Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

May 6, 2012

Ultra-Right Heartland Institute Compares Belief in Global Warming to Mass Murder

Filed under: Heartland Institute,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 1:20 pm
The ultra conservative Heartland Institute is holding its 7th annual anti-scientific “international conference on climate change” in Chicago on May 21st to the 23rd. (See http://heartland.org/events/seventh-international-conference-climate-change) To draw attention to the conference, the well-funded Heartland started an ad campaign comparing people who believe in global warming to murderers.

(Below is an New York Times article on their ad campaign.)

May 4, 2012 NYTimes

Heartland Pulls Billboard on Global Warming

By RACHEL NUWER
Climate education: Ted Kaczynski, whose homemade bombs killed three people and wounded 23.
Heartland Institute A billboard campaign: Ted Kaczynski, whose homemade
bombs killed 3 people and wounded 23.

Drivers moving along Chicago’s inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday may have been surprised to see Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, staring at them from a massive billboard. “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” the billboard read in large maroon letters. Just below was the Web address www.heartland.org.

Hours later, the digital billboard was gone. It seems that the ad campaign, sponsored by the conservative Heartland Institute, had bombed.

“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment,” the institute said late Friday afternoon said in a statement. “We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate.”

In opening the campaign, Heartland had said that Mr. Kaczynski would not be the only persona gazing down on Chicago’s commuters. Among his brethren would be Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee, the institute said.

The Heartland Institute, a libertarian research center based in Chicago, describes its chief mission as promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Recently, though, the institute has drawn considerably more news media attention for its efforts to advance skepticism about climate change.

The institute chose to feature “some of the world’s most notorious killers” on the billboards “because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the ‘mainstream’ media and liberal politicians say about global warming,” Heartland said at its Web site.

The institute’s site acknowledged that “not all global warming alarmists are murderers and tyrants.”

In announcing that it was suspending the campaign, Heartland said that “this provocative billboard was always intended to be an experiment.”

“And after just 24 hours the results are in: It got people’s attention,” it said.

The billboard was “an attempt to turn the tables on the climate alarmists by using their own tactics but with the opposite message,” it said.

At its Web site, the Heartland Institute is directing readers to a quiz in which they can guess whether various quotations are from Mr. Kaczynski’s notorious Unabomber manifesto or rather from Al Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance.” Full disclosure: this reporter, age 26, scored 33 percent.

The billboard campaign was rolled out in advance of the Heartland Institute’s seventh International Conference on Climate Change, which opens on May 21 in Chicago.

Advertisements

March 3, 2012

Money Pours Into Coffers of Heartland Institute, The Propaganda Arm of the Right Wing

Filed under: Heartland Institute — millerlf @ 2:46 pm

Right Wing Heartland Institute Moves to Exclusive New Offices

One South Wacker #2740

Chicago, Illinois 60606

See map: Google Maps

After 15 years in offices on South LaSalle Street, Heartland Institute recently moved to an exclusive larger new office on the 27th floor of One South Wacker across the street from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

As an elected school board member in Milwaukee, each month, I receive a stack of polished newspapers from this Chicago-based right-wing ”think tank” called the Heartland Institute. Under the banner of “free market” solutions to education, healthcare, taxes, the environment, telecommunication regulation and budgetary issues the Heartland Institute is a highly funded propaganda publishing house advancing the arguments of the most reactionary elements of corporate America. They are connected to Tea Party activism and see themselves as a “…clearinghouse for the work of 350 other think tanks and advocacy groups.”

Heartland publishes 5 slick monthly newspapers. They are:

  • Budget & Tax News
  • Environment & Climate News
  • Health Care News
  • Infotech & Telecom News
  • School Reform News

Their claimed audiences are the nation’s 16,700 national, state and local government officials. They wish to affect policy at every level of government in the U.S.

In their most recent expenditure statement they reported spending over $28,132,000 since 1998 receiving funding from right wing foundations including the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, Manhattan Institute along with corporations and individual. The Koch brothers are supporters.

This dangerous “think tank” represents an ideological movement whose goal is for corporate America to have a free hand to do anything they wish for profit and without regulation. They are working for complete privatization of the public sector and either elimination or privatization of the public’s safety net at the federal, state and local level.

They are key propagandists to the present right wing movement in the U.S, supporting any demand that increases corporate profits and weakens the peoples’ movements and democratic rights. In education vouchers are at the center of their reform demands. Their healthcare goal is to cut and privatize Medicare and Medicaid, giving the insurance industry free reign over the market. They fuel the movements at the state government level with “data” and arguments against unions, for cutting education and any safety net spending, including healthcare for the poor and elderly,  while supporting enormous tax breaks to businesses.

Their propaganda on the environment is clearly exposed in the April issue of their Environment and Climate News. Articles include:

  • Arguing that Japan’s “nuclear crisis” is more a media-contrived crisis than a real one. Explosions at a nuclear power facility damaged by the mid-March earthquake and tsunami did not expose civilians to dangerous levels of radiation. The science director for the Heartland Institute said of nuclear meltdown in Japan, “It is likely that at least one of the Fukishima reactors will totally melt down, but the danger to human health will remain slight.”
  • Celebrating a new study from the United Kingdom casting doubt on the claimed environmental benefits of reusable shopping bags.
  • Encouraging the U.S. House to keep the U.S. economy free of EPA-mandated carbon dioxide restrictions.
  • Welcoming the New Hampshire House vote by an overwhelming margin to end the state’s cap-and-trade program. The 246-104 vote approved a halt to the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The bill now moves to the New Hampshire Senate.
  • Defending fracking, drilling and advancing unlimited nuclear energy.
  • Ridiculing San Francisco’s rebate program to induce installation of low-flow toilets.

They are completely opposed to renewable energy sources publishing studies that say they “kill jobs.” They deny global warming even claiming that “rising CO2 benefits plant life.” One of their tactical goals is to eliminate the EPA and base environmental controls at the state level. This would allow Governors to decimate environmental protections.

Ultra Right Wing Heartland Institute Under Scrutiny in Wisconsin

Filed under: Heartland Institute — millerlf @ 2:19 pm

Leaked Document Details “Operation Angry Badger”

Institute cries foul, says some memos may be faked

By Bill Glauber of the Journal Sentinel Feb. 16, 2012
A Chicago-based free-market think tank has prepared a strategy to sway the recall debate in Wisconsin, including detailing “the shortcomings of public schools,” according to leaked documents that appeared this week on the Internet.
“Operation Angry Badger” purportedly describes a Heartland Institute proposal that would cost about $612,000 and focus on promoting Wisconsin Act 10, which curtailed collective bargaining for most public-sector workers.
“The recall elections of 2012 amount to a referenda on collective bargaining reform at the state level, making them of national interest,” the document says. “Successful recalls would be a major setback to the national effort to rein in public sector compensation and union power.”
The information from the organization’s purported 2012 fundraising plan appeared with other documents on the DeSmogBlog and ThinkProgress websites.
In a statement Wednesday, the Heartland Institute said, “Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.”
The authenticity of the documents had not been confirmed, the organization said, but Heartland declared a two-page document on climate change to be a forgery. The organization also asked for “all activists, bloggers and other journalists” to take down the documents and publish retractions.
Thursday, Jim Lakely, a Heartland Institute spokesman, wrote in an email to the Journal Sentinel: “Our standing policy is to not discuss confidential documents. We are also in the process of taking legal action against the individuals who stole documents, possibly altered them, forged a memo, posted these documents online, and who commented on them without acknowledging that they were stolen or forged. Our previous statement is all we have to say about the matter at present.”
According to its website, the Heartland Institute aims “to discover, develop and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.” The organization backs “parental choice in education.”
According to tax filings from 2001 to 2010, the Heartland Institute received $905,000 in funding from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation.
Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive of the Bradley Foundation said: “It’s the first time we at Bradley have seen or heard about it (Angry Badger). We have not been approached to fund this Angry Badger project and haven’t been told about it by Heartland.”
Grebe added that “over the years we have provided some funding to Heartland. I think last year we gave them some money for some climate-change work. We have a proposal pending from them now in the health care area.”
The document that has circulated on the Internet described five potential projects the Heartland Institute considered for Wisconsin:
“Recruit and promote superintendents who support Act 10.”
“Explain the benefits of Act 10.”
“Document the shortcomings of public schools in Wisconsin.”
“Expose teacher pay in key districts.”
“Create blogs that shadow small town newspaper coverage of the controversy.”
Maureen Martin, a Heartland senior fellow for legal affairs, will be the project’s chief researcher and writer, the document says. Martin, a resident of Green Lake, declined to comment when reached Thursday.
John Johnson, a spokesman for the Department of Public Instruction, said what was contained in the document was “just breathtaking.”
“This year and next year school districts are dealing with the biggest budget cuts ever,” he said. “Instead of supporting 860,000 kids who go to public schools in Wisconsin, people organize money to discredit the schools. It’s pretty sad.”
“When did we lose our clean state?” said Miles Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.
“I wish our local political situation could be left to our local state people,” he added. “I wish Wisconsin was not being such a heavy target of national groups of both sides.”

February 1, 2012

Why is Booker T. Washington’s Philosophy Being Resurrected?

Filed under: Civil Rights Movement Today,Heartland Institute,Racism — millerlf @ 10:01 am

Larry Miller

Booker T. Washington: The Debate Continues

I recently heard a lecture in Milwaukee in which the speaker stated “Booker T. Washington was right.” While suggesting valuable proposals for economic development for Milwaukee’s devastated communities, the speaker went on to say he had been a disciple of Cornell West and W.E.B. Du Bois, but converted.

The comment about Booker T. Washington caused concern. So I went back to look at the philosophy and work of Booker T. Washington and the controversies that surrounded him.

Following is some historical analysis and some of my thoughts concerning the work of Booker T. Washington and its meaning today.

Washington entered Hampton Institute in 1872 at the age of 16. In 1881 he took charge of a small school in Tuskegee Alabama and began to put his theories into practice. The school became the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He concentrated first on teaching farming and handicrafts like bricklaying, carpentry and blacksmithing. He played down the importance of history, mathematics and science and emphasized practical skills and the virtues of hard work, patience and perseverance. Later in his career he began to emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship.

Washington organized the National Negro Business League in 1900 and became its first president. W.E.B. Du Bois was also active in the League’s formation. A major component of Washington’s philosophy was the complete playing down of political action. The general idea was that the black community should make no serious demands upon existing political injustices. He thought the black community could get more from the ruling landowners and industrialists by catering to them as opposed to fighting them. Consequently he discouraged all political activity and made no sustained fight against the evils of Jim Crow segregation, disenfranchisement and lynching. In his speeches he only occasionally mentioned these outrages.

Washington had a philosophy that in all things social African Americans “can be a separate as the fingers yet one as the hand with things essential to mutual progress.” He accepted the poll tax and literacy test requirements for voting, insisting only that these measures be applied fairly to both whites and blacks. Washington opposed African-American migration to the North.

The one place he consistently condemned Jim Crow practices was in labor unions while at the same time was a staunch enemy of trade unionism calling it a form of slavery which prevents a man from selling his labor as he pleases.

On September 18, 1895 Washington gave a famous speech at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition where he called upon black people to “…cast down your buckets where you are.” He drew this symbol from the story of a water famished ship crew off the shore of South America who when casting their buckets into the sea came up with fresh water from the Amazon River where they had thought there was only salt water. Consequently black people should make the best of the situation confronting them and by implication not seek relief through migration or political demands. He called upon the rulers of the South to also cast down their buckets into the rich labor source offered by the black masses instead of wasting their effort to attract white immigrants from Europe. In return Washington pledged black people would prove to be loyal workers.

W.E.B. Bois later characterized Washington speech as the “Atlanta Compromise.” He described the speech calling on African Americans to “…survive through submission,” asking black people to give up “…political power, insistence on civil rights and higher education.”

Washington was offering the southern white landowners and industrialists of the North and South an obedient people as a work force for maximum exploitation and cheap labor . Without unions, without political organization and without allies they would be helpless in the grips of an exploitive system.

All of this was done at a time in history when Jim Crow laws were being written into the laws of the South, lynching was at its high point and the black community was under constant attack.

Washington’s Atlanta speech was hailed by industrialist spokesmen in the North and the South as the way of the future. Washington’s popularity among the white upper classes, following his Atlanta speech, was remarkable. He was received and lionized everywhere in wealthy circles. He became the personal friend and close associate of many multimillionaires including such figures as H.K. Rogers of Standard Oil, William H. Baldwin Jr., VP of Southern Railway, Collis P. Huntington, builder of Newport News and railway magnet. He was the guest of Andrew Carnegie at his castle. He dined at the White House with Theodore Roosevelt and became the arbiter of all federal appointments relating to African Americans. Donations poured into Tuskegee from wealthy sources. Carnegie gave $600,000.

Washington received honorary degrees from Harvard in 1896 and Dartmouth in 1901. He went abroad being made much of by Queen Victoria of England and a long list of royalty.

The historian Saunders Redding characterizes Booker T. Washington’s role as “…white America had raised this man up because he espoused a policy which was intended to keep black people docile and dumb in regard to civil, social and political rights and privileges.”

Washington’s program of creating a body of trained and obedient workers dovetailed fully with the interest of the big landowners and industrial exploiters of the time who were also segregationists. The wealthiest and most powerful white Americans picked Booker T. Washington as the leader of black people.

From the time of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta speech in 1895 there was a sharp rising opposition to his program. This was a time of growing struggle against the burning plagues of lynching, white riots, disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow laws.

Organizations like the National Association of Colored Men, the American Negro Academy, the National Association of Colored Women and the African-American Council, organized in 1899, demanded an end to lynching and the enforcement of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. The anti-Booker T. Washington movement became concrete with the formation of the Boston Guardian, an African-American journal founded in 1901 and edited by Monroe Trotter and George Forbes. Soon after its founding the journal was endorsed by W.E.B. Du Bois and many other leaders from around the country.

Du Bois – along with Trotter, Baker and George Forbes –led the formation of the Niagara Movement in Buffalo New York in 1905. It militantly demanded the right to vote, full education, court justice, service on juries, equal treatment in the Armed Forces, health facilities, abolition of Jim Crow and the enforcement of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. They protested against the un-Christian attitude of the churches towards African Americans and condemned the policies of the employers and trade unions excluding black people from industries and unions. The Niagara Movement selected Du Bois as its general secretary. The Niagara Movement laid the groundwork for the formation of the NAACP in 1909.

This formation marked a turning point in the history of civil rights. It stood firmly against the stifling conciliation of Booker T. Washington and was the beginning of a more militant approach. The historian Harry Haywood said “The banner of revolt was unfurled, and the modern black liberation movement was born.”

Booker T. Washington died in November of 1915 at the age of 60. Saunders Redding sums up Washington’s role saying: “after all, Washington was the white South’s man. The white South had made him, raised him up as a savior of its conscience, and when he died the South wept…”Du Bois wrote, “we must lay on the soul of this man a heavy responsibility for the consummation of black disenfranchisement, the decline of the black college, public school and the firmer establishment of color caste in this land.”

Resurrection

I recently read Booker T. Washington: a Re-Examination compiled by Lee H. Walker, which is the result of a symposium held at Northwestern University in 2006 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Booker T. Washington. The theme of this conference was to re-embrace the agenda of Booker T. Washington, described as “quality education, self-reliance, character, and entrepreneurship.” The conference called for a new agenda to advance to the black community.

While Washington called forthrift and patience,” his “quality education” was a call for industrial education. The civil rights movement at the time consistently criticized Washington for depreciating the importance of college education. In reality Washington called for African-Americans in the South to get a skill for themselves and not seek equality on every level.

Booker T. Washington: a Re-Examination is published by the Heartland Institute.

Who is the Heartland Institute?

As an elected school member in Milwaukee, each month, I receive a stack of polished newspapers from a Chicago-based right-wing “think tank” called the Heartland Institute. They further the right-wing agenda at all government levels.

Under the banner of “free market” solutions to education, healthcare, taxes, the environment, telecommunication regulation and budgetary issues the Heartland Institute is a highly funded propaganda publishing house advancing the arguments of the most right-wing elements of corporate America. They are supporters of the Tea Party movement and see themselves as a “…clearinghouse for the work of 350 other think tanks and advocacy groups.” The Koch brothers help fund the Heartland Institute.

Heartland publishes 5 slick monthly newspapers supporting any demand that increases corporate profits and weakens the peoples’ movements and democratic rights. In education, vouchers are at the center of their reform demands. Their healthcare goal is to cut and privatize Medicare and Medicaid. They cheer the movement to limit voting rights. They persist that global warming is a farce.

Why does the right wing support and fund a rebirth of the legacy of Booker T. Washington?

Thrift, patience, and self-reliance are all admirable traits for individuals and communities. Du Bois and other leaders of the time never denied the need for individual discipline, independent entrepreneurial pursuit or land acquisition. But they went far beyond, demanding full equality and democratic rights.

Those resurrecting Washington describe his work outside of its historical context and his role as an appeaser to racism, segregation and exploitation.

Appeasement to racism, segregation and exploitation today is as destructive as it was in Washington’s time.

April 12, 2011

Beware of the Heartland Institute: Brought to you in part by the Koch Brothers

Filed under: Heartland Institute,Koch Brothers,Tea Party — millerlf @ 12:10 pm

As an elected school member in Milwaukee, each month, I receive a stack of polished newspapers from a Chicago-based right-wing ”think tank” called the Heartland Institute. Under the banner of “free market” solutions to education, healthcare, taxes, the environment, telecommunication regulation and budgetary issues the Heartland Institute is a highly funded propaganda publishing house advancing the arguments of the most reactionary elements of corporate America. They are connected to Tea Party activism and see themselves as a “…clearinghouse for the work of 350 other think tanks and advocacy groups.”

 

Heartland publishes 5 slick monthly newspapers. They are:

  • Budget & Tax News
  • Environment & Climate News
  • Health Care News
  • Infotech & Telecom News
  • School Reform News

 

Their claimed audiences are the nation’s 16,700 national, state and local government officials. They wish to affect policy at every level of government in the U.S.

In their most recent expenditure statement they reported spending over $28,132,000 since 1998 receiving funding from right wing foundations including the Heritage Foundation , Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, Manhattan Institute along with corporations and individual. The Koch brothers are supporters.

This dangerous “think tank” represents an ideological movement whose goal is for corporate America to have a free hand to do anything they wish for profit and without regulation. They are working for complete privatization of the public sector and either elimination or privatization of the public’s safety net at the federal, state and local level.

They are key propagandists to the present right wing movement in the U.S, supporting any demand that increases corporate profits and weakens the peoples’ movements and democratic rights. In education vouchers are at the center of their reform demands. Their healthcare goal is to cut and privatize Medicare and Medicaid, giving the insurance industry free reign over the market. They fuel the movements at the state government level with “data” and arguments against unions, for cutting education and any safety net spending, including healthcare for the poor and elderly,  while supporting enormous tax breaks to businesses.

Their propaganda on the environment is clearly exposed in the April issue of their Environment and Climate News. Articles include:

  • Arguing that Japan’s “nuclear crisis” is more a media-contrived crisis than a real one. Explosions at a nuclear power facility damaged by the mid-March earthquake and tsunami did not expose civilians to dangerous levels of radiation. The science director for the Heartland Institute said of nuclear meltdown in Japan, “It is likely that at least one of the Fukishima reactors will totally melt down, but the danger to human health will remain slight.”
  • Celebrating a new study from the United Kingdom casting doubt on the claimed environmental benefits of reusable shopping bags.
  • Encouraging the U.S. House to keep the U.S. economy free of EPA-mandated carbon dioxide restrictions.
  • Welcoming the New Hampshire House vote by an overwhelming margin to end the state’s cap-and-trade program. The 246-104 vote approved a halt to the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The bill now moves to the New Hampshire Senate.
  • Defending fracking, drilling and advancing unlimited nuclear energy.
  • Ridiculing San Francisco’s rebate program to induce installation of low-flow toilets.

They are completely opposed to renewable energy sources publishing studies that say they “kill jobs.” They deny global warming even claiming that “rising CO2 benefits plant life.” One of their tactical goals is to eliminate the EPA and base environmental controls at the state level. This would allow Governors to decimate environmental protections. An example is Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker proposal to cut state funding for recycling.

The Heartland Institute is based in Chicago. Their address is:

The Heartland Institute
19 South LaSalle Street #903
Chicago, IL 60603

To view Heartland’s website and publications go to:

http://www.heartland.org/about/

To view their most recent annual report go to:

2010Prospectus

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