Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Episode 72: The Distortion Factories Part II

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

Once a bunch of extremely rich people heard the organizing call from Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.; once their fortunes established philanthropic foundations professionally staffed with the best money could hire; what happened then? This is the topic I explore in Episode 72: The Distortion Factories Part II.

Here I finish my deep dive into what I think is a good example of such a Distortion Factory, one that suckered me in back in '90 or so: The Breakthrough Institute.

(Cards on the table yet again: I am neither pro- nor anti-nuke: I feel there are a lot of promising technologies one can find that happen to function through nuclear fission; I also recognize that there are a lot of bad designs that should be retired and scrapped as soon as possible. The Breakthrough Institute initially got me interested in its brash rejection of traditional "environmentalism" and, yes, its embrace of nuclear tech. They lost me with their convoluted logic and embrace of *all* things nuke. Once I learned about distributed generation—the very antithesis of centralized nuke plants feeding a hub-shaped power grid—I started to realize how business-centric the Breakthrough Institute really was.)

In this part, you heard me read from the website for Third Way, and from Jane Mayer's Dark Money. I played a bit from Michael Shellenberger's TED talk. Musically, you heard Jahzzar's "Liar" (I cut it into segments, playing the first half twice, and you're hearing the end of it now), and another song called "FO." (Please, oh please, let that stand for Fuck Off!) Once again, D.L. Myers helped out with his voice reading the spooky, spooky Memo Itself. I opened the show with KMFDM backing Henry Giroux.

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