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Posts Tagged ‘John Birch Society’

Think Progress reporter Lee Fang interviewed David Koch in a sidewalk ambush last year.

February 20, 2012 10:00 AM

Crooks and Liars  By- Susie Madrak

Boy, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, huh? What a swell family those Kochs are:

Billionaire David Koch has vowed to defend Wisconsin governor Scott Walker against the union-backed recall election underway in that state. In aninterview with the Palm Beach Post, Koch said that, “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

The we in question is Koch and his equally well-off brother Charles, who together have financed much of the conservative tea party movement through their group Americans For Prosperity.

Koch also told the Post that “there will be no stopping union power” if they win the recall election versus Walker, who jammed through legislation that strips public employee unions of their power to collectively bargain.

In the interview, Koch lavishes praise on his father Fred Koch who was a founding member of the far-right John Birch Society.

Fred Koch once wrote that the “colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America” and claimed welfare was designed to create a “vicious race war.”

The John Birch Society was founded in opposition to the civil rights movement, and promoted numerous conspiracy theories of a UN-led “one world” government. The group also famously opposed fluoridation of water, which it described as a communist mind-control plot.

SOURCE

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As predicted, Beck goes full-bore Bircher with hour-long promotion of Griffin’s anti-Fed conspiracy tome

Crooks and Liars- By David Neiwert

March 26, 2011 08:00 AM

We warned this was coming: On Friday, Glenn Beck devoted his entire hour to promoting the conspiracy theories of G. Edward Griffin, a John Bircher and 9/11 truther whose book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, attacks the Federal Reserve as a nefarious cabal intent on enslaving and destroying America.

It was quite a performance: Among other things we learned from Griffin was that he believes there is no actual gold at Fort Knox (maybe Goldfinger rendered it radioactive, eh?) and that there is a real inflation rate of around 20 percent right now.

Well, as we explained already:

Beck, as we all know, has previously demonstrated a fondness for the Birch Society, and this is consistent with that: Griffin, after all, was a close personal friend and longtime associate of Birch Society founder Robert Welch, and wrote a popular Birch book published in 1964, The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations.

The Creature from Jekyll Island is in many ways a compendium of previous works claiming that the Federal Reserve is a fundamentally illegitimate — and therefore deeply nefarious — organization. Most of these theories were deeply anti-Semitic in nature, since they depicted the Fed’s bankers as part of a Jewish cabal intent on destroying white American society. What sets Griffin’s work apart is that — like most Birch texts, which assiduously avoided anti-Semitism — he manages to scrub out the anti-Semitic elements while keeping the paranoid conspiracist elements intact.

Since its publication in 1994, Griffin’s book has become a popular text for a large number of right-wing extremists, particularly tax protesters and Patriot movement believers. Griffin himself was involved in organizing a gathering on Jekyll Island last year that the Southern Poverty Law Center credits with helping revive the militia movement.

It has been debunked thoroughly, of course — probably most notably by historian Gerry Rough, whose three-part series on the origins of the Fed, “Another Twist on the Jacksonian Bank War,” pretty thoroughly reveal just how fraudulent Griffin’s text really is. You can read it here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

[Rough has debunked Griffin further in other essays as well: here, here, and here.

Meanwhile, Media Matters’ research team has a complete rundown on Griffin. From an earlier piece:

Griffin, in addition to spinning conspiracy theories about the Fed, is also a 9-11 truther and has written extensively about the U.S. government’s “facilitation” of the attacks. In April 2008, Griffin appeared on the radio program of conspiracist Alex Jones and claimed that he predicted just days after 9-11 that “the FBI and the intelligence agencies of the federal government had advance knowledge of this attack but did nothing to stop it,” and that he was proven right. He also is — or, at least, was — a member of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society. He wrote a 1970 pamphlet entitled “This is the John Birch Society: An Invitation to Join,” and a 1975 book entitled The Life and Words of Robert Welch: Founder of the John Birch Society.

VIDEOS AND MORE HERE

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New York Billionaires Behind The Tea Party Movement

Posted in Liberaland by Alan • August 23, 2010, 3:20 PMET

The myth of the tea party being a grassroots movement takes another hit, as the New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer looks a the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who fund much of the tea party movement (via Glynnis MacNichol).

The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

Mayer’s article discusses some ugly family roots. Father Fred did business with Stalin, but later came to regret it, and became  one of the original members of the John Birch Society.

He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”

Mayer’s piece discusses the links between Fred’s views and those of his sons. Buried deep in the article  is an example of how money trumps everything. David Koch, a prostate cancer survivor, has given generously to cancer research.

Koch’s corporate and political roles, however, may pose conflicts of interest. For example, at the same time that David Koch has been casting himself as a champion in the fight against cancer, Koch Industries has been lobbying to prevent the E.P.A. from classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a “known carcinogen” in humans.

SOURCE

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Koch Industries founded Americans for Prosperity, formed as a successor to Citizens for a Sound Economy. Fred Koch co-founded the John Birch Society. In the mid-1970s the Kochs started to fund a network of libertarian organizations including the United States Libertarian Party, for which David ran as the vice presidential nominee in 1980.[47][48] The Kochs withdrew their financial support of the Libertarian Party after an acrimonious 1983 convention,[49] but continue to support libertarian institutions independent of the party such as the Cato Institute, and more recently have been major contributers to the Tea Party movement.

To advance the work of the Republican Governors Association, Koch Industries made a $1 million donation to the group in 2010

WIKIPEDIA: MORE INFO ON THE KOCH BROTHERS

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