Selling freedom

April 9, 2012


To the editor:

In his recent commentary, Dolph Simons Jr. devotes almost half a page to extol the virtues of Charles and David Koch. He wonders why the people of Lawrence and Kansas don’t appreciate and respect them. Where is the love, asks Mr. Simons? Let me assure him that the Kochs’ modus operandi is well known throughout the country, and it’s not very flattering. Many are convinced these two men think big money will buy them all the government they will ever need to control every phase of our lives. The words plutocracy and robber barons come to mind.

Once government as we know it is diminished, who will protect us from the  plutocrats? I often think of Enron and the heartache that cost millions of Americans. That’s one example of deregulation that the Kochs would greedily embrace if given the chance.

Our tendency is to fear destructive forces from outside our borders, but I fear a greater source of danger comes from within. Let’s not sell our hard-fought freedoms to the high bidder. The Kochs of the world will work hard to convince us they have answers to all our problems. However we should be aware they are only interested in making a profit at our expense.


FalseHopeNoChange 6 years, 2 months ago

Once government as we know it is diminished, who will protect us from the plutocrats?

The Flexible Obama's government IS the "plutocrat" Slemmer. Or hadn't you noticed?

Get used to The Flexible Obama's "New America". You are just being "faded out of position" by The Flex's desperate need to keep Michelle flying "free" to Las Vegas.

The Flex will "say anything". Try not to be scared by his lies.

Alyosha 6 years, 2 months ago

It's very hard to tell what you're saying in this comment, False. So much non-sensical jargon and quotes. Do you have a point to make, or are you just typing randomly?

cato_the_elder 6 years, 2 months ago

"Many are convinced these two men think big money will buy them all the government they will ever need to control every phase of our lives."

To the letter writer: No one favors growing government exponentially in order to control every phase of our lives more than the individual currently occupying the White House, put there by a gullible, uninformed citizenry that has, unfortunately, gotten what it deserved by naively voting him into office.

Wake up and smell the coffee. If you fear government control over your life, look no further than Obamacare. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

She's concerned about the Koch brothers using their influence to control our lives.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 2 months ago

But not, apparently, about the much greater threat of same from Obama and his henchmen.

bad_dog 6 years, 2 months ago

Look out, Cato!

Oh it's just a "henchman's" shadow. Whew...

cato_the_elder 6 years, 2 months ago

Much more than shadows, bad dog. The henchmen are real. Holder, Jarrett, the list goes on.

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

Smaller government. Capitalism unleashed. Vote Republican.

toosense 6 years, 2 months ago

Capitalism=Materialism=greed=the root of all evil

bad_dog 6 years, 2 months ago

Discipline of the market? That's hilarious.

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

the seven dwarves of denial speak. want lower wages....want rollbacks of early 20th century labor laws....want another Cayuhoga River on fire.......want Gould, Rockefeller or any of the cronies from a century ago back....hand over the keys like the dwarves above and watch people get treated like those bullied for oil leases in There Will Be Blood. Conservative politicians have it soooooo easy.....look at how dumb their constituency is... just get the flute out and they'll follow.....even when they're the ones getting bent over for loyalty.....

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

Did you see they burned down the swamp?

JohnBrown 6 years, 2 months ago

Capitalism without some regulation becomes atheistic capitalism: greed gone wild with no restraints.

Brian Laird 6 years, 2 months ago

Buying politicians is a good thing? I never viewed corruption as an integral part of capitalism. The problem is that you give us a false choice - either accept plutocratic rule by the rich (and be like Russia - that is closer to what you are describing than what I view as the American Way)s or be like China. There are lots of other choices where there are balanced approaches - Canada and Germany come to mind. I'm not saying we should be exactly like them, but you are being dishonest and fear mongering by claiming it is either a choice between the Koch's or the Chinese Central Committee.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago


"Pushing legal limits to the point of unclarity" may be common, but it's not right. "they buy a politician and create one" is the same. "ruthless" as well.

Those are not examples of "the American way" in my view.

I'm sure that LO will be glad to explain to you why you're wrong about capitalism here - in theory it's supposed to benefit all of us, not result in the 1% "ruling" the rest of us as "pawns".

I wonder why people make such drastic comparisons - would you rather live in a 1% dominated society as a pawn or live in China? There are many possibilities in between, and most of us would prefer some of them, I'm sure.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't begrudge the brothers Koch, and like you salute their success. I'm cool with exploiting loopholes, business promotion and even bankrolling campaigns. However, when a tit-for-tat deal goes down and a government employee is involved, we need to investigate and harshly prosecute anyone on the government payroll found guilty of betraying our trust.

The system needs to be free of encumbrances, but the punishment for criminally manipulating the system should be severe enough to deter government corruption. A murderer might not be thinking of the 20 year prison sentence while killing, but a politician or bureaucrat will weigh that same 20 year sentence heavily before handing out favors for personal gain.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

You have a good point that the persons in the corporation/pac/union should not be immune from prosecution in cases of bribery. That just makes sense.

But those aren't our employees ripping us off, mostly by force. I expect my neighbor to be at least a little bit of a crook, but when that cop comes around his impartiality doggone better well be beyond reproach.

When the neighbor steals your garbage can, big deal, $20, you buy another one that matches your paint better. When the cop busts you to settle a score because he say's you stole your neighbor's garbage can, that would be a life changing experience.

Not to stereotype cops, they are just a generic example, you could enter any public employee and they can affect your life on a whim. Even the lady at the car tag joint can quadruple-check all your info and background and maybe come up with a reason you shouldn't be allowed to tag your car, OTOH, if it's her friend's car she might ignore the mistake made in the pass and let tag the car. Again, merely an example. No disrespect to the fine and lovely car tag ladies. We love you.

Nobody in the private sector has that type of authority over anyone unless they pay for it.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for your honesty.

This reminds me of the Enron book, "The Smartest Guys in the Room".

These people become blinded by their money and their power. They believe they are almost immortal.

But these are not the kind of people that define greatness.

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

Slow day at LJW? If this letter makes it to the blog, I cannot imagine the drivel the falls short of the so-called editorial standard. Even though incoherent ranting mixed with the generous use of intellectual fallacy is very popular here, next time try to make a point and rationally defend it Ms. Slemmer.


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