about AEG and it's owner Philip Anschutz, who today is in the news because he is apparnatly not very friendly to the LGBT community and is a climate change denier, or so it's reported. It's hard to know anymore what is true and what isn't.
I have decided that it's time for me to make sure what I'm sharing and posting is accurate, so I did a little digging before I hit share, like (or love).
My quick search on the internet shows alot of articles making statements about donations to organizations classified as hate groups, films that critisize Unions, etc. from alot of smaller publications and even The Washington Post,and as the LA Weekly article says "He's an old Billionaire from Kansas" so that must prove it....
And yet I am confused. In my search, I did find articles about icky donations and support to orgs I don't like and I I also found that some of the statements made by Mr. Anschutz sound pretty awesome like this one from a panel which included Lady Gaga and The Dali Llama;
“The thing that we learned from the first ten or 15 years of [the foundation] is really the umbrella value here is kindness. If you have an individual that has kindness it correlates very strongly to having these other values that I touched on.”
He's speaking about his foundation "Foundation For a Better Life" Which states they claim no religious affiliation.
After checking out the sight and reading it's mission and values I have a really hard time disagreeing with what I can see they are up to (Note I said "see").
Here's a video from the site (There are hundreds crossing cultural, ethnic and economical lines). And I'm a firm beleiver in the notion that not all Christians are fanatics (Kinda like not all Muslims, Jews and Atheists either)
and a link to their values:
And apparantly he's building the worlds biggest wind farm according to Forbes Magazine. Climate denier? More likely an opportunitst and what Old Billionaire isn't? This is why it's become increasingly hard to discern and to simply boycott a company or organization who hasn't blatantly offended.
His companies have also donated to organizations which spread hate and misinformation on climate change, but it may not have been him, or it may have been through another non-profit for which they didn't know was donating to such an organization... Here in lies the big problem. It's nearly impossible to figure out without doing a whole lot of due dilligence, and who has time for that!
Let's look at Climate change. The LA Weekly article points to a study by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, - See more at: http://drexel.edu/now/archive/2013/December/Climate-Change/
Which sought to find out which companies were funding the denial of climate change. It's quite an interesting list - The Annenberg Foundation, Coors - Can't even drink a good old American Beer anymore! Geez it's impossible to know who's funding what and who I should stay away from and who I shouldn't! (See image at the bottom), FYI Didn't see AEG on the graph.
It is important to note that Mr. Anschutz made a heck of alot of money from oil...so he may have a dog in that fight.
So, if everything is so co-mingled and everybody has their hands in everything either because it's profitable or they just don't realize it, should I just boycott everything? Is that possible without selling everything and moving to the woods?
FYI I don't want to move to the woods - well let's just say I don't want to check out of society. I like society, I like my life, and I think that for the most part most people live with the same values I do. Kindness, compassion and community.
So is it possible Philip Anschutz has some skeletons in his closet? Yes he does and so do I, so if I am going to boycott him, then I've got to boycott myself.
We are in tricky times where so much is conveluted, is it possible The Foundation For a Better Life knowingly or unkowingly contributes to policies and organizations I don't agree with. Yes.
If we demand transperancy (Which we should), then we must act with it. There are a few ways we can do this without heading for the hills.
Here are my new rules for myself (Believe me, I've been guilty of not following many of these rules in the past)
1. STOP SHARING AND LIKING CRAP that you yourself haven't vetted. Stop expecting anyone else to do your homework. If you're going to use your social as a means to spread information than you are just as responsible for what you share than the person who's article you're sharing!
1. Ask questions, alot of questions: If you're going to donate to an organization, ask to look at how they spend their funds, you have to dig deep and latey it seems we are all just one clickers. In order to compile the little bit of reseacrh I did on Mr. Anschutz I had over 10 windows opened. I even download the Drexel study to review later! If an organization or non-profit supports something you don't like - don't donate AND let them know why!
2. Think Local and Go Indie! I have already begun checking my needs lists and making different choices on what products and services I purchase. Whenever I can I go Indie/direct (Indie bookstore, Indie artist, locally owned) .
3. Use your $ and Your Voice: When I decide to stop buying a product I let the company know why. Beleive it or not this makes a difference. Like Mr. Anschutz most corporations and their billionaire owners really care about money and if they see they are loosing alot of it, well they are apt to change their business practices. Here's an article siting some big changes due to public pressure: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/feb/09/corporate-ngo-campaign-environment-climate-change
4. Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle: Take one small step everyday to reduce your consumption. As hard as it is to say no, say it more often. This has been really intersting with my kids. Once I explained to them why we weren't shopping there anymore or why we didn't need this or that I was surprised and proud to see them not only get it, accept it but embrace it. Now, they are always on the look out for ways to use the three "r's" and they even know what products support their own values, google is a good thing and they are learning along with their mom that Knowledge is power and we have the power to choose products and services that support our values and impact our communities and the planet at large and our voice matters.
There has been alot of blame put on "Fake news" writers, The Left, The Right (I've seen CRAP from all sides), but ultimately if we don't like what's happening, it's up to us to do something about it. It's up to each one of us to take responsibility for what we put out in the world.
FYI since I first saw the 5 or six posts on my feed about AEG and Cochella and googled it and found over 200 articles citing it, it is now being reported as fake news and yet, no one who posted the original article has taken it down.... I honestly don't know if it's true or not and since I can't prove it... I won'tspread it.
Herre's Rolling Stones "Fake News Story" I like Rolling Stone even if they did list Eric Clapton as the 2nd greatest guitar player under Jimi Hendrix..
It's up to us