Jan 29 2014

The Hedge That Precipitated a Nazi Rant

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The other day the Wall Street Journal saw fit to post a now infamous screed by a Silicon Valley billionaire, Tom Perkins, who compared progressive political speech to Kristallnacht, the night of religious violence that led to the death of 91 Jews and paved the way politically for the Nazi Reich and the Holocaust. At Huffington Post, Richard (RJ) Eskow noted that in his rant, Mr, Perkins made some curious efforts to attack the San Fransisco Chronicle in defense of his ex-wife, “bodice ripper” author Danielle Steele. He apparently objected to some criticism that was made about a hedge, specifically this hedge:

<More Hedge photo 628x471_zpsc2466e1b.jpg

Now granted that is one humongous hedge. however, the objection that was made by the Chronicle was that it was obstructing the view of a historic landmark building that just happens to be the residence of Ms. Steele. There was no disparaging comments about her in the article which is barely a paragraph long but according to Mr. Perkins view it was “libelous and cruel attacks” at the orders of those damned lefties of Occupy Wall Street. He later admitted that the hedge issue sparked his poutrage. The fact that this triggered a spurious rant that the 1% are being attacked and tantamount to one of histories worst events casts serious some doubt about Mr. Perkins’ perspective. Just how did someone who is control of billions get this stupid? Too much rarefied air of places like Davos?

I agree with Mr, Eskow who wrote:

Even as global financial leaders fret over inequality at Davos, Tom Perkins is using extremist rhetoric to shut down such talk among his social inferiors. After an ugly screed, inspired in part by a gardening dispute, one hesitates to imagine what Perkins has in mind for more progressive-minded one-percenters like those at Davos and Kleiner Perkins — a Night of the Long Pruning Shears, perhaps?

Perkins may not like to hear it, but rising wealth inequality is shattering our society, as San Francisco’s plight so amply demonstrates. There is no room left for middle-class life in a society dominated by excessive wealth. Perkins may choose to become outraged over trivial as well as serious offenses, but he’s in the process of losing the one treasure which money can’t guarantee yet: the respect of others.

Problem is, I don’t think Mr. Perkins cares if we respect him. We don’t occupy his world.



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  1. TMC
  2. Zorba

    speech critical of the 1% to Kristallnacht was not just stupid and clueless, it was downright offensive.

    It’s people like Perkins who make me want to get out the torches, pitchforks, and tumbrels.  Anybody own a guillotine?

  3. TMC

    WSJ Defends Paranoid Rich Guy, Naturally

    The Nazi comparison was “unfortunate,” admitted the WSJ’s editorial team, in a piece pubbed late Wednesday night. But the WSJ also declared Perkins’ larger point — that the super-rich are demonized by the press and “liberals” — right on target. The outraged response to his letter proves the point, the WSJ triumphantly noted.

    The editors even found time to take shots at their rivals, including those nutty liberals (LOL) at Bloomberg View, writing: “The boys at Bloomberg View — we read them since no one else does — devoted an entire editorial to inequality and Mr. Perkins’s ‘unhinged Nazi rant.’ ” [..]

    In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Perkins did admit a smidgen of remorse about comparing the progressive movement to Kristallnacht —

    Still, like the folks at the WSJ, Perkins emphasized to Bloomberg that he doesn’t regret his message. [..]

    And perhaps that’s not too surprising. This is how a WSJ reporter described Perkins in a 2007 piece about the venture capitalist’s $150 million yacht: “He’s rich, he’s vulgar and he’s proud.”

    All that money can make you paranoid at 82.

  4. BobbyK

  5. TMC
  6. Zorba

    a tumbrel, but we do have a hay wagon.  That should do in a pinch.  We have pitchforks, and torches are easy to make.     😉

  7. Zorba

    the editorial pages in particular, has always espoused a hard-right, pro-corporatist viewpoint.   And it sure as hell hasn’t gotten any better since Rupert Murdoch bought it.  If anything, they’ve doubled down.

  8. TMC

    by making themselves the victims…”oh, the poor picked on rich, the bad economy is not our fault. It’s regulations, taxes and big government killing jobs. We’re the job creators.”

  9. Zorba

    get out my knitting and start encoding all their names into my work.

    “Tell the Wind and the Fire where to stop; not me!”

    Madame Defarge, A Tale of Two Cities

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