Posts Tagged ‘koch brothers’

LONG HISTORY OF STOPPING PROGRESS:

October 29, 2014

bloodoilkoch

MEET THE BILLIONAIRE BASTARDS WHO WANT TO CONTROL OUR LIVES:

The Koch brothers clearly have a financial stake in blocking reform. Koch Industry oil refineries are major carbon dioxide polluters, and Georgia-Pacific, a Koch Industries timber subsidiary, is one of the largest contributors to the loss of carbon-sink capacity. According to the EPA, Koch Industries is responsible for over many hundreds of oil spills in the U.S. and has leaked millions of gallons of crude oil into fisheries and drinking waters. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right. Fred Koch, father of Charles and David helped to found the John Birch Society in the late 1950s. The John Birch Society harnessed Cold War fears into hate against progressives, warning that President Kennedy, Civil Rights activists, and organized labor were in league with communists. His sons continue to galvanize hundreds of thousands of middle class people into supporting the Kochs’ narrow agenda of cutting corporate taxes and avoiding consumer regulations to the ruin of our equality and democracy. IMO, the Koch brothers are traitors guilty of treason against the constitutional government of the United States and
should be broke and in jail.

The Kochs are dirty oil thieves who hide their evil deeds.

While Charles and David Koch remain largely unknown figures to the majority of the American public, with 52 percent recently reporting they have never heard of them, the reality is that the brothers are arguably the most powerful and influential people in Washington — and they’ve never even been elected to office. The public is largely unaware that the Koch brothers are doing everything they can to suppress voter rights, re-segregate public schools, weaken Environmental Protection Agency regulations and privatize Social Security. They are basically fascists – Mussolini’s original definition of ‘fascism’ is ‘corporate merger with the state.’ Say hello to the new masters. Or vote against all their sleazy corrupted candidates and fight for our democratic constitution and a free republic.

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SIGN PETITION – OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED – WIN THE UNITED STATES BACK FOR WE, THE PEOPLE.

*We the People, Not We the Corporations*
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

*We Move to Amend.*
http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition

scotus3sm

Click image above for larger view of “The Palace”

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SAY NO TO KOCH FIENDS

March 1, 2011

David Koch and Scott Walker

Inflammatory Oratory

“Inflammatory oratory and a radical catchall program, important as they were for a fledgling party out to attract attention and recruit mass support, were not enough, and Hitler turned his attention to providing more… What the masses needed, he thought, were not only ideas – a few simple ideas, that is, that he could ceaselessly hammer through their skulls – but symbols that would win their faith, pageantry and color that would arouse them, and acts of violence and terror, which if successful, would attract adherents (were not most Germans drawn to the strong?) and give them a sense of power over the weak.

“In Vienna, …he was intrigued by what he called the ‘infamous spiritual and physical terror’ which he thought was employed by the Social Democrats against their opponents. Now he turned it to good purpose in his own anti-Socialist party, …Hitler organized a bunch of roughneck war veterans into ‘strong-arm’ squads…These uniformed rowdies… soon took to breaking up [meetings] of other parties. Hitler boasted to police, ‘We got what we wanted. Ballerstedt did not speak.’ As Hitler told an audience some months before, ‘The National Socialist Movement will in the future ruthlessly prevent – if necessary by force – all meetings or lectures that are likely to distract the minds of our fellow countrymen.’”

– William L. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

Denial Route

It’s not so much denial, as willful avoidance. We are aware of the truth, feel helpless against it in some wise, and are therefore disposed to take care of other matters as if the horror did not exist. Is there a single word for that? If it is not denial than what it is it? Oblivious perhaps. No, we don’t know a thing about what’s happening if we are oblivious. We know that this is happening but we choose to ignore it. We don’t pretend that the horrors do not exist; we merely elect to look the other way. We don’t want to see the freight train hurtling toward us, nor do we want to get off the tracks out of its way!

Belief

People want to believe, and when they do, they stop thinking.

Koch Fiends – three good sources – synopsis and links.

The Koch brothers’ radical rightwing Republican-Tea Party effort to stigmatize hard-working honest working people and the middle class is nothing short of treason. They are evil, stupid people trying to destroy liberty, equality and fraternity, arch enemies of our democratic republic and its Constitution. They are truly un-American and must be resisted by all clear-minded people everywhere. Down with the Republican-Tea Party stooges! Down with the Koch brothers!

Public Enemies - Charles and David

To join the resistance, go to www.freespeechforpeople.org. READ MORE: .http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7369

The Billionaire Brothers Who Make Us Sick

What makes the Koch Brothers particularly scary, though, is not that they reflexively oppose any change that might hurt their own bottom line. That doesn’t make them all that different from Massey Energy or Chevron or lots of other big polluters (Koch Industries was ranked in the top ten of air polluters in the U.S. by a University of Massachusetts study). What’s different about the Kochs is that they subscribe to a radical libertarian philosophy that opposes any governmental safeguards to protect people or the environment. It’s a grim vision of our country that few Americans would ever subscribe to if they could see it plainly, and yet — thanks to the brothers’ enormous wealth — it’s had an out-sized effect on both our government and our public discourse. It’s like a hidden riptide that keeps pulling you out to sea no matter how hard you strike toward the shore.

But what makes riptides most dangerous is that people don’t even know what they’re fighting against. This week the Sierra Club will put a spotlight on the Koch brothers’ agenda. I encourage you to join our Facebook campaign to help get the word out. Because when people can see their democracy being hijacked, they refuse to tolerate it.

Let me end on a positive note. We’ve trounced the Koch brothers before. Remember Prop 23 — the California initiative to roll back efforts to fight climate change? The Koch brothers were one of the proposition’s largest bankrollers, but California voters overwhelmingly rejected their vision. Now it’s time for all Americans to stand up to the Koch brothers’ dangerous efforts to keep us tied to the dirty energy sources which making people sick and destroy our nation’s economic health. It’s time this billionaire’s good old boy’s club got out of the way of the innovative new energy sources that are producing jobs and prosperity for the rest of us. READ MORE: http://sierraclub.typepad.com/michaelbrune/2011/01/the-billionaire-brothers-who-make-us-sick-.html

The Plutocrat’s Coup d’Etat, Their Republican Allies and Their Democratic Enablers by John Atcheson February 25, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

For thirty years, Republicans have been yammering about small government, deficits, the glories of the free market, and the incompetence and wastefulness of government.

It’s all been a big lie, part of a well funded and cleverly executed coup d’etat, designed to enable the ultra rich and corporations to literally take power out of the hands of government and money out of the pockets of individual citizens.

Democrats have either actively participated in the coup or watched in near silence. The press has been passively playing the part of a mute stenographer. The basis of this coup is simple – money has become the lingua franca of political power, eclipsing the vote.

They’ve just about pulled it off.

What Can We Do? Citizens, we have a choice. We can confront this Plutocratic coup, or we can draft an apology to our founders, beg the forgiveness of the brave men and women who fought valiantly over the last two centuries to defend the ideals of this country, and then kiss those ideals goodbye. At the end of the day, we have the three things that can trump money: truth, the vote and market power. If we insist on candid, transparent discussions on the issues of the day; refuse to vote for dirty-money or mealy-mouthed candidates; and punish Plutocrats like Murdoch and Koch and Rove who intentionally distort the truth in the one place where it hurts – the market place – we can win this country back. It will take commitment, organization, a willingness to endure some hardship, and a passion for justice and fairness– the kind of things that animated exploited workers back when facts mattered, but it can be done. The pieces of a resistance to the Plutocratic coup are coming together.

Russ Feingold has established a PAC called Progressives United with a mission to reverse the infamous Citizens United Decision and get the money out of politics.

Bill McKibben’s 350.org has announced a campaign called the US Chamber doesn’t speak for me.

Van Jones and progressive groups are creating a movement to restore the American Dream – the notion that government isn’t a punch line – it is a contract between we the people; a vehicle that enables us to come together to accomplish that which must be done together; that which has, in times past, made us a prosperous, just, and noble nation.

If we back these efforts, we can prevail. If we don’t, then the words of Edmund Burke should haunt our conscience as we slide inevitably into a well-deserved Plutocratic dystopia: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing.” READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/02/25-1

LAST SHOT

Why does she make me think of the “Wicked Witch of the West” in Wizard of Oz?

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona

In the wake of funding cuts for organ transplants by Arizona’s GOP Gov. Jan ‘The Grim Reaper’ Brewer, a second person has died after being denied coverage for the treatment. Officials say about 100 people waiting for transplants will not get them, with at least 30 expected to die by what critics are calling “death by budget cuts.”

–Abby Zimet

Related:

GOING REALLY ROGUE

Organized IRRESPONSIBILITY

PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2

REPUBLICAN INSURANCE NAZIS

CAPITALISM MUST GO

January 2, 2011

"Play it again, Sam!"

2011: Calling Time on Capitalism: Recent decades have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, imposing the cost of successive crises on the poorest. Enough! by Richard Wolff January 1, 2011 by the Guardian/UK

"We want a bonus!"

New Fabris factory employee in France in 2009, walks by a fire in front of the plant after 366 laid-off workers occupied the factory and threatened to blow it up unless they receive a bigger pay-off. ‘We want a bonus’ is written on the wall. (Alain Jocard/AFP)

 The end of 2010 brought renewed Washington, media and academic hype about the US economy “recovering”. It’s wrong. Recovery noises help Republicans who claim that government should do less, or with many centrist Democrats that income redistribution policies are no longer needed because recovery means growth, which means everyone gets pie. Recovery hype also helps Obama claim that his policies work.

It’s fantasy. Nearly 20% of the US labor force that became unemployed or underemployed in 2009 remains so. A quarter found only temp jobs without benefits. Foreclosure by big bailout-fat banks is throwing millions into the street.

Last month the Federal Reserve decided to make another $600bn of new money, and Congress and the president agreed on additional fiscal stimulus (extending Bush’s tax cuts, reducing social security withholding for 2011, etc). They did it because all previous bailouts, monetary easing, tax cuts and government fiscal stimulus failed to end this crisis. Those immune to hype recognize that more of same will fail again. 

Manfred Max-Neef writes “We still favor the economic efficiency of greed and political dynamics of paranoia in a global system in which poverty keeps increasing and major scientific and technological effort is directly or indirectly aimed at destroying the human species.” Enthusiasm for unlimited economic growth and expansion faces real social and ecological collapse. [Our goals are dangerously]] “incoherent with our historical reality.

Recovery noise hides fundamental instability in our economic system. “Downturns” private or government actions never prevent, impose huge social costs, plunging millions of effective, productive workers into unemployment, personal, family and community disasters. Governments chiefly tap their nations purses to rescue the private capitalists who [caused] the crisis and whose wealth protects them from its worst effects.

Then, governments turn on their people to impose austerities (cutbacks in social programs, social security, etc) needed to restore government budgets busted by the rescue’s huge costs. Corporate America’s demands for conservative government and austerity on the grounds of excessive budget deficits is like someone convicted of murdering his parents demanding leniency as an orphan. Mainstream media and politicians take those corporate demands seriously, reminding us who controls them.

Since the early 1970s, workers’ wage increases ended, benefits and job security shrank and government supports for average people were attacked by conservatives. These increasing burdens were justified as absolutely necessary to permit more investment and, therefore, greater economic growth. In fact, growth in the US and Europe slowed over those years (see graph below by University of Rome Professor Pasquale Tridico):

 

Average growth of GDP per capita in US and Europe, 1961-2009. Source: Eurostat

 As workers’ conditions deteriorated, capitalist surpluses and profits soared, stock markets boomed, and poor and middle income and wealth were redistributed to the rich. Promised results did not appear: no more investment, growth slowed, the system imploded.

Today’s recovery noises are for more bailouts, monetary easing and fiscal stimuli that have already failed. No one questions or addresses how capitalism created the crisis.

The recovery aims at return to the US economy pre-crash. But capitalism was hurtling toward a stone wall. To return to it heads for the same wall.

Politicians are afraid to link the crisis to the economic system that creates regular “downturns” costing millions of jobs, wasted resources, lost outputs and injured lives. For them, the economic system is beyond question; [don’t bite the hand that feeds you.].

Thus, this crisis will continue until capitalists see sufficiently attractive opportunities for profit to resume investing and hiring people in the US as well as elsewhere. The freedoms of US capitalists to gain immense government supports as needed, and yet to invest only when, where and how they can maximize their private profits are paramount: the first obligations of government. The freedoms from want and insecurity for the US people remain a distant second priority – until mass political action changes that.

Capitalism puts a small minority with one set of goals (profits, disproportionally high incomes, dominant political power, etc) in position to receive and distribute enormous wealth. They use it to achieve their goals and make the government secure their positions.

No Keynesian monetary or fiscal policies address, or change, how capitalism works and who uses its wealth to what ends. No reforms or regulations are even proposed under Obama to do that. To avoid the instability of capitalism and its huge social costs requires changing the system. That is the basic issue for a new year and new generation. [Can we] break today’s version of a dangerous old taboo: never question the system?

For more information about Richard Wolff’s work, visit his website

No Giant Corporatists Allowed

We really don’t need giant corporations and giant corporatists. They greedily demand, consume or despoil resources far in excess of their fair share. The greedy bastards want all of the earth’s resources. Those resources are humanity’s trust. Any attempt to privatize and unfairly profit from their sale and exploitation is criminal, anti-life, anti-social and less than human behavior.

Corporatists and their minions and admirers are nothing more than grazing, killing, baby-making, eating, pooping machines; their single purpose is to proselytize consumers and consumption. They are animals, not humans. Their spiritual life is practiced, preached rote; an imitation of sense, sensibility and spirituality. Many “talk” to an imaginary god, which asks, to whom are they really praying? If the outcome of their chosen path is misery and deprivation for most of humanity, how can they possibly argue for a conscience, a god’s blessing, or any other claim of compassion or even simple human sympathy? It’s because they are not human; they are poor dumb animals: fodder is all.

We humans need to parent and act as stewards for these poor dumb brutes. We need social and economic laws, rules, regulations and enforcement to rebalance power and money in this country. We left the barn door wide open and we need to put these animals back in their pens and corrals so that they will not run around willy-nilly and needlessly and destructively detract from the harmony of the farm.

We really need the immediate suppression and re-education of all Big Guy other-directed creatures, and re-distribution of all their property and money. Old banks to be required to hand over all of their assets and accounts to new community banks and credit unions; old bankers to fold their tents and look for honest and modest human employment. The entire Health Insurance Industry should be closed down and put out to pasture – some nice place such as Angola State Prison.

The fact that we enjoy civil and human rights now doesn’t mean that we will have them in the future. It’s up to each person, each generation, to protect, defend and cherish his/her rights and block or defeat any impending assault. We must fight to keep our rights. We must resist the tyrant (who is any would-be or actual dictator of whatever title or costume). Don’t let the bastards get started; keep them chained and humbled, unable to wreak their evil oppression, prejudices and destruction on not only people, but nature herself. What mad ego, what blind selfishness.

In the mid-1960’s a book entitled Thunder on the Right urgently identified and warned against the anti-democratic, fundamental religionist, bigoted fanatics of the political reactionary right. Among the American Nazis, KKK hoods and militia toughs was the John Burch Society, which ran Patrick Henry bookstores filled with scurrilous lying polemics attacking and undermining and diminishing government and advocating a treasonous program of subversion and sabotage. The John Burch Society harnessed Cold War fears into hate against progressives, warning that President Kennedy, Civil Rights activists, and organized labor were in league with communists. One JBS newsletter civically advised members to “join your local P.T.A. and take it over [emphasis mine].”

Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of a progressive agenda today. Ranked as the 9th richest men in America, the Koch brothers sit at the helm of Koch Industries, a massive privately owned conglomerate of manufacturing, oil, gas, and timber interests. David and Charles are also responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right. Their father, Fred Koch, helped to found the John Burch Society in the late 1950s. His sons continue to galvanize hundreds of thousands of middle class people into supporting the Kochs’ narrow agenda of cutting corporate taxes and avoiding consumer regulations to the ruin of our equality and democracy.

David Koch presents himself as a champion of science. Nevertheless, Koch has done more to undermine the public’s understanding of climate change science than any other person in America. Koch Industries has spent nearly $9 million dollars so far to misinform the public on climate change legislation. Much of the fierce opposition to health reform can be credited to the Kochs. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right.

RELATED ARTICLE: PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2

KOCHTOPUS Koch: Even More Powerful and Well-Connected Than You Thought

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch don’t just underwrite a huge right-wing infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also work with corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber to oil and insurance companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here. –Abby Zimet More…

READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/politics/144455/meet_the_billionaire_brothers_funding_the_right-wing_war_on_obama 

Reagan Puppet

KOCHTOPUS

October 28, 2010

“Kochtopus” Matt Taibbi Joins Keith Olbermann, Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann

VIDEO:  http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/10/21-0

Koch: Even More Powerful and Well-Connected Than You Thought

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch don’t just underwrite a huge right-wing infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also work with corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber to oil and insurance companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here. –Abby Zimet  More…

MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the “culture of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws and government regulations. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups. Recently, fronts funded by Charles and his brother David have received scrutiny because they have played a pivotal role in the organizing of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion of virulent far right lawmakers like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). (David Koch praised DeMint and gave him a “Washington Award” shortly after the senator promised to “break” Obama by making health reform his “Waterloo.”)

KOCH TEASERS

Right-wing brothers Charles and David Koch, each worth over $21 billion, don’t just underwrite a huge conservative infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also strengthen a “culture of prosperity” through meetings with like-minded corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with big moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber of Commerce to oil, health insurance, Wall Street and real estate companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here.

KOCH CONNECTIONS

10 Reasons Not to Tax the Rich. And Why They’re All Bad by Paul Buchheit, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

We hear them all the time, the reasons for unrestricted capitalism, minimal government, lower taxes for the rich. But the facts reveal good reasons NOT to NOT tax the rich.

(1) The rich deserve what they earn because of hard work and initiative.  They use other people’s money to create assets that don’t exist and then bet on them to fail [in] the murky world of derivatives and credit default swaps. Those who make the most money avoid taxes by calling their income “carried interest” instead.  Others not directly involved in financial chicanery still make out well. The stock market has grown 7 times faster than America’s GDP since 1981, and two-thirds of the country’s stocks are owned by the wealthiest 1% of Americans. That’s not enough for some; many backdate their stock options to a time when the price was higher.

(2) It’s not fair to “soak the rich.” It’s been just the opposite for the past 30 years. In 1980 the richest 1% got one out of every fifteen income dollars. Thanks to tax cuts and deregulation, they now get THREE out of every fifteen dollars. Meanwhile, every U.S. taxpayer contributes about $600 a year to pay for the tax cuts that give $34,000 a year to each of the wealthiest 1% of Americans. And now a trillion dollars of public money is bailing out the failing banking system.

(3) “Spreading the wealth” and “redistribution” are other names for socialism. Not socialism, but social responsibility. Taxes support public infrastructure, including research and development for science and technology. Much of the tax burden disproportionately benefits the rich: laws protect private property and capital investment; trade pacts and national defense policies protect wealth. Bill Gates, Sr. explains, “The government…protects their business activities…that’s what creates capital and enables net worth to increase.”

(4) The great wealth of the rich stimulates the economy. Low-income earners have a higher “Marginal Propensity to Consume,” which means that they spend a greater percentage of their overall income on consumption. High-income earners save more; the very rich buy mansions, yachts, jewels, and art. [T]he Congressional Budget Service ranked 11 strategies to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Cutting taxes for the rich was lowest. The top 500 non-financial companies currently hold $2 trillion in cash that could be used to create jobs and stimulate new business.

(5) Large incomes provide incentive for success. Some hedge fund managers ‘earned’ enough money in one year to pay the salaries of every police officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in Chicago. A system that allows one man to divert the salaries of 50,000 public workers to his own pockets has gone well beyond “incentive-based.”

(6) The very rich pay it back through taxes. They pay less than 23% of their incomes in federal income tax. [T]he lowest-earning half of America pays 24% as much as the richest 1%. The top tax rate has gone from 90% in 1960, to 35% in 2008. But much of billionaires’ earnings is subject to only a 15% tax because of a loophole that allows hedge fund income not to be called income. Furthermore, about 500 people a year renounce their U.S. citizenship and repatriate themselves in Belize, the Cayman Islands, or elsewhere to avoid taxes entirely.

(7) The very rich lost massive parts of their fortunes in the recession. They lost no more money, percentage-wise, than average mid-level earners. Wealth data from the Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve show that the richest households have INCREASED their median incomes relative to other earners since 2006.

(8) “Income mobility” shows that the poor can get rich, and vice versa. This argument relies on a 2007 U.S. Treasury Department report that states “Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 – the top 1/100 of 1 percent – only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005.” But nearly 9 out of 10 of those in the top 1% remained in the top quintile of earners over those ten years. They may have dropped out of the most elite 1% group, but they remained close. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

(9) The rich support worthwhile causes. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the wealthy “give their biggest donations” to colleges, hospitals, and cultural organizations and “rarely make large gifts to social-service groups, grass-roots organizations, or nonprofit groups that focus on the poor or minorities.” Hundreds of millions of dollars are flooding into congressional and state election races. Especially since the Supreme Court ruled against limits on corporate contributions.

(10) Inequality is necessary to sustain a healthy and productive society. This [is] the worst reason of all. Not only is it unnecessary, but dangerous: Numerous studies correlate inequality with shorter life expectancies, increased disease and health problems, and ever higher crime and murder rates. Rates of illness in an unequal society are higher at all levels of income, even for the very wealthy.

Paul Buchheit is a faculty member in the School for New Learning at DePaul University. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/20-1

Say Goodbye!

davidbfraftr

After a two year loan to the United States, Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy.