Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why Are Israeli Troops Still In East Jerusalem?

According to Jerusalem: Arab Origin and Heritage by M.A. Aamiry, “the period of uncontested Arab habitation and rule in and around Jerusalem and Palestine covers at least 800 years” and “in 1948,the population of Jerusalem was about 160,000, half of them Arabs, half Jews.” The same book also observed:

“After the war of June 1967, the Zionists proclaimed the annexation of Old Jerusalem to add to the sectors of the city which they had occupied from 1948. In spite of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, Israel has persisted in its arbitrary measures and has lost no time in converting the city to its own purposes, bulldozing Arab houses, driving out their owners and rendering them homeless, expropriating Arab land and erecting tall new skyscrapers, `match-boxes six stories high,’ thus disfiguring the Holy City and destroying its unique character…”

The New York Times (11/18/94) also reported in 1994 that “the Palestinians accuse Israel of violating the 1993” peace “agreement by building blocks of new housing in East Jerusalem.”

(Downtown 12/7/94)

Does Israeli Intelligence Agency Operate Within The United States?

Although the espionage and covert action organizations of foreign governments are not supposed to be allowed to operate on U.S. soil, the Israeli government’s Mossad may have set up, historically, a secret division called “Al” in New York City, under the direction of Ury Dinure, to spy on both Arab-Americans and U.S. weapons manufacturers, according to former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky’s book By Way of Deception. In this same book, Ostrovsky wrote: “It seems that even the CIA believes that the Mossad, except for liaison, simply does not operate actively in the United States itself. Well, they’re wrong…”

According to Ostrovsky, between 24 and 27 veteran Israeli secret agents were employed by the Mossad’s super-secret Al division in the 1980s to engage in “spying, recruiting, organizing and carrying out covert activities—mainly in New York and Washington, which they refer to as their `playground.’” The former Mossad case officer also wrote that the Mossad’s Al unit “is so secretive, and so separate from the main organization, that the majority of Mossad employees don’t even know what it does and do not have access to its files on the computer” and that “one of the more famous of Al’s activities involved the theft of research material from some major U.S. aircraft-manufacturing firms.” “Al” is the Hebrew word for “above” or “on top.”

(Downtown 8/26/92)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Did Obama Give Green Light To His Israeli Allies' Attack On Palestinians?

When then-U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008 he marketed himself as an “anti-war candidate.” Yet during the last three days, U.S. President-Elect Obama has not been that eager to quickly condemn the Israeli war machine’s current war against the Palestinian people in Gaza. One reason might be because the pro-Israeli establishment lobbying group, AIPAC, began to support Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign after Obama failed to condemn Israeli militarism when he spoke at a 2008 AIPAC gathering.

The Israeli allies of AIPAC and the Obama-Bush Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to wage war against Arab civilians in the Middle East and to eliminate Arab political activists who are involving in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:


Your Tax Money At Work: Israeli Military Bombs Lebanon In 1993

Despite its alleged shortage of money, the U.S. government has been using our tax money for many years to provide billions of dollars in military and financial aid to the government of “Nuclear Israel.” Between 1974 and 1982, for example, the U.S. government shipped $22 billion worth of military and economic aid to the Israeli Establishment and, in 1986, around $12 million worth of aid per day was being shipped to the Israeli government by the U.S. Establishment. As the International Commission To Enquire Into Reported Violations Of International Law by Israel During The Invasion Of Lebanon noted in its 1983 report, Israel In Lebanon:

“The relationship with the United States allows Israel to receive nearly half of the total foreign and military aid provided each year by the United States. It is also the recipient of large-scale military hardware, the most sophisticated which was intensively tested and used in Lebanon…”

In the Summer of 1993, the Israeli government once again used this U.S. tax money to engage in some “ethnic cleansing” activity in southern Lebanon. As the New York Times (7/30/93) noted:

“Across southern Lebanon today, Israeli warplanes, helicopters and artillery rained bombs, rockets and shells on towns and villages. Planes bombed the market town of Nabatiyeh and villages in the Tyre district…Helicopters rocketed the Palestinian refugee district of Rashsidiyeh and Bus, near Tyre, while gunboats attacked Miyeh-Miyeh, a refugee district near Sidon…”

As a result of this U.S. government-financed “ethnic cleansing” activity by the Israeli military—which included the bombing of 80 Shiite Muslim villages—“nearly 500,000 refugees—more than 10 percent of Lebanon’s population”—had “fled northward to Beirut” by the end of July 1993, according to an Associated Press report (7/30/93).

After the Israeli military bombed some of these same southern Lebanese towns, villages and refugee camps during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Israel In Lebanon report of the International Commission also asserted that “If the Israeli argument is that it is entitled to `eliminate,’ `cleanse,’ and `purify’ areas of violence and terrorism, its reactions have always been…out of all proportion to any initial `wrong,’’ “the massive bombardment of Rashidiyeh, Ain el Hilweh, Ronri el Brajneh, Sabra, Chatila, Bourj el Shamali, Al Basa and others is a horrific fact,” and “most of their inhabitants were civilians, largely women and children.”

(Downtown 8/18/93)

Israeli War Crimes In Lebanon In 1982?

With regard to the Israeli government’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Israel In Lebanon stated the following:

“The Commission, having considered the evidence and the relevant rules of law, concludes:

“1. The Government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law.

“2. The Israeli armed forces have made use of weapons or methods of warfare forbidden by international law, including the laws of war;

“3. Palestinian, Lebanese and prisoners of other nationalities have been subjected to treatment forbidden by international law, including inhuman and degrading treatment…

“4. There has been deliberate or indiscriminate or reckless bombardment of a civilian character, of hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary targets…

“5. There has been systematic bombardment and other destruction of towns, cities, villages and refugee camps.

“6. The acts of the Israeli armed forces have caused the dispersal, deportation and ill-treatment of populations, in violation of international law.

“7. The Government of Israel has no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, for the manner in which it conducted hostilities or for its actions as an occupying force.

“8. Israeli authorities or forces were involved, directly or indirectly, in the massacres and other killings that have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut area between 16 and 18 September [1982]…


A possible motive for the Israeli government’s “ethnic cleansing” activity in Lebanon in 1982 was also indicated in the 1983 Israel In Lebanon report:

“The Commission received evidence that Israel harbored certain territorial aspirations towards Lebanon, the most significant of which may have been its intention to obtain access or possibly control over the waters of the Litani River, the major sweet water source in Lebanon. The commission’s attention was drawn to Israel’s urgent need for access to water as its needs cannot be met even after appropriating the water resources of the Occupied Territories…

“Israel, since 1978, has in effect established a `security zone’ in South Lebanon [as of 1983]…”


(Downtown 9/1/93)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israeli Allies of AIPAC & Obama-Bush Administration Massacre Palestinians

From 2001-2006, the U.S. transferred to Israel more than $200 million of spare parts for its F16 fleet. In July 2008, the U.S. gave Israel 186 million gallons of aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and "bunker buster" missiles. In short, Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip could not happen without the active military and political support of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee( on which Barack Obama sat between 2005 and November 2008) and U.S. tax dollars.

The Israeli allies of AIPAC and the Obama-Bush Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to deny the Palestinian people their full self-determination rights and their right of return, to continue the illegal Israeli government occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem and to eliminate Palestinian political activists who are involving in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:


Torturing Women In The Holy Land In The 1990s?

In the early 1990s the Israeli government was accused by Israeli human rights organizations of torturing some of the 400 Palestinian activist it then locked up without trial on charges of being members of the outlawed radical Hamas organization.

A 1992 Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights Report, Making Women Talk: The Interrogation of Palestinian Women Detainees by Teresa Thornhill, described how the Israeli government’s General Security Services (GSS)—Shin Beth—also apparently tortured Palestinian women in the 1980s and early 1990s:

“Most interrogation work is carried out by the General Security Services (GSS), Israel’s internal intelligence agency…

“The GSS feel no taboo against using physical violence against Palestinian women…

“Male detainees are regularly subjected to most of the same forms of physical abuse as women. However, it is important to remember that, throughout her time in the hands of the GSS, the female detainee is made to feel sexually threatened. Many women detainees report having been threatened with rape…

“Women are routinely slapped, and kicked during interrogation sessions if they do not readily answer questions. Sometimes an interrogator will bang the woman’s head against the wall…”


The same report concluded that “the stories quoted in this report, although they represent the experience of a relatively small number of women, suggest that the Israeli practice of torturing female security detainees is widespread” and observed that “the torture of male Palestinian detainees has been widely documented elsewhere by…Amnesty International…”

A Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Mahmond al-Zahar, told a New York Times correspondent in late 1994: “Is there anyone in Gaza who does not realize that Israel still occupies [in 1994] 40 percent of the Gaza Strip with settlements and troops to protect the settlements, that it controls our shorelines, that its surveillance planes patrol the skies, as you can see them now, that Arafat [now-deceased] himself needs permission by Israel to leave and come, and that we are locked up in here periodically under curfew whenever Israel feels like it?” (NY Times 12/3/94)

(Downtown 12/21/94)

97 Women Killed In 1980s & 1990s Intifada By Israeli Occupation Troops

According to Shoot The Women First by Eileen MacDonald, “Palestinian women” were “well aware that they” were “on the frontline in every aspect of the Intifada” in the Israeli military-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip territories during the 1980s and early 1990s. The same book also noted the following in the early 1990s:

“Israeli soldiers have been ordered not to open fire on women, but in the heat of battle and because of the way in which bullets are fired indiscriminately into crowds…inevitably women are killed…

“By January 1991, 97 females (12 percent of those killed) had been shot dead. Many had been killed in demonstrations either as participants or as innocent bystanders, after being hit by rubber bullets or live ammunition.

“Thousands more women were injured, some crippled or maimed for life, by beatings. It is women who form the largest group of those requiring hospital treatments after beatings. They are attacked as they try to protect children and are particularly targeted when soldiers break into their homes searching for suspects…”


Between October 1992 and May 1993, Israeli authorities in the Occupied Territories also arrested or detained at least 22 Palestinian journalists without charge or trial, according to the Censorship News (5/3/93) publication of the Article 19 human rights organization.

(Downtown 6/9/93)

10,000 Books Banned By Israeli Government In 1980s & 1990s

Although the Yuppie Democrats often pose as champions of human rights, when it comes to human rights violations committed by the government of “Nuclear Israel”, the Yuppie Democrats are usually not too vocal. In a 1991 report, titled Information Freedom And Censorship, the Article 19 human rights organization observed that in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1980s and early 1990s it was “estimated that more than 10,000 books” were “banned” by the Israeli government and “among the banned books” were “Can The Palestinian Problem Be Solved? By Alouph Har Even, Studies In The History Of Palestine During The Middle Ages by PP Bartholdy and At The End Of The Night by Mahmoud Darwish.” The report also noted that the Israeli government “banned the use of equipment such as fax machines in the Gaza Strip from August 27, 1989.”

The Article 19 human rights organization also revealed that the Israeli government has historically targeted Palestinian journalists as special objects of repression in the following ways:

“It is estimated that about 30 percent of members of the Arab Journalists’ Association (AJA) have been detained or placed under administrative restrictions (without charge or trial) during the Intifada. The Jersualem Post (May 21, 1989) reported that during 1988, 30 Palestinian journalists were in prison. During the uprising, 39 journalists have been placed under administrative detention (extended from 6 months to 1 year in August 1989). Sama’an Khoury, AJA member and journalist for Agence France Presse, was placed under 6 months’ administrative detention in January 1988. Mutawakil Taba, president of the Union of Palestinian Writers (UPW) and editor of Abeer women’s magazine, was also given six months in February 1988. At least 10 journalists have served more than 6 months’ detention under renewal orders. Journalists have also been detained for periods from 48 hours to 18 days under `preventive’ detention.

“Palestinian journalist have been attacked in the field, in their offices and at their homes by soldiers and by Israeli civilians. In March 1980, 60 bullets were fired into the house of the editor of al-Bayader al-Siyyast, while the editor of al-Quds has had his house raided on over 10 occasions.”


(Downtown 11/18/92)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Israeli Allies of Bush-Obama Administration Continue War On Palestinians

The Israeli allies of the Bush-Obama Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to deny the Palestinian people their full self-determination rights and their right of return, to continue the illegal Israeli government occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem and to eliminate Palestinian political activists who are involved in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:

Did Rabin Order Assassination Of Publisher?

A 35-year-old Palestinian newspaper publisher, Hani Abed, was assassinated in early November 1994, when his “car blew up…in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis as he opened its trunk.” (LA Times 11/4/94). The Palestinian Authority’s minister of justice, Freih Abu Medein, asserted that “this is the first bullet in the dirty war the Israelis are beginning” and “cited a report…in the British newspaper The Observer” that [the now-deceased] Nobel Peace Prize Winner Yitzhak Rabin “had authorized an assassination campaign against leaders of the militant organization Hamas.” ( LA Times 11/14/94).

(Downtown 11/23/94)

Israeli Government Shut Gaza Press Office

One reason why it’s often hard to get much information about Palestinian resistance to the Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip is that the Israeli government has had a habit of shutting down the Gaza Office for Press Services. As the London-based Article 19 human rights organization noted in its 1991 report, Information Freedom And Censorship:

“The closure of Palestinian press agencies has further deprived foreign journalists of valuable information from Palestinian sources. The Gaza Press Office was shut for a month in January, 1988. The Palestinian Press Service [PPS]…was closed in March, and in the same month the Bethlehem Press Office was closed for six months. In August, Haya Press Service was shut down for a year and its co-owner…Nabil Joulani, was served with six months’ administrative detention. The Gaza Office for Press Services was closed in January, 1989 for a year…The Holy Land Press Service was closed for two years from June…”

(Downtown May 26, 1993)

Peace In The Middle East?

According to PLO Foreign Minister Farouk Khadoumi, “Israel has not fulfilled the program contained in the peace agreement” and “the most important issues now are the return of the refugees, the liberation of the prisoners, an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, an end to the policy of confiscating more land and the return of East Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty.” In Khadoumi’s views, talks between the PLO and the Israeli government “have not been successful up until now because the principal issues have not been resolved, Israel continues to hold 40 percent of the territory, and the refugees are not returning.” (Granma International 12/20/95)

After a 29 year-old Palestinian activist named Yehya Ayyash was killed in early January 1996 “by a booby-trapped cellular telephone that blew up the right side of his head,” Israel Radio “quoted unnamed sources as saying Israel had carried out the killing” (Boston Globe 1/7/96); and Hamas’ military wing charged that Ayyash had been “assassinated” by “the Israeli Secret Service, the Mossad” (NY Times 1/6/96). According to the Times, “if Mr. Ayyash’s killing was an Israeli hit, there was little doubt that it was approved by [then-] Prime Minister Shimon Peres, since the secret service would not conduct so sensitive a mission on its own.”

(Downtown 1/24/96)

Israeli Human Rights Violations

The Israeli Establishment has a history of violating the human rights of folks who live on land it occupies in violation of UN Security Resolution 242. As Amnesty International observed in its 1990 Report:

“About 25,000 Palestinians…were arrested in connection with the Intifada (uprising) in the Occupied Territories. Over 4,000 served periods in administrative detention without charge or trial…Thousands of Palestinians were beaten while in the hands of Israeli forces or were tortured or ill-treated in detention centres. At least eight were reported to have died as a result. Over 260 unarmed Palestinian civilians—including children—were shot dead by Israeli forces, often in circumstances suggesting excessive use of force or deliberate killing. Others died in incidents where tear-gas was possibly deliberately misused…”

Despite its policy of continuing to violate human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the Israeli Establishment still gets “$3 billion a year in aid” from the Democratic Clinton regime because “no American Administration wants to pick a fight with Israel during an election year,” according to the NY Times (9/28/96).

Coincidentally, as Downtown observed in its Jan. 15, 1992 issue (“Holy Land Nuclear War Preparations: A Look At Nuclear Israel and Its Special Influence”), “Seventy-eight pro-Nuclear Israel PACs donated more than $5.7 million to 477 candidates for the U.S. Congress during the 1988 U.S. election campaign;” and [former] U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, for instance, received over $272,000 in pro-Nuclear Israel PAC campaign contributions between 1978 and 1988.

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/9/96)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Caroline Kennedy's Finances & Kennedy Dynasty's Economic Empire In 1980s

The daughter of the now-deceased Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and JFK apparently now has a good chance to soon join JFK’s brother in the U.S. Senate—despite her lack of legislative experience, her lack of experience previously working at a U.S. government job and her reluctance to reveal much information about her personal financial worth. But if you’re a daughter of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, a grandchild of Joseph P. Kennedy and a member of the Kennedy Dynasty, not much experience is apparently needed to start a U.S. political career at the top with one of New York State’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

Despite the mysterious premature deaths of JFK and Robert Kennedy in the 1960s due to gunshot wounds, the Kennedy Dynasty apparently continues to control its own private economic empire. In his book The Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster, John Davis described how the Kennedy Dynasty’s family holding company, Park Agency Inc., and its Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation operated in the early 1980s:

“The Kennedy enterprises that are managed in room 1850 at 125 Park Avenue represent money accumulated by Joseph P. Kennedy during the years 1920 to 1969 and consists of trust funds the patriarch established for his wife and children, several charitable foundations, and a string of businesses that feed those trusts and foundations. The aggregate value of these enterprises, which, taken together, constitute `the Kennedy fortune,’ has never been revealed, but it is thought to amount to something in the neighborhood of $350 million [as of 1983]

“Since John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy are dead, their trusts have passed on to their children. John F. Kennedy Jr.
[now-deceased] and Caroline Kennedy receive income from Kennedy trusts worth from $7.5 million to $10 million each, in addition to the substantial trusts established for them by Aristotle Onassis, and the children of Robert F. Kennedy receive income off trusts worth about $1 million…

“Feeding the Kennedy trusts, foundations, and memorials are the various Kennedy-owned businesses that are either held or managed by the Park Agency.

“The largest of these, by far, is the Merchandise Mart, a 24-story structure in Chicago with 1,000 tenants, currently
[as of 1983] worth about $200 million, which generate an annual income of about $25 million a year. Other Kennedy businesses include the Corpus Christi-based Mokeen Oil Corporation, and the Kenoil Corporation, worth around $20 million, with oil-producing properties in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and California. These are the principal moneymakers. Other Kennedy-controlled businesses include the Park Agency’s considerable real estate holdings, the Sutton Producing Corporation, a small oil company based in San Antonio, and the Forest Oil Corporation of Bradford, Pennsylvania, which is wholly owned by Senator Edward Kennedy. Finally, rounding out the Kennedy holdings is a substantial portfolio of stocks and bonds containing such standard blue chips as Exxon, IBM and Eastman Kodak.”

(Downtown 3/25/92)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Caroline Kennedy's Finances & Jackie Kennedy-Onassis' Wealth

The daughter of the [now-deceased] Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and JFK apparently now has a good chance to soon join JFK’s brother in the U.S. Senate—despite her lack of legislative experience, her lack of experience previously working at a U.S. government job and her reluctance to reveal much information about her personal financial worth. But if you’re a daughter of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, a grandchild of Joseph P. Kennedy and a member of the Kennedy Dynasty, not much experience is apparently needed to start a U.S. political career at the top with one of New York State’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

After Caroline Kennedy’s father was mysteriously eliminated in Dallas, Texas in 1963, JFK’s “First Lady”—Jackie Kennedy-Onassis—apparently was more interested in accumulating and spending money than in finding out who actually was responsible for JFK’s death. As Good Ted, Bad Ted by Lester David recalled in the early 1990s:

“The Kennedys were appalled when, in the Spring of 1968, Jackie told them of her intention to marry the elderly Aristotle Onassis, the billionaire Greek shipping tycoon…

“Jackie…inherited about $70,000 in cash from President Kennedy, plus his personal effects and the Cape Cod house, and the income from a trust fund, which amounted to $200,000 a year. When she married Onassis, she asked for—and received—what amounts to a bride price: a cash payment of $3 million and $1 million for each of her children…

“Ari gave Jackie a huge ruby-and-diamond ring with matched earrings. She also wore two new 24-karat gold bracelets, one inlaid with diamonds and rubies. The cost: $1,200,000…

“…Ari…was angered at the amount of money Jackie was spending. He had given her an allowance of $30,000 a month, in addition to charge accounts, but she always exceeded the limits…

“Ari’s death [in 1975] made Jackie a very wealthy woman. She…received a $20 million settlement, plus an extra $6 million to pay the taxes on the inheritance…”


The same book also noted, however, that “Jackie, who insisted on separate sleeping arrangements, would not allow Ari into her bedroom without permission…”

Jackie Kennedy-Onassis’ first father-in-law and Caroline Kennedy’s grandfather—Joseph P. Kennedy—was the ninth wealthiest person in the United States around the time JFK was elected president in 1960. The Kennedy Dynasty’s wealth in the 1990s was estimated to be around $350 million.

(Downtown 2/16/94)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who Rules New School University?--Part 2

The NewsHour television show which is broadcast over most PBS stations each evening usually doesn’t provide much critical news coverage about the business and political activities and connections of the corporate-oriented folks who are members of the New School University’s board of trustees. One reason might be because a New School University Trustee named Paul Gould (who also is the Cornell University Trustee who chairs the Cornell board of trustees’ investment committee) sits on the board of directors of the Liberty Media Group media conglomerate that owns 67 percent of the for-profit MacNeil-Lehrer Productions firm which produces PBS’s NewsHour.

Yet as the September 9, 2007 issue of the New York Times observed:

“Norman Hsu, a major Democratic donor active in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign and a New School trustee, was found to be a fugitive who had skipped out after a felony theft conviction in California 15 years ago. Compounding matters, he failed to show up for a court date. He was arrested on Thursday in Grand Junction, Colo., after having slipped away from the authorities in California on an Amtrak train…

“How did someone like Mr. Hsu make his way to the New School’s board? He was a mover and shaker who was recruited by Bob Kerrey, the university’s president and a former senator from Nebraska, one of several people associated with the university who are prominent in Democratic politics or political fund-raising circles. Until last week Mr. Kerrey had been one of the few people speaking out in Mr. Hsu’s defense, calling him a `terrific member’ of the New School’s board who was being unfairly pilloried…

“But then Mr. Hsu...resigned from the board on Aug. 31 [2007]…

“Perhaps not surprisingly, the New School, which has a…former political official as president, has a board sprinkled with politically active trustees.

“They include Leo Hindery, a New York media executive and a leading fund-raiser for John Edwards who has given nearly $270,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since the 2004 election cycle. Another trustee, Cheryl Cohen Effron, along with her husband, Blair, an investment banker, has donated about $330,000 to the Democratic Party over the same time period.

“Howard Gittis, another trustee, is vice chairman of McAndrews & Forbes, a major New York-based holding company, and is a `bundler' for the Republican presidential candidate John McCain, raising money from other donors. Since 2004, he has donated more than $240,000 to both Democratic and Republican candidates and committees.

“And George Haywood, a trustee and private investor, is part of Senator Barack Obama’s inner fund-raising circle and has helped Mr. Obama manage the money he earned in 2005 from a book deal. Mr. Haywood has donated $130,700 to Democrats since 2004.

“Another major political donor on the board is Bernard L. Schwartz, former chief executive of Loral Corporation, a leading military contractor. A lifelong Democrat, Mr. Schwartz was particularly close to the Clintons, who invited him to the White House for Mr. Schwartz’s 71st birthday in 1997. Since the 2004 election cycle, Mr. Schwartz has donated $254,600 of his own money and has held many fund-raisers for Democratic candidates. He is credited with giving $1.5 million to Democrats during the Clinton White House years.

“Mr. Kerrey said that…the board certainly includes a number of political contributors — by his count, about 10 of the board’s 56 trustees are significant political donors… `They’re friends,' he said. `There’s nothing complicated about it.'

“The school is also known for sponsoring prominent political symposia on a regular basis through one of its units, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, whose dean, Fred P. Hochberg, served in the Clinton administration and is a leading fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton. He came on board under Mr. Kerrey.”


Besides representing the special corporate interests of Cornell University’s board of trustees and the Liberty Media Group media conglomerate on the New School board of trustees, New School Trustee Gould is also a managing director and executive vice-president of the Allen & Company investment subsidiary of Allen Holding Inc. and sits on the Ampco-Pittsburgh and Discovery Holding corporate boards.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do 700 UAW Staff Members Earn Over $100,000 Per Year?

Ironically, UAW officers and UAW staff in Michigan apparently earn a lot more per year than the average U.S. factory worker, the average U.S. office worker or the average U.S. grassroots anti-war/anti-corporate activist. According to an article by Ron French and Mike Wilkinson that appeared in the August 15, 2007 issue of the Detroit News:

“Nearly 700 UAW officers and staff in Michigan alone have a total compensation from the union that exceeds $100,000 according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That data doesn’t include other officials estimated in the hundreds, who are appointed to union jobs paid by the Big Three. They are benefit and safety representatives and low-level union officials who sometimes are paid for 12-hour days, seven days a week. Many make more than $100,000 a year.”

Perhaps that's why UAW President Ron Gettelfinger apparently hasn't been that eager to demand that the morally and economically bankrupt U.S. automobile industry be finally nationalized under democratic, automobile worker and working-class community control--before the Big Three begin another round of mass layoffs of UAW members in 2009 (in exchange for obtaining their recent corporate welfare grant from the Bush Administration's "U.S. Corporate Welfare State")?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Big Three Spent $7.2 Billion On Advertising In 2007

One reason the Big Media conglomerates in the United States might have wanted to see the Big Three transnational automobile companies get a big corporate welfare grant from the U.S. government is that GM, Daimler-Chrysler and Ford have, historically, been among the top buyers of advertising in the U.S. corporate media world. In 1999, for example, GM spent over $2.9 billion on advertising and was the Number 1 advertiser in the United States. That same year, the Number 3 advertiser in the U.S. was Daimler-Chrysler, which spent over $1.5 billion on advertising. And in 1999, Ford spent over $1.1 billion on advertising and was the Number 5 advertiser in the United States.

In 2007, GM spent over $3 billion on advertising and was the Number 4 advertiser in the U.S., while Ford spent over $2.5 billion on advertising and was the Number 6 advertiser in the United States. In addition, over $1.7 billion was spent on advertising by Chrysler, which was the Number 14 advertiser in the United States, according to Advertising Age magazine’s chart for 2007.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dynastic Politics & Joseph Kennedy's 29 Grandchildren

The daughter of JFK apparently has a good chance to soon join JFK’s brother in the U.S. Senate—despite her lack of legislative experience or lack of experience previously working at a U.S. government job. But if you’re a grandchild of Joseph P. Kennedy and a member of the Kennedy Dynasty, not much experience is apparently needed to start a U.S. political career at the top with one of New York State’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

According to the 1983 book by Harrison Rainie and John Quinn, Growing Up Kennedy, prior to his death in 1990, one of Caroline Kennedy’s uncles —Steve Smith—managed the family trusts and parceled out individual payments through the Park Agency to the 29 grandchildren of Joseph Kennedy. The Park Agency is “in effect a private family bank” which was managed by the late Steve Smith, according to the same book.

Growing Up Kennedy also noted that “there is a deliberate effort to obscure rather than reveal the extent and disposition of family funds” which are dished out to Kennedy Dynasty members, but indicated that Joseph Kennedy’s 29 grandchildren received their handouts according to the following procedure:

“Upon reaching 18, each grandchild begins receiving between $15,000 and $20,000 a year. The full inheritance income begins at age 21, when each grandchild collects up to $30,000 a year. Each cousin’s personal capital is said to be about $300,000. Some also share in their parents’ portions, and Caroline and [the now-deceased] John have separate income from earnings on their [now-deceased] mother’s $20-million share from the estate of Aristotle Onassis. A major advantage of the trust arrangement is that the Park Agency pays the taxes, so that each cousin gets spendable income, equivalent to a taxable salary of at least $50,000.”

The same book also revealed that several of Joseph Kennedy’s grandchildren “drive BMW sport cars” and all 29 of the grandchildren “take regular and spectacular vacations, which they arrange simply by calling a number at the Park Agency.”

One of Joseph Kennedy’s grandchildren, former Congressional Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II of Massachusetts, used $250,000 of his handout money to make a loan to his own congressional campaign fund when he ran for U.S. Congress in 1986, according to The Best Congress Money Can Buy by Philip Stern. Another grandchild of Joseph Kennedy, Maria Shriver [the wife of Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger] used to be seen reading the news on the Establishment’s television screen—although she didn’t often read us news about the latest developments at the Kennedy Dynasty’s Park Agency.

(Downtown 12/25/91)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who Rules New School University?--Part 1

In the early 1990s, New School University Trustee Bernard Schwartz was apparently one of the leading “Masters of War” in the Big Apple. According to Forbes magazine, in 1992 the then-68-year-old Loral Corporation chairman and CEO took home a salary and bonus of $5.23 million, plus $11.5 million in stock gains and other compensation from the Loral Corporation’s weapons manufacturing operations.

In the early 1990s, New School University Trustee Schwartz’s Manhattan-based Loral Corporation developed and manufactured airborne electronic warfare systems and equipment. Schwartz’s company also then produced or upgraded some 130,000 guidance control systems for AIM-9P Sidewinder, a short-range air-to-air missile. In the late 1980s or early 1990s, New School University Trustee Schwartz’s Loral Corporation also purchased IBM’s Federal Systems weapons-manufacturing subsidiary, LTV’s Missile Division, Ford Aerospace, Goodyear Aerospace and the Electron-Optical weapons-manufacturing subsidiary of Honeywell.

Before apparently divesting Loral Corporation’s weapons manufacturing operations in the late 1990s, New School Trustee Schwartz and another Loral Corporation director , Thomas Stanton Jr., also apparently sat in the 1980s on the corporate board of Reliance Group Holdings/Telemundo, when it was the parent company of a Spanish-language television station in the New York City metropolitan area, WNJU-TV/Channel 47 in the 1980s.

(Downtown 3/2/94)

New School Trustee Schwartz has also apparently been using the wealth he obtained from producing weapons to bankroll the campaigns of a lot of U.S. politicians. Between 2000 and 2008, for example, New School Trustee Schwartz contributed over $3.5 million to the campaign chests of various U.S. politicians—although New School University is a “tax-exempt” institution that is supposed to be prohibited from engaging in partisan political politics.

For more information about New School University Trustee Bernard Schwartz’s historic corporate connections and historic links to the U.S. war machine, you can check out the following link:

http://www.loral.com/company/leadership/bernard-schwartz.shtml

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recalling Big Three's 1990s Corporate Welfare Grant

If GM, Ford and Chrysler end up getting a big corporate welfare grant from the “U.S. Corporate Welfare State” before they begin their new wave of 2009 layoffs of UAW members, it won’t be the first corporate welfare grant that the Big Three ever received. As Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman noted in the 1996 edition of their book Take The Rich Off Welfare, in the 1990s the U.S. government gave “GM, Ford and Chrysler—whose combined 1994 profits were almost $14 billion--$333 million a year to develop more fuel-efficient cars;” yet “at the same time, the Big Three” propagandized “in favor of watered-down fuel-efficiency standards.” During the 1990s, Ford, GM and Chrysler also “each used accelerated depreciation to defer a billion dollars in tax payments,” according to the Take The Rich Off Welfare book.

The same book also recalled:

“The extent to which automobiles dominate our lives didn’t just happen by accident—at least part of it was the result of a criminal conspiracy. Back in the early 1930s, most people living in cities got around on electric streetcars. Concerned that this wasn’t the kind of environment in which they could sell a lot of buses, General Motors, using a series of front companies, began buying up streetcar systems, tearing out the tracks, buying buses from itself and then selling the new, polluting bus systems back to the cities—usually with contracts that prohibited purchases of `any new equipment using fuel or means of propulsion other than gas.’ Sometimes the contracts required that the new owners buy all their replacement buses from GM.

“…In 1949—after these companies had destroyed more than 100 streetcar systems in more than 45 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore, St. Louis and Salt Lake City—GM, Chevron and Firestone were convicted of a criminal conspiracy to restrain trade…”


With regard to the most recent corporate welfare grant to the Big Three proposal, UAW Local 2334 President David Sole in Detroit recently wrote the following:

“Handing more money to the same auto bosses who got us into this mess won’t solve the problems the auto industry faces.

“…They will continue to try to eliminate jobs and cut wages and benefits. Their only concern is maximizing profits, which is what led them to concentrate on making SUVs and trucks domestically, while shipping production of fuel-efficient cars overseas…

“Since the auto bosses have brought the companies to the brink of ruin, the workers, their unions and the communities in which these factories are situated must assert their right to run the plants and replace the bloated, short-sighted executives and the big shareholders who kept them at the helm.

“Worker-community control of the Big Three is the only solution. Under worker-community control the demand for government funds to rebuild and retool the plants to make energy-efficient cars and mass transit equipment could rally wide support.”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Non-Profit" New School Paid Its President $457,000 In 2006

The tax-exempt New School University in Manhattan claims to be a “non-profit” institution. Yet according to its Form 990 filing for the year beginning July 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2006, New School University earned over $3.5 million in dividends and interest from the over $233 million in stocks and bonds which the New School then owned. And the “non-profit” New School University board of trustees paid its president—a former participant in the U.S. War Machine’s immoral military intervention in Viet Nam named Robert Kerrey—an annual salary of $457,329 in 2006.

In 2006, the “non-profit” New School University also paid its then-Provost, Arjun Appandurai, and its executive vice-president, James Murtha, each annual salaries of $360,782. In addition, the New School’s then-Vice-President for Development, Kristin Sorenson, was paid an annual salary of $224,462 in 2006, while the New School’s then-Senior Vice- President for Student Life, Linda Reimer, was paid an annual salary of $224,646 that same year.

New School Vice-President for Human Resources Carol Cantrell was also paid an annual salary of $209,877 in 2006, while an annual salary of $205,877 was paid to New School Vice-President for CEA Nancy Donner Martin that same year. Two other New School Vice-Presidents, Frank Barletta and Sherry Brabham, were also paid annual salaries exceeding $197,000 by the “non-profit” New School University board of trustees in 2006.

The Deans at New School University in 2006 also apparently were paid a lot more by the “non-profit” New School in real wages than clerical workers like myself were paid by the New School Administration when I worked at the New School registrar’s office in the late 1970s. A New School University Dean named Paul Goldberger, for example, was paid an annual salary of $356,618 in 2006, while a New School Dean named Fred Hochberg was paid an annual salary of $265,043 that same year. Another New School Dean named Benjamin Lee was also paid an annual salary of $233,077 in 2006.

In addition, the “non-profit” New School University also paid two of its professors, Professor Claudio Lomnitz and Professor Ann Stolar, annual salaries that exceeded $174,000 in 2006; while a New School professor named Adolph Reed was apparently paid an annual salary by the “non-profit” New School of $215,305 in 2003, according to the Form 990 financial files for the 2002-2003 academic year.

(additional information added on Nov. 23, 2011)
Some more updated figures on salary from form 990 filing for 2009 for the year beginning 7/1/09 and ending 6/30/10:
During 2009-2010 academic year, the "Non-profit" New School paid its president, administrators and some of its professors the following annual salaries:

1. New School President Bob Kerrey was paid an annual salary of $687,812;

2. New School EVP James Murtha was paid an annual salary of $501,770;

3. New School Provost Tim Marshall was paid an annual salary of $427,435;

4. New School SVP Frank Barletta was paid an annual salary of $300,495;

5. New School SVP Carol Cantrell was paid an annual salary of $266,445;

6. New School SVP Shelley Reed was paid an annual salary of $287,232;

7. New School SVP Mary Sanger was paid an annual salary of $246,197;

8. New School VP Lia Gartner was paid an annual salary of $282,490;

9. New School VP Robert Gay was paid an annual salary of $274,470;

10. New School VP Ben Lee was paid an annual salary of $569,900;

11.New School VP Nancy Donner was paid an annual salary of $261,156;

12. New School VP Roy Moskowitz was paid an annual salary of $276,408;

13. New School VP Doris Suarez was paid an annual salary of $269,612;

14. New School SVP Kristin Sorenson was paid an annual salary of $239,331;

15. New School SVP Joseph Westphal was paid an annual salary of $360,419;

16. New School SVP Linda Reimer was paid an annual salary of $263,802;

17. New School Dean Linda Dunne was paid an annual salary of $267,462;

18. New School Dean Neil Gordon was paid an annual salary of $247,976;

19. New School Dean Joel Lester was paid an annual salary of $242,883;

20. New School Drama School Director Robert Lupone was paid an annual salary of $218,309;

21. New School Dean Michael Schrober was paid an annual salary of $242,910;

22. New School Dean Lisa Servon was paid an annual salary of $268,968;

23. New School Dean Joel Towers was paid an annual salary of $227,061;

24. New School Dean Jonathan Veitch was paid an annual salary of 154,849;

25. New School Professor Sinom Collins was paid an annual salary of $223,597;

26. New School Professor Paul Goldberger was paid an annual salary of $210,668;

27. New School discharged Professor Ann Stoler was paid an annual salary of $267,945;

28. New School Professor Richard Bernstein was paid an annual salary of $206,730;

29. New School Professor William Bevington was paid an annual salary of $188,532;

30. New School VP Nancy Stier was paid an annual salary of $216,685; and

31. New School Professor Greggory Spence was paid an annual salary of $132,228.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dyansty's Hidden History--Conclusion

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)

Since Akron, Ohio was the city where the Knight Dynasty established the local press monopoly from which, historically, it was able to build its newspaper chain, as well as the city where the rubber companies had, historically, a special economic influence until recently, ties between the Knight family and rubber industry executives were historically close. Edwin J. Thomas, who was Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s chairman of the board until 1964, for example, also served as a Knight Newspapers director prior to its merger with the Ridder newspaper chain in 1974. The 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited described the nature of this rubber industry executive’s relation to Jack Knight for many years:

“Among all the people Jack Knight knew…there was none so close as Edwin J. Thomas. This was a…man…closer to Knight than any blood relative…They played golf frequently…They talked almost every day, by telephone if not in person, often long-distance…”

And in the early 1990s, at least one rubber industry company director—B.F. Goodrich Co. Director John Weinberg—also sat on the corporate board of the Knight-Ridder media conglomerate.

As previously mentioned, much of the $200 million worth of Knight-Ridder media conglomerate stock which John “Jack” Knight owned at the time of his death in 1981 was left to the Knight Foundation to avoid payments of heavy estate taxes. And, coincidentally, in 1975 a former Goodyear rubber company executive named C.C. Gibson had been hired to be the Knight Foundation’s then-president.

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 5

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)

During the McCarthy Era of the 1950s, John S. Knight apparently also used his personal editorial column to defend HUAC’s investigation of the U.S. entertainment industry—which often led to the civil liberties of U.S. actors and actresses being violated. As the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited recalled:

“In an `Editor’s Notebook’ column of August 21, 1955, Knight praised the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities [HUAC] investigating suspected Communists and fellow travelers in the entertainment industry: `We feel nothing but disgust and indignation over the refusal of actors to give satisfactory answers to questions put to them by the committee. It is their responsibility as citizens to speak up or be adjudged in their true colors as principals in the Communist conspiracy.”

Prior to the CIA’s unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the editors of the Knight Dynasty’s Miami Herald “figured an invasion of Cuba could happen anytime” and “John McMullan, assistant managing editor, wanted to break the story and publish what reporters had gathered, which was considerable,” according to the book Knights Of The Fourth Estate by Nixon Smiley. But coincidentally, according to the same book, “Jack Knight…ordered the story held…” (end of part 5)

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 4

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)

The Knight Newspaper Dynasty may not have been too generous to their Knight-Ridder workers, historically, but its Knight-Ridder board of directors was quite generous, historically, to the newspaper chain’s top managers in the 1990s. In 1992, for example, Knight-Ridder’s then-chief executive officer [CEO] and Chairman of the Board James Batten was paid an annual salary of $604,000 (in 1990s money).

During the years when he controlled the Knight newspaper chain, John “Jack” S. Knight apparently was also a strong political supporter of Richard Nixon. When some Republican Party officials attempted “to dump” then-Vice President Nixon from the Eisenhower re-election ticket during the mid-1950s, “rising to his defense was John S. Knight,” because “he liked Richard Nixon,” according to the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited. The same book also described how John Knight had used his newspaper chain column and editorial power to back Nixon in his rise to power during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s:

“In the early days, when he had been a congressman or vice-president or private citizen, it had been `Dick’ and `Jack.’ Nixon would send chatty little notes referring to this Knight column or that, provided the article had been favorable. The practice continued…into Richard M. Nixon’s presidency…

“…Knight had been his consistent supporter, even during…the 1950s when critics in and out of the Republican Party dismissed him as `Tricky Dick’…Knight Newspapers thus endorsed him for president against John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Hubert Humphrey in 1968…”
(end of part 4)

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 3

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)

The idea of further reducing competition in the U.S. newspaper industry by merging the Knight Dynasty’s newspaper chain with the Ridder Dynasty’s newspaper chain was first mentioned in a memo of the Goldman, Sachs & Co. Wall Street investment banking firm in 1966, when Alan Stern wrote the following:

“Ed Hoffman of our buying department at Goldman, Sachs is the cousin of Herman H. Ridder, president of Ridder Publications. Through Ed I met with Mr. Ridder…Mr. Ridder indicated that his first interest was merging with another…newspaper chain. Specifically, he mentioned Knight newspapers…”

And as the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited noted, “Eight years later, the suggestion would develop into the most lucrative merger in U.S. newspaper history.” In July 1974, the Knight and Ridder dynasties merged their companies in a chain of 35 daily and 23 Sunday newspapers with a 3.8 million daily circulation that made it the largest U.S. newspaper chain at that time.

The Knight-Ridder media conglomerate whose stock was owned by the Knight Foundation in the 1980s apparently then violated U.S. environmental protection laws. For example, according to Knight-Ridder’s 1992 10-K Disclosure form:

“The Company has been identified by certain regulatory agencies as one of several potentially responsible parties in connection with the generation of allegedly hazardous substances which may have been disposed of or reclaimed by third-party contractors at sites in New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The company, certain other potentially responsible parties and the United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] have entered into consent orders relating to the sites in New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina.”

One reason the Knight Dynasty was able to run its newspaper chain so profitably prior to the 1974 merger with the Ridder Dynasty’s chain was that it wasn’t too chivalrous in its treatment of its unionized employees. When the Knight Dynasty owned the Chicago Daily News, for example, it broke the 1947 to 1949 ITU printers’ strike of the newspaper, rather than negotiate a fair settlement with its employees.

The Knight Dynasty also chose to break a 1948-1953 strike of its unionized Miami Herald workers rather than negotiate in good faith. As the book Knight recalled: “The Miami Herald…defied work stoppages to the point of ousting troublemaking unions from their operations…" When pressmen and mailroom employees struck the Miami Herald in 1961, the Knight Dynasty again refused to bargain in good faith. Although Knight-Ridder was a huge, profitable media conglomerate in the early 1990s, only 60 percent of its employees in the 1990s were unionized. (end of part 3)

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 2

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)

After C.I. Knight died in 1933, his then-39-year-old son—John “Jack” S. Knight—inherited the Knight Dynasty’s Akron Beacon-Journal and the Massillon Independent (which had been purchased in 1928 with the money the Knight family obtained from selling its Springfield Sun newspaper after C.I. Knight’s defeat in the Ohio gubernatorial election) in Ohio. Current Biography 1945 described how John S. Knight then managed to increase the profitability and special influence of his family’s business during the Great Depression:

“Extending his newspaper holdings, Knight bought the Miami (Florida) Herald in October 1937 for $2 million. Two months later he arranged to trade his Massillon Independent for the Miami Tribune which he then discontinued. (He had purchased it with the intention of suspending publication, for he felt there was no room in Miami for three papers). Thus, the publisher of the Herald became the owner of the only Miami morning daily…In 1938 he eliminated competition to the Beacon-Journal by buying out the Scripps-Howard Times Press. In this way Knight achieved a press monopoly in Akron, making the city and its suburbs `the largest one-paper community in the country.’”

At the same time he was shutting down previously-competing newspapers and using media monopolization techniques to increase the profitability of his family’s newspaper chain, John S. Knight was also serving as a member of the Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee in Ohio, and was complaining about “New Deal spending and labor philosophy,” according to the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited.

In 1940, John S. Knight then dished out $3.1 million to add the Detroit Free Press to the family’s chain and in 1944 another $2.1 million was dished out to add the Chicago Daily News to the family’s stable, until it was re-sold in 1959 for $24 million to Marshal Field Jr.. In 1954, the Charlotte Observer was added to the Knight newspaper chain for $7 million and in 1959 the previously competing Charlotte News was also added. In 1965, the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida was also purchased.

By 1968, the Knight Dynasty’s newspapers’ combined daily circulation in Detroit, Miami, Charlotte, Akron and Tallahassee approached 1.5 million and “The Knights also had interests in a TV station, three radio stations, and three Florida weekly papers,” as well as a gross annual income of about $123 million (in 1960s money), according to Knight. The following year, the Knight family purchased the chain’s Philadelphia newspaper for $55 million and immediately replaced 70 Philadelphia Inquirer reporters and editors. And in 1972, the Knight Dynasty dished out another $37 million ot buy yet another newspaper operation which some other family had built: the Lexington Herald & Leader in Kentucky. (end of part 2)

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 1

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and www.leftgatekeepers.com sites)


Between 1970 and 2006—when the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain was sold to the McClatchy newspaper chain for $6.5 billion—much of the Knight-Ridder media conglomerate was owned by members of the ultra-rich Knight family and the Knight Foundation [whose assets currently exceed $2.5 billion]. In 1979, for example, John Knight and James Knight owned 30 percent of Knight-Ridder stock. Much of the $200 million worth of Knight-Ridder stock which John “Jack” Knight owned at the time of his death in 1981 was then left to the Knight Foundation to avoid payment of heavy estate taxes. In 1986, about 14 percent of Knight-Ridder stock—then worth about $439 million—was still owned by James Knight. And in 1990, 10 percent of Knight-Ridder stock—then worth about $270 million—was still owned by James Knight.

The Knight family first entered the world of U.S. newspaper ownership in 1907, when Charles “C.I.” Knight “attracted financial backing to take over the Beacon Journal newspaper in Akron, Ohio, as a result of a business arrangement with a banker named Edward Held, according to the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited. Prior to naming himself editor and publisher of the Akron Beacon-Journal in 1909, C.I. Knight had worked in Bluefield, West Virginia as a corporate lawyer for U.S. coal companies and as the Akron Beacon-Journal advertising manager.

In addition to owning the Akron Beacon-Journal, C.I. Knight also wrote a biography, titled The Real Jefferson Davis, which depicted the slavocracy’s Confederate president “as a maligned idealist,” according to Knight. C.I. Knight was also personally involved in U.S. political office-seeking. In 1920, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 14th district on the Republican Party slate and, when the “Ohio Gang” ruled Washington politics during the early 1920s corrupt administration of President Warren Harding, “C.I. Knight enjoyed insider privileges at the White House,” according to Knight. The same book also noted that “to strengthen his political base,” Congressional Rep. Knight purchased the Springfield Sun daily newspaper in Ohio, around the same time he unsuccessfully ran for governor of Ohio.

In addition to using his newspapers to further his political office-seeking ambitions, C.I. Knight also apparently endorsed local political candidates editorially who helped shift public funds to his newspaper business. As Knight recalled: “Jack [Knight] had once asked C.I. [Knight] which candidate for sheriff they intended to back in a forthcoming race. `The one,’ his father replied, `who gives us the county publishing business.’”

Using the surplus profits he obtained from publishing the Akron Beacon-Journal, C.I. Knight was able to buy a 238-acre farm near Hudson, Ohio after World War I. But when it came to entertaining women companions, the Republican Party publisher-politician apparently preferred to meet them in his office, rather than on his farm. According to Knight, “there were…rumors of amorous trysts with women of easy virtue, sometimes behind the locked doors of his newspaper office.’ Not surprisingly, the same book noted that the Knight Newspaper Dynasty founder “deplored…feminism.” (end of part 1)

(Downtown 9/15/93)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who Rules GM?

GM is famous for being one of the world’s largest transnational industrial corporations, for laying off its U.S. factory workers before it lays off its cheaper labor in its factories outside the Untied States, for manufacturing tanks for both the German Army and the U.S. Army during World War II, and for being so mismanaged that it can’t compete successfully with Japanese Establishment-owned automobile manufacturers. So what’s good for General Motors is not necessarily what’s good for most people in the United States.

But as the GM web sitereveals, in recent years GM’s board of directors has included the following U.S. Establishment businesspeople:

1. Morgan Stanley, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, Cousins Properties and Erskine Bowles & Co. Director, Carousel Capital Senior Advisor, University of North Carolina President and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

2. Goldman Sachs Group Director, former Sara Lee Chairman/CEO and University of Chicago and Art Institute of Chicago Trustee John Bryan.

3. Merrill Lynch, Home Depot, AMR Director and Flagler Development CEO Armando Codina.

4.Coca Cola Chairman/CEO, former Sun Trust Banks Director and Center for Strategic International Studies and U.S. Council for International Business Trustee E. Neville Isdell.

5. Deutsche Bank Advisory Board Member and former Compaq Computer CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer.

6. BP and Union Pacific Director, former Alliance Energy Chairman/CEO, University System of Georgia Chancellor and University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University Trustee Erroll Davis Jr.

7. Harris Corporation, Home Depot, Catalyst Director, former Pfizer Vice-chairman, Pfizer Foundation Chairman, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures Senior Adviser and University of Chicago Trustee Karen Katen.

8. Former Northrup Grumman Chairman, Fluor, Avery Denison and Mannkind Director, MIT Lincoln Library Advisory Board Member, California Institute of Technology and Haynes Foundation Trustee Kent Kresa.

9. E.I. DuPont de Nemours Executive Vice-President and Tufts University Trustee Ellen Kullman.

10. Former Ernst & Young Chairman/CEO and Loew’s, Discover Financial Services and Henry Schein Director Philip Laskawy.

11. Former GE Fleet Services CEO and Ceridian Chairman/CEO Kathryn Marinello.

12. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Senior Advisor and former Eastman Kodak Chairman/CEO George Fisher.

13. Former Astra Zeneca PLC-UK Chairman Percy Barnevik.

14. Former GM de Brasil President, Duke University Trustee and Harvard Business School Dean’s Advisory Board Member G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.

Similarly, in the early 1990s, GM’s board of directors included the following U.S. Establishment businesspeople:

1. Citibank/Citicorp, PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson Director Roger Smith.

2. Chevron/Gulf Oil, Bechtel and Boeing Director George Shultz.

3. J.P. Morgan & Co./Morgan Guaranty Trust Director Dennis Weatherstone.

4. Citibank/Citicorp, AT & T, Metropolitan Life Insurance Director and Rockefeller Brothers Fund Trustee James Evans.

5. National Bank of Detroit/NBD Bancorp and American Airlines Director Charles Fisher III.

6. Merck & Co. and NCR Corp. Director John Horan.

7. Marriott Corp. Director J. Willard Marriott Jr.

8. Chase Manhattan Bank/Chase Manhattan Corp., International Paper Co., and Pfizer Inc. Director Edmund Pratt Jr.

9. J.P. Morgan & Co./Morgan Guaranty Trust and Procter & Gamble Director John Smale.

10. AT&T Director Thomas Wyman.

So don’t be surprised if the corporate folks who still rule the privately-owned, not yet-nationalized, GM eventually get a big corporate welfare grant from the U.S. Establishment’s federal government—before GM’s rulers once again start laying-off more of its U.S. factory workers in 2009 who are members of the UAW.

(Downtown 3/11/92)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Recalling Big Banks' Role In 1990s Dot-Com Bust

Some of the same Wall Street big banks whose financially reckless banking practices helped create the “Great Recession of 2008-2009” also apparently played a role in creating the late 1990s dot-com/telecom industry bust. For example, according to the 2004 book by Roger Lowenstein, Origins of the Crash:

“Gary Winnick, the architect of Global Crossing, a transoceanic fiber developer, was the most brazen of the bandwidth barons and, indeed, operated on a grand scale reminiscent of the original robber barons…

“Working from an opulent Beverly Hills headquarters, whose inner sanctum was modestly designed to resemble the Oval Office, Winnick borrowed billions…

“…The telecoms had a prodigious appetite for loans; moreover, the boom coincided with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which had separated underwriting from banking. Banks such as Chase Manhattan (soon to be J.P.Morgan Chase) were now thirsting to move into underwriting. With telecoms equally thirsting for cash, banks used loans as bait to get the inside track on underwriting assignments, the precise abuse that Glass-Steagall had been intended to prevent. As Julie Creswell later revealed in Fortune, Chase was a notorious offender. It not only cut its fees to worm its way into banking deals; it courted Winnick…by introducing him to David Rockefeller, Chase’s former chairman…Rockefeller escorted Winnick…on a private tour of the Museum of Modern Art. By such means, Chase became Global’s banker and, indeed, the telecom industry’s commercial banker of choice. There is no evidence that the bank of David Rockefeller was overly concerned with whether demand for bandwidth was truly insatiable or—in the event it was not—with how its loans would be repaid…In 1999, Global showed earnings of $10 million—before, that is, Global’s interest expense of $92 million. No banker—no genuine banker—would lend on the basis of such numbers, suggesting mightily that Chase and the rest were scrambling after fees—were, that is, risking their shareholders’ capital in order to book short-term profits…”

Friday, December 5, 2008

`William Z. Foster'



(verses)
"My father was a Fenian who fled from British tyranny
And overseas he brought me up to fight for Ireland to be free
I saw the bosses' cruelty when I entered the working-class
And vowed I'd fight for a new world until I breathed my last.


"I hoboed all around the land and worked on ships at sea
I saw the sailors' suffering and felt police brutality
With migrant workers I did roam, in search of a day's pay
And organized union locals wherever I did stay.


(chorus)
"William Foster is my name
And I fight with heart and mind
And today we march to City Hall
For the rights of the Unemployed.


(verses)
"From Seattle to Chicago, the unorganized I did approach
And those ignored by the A.F.L. were the workers to whom I gave some hope
In the stockyards and the steel cities, I planned the big campaigns
And the Great Steel Strike after the World War, for steelworkers showed the way.


"To fight the Corporate Slave System, the CP I did join
And as their candidate for President, warned `millions will be unemployed'
And now we're here in Union Square, to say to the corporate rich
`There are no jobs, so we demand unemployment insurance~'
(chorus)

"One hundred thousand strong today, yet still there is no permit to march
`Six months in jail,' they threaten me, and say I'm `inciting to riot'
And the New York cops, I see them charge, and club without mercy
But the Working Class will rise again until we win our victory."
(chorus)

The William Z. Foster biographical protest folk song was written a few years ago and can be sung to the tune of the traditional Irish rebel folk song, "The Boys of Wexford."

To listen to some other protest folk songs, you can check out the following music site links:

http://www.myspace.com/bobafeldman68music


http://www.mp3.com/artist/bobafeldman/songs/

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Conclusion

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

In its April 30, 1989 article by Jeff Gerth and Sara Bartlett, titled “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors,” the New York Times observed that at the same time Henry Kissinger operated his Kissinger Associates influence-peddling operation, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former business colleague also “had a continuous window into the government’s most sensitive information as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board or Pfiab.” According to the New York Times, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board was “a little-known but powerful group” of 16 scientists, business executives and former U.S. government officials which advises the U.S. President about intelligence issues and intelligence activities.

At least one former Pfiab official, “who asked not to be identified because of the board’s secrecy pledge,” told the New York Times in 1989 that Henry Kissinger, “using his authority as a board member, frequently reviewed intelligence documents outside the regular board meetings.” The former Pfiab official also told the New York Times that he believed that Kissinger’s Pfiab membership gave Kissinger special business benefit because Kissinger “could not have separated the insights gained from his access to United States intelligence data from his continuing analysis and advice” to his Kissinger Associates clients--during the period when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed at Kissinger Associates.

In the year prior to taking office in the Bush I Administration, former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger earned $674,000 from his work for Kissinger Associates and an affiliated Kent Associates firm (which paid $214,000 of the total Eagleburger earned from his `consulting’ work for special, private corporate clients).

After posing the rhetorical question “What exactly do they do for that much money?” the New York Times concluded in its April 30, 1989 “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors” article that “little is known about what Kissinger Associates does for its clients.”

The New York Times also reported in 1989 that “When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tried to elicit more information” on Kissinger Associates activities at his confirmation hearing, Eagleburger “was adamant in his refusal to discuss any details” with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Former Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger did promise, however, “to disqualify himself for one year from matters involving his clients at Kissinger Associates,” according to the New York Times.

Given Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s past association with Kissinger Associates during the same period that Eagleburger worked for the firm, perhaps Geithner should, like Eagleburger, also agree to disqualify himself for one year from matters involving Kissinger Associates clients, especially since banks (like the Midland Bank of Britain) have been among the clients of Kissinger Associates, historically? And, as a member of the House Banking Committee in the early 1990s, former Representative Henry Gonzalez of Texas, wrote me in a July 16, 1991 letter:

“For your information, the House Banking Committee’s on-going investigation into the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNI) scandal has revealed some new evidence of potential conflicts of interest involving National Security Director Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger and Kissinger Associates.

“Upon learning of this fact, I have asked President Bush, in a letter dated May 2, 1991, to review Mr. Scowcroft’s stock portfolio to ensure any potential conflicts are eliminated.

“I was deeply concerned about Mr. Scrowcroft’s stock holdings, especially since he is in a position to strongly influence our national security and foreign policies.

“Rest assured, I am following this matter with careful attention, and will continue to monitor Mr. Kissinger and Kissinger Associates to ensure they do not practice improper influence over U.S. foreign policy.”
(end of article)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 3

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

Geithner’s former associate at Kissinger Associates, Henry Kissinger, was not too pleased when some New York Times reporters in the late 1980s decided to write an investigative article about Kissinger Associates’ clients and their past links to former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who was the Kissinger Associates president before he moved into his State Department office in 1989. On April 14, 1989, for example, the Wall Street Journal reported that Henry Kissinger was “annoyed” at the Times for its “investigation of Kissinger Associates’ clients” and was “threatening a lawsuit against the paper for harassing clients.”

The results of this New York Times investigation of Kissinger Associates were published on April 30, 1989, in an article titled “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors” by Jeff Gerth and Sarah Bartlett. The article noted that, initially, another former Kissinger Associates colleague of Geithner, former National Security Affairs Adviser Brent Scowcroft, “told the White House he was merely a consultant to Kissinger Inc.” and only “later amended his financial disclosure statement to reflect his position as vice-chairman.”

According to the 1989 New York Times article, Scowcroft also “told the White House he had to disclose only the name of Kissinger Associates, not the specific clients he worked with, because he was merely a consultant to the firm.” Scowcroft only amended the financial disclosure statement he had filed on February 21, 1989 (to indicate that he was actually the former Kissinger Associates vice-chairman) on March 17, 1989, “one day after a reporter asked him why he had not reported” his true Kissinger Associates post on his original financial disclosure form.

On his public disclosure form, according to the 1989 New York Times article, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former colleague, Scowcroft, indicated that he would “disqualify himself from specific matters involving companies he” held “stock in and former clients such as Kissinger Associates, but not from matters involving the firm’s clients.” The New York Times also reported in 1989 that “among those willing to pay $200,000 or more to be clients of Kissinger Associates are ITT, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Coca Cola, H.J. Heinz, Fiat, Volvo, LM Ericsson, Daewoo and Midland Bank.”

The “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors” article also reported in April 1989 that Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’ former colleague, Scowcroft, “belatedly disclosed that he held stock in Kissinger Associates and, according to Mr. Kissinger and public documents, he arranged last month to have Mr. Kissinger buy it back for nine times its estimated worth”; and that Scowcroft’s Kissinger Associates salary had exceeded $293,000 per year during the time that Geithner was employed by Kissinger Associates. (end of part 3)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 2

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

Among the political influence-peddling firms in the United States, “Mr. Kissinger and his associates are by all accounts the most successful of this new breed of former senior Government officials,” according to the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger’s insight and celebrity.”

The “Kissinger Means Business” article also implied that the motive of these former and current senior Government officials for moving back-and-forth between U.S. foreign policy-determination roles and private influence-peddling positions was generally a mercenary one, since “many of these former Government leaders asked themselves, why not capitalize on our stardom, international contacts and insider knowledge to make large incomes on our own.”

In 1986, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former colleagues at Kissinger Associates—Kissinger, Scowcroft and Eagleburger—peddled their special influence to 25 to 30 corporate clients in exchange for payments from their clients that totaled $5 million in Kissinger Associates gross income. Each political influence-purchaser paid Geithner’s former employer between $150,000 and $420,000 per years for its services because, as former New York Times national security correspondent Leslie Gelb observed in 1986: “The super-star international consultants were certainly people who would get their telephone calls returned from high American Government officials and who would also be able to get executives in to see foreign leaders.”

When I telephoned the Kissinger Associates office in Manhattan in early 1991 to ask who some of its clients were at that time, a spokesperson for Kissinger Associates replied: “That’s all confidential.”

The April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, however, indicated that besides the Kuwaiti government-owned Midland Bank of Britain, the Kissinger Associates client list at the time Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed by Kissinger Associates included H.J. Heinz, American Express/Shearson Lehman, Fiat, Volvo, ASEA, L.M. Ericsson of Sweden, Montedison of Italy, the International Energy Corporation, Atlantic Richfield/ARCO and the Fluor Corporation.

Although Henry Kissinger was the sole owner of Kissinger Associates when Geithner was employed by his firm, former National Security Affairs Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger each received hefty salaries when they worked as Kissinger’s partners in influence-peddling prior to assuming their influential posts in the Bush I Administration in 1989. To further attract foreign government-owned corporations like Midland Bank of Britain as influence-purchasing clients, Kissinger Associates established a board of directors that included the following international corporate establishment figures around the time that Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed by Kissinger Associates: former U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon; former Citibank Chairman of the Board Edward Palmer; former U.S. Under-Secretary of State William D. Rogers; then-S.F. Warburg Chairman Lord Roll; then-Atlantic Richfield/ARCO Chairman Robert O. Anderson; then-Volvo Chief Executive Office Pehr Gyllenhammar and former Japanese government foreign minister Saburo Okita. (end of part 2)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

`Let The Big Banks Fail'


(chorus)
Let the Big Banks fail
And put the bankers in jail
It’s time to right the wrong
And not save those who committed fraud


(verse)
Wall Street ripped off investors
And made billions from sub-prime loans
Yet when their housing boom turned to bust
To Washington, the bankers did go.
The big bankers they purchased
The Congress and the White House
So Democrats and Republicans
Are eager to bail them out.


(bridge)
They say they have no money to give welfare for the poor
Yet "Lehman-Goldman Sachs" get $700 billion more
They say they have no money to provide jobs and free health care
Yet AIG and Merrill Lynch are given Corporate Welfare.
(chorus)

(additional verses)
If a tenant can’t pay his rent
A landlord will evict
But if a Big Bank can’t pay its debt
Its government will give it cash.
If a worker can’t do her job
She’ll get fired for incompetence
But if a banker wrecks his bank
His government gives him a blank check.(
chorus)

If a homeowner can’t pay his mortgage
He’ll lose his home and get foreclosed
But if Wall Street can’t pay off its creditors
It gets another big government loan.
If a store loses its customers
It will soon be forced to close
But if Big Banks steal from consumers
They’re given billions in loans.
(bridge) (chorus)

They’re all for a free market
When their profits are rolling in
But once they start losing money
The free market ain’t for them.
If you can’t pay your student debts
You’ll get harassed by their government
Yet when Wall Street banks owe people money
The government lets them off the hook.
(chorus)

So if you don’t think it’s democratic
For Wall Street’s government to rule over you
Then just take over CNN
With the help of your labor union.
The bankers’ names might be Pritzker
Or Rubin or J.P. Morgan
Yet they all don’t want regulation
So they can rip off the people again.
(chorus)

The "Let The Big Banks Fail" folk song was written in recent months.

To listen to "Let The Big Banks Fail" and other protest folk songs, you might want to check out the Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society music site link at:

http://www.myspace.com/bobafeldman68music )

and at


Monday, November 24, 2008

Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 1

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. A leading candidate for Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

An expose, titled “The `Kissinger Affair’: A Look At Henry Kissinger’s Kuwaiti Connection,” which appeared in the March 27, 1991 issue of a Lower East alternative newsweekly Downtown, began with the following quotation from the April 20, 1986 issue of the New York Times Magazine about Kissinger Associates during the years that Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner worked there:

“It is very difficult to pin down what Mr. Kissinger and the others are really doing in the business end of their lives. None will say for attribution who their clients are or discuss the specifics of what they do, although they do talk about their work with the understanding that they not be identified…Kissinger Associates requires a clause in its contracts stating that neither the firm nor its clients will divulge a business connection…”

In 1991, T. Jefferson Cunningham III, according to Moody’s International Manual, was on the board of directors of Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner’s former employer. That same year Kissinger Associates Director Cunningham was also a director of the Midland Bank of Britain and 10.5 percent of Midland Bank’s stock was owned by the government of Kuwait. And coincidentally, Geithner’s former boss at Kissinger Associates, Henry Kissinger, was not reluctant to use his special influence on behalf of his Midland Bank/Kuwaiti government business associates after August 1990 to push for the January 1991 Pentagon high-technology military attack on Iraq that led to thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties.

In the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger’s insight and celebrity,” the Times then-national security correspondent, Leslie Gelb, reported that the Midland Bank of Britain was also one of the special influence-purchasing clients of Kissinger Associates that paid Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former employer “slightly more than $150,000 yearly for varying services.” Gelb also noted that “The other top members of the firm” were “Lieut. General Brent Scowcroft, President Ford’s National Security adviser, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, who was an Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration.”

In the early 1990s, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s Kissinger Associates colleagues, Scowcroft and Eagleburger, were both high officials in the Bush I Administration. Scowcroft, a former Santa Fe International director who received personal payments from the Kuwaiti government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) subsidiary in 1984, 1985 and 1986, was Bush I’s national security affairs adviser. And Eagleburger was Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State.

According to a profile of Scowcroft that appeared in the Times on Feb. 21, 1991, it was the presentation of Geithner’s former Kissinger Associates colleague at a National Security Council meeting on Aug. 3, 1990 “that made clear what the stakes were, crystallized people’s thinking and galvanized support for a strong response” to the Iraqi military occupation of Kuwait, which had led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians from either Pentagon military operations or U.S. economic sanctions since January 1991.

Kissinger Associates was established in 1982, four years before Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner joined the firm, after Henry Kissinger secured a loan from EM Warburg, Pincus & Company, an investment banking firm and when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for Kissinger in the late 1980s the Kissinger Associates Manhattan office was located at 350 Park Avenue on the corner of 52nd Street—in the same building as Chase Manhattan Bank’s Commercial Bank of Kuwait subsidiary local office.

The building’s lobby at that time contained a computerized building directory of all the building’s tenants. But, according to New York Times then-national security correspondent Gelb’s April 20, 1986 “Kissinger Means Business” article, “Punch `K’ and you will not find Kissinger Associates, for Henry A. Kissinger still receives threats, so, for security reasons, you have to be invited to learn what floor his firm is on.”

Kissinger Associates also had an office in Washington, D.C. of three researchers and four clerks which was headed by Scowcroft when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for the firm. According to Times correspondent Gelb, only about 25 people then worked in both the Manhattan and Washington, D.C. offices of Kissinger Associates, “including Mr. Kissinger’s bodyguards” and Geithner.

In 1991 a Kissinger Associates spokesperson told me in a telephone interview that Geithner’s 1980s employer was “an international consulting firm.” But, according to the April 20,1986 New York Times Magazine article, “Kissinger Means Business,” although “these consultants are not lobbyists in the strict sense of the word,” some of them “are involved in selling their influence at home and almost all do so abroad.” (end of part 1)