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.”

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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

  • Want an indepth and frank discussion (debate??) on the so-called Anthropocene Age?

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/19/the-age-of-anthropocene-should-we-worry/we-are-planet-managers

    Go elsewhere…. ;-)

  • I’m a stupid for being here right now, but I had to heck the reaction of the people: there are signs of very high discontent, and episodes of violence. Spain is going to blown away; and this is nothing… when the next crack occur (a couple months, this will be a bloodbath). I’ll be here just today (in spring I have a lot of things to do).

  • Jean, I had read of riots in Spain. Your on the ground information confirms that things are at a breaking point.

    How is the donkey?

  • Jean

    Whatever happens, don’t let the donkey get hurt!

  • RE the birth certificate. Has anyone here duplicated the work done on the youtube video? Does anyone here know personally the maker of the youtube video? If not why the assumption the certificate is the fake instead of the youtube vid being a fake?

  • I know none here are taking seriously the raising of the dead tomorrow but the CDC is – it has published an advisory
    Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
    http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp
    “There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”

  • Is it just my imagination, my bad internet connection, or is there something going on? It seems that more and more I’m having trouble reaching various websites. Google sites seem particularly sketchy lately. But then blogger was down for several days last week. Yesterday the Bloomberg site which shows oil prices displayed only an error page saying that the server was malfunctioning.

    It sure seems that I’m seeing an ever-increasing failure of our complex systems online.

    Anyone else noticing this?

  • You’re right, Kathy. It could be a fake. I originally was pointed to an Alex Jones video where he sat with one of his Adobe experts and demonstrated that the pdf shown by the White house was layered and thus altered. Not always trusting Alex, I looked for collaborating evidence and found the videos I referenced here. Here is the Alex Jones video which is basically agreeing with the links I posted.

    I wish I had the software I had available to me when working, but I don’t, so must defer to these videos.

    Is there anything about the videos themselves that lead you to believe they might themselves be faked? I couldn’t see anything.

  • Here is another – a silent quickie but nonetheless a demonstration of the layered bit.

  • So there are three different folks substantiating the same information. Could they all be faking it?

  • Dr. house

    As I understand it, as we approach May 21 things will get more and more unstable…. ;-)

  • Good article relating politics to the Matrix….recommended

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28139.htm

    Any comments?

  • I’ve just been in Plaza Catalonia, the very centre of Barcelona. Every day, more and more discontent people are camping in the circus: they’re thousands. I’m afraid that there are not enough police units to control them. They’re demanding EVERYTHING… any single type of discontent you might imagine is there. Authorities have given them 48 hrs to leave, but they do not want to listen; there is no visible leadership, no concrete demands: it’s just pure anger. And you know what??? Stupid tourists are taking photographs of them. As I told before, idiots will be idiots until the last minute.

    Next thing I’ve done is walking around a big army quarter: the entry is full of sentinels fully equiped: it means state of alarm, at least level 2: obviously, if authorities can not control them using the police, then… well, imagine the rest.

    In one hour time I’m taking the train to get outta here. I’ll find out the rest of this story through the radio.

    PD–> I’ve left Moises (My donkey) with a good friend.

  • “Is it just my imagination, my bad internet connection, or is there something going on? It seems that more and more I’m having trouble reaching various websites. Google sites seem particularly sketchy lately. But then blogger was down for several days last week. Yesterday the Bloomberg site which shows oil prices displayed only an error page saying that the server was malfunctioning.

    It sure seems that I’m seeing an ever-increasing failure of our complex systems online.

    Anyone else noticing this?”

    No my friend, nothing abnormal in the internet… it’s just the riots in the streets. :-) :-) ;-)

  • Victor [Is there anything about the videos themselves that lead you to believe they might themselves be faked? I couldn’t see anything.]

    A healthy sense of skepticism is the answer.

    [So there are three different folks substantiating the same information. Could they all be faking it?]

    Of course they could. Again do you know any of these people personally. Can you find bios of them on the web to substantiate that they are who they say they are and have the qualifications they say they have. I google Albert Renshaw and didn’t find any one who I was sure matched – one possible.

    Alex Jones no doubt has big pockets and could pull something like this off for increased viewership eh?

    Have you heard of the Yes Men. For good causes they pull off the most outrageous stunts and often completely fool journalists. They create fake web sites that fool people putting on conferences and then get invited to speak to real audiences where they pull off their stunts. They create realistic stationary, the whole works. Sometimes they get exposed quickly, sometimes they get reported as real news. They have two movies worth watching.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yes_Men

    So yes, until I hear of someone I know doing the same thing Albert Renshaw did or hear that someone I know knows him or the others, I will retain my healthy sense of skepticism. (Just in case you missed or forgot in 2005 “Most of the key results in a landmark stem cell paper by South Korea’s cloning pioneer Woo Suk Hwang were faked, an investigation panel convened by Seoul National University revealed on Friday.”

  • PS Victor, when I saw the CDC waring on Zombies, I thought it might be a fake so I went directly to the CDC site and searched on Zombies and found the article that way as well as the first link I was informed of.

    For a while I was getting fake e-bay e-mails that wanted me to re-enter my password. I didn’t and reported them to e-bay, but they looked quite real. Skepticism about anything posted on the web is wise.

  • Confirmation from a completely different source, if anyone here really needs it:

    http://www.observer.com/hedge-funds-running-farms-05172011?page=0

  • Kathy

    Yes, you are probably right to be sceptical. It was off the Internet, so that makes it suspect right off. I suspect that that is also the reason the MSM has not picked up on it as well. And besides, I’ve never known Obama to lie anyway. Why would he? He’s President!

  • Ed

    The hedge fund manager and others like him envision a doomsday scenario catalyzed by a weak dollar, higher-than-you-think inflation and an uncertain political climate here and abroad.

    Well, he’s not that far off, is he!

  • I have a house full of Russian in-laws who came in yesterday. Really refreshing to talk to them. You are driving along. They see something that reminds them of something, and like typical Russians, they burst into song!…LOL They are great fun. I wish my side of the family was like that. Our problem is that we have never had to suffer. But that will change soon I fear…..

  • Again, Victor, I reiterate since you didn’t seem to hear me the first time:

    WHO CARES?!

    Who cares if Obama lied or didn’t lie about the goddamned birth certificate?

    I’m starting to lose my patience, that’s why I’m swearing. Why must you and Donald Trump and Alex Jones keep harping on whether or not the birth certificate was real? That question should not matter to you. It belongs in the same field as “why did Michael Jackson turn his skin white?” It’s a curiosity, but not one we should emphasize at the expense of discussing how we might be losing our humanity.

    The ONLY thing a birth certificate shows is where someone was born.

    And again, I say I don’t particularly CARE where Obama was born. I care that he isn’t as ethical a President as I hoped he would be when I voted for him, but I’m really not the sort of person who endlessly asks other people to prove where they were born.

    It’s a non-issue, at least in comparison to a nation that has lost all sense of priority and basic human decency, and I don’t want us to get distracted talking about in what particular hospital Obama’s mother popped him out of her vagina.

    That is “tabloid discussion” behavior.

    I am beginning to get a little angry that you insist on harping on that point over, and over, and over.

    We have bigger problems than that, so endlessly talking about a relatively minor point is a huge distraction.

  • House: “Anyone else noticing this?”

    I have noticed it too – one of our computers was completely wiped out by a very strange virus about a month ago..I found one short, mention of the virus in a BBC article, but it had few details.

    Is our computerized world slowy succumbing to electronic WMDs – instead of an EMP-like final switch, death by a thousandx10e10 “error” messages on screens and terminals around the world…

    “Lights-out, Goddammit,” says The Mother.

  • Librarian, if it should be shown that Obama was NOT born in the US it will be a big matter for the whole world, whether or not you care and regardless of the fact that I don’t care. It will be much bigger than the fall of Nixon. I agree it is a huge distraction if not true, but if true it will be far far more than a distraction.

  • Librarian

    I’m sorry Obama did not turn out to be the President you (and everyone else who voted for him) hoped he would be. The world you hoped for in Obama does not exist, and never did, and never will. He is a lie, and everything he stands for is a lie. His father is the father of lies. You live in a world of lies. And this world’s ruler is the father of lies. Accept that and move on. Or reject it and live in comfort.

    Red pill? Or blue pill?

  • “Lights-out, Goddammit,” says The Mother.

    Oh yes….well said.

  • Speaking of father of lies:

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/05/permission-to-speak-freely-regarding.html

    An excellent listing of quotes from mainly professional structural engineers.

    There was high treason and mass murders committed in the USA and it is likely that no one will ever pay for it. It is unlikely that it will ever be investigated.

    Does it really matter in light of the bigger picture of Peak Oil and Global Warming? Perhaps not.

  • re jean’s news from spain…
    from automaticearth.blogspot.com
    Will the Pain Start in Spain?
    & referenced there
    http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/663631-spains-icelandic-revolt

    “When we grow up, we want to be Icelanders!” cried one of the leaders of the organisation during the march on Sunday May 15 before a column of young – and not so young – parents and children, students and workers, the jobless and pensioners.

    sounds like default talk!

  • Again, Victor, I reiterate since you didn’t seem to hear me the first time:

    WHO CARES?!

    I, for one, do. Being a naturalized citizen, I would very much like to be aware if a non-born-citizen is President.

  • How refreshing – a government minister telling the truth:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13480971

  • sam

    Many thanks for the link. I was particularly drawn to two quotes:

    The conservative daily believes that, yes, “there are reasons to be discontented faced with the crisis,” but that “objectively”, the responsibility is borne by “a leftist government, and not ‘the system’ called into question by the demonstrators.”

    This is extremely important and must make the elites’ blood freeze…the demonstrators are not blaming “left” or “right”, but instead the one thing that the elites do not want questioned – the SYSTEM.

    political leaders are not concerned about average citizens, “because they have not come out into the street – which is the thing, in fact, that they are afraid of, and it even makes them panic.

    Sounds like we are in need of a global Bastille….

    Go Spain.

  • But we won’t get a new Bastille revolution.

    What we will get is ever declining oil production, massive human die-off and the dismantling of a global civilisation.

  • thanks victor…astute analysis. probably seeing greece’s austerity & the powerlessness of nations, & their leaders in the eurozone helps refocus on the bigger picture. perhaps some organizer leadership too.

  • I posted a new essay this morning, a guest essay by Sandy Krolick

  • The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • what a site this evening! hundreds of christians rising through the sky disappearing into clouds! it’s finally happened! finally, one of these outrageous predictions came true! great news for them, i suppose, and bad news for us left behinders! ;^)

    i’m reading almost every word, often more than once, and checking out many of the links provided. what an education. what revelations!

    enlightenment in this case is fool’s gold, i’m afraid. makes me/us? feel good now, but does nothing to prevent the inevitable later. what can be done besides prepare for the worst and hope for the best?

  • Guy,
    The content of the comments following your essay here gives an (unneeded) boost to your credibility and significance. Of all the blogs I’ve read which support reader comments, I’m not sure I have read any in which the level of discourse remained so high for so long – right to the end, in this case.

    Here it be the 15th of July, and I’m just now reading this post of yours. My mistake. To be fair – I haven’t had so much energy as I did several months ago. I’ve been spending a much greater share of my time napping on the sofa, as my physical plant wears down and grinds to its inevitable halt. I believe, btw, my days number less than 30, now. I believe I’m close to being at the point where I won’t be able to manage swallowing water. Given a hard attitude that rules out such heroics as feeding tubes and IV lifelines, I think the lights will be going out real soon.
    C’est la vie.

    Great stuff, here. A salute to all, commentarians included. Oh – what a great interview you did with Max Keiser, recently! I thought your “performance” was a noteworthy bit of evidence – of your credibility as a spokesman for “our” line of thinking. Beautiful job!

    Thanks, Victor, for dogging the birth certificate issue so unabashedly. I, too, care little about where Mr. Obama was born, and yet, the apparent obfuscation and dodging has caused me, also, to wonder “Who is this guy… and why has he been so reluctant to give the dogs their requested bone – a friggin’ birth certificate? Sounded a bit like “Librarian”s the one who might’ve need to take a little time out.

    Mr. Obama is the most shady, untrustworthy person in the White House since….
    George W. Bush! Egads! Like his predecessor, Obama seems a perfect fit to lead a gang of liars, thugs, and generally corrupt rascals. How many Americans can possibly hold ANY faith in American government, these days? I’m tending to prefer Republicans, these days – they’re so much more direct & honest in their anti-social perversions! (dbt)

  • Dear Guy,
    I had to read five of your articles on your blog to receive extra credit in my AP environmental science class. Not only did I not learn a SINGLE thing about the environment my day was ruined by reading your hypocritical, communist bullshit. You say you wish on switching to a post-industrial stone age yet, you use a computers, Facebook, twitter, and all other social media that you yourself criticize. Maybe you’re not better than all the world leaders that you like to bash publicly while hiding behind your computer screen. There are many people in this world who are ACTUALLY trying to help the environment while all you do is talk instead of doing anything at all. You are just another part of the problem rather than the solution. It’s because of guys like you that there is a group of communists in my high school, whom like you, criticize EVERY aspect of American life yet do anything to make it better. They talk all the time about a anarchist society that they wish to live in. So, to you and the rest of the idiots in my high school and on this website, anarchy was a disaster that’s why we formed governments. I don’t know about you but I like the comfort of modern society. I appreicate all the handwork my parents did to raise money to provide for me and my siblings and I will continue their tradition and work my very hardest to provide for my family and earn the things I get. Not complain about how everything in America is bad like the idiots for occupy wall street. I’m not saying the government isn’t corrupt, or that there isn’t a need for change, I’m just saying that the freedom to do as i please is beautiful, and all of you communists should be thanking the government, because if it wasn’t for them you wouldn’t even have the right to bitch, moan, and complain about EVERY little thing. If you don’t like the way America is, then fucking leave, no one here will miss you. That I can guarantee. So, thank you for being another arrogant douchebag who gives TRUE Americans a bad name.

    P.S. I bet you $10 you don’t even know how to hunt, fish, or live of the land. So, if we ever do go back to the post-industrial stone age, I give it about 3 weeks till you’re dead.

  • 99 % of all species that ever walked this planet before us has come and gone. And Homo Sapiens have had some close calls in the past.. If the envorinment i livable then we will survive, however population will be greatly reduced. Imho i hope the shit does hit the fan.. i live of the land, hunt fish and gather.. why? because it makes me feel free.. society is one big incubator and most people in it would not last a month without it.