Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hey Mister, Where's That Train Headed?

The Buckeye Express Diner

There is nothing at all new in the observation that money is power.  This is the nature of things.  There was once, however, at least the romantic idea that there were also other sources of power, by which I don't mean Mao's dictum, although that dictum represents the clarity of the extreme, and you can observe it in action in my favorite documentary, "Harlan County, USA," when the pistols come out on both sides of that wet spur track of rails.

Still and all, Ms Maddow had one for the books last night when she reported that university professors in good standing (not Gingriches I mean) are being asked to give up all their emails in response to their resistance to these draconian legal measures being enacted by various states under the sway of Tea Party rule, and that one search word in the email analysis is "Maddow".  This all flows out of some conservative think tank called the Mackinac Foundation*, which according to Maddow is funded by the Koch Brothers, the Walmart family, and the parents of Eric Prince amongst others.  She couldn't get any sort of response out of either the Foundation or the various funding parties, beyond "no comment."

I don't want to try to get into the details of Ms Maddow's investigation--but it's worth watching and understanding.  It would seem that money these days is in the process of consolidating its already extensive power, which may well be a kind of "natural" consequence of money, just as business begins as a multitude of small shops offering a variety of products to the public, but seems to trend to a monopoly, a monolith making all the various products and simply stamping different names on them to keep it more colorful and interesting.  E.g., I used to have a yellow DeWalt 4" Angle Grinder, and before that a black Black & Decker 4" Angle Grinder, and after that the one I have now, a green Makita 4" Angle Grinder (which has lasted longer than the other two, but cost a bit more).  But whether these three products were made by different manufacturers I couldn't really say, and actually kinda doubt.  Or to ask another question, what happened to the Packard and the DeSoto and the Plymouth?

It is possibly a matter of little consequence that we can no longer find us a good Packard.  But if it's not possible to find a viable political candidate who isn't funded by corporate money (and thus who's politics are approved by the corporate view), that's a different matter, isn't it?  The Michigan Tea Party Governor has actually passed a law which allows him to remove from elected office officials of a town which in his judgment is in economic straits.  State employees who question this can have their emails studied by the powers that be for thought crimes, signs of conspiracy, mentions of Marx or Maddow.  This is the developing story in the United States right now.  There's a paternalistic feeling in the air.  Governor Walker of Wisconsin isn't going to put up with "it", and if the smart-aleck kids down at the end of the table don't shut up and eat their English peas, they will not get any cobbler.

There was a nice historical ring to it, last night, when Maddow interviewed the Wisconsin Secretary of State, a Democrat named LaFollette.  But she might have been talking to a relic, an appendix, a vestigal tail.  Savor her shows.  If she makes it on the air to the end of this year, things are better than they look right now.   As it is, I would not make book on Ms Maddow investigating GE with regard to their interesting tax-paying record.

*Update: Mackinac Foundation can of course be googled with good results.  Check out the following URL:

Note the people and corporations who fund the foundation.  Note the spiffy little essay contests they sponsor.  Note the spiffy salaries of their top people.  Do just a little reading between the lines! Where oh where is Donald Segretti today, I have to wonder.  Was he ever ahead of his time or what?

1 comment:

  1. call me naive. call me stupid. but i can't understand why people who are already so incredibly, amazingly, beyond-any-scope-of-reality rich want only to be richer and richer and richer and richer and richer.