2nd Essay : Common Sense 2000)
 Part 2: Brood of Vipers

Originally published in 1999 and has not been updated.
This is the first in a series of 3 essays on American style democracy.


The Root of All Evil

By Lazarus Wolf

      "I do believe that this is a battle," the first lady said. "Look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. A few journalists have kind of caught on to it and explained it, but it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. And actually, you know, in a bizarre sort of way, this may do it."

   ---Hillary Clinton on NBC’s Today, Jan 27, 1998

  When Hillary Clinton talked about a battle she was talking about the polecat of politics, Richard Mellon Scaife's "ideological warfare", as he proclaimed it in a Heritage Foundation celebration in 1994.

   The last battle was gossip churned into something they could stick on the President. They had failed with Jennifer Flowers, Whitewater, the Vince Foster fiasco, filegate, trooper gate, and Paula Jones, (all seem to be Scaife money connected) now they had Linda Tripp’s freelance
spying. Leading us to the attempted coup of the presidency by the misuse of the impeachment power by the totalitarian cell of the conservatives in the Republican party. 

   The press, the judicial, and the political body are the main fronts in his war. Using his think tanks as a heavy armored division leading the charge, is Richard Mellon Scaife and his conservative elite peer group.

   Scaife was born to enormous wealth. Kicked out of Yale after a drunken bender, his family did not seem to trust him to run the their businesses. He ended up running his families trusts and foundations. How much trouble could he get into with some dusty old conservative foundations to play with? After the death of his parents Dick (as his friends call him) was loosed.

   A dangerous thing, the most spoiled brat on the planet, with more money than brains. With his " master race" good looks, and Darwinian domination of the food chain he has become fiscal emperor of the "New Right" movement.

  Scaife and a handful of Wall Street royalty families have all conspired to deconstruct democracy into a feudal system under a facade of democracy. They have thrown their wealth at creating a network of propaganda factories that would make Joseph Goebbels envious, the "think tank". The term think tank is a euphemism used to ad a scholarly hue to the color of the information being manufactured.

   Unlike research organizations that were developing truths about known facts, and built on research, peer review, blind studies, and employing a methodology you can replicate, think tanks are none of these. They are paid to agree with their founders views.

   The goal of these networks is to produce and package fast facts that make good, concise, sound bites articulating the views and direction of their conservative founders.

   What are their founders views? These people actually believe that "survival of the fittest", predatory business practices are the most natural way to grow and prosper the country. Why? These practices have brought them and their ancestors unbelievable wealth, at the expense of the standard of living for the 90 percent majority.

   Bradelys, Scaifes, Richardsons, Kochs, Coors, Bechtels, Lillys, Olin, Nobels, and Kohlers are some of the biggest donors to the "cult of the conservative." They all pooled their money to start the big brother of fast fact factories, the Heritage Foundation in 1973. (the same year our economy stalled) With this new vehicle they could quietly fund the explosion of similar thinking foundations. The "Resource Bank" of the Heritage Foundation lists 284 conservative "public policy organizations" as part of its network.

   The bloom of this political fungus soon infected congress. Their spore enriched by the conspirators regal wealth, by 1974 was bearing anti-liberty, anti democratic fruit when the House of Representatives decentralized it’s power with 22 committees to delegate much of their authority to 172 subcommittees. Now special interests had the ability to focus their lobby effort with laser accuracy at a particular subcommittee with surgical precision.

   The lethal blow was administered by the conservative conspiratory in 1975, the SUN-PAC decision, that gave control of the government to the corporate interests, legalizing corporate political action committees. The money began to flow as the 89 PAC’s in 1974 exploded to 1,682 a decade later. Overwhelmed politicians gorged themselves on the abominable sacrifice of our democracy.

   By 1992 corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs and they donated 79 percent of all contributions to political parties. The deregulation frenzy that followed SUN-PAC resulted in a tremendous shift of power away from workers and the poor, and towards corporations and the rich. These wealthy families became the puppet masters of politics. Piping a tune that no money lusting capitalist could resist, making their money the coin of the realm.

   The master of meat puppets, Dick Scaife gave generously to candidates who danced to his music, and Ronald Reagan was doing a jig all the way to the White House in 1980.

   With the installation of the Reagan White House a new McCarthyism began with Reagan stumbling into the role of his life as the Charlie McCarthy (deregulation dummy) with Scaife as his tacky Edgar Bergen.

   This would be harsh talk if Heritage Foundation director Ed Feulner had not supplied the proof in the report entitled Mandate for Leadership they sent the new Reagan Administration just after they took office in 1980. The impact of this report on public policy was described in his forward to the 1984 Mandate:

"The Mandate was designed to be a detailed road map to help the fledgling Reagan Administration steer the nation into a sound future, guided by conservative principles. By the end of the President’s first year in office, nearly two thirds of Mandate’s 2000 specific recommendations had been or were being transformed into policy".

These policies caused:

A stock market crash worse then in 1929.

• Hundreds of American banks and Savings and Loan thrift institutions declared bankruptcy leaving taxpayers with the over $500 billion price tag.

• Thousands of farmers lost farms that had been in their families for generations.

• Millions lost their jobs.

• Wage earners were having to take massive pay cuts and reductions to their benefits. (while CEOs made record profits)

• Social programs and health and education programs were being drastically cut back or terminated.

• Mental patients became homeless.

• The first "WILL WORK FOR FOOD" signs were seen in the streets from the waves of homeless.

• Americans were imprisoned at a faster rate than any other time in our history. (America locks up more of it’s citizens than any other country)

The Media Front

   The conspirators used their fantastic wealth to win the media front of their war. Virtually all media was purchased by a handful of extremely conservative old, white men. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, movie production companies, theme parks, publishing houses all can be coordinated to release the same information, seemly from independent sources that ad an air of legitimacy to the information being propagated.

   "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." as A.J. Liebling is often quoted. The conservative coven has always used this principle to push a platform no mildly alert person would agree with if they knew the truth. Its shocking to find how bad it really is:

• NBC owned by the ultra conservative General Electric

• CBS owned by Westinghouse

• ABC owned by Disney

• Viacom, UPN, MTV, VH1, Showtime, TVland, Comedy Central, United Cinemas International, owner conservative Sumner Redstone

• Ultra conservative Rupert Murdoc owns FOX, and 22 other U.S. Television stations, the largest U.S. station group, covering over 40% of U.S. households, 50% of TCI’s Liberty Media, Family Channel (with partners Pat Robertson and Bob Dole), New York Post, TVGuide, The Star tabloid, and 132 other news papers, or 24 magazines, and stock in Reuters news service.

• TCI, now the largest cable provider in America is owned by extreme conservative John Malone (and has partnered with Bob Dole and mad dog Pat Robertson)

• Gannett with conservative vulture, Allen Newharth at the helm of their group of 90-plus newspapers, including USA Today

   Its common for these elite to serve on each others board of directors and conservative foundations board of directors, many simultaneously. This small percentage of the population control 90% of the industry, media, politics, finance, using these alliances in their peer group.

   The laws against one company owning all media were dismantled during the Reagan pillage, killing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, established in 1949 to prevent the kind of one sided media coverage we saw in the manufacture of the Clinton scandals. The anti-trust division of the Justice Department remained amazingly docile during the Reagan/Bush political blitzkrieg.

The War Victims

   After the privatization of prisons became a money making scheme sold to Reagan, Congress and finally the American people by the think tank organ of the elite conservative generals, an explosion of prison building, prison furnishing, and finally prison filling, followed the prison legislation.

   Once the prison industrial complex was in place and starting to function, they need clients to fill it. More legislation was the trick. When a small technical amendment to the mandatory minimums was issued in 1988, it created a huge change in the prosecution of drug offenders. The conspiracy amendment stipulated that the lowest person in a so-called drug conspiracy could be punished with the maximum sentence designed for a kingpin.

   According to the 1999, Frontline exposé by Ofra Bikel, Snitches, by the early 90’s the government was paying informants more than $100 million a year. On the word of one person, even if that person is a convicted felon, or drug addict, or jail house snitch, a citizen can lose every right guaranteed to every American.

   From 1986 to 1998, incarceration for drug charges was up by 450%. Not only were there more prisoners, but they were serving much longer sentences as a result of conspiracy charges.

 Of course, if you're in the prison building, supplying, or operating business, this means a 450 % increase in harvesting of human beings as a product. The mandatory sentences translate into job security for the operators of these misery factories.

   Legislation like the Percy Amendment in 1979, permitting sales of prison products between states, and the 1990 proposition 139 in California, allowing private firms to use imprisoned labor to make and sell products on the open market, makes it profitable to be in the incarceration business. Now America can compete with the $1000 a year wage of the undeveloped third world workers, as well as the Chinese prison slave. Although the Chinese have a specialty niche that can provide rich Americans with freshly harvested, human organs from their pre-matched death-row line of designer transplant victims.

   These new plantations do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, make circuit boards, limousines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, as well as license plates. And to top it off some prisons makes the prisoner pay for basic necessities like toilet paper and rent for the cell they are locked inside. The prisoners have no union, no minimum wage, no benefits, no health care, no workers compensation, attracting companies like Smith Barney, American Express, General Electric, to invest in private prison construction.  

   The number of people in U.S. prisons has more that tripled in the past 17 years from 500,000 in 1980 to 1.8 million in 1997. Today more that five million people are behind bars, on parole, or probation or under other supervision by the criminal justice system.

   The state of California now spends more on prisons than on higher education, and over the past decade has built 19 prisons and only one branch university. The fact that two thirds of prison inmates did not finish high school underscores the correlation between schooling and prison.

   Of the 1.8 million Americans behind bars, 49 percent are African-American, yet they make up only 12.5 percent of Americans. A report by the Justice Department shows that 21 percent of all federal prisoners are convicted of low-level, non-violent offenses. With poverty rates of blacks 2 times higher than whites translating into sentences that are twice as long as a high income defendants and an average of 20 percent longer than whites for similar crimes.

   Between 1980 and 1994, the number of women in prison increased fivefold, making women the fastest growing segment of the prison population.

   The bottom line of all this suffering comes down to companies like AT&T, Sprint, and MCI all in a feeding frenzy, gouging prisoners with exorbitant phone calling rates, often six times the normal long distance charge.

   The profiteering and re-tooling of the military industrial complex into the prison industrial complex drive this atrocity.

The Aftermath

  Harvard and Berkeley have both studied income inequality. The correlation between the wealthy and the 90 percent of us who work for a living. In America the states with higher income inequality have much higher rates of every social problem.

• Higher rates of homicide

• Higher rates of violent crime

• Higher costs per person for police protection

• Higher rates of incarceration

• Higher rates of unemployment

• A higher percentage of people receiving income assistance and food stamps

• More high school dropouts

• Less state funds spent per person on education

• Fewer books per person in the schools

• Poorer educational performance (including worse reading skills an math skills)

• Higher infant mortality rates

• Higher death rates for all age groups

• Higher heart disease

• Higher cancer rates

• A greater percentage of people without medical insurance

• A greater proportion of babies born with low birth weight

• A greater proportion of the population unable to work because of disabilities  

• A higher proportion of the population using tobacco

• A higher proportion of the population being sedentary

• A Higher costs per-person for medical care

   Using the Gini Scale (0-1 with 1 being the most unequal) income inequality grew from .357 in 1975 to .426 in 1994, a difference not seen since the Great Depression.

   As the facts in this article show, there is a right-wing conspiracy vast in money, vast in the amount of time it has been going on, and vast in participation. This cult has diminished every aspect of being human.

   By far, most wealthy people are good, honest, hard working citizens that have kept art, and the lofty aspirations of civilization alive and well with love, respect, compassion, and honor. No amount of money would be enough for them to profit from this inhumanity. It is just the necrophagous capitalist that have taken advantage of this ghastly harvest of misery for profit since their plantation aristocracy ancestors used Africans and Native Americans as slaves. These jackals of commerce have made their money on the blood of their fellow human beings, not only causing the blood to flow, but needing it to profit. They prove, "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil".


Amnesty International

The White House

House Democratic Policy Committee - Staff report 3-11-96

Library of Congress

Bureau of Justice Statistics

National Criminal Justice reference service

U.S. Census Bureau

Harvard University

Berkley University

George Mason University

Columbia Journalism Review

Salon Magazine

The Consortium of Independent Journalist

Mother Jones

F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

Fortune Magazine

The Economist

The Wall Street Journal


  2nd Essay
(Common Sense 2000)