Sunday, February 17, 2013

Secret funding for climate denialists and Islamophobes

The Guardian has a good story up about the secret funders of the climate denialist think tank network.
Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.

The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.
The money flowed to Washington thinktanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore.
I've long said that most think tanks are a racket. If you want make a nice chunk of change, just make a video of that sort; the profits are baked in.

Here's the part that that the Guardian didn't get to: The Donors Capital Fund is also the largest funder of Big Islamophobia, another racket. There's more here.
The amazing thing about the CAP report is that it exposes people who try very hard to cover their tracks. It is one thing to be known for supporting AIPAC, but it is quite another to be identified with the likes of Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, and Pam Geller, who appears in the CAP report as only a second-tier hater but whose anti-Muslim vehemence is nothing short of disgusting. (She rationalised the killing of the kids in Norway by pointing out that the camp they attended was associated with Norway's Labor Party, which she claims is anti-Israel!)

The hate funders are particularly determined to lay low since the slaughter of 76 people in Norway in July by a self-described Christian conservative named Anders Breivik, who said that he was influenced by Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, and David Horowitz (another prominent propagandist against Muslims and beneficiary of the various anti-Islam foundations).

But CAP followed the money, went behind the innocent-sounding foundation names, and cross-referenced them. And now we have it: the hate network exposed.

It's pretty ugly. Jews whose main concern is Israel align themselves with Christian rightists who don't like Jews. There are even a few Muslims who are dispatched by the network to tell audiences at churches and synagogues just how bad their people are. It's weird.
There's money to be made in Islamophobia. If you have the right ethnicity, you can claim to be a former jihadi. Then you can give lectures in churches about the great conspiracy you aided in the days before you found Jesus. Ka-ching!

I first found out about the sharpsters working the "former jihadi" angle while researching the oddballs surrounding the Innocence of Muslims video.
We have those too, the Quilliam Foundation.
One caveat. "Chrisitian rightists who don't like Jews."
These would be the old-fashioned KKK non-dispensational Baptist types, speaking generally.
If you believe the average John Hagee type cultist doesn't go out of his or her way to like Jews, or at least excuse the prototypical
abrasive "New York" demeanor you haven't traveled in their crowd.

That's the effect of mystical philosemitic eschatology pounded into the fools.
amsp: You're right. But I'm of the view that the fundies who fall all over themselves proclaiming their love for Jews can revert back into their traditional anti-Semitic ways very quickly. Most of them have never met a Jew, or at least have met very few Jews. As a result, Jews will always have an "otherness" about them, in their eyes.
The shtick of the reformed jihadists sounds remarkably like the one used by "reformed Hells Angels" 40 or more years ago. They were invited into churches to give their testimony regarding first hand experience with heroin, prison, violence, etc before they found Jaysus and had their lives turned around. It's a pretty easy gig and beats unloading trucks at Walmart on the night shift.

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