Okay Donald, the cat’s out of the bag.  It wasn’t so bad when, toward the end of last month, the Guardian printed quite a lengthy take on the billionaire behind Breitbart and Bannon, not to mention Brexit and (just to keep the alliteration going) Big Boy Bouffant as well.

Now, however, Jane Mayer – author of the best-seller Dark Money about the Brothers Koch, has a piece in the latest New Yorker that’s sure to raise more American eyebrows.  Robert Mercer is the reclusive hedge-fund guy who’s figured out the algorithms to manipulate enough minds to get someone like Trump elected.

This is chilling stuff, right out of 1984 and Brave New World.   Neither of those literary classics, however, could foresee the digital revolution and how Facebook, Google and now AI (Artificial Intelligence) might be used to put democracy in a death grip.  (Another prophetic book worth reading is C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength).

I’m going to put the links to The Guardian and New Yorker pieces at the end of this column, because anybody who remembers what the land of the free used to look like should read them (and weep).  Here, though, since this is a blog about the environment, I’d like to dwell on a few cogent facts about “Merciless Merry” Mercer.  (Notice I didn’t make a play on the word “mercenary.”)

First off, since the beginning of 2015, Mercer has put more than $30 million into getting right-wing politicos elected.  Half of that money went to a Super-PAC called – check out the plagiarism – Make America Number 1.  Another $2.3 million was chipped in by his wife and daughter.  This is what primarily bankrolled those last months of the Trump campaign.

At the same time – and credit goes to the DeSmog Blog for these numbers -$22 million plus got dispatched by the Mercers into “charitable non-profit” groups that promote denial of climate change and all efforts to slow down greenhouse gas emissions by the fossil fuel companies.

Are we surprised that Trump has called global warming a hoax?  Of course, before the Mercers decided to back him, they were pushing hard for one of the Senate’s top climate-huckster/hoaxers, Ted Cruz.

The Mercers avoid the mainstream media like the plague, although they happily established Breitbart News, the alt-facts organ that propelled Steve Bannon to fame and to become the Machiavelli of the Trump White House.  So anyway, to decipher what the Mercers think about climate change, you need to scrutinize where their family foundation spends its millions.

DeSmog Blog took a look at – perish the thought, but it’s public record – the tax returns of the Mercer Family Foundation since 2005, in order to come up with the $22 million figure for those beneficent gifts to climate science deniers and EPA-detractors.  One of these groups, the Heartland Institute, has been recipient of nearly $5 million from the Mercers since 2008.  Heartland holds its own “international climate change conferences” to bring the Dirty Dozen Denialists and their friends all together for strategic chats.  According to DeSmog Blog, the Institute doesn’t publicly divulge the largesse of their behind-the-scenes buddies, the Mercers.

Another pleased recipient of $1.25 million is the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, run by a failed politician named Art Robinson.  He, too, believes climate change is a hoax while his institute peddles nuclear survival manuals and – believe it or not – has been stockpiling human urine for testing.  Even that doesn’t seem to faze or piss off Mr. Mercer.  Poop!

Enough – check out the links below:

1 Comment

  1. Mercy! Who is Robert Mercer?

    Robert Mercer is a key creator and sponsor of the republican’s doomsday machine. And that’s not hyperbole.

    Republicans know how to fight the dirty fight of politics better the democrats. Much, much better! Now and quickly democrats, honest republicans and all righteous people need to get up to speed with these methods of war if we ever hope to salvage the fate of this nation from the downward spiral of greed, despotism, ignorance and cruelty it is currently on.

    Republicans win the war every day through gerrymandering, voter rights manipulations, 24/7 false propaganda media bombardment, hardball lobbying, punitive reprisals against any of their party who don’t adhere to the party line, tactical obstruction or railroading through of legislation as suits their purpose, fear mongering & false promises to the constituency and other skulduggery. But now they have unleashed their most potent tool: the weaponization of personal data via the internet. Be very aware of how your Facebook data is used against you. Read both of the important articles linked to this blog piece to understand how big money and state of the art computer science is utilizing quantitative human data and human characteristics to control our minds and has already succeeded wildly in getting a dangerous fool elected president.

    Democrats becoming aware of this information will do what they typically do, write articulate articles, make eloquent speeches and maybe execute a poignant demonstration or two. But this won’t stand up to the mass of misinformation constantly surging through the television and radio airwaves, false news internet outlets and social media portals, all pounding out a ceaseless juggernaut of propaganda that from its ubiquitous repetition alone becomes believed by those subjected to it just like terrorists utilize repetition to inculcate and mind control their disciples and delegitimize all contrary facts or opinions. And now the majority of the American public is being precisely identified and quantified by the most sophisticated computer science for the purpose of manipulating them into voting and acting against their own best interests.

    I don’t criticize the republicans as much as the democrats. The republican party has long been empowered and controlled by rich, brutal clandestine warriors of some sort of fascist Darwinian money creed. They can’t help their evil any more than a card carrying Nazi can because it’s in their DNA. The shame is on the milquetoast democrats who pretend to fight a war against these cretins from the safe civility of their ivory towers or through intellectual disquisitions that only they themselves read. Oh no. The righteous need to put down their quill pens and burn their ivory towers so they are not tempted to return to them and start fighting the bloody, dirty street war that they’ve avoided for so long now to the effect of having almost no control of the government left. Basically everything the republicans are doing the democrats need to do and better. A howitzer cannot be met with a 22 rifle. Considering that a majority of silicon valley is run by left wing people hopefully some serious internet weapons can be obtained and utilized for forces of good so that – we the people – of this nation are still the purpose of this nation. And the constant television and radio propaganda must be met head on too. And boots on the ground are needed to look into the eyes of the people and speak the truth to their ears, not just in democratic strongholds, but in the backwaters even more importantly. And in Federal, State and Local government the same down, dirty and despicable tactics used by the republicans need to be used against them, at least until the day they are outlawed, which will only conceivably come about from a stalemate of their usage by both sides.

    All of this and more will be necessary if there is to be any hope of pushing back the dark, cruel forces of greed and tyrannical power that are now very successfully and quickly destroying our once radiant democracy into a nightmare of savage avarice.

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