John and Catherine Debs

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Jerome & Catherine Debs II. Liberal Democrats.

The Debs contributed over $5 million to Burns’ Better Angels Society. Jerome “John” Debs, a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is founder of Bodri Capital Management and the Catfish Fund. The Debs give to San Francisco Bay Area K-12 education, college scholarships, National Public Radio, NPR, Tipping Point (Bay Area poor people), and Teach for America (recruiting teachers from DACA and others)

The couple also supports Reed College (John a former trustee) and the Aspen Institute. This is quite revealing.

Reed College. "Communism, Atheism, and Free Love.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, rates Reed College as “Red” …for substantially restricting freedom of speech.” Most Reed students opposed the war in Vietnam, particularly during the 1969 Moratorium and New Mobilization and in 1970 protests over Nixon’s Cambodia incursion and the Ohio National Guard killings at Kent State. A few Reed Students joined the SDS’s “Days of Rage” vandalizing parts of Chicago in 1969. Progressive Reed stands for inclusion and diversity, social responsibility, equality and secularism.” Historically, inclusion was a code word for welcoming communists into the “peace” movement, inevitably endorsing Hanoi’s terms for peace, a communist victory. Similarly, today inclusion focuses upon the demands of progressively certified victim groups and systematically excluding oppressive whites, conservatives, Republicans, the religious, etc. Reed surely declares “censorship or intimidation intolerable,” but its lack of ideological diversity suggests otherwise. There are few Republicans at Reed. Equality appears to override liberty. Secularism overrides religion. Carol Yost remembers open ridicule of religion, “Many …made fun of my [Methodist] religion.” They often broke into mock prayer. Nearby “Portlanders thought (Reed) represented "Communism, Atheism, and Free Love." Yost designed a sweatshirt with that slogan. The Reed Bookstore still proudly carries a t-shirt with those words.[1]

Aspen Institute. Along with George Soros, the Debs also support the Aspen Institute, “a nonpartisan forum …to search for common ground and make the world a better place,” e.g. promoting radical environmentalism and finding America structurally racist. Walter Isaacson, CEO of Aspen, a humanist, wrote a critical biography of Henry Kissinger. Kissinger did not get the USA out of Vietnam quickly enough. Aspen Institute and Isaacson led a national panel unscientifically alleging widespread troop victimization and long term ecological devastation of Agent Orange (actually short lived traces of dioxin) resulting in a $300 million payout and still counting. The Aspen Institute seeks “to create a safe place for all ideas to be debated and discussed in a non-partisan way, with a goal of finding viable solutions.” Indeed, the Institute has recently spoken out against American universities for “harboring intolerance and narrow-mindedness” and disinviting speakers. Eric L. Motley, Ph.D. a top manager of the Institute praises the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, for “the group’s willingness to forgive…Studying the Bible, we experienced the power of prayer and introspection.”

According to Open Secrets, compilers of Federal Election Commission reports of political contributors, candidates and PACs, Jerome and Catherine Debs has made very few, less than 10 political contributions favoring only one Republican, and Democrats Barak Obama, Bill Bradley and others. However, Catherine Debs was assistant chief of protocol for San Francisco Mayor and former Speaker of the California Assembly, Democrat Willie Brown, a major power broker in California for decades.

Back to Part III. Essays

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  1. Carol Yost, “Communism, Atheism, Free Love: how a T-shirt was born,” Reed Magazine, Volume 94, No. 3: September 2015.