Andrew Bacevich on the American Empire

Every American should sit through (and actually digest) this interview in its entirety [Part 1] | [Part 2].  Whether you watch or listen, please take the time to do so with open ears and an open mind.  It is probably the most powerful and sobering assessment of the American condition I have heard in years.

Bacevich’s 2007 op ed in the Washington Post provides some sad but interesting background.  His new book is here.

Skyrocketing Gasoline Prices And Political Ignorance

Christina Martinez, who lives in Whittier and works at retailer Fred Segal in West Hollywood, spends about $80 a week on gasoline.  She told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s frustrating that even during election season I’m only thinking of politics in terms of who will get me lower gas prices.”

It’s frustrating for more reasons than you know, Christina.  First, it’s frustrating that you, like many Americans, don’t have the depth to understand that the President has very little to do with such things, but market forces do instead.  Second, that as you head into an election, you – again, like many Americans – toss more important questions aside (ones over which a President might actually have some influence.)

Peak Oil: Not Just For Lunatics Anymore

Peak oil theories have been “debased,” but umm, they’re right, says WSJ.

“…plenty of energy experts expect sky-high prices to hasten the development of alternative fuels and improve energy efficiency. But evidence is mounting that crude oil production may plateau before those innovations arrive on a large scale. That could set the stage for a period marked by energy shortages, high prices and bare-knuckled competition for fuel.”