Back then I had begun researching a book on Mark Twain, and early on came across an opinion that America's great humorist set down in 1906 about the then president, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt, Twain wrote, was "far and away the worst president we have ever had."
Shale oil deposits are already being accessed through the oil industry's initiative in such locales as North Dakota with its rapidly growing oil production and its resulting and startling economic boom.
How do we put the dark side of 'U.S.' back into its bottle? The huge stock market losses make it harder for even the no-tax free marketers to deny the results of their work. The free market had spoken, after all, and did not like what it saw.
Disagreement, for many of Glenn Beck's followers, adds up to a consistent conclusion: We are True Americans, and liberals, the "hate America crowd," are knowingly and deliberately working to destroy it.
Obama should seize this moment by establishing our own National Oil Trust. It could be modeled after our experience with the TVA and that of the world's third largest energy exporter, Norway's National Oil Trust.
The revenues from oil and gas deposits should be channeled toward developing alternative energy sources as the cornerstone of a viable program for breaking our increasingly dangerous dependency on fossil fuels.
When pundits labeled last year's presidential campaign "divisive" and "dirty," I had to laugh. The champion of all dirty races in this century, in fact, was the 1934 contest between Upton Sinclair and Frank Merriam.
The creation of a "National Oil/Gas Production Authority," with responsibility to explore and develop oil, gas and shale oil deposits on national lands and the Continental Shelf would be a boon to the nation.