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(Washington Post)   David Koch contributes $35 million to Smithsonian National Museum for new dinosaur hall. Most money now given by the Koch family for a dinosaur since they donated to the McCain campaign   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 53
    More: Cool, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian, McCain campaign, Koch Brothers, American Museum of Natural History, David H. Koch, State Theatre, Koch Industries  
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606 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 May 2012 at 10:08 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-05 07:46:57 AM
Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?
 
2012-05-05 10:18:26 AM

oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?


One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.
 
2012-05-05 10:31:50 AM

unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.


a simple question of priorities.

Supporting science and art = low.
Supporting the right of the wealthy to enjoy every advantage of advanced western society while contributing little or nothing to = high.

Somebody who will give away public resources and dump all business externalities like pollution and environmental destruction on the general public, to the benefit of the Kochs and their ilk, is vastly more useful than someone who merely supports scientific literacy.
 
2012-05-05 10:32:50 AM

unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.


They've also given tons of money to the ACLU - they aren't fans of the Patriot Act either.

/people are complicated - go figure
 
2012-05-05 10:33:30 AM

unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.



meh. not hard to reconcile. when the country is 15,000,000,000,0000 in debt with no end in sight, there are things that you just can't afford anymore.

arts and a new building for dinosaurs is high on that list for cutting.
 
2012-05-05 10:34:46 AM
Thank goodness. That exhibit is horribly done. They have a section talking about outdated views of dinosaurs, but every single dinosaur there has its tail dragging on the ground. One of the exhibits has honest to god toys acting as models.
 
2012-05-05 10:35:21 AM
"We are dismantling the country in order to set up a Oligarchy, but to you slaves we give the opportunity to look at cool dinosaur bones in those fleeting moments of leisure we graciously allow you", intoned Our Benevolent Lord Koch, "NOW BACK TO WORK MAGGOTS!"

Go back and look at the "futurism" of the 40 & 50s. Notice now in them the common man is working less, but enjoying increased prosperity? These were the dreams of The Greatest Generation. [Boomer] Greed destroyed that dream.
 
2012-05-05 10:36:54 AM

PirateFreedom: Supporting science and art = low.
Supporting the right of the wealthy to enjoy every advantage of advanced western society while contributing little or nothing to = high.


The Koch Brothers give more money away to science and research than any other single thing (cancer research is a high priority for them) - including politicians - so how does that mean their support of science is low?

My feeling is that the Koch brothers like the Carnegie model. Make as much money as possible via any vile means possible and then give it all away.
 
2012-05-05 11:09:56 AM

PirateFreedom: unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.

a simple question of priorities.

Supporting science and art = low.
Supporting the right of the wealthy to enjoy every advantage of advanced western society while contributing little or nothing to = high.



i was going to comment but then I realized that I had no idea wtf you were trying to say.
 
2012-05-05 11:23:46 AM

unyon: One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.


it's actually very simple to reconcile. some people do not believe that the government should be funding the arts. some people also believe that science should not be funded solely by the government. given the tiny fraction of the budget that science and arts spending represents, this is presumably less a matter of "fiscal responsibility" than a matter of preserving freedom of expression in those fields. while the situation is obviously not analgous, an extreme example would be the complete control over science and the arts in the soviet union---it is easy to see the detrimental effects of "centralized" arts and sciences, despite the plethora of talented and well-trained soviet artists and scientists.
 
2012-05-05 11:47:31 AM

unyon: One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.


they probably believe it should be in the hands of private wealthy families like his not in the hands of icky gubbermint where the poor masses might benefit.
 
2012-05-05 11:47:39 AM
I wonder what the tax mitigation implications of such a gift ...

Plus its something to throw back at critics: "I did a token good so it wipes out all my evil."
 
2012-05-05 11:57:21 AM

Corporate Self: I

Plus its something to throw back at critics: "I did a token good so it wipes out all my evil."


do you think for a minute that these multi-billionaires gave a fark about what their critics say? Seriously??
 
2012-05-05 12:10:12 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Corporate Self: I

Plus its something to throw back at critics: "I did a token good so it wipes out all my evil."

do you think for a minute that these multi-billionaires gave a fark about what their critics say? Seriously??


they can buy their critics, and have them cleaning their toilets

so not so much
 
2012-05-05 12:28:30 PM
A lot of the Koch brothers donations seem to be oriented around ancient history and evolution. It is almost as if they're trying to promote the idea of Darwinism as a concept that can be applied everywhere. Funding elections in Wisconsin that would not go the way you want if you didn't fund your own candidate? Darwinism.
 
2012-05-05 12:48:55 PM

gingerjet: unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.

They've also given tons of money to the ACLU - they aren't fans of the Patriot Act either.

/people are complicated - go figure


David Koch also has a theater named after him in Lincoln Center.

I think they've pretty much established themselves as libertarians / minarchists. Perhaps in their vision they want support of the arts to come from private sources instead of taxpayer dollars. This would also be consistent with their support for the ACLU -- at least they're not partisan in their support of individual rights (although technically the ACLU isn't "partisan" either.)

/Of course this doesn't mean they're not dicks.
 
2012-05-05 01:08:45 PM
David is the Carnegie-esque guy.
Charles is the nutcase.

Link
 
2012-05-05 01:24:38 PM

unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.


I've never been able to figure that out either. It's why I don't think that those guys are inherently evil. If they were they would never give the kinds of money they do to the arts and sciences.
 
2012-05-05 01:33:03 PM

Forgot_my_password_again: they probably believe it should be in the hands of private wealthy families like his not in the hands of icky gubbermint where the poor masses might benefit.


Yes, because how will the poor masses ever be able to take advantage of a new dinosaur exhibit at a museum that is free to the general public? Private citizens should know better than to try to do anything philanthropic, that's clearly the sole province of the pure hearted folks in the federal government.

Cubicle Jockey: David is the Carnegie-esque guy.
Charles is the nutcase.


It's hardly that cut and dry, though I suppose that depends in part on which organization you consider to be more 'nutcase' AFP or CATO. David is more heavily involved in AFP, Charles is more heavily involved at CATO. David's charity work tends to involve mostly cancer research, science, and the arts. Charles' tends to focus more on higher education.
 
2012-05-05 01:47:29 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Corporate Self: I

Plus its something to throw back at critics: "I did a token good so it wipes out all my evil."

do you think for a minute that these multi-billionaires gave a fark about what their critics say? Seriously??



That's why they hire publicists.
 
2012-05-05 02:50:15 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.


meh. not hard to reconcile. when the country is 15,000,000,000,0000 in debt with no end in sight, there are things that you just can't afford anymore.

arts and a new building for dinosaurs is high on that list for cutting.


We still got money for jets and bombs and shiat though, right? I can't think of a single damn thing science has done for us but paying for those jets to blow shiat up on the other half of the globe is super important.
 
2012-05-05 03:14:43 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.


meh. not hard to reconcile. when the country is 15,000,000,000,0000 in debt with no end in sight, there are things that you just can't afford anymore.

arts and a new building for dinosaurs is high on that list for cutting.


We can't raise taxes on the rich to continue paying for these kinds of things things, because then they wouldn't be able to create jobs. But if we keep their taxes low, they will voluntarily pay for the things their taxes would have gone to support. Hopefully.

Regardless, that's incredibly awesome that he's donating money for this kind of thing. Helping keep the public interested in excited about science and learning is a very, very worthwhile use of money.
 
2012-05-05 03:35:42 PM

Talondel: Yes, because how will the poor masses ever be able to take advantage of a new dinosaur exhibit at a museum that is free to the general public?


Reading is a step, next try comprehension.
 
2012-05-05 04:28:38 PM

oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?


The last time I was at the Natural History Museum I noticed a new incredibly deluxe exhibit on Human evolution that heavily emphasized how we evolved from earlier primates and how every human on earth is part of the same species. At the end of the introductory movie I was stunned to hear "Welcome to the David Koch Hall of Human Origins"

so whatever else he is, he dun did good with that
 
2012-05-05 04:31:39 PM
Probably libs will be dismayed that this money did not go to fund abortions, or food stamps for the poor un-aborted people.
 
2012-05-05 04:52:05 PM
arts and a new building for dinosaurs Aircraft Carriers and tax cuts for people like Paris Hilton is high on that list for cutting

FTFY
 
2012-05-05 05:21:55 PM

gingerjet:

They've also given tons of money to the ACLU - they aren't fans of the Patriot Act either.

/people are complicated - go figure


Do you have a citation for there ACLU support? Most reports of that go back to an unsubstantiated rumor and no one has ever found any paperwork backing that claim.
 
2012-05-05 05:24:59 PM

Corporate Self: "We are dismantling the country in order to set up a Oligarchy, but to you slaves we give the opportunity to look at cool dinosaur bones in those fleeting moments of leisure we graciously allow you", intoned Our Benevolent Lord Koch, "NOW BACK TO WORK MAGGOTS!"

Go back and look at the "futurism" of the 40 & 50s. Notice now in them the common man is working less, but enjoying increased prosperity? These were the dreams of The Greatest Generation. [Boomer] Greed destroyed that dream.


Lighten up, Francis. Look on it as money spent on something useful, when otherwise it would have been spent on promulgating bad ideas.
 
2012-05-05 05:37:12 PM
Some of us Las Vegans have told our local PBS channel that we're boycotting all programming funded by David Koch. We'd rather that they sign off at midnight that give that creep more ego fuel.
 
2012-05-05 05:47:03 PM
Now he can insist that a clay figure of Jesus is astride a brontosaurus
 
2012-05-05 05:55:22 PM

Jacobin: Now he can insist that a clay figure of Jesus is astride a brontosaurus


Like I said upthread, the guy responsible for paying for this:
media3.washingtonpost.comhumanorigins.si.edu

www.si.edu

has many faults but being a creationist is not one of them
 
2012-05-05 06:05:34 PM
And Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of my local library. That doesn't make him not a robber baron either, just a robber baron who cared about the publicity he got.
 
2012-05-05 07:18:10 PM
David Koch confuses me.

First he underwrites NOVA on PBS
Then he undermines democracy post Citizen United.
And most recently he contributes money to promote ideas that 40% of the voting public he wants to cajole rejects.

Sigh... Why do republicans have to include fundamentalist christianity as a core group? Why can't those crazies be their own interest group rather than a controlling interest group?
 
2012-05-05 09:11:11 PM
David Koch is what a polished turd might look like.
 
2012-05-05 09:15:16 PM

karl2025: Thank goodness. That exhibit is horribly done. They have a section talking about outdated views of dinosaurs, but every single dinosaur there has its tail dragging on the ground. One of the exhibits has honest to god toys acting as models.


The best natural history exhibit I have personally seen is the one at the Field Museum in Chicago. Great use of both visual tools as well as auditory exhibits and even some tactile areas. It also has a fantastic flow, guiding the viewer through the evolution of life. I grew up with the National Natural History museum in DC, and it definitely could use an upgrade.

/Meh, it's still free
 
2012-05-05 09:45:35 PM
I see this is mostly a political discussion which I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. That said, if one is into dinosaurs the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta is a must visit.
It is located in badlands which is very cool.

Royal Tyrell
 
2012-05-05 09:52:05 PM
If I got taxed at 9 percent, I'd contribute another 11 percent to the public good -- of my own choosing -- then write it off and reap the social benefits. That would still leave me 6 percent ahead of suckers like me.
 
2012-05-05 09:53:05 PM
Not that it wouldn't be nice of me to throw in that 11 percent...
 
2012-05-05 10:15:54 PM

New Age Redneck: I see this is mostly a political discussion which I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. That said, if one is into dinosaurs the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta is a must visit.
It is located in badlands which is very cool.

Royal Tyrell


And you can make a full weekend of it by driving over to Dinosaur Provincial Park (a UNESCO world heritage site) the next day looking at bones sticking out of the outcrop.

Absolutely surreal.

Dinosaur Provincial Park.
 
2012-05-05 10:26:59 PM

GoodHomer: New Age Redneck: I see this is mostly a political discussion which I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. That said, if one is into dinosaurs the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta is a must visit.
It is located in badlands which is very cool.

Royal Tyrell

And you can make a full weekend of it by driving over to Dinosaur Provincial Park (a UNESCO world heritage site) the next day looking at bones sticking out of the outcrop.

Absolutely surreal.

Dinosaur Provincial Park.


Awesome. Thanks, guys. Did not know about these places.
 
2012-05-05 11:32:12 PM

Magorn: Jacobin: Now he can insist that a clay figure of Jesus is astride a brontosaurus

Like I said upthread, the guy responsible for paying for this:
[media3.washingtonpost.com image 640x371][humanorigins.si.edu image 640x225]
[www.si.edu image 400x300]

has many faults but being a creationist is not one of them


Unlikely, but if we'd rather turn this into a cool science thread over a politics one, I'll start by saying that is a really fun exhibit to walk through and explore if you play with all the options.
 
2012-05-06 01:23:25 AM
He's a creationist social Darwinist.
 
2012-05-06 03:45:02 AM
Well gee I guess this makes up for all of those kids dying of cancer because of runoff from Koch paper mills or highjacking of entire state governments, huh?
 
2012-05-06 04:34:08 AM

unyon: One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours.


It is all about power. They want control. Control of resources, and control how it is distributed.
 
2012-05-06 05:05:33 AM

born_yesterday:
Absolutely surreal.

Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Awesome. Thanks, guys. Did not know about these places.


If the fossil record as a whole is what interests you, about 3 hours west of Drumheller and 250 million years older is the Burgess Shale. It's one of the best preserved (and only) records of the Cambrian Explosion. Fossils of soft-shelled organisms like trilobytes up to a metre in length, half a metre long, and half a billion years old. Come to Alberta, fossils we got.

Link
 
2012-05-06 05:25:14 AM

unyon: oldernell: Will they have the fossilized bones of Jesus riding it(or Reagan)?

One of the more difficult things to reconcile is how generous the Kochs have been to their philanthropic support of arts and science, while clearly supporting politicians that would gladly gut funding to these sorts of endeavours. Never mind their support of candidates that simply distrust science on all levels, including, as you point out, young earth creationists.

One senses that they like the politics of individualism, but wouldn't mind beating a little sense into these people on the science side.


They are unbelievably lazy if they refuse to find people that like and understand science and at the same time can have their business ethics bought off. Well either that or they want to feel the true power of their money by installing people that should be unelectable morons into high offices around the country just to see if they can do it.
 
2012-05-06 08:30:07 AM
I am wondering if the timing on this is to take the spotlight off the Koch Bros trying to by all the Wisconsin powerplants from the bill rammed through last year:

SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling,
and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the
department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may
contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without
solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best
interest of the state.
Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or
certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to
purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is
considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification
of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
 
2012-05-06 10:45:46 AM

unyon: born_yesterday:
Absolutely surreal.

Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Awesome. Thanks, guys. Did not know about these places.

If the fossil record as a whole is what interests you, about 3 hours west of Drumheller and 250 million years older is the Burgess Shale. It's one of the best preserved (and only) records of the Cambrian Explosion. Fossils of soft-shelled organisms like trilobytes up to a metre in length, half a metre long, and half a billion years old. Come to Alberta, fossils we got.

Link


And if you can get up to Grande Cache (long drive, but worth it), you can see dinosaur trackways covering bedding planes the size of multiple city blocks, which were uncovered during a strip-mining coal operation.

Grande Cache trackways.

There are also ammonite mines in southern Alberta.

Link

Lots of paleontological things to do in Alberta.
 
2012-05-06 02:58:09 PM

GoodHomer: Grande Cache trackways.


You know, I've lived in Alberta my entire life, and never knew about these trackways. 've been north of there, (Slave, Valleyview, Beaverlodge, Hythe, GP, Dawson), and south (Hinton, Whitecourt), but never have had occasion to go to Grand Cache. It looks to be centrally located- about 3 hours from anything in any direction.
 
2012-05-06 03:39:33 PM
First generation: Big Daddy makes immense amounts of money working with Stalin in the USSR to develop the oil, natural gas and other resources of one sixth of the land area of the Earth.

Second generation: The boys white wash, launder the dirty money, and buy their way into the top ranks of Society and politics, while making a lot of extraction industry monies of their own, leaning on the government's generous policy of handing over public lands and resources to corporations and ultra-wealthy families. One third of the land in the USA is government-owned but the usufructs of that land often end up lining the coffers of the super-rich.

In additiont to buying their way into the upper class by plowing their profits into the arts and sciences, the Koch brothers have spent tens of millions buying up the economics departments of universities and turning them into Objectivist factories stamped with the imprimateur of Ayn Rand, the Biatch of the White Russians.

Libertarianism is Social Darwinism in sheep's clothing. Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism motived men like Carnagie because it told them that no matter how rapacious and crooked and evil they were, they were doing the Work of God and Nature by being the best top predators that they could be. Ayn Rand just popularized this kind of thinking with bad novels--brilliantly bad novels. She was a phoney all the way--a rugged individualist who sucked at the public teat when it suited her, a severe moralist who was an adulteress, a total mythmonger who was the star of all her own myths.

You could see how she would fit in.

This "individualist", "free-enterprising", "Social Darwinism", "libertarian" ideology is the rationalisation of the ruthlessness and selfishness and oligarchic exploitation of the nouveau riche and the "natural leaders" of the world.

Notice, however, that although these people are gung-ho on "freedom", they mean their freedom, and while the are gung-ho on "private" power versus government power, they mean their private power versus the semi-democratic, sometimes socially enlightened, occasionally liberal (in the economic and the social senses of the world) power of governments which represent, if not the people, then at least the middle classes, the small capitalists, the farmers, and the people concerned about all the externalities, imperfections, and injustices of a pure free market system, if there were such a thing.

Nobody sucks at the government teats like a "lie-bertarian". H. Ross Perot, an early proto-type, made his billions providing computer services to the Government and other public agencies. The Coors, brewers (brewers being a long-standing power in politics well before the existence of capitalism or the USA), are basically extraction industrialists since brewing depends on farmland and water resources owned by the government or private owners, but very sensitive to the attempts of governments to eliminate or mitigate externalities such as undrinkable water downstream.

The Kochs are classic giant landlords with their fingers in every pie and their irons in every fire: they are the second largest privately owned industrial complex in the USA, with their money coming from farming, lumbering, paper, mining--every extraction industry going.

Like the Coal Lords of Ye Merrie Olde Englande, they are the most destructive and ruthless members of the upper classes. Coal is literally and figuratively one of the hardest, meanest, dirtiest industries in all of space and time.

It takes a whole lot of whitewashing to whitewash coal money.

Everything that the Kochs (pronounced "cokes", which is ironic beyond measure, since coke is the primary traditional product of coal) do is bent to support and rationalize their business plan. Buying up art, science, bending economics towards the claptrap theories of that Great Bore of Babylon, Ayn Rand, and others like her, buying and selling politicians, support anti-science propaganda at every turn, and so forth--it's all bent towards making the Kochs and their ilk the masters of the world at the expense of liberal democracy, real science, and the interests of everybody else in society.

Adam Smith would be appalled. Appalled but not surprised, because he was well aware that the merchantilist elites of his day were full of crap and that their interests often overrode the interests of the Crown, the people and the nation because the governing elites and the masses trusted them too much and did not understand economics as well as they did. Smith was a free trader, a real proponent of liberal economics (free markets, free trade, freedom from tyranny by any class or party or interest) as well as ethical and liberal social organization. Smith was the author of a very important work on morals and was a moralist before he was an economist, which is probably why he remains the greatest of all economists because much economics is theoretical and abstract and useless without moral guidance. The failing of utilitarianism, the failing of Social Darwinism, of Communism, Capitalism and much modern economics is to fail to place economics firmly within a moral, ethical and epistemological context.

If you don't have morals to guide your economics, it makes sense to sell your grandmother for a penny you wouldn't otherwise get. If you don't have morals to guid your economics or your business, it makes sense to promote and protect the "right to pollute", the right to tyrannize, and the right to corrupt and destroy good governance. Externalities. It all comes down to externalities. This is the greatest failure of economics as an art and science. It is also a moral failure. You are not just maximizing your profits when you produce externalities. You are stealing it. And you are harming other people and the world. This is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs at best, a crime against humanity, nature and God the rest of the time.

Basically, the Koch Brothers are just playing the game according to the rules: you make your money any way you can. Business is not a charity. The highest value is profit and nothing else matters. It doesn't matter that the rules you follow on business days are opposite and the negation of the values the pulpit preaches to you on Sunday. Business is business. There is no God but Mammon. It doesn't matter that your "business ethics" are those of a sociopath, which is to say no ethics at all. Ethics and morality and religion are good for the servants, women and children. Real men don't believe in any of that sentimental crap from that f*gg*t Jesus. They believe in the Muscular Jesus of Social Darwinism and White Man's Burden.

He might as well be the Antichrist, since he behaves no differently.

You need a programme to tell the White Hats from the Black Hats in this Cowboy Capitalist ethic. Fortunately, the Kochs are only too happy to write the programme and publish it at their own expense.

Thorstein Veblen understood capitalism better than an American economist since. He placed it clearly in a social and "ethical" context, etching the outline of the self-delusion and ideology of the upper classes with acidic wit and irony. It's a minor job to adapt his "conspicuous consumption" to, say, the conspicuous non-consumption of modern art or green capitalism.

But Adam Smith, the supposed Prophet of Profits, was the real best critic of capitalism of the type which prevails in America. There was no lack of Social Darwinism before Darwin. There was no lack of Crony Capitalism under King George III or even a dozen kings before him. Smith dug into the economic history (the first economist to do so) and knew well the "dessous des cartes" of politics and merchantilism. I advise any good socialist to read Smith, any good liberal, and any conservative who is honest enough to be prepared to re-examine and tear up the roots of ideology, to study Smith.

He was not an apologist for the rich, or the merchants, or anybody. He knew very well that governments, corporations, families, individuals, trades, professions and classes were full of it. He built his economic theory on his moral theory, and it was essentially liberal, truly liberal.

As Jesus said, "not all who call upon my name are mine". So it is with Adam Smith.

It's particularly true of American capitalists and Christians. Your country is, like Russia, like China, like Brazil, peculiarly backwards in some ways. It's a developing country as much as the BRIC countries, a country where old superstitions linger and are still alive and powerful forces.

The Koch Brothers and their ilk are the biggest threat to real liberal economics and real liberal values (the values on which America, above all countries, was really founded) than anything this side of reactionary religious tyranny. All the other competitors for the role are dead: Communism, Fascism, and so forth failed to take root where Corporatism prevails.

If you don't see them off, we're all doomed. You can't do the job from Canada, or Australia, or even Europe. Especially their anti-science and anti-environmental doctrines--these pose an existential threat to our Civilization, such as it is, and the World. Many people have seen the Dark Ages looming--Jane Jacobs, Carl Sagan, etc. It's the new class of crypto-fascistic Corporatists and Randites that threaten freedom while having "Freedom" always on their lips.

I always say that humans are terrible liars. They can't imagine a proper lie, so they content themselves with photographic negatives of the Truth. Freedom=Unfreedom. Truth=Lies. Justice=tyranny. And so it goes, and so it goes.

The Kochs have learned the cynic's lesson: those who live in glass houses should keep up a constant barrage of stones to keep anybody from throwing one at them. Scientific Hoax? No, anti-scientific hoaxes by the score, to use politics to crush facts and arguments and truths that can not be denied by reason and evidence.

If the Law is on your side, pound the Law.
If Equity is on your side, pound Equity.
If neither are on your side, pound your Opponents.

I fear that the Kochs are nostaligic for their Daddy's beloved partner in crime, Stalin. Boy, could that man get things done. A tyrant can always move faster than a committee, even the best of committees. But there's worse than that here. The mega-capitalists don't want to merely diminish the role of Government: they wish to subsume it.

Hence this fiasco and Great Abomination in Wisconsin. They got their hands on a State and they used it to crush everything that stands in their way, be it science, education, unionism, government, democracy, or the media.

Hence the appropriation and misuse of the Tea Parties. There was one real Tea Party. The rest are astro-turf.

Hence the appropriation and misuse of Economics departments, scientific institutions and art. It's all propaganda tools in their hands.

If you see smoke and smell fire and brimstone, it's just the Kochs burning their way through what's left of America, from the coal seams up.
 
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