Wholehearted agreement

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe the most important factor in the precipitous rise in oil prices in the past five years is our program of endless war. It’s a karmic reaction certainly and one that might have been easily predicted. Just yesterday President Bush was in Saudi Arabia begging for a production increase. Today I read an article at Common Dreams written by a Philadelphia journalist, Dave Lindorff.

Analysts keep getting trotted out on TV and in print, attributing the dramatic price rise to everything from “peak oil” — the idea that producing countries have reached their peak of productive capacity, and that the only direction for oil supplies looking forward is down, while demand continues to rise — to increasing demand in China and India, to supply bottlenecks, to specific news events, like a pipeline break in Nigeria, or a closed refinery in California.

Politicians, like Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have called for a two-month moratorium on federal gas taxes, but with taxes running at something on the order of 18 cents a gallon, this is not going to do much to bring prices down-in fact it might do nothing, since retailers would be free to just raise prices to match the tax break, and pocket the profits.–Dave Lindorff

Read more here.

Counting the cost

Today marked the 4,000th American soldier killed in combat in Iraq. Colonel Dan Smith has a well written piece at Quakers Colonel. I also read a well written piece my Michael Moore at CommonDreams. It is more than a sad story. It is the tragic death of the American Democracy. We’re taxed to death to pay for their war machine and what money they can’t wring out in taxes is beaten out of us at the gas pumps. I think the country as we knew it is dead. We have no voice in our government. Word that Exxon deliberately under produced to drive up prices brings no response from the government. It’s no surprise and none of the candidates can do a damn thing about it. The election is just a sham, policies will remain the same. They are all just figureheads for the war machine.

Thomas Merton sums up my thoughts best.

“I am against war, against violence, against violent revolution, for peaceful settlement of differences, for nonviolent but nevertheless radical changes. Change is needed, and violence will not really change anything: at most it will only transfer power from one set of bull-headed authorities to another.” Thomas Merton