A good New Yorker introduction to the Koch Brothers:
List of brands:
List of brands:
Mon, September 20, 2010 - 8:26 PMEr, um, you may have to go here to see the 1st page of that article.
The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.
by Jane Mayer
Read more www.newyorker.com/reporting...fact_mayer
There ya go.
Wed, October 20, 2010 - 12:13 PMwell written article for the New Yorker. Much positive information about the Koch brothers and how they, or any one, can become very successful in business. We tend to look at such people as mean and terrible in part due to their wealth. look how many companies they own that create jobs for countless others. How much is paid in taxes by these companies helps run this country. The millions that they give to the arts and other public foundations helps us, the general public, enjoy what the arts have to offer us. To be critical of their politics is respectable because the constitution gives us that right to be able to make comments that are factual about others and not slanderous in nature. To be critical of Obama is a freedom we have and there are those who are critical of Obama. If the Koch brothers are critical of Obama, that is fine. Then look at what Obama and the progressives want to do to the US by giving a social agenda that is making the US look like Britian, France and Greece where those countries are now facing the ugly truth about a socialized society. I am pleased that there are people like this who can make a diffference for ths country and for them to allow you to say that we should boycott them. Heck if Obama has his way, you wont be able to boycott anything because the Government will tell you what you will buy and not buy and if you boycott then you get nothing. Be happy for the founding fathers gave us the right to complain, even boycott, if we want to. Also understand that if there were not people like the Koch's, Gates, Buffet, Rockerfellers, Mellons and other major capitialist of their time we would not have half of the jobs, benefits or cultural splendors that we have currently. With out them we would not have been able to create the greatest nation in the world that other nations and peoples want to imulate; just hate because of who we are and what we have done with free enterprise and hard work and having the ability to be as wealthy as one can be if they can find the way to do it. boycott if you want but do it for the proper reasons.
Wed, November 3, 2010 - 6:58 AMDavid:
Please, please, please just STOP.
Worshipping the rich doesn't make the system that we currently live in less unsustainable. The fact of the matter is we are slowly becoming a plutocracy, where a few, wealthy families are using their money and power to influence government. I am not necessarily a statist, but worshipping the rich and thanking them for their foundations and jobs are sickening.
My goodness, David, demonstrate some semblance of self respect.
Thu, November 4, 2010 - 8:18 PMRoger,
Sorry but with out the rich you would not have a job or much of anything in your life. some did not get rich but helped civilazation along its way.
I agree that to be sustainable you would have to live in a lifestyle similiar to those that are found deep with in the jungles of the world or isolated. But those are far and few between and seem to be loosing their ways as modern societies find and change them.
Would have to make difficult changes in the world to become sustainable and then it would not happen in part there would be those who would be in charge and telling us how to live.
I used to be a dreamer of such dreams but gave into the fact I needed a job to make ends meet and to be responsible for myself. I do make efforts to be sustainable in my life but know it is hard.
Have to ask, if you boycott a company and they change their ways will not some other company come along and take over what the other business was doing in part people wanted what was made at the first boycotted company? Boycotts create free advertisement for the comapany being boycotted, I never knew about Koch Brothers before the article appeared... makes me wonder if I should not be investing money (stocks)in them now that those in power were given an awakening by many americans who don't want those in power telling us to live our lives....
Thu, November 4, 2010 - 9:04 PM"I used to be a dreamer of such dreams but gave into the fact I needed a job to make ends meet and to be responsible for myself. I do make efforts to be sustainable in my life but know it is hard. Have to ask, if you boycott a company and they change their ways will not some other company come along and take over what the other business was doing in part people wanted what was made at the first boycotted company? Boycotts create free advertisement for the comapany being boycotted."
Actually history shows that's not true at all, ranging from bus and lunch counter boycotts in the days of civil rights boycotts in the South in the 1950s and 60s to the present. Here are some successful boycotts from before and after that time to the present:
Boycotts have a long and noble history of contributing to progressive social change, as well as succeeding in their more immediate goals.
One of the earliest examples was the boycott in England of sugar produced by slaves. In 1791, after Parliament refused to abolish slavery, thousands of pamphlets were printed encouraging the boycott. Sales of sugar dropped by between a third and a half. By contrast sales of Indian sugar, untainted by slavery, rose tenfold in two years. In an early example of fair trade, shops began selling sugar guaranteed to be have been produced by 'free men'.
In our 20th anniversary edition (issue 120) Ethical Consumer looked back to find successful boycotts from the past twenty years. Download the free pdf here.
Here are some more examples:
2009 Kimberly-Clark announced a new paper procurement policy that would reduce its impact on ancient forest in North America that were being destroyed for tissue brands such as Kleenex and Andrex. You can read more about the successfull Greenpeace campaign here.
2008 Donna Karan and the DKNY brand are no longer on our boycott list because of a welcome campaign success from the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops and the Chinese Staff and Workers Association. US workers in supplier factories came to a settlement with the company over their claims of discrimination and failure to pay minimum wages or overtime.
May 2007 The De Beers boycott has been called off by Survival International after the company sold its diamond deposit at Gope on the lands of the Kalahari Bushmen. The Bushmen have been forced from their ancestral homelands.The campaign had made Gope ‘a problematic asset for De Beers’.
Whether there is a just outcome for the Bushmen remains to be seen. De Beers sold the Gope deposit to Gem Diamonds for $34 million and will not benefit from the estimated $2.2 billion-worth of diamonds there.
New owners Gem Diamonds says it is currently formulating its policy regarding allowing the Bushmen back onto their land and obtaining free and informed consent before mining goes ahead. Survival is monitoring progress.
June 2006 The Burma Campaign UK announced that sustained pressure had led to Austrian Airlines, Eastravel and FromersGuides joining the growing exodus of companies ending their promotion of tourism to Burma. Austrian Airlines subsidiary Lauda Air was the only airline in Europe with direct flights to Burma, and the regime had welcomed the flights, hoping they would boost tourism and investment.
Gill Clothing formally pledged to stop sourcing from Burma.
October 2005 The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) stated that Inditex Group, which owned fashion chain Zara, had decided to withdraw fur from all the group's 2,064 stores in 52 countries. The fur was phased out over a period of several weeks and Inditex ceased sale of fur in its shops from 31 December 2004.
Inditex stated in a letter to its customers that a formal policy had been established and as of 1st January 2005 no fur was to be used in Inditex Group clothes or other products. The policy was announced 3 days before a planned international day of action against Zara.
August 2005 Snow+Rock announced it would no longer be selling real fur garments following a campaign by Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT). The managing director, Dion Taylor, said: “We feel there are enough man made equivalents to satisfy the needs of our customers.” More info on CAFT's other campaigns on 0845 330 7955.
Aon Corporation informed the Burma Campaign UK it intended to terminate all business in Burma. The company had appeared on the Burma Campaign's ‘Dirty List’ of companies directly or indirectly funding the regime in Burma. The campaign group welcomed the decision: “Aon have acted responsibly by ending their involvement in Burma,” said Director John Jackson.
July 2005 The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) claimed that the Automobile Association (AA) had told them “no wild captive animals will feature in future AA advertising.” This was in response to a customer furore, following an AA ad featuring Anne, an elderly Asian elephant on loan from Bobby Roberts Circus.
October 2004 Marine campaign group Oceana's boycott of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd led to the company installing Advanced Wastewater Purification technology (AWP) on all its ships. Oceana campaigns to stop the release of toxic chemicals and waste from cruise ships, and feels that the AWP systems will ensure that each vessel meets strict quality standards. Oceana reported that Royal Caribbean will have independent, third-party auditors monitoring the new equipment to ensure performance targets are met.
March 2004 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) confirmed its decision to pull out of Burma. The company had featured on Burma Campaign UK's boycott list of companies directly or indirectly funding the regime in Burma.
September 2003 In response to a three-year Animal Aid campaign, Focus pledged to end the sale of all animals, including fish, in its stores throughout the UK. The massive DIY chain promised that animal sales would stop over the next two years.
March 2003 The Stop Staples Campaign declared victory following the office-supply giant’s announcement that it would meet the campaign’s goal of moving the company towards environmentally-preferable paper sales.
Staples pledged to achieve an average of 30% post consumer recycled content across all paper products it sold. It also pledged to phase out purchases of paper products from endangered forests, create an environmental affairs division and to report annually on its environmental results. More information.
April 2002 Focus DIY victory The Focus store group has announced to Animal Aid that it is to cease the sale of all birds and small mammals. Animal Aid began its Focus campaign in February 2000, originally concentrating on the company’s sale of reptiles. Following hundreds of demonstrations at the company’s stores around the country, Focus' reptile sales ended in October 2000.
February 2002 Triumph International was the subject of a boycott call over its manufacturing operations in Burma. The company announced that it would be closing down its Burma-based manufacturing site, located on a military-owned industrial estate north of Rangoon. The company had been listed on the Burma Campaign UK 'Dirty List'.
April 2001 The four year boycott run by the National Anti-Hunt Campaign (NAHC) over John Lewis' staff pheasant shoots finally ended in victory, with the closure of the company's Shooting Club. The campaign gained a higher profile in 2000 when Animal Aid added its voice and membership capacity to the boycott.
The NAHC/Animal Aid victory comes despite John Lewis trying 'every trick in the book' according to NAHC's Niel Hansen, including libel writs and attempting to have one campaigner jailed for distributing leaflets on company property.
December 2000 The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has called off its long-standing boycott of Mitsubishi. The two main companies targeted by the boycott, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric, signed an agreement with RAN committing themselves to making important changes to their wood and paper purchasing policies, and the rest of the Mitsubishi group is also said to be looking at ways of improving its environmental management.
April 2000 Following a long campaign of protest, Mitsubishi surprised campaigners by announcing that it was pulling out of an industrial salt project in Mexico for environmental reasons. The project to extract salt from sea water in evaporation ponds was to be located in a World Heritage Site - the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. Potentially covering 116 square miles, it threatened a breeding ground for whales and other endangered species.
A 'Mitsubishi: Don't Buy It' campaign was launched, more than 40 Californian cities passed resolutions condemning the company, and over 700,000 letters of objection were sent. Homero Aridjis, one of the campaign's leaders was reported as saying: "It has been a tough fight for five years with one of the richest corporations in the world and the Mexican government."
Fri, November 5, 2010 - 11:21 PMWill,
I appreciate your long history of how boycotts worked, and though I do honor the power -- however limited -- that they can wield, they are truly not substantive in addressing the underlying problem within how our global economic system is rigged. However, I do think that for short-term, targeted goals, they can be useful, but beyond that, not so much.
But, I'm not jumping on you because I know you were trying to illustrate to David the power that they do, indeed, have in addressing AND correcting certain problems within our economy.
Fri, November 5, 2010 - 11:13 PMIf it weren't for the rich, I would not have much of anything in my life?
David, are you serious?
The fact of the matter is that if the state gives up their control, the wealthy would take over... Oh wait. That's already happening.
Now, when I say "rich", I'm not talking about the family down the street with the big house and the luxury vehicles parked in their several garages and who owns a few dry cleaners around town. Okay?
When I refer to "rich", I'm talking about the uber-wealthy, those handful of families who own the banks and the RE-insurers that own the insurers. TRUST ME, if those families were to disappear tomorrow, our society would not fall apart. We DO NOT need large banks, and we certainly DO NOT need insurance companies or most of the financial services sector.
If you studied the history of wealth (There's a really good PBS documentary about it), you would learn that many of the financial services sector came about due to bamboozling more than anything else, rather need. We do not need Wall Street and all these institutions. Why do you think they have to implicate themselves into the political process and rely upon corporate socialism to survive BECAUSE THEY ARE IRRELEVANT. They are only made relevant through marketing schemes and the influencing of the heads of state.
As for the Koch brothers and those like them, many of their products are, indeed, all over the place, from glue guns in hardware stores to the stuff used to make cereal boxes, but what did we do before these large corporations? We produced stuff locally and regionally.
Frankly, if you support large corporations, then you are a statist, i.e.: someone who believes in the nanny state taking care of us because without your tax dollars, most of these large corporations would not have made it to where they are today.
David, don't get me wrong, I believe in business, but in small to medium-sized businesses, not corporations that -- in order to survive -- need to be deemed as persons by the nanny state.
We are slowly slipping into a plutocratic-socialist form of capitalism, where corporate families use citizens' taxes and their children (the armed forces or military) to "open up" foreign markets for their disposal, reaping massive profits. The politicians create laws to support these actions and thus get kick-backs for their campaigns, and in some cases, promised positions -- after these elected officials leave politics -- as CEO's and board members in those very corporations. It's a vicious cycle.
You might have already done so, but a lot of these issues are highlighted in these books below...
1) "The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic" by Chalmers Johnson
2) "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" by Chalmers Johnson
3) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins
4) "The Shock Doctrine & the Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Klein
5) "Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order" by Noam Chomksy
Now, I know that a few of these authors would be considered leftist and a bit controversial, but I do believe that they have something to say about how our freedoms are not necessarily being subjugated by the smoke and mirrors of foreign "terrorists", but really by an unhealthy government-corporate relationship that is truly undermining our society.
Sun, November 7, 2010 - 8:15 PMI will say this to the two of, very good points and well taken. I appreciate the time and effort that was put into your thoughts and answers. That I respect. Too many times people just through out stuff to see if people are willing to just follow blindly what was said or are willing to take a stand and produce evidence that supports their views. Thank you.
This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.Tue, November 9, 2010 - 1:59 PMDavid,
I appreciate your sentiment, and I didn't mean to "go off" on you.
I get riled up about these issues because I see how corporate culture, not necessarily small businesses that keep our local economies vibrant, is slowly and negatively affecting almost every aspect of our lives, from the way our children are being educated (E.g..: worthless business degree mills at the university level and at the lower level: a public education only fit for employment at fast food restaurants and hotel chains*) to the quality of our water (e.g.: natural gas companies that use fractoring are polluting water supplies in several states).
The sad part is I'm not sure what we can do. Many of us have been so brain-washed and the state that was supposed to take care of us, has basically abandoned us.
The most we can do is try to support local businesses (as opposed to the chains) and locally- or regionally-manufactured products.
But anyways, thanks for your kind words. Some of what you said has allowed me the opportunity to re-evaluate some of my outlooks on our economy.
*I think working at Burger King and at the local motel is a noble thing, but that doesn't mean that our educational system should be preparing our children JUST for these jobs. Our educational system should be preparing our future generations to be excellent citizens who can think for themselves.
Tue, November 9, 2010 - 8:21 PMI agree that it's about--and I'm happy I live in an area where I can be--supporting local, seasonal, and organic small production. Unfortunately, most of America has moved in the opposite direction since after WW II.