Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Oil Theocracy

As books go, American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips is above average, to say the least. Its usefulness is in setting forth in concise form the history of oil.

At this point in the book I am reading about the relative importance of the various states whose economies are strongly connected either with oil or the automobile. It is interesting to see the correlation. (Phillips' credulous assumption of the validity of the vote against Kerry in 2004 both nationwide and in Ohio can be partly forgiven due to the circumstances of the times. However, Phillips should know that the election of Bush was challenged in Congress -- the first time such a contest had been lodged since the nineteenth century.)

It is clear from the book that American life and especially its politics are intrinsically bound to the oil industry. Later in the book I hope to read suggestions for an effective divorce in the oil-politics marriage.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"American Theocracy"

The latest book I am reading (along with about twenty others) is "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. This 2006 book which made quite a splash when first published is a very-well-researched tome chronicling the influence of both oil and Christian right-wingers on (primarily) the Republican Party, but all of American life.

As the book is rather dense and I have only started it, I will refrain from presenting much detail now. Suffice it to say this is a very revealing and important look at the history of oil from ancient times to the present day. (The focus is on modern history.)

We see from this book how middle-eastern American foreign policy was essentially conducted by the oil industry for decades! Although hard to believe, it does help explain why little progress is ever made in that woeful region.

So I will keep this short so I can get back to "American Theocracy" and my other books!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Text of Letter to John Edwards

Dear Senator Edwards:

I am so very disappointed you felt compelled to suspend your campaign for the Presidency, as Rep. Kucinich did before you. Your voice certainly added immeasurably to the campaign as you raised economic issues which the two "major" candidates haven't even begun to grapple with.

For me as a voter, I am reminded that it is only February, yet a campaign dominated by "talking heads" has clamored for banishments of candidates, first from the debates, then from the race itself. The pundits always saw this as a race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Their little-disguised prophecy has become reality.

It was stated on public television tonight that had the economy been the issue six months ago that it is today, you would still be in the race. And so I hope there will be a role for you in the future. Should the remaining candidates show themselves to be destructive to the Democratic Party I hope you would be available as a possible alternate choice in order to heal the Party, then to unify this country, north and south, poor and not-so-poor. I believe America can return to the vision of the Founding Fathers -- of a country made up of informed and enlightened citizens capable of governing themselves without an imperial Presidency. This is the America we should all fight for.

And so I wish you well and hope to hear from you again in the coming weeks and months.



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Financing of the President 2008

Just how does one finance a successful run for the White House in 2008? This is a question which remains to be fully answered. But solid information about how to finance a run for the nomination is available now at Open Secrets on the web (see link below).

Already, the amount of money spent on this primary season is higher than any nomination race up to 2004. Just where does all this money come from -- hundreds of millions of dollars of it? More importantly, where does all this money go? We know a substantial portion of it goes to gigantic media conglomerates, who essentially own our media broadcasting system, a system we are supposed to own.

This gets back to an earlier headline here: Impeaching the Media. For it is clear we have a political/media regime in this country with PR flacks operating right in the White House. And, sadly, the same machine operates in the nominating process. Why are so many debates hosted by the media? The media are supposed to "cover" the debates, not sponsor them.

Perhaps this is the deeper meaning of the success of Barack Obama with his mantra of change. People want not only change in the White House. They surely want an end to government by experts, by PR hacks, by spinmeisters, by lying and conniving thieves. And they want an end to self-important pundits who dare to divine the will of the people even before the people have spoken.

So change is possible, but only if we get much more interested in the machinery of politics so wealthy voices are prevented from speaking with an unduly loud voice. Let us put the tiger back in its cage. And if it refuses to go, let us demand an end to "corporate personhood", that legal flim-flammery which grants unto fictitious entities the rights of persons under the Constitution.

A new day can indeed be at hand. But only if we teach one another and learn from one another. And as the old union song has it: "You've got to organize." And organize. And organize.

Have a good time organizing.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Renewed Call for Impeachment

Whither America? This timely question has been answered in a renewed call by former House Judiciary Committee member Elizabeth Holtzman. At the link below you will see that G.W. Bush and Cheney have broken the law.

At the second link you will find more about one Congressman's efforts to hold the appropriate hearings for Richard Cheney.

I urge you, dear reader, to become involved in the impeachment effort, if you have not already done so. We must restore the rule of law in the Executive branch!



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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

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