Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Koch Brothers Exposed

Koch Brothers Exposed
A few nights ago I watched the provocative documentary, Koch Brothers Exposed, with a group of activist students here at Boston University. I had seen the film before and it was good to see it again, particularly now, between the mock fright of Halloween and the present presidential election, whose outcome could cause a real fright.

Koch Brothers Exposed is a sort of horror film where you constantly wonder what how the Koch Brothers will next rear their greedy heads. According to the film's website, between 1997 and 2010 the Koch Brothers, whose company, Koch Industries, is one of the top ten polluters in the US, gave more than $60 million to climate change denial groups. They are one of the main reasons that there is popular uncertainty over climate change in this country, while the science has long been settled (yes, humans are affecting the climate). In sixty minutes, the film shows the Koch Brothers' self-serving reach in issues as diverse as social security, environmental regulations, workers rights, education and voter identification.. It's amazing what a few well-placed million dollars here and there will do to get your point across.

One of their most disturbing causes is grants to colleges and universities. So far, more than 150 colleges and universities are receiving Koch dollars and one wonders how long it will be before we see the results of this Koch cash in terms of curricula and ideology. There are claims that this money often comes with strings attached -- the donors want a say in hiring decisions. If that doesn't impinge on academic freedom, I don't know what does. 

You can read more about the Koch Brothers shady efforts to quash social security, how they tried to resegregate schools in North Carolina, their involvement in voter suppression and their efforts to fund climate change denial

In the film, the Koch Brothers' mandate is exposed for all to see. It's about greed, doing what's right for the 1%, corruption and attacking democracy. Their dealings need to be brought to light for all to see. Get the film, host a screening, expose the Koch Brothers once and for all. 

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