One of the major items in the news right now is that Turkey has tried to ban Twitter. The Turkish government ban on Twitter has provoked widespread fury in Turkey, and condemnation around the world, with the country’s own president taking to the social media website to condemn the country’s actions. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who blames social media for fueling anti-government rhetoric, threatened to “eradicate” Twitter at a campaign rally in the city of Bursa.
By any measure, this offends the sensibilities of Americans. We may agree or not agree on an issue but we will defend the right to hear both sides of an issue. At least that is what we are supposed to believe.
But is it true?
Senator Harry Reid is currently trying to muzzle the Koch brothers. Koch Industries, Inc. is an American multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. Koch companies are involved in core industries such as the manufacturing, refining and distribution of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching, finance, commodities trading, as well as other ventures and investments. The firm employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries.
In 2013, Forbes called Koch Industries the second largest privately held company in the United States, with an annual revenue of $115 billion. If Koch Industries were a public company in 2013, it would have ranked 17 in the Fortune 500. Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and David H. Koch, executive vice president, are principal owners of the company each owning 42% of Koch Industries.
So why is Harry Reid so adamant about silencing these two brothers that are such excellent industrialists? Simply because they believe things that Harry Reid does not believe. They have an honest difference of opinion on several major issues. The Koch brothers are quite wealthy so they have given a large sum of money to convince others of their position.
Arguing is good, right? Above, I just pointed out how bad it was that the Turkish government was trying to stop other opinions from spreading. Surely, Harry Reid wouldn’t go that far. Or would he?
From The Hill:
“These are the same brothers whose company, according to a Bloomberg investigation, paid bribes and kickbacks to win contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “These are the same brothers who, according to the same report, used foreign subsidiaries to sell millions of dollars of equipment to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Wow! Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the US Senate is saying that these two gentlemen are breaking the law. That is strong. Basically, he is telling the Department of Justice to go after these two evil men and prosecute them. If the allegations are true (which the Koch brothers state via their lawyer, are not) then they should be punished. If the allegations are true, then throw the bums in jail.
But then, Harry Reid does a very unusual thing. He says that to argue against his positions is un-American.
From The Washington Post:
“It’s too bad that they’re trying to buy America, and it’s time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine,” Harry Reid said on the Senate floor.
So now I am confused (sarcasm). It is bad when the Prime Minister of Turkey fights opposing opinions but it is “un-American” when private businessmen fight with the Majority Leader.
Is Harry Reid’s treatment of the Koch brothers as bad as Turkey’s ban of Twitter?