29 November 2012

Wizard of Oz Silver-Gold Metaphors

The History of Money by Jack Weatherford, 1997, Excerpt

The most memorable work of literature to come from the debate over gold and silver in the United States was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, by journalist L. Frank Baum, who greatly distrusted the power of the city financiers and who supported a bimetallic dollar based on both gold and silver.

After the cyclone violently rips Dorothy and her dog out of Kansas and drops them in the East, Dorothy sets out on the gold road to fairyland, which Baum calls Oz, where the wicked witches and wizards of banking operate. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow, who represents the American farmer; the Tin Woodman, who represents the American factory worker; and the Cowardly Lion, who represents William Jennings Bryan.

Marcus Hanna, the power behind the Republican Party and the McKinley administration, was the wizard controlling the mechanisms of finance in the Emerald City. He was the Wizard of the Gold Ounce - abbreviated, of course to Wizard of Oz - and the Munchkins were the simpleminded people of the East who did not understand how the wizard and his fellow financiers pulled the levers and strings that controlled the money, the economy, and the government.

In the end, all the American citizens had to do was expose the wizard and his witches for the frauds they were, and all would be well in the bimetal monetary world of silver and gold.

In the book, Dorothy’s magic silver slippers got her back to Kansas.


Carter Palestine Israel Series

Carter Palestine Israel Series

Whenever events in Gaza and Israel flare up, former President Carter’s perspective on the region is worth a revisit. Carter’s book ‘Palestine Peace Not Apartheid’ has been a source of much controversy evidenced by the veracity of accusations. As he told a crowd of 1,700 at Brandeis, “This is the first time that I’ve ever been called a liar and a bigot and an anti-Semite and a coward and a plagiarist. This is hurting me.”  Carter may not have been the best President, but he was then, and is now, a decent and intelligent man. He must have hit a nerve.

Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter, 2006, Excerpts

            Includes discussion of the energy crisis

Palestinians win upgraded UN status by wide margin
29 Nov 2012
The UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state - a move strongly opposed by Israel and the US. The assembly voted 138-9 in favor, with 41 nations abstaining. The Palestinians can now take part in UN debates and potentially join bodies like the International Criminal Court.

Israel to build 3,000 settler homes after UN vote
30 Nov 2012
Israel has authorized the construction of 3,000 more housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Israeli officials. It is also speeding up the processing of 1,000 planning permissions. The decision comes a day after a vote at the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians' status at the UN to that of non-member observer state. About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.