Reality bites

The BRICS are making their move to shove aside the U.S. dollar (although their own troubles might interfere). The dollar dump is particularly timely in light of recent recognition that U.S. credit verges on junk status, and rates lower than Mexico and several other countries with relatively small industrial economies. And, as pointed out by the Financial Times, the dollar is in graver danger than the Euro. Doug Casey puts the matter quite succinctly: “One sure bet is the collapse of the U.S. dollar.” One near-term interpretation in light of the coming cessation of King Ben’s printing press: “What happens after June? Poof! It’s gone.” Even the ever-clueless folks at the New York Times is concerned about the coming collapse of King Ben’s money-printing playground.

Further signs abound: The industrial economy is in serious trouble. Cats can no longer obtain credit cards. The bond market is nervous as a lizard on the interstate. The influence of the U.S. extends only as far as its military. And, stunningly, oil extraction is limited by availability of carbon dioxide (complexity is expensive).

Europe isn’t exactly a model of financial maturity, either. Throughout the industrialized world, we set ourselves up for financial disaster when we put money-grubbing juvenile delinquents in charge of the checkbooks. The biggest Ponzi scheme in history was the only outcome we could have expected, had we been paying attention.

A crash reminiscent of 2008 is on the way, but this one will be bigger. Why? Because “America’s leaders never learn the lessons of history. Never.” Instead, they purposely distract the willfully ignorant masses. How long must we endure this hokey carnival ride before we finally start focusing on legitimately important issues? Actually, it’s probably too late for that, at least at the level of society. Bring on the next round, American Idol.

As Americans complain about the price of fuel for their personal vehicles, Barack Obama urges oil producers to increase output. Of course Obama knows about peak oil, which is why we’re in Iraq, according to the U.K.’s MI6, and why Obama will almost certainly never authorize withdrawal from Iraq. It’s also why he has us breaking international law to arm Libyan rebels, and it’s why he has chosen to ease restrictions on oil and gas drilling while opting for oil production over human life as the Mississippi River floods. These choices are based on the reality that high prices at the pump fuel voter discontent with presidential leadership, hence could harm Obama’s re-election chances. After all, the U.S. system is all about the four-years-at-a-time approach to politics, even if emissions from burning oil destroys our only home one gallon at a time.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny world oil extraction has peaked, so the Obama administration has employed the timeless strategy used by ostriches throughout history: burying the data by slashing the budget of the Energy Information Administration. As usual, the populace chooses ignorance over reality, collectively whistling past the graveyard of reality even as reality comes up to take a bite.

Media alert:

I mentioned my interview with Adbusters as an addendum for a guest essay, and the transcript is linked here.

In addition, I am one of a few talking heads featured in College Conspiracy, the video embedded below. My inclusion in this video does not imply my endorsement and, contrary to this messages delivered in the video, I think (1) public education should be funded with taxpayer money, (2) making the college market more “free” is a terrible idea, (3) online degrees are lucrative for institutions but usually are worthless for students, (4) stocking up on silver will make you a target, not a wealthy genius, when the industrial economy completes its fall, and (5) the final two minutes are sadly emblematic of much that is wrong with the United States of Advertising. Perhaps I’m just irritated because they cut my best line: “Today’s institutions of higher education are replete with teachers who don’t want to teach and students who don’t want to learn.”


Update: My monthly essay for Transition Voice is online today: Blessings of a dying paradigm. You can read my beyond-the-blog essays here, and interviews are posted here.

Comments 139

  • Your usual excellent work, Guy. Of course, peak oil is also the reason for NATO’s concern over civilians in Libya as well. Indeed, they are so concerned about the safety and well-being of Libyan civilians that they have announced they could make them even safer by widening the permissible targets of their air strikes to include Libya’s complete infrastructure – highways, bridges, power plants, water treatment facilities, etc. Why? Because of course, Gadhafi uses that infrastructure, so naturally if you destroy it, you limit his ability to rule (not that NATO is taking sides – they are simply saying that Gadhafi’s rule is illegitimate and he must go).

    This is how they reduced Iraq from the most advanced country in the Middle East to one of the most impoverished.

    Never ask help from the Empire.

  • Josh and I left the seclusion of our little country home and spent the evening with friends in town last night. A friend of ours wanted us to meet a friend of hers who was visiting from New York. So about 12 or 14 of us gathered at her suburban home for light dinner and cocktails. The visiting New Yorker is in public relations and we talked about the corporate world and traveling and sailing and touring Europe and trade shows and . . . on and on it went. It was all very cosmopolitan.

    Then later as that party wore down, a small group of us broke off and went even further into town to do a little shopping at Target and have coffee at Barnes and Noble. We made our sacrifice to the consumerism gods and then sat and talked more about completely inconsequential nonsense while we drank our coffee.

    Throughout the evening I was struck repeatedly by a couple of things: 1) I was amazed at how easily I could shift back into the “nothing will ever go wrong” mindset that I had just a few years ago before I became “collapse-aware”; and 2) I realize even better how incredibly difficult it is for people to accept that massive change is coming.

    As we sat there enjoying our cocktails in a beautiful home surrounded by artwork, electronic gadgets galore, good company, lots of expensive imported food, oohing and aahing over a friend’s new Porsche, and all the other trappings of modern life, and then later as we wandered the aisles of consumer heaven, bright lights and pleasing music guiding our every step, strong coffee warming our bodies, and increasing the intensity of our conversation, it was so easy to think that peak oil, peak coal, peak everything, overpopulation, global warming, and all the rest, are all just a bad Hollywood disaster film plot.

    My god! No wonder people are such sheeple in the face of all that industry is throwing at us!

    In the battle for our souls, capitalism is ahead. For now. But, as most here on this site know, Nature will win ultimately.

  • Dr. House, that is why my husband and I hardly ever go anywhere. The disconnect is too great.

    Guy thanks for another great update and especially the Clark and Dawes clip. One of my favorite right after The Front Fell Off….

    Well unfortunately I have to go to the big city of Atlanta for a few days but I will not really be “in” the city, just ride a shuttle to the airport and Marta rail and stay with my quite elderly Dad for a few days and hear the latest installment on the difficulty of getting generic nitroglycerine and listen to the oxygen machine that keeps him going. And in that context contemplate the many shocks awaiting people, including getting the meds they rely on.

  • Like Kathy, we don’t go anywhere. We enforced that by moving to an island, so add ~$30 ferry fare to the cost of any cheap plastic crap from Mall*Wart that may tempt us.

    But that makes life more real. One pregnant doe’s ligaments have let loose, so we’re on “kid watch” for the next 24 hours. We’ve got a greenhouse full of transplants to get in the ground and a second greenhouse to build (on hold since they said it needed a building permit — the collapse of building inspection can’t come soon enough), and the only reason I’m typing here today is that it’s raining (and raining, and raining…)

    The Jetta got close to empty last week, so we just won’t drive until Tuesday, when we take the pickup “across the water” on a long list of errands, including 200 litres of biodiesel, which will last us four months or so.

    So all this talk about cats being turned down for credit and Dr. House’s friend’s Porsche and such seems a bit like reading a science fiction novel, from where I sit, surrounded by petroleum-soaked artifacts… :-)

  • Ah! So I am not the only one that sees what lies ahead. Thank you! I may use your links to help back me up when I talk to some of the locals around here who are blind to what is comeing.

  • I remember my disillusionment the day I realized that education was a “business” much like any other business,there are still many teachers and students that are commited to informing and to learning however. My father is a retired college professor and in our family we still value education as a very high priority while simultaneously holding the belief that humanity is facing a severe correction very shortly. These are not contradictions to my way of thinking. Thankyou for the “teaching” you have provided here and I have “learned” something willingly.

  • RanDomino – I think many here are familiar with Jensen’s philosophy but thanks for the link. I have read the first part of his opus End Game. I like what he says, but he takes so long to say it :)

  • Sam posted a link about the Old River Control Structure on the Mississippi at the end of the last discussion

    Most interesting read – explains why opening the Morganza Spillway was about more than saving the city from flooding, but possibly saving the shipping industry and chemical industry on the lower Miss. If the Miss changes its channel we will be seeing Nature Batting another home run.

  • From our NOAA page for our area in the Weather Discussion section – bold is mine.


  • I live in Chicago, which is still populated by lots of mom-and-pop establishments. Many have gone bankrupt and closed their doors in the last few years, but those that remain give the city (not so much the Loop) a real neighborhood feel. In contrast, I had occasion to trek out to Wheaton, Illinois, today, one of the farther flung suburbs. The trip across Roosevelt Rd. was like driving through the belly of the beast: miles and miles of strip malls, big box stores, and brand name eateries. Wheaton itself had a small town vibe, but it was filled with glamorous, antiseptic surfaces that no longer work their magic on me. The idea of branding and overselling was subversive (of human value) when it first made its appearance just before the 20th century; now it’s the dominant theme of civilization.

    Regarding education, one of the current memes is that teachers are all perving on their students, and there’s been no lack of news of teacher-student sexual relationships. The hysterical response is that students can now lob baseless accusations at teachers and ruin adult careers and lives at virtually no cost to themselves. So the essential teacher-student relationship has been wrecked. Like well-trained consumers, students know that they’re now in charge, and the teacher is without authority or recourse. Negotiating for grades (rather than earning them) is also commonplace. Quite a funhouse education has become, huh?

  • Exponential Death

    If you look at the chart of silver year-to-date you’ll see an example
    of how extreme excess leads to collapse.At first prices progressed in
    a linear upward trend,then the trend became exponential,and finally in
    the blowoff stage the upward line became parabolic.The market chart of
    anything reflects human nature,as it expresses in monetary terms the wishes and hopes of market participants.

    In every way you can possibly imagine,society has gone thru this same process.Unsustainable,insane,excess is everywhere.The path for industrial civilization will look like the silver chart.The mania that
    drove silver upward is manifest in industrial civilization as a whole.

    The Ingenuity Gap,by professor Thomas Homer-Dixon,is one of many works
    on this subject.Gerald Celente who appears in the education clip with Our Guy above,describes the collapse brought on by the “too-muchness”
    of everything.

    We are in the mania,blowoff stage of human civilization and the end result is nothing less than the end.We will founder like the Titanic

    Double D

  • Appreciate the new post. The teeth of reality will have to sink in a bit more for the populace to make the emotional connect.

    Possibly this may help?

    Peak coal this year?

  • Two years after issuing a $100 trillion note, Zimbabwean central bank says, “US greenback’s days as the world’s reserve currency are numbered” — they ought to know: and also

  • Just watched the hour-long video linked to above called College Conspiracy. There is some good information but a lot of junk, ending with a pitch (for a newsletter distributed free). I agree with Prof. Guy on his five points above, especially that online degrees are mostly worthless as educational experiences. Also, having anything that others want will make you a potential target, be it silver, gold, fuel, or food. Even know-how might eventually become a commodity that could work against you. Who can say? I doubt the answer is to have and know nothing of value.

  • I think I will save myself the hour’s worth of time and not watch “College Conspiracy”, considering that a) my heart, mind, and soul forced me to flee a career in academic reference librarianship because of the aforementioned teachers who don’t want to teach and students who don’t want to learn; b) husband and I are not squandering our funds to save for college for our 4-year-old; and c) said 4-year-old is homeschooled and will be taught that if she thinks college will be useful to her, and if it still exists, then she will find a way to go.

    I wish I still believed that college was a place that fostered curiosity, growth, and intellectual rigor. It was a dear fantasy of mine. I did have a few true teachers that I loved, but they were rare.

    Nowadays I spend a lot of time thinking about the meaning of education and what it’s for. Is it to survive as an adult? To contribute to society? To satisfy a longing for knowledge? To pass on cultural beliefs and behaviors? I’m hoping to write down a sort of educational-philosophy-in-progress to help guide our homeschooling, and hoping that my daughter will contribute to that document as she grows and learns.

  • There is little to say except keep telling the truht.

    The gulf between reality and anything that comes from officialdom gets wider by the week, but the gulf is not yet wide enough for the masses to notice.

  • Robin

    The link you provided was excellent. I was made aware of the Patzek-Croft analysis last year. Earth-shaking news. This is serious stuff. Between peak oil and peak coal we are in deep trouble as a global community. For those of you who have not followed the link, I encourage you to do so. Coal resources in the USA are not what they are thought to be. Indeed, coal resources in the world are not what you think. And coal provides the primary basis for our electricity.

    I cannot exaggerate the impact of permanent contraction on an economy based entirely upon infinite growth. Such contraction will have its heaviest impact on transport, food production and electricity – all heavily dependent upon oil and coal. There simply is no substitute for oil where transportation, shipping and food are concerned, where oil provides 98% of the energy required for transport. And coal supplies something like 40% of our electricity production. All growth requires energy. If sufficient energy is not available, then debilitation or death follows – whether it be that of an economy, or that of a population.

    When the markets realise that permanent contraction is upon the world economy, the first thing to dry up will be new investments – even in alternative sources of energy. If there is the likelihood that you will not derive a return on investment, you will not invest – simple as that. No one is going to invest in a dying horse, or even an ill one.

    People who can will start buying up or hoarding what they can in the way of hard assets. Countries exporting energy and food will stop exporting to save what they can for their own people, not realising or no caring that many of the other products they depend upon from other countries might become unavailable as a result. On the local level, when supplies start running short on the shelves, individuals will start buying up what they can and start hoarding. If your source of electricity is coal or oil in your region, you will begin experiencing brownouts and rolling blackouts. Electricity will no longer be a reliable source of energy for commerce or transport or for the storage of perishables at home or in the supermarkets. The shipping and trucking industries will likely fail or at the least undergo severe shrinkage and costs will accelerate, adding significant cost to the shipped goods and taking many of them out of the reach of billions of people and industrial production facilities. Manufacturing, electrical grid hardware, IT centres and so many other critical industries will come to a halt as sources of parts, supplies, transport and distribution, electricity become unreliable. People will die, especially in the cities. When cities dies, all human civilisation dies. And when the lights finally go out in a region, as they most certainly will, the inhabitants will be thrown suddenly into the Stone Age – very, very few will have the means to survive such a transition.

    How quickly can all this happen? Very. It will start off slow – indeed, we are in the initial throes of it now – but will gain enormously in speed over time as the realisation of the predicament we are faced with sets in and propagates throughout human society.

    The financial markets and the real economy are built on trust. As that trust is torn asunder, so will all else implode. And implosion is exactly what we will see eventually as everyone comes to the realisation that there is no exit.

    If peak coal is this year, then this only reinforces the likelihood that TSHTF during the period 2012-2015.

  • The gulf between reality and anything that comes from officialdom gets wider by the week, but the gulf is not yet wide enough for the masses to notice.


    True enough. I am even more pessimistic, I fear. What I see are governments that are losing their fear of the people – and they really always feared the people which is why they operate in secrecy and stealth and restrict freedom where and when they can. But lately I have noticed, especially in the Empire, an almost cavalier flouting of truth – to the point that they don’t even really try to make up a good and rational story of an event.

    When an Empire gets to the point it no longer fears the people and feels that it can produce most any version of the truth it desires without serous consequence, it can become very dangerous indeed, both domestically for its own people and internationally for those who stand in the shadow of the Beast.

  • An excellent commencement speech to the graduating students of Worcester Polytechnic recently. The University apparently suggested that Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, give the speech. But the students objected and requested instead Richard Heinberg.

    As Linnea Palmer Paton of Students for a Just and Stable Future put it in a letter to the college president, “[W]e, as conscientious members of the WPI community and proud members of the Class of 2011, will not give [the Exxon CEO] the honor of imparting … his well-wishes … for our futures … when he is largely responsible for undermining them.”

    Mr. Heinberg began his speech as follows:

    ExxonMobil is inviting you to take your place in a fossil-fueled twenty-first century. But I would argue that Exxon’s vision of the future is actually just a forward projection from our collective rear-view mirror. Despite its high-tech gadgetry, the oil industry is a relic of the days of the Beverly Hillbillies. The fossil-fueled sitcom of a world that we all find ourselves still trapped within may, on the surface, appear to be characterized by smiley-faced happy motoring, but at its core it is monstrous and grotesque. It is a zombie energy economy.

    Very strong words coming from that man who usually understates so well…. :-)

  • Victor

    ‘the first thing to dry up will be new investments – even in alternative sources of energy.’

    I suspect the reverse will be the case. Such will be the desperation to maintain status quo arrangements that any bizarre scheme will get official backing and money thrown at it (governments and civil servants being largely scientifically illiterate).

  • Kevin, your last comment about government and civil servants being largely scientifically illiterate reminded me of something I encounter daily: we are frequently instructed to fax an order to a particular hospital, lab, imaging center, etc. However, the signature at the bottom MUST be original or what we’re ordering won’t be processed nor paid for. But, it’s a fax. . . Brilliance at work.

    In the same vein, there is serious talk that in a few years, Medicare and Medicaid will stop paying for anything if the signature on the order or progress note is not legible. It won’t matter if the name of the signer is written beneath it – the signature itself must be legible. Because, we all know that how a doctor signs his or her name is what’s important. The medicine behind it isn’t important at all.


  • Kevin

    When things get bad and start falling apart, there will not be an economy worth noting. Certainly lots of people think that as the oil runs dry, there will be new projects everywhere. What they tend to forget is by the time the truth of fossil fuels becomes recognised, the economy is already going over the cliff. Everyone who has money to invest will buy up hard assets instead and take no risks.

    If we wait too long, it won’t matter about the money. Money is fiat currency and will become essentially worthless. New projects must assure the investor that there will be enough of an economy around to earn a reasonable return. The government can throw money at new projects, but who is going to take the bait if money is losing its value daily? But I seriously doubt that any government will do that today, given that most governments are tools of the corporations now. I see instead a significant turn to the right – nationalist governments coming to power, removing citizen rights and freedoms, and enforcing corporate policy – even at the expense of people’s lives. We will have more Obamas in power offering the balm of smooth rhetoric to the masses whilst enforcing and strengthening corporate and military power. The citizen will no longer have power. The governments are very close to that scenario now – as I have indicated in other posts, they are becoming intoxicated with their newly won power over the masses to the point that they no longer care what the people think about any issue. Soon, they will not care if people die. So what? Less mouths to feed, less Medicare costs.

    But let’s assume for the moment that new projects get under-way anyway. By that time, we will be facing rolling blackouts, parts and supplies shortages, sky-rocketing transport costs, food shortages. Remember, we are talking about the period 2012-2015 as the Wil E. Coyote moment for civilisation. During this period, it will become apparent to all that something very serious is going on with measurable declines in both oil and coal production.

    Naturally, even if the new projects are successful through all that, they will be facing an impossibly expensive and long-lasting infrastructure modification and extension. Indeed, we are already at that point. It makes no sense any more to even consider alternative energies – there is simply not enough time remaining for success.

    We have truly dug ourselves a hole we can no longer hope to get out of.

  • No one is going to invest in a dying horse, or even an ill one.
    Except maybe the glue factory?

    How quickly can all this happen? Very. It will start off slow – indeed, we are in the initial throes of it now – but will gain enormously in speed over time

    Sort of like Al Gore’s “hockey stick” with humanity for the puck.

  • But lately I have noticed, especially in the Empire, an almost cavalier flouting of truth

    As Whistleblower Prosecutions Rise, Government Withholds Spy Doc, Fears Lawsuits Against Telecom Partners
    MAY 15, 2011

  • However, the signature at the bottom MUST be original or what we’re ordering won’t be processed nor paid for. But, it’s a fax. . .

    At the place where I worked, all these services were integrated into an “intranet”; orders, prescriptions (except Schedule II, III & IV) and even the hospitalist inpatient orders were entered electronically. Even the outlying clinics were on the same system. Emails and internal patient privacy-protected messages could be sent to any care provider. And all the hospitals of the system in the region being on the same intranet, the prescriptions could be sent to any pharmacy on the same system within the region.

    Today’s technology permits setting up a Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL); additional security could be implemented by root keys (as is done by the military – “.mil” domains) for users. In a “cosmist” world, that would be the logical next step, but I am given to understand that the “Cosmist” no longer exists.

  • Research Aircraft Polar 5 Returned from Spring Measurements in the High Arctic

    A preliminary evaluation of the measurement results shows that one-year-old sea ice in the Beaufort Sea (north of Canada/Alaska) is about 20-30 centimetres thinner this year than in the two previous years. In 2009 the ice thickness was 1.7 metres on average, in 2010 1.6 metres and in 2011 around 1.4 metres. “I expect that this thin one-year-old sea ice will not survive the melting period in summer,” Dr. Stefan Hendricks…

  • A rather personal and different aspect of Gonzalo Lira: not entirely in keeping with the NBL perspective, but a lat of insights from various viewpoints:

    Two Beers with Steve: Episode 93 – Silver, Osama and Easy Rider

  • colinc

    Thanks for the link.

    BP, Exxon, Shell etc. are probably ecstatic.

  • College tuition goes up by around 12 to 15 pct per annum if around 70 pct of costs go to wages, and employers’ budget for wages have to go up because of contributions to SSS, pension plans, health care, thirteenth-month pay and other benefits, etc.

  • My monthly essay for Transition Voice is online today: Blessings of a dying paradigm

  • Guy, Re. the “Blessings…” essay. It sounds a little too good to be true.

    I think it is likely that many smaller industrial empires might try to fill any voids left after collapse. Some might be successful, and as their remaining fossil fuel reserves fail them, they could transition back to the slave-labor economy popularized by so many of “successful” empires of the past.

    And then of course there is also the “Curse of the Dying Paradigm” – the toxic infrastructure all over the planet that is not likely to be decommissioned in a coherent and safe manner.

  • Below is a fantastic article that might help us to understand why so many people seem incapable of seeing the collapse-in-progress.

    It also touches on the subject of “Self” – a good follow-up to recent discussions (e.g. John Duffy’s Apr 3 post: “we are creatures of myth” and the outstanding “Concensus and Other Realities” by John Rember)

    “The Grand Delusion, Why Nothing Is As It Seems”

    This might come as a shock, but everything you think is wrong. Much of what you take for granted about day-to-day existence is largely a figment of your imagination. From your senses to your memory, your opinions and beliefs, how you see yourself and others and even your sense of free will, things are not as they seem. The power these delusions hold over you is staggering, yet, as Graham Lawton discovers, they are vital to help you function in the world SENSES.

    “What you see is Not what you get…”

    “your self-identity – your autobiographical memory – is little more than an illusion…”

    The more we learn about the brain, the less plausible it becomes that we have free will…”

    (free registration require).

  • There will be no more empires, industrial or otherwise. Indeed, there is not likely to be any more industries – at least as we know them as “industry”.

  • Trump Sandbagged by Obama

    Maybe he thought he was holding 4 aces–but Obama had the straight flush.

    When he was all in, Obama showed his long form birth certificate.Now Trump is out and you might ask,”how could he be so stupid”.

    Double D

  • When he was all in, Obama showed his long form birth certificate.

    Even though it’s been shown to be faked.

    Proof 1:

    Proof 2:

    Proof 3:

    Proof 4:

    The above proofs provided by an expert Adobe editor.

    Have you ever wondered – Who IS this man?

  • The President moving closer to absolute power in the US, not at his own request but by a Congress abandoning its constitutional powers and responsibilities:

    It must be emphasised that this proposed legislation making its way through Congress, hidden in defence bills, gives the President unlimited power to wage war on terrorists both domestic and foreign using the armed forces of the US.

    The US is moving further and further down the sinkhole of totalitarianism.

  • Victor, thanks for the link. Washington’s blog has commentary on it at

    We can hope the collapse comes so fast that most of the things our government is dreaming up for control of its own population never come to pass or are there only briefly.

    A few days away from home are disorienting. At my dad’s I am forced back into the world of irrelevant discussion so it is a relief to catch up on comments here, even the dire ones.

  • Thanks Kathy. Hope all was ok with your dad…these things are difficult….

    I have some more links awaiting moderation that you might be interested in – or perhaps not… ;-) They have to do with the analysis of the birth certificate that Obama recently published for people to view. The birth certificate was downloaded by this Adobe expert and analysed. He produced 4 different Youtube videos showing the glaring fakery.

    I don’t think anyone knows who this fellow really is…or who he works for.

  • Victor all I know is that on Sat. 6 PM the zombies rise from the dead and 5 months later it is all over. :) But I will look for your links to appear – something to do for the next 4 days…..

    “According to Harold Camping, an 89 year old reverend, the end of the world is just days away. The predicted Judgement Day according to Camping is May 21st of this year, 2011.
    The reverent had previously predicted the end of the world years ago. But according to Camping after in depth study of the Bible, he has corrected the date to come up with the current prediction of devastation.

    According to Camping, the end will come on the 21st at 6 PM local time, beginning in the South Pacific and spreading around the world in the form of an earthquake. Camping says that people will be able to watch the devastation as the quake works its way around the world to reach them all at 6 PM local time at their location.

    The Earthquake signals the start of the Rapture, according to Camping. The earthquake will allegedly be so powerful that “it will open the graves and the dead will rise up, and the saved dead will ascend up into heaven with the living that have been saved.”

    Camping says that only the “true believers” will be saved and the remaining estimated 7 billion people will be in a “tremendous, terrible situation.” Camping predicts that the suffering will continue until October 21st, and then God will completely destroy the Earth.”

  • Dang, Victor, I never took you for a “birther.”

    Seriously, I think we have more things to worry about than where our President was born.

    I don’t care if he was born in Kenya, or Hawaii, or the planet Mars or whatever.

    What I care about is if my President is competent and ethical. I don’t think birth certificates have any relevance to presidential ability.

  • As the son of a now retired Southern Baptist preacher, I would find Mr. Camping’s predictions for the world’s demise laughable if not for the damage they are causing among his misguided followers. NPR had an interview a week or so ago with a young couple with an infant who had stopped working so that they could spread the Word and attempt to win converts to their vision of the truth. They had just enough money left to get them through to May 21st. When asked by the reporter what they were planning to do just in case the preacher is wrong, they responded that they had made no plans because to do so showed that they were doubting god. This might prove them not to be one of the “true believers” causing them to be left behind. I’ve no doubt the preacher believes what he’s proclaiming, but, Mr. Camping’s encouragements and predictions are irresponsible when they land on the ears of the gullible and weak minded.

    My attitude toward him and his followers is similar, I suspect, to the attitude that some have toward those of us who are collapse aware. I’m sure they see our words and actions as reckless and irresponsible, founded in questionable information. I seem to recall one fellow who posted here sometimes who claimed that our discussions were going to lead young people to commit suicide.

    There are vast gulfs between us, of course.

    Mr. Camping believes that the end of the world is coming in a few days and that almost all of us are screwed. The select few who’ve made the proper preparations will be spared.

    We believe (if I may speak for us as a group) that the end of the world is coming soon and that almost all of us are screwed. Those of us who’ve made the proper preparations may be spared – if we’re lucky.

    Okay, so the true difference between the two groups is that Mr. Camping has based his predictions on nothing more than ancient religious texts interpreted to fit his own schemes. The predictions presented here on NBL (and other sites) are based on mountains of scientific data, sometimes interpreted to fit one opinion or the other, but ultimately indisputable as to their eventual conclusion.

    In the end, we have to accept the fact that none of us can predict what’s going to happen with any sense of accurate timing or specifics. The world in which we live is so complex and filled with an infinite set of variables: the pinnacle of chaos theory. Mr. Camping is, for me anyway, a humbling reminder of this fact.

    I’m still preparing for the end of the world, though. :-)

    Have a great day everybody!

  • What I care about is if my President is competent and ethical. I don’t think birth certificates have any relevance to presidential ability.

    Naturalized citizens (like me) are serond-class citizens that are discriminated against by the constitution on one point and only one point: they cannot be President. If an exception is made, I most definitely would like to know about it.

  • Dr. House, oh my, son of a retired Southern Baptist Preacher… Well I had a whole set of ideas about Southern Baptist Preachers being the daughter of a Northern Baptist but raised Lutheran by my mother who was the daughter of a Holiness woman… Yet when I worked at Habitat for Humanity in Americus GA the head of volunteers was a liberal, caring Southern Baptist Preacher and the founder of the Koinonia Community in Plains GA was a Southern Baptist Preacher who translated the Bible into the Cotton Patch version So what a Southern Baptist Preacher is is a great uncertainty in my mind.

    I think you covered the whole end times well from Camping to Campbell. I have my own prophets, the great Richard Duncan of the Olduvai Prophecy and the no less great Guy McPherson of the NBL prophecies :) One more difference besides those you noted. Our preparations are good in themselves. Whether or not our gardens or farms “save” us they bring us in touch with our true nature as animals by connecting us to living things – yes even “living” water. And unlike the current group of rapturists who want to be saved from ever having to die by being zapped up to heaven, many in our group are willing to see our life style collapse around us and even to have an early death for the salvation of the planet and our species. Which makes us more Christlike than Camping. Zing – we are the true believers :)

  • Librarian

    I would tend to agree with your conclusion – that it is most important that a president be competent and ethical. I am not a birther – don’t really care except to the extent that if Obama is lying about his birth, then what does that say about his ethics? If he lies about his true birth certificate, and about the murder of bin Laden, and breaks every promise he made during his campaign, then yes, I do have a problem with him. If he surrounds himself with Wall Street execs and doesn’t pursue war and financial criminals, then I have a problem with him. If he promotes government transparency during his campaign and then becomes the most litigious President in history against whistleblowers, then I am against him. If he promises to get us out of Iraq, and instead leaves 50,000 soldiers there, I have a problem with that. I could go on and on and on, but you get my point.

    Where I come from he would be called a weasely-mouthed, lying city-slicker. And that from those who didn’t want to offend anyone with strong language.

  • Oh, I forgot to say, Librarian, that it is not Obama’s birthplace that is a problem here, but the document he professes to be his birth certificate. It is a fake. The big, big question is…… WHY does he have to fake such a document????

  • Kathy, thank you for adding that distinction. You’re quite correct that the preparations that each of us is making is not only good for our future, but, hopefully, are also good for the planet.

    As to my father being Southern Baptist, I’ll add to your uncertainty as to how to categorize them. My father is a spiritual conservative but a social liberal. He’s a very tolerant and understanding man. He’ll be the first to admit that his viewpoints kept him from any serious consideration for leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention when fundamentalism began to rear its ugly head several decades ago. To be complete, the last church he pastored left the SBC about 15 years ago when the state SBC informed my father that he was being kicked out due to his progressive views about homosexuality. So, while formally he was no longer a member of the SBC, in his heart he remains one today. :-)

  • Dr House, glad to hear your father has progressive views especially on a matter so important to you. And glad, if I understand your comments, that his church choose him over the SBC. While I am no longer a believer, I have known good pastors who take the pastoring of their flock very seriously and kindly and that has nothing to do with the politics of a Convention or of a Lutheran Synod for that matter. I was still a believer in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church during the great rift supposedly over the historical critical method of studying scriptures. Ah a lifetime ago and so unimportant as our civilization commits suicide…

  • Way to denigrate the site whose views are already marginalized with the red herring of birtherism. While, I agree with all of your other points regarding transparency, Iraq, the financial collapse, campaign promises, etc., the birtherism issue is a ridiculous waste of time.

  • Good essay by Simon Black today wraps up with this line: “It’s difficult to say how it will happen, when it will finish, or what it will look like at the end, but rest assured, it’s already happening, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

  • Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I am not a birther. I am simply appalled at the gall of someone at Obama’s level to post a fake document onto the internet and claim its authenticity. It has nothing to do with whether I believe he was actually born in the USA – I couldn’t care less.

    This act might not seem much to folks these days, but it does to me.

  • Because some guy on youtube says so? Some one get Victor a TShirt, LOL!

    Now that is funny!

  • Guy

    Interesting article. Not certain who this fellow is but he also posts articles like this on his site:

    His lifstyle is certainly not in line with most of those I witness on this site anyway….

  • Regardless of where he was born, Obama is a fake in the sense that he promised to be one sort of president and has been the opposite. Broken promises are not unusual but I think Obama has broken some record.
    This article by Chris Hedges “The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic” has the information that Joe Lieberman was his mentor. Well, I think that says it all….

  • Did you watch the video, Mike? The guy claims to be a professional editor. He demonstrates everything he claims. I know enough about Adobe Acrobat and Illustrator to know he is pretty much telling the truth. What specifically did you see in the video that you believe is incorrect or misleading?

  • Kathy

    Lieberman (Good God!) and coming up in the Chicago school of politics. That is certainly enough for me…

  • And Mike, those T-shirts are probably not even real cotton!… :-)

  • Cornel West is a moral philosopher? The last (American) moral philosopher whose opinion I cared about was John Gardner, the author of Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues and Mickelsson’s Ghosts. What I like about Gardner is that he really understood hierarchy and power. I’ve enjoyed Chris’s writings for a long time now, because I’ve had the impression that he understood same, but I refuse to be impressed that some dude who voted along racial lines (oh, come on) is now bitterly disillusioned, and I absolutely refuse to enter into that tacitly accepted liberal conspiracy that you’re not supposed to notice that the only reason, really, that Cornel West, moral philosopher that he may be, is pissed that Obama hasn’t lived up to his promise despite being black as though that could possibly make any difference, unless you’re some kind of inverted racist who thinks it does, who thinks that black people, once inaugurated, will be morally superior to their white predecessors, pissed that Obama hasn’t delivered on his promises or has turned out to be a turncoat or whatever or bought and sold to the highest bidder or whatever the fuck Obama’s problem is …

  • Mickelsson’s Ghosts is one of the world’s most dangerous novels. It’s no surprise that it is out of print. Do yourself a favor; read it. Warning: You won’t be able to look at the land in the same way again. You will grieve and you will mourn, but you will never again be a Romantic. Try to understand: a cat will befriend you. What you don’t know is: it will be dying. You won’t know this. You will be preoccupied with other things. That’s okay. No one’s condemning you. You didn’t know because the truth was hidden from you. The land is dying. You won’t know this. You will be preoccupied with other things. That’s okay. No one’s condemning you. You didn’t know because the truth was hidden from you. The Earth is dying. You won’t know this. You will be preoccupied with other things. Moral things. Keeping those you love and care about safe. That’s okay. No one could really have asked anything else of you.

  • So I watched the clips regarding the birther thing and he makes a very strong case in my opinion. So, sorry Victor.

  • Mike

    But do I still get my T-shirt?…. :-)

  • Victor, assuming the guy who did the vids about the birth certificate has not created a fraud and anyone can similarly find that info if the have the right software, WHY? WHY NOW? Sloppiness? Backstabbing by staff? Some inscrutable game plan by TPTB?

  • Friends, regarding a prospective US$ collapse, the digital fiat debt-money US$ has already crashed 80% since the highs in ’00-’02 when adjusted for the US$- and CPI-adjusted price of gold and silver. Currencies throughout history have rarely crashed more, particularly reserve currencies.

    The historical precedents for the risk to the imperial reserve currencies and fiscal insolvency faced by the US today were the Romans of the second and third centuries, the Spanish empire of the 17th century, the Bourbon French monarchy prior to the French Revolution, and Britain in the 1930s.

    During the bimetallism (silver and gold specie backing of “money”) period of the late 19th century and when sterling was devalued in 1931 and FDR confiscated gold in 1933, silver declined against gold and sterling and the US$ decline against gold by 40%.

    From ’74 to ’80, the US$ declined 90%+ against gold (adjusted for CPI and the US$).

    We are well on our way to repeat the experiences of empires past; however, they didn’t face Peak Oil and global population overshoot.

    The the value of the fiat debt-money US$ has crashed so much in response to Peak Oil, China’s suicidal runaway growth of demand for commodities, and Benny and the Inkjets’ digital fiat debt-money Benny-bill reserve printing, the US$ is set to surprise everyone by rallying strongly (flight to the US$ from China-Asia) against just about everything else in response to the next debt-deflationary global contraction heading our way.

  • Strauss-Kahn simply had to be eliminated.

    The Amerikan Police State Strides Forward

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    May 18, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — The International Monetary Fund’s director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested last Sunday in New York City on the allegation of an immigrant hotel maid that he attempted to rape her in his hotel room. A New York judge has denied Strauss-Kahn bail on the grounds that he might flee to France.

    President Bill Clinton survived his sexual escapades, because he was a servant to the system, not a threat. But Strauss-Kahn, like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, was a threat to the system, and, like Eliot Spitzer, Strass-Kahn has been deleted from the power ranks.

    Strauss-Kahn was the first IMF director in my lifetime, if memory serves, who disavowed the traditional IMF policy of imposing on the poor and ordinary people the cost of bailing out Wall Street and the Western banks. Strauss-Kahn said that regulation had to be reimposed on the greed-driven, fraud-prone financial sector, which, unregulated, destroyed the lives of ordinary people. Strauss-Kahn listened to Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, one of a handful of economists who has a social conscience.

    Perhaps the most dangerous black mark in Strauss-Kahn’s book is that he was far ahead of America’s French puppet, President Sarkozy, in the upcoming French elections. Strauss-Kahn simply had to be eliminated.

    It is possible that Strauss-Kahn eliminated himself and saved Washington the trouble. However, as a well-travelled person who has often stayed in New York hotels and in hotels in cities around the world, I have never experienced a maid entering unannounced into my room, much less when I was in the shower.

    Full story at

  • steve from virginia re the mississippi flooding & france’s drought…

    It’s hard to say whether Mother Nature is going to win this particular ‘battle’ next week or thirty years from now. It’s possible the Corps and southern Louisiana will dodge the flood-bullet this time but the shift is inevitable….

    [& re france’s nukes]

    We aren’t just talking “Un blackout électrique’ but ‘Une fusion de coeur’ … a meltdown. Unlike the reactors lining the mighty Mississippi, 44 of France’s 59 nukes are located alongside teensy- weensy creeks and rivulets. Even when shut down the nukes need cold-ish water to cool the cores! Right now the French are sweating bullets. Without some rain the mighty French reactor establishment will be in serious difficulties: …

  • My six-year old daughter graduated kindergarten today.

    There was a big to-do. The kids all got to wear white graduation outfits. They put on a real sweet program.

    Through it all — the obligatory Pledge of Allegiance, the opening prayer, everything — I constantly wondered how much longer we would all continue to fool ourselves that such events would continue; how much longer such events would be seen as normal; how much longer such events would even seem necessary, as heads are yanked from the sand by reality and people will have to re-learn the business of survival in the Real World, as opposed to navigating the various Imperial fictions laid out for us.

    I was glad that my little girl has a good grasp of arithmetic and grammar and writing; but more so am I glad that she knows the cardinal directions, and can tell a male cardinal from a female, can tell a soaring vulture from a soaring hawk; and knows why it is a good thing to fear our rooster, and knows too where our eggs come from; and knows that bees are generally friendly critters while yellowjackets are not. At six years old, she has planted a garden, when so many adults never have.

    Already my little girl is being indoctrinated by the Empire; but she is being indocrinated into the living world as well. That, more than any token of or nod from industrial civilization, makes me proud of her, and gives me hope that it will not take her as long as it took me to step beyond our brittle old paradigm. I know there are many here who decry the having of children, and I understand the reasons well. But when my girl stole a glance at me during the largely meaningless Pledge, I knew that she was so much bigger than that ceremony, and bigger even than the sum of her past year’s experiences in public school.

    I hope I live to see coming generations on the right track.

  • as heads are yanked from the sand by reality

    They don’t have to be yanked: they can be left there detached.

    assuming the guy who did the vids about the birth certificate has not created a fraud and anyone can similarly find that info if the have the right software, WHY? WHY NOW? Sloppiness? Backstabbing by staff?

    The job was possibly assigned on the basis of trust to a confidant: no consideration was given to proficiency with the software. Hence the amateurish job.

    Obama hasn’t lived up to his promise despite being black

    As Barry has no slave heritage, his identification with the American Black community can be expected to be rather tenuous.

  • assuming the guy who did the vids about the birth certificate has not created a fraud and anyone can similarly find that info if the have the right software, WHY? WHY NOW? Sloppiness? Backstabbing by staff? Some inscrutable game plan by TPTB?


    I would agree with Robin here. Obama couldn’t exactly outsource this task – too much risk of someone blowing the whistle. So he probably had to get one of his inner circle to do it – someone with skills, but not enough skills… ;-) But I am still left with the question – Why doesn’t he just publish the real thing? The only answer I can come up with is either (1) he really was not born in America as he says, or (2) he would rather have the distraction of this controversy remain in the headlines than his failed wars and economic policies. I lean towards (2), but recognise that (1) could actually be true.

  • We are well on our way to repeat the experiences of empires past; however, they didn’t face Peak Oil and global population overshoot.


    Absolutely true. We as a species have always been able to pick ourselves up in difficult times – but only because we had the natural resources and the energy to do so – it takes energy to grow and it takes energy to recover. No energy – no growth. No energy – no recovery. Simple math.

  • Christopher

    I am guilty on many occasions of wondering why people have children in this period. In some ways it seems almost irresponsible to me. But then someone reminded me that it was the children and young people who are most apt to find ways to survive the coming storm, thus carrying on the species. We older adults see the pain that they will have to endure. We see the lives lost. We see the suffering. We can’t wish that on our children. On the other hand, children and young people don’t see it that way…. ;-)

    Just as in gardening, where there are young sprouts, there remains hope for a harvest.

  • Without some rain the mighty French reactor establishment will be in serious difficulties: …


    Really excellent point. I was not aware that France’s water problem was so severe. They must be getting really nervous….(and perhaps so should we!)

  • Kathy

    The whole Strauss-Kahn thing stinks to high heaven. And I think most everyone agrees, though they might not all understand why he was targeted. It should be interesting to see what comes out of the investigation. But any way you cut it, DSK has been eliminated permanently from doing damage at the IMF and possibly French politics, much to the satisfaction of Sarkozy.

    Yet another lesson for us. When you cross TPTB, you better watch your back 24×7. In the world of power politics and money, threats are eliminated before they can cause too much damage.

  • Just in from RT:

    DSK’s accuser may have AIDS, as she lives in an apartment complex reserved only for those HIV positive or AIDS. Of course, now a couple questions arise –

    Did she warn DSK that she had AIDS?

    If so, would he have done what he did?

    If not, why not? As it might have saved her.

  • (1) could actually be true.

    If that is the case – and if it comes out, he will also have the distinction of being the first person to reside both at the White House and the Federal Pen.

  • Victor[Yet another lesson for us. When you cross TPTB, you better watch your back 24×7.] Actually he had previously predicted that this would happen to him. Sometimes no amount of back watching will help. Or perhaps one gets fatalistic. Perhaps he expected the smear but not the incarceration. Kennedy expected he might be assassinated. Why didn’t he do more to stop it? Perhaps sometimes when you are in high places you become fatalistic and just want the waiting over.

  • Robin

    The Elite are not subject to the same laws we are.


    So true about watching your back. Sometimes that is just not enough, eh? As for Kennedy, what else could he have done? His own Secret Service abandoned him. And if he hadn’t gone to Dallas, they would have got him anyway.

  • I thought you all might enjoy this:

    Lots of good looking ideas on what to do with nettles. We are currently drying them in large batches hanging from the greenhouse ceiling. Their dried weight has more protein than soy beans. Going to be interesting to see how much we can get out of our steadily growing patch. Don’t have to weed it, or fertilize, the snails seem to like them a little bit. You just have to keep hacking them back and eating them.

    We have had cordones a couple of times now. It’s an Italian word for artichoke stems, but here in the US you can use burdock stems. It takes me about 10 minutes to pick a couple of pounds of stems. The recipe we are using is really simple boil the chopped up stems in water with a little baking soda for about 7 minutes, then mix them in with some eggs and cornmeal, and then fry them. Using soy sauce now. Should be good with some salsa when the tomatoes come into season.

    Bird question for Kathy: We have a chicken that is a brooder (I think).
    She sits on the nest all day long, all puffed up. I have to pull her off to get at the eggs. What would happen if I put some of our duck eggs in there for her? The duck eggs are definately fertilized.

  • It is a difficult time in England this year:

    Quote that I agree with whole-heartedly:

    “I listen to the radio,” says the food campaigner Caroline Cranbrook, based in Suffolk, “and they talk about sunny weekends, as though the world were composed only of city dwellers. The countryside is facing a crisis.” It is a crisis that will land, inevitably, on the city dweller’s food plate, in the form of inflated prices.

  • Ed

    Sounds delicious….except for the cornmeal part – wickedly unhealthy…. ;-)

  • a good update by chris martenson

    The primary worry right now is that the situation at Fukushima Daiichi is not yet stabilized. Every time I think they have turned the corner, more news is released that indicates that there are still surprises emerging from the site.

    Water escapes, unexpected isotopes are detected (I-131 in the Reactor #4 fuel pool), and meltdowns and reactor breaches are finally admitted.

    Given that this is still something of a two-steps-forwards/one-step-backwards situation, we should now consider what will happen if/when a typhoon comes and blows all the contamination inland in far greater quantities than have yet occurred…
    The amounts of radiation detected all the way south of and in and around Tokyo is alarming, especially the sludge findings in the hundreds of thousands of becquerels.

  • Ed, yep that sure sounds like a broody hen. If you are going to do it do it now as duck eggs take longer to hatch than hen eggs – chickens 21 days “common ducks like Pekins require 28 days to hatch. Eggs from Muscovy ducks hatch in about 35 days after setting.” If your duck is a muscovy it might be a bit chancy. We often have a hen setting on dummy eggs for as much as a week before we put the real eggs in so our often are setting for 28 days and do fine. Depending on the size of your hen 10 eggs or less. Make sure she is comfortably covering all of the eggs.

    We feed little treats to our hens on the nest (what I call egg bread – egg and regular flower cooked up in a fry pan). It is important for her to get up and eat and get off the eggs some, but we don’t like our hens to get malnourished – we had one recently never get up apparently so she was only getting our treats. The day before hatch she got off, weak and light, and left the eggs cold. However we keep hens in waiting as extras and just moved the eggs to another hen who seemed a bit surprised when a day later she had chicks after such a short set but she is doing fine now.

    I understand however that if there is water nearby the mother hen will get most distressed when her duck chicks go swimming….. We don’t have ducks so I haven’t tried this, just writing from what I have read and gleaned off the web.

    My next door neighbour had duck eggs given to her and she put them under her broody hen and it worked perfectly, no different to chickens. the only drama she had was that the ducklings wanted to have a swim and mumma chick thought they were nutz!!!so she had the little mini pond in the brooder pen and the ducklings swam while mumma chook looked on with dismay!!!!

  • Sam, thanks for the news on drought in France and more on the Miss river crisis. I doubt that most people in the US could even begin to understand the implications of the Mighty Miss changing course. It might mean the end of empire…

    Here is another article about the problem in France with the nuclear reactors it seems they are going to forgo planned maintenance on the coastal nuclear plants in case they have to shut down the inland ones. And a battle with the Swiss who want to keep Lake Geneva high by limiting water going into the Rhone may be coming. It might make the battle over water by GA, AL and FL look like small potatoes.

  • thanks kathy. i spent some time on the mississippi. the word immense comes to mind…re the river; & especially to the size of the projects we fight ma nature with there. silly us to think we could control such.

  • Sorry Victor, I’m not sure if I understand the bit about the cornmeal, or the icon. We grind all of our own corn that we currently purchase from a feedstore in bulk. It’s a dent, organically grown. I think you are just messin’ with me, but want to be sure, I’m not missing something.

    Kathy: Thanks as always. That’s great information.

  • The Mississippi river has, of course, changed course many, many times throughout history. The ridge on which I live is thought to have been formed, at least in part, through erosion caused by the Mississippi running west of here instead of east. At that time, the Ohio and Mississippi rivers didn’t converge until much farther south, somewhere near the current Arkansas/Louisiana border. Even in modern times, it has moved considerably. If you look at any map of the area, you’ll notice that the eastern border of Arkansas has the contour of a river with loops and hairpin curves, etc. But the Mississippi isn’t on that border. There are hundreds of areas where little bits of Arkansas, as well as little bits of Mississippi, are on the opposite sides of the river, completely cut-off from the rest of their respective states.

    With the advent of the industrial economy, large scale farming, increased population, etc., we humans thought that we could stop this silly river from meandering about. We’ve been somewhat successful, but it’s only a matter of time before the river reasserts its authority and does whatever the hell it wants to do.

    Taming the river has had unintended consequences, as usual. Much of the richness of the land in the Mississippi delta that now feeds people across the land and around the world is the result of fertile topsoil from upstream being dumped onto the land during widespread flooding. This flooding served many other purposes such as recharging wetlands, drowning out certain plants while letting others thrive, and more. Now that we’ve put up levies to control the flooding, we’ve lost those benefits. The rich farm land is largely depleted requiring ever more petro-chemicals to produce crops.

    As has been said here many times, the problem is the solution.

  • Shit – that is all I can say
    The expectation in Washington is that Congress will, after plenty of political wrangling, pass legislation to raise the national debt limit.

    Yet as negotiations over raising the debt limit and curbing government spending drag on, some Republicans are growing bolder in their defiance of warnings from the Treasury Department and many economists that failing to raise the debt limit could lead to economic catastrophe.

    Should Congress fail to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt cap by Aug. 2, some conservatives (in and out of Congress) are suggesting selling off the nation’s assets. For starters, they say, the U.S. has plenty of land — and plenty of gold.

    “I don’t think Treasury has been up front with us. I am not convinced the sky will fall in on August 3,” Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, told Reuters. “I’m not an economist, but I have maintained a household. The federal government owns 70 percent of Utah, for example. There are federal buildings. If you need cash, let’s start liquidating.”

    Read more:

  • Dr. House you are exactly right. The solution is the problem. And here is another aspect of the problem

    The decision to open the spillways “means the river is slowly spreading across millions of acres of farmlands that contain enormous amounts of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to immediate public health concerns, scientists are worried these pollutants will exacerbate the already enormous “dead zone” that occurs annually in the Gulf. ”

  • John McPhee’s Control of Nature contains a thorough exploration of what is happening and what could yet happen in Louisiana this year.

  • John, previous to writing the book McPhee wrote this article in 1987 about the Atchafalaya. Meanwhile I have ordered the book.

  • Why does he have to fake such a document?

    Again, I really don’t care. Obama probably said to himself, “Screw it, if half the country has their heads so far up their asses that they care more about where I was born than how I’m running the country, maybe they deserve a fake certificate. That’ll teach them to get their priorities in order.”

    Now that said, I tend to agree with you that Obama’s really dropped the bar.

    However, I really don’t think the birth certificate, fake, real, or OTHERWISE, has even remotely any relevance on anything.

    I would happily accept a President who comes from the planet PLUTO if he was even remotely ethical.

    No, strike that, I would accept a President who was born in friggin’ North Korea if he was even remotely capable of understanding what’s really important in life and what our priorities are or should be.

  • Attempts to mold the land by such measures as terracing (in rice-farming), levees, dikes, swales and such were undertaken only when there was a sense of human ownership of the land with concomitant authority to block the course of Nature. The seeds of the concept of human ownership of the land were planted with the first attempts at agriculture: the exclusive claim to whatever grew on a particular piece of land, and the right to plant that plot yet again.

  • they deserve a fake certificate

    The presumptions here would be not only that he had a genuine birth certificate, but that the fakery was proffered with the intent of having it defected. In such a case the job could have been outsourced, and the clues to the fakery deliberately planted. It would be a remarkable example of diabolical cleverness, but whether it wud redound to the benefit of the perpetrators might be a matter of conjecture.

  • Sorry, meant detected, not defected. If there was no genuine birth certificate, the fake would not be issued with the intent of having it detected. And to suggest that they did not comprehend that the issuance with subsequent detection would be demeaning is to attribute to them an incredible degree of stupidity.

  • Why does he have to fake such a document?

    Exactly! Why?

  • Victor,

    After reading your wonderful and cogent comment to Robin on May 16 at 1:16 a.m. I’m very disappointed in your alignment with the likes of Donald Trump.

    The deflection, “I am not a birther,” is disingenuous.

    Michael Irving

  • Why does he have to fake such a document?

    It was either to cover up the origins, or to distract the public from other issues. In the former case the amateurishness of the forgery was inadvertent. In the latter case it was intentional, anticipating detection after release. But this would involve a significant loss of credibility and would be demeaning, something they could overlook only if they were stupid: any advantage gained by distracting public attention would be nullified in the loss of stature and credibility.

  • Victor,

    It’s been indicated that I have succumbed to the “cranky old man syndrome” again. My only excuse is that I spent a couple of hours in a meeting today with some “good ole boys” who are convinced that saying “we’ll just git her done” is a plan for a construction project using someone else’s money. In future I will try to think good thoughts for a while before I check over the comments on NBL. Sorry if I’ve misjudged you and I hope you will accept my praise for your previous remarks.

    Michael Irving

  • Michael

    No offence taken, believe me. And always grateful for praise – in any form…. ;-)

    Sometimes it is a bit tricky to distinguish one’s views from the maddened crowd, and often I fail. But nonetheless I pursue truth and am always happy to attempt a clarification if necessary.

    In the case of the birther issue, I am simply left with the question that Robin and I have been posing as a result of Obama publishing an obviously faked document. To me it is a matter of honesty, integrity and moral fortitude. What kind of man in high position would publish a fake document – ANY fake document, birth certificate or otherwise?

    And the second question – WHY? If he wants to shut people up about this (and that might be a big “IF”), then why doesn’t he simply publish his birth certificate and be done with it? Why drag it out for years? Something very strange here.

    Same with the bin Laden murder. Why doesn’t he just show the pictures?

    Is there no truth in this man? Has there ever been truth in him? How did he become President of the United States from virtually nowhere in virtually no time? Around the time he first declared his intention to run for president, I was at the airport with my wife and noticed his book on sale as a Best Seller, and I remember remarking to my wife, showing her the book, “Who IS this fellow? He seems to have come from nowhere and suddenly he is being promoted for President of the United States? The most powerful office in the world?”

    I found that remarkable. Not so remarkable because he was running for president, but because of the sudden groundswell of public support for someone no one knew! Even my internet friends were swallowing his rhetoric, people I had always thought knew better. And as he began surrounding himself with the same old Washington elites, I found it curiouser and curiouser that those friends even then did not question the man. And when he kept aligning himself with the military/intelligence/corporate/banking interests, people still acted even then as if this man had something new to offer.

    Curious. Curious indeed.

  • My roses are a mess. They have a good colour, but…..they are covered with aphids. Some are also almost leafless now and covered with very fine webs (mites? spiders?). And those same ones also have black spots on the leaves that remain.

    I have today and yesterday begun spraying with soap. But am not sure if that will be effective with the webs (mites? spiders?).

    Any ideas?

  • Ed

    Nothing intended about the cornmeal. It’s just that corn is among the foods with the highest glycaemic index, and therefore most likely to affect your blood sugar levels, which of course, among other things tell your body when to store food as fat rather than convert it to energy (you doctors out there tell me if I am incorrect). I try to avoid eating too many foods with a high G.I. in order to keep my youthful figure…. :-) (Though I am known to partake in a beer or two now and then….)