I shrink a bit when I recall my twenty-year old self. It’s a character-forming exercise, recalling the supreme confidence of one’s “formative years,” and for this reason and others I should probably do it more often. The universal style of youth is of course unshakable commitment to simple ideas, the enthusiastic throwing of one’s arms around a slogan. It’s this style precisely of which I’m reminded when I behold the ever-hopeful and ever-futile efforts of Ron Paul.
Continue reading Ron Paul: The Dave Matthews Band of American Politics
Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of oil tycoon Daniel Plainview was six years in the future when real-life tycoons, the Koch brothers Charles and David, were found guilty of drinking their milkshake from federal government and Indian reserve lands. To call them “oilmen” is to bring them down somewhat: the Koch (Coke, not Kotch) brothers have business dealings in chemicals, lumber, minerals, ranching, pulp and paper, fertilizers, polymers, finance, investments, and commodity trading, as well as in the refinement and distribution of petroleum products. Among the five wealthiest Americans, the Kochs control America’s second-largest privately-held company. It was Koch brother Bill who issued the charge of stealing against Koch Industries, for which service he was awarded one-third of the 2001 $25 million settlement. Well, as they say, money goes where money is. David and Charles in 1983 had bought out the shares of brothers Bill and Frederick for $1.1 billion, so a windfall probably wasn’t the issue. Other considerations appear to make the Koch family tick as well. Continue reading The Koch Brothers: Drinking Your Milkshake