NewEnergyNews-Butterfield Archive

WALL STREET JOURNAL'S Environmental Capital quotes NewEnergyNews:

  • 06/05/2007
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    WALL STREET JOURNAL selects NewEnergyNews as one of the "Blogs We Are Reading" --

  • 05/14/2007
  • 04/16/2007
  • 03/28/2007
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      Anne B. Butterfield of DAILY CAMERA, a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews


    • My Novels: OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades & OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades by Mark S. Friedman
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades, the second volume of Herman K. Trabish’s retelling of oil’s history in fiction, picks up where the first book in the series, OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction, left off. The new book is an engrossing, informative and entertaining tale of the Roaring 20s, World War II and the Cold War. You don’t have to know anything about the first historical fiction’s adventures set between the Civil War, when oil became a major commodity, and World War I, when it became a vital commodity, to enjoy this new chronicle of the U.S. emergence as a world superpower and a world oil power.
    • As the new book opens, Lefash, a minor character in the first book, witnesses the role Big Oil played in designing the post-Great War world at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Unjustly implicated in a murder perpetrated by Big Oil agents, LeFash takes the name Livingstone and flees to the U.S. to clear himself. Livingstone’s quest leads him through Babe Ruth’s New York City and Al Capone’s Chicago into oil boom Oklahoma. Stymied by oil and circumstance, Livingstone marries, has a son and eventually, surprisingly, resolves his grievances with the murderer and with oil.
    • In the new novel’s second episode the oil-and-auto-industry dynasty from the first book re-emerges in the charismatic person of Victoria Wade Bridger, “the woman everybody loved.” Victoria meets Saudi dynasty founder Ibn Saud, spies for the State Department in the Vichy embassy in Washington, D.C., and – for profound and moving personal reasons – accepts a mission into the heart of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Underlying all Victoria’s travels is the struggle between the allies and axis for control of the crucial oil resources that drove World War II.
    • As the Cold War begins, the novel’s third episode recounts the historic 1951 moment when Britain’s MI-6 handed off its operations in Iran to the CIA, marking the end to Britain’s dark manipulations and the beginning of the same work by the CIA. But in Trabish’s telling, the covert overthrow of Mossadeq in favor of the ill-fated Shah becomes a compelling romance and a melodramatic homage to the iconic “Casablanca” of Bogart and Bergman.
    • Monty Livingstone, veteran of an oil field youth, European WWII combat and a star-crossed post-war Berlin affair with a Russian female soldier, comes to 1951 Iran working for a U.S. oil company. He re-encounters his lost Russian love, now a Soviet agent helping prop up Mossadeq and extend Mother Russia’s Iranian oil ambitions. The reunited lovers are caught in a web of political, religious and Cold War forces until oil and power merge to restore the Shah to his future fate. The romance ends satisfyingly, America and the Soviet Union are the only forces left on the world stage and ambiguity is resolved with the answer so many of Trabish’s characters ultimately turn to: Oil.
    • Commenting on a recent National Petroleum Council report calling for government subsidies of the fossil fuels industries, a distinguished scholar said, “It appears that the whole report buys these dubious arguments that the consumer of energy is somehow stupid about energy…” Trabish’s great and important accomplishment is that you cannot read his emotionally engaging and informative tall tales and remain that stupid energy consumer. With our world rushing headlong toward Peak Oil and epic climate change, the OIL IN THEIR BLOOD series is a timely service as well as a consummate literary performance.
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction by Mark S. Friedman
    • "...ours is a culture of energy illiterates." (Paul Roberts, THE END OF OIL)
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, a superb new historical fiction by Herman K. Trabish, addresses our energy illiteracy by putting the development of our addiction into a story about real people, giving readers a chance to think about how our addiction happened. Trabish's style is fine, straightforward storytelling and he tells his stories through his characters.
    • The book is the answer an oil family's matriarch gives to an interviewer who asks her to pass judgment on the industry. Like history itself, it is easier to tell stories about the oil industry than to judge it. She and Trabish let readers come to their own conclusions.
    • She begins by telling the story of her parents in post-Civil War western Pennsylvania, when oil became big business. This part of the story is like a John Ford western and its characters are classic American melodramatic heroes, heroines and villains.
    • In Part II, the matriarch tells the tragic story of the second generation and reveals how she came to be part of the tales. We see oil become an international commodity, traded on Wall Street and sought from London to Baku to Mesopotamia to Borneo. A baseball subplot compares the growth of the oil business to the growth of baseball, a fascinating reflection of our current president's personal career.
    • There is an unforgettable image near the center of the story: International oil entrepreneurs talk on a Baku street. This is Trabish at his best, portraying good men doing bad and bad men doing good, all laying plans for wealth and power in the muddy, oily alley of a tiny ancient town in the middle of everywhere. Because Part I was about triumphant American heroes, the tragedy here is entirely unexpected, despite Trabish's repeated allusions to other stories (Casey At The Bat, Hamlet) that do not end well.
    • In the final section, World War I looms. Baseball takes a back seat to early auto racing and oil-fueled modernity explodes. Love struggles with lust. A cavalry troop collides with an army truck. Here, Trabish has more than tragedy in mind. His lonely, confused young protagonist moves through the horrible destruction of the Romanian oilfields only to suffer worse and worse horrors, until--unexpectedly--he finds something, something a reviewer cannot reveal. Finally, the question of oil must be settled, so the oil industry comes back into the story in a way that is beyond good and bad, beyond melodrama and tragedy.
    • Along the way, Trabish gives readers a greater awareness of oil and how we became addicted to it. Awareness, Paul Roberts said in THE END OF OIL, "...may be the first tentative step toward building a more sustainable energy economy. Or it may simply mean that when our energy system does begin to fail, and we begin to lose everything that energy once supplied, we won't be so surprised."
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • My Photo
      Location: Agua Dulce, CA

      *Doctor with my hands *Author of the "OIL IN THEIR BLOOD" series with my head *Student of New Energy with my heart






      Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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    • NewEnergyNews


      The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark

      Anne Butterfield, January 2, 2011

      Arguing that he was dealing with "hostage takers," President Obama agreed with leading Republicans to allow extension of the Bush tax cuts even for the richest Americans, even though our nation's debt drove the Republican wave to crest in the last election.

      Pushing for legislative priorities that work in opposite directions -- both tax cuts and deficit reduction in deep measure -- the much empowered Republican flank seems to have gone bonkers.

      Even worse, the Republicans are flouting the will of the voters. A Bloomberg poll says that nearly two thirds of Americans do not support extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and a recent Gallup poll revealed that by a 14 point margin, even Republicans prefer deficit reduction to tax cuts.

      Bill O'Reilly at Fox News dismissed the polls saying, "I read polls all the time" and, "most Americans are relieved and happy" about the full set of Bush tax cuts being extended.

      The disconnect may originate deep within the agenda at Fox. It's been America's number one cable news channel for over 100 months while steadily growing a reputation as a political organization, having been built by Roger Ailes, the former media man and political operative for Richard Nixon and two other Republican presidents. Ailes tracked with dirty trickster Lee Atwater in implementing the "Southern strategy" that lured whites alienated by the passage of Civil Rights into the bosom of Republicanism. Later, Atwater crafted the Willle Horton for George H. W. Bush, cementing an outlook among Republicans that Americans, our values, and our selves, are under attack.

      To watch Fox is to feel the fear factor. Its headlines are often crafted with implications of threat to your family; even the advertisers get in on the act with ads that play up fearful threats more than you see at other stations.

      Seeming to borrow a ploy from Karl Rove, Fox News has employed a "big lie" by giving itself the slogan "Fair and Balanced" while consistently framing issues for the conservative perspective. When liberals are present on Fox, they are in the minority and often poorly treated, then they walk the halls with paid commentators who also run for office on the Republican ticket. Fox's parent company, NewsCorp made a million dollar donation to the Republican Governors' Association and Fox is being sued for promoting a candidate's fundraising information.

      Fox's coverage of health care reform engaged another big lie. Howell Raines, formerly the executive editor of the New York Times, pulled no punches in calling Fox News propaganda, specifically for engaging "the endless repetition of the uber-lie, Americans do not want this health care reform". Americans did want health care reform for decades before Obama's arrival, and startling majorities like many particulars of the completed reform bill. But Fox News would not parse such realities anymore than Bill O'Reilly would concede Americans' true feeling about tax cuts for the wealthy.

      With two masters degrees, at least O'Reilly has an education. In the world of Palin we're supposed to defend the worth of education, which can be summed up as formalized work accruing to broad knowledge, skill and insight. Military experience and other intense activities that entail disciplined development of skill and insight are true rivals to formal education. Fox News seems unique in journalism for lending power to commentators who skipped college or wiffed on it. Glenn Beck skipped college, went straight to radio. Sean Hannity (like Rush Limbaugh) dropped out early to go to radio. Sarah Palin stumbled through five campuses, finished late, and has no respect for knowledge to show for it.

      Can education matter that much? Glenn Beck and Fox News were overt boosters of the development of the tea party, so how well do they measure up? David Frum the former speech writer of George W. Bush, had his group FrumForum interview hundreds of tea partiers on the Washington Mall to discover how much they knew about the taxes they were protesting. It turned out, not much. They believed that taxes were much higher than they really were, and they were certain that federal taxes had risen under Obama when in fact they had dropped. Later, when Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert drew thousands to the mall for their "Sanity Rally", their fans turned out to have much closer grasp of the facts.

      Do education and accuracy matter? Does it matter that the station that openly promotes all things Republican also ramped up a story about the President Obama's trip to India costing $200 million per day that was blatantly inaccurate?

      Does it matter that management at Fox ordered on air personalities to cast doubt on climate change due to the so-called climategate scandal in which stolen emails were cherry picked to make the science look corrupt to the credulous and the craven? Don't ask the news station that makes big stars of college drop outs whether chemistry has consequences.

      And don't ask Roger Ailes. When confronted by Arianna Huffington about Fox's journalism, he retorted that his job was to produce ratings and millions, not journalism.