Hot Air

Blustering Bosses

So, here are a couple of business people whose mouths emitted sounds even though their brains did not actually contribute to the process:

I’m sick and tired of minorities running our country! As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think that atheists (minority, muslims (minority)n [sic] or any other minority group has the right to tell the majority of the people in the United States what they can and can’t do here. Is everyone so scared that they can’t fight back for what is right or wrong with this country?Charlotte Atkins Lucas

Lucas

The Lucases, Under Siege

and

[Calling for a more “positive” view of US history in school textbooks] As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today!

Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH (AP U.S. History) framework support or denigrate that position?Pam Mazanec

Manzanec

Manzanec (Colorado Independent photo)

Natch, both comments are spreading on the interwebs in a way the ebola virus can only dream of. Charlotte founded Lucas Oil Products, Inc. with her husband, Forrest. Lucas Oil is a huge “lubricants and additives” manufacturer and distributor, mighty enough that the outfit can be the name sponsor for Indianapolis’s magnificent shrine to the sports gods, Lucas Oil Stadium. Now, don’t get all het up about those lubricants and additives. The Lucas concern is not about enhancements for your sexual pleasure; it trades in automotive fluids in 27 countries around the world, reaping some $150 million in revenues as of 2012.

As for Pam, she’s a Larkspur, Colorado, small businesswoman who sits on that state’s board of education.

Further proof that one needn’t have a functioning cerebrum to succeed in business.

Debunking Online Buncombe

Just in case you didn’t know, Arizona Senator John McCain did not meet with ISIS fighters a year ago. Nor did he meet with them ten years ago or a hundred years ago (when McCain was fresh out of high school).

Not ISIS

Yeah, That’s McCain; No That’s Not ISIS

A photo of him grinning and palling around with with purported members of the beheading-happy fundamentalist religionists has been floating around the interwebs ever since McCain called for a military strike against that gang.

Repeat: McCain has never met with ISIS guys.

Demonization

I happened to be telling someone the other day that the Koch Boys are huge philanthropists, having donated scads of dough to cultural and medical charities and non-profits.

Here’s a sampling of who got a piece of the thus-far $600 million that various Koch charitable foundations have distributed (source):

  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell: $15 million
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: $25 million
  • The Hospital for Special Surgery: $26 million
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: $30 million
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation: $41 million
  • Deerfield Academy: $68 million
  • Lincoln Center’s NY State Theater: $100 million
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $139 million

The person with whom I was chatting was shocked — shocked, I tell you — that the Kochs had given money to any organization other than those whose raison d’être is to enslave the rest of humanity to the Sacred Free Market.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 9.10.37 AM

The Kochs?

See, that’s the prob. with demonization. Now, don’t get me wrong: The Kochs are bad guys. Their philosophy for a happy, healthy humanity begins and ends with an ever increasing bottom line for Koch Industries. Still, wallowing in all their billions of USDs, they find ways to throw a few bucks here and there to theaters, medical researchers, and schools.

You may speculate on why they’re pitching their scratch at what we like to think of as “liberal” concerns. The Kochs, strategic thinkers that they are, may be thinking that some Lincoln Center plays may one day portray them as saviors of our species. They may even hope to see a one-woman play about the life of Ayn Rand.

And they may well be hoping that scientists will come up with a serum that will allow them to live forever.

It’s just as likely that the Kochs might have — believe it or don’t — a shred of human decency behind their hollow grins and cold eyes.

Kochs

The Kochs

Another likelihood is that they may be trying to buy their way to atonement for their sins against Homo Sapiens sapiens and Planet Earth.

See, there’s a ton of reasons why the Kochs might be funding good, honest charities but the irrefutable truth is, they do fund them.

And human beings are a lot more complicated than our popular images of them suggest.

One thought on “Hot Air

  1. It’s interesting to note the dough sent to MIT by the Koch Bros. as “charitable” or “philanthropy”–that’s basically military tech central, ain’t it? (and that’s the largest sum on your list)

    And yeah, I’m one that won’t by that “complexity” of motivations for humans. Philanthropy for billionaires is a tool like any other “power” tool. It helps them get the job done. I’d go so far as to say this money operates no differently than funding a PAC or SuperPAC.

    Beyond using organizations to “launder” money and for tax-dodging (or I suppose we can say that wealthy folks get to “pay taxes” to benefit their own ideas of what things deserve social capital–in this way they are “outside” the system that requires you and me to do what we’re told on 4/15) there is also the primary psychological issue of self-aggrandizement.

    Hey, I want folks to think I’m hot shit too–that’s why I comment here in such an insightful manner.

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