Briefly, for now

While I’m developing a post about the ongoing decline into negative territory beyond Hubbert’s Peak, today’s brief post satisfies two purposes: (1) shameless self-promotion, and (2) short-term prediction.


I’m a panelist at this event Wednesday. I’ll be taking the long view on the food front, arguing that we managed to feed ourselves and live happily for the first 100,000 generations of humanity without using fossil fuels. Whether we can do it again remains seriously in doubt, but we’re headed to the neo-Neolithic, so we’ll find out soon enough. If you find yourself in Tucson, please drop by.
On the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near-collapse of the industrial economy, the stock markets are likely to take a huge hit this week. Not only are insiders selling like there’s no tomorrow, but abundant economic news is likely to disappoint economists. I don’t foresee Obama’s speech pumping much confidence into the ultimate con game. His message is wearing thin.

Comments 17

  • James Howard Kunstler said in his commentary this morning that Obama does not “have the stomach” for the change he campaigned for.
    I take a different view. I believe that Obama was insincere and cynically manipulated people all along. His trick was to get the core of his (leftwing) voter support to believe and commit their franchise to him while he actually worked for the interests of the status quo elite. That has been Obama’s great and unique skill — highly inspiring bamboozlement.
    At some point, Obama will (in effect) quote Kunstler and say to the masses: “You’ve been clusterf*cked! — now it’s every man for himself!”
    And still some will cheer and gaze admiringly at his audacity…
    Stan Moore

  • The stock market hit will be ugly because the major players–the institutional money managers–will stampede as they all try to get out at once.It’s strictly a herd mentallity.As I’ve stated here before the fatal flaw in their business model is that it’s based on relative performance,in other words be in front of the herd.
    With very few exceptions they must always and only follow the herd.
    But the herd is only as intelligent as it’s most stupid members.This is why the stock market is going up as the economy goes to hell.The herd is insane,but that’s the nature of their business,and they all know it.
    Frank

  • It seems that our bloggers outside the USA are more aware and not in denial,as are most Americans.
    Please let us know what you think.
    It would be interesting and informative if everyone would let us know where you are from.I’ll start.I’m American,born in Chicago,presently living in Sun City,Arizona,USA,in the beautiful Sonoran desert.
    Let’s hear from everyone on this.
    5N a/k/a Court: where in Thailand are you and what are you doing there?
    Frank Mezek
    Sun City,Arizona,USA

  • Several comments/ramble.
    Ode to the real world…
    ‘Is blogging, public analysis, social critique, etc. found on the internet, more of a social relief valve than a real attempt at changing the future? In other words, is the vast undercurrent of angst and opinions of what is wrong with our trajectory just a 21st century passive variety of self-expression, ineffectual at impacting real events?’
    The oil drum
    Read the latest Arch Druid Report, it’s a beauty. He says it all.
    From here – Melbourne, Australia (only for you Frank)
    IMHO!
    The hysteria around Obama speaking to high school students in Texas
    and Florida reads like code for ‘I my god’ the president is a black man!
    All that nonsense about socialism, from here seeing people waving nazi like placards is bewildering. The socialism jibe is code for their obvious racism.
    The school boards in Texas were quite OK with
    Pres Reagan speaking to the students in the 80s. Its all propaganda, even the status quo. Unfortunately this stuff gets shown here, we (and I believe the rest of the world) have a pretty dim view of the USA. In the eyes of the rest of the world Obama was the best thing that has happened to the US for a very long time. Bush was an embarrassment. Now Obama is being harangued, his integrity and sincerity questioned because he is articulate –WTF. I believe he sincerely would like to do something positive. But hey, I have been bamboozled by his smooth talking smarmy ways. The hysteria and the theatricality expressed here on this blog, gee wiz, he is politician for Christ sake get over yourselves! If the opinion polls show a decline in his approval rating within a year of gaining office, he must be doing something right. You cant please everybody all of the time. What would you prefer a republican president who doesn’t believe in government? Seriously, WTF!
    On health care…Here in Australia, I will give you my experience.
    I have paid a Medicare levy through taxation for about 20 years
    At roughly $1000 per year adjusted for inflation. Say that’s $20,000.
    (I don’t have private health insurance). The medicare levy is a tax
    you pay, that you don’t really notice, and it is means tested ie the
    more you earn the more you pay.
    Now I have been to the doctor (local GP) probably 10 ten times in that period.
    Do the math, what? $2000 per visit, that’s outrageous. You know what, the wealthy and the working subsidise the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, children and the elderly. You know what? That is perfectly fine my by me. My wife has a had a similar experience, except she has had 2 children at no additional charge. At the end of the day all of us will be the beneficiaries of the public health care system at some stage. Unless of course I drop dead on my bike, this happened to a mate of mine last year. Anyway…
    I disagree with a lot of what is said here, in the interests of ‘if you cant
    say any thing nice don’t say anything at all’.
    Back to the real world
    This post is inspired by and dedicated to ‘Double D’.

  • oh yeah and another thing a bullion dealer
    sent me an email last week, saying there is going to be
    a significant stock market correction, just thought I would let you know…to all those conspiratorial types, he is jewish so perhaps he knows something

  • matt… only if he’s also secretly a reptilian alien ROFLMAO (hiss…sorry, it’s my ancestry coming out)
    As for all the Hitler BS: I don’t know what to tell you, other than we Americans seem to like him an awful lot. I think it is a combination if the mustachioed creep’s flair for the theatrical and the fact that it was, to quote Lewis Black, “The Feel Good War of the Last Century”. If you ever come to the States, be sure not to mention any off the Allied of WW2 (especially Russians who suffered quite a bit of loss in fighting the Nazis)…it messes with the average American’s chi.
    I can’t say I understand the healthcare issue. But, caring for the sick and the poor is not a very red-blooded-American thing to do. The attitude I understand from the Average Joe is that the poor and the sick are that way as God’s own personal judgement against their character or lifestyle choices, because everyone who wants the good life can clearly have it in a free society like the good ol’ USA. Vonnegut said some wonderful things about the American poor and the deeply ingrained tradition of self-loathing in Slaughterhouse Five.
    Add to this a “Christian” community that has deeply embraced the doctrine of prosperity and it gets even more fun. (Not all churches are this way, but too many are.)
    You see, around here, we’re about FREEDOM, but not so much responsibility for any of that freedom. I can’t say how it is elsewhere, I imagine, from what I’ve read, that the rest of the world has its own brand of ugliness.
    Obama is still a hail mary pass, and I’m still a believer that he was at least better than McCain, but I’m not sure if that’s any kind of endorsement. Quite the speaker, though, went to his rallies.
    Times, they are a changin’… still betting entropy will work the change Obama never could–even if he really was superman and not just an eloquent politician.

  • Charlene, where you been? What is a ROFLMAO?

  • rolling on the floor, laughing my arse off…
    I can’t help picturing this wide-eyed neo-hippy idiot mother I ran into a few weeks ago who tried to convince me that Jewish people were reptilian aliens embroiled in the whole “new world order” conspiracy. Oh, and she had a friend there with her to “back up her claims”. Apparently they were disciples of David Icke. If you don’t know who he is, you should look him up, just for shits and giggles.
    Since some of my best friends are Jewish (not to mention a few of my relations), that kind of thing bugs me a little. But, it’s so outrageously stupid that I can’t help laughing.

  • matt: Thank you.I thought you intended to tell us that you are Jewish,or your wife is,or something like that,so did some research.
    Australia has a population of over 21,000,000,with officially only 88,000 Jews,which makes you a real minority.
    Double D,a/k/a Frank

  • The popular media represent special interest groups, ie advertisers/corporations. Media is not content driven
    it is advertising driven. Therefore it is in the media’s
    interest to influence public opinion.
    A corporate lobbyist/advertiser calls a news media editor –
    ‘Obama is getting some traction with his health care reforms.
    The healthcare insurance industry is x $billion a year industry.
    Can we get someone out there to report on those protestors
    at Washington. Also can we get some pics of a respectable
    looking white women holding one of those extremely well
    rendered placards. (who is organising them and who makes those placards!).
    I don’t need to remind you that ‘XYZ healthcare’ delivers x $million dollars in revenue to your publication. Yes, we know they are morons, but hey mud sticks!’
    or
    ‘In the interests of representing a balanced view, can we get some reportage
    on those protestors. Given the respectability of your newspaper (broadsheet)
    the editorial should have a veneer of integrity about it. We don’t wont those lefty elites (readership) get wind of the fact that the health care industry is controlling editorial content.’
    Or what doesn’t get reported in the interest of special interest groups.
    Not to mention professional embedded lobbyists in Washington,
    would you like some democracy with your corporatocracy/kleptocracy!
    It is both conspiratorial and naïve to believe that the above conversations
    do or don’t take place. The point is they don’t need to. The popular media
    has been co-opted. They unconsciously represent special interest groups.
    Corporations own the media directly or indirectly. The great rouse is that
    we believe we are reading independent content. The whole culture has been
    co-opted. There is more clarity in not partaking in the media, and just stepping
    outside. Nature and meditation can be a great source of thoughtfulness/clarity. The advertisers are under our skin, psychologically they push all our buttons. It follows that the media ‘content’ must have a similar effect in limiting the independence of our thoughts. What do we think we know?
    When it comes to finance reporting 80% of the content is derived from
    press releases and quarterly reports etc. Anyone who believes they understand or know what’s going on in the share market has their head up their sphincter. It is totally absurd to believe that a company can become suddenly insolvent. Mum and Dad investors are sheep that get slaughtered every time.
    The problem with fiat money is that it creates asset bubbles. Since inflation
    is theft it erodes the value of the paper money. So there is an urgency to do something with your money ie buy real estate, shares etc, but this act simply creates inflation in other asset classes. What to do? In a period of deflation
    cash is king. The yields on the bond market here have been falling. And yet
    the popular media is bracing the public for a rise in interest rates. The bond
    market is always ahead of the curve.
    Double D, I am not Jewish, although I have some Jewish ancestry. Jewish friends reckon I have Larry David’s personality, if you have seen the series
    this is not a compliment. My family (parents and grand parents)
    were brought up in a Jewish area, and as a consequence they have a lot of respect for the Jewish community. As a kid I remember going to Rubensteins
    supermarket with my grand mother, and getting served by a lady who had numbers tattooed to her forearm. Saul the proprietor was always barking at his staff, while the lino was always in a state of disrepair. They had the best kosher frankfurts in Melbourne. Ah the memories. Saul never retired, he worked till he was nearly 90.
    The ‘deification’ of Leopold I will save for another day, I know, I know
    I am a shit stirrer…

  • Listening to NPR, I heard an economist suggest that wages and employment have taken a nose dive for the poor and middle class of the US while the “recovery” dollars (or at least 2/3 of it) found itself concentrated in the “upper crust”. I could believe that, but then, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast…but that’s the effect of living backwards. I suppose…
    One thing about it, a corrupt system that abuses whatever/whomever it comes into contact with can’t last forever. It must be replaced in time with some other system of corruption of a temporarily more palatable variety.
    I’m with the Archdruid, entropy doesn’t get any respect. None at all.

  • matt: I grew up in South Shore,a heavily Jewish community in Chicago.It had some great Jewish delis.We had a family ritual,my father and I went to a Jewish deli on Sunday evening and came home with salami,what we called “sizzle bread”{Jewish rye with caraway seeds),corned beef,and a large Kosher pickel.Our favorite deli had sawdust on the floor and a large barrel with the pickels floating in brine.There was a long wooden tongs for grabing the pickels,and my job was to open the lid on the barrel and pick out a large pickel.I have such fond memories of all this.”But you can’t go home again” and everything changes–mostly for the worst.
    Just writing this makes me hungry for a cream cheese and lox on a bagel,so I’m going to have one at the good bagel shop near me.Memories,memories.
    Your Double D a/k/a Frank

  • matt:Just saw some clips of Larry David.You can be very proud of having his personality.I believe that the greatest sin is to be boring.Therefore I’ve dedicated my life to shaking things up,and being a trouble maker whenever possible.I’m sure I’ll be shot one of these days.Here I have so much fun getting Charlene’s goat.Court can be happy with his new nomenclature 5N.That is Nepotistic Natering Nephew Nabob of Negativism’s new nomenclature.Charlene can remember when I gave her and others new identities as characters from the French revolution.
    I believe everyone should have a nickname.
    Double D a/k/a Frank

  • $1000 / year for healthcare – and you get to be sure your fellow man is insured as well?? Sounds like a bargian to me. I pay double that at 26 years old with no health problems and a 25% deductable – cheapest healthcare I could get privately. I’ve made an investment in my future healthcare by buying a tome called Wilderness Medicine, it shows you how to fix yourself up with improvised gear, funnily enough it cost the same as one monthly payment to those bitches at Kaiser Permanente.

  • Double D
    watch ‘curb your enthusiam’ – very funny
    anyone that does not have an ounce of sympathy for the jewish community has no heart
    apologies to Guy for being off topic

  • To Frank:
    Knit one…pearl two…knit one…pearl two…
    @Chris, have to agree. I’m out $300 just this week and that was just the copay.

  • Greetings, all,
    Obamessiah? The true believers are getting quite a run for their money. I like the (former governor) Jesse Ventura video-clip I saw a couple months ago. Quoth the the Jesse One:
    “Politics ?? … Just like professional wrestling… It’s THEATER for the masses”.