“Little People” Strike Back at the Koch Brothers

My brother Bill forwarded an email to me that indicates a groundswell of resentment may be building against the mighty Koch Brothers. Here’s an excerpt from the message:

In the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, the company KOCH which manufactures paper products, is paying Zimmerman’s legal fees because they feel he had legal right to bear arms and shoot Trayvon.  (Martin is the 17-year-old unarmed black youth who was shot to death by a neighborhood-watch guard in Florida.) We are asking that people everywhere band together with us and pass this information on and NOT purchase any of the following items because your money will be paying for Zimmerman’s lawyer fees!!!  Please do not purchase any of the following items:

 1. Industry/Georgia-Pacific Products:  
 2. Angel Soft toilet paper  
 3. Brawny paper towels
 4. Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups 
 5. Mardi Gras napkins and towels
 6. Quilted Northern toilet paper
7. Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper
8. Sparkle napkins
9. Vanity fair napkins
10. Zee napkins

The message is accompanied by a similar call to boycott Koch Brothers products because they “are waging a war against President Obama.”  And while I would not suggest we boycott every manufacturer that is funding political action againt the president, I have to agree that the Koch Brothers certainly deserve to be boycotted.

Brothers Charles and David Koch inherited Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas-based company, from their father Fred. According to the email Bill sent me, they have a combined worth of around $35 billion dollars. Koch Industries, America ‘s second-largest private company, had revenues of $100 billion in 2009, and 80,000 employees in 60 countries. The Kochs are using the proceeds from their empire to fund a multitude of right-wing propaganda organizations. 

You might recall a blog I wrote recently that began:

Charles and David Koch are rich, powerful men who are using their money and power to change America. They seem to represent some dark spirit, some evil force intent on reversing centuries of civilization and reinstating the law of the jungle.  While they are often described as Libertarian, they seem determined to deny the rest of us the freedom to pursue our lives in peace.

I outlined some of the Kochs’ deadly activities, carried out through various organizations like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity. It was ALEC that teamed with the National Rifle Association to promote Florida’s ”Stand Your Ground Law,”  which has become the template for Wild West legislation around the country.  

I pointed out that this  “is just one of many oppressive legislative templates being circulated by the Kochs. Others include harsh immigration laws, intrusive anti-choice laws and radical union busting laws.”

And I reminded readers that:

This powerful pair have also provided much of the funds for the crusade against health care reform and for other Tea Party activities that are wreaking havoc in American politics. 

It’s hard to understand why these two billionaires would dedicate their fortune to causes that can only be described as evil. In my earlier blog, I quoted Bloomberg Markets magazine as sayng the billionaire brothers are driven by relentless hostility to any kind of regulation.  In an article on the brothers’ “secret sins,” the magazine reported:

A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries — in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East — has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.

People like the Kochs are a cancer on American society. But there have been evildoers like them in the past, and somehow, they have been defeated. Perhaps this boycott will prove their undoing. If all of us “little people” shun their products, their empire could wither and die. The products listed above are not the only ones they sell. Their companies produce Lycra and Stainmaster carpets, as well as various oil and coal enterprises. But they are a start.  

To find out what other products you can avoid to stick it to the Kochs, click here.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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