Sunday, December 30, 2018

Joan Coxsedge's `Some Facts About Libya'"--Part 1

Italian imperialist troops occupying Libya in 1911
In  Part 1 of her 2018 book, Some Facts About Libya: How the West destroyed this once prosperous nation, long-time Australian antiwar and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--summarizes some of the 20th-century history of Libya in the following way: 

History of Libya in the 20th century.

For most of their history the peoples of Libya have been subjected to varying degrees of foreign control from Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines, right up to their last 20th century oppressor, the Italians, who occupied the country in 1911.

Italy attacked Tripoli, claiming it was a war of liberation against Ottoman rule when it was really an attempt to re-establish a Roman Empire in Africa. Despite a major revolt by the Arabs, the Ottoman Sultan ceded Libya to the Italians, leaving Tripoli largely under Italian control.

In 1920 the Italian government recognized Sheikh Sidi Idris as the hereditary head of a nomadic tribe. Idris was then given the title of "Emir" by the British, eventually becoming King of the Free Libyan State.

But after dictator Benito Mussolini came to power, fighting intensified. His appointee, General Badoglio, waged a ferocious pacification war and in 1922 Idris fled to Egypt. His [General Badoglio's] successor, General Graziani, was even worse, being given carte blanche by Mussolini to crush Libyan resistance. Unencumbered by either Italian or international law, Graziani enclosed a large slab of the desert with barbed wire, incarcerating the entire population in a huge concentration camp. More than 300,000 perished in the most appalling conditions.

Allied forces kicked out the Italians in 1943 and in 1944 Idris returned from exile. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya, and in November 1949 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution that Libya should become an independent state with King Idris, a close ally of Britain, representing Libya in all subsequent UN negotiations. On 24 December 1951 Libya declared its independence and became a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under Idris, the first country to achieve independence through the United Nations. 

Oil was discovered in 1959 and Libya--one of the world's poorest--became extremely rich, except the wealth was concentrated in the hands of the few. In typical colonial fashion, Idris wasted no time in handing over Libya's natural resources to his new European masters.

Discontent grew throughout the Arab world, with increasing calls for a more unified Arab entity. In 1969, inspired by the example of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Colonel Qaddafi and a small group of army officers staged a coup d'etat and kicked out the ailing Idris, who returned to Egypt. The new regime, headed by the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic with the slogan "freedom, socialism and unity," with Qaddafi as its leader.

The new rulers pledged to remedy backwardness, take an active role in the Palestinian and Arab cause and encourage domestic policies based on social justice, non-exploitation and an equitable distribution of wealth. One of their first acts was to close down British and US military bases, nationalize the oil and provide free healthcare and free education for the Libyan people, giving them the highest standard of living in Africa.

In the 1970s Libya claimed leadership of Arab and African revolutionary forces and sought an active role in the international scene.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

`Twenty Thirty-Four' protest folk song lyrics

A dystopian protest folk song from early 21st-century about how U.S. and Western European society might look in the "Era of Permanent War" in the year 2034.

It was 2034
In the Era of Permanent War
He lived in a room alone
Where a camera taped his every move
His emails were monitored
Along with smartphone conversations
All worked until 75
But few at that age were alive.

All the money he earned went for rent
All the food they gave him was just junk
One firm controlled all markets
And no unions limited profits
Six days a week all did work
Without benefits for the sick
Ten hours a day were required
And those caught talking were soon fired.

If you were sacked from your job
You were forced to move from the men's dorms
And locked in a prison all day
And beaten at night viciously
Then marched into the poison showers
To save the cost of caring for elders
No homeless men roamed the streets
'Cause cops shot them down secretly. (refrain)

Every month on the TV screen
Showed a new foreign war battle scene
Every year a building collapsed
And thousands would die at the office
Foreign agents would be blamed
And in revenge the space weapons would rain
On cities outside the USA
And the earth was destroyed day-by-day.

Young women now faced the draft
And were forced to be in combat
Eight years of war service
Were required if you failed to enlist
Soldiers occupied campus bases
And gyms replaced library spaces
Music still had a Rock beat
And selfish people ripped-off the weak. (refrain)

In 2034 they proclaimed:
"We live in a new Golden Age
Our robots now keep us all free
And reveal what your brains are thinking
Only the jealous complain
Because they're losers and untrained
The able can all become rich
In a society that we've made perfect." (refrain)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

How `Democracy Now! Funder Bill Moyers Helped Elect LBJ In 1964 Election

Democracy Now! Funder/ex-LBJ  Special Assistant Bill Moyers With LBJ
In his 1995 book, Barry Goldwater, University of Utah Professor of History Robert Alan Goldberg recalled that on June 18, 1964 the right-wing 1964 Republican Party presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, "was one of 27 senators" in the U.S. Senate "to vote no" on the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and, during the last weeks of the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign, "Goldwater...reiterated, in Cleveland, his opposition to the Civil Rights Act" and "in Columbia, South Carolina, he appeared with recent GOP convert Senator Strom Thurmond, and in a speech carried on television throughout the South he reminded listeners: `We are being asked to destroy the rights of some under the false banner of promoting the civil rights of others." So, not surprisingly, according to the same book, "...African-Americans read Goldwater and rallied enmasse against him..;" and "the 94 percent of black men and women who voted against Goldwater are credited with delivering Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina to LBJ" in the November 1964 U.S. presidential election.

Yet prior to the November 1964 presidential election, according to University of Utah Professor of History Goldberg's 1995 book, the Democratic President and 1964 Democratic Party presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson "had authorized covert military action against North Vietnamese targets." As the same book recalled:

"Begun in February 1964, the American-conceived Operation Plan 34A deployed South Vietnamese forces in sabotage activities, commando raids, and the shelling of northern coastal facilities...U.S. Navy destroyers, while not officially part of these actions, patrolled in close proximity, monitored North Vietnamese responses, and gathered military information. By spring [1964], staffers had designated targets in North Vietnam for a future air war...To effect this, they drew plans for the deployment of U.S. air strike forces to Southeast Asia...Publicly, Johnson...gave no hint of Operation Plan 34A and did not reveal administration scenarios to increase America's military commitment...

"During the first week of August 1964, President Johnson announced that Navy destroyers Maddox and C.TurnerJoy had been subjected to `unprovoked' attack in the Tonkin Gulf off the North Vietnamese coast. On Aug. 7, (1964), Congress took Johnson at his word and approved the Tonkin Gulf Resolution...American warplanes bomb naval and storage facilities along the northern coast..."

Democracy Now! Funder/Schumann Media Center Inc. foundation Prez Bill Moyers
The 1995 book Barry Goldwater also recalled how the former Johnson White House Chief of Staff/Press Secretary whose Schumann Media Center Inc. foundation has funded the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm in a big way during the 21st-century, Bill Moyers, historically helped LBJ win the November 1964 presidential election, prior to the Johnson White House's escalation of U.S. aerial attacks on people in Vietnam in early 1965:

"...Johnson loyalists Bill Moyers, Abe Fortas, and Clark Clifford, among others, planned a negative campaign that caricatured Goldwater as...dangerous...Goldwater as president would unleash nuclear war...The Johnson White House established the Five O'Clock Club, which planted spies like E. Howard Hunt (on leave from the Central Intelligence Agency) in the Goldwater camp. Reporters were encouraged to feed Goldwater's off-the record remarks to the White House staffers and to provide advance copies of the Republican's speeches for simultaneous rebuttal. The `Anti-Goldwater Program' also led to collusion between the press and the government to manipulate the news (according to `Anti-Goldwater Program' memo to Bill Moyers of Sept. 10, 1964 that can be found in Box 117, `Republican Party' Subject File of White House Central Files in Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library)...

"The Department of Defense supplied facts and figures to seemingly neutral journalists to bolster Democratic claims and refute the Republicans. White House aide Walter Heller furnished `ammunition' to syndicated columnists Walter Lippmann and Sylvia Porter...Advertising was LBJ's most prized weapon...Among Bill Moyers' suggestions to the advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernback was a television spot in which `he [Goldwater] could have his finger--or that of some field commander--on the nuclear trigger.' [Bill Moyers to Lloyd Wright, Sept. 14, 1964, Box 481, Frederick Panze Papers, Johnson Presidential Library]. Agency executives accepted the theme and developed it further. The images of Goldwater they eventually pitched to the American people remain case studies in the art of negative campaigning..."

Ironically, after the 1964 GOP presidential candidate apparently pledged on Sept. 3, 1964 to abolish the U.S. military draft if elected and before the Democratic Johnson administration's pre-September 1964 covert military actions against North Vietnamese targets became more overt and escalated in South Vietnam in 1965, LBJ said on Sept. 28, 1964 that "We are not going north and drop bombs at this stage of the game;" and, according to Professor of History Goldberg's 1995 book:

"In the last weeks of the campaign Johnson hammered Goldwater...on the issue of war and peace...In Akron, Ohio, Johnson observed: `...We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to do for themselves.'"

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 25, 2018 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter. 

“November 25, 2018

“Dear Comrades

“Matthew Guy’s been done like a dinner so it’s over to Labor to deliver. There’s lots of other things to write about, none of them particularly Christmassy I’m afraid, but that’s the way things are. Once a time of celebration, now a time of reflection and wondering what the devil 2019 will throw at us.

“I’d rather not talk about Trump, but he’s still mindlessly bunging off tweets full of exclamation marks and slogans about ‘America First’ and crap that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism when It’s Saudi Arabia and Israel and his very own US of A. A man bereft of either integrity or justice, although even he might have gone a bit beyond the pale for defending Saudi Arabia in face of their horrific act of violence in dismembering a journalist while he’s still alive, even if it was a typical Tuesday afternoon for Saudi’s rulers. Amid media outrage, a less publicized story didn’t seem to cut it in the same way. About 85,000 Yemeni children under the age of five died of starvation between April 2015 and October 2018 as a direct result of Saudi’s blockade and relentless violence.

“Who really matters in our world? 9/11 saw 2,996 human beings die in a blaze of publicity. Horrible. But is it worse than the deaths of more than a million Iraqis in a war based on lies? A war engineered by government secret agencies and Washington insiders and sold to the public and rammed through without any public accountability. No-one was tried for war crimes. No-one was sacked. No changes were made to prevent such horrors ever happening again. You don’t need a conspiracy to understand the nexus between plutocratic thugs and elements of the government.

“Julian Assange’s eight-year ordeal is another case in point. Incarcerated under British house arrest by a servile UK government and then holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy under the protection of former president Correa, despite the absence of any charges filed against him. The current president of Ecuador, the brutal, ultra-right, pro-torture, thoroughly evil Lenin Moreno who wants to privatize everything, including the Amazon, is rescinding Assange’s asylum so that he will be handed over to Washington where a secret indictment and a Grand Jury stands at the ready and where a large number of Democrats and Republicans reckon he should be executed.

“His crime? Telling the truth like Daniel Ellsberg, whose Pentagon Papers were published in the New York Times and the Washington Post and helped bring about the end of the Vietnam War and who was treated like a hero by the rest of the world.

“As an Australian, Julian Assange is not subject to US law. Tell that to the grovellers in Canberra. If he was an Israeli citizen?

“We live in a rich country, except the wealth isn’t shared. Ross Gittins used statistics to highlight the inequalities regarding our education system, with Gonski jettisoned to avoid a row with private schools. And when Catholics put the frighteners on, governments buckle.

“Australia is now in the shameful position of being equal fourth with the most socially stratified education system among the OECD’s 35 nations. Only Mexico, Hungary and Chile have a more class-segregated set-up. 95%of our most disadvantaged are in the state sector. It matters because it shows what happens when schools are funded on the basis of religion and powerful lobby groups rather than need.

“But some articles really pull you up in your tracks and one that got to me was by George Monbiot who describes a press conference held by climate activists last week called Extinction Rebellion. Asked by journalists if aims to reduce UK carbon emissions to zero by 2025 were unrealistic, a young woman stepped forward full of fury and grief. ‘What is it you are asking me as a 20-year old to face and to accept about my future and my life?…This is an emergency. We are facing extinction…what is it you want me to feel?’ No-one responded.

“Tinkering at the edges got us into this mess and will not get us out. Public figures talk and act as if environmental change will be linear and gradual, but the earth’s systems are highly complex and complex systems do not respond in linear ways. Only one of the many life support systems on which we depend - soils, aquifers, rainfall, ice, winds and currents, biological abundance and diversity - needs fail for everything else to slide.

“It was pointed out that 50bn tonnes of resources used per year is about the limit the Earth’s systems can tolerate, but our world is already consuming 70bn tonnes and is on target to use 180bn tonnes by 2050 making ‘green growth’ physically impossible.

“The problem is political. The oligarchic control of wealth, politics, media and public discourse explains the comprehensive institutional failure now pushing us towards disaster. Think of Trump and his cabinet of multi-millionaires; the Murdoch empire and its massive contribution to climate science denial; the oil and motor companies whose lobbying prevents a faster shift to new technologies.

“And it’s not just governments failing us. Public broadcasters have shut down environmental coverage while allowing opaquely funded lobbyists masquerading as think tanks, to shape the debate and deny what we face. Academics, fearful of upsetting their funders and colleagues, bite their lips.

“But growing numbers of people understand that continued economic growth is incompatible with our precious Earth. And we must not allow the Earth’s despoilers to tell us what we can and cannot do. It’s our world, not theirs. And we’re running out of time.

“But we still need a break. Enjoy the company of family and friends and as always, take extra care on our roads…

“Joan Coxsedge”

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Joan Coxsedge's `Some Facts About Libya' Prologue

Former South African government head Nelson Mandela with Libya's Qaddafi 

In the Prologue to her 2018 book, Some Facts About Libya: How the West destroyed this once prosperous nation,  long-time Australian antiwar and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--indicates why and how the Democratic Obama-Clinton administration launched its war for regime change in Libya in 2011: 

In March 1992 the UN imposed an arms and air embargo on Libya after Qaddafi refused to hand over the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, sanctions that were tightened in 1993. But back then Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa that reduced their harsh impact. Libyans were provided with free education, healthcare, housing, electricity, subsidized food and interest-free loans, women wore Western clothes, went to work and attended university. If they wanted to farm, they were given a farmhouse, land, livestock and seeds, free of charge, and their state bank provided loans at 0% interest, as set out in law. And there were no terrorists. More than 60 countries had embassies in Tripoli, along with dozens of multinationals.

One of Qaddafi’s closest friends was Nelson Mandela. While the West was actively supporting the oppressive white regime, Mandela never forgot Libya’s support during the bitter anti-apartheid struggle, a friendship barely acknowledged in the West. Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and rejected intense pressure from Western leaders to sever all ties with Qaddafi. He was accused of ‘supporting terrorism’ after refusing to cancel an official state visit to Libya. ‘A saint visiting a mad dog’, screamed the media. Mandela’s response: ‘No country can claim to be the policemen of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do … those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall to tell me not to visit my brother Qaddafi …’

And in March 1998, while visiting South Africa, President Bill Clinton was told at a news conference: ‘I have also invited Brother Leader Qaddafi to this country. I do so because our moral authority dictates that we should not abandon those who helped us in our darkest hour … and those who berated me for being loyal to our friends can literally go and jump in a pool.’ Clinton is said to have remained smiling throughout the event.

Today, Libya is a ‘failed state’, not because of Qaddafi but because of the treachery, greed and deceit of a number of Western countries and their allies in the Gulf. He was targeted for refusing to become a puppet after the 1969 coup, for closing down foreign military bases, and for swiftly nationalizing Libya’s vast oil industry that had largely benefited Western companies. He also hoped to free the entire African continent from Western financial dominance by introducing the ‘gold dinar’, a goldbacked African currency that threatened US dollar hegemony and the West’s central banking system. It probably sealed his fate, although in 2007, former NATO Supreme Military Commander General Wesley Clark  admitted that a ‘high ranking’ Pentagon official told him that Washington had been planning for some time ‘to take out seven countries in five years’, with Libya on its hit list.

After a decade of US sanctions, Qaddafi paid $1.5 billion to the Lockerbie families and abandoned his missile and nuclear program. Western leaders like Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice paid him a visit and it was reported that he gave Sarkozy 50 million euros for his election campaign. Qaddafi probably thought that his rehabilitation was complete, but he was wrong. The West was only waiting for the right opportunity. It came in early 2011 when Cameron in Britain, Sarkozy in France and Obama in the US, with his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ‘leading from behind’, decided that Qaddafi had to go.

Secret agencies worked with Islamist groups to foment unrest around Benghazi using NATO for their criminal intervention. When Qaddafi sent his security forces to quell the unrest, it was claimed a civilian massacre was about to happen. It wasn’t, but a UN Security Council resolution forced a no fly zone over Libya without any evidence whatsoever. Germany, Russia, China and India declined to take part.

In March 2011, within 48 hours of the adoption of the resolution, Obama and Clinton ordered the US-NATO coalition to bomb Libya while the African Union was still desperately trying to find a solution to the impasse. More than 30,000 Libyans were killed, 50,000 injured, and the civilian infrastructure was severely damaged, including hospitals and schools – war crimes described as ‘humanitarian’ and a ‘historic success’ by the Pentagon. In October 2011, Qaddafi was hunted down by a mob and brutally murdered, with NATO warplanes playing a major role. His body was desecrated and put on public display before being buried in an unmarked grave in the Libyan Desert. Immediately after his death, NATO ended its bombing. Hillary Clinton, one of the main architects of the disgraceful operation, gloated on television: ‘We came, we saw, he died.’

Today, several terrorist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaida, have established a strong presence in the country and Libya is now a haven for human trafficking. Large quantities of weapons from Qaddafi’s arsenal have found their way to Mali, Niger and the Central African Republic, creating instability and mayhem, and Libyan arms and fighters have also found their way into Syria via Turkey.

Seven years after Qaddafi’s murder, this once-thriving country is fragmented and in a state of chaos. Despite its vast natural resources, its citizens face hunger, poverty and despair. So far no one has been held responsible for these crimes against humanity. It is highly unlikely they ever will be. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

`Ella May Wiggins' biographical labor song lyrics


A biographical protest folk song about the textile worker, union organizer and writer of labor songs and protest folk songs--who was killed during 1929 strike by Textile Workers Union in Gastonia, North Carolina.


Ella May Wiggins
Created union songs
Ella May Wiggins
Killed in Gastonia.

When Ella May was 10 years old
Her family moved from its poor farm
From the Great Smokies to a logging camp
Where she washed clothes in wooden tubs.

At age sixteen, Ella married
A logger named John Wiggins
She had a kid at seventeen
But then the heavy log fell down.

It fell on her husband, the heavy log
So no longer could he walk or find work
But into the mill went Ella May Wiggins
Her family, she now did support. (chorus)

Sixty hours a week, working as a spinner
In-between mothering more kids
Her injured husband, he started to drink
And finally John Wiggins disappeared.

For ten years she slaved inside the textile mills
And from sickness, four kids of hers died
No money for medicine, her wages were too low,
But the Textile Workers Union then arrived.

In Gastonia, North Carolina
Workers struck in 1929
The bosses shot down strikers and Ella May's songs protested
So the mill owners said that Ella May must die. (chorus)

Led by cops and motorcycles
Five hundred vigilantes
Attacked union members on the street
The union called a meeting to protest all the beatings
To be held on September 14th.

The road to Gastonia was blocked by a mob
Who shot at unarmed workers
Ella May Wiggins' breast was hit with a bullet
And at age 29 she met her death.

Two hundred workers marched behind her coffin
When they buried Ella May in rain
And the "Mill MOther's Lament" a song she did write
Was sung at the site of her grave. (chorus)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 25

Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Democracy Now! Funder Bill Moyers

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 25

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

As Robert Arnove and Nadine Pinede observed in a 2007 article, titled “Revisiting The `Big Three’ Foundations,’ that appeared in the Critical Sociology journal:

“It is still the foundations, with the profits that they have derived from the given social system, that determine what issues merit society’s attention, who will study these issues, which results will be disseminated, and which recommendations will be made to shape public policy. Decisions that should be made by publicly elected officials are relegated to a group of institutions and individuals who cannot conceive of changing in any profound way a system from which they derive their profits and power. The United States class system and its worldwide hegemonic power remains…still largely intact…”

And as Inside Philanthropy media site editor David Callahan noted in his book The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy In A New Gilded Age in 2017:

“Leaving a foundation to your kids actually gives them more influence in society than passing down the wealth directly…We’re seeing a marked expansion of the kind of sophisticated elite power that so many Americans find unnerving…We’re talking about elites who are born into that power and come to exercise it at considerable expense to U.S. taxpayers, who help foot the bill when the family foundations are created…Most Americans are unaware of the huge power that heirs are coming to wield through philanthropy…

“Giving by the wealthy is amplifying their voice at the expense of ordinary citizens, complementing other tools of upper-class dominance…In a democracy, all powerful institutions that affect our lives need vigilant oversight. Philanthropy is no exception. Right now, it’s one of the last major sectors of U.S. society that gets to basically do as it pleases, answering to no one…Americans are getting nervous about how the wealthy are using philanthropy as a tool of influence in an age of inequality…Most people are in fact clueless about just how much influence philanthropy really does wield in U.S. society…”

Yet in 2013, the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm accepted a $750,000 [equal to over $811,000 in 2018] grant from Bill Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation, according to the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s Form 990 financial filing for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2013 and ending Dec. 31, 2013.

The same 2013 Form 990 financial filing also indicated that Moyers’ previously Montclair, New Jersey-based Schumann Media Center, Inc. (which used to operate first under the name “Schumann Foundation” and, subsequently, under the name of “Schumann Center for Media and Democracy” prior to 2011) now had its principal tax-exempt foundation office located in Suite 715 at 250 West 57th Street in Manhattan. And, coincidentally, the office of Democracy Now! Funder and long-time Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy/Schumann Media Center, Inc. President Bill Moyers’s Public Affairs Television, Inc. firm was also located at 250 West 57th Street in Suite 718--on the same floor as the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s principal office.

According to the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s bylaws that were amended and restated on Nov. 11, 2013, its “Board of Trustees shall authorize and approve all expenditures of money” and its “President” (former CBS and long-time PBS show host/journalist and Public Affairs Television, Inc. Executive Bill Moyers) “shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and shall in general supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the Corporation.”

Bill Moyers and  his 1970s PBS show managing editor Charlie Rose in 2006 

Yet as Michael Getler wrote in a July 20, 2009 article, titled "Journalistic Foundations,” that was posted on the internet:

“…Is it not inconsistent with the role of `journalist’ to be the head of a foundation that funds a wide-range of organizations, many of which are linked to public policy positions?...Working journalists usually don't also run foundations that provide financial support to other organizations that, in turn, sometimes provide guests for your own program, or other programs or projects and issues you care about…Is there any other high-profile, or low-profile for that matter, working journalist who is involved in this kind of arrangement?...”

According to Article XIII, Section 13.2, titled “Lobbying and Political Action, of its Nov. 11, 2013 “Amended and Restated” bylaws, “No substantial part of the activities of the” Schumann Media Center, Inc. “Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene (including the publishing or distribution of statements) in any political campaign on behalf (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;” and, according to section 13.1, titled “Exempt Activities,” of the same Article XIII, “No trustee, officer, employee or representative of this Corporation shall take any action or carry on any activity by or on behalf of the Corporation which is not permitted to be taken or carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax…”

Yet besides giving the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm a $750,000 “charitable grant” between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013, Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. also gave a “charitable grant” of $301,139 [equal to over $325,000 in 2018] to the parallel left “Institute for Public Affairs”/In These Times magazine media firm, a “charitable grant” of $295,000 [equal to over $319,000 in 2018) to the parallel left Nation Institute/The Nation magazine media firm, a “charitable grant” of $93,250 [equal to over $100,000 in 2018] to the parallel left Foundation for National Progress/Mother Jones magazine media firm and a “charitable grant” of $250,000 [equal to over $270,000 in 2018] to help fund the parallel left Common Dreams website, during this same period. In addition, between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013 another “future” $103,125 grant to Foundation for National Progress/Mother Jones magazine was also authorized in a vote by the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s Board of Trustees.

And, like in previous years, the “charitable grant” money that Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation used in 2013 to help fund politically partisan parallel left media outlets like the Democracy Now! show, In These Times magazine, Mother Jones magazine, The Nation magazine/Nation Institute and Common Dreams was apparently derived from owning stock and investing in corporations that exploit workers and consumers at home and abroad. As Section 12.1 of Article XII, titled “Reinvestment” of the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s “Amended and Restated” bylaws of Nov. 11, 2013 noted:

The Corporation shall have the right to retain all or any part of any securities…acquired by it in whatever manner, and to invest and reinvest any funds held by it…without being restricted to the class of investments…”

In 2013, for example, the market value of the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s investment in the American Growth Funds exceeded $21 million; and in 2014 the portfolio of the American Growth Funds included ownership of corporate stock in corporations like the following: Amazon, Comcast; Goldman Sachs; CBS; Microsoft; Philip Morris; Berkshire Hathaway; Halliburton; Facebook Inc.’ DowDuPont; JP Morgan; Nike; AIG; Starbuck’s; Apple; Wells Fargo; Coca Cola; Sony; Chevron; General Dynamics; Lockheed; Time Warner; Citigroup; Raytheon; Uber; United Technologies; and Royal Dutch Shell. And according to the U.S. website, as of Sept. 10, 2018, the American Growth Funds had “ assets totaling almost $194.79 billion;” and “its portfolio” consisted “primarily of U.S. stocks, which make up more than 80 percent of the portfolio…with Amazon, Gilead Sciences and Comcast rounding out the top three holdings.”

Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Schumann Media Center Prez Moyers With LBJ

 Long-time Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation president Moyers used to be Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Special Assistant and White House press secretary during the Vietnam War Era of the 1960s. So, not surprisingly, between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016 Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc., besides giving an additional $250,000 “charitable grant” to Democracy Now! Productions, also, according to its 2016 Form 990 financial filing, gave a $100,000 “charitable grant” to the Texas-based Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation—whose board of trustees includes, coincidentally, Luci Baines Johnson, the founder and limited Partner of LBJ Family Wealth Advisers.

(end of part 25 )

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 24

Bill Moyers and  his 1970s PBS show managing editor Charlie Rose in 2006 

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 24 

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

Although parallel left media firms like Democracy Now! do not generally directly fund their operations by selling advertising time to corporations for the broadcasting of commercials as do corporate media firms like CBS, the U.S. power elite foundations and liberal establishment foundations that fund parallel left media groups like Democracy Now! Productions obtain the grant money they distribute by obtaining, buying and selling stock of the corporations that exploit working class people and middle-class consumers around the globe and receiving dividends from the profits of these same corporations. As Aquarian Weekly observed in its Feb. 12, 1997 issue, during the 1980s Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers’ Schumann Foundation, for example, “invested in the Philip Morris tobacco company.” And in the same issue, Aquarian Weekly also noted:

“On Dec. 31, 1983, the Schumann Foundation’s portfolio contained $34 million [equal to over $86 million in 2018] in corporate stock, including $1 million [equal to over $2.5 million in 2018] in Philip Morris stock. Other companies in which the Schumann Foundation invested in 1983 were IBM ($14.6 million), GE ($1.7 million), Nabisco ($1.2 million), Standard Oil of Indiana ($1 million), Exxon ($882,000), Johnson & Johnson ($817,000), and Atlantic Richfield ($756,000). 
Democracy Now! Funder-Schumann Foundation President Moyers

And according to its Form 990 financial filings from the late 1990s, only a few years before Democracy Now! received its first grant money from Moyers’ Schumann Center for Media and Democracy/Schumann Foundation, the Schumann Foundation was still investing in environmentally destructive energy corporations like British Petroleum (2,000 shares of stock), Columbia Gas Systems (5,000 shares of stock), Conoco, Inc. (4,200 shares of stock), Pioneer Natural Resource Company (10,200 shares of stock), Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (10,000 shares of stock) and Shell Transportation and Trading Company (10,000 shares of stock), as well as in automobile corporations like Ford Motor Company (12,500 shares of stock).

Democracy Now! Funder Moyers With LBJ in White HOuse
When Democracy Now! Productions! was given a grant of $300,000 [equal to over $350,000 in 2018] by the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy in 2009, Bill Moyers’ foundation was still obtaining its grant money by either obtaining dividends from the corporations it owned stock in or selling some of the corporate stock of corporations it had been given or purchased in previous years. For example, in 2009 the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy earned $988,640 [equal to over $1.1 million in 2018] in “dividends and interests from securities” it owned; and, during that same year, it obtained $11,401,043 [equal to over $13.3 million in 2018] from the sale of a portion of shares of stocks it had owned in corporations (like Dell, Bank America, Wells Fargo, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Sara Lee, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Time Warner, Yahoo, Delta, Borg Warner, Best Buy, Gannett and Microsoft, etc.) at the beginning of the year, according to the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2009.

The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy 2009 Form 990 financial filing also indicates that the market value of the foundation’s corporate stock investments at the beginning of the year, of $29,775,884, increased by over $2 million, to $31,928,576 by the end of the year of 2009. And, according to the same 2009 Form 990 financial filing, during the same year that the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm accepted its $300,000 grant from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, this foundation continued to own:

1. 1,150 shares of Google stock--worth $712,977;

2. 11,000 shares of Pepsico stock—worth $668,800;

3. 3,700 shares of Goldman Sachs stock—worth $624,708;

4. 11,700 shares of Target stock—worth $565,929;

5. 7,200 shares of Royal Dutch Shell A stock—worth $432,792;

6. 9,628 shares of JP Morgan stock—worth $401,199;

7. 10,080 shares of Merck stock—worth $368,323;

8. 6,000 shares of Wal-Mart stock—worth $320,700;

9. 3,572 shares of Chevron stock—worth $275,008;

10. 4,400 shares of Procter and Gamble stock—worth $266,772;

11. 1,200 shares of Apple stock—worth $252,878;

12. 7,700 shares of Walt Disney-ABC stock—worth $248,325;

13. 8,400 shares of Kraft Foods stock—worth $228,312;

14. 2,500 shares of Monsanto stock—worth $204,375;

15. 2,700 shares of Johnson and Johnson stock—worth $175,907;

16. 11,650 shares of CBS stock—worth $163,683;

17. 1,900 shares of Colgate stock—worth $156,085;

18. 2,700 shares of Coca Cola stock---worth $153,900;

19. 5,300 shares of Home Depot stock—worth $153,329;

20. 1,100 shares of IBM stock—worth $143,990;

21. 4,500 shares of Microsoft stock—worth $137,160;

22. 4,350 shares of Viacom stock—worth $129,326;
23. 2,842 shares of Time Warner Cable stock—worth $117,630;

24. 2,200 shares of Hewlett-Packard stock—worth $113,322;

25. 2,600 shares of Scripps Network stock—worth $107,900;

26. 7,100 shares of General Electric [GE] stock—worth $107,423;

27. 2,900 shares of Honda Motor stock—worth $98,310;

28. 1 share of Berkshire Hathaway stock—worth $99,200;

29. 3,200 shares of United Health stock—worth $97,536;

30. 1,700 shares of United Parcel stock—worth $97,529;

31. 1,380 shares of ExxonMobil stock—worth $94,102;

32. 2,500 shares of Aetna stock—worth $79,750;

33. 1,354 shares of Royal Dutch Shell B stock—worth $78,708;

35. 1,400 shares of Boeing stock—worth $75,782;

36. 2,300 shares of AT and T stock—worth $64,469;

37. 800 shares of United Technologies stock—worth $55,528;

38. 1,700 shares of Unilever stock—worth $54,961;

39. 3,600 shares of Gannett media conglomerate stock—worth $53,460;

40. 1,200 shares of Marathon Oil stock—worth $37,464; and

41. 1,100 shares of Bank NY Mellon stock—worth $30,767.

In addition, the 2009 Form 990 financial filing of the foundation that helps fund Democracy Now! Productions also indicates that its longtime president and trustee, former Johnson White House Special Assistant and Press Secretary Bill Moyers, received a total annual compensation of $65,839 from his Schumann Center for Media and Democracy gig in 2009; and the same corporate tax-exempted and “non-profit” foundation also paid Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Vice-President-Administration Lynn Welhorsky in 2009 a total annual compensation of $186,551 [equal to over $218,000 in 2018], while only just paying $15,239 in “excise taxes.”  (end of part 24)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 23

Ex-Newsday Publisher Bill Moyers with Harry Guggenheim in 1967

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 23 

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

Forty years before the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation gave its first $25,000 [equal to over $33,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! “to fund Special 2004 election coverage for Democracy Now!,”, the FBI apparently spied on civil rights Movement demonstrators at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City and then, ironically, reported back to longtime Schumann Foundation president Bill Moyers—who was then LBJ’s 30-year-old Special Assistant to the President in the White House. According, for example, to an Aug. 29, 1964 memo to FBI Assistant Director John Mohr, which appeared in From The Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover (edited by Arthur Theoharis) from FBI Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach: 

“By means of informant coverage, by use of various confidential techniques,…by infiltration of key groups through use of undercover agents and through utilization of agents using appropriate cover as reporters, we were able to keep the White House fully apprised of all major developments during the Convention’s course…Through our highly confidential coverage of…Martin Luther King…together with similar coverage we established on the headquarters of CORE-SNCC, we were in a position to advise the White House in advance of all plans made by these two sources…I kept…MOYERS constantly advised by telephone of minute by minute developments…”

On Sept. 10, 1964, then-FBI Assistant Director DeLoach also wrote a personal letter to Democracy Now! funder Moyers (a copy of which is in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library) which stated:

“Thank you for your very thoughtful and generous note concerning our operation in Atlantic City. Please be assured that it was a pleasure and privilege to be able to be of assistance…I think everything worked out well, and I’m certainly glad that we were able to come through with vital tidbits from time to time which were of assistance to you…You know you have only to call on us when a similar situation arises…”\

Democracy Now! Funder/Ex-LBJ Special Assistant Moyers with LBJ
And as Aquarian Weekly noted in its Oct. 30, 1996 issue, Moyers apparently also used the FBI in a politically partisan way during the 1964 U.S. presidential campaign, when the Democracy Now! funder was LBJ’s special assistant. According, for example, to Victor Laskey’s It Didn’t Start With Watergate book:

“Another piece of skullduggery in which Moyers was involved occurred two weeks before Election Day. As special assistant to the President he ordered the FBI to run a name check on numerous members of [1964 GOP presidential candidate Barry] Goldwater’s campaign and Senate staffers…What the President was looking for, Moyers told the FBI, was information about `fags’…on the Arizonan’s staff…The FBI, which had no right to do so, did conduct inquiries into the bedroom proclivities of the Goldwater staffers…”

The same book also noted that “according to a staff report of the Senate Intelligence Committee released in 1976, it was none other than Bill Moyers…who `expressly approved’ the circulation within the Executive Branch of a secret FBI report on King.”

But in late January 1967, Democracy Now! funder Moyers finally left his position as Johnson White House Press Secretary and LBJ’s Special Assistant to work as the Publisher-Manager of Guggenheim Dynasty member Harry Guggenheim’s Newsday corporate media newspaper for a few years. The son of the organizer of the `Alaska Syndicate’ that destroyed some of Alaska’s earth, Multi-Millionaire Harry Guggenheim had used a small portion of the Guggenheim Dynasty’s fortune he had inherited to purchase a suburban Long Island newspaper in 1940 for his third wife, Alicia Patterson-Guggenheim, to operate under the name of Newsday.

After his much younger wife died in 1963, however, the then-73-year-old Harry Guggenheim began to play a more active daily editorial role in running Newsday and began to search for a male heir for both his share of the Guggenheim fortune and his newspaper, in the event of his own death; and in 1967 this member of the Guggenheim dynasty decided that Democracy Now! funder Moyers should succeed him as Newsday owner and inherit much of his $50 million [equal to over $374 million in 2018] share of the Guggenheim fortune.

According to David Halberstam’s The Powers That Be book, “Bill Moyers had always, first with Lyndon Johnson, then with Harry Guggenheim, shown an ability to charm older men…” So Moyers was then brought into the Newsday editorial office as publisher to run the newspaper for Harry Guggenheim for a few years.

But Harry Guggenheim, being a Republican, eventually changed his mind about letting the former Democratic Party political operative Moyers be his heir; and, instead, Guggenheim decided in May 1970, less than a year before his death in January 1971, to sell his Newsday newspaper to the Los Angeles, California-based Times-Mirror media conglomerate, that was then owned by the Chandler Dynasty family.

Consequently, Democracy Now! funder Moyers then began working for both the CBS corporate media conglomerate’s news department and the U.S. power elite’s foundation, government and corporate-funded Public Broadcasting Service [PBS], during the 1970s and 1980s.

After leaving CBS in 1986, however, Moyers was mostly then just seen on U.S. television hosting the programs that his U.S. power elite foundation-funded Public Affairs Television Inc. media firm produced for foundation, corporate or U.S. government-funded PBS-affiliated television stations to broadcast; and after 1991 LBJ’s former Vietnam Era White House Special Assistant and  White House Press Secretary also was the president of the Schumann Foundation/Center for Media and Democracy--which some Schumann family members had established with the millions they inherited from an IBM founder and former president of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation.
Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004

In an article, titled “Journalistic Foundations,” that Michael Getler posted on the internet on Jul. 20, 2009, Getler noted that, according to a Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation spokesperson and “Moyers deputy,” Moyers met the Schumann family members in 1986 “when the then president of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, Bill Mullins, read in the New York Times that Moyers was leaving CBS News to start his own independent production company to create programs for public broadcasting.” According to the same Moyers deputy and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy spokesperson:

“Mullins introduced him to the Schumanns who then made a large grant to help launch the operation. Over the next three years Bill made periodic reports in person to the Schumann Board. In 1991…when…Mullins suddenly was stricken with a…cancer that took his life in six months, the family asked Bill to succeed him even while continuing his journalism….It would have been inappropriate for the Foundation he was then running to support his own work on the air. Since assuming the presidency at the Foundation, no Schumann funds have ever been used for Bill's own journalism or for any PAT [Public Affairs Television] programming.”

But in 1998 Public Affairs Television CEO and Democracy Now! funder Moyers was paid a total annual compensation of over $104,000 [equal to over $158,000 in 2018] by the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy for serving as its part-time President; and Democracy Now! funder Moyer’s son, John Moyers, also was being paid a total annual compensation exceeding $100,000 by the Schumann Foundation for being its executive director--at the same time Moyers’ son also utilized Schumann Foundation grant money to fund the parallel left media website project of the Florence Fund of which he also was the executive director. 

So although “no Schumann funds” may “have ever been used for” Moyers’ “own journalism” or to help directly fund his Public Affairs Television media firm since 1991, Schumann funds from longtime Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Moyers’ foundation were used to fund the media project and journalism work of Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ son, John Moyers. According, for example, to Michael Gellert’s 2009 article on journalism foundations:

“…In 2004, according to IRS filings, the Schumann Center sponsored a grant of $2 million to The Florence Fund "to support the project and operating costs. Balance of $1.5 million was rescinded on May 18, 2004." was founded in 1999 by John Moyers, Bill's son, and he left in 2003, before the 2004 Schumann grant. But the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, which was the Center's earlier name, also supported with an earlier $2.5 million grant via The Florence Fund in 2001, according to IRS records.”

As the Moyers deputy and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy spokesperson also noted:

"John Moyers was the program officer at Schumann when it was the Florence and John Schumann Foundation. The two brothers, Ford and Robert Schumann, had a special affinity for John, having met him when he proposed an environmental series for NPR which they funded (that's how he came to work for the Foundation later.) When John Moyers then proposed to them creating a web operation based in Washington as an independent operation, they agreed. Bill…was pleased with their decision. They formed a new entity called the Florence Fund…with John as its publisher and editor. Bill… was very proud when John Moyers…received the Herblock Award for… journalism at an occasion in Washington at which Bill was asked to speak. After five years...John…resigned to return to Vermont where he is…in business. He has twice declined the Schumann brothers' invitation to take over the Schumann Center as Bill's successor because he prefers his life in Vermont.” (end of part 23)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 22

Democracy Now! Funder and Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Press Secretary Moyers with LBJ

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 22

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

In his 1969 book, The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson, a Princeton University Professor of History named Eric Goldman described the historical role that 21st-century Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers played within the White House in the 1960s Vietnam War Era during the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson in the following way:

“…With the confidence and affection of President Johnson…he was in a freewheeling position. He carried on some activities like…determining who was to meet with the President…He also supervised the planning of presidential trips and had a good deal to do with determining not only where President Johnson went but how he projected himself. But the Moyers role was sweeping well beyond. He was…writing a number of important speeches and heavily editing the drafts others prepared.

“Increasingly Moyers sat in on presidential conferences and talked for long hours alone with President Johnson…The President…permitted Bill Moyers to assume increasingly the role of chief of staff…This meant that Moyers delegated many of the tasks within the White House; often spoke in the name of the President to officials from the Vice-President on down and to powerful people outside the government; sometimes okayed or vetoed proposals of varying importance without consulting the Oval Office; had a hand—on occasion, a decisive hand—in making many top-level appointments; and was likely to be called by the President for long talks about developments…”
Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004

But during the period when Democracy Now! funder Moyers was also the Johnson White House Press Secretary, then-New York Times columnist James Reston asserted, in a Jan. 7, 1966 New York Times article, that the Johnson “White House misleads public by not being completely truthful with newsmen,” according to the New York Times Index 1966 book. In addition, Moyers apparently attempted to manage news coverage of the Johnson White House’s actions and manipulate public opinion in the USA as LBJ’s press secretary by planting questions for some corporate media Establishment journalists to ask President Johnson during LBJ’s White House press conferences. According to page 579 of the New York Times Index 1966 book a Jan. 11, 1966 New York Times article reported the following:

“Press Secretary Moyers says press conferences are designed to serve `convenience of President, not convenience of press,’ TV interview; says they are device to let President say what is on his mind; defends `planting’ questions with newsmen beforehand; admits he plants questions…”

Although Moyers officially remained LBJ’s White House Press Secretary until late January 1967, in April 1966 Moyers moved from the White House press office to an office in the West Executive wing of the Johnson White House where (according to an entry, related to an Apr. 3, 1966 New York Times article, on page 573 of New York Times Index 1966), the Democracy Now! funder was “seen influencing Johnson more than anyone else;” and his “ability to understand Johnson and satisfy his wishes,” as LBJ escalated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, was “noted.” The same New York Times Index 1966 entry for Apr. 3, 1966 also noted that Moyers “handles day-to-day decision-making” in the Johnson White House. 

According to the book Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam Papers that David Barrett edited, for example, a file labeled "Meeting Notes File, Box 1," at the LBJ Library in Texas contains a copy of a Feb. 10, 1965 document, titled "Summary Record of NSC Meeting No. 548…Cabinet Room, 2:10 P.M. Re: Vietnam," which includes a reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers and states the following:

“…Secretary McNamara said that Ambassador Taylor, the Joint Chiefs and the Department of Defense recommended a retaliatory strike today at daylight. He explained to the President the targets in North Vietnam which could be hit today…The President stressed the importance of preventing any leaks to newspapers…In response to the President’s questions, Secretary McNamara said about 130 planes would be used in the strike recommended for approval…The President asked whether all those present agreed we should launch a retaliatory strike…The President received affirmative answers when he asked Director McCone, Secretary Dillon, and Director Rowan whether they agreed with the recommended strike plan. MR. MOYERS said he thought the strike should be made to meet domestic public opinion requirements…”

A file labeled "Reference File, Vietnam, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of an Apr. 27, 1965 memo that Bill Moyers wrote to "The President" in which the longtime president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Foundation that funds Democracy Now! stated:

"Goodwin and I have heard reports that the State Department is going to do another White Paper on Vietnam.

“We think this one should be much better—and much more effective—than the last one. We would like to write it (as, in fact other White Papers in the past were prepared in the White House, the one on Cuba, being the most prominent example).

"This paper should not be an effort to `fool' people.  It should be honest, straightforward--strongly buttressed by facts--and designed to appeal to liberals and intellectuals, those people who have the most problem right now with our position in South Vietnam."

Another file labeled "Meeting Notes, File, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of a Sept. 19, 1965 "Memorandum for the record, re: Luncheon Meeting with the President, Ball, McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Raborn, MOYERS and Califano," which includes the following reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers:

“MOYERS said that we had been too defensive in our public handling of the tear gas situation, that we should remind the world that the Viet Cong slit throats and bomb children and that any human being in one of the Vietnam caves would prefer to cry from tear gas rather than be killed by hand grenades…”

Another interesting reference to Moyers is contained in a file labeled "NS File, M. Bundy Files, Memos to President, Box 2," at the LBJ Library.  In a Feb. 2, 1965 memo to "The President," re: "A Deputy or Potential Successor in my office," the now-deceased former National Security Affairs Advisor and Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy wrote:

“Some weeks ago you asked me who should take over if, for any reason, I was no longer on this job, and I told you I had thought some about it.

“The ideal man for this job is BILL MOYERS…”

According to a 1991 book, Film and Propaganda In America: A Documentary History, Volume IV: 1945 and After that Lawrence Suid edited, a file related to John Wayne's pro-war Sixties movie, The Green Berets, at the LBJ Library also contains an interesting April 21, 1966 letter from Bill Moyers to John Wayne, in which Democracy Now! funder Moyers wrote:

“Dear Mr. Wayne:

"…We are grateful for your continuing support of the President's policy to put an end to aggression in Vietnam.

"Best wishes,



"Special Assistant to the President."

And a de-classified transcript of a taped Johnson White House Oval Office conversation between LBJ and Democracy Now! funder and long-time Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Moyers that took place at 9:15 p.m. on M 13, 1965 reveals what Moyers said to LBJ prior to McGeorge Bundy’s appearance at a campus teach-in to argue in defense of the Johnson administration’s escalation of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam:

“I just hate for the President’s representative to be debating with that bunch of…a lot of (them) will be kooks, a lot of them are just misguided zealots. It just sort of demeans our position. I don’t think the White House ever has to debate. I think if—you don’t make decisions by debating. You make your decisions and then history will justify them. You can’t get out and debate in favor of support for them.

“I’m certain Mac [McGeorge Bundy] will control his temper. If he were to lose it once, it would be bad…” (end of part 22)

Friday, September 7, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 21

Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 21

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

Although large numbers of people from the Dominican Republic now live in New York City area from which the parallel left Democracy Now! radio and cable tv show originates, since 2004 Democracy Now! has not provided its listeners with many news segments examining which special U.S. corporate interests benefited most from the Democratic Johnson White House’s decision to order U.S. military troops to occupy the Dominican Republic in 1965 or many weekly updates on the 21st-century political and economic situation within the Dominican Republic.

One reason might be because the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation has given the Democracy Now! media firm over $1.5 million in grants since 2004; and the long-time president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation, Bill Moyers, was one of the Johnson White House officials responsible for the decision to order U.S. troops to invade and occupy the Dominican Republic in late April 1965, in violation of the United Nations Charter.

LBJ's Military Occupation of Dominican Republic Protected G. and W. Investments
But a year before U.S. troops were sent to the Dominican Republic by the Johnson White House in 1965 the U.S.-based Gulf and Western corporation had also begun, coincidentally, to spend $54 million [equal to over $426 million in 2018] to acquire, by 1967, control of the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company that owned 450 square miles or 300,000 acres of Dominican Republic land and a sugar mill in La Romana, Dominican Republic; and the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company was then merged with Gulf and Western Industries.

As a result, Gulf and Western, now controlling 8 percent of all arable land in the Dominican Republic, became that country’s largest landowner and largest private employer between 1967 and 1985; and it produced sugar cane on about 50 percent of the land it now owned. In addition, by the early 1980s the U.S.-based corporation owned and operated the Hotel Santo Domingo and Hispaniola in Santo Domingo and the Casa de Campo Resort Complex in La Romana. According to a June 13, 1984 New York Times article:

“In 1974 and 1975, G.and W. made millions by speculating in sugar in the republic. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which later investigated G. and W., estimated that G. and W. may have made as much as $64.5 million [equal to between $306 million and $340 million in 2018] during those years. In 1979, the S.E.C. sued G. and W. charging that…[then-Gulf and Western Chairman Charles] Bluhdorn had made a secret agreement with high officials of the Dominican Government to speculate in sugar….”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] also accused Gulf and Western in 1975 of illegally failing to pay the Dominican Republic’s government more than $38 million [equal to over $180 million in 2018] in profits generated by its business activities in the Dominican Republic that it was under a legal obligation to pay; and Gulf and Western was compelled by the SEC in 1980 to agree to spend $39 million during the next 7 years funding some kind of development program in the Dominican Republic.

Around 19,000 agricultural workers were exploited by Gulf and Western in the Dominican Republican each year during the cane-cutting season between 1967 and the early 1980s. So, not surprisingly, when the National Council of Churches requested that Gulf and Western fully disclose detailed data on what its agricultural workers in the Dominican Republic were being paid in hourly wages in 1976, Gulf and Western executives refused to disclose this information.

In the early 1980s, however, “rising poverty, unassailable unemployment and inflation running at over 50 percent became the norm” in the Dominican Republic; and following the Balageur government’s imposed “price hike under the IMF-induced austerity measures” on Apr. 23, 1984, street protests “spread out” from Santo Domingo “leaving the nation rocked from three days of civic protest” and with “as many as 112 civilians dead, hundreds more wounded in the streets, and over 4,000 demonstrators imprisoned,” according to the 2000 book Dominican Republic: A Guide To The People, Politics and Culture.

So, also not surprisingly, in 1985 Gulf and Western sold its Dominican assets after 18 years of exploiting the country’s sugar production resources. As the New York Times reported in its June 13, 1984 article, “in a move that would end nearly 20 years of involvement in the Dominican Republic, Gulf and Western Industries said yesterday that it would try to sell its sugar growing operations and holdings there” and “analysts had expected G. and W. to try to rid itself of its troubled sugar operations.”

Yet “registered U.S. private investment in the Dominican Republic” still “stood at approximately $660 million [equal to over $1.2 billion in 2018] in 1990” and “a multitude of North American companies and their subsidiaries” still operated “in the country: Abbott Laboratories, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, Esso, Falconbridge, Ford, IBM, Texaco and Xerox,” according to James Ferguson’s 1992 book The Dominican Republic: Behind The Lighthouse. And  “almost half of all” Dominican “companies” were still “owned by U.S. or Canadian interests” in 2000, according to the 2000 book Dominican Republic: A Guide To The People, Politics and Culture.

Democracy Now! Funder and Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Press Secretary Moyers with LBJ

Democracy Now! funder Moyers also participated in both a May 13, 1965 meeting with the former long-time Ford Foundation president Bundy, then-CIA official Helms and then-Defense Secretary McNamara and a May 14, 1965 meeting with Bundy that discussed U.S. policy decisions related to the Dominican Republic. And at the May 14, 1965 meeting, former Ford Foundation president “Bundy advocated having United States troops clean out the northern section of Santo Domingo,” according to a declassified Johnson White House document.

As payment for his participation as President Lyndon Johnson’s special assistant in the Johnson White House policy decision meetings like the April and May 1965 meetings that discussed the situation in the Dominican Republic, Democracy Now! funder and long-time Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation president Moyers was paid an annual salary in 1965 of $28,500 [equal to over $225,000  in 2018], according to a Jan. 17, 1965 New York Times article. And on Jul. 9, 1965, Moyers was appointed by LBJ to be his acting White House Press Secretary.

Subsequently, Moyers became Johnson’s permanent White House Press Secretary and filled that Johnson White House staff position until Jan. 25, 1967. According to a Dec. 14, 1965 New York Times article, Newsweek magazine later then reported that Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ annual salary from his White House gig as LBJ’s press secretary was to be increased to $30,000 [equal to over $237,000 in 2018] in 1966.

But when the Johnson White House’s National Security Affairs Advisor Bundy announced in December 1965 that he was resigning his White House position as of Feb. 25, 1966 to become the president of the Ford Foundation (which, coincidentally, later also helped fund the Democracy Now! show in the late 1990s and early 21st-century), a Dec. 9, 1965 New York Times article reported that “Johnson will not shift Moyers to Bundy post” because “Johnson wants Moyers free to be troubleshooter,” according to the New York Times Index 1965 book. (end of part 21)