Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be
This article first appeared in the Huffington Post on October 21, 2010.
Orwell’s “1984” was twenty-six years off target, and picked the wrong side of the capitalistic coin. The Koch brothers are Big Brother, and the millions given to the Tea Party are only the tip of the iceberg, according to the New York Times.
In their Tuesday feature “Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead,” the NYT’s Kate Zirnicke reports on the upcoming secretive meeting being held in Rancho Mirage, CA, at an upscale Palm Springs resort, hosted by David and Charles Koch. The brothers invite the powerful and the rich of the extreme Right to bi-annual meetings to discuss ways to get their way. They are co-opting the Republican Party, and may be influencing the Supreme Court.
It is disturbing enough that you have a conference whose invitees are being told to keep all notes and information on the meeting out of the electronic world, and that the invitees are also being asked to book their hotel reservations through Wichita-based Koch Industries and not the hotel itself. It makes one wonder who will be attending this shindig, and why they are so eager to hide in the shadows.
The guest list for the upcoming event is unknown, but, the past attendees mentioned in the Times’ article throw up one very big red flag:
“To encourage new participants, Mr. Koch offers to waive the $1,500 registration fee. And he notes that previous guests have included Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court… “
Supreme Court justices Scalia and Thomas attending Koch brothers soirees indicate another troubling corporate hand potentially influencing the safety valves of our government.
The Supremes should, at the very least, fake impartiality. It is lost on no one that both of these men were instrumental in the Court’s ruling that handed the presidency to George W. Bush by punching through the hanging chads of West Palm Beach County in the election of 2000. Their impartiality was already called into question a decade ago.
Rubbing elbows with with millionaires and billionaires who, at best, see “freedom” as the protection of their power and self-interest, is a serious concern for the independence of our highest court.
Thomas’ wife has ties to the Tea Party movement, and is a political activist for the extreme Right (See theAP Story on HuffPo)
Their presence in Koch brothers meetings also calls into question the controversial Citizens United decision, which has defined corporations as “persons” and has opened the floodgates to millions of dollars in corporate spending in this midterm election.
This election season we hear a lot of “Throw the bums out!” and “government” has become a dirty word to a public looking for easy answers to very hard questions about the economy and the future of this country.
We’re so mesmerized by the hours of ads and the news media flush with spin on the political trees that we forget that the Koch Brothers, and other shadowy figures of the corporatocracy own the forest, and set up the rules of the game, not the politicos.
The only defense we have against these dark agents bent on controlling us is voting, something we are pretty complacent about not doing in most elections.
If we don’t turn out on November 2nd, and turn out these extreme candidates, where will these people stop? It is clear that an election can be bought. How long before the Koch Brothers and their friends buy off enough judicial races to influence judges. When will we say “no” to Supreme Court justices attending any blatantly political meeting or rally?
Big Brothers are manipulating you, and corrupting the core of our democracy’s key institutions. Stop it, while you can.
My shiny two.
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