“No, longevity doesn't give it legitimacy. My point was that the ideas the the Koch Brothers and millions of other habor are not new. They are also not a part of some sort of politically funded conspiracy that brainwashes people into a certain ideology, and they willingly accept it without any control of their own. That's not what the article is claiming on anyone on here, but it seems like that's what is trying to be implyed. I could be wrong here.
Is political philantrhopy for organizations and donating money to politicians wrong in itself? Or, is it only wrong when it's promoting an ideology one doesn't agree with; in this case, state capitalism?”
Bizmark on Sep 23, 2012 at 12:56:21
“It is only wrong when it's promoting an ideology one cannot substantiate as beneficial to society, the country's economy and the planet's good health.
These were not considerations w/ Adam Smith, Fredrick Hayek or Ayn Rand.
To your larger question, Is political philanthropy for organizations and donating money to politicians wrong in itself? Under current conditions, I would argue Yes indeed.
In 1930, Germany a house painter convinced the nation's top industrialists to contribute huge sums to his campaign, a precursor to Citizens United. Herr Schicklgruber and his associates used that money to print hundreds of thousands of posters and millions of pamphlets (the equivalent of PACs & TV) which he distributed through the cities. This bit of political 'philanthropy' from industrial organizations assumed a payoff - favorable policy decisions. This largess from the Koch Bros of their time increased the number of Nazis in the Reichstag from 9 to 107. Does this make it fundamentally dangerous? does it strike you as familiar? Is it coincidental that the right still finds these methods attractive? Not an answer to your basic question but it is something to ponder before jumping to its defense.”
“from Occupy Wall Street protestors is that symbolic protests won’ get them very far, and they are likely to get curb stomped by a police officer.
The relatively “sane” option left is the second option, financially bribing government officials. Which is nothing more than what the Koch Brothers and others are doing.. There’s approximately 140 million working Americans in the United States. Let’s say each of them donated $10 a month to a political cause that influenced US Government policy in some way; a cause of their choosing.. My math shows that would be $1.4 BILLION a month, and $16.8 BILLION dollars a year. $16.8 Billion is way more than ALL political contributions combined currently. That would be a power shift back to the people in a way like never seen before… For the cost of a movie ticket, the American people could take back their country and reshape into whatever they see fit.”
“I’m sure you’ve witnessed police brutality of Occupy Wall Street protesters. That police brutality comes from state government entities and federal government entities. The valuable lesson to be learned”
“The real heart of the issue here, and the BOTTOM LINE, is that entities like the US Government, and other entities that operate under its umbrella, like corporations, are rooted in the power of VIOLENT FORCE. The fact is that the US Government has guns, bigger guns and weapons, than individual persons living inside the land mass known as the collective entity "United States of America".. While the US Government attempts to create rationales to justify its actions through its own courts that exist inside its own entity, it's really only a courtesy that they give a rationale at all. After all, if they have the weaponry and the power to wipe all its "citizens" off their land within the blink of an eye, then does it really need to give rationales to its "citizens" to explain itself if it doesn’t want to?
People have about three options to change the entity they are involuntarily members of, The US Government, they can organize protests like Occupy Wall Street, they can gain influence and power over the US Government through financial bribes like the Koch Brother and many others do, OR they can overthrow the government violently as the Libyan rebels did recently. The last option may sound extreme, insane, and incriminating. However, that is how it has always been done throughout human history. There’s not a single government entity that exists today that wasn’t created in the aftermath of bloodshed.”
“Within a chunk of land mass, collectively apart of an entity called “United States of America”, people who are born inside “it's” land mass are automatically made members of the US Government entity without asking for their permission.. When I was born in Pennsylvania, nobody asked me if I wanted to be a member of the US Government entity.
Asking the US Government to examine corporate personhood in the Supreme Court is ultimately pointless since the Supreme Court is a part of the US Government... That's like me and you having an argument and I say "If you don't believe what I'm saying, then go ask my brother!" Of course, my brother is going to take my side on the issue.”
“Your research sounds mostly right... However, if corporations are granted corporate personhood under the 14th Amendment, then were does the government get its rights to grant corporate personhood, or ANY LAW for that matter. Most people would say "We the People" granted government the power to uphold our rights; rights that "We The People" collectively decided on. However, those "We the People" existed in the 18th Century.. I don't remember signing or agreeing to anything while I've been alive in the 20th and 21st Century.
Basically, the real issue, as far as I see it, is that entities (government) are granting other entities (corporations) "rights" or "powers"...
When someone says "I'm an American citizen", what they are really saying is "I'm a member of an entity called the US Government!".. If they don't want to be a member of THAT entity, then they have the option of moving to another country; i.e. being a member of ANOTHER ENTITY.”
“I understand that... and with all due respect, I think you're evading the question... You're arguing that Koch Industries shouldn't influence elections by speaking either about the election, or on behalf of an individual or group of individuals who are speaking about the election. You believe that corporations, like Koch Industries, do not have a right to free speech, and therefore do not have the right to speak about the election.
I'M responding to your argument by challenging your point about corporations not having having rights because it's an ENTITY and not an actual person. I'm challenging your point by pointing out the slippery slope that it creates.. i.e. labor unions not having rights because they're entities and the US Government not having rights because they're also entities... I'm challenging your point to ad absurdum...
And you have yet to present a meaningful response, which is also absurd.”
Barbarian At The Gate on Sep 22, 2012 at 18:23:21
“I tried to do as much research as possible in a short period of time. The argument of whether unions, governments, or corporations should be protected by the Bill of Rights is moot because they are legal personalities, humans are "natural persons", and are protected by the Bill of Rights. The 14th Amendment is what granted corporations personhood and I believe the other legal entities. I believe the States were granted protection under the Billof Rights in separate lawsuits in a piecemeal fashion. I wasn't able to find too much information on Unions except that they do contribute to PACS. Right Wing legislators are trying to limit the power of Unions.
I have not heard of anyone going to the lengths that the Koch brothers do. The Koch Brothers have created fake grass root organizations, (Astro Turf). They contribute to Universities just so they can hand pick the economic teachers. They hold secret annual meetings whose attendees include Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarance Thomas.”
“"Do corporations have rights?" has always been an interesting debate for me... If corporations don't have rights, then it would be interesting to see that taken further to argue that labor unions don't have rights because they're an entity... Even more radically, the US Government doesn't have rights because it's also an entity.
Can the AFL-CIO speak for itself? NO! Only individuals who associate themselves with the AFL-CIO...
Can the US Government speak for itself? No! Only people who associates themselves with the US Government.. i.e. politician, law enforcement, IRS, etc..
I'm slowly starting to like the "Corporations don't have rights" stance... Anybody in favor of anarchy?”
Barbarian At The Gate on Sep 22, 2012 at 17:27:52
“For the purpose of the article we are talking about political freedom of speech to influence elections. If David or Charles Koch wanted to make an individual contribution and use there 1st Amendment Right to cheer-lead for their favorite candidate that is their right. Since the President and COO of Koch Industries public affairs did the speaking I know it is Koch Industries trying to influence politics not the individual Koch brothers.”
“It's funny how many people on this comment section and the author of liberal-leaning Huffington Post are criticizing Rand Paul for cutting foreign aid when many self-described liberals make similar statements like "Why are we spending tax dollars to blow up bridges in the Middle East, then rebuild them, then blow them again... When we have bridges falling apart here in the US..."
Self-described liberals and progressives are always quick to examine human rights abuses in Africa and the Middle East. But then a Republican like Rand Paul is trying to take a stand and point out the absurdity of giving foreign aid to a dictator who tyrannizes his own people, keeps all the foreign aid, and doesn't use any of it to help their people...
So the only objection from liberals is just the fact that he's a Republican... It's not about the actual issue... If a Democrat were to take a stand on this issue, then this website would think he's a "genius"..”
Shelly Jefferson on Oct 13, 2012 at 23:42:09
“You would have to look at the origin, and owner, of this media invention to answer your question.I did.Believe it or not,I think it is backfiring on them.Turns out most people are anti war, and want to keep money in the U.S.A.,when presented with the facts.”
“Is any US Senator or US Congressman an expert on US foreign aid?
A bigger questions is, are they really experts on any political topic? They could possibly be an expert in one area of politics, but not all the areas of politics that they have to vote on.
So how do they make "informed" decisions? My American Government 101 textbook and common sense tells me that they rely on political advisers who are experts. They have an adviser for every political subject: economics, foreign policy, defense, law, etc.
True experts don't work in politics,,,, They become advisers or "policy wonks" at think tank (policy institute)... And many public policy people at think tanks become advisers, and the advisers go back to working at think tanks... It's one of the many revolving doors in politics..
Also, I have a feeling that you only have issue with what Rand Paul said because he's a Republican.. If a Democrat gave that same speech, then you would somehow agree with them... And you would not be questioning whether or not they are an expert in foreign policy...”
bingo1045 on Sep 22, 2012 at 17:55:49
“you're mostly right about the Republican thing..He's a Republican and I don't like him, but I'm sure there's enough blame to go around for a few Democrats too. experts and advisers are a dime a dozen and I don't really believe 99 percent of them know anymore than the next one as far as opinions go. Paul just doesn't strike me as an expert on anything. I get you're point about any US Senator or US Congressman being experts in foreign aid.
Most politicians are career minded and do and say what they think is right for their best interests. I happen to be a Democrat and actually question that once in awhile. Anyway...I admit to a bias on this subject and you nailed me..so I'll try to be more objective from now on....Rand Paul just falls really short on being an expert on anything..”
“Actually, a lot, if not most, of Rand Paul's financial support in 2010 came from Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party activists from OUTSIDE Kentucky. Also, he campaigned on eliminating foreign aid to countries who are hostile to the US back in 2010.. So I would disagree that he is "grand standing". He's simply fulfilling a campaign promise that he made. It only appears to be "grand standing" because the majority of the US Senate isn't with him on the issue and he knows it. But that doesn't mean that he shouldn't put his stance on record.”
bingo1045 on Sep 22, 2012 at 15:37:41
“He's a tea party candidate for sure and they support their own. I don't understand foreign aid or which countries are hostile and which ones it's just a fanatic group that makes trouble for us. Pakistan knew Bin Laden was there and we give them millions..maybe Paul made his comments and just backed up a prior stance but I don't think he's a foreign aid expert. he's not really an expert at anything. I don't like him and never will, but being a tea party activist I question anything he does..I appreciate you're comment though..and he does have the right to put his stance on record...”
“If Patriot Majority USA wants to have an "awareness campaign" about money in politics, then they should have the intellectual honesty of pointing out ALL MONEY in politics. Show people the money that ALL BILLIONAIRES AND MILLIONAIRES spend on political actions committees, think tanks, university endowments, lobbyists, and mass media.
WAIT! There's an organization that already does that.. I think they are called THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS... They have an awesome website called OPENSECRETS.ORG... They pull all their data from the Federal Electoral Commission. Go to that website.. You will see that almost every mainstream political viewpoint has strong financial backing from some wealthy individual..”
sylvia wadlington on Sep 22, 2012 at 16:55:45
“Sounds like a Republican word bending and fuzzy math site to me especially considering your other posts. The Koch brothers putting up websites to spread their lies now? Won't help, the voters are on to them now and won't stop until they run them out of politics!”
“I wonder if it's occurred to anyone that ideas that the Koch brothers support like free-market capitalism and business deregulation have been around longer than they have. Books like "Wealth of the Nations" by Adam Smith and "Road to Serfdom" by Fredrick Hayek have been around longer than the Kochs...
Is Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" a part of Koch Brothers conspiracy too.... lmfao”
JeffE on Sep 22, 2012 at 16:53:27
“No, Ayn Rand's "Altas Shrugged" is just a piece of lousy fiction.”
Bizmark on Sep 22, 2012 at 15:22:36
“Of course it has but so what? Longevity gives it legitimacy? Adam Smith thought the worker needed no more in wages than enough to insure the that race of worker's didn't die off. Hayek, a libertarian is no better an informant that Ayn Rand, standing by the deregulation of everything that might hamper the pursuit of opportunity. As for the Brothers, there's is far more simple minded. Greed is Good.”
“Whether or not someone supports the Tea Party or Ron Paul is irrelevant to my main point. My main point is that the "little guy", who is independent thinking, well researched, and is active in politics can be 10-100 times more influential in the US than anyone who takes their marching orders from "Gaga type entertainers". Those people who choose to be sheep get fired up only once every four years and then fall back into a quiet slumber; while the informed independent activists continue to reshape America piece by piece.
At least that has been my experience as a political activist and the various causes I've aligned myself with. I've made friends on the political "left" and the "right"...”
beer 3 on Sep 22, 2012 at 14:31:36
“Look. The independent smart guy like you can influence a few. Most of the bots I encounter don't even know what's going on in their town council. Glad you're a hard thinking type. Best wishes and please no more replies. I'm getting dressed for the GaGa concert......”
“@beer3: Your make a good point, lol. Unfortunately, freedom is a double edged sword in that respect. Freedom includes the freedom to be a sheep. If someone chooses to a let a "Gaga type entertainer" tell them how to think, then they do so at their own peril. Despite all the failures and shortcomings of the American education system, people are taught how to conduct research and formulate their own fact-based opinions on a subject to at least a certain degree. If they take that training and decide to take their marching orders from a two bit celebrity, then they do so at their own peril.
A small percentage of the US population actually controls politics. And that small percentage is larger than the small group of billionaires that exist in the US. For example, the Tea Party movement is a decentralized movement made up of mostly middle class and working class Americans, and they have gained influence over the US political system. Ron Paul supporters are also made up of middle class and working class Americans who have raised a lot of millions of dollars from 2008-2012 with the average donation of about $50. The Ron Paul movement hasn't received a dime from the Koch Brothers or any special interest groups. I think billionaire Peter Thiel donated 1-2 million to a pro-Ron Paul Super PAC, that's about it. Even that is FAR less than what the GOP presidential candidates got from billionaires.”
“I was going to point out that there are many billionaire financiers among the political left like George Soros, but other people who have commented already pointed that out.
The bigger realization here is that there is a civil war within the "upper 1%". The billionaires within the "upper 1%" attempt to achieve social change through lobbying, political actions committees, policy institute (think tanks), college university endowments, and mass media. Then the other "99%" of the US population associates itself, and even supports socially and financially, various political ideas and organizations created by the "upper 1%".
Someone like me, who is a member of the "99%" either has views they formulated on their own, then sought out organizations that have the same views who just so happen to be created by a member or the "upper 1%"... OR, a member of the "99%" hasn't formulated any political views and were influenced and persuaded by an organization or entity created by the "upper 1%". So as far "political brainwashing" and "corrupt influence" is concerned, it's a question of "Is the dog wagging the tail, or is the tail wagging the dog?" Does the 99% associate itself with organizations founded by a member of the 1%, or does a member of the 1% influence a member of the 99% who previously had no beliefs?”
beer 3 on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:29:13
“A large portion of the 99% isn't influenced by much beyond pop culture. Thus you have "voters" howling with pleasure when some GaGa type entertainers tell the grazing sheep whom to support. Your thesis is far too insightful to explain a lot of Americans now.”