George Wallace used to say.

Would Sarah Palin, for example, have been treated as she was had she not been a liberal but a more standard brand conservative?

Liberals offer a truly alternative way and for this they must be destroyed before they destroy the business-as-usual dem/rep coalition.

John Henry
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby wack wack » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:58 am

Mad Howler wrote:
wack wack wrote:Is this the world you live in, MH? Do you regularly spend time with people like this, personally or through business?

Huck likes to point out the virtue of capital markets and business having a seat at the table in governance. I do not necessarily disagree with this notion. Although, I think it lazy and/or intellectually dishonest not to recognize the structures put in place by corporate interests over the last 41 years that have given them near dominance over our democracy. So, yeah, our democracy is imperfect because at this moment it has been substantially corrupted by the interests of the few. Last summer President Carter was quoted by Der Speigel saying that he believes the US no longer has a functional democracy . When I heard this I thought - wow FOX is going to be all over that with ridicule. That did not happen nor did any broad media one might expect to be sympathetic seriously pick it up that . Why is that? It seems to me a pretty significant statement from a former president of the US.
I guess I/we spend time with the actions of these few everyday. This is not new nor always bad. What is bad is the end run around peoples consent - I find that lazy yet understandable. Fast tracking of things like the transpacific partnership is a good example of this.
Therefore, I thought recent and significant actions of the few might be worth contemplating.
Perhaps I was naive in thinking others here would find this relevant.
MH


I appreciate your thoughts, but my question was more literal: do you regularly come in contact with people like Carl Icahn? I do not; the people like this that I have personal "access" to all stay in their offices along the wall with the electronic shades activated. I just wonder if they're all as out of touch with the reality of America as Icahn is in print, or most others of his ilk seem to be on TV.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby wack wack » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:05 am

johnfajardohenry wrote:Good article. I was impressed that they identified the Kochs as libertarians, not as conservatives. I think that they have been unfairly branded as conservative in most of the media so this is a welcome step.
John Henry


Still leaning on this ridiculous point? No one opposes the liberal use of government as much as a libertarian; that's as conservative as it gets.

This is fact; no need for you to respond further regarding your confusion on libertarian.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby Stella_Guru » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:48 am

Mad Howler wrote: Last summer President Carter was quoted by Der Speigel saying that he believes the US no longer has a functional democracy . When I heard this I thought - wow FOX is going to be all over that with ridicule. That did not happen nor did any broad media one might expect to be sympathetic seriously pick it up that . Why is that? It seems to me a pretty significant statement from a former president of the US.
Last edited by Stella_Guru on Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby johnfajardohenry » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:24 am

wack wack wrote:No one opposes the liberal use of government as much as a libertarian; that's as conservative as it gets.

This is fact; no need for you to respond further regarding your confusion on libertarian.


You are right about what libertarians (liberals) oppose. Liberals/libertarians are for limited and local government and more maximum individual liberty and autonomy. They oppose copious use of government. They only legitimate function of government is to protect individual liberty.

I suggest you do some reading on the use of the word liberal, what it means, and its etymology.

Oh, right, you don't need to, do you?

I'll keep doing my bit to reclaim the word and generally won't even modify it with "classical". If it bothers you, tough shit.

Apologies for any topic drift, MH, but take that up with Wack Wack. I'll shut up now about the word unless you think it a fit subject for discussion here.

John Henry
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Re: Plutocrats efforts worthy of our attention, as always

Postby wack wack » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:32 am

johnfajardohenry wrote:I suggest you do some reading on the use of the word liberal, what it means, and its etymology.

Oh, right, you don't need to, do you?

I'll keep doing my bit to reclaim the word and generally won't even modify it with "classical". If it bothers you, tough shit.
John Henry


Doesn't bother me, just makes you look like an even more unrepentant jackass.

"Liberal" in political terms means the liberal involvement and application of government. That's it. Your attempt at obfuscation by appealing to etymology today is irrelevant. Doesn't matter how loud or often you yell "up is down!" It's not.
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