Reese Jones Interviews Paul Beckwith, Alex Smith Interviews McPherson, and More NTHE Questions

Reese Jones interviewed Paul Beckwith on the topic, “Worsening Arctic and Antarctic Meltdown Cause of Extreme Weather.” Catch it here.

**

McPherson’s 4 September 2014 radio interview with Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock is described here (albeit disingenously) and linked for high bandwidth and low bandwidth.

**

We know that, “The Age of Mammals” has to end sometime, just as The Age of Dinosaurs had an end. Can we find some satisfaction in us humans being the agent of change to usher in a new age of biodiversity based on the rubbish and waste of the new materials/gases/genetic engineering that we have created?

**

1. Last Man Standing is morally the best approach to

a. Near Term Extinction
b. Near Term Human Extinction
c. Near Term Human Near Extinction
d. a & b
e. b & c
f. a & c
g. All of the above
i. None of the above.

2. Last Man Standing is ethically the best approach to

a. Near Term Extinction
b. Near Term Human Extinction
c. Near Term Human Near Extinction
d. a & b
e. b & c
f. a & c
g. All of the above
i. None of the above.

3. Last Man Standing is practically the best approach to

a. Near Term Extinction
b. Near Term Human Extinction
c. Near Term Human Near Extinction
d. a & b
e. b & c
f. a & c
g. All of the above
i. None of the above.

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.
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McPherson’s forthcoming book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind has been submitted to the publisher and is scheduled for release before 1 October 2014.

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Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here

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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 37

  • What’s so great about this wonderful, fireball (Thanks to Wester), collapse thingy:

    No more marketing tricks/drivel/lies.

    No Traffic

    No 1% lever pullers.

    A Garden of Eden again, eventually, even, if totally overgrown and pompous.

    NO cop-outs like: “I cannot claim to understand God’s reasons.” (For slaughter of people for profit – From “The Mission” movie)

    Might is right will disappear.

    No more bad guys….. and on, and on, and on…..

    YeeeeeHaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • (From a comment at preceding post)

    “Since I can’t log-in to the forum”

    To log into the Forum requires at first a separate sign-in. The password can be later changed to the NBL blog log-in password. But even then, it will require a separate log-in each time unless a cookie is allowed for the Forum.

  • Robin: okay and how does one go about receiving the “separate sign-in?” The box says to log-in or register. When I chose the log-in box I got kicked out so I tried to register for the forum. The next box asks for user name and password – which again don’t work and I get kicked out! This is so frustrating – and it discourages me from further pursuing the forums. I don’t have time for this nonsense that doesn’t work, or is clearly beyond my limited computer ability, so i’ll stick to over posting and apologizing I guess.

  • I would like the “last ‘man’ standing” phrase clarified.
    Is is the last male standing? Having survived through brutal wit and skill?
    Or is it the last male left alive after war, disease, nuclear fallout, famine has wiped other human males off the planet?

    Or is it “last man left standing” after women took over and decided it best not breed anymore of our despicable species with men in charge?

    I know, I know, so many questions, so little time for answers.

  • .
    @ Tom:
    don’t worry about the Forum, if you are like pretty much everyone else, you would soon tire of the paucity of perspectives…
    .
    .
    Divest Now.
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    .
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.
    .
    Ward Churchill is a fraud.
    .
    Written by Allan Erickson on September 9, 2014:
    Ward Churchill is no scholar. He isn’t intelligent. He is a programmed robot, a celebrity in his own mind, a man so blinded by ideology he cannot even see he is guilty of precisely what he condemns in others: an arrogant assumption he possesses secret knowledge, the insistence he knows enough to condemn others, and the outrageous belief his processing power is sufficient to act as judge, jury and executioner.
    .
    From Wiki:
    Some of Churchill’s art pieces may infringe copyrights. For example, his 1981 serigraph “Winter Attack” was, according to Churchill and others, based on a 1972 drawing by the artist Thomas E. Mails. Churchill printed 150 copies of Winter Attack and sold at least one of them. Other copies are available online for purchase. Churchill says that, when he produced “Winter Attack,” he publicly acknowledged that it was based on Mails’ work. The online journal Artnet mentions Churchill’s artwork and the controversy surrounding its originality.
    .
    .
    Peace.

  • @ pat

    ..you would soon tire of the paucity of perspectives…
    Says the man who has only ONE…staring out the window
    which repeats endlessly. I did try to turn you on to Perspectivism, once, but you are not smart enough to understand it, or even smart enough to get onto the Forum, it seems, although 143 others have accomplished it, somehow.

  • For the Forum, this is the first registration page.

    At the bottom of the page, below the terms for joining is the acceptance bar. Once that is clicked it brings up the page for a user name and password.

  • @ Pauline

    “men in charge”

    Meir, Thatcher, Rice, Hilary, Gillard, Merkel

    British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni
    Warrant issued over war crimes accusations

    Christine Lagarde launches campaign to become first female IMF leader
    French finance minister throws in her hat after ‘mature reflection’, and is backed by the UK, Germany, France and the EU

    more than 100 Republican women have filed for candidacy in the US House and Senate

  • Pat,

    Allan Erickson is a fundamentalist christian (no wonder he trashes Churchill) and appears only in groups and on sites that hate like Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Thatcher, Condom Rice, Zionists & Hitler etc. His opinion is of no value whatsoever. You shud be ashamed of yourself, sitting on the runaway train that THEY have engineered. Why aren’t you doing something to derail the locomotive? They believe global warming as fake so they can keep robbing, slaughtering, and starving people.

  • @ Shep

    Yaaaay, you tell him, Shep, knock some sense into him ! Nobody else has succeeded yet 🙂

  • (typing from a bad tablet sans keyboard)

    Alex interviewed Guy and Carolyn very perceptively, imo, but in order to “disprove” NTHE, he must answer Guy’s “habitat” question with some very specific examples of human habitats that COULD survive the 4-8 degree increase and the 800 ppm atmosphere. Unless he’s going to argue those are not going to arrive, by some miraculous reversal, or that “somehow we’ll get by” or “the future is unknown.” Duh! Please do better than repeating such platitudes!

  • Robin: thanks for your patience and explanation, i’m in now.

    ulvfugl: thanks for the motivating kick in the pants (to not give up so easily) that was ricocheted off pat.

    pat: I appreciate the sentiment and do indeed tire of all the whirlwind thoughts, my own included; but then I tire of mental ‘cat’atonia too. What else is there at this point but to do whatever it is we’re doing? No judgments about any of it because it’s far too late as we’re falling off the cliff – it’s all gonna stop abruptly.

    Henry: I was just going to remark that I thought Alex is still deluded by the matrix and his own “movie” and can’t accept reality.
    Simply stating that he doesn’t agree with what all these scientific findings imply is an indication of what a tough nut to swallow it is. He wants to reassure himself that the extinction effects are for a distant future, but as time proceeds, especially at this stage of the exponential curve where the changes become more evident at a faster rate, he’ll see soon enough. It’s not like Guy takes any particular glee in being right, but it’s demoralizing (like talking to the wall) when people aren’t paying attention, deny facts, and don’t even want to know.

  • I’m surprised he’d even do another interview with Alex after the hatchet job he did to him before

    I stopped airing his shows after that and have never looked back. As far as I’m concerned he’s a proven establishment hack..

  • Tom said:
    “Simply stating that he doesn’t agree with what all these scientific findings imply is an indication of what a tough nut to swallow it is.”

    Whether or not you’re into bashing scientism and its high priests/esses today,
    I offer one on the subject of understanding and acceptance:

    Pretty sure that pretty soon we’ll get to a point where our predicament
    is a lot easier to understand and accept…that’s the good news.
    The bad news is that it won’t be pretty.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sAfUpGmnm4

  • Tom — Exactly! I think he may be as afraid of losing listeners as of facing facts. “Exponential” is the word exactly that people don’t get. Guy makes fair guesses at exponential outcomes; others stay in linear mode, or retro, even. But I hear Alex thinking through many of these questions, with a mostly open mind. I don’t worry much about who “gets it” or whether they persuade others. Better if not.

    Crazy — that’s how they make ME feel, when logic is denied.

    For me, the analogy that hit me in the shower (which must be the soap that is now attracting these little California ants trying to bite me) is that NTHE is like water rising around an island, or collection of islands. Not necessarily the world’s actual islands, threatened by ice melt, but my metaphorical Islands of Habitat.

    I think Guy would argue that 90% of IndCiv humans live on an island at about 5 feet above sea level. (Their scientific comprehension is about as 2-dimensional, as well.) They don’t know where their food comes from and can’t feed themselves. Bye-bye 90%.

    Then there are islands with altitudes up to 1000 feet, with thriving though subsistence agriculture. They can feed themselves — maybe — if the water stays below 900 (or 990?) feet.

    Big If.

    Most people who worry about this at all think the water’s going up maybe 100 feet, and we’ll all squeeze in just a little tighter. Might have to lighten the human load a bit. Somehow. Move around a bit. Somewhere. (“Hey! Free Real Estate, over here!”) Yeah, right.

    Guy’s “It’s Already Too Late” Symphony of feedback loops — I really think all he needs is the Methane and just stop right there (but how do you fill up a lecture presentation?) — says the Climate Chaos “water’s” going up 2000 feet minimum, so we won’t be around to worry whether it’s 1100, 1500, or 1999. Nothing more to argue about there.

    So — all that the dissenters like Alex, who agree with the basic premise of Climate Chaos, can argue with is the basic robustness of those last handful of human habitats (their “elevation” above the floods — oh yeah, which are not temporary floods, but PERMANENT. And how high the “water’s” going to rise. Those two factors, only.

    Nothing more to be debated. Metaphorically, of course.

    I think those last “mountaintops” hang on another generation or so, and good on RE for trying to be one of them, but then it’s over. The last survivors watch the waves lapping at their raised bed gardens.

    You can’t take a 10-foot leap across a 20-foot chasm, and you can’t survive a 2000-foot water rise on a 1000-foot high island. Period.

    So let the dissenters show how they disagree with those measurements or estimates, all approximate, of course, but we do agree on the general configuration of the problem. State your guesses, and then wait together to see what directions things trend.

  • Overshoot
    or
    The Blind Men Were Irrelevant

    Six Dooshistan men had in mind
    That extinction’s cause they would find;
    They thought that through thinking
    They’d see their cares shrinking
    Despite being mentally blind.

    The first, the bag he was in
    Had a heavy religious spin,
    So the reason he picked
    Wasn’t hard to predict:
    “The problem is all due to sin!”

    The second spake, “We’re going to tank
    Because our economy shrank:
    The future’s not sunny;
    The reason is money,
    And everyone trying to make bank.”

    The third said, “We’re going to expire
    From “advances” we didn’t require—
    Like the planting of plants;
    Now we’re pooping our pants
    Due to agriculture and fire.”

    The fourth quoth, “We’re feeling bereft
    From oppression and government theft;
    The reason things bite:
    We’re too far to the right
    (Or maybe too far to the left).”

    The fifth declared, “Life is complex,
    And we’re into it up to our necks;
    Our species’ extender
    Lies trapped within gender:
    The problem is all due to sex!

    The sixth opined, “We’re down the drain
    And the reason is perfectly plain:
    Folks are totally nuts,
    Their head’s up their butts,
    They’re psycho, and crazy insane.”

    So each man played with his dong
    And disputed on whose was most long;
    Each thought he was right
    But that changed not their plight,
    Which made them all fatally wrong.

  • Guy: When do you plan to have Paul Beckwith on the radio show?

  • Another sign that we’re effed …
    Greenland 2014: Follow the Water

  • this is 2 hours before midnight but what the hell

    diseases are caused by pathogens, which also include protozoa, fungi, and amoeba

    while disorders are due to chemical imbalance

    my definition of scientism is basicly science for hire vs true science, while also some religions unite science and spiritual phenomena

    – anyone can do science, all one has to do is follow scientific method.

    when I study particle physics for example, then develop and test detectors, using check sources, which provide a calibrated and characterized amount and type of radio emissions (33,600 Alpha particles @ 5. MeV and 6,000 Gamma @ 50 keV per second) and using appropriate shielding to block the Alpha while passing the Gamma, I know the detection counts are accurate.

    – just one small example

  • Spotlight on sellout…

    Judith Curry, former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology was, until now, one of the few skeptics with a veneer of credibility.

    But that is slated to change, as she will be featured in a George C. Marshall Institute event at The National Press Club. For those who are unaware, the Marshall Institute is a conservative “think tank” that began lobbying to support Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Over time the Institute shifted from Cold War hype to the downplaying of environmental threats, including the dangers of secondhand smoke, CFCs’ effect on the ozone, and now climate change.

    The Institute’s event is titled “State of the Climate Debate” and will focus on the (supposedly) weakening case for human caused climate change as well as the link between extreme weather events and climate change, and the challenges of “deep climate uncertainty” for policymakers.

    Perhaps the bigger story, however, is this event may be the last straw for Curry’s dwindling credibility in academia. It’s one thing to question the consensus or otherwise indirectly assist anti-climate science arguments. But to speak on behalf of a group heavily funded by fossil fuel companies and conservative donors—a group with a well-known 30 year history of distorting science for political aims—well that may just be career suicide. At least, academic career suicide. Unfortunately, if Curry has given up on respectability, this may just be the first of many such events.

    ===
    In their book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Examples include the Heartland Institute and George C. Marshall Institute

    They addressed tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT. Oreskes and Conway reveal how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

    For example, there were four physicists from the George C. Marshall Institute: Fred Seitz, S. Fred Singer, the lesser known William Nierenberg, and Robert Jastrow. All are: ardent anti-communists; pro-free-market and opposed to further government regulation; believed that future technology can solve problems and that the ‘free-market will solve any big problem. And they characterized environmentalist opponents as “watermelons” – green on the outside, but red on the inside.

    These ‘scientists’ also view restricting CO2 emission would weaken the US and lose-the-peace that had been fought for so long in the cold war and thus disguised a political debate as a scientific debated. In this way they inserted Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) into factual discussions to confuse the American public and delayed political action on time-critical climate chaos events.

    FUD tactics revolved around denying science in each issue (tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT) by being “skeptical” (to create the illusion of credibility); funding of “new” science designed to create uncertainty (i.e., not to answer questions, but to create contrasting data they can misrepresent); publish opinions about how “the science is not settled” (knowing that science is never settled, but the public won’t understand); and of course, using Frank Luntz word smithing, and punchy, though meaningless, catchphrases like “sound science” to make it appear they are saying something.

    These ‘scientists’ mastered the use of four key FUD and obfuscation techniques:

    Results from scientific studies are uncertain.
    Concerns were exaggerated
    Technology will solve the stated problem
    No need for government interference

    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/12/1329347/-Curry-s-Credibility-Crumbles

  • Kashmir and Punjab’s worst flooding in 50 years.

    http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow

  • Ecoshock Alex has grandkids, so I think he’s naturally psychologically averse to staring too long into the black sun and articulating what’s there.

    When people start throwing around the verb “to be”, as in “is” and “are”, “was” and “will be”, especially without citations, the first thing you need to do is check your head.

    So what the hell is this logic supposed to prove? That “if” Churchill copied a print, and “if” one of his citations is wrong, it follows that it is OK to live on stolen land? That butchering the lives of the indigenous people is fine? That insulting, disenfranchising, dispossessing, disrespecting their humaity and psychologically raping them on a daily basis is kosher? That it’s OK for me and my redneck cracker family to have benefited handsomely from a genocide that embarrasses the Nazis? That it’s OK to live and participate in a lunatic pathological culture that is laying waste to the very foundations of the living world?

    It’s up to you to make that call.

    I’ll recommend Churchill’s writings Acts of Rebellion http://lib.freescienceengineering.org/view.php?id=265427
    So if there is any interest, one can make up one’s own mind for one’s self.

    Also of interest is Vine Deloria Jr.’s “God Is Red”, detailing the stark philosophical differences between indigenous conceptions of reality and being, against those of the invaders.

    Of course, if you want contrary opinions, you can just turn on Fox News.

    Good Day.

  • “I know the detection counts are accurate.”

    Excellent!

    Next, what is the “I” – what is that which knows? Is the knower different from the knowing and the known?

    This issue is not adequately addressed by many religions. But it is the core issue of the non-dual Vedic traditions and of Buddhism (which is entirely non-dual).

    “will focus on the (supposedly) weakening case for human caused climate change”

    It won’t start weakening until the dieoff has progressed. And when the dieoff is complete, no humans: no case. At least not unless some other “intelligent” species evolves or stops by from outside the solar system.

    “They addressed tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT.”

    Those are just infant’s toys compared to NTE.

    “the ‘free-market will solve any big problem.”

    NTE is the free market’s method of solving overshoot. In the case of yeasts in a vat of sugar-water. In the case of humans on a planet with fossil fuels.

    NTE, once complete, is a guaranteed cure for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)”.

  • Wester,

    I’m a redneck bastard too; lived in and around Atlanta for most of my days; Ward Churchill nows reside in Atlanta; he was scheduled to give a talk at a symposium at Atlanta Theological in a Detroit like blighted area in downtown but the presentation was canceled due to really bad weather; I missed it because the re-schedule date did not make it to me.
    Do you know how he can be contacted? Thank you for the references.

    Give me a shout at shepherd2121@teleclipse.net when u get a minute.

  • I motion that chronic violators of the two post rule be banned from posting on this blog.

  • it’s not a ‘rule’ it’s a guideline, and it’s 2 posts per thread per DAY.

    the next day is generally considered to be midnight local time which in my case is 2 hours earlier than the blog’s time

    besides the whole 2 post thing was instituted due to ulvfugl, the context being some people are so obsessed with proving others wrong that they dominate discussions away from the original subject to a big drawn out case of ‘he said she said’ while not actually contributing to the original context or subject

    – after Guy himself recently complained about violations of this guideline, on the very same day in the very same thread LIDIA was the first to dis-regard it, even though the point was also raised that if people simply dis-regard it, it doesn’t have any real meaning..

    anytime I go over 2 posts per day per thread (which is rare) I acknowledge it right up front. (even if it’s just a few hours early, as above)

    – I have a tendency to not post on the blog at all, only the forum, and was requested via PM to post to the blog.

    there’s no ‘he said she said’ situation occuring on the blog, such struggles are now routinely taken to the forum.

    I suspect some people just don’t like certain reverse sexisms being exposed, that some people think a different set of ‘rules’ apply to them, and that some people are really just one person deploying sockpuppets, but I could be wrong..

  • Alex is just another who is fine with relying on scientific evidence up to a point. I may be naive, but I can’t help thinking these people KNOW. I mean, if I know, surely, they know.

  • Alex Smith has worked tirelessly for decades trying to bring awareness to as many people as possible and much of it has been on his own dime. So, at this point, he only believes in something like a 90% die-back and not NTE. So crucify the man. Smear his reputation all over the internet and shit all over his years of fighting the good fight. Now let your superiority wash over you.

  • I’ve thought the two comment ‘rule’ inappropriate from the moment it was implemented if there is constructive discussion and clarification of points made. However, over the past five or six years we have covered practically everything that could be debated; it seems to me there is now either consensus on major points or disagreement because we do not have enough information.

    Since 99% of the populations of all ‘developed’ nations are uninformed/misinformed and utterly deluded and constantly manipulated, and since the ‘0.1%’ have a near-total stranglehold on the propaganda flow, it is abundantly clear that EVERYTHING will end up disastrously. I’m not saying anything new when I say it’s only the timing we are unsure about.

    Brent oil at $97.11, gold at $1228.30, and the extreme volatility in currency markets suggests 2014 could be the year we get yet another ‘October surprise’. On the other hand, TPTB have clearly demonstrated their short-term ability to manipulate everything financial and social, so we may have to wait until the Russian gas supplies to Europe get turned off for the ‘fireworks’ to begin.

    Following a period of unusual dryness, things have returned to normal here and we have steady rain; no drought to disrupt dairy production this spring, so the game will go on a while longer.

    A personal note: in previous years I have got caught up in distractions like elections and attempting to raise public awareness of the state of the planet; this year I am not wasting my time attempting the impossible; and am devoting most of my time and energy to garden projects.

    Whereas I hear about trees overseas dying from drought, insect infestation, elevated ozone levels, fires etc., around here it is the government that is responsible for most tree destruction -to make way for wider roads and greater traffic flows. Let’s face it, pollution levels are ‘nowhere near high enough yet’.

    The fall in the price of oil will help maintain the delusion road transport has a future. and will presumably cause the price of tar-seal to fall, making more road construction even more appealing to the maniacs in power.

  • ‘Can we find some satisfaction in us humans being the agent of change to usher in a new age of biodiversity based on the rubbish and waste of the new materials/gases/genetic engineering that we have created?’

    r u fucking serious?!

  • Reinhold Niebuhr states that “nothing but madness will do battle with malignant power and ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ ” Find your own specific madness. (Quote from SF New Mexican)

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/reader-view-out-of-despair-action-can-follow-on-climate/article_87b8b871-41ab-58ee-ad6c-f814d87ec15c.html#user-comment-area

  • http://www.theburningplatform.com/2014/09/13/kohls-the-rest-of-the-retailers-are-in-deep-doo-doo/

    KOHL’S & THE REST OF THE RETAILERS ARE IN DEEP DOO DOO

    [begins]

    I never believe government manufactured numbers. They will always be adjusted, massaged, and manipulated to achieve a happy ending for the propagandists attempting to control and fleece the sheep. Yesterday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were weak and the corporate MSM propaganda machine immediately threw up bold headlines declaring how strong these numbers were. Positive stories were published on the interwebs and Wall Street hack economists were rolled out on CNBC, where the bubble headed bimbos and prostitutes for the status quo like Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman declared the recovery gaining strength. Woo Hoo.

    [quotes]

    • The unadjusted retail sales were only 3.2% higher than last August. Considering government reported inflation of 2%, that is a pretty shitty result. But have no fear. The “ADJUSTED” retail sales for August were 5.0% higher than last August. WTF? Guess which number gets reported to the sheep?

    •Hysterically, your government drones consider lending deadbeats $40,000 for seven years with no money down to drive away with a GM deathtrap SUV as a retail sale. The billions in subprime auto loans led to an 8.8% YoY surge in “ADJUSTED” auto sales. It seems the unadjusted number only went up 5.3%.

    •When you back out the Federal Reserve/Wall Street pumped auto sales, which will ultimately result in billions of written off bad debt (you’ll pick up the tab), unadjusted retail sales were only 2.7% higher than last August. With real inflation of 5% or more, real retail sales are negative on a year over year basis.

    •Despite financing deals of 4 years with no interest, furniture and electronics retail sales were flat versus last August. If there really is a housing recovery and 2.1 million more Americans are employed versus last August how could these discretionary sales be flat, and negative on an inflation adjusted basis?

    •Grocery store sales were up only 2.1% over last year. Even the government is reporting 2.7% food inflation in the last year. We all know it is closer to 10%, so people are actually reducing the amount of food they are buying. That is a sure sign of an economic recovery.

    •Clothing store sales were flat and department store sales were negative versus last August. So much for the back to school storyline. I do believe August is back to school time. The Sears and JC Penney Bataan Death March trudges toward bankruptcy.

    •What did surge was sales at restaurants and bars. They soared by 6.8% versus last August. We already know Darden, Yum Brands and McDonalds have reported dreadful results, so either the government is lying, soaring food prices are being passed on to customers, or people are so depressed by this awesome economic recovery they are drinking themselves into a stupor.

    As a side note on the accuracy of this government data, in a previous role at IKEA, when I was a much younger man, I was responsible for filling out the monthly government retail surveys for the Census Bureau. The government drones collecting this data do not check it. They do not require proof that it is right. It is self reported by retailers across the country. Filling out this crap for the government was about as low on my priority list as whale shit. If I was really busy, I’d make the numbers up, scribble them on the form and put it in the mail. The numbers the government are accumulating are crap. And then they massage the crap. And then they publish the crap as if it means something. It’s nothing but crap.

    When you see the headlines touting strong retail sales, you need to consider what you are actually seeing in the real world. RadioShack will be filing for bankruptcy within months. Wet Seal will follow. Sears is about two years from a bankruptcy filing. JC Penney’s turnaround is a sham. They continue to lose hundreds of millions every quarter and will be filing for bankruptcy within the next couple years. Target and Wal-Mart continue to post awful sales results and have stopped expanding. And as you drive around in your leased BMW, you see more Space Available signs than operating outlets in every strip center in America.

    [read the rest if interested]

  • The latest essay in this space comes from the keyboard of the virgin terry. It’s here.