The Billionaire Brothers Who Make Us Sick
The Koch Brothers, enemy of the world-
A few months ago hardly anyone had heard of these two selfish billionaires who have been funding much of the far right’s effort to tear down the protection of our water, air, food supply, as well as, IMO, support policies that will destroy America herself. They support a radical state’s right’s view that would destroy the central government precisely because they know a collection of small states cannot stand up to them and their money on anything. Not on protecting our jobs, not on protecting our financial investments, not on protecting our small businesses, not on giving us access to good health care, not on maintaining competition in the marketplace, and, of course, not on protecting the land, air and water that give us life.
In fact, the “giant-corporation-first” philosophy, which so many international corporations use as their guide, is perhaps the greatest threat today every sovereign nation in the world faces. The giant corporations will plow every country under.
I ran across a brand new piece today from the head of the Sierra Club. Michael Brune’s opinions are at the link. My “modest” introduction might be what you might think is a bit strong. Brune gives the facts.
We can’t ignore these people any longer.
The Billionaire Brothers Who Make Us Sick. From Michael Brune’s blog. Sierra Club.
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Here is the original article on the Koch Brothers, exposing their operation. Covert Operations. By Jane Mayer August 30, 2010. The New Yorker.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
39 Responses to The Billionaire Brothers Who Make Us Sick
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I couldn’t agree more, Ralph. The biggest danger to America is corporatism. We’re slowly heading there as I type this. Citizens United and the media conglomeration under Clinton, Bush and Obama have made huge strides in achieving that result. Sadly, Obama is not relaly better than the others. What we need more than anything is a leader who will push back, Republican or Democrat.
The recent Supreme Court decisions relating to corporate political campaign funding empowers folks like the Kochs exponentially. In the last presidential campaign, 46% of media advertising was by groups that did not report their funding sources.
I can’t see how anyone on the left, middle, or right can think that is a healthy thing for a democracy.
I don’t think a lot of these people believe in political democracy as you and I understand it. They can’t believe that they should only have one vote when they are so much more important than other people.
They believe the only good goverment is the 20,000 police required to protect their dozen or so vacation homes, their $45 million office in Manhattan, their two $150 million yahts, their $330 million art collection, their $300 per plate resturants, and their staff of personal servants all from the rifraf of the lower races who might plunder it to feed themselves or their families. All other forms of goverment are immoral and just plain wrong. Goverment should do one thing and one thing only: police their wealth so you don’t so much as put a smudge on it…and it should be your taxes to pay for the police.
What is even more unsettling is that the Kocheads have managed to start a political movement. They are behind the Tea Party and have a couple of starry-eyed Supreme Justices who against all historical precedence have become politically active. It is there libratarian views that helped decide the Supreme Court decision about corporate contributions in political campaings. They obviously know better than the rest of us.
And for those of you who believe the Tea Party is a grassroots movement…guess again. It has been orchestrated and funded by the Kocheads and by Rupert Murdoch who owns News Corportion and Fixed News.
Speaking of Corporate Speak here:
From “The Heart of the Monster – Why the Pacific NW & Northern Rockies Must Not Become an Exxon-Mobil Conduit to the Alberta Tar Sands” by Rick Bass and David James Duncan:
ExxonMobil annual profit: (pure profit)
2005: $36.2 billion
2006: $39.5 billion
2007: $40.61 billion
2008: $45.2 billion
2009: $19.4 billion
Quote: “The lords of Big Oil are telling the citizens of the US : “We deserve to own absolutely everything, you deserve to own nothing, and our lobbyists,Supreme Court justices, and price-setting will go on purchasing “your” politicans, perverting your laws, and siphoning dry your wallets at the gas pump till that’s exactly the way it is.
This is not just “economic disparity between poor and wealthy: this is the psychotic predation of our nation.”
I would urge everyone to read this book, as the tentacles of this monster is much more nefarious than first meets the eye, and an urgently serious threat to impacting our way of life and the welfare of our natural resources.
Besides being a very good read (despite the ominous warnings) it is like finding a book about magic that explains how all the tricks are performed. But, magic is only an illusion, as it too is based on real science. Once the trick is learned, the magic disappears. More importantly, this magicians trick needs to be eliminated altogether.
I posted the link to this book a couple weeks ago, but maybe this thread is more appropriate than the one I placed it on. Thanks for bringing it up again. Also, see my post below.
These guys sound like they would make good public lands ranchers in another life. It’s the same kind of feeling of entitlement they seem to have.
Only worse. They want to own the entire planet and everyone on it.
Ken, they ARE public lands ranchers:
“The Matador Cattle Company is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., and operates ranches in Texas, Montana and Kansas that cover about 440,000 acres. ”
And people like to stomp and scream about what Ted Turner owns . . . pretty sure Ted isn’t an enemy of democracy like these guys are.
They also seem to believe that it is their oil they they pump from the ground when, in reality, something like oil belongs to everyone.
On the other hand, something like carbon dioxide that results from the combustion of oil products which they promote and sell, they view as a public problem that they exhonerate themselves from.
How about a warning on the gas pump that reads, “the production of this product is hazardous to the environment and usage of this product in your automobile is believed to contribute to global warming which may have disasterous effects on the weather in the near future.”
If we had any politicians with cojones there would endless initiatives where the oil industry should not only be forced to pay the US taxpayers back for all the royalties they got from extracting our oil, on our public lands.
A possible solution would be to find as many ways to stop using money as possible; if you aren’t using their currency, they could be marginalized, eventually.
These a#*holes are one of the reasons why capitalism and globalization are bad ideas.
Koch Brothers Palm Springs Gathering Draws Right-Wing Billionaires
On this topic, I would also suggest that everyone read this book. It was published in 2007 but is the historic account of how we got here and who the main players were and still are… A painful read but info we should all know. Anyone who has been paying attention to the world over the last four decades will recognize a lot of the events analyzed in this book and be able to make the connections that should be made with regard to what has happened recently all over the planet.
The Shock Doctrine; The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.
The web site covers more recent events as well as the book info.
Kieth Oberman would broadcast stories on the Koch Bros and I began noticing that everytime he did, the following day Fixed News would broadcast some story on the billionaire George Soros who is renouned for donating to liberal causes and to Democratic politicians.
There are some important differences between Soros and the Koch’s that Fixed News never mentions.
1) George Soros is not worth nearly as much money as the Koch’s and beyond personal wealth, Soros does not have as much influence since Koch Industires is a mega corp that has world wide influence and connetions.
2) Soros did not contribute very much money to politics until he set out to defeat George Bush in 2004 on purely moral or idealogical grounds.
3) Soros does not contribute nearly as much money to political groups as do the Kochs or Koch Industries.
4) None of Soros’s political contribution add to the profitability of the businesses which he controlls. Nearly all of the millions that the Koch’s contribute adds the the profitability of Koch Industries since most is desinged to ease government regulation and taxes.
5) Soros has been very transparent with his donations and very vocal about his reasoning and ideology. The Koch’s have made every effort to hide their political manipulation and contributions.
I have heard Fixed News vilainize Soros countless times talking about him as a monster and a threat to America. I have not heard anything about the Koch’s political influence on Fixed News.
Then too, the article Salle put a link to said right wing “billionaires,” not just “billionaire.”
If I recall correctly~ not sure on this but it seems as though it may be connecting some dots here ~ it seems that shortly after NPR did a small article on them members of Congress started screaming to defund it. Just like when (Dec 22, 1994) one of their reporters asked sNewt Gingrinch about his conflict of interest with regard to his $4m book deal with Rupert Murdoch… sNewt made a point of attacking PBS and NPR. I can imagine that these folks are where sNewt got his cash for the PACs and other ventures he’s troubled us with in the past and currently.
I’m sure Rupert Murdoch will be there. The family man and American partriot from Austrailia will be turning 80 in March. Since they have a few good resturants in Palm Springs, I’m sure Rupert will bring his 30-year-old ho…err, I mean wife.
Sorry, missed your Hrt of Mstr post earlier, (as I have been abscent from the blog world for awhile – and only enough time for dabbling here seasonally. Also, thank you for the other Shock Doctrine book review. A few weeks back I read all the reviews on amazon about it, and put it on my list then…but I’m a slow reader and have a pile of books I’m still wading through.
In regards to capitalism, despite the old adage about it being the worst system, other than all the rest, long ago I came to the conclusion that it will fail too, somewhere down the road. I just don’t see how anything that works under the basic princile of continuing “growth” can be sustainable when we live on a planet with a finite carrying capacity. (Unless you believe the t-shirts with “Earth today, Mars tomorrow” philosophy).
I have my own business, but I am not an empire builder, and have reached a sutainable level (granted it is a level pretty much at just keeping my head above water) to hopfully keep our ecological footbprint light upon the planet. All the same, we operate with less advantages accorded bigger business and growth. You know, like buy ten more ducks and get a bigger discount, etc. It seems like the only sustainable thing about capistalism is its penchant for oxymoronish sustainable growth (whatever the hell that is).
Personally I do NOT care for any of them. It seems today it is both parties, both the Republicans and the Democrats, have all been sold out to the International Banking Elites, the International Corporations, and Wall Street. And any politician these days is nothing but a puppet of these Elites including both Bush or Obama. When will how many of the people wake up! All of these Corporatists and Politicians toss out tidbits to the just fool the people but it is only the banking and corporate elites they in reality listen to. All of us are nothing but useless eaters and low sheeple people to be sheared by them the elites. Personally I think all of them rather it is the Rothchilds, the Rockefellers, George Soros, the Royalty in England and Europe, The Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and all of these so called Elites who really run things should get what they deserve for being in reality nothing but Traitors and Criminals against the people of the world, the planet we live on, and freedom and liberty everywhere. In My Personal Opinion!
Is what I do not understand is the people that say, well, the Koch’s ranch is bigger than Ted’s ranch, Murdock has much for control and capital than Soros, etc…
What, you don’t think Soros, Ted, and the other lefties would not be doing the same thing that the Koch bro’s Murdock etc…are doing if they had the political and financial capital to make it happen? Both sids are power hungry as hell and bent on being the grand puppet master!
“Both sides are power hungry as hell and bent on being the grand puppet master!”
Wolf Moderate, I Do Sooooo Agree!
That’s why they buy out both parties. It’s no longer democracy, it’s more like “monetocracy” or “corporatocracy” when the rich can buy the government and all it’s lawmaking faculties, which appears to be what we have or soon will have.
You know the country was very bad for this during the “robber barron” era after the Civil War. Then there were reforms and the robber barrons and big business had their wings clipped around the turn of the century. One of the biggest reformers was Teddy Roosevelt. Then the corporation began to rise in the US. Dwight Eisenhower warned America of an emerging Military-Industrial complex were private interest were interwound with pubic discourse. But what really opened the floodgates was Regan’s deregulation of the FCC.
I will leave it to those interested to read what this did and what affect it had on American politics. We have been moving to the right ever since. The wealthy and corportions have a free hand to manipulate broadcast news and information and have been brainwashing us on how to think and who to vote for ever since with a new morality of greed. A new plateau was reached when Rupert Mudoch created Fixed News Channel and began brainwashing Americans 7 days a week and 24 hours per day. Now we have the Kochheads actually meeing twice a year coordinating the brainwashing with Fixed News, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, with radio hosts, with print media, with the internet, and with carefully crafted misinformation coming from phoney science, secretly funded writers, secretly funded commentators, and a whole host of secretly funded sources of lies and deciet.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
You should be a guest on “Coast to Coast” w/ George Noory!
Now there’s something I wouldn’t argue about with you. With the “outing” of these guys, the cynic in me is vindicated
The Koch Brothers Dirty Money
There was even a mention of this meeting on CNN today but the big news story is Egypt, of course.
The CNN Report did mention that Congressman Eric Cantor, Republican Majority Leader is attending the conference in Palm Springs this weekend.
Attendees of previous similar events hosted by the bro’s mentioned in numerous news stories about this “gathering” include:
Rush Limpburger, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Glen Beck, Haley Barbour, Sen. Jim DeMint, Fred Malek: A former aide to George Bush, Malek was one of the top fundraisers for the $56m attack ad campaign that senior Bush adviser Karl Rove unleashed in the 2010 midterm elections, directed against Democratic candidates.
Also from The Guardian artcicle:
“The Koch brothers made good use of the ruling. Again, how much they invested in the elections is not known, but Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party-aligned movement founded and funded by the Kochs, has put its own spending at $45m.
Common Cause this week called on the US attorney general to investigate a possible conflict of interest. The group pointed out that two supreme court judges – Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia – had taken part in strategy sessions in a previous Koch gathering. Both ruled in favour of lifting the ban on corporate political spending, a move that directly forwarded the Koch brothers’ political aspirations.”
We need an Egyptian-style revolt against these thieves.
Justices Scalia and Thomas have engaged in an unprecedented amount of political activity while on the Court.
If congressional politics was right (or if they aren’t), impeachment proceedings are order. How can you trust that justice will be done when they plot with billionaire brothers to make a radical [reactionary] reversal of 200 years of constitutional history?
Sierra Club Press Release about Kocheads.
They intend to launch a campaign against all Kocheads.
This will make you smile… A week or so ago there was some little piece on NPR, I think, that told the story of how one of the bro’s funded an opera or something on Broadway and when he arrived, the audience booed him.
I’d like to see social media’s minions do with these jokers what is happening to Mubarek in Egypt. That would be soooo rewarding to see.
I wouldn’t count on it. I think groups like the Sierra Club are losing their clout. I think the only reason Obama got in is because the Kocheads underestimated the influence of the internet in the 2008 elections. They will not make that mistake again.
I just read that AlJazeeraNews/English has been blocked across the US… heaven forbid that we the little people should find out what’s really happening from an outside source… lest we get any ideas…
you might have a point there.
Got it, thanks.
25 Arrested in Palm Springs