Sunday, August 30, 2009

70th Anniversary of World War II

September 1, 2009 marks the 70th anniversary of German imperialism’s bombing and invasion of Poland. As Hammer or Anvil? Modern Germany 1648—Present by Heoger Herwig recalled, “at 4:45 a.m. on the morning of September 1, 1939, the German armored cruiser Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Polish fortifications near Danzig as German troops crossed the border into Poland.”

According to the book The Second World War: A World In Flames:

“By 16 September [1939] the German forces had the Polish capital, Warsaw, surrounded, and they proceeded to bombard the city from the air and the ground…Warsaw eventually surrendered on 27 September [1939] with around 40,000 civilian casualties…The Poles…did manage to inflict significant casualties on the Germans. They…killed 13,000 German soldiers, wounding a further 30,000…

“The Polish campaign had been blighted by numerous acts of cruelty by German formations—SS and police units mainly…Now with Poland defeated, these isolated acts of cruelty were approved in the highest quarters of Nazi German and were formalized into a program of terror…During the years of the German occupation, six million Polish citizens died…

“As the German war machine moved eastwards, overrunning territory and population, it also encountered millions of Polish and Russian Jews. Some were shot in mass killings and many others were corralled into walled areas of major cities known as ghettos.”

The Hammer or Anvil? book also noted:

“Stuka dive bombers attacked major concentrations of Polish forces and civilian centers…Covered by a special amnesty issued by Hitler and General von Brauchitsch, five special SS execution units (Einsatzgruppen) roamed the Polish countryside and murdered preselected doctors, priests, civil servants, country squires and merchants. Reinhard Heydrich of the Security Forces [SD] crowed as early as September 27 [1939] that only 3 percent of the Polish intelligentsia survived…On September 21 [1939], Heydrich developed his initial blueprint for the Polish [and later European] Jews. The Jews were to be herded into special `reservations’ through the auspices of Councils of Jewish Elders (Judenrat) for eventual concentration in…ghettos at Warsaw, Craw, Lublin, Radon…”


The same book also recalled that “in Berlin, Adolf Hitler began the war with a lie, informing the Reichstag that regular units of the Polish army had fired on German territory.”

According to The Second World War: A World In Flames book:

“Despite Hitler’s ambition and confidence, the Germans went through an elaborate charade in order to convince the world that Germany was provoked. Men from the…SD department of the SS, under the overall direction of Reinhard Heydrich, planned an operation to precipitate the war that Hitler wanted. This operation, code-named Hindenburg, involved three simultaneous raids: the first was on the radio station at Gleiwitz, the second on the small customs post at Hochlinden, and the third on an isolated gamekeeper’s hut at Pitschen. The raids were to be conducted by men dressed in Polish uniforms, and at Gleiwitz the plan was that the attack would be heard live on radio—with the attackers’ voices, speaking in Polish and declaiming Germany, being broadcast live over the air to maximize their impact…

“…Four condemned men from the Sauchsenhausen concentration camp and a single German (a local Polish sympathizer) were murdered to provide evidence for the Polish incursions—the corpses, dressed in Polish uniforms, were photographed to complete the provocation. Despite the planning, the radio attack failed to be broadcast because of the poor strength of the transmitter. Hitler was nevertheless able to announce to the Reichstag on 1 September [1939] that `Polish troops of the regular army have been firing on our territory during the night [of 31 August/ 1 September]. Since 05.45 we have been returning that fire.’ The Second World was up and running..”


As a result of World War II, 55 million human beings were killed. The same book summarized the World War II casualty figures in Europe in the following way:

“During the five-year conflict, Germany incurred 2.8 million military and 2 million civilian deaths, including 500,000 by Western Allied strategic bombing. The Soviets suffered the worst, with 6.3 million military and perhaps 17 million civilian deaths. Europe’s other populations suffered a further 1.8 million military and 10.5 million civilian deaths, the latter including 5.5 million Jews. The three Western Allied powers incurred 700,000 military deaths in the European theater…”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Remembering Kennedy Dynasty's Historic Time-Warner/CNN Media Conglomerate Connection

Although Henry Luce’s Time Inc. [n/k/a/ Time-Warner/CNN] media conglomerate endorsed Richard Nixon during the 1960 Nixon vs. Kennedy presidential contest, Henry Luce was also a close friend of JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, and Luce had utilized the Time Inc. media empire during the 1950s to transform John F. Kennedy into a media-star and Democratic Party presidential nominee [in a similar way to how Time-Warner/CNN transformed the Kennedy Dynasty-backed Barack Obama into a media-star and Democratic Party presidential nominee in recent years].

According to Henry R. Luce And The Rise of The American News Media by James Baughman, in the 1930s “Joseph Kennedy began a family tradition of winning allies in the fourth estate.” Luce’s Time Inc. publications “had usually treated Joseph Kennedy and his family admiringly” and Time Inc. Founder Henry Luce wrote the introduction to John F. Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept. The Henry R. Luce And The Rise of The American News Media book also noted that on “the night John Kennedy delivered his acceptance speech before the Democratic convention, his father watched the event on Luce’s television set in New York” and at JFK’s inaugural ball Henry Luce and his wife, Claire Booth Luce, “”sat in Joseph Kennedy’s box.”

The Right Places, Right Times book by former Time magazine editor-in-chief Hedley Donovan noted that “Time Inc. was in some respects closer to the Kennedy Administration than to the Eisenhower Administration.” The same book also revealed that during JFK’s Administration “the White House got a special copy of Time a day ahead of the rest of Washington” and U.S. President Kennedy would complain about “a picture caption or an unflattering photo angle.” Luce would then usually attend “to Kennedy’s complaints” personally “by mail or a visit to the Oval office.”

(Downtown 1/29/92)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Remembering Kennedy Dynasty's 1980s Wealth--Part 2

According to the 1983 book by Harrison Rainie and John Quinn, Growing Up Kennedy, prior to his death in 1990, 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, August 26, 2009

Remembering Kennedy Dynasty's 1980s Wealth--Part 1

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 [and Edward M. 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 [was] wholly owned by [the now-deceased] 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)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 7

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and its 2011 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for parts 1 to 6 of article).

Reader’s Digest was first published in February 1922 by DeWitt “Wally” Wallace and his wife, Lila Acheson Wallace, after a $5,000 [in 1920s money] loan from Mrs. Wallace’s brother—Barclay Acheson—was obtained. The initial issue consisted of 31 articles which the then-32-year-old “Wally” had clipped from old magazines in the public library, and then condensed for his own magazine’s use.

The son of a Minnesota college president, DeWitt Wallace was from St. Paul, Minnesota and “belonged to an elite that had virtually nothing in common with the masses who were to be his future audience,” according to Theirs Was The Kingdom by John Heidenry. But the same book also asserted that during the 1920s the Reader’s Digest publisher “packed his magazine with articles pandering to the most reactionary elements among his readers” and by 1929 the adless magazine’s circulation had reached 216,000, “thanks to relentless direct-mail solicitations.” Between 1922 and the 1990s, the corporate headquarters of Reader’s Digest was always located in the Pleasantville-Chappaqua area of Westchester County, in suburban New York.

The Magazine In America: 1741-1990 reference book attributed the Reader’s Digest’s almost immediate success in attracting subscribers in part to the fact that “Wallace was offering his customers the `best’ from the periodical press, shortened to an easy length…for a bargain price.” But, according to Theirs Was The Kingdom, “a critical factor in the Digest’s…prosperity was that Wally paid nothing for the articles he selected and condensed from other publications—in other words, the entire contents of his magazine” and “Wally for years limited his direct mail promotion to points beyond a 500-mile radius of New York” so “no editor or publisher was likely to…discover that it was stealing copyrighted material wholesale.”

The same book also recalled that “for the first eight years of its existence, DeWitt Wallace took great care to hide the extraordinary success of his magazine” and “since it did not carry advertising, he did not have to submit to an annual circulation audit.” Among the articles the Reader’s Digest published during the Roaring Twenties was an article in its January 1926 issue which was entitled “The Klan: Defender of Americanism” and the magazine also exhibited “an almost rabid hostility towards immigrants and Catholics” during the 1920s and 1930s, according to Theirs Was The Kingdom. The Reader’s Digest also was profitable enough to start publishing an edition in Braille for the visually-impaired in 1928. (end of part 7)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Monday, August 24, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 6

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and its 2011 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for parts 1 to 5 of article).

Reader’s Digest was also connected, historically, to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company—one of the giant “Big Five” insurance companies which apparently stood to benefit most from the 1990s Clinton administration’s [initial version of the Democratic Obama Administration’s] health care reform plan. During the early 1990s, the then-chairman of the board at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Robert Schwartz, also sat on the board of the Reader’s Digest Association’s corporate board and another Reader’s Digest Association board member in the 1990s, a former U.S. Secretary of Defense named Melvin Laird, also sat on Metropolitan Life’s corporate board in the 1990s.

In the 1990s, the “non-profit” Metropolitan Museum of Art then owned about 11 percent of the nonvoting stock of the then-highly profitable Reader’s Digest. In 1991, for example, the net income of the Reader’s Digest Association exceeded $200 million and it was then the 209th largest corporation in the United States.

Coincidentally, a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1990s—George Grune—was then the chairman of the board of the Reader’s Digest Association and he took home an annual salary of $1.2 million in the early 1990s. In addition to being Reader’s Digest’s board chairman at that time, Grune also sat on the corporate of Chemical Bank in the early 1990s.

Downtown telephoned the Communications Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art three times in the Fall of 1993 to ask a museum spokesperson to characterize the nature of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s historical connection to Reader’s Digest. But no one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Communications Department was available to communicate any comments about its historical Reader’s Digest connection in the Fall of 1993.

Sitting next to then-Reader’s Digest board chairman Grune on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s board of trustees in the early 1990s was the then-New York Times Company Board Chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger. In the early 1990s, Sulzberger was the chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s board of trustees and Sulzberger’s son—Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.—held the post of New York Times publisher. Another New York Times Company board member in the 1990s—former IBM corporate board chairman John Akers—also sat next to then-Reader’s Digest Association board chairman Grune on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s board of trustees in the early 1990s.

The then-Reader’s Digest Association Chairman Grune also sat next to the following other “art lovers” on the Metropolitan Museum of Art board of trustees in the early 1990s: then-CBS Chairman of the Board Laurance Tisch; then-CBS Director James Houghton; then-New York magazine owner Henry Kravis; and Kissinger Associates Chairman Henry Kissinger. (end of part 6)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 5

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and its 20111 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for parts 1 to 4 of article).

In addition to apparently collaborating historically with the CIA, the Reader’s Digest apparently acted, historically, as a propaganda tool of the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]. As Unreliable Sources: A Guide To Detecting Bias In News Media by Martin Lee and Norman Solomon recalled, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation, led by J. Edgar Hoover from 1924 to 1972, had long cultivated sympathetic contacts in the media” and “these included journalists such as…Reader’s Digest editor Fulton Oursler.”

In 1973, the book Investigating The FBI also noted that “Over the years, Hoover maintained extremely close ties with several magazines—U.S. News & World Report and Reader’s Digest being perhaps the closest.” The FBI, for instance, “fed” Reader’s Digest Washington bureau editor John Barron “information on a spy case and then, during the trial, deposed him as a professional witness,” according to Theirs Was The Kingdom by John Heidenry. The same book also recalled that “Hoover’s byline appeared frequently in the Digest, which was his favorite publication,” “between 1942 and 1972 at least 12 articles” by FBI Director Hoover were published by Reader’s Digest, and the magazine’s Washington bureau during the 1950s and 1960s was used by Hoover “as if it were his own personal PR firm.” (end of part 5)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 4

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and its 2011 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for parts 1 to 3 of article).

In a 1993 telephone interview, Downtown asked Reader’s Digest’s then-press spokesperson, Craig Lowder, what the magazine’s response is, to the criticism that it has acted as a tool of the CIA since 1948, as asserted in John Heidenry’s book Theirs Was The Kingdom.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to respond to every allegation made in Heidenry’s book. But I can comment generally on the book. Frankly, we feel his book is full of a lot of gossip, a lot of unsubstantiated innuendos, and many factual inaccuracies,” replied Lowder. “We learned about Heidenry’s plans to write a book and were initially excited about it. But then we found out what he was doing, when we received complaints from some former employees about the kind of questions he was asking. They didn’t believe what he was doing. His book became an unfair character assassination of [Reader’s Digest co-founder] DeWitt Wallace. There’s so much in that book that’s completely false. There are some charges made in which his only alleged sources are people who are now dead.”

The Reader’s Digest then-spokesperson, however, wasn’t willing to specifically confirm or deny the specific allegations in Heidenry’s book regarding the magazine’s historic CIA ties.

Despite its history of apparently using Reader’s Digest as a secret propaganda instrument, the Central Intelligence Agency wasn’t too eager in the early 1990s to let the many readers of Reader’s Digest read about the exact nature of the CIA’s relationship to Reader’s Digest co-founder DeWitt Wallace and the magazine. Theirs Was The Kingdom author Heidenry, for example, noted in 1993: “An FOIA request to the CIA for its files on DeWitt Wallace and on the Reader’s Digest was denied, as was an appeal…” (end of part 4)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Friday, August 21, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 3

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and  2011 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was  owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for parts 1 to 2 of article).

In Mexico, according to Theirs Was The Kingdom by John Heidenry, an “outspoken critic of the Reader’s Digest’s cozy relationship with the CIA was Manuel Buendia,” a muckraking columnist. In his 1983 book, La CIA En Mexico, Buendia charged that the Spanish-language edition of Reader’s Digest in Mexico—Selecciones—frequently published articles by a U.S. writer named Daniel James, who, according to Theirs Was The Kingdom, “has only written what he has been ordered to by the CIA.” Theirs Was The Kingdom author John Heidenry also noted that “Buendia further identified Antonio Rodriguez Villar, director of Selecciones in Mexico City as a CIA agent…” and “Buendia claimed the CIA,`a longtime friend of Selecciones [had] taken over its Latin American editions, through individuals such as Rodriguez Villar.’” Shortly after Buendia’s book La CIA En Mexico, was published, the muckraking columnist was “shot four times in the back at point blank range in a parking-lot” after leaving his office on May 30, 1984, according to Theirs Was The Kingdom.

Unreliable Sources: A Guide To Detecting Bias In News Media by Martin Lee and Norman Solomon also noted that “The CIA cultivated high-level contacts within the most prestigious media in the U.S., including the three TV networks and the newspaper of record” and “more than 20 other American news organizations occasionally shared a bed with the CIA, including Reader’s Digest…” The same book also observed that “It was rather convenient that people like…Eugene Lyons of Reader’s Digest sat on the board of directors of the National Committee for a Free Europe [NCFE], which functioned as a thinly-veiled private-section cover for channeling funds to neo-Nazi √©migr√© groups…” and “other NCFE board members included CIA director Allen Dulles…” (end of part 3)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 2

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and its 2011 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm. See below for part 1 of article).

Theirs Was The Kingdom by John Heidenry also observed in 1993 that “in the late 60’s the Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief"—Hobert Lewis—“walked into the office of treasurer Dick Waters, accompanied by two men whom he introduced as agents of the CIA,” when the CIA wanted to put some of its agents on the Reader’s Digest payroll in Peru, and “Waters agreed to go along with the plan.” The same book also revealed that a consultant to the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee, which investigated CIA misconduct, “suspected that the Reader’s Digest had at least the appearance of an institutional relationship with the CIA and was involved in four areas of intelligence gathering: photography…; editorial research for articles that were never printed; market research and polls; and special projects.”

According to Theirs Was The Kingdom, Reader’s Digest was charged by some Italian critics of launching an Italian edition, Selezione del Reader’s Digest in 1948, “in direct response to widespread fears that Italy would fall to the Communists” in its 1948 elections; and of letting its Italian edition be utilized “as a conduit for anti-Communist propaganda originating from…both the American and the European intelligence communities,” under the editorial direction of a former British intelligence officer named Terrence Harmon. These same Italian critics also charged that “the 1948 Italian campaign marked the first time the Central Intelligence Agency…got involved in large-scale political propaganda,” according to the same book.

In Chile, Reader’s Digest was also apparently utilized by the CIA to help create favorable conditions for the Chilean military’s 1973 overthrow of the democratically-elected Allende regime. Theirs Was The Kingdom stated the following:


“When…Salvadore Allende was elected president of Chile in 1970, according to Landis, the Digest sent a reporter to remote areas of the country to investigate industrial accidents in the country’s copper mines. Previously, a Finnish newspaper had accused a Digest employee of being a CIA agent for taking photographs of a copper mine. Though the reporter’s research never resulted in a published article, the CIA soon afterward organized a strike among Chile’s copper workers…”
(end of part 2)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

`Reader's Digest''s Hidden History--Part 1

(The following article originally appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of the now-defunct alternative Lower East Side weekly, Downtown. Between 2007 and  2009 bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest was owned by Citigroup board member Tim Collins’ Ripplewood Holdings’ private investment/leveraged buy-out firm.)

“…The Atlantic Journal, in a series on CIA infiltration of the media, noted that in the fifties and sixties Time-Life Inc. had enjoyed an extremely close relationship with the intelligence agency. But now some CIA watchers saw the Reader’s Digest `as gradually achieving that “most favored’ status granted by the CIA’—John Heidenry in Theirs Was The Kingdom: Lila and DeWitt Wallace and The Story of the `Reader’s Digest’ in 1993


“Perhaps the most important fact about the Digest is that it isn’t a digest. It buys and `plants’ articles to suit the views of its owner, in other publications, thus spreading bias and prejudice—and I believe I proved, native fascism and even pro-Nazi propaganda—throughout the magazine press of America…Being the largest circulating publication in the world, it manipulates the minds of many millions of people.

“In the course of decades all these charges have been proved and documented…”—George Seldes in Never Tire Of Protesting in 1968


In his 1957 book Of Lasting Interest, James Wood noted that “There is evidence that the Digest has more than once helped implement United States foreign policy in various parts of the world.” One way Reader’s Digest has apparently helped to “implement United States foreign policy" has been to secretly collaborate with the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]. According to the Theirs Was The Kingdom: Lila and DeWitt Wallace and The Story of the `Reader’s Digest’ book by John Heidenry, “The Reader’s Digest Association [RDA] enjoyed an intimate relationship with the agency perhaps unmatched by any other major American communications giant, with the exception of Time-Life” and “as the country and the world entered the Cold War era, the Digest was to become…a highly valuable propaganda outlet for both the CIA and, to a lesser extent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation…” The same book also noted that Reader’s Digest’s Washington bureau “has been serving as a primary conduit for CIA and FBI propaganda, self-promotion, and disinformation since the days of Allen Dulles and J. Edgar Hoover” and that its roving editor in the Washington bureau—John Barron—had “close ties to the FBI and CIA.”

Barron was “the man who usually handled Soviet defectors in the media once they had been thoroughly debriefed by the CIA and were good only for propaganda purposes,” according to Theirs Was The Kingdom. The same book also recalled that “over the years the Digest’s bylines on espionage-related activities amounted to a veritable Who’s Who of CIA upper management and fellow-traveling journalists…” (end of part 1)

(Downtown 10/27/93)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who Rules NPR?

If you weren't one of the 10,000 folk music fans who could afford the ticket price for the 50th anniversary Newport Folk Festival event, you can still listen to the kind of music that was performed there by checking out the National Public Radio [NPR] website at the following link at:

http://www.npr.org/music/newportfolk/index2.html

Ironically, NPR's board of directors apparently includes some of the same corporate folks who have been profiting in recent years from the Pentagon's endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Wall Street banking industry's financially reckless business practices which helped drive the global economy into a world-wide depression during the last year. NPR Chairman of the Board Howard Stevenson, for example, is also a director of the Camp Dresser & McKee firm that was given some lucrative Pentagon Iraq and Afghanistan war contracts a few years ago, according to the Center for Public Integrity's website.

Other profit-oriented corporations to which members of NPR's board of directors have been affiliated with in recent years include the Baupost LLC investment company, Landmark Communications, Sheffield Steel, The Northern Trust Company/Northern Trust Global Investment, Lincoln International, JP Morgan Securities, the DailyMc In. media firm, AOL Latin America, the Cisneros Group media companies, First Energy Corporation of Akron, the Key Corp and NYTimes.Com.

So don't expect NPR to start allowing many of its NPR affiliated stations to begin airing too many anti-war and anti-corporate protest folk songs on a daily basis (especially all the anti-war and anti-corporate protest folk songs written by folk musicians since 1970), even though we're all still stuck in the current 21st-century historical era of "permanent war abroad and global economic depression" under the current undemocratic political set-up of Big Corporate Media Monopolization of the U.S. radio airwaves.

Friday, August 7, 2009

African-American Female Worker Jobless Rate Under Obama Regime: 13.1 Percent

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American female workers over 20 years-of-age under the Democratic Obama Regime jumped from 11.7 to 13.1 percent between June and July 2009; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American male workers over 20 years-of age was still 16.1 percent in July 2009, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all African-American workers (which also takes into account the jobless rate for African-American youth between 16 and 19 years of age) increased from 15.3 to 15.9 percent between June and July 2009.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20-years-of age also increased from 7.1 to 7.6 percent between June and July 2009. For all women workers in the United States over 16 years of age, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate increased from 8.9 to 9.2 percent between June and July 2009.

Between June and July 2009, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Hispanic or Latina women workers over 20 years of age increased from to 11.5 to 11.8 percent, while the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Hispanic or Latino male workers over 20 years of age increased from 10.7 to 11.2 percent. For all Hispanic or Latino workers over 16 years of age (which takes into account the jobless rate for Latino youth), the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate increased from 12.1 to 12.5 percent between June and July 2009. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Asian-American workers also increased from 8.2 to 8.3 percent between June and July 2009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ August 7, 2009 press release:

“Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in July (-247,000)…

“In July, the number of unemployed persons was 14.5 million. The unemployment rate was 9.4 percent…

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 584,000 over the month to 5.0 million. In July, 1 in 3 unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more…

“The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in July at 8.8 million…

“About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force…These individuals…wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…

“Among the marginally attached, there were 796,000 discouraged workers in July…Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them….

“Employment in construction declined by 76,000 in July…

“Manufacturing employment fell by 52,000 in July…

“In July, retail trade employment declined by 44,000…Employment in wholesale trade fell by 19,000 in July, with the majority of the decline occurring among durable goods wholesalers.

“Employment in professional and business services continued to trend down in July (-38,000)…Within professional and business services, employment in the temporary help industry edged down in July…

“Transportation and warehousing lost 22,000 jobs in July…

“Financial activities employment continued to trend down in July (-13,000)…Employment in information declined by 16,000 in July, including losses in Publishing and telecommunications….”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

`Folk Revolution' lyrics




(chorus)
For years we’ve all been slaves
Trapped in the Age of Rock
But can’t you see the dawn
As we enter the Age of Folk?


(verses)
They’ve pushed their loveless music
And pounded their soulless drums
They expect us to live like robots
And obey their Pentagon
They’ve poisoned the minds of rockers
And made some slaves think they’re free
But it’s time for the Folk Revolution
And time to end Rock Tyranny.
(chorus)

They’ve stolen to the tune of millions
And tried to drown us in the sea
Their ugliness is what they call beauty
And they don’t want equality
They’re a bunch of moral cowards
A decadent aristocracy
But it’s time for the Folk Revolution
To create the world of your dreams.
(chorus)

Every folk person shall be an artist
And by day all folk will have liberty
Love and peace will rule the world
And equal will be all who breathe
No one man will be the top dog
And folk will no more be lonely
All folk will own the world in common
Folk Revolution is the key.
(chorus)

The “Folk Revolution” protest folk song was written in the 1980s to protest against the corporatization of rock music and against the hip rock capitalism of the 1980s. In retrospect, I probably overestimated the revolutionary potential of folk music as a tool for revolutionary democratic social change and I probably underestimated the revolutionary potential of rock music.

To listen to some other protest folk songs, you can check out the “Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society” music site at the following link:

http://www.myspace.com/bobafeldman68music

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

`Hands Off Iran' lyrics



(chorus)
The martyrs killed by Savak
Killed by U.S. machines
The martyrs shot down in the streets
Gave their lives so Iran could be free.
The martyrs killed in war
Plotted by the C.I.A.
The blood of all the martyrs
Is on the hands of the U.S.A.


(verses)
The criminal U.S. banks still try to rule Iran
Their murderous C.I.A. draw up invasion plans
And that is why the people from Berkeley to Boston
Must tell the U.S. government: "Hands off Iran!"
(chorus)


Exxon and Texaco want the Persian Gulf oil
And they don't care how many young people they must kill
And that is why the workers from Berkeley to Boston
Must tell the U.S. government: "Hands off Iran!"
(chorus)

ABC it lies each day and every night
It tries to poison minds so Big Business can dominate
And that is why the students from Berkeley to Boston
Must tell the U.S. government: "Hands off Iran!"
(chorus)

The "Hands Off Iran!" anti-war protest folk song was written in 1980. For more protest folk songs from the 1970s and 1980s, you can check out the following music site link:

http://www.myspace.com/bobafeldman68music

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Time For Some More Protest Folk Songs?

If you feel like listening to some protest folk songs that you're not likely to hear over the corporate media monopolies' radio airwaves, you might want to check out an anti-war protest folk site.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

For-Profit Insurance Companies & Health Care/HMO Business In 1990s Revisited

No Benefit: Crisis In America’s Health Industry by Lawrence Weiss indicated in the 1990s that the giant Prudential, Aetna Life Casualty and CIGNA insurance companies then had a special interest in the Health Care/HMO Business:

“Commercial insurance corporations in particular are purchasing a large portion of HMOs. For example, in 1990 Aetna Life Casualty agreed to shell out up to $34 million to purchase Partners National Health Plans, which is among the five largest health maintenance organizations in the United States. CIGNA Healthplan, Inc., also ranks among the top five. Prudential recently expanded its HMO, ProCare into the hot California market…”

And Hoover’s Handbook of American Business noted in the early 1990s that “Prudential’s health plan offerings, enrolling 2.5 million people [1991 sales of $791 million] include PruCare HMO and PruCare Plus” and “The American Association of Retired Persons is its largest group-health client.”

The Canadian plan and/or Single-Payer health care reform proposals would apparently create a less costly plan than the kind of health care reform programs that were developed by for-profit Big insurance companies over the last twenty years. As No Benefit: Crisis In America’s Health Insurance Industry revealed as long ago as the 1990s:

“A study in the state of Washington by Washington Citizen Action indicated that `it cost commercial insurance companies like Prudential and Aetna $148.9 million more to provide Washington residents with insurance than it would have cost the Canadian system or the Medicare program to provide the same benefits.’ The Washington researchers estimated that 126,000 uninsured Washington residents could be provided health insurance with the money wasted by commercial health insurance overhead in their state…”

(Downtown 10/13/93)