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Peter Schiff and the Kochtopus

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liberty student Posted: Wed, Dec 15 2010 1:19 AM

In another thread, I had made this comment

liberty student:
Schiff is a Koch agent from what I can tell.  You'll notice Lew Rockwell doesn't cover him at all since he was outed with Glenn Beck and others as attending Koch secret retreats.

Some folks didn't know what I was talking about.

Here is a brief summary of my rationale which excludes some very recent stuff which I feel confirms it.

On Oct 20th, LRC posted on the blog

The Plutocrats’ Ball

Which leads one to here

EPJ - The Koch Plotters Plot a Meeting

and finally to here

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

Apparently Peter Schiff was in attendance in June.

 

What is the Kochtopus?  It is an obsession at LRC.

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard

 

 

Peter Schiff's last LRC podcast was on 9/28

The last Schiff article posted at LRC was 10/16, four days before the blog post about the Plutocrat's Ball.

If one looks at Peter Schiff's archive, he has never gone so long as 2 months without some mention or article syndication at LRC since they started covering him.

Google shows no mention of Schiff during November 2010 or December 2010 on the LRC Blog

 

I don't believe in coincidences.  YMMV.

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I wish I could uncover a super secret double agent in the libertarian world so I could get famous too!

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CrazyCoot replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 3:18 AM

Umm.. since when does attending events and trying to get your ideas out make one an agent of this or that? 

 

  I understand the ideological dispute but there are aspects of this fight that make kindergarteners look mature.

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jmorris84 replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 8:04 AM

Thanks for finally putting this thread together. Not enough info to gather any sort of opinion, so I'm going to wait to see if Schiff himself talks about why he was there. He could have been there for 100 different reasons, for all we know. I enjoyed reading the articles, by the way. Very interesting stuff.

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This is like deciding about a girl based on  "She went to a party  my mommy [=Lew Rockwell] disapproves of".

How about asking her out and actually talking to her?

If you would bother to read, listen, and watch the vast body of work Peter has publicly available for free, you will discover [gasp!] that he consistently calls for less govt, blames govt for our economic problems, wants to close the dept of energy, of education, of everything basically, and bring back all our troops.

He is a staunch Ron Paul supporter, having actively worked for Ron when he campaigned for president. Paul was a recent guest on his radio show.

All very un-Kochian.

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If Peter Schiff is part of a conspiracy to divert people away from the Mises Institute then, at least with me, he has failed miserably, since he, probably more than anyone else, pointed me towards Austrian Economics and set me on the road to eventually reading Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Hazlitt, Hoppe, etc.

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jmorris84:
Not enough info to gather any sort of opinion, so I'm going to wait to see if Schiff himself talks about why he was there.

I have more info, but I am not trying to make a case.  I am trying to substantiate my statement about Lew Rockwell's site, which I believe I did.

Whether anyone else believes Schiff is tight with Koch or not, irrelevant to me.  I doubt anyone does the sort of casual mental cataloguing which allowed me to track this without actually tracking it.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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boohickey11:
I wish I could uncover a super secret double agent in the libertarian world so I could get famous too!

I was famous long before this.  And I don't think I uncovered anything.  I just drew an opinion from what is already out there.

Smiling Dave:
This is like deciding about a girl based on  "She went to a party  my mommy [=Lew Rockwell] disapproves of".

How about asking her out and actually talking to her?

If you would bother to read, listen, and watch the vast body of work Peter has publicly available for free, you will discover [gasp!] that he consistently calls for less govt, blames govt for our economic problems, wants to close the dept of energy, of education, of everything basically, and bring back all our troops.

He is a staunch Ron Paul supporter, having actively worked for Ron when he campaigned for president. Paul was a recent guest on his radio show.

All very un-Kochian.

I knew some Peter Schiff fans would probably deny and attack the messenger etc rather than deal with what I wrote, and the articles/facts I posted.  If you bothered to do some research, I was into Peter Schiff before you were.  I have hundreds of hours listening to him speak, including his radio show live for over a year.  I know exactly who he is.  And I have a very good idea of who he swims with now.

Mises Pieces:
If Peter Schiff is part of a conspiracy to divert people away from the Mises Institute then, at least with me, he has failed miserably, since he, probably more than anyone else, pointed me towards Austrian Economics and set me on the road to eventually reading Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Hazlitt, Hoppe, etc.

I don't recall anyone saying he was part of a conspiracy.  Do you?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Autolykos replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 10:49 AM

liberty student:
I knew some Peter Schiff fans would probably deny and attack the messenger etc rather than deal with what I wrote, and the articles/facts I posted.  If you bothered to do some research, I was into Peter Schiff before you were.  I have hundreds of hours listening to him speak, including his radio show live for over a year.  I know exactly who he is.  And I have a very good idea of who he swims with now.

In your own opinion, why would he "switch sides"?

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

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Autolykos:
In your own opinion, why would he "switch sides"?

I have no idea.  It's very hard to draw an accurate estimate on intent.

I don't know that he switched sides, as much as he is an investor and speaker at secret Koch events, which makes him a Koch agent (no one said double agent) which would make him persona non grata around LRC based on how everyone else associated with Koch gets treated there.

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A. I'm supposed to research how much Peter Schiff you watched? SMH.

B. You claimed two things: 1. Lew is pissed off at Peter for going to a Koch party. Maybe, maybe not. You then claim a non sequitor 2. Peter had joined the ranks of the Kochians

.

 

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Smiling Dave:
A. I'm supposed to research how much Peter Schiff you watched? SMH.

What's good for the goose...  You told me I was uninformed about Schiff.  How did you draw that conclusion without knowing how much I was into Schiff?

You wrote,

If you would bother to read, listen, and watch the vast body of work

Smiling Dave:
B. You claimed two things: 1. Lew is pissed off at Peter for going to a Koch party. Maybe, maybe not.

Did I claim this?  Where?

Smiling Dave:
You then claim a non sequitor 2. Peter had joined the ranks of the Kochians

I think I explained very clearly why it is relevant, because of the timing, and because of the history of LRC/Mises and Rothbard with the Kochtopus.

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How much of Peter Schiff's time being out of the LRC circuit can be attributed to his new expanded radio podcasts (whether they are successful or not) and the fact that he's setting up a foreign office to leave the U.S. if he has to?

You had stated that Peter Schiff was a Koch agent.  How so?  That kind of statement requires more than just an absence from LRC.  Is this just a matter of guilt by association?  Has Peter Schiff moved to favor the Fed?  Has Peter Schiff moved away from gold as a standard of economic currency?  Has Peter Schiff denounced Austrian Economics?

Best I can tell is that Peter Schiff, who was running for political office, attended some meetings with an organization known for its political contributions to Republican candidates.  Schiff ran as a Republican.  Seems pretty straight forward to me.

I'm not saying that it's not possible that Peter Schiff, Republican Political Candidate, was not or could not be influenced by those in the Koch organization.  Since he lost his election, what has he done to earn the title of Koch Agent other than attending some meetings?  What part of his message has changed?  Just looking for some tangible nugget of information so that I can be aware of what Schiff might push either now or in the future.

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K.C. Farmer:
How much of Peter Schiff's time being out of the LRC circuit can be attributed to his new expanded radio podcasts (whether they are successful or not) and the fact that he's setting up a foreign office to leave the U.S. if he has to?

None of that effects reprinting his articles or referencing him, or his videos on the blog.

K.C. Farmer:
You had stated that Peter Schiff was a Koch agent.  How so?  That kind of statement requires more than just an absence from LRC.  Is this just a matter of guilt by association?  Has Peter Schiff moved to favor the Fed?  Has Peter Schiff moved away from gold as a standard of economic currency?  Has Peter Schiff denounced Austrian Economics?

Guys, please read what I have written, and do more than superficial research into this before questioning me.  As I stated, there is more, but I didn't come to character assassinate Peter Schiff.  I don't particularly care.  I didn't think saying he was a Koch agent was particularly outrageous, although I underestimated the power of fanboyism by several degrees.

I posted the timeline and facts to back up my claim about LRC.  For someone who got a lot of continuous coverage there, he is conspicious by his absence.  When we hit the 6 month mark, you guys come back and tell me it is still just a coincidence, mmmkay?

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Kudos to you. K.C. Farmer, for stating the case very eloquently and clearly.

and LS: Fanboyism? have we stooped to ad hominems? Tsk tsk.

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Dave, you haven't presented any case but to attack the messenger.  You didn't address what I had written, or the facts I posted.  Neither did KC Farmer.  This is very sloppy and shallow debate.

Also, trying to hide behind claims I am ad hom'ing you, doesn't get you out of jail for the nonsense where you made a claim about how much I knew about Schiff, and then had the audacity to turn around and claim you didn't have an obligation to know the thing you claimed.

You're behaving like a fan boy, and not someone who is interested in thinking clearly and rationally.

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I think our definitions of "thinking clearly and rationally" differ too much to have a fruitful discussion.  Good luck to you.

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Dave,

You attacked me and not the argument, at least man up and take responsiblity for what you posted.  This "I'm too good for this discussion" stuff doesn't fool anyone, it's the oldest evasion tactic in the book.  Back up what you have written below.

liberty student:

Smiling Dave:
A. I'm supposed to research how much Peter Schiff you watched? SMH.

What's good for the goose...  You told me I was uninformed about Schiff.  How did you draw that conclusion without knowing how much I was into Schiff?

You wrote,

If you would bother to read, listen, and watch the vast body of work

Smiling Dave:
B. You claimed two things: 1. Lew is pissed off at Peter for going to a Koch party. Maybe, maybe not.

Did I claim this?  Where?

Smiling Dave:
You then claim a non sequitor 2. Peter had joined the ranks of the Kochians

I think I explained very clearly why it is relevant, because of the timing, and because of the history of LRC/Mises and Rothbard with the Kochtopus.

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I'm no fanboy, nor am I trying to bust your balls on the subject.  It's just that the term Koch Agent is rather strong in its implications.  I'd probably be just as cautious had he been called a Ludwig von Mises Agent.  At least to me, the reference to agent implies that he's not a free thinking or acting individual.

Pointing out his absence from LRC is a valid point, but I don't know whether we can speculate further.  I haven't seen anything from Lew Rockwell delaring Peter Schiff to be unwelcome, but you're dead on about the rift between Rothbard/Rockwell/Mises Institute and Koch/Cato Institute.  I just don't really know where Peter Schiff fits in that dynamic.

A deeper read into the issue requires entry into the skewed bias world of the Left and Right.  Not a pleasant journey.  I think most here were probably hoping for you to save us from that.  Thanks for at least pulling the information together to show others what you had meant in the previous post.

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K.C. Farmer:
I'm no fanboy, nor am I trying to bust your balls on the subject.  It's just that the term Koch Agent is rather strong in its implications.  I'd probably be just as cautious had he been called a Ludwig von Mises Agent.  At least to me, the reference to agent implies that he's not a free thinking or acting individual.

Agent means acting on behalf of.  Nothing more, nothing less.  A private defense agency is not a company which cannot think for itself.

K.C. Farmer:
Pointing out his absence from LRC is a valid point, but I don't know whether we can speculate further.  I haven't seen anything from Lew Rockwell delaring Peter Schiff to be unwelcome, but you're dead on about the rift between Rothbard/Rockwell/Mises Institute and Koch/Cato Institute.  I just don't really know where Peter Schiff fits in that dynamic.

Right, which is why people would be wise to do more research before drawing conclusions.  I gave everyone the starting point.

K.C. Farmer:
A deeper read into the issue requires entry into the skewed bias world of the Left and Right.  Not a pleasant journey.  I think most here were probably hoping for you to save us from that.  Thanks for at least pulling the information together to show others what you had meant in the previous post.

You're welcome, and thanks for the even handed reply.

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Kudos to you. K.C. Farmer, for stating the case very eloquently and clearly.

 

I don't think I'd call what I posted a case.

I also don't believe liberty student has posted a case to attack Peter Schiff.  He's just shown some inconsistencies in Schiff's activity on LRC and has shown a link between Koch meetings and Peter Schiff.  I don't believe he's made the direct claim that Schiff works at the direction of the Koch organization.  That's how I interpreted his use of the term Koch Agent.  Liberty student's meaning was lost in my mistranslation.

Sorry for the lagged responses.

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I stand behind everything I wrote, and see no point in continuing this discussion. Let anyone who wishes draw their cinclusions based on what is already here.

If you feel vindicated, so much the better, I guess.

My last post on this topic.

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Are you suggesting that Schiff is no longer contributing to LRC at Koch's urging, or that LRC is no longer soliciting contributions from Schiff due to his relationship with Koch?

Also, I try to catch Schiff's podcasts when I can, and I have to say that I haven't noticed any substantial changes in his rhetoric.  I mean, he has always on occasion blurted out the occasional WTF statement, especially regarding foreign policy, but I haven't noticed an increased frequency in these instances.  Am I missing something?  Are there any other things he's done on Koch's behalf besides his absence from LRC?

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Smiling Dave:
I stand behind everything I wrote

What you wrote was contradictory or unsupported, and you refuse to address your claims, while simultaneously claiming to stand behind them.  You're continuing the error you made when you claimed things about me without doing any diligence.

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Mises Pieces:
Are you suggesting that Schiff is no longer contributing to LRC at Koch's urging, or that LRC is no longer soliciting contributions from Schiff due to his relationship with Koch?

I'm not suggesting anything.  I made a claim that LRC has not run anything about him since the Plutocrats' Ball post.  I substantiated that as best I could.

Mises Pieces:
Also, I try to catch Schiff's podcasts when I can, and I have to say that I haven't noticed any substantial changes in his rhetoric.  I mean, he has always on occasion blurted out the occasional WTF statement, especially regarding foreign policy, but I haven't noticed an increased frequency in these instances.  Am I missing something?  Are there any other things he's done on Koch's behalf besides his absence from LRC?

Did you read all of the material I posted?

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jmorris84 replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 1:11 PM

liberty student:

I have more info, but I am not trying to make a case.  I am trying to substantiate my statement about Lew Rockwell's site, which I believe I did.

Whether anyone else believes Schiff is tight with Koch or not, irrelevant to me.  I doubt anyone does the sort of casual mental cataloguing which allowed me to track this without actually tracking it.

I wouldn't consider Peter an agent of Koch just because he was at their meeting. For all we know, he was there talking up everything that he does everywhere else that he is speaking. I would expect him to meet with the Federal Reserve if he was invited. Would he be considered a Fed agent if he did so?

But hey, if you would like to share some of the additional info you have, I know I would appreciate it. I tried looking things up that relate Peter to Koch and am not coming up with anything.

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jmorris84:
I wouldn't consider Peter an agent of Koch just because he was at their meeting.

I don't blame you.  That's not a conclusion I drew from finding out about the meeting.

jmorris84:
But hey, if you would like to share some of the additional info you have, I know I would appreciate it.

I really don't want to share anymore.  The reaction I got in this thread, was largely what I thought was coming.

I posted this only because I wanted to substantiate my comments about LRC, which Nielsio has indicated I had made carelessly.  I did that.  I have no interest, and see no profit in having to chase this down as I am neither a journalist, die hard Schiff fan, Koch agent, or Rothbard defender.

Everyone should keep their eyes open, before they promote, support, endorse or follow ANYONE.  That includes LvMI, me, Ron Paul and yes, Peter Schiff.  It is impossible (IMO) to achieve the sort of enlightenment necessary to have a free society, if people choose to blindly follow or ignore their own diligence.

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Is there something bad about the Koch brothers? I thought they had pretty libertarian ideologies...?

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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jmorris84 replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 4:56 PM

liberty student:
I don't blame you.  That's not a conclusion I drew from finding out about the meeting.

If you didn't draw that conclusion from him being at the meeting, then how did you get the idea that he is a Koch agent? You made the statement about him being one, in another thread, and said you would make a new thread showing us why you made that statement. Here is the thread and yet nothing you wrote or linked to gives any indication that Peter is a Koch agent. All we know is that he attended a meeting with them. 

I'm sorry to see you won't be sharing any more information with us about this subject but thanks again for posting some of the articles that you did. At the very least, there were still other things that I learned about, thanks to this thread!

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jmorris84 replied on Wed, Dec 15 2010 4:58 PM

Brian Anderson:
Is there something bad about the Koch brothers? I thought they had pretty libertarian ideologies...?

Read the link that liberty student posted from Lew Rockwell's site. I think that explains it.

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Yeah, I read it, but I don't understand where they get off with saying they have an anti-Ludwig von Mises bias and tried to stop Rockwell from starting the Mises Institute. Not saying it's incorrect. I just didn't see proof of it.

If it's because they're behind the Cato Institute, I don't see why that's a problem either. It originally helped in my neo-conservative --> libertarian transition.

Hopefully we're referring to the same article.

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Everyone should keep their eyes open, before they promote, support, endorse or follow ANYONE.  That includes LvMI, me, Ron Paul and yes, Peter Schiff.  It is impossible (IMO) to achieve the sort of enlightenment necessary to have a free society, if people choose to blindly follow or ignore their own diligence.

Dude I completely agree with you.  It's precisely because I am a Schiff fan that I'm so curious about what think he's up to that must have escaped my knowledge.  I read all the links you posted, but the only one that said anything about Schiff besides placing him at the Koch meeting was the interview, which as far as I oculd tell was pretty standard fare Schiff.  I'd honestly like to know what exactly you think he might be up to.

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jmorris84:
If you didn't draw that conclusion from him being at the meeting, then how did you get the idea that he is a Koch agent?

I've already explained, I have seen other things which lead me to that conclusion.  I never said I had incontrovertible proof.  Go back and read my OP.

jmorris84:
You made the statement about him being one, in another thread, and said you would make a new thread showing us why you made that statement. Here is the thread and yet nothing you wrote or linked to gives any indication that Peter is a Koch agent. All we know is that he attended a meeting with them.

I already explained why I made this thread.  It wasn't to defend my opinion.  I don't care if anyone agrees with my opinion or not.  I made this thread to support my claim that he had stopped being run on LRC after the meeting was posted on the blog.

jmorris84:
All we know is that he attended a meeting with them.

And that LRC has not run anything about him since the meeting was made public.

jmorris84:
I'm sorry to see you won't be sharing any more information with us about this subject but thanks again for posting some of the articles that you did. At the very least, there were still other things that I learned about, thanks to this thread!

It's not healthy for me to spoon feed you.  Do your own research, draw your own conclusions.  I've given you all an enormous head start on this topic.

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Mises Pieces:
Dude I completely agree with you.  It's precisely because I am a Schiff fan that I'm so curious about what think he's up to that must have escaped my knowledge.  I read all the links you posted, but the only one that said anything about Schiff besides placing him at the Koch meeting was the interview, which as far as I oculd tell was pretty standard fare Schiff.  I'd honestly like to know what exactly you think he might be up to.

No offense, but the reading comprehension here is terrible.  I don't know how much clearer I can make my own statements, explanations of those statements, and the facts.  I have answered ALL of your concerns in previous responses to this thread, including the OP.

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jmorris84 replied on Thu, Dec 16 2010 8:17 AM

liberty student, you were clearly questioned about your comment about Schiff being a Koch agent, in the other thread. You eventually said you would make a thread about it. The result was this thread, which gives us a little history about the Koch brothers, their help with the Cato institute, and the cat fight between them and the Mises institute. Why you made a thread about that, no one knows. It is clear to everyone except you that what WAS in question was Schiff being a Koch agent, which you failed to deliver any goods on. No need to get your panties in a bunch. Everyone is just a let down that you didn't deliver.

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Vitor replied on Thu, Dec 16 2010 9:02 AM

I keep reading the threa title as "Peter Schiff and Chtulu"

 

Therefore Peter Schiff is Cartman!

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liberty student:
... since he was outed with Glenn Beck and others...

If Schiff has been "outed" with Glenn Beck, it is because of his disagreement with his sponsor, Goldline, for pushing collectable coins over gold bullion, then jacking up the prices.

We all need to stop the conspiracist fear-mongering.  Peter Schiff is in no way connected to Jacob Schiff, which is where I know this theory will end up.  I also see no reason why Peter should have to account for his whereabouts to a bunch of bloggers.

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Bad weather yesterday afforded me an opportunity to dig into this a little more.  Still scraping the sludge of opinions from the Right and Left.

Best I can determine is that Peter Schiff was likely paid to present at the meeting just as Beck and others were.  The topic he addressed was not really that different than what he preaches everywhere else.  The organizers reduced their normal membership fee in order to accommodate a wider audience.  I believe Schiff was used by the Kochtopus to draw in those in the Tea Party crowd who followed him, just as Beck was used to draw in the conservatives.  The intent apparently was to get more support for the impending 2010 elections.

The Koch Network, as they like to call themselves, are a group of people who want to influence the political process through campaign contributions and other activities.  This appears to be a marriage of the Koch/CATO/Chicago School Libertarians and the Republican big money people.  The Koch/CATO/Chigaco School Libertarians appear to want to take the parts of libertarianism and free market capitalism that they like (those that are acceptable to the mainstream) and discard the parts they don't like (the more "extreme" portions that Rothbard and Mises were known for).  The Republican big money folks tend to be more moderate than the common Conservative Republican crowd, but they've been successful in feeding the common Republican a line of crap and then offering up moderate candidates like George W Bush, John McCain, and now it seems Mitt Romney.

The Koch Network seems to like their bread buttered on both sides.  They talk a lot about libertarian/free market ideas, but they are most definitely for corporate merchantilism.  You can easily reduce federal regulations by more than 90% and still have a structure that is closer to British merchantalism than it is to free market capitalism.  Federal regulations are just that massive.

Not sure whether Peter Schiff was acting on behalf of the Koch Network, but he did work for them which may be enough for what the Koch Network wanted from Peter Schiff.  I'd probably call him a Koch Enabler, but no point in beating that to death.

I've found that the only people who seem to care about Peter Schiff attending this meeting are libertarians.  The only exception I've found was from a pro-immigration blog that identified Schiff as being "bad for immigration".  I don't follow him close enough to know his position on immigration.  Schiff's message has always been about "it's the Feds fault" and "buy gold, but don't get scammed."  Perhaps others here could shed more light on the pro-immigration blogger's comment.

At this time I believe Schiff's lack of activity on LRC is coincidental, although if it continues that way for six months or longer then liberty student's opinion may be dead on.  We won't find a statement from Peter Schiff commenting on his participation at the Koch Meeting because all members were asked not to discuss the event publicly.  If Lew Rockwell were to have banned Peter Schiff, then I'm sure we'd hear about it.   The most productive inquiry would be to ask Peter Schiff why he hasn't posted anything on LRC since October.  My guess is that he'd probably just say that he's been pretty busy working on other projects or his business.

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This topic has also been discussed over at the Daily Paul.  Also illustrates that opinions are everywhere given a very small set of facts.

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jmorris84:
liberty student, you were clearly questioned about your comment about Schiff being a Koch agent, in the other thread.

By whom.  Can you source it?

jmorris84:
You eventually said you would make a thread about it.

Which I have done.  I told auctionguy I would do this.

jmorris84:
The result was this thread, which gives us a little history about the Koch brothers, their help with the Cato institute, and the cat fight between them and the Mises institute. Why you made a thread about that, no one knows.

Sure you guys know.  I have addressed it up thread already.  I addressed it specifically to you.

I posted this only because I wanted to substantiate my comments about LRC, which Nielsio has indicated I had made carelessly.  I did that.  I have no interest, and see no profit in having to chase this down as I am neither a journalist, die hard Schiff fan, Koch agent, or Rothbard defender.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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