Posts tagged “Cathedral Profiles

Profiles of Cathedral Clerics 3

Lurking behind many progressive causes is the hand of a wealthy white person holding a sweaty wad of cash redolent of that malodorous mixture of sanctimony and guilt. Despite the rhetoric of many local progressive programs, the sweaty wad of cash does not go directly to the wretched of the earth for whom the money is ostensibly intended. In transit, the money falls into the hands of college students and upper-middle class Neopuritans who have discovered it’s easy to cash in, financially and socially, if they likewise roll themselves in the steaming pile of guilt and sanctimony like so many mongrel bitches. The rolling commences every time someone files a 501(c)3 or a 990pf, sallying forth into the world beneath the banner of phrases like “urban renewal” or “solidarity alliance” or “gender-queer empowerment.” Thus the sickness of entitlement democracy spreads, normalizes, and further entrenches itself in the West.

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Today’s sweaty wad of cash comes from Adelaide Gomer, president of the Park Foundation and daughter of late media mogul, Roy H Park. To her credit, Adelaide lives in downtown Detroit and commutes . . . oh, wait. My apologies, I misread something. Let me start over. Adelaide lives in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University and a lot of SWPLs. According to this campaign contribution form, she resides at 422 Cayuga Heights Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. Her neighbor’s house, at 502 Cayuga Heights Rd., recently sold for $506,000, which, in Central New York, is at the upper limit of housing prices. (I can smell the white guilt from here.)

But that’s all pittance compared to the Park Foundation itself, which boasts over $300 million in assets and dispenses around $20 million a year to Adelaide-approved causes.

You can look over the causes yourself. They’re not all bad, on the surface. I mean, at least ten percent of them aren’t. (Most speak for themselves, e.g. the $15k “Park Award for Photo Activism.”) But take this one: Project Look Sharp, housed at Ithaca College. (Oh, did I mention that Adelaide sits on the board of trustees at Ithaca College? No? Well, in fact, Adelaide sits on the board of trustees at Ithaca College. You’ll notice that Ithaca College gets a lot of money from the Park Foundation.) But that’s neither here nor there. Project Look Sharp received $163,000 from the Park Foundation last year. According to its webpage, “Project Look Sharp is a media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels.”

Well, I’m all for teaching media literacy in the schools. It’s a high-tech world, and things like building webpages with CSS are just basic for success. I’m glad to see the Park Foundation giving money to programs that bring technological know-how into classrooms and . . . oh, wait. My apologies, I misread something. Let’s look at the lesson plans that Project Look Sharp has actually put together:

ProjectLookSharpBy “media literacy,” Project Look Sharp means teaching kids how to deconstruct things in order to find patriarchy and racism at work. For example, in addition to lessons entitled “The Magic of Stereotypes” and “War Crimes at Abu Ghraib,” the Media Construction of the Middle East curriculum delivers the following:

This kit covers stereotyping of Arab people, the Arab/Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq and militant Muslim movements. Students will learn core information and vocabulary about the historical and contemporary Middle East issues that challenge stereotypical, simplistic and uninformed thinking, and political and ethical issues involving the role of media in constructing knowledge, evaluating historical truths, and objectivity and subjectivity in journalism.

And the Media Construction of Social Justice curriculum delivers even more goodies:

This kit explores how people in the United States have perceived social justice movements over the past 180 years and how the U.S. media have constructed that public perception. The subject areas covered include U.S. history, African-American studies, criminal justice studies, immigrant studies, labor studies, Latino studies, LGBT studies, media studies, peace studies, sociology, and women’s studies, among many others.

We can thank Adelaide Gomer for contributing enough money to keep the Project Look Sharp curricula free and online for at least another year or two.

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The Park Foundation has given well over $10 million in scholarships for Ithaca College students majoring in film, journalism, or related disciplines—oh, wait. I meant, related “disciplines.” Some of the future progressives whose indoctrinations have been funded by Adelaide include the following:

Keith Bress, who is really into “changing the conversation about mental health issues and de-stigmatizing [drooling from one’s mouth].”

Kacey Deamer, who edits this leftist rag at Ithaca College.

Maya Cueva, a white girl who probably marks “Hispanic” on her applications and who enjoys “working with Created Equal, an LGBTQA activist organization on campus that emphasizes coalition building and collaboration with students from a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and identities to try to critically and productively understand multiple perspectives.” Bet you can’t say that ten times fast.

So on and so forth.

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Since 2000, Adelaide has gifted $500,000—that’s half a million dollars—to various left-wing politicians and organizations.

She gave $10k to Priorities USA, a non-profit whose goal is to “draw clear contrasts between progressive policies and those of the far right.  We are committed to the reelection of President Obama and setting the record straight when there are misleading attacks against him and other progressive leaders.”

She gave $3k to the campaign of lefty representative Elizabeth Esty from Connecticut, which is, according to my map, not in New York, where Adelaide resides. Like someone else I know, Adelaide enjoys giving money to candidates all over America. Something about New Englanders and their inability to keep noses out of other people’s business . . .

In 2011, she gave ~$10k to ActBlue, a political action committee dedicated to making it easy for progressives to send money online to their favorite progressive candidates.

She gave $5k to the Working Families Party, which, as far as I can tell, is a pseudo-Commie political party with ties to ACORN.

So on and so forth.

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Lately, Adelaide has been deconstructing that patriarchal, heteronormative, ethno-centric idea of “private property” by funding a lot of anti-fracking agitprop. (For my non-American readers, the fracking debate is similar to the oil drilling debate. Yeah, oil drilling may be environmentally risky, but the only way you can stop it is if the government tells private property owners what they can and cannot do on their property. Same thing with fracking.) Over the last several years, the Park Foundation has doled out $3 million to various anti-fracking filmmakers and researchers, all Adelaide-approved of course.

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Adelaide Gomer: the face of Neopuritan guilt washed clean by the blood of giving millions of dollars to progressive causes.

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Profiles of Cathedral Clerics 2

Last week, we did a fun biographical sketch of Glenn A. Britt, Timer Warner Cable CEO, Dartmouth graduate, Obama lackey, and diversity hound. This week, we take another journey into the lifestyles of the Cathedral’s rich and famous.

Meet Charles K. Gifford.

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Charles K. Gifford, son of a wealthy bank executive, graduated with a degree in history from Princeton University in 1964. He is a member of the boards of Bank of America (former chairman) and CBS (former chairman). He also serves on the board of WGBH, Boston’s public broadcasting corporation, and the trustee’s board at Northeastern University.

Over the last 20 years, Charles K. Gifford has given over $200,000 to Democratic politicians. Among his largest donations were gifts of $28,500 to the Obama Victory Fund and $15,200 to the Democratic National Committee. But he’s not all about mega-bucks donations. Our man Gifford spreads his wealth around to the little folk, too. He especially seems to enjoy funding Democrats who live nowhere near his home state of Massachusetts. (Someone’s mommy never taught him to mind his own business.)

For example, Charles K. Gifford has given $5,000 to Michael Bennet, a Democratic senator from Colorado known for wanting to bring more illegal immigrants into America so he can sign them up for Obamacare. Charles K. Gifford has given $2,300 to Kay Hagan, a Senator from North Carolina known for wanting to bring more illegal immigrants into America so she can sign them up for Obamacare. Charles K. Gifford has also given $2,100 to Sherrod Brown, a far-left Ohio Senator known, interestingly enough, for wanting to bring more illegal immigrants into America so he can sign them up for Obamacare. (Brown is also a big fan of forcing every state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.) Charles K. Gifford has also given $10,000 each to the Democratic Parties of Ohio and Wisconsin. In his home state of Massachusetts, Gifford gave lots of money to the late Ted Kennedy.

When he isn’t giving money to left-wing Democrats, Charles K. Gifford enjoys heading the Boston Plan for Excellence, an organization dedicated to training teachers to deal with Boston’s urban NAMs so the manjawed Bryn Mawr grads don’t high-tail it for the suburbs after a semester. As BPE puts it: “[We] recruit highly talented, diverse people who are committed to becoming urban teachers and provide them with a year of intense preparation based in the classroom.” (Loving diversity and being a rich board member go together like wine and cheese!) At a more general level, BPE spends lots of money trying to figure out why Boston’s urban schools suck. To its credit, BPE receives most of its funds from private sources, but in 2010, under Charles K. Gifford, BPE received a $5 million federal grant—I guess the corporate sponsors aren’t seeing results! Under Gifford, BPE has also partnered with the Fund for Teachers, “an organization that normally receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit.” What does the Fund for Teachers do? Read some examples here. Clearly, Gifford knows how to take care of funds and spend money wisely. He is a Bank of America executive, after all.

Charles K. Gifford. Who ever said a degree in history won’t take you places?!


Networks of Influence, or, Profiles of Cathedral Clerics 1

I’m an ambivalent fan of the website Theyrule.net. On one hand, they’ve done a great service by using network theory and network visualizations to chart the many, many connections between powerful corporate players. You’ll be shocked (or not) to discover that very few board members sit on only one board. However, the Marxist bent of the site’s owners keeps it from being as useful as it could be. Techno-capitalist that I am, I only fear corporate power when it builds an evil alliance with other spheres of influence. Theyrule.net does not provide the connections between the corporate world and the worlds of USG, academia, and Hollywood, although such connections are legion.

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If you learn one thing from exploring Theyrule.net, it’s that once someone gets power, he’ll probably figure out how to get more of it. “A million dollars isn’t cool. Know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

Take Glenn A. Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, a major media provider in the United States. Theyrule.net can show us that his corporate interests (and therefore powers) extend beyond Time Warner Cable.

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In fact, it’s even more extensive than that; Theyrule.net’s database is incomplete. According to this biography of Glenn A. Britt, Glenn A. Britt “serves on the board of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and is a member of its Executive Committee. He is also a board member of CableLabs, Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, Xerox Corporation, The Paley Center, Cardinal Health, FIRST Robotics and the Manhattan Theatre Club.”

I’m a capitalist, which means I like competition, and this man seems to represent the worst kind of monopolistic capitalism so common in the early 21st century. Well, I’m still a capitalist. I hold no ill will toward a successful businessman.

Thing is, Glenn A. Britt is not just a successful businessman. His biography once more, please:

In December 2009, Mr. Britt was one of five corporate executives appointed by President Obama to a task force charged with strengthening America’s economic competitiveness through leadership in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The “Educate to Innovate” initiative strives to increase the scale, scope and impact of private-sector and philanthropic support in improving American students’ STEM proficiency.

What does the White House tell us about this “Educate to Innovate” initiative? Surely, it’s a program designed to channel massive amounts of money to ensure that high-IQ, high-achieving students go into science instead of to Wall Street, yes?

Err . . .

In reality, this initiative, of which Glenn A. Britt is a part, is all about spending money on more STEM teachers and on attracting more NAMs into the STEM fields. But on spending money for future scientific advancement? Perish the thought.

President Obama believes that great teaching is a key part of any child’s success, and in the STEM fields, it is critical to creating educational experiences that are project-based, hands-on and build a love of lifelong learning.

That’s why President Obama challenged the nation to recruit and prepare 100,000 new effective teachers over the next decade.

Already, more than 150 foundations, companies, and others have come together to lead 100Kin10, a coalition that will work to help reach part of the President’s goal through private funds and challenge Congress to fund the rest.

. . . President Obama knows that we simply cannot, as a Nation, expect to maintain our run of ingenuity and innovation—we cannot maintain that stream of new and different ideas—if we do not broaden participation in STEM to all Americans, including women and girls and minorities. To that end the Administration has taken steps to bolster the participation of these groups through in the following ways:

I’ll let you read the steps on your own time.

Clearly, our Glenn A. Britt is not merely a corporate master. He is also an Obama lackey, sitting on the “board” of a major White House initiative. Well, what more should we expect from the man who won the Kaitz Foundation Diversity Champion Award? Here’s our man Glenn A. Britt—member of many boards, CEO of Time Warner Cable, Obama shill—on the importance of diversity:

I was at a Time Warner diversity session [recently]. As is typical with these sessions, everyone got very energized and wanted to go back to their different parts of the company and start working on diversity.

Then a woman stood up — a female person of color — and she said, ‘This is great that we’re all energized about diversity, but if you’re really committed to diversity, let’s stop and think for a moment about what that is, because if you’re really committed to it you’re embarking on a very difficult and long journey.’

She went on to say that typically when people talk about diversity, they go back to their departments and say if we hire a few more females or people of color, then we have done what we have to do. But diversity is really a lot more than that.

Diversity is about truly embracing, seeking and welcoming all different kinds of people with all kinds of different opinions and different ways of thinking. It’s about respecting those viewpoints, listening and using them to come up with the best business decisions for the company.

Hmm. No wonder my cable and internet go out all the time. I’ve got Time Warner Cable . . .

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As a node in the Cathedral’s network of power, Glenn A. Britt is just a single node. However, he is a somewhat important node who possesses a relatively higher degree of betweenness centrality than other nodes might. This means, essentially, that he is a point of entry or a point of movement between the Media Cluster and the USG Cluster.

And, to a lesser extent, the Academia Cluster. Summon the bio:

He received a B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College, where he graduated magna cum laude. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. Britt received an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth, where he sponsors the Britt Technology Impact Series.

Theyrule.net provides a limited peek into the network of which Glenn A. Britt is a part. From a neoreactionary perspective, however, we know we must fill in a few more connections to see the full Cathedral Network in operation:

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