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Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2012

Koch gives Smithsonian $35M for new dinosaur hall

May 3, 2012

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— An energy businessman is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall, the museum complex announced Thursday.

The donation by David H. Koch, the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan., is the single largest gift in the museum's 102-year history. The Smithsonian Board of Regents voted Monday to name the new dinosaur hall in Koch's honor.

Koch, an engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a billionaire who lives in New York City. He was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate in 1980 and has been a major donor to conservative political causes, as well as to educational, medical and cultural groups.

Koch previously gave the Smithsonian $15 million in 2009 to build a new exhibit hall exploring human evolution over 6 million years. The museum's Hall of Human Origins also was named in his honor.

This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institutions shows the current Dinosaur Hall at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Energy businessman David H. Koch is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall. The Smithsonian is announcing the gift Thursday from the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan. It is the single largest gift in the museum’s 102-year history.

This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institutions shows the current Dinosaur Hall at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Energy businessman David H. Koch is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall. The Smithsonian is announcing the gift Thursday from the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan. It is the single largest gift in the museum’s 102-year history.

In 2006, he gave $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to create the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing. And in 2008, he gave a record $100 million to New York's Lincoln Center to renovate the former New York State Theater.

The Smithsonian's dinosaur hall has remained unchanged for more than 30 years and has grown outdated with advances in paleontology. The current exhibit gallery began as the "Hall of Extinct Monsters" when the museum opened in 1910. Still, the museum has amassed one of the most comprehensive collections of fossils and a well-regarded staff of paleobiologists conducting research.

Museum officials said the renovation will be the largest and most complex overhaul in its history and will showcase its collection of 46 million fossils and current research. Dinosaurs have long been one of the most popular exhibits, said Cristian Samper, the museum's director.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough thanked Koch for helping to update the museum.

"Millions of Americans and visitors from all over the world will learn and be inspired for years to come," Clough said in announcing the gift.

It will take about seven years to overhaul the dinosaur exhibit, museum spokesman Randall Kremer said. The existing dinosaur hall will remain open to visitors until spring 2014. Then more than 10,000 bones and fragile specimens will have to be removed from the current exhibition before construction begins. The project is expected to cost $45 million. The renovation follows major updates to all of the public spaces in the museum, which attracts about 7 million visitors annually. The museum's halls devoted to mammals and oceans also have been overhauled in the past decade.

During construction, select dinosaur specimens will remain on view in other public areas of the museum.

Comments

juma 1 year, 11 months ago

This so-called intellectual by the name Bill Ayers; God has granted him the blessed fact that he was born in America and can live here freely spouting off BS. What if he was in China. Love to see your mouth-spout there.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

Publicopoly Exposed

How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

ALEC nuts and bolts

ALEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in recent years has reported about $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC’s members include corporations, trade associations, think tanks and nearly a third (about 2,000) of the nation’s state legislators (virtually all Republican). According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.

ALEC is composed of nine task forces–(1) Public Safety and Elections, (2) Civil Justice, (3) Education, (4) Energy, Environment and Agriculture, (5) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, (6) Telecommunications and Information Technology, (7) Health and Human Services, (8) Tax and Fiscal Policy and (9) International Relations–each comprised of “Public Sector” members (legislators) and “Private Sector” members (corporations and interest groups).

Each of these task forces, which serve as the core of ALEC’s operations, generate model legislation that is then passed on to member lawmakers for introduction in their home assemblies. According to ALEC promotional material, each year member lawmakers introduce an average of 1,000 of these pieces of legislation nationwide, 17 percent of which are enacted. For 2009, ALEC claimed a total of 826 pieces of introduced legislation nationwide, 115 of which were passed into law–slightly below the average at 14 percent.

ALEC does not offer its model legislation for public inspection.

ALEC refused to comment on any aspect of the material covered here.

More and more: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11603/publicopoly_exposed/

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

More on ALEC from the 4/12/12 morning news:

Amidst a movement to overturn "Stand Your Ground" gun laws after the Trayvon Martin shooting, we look at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded group that worked with the National Rifle Association to pass the measures across the country.

On Wednesday, the fast-food giant Wendy’s became the sixth corporation to publicly cut ties with the secretive right-wing group for backing the laws.

Over the past week McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Intuit have all announced that they have decided to not renew their membership with ALEC.

We speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which runs "ALEC Exposed," a website that published more than 800 "model" bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians. "We’ve seen ALEC, which is really a corporate bill mill, push legislation on all sorts of issues to make it harder for Americans to get justice, to make it harder for Americans to vote, to make it harder for Americans to have their day in court if they or their loved one is killed or injured by a corporation, by corporate greed, by a bad drug, by a product," Graves says.

She notes many of the draft bills outline the privatization of Social Security, schools and prisons

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/12/outrage_over_stand_your_ground_laws

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 11 months ago

YDP are still inflamed over someone donating money to a museum while the violence and vandalism committed by the occupy dudes this week is going unremarked? What a world we live in!

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blindrabbit 1 year, 11 months ago

As the Andrews Sisters sang so many times "Rum and Koch A Colas"

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its_just_math 1 year, 11 months ago

If the Kochs are the antithesis of the OWS losers, especially the ones from the "MayDay" debacle on the left coast, I'll go with the Kochs for sure. The OWS movement who has been praised San Fran Nan Pewlosi. Wow that woman is a trip for sure! Goes to show (if you want to talk about money and power) how money and power can put even the most accomplished spastic idiot extrordinaire in high government positions.

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patkindle 1 year, 11 months ago

did you ever notice most liberals dont have any money at least any to donate

"Socialism only works in two places:

Heaven where they don't

need it and hell where they already have it."

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 11 months ago

Good for David H. Koch.

The Kochs, David in particular, have clearly established themselves as philanthropists willing to donate large sums of money for publically important projects, a la Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.

I applaud David for the cancer center at MIT, the human evolution display at Smithsonian, and their other donations to the AMNH.

All worthy, noble causes to further education and science in America.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 11 months ago

nothing like trolls looking in the mirror and projecting their behavior on others....

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

This donation is nothing more than a tool to divert the public eye from the Koch attack on USA wages, public schools and the Koch effort to take over state governments. Koch disdains taxes BUT wants OUR tax dollars in the bank accounts of theirs,Brownback, Wal-Mart familiy and others.

Yes they contribute to PBS for the same damn reason - to divert from their facist philosophy so let's not get duped again!

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its_just_math 1 year, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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mikekt 1 year, 11 months ago

Poor David H. has been brainwashed by The Evil Evolutionists! Why, the next thing that you know they (evolutionists) will be drawing pentagrams on the floor of that place and casting spells on little school children to convince them that dinosaurs were really real! Lord have mercy! The works of the devil! Somebody needs to report this to Sam Brownback, right away! Where is some right minded person from the Kansas Legislature, when you need one?

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OrestessonofAgamemnon 1 year, 11 months ago

okay why? does a stupid man who does not accept evolution as truth pay for an exhibit on evolution, because he is dumb and has what is basically blood money to spend.

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gudpoynt 1 year, 11 months ago

Come on you anti-koch fiends, the guy doesn't have horns. Disagree w/ his politics and industry practices all you want, but why bash on the guy for giving $35 million to a Smithsonian Dinosaur exhibit?!

I mean come on! Dinosaurs!

Now, if he would only stop spending millions to continue blocking environmental regulation just to keep his non-renewable, fossil fuel industry going... he would be totally cool in my book.

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Liberty_One 1 year, 11 months ago

Can I count the time I spend here educating ignorant Americans as a donation to charity?

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 11 months ago

Just say thank you. You may not agree with their politics or ethics but this is a generous gift. Just say thanks.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 11 months ago

rockchalk1977: Are you sure Rockchalk1977 and not KSUWildcat1977; much too conservative for the Oread Campus. Of course the 1977 vintage was a return to conservative ideologs after the open minded 1960's early 70's. Rockchalk1966/1971.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 11 months ago

Too bad the Koch's did not bless KU with part of this largess. Dr. Larry Martin, Professor of Paleontology has had a desire to open a large dinosaur display (maybe in a new building) as part of The Natural History Museum; Kansas has quite a history in this arena, and one of the few quality college housed museums in the U.S.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 11 months ago

The Koch Brothers need to build a rest home for all of their archie bunker trolls. I suppose the Koch Brothers tell the Smithsonian to allow Sam Brownback when visiting ALEC conferences or going to a "C" street lobbying oops I mean prayer meeting that he can have pictures taken of him' riding the dinosaur to make his creationlicans happy. Fairy tales for all....

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe George Soros can donate 35 million to build a nuthouse for many of the Koch haters on here.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 11 months ago

This kind of backhanded generosity is typical of Koch's, the ability to contribute these vast sums comes on the backs of those they have shafted. I watch KCPT and listen to NPR but bristle when I hear the the David Koch Foundation has contributed to my pleasure. David is a bon vivant and a Arts gadfly who cavorts with the NYC crowd. This kind of philanthropy is a form of control, "Look what I have, and you don't, but I'm willing to share", "Look how decent I am, forget about all that negative publicity", "Ego, you have to be kidding", "Daddy only loaned me the silver spoon"!

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

When you balance the good he's done (charity, job creation) with the bad (environmental damage, unfair influence), this Koch fellow sounds like a fairly normal person. Some good and some bad. Maybe that old saying is more true than we'd like to admit, "The rich are just like everyone else. They just have more money".

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Orwell 1 year, 11 months ago

This is equivalent to Michael Corleone buying a papal knighthood. It's a PR investment, just like his campaign cash is used to buy favorable tax/regulatory treatment worth a lot more to him than what it costs.

Or maybe it's just one present-day dinosaur honoring his predecessors. Ultimately things won't end any better for him than for the other big scaly beasts.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 11 months ago

When Facebook goes public later this month, Mark Zuckerberg could make up to $18.7 billion (on paper) for his 533.8 million shares. "Zuck,” At age 27, the hoodie-wearing college dropout is now one of the richest people in the world. I wonder how much ultra-lib Zuck will be donating to charity?

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blindrabbit 1 year, 11 months ago

1029: Your overdue for a visit to The Creation Museum in Olde Kentucky where you can see early Christians walking and cavorting with dinosaurs. Or better yet, wait until the Noah's Ark recreation is completed, also in the the progressive minded Kentucky. Tours will be available from the old blowhard Mitch McConnell and while there you can pay homage to the Wildcats in Lexington!

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Kris Norton 1 year, 11 months ago

That is generous. It would be like me giving $35 to a local museum. So it is a small sacrifice on his part that will benefit many.

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 11 months ago

We should welcome their contribution. Some don't like their Libertarian streak, but that's not the point. They will get a tax break and some publicity. Given their recent problems with ALEC it might help them, but I suspect this has been in the works for a long time. The Koch's influence can be countered if enough Sheeple stand up and pay attention somewhere besides Internet blogs. Besides, I like dinosaurs. Some of them are distant relatives; others get elected to office.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 11 months ago

How much are the poor "bitter clinger's" giving? How about the bigoted Christian "hater" "bitter clinger's"? How about any "Genie"? Any grass root" hater?

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pace 1 year, 11 months ago

"Over the past 25 years, America's economy has more than doubled in dollar value, an expansion that all of us helped produce. Yet in that period, the bottom 90 % of Americans saw their income fall by an average of $4,000 - while the richest 0.01% saw their income jump 384%." --Jim Hightower

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 11 months ago

Many Republicans give generously to charitable causes compared to Democrats. See link below: "Mitt Romney gave millions to charity. Joe Biden gave $369."

http://harndenblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/01/much-ado-about-nothing-mitt-romney-is-very-rich-he-also-gave-millions-to-charity-and-the-taxman.html

My guess is many of you liberals give next to nothing to charity because you want other people's taxes to pay for everything.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 11 months ago

Perhaps the Smithsonian has agreed to put in the radical Christian stance, that the dinosaur bones were put there by the devil to make people question the Bible.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

I would have a lot more respect for the Smithsonian if they refused the Koch's money. Those are as close to evil human beings as exist in the modern world.

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optimist 1 year, 11 months ago

Ahhhh. The free market at work.

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1029 1 year, 11 months ago

David Koch believes in dinosaurs? I thought true conservatives didn't buy into that liberal propaganda.

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