Posts from "August, 2015"

Koch Brothers, Charles, David, and Bill

56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

“We live in a nation in which a handful of very, very wealthy people have extraordinary power over our economy and our political life and the media,” Sanders told the boisterous crowd at a convention center near Charleston.

“They are very, very powerful and many of them are extremely greedy,” he continued. “For the life of me, I will never understand how a family like the Koch brothers, worth $85 billion, apparently think that’s not enough money.”–election.html



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Holtzman,James, Khodorkovsky, Kittler

“I was profiled before, you probably read in the FT and the Journal, both right behind us, smart journalism supports the cause. Exciting what we’re going to do here, brave new world, a chance for all of us to make money together, and that’s exactly what I tell the Hungarians: I want them to get rich, too, because I know I can get rich happier and faster if we get rich together. All in the same boat. Western-style office buildings, I have a head start on approvals, option for office building convention center, minister a close friend of mine, first-class fellow, I admire his poetry, published poet you know, these new artistic governments, so funny, they won’t last here or in Prague, of course, it’s nice after the Commies, but eventually they’ll get back to having businessmen and lawyers in charge and that’s how things get done, you can’t really have a cabinet full of sculptors, more of a tourist attraction for now. John, I tell you, between you and me, just us right here right now, all I can say is best time for a man of honor and faith to step up, never will there be an opportunity like this, not just for the money men but for this country, will they throw off their shackles, I want to see money make men free, John, I’m the luckiest man alive to be here now, we’re planning an opening fund $37 million, I want them to get rich right alongside me.”

–“Harvey” in the novel Prague by Arthur Phillips, p. 118-119

39.  Holtzman, Marc   (1961-     )

Like the hyperactive “Harvey” character in Arthur Phillips’ novel about a group of American ex-patriots living in Budapest (the book’s title is meant to be ironic), Marc Holtzman was an enthusiastic business promoter in post-Communist era Central Europe. Henry Copeland in a 2002 blog posting entitled “The Truth About Prague,” claims that “Harvey” was in fact modeled on Holtzman. Copeland had interviewed Holtzman in 1993 for The New Republic. In his blog posting, he compares part of the above excerpt with something Holtzman actually told him in the interview: “You have one-tenth of the population of the world that have nothing and need everything. This is probably one of the most impressionable and pivotal times in the history of the world. To be here and to be part of it, not only to be able to experience it, but to have the added benefit of potentially being able to profit from it too, is really close to the biggest thrill I think I can imagine.”

Holtzman grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, the son of a rich entrepreneur. In 1976, at the age of 16, he became enthralled with Ronald Reagan and began to write the charismatic presidential candidate incessantly. His persistence eventually earned him the position of executive director of Reagan’s Pennsylvania campaign in 1980—the youngest state-wide campaign director ever! Reagan’s assistant, Helene Von Damm, has said that her boss once proclaimed “You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day he [Holtzman] becomes the first Jewish president.”

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