Friday, April 7, 2017

Political Fundraising, or "Pimping for Pedophiles?"

Morton C. Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, trained candidates and activists in such matters as:
  1. How to raise needed funds and increase your donor base from the shared knowledge of direct mail experts and fundraising professionals. 
  2. How to set up grant-making foundations and planned giving programs. 
  3. How to draft a campaign plan, organize an effective grassroots coalition online and offline, fund-raise from low- and high-dollar donors, and develop a winning message that is sure to lead you to victory on Election Day.
At the College Republican National Convention in Orlando, Florida, on July 7, 1989 Blackwell gave a fascinating speech (printed in full at the bottom of this page) in which he focused, in his own words, on "sex," two scandals which were then in the news:
  • The scandal involving Congressman "Buz" Lukens, who had just been sentenced to 30 days in jail on misdemeanor charges for having sex with a 16-year-old girl, leaving unresolved whether he also had sex with her when she was 13. He would eventually lose his Congressional seat to future Speaker John Boehner in the 1990 elections.
  • The second scandal then unfolding involved the exposé of a largely homosexual prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C. area. The Washington Times, which broke the story, was said to have in its possession 500 credit card receipts for sexual services rendered, involving Reagan and Bush administration officials--with reports of bugged rooms, two-way mirrors, blackmail and midnight tours of the White House by teams of homosexual prostitutes.
1989 Republicans' Call Boy scandal

Blackwell's speech was sincere, showing his admiration for Lukens' work for Republican values but not for his personal choices, saying:
Buz Lukens
I want to be sure you know, that Buz Lukens played a unique role in the development of the conservative movement. And he was a key player at a critical time in Republican youth politics. My first College Republican National Convention was in 1963, while I was state College Republican chairman of Louisiana. In those days the College Republican and Young Republican national conventions were held together. In 1963 in San Francisco, Goldwater Republicans won control of both organizations. An exciting book could be written about how Buz Lukens became the new Young Republican national chairman. It was a new era.
1954 photo of Bozell with Buckley
Blackwell and Lukens had both apparently been early members of the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF), a 501(c)(3) educational foundation, first created December 18, 1964 by William F. Buckley Jr., L. Brent Bozell (who was married to Buckley's sister, Patricia), and Robert E. Bauman and others, with a three-fold mission:
  1. To consolidate the overall strength of the American conservative movement through unified leadership and action,
  2. To mold public opinion, and
  3. To stimulate and direct responsible political action.
Bauman would be encouraged by Goldwater and Buckley in 1980 to "pull out" of his campaign for re-election after his admission to having "homosexual tendencies" following his arrest for soliciting a 16-year-old boy, which had prompted his being blackmailed by James Edward Regina, a 26-year-old male who attempted to extort $2,000 from the Maryland congressman in exchange for a promise not to tell about their affair.

Walter Brasch wrote in Counterpunch (June 26-28, 2009), an article entitled "Adultery as Family Value? Tarnished Shields":
Republican leaders aren’t the only ones who commit adultery, nor are conservatives or members of the Religious Right, including preachers, solely the ones to have violated the seventh and tenth Commandments. Democrats also have a litany of their own scandals. But, it is the "family values" Republican leaders, who have led the party of right wing moral indignation; it is the Religious Right that has overtaken the party and wears the now-tarnished shield of righteousness to protect itself against anyone who doesn’t share their own views of the world, including moderate and liberal Republicans, and anyone belonging to another political party.
White House Press Scandal of 2005

A February 18, 2005 Houston Chronicle story revealed that Robert R. "Bobby" Eberle had a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University, a master's and a doctorate degree in engineering from Rice, and that he had once worked as an aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin before deciding to become a political journalist. He began working with Young Republicans after politically supporting a losing 1994 Congressional campaign. [fn - Given the fact he lived in Pearland, a small city on the border of Brazoria and Harris Counties, by 2005 (Tom Delay's 22nd Congressional District), we must assume he lived elsewhere in 1994, or else that he worked for a different campaign. He could not have worked for Steve Stockman, who also won that year.]

Bobby Eberle stated that his interest in politics was motivated by the deaths of two teenage girls from Waltrip High School in 1993--the same school in Houston, incidentally, where Barbara Bracher had graduated in 1973. Barbara's father had been born in Texas to Barbara's grandparents--Gustav Adolphus Bracher (born in Bern, Switzerland in 1882) and a Texas-born Selma, daughter of Max Adolph Schneider (born in Germany in 1847). Gus Bracher's father had immigrated to Brenham, Texas before 1887 when Gus was a child, and died there in 1908 after his wife, Rosette Meister Schneider, gave birth to three more children who were confirmed in the Lutheran Church at Brenham. She too died in 1931 in the town of Wallis, midway between Rosenberg and Sealy in Austin, County, Texas, where she spent the last eight years of her life with a married daughter named Ida Sprain.

Barbara Olson's grandfather, Gus A. Bracher, lived to be 91 years old, dying in 1973 at Heights Hospital in Houston. He had spent his adult life as a civil engineer with the Texas Highway Department, building state roads. After retirement, he moved to Houston, where his adult sons operated a lumber company near Heights Blvd. and Yale Street. That was his address at the time Gus received his WWII draft notice--190 Yale, next door to their business.

When Barbara's father' Victor Charles, was born in 1916, Gus and Selma lived in Beaumont, but by 1918, the highway department had assigned Gus to work in Columbus, Texas. While Gus was off on assignment building a new highway, Selma often lived with her parents, the Schneiders, at 2300 East Avenue in Austin, an address which has not existed since Interstate Highway 35 was adjacent to that right-of-way, and Texas Longhorn stadium has since been built at the site. Their house, which had been across the street from Mt. Calvary Cemetery, was next door to inventor Herbert O. Winfrey, who patented a machine that made tamales. Gus Bracher and Selma Schneider married in Austin, Texas in 1912, and their first child, Edwin, a pilot, achieved the rank of captain for the Scandinavian Airlines System, after co-founding the airline. Edwin also was active in YMCA organizing and in Rotary International, sponsoring in 1963 the founding of the new chapter in Clear Lake City by NASA contractors and astronauts who worked at the LBJ Space Center.

The second son, Barbara's father, Victor Charles Bracher, operated the lumber company Edwin owned, using it as a base for his his house-building and land development company in Houston. Located on Yale Street, the lumber company was a few miles south of 842 W. 43rd Street -- the house where Barbara grew up. The modest home on a tree-lined street was a mile and a half from Waltrip High School, attended 20 years later by two girls who were gang-raped and murdered. Whether or not that incident elicited any attention from Barbara is unknown, although her mother and two siblings were still living in Houston then and may have mentioned it to her.

During Barbara's last year at Waltrip, her father had been chosen by a group affiliated with Oveta Culp Hobby, which submitted his name as a person to work with Governor Dolph Briscoe in his campaign to attack the use of bonded water districts then being used by developer Walter Mischer, a client of John Connally's law firm, Vinson & Elkins. Dolph Briscoe, however, refused to select Bracher and chose his own man. Perhaps he suspected that Bracher, who had obtained financing from the Connally-affiliated bank, First City in Inwood Forest, would not oppose the law firm Vinson & Elkins, which acted as legal counsel for the large majority of those districts. Mrs. Hobby, of course, was a member of the Suite 8-F Crowd, just as Walter Mischer was being groomed to be at that time. Connally as governor named Mischer to sit on the prison board in 1965. [fn - The Suite 8-F Crowd took its name from the Lamar Hotel suite of George and Herman Brown, founders of road construction and engineering company, Brown & Root, which their foundation sold to Halliburton a year after Herman's death. George then used the Brown Foundation to buy his way into Houston "Society," which is defined in terms of Rice University, of which he was placed on the Rice board of trustees after helping oilman Harry C. Wiess acquire for Rice the Rincon field from Nazi sympathizer William Rhodes Davis. After serving with Wiess on the board, Brown was named to the chairmanship of Rice's trustees in 1950.]

Barbara Bracher began her undergraduate education in Austin at the University of Texas but soon transferred to St. Thomas University in Houston, a Catholic school from which she graduated in 1978, two years after marrying James  Barton McNeil, also from a Houston family. However, she filed for divorce from him in Houston in 1980, using her father's attorney, Dan Wolfe. Her father died in 1987, after Barbara had given up ballet-dancing and her work for a movie production company. She graduated from Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 12th Street in downtown Manhattan, in 1989.

Theodore Olson revealed much of Barbara's history in the 1st Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society For Law And Public Policy Studies, delivered three weeks after 9/11.

Talon News--A Plethora of Pedophiles

White House press scandal in 2005 in which linked his ... to the mysterious background of Jeff Gannon a/k/a James Guckert, a former press member of Talon News, which was wholly owned by GOPUSA, the property of Bruce's brother, Bobby Eberle, a so-called "grassroots Republican organizer" at the time.

The scandal erupted after Gannon, not only was seated within the professional press corps at the George W. Bush administration's press briefings, but was often called on by name in the hope he would toss “softball” questions to President Bush and his press secretaries. Media Matters alleged that Gannon's press credentials were, in fact, flawed since:
Gannon/Guckert pieces for Talon News are little more than what it calls “reprints of Republican and Bush administration releases,” and demonstrates that Gannon is a frequent “lifesaver” for White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who regularly calls on Gannon/Guckert when he needs a safe question to allow him to get back on track. Media Matters has found out more about Talon News itself; it reports that the information unearthed “casts additional doubt on Talon’s claim to be a media outlet and raises questions about whether Gannon/Guckert should be a credentialed member of the White House press corps.” 
At the time Gannon's background first became a news issue, the internet was still reeling over disclosures in Omaha involving the Franklin Community Credit Union, centered around a pedophile ring operated by Lawrence E. King, Jr., a nationally influential black Republican, for the gratification of the political and business elite of both Republican and Democratic parties, according to Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin in their book, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Chapter 21, entitled "Omaha."

The story was reiterated in a more recent volume by author Nick Bryant in a 2009 TrineDay publication called The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal

The Penn State controversy surrounding Jerry Sandusky's involvement with young boys has brought further attention on the sexual obsession certain men have with innocent boys who look up to them as role models. 

Gannon/Guckert admitted to being a “former” gay prostitute, but said no one at the White House knew about his sexual past, and asked: “Does my past mean I can’t have a future? Does it disqualify me from being a journalist?” He used a pseudonym, he said, because his real name is difficult to pronounce.

Gannon a/k/a Guckert
Liberal gay activist John Aravosis, whose AmericaBlog was the first to publish pictures of Gannon/Guckert advertising his sexual favors on gay escort websites [now apparently expurgated from the web]. One of the removed photos can still be viewed at another Democratic website forum, however, under the caption Gannon's 21 Club. and provides a link to an even more blatant reference to Republican connections to gay prostitution.

Both Aravosis and the Agitprops blogger (name taken from a Russian word meaning the bureau which plans agitation and propaganda) said the issue was not Gannon/Guckert’s right to be a journalist but rather his ability to gain “White House access.…” without having to go through Secret Service channels or other security clearances. But they failed to gain credence because of their blatant bias against Republicans.

They totally ignored a similar situation that occurred when a Democrat, R. Spencer Oliver, or at least a person or persons using his private telephone line, was undoubtedly operating a call-girl operation for the “benefit” of visiting “straight” local political chairmen at the national headquarters of the Democratic Party in 1972. Oliver's father was, according to Jim Hougan, employed by the same public relations firm that had hired both E. Howard Hunt and Douglas Caddy--Robert R. Mullen and Co.

Providing Prostitutes for Politicos
As Far Back As Watergate?

R. Spencer Oliver today
Is it possible that this left/right dichotomy is merely part of a higher or outside power unrelated to issues presented to the American voter? Consider the role played by R. Spencer Oliver, Jr. from the Watergate controversy down to the present day:
In 1977 he was a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), who took part in the Belgrade Conference led by Arthur J. Goldberg to consider violations of the Helsinki Accords. According to the website of the Organization on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which replaced the Commission:
The Helsinki Final Act encompasses three main sets of recommendations, which are often referred to as 'baskets'. These three baskets are:

  1. Questions relating to security in Europe.
  2. Co-operation in the fields of economics, of science and technology, and of the environment.
  3. Co-operation in humanitarian and other fields.
In a paper written by Vicky Davis on March 5, 2008 it was stated:
The Helsinki Final Act is -- with the benefit of hindsight, one of the most important agreements the U.S. ever entered into in terms of how it affects U.S. domestic affairs.  The scope of it is breathtaking.  And when the lines are drawn from the conceptual areas of agreement to the legislation and actions of our government, it becomes clear that members of Congress -- and in particular, the Senate are mere puppets who have in effect, been operating as agents of a foreign power -- against the interests of the American people and our nation.   So how did that happen?

When Willy Brandt was elected in West Germany in 1969, the peaceful reunification of East and West Germany was a priority.... Toward that goal, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) began in 1973 and the agreed upon framework of actions for reunification was codified in the Helsinki Final Act that was signed in 1975....
One would be hard pressed to consider that the establishment of the David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission in 1973 was coincidental to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) given that the mission of the of the Trilateral Commission coincides with the agenda of the Helsinki Final Act.  Even though Japan was not a participant in the CSCE, the efforts of Nixon and George H.W. Bush to open up China led to Bush sending Robert Zoellick to Asia to assist in the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative in 1989.
Let's focus here on R. Spencer Oliver, Jr., who would ultimately become the first Secretary General of OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly.

R. Spencer Oliver, Jr.
In 1969, the year that OSCE's priority was reunifying the Germanys, the Omaha World Herald published a photo of Oliver, then 32, resident of Bowie, Maryland, national president of the Young Democratic Clubs of America (YD), who spoke at the Nebraska club's state convention.

Noting that it was Oliver's private phone line at the DNC which allegedly was being tapped by E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, and their team of burglars, Jim Hougan asked a DNC secretary whether she told Liddy's attorneys "it was likely that Spencer Oliver and Maxie Wells were running a call-girl operation." Hougan cited his 1984 book, Secret Agenda, as source of his statement that former chief investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities Lou Russell "hung out with call-girls at the Columbia Plaza Apartments, barely a block from the Watergate," and that "according to Fensterwald and two of his employees, Russell told them he was tape-recording telephone conversations between the prostitutes and their clients at the DNC."

In fact, Hougan seems to believe that the primary motive for the Watergate break-in was to obtain evidence that could be used for blackmail, writing also that prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office:
were putting together a case in which sexual blackmail was said to be the central motive in the Watergate break-in. Asst. U.S. Atty. Earl Silbert was convinced that “Hunt was trying to blackmail Spencer (Oliver).” The same point was made by Charles Morgan, who represented [Maxine] Wells and [Spencer] Oliver at the burglars’ trial in early 1973. Determined to block any testimony about the contents of the conversations that Baldwin overheard, Morgan said Silbert told him over lunch in December, 1972, that “[Former CIA agent, E. Howard] Hunt was trying to blackmail Spencer, and I’m going to prove it.”
Earl Silbert, it turns out, had also been a member of the Young Democrats with Michael Dukakis while they were at Harvard, and Silbert's father spent his legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The son went to work for the Tax Division of the Department of Justice in 1960, supervised by Assistant Attorney General Louis F. Oberdorfer. In 1964 he moved to the prosecutor's office at the U.S. Attorney's Office, still a part of Justice, and in 1969 he was part of the Office of Criminal Justice under a Republican, Deputy Attorney General Kleindienst. By the time Watergate occurred, Silbert was first assistant to the D.C. U.S. Attorney Harold Titus and received a call from Chuck Work, then a clerk in Superior Court, in the early morning hours following the arrest of the burglars. Young attorney, Doug Caddy (portrayed in the movie All the President's Men by soap opera actor Nicolas Coster), had appeared at about five o'clock that morning to represent the men who had been arrested, though none of them had been allowed to make any phone calls. Work and Silbert became curious about who had called Caddy.

Caddy refused to answer the questions propounded to him during the grand jury proceedings, claiming attorney-client privilege. After Judge Sirica ordered him to answer, Caddy appealed. In the meantime, as Silbert told his oral history interviewer in 1992, they had learned either from the FBI or the Metropolitan Police that former FBI Agent Alfred C. Baldwin had checked out of the Howard Johnson motel across the street early the same morning and had returned home to Connecticut, and that arrested burglar James McCord had worked for the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA].

Silbert revealed (page 96 of the transcript) that Baldwin told them the purpose of the entry into the DNC office on June 17 was to tap Lawrence O'Brien's telephone; that a previous bugging had occurred in May on Oliver's phone, but that information was not what the burglars were seeking. Silbert, however, believed that the FBI had missed finding the bug on Oliver's phone when a sweep was made following the June 17 arrests.

Eberle as a Political Consultant

Dotty Lynch attempted to draw lines between the dots to connect the various direct mail processors and political consultants in an article entitled “Rove-Gannon Connection?”; Feb. 18, 2005.l ).
Bruce Eberle joined the Young Americans for Freedom in 1963 and was placed on the New Mexico board for YAF in 1969. By 1975 he headed Ronald Reagan's direct mail fund-raising efforts for his unsuccessful 1976 campaign. A photo of him with his parents (Adolph Herman and Emma Reinert Eberle) appeared in his hometown newspaper, the St. Joseph, Mo. Gazette in 1981. Census records show Adolph had two older brothers and three younger ones who could have passed the same last name down to Bruce's cousins.

Bruce himself, according to city directories and newspaper items, had two brothers--Allen R. and Robert D. Eberle. Allen worked for a time in Culver City, California, before settling in Idaho, while Robert (Bob) Eberle became a civil servant in Auburn, Washington, and has since become part of Bruce's fundraising conglomerate for conservative Republicans:
Bob has served variously as an elected legislator (Washington State), an appointed member of boards and commissions, and as a United Way Campaign executive on loan from the Boeing Corporation. Bob also served as GSA Director of Region Ten. Bob has a BS from the University of Missouri and a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama. For more than forty years he has lived in Washington State, near Seattle.
Bruce, although born and bred in St. Joseph, Missouri, took a job in the engineering field in which he was educated, working as an engineer for Gulf Oil in Port Arthur, Texas before being able to follow his dream of working full-time to raise money for Republican candidates. In 1971 he moved his family to northern Virginia to be closer to the nation's Capitol. Twenty years later his direct mail firm came under fire for false "news" reporting about Vietnam POW-MIA matters, but he ignored the flak until 1999, when the evidence presented resulted in his being fired from John Ashcroft's campaign.

Robert Raymond "Bobby" Eberle, Jr. was growing up in Victoria while Bruce lived about 200 miles away in Port Arthur, Texas. Although Bobby's father, who allegedly had come from Illinois, had died before 1990, Bobby and his sister, Susan Denise Eberle Justitz, both were able to graduate from Texas A. and M. University, while another sister, Erika Robin Eberle Buesing, got a degree at Texas Tech. His mother, Enedina (Dina), was a daughter of Rodrigo L. Perez of Falfurrias, Texas, who grew up on a south Texas ranch called La Mesa, (acquired in 1873 by Manuel Perez), a part of the La Encantada Grant on which oil was discovered in the 1930's. The landowner named Brijido Ramirez, who sued, contesting others' claims to the oil, was related to the family of Dina Eberle. Intriguingly, no records turn up anywhere pertaining to Dina's deceased husband's birth, marriage or death. It seems quite likely they lived outside the United States during their marriage.

Bobby begins to show up at Victoria High School in 1984, when he played tennis while at Victoria until graduation in 1986. He was elected president of the Houston Young Republicans and director of club development for the Texas Young Republicans Federation in 1995, the same year he received his Ph.D from Rice University in Houston. He was then employed as an aerospace engineer by Lockheed Martin. Dr. Bobby Eberle created the conservative activist group GOPUSA, as early as 2003. USA Today stated in December 2003:
Freewheeling 'bloggers' are rewriting rules of journalism..., a Web site run by Bobby Eberle, a Houston engineer with no previous journalism experience, scored an interview with President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove. 
GOPUSA owned Talon News," a virtual organization with no physical office space or newsroom,"  which featured writer "Jeff Gannon," whose real name was James D. Guckert.
Full speech by Morton Blackwell:
I will focus today on a topic none of you have ever heard me address before: sex.

Right now, Washington, D.C. is experiencing two sex scandals which affect the party you have joined.

The first involves Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens of Ohio. A few days ago, Buz Lukens was sentenced to jail on misdemeanor charges for having sex with a 16 year old girl. Unresolved are possible felony charges that he also had sex with her when she was 13. Buz Lukens is 58.

His unsuccessful defense in court was that he couldn't have contributed to this girl's delinquency because she was already immoral.

The second scandal is still unfolding. It involves the expose of a largely homosexual prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C. area.

Already there have been banner headlines about some Reagan and Bush administration officials' involvement.

In the news about this second scandal are reports of bugged rooms, two-way mirrors, blackmail and midnight tours of the White House by teams of homosexual prostitutes.

Five hundred credit card receipts for sexual services rendered are in the possession of The Washington Times, which broke the story.

Reportedly, a lobbyist who spent as much as $20,000 per month on male prostitutes for himself and friends gave an $8,000 Rolex watch to a White House Secret Service officer who gave him access to the White House West Wing, which contains the President's Oval Office.
I will focus today on a topic none of you have ever heard me address before: sex.

Right now, Washington, D.C. is experiencing two sex scandals which affect the party you have joined.

The first involves Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens of Ohio. A few days ago, Buz Lukens was sentenced to jail on misdemeanor charges for having sex with a 16 year old girl. Unresolved are possible felony charges that he also had sex with her when she was 13. Buz Lukens is 58.

His unsuccessful defense in court was that he couldn't have contributed to this girl's delinquency because she was already immoral.

The second scandal is still unfolding. It involves the expose of a largely homosexual prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C. area.

Already there have been banner headlines about some Reagan and Bush administration officials' involvement.

In the news about this second scandal are reports of bugged rooms, two-way mirrors, blackmail and midnight tours of the White House by teams of homosexual prostitutes.

Five hundred credit card receipts for sexual services rendered are in the possession of The Washington Times, which broke the story.

Reportedly, a lobbyist who spent as much as $20,000 per month on male prostitutes for himself and friends gave an $8,000 Rolex watch to a White House Secret Service officer who gave him access to the White House West Wing, which contains the President's Oval Office.
The White House liaison for the U.S. Labor Department [Dave DenHerder, senior advisor to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao?] was implicated and has already resigned.

The FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, and other Federal, State and local authorities are scrambling to do their jobs as the facts unfold. This story is far from over.

As Republican youth activists, you should know who Congressman Lukens is. He is politically destroyed now. But you should know, I want to be sure you know, that Buz Lukens played a unique role in the development of the conservative movement. And he was a key player at a critical time in Republican youth politics.

My first College Republican National Convention was in 1963, while I was state College Republican chairman of Louisiana. In those days the College Republican and Young Republican national conventions were held together.

In 1963 in San Francisco, Goldwater Republicans won control of both organizations. An exciting book could be written about how Buz Lukens became the new Young Republican national chairman. It was a new era.

After Goldwater's defeat, Buz was elected in 1966 to the Congress from Ohio. He immediately started supporting Ronald Reagan for President. Through the Reagan efforts of 1968, 1976, and 1980, Buz was a key leader.

For 27 years, despite political defeats, a divorce, financial difficulties, a close call with disabling throat cancer and other troubles, Buz Lukens remained a state and national conservative leader, effective and admired by grassroots activists. Since 1962 he has been a good friend to me.

I don't mind telling you my eyes have filled with tears more than once in recent months as a sex scandal of his own making has brought him down. He made the wrong choices.

I pray he can personally recover from this self-inflicted disaster, but his political situation is hopeless.

In the unfolding, so-called "call-boy" scandal in D.C., two of the alleged patrons have had ties to conservatives for many years. They are the only ones yet named whom I have known. They made the wrong choices.

But what can one say about the judgment of someone who pays for a prostitute with a credit card? Memories may fade, but not credit card records.

You who are in your late teens and early twenties live in a world very different from the one I grew up in. A skirt above the knees raised eyebrows then. Movies were self-censored very effectively. Books, magazines, radio, music, and even conversation were much more restrained by traditional morality than they are today. What is commonplace now in the media was rare or non-existent then.

There has been a massive assault on moral values. Everywhere there are voices urging young people:

"Do it. Do it if it feels good. Do it now. The church is wrong. Your parents are old fogies. Everyone is doing it. Don't be left out. You're entitled to something for nothing. There are no bad consequences. And besides, you won't get caught."
In many ways our society has failed you, ignoring the hard-won lessons of history, the accumulated wisdom of the ages, the maxims of morality. Truths revealed, experienced and long respected are not well taught to most in your generation. And the decline began before your generation.

My grandparents and, probably, your great-grandparents were given copybooks in school. These copybooks served two purposes. At the top of each page was written a heading, a maxim or saying which gave moral guidance, such as, "Honesty is the best policy" and "Honor thy father and thy mother."

Students learned handwriting by copying each heading many times, filling each page with the most useful, sensible advice, gleaned from the long experience of civilization. I have one of my grandfather's copybooks from the 1870s.

The great English poet and writer Rudyard Kipling is probably best known to most of you, if at all, through Walt Disney's version of Kipling's Jungle Book. But Rudyard Kipling was highly perceptive. As early as 1919 he warned in a marvelous poem, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings," that our very survival depends on our not forgetting the lessons of history.

Kipling contrasted the eternal verities, which he called the Gods of the Copybook Headings, with the tempting siren songs of Social Progress, "The Gods of the Market-Place," which falsely claimed that times have so changed that the old truths no longer apply.
"As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn.

That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

"We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor windborne like the Gods of the Market-Place; But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come. That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

"With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch. They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch. They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings. So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things."
What Kipling is describing here is a cyclical process, which each few generations must experience anew. Yes, the times are always changing, but not always changing in the same direction.

In ancient Rome, Marcus Cicero's thundering denunciations of the sexual behavior of Marc Anthony were followed in the next century by the open depravity of Nero and Caligula.

And in England, the licentiousness of the Stuart restoration period was followed two centuries later by the Victorian era. The pendulum swings back and forth over time.

At a time when our society is newly outraged over the burning of our country's flag and when increasing restrictions on abortion are now certain, and when deadly AIDS is killing thousands, it is not a good bet that society will acquiesce in the loss of all standards of sexual propriety.

Torturing each other for fun and profit, public sex acts, drinking urine, eating feces, and even itinerant bed hopping will, I believe, become less acceptable, not more licit in years to come.

"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace, They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease." But when we disarmed They sold us, and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

"On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'The Wages of Sin is Death.'"
Notwithstanding waves of propaganda to the contrary, the old truth has emerged: There is no safe sex, except in a monogamous, faithful marriage.

There are ways of lessening the risk of promiscuity, but value-free, sexual fun and games, none of them safe, are multiplying the number of victims of incurable, sexually transmitted diseases, one of them absolutely fatal.

As yet we have increasingly shrill voices who advocate going beyond today's high level of toleration and say we should create new legal privileges for each increasingly bizarre form of sexual relationship. We are even told AIDS is a civil rights issue, not a public health issue.

It was British philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke who wrote in 1772:
Dissent, not satisfied with toleration, is not conscience, but ambition.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul, But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'If you don't work you die.'
Perhaps the most fraudulent of the false gods today is the argument that, somehow, a high proportion of us are inevitably, genetically, uniquely foreordained to homosexual activity.

One does not have to be a clinical psychologist or any type of scientist to see through that preposterous lie.

Young man, your father, your grandfathers, all four of your great grandfathers, all eight of your great grandfathers and on back beyond the reach of recorded time, all their fathers performed successfully and heterosexually. You are the product of eons of heterosexual activity.

Young lady, your mother and your grandmother were not the product of parthenogenesis. They and all your maternal ancestors performed heterosexually and successfully. You are living proof they did.

To say that ten or twenty percent of humanity is doomed to heterosexual disfunction is nonsense. Dangerous and arrant nonsense.

Authorities agree that sexual behavior is learned behavior. Researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson wrote, "We're born man, woman and sexual beings. We learn our sexual preferences and orientations."

No reputable scientist has found any hereditary tie to homosexuality.

Even Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote, "I have myself come to the conclusion that homosexuality is largely a matter of conditioning."

The problem is that for many years our society has been conditioning more and more people for this kind of behavior. Sympathetic portrayal is the rule now in movies and dramatic television.

I believe it could be demonstrated statistically that in the last ten years major network television productions have portrayed sympathetically fewer clergy than homosexuals. And in so doing they have killed a lot of people. Literally killed them by leading them into temptation.

Humans are so constituted as to enjoy sex. If sex were not a pleasure, there would be a lot less procreation.

That which is pleasurable tends to be habit forming. And habits include many things, good, bad and indifferent. Among them are gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, poetry, music, and various forms of sexual arousal. Just because something feels good does not mean it is good.

Bad habits can be broken, particularly if people understand that they are not inevitably, hereditarily forced into those bad habits. The problem I am discussing here is not bad genes but bad choices.

Most of us have sense enough not to try heroin or other highly addictive drugs. We recognize there are things, once started, that cannot easily be stopped. Such wisdom could and should be applied to sexual activity.

And those whose counterproductive behavior has become addictive, it is still possible to change. Many take control of their own lives every day: smokers, gamblers, alcoholics, and illegal drug users.

Studies indicate that about one third of former homosexuals have reformed themselves.

Of course there are those who decide at some point to flaunt their homosexual behavior, taking up the cause of gay rights and saying how much better they feel to be out of the closet. Unfortunately for them, feeling better doesn't really make it better.

I am reminded in these cases of Winston Smith, the central figure in George Orwell's powerful novel, 1984. Beaten by remorseless conditioning at last, Winston Smith finally thinks he loves Big Brother. But his loving Big Brother only makes the tragedy complete.

No reader of 1984 closes that book with feelings of hate or fear of Winston Smith. What one feels is sadness, pity, a wish that someone could help.

Our modern era will one day be a bygone era. The people of the future will be descendants of those of us who made the right choices in our own lives.

It is a dangerous, imperfect world. But those who came before us have left us valid lessons, not always written as copybook headings, which we would be wise to follow.

A person does not profit from his own fatal mistake. But the fatal mistakes of others should be highly instructive.

Kipling ended his poem:

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew, And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true. That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four--And the Gods of Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man-- There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: -- That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
My young friends, please spread the word. Traditional values are survival values.
- See more at Blackwell's website and at Survival Values.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Halliburton Riddle

We know what the meaning of i$, i$ to Halliburton. It is by far the largest beneficiary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. With no-bid, no-ceiling contracts, the company has already amassed $2 billion in work. It is doing everything from restoring oil facilities to providing toilets for troops. A year ago Halliburton was staring at nearly a half-billion dollars in losses. In the second quarter of 2003 it posted a profit of $26 million.
—Derrick Z. Jackson, “Cheney’s Conflict with the Truth,”  
The Boston Globe (September 19, 2003)

I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now for over three years.”   —Vice President Dick Cheney, on NBC’s Meet the Press, September 14, 2003

Manifest Destiny

In today’s fast-paced, constantly-changing world, members of the working class—especially those in America where vacation/holiday time is extremely limited, find it increasingly more difficult to maintain regular contact with old friends and extended family members. To be able to spend time with the same group of friends at least once or twice every year is almost unheard of. Vice President Dick Cheney, in spite of his rigorous schedule, however, has been able to maintain a relationship with the owners of the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas, for more than thirty years and “sometimes hunts there several times a year.”[1] 

Such a relationship cries out for more scrutiny than it has been given in the press so far.  Cheney’s “peppering” of Texas attorney Harry Whittington with gunshot is not notable in and of itself; it is the frequency with which such hunting trips have taken place that piques the imagination. The ranch where the shooting occurred is owned by the family of Anne L. Armstrong, a former director on the board of Halliburton for twenty-three years (1977-2000), serving not only as a high-level corporate committee member on the management oversight committee and the corporate governance committee, but, in particular, on the very nominating committee which in 1995 chose Dick Cheney as its president and eventually as Halliburton’s chairman. 

Cheney has denied any persisting ties with his former employer—the same corporation which has reaped massive profits from the Bush-Cheney debacle in Iraq—leaving us to speculate what it is that entices such an inept hunter back to that ranch year after year.  The failure of Cheney and his hosts to notify the proper authorities for more than twenty-four hours after the shooting further incites an inquisitive mind to inquire whether other persons with longstanding relationships to Halliburton and the Vice President were allowed to skulk away, undetected by law enforcement or members of the press.

The Armstrong Ranch has been called “kind of a rite of passage for Texas Republicans. You go pay homage.”[2] That statement contains overtones of an obeisance required, yet undefined. The suggestion that the Armstrong family has a long Republican tradition must be viewed in light of Texas’ short history of voting Republican—a tide which did not even begin to turn until Texas elected its first Republican U.S. Senator (John Tower) in 1961 and its first Republican governor (Bill Clements) in 1978. Nevertheless, the process by which Texans wormed their way into the Republican power structure deserves our attention. That power shift occurred at the same point in time that destiny brought together Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Cheney and Anne L. Armstrong.  Destiny embodied in the form of Richard M. Nixon…and made manifest in the person of John B. Connally, Jr.

Economic Opportunities

Donald Rumsfeld was the first of the trio to receive a bid into the Nixon White House—an invitation which resulted from Nixon’s approval of the way Rumsfeld handled a political confrontation with a program touted by Democrats in August of 1966. As a young Republican Congressman from Illinois, Rumsfeld had launched a vicious series of attacks upon a project called “Mohole,” viewed by him as a boondoggle for President Lyndon Johnson’s long-time supporter, Brown & Root. So successful was Rumsfeld’s attack that what Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson a “purely non-political project”—designed by the National Science Foundation to learn the cause of earthquakes and volcanoes—was terminated, notwithstanding the fact that Brown & Root continued to be awarded much more lucrative military contracts in Vietnam.  

Pearson and Anderson accused Rumsfeld of having attacked the wrong Brown & Root contract, of having missed the real story—“that Brown and Root have been financing Lyndon Johnson for years, put up around $100,000 for him when he was running as a young Congressman from Texas. And today the defense contracts they have been getting from the Government are far greater than the piddling $19.7 million which the House last week lopped off the Mohole project…”[3]

One week before Mohole was axed, Congress had authorized spending of almost half a billion dollars “for military construction money [for Vietnam], of which Brown and Root will get a substantial share.”[4] Almost as an afterthought the columnists added: “Brown and Root also prospered under President Eisenhower. They were given a large slice of the contract to build military bases in Spain at a cost of around $2 billion. The George Brown family at that time was contributing not to Mr. Eisenhower but to the Democrats.”[5] 

That’s nice work, if you can get it. 

Two years later Richard Nixon had replaced Lyndon Johnson in the White House, and he remembered Rumseld’s performance. He wanted that young man on his team and offered him a job in his administration—at the very bottom rung, the Office of Economic Opportunity. Rumsfeld quickly accepted. At his first opportunity Rumsfeld called in a young legislative aide with whom he had crossed paths—Dick Cheney. It boggles the mind even to attempt to visualize these two men working to expand economic opportunity for the impoverished; social workers they are not. Both were, however, extremely hard-working and ambitious and did not remain long in the cellar. Late in 1970 Rumsfeld also took on the added assignment of White House Counselor and would ultimately be replaced at OEO by another of today’s military-industrialists, Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group. 

One year later, Rumsfeld was named Director of the Cost of Living Council, a new position created under the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970, and he brought Cheney over as his deputy. The importance of the Cost of Living Council at that particular time cannot be over-emphasized.  Before we had a war on drugs or a war on terror, we were fighting a war against inflation.  As the end of the war in Vietnam was approaching, the looming fear was that America would not be able to sell enough products overseas to compensate for its increasingly insatiable demand from foreign sellers.  Bankruptcy thus haunted the Nixon Administration in 1970 and 1971, much as it had Grover Cleveland’s presidency in the 1890’s. 

When John Connally took control of the Treasury Department in February 1971 after the resignation of Secretary David M. Kennedy of Chicago, the picture was bleak.[6] In 1973 Connally told a group of Canadians in Toronto:

By the middle of 1971 the American trade balance was in rapid decline. Moreover, we could no longer maintain the fiction that the dollar was convertible into gold when in fact those dollars increased to a ratio of six to one over our gold reserves during the 1960s and the 1970s. We had simply expended our surplus and extended our credit until both were exhausted. The American image of invulnerability was clearly a delusion. It was again demonstrated that no nation is so large and so powerful that it is invulnerable to change.[7]

Closing the gold window

Connally’s selection by Nixon was a curious choice. He was still a Democrat at that time and had no obvious ties to anyone in the Nixon White House. Perhaps he had been hand-picked by Nixon’s former New York law firm—Mudge, Rose—which represented Paribas, a 19th-century offshoot of the Rothschild-controlled Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas. Connally, an attorney, was a partner in the Houston law firm of Vinson & Elkins, whose senior partner, James A. Elkins, Jr., had inherited a large block of stock in the First City National Bank of Houston—for which Connally served as a director. A 1976 Congressional investigation would subsequently reveal that the large Houston bank had partnered with numerous Rothschild-affiliated banks in joint ventures such as Rothschild Intercontinental Bank, Ltd. of London and New Court Securities Corp. of New York.[8] The Washington Post reported in 1969 that the Rothschilds were “rebuilding their international financial empire through the Five Arrows Group … composed of London’s N.M. Rothschild, Baron Guy’s Paris Rothschild bank, Cousin Edmond’s Geneva-based Banque Privee, the Banque Lambert of Brussels, in which the Rothschilds have a substantial minority stake, and Pierson, Heldring and Pierson, an independent Dutch bank long associated with the family.”[9]

Early in 1969 Connally had also been elected to Halliburton’s board, and he would be “re-elected” in November 1972 after having served seventeen months as Secretary of the Treasury.[10] Halliburton had also been a client of Vinson & Elkins, and it would remain so until 2002 when the corporation moved its business to Houston rival firm, Baker & Botts, the law firm headed by Bush friend James A. Baker III. Connally’s gigantic challenge during his short term of office was to “close the gold window,” thus ending the United States’ legal obligation to exchange dollars held by foreign banks for gold. 

Connally was neither a banker nor an economist, and he was never a wealthy man—compared to the Vanderbilts, Whitneys and the like. But he was a lawyer for wealthy and powerful men, among whom he circulated his entire life—whose names remain shrouded in secrecy behind corporate facades.  Connally’s underlings in the Nixon administration—Rumsfeld and Cheney—also rose from economic stations that would be termed, at most, middle class, neither of them ever having achieved any degree of education, accomplishment, or even competence that would justify the arrogance each has exhibited in the last decade. The Cost of Living Council in which Rumsfeld and Cheney were members was, of course, chaired by Treasury Secretary Connally until he resigned in 1972. 

During that same era, Anne Armstrong would also ascend from her lowly position as adviser on women’s issues to take a place at the Cost of Living Council, as Rumsfeld advanced to a brief tour at NATO (where he acted as a front man for Henry Kissinger), before serving as President Gerald Ford’s Secretary of Defense after Nixon’s resignation. Connally, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Armstrong—of those four, three would serve as directors of Halliburton. The fourth, Rumsfeld, as Secretary of Defense would help George W. Bush engineer the war in Iraq, to Halliburton’s benefit.

What a small world! 

Who Really Owns Halliburton?

The answer to the Halliburton riddle lies in history. It is a complex tale that takes one through the Indian lands of Oklahoma to California high society; back to the ranches and oilfields of Texas and the skyscrapers of Dallas and Houston. For now, it is the question that is most important—a question the media has yet to ask, much less to answer.


[1] Anne E. Kornblut, “Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter in Mishap on a Texas Ranch,” The New York Times (February 13, 2006).
[2] Harvey Kronberg in The Quorum Report, quoted in Rick Lyman and Anne E. Korblutt, “The Ranch Where the Politicians Roam,” The New York Times (February 19, 2006).
[3] Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson, “The Washington Merry-Go-Round:  Contractors’ Gift Not Linked to Mohole,” The Washington Post, Times Herald (August 26, 1966), E15.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Kennedy’s resignation may have resulted from the Administration’s embarrassment suffered after the visit of the Rothschild-connected President of France, Georges Pompidou, a few months earlier, as discussed in “Sophistsand Other Scoundrels, Part 1.” 
[7] Joint Meeting of the Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto (March 19, 1973). Connally, in response to a question raised following his speech (he was asked whether a decision by another nation such as Canada “to conserve its oil, gas, water, mineral and other resources and limit delivery of those to the United States, would … be accepted philosophically by your country … or might we expect political, economic or military pressure to reverse it”), exhibited an attitude of frustration with “nationalism” that has become more prevalent in the years since Connally passed from the scene. He answered as follows: What you have is yours. You can do with it what you wish; that's your prerogative as a sovereign nation. I would assume that if you are going to deny all your oil, your gas, your water, your timber, your resources, your nickel, your gold or your coal, whatever you have in the way of natural resources, you're going to deny those to the United States in order to conserve them yourselves. I assume that you will equally deny them to other nations around the world.  Under those circumstances I don't know that the United States would have any cause to complain at all.  If, on the other hand, if you denied them only to us and continued to market them and ship them to other nations around the world, I don't know how we could do anything but assume that this was a punitive action taken directly against the United States and then you might hear a little flap about it…. So I think we all have to frankly use our best efforts to put down this increasing wave of nationalism that's sweeping the world.” [italics added]
[8]International Banking: A Supplement to a Compendium of Papers Prepared for the Fine Study,” Staff Report of the House Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing. 94th Cong., 2d Sess. (1976). The embedded link allows one to search the article. A search for the word Rothschild brings up nine hits.
[9] Lawrence Malkin, “Rothschild’s Draws on Past to Forge New Global Links, Washington Post, Times Herald (April 6, 1969), 105.
[10] New York Times (November 29, 1972), 64.