Saturday, October 16, 2004


The Cato Institute

One of my conservative friends sent me a link the other day to the Cato Institute, recommending that I take a look.

While I'm sure there are good people at Cato and that many of the beliefs it espouses are of the idealistic, exalted type, Cato's still a neocon Trojan horse if you ask me. I like how they say in the "About Us" page that they were founded by Edward H. Crane--no mention of co-founder and bankroller Charles Koch, without whom the Institute wouldn't exist. Koch is one of the prime movers in the corporatist takeover of government. He and his brother (their father was one of the original founders of the John Birch Society in 1958) own Koch Industries, one of the largest and worst polluters in the U.S. Cato is ground zero of the far-right's attempt to co-opt the Libertarian movement in order to center it on corporate libertarianism.

Incidentally (or not!), Charles Koch is one of the worst "cronies" in Bush's crony capitalism. He is a big supporter of the Bush campaign and Republican candidates and causes generally, and the Bush administration immediately served up quid pro quo after its takeover of the government in 2000--dismissing outstanding government lawsuits against Koch Industries and waiving hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, for such "business-friendly" practices as dumping benzene into groundwater and oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

And so it goes.

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