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The Koch Empire: Fictional Evil becomes Reality

By Allen J Duffis
Published: November 7, 2011
 
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You disappoint me, Goldfinger. You know Operation Grand Slam simply won't work. And incidentally Delta nerve gas is fatal.

You are unusually well informed, Mr. Bond.

You'll kill 40 thousand people uselessly.

Ha! American motors kill that many every two years.

From the 1965 James Bond film "Goldfinger"

 

Can Fiction Become Real? - Yes!

If there was ever a living, operating, modern day scenario of a clandestine family empire that would be a match for the fictional James Bond world of super-villainy, without much doubt, the Koch Brothers (pronounced- coke) growing empire would most certainly fit the bill.

Take serious note of the following editorial as published in the Long Island Times.com:

(Long Island Times.com) Last week The New Yorker published a missive by Jane Mayer on one of the most dangerous families in America: billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, heirs to the Koch family fortune forged by their father, Fred, himself one of the most influential conservative figures of the 20th century. Their fortune came, predictably, from oil, though their business holdings have been widely diversified since its inception.

What made this article so important was the painstaking manner in which Mayer unraveled the Koch Industries juggernaut to reveal a multi-decade effort by the Koch family to present itself as cultural and political icons whose generosity is beyond reproach. Their donations to museums and think tanks give the impression they are part of the cultural elite, a seminal segment of the charitable establishment that funds areas of our society that government has left behind. This carefully managed image as benevolent billionaires belies the insidious nature of their true life’s work as polluters, climate-change deniers and political dissidents who will stop at nothing to dismantle the system of regulation and taxation in America. In the past decade alone Koch Industries, a $35 billion privately held petrochemical company, has been forced to commit more than a half a billion dollars to environmental remediation, lawsuits, fines and settlements for their scandalous business practices. (Read full article HERE)

Obsessed with Secrecy

Koch-Glitsch is part of a global empire run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.  In 1967 took a small Oil Company they inherited from their father, and built it into a chemical, textile, trading and refining conglomerate spanning more than 50 countries.

It should be noted that Koch Industries is obsessed with secrecy, and discloses only an approximation of its annual revenue - $100 billion a year: the Koch brothers reveal nothing about the company's profits.

Charles, 75, and David, 71, each worth about $20 billion, are prominent financial backers of groups that believe that excessive regulation is sapping the competitiveness of American business. They inherited their anti-government leanings from their father.

Their father, Fred Koch, was an early adviser to the founder of the anti- communist crusading John Birch Society, which fought against the civil rights movement and the United Nations. Charles and David have supported the Tea Party, a loosely organized group that aims to shrink the size of government and cut federal spending. These are long-standing goals for the Koch's that they believe in with the ferocity of religious zealots.

In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket, pledging to - abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve System, welfare, minimum wage laws and federal agencies - including the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.

What many people don’t know is how the 'Koch anti- regulation political ideology' has influenced the way the Koch empire conducts business and, more specifically, just how they conduct the business they do. The following from a Bloomberg marketing magazine offers a frightening view:

Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales

By Asjylyn Loder and David Evans - Bloomberg Market Magazine

In May 2008, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, sent Ludmila Egorova-Farines, its newly hired compliance officer and ethics manager, to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles in southern France. In less than a week, she discovered that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.

“I uncovered the practices within a few days,” Egorova- Farines says. “They were not hidden at all.”

She immediately notified her supervisors in the U.S. A week later, Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries dispatched an investigative team to look into her findings, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

By September of that year, the researchers had found evidence of improper payments to secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002, authorized by the business director of the company’s Koch-Glitsch affiliate in France.

“Those activities constitute violations of criminal law,” Koch Industries wrote in a Dec. 8, 2008, letter giving details of its findings. The letter was made public in a civil court ruling in France in September 2010.

Egorova-Farines wasn't rewarded for bringing the illicit payments to the company’s attention. Her superiors removed her from the inquiry in August 2008 and fired her in June 2009, calling her incompetent, even after Koch’s investigators substantiated her findings.

At present, nationally and internationally, these people operate completely outside of the boundaries of established law with - impunity.

Once Upon A Time...

The Tea Party movement and the Koch family’s obscene wealth go back a long way. In The association can be traced all the way back to grandpa Frederick C. Koch, one of the founding members of the far-right John Birch Society. Grandpa Koch was convinced that socialism was taking over America through Jews, unions, colored people, homosexuals, the Kennedys and, at one point, President even Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The Koch's view themselves as 'true-believer' Libertarians; in fact, they are fanatic on this point. The elder brother, Charles, runs the family business in Wichita, Kansas, and freely quotes the wisdom of proto-libertarian "economist" Ludwig von Mises. However, he does see himself as an economist in his own right, and in 2007 made his contribution to the body of free-market thought with an economic theory he calls "Market-Based Management" (a term he trademarked).

In 1961, Koch published a pamphlet entitled "A Businessman Looks at Communism," in which he recounted his travels with a "hardcore Communist" named Jerome Livshitz. It was from Livshitz that Fred Koch first learned about the commie conspiracy to take over America:

'The government detailed a little man by the name of Jerome Livshltz to go around to our various installations with me. Livshitz had taken part in the revolution of 1905, and had spent twelve years in the U.S.A. as a revolutionary, most of the time in jails….

"In the months I traveled with him he gave me a liberal education in Communist techniques and methods. He told me how the Communists were going to infiltrate the U.S.A. in the schools, universities, armed forces and to use his words, "Make you rotten to the core." I believe that due to his American experience he was one of the original architects of the Communist plan of subversion of the U.S.A.".

Fred Koch’s paranoia continued up unto his death in 1967, by which time son Charles, had already taken over control of the family business. But he made his father’s 'communist paranoia' the basis of the family’s free-market business philosophy.

The Koch Brothers Efforts toward Public Education and Voter Suppression:

Specifically, what the Koch Brothers are trying to accomplish via the “Americans for Prosperity" organization they fund (as attempted with the public schools in Raleigh, NC) was the opening shot in a blatant effort to turn back public education in the U.S. And they have recently come under fire for voter suppression activities in 38 states throughout the nation, eyeing the 2012 national election.

Today, Koch industries operates thousands of miles of pipelines in the United States, refines 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily, buys and sells the most asphalt in the nation, is among the top 10 cattle producers, and is among the 50 largest landowners. Koch Industries also poured hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing organizations like Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society—all of them promoting the usual billionaire-friendly ideas of the free market, deregulation and smaller government.

All of these politically nefarious activities would be, under normal day to day circumstances, no more disrupting to the American political stream than today's standard 'dirty' politics - one corporation at a time.

Where as the Koch political influence does so from a country within a country; for the Koch Empire, in and of itself, is a - Private Nation - operated by two men who are as deadly earnest in their intentions for this country as was the arch villain, Auric Goldfinger, of James Bond fame.

The Koch Political - Media Reach

Herman Cain's long ties to Koch Brothers

(AP) IOWA CITY, Iowa - Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.

Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of loyal grassroots fans.

The once little-known businessman's political activities are getting fresh scrutiny these days since he soared to the top of some national polls.

The Romney Connection

It should be noted that David Koch hosted one of the first fundraisers for Romney’s current bid to gain the White House. And according to Romney's campaign manager, "the Kochs are the financial engines of the Tea Party.” Though Romney claims to be “not concerned with the rich”, the actual policies he’s proposed would ensure that the Kochs’ - never have to pay their fair share.

Romney has, of late, been trying to claim the economic plan he put forth is meant to aid the middle-class, not those in the Koch brothers’ tax bracket. “I want to focus on where the people are hurting the most, and that’s the middle class."

"I'm not worried about rich people. They are doing just fine,” Romney said at a GOP debate. He then went on to assert, “I'm proposing no new tax cuts for the rich.”

Leaving aside that Romney intends to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; he has proposed a huge giveaway to the very rich by suggesting - the complete elimination of the estate tax. Only the very richest households in the country ever have to pay the estate tax, since, right now, an estate must be worth more than $5 million (or $10 million for a couple) to pay any estate tax at all.

Currently, more than half of the estate tax is paid by the wealthiest 0.1 percent of families. And a ballpark estimate indicates the heirs’ of the Koch brother's would save a combined $17.4 billion in estate taxes: all thanks to Romney’s plan. Try the following rough calculations on for size:

The Koch brothers Charles and David are worth approximately $25 billion each. And since they are both married, they would receive an exemption on the first $10 million that they pass down, and then their heirs would pay a 35 percent tax - or $8.7 billion on the rest of their vast fortunes.

Now, it’s almost certain that the Koch’s have done extensive estate planning, and would pay nowhere near that amount. But Romney’s plan to eliminate the estate tax entirely would, without doubt, - save the Koch family a hell of a lot of money.

Themis - A Plan in the Making

The following is excerpted from a revealing editorial in the British newspaper, the Guardian:

The Guardian - UK
Nov. 7, 2011

The secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers are close to launching a nationwide database connecting millions of Americans who share their anti-government and libertarian views, a move that will further enhance the tycoons' political influence and that could prove significant in next year's presidential election.

The database will give concrete form to the vast network of alliances that David and Charles Koch have cultivated over the past 20 years on the right of U.S. politics. The brothers, whose personal wealth has been put at $25 bn each were a major force behind the creation of the tea party movement, and enjoy close ties to leading conservative politicians, financiers, business people, media figures and US supreme court judges.

The voter file was set up by the Kochs 18 months ago with $2.5m of their seed money, and is being developed by a hand-picked team of the brothers' advisers. It has been given the name Themis, after the Greek goddess who imposes divine order on human affairs.

In classic Koch style, the project is being conducted in great secrecy. Karl Crow, a Washington-based lawyer and Koch adviser who is leading the development, did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did media representatives for Koch Industries, the brothers' global energy company based in Wichita, Kansas.

But a member of a Koch affiliate organisation who is a specialist in the political uses of new technology and who is familiar with Themis said the project was in the final preparatory stages. Asking not to be named, he said: "They are doing a lot of analysis and testing. Finally they're getting Themis off the ground."

The Tea Party Juggernaut

There is, of course, no central nervous system within the Tea Party. Nor is there a comprehensive platform or call to action other than to call for a return to traditional faith-based Christian values and less government intervention in our lives. For many Americans these are extremely palatable and positive concepts. But the true architects of the movement, such as the Koch brothers, who stoke the flame of discontent in America, are shielded from the public eye; it is as though the machines have come alive through artificial intelligence and are hell-bent on destroying humanity. This week, the anointed spokespeople and demagogues fronting the movement, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, hosted a bizarre yet extremely well-attended rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous civil rights march on Washington where he delivered perhaps his most famous “I Have a Dream” address.

Beck’s hokey, milquetoast evangelism and Palin’s gosh-golly, you-betcha wink-fest played perfectly to the assembled masses who celebrated, or rather, declared that….um…called for us to follow God - well, Christ really—and that we’re going in the wrong direction because the right direction is… uh…backwards! Yes, we need to go backwards! (I watched the speeches and quite honestly I have no idea what the point of the rally was except to further the strength of the Koch zeitgeist through Rupert Murdoch’s bully pulpit and impute the Obama administration for all that is wrong with America.)

This much I do know: The Koch brothers are powerful and evil. Mayer’s deconstruction of the Koch plan for America - or, if you prefer, plan to increase their personal wealth at the expense of the planet and all those who inhabit it - has also exposed the likes of Palin and Beck as the patsies they really are. They aren’t quite stupid, per se, but intellectually inadequate to understand how they are being lulled into the menacing plutocracy that the Koch brothers have woven...

Where They Want to Take America

This question can best be answered by the final two paragraphs from the Long Island Press article:

....Most Americans don’t have the time or inclination to peel the onion of American politics to reach the rotten core. We are busy raising families, helping neighbors, putting food on the table. In between, however, we are pummeled by talking heads who decry the evils of the Left and of the Right and tell us how government is either at the root of your woes or the answer to your prayers.

Right now, the Koch brothers are riding high by deriding the government and playing the recession for all it is worth. But Jane Mayer peeled back this particular onion to reveal its true inner core and, as expected, not only does it stink, it might even make you cry. (Read full article HERE)

Look out America; they're coming after your country and your future!

 

 

 

Your comments - The voices of our readers

 

This reads like some liberal leftist manifesto. Most of the things you are attacking them for conservatives would praise them for. I with the Right had a few more benefactors like the Koch brothers. Maybe we'd start winning a few more battles if we did instead of losing so often.

Dave the Sage, CO

I see your postings all over the Townhall website. I knew that sooner or later one of the political right-wing crazies would gravitate to your site to post a comment. Please don’t let it discourage you (CI), and keep up the good fight. Your site and viewpoints are very enlightening.

P. Boyle Toronto, Canada

       
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