By Anonymous on July 22, 2009

The supply of crude oil has risen this year to its highest level in nearly two decades, even while the demand for gasoline has dropped dramatically, having fallen to a ten-year low. Let’s see—supply up, demand down. That’s a classic market formula for cheaper prices at the pump. Yet our prices rose for most of the first half of the year.

What’s going on here is not the “magic of the marketplace,” but some hocus-pocus by brand-name dealers. What might surprise you, though, is that the wheeler-dealers who jacked up our pump prices don’t operate under the BPExxonMobilShellChevron brands—but the logos of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other Wall Street traders that have been placing vast, unregulated, secretive bets on the future price of oil. They’re playing an electronic casino game in a global “dark market” of exotic derivatives and credit swaps.

If this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because this is the same game that Wall Street played with subprime mortgages, leading to the present crash of our economy. And, yes, these are the exact same banksters that you and I are bailing out with our trillions of tax dollars. . . .

As Woody Guthrie wrote in a song about outlaws: “Some’ll rob you with a six-gun/Some with a fountain pen.”

Jim Hightower produces The Hightower Lowdown political newsletter and is the author, with Susan DeMarco, of the new book “Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go with the Flow.”

To read the entire text of this great article by Jim Hightower, who uncovered the oil cheats before just about anyone else, please subscribe to The Progressive for only $14.97 by clicking here.

Plus, you’ll have access not only to Hightower’s article, but all the rest of the great articles in this August issue, including:

--Naomi Klein on "Capitalism, Sarah Palin-Style."

--Barbara Ehrenreich’s piece on the future for journalists

--Malalai Joya on the upcoming sideshow of an election in Afghanistan

--Ruth Conniff’s interview with William Greider

--Mikhail Gorbachev on the need for nuclear disarmament

--Kate Clinton on the gay rights movement

--and a profile of Green Day

On top of all that, you’ll get 11 months’ more of The Progressive magazine. All for only $14.97. So please subscribe now.

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At a swank club in Madison, Walker supporters get an earful.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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